How Your Life and Career Parallels Baseball

This post was originally published on March 17, 2015 and was updated on February 11, 2020.

Several years ago, I wrote a post about one of my very favorite subjects. It was kind of a twist on getting yourself prepared for your life and career, but looking at it from an unusual view: comparing the parallels to your being a success in life to that of being a success in baseball!

Life is like baseball: the trajectory of a baseball career is much like the phases we go through in life. Learn what it means for your career and finances.

As we here in the Northeast pine for warmer temps and bluer skies, we know that spring is just around the corner and that soon the flowers will return and getting out in the sunshine will be an everyday affair again. Whenever my mind thinks spring, it can’t help but drift to what it always does this time each year… baseball.

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The Screwed-Up Social Security System

Based on what you earn throughout your lifetime, you become eligible for Social Security retirement benefits when the time comes. That time can vary from person to person for many reasons, because once you hit age 62 you become eligible to get it, but you can wait for years if you choose to, even up to age 70.

When it comes to the Social Security system, there are a few things that can keep you from maximizing your benefits. Here are some of the gotchas to beware.

But despite the success and importance of the Social Security plan, the system suffers from problems and mistakes. Sometimes mistakes are made by the Social Security Administration (SSA). And sometimes you make them yourself. Why?

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Why You Shouldn’t Want a Huge Tax Refund

For the umpteenth time, I have to rail about tax returns and big tax refunds as I always do at this point in the year! Right now is the time of year taxpayers are thinking about their taxes and that long awaited tax refund. Nearly 72% of taxpayers received a tax refund last year, and the average direct deposit tax refund was close to $3,000 according to the IRS. And that’s even in the real life case that so many filers feel like their tax refund was actually a little low.

If you get huge tax refunds, I have one question for you: why? A smaller tax refund can mean you get your money every month instead. Here's how to do it.

But since I opened up the box, I now have to ask the question:

Why does getting a tax refund (of your own money) make you so happy?

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How to Avoid Paying Income Tax in Retirement

Everyone has to deal with taxes; they’re oftentimes unavoidable. But if you play your cards right, you can spend as little money as possible on them. You may even be so lucky as to avoid paying income tax altogether in retirement and get this… the government might actually give you money when tax season rolls around in a little something called the EITC, the Earned Income Tax Credit.

You can maximize your finances if you avoid paying income tax in retirement. Here are 9 types of money that aren't taxed, plus money you might get for free!

Retirement won’t save you from the tax forms and some headaches, but there is money you get that Uncle Sam can’t touch, as long as you play by the rules. And you have to know and understand the rules to win this game. So pay attention now and learn how you can actually avoid paying any income taxes on these things when you hit retirement!

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Saving Money Should Be Easy, So Why Is It So Hard?

Please note this post contains affiliate links which help to fund this blog at no cost to you. Thanks for your support!

With early and continued exposure to personal finance and economics, kids today are growing up to be better savers, investors, and borrowers, according to the Council for Economic Education. The expectations are that they can and will make better financial decisions for themselves and their families in the future. But, then what about you?

Saving money isn't as easy as it should be, so follow these saving money tips to increase your funds.  Every little bit helps!

If saving is just a matter of “education”, well you aren’t living on a remote island someplace, are you? It’s the 21st century and you are getting money advice from everywhere these days, so what is the problem? If saving money is just a matter of educating yourself, then saving should be easy. So why is it so hard?

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How I Got My Best Job Ever and Why I Hated It!

Do you spend time daydreaming about getting a really great new job? You know, one that will give you all the opportunities to grow and shine and fulfill all of your potential. Of course, it will also pay you way more than the job you currently have and that means success and security for you and your family. That’s one good reason that you get up every morning and go to work in the first place. Financial security and job fulfillment all rolled up into one big ball sounds like a pretty good deal, doesn’t it?

Here are the steps I took to get my best job ever, along with a caution about why I ended up hating that job.

That’s what I always thought and let me tell you this, it doesn’t always quite work out that way. Sure, earning a bundle and getting a title, a company car, perks and prestige sounds like a dream to you, but keep in mind a big key word here: work! They don’t call it “vacation” for a good reason, so while you may dream about some pie-in-the-sky opportunity, it might lead to you getting the “best job ever” and you might wind up hating it!

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Are Personal Finance Blogs Really Important?

I’m not the kind of person who thinks of himself as really important. I mean, yes I am important to my family and friends, but I mean important in the sense that I should be treated “special” in some way when it comes to discussing and writing things about personal finances. I don’t get much recognition or praise and that’s fine. Sure, it would be nice, but I am happy that so many have reached out to me over the years with comments and views and that number has kept on growing every year. Thank you so much. But I don’t do it for attention. Why I write is based on a couple of things:

Recently some people have suggested that personal finance blogs are repetitive and boring. But they are really important. Here are two reasons why.
  1. I think that sharing my money experiences in life—both the good and bad—can help others
  2. I have definite opinions about money habits that make sense if you apply them to yourself
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The SECURE Act: The New 2020 Retirement Plan Rules

With all the news we are bombarded with every day, you may have missed this information which is new and will affect every single person in some way in their life. It is the passage of the new SECURE Act which became the law effective January 1, 2020 and changes retirement plan rules.

The new SECURE Act has made some important changes to retirement plan rules that you need to know. Here are some of the details and how they may affect you.

The new law has 29 new provisions or major changes, but I want to focus on just a few major areas. Some of this news is good news and some of it could be bad.

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