2020 Social Security COLA May Not Be Good News

Update: The SSA has announced that the Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2020 will be 1.6% as predicted.

Every year around this time, anyone who gets a regular check from Social Security gets curious and also a bit nervous. That’s because they and I know that in just a few weeks, mid-October, the annual Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2020 will be announced. This comes as our lawmakers are looking for ways to expand and preserve Social Security, a task they have been avoiding now for decades. So perhaps for them, this news that Americans might be in for a smaller cost-of-living adjustment next year is good news. But not for anyone who depends on it.

For those relying on government benefits, the Social Security COLA 2020 may be a disappointment. While an increase is expected, it isn't very much.

According to a new estimate released by The Senior Citizens League on Thursday, the 2020 COLA is forecast to be a 1.6% increase which would come out to about $23.40 per month for the average beneficiary (the average beneficiary received $1,475 a month this year). That compares to the $40.90 beneficiaries received in 2019 which was a 2.8% COLA.

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What’s Worse Than Not Saving Money: “Dissaving”

There may not be any other word in the English language that says such an obvious thing as the word “dissaving”. We all know what each part of that word means. “Dis-” means “not”, as in disrespect, meaning not to have respect for something like saving money. “Saving” is the thing we all want to do with our money whenever we buy something and try to put away the difference after we do it. Funny thing is when you combine those two parts together, it becomes a complete disaster! If you’re in “dissaving” mode, then you need a life saver.

Dissaving is when you're spending more than you're taking in. That can put you in a financial hole that leads to disaster if you're not careful.

The Definition of This “Dis”

Dissaving is an actual real word. I swear I’m not making it up! You can Google it if you have any doubt, but trust me, it’s real.

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On Being Criticized For Managing Money

Because managing money is usually something kept very personal, the act of being criticized out loud for it is pretty rare. In my own case, other than my spouse, I generally do not share the specific details of my day-to-day finances with others even though I am perfectly willing to give my money opinions in my blog posts as to what to do with your money.

There may be times you are criticized for how you are managing money, but what's important is that you are doing what is right for you.

It’s a bit of a weird fine line, I guess. Thinking that I can give advice and still keep most of the really personal details to myself. Is that because I think that I will be criticized for the way I actually manage my own money? Maybe it is.

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Three Mistakes I Made on the Road to Financial Freedom

Today we have a guest post by Simon from Financial Expert, a blog that offers free learning experiences which combine articles, interactive experiences, and assessments. Today he talks about some of the mistakes he personally made in investing and some of the lessons he learned along his way to becoming a smarter investor in the 21st century!

While the post title implies that my failures only number three, I feel it is only fair to admit that I have comfortably exceeded this number over my decade of investing!

In today's guest post, Simon from Financial Expert shares three investing mistakes he made on the way to financial freedom and how you can avoid them.

Here are three mistakes which I feel hold broader lessons for all of us to reflect upon.

1. I believed that complexity was the key to an excellent portfolio

I loved investing so passionately when I first began, that I immersed myself in the topic at every opportunity. I read magazines, blogs, newspapers to satisfy my hunger for knowledge.

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How The Beatles Success Strategy Can Motivate You

I know you probably came here to get some money making and money saving tips today. Sometimes I write about that specific topic and other times I see myself as some kind of motivational writer, the kind that can get you to think about the “how” you can do better with your finances, job, and life. I think I can do that for a couple of reasons. One, being older, it’s fairly easy for me to see the mistakes I personally have made and looking back on the things I could have done to avoid them. And two, there’s the practical me. The person that can see clearly now just what to do and how to reach goals and fulfill dreams. Unfortunately it took 70 years or so to get there, and I’m telling you so you have a better chance to get there sooner rather than 70 years later or never.

Few have reached the level of The Beatles success, so what can we learn from them? Here are a couple of elements of their success and how they apply to you.

So that got me to thinking. What do all of us really want in life? Is it fame and fortune? Is it wealth? Is it security? Or is it true that “All You Need is Love” as the Beatles once sang? It might just be all of the above rolled into one giant big ball. So, how do we get there?

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How High Can You Fly? (Attitude Determines Altitude)

Sometimes even I can get a little depressed. I know admitting that out loud may turn some people off and if it does, I may just have to bear the burden of that. It seems that way too often I have been expected to be just a ray of sunshine and a beam of light to everyone around me and sometimes that’s a big burden for me. It’s even truer when it comes to publishing the written word like I do here. After all, do you really want me to depress you with anything negative I might offer up on my blog?

Zig Ziglar's phrase "attitude determines altitude" means that positivity will take you further in your quest for success. But can you change your attitude?

And that’s a big part of my point here, even though sometimes “Rainy Days and Mondays” may get me down, “Attitude Determines Altitude” and I know that.

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Are Annuities Good or Bad for Your Retirement?

A lot of financial experts and bloggers don’t recommend annuities or even like to talk about them very much. They are more likely to recommend and want to talk to you about investments in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds for growing your wealth and prepping for retirement. That may leave you to wonder what annuities really are and whether you should you invest in them for your retirement years.

Annuities...good or bad? They have a poor reputation, but there can be good reasons to include the right one in your retirement plans.

I chose to purchase an annuity about 20 years ago (when I was 50) with qualified money I used from a 401(k). Then, about 5 years ago, I took that money and used it to purchase a 5-year deferred annuity that will start paying me beginning in January of 2020. Those payments are guaranteed to me or a beneficiary (my wife who is 20 years my junior) for 20 years, or for my entire life as long as I live (even if I live to be 100 or more). This made good sense for my situation. But, before you decide that an annuity is either a good or bad choice, ask yourself this: Have you taken a really good look at annuities and do they make any sense for you?

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Saving Money Doesn’t Mean You Have to Have No Life!

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I guess I have always been surrounded by the “aura” of saving money. It started for me as a kid, simply because I grew up in a family that didn’t have a lot of extra money and I was the child of parents who grew up during the Great Depression. I am pretty sure that experience shaped my Mom and Dad’s philosophy about money and the importance of saving for a rainy day. The rainy days of the 1930’s were pretty rainy, so I get it.

If you feel like you have to have no life in order to save money, it doesn't have to be that way. Here's how to save and still enjoy life.

Of course, my parents were also around for the post-war abundance and prosperity of the 1950’s and things got a lot better for them and for all Americans as the 20th century rolled on. But even with that, the art and skill of the “saving of money” (which really primarily fell on my Mom’s shoulders as the main shopper and budget keeper) was still upper-most in their minds. And yes, of course, since I was right there by their side, mine too. But despite the emphasis on the saving of money, it didn’t mean that we had to have no life!

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