“March Madness” – Can You Believe More Fed Cuts?

Opinions are like noses: everyone has one and this one is mine. It’s official. The coronavirus has created complete chaos in our lives and the actions in Washington to combat it are literally creating a whole new “March madness” by the hour!

Another surprise Fed rate cut has happened, but will it help with the economy, much less the COVID-19 coronavirus?

I try really hard to avoid putting my 2 cents (formerly 3 cents before I suffered the recent stock market losses) in this blog about politics. Occasionally it slips in, but that occurs only when I feel it’s necessary. Today, it’s necessary.

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The Bear Market: Get Used to It?

For the past 12 years, since the housing market debacle and the 2008 recession, we have been the beneficiary of steady economic growth. If you were a stock market investor, you have seen the Dow Jones soar from around 7,000 to record levels breaking the 29,000 mark earlier this year!

The COVID-19 coronavirus has brought the bear market to us. Will the disease and the bear be around long? Here's what history tells us.

That’s a 400% increase in its value. The bull has been on a rampage, but those days are over. The bear market is here. No matter how you paint the picture right now, it looks like recession, and the world is going into a long-awaited cycle that it always goes through at some point. Are you ready? The bear market…get used to it!

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Yes, I Made It to Annuity Day!

Well, it finally happened. The check actually was in the mail and it came right on schedule, too. Twenty years ago, I decided to add an annuity to my retirement planning program and it kind of snuck right up on me. That was a really pleasant surprise. In a world where the annuity often has its detractors (and perhaps with good reason), I am pretty happy with it. I felt for me it was a good decision. Depositing that annuity check for $483.46 (the first of 240 for the next 20 years!) has comforted me quite a bit since February 1st. With the market in chaos, even more so in the past several weeks, I guess it’s congratulations to me! I made it to annuity day and now another of my nest eggs has hatched!

After opening an annuity 20 years ago, I finally made it to annuity day and received my first payment. Annuities can be a good idea in certain situations.

What Is an Annuity?

An annuity technically is not an investment. First and foremost, an annuity is an insurance product, which means you buy it because it reduces your risk. Some annuities, like variable annuities, do have a selection of stock and bond portfolios available as investment choices inside the insurance contract, but the one I bought was a fixed rate annuity which for me had no investment risk on my return and payout. I knew 20 years ago what I would be getting back to the penny when I bought it.

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The Fed’s March 3rd Surprise Interest Rate Cut

You are probably one of the millions of Americans who are concerned about the COVID-19 coronavirus and you are trying to best deal with all the news about it and the risk it imposes. We all are.

With worries about the coronavirus affecting our economy, a new Fed rate cut is meant to stimulate growth, but how will that affect consumers?

Besides the huge health risks, the world economy is dealing with the potential impact the virus is having on it. To help our economy withstand the threat from the rapidly spreading and scary coronavirus, the Federal Reserve sliced interest rates by the largest amount since 2008. While many financial experts feel that a Fed rate cut may not have any impact on what’s happening, it’s a big move that might have impact on the credit cards in your wallet, the rates you pay for a home loan or a refinanced mortgage, and many other borrowing costs, too. Whether it encourages the consumer to keep buying as they have been for the past several years during this medical crisis is another thing completely.

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Best Ways to Save Money That Few Ever Do

If you’re a financial blog reader, you are most definitely being bombarded by “good advice” almost every day and I have to admit myself that sometimes the advice is complex and hard to understand. Any time someone swears that their ideas are foolproof and guaranteed to bring you financial peace of mind and success, you should be just a bit skeptical when it comes to your money and re-read the words a few dozen times before you jump right in to changing everything about your money and life. That’s one “blog tip” I will share and stand by, for sure. But sometimes, the advice you read about can be pretty simple and really basic and practical. Yet, despite that fact, many people read about those best ways to save money, understand them, and never do them! Why is that?

Knowing the best ways to save money isn't enough; you actually have to do something! Here are 6 things you can do to get your finances in shape.

Is Anyone Really an Expert When It Comes to Money?

When it comes to money, there are lots of people claiming to be experts. No doubt some actually are just that. Either they have learned about financial success through their own experiences or they have studied about it and learned to apply what they have learned to real life. Some of these people are household names like Dave Ramsey or even Suze Orman. But what about all the other hundreds of people (like me) who are willing to share some saving tips that we think are right on? Should you believe and trust our advice?

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

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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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Everything You Need to Know About 401(k) Contribution Limits for 2020

When it comes to preparing for retirement, it’s very important to stay right up to speed with all the rules, regulations, and changes made by the IRS from year to year. With the next year looming just two months away, the IRS has made some 401(k) contribution limit changes for 2020 but still has left both Roth and traditional IRA contribution limits for 2020 flat.

The IRS has changed 401(k) contribution limits for 2020 and here's what you need to know about them to maximize your retirement savings.

The IRA limits are again unchanged from 2019’s $6,000, or $7,000 combined if you’re age 50 or older. This is the second straight year at those caps. The caps are the maximum amounts you can kick into those retirement accounts, whether you use just one type or in any combination. Before 2019, the IRA contribution limits stayed the same for six years in a row. So just in case you needed a refresher, today I thought I’d go over some of the things that you really need to know when you are saving in these accounts for your retirement!

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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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