Why is Planning for Retirement So Damned Confusing?

Retirement planning is no easy task. Oh, you may think it is, but it never really is, at least it isn’t for most people. Maybe if you are lucky enough to hit the Powerball jackpot and win a few hundred mil, you may be able to just coast into a retirement and never have to worry, but seriously? I hope you aren’t actually trying to do that. If you are, your retirement plan sucks!

Planning for retirement isn't always easy, but it can be much smoother if you start early and avoid these mistakes. Here's what to do and what not to do.

There are a lot of things that go into your retirement planning. Obviously, factors like salary, debt, and expenses all will affect your ability to save, but also know this: there is no one-size-fits-all solution to planning and realizing the vision of your successful golden years!

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Your IRA RMD – What You Need to Know About Required Minimum Distributions

You may not have given it that much thought while you were socking away your retirement contributions over the years, but in every life, some rain must fall! The rain in your IRA may be that “special” time when you must start withdrawing funds from it. Many retirees taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their traditional IRAs may not know all of the ins and outs of exactly the right way to do it and avoid any penalties along the way if they don’t!

You need to make sure you know all the facts about your IRA RMD (required minimum distribution) so that you avoid penalties. Check out all the details here.

Making IRA RMDs: the What, When, and How

When you reach age 70½—and that’s about 3.5 million Americans right now—you need to know the ins and outs of required minimum distributions (RMDs). If your parents or grandparents are the ones moving into RMD-land, do them a favor and give them some really good advice and information about this subject ASAP.

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2019 Financial Resolutions You Can’t Afford to Blow

You know that you mean well. You always do, don’t you, when it comes to making new year’s resolutions. That diet you were gonna do to lose some weight, the smoking thing that you were definitely going to knock out last year for sure, and oh yeah, the garage that’s full of junk that you have been promising to clean out since 2007, but this is the year, right? You tell yourself every new year things like that and even more.

If your financial resolutions of the past never seem to materialize, perhaps it's time you made some S.M.A.R.T. goals. Here's how to make 2019 successful.

And of course there are those financial resolutions and goals that you seem to always set for yourself to do better with your money, but by the end of March you can’t even recall exactly what your goals were and where you went wrong along the way. Does that sound pretty familiar?

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Series I Savings Bonds: Save Money and Guard Against Inflation

Often flying under the radar these days and almost forgotten about in the 21st century is a really good old friend that I grew up with as a child: the U.S. Savings Bond. Originally developed as encouragement to save (called the “baby bonds”) in 1935 during FDR’s first term during the Great Depression, they eventually evolved into the E bonds that helped finance and pay for World War II back in the 1940’s (War Bonds).

Considering the low interest rates on most savings vehicles, Series I Savings Bonds are a great way to save money while guarding against inflation.

Like many things, it has changed since those days. As a kid in the 1950’s, I recall when I used to buy bond stamps and paste them into my bond folder. Eventually it grew and when held to a maturity date, it was worth $25. I used it then for some huge event in my life, like a new bike or some other big deal!

Years later, the E bonds became the alphabet soup letters of bonds such as F, G, J, K, H, and even HH bonds (which ceased being issued in 2004). Remember those? You would go down to your local bank branch and buy them at “half” face value, hold onto them until they matured, and eventually cashed them in doubling your money. The good old days, right? Continue reading

7 Retirement Investment Pitches You Should Ignore

You’ve probably already heard of the many schemes and pitches designed to separate you from your money—emails from Nigerian princes, phishing scams, etc. But does your bull$h!t detector go off when confronted with a slick come-on for perfectly legal-but-somewhat-questionable retirement investment pitches? There are a ton of them out there and as you inch closer and closer to retirement, you are more likely to hear about them and yes, even get roped into a presentation by a so-called retirement expert!

As you near retirement, you'll hear all sorts of retirement investment pitches, but some of them are just plain BS. Here are 7 pitches you should ignore.

Retirement Investment Pitches You Should Ignore

That’s why I’m posting this today so you can get a heads up about some of these pitches that are often targeted to people just like you and I when planning our golden years in retirement. There are some investments that make sense in certain situations, but here are 7 specific BS pitches you should probably ignore! Continue reading

How This Fed Rate Hike Will Hit Your Wallet

The Federal Reserve raised its key short-term interest rate this week as U.S. economic growth remains strong and unemployment is at an 18-year low. The bottom line for borrowers is this: everything from credit cards to auto loans to mortgages is about to become more expensive because of this Fed rate hike.

On Wednesday, there was another Fed rate hike, the second of four planned this year. Find out what this means for your finances and how to cope.

The Fed’s monetary policymakers added another quarter-point to the central bank’s key interest rate, putting it at 1.75% to 2%, the highest since 2008, economists said. This is the second of a now planned four interest rate increases expected for this year. The Fed last raised its benchmark rate a quarter-point in March, moving it into the range of 1.5% to 1.75%. You’re going to feel this one right away. Continue reading

Risk Tolerance and How It Leads You to Rewards

Most people are hesitant to take risks in their lives. It’s kind of human nature for people to fear risk. With the possible exception of Evel Knievel, Neil Armstrong, and a couple of others, it’s tough for us to step out onto that ledge and take a chance. You probably won’t be considering riding a motorcycle and jumping over a dozen cars or rocketing to the moon and back for fun or profit like Evel and Neil did back in the day, but what about other risky things that you deal with in your real life all the time? It all has to do with your risk tolerance.

It's important to know your risk tolerance, not only when you are investing, but in life as well. If we're afraid to take big risks, we may never know big rewards. Here's the smart way to deal with risk.

What Are Some Risks You May Have to Face?

There is a laundry list of things and events that we face regularly that may involve risk. That means everything from meeting your future in-laws for the first time to making financial investments for your future and retirement. Continue reading

The Investing Strategy Wall Street Doesn’t Want You to Know

For today’s guest post on a personal investing strategy, please welcome fellow personal finance blogger Joseph Hogue.

Making investing personal will not only make investing cheaper but will motivate you and help you reach your financial goals

Two stock market crashes in less than a decade into the new millennium and a lot of people wonder if investing is worth the risk and the worry. Keeping up with the ups-and-downs of the stock market and picking the best investments can seem like a part-time job.

You wouldn't know it from listening to Wall Street and the investment industry, but the best way to invest is with a personal investing strategy. Making it personal will help you get where you want to go financially.

But investing doesn’t have to be like that.

In fact, the best investing strategy is one about which you don’t worry at all. Continue reading

Stock Market Volatility Is Always an Unwelcome Event

Remember your childhood days and your Yo-Yo? If you do, then you can probably relate to what has been happening since last Friday in the U.S. markets and today has been “Yo-Yo purgatory” for many investors.

We are in the midst of stock market volatility so fasten your safety belt, it's going to be a bumpy ride. Now's not the time to panic. Experts think that a market correction is in order.

The U.S. stock market is making some investors very nervous over the past several days. On Monday, the Dow dropped 1,175.21 points, an all-time biggest point drop in its entire history (although not the biggest percentage drop) having briefly declined more than 1,500 points during the session. Other major indexes closed sharply lower too. The sell-off kicked into action last Friday, after the latest non-farm payrolls report saw interest rates in the U.S. jump. Continue reading

Double Trouble: The Stock Market Bubble and Carbon Bubble

Financially speaking, 2017 has been a very profitable year for many, especially those individuals who have a stake in the stock market and those businesses that have made huge gains as well. Just ask our leaders about that and you’ll probably hear over and over how great our economy is performing, “record levels like no one has ever seen before” to coin a phrase.

Facing 2018, we are headed for danger if the stock market bubble and carbon bubble burst together. Here's what may lie ahead for investors.

But, 2017 has been a year also marked and marred by unexpected events, from natural disasters to terrorist attacks and all kinds of political and social upheaval. It seems 2018 will likely prove to be no different, but the least we can do is examine our own expectations for the year to come, so we know where we may be in for some really unpleasant surprises. One such surprise might just be a burst in the stock market bubble and the carbon bubble that might spell double trouble. Continue reading