Actionable Ways to Boost Your Savings Before Retirement

For today’s guest post on saving for retirement, please welcome Danielle Kunkle Roberts from Boomer Benefits.

If you’re already saving for retirement but not where you want to be, now is the time to make positive changes to boost your balance. Even if you feel like you can’t squeeze another dollar out of your budget, there are steps you can take to grow your retirement savings. No matter where you are on your savings journey, these steps will help you reach your goals.

Even if you feel like you're behind on saving for retirement, these simple ways to save will help boost your nest egg and prepare you for retirement.

Lower your investment expenses

Most people pay close attention to returns when they choose mutual funds or other investments for their 401(k) or IRA, but few pay attention to how much they cost. An actively managed mutual fund benchmarked to the S&P 500 can cost exponentially more to own than an S&P 500 index fund. The average expense ratio for mutual funds is between 0.5% and 1.0%, although some niche funds and target-date funds can have ratios well above 1.0% Index funds, on the other hand, charge as little as 0.015%.

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How to Save on Car Insurance

There are certain things that almost everyone is forced to deal with that will cost you money and auto insurance is one of the big ones. It’s always good to save money when you can, but even better when you save on the big expenses in your budget. Today I’m going to talk about how to save on car insurance so you can keep more money in your wallet while still protecting yourself.

Car insurance is critical to have, but can cost a fortune. Here's how to save on car insurance while still keeping yourself protected.

I haven’t talked about it much over the past five years, but every year I am forced to deal with my own auto insurance by doing my homework to try to save as much as possible on it. I simply hate making the payment for it, but we don’t have much of a choice as to whether to buy it or not since it is required by law in 48 of the 50 states. Only the states of New Hampshire and Virginia are exceptions, but even they have some requirements.* But if skipping on auto insurance sounds like a bargain, it isn’t. It’s time now to revisit car insurance and take a good hard look at the ways to save!

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Taking Your Personal Financial Temperature: Net Worth

Sometimes I wake up with a song in my head. Sometimes it’s from a time and place I can’t actually remember, so that officially means it came from the 60’s, I guess. You know, if you can remember them then you weren’t really there kind of thing. Well truthfully, I do remember them and I was there, but that’s a whole different post, isn’t it? So, here I am with this song in my head today.

You can take your personal financial temperature by calculating your net worth. Here's how to do it, what it means, and how to use the information.

It’s called “It’s a Question of Temperature” and it was a modest hit back in 1967 by a band from right here in NJ called The Balloon Farm.

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Can You Stop Prescription Price Greed Now?

As you may know, prescription prices pay a huge role in my budget and that’s a very important issue for me. Over the past two months, I participated in two separate important events that involve the prescription drug crisis in America. Today, I’d like to tell you about them.

Prescription prices in the U.S. are outrageous. But you can help me fight against big pharma greed. Learn more about what's going on and what you can do.

The first event was a panel discussion group that was put together by a legal firm to discuss a lawsuit filed on behalf of consumers against a major drug company. We discussed a company that is alleged to have paid off and conspired with a competitor to deter and delay the release of a generic version of one of their drugs and thus reaped millions of dollars because of it. (A confidentiality agreement won’t allow me to disclose the names of these two companies here right now.)

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The Best Movies Are Free…Sometimes

My wife and I enjoy going to the movies. Frankly, who among us really doesn’t? I mean, it’s nice to get out and enjoy some escape away from the norm of the TV and even though a live play or concert is a treat, taking a home equity loan to enjoy those for me these days is cost prohibitive. I prefer the free or almost free entertainment available outdoors in the summertime anyway, but back to my point here: the movies. Especially free movies.

The best movies are free movies, when you can get them that way. Read on for how I've seen some free movies recently and perhaps you can, too.

Movie Night at the Local Cinema

Usually, for about $40 around these parts, with popcorn and a couple of small sodas in hand you can catch a new flick at a nearby theater in central NJ. I always get some kind of deal because that’s how I roll as a Super-Saving-Tips kinda guy if ever I decide to actually pay to see a movie. That’s done by taking advantage of senior discounts, two-fers, and all and any discounts available and there usually are discounts if you actually take the time to look. I’ll get back to that point in a moment.

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New Tax Form for Senior Citizens for 2019

Just when you have adjusted to the new tax forms of 2018, you may be in for a surprise if you are over age 65 for your 2019 tax return. It’s the newest twist for seniors and it is the new 1040-SR senior tax form that may in fact be the perfect thing for seniors to use!

There's a new senior tax form coming for your 2019 tax returns. Form 1040-SR has some good senior benefits, but there are some limitations, too.

Fifteen million of the 150 million Americans who filed taxes last year were seniors, so filing an IRS tax return is likely to be simpler next year for about 10% of those who do so. To use this form, you have to be 65 prior to January 1, 2020.

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13 Things to Consider When Choosing Where to Live

I really don’t like to write long-winded posts about anything, even if I sometimes do just that. But, sometimes there are subjects that do require that kind of detail. Like, for example, the subject of picking where to live. Maybe you never actually had to pick a place to live, but these days it has become a much more common thing to have to do, and that’s especially true in retirement.

Choosing where to live is a major decision and there are many factors that you should consider. Here are 13 areas to examine to find your ideal location.

I’m sure that there are plenty of good and obvious reasons why you live where you live. In retirement, many need to live in a less expensive place or a place closer to family. For others, it may be that they always wanted to live in a mountain area or a beach environment. Those are all good reasons to consider and get advice about.

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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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