ESPP Exit: What’s Your Financial Advice for Us?

I can’t help but realize that writing this blog each week almost always involves me giving some advice about some money issue. Sometimes it has been very specific on things like saving money at the grocery store or preparing yourself for retirement and at other times it’s been more spiritual like when I refer to things that can motivate you and good money habits to develop that help protect your financial well-being.

My wife and I need to make a decision about what to do with her old ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Plan) shares. What's your financial advice for us?

Sometimes when I look back on what I’ve written, I realize I definitely have had a tendency to pontificate and yes, even ramble. I’m being kind to myself more than a little here. I really think writing a 2,000+ word post can lose even the most diehard readers. Who has the time for that much stuff to read on a regular basis?

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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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Money Issues Make You Feel Angry and Helpless

Money is a good thing to have. At least that is the huge consensus opinion of most of us. That’s the way we look at it and why we work for it, even if we are like Mother Teresa who gave most of it away.

Wealth inequality and money issues can cause some dark feelings. Read on to understand how those issues came to be, so you can try to solve them.

We need money so we can help ourselves, or at the very least use it to help others. Having money is necessary and seems to be the difference between merely existing and having a life that is way more than that, a life that is building something. So, let’s just say that money is really a good thing and that’s a given despite the old proverb about the love of it being the root of all evil. Having real money issues will make you feel very helpless.

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Why You Are Just One Step From Financial Disaster!

Being retired gives me the time to read more than I ever did when I was working every day. Sometimes being busy with a job can be a cushion from discovering some really worrisome facts that you may just hear about, but not really see the fine details. That may be the situation you are in when it comes to thinking about healthcare costs for you and your family. Healthcare costs are a reality that just might be the reason why you are just one step from financial disaster!

Many people don't realize that they are just a step from financial disaster. Healthcare costs from an illness or injury can easily push you into bankruptcy.

The Big Fear

It’s a fear that we all have, the fear that we may have to face financial ruin someday. We may not know exactly how or why, but it is something we sometimes do think about. Most often it comes when you lose your job or if you are really unlucky you might have to face some sort of natural disaster like a flood, fire, or weather event that sets you so far into debt you can’t see ever climbing out of that hole. But the number one thing that can send you into financial hell is much more devastating and personal then suffering through a hurricane.

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Money F.I.R.S.T. – Financially Intense & Responsible Strategy & Tactics

Do you like playing games—like board games, card games, role playing games, pretty much anything like that? Most of us do as kids and many still do even these days a la the computer or phone app as adults, even if they have meandered into their 40’s (no names mentioned here, but I have a few friends and relatives that are waaaay into it!).

To achieve your financial goals, you need both money strategies and tactics. Here's the difference between them and why you need both to succeed.

I’ve always loved sitting down with friends and playing games together. It’s a great way to spend leisure time unwinding on any given afternoon or evening. It’s always fun even if you don’t actually win, right? Fun, that’s usually how we think of a good game night or afternoon event.

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6 Easy Ways to Save Money Right Now

How many times have you said to yourself, “I just have to find a way to save more money”? Over and over again and again I imagine, but when that happens it’s more often than not that you get started and then suddenly…failure. You just don’t stick with it.

It can seem difficult to save money, but that's because we attempt big changes instead of taking baby steps. Try these six easy ways to save money to start.

Why? We’re a nation of overachievers and when we decide to do something, we want to do it really BIG. While there’s nothing wrong with setting really big goals, when it comes to saving money, drastic big lifestyle changes often backfire. That big goal becomes such a huge pressure cooker that it eventually can explode and all you have afterwards is an even bigger mess than when you first started.

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3 Ways My Mother Influenced My Personal Finances

Researchers will tell you that we are all basically a combination of the beliefs, habits, and opinions of the people we surround ourselves with and spend the most of our time in life with. That starts in your childhood and is the unreal influence that a parent has on a child. Think about it. You probably believed almost everything you believed as a kid because of your parents through at least the first 10 years of your life.

We all are influenced by our parents in many ways. Here are 3 ways my mother influenced personal finances for me and changed the course of my money habits.

Unless you came of age in the ’60s like me, that probably continued right on through adulthood, because everyone knows that my generation was the dawning of “The Age of Aquarius” and was a totally enlightened generation, a totally innovative and newly ordained very special generation with all the answers to all the questions of the ages…not!!! We just thought we were that at the time.

But seriously, when you really think about it, it does seem true that you probably get most of your opinions just because of how your closest influences (like Mom) think and that gets reinforced constantly by them. At least that’s my “uneducated” opinion here.

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Re-Cycle Your Transportation Costs with These Car Alternatives

You probably own a car. In fact, you may even own more than one car, even if your name isn’t Jay Leno. Owning a car in the U.S. is not only the favorite form of transportation, but it’s a huge and important industry for us. There are about 300 million vehicles currently here in the U.S.A. and that number has been increasing steadily every year since 1960. Only China has a bigger car market than the U.S. and that is simply because there are so many millions and millions more people living there. The penetration of cars per population here though is much, much greater!

Transportation costs can eat up your budget, so if you're spending money on a car (or more than one!), try one of these car alternatives to save money.

Here is something to think about. The cost of a new car today is on average $35,263, according to Kelley Blue Book. That doesn’t include gas, oil, insurance, and maintenance money you spend. Compared to a dependable alternative like a bicycle (about $250 for a pretty good one) or a motorcycle (at about $3,000-$5,000) and you can see the huge differences. Going for a scooter or moped brings you down to an even lower and even better bargain! So, have you ever considered these car alternatives?

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