Retirement Planning: Watch for Inflation

A very real threat to you retirement is inflation. The costs of goods and services do rise over time. A gallon of milk at today’s price will greatly vary from what one costs 20 years from now. Are you putting off saving for retirement? Inflation is a REAL reason to start now. Let me give you an example. A round of golf with green fee and cart costs $50 in 2016. A round of golf at 2.5% inflation 20 years from now (2036) will cost you $81.93. Delaying saving for retirement affects your future financial self. Each year you delay saving for retirement requires you to save more to meet the higher prices of things in the future. The time to start saving for retirement is NOW. What is holding you back? Do you think you will get to it tomorrow? Next month? Next year? When I have more time? Don’t delay friend. Time and inflation can erode the power of your future dollars.

Suggestion: Start by saving 1% of your annual income for retirement. If your annual income is $80,000 this means setting aside $800 a year. When divided by 12 (months) this is $66 a month. Do you wonder where to invest such a small amount? I recommend You can open an account at this site in less than 15 minutes. You can specify how much you want automatically transferred from your checking account each month. You can choose what day of the month you want it to come out. You can choose how much to invest in stocks and how much to invest in bonds. You can adjust this amount as you please as well. Don’t delay investing for retirement any longer. Start small and then increase your contributions as your budget allows. Those that fail to plan, plan to fail.


Emergency Fund: Expect the Unexpected

An emergency fund means exactly what it says: Financial emergencies will occur. The question is: Will you be ready? Car repairs, house repairs, medical bills, and high power bills are just a few examples of financial emergencies. Having an emergency fund is a FOUNDATIONAL STEP to financial security. This type of stuff should be taught in high school. America’s educational system has done little to prepare today’s youth for the financial challenges they will face in adulthood. An emergency fund is equal to the learning of the alphabet in primary school. Every young adult should know this stuff!

What can you do if you don’t have an emergency fund? Start now. I agree with Dave Ramsey that a $1000 emergency fund is the place to start. So, how can you raise your $1000?

  1. Have a garage sale
  2. Save your income tax refund
  3. Take a part time job
  4. Cut your expenses
  5. Live on a budget
  6. Spend less than you earn (put the difference in your Emergency Fund)
Where do I keep my Emergency Fund money? I recommend an online savings account. Two good choices are or  Both of these account can be set up in less that 15 minutes and can be linked to your checking account for easy transfer. When an emergency occurs you simply go to the site and select the amount you need transferred to checking to cover the emergency. Transfer usually takes 48 hours (2 business days).
Those that fail to plan, plan to fail. Emergencies will occur. Don’t waste any time getting this $1000 raised and protect yourself against life’s emergencies.

Marriage & Money

How do you manage money in your marriage? How do you communicate about money? What is the volume level when you discuss money with your spouse? Do you ever play the blame game? Are you and your partner in agreement about your financial goals? The topic of money in a marriage can be combustible and cause damage to your relationship. Below are some suggestions about handling money and marriage.

1) No Money Secrets – You and your spouse need to be truthful and honest about financial decisions. While you don’t have to discuss every spending decision, it’s important to have an open and honest relationship about money. You and your spouse need to agree on an a purchase amount that requires you discuss it together. Dishonesty with money can rapidly dissolve the foundational issue of trust in your relationship

2) Have Fun Money – All work no play makes for a dreadful marriage when it comes to money. Each partner needs a small amount of money that he/she can use with no explanation necessary. The critical thing is that you make a “Fun” category in your budget and put this in there. Remember if you don’t tell money where to go you will wonder where it went. Have fun but keep this amount small (especially if you have lots of debt).

3) Discuss money at the right time and place – When it comes to discussing money issues timing is very important. Discussing important financial decisions right before bed may not be the best choice. Discussing money when one or both spouses are stressed is not a good idea. The right time and place will vary from one couple to the next.

4) Attack the problem not the person – Money talks can become volatile in no time flat. Remember you and your spouse are in this marriage as a team, not individuals. If you find your decibels rising it is best to call a time out and discuss the issue at a later time. Playing the blame game very seldom results in a positive outcome. Don’t bring up unrelated topics that will inflame the discussion. Stick to the point and remember you both are on the same team. Be willing to compromise. Very few marriage arguments result in one partner getting all of their demands met.

If you can find ways to peacefully and respectfully discuss money in your marriage, you are at a happy place. Remember that you and your spouse are on the same team. While your opinions will vary, it’s important to commit to hearing each other and reaching compromises. Remember it takes teamwork to make the dream work.

How to Spend Your Tax Refund

Are you going to be receiving a tax refund this year? The average tax refund in the U.S. is $3,120. What do you usually spend it on? Vacation? New furniture? Pay off debt? Invest for retirement? Here are some suggestions on the best use of your tax refund.
1)Fund a $1000 Emergency Fund.
Why? Life will happen. The unexpected will occur. Cars need repairing. Unexpected medical bills occur. Things wear out and have to be replaced. Having this $1000 is a buffer between you and life. Don’t neglect getting this done with your first grand. It’s a good idea to put this money in a separate savings account that can be linked to your checking account. I highly recommend or Both of these can be set up in about 15 minutes online. Transferring the money to your checking account usually takes 48 hours.
2) Have some fun with some 0f it (up to $500). You worked hard for this refund and you deserve some fun with some of it.
3) Use your remaining money to Pay Off Debt! If you have any other money left after the fun, Pay off Debt!! List all of your debts smallest to largest. Place your remaining money toward the smallest debt. Debt is just stress for most families. Putting some portion of your refund toward debt helps relieve the stress the debt puts on your life.
Best of luck!

Winning with Money

You must live by a budget. You must tell your money where to go. You need to have every dollar assigned to a destination before you spend a penny. Select All you need is an email address and a password. You must have a “Savings” category. If you don’t save money, you don’t win with money. What should you save for? Back to school, vacation, retirement and car repairs are just a few examples. If you don’t tell your money where to go, you’ll wonder where it went. Those that fail to plan, plan to fail. Go ahead and get that budget started today.