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Personal Finances | Planning

Plan Your Financial Future Now

The best way to prepare for your financial future is to have a budget that you can follow and adjust as you work through each month. There are many doable ways to put together a budget, but all entail gathering the best information you can from your past financial records.

Using Past Expense to Predict Future Expenses

Both checking accounts and credit card records provide a good place to start. For most families, housing expense is the largest and most important expenditure. These expenses include mortgage or rent, utilities, taxes, insurance, and maintenance.

Mar 20, 2018
Ditch This Phrase and Jump-Start Your Financial Plan
oving on after financial mistakes is tough when you’re stuck in “I should have” mode. I should have started saving for retirement sooner. I should have cut up my credit cards years ago. I should have said no to my brother-in-law’s dumb investment idea.

Acknowledging mistakes is one thing, but ruminating keeps you mired in mental muck. More info...

Mar 20, 2018
5 Reasons Debt Relief Programs Cause More Pain Than Relief
Liz Frazier Peck
You've seen the ads. "Hounded by creditors? More than $10,000 in debt? Call us to reduce your debt, lower your monthly payments and be debt free in 24 months." Gosh that sounds great, where do I sign up? Obviously, per the article title, debt relief programs are not as benign as they'd like for you to think. It works like so: You sign up with a debt settlement company. They negotiate with your creditors to allow you to pay a lump sum that is less than the full amount that you owe. You then pay the program a specific amount each month.

Clearly there is one positive about a debt relief program. You may pay a lower, single monthly payment. And you may pay less than you initially owed on the account.

Welp, that's it for the positives. The negatives are many; get comfy. More info...

Mar 19, 2018
4 High-Yielding REITs For Retirement
Brad Thomas
When it comes to retirement and savings, REITs are well positioned to play an important role -- both as an investment to help build a retirement portfolio and also to provide income to meet living expenses.

It's important to remember that REITs are forced, by law, to payout at least 90% of their taxable income to their shareholders in dividends -- a crucial differentiation that makes the income highly sustainable, in good times and bad. More info...

Mar 19, 2018
How To Protect Your Most Important Asset With Disability Insurance
Peter Lazaroff
Five years ago when my wife and I were expecting our first child, I was quick to get term life insurance policies in place. It wasn’t until last month, however, that I protected my human capital from disability.

I’m not alone, either. Most people see life insurance as a no-brainer to protect against losing their income due to death, but few people consider protecting their human capital in the event they become sick or injured. More info...

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