Today, I was reading an article in USA Today about homeowners that lost a court case contesting the policy language of their homeowner’s policy about storm surge/flood waters regarding the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. The judge upheld the ruling that the policy language is clear about not covering damages caused by storm surge or flood waters whether it is caused by actual flooding or wind. Obviously, none of these people had flood insurance, because they believed they would never need it. It’s a tragic story, because now we’ll definitely be seeing the true fallout of the Katrina damages when foreclosures and bankrupties sky-rocket in New Orleans. I am a property claims adjuster, so this article was very interesting to me, and it got me thinking about what types of insurance all adults should have no matter what phase of their lives they are in. Here are my top four types of insurance that every human being should buy in order to maintain financial stability.
This may be a broad generalization, but I will venture to say that the younger generations of America do not use coupons the way that our parents and grandparents used manufacturer’s coupons. I was flipping through a sunday paper coupon book, and I started saying to myself, “why have I not been using more of these coupons?” I will admit it, I have never sat down and clipped coupons to use at the grocery store. After finding numerous $1.00 off coupons for items that I buy every other week, I realized that could be saving some serious money when I go to Wal-mart and the grocery store.
I read all the time about financial people advising to set your life up to be eligible for as many tax deductions as possible. They give you all of the numbers and show you how much money you can save throughout the year if you have a mortgage, student loan debt, and various other things that create a tax deduction. However, the financial world has gone one step further to encourage consumers to keep their debts that are tax deductible for as long as they can to milk the deductions. This is completely absurd, and again, anything you say to me will not change my mind about it. NEVER CREATE A TAX DEDUCTION JUST FOR THE SAKE OF HAVING A DEDUCTION.
Is it possible to own a home right out of college? Well, it depends on your situation. It is true that a single young person will have a much harder time owning a home than a young couple with two incomes, but do not be discouraged by that. Homeownership is the American dream, and I think that everyone should be working towards owning a piece of property, or mayb even two, three, or ten pieces of property. The fact is that real estate is a great investment, even in the post real estate boom era. Real estate very rarely goes down in value, and it gives you more control over your investment by being able to build an extra bathroom that may cost you $6,000, but it will increase the homes value by $15,000.
I knew that Parker Brothers was hurting when they kept coming out with every gosh darn version of Monopoly that they could think of. But this information is very troubling to me. No matter what version of monopoly you are playing, whether it is knitting-opoly or gator-opoly or whatever, you are using cash to buy things in the game. Now, monopoly will be coming out with a “high tech” version of the most popular board game ever with a swiping credit card and a credit card machine that deducts money from your account. And you may think, “Oh, well they are just keeping up with the times”, but this is not the case. Visa credit card is sponsoring the charge machine and giving Parker Brothers a huge chunk of cash to be its sponsor. This troubles me on two levels.
Let me start off by saying that I think that you should ALWAYS pay cash for a vacation. It is silly to finance a luxury. You may feel like you deserve a vacation, but they are still a luxury expense. That being said, I am a huge proponent of living it up when you go on vacation. Vacation is a time of releasing stress, thinking about nothing, and rejuvenating your mind and body. If you try to go cheap on your vacation, it will not feel like much of a vacation.
As a twenty-something, I have really never paid attention to long-term disability insurance. Because I am in the prime years of my life, I have this feeling of invincibility like nothing could happen to me. I feel great and I work at a desk job. But lately I started thinking about how one tragic event could change my life forever, and it made me realize that this insurance product is for everyone.
I was listening to a radio show the other night where a guy was describing that he went out and bought three properties with zero money down. Now, he has had some deadbeat renters and he is 3 months behind on the mortgage payments. He is having a hard time selling the properties and is close to foreclosure on the properties. It had him very scared and confused about what to do next. My assumption is that this guy listened to some get-rich-quick scam artist and now he is getting burned.
This blog article from USA Today talks about a poll that shows that young people in their twenties are most likely to opt for a Roth 401(k) when their employers offer it as a retirement benefit.
About 14% of the twenty to thirty year old demographic opted to invest their money into a Roth 401(k). A Roth 401(k) combines the characteristics of a Roth IRA and a traditional 401(k). Basically, the money from your paycheck goes into the Roth 401(k) AFTER taxes are taken out, whereas the money goes into the account BEFORE taxes in a traditional 401(k).
My generation has fallen into a huge trap when it comes to our philosophy about higher learning. We have created a society of young people whom think that having a college degree will automatically make them successful in the marketplace. Young people will spend anything and everything to get a so-called “prestigious” degree, and most young people look to Uncle Sam to help them fit the bill. The end product is a young and broke twenty-something whom is working at a decent job making $30,000 a year with $25 – 50 grand in student loans.