I was reading a post on CNN Money about how employers are scaling back on benefits. With unemployment near double digits and so many people looking for work, employers are forgoing hiring permanent full-time employees and hiring temporary workers and contractual employees. This enables employers to circumvent having to offer employees full scale benefits. The result is that many employees are finding themselves without health insurance, sick leave, vacation pay or a retirement plan. Contractors are also responsible for their own unemployment and Social Security payments. The drawbacks are plenty. So, what can you do if you find yourself in such a situation?
There are a bunch of financial sites that offer lists of the mistakes that individuals make in retirement planning. Common mistakes mentioned are a lack of diversification, waiting too long to start saving, and not saving enough money for retirement. While these mistakes will definitely hurt your portfolio, there are other retirement planning blunders that often go overlooked. These mistakes are just as deadly and can leave you paying unnecessary taxes to the government. Here is a list of 3 often overlooked mistakes that people make with their 401(k):
Investing in Variable Annuities
April 15th is one of the most dreaded days on the calendar. It is the day when millions of Americans scramble to file their tax returns. You would be hard pressed to find anyone that actually enjoys paying income taxes. It’s not realistic to think that we could entirely abolish taxes and fund many government programs such as defense spending, Social Security, and Medicare. But, could we switch to a system of taxes based on activity and consumption instead of income? There are many other alternatives and ideas out there to abolish the current income tax code, but actually getting Congress to switch to something else will be an ongoing struggle. I just can’t stand the fact that I get taxed more for how successful I am in my career. Doesn’t that seem backwards?
Congress is currently considering implementing a huge financial reform bill. They have spent well over a year debating all of the aspects of financial reform. We all know that one of the main issues being discussed is getting rid of the “Too Big To Fail” moniker that applies to the big banks. While this is an important issue, there are other issues being discussed that will directly impact consumers. These issues involve lowering the costs associated with borrowing and protecting consumers from predatory lending practices. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways in which financial reform will directly affect you:
I was reading a disturbing article the other day about people falling into financial trouble. Many individuals are making their credit card payments on time in lieu of paying their mortgage. With the housing market underwater, people are prioritizing their credit card debt and other bills over their mortgage payments. This actually runs contrary to normal behavior. Yet, the trend is increasing, because misinformed consumers are more worried about protecting their credit scores, rather than protecting their shelter. During periods of economic growth and prosperity, people typically pay their bills in the following manner:
Why the change?
In the midst of rising unemployment and a surging deficit, the United States government is thinking of ways to increase revenue in order to fund government programs. The government has been considering implementing a fat tax, eliminating capital gains taxes, and raising taxes on higher wage earners. The government is trying everything possible to plug budget shortfalls and raise needed funds. Recently, the federal government has even began considering adopting a value added tax. There has been much debate over whether a value added tax would help or hinder domestic production. Let’s take a look at this controversial proposal known as the value added tax.
Conventional wisdom suggests that whenever financing a major purchase, you should rely on debt. We are taught from a young age that buying cars, education, home furnishings, and vacations is an acceptable practice. Today, I would like you to take a look at the prevailing wisdom and consider making these purchases using cash. I’m challenging you to think outside the box on this one. Don’t scoff when you read the first one, keep an open mind! Here is a list of four things that you should never buy on credit:
1. Your Car
The United States economy is slowly putting along. Last week, we learned that the economy added 290,000 jobs last month. As the economic outlook continues to improve, you should look at ways that you can benefit from the rising economy. Whether it’s finding a new job or looking for new investments, there are opportunities to increase wealth and set yourself up for a long, prosperous career. Honestly, many of the best opportunities have already come and gone when everyone thought the world was going to end. Remember when the Dow Jones was at 6,500? Imagine if you had invested more money at that low point! Here are a few ways that you can benefit from a recovering economy.
One of the best ways to create a fiscally responsible adult is by training them to handle financial issues as a child. Teaching your kids to manage money is no easy task. They may be much more concerned with what’s going on in pop culture, their latest gadget, or just having fun as a kid. With the growing list of items that they desire, they may really think that money grows on trees. It’s never too late to teach your kid about money, even if they are about to graduate from high school. High school seniors are probably the most important group to equip with financial strategies because they are about to enter the real world. Here are five things to teach your soon-to-be grad before they enter the halls of higher learning:
Are you looking for a way to bring down the costs of your car insurance? Paying auto insurance premiums can be very expensive, especially for a product that you will rarely ever use. But don’t worry, there are strategies to bring down your auto insurance payments. We recommend focusing on reducing the big, fixed monthly payments in your life before you take away the small indulgences, because those fixed monthly bills are eating away a bigger portion of your monthly income on a consistent basis. Here are 8 ways that you can save money on your car insurance: