How Much to Save for Retirement – Planning Strategies for Every Age

retirement fund binYou’ve heard plenty of lame one-liners and empty tokens of advice: Save 15% of your income to retire comfortably; save two grand per month to retire a millionaire; save a million dollars to retire comfortably; plan to withdraw 4% annually in retirement.

Financial advice isn’t helpful if all you get are platitudes and generalizations. Too often, experts toss around figures about how much you need to save and invest, without considering your long-term personal financial goals.

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4 Best Kids Educational Software Programs to Teach Your Kids About Money

kids computerSure, your home computer provides plenty of entertainment and gives your kids a chance to play games or interact with their friends. But have you considered how useful computers are when it comes to teaching kids about finance and how to handle their money?

While it was important for us to learn about money basics when we were growing up, our kids will face financial challenges that we never dreamed of. Luckily, some excellent software programs can help you teach your kids the basics of money management in fun, interactive ways.

Check out these four tools for preparing your kids for the future.

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3 Types of Mortgage & Housing Scams to Watch Out for – Don’t Be a Victim

mortgage home scamRecession-related job loss, cut backs, and bank crackdowns have left many debt-mired homeowners wondering what they can possibly do to save their homes from foreclosure. Unfortunately, for every downtrodden soul, there is a scumbag con artist waiting to take advantage.

These crooks disguise themselves as well-meaning, competent professionals who are capable of helping honest people avoid foreclosure. But, behind the masks, their eyes are targeted at your checkbook, or the title of your home, in some creative mortgage reconstruction scams.

Keep an eye out for these warning signs and make sure you don’t become their next victim.

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What is Witch Hazel – 10 Amazing Uses & Benefits

witch hazelIf you’ve never heard of witch hazel, you’re in for a treat. Why? Because this natural astringent is not only awesome for your skin, but it has plenty of other amazing uses as well.

First of all, let’s take a closer look at witch hazel itself.

Witch hazel, also known as winterbloom or spotted alder, is actually a flowering shrub common in North America. The leaves, bark, and twigs of witch hazel are high in tannins. Tannins are found in any natural astringent because of their ability to tighten, dry and harden tissues. The witch hazel water you can buy for $2 at any any drugstore is actually a steam distillation of the bark, leaves, and twigs of the shrub itself.

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What Is an Annuity and How Does It Work? – Annuities Explained

nest egg cashIf you have a 401k or Roth IRA, you probably feel like you’re doing everything you can to be financially prepared for retirement, right? Maybe you are, but you might also benefit from incorporating an annuity into your savings plan.

So how do you know if you need an annuity?

Let’s look at the basic characteristics of these unique savings vehicles, how they work, and most importantly, if you would benefit from having one.

What Is an Annuity?

An annuity, by definition, is simply an agreement to make a series of payments of a certain amount of money to a specified party for a predetermined period of time. Annuities also refer to a commercial insurance contract offered by a life insurance company.

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7 Reasons Why Now Is a Great Time to Invest in Real Estate – Buyer’s Market

handshake real estate investingI know, I know – you’ve been hearing for years that it’s a great time to buy real estate. When the bubble burst a few years ago, and people were losing money on their houses, it made investing in real estate, understandably, a scary proposition.

But thanks to the same recession that caused the real estate mess, there are loads of opportunities for those with the financial resources and means to buy real estate. Here are seven reasons why it’s currently a buyer’s market in 2011.

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7 Common Items That Should Never Be Flushed – Prevent Clogged Toilet

toilet plunger cloggedThere’s a pretty popular TV commercial that’s been on lately for a well-known toilet maker. In the commercial, a guy sees a very pretty female plumber going into his neighbor’s house to fix a problem. Obsessed with the fact that he want this girl over to fix his pipes, he starts flushing everything he can down his toilet to clog it up.

Diapers, toys, and even entire plants are flushed down the toilet. Miraculously, the thing never clogs. If you’re interested, the video is embedded at the end of this article.

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