Personal finance, like just about everything else, is mainly common sense. Advice like “don’t spend more than you make; start investing while you’re young; don’t loan money to friends with the expectation of getting it back,” have been around for generations, and most likely will survive the next few generations as well. Even money mistakes that are corrected early enough will have little impact on your wealth going forward. What you do want to avoid are money mistakes that can be hard to recover from.
Time certainly goes by fast. One day you’re interviewing for your first job and the next thing you know you’re a few short years from applying for Social Security.
While it’s never too early or too late to start planning for retirement, when it comes to retirement savings in the U.S., later seems to be the standard. According to RothIRA.com, only 56% of today’s workers in the U.S. are currently saving money for their retirement, and 38% of those currently saving have less than $10,000 saved. With one-third of Americans admitting that they have no retirement savings at all, it’s clear that many U.S. workers will reach retirement age with little to no resources to count on.
While owning a home is the quintessential American dream, not everyone is able to purchase a home when they desire. If you’re fresh out of school with a boat load of student debt, it’s probably best to wait until you’ve been working for at least a year before you start looking to buy. You’ll also want to make sure that your credit score is where it should be, since the higher your score, the lower your interest rate will be. It’s also important to pull a copy of your credit report prior to contacting any mortgage companies; examining it in minute detail to ensure that everything is correct. If you do find an error, dispute it with the credit bureau immediately and keep the documentation.
As you approach retirement, it may be time to pay more attention to investment risk.
If you are an experienced investor, you have probably fine-tuned your portfolio through the years in response to market cycles or in pursuit of a better return. As you approach or enter retirement, is another adjustment necessary?
If you’re looking to diversify your investment portfolio, you may want to consider purchasing investment property.
Depending on how hands-on you want to be, you may want to purchase real estate as a short-term investment; fixing up the property and then selling it immediately for profit. For a long-term investment, rental property can provide a steady income stream over the longer term.
What should you know? What should your executor know?
When people think about estate planning, they may think in terms of personal property, real estate, and investments. Digital assets might seem like a lesser concern, perhaps no concern at all. But it is something that many are now considering.1
Following are the BASICS of capital gains as they pertain to the investments we typically encounter. You should consult with your tax professional for your personal situation.
As you reduce your liabilities, embrace the behaviors that may improve your balance sheet.
Paying off a major debt produces a sense of relief. You can celebrate a financial milestone; you can “pay yourself first” to greater degree and direct more money toward your dreams and your financial future rather than your creditors.
Wise moves to make before things are finalized.
Perhaps both traditional and Roth IRAs can play a part in your retirement plans.
IRAs can be an important tool in your retirement savings belt, and whichever you choose to open could have a significant impact on how those accounts might grow.