Financial

Learn About Investing In Stocks

Today, I want to address the practical nuts and bolts steps required to invest as a do-it-yourselfer in as little time as possible. I remember before I was a GED student, I really wanted to make money in an easy way, I tried everything, and I really made many mistakes, so I want to help you today avoid errors and my goal is to outline some guidelines you can use to participate in the market with minimal effort. We’ll walk through step by step what you need to do.

First, let’s talk about the easy way to invest for retirement. Maximize your employer’s 401(k) program match, certainly, but go beyond that as far as your monthly budget will allow. Challenge yourself to increase it little by little over time. If you are putting 5% away this year, aim for 6% or 7% next year. That way, you won’t notice a dramatic change. You can contribute up to $17,000 in 2014 and an additional $5,500 if you are age 50 or older. …

Don’t Invest in Things You Don’t Understand

“Don’t put money in any investment product you can’t explain to a seventh grader! Never put money in anything you don’t understand!”

Dave Ramsey practically screams this advice on the latest version of the Financial Peace University lesson on investing. There is no uncertainty in his words or his voice.

Critics of Dave Ramsey, and even quite a few of his fans over at My Total Money Makeover message boards, say Dave’s investing advice is either “too simplistic” or just wrong.

To people who are much more investment savvy, Dave’s investing advice probably does sound wrong or oversimplified. But for folks like me, who just don’t have much learning or background in investing, that is a start, as long as we follow his basic advice quoted above. Perhaps…

8 Ways To Get Debt Free This Year

Well guys, here’s to the American Dream. Which usually means: get into debt as much as you possibly can! Oh yeah, this is not the dream; it is just how it’s really happening. So what was that American Dream again? Just check out this post with 8 ways to get debt free this year

Whatever it is or was supposed to be, a lot of people today are dreaming of a debt-free life. So be prepared to dream on as I share with you 7 ways to become debt free this year. See also this March update video on how to stay debt-free:

Education

To make some decent income you need a good education. Do whatever you need to do to get at least a High school Diploma or equivalent it: a GED Diploma.

Getting the GED Diploma is a cost and time effective option. The price of the exam is $120 in most states and you don’t need to attend a GED school before the exam. If you feel you can pass it, you can just sign up for the GED test, go to the exam place and get your diploma within a week. The GED diploma is the same as a High School diploma so you are good to go.

Stop Spending You Don’t Have 

There’s no dispute behind this logic. Still, most of us are spending money we even if we don’t have it, or are guilty of occasional overspending and experiencing some buyer’s remorse, aren’t we?

Credit cards and loans are making it darn easy to buy a new television, that new car or boat, or even four-wheel lawnmower that we actually don’t need at all. So lesson # 1 is: don’t spend money that you don’t have! Use your credit cards only in emergencies or just use your monthly budget to pay them off every month.

Early Retirement Benefits

As more and more people retire at an earlier age, the benefits of early retirement provide many exciting possibilities not available to previous generations.

Most people are living much longer today, mainly as a result of advances in medicine and many could spend a longer period in retirement than in the whole of their working lives.

But there are some serious loopholes so be wise. Take a look at this video with some costly errors that you should avoid at all times:

It is for this reason that we want to make you aware of some of the many varied possibilities and benefits of early retirement which can make this a very exciting period of your life.

Our Health Care System – A Different View

I recently read an article in Politico titled something like “One last time, the Senate GOP is trying to repeal Obamacare”. I forgot the precise title but that what it came down to.

In the following article, Dr. Oz explains in a pretty good way all about the American Health system, though the video is already some two years old:

The main concern in the article was the fact that they (GOP) want to, “scale really back the role of the federal government in the system of our nation’s healthcare but rather provide the states with block”.

The whole purpose of the federal government getting involved in health care, in the first place, is the very fact that the states couldn’t manage the healthcare system.

Please Protect Your 401k In Case You Die Before Retiring

There are enough issues to deal with after you die without being left a giant tax mess or a legal battle over your estate. But this often happens to widows and widowers whose spouses have died before cashing in their pensions.

In particular, dealing with a 401k settlement could be stressful and complicated for your spouse or would be beneficiaries upon your death if clear directives were not put in place.

If your spouse or beneficiaries find themselves in this situation then they will be forced to seek competent legal counsel to remedy this complex situation.

Obviously, this will require a substantial cost in attorney fees and will cut into the money they will end up receiving from your 401k account after your death.

Even If You’re Broke You Can Enjoy Your Retirement Years

So you have retired and now find yourself in a position where your retirement savings plans have not entirely lived up to your expectations.

Worse perhaps you really have no retirement savings worth speaking about because you never took advantage of either a 401k or a Roth IRA. Well, what is to become of you now?

While its obvious in hindsight that you should have been saving aggressively over the years to ward off this very situation but life happens and we all know that.

So how will you survive to enjoy your golden years if you don’t have access to the windfall of retirement cash? Well, honestly there are no easy answers here.

You May Use Your 401k Plan To Build A Real Estate Empire

A 401k is a plan that allows employees to defer income earned pre-tax to be held and invested, sometimes with a match contribution by an employer.

The employee is allowed to contribute up to 20% of their annual income with a maximum of $18,500 to a 401k with a potential employer match of up to 8% of the income.

These funds can be used strictly for investing or could be used as a part of a profit sharing plan where the employee shares in the profit of their company.

A 401k plan is self-directed putting the employee in the driver’s seat when it comes to how the funds are invested.

Be Careful When Making Early Withdrawals From Your 401k Plan

Current tax law places a stiff penalty of 10% on Early Withdrawals From 401k retirement plans. Nevertheless, there are some special circumstances under which owners of 401k plans can withdraw or receive an early distribution from these funds without incurring any penalty at all.

These instances include buying a home for the first time, hardship cases, and using it to fund the expenses of getting a higher education.

The ideal situation is that these retirement plans are not touched until it is time to retire, but that is not always possible. Emergencies do occur, and at this time having a ready source of liquid funds to draw from can help get out of an otherwise disastrous time.

It was the Federal government that set in place pension plans like the 401k or IRA, and doing so has encouraged many families to start saving for the future.

Which Common Mistakes To Avoid With Your 401k Plan

Your financial future depends upon making solid decisions when it comes to your savings and your retirement strategies. However, most folks tend to make some common errors in this regard.

These mistakes are easily overlooked but can cost you a great deal in terms of loss of investment growth and or a loss of time.

One of the obvious areas mistakes are made have to do with how you use your 401k retirement plan. Your IRA/401K can be a very powerful vehicle to supercharging your retirement savings but only if used correctly. So let’s take a look at some mistakes to avoid while taking advantage of your 401k plan.