The Prosperity Blog

10 Reasons to be Grateful for Money!

10 Reasons to be Grateful for Money!We love the celebration of gratitude that happens at this time of year. If love makes the world go around, then gratitude makes it a more abundant world!

As we’ve covered in previous articles, cultivating gratitude can increase happiness, health, and success! As a matter of fact, there are at least 21 scientifically proven benefits of gratitude. Gratitude can actually make you wealthier, too, because people would rather work with or do business with a grateful person. Gratitude can also help you save more money by short-cutting the need to spend in order to be happy!

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Announcing: The Whole Life 101 Course!

The Whole Life 101 CourseWhole life is a valuable and versatile financial product that provides an ideal foundation for your finances. However, it’s not always easy to understand the ins and outs or how to best USE it!

Statements from life insurance companies aren’t always clear and helpful. Policyholders don’t always understand the power and flexibility of their policies. And not everyone knows how to utilize whole life insurance to improve their overall financial strategy.

This week, we launched an incredible new resource to help you discover exactly how to make the most of your policy. It’s called “Whole Life 101”—a video course from yours truly, Kim D. H. Butler. We have been working on this behind the scenes for months and this week is the Grand Opening for the Whole Life 101 course!

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The Best Financial Calculator App for Personal Finance!

Best Financial Calculator App for Personal FinanceMost people have a calculator on their smartphone that can add, subtract, multiply and divide. But you need a financial calculator (or financial calculator app) to figure out how much interest you can expect from your bank CD over time, or how your mortgage payment would change with various interest rates.

Perhaps you’ve found yourself Googling for an online financial calculator to find the answer to a personal finance question… but the functionality is limited. Or maybe you’ve learned how to use a Texas Instruments or HP financial calculator… but you’d love something simpler. If so, the free financial calculator app we share today will help you make smarter financial decisions with ease!

My husband, Todd Langford, develops financial calculators that create clarity around personal finance decisions. The Truth Concepts software is a suite of tools and calculators that helps advisors compare various financial strategies—such as different investments, loans, rental properties, or tax strategies. Truth Concepts can do complex work, such as calculating the internal rate of return of a whole life policy or comparing different types of investments with unequal cash flows. We use and love the Truth Concepts financial calculators, however, the learning curve and investment is a bit much for the layperson. Fortunately, now there is a user-friendly app that puts calculating power right at your fingertips!

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Healthcare Sharing Plans: An Affordable Health Insurance Alternative?

Today’s article is a guest post from Kate Phillips and an update to our previous articles about healthcare sharing plans. Kate uses a healthcare sharing program called Liberty HealthShare that we have previously covered on our website. Since there have been recent challenges with healthcare sharing ministries, it’s time for a fresh look at both the promise and potential problems of medical cost-sharing programs. This article outlines the pros and cons of healthcare sharing plans and may help you determine if they are worth your consideration.

The Search for Healthcare Alternatives

The Search for Healthcare AlternativesOpen enrollment for health plans through the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) insurance exchange runs from November 1 until December 15. While the majority of people with ACA plans receive subsidies—87 percent, according to Kaiser Health—an income of roughly $50,000 for an individual or more than $100,000 for a family of four will disqualify you. And if you’re in that boat, there’s nothing “affordable” about health insurance these days.

According to ehealthinsurance.com, in the four years from 2013 to 2017, health insurance premiums increased by 99% for individuals and a stunning 140%—from $426 to $1,021—for families that did not qualify for subsidies via the ACA. Families with children can expect to see premiums as high as $20,000 per year—or more.

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Lifestyle Inflation: 7 Ways to Curb Rising Costs

“Keeping up with the Joneses? Don’t – most of them are flat broke.”
—Steve Adcock, Think, Save Retire

Homes, cars, healthcare, groceries and a college education all cost much more than they used to. Thanks to inflation, the price of goods and services increases while the purchasing value of our money decreases. But another type of inflation that may have an even greater impact on your finances: lifestyle inflation.

Lifestyle inflation is the natural tendency of human beings to desire improvements. As one blog defined it, “Lifestyle inflation is the unnecessary expansion of spending to match an increasing income.” We especially see it’s effect over time. Let’s look at some examples of lifestyle inflation.

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Budgets Are Like Diets—and Nobody Likes Diets!

If the word “budget” does not make you jump for joy, you are not alone. Financial Planning and budgeting can be scary. Budgets exist to track, control, categorize and ultimately limit your spending. Although they can provide us with greater control and—eventually—freedom, budgets are based in concepts of scarcity and limitation. Some people like to debate financial planning vs. Budgeting.

Budgets are the monetary equivalent of diets. Instead of limiting and restricting food, budgets limit and restrict spending. And while diets—and budgets—can produce results deemed desirable, nobody really likes dieting.

Is there a different way to think about managing our money that might produce desirable results—without a sense of deprivation? We think so! In this article we (Kim Butler and Kate Phillips) share ideas of how to manage your spending with a prosperous mindset! To learn more about budgeting and thinking differently, read our Ultimate Guide to Financial Planning Myths.

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5 Assets that Don’t Belong in Your Retirement Account

Are all investments equally suitable for your retirement plan? Do some retirement account assets work better than others… and if so, why?

You can put almost anything into some type of retirement account—from a mutual fund to an alpaca farm! Awhile back, we wrote an article about some of the BEST investments to put in a retirement plan—especially a self-directed retirement account. Today, our focus is on what DOESN’T belong in that retirement account.

Qualified retirement plans or accounts are those that meet government tax code requirements for contributing pre-tax dollars that grow tax-deferred until withdrawal. They include 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and SEP plans. IRAs work very similarly, though not technically “qualified.”

Putting an asset in a traditional 401(k) or IRA gives you tax-deferred growth. But just because you CAN put an asset in a retirement account doesn’t mean you should. In this article, we’ll explain why, and we’ll name five assets you probably DON’T want in your retirement plan:

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