“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.
If the word “budget” does not make you jump for joy, you are not alone. 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.
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!
A guaranteed lifetime income is a compelling proposition. After all—who doesn’t love the idea of being set for life? While it is impossible to know how long you’ll live, it IS possible to make sure you will receive (at least) a certain amount of income for the rest of your life. Let’s see why a lifetime income annuity can be a lifesaver for some retirees!
Single Premium Immediate Annuities (SPIAs) can provide this income, yet few people use them in their retirement strategies. How can you know if a lifetime income annuity makes sense for your situation? Let’s explore.
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:
“If there’s a single unsolved problem in the retirement plans for many middle- and upper-middle-income adults, it’s what to do about long-term care costs later in life,” says Christine Benz of Morningstar. And she’s right.
According to the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey, the national median annual cost for long term care ranges from $48,000 to $100,375 depending on the type of care required. Of course, home care is less expensive than care in a facility, and shared rooms are less expensive than private rooms.
Kids are expensive—and worth it! In a recent survey, an overwhelming majority of parents (94 percent) say parenting is the most rewarding aspect of their lives. But if you think the expenses end when the child turns 18 or graduates from college—think again! Many parents support adult children in various ways.
According to a recent study by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, 79% of parents in the U.S. provide financial support to their 18- to 34-year-old adult children. This amounts to $500 billion spent annually—twice what those same parents contribute to their retirement accounts ($250 billion).
“Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
—Angela Duckworth, Grit
What determines success? Is it intelligence, talent, or something else?
Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, answers this question and explores the “something else” that is essential for success. Grit is the ability to sustain effort in order to reach long-term goals. Duckworth defines grit as part passion (something you know you want and/or love doing) and part perseverance (hard work and resilience).
Let’s dive into some of the highlights from this excellent book. As we do, we’ll look at how grit can be applied, specifically—to your finances!