Investing

How to Do a 401(k) Rollover

When you leave an employer, whether it’s for a new job or retirement, you’ll probably hear about a 401(k) rollover. What does that mean, and what’s the best way to do it? Well, hopefully you’ve been contributing to the company-sponsored 401(k), and perhaps by now you have a sizable balance. A 401(k) rollover is simply …

Categories: Investing, Retirement

Can Alternative Credit Scoring Help You Get a Mortgage?

By Peter Miller Lenders have an ongoing problem: No matter how many loans they create, they want to make even more. And that brings us to the 67 million people who lack the credit needed to borrow in today’s tough lending environment. What if we changed credit standards so that more people could qualify for …

Choosing Your Personal Financial Focus

When I first started my professional life, my main financial focus was on my career. I tried really hard to establish a great professional foundation and took on a number of hard projects, presentations, certifications, public speaking opportunities, and other challenges in order to cement a positive reputation and resume. During that time, I didn’t …

Using the HARP Program to Refinance an Underwater Mortgage

Just a few weeks ago, reader Sarah wrote in for advice on how to handle her underwater mortgage. Like many people who bought homes at the peak of the housing market in 2006 and 2007, she and her husband still owe significantly more than their home is worth. Her note describes her thought process as she considers how …

When to Use an SEP IRA

Just a few decades ago, opening a simplified employee pension — otherwise known as an SEP IRA, a retirement plan for self-employed workers — wasn’t a big concern for most people in the workforce. Times were different then. Whether or not you graduated from college, the story was often the same: Most workers were employed …

How We’re Investing for Financial Independence

It’s not exactly a secret that my wife and I are investing our money with a goal of financial independence. We achieved our goal of complete debt freedom – including our mortgage – in 2011, and so our natural follow-up goal was something even bigger, especially considering that we were no longer sending out a …

Categories: Investing

Betterment vs. Wealthfront

As I explained in previous posts, I’m on a quest to roll over my old 401(k) into the best retirement account I can find. My account currently stands at around $85,000. I socked this money away in my 20’s by living very frugally, but it’s sitting in an account at my old job where I …

Categories: Investing, Retirement

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

If you have a mortgage on your home, you’ve probably wondered at least once whether it would be worthwhile to pay it down ahead of schedule. And if so, you’re not alone. The debate over whether to prepay your mortgage has persisted in the personal finance world for some time now, and it’s not going away any time …

Personal Capital Review

As I explained in a few previous posts, I am on a quest to roll over my old 401(k) into a new account with better long-term benefits. I got sidetracked a bit on this series, but today I’m going to review online financial advisor Personal Capital. If there’s one thing I learned from trading the …

Eight Best Places to Retire Abroad (and Enjoy the Good Life for Less)

More than 373,000 Americans had retired abroad by 2013, according to the Social Security Administration, and for various reasons. For some, the decision to retire overseas could be based on a desire to experience different cultures and surroundings. Others may want to be closer to relatives or friends. But for a certain percentage of would-be retirees, the decision to …

Roth IRA vs 401k? You May Not Have to Choose

One of the most common retirement questions I get asked is: Roth IRA or 401(k)? Although both are good options worth considering, the answer isn’t always as straightforward as one might think. Also, it’s crucial for you to understand that you may not even need to pick one or the other. If you’re able to …

Where Do Investment Returns Come From?

The whole point of investing is to give yourself the possibility of earning better returns than you can get from a savings account. If you can find a way to make your money work just a little bit harder for you, maybe you can reach those long-term goals a little bit sooner. But where do …

The Ultimate Work-at-Home Job: Running a Bed and Breakfast

Running a brothel was never part of Debbie Miller’s plan. But 25 years ago, in rural Ohio, there were few people who understood the distinction between a luxury bed and breakfast and a house of prostitution. “The local county commissioners had no idea what a bed and breakfast was,” says Miller. “And because it was a rarity …

Why Taking a Lump-Sum Payout Makes More Sense Than You Think

When I was in sixth grade, a classmate’s grandma won a million dollars in the lottery. This made the front page of our small town’s weekly paper.  Even as a 12-year-old I knew that buying lottery tickets wasn’t a smart investment strategy, but one detail of the story that didn’t make sense was why the lady …

Categories: Investing, Retirement

Three Reasons Teachers Make Good Investors

The average Wall Street bonus was $172,860 in 2014. That’s just a bonus — and it’s more than three times the average high school teacher’s annual salary of $55,000. And yet, America’s teachers have reason to feel pretty smug right now beside their financial industry peers. Sure, summer’s coming, and with it more than two months of guilt-free vacation for most teachers, …

Six Biggest Myths About 529 Plans

By Kathryn Flynn A college degree is worth more today than ever before. In fact, according to a study by Pew Research, young adults with a four-year degree earn around $17,500 more per year on average than those with only a high school diploma. So the question for most families is not “will our children …

Some Thoughts on Riskier Investments

A good friend of mine has about 25% of his net worth tied up in Magic: the Gathering cards. He buys and sells them somewhat frequently, usually buying them privately from people for cash and then selling individual cards from time to time on eBay. He estimated recently that he had approximately $40,000 in cash …

Categories: Investing

Best IRA Accounts of 2015

The best IRA accounts are all about great investing options and low fees. Since tax season is here, now is the best time to make your IRA contributions. Luckily most of the top companies that are home to the same places where you would open up an online stock trading account. In a previous post, …

What Is a Fee-Only Financial Advisor?

If you’re looking for a financial planner, one of the first things you’ll want to know is how they are paid. Financial incentives influence decision-making in even the most critical situations, and your financial planner is no different. How he gets paid can impact the recommendations he makes, and if those recommendations become the foundation of …

Categories: Investing, Retirement

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