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It’s a common belief that everyone needs life insurance, but if you reach a stage in life when no one else is counting on your income to provide for their needs, your money might be better spent elsewhere. “Life insurance premiums can be a waste of hard-earned cash if you’re not trying to mitigate a specific risk,” says Brandon D. LaValley, a financial advisor based in Colorado. “Not everybody needs life insurance.” The main purpose of life insurance is to …

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My niece had her first child a few months ago and seeing that little baby has reminded Sarah and I of our own experience with having babies around the house. Our children are long past the baby stage, but for almost an entire decade, we were in a constant cycle of having at least a toddler, a baby, and/or a pregnant mom at home. We have baby experience, in other words. Seeing this new little one pop into our extended …

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Organize and manage your finances before and after a natural disaster. You can never be 100% sure of just when a natural disaster will strike, nor can you predict the damage (and the cost). The best anyone can do is be prepared with a list of precautions and contingencies for before, during, and after the disaster. Managing your finances is especially important, as is coming up with a plan of action. Don’t worry, we can help you get started. Before …

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It’s not always easy to manage your money — you know this. When life becomes complicated with issues such as job loss, illness, a reduction in income, or even just plain bad budgeting and overspending, then the task of managing your household finances can become even more difficult than usual. Unfortunately, if you fail to take control of your spending and debt, then at some point the situation may begin to control you — and that’s where it gets really expensive. The Cost …

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What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Full time or not? 2. Federal employee health insurance question 3. MoviePass 4. Microwave versus stove top popcorn 5. Freezing child’s credit 6. Pension or investment plan? 7. Budgeting for irregular expenses 8. Reading books to stick 9. Read-aloud novels for younger children 10. Selling off motorcycle 11. …

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The advantages of solar power and other renewable energy sources are colossal, and arguably necessary for our survival. On solar, the electric grid becomes more efficient and resilient to natural disasters (including hail) and disruptions — not to mention scalable to the 1.3 billion people on our planet living without electricity. On solar, power becomes cleaner, moving us that much closer toward the net zero goal advocated by climate researchers. But the benefits don’t stop there. Solar costs are falling. …

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If investing scares you or feels out of reach, you can take heart in the fact that you’re not alone. A recent survey commissioned by Ally Financial found that 70% of Americans age 18 to 39 know that they will eventually need to be more financially secure, but don’t know how to get there. Sixty-one percent of those same respondents said that they found investing in the stock market to be “scary or intimidating,” with Millennials feeling more intimidated than those …

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No matter how much you earn, it’s easy to assume having more money would solve your economic woes. If you could just bring home a bigger paycheck, get that big bonus or raise you’ve been after, or score a new job with incrementally higher pay, you’d be set. Unfortunately, personal finance isn’t quite so cut and dry. If more money was the solution to all financial problems, then high-income folks would all be rich and our government would be flush with cash. …

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Inspiration from ,,, and More Once a month (or so), I share a dozen things that have inspired me to greater personal, professional, and financial success in my life. I hope they bring similar success to your life. 1. Yogi Bhajan on how others behave toward you “If you are willing to look at another person’s behavior toward you as a reflection of the state of their relationship with themselves rather than a statement about your value as a person, …

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Whenever I meet someone face to face and they ask what I do, I tell them I’m a writer and that I mostly write about money from the perspective of the average person, looking at how normal people make ends meet and can get ahead in the world, maybe even achieving a nice retirement or even early retirement. Most peoples’ eyes glaze over at that point (not necessarily out of boredom, but because it’s not a conversation you typically have …

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