If you have focused all your planning energy on your 401(k), you may be missing a key piece of the retirement puzzle: Social Security.
You can influence your eventual payout from this safe, dull old-age safety net to a surprising degree by making some adjustments and changes in your planning.
Now is the time to get started pumping up your Social Security checks, even if you’ve got decades to go before retirement.
Here are some ways to do just that!
Believe it or not, housing is actually becoming more affordable in a variety of major cities across the U.S., despite the fact that home prices in America are on the rise as a whole. In these cities, aspiring homeowners might now be able to purchase homes they couldn’t afford the previous year.
We compared the change in the home median list value of the 200 most populous U.S. cities over the past year, two years and three years to determine the major cities where home prices are plummeting.
Trim these expenses to save more in retirement
With a lot of discussion about how to have enough for a comfortable retirement revolving around stock markets, bond yields and 401k accounts, it’s easy to overlook one of the simplest tools for ensuring that your nest egg doesn’t crack early: good old-fashioned budgeting.
A new survey polled more than 1,000 Americans on their spending habits and revealed that retirees can save an additional $8,000 a year if they cut certain expenses from their budget.
Click ahead to see them!
P IS FOR PRACTICAL
Hotly anticipating your tax refund? Before you splurge on that Jacuzzi you’ve always wanted or pile items into your virtual shopping cart, do yourself a favor: Hit pause, and consider finding a practical use for your money. What’s practical, of course, is relative to your circumstance, but mull over these ways to spend your check from Uncle Sam.
Here’s what to avoid
Credit cards are rather important items in our financial lives. About 70% of us have at least one credit card, according to Federal Reserve data, and with about 250 million adults in the U.S. recently, that amounts to more than 175 million card-carrying Americans.
It’s no surprise, then, that we’re likely to make mistakes regarding our credit card use now and then. Since such mistakes can be costly, here’s a look at a bunch of common ones. See which ones apply to you.
Buying a new or used car can be an intimidating experience. Many car salespeople may pressure you to leave the lot with a purchased vehicle, so it’s crucial you’re armed with information about the cars you are interested in, the budget you can afford, and the value of your trade-in—if you have one. With these details, you have all the tools you need to negotiate properly.
Here are 10 tips and strategies for making sure you get the best-quality vehicle at the lowest price.
AGE OF REWARDS
Aging doesn’t always have its perks, but this list of discounts might add some pizzazz to the fact of getting older. Starting at age 50, the minimum age for AARP membership, seniors may cash in on numerous deals just for being born on or before the date required for the bargain. Simply flash an ID to collect on most discounts, although some apply only to AARP members and some are offered only by select chain franchisees.
Insurance rates typically never decrease, but you can still negotiate—especially if you have home and auto insurance with the same company. When your policy renews, get a quote or two from a competitive source, and then present your insurance agent with the information. Chances are, the company will offer you a better rate.
Even with good insurance from your employer, you’re most likely paying a larger share of your medical expenses than in the past – $11,600 for the average family in 2017, according to the Milliman Medical Index. A growing portion of that cost accrues during the year, from deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance – which now account for $4,534 of the average family’s expenses. The median deductible for in-network care charged by large employers is $1,300 for employee-only coverage and $3,000 for families, according to the National Business Group on Health.
Particularly now, when many workers are re-upping benefits choices during open enrollment, there are plenty of moves you can make to take charge of your health care costs and save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. Insurers and employers are offering more tools and resources to make it easier to compare costs for tests, procedures and drugs.
Whether you get insurance from your employer, via Medicare or on your own through the insurance marketplaces, these strategies will help you save.
FOR LOVE AND MONEY IN YOUR 30s AND 40s
Facebook statuses may paint a picture of the perfect life, with family vacations and celebrations, but your married friends in their 30s and 40s are probably hiding the truth if they insist they never fight. With kids, home ownership, and careers, there is much to disagree about during these decades. According to a national survey by Money magazine, 70 percent of married couples argue about money, with the amount spent on frivolous purchases high on the list of grievances. Are you one of those couples who can’t agree on where the money goes?