Winter is a good time to improve your financial life, making good moves for the rest of the year. Here is a trio of things to get done.
Savings Accounts and CDs
Money market funds are a zombie investment. So why does anyone invest in these funds – one of the most important tools for savers over the past several decades, and now essentially among the walking dead? Because, despite their tiny interest payments and many other disadvantages, money funds seem relatively safe.
When your kids near college age, you need to do everything you can to prepare them for financial adulthood. Many parents neglect this duty and hope that, like an infant thrown into a pool, their teenager learns to swim in deep financial waters with no instruction.
The easiest way to ensure your financial success is automate your finances. Simple to say, not so simple to do. Here’s how to start.
Automating finances means setting up computerized systems to take deposits, payments, investments and other transactions out of your hands – or at least out of your day-to-day thoughts.
As you sketch out your retirement income plan, you often hear that stocks are risky and fixed-income instruments, like bonds and certificates of deposit, are safe. That simplistic formulation ignores how devastating inflation is on fixed income.
Our previous articles looked at our children's financial challenges and money moves we can make to help our kids. The foremost lesson for children, though, is to always save 10% of income – whether from an allowance, babysitting gigs or gifts, as well as their gross earnings and investment income later. Teach them early how to save and you teach the difference between mere riches and true wealth.
Somehow, the once-sacrosanct buy and hold philosophy seems passé. Curiously, market timing now is the ticket. How did that happen?
Holding cash these days means watching taxes and inflation chew its value away. But you need some cash on hand for emergencies. How much, and how do you allocate it to get the best return in a time of extremely low rates?
Low interest rates were not a problem back in the 1980s, when they were sky-high. Back then, you could get certificates of deposit paying a double-digit interest rate. Today? Good luck finding a single-digit on the left side of the decimal point reading anywhere north of the number “1.”
If you or your loved one serve in the military and are about to deploy in a dangerous area overseas, know your savings options. They are generous.
The Department of Defense’s savings deposit program (SDP) allows combat-zone service members to allocate fractions of – and in some cases, all – their combat pay to a savings account up to $10,000 per deployment.