Category Archives: Personal Finance

Money Monday: Federal law now allows you to freeze your credit

Consumers can now freeze their credit for free under a new federal law.

“A credit freeze restricts access to your credit file, essentially halting anyone from opening any new credit in your name. The rules used to vary by state, but previously it could cost up to $10 to put a freeze in place. That fee often had to be paid again when someone wanted to unfreeze it for any legitimate uses.

“But under a new law that takes effect Friday, consumers anywhere in the U.S. can do so quickly and for free.

“Congress passed the law in response to last year’s massive Equifax hack, which exposed the private information of more than 145 million Americans.”

Read more on this over at Yahoo Finance: “Credit freeze free nationwide as of Friday.”

Money Monday: Mortgage hurdles

Many first-time buyers don’t realize that there’s many steps to getting a mortgage.

  1. Get pre-approved
  2. Have the home appraisal
  3. Keep your credit consistent
  4. Review the closing disclosure
  5. Go through underwriting

This infographic is from CAR.org.

Money Monday: Saving for retirement

“Far too many people make bad choices when it comes to retirement. It’s the equivalent of choosing candy bars over the solid meal…

retirement

“How can we make better decisions for retirement planning? One principle is the knowledge that increasing saving over time will build a bigger nest egg. Here are three key moves that can lead to a better outcome”:

Read Forbes’ article here: www.forbes.com/sites/johnwasik/2018/09/10/how-much-do-you-need-to-retire-3-ways-to-get-it-right/#777f994743d4

Money Monday: Preparing for a recession

4 things you can do to be recession-ready

real estate market and recession

Thankfully, there are things that all of us can do to prepare for our country’s next recession, regardless of when it hits. Here are a few moves that’ll help you get ready.

1. Build an emergency fund

2. Diversify your investments

3. Get a side job

4. Lower your fixed living costs

And for more details, read Money CNN’s article on the topic: “4 things you can do to be recession-ready.”

Money Monday: Rejected home purchase offers

If you’ve been rejected after making a purchase offer on a home, you may have made the wrong financial offer.

There’s a few common reasons why a seller could have rejected your offer; here’s some monetary reasons:

  1. You offered too much. 
  2. You requested too much additional money toward closing. 
  3. Your financial picture raises questions. 

Rejected purchase offers in real estate

This infographic is from CAR.org.

Money Monday: Make sure you’re ready to retire

Ready to retire? Make sure with these guidelines from CNN:

retirement“Retirement can be wonderful — if you’re prepared for it. So before you put an end to your career, it’s essential to make sure you’re 100% ready.

“Not sure how to do that? Taking these five steps can put you on the path to a happy and secure retirement.

  1. Plan with your spouse
  2. Where will future finances come from?
  3. Test with a retirement budget
  4. Plan your healthcare
  5. What will you do during retirement?

Read the entire article from CNN: “5 steps to making sure you’re ready to retire”.

Money Monday: The differences between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages

If you’ve never bought a home before, the whole process can seem a little confusing. One of the first things you have to figure out is whether you should get a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage. Most people choose the fixed-rate mortgage without even thinking about it, but there are situations where an adjustable-rate mortgage may be a better fit.

mortgage rates and property taxes

Read CNN’s “Should I get a fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgage?” article to find out the differences between the two and to figure out what’s best for you personally when buying a home.

Money Monday: Questions to ask yourself if you want to retire early

In today’s society, with so many demands on our money, retiring is a challenge.

retirement

“With so many money distractions, having a system to get on track to retire earlier — and stay on track — can help. A weekly money meeting, an appointment you keep with yourself or your partner if you have one, can be a great start. ” Ask yourself these questions and more (10 total from Forbes):

  1. What do I want to do in five or ten years that I need to start saving for now?
  2. What is a major financial goal that I would like to accomplish within the year?
  3. What steps do I need to take right now to reach that goal?
  4. More questions on Forbes’ article here.