Financial Planning

Young Boomers Not Saving For Rainy Days

The good news is: Americans are getting better about setting money aside for emergencies.

The bad news is: Americans still aren’t very good about saving money for emergencies.

The worst news is: Older Americans are the worst, and they should know better!

Boomers Aren’t Preparing

Recent research indicates Baby Boomers aren’t doing a great job at saving for a rainy day. A survey by Bankrate found 32% of Baby Boomers between the 53-62 did not have ANY savings set aside for an emergency. No savings at all. This is more surprising when you consider how close they are to retirement. Their age group needs to save more than any other, yet they ranked the highest of all surveyed.

Financial experts recommend a solid emergency fund. Most experts recommend an emergency fund capable of covering 3-6 months of expenses. Bankrate financial expert Greg McBride says the high percentage of young Boomers have the economic crisis to blame. According to McBride, the recent recession affected Boomers disproportionately due to investment losses and extended unemployment. The market crash affected the emergency savings funds of this group most. The survey found those aged 63 and older fared better. This group had the lowest percentage of respondents without any emergency savings. 50% of adults 63 and older replied they had at least 6 months of expenses covered in savings.

Save Now, Save for Life

The survey found 25% of all Americans don’t have any savings. On the positive side, that’s the lowest number since the survey began in 2011. Additionally, 31% of the survey respondents now have six months worth of expenditures covered in savings. This, too, is the best result since 2011.

A surprising finding of the survey was how well millennials were at financial planning. While infant boomers are more likely to have enough to cover six months of expenses or more, Millennials are more likely to have three to five months and were better at keeping emergency funds overall.

Life stages are a definite factor when it comes to saving. Fewer millennials are starting families, and more are still living with their parents – the Baby Boomers. Experts state increasing savings is an important step to safeguarding your financial future and decreasing your stress levels. This is true no matter your current age or your financial situation.

McBride says the first step to this process is easy: setting up an automated savings deposit from your current job. You have to make a choice to start saving. No one else is going to take this step for you.

We’re always on the prowl for great information on insurance topics that may impact your health and your wallet. If you have any insurance-related questions, reach out to us.

Getting a Better Car Loan

Recently, Congress passed on a major chance for increasing customer securities. Last summer, the car industry obtained an exemption from the new interest rate reform law. Although brokers for home loans are subject to these new policies, auto dealerships are not. The same auto giants that brokered roughly 80% of customers’ $850 billion in car loans may continue charging high-interest rates unchecked. If you have to take out a vehicle loan, don’t assume your auto dealer will offer you the best interest rate. There are many ways the auto dealer may up your rate, pad your loan with charges, or use longer-payback loans to attract you with a lower payment.

When it comes to an auto loan, you’re much better off obtaining pre-approved loans from a bank or a local credit union before visiting a car dealership. The loan pre-approval process can help you set a reasonable budget for your auto purchase. There are several things to keep in mind when selecting a car to buy. You should be able to pay at least 20% of the sticker price up-front for your car. You should also be able to pay your loan back in four years or less. Finally, make sure the monthly loan-payback rate won’t exceed 10% of your gross earnings. A large deposit will guarantee you never owe a greater amount on the vehicle than it’s worth.

If the auto dealer offers you a much lower interest rate, you can choose not to take the bank loan. Regardless, a pre-approved rate can give you extra confidence, knowing what rate you can expect to pay.

Dealers Hide Costs: Avoiding Extra Fees

The Center for Accountable Loaning found auto buyers pay an extra $20 billion each year. This is due to auto dealers raising interest rates on loans they provide. Car dealers inflate their own profits with extra fees such as:

  • Charges for cleaning your car
  • Marketing Fees
  • Life Insurance for settling your loan if you die, and more

Ask about any fees before you buy – and balk if you see any.

If a car dealer offers you better terms for your auto loan, you can always skip the bank loan. Know what to expect for a car payment. Getting pre-approved means you’ll walk into a car dealership knowing how to manage your auto loan. We are always looking for great information about any insurance topics that may impact your health or your wallet. If you have any insurance-related questions, reach out to us for help.

Who Pays For the Wedding?

Nearly all weddings can be quite expensive, the average wedding cost hovering around $28,000. Luxury weddings can easily cost $100,000 or more. (Your location has a huge influence on cost.)

* Rural weddings can cost an average $18,000…
* East Coast cities see an average cost of around $85,000…

These high costs have led to a dramatic increase in financing weddings.

Tradition has long held that the bride’s parents will cover the bulk of the costs but this is a heavy responsibility to bear that is calling more and more for cost-sharing.

Here’s a common cost sharing plan:

* 45% – Bride’s parents
* 43% – The couple
* 12% – The Groom’s parents

Costs can invariably run out of control. This is particularly true for an event as emotionally charged as a wedding.

Wedding Planners and Financial Planners can offer some great help for controlling costs…

1. The Wedding Planner

An effective wedding planner will provide solid and time-tested help on how to best make the wedding a success. The advice
offered by the wedding planner usually includes the following:

a. Budget

The wedding couple needs to understand their financial constraints. They need to prioritize what they need to make their wedding successful. Both partners of the couple should be involved in determining priorities.

b. The Date and Venue

Wedding costs will go up for weddings held on Saturdays, especially during the months of April through October. Good deals can be found by having week day weddings. The venue of
the wedding is equally important with 5-star locations in the heart of the city being the most expensive.

c. Be Realistic

It’s best if both partners have clear and realistic expectations of what their budget will allow them to accomplish. A bit of clever work can often stretch a budget.

2. The Financial Adviser

Given the high costs of weddings, involving a financial adviser can be helpful.

a. Avoid Large Loans

Big loans can take a long time to repay. Some advisers suggest a home equity loan with low repayment rates may be a good way to go.

b. Give Lump-sum Gifts

A lump-sum gift can be given to the couple and spaced out in a way that is strategically valuable to the couple.

c. Be Conservative on Guest-lists

The guest-list count should be as low as realistically possible. The rule of thumb is to cut the list until it is no longer realistically possible to cut it further.

Final thoughts…

If you are thinking about getting married or if you have a child that is tying the knot, be sure to reach out to us for money saving tips. We’ll also help you understand how life changes may impact things like your insurance as well.

Steps to Take if You Think You’re Handling Asbestos

Asbestos is a mineral fiber compound that naturally appears in rock or soil. It may also be found in building and construction materials or while doing maintenance or repair work.

In fact, many roof and installation materials, plaster, caulk, and pipe-insulation materials can contain asbestos. This is because it had been an effective insulating material.

Being exposed to asbestos is dangerous as it can lead to lung problems including a variety of cancers. Asbestos exposure has been linked to lung cancer, mesothelioma cancer, and asbestosis. However, the time from exposure to development of these conditions may take years.

Precautionary Steps

There are a few key steps to take in order to protect your team from asbestos exposure. Use these three steps before starting a work project.

* Always ask if the job that you’re about to complete involves working in an environment that could contain asbestos. If the answer to this question is “yes,” then you’ll need to supply workers with the training and safety equipment to minimize exposure. (And bill your client accordingly.)
* You’ll also need to provide warning signs in the area that note the danger of being exposed to asbestos.

In construction, you hold the responsibility to ensure that employees in the area and any members of the general public are kept safe from asbestos exposure.

Protect Team Members

Minimize employee exposure to asbestos by requiring workers to:

* Wear a head covering, coveralls, gloves, and respirators.
* Avoid smoking in areas that may have asbestos present.
* Eat and drink in safe zones away from these areas.
* Shower before leaving the job site.
* Remove any traces of the material from their clothing. Clothing and footwear exposed to asbestos should be left at the job site.
* Never bring clothes home to clean them… the company is required by law to leverage professional garment cleaning instead.

Require Education

If workers are to be exposed to asbestos, they need to be given training on how to work safely in such an environment.

Training should be mandatory and understood by all levels of the crew including workers, job site managers, etc.

And if your company regularly handles materials such as asbestos, be sure your insurance addresses this risk. Have questions? Give us a call today!

Owning International Stocks

Many investors are thrilled to see how well US based equities have performed in the last few years.

However, international stocks have been making strong upward movements of their own. With increases as high as 14% within the first five months if this year, investors are asking if they should consider these stocks.

Looking back, international stocks performed quite well preceding 2007. That changed after 2007. Since then, international stock performance has been hit & miss. As of 2016, it appears this trend may have shifted.

Generally, most advisors agree that having some exposure to international stocks is always a good thing… and most agree they should never comprise more than 1/3rd of one’s equity exposure.

Choosing to invest in international stocks has one major advantage – diversification. Yes, certain populist political trends lean toward isolationism. However, the dynamics of a global economy are such that smart investors have at least some exposure to international equities.

Individuals that lack the time or expertise to actively trade securities can still participate via two key methods:

* Dollar cost averaging
* Regular rebalancing

With dollar cost averaging, an investor buys stocks consistently over time. Sometimes they’ll buy when the market is low and sometimes when it is high… and over time they’ll achieve a purchase price that is “averaged” so that it is often better than if they were trying to time the market. If one had been investing consistently since 2007, they would have seen some fantastic growth over time.

With regular rebalancing, you are forced to “sell high” and “buy low”. This means that if one part of your portfolio is performing really well, let’s say U.S. Equities, you would sell some of those stocks. You would use those proceeds to invest in underperforming equities. This follows Warren Buffett’s great advice which is: “Buy the fear and sell the greed”.

You should also ensure your exposure to risk is diversified. For international stocks, this means buying equities from different countries and sectors.

So are international stocks right for your portfolio? We recommend reaching out to your financial advisor to get the best answer to that question. They understand your goals and your situation. They can also help you understand the risks, portfolio allocations, and the best investment vehicles to help you participate in international stocks while limiting risk.

Three Thoughts on Annuities That May Work for You

Annuities are complex and usually poorly understand. Let’s dig deeper into what an annuity is, what it isn’t, and strategies you may want to consider.

Let’s begin with If you haven’t heard of this site before, it is worth bookmarking. It offers fantastic information on finance including definitions. In fact, their definition for an annuity is solid.

They describe it as being:

“An annuity is a contractual financial product sold by financial institutions that is designed to accept and grow funds from an individual and then, upon annuitization, pay out a stream of payments to the individual at a later point in time. The period of time when an annuity is being funded and before payouts begin is referred to as the accumulation phase. Once payments commence, the contract is in the annuitization phase.”

If you understood this definition, then you’re probably on board with the idea of raising cash and then developing a stream of revenue to support your retirement.

Put simply: Annuities allow individuals the ability savings that are tax deferred. They can also help to protect what you’ve already saved. And They can generate a steady stream of income in retirement.

If you can do this with a secure method then it’s well worth your time. The challenge is that not all annuities are created equally so it is important that you get good advice from your financial advisor before diving headlong into an annuity.

Which brings up these alternative strategies…

Delay Social Security

Ok, so Social Security isn’t an annuity per se. But postponing the time when you take Social Security is just like purchasing an inflation-adjusted cash flow that you can draw on just a few years later than you’re expecting. To give you an idea of what this is, it’s simply a U.S. federal government annuity. If you delay social security from age 66 to age 70, your month-to-month advantage is going to be an increased payment of up to 32%. That 32% also has a yearly price of living modification so that will also increase with time. In one example, delaying social security for four years would raise a person’s payment by $987 each month. In order to have the extra money, you would have had to pay $126,000 into retirement funds over those four years. However, if you’re interested in getting an inflation-adjusted higher monthly payment, starting in four years would set you back about $235,500 today for a 66-year old person. In short, this means that this government annuity was priced at 46% less than you could get on a competitive market.

Employer Pensions

Many people have a pension plan that they can start receiving at retirement. Many public or government employees have a pension plan option. Some businesses still offer pensions as well. Usually, at retirement age, you’ll have the choice to either take a lump-sum repayment which can be rolled over into an IRA or take a month-to-month repayment. (Typically with survivor benefits.) In most cases, the repayments are insured by the Pension Benefit Assurance Corporation. Contrasting the lump-sum settlement to the monthly repayment, the pension plan annuity payment is usually the best option 75% of the time.

TIAA Traditional Annuity

Today, over 3.7 million people who work at non-profit companies have their retirement accounts at TIAA. One of the alternatives to purchase is known as the TIAA Traditional Annuity. Many of these participants have access to a guaranteed 3% annual growth that will provide them with either a lump-sum payment or an income stream on retirement that is actually available with competitive rates. In reality, rates over the past year have been more than the 3% guarantee. With money-market funds and CDs paying so little, it’s actually often a good alternative for folks today.

Regardless of the options you choose, the best place to begin is to have a chat with someone on our team to help you understand your options, put you in touch with the best information and resources available, and help you make certain you are making sound decisions for your future.

Does Shopping At a Warehouse Save Money?

It is a very common misconception that making a purchase at a wholesale club warehouse like BJ’s, Sam’s Club, or Costco will help you to save plenty of money. It is easy to get excited when you hear that making purchases in bulk will help you save. But the truth is sometimes savings fail to materialize.

It’s certainly true that you’ll find much lower prices on certain items at a warehouse club when comparison shopping at a grocery store. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture · Economic Research Service has recorded prices are truly lower in such warehouse stores for specific items. Club prices are lower by 12% for meat, 11% for milk & milk based products, and 6% for grains. This is based on analyzing 40,000 data points collected from 52 regional markets.

So yes, shopping at warehouses can offer true savings. But there is a “buyer beware” aspect that can diminish or eliminate those savings altogether.

Location of the store

Warehouse clubs often have lower costs in large metropolitan areas or in more isolated areas when compared with supermarkets. However, the savings are typically lower in areas where grocery stores have lots of regular competition.

For example, clubs have lower prices in the Baltimore-Washington area for about 90 percent of their products. But outside of San Antonio, clubs offered savings on just 55% of the products they sold.

Subscription costs

Almost all storage warehouses have a fixed subscription charge for allowing you to shop or even visit the club. The usual subscription charges are around $45-$50. Hence, you may have to make a lot of purchases to justify the subscription charges through the savings you are able to make in the stores.

NOTE: Some clubs like Costco have “Executive” memberships that cost a little more but that offer rebates on purchases. Many Costco Executive members claim to have earned enough rebates to cover their Costco membership costs.

Impulsive shopping results in bigger costs

Although the prices at clubs can be great, shopping often requires discipline. Clubs are designed to get you to make unplanned purchases that range from new food items they are sampling to new appliances, home electronics, and furniture.

Grocery stores don’t sell such items and rarely offer samples. As a result, it is much easier to remain on target with a shopping list in a grocery store vs. a club.

Buying in bulk may not offer savings

Let’s say you buy a giant bag of baby carrots at the warehouse and let’s say they are about 15% less than at the grocery store. But then time marches on and you only consume half of the bag before it spoils. How much have you really saved?

Food spoilage is one of the biggest problems with shopping for meats, dairy items, fresh fruit, and fresh vegetables at a warehouse. While these are the areas that offer the largest savings, many smaller households fail to consume the food before it goes bad.

So, how do you go about trying to save money through such clubs? Here are a few suggestions.

Pay attention to sales at grocery stores for items you purchase at a warehouse club. You may find sale items at the grocery store give you much better value than regular priced items at the warehouse.

Always comparison shop. You may find that the grocery store offers the same or lower “everyday” price on items than the warehouse… without the need to buy in bulk.

A freezer is your friend. To help avoid spoilage be sure to put meats, cheeses, and breads in the freezer until you are ready to consume them. Refrigerating bread can also help it last longer.

Don’t throw things away just because the date on the package has passed. The use by dates are notoriously inaccurate. (Link to this study: Per researchers, printed dates have little to do with actual shelf life. Just because the food has expired doesn’t mean you’ll get sick if you eat it. A common-sense rule is better… if the food smells bad, looks rotten, or tastes off, you should throw it away. Otherwise, you are safe to consume it even if the date has passed.

The bottom line: being a smart consumer is the best way to save, regardless of where you shop.

(Be sure to reach out to us for other money saving tips. Our team of advisors is here to help you get the most out of each dollar you earn.

When to Invest

When it comes to investing, timing seems to be everything. But many investors overlook quantity of time vs. the quality of the time. Indeed, if you’re interested in securities, you know that getting the timing right makes for a constant challenge.

We’re currently entering the ninth year of the bull stock market and new clients still ask when they need to invest. They always want to know if the time is right or if they should wait for the market to decline. They also ask if they should buy their stocks all at once or over an extended period of time.

What’s the right answer to these questions? It depends.

For example, a key strategy for Warren Buffett is to buy the fear and to sell the greed. He famously invested in Goldman Sachs and Bank of America at the height of the fear driven sell-off during the Great Recession. Mr. Buffett is not a “trader” and prefers to hold on to his investments during “difficult times”. He does this because he believes so strongly in those stock’s fundamentals.

Keep in mind that no one can know how equities are going to do in the future. Indeed many small investors waiting for a huge pullback will likely never enter the marketplace. This is because it takes nerves of steel to invest when the market is going down.

Indeed, when stocks fell by about 20% from their highest level, many investors chose to remain on the sidelines. Why? Clients have said they were worried there would be an even larger decline. Unfortunately, that 20% decrease was the lowest and then the market began to recover, causing them to lose out on easy profits for the next few years.

Today, there are other reasons why investors hold off on entering the market. They may be fearful due to current politics or because of what may occur with with North Korea. Even when those situations are stable though, new crisis and uncertainties will continue to emerge. Skittish investors who lack a long-term horizon will always find an excuse to stay sidelined.

Indeed, if you’re trying to find the best time to enter the market, then you’re likely playing a losing game. If it’s risk that you’re trying to stay clear of, then leaving your money in cash is probably even riskier because it’ll lose value due to inflation. Stocks are still one of the best options to earn a return that’s greater than the cost of living.

When they’re finally ready to invest, folks want to know if they should invest all at once or over time using dollar cost averaging or similar techniques.

Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA) has been the staple of a buy and hold strategy for a long time yet it is still new for individuals who lack investing experience… so it is worth understanding.

With DCA, an investor purchases a certain amount of an equity over a period of time. For example they may invest $500 a month each month on the same day of the month over the course of several years.

The result is that when the equity goes down in value you are able to purchase more of it. When the equity goes up in value, you are able to purchase less of it. But over time you’ll have increased your portfolio size at varying prices… in effect sometimes picking up more of the equity at a “discount”.

Dollar Cost Averaging is also easier to manage from a psychological perspective… consistent amounts over an extended period of time is easier for most folks to handle than investing a giant lump sum.

But be mindful that DCA is part of a longer buy and hold strategy. It doesn’t eliminate risk… A registered investment advisor or Certified Financial Planner can offer more insights into how best to handle risk management.

Key Recommendations:

* Only consider investing after talking with professionals and having a complete understanding of your overall long-term strategy.

* Be sure you diversify your portfolio.

* Talk with your advisor about strategic re-balancing of your assets and how this can help reduce risk.

Check out Life Insurance too…

Talk with your insurance advisor about how certain Life Insurance products may also help you with your long-term strategy.

Some innovative Life Insurance solutions offer stock-like participation and value appreciation while also giving your loved ones added protection should something terrible happen to you.

As always, if you have any questions about preparing for the future while protecting those you love, please reach out. We’re here to help.

How to Avoid Impulse Buying

When it feels like a bargain, do yourself and your budget a support: Wait before you buy

” It seemed like a smart idea at the time.”

That’s what my friend Clive Jenkins claimed as we stood watching his new hot tub being supplied to his residence.

” Yep, we adopted some hotdogs, and we brought out a jacuzzi rather,” Clive said, stating the ill-fated purchasing trip to a local subscription discount store that cost nearly $7,000 more than he and his other half had actually planned.

” And also you recognize just what, Jeff? We even neglected to acquire the hot dogs,” Clive claimed. “I informed my spouse, we can’t pay for to return there to obtain them.”

Obviously, Clive isn’t the only individual to buy something he hadn’t intended on, only to regret it later on. As Clive discovered, when buying at supposed big-box stores, you run the added danger of supersizing your impulse acquisitions. But also at normal grocery stores, virtually 60 percent of all purchases are unplanned, impulse acquisitions, inning accordance with a joint study by faculty at the College of California and also the University of Wisconsin.

Below are 12 ways to take control of your costs and also limited impulse acquisitions:

Comply with a Compulsory Waiting Period: Along with the Golden Rule– always make a wish list before you go out to the shop and also stay with it– attempt establishing a “obligatory waiting duration.” Wait at least a week after you see a thing in the store. In an informal experiment I’ve been conducting with my cheapskate pals, most people that attempt this say that over half of the time they never ever go back to acquire the item after the weeklong ceasefire agreement, as well as when they do return to the shop with the objective of buying it, when they see the product once again they often decide they no longer desire it.

Edit Your Junk Mail: There’s a great reason that all of us obtain so much spam on a daily basis: specifically, since so many people buy things as a result of obtaining it. Practically necessarily, items purchased as a result of receiving spam are impulse acquisitions, because the promotions get here unrequested, not as a result of us requesting them. The nonprofit organization 41pounds. org could aid you obtain your name off junk newsletter. (By the way, 41 extra pounds is the ordinary amount of spam every American grown-up gets annually!).

Tidy Something: “Whenever among my kids [young adults] intends to acquire something brand-new, I tell them to first go and also clean something they currently own.” That’s the advice of one of my Miser Advisers, that states that when you make the effort to spruce up something you currently possess– a pair of shoes, an old fishing rod, that bike in the garage, even your car– you develop a brand-new recognition for all right stuff you currently have.

Only Fools Enter: Particularly when it comes to acquiring the current high-tech gizmos, you’re clever to bear in mind the lyrics to that popular Elvis Presley tune and resist on rushing out to the shop. A lot of brand-new technology typically lowers in cost after it is at first launched and also need increases. And also, later variations are likely to have fewer pests and much better capacities.

Make a “Just what the Hell Was I Believing?” Checklist: Take a look at this post on doing a once-a-year “Just what the hell was I assuming?” audit of your optional investing. Utilize the “audit” to gather a list of things you purchased on an impulse as well as later regretted. Gain from your mistakes and carry the listing with you as a painful pointer whenever you shop.

Pay Cash: Many research studies have actually shown that when people pay in cash rather than making use of a bank card, they tend to invest much less, partly since psychologically it’s harder for us to get rid of cold hard cash. A research showed that individuals that make use of credit card at fast-food restaurants invest in average 50 percent more than individuals who pay with cash money. That’s bad for not only your wallet yet likewise your waistline, as well.

Avoid the Web of Temptation: Shopping over the Internet has actually taken impulse purchasing to a whole new level. Inning accordance with a research by the research and also consulting firm Interface Engineering, impulse purchases make up practically 40 percent of all the money invested in shopping sites. Right here’s a straightforward suggestion from the same study in order to help you stay clear of impulse purchases when you shop online: When you’re searching for a product you know you want to acquire on an ecommerce website, don’t browse by category (e.g., “electronics”); instead, look for the particular product (e.g., “DVD gamer”). “The study revealed that consumers who browsed by group were 3 times more likely to get averted as well as acquire something in addition to just what they set out to get.

Declutter Prior to You Buy: Pressure yourself to get rid of– or better yet distribute– one item you currently own before you enable on your own to acquire something new. Not just will this assist you declutter your life, yet you’ll possibly find that when you need to part with an ownership initially, it will remind you what does it cost? you currently possess.

Store Less Typically: Sounds straightforward sufficient. The regularly you shop, as well as the even more time you spend purchasing, the more likely you are to impulse-buy. As an example, the typical American family shops for groceries 3 to four times every week. The tightwads I evaluated for my newest book, The Skinflint Next Door, purchase groceries no more than once a week– as well as in some cases as infrequently as when a month. Typically, the scrooges invested nearly 40 percent much less on groceries than regular Americans. Go figure.

If You Slip, Conserve the Slip: If you get something you didn’t strategy to get, make sure you hold on to your sales invoices. Often, impulse acquisitions lead to purchaser’s remorse. A growing number of retailers have actually taken on a “no doubt asked” plan when it comes to clients returning or exchanging purchases within a specified duration. They want to maintain you delighted, and also maintain you as a future consumer. However do not overdo the returns or use an item prior to you bring it back to the store. Many shops currently use a computerized database to punish supposed serial returners, people who blatantly abuse the system and also sometimes also commit scams by returning used or replaced items instead.

Rediscover Layaway: Good antique layaway plans are rebounding at many sellers. For a tiny down payment (occasionally refundable, sometimes not), the store sets aside an item until you return with the equilibrium of the settlement. It provides you a cooling-off period to earn sure you truly desire an item, as well as– with any luck– forces you conserve up the cash for the remainder due, instead of putting it on a credit card. As my terrific auntie constantly claimed, “I ‘d rather place it on layaway compared to lay awake at night bothering with exactly how I’m mosting likely to pay it off on a credit card.” An asset, even if not grammatically right!

Assign a Designated Cheapskate: “If you’re mosting likely to shop with pals, please shop responsibly as well as constantly appoint an assigned skinflint.” That’s the slogan for my brand-new Cheapskates Against Impulse Buying project. Seriously, impulse buying is fueled by a crowd attitude when you go shopping as a group, so ask a member of your shopping party to avoid costs and to test those crazy purchases. You know, the Designated Penny pincher can drop subtle hints such as asking, “Did you repay your bank card last month?” or “So, just how’s your 401( k) looking nowadays?”.

Protecting Your Passwords is Financially Critical

Think about a computer system password as being a front door to your wide range and also secrets. It can be made from flimsy wood or as impervious as a titanium bank vault. Here’s how you can finest secure your citadel.

Usage passphrases

Cyberpunks utilize advanced software application that can run countless combinations of letters and also signs quickly. Your protection: longer passwords. Former hacker Kevin Mitnick advises 20 characters or longer. The method: Utilize a sentence or phrase you develop, such as “My Auntie Sylvia has actually loved me given that I was a kid.” It’s ultra-hard to hack however very easy to keep in mind. For a lot more protection, add a number or sign at the end, together with an uppercase or two.

Include a 2nd door

Two-factor verification services include an added layer of safety to your most crucial digital accounts. You log in to an account using your typical password. Next off, the two-factor verification site sends your phone a six-digit code that you need to get in before getting. For a listing of web sites that offer two-factor authentication, go to

Subscribe to the AARP Cash Newsletter for a lot more on rip-offs and also customer defense

Maintain your passwords in a vault

Never ever keep passwords in a file on your computer system. Rather, utilize password supervisor apps that save passwords in a well-protected digital space. All you need is a master password to access the checklist. Popular variations that utilize cloud modern technology consist of LastPass, Dashlane and 1Password. Applications that place the vault on your disk drive include RoboForm, Password Safe or KeePass.

Revitalize consistently

Yearly, change the passwords on all your essential accounts. With hackers swiping information on millions of accounts at a time, this will certainly aid keep you safeguarded if their focus turns toward you. Likewise alter your password if you’re informed by a web site that its safety and security has actually been breached.

Vary your passwords

That’s the golden rule, cybersecurity specialists say: Why allow one key unlock every one of your digital doors?

Get Free Quotes Now

Policy Services