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Tag Archives: featured

Personal Capital Retirement Calculator: Great for Early Retirement Planning

Using Personal Capital's retirement planner

In the past, my opinion of retirement calculators has been less than enthusiastic. For the most part, they assume that people will work until age 65 or longer, have one job, need at least 80% of their current income in retirement, and that no one will have income after retirement other than social security or a possible pension. Aside from Jim’s possible pension, none of that applies to us, so I’ve always been disappointed when the results show that we will need something like eight billion dollars to retire comfortably. That isn’t real world at all. My opinion has changed recently with the new Personal Capital Retirement Calculator. Finally, a plan that gives options for those of us who live a bit outside the traditional norms! Real World Assumptions A calculator can’t be perfect because there is no way to predict all expenses. We might be hit with big home repair or medical bill at any time, but what is nice about the Personal Capital calculator is that it pulls from current spending trends. Even if you do make eight billion dollars a year but only spend $50,000, the calculator is able to process that. Other nice things about Personal ...

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A Year of Investing With Betterment

Investing with Betterment

Last week we discussed retirement investment options. Because of tax advantages, that is where most of our build wealth money goes at this point. When it comes to keeping money or giving it to the good ole’ US government, you can guess who wins every time! However, we all know it’s a good thing to keep diversified. Maybe you want to retire early or have money that’s accessible without penalty before age 59.5. After reading about a million reviews of brokerages, I decided to try out Betterment. I wanted to do a year in review, but my, how time flies. When I logged into my account last week before writing this post, I was amazed that I’ve been investing with Betterment since March 2013! Betterment Fees Honestly, I don’t promote many brokerages because I think Vanguard is almost always the easiest and cheapest way to go. I still believe that for IRA and 401k type accounts, it’s the hands down winner. However, if you want to invest in non-retirement account stocks or funds outside of Vanguard ETF’s AND don’t have at least $50,000 already invested, Vanguard’s fees are $7 each for the first 25 trades, then $20 after that. Plus ...

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6 Things That Are Cheaper on Amazon Prime than at Walmart

6 items cheaper on Amazon than Walmart

I’ve shared many times before how living in a small town limits your shopping options, at least in brick and mortar stores. The only place in town to buy many household goods and non-grocery items is Walmart. I’ve had way too many bad shopping experiences there and found myself getting mad before I even walked in the door, so as a resolution to myself and my well being, I decided to boycott purchases at Walmart in 2014. Since we really don’t have other options without driving at least 50 miles, I turned to Amazon for help. Here are six things I’ve found that are surprisingly cheaper on Amazon than at Walmart. Before you start reading my comparison between the two, make sure you go check out these 25 money saving tips you can use on Amazon. These are perfect and will help you each and every time you shop on Amazon.com. Amazon Versus Walmart I signed up for Amazon Prime early this year. At $79 (now $99 per year), I figured it was worth it. Regular shipping is very slow to our area, and if I am going to replace the need for last minute Walmart items, I need to ...

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How We Paid Off $30,000 in Credit Card Debt

credit card debt payoff

November was a truly happy month in our household. After a year and a half  of hard work, we paid off the last of our credit card debt. We learned some new things about ourselves and our needs and wants along the way. It isn’t rocket science, but here’s how we did it. Background The reason we ended up with this debt was pure and simple lifestyle inflation. We were doing pretty well until we built our house in 2004. It took most of our savings, and by itself, was not a toxic debt. The mortgage is affordable. We have good equity. You have to live somewhere. What got us was the need for stuff to fill it up. We left a couple of rooms unfinished, but filled the others up with new furniture, curtains, rugs, a new washer. I could go on and on. We also bought tons of lawn equipment, new bikes, and skis, whatever we wanted. Before our daughter was born, we decided to finish the spaces we had left, so that was a big bill on the Home Depot card. All the while, we were trading in cars every three or four years, which insured a ...

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