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Author Archives: Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.

It’s Never Too Late to Invest for Retirement

get started on investing for retirement

While we’ve made our share of financial mistakes, I’m always amazed when I run across someone my age or older who has nothing saved for retirement. Considering that a third of workers have less than $1,000 saved for the future, I guess it shouldn’t be that surprising. The good news is that it’s never too late to invest for retirement. Even if you might never be a millionaire, that doesn’t mean all hope of a decent retirement is out of reach. Figure Our How Much You Need to Live On Determining how much money you need to retire is certainly a million dollar question. Most retirement calculators assume  you’ll need 70-80 percent of your current income and won’t let you add savings rates greater than 20-25 percent. My favorite retirement calculator is the one from Personal Capital. At least it lets you add and subtract variables more easily than the rest I’ve tried. You can actually get a ballpark on your own by determining how much you spend per year now and apply that to retirement years. Some costs like health care will likely increase while others, like clothing and transportation, should decrease. If you have kids, hopefully those expenses ...

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2015 Wrap Up and Net Worth Report

measuring assets and liabilites

Looking back, it’s been well over a year since I did a net worth update. Part of the reason is because it feels a bit like going out in public wearing only underwear. While I don’t feel totally comfortable being transparent; posting financial stats, good or bad, has always helped us grow. Here’s to hoping that trend will continue. Cash and Retirement Assets Cash: $43,041. I had hoped to whittle this number down to around $20,000 because cash in a savings account isn’t much better than cash under the mattress, but we do have about $12,000 in property and income taxes coming up in the next month or so. With our rental properties always being wild cards and a possible bathroom remodel happening later this year, it makes us feel better to have a good stash of cash. If we decide to forgo the remodel, we’ll find a better place to invest. Retirement Accounts (401k, IRA’s, 403b): $271,338 HSA: $19,841 Non-Retirement Investments: $11,896 Daughter Net Worth Technically this is still our money but will go to fund college or other worthwhile expenses for our daughter someday. Daughter 529 plan: $13,476 Daughter Roth IRA: $11,423 Daughter Brokerage Account: $275 Real Estate Assets ...

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4 Ways to Empower Yourself This Year

being successful

Although the definition of varies from person to person, one trait we all have in common is the desire to be successful. It does often seem that success comes easier to some than others. When in the midst those who excel, it’s easy to believe their lives are all rainbows and birthday cake while all we seem to find are rain clouds and gas station sandwiches. However, finding success might be easier than you think if you can find ways to empower yourself this year. 1. Jump Start Cash Savings Having enough cash on hand to handle whatever financial problems life throws your way is very empowering. Being able to make a large purchase with cash when you’ve always financed in the past is also empowering. Having enough money to make a donation to a cause you believe in is guess what? Empowering! If you are someone who has always lived paycheck to paycheck, try saving $100 into a separate saving account. Then aim for $500 and keep increasing until you have enough. If you can’t do it by cutting expenses, make more money by working overtime, starting a side hustle, or taking on a part time job. Taking control ...

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How Much Does It Really Cost to Raise a Child?

costs of having kids

We’ve all read those reports about how it costs almost a quarter of a million dollars to raise a child to age 18. That makes each year of life around $13,611 for middle income families. I have no idea about the rest of the world, but thought it might be fun to share average expenses for our kiddo. She will be nine in a few months, making us half way to adulthood. Here is a breakdown of our costs to raise a child. Keep in mind that we only have one kid, are upper middle class earners, and live in a low cost of living area. Where you live can be a huge influence on how much you spend. Also, as an only child, our daughter probably has the benefit of many more splurges that would be possible with multiple children. Necessary Expenses Food This is a hard category to break down because I don’t track grocery spending into kid vs adult.  Most of the time, we all eat the same things. Having a child means buying a little more. The two notable exceptions are the gallon of organic milk I buy every ten days at $5-$6 a pop and ...

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The Surprising Ways Your Bad Credit Can Hurt You

repairing credit scores

We all know about the consequences of bad credit. You cannot get a credit card and you have to pay higher rates on your mortgage. If those are not good enough reasons to repair your bad credit rating, we are going to give you some more. Bad credit can hurt you in a number of surprising ways. These are some of the main ones. A Lack of Mobility  When Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans, many people suffered simply because they could not escape the destruction. The reason they could not escape was that they did not have the funds to do it. For most people, the hurricane struck days before their next paycheck. Some people literally died because they did not have enough funds to evacuate the area. Many of the city’s poorest did not have credit records that enabled them quick access to capital, and so they were trapped in the city. Costly Car Insurance  In some states, it is illegal to relate reckless driving and paying your bills on time. In the states where car insurers can make this correlation, they have jacked up the rates for people with bad credit. You need car insurance to drive in ...

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