This One Thing Could Change Your Retirement Future

This One Thing Could Change Your Retirement Future

By Chris Hogan When it comes to saving for retirement, I’ve heard countless people tell me why they’re not taking action. “I want to play now and save later.” “I don’t have time to think about it at this stage in my life.” “I’m looking at a pile of debt.” I’ve heard every excuse in the book! There’s another reason some people aren’t saving for retirement—and it might surprise you. The Facts Don’t Lie Recently, my team used a third-party research panel to survey adults about retirement. We wanted to know how much people are saving, how they feel about retirement, which age group is most prepared, and much more. And we’re learning a lot about the state of retirement in the U.S., including who seeks out information on retirement education. Here’s what the study found: Nearly 40% of upper-income workers (those who make $75,000 or more) have consulted a financial advisor, compared to 10% of lower-income employees (those who make less than $25,000). Thirty-six percent (36%) of upper-income employees have read books on retirement, compared to 11% of lower-income workers. Thirty-six percent (36%) of upper-income employees look online to find more information about retirement. On the flip side, just 22% of lower-income workers do the same. Do you see a pattern? I do! Upper-income workers spend a lot more time learning about retirement than people who make less money. That’s a problem. People with lower incomes face enough challenges in saving for retirement without adding a lack of knowledge to the mix! The Source of the Problem? Why don’t lower-income employees spend more time learning about retirement? Part...
5 Debt-Free Ways to Pay for College (and Still Save for Retirement)

5 Debt-Free Ways to Pay for College (and Still Save for Retirement)

If you have kids who will start college soon, it’s no surprise to you that three out of four parents in your shoes say they are concerned about having enough money to help their kids pay for school. Many want to help, but they have their own financial challenges to overcome. How can they get their kids through school and still pay off debt or save for retirement? Four years ago, Ron and Paula R. from Eagle, ID, found themselves facing that situation. Their son, David, was headed to college and their daughter, Debbie, was set to start the next year—but they had zero college savings. They tried to solve the problem like millions of parents do every year. They signed up for thousands of dollars in student loans for David’s first year of college. And not just any college—an expensive, out-of-state, private college. That loan brought their total debt up to around $80,000, and they still owed on their home. It seemed their only option was to put their own financial future at stake and fund David and Debbie’s college education solely with student loans. In Search of a Better Way A few months after David started college, Ron, Paula and Debbie attended Financial Peace University together. There they learned about the mistakes they’d made, but, even better, they discovered that they did have options—debt-free options—that would allow them to get their kids through college without sacrificing their own financial future. They immediately decided to cash-flow David’s tuition, and he picked up a part-time job to help with the costs. And what about that expensive private school? “It was gone as soon...
6 Ways to Avoid Going Broke on Vacation

6 Ways to Avoid Going Broke on Vacation

You probably love the thought of going on your next vacation. But we’re guessing you don’t love the thought of all your money leaving your bank account to pull off said vacation. If only there was a way to have a great trip without spending too much. There is a way. Actually, we know six of them! Here are half a dozen ways to have fun on your next getaway without going broke. 1. Enjoy a few things rather than doing everything. If you pack too many sightseeing tours and stage shows into your big-city visit, the costs really add up. On top of that, it’s hard to enjoy any of the activities. Why? Because you’re too busy looking at the clock and hoping you aren’t late to the next activity! Plan one or two events per day and enjoy them to the hilt. You’ll save money, avoid stress, and be able to relish your experience! 2. Don’t take advice from your children. Just about everything looks good to your kids on vacation—oversized snacks, toys in the gift shop or the thought of renting a pedal boat for a day on the water. They will gladly offer unsolicited advice such as “Hey, Dad, we should try this!” or “Hey, Mom, that would be awesome!” Stick to your spending plan no matter how many times you hear “Can we do that?” 3. Pay for it now. When you pay for your getaway with cash, the deal is done. You know how much you spend. Compare that to using credit cards. The cards get swiped here, there and everywhere, and you...