Here are some articles that caught my eye this week…
Many 401(k) programs offer amongst their choices Target Date funds. Usually these are offered in 5 year increments. The idea is you pick a fund that is near your retirement date, for example if you expect to retire around 2031, then maybe you’d pick the 2030 Target date fund. The benefit of these funds is they gradually move your money from more risky to more conservative investments as you move closer to your retirement target date. This sounds like a great idea. The problem is everyone’s circumstances are a little different and it is next to impossible to provide a one size fits all approach to your retirement investments. In general these funds are better than doing nothing. But, you are much better off taking responsibility for your own investments and working with a financial adviser who will teach you and guide you through your choices so that your investments are best for your specific circumstances.
Particularly, if you live in colder climates, it is that time of year when you need to think about preparing your home for the winter. A few hours of preventative work now could save you big dollars when the snow starts flying.
Many financial analysts promote that some debt is really good debt. While I agree some debt potentially is less bad than other debt, I really object to the use of the word “good” and debt in the same sentence. By calling debts like college loans good debt, I believe many are left with the belief that college loans are a normal part of getting an education and may even be a wise move in trying to better yourself. Certainly, debt related to a home or a college degree is better than putting last night’s pizza on a credit card, but you have to remember debt always adds risk and reduces the freedom we have in our lives. Always.
There are certain retailers where the last part of the price provides clues as to whether the item has been discounted and by how much. Here’s a handy little cheat sheet you can carry in your wallet that lists codes for some major retailers.
The best way to budget is to simply sit down at the beginning of each month and spend every dollar on paper on purpose before the month begins. Without a plan money will disappear little by little here and there and you’ll always struggle to have more money than month.
Some people like the structure of a traditional job, and others prefer the freedom that comes with starting their own business. Though starting your own business may mean working longer and harder than you would have to in your “day job”, there is also a potential for much higher rewards. There are definitely a lot of things you need to consider though before taking that plunge. This article highlights 5 very important ones.