More and more people lately are asking if they should take Social Security early. The general advice people give is that you should delay receiving the Social Security check because you get an 8% raise for every year you manage to wait. The break-even age varies depending on many factors, but it’s roughly between the age of 75 to 80 when delaying your benefits will start to be more beneficial for you financially. So just in case you live a long life, the inflation-indexed benefits are the best longevity protection you can have and you’ll want to max out this benefit. Still, many people want to take the benefits early because they believe they can earn a better return by taking Social Security early and investing that sum.

My investment returns are more than 8% a year. Wouldn’t it be more beneficial for me to take Social Security early and then invest the sum?

So how much do your investments need to return for taking Social Security benefits at 62 to make sense? Let’s find out.
[ continue reading… ]

mowing the lawn
I asked a friend of mine who works with high school students if he knew anyone who would be interested in some yard work. We agreed that three boys would come over to my dad’s house one Saturday for $15 an hour, for three hours’ worth of work (so basically, each boy would make almost $50). We just wanted some yard maintenance that had been neglected due to my dad’s busy work and school schedule.

Only one boy showed up when that Saturday came. I’m not sure of the reasons the other two didn’t show, but I am going to guess they just downright flaked judging by how embarrassed my friend was for recommending these guys.

Funny enough, I keep hearing similar stories of teenagers and 20-somethings that would rather not work. How do you kick this bug of entitlement out of your own kids’ lives? Here are three solutions.
[ continue reading… ]

Every now and again, I like to think about the decisions I’ve made and how making sacrifices now will benefit me later. My current living situation is less than fabulous, but I’ve begun to adapt and call a 900 square foot trailer my temporary home.

I remember that by doing what is financially smart now, I’ll be able to reap the benefits later. This brings me to the question: what would I be willing to give up for financial freedom?

How about you? Would you be willing to give up any of these five things for financial freedom?
[ continue reading… ]

The minimum wage is currently $7.25, but the Democrats are trying to raise it to $15 as part of the new stimulus bill. The current minimum has been in effect since 2009 when it was raised from $6.55. There’s no definite timeline for minimum wage increases; the decision is made by Congress and usually occurs anywhere from every three to seven years.

The purpose of the minimum wage is usually twofold: to protect low-income workers from being exploited, and to keep up with the increased cost of living due to inflation.

Economic conservatives, however, are warning that another raise could actually hurt the employment rate while doing little to help the quality of life for those below the poverty line.

Minimum wage increases are always a controversial topic, so here’s what you need to know:
[ continue reading… ]

In many ways, buying a condominium offers fewer headaches than owning a single-family home: you don’t need to take care of yard work or snow removal, nor do you have to handle major maintenance issues on the building itself.

However, not everything about condo living is easier. In particular, figuring out how to adequately insure your home is a much more complicated prospect when you own a condominium.

Here’s what you need to know about homeowner’s insurance for condos:
[ continue reading… ]

Suitcase with Heap of Dollar BillsOne of the most common financial pitfalls out there is having a poor money attitude. And among the worst money attitudes is the idea that all you need is more money, and that once you have it, your financial problems will be solved.

The harsh reality is that, while making more money can help your situation, chances are that it’s not truly a money earning problem you have; it’s a money management problem.

[ continue reading… ]