Even though I’m contributing money to an IRA on a monthly basis, and even investing in some dividend stocks in my individual investing account, I’ve always felt like real estate could be a better investment option for retirement income.

The idea started with a family member who’s doing just that: relying on a portfolio of rental properties and one small business for retirement income. This relative also has plenty of money in savings but hardly anything in the stock market.

He’s quickly approaching retirement age now and he doesn’t have a financial care in the world because he doesn’t have to think about where his income will come from. He’s already set for a comfortable life and I want that for my own retirement too.

Does it make sense to heavily rely on rental properties for retirement income?

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Do you have your costume and your child’s costume yet? Halloween is only a few weeks away, and things can get expensive if you have to buy everything last minute at the store. After all, dressing up can set you back $50-100 depending on how many children you have and if you are dressing up too. Here are some easy solutions to save money on costumes this year.

Shop from What You Have

I scored two adorable dog Gymboree costumes for my two girls this Halloween on super clearance. The only problem is that I shopped while I was pregnant, and even though I bought a 6-12 month costume for my would be 8-month old, the costume is too small. Buying the same costume on eBay would cost me over $40. It then hit me that I had the perfect alternative already sitting in my children’s closet. I had a Dalmatian print dress, which is a little too big for my baby, and a homemade black tutu from last Halloween. Bam! A free alternative to my costume problem. I bought Dalmatian dog ears and a tail from a seller in China through eBay for $5.

Think about what you already have on hand before you go shopping. An old prom dress can be turned into a great costume, such as zombie prom queen. Last year, I dressed my toddler in a black dance leotard and the homemade tutu and a string of my faux pearls, and she was Audrey Hepburn. It’s Halloween, anything goes.
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I read recently that 30-year-old man was court-ordered to move out of his parents’ house. Wow.

While most people will never have to take legal action to get their adult children to leave home, this story highlights a troubling statistic from the Pew Research Center: at least one third of adults ages 18-34 live with their parents. This is the highest it’s been since the 1940s.

A full 50-60% of this age group say they receive at least some financial help from their parents too. Yikes!

So, how did we get here? Most analysts say the Great Recession accelerated the trend and then the combination of the pandemic and the rising cost of both housing plus everything else of late didn’t help either. It’s a problem. A generation that should be channeling more of their income into retirement savings are supporting their kids later in life, while young adults are failing to develop crucial financial management skills.

Look. It’s a time-honored tradition for parents to help their children get a start in life, but giving too much help for too long can set up an unhealthy pattern of dependence and expectation that’s hard to break. It also leads to emotional tension and dysfunction, as the news story illustrates.

Avoiding the financial and relational pitfalls of this scenario doesn’t call into question whether you should help your children, but how you should help. If you know you need to help your adult “kid” transition to financial independence but you aren’t sure how to do it, here are some practical tips.
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Open book

Many of us want to improve our lives. Whether you want to improve your ability to earn money, improve your quality of life, or improve your mind, there’s always room to get better.

If you want to constantly progress and improve, developing the right habits can take you a long way. Here are five habits that, once developed, can help you improve yourself:

1. Read Educational and Inspirational Books

A habit of reading can be one of the best ways to improve yourself. Choose books that are educational and inspirational. Read books about people who’ve achieved goals similar to yours. Whether it’s learning about history, money, business, or art, continue to read. You’ll learn about whatever you are reading of course, but the benefits extend beyond the educational side of things. Those who read have a better ability to focus and stick with the task at hand. It also helps you write better, which is important in an era where so much of your work communication happens online through email.

While reading for enjoyment and relaxation can be a pleasurable experience, it’s not going to have the same effect. Develop a good educational reading habit, and you’ll be well on your way to improvement.
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A graduate degree is an essential step for certain industries, and generally, the more important it is the higher up the corporate ladder you wish to climb. Undoubtedly, earning a graduate degree can be a wise career move for some people, but there are many ways to pursue the degree that actually hurt your financial situation, career prospects, and leave you no better off than you were before (except the fancy initials in your title). The following are perhaps the most common financial mistakes people make when pursuing a graduate degree.

#1: No Specific Target Career

You’re in the minority if you have the time and finances to pursue a graduate degree simply based on your interests. Ideally, most people are able to find a prospective career that closely aligns with their interests and talents, but there are other factors to consider, such as whether the degree will make you competitive for an actual, obtainable job. A bachelor’s degree may qualify you for a wider range of less specialized jobs, often regardless of the major, but graduate studies narrow that focus. This means you need to think one step ahead: what am I going to do with this? Before you select your course of study, do some research into what types of careers it will qualify you for, what the salary range is, and whether you can picture yourself in one these roles long-term.
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We all have different money priorities and ideas of how money should be spent. When it comes to meshing your life with a partner though, these beliefs and priorities can get in the way of harmony.

I have a good relationship with my ex-husband right now, but looking back it is clear that there were some fundamental issues we didn’t agree on. And because we didn’t talk about it before we tied the knot, these differences came out later when we had to navigate our finances together. Some of the differences in spending priorities were so dramatic that it put very real strain on our relationship. It didn’t help that we were both completely blindsided by these differences either.

Learn from us. Before you get too far into planning a long-term life partnership with someone, it can help to play the “what if” game with a potential partner to get an idea of where you agree, and where you might need compromise.
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