April 6

How to get your financial house in order by age 30 (USA Today- Money)

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Author: Anne Godlasky, @annieisi, USA TODAY5:38 p.m. EDT May 16, 2013

New wrinkles. Pressure to procreate. And what have you checked off your bucket list lately? Turning 30 can be stressful, even before thinking about personal financial goals and how to achieve them.

Adults 34 and younger grade themselves worse than any other age group in their personal finance knowledge, with 48% giving themselves a C or lower, according to a survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Financial planners say that needs to change. Millennials have a lot to do to get their house in order.

“I think every birthday you check your credit score and your weight, and one should be going up, and one should be coming down,” says Jean Chatzky, 48, a personal finance expert whose Money School webinars launched last month. “People around 30 are under more pressures than any prior generation,” she says, citing “tremendous” student loan debt, “stagnant” wages, the burst housing bubble and the burden of retirement and health care costs moving increasingly from employers to individuals.

In fact, the average net worth of those under 40 in 2010 was 7% below that of people in the same age range in 1983, the Urban Institute reported in March.

“Thirty today isn’t what 30 was a few decades ago. It could mean single and 30, or married with children,” says Megan Rindskopf, 26, a certified financial planner with ClearView Wealth Management in Charlotte. “I think the biggest issue for people in this age range is knowing how best to deal with competing priorities. A lot of people are living paycheck to paycheck. This is kind of the age where you feel you need to grow up.”

WHAT FINANCIAL GOALS SHOULD MILLENNIALS SET?

A good benchmark is to have one year’s salary saved in retirement accounts, such as a 401(k), by age 30, says David Weliver, 32, who created the financial advice websiteMoney Under 30 after recovering from his own problems with debt. Weliver calls the goal “income-based, so it’s not comparing a kindergarten teacher and a Wall Street banker.”

Financial experts recommend saving 10% to 15% of every paycheck to retirement and savings accounts.

However, saving newbies shouldn’t start with 10%, some advise.

“It’s like going on a crash diet — if you go too high, it’s too painful and too likely to fail,” Chatzky says. “Once you manage to set aside 2% for three to six months, then notch it up another 2%. … I’ve never seen a budget where I can’t find some wiggle room.”

As you save money, here are steps to take:

1. Meet obligations. Pay your rent and minimum loan amounts on time to avoid charges and fees.

2. Build an emergency fund. If you have nothing, start with $500-$1,500 to avoid overdrafting your checking account, says Weliver, then grow that buffer into a savings worth three to six months’ salary, to support you in case you lose your job.

3. Pay into 401(k) up to company match. If you don’t do this, “you’re missing out on free money,” Rindskopf says. If your company doesn’t match your 401(k) contributions, Weliver still recommends donating 3- to 5%.

4. Pay off credit card debt. “The biggest payoff is going to come from two things — capturing any matching [401(k)] dollars and paying back credit card debt,” because it is high interest, says Chatzky.

5. Increase savings. Once you’ve paid off debt, built an emergency fund and started saving for retirement, “look at shorter term goals and figure out how much you’ll need in two to five years,” such as paying for a wedding, car or down payment on a house, Weliver says. “You don’t want to put everything in retirement if you don’t have enough to pay for the things you’ll need.”

6. Buy life insurance. “I absolutely recommend it if you’re starting a family or if you have a spouse who depends on you to pay the bills,” says Rindskopf. “Do a little research before you jump in and buy a policy.”

7. Increase 401(k) contributions to 10%, even if it’s beyond company match, Weliver says.

8. Pay off student loans on schedule. Student loans are “tax-deductible and the interest rate is generally low,” says Chatzky.

9. Open tax-advantaged accounts. “If you’ve maxed out [other savings], but you still have money to put aside, look at other tax advantaged accounts you can open. If you have a child, look at the 529″ to save for their college education, Chatzky says.

10. Invest. If you’ve done all of this, increased your retirement and your savings and still have money to spare, you may consider investing in taxable brokerage accounts.

THE GENERATION OF ADJUSTED EXPECTATIONS

Chatzky, a mother of two teens, 18 and 16, says many young adults will need to “choose a smaller lifestyle than earlier generations.”

“It’s very demoralizing to think that the next generation won’t have a shot at doing as well as their parents did,” she says.

Weliver agrees that his generation has a different standard of living.

“We need to lower our expectations,” he says. “Retirement age may be 70. … That just may be the reality of our generation.”

With 32% of those 18-34 saying they put nothing toward retirement, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, even a later retirement date requires getting serious about personal finances as soon as possible.

“When you turn 30, it’s a really good time to make a five-year plan for your finances. Your 20s are notoriously uncertain — you may be moving, in and out of relationships and different jobs — so it’s hard to stick to a five-year plan because things change so quickly,” Weliver says. “By the time you’re 30, things may slow down a bit and there may be a natural progression in terms of savings and salary.”

Follow Anne Godlasky on Twitter @annieisi

March 21

Top 10 Solar Areas in the US

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Top 10 Solar Areas in the US (via Planetsave)

You might expect the no.1 solar area in America to be a city like San Franciso or maybe San Diego. According to One Block Off the Grid, it isn’t one of the largest metro areas though, it’s Fresno, CA with a strong lead at 182 watts per capita, or…

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March 21

Nashville Goes With Proterra Instead of BYD for EV Buses

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Nashville Goes With Proterra Instead of BYD for EV Buses (via Gas 2.0)

Last week Proterra, a manufacturer of EV buses, announced the sale of seven electric buses and a charging station to the Nashville MTA. The MTA selected South Carolina-based Proterra over China-based Build Your Dreams (BYD) EV-bus manufacturer after…

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February 28

It’s America Saves Week! From February 24 – March 01, 2014

Potential Millionaire (Nick)

It’s America Saves Week! From February 24 – March 01, 2014. Do not miss the upcoming events for the rest of this week.

Experian Google Hangout

eXtension #eXASchat

  • Date: 2/3, 2/10, 2/17, and 2/24
  • Time: 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST
  • Hosted by: @moneytalk1 with special guest @AmericaSaves

Free Webinars

Brought to you by Florida Saves:

Other Activities

2014 America Saves Challenge

  • As part of America Saves Week (February 24-March 1, 2014), a time set aside annually to promote good savings behavior, the Cooperative Extension system is launching an online “2014 America Saves Challenge.”
  • This free five-week program, open to anyone who enrolls online, will be held from Sunday, February 23, through Saturday, March 29, 2014. Prizes will be awarded for participants who report the highest point totals at the end of each week and at the end of the challenge. To participate in the America Saves Challenge, visit the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Small Steps to Health and Wealth™ Challenge Web site at http://rutgers.ancc.net/. Set up a user name and password and download a one-page user’s guide with instructions about how to proceed. Enroll in the Challenge titled “2014 America Saves Challenge.” This challenge will be among a list of names of online challenges that are currently available to participate in.

Save Your Refund Sweepstakes

  • The SaveYourRefund Sweepstakes makes you a winner this tax season– win $250 in weekly drawings or a GRAND PRIZE of $25,000 by simply saving $50 of your federal refund!

 

January 8

The Potential Millionaire On Savings

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By Felix A. Montelara

1 Corinthians 16:2 ESV / 18 helpful votes

On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.

2 Corinthians 9:6 ESV / 13 helpful votes

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

In the last episode of Potential Millionaire, I not only discussed the importance of saving money, but also exactly how much money to save and where to save it.  Let’s be certain to understand that we save money not to hoard it or lord it over others, but actually to act as good stewards and thankful recipients of God’s bounty.  There are a number of Biblical Scripture passages that support my point.  First, let’s take 1 Corinthians 16:2, which states that “On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.”  1 Corinthians is advocating exactly what I discussed last week- that we must diligently set aside money to save each and every time we have income.  No matter the size of the amount saved- it is the action of  retaining that piece of our income before we do our spending that really allows us to accumulate wealth.  The Bible instructs us to live by conserving what we have, not only in times of distress, but every day.  When we save daily and weekly, we grow our savings so that in our times of need we can rely on ourselves.  We can help ourselves because we have an emergency fund, and we can enjoy life to a fuller extent because we can save for our goals and attain them.  Would you like to go on vacation? Buy a new car?  A television?  These are things that can be saved for too- so that when the day comes that we have enough, we can proudly purchase these items using God’s bounty- and not the credit of a lender.

2 Corinthians has more to instruct us with about saving.  2 Corinthians 9:6 states, “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” Iphone 040813 308  The Bible is telling us that we must make a conscious effort to care for, save, and then yes, use, God’s bountiful gifts.  But only those who put in the time and effort will see the fruit of their labors.  There is no get rich quick scheme that is sustaining- there is no magic pill for success.  Friends, what I am advocating is nothing more than good, honest work both outside and inside your household.  It takes work to make a budget and follow it.  It takes work to work to save money.  It takes effort and discipline to do these things.  Yes, everyone has millionaire potential, and the Bible provides us with the directions on how to achieve it:  Carefully saving, diligently working, and gratefully watching over our households and money.  These are the keys for unlocking our millionaire potential.

 

December 6

Golden Rule #4 From The Book Potencial Millionaire- Spend Less Than You Earn

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By Felix A. Montelara

Author & Host of:

Potencialmillonario.com

 

Spend less than you earn, Golden Rule #4

From Potencial Millonaro by Felix A. Montelara

I a moment I will tell you the secret to winning in the game of personal finances

The secret is that you have to generate more income than expenses . In other words you have to make more money versus the money you spend. Simple right?

A survey conducted by the American payrolls Association indicates that 72 % of families in the US would find it difficult to pay their monthly debts if their pay checks were stoped fr a short period of time .An example of this is  the recent Federal government closure  I received several calls for consultations people living paycheck to paycheck . These people were desperate because they could not make their monthly payments when their payroll salary stopped during the shutdown.  The folks asked what can I do now?  How can I prevent making late payments that will cost me more later?  I advised them  to communicate with  their lender and reach an agreement since this situation was temporary. I also advised that the ask family such as their parent to loan them money short term with the understanding that they would get reimbursed once the government reopened.

Now let’s talk about the situation where the discontinuation of your check or payroll salary is interrupted for an extended period of time, such disability without pay, a closure of the company, or an unexpected layoff.  Then the alternatives are different. These are the reasons why you have to spend less than you earn. Let’s take for example a family of four generating $5,000 a month. What do you think they would say if asked . How much do you spend each month? Most likely the answer is  going to be $ 5,000. Hey why not ?Now we have another family of four with an income of $6,500 per month. They are generating  $1,500 more than the first family What do you think will be the answer when they ask how much they spend each month? Yeah probably $6,500 . Why not?

No matter what the income of people it is our nature to spend de maximum of our income to maintain a certain lifestyle. In other words, people elevate their lifestyles as much as possible to the point of living beyond its what they earn, and accumulate substantial debts to kept that lifestyle. However it is a lifestyle you can not afford .

Then I wonder…

What happened to the extra $ 1,500 that was earned the second family ? Why can they not make ends meet. It’s simple they don’t have the millionaire mindset. The millionaire mindset is a philosophy that is accompanied very different lifestyle from the one described n this program  Nevertheless, the problem is evident  as the survey says 72% of our families live paycheck to paycheck. So, If you want to win with money the fundamental rule or what I call the secret with getting ahead financially is to spend less than you earn. This is true whether you are earning minimum wage  or you are making millions. This  may be common sense , but certainly not a common habit f most folks.

You have to educate yourself about the philosophy of the Millionaire Mind and apply the concepts like spending less than you earn. I ask do you have the millionaire mindset? and me know your opinion at 334 357 6410 and we will it along on the radio. But above all remember that we all have the potential millionaire within us.

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November 30

The Potential Millionaire Golden Rule # 5 Save 10 to 15 %

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From: The Potental Millionaire By Felix A. Montelara Author of Potencial Millonario

In episode 4 of my radio program, Potencial Millonario, I discussed the various types of debt and the importance of budgeting.  Budgeting means that you know exactly how much money comes into your household, how much you spend, where you spend it, and how much you waste.  In other words, creating a budget means you track every cent you make and spend, so you can discover all the money leaks in your household.  Once the money leaks are discovered, they can be stopped.   When we stop wasting money, we start saving money.  This money can then be applied to outstanding debts, or saved in an emergency fund.  The key idea is: stop spending what you don’t have, stop creating new debt, know where your money is, and use every penny you have to pay off old debts.  Only then can you begin on the path to financial freedom.

Proverbs 27:23-27 describes what I have been discussing in the last few episodes of Potencial Millonario: “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds, for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.”  This passage from Scripture encourages us to watch over and really know our ‘flocks,’ which in today’s  society might be interpreted as households.  How can we hope to be financially free if we don’t know where each dollar comes from and where each one goes?  The Bible instructs us to pay attention; to be good stewards of what God provides us with.  This passage also comes with a warning for those who will not take care of their gifts:  “riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.”  This warning lets us know that life is fleeting, and we must try to be prepared for what lies ahead.  However, we don’t always know what is ahead of us.  It is only through a careful stewardship of our households that we can hope to weather these storms.

In Biblical times wealth was measured in livestock.  In these modern times, we define our wealth with money.  Knowing our modern “flocks and herds” means having a working budget and a real understanding of how we spend and save our money.  Once we truly understand how we spend our money, we can undertake the difficult task of making changes to our bad spending habits.  These spending habits are what make us poor, and we must correct them in order to become financially free.  We can replace bad spending habits with good savings habits- then we begin to accumulate wealth and notice the difference that having money, rather than wasting money, can have in our lives.

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