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Congress Just Passed the Biggest Bill in a Decade – The SECURE Act: 7 Things You Need to Know

On December 19th, the Senate passed the most sweeping retirement bill since the Pension Protection Act of 2006. The SECURE Act, whose progress had stalled until lawmakers tacked it onto a spending bill to keep the country running, aims to make saving easier amongst a bevy of changing rules. The House already passed the legislation, and President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law. So, how does that impact you, your money, and how you will be able to save money for the future?  Does it mean you will pay more taxes?  Here are seven things you need to know about the Secure Act. (some excerpts are from Yahoo Finance) SECURE Act #1:  RMD’s Are Changing Starting January 1, 2020, the new bill pushes the age at which you need to start withdrawing money from your traditional retirement accounts from age 70½ to age 72. These required minimum distributions, as they’re called, are Uncle Sam’s way of ...

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Three Apps That Are Downright Creepy

In the decade where we have seen the proliferation of the ‘app’, not all apps are turning out to be useful.   When I have conversations with people about their smart phone apps, it quickly dawns on me that most people have downloaded hundreds of apps only to really use a half dozen or so on a regular basis.   Some apps are really cool and can help you become more productive while others are simply downright creepy.   Here are three that you might want to be on the lookout for when you are out and about on the town. SCENETAP (www.scenetap.com)- Scenetap is an app that will help you avoid the dreaded bar hopping from joint to joint only to realize that the bar isn’t full, or instead, its full of a crowd you don’t want to hang out with on a Saturday night.   This app can tell you how crowded a bar is in terms of its capacity, the male ...

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Financial Literacy Takes More Than A Month

I’ll bet that most of you don’t know that April is officially National Financial Literacy Month #finlitmonth.  In fact, almost a decade ago in 2003, the U.S. Senate designated April Financial Literacy for youth Month.   In March of 2004, the Senate passed Resolution 316 that officially recognized April as National Financial Literacy Month.    I almost thought for a minute that we had run out of months since every month seems to have designated some cause for us to heighten our sense to for the next 30 days. It’s ironic because I’ve been doing this for almost 22 years and I can tell you that I’m still constantly learning new strategies and techniques around planning for money.   Many Americans are highly educated but still not well informed when it comes to their money. Here are five smart money moves to focus on if you want to become more financially literate. Mutual Funds or Index Funds–  Many of the large mutual funds companies ...

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Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

Have you ever heard that saying that money can burn a hole in your pocket?   Although you can find many different meanings for this expression, over the past decade I have seen spending run out of control on a personal level.   Eating out using to a perk for most families, and now an $80 meal during the week is the norm.    Picking up a luxury item only happened on special days like holidays or birthdays, but now people buy them whenever they are in the mood.   We have been conditioned over the past decade to always make sure we get the BEST!   Of course, why wouldn’t any of want the best if we could afford to buy it with our hard earned money. Credit cards have given many people power.    When you have money in the bank you feel like you have power.  With just a swipe of your debit card, you have the power.   Yes, because you have money ...

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There is a reason 20% down should be required!

For many years, the rule of thumb for first time homebuyers was to put 20% down when you bought your first house. Over the past decade we saw that rule pretty much fade away. Attracted by no money down loans, it was easy to qualify to get into a home that was likely to be several hundred thousand more in value than you could probably afford. ...

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