Beginning next week, I will be presenting a five part podcast series sponsored by Charles Schwab and presented by About.com. This podcast series will be part of a greater promotion called “Planning Your Next Step”, which is focused on those in Generation X and Y and some of the financial issues surrounding the demographic. In the first installment, I talk a little bit about buying a home. Later podcasts will talk about issues such as saving for a child’s education, marriage & money, money management, and planning for the future.
We were planning on having the first podcast ready to go today, but it looks like a few technical issues have delayed it a bit. Of course, as soon as I’m aware of the link going live, I’ll be sure to pass it along. In the meantime, here are some great items from the past week:
What is a 401k Plan? – I briefly discuss what a 401k plan is, how they work, and some of the benefits of using one when saving for retirement.
How to Work Extremely Hard and Get Nothing Done – I agree with Ben in this post, as there are many times where I feel like I’m working extremely hard, yet nothing is actually getting accomplished.
Save Money by Making Your Own Beer – I have been wanting to try some home brewing for a few years, but have never gotten around to it. I love to cook, and I love beer, so this would be a great hobby I think. Maybe Santa is reading this and I’ll find a beer making kit under the tree this Christmas.
Look Before You Leap: Roth IRA Conversions in 2010 – If you don’t qualify for contributions now, but are planning on doing a Roth conversion in 2010, make sure you read this. There are a few things to be aware of before taking the plunge.
Join and Contribute to Your 401k – I can never stress this enough, but I can’t help it. This is what I do for a living. Put away something, anything into your company 401k, especially if it has a match.
Money vs. Time Off: Why We Don’t Take Vacations – When it comes to taking time off, I fail miserably. I am lucky enough to actually be provided a decent amount of vacation time, yet I rarely take more than a few days a year. I need to learn to make time for a little vacation.
Are You a Rate Chaser? – I’m not, and I think it is foolish to chase savings rates. Certainly, you want to make sure you’re earning a competitive interest rate, but constantly changing institutions to squeeze out another 20 basis points isn’t worth the effort. Unless you are talking about tens of thousands of dollars, the actual gains are minimal. Even more important, in my opinion, is that you are continuously making your personal information susceptible to identity theft.
How to File a Fraud Alert With the Major Credit Bureaus – Did you lose your wallet like NCN? If so, you’ll want to make sure you know how to file fraud alerts with the major credit agencies to help minimize the chances of realizing damages from someone stealing your identity.
Seven Ways to Conquer Chuck E. Cheese – I never really liked that place even as a kid, but as MBH mentions, they are good at helping parents spend money. Find out how you can minimize the impact on your wallet the next time you take your kids there.
I’m Glad Oil Prices Are Rising – Actually, I don’t care that they are rising either. For one, I drive a sensible vehicle, so the initial impact doesn’t hurt that much. In addition, I have some money invested in oil companies/ETFs. People are always looking for good investments, so why not take part in some of the profits that come from higher oil costs?
$4 Million is Not Enough to Retire On – Well, that all depends on your lifestyle and when you plan on retiring. If you are going to be retiring in the next decade or so and are used to a $50k-$100k/year lifestyle, $4 million would serve you quite well even if you didn’t count Social Security. But, if you’re accustomed to a $250k/year income and won’t be retiring for another 25 years, you better start saving more money.
Teaching Risk Tolerance – Is risk tolerance learned or inherited? I think it is intertwined with personal and social values that are developed over the years, which is more or less a learning behavior.
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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.