April 30, 2012

Teaching Children the Value of a Dollar in a Debt-Filled World

April is financial literacy month so we'll finish out the month with an article about teaching kids how to manage money by Doug Lebda, Chairman & CEO of LendingTree.com. "If children don't learn the principles of saving, spending and charitable giving at home, they don't learn it at all. Financial literacy is not taught in our schools and more importantly, parents need to impart their own personal financial values onto their children." (While Utah high school students may take one class in personal finances, parents need to play a much larger role in educating and guiding their children, starting well before high school.)

Lebda recommends: Start early, Engage your child, and Don't simply do what the neighbors do.

Read the details at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/doug-lebda/teaching-children-financial-responsibility_b_1441180.html

8 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Save for Retirement

Retirement researchers are examining what causes us to save for the future. By Emily Brandon
April 30, 2012 (quoted from the article). Click on this link for more details: http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2012/04/30/8-ways-to-motivate-yourself-to-save-for-retirement

Motivating yourself to save for a retirement that's decades in the future can be a daunting challenge. Behavioral researchers are testing exactly what triggers cause people to sign up for retirement accounts and increase their contributions. It turns out that a variety of experiences, including spending time with your grandparents, worrying about problems you could face in old age, and even picturing what you will look like in retirement could persuade you to boost your retirement account contributions. Here's what researchers say motivates us to save for retirement:
1.      Break it down into steps. Instead of focusing on the final account balance figure out how much you need to save each week or month.
2.      Project your retirement income. Consider calculating the annual income your current nest egg is likely to produce in retirement. "People often get intimated and overwhelmed by a huge number. When they see how much it actually translates into, they are maybe more motivated to make decisions."
3.      Don't set your goal too low. "People who want to save more should focus on ambitious targets," says Emily Haisley, a behavioral finance specialist.
4.      Consider the negative consequences of failing to save. "Focusing on some of the things that will happen if you don't reach that goal can be an effective tool in encouraging workers to save. Failing to save can lead to a retirement that is not as enjoyable."
5.      Set up automatic contributions. One of the simplest strategies to save more for retirement is to take the decision out of your own hands.
6.      Picture yourself in old age. When researchers showed people aged photographs of themselves, it made them more likely to want to save for retirement.
7.      Spend time with your grandparents. Spending time with older people can encourage planning for your own future.
8.      Think about your future self. People who feel more connected to their future self may be more likely to save for retirement, according to recent research. "Write a letter to your future self," says Hershfield. "That will at least help you start thinking about your future self as a realistic person who is going to be the recipient of the decisions that you make today with regard to finances."

April 26, 2012

Start a Spending Plan and set SMART goals

 A spending plan gives you control in 6 simple steps with help from FINRA.
Learn how to set SMART goals: http://www.saveandinvest.org/MilitaryCenter/MilitaryFinancialToolkits/P124801

I left my I-pad on the plane! Or the Kindle…

How to get your I-pad or Kindle back if you leave it on the plane:
From 4/25/12 Wall Street Journal article by Scott McCartney
Plus tips for getting it back if an honest person finds your device: 
tape a business card to the back & use a wildly colorful/distinctive case
engrave your contact info on back of device
enable Find My iPad setting 
record the serial #
Set screen saver to display phone number that can be seen even if device is locked.
Record serial numbers  
Contact airline immediately to file a claim. E-readers: go online or call customer service to de-register the device to prevent finder from making purchases using your credit-card information. Cancel automatic subscriptions. Go to iTunes store to cancel automatic subscriptions & remove credit-card information.
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