Friday’s need-to-know money news

crop380w_istock_000009258023xsmall-dbet-ball-and-chainToday’s top story: How to decide which debts you should pay off first. Also in the news: Financial topics you should never discuss at work, a key tax move you need to check before the end of the year, and how to offer financial advice to your adult kids.

Which Debts Should You Pay Off First?
How to develop a strategic pay off plan.

3 Financial Topics You Should Never Discuss at Work
Keep these conversations off-limits.

Don’t Let December End Without Looking at This Key Tax Move
Preparing for 2015 taxes.

How to Offer Financial Advice to Your Adult Child
Approaching a difficult conversation.

Plan Out a Year of Life as a Retiree To Jump-Start Your Saving
Giving your savings a boost in the right direction.

4 In 5 Millennials Optimistic For Future, But Half Live Paycheck To Paycheck
A look at the financial lives of millennials.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

retirement-savings3Today’s top story: How to prepare your finances for the end of the year. Also in the news: Strategies to prevent holiday shopping binges, why your employer wants you to save for retirement, and what to do as you approach retirement.

5 Year-End Personal Finance Tips
Preparing for the new year.

3 Strategies to Prevent a Holiday Shopping Binge
Keeping the festivities in check.

The Surprising Reason Employers Want You to Save for Retirement
It’s all about productivity.

5 things to do now if you’re near retirement
Start preparing for one of life’s biggest changes.

7 Money Myths About Millennials
Millennial mythbusting.

Why millennials aren’t saving

DrowningSavings rates for adults under 35 plunged from 5 percent in 2009 to a negative 2 percent, according to Moody’s Analytics, and the consequences are potentially huge. Here’s how a Wall Street Journal writer put it:

“A lack of savings increases the vulnerability of young workers in the postrecession economy, leaving many without a financial cushion for unexpected expenses, raising the difficulty of job transitions and leaving them further away from goals like eventual homeownership—let alone retirement….Those who don’t save are unlikely to be wealthy in the future, meaning American angst over wealth inequality seems poised to persist if most millennials are unable to save or choose not to.”

Unfortunately, the two “real people” quoted in the story both have college educations and decent jobs. The first has credit card debt (a synonym for “frivolous spending”) and would rather spend on “her social life and travel” while the second finds investments “too complicated.” These two reinforce the narrative that the only reason people don’t save is because they don’t want to.

In reality, most people under 35 don’t have a college degree. They have a higher unemployment rate than their elders and much smaller incomes–the median for households headed by someone under 35 was $35,300 in 2013, down from $37,600 in 2010. As the WSJ article notes, wages for those 35 and under have fallen 9 percent, in inflation-adjusted terms, since 1995.

(Millennials, by the way, also don’t have much credit card debt. In the 2010 survey, the latest for which age breakdowns are available, fewer than 40 percent of under-35 households carried credit card balances, and the median amount owed was $1,600.)

Saving on small incomes is, of course, possible–and essential if you ever hope to get ahead. But any discussion of savings among the young should acknowledge how much harder it is to do in an era of falling incomes. Today’s millennials have it tougher than Generation X did at their age, and way, way tougher than the Baby Boomers. It may comfort older, wealthier Americans to imagine the younger generation is just more frivolous. But that does a disservice to millennials, and to our understanding of the real causes of wealth inequality.

 

 

 

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: A surprising way identity theft can hurt your credit.
Also in the news: Tips on how to manage major bills, rethinking retirement for Millennials, and financial tips for veterans from military experts.

The Surprising Way an Identity Thief Can Hurt Your Credit
Pay close attention to hard inquiries.

Utilize the Half Payment Method to Budget Around Major Bills
Don’t pay all at once.

3 Ways to Rethink Retirement for Millennials
A different look at the bigger picture.

Veterans Day: 6 Financial Tips From Military Experts to Service Members
Welcome home.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Tax_ScampngToday’s top story: Look out for the latest IRS phone call scam. Also in the news: How social spending could be ruining your budget, why millennials should be pressing credit instead of debit, and how to extend the life of your child’s inherited IRA.

Don’t Fall for the ‘Steve Martin’ IRS Phone Call Scam
Watch out for this wild and crazy scam.

Fun And Finances: Is Social Spending Sabotaging Your Budget?
Putting your own financial well being first.

Pssst, Millennials! When You Pay, Choose Credit, Not Debit
How you could be losing out on interest.

Extend the life of your children’s inherited IRAs
Big changes could be in store for 2015.

Use Your Phone as a Piggy Bank: The 10 Best Personal Finance Apps
Putting that shiny new toy to good use.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: How paying your credit cards early and often can protect your credit score. Also in the news: How to save your kids from spending their 20’s in debt, six home renovation mistakes to avoid, and tips on getting the best car loan.

Charge a Lot? Pay Early and Often to Avoid Score Damage
Your score will thank you for it.

5 Ways My Parents Saved Me from Spending My 20s in Debt
How to do the same for your kids.

6 Home Renovation Mistakes That Could Cost You
DIY isn’t always the cheaper route.

5 tips to get the best deal on a car loan
Don’t be afraid to shop around.

Can You Raise Your Credit Score 100 Points in a Month?
That’s a tough one.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: How to build your retirement nest egg on a small salary. Also in the news: Why Millennials are rejecting credit cards, tips on how to decide between saving money and paying off debt, and eight faster ways to pay off your student loans.

How to Plan for Retirement When You Don’t Make Much Money
Increasing the size of your tiny nest egg.

Why Millennials Are Rejecting Credit Cards
The massive amount of student debt is playing a big role.

5 Questions to Help You Decide Whether to Save or Pay Off Debt
What to do with your extra cash.

8 Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loans Faster
The quicker the better.

How to Balance a Fun Life With Your Financial Goals
You know what they say about all work and no play.

Thursday’s need to know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: How paying off your student loans could actually lower your credit score. Also in the news: What to expect from the Social Security Administration’s new strategy, how you could benefit from a financial pro, and why millennials still aren’t saving enough money.

I Paid Off My Student Loans & My Credit Score Dropped?!
Yes, you read that correctly.

Here’s what the Social Security Administration’s new service strategy means for you
Prepare for long wait times

Top 8 Reasons You Need A Financial Pro
It’s good to have a sounding board.

Why Millennials Still Don’t Save Enough
It’s not too late.

Facing Alzheimer’s? Prepare for the financial punch now
Making the difficult decisions.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

teen-creditToday’s top story: The retirement age for millennials is increasing. Also in the news: The pros and cons of delaying your social security benefits, how to avoid buyer’s remorse, and at what age should a teenager start building credit?

Five Retirement Warning Signs for Millennials
Recent college grads may not be able to retire until age 73.

Social Security At Age 62? Why Delaying Your Benefits May Not Pay Off
Your mileage may vary, of course.

How to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse
From handbags to homes.

Are your kids old enough to start building credit?
Should old enough to vote also mean old enough to charge?

This is one Social Security document you don’t want to toss
The return of the paper benefit statement.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Happy New Year!

Today’s top story: How to start 2014 on the right financial foot. Also in the news: A millennial’s guide to personal finance, ways to cut taxes while saving for retirement, and apps that will help you reach your financial goals for the new year.smartphones_finance

7 Tips to Get Your New Year’s Money Resolution Started Off Right
You’re going to want to stick to these.

The Millennial’s Guide to Personal Finance
Time to start taking your finances seriously.

3 ways to cut taxes while saving for retirement
Paying attention to your tax bracket.

5 Apps to Help Keep Your 2014 Financial Goals
Track your finances in between rounds of Candy Crush.

How Inflation Will Cut Your Taxes in 2014
New year, new adjustments.