Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Is Premium Economy airfare worth the money? Also in the news: 6 common retirement mistakes and the simple solution to all of them, credit cards that go beyond rewards to cover travel costs, and how to protect your finances if you’re worried about a recession.

Is Premium Economy Airfare Worth the Money?
Make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

6 common, costly retirement mistakes—and the one simple solution to all of them
Information is your biggest ally.

The Credit Cards That Go Beyond Rewards to Cover Travel Costs
Covering the small expenses.

Worried about a recession? Here are 4 ways to protect your finances
Turn your anxiety into action.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to outsmart smartphone scammers. Also in the news: 5 military budgeting tips, states that will pay you to work there, and just how worried you should be about a possible recession.

How to Outsmart Smartphone Scammers
Protecting areas of vulnerability.

5 Military Budgeting Tips
Important considerations for active military.

Get Paid to Move to These States
Work remotely? These states want you.

Recession fears are back — should you be worried?
Don’t panic just yet.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 cheaper alternatives to popular vacation spots. Also in the news: How credit unions fit in your financial life, how to prepare for an economic downturn, and the fee the IRS is waiving for more than 400,000 filers.

5 Cheaper Alternatives to Popular Vacation Spots
Save some money while still having a great trip.

How Credit Unions Fit in Your Financial Life
An alternative to traditional banking.

How to Prepare for an Economic Downturn
Don’t be caught off guard.

The IRS will waive this 2018 tax penalty for more than 400,000 filers
Waiving the underpayment fee.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 tips for finding the best mortgage lenders. Also in the news: 8 warning signs you won’t finish college, the best financial advice at every age, and how to make your finances more flexible before the next recession.

5 Tips for Finding the Best Mortgage Lenders

8 warning signs you won’t finish college
All of the debt without the degree.

The Best Financial Advice at Every Age
Money moves by the decade.

How to Make Your Finances More Flexible Before the Next Recession
Knowing what to prioritize.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to prepare for the next recession. Also in the news: How to grow your tax refund, everything you need to know to file your 2018 taxes, and how to wean grown kids off of your payroll.

There’s Always a Next Recession, so Be Prepared
Soften the blow of the next economic downturn.

If You’re Expecting a Tax Refund, Make a Plan to Grow It
Invest your refund instead of blowing it.

Everything You Need to Know to File Your 2018 Taxes
A handy list.

How to wean grown kids off your payroll, freeing up more retirement cash
Cutting the purse strings.

There’s always a next recession, so be prepared

Recessions are like natural disasters: They’re inevitable, but smart preparation may reduce the impact on you.

The U.S. economy has grown steadily since emerging from the “Great Recession” in June 2009, but expansions can’t continue forever, and this one is already the second-longest on record. Only the expansion from March 1991 to March 2001 lasted longer.

Recessions occur when growth stops and the economy starts to shrink. They vary in severity and length, but often jobs disappear, incomes decline and lenders make it harder to qualify for credit.

Knowing what may be coming can help you fortify your finances to withstand a possible slowdown. In my latest for the Associated Press, some steps to consider.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Summer is the perfect time for a financial checkup. Also in the news: Why your parents’ money guru may not be right for you, how to get ready for the next recession now, and what you don’t know – but should know – about how your financial advisor is paid.

Summer Is the Perfect Time for a Financial Checkup
A great time to get back on track.

Your Parents’ Money Guru May Not Be Right for You
Your goals may be different.

How to Get Ready for the Next Recession Now
Preparing for the worst.

What you don’t know – but should – about how your financial advisor is paid
Beware of conflicts of interest.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Ace back-to-school shopping with six smart moves. Also in the news: How to prepare for the next recession, how a remodeling project changes your property tax bill and adding more cash investments to your portfolio.

Ace Back-to-School Shopping With 6 Smart Moves
Avoiding the splurge trap.

How to Get Ready for the Next Recession Now
Making your finances recession-proof.

How a Remodeling Project Changes Your Property Tax Bill
Upgrades mean an uptick in home value.

Interest rates are going up. Is it time for more cash investments in your portfolio?
The appeal of cash investments is growing.

Are you falling behind?

siblingsMore than half of Americans—56 percent—say they’re falling behind financially, according to a new national survey by the Pew Research Center.

That’s not surprising, given that a recent Census Bureau study concluded that most Americans are worse off financially than they were before the recession, despite gains in the stock market and home prices.

Which is why Donna Freedman’s latest piece for Get Rich Slowly, “Why I voluntarily slashed my salary,” is a timely read.

Like the rest of us who wrote for MSN Money, Donna faced a big drop in income when the site pulled the plug on original content. Rather than try to recoup what she’d lost, though, Donna made a conscious decision to live on a lot less.

Donna’s situation is Donna’s. Yours is probably quite different. But I’m always inspired reading what she has to say about the benefits of a more frugal, conscious life.

That doesn’t mean I think that status quo is okay. The ever-widening gap between rich and poor is not okay. The huge debts young people take on to get educated is not okay.  The fact that most people’s finances can be seriously and permanently upended–by a layoff, a divorce, a death in the family–is not okay.

It’s also not okay to keep blaming individuals for what are clearly huge economic trends. Overspending on credit cards did not trigger the Great Recession.

But if you’re living with less, Job One is figuring out how to make that work, at least for now. Job Two may be pushing for change.

 

Do you feel richer yet?

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailWe’re richer than we were before the recession, according to a new report by the Federal Reserve. The net worth of U.S. households and nonprofit organizations is now a record $80.7 trillion, 14% higher than last year. The previous peak in 2007 was $76.59 trillion in today’s dollars.

If you don’t feel wealthier, though, you’re not alone. Most of the gains went to the country’s richest households, and older people saw bigger wealth increases than younger people. That doesn’t bode well for consumer spending, economists said, since younger and less wealthy households are more likely to spend their gains. An article in today’s Wall Street Journal includes this quote:

“Wealth inequality…has increased over time,” said William Emmons, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. “So, there seems to be a disconnect: There are big wealth gains, but not much follow-through on consumer spending.”

Another study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that the average family headed by someone under 40 has recovered only about a third of the net worth lost during the financial crisis and recession, while the average wealth of middle-aged and older families is about where it was prior to the crisis.