Until last year, Social Security sent taxpayers an annual personalized statement showing a complete record of their taxable earnings as well as estimated retirement, disability and survivor benefits based on those earnings. Unfortunately, budget constraints brought put an end to those yearly mailings.
College costs are out of control. Total outstanding student loans hover around $1 trillion, second only to home mortgages. Student loan repayment takes a hefty toll on starting salaries even during good economic times. But with so many recent graduates unable to find a decent job – or any job – repayment can be a nightmare.
If you’ve got teenagers heading off to college soon, I hope you’ve done a good job educating them about the importance of personal financial responsibility and how to build a strong credit history. If not, better do it now.
My wife and I survived two major home remodeling projects and we’ve got the battle scars to prove it. Like most people feeling cramped for space – thanks to two growing children in our case – we weighed the pluses and minuses of remodeling versus moving to a larger home. Because we live in a great neighborhood with strong local schools, we ultimately decided to stay put and remodel, but everyone’s case is different.
Ever since Individual Retirement Accounts were introduced in the 1970s, the numbers of tax-advantaged retirement savings options – and participants – have continued to grow. One relatively new alternative that’s gaining popularity is the Roth 401(k) plan.