It probably doesn’t show up on your calendar, but May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month. And you might agree that such a month is useful, when you consider the following:
Our family bought a sofa a couple of years ago. It was a frustrating experience. I won’t go into it other than to say when my wife and I finally agreed on one, I thought a burden had been lifted. Then the salesman forces another decision: “So which protection plan do you want?”
Another school year is drawing to a close — so if you have young children, they’re one year closer to the day when they head off to college. And both you and your children need to prepare for that day. Your kids can do so by developing good study habits. As for you, it’s never too soon to start preparing for the high costs of higher education.
The city of Phoenix and Arizona State University announced that Sun Devil baseball will begin playing at Phoenix Municipal Stadium at the start of the 2015 season.
If you work for an employer who offers a benefits package that includes life insurance and disability income insurance, consider yourself fortunate. But you can’t necessarily consider yourself fully protected. And if you don’t have appropriate life and disability insurance, your long-term financial goals could be at risk.
Here’s a sobering statistic: 46 percent of workers surveyed had little or no confidence that they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement years, according to the 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey, issued by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. So you may want to explore all possible retirement savings vehicles —including a variable annuity.
If you’re just a casual swimmer, you probably don’t have to adjust your diet before jumping in. But that’s not the case with competitive swimmers, who must constantly watch what they eat and drink. You can learn a lot from swimmers’ consumption patterns — particularly if you’re an investor.
You’re probably accustomed to measuring the progress of your investments, and the overall condition of the investment world, by checking on indexes such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500. And since these types of benchmarks focus almost exclusively on American companies, you might get the idea that the best investments are located right here in the United States. But that impression would be false — because there is, literally, a world of investment opportunities beyond the U.S. borders.
As an investor, you want your money to grow so that you can achieve your important goals, such as a comfortable retirement or college for your children. But you may also invest to increase your cash flow. In fact, without a strong cash flow, you may be forced to dip into your growth-oriented investments to pay for short-term needs — and if you do this repeatedly, you could damage your prospects for attaining your long-term goals. That’s why you’ll want to look at different ways of boosting your cash flow — one of which may be premium bonds.
You probably aren’t too worried about it, but April is Stress Awareness Month. Each year, the Health Resource Network sponsors this “month” to inform people about the dangers of stress and to share successful coping strategies. Obviously, it’s important to reduce stress in all walks of life — including your investment activities. How can you cut down on the various stresses associated with investing?
Next week, we observe Earth Day. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day has grown into an international movement whose goal is to raise awareness of the need to take action to sustain a healthy, sustainable environment. You can do your part through recycling and other measures, but you can also apply some of the lessons of Earth Day to your financial situation — and, in particular, to your approach to investing.
Life is full of ups and downs — and the financial markets are no different. As an investor, you’re no doubt happy to see the “ups” — but the “downs” can seem like a real downer. Isn’t there any way to help smooth out the volatility in your investment portfolio?
Spring is in the air. And if you’re like many people, you may be looking forward to doing some spring cleaning around your house and yard. But this year, why not go beyond your physical environment and do some “sprucing up” of your financial situation?
If you own a business, you may well follow a “do it now” philosophy — which is, of course, necessary to keep things running smoothly. Still, you also need to think about tomorrow — which means you’ll want to take action on your own retirement and business succession plans.
If you’re a “Gen-Xer,” born between 1965 and 1980, you’ve still got many years to go until you retire. At this stage of your life, what can you do to help build resources for the retirement lifestyle you’ve envisioned?
For the first time since 2008, contribution limits have risen for one of the most popular retirement savings vehicles available: the IRA. This means you’ve got a greater opportunity to put more money away for your “golden years.”
Not everyone gets one, but it’s always a welcome sight — a tax refund. If you receive a refund this year, how can you best put it to work?
When you invest in stocks, you want their price to go up. But of course, you can’t control the rise and fall of stock prices. However, there is a key element of investing that you can control — the number of shares you own. And in the long run, share ownership may be more important than rising stock prices in determining your long-term investment success.
As you know, the U.S. Congress has adopted some measures to help avoid the much-feared “fiscal cliff.” At this point, important spending decisions have been put off, but new tax laws are in place — and, as an investor, you’ll want to know just how this legislation will affect you.
Now that tax season is here, and the debate over tax rates has been resolved (at least for now), you can focus on your tax return, which is due on April 15. As you work on your return, you may see some areas in which you’d like to make some changes for 2013 and beyond — and one of these areas may be your investments. Specifically, can you find ways to become a more “tax-smart” investor?
© Copyright 2011, Ahwatukee Foothills News, Phoenix, AZ