If you’ve ever played the Game of Life board game, it becomes clear that compressed into the colorful path there are various stages of life. Each stage holds its own major financial challenges as well as prospective profits in addition to surprises (new baby!) and forks in the road.
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When people warn you that having kids is expensive, it’s no joke. From diapers to food, braces to sports activities the costs add up quick. For a middle-income family in the U.S. raising a child up until age 18, costs an estimated average of $245,340 (or $304,480, adjusted for projected inflation), according to the 2013 “Cost of Raising a Child” report from the U.S.
Ask anyone and even if they don’t know a thing about investing they’ll say, “oh, real estate is a great investment!” Well, it can be if you approach it in a smart way that works for you and your financial situation.
Think back to those early days in life when it seemed like everything in the candy aisle was free if you begged your parents hard enough. Not a fleeting thought was given to the expenses of a vacation or the copay costs at the doctor. There’s something beautifully unburdened in the way which children experience the world: recklessly present and innocently ambivalent.
Now that the ball has dropped on New Year’s Eve, we've dug up our hopes and dreams and made some resolutions. Getting back in the gym, losing weight, and eating clean, are usually at the top of the list, but what about your finances? The health of your accounts, spending habits, and investments are just as important to evaluate.
Here’s a thought: retirement doesn’t mean the end. It doesn’t mean an end of self-importance or purpose, it just means a new chapter—a paradigm shift of what life is beyond long days and meetings and bosses. Unless you own your own business, and even then, you are not your business.
Life is full of risks, and people make decisions everyday that require weighing those risks against their ability to protect themselves using their own resources or by transferring the risk to an insurance company. Most people realize that they couldn’t afford to rebuild a damaged home or buy a new car without insurance.
Answer this riddle: what’s the one thing that will eventually happen to everyone, but generally, no one wants to discuss? Death is a subject that immediately conjures up all sorts of emotions because, let’s be honest, the absence of being IS emotional. But, death is also cause for practicality.
Let’s state up front that you don’t need a credit monitoring service to stay on top of your credit status. For people who are diligent and deliberate in monitoring their own credit, they can do so by accessing a free credit report from each of the credit bureaus once per year.