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Month: May 2016

A Lesson on Renewing Student Loan Payments

A Lesson on Renewing Student Loan Payments

While there have been some snafus over the past month on my debt freedom journey it looks like I will be able to pay that debt off within the next couple of months. That basically leaves two major debts left: my student loans and my mortgage. The mortgage is something that I won’t be able to pay off in the next year or so (I wish) and I am currently on the debt forgiveness program for student loans.  My conundrum…

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Financial Tip Friday: Watch Out for Mutual Fund Fees

Financial Tip Friday: Watch Out for Mutual Fund Fees

Over the past 90 years and even going back further than that the stock market has gained an average of about 11.5% per year, depending on what date you start at. Of course this is not a straight projection. We have years when the market goes down by 30% and some when it goes up by more, but on average it is about 11%. You could argue that we have been in a golden age of stock growth for that…

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Changes to My Investments

Changes to My Investments

A few months ago I revealed what investments were in my retirement accounts. Those investments consisted of the Fidelity Contrafund, Vanguard Midcap Index Fund, Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund, Fidelity Balance Fund, Fidelity Growth Fund, Fidelity Spartan Index, and Dodge and Cox International Fund. The first four funds are choices in my 401k plan, the next two funds are in my 403b fund, and the final one is in my Roth IRA. I recently decided to simplify my investments even…

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Curtailing My Money Obsession

Curtailing My Money Obsession

I have been writing this blog for just under two years now. I have written posts on how I have tried to reduce debt, advice on investing, buying a home, etc. I think it is safe to say that I am passionate about personal finance. However, like any passion I think I might have gone overboard a little bit. I find myself spending my days thinking about the best ways to pay off my debt or to invest. I consistently…

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Advice to New College Graduates

Advice to New College Graduates

Yesterday I attended our commencement ceremonies. I was fortunate to be one of the commencement readers and got to say the names of my students as they walked across the stage. The end of the semester and commencement are always very sad times for me. Not only because I will miss the students in my classes, but it is the realization that I may never see many of my favorite people again. After four to five years of getting to…

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Financial Tip Friday: How Much House Do You Need?

Financial Tip Friday: How Much House Do You Need?

I was recently talking with a colleague of mine who is looking to buy a house. He has been approved for a loan that is literally five times his income. There are a number of rules of thumb for buying a home, but typically five times your income is out-of-bounds even with a great down payment. One of the other things we were discussing is the size of house that he needed. It is only he, his wife, and their…

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Keeping the Financial Wolves at Bay

Keeping the Financial Wolves at Bay

On Monday I wrote about a post regarding Neal Gabler about the “Shame of the Middle Class.” Mr. Gabler correctly diagnosed how the middle-class would struggle with even a $400 emergency. A part of that article was keeping the financial wolves at bay. Part of the insecurity of the middle-class is not only wages and an emergency, but nowadays most people have two parents working or a parent working two jobs. What if you lose one of those jobs? What…

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The Shame of the Middle Class

The Shame of the Middle Class

A couple of weeks ago, writer Neal Gabler wrote a piece in the Atlantic entitled, “The Shame of Middle Class Americans.” Mr. Gabler’s piece brought him a bit of media attention and he proceeded to do interviews in various media outlets including an hour-long discussion on Tom Ashbrook’s On Point program (one of my favorite news programs). Mr. Gabler, who is a fairly successful biographer and media personality, discussed how the middle class in America would find it difficult, including…

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Financial Tip Friday: Investing is NOT Gambling

Financial Tip Friday: Investing is NOT Gambling

One of the things that frustrates me to no end are people who comment on articles without having some kind of knowledge of the subject at hand. They discuss nothing  but conspiracy theories or believe that the world is out to get them or that things couldn’t be possibly true when they are. The worst kind of comments are those who engage in personal insults by talking about someone’s race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class or the like. Unfortunately,…

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Personal Finance Bucket List

Personal Finance Bucket List

I am sure that a lot of us can be reflective on our lives at one time or another. And when we reflect I am sure we think about the good and bad things that have happened in our lives. More importantly, I hope that we reflect to figure out what we want to do in the future. Call it a bucket list, call it goals, call it whatever. I know that I have lots of personal goals that don’t…

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