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Month: April 2017

Parents: 10 Things to Consider Before Taking Out PLUS Student Loans

Parents: 10 Things to Consider Before Taking Out PLUS Student Loans

One of the great or perhaps unfortunate things about my commute is that I get to tune in for some full-length NPR programming. I especially love Tom Ashbrook’s show On Point. In fact, he seems to be inspiring a lot of blog posts lately. Anyway, I was listening to a recent segment on a growing segment of student loans that is becoming more worrisome. Specifically, parents who are taking out loans to pay for their children’s higher education. I won’t…

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Are You Feeling Job Locked?

Are You Feeling Job Locked?

Do you ever get to a point in your career or your job that you feel like you are locked into it? You feel like you cannot leave, but you want may want to for a variety of reasons. I am not necessarily talking about myself, but I have had conversations with friends that as we get older we might want to do other things with our lives and/or we feel like we can’t do so because of the money/stability…

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Nationalism vs. Globalism–The Movie

Nationalism vs. Globalism–The Movie

I hope you will forgive me for not writing about personal finance today, although this post does certainly impact the global financial markets and our individual portfolios. When I started this blog about 2 1/2 years ago I did say that I would be tracking my personal finance progress, offer articles about tips regarding personal finance, and I would throw in a political blog post every now and then. For the most part, 99% of my posts have been about…

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More House Repairs

More House Repairs

In earlier posts I alluded to some home repairs that need to be done. Over the past two years, we have done small things to our house. We have replaced our dishwasher, refrigerator, dryer, remediated mold from a water leak, and added insulation. Plus, we bought all new furniture for the house, refinanced our mortgage, and tried to figure out our future house repairs will be. Our latest home repair is something we have been talking about for a while and…

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How To Protect Your Portfolio From a Big Stock Market Decline

How To Protect Your Portfolio From a Big Stock Market Decline

  Reader Note: From time to time this blog will post guest posts. Today I have a great post from Troy over at Market History. You can obtain more sage wisdom over at his blog. Markets adhere to cycles because the stock market is ultimately tied to the state of the economy. Economic expansions and contractions have cycles as well. Economic expansions in the U.S. have historically lasted 5-10 years. We are currently in year 8 in this economic expansion….

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Using a HELOC as an Emergency Fund

Using a HELOC as an Emergency Fund

I have come to somewhat of an epiphany/understanding of my monetary self over the past few weeks. Part of this revelation was due to some recent financial trouble that we have had. That trouble stemmed from unexpected expenses that caused me, for the first time, in over 18 months to carry forward a balance on the rewards credit card that I use. In my past I have racked up credit card. Sometimes lots of it. I think right before I…

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Our/Your Savings Rate

Our/Your Savings Rate

  One of the things that financial planners and professionals constantly complain about is the low savings rates among Americans. The average saving rate in the United States is 5.7%, which is woefully under the 10-15% that people recommend you save for retirement/other things. In the ROB household, we are saving about 20-25% for retirement and I hope to kick that number up even further. However, is the 5.7% really the savings rate in America? How should we calculate it?…

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Renting vs. Buying a House–The Intangible Reasons

Renting vs. Buying a House–The Intangible Reasons

A couple of days ago I was listening to a great hour of radio from Tom Ashbrook’s On Point show on NPR. The subject was the hot housing market and the potential affordability of houses in a variety of housing markets across the country. The basic gist of the program: home affordability is getting harder and harder. There are a number of reasons as to why it is getting harder to buy a home. Part of that reason is certainly…

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Loan Forgiveness Storm Clouds?

Loan Forgiveness Storm Clouds?

Over the past few days I have been at a conference in Boston. And while I was performing my administrative duties I had a number of people send me the New York Times article that appeared on March 30. In essence, the article exposed a potential problem for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, a subject I wrote two posts on this week (here and here). The potential problem is that when people submit their employment certification forms apparently the government…

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