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Financial Tips 2018: How to get ahead on taxes, savings and insurance

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It's 2018 and now’s the time to get your finances in order.
To help you and your family make all the right money moves next year, here’s a financial game plan that could help you grow your 401(k), avoid financial ruin and adjust to the new tax rules signed into law by President Trump.
Just as a New Year’s resolution to get fit can fail if you don’t hit the gym, getting ahead financially is tough if you don’t set up a plan and stick to it, says Dana Anspach, founder and CEO of Sensible Money, a wealth management firm in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Doing an annual financial check-up, she stresses, is only worthwhile if you use it as a jumping off point to “build good habits.”
“It’s figuring out the baby steps you can take that moves you and your money in the right direction,” Anspach says. “Every family should put together a playbook for the year.”
Here are steps to take to get you on the road to financial success.
Start with the Basics
Insurance isn’t sexy. In fact, it’s boring. It’s viewed b…

Do not be oversmart with your money

In trying to be smart with our money, sometimes we damage our long-term financial future. Here are some such common mistakes, and how to go about avoiding them. 
We all intend to do the right thing with our money but sometimes our decisions and actions harm, rather than benefit, our financial situation. Typically this happens when you are in a hurry, or have not thought it through or not tailored a financial action to your specific situation. Here are some common situations where the end result may not be what you wanted, if you don’t take the trouble to do it right. 
A budget too tight
You decide to streamline income and expenses to increase savings. But you overdo things and create a budget that may be designed to fail. The typical errors are to overlook tracking the expenses for a few months, so that you don’t know where you spend and don’t know your level of expense for each category of expense. Without this information, you could fail to allocate adequate resources for your expen…

Want to retire early? Here's a plan

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Ready to quit your day job? There's a trend among some personal finance gurus called FI/RE -- financially independent/retiring early. It means being able to reach a point where you have assets (investment accounts or rental property) that earn enough income to cover all of your expenses. In other words, you're rich enough to quit. 
But for most people, getting to financial independence means making some big sacrifices and getting very creative with their spending habits.
How to achieve financial independence
It comes down to how you save, spend and invest. Maximize your saving -- many of these people figured out how to save 50 percent of their incomes or more, sometimes by purchasing multifamily homes and taking on enough tenants to make an income. 
But the spending side is key as well. The author of the website 1500 days, Carl J. set a goal for himself to bring his assets to $1 million in that amount of time. On his site, he details the step he took to reach his goal: Being f…

13 tips to help save money if you live in London, from a financial expert

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Because ‘savings’ and ‘London’ rarely ever feature in the same sentence
It’s no secret that London is home to some of the highest living costs in the world.
The median annual salary for London is £34,473, but there are many people – especially young people – living on well below this.
After rent and bills are paid, the remainders of pay packets go to food and necessities – so how are we meant to save for that big holiday or to get out feet firmly on the property ladder?
In light of Financial Capability Week this week we spoke to Andrew Johnson, Advice Manager at Money Advice Service who has revealed his 13 top tips for saving when you live in London.
1. Loose change adds up
By the end of the week, many of us have a few coins left over in pockets and purses – and even down the back of the sofa. Gather up these odd coins each week and put them in a jar. Even just a £1 a week in loose change will give you a cushion of over £50 by the end of the year. Looking after the pennies really can …

5 Big Retirement Money Mistakes to Avoid

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It’s never too late to start getting smart about money.
Maybe you’ve made it this far with few problems … you’ve done pretty well all alone just by winging it. Good for you.
But retirement planning isn’t about the past 30 years of your life — it’s about the next 30. And that’s harder. There are decisions you can’t undo, and mistakes are tougher to recover from when you don’t have a paycheck to back you up.
Here are five big money mistakes people make every day that a comprehensive retirement plan can help you avoid:
Written by Bill Smith, the host of the television and radio show "Retirement Solutions." Author of "Knock Out Your Retirement Income Worries Forever." He is the CEO of W.A. Smith Financial Group and Great Lakes Retirement Inc. His firms specialize in retirement income planning, wealth management, wealth preservation and estate planning.
Big Mistake No. 1: Choosing your retirement date based on age alone.
People often decide to retire at a certain age be…

Want to retire wealthy? Start with your 'money personality'

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For those seeking ways to build wealth (or just to get rich quick), there’s no shortage of advice out there.
Personal finance sites abound online, and self-styled radio talk show experts dispense wisdom with varying degrees of accuracy.
But one study found that your fundamental attitudes about money can be a predictor of your ability to accumulate wealth.
The study, published in the Journal of Financial Planning, looked at the correlation between certain behaviors and four “money scripts” — or, put another way, four money personalities.
And, spoiler alert: Only one of the four money scripts is particularly conducive to getting wealthy.
But Tom Murphy, a certified financial planner and CEO of Murphy and Sylvest, said the good news is, like anything, once you recognize that you look at money a certain way, you can take steps to change.
“Recognizing why you are doing what you’re doing is strongly correlated with changing it,” he said. “Lots of times, once people understand their money p…

Three Tips New Investors Must See

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When I first started investing, I had many questions. Fortunately, I had helpful and experienced investors around me who were able to guide me through my first steps as a stock market investor. However, others may not be so fortunate and may, as a result, be put off from investing due to fears of making a mistake.
Because of this, I thought I would answer three common questions that new investors might have.
How much should I invest in my first stock?
This may be the first question that many new investors might have. In reality, there is no simple answer to this question. It depends on a multitude of factors such as your risk appetite, portfolio size, and investment strategy.
Having said that, I believe that all investors should still follow a few rules of thumb before making a decision on this.
First, our investment size should be large enough such that the commission charges do not exceed 1%.
For instance, investors should try not to make a transaction below $1000 while using broker…