The Investing Game

Investing_Game

A new online game from investment manager Fidelity aims to introduce investing novices to the tricky world of asset allocation, and to teach them the basics of investing.

The game, called “Beat the Benchmark”, challenges players allocate assets in various ways, in an effort to outperform a benchmark that is randomly chosen by the game. Continue Reading…

Making College a Bit Less Expensive

Avoid_College_FeesA new guide has been released that promises to help students avoid paying certain fees when applying for college. It won’t do anything about the massive tuition bill but, hey, every little bit helps.

The guide, from online book condenser 60second Recap, is billed as a step-by-step guide to obtaining college application fee waivers. Continue Reading…

Winter-Proofing Your Home

Surviving_WinterWith the venerable Farmer’s Almanac predicting a particularly cold winter this year the Insurance Information Institute wants you to know how to protect your home from ice and snow.

The Institute cites Munich Re statistics showing that winter storms caused $38 million in insured losses in 2012. They also cite an ISO study of winter storms occurring from 1992 to 2011, resulting in around $28 billion in insured catastrophe losses. Continue Reading…

Achieving a Stress Free Retirement, the Tools for Success

iStock_000016634442SmallLast time we covered when you should start thinking about saving for retirement, some statistics that prove starting early will pay huge dividends, and some factors to consider when making your contributions.  Today we’re going to look at some financial tools to help you stay on top of your budget on a daily basis.

It IS 2013 after all, and the Internet is an amazing resource, with a multitude of financial tools that have sprung up, many of which offer a free version.  Some of these tools are a great way to help keep your finances organized and guide you in making wise financial decisions. Continue Reading…

Many Americans Do Not Understand Obamacare

Obamacare

Info on Healthcare Law Not Reaching Many Americans

The results of a new survey indicate that information about what the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is not reaching many Americans.

According to financial information site Bankrate, 47% of the uninsured Americans the firm surveyed do not know where to get information on how the Affordable Care Act will affect them.

Bankrate’s survey found that the opening of the ACA exchanges has raised curiosity about the law among 64% of those responding, so it’s vital that a better job be done in getting the information out.

It’s no secret that the government’s HealthCare.gov website has had massive problems during its rollout. While that site includes a lot of basic information about how the new law works, it thus far has not been reliable in terms of uptime and functionality. Fortunately there are other sources of basic information about how the ACA works:

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Achieving a Stress Free Retirement, the basics

Happy Senior Couple on the Bow of a Sail BoatWhen should you start planning and saving for retirement?  Truthfully there is no exact answer to this question, but believe it or not, it’s a good time to start when you land your first job out of college.  Developing good spending and saving habits, and learning to budget and invest while you’re young will help you avoid unnecessary debt and reap the rewards in your financial future.  It’s kind of like brushing your teeth… you start young brushing your baby teeth so that when you’re older you’ve developed good habits for your adult teeth. This way your teeth won’t all FALL OUT and you won’t be living on the street when you’re 75!

You’re never too young to start saving, but keep in mind that as you age, the cost of saving increases with each passing year.  According to Money Magazine’s “Ultimate Guide to Retirement”, a 25 year old who sets aside $3,000 per year for 10 years and never contributes another dime will have more than $472,000 at retirement (assuming an 8% return)!! A person who doesn’t start contributing until the age of 35 who sets aside $3,000 a year for 30 years will only have that money grow to about $367,000. In a nutshell, Saving for only 10 years when you’re 25 will get you MORE than saving for 30 years if you start just 10 years later! WOW! The benefits of starting young are clear, but you’re never too old to start!

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Is Home Swapping Right for You?

iStock_000026062262SmallMore people are choosing the option of home swapping these days as an alternative to the traditional vacation ritual of booking a hotel, according to one of the firms that arranges these short-term relationships.

Los Angeles-based HomeExchange say they’ve experienced a 13% jump in summer travel for 2013 vs. 2012, and are on track to post 16% year-end annual growth. The company predicts their members will complete 75,000 home exchanges by the end of 2013. They completed 70,000 last year. Continue Reading…