Decisions

The HSA “testing period”: The Sophie’s Choice of health care costs

Last time, I talked about the maximum contribution you can make to a Health Savings Account (HSA) each year. Contribute any more, and you pay a steep penalty. We don’t want to do that, but we do want to contribute the maximum we can. After all, this is pre-tax money, so it goes a lot … Continue reading »

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How much can you contribute to an HSA?

I have a pretty uninspiring health care plan. I guess you don’t appreciate what you have until you no longer have it. My previous job had excellent health care. Both medical and dental were top notch and cost next to nothing. I had a fair copay and almost never needed to pay beyond it. These days, instead … Continue reading »

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Remember who you’re doing it for

We talk so much about getting on track with your finances, making progress, breaking old behaviors and forming new patterns. We know why we’re doing it, usually. For me, I believe we’re doing all this so that we can feel better. There is a sense of peace that comes with financial security. For me, it’s … Continue reading »

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Getting rid of PMI (part 4): Hard work vs. a risky shortcut

Part of a series: Getting rid of PMI (part 1): The P stands for “parasite” Getting rid of PMI (part 2): The M stands for “misdirection” Getting rid of PMI (part 3): The I stands for “I already told you” Getting rid of PMI (part 4): Hard work versus a risky shortcut So I finally … Continue reading »

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6 example ways to invest your 15%

Save 15% for retirement. You’ve heard it all before. And now you know how you determine how to determine which investment vehicles comprise that 15%. But with so many different options and scenarios, it’s easy to get lost. So here are six, real-enough examples showing common cases, and a suggested way to divide up that … Continue reading »

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Getting to 15%: How to determine the best investment vehicles

I believe that the optimal target when saving for retirement is to put away 15% of your income. Potentially more, but certainly not less. Here’s why. Getting to the point where you’re ready to put down 15% is hard. You don’t want to do it when you have debt, because you’d be better off putting … Continue reading »

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Affiliate mania, problem companies, and bling: Notes from the exhibition hall at FinCon 2017

After a while, you realize that conferences tend to have a lot of the same characteristics. They tend to have: Cavernous breakout rooms with uncomfortable chairs and a water pitcher by the door A wheeled table with coffee and tea that shows up and disappears at odd times Large plenary sessions and smaller breakout sessions … Continue reading »

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My goals for FinCon 2017

It’s hard to believe, but FinCon 2017 is already here. Wasn’t it just recently that I mentioned how I had bought a ticket for the conference? No, actually that was last December. FinCon is a gathering for those in the financial media space. I’d say it’s “a conference for money bloggers”, and indeed it used … Continue reading »

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The three questions to ask yourself before you gamble (on anything)

(Note from after this post was written: Oy, what terrible timing to write about Las Vegas. My heart breaks for everyone affected by the horrors that transpired there this past week. There may not be any justice or sense in what happened, but let’s at least take a moment to be grateful for everyone special … Continue reading »

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Maybe don’t freeze your credit just yet

Since the Equifax dumpster fire breach, I’m still on the fence about freezing my credit. Perhaps this is surprising. After all, now that my information, along with 143 million others, has likely been taken by who-knows-who for who-knows-what purpose, it might seem like an obvious move to try to restrict what can be done with … Continue reading »

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