Radical Finances

Can you do a partial rollover of a retirement plan?

So I made the decision to rollover my retirement account from TIAA(-CREF) to an IRA. I had done a transfer of a Roth IRA from Scottrade recently, and the process was seamless. I had also, a few years before, converted a 401(k) I had with Vanguard into a Traditional IRA. The decision to rollover my 403(b) … Continue reading »

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How to know when it’s time to rollover your old retirement plan

A little over a decade ago, I had a job with a university. I participated in their retirement plan, a 403(b) plan with TIAA-CREF (now TIAA). I still have this account. As I moved to a different job, I started a retirement plan there, but my TIAA retirement account stayed put, which was intentional. Chances … Continue reading »

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How to calculate just how bad a deal a payday loan is

I love local newspapers. There’s just something you can learn about a place from a local newspaper that no wandering or even research will tell you. But it’s the advertisements that often are the most interesting. I was recently in Vancouver, Canada, and while I was there I picked up a “24 hrs” newspaper, which … Continue reading »

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Four ill-advised reasons to refinance your mortgage

So there are definitely some reasons where refinancing a mortgage could be a good move. Rates too high? Terms no good? Not going to be moving for a while? It could make a lot of sense, and save you money. But there are equally a lot of ill-advised reasons to look into mortgage refinancing. If … Continue reading »

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Is it time for me to refinance? My mortgage origination company thinks so

I closed on my home almost two years ago. And while I made the terms a little longer than I needed to, my plan currently is to pay it off as if it were a 15 year mortgage. As I’ve written about before, my most pressing task is removing Private Mortgage Insurance, which I need … Continue reading »

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What’s a mortgage refinance?

You might think that the life cycle of owning a home is that you buy something, get a mortgage, pay off mortgage, and then live happily ever after. But this omits the fun world of mortgage refinance. Because it was so fun to go through the process of getting a mortgage once, you can go … Continue reading »

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What about Bitcoin?

A few years ago, the online dating site OkCupid added a new payment option. It said: “Civilization Collapsed? Pay with Bitcoin” This was the first time that I saw Bitcoin being taken (somewhat) seriously as a payment method. Bitcoin is a sprawling topic, and I won’t even begin to do it justice here. I think the … Continue reading »

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What about gold?

I love talking about investing. A slow and steady plan that can enable almost anyone to ensure a comfortable future for themselves and their loved ones? Yes please, sign me up. When I talk about investing, I speak exclusively of mutual funds, enclosed in an IRA or 401(k) (or equivalent). There are other ways to invest … Continue reading »

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Why is the budget monthly?

Our system of budgeting is pretty arbitrary. I recommend that everyone make a spending plan based on the calendar month. Twelve months a year: twelve plans a year. Could we do things another way? And are any of them better?

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The arbitrary nature of a month, or does it really matter when you spend?

Last month was a little challenging for me, money-wise. While every month I separate my allotted spending money into categories ($300 for Groceries, $60 for Transportation, etc.), it’s really just a best guess. The month had a number of expenses (in my Fun/Misc category especially) such that, by mid-month, I was effectively done with that … Continue reading »

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