While retirement may be the last thing on your mind at this stage in your career, others are planning right now for a major life change as this new and highly-anticipated phase of life is just around the corner. No matter where you are in the process, thinking about and planning for retirement is a smart move, as it is something that ought to be well-prepared for… and the earlier, the better.
Money, safety, and overall happiness are all top of mind when it comes to being able to retire meaningfully and comfortably, and that is why the personal finance website, WalletHub has recently released an in-depth study covering 2018's Best & Worst States to Retire.
All 50 states were compared in terms of "retirement-friendliness" by WalletHub's team of experts. Affordability, health care, and quality of life were evaluated and broken down further into 41 relevant metrics including topics such as cost of living, cost of in-home services, taxpayer ranking, percentage of workforce aged 65+, number of museums per capita, number of theaters per capita, percentage of population aged 65+, life expectancy, property crime rate, weather, quality of public hospitals, and so on and so forth.
Before you make retirement plans, check out the 10 best states to retire:
And which states are not as rad for retirees? Here are the 10 worst:
Head down south to the "Sunshine State" to spend your golden years among other satisfied retirees enjoying the good life. As per WalletHub, "Florida has the highest share of the population aged 65 and older, 19.1 percent, which is two times higher than in Alaska, where it is lowest at 9.4 percent." Great weather and a well-deserved relaxing and fulfilling quality of life brings folks to Florida to live out their retirement years among peers who have put in many years of hard work and now wish to bask in the rays of the warm Florida sun.
Is retirement something you would rather get moving on sooner than later? Perhaps you have the option and ability to retire early but you are not sure it is the right move at this stage in your life. Here are three perks of retiring early to consider before you hand in that resignation slip and call it quits.
For further in-depth information about this retirement-based WalletHub study and deeper insight into their unique methodology as well as the full 50-state ranking, see the entire 2018 report.
Happy retirement, when-and wherever it may be!
When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.
Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.
With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.