Archive for Jeff Rose

10 ways to become financially sexier

One example is a blog post written by Shannon of Financially Blonde. According to Shannon, a good credit score and a savings rate of at least 15 percent are the biggest indicators of a financially sexy person.
When it comes to the qualities it takes to become “financially sexy,” several personal finance bloggers have already weighed in.

J. Money from Budgets are Sexy wrote a post on the topic as well, citing good credit, a solid savings rate above 15 percent, an emergency fund, and very little debt as the top qualities of a super sexy, fiscally responsible person.

But I wanted to take things a few steps further. Being financially sexy is great and all, but why not become financially sexier?

10 Ways to Become Financially Sexier

In my eyes, financially sexier individuals are the ones who shoot for the stars when it comes to their finances. Not only do they take care of their credit and financial well-being, but they aim to retire early, fund exciting financial goals like paying for college or building a business, and even become filthy rich.

Financially sexier people don’t just have a solid job in an in-demand industry; they actually own the company. And instead of saving just 15 percent of their income, they might save 30 percent, 40 percent, or even 50 percent, and live on the rest.

Since financially sexier people come in all shapes and sizes, I reached out to several money bloggers and financial planners to get their take on the best ways to boost your appearance when it comes to looks and money.

Want to become financially sexier? Here are some ways to make it happen:

#1 Don’t Skimp On Life Insurance

“Sexy is purchasing life insurance to make sure your loved ones are taken care of in case you pass away,” says Joseph Carbone of Focus Planning Group. “Sexier, however, is purchasing 10 to 15 times your salary to protect them.”

According to a recent survey from Bankrate, 42 percent of families don’t have life insurance at all. Plus, nearly half of respondents who did carry life insurance reported having $100,000 or less in coverage. For most people, that is not nearly enough.

By buying enough life insurance to take care of your family in the event of your death, you’re covering your bases and helping your family sleep better at night. Can you think of anything sexier than that?

#2 Use Credit Wisely…and Earn Credit Card Rewards

“Sexy is paying off all your high-interest credit card debt and making sure your bills are paid in full every month,” says Andrew McFadden, CFP and Founder of Panoramic Financial Advice. After all, it’s never sexy to carry a balance on your credit card, and it’s not sexy at all to pay interest on your purchases.

“Even sexier, though, is paying your balance every month and maximizing the rewards of the credit card to furnish one of life’s pleasures,” says McFadden.

Using credit wisely …read more

Read more here: 10 ways to become financially sexier

Category: bonds, cloud, computers, data, dell, earnings, earnings season, healthcare, nasdaq, nyse, oil prices, stock market, stocks, utilities, wall street, csx, nj, jnj, tast, intc, jpm, fast, gs, bac, ge, lly, wfc, c, unh, emc, tri

6 Reasons You’re Failing At Saving Money


When it comes to your finances, positive affirmations, a willingness to learn, and a good attitude are a plus. However, none of these attributes will help you grow your bank account unless you back them up with some action.

To add to that, far too many people are plagued with bad financial habits as well. Whether it boils down to overspending, not being realistic, or not setting goals, it’s much easier to bury your head in the sand than to make an uncomfortable change.

6 Reasons You’re Not Saving Money

If you’re not saving money, the first question to answer is “why?” If you’re drawing a blank, here are six possible scenarios that might apply in your situation:

You’re wasting money haphazardly.

If you’re spending all you make or more each month, you should do your best to locate your “budget drains,” says Peter Huminski, President and Wealth Advisor at Thorium Wealth Management.

Wasteful spending can come in many different forms, and it’s not the same for each person. For someone, weekly stops at the local mall might be a problem. For another, it might be an addiction to pricey electronics and gadgets.

For a large percentage of people, however, it’s food spending that’s to blame for their money troubles. If you’re heading out to a restaurant for lunch each day, for example, you could literally be eating your savings away.

“Stop going to out to lunch at work and bring your own lunch,” says Huminski. “If you have a job that is conducive to bringing your own lunch, you can save over $50 per week. That is $2,600 per year. If you do it for 10 years you would have saved over $26,000 and you will be healthier as well.”

You don’t have any goals.

According to financial planner Joseph Carbone, Jr. of Focus Planning Group, not having goals hurts more than people realize. When it comes to retirement planning, for example, people often contribute enough to get their company’s 401(k) match to feel good, yet don’t have a clue if their retirement savings will be enough. And the same can be true for any of their other savings goals, whether it’s saving up the down payment for a house, saving for a new car, or simply building an emergency fund.

If you’re going to save towards a goal – and you should, Carbone suggests starting with the end in mind then working backwards. For example, after fiddling around with a retirement calculator and speaking with your financial advisor, you might figure you need $2 million dollars to retire. If you have thirty years left until you reach retirement age, you should determine how much you need to invest each month – and how much your investments need to earn along the way.

“If you don’t go through this simple task, you need not even bother to start working toward this kind of goal because you’re setting yourself up to fail,” says Carbone.

You’re not taking action.

Often times, people honestly …read more

Read more here: 6 Reasons You’re Failing At Saving Money

Category: saving

5 ways to not blow your unused airline miles

The complex nature of airline loyalty programs has left many consumers who sign up for their co-branded credit cards wanting for more. Not only have airline miles becoming increasingly harder to use these last few years, but award availability can sometimes be scarce. To add insult to injury, new fees and fuel surcharges are heaped onto what used to be “free travel” all the time.

Still, the best airline credit cards continue to offer excellent value for those willing to jump through all of the additional hoops and hurdles. The key to getting the most out of them is understanding how to work the system, and of course, picking the right card to begin with.

If you’re tired of stressing over your unused airline miles, it might be time to try a different card – or simply find a better way to work with what you’ve got. Here are five tips to help you do just that:

Save your airline miles for off-peak travel.

If you feel like award redemptions are overpriced and scarce, take a look at off-peak pricing and you’ll likely change your mind. Where holiday breaks and summer often come with higher prices for flights – even when you’re paying with points – off-peak and off-season travel generally costs a lot less.

Take the American AAdantage program, for example. Where a round-trip MileSAAver flight to Europe from the contiguous United States costs 60,000 miles during summer, it costs just 45,000 miles during their off-peak season, which is October 15th – May 15th.

By saving your airline miles for off-peak travel, you can stretch them a whole lot further and perhaps enjoy better award availability, too.

Consider a flexible travel credit card.

If you’re tired of navigating a single airline loyalty program or want as many options as possible, a flexible travel card might provide the options you want. With a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, for example, you can earn points that are transferrable to several airlines including Southwest, United, and British Airways to name a few.

If you don’t wind up finding the availability you need or don’t feel like messing with airline programs at all, you can also use your points to book travel with any airline through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Since the portal works a lot like, you just input your dates and choose the flight that works best for you with no regard for blackout dates or capacity controls.

Sign up for a card with no blackout dates or better availability from your home airport.

Speaking of blackout dates, some airline loyalty programs don’t have them. One that comes to mind specifically is the Southwest Rapid Rewards program.

If you have Southwest miles and find a seat on a plane, it’s yours. This is a huge perk if you need to book several seats on a single flight or don’t have a lot of flexibility in the time or date you fly.
Points earned from …read more

Read more here: 5 ways to not blow your unused airline miles

Category: bonds, cloud, computers, data, dell, earnings, earnings season, healthcare, nasdaq, nyse, oil prices, stock market, stocks, utilities, wall street, csx, nj, jnj, tast, intc, jpm, fast, gs, bac, ge, lly, wfc, c, unh, emc, tri

5 Daily Thoughts Designed to Boost Your Financial Success


Thoughts drive our behavior.

When you think about doing something, you’re obviously more likely to do it. Additionally, what you think about your life, your friends, your family, and your circumstances has a tremendous impact on your financial success.

What you tell yourself matters. Believe me, I know.

When I came back from serving overseas, things weren’t easy. I was telling myself things that I shouldn’t have been telling myself. These thoughts weighed on me, and they could have affected my financial success.

Thankfully, I soon learned the power of stepping back and looking at the thoughts that were running through my mind. Doing this allowed me to critically examine my thoughts, and replace them with better ones.

I’m sure you understand what I’m talking about. If not, you’re probably not human – no offense.

Today I’d like to share with you a few daily thoughts that can help you boost your financial success. Write them down on sticky notes and attach them to your computer monitor, your refrigerator, or anywhere else you visit frequently.

Ready for a mental boost? Let’s do this.

1. “My financial situation can change for the better.”

If you’re under the weight of crushing debt, have just gone through a nasty divorce in which you owe alimony, or lost your house to a fire without the support of insurance, it can be difficult to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

But remember, just because your financial situation looks bleak, that doesn’t mean it will always look like armageddon. Time and effort can change things.

If you sincerely believe that you’ll always be in debt, you’ll always never be able to afford the alimony, or you’ll always be renting and never own a house again, you’ll probably always be right.

Think about it. If you don’t believe your financial situation can change for the better, why would you take the steps necessary to change your financial situation? Boom. Mind blown.

Remember: If you feel fate will keep you muddy in the ditch, then muddy in the ditch you will remain.

Your financial situation can change for the better. You have to believe you can make a change in your life. If you struggle with the idea of making a change for yourself, grab onto the fact that your family and friends need your support. They are counting on you.

Join the Money Uprising Movement[TM] and find hope. It’s all about believing you can improve your financial situation and taking action. You can do this.

2. “I can have little and still be content.”

Materialism is spreading through our country like a virus. America, I feel, is thoroughly infected by it.

When will we ever learn to be content with our belongings? If you have just one flat screen television, that makes you a rich person, my friend.

But what if you don’t even have that? What if you have a few books on the shelf, clothes on your back, and a roof over your head? I’d argue you …read more

Read more here: 5 Daily Thoughts Designed to Boost Your Financial Success

Category: education, health, investing, lifestyle, Millennials, moving, relationships, work life balance

How to Protect Your Assets From a Stock Market Crash

By U.S. News...

A properly diversified portfolio can better withstand the whims of the stock market.

Imagine approaching retirement and watching your portfolio be cut in half. Maybe you don’t have to imagine, because it happened to you in 2008. While there are no surefire ways to avoid a stock market crash, there are some things you can do to reduce the likelihood that you will suffer the consequences of one in the future. Here’s how to protect your savings from a significant downturn in the financial markets.

1. Don’t invest in the stock market. The best way to avoid a crash isn’t to get involved in the stock market in the first place. However, you aren’t likely to get a decent return without putting at least some of your money into equities. And few people can save enough to retire comfortably without the help of compounding investment returns. However, there are some relatively safe ways to invest without losing your money to a crash.

2. Play it safe with money market accounts. While money market accounts typically don’t have a great return on investment, they can be a safe haven for your portfolio if you can’t afford to take much risk. The good news is that money market accounts will usually provide better returns than a certificate of deposit and are easy to set up online.

3. Get a guaranteed return with annuities. If you want to avoid stock market volatility, still make a return and are willing to hand over a chunk of cash to an insurance company, an annuity will provide fixed payments for a set period of time or even the rest of your life. I usually don’t recommend annuities, but sometimes fixed annuities can make sense. If you’re looking for guaranteed returns, and don’t want anything to do with the risk of the stock market, annuities might be a good option for you. For example, if you find a five-year fixed annuity paying 3 percent, at least you are able to offset inflation.

4. Get an insured high-yield savings account. There’s nothing like an old-fashioned savings account. In the United States, many savings accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or National Credit Union Administration up to $250,000. If you’re looking for the best protection for your money, this is it. There are some great high-yield online savings accounts with this protection. While you may not make as much money as in the stock market, at least your funds will be safe. It’s unfortunate that less volatile investment vehicles typically don’t have great returns, but it’s important to take advantage of accounts less prone to losses.

5. Invest with peer-to-peer lending websites. Peer-to-peer lending is a relatively new form of borrowing and lending where individuals lend money to each other for a profit. …read more

Read more here: How to Protect Your Assets From a Stock Market Crash

Category: annuities, china, economy, family money, investing, market news, personal finance, stock market, stocks, wall street

10 Financial Fees You Should Never Pay

Fees. Not only can they be unpleasant, sometimes they’re sneaky. The financial industry is awash with fees that come in all shapes and sizes.

Many of them are well-known while a few are so covert that consumers get caught off guard when they realize they’ve been paying thousands of dollars in fees without knowing it. Not all fees are bad, however. After all, financial professionals have to make a living.

But that doesn’t mean they have a right to keep you blissfully unaware of what you’re paying for the services they’re providing. Before you hire a financial adviser, it’s a good idea to learn how they get paid. Ask them directly how they make their dough. If they dance around the question, take your business elsewhere.

There are a few financial fees you should never pay. Many times, these are the sneaky ones that pop up when you least expect them. Avoid these, and you’ll be well on your way to brighter financial future.

1. Mutual Fund Loads. Some mutual funds have loads. For example, class A shares are types of mutual funds that charge an upfront commission. You might pay, say, 3.75 percent of your investment money up front to buy the fund. This is all fine and dandy until you realize that many of these mutual funds also charge an ongoing management fee (called an expense ratio). Add these fees together, and you’re paying quite a hefty amount of money to own some mutual funds.

Miranda Marquit, writing for, explains:

Sometimes, when you buy or sell a mutual fund, you pay a load fee. This can be a real drag on your returns. Paying load fees doesn’t make much sense, either, since you can find plenty of funds and brokers that don’t charge these fees.
Load mutual funds aren’t necessarily a horrible option, but there are certainly better options out there. Ask several financial advisers what they would recommend and compare the differences.

2. 12b-1 Fees. A 12b-1 fee is a marketing or distribution fee that is applied every year. This fee is considered an operational expense, so it is included in the fund’s expense ratio. Take a look at your mutual fund statements and see if you’re being charged 12b-1 fees.

don’t know about you, but I would never want to pay marketing fees. If a mutual fund has to be marketed, it may testify to the possibility that it’s not a good fund in the first place — otherwise the mutual fund would sell itself.

3. Variable Annuity Fees. One day a prospective client walked into my office and told me she had been working with a big brokerage firm that she felt wasn’t being completely honest with her. The adviser had sold her a variable annuity and some mutual funds. She wasn’t really concerned about the mutual funds, but she let me know she wasn’t exactly sure how the …read more

Read more here: 10 Financial Fees You Should Never Pay

Category: atm, banking, checking account, fees, financial adviser, financial services, investing, mutual funds, savings, variable annuities

5 Retirement Lessons From Warren Buffett

By U.S. News:..

Buffett focuses on the long-term value of his investments, not the day-to-day fluctuations.

When you think of great investors, the name at the top of the list is Warren Buffett. His insights and ideas can guide you in your own efforts to build wealth. As you consider your retirement future, here are five takeaways from the Oracle of Omaha:

1. Invest for the long term. Many of us are short-sighted. We panic at every market crash or try to chase a quick buck. However, Buffett teaches us to invest for the long term. When Buffett buys a company, he thinks of the long-term value. He doesn’t look for something that offers splashy returns in the short term. He looks for something with staying power.

When investing for retirement, you need to think the same way. You won’t be able to buy up whole companies, but you can invest for the long term by buying the market through index funds, and then staying in for the long haul. Your future self will thank you.

2. Have a purpose. Buffett has talked about the importance of having a purpose. You need to have an idea of what you want to do that gives meaning to your life. Studies show that retirees often lose their health shortly after quitting, when they don’t have something to look forward to each day. Think about what you want to do with your life during retirement, and make it a new stage, rather than an end.

3. Learn from the mistakes of others. There is no reason to repeat the mistakes of others. Instead, learn from them. Many people sold at the bottom of the market in early 2009. Those folks locked in their losses. If they had been willing to wait a few years, they would have seen tremendous gains instead. Don’t panic just because everyone else is panicking, and pay attention to the mistakes that bring others down. When you learn from the mistakes of others, you are less likely to fall victim to them.

4. Don’t invest in the exotic. Buffett has talked about how he keeps enough cash on hand to meet his upcoming needs, but other than that, he keeps his money working for him. But that doesn’t mean that he’s investing in exotic assets. Buffett stays away from gold and currencies, and he also avoided the complicated credit default swaps that he famously referred to as instruments of mass financial destruction.

You can be the same boring investor. Focus on stocks, using index funds, and you will be likely to build wealth over time, without the stomach-churning volatility and risk that comes with more exotic assets.

5. Don’t worry too much about leaving wealth to your children. While Buffett has said publicly that he wants his children and grandchildren …read more

Read more here: 5 Retirement Lessons From Warren Buffett

Category: estate planning, investing, retirement, savings, value investing, warren buffett, wealth, wills

Top 15 Reasons You’ll Get Declined For Life Insurance

Have you ever wondered what the reasons are why you may have been declined for life insurance? There are actually many reasons, but here are the top 15 reasons.

These are in no specific order, since the importance of each will vary from one life insurance company to another.

1. Overweight or Obese. These are a red flag for life insurance companies because they are conditions that often lead to severe health complications, particularly cardiovascular issues. In addition, your weight — or more specifically your height-to-weight ratio — is also a strong indication of your overall health and fitness level.

While being overweight or obese may not always be a cause for a decline in and of itself, it will usually result in higher premiums. And if it exists in combination with other health risks, a decline is highly likely.

2. Income Limitations. Some life insurance companies won’t write a life insurance policy for someone whose income is below a certain level. That level will vary between insurance companies. The reason that they impose this restriction is that they don’t want to insure people below a certain income level, since it can result in issuing a large number of small policies that produce reduced premium flows. The companies see this as a method of cost containment.

Another reason that lower income can impede your approval is that the insurance companies have to justify the policy. If you want a million dollar life insurance policy but have no assets and make $20,000 a year. There is a good chance that you won’t receive coverage.

3. Alcoholism. This isn’t about casual drinking, but more about a positive alcohol marker indicated when liver functions are high. The combination of damage to health that occurs from alcoholism, as well as the potential for engaging in life-threatening activity is enough for many life insurance companies to issue a denial.

If alcoholism is a current problem, the best strategy in applying for life insurance will be to delay your application until you have ceased drinking, and enough time has passed that the claim of being sober can be substantiated.

4. Elevated Cholesterol, Lipids and Triglycerides. The main concern here isn’t necessarily high cholesterol, but rather the combination of high LDL cholesterol, and low HDL cholesterol. The combination puts you at higher risk for heart disease and stroke.

5. Elevated Liver Function. Elevated liver function can indicate inflammation or damage to the liver cells. This can cause the cells to leak above normal levels of certain chemicals into the bloodstream. Most typically, the elevation is mild, and the condition is temporary. But sometimes it can be an indication of more serious liver problems, and that’s what concerns life insurance companies.

One of the difficulties for an applicant, is that they may become aware of the elevated liver function only after taking a life insurance medical exam. In that case, there’s no way to know if the condition is temporary or …read more

Read more here: Top 15 Reasons You’ll Get Declined For Life Insurance

Category: family money, financial planning, health care, life insurance, personal finance, powerofplanning

12 Reasons Your Career is Going Nowhere

Just about everyone wants to advance in their career. Some people are willing to work hard and sacrifice to make it happen. Others prefer to play it safe and then they wonder why they go nowhere.

To move ahead in your career, you might have to face some harsh realities — about yourself and your organization — and make some tough choices to make it happen.

Here are 12 reasons why your career is going nowhere, and what you might be able to do to remedy the situation.

1. You’re Too Comfortable Another way to put this is that you like your job too much. Wait, is that even possible?

While it might seem like loving your work would help you to advance your career, the opposite is often true. If you like the position you’re in, your boss, your coworkers, and your routine too much, you can get so comfortable that you lose the desire and ambition to do what’s necessary to advance your career.

Then again, if you love your job that much, why are you reading this post? There’s nothing wrong with being content and satisfied with where you are. But if you eventually want to climb the corporate ladder, a certain amount of dissatisfaction with your current circumstances is often necessary to provide the motivation that you need to move forward. If you’re completely comfortable in the position that you’re in right now, you might be unconsciously avoiding doing what you need to do to move ahead.

2. You Have Too Many Interests Off the Job

The people who usually move the farthest and the fastest in a company or career are often the ones who are basically obsessed with their work. If you have lots of interests off the job, that can get in the way of your next promotion. For example, if have major recreational interests that eat up most of your time off the clock, you just might not have either the time or the motivation to push your career ahead.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. For many people, their real passions exist outside of their career; the job is simply the vehicle that affords them the time and money to pursue those interests, like visiting every In-N-Out Burger in the world (a guy can dream, right?). But if you decide that advancing your career becomes a priority above your recreational pursuits, you may have to consider minimizing, or even giving up one or more of your non-business interests.

3. You Lack a Critical Skill or Two

This is something that holds a lot of people back. Overall, you’re good at your job, but there is one, or maybe two, important skills you lack that are keeping you from advancing. If it’s a relatively minor skill, such as learning more about a particular software program that’s important in your company or industry, that can be pretty easy …read more

Read more here: 12 Reasons Your Career is Going Nowhere

Category: career, changing jobs, economy, employment, job hunting, jobs, labor, personal finance, work

From Flat Broke at 37 to Self-Made Millionaire

Motivational business speaker and author Barry Maher
Through saving and investing, a lot of hard work and, in his words, more than a little luck, motivational business speaker and author Barry Maher went from being broke at age 37 to being a self-made millionaire and semi-retiree who can afford to retire completely.

What Does ‘Semi-Retired’ Really Mean?

Now 67, Maher only works when he wants, how he wants and as often as he wants. That sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me. But who knew this would be in the cards for the boy who started out selling greeting cards door-to-door?

Maher was self-employed through college and built a successful business selling advertising products from scratch, but sold it so he could pursue a career writing fiction. Unfortunately, he financed the sale, the new owners ran the business into the ground and he lost any chance of being paid in full.

“I only got about 30 to 40 percent of the base price and a small pittance of what was supposed to be royalties. What was intended to be an annuity turned into nothing with breathtaking speed.” Making matters worse, his novels weren’t selling well and he found himself flat broke at the age of 37.

So how did Maher turn that situation around to become so successful?

The Journey from Broke to Millionaire

Maher credits his becoming a millionaire in large part to making good money in the corporate world and as a speaker. Armed with his experience of building a business from nothing, Maher got a job with GTE as a salesman. “I busted my butt because I was absolutely broke,” he confesses. “I worked ridiculous hours from the time I woke up to the time I collapsed into bed.” Maher quickly became the Fortune 500 company’s top salesman, earning a promotion and financial security.

With money to invest, Maher dabbled in the stock market. He admits that he doesn’t have the time or the expertise to pick individual stocks, but he has bought many index funds that have done well over the years.

Maher also credits his frugality for helping him to save the money he has. As he explained, “Whenever I buy something I think of how hard I had to work to make the money for it.” For example, he imagines his Honda Accord, not just as a car, but as whatever he had to do to earn the $25,000 it cost him. “That mindset always makes my Honda seem more attractive when I start to think about buying a Mercedes,” Maher quips. Barry’s view on his Honda is the same I have on my 1998 Chevy Lumina that I inherited from my grandmother.

One day, Maher’s literary agent suggested that instead of writing more fiction, he should try his hand at a business book. Although dubious at first, Maher wrote a specialty book on Yellow Pages advertising …read more

Read more here: From Flat Broke at 37 to Self-Made Millionaire

Category: barry maher, entrepreneur, millionaire, people, personal finance, retirement, small business

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