You May Be Sabotaging Your Own Financial Stability

As humans, we don’t always make smart financial decisions. From impulse buys to psychological barriers, sometimes we make dumb choices. However, even with our mental weakness, it is possible to overcome destructive ways and store a nice nest egg for the future. We are our own worst enemy when it comes to our financial situation. Here are some things that can ruin our finances.

When Should I Start Planning for Retirement?

by: Sound Credit Union
It’s never too early or too late to start thinking about planning for retirement. But depending on how near to or far from retirement you are, the decisions you’ll need to make and the choices you may have are very different. Figuring out how to live off your retirement savings is as much a personal issue as it is a financial decision. Your first step towards a successful retirement is to develop a strategy that will allow you to enjoy your retirement while minimizing the stress in worrying if you have enough saved.
Will I Have Enough?

According to a 2009 industry study, many pre-retirees haven’t clearly assessed how long their savings will last in retirement. Even more disconcerting is that they haven’t saved nearly enough to fund the retirement lifestyles they expect. The findings of the survey suggest that the savings habits of pre-retirees are insufficient to last for their expected 20 or more years in retirement. However, with preparation and careful planning, you may be able to avoid the pitfalls and start working toward a more secure retirement.
How Can I Prepare?

According to the survey, nearly two-thirds of respondents lack any formal plans for retirement savings or spending strategies. One way to help ensure a successful retirement is to follow a disciplined process that involves developing a written plan. Designing a plan involves gathering relevant financial information, setting life goals, and examining your current financial status. This compilation of information can be used to design a plan for how you can meet your financial goals. Once completed, your plan should be used to help make investment decisions that are in sync with your goals and personal risk tolerance. full article

Saving for Homeownership

by: Sound Credit Union
For most people, buying a home is both an exciting and challenging venture – it is the quintessential American dream. However, because of the high costs involved, saving for home purchase takes commitment, research, and sometimes sacrifice. This fact sheet will provide general information on the costs involved and the types of expenditures you will need to save for in order to buy your first home.
The Down Payment
The down payment will be the most significant outlay of your pre-purchase costs. The rule used to be that you needed to put down 20% of the purchase price, and you would obtain an 80% mortgage. Today, homebuyers can buy a home with as little as three to five percent down. If you do put less then 20% down, you will probably have to purchase mortgage insurance, which will cost you between .5% to .85% of the loan amount until your equity reaches the full 20%. Keep in mind that the more you put down, the less your mortgage payment will be.
Earnest Money
Earnest money is a cash deposit you make when you submit your offer, which proves to the seller that you are serious about wanting to buy the home. Your real estate broker will deposit the money into an escrow account, and if your offer is accepted, it will be applied towards the down payment. If the offer is rejected, it will be returned to you. Typically the earnest money deposit will be about two percent of the price of the home. full article



Market participants sensed that the Fed was suddenly changing its tune with respect to its balance sheet back in January. The balance sheet primarily refers to all the bonds the Fed purchased as a part of the various Quantitative Easing plans conducted throughout the recovery to the Great Recession. At the time, those QE plans technically involved "printing money." But it wasn't just money dropped from helicopters. The money was used to buy investments--in this case Treasury and Mortgage-Backed-Securities debt. Those bonds earn the Fed some income and they also get the principal returned when the bonds mature. The Fed HAD been using that incoming principal to buy more of the same bonds until 2018, when they began letting the balance sheet "runoff" by a controlled amount each month. Eventually [...]
Wed, Mar 20, 2019 10:02:00 PM, Continue reading at the source
Mortgage rates were flat for the 4th day in a row today in a sign that investors have largely taken their seats for tomorrow's big show. The Fed will release its new policy statement at 2pm tomorrow, and while they're not expected to hike rates this time around, there are other important considerations that could have a big impact on rates. One of the considerations is the fact that March is one of the months where the Fed updates its economic projections. Investors largely tune-in to these for a glimpse at the collective rate hike outlook. This has caused big market movement in the past, but something else could be even more important tomorrow. The Fed has increasingly mentioned the impending end of its balance sheet runoff , which refers to its policy of NOT buying bonds with the money it [...]
Tue, Mar 19, 2019 8:19:00 PM, Continue reading at the source
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) held steady in March , after partially recovering from substantial loses at the end of 2018. The Index, a measure of new-home builders' confidence in the market for newly constructed homes was unchanged at 62 on a 100-point scale. The index finished 2018 at 56, a more than three-year low, after dropping an aggregate of 12 points in November and December. NAHB says affordability still remains a key concern for builders. The skilled worker shortage, lack of buildable lots and stiff zoning restrictions in many major metro markets are among the challenges builders face as they strive to construct homes that can sell at affordable price points. Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 [...]
Mon, Mar 18, 2019 9:04:00 PM, Continue reading at the source
Even though the January Census Bureau report on new home sales published on Thursday wasn't all that encouraging for the spring market, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is predicting more upbeat news for February. The Association's Builder Application Survey (BAS) shows a 6 percent increase in new home purchase applications from the previous month and a 3-point gain from February 2018. Those numbers are not seasonally adjusted. MBA estimates new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 690,000 units in February 2019, based on its survey data and assumptions regarding market coverage and other factors. This is down 3.2 percent from the January pace of 713,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, the estimate is for 59,000 new home sales in February 2019, [...]
Fri, Mar 15, 2019 11:47:00 PM, Continue reading at the source
It seems like only yesterday that we were looking at the December new home sale numbers - well actually it was 6 days ago. Now we have the January sales numbers as the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development continue to catch up from the shutdown's data drought. However, while December sales surprised everyone with a 16.9 percent increase to 621,000 units (now revised to 652,000) January took back a lot of those gains. Sales were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 607,000 units, a 6.9 percent reversal. This puts sales down 4.1 percent year-over-year. That the January numbers were not worse was solely due to a surge in sales in the West. They fell by double digit percentages in the other three regions. The January estimate was still solidly within the 590,000 to 640,000 [...]
Thu, Mar 14, 2019 9:16:00 PM, Continue reading at the source


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