How COVID-19 Is Changing Retirement Plan Savings

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Borrowing Money from Retirement Funds

One third of active pension plan participants have borrowed money from their retirement plans as a result of COVID, according to a 2020 report by Edelman Financial Engines. Up to 60 percent of these borrowers may dip into retirement funds again if needed, and an additional 10 percent are evaluating whether to take a loan or hardship withdrawal. Despite these actions, 55 percent of borrowers later regretted their decision to borrow. Many borrowers said they did not understand the tax and penalty implications.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued COVID Tax Tip 2020-85 on July 14, 2020. In the release, the IRS advises that qualified individuals affected by COVID-19 may be able to withdraw up to $100,000 from their eligible retirement plans, including IRAs, between January 1 and December 30, 2020. These coronavirus-related distributions are subject to regular tax but not the 10 percent additional tax on distributions. Funds must be repaid in three years. Certain qualifications must be met. Plan participants will want to speak with their tax advisor and plan sponsor for further details.

While making it easier to borrow against retirement savings, the U.S. Government is also taking steps to foster longer-term savings. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act was signed into law on December 20, 2019, just prior to the emergence of COVID. For those pension plan participants who have some financial flexibility, the SECURE Act provides that required minimum distributions (RMDs) from 401(k) and defined contribution plans can be deferred to age 72, rather than 70 ½.

Early Retirements Due to COVID-19

A September 2020 survey by pension consulting firm Simply Wise reports that 10% of Americans in their 50s and 60s now plan to retire earlier than expected. In many cases this is triggered by a COVID-related job loss. They also report that more than a quarter of 401(k) plan participants are considering accessing their pension savings early to meet financial obligations.

A national survey of educators conducted by the National Education Association in August also reports that many teachers plan to retire early or seek new employment as a result of COVID. The majority of teachers surveyed with 30 or more years of teaching experience (55 percent) plan to leave the profession. This compares to 20 percent of teachers with fewer than 10 years of experience and 40 percent of educators who have been teaching for two or three decades.

The COVID pandemic is pushing an expected four million older workers out of the workforce and into an unplanned early retirement, according to an August 2020 report by Forbes Magazine. This translates into a 7 percent job loss for workers aged 55 to 70, compared to a 4.8 percent reduction for workers under age 55. These early retirements shorten the time that workers would otherwise have to continue saving for their future.

Pension Contributions Post-COVID

According to research reports from Fidelity Investments and T. Rowe Price, most 401(k) plan participants are maintaining their pension investments despite the market turmoil that has accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fidelity reported in August 2020 that 9 percent of 401(k) investors increased their contribution rate, while only 1 percent stopped their contributions. T. Rowe Price reported in October 2020 that fewer than 10 percent of participants in their pension plans either stopped or cut back on pension contributions.

On a related note, Fidelity also reported that only 11 percent of pension plan sponsors cut back on their 401(k) contribution program that matches employee funds typically for the first 2-3 percent of participant investments.

Lost Jobs Disrupt Pension Savings

There is not much data available on the number of workers who have lost corporate-sponsored pension benefits as a result of COVID. Nevertheless, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) acknowledges that millions of laid off workers may no longer have access to automatic deductions and employer matches offered by corporate pension plans.

As a result, many workers will need to work longer to save for retirement. For some, they will also need to borrow against retirement funds while they try to rebuild financial security.

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Source by Mark Johnson, Ph.D., J.D.

Get Heavy Discounts On Amazon Retail Shopping With Amazon Coupons

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What started as a book store has now branched out its business to become the America’s biggest online retailer. Think of anything from groceries to costumes, electronics to sports, DIY tools to fitness equipment, or home improvement to garden tools – you’ll find it at their online network with price just right to suit your wallet. Amazon coupons make purchases even better deals. With recession busting coupons in hands, shoppers are sure to receive decent price cuts on the purchases of their desired goods. So, all those harboring thoughts of going on a shopping spree for their home, friends or upcoming celebrations then spoil you with delightful Amazon Coupons.

It suffices to say that expenses may mount up when one’s shopping. However, individuals can still maintain their budget by grabbing hold of recession busting codes like Amazon Coupons. If shopping for the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas is what you intend to go about then recession busting codes like coupons and vouchers are something you must count on to avail yourselves of nice price cuts on your expenses. These discount codes are solely meant to help customers improve their finances by saving them on their hard-earned money.

Amazon, the online retailer, further reduces prices for all listed items by offering Christmas discounts, Thanksgiving specials and money-off packages for its millions of consumers around the world. With the merchant’s money-saving deals, the high prices of desired goods topple down enabling buyers to grab hold of them at comparatively low rates. Individuals unaware of networks to hunt down discount bargains will be pleased to learn that these can easily be scoured from legitimate websites.

Simply browse the retailer’s official online network or any affiliate site, type the title of the desired product followed by “coupons” keyword like Amazon Coupons. This will display a list of all on-going packages and valid deals.

Using coupons to your advantage is easy. Read instructions to redeem given on the website and put the code into the coupon code box on the payment page. You’re all-set to get instant cash backs. Some of many on-going Amazon coupons will get customers Free Shipping with $25+ Order, Savings on Groceries and Gourmet Food with Instant Rebates and Free Shipping, Free Amazon Prime for College Students, 40% off Good Earth Tea, 40% off select Eddie’s & Mrs. Leeper’s pasta items, 45% off on select Barefoot Contest products, and $25 off $100 men’s & women’s order + FREE Super Saver Shipping and FREE Returns. Make sure you do thorough research for getting your hands on the highest value coupon codes before proceeding with the payment process.

Considering that today’s shopper evades shelling out full price for the goods and appreciates discounts, the merchant keeps updating its inventory with more and bigger value money-saving deals. If you anticipate saving of a few extra bucks on your purchases then Amazon promotional code should be your preferred choice. Since it’s hard to foresee the present economy taking off, getting instant abatement is a smart way to maintain the budget. Indeed, saving of a few bucks will accumulate a good amount at a later point of time. Scour the web to obtain these money-off codes and start saving on your money today!

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Source by John A Abruzzi

Save Money by Using the Library

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Believe it or not, some people pay tens of thousands of dollars a year for a good traditional university education. In addition, some people will even go to the ends of the earth to gain real-world knowledge while paying tens of thousands of dollars a year too for their own self-education via seminars, coaches, consultants, self-improvement programs, and books. Wow, pretty impressive, huh? You want to know what’s also pretty impressive and is a resource that we all have? It’s the free public library that is just right down the road from us. It is bursting at the seams with free educational books, audiobooks, videos, professional staff, and much, much more.

Our national, state, and city governments have teamed up with civic organizations and philanthropists to invest huge amounts of money to make sure that this incredible free resource, the library, is available to all of us. Are you grasping how amazing this is? This is an equal opportunity for us all in which other people are spending their money on us! Are you taking advantage of this opportunity and helping these generous people get their money’s worth in their investment in you and your community via your public library?

Trust me, the free public library and all those knowledge and skill-giving books inside that warm, snow-free, rain-free, and stress-free self-building edifice is worth our efforts and time. Once we get there and see what the free public library has to offer, I think we’ll be very pleased and want to spend a whole lot of more time there. You want to know something else? Once we establish a pattern of self-educating ourselves at our local free public libraries, then we’ll see that that time and effort thing is getting easier and even automatic.

Now teens, go learn, lead, and lay the way to a better world for all of us. Remember that we can save tons of money by using the free public library. I suggest we get down there right now. And once again, thanks in advance for all that you do, and all that you will do…

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Source by Daniel Blanchard

Transatlantic Cruise Deals

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A transatlantic cruise is the most amazing and fun way to travel from the Americas to Europe and from Europe to America. The memory of the Atlantic crossing aboard the cruises will be forever edged in your mind. The peak seasons for the transatlantic cruise deals are in autumn and summer. These are the times that the ship lines reposition their cruises.

The transatlantic voyage is served by many lines such as Celebrity Transatlantic Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Transatlantic Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Transatlantic Cruise and Royal Caribbean. You will get favorable transatlantic cruise deals aboard ships under these cruise lines.

For centuries, people have taken voyages across the Atlantic Ocean. Now, the routes are served by modern ships fitted with state of the art facilities. To attract customers amid the stiff competition, the ship lines are offering deals which target various segments of the market. For example, there are transatlantic cruise deals that target families.

Aboard the cruise voyage, people get the chance to experience different new activities. For instance, you will be able to gaze at the stars at night. The constellations are a sight to behold. Additionally, you will have the chance to explore different historic European cities along the way in addition to seeing beautiful landscapes such as the Reykjavik landscapes in Iceland.

Among the lines that offer exciting deals is the Royal Caribbean line. The line offers cruise deals with a departure from Tampa or Boston to places such as cork Ireland, Cherbourg France, and Brussels, Belgium. The ships dock in many ports along the way giving the tourists a lifetime’s opportunity to sample the different delicacies and fun the cities offer. From Europe to America, the Royal Caribbean line commences in Europe with stops in Barcelona, Oslo, Hamburg, Rotterdam and other many cities.

Also, the Norwegian cruise line offers affordable transatlantic cruise deals. It covers Miami, Southampton, Copenhagen, and Barcelona. The cruise deals offered by the line tend to target the general market segment. Hence, there are deals designed for couples on a romantic gateway, families looking to take time out to bond and interact, or people taking some time out of their busy and stressful lifestyles. This implies that there are cruise deals that will suit everyone willing to take a journey of a lifetime across the Atlantic Ocean.

Since deals change frequently, it is best advised to head over to the above lines’ websites and carry out a comparison among the many cruise deals on offer.

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Source by Brian M. Kerosi

Stash Your Cash – A Safe Haven for Your Savings

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In the times we’re living in today many people are looking for alternative ways of saving their money. As inflation and debt levels continue to soar while wages remain stagnant, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to grow a nest egg.

In the book, “The Richest Man in Babylon”, Arkad was widely known for his great wealth. The story suggests he had a working theory of, “A part of all you earn is yours to keep. It should be not less than a tenth no matter how little you earn… pay yourself first.”

Unfortunately, most of society has strayed away from this thinking.

The fact is Canadians aren’t saving as they once did and collectively are holding record high levels of debt. The average household savings rate in Canada has dropped from about 20 percent in the 1980’s, to 5.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016.[i] Many people believe they cannot save because after paying “all their bills” there’s nothing much left. However, understand that in most cases if you’re attempting to save after paying all your bills you may find this strategy to be futile. Instead, get in the habit of saving first or, consider it paying yourself first. Once you’ve developed this habit then you can look into what vehicle you want to save your cash in.

Generally speaking, when people DO consider saving often times the traditional approach is taken; open a bank savings account and dump as much cash in it as possible. Sit on it like a goose sits on her eggs and wait for your savings to hatch. The sad reality for most however, is making a future cash withdrawal only to be afforded the ability to buy less with their savings because inflation has eaten away at it. And you’ll always be on the losing side of a bank savings account because interest rates are not higher than inflation.

Another option many consider is putting money into the stock market however, one should not consider the stock market as a savings vehicle because the stock market has had a history of crashing dating back to beyond 1929.[ii]

Search the definition of saving in Webster’s dictionary and see “preservation from danger or destruction” while the definition of investing reads, “to commit (money) in order to earn a financial return.” Neither method is good or bad but you must understand which it is that you’re trying to do.

Finally, during my research I have found throughout history when people lose faith in their national currency, the banking system that controls it and their governments, many rush back to gold. Gold is the oldest form of money and has proved to be a safe haven for centuries. Gold cannot be printed, debased, or inflated. Simply put, gold is financial insurance.

To understand this concept more, it’s important to start investing in your own education. Financial literacy should be taught in our school system however, sadly it is not. If you are concerned about where to stash your cash so that you can protect your money from danger and destruction, you will have to take those matters into your own hands. And for good reason too, your savings should be in your hands because your economy should be the most important economy to you!

Learn what they banks don’t want you to know and protect your money from danger and destruction.

[i] http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/saving-tips-1.4131592

[ii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_stock_market_crashes_and_bear_markets

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Source by Ryan D. Forrester

5 Ways To Save Money – Coupons, Deals and Discounts

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Who wouldn’t be looking for ways to save money in today’s times? We live in an age that demands frugal living. With the prices soaring every day, saving a few bucks on groceries, clothes and home utility items can spread a smile across your face. The money could be put to more productive uses or simply used to buy your favorite pair of shoes; the same ones you’ve been saving up for months.

If you love to shop but feel the pinch when your bundle of cash dwindles fast, here’s how you can save money on every purchase you make. It is not only about using coupons and getting discounts. It is more about securing the best prices so that at the end of the day, you don’t feel like you’ve overpaid.

1. Couponing –

It is by far the most commonly used method to save money on purchases. It is also quite a lucrative option. Couponing involves using coupons handed out by brands as a marketing strategy to sustain old customers and attract new ones. It is a rebate on the retail price. The rebate rate ranges between 5% and 50%. It is redeemed at the store at the time of purchase of an item. There are digital and printable coupons.

Coupons enable shoppers to get quality products at a discounted price. They are available on almost all products including your groceries, restaurant meals, apparel, cosmetics and pet food. There are different places to source coupons including traditional sources such as newspapers, magazines and monthly bulletins and modern sources such as coupon sites. These coupon sites display coupons and coupon codes of various brands and items.

2. Cashback offers –

The Cashback offer is another attractive shopping offer that helps you save some money. Different vendors have different schemes in this regard. The first is the credit card cashback offer. It involves earning reward points or air miles or bonus gifts when you use your card to shop at specified locations and retailers. The points can be accumulated and redeemed at a later date. The other scheme includes getting a certain percentage of money back on your purchase.

3. Ask for a discount –

You can look at it as a more sophisticated manner of haggling. Your mother might have done it a few years ago to stretch her monthly budget, but haggling can be embarrassing. Most vendors have a margin of discount. However, they do not publish it. These discounts are given only if the customer asks. After you’ve selected your items of purchase, you can inquire politely if you are eligible for a discount at the cash counter. On rare occasions, you will walk out without one because again it is a business strategy used to beat competition.

4. Seasonal Sales –

A change of seasons brings along a good deal of discounts and offers. You can take advantage of these seasonal sales. You can save the best on monsoon sales when some of your favorite items are sold for half their price. Shopping during the holidays as well as post-holidays is a great time to get good bargains.

5. Special Promotions –

Vendors keep offering special promotions to promote their business. It could be an early-bird sale or a special offer on the occasion of a new setup. In addition to discounts, you might get free shipping for your goods.

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Source by Shalini Mittal

How To Save Money

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It’s important to learn how to save money, otherwise you will never improve your situation. You may already have a high debt on your house and just want to start paying that off; the ideas in this article will help you do that as well.

This article is mainly for people that have no assets or savings and need to start at the beginning. It’s important to have this basic skill. Without it, you won’t learn how to manage money. So even if you got given a large sum of money then you wouldn’t know how to handle it – if you don’t have this skill.

So this is for the people that want to buy a house (or an asset) and have no savings to do so. This will teach you how to save. The easiest way is to save 10% (or more) of your income.

Your self-employed income won’t be taxed until you do your tax return so you need have money put away for this as well.

So the best way to have the 10% saved, is to have your employer put 10% of your wage into another bank account, perhaps a bank that is not in your town or city and don’t have a keycard or internet access to it. So the 10% just goes into their every week and you don’t even know it.

Then you can spend the rest. This is a obviously slow process in order to get rich and if your income is $50,000, then it’s just $5000pa going into it. But it’s better than nothing.

So that’s the BEST way of doing it. You know why? Because you don’t see it so you can’t spend it.

If you wait until your pay goes into your bank account and then transfer it yourself or have a direct debit set up, it’s not the same.Then you need to work out how much you need to save if you have a goal, which you should have, since you read the chapter on goal setting.

If you have a goal to buy a $300,000 house in a years time then you will need the deposit and any closing costs.

Lets say you need $40,000, so break that down to weekly. Assuming your income is $50,000, 10% of that is $5,000, so you need to get an extra $35,000.Whilst it might sound silly, once you get a goal, and start looking at ways to find money, you will find that you have other ideas pop up and other means will come your way.

When this happens you need to notice them. There is a name for this but we will call it ‘luck’ and when things start falling into place, and then take up all the opportunities that come your way.

If your goal was a house in 1 years time – now you are on your way to buying your first house. If you have a house already then you are now paying it off quicker. Why do you want to pay it off your home loan quicker?

The reason you want to do this is that you can use the equity – that is the difference from what you owe and how much it is worth, to buy another house – to rent out – or future investments. Wealth isn’t built by owing lots of money, you need to start paying it off. Then you start building the equity.

The reason that you want to buy another house is that in the long term it will give you asset growth and an income in the form of rent.

You need the asset growth and income to make yourself a millionaire.

OK now back to savings. Here’s another idea or additional way.

Drop all your coins into a jar at the end of a day. Don’t tough the jar.

When it’s full, take it to the bank and collect the money.

Don’t spend it on a night out; transfer it to the out of town bank account.

Another way is to actually save on your day to day expenses.

Stop buying a daily coffee.

Don’t take the car to work, and catch the bus.

Shop at the largest shopping mall in the lowest socially-economic area closest to you.

Why? Because the supermarket there will be cheaper than the ones in middle-class areas.

Make your lunch at home and take it to work, this can save you $50 a week, and guess where the $50 a week is going? Out of town bank account.

Stop going out to movies and dinners.

Cut up your credit card/s if you have them, and never use them again.

If you need the credit cards numbers to buy things on the internet, then get a MasterCard or visa debit card.

Pay them off as soon as possible and never, ever use one again.

No one I have seen with multiple credit cards and balances carried forward every month are wealthy.

As for points? Who cares you won’t be taking any plane trips until you are wealthy.

Watch your utility usage, take shorter showers, don’t use heating or cooling devices unless you have to, turn lights off, watch less tv – it’s rubbish anyway and you need to get a good nights sleep so you can go cleaning at 230am anyway. (See how having extra jobs/income sources is going to save you money in other areas?)

Don’t have a mobile phone unless you need one for business. If you want to talk to people, tell them to come and visit you.

Don’t have anything that is costing you money, that isn’t going to help you make money.

Think is this going to help me make money, if not get rid of it, don’t buy it or don’t use it.

Sell it on eBay.

Food: don’t buy junk food, you will lose weight and it’s always higher price than fruit and veggies.

Fruit and veges is usually cheaper in the outer suburbs that are near fruit and veggie growing areas, so shop there.

Maybe it’s cheaper to live out there as well, so maybe move there.

If you rent get the cheapest apartment or house, and get someone to share with you or rent out spare rooms.

If you have a mortgage, then you need to start paying it off, if it’s too high and it’s an okay time to sell, sell the house buy something cheaper that you can pay off.

Rent out any spare rooms or space that can be rented.

Pay off your home loan fortnightly if it’s a variable loan.

You will save money.

If you are on a high income, look into loans where you income can go directly into it.

If you don’t need your car – sell it.

If you can catch a bus or train to work and you decided that lawn mowing and cleaning businesses were not for you, then sell it.

You can buy one later when you are rich.

If you need to go somewhere that a train or bus can’t hire a car.

I could go on further about finding ways to save money, but you get the idea, look at everything you do and cut out what is not required.

You don’t need cable TV, I don’t care who you are.

If you want to save money get rid of it.

I know people whose loans are in arrears, and yet when you look at their bank account statement, they have internet, mobile phones and cable.

Clearly watching repeats of sitcoms is more important than keeping your house to some people.

You might think but if I get rid of this or that or stop going to a movie every week with my girlfriends or go out drinking and spend $200 on Saturday night you will become friendless and everyone will mock you at work because you didn’t watch the 9 hour 2 and half men marathon on cable.

Look at your friends, or the next door neighbours or the co-workers.

Are they rich?

They could have the latest car, and a big screen tv and go out in the latest clothes three times a week, but if you can figure out their salary and they don’t get up at 230am to go cleaning, then they are basically one step away from broke.

If you want to be rich you have to do things different from anyone else, otherwise they’d all be rich.

If they don’t have a couple of investment properties, and they have to check the balance of their bank account at the ATM before they buy their lunch, they aren’t rich.

You need to find new friends that are like you.

Wealth-minded people who are rich or want to be.

Sometimes these people will let you in to an idea, or a property development or a way that they make money in which you can benefit.

Whilst you friends are just concerned if you are wearing the right clothes out to the club tonight.

Most people are one step away from broke and you don’t want to be like that and that’s why you are reading this book.

If you wanted to be one step away from broke then you wouldn’t have bothered reading this.

So you need to save money and you need to look at ways to cut down your spending, even though it may have increased with the extra incomes, now is the time to ‘seize the day’ and ‘make hay while the sun shines’, to put all the extra money to good use.

Yes, if you do increase your income you can just spend it and impress your friends with the latest big screen TV and electronic devices and you didn’t need to put it on a credit card either.

But this is not the point.

You are making money so that you can become wealthy and if you follow my simple advice, then you are more likely to become rich.

And saying to your old party-going, latest gadget buying, trendy friends that you are now a millionaire in 5 years time is going to sound pretty good.

Sure they laughed at you then, but when they are kicked out of their house for not paying rent of mortgage and you have 5 houses and can buy a big screen TV with cash, then you will be the one laughing.

So you need to start saving money, and then looking at all the ways you can save money.

No pain, no gain.

So you might be reading this and you don’t waste your money now, you just don’t have enough coming in.

The only way to improve your situation is to increase your income.

If you don’t have the money to buy a mop or vacuum cleaner, or you don’t have a car, then you will need to have a smaller goal.

I would suggest get second job, or find a higher paying first job, and then start saving so you can start up your business.

If you can’t afford to save as you have too many debts, let’s say you have personal loans and credit cards and are already behind in these payments then you really need to earn as much money and pay these off.

There is no point savings money if you have $80,000 in unsecured debt at 20% interest. You need to focus, and pay it off.

If you do have a car on finance, make a decision whether you need it so that it can earn you a second income, or is it better to sell it and reduce your debt.

And rip up your credit cards right now and never get one again.

Saving money is the most important thing that you will need to learn, whether it’s buying cheap food or putting away 10% of your pay every week, if you have nothing saved up now, you need to learn how to do it.

Saving money is the most important lesson to learn, because you can earn all the money you want – if you don’t save it, then you will never be wealthy.

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Source by David Lindsay Evans

Tips to Avoid Doing Deals With Kids

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Like other parents of today, you may have said to your kids,” if you do your homework, I will allow you to use my smartphone for 15 minutes”. Most kids accept this type of offer right away. Playing these games is not a good idea if you want your kids to co-operate with you. This type of deal will spoil your kids. After all, you cannot just keep making such a deal with your children. In this article, we are going to find out why you should avoid doing deals with your child.

If you continue to do deals with your children, they will know that making negotiations is the only way to get what they want. Although this is a good thing in the world of business, it may not work in families.

Typically, mothers make such deals as they want to get peace quickly. Some parents just enjoy negotiating with their kids as they think it’s a good game.

Kids who do Deals

At times, kids like to negotiate. For example, they will say if you allow them to go to bed early, you have to get a TV in their room. For parents, it is difficult to ignore these types of deals. At times, parents get involved in these deals unknowingly. And what happens is that kids tend to take advantage of their parents as they are too busy to give time to their kids.

The Last Resort

Now, if you are looking for some good alternatives, we suggest that you try the tips given below. These tips will help you deal with your kids in a much better way.

1. Appreciate them when they are doing the right thing

You may want to express your happiness when your kids show your desired behavior. They should understand that their good behavior makes you happy.

2. Reward Them

Instead of doing deals with them, you should give them a treat as a form of appreciation when they behave well. Keep in mind that the order of events can make a great difference.

3. Learn to Manage Them

Your kid should know that if you say no, it’s a final decision. You should deliver your message with strong body language. Your tone must be flat so that your child realizes that you are serious. This is a type of non-verbal communication that can help you control the behavior of your kids.

4. Accept the Consequences

You may want to take action rather than just talk. For instance, instead of asking your kids to pack their stuff like toys, you may want to pick up the toys yourself and store them in a “mystery bin”. They will learn a lesson this way.

5. Focus on Yourself

Do you want them to sleep on time? If so, you should get them ready to go to bed by reading them bedtime stories.

Long story short, these tips will help you avoid doing deals with your kids and make them behave the right way. Hope this helps.

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Source by Shalini M

Retirement – Facing Retiring Without Savings

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Yikes! Water! Water! My hair’s on fire! Oh, it’s not my hair! It’s my bank account! I have completely smoked it! I inadvertently incinerated it during these last 30+ years of career building. If it’s any consolation, you have loads of company in your current miserable dilemma.

Alana Semuels, in a February 22, 2022 The Atlantic article, This is What Life Without Retirement Savings Looks Like, says that “… the median savings in a 401(k) plan for people between the ages of 55 and 64 is currently just $15,000, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security, a nonprofit. Other workers did not have access to a retirement plan through their employer. They’re going from being near poor to poor.”

It’s a sobering reality to learn that, according to a January 13, 2017 report of The Social Security Administration, 21% of married couples and 43% of single seniors rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their income. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, 36% of near-retirees say they expect Social Security to be a major source of income once they retire.

How and why are too many Boomers finding themselves in this critical crossroads of many years ahead with little or no financial resources? Did you fail to establish a sound financial retirement plan early on in life? Were you too busy establishing your career and reaching your job goals? Did the euphoria of consumerism consume you and blind you to the wisdom of deferring an immediate impulsive “want” in favor of long-term “needs?” Did some unanticipated and unavoidable financial crisis arise, draining your financial resources? Did raising a family, college costs, parental sickness, a divorce, or some natural disaster sabotage your long-term financial plans?

But here you are. That was then; this is now. Your current reality presents a sober wakeup call as to what to do now. Take heart. Breathe. And let’s look at options.

First, turn to an expert to assess your current real assets. There are many free services offered to senior citizens designed to help seniors gain control of their financial affairs. For example, American Association of Retired Persons, under the heading, Finance, has an entire cadre of resources, both human and on-line. Such topics as “Get Help Choosing a Financial Advisor,” “Free Tax Preparation,” and “Money Management Resources,” – are designed to help you determine the reality of your current financial status.

Another invaluable resource for Boomers and seniors is the Federal government. A Google search, “Government Services for Seniors” yields a gold mine of sites where seniors can retrieve concrete advice, as well as material goods and services. To a great extent, Boomers are unaware of the existence of these resources or are reluctant to take advantage of them. Ironically, it is we, the people, who have, through taxation, generously contributed to the development and availability of what the government can now provide. Now is the time to dip into this abundant trough of resources that you, in fact, helped build!

Now that you realize, Dorothy, that “you’re not in Kansas anymore,” you will need to decide which path of the yellow brick road to follow to best meet your current financial needs.

  • How and where can you conserve by making small changes in your current lifestyle?
  • How and where can you put your current limited assets to work more effectively?
  • How and where can you augment your current income by work, either full or part time, either for yourself or someone else, either doing what you did before, or in some totally new venture.

Through smart saving, adjusted lifestyle, and creative work strategies, you can and will survive, possibly thrive, in retirement, despite limited retirement income and savings.

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Source by Marie Langworthy

The Benefits of Getting Travel Coupons

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Travel coupons are very essential if you are planning on going on a vacation with your family. Traveling with your family can really cost you a lot of money, especially if your family members are more than two or three. These days traveling expenses have really sky rocketed – thanks to the present financial crisis and the expensive prices of the local travel agencies. However, the global financial crisis and expensive travel agency charges should not stop you from taking a refreshing vacation. You know what they say about all work and no play!

Benefits Of Travel Coupons

Thankfully, the advent of coupons for the purpose of traveling has made it much cheaper to travel, even when one is on a budget. A travel coupon helps the user get great discounts while he or she is traveling. With the help of these coupons, an individual can get a pretty good discount at the following:

*Restaurants
*Hotels, guest houses, inns
*Car rentals
*Any other service that a traveler will need while he or she is traveling

You can enjoy your vacation without it costing you an arm or leg.

Travel coupons can be found at the following places:

*Street travel agencies
*Online travel agencies
*Hotels and restaurant websites

If you can get a travel coupon for every member of your family, you are definitely going to save a lot of money on your next family vacation

Types Of Coupons

i. You need to know that there are two (2) types of these coupons available on promo code websites. The first type of these coupons is known as the “Standard Coupon” and it has an actual promotional code. These are the only kind that are listed and will help you cut down traveling expenses when you enter the travel code at checkout – a user will save a certain amount on his or her flight. These types of coupons are the best ones to look out for on any coupon website.

ii. The second type of coupons are known to have something that looks a lot like this “Get 25% off California Hotels at XYZ.com”, this particular type has an expiration date, but has no travel coupon code. These types are a wee bit confusing because anyone who intends to use these coupons does not know where the discount is coming from as the original price is not shown.

Make sure that you search for travel coupons that have actual travel coupon codes, or have an expiration date. If you do not find travel coupon codes or an expiration date on the website, then check somewhere else. The internet is full of these coupons which will not cost you a single cent.

Do not think that just because you are on a budget, you will not be able to enjoy your vacation, if you search on the internet, you will find these coupons and have a swell time on your vacation. Using the internet, you can conveniently find coupons for the following:

*Restaurants
*Hotels
*Golf
*Flight
*Car rental
*Pet necessities
*Gift stores

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Source by Valarie Britt

Shop Smart & Save Money 2019

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In this eCommerce era, it has become possible to find the best deals using a smartphone or a laptop, and get it shipped to your doorstep. It also became possible to score deals in stores, online and through apps.

There are 3 ways to shop smart and save money in 2019, before buying, while buying and after purchase.

1-How to save money before buying an item?

When I find a product I want or need, the first step is to decide whether to purchase it online or in store. Then what store or online platform offers the best quality to price ratio. I also look at some elements that I believe to be very important before making any purchase:

-Shipping Policy: It’s important to know if a price tag online comes with free shipping or if the customer is responsible for this cost.

-Return Policy: It’s also important to find out if a seller or a shopping platform offers free returns or not. With a free return policy in place, the seller will pay for the return shipping cost if the customer doesn’t like the item received.

-Location: Where is the item you are purchasing being shipped from? The items origin location will determine how long it should take for your item to arrive. However there are a lot of online sellers that use the drop shipping method. When the consumer purchases, the seller (who doesn’t have the item on hand) then has the manufacturer or a 3rd party entity ship the item to the customer. These items are usually being shipped from overseas from countries like China, which will take a lot longer for the for the item to arrive. If you are OK waiting that long for shipping it makes no sense to go through a drop shipper, you could pay less by going directly to Alibabba or ALiexpress websites.

Following are some ways I use to score some good deals

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Shop & Save Money

-Goodwill Outlet Store

Goodwill Outlet is a good example of a store that I never visited before 2022. Now I can go there and buy as many items as I want for very cheap, and if I’m lucky enough that day, I can find some brand name items, to keep or resell online. I can pay up to $1.49 for a pound of clothes (prices vary depending upon location). The Goodwill outlet in my opinion is not only for someone who resells online. I encourage you to visit the Goodwill outlet store in your area, it’s an experience that you will enjoy if you like finding deals, and it’s for a good cause. If you decide to go after reading this article or if you have been there, please share with us your experience in the comments area for everyone to learn from

-eBay Auctions

eBay is another platform where you are most likely to score a deal. It’s in my list of smart ways to shop online in 2019 for 3 reasons:

1. Huge inventory with a possibility to make an offer, which gives you some control over the price to are willing to pay for an item. If the seller accepts you have a deal.

2. HUGE number of auctions you can win for cheap if you know what you are doing. I usually score a great deal quickly by bidding on auctions that are ending soon with no bidders. I found out that winning auctions is a great way to save money and shop smart.

3. Rare finds in all categories

eBay has been around for a while and has a strong brand that offers a good buyer protection policy and has trust from around the world.The eBay platform is another smart way to shop, and also get rid of unwanted items around the house. I sell on eBay and keep a Top Rated seller status with a 100% customer feedback, just by keeping my prices low, accepting reasonable offers, and trying to give the best customer service possible. You can still get a good feedback even if the item isn’t brand new, as long as you are honest and mention any scratches or blemishes in the description. You can find my store on eBay here. I will appreciate it if you check it out.

-Poshmark

I love the poshmark app because It’s easy to use, and it’s a great way to find some good deals in the clothing category. As a posher, you can make offers on items you like and use the power of negotiation to your advantage to ask poshers to lower their prices. You can also follow the sellers you like and join parties based on brands or item categories you’re interested in.The Poshmark App made it to my list of smart ways to shop in 2019 because it allows it’s members to be buyers and sellers at the same time. It’s a great way to clean up your closet and get rid of the clothes you don’t use anymore.If you don’t have a Poshmark account, you can receive a free $5 bonus when you sign up with my code SARADRETAIL.

Disclaimer: If you use my code to sign up to poshmark for free, you will receive a $5 credit and I will receive a $5 credit after you make your first purchase. Please leave me a comment below to follow your closet, you can check out my closet here.

-ThredUP:

ThredUP is another website that makes buying brand name preowned clothing and accessories affordable.Their customer service is great, their shipping is quick, and their prices are some of the best in the market. Every purchase I make in the thredUP website is a deal. Check it out here if you are looking for some high ticket items for a really good price. Some of the brands available on thredUP: GUCCI, BURBERRY, GIORGIO ARMANI, MAX MARA, J.CREW, THEORY, COACH, VINCE, MICHAEL KORS…

2-HOW TO SAVE MONEY WHILE BUYING AN ITEM?

There are a couple of different ways to save money while buying products. When you are buying online, depending upon your platform (ie. eBay, amazon, poshmark, craigslist, letgo, offerup, etc.) you may have the power of negotiating your price. Haggling over price is still used in many cultures all over the world, but ultimatley as a buyer we haggle to get the best price we can. Many platforms now have a way to haggle through “Best offer” or “Make an Offer” options. Of course the seller ultimately gets to decide to accept, counter or decline the offer. As long as you offer a reasonable price and don’t low ball in most cases you can expect to pay a lower price than originally was being asked.

Another way to save money online is through coupons, ecoupons, and promo codes. You may be thinking did I just read coupons, aren’t those the things my mom cuts out of the Sunday paper. Well they aren’t just for in store purchases any more. Everything is online now-a-days and that includes discount coupons. There are websites that offer online discounts and printable coupons for almost any item, any store and any retailer at the click of button. These discount codes can be entered at checkout to get anywhere from 10-70% off your total purchase. Plus on many platforms if you bundle (purchase more than 1 item from the same seller) your purchase you can save even more.

Coupons have been used at grocery retailers for over a hundred years. With technology retailers are now able to offer their customers direct mail and email coupons, they can put coupons on their website and customers can even save them on their phone. There are coupons available for any item, any discount and any retailer. Its just a matter of finding the best coupon to use for your purchase.

Here you can check out Coupons.com for some good deals.

Shop Smart In 2019

3-How to Save money after purchase?

3-How to Save money after purchase?

You may be wondering what I mean by saving money after you have made a purchase. It doesn’t make sense that you can save money after you have already purchased an item. Well in actuality I mean cash back rewards. Cash back rewards allow you to earn cash back on any item you have purchased, in turn allowing you to save off the purchase of that product.

We are in the age of apps. We have become glued to our phones, never letting them out of our site, using them to not only make phone calls but browse the internet, purchase products, watch tv, read a book, etc. Apps have become a normal part of our phones anatomy. And there are some apps which allow you to make cash back by doing your normal everyday shopping. These apps include Ibotta, Shopkick, Receipt Hog, FetchRewards, etc. The basic premise of these apps is once you make a purchase you upload your receipt and based upon the items purchased and total spent, you will receive a point value. The points equal a dollar amount and once you reach a certain points total you get that dollar amount either through paypal or through gift cards, etc. Each app has its own unique additions such as getting points just to walk into a store, or scanning certain products. Its nice to know that you can get rewarded for doing normal everyday things such as shopping.

These are the apps I use. If you sign up under me you will get starting bonus:

Ibotta: gyrrrvo

Shopkick: SAVE219356 – get 250 kicks for signing up

Fetch Rewards: YF8AD – get 3000 points for signing up

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Source by Sarah Labdar

Best Laptop Deals For Grabs!

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Being on college surely gives headache and pocket – ache to most parents out there. For one, tuition fees are on the rise and specific necessities, such as laptops, are needed for their child to survive the stressful environment of college. Due to these technological advances, laptops are more suitable for not only work and personal purposes but it is actually being incorporated to most colleges. Compared to a desktop, college students will be able to carry their laptops from one place to another. This type of portability does give an edge in easy access of assignments, researches and other vital information within the discretion of the student. Basically, school stuff can be done anywhere and anytime.

Such demand created the existence of manufacturers offering the best laptops for college students all over the world. This profoundly helped a lot of students and parents to be able to finds the best of the best laptop in town. Making sure that consumers do not give up in the search for the best laptops, manufacturers make sure that the laptops that they sell in the market are very affordable. With being money -saving aider role, manufacturers have released packages that give lots and lots of discounted prices. Strategies as providing the best laptop deals in the market gives a win- win situation for sellers and consumers. This further increases the demand for laptops. The only problem for consumers now is where to get such laptop deals and whom to trust in such quest?

First, consumers must think of what specific purpose does this “new” laptop play in their lives, particularly in the student’s point of view. Will the student be using it for basic tasks? Will it simply replace the old desktop that he or she has? Will it require the student to have the best gaming laptop to be part of the course? There are a lot of other reasons as to why consumers are in search for the best yet low priced laptops. So, one needs to be clear on this area before moving on to the other strategies in finding the best laptops that would suit one’s needs.

Second, take note of some of these tips that suit specifically to the type of person you are at this point of searching for your aspired new laptop.

• If you are one of those students who would just like to replace his or her desktops for laptops then one of the best ways to do it is by visiting your local computer stores. Such stores do offer a lot of new laptops for sale and under great deals at that. There are some stores that would offer the best laptops in different package deals. This may include a laptop with free scanner pads, printers or other hardware. There are also those who offer laptop deals by actually providing free software to be incorporated in the new laptop.

• If you find such task to be tiring and very time – consuming, as it really is, then another alternative is out there. You can easily get access the best deals via the internet. The internet is considered to be a vast rich informative domain. A little research for online laptop stores who offer the same types of package deals as the actual computer stores in your local area. Also, the internet sites do offer you the opportunity to actually compare prices from one online store to the other with the simple clicking of the mouse and in a matter of minutes. This would help you get the best deals there are. With online buying and selling, shipments would not be a problem. There are online shops that offer free shipments and fees that are very much affordable for your pocket. Try to search for one that would suit your situation and need.

• If you are way below the economic status and is afraid to be pulled further down by college tuition fees and other necessities, this tip would truly be of help. With such tight budget at hand, one can get the experience of these portable computers by buying second hand laptops. There are numerous online shops would provide list of second hand laptops and you may encounter online sites of the manufacturers who offer refurbished laptops. Refurbished laptops are those being recalled by the manufacturers due to some malfunction. They further investigate and provide new systems and hard drive for such laptops and return it back to the market at a very low cost. Also, the online web does give opportunities for sellers and buyers to communicate personally so bidding, negotiations and questioning the credibility as well as the aspects of the laptops can easily be addressed. With second hand or refurbished laptops, one can definitely get cheaper and best deals that would definitely put you within your budget.

Third, whether you are consumer who is looking for laptop deals that offers the best laptops for college students or the world’s best gaming laptop, always choose to be the wisest one among your kind. Even though the deals that were offered to you are quite alluring and hypnotizing, make sure that you scrutinize the laptop itself. Take note of the most important parts in looking for a laptop. These include the following parts: hard drive, processor, memory, size, operating system and battery life.

Being a wise and informed shopper could definitely eradicate or shun away the confusing and alluring words of the seller or sales representative. In these aforementioned ways, one can be the best laptop shopper there is. Also, with such powerful tools, one can definitely grab the best laptop deals in town!

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Source by Wayne Nusbaum

7 Tips to Help You Boost Your Retirement Savings

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Are you planning for retirement? If so, we suggest that you start saving as early as you can. Aside from this, you can take a few steps that can help you add to your retirement savings. In the next paragraphs, you will read some tips to boost your savings.

1: Start today

If you are just starting, you should start putting money away as soon as possible. In other words, you should make a start on saving and investing now. The compound interest will help you generate more earnings. Therefore, starting early is really important.

2: Contribute to 401(k)

You can also benefit from your employer’s 401(k) plan, which lets you contribute your pre-tax money. Let’s assume your tax bracket is 15% and you want to contribute one hundred dollars from your each pay period. Now, since you will pay the amount from your paycheck prior to the assessment of tax, you will experience a reduction of $85 in your take-home payment, which means you can put in more money without putting too much burden on your monthly budget.

3: Your employer’s match

You should try your level best to take full advantage of the 401(k) plan offered by your employer. For instance, he may decide to match half of your contribution money up to 20th part of your salary. In this case, if your earnings are $50,000 per year and you put away $2,500 for your retirement plan, the money your employer will kick in is $1,250. Basically, this is free money and you should benefit from it.

4: Open an IRA

You can choose from two options: the conventional IRA is a good choice based on your level of income and the retirement plan of your spouse. Tax may be deducted from your Traditional IRA and the earnings from the investment may grow tax-deferred as long as you don’t make a withdrawal during your retirement.

Roth IRAs can be a great option if you can satisfy the requirements of income eligibility. If you want to find out the type of IRAs that will be the best choice for you, you should consult an expert.

5: Catch-up contributions

If you are over 50 years old, you should benefit from catch-up contributions. You don’t have an unlimited number of 401(k) plans. As soon as you reach the 50-year mark, you can qualify for special plans with awesome catch-up contributions to 401(k)s and IRAs.

6: Automate the savings

By making your contributions automatic, you can develop your nest egg. The good news is that you won’t even have to think about it.

7: Set a goal

If you know how much you will need, you can make it easy to save and invest money. Aside from this, the reward will become more enticing.

So, if you have been planning for your retirement, you can use these tips in order to boost your retirement savings. This will help you get the most out of your saved dollars. So, start today and save your future.

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Source by Shalini Madhav

Mobile Coupons Are Better Than Paper Coupons

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M-Coupons are electronic coupons deliver directly to customer’s mobile phones or devices, these coupons can be buy-one-get-one free products and couple cents off or a dollar off in some situations.

Stores can use in-store signs and flyers to inform people about the mobile coupons. M-Coupons need different barcode scanners that can read barcodes from phone screens. Customers have to scan their phone screens to get the discounts.

With mobile marketing we can increase customer loyalty, brand awareness and increase our sales. Mobile technologies are transforming how we live, work and play. Handheld devices continue to offer additional functionality, and cellular networks are advancing rapidly in their increased speed and throughput abilities.

Mobile marketing is a powerful way to communicate with customers. Banks, television stations and some stores are using mobile marketing campaigns. With the help of text messaging, companies can convince mobile user customers to switch to their products.

Juniper Research is predicting that cash conserving mobile Coupons (m-Coupons) will increase by 30 percent over the next two years, according to two studies it published recently.

M-coupons are better than traditional paper coupons because sometimes you can forget to bring paper coupons from home, but most phone user keeps their phones with them most of the time and there is no way they can miss place or lose the coupons.

On the other hand with paper coupons we need to cut and clip them, but M-coupons can easily be store into the phones. They can easily be deleted from the phone after they have been used. M-coupons can also help reduce paper wastes, and save the environment. M-coupons will also help us create new customers and generate profit.

M-coupons are cheap, easily traceable and have better redemption rate compared to paper coupons.

Pull strategy is better in which user has to accept to receive an m-coupon. The customers can send a code to a number to request coupons. They can also download coupon software and activate it to receive coupons. In this way we will have the right customers and there is no chance of spamming customers with unwanted coupons.

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Source by Raza Chaudhry

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