Seniors And Affordable Transportation

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By Eric Olsen, Executive Director HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm

Affordable transportation is often a concern for senior citizens. Some seniors go without basics to make car payments they can’t afford for a car with little or no equity. Others need affordable replacement transportation but don’t have the income to finance a car. What are some options for these seniors?

I am the Executive Director of HELPS, a national charitable nonprofit law firm that educates lower-income seniors on how to maintain their financial independence. We regularly speak with seniors searching for answers to transportation problems. First let’s discuss options for buying a car, then what to do if you have an existing car payment you can’t afford.

Financing a car from a dealer might not be the best option or even possible for a senior with lower income. Dealers generally sell used cars “as …

Video: Considering Borrowing From Your Retirement To Pay Off Debt? Don’t!

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Let’s say you’re tempted to make a withdrawal from your 401(k) plan to pay off some debts. You can always catch up by paying that money back into your retirement savings later, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Don’t rob your future to pay for your past! Watch Bankrate.com Senior VP and Chief Analyst Greg McBride explain how a decision like that will affect your retirement outlook over the long term in our exclusive video above. Let the free Retirement Planner by MoneyTips help you calculate when you can retire without jeopardizing your lifestyle.

If your credit is good, you may be better getting a loan to pay off your debts. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using

Home Prices Outpace Pay Increases

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Affordable Housing? What Affordable Housing?

Affordable housing is increasingly hard to find in today’s market. According to data from Trulia, America’s inventory of starter homes has decreased by almost half compared to six years ago while prices rose by almost 58%.

As consumers recovered from the housing crisis and Great Recession, more people became financially able to own a home. The existing supply was quickly consumed, leading to the current imbalance.

Recent polls suggest that affordable housing woes will continue through 2018 and beyond. According to a Reuters poll of property market analysts, home prices are expected to increase at almost double the rate of wages through 2018. Home prices are predicted to gain 5.7% more over the course of the year, while average annual earnings growth is predicted to be 2.8% – slightly above the predicted inflation rate of 2.5%.

At least inflation is expected to stay more in line with wages, hel…

Don’t Borrow Against Your Retirement Plan!

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You are already dealing with increasing debt. Suddenly, you find yourself with an unplanned expense that you cannot afford. You look longingly at your 401(k) balance. If only you could access some of that money to meet your current needs….

In many cases, you can access that money without penalties by borrowing from your 401(k) — but most experts agree that borrowing against your retirement plan is a bad idea, for a variety of reasons.

Borrowers may not understand the long-term harm that they are doing to their retirement account, or they may understand it but still rationalize a retirement-backed loan as their best option. Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrate.com, uses the example of borrowers thinking that they are harmlessly paying money back to themselves but forgetting about compounding and the time value of money.

Such borrowers do not realize, says McBr…

Video: Can You Be Fired From Your Job If You Have A Low Credit Score?

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Can your current and prospective employers use your credit score to hire and fire you? Does this really happen? Watch our exclusive video above to learn your rights and how you can prepare for such situations.

Maintaining your credit score can prevent many negative outcomes. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using Credit Manager by MoneyTips.

Americans’ Biggest Money Mistakes

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You’ve made some life decisions that you’ve regretted, and some of those decisions surely involve money. What sort of money mistakes have you made?

Don’t be shy about admitting your financial mistakes. According to the latest version of Finder.com’s annual America’s Biggest Money Mistakes survey, you have 192 million fellow Americans to keep you company. More than three-quarters (78.3%) of respondents claimed to have made a money mistake in their lifetime. We’re surprised that number isn’t closer to 100%!

As Finder.com Consumer Advocate Jennifer McDermott says, “It’s understandable that so many have made a money mistake in our lifetime – we’re only human! However, while a slip-up doesn’t need to derail our entire financial wellbeing, it’s important to recognize the triggers to make better choices in the future.”

What’s the most cited financial mistake? By far, the winner …

Who Lives At Home?

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We know the stereotype of the unmotivated millennial, living at home with their parents without any long-term plan or concern about their situation. Is that a fair representation? Do millennials disproportionately live with their parents? If so, is this from necessity, lack of motivation, or part of a grander strategy?

It’s logical that younger generations are more likely to live with their parents in a non-caretaker capacity, even in the best of times. Millennials suffered the added indignity of coming of age during one of the worst recessions in history while dealing with prohibitive student loan debt.

Previous information from the Pew Research Center found that in 2016 – after years of economic recovery – 15% of millennials surveyed still lived with their parents. That’s well above previous generations at that same point in their lives (10% for generation X, 11% of late ba…

How to Select the Best Business Bank – How to Choose the Bank Your Company Needs

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As a company owner, CFO or Controller, one of your most important tasks is to select the right business bank. It is easy to think that all banks are the same, but there are important differences in services, fees and culture. So it’s worth taking some of your valuable time to insure that the bank you select is the best fit for your business.

First, analyze the services you need from a bank. Here are some factors to consider:

Trump and Bankruptcy

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Unless you have been in an isolation tank for some time, you know that Donald Trump is running for President of the United States. He of the iconic hair is particularly sensitive to discussions about bankruptcy, as his operations have declared bankruptcy multiple times. While the Donald may not like it, it’s fair to ask how a man who wants to be President can tout his business acumen and ability to straighten out the country while having filed for bankruptcy not once or twice, but several times.

Here’s why the question annoys the Donald: Donald Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy. However, his operations have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy four times between 1991 and 2009. There is a distinct difference.

As opposed to the Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcies generally used by individuals, Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows large corporations to stay in business while reorganizi…