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Are You Spending Your Money Wisely?

As a financial advisor, I advise all sorts of people how to spend and save more wisely and it’s surprising what people spend way too much on. This article on CNNMoney highlights the top 12 money wasters, but here are my favorite five that I can relate to:

  1. Leaving Your Stuff in a Storage Unit could be costing you $480-$1800 a year. I recommend going through all that stuff and making decisions to lighten your load and put cash in your pocket book!
  2. Leaving Rewards, Points, and Miles Unused could be costing you over $200 a year. A cool site called Points.com lets you manage all your points and rewards in one place.
  3. Weekly Visits to the Dry Cleaners could be costing you over $475 a year. It could be worth some investment of time to see how to get out that coffee stain or remove smelly odors on your own.
  4. Failing to Program Your Thermostat could be costing you $180 a year. Taking just a few minutes to set up your device could help you save.
  5. Scattering Your Insurance Policies could be costing you $300 a year. By bundling your home, auto, and life insurance, you could save up to 25% a year.

By simply avoiding these five money wasters, you could save close to $2,000 a year. Now that’s savings!

For more advice on how to reach financial freedom, please contact me at dmcmurryiic@msn.com or visit my website: http://www.integratedinsuranceconcepts.com/index.html.

By Doug McMurry, Owner of Integrated Insurance Concepts in Arizona

 

Maximize Your Social Security: Will Not Getting a Paycheck Reduce Social Security Benefits?

Whether you’re on the verge of retirement or starting young at your first job, questions about how to maximize your social security benefits may be on your mind.

There was a great question posted on AARP that highlights a few key factors of getting the most from your social security. A 50 year old is retired after 35 years of work and planning to begin social security retirement benefits at the age of 67, but wonders if not getting a paycheck for over 17 years will reduce his benefits.

Not working for those 17 years won’t hurt what he has already made, but it’s important to remember one key point: Higher earners generally get more in benefits than lower earners. This means that if 17 years of work could increase the average indexed monthly earnings, then he’ll be sitting better by the time he’s 67 years old and collecting social security.

As with any financial decision, the choice is personal. But it’s also your choice to figure out how much you could be missing out on. If you need help running this type of calculation, please feel free to contact me at dmcmurryiic@msn.com for more information.

Have another question about maximizing your social security? Please share by commenting below.

By Doug McMurry, Owner of Integrated Insurance Concepts in Arizona

Why is Your Paycheck Smaller in 2013?

As you’re opening your first paychecks of 2013, you may think for a split second, ‘there’s been a mistake’. Unfortunately, it’s no mistake: Social Security tax has increased its withholding from 4.2% to 6.2% and this is making a dent in paychecks around the country.

According to this article on Yahoo, Roberton Williams, a tax economist and the Sol Price Fellow at the Tax Policy Center in Washington, said the expiration of the payroll-tax cut will leave the average American household with $18 to $20 less to spend each week, or $900 to $1,000 a year.

Although upsetting, placing the blame on the government won’t change anything for the time being. There are however, other ways to make this dent in pay bearable:

  1. Instead of eating out 1-2 a week, try to schedule and plan meals on Sundays. Eating out is that ‘go to’ vice when we’ve had a busy day and are just too tired to even think about what to make. A little planning go a long way and put more money in your pocketbook.
  2. Try cheaper brands for things like toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, and more. We all have things we prefer to splurge on, but it can make a big difference to plan ahead on what brands you can be flexible with.

If you need help making your money count with this recent payroll tax increase, feel free to contact us at Integrated Insurance Concepts. We can make sure you stay financially free in 2013, even if you have to cut corners in some areas. Contact me at dmcmurryiic@msn.com for more information.

 

By Doug McMurry, Owner of Integrated Insurance Concepts in Arizona