That doesn’t surprise me. Although nearly 8 in 10 full-time workers have some money for retirement, 28 percent of them report that the total value of household savings and investments is less than $1,000 (not including primary residence and defined benefit plans).
Certainly I’ve had my own share of bag-lady dreams, so this topic really resonated when I researched it for a NerdWallet article called “7 steps to deal with our No. 1 money fear.”
Funding a retirement plan can seem daunting, but it’s not something you can put off. Even if your future is decades away, your new best friend compound interest is here right now.
That’s just one of the articles I’ve done recently for NerdWallet. Allow me to point out a few more:
“What to do if you lose your car insurance.” Nobody likes a break-up letter, but sometimes it really isn’t you – it’s your insurance company. The piece talks about what to do if you’re “non-renewed” or if you’re dropped for cause (e.g., a DUI).
“Driving tips for an El Niño winter.” You learn the most useful stuff as a freelance writer. With this one it was the fact that you shouldn’t use cruise control on wet, snowy or icy roads. Why does no one ever tell me these things?
“What to do if your car gets broken into.” Yet another thing I learned on the job: Devices exist that can bypass a keyless entry system. Go ahead and lock the door – one of those sneaky little “scanner boxes” will pop it open in seconds. Grrrr.
“How car insurance can protect your retirement.” And the scariest thing of all that I learned? Laws in seven states protect a traditional but not a Roth IRA from court judgments. (Those states are Alabama, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana and West Virginia.) In the case of a serious at-fault accident, you could lose a big chunk of your retirement savings.
“Why parents should urge their teens to get their driver’s licenses.” When I was 17 I couldn’t wait to get that little slip of paper.* Things are different now, with a startling 30 percent of teens who are either nervous about driving or simply not interested. Wow. But a couple of good reasons exist to get Junior or Sister licensed before they hit 18.
“High-tech ways to spy on your teen driver.” Once that kid gets his or her license, you can still sit in the virtual passenger seat. No texting, no loud music, no driving past a certain boundary – teens can’t get away with nothin’ these days.
“Why you need life insurance, even if you think you can’t afford it.” Let me put it this way: If you’re living close to the bone or paycheck-to-paycheck right now, what would happen to your household if one of its incomes went away? (This is a topic about which I feel quite strongly; see “Why I have life insurance.”)
More places I’ve been
Get Rich Slowly has also published several pieces:
“11 frugal ways to prepare for an emergency.” Ready for that ice storm, or earthquake, or blizzard, or whatever it is that happens in your part of the world? We’re supposed to be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least three days when the fertilizer hits the ventilator. My article tells you how to do it on a budget.
“35 tips for packing a lunch your kid will eat.” Adults take note: Plenty of advice in here for grownup lunchbags, too.
“19 tips for building your own food bank.” This is not an emergency stash, but rather a creative approach toward building a pantry full of staples to keep food bearable all year long.
“37 ways to keep Fido happy, healthy on a budget.” Repeat after me: There is no such thing as a free puppy/kitten. Our furry friends deserve decent care but it can get darned expensive. In this article I offer a bunch of frugal hacks/coping mechanisms so you can provide proper food, accessories and medical treatment without breaking the bank.
The Money & Media Podcast interviewed me on Episode 14. (It should have been Episode 13 but apparently host Joe Saul-Sehy is superstitious.) I come in at just under minute eight, and talk about best practices for the Financial Blogger Conference. Some of these might work for other conferences, too.
Finally, I’ve been posting weekly on my Write A Blog People Will Read course website’s blog. Here are a few that have made me happy lately:
“Will Wheaton hits ‘reset’” (this post includes a 40%-off code for the writing course)
*Yep, it was a slip of paper – no photo in those days. Gee, I’m old.