Errors on your credit report and wipe you out financially. In this episode of Young and Oldish Money, we’ll show you how to correct those errors once and for all. Also, we’ll have tips on how to handle someone’s finances when someone dies. And we’ll wrap up with actionable tips on what to do when interest rates rise.
Ways to Reduce Student Loan Debt Episode + Buy and Power Your Home on the Cheap
Can Elon Musk Help Power Your House?
Elon Musk of Tesla fame is also into solar energy. He’s thinking about building a battery, akin to the Tesla battery that will power your home. Imagine this, lowered energy for your home-but what do you do if it’s cloudy?
We talk about ways to cut energy costs as Bobby discloses the results of his 1:00 am call with the electric company.
Call your energy provider and schedule an energy audit to check out ways to get that utility bill down. Don’t wait around for the Elon Musk battery powered home.
Looking to live off the grid? Tune in for tips and ideas for today to thwart the energy bills.
“Elon Musk is Designing a Tesla Battery to Power Your Home“, Quartz (Q.com), John McDuling
No Down Payment-You Can Still Buy a House Sensibly
“A program in Vermont makes homeownership more accessible by covering down payments and then splitting the resulting profits.” ~Nancy Cook, The Atlantic.com, “Is There a Middle Ground Between Renting a House and Buying One?“
Learn about the middle ground between renting and buying a house. And no, it’s not about asking Mom and Dad for a down payment.
Shared-equity housing is a way for you to buy a house without all of the upfront cash. We talk about a program in Vermont called the Champlain Housing Trust which gives you the down payment (staked by the government). You make the mortgage payments. When it’s time to sell, you share in the profits.
With housing costs through the roof, its tough for many people to find the cash for a down payment. These types of home shared equity programs make home ownership a reality for those with a job and decent income, just not enough to fund the whole home buying endeavor.
We talk about how this type of program works, how much money and income you might need and whether your town offers a similar gig.
Please don’t confuse this strategy with another ‘sharing’ program we talked about in Episode #2. This is not an Uber for home buyers.
Don’t Let Student Loan Debt Be Your Downfall
Debt in the U.S. is declining……except student loan debt.
We talk about the rise in college costs, debt, and the ‘good old days’ when Barbara went to college. We’re not sure if she rode a covered wagon to college or not.
Seriously, student loan debt is a huge problem. In fact, even in bankruptcy, you can’t get rid of it.
We discussed college options to reduce debt and refinance it at a lower interest rate.
“More People are Paying Off Their Debt On Time – Except For Student Loans“, Buzzfeed.com, Matthew Zeitlin
Continuing the student loan debt conversation, we explained how to refinance your debt to lower your interest rates and subsequently your monthly payments. Seems like several start ups are trying to get in on the student loan debt help arena:
Apparently, CommonBond uses a controversial algorithm to set their interest rates for student loan debt borrowers. They forecast how much money you might earn and then determine your interest rate based upon your future ability to pay off the debt. Got a computer science degree from Harvard? You’ll likely get a rock bottom interest rate when refinancing your student loan debt.
We help you understand the types of student loans and next, ways to lower your student loan debt.
Then we get into a bit of college philosophy conversation as we discuss the viability of choosing a college major based on ‘love or money’.
“Online Student Loan Start-Up CommonBond Gets Help From an Industry Giant“, Buzzfeed.com, Matthew Zeitlin
- Ways to go to college cheaper (secret, this isn’t about ways to reduce student loan debt)
- Is college for everyone?
(Featured image courtesy of oninnovation on Flickr)
Pot Pros and Cons-Episode 6
Pot investing, smoking, and curing your ills is our third topic today, but my favorite! We also touch on cash alternatives, robo-advisors, and secrets of the most productive people.
Cash Alternatives Are Exploding
Everywhere you turn, there’s a new way to pay. It makes us wonder…..
Is cash on it’s way out?
What about credit cards-are they on the decline as well?
How reliable and consistent are the payment systems today?
We muse over the question, “Will Apple Pay, Venmo, Google Wallet, Paypal, Bitcoin and others be here tomorrow?”
Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about bitcoin! We discuss the bitcoin boom along with the other new payment systems cropping up. Bobby shares his deep dark secrets about Venmo as we riff about which one’s are here to stay.
And the ‘oldish’ Barb marvels at how easy it is to deposit a check with her phone. Get our take on the vicissitudes of mobile pay.
If you’re curious about mobile pay, then you must tune in to this episode of Young and Oldish Money. This is the beginning of a topic that, will not go away.
MSN Money.com by Chris Morris, 9 Reasons You May Never Use Cash Again
Bloomberg.com by Jing Cao, Millenials say “Venmo Me” to Fuel Mobile Payment Surge
What’s up with Robo Advisors?
What do Wealthfront, Personal Capital, Schwab; Intelligent Advisor, SigFig, Betterment, and RebalanceIRA have in common? They all use technology platforms to invest your money. And these are just a taste of the many robo advisors cropping up these days.
This new robo-advisor class of money management uses technology and proprietary algorithms to invest your money. Their claims are that the robo platform takes the ‘guess work’ out of investing and will lead to higher returns.
We unscientifically go through the pros and cons of this new model of money management. Bobby even professes to know who should and shouldn’t use a robo-advisor. What do you think, will a robo advisor make your investing more consistent?
Listen to this episode and find out more about the exciting world of technology assisted investment management.
SFGate.com by Kathleen Pender, Automated Investment Advice-A Growing Trend
Pot Pros and Cons- Marijuana Is Here to Stay
Ferner and Reilly of the Huffington Post tackle pot in, “Marijuana Industry Sets Its Sights on the Mainstream“.
Who doesn’t like to talk about pot? We start the pot pros and cons conversation today. Is there a decent investment potential in the burgeoning, almost-legal, way to feel good? We cover whether marijuana might benefit your mood, your health and your pocket book.
There’s tremendous controversy regarding the medicinal benefits of marijuana as well. Here in Northern California, it’s easy enough to get a prescription for ‘medical marijuana’, but is pot going to do what it’s supposed to?
Potency issues can make or break the commercial success of marijuana. Do you trust the marijuana shop owner to give you the quality that you’re paying for? This is a problem with the lack of regulation, consistency, and standards.
We cover the marijuana landscape from legal, medical, and other viewpoints. No matter what your thoughts are on the ‘new almost-legal everywhere’ pot, you’ll find something to think about. Get the pros and cons of pot in this first pass at the marijuana, money and health conversation.
Secrets of Productive People
It ‘s common place for the day to finish hours before the to-do list. After all, who doesn’t want to increase their productivity?
Listen and uncover the ‘secrets’ of the uber-productive. Fast Company writer, Samantha Cole tackles “10 Ways to Improve Your Well-Being (and Productivity)”. We shamelessly steal from this article and add a few ideas of our own. Maybe one day, you’ll actually complete your to do list. And with these tips, the day might come sooner rather than later.
We all know it’s a good idea to exercise and maybe even meditate in the morning. But getting more light can actually give your day an energy boost. How easy is that?
Hamdi Ulukaya, the president of Chobani Yogurt sings the praises of nature, as a way to become more productive. This was a great reminder for both of us.
The dreaded to-do list just got a bit easier with the idea that you should tweak the list by actually scheduling the activities into your calendar.
Get ideas to become more productive and have fun too. Learn how to get more out of the limited time we have each day.
(Featured image courtesy of torbenh on Flickr)
New Years Podcast-Episode 3
January 1, 2015
How to protect yourself from bad financial advisors, China banks lure savers with Mercedes, deal with pesky questions from Mom and Dad, and money and life philosophy.
Avoid Bad Financial Advisors
Jason Zweig of The Wall Street Journal in “Financial Advisors, What You Don’t Know“, offers some important caveats to explore before hiring a financial advisor. With so many varieties of financial advisors vying for your money, learn what to look out for and who to trust in today’s episode.
We explore why it’s important to check out your financial advisor before turning over your cash. You’ll hear stories about financial advisors who don’t have your best interests in mind. There are actually some that stick their clients in high fee accounts and even those despicable financial planners who’ve run afoul of the law.
How do you protect yourself? You should probably ask certain questions when hiring a financial advisor. We talk about what to ask and where to look when investigating your financial advisor.
Sample questions to ask your advisor include:
- Do you have an investment policy statement?
- Show the advisor a simple low fee index fund portfolio and ask him/her to evaluate.
- How are you paid?
When looking to avoid bad financial advisors, there are solid organizations to consult. Research the background of your advisor or find a reputable planner here:
- Find a fee only financial advisor at the well respected National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)
- Find out what types of questions to ask and how to research your advisor at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
- Do a Broker check at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
- You can almost certainly set your own, more stringent criteria, and there are other places to seek guidance.
Learn how to protect yourself and your money from unscrupulous financial planners in today’s episode.
Chinese Banks-How They’re Wooing Customers
China is in the news today. With recent high growth and a blossoming (and volatile) stock market, banks are losing out. Here are some of China’s crafty plans to keep the customers from fleeing to higher yielding assets.
In Chinese Banks Offer Goodies for Cash, Businessweek digs into shadow banks and crazy offerings. Could these practices migrate to the U.S.?
Banks are offering exciting incentives to get customers back in:
- A Mercedes car in exchange for a $145,000 deposit into a 5 year CD.
- $60,000 deposit gives you eggs and veggies for 6 weeks
- Other gifts include-gold pendant, iPhones and more.
We talk about whether this is a viable investment for U.S. citizens or whether these types of giveaways will migrate over to the U.S.
The Worst Questions Your Parents Will Ask and How to Answer Them
Over the holiday season, Mom and Dad may be asking those ‘personal’ questions. Here’s how you can arm yourself with answers.
Those listeners in your 20’s and 30’s, get ready for annoying questions from Mom and Dad, such as:
- Why can’t you hold down a job?
- Why aren’t you married?
- Why don’t you have kids?
- Why are you living in a dump?
But, don’t worry, we give you ideas about how to handle the questions from Mom and Dad, from a ‘young and oldish’ perspective.
Inspiration article; The Nine Worst Questions Your Parents Will Ask You This Week, and the Data You Need to Answer Them, from Businessweek.com by Natalie Kitroeff and Akane Otani.
We wrap up this episode with some inspiring money and life banter by Bobby and Barbara. You’re bound to feel good!
(Featured image courtesy of epsos on Flickr)
Welcome to Episode 1 of Young and Oldish Money
Welcome to the first episode of ‘Young and Oldish Money’! We’re glad you stopped by. In this episode, we discuss the tumultuous stock market and whether it is time to sell, how little we know about managing our own money, and how long to keep your financial records.
(Published December 25, 2014)
Is it Time to Sell Your Investments?
In the article, “ROBERT SHILLER: ‘I’m Not Selling Yet’ – Business Insider, Myles Udland digs into the current market valuations as discussed by the recent Nobel Laureate. We use this article as a springboard to talk about whether it’s time to sell your investments and other related topics.
Even though stocks have risen close to 200%, Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller isn’t selling yet. We discuss why you should listen to Shiller. In addition to the Nobel Prize on his shelf, this luminary devised the well-regarded CAPE index and predicted the 2000 bursting of the dot com bubble.
As of December, 2014 Shiller claimed that the stock market is overvalued, but not at an extreme level. We discuss that no one knows when the market will crash because, as Shiller iterates; the stock market is driven not only by value, but by investor’s emotions as well.
We riff on market valuation and investing strategy. Learn how Bobby invests and get some actionable investment advice from Barbara.
Uncover a tip about how you can game the market and boost your returns a bit in this episode. Finally, how do you know when it’s time to sell?
From Time to Sell to Managing Your Money
We love quizzes on Young and Oldish money. In this segment we talk about the results of this money query; Most People in the World Have No Idea How to Manage Their Money – The Atlantic (Quiz), by Moises Naim.
Take a look at this sample question. Listen to the episode and find out the answers to the money questions and how the public fared on a simple money test. You may be surprised at how poorly the public performed.
“1. Suppose you had $100 in a savings account and the interest rate was 2 percent per year. After five years, how much do you think you would have in the account if you left the money to grow? A) more than $102; B) exactly $102; C) less than $102; D) do not know.”
Some of the solutions to help the public with their money smarts are:
- Help lower income folks with financial knowledge.
- Improve your education.
- Emphasize learning about money management in your own life.
- Teach financial literacy in schools.
To help teach kids financial literacy, we referenced the Money Confident Kids website by T.Rowe Price. This is a great site to teach children basic financial concepts.
Queue up this podcast episode to find out how you would fare on this quiz as well as more money tips to help you manage your money.
How Long to Keep Financial Records?
In spite of the availability of online record keeping, most of us haven’t arrived at a paperless system. Both Bobby and I continue to strategize on the best ways to manage those ever growing receipts and important documents.
Here’s how BusinessInsider and Bankrate weigh in on how long to keep financial records:
- Here’s How Long To Keep Any Financial Record – Business Insider by Keith Klein
- How Long to Keep Financial Records – Bankrate.com chart
As organization buffs, we shared a lot of ideas about taking care of the ever expanding receipt and record keeping problems. In this episode you’ll find out that there’s more to keeping financial records than sticking them in a shoe box and forgetting about them.
We also talked about a service, Neat Receipts, which auto scans receipts for you and organizes them by category.
Discover how long to keep your tax returns…hint, hint, it’s longer than 7 years.
Additional Reading Resources:
(Featured image courtesy of ipdegirl on Flickr)