I saw an interesting piece on Yahoo this week. It highlighted 13 things that you shouldn’t spend money on. I agree with all of them, but the first one might be my favorite. It’s ATM fees.
“It’ll cost you a record high of $4.57 to withdraw money from an out-of-network ATM. There’s no reason to continue paying these fees, which can add up significantly over time. A simple solution: If your bank’s logo isn’t on the ATM, don’t use it. If you use one of the traditional, bigger banks, there should be ATM options in your area. Simply look up the locations online and put in the extra effort to get to one of your bank’s ATMs. If there aren’t any convenient ATM options in your city or town, you may want to consider opening a checking account with a more accessible bank.”
At the very least, when you shop at a Kroger or Walmart, use the cash back feature to obtain extra money-there is no charge for this.
And there’s no excuse for not looking for nearby ATMs. Just search for “(your bank name) ATMs near me” and you’ll get a map showing their locations.
New Car Shopping
If you’re planning on buying a new car before summer vacation, now is the time to plan your strategy. We began this time last year by comparing models. We started online and then in dealers, making it clear that we weren’t ready to buy. Once we had decided on a make and model, we found the dealers within a two-hour driving distance of us. Then we waited until the last week of the month and contacted each one of them by email, asking for their best delivered price. Once we got responses, we played the top two against each other. We got the deal we wanted without any high pressure tactics from salespeople. We’re enjoying our new car and would never shop the old way again!
A Little Humor for my Readers:
Each time we update the editorial content, I plan to include some humor from my new alter ego…”Perfectus”
Q. What’s the difference between death & taxes?
A. Congress doesn’t meet every year to make death worse!
So technically this doesn’t have to do with finding free money, but it does have to do with finding your own missing goods.
MissingMoney.com is a national database established by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA). MissingMoney.com enables owners to perform comprehensive searches for lost assets required by law to be turned over to the states. Just go to the site, type in your name and state, and see if there is any unclaimed property waiting to be returned to its rightful owner.
Joint or Separate Finances for a Second Marriage?
You spent too much of your first marriage arguing about money. How can you keep finances from hurting your new marriage?
Retirement planning isn’t one of those areas of life where you should be content with “average,” especially if you’re moving closer to your target retirement age. Even if you are late in preparing, though, there’s plenty you can do to make up for lost time.
The States With the Highest (and Lowest) Taxes for Retirees
Different states treat income from Social Security, assets, earnings and pensions differently
Retirees have many good reasons to change where they live: climate, health care facilities, hobbies, crime rate, proximity to family. Cost of living is another big consideration-and on that front, state and local taxes may be a big component. [Bankrate.com recently offered up its overall ranking of the best and worst states for retirees.]
States have very different tax structures. If you move for lifestyle reasons-say, to California-you might be rudely surprised by the state’s average effective tax rate of more than 13%. You can get similar weather, if not views, in Nevada or Florida, where the comparable state tax rate is less than 8%.
- Is it time to downsize? 6 signs that it may be
- 5 ways to make retirement savings last
- Will I ever be too old for a reverse mortgage loan?
- Factors to consider to choose the best retirement age for you
Finally, MI has unbelievably high residential water rates. My wife and I pay $3,000 annually vs. $300 in AZ [and we owned two horses in the AZ desert!]…despite being surrounded by the largest repository of fresh water on the planet, our city gouges us with something I’ve never heard of anywhere that I’ve lived previously – a charge based for our property value!
Complaints to our useless attorney general yielded nothing and there are no discounts for the disabled or seniors. We had a well service visit who told us it wasn’t worth the effort to dig a new well [apparently, there had been a well at the property in 1900].
We’ve added water-miser taps and water barrels to use for watering our garden and even a two week trip to AZ did nothing to lower to our bill. The city installed new inside and outside meters which didn’t improve anything either.
Perhaps you might find the following resources useful:
Water Sense Rebate Finder
Area on Aging
Eldercare.gov or 800-677-1116
Resource Roundup – Share with your friends!
- Maximize Social Security benefits
- Compare mortgage rates
- Find a better CD rate
- Find a better Money Market Account rate
- Compare auto loan rates
- When should you apply for Social Security?
- Pros and cons of retirement income options
- 5 fun alternatives to retiring at home
Get Smarter and Wiser
Hundreds of free online lectures and courses from…
> Harvard at:Extension.Harvard.edu/open-learning-initiative
>MIT at: OCW.MIT.edu
>Stanford at: Lagunita.Stanford.edu
>Yale at: OYC.Yale.edu
Take advantage of the short PDF book that I wrote & get a bonus hardbound book too! Learn more here:
How to Increase Your Intelligence
6 Step Brain Exercise Steve Jobs Used to Boost Creativity
6 Simple Habits to Boost Your Intelligence
The Best Vitamins to Increase Brain Function
How a Harvard Brain Specialist Keeps Her Brain Healthy
A Review of the Top 10 Brain [Limitless] Pills
How to Protect Your Cognitive Function