Retirees cite fear that the public safety net won't last.
Although it's a questionable decision for many, almost half of 61-year-olds surveyed recently said they'll begin collecting Social Security when they reach 62, the earliest people can apply.
The survey by Fidelity Investments shows that surprising result -- as well as a widespread lack of understanding of how Social Security works. For instance, "56% do not know when they will be eligible for full Social Security benefits (age 66 for those born 1943-54)," Fidelity said. About a third wrongly think that all benefits are exempt from taxes.
Applying at age 62 locks you in at a lower benefit for life (with one exception we'll describe below.) Is it really worth settling for a lower standard of living just to increase the chances that you'll collect Social Security for a few extra years?
If you landed an interview, you did better than most.
This post comes from partner blog Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.
When I first graduated, the job market was bleak. It was so bleak, I opted to start attending graduate school even before I was accepted. (I graduated early in December and wanted to take classes immediately, so I attended while applying.) In the few months I did look for a job, I received rejection letters from all types of companies. The worst ones were from the companies I didn't even want to work for, but would accept just to have a job.
It wasn't a pleasant time for me or my graduating friends, but it taught me a lot about dealing with rejection.
If you need to feed a family, no work is beneath you.
This post comes from Jim at partner blog Bargaineering (formerly Blueprint for Financial Prosperity).
She gave three arguments for why it's a bad idea: It takes up valuable time while draining the energy you should be using to apply for jobs, it isn't a true solution and could cause complacency, and a less-skilled job doesn't look good on a resume.
It's something everyone's finances can benefit from.
This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.
April is Financial Literacy Month and, as part of this month of financial education, I thought I'd go back to the basics with this edition of the Foundation Series. This post explains something I think everyone should integrate into their personal-finance routine -- budgeting.
Budgeting is one of those activities that sound like a hassle, even if you're a numbers person. But I guarantee that you will benefit tremendously from learning how and implementing your own budget.
Student debt a national disgrace, blogger says.
He's no stranger to controversy, that "Mr. ToughMoneyLove." Whether it's help for homeowners in default -- he called that post "Homeowner bailouts destined to fail" -- or sympathy for a particular 54-year-old GM retiree -- "It's second-career time, my friend, and quit the whining," he said -- he's never shy with his opinions.
Recently, he blamed free-spending universities for teaching impressionable minds that it's OK to carry huge debt.
Try this quote on for size, from his post "The college student debt machine: A national disgrace" at Tough Money Love.
You might have to use a little subterfuge.
We know that gethuman.com can help you reach a real person at a corporation that has an unyielding phone tree. But there are actually many ways -- about 50, in fact -- to get the attention of the right customer-service rep.
Tip o' the hat to "vh" at Funny about Money for directing her readers to "PBX hell: 50-plus hacks and tips to get a real person at any corporation in 10 seconds or less" at VoIP-News.
For those who've been hopelessly lost in the phone-tree maze, this list could restore your blood pressure to normal.
You've paid your taxes, now reap the benefits.
This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.
Government Web sites provide a wealth of information about money-related topics. But finding what's out there can be a chore. This resource provides links to 70 government Web sites about everything from finding a job to buying a home and paying for college.
A wide variety of topics are covered.
Just the other day, we were thinking it might be time to brush up on advanced complexity theory. And because we're expanding our vegetable garden, knowing more about soil mechanics might help. (Well, maybe not because we haven't taken the prerequisites.)
And in case we've forgotten about the particular charms and indignities of aging, we can take free courses on that too, courtesy of Johns Hopkins.
If you have knowledge gaps you want to fill, you can do it online -- for free. To help you find a particular topic, UniversitiesandColleges.org is building "The master list of free online college courses." Feel free to let them know of courses that don't yet appear.
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