Archive for May, 2010

Busy Memorial Day Weekend (and Personal Finance Links)

I had a pretty busy, but pretty great Memorial Day weekend… and it left me with a lot of material to write about. I only hope to find the time this week to do it all justice. Without going into very specific details, I thought I’d go through the weekend and give an [...]

Related posts:

  1. Busy Week at Lazy Man HQ (and some Personal Finance Links) It’s been a busy last few four days for me….
  2. Personal Finance Links (Our Marley, McGruber) This weekend, my wife introduced me Marley and Me (the…
  3. Weekend Personal Finance Links (Palm Pre vs. iPhone Edition) I’d like to wish all the father’s out there a…
  4. 8 Things I Think I Think (and Personal Finance Links) As I do every now and again, I steal ideas…
  5. Personal Finance Links (Annoying Weekend Edition) This weekend seemed to have one problem after another. It’s…

Weekend Linkage — May 31, 2010

The Memorial Day holiday weekend has gone pretty fast.
It was a busy long weekend for us. We went to shopping all day Saturday before receiving our first guest in the evening since moving to the *new* house. On Sunday, we drove nearly two hours to Laury Caverns in Virginia, about 90 miles from where we live. [...]

Original Post on The Sun’s Financial Diary

Special bonus offers

Weekend Linkage — May 31, 2010

The First Step to Financial Success

(A guest post from Jack Reed – see below for his bio).
Your hands firmly on the steering wheel, you zoom across the open highway in full throttle! Your adrenaline rushing, you thoroughly enjoy the thrill of owning the new car you longed for! Life never felt so great! Suddenly, the alarm went off!! Oh! And [...]

The First Step to Financial Success is an original article from the website brip blap.

How To Cook Rice With Flair: Simple, Creative Ideas For Rice

I grew up on rice, and this is no surprise given where I’m originally from! I usually prefer rice as plain and white as they come, but let’s not forget that while it’s a staple product, it doesn’t always have to be used on its own. You can serve pretty much [...]

How To Cook Rice With Flair: Simple, Creative Ideas For Rice

Citi Cash Bonuses I Missed

Earlier this week I made a list of some of the best cash bonuses online and I’ve had some people point out that I missed a few.  I’ll go back and add them to the list but here are some details on two I overlooked:
1) The first is a $30 bonus on the Citi Platinum [...]

How to Qualify for Social Security Benefits

The Social Security program is the largest government program in the world and the single greatest expenditure in the federal budget. The actual name for Social Security is the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program.

It consists of many parts, including guaranteed income to the retired, disabled, and qualified survivors, insurance in the form of Medicare, unemployment benefits, and other programs. Today, we’ll specifically look at what it takes to qualify for retirement and disability benefits.

Social Security Work Requirements

Your ability to receive disability and/or retirement payments primarily depends on your work history. For you and your dependents/survivors to qualify for full benefits under each program, you need to be “fully insured.” You and/or your dependents may also qualify for limited benefits if you are “currently insured.”

Each status requires a certain number of social security quarters of employment earnings. This number changes from year to year. In 2010, a quarter of earnings is $1,120. You can earn up to 4 quarters per calendar year, regardless of when the earnings were actually earned – once you make $4,480 in a year, you have 4 quarters for that year, whether you earned that money in January or December. Current requirements are as follows:

  • Fully Insured means that you have 40 quarters of qualified earnings after the age of 21.
  • Currently Insured workers have at least six quarters of coverage out of the previous 13 calendar quarters.
  • Disability Insured varies based on age. Those between 21 and 24 have to have 6 quarters of coverage in the last 12 quarters. If you are 24-30, you have to be covered for half of the available quarters after age 21. If you are over 31, you have to be fully insured (40 quarters of coverage) AND have earned 20 of those quarters in the last 40 calendar quarters.

Other Social Security Requirements

In addition to a certain number of quarters/years of work experience, you have to meet additional qualifications to actually claim and receive your benefits:

  • Retirement: To claim your social security retirement benefits, you have to be fully insured and reach full retirement age, which varies from 65 (for those born before 1938) to 67 (for those born after 1960). You may receive reduced benefits before full retirement age or increased benefits if you defer receipt past retirement age. Your spouse and dependents may also claim benefits based on your work history.
  • Survivor: When you die, your survivors (spouse and dependents) may be able to claim social security death benefits based on your retirement benefits. Amounts and eligibility will vary depending on whether you were fully or currently insured at death. This benefit applies regardless of your age at death.
  • Disability: To receive social security disability benefits, which are notoriously hard to qualify for, you must meet the definition of disability insured above AND prove that you meet the government’s definition of disabled. Because this definition is so hard to meet, most people should carry supplemental disability insurance.

Social Security Benefits

If you have met all requirements, you will receive a percentage of your highest years of income, based on many very complicated calculations completed by the Social Security Administration. You can see an estimate of your benefits using the social security calculator. The system is calibrated so that lower-paid workers receive a higher percentage of their income than higher-paid workers.

As mentioned earlier, your spouse and dependents may also receive benefits based on your work history. Your Social Security Statement, received annually about 3 months before your birthday, will provide personalized details about your potential benefits.

As we all know, Social Security will have to undergo major changes to stay solvent in the future. So while you should be aware of this information, you should also make sure you are using retirement accounts to plan for the future on your own!

Written by Jill


Click here to leave a comment on this article.

© My Dollar Plan

Get cash back every time you shop with Mr. Rebates. Sign up now and get a $5 registration bonus!

Net Worth Update May 2010 (+2.67) – Sell in May and Go Away?

Welcome to the Million Dollar Journey May 2010 Net Worth Update – Summer Correction Edition.
For those of you who believe in seasonality, there is a recognizable historic pattern of market performance between the months of October and May, and bearish the remaining months.  That’s where the saying “sell in May and go away” comes from, but what [...]

Can You Get Paid To Do Free Online Surveys?

Earn a little extra income by getting paid to do free online surveys.
This is something you’ll find a lot of people discussing online. There are plenty of people out there who claim to make a nice second income from a variety of activities including blogging, mystery shopping, or earning points or cash through rewards [...]

Can You Get Paid To Do Free Online Surveys?

Memorial Day Savings

Many people think of Memorial Day weekend as a time to spend money because so many businesses have big Memorial Day sales.  I’m actually not planning on spending any money this weekend, other than a little on food and beer for a barbecue : )
However, for all of you hitting the Memorial Day sales, here [...]

Why Online Banking Customer Satisfaction Matters

The last couple of years have been pretty tough for the banking industry. These days, it’s not uncommon to hear people slandering their local banks, and to notice how consumers are switching away from banking and into other institutions, like their local credit unions. A lot of our trust in the banking industry [...]

Why Online Banking Customer Satisfaction Matters

Best Cash Bonuses Online

Cash bonuses are a decent way to bring in a little extra one-time money. You’ve probably experienced this first hand with local bank promotions where you get a bonus if you open a new account.  Typically these types of deals online are from banks and credit card companies who offer you a cash bonus if [...]

Get First Checked Bag for Free with AMEX Delta SkyMiles Cards

A couple of years ago, when airlines first started to add surcharges for checked-in baggage, their excuses were to use the extra fees to offset high fuel cost. At that time, the price of a barrel of crude oil was something like $140 and there were predictions that the cost of oil could go up [...]

Original Post on The Sun’s Financial Diary

Special bonus offers

Get First Checked Bag for Free with AMEX Delta SkyMiles Cards

Friday Finance Findings for May 28th

Hopefully most of you will be able to take advantage of the long weekend coming up. I know in many parts of the country the weather has already turned to summer so it could make for a good weekend to get outside. I’ll be doing my best to take advantage of the weekend myself, but [...]

About the Author: Jeremy is a retirement planning specialist and founder of Generation X Finance and the guide to Financial Planning at About.com. To learn more, follow Jeremy on Twitter.

Friday Finance Findings for May 28th

Citi $50 Bonus and 0% for 15 Months

Citi’s sign up bonuses just keep getting bigger each week! Today’s Free Money Friday offer is another double offer: a $50 gift card and a 0% Balance Transfer!

How to Get Your $50 Gift Card

  1. Apply for the Citi Diamond Preferred Rewards Card.
  2. You will receive 6,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $300 in purchases are made with your card within 3 months of account opening.
  3. Once these points post to your account, you may redeem for your choice of a $50 gift card good at leading national merchants or save them to use for other great rewards.

Citi 0% Balance Transfer

  • 0% APR does not apply to cash advances.
  • The length of your intro period will be either 0% for 15 months from the date of account opening on purchases and balance transfers, or 7 months from the date of account opening on purchases and balance transfers based on your credit history.
  • The balance transfer fee is 3.0% of balance transfer amount, $5 minimum.
  • New cardmembers only.

More on Citi Card

Perks. This card has no annual fee and offers 5x Thank You points on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations for the first year.

Balance Transfers. Learn more about how you can still take advantage of balance transfer offers.

Purchases. Don’t forget you can also take advantage of the 0% for 15 months without any fees by using it for purchases.

Sign Up for Citi

Written by Kate


Click here to leave a comment on this article.

© My Dollar Plan

Get cash back every time you shop with Mr. Rebates. Sign up now and get a $5 registration bonus!

Best of Blog Results and More Links

As most of you know, last week Million Dollar Journey was nominated for the Globe and Mail Best of Blogs in the Personal Finance category.  We got off to a late start, but we managed to squeeze into 2nd place!  Squawkfox came out very strong and won the poll.  For the top investing blog,  Preet [...]

How to Have a Successful Garage Sale

A successful garage or rummage sale may at first seem like a quick and easy way to make some cash. And while this is true, if you want to earn some decent income for your efforts, you need to tackle this project using some basic garage sale tips.

Duration
While a one-day rummage sale may yield a [...]

Post by Frugal Dad

Build A Loan Portfolio With Lending Club

Getting started as an investor in the world of peer to peer lending can be overwhelming, given the number of loans and decisions you’ll need to consider. But it’s a lot easier to get started than you think. While you’ll encounter loans with different amounts, interest rates, purposes, and projected returns, there are [...]

Build A Loan Portfolio With Lending Club

How to Send Money With Your Phone

Sending money with your phone is getting easier as more banks are starting to offer person to person payment services.  If you belong to one of these banks you can send money with your phone simply by sending an email or text message.  The person you’re sending money to doesn’t even have to be a [...]

Getting Ready for Vacation Home Shopping

Vacation time is here! We’re busy getting packed to head out for vacation. Readers were on both sides of the fence when I asked Should We Buy a Vacation Home?

Since then, I’ve been busy doing a ton of research on buying vacation homes: past sales, rental statistics, talking to current owners, break even points, etc. It wouldn’t be like me to jump into something without a complete over analysis right?

While we’re on vacation, we have an appointment to look at some of the lake condos that we liked last year. Want to know the best part? When I made the appointment, they gave us a discounted rate (about 1/3 of the normal price) to stay there. Turns out, checking out the properties is a frugal way to travel!

Helpful Resources for Vacation Home Rentals

While I was researching, I found a fantastic forum on the Vacation Rental Yahoo Group. It’s a pretty knowledgeable group if you’ve ever considered buying a vacation rental.

In addition, my reading for the trip is the book How to Rent Vacation Properties by Owner.

I’ll keep you posted on what we decide to do. For now, it’s back to packing!

Debt

Real Estate

By the Numbers

And More!

Written by Madison


Click here to leave a comment on this article.

© My Dollar Plan

Get cash back every time you shop with Mr. Rebates. Sign up now and get a $5 registration bonus!

Secured Credit Cards: A Good Alternative in Times of Tight Lending

In this day and age, access to a credit card is virtually a necessity. It’s very impractical to carry bundles of cash and paying for things is so much more convenient with plastic. But using your debit card also carries a little added risk. Lately, the credit industry has been stifled and getting a credit [...]

About the Author: Jeremy is a retirement planning specialist and founder of Generation X Finance and the guide to Financial Planning at About.com. To learn more, follow Jeremy on Twitter.

Secured Credit Cards: A Good Alternative in Times of Tight Lending

How Concerned Are You About Net Worth?

One of the first things many people do when creating their own financial plan is to determine their net worth. By adding all assets and subtracting all liabilities they will create a financial starting point that indicates how healthy their situation is or isn’t. But relying too much on this number itself without properly weighing [...]

Original Post on The Sun’s Financial Diary

Special bonus offers

How Concerned Are You About Net Worth?

Are You Financially Sexy?

The following guest post was written by Mike @ Green Panda Treehouse.
All right, first off I must admit that I was inspired in great part by one of my blogger friends (J Money) for the title of my article. J writes for Budgets Are Sexy and I always thought it [...]

What is a Good Credit Score

A good credit score can save you tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of thing that’s worth my time and effort to make sure I get right. Unfortunately most people don’t know much about credit scores. Frankly, I don’t blame them. [...]

Related posts:

  1. Credit Score Transparency Do you know what your credit score is? Sorry to…
  2. Hack Your Credit Score? When I was at Prosper’s annual conference, CEO Chris Larsen…
  3. Free Credit Scores from Credit Karma – No Scam Credit Karma is no scam If you are looking for…
  4. Credit Karma’s Credit Simulator (and Other Credit Tools) Last April, I went to Finovate Startup in San Francisco….
  5. Mailbag: Hacking your credit score, Too Much P2P, and Giving Away $150 One of my favorite sports writers, Bill Simmons blends humor,…

Weekly Roundup: Foreclosure Squatters Edition

One of the links below points to a post that asks the question, “Is Squatting in a Foreclosure Acceptable?” It’s rare for me to take the bank’s position on things, but in this case, I do not think squatters should be allowed to bog down a legal recourse to a default on a mortgage loan. [...]

Post by Frugal Dad

Affording Student Loan Payments & College Tuition

Just as bad as our health care system woes are the financial issues faced by many college students who fall into serious debt due to student loans. While the average undergraduate college loan debt stands at $23,000 (for 2007-2008), there are those cases that seem pretty extreme, like this guy who ended up with [...]

Affording Student Loan Payments & College Tuition

Next Page »