Hope for your financial life and beyond

5 Ways to Reduce Your Medical Expenses in a Car Accident

Getting involved in a car accident is something no one wants to experience. Yet most will at some point. A 2020 report by Esurance found that 77% of all drivers have had at least one accident and that the average person files a car insurance claim every 17.9 years. So if you start driving by age 16, you are estimated to have 3-4 accidents over the course of your lifetime.

To give it even more weight, here is the reality – many accidents are ones we have no control over. You may be a very cautious and try to drive as safe as possible. But you can only control your car.  You can’t control the other drivers or the deer running across the road.

According to another survey, in 43% of car accidents, at least one driver or passenger sustains injuries. And these injuries may entail expensive medical bills. That’s why it’s imperative car owners get car and accident insurance. Otherwise, those medical bills and potential lawsuits could bankrupt you. 

So if you are looking for ways to lessen a medical bill from an accident, let this article be your car accident injury guide to help you cut down on the cost as much as possible. 

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Top Tips for Freelancing Success

Have you ever thought about freelance work as a side hustle to earn extra income or as your main way of making a living? Many people do, for either of those reasons, including myself at one point in my life.

There are a number of benefits to being a freelancer. One of the most attractive draws is that it provides flexibility for your life and your career. Turns out many people love the ability to set their own schedule, be selective of the jobs they take (ones that bring them meaning and purpose) and in some cases, do freelancing from home. 

Nonetheless, freelancing can also be a lot of hard work. As a freelancer, you work alone and are responsible for every aspect of your work. This makes it harder in some respects than a conventional salaried job. 

To that end, this guide has been created to outline a few ways you will be able to achieve success in your freelancing career. 

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Here’s What a 529 College Savings Plan Covers

It’s no secret the cost of college has and continues to skyrocket. It makes it very difficult to go to college debt free. This is especially true if you do not start saving early enough. If you can start saving though, you have some options. A 529 college savings plan is one of the smartest investments you can make for your child’s future success.

college savings planA 529 college savings plan is a state-administered plan. The IRS does not tax withdrawals, as long as they are made for qualifying educational expenses. As an added bonus, a 529 plan can be used for a beneficiary’s tuition expenses for elementary through high school, in addition to college, graduate school or trade school.

The rules change however, when a withdrawal is made that the IRS doesn’t consider a qualifying expense. 529 college saving plans are federally taxed, even though they are administered at the state level. If you want to use the plan to pay for a non-qualifying expense, the withdrawal will incur a 10% penalty and receive the federal tax.

That’s why you should be absolutely sure which withdrawals qualify. So here is a brief guide to assist in your decision-making on whether this type of plan is right for you. 

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Beyond the Retirement Plan: 3 Things to Do Before You Stop Working

Have you started thinking about your retirement plan? For most, the retirement plan consists of saving enough money to cover their life expenses after they stop working. More than likely, the retirement plan revolves around socking money away in investment accounts such as a 401(k), traditional or Roth IRA, a savings account, or real estate. Some may even horde cash in a savings account or CD.

retirement plan

In one sense, the retirement plan is about the money. But it’s not JUST about the money.

Other concerns abound besides having enough money to pay for housing, food, and other expenses. The money side is important but other issues can impact if have a fulfilling retirement. Addressing these ahead of time will make a big difference in how comfortable you feel and your family feels.

So before you start planning your retirement party, make sure you’ve addressed these important issues.

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High Risk Investing: When I Turned One Thousand Dollars Into…

I marvel at how Wall Street creates wealth. This even happens sometimes through high risk investing. An investor purchases a few 100 shares in a small company that hits it’s stride or a start-up that goes supernova and they become a millionaire inside a decade.

high risk investing

That’s not normal. For most investors it takes multiple decades of steady, solid investing to create significant wealth. But it does happen from time to time, as we all have seen.

That’s why the latest opportunities or fads like cryptocurrency and NFTs attract us. It’s why we get caught up in new companies and try to buy in on the opening day of trading. IPOs (initial public offerings) tend to be extremely volatile. That is why investors are better off waiting for several months before they decide to purchase shares.

What if you could purchase shares in a company before it went public though? That would be an extreme level of high risk investing. You are essentially putting money into a company that might not even make it to market. That strategy is more like speculating than investing.

But would you do that given the opportunity? Put money on the line with a chance to hit it big or lose it all? I did once and here’s that story.

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How to Develop a Purposeful Plan for Giving Away Money

If you have found your way to this article, you most likely have a generous heart and enjoy giving away money to a favorite cause. But have you ever thought about how you give away money? Do you give purposefully or haphazardly as opportunities pass in front of you?

giving away moneyDeveloping a purposeful plan for giving away money might seem silly. You may want to give wherever and to whomever you like without feeling held back by a plan. There is great freedom in that philosophy. However, as I’ve found out over the years, there are also great dangers.

Putting together a purposeful plan for giving away money is a fundamental exercise you should go through. In short, it will help you have success with your finances.

Everyone who gets serious about their finances tries hard to make a monthly budget work. We make a plan to pay for the kid’s college. And we work tirelessly in order to support ourselves in retirement.

So why do we ignore this area of our finances where a lot of money could also pass through our fingers?

The fact is we shouldn’t ignore it. Here’s how to get purposeful with your giving.

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How Much Should You Save for Retirement?

Retirement is something every working person needs to think about, no matter how young they are. The simple reality is that, at some point in your life, you are going to have no income. You’re going to need a retirement fund for your basic needs. But how much money will you need?

Calculating how much you will need to save for retirement is difficult for a number of reasons. It is impossible to know just how prices will rise over the decades. Inflation is a real issue that can eat away at the spending power of your money. 

Additionally, you may need to buy technology that has not even been invented yet. Or you might end up supporting a family member or a child who isn’t able to get a job for whatever reason. And finally, you may have unanticipated large medical needs as you head later into life. All of these things make it a challenge to know exactly how much to save for retirement. 

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Secret Advice For Teenagers Who Love to Spend Money

You know who you are – a teenager who loves to spend money like it’s going out of style. You spend money faster than it takes a Snapchat to disappear. Money comes into your hand one minute and flows out like water the next.

spend moneyAnd you like it that way!

If that’s you, I have some special advice today. It’s unusual, maybe even secret advice. I’m pretty sure you’ve never heard any adult say this to you before. In fact, your parents may hate me for saying this because it might go against how they have instructed you to handle money. So I’m actually running a big risk here.

But before I reveal this big secret about spending your money, you have to promise me something.

The promise I’m asking you to make is to read this entire post. You are going to love what I have to say about spending money,  but you can’t take it as stand alone advice without understanding the bigger picture. As they say, the devil is in the details. So I’m asking for five minutes of your time to help you avoid a huge potential failure when spending money.

Ready for the big, secret advice? OK, here goes…

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7 Tips on How to Handle a Teenager’s Car Accident

Calls in the middle of the night are never good. Neither is the one when you say “Hello” and your teenager is crying on the other end. Your heart immediately drops because you are scared and know they are hurting. That was my experience anyway when I got a call from my daughter after her first car accident.

car accidentShe had just left basketball practice and was traveling at the legal speed on a country road. As she came up over a small hill and cars were stacked up four deep waiting for someone to turn left. She wasn’t on her phone but admittedly was a little tired from practice. By the time she realized what was happening in front of her, it was too late to brake in time. The truck she was driving rear-ended the last car in the line. The driver of that car had her foot slip off the brake and hit the accelerator, propelling her down into the ditch. On the way, she clipped the car in front of her.

As rear-end car accidents go it wasn’t pretty. My daughter’s airbag in the truck deployed. The car she hit obviously had damage in the back end but also in the front, as it hit a telephone pole when it went to the ditch. The third car had minor bumper damage. In the end, our used truck – that we had owned for less than a month – was totaled.

Thankfully, everyone was OK. No hospital visits were needed. And the people involved were pretty nice about it. I think they could see how upset this 16-year old girl was having caused her first accident.

I hope I never have to take that call again from any of my other kids. Odds are though I will. But as the oldest child often does, she broke new ground and helped us figure out how to deal with a teenager’s car accident. So here are 7 things I learned from the incident.

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The 10 Best Summer Jobs for Teens and College Students

Memorial Day marks the official beginning of summer. For teens and college students that means one of three things. Either you are:

a) continuing school by choice (to get ahead) or out of necessity (because you failed)… summer jobs for teens

b) looking for a summer job to earn money or…

c) in for a really boring summer sleeping in and playing video games.

We all know that teens and college students love money. But we also know that some of them NEED money in a bad way. They have lots of expenses, from gas for the car, to eating out with friends, to paying for college tuition and expenses. Many times, parents are unable to fully fund (or refuse to fund) these expense categories. So teens and college students are left to support themselves. And the time to rack up the big money in a paycheck is over the summer when they are out of school.

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4 Easy Ways to Get Your Finances Back on Track

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many in a financial ruin (or at least in less-than-ideal financial circumstances). People are reeling from what the shutdown and quarantines did to the economy and to their personal wealth. It’s important, maybe now more than ever, to make sure your finances are on track to meet your future goals. 

It’s is a good thing that businesses and travel have started to open back up. People are staring to get their lives back. Life is beginning to return to pre-Covid19 normal as vaccines are rolling out. With all this taking place, it brings additional incentive to look at your finances and see if you need to make adjustments to stay on track toward your goals. There is no better time than now to get started. 

There are many factors to consider with this. That’s why so many cannot and do not manage their finances well.  It simply can be a daunting task to know where to start and how to plan things out well.

It’s not overstating it to say that for many, finances can be one of the greatest causes of stress and anxiety. However, there are some simple tasks that can help get you started. Here are just a few easy ways for you to make sure your finances are on the path to success. 

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