Micawber’s Favorites – January 6, 2018

Links to several of my favorite recent articles on money and life:

Forget the Global Economy, This Should Be Your First Focus by Andrew at Family Money Plan

This article is a great reminder that personal finance is personal, and that your focus should be on your personal economy. The most important reason for this is that you have a lot more control over your personal economy than you do the nation’s or world’s economy. Putting too much focus on things you can’t control is a sure recipe for unhappiness, while focusing on things you can control leads to hope and progress.

Working One Day a Week Can Be Worth $100,000 by Zach at Four Pillar Freedom

Working part time at a job you like during retirement can be a great option for many people. This article points out that the amount of money you can earn working just one day a week is approximately equivalent to the income generated by an extra $100,000 in investments. This is an interesting way of looking at it that I had never thought of before.

Are You Putting Too Much Money in Your 401(k)? by Elizabeth O’Brien at Money Magazine

The title of this article is somewhat misleading. It is not so much about saving too much for retirement, a very rare problem, but about the advantages of diversifying the kind of retirement accounts you stash your money in. The article extols the virtues of having retirement money saved in both regular IRAs and 401(k)s and Roth IRAs and 401(k)s. Doing this will allow you to maximize tax benefits while you are working and have some control over the amount of taxable income you claim each year during retirement. I wrote about a similar strategy in my article Traditional or Roth? Which is the Best Tool for Saving for Retirement?

Caution Alone Is Not An Investment Strategy by Ben Carlson at Wealth of Common Sense

Stock markets hit new highs again this week. While this is a good thing, the current bull run can’t last forever, and a correction or bear market will eventually come. With everyone currently greedy, is this the right time to become fearful? Ben Carlson provides some possible strategies for investing in current market conditions.

Just 6% of Americans With High-Deductible Health Plans Negotiate Prices by Ben Lockhart at the Deseret News

I am a big fan of high-deductible health plans combined with Health Savings Accounts. Under a system like this people pay cash for routine medical expenses and in return get reduced premiums on catastrophic medical coverage. This should introduce market forces into health care and eventually reduce costs. Since consumers are paying out of pocket for more medical expenses they should have the incentive to shop around for the best deal and negotiate better prices. Unfortunately this doesn’t appear to be happening, as most people are not shopping around or negotiating. However, for those that do shop around and negotiate, almost half said it saved them money. The lesson is that health care costs are negotiable, and we need to get in the habit of not just accepting the quoted price.

How Long Will $1 Million Last in Retirement in Every State by Andrew Lisa at Go Banking Rates

If you spent like the average retiree, how long would $1 million dollars last you? The answer depends on where you live. In Hawaii, the state with the highest cost of living, it would only last about 12 years, while in Mississippi, the state with the lowest cost of living, it would last over 26 years. In my home state of Utah $1 million would last almost 24 years. How long would it last in your state? If you currently live in a high cost state, could it make sense to retire some place where your nest egg will last longer? Something to think about anyway.  

  2 comments for “Micawber’s Favorites – January 6, 2018

  1. Gary
    January 6, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Well done and thanks for sharing these insightful articles!

  2. January 12, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Thanks for including me in this list, much appreciated! 🙂

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