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Profitable Ideas: A Simple Money Move to Make Now, When NOT to Save for Retirement, and More

A weekly roundup of some of the more interesting and helpful personal finance articles I’ve read recently.

One simple financial move you can make in a month (Forbes). A little bit of this can make a big difference.

When not to save for retirement (Reuters). I agree – there are two steps you should take before investing.

6 sobering facts about the stock market (Wise Bread). The author may be somewhat suspect, but the article contains some important points all investors should understand—especially at times like these.

Here’s how to save $100,000 by age 30 (Time). It isn’t rocket science, but it does take sacrifice.

Con artists use these psychological tactics to manipulate people to believe them every time (Inc). Many of these tactics are used in the marketing messages we encounter every day.

Your phone will replace your wallet at the ATM, too (Wired). One day, wallets will only be found in antique stores and museums.

How to stop stressing out about money (Business Insider). Lots of good, practical advice here.

Moving toward less but having more (Three Thrifty Guys). Short, simple post with a big, powerful message.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the above. Just meet me in the comments section.

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4 Responses to Profitable Ideas: A Simple Money Move to Make Now, When NOT to Save for Retirement, and More

  1. Pam January 29, 2016 at 3:30 PM #

    I am torn about the Reuters retirement article. If your company has a good company match, it might not be a good idea to leave that money on the table. Obviously, an emergency fund is critically important, but once you’ve got that covered, the decision isn’t as simple if you’re just deciding between retirement savings and retirement of consumer debt. A better option then might be to contribute to your 401(k) just to the amount of your company match, then put the rest of your money toward paying down your debt.

    You’d have to do some math to figure out which plan works in your favor in the long run. There are lots of interest payment calculators out there (bankrate.com has a nice one in their credit card section) to figure out how much extra you’d pay in interest if you paid down your card balance a bit slower. Depending on how much debt you have and what interest rate you’re paying, you might come out ahead by getting the matching funds and tax savings (assuming pre-tax contributions) from putting that 5 or 6% of gross into your 401(k).

    But of course, those calculations are only valid/accurate if you stop charging up more debt and actually pay off the debt you have!

    • Matt Bell January 29, 2016 at 4:01 PM #

      Pam – I’m a little torn on this one, too. But as I responded to Brad, I’ve found it usually works out better long-term for people to focus on getting out of debt and building savings first. Especially if there is consumer debt, I’d want to get at the root of that.

      A company match is an amazing benefit, a guaranteed return on your money. But dealing with debt issues is even more important. And if there isn’t any or much of a savings cushion, then people may end up having to borrow against their 401(k) in a financial emergency, which defeats the purpose.

      In most cases, it’s best to use the match as an incentive to get out of debt and build savings ASAP.

  2. Brad Brestel January 29, 2016 at 1:39 PM #

    Liked the When Not To Save For Retirement article. Just counseled a young family man with the same advice; build cash reserves and pay off consumer debt first.

    • Matt Bell January 29, 2016 at 3:54 PM #

      It makes it tough if there’s a company match available from a workplace retirement plan, but I’ve found that for most people it’s generally best to focus on those two goals first.

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