Financial Fitness and Wellness | Blog - by SARA CHEVERE

401k, The Poor Men's Retirement Plan

 

Financial literacy is very rare in the US.  Actually, only 5 states enforce some sort of financial class in their high schools.  I am talking about teaching how to pay bills, how to build good credit, how to avoid debt like student loans. 

Among those states are Utah, that scored the highest for having a required semester class on personal finance.  The other ones are Alabama, Missouri, Tennesse and Virginia.  It is sad to say that states like California, Massachusets, and Pensylvania don't even have an education program on how to teach people about money. 

So what does the 99% of the population do when it comes to retirement plans and financial education?  

Most people trust their employer's retirement plans.  Not because they know that it is the best way, but mostly because they don't know any other option.  The majority of people in the United States signed up for their employer 401k retirement plan.  

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How to Achieve Your Goals?

Have you taken the time to set up your goals for 2018?  What is going to make this year different or better than the previous years?

I am going to share with you the 5 steps that are necessary for you to set up your goals and I am going to give you the key to reach them effortlessly.

First, you have to have a clear vision of what you want.  If you are not clear, it will be difficult to reach it.  Therefore, make sure that you know what you want and be specific when you write it down.

Second, you have to have a burning desire and a why and strong enough reason on why you want to achieve the goal.  There has to be a driving force that moves you constantly, even when you don't want to.

Third, visualize your goals through vision boards, or read them out loud daily.  When you see them, heard them and feel them, it will be more real to you.

Fourth, have a deadline.  As you know, a goal without a deadline is just a wish.  And create...

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Talking Finances With Your Significant Other

 

The number one reason couples split up and ended in divorce is Money

One reason is that they have a different point of views on how to manage the finances. The other reason is that they both have weak money habits and cannot handle it correctly.  

The lack of communication in a lot of couples could create more debt in the household.  Why?  Because where there is not a good communication, it creates a void. And most likely, shopping, things will be filling up the emotional gap. 

Ask Yourself: 

Are there any secrets when it comes to finances within your household?  Sometimes one of the spouses doesn't know what the other is either spending or saving.  A lot of times, one of them don't know what the other's income is.

They do talk about money, but not openly and honestly. 

  • I know couples that purchased things behind the back of their spouse. 
  • I know couples that one of them have a secret savings accounts because...
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How To Avoid Overspending During The Holidays?

#budget #holidays #spending Nov 22, 2017
 

The Holidays are around the corner, and the temptation of commercialism and marketing, decorations and more are going to be influencing us. 

All the stores get decorated and the holiday spirit is in the air.  But that also means that everyone is in the spending mood, and therefore we need to make sure that we don't overspend.  

What we want to do is follow specific steps to avoid overspending.  The first thing that we need to understand is that the Holidays is not about spending and buying gifts. The most prominent meaning is to spend quality time with people that you love, friends and family. 

However, we understand that it is difficult to avoid seeing the newest items and latest technology coming out and influencing us to spend more.  And don't forget that is a commerce tactic to be able to keep the economy above.  

So what can we do to protect us from the influence and avoid overspending?  How to prevent the hungover in January...

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7 Things That Make Women Financial Needs Different From Men

#finances #money #women Nov 03, 2017
 

This might come as a surprise, but the reality is that women have different financial needs than men.  Why? Because we are different, we are treated differently, and our lives are different than men.

So today we are going to review 7 things that make women financial needs different from men. 

  1. The Pay Gap- As women, till this date, we are still getting paid less in the workforce.  This is due to various reasons.  One of them is that when a woman looks for a job, if she doesn't have at least 90% of the requirements for the job, she will not apply, and if she does, she will feel that she doesn't "deserve" to negotiate because she didn't have all the qualifications.  As for men, if they have at least 60% of the requirements, they will apply as they say to themselves, I can figure out the rest.  Plus they will negotiate their salary as well.   The other thing that causes the pay gap, comes directly from the employers, a lot of them still think...
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Do You Know How Much Are You Paying in Fees On Your 401k?

Do you know? Most people are not aware that they need to pay fees on their 401k. In a survey conducted by Woelfel Research, Inc. of Dunn Loring, VA, revealed that "7 out of 10 people (71%) had no idea that they have to pay fees in their 401k.  Also, about three in five (62%) are unaware of how much they are paying in fees."

This is alarming and worrisome as you do want to know how much are you paying in fees.  

What Your Employer Know and What You Know

There is no congruency between the employer version and the participant version. Most likely as a participant what you will see in your disclosures is the following: "Additional administrative fees may apply" or "contact your administrator".  Unfortunately, your administrator is your employer which means that most likely, they will have the employer version of the disclosures.  The financial companies are making these disclosures so difficult to understand that it can be overwhelming. 

Can you find your...

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Do You Have An Action Plan For You And Your Family?

 

Recently, I went hiking, and I had the chance to talk to the Fire Department in Laguna Beach, and they gave me a booklet. It is called Ready! Set! Go! Your Personal Wildfire Action Plan. It's an emergency plan or an action plan in case of a fire emergency, and it made me think about this: Do we have a family emergency plan? For example, if you are at your house and there's an emergency, and you have to evacuate immediately, (and you know that this is) happening everywhere these days).

Do you have an action plan with your family so you can in 10 minutes or less grab all of the most important items and get out of the house?

In my personal experience, a lot of times we don't, we haven't think about these things because it doesn't happen that often. However, I think it's essential that you have a plan of action where whenever there is an emergency you get to go and grab specific bag and just head out. This is very important. Another thing the booklet suggests is to have a point of...

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Five Apps To Help Your With Your Finances

 

We all have to start somewhere when it comes to managing your money and your finances.  It is never too late to get educated and learn how to change your habits and become a savvy investor.  

The following apps will help you to be clear where you are right now and establish a plan to achieve your future goals.  The time is NOW! By the way, I am in no way associated with any of these apps, I personally use them and that is why I am recommending them.

 

CREDIT KARMA 

This free app will allow you to see your credit and your credit scores.  I do have to clarify that the credit scores that are showing here is based on Vantage Score and not on FICO, Beacon or Empirica. So the scores are going to be a little different than if you are applying for a home because they use a different numeric factor.  However, this is a good start to know where you are at and also determine if there are any mistakes in your report that you can even handle directly...

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Why Is It So Important To Have An Emergency Fund?

#emergencyfund #savings Oct 01, 2017

In the midst of Hurricane Season and Fire Season and even Earthquake Season, it is important to ask ourselves these questions. The word EMERGENCY broke it down pretty well. We need to have funds for any unexpected events. This should be liquid assets that are readily available.

Here are the major unexpected events that we can run into:

1. Job Loss
2. Medical Emergency
3. Car Repairs
4. House Repairs
5. Weather Conditions

When a hurricane is approaching an area, most individuals are subject to hours of preparation, which means an increment of expenses, by having to buy extra nonperishable food, supplies like flashlights, candles, plywood, and of course water.  This also means hours of loss of work time. If you do not evacuate the area, you can lose your car, your home will also incur in damages and that is without counting personal items that could be lost due to wind or water damage.

Fire is something very unexpected as well.  How about insurance protection for flooding,...

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What Does Success Look Like?

#coaching #success Sep 28, 2017

"What does success look like?" This is the question that my Business Coach asked me this past weekend as we were together in a room of amazing entrepreneurs at heart.  The energy in the room was so positive, heart-centered, energy, and motivation. 

When I heard that question, I felt a deep heaviness inside me and then right after, I felt a burning desire to take the leap and stop living within my comfort zone and do what I knew I was capable of achieving. 

I would like to ask you the same question.  What does success look like to YOU?

I would like you to close your eyes for a moment and visualize that success looks to you.  It could be not having a 9-5 job, maybe a successful business, maybe been able to travel more, or not to have to worry when to work.  Probably success is starting a family or have more time with your kids.  Or create an empire and be recognized on TV, Radio or Stages.  Again, just take a moment and think what...

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