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Here are this week’s articles as well as a brief description of each:
1. Kids Flown the Coop? 10 Not-So-Obvious Money Tips for Empty Nesters. When your kids leave the nest, you can certainly expect some changes. Yes, it will be quieter. You might want to redecorate. You may think about fine-tuning your finances as retirement approaches. This article shares several ways you can use this life milestone as a tool to improve your financial picture.
2. How to Declutter and Speed up Your Phone. Is your phone running a little slow? Deleting old, unused apps is only one thing you can do to help improve your phone’s performance and give it a new life. After clearing out unneeded apps, you may want to consider organizing the home screen and freeing up additional storage. Not sure how? The article shares steps that can be used by Android and iPhone users.
3. How to Reduce Taxes in Retirement. When you retire, the IRS is still looking to take its share of your Social Security, retirement fund payouts, and any other income you may earn (such as pensions). In fact, you may even pay more taxes in retirement than you did when you were working. It is important to consider asset location – essentially which type of account should hold which asset. You may also want to think about Roth conversions – converting traditional IRA or 401(k) savings into Roth IRA money during years your tax bill is lower. Another possibility, if you are charitably inclined, you can enhance the tax efficiency of your contributions through qualified charitable contributions (QCDs). QCDs allow you to avoid paying income taxes on some or all of your required minimum distributions.
4. How to Break a Digital Addiction. In today’s digital age, we often find ourselves constantly checking our smartphones. We are always connected. Picking up our phones too frequently can be unhealthy. It can make our families less connected as well. How do we break the habit and stop checking in as often? The article offers several suggestions, including the following:
· Turn off push notifications.
· Set expectations around email response time.
Personally, I have turned off virtually all notifications on my phone. It reduces the urge to interrupt what I’m doing and picking up my phone. Setting expectations around how long you may take to respond to an email can also help.
5. Does It Matter Where You Go to College? If you have children that are attending college or are close to doing so, you know college is expensive. Yet, parents often focus on trying to get their children to attend elite institutions. Back in November 2002, a paper concluded that for most students, the salary benefit from going to a super-selective school is “generally indistinguishable from zero.” The researchers concluded that the average SAT scores of all the schools a student applies to predicts success better than what school the student actually attends. Last December, a new study found no relationship between college selectivity and long-term earnings. While the study did find a benefit for women, the majority of that benefit resulted from more hours of work. Women who graduate from elite colleges delay marriage and wait longer to have children. They also stay in the workforce longer than similar women who graduate from less-selective schools. The belief is that women who attend elite colleges are more career-focused.
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