Think back to those early days in life when it seemed like everything in the candy aisle was free if you begged your parents hard enough. Not a fleeting thought was given to the expenses of a vacation or the copay costs at the doctor. There’s something beautifully unburdened in the way which children experience the world: recklessly present and innocently ambivalent.
When people warn you that having kids is expensive, it’s no joke. From diapers to food, braces to sports activities the costs add up quick. For a middle-income family in the U.S. raising a child up until age 18, costs an estimated average of $245,340 (or $304,480, adjusted for projected inflation), according to the 2013 “Cost of Raising a Child” report from the U.S.
The tax code, with all of its hundreds of pages of regulations, stipulations, and loopholes always leave something be learned. Not only is the U.S. Internal Revenue Code massive, different write-offs and deductions occur at different stages in life, so it’s unsurprising if you don’t know the details of the IRA (Individual Retirement Account) charitable rollover.
It is no secret that the typical American is working long hours with little respite compared to other countries with large economies. Full-time employees report an average work week of 47 hours and four out of 10 American workers say they work over 50 hours a week.
Here’s a thought: retirement doesn’t mean the end. It doesn’t mean an end of self-importance or purpose, it just means a new chapter—a paradigm shift of what life is beyond long days and meetings and bosses. Unless you own your own business, and even then, you are not your business.
The stockings have been hung, candles lit, lights strung, and carols sung when the financial stress begins to peek behind the corners of brown paper packages tied up with string. Everything’s shiny and cozy but you can’t extinguish that tiny feeling that you went way over budget this holiday. You’re not alone; holidays are a particularly financially stressful time for many.
Although one may not realize it, we have all developed core beliefs about money – usually from an early age - that drives our financial behavior and decision-making. That belief, whether positive or negative, is firmly planted in the driver seat of our financial emotions but may remain undetected until provoked.