Millennials Receive Wake-Up Call on Social Security
Many millennials worry they’ll miss out on the social security benefits retiring Americans have relied on for generations. The Social Security Administration is only obligated to pay “scheduled benefits on a timely basis” through 2034, when millennials are in their late 30s to early 50s.
Social Security isn’t a shared pool of investment money. Instead, people who are working today directly fund monthly Social Security payments to current retirees and disabled citizens. That’s where your paycheck deductions go. Those who are working currently outnumber recipients by less than three to one.
This doesn’t mean you won’t get any social security benefits. Many economists predict a reduction rather than elimination of benefits. Projections call for millennials to receive about three-quarters of what their parents received (adjusted for inflation). For those born in 1981 or later, the bottom line is it’s time to start investing in a retirement account.
Ease Money Anxieties One Step at a Time
Nearly 75% of Americans say financial worries are their number one stressor, according to a survey by Capital One’s CreditWise. Over 80% of millennials and Gen Zers surveyed said money issues caused them the most stress.
Even when you want to tackle these anxieties more than anything else, you still dread doing it. If this sounds like you, set aside some time to think about your first memories related to money.
Did your family struggle to make ends meet? Did your parents bribe you with money or punish you by withholding it? Reminiscing may seem like a waste of time, but it could be a great way to untangle money hang-ups.
Financial planners are experts at helping you challenge old beliefs to make room for positive change. You can also do this online by checking out blogs, online courses, questionnaires, and videos about personal finance.
Sure, some of these sources are trying to generate new customers, but that doesn’t mean the information is worthless. You can even skip the research and try journaling instead. Simply writing about memories and emotions associated with money can be surprisingly enlightening.
Here are five ways you can broaden your understanding of money and related fears.
- Hire a financial planner.
- Talk to a friend, colleague or family member.
- Read books and articles.
- Check out websites, blogs and YouTube videos.
- Journal about your earliest money-memories.
Consider Buying a Home in a College Town
Some people love the culture and nightlife of the big city, but not necessarily the price tag or the inconvenience of urban living. Moving to a mid-size college town could offer a perfect compromise. College towns feature a healthy mix of age ranges and lots of variety in dining and entertainment. Buying a house in a college town can also be a solid financial decision. Students, staff and faculty will always be looking to rent and buy in these markets.
Don’t just make an educated guess on which college town would make your ideal hometown. Realtor.com® has done the homework for you, including which towns are affordable and offer a wide range of community activities, music, shopping, sports, and theater.
Chestnut Hill, MA
Saratoga Springs, NY
New Job Do’s & Don’ts
Starting a new job can be exciting and intimidating, all at the same time. Indeed.com suggests setting yourself up for long-term success right away by thinking ahead and making a list of do’s and don’ts. Keep notes on your progress, observations and the feedback you’ve received. Consider how you can improve in areas that challenge you and your company.
Clearly define expectations.
Set goals for yourself.
Make connections with your colleagues.
Show a willingness to learn.
Ask for feedback regularly.
Use your first 90 days to demonstrate your value.
Actively adopt the company culture.
Keep a positive outlook.
Avoid making assumptions.
Refrain from sharing too much personal information.
Detach from any gossip or drama.
Why You Need an Emergency Fund
Life happens. Your car breaks down. You lose your job. You need a new refrigerator. Although you don’t know when “stuff” will occur, you can and should plan for unexpected expenses by opening a separate savings account for an emergency fund.
When the unforeseen hits, you’ll use this money instead of a credit card or loan. Having an emergency fund can lower your mental stress and put you in charge of your finances instead of letting circumstances bat you around.
Saving $500 is a good place to start. Over time, try to save 3-6 months’ worth of your living expenses. If you set a monthly savings goal and contribute to it consistently, you’ll create a reliable cushion to protect you from falling into debt.
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