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Financial Panther Posts

Don’t Know What To Do With Your Life: Why Not Retire Early?

One of my more financially interesting friends is my friend Jay (not his real name). While the rest of us are beginning or in the middle of our “real” careers, Jay still works as a bartender at the same restaurant he worked at while we were in college. He recently turned 30 years old, and if my calculations are correct, that means he’s been working as a bartender at the same place now for 8 years (longer if you count the summers that he worked there while in college).

Bartending always seemed like it was supposed to be a temporary stop. My friends and I all graduated college in 2009 – right in the midst of the financial crisis – and found ourselves unable to get any “real” jobs. I worked two minimum wage jobs and lived at home with my parents. My other friends did similar things. One friend worked at a sporting goods store. Another worked at a golf course. Some people worked at restaurants – typical post-college jobs that you’d expect a 22-year old to have to take after the worst financial meltdown in a generation.

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Live Like A Student: Embrace Non-Traditional Ways Of Living

If you had to ask me what the single most important thing you can do for yourself financially when you finish school, my answer would always be to live like a student. It seems so obvious, and yet, despite being so obvious, very few people actually follow this advice.

I live in a college neighborhood, so I see a lot of college kids when I’m out and about. Sometimes, I like to think about how weird their living situations are compared to your typical middle-class American. Most of these college kids live in rundown houses, usually packing four or more people into a house. It’s not uncommon for people to share rooms or live in tiny bedrooms no bigger than a closet. When I’m out doing deliveries, I’ll sometimes make a delivery to a dorm and am reminded that, for at least a year, most college kids live and sleep in a tiny dorm room with a person they’ve never met before!

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Insight Card: Get Even More 5% Interest Savings

One of the things I like doing is figuring out ways to get the maximum yield on my cash. Most people just accept whatever their bank offers them. The problem is that even your highest yielding savings account pays you just 1% interest these days.

What a lot of people don’t know is that there’s an entire world of super high yield savings accounts out there. These are savings accounts that pay way more than even your highest paying online savings accounts. The thing about these accounts is that you won’t find them at any normal bank. They’re sort of secret, and you can only find them “hidden” in prepaid debit card products.

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Questions To Think About When You’re Setting Up Your HSA

Earlier this week, we talked about the Health Savings Account (or HSA as it’s commonly called). The thing that always bothered me about HSAs are how confusing they are compared to a 401(k). I think this is part of the reason that a lot of people don’t really know what an HSA is or how it works. Almost everyone I’ve ever talked to has heard of a 401(k). But very few people in the regular world have heard of an HSA.

The problem with the HSA has to do with the fact that it requires a little bit more work to set up. 401(k)s, for the most part, are basically automatic at this point. Most employers opt you in by default, deduct a certain percentage from your paycheck each pay period, and put your contributions in a default investment option in your 401(k) – typically some sort of balanced fund or a target date fund.

Setting up an HSA, on the other hand, requires a little more work…

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The HSA: The Perfect Retirement Account For Millennials

Read enough personal finance blogs and at some point, you’ll probably stumble across someone writing about the “secret” retirement account known as the Health Savings Account (“HSA”). For those of us who are entrenched in the personal finance world, the HSA really isn’t all that much of a secret. Most of us who are into this money stuff know that it’s a pretty advantageous savings vehicle.

The thing that I think doesn’t get pointed out enough is how perfect the HSA is for millennials. By giving yourself access to an HSA, you get two awesome things. You gain an extra tax-advantaged account that can really help you maximize your savings. And you lower your monthly health insurance premiums at a time in your life when you probably have very low healthcare costs.

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