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Month: January 2017

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Netspend Account: A Step-By-Step Guide to 5% Interest

Most people don’t believe it, but even in today’s market, you can still earn 5% interest on money sitting in an FDIC insured savings account. It does require a little bit of legwork to set up, but once you’ve done it, the entire account is completely automated.

For most people, a 5% interest savings account is a perfect place to store your emergency fund. It’s where I store my emergency fund. And depending on how much you like to keep in your emergency fund, you could potentially have your entire emergency fund earning 5% interest per year.

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Net Worth Report – Q4 (2016)

I can’t really believe it, but this past weekend, I turned 30 years old. It’s sad to say, but my 20s are now officially over. I think I have to become a responsible adult now or something.

I’ve been casually tracking my net worth over the past couple of months, and back in October, I published my first quarterly net worth report. You can take a look at that post here. My plan is to continue these reports so that folks can see where I’ve been and where I’m going. It’s also not bad for me to have these numbers documented for my own records so that I can get a picture of where I’m going.

Here’s the current picture of my net worth:

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Wealth Is Relative – Remember This And Be Happier

I think that wealth, much like temperature, is relative too. One person might feel wealthy making a certain amount of money while another person, making the same amount of money, might feel like they’ve only got pennies to their name. Some of us might scoff when a doctor or lawyer says they don’t make enough money and are living paycheck to paycheck. When this happens, we wonder how someone making six figures can spend so much money.

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The 529 Plan Hack For Current Students

We don’t often think about 529 plans as a way to reduce our immediate tax liability. But I was recently talking to a friend of mine who pointed out an interesting strategy that might help him reduce the amount of state income taxes he would owe this year.

Traditionally, 529 plans act sort of like a Roth IRA for college. You put money into the 529 for your child’s future college expenses, allow that money to grow over time, and then withdraw that money tax-free so long as you use it for college expenses. If you start right when your children are born, you can basically get yourself 18-22 years of tax-free growth. Considering the fact that the S&P 500 has never lost money over a 20 year period, you’ve got pretty good odds you’ll come out with some tax-free money for your kids by the time they enter college.

The above scenario is the traditional way to use a 529 plan. But a 529 plan can be opened up in anyone’s name, including your own. This opens up a number of interesting possibilities that most people don’t think about…

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What Does Financial Panther Invest In?

Welcome to Part 3 of my series detailing how I invest in my employer sponsored retirement plans. Today, we’re going to look at the exact funds I contribute to in each of my employer sponsored retirement plans. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part 1, where I discuss my general investing philosophy, and Part 2, where I discuss the different types of employer sponsored retirement plans.

For those of you that don’t know, back in June 2016, I switched jobs (taking a $50,000 pay cut in the process). I ended up rolling over all of my 401(k) contributions from my prior employer into my new employer’s 457 plan. Then I needed to figure out how to put my money to work.

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