Answers to Common Questions About Retirement

by Justin Weinger on June 29, 2017

Everyday, people ask the same set of questions about retirement. Many of those questions have no one true answer. All too often, it comes down to a matter of opinion. These questions are asked by people who are getting close to retirement age, and for the most part, have not thought about their retirement plans all that deeply.

Good retirement plans don’t just happen a month before the big day. A good retirement plan starts with your first job, and is a priority throughout your working life. Under those circumstances, many of the most common questions about retirement just go away, as they are already factored into the plan.

These questions represent what people don’t know all the way up to the point they start asking them. So the first question to answer about retirement is, when should you start planning. The answer is, right now. Here are a few more common retirement questions and answers:

When Am I Eligible for Social Security?

The typical eligibility age for the Social Security program is 67. However, you can opt to get it sooner. Under normal circumstances, the youngest you can draw Social Security benefits is 62. But this information is not enough to make an informed decision.

What Are the Consequences of getting Social Security Early?

Benefits, in part, are based on life expectancy. So the only real consequence of opting for early retirement is the amount of benefits you receive on a monthly basis. If your full benefit amount is $1,000, it will be reduced to $700. The amount of reduction varies depending on how close your are to full retirement age. The Social Security Administration spells it out:

If you start your retirement benefits at age 62, your monthly benefit amount is reduced by about 30 percent. The reduction for starting benefits at age

63 is about 25 percent;

64 is about 20 percent;

65 is about 13.3 percent; and

66 is about 6.7 percent.

The biggest determining factor for when you should start receiving benefits might be life expectancy. If you expect to be long-lived, waiting for full retirement age best optimizes your future resources. But long-term finances are not the only consideration. If poor health is a factor, Medicare benefits might be more important than future cash.

What If I Am Disabled Before Age 62?

If you suffer a long-term disability before you reach retirement age, Social Security has a program called Social Security Disability (SSD). This program is designed to step in when a person has a long-term disability regardless of age.

While extremely helpful in that circumstance, it remains one of the toughest programs for which to qualify. Many are denied benefits on their first try. There is an appeals process that can help you get through the system. There are many attorneys who specialize in helping people successfully navigate the application process.

What should I Do After Retirement?

What you do after retirement depends on what type of retirement you envisioned. Many envision spending the remainder of their lives in play and leisure. If this is the retirement you want, you have to have a lot of money. But while that is the lifestyle presented on brochures, it is not necessarily the one you should choose.

According to the experts, the best way to die young is to opt for early retirement. It turns out we need to be needed. Many retirees become depressed because after a life of gainful employment, they no longer feel useful. It turns out that it is best for both your health and finances to keep working, even if only part time.

At the end of the day, retirement is not about the numbers. It’s about the definition. You can answer all the questions about numbers:

  • What age are you eligible?
  • What age is best for Social Security?
  • What about finances in the event of a disability?

What really matters is how you define retirement. You don’t want to give up on life. You want to stay vibrant, active, and useful. You are the only person who can best decide how to fulfill that goal.



How to Save Money and Still Follow the Trends

by Justin Weinger on April 30, 2017

It’s the existential dilemma for every fashionista; how to look your best and always in fashion while still being able to afford to pay the rent and buy food.

And while there are many fashionistas out there who would choose a new pair of pumps over a meal, this article has some information which should negate the need to make that decision.

Are You on the List?

A question you likely hear when trying to enter the hottest night spot of the season. However, it also applies to saving money on current fashion items. Each time that you are at the counter and see a mailing list, sign up. If you are browsing a store online and see an option to sign up, do it!

While these types of mailing lists get a bad reputation, it’s all based on old perceptions when stores used to bombard their mailing list addresses with pointless information. This lead to nothing short of a consumer revolt as fingers all over the world reached for the SPAM button; a trend merchants picked up on and adjusted their tactics.

Nowadays, these mailing lists provide shoppers with relevant and appealing discounts and sales on current and next-season stock. That’s right – NEXT season stock. If you get on the right mailing list, you could find yourself with early access to collections before they even hit the runway and with the option to buy them before anybody else.

Surely There Is a Coupon for It?

A good question; and one to which the answer is a resounding YES. Looking for a new dress? Check online for a coupon for free shipping. Need a pair of winter house shoes? Head to the Groupon Coupons page for Ugg to get deep discounts. How about the latest shades of eye-shadow? You guessed it – there’s a coupon for it.

The next time that you see an item in store which you simply must have, take note of its item code and go home to spend some time looking for a coupon or voucher. Whether it’s a small percentage off or free shipping, money in your pocket is exactly that!

Online Forums

Forums are not commonly known to people who aren’t well versed on the internet. Particularly those who didn’t grow up with the internet. Forums are a text based space for people to communicate on shared topics. They are similar to message boards, and there are numerous different sites which accommodate for every pastime and hobby. Including fashion.

Look online for fashion based forums and message boards where you can speak with devoted fashionistas like yourself about underground sales and secret discounts which only people who are in the know are aware of. Forums are also the place where designers can provide details of sample sales and warehouse deals which aren’t available to the public.

When it comes to looking your best all the time, these are some great ways to help you strike a balance between looking good and…eating.



Why Start With Paper Trading?

by Justin Weinger on January 23, 2017

Lots and lots of aspiring day traders have stars and dollar signs in their eyes. Jumping into the daily trading of stocks with serious ideas about making serious profits right away. And they lose their shirt on the first day, in the first week, after the first month. What they never knew about, what could have saved them is this: Paper trading.

Gwen knew about paper trading. She was transitioning from being stay at home mom as the kids started going to kindergarten when she discovered Warrior Trading. From the beginning, as she made her way through the online courses, the instructors had a regular refrain: Don’t start live trading until you have a month under your belt in simulated trading.

What is simulated trading you might ask? It is a fully interactive experience that Warrior Trading offers to its students, where the student traders have a chance to work in a real-time market that mimics Wall Street. Warrior’s paper trading simulator has real time Level 2 capability, where students have access to Level 2 orders and immediate order execution. That capability means that you can test your newfound skills in an environment that looks and feels like a real day trading space.

That is how Gwen got the chance to hone her day trading abilities before funding a real, live account with cash and going out into the market. Sure, she stumbled at first, but those stumbles were smaller and more manageable, due to the time she spent in the trading simulator. Gwen had the opportunity to develop risk management and stock picking strategies in real time, while not risking any real money.

On her first day in the trading simulator, Gwen was presented with $100,000 in virtual trading power. She executed her first trade and saw the results that day, because the Warrior simulator was able replicate a real brokerage account. It worked just like in the real world, but it was simulated trading. And Warrior’s simulator, unlike other trading simulators, has advanced charting abilities, so novice traders like Gwen can work on their chart reading skills. Being able to weed out technical indicators from complicated charts is a valuable skill in day trading.

Gwen is earning a comfortable living from her home office these days, working in the morning, making the profits she needs and then picking up the kids in the afternoon from school. She put the time and effort in to make that happen.

Do you think you have what it takes? See Warrior Trading on Facebook and take a look at the website too. All the potential is right there.



5 Credit Myths that May Be Hurting Scores

by Justin Weinger on October 17, 2016

Now that summer is over and we are enjoying the fall trees turning and the cooler weather move through, that can only mean one thing; winter is coming and another holiday spending season.  Spending never really ends, there is always something will want, so you need to set limits on yourself.  Any mortgage, loan, or credit card interest rate you have is driven by credit, so why not strive to have the best score.  Whether you have great credit or issues in the past, there are a few ways to raise your credit score now. Of course if all else fails, it never hurts to look into credit repair services.

Watch Credit Card Spending, even if Paying the Balance

A large portion of your credit score is based off credit balance compared to limit, so even if you are paying off the balance each month, watch maxing out your accounts.  Depending on the timing that credit bureaus are refreshing your credit each month, it could show a large balance, lowering your score drastically.  Sure paying off the balance each month can continue to raise credit limits, showing you are a responsible spender, but do not hurt yourself in the process.

Closing Old Credit Accounts

Even if you are not using a credit card account, it is better to keep it open instead of closing.  If you have other credit accounts with balances, closing can reduce your total available credit, lowering the margin between balance and limit.  If anything cut up the card, check the online statement every month to make sure there is no suspicious activity, and leave it open.

Checking Your Own Credit will not Hurt Scores

Speaking of suspicious activity, it is important to monitor your full credit report, so at least once a year you should take advantage of getting a free copy of your credit report from any of the credit bureaus, although the score itself may be an extra charge.  Pulling this report will not impact yourself negatively, and in fact if you are interested in your scores, most of the creditors are now including your FICO score in each monthly statement, or clickable on your online statement, so you can see exactly where you are month over month.

Using Cash for Spending Will Help Credit Rating

Using credit accounts is not bad, abusing them is, so paying with cash instead of credit is not helping scores.  If anything, pay with credit, and pay off the balance each month.