Nov 19

This was the question I took a stab at on the American Express Currency Blog.

My friend Kevin at Out of Your Rut put up a nice intro to this guest post:

How much life insurance do you need? Have about eight to 10 times your gross income as a life-insurance death benefit. Your number will be unique to you. Are both parents working? How many children do you have? How big is your mortgage?

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Jul 11

You know that July 14th is Bastille Day, and by now, I imagine you’ve made some big plans.

Me neither. I don’t know as much about history as I’d like to and everything I know about Bastille Day I either know from Les Miserables (The Broadway show, not the Book) or from the Rush song. Meanwhile, I’ve been keeping up with my financial reading, and am ready to share my best reads this week.

First, Neal Frankle asks and answers the question Should You Form An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust? A Surprising Answer. I’d bet a number of his readers were surprised. Me, not so much, as taxes, retirement, and estate planning are my focus. What did surprise me, in a good way, is how well Neal is able to explain a pretty complex topic. If you and your spouse are likely to have assets of over $500K as you get older, give this post a read. Tell him Joe sent you.

At Consumer Boomer, Junior discusses Roth IRA vs. 401(k) How to Decide. This is one of the top financial dilemmas this year, it would seem. and I’d suggest that before this year comes to a close, you learn all you can about how this may affect your decisions.

Next, Shawn Watson answers Why is Debt Really Decreasing? Is it really due to the new frugality or can there be something else going on?

Last week my tax crush, Kay Bell offered one of a series of mid year tax tips. This one was Midyear tax tip #9: Bunch your deductions.In 2010, the standard deduction for a couple filing joint is $11,400. Read Kay’s strategy for bunching your payments so even if till now you might have had $10/yr and could itemize, you might some bucks to be saved with her advice.

On No Credit Needed, I enjoyed Living Debt Free – Part 1. I liked what the author had to say here. He distinguishes the month to month interest accruing debt from the bills that are paid in full each month. After all, any service you buy that sends a bill is debt until it’s paid, right? Looking forward to the next in this series.

All about finance suggested 13 Ways to Earn Extra Money on The Side. An interesting list, although I can help but wonder if a few of the items need a proper license, such as cutting hair. But of 13, there’s sure to be a couple ideas to help to raise some money.

I’d like to close this week with a request that you take a visit and consider being one of the Friends of Bella. I am doing what I can to get her story out there.

Have a great week.

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