Carnival of Retirement – February 18th, 2013 Edition

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Welcome to the February 18th, 2013 edition of the Carnival of Retirement. If you want to submit a post for next week’s edition, please use the submission form. Next week’s edition will be hosted by Greg at Club Thrifty (one of the staff writers at this site actually!).
Retirement is a long-term game. There are so many things you need to do to prepare for retirement, and it’s not just saving and investing. Of course, having a great retirement portfolio is best, but to get there, we need to live within our means and build wealth along the way. 

This edition includes many retirement articles along with posts that will help us get there.  Enjoy these great posts from around the Internet!

Top 5 Editor’s Picks

1. Roger Wohlner @ The Chicago Financial Planner writes 4 Signs of a Lousy 401(k) Plan – It is important that you make the most of any workplace retirement plan available to you. New required disclosures about the costs of the plan and the underlying investments were introduced in 2012 and are a good start. However, 401(k) plans are still a mystery to many of the workers who participate in them and sadly to many of the employers sponsoring these plans. Here are 4 signs that your 401(k) plan might be lousy.

2. FMF @ Free Money Finance writes Real Estate 101: Summary – Throughout the Real Estate 101 Series my goal has been to introduce prospective and beginning investors to the world of real estate investing. Specifically I have tried to answer some basic questions, dispel some myths and misconceptions, and give actionable advice that can be used to move towards becoming a successful investor. As I finish the series I hope that the information provided here has mostly met that goal.

3. Jason @ Work Save Live writes Best Online Tax Preparation Software – H&R Block, TurboTax, TaxACT, FreeTaxUSA – To take the guesswork out of which online tax software is right for you, we’ve taken a tremendous amount of time to examine the best – and most popular – online tax preparation companies to determine which has the best software for your particular tax situation. See the differences between TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxACT, and FreeTaxUSA.

4. Paul Vachon @ The Frugal Toad writes Winter Storm Nemo and the Importance of an Emergency Fund – What does the massive Winter Storm Nemo have to do with the need to have an emergency fund? In short, everything. Nemo is symbolic of any un-foreseen event that may disrupt one’s income or cause a financial hardship. From a simple power outage to a long-term illness, being prepared to handle an emergency can mean the difference between peace of mind and having your family’s world turned upside down.

5. Emily @ Evolving Personal Finance writes Should You Count Your Employer’s Contribution into Your Retirement Savings Percentage? – If you get an employer match to your 401(k), do you count it toward your target savings percentage or ignore it? I have a new suggestion for how to account for it.

And listed below are the best of the rest!

Marvin @ Brick By Brick Investing writes Selling Options — How To Start Your Own Casino – A brief description detailing the benefits of selling options.

James Petzke @ This Is Common Cents writes Financial Superpowers: The Automagic Climate Controlled Super Suit – If you want to retire earlier, considering adapting to different temperatures to save money on heating and cooling.

Michael Kitces @ Nerd’s Eye View writes Safe Withdrawal Rates In Today’s Low Yield Environment – Walking On The Edge Of A Cliff? – What’s a safe spending amount in retirement, given today’s low-yield environment? Is the 4% rule still safe, or does it need to be trimmed given today’s market conditions?

Mary Rhodes @ Fine Tune Finances writes Are you Saving Money Just to Save? Or are You saving With Purpose? – Human nature dictates much time and money is wasted when we don’t have a goal. This also applies to our financial life, in short your goal your reason for saving, or purpose. If you are saving money just to build up a bank balance you are not likely to be successful at it.

Jen @ Master the Art of Saving writes Preparing To Buy A House: The Score – Buying your first home can be an exciting and stressful experience all in one. When we bought our first house, I really didn’t know what to expect. Maybe I should have done a little bit of research ahead of time, but what’s done is done.

SFB @ Simple Finance Blog writes 4 Money Management Tips For College Graduates – You have just graduated from college, and you are about to join the working class. Here are 4 Money Management Tips to set you up on the right path.

harry campbell @ Your Personal Finance Pro writes My First Default With Lending Club – With today’s pitiful interest rates, it’s hard to sit there and invest your money in CD’s that are returning 1 or 2 percent. So if you’ve been searching for alternative investments you may already know about Lending Club. But if you’re new to the peer to peer lending scene, you can read my first review of Lending Club here.

Crystal @ Budgeting in the Fun Stuff writes Why I Use a Credit Card (And How To Leverage Yours) – If you can’t be disciplined enough to pay off your balance in full every month, then you probably shouldn’t have a credit card. But it works for me.

Passive Income Earner @ The Passive Income Earner writes Pay Your Mortgage or Invest It – Do you pay your mortgage down first or do you invest? Which one gets you ahead further?

MMD @ My Money Design writes Believing In Yourself After Finding Out That You Suck – Despite what other people think of you, believing in yourself will have to come from your own hunger and ambition. Only you know what you’re capable of accomplishing.

Wayne @ Young Family Finance writes Money and Relationships: Some Advice to Keep in Mind – Talking about money with your spouse can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many successful strategies to broach the topic.

Evan @ My Journey to Millions writes Maybe There Is Yield Out There! Bank Bonuses Offered by Kasasa – I couldn’t ignore a recent article from CNBC on the topic titled, “4% Interest, Without Fees: Too Good to be Checking.” The article highlights a new type of checking account that works with local banks and credit unions.

Corey @ 20s Finances writes Five Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals – Very rarely do I meet someone who doesn’t care about achieving financial success. Simply put, everyone wants to have more money than they know what to do with. Who doesn’t right? That’s why so many people waste their money on lottery tickets. Yet, as we all know, very few achieve this goal. But, it isn’t for a lack of trying.

Peter @ Bible Money Matters writes Scottrade Review: Top Rated Brokerage for Customer Service, Low Fees and Commissions – When I’ve been searching for which brokerage company to use, one of the companies that kept coming up with positive reviews from others I know was Scottrade. No only do the have low costs when it comes to fees and commissions, they also have great customer service, a wide range of research and tools available to all users, and an easy to use interface on the web and mobile. So let’s do a Scottrade review.

Alice @ Hurricanes, Panties & Dollars writes Shopaholics are like Superheros – I ended up spending around 9 hours shopping (with an official shopaholic) by my side. When I finally got home, I was freakin’ exhausted; not to mention broke as…

Lazy Man @ Lazy Man and Money writes Your 401(k) Is Costing You $155,000!?!? – No one really knows how much the 401(k) investing fees are going to cost you and everyone is different. However, even conservative estimates from Wall Street sources in that article pin it at $20,000.

Bryan @ writes How I Plan To Generate Passive Income This Year – This article is a guest post from and is focused on detailing his plans this year to generate additional passive income. In it, MMD discusses his 4 main opportunities – to continue building up his blog, build a niche site, write an E-Book, and invest in dividend stocks.

Matt @ Living in Financial Excellence writes The Wow Factor: Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck – When you think about making a purchase, have you ever thought about rating it on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 barely moving the needle and 10 being a big, exciting WOW?

Amanda L Grossman @ Frugal Confessions writes My Frugal Resume: Contributing to Our Household’s Finances in More Ways than Earning – It’s no secret that I enjoy funneling as much of our income as possible into our savings accounts.

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves writes How To Read Your Investment Statements – You have a college degree from a good four year school. Perhaps you went on to get an MBA from a fantastic post graduate program.

Kyle @ The Penny Hoarder writes 5 Mortgage Saving Ideas – When it comes to cutting your budget, you probably start with incidental expenses like eating out or having digital cable. But it’s also important to pay attention to what kind of money you can save even on the necessities, like your housing payment.

Miss T. @ Prairie Eco Thrifter writes 5 Investment Strategies for the Wary Beginner – You might be surprised that you can get started in investing fairly easily, and that it doesn’t have to be all that complicated. Here are some ideas that the wary beginner can use to get started:

Suba @ Broke Professionals writes How to Watch Your Expenses Like a Hawk – You’ve heard it before, saving money – like losing weight – is as simple as watching your inputs and outputs.

Joe @ Midlife Finance writes Money Secrets – Have a bad money secret in your life? Confessing feels great…but what are you doing to make it better? (Feel free to comment anonymously — we’re all friends here.)

Little House @ Little House in the Valley writes Recognizing Financial Patterns – The other day I had a moment of clarity; I was speaking to someone as interested about personal finance as myself, and realized I keep repeating a bad pattern. Until that moment, I hadn’t been able to see the pattern or even acknowledge that I had a repeating financial pattern.

Roger the Amateur Financier @ The Amateur Financier writes Money and Child Raising: Preschool, Yay or Nay? – If you’ve been reading the past several weeks of these Monday posts here at The Amateur Financier, you’ve noticed that I’ve been covering some of the choices

A Blinkin @ Funancials writes 99 Problems: Are You a Sort-Of Good Saver? – You may remember me (and other bloggers) mentioning the $999.99 giveaway. Believe it or not, the dollar amount is not completely random. There is a purpose for it.

Grayson @ Debt Roundup writes The First Step to Recovery is to Admit You Don’t Have a Budget – When you have any problem, the first step to recovering is to admit the problem. The same goes with money. The first step to getting your finances in order is to admit that you don’t have a budget.

NoTrustFund @ Where’s My Trust Fund writes Financial Wisdom From A Nonagenarian – Words of wisdom from a lady who has been around the block a few times.

Tony @ We Only Do This Once writes We Are All Experts – Many people have spent a ton of life energy in a quest to discover their passion. And for many of them, once they found it, that was enough. Finding the thing that lights them up inside satisfies the quest. But some people want more than that—they want to live their passion.

CAPI @ Creating a Passive Income writes Playing the Inheritance Game for Passive Income – When it comes to inheriting money, there is no other way to do less, or in some cases, more work for what will be considered a passive income. For those who are blessed to be part of a family that has a fortune to pass on, then your entire job in life becomes maintaining your place to inherit the goods.

BARBARA FRIEDBERG @ Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance writes HOW TO MEASURE RISK & PROTECT AGAINST IT – Measure investment performance, investment risk, & protect against investment risk.

Jules Wilson @ Faithful With a Few writes Why You Need to Diversify Your Income Sources – Diversifying your income is the best way to protect your financial future in this economy. Learn why you should and how best to diversify your income sources!

MR @ Money Reasons writes 2013 Late To The Stock Market Strategy – I’m going to share my Late to the Stock Market Strategy that I’m hoping will make 2013 a block buster year for me!

Jon @ Novel Investor writes IRA Contribution Deadline Almost Here – There is one important thing you need to do before you file your taxes. Don’t miss the IRA contribution deadline for the 2012 tax year.

John S @ Frugal Rules writes 4 Reasons Why Having an Investment Plan Will Save Your Butt – Investing in the stock market can be difficult for many, especially if they have no plan in place. An investment plan can help guide your investing decisions so you’re working smarter and not harder, which will in turn help your long term investing approach.

Darwin @ Darwin’s Money writes These Mutual Funds Actually Beat The Index. And “The Market” – Mutual funds rarely beat their index, but in this niche, managers returned over 20% in 2012 while besting their index as well – is it worth switching back from ETFs to mutual funds?

Don @ MoneySmartGuides writes 3 Secrets to Retiring Well – I read an article recently in Money Magazine regarding retirement. The author pointed out three secrets to retire well. They include: Embrace Change: As life happens, sometimes our plans need to change and we have to rethink retirement.

Ashley @ Money Talks Coaching writes Video: Reaching Your Goals – Hey there! I have another video for you today. Today I’m reviewing a great tool I’ve been using that will help you reach your goals.

Daniel @ Sweating the Big Stuff writes What Was Your First Passion Project? – My first passion project was my blog that I worked on for 40 hours a week while bored at my day job. What was yours?

Maria @ The Money Principle writes My Father’s only investment – My Dad made only one investment in his life: my education.

Glen Craig @ Free From Broke writes Signs You Have a Bad 401(k) Plan and What to Do About It – A 401(k) plan is generally a good thing to have at work. But not all plans are created equal. You may have a bad 401(k). See how to spot a bad 401(k).

Jason Hull @ Hull Financial Planning writes The Value of Mortgage Shopping – Most people would rather spend a weekend shopping for a car than spend the same amount of time shopping for a mortgage. Here’s why they should reconsider.

    ***Photo courtesy of


    1. Thanks for the inclusion and for hosting. I know how much time it takes.
      My recent post Egypt Will Become Good in the End, No Matter What

    2. Emily @ evolvingPF says:

      Thanks for choosing my post to be in the top 5!
      My recent post What’s an Impulse Purchase?

    3. Thanks for hosting and for including my post.
      My recent post E*Trade’s Fee Commercials – Informative or Misleading?

    4. I especially appreciate Marvin's article on options selling… it's nice to see some stock information in this list!
      My recent post What is an IPO?

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