5 Tips To Catch Up on Your Retirement Savings Fast

Retirement Savings

If you’re like most people, you may have fallen behind on your retirement savings. Don’t worry – it’s not too late to catch up! Regardless of your age, you can prepare yourself for retirement. Follow these 6 tips and you will be able to speed up your savings process and reach your retirement goals in no time!

1. Make a Budget and Stick to It

One of the best ways to catch up on your retirement savings is by making a budget and sticking to it. Determine how much you need to save each month in order to reach your goal. Then, make sure you are automatically transferring that amount into your retirement account each month.

Another way to stay on track is to set up alerts or reminders so you don’t forget to make your contributions.

If you have a 401(k) plan through work, another helpful tip is to increase your contribution percentage each year. By doing this, you’ll catch up on your savings and ensure that you’re staying on track for retirement.

2. Automate Your Finances

To make sure you’re saving for retirement and not miss a contribution, you should automate your finances. This means setting up automatic transfers from your checking account into your retirement account each month. Doing this will help you stay on track and ensure that you’re making progress towards your goal.

3. Invest in Yourself

Learn how to make your money work for you. The key is to never stop learning. There are a number of resources available that can help you get started, including books, online courses, and personal finance seminars.

Investing in yourself will help you reach your retirement goals faster. It frees up more time that you can also use to find more means of earning.

4. Cut Back on Expenses

If you want to catch up on your retirement savings, then you should also cut back on your expenses. Take a look at your budget and see where you can make adjustments.

Some areas where you may be able to save money include eating out, entertainment, travel, and shopping. By cutting back on your expenses, you’ll be able to free up more money to contribute to your retirement account.

Remember, every little bit counts when it comes to saving for retirement!

5. Start Saving Now

The sooner you start saving, the more time your money will have to grow. If you’re not sure how much you need to save for retirement, several online retirement calculators can help you determine the amount.

Once you know how much you need to save, make sure you’re automatically transferring that amount into your retirement account each month. Doing this will help you stay on track and ensure that you’re making progress towards your goal.

If you can’t afford to contribute the full amount each month, contribute what you can. A few saved bucks is still better than nothing.

What are some of your tips for catching up on your retirement savings? Share them with us in the comments below!

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What Is the Cost to Change Your Name?

What Is the Cost to Change Your Name?

What Is the Cost to Change Your Name?

When we got married last year, I faced a dilemma that more and more women are calling into question. Although in the past it was normal for a married woman to take her husband’s last name, it has become a more contentious issue in recent years. Since I didn’t marry until later in life, I have felt more hesitant to give up my maiden name. In addition to the time and hassle to go through the whole process, there are some fees associated with it as well. As I wrestled with this decision for a few weeks, I decided to start by figuring out exactly how much it would cost to change your name.

The Hesitancy to Make the Change

After 35 years, I have grown quite attached to my maiden name. Since it is unique, it creates a strong familial bond and an easily identifiable way to recognize more distant relatives. And after losing my dad this year, I have an even greater attachment to my name.

In addition to all my personal feelings, there is also a professional cost to change your name. Over the years, I have published many things under my maiden name and made several important business contacts.  A part of me feels that giving up my last name is also giving up an important piece of my identity.

The Logistics to Change Your Name

Despite my conflicting emotions on the subject, I decided to go on a fact-finding mission to find out what it would take to formally change my name.

Luckily, I had made a list of all the things that required me to update my contact information from my last move. So, I had a good idea of how many places I would need to call to change my name as well. However, I knew it would not be nearly as simple as changing my address or phone number. Each organization and financial institution is different and will have its own process you need to follow.

Checking the List

Making a to-do list always makes large tasks seem more manageable. So, I reviewed which legal, financial, and personal accounts I would need to change. All in all, there were about 25 documents and accounts that would need to be updated:

  • driver’s license
  • Social Security card
  • passport
  • Foreign Residency card
  • W2s and tax documents
  • banking and investment accounts
  • credit cards
  • digital wallet
  • health and car insurance
  • car titles
  • phone plan
  • memberships and subscriptions

Starting with the Easy Ones

Once I made a few initial phone calls and went online to see what would need to be done, I started by tackling the easy one. Fortunately, many of my accounts would allow me to do it online. All they needed was a digital copy of our marriage license and my new ID to update the accounts.

And much to my surprise, a new ID was relatively easy to get. I just needed to schedule an appointment online with the DMV and bring a certified copy of the marriage license with me. All it would take is about 15 minutes and a $16 fee to get it changed. The process was about the same to change your name with the Social Security office as well. However, they take care of it free of charge.

Saving the Worst for Last

Unfortunately, some of the more important documents and financial accounts require you to jump through more hoops.

The most time-consuming ones would be my financial accounts. Each bank requires you to visit a branch in person to make the change with a banker. For security purposes, they wanted to make photocopies of your ID and marriage license, and get your signature on the paperwork. Although my credit card would let me do it by mail, they would also require me to send a certified copy of the marriage license along with the photocopies.

The final piece would be to change my passport. Since they have recently changed the process, you can now renew online. So, I went online to find the forms to change my name on my passport. You can complete it online for about $60 and then wait for them to send it in the mail.

Tallying Up the Cost to Change Your Name

When I tallied up the final cost for the documents and fees to update my information, here’s what it came to:

  • marriage license – $25
  • 3 certified copies – $27
  • ceremony with the justice of the peace – $150
  • driver’s license – $16
  • passport – $60

The grand total to change my name after marriage was $278.  However, it costs more money if you decide to legally change your name for any other reason. This will require you to file a petition through the local court and publish it in the local newspaper for four consecutive weeks. Both these actions come with additional costs.

The Final Decision

From the onset, I had my doubts about giving up my name because I felt like I would be giving up a piece of myself. In addition, it is a huge time commitment to make all the necessary phone calls and in-person visits to change your name. And grieving the loss of my dad made it even harder.

However, my husband made a good point that I wasn’t losing my identity, just evolving. Sharing a surname would create a sense of cohesion within the new family and life we are trying to build together.

So in the end, we compromised by hyphenating my name. Although I plan to continue using my maiden name professionally, I’m okay using just his socially After a year of being married, I finally made the formal change. Now, I am waiting for the last of the documents and confirmations to be sent by mail before I can mark the task complete. I feel like it’s the best of both worlds and I am at peace with the decision.

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How To Check if You’re Unknowingly Supporting Gun Stocks

Gun Stocks

There’s no doubt that gun violence is a huge problem in the United States. In the wake of so many mass shootings, people are looking for ways to reduce gun violence and make our communities safer.

Unfortunately, one way that many people are inadvertently supporting gun companies is by buying stocks in them without realizing it.

Here’s how to check if you’re unknowingly supporting gun stocks and what you can do about it.

1. What Are Gun Stocks and Why Should You Care About Them?

Gun stocks are stocks that are associated with gun companies. These can include manufacturers, retailers, and even ammunition makers. When you buy these stocks, you’re financially supporting gun companies and their businesses.

There has been a lot of public pressure on institutions to divest from gun stocks in recent years. For example, after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, several major investment firms pulled their investments in gun stocks. And after the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, there was a significant drop in the value of gun stocks.

So if you’re someone who wants to do something about gun violence, one way you can take action is by ensuring that your money is not going to support gun companies.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to avoid investing in gun stocks. That’s because many people invest in index funds, which track major stock market indexes like the S&P 500. And since the S&P 500 includes a number of gun stocks, you may be unknowingly supporting gun companies if you’re invested in an index fund.

Luckily, there are a few ways to check if your investments are supporting gun stocks.

2. How To Check if You’re Unknowingly Supporting Gun Stocks

There are a few ways to check if your investments are supporting gun stocks.

One way is to look at the fund’s holdings. This information should be readily available on the fund’s website. If you see that the fund holds shares in a gun company, then you know that your money is going towards supporting that company.

Another way to check is to look at the fund’s investment objectives. Many funds will explicitly state whether or not they invest in gun stocks. For example, the Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund states that it excludes companies involved in “controversial activities,” which include firearms and ammunition manufacturing.

If you’re still unsure, you can always contact the fund’s customer service and ask whether or not they hold any gun stocks.

Once you know which of your investments are supporting gun companies, you can take action to divest from them if you so choose. There are a number of funds that specifically exclude gun stocks, so you can switch to one of those if you want to avoid investing in gun companies.

3. What To Do if You Find Out That You Are Invested in Gun Stocks

If you find out that you are invested in gun stocks, you have a few options.

One option is to sell your shares and invest elsewhere. This is the most straightforward way to stop supporting gun companies with your money.

Another option is to hold onto your shares and try to engage with the company. For example, you could write to the company’s management and express your concerns about their involvement in the gun industry. You could also try to vote with your shares at shareholder meetings.

Of course, you can also choose to do nothing and continue to hold onto your gun stocks. It’s up to you to decide what is best for your situation.

No matter what you decide to do, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks involved with investing in gun stocks. Gun companies are often volatile and their stock prices can fluctuate wildly. So if you do choose to invest in them, make sure you’re comfortable with the risks before doing so.

4. Ways To Take Action Against Gun Violence

There are a number of ways to take action against gun violence. One way is to ensure that your money is not going to support gun companies.

Join or donate to organizations working to end gun violence.

You can also choose to support businesses that are taking a stand against gun violence.

For example, a number of companies have cut ties with the NRA in recent years. So if you’re looking to support businesses that are taking a stand against gun violence, make sure to check out their policies before doing so.

5. Why It’s Important To Take a Stand Against Gun Violence?

Gun violence is a serious problem in the United States. Every year, thousands of people are injured and killed by guns.

By taking a stand against gun violence, you can help make a difference. Even if it’s something as simple as ensuring that your money isn’t going to support gun companies, that’s one less gun company that can profit from violence.

And if we all take a stand against gun violence, collectively we can make a real difference. So if you’re concerned about gun violence and want to do something about it, make sure to check out the ways you can take action.

Together, we can make a difference.

Did you find out that you were unknowingly supporting gun stocks? What action did you take? Let us know in the comments below.

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