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John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

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7 Tips to Save Smart for Retirement

December 29, 2015 12:18 am

Fact: It’s never too early to start thinking about retirement.

“Many consumers underestimate how much savings is needed to get by once they retire, and often it’s much more than they first realize,” says Steve Trumble, president and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “After paying off debt and bills, it can be a real challenge to make sure you are also saving enough for retirement, especially if you are already living paycheck to paycheck.”

To adequately save for retirement, it’s important to assess your goals, says Trumble. What age do you plan to retire? Where would you like to retire? Will you downsize or stay in your current home? These and other questions must be considered before moving forward with a savings plan.

Once those goals have been set, craft a realistic saving strategy. These tips can help:

• Adjust your budget as life priorities change. A household budgeting worksheet can help you stay organized and track your expenses.

• Start saving now. Savings add up no matter how big or small. Make sure to start saving as much as you are able to, as early as possible.

• Pay off all debt. Carrying debt into retirement will cause monthly bills—and interest—to pile up, which will drain your savings. Develop a plan that enables you to pay off debt before you retire so that you can use savings on other necessities, such as food, medical care and housing.

• Track your spending. Knowing exactly where your money goes every month will allow you to set some funds aside for your future goals, such as retirement.

• Cut unnecessary spending. Reduce spending money on things you do not need without feeling deprived. Start with something simple, like bringing your lunch to work rather than eating out every day.

• Check your retirement plan at your work place. Some 401(k) plans include benefits, such as direct deposit from your paycheck, which can automate the retirement saving process.

• Set up automatic transfers from your checking to your savings account. With each paycheck you receive, make sure a percentage goes into your savings account dedicated to your retirement funds.

Source: American Consumer Credit Counseling

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Report: Buying Beats Renting in More than Half of Markets

December 29, 2015 12:18 am

Buying a home remains more affordable than renting one in more than half of housing markets, according to a recent RealtyTrac® report. This comes as home prices appreciate and rent outpaces wages, says RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist.

“Renters in 2016 will be caught between a bit of a rock and a hard place, with rents becoming less affordable as they rise faster than wages, but home prices rising even faster than rents," says Blomquist. "In markets where home prices are still relatively affordable, 2016 may be a good time for some renters to take the plunge into homeownership before rising prices and possibly rising interest rates make it increasingly tougher to afford to buy a home."

Across all 504 counties analyzed by RealtyTrac, average wage earners will need to spend 37 percent of their income to pay rent each month. In contrast, average wage earners across all 504 counties will need to spend 38 percent of their income to pay housing costs—but that includes mortgage, taxes, insurance and mortgage insurance. (This assumes a 3 percent down payment on a median-priced home.)

RealtyTrac estimates rent for a three-bedroom property will increase an average of 3.5 percent in the New Year.

Source: RealtyTrac®

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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