Money Smart: Helping with your finances

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Credit Cards

What’s in your wallet?” It is a phrase you have probably heard on a credit card commercial and choosing the right one might be challenging.

When choosing a new credit card, financial experts say the first thing you should do is check your credit.  That will help determine which type of card works for you, based on the score of your credit. Experts encourage everyone to check their credit. They say you can get a report for free through one of the three major credit bureaus, once a year.

Using a site like Nerd Wallet can help compare cards and determine which card, like one that saves you money on interest or one that has a good rewards program .

Travel Pet Peeves

Flying the friendly skies can sometimes be not so friendly.

Whether someone is kicking your seat or taking up too much of the overhead bin,  there are tips to make sure you get from point A to point B safely, while saving money and time.

Experts say to allow more time at the airport than you’ll need.  That will help if you run into any bumps along the way, like long security lines, for example.
Speaking of security, sign up for TSA Pre-Check. The lines are usually short and you don’t have to take off your belt or shoes.

Also, research travel insurance.  If you lose your bags or have to cancel a trip last minute, it will be a lifesaver.

Various credit cards offer reward points for purchases which can lead to free flights. Also, many have a first bag free benefit which can really save you bucks. Many of them, however, do come with yearly membership fees.

Retirement Planning

More Americans are living longer which means more people are working longer.

A study by T Rowe Price showed that more than half of employers automatically enroll their employees into a 401K program.

They say when employees are automatically enrolled, 88% stick with it.  But when they’re not, less than 50% contributed to a 401K savings plan.

Experts recommend saving 15% or more of your salary.  If you can’t do it all at once, start saving gradually, experts say.

They say even 1-2% per year can make a difference and add up.

Social Security

You may have been paying into social security for a while now but experts say by 2034 the surplus will be gone.

Experts say social security may only be able to pay 75 cents to the dollar on benefits.

One wealth manager says social security isn’t a personalized program.
“This is a big myth for social security,” David Wray said.

He says there is no personal investment account. “There is no account your name on it saying this money is gone in and you paid these taxes, Wray added.

“There are different formulas based on your income on what you’ll get back but there is no money they sitting waiting for you.”

Wray says to be money smart investigate your investments and don’t believe all of the hype.

Clickbait

Be wary of clickbait. You see a picture or link on the world wide web, whether on Facebook or Twitter and you just have to click on it because it draws your attention.

But when you get to the site, you realize clickbait lured you there. Social platforms like Facebook say they’ve had enough.

In the past, they’ve changed their algorithm and now they’re changing the news you see on your timeline by filtering out fake news headlines.