Carnival of Financial Planning – Personal Finance Edition #223

Welcome to the February 10, 2012 Personal Finance Edition #223 of the Carnival of Financial Planning.

The Carnival of Financial Planning takes a long-term view of personal financial planning for individuals and families. We focus on efficient and sustainable personal financial planning practices that can lead to lifetime financial security.

This edition is arranged by subject heading, so that you can browse efficiently.


The Skilled Investor, Editor

Budgeting and Economics

Lazy Man presents Good Bye Bank of America, Hello USAA posted at Lazy Man and Money, saying, “So Bank of America, this isn’t really good bye like I said in the title. We can still be friends. I am just looking for more out of my banking relationship.”

Sandy presents Get Out of Debt in 2012: Budget Time posted at Yes, I Am Cheap, saying, “Last week was the introduction to my Get Out of Debt in 2012 course. We all resolved, together, to get on the path to debt freedom this year. This lesson is about crafting a basic budget.”

Janet Russell presents Living Expense Tracking posted at Best Financial Retirement Planner, saying, “If you do not understand how much you spend and how much you are saving and investing, you simply do not have a financial plan. This situation dramatically increases your family’s long-term financial risk.”

Jeffrey presents Use Less and Save Money! 25 Things You Can Cut Your Use in Half posted at Saving Advice, saying, “No matter what the cause, becoming aware that you may be needlessly wasting money by using too much gives you the opportunity to examine the way you currently use things and see if you can get the results you want without using quite so much.”

Estate Planning

D.J. presents Have You Reviewed Your Life Insurance Policy and Will Lately? posted at The Family Wallet, saying, “Once life insurance is in place, most of us don’t think about it anymore. Likewise, after we take the time to confront our mortality and decide who we will want to raise our kids in the event of our untimely death, most of us don’t revisit our wills and trusts. That can be a mistake.”

Financial Planning

FMF presents Compute Your Net Worth Once a Year posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “If you are within 20 years of retirement (age 45 to 65), it’s critical to get your retirement planning updated. Computing your net worth annually is like taking a sextant reading to chart your course toward financial security. The changes of the past year provide another incentive to take stock of where you are in relation to your goals and readjust your asset allocation and savings rate.”

Walter Binkle presents Fixed Income Bond Funds posted at Fixed Income Investing, saying, “The bond investment fund market is no place for an individual investor to try to beat the market and get higher returns through attempts at clever fixed income investing. Even professional bond market money managers do not beat the bond market.”

Suba presents Stay at home or to work : What is the financial & professional price? posted at Wealth Informatics, saying, “Stay at home or to work : This is not a post to convince anyone that they should stay at home or that they should be a working parent. Rather this post is a thinking process on what changes financially/professionally so that we can better prepare for it.”

Larry Russell presents ID theft protection posted at Personal Financial Planning, saying, “As a threat to your financial security, you should take the potential for identity theft very seriously. Identity theft sometimes entails a loss of your money, but whether or not you lose money, it can take a very large amount of your time to rectify. Taking these steps to prevent an occurrence is prudent.”

Frank Bertin presents Top Index Funds posted at Best Investment Strategies, saying, “Short-term mutual fund trading is a zero sum game played against other very well informed mutual fund traders and other securities market traders. On average, higher mutual fund turnover is far more likely to result in lower investment fund performance — instead of superior risk-adjusted performance.”

Financing a Home

Daniel presents With The Federal Reserve Holding Steady On Interest Rates, Is Now The Time To Buy? posted at Sweating the Big Stuff, saying, “Last week, the Federal Reserve say they have no plans to raise interest rates until 2014. But what does that mean for mortgage rates?”

Financing Education

Jeffrey presents Is a Master’s Degree Worth It? posted at Money Spruce, saying, “Advanced degrees aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. They won’t guarantee you your dream job. They won’t ensure happiness in life, either. But they will cost you a lot of money if you’re not careful. At age 26, I’ve already completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. That’s not me bragging by any means.”

Financing Healthcare

Jeremy Waller presents Is Health Insurance Worth It? posted at Personal Finance Whiz, saying, “Health insurance is one of the most important types of insurance you can have. Heath care costs in the U.S. are ridiculous! Even a simple inpatient procedure can cost you in excess of $10,000. If you don’t have insurance one trip to the hospital could put you under serious financial strain!”


Emily presents Best Part-Time Jobs with Benefits posted at PT Money Personal Finance, saying, “A list of 16 businesses that offer some forms of benefits to their employees.”

Jester presents How to Get a Raise posted at The Ultimate Juggle, saying, “Find out how to get a raise. By applying these tactics, you will be on your way to getting a raise.”

Brad presents Customize Your Resume For Your Profession posted at Resume Mag, saying, “The days of the one-size-fits-all resume are long gone. Today many job seekers are finding it virtually impossible to land a job without a professionally written resume, one that is tailored to a specific profession. The standard resume template just does not cut it anymore.”

The Financial Blogger presents Blog Monthly Income Report A Kung Fu Panda Month! posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “An income report worth checking out.”


Dividend Growth Investor presents Monthly Dividend Stocks posted at Dividend Growth Investor, saying, “Most dividend stocks trading in the US pay dividends every quarter. A few pay dividends semi-annually, while a very small minority (mostly ADR’s) pay dividends once a year.”

Div Guy presents Dividend Bubble? Think Again! posted at The Dividend Guy Blog, saying, “Is there a bubble?”

IS presents Top 100 Dividend Stocks – February 2012 posted at Intelligent Speculator, saying, “Do you know what the top stocks are?”

Janet Russell presents Investment fund manager performance posted at Personal Investment Management, saying, “The effort to find those few supposedly superior money managers willing to sell their services sufficiently cheaply is a costly, time consuming, and futile, “Where’s Waldo?,” searching exercise for the individual investor.”

Dividend Ninja presents Why Should I Invest in Bonds? Part-1 posted at The Dividend Ninja, saying, “These days, bonds are getting a bad name. Stock markets are off to a tremendous start in 2012, dividend stocks are outperforming, and not surprisingly investors are losing their confidence in government issued bonds. There are three main reasons why investors are spooked with bonds…”

YFS presents Stock Primer for the Novice Investor posted at Your Finances Simplified, saying, “When it comes to investing money, the very first thing that comes to mind is putting it aside as savings. What people fail to realize is that this is not a productive way to invest their money. Read my primer and learn the way!”

Dividends4Life presents 6 High-Yield Financial Services Stocks With Rising Dividends posted at Dividend Growth Stocks, saying, “Before the 2008 financial meltdown, names like Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup, Inc. (C), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and Wells Fargo & Company (WFC) were held in many dividend growth portfolios. And why not? They paid a good yield and grew their dividend on a regular basis. Now their yields range between 0.5% and 1.7%. There is a lesson to be learned here…”

Finley Merriwether presents No Load Bond Mutual Funds posted at Low Cost Bond Funds, saying, “Vanguard dominates this low cost United States bond mutual funds marketplace for direct purchase accounts with both low and high minimum deposits. Investment research overwhelmingly shows that lower cost fixed income funds tend to yield higher bond investing returns.”

CultOfMoney presents Portfolio – tactical asset allocation to domestic equities | CultOfMoney posted at CultOfMoney, saying, “As of the end of January / beginning of February, my Tactical Asset Allocation (TAA) model has shifted more heavily into equities, specifically domestic equities. Looking at the sector rankings for this month, you can really see the performance shift. Now, I will remind you that this model is not for day-trading, it is for long-term holdings. Personally, I feel the market is a bit over-bought here, and some of my cycle work suggests we are due for a pullback, but I’ve also learned that I need to trust the system, and simply follow the signals.”

Jack Ping presents Top No Load Funds posted at My Investment Funds, saying, “There are over 60,000 different mutual fund investment share classes sold worldwide. Some mutual funds and ETFs must be better than others, but which ones are they? How can you tell before the fact?”

Lazy Man presents Are Target Date Mutual Funds Right for You posted at Lazy Man and Money, saying, “In a recent post, Jeff Rose gives some examples of target date funds in some of his clients’ 401k plans and shows with back-testing that he could have made the client more than 3.5% with other choices in the 401k plan. Using the magic of compound interest Rose shows that in 20 years, that difference could be $295,000. Yep, that’s number is not a typo. We should all hate target date mutual funds right?”

Barbara Friedberg presents DON’T SPEND YOUR DIVIDENDS posted at Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance, saying, “Don’t get me wrong, dividends are fine, but just because a stock pays a hefty dividend does not mean it is a great investment. And the dividends the stock throws off are not “free money”.”

Cash Flow Mantra presents How to Use a Stock Collar for Safe Investing posted at Cash Flow Mantra, saying, “I have been using stock collars to hedge my selections since 2007. This turned out to be a good thing in 2008. As others were watching portfolios fall 50%, I only lost 18%. I could have done even better, but I did make a few mistakes as I was still in the process of ironing out my system.”

Managing Credit and Debt

Corey presents The Best Online Credit Tools posted at Steadfast Finances, saying, “Your credit report can say a lot about you to a future creditor, landlord or even employer. There are many online tools that allow you to monitor and fix your credit.”

Madison presents 2012 Discover More Rewards Calendar posted at My Dollar Plan, saying, “If you have a Discover More credit card, make sure you look at this calendar so you can time some big purchases this year.”

KT presents 3 Tried and True Ways to Find Money to Snowflake on Debt posted at Personal Finance Journey, saying, “Are you in debt? If so, you are in company with millions of Americans. However, 2012 can be the year that you resolve to be debt free or to significantly reduce your debt. My preferred method of paying down debt is two pronged, use the debt snowball and read my other methods on my site!”

MR presents Are You A Money Hoarder? posted at Money Reasons, saying, “Are You A Money Hoarder? Have you ever thought about it? Do you hide a lot of money in your house?”

Jen presents Sometimes It’s Good to Feel the Pain…of debt posted at Master the Art of Saving, saying, “We didn’t feel the pain of paying off our debt because we took the easy way out. The problem wasn’t just the debt; it was the lack of budgeting and being really stupid with our money. We made it a whole two weeks without using credit cards to pay for stuff we couldn’t afford. After that, we went right back to everything we were doing before.”

Marie presents Some Thoughts on Good Vs. Bad Debt posted at Money Spending Mommy, saying, “Bad debt is not necessarily taboo. There’s no harm in taking on some bad debt to get the things we need and want. But the smart thing to do is keep it to a minimum, only using it for things we really need.”


PITR presents Types of Investments posted at Passive Income To Retire, saying, “Read about different types of investments that are not the typical types of investments.”

Suba presents The Most Painful Annuity posted at Broke Professionals, saying, “Alimony, which is taken from the Latin derivation for sustenance, is a court declared contract where a man or women is obligated to receive monetary compensation from their spouse, after their divorce or separation. While the term and concept has been changed since modern times, its origins can be traced way back to ancient history The Most Painful Annuity!”

101 Centavos presents Funny Girls and Stand-up Dames – Weekend Reading List posted at 101 Centavos, saying, “I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I would do it.”

Kevin presents 8 Financial Behaviors that Tick Me Off! posted at Thousandaire, saying, “You know you hate it when people dig for exact change when they are in line in front of you. Here are all my least favorite financial behaviors.”

The Skilled Investor presents Investment Timing Strategies Do Not Work posted at Financial Management, saying, “You must have your money invested and at risk to get risk premium returns. Jumping out and in or “timing the markets” doesn’t work.”

Teacher Man presents Emasculation… Really? posted at My University Money, saying, “I’ve recently heard a few debates over whether more and more men are now feeling emasculated when their significant others make more money than they do. If you look up poll results, there are a ton of men out there who are even afraid to date a woman that has a higher income than they do, or us pursuing a more lucrative career….”

Darwin presents Your President Is Lying About a ‘Strong Dollar Policy’ – Why Dollar Weakness Matters posted at Darwin’s Money, saying, “I couldn’t help but notice today that Pfizer started the trend we’ll see from every multinational today blaming lower 2012 forecasts on a stronger dollar CNBC.”

Brockton Eaton presents Roth IRA Retirement Calculators posted at IRA Account Investing, saying, “Whether or not to make investments into “traditional” tax-advantaged employer accounts and IRAs versus investing in “Roth” tax-advantaged employer accounts and personal IRAs is never a straightforward nor simple financial planning decision.”

Retirement Planning

Steve presents My Secret to Get Rich Quick (Enough) posted at Money Infant, saying, “Getting rich quick is a nice dream and for almost everyone out there that is all it is…a dream. You can get rich quick enough though by following a conservative and consistent savings and investment strategy. Remember that only 2.5% of the U.S. population are millionaires so anyone who has reached that level of wealth has gotten rich quick enough (i.e. before they’ve died).”

Boomer presents Is Our Old Age Security Program Sustainable? posted at Boomer & Echo, saying, “It appears the government is planning to gradually change the Old Age Security program so that the age of eligibility is raised to 67 from age 65.”

Frank Knight presents No Load S&P 500 Funds posted at Best Mutual Funds, saying, “The no load index fund strategy of the Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund tracks the S and P 500 stock index. This no load index fund was listed as one of the top 25 lowest cost index mutual funds in a research study.”

Whitney Broad presents Retirement Savings Calculator Worksheets posted at Retirement Savings, saying, “By looking at wealth as a lifetime pattern of sustainable expenditures within one’s budget, then people who are indeed wealthy cannot be identified solely by their current assets or income. While personal wealth should measure current financial investments and other salable assets, it should also measure your ability to sustain your household budget, build up your investment portfolio, and weather potential financial risk and misfortune across your lifetime.”

Andy presents How Much Do I Really Need to Retire? posted at My Retirement Blog, saying, “Retirement. Spending time with your family. Travel. Doing what you want to do, when you want to do it. It’s a wonderful pipe dream that practically anyone over 50 indulges in now and then. Or even younger. But in addition to all the uncertainty about Social Security, there’s more to consider, including rising Medicare costs.”

Risk Management and Insurance

Dr. Dean presents Disability: Nothing To Quack About! posted at Dr. Dean’s Blog, saying, “You owe it to your family to make prudent plans to protect them in the event you are injured and can’t work. Read all about why you need disability insurance and what to look for in your coverage.”


Ken Faulkenberry presents Should You Buy Government Savings I-Bonds posted at AAAMP Blog, saying, “Having adequate emergency money is the foundation of a solid financial plan. Here is one way to build an emergency savings fund.”

Amanda L Grossman presents The Zero Sum Financial Game: Ideas to Help You Juggle the Month posted at Frugal Confessions, saying, “At the end of the month you need for all bills to be paid, savings goals to be met, and for your checking account to have a balance of at least zero!”

Paul Vachon presents Key to Saving Money is Controlling Impulse Spending posted at The Frugal Toad, saying, “Have you gone to the grocery store for mik and eggs and come home with steak and eggs? Have you ever been tempted to buy something just because it was on sale? Impulse spending can wreck your finances and is a major reason why most people have difficulty saving money. Learning why you buy on impulse can be the key to saving more money.”

Shaun presents How We Taught Our Daughter about Saving: Top Family Finance Posts #4 posted at Smart Family Finance, saying, “Teaching your daughter how to save is a challenging task. This is how my family taught my daughter at the age of three.”


Joe Plemon presents Should you Itemize or take the Standard Deduction? posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “Understanding the difference between an itemized deduction and a standard deduction could save you hundreds of dollars on your tax return. This post makes it simple.”

Karl presents You owe $100,000 more on your house than you think posted at CultOfMoney, saying, “We may enjoy the things that government purchases with our property taxes, but the actual payment of property taxes is a bear for those paying attention. And whether they are just taken out with the mortgage payment, you write the check when due, or it is built into your rent, the common theme is that the property taxes just don’t end regardless of payment or living situation. And that is what really gets my gord.”

Bob presents How to file your State return online for free posted at ChristianPF, saying, “It isn’t too difficult to find a place to file your federal tax return for free, but finding a service to file your state return for free is another story. I did a little digging and found a few options to consider…”

FMF presents Three Questions to Ask Yourself about Preparing Your Own Taxes posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Wondering whether or not you should do your own taxes? Considering these three issues can help you decide.”

Paul Tabbet presents Retirement Planning Software posted at Tax Planning Worksheets, saying, “Retirement planning software should automate the development of lifetime projections that incorporate tax laws and rules associated with tax-advantaged retirement investment incentive programs such as traditional IRA, Roth, 401k, 403b, SEP, Keogh, and other retirement plans. Retirement calculators hides the complexity of the tax laws that are associated with these various personal retirement plans and employer-sponsored retirement plans.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of Financial Planning using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

28 Responses to Carnival of Financial Planning – Personal Finance Edition #223

  1. Money Infant says:

    Awesome carnival. Thanks for including my post in this wonderful group of posts!

  2. Hey Corey – Thanks for hosting and thanks for including my post!

  3. AAAMP Blog says:

    Thank you for hosting and including my article.

  4. […] Carnival of Financial Planning – Personal Finance Edition #223 […]

  5. […] thanks go out to Corey at 20′s Finances for including me in the Retirement section of the Carnival of Financial Planning – Personal Finance Edition #223 as well as to Christopher at This That and the MBA for including me in his personal recap of […]

  6. Great roundup. Will catch up n all of there posts.

  7. Dr Dean says:

    Good carnival. Thanks for including my post.

  8. CultOfMoney says:

    Thanks for including me in the carnival this week. Always nice to be included with such esteemed company!

  9. […] 20′sFinance hosted the Carnival of financial planning #223 this week […]

  10. […] Way to Cut Hours Out of Your Workday – Darwins MoneyCarnivals and Sites Mentioning The Frugal ToadCarnival of Personal Finance #223 – Personal Finance Edition hosted by 20sFinancesWinner of the 2012 Super Bowl XLVI $30 Giveaway, Plus My Favorite Posts | […]

  11. Andy Hough says:

    Thanks for hosting and including my post.

  12. Joe Plemon says:

    Thanks for hosting. I appreciate being included among all of these great posts.

  13. Thanks for hosting the carnival this week, and thanks for including my post, Corey. :-)

  14. […] Frugality at Paid Twice Carnival of Wealth at Control Your Cash Carnival of Financial Planning at 20′s Finances Carnival of Retirement at My Retirement […]

  15. […] at My University Money Totally Money at Faith Money Values Carnival of Financial Planning at 20′s Finances Carnival of Retirement at My Retirement Blog Tags: carnivals, roundup | Category: […]

  16. […] at Faith Money Values Carnival of Wealth at Control Your Cash Carnival of Financial Planning at 20′s Finances Carnival of Retirement at My Retirement Blog Weekly Roundup at Smart Wealth Bits and Pieces at […]

  17. […] at My University Money Totally Money at Faith Money Values Carnival of Financial Planning at 20′s Finances Carnival of Retirement at My Retirement […]

  18. […] at Faith Money Values Carnival of Wealth at Control Your Cash Carnival of Financial Planning at 20′s Finances Carnival of Retirement at My Retirement […]

  19. […] Carnival of Financial Planning – Edition #223 […]

  20. […] Money ♦ Totally Money at Faith Money Values ♦ Festival of Frugality at Paid Twice ♦ Carnival of Financial Planning at 20′s Finances ♦ Carnival of Retirement at My Retirement Blog ♦ Yakezie Carnival at […]

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