I specialize in personal finance, with a particular interest in retirement and behavioral economics.
Best Cities and States for Freelancers and Gig Workers
Many professionals have embraced the freedoms and geographic independence of self-employment. But how to choose where to live?
“Cost of living is a big factor,” says Gali Arnon, chief marketing officer at Fiverr. “You need a gap between your income and your costs.” Work-life balance is also key, Arnon adds, as well as female-friendliness, higher wages, high-speed internet, affordable health insurance, coworking spaces and lots of freelance opportunities.
Here are the top eight places that meet all these standards and more.
How to manage volatile income
Anyone who has ever been a freelancer, worked on commission, or relied on tips knows the boom-and-bust cycle of having an irregular income. How are you supposed to budget when you don’t know which months feature steak dinners and which ones require ramen noodles?
Thankfully, there are some simple (but not necessarily easy) steps you can take to smooth out your irregular income. Here’s how to stop the feast-or-famine cycle:
What Coverage is Included in Medicare Telehealth Appointments?
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a number of changes in how we access medical care, including the rise of telehealth. This service allows patients to consult their doctors from home via telecommunication services. Understanding how Medicare telehealth works and what it covers can help Medicare beneficiaries navigate this emerging medical service and receive the care they need.
You’ve started saving — but where should it go?
The importance of saving your money has probably been drilled into your head by now. Well, message received! You have decided to start saving your money — and carrying an emergency hoodie in case of cooler temperatures.
The only problem is figuring out where exactly to stash it. Here's what you need to know about the various account options.
You’re Hired! (Just Kidding!)
Picture this: You’re offered a fantastic new job. You give your current employer your two weeks’ notice, clean out your desk and say goodbye to your work spouse. Maybe you’re moving cities or states because, hey, you’re on your way to bigger and better things.
And then the rug is pulled—the offer has been rescinded. Sorry about that!
That’s what has been happening to a number of job seekers in 2022. We spoke to three employment experts to find out how to handle this rejection.
Is Long-Term Care Insurance Worth It?
According to the Administration for Community Living, people who arrive at the age of 65 these days will have a 70% chance of needing some sort of long-term care—and women tend to need this care for an average of 3.7 years, compared with only 2.2 years for men. Further, as of 2016, the average cost of a nursing home stay was approximately $7,000 per month, meaning women face a potential long-term care cost of $310,800 over the course of those 3.7 years.
The good news: Long-term care insurance can help mitigate those costs.
How to Reduce Childcare Costs
Prospective parents dream of baby snuggles, chubby cheeks and bike-riding lessons.
Not usually included in this dream? A daycare bill that rivals (or exceeds!) their mortgage or rent payment.
Unfortunately, the high cost of childcare is the nightmarish reality for modern parents: According to career support platform Zippier, parents pay an average of $340 per week, per child, for daycare. And in 2020, 57% of working families spent more than $10,000 annually on childcare.
Navigating Social Security as a Couple
Figuring out when you and your spouse will each take Social Security retirement benefits can be a complex decision with unintended consequences. It’s important to understand how each spouse’s claiming decisions can affect you both. That’s why it’s important to think through your claiming strategies before either of you are ready to retire.
How Do Franchises Work?
Drive down nearly any commercial street in the United States and you’ll pass a variety of franchises: McDonald’s, Century 21, Kumon, Planet Fitness, Subway. Businesses like these are as American as apple pie—and lately, women are taking a slice.
But how exactly does this business model work, and why are so many entrepreneurial women flocking to it?
How to Navigate a Bank or Credit Union
Banks and credit unions can seem a little unfriendly to anyone who isn’t familiar with how they work. There are no helpful signs telling you where to stand, what forms you need, how much anything costs, or even which tellers have the good lollipops.
Can You Really Afford a Pet Right Now?
Adding a furry, feathered or fishy friend to your family isn’t free—or cheap.
In fact, Americans spent $123.6 billion on pets in 2021 alone, according to the American Pet Products Association. That money was used on food, supplies, over-the-counter medication, veterinary care and services like grooming, training and pet-sitting. Many of these are necessities when you’re a pet parent.
Even if you’re aware of some of the potential and expected costs associated with adopting a pet, it’s also important to prepare for unexpected expenses. Here’s what you need to know.
How Social Security and Medicare Work Together
Social Security and Medicare are two different government benefit programs, but both offer aid to older and retired Americans. Social Security provides financial support to retirees, while Medicare is a health insurance program that helps Americans age 65 and older pay for... medical care. In both cases, American workers pay into these programs through income taxes, but each program is administered by a different agency....although Social Security and Medicare are two separate programs with separate aims and benefits, the programs jointly help beneficiaries navigate all of their benefits.
How to Increase ‘Zillennial’ Job Satisfaction
Gen Z and millennials are over it, tbh.
Workplace satisfaction is at a 20-year low and zillennials, the microgeneration born between 1993 and 1998, are the least happy with their jobs, according to a study by MetLife. The fact that this group came of age in a world rocked by financial crises, major social upheaval and a public reckoning on the importance of mental health, is starting to show—particularly at work.
How debt messes with your brain
Being in debt is the worst.
That’s not just opinion. The Society of Occupational Medicine’s Life Events Inventory, which ranks the level of stress caused by 100 life events, found that “getting into debt beyond means of repayment” received a score of 82/100 for men and 86/100 for women — meaning significant debt is more stressful than divorce (81/100 for men and women), infidelity (77/100 for men and 81/100 for women), or the death of a close friend (78/100 for men and 80/100 for women).
13 Best Loans for Refinancing Student Loans Without a Cosigner
Refinancing your student loans with a cosigner could improve your approval chances as well as possibly get you a lower interest rate than you’d get on your own.
However, you don’t have to refinance with a cosigner if you meet the lender’s underwriting criteria on your own.
If you’re wondering how to refinance student loans without a cosigner, here’s what you should know: