Mind Your Money

 

Welcome to the library's multi-author blog and associated resources for increased financial literacy. This program is made possible by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation through Smart investing@your library®, a partnership with the American Library Association

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For questions or comments about this program, please send email to mym [at] hmcpl [dot] org.

 

 

Free Credit Scores for Military Families from FINRA

Good news for military families striving to build or repair their credit!

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation is pleased to make FICO® credit scores—and the educational information and tools in the FICO Standard product—available free of charge to active duty servicemembers and their spouses who could benefit from its use.

Please note that FINRA requires going through the financial counseling office of your military center.  At Redstone Arsenal, contact:

Kathleen Riester
Financial Readiness Program Manager
Army Community Service
kathleen [dot] k [dot] riester [dot] civ [at] mail [dot] mil
256-876-5397

She also offers free personal budget counseling for the military community, including civilians working at Redstone.  This is an excellent resource -- make the most of it!

Air Force Boots

President Obama's myRA Retirement Plan

In his recent State of the Union Address President Obama introduced "MyRA", a government retirement account option that will help millions of Americans start saving for retirement. Class instructor Dorla Evans has sent these links to help us understand the new program:

From BusinessWeek:

The myRA savings account is intended for the roughly half of U.S. workers who don’t have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans. It’s a government-run account that will earn the same fluctuating interest rate as the Thrift Savings Plan Government Securities Investment Fund available to federal employees. Contributions, which will be deducted from after-tax pay, won’t be taxed on withdrawal. The purpose is to get people started on a lifetime of savings. Once an account reaches $15,000 it will be rolled over into a private-sector Roth IRA. The myRA plan is so new that some people in Washington are still pronouncing it like the woman’s name. It’s actually three syllables, a play on “I-R-A.”

From CNN Money:

Who can open a myRA? The accounts are targeted at the millions of low- and middle-income Americans who don't have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans. That includes roughly half of all workers and 75% of part-time workers.

...

How will the account work? The account will function as a Roth IRA, which allows savers to invest after-tax dollars and withdraw the money in retirement tax-free.

...

How much can I invest? Initial investments can be as low as $25 and workers can contribute as little as $5 at a time through automatic payroll deductions. Like a traditional Roth account, savers will be allowed to contribute up to $5,500 a year under current limits.

...

What kind of returns can I expect? While the accounts will offer a safe place for many first-time retirement savers to put their money, they shouldn't expect big returns.

...

Will this help solve the retirement savings crisis? Retirement advocates are cheering the new savings program as an important step. But no one thinks this alone will fix the fact that millions of Americans have little-to-no retirement savings.

What you know about investing in retirement may be wrong

You probably know the conventional wisdom: People just entering retirement should have a big portion of their savings—say, 40% to 60%—invested in stocks to help their nest egg grow over time. And as they age, all but the wealthiest should gradually reduce their equity exposure to protect against 2008-style market declines. 

Actually, those who reduce their equity exposure right after retiring and then gradually raise it are less likely to run out of money, says The Journal of Financial Planning. Read more from The Wall Street Journal...

Thanks to Dorla Evans, one of our class instructors, for the tip!

12 Financial Tips for Women

12 financial tips for women
By Dana Dratch
Bankrate.com

While neither gender has an exclusive lock on money management skills, the financial deck is stacked against women. They earn about three-quarters of what men make. In a divorce, they get less of the assets and more of the children.

Read the full story at http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/pf/20060426a1.asp.

 

$ave $teve

$ave $teve is an innovative, fun way for gamers of all ages to increase their financial literacy. With the help of the Krackle Botz, benevolent robots from another dimension, $teve gains financial knowledge, fiscal responsibility and investment insights on his adventure through secret laboratories and parallel universes.

$ave $teve was developed by Phyllis Schirle and Jim Blanton at The Chesapeake Public Library, in partnership with the Norfolk State University’s Creative Gaming & Simulation Department, as part of the Smart investing@your library program. You can read more about how $teve came to be here.

Morningstar Announced 2013 U.S. Fund Manager of the Year Awards

Morningstar announced the nominees for its 2013 U.S. Fund Manager of the Year awards. The
awards acknowledge managers who not only delivered impressive performance in 2013,
but who have also delivered excellent long-term risk-adjusted returns, and have been
good stewards of fund shareholders' capital. To recognize outstanding fund managers
each year, Morningstar selects leaders in five strategies: domestic stock,
international stock, fixed income, alternatives, and allocation.

For the winners and related article to go:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/15/morningstar-awds-idUSnPnCGkm5tT+161+PRN20140115

For the video of the announcement on CNBC's Power Lunch
http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000236106

 

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