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Top 10 Personal Finance Mistakes


Christian talk radio with Rob West

September 10, 2021

The web portal "Excite" once turned down an offer to buy Google for a million dollars. Today, Google is worth $420 billion. When it comes to financial mistakes, that was a biggie. We all make the occasional misstep with our money. Maybe not on such an epic scale, but they can be painful nonetheless. Today we’ll give you a top-10 of personal finance mistakes to avoid. Borrowing from your 401(k). It’s tempting because it’s your money. However, often this is just to fix an earlier mistake, like going into debt. It’s a bad idea because you’ll likely reduce or suspend new contributions during the period you’re repaying the loan. Claiming Social Security early. If you take benefits at 62 instead of waiting until your full retirement age of 66 or 67, you’ll permanently reduce your benefit by as much as 32%. Paying the minimum on credit cards. If you have a $5,000 balance on a card with a fixed rate of 12.5% making only the minimum payments, it’ll take 10 years and $1,700 in interest to eliminate that debt. Putting off saving for retirement. You need time to take full advantage of the power of compounding earnings. If you start in your 20's saving 10 to 15%, you’ll be well-prepared for when you stop working. Bankrolling your kids. You may want to give your children the best college education or wedding, but not at the expense of your own retirement savings. Not getting professional, financial advice. Many people could have used the services of a trusted advisor when the pandemic hit and stocks plummeted. Folks panicked and sold stocks low. Cosigning a loan. The Bible explicitly tells us never to do it. Proverbs 17:18 warns, "One who lacks sense gives a pledge and puts up security in the presence of his neighbor." And neighbor includes friends, family, or anyone else. By some estimates, 40% of cosigners get stuck paying off the loan. Quitting school. Though some people make a lot of money without college, some college grads barely make enough to pay their student loans. But that’s not the norm. In general, the more schooling you have, the more money you make. Buying a timeshare. In the vast majority of cases, people really regret this one. Falling for a scam. Con-artists can play on your fear or greed to bilk you out of thousands of dollars. The FTC says Americans are scammed out of nearly a billion dollars a year. On today’s program we also answer a few of your questions: --I’m approaching retirement age. Is it best to keep up with our Roth IRA that we have now, continue putting money into it, but just disregard the simple IRA and just let it sit there? Or, should we continue to put money into the simple IRA as well as into the Roth? --What’s your opinion on doing a reverse mortgage, using it to purchase additional property? --I need to temporarily rent an apartment in another state where my daughter is having her first baby. However, instead of an apartment, what are your thoughts about doing an Airbnb or even a vacation rental? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions 24/7 at (800) 525-7000 or email them to [email protected] Also, visit our website at where you can listen to past programs, connect with a MoneyWise Coach, and even download free, helpful resources like the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook at MoneyWise Media for the very latest discussion! And remember that it’s your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking the Donate tab on our website or in our app.

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