A nest egg that lasts
Are your savings enough to last you? asked Rodney Brooks at USA Today. Now that people are living longer, that's a question more and more of us should be seriously thinking about. It's not uncommon to spend decades in retirement these days, so it's important that you secure a nest egg big enough to allow you to live comfortably for longer than you might expect. That's why if you can delay retirement, you probably should. Two or three more years of working can give you a higher degree of security for retirement. Waiting longer to claim Social Security benefits can also help. And once you do retire, be sure to set a budget, just as you should when you're working. Factor in key expenses, including health care, and remember to scrutinize your spending and debt to see where you can save and keep costs manageable.
Get financially fit in 30 days
It doesn't take long to get yourself on the right financial track, said Farnoosh Torabi at Yahoo. If you're in need of "a financial overhaul," start by making a list of your bad habits, and then turn them into concrete goals. Financial planner Tom Corley says this process of self-betterment is one of the most striking habits of the goal-driven types who end up getting rich. "I don't save enough," for example, has to be converted to "I save $100 each week." Once you have defined your goals, map them onto a timeline. And focus on exercising more and maintaining relationships with former and new contacts. Research shows that "health and wealth go hand in hand," while tapping into relationships can help "open doors."
Cutting your kid off
The time may have come to "nudge your child off the dole," said Sarah Max at CNN.com. New research has found that almost half of middle-aged adults provide financial support to their grown children. The first step in cutting the cord is to "lose the guilt." In the long run, you'll be doing your offspring a favor by encouraging them to become financially independent. But don't cut them off cold turkey; it's far better to wean your kids off support. "Think through your terms before broaching the topic," and be careful when picking your moment. "Try to time the talk with a life event," like your child's starting a new job, rather than "waiting until your kid needs cash" to announce that you're turning off the spigot.