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RFM Financial Solutions, LLC

Archive for August, 2014

The “PIIGS” acronym refers to the economies of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain. The term became popular during the European sovereign debt crisis in highlighting the weaker performance of these economies coming out of the economic downturn. As shown in the image, the PIIGS economies have yet to fully recover from the 2007 financial crisis and the subsequent European sovereign debt crisis. In fact, an initial $1,000 invested in Greek stocks at the start of 1992 would have yielded a mere $592 by the end of 2011 (a 41% decline in value).

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Just as in driving, when planning your finances you have to learn to be defensive. While the word “insurance” makes some people cringe, it might not seem so bad if you can find ways to protect your family and save money at the same time. Let’s investigate homeowners, auto, and umbrella insurance coverage.

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If you want to take a tax- and penalty-free withdrawal of the portion of a Roth that consists of investment earnings (amount above your initial contribution), you need to be age 59 1/2, disabled, or using the money to pay for a first-time home. However, there’s more to this rule.

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Housing-related costs are often the largest component of retirees’ household budgets, so this article will address some of the key ways in which retirees can cut this type of costs.

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The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measure of inflation, is a monthly statistic representing the change in prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services. While this measure serves more as an official gauge, a lot of consumers (especially retired consumers and investors) seem to have a different sense of inflation. The question often arises: Why is it that the official rate seems to be lower than what we’re actually feeling out there?

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In an uncertain market and economic environment, it pays to take advantage of all the sure things you can get. A prime example is paying down any debt you have, even mortgages and other loans that some might classify as “good debt” because they carry relatively low interest rates and may offer tax deductions. By chipping away at your borrowing costs, you’ll reduce the interest you owe over the life of your loan. With that being said, it’s a good time to investigate whether it benefits you to refinance your mortgage. In an effort to jump-start the moribund economy and jumbo loans threshold housing markets, the Federal Reserve has aggressively cut interest rates, which has brought both 15- and 30-year mortgage loans down to historically low levels. Rates have continued to fall in 2012, with the most recent July 30-year mortgage loan at 3.55%

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