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The Cost of Living Abroad (Part III)

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You’re going to want to explore your new city, so be sure you’ll have enough disposable income to go out and have a good time. Find out what you can expect to pay for tickets to concerts, movies, theaters, sporting events, and museums.

And if you enjoy working out and exercising, find out how much a 30- day gym membership will cost. Some countries tempt citizens to lead active outdoor lifestyles by offering bikes and green spaces. If you’re going to a country with those types of amenities, you may not need an indoor gym membership.

Health Insurance

Decide how much you will have to pay every month for medications, healthcare, and/or international health insurance. Some countries have nationalized healthcare systems. Others might require you to have private health insurance to get topnotch care.


If you’re moving with children, be sure you know the cost of education. Based on the country, you might want to pay for private education at an international school or send your child to a free public school instead.

London is among the most expensive places to live.

Most Expensive Places to Live Abroad

Some international destinations are famous for being affordable. Others not so much. 

Some of the most expensive cities to live in include:

  • Hong Kong
  • NYC
  • Zurich 
  • London
  • Shanghai
  • Tokyo

In any country, the cost of living is typically lower in small towns and small cities than in major metropolitan areas. So, if you want to keep your expenses down, avoid moving to the downtown center of a major city. Instead, look for a smaller neighborhood or a small town a few miles outside the city’s center.

Regardless of how you plan to live or which foreign destination you decide to go to, research the cost of living to be sure you can afford it.

There’s no doubt that you’ll make amazing memories of living in a foreign country. The experience will be even better if you can afford to appreciate it. Living paycheck to paycheck might be the norm in your hometown, but when you’re thousands of miles away, it’s vital to have financial stability.


The Cost of Living Abroad (Part II)

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Usually, you’ll find a place to live before heading abroad to live.

Are you a U.S. citizen and retired abroad? Verify to be sure you can still collect social security in your new country.

In any country, the cost of living is typically lower in small towns and small cities than in big metropolitan areas. So, if you need to keep your costs down, avoid moving to the downtown area of a big city. Instead, opt for a smaller town a couple of miles outside the city’s hub.

Cost of Living Factors to Consider

When we talk about the cost of living, we’re talking about way more than just the cost of rent or housing.

A good number of ex-pats find a place to live before they move, so many are aware of the average cost of real estate up front. Though, there are many other things that folks usually don’t take into consideration until after they’ve gotten to their new country.

Don’t be caught off guard. Besides housing costs and rent, research these essentials too:


Utilities are more than just electricity, heat, and water. Don’t forget to take into account the cost of smartphone data plans, phone bills, and monthly Wi-Fi connections.


If you’ll be doing the majority of your traveling by bus or train, be sure you realize the cost of public transportation. On the other hand, if you will be driving, decide how much you’ll want to pay for a car and how much you can expect to pay for gas. These expenses differ considerably around the globe.


Foreign countries import and export various types of food. The things that are affordable in your homeland might be very expensive overseas, and vice versa.

Find out what grocery basics cost, as well as those extras you don’t want to do without.

Additionally, look into the cost of dining out in restaurants. If you like to have a few drinks with dinner, research the costs of coffee, beer, alcohol, or whatever it is you enjoy drinking.


The Cost of Living Abroad (Part I)

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Living abroad has many expenses. So, it’s important to have a savings fund to ensure you live comfortably. 

Deciding where to live as an ex-pat can be a complex process, particularly when you don’t have a real understanding of how costs will be different in your new potential home. There are numerous guides regarding the costs of international living that will help you know prices and help you discover the right place to call your next home.

The ones who provide the research work diligently to offer some expert insight into the various costs of living in different countries and cities around the globe. One of the most critical things to think about when moving to a new country is the cost of living abroad. From food to rent to transportation, costs for essential items differ significantly from country to country. 

Living overseas, if just for a short time, can be a life-altering experience. But before you pack your bags and go thousands of miles away, you have to think about how living abroad will affect your wallet. Before you go, be sure you do your research, so you know precisely what to expect. Understand how much living abroad costs and decide what you need to do to afford it.

Why is the Cost of Living Crucial?

Living in a new country is exciting. However, it can also be challenging if you don’t have enough money to keep yourself comfortable. Be sure that the income you’ll be making will be sufficient. Regardless if you want to live a life of luxury or a modest life, it’s critical to have enough money to afford the quality of life you desire. If you are not going to work abroad or you are worried about earning enough, safeguard yourself by having lots of savings in your bank account. Possessing disposable income could be the difference between just getting by and completely enjoying your new town.

The Financial Advantages and Disadvantages of Seniors Getting Married (Part II)

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There’s a lot to discuss when you marry later in life. 

Key Takeaways

Two people who want to marry later in life have to discuss assets, finances, housing, retirement, and more before tying the knot.

When linking finances, it’s best to be open about everything from your degree of indebtedness to retirement plans and investment strategies.

Be sure to decide your filing status, update your tax information, and update your name and benefit status with Social Security.

Do estate planning to see that your families’ financial needs are satisfied after you die, and update beneficiary information for life insurance policies and wills.

Combining Finances After a Marriage

Older couples have had more time to get accustomed to their own money management styles and personal habits. They’ve also had more time to garter significant assets. This can make it difficult to merge finances, particularly when one partner is thrifty and the other likes to spend. Or, when one partner has way more resources than the other.

If either partner has young children from another relationship, this will also introduce issues to discuss like the receipt or payment of child support and probably alimony. Even when there are adult children, there are problems of inheritance to make clear.

Some smart planning can help you simplify this transition. Below are some suggestions you can use before walking down the aisle:

  • Discuss each other’s credit histories by looking at credit scores and reports and scores.
  • Decide each partner’s indebtedness and your personal comfort levels with debt.
  • Reach an agreement about how to share bills, savings, and paychecks.
  • Create one joint banking account and an individual account for each partner
  • Decide who will be the primary breadwinner or if you will both be contributing more or less equally.
  • Discuss investment styles and strategies like whether you are conservative or aggressive.
  • Figure out what savings level you’ll want to have as a couple.
  • Discuss what you vision for retirement if you aren’t already retired.
  • Talk about where you plan to live, present and the future.

The Financial Advantages and Disadvantages of Seniors Getting Married (Part I)

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So, you’ve met someone you love but should you get married or just move in together. 

When you begin a relationship later in life, does it make sense to move in together or marry? The truth is it’s complicated.

Love might be sweeter the second time around. Though, for an increasing number of baby boomers, love and marriage don’t go hand in hand.

The number of adults over 50 who were living together outside of marriage more than tripled between 2000 and 2010, from 1.2 million to 2.75 million. It’s not fearing commitment that keeps older couples from making their unions official. Instead, they’re scared marriage will wipe out retirement benefits, saddle them with increased health care costs, and increase their taxes and disturb their estate plans.

Despite all that, marriage conveys over 1,100 benefits, tax breaks, and protections including guaranteed medical leave to care for a family member.

Those entitlements are the reasons same-sex couples have fought the legal right to marry, just as some opposite-sex couples are decided not to tie the knot. If you’re thinking either marriage or just moving in together, put romance aside long enough to ponder these problems.

Sharing costs and assets

Living together means either you begin fresh in a new place or one of you moves into the other’s residence. The latter isn’t odd for older couples, but unmarried couples must take extra steps to safeguard their interests. If one partner isn’t on the deed, their property might not be protected by the owner’s homeowner’s insurance.

When two people marry later in life, there are more things to sort through than just wedding gifts. Marriage between two individuals with long histories involves critical decisions about assets, finances, housing, retirement, and more. Above are some topics you will want to take up with your future spouse to guarantee your best financial interests as individuals and as a couple are safeguarded in your new union.

Manage Your Finances When You’re Laid Off

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No one is exempt from layoffs. Whether you’re 20 or 50, odds are that sooner or later you will find yourself, usual through no fault of your own, out of a job. So it’s only logic to plan ahead. Many money advisers recommend saving equal to six months’ salary to help you if you find yourself unemployed. You will possibly need more, particularly if you have a family and are the main bread winner.

Some things you can’t plan for

However, most of us don’t think about this scenario until we are really laid off. So what do you do if you haven’t organized your finances?

Determine How You Are Spending Your Money

When times are good, most people don’t consider how they spend money. We know how much the rent, car note, or mortgage is, but we don’t give much attention to daily spending. How much do we spend eat out at restaurants? What is your grocery bill every week? What about insurance and energy costs? Being more conscious of how you spend your money will make you think about spending it more wisely. Especially when you don’t have a check coming in every two weeks.

See Where You Can Cut Back

If you’re going to be laid off, you need to create a plan for reducing expenses. Create a budget that removes most unnecessary expenses, but don’t entirely remove entertainment. You need to keep up your spirits and stay in touch with your contacts. Though, you can reduce these expenses significantly. Find cheap places to go out to drink and eat. Go to budget movies instead of plays, always getting the reduced admissions. Don’t give up the gym but think about joining a less costlier one, unless you use the gym to network. Crank your thermostat up in the summer and down in the winter.

Ways to Lower Your Auto Insurance

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A good way to keep your auto insurance costs low is to have a good driving record. Bet you didn’t know that having one not only saves lives but saves money as well.

Below are some things you can do to reduce your auto insurance costs.

Shop around

Prices differ from company to company. Ergo, it pays to shop around. Have at least three price quotes. You can contact companies directly or get information on the web. Your state insurance department may also offer comparisons of prices by big name auto insurers.

You get insurance to safeguard you financially and give peace of mind. It’s vital to choose a company that is financially stable. Look at the financial health of insurance companies with rating companies like Standard & Poor’s and A.M. Best.

Get quotes from different sorts of insurance companies. A few sell through their own agents. These places have the same name as the insurance company. Some sell via independent agents who provide policies from many insurance companies. Some don’t use agents. They sell right to customers via the web or over the phone.

Don’t shop by price alone. Ask relatives and friends for their suggestions. Call the insurance department of your state to see if they give out info on company’s consumer complaints. Choose a company or agent who takes the time to answer your questions. Make a checklist to help you compare quotes from insurers.

Before you buy a car, compare insurance costs

Before you buy a used or new car, look at insurance costs. Car insurance premiums are based some on the car’s price, repair costs, the safety record and the probability of theft. Many insurers provide discounts for features that lessens the risk of theft or injury. To help you choose which car to buy, you can obtain information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

How to Live Frugal in College

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College life is full of huge fees, like the tuition – that it’s easy to not remember that saving a couple of dollars each

Budgeting during college is critical

day can truly add up and reduce the cost of going to college. Here are some easy habits and the money you can save.

  1. Use free transportation options for students like shuttle buses. This includes free buses on your campus or free buses that run between campuses in your area.  If you use them, you won’t need To have to take cabs, pay for public transportation, or have a car. Results? You could save hundreds of dollars or more each month.
  2. Make your own darn coffee. Do the math. If you spend $4.00 or more a day on coffee house coffee , that can add up to over $120 a month and almost $1,000 each academic year.
  3. Cook your own meals for savings even greater than those in #2. Moreover, pick a dorm that is within walking distance of a low-cost grocery store. There is no better source of good food that fits a student budget.
  4. Share textbooks with other students in your class. With the cost of textbooks climbing over $200, you can save over $1,000 a year with this easy strategy.
  5. Get a work/study job on campus. Many job, like working the check-in desk at the gym or the student health center lets you study while you earn an income. Over the course of a school year, those dollars truly add up.
  6. Find affordable off-campus housing, after matching the costs to college dormitories. Also, consider signing up for reduced meal plans that provide a limited number of meals a week in college dining halls. Remember that the bagel that you put in your pocket at breakfast could become your lunch, giving you two meals for the price of one.

Affordable Places to Retire

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You’ve most likely have been dreaming about retirement since the day you began working. But will your budget let you make those dreams a reality? It has a better opportunity if you choose an affordable retirement destination.

To detect some of the cheapest places in the U.S. where you will really want to retire, we tried to pick a good place to retire in each state. We based our choices on factors crucial to retirees like safety, taxes, health care, cost of living, and lifestyle. Here are the appealing places left that really cheap for retirement. Decide for yourself if any of these destinations could be where you live out your American dreams.

Montgomery, AL

Annual expenditures: $37,000

Akron, OH

Annual expenditures: $36,000

Cleveland, OH

Annual expenditures: $36,000

Augusta, GA

Annual expenditures: $36,000

Brownsville, TX

Annual expenditures: $35,000

Toledo, OH

Annual expenditures: $35,000

Memphis, TN

Annual expenditures: $34,000

Jackson, MS

Annual expenditures: $34,000

Other Cities for Retirement

  • Winchester, VA
  • Portland, ME
  • Gainesville, GA
  • Wenatchee, WA
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Cheyenne, WY
  • Columbus, IN
  • Ithaca, NY
  • Harrisburg, PA
  • Midland, TX


If money doesn’t matter, there’d be lots of incredible places to spend your retirement. An all-glass contemporary on the Malibu beach, a small winery in Napa Valley. A house in Paris.

But money really does matter. Even as the financial markets gets out of its recession, many of us are redefining what our “dream” retirement is going to look like.

Absolutely, Honolulu has well-priced pineapples and beaches. But not many of us can afford its average home price of over a half million dollars. Chicago has lake views and first-class dining, though its way over the top, extremely high percent sales tax can put those niceties out of reach. Then again, not many retirees want to relocate, even if it is cheap, to a one-stoplight town either.

How Much You Need to Retire at 55

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If you would like to retire at age 55, there are a couple of things you will need to think about that a person who retires later will not have to consider. Below are a few things to consider if you are serious about planning for an early retirement.


If you retire at 55, supposing you will have an average life expectancy, your assets need to produce income for a longer period than a person who retires at 65.

It means you need to create an exact projection of what you think you will spend yearly. Then you can compare that to your income sources for retirement you feel you’ll have ready for you.

Social Security doesn’t begin until age 62. Also, there are restrictions and penalties for getting to your retirement money before 59 1/2 .

What this means is that if you want to retire at 55, you must have money or have a way to get it. One source of money won’t cut it. One choice you might think about is using 72 payments to take out from your IRA.

Medicare coverage won’t begin until 65. If you are thinking about retiring at 55, make sure you will have a solid health insurance coverage that you can depend on until you can get Medicare.

Filling Up Your Time

An long vacation sounds nice, but some find it isn’t as satisfying as they thought it would be. When considering early retirement, give real thought as to what you’ll do with your money and your time. Getting serious about a hobby or consulting are ideas.

You could volunteer or help raise the grandchildren. If you decide retiring at 55 might not work for you, move the age up to 62. For many, this is doable. Just make sure that you are emotionally and financially ready when you decide to do so.