Laura Quinn

Laura Quinn

Laura Quinn has been writing for more than 20 years for a variety of print and on-line publications.
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5/18/2010

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bachelor s degree in English

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  • Retiring by Age 55 with the Help of My 401(k)
    I'm going to retire at age 55 by tapping my 401(k). I'm also making financial moves in my 40s to convert an old 401(k) so I can access it for my early retirement. I'll wait to apply for Social Security until I'm 67.
  • Overpriced Homes Aren’t Motivating Me to List Mine
    I plan to be the last person in my neighborhood to sell because I'm waiting for the top of the new housing bubble. In the meantime, I'm making improvements to my home that will appeal to the younger first-time homebuyer.
  • Protecting My Retirement If the Bull Market Ends Badly
    After surviving the dot.com bubble, I have learned a few things about being defensively positioned when a bull market comes to an unfortunate end. I'm paying attention to the outlook of experts such as economist Robert Shiller.
  • I’m Not Buying Generation X’s Money Mess
    Financial experts say Generation X is headed for a retirement crisis and is poorer right now than their parents at the same age. I am not buying any of the doom-and-gloom about Generation X as we dominate the workplace.
  • Paying Off a Mortgage Early as a Hedge Against Inflation
    As everything around me becomes more expensive, I need to cut my greatest expenses. If I can pay off my mortgage in the next 10 years, I'll have more cash flow to cover the higher cost of other essentials.
  • How I’ll Retire Better Than My Grandparents
    If I want to retire better off than my parents and grandparents, I need a substitute to the traditional pension and Social Security benefits. By avoiding a 'gray divorce' and maxing out my Roth, I should be better off.
  • Growing My Wealth After it Vanished During the Recession
    A new study shows the net worth of the middle class has gone down because of the recession. Even though the recovery has been painfully slow, I'm making positive financial moves to boost my net worth.
  • What I Gave Up for a Down Payment on My Home
    I gave up a lot so I could purchase my new construction Florida home with my husband including delaying our honeymoon. A new surveys hows what the younger generation will do so they can save up for a down payment.
  • Student Loan Debt is Undermining My Desire to Buy a Step-up Home
    Recent graduates aren't the only ones being affected by massive student loan debt. When first-time home buyers can't afford to buy homes because of student loan debt, it prevents Gen-X'ers like me from becoming move-up buyers.
  • I’m Still Living on My Salary from 15 Years Ago
    What do you do with a pay raise? I pretend I never got one, which sometimes doesn't take any imagination at all. I have been living on the same income for the past 15 years because I save any bonuses or raises.
  • There’s a Record Number of Millionaires Which Makes Me Optimistic
    Maybe there is hope for me having a net worth of one million by the time I retire. Experts say rising stock and home prices are responsible for the marked increase in the number of millionaires out there.
  • I Can’t Make Money Home Flipping in My Florida Town
    I don't have the guts to flip homes in my Florida community because it seems too risky. The best time to find a bargain was two or three years ago, but now even foreclosures and short sales seem a little overpriced to me.
  • Using My Home Equity for Emergencies Scares Me
    Almost all of the reasons experts cite for good reasons to take out a home equity line of credit seem like bad ideas to me. Home values are too low to justify taking equity out of my Florida home even if it's available on paper.
  • I Can Improve My Financial Literacy as a Gen-X’er
    I took a financial literacy quiz to find out if I know as much as I think I do about personal finances. I didn't get 100 percent on the test, but not because I'm bad with math. It's never too late to learn more so I can make more.
  • My Home Wasn’t a Terrible Investment After All
    Even though I bought during the top of the market, my home turned out to be a wise financial investment. Buying still beats renting as long as I can stay put during the ups and downs of the housing market.
  • I’m Not Letting a Mortgage Sink My Retirement
    A growing number of senior citizens still have a mortgage, some of them until the day they die. I am making financial decisions in my 40s so mortgage payments won't spoil my retirement days.
  • Healthy Pessimism Makes Me Wealthier, Not Broke
    I started putting more money aside after becoming a healthy pessimist who expected there to be expenses outside the budget. I am avoiding the 7 different bad financial habits that cause some people to be constantly broke.
  • Why I Regret Buying My Home in a Bad Location
    I would not have cared that I bought a home during the housing bubble as long as I picked a better neighborhood. I've learned that location really does matter when it comes to real estate success and happiness as a homeowner.
  • Why Generation X Shouldn’t Fear Retirement
    I'm not fearing retirement any more than I fear the reaper. I believe Generation X will be financially secure in retirement because we are all survivalists who learned from the Great Recession and dot.com bubble.
  • Millennials Are Being Set Up for the Next Economic Downturn
    Lured into buying homes they can't afford and taking on unmanageable amounts of student loan debt, Millennials are being set up for the next crash in the economy. I'm helping my Millennial children prepare for the next recession.
  • I Don’t Trust the Social Security Estimates
    Experts say the Social Security program isn't going to last without a 23 percent reduction in benefits now and continuing indefinitely. I think parents should be able to fund Roth IRA accounts for children at birth.
  • Taking Out 401(k) Loans Saved Me from Stock Market Crashes
    Taking out 401(k) loans isn't always a terrible idea. I took out a loan right before the stock market tanked. By putting my loan money to better use, I came out ahead financially.
  • I’m Part of New Normal Helping Adult Children Longer
    How long is too long to financially support young adult children. A recent study shows some parents plan to help their children for 5 years beyond graduation. I personally like having boomerang children in the household.
  • I’m No Longer Overwhelmed by Debt
    Most people struggle with debt in their 20s, but if they learn their financial lessons, it gets better. I made lifestyle sacrifices in my 20s so I could create a better life for my family by the time I was 30.
  • How We Pay for College Without Sacrificing Our Retirement
    Some experts say parents can teach their children a lesson by making them pay off their own student loan debt, but I think it's irresponsible to let a child take out obscene amounts of debt when they are too young to understand.
  • How I’m Getting Ahead of Rising Interest Rates
    We got ahead of rising interest rates by refinancing our mortgage at the lowest levels in history, but there is still more we can do to stay one step ahead as interest rates begin to climb.
  • Owning Still Beats Renting in My Neighborhood
    Many of the old arguments for why it's better to rent no longer hold true in today's real estate market. In my neighborhood, renters pay significantly more than the homeowners due to low interest rates.
  • As a New Parent, I Boosted My Emergency Fund to $10,000
    New research shows new parents are having trouble saving up a basic emergency fund. I went from having less than $1,000 to $10,000 in my 20s. My saving habits helped me stay out of debt while raising two children.
  • What Pretending to Buy a Home Taught Me
    I simulated the cost of home ownership before buying a home to determine whether I could truly afford it. I put the extra money aside for a future down payment while I found out what it's like to pay higher housing costs.
  • Overcoming the 5 Myths of Retirement
    People in Generation X can't afford to retire on a whim, but we can avoid retirement screw-ups with careful planning. I had to get rid of some of my assumptions about retirement so that I am more financially prepared.
  • If I Retire at 62, I’ll Invest My Social Security Benefits
    I plan to invest my Social Security benefits starting at age 62 so I have a larger nest egg in my 70s and beyond. By paying off my debt now, I'll be able to get by on less income in my 60s so I can put my benefits to work.
  • As a Gen-X’er, I’m Preparing for the Retiring Boomer Crashes
    One minute experts predict baby boomers will never retire, and the next minute they claim the generation is retiring in droves. I am preparing for the next stock market and housing crash as a result of 77 million retirees.
  • Even Though I’m Older, I’m Still Going with the Roth
    Young people aren't the only ones who benefit from investing in a Roth IRA. Even though I'm in my 40s, I still choose the Roth over all other investment vehicles available because I fear everyone will face higher taxes in the future.
  • Key Lessons I Learned from Friends’ Money Mistakes
    I don't need my friends to give me financial advice because I can learn by observing the money mistakes they have made. My friends and family have scared me into avoiding debt and living below my means.
  • Saving for Retirement All Over Again After Age 40
    It's never too late to start saving for retirement. I had to start over with my Roth IRA after my gains were wiped out during the Great Recession. This time, I'm taking a different approach to saving for retirement.
  • American Wealth on the Rise, but I’m Feeling Broke
    Having more equity in my home and money saved for retirement doesn't impact my day-to-day finances. I need to generate money from an investment account to offset the higher costs and increased expenses as the economy "recovers."
  • I’m Not Buying or Selling During the Echo Housing Bubble
    Generation X already had its housing bubble. Now the Echo Housing Bubble has begun as the younger generation buys homes close to or above the last housing bubble levels. Gen-X'ers are smart to stay far away from real estate until this one pops.
  • The Recession Made Our Marital Finances Stronger
    Going through the Great Recession helped improve our marital finances by forcing us to be more open and honest. I got over my fear of emasculating my husband by being a high-earning wife.
  • I’m Financially Ahead by Retiring in America
    I'm planning to pay off my home and retire in American even though a growing number of seniors plan to retire overseas. I can see many financial advantages to retiring in place and stretching my Social Security check at home.
  • The Real Reason We’re Waiting to Buy a Home
    When it comes to being a step-up home buyer, I could go for new construction, fix up a foreclosure or settle for an obsolete resale home. The real reason I'm not ready to buy another home has nothing to do with housing inventory.
  • Saving for Retirement Even Though I Can’t Afford To
    I know I saved too much for retirement because I had to take loans from my 401(k) to afford necessary purchases such as a car. It's no wonder half of all Americans now save they don't save for retirement.
  • I’m Ditching the Middle-Class Mindset to Retire Early
    Some of my money beliefs are shared by others in the middle class, but could be holding me back from retiring early. I am willing to get off the hedonic treadmill and just be happy with what I have so I have more money later.
  • I Simplified My Financial Life in 30 Days
    I took four weeks to clean up my personal finances and adopt a minimalist lifestyle. I dramatically reduced my stress levels by consolidating accounts and closing old credit card and bank accounts.
  • As Boomers Cash in on a Bull Market, Gen-X is Left Hanging
    I'm not feeling the wealth effects of the aging bull market as a Gen-X'er, but experts say more baby boomers are feeling confident enough about their money to retire. I think my generation needs to be cautious in case boomers exit stocks.
  • Being the Last to Sell in a Seller’s Housing Market
    We don't want to be the first to sell our home in a seller's housing market since the values are going up. After cleaning and staging our home, we realized we could be happy staying put for a while longer.
  • Boomerang Generation Will Help, Not Hurt My Retirement
    Three in 10 young adults move back in with their parents between the ages of 21 and 35, according to new research. Although some experts warn the boomerang generation will destroy parents' retirement, I welcome my children home.
  • I No Longer Fear I’ll Be Broke in Retirement
    I'm not worried about whether I'll have enough for retirement because I have the same percentage as my age in a money market within my retirement account. I also stopped thinking about it by automating my savings.
  • Financial Moves I’m Making Before Becoming Self-Employed
    I've had a full-time job in my 30s and 40s, but plan to return to self employment when I hit my 50s. I'm making informed financial decisions now so that I can survive even during dry spells as an independent contractor.
  • First Person: My Second Fix and Flip Was a Failure
    After successfully flipping a townhome, I thought my husband and I could turn an easy profit when we purchased our home in 2005. Instead, we ended up being stuck in what was supposed to be a quick fix and flip.
  • Timing Our Mortgage Payoff with Retirement
    New research shows a record number of older Americans retire with mortgage debt. We are timing our mortgage payoff with our retirement, leaving room for the option of retiring early.
  • Doubling My Social Security Benefits as a Gen-Xer
    A member of Generation X, I want to double my Social Security benefits without having to work longer. After accumulating 30 years of a good work history, I can stop working but delay taking my Social Security benefits until 70.
  • Roth IRAs Could Save Everyone, Not Just the Wealthy
    I'm worried that some lawmakers are going to try to do away with the Roth IRA. It's not fair to use the Roth as a scapegoat for the national deficit when the Roth helps the working poor and middle class save for retirement.
  • How We Went from Money Secrets to Shared Finances
    I used to handle all the finances in the family, but realized I wasn't taking my husband's long-term goals into consideration. By working together as a team and coming up with shared goals, we boosted our happiness.
  • First Person: I Wasn’t Prepared for My C-Section or an Angel Vision
    After my c-section, I was blessed to see an angel from the other side. Having a memory of the angel helped me during the recovery process, which was painful and sometimes lonely.
  • Teaching My Millennials to Succeed at Investing
    Some people claim Millennials are financially illiterate, but it's my job as a parent to teach them about the pitfalls of being a novice investor. My sons are going to carry on the individual investor revolution.
  • Greedy Home Sellers Are Ruining Our Dream to Buy
    It's becoming impossible to find a home that is within our reach because sellers are listing their homes in my area above market value. Some experts say the rebound in home prices is an illusion created by greedy sellers.
  • Why My Generation X is Giving Up on Work
    Members of Generation X are giving up on the job hunt for a number of reasons. When the last of the boomers retire, there will be better jobs available for the burned out generation that has been working since we turned 16.
  • I’m Glad My Husband Used a Target-Date Fund
    I've noticed a lot of financial experts criticize the target-date fund, but it has given my family financial peace of mind to see my husband's 401(k) grow steadily. Still, there is a right and wrong way to invest in a target-date fund.
  • Dealing with Retirement Sticker Shock as a Woman
    Women have greater challenges when it comes to saving for retirement because of longer life expectancy rates. I'm coming up with an extended retirement plan so I have more confidence about living well in retirement.
  • Moving Millennial Kids into Foreclosure Next Door
    Instead of having our grown children move into the basement or garage to save money, we are planning to buy a foreclosure in the neighborhood. We want to purchase an investment property before the housing recovery is over.
  • Pricing Our Home as the Market Hits Price High
    Experts say home sellers are feeling more confident about getting the most money for their homes. Even though home prices have hit all time highs in some markets, I am skeptical I could get back what I spent on my home.
  • The Stock Market is Becoming Too Risky for Me
    Now that the bull market is aging, I'm quickly exiting many of my stock positions. I would be confused by conflicting reports about whether the market will explode to the upside or crash, but I lived through the dot.com bubble.
  • I Rather Tap My 401(k) Before My Home’s Equity
    New research shows people are tapping their 401(k) balances early instead of using their homes as piggy banks. I think the government needs to stop imposing a 10-percent penalty on early withdrawals because it's unfair.
  • How I’ll Achieve a Debt-Free Retirement
    While the baby boomer generation is retiring with a lot of mortgage and credit-card debt, my Generation X may learn from their financial mistakes. I'm planning to achieve a debt-free retirement by making smart moves in my 40s.
  • Using Our Emergency Fund to Boost Our Retirement Savings
    It's tough to max out my Roth IRA each year so I'm taking money out of ordinary savings. I can use my Roth as an emergency savings account as long as I'm careful about what I do with the money.
  • Saving in My 20s and 30s Rescued Me when I Got Older
    If I had not saved for retirement in my 20s and 30s, I'm afraid I'd have a tiny nest egg. I wasn't able to count on the miracle of compounding interest because my returns were not good, but I am on track for a million dollar retirement.
  • After Housing Bubble, I Don’t Have Buyer’s Remorse
    Even though 1 in 4 homeowners regret buying a home, I think it's the best financial decision I ever made. I will have one less expense to worry about in retirement when my home is paid off.
  • I’m Still Waiting for the Big Surge in My 401(k)
    Even though new data shows the average 401(k) balance has doubled since the economic downturn, I'm still struggling to save enough for retirement. If it takes 20 years for money to double, I don't think I'll have enough to retire.
  • The Housing Recovery Is a Sham in My Neighborhood
    I don't see a housing recovery in my Florida neighborhood where people are still going into foreclosure. Most of the demand is coming from investors who fix up foreclosures in a day to use as rentals.
  • Setting a Realistic Retirement Target Age
    I'd like to work until I'm 70, but I know it's not realistic to think I'll feel the same way when I'm older. Since the average retirement age is 62, I'm using that as a realistic retirement target age but it means saving more money.
  • Getting Debt-Free With a Financial Pyramid
    I came across a personal finance pyramid that is helping me to get out of debt. The finance pyramid mimics the food pyramid. Splurges sit at the top of this pyramid instead of sweets.
  • Paying Off My Mortgage in My 40s
    I'm paying off my mortgage in my 40s because I know I wouldn't really save the extra money every month. I came up with easy ways to pay off my mortgage before my 50th birthday in 8 years.
  • Opting for a Cash-Out Refinance
    I'm definitely make a habit of refinancing my home, but it's worth it to take advantage of my home equity. I'm planning a cash-out refinance so I can use the money for a down payment on an investment property.
  • Why I Disregard Wealth on Paper When Budgeting
    I don't consider my non-liquid wealth to be as real as the cash I have set aside for emergencies. Even though my net worth has increased, I'm living a frugal life that disregards my wealth on paper.
  • I’m Not Trading Middle Class for the New Poor
    Experts say the middle class is becoming the new poor. I'm paying off debt and investing in stocks outside of retirement so that I don't lose my lifestyle if I lose my job.
  • I Was Embarrassed to Admit to My Credit Card Debt
    A new survey shows 40 percent of people would rather announce to the world how much they weigh than admit to their credit card debt. Since my husband wouldn't marry me until I got out of debt, I dropped my bad financial habits.
  • Buying an Investment Property Over a Step-Up Home
    At this stage in our lives we could either buy a more expensive step-up home or an investment property. We rather live a humble lifestyle in our starter home and generate rental income to fund our retirement.
  • Why Generation X Doesn’t Like to Save
    A new survey shows Generation X gets more enjoyment from spending rather than saving. After the housing collapse and bear stock markets, it's no wonder we feel burned by our good savings habits.
  • Using Different Debt Payoff Strategies
    I'm convinced it doesn't matter what debt payoff strategy a person uses as long as he or she has the right attitude. I started treating debt like a flaming emergency, which motivated me to pay down my mortgage.
  • Overcoming My False Beliefs About Money
    I began to question my beliefs about money after reading a Forbes article about common money myths. I think questions related to money and retirement have me the most confused as I plan for the future.
  • Facing a 28 Percent Retirement Shortfall
    Americans face a 28 percent retirement shortfall, according to a Fidelity report. It doesn't sound too bad until I realized I might be short $1,600 to $2,100 in retirement, which is twice as much as I pay for my mortgage.
  • I’m Depending on My Private Savings to Fund My Retirement
    A member of Generation X with no pension, I'm going to have to save more money for retirement. I'm expecting from zero to 25 percent of my retirement to be funded by Social Security, which leaves a huge gap.
  • Going Gluten-Free for Dessert
    From a chocolate fudge cherry cake to old-fashioned blackberry cobbler, it's possible to make gluten-free desserts that taste better than ones using traditional wheat flours.
  • Funding My Retirement with Rental Properties
    I no longer believe that funding my 401(k) and Roth IRA is the best way to prepare for retirement. I'm planning to buy real estate so I can generate a passive income in retirement that is more dependable.
  • My Bad Financial Habits Hurt My Kids
    My parents didn't talk to me about credit-card debt before I went to college, but I'm being open and honest with my sons about money. A new money survey shows most children go to mom with their financial questions.
  • I Climbed Out of a Financial Hole in 1 Year
    I built up an emergency savings fund while simultaneously paying off my consumer debt. Using the snowball method of debt repayment kept me motivated to change my financial situation in less than one year.
  • I Shaved 11 Years Off My 30-Year Mortgage
    I took 11 years off the life of my original 30-year mortgage by throwing any windfall money toward my mortgage. Even after refinancing, I pretended I still owed my old, higher mortgage payment to speed up the payoff process.
  • I Regret Believing the Good Debt/Bad Debt Myth
    If I could go back in time, I would have saved more for college and a home purchase instead of believing the myth of good debt. I found out even good debt makes me feel bad, which is why I am on the path to be debt free.
  • It’s a Dream Housing Market for Bargain Hunters
    I am trying to buy a short sale as a rental property in Florida where there are still a lot of bargains, but the competition is intense. By the time I spot a short sale or foreclosure I want, it's already sold.
  • I’d Like a Break in Taxes If They Raise the Social Security Age
    Raising the Social Security age can't be the only solution lawmakers can come up with. The younger generations can't keep making financial sacrifices to support baby boomers, especially if they aren't destitute.
  • Even After the Housing Crash, I Love Real Estate
    A new study shows Americans still think owning real estate is the best investment over the long term. After buying during the housing bubble and surviving the real estate crash, I'm deeper in love with my home.
  • My Baby Was Treated for Jaundice
    I had jaundice once in my life, but it wasn't a big deal. The fact that my son had neonatal jaundice was extremely traumatic, because it meant being separated for several days as he received intensive phototherapy.
  • We Are Maintaining a Recessionary Lifestyle of Being Frugal
    I've grown used to living a recessionary lifestyle. As experts warn of a new recession, I'm not worried because I have mastered the art of living below my means.
  • Advantages to Renting Over Buying Fade in Time
    I looked like an idiot by buying a home during the housing bubble, but now my "investment" has finally paid off. I'm further ahead by being a homeowner versus a renter even though I bought at the worst possible time.
  • My Half-Million Retirement Savings Miscalculation
    I would have had a retirement savings shortfall of a half a million dollars if I didn't evaluate my retirement plan. I'm customizing my retirement plan so I will have at least one million by the time I'm 70.
  • Paying My Parents’ Old Debts to the Government
    Now that lawmakers have lifted a 10-year statue of limitation on going after old debts to the government, some people are being held responsible for Social Security decades old over-payments to their parents.
  • I’m Not Trying to Climb Up and Out of the Middle Class
    Instead of trying to climb into the upper class, more Americans are just trying not to get knocked out of the middle class. I think the definition of middle class is radically changing, but I don't plan to go into debt to "keep up with the Joneses."
  • Learning I Desperately Need to Budget
    Using a budget helps me reach my financial goals in half the time. It took me almost 20 years to reach some of my financial goals simply because I was winging it instead of tracking expenses.
  • It’s Not My Fault I’m Not Saving Enough for Retirement
    It's unfair to say that Americans can't manage their individual retirement accounts when the problem is they simply don't have enough money to save. I'm tired of experts shaming average people for the retirement crisis.
  • We Refinanced So We Wouldn’t Miss Mortgage Payments
    Refinancing our mortgage prevented us from falling into foreclosure or being late on mortgage payments. Recent data shows an alarming trend of more people getting behind on mortgage payments, which could lead to a new housing crash.
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