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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  • How I Coped With a Bout of Hepatitis A
    I don't know if I contracted Hepatitis A by eating contaminated shellfish during a "seafood diet phase," or by working as a caregiver. However, it was difficult to deal with the fatigue and flu-like symptoms that I couldn't shake.
  • I'd Rather Slip Out of Middle Class Than Choose Debt
    I am not going to go into debt in order to maintain a middle-class lifestyle. The latest research shows a growing number of people identify with the lower class.
  • Making Up for Gaps in My Financial Planning
    It would have been great if I had met financial planning goals by certain ages, but I made too many money mistakes. I'm trying to make up for missed opportunities by managing my finances well later in the game.
  • Why I Paid Off Debt With Zero Interest First
    I ignored my high interest rate credit card debt so that I could pay off smaller debts with the snowball method. I evaluated how each debt made me feel in weighing the decision of which debt I should pay off first.
  • I Couldn’t Last a Month on My Savings
    It's startling to realize we couldn't last even one month on our savings. We decided to take action to build up an emergency savings fund that will last at least 8 months in case of job loss or financial catastrophe.
  • Retirement Budget Proposals Could Set Me Back
    The retirement savings crisis is only going to get worse if Congress passes various retirement budget proposals that will eliminate incentives to saving for retirement. I think the government needs to be less selfish to solve the retirement crisis.
  • I’m Investing Even If the Market is Rigged
    As an everyday investor, I'm not going to wimp out on investing in the stock market even if it's rigged from a short-term perspective. High-speed traders aren't going to drag down my long-term gains in my retirement accounts.
  • I’m Never Resorting to a Reverse Mortgage
    After I pay off my mortgage before retirement, I don't plan to turn around and take out a reverse mortgage. I think reverse mortgages are dumb moves for people who care about leaving their children an inheritance.
  • Being a Homeowner Versus a Renter in Our Community
    It would cost a person $1,500 a month to rent out my home even though my 15-year mortgage costs me only $900 a month. A recent article looked at where people can rent for less than $1,000, but I think that's unrealistic in Tampa.
  • How I Lowered My Tax Liability Last Minute
    Even though I'd love to have as much money as possible in Roth accounts, I had to sacrifice my Roth so I could afford my tax bill this year. I was able to do a Roth IRA re-characterization so that I wouldn't owe taxes on a conversion.
  • I Evolved by Quitting the ‘Caveman Diet’
    I lost 10 pounds on the Paleo Diet, but didn't want to trade my grasshopper ice cream cocktails for grasshoppers. Most of all, I missed eating potatoes with my meat and cupcakes.
  • The Rh Factor Contributed to My Secondary Infertility
    I experience secondary infertility because of traumatic births that may have been related to the Rh Factor. I had an emergency c-section after three days of labor with my second son as a person who was "Rh sensitized."
  • How I Broke the Cycle of Credit Card Debt
    With 12 credit cards, I used to be beyond broke. I broke the cycle of debt by treating debt like a cancer that needed to be wiped out at the earliest stages.
  • Rising Interest Rates Means We Aren’t Selling Our Home
    I don't believe that home prices will go down when mortgage rates start to tick up, especially if this past year is any indicator of the future. I am holding onto my home because we locked into a low interest rate.
  • No Job Security but Confident About My Retirement
    Members of Generation X might not need to work until they die to retire with ease. I'm taking the opportunity to save and invest while I have a job. I'm also staying out of debt so I can retire on less money.
  • Paying Off Our Mortgage Just so We Can Move
    As I watch the mass exodus from my neighborhood, I'm paying down my mortgage my mortgage with even more vigor. Paying off our mortgage will make it easier to rent out our home without the worries of paying two mortgages.
  • Budgeting Like I’m Single Even Though I’m Married
    I've been married for a decade, but I still budget as though I'm single. Living as though we only have one income helps us save more for retirement as well as financial emergencies.
  • Finding the Motivation to Save for the Future
    Since I'm not materialistic, it's difficult to get that motivation to save for something abstract. However, visualizing myself as an older person helped me define savings goals that are more concrete and realistic.
  • Preparing for the Next Economic Collapse
    I'm not the kind of person who sews her own clothes or cans tomatoes, but I'm preparing for the next economic collapse by becoming more self sufficient. I am also staying educated about investing during bear markets.
  • An Inexpensive Wedding Prevented a Foreclosure
    A new survey shows brides are spending an average of $30,000 to get hitched. By having a frugal wedding for less than $500, we were able to put 20 percent down on our $183,000 home before the housing crisis.
  • The Body Type Diet Helped My Thyroid Disease
    I overcame my thyroid disease by following the "Body Type Diet," which focuses on nutrition and exercise to get the thyroid working again. I lost weight and kept it off after eliminating caffeine and other stimulants.
  • I Should Move to a Debt-Free State
    Even if I don't physically pick up and move to a debt-free state, I can get myself into a debt-free state-of-mind. The new American Dream is not as much about owning a home as much as it's about being free of debt.
  • I Don’t Regret Paying My Bills in the Wrong Order
    Experts say people are mixed up when it comes to how they should prioritize paying bills. A new study shows people pay car loans before credit cards and mortgages, which makes sense to me.
  • No Longer Middle Class, I’m Part of the Wealthy Poor
    We found ways to stop treading water in the middle class, but can relate to the idea of being part of the "wealthy poor." How we went from living hand-to-mouth to saving up for our future.
  • Saving Money for Our Step-Up Home Purchase
    We have become veteran home buyers after going through the process already. As step-up home-buyers, we know we have to save up for more than just the down payment.
  • How I’m Boosting My Retirement Confidence
    I used to worry myself sick about whether I'd have enough money to make it to 100. After turning 40, I realized I was on the right track. I boosted my retirement confidence by making small changes so I can retire rich.
  • I’m Retiring on a Different Timeline Than My Husband
    I'm retiring on a different timeline than my husband, who wants to work as long as possible. We came up with compromises so we could stay happily married even if we are in different stages of our lives.
  • I Trick My Brain into Saving Money
    I flipped the switch so that I no longer find pleasure in spending but am rewarded by saving more money for the future. I saved up $50,000 in 10 years by tricking my brain into liking frugality and minimalism.
  • Keeping Up With Hidden College Costs
    I'm disgusted with the "sticker shock" of college tuition, but I know it's impossible to get certain jobs without specific degrees and training. My family has found ways to save money on the hidden costs of college.
  • We Are No Longer Stuck with a Bad Mortgage
    After being underwater on our mortgage for 2 years, we were finally able to qualify for a refinance at 2.75 percent. We overcame our objections to refinancing. Our new mortgage will be paid off sooner.
  • Cutting Up My Dozen Credit Cards Saved Me Thousands
    It took me two years to pay off my dozen credit cards, but it was worth the sacrifices. Instead of buying shoes, I now by stock in shoe companies. I replaced my desire to spend with a desire to save.
  • Why I Choose to Live Paycheck-to-Paycheck
    I am no longer paycheck dependent, but I pretend as though I have to live paycheck-to-paycheck to make it each month. In reality, I'm paying down my mortgage and saving aggressively for retirement.
  • After Losing My Pension, I Got Serious About Saving
    Without a pension to provide for me in retirement, I had to get serious about saving for retirement. Saving too much backfired, but I found the right percentage of 10 percent.
  • New Foreclosures Doesn’t Spell Doom for My Community
    Although some real estate experts are worried about Zombie foreclosures, I'm more concerned about the growing number of pre-foreclosures in my community. Obviously, the housing crisis isn't over. It's only just begun.
  • Why I Don’t Want Overtime Pay
    I think Obama has the best of intentions by wanting to push for overtime pay for some salaried workers. As a professional who is paid a salary, I don't want to be paid overtime as much as I want freedom and flexibility to be creative.
  • Selling My Home in a Day Without an Open House
    I think open houses are no longer in vogue. My Realtor managed to sell my home before it had officially gone on the market by showing it to other Realtors.
  • Without Any Correction, I’m Expecting a Stock Market Crash
    I'm investing in dividend-paying stocks and making covered calls so that I can earn money whether the market goes up or down. I'm expecting a stock market crash, but can't put my investing on hold forever.
  • Nemo Blizzard Caused My Biggest Travel Disaster
    Being stranded in my son's college dorm due to the Nemo Blizzard of 2013 will go down in the books as my biggest travel disaster. Looking back, I could have been better prepared traveling from Florida to New York.
  • How I Overcame Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    I was quietly tortured by carpal tunnel syndrome at the young age of 30. After seeking help from my physician, I learned how to prevent tingling sensations and pain so I could continue to work as a writer.
  • Giving Up Our Second Car Saves Us Money
    We gave up our second vehicle so that our son would have a car when he went out of state to college. Now we have grown in love with the cost savings of having only one vehicle as well as the many other benefits.
  • First Person: What It’s Like to Care for a Child With Down Syndrome
    I worked at a group home taking care of children with autism and Down Syndrome when I first graduated from college in the 1990s. I learned important lessons about being grateful in life by working with the children.
  • First Person: Why a Low-Wage Future Doesn’t Scare Me
    Experts say middle-class jobs are being replaced by low-paying jobs, which is taking a toll on the overall economy. I'm paying off debt and saving now in anticipation of having less income coming in down the road.
  • First Person: Generation X Needs to Retire on the Purple Social Security Plan
    Although it may be too late for baby boomers, I think Generation X could benefit from the Purple Social Security Plan that would serve as a personal security account. People could count on having their own savings in retirement.
  • First Person: COLA for Social Security Isn’t Fair for the Young
    Obama's new budget will preserve cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security, but I think it's unfair. If we can't raise the minimum wage, why are we paying people more money to be retired?
  • Paying Off My Home 10 Years Early
    I have devoted myself to paying off our home early even though so-called "experts" say it's foolish to give into that impulse. I won't regret having an extra $900 in my pocket every month years before I retire.
  • I Stopped Being Cheap to Save Money
    I stopped being too frugal, which ended up saving me money in the long run. In many situations, it doesn't pay to spend money to save money. I stopped driving across town to fill up my gas tank and throwing away food I bought in bulk.
  • Confronting Debt Before I Retire
    Born into Generation X, I learned early on that debt is a trap. I am taking action now so I can retire without any debt. It's sad to see so many baby boomers headed to bankruptcy court to deal with their debt problems.
  • Financial Mistakes I Made as a Rookie Investor
    I was never a stock market whiz kid even though I won the stock market game in the 7th grade. I think back on all the mistakes I made as a rookie investor. I'm now a more successful investor as opposed to a daytrader.
  • Helping My Millennial Children Save for Retirement
    I'm not funding my children's retirement accounts, but I'm teaching them about the different options. A proposed Roth for Kids plan would allow parents to start saving for their children's retirement when they are born.
  • I Lost 40 Pounds After 40 With a Gluten-Free Diet
    I lost 40 pounds in my 40s by switching to a gluten-free diet that includes tofu and a lot of vegetables. I burned the fat by doing the Insanity Workout a few times a week as well as walking at least five miles a day.
  • Homeowner Landlords Are Ruining My Quaint Neighborhood
    As one home after another goes up for rent in my neighborhood, it's losing its quaint, hometown feeling. Instead of home flippers, the new homeowner landlords are grabbing up all the housing inventory and raising rents.
  • As a Homeowner, I’m Wealthier but Not Necessarily Happier
    New research shows whether renters or homeowners are happier. I went from a negative net worth to a net worth of $200,000 mostly due to the equity in my home, which makes me happy.
  • I Save for Retirement and College at Same Time
    With the advent of the Roth IRA, it doesn't make sense to pit saving for retirement against saving for a child's college education. I use my contributions to my Roth for college, while letting the earnings grow for retirement.
  • I’m No Longer Drowning in Housing Debt
    I was glad to be underwater on my mortgage because it motivated me to pay down my mortgage debt. However, I won't make the same mistake again of buying a home that is overpriced at higher interest rates.
  • When Mom and Pop Return to the Stock Market, I’m Out
    After living through the dot-com bubble of 1999, I learned that it's better to be a long-term investor and not a trader. With so many everyday investors returning to the market, I get the eerie feeling it's time to bail on stocks.
  • I've Saved $100,000 for Retirement on Less Than $40,000 Salary
    By age 40, I had $100,000 saved for retirement even though my salary remained flat at $40,000 for more than 6 years. I don't let a low salary dictate my destiny because I educate myself on how to invest.
  • I Refuse to Save for the Rest of My Family
    After I stopped funding my family's individual savings accounts a year ago, they finally made progress on their own. I realized I was enabling their poor spending habits and ruining our long-term financial goals.
  • Saving Up $3 Million for a 6-Figure Retirement Income
    Experts say a person needs to save $1 million for every $40,000 they want to replicate in retirement. I'm trying to learn the secrets of millionaires so we can accumulate $3 million to generate a 6-figure retirement income.
  • First Person: What I Wouldn’t Do to Retire Early
    Some people will go to great lengths to they can retire in early. I am not willing to save a quarter of my income for retirement, move to a third-world country or live an extremely frugal lifestyle in order to retire before age 50.
  • First Person: Why Rich People Feel Hated, but I Don’t
    A new survey of wealthy people reveals they fear being hated for their prosperity and success. By living below my means, I am able to build wealth. No one is jealous of my middle-class lifestyle and work schedule.
  • First Person: Since Recession, Discussing Money Shouldn't Be Taboo
    One of the ways the Great Recession changed me is by making me more willing to talk about money. A new survey indicates most people still find it challenging to discuss their personal finances. It a more taboo topic than religion.
  • First Person: I’m Contributing to the Baby Boomer Housing Bust
    Real estate experts say another housing crash is on the horizon as the millions of baby boomers begin to downsize. Few people are in the market for the larger, step-up homes that boomers might need to practically give away.
  • First Person: I’m Waiting Until 50 to Grow My Nest Egg
    I am planning to amp up my retirement savings when I'm 50, but for now I have other financial priorities. According to experts, it should get easier to grow a nest egg after age 50 with catch-up contributions.
  • First Person: I Paid Off $100,000 While Saving Up $100,000
    Just as I built up my emergency savings while paying off credit-card debt, I've been building up my retirement savings while paying down my mortgage. In the past decade, I saved up my first $100,000 for retirement.
  • First Person: Student Loans Killed My Home Ownership Dream
    My dream to own a home in my 20s was shot down because of massive student loan debt. I worked an aggressive plan to pay off my debt by age 30 so I would buy my first home by age 32, but students today are in worse shape.
  • First Person: A $10.10 Minimum Wage Will Help the Middle Class, Too
    Although I can understand why people rejected a $15 minimum wage, it only seems fair to boost minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Many upper middle-class families such as mine struggle to help the new poor in our family.
  • First Person: I Refuse to Fund My Husband’s Retirement Accounts
    I compete with my husband to see who can grow a bigger retirement account by using polar opposite approaches. I decided long ago that my husband is on his own when it comes to funding and managing his accounts.
  • First Person: I Don’t Regret Cashing Out a Portion of My 401(k)
    I found a smart way to save for retirement as well as emergencies by using the Roth 401(k). Cashing out the contributions but not the gains to my Roth 401(k) after a job change saved me a huge tax bill.
  • First Person: Overcoming My Bad Financial Habits Before I Retire
    I'm overcoming my bad financial habits now so I don't end up broke and destitute as a senior citizen. Being more frugal and investing wisely could give me the financial edge to retire in comfort beyond age 100.
  • First Person: I Wish I Had a MyRA when I was Young
    I regret opening a Roth IRA when I was in my 20s because I wasn't ready. I am glad my children will have the chance to open a myRA, which is like a retirement account with training wheels.
  • First Person: My Husband Refuses to Take Social Security
    My husband says he has no intention of ever signing up for Social Security benefits. If lawmakers raise the full-retirement age again and increase taxes on Social Security "income," it might be smart to have a backup plan.
  • First Person: Paying Daily on My Debt
    Instead of paying my bills on a monthly or even weekly basis, I'm tackling my debt each and every day. I use online banking to stay on a daily budget plan that keeps me out of credit-card debt and helped me cut my mortgage debt in half.
  • First Person: Pre-paying My Mortgage Now; Saving for Retirement Later
    Pre-paying my mortgage takes precedence over saving for retirement in my 40s. I can still accumulate $500,000 by the time I reach my full retirement age of 67. Being mortgage free by 50 will help me meet several goals.
  • First Person: I’m Glad My Husband Gave Me a Debt Ultimatum
    I was upset at the time, but now I'm glad my husband refused to marry me until I paid off my 12 credit cards. A new survey shows some people would rather end a relationship that commit to someone with serious debt.
  • First Person: Debt Confessions Saved My Marital Finances
    When I went to confess my shopping addiction to my husband, I was shocked to find out he had his own secret bank account. Our marriage improved when we finally shared our deepest financial fears and regrets.
  • First Person: Dealing with Baby Boomer Parents in Debt
    Having older baby boomer parents who run up credit card debt creates a financial strain on the rest of the family when Social Security can't cover the mortgage. We had to have the big money talk and break the debt cycle.
  • First Person: Why Generation X Needs to Be Mortgage Free
    If Generation X is the most stressed generation now, they will be having nervous breakdowns in retirement. Paying off my mortgage in my 40s is my best solution for reducing financial stress now and when I'm old.
  • First Person: I Refused to Flip Homes with My Husband
    After watching the value of our home sink in half, I refuse to gamble on a house flip even though house flipping is back in a big way. Without the handyman skilled needed, it doesn't make financial sense to flip an investment.
  • First Person: A Spousal IRA Prevents My Bag Lady Future
    One of the first financial moves I'll make after a job layoff is to contribute to a spousal Roth IRA account. Like half of the women in America, I fear a bag-lady future unless I can save uninterrupted for retirement.
  • First Person: Rushing Out of Stocks as Part of the Great Un-Rotation
    I'm resisting the urge to rush out of stocks because of my animal instinct during this stock market correction. Following the 5 rules for survival when stock markets turn ugly is keeping me on my get-well-to-do slowly path.
  • First Person: Making it to a Million Without 401(k) Matches
    While AOL employees' complaints helped overturn a year-end 401(k) match policy, I've been saving for retirement with no company match. Others have no access to a 401(k) plan, but can still save a million for retirement.
  • First Person: I Don’t Feel Guilty About Financial Infidelity
    I give my husband a hall pass when it comes to spending our discretionary income. Experts say a growing number of people are financially unfaithful, but I don't feel guilty about keeping financial secrets.
  • First Person: I Refused to Pay Off My Husband’s Credit Card Debt
    It's difficult to be married to someone who is apathetic about credit card debt, but I motivated my husband to join the debt-free club. It started by making him pay off his own debt.
  • First Person: I Regret Using a Roth IRA to Pay for College
    If I could go back, I'd use a 529 Plan for my sons' college bills instead of tapping my Roth IRA. Just because I could withdrawal from the Roth for college, doesn't mean it was the most sensible plan.
  • First Person: I’m Not Investing in Bitcoins, Yet
    I'm fascinated by virtual investments such as bitcoins, but I'm not planning to get involved in speculative investments. I would only invest in bitcoins in a mutual fund or ETF that only included a small amount of bitcoins.
  • First Person: Overcoming Gen-X Financial Challenges
    A new financial wellness study suggests Generation-X'ers are the new "Lost Generation." I'm not worried about building up wealth as much as being a survivor in unpredictable and turbulent financial times.
  • First Person: My Mid-life Plan to Save for Retirement
    I am closer to meeting my retirement savings goal than a lot of my older peers, but I am not at all confident. Retirees and near-retirees will probably receive more in Social Security, while Gen-X is left scrambling to save.
  • First Person: Obama’s MyRA Would Be Perfect for One of My Sons
    While it's possible Obama's MyRA program is part of a financial conspiracy, I think of it as a carefree way for my son to save for retirement when he is so afraid to invest in the stock market. In my view, it's a great "starter" account.
  • First Person: My IRA Recharacterization Saved Me Thousands
    I don't want to retire with only tax-deferred retirement accounts, but it hasn't been cheap to convert to a Roth IRA. I chose to make an IRA Recharacterization request to move money back into a traditional IRA so I wouldn't owe taxes.
  • First Person: Getting on Track for a 6-Figure Retirement Income
    My husband and I are trying to save $2.5 million for retirement to generate a 6-figure income when we are old. We feel poor living on six figures now, but only because we have a lot of midlife expenses.
  • First Person: Why I Fund My Retirement Accounts Last
    I pay myself first by funding my emergency fund, but saving for retirements is my last priority. With all the early withdrawal feels and penalties, it was not worth it to save for retirement until my mid-30s.
  • First Person: Rebalancing My Portfolio Before a Crash
    After being burned in my 20s by the dot.com stock market crash, I am getting nervous about the recent stock market correction. I'm taking drastic steps to ensure I win even if equities become the biggest losers.
  • First Person: Ditching Home Ownership May Give Us a $300,000 Nest Egg
    I am ready to trade home ownership for a carefree lifestyle as renters in our old resort-style neighborhood. After selling our home, our "profits" could snowball into a $300,000 nest egg in 30 years.
  • First Person: I’m Breaking the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle
    A new report shows almost half of Americans are paycheck dependent. I don't want to live with persistent economic insecurity so I'm finding ways to live below my means, pay off my mortgage and save for the future.
  • First Person: Boomers Aren’t the Only Ones Who Are Reluctant to Retire
    Workaholic baby boomers might enjoy delaying retirement until they are 73, but it's going to mean fewer jobs for generations Y and Z. Ironically, younger boomers and my Generation X work longer to help our children.
  • First Person: I’m Bailing on Stocks Instead of Buying the Dip
    I believe experts who say we may be headed for a third bubble to burst, resulting in a stock market crash. I'm getting more conservative with my money and putting in stop losses to guard against a crash in 2014.
  • First Person: Last-Minute Ways I Lowered My Tax Bill
    I jumped on the bandwagon to convert money into a Roth IRA, but couldn't afford the taxes. Fortunately, I was given a do-over before taxes are due with a Roth IRA Recharacterization.
  • First Person: I Switched to a Roth 401(k) to Retire Rich
    I won't have an enormous tax bill each year when I'm retired because I switched to a Roth 401(k) as my preferred way of saving for retirement. I also contribute to a Roth IRA.
  • First Person: Saving 8 Times My Salary for Retirement
    I don't believe a retirement savings crisis is inevitable for people in my Generation X. We still have time to meet the retirement savings targets by letting go of the delusion that we can retire on Social Security and inheritances.
  • First Person: Why I Fund My Roth IRA Early in the Year
    I am resisting the urge to blow my tax refund so I can have more money in my Roth IRA by the time I retire. By funding my Roth IRA early in the year, I won't miss out on months of potential gains so I can afford Fiji when I'm retired.
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