10 reasons to use your credit card-Part 4: return protection

It is almost the holiday shopping season, the merriest time of the year for all, and the most profitable time for the retail industry, and I’m sure each of us has our own shopping list for Thanksgiving and Christmas. And every year, millions of dollars’ worth of stuff is returned to stores right after the holidays. If you have a change of heart about a gift you bought and try to return the gift for a refund ….

Hopefully you don’t have to return a gift to the store, but if you do…

Continue reading 10 reasons to use your credit card-Part 4: return protection

10 reasons to use your credit card – Part 3: purchase dispute

In this time and age, e-commerce is gradually replacing physical store transaction as the preferred method of shopping. And with this comes the variety of online stores that sell everything under the sun. While reputable sites such as Amazon and Newegg have standard policies regarding product quality and warranty, others are not generous or clear about their policies. Do you trust the store enough to buy from them? What if you pay the money and they never ship the goods? What if you pay for one thing and they ship another? What if the goods come in broken?

What if your computer comes broken?

Luckily, credit cards provide you with insurance against the undesirable situations.

Continue reading 10 reasons to use your credit card – Part 3: purchase dispute

10 reasons to use your credit card – Part 2: extended warranty

I decided to make extended warranty the 2nd reason to use a credit card since this is the most applicable and most often overlooked benefit of credit cards.

Every single credit card known to me, and I know hundreds of them, offers free extended warranty on purchases.

Continue reading 10 reasons to use your credit card – Part 2: extended warranty

10 reasons to use your credit card – Part 1: security


Update: the recent Home Depot security breach kicked the importance of this up one notch.

Continue reading 10 reasons to use your credit card – Part 1: security

The basics of retirement savings: why “saving” may not be enough

“Saving” is a funny word in this context. It may not mean what you think it does.

In my previous post, I hinted at why putting your money away in a checking account may not be a good way to save for retirement. Let’s compare this strategy with investing the money saved away. Consider this graph which I used for another post (“The power of compound interest”) a while ago:

10k increased 3% per year
Assuming 7% annual return

After 40 years, by investing your money, you will end up with 4 times the amount you contributed. 4 times. In other words, investing your retirement saving basically cuts the amount you need to save by 75%. Instead of saving 40k per year, now you only need to put away 10k per year.

Continue reading The basics of retirement savings: why “saving” may not be enough

The basics of retirement savings: why you need to start now

OK, let’s face this. I am in my 20’s. If you are reading my blog, you are probably in your mid-20’s as well. What’s up, retirement? Geez, why care about anything 40 years out?

Image
Which one is more like you?

Well, I’m an actuary, so I speak in terms of probability. What if I’m one of the (un)lucky few bastards that make it past 65 years old? Well, first off, I will most likely be out of jobs. And secondly, my health will not be cheap. Think more doctor visits, more ways to exercise, healthier food, higher health insurance premiums. And I may want to give something to my grandchildren if they choose to attend Harvard….

Where does the money come from?

Continue reading The basics of retirement savings: why you need to start now