Signup to receive email updates




or follow our RSS feed

Blog Archives

492 Total Posts

follow our RSS feed

Blog Banner

Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
Home Ownership
Summerize!

Summer-ize Your Home for Money Savings

  Now that the weather has turned nice, the temptation is to sit outside with a cool beverage and enjoy the sunshine. For full enjoyment all summer long, take a few weekends now to get the summer home maintenance out of the way. Spending a little time and a little money now will pay off in money savings all season long. Save Electricity Electric bills of...

Read More >

1 Year Later

Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House - 1 Year Later...

One year ago I bought my house with my husband, along the way I documented all that I had learned. We started off asking tons of questions! Asking ourselves were we ready to buy or should we continue to rent ? We then found our...

Read More >

Maui 2015

Reflecting on 2015 ... Moving Forward in 2016

During the holidays I had an amazing opportunity to travel to Maui. As I walked along the beach, listening to the surf and marveling at the full rainbow over the ocean, I thought about where I am in my life and what I'd like to do in 2016. I believe in the value of reflecting on what we've done as well as setting goals for the future. In this mood, let's take a quick look at the Pla...

Read More >

blogaward2

Plan Well Retire Well Wins National Award

I'd like to take a minute to toot our own horn. The writing team behind the Plan Well Retire Well blog just won two awards for Internet Education Communications from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) at their annual conference held November 2-5, 2015 in White Sulfur Springs WV. We received first-place in the Central regi...

Read More >

Sasha Learns  How to Buy a House

Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House - Moving In

As the Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House series comes to an end – the final step in the first time home buying process is moving in! When I first moved to Illinois I went through the moving process with my Moving Moochers blog post , but below are just some mindful tips when moving into your first house! Not al...

Read More >

Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House - The Closing

Whew! What a journey we've been on together with the Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House series! This month we're going to cover the closing process. If you've been working with awesome "Players" this process should go smoothly for most people. But let's dive into the nitty gritty! Your realtor might call this process...

Read More >

Sasha Learns  How to Buy a House - the Players

Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House - The Players

When you buy a home for the first time or even your 100 th , there is a group of people you need to work with to get the home purchase accomplished. In a previous post we talked a lot about Finding a Realtor , but today we'll be more focused on the other players who help make your dream a reality. Who...

Read More >

MH900442284

Summer home maintenance saves $$$

...

Read More >

Sasha Learns

Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House - Home Inspection & More

Last time I left you with the end of our house hunt! We found the home of our dreams and put in an offer, but I left out some important details that went into the process. In this post we'll be talking about the home inspection and other important home buying details! Price Point When deciding when to buy a home, especially when you go house hunting, you need to...

Read More >

Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House - The Hunt

So far in this series we've talked about renting verses buying, credit, and finding a realtor. Today's blog post will be slightly more fun as we'll briefly talk about the pre-approval process and the house hunt!! The Pre-Approval Process Getting pre-approved is an important step in buying a house. It gives you a dollar amount that you shouldn't go over as well a...

Read More >

Sasha Learns

Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House - Finding a Realtor

After deciding whether to rent or become a homeowner, checking your credit and possibly fixing it, the next step you'll want to do is find a real estate agent! Just like any other advisor, you need to establish some rapport with them. Below are a few traits and other items you should look for in a realtor and questions to ask them if you're interviewing them. Experience and Know...

Read More >

Sasha Learns  2

Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House - More on Credit

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about "The Credit Question" for my series on How to Buy a House! This week our focus is more on credit utilization as well as ways to potentially fix your credit before you go down the path of becoming a homeowner. Credit Utilization This is a fancy word for un...

Read More >

Sasha Learns

Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House - The Credit Question

One of the largest factors of purchasing a house comes down to your credit. What does it look like and will you be able to purchase a house with your history and score? People tend to focus on the score, and while it is important – the history is what creates the score . Together with my husband we tackled this credit question in the following few steps....

Read More >

Sasha Learns rent or buy jpeg

Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House -To Rent or Buy?

To rent or buy, that is the question! After being a renter for the last eight years of my life, I like the benefits of being a renter. I'm not tied down to my home and can move anywhere in the country. If something is broken, my property owner fixes it and I don't have to shovel snow or water the lawn! When my husband and I decided it was time to look around to buy a house I had some hesitation...

Read More >

Sasha Learns How to Buy a House Pin

Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House

As some of you know, my husband and I recently got married last May. One of the next steps we would like to do together as a married couple is to purchase a house. I think one of the quintessential American dreams is that of owning your own home. It gives a sense of accomplishment as well knowing that you are coming home to something that is yours . In the next couple of months, I will...

Read More >

Winterizing your home

Winterizing Your Home: Your Winter Weather Financial Guide

With Mother Nature being so brutal to all in Illinois and the Midwest last winter, I wanted to get a head start on winterizing my home the last few weekends. Though it would seem as if old man winter might already be here, that doesn't have to stop you from adjusting your home to get it ready for when winter officially comes. Below are some things you can do to your home to prepare it for this...

Read More >

Money lost through door

Is Your Money Slipping Out the Door?

Do you have door weatherstripping that has been chewed off by a puppy? Do you have windows that don't seal completely? Perhaps you have holes going from the outside to the inside of your house from old pipes or wiring? If so, money is slipping out of your house! According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating our homes accounts for 42% of our utility bills. If you're heating the out...

Read More >

Blueprint

FTC Reminder: Shop Around for Loans

Spring is often when we start thinking about remodeling projects or buying a new home. Right now interest rates on home equity loans and mortgages are relatively low. If you are thinking about taking out a home loan, you need to be smart about choosing the loan. The Federal Trade Commission recently warn...

Read More >

fire

Have You Read Your Home Insurance Policy Lately?

We go along living in our homes, tidying up, shoveling snow, and don't often think about losing our homes from a disaster like a tornado or fire. Then a disaster hits nearby and it makes us think. One thing it makes me think about is whether or not my home insurance policy meets my needs. While we can't protect ourselves from all loses, home insurance can help replace personal property...

Read More >

table1

Furniture Frenzy - the need to have new things

When I moved from Texas into my two bedroom apartment here in Illinois, I realized I had almost no furniture. Without most of the essentials – kitchen table, couch, and dresser – I felt lost. I had a TV but no place to sit, food but nowhere to eat it and clothes piled up without a dresser. During the course of the last few months, I became obsessed with putting together a list and finding these...

Read More >

Tag Cloud Can Help You

Yeah!  Have you noticed? The Plan Well, Retire Well blog now has a tag cloud on the right column -- just scroll down a bit and you can see it. I'm excited about it for a variety of reasons beyond the fact that it looks cool. For one thing, now it's easy to find related articles. For example, home loan interest rates are currently really low. When you have a 15 or 30 year loan, your interest rate c...

Read More >

You Can Help Simplify Mortgage Disclosure Documents

If you've applied for a mortgage in the last 20 years, you probably remembers scanning through more documents than it was humanly possible to comprehend. Here's your chance to provide input on new, simplified forms being considered by the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ....

Read More >

Reflecting on Refinancing

Managing day to day finances is one thing but planning for our financial well-being in 30 or 40 or more years is even more complex. When faced with a decision, such as refinancing a home mortgage loan, we need to consider both today's financial situation as well as what will benefit our financial situation when we retire. Our homes are important to us in many ways – they provide s...

Read More >

Refinancing: If it was just a simple yes/no question!

Home mortgage rates are AMAZINGLY low right now! According to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac , "Fixed-rate mortgages continued to hover at 50-year lows, .... Compared to the recent peak in 30-year fixed interest rates 13 months ago (week of June 11, 2009), current rates are a full per...

Read More >

housemoney

Looking for Cash? Have You Considered Refinancing?

Who couldn't use a little more cash each month! Refinancing your home mortgage might be the solution. Given today's economy, interest rates on home loans are relatively low. It may make sense for you to refinance your existing home loan. Or, it might not! Like most financial decisions, you need to think about the costs and benefits. Why do people take the time to refinance home...

Read More >