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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
Home Ownership
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A Kitchen Remodel: Excitement and Trepidation

This summer, my husband and I are starting a kitchen remodel project -- yikes! Our house is over 60 years old and the kitchen is desperate for an update. In the next few months, I will blog about our journey – hopefully, this will be helpful to others facing remodeling projects. Home remodeling projects can be scary to start! Since we bought our home, my husband and I have done several...

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Who Do You Live With? Why?

Do you live alone or with others? How has this changed for you over your life? In my life, who is under the rooftop has been a story of change: people moving in and out during life transitions. I am not alone. Many people today live in households with adults from different generations (multigenerational). In fact, in 2016 a record 64 million people – 20% of the U.S. population – lived w...

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Let's Shop for Mortgage Loans

Are you shopping for a new home to purchase? If so, are you spending enough time shopping for your mortgage loan too? Shop around to find the best interest rate you can on loans. According to research from the Consumer...

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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...

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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 we were ready to buy or continue to rent ? We then found our...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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 "...

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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...

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Summer home maintenance saves $$$


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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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 ....

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