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The Biggest Financial Regrets of Americans...And How To Avoid Them

Catey Hill at Marketwatch.com recently reported, “Many Americans are filled with regrets – financial regrets.” In fact, 3 out of 4 harbor regrets, according to a recent survey by Bankrate.com.

Sadly, the biggest regret is not saving enough for retirement early enough. The other regrets in descending order are:

  1. Not saving enough for emergency expenses
  2. Taking on too much student loan debt
  3. Taking on too much credit card debt
  4. Not saving enough for children’s education
  5. Buying a bigger house than they could afford
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5 Key Questions for Family Caregivers

In a recent article by Kelli B. Grant at CNBC, an estimated 43.5 million American adults work as unpaid caregivers; most are age 50 and above.

It used to be that large families pulled together resources to care for parents and grandparents, but with today’s smaller families, the care is spread among fewer children. Yes, we face a situation today of fewer caregivers for a growing population of the elderly!

$5,500 is the average out of pocket expense for caregivers, but a TD Ameritrade survey puts the annual support figure closer to $13,000 to help mom and $8,500 for dad.

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Packing List for Emergency Evacuations

If you only had 15 minutes to prepare for an emergency, an evacuation box could spare you from panicking and possibly save lives.

A number of years ago, my wife and I had to take emergency cover from a tornado headed our way. We had little time to react so Ann rushed around grabbing everything she thought was important to preserve. I remember being in the tornado shelter and Ann holding our checkbook and our wedding pictures. 

Tyra, at PreparednessMama.com, assembled a list of items you should store in an easy to carry, covered container. Regardless of whether you ever need it for an emergency, you will have it organized for other purposes.

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Have you had the (money) talk with your kids?

Many families struggle with when to let their children in on their
conversations about money. Or how to approach their parents in the desire to help or rest in the knowledge they have prepared financially.

My advice? The earlier, the better.

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4 tips to raise your children to become financially independent

Third John 1:4 says, “I have no greater joy than to see my children walking in the Truth.” Amen to that!  I would add my own corollary. I have no greater relief than to see my children able to pay their own way when they become adults.

We all want to help our children financially, but it is more important to teach them to become financially independent.

Here are some tips:

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What Should Valentine’s Day Cost You?

Originally posted on the Christian Post on February 10.

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

 

Dear Chuck,

With Valentine’s Day approaching, I wonder if it’s really necessary to spend a lot of money on a holiday that feels a bit made up. I’m feeling manipulated but I don’t want to disappoint my wife. Is Valentine’s Day worth celebrating, and how much is too much?

Husband Needs Help

Dear Husband,

As a husband myself, I understand that Valentine’s Day can be an expensive day! Last year an estimated $19 billion was spent on this holiday. As people who desire to be good stewards and still show our love, we can find budget-friendly, creative alternatives to honor those we hold dear.

So here is my advice for not breaking the bank to honor your love.

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Help! I'm caught between church and credit cards

Originally posted on the Christian Post on February 3.

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

 

Dear Chuck,

I need some help. I am a 50 year-old widow with a teenager at home, and I’m using credit cards to survive, drowning in late fees. I am over extended and miserable. My income cannot support my obligations so I decided to find a part-time job in the evenings and weekends. But now I am taken away from my weekly involvement and support system in church, leaving me very unhappy. Still, I don't have any other way of paying off these credit cards. What should I do? Please help.

Struggling Widow

 

Dear Widow,

My team and I will pray for you as you and your child go forward in life. Please know you can contact us for more personal help.

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Can You Afford Your Kids?

Originally posted on the Christian Post on January 27.

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

Dear Chuck,

My husband and I are talking about starting a family, and to be honest, I’m afraid to do it. We have the usual bills and some credit card debt, and whenever I see stories about how expensive kids can be, I feel so intimidated. I saw a story recently that said it cost “between $12,350 and nearly $14,000 a year, on average, to raise a child.” What do you think we should do?

Preparing to be Parents

Dear Preparing,

Your question raises a truly important conflict that we as Christians face: the tension between a worldly perspective and a Biblical perspective, and children are a perfect case in point. The Bible clearly teaches us that children are a blessing. Psalm 127:3-5 put it like this: “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”

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Are you familiar with house flipping? A barrage of books, seminars, and TV shows are enticing people to get in on the action.

House flipping is an investment strategy where properties are purchased with the goal of reselling for a profit. This profit occurs either through a hot housing market or from renovations and improvements made prior to reselling.

In an article on December 28th at MarketWatch.com, Kirsten Grind reported that this is a great time to be in the house-flipping business. She states that the number of investors who flipped a house in the first nine months of 2016 reached the highest level since 2007. 

One third of those were financed by debt.

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Do you enjoy tipping at restaurants? Or, do you painstakingly compute the percentage down to the penny?

On December 20th, KPHO in Phoenix reported that a 29-year-old, pregnant server was given a generous $900 tip. The unmarried woman, expecting her first child in early January, stated that a written note on the bill simply read, “This is God's money - He gave it to us so we could give it to you. God bless.” The bill was only $61.

Can you imagine her surprise? Her joy?

The obedient act of one saint following the Lord’s urging to help a young woman brought glory to God and attention through news outlets across our country.

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