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Getting In Shape In 2017 With A ‘Fiscal Health Day’

Several years ago, when New York Times personal-finance writer Ron Lieber was furloughed for a few days, he responded in true personal-finance expert fashion. By devoting one of his unpaid days off to taking care of a list
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Should You Rent Or Buy A Home?

Hank and Hannah Homeseeker are considering buying a $225,000 house. They’re currently renting for $1,300 per month. There are many factors that could sway their decision, but which decision would make the most financial
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New Ways of Thinking About Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgages used to be considered a cash-flow option of last resort. That perception is changing, due to new regulations that have made them safer, as well as new cash-flow strategies that appeal to younger retirees.
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Invest In Your 401(k) - Or Pay Down Your Home Mortgage?

“We’d like to start prepaying our mortgage, but we can’t do that and invest for retirement. Which should have the priority?” That’s a common question—and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Your age, tax bracket, how long
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The Refinancing Train Is Leaving The Station

It's been roughly 18 months since SMI last looked at the ins and outs of refinancing a home mortgage. But some things have changed since then that merit taking another quick look at the issue. What's changed? Interest
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When Is It Advisable to Prepay Your Home Mortgage?

A home is typically your most expensive asset, largest expense, and most valuable tax deduction. So, all financial decisions related to your home are extremely significant. When buying, SMI recommends putting at least 20%
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Making Sure Your House Doesn’t Own You

During the last recession, many people discovered — all too painfully — that they had stretched too far in pursuit of a central part of the American Dream: home ownership. Today, however, with mortgage rates just off their
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Is A Reverse Mortgage Right For You?

Anyone in or near retirement who has plenty of home equity but not enough income has likely heard the reverse mortgage (RM) sales pitch: "Unlock" some of that equity, taking it tax-free with no obligation to pay it back
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Should You Refinance?

Mortgage rates are at historic lows, so refinancing is a no-brainer, right? To be sure, a low interest rate is better than a high one. However, there are several key factors to consider before starting down the re-fi
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Refinancing to a fixed-rate mortgage

Hopefully most readers have long-ago done this, but it occurs to me that we haven't really discussed that the current interest rate environment is ideal for homeowners to refinance out of adjustable-rate loans and into
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