Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web


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This week: Budgeting apps, financial advice for retirees, replacing Obamacare, the "greatest federal agency" and what to do when you're falling behind at work.

1. 5 Helpful Apps for Families on a Tight Budget

[Credit.com] “It’s hard enough to keep a budget for one, let alone get your entire family on track with their finances. Fortunately, there are plenty of apps out there that can help keep you … from spending beyond your family’s means.”

As the title suggests, this story introduces five apps that can help you create and stick with a spending plan: Goodbudget, You Need a Budget, Home Budget, Wallet by BudgetBakers and EveryDollar. Unfortunately, none of them free — in fact they’re all pretty expensive, ranging from $5-$10 monthly.

Sounds like a lot for people on a tight budget, but check out the article and see if you think they’re worth it.

2. Do You Need a Financial Advisor in Retirement?

[The Dollar Stretcher] “If you’ve already reached retirement, you may be wondering if it’s too late to start talking with a financial planner. After all, so much of financial planning actually deals with saving for retirement and not necessarily managing your funds once you’re there.”

According to the financial adviser interviewed by the author, the answer is yes; you do need professional advice in retirement. Check out this article, then read an opposing viewpoint I wrote a few months back in “Ask Stacy: Do I Need a Financial Adviser, or Can I Manage My Money Myself?

3. The GOP’s Plan for Pre-Existing Conditions Has a Huge Loophole

[Money] “As Republicans begin taking steps to repeal the Affordable Care Act, both GOP leaders and President Donald Trump have claimed that they will keep the law’s popular provision that states insurers cannot discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions — either by denying them coverage or charging them more.”

We wrote a great deal about the law also called Obamacare both before and after it was enacted, so we’ve also been following its repeal. This article partially answers a question I’ve had: Exactly how are we supposed to keep the plan’s best features while repealing the unpopular ones, in this case, the ability for anyone to get coverage despite having a pre-existing condition?

As it turns out, while nothing definite has yet to be proposed, one idea being considered would retain some of this important benefit, but not all of it.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans with a pre-existing medical condition, it’s a must-read.

4. Will Trump Wreck the Greatest Federal Agency?

[Debt.com] “There’s no federal agency pushing back harder against industry-created credit and debt problems. Since its creation over five years ago, the CFPB has created safer mortgage lending standards, clearer credit card disclosures, and hit nearly every corner of the financial industry for doing something shady. The CFPB, not the Better Business Bureau, has become the first stop for many frustrated consumers …”

While I don’t know if I’d call the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau our greatest federal agency, I would definitely say the CFPB has done a great job protecting American consumers. I would also say I have no doubt Trump and the Republican Congress will do everything possible to defang this agency. Check out this article, and if you don’t like what you read, talk to your representatives.

5. 6 Ways to Deal When You’re Way Behind at Work

[Wise Bread] “Being overwhelmed and falling behind at work may be a universal phenomenon, but it is possible to get back to a solid footing. If you are drowning in incomplete TPS reports, here are six ways you can improve the situation and get your head back above water.”

This article has some genuinely great advice. Some of the suggestions: Take 20 minutes in the morning to plan, get some rest, stop complaining and learn to productively procrastinate. Check out the post for details, then read “12 Ways to Bust Through Procrastination and Get Stuff Done.”

Don’t forget to share your thoughts and reactions in comments below or on our Facebook page!

Stacy Johnson

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