Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

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This week: Why you shouldn't retire early, money-saving barbecue menus, why you're not getting the mileage you were promised, how to get your security deposit back, and why you should "travel slow."

1. Why you Shouldn’t Retire Early – Even Though You Want To

[Feeling Financial] “Retiring early isn’t always a good idea. That’s not to say you can’t or shouldn’t. You’ve undoubtedly done plenty of planning and research to figure out how you can make it happen – and I hope you can make it happen – but here are a few last gotchas to be aware of before you pull the trigger.”

This article summarizes the fears those nearing retirement face. Namely, things like Social Security not being enough, the difficulty of rejoining the workforce should the need arise, and surprises that could sap your retirement savings and income.

While it’s not fun to think about potential retirement problems, it is important. If you’re planning an early retirement, give this post a look.

2. Money-Saving Barbecue Menu Ideas

[Financial Highway] “It’s summer. And since we all have to eat anyway, why not incorporate it into our entertainment agenda and have some folks over for a barbecue? Following are several ideas to pull off a successfully hosted event without busting your budget.”

I love cooking on the grill, although I’m really not very good at it. This article gave me some solid ideas for outdoor fare without the high cost of steaks or the high fat of burgers.

Ideas include kabobs, catch of the day, gourmet hot dogs and a vegan dish, among others. Give it a read and fire up the grill.

3. The Difference Between Real and Reported MPG

[Personal Finance Tube] “As you compare cars, you will look at the reported miles per gallon to get a feel for how different models measure up. Yet many drivers notice that their real world efficiency is lower than what is advertised by the manufacturer. Why doesn’t real world fuel economy match a car’s initial rating?”

The short answer is the mileage you see on a sticker is the result of ideal conditions; no passenger weight, weather issues or mileage drains, like running an air conditioner. Check out the post for more information, including the best ways to gain extra mileage from whatever you’re driving.

4. Landlord Security Deposit: How to Make Sure You Get Your Money Back

[Finances Online] “Have you ever been returned far less of your security deposit than you thought you deserved? Don’t let it happen again! There are some preventive measures that you can take to make sure that you don’t lose any money when your lease ends.”

Tips include knowing what the rules are up front, staying in touch with your landlord, helping your landlord with little jobs around the place, and the most obvious: cleaning up before you leave. Before you check into your next rental, check out this advice.

5. For Amazing, Affordable Vacations, Travel Slowly

[Wise Bread] “Slow travel is not necessarily about the physics of going slowly from A to B; it’s about narrowing your focus and being open to the opportunities that arise. (Forget B … stick with A!) It’s cheaper, results in a deeper cultural experience, and ultimately it’s more rewarding.”

I learned this lesson a few years ago when my wife and I tried to see too much of Europe in too little time. We just got back from our latest trip to Europe a couple of weeks ago, and this time it was much less stressful because we “traveled slow.” About to plan a trip? Read this post first.

What do you like?

We’re always on the hunt for talented personal finance writers and interesting sites. If you’ve got a favorite, let us know below or on our Facebook page! You can also talk to us about anything you’d like simply by hitting “reply” to your daily email update. (Not subscribed? Fix that right now!)

Stacy Johnson

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