Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

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This week: Why you should screw around at work, how to set up an HSA, keys to a comfortable retirement, maxing out your savings on a small salary, and why you should never co-sign loans.

1. 100 Words on: Why You Should Never Co-sign a Loan for Anyone

[LenPenzo.com] “Co-signing for a loan is one of the dumbest financial moves you could ever make. By co-signing, you not only assume liability for the borrowed money, but you also make it tougher on yourself to qualify for large loans.”

We’ve written thousands of words on the evils of co-signing. Len explains why it’s not a good idea in less than 100. Check it out.

2. How I Maxed Out my Roth IRA on a $28K Salary

[Making Sense of Cents] “There’s a myth out there that you need to be rich to get started investing for retirement. You may think that first you have to pay off all of your student loans. Then you need to squirrel away $25,000 in savings. Maybe buy a house. Start earning an income of $100,000 each year. Only THEN would you consider yourself ‘qualified’ enough to become a Capital-I Investor.”

This author knows what I’ve been preaching for years: When it comes to investing for retirement, starting small now beats starting with more later. To help you get started saving, she offers five suggestions. They include not letting debt get in the way, prioritizing and automating savings, budgeting, making a plan and learning to invest.

3. 6 Keys to a Comfortable and Happy Retirement

[Money Crashers] “Gene Perret, the comedy writer for such popular television shows as ‘All in the Family,’ ‘Three’s Company,’ and ‘The Carol Burnett Show,’ once said of retirement, ‘It’s nice to get out of the rat race, but you have to get along with less cheese.’”

While this is a topic we visit frequently, it never hurts to see what others have to say. This article offers several strategies for maximizing income, minimizing expenses, staying healthy and having fun.

4. How to Set Up an HSA

[Narrow Bridge Finance] “An HSA works like an IRA for your medical expenses. Every dollar you contribute is pre-tax, and lowers your adjusted gross income for income taxes due.”

Because I’ve had a high-deductible health plan for many years, I’m very familiar with health savings accounts, also known as HSAs. They’re a great way to pay less taxes and set aside money for health-related expenses. If you have a high-deductible insurance plan and aren’t familiar with HSAs, read this.

5. Why Your Boss Should Let You Screw Around on the Internet

[Wise Bread] “If you work in the 21st century workplace, there’s a good chance you’re chained to a computer all day. There’s an equally good chance that you’re less than diligent about staying off of the Internet when you’re ‘supposed’ to be working. Well, the next time that you get caught, don’t hide it. Simply explain to your boss that a bit of slacking off throughout the day is good for your productivity.”

The idea behind this post is simple: If you want to maintain focus, you’ve got to take a break now and then. The article even claims a study “found that people who slack off 20 percent of the time are 9 percent more productive than those who do not.” Sounds good to me.

Who do you like?

We’re always on the hunt for talented personal finance writers and interesting site and authors. 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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I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


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