Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

This week: unexpected uses for laundry detergent, debt lessons from dictators, how to learn a language for free, how to avoid scholarship scams and nine important ages for retirement planning.

1. 9 Important Ages for Retirement Planning

[Credit.com] ” … breaking your life into nine stages can help you compartmentalize your retirement-planning process so you can take your goals one step at a time.

We’ve done a lot on retirement planning, but I don’t think we’ve ever approached it exactly like this. This article suggests nine times when you should think about, and plan, your retirement. They include right now, the ages 50, 55, 59 1/2, 62, 65, 67, 70 and the last day of your life. Why these days? Read it and find out.

2. 10 Steps to Avoid Scholarship Scams

[The Dollar Stretcher] “The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the watchdog for consumers in the United States, and they warn you to beware of companies that prey on students looking for funding. Here are some specific scholarship scams to watch out for, and some suggestions on protecting your credit and your identity.”

Keeping college costs manageable means beating the bushes for every dime you can find. But don’t let desperation cause your guard to drop. This post warns of all kinds of scams, from paid scholarship searches to advance-fee loans. If you’re scrambling for college cash, it’s a must-read.

3. 8 Free Tools to Help You Learn a New Language

[The Penny Hoarder] “Regardless of your job, recent research shows that learning a second language could help you earn about 2 percent more each year, which could add nearly $70,000 by retirement, thanks to compound interest.”

This is a topic we’ve covered in posts like 10 Secrets to Learning a Language Without Spending a Nickel, but it never hurts to get more ideas. This post includes advice we didn’t, such as lots of cool-sounding apps and games. I think I’m going to check some of them out.

4. 5 Debt Lessons From World Dictators

[Debt.com] “There’s plenty of advice out there, but not enough people reading it. If this were The People’s Socialist Republic of Debtopia, we could just force you to read our step-by-step guide to getting out of debt. But since it’s not, we’ll do the next best thing: Teach you how to be a debt dictator.”

This post uses both words and an infographic to offer debt assistance and make you smile. It also uses dictators from Russia, Cuba, Syria, North Korea and Zimbabwe as examples of how not to manage money.

5. 10 Unexpected Uses for Laundry Detergent

[Wise Bread] “Most of us buy laundry detergent to do one thing, and one thing only. But can it do more than clean your clothes? Should it be working harder for us? The answer is yes, yes it can, and it should.”

From whitening yellowed pillows to degreasing your stove, it appears your laundry detergent is apparently much more talented than you ever gave it credit for.

Stacy Johnson

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