Take 5 — A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

This week: Dealing with income emergencies, best jobs for seniors, a tax deduction in danger, how health makes wealth and how a snowflake can help with your debts.

Take 5 — A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

1. How to Prepare for and Deal With an Income Emergency”

[MSN.com] “The Federal Reserve System’s latest annual report on the economic well-being of U.S. households indicates that 18 percent of households faced a financial crisis in 2015.”

Astute readers will recognize this MSN story as one that actually originated right here at MoneyTalksNews. We’re highlighting it in case you didn’t know that in addition to seeing our stuff on our site, you can also read and watch some of our most popular stories on some of the world’s most popular websites.

So what are the top financial hardship experiences? In order of occurrence, they’re health emergencies, job loss, reduced job hours or pay, loss of spouse’s/partner’s job and reduction of spouse’s/partner’s work hours or pay. Even if you think none of these things could ever happen to you, read the article. Better safe than sorry.

2. The Best Jobs for Seniors”

[The Dollar Stretcher] “Retirement sounds like a great idea, but in fact, fewer people are retiring today than ever before. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 11.9% of the workforce was made up of people 55+ in 1996, but that number has steadily grown and is expected to be 24.8% by 2024.”

This article caught my eye because I am one of those people “55+” who’s still grinding it out every day. If you’re one as well, or expect to be, give it a read. It’s full of ideas to pick up an extra retirement buck or two, from working part time for your old employer to starting a new career online. When you’re done with this one, check out one of ours: “10 Jobs With the Biggest Share of Senior Workers.”

3. “Why Trump May Eliminate a Tax Deduction Claimed by Millions”

[AOL] “Tax reform may have moved to the back burner for the Trump administration, but that doesn’t mean that people in the executive branch aren’t thinking about it. One of the big ideas reportedly getting its turn in the sun is repeal of the federal income tax deduction for state and local taxes.”

We recently did a story called, “12 Ways Donald Trump Is Crushing Consumers,” highlighting 12 ways our new president is changing things for the worse. Here’s a 13th, although it’s important to note that this proposed change to the tax code hasn’t happened yet and may never happen. Still, losing the deduction for state and local taxes would be a biggie for some people. To find out if you’re one of them, take a look at the return you just filed.

4. “The Sicker You Are, the Worse Our Country Is”

[Debt.com] “Florida may be home to the two unhealthiest counties in America, but Nebraska is home to the two most healthy. Grant and Garfield Counties are home to the healthiest Americans. Yuma County, Colorado, comes in third.”

This article highlighting the link between healthy Americans and wealthy Americans is subtitled: “If we want a more prosperous economy, we’re going to need more healthy people.” Specifically, it cites a study showing that when compared with the median, healthier counties have a higher per capita income, better economic growth and a lower unemployment rate. See the post for more.

5. “Get Out of Debt Faster With the ‘Debt Snowflake'”

[Wise Bread] “With the debt avalanche approach, you prioritize paying off the card with the highest APR, saving you interest charges in the long run. With the debt snowball method, you focus on paying off the smallest debts first, racking up small wins quickly that can give you the motivation to stick with your debt payoff plan.”

So what’s the debt snowflake method? It’s finding whatever extra money you can and immediately applying it to your debts. Actually, this is really just a slight variation on snowballing, since that method also advocates finding extra money to put toward your debts. At least, that’s what I’ve been advocating for nearly 20 years.

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