Sunday Personal Finance Reading – August 19, 2012

Each Sunday I gather up some of the best articles I’ve found online that I think you’ll be interested in. There are probably about 500 personal finance blogs, so we simply can’t read them all. So if you’re looking to catch some of the best, check these out.

20s Finances – Young Adult Retirement Planning
If you’re young and trying to figure out when to start saving for retirement or how much you should save then you definitely need to check out Corey’s post. He explains why start earlier is a lot easier than delaying, even if you’re probably thinking it should be the other way around.

Nickel by Nickel – Eliminating Pesky Service and Withdrawal Fees
In her prior life, Andrea paid hundreds of dollars in fees to banks for the privilege of using their credit car or checking account. This was on top of the interest she was paying on her credit card! In 2009 she paid off her credit card balance and she’s been working to eliminate fees since. Check out Andrea’s post to see how she’s eliminated fees and how you can too.

Financial Samurai – Property Sellers Go On Strike
Sam has been doing a lot of digging in the real estate market as he looks to potentially sell his home and move to Hawaii. As rents are rising and inventory is falling (at least in the Bay Area), the market appears to be heating up (according to Sam’s assessment). Sam lists a number of reasons why it makes sense not to sell your home, and urges homeowners to go on strike until the commissions of real estate agents become reasonable – maybe a flat fee?

Consumerism Commentary – Should Congress Eliminate the Capital Gains Income Tax?
There’s been a lot said about taxes and the fiscal state of the government this election cycle, particularly since Paul Ryan was chosen as VP candidate. I’m still unable to grasp by head around why eliminating the capital gains tax would ever make sense. The mega-rich have to invest their money somewhere, so they often choose the stock market. Changing the rate from 15% to 0% really isn’t going to affect that investment rate a whole lot since the 15% is already a reduced rate, and thus is beneficial. As Flexo points out, if capital gains are reduced to 0%, the government would lose approximately 8% of its revenue, which would have to be made up from elsewhere.

Master the Art of Saving – Preparing Our Finances 4 Home Ownership
Jen is preparing to buy their house soon and taking the necessary steps to get their finances in order. Even though they’re putting zero down, there are still costs to consider and she wants to make sure that home ownership doesn’t become a burden. Daisy over at Add Vodka also posted about planning for homebuying. Daisy expects to be looking for a house in January or February, so she isn’t as far along as Jen. As someone who is looking to buy a house sometime in the next five years (who knows when), it’s neat the follow the journey of both to get the big picture of the process.

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