9 Ways to Use Your Money After the Mortgage is Paid Off

The afterlife; it’s one of mankind’s greatest mysteries.

In the world of personal finance, we “crossover” the moment our last mortgage payment is made, and for many folks, what lies on the other side is no less perplexing.

Last month I received an interesting question in my inbox from a reader named Susie who was on the verge of crossing over with her last mortgage payment.

While many of us dream of the

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10 More Old Wives’ Tales Masquerading As Financial Rules of Thumb

There are people out there who swear that if you’re lucky enough to see the first flower of springtime on a Friday, it’s a sign of impending wealth.

I know. I don’t buy it either.

Still, let’s assume these folks know what they’re talking about; what happens if that first flower is found on Friday the 13th? Is the wealth omen officially null and void?

Can somebody take an action item and get

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100 Words On: Why Having an Upside Down Mortgage Ain't All Bad

One of the biggest fears many homeowners have is waking up one day and discovering that they owe more on the mortgage than their house is actually worth. While that may be trouble for those who absolutely positively have to move, it’s really no big deal for those who don’t — so don’t panic. Unlike underwater stocks, homes with upside down mortgages still have intrinsic value. Remember, you can only

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100 Words On: Why Programmable Thermostats Rarely Save People Money

For most folks who find themselves away from home for a good portion of the day, a programmable thermostat offers many benefits. Conventional wisdom says one of the biggest is lower energy bills resulting from more efficient heating and air conditioning use. Unfortunately, multiple studies actually show this not to be the case. The reason why: those anticipated savings are entirely dependent on the homeowner’s programming skills.

The bottom line:

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16 Reasons Why Whirlpool Tubs Are For Suckers

Once again, I thought I’d pass on a little advice and save a serious case of buyer’s remorse for the six people left in America who are still looking to buy a home.

No, no. I’m not going to tell you why corner lots are for suckers again.

This time, I’ve got some advice for those of you who may be thinking about putting a jacuzzi-style jetted whirlpool tub in their master

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100 Words On: Why the Most Valuable Monopoly Property Isn't Boardwalk

When playing Monopoly, the conventional wisdom is that the best property to own is Boardwalk because it commands the highest rent. However, savvy players know the most valuable property is actually Illinois Avenue. How can that be? Well, one of the biggest reasons is that Illinois Avenue’s board position — two “seven” rolls from Jail — gives it the distinction of being the game’s most-landed on property; Boardwalk is ranked

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How to Select the Most Affordable Home Burglar Alarm System

by Sunil

My wife gets on my case because I am terrible at engaging our burglar alarm system every night before bed. Rightfully so; a burglar alarm is a smart precautionary initiative toward protecting your home and the valuables within.

In my opinion, everyone should have a home burglar alarm system. Systems will vary across a broad range of features and pricing. Even though burglar alarm features and configurations can be

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5 Money Saving Tips Your Mortgage Broker Doesn't Want You to Know

Buying a home is a big decision and you do not want to make a mistake while you are home shopping. That’s why lots of people turn to mortgage brokers to help them through the process of finding a loan. In order to help you avoid being taken advantage of during the process, here are five money savings tips that your mortgage broker doesn’t want you to know about.

1. They

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If It Feels Good Do It: Maybe Strategic Defaults Aren't So Bad After All

I bought my first home in 1990 at the top of the Southern California real estate market and promptly found myself with an “underwater” mortgage. And although I owed more than the home was worth over the next seven long years, I never walked away from that loan — even though I wanted to — because I felt I had a moral obligation to myself and society as

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The 15 vs. 30-Year Mortgage Loan Debate: Why 30 Is Better

According to Freddie Mac’s most recent survey, there is currently a spread of 0.79 percent between the 15- and 30-year fixed rate mortgage benchmarks, which just so happens to be the largest spread since Freddie started tracking the 15-year mortgage 20 years ago; for comparison purposes, the average spread over that same time period has been only 0.47 percent.

I think most people naturally assume that, when it comes

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