30 Items You Need to Budget for When You Buy a Home

When people are making the own-vs-rent analysis, they typically compare the monthly payment involved in owning a home—principal, interest, taxes, and insurance, or “PITI”—next to what it would cost to rent the same home. But what that analysis ignores is that it’s not all about monthly payment. In fact, it isn’t even about the income […]


Everything You Need to Know About PMI on FHA Mortgages

In the past three years, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has changed its rules regarding private mortgage insurance (PMI). These rules have changed the entire nature of PMI as it applies to FHA mortgages, specifically. Though the FHA tweaks rules frequently, there have actually been two significant changes: one good, and the other not good […]


What Kind of Mortgage Does Your Credit Score Qualify For?

You’re probably already aware that your credit score plays an important role in your ability to apply for a mortgage. But what you may not realize is that it even limits the types of loans and loan programs that you are eligible to apply for. Here are the minimum credit score requirements for the three […]


Is a Spousal IRA Right for Your Retirement Savings Needs?

The spousal IRA, also known as the Kay Bailey Hutchison Spousal IRA, is a special provision IRA that is available to spouses who do not work outside the home. It gives such spouses the ability to create and fund their own IRA, even though they do not earn income. This is a powerful advantage for […]


How to Maintain Insurance (For Your Health!) When You Retire Early

Are you planning to retire early? You’re certainly not alone! It is, of course, a major challenge just to accumulate the type of investment portfolio that will make early retirement possible. But many planning on early retirement forget to plan for one additional detail: adequate health insurance. With what health insurance costs today, is not […]


What You Need to Know About Credit Scores and Student Debt Refinancing

One of the dilemmas facing people who have large student loan debt is the difficulty in refinancing student debt. They seek to move their existing notes to loans with both lower interest rates and lower monthly payments. The problem is, refinancing generally requires either good or excellent credit. The credit score requirement may be too high […]