You hear a lot of the same financial advice growing up. Whoever it comes from — parents, teachers, etc. — those same generic money tips are repeated over and over again. While we’re sure your parents had good intentions, it’s the 21st century now, and a lot of their advice is actually not that good. Let’s take a look at some financial tips that are outdated or overrated.
‘Renting Is A Waste Of Money’
A lot of people frown upon renting, but it has its benefits. It allows flexibility and freedom. For one, renters are not responsible for the taxes and maintenance of the home. That alone saves a lot of money! Also, renting allows you not to be bogged down in one area. An amazing new opportunity may arise for you in another city or state. It is much easier to pick up and move when you are renting.
‘Save 20% For A Down Payment’
You may decide that buying a home is right for you. It is often advised to have 20% of the home’s sale price saved for the down payment. However, that may not be the best advice. Saving up that amount of money could take a substantial amount of time. By the time you have it saved, interest rates and housing prices could be ridiculously high. If you can save 20% within five years, do it. If not, go ahead and close on a home when the interest rates are down and it’s a buyers market.
‘Pay Off Your Mortgage As Fast As Possible’
Mortgage interest rates used to be in the double digits. Back then, paying off your mortgage quickly was the thing to do, or you’d lose untold thousands of dollars. Paying off your mortgage isn’t the emergency it used to be these days. Most homeowner interest rates are less than five percent. It’s wiser to make the regular mortgage payment. From there you can apply the mortgage interest deduction on your federal taxes to get money back. Take that money to invest for higher returns.
‘Only Use A Credit Card For Emergencies’
Credit cards can be your best tool or your worst nightmare. A lot of people use credit cards for emergencies. However, that really isn’t ideal. It is better to have funds tucked away into an emergency savings account for when you’re in a bind. Instead, credit cards should be used as a tool to build your credit and earn rewards. Most cards these days have point rewards or cash back rewards. Set up your bills on autopay to your credit card instead of paying them individually. Pay the card off every month to avoid interest fees.
‘Save 10% Of Your Income For Retirement’
It used to be you’d save 10% of your income for retirement. However, things have changed drastically since that was the standard. Life expectancy is longer, expenses are higher, and healthcare costs are rising. Ten percent just isn’t enough for most retirees these days. It is best to simply save as much as you can. Ten percent is a good starting point, but you will need to increase that amount over the years.