December 4, 2020
Financial Deals You Can Still Take Advantage of in 2020
2020 isn’t over yet! There’s still time to capitalize on a wide range of financial opportunities to make the most of your year.
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2020 has put up quite a fight, but you don’t have to let it get the best of you. By taking advantage of financial opportunities like refinancing options, a buyer’s market, and other deals, there are plenty of ways to wrestle some extra savings and perks out of a year.
We’re not talking about cutting corners or making giant sacrifices for a few extra cents—we’re talking about taking advantage of the opportunities that are right in front of you. Whether it’s a few online clicks that wind up saving you tons in loan payments or adding a revenue stream you didn’t realize existed, we’ve got a few hot tips for making the most of 2020.
Refinance Your Mortgage
It’s easy to become complacent with loans—you write the expense into your budget and accept you’ve got to fork it over each month. But whether you’re paying off personal or home loans, it’s worth checking out refinancing options that could lower those monthly payments and put a little extra cash in your pocket (or in your retirement savings account!).
Interest rates are low right now. If you bought a home in 2005, you likely paid an interest rate of around 6.36% for a mortgage. Right now, though, you’re looking at interest rates at an average of 2.375% for a 15-year fixed-term mortgage. It’s the ideal time to explore refinancing options for that mortgage, as well as if you’re looking to pay off credit card debt, auto loans, or small business loans.
Online tools like Credible can walk you through that process. The team takes a look at any loans you have and then offers you personalized refinancing offers from a variety of approved lenders. There’s no fee to compare your options so find one that lets you glide into 2021 with slashed monthly loan payments.
Downsizing or Relocating for Retirement
Refinancing is a solid option for saving money, but you might be able to do even better when it comes to your mortgage. If you’ve reached a point in retirement or home ownership where you’re ready to downsize, it’s an ideal time to buy. Mortgage rates have hit record lows this year, and are expected to continue to drop. That’s good for you for two reasons: first, buyers will be more willing to pay your asking price since they know their mortgage rates will be low. And second, you can score a great mortgage deal on the smaller retirement lodge of your dreams.
Don’t make any moves you’re not ready to make. But if you’ve ever entertained the idea of cashing out for a smaller pad (or taking the plunge on an additional property), now is definitely the time to browse some real estate listings and take advantage of record lows.
Contemplating whether or not that move will be to a new state? Depending on where you live now, you may have the opportunity to save not just on current mortgage rates, but also in taxes, healthcare, or cost-of-living expenses in your new locale. You can find all that out by using Silvur. Start by plugging your current information into the app to calculate your retirement score. Then, you can enter what your info would look like if you downsized to a condo in Florida or a cabin in Wyoming. Comparing your current situation to a potential new one can give you the big-picture perspective you need to figure out where you’re doing great at saving, where you can cut back on spending, and the goals you want to work toward in the coming year.
Compare and Shop Around
You already know that healthcare and insurance costs in the US can put a giant dent in your wallet. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for your current rates. The end of the year is a great time to reevaluate your current plans and shop around to see if a competitor is offering a better deal.
To find the deals you might be missing on your homeowner’s insurance, look to online resources like Matic. The fully licensed independent agency analyzes your information and sifts through mountains of data to find plans that could be right for you. You’re able to immediately pursue those options and compare plans, potentially finding one that can help you save.
It’s also an especially great time to compare health insurance options since it’s open enrollment period until mid-December for many plans. If you’re trying to navigate the incredibly complicated world of healthcare, turn to a tool like eHealth. Whether you’re starting from scratch with a new plan, want to make sure your current option is best, or are looking to add on new coverage to an existing plan, the site analyzes more than 10,000 plans (including for Medicare) to present you with several options, making sure you don’t have to settle for sky-high rates.
Add Extra Income with Part-Time Work
If retirement has you a bit antsy but the idea of taking on a new job seems daunting, check out seasonal work over the next few weeks. Whether you’re gift wrapping at a local retailer or selling Christmas trees at a nearby farm, seasonal employment can be a fun way to earn a little extra money before the year is out. It might also help you determine whether a part-time gig is something you want to consider making more permanent in 2021.
Using Silvur’s retirement score calculator, you can enter your potential earnings from a new job and figure out how much that extra income can add to your retirement savings and boost your overall score.
Swipe to Earn
With the gift-giving season approaching, never forget that a shopping spree can be one of the most fun ways to save. If you’re not already signed up for a credit card that offers excellent rewards, now is the time to take advantage of the end-of-year deals that many companies offer.
Even if you think you’ve got good perks, it’s worth taking a look at some of the other deals out there. Credit card companies understand that not everyone shops and spends in the same way, and they’re beginning to offer even more personalized perks. Maybe you can’t wait to hop on a plane once the pandemic is over—make sure you’re swiping a card that lets you optimize your points for travel. Trying to shop locally this holiday season? Check out a credit card that gives you extra cash back when you spend at small businesses.
Credit Cards for Retirement
Find the right credit card for your retirement plan
Once you’ve got the best card for you, make sure you’re using it for all your purchases before the end of this year. You can immediately pay off the balance if you’re worried about carrying debt, but since most people do a little extra spending around the holidays, it’s the perfect time to really rack up the points and perks that will give you the rewards you want in 2021.