Sunday Refresh

Buying Your First Home? Five Things You Need to Know

The housing market is hot right now.

More than half of the homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month, according to the National Association of Realtors. I (Laura) have even heard stories of houses sitting on the market for just two days.

You Have 'Syndrome D' – Here's What to Do

Do you have "Syndrome D?"

If you're one of nearly 44 million Americans, you likely suffer from it. Worse, it's putting your health at risk.

What's Your Escape Plan?

You've likely heard this a lot lately. When you're on an airplane, you need to know where the exit doors are and what to do in an emergency. If you're in a movie theater or other public place, you need to pay attention to where the exits are in case of a fire or active shooter.

You need to have an escape plan.

Put Your Emergency Fund to Work

Today, we're getting back to the basics...

We've talked before about the importance of paying off debt, investing in your retirement, and cultivating your financial literacy.

Time to Share the Love

We're feeling the love...

When we launched The Sunday Refresh back in January, we had one goal: to provide our subscribers with the best information, the kind we've wanted to read and couldn't find. We're overwhelmed with all the positive and supportive responses we've received, including these:

Life Insurance... Who Needs It?

Most of our friends scoff at the idea of shelling out for life insurance.

If you're young, healthy, and without dependents you probably feel the same.

Your Parents Are Killing You

My (Amanda's) best summer job ever was at a nursing home...

Back in college, I spent nearly three months as an activities assistant at a nonprofit nursing and assisted-living home. Between games of bingo, art classes, and musical guests, I developed friendships with many of the residents.

Five Tips for All You Tax Procrastinators

It's a phrase that makes most of us shudder: tax season.

The dread is real. So, it's no wonder that many Americans procrastinate when it comes to filing their tax returns.

Three Credit Myths Your Bank Wants You to Believe

Beware bad advice...

Recently, a family member asked me (Laura) for some credit-card advice.

Hack Your Future With These Two Tricks

Last week, I (Amanda) wrote about the mistakes people make with their rollover IRA accounts.

Let's say you've opened a new rollover IRA. Or maybe you opened a traditional or Roth IRA... or you just started a 401(k).

If you're like most Americans, you're likely nervous about how to choose your investments. Don't worry. There are two secrets you need to know to make a solid portfolio.

First, figure out your allocation and risk tolerance.

As we discussed in our issue "Overcoming Your Biggest Character Flaw," stocks hold the highest risk, but also offer the biggest reward. The least risky are certificates of deposit (CDs) and U.S. Treasury bills.

Depending on your age, you'll want to pick your investments accordingly. If you're in your 20s or 30s, you have more time to recover from potential losses, so take advantage of more stocks (and their growth). Think of a split around 90% stocks and 10% bonds or 80% and 20%. Remember, this mix changes depending on your comfort level and personal circumstances. If you're very risk-averse, fewer stocks are a better option.

If you're in your 40s or 50s, move more toward fixed income like bonds. By the time you're 50, you'll want to be at about 60% stocks and 40% bonds.