‘My stepmother has been less than ethical’: I suspect my stepmom removed me as beneficiary from my late father’s life-insurance policy. What can I do?

My dad passed away in March 2019. My stepmom told me I had an inheritance from my dad.  She ceased communication with me after my dad passed away. I reached out to the Department of Financial Services website for lost life-insurance policies, and received a letter saying my dad was a participant, but had named someone other than me as a beneficiary.

My stepmother has been less than ethical at times. She previously stole money from her sister’s bank account while working for the financial institution that she now runs. Her sister did not press charges, so the matter was dropped by my dad, with whom she was having an affair. Is it possible that she changed the beneficiary, and could have forged anything on behalf of my dad?

My family also suspects she tried to cash another life-insurance policy for which I was a 51% beneficiary. She sent me a check after my dad passed saying it was a “gift,” and called me nearly two years later saying a policy had just been “found” with me as 51% beneficiary. I suspect she was the 49% beneficiary. To make matters worse, that policy was through her place of business.

Suspicious Daughter

Dear Suspicious,

Anything is possible. It sounds like you are dealing with an unknown quantity, and she should not be trusted with other people’s money. Your stepmother does not, from your account, appear to be on the up-and-up, given that she reportedly stole money from her sister’s bank account. It may be that she could not bring herself to cash a policy with you receiving 49% — hence the delay —  but given the division outlined in the policy it seems unlikely that she could have kept the entire policy for herself. An executor has a responsibility to deal with an estate in a timely manner.

It’s not unheard of for people to question an amendment that was made to a trust, insurance policy or last will and testament. Priscilla Presley, the ex-wife of Elvis Presley, the “King of Rock and Roll” who died in 1977, filed legal documents in Los Angeles Superior Court last week, disputing the validity of an amendment to a living trust overseeing the estate of her late daughter Lisa Marie Presley, who died earlier this month. The 2016 amendment removed Priscilla Presley and a former business manager as trustees, the Associated Press reported.

Among the issues cited in the legal filing: Priscilla Presley was allegedly not notified of the change as required, an absence of a witness or notarization, Priscilla Presley’s name was misspelled in a document that was allegedly signed by her late daughter, and Lisa Marie Presley’s own signature was described as atypical, the news agency also reported. Aside from questions swirling over the authenticity of an amendment, changes to wills, trusts and — in your case — insurance policies must always meet certain legal standards.

It’s not unheard of for people to question an amendment that was made to a trust, insurance policy or last will and testament.

“Last-minute changes in beneficiaries can be a red flag for life-insurance companies,” according to LifeInsuranceAttorney.com. “Usually, the person insured by a life-insurance policy can change their beneficiaries whenever they want, so long as the change complies with any specific requirements in the life-insurance policy. However, when the insured person is elderly, severely ill or lacking mental capacity, and the change in beneficiary happens shortly before the insured person passes away, they may have been unduly influenced by others.”

“For example, a caretaker or estranged family member may convince or influence the vulnerable insured person to add them as a beneficiary on the insured person’s life-insurance policy or to remove other beneficiaries,” the firm says. What’s more, “Life-insurance companies may also deny claims if the beneficiary made a change in the beneficiary that did not comply with the requirements of the insured person’s life-insurance policy. Some policies may require that the insured person have a certain amount of witnesses present,” it adds.

Depending on the amount of money involved, you may wish to hire an attorney to see if you have a case and/or to put your mind at rest. The statute of limitations — that is, the amount of time you have to challenge the validity of a life-insurance policy — may vary, depending on the circumstances, the state where you live and/or whether new information has come to light. “The statute of limitations, in most cases, lasts for three years. But not always,” according to the Center for Life Insurance Disputes, an insurance agency in Washington, D.C.

She stopped talking to you after your father passed away: It could be that she was shoring up what was left of his estate, and figuring out what she could take for herself. Or it may be that you did not get along, and a breakdown of communication was inevitable. Or both. Were there any changes made to your father’s policy that would raise a red flag? That much is unclear. Your stepmother may have learned her lesson when she was not prosecuted by her sister for alleged financial malfeasance.

And, then again, maybe not.

Yocan email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at [email protected], and follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

Check out the Moneyist private Facebook group, where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

The Moneyist regrets he cannot reply to questions individually.

More from Quentin Fottrell:

My mother excluded me from her will — before she died, my sibling cashed out her annuity policy, on which I was a beneficiary. Should I sue my family?

‘I’m clean and sober’: My late father left me 25% of his estate, and my wealthy brother 75%. My brother died 10 months later. Should I ask his son for his share?

‘It’s still painful’: My wife of just one year left me, took all her belongings and won’t answer her phone. How do I protect my finances?

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#stepmother #ethical #suspect #stepmom #removed #beneficiary #late #fathers #lifeinsurance #policy

‘I am angry’: I’m an unmarried stay-at-home mother in a 20-year relationship, but my boyfriend won’t put my name on the deed of our house. Am I unreasonable?

I have been in my relationship for almost 20 years. For personal reasons, we are not married but we have a 10-year-old child.

When our child was born, we decided that I would be a stay-at-home parent because my low-paying job didn’t cover the costs of child care, and at the time, we were stretched. I have been an at-home caregiver and homemaker for a decade.

About two years ago, we finally saved enough to buy our first home. It’s a condo, but it’s ours. Since it was my first house purchase, I didn’t fully understand the process, so by the time my partner closed on the condo, I realized I was not on the deed.

When I asked why I was left out, my partner made some noises about loan applications, the cost, etc. My credit score is higher than his, so if I were part of the loan process for the mortgage, wouldn’t it have been beneficial to us?

In the two years since we’ve bought and moved into our place, we’ve had several tense “discussions” about adding me to the deed. For me, even though I’m not an earner, I am still a working member of this household, so having my name on the deed is about equality in the relationship and family.

When our child was born, we decided that I would be a stay-at-home parent because my low-paying job didn’t cover the costs of child care.

Through my labor as a homemaker, which includes meal preparation, cleaning, laundry and home maintenance — not to mention 24/7 childcare — I feel my role as a “stakeholder” in this family should include legally owning my home. Am I wrong?

Through the various discussions we’ve had, it seems my partner is unwilling to add me to the deed. First, he got angry whenever I tried to discuss it, and tried to make it sound as if I was being completely unreasonable. But now he says it’s because it’ll cost several thousand dollars, and that in the end, it “really shouldn’t matter.”

But it does matter. To me, not being on the deed is a direct correlation to how I am devalued for my time and labor. I feel like I am considered “less than” simply because I am a woman, an at-home parent, and a homemaker. I am angry about my situation.

Adding to the complication, we JUST purchased an upstairs neighbor’s condo with the intention of renting it out. After all the fuss about being excluded, my partner made sure my name is on the deed for this second unit. But because of this, my partner says having my name on the original home is “unnecessary.”

I want to continue to fight for my name to be added — to fully own BOTH properties. But my partner is still making me sound completely unreasonable, to spend thousands of dollars just for a “piece of paper.” I know we can afford the costs, and I feel the cost is worth it so I can be on equal footing in this family. And legally, it is not just a piece of paper to me.

Am I really being unreasonable? Will the costs really outweigh the benefits? What can I do?

We live in New Jersey.

Thank you.

Not on the Deed

Dear Not on the Deed,

Common-law marriage is not recognized in New Jersey, so it’s up to unmarried couples to manage their joint assets the old-fashioned way. The father of your child has certainly done his best to do that, and has tipped the scales in his favor.

You are either a committed couple in a long-term relationship with a view to sharing your lives, or you’re not. Not putting you on the mortgage — assuming he did so given your good credit — or the deed of your home is sharp practice. At this point, you would likely need to finance to put you on the mortgage, and may need to inform the lender to do the latter.

Put bluntly, you’re not being unreasonable. There is a huge amount of physical, mental and emotional labor involved in being a stay-at-home parent and homemaker, and an equal amount of time devoted to raising your son and taking care of your home while your partner attends to his 9-to-5 job.

Being in a long-term unmarried relationship can affect everything from taxes to real estate. “Unmarried couples do not have the same rights as married couples when it comes to estate planning,” according to the New Jersey-based Bronzino Law Firm.

“They aren’t eligible to inherit a portion of their partner’s estate, for example; and they don’t receive tax breaks on property that they plan to leave their long-term partner after their death, the way that married couples do,” the law firm writes.

There is a huge amount of physical, mental and emotional labor involved in being a stay-at-home parent and homemaker, and an equal amount of time devoted to raising your son.

Your partner would have to file a grant or warranty deed with the county clerk. This could come with ramifications for insurance and should be done in consultation with a lawyer. It should, in theory, only cost a few hundred dollars.

I say “in theory” as that does not account for the closing costs and, of course, if there is a significantly higher interest rate now than when the loan was first signed.

“Deeds are characterized by ‘guarantees’ the grantor makes about their interest in the property, and ‘promises” of future action the grantor will take if their representations are challenged,” according to the law firm of Earl White.

“Covenants are the defining feature of each type of deed,” he writes. “Sellers often guarantee a property is sold free and clear of mortgages and liens, and that the seller has authority to make the sale.”

Some broader context: A few years ago, Oxfam released a study that estimated women contributed $10.8 trillion to the world’s economy every year in unpaid labor. That’s three times the size of the world’s technology industry.

The cost of you pursuing this does not outweigh the benefits. Your time is valuable. Your contribution to your partnership is valuable. Your sense of worth is valuable. And your role as a homemaker and a mother is also valuable.

Yocan email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at [email protected], and follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

Check out the Moneyist private Facebook group, where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

The Moneyist regrets he cannot reply to questions individually.

More from Quentin Fottrell:

• ‘I’ve felt like an outsider my whole life’: My father died without a will, leaving behind my stepmother and her 4 children. Do I have any rights to his estate?
• ‘He was infatuated with her’: My brother had a drinking problem and took his own life. He left $6 million to his former girlfriend who used to buy him alcohol
• She had a will, but it was null and void’: My friend and her sister are fighting over their mother’s life-insurance policy and bank account. Who should win out?

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#angry #unmarried #stayathome #mother #20year #relationship #boyfriend #wont #put #deed #house #unreasonable

‘Gaslighters have two signature moves’: Are you being gaslighted at work? Here’s how to recognize the signs.

Are you less happy at work since you befriended that new recruit? Have they told you stories about how colleagues have constantly undermined them? Maybe you have a boss who excludes you from key meetings and then asks why you did not attend a meeting even though you are pretty sure you were not invited to begin with. If any of this rings true, you may be working with a gaslighter.

Gaslighters, as the name suggests, cast themselves in a positive light — friend or confidante who is here to help — but actually are manipulating or undermining others, usually from the shadows, which adds to their potential power.

Merriam-Webster named “gaslighting” the word of the year. Searches for the word on Merriam-Webster.com surged 1,740% in 2022 over the prior year, despite there not being an event that the publisher — known for its dictionaries — could point to as a cause of the spike.

It defines gaslighting as “psychological manipulation of a person usually over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one’s emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator.”

The term was coined in a 1938 play, “Gas Light,” a psychological thriller set in Victorian London and written by Patrick Hamilton.

George Cukor’s 1944 film, “Gaslight,” based on the play, further popularized the term. In that film, Gregory (Charles Boyer) tries to convince his wife Paula (Ingrid Bergman) that she has lost her reason. When he turns on the lights in the attic in his search for a treasure trove of hidden jewels, the gaslight flickers in the rest of the house. He tells Paula that she is merely imagining the dimming of the lights.

‘Jerks at work’ or actual gaslighters?

The workplace is fertile ground for such behavior, given what’s at stake: money, power, status, promotion, rivalry and the intrigue that often comes with office politics.

I’m in the business of helping people work out their conflicts at work. In fact, I dedicated a whole chapter in my book, “Jerks at Work,” to gaslighters.

‘For gaslighters, slow and steady wins the race, and the best ones make friends with their victims first.’

What has surprised me is how wide-ranging the definition of “gaslighting” has become. Everything from “not respecting personal boundaries” to “talking so much shit about me I couldn’t get hired for two years” seems to fall under the “gaslighting” umbrella.

What I’ve learned from my doom scrolling on social media is that the word “gaslighter” — probably the worst name to bestow on a colleague or boss — seems to refer to anyone who’s done a whole bunch of bad things to us at work, especially things that involve humiliation.

So what really is a gaslighter, and why is it important to distinguish one from, say, a demeaning boss with a chip on their shoulder and a penchant for public shaming?

If we stick to the clinical definition, gaslighters have two signature moves: They lie with the intent of creating a false reality, and they cut off their victims socially.

They position themselves as both savior and underminer, creating a negative and fearful atmosphere, spreading gossip and taking credit for other people’s work. They are often jealous and resentful, and aim to undercut others in order to further their own position.

In the workplace, you may also be an unwitting pawn in the gaslighting of another colleague.

You may also be an unwitting pawn in the gaslighting of another colleague. The gaslighter might try to convince you that Johnny is trying to steal your leadership role on a project, and encourage you to freeze him out in the cafeteria at lunch time, or simply be extra wary about sharing important information.

For gaslighters, slow and steady wins the race, and the best ones make friends with their victims first. For this reason, it could also be considered a form of workplace harassment.

They often flatter them, make them feel special. Others create a fear of speaking up in their victims by making their position at work seem more precarious than it is. And the lies are complex, coming at you in layers. It takes a long time to realize your status as a victim of gaslighting, and social isolation is a necessary part of this process.

‘It takes a long time to realize your status as a victim of gaslighting, and social isolation is a necessary part of this process.’

Take smart action — no direct confrontration

There’s a difference between an annoying coworker or micromanaging boss, and a gaslighter, who lies and conspires to undermine your position. “The gaslighter doesn’t want you to improve or succeed — they’re out to sabotage you,” according to the careers website Monster.com. “They will accuse you of being confused or mistaken, or that you took something they said the wrong way because you are insecure. They might even manipulate paper trails to “prove” they are right.”

Examples cited by Monster.com: “You know you turned in a project, but the gaslighter insists you never gave it to them. You can tell someone has been in your space, moving things around, or even on your computer, but you don’t have proof. You are the only one not included in a team email or meeting invite, or intentionally kept out of the loop. Then when you don’t respond or show up, you are reprimanded.”

Knowing this, what can you do to prevent yourself from becoming a target? First, recognize that gaslighters don’t wear their strategy on their sleeve. Flattery, making you feel like you’re a part of a special club, or questioning your expertise are not things that raise gaslighting alarm bells.

Rather than looking out for mean behavior by a boss or coworker, look out for signs of social isolation. A boss who wants to cut you off from coworkers and other leaders should raise red flags, even if the reason is that “you’re better than them.”

Second, recognize that lie detection is a precarious — and from a scientific perspective, almost impossible — business. Don’t try to become a lie detector, instead take notes, so you can put your “gaslighter” on notice that you are wise to their tactics. You can also use the notes as evidence if you decide to later raise the situation with your human resources department.

Here are some ways to beat the gaslighter: Send emails with “a summary of today’s meeting” so you can document the origin of ideas and make sure they don’t steal credit from you. Furthermore, document things that happened in person, and share it with your would-be gaslighter. And speak up at meetings. Don’t allow yourself to be browbeaten into submission.

The more you document, the more difficult it will be to be victimized. But a word of warning: Don’t try to confront gaslighters — instead, go to your social network to build your reality back up. Trying to beat these folks at their own game is a losing strategy.

Any of these actions, and especially a combination done early in a professional relationship, can work wonders protecting yourself and your career.

Tessa West is a New York University social psychology professor with a particular interest in workplace behavior, and author of “Jerks at Work: Toxic Coworkers and What to Do About Them.

Related stories:

‘We’re like rats in a cage’: Sick and tired of their jobs, American workers strive to regain their agency, their time — and their sanity

People are seeking a genuine connection with their colleagues’ — one that goes beyond ‘Hollywood Squares’ Zoom meetings. Not all workers are happy with remote work.

The backlash to quiet quitting smacks of another attempt by the ruling class to get workers back under their thumbs:’ Am I wrong?

We want to hear from readers who have stories to share about the effects of increasing costs and a changing economy. If you’d like to share your experience, write to [email protected] Please include your name and the best way to reach you. A reporter may be in touch.

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#Gaslighters #signature #moves #gaslighted #work #Heres #recognize #signs

How to Start a Blog | Young Adult Money

In this post I explain how to start a blog. If you use my link to sign up you will not only receive the lowest possible price on Bluehost hosting, but you will also receive a FREE domain name.

I regularly check with a contact from Bluehost to ensure this post always has the lowest possible price. Use this link to start a blog on WordPress and follow the tutorial below to get started.

Since starting YoungAdultMoney.com eight years ago I have consistently made more than $10,000 a year on my blog.

It’s been a perfect side hustle to diversify my 9-5 income, pay down debt, and invest in the stock market.

The extra money I’ve made has not only allowed my wife and I to offset our $1,000/month student loan payment, but also to save more, invest more, and travel. It’s also landed me a book deal with a publisher, a dream of mine that literally would not have been possible without a blog.

In short, blogging has had a huge impact on my finances and my life. I am not the only one with a story like this. There are many people who are consistently making thousands of dollars a month from their blogs. Some have even decided to make it their primary income, abandoning their full-time jobs to blog full-time.

The one thing all these successful bloggers have in common is this: they started a blog. Without taking this critical first step it’s impossible to make money blogging. It’s easy to think about “someday” starting a blog, but honestly the sooner you start one the better. By starting a blog today you are already far ahead of the millions of people who like the idea of blogging but have not taken the critical first step of starting a blog.

There are free blog options such as “Blogger,” and many people make the mistake of starting a blog on one of these free platforms. The problem with free hosting options is that advertisers do not like them. They like the self-hosted blogs and do not take the blogs on free hosting seriously.

I’ve seen many bloggers go through the headache of transitioning from a free hosting platform to a paid, self-hosted one like Bluehost and some have spent an entire weekend going through the process and working out bugs. Don’t make that mistake! The process can be so complicated that I completely abandoned one of my Blogger blogs instead of go through the headache of transitioning to Bluehost.

I have started a number of websites over the past 10+ years and helped many others get started. Since switching to Bluehost for web hosting I have always recommended them to people who are looking to start a blog. They are highly rated, offer affordable pricing, and make starting a WordPress blog extremely easy with their 1-click WordPress installation.

Bluehost offers a free domain name – and the best possible price – when you register through my link.

If you want to start a blog that makes money you are going to want to start one on Bluehost. Bluehost offers many advantages, including:

  • Affordable – by using my link you get hosting for just $2.95 per month, which is less than $36 a year.
  • Free Domain Name – you will get a free domain name when you sign up for hosting on Bluehost using my link
  • Extremely Easy WordPress Installation – Bluehost has a “one-click” WordPress installation
  • 24/7 Tech Support – Bluehost tech support is available 24/7 and has been outstanding every time I’ve used them
  • Attractive to Advertisers – having a self-hosted blog is attractive to advertisers and will make it easier to make money blogging
  • 30-Day Money Back Guarantee – if you cancel within 30 days you receive a full refund on your hosting service
  • Extended Money Back Guarantee – if you cancel after 30 days you receive a prorated refund for the remainder of your hosting term

As you can see there are a ton of benefits of using BlueHost to start your blog. With their money-back guarantee there is very little risk of starting a blog through BlueHost, and so much potential for making money blogging.

1) Choose a Hosting Option

Once you have gone to BlueHost you will see the various hosting options. I highly recommend using the “Starter” package. Even though there are two higher-priced packages, there is nothing in the higher-priced packages that you need.

Bluehost basic web pricing cheapest price

Keep in mind that this option is very affordable for self-hosting a website and comes with a money-back guarantee. If you decide within 30 days blogging isn’t for you, you can get your full payment refunded. Even at 10, 11, or however many months in, if you decide you don’t want Bluehost web hosting you will get refunded for any months you paid for but haven’t used yet.

You can also always upgrade to the other accounts if you reach any of the space limits from the basic account.

2) Choose a Free Domain Name

When you sign up for Bluehost using my link you get a free domain name. This is an ~$15 value if you had bought the domain name.

Once you click on the Starter package in the previous step you will be brought to a screen where you enter the domain name you want.

Free Domain Name BlueHost Offer

I will be the first to admit it’s not easy to choose a domain name. I got lucky by finding Young Adult Money, as many domains with “money” in it are already taken. But even Young Adult Money isn’t a perfect domain name.

It’s easy to overthink a domain name, but in all honesty the value of your blog will not be in the name but in the content you put out. There are many hugely successful blogs out there with obscure domain names.

It will almost for sure take a few attempts to find a domain name that isn’t already taken. Think of something unique (or not unique – i.e. Young Adult Money haha) and once you find one that is not taken, grab it. Just think of something that sounds good to you and you are good to go!

Once you have a free domain, you simply need to complete your registration and you officially have a blog! I would choose none of the extras on the last screen as they are just going to increase the cost of starting a blog.

The only one that I would consider is the $0.50 a month for “Domain Privacy Protection.” It’s not necessary, but it does shield and protect your information as a website owner.

Note: you can skip the section below and go straight to “Install WordPress” if you are registering a free domain name.

Already have a domain name?

If you already have a domain name that you bought on a site like GoDaddy, it’s easy to connect your domain name to Bluehost. Instead of registering a new domain, just choose the second option on the page and enter the domain you would like to be linked to your Bluehost hosting.

Here are the directions for connecting your GoDaddy domain to Bluehost:

To modify, add, or delete name servers (DNS) for your domain(s):

  • Log in to the GoDaddy.com Account Manager.
  • Select Manage Domains from the Domain Names drop-down menu or the Manage Your Account list.
  • Select the domain name you wish to modify using the checkboxes and then click Set Name Servers.
  • Enter your updated name server information in the spaces provided under the blue Name Servers heading on the right side of your page and click Save Changes at the bottom. Your entries should look like this:

This can all be done within the cpanel once you have purchased hosting. If you run into issues do not hesitate to email me. When I first got BlueHost I already had a domain, so I’ve personally gone through these steps a few times.

3) Install WordPress

Once you have signed up for an account, login to your Bluehost account and go to hosting -> cpanel.

How to Start a Blog - BlueHost 5

Once on this page, scroll down to website builders and find the Install WordPress icon.

How to Start a Blog - BlueHost 4

Once you click the Install WordPress icon, you simply need to click install and choose the domain you are installing WordPress to. You will then set up your login information.

To log into your WordPress blog, go to your domain name and add /wp-admin to the end of the domain. This will pull up the user and password fields that allow you to log into WordPress.

Just like that you have a living breathing WordPress blog. Congrats!

Remember, if you have ANY questions at all do not hesitate to ask. I am happy to help you with any blogging questions just as I’ve helped many others set up a blog.

Blogging Tips for New Bloggers

As I said earlier, I have over 10 years of blogging experience and have made thousands of dollars blogging. I do not say that to brag, but to make it clear that I can attest to the fact that it is possible to make money blogging. If I can do it, you can too.

Here are area few tips I have for new bloggers:

  • Commit to 6 Months – While I don’t have a statistic to prove this, a common quote that floats around the blogosphere is “most bloggers quit within the first six months.” When you start your blog, consider making a a deal with yourself to blog for at least six months. If you still want to quit, you can, but at least you gave yourself a decent amount of time to build up content and truly give blogging a try.

    If you are hesitant about starting a blog on Bluehost because of the potential that you won’t like blogging, remember that they offer a refund for unused months that you already paid for. Even if you decide to quit after 3, 6, or any number of months you will get a refund for the remaining months you already paid for. There is very little risk in giving Bluehost – and blogging – a try.

  • Connect with other Bloggers – The biggest mistake new bloggers make is thinking that traffic will simply appear. The reality is that getting ranked in search engines is difficult for established blogs and unlikely for brand new blogs. The best way to get some initial traffic and links to your site is by commenting on other blogs in your niche. This is extremely important for new bloggers!
  • Plan ahead whenever possible – Many established bloggers do not write their posts on the fly. Instead, they plan their posts. This helps in situations where something unavoidable – an illness, a late night at the office, etc. makes it difficult to write a post the night before it goes live. Consider using an editorial calendar to plan posts in advance.

While this isn’t a comprehensive list of all the tips I would give to new bloggers, it should provide a good start for those who are looking to start a blog. Remember, it’s more important to actually start your blog than to have it be perfect from day one.

If you have any questions about Bluehost or blogging, do not hesitate to send me an email. I have been blogging for years and have helped many people start a blog, so I’m happy to help you as well.

Bluehost pricing plan cheapest possible price

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#Start #Blog #Young #Adult #Money

Self-made millionaire: Here’s what it means to be rich and how to successfully land a raise

There’s no one definition for what it takes to be rich — it means something different to everyone.

“Each person defines what rich means for them,” self-made millionaire Ramit Sethi, author of New York Times bestselling book “I Will Teach You To Be Rich,” told CNBC’s Frank Holland during the inaugural CNBC Make It: Your Money virtual event on Dec. 13. The event featured several successful entrepreneurs and financial icons who offered advice about increasing your earning power.

“For some people, rich means having a million dollars in the bank. For some people, rich means being able to go to yoga in the middle of a weekday,” Sethi added.

The way most of us feel about money is highly psychological, said Sethi, with either positive or negative associations that can be untethered to actual wealth.

“I’ve spoken to people who have $10 million in net worth, and they still worry if they’re going to have enough,” said Sethi. In his experience, feeling rich is “uncorrelated to how much we have in the bank.”

“I see money as a source of growth. It has made me more adventurous, spontaneous, generous,” said Sethi. “When we have money, we can choose what type of characteristics we want to emphasize.”

How to ask for a raise — and get one

Millennial entrepreneurs discuss wealth-making tips

CNBC’s Kristina Partsinevelos spoke with a panel of millennial entrepreneurs who have grown their creative side hustles into six-figure businesses. Here are a few of their top takeaways.

  • Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, founder of Making Sense of Cents, earns $760,000 a year in passive income and lives on a sailboat with her family. Side hustling, including freelance writing, affiliate marketing and renting out rooms in her home, “completely changed my life,” she said.

    In the last two years, her big goal was to earn more in passive income, so that she could work fewer hours and enjoy her life. To do that, she put her business “on autopilot” by hiring a virtual assistant and outsourcing editing tasks.

    Now, she only works 10 hours a week and is able to save for early retirement. “I don’t feel like I have to say yes to every project these days,” she said.

  • Todd Baldwin, who became a millionaire when he was 25, said that his passive income journey has been all about real estate. He’s found success with an unorthodox real estate strategy: Rather than renting out full homes to a single tenant, he and his wife rent out each bedroom individually.

    However, he didn’t earn passive income right away. Baldwin worked 17 hours a day when he first started, he said: “Every penny that I made, we were just putting it back into more real estate.”

    And despite earning seven figures, he’s extremely frugal. He still clips coupons, secret shops and drives “a 2009 Ford Focus with 180,000 miles on it.”

  • Grace Torres — a 23-year-old who turned her wedding photography side hustle into a six-figure business — agreed that reinvesting profits into your business is crucial for growth, “especially for solopreneurs.”

    Whether that’s buying new camera equipment or adding employees, she’s used her profits to expand the company. It’s common for new businesses to grow slowly in the first few years, and one of the trade-offs can be that you’re not paying yourself very much, she said.

    However, running your own business has its advantages, she said. When Torres first started her wedding photography business, she felt “very little pressure to make a lot of money in order to survive or to support a family.”

Kevin O’Leary still believes in crypto

Kevin O’Leary, star of ABC’s “Shark Tank” and host of CNBC’s Money Court,” was a paid spokesperson and investor in embattled cryptocurrency exchange FTX. He lost $15 million when the businesses went bankrupt last month.

However, O’Leary is still bullish on crypto. “I’m going to continue to invest in crypto,” he told Holland. “I’m a big believer in the platforms and the technology and the promise of what’s going to come in the years ahead.”

O’Leary said the industry is “culling its own herd — getting rid of the bad actors, the weak actors, the incompetent managers, all of that.” For that reason, he believes the crypto space will emerge stronger.

However, if you’re going to invest in crypto, be cautious. O’Leary warned against putting more than 20% of your total assets into one crypto exchange or institution. It’s also smart to diversify your crypto investments across different tokens and assets, he said.

When asked about what small business owners can do to prepare for a possible recession, O’Leary shared the advice that he gives all of his CEOs: The minute you have positive cash flow, start to pay down every debt you have.

With high interest rates on loans, “the only thing that can take you down in times of stress is leverage,” he said.

O’Leary also tells business owners to focus on three rules: “No. 1, customer. No. 2, customer. No. 3, customer.”

“If you take care of your customer, they will take care of you,” said O’Leary. “Customers that feel they’re being well served are even willing to pay higher prices and are very sticky. Customer service is everything.”

The CNBC Make It: Your Money livestream was sponsored by Edward Jones and Robinhood.

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

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Financial Face-off: Should you opt for a high-deductible health plan with lower monthly costs?

Hello and welcome to Financial Face-off, a MarketWatch column where we help you weigh financial decisions. Our columnist will give her verdict. Tell us whether you think she’s right in the comments. And please share your suggestions for future Financial Face-off columns by emailing our columnist at [email protected] 

It’s the time of year to sign up for a new health insurance plan, either through an employer or through the government’s Health Insurance Marketplace.

The decision may feel especially fraught this year. High inflation, layoffs and a potential recession are weighing on people’s minds and finances. Americans have been tightening their budgets and may be looking for ways to save money on their health-insurance costs. One way to do that, at least in terms of upfront costs, could be to sign up for a high-deductible health plan. These plans typically have lower monthly costs (premiums), but they have higher deductibles, or, the amount of money that you have to pay out of your own pocket before the insurance kicks in to cover healthcare costs.

So is this the year to try to save some cash by signing up for a high-deductible health plan?

Why it matters

It’s no secret that healthcare is expensive in the U.S., but the language of health insurance often obscures that reality with euphemisms such as “cost-sharing,” “coinsurance,” “copay” and “deductible.” Here’s a quick translation: if you see one of those terms, just mentally replace it with a dollar sign, because it means you will be paying money.

Choosing a healthcare plan is important. Medical bills can strain a household’s finances, and healthcare debt is very common. More than half (57%) of Americans have incurred debt caused by a medical or dental expense in the last five years, according to a nationally representative survey released in June by KFF, an independent nonprofit that researches healthcare issues.

One of the survey’s more troubling findings was that even people who have health insurance fall into debt, with more than four in 10 insured adults reporting that they currently had health-related debt.

In other words, the decision about which health-insurance plan to choose can have far-reaching unintended consequences.

How much can you expect to pay for health insurance? If you get yours through your job, it depends on several factors including the size of your company and the age of its workforce. On average, workers with employer-based health insurance paid $6,106 per year toward family coverage and $1,327 for individual coverage, according to KFF. People at smaller companies typically have higher premiums and bigger deductibles.

The federal government defines a high-deductible health plan as one with a deductible of at least $1,400 for an individual and $2,800 for a family.

High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) often — but not always — come with a health savings account (HSA) where people can store money tax-free to pay for medical expenses.

‘Medical debt really can be the gift that keeps on giving.’

— Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at KFF

HDHPs have lower premiums, but are they more affordable in the long run than traditional health plans? ValuePenguin compared HDHPs vs. traditional plans in three scenarios and found that the HDHP plan holder would end up paying more overall than the traditional plan holder if they had medical expenses of $5,000 or $10,000 in a year.

However, the HDHP holder had lower overall costs than the traditional plan holder if their medical expenses were $1,000. “But banking on such an outcome — and such low need for medical care — can be a gamble in an unpredictable world,” ValuePenguin wrote.

The verdict

If you can pay the higher monthly costs, avoid a high-deductible health plan.

My reasons

“It’s very difficult to accurately predict what your healthcare needs are going to be for the coming year. And for that reason, it’s a good idea to sign up for the most comprehensive plan option that you can afford,” said Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at KFF. Buying the cheapest option can open you up to the possibility that something is going to happen — you’ll get hit by a car, find a lump — and then “you’re going to find out the hard way how much your plan doesn’t cover and what you’re going to owe out of pocket,” Pollitz said.

As the KFF survey found, medical debt is common even among people with health insurance, she noted. “There are lots of reasons for that, but high deductibles are one culprit,” Pollitz said.

That debt can have serious long-term consequences, including wrecking your credit score or forcing you to cut back on other household expenses including essentials like groceries, utilities, and rent. You may even get into a situation where doctors refuse to treat you if you’re not paying your bills on time, leading you to delay needed health care. “Medical debt really can be the gift that keeps on giving,” Pollitz said, referencing the ongoing negative impacts on people’s finances.

Is my verdict best for you?

On the other hand, HDHPs with health savings accounts attached to them can make good financial sense for “one group,” Pollitz said: people who are “wealthy enough to need a tax-preferred savings mechanism” and can afford to pay whatever health costs may arise. “Partners in law firms usually sign up for them, but the associates and secretaries usually would prefer not to,” she added.

Health savings accounts (HSAs) are a great way to grow wealth over time, said Eric Roberge, a certified financial planner and founder of Beyond Your Hammock, a Boston-based fee-only financial planning firm. “You get to contribute pre-tax dollars, and any growth on the money you invest within the HSA is tax-free as well,” he told MarketWatch. “If you withdraw money and use it on qualified medical expenses, that is also tax-free. It’s the only account that provides this triple tax advantage.” After age 65, you can use your HSA money for anything, not just medical expenses, but you will have to pay taxes on the withdrawals.

A high-deductible health plan with an HSA can work well if you are young, and healthy and don’t incur a lot of medical costs. But if you use medical services frequently or have a lot of high-cost prescriptions, for example, this might not be the best option, because the cost of the high-deductible health plan might not be worth the access to the HSA, Roberge noted. “For folks who can manage their healthcare bills without issue while they’re earning an income from their job and don’t usually have a lot of medical costs each year, opting for the HDHP can not only save you on premiums each year, but it also gives you a chance to grow wealth for the long-term in a highly tax-advantaged way via an HSA,” Roberge said.

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U.S. vs. Iran at the World Cup: What time it starts, where to watch

This is the match that will either advance Team USA to the round of 16 in the 2022 World Cup or see America knocked out of the international soccer tournament.

The United States faces Iran on Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern in Doha, Qatar, coming on the heels of the U.S. recording a 1-1 tie against Wales and a scoreless draw against England last week.

But a tie won’t keep Team USA alive this time; in order to finish in either the first or second spot in Group B and win a place in the knockout bracket, the U.S. must beat Iran.

Iran, meanwhile, is coming off of a stunning 2-0 victory over Wales on Friday (after falling to England, 6-2, in its World Cup opener earlier in the week.) The Iranian team could stay in the tournament through a few scenarios: beating Team USA; or tying with Team USA if Wales draws or loses against England. (As for England and Wales, they will be playing at the same time that the U.S. and Iran play).

But Iran will also be eliminated from the tournament if they lose on Tuesday. So the stakes are high for both teams to score a victory.

What’s more, tensions flared up between the two teams this week after U.S. Soccer’s official social-media accounts temporarily posted a version of Iran’s national flag without the emblem of the Islamic Republic, which was done in a show of solidarity with protesters in Iran — namely those supporting women’s rights. “We wanted to show our support for the women in Iran with our graphic for 24 hours,” the U.S. Soccer Federation said in a statement. In response, Iran’s government accused America of removing the name of God from its flag, and reportedly called for America to be disqualified from the World Cup over the incident.

Read more: Tehran said to have pushed for U.S. team’s ouster from Qatar World Cup over Iranian flag flap

And: Why is the Qatar World Cup so controversial? Here’s a list of issues overshadowing FIFA’s quadrennial showpiece.

Here’s what else to know about the match:

MarketWatch illustration of how Team USA and Iran match up heading into their World Cup match.

The U.S. vs. Iran match begins at 2 p.m. Eastern, and can be watched or streamed on Fox in English (via your local Fox channel, fuboTV, FoxSports.com, the Fox Sports app) and Telemundo in Spanish (via fuboTV, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo and Peacock.)

World Cup 2022: How to watch, who’s favored to win and everything else you need to know

America has never beat Iran in a men’s soccer match, losing to Iran in 1998 and tying in 2000 — the only two previous times that the teams have squared off.

More World Cup at MarketWatch:

Qatar World Cup backlash is an important moment for soccer, says ESPN’s Shaka Hislop

‘It’s gonna be big’: Budweiser to host ‘victory celebration’ in World Cup winning nation with surplus Qatar beer

World Cup singer Maluma walks out of live interview over Qatar human rights question

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