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Offbeat This mistake could cost you an extra $3,400 a year

15:27  11 october  2018
15:27  11 october  2018 Source:   fool.com

Your Social Security benefits got a 2.8% boost next year. Here's how that actually impacts you.

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One of them could cost you more than ,000 a year ! When you 've received benefits for that number of months, you 'll have made up for missed payments, and every higher benefit after that date is extra Social Security income an early claim would have caused you to miss.

These mistakes , however, could cause you to lose out on key benefits that would otherwise come in handy when you 're older. Though your Social Security benefits are based on how much you earned during your working years , the age at which you first file for them could impact your monthly payments.

The overwhelming majority of U.S. households (95%) own a vehicle, and for 85% of Americans, it's how they get to work. But not all cars are created equal, and if you choose the wrong one, you could wind up hemorrhaging an unhealthy amount of cash each year for no good reason.

The cost of owning a car

It now costs $8,849 a year, on average, to own a vehicle, according to AAA. That's about $24 per day for those keeping score. And while that might seem like a reasonable price to pay for the freedom of being able to go where you want when you want, it's also an expense you have the ability to lower.

Parking lot full of cars.© GETTY IMAGES Parking lot full of cars.

Now let's talk about expenses for a minute, because when you own a vehicle, you'll encounter lots of them. Fuel costs aside, there's your car payment, insurance, maintenance, and repairs when things inevitably take a turn for the worse. And in case you're wondering, the average auto repair bill generally lands somewhere in the $500-to-$600 range -- an expense 33% of vehicle owners can't pay without racking up debt.

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You can 't afford to make the mistake of waiting a decade to start saving -- especially since you 'd Even an extra 0 a month could make it possible for you to save a generous nest egg if you start As the chart in this article shows, 10 years of your life can make all the difference when it comes to

These mistakes , however, could cause you to lose out on key benefits that would otherwise come in handy when you 're older. Though your Social Security benefits are based on how much you earned during your working years , the age at which you first file for them could impact your monthly payments.

But perhaps the greatest cost of owning a vehicle comes in the form of depreciation. In fact, depreciation will cost you more than $3,000 per year, according to AAA, thereby accounting for nearly 40% of the costs associated with owning your car to begin with.

Of course, it's easy to argue that owning a car is a necessity and also a means to earning a paycheck. But there are ways to go about it without losing (as much) money needlessly year after year.

Keeping your vehicle costs manageable

The specific vehicle you purchase will largely dictate how much you spend to own it, so choose wisely. Small sedans cost an average of $6,777 per year to own and operate, so if you don't need a larger car, going that route could save you nearly $2,100 annually when we compare that figure to the $8,849 above. Furthermore, while there's something to be said for driving a pickup truck and having the ability to cart whatever you need all over town, owning one costs an average of $10,215 a year. Opting for a small sedan instead, therefore, could translate into a $3,438 difference.

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In past years , the difference was much smaller. It could be significant for people who are older. But for most people, the subsidy was relatively small if This year differs from past years , though, because of the discrepancy in the cost of health insurance for people eligible for federal subsidies and those who

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What sort of impact might that have on your finances? For one thing, if you're currently living paycheck to paycheck, freeing up that sort of cash will buy you some breathing room in the face of unplanned expenses, thereby lowering your likelihood of digging further into debt.

An extra $3,400 a year could also work wonders for your retirement. If you were to save and invest that money in an IRA at an average annual 7% return, over a 30-year period, you'd wind up with $321,000 to your name. Not too shabby.

Of course, if you can't bear the thought of squeezing into a small sedan on a regular basis (or if your family is larger, your kids need bulky car seats, and that setup just won't work), consider buying a certified used vehicle instead of a new one. Cars lose the greatest amount of their resale value within their first year, so buying even a relatively new used vehicle could lower your costs considerably.

Cramer: The Fed's attempt to preemptively curb inflation is 'a mistake'

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Everyone makes mistakes , but these could be particularly painful. Here are three you 'll especially want to avoid, because they could easily cost you 0,000 -- or more. Let's say these accounts will grow by 7% a year in the stock market with no further cash infusions. That's a lot of additional cash you can gain -- without having to actually save any extra ! -- simply by focusing on lower- cost funds

Are You a Travel Insider? I don’t know about you , but spending nearly 0 extra for nothing special makes me cranky. And while I could have, and should have, paid closer attention while submitting my request, US Passport Online’s Web site, with its red, white and blue color scheme, really could be

Finally, be sure to keep up with regular maintenance on your vehicle. Letting minor problems escalate is an easy way to turn an otherwise manageable expense into a whopping one, and that's a good way to wreck your finances for no good reason.

SPONSORED: The $16,728 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook

If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known "Social Security secrets" could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $16,728 more... each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies .

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