June 28, 2020

The pros and cons of prepaying your mortgage

You don't have to wait out the remaining term of your mortgage to pay it off. Instead, you can make accelerated payments on an occasional or regular basis, which could save you big money otherwise spent on interest and pay off the mortgage early. This may be a good strategy if you have a higher interest rate and extra money in the bank. It can also be a smart tactic if you want to worry less about debt.

But your mileage may vary. Prepaying your mortgage may not be your best option. You might earn a higher rate of return investing that extra cash. It could be wiser to simply refinance if rates drop. And you may regret prepaying if you need more money later for an emergency.

Read my newest article for Money-Rates.com and decide for yourself if making accelerated mortgage payments is worth it or if you're better off saving or investing that money.

June 21, 2020

Alfresco A.I.

Smart home technology doesn’t have to be limited to the boundaries of your interior living space. Today, you can automate tasks and easily control key security and entertainment features outdoors, too, thanks to the rising availability of intelligent devices built to withstand the elements and managed by your smartphone and voice assistant, including security cameras, outdoor lights and speakers, smart garage door openers, and more.

Get the lowdown on all these high-tech solutions by reading my latest article for CTW Features, available here.

June 16, 2020

Take a swig of vintage redrum

Kim Newman
For Cineversary podcast episode #24, host Erik Martin takes an eerie trip into the Overlook Hotel with film critic and horror movie expert Kim Newman to commemorate the 40th anniversary of "The Shining," directed by Stanley Kubrick. Erik and Kim explore why this horror masterwork is worth honoring all these years later, its cultural impact and legacy, what we can learn from the picture today, how it has stood the test of time, and more.

To listen to this episode, click 
here or click the "play" button on the embedded streaming player below. Or, you can stream, download or subscribe to the Cineversary podcast using Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyGoogle PodcastsBreakerCastboxPocket CastsGoogle Play MusicPodBeanRadioPublic, and Overcast.

Learn more about the Cineversary podcast at tinyurl.com/cineversarypodcast and email show comments or suggestions to cineversegroup@gmail.com.

June 14, 2020

Consider refinancing into a 15-year mortgage

With the pandemic still prevalent and interest rates near all-time lows, now is a great time to think about a refinance. But it may also be an opportune time to consider shortening your mortgage’s term in the process.

Many homeowners choose to refinance from a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to a fresh 30-year equivalent. But while this can lower your monthly payment, it can add extra years to the total amount of time you’ll be financing your home. That means you’ll pay more in total interest over the combined terms of your original loan and your refinanced loan than you might expect. Instead, it can be smart to pursue a refi with a shorter term. Refinancing from a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage into a 15-year fixed loan can result in paying down your loan more quickly and saving lots of dollars otherwise spent on interest. You’ll own your home outright and be free of mortgage debt much sooner than normal. Plus, mortgages with shorter terms often charge lower interest rates. Consequently, more of your monthly payments will be applied to the loan’s principal balance.

Learn more about the pros and cons of shifting to a 15-year mortgage via refi by reading my newest article for Bankrate, available here.

June 9, 2020

Eight foods you should be eating more of as an older adult

If you’re over age 50, you know by now that you can’t eat whatever you want without some consequences. But just because experts increasingly recommend curbing junk foods and high-calorie indulgences as you get older doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice flavor, fun, or food variety. It’s possible to change your diet for the better without punishing your taste buds or going hungry after meals.

Case in point: Consider eight healthy and appetizing edibles that can easily be added to your diet, including leafy green veggies, beans and legumes, nuts, salmon, oats, yogurt, berries, and flaxseed. For details, read my latest CTW Features syndicated article on this topic, available here.