Financial Basics Easy to Find Online

Wealth of free and informative sites can address fundamentals of most personal finance topics.

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The Boomerater™ Report, our weekly collaboration with online baby boomer resource Boomerater, this week explores how to get a financial education online. A Boomerater member recently asked: “Is there a good web site out there to find good financial education?” Other members shared their advice:

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Free online financial "webinars." The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors gives free webinars for consumers. They are held every month, sometimes several times a month. The consumer webinar series is for everyone, no matter how in tune you are with personal financial issues. Some topics are basic in order to give you an overview of a specific topic, while others are slightly more advanced to dig a little deeper into a topic. Check out the list of upcoming seminars.

A wealth of information about health. For a financial education on health benefits check out Plan for Your Health. This site has a wealth of information about health benefit planning for every stage of life, including empty nesters, retirement, the newly widowed, updated COBRA changes for the recently unemployed, etc. The “Health Insurance 101” section gives great descriptions of different kinds of health benefit policies and what they cover. You can also get a free copy (by mail or download) of “Navigating Your Health Benefits for Dummies.” The site also has a calculator to help plan future health expenses based on age, health care needs, medical conditions, prescriptions, etc.

Government go-to resources. The Social Security Administration is the place to go for information on your Social Security benefits.  Not only can you determine what your benefits will be using the site calculator, there is also information on practically everything imaginable. The question and answer section covers benefits, disability, Medicare issues and Supplemental Security Income. An information section is broken down by groups: Women, self-employed, school teachers, etc. Additional links provide further information on every stage of life or condition that could affect your benefits.

[See Best Places to Retire.]

Real estate reality check. Whether you are buying or selling a house, or investing in commercial or foreclosed real estate, knowing the financial ins and outs of real estate can be tricky, especially in a changing, volatile landscape. I have found BiggerPockets to be a great resource. This free site has been highly rated by a number of real estate resources. It has a great real estate and investing FAQ and information on property management and tenant screening. Under “tools” you’ll find real estate investing abbreviations, a glossary, information on credit reports and legal services, and a mortgage calculator. They also have information on real estate auctions and a foreclosure resource center where you can learn about the foreclosure process, bank real estate owned (REO) listings and state foreclosure laws. If you are interested in enrolling in a school to learn about real estate, the site also offers a directory of schools and what they offer. I am thinking about doing that myself.

Add your own comments or read other member tips on learning about finances online at Boomerater. Boomerater is an online resource for baby boomers, with comprehensive directories to help you find what you need. The site also contains forums where boomers can post questions and swap first-hand experiences. If there are questions on your mind that you would like answered by other people who have faced similar situations, or you have advice of your own to share, go to Boomerater.com and participate in the forums. Say that The Best Life sent you.

[See 5 Tips in Using Retirement Planning Tools.]