How To Be A Less Wimpy (And Smarter) Consumer In 2013

by Categorized: Banks, Consumer Rights, Credit Cards Date:

Credit CardsThis weekend’s Bottom Line column:

It’s too late for a 2012 makeover. Here are a few ways to make yourself a better, bolder consumer in 2013:

>> Fire your bank. Don’t like all the charges and fees? Say goodbye. Then shop around. A local credit union might be the best place for big-bank refugees.

>> Fire your cable company. Join the switch to Hulu Plus, Netflix and other premium services like Vudu. Or use the threat of leaving to negotiate a lower cable rate. (Just be prepared to back up that threat.)
>> Prepare for retirement. How much do you really need? More than you can imagine. Plug some numbers into an online retirement calculator. (Try a simple one like Bloomberg’s.)
Some advisers recommend putting aside 25 percent of your annual income. A new calculation recommends savings totaling 11 times your final salary. (Ugh!) Whatever your age, make it a priority in 2013.

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