Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial advice, gathered from around the web:
Don't wait for that big break
"Take months or years off from work, travel the world, and enjoy yourself," said Ben Steverman at Bloomberg. Those accustomed to being told to "obsess over their careers and fret about saving" have been surprised to hear this advice being dispensed by some experts of late. But for many, with work lives lasting well into later ages, retirement isn't the only or ultimate goal. One wealth manager has launched a tool to calculate whether you can afford an extended sabbatical. For some high-earning clients, even a 24-month, $72,000 round-the-world backpacking trip wouldn't be outlandish. Yes, a 30-something who took that trip could reduce her savings at 65 by $1.1 million, but it could also help give her "the stamina for a longer, more sustainable career."
The dreaded work 'audition'
Applying for a job and getting asked to do an "audition" project has become the norm in many industries, says Whitney Johnson at the Harvard Business Review. It can let you show off your talents, but it can also mean uncompensated effort. If you don't have a lot of time to devote to a project, make sure you explain what your process would be; that's at least as important as a polished execution. Remember that you can learn as much about employers as they learn about you. "It's not just a question of 'Do they want me?' but equally a question of 'Do I want them?'" You get to see the projects a company is working on and how its employees collaborate — or don't. If you are serious enough to go through an extended audition process, don't do it halfway. If you don't care enough to do great work, "then the audition is not for you and neither is the job or the company."
How to buy flood insurance
Many people "invest in flood insurance policies after a scary weather event," said Beth Pinsker at Reuters. A recent surge in big storms has raised payouts and pushed up premiums. Because only residents of "danger-prone areas" tend to purchase flood insurance, the cost is high. So, many homeowners let their flood insurance lapse. But in a low-risk zone, the premium may turn out to be fairly reasonable. If your house is located in an elevated area of a high-risk zone, consider spending $500 to $800 to get an elevation certificate from a survey company. That could slice hundreds of dollars off your costs every year.