Monday, September 28, 2020

Looking for Scenery? Why Retiring on a Lake Could Be Right for You

Planning for the final step of the American dream is something that everyone should do. You don't want to reach the age of retirement and be at a loss for what you want to do and where you want to go. If you're trying to decide on the right location to spend your retirement years, here are some good reasons that a lake may be the ideal spot for you.

The Blue Effect

Most people come to notice that being by water tends to allow them to relax psychologically. This is known as the blue effect where being in, on, or underwater allows both the brain and body to enter a zen state. 

This effect has been proven to lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety in patients. It also helps to increase the quality of your internal thoughts, which can boost the health of your immune system.

Enjoy New Hobbies

A lake provides the perfect outdoor environment where you can try out some new hobbies. Some of the most popular include fishing, swimming, birdwatching, photography, and hiking. All of those activities that you had trouble finding time for while working are now at your disposal to discover. 

When you enlist the help of someone like those at The Stockton Team: Keller Williams Showcase and other places, you can find the right lake house that has all the hobby opportunities that you could possibly want.

Family Getaway

If you're reaching the age of retirement, it's likely that you have some grandchildren or some on the way. Having a fun spot for your grandkids to enjoy while you get to watch them grow up is a necessity. 

They'll have endless activities to enjoy like kayaking, fishing, hiking, swimming, and boating. A lake also provides the perfect backdrop for family events like picnics and birthday parties.

A Private Community Feel

During your years of retirement, you want to enjoy your own schedule. Privacy at your lake home can provide a relaxing environment for you to spend your later years. 

Plus, many lakes create a community feel. You'll get to know the neighbors that surround the lake and feel as if you're a part of a bigger community.

Retiring at a lake house is the ideal choice for many. It offers so many benefits from a more relaxing lifestyle to a sense of community. If you're considering a move to the lake, we highly recommend that you do so as you'll receive all the benefits above.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Looking Up With An Eye On The Downside Risk

No one invests with an eye to losing money, but estimating the downside risk of any investment is—or at least ought to be—part of the process when selecting securities to put in your portfolio. If market conditions change in a certain way, what is likely to be the worst-case scenario when it comes to this stock, this fund, this index….?

Hindsight, as they say, has 20-20 vision. But downside risk measures attempt to offer a better vision of future results. By definition, these measures are one-sided, because they calculate the likelihood of loss, disregarding the potential for gain. Whether it’s a banker deciding whether or not to approve a loan to a business or a money manager deciding which securities to include in a portfolio, risk management is crucial, because, as Will Kenton writes in Investopedia, “wrong choices can result in severe consequences for companies, individuals, and the economy.” 

In general, investment risk is defined as a deviation from an expected outcome (or, in the case of downside risk, a deviation from the desired outcome). 

There are two general components included in downside risk measurements: the time horizon and the confidence interval, Wall Street Mojo explains. First, it’s important to analyze the degree of downside risk based on a particular (and reasonable) anticipated holding period for that investment—Do you anticipate it being half a year? A year? Several years? The second parameter is the confidence interval, another way of expressing the comfort level of the investor (or the institution managing the risk).

While downside risk deals with unexpected events that have the potential to negatively impact your investment, those unexpected risks can take several different forms. Wall Street Mojo names four main categories of downside risk: 

  1. Opportunity risk—Whenever you commit resources to one investment, you are “losing” the opportunity to invest those dollars in other things (which might have turned out to have been better choices!)

  2. Uncertainty risk—Unexpected events can interfere with your investment enjoying its hoped-for growth. These might include everything from natural calamities, such as snowstorms or floods, to new competitors appearing in the marketplace. The political climate might create uncertainty in certain industries, and unforeseen legal actions might be taken against a company.

  3. Hazard risk—People important to the operation of a company might suffer unexpected illness; chemical accidents or employee injuries might interrupt a company’s ability to operate normally.

  4. Operational risk—Everyday business activities may generate risk through failed procedures or policies, or out of simple human error.

In Dampening the Downside, Reichel and Meschenmosa of Blackrock explain that “the objective of downside protection means avoiding losses that exceed a certain threshold over a given period, with a high degree of probability.”  Another way to put it, the authors add, is ”making the portfolio more weather-resistant.” Options strategies can function as “insurance policies,” they add, by allowing investors to “put a firm floor on portfolio valuations.”

 “In today’s uncertain environment,” Holly Framsted of Blackrock writes,” there is no shortage of ways investors can lose money.” Strategies that focus on downside risk management can offer investors the comfort to stay invested in the market through all environments, she observes. 

Sheaff Brock Managing Director Dave Gilreath agrees—“You might say risk management is even more important than return,” he suggests.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Know These Top Tips for Saving Time and Money in Your Home Sale Process

Selling your home could be one of the largest financial transactions you ever make, and that process can also be very time-consuming if you aren’t careful. Luckily, with a little hard work and some professional assistance, you can put yourself in the best possible position to sell your quickly and at a fair price.

Take Care of Quick Fixes

Even if you don’t plan on completely renovating your home before you sell it, there are a few quick fixes that you might want to carry out before you put it on the market. In many cases, buyers won’t even consider a home if they notice issues such as leaky faucets, faded paint, and squeaky floorboards. 

Many of those common problems are very easy to take care of, and you could probably complete most of them in a single weekend.

Up Your Curb Appeal

When it comes to selling a home, very few variables are as important as curb appeal. Eye-catching curb appeal is going to draw in motivated buyers and give them a good impression of your home before they step through the door. 

As an added bonus, improving a home’s curb appeal is usually a fairly easy process. All you will need to do is remove debris from the yard, mow the lawn, and clean up the entryway. You might also want to add a fresh coat of paint to the door, trim, and pillars. 

Price Right the First Time

If a home sits on the market for too long, many buyers and their realtors will assume that something is wrong with the property. That is just one of the many reasons why it is so important to price your home correctly the first time. 

To come up with an accurate price, you will need to consider the state of the local real estate market, the size of your home, and many other variables.

Work With a Good Real Estate Agent

Working with an experienced real estate agent is another step that you can take to speed the process up and maximize your profits. Those individuals often have access to motivated buyers who are ready to make cash offers right away. 

They can also help you with important steps like staging the home, advertising, and organizing walkthroughs.

In addition to these few tips, you must also remember to stay patient throughout this process. Even with a beautiful home at a great price, finalizing a sale could take a month or longer depending on the market.

Monday, September 21, 2020

How to Minimize Costs When Replacing Shingles

Your roof is something that you don't want to take risks with. After all, your roof prevents moisture from getting into your home, which ultimately protects the structural integrity of your home. At the same time, taking care of your roof can be costly and may be out of your current budget. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep roof costs low and still achieve satisfactory results.

Understand the Damage

When you're having problems with your shingles, it's important to understand what type of damage is causing the issue. If it's something simple like a roofing nail poking through a shingle, then your road to recovery is much easier than if your entire roof has been decimated by a hailstorm. 

By having your roof inspected to help better understand the damage, you will be able to target any repair or replacement efforts to help you save money.

Get Multiple Quotes

Roofing, like other home improvement projects, is something that you want to get multiple bids for before letting the work proceed. Reputable roof repair companies are happy to provide free estimates so that you can pick the best company for your needs. 

When collecting quotes, be sure to read reviews on the company and check outside resources such as Angie's List and the Better Business Bureau to ensure you choose a reputable company.

Look Into Alternative Funding

It's always nice when you can have help paying for a major expense, such as a roof repair. Fortunately, there are many options available should you need work done on your roof. Your homeowner's insurance is one of the most obvious, as most plans will help cover the cost of a new roof if your current roof was damaged due to a natural event. 

Even if the damage was simply caused by age, though, you may find that you can get rebates on a roof replacement if you opt to use energy-efficient materials.

Have Multiple Layers Installed

If your entire roof needs to be re-shingled, you can save some money by having your roofer install the new shingles on top of the old shingles. Doing things this way eliminates the cost of disposing of the old shingles, which is a major part of your bill. 

Do know, though, that this approach may lead to extra wear and tear on your new shingles, which could cause early replacement for the shingles you've paid to have installed. When it comes to roofing repair, it's important to know some basic roofing terminology before you start getting bids for your repair project. 

This will prevent you from being taken advantage of by a dishonest roofer who wants to do more than needs to be done. If you know your roof and some of the basic terminologies behind it, though, you'll be able to separate the honest roofers from the frauds so that you don't pay a cent more than you should.

Let’s understand some of the reasons why it’s a prudent decision to stay miles away from loan sharks!

If you’re in financial distress, have a poor credit score, or can’t get loans via traditional routes, approaching loan sharks may seem like the solitary option. But even when you need cash desperately and fast, getting swayed by loan sharks’ promises of cheap loans with instant approval or no credit check are pitfalls that you should stay away from. 

What is a Reverse Mortgage and How is It Managed?

A reverse mortgage allows homeowners over the age of 62 to leverage their home’s equity. A reverse mortgage allows an individual who owns their home outright or who has a sufficient amount of equity in their home to withdraw some of that equity without needing to repay the loan until they move out of the home.

Reasons to Consider a Reverse Mortgage

Homeowners who opt for a reverse mortgage are not required to make monthly payments nor sell their homes at the moment. They can continue to live in their home and then repay the loan when they move out of the home or when the borrower dies. Many homeowners use this tool to supplement retirement income. They may use this tool to cover the cost of repairing the home or cover other expenses. 

A reverse mortgage is a tool that might allow seniors to get the money they need without needing to use high-interest lines of credit or other expensive loans. Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans are popular. These are backed by the federal government.

Requirements for a Reverse Mortgage

To qualify for a reverse mortgage, the homeowner must be over 62 years of age. There are exceptions where a primary homeowner who is over 62 and a spouse who is under 62 could qualify if they meet certain eligibility criteria. To qualify, you must own your home outright or only have one lien you want to borrow against. 

The proceeds from the reverse mortgage must first be used to pay off any existing mortgage on the home. The home must be your primary residence, and you must live there. Homeowners will need to stay up-to-date with their property taxes, legal obligations, HOA dues, and homeowner’s insurance. 

They must keep the property in good condition. The property has to be a single-family home, townhouse, condominium, or a multi-unit property with a maximum of four units. Manufactured homes built after 1976 can also qualify.

How Much Money Do You Get from a Reverse Mortgage?

The answer depends on factors such as the current market value of the home, your age, and the type of reverse mortgage you apply for, including a home equity conversion mortgage, proprietary reverse mortgage, or single-purpose reverse mortgage. The older you are, the higher your principal limit will probably be.

When used properly, a reverse mortgage can be a financially liberating tool. Seniors will need to use caution. They must budget the money they receive appropriately and get the most use out of it.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Safeguard Yourself Against Loan Sharks!

Loan sharks are best avoided. Yet people often fall prey to them and end up paying steep upfront fees along with high-interest rates even when they opt for extremely short-term loans. 

If you’re in financial distress, have a poor credit score, or can’t get loans via traditional routes, approaching loan sharks may seem like the solitary option. But even when you need cash desperately and fast, getting swayed by loan sharks’ promises of cheap loans with instant approval or no credit check are pitfalls that you should stay away from. 

Let’s understand some of the reasons why it’s a prudent decision to stay miles away from loan sharks!

Most loan sharks are likely to operate illegally

Usually, loan sharks have not authorized lenders and operate illegally. This means they are likely to have little to no paperwork. Therefore, you can forget having a credit agreement or a proper record of payments. 

Even when loan sharks do have paperwork, it will most likely be extremely irregular with respect to the otherwise applicable rules and regulations. For instance, instead of complying with the standard regulatory rules, loan sharks tend to deliberately include misleading or confusing terms in the agreement. 

Additionally, they will refuse to give you adequate information about the total amount of money you owe them or the interest rate they will be charging. This leaves room for them to increase the debt or the interest rates to any amount they want to, at any time, without giving you any warning.

They are risky to deal with

Loan sharks could add additional charges on top of the interest payable, which could make your financial plans, go haywire. They may even increase your debt at the slightest pretext. Some loan sharks could ask for documents or material possessions like passports, driving licenses, bank cards, cars, etc. to be deposited as security. 

Once you hand these over, getting them back could be an uphill task unless you agree to their unreasonable terms and conditions. If you fall behind with your repayments, loan sharks could resort to harassment, threats, intimidation, or violence. They may even pressurize you into borrowing more from them to repay one debt only to get stuck with another. 

Even if you manage to arrange money to repay all your outstanding debt at some point of time, loan sharks are unlikely to allow you to settle your debt. So apart from the risks involved, dealing with loan sharks would mean being trapped into the never-ending shackles of debt.

They charge a very steep rate of interest

Due to their hidden clauses, misleading terms, and veiled fees, among others, loan sharks may make you pay interest rates that are up to 1.5% a day or more. In spite of that, most people agree to borrow money from loan sharks primarily because they cleverly conceal the interest rates that you will actually be paying. 

If there are some additional charges on top of such alarming interest rates, your financial burden would increase further. For instance, loan sharks could charge steep penalty fees when you fail to pay the high APR (annual percentage rate) or fall behind on your repayments. These could make dealing with your other financial obligations a tough task.

Disputes are difficult to settle

From the word go, you’re at a disadvantage when dealing with loan sharks. Most loan sharks rarely advertise their services. Rather, they do business depending on word-of-the-mouth publicity and recommendations. 

Some loan sharks could even solely operate online. Thus, if loan sharks are reluctant to settle your debt or some other disputes occur, it becomes almost impossible to pin them down.

Resorting to unethical and dangerous practices is another aspect loan sharks usually use to recover a perceived debt. Even in such cases, you don’t have too many options to settle the dispute, except going to the police or the relevant authority (like the local Trading Standards office if you’re in the United Kingdom). 

There’re several cases of unsettled disputes that trigger threats, blackmails, physical violence, and confiscation of personal and other items as security against loans given by loan sharks.

Ways to avoid loan sharks: Is your loan application rejected by the bank or financial services provider? Do you have a poor credit score that makes you ineligible for a bank loan? Do you need funds desperately to meet some medical or financial emergencies? Whatever be the situation, don’t press the panic button. 

Calm your mind and think carefully about the possible options to get the required amount. Rather than approaching loan sharks, you can try asking friends and family or even check if you can get loans from the credit union.

There’s a wrong notion among people that those with poor credit ratings won’t be able to get finance from legitimate sources. Even when you have a poor credit score, you can find several organizations and licensed lenders as well as financial services providers that would offer you loans. By investing time in your online search, you can also find credit cards that are intended to help you rebuild your credit score.

If you’re struggling with low income, you could check if you’re eligible to claim government benefits. Such benefits can come as a respite and help you meet your financial needs without falling prey to loan sharks.

Proper financial planning is also an important step to avoid loan sharks. You can start with the simple step of setting up a monthly budget. Decide the amount of money you’ll need to meet essential expenses like food, gas, utilities, rent, and so on. Identify the unnecessary expenses as well and try to curtail them where possible. Make saving a priority. Also, sticking to your monthly budget for a couple of years will help you to slowly build a nice nest egg.

The key is to plan your finances well and align your activities to achieve financial freedom. When you do it with a complete and unwavering focus, you’ll have enough to meet your economic emergencies. Therefore, you won’t need to approach predatory loan sharks and ask them to lend you money. So borrow safely, if you must, to enjoy peace of mind and continue living stress-free!

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