Wednesday, November 20, 2019

How to Live Debt Free so You Can Retire with Peace of Mind



Escaping debt can feel like a breath of fresh air. When you are starting to plan for your retirement, one of the best ways for you to prepare is to start mitigating your debt. If you are not sure where to begin, however, following some of these guidelines can be crucial for your future.

Live According to Your Means


Perhaps one of the most obvious and immediate pieces of advice that all individuals should do their best to follow is to reduce their spending. One of the best ways to avoid further debt is to live according to your means. 


Make a list of all of your monthly payments and make sure that they are only things that you need. This means taking a look at your hobbies and seeing where you can afford to reduce your spending.

Look into Immediate Debt Settlement


Bringing experts in to discuss your debt can allow you to get all of your smaller accounts settled as quickly as possible. Basically, a good debt settlement program will allow you to work with expert negotiators to discuss terms with creditors on your behalf. 




They use various negotiation strategies to allow you to pay less on your unsecured debts. These can include credit cards, payday loans and other, smaller unsecured debts based on your situation.

Make Extra Mortgage Payments


Another excellent way to plan ahead for your debt-free future is to try to pay off your mortgage, or car or student loans, as early as possible. This means taking the time to plan out how much money you owe to your lender and pay a little bit extra every month. 


This will allow you to pay off your mortgage sooner and save money in the long-term on your interest payments. Set aside as much as you are comfortable paying on a regular basis.

Set a Goal


Setting goals can be one of the best ways to adjust to your needs. Think about some savings goals that you may have for your future. Do you want to have a certain amount of money saved up before you can retire? Is there a certain degree of debt you want to leave behind before you start planning? Work with financial planning tools to reach your goals faster and easier.

No financial situation is ever the same. Establish a reliable degree of flexibility in your goals in order to see the most efficient results. Always take things at an easy pace to ensure that you are stable during your debt mitigation journey.


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

How to Budget for Assisted Living Costs as You Age




Assisted living can come in handy for many individuals who are getting older and older. That's because it can stop elderly people from having to deal with the hassles of residential upkeep. It can even lead to invaluable safety advantages. If you want to save up for assisted living expenses in the future, then these realistic and practical budgeting suggestions can accomplish a lot for you.

Write Out All of Your Monthly Expenses


Budgeting finances can be a piece of cake for people who simply take the time to write things out. If you want to budget your existence to save for the future, then you should clearly write out all of your basic monthly expenses. 


Be sure to include costs that are associated with the home rental, mortgages, utilities, grocery store trips, transportation, entertainment, and more. Be as thorough as possible.


Recruit a Financial Advisor


Financial advisors can often be helpful to individuals who are retired. They can often be just as helpful to those who want to get ready for future retirements. If you want to be able to set aside substantial cash for covering assisted living expenses, then you should recruit an experienced, hard-working, and detail-oriented financial advisor. 


Financial advisors can offer you irreplaceable budgeting guidance that can streamline your existence permanently.

Depend on Technology for Assistance


Technological advancements make being alive a lot simpler. If you want to become a budgeting champion, then you should download relevant apps on your mobile device. 




There are all sorts of trusted budgeting apps out there for folks who want to cut costs and plan for hassle-free money circumstances in the future. Ask people if they have any suggestions regarding budgeting apps that are particularly effective.

Downsize Everything in Your World


If you want to pay for assisted living care at a later time, then you should think about perhaps downsizing everything. It isn't uncommon for people to downsize, streamline, and relocate to smaller places before going into retirement. 


You can get yourself a head start years and years in advance by downsizing while you still have your job. Doing so may help you set aside a lot of money and perhaps even save a pretty penny for any assisted living expenses that may be coming up for you.

Early budgeting can save you from scrambling. Assisted living can be helpful to all kinds of older individuals. That's why you should prepare for it without any hesitation.



Saturday, November 16, 2019

How to Talk to Your Adult Children About Your Finances



As we get older, we start to think about managing our financial assets for the future. Adult children should have some basic information about our monetary resources so they can assist in the event of illness or death. 

Talking about money may seem difficult for some, but the following tips can help you to take a proactive approach to inform your kids about your long-range plans and preferences.

Prepare Financial Documents


Whatever your financial situation, you should have a Last Will and Testament that explains how you want your assets handled when you pass on. The Will explains who will receive what, and under which circumstances, after your bills and expenses are paid. 

Having a tangible document that lays out a clear-cut plan for your adult children to follow will make it easier for them to take care of things financially when the time comes.

Discuss Finances Directly


Instead of dropping hints or making your adult kids wait to open your Will and find out your wishes, it is a good idea to update them now when you can answer questions and explain where all your accounts and assets are located. 

You don’t have to give them all the details, but a general idea will provide some guidance and save time when they need to take care of things.

Consult a Financial Planner


It makes sense to optimize your monetary assets so you can earn income from investments over time as well as leave something for your children or heirs. You can ensure your finances will be well-cared for by meeting with financial planners for information and ideas about the best ways to save for the future. A planner may recommend starting a stock portfolio. 






Or you may be interested in buying a rental property. There are many ways to build financial security and even wealth, and a financial planner can offer suggestions or experienced guidance to help you make wise choices with your money. You may want to take one or more of your adult children to a meeting with your financial adviser to keep everyone in the loop.

Update your Estate Plan


Over time, changes may occur in your financial circumstances or among family members that lead to changing your financial goals. Inform your adult children of major changes that will impact them so they can avoid surprises later.

You may decide to discuss your finances with adult kids incrementally instead of all at once. That works, too, as long as they have an idea of what to expect and how to proceed in the future.



Reaching Retirement? How to Decide When to Sell Your Home



Retirement might be so close that you can practically taste the salt in your margarita and feel that wonderful, crisp ocean breeze. Instead of putting the cart before the horse and getting wrapped up in a fantasy, let's take a look at the right time to sell your home before perhaps downsizing and easing into retirement.

Seller's Market


What's wonderful about potentially selling your home before you retire is that you might be able to sell your home for much more than you initially paid for it, or perhaps more than your home has been worth over the last couple of years. 


Listing your home in a seller's market could shore up much-needed funds for retirement. You might also decide that now's the right time to sell your home based on personal factors.

Your Home is Too Big


If you look around and see a bunch of extra rooms or a home that requires too much in the way of upkeep and utility costs (e.g., heating), then it might be time to sell your home.


Personal Factors


If you could move a short distance and realize a tremendous property tax windfall by doing so, then why wouldn't you make the move? The truth is that you probably would make the move in a hurry if you only knew that such a possibility was out there somewhere. 




The thing to do is sit down and do some research. Are there retirement homes and other amenities nearby that offer lower property tax opportunities?

Financial experts say that, as long as you've lived in your home for two of the previous five years going in to a sale, you should be able to exclude $250,000 in capital gains from the sale if you're single and $500,000 in capital gains from the sale if you're a married couple.

You might want to get in touch with a realtor or financial expert who can tell you more about these potential savings if you sell your home now. Look for claims like "we buy houses" when you're shopping around for the best realtors to sell your home.

If you've been living in the same place for two of the last five years, then now might be the perfect time to sell your home and realize tremendous capital gains savings that otherwise wouldn't be possible. Think of what you could do with another $250,000 or $500,000 over the next twenty years of your retired life!


Friday, November 15, 2019

5 Things You Should Know for Loan on Credit Card



When a financial emergency strikes, or you just have to make a high-value purchase right now, and you don’t have the funds to meet it, the first thing you may think about is taking a loan from your immediate social circle or apply for a personal loan. However, there is one thing that most people have in their wallet which they can use to get a loan almost instantly and that is their credit card.

There are many benefits to taking a loan against your credit card as well as pointers that you need to be aware of. Here are some of them:


Instant loan:


When you need money right now, time is of the essence. With a loan on your credit card, you don’t have to submit documents, submit collateral, wait for approval, etc., as these loans are unsecured and pre-approved. The only eligibility criteria are that you have a good repayment track record.


Easy EMI:


For loans on credit cards, depending on the bank you are with, you can easily convert your purchases into EMI or convert the entire loan into EMIs that suit your pocket and flexibility. You can choose from a wide range of tenures. You can also choose whether the EMI has to go from the credit card limit itself or from another savings account on another card. This makes it easier to manage the repayments and makes it less of a burden on your monthly budget too.


Balance transfer:


You can choose to transfer your outstanding balance from any other bank’s credit card, which has a higher interest rate, to your loan on credit card which has a lower interest rate. You can even use it to consolidate all your other debts, especially on any other personal loan. 




This makes it easier to pay off all your debts through a single EMI on one card rather than multiple EMIs to multiple banks every month. Consolidating your debts into one loan on a credit card which has a lower interest rate makes for easier repayments and more savings in the long term.

Easy repayments:


Paying back your EMIs on credit card loans is easy as you have multiple modes of payments (depending on your bank). You could pay through netbanking, through the bank’s credit card mobile application, etc.


Top-up loans:


Top-up loans against credit cards are also offered by banks to eligible customers. This can be helpful when you want to have more money all of a sudden.

With so many benefits to taking a loan on credit card, there are also some things to keep in mind to ensure that your credit score is not affected and you continue to enjoy the benefits. These are:


Avoid late payments or defaults on your payments:


This can affect your credit score and any chances of getting a loan in the future, especially a loan on your credit card. So make sure to pay back your EMIs on time.


Long-range tenures:


While tenures over a longer-term may incur heavier interest rates, the fact is that it will be lighter on your pocket in the short-term, giving you more expendable income. Banks offer up to 24 months' tenure on loans against credit cards and sometimes more if you negotiate.


Pre-closure:


You can pre-close your loan taken on your credit card without having to intimate the bank in advance. There may be nominal pre-closure fees applicable.


Processing charges:


You need to be aware that there are processing charges on loans against credit cards that can range anywhere from 1% to 5% of the loan amount, depending on your bank.


Loan default:


A default on your loan against a credit card will have a more negative impact on your credit score than default on your credit card outstanding dues. This is because it is considered as a loan default, which is far more serious. Your credit score can take a beating because of this, making it difficult to get loans in the future. Even if you do get loans, it might be on terms that are difficult for you, such as higher interest rates and lower quantum of loans.

Keep in mind that you can only take a loan against your credit card which is within your credit limit. While the interest rates on these loans are generally lower than that of cash withdrawals from your credit card, they are still in the range of 13% to 21%, depending on your bank. However, in times of a financial crunch, these loans are a boon. As long as you repay your dues on time and keep your credit score on track, a credit card will always be a best friend in your pocket.



Thursday, November 14, 2019

14 Ways to Save For Your Future



Saving is generally portrayed in a very negative light. You should indeed live in the moment and take in each day for what it is without worrying too much about the future. However, there are times when you must think about what the future holds for you. Sorry to burst your bubble, but such is the reality of life.

Saving is not difficult. It is challenging, yes, but it is very manageable. All you need are a few tips to get you on track. Once you get into the habit of saving, everything seems possible.

Here are our top 14 ways to help you save for your future.


Start Now


Saving money should not be a tentative plan that you are looking forward to in the future. You have to start now. The sooner you get into the habit, the better off you will be in the future. Saving does not mean that you have to make a savings plan. Start small to avoid getting overwhelmed.

If you make $500 per month, try to save $25. If you are making a $1500, try to save at least $50. Set a minimum amount to save and work your way up from there. Do not wait until the end of the month to start saving for that would never work because you will have nothing left by the end. Save first, spend later.


Set Clear Goals


When it comes to saving, the best way to get into the habit of it is to find the motivation to do so. Much like other aspects of life, you work towards a goal. Goals are what push us to get out of bed every day. If we had no goals, why would anyone of us even bother to go to work? Find the right motivation to save by setting realistic and clear goals, so you learn to set aside that extra amount from your paycheck.

If you are wondering what kind of goals you can set, well, there are no restrictions. You can save for emergencies, a splurge-worthy item, a vacation, or perhaps something much bigger like a house or your children's college fund. Find out where your priorities lie and start saving.


Set Timelines


Now that you have decided to start saving, why not do it properly? Do not just make a goal to save a certain amount. You must set a goal to save that said amount in a specific time frame. For instance, you decided that you wish to save $5000 for a car installment. However, whether you take five months to save that amount or five years to do so, is something that you can control. Set timelines with your savings so you can be efficient with it.


If you are wondering how you can boost savings regularly, we suggest you start small with the basics. Look for sales instead of buying things at full price. Save on unnecessary expenses like that cup of coffee you buy every day and instead make a cup yourself.

Once you have set foot into the basics, advance a little further and try to improve your credit card score for a lower interest rate. Auto loan rates are prone to fluctuation. To ensure that you are a strong candidate for a lower interest rate when taking any loan in the future, start saving.


Automate Your Savings


Automating your savings is the best way to ensure saving without having to worry about them. Set up a direct deposit that takes away a particular chunk of your pay to a savings account for emergency expenses and retirement. 


Set a retirement plan while you are at it and find a firm that allows automated savings. Additionally, a wise choice to save extra is to opt for cash-back credit cards. Save money every time you spend; what could be better than that?

Find the Right Savings Account


Your savings must be deposited in a place that compensates you well for it. The best savings accounts pay more than 2% APY. Additionally, they do not demand a high initial deposit or a monthly maintenance fee. The best way to save is to look into accounts that compound your interest annually rather than monthly for the best savings.


Start Budgeting and Tracking Purchases


Budgeting is an excellent way to handle your finances better. You must learn to allow a certain amount to something to restrict spending. Otherwise, you can go out and spend on anything that your heart desires. This is where control and tracking come in. Learn to track your spending and analyze them to understand whether they were essential purchases or not.

You must monitor where your money is going. If you notice an unnecessary purchase that you could have done without, return it if possible, otherwise cut that cost off your list for good. This is what we refer to as baby steps. 


Learn to choose between options. A $25 ride in a taxi or a $5 bus ticket? A $20 hoodie on sale or a $75 new collection design? Set your priorities and decide where you want to spend.

Manage Your Debt


Your debt can potentially ruin all of your future financial plans. Work to pay off your debt as quickly as you can so you can set aside money for your future. Work towards achieving financial security and independence by saving. Pay off your debt to free yourself from the chains of fiscal restriction.


Save Tax Refunds


Tax refunds are great. They feel like an early Christmas present. However, you can do yourself one better and save them. Transfer your tax refunds to your savings account. Trust us; you will not regret not spending that money on that stunning leather jacket or those killer boots.


Make it a Lifestyle


Saving is more than just a task; it is a mindset. In the consumer-oriented world we live in, it can be a challenge to save, especially considering nine out of ten text messages we receive in a day are pertaining to attractive sales and offers to urge us to spend more than we need to.

If you wish to save like a pro, you need to make saving your lifestyle. Learn the art of smart purchasing and be conscious of where you spend your money. Make lists, avoid impulse buys, and set a limit to your credit card that forbids you to make unnecessarily expensive purchases: learn to incorporate these tricks into your everyday life to nail the art of saving.


Learn to Negotiate


Negotiation is something that you get the hang of overtime. If you are a conscious saver, you must learn to ask for things the way you want them. Remember, there is no harm in asking. You never know, asking ends up in your favor. From negotiating with your neighborhood’s fruit vendor to asking your bank for a reduced fee or a reduced interest rate, negotiating works if you keep an excellent financial track record.


Steer Clear of Marketing Emails


Marketing emails are primarily responsible for luring in even the best amongst us into sales and offers. What is the best way to stop yourself from giving in to that temptation? Get rid of the source and unsubscribe from marketing emails. If you do not see them, you will not know of them, and thus, you will not feel tempted to hit that checkout button. Coupons and sales are great, but then constant reminders are not because, in the process of trying to save more, we end up spending more too. This year for spring-cleaning, clean up your email as well.


Get Money Saving Apps


Digitalized banking has made life so much easier because now everything is at your fingertips. To help boost savings, look into money-saving apps that focus on budgeting, cash-back offers, coupons, and automated savings. Find the one that supports and get into the groove of saving as you go.


Get Rid of Unnecessary Belongings


When it comes to saving, one saving method trumps everyone because we never even pay attention to it, and that is getting rid of unnecessary belongings by selling them. We all have a stack of items in our lives that we do not use. They lie around. Looking for extra cash? Start collecting all the unnecessary things lying around in your home and put them up for bids online. Everything is an asset if you think of it as one.


Learn to Say No


Refusing is not an easy thing to do. Saying no is hard, but the power of this two-letter word is undoubtedly effective. Learn to avoid spending by learning how to say no to things. Have three outings lined up; say no to two of them. It does sound bad, but you need to prioritize. Sign up for alerts so you can track your spending and your balance.


Parting Thoughts


The second you become an adult, you are thrown at with responsibilities. It is overwhelming, and it can take a severe toll on you when your expenses exceed your income. For this reason, it is crucial to start saving from early on. Get into the habit, so it no longer feels like a responsibility but rather a quintessential part of your life. Employ these fourteen tips and work towards a comfortable and carefree future now.


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