Showing posts with label Financial Planning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Financial Planning. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

3 Ways to Put Money Away for Your Retirement

Image via Flickr by KMR Photography 
It's wise to plan on your retirement. Planning will ensure that your golden years are free of hardships, stress, and worry. You should also consider looking for financial planning services and professional investment assistance.

With small investments, you can enjoy great rewards when you are old and possibly ready to take a break from work-related stress. You do not need lots of money to plan for retirement. Then again, it is never too late or too early to get started.

Here are the top three proven ways of setting aside money for your retirement.

1. Invest In Penny Stocks

Any stock that trades for $5 a share or less can be a worthy penny stock. Even though penny stocks are high-risk investments, they also have the potential of bringing forth high rewards. 

Understanding the market history and diligently doing your research is the surest way to ensure your investment is profitable.

To mitigate risks, you must not make blind investments. Consider enlisting a broker to educate you on the market trends and equip you with the tips and tricks to thrive

When traded right, penny stock investments only require small capital, and the returns can be glorious.

2. Venture into Real Estate

Did you know that you don't need to be financially endowed to invest in real estate? You have the crowdfunding option, and although it may sound intimidating, it is something worth a look. 

This option works by allowing many people to invest small amounts into a specific project. Credible companies will enable you to choose the kinds of properties that are in line with your investment objectives. 

Again, the surest way to gain financial security through real estate investments is by making educated decisions. Keep in mind that even with crowdfunding, you face the same investment risk as any other real estate investor. On the bright side, the lower capital requirements can leave you enjoying consistent income with each passing month.

3. Make a Small Business Investment

Another proven way to ensure financial security upon retirement is to invest in small businesses. You have the option of venturing into entrepreneurship or investing in an established enterprise as a silent partner. 

What makes this option enticing is that the anticipated return on investment is potentially higher.

Just like other forms of significant investments, this one too poses some level of risk. Doing your research ahead of time will help you find opportunities with higher chances of generating substantial returns. 

Some ventures can provide unlimited income that the generations after you will enjoy.

There are many ways of investing for a comfortable retirement. With more professionals getting familiar with what works and what doesn't, it is easier than ever to find a venture that matches your needs and goals. 

With proper guidance, you'll easily have nothing but blissful moments as you flip through the chapters of life after retirement. If you get stuck, you can also inquire from professionals to help you invest in the right venture.

Monday, October 21, 2019

How to Organize Finances While Going through a Divorce

Navigating a divorce can be quite an emotional journey. It can lead to all sorts of financial ups and downs as well. If you want to get your finances on track in the midst of dealing with a divorce, then you don’t have to feel overwhelmed and confused. Getting your finances in tiptop condition is something that’s actually a possibility for you. It doesn’t have to be that hard, either.

Talk to a Divorce Attorney about Finances

A consultation with a capable lawyer may help you figure out how to deal with all facets of the divorce process and finances. Look for a divorce attorney who has a superb track record with everything from splitting up assets to managing alimony matters. A legal professional may be able to get you tips that can turn your monetary life around for good.

Ask Finance-Savvy People for Tips

Ask yourself if you know any people who have been through divorces relatively recently. Ask yourself if you know any finance-savvy ones who have specifically. If you do, then you should reach out to them for any suggestions. Find out what they did to get through a divorce without wreaking havoc onto their bank accounts forever. If you get any good insight, try to emulate it. You may even find out what you shouldn’t do.

Recruit a Financial Advisor

Hiring a financial advisor can be beneficial for getting your finances on track. Try to recruit a professional who has a solid track record with people who are trying to navigate divorces. 

A seasoned and talented financial advisor may help you figure out how to deal with your existing finances. He or she may help you figure out how to safeguard your finances for the future as well. Professional insight can often be priceless.

Write out Your Monthly Budget

Writing things out can often be terrific for people who want mental clarity. If you want to organize your money, it can help you considerably to write out your budget. Write out exactly how much money you have to work with on a monthly basis. Write out all of your expenses in detail. These may include everything from grocery purchases to transportation costs. Be thorough.

Organizing your finances doesn’t sound fun. It’s something that you have to do after splitting up with a spouse, however. Disconnecting your lives can help you pave the way for a brighter and more promising future.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Leaving the Military? Time to Get your Finances in Order

Whether you are being discharged or are retiring from the military, it is important to use the organisational skills that you picked up during your service when it comes to sorting out your finances.

When leaving the military, you will probably fall into one of three groups; you may have joined during or after high school and therefore don’t have any real financial education, or you may be retiring after completing your 20 years of service. 

Alternatively, you may have been discharged following an injury during service. For each of these groups there are different things that you may want to consider in order to help secure your finances.

Discharged due to injury?

If you have been discharged following an injury, then you may feel daunted about what is to come. If you have lost a limb or are suffering from PTSD, then the idea of getting a civilian job may make you extremely anxious.

If you have been left with a lasting injury or condition as a result of your service, then you may be eligible to claim VA disability benefits. The best place to start is by heading over to the Chisholm, Chisholm and Kilpatrick website to use their VA compensation calculator

The math behind VA disability benefits is a little more complex than you would expect, so if math isn’t your strongpoint, then this calculator will quickly identify your “efficiency level” which will dictate how much you may be due in compensation.

Retiring after your 20 years’ service?

Retirees who complete their service will be due a lifetime pension plan – the amount you will be paid is determined by your years of service and final rank, and regulations can differ depending on which service branch you served.

If you are intending on continuing to work a civilian job then you may want to consider rolling your pension over to either an individual retirement plan or the retirement plan of the company that you go on to work for. 

Whilst most veterans would prefer to start receiving a steady income as soon as they retire, there are many advantages of utilising a stretch IRA or Roth IRA, as this will help your money grow without incurring any tax.

Leaving the military as a young enlistee?

If you enrolled in the military out of high school, then you may have missed a lot of financial education which will have benefited you in the future. As a result of this, many young enlistees rack up debts and end up taking out emergency loans when they leave the military, not to mention they have little to no savings.

To avoid falling foul of the same fate, it is important to quickly learn how to budget your money and consider which things in life are necessities and which are luxuries. There will also be services available to you locally that can help you learn how to manage your money effectively. Don’t feel a loss of pride for having to use these – they can be the difference between you thriving financially and falling upon hard times.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

4 Financial Steps to Take after Being Diagnosed with Permanent Disability

When you get diagnosed with a permanent disability, it severely changed your life. You may have pain, difficulty doing the things you used to do, inability to work, and increased financial obligations. It’s rather difficult to handle financial difficulties when you aren’t able to work. 

Here are 4 financial steps to take after being diagnosed with a permanent disability.

Save, Save, Save

Permanent disabilities can come with some hefty costs to see doctors, treatment and medication, and any accommodations that need to be made. You also need to be prepared for any unexpected time off of work. This means you need to save when things are going well to be ready. Put a little bit of money away every check to ensure you have a safety net when necessary.

Find Work You Can Do

You may be forced to resign from your position due to your disability. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find other ways to make money. Identify your limitations and look for work that you can still do despite your limitations. 

The available work varies greatly depending on your disability. You may be able to talk to your employer to see if you can get transferred to another position that might suit your needs better.

Get Benefits

There are government programs designed to make life easier for people with disabilities. Do your research and see what programs you might qualify for. Look into both social security and medical programs. 

There may even be charitable organizations who step in when the government does not. Do not feel bad about getting help due to your condition. You have to deal with something most other people do not have to go through. Since you have this handicap, you deserve the help.

Call a Lawyer

There are a lot of aspects of learning you have a disability that can be confusing. Luckily, you can find the help you need by reaching out to a disability lawyer. They can answer any questions you have regarding employment law regarding disabilities, filing for benefits, and anything else on the topic of disabilities. This will protect you at work and help ensure you get the benefits you deserve.

There is more to consider when it comes to disability than the physical aspects. The disability can affect the other aspects of your life, including your finances. Follow these tips to keep yourself comfortable.

Monday, September 23, 2019

4 Things You Need to Include When Writing Your Will

No one really wants to contemplate his or her own mortality. At some point, though, any responsible person will decide to create a will so that his or her family will be taken care of after he or she is gone. If you are looking into creating a will, you’ll want to make sure that you take care of the issues below.

Immediate Concerns

Always start with the most immediate concerns. If you have children, make sure that you appoint someone to take care of them. If you have pets, include where you want them to go. 

If you have a business, make sure that someone is appointed to run it in your stead. While these may all sound like very basic decisions, they’re the issues with which your family will first have to grapple when you are gone.

Your Funeral

Don’t forget to pay attention to your funeral in your will. If possible, go ahead and specify the funeral home and crematorium that you wish to use. If you have any special wishes, go ahead and include them—while they may not all be honored due to specific laws and regulations, it’s always good for your family to know what you would have wanted.

Special Provisions

You’ll also want to make sure that you get anything special filed away as soon as possible. If you want to leave the bulk of your estate to a charity, you’re going to want to get it in writing early so that no one will challenge your decision. 

If there’s a special item that you want to go to a specific family member, you also need to include that. Remember, there comes a point at which it really is too late to get these special items included.

Special Circumstances

Finally, make sure that you take care of any special circumstances regarding your estate when you make a will. If you have an unusual family situation, make sure that you specify whether an individual is included or if he or she is being purposefully left out.

If you know that your death might lead to specific issues in your business, make sure that you have some method of dealing with those issues included in your will. Do what you can to ensure that confusion isn’t left in your wake.

Always make sure that your will takes care of immediate issues, list your wishes for your funeral planning, and handles any special situations and provisions that might impact your loved ones. The more information you put in the document, the fewer issues with which your family will have to deal.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

What is a 401k Plan and How Do I Calculate It?

401k plan is an employer-sponsored retirement plan in the U.S and several other countries. It was named after a section of the United States International Revenue Code. Money put into the 401k account is usually deducted from the individuals' taxable income.

The amount is only taxed when withdrawing which happens after the age of 59. If the money is to be withdrawn any earlier, both income and an extra charge of 10% penalty are owed. About 401K earnings It's never too early to begin saving to secure a comfortable retirement.

You should know that the sooner you can start saving and invest in a 401k account, the more you are able to accumulate interest over the year. It is advisable to keep a keen eye on how you are doing by calculating your earnings occasionally. 

This can be helpful since you might need to make changes on your investment based on your tolerance for risk, age and the number of years before you retire. Calculate your earnings One of the best tools you can use to secure a comfortable retirement is a 401K plan.

A 401K plan provides you with 2 very important advantages. First, all your contributions and earnings are never subject to tax. the second advantage is that many employers often provide matching contributions to your account which ranges from 0% to 100% of your personal contributions.

Here is how to calculate your 401k earnings

1. You will need a copy of your most recent 401K statements. These statements are mostly sent quarterly. 

2. Note the initial balance, the amount your employer contributed to your account and the amount of contribution you made. Sum up all these factors to get their total.

3. Subtract the total you got from step 2 above from your end balance. The amount you find is your gain for that period.

4. Divide the amount from step 3 above (Your gain) by the total calculated from step

5. Multiply the result you got by 100 to find the percentage gain for your 401K account for the specific period.

Example: If your initial balance plus total contributions are $15,000 and you got your gain as $500, your percentage gain for that period will be approximately 3.33%. If you have a quarterly statement, then you will multiply the figure by 4. You will get an annual percentage gain of 13.32%.

You can also calculate your income tax on your 401K withdrawal. Here is how to do it and estimate your expected amount.

1. Estimate your annual taxable income. To do this, add up all your taxable income for the year like salaries, wages and interests then subtract any taxes such as standard deductions.

2. Find your tax bracket in the IRS publication 17 based on the estimated taxable income.

3. Multiply the amount in your 401K account with your marginal income tax rate.

4. If you are taking a non-qualified distribution from your federal 401k plan, add a 10% penalty to the amount of your federal taxes. Do not make any exception. All non-qualified distributions are distributions before the age of 59 1/2.

5. Multiply your 401k plan withdrawal amount by your tax rate.

6. Finally, add your federal and taxes with an early withdrawal penalty to get your total taxes on your 401K withdrawal amount.

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Thursday, July 4, 2019

Which Emergencies Should You Save for in Your Retirement?

Even if you have saved up quite a bit for your retirement, you might still run into a few emergencies that put your finances in jeopardy. That is why everyone who is nearing their retirement should spend some time putting money away for a few expensive situations that could pop up in the coming years.

Household Repairs

Carrying out preventative maintenance should keep your household appliances running smoothly for years, but there will come a point when some of those devices need to be repaired or replaced entirely. 

You must also be ready to replace your HVAC system if it is more than 10 or 15 years old. Replacing an HVAC unit can be a huge investment, and your home insurance probably won’t cover a new condenser or the installation fees.

Unexpected Travel

You should be able to plan most of your trips months in advance, but emergencies can happen at any time. If a family member becomes ill and you would like to see them right away, your ticket is going to be quite expensive. 

You don’t need to save up tens of thousands of dollars for unexpected travel, but you should have enough to cover one or two flights and a few nights in a motel room.

Long-Term Illness

Long-term illnesses are extremely common among the elderly, and most basic insurance policies won’t cover those health problems. At the very least, your emergency fund needs to be large enough to help you deal with a medical emergency that lasts for a few weeks. 

That will give you plenty of time to contact your insurance provider and file a claim. You should also consider upgrading your insurance policy if you have a family history of chronic illnesses.

Auto Accident

A serious auto accident can happen in the blink of an eye, and one of those collisions could wipe out your savings if you aren’t careful. Your auto insurance policy should help you after most accidents, but major collisions can be very expensive. 

If you aren’t fairly compensated after an accident, then you need to contact a personal injury lawyer to explore all of your legal options. You might need to take the other driver to court if they are under-insured or completely uninsured.

For many of these situations, a world-class insurance policy is going to be your first line of defense. A solid policy will cover a wide variety of expenses following an accident, injury, or illness.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

How to Budget Your Way Out of a Tough Spot

We’ve all been there. Looking at the bills coming in, and not having the funds or means to pay for them all. Financial stress is truly one of the most all consuming kinds of stress. 

It lingers in your mind like a fog, spilling over into other areas of your life, making it hard to concentrate on other things until you’ve been able to make a plan to get yourself out of the mess you’re in. It’s difficult to get yourself out, but I promise that eventually you will be out of this tough spot! The first step?

Don’t panic

This seems obvious but is so hard to do! Our instinct is definitely to panic. Letting yourself spiral into a depressive thought cloud of “what ifs” and imagining you’re living in a cardboard box on the street is an easy way to get absolutely nothing done. 

It won’t help your situation at all, and in fact, will probably hinder your problem solving. So, don’t panic. Easier said than done.

Calculate your debt

Okay, so how much do you owe? What kind of mess are you really in? Is it worse than it seems? Writing it all out will help you visualize your problems, and plan out your next steps to taking care of this problem. Whether it’s an unexpected medical bill, a leave of absence, or a huge unexpected home expense. 

Using an actual, physical piece of paper, tally up exactly how much you owe on this bill. Add this amount up against your regular monthly budget. All bills, all expenses, and all income. How much extra are you able to put towards this expense per month?

Put yourself on a payment plan

Depending on what kind of expense you’re dealing with, or if you’re just months behind on your bills, you may be able to sort out some sort of a payment plan, rather than paying the entire lump sum all at once. Talk to whoever you owe the money to, and see if this is an option. 

In most cases, they are willing to be lenient because it means they have a greater chance of actually getting any money back. Be honest about your situation and let them know your plans to pay them back, with monthly amounts and a timeline. Showing that you’ve put a lot of thought and planning into your payment plan will help instill confidence in them!

Find creative ways to make extra money

Obviously, the sooner you are able to get out of this rough financial spot, the better. You have your payment plan, but chances are that you will be paying things down for a long while. You may not be able to do much, but look into some other ways to make a little bit of extra money. Any extra income you are able to bring in, will go straight towards paying off your debts!

Do you have any skills that you could potentially monetize? Are you crafty? If you can knit, crochet, or sew, it’s possible that you could use these skills to make products to sell to niche communities. Look into selling items on facebook marketplace, local online yard sales, and etsy! 

Most people have something up their sleeve that they can produce in their free time without even really realizing it! Maybe you can sew while you are catching up on your tv shows at night.

If you’re not crafty, there are other skills you have that you could make a little extra money off of! If you’re good at writing, apply for freelance writing jobs in your area and online. 

See if you can clean windows, mow lawns, or mend furniture. There is definitely something out there that you are capable of doing and monetizing for a short period of time to help you get out of this spot.

Ask for help

No one likes to ask for help, but sometimes you have to swallow your pride, and see if someone can help lighten your load. This doesn’t have to be financial help. If you need childcare in order to pick up a few extra shifts, reach out to family and neighbors to see if anyone can watch your kids. 

You don’t have to go through this tough time by yourself, and even just having some moral support from friends and loved ones can help you as you navigate.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

4 Steps to Take Now to Protect Your Finances in the Future

It is important to never underestimate the significance of properly maintaining your finances and planning for your future. Many people spend their lives working in order to save up money and to obtain assets, such as a home or cars. 

It can be difficult to know what the future holds for us, and many unexpected circumstances can arise. This is why it is paramount to take a strategic approach when it comes to managing your affairs and to create contingency plans, which will be helpful in the event that something unexpected occurs. 

The following information will provide a closer look at four beneficial steps you may want to take into consideration, which you can start working on now in order to protect your finances in the future:

Open a Savings Account

Setting aside a specific amount of money each month can be very helpful. As previously mentioned, there will likely be many unforeseen circumstances that occur in your future that can negatively impact your financial state. For example, you may unexpectedly lose your job and potentially have to spend several months or longer searching for a new one. 

You may also develop an illness or condition that may leave you unable to work. There are also other things to consider, such as car troubles and necessary home repairs. If you are not properly prepared for these things and have enough money set aside, it can often cause a lot of potential issues.

Create a Budget

Creating an effective and detailed budget is another important step towards safeguarding your financial future. In order to be able to save money each month, you need to understand how much extra money you will have left over after expenses. 

Therefore, you should take the time to deduct your expenses from your monthly income and closely track your spending habits. If you notice you are wasting too much money on unnecessary purchases, it may be time to cut back and make more financially sound decisions.

Purchase the Proper Insurance

Additionally, insurance is another factor you should consider. You might want to look into purchasing homeowner’s insurance from a reputable company, such as Philadelphia Contributionship. Other types of helpful insurance include renter’s insurance, payroll deduction insurance, and long-term care coverage.

Plan for Retirement and Long-Term Care

Retirement can really take you by surprise if you don’t start planning ahead of time. You might want to speak with your employer to see if they offer any 401k benefits, and you should begin setting aside money on your own. 

You will also need to take into consideration the different types of care you need as you age, which can be incredibly costly. Long-term care insurance, as previously mentioned can be helpful and will assist you with some of these costs.

Overall, preparing for your future finances can be quite challenging. There are many factors you will need to take into consideration. One of the most important tools at your disposal is planning ahead. 

When you take the time to do your research and understand all of your options, you will be able to start saving up and managing your money more wisely in order to ensure your future is secure.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

How To Pick a Financial Adviser

Picking out a financial adviser should be a careful, thoughtful process. This is the professional you trust to help you navigate your wealth building efforts, after all. That means you need to be sure they are properly credentialed and their performance is within the norms of their role. 

Finding that information in the right regulatory database is not difficult, and with that info will come any complaints or disciplinary action summaries that might be of use to you. 

There are a lot of advisers with no problems on their record who just wind up being incompatible with certain investors, though. So how can you tell which of your potential advisers will be the best fit for you? You need to do some research and dig deeper.

Check Out the Adviser's Firm

Whether you're looking at someone who works alone or an adviser at a large firm, there should be some electronic records or even a company landing page online. This will give you a chance to see what professionals say about themselves, their goals, and their approach to investing. 

Some firms even make a point of including a mission statement and other information about their underlying philosophies in their online company information. These resources also typically outline the kinds of investors they work with on a regular basis and the kinds of investments they are most informed about.

Reviews By Investors

Other resources about the firm might be available through other online resources like reviews as well. Also, consider whether you want to work with advisers within brokerage firms or RIAs who work totally independently. There are important considerations to make as you read each one. 

Check for reviews of the firms overall, but also read any reviews you can find about the adviser you specifically want to work with. Every organization has its stars and its specialty players, after all, and you will want to know how your adviser fits into the bigger picture in an organization.

Other Resources To Consult

Beyond review sites and the online resources placed by the firm for customer education, you can also check out resources like the Securities and Exchange Commission's information page about financial advisers and how they are regulated. These background resources fill in the information you need to make sound judgments about the firms and advisers you consider. By looking for more neutral information sources, you gain perspective on:
  • Industry norms
  • Recourse for dispute resolution
  • Common issues investors encounter
  • General strategic advice for new investors

The best thing to do is to fold this stage of research into the beginning, middle, and end of your process, so you are researching these factors ahead of your first look into potential advisers and throughout the process. This will allow you to keep checking out fresh viewpoints and considering new angles on your decision-making process.

Brokerage Firm Advisers or RIAs?

Whether you are working with a planner or adviser based in a brokerage firm or an RIA, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider, and you need to understand them before making that final choice. 

Many new investors work with advisers based in their brokerage firms, but those with large accounts or a fair amount of experience often opt for an RIA when looking for advice. If you're not sure which to go for, researching the differences in their approaches and the advantages of each kind of adviser will help you get started.

Don't rush this decision, because while you can always change advisers if you need to, you will have to go through a similarly thoughtful process to make a good decision if you do. That means rushing into a relationship with an adviser that doesn't quite work out could cost you more time than just being thorough and deliberate the first time.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

4 Benefits of Meeting with a Financial Planner as You Age

A survey from 2018 found that roughly one-third of all Americans had no more than $5,000 in their savings accounts for retirement. Most Americans do, in fact, earn more than enough money to easily save enough to make it through their golden years. However, since the average American’s personal finance knowledge isn’t the greatest, they often end up not properly planning for retirement.

Meeting with financial planners as you age offers several benefits. Here are four of the most prominent such benefits.

Your Advisor Will Make Sure You Won’t Commit Rookie Mistakes

According to Money Marketing, most financial advisors serve anywhere from a few dozen to some 250 clients at any given time. Since they’ve got so much experience in helping people plan for retirement, they will significantly increase the likelihood of you not subjecting yourself to rookie mistakes.

In most cases, preventing these basic mistakes is simple. However, without the guidance of a trusted financial advisor, you won’t be familiar with preventing such problems from occurring.

Can You Say “tax Shelters”?

The wealthiest Americans regularly shelter more of their earnings from the Internal Revenue Service’s legal reach using a wide variety of tax sheltering strategies. Experienced financial planners are inherently familiar with tax shelters that you could easily take advantage of. With their help, you could save thousands of dollars in taxes each and every year.

They Can Legally Protect Your Estate’s Assets from Outside Interests

Most people take pride in saving up enough money to pass on substantial sums to their loved ones, friends, and family members after they die. Unfortunately, many people’s savings get dipped into by creditors and other interests before being distributed to beneficiaries, resulting in less money and fewer valuable assets for them.

Financial advisors, especially those who are experienced in estate and will planning, either directly know how to protect your estate from creditors and other claimants or can hook you up with estate-planning attorneys who specialize in the practice.

You Can Rest Assured Knowing Your Nest Egg Is Safe and Constantly Growing

With help from financial advisors in the management of your investments, earnings, and holdings, you will save yourself from experiencing tons of stress. Further, the less stress you experience, the longer you’re likely to live.

Financial planners widely offer their services to clients across the world at reasonable rates. Unless you’re a financial professional yourself, you can’t go wrong with meeting with financial planners as you age.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Attain Financial Freedom With These Tips

Did you know that 2/3rd of the total population in America find it hard to gather even $1000 when an emergency arises? Only 24 percent of millennials of today have the required knowledge about financials!

These statistics are very alarming. This is because lack of knowledge leads to bad choices regarding finances which in turn affects your financial freedom.

Here are some tips that can allow you to attain financial freedom quickly.

1. Learn how to work within a budget

What is the most significant thing required for financial freedom? Money! And for that, you need to stay within budget. Sadly, budgeting is often overlooked. You need to learn how to manage your spending within your budget. This way you won’t make a habit of spending more than you earn. And once you do so, you will easily get ahead financially.

How do you ensure that your spending is always less than your earnings? You plan. This is the essence of budgeting. A budget helps you outline all your expenses and then allocate your current earning to each of your expenses. Don’t even consider debt as an option. Instead, allocate according to how much you can afford. If you conduct budgeting, you will easily be able to detect any anomalies and extra expenditures. Hence, you will know where you need to cut back.

Add an actual value to all your habits. For instance, if you eat breakfast outside every day, mention it in your budget. What might seem like insignificant $2 a day can amount up to $40 a month. This surely is a significant amount! What does budgeting mean? It means cutting such unnecessary expenditures. Rather than eating out every day, see the effect it has on your financials and then change your habit.

Make a habit of creating a monthly budget. Watch as it helps you save money, and hence gives you financial freedom.

2. Pay off all your debt at the earliest

A lot of people apply for hard money lending Houston financial services. However, one thing that is the enemy to your financial freedom is debt. Debt is a liability that will drain your savings. To attain freedom, you need to pay off all your debt at the earliest possible time.

Why? Because you don’t just have to pay the debt. You also need to pay off the interest. In other words, you have to pay more than you get. The longer the debt stays on your account, the longer you have to make payments rather than save money for future use. Therefore, instead of delaying it, try to make paying your debts your priority. 

Look up ways through which you can pay it off quickly. There are various methods available ranging from the snowball method to the avalanche method. Look at your financial situation and choose the method that works best. While you are at it, create a repayment plan along with a budget to see how you can funnel your earnings and savings towards your debilitating debt. While it may seem like torture today, it will allow you to achieve financial freedom later on.

This may mean cutting back on entertainment and going out less often for dinner, but it’s a small sacrifice to pay for financial freedom. If you don’t wish to make this sacrifice, you might want to work to increase your income. This calls for doing freelance work, looking for part time jobs, asking for raises or striving for a promotion. Use all the extra income you earn to pay off your debt.

3. Create your personal emergency fund

Regardless of how much you try to avoid the bad days, there is always a probability that they will occur. And this is the moment when you will wish that you had financial stability and freedom in your life. To avoid being caught off-guard and out of cash at such crucial times, always build a personal emergency fund. Always have a backup plan. Whether it be job redundancy, unfortunate accidents or natural disaster, it doesn’t hurt to be financially secure for all emergencies.

Overspending and not saving can lead to a lot of problems when such rainy days occur. Therefore, have an emergency fund by saving a given amount specifically for this purpose. If you are finding it hard to stash money away on top of all your other expenses, start small. Whether it is $10 or $100, make a habit of saving. Eventually, when you have an emergency, you will thank yourself for keeping the fund!

4. Think before spending

Impulse buying is widespread. After all, we are surrounded by brands and retail outlets that promote such behavior. However, this behavior is not in your best interest. Today, an extra cup of coffee or a piece of jewelry you just saw may not seem like the wrong investment, but if you develop a habit of it, it will take a toll on your financials.

This is why it is essential for you to think before you purchase anything. Ask yourself whether you genuinely need the given item? If it’s a hefty investment, make sure to do comprehensive research about the purchase decision. Think of whether you can afford significant spending at your current financial level. If you are finding yourself trying to accumulate money from different accounts and ways, it is best not to buy the item in the first place.

Be realistic about what you can achieve while staying in budget and what purchases would make you thrifty.


Follow these four tips religiously, and you will see a significant increase in your bank balance eventually. Yes, saving money and staying within your budget is not easy. Especially when you are surrounded by lucrative items that are screaming at you to buy them. But, a little self-control today will help you attain the ultimate financial independence tomorrow. Once you get there, you will realize- being debt-free feels liberating!

ABOUT Erica Silva

Erica Silva is a blogger who loves to discover and explore the world around her. She writes on everything from marketing to technology. She enjoys sharing her discoveries and experiences with readers and believes her blogs can make the world a better place.

Find her on Twitter: @ericadsilva1

Monday, May 6, 2019

How to Invest in Your Retirement

Saving for retirement can be a daunting task for many people. You know it is important to have money set aside for later in life, but you may be overwhelmed by the logistics and unsure of your options.

Actually, like many things in life, investing in your retirement is not so stressful when it is broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks of information. For instance, consider the following three ways to save, invest and plan for retirement:

Take Advantage of Any Matching Options for Your 401K

If your employer offers a retirement plan like a 401K and also matches a certain percentage of the amount that you contribute, by all means do whatever you can to add the max to the retirement account. Any amount that your employer matches is essentially free money, so it’s definitely worth looking into. 

A common scenario in the 401K match world is for your employer to put 50 cents into your retirement plan for every dollar you put in—this is usually up to 6 percent of your gross salary for the year. So, if you earn $40K at your job and contribute $2,400, or 6 percent to your 401K plan, your boss will add in $1,200 more.

Start Your Own Tax-Advantaged Nest Egg

While a 401K is a great place to start, especially if it involves the aforementioned matching option, you should also consider starting your own retirement savings accounts. You can open a traditional or Roth IRA account, and put money into it as you can; this will allow your money to grow tax-free until your start to withdraw it in retirement. 

You can speak with your banker about opening an IRA account or if you have a financial planner he or she can help you as well. There are limits for how much you can contribute to an IRA every year; on the flip side, you can also set aside smaller amounts of money into the account.

Have an Action Plan in Place for Financial Emergencies

In a perfect world, you will continue to work as long as you wish and then live happily off of your retirement savings. Unfortunately, people sometimes encounter severe financial emergencies that can wipe out their savings. For instance, a serious medical condition that requires months of treatment and hospital stays can be devastating for your retirement accounts. 

To help prevent your nest egg from being shattered, you may want to have an action plan ready to go that will help pay for medical treatments and other financial emergencies. One idea is to look into selling your life insurance policy through a company like Coventry Direct. 

This will allow you to gain access to much-needed funds to help pay for medical bills and other financial hardships that may unexpectedly arise as you get older. Again, it is hoped that you will not endure a situation like this, but looking into an option like this now rather than later is a good idea and can give you invaluable peace of mind.

You Will Get There, One Dollar at a Time

Saving for retirement does not have to be a stressful process—in fact, your employer may already be willing and able to help you get there. Start by speaking with your HR department about a matching plan and then head to the bank to see about an IRA. These steps, along with looking into emergency options for cash if need be, will help you to plump up your retirement savings and allow you to enjoy your golden years.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Senior Situations: 4 Tips to Help You Survive a Financial Crisis

Most seniors are on a fixed income, and that will make it very difficult to deal with a financial crisis. From unexpected injuries to household disasters, older adults could find themselves drowning in debt in the blink of an eye. Here are a few tips and tricks that will help seniors survive a financial crisis.

Start with an Emergency Fund

Older adults need to have some type of emergency that they can access at any time. As a general rule, your emergency fund should be able to cover all of your expenses for at least three months. 

If you have people who depend on you financially, then you should try to build an emergency fund that will cover all living expenses for six months or longer. That fund will give you plenty of time to reorganize your finances after an accident or injury occurs.


A senior who is on a fixed income never wants to get too far behind on their bills, and you should consider downsizing if your monthly expenses are beginning to overwhelm you. Living in a larger home or driving a new car might be impractical luxurious once you retire. Moving into a condo and downgrading to a used car could end up saving you thousands a year.

Search for Assistance Programs

There are hundreds of assistance programs for older adults who are struggling with their finances. In addition to state and federal programs, you might also want to contact AARP to discuss their Daily Money Management (DMM) programs. 

Those programs can help a senior create a budget, pay bills, and negotiate with creditors. They also offer classes on how to avoid scams and what to do if you are being harassed by aggressive debt collectors.

Contact an Attorney

If the financial crisis was caused by another party, then you need to contact personal injury lawyer to explore your legal options. Trying to win a civil case on your own is going to be nearly impossible, and an experienced lawyer can help you get the compensation that you deserve. Your legal representative will also negotiate with insurance representatives if your claim never makes it to court.

Racking up credit card debt is never ideal, but a credit card could be your last line of defense against a financial catastrophe. Once you are back on your feet and things have begun to stabilize, you should aggressively pay down your credit card debt in order to avoid huge late penalties and unmanageable interest rates.

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