Showing posts with label Retirement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Retirement. Show all posts

Thursday, January 17, 2019

4 Techniques for Financial Success That Will Surprise You

The secrets to financial success are not actually that secret. They can simply just be difficult to achieve. These four surprising techniques for financial success will put your finances on the right track.


Investing is a very practical skill and how most people with significant amounts of money got rich. Its sheer influence over financial success is what will surprise you. There are many different kinds of investments you will need to understand, including stocks, funds, bonds, and more. Know your risk tolerance. 

Remember that, in most cases, you don’t lose or gain any money until you actually withdraw investments and that values will change over time. To be successful at investing you will have to take the time and learn how it works to make the best possible decisions.

Save for Retirement Early

Many, many people neglect their retirement savings. Would it surprise you to learn that just about every age group has far too little in retirement savings? You will likely not be able to live on social security alone when you retire. 

Take advantage of any employer-sponsored retirement savings accounts from the moment you get your first job. You can also utilize investments, outlined above, to grow your retirement savings so you can enjoy your golden years while having enough money to live on.

Watch Your Credit

Your credit rating and score are essentially a history of your financial reliability. Credit checks are done in a large variety of circumstances, including by landlords, mortgage companies, insurance companies, and employers. 

Odd things such as closing accounts, not utilizing credit, credit reporting errors, and getting parking tickets can affect your credit score. If your credit is poor, there are ways you can improve it, including fast credit repair services, working hard, and budgeting well to get your finances back on track.


Perhaps the single best thing you can do to achieve financial success is to have a budget and stick to it. Doing so means you are less likely to overextend yourself by borrowing more than you can afford. 

It will help you set up good financial habits such as paying all bills on time and putting a little into savings each month. While budgeting is hardly a surprising financial tip, its effectiveness certainly is.

In most cases, financial success comes from using the money you do have wisely. These tips may not be revolutionary but they will surprise you in their effectiveness. Don’t make your financial situation more complicated than it needs to be. With a solid foundation of good practices, you can achieve financial success over the course of your life.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

5 Tips For Preparing For Retirement

Retirement can be an exciting time in your life. You’ve completed your life’s work, and now it’s time to reap the rewards of your efforts. Thinking about retirement is not only for those of retirement age. Saving for retirement is best started early. Here are five tips to help prepare you for retirement, whatever stage in life you may be in. 

Start Investing Early

That’s right! Ideally, you should start saving for your retirement in your 20s. This gives you the maximum amount of time to invest into your retirement and form a solid foundation of discipline for managing your finances. Retirement is one of the great experiences in life. 

Solid planning early on can ensure that your retirement is enjoyable and that you’re able to financially sustain it. Make a plan, create a budget, and begin investing as soon as possible. Monitor your accounts, make sure you’re contributing as much as you possibly can to each one.

Find the Right Plan For You

Generally, there are seven types of retirement plans which you can choose from:

  • 401k or 403b offered by your employer
  • Solo 401k
  • Simple IRA
  • IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Health Savings Account

The 401k or 403b plans are offered by many employers. You can save up to $18,000 per year, and if you switch employers the account will roll over to your new employer. 401k plans are usually offered by for-profit companies, while public servants have access to 403b plans which include contributions by the employer. 

A solo 401k is available to sole proprietors, and you can make contributions to this account as an employee of the business and as an employer.

A SEP IRA, or simplified employee pension, is used by small businesses. You can contribute up to 25% of your income or up to $53,000 to this type of account over the course of the fiscal year. If your business has employees, you will have to make contributions to their accounts if they meet certain requirements. 

A Simple IRA is a simple savings account in which you can deposit up to $5,500 per year. The money grows at a set interest rate completely tax free. Anyone can set up this type of retirement plan. You are able to contribute to a simple IRA and a 401k simultaneously.

A Roth IRA is an account in which you contribute after-tax dollars, which get no extra deduction. You can withdraw whatever you’ve deposited at any time without tax obligation, and there’s no mandatory withdrawal age.

A health savings account is an account offered by certain health insurance companies for medical expenses. The company will set aside money for you from your deductible payments in an HSA, allowing you access to healthcare when your medical expenses aren’t covered by your insurance plan.

Whatever plan you choose, make sure you are contributing the maximum amount each year, if possible. You can really never have too much money, as you’ll need to account for things such as medical emergencies or sudden expenses along with your everyday spending.

Pay off Your Mortgage

One of the biggest expenses of your life is bound to be your mortgage payment. Your house is more than just a place to take shelter however, it can actually provide you with equity that can be accessed later on. 

As with any loan, it’s important to pay off your mortgage as soon as you can, but especially before you retire. The last thing you want to worry about is making your mortgage payment when you’re not working anymore.

Pulling from your retirement savings for the mortgage can drain your accounts very quickly, possibly forcing you out of retirement to make the payments. Be sure to get your house paid for before retirement, and save yourself one more expense. 

If you need help managing or getting out of debt, there are many debt consolidation and settlement services online or in person. Find debt payoff tools on sites like Get Out of Debt, and start to take control of your debt before it’s time to retire.

Plan For Inflation

As much as we hate to admit it, prices rise on everything eventually. Fluctuations in the prices of goods and services, labor costs, and the value of the dollar all affect inflation. The amount you originally paid into your retirement fund may not be worth the same dollar amount it was forty years ago, or even ten or twenty years ago.

Inflation is always changing, and the value of the dollar fluctuating. When investing in your retirement it’s essential to remember this fact. You may have to invest a little extra into your accounts, to ensure that your money will last for the duration of your retirement. Try to cut down travel and leisure expenses in your retirement to account for inflation. Enjoy yourself, but be wary of your spending.

Focus On Your Health As A Pre-Retirement Condition

Your physical health should be a top priority at any point in your life. Health problems create complications and often are a drain on your wallet and savings accounts as well. Retirement is no different in this aspect. 

Medical bills can add up quickly, draining the money you’ve set aside for enjoying your retirement. Who wants to spend their retirement in a hospital bed or their entire IRA account on medical bills?

Exercise and monitoring your diet are great ways to stay fit and healthy. Be sure to make your annual check-ups and blood work appointments with your physician, and take all 
medications as needed.

Don’t Forget…

Whether you’re 27 or 47, retirement is important to think about. Put a plan in place that’s right for you and start investing in your retirement right away. The peace of mind you’ll feel when the time comes to retire, and your finances are in order cannot be understated. Remember to save the maximum amount each year, monitor your accounts, and pay off large debts before you retire.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Should You Still Have Life Insurance After Retirement?

We tend to hear most about life insurance when you’re a young adult up until before retirement. What about after retirement though, do you still need life insurance then?

The importance of life insurance as a young adult is quite apparent. You want the protection for your loved ones in case you unexpectedly passed away. Your policy would then quick in to cover your funeral expenses, and additional costs your family would have, as well as the loss of income if you had any dependents. 

Your life insurance coverage provides that peace of mind for those you would leave behind.

Tina Thompson of mentions" many people's final expenses and funeral costs could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000. Having a burial insurance policy in place to address these concerns is usually the most efficient way to cover the costs. 

 Seniors would have lots of highly rating insurance companies to choose from including Lincoln Heritage, Mutual of Omaha, and Gerber Life Insurance company. These policies would pay out to your named beneficiary at the time of your passing, and could then be used to cover any types of expenses and debt."

When it comes to after retirement, it’s no longer a question of do you have life insurance. Instead, it changes to should you have life insurance? Depending on your financial situation and where you are at in life upon retirement, that will help determine if you should continue with your life insurance coverage. 

It is not a one-size-fits-all kind of answer. If your friends still have life insurance after retirement, that doesn’t mean you should have it too, and vice versa.

Do You Have Debt?

A common goal for retirement is to reach your golden years without any debt. Upon retirement, although you have different payouts still coming in through the government and your workplace pension plan, it still will not be as much as what your actual income was. So, the idea of being debt-free so that you can use your money how you want to during retirement, that sounds very appealing.

Unfortunately, that is not the case for everyone. In 2016, the average debt amount for a family who’s head of the household was 75 years or older was over $36,000, which is significantly higher than the last look in 2010. With that amount of debt, it can make retirement quite tricky.

If you have debt upon retirement, then life insurance may still be something to consider. If you were to pass away suddenly, someone would still have to pay your debt. That burden would fall onto your family. Your life insurance policy would help to cover the cost of any remaining debt.

Do You Still Have Dependents?

Just as your financial situation is significant in determining if you should still have life insurance, so too is it if you have any dependents. If your spouse or if you have children who still need help from you, then having life insurance after retirement is a good idea.

It’s important to remember that when you get life insurance, you are getting it more for your family, not yourself. So, if you have members that rely on you to support them, your insurance policy would benefit them greatly if you suddenly passed away. However, if you have no dependents whatsoever, you can consider terminating your policy.

We looked at two significant factors that help determine if you should still have life insurance after retirement. In the end, it comes down to what your personal situation is like and if you want to continue having the additional monthly expense. There are different options of coverage that could be more suitable for where you’re at in life. Learn more here about other life insurance policies and if it suits your family’s needs.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Prepare for Retirement with an HSA

Retirement planning isn't something that happens by chance. It requires planning, financial commitment, and a long-term perspective. No matter where you are in your retirement planning process, we have an additional way to save tax-free funds for retirement. Enter the HSA (health savings account).

HSA Overview

By all intents and purposes, HSAs were designed to help individual and families save pre-tax funds for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses. It creates a clear path to save money and reduce the cost of health services and expenses.

The benefits of an HSA are that they provide triple tax-tax advantages: tax-deductible contributions, tax-free growth, and tax-free distributions (as long as they are used for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses). This sounds great for health costs, but how does it connect to retirement?

After the age of 65, you can use your HSA funds for anything, just like A 401(k) or IRA. In fact, an HSA has no mandatory distributions in retirement. You get to decide when and if to use those pre-tax assets or sell investments in your HSA account. You can let your HSA funds grow into your 70s, 80s, and 90s.

Extra Tax-Free Retirement Savings

While the tax advantages of an HSA are clear, maybe the real value is an additional retirement savings account. Combining the savings power of a 401(k), IRA and HSA to create the only triple threat for retirement savings. That means more tax savings and more money for you in retirement.

Plan for Health Costs

Even with all of your detailed retirement planning, you might have missed the massive impact healthcare costs can have on your retirement savings nest-egg. According to a recent Fidelity Report, healthcare costs are expected to exceed $275,000 per couple in retirement. This is on top of Medicare coverage. 

HSAs can cover these expected health costs, so you can use your 401(k) or IRA for the stuff you want. Maybe some world travel?

Don't Wait to Open an HSA

HSA savings opportunities are based on HSA-eligibility. You must have an HSA-eligible health plan to contribute to an HSA. You can, however, use any accumulated HSA funds not matter your health plan. An HSA account is for life.

Your retirement planning might be in full swing, or you might be just getting started. No matter where you are in the retirement planning process, you can open an HSA to accelerate your retirement savings.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Running a Profitable Side Hustle As You Are Aging

The side hustle has become much more popular as many people in all demographics understand the chance to make money online. Those with specific skills can start earning nearly immediately in the cases of virtual assistants, content writers, and web designers. 

A side hustle can be extremely stressful for a person who is starting to feel their age more and more daily. The side hustle is not a main source of income which can help reduce the stress with many older people just wanting something to do with their free time. 

The following are tips to help run a profitable side hustle while keeping your age in mind.

Decide How Much You Are Willing To Work

A side hustle will help you fill the time but you have to decide how much you are willing to work. Those who are a bit older might be technically retired or partially retired. An important detail to look up is how much money can be made before it impacts social security benefits. 

Once you have reached this cap then working could take away your monthly check until you are under the required income. Once you have set a cap on how much you can earn and want to work then a game plan can be written out. 

Hiring other freelancers to complete work is also an option while taking a little bit off of the top. Managing people is different work than writing an article but it can be just as profitable. 

While you might not be able to write 100 articles in a week, you can edit these then submit all of them. Your profit per article is not going to be as high but the number of articles should take care of that.

Expand Client Base Consistently

Freelancers need to constantly expand their client base as clients disappear or simply do not need work completed during certain times of the year. The expansion of the client base will also give a freelancer the ability to choose the easiest and best paying clients they want to work with. 

Freelancer platforms like that of Upwork do take a percentage for bringing the client and freelancer together but it protects both parties in the case of low quality, incomplete work, and failure to pay/refund. 

Taking less money than you think your work is worth might have to be done to establish a high rating on these platforms. Once your profile is established prices for services and work can be increased incrementally. 

Clients are also willing to pay freelancers they work with consistently a bit more as they know their quality of work.

Keep Your Overhead Low

The best thing about working online to supplement income is that internet is reasonably priced. A computer or even tablet with a keyboard attached can help you start earning quickly. 

One mistake that people make is thinking they need a large office so they can concentrate on their work. A virtual office is a much better option as it is more affordable but it also comes with the perks of an office. 

A live receptionist as well as business address comes with the virtual office package. The ability to rent out offices and meeting spaces can allow a side hustler to bring clients to pitch or simply meet with.

Take the time to write out expenses and the ROI each of these expenses bring back in terms of revenue. This will allow you to truly see where the money it going and where the money turns into more profit. 

Keep in mind that business expenses can be written off come tax time so this will provide a little financial relief when it comes to overhead.

Constantly Find Ways To Optimize Work Flow

Working for yourself can allow the freedom to tweak processes to see what works best. Increasing productivity even by 10 percent can lead to that percentage resulting in complete profits. 

A great productivity tip that many professionals in general can benefit from is limiting the checking of email. While client emails are important, they can be answered at the rate of once an hour without issue. This gives a freelancer the ability to keep their train of thought without being derailed by a pushy or angry client. 

Check email once an hour and do the appropriate replying then jump back into your work. This gives clients the ability to email back and forth numerous times in a day without impacting productivity to a very large extent.

Building a decent side hustle as you age can allow for more financial freedom than you have had in the past. In even better cases this extra income can allow you to retire early. Side hustles are here to stay, find one you can profit from today!

Friday, May 4, 2018

How Business Owners Can Prepare for Retirement

As a successful entrepreneur, it is likely that you have spent a lot of your life working hard and putting the hours in. Instead of relying on someone else to pay your salary, you had the determination to take matters into your own hands. 

Therefore, the thought of walking away from a busy working life may seem like a huge and intimidating change. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be. If you are eager to enjoy retirement, without compromising the success of your business, you will need to read on.

Push forward with your expansion

The first step is to push forward with your plans for expansion. In order to leave your business in a good place, it is vital that you make it to the next level. If you are already thinking about retirement, you may not feel like taking any risks. 

However, it is far better that you are involved in these changes, as opposed to leaving it up to someone else. Even if you don’t yet have the available funds to move forward, you could resolve this issue by looking into Kabbage loans

This is a fantastic opportunity for you to get the money you need to secure a bright future for you and your business.

Get your finances in order

The next step is to get your company finances in order. If you don’t already keep a close eye on your funds, now is the time to start. You need to ensure everything is clear and correct in time for your retirement. 

While you might be able to understand the system you have in place, this means nothing if no one else can get their head around it. That is why you should embrace a professional approach. You could also think about hiring an accountant to do the hard work for you.

Train up your team members

Another important step is to train up your existing team members. Of course, you can do this in relation to your company finances, but you should also train them up to understand your approach to customer service, your marketing strategy, and your company ethos. 

It could also be a good idea to include select members of your staff in important business meetings. This will give them a better chance of holding onto contacts after you have gone. 

Furthermore, it will boost employee morale, as your team will be able to see just how much you care about their futures.

Gradually decrease your work hours

If you are intimidated by the prospect of leaving your business behind, you should consider gradually decreasing your work hours. This is a great way for you to enjoy the best of both worlds. 

It is also a brilliant way to ensure you aren’t making a huge mistake. After all, you only want to retire if you are truly ready for the change.

Hold onto your shares

Last but not least, you should do everything in your power to hold onto your shares. Even if you don’t keep them all, you should try to hold onto a substantial percentage. This will involve a little more work, but at least you will still have your foot in the door. 

If you have dedicated your whole life to building up your business, the last thing you want is for it to take off after you have gone. That is why you should hold back from completely severing your ties.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

How Investing in Annuities Can Better Set You up for Retirement

In the world of retirement and estate planning, annuities seldom get the recognition they deserve. When set up and funded correctly, annuities can be a very sensible strategy for individuals heading into retirement. 

These insurance contracts share very few similarities with 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts, but they are certainly worth considering. Here are four things you should know about annuities and retirement:

How to Understand Annuities

In essence, annuities are insurance policies that promise future payouts. One of the main differences between annuities and a homeowner’s insurance policy, for example, is that the payout is not contingent upon loss. 

You can purchase an annuity now with the full expectation of payouts later in life; you do not have to suffer a loss. The money you will receive in the future is agreed upon, and it may consist of a lump sum payment or periodic disbursements.

Advantages of Annuities

Unlike investment funds, annuities do not present future windfall scenarios tied to the potential performance of financial securities. While it is true that individuals who invested in 401(k) plans tied to the S&P 500 since 2010 have realized handsome gains, this is never guaranteed. 

Annuities are part of a more conservative type of financial planning. The goal of annuities is to generate future income after you retire. During bull market runs, an IRA plan will grow in value and allow you to make nice withdrawals; however, the opposite will happen in bear market conditions. 

Depending on how you structure your annuities, you will be able to enjoy greater certainty of your retirement income.

How to Buy Annuities

Since annuities are a mix of investment securities and insurance contracts, they can be purchased from banks, brokers, financial planners, and insurance agencies. Your best best is to purchase annuities from your financial planners. 

Annuities are marketable financial instruments, which means that you can sell them when the time is right, but certain fees and penalties may apply.

Types of Annuities Available to You

There are three main types of annuities: fixed, indexed and variable. The latter is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission while the former two are regulated by the insurance commissioner of your state. 

As its name suggests, you a fixed annuity guarantees a fixed amount of payouts for a declared period. An indexed annuity is tied to the performance of financial benchmarks such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average. 

With a variable annuity, you can choose to grow your money in various mutual funds, but the amount of your payouts may fluctuate.

In the end, you should strongly consider including annuities in your portfolio. As with other retirement planning strategies, setting up annuities at an early age is highly recommended.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Finding a Balance Between Spending, Investing and Saving

It can be difficult to decide what would be considered a ‘sensible’ use of money. Naturally, most people try to save whatever money they have left over after paying for all of the essentials each month. 

However, though saving money is important, it is not the only good use of each months paycheck. You need to find a balance between saving, spending and investing, so that you can get the best use out of your money. 

If you have never considered what benefits investing could have for you, or if you are wondering what the best way to save some of your money is, then here are a few tips for you.


Investing money is a great way to profit from your assets, with minimal work involved. To invest in the stock market, all you need is a small amount of start-up capital. 

From that starting point, you can then find a broker, and most of these are available online or even through apps nowadays. Of course, the stock market is not the only way that you can invest your money. 

You could instead invest in the real estate market, or in a local business or new startup company: where ever you feel your money is most likely to profit, with as minimal a level of risk as possible.


Of course, when you get your paycheck, you immediately factor in expenditure on the essentials: food, bills, items that the kids desperately need, etc. 

That is universally considered to be a sensible use of a person’s wages. 

However, sometimes it’s okay to put a little money aside to do something fun. After all, you work hard, and that deserves some reward! 

As long as you budget carefully, you might find that you can put fifty dollars or so aside each month to go to the cinema, treat the family to a fun trip out, such as to an Escape Room, or take everyone to a family dinner. 

Even if you don’t have enough to do that every month, you could always save some money over a longer period of time specifically for this purpose.


As well as saving up for family days out, it’s also important to keep saving for a number of other reasons. 

While saving won’t give you the same returns on interest as investing would, invested funds are a lot less accessible than saved funds, and you may need a store of money to turn to at one point or another. 

Perhaps the car breaks down, or the heating stops working: in these instances, you will need cash to hand in order to get the problem fixed quickly and easily. Therefore, make sure to keep some money aside which you know you will only spend in emergency situations, and that you are not going to invest. 

It is a good idea to keep this allocated money in a separate account, as that way you are less likely to spend it, either accidentally or on purpose.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Tackle Those Big Events in Your Life by Investing Wisely Today!

All the big events in your life deserve to be memorable. For this to happen, you need to make smart investments by starting small today to guarantee good returns and capital gains. Choose investments that help you not only save, but also productively use your income. The correct investment portfolio can help fund your life’s big events.

Here are some of the big events in your future that may need financial consideration:

  1. Marriage: You will be required to spend money on various aspects like caterers, venues and event planners. An average wedding in India costs around Rs.15 lakh to Rs.20 lakh.
  2. Education: Tuition fees for higher studies, especially overseas, are a big expense. You may also need to fund the education of your children. For example, studying in the US can cost up to Rs.30 lakh per year. 
  3. Holidays: Travelling to new places, in India or abroad, can be difficult unless you have a good amount of savings. The average cost per person for a trip to Europe for two weeks is around Rs.3 lakh.

Here are some investment options that you could consider to finance these big events in the future:

1. Company fixed deposits:

  1. These are FD (fixed deposits) offered by financial institutions and companies.
  2. They offer you attractive interest rates that can go up to 8% and above.
  3. This option offers you highly stable and safe returns.
  4. These FDs offer you a flexible tenor up to 60 months.
  5. They also offer you easy online account management.

2. Debt mutual funds:

These are debt securities like corporate bonds, government bonds and other money market instruments.
These are issued by organisations and government authorities.
They provide you instant gains over your investment.
You can invest in this option over short to mid-term.
They also provide you high rates of return on investment.

3. Recurring deposits:

  1. These deposits work on the similar terms like FDs.
  2. However, they involve depositing a small amount of money in account rather than a lump sum.
  3. They are perfect for salaried individuals who have just started working. 
  4. In these deposits, you can invest a minimum of Rs.500 and a maximum of Rs.1.5 lakh.
  5. They offer you a rate of return that goes up to 7%. 

4. Public provident funds:

  1. This is a provision created by the government that encourages investors to invest money in a public fund.
  2. This option offers returns up to almost 8%.
  3. It is perfect for salaried employees that wish to save a margin of their income every month rather than investing a huge sum of money at one go.
  4. The lock-in period for this investment is up to 15 years. The investment cannot be withdrawn prematurely before the lapse of the tenor.
  5. The account can be renewed after the end of the tenor for a maximum of 5 years more.
  6. The interest gains for this amount are tax-free. However, the tax can be deducted from the principle at the time of depositing.

These are some of the low to medium risk investment options you can make the best use of to fund the big occasions in your life with ease. Starting early is key to meeting all your major financial expenses and enjoying your life to the fullest.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Nest Egg: How to Finance Your Golden Years with a Golden Goose

It’s never too soon to plan for retirement. In fact, the more time you spend getting ready for that stage of life, the better prepared you will be. Here are several ways to finance your senior years to ensure a comfortable quality of life.

Job Pension

If you work for a company that offers a pension plan, especially one that matches employee contributions, with each paycheck from which funds are deducted for this purpose you are building a financial future for the golden year. 

Pensions come in many types, sizes, and designs. If your company offers an optional plan that you have not yet enrolled in, you should schedule some time with the Benefits Administrator to discuss your pension options. 

If you are able to withdraw funds at various times, try to avoid doing so, as this will reduce your pension savings, leaving you with smaller monthly payments during retirement.

Financial Investments

Stock and bond investments, along with other types, can be established as conservative or aggressive portfolios. The sooner you open an investment account, the quicker it will begin to gain value and compound earnings. 

Gold and silver are also collected to earn profit over time, as are the current digital currencies like bitcoin, among others. Some people collect things that they expect to increase in value over many years, such as sports cards, valuable coins, and limited editions of collector items like dolls, antiques, etc. 

As some items increase in value over time, they can be sold to generate income for the senior years.

Social Security

When planning to retire, contact the Social Security Administration for information about your full retirement age, which can vary among different groups of people. Although you can retire at any age, for example at age 62, your full retirement age may actually be 66. 

You should also find out how many years of your employment have had Social Security deductions. You can also talk to a social security lawyer for additional help and tips. If you work in an industry that features a pension contribution plan, you might not have Social Security funds withheld. 

If you have changed jobs, your Social Security status may likewise have changed. Contact the SSA for details.

Home Equity

Paying off a primary residence or building significant equity over time can be a valuable asset in retirement. 

Not only will you be free of a monthly mortgage payment if you pay off the home, but you also may be able to use the accumulated home equity of the property as a source of borrowed funds, if needed.

Everyone needs a secure source of income when retirement rolls around. Start feathering your golden goose nest with assets like these.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Why You Will Run Out of Money in Retirement

Retirement used to be about enjoying your golden years. For many, it was a time to travel or to relax without the need to earn a paycheck. However, times have changed and today, the very thought of retirement brings dread to those 50 and over.

There is a simple reason for this – most of us don’t have the money we need to enjoy a partial retirement, let allow life without work. Don’t believe me, then look at this article about how many Americans lack any sort of savings for an emergency.

To make matters worse, the Federal Government is now running annual deficits of more than $1 trillion and some observers believe the total combined government debt in the U.S. is reaching $70 trillion – that is roughly three-years’ GDP.

Don’t forget Social Security. In fact, this has become the fallback option for most Americans but the reality is that some forecasts predict the trust fund behind those monthly payments will run out of money in the 2030’s.

Think about it, if you are in your mid-50’s the odds are that there won’t be any money left in Social Security by the time you reach retirement age. At least there are pensions. 

Well, unless you are a government employee, the odds are that your employer long ago switched to a 401k plan. In fact, it’s even worse if you are working as a consultant or a contractor as you are basically on your own.

Ok, enough with the scare tactics. I think you get the point – you will probably run out of money in retirement. That is clear and odds are you already know this. The real reason you are reading this article is to find out what you can do to find some semblance of financial freedom in your golden years.

Step 1: Start Saving Something, Anything

While most financial advisors recommend that you should be saving 15 percent of your monthly income. The reality is that this is often a bridge too far for many Americans. Think about it, times are tough and you are probably just making ends meet. 

To make matters worse, the rear differential on your car is probably starting to give you problems.

As such, the idea of setting a goal of saving 15 percent of your income can be daunting. However, saving 1 percent or 5 percent might be something more realistic. 
The added plus is that it gets you into the habit of stowing away a little bit of cash each month. 

So, start saving something, anything today and build on that as you go. Not only will you gain some satisfaction from your growing bank balance but once you get enough money – maybe $500 or so, you can start to put that money into an interest-bearing account. In this way, your money can help you make more money.

Step 2: Cut Back on Your Expenses

Take your monthly cable TV bill. Some people are paying more than $200 every month to have 1,000 channels of nothing that they never watch. 

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that this does not compute. Even better, you don’t need to be a techie to figure out ways to watch TV without cable.

Another way to cut back on your expenses is to stop eating out so much. Sure, it is good to support your local businesses but the reality is that eating out generally costs more than cooking at home – a lot more.

Also, don’t fall for those meal box’ subscription services. Yes, some of the recipes are inventive and it saves time when shopping. 

However, you are paying a premium for these services and you can probably get most of the recipes online and the ingredients either through Amazon or at your local supermarket.

An added plus to cutting back on your expenses is that once you get started, you get passionate about finding ways to save money. 

This brings us to an important fact – a penny saved truly is a penny earned. So, if you can find a way to save $200 a month or more that works out roughly $2,400 a year that you have for retirement.

Step 3: Sell Your Home While the Price is High

It used to be that owning your home was a key part of the American Dream. However, if you are over 50, still paying a mortgage, and have no money saved for retirement, then you need to get radical.

One of the best ways to do this is to look at the equity you have in your home – if you are lucky enough to not be underwater on your mortgage. As such, you might want to steal a page from those annoying Millennials at work by rethinking your housing arrangements.

In some cases, this might mean selling your home so that you can cash before the market turns and in other cases, it might mean finding ways to sublet your home as this will turn a massive expense into a revenue-generating operation.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Planning for Retirement? 5 Tips to Help You Retire in Comfort

The time to start planning for retirement is now. The only people who are exempt are those who have 25 times their annual expenses saved, as they would already be ready to retire based upon their current savings as long as they do not inflate their lifestyles. Those who do not fall into this category should plan ahead. Here are five tips to help you get started if you’re in that boat.

Start Now

If you want to have a good and comfortable retirement, living the lifestyle you want to live, then you need to start planning for retirement sooner rather than later. There’s an old Chinese proverb that says that the best time to plant a tree is ten years ago and that the second best time is today. 

If you’ve not yet started by getting a financial checkup with a group like Trajan Wealth or another financial planning firm, the time is now. It’s a good idea to just see where you stand in regard to your overall financial health.

Plan for Taxes

There are quite a few ways that those who hope to retire can cut their tax bill. Using a tax-deferred retirement account is one way to cut your tax bill in the present and ensure more of your dollars actually go toward your financial goals. 

If you expect to have a higher income in retirement, a Roth account might be a better option to cut down on your tax bill in the future.

Take Social Security into Account

Some people have fear that Social Security will not be around much longer. This is not likely. It is, however, likely that there will have to be benefit cuts in the future if other adjustments are not made. 

Figuring out when the best time to take benefits for your particular situation is imperative to make sure that you’re able to retire as comfortably as possible. With all of this said, you do not want to rely on solely collecting social security in your retirement.

Consider Insurance and Annuities

Some whole life insurance policies can provide income in retirement. They are essentially long-term savings accounts that allow the insurance company to make investments on their policyholders’ behalf. 

Over time, this can add up to a nice sum that can be drawn upon during retirement. Annuities provide annual income for those who purchase them. A wealth management expert can help you navigate which of these options will work best.
Stay Invested

The longer your money stays invested, the longer it has time to compound. Compound interest has been called the eighth wonder of the world, and it can really add up. Even relatively small investments can grow to large sums over time, but the investments have to stay invested for the long haul. 

You also want to make sure that you have a few different investments as well. Keep in mind that investments can be very risky, but they should be calculated risks. If you have made a few smart investments, you will likely be better off than just making one big investment.

Starting retirement planning is imperative. It is never too early to start planning for retirement. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to have the money you need to retire in comfort and for the lifestyle you want to have. 

Those who follow these recommendations are more likely to enjoy a great retirement. While you might not be able to hit all of these mileposts, hitting some of them will be better than none. They can help you retire more comfortably.

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