Showing posts with label planning for retirement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label planning for retirement. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

What Can You Do if You Started Saving for Retirement Late?

Despite your best intentions, you might not have been able to save much toward retirement yet, and you might be realizing that it will be here before you know it. Fortunately, there are ways you can begin saving more for your golden years by making some fairly simple budgeting and lifestyle changes right now.

Save More

If you have a Roth IRA or another investment account for retirement, find out if you can have more deducted from your paycheck and put it into the retirement fund. If you don't already have one, it’s time to start a retirement account now. You can open a low-risk investment account that can begin building equity toward your senior years.

Additionally, review your monthly or annual budget to find expenditures that can be cut or eliminated. Then, add those funds to your retirement savings. 

For example, you can cut that morning coffee run by making coffee at home or cut a gym membership by exercising in your house or neighborhood. Then, take the money you saved and invest it. You’ll be surprised how quickly those seemingly small costs add up.

Spend Less

While reviewing your budget, look for ways to trim non-negotiable items. For example, reduce energy costs by turning down the thermostat a couple of degrees in winter and raising it slightly during the summer months. 

Use online coupons or store discounts to save money on groceries or shoes. Consider buying wholesale instead of resale when you can get quality brands. You can also find great deals on housewares and clothing at thrift stores and yard sales.

Earn Extra

If your kids are grown and you have some free time, get a second job for a few hours a week and apply that income to your retirement fund. A financial advisor can explain the amount of added income you can afford to make without negatively impacting your tax bracket. 

You don't have to give up your lifestyle pleasures and leisure time activities, but doing something you enjoy to earn an extra paycheck can be both meaningful and profitable.

Plan Ahead

Start thinking about the kind of lifestyle you want to enjoy when you retire. When you decide where and how you want to live, you can develop a tentative budget. 

Then talk to a financial advisor about how much you’ll likely need to save to enjoy that lifestyle and stick to the budget. They might recommend downsizing your current home or other cost saving measures, depending on your projected income and expenses. 

They can also help you invest and make wise money decisions as you prepare for the years ahead.

You don't need to be wealthy to enjoy retirement. But it does help to prepare now for that special time in your life. Use your current income wisely to be ready when you step down from full-time employment and begin to enjoy the full fruits of your labor.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Planning for Retirement in the US as an Expat

For those foreigners who have lived and worked in the US for a while, retirement in America can be a great option. Planning for retirement as an expat takes forethought and careful financial planning. For many the process takes years. Fortunately, there are many ways for foreign nationals to have a comfortable retirement in the US.


This falls under the ‘Defined Contribution’ type of retirement plan. Expats who have not yet secured a permanent residence can also invest in 401(k). This avenue lets investors set aside a part of their pre-tax income for retirement. 

It has the added advantage of reducing the taxable income. At the time of signing up, investors have options such as mutual funds, bonds, and stocks.

Sometimes employers match their employees' 401(k) contributions up to a certain percentage. For example, a foreign national working in the US for a local employer earns $50,000 annually and contributes $2,500 (5%) per year into his 401(k). 

If the employer contributes another 3%, the employee gets an additional $1,500 added into the plan per year.

Another option is the Roth 401(k) plan. It differs from the 401(k) in that it is funded with after-tax dollars. Roth 401(k) is gaining popularity because it comes with tax-free withdrawals.


Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) work much the same way as 401(k) plans, except for two key differences. First, 401(k) accounts are maintained by employers whereas IRAs are opened by individuals. 

People usually go to asset management entities or brokerage firms to start an IRA. Second, 401(k) plans restrict investments to a single option – stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. 

An IRA allows for a more diversified investment mix under one account. It can also include real estate investments. Note that IRAs are taxable at the time of withdrawal.


A large number of expats in the US send money online to invest in various retirement plans in their home countries. For those planning to retire in America, investing locally can make more sense. 

Pensions are among the simplest retirement schemes for expats who are formally employed by US firms. These require no major investments on part of the employees. 

Employers who maintain pension funds give fixed monthly benefits to their employees after retirement. The pension payment is determined by the annual salary during employment and the tenure of service. Pensions offer much better benefits to those who have been in long term employment.

Pension is generally calculated at 1.5% of the average annual salary times the number of years of service. For example, someone who earned an average annual salary of $60,000 over 25 years of service will receive a monthly pension benefit of roughly $1,875 after retirement. 

This figure may appear underwhelming. However, for most expats this is not the sole source of income. They look upon pension as merely an additional income. It is commonly combined with social security benefits and other forms of income.

Social Security

Expats who are in the US for the long haul are entitled to receive Social Security benefits. The amount of benefit is determined by credits an individual has accrued over the period of their working years. 

These credits can be re-calculated after each month. The Social Security Administration offers a Retirement Calculator on its website. Individuals can readily determine the age at which their desired benefit amount will become available.

However, first, you must contribute to the Social Security fund. Both employers and employees must pay 6.2% of the annual wages, up to a maximum of $137,700. Self-employed persons are required to contribute to the entire 12.4%. 

Further, individuals must accrue 40 credits to be eligible for social security benefits. 1 credit equals 1 quarter of a working year. One must work for 10 years to be eligible to receive these benefits.

The retirement age in the US is divided into slabs. This is also applicable to foreign workers. For persons born between 1943 and 1954 the full retirement age is 66. For persons born between 1955 and 1960 the full retirement age gradually increases by 1 year till it reaches 67. 

Individuals can opt for an early retirement age of 62. However, this will bring a reduction of up to 28% in the monthly benefit payouts.

Fixed income annuities

This is a type of insurance contract that may be used toward retirement benefits. Individuals can buy fixed income annuities from insurance firms and contribute to their post-retirement incomes with monthly payments. 

For instance, a person who wishes to retire at 65 starts investing $500 monthly at age 30. This person will receive an annuity payout of about $540,000. This sum can be withdrawn in monthly, quarterly, or annual payouts as a fixed income. 

Furthermore, contributions to fixed income annuities are not capped like IRAs or 401(k). One can invest in annuities without limit. For comfortable retirement experts suggest investing at least 5% of your annual salary into fixed income annuities.

About the author:

Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.

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.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Planning for Retirement: 5 Tips to Make Your Pension Last

If you’re getting set to retire, it’s important that you find ways to make your money last throughout the rest of your life. Maximizing your retirement funds can be done with the right planning. Here are five tips to help you make your pension last.

Work for as Long as Possible

It may be a good idea to hold off on retiring so that you can continue to generate more income. Working longer will allow you to save more money and apply it to your living expenses after you’ve retired. Delaying your retirement can also help you maximize your social security earnings.

Settle Debts Beforehand

Retiring while still in debt can lead to financial ruin. Even debt that seems small can quickly spiral out of control. You should try to pay off your home, credit cards and any vehicles that you have before quitting work. 

Running a credit check on yourself will allow you to see if you have outstanding debts that you may have forgotten about and will also let you know if you have any collections on your record that need to be settled.

Invest Wisely

Putting money into funds that will give you a greater return as interest rates grow is a great way to secure your retirement. Many people have found success by investing into an annuity or an IRA plan. 

Buying stocks and bonds and selling them when you decide to retire is another great option. If you’re really a savvy investor, you can try investing in a real estate or business venture to grow your retirement fund.

Hire a Financial Advisor

A financial advisor like RMR Wealth Builders, Inc. or someone similar can help you invest your money wisely and will assist you with planning your retirement financing. 

From building a financial portfolio to informing you of all your assets and liabilities, your financial advisor will be able to work with you in many areas. 

You should make sure that any financial advisor that you’re considering hiring is registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and has experience in assisting retirees.

Consider Moving

Relocating might be your best option if you live in an area where housing costs and other expenses are high. Texas, Alabama and Tennessee are among the cheapest places to retire in the U.S. and offer plenty of opportunities for fun and easy living. 

If moving out of the country is a better option, you can retire in style and make your money last by settling in a budget-friendly country like Thailand, Ecuador or Panama.

You shouldn’t have to worry so much about having money in your golden years. Taking the right steps to ensure financial security when you retire can pay dividends.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Freedom Debt Relief: Planning For Retirement at 50

Financial advisers constantly stress that young people must plan early for retirement. Where is the advice for people actually closing in on retirement like 50-year-olds? With only 10 to 15 years left before retiring, 50 is an important age to take stock and make sure everything is heading in the right direction.

While you won’t have the broad time horizon that a 20-year-old would, you still have enough time to make changes that have a big impact. Experts recommend adding the entirety of your life savings, including investments and money stashed away and dividing it by 25. 

If you can live on that amount of money for a year, you are on track for retirement. This approach assumes you withdraw 4% per year from your funds. Freedom Debt Relief goes over additional advice to keep or get you back on track for retirement.

Asset Allocation

Freedom Debt Relief knows due to a broad time horizon young people can afford to have risky investments. The high risk allows them to potentially make a lot of money while still being able to bounce back if things go wrong. 

This is the opposite of how a 50-year-old needs to invest. When there is less time left before retirement, your portfolio may not be able to recover from a decline in the stock market. Change your asset allocation to minimize risk by investing in CDs, bonds, and annuities.

Look at Health Care Coverage

Health care can be an enormous expense in your later years. Getting covered at 50 will be a lot cheaper than trying to get covered at 65 or 70. Freedom Debt Relief recommends getting properly covered in health care now so you don’t spend all your money paying for medical expenses in retirement.

Max Out Retirement Contributions

Freedom Debt Relief advises contributing the maximum to all your retirement investment vehicles. This advice is the same for young and old investors. 50-year-olds are eligible to increase their 401(k) contributions by a significant amount, so take advantage of it. 

If your employer offers a match, not contributing to your 401K is like leaving free money on the table. 50-year-olds can also increase the contribution to their IRA or Roth IRA. Maxing out your contribution is one of the best ways to save money.

Reconsider Insurance

Responsible adults purchase insurance when they have young children or spouses reliant on their income. Evaluate your insurance to make sure everything you pay for is still relevant. 

If your children are financially independent, drop unnecessary insurance and put the extra cash towards your retirement. Freedom Debt Relief always advises careful monitoring of where your cash flow goes each month.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tech Tips for Baby Boomers Who Are Planning for Retirement

Retirement planning can seem overwhelming at times, but today’s baby boomers have it easier than they might imagine. 

Thanks to the latest technology, you can create a plan, track your progress, and tweak your investments with just a few taps of your finger. Equip yourself with the right tech-based tools, and you can take charge of your retirement efforts in a whole new way.

Invest in a Reliable Smartphone

One of the best retirement planning tools at your disposal is a smartphone. With the right device in hand, you can access a wealth of apps and web pages that will help you create and monitor your retirement strategy. 

If you’re not yet up-to-date on the latest smartphone technology, now is the time to start exploring your options and familiarizing yourself with smartphones as powerful tools.

Look for an intuitive product that you won’t have too much trouble learning how to use effectively. An Android phone like the Galaxy S7 edge is often the best option for users who are familiar with other Google products like Gmail. 

The Google Play app store makes it easy to bring your favorite Google programs right to your smartphone. Combine your powerful smartphone with a fast, reliable network for optimum functionality. 

A provider like T-Mobile can offer versatile plans with plenty of data so you’ll find the perfect fit for your needs.

Explore Apps for Retirement

With your smartphone in hand, you can begin exploring apps that will help you manage your retirement plans. 

Retirement Planner by Swiftmatic LLC is a good place to start. This app will help you compare traditional and Roth 401(k)s and IRAs, calculate how your employer contribution is adding up, and see if you have a surplus of retirement savings or a serious shortfall. 

iMaximize Social Security will help you explore your options for Social Security benefits. MassMutual RetireSmart helps you chart asset allocation and track retirement contributions.

Don’t overlook apps that’s aren’t directly related to retirement. Trulia is a powerful real estate app that can help you find your perfect retirement home. 

AARP Now helps you maximize your AARP membership benefits and find local discounts, workshops, and events.

Utilize Online Planning Tools

Not all planning tools come in the form of an app. There are many useful resources that you can access online. If you don’t have a reliable computer at home, get acquainted with your local library. 

This is a convenient place to hop online and explore all that the internet has to offer. A good smartphone can help you access the internet as well, though not all web pages are mobile optimized for easy viewing on your phone.

The AARP retirement calculator is a practical tool to make sure you’re saving enough for a comfortable retirement. 

It allows you to customize your retirement plan to accommodate the lifestyle you’re looking for in your post-employment years.

Put a Budget in Place

One of the best things you can do for your retirement is to start budgeting well. Today’s tech tools make it easier than ever to stick to your savings plan. 

With an app like Mint, you can keep an eye on every penny that goes into and comes out of your accounts. Mint links directly to your bank, credit card, and investment accounts so you can see everything in one place. 

Intuitive charts and graphs make it easy to get a better view of your financial situation so you can tweak it appropriately to protect your retirement goals.

Update Your Investment Strategy

If you haven’t tried managing your investments online, there’s a new world of possibilities just waiting for you to explore. 

Apps like Acorns and SigFig will help you manage and optimize your investment portfolios. If you’re new to investing as a whole, you can even start with a tool like the Stock Market Simulator app. 

This will help you become familiar with the ins and outs of investments before you sink real money into the effort.

Don’t let the details of retirement planning overwhelm you. Use these tools and strategies to simplify your efforts and tackle the next phase of your life with gusto.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

How To Make Your Home A Retirement Haven

A home should be a place of comfort, but this could change as you age. There are a number of things that need to be considered to ensure that your home is a retirement haven. Some of these suggestions are more practical while others focus on comfort.

Redesigning Your Home

One thing a person retiring may need to consider is the overall design of his or her home. Many areas of the house could be changed to ensure that you are comfortable. You might want to remove some walls in the house. 

This will create an open space and also give you more wiggle room to move around your home. An elderly person might have a hard time walking around walls, which can be eliminated with this simple redesign.

Another thing you might want to do is place the master bedroom downstairs instead of upstairs. Stairs are a killer for people dealing with certain joint or muscular issues. 

Be sure to place the bedroom far away from noisy locations like the laundry room or kitchen. You might also want to stay away from the air conditioner or furnace. All these sounds might make it hard for you to sleep soundly. 

It might be a good idea to make doors a little larger to ensure that you can get through them easily, even if you use a wheelchair at some point in your life.

Automatic Comfort

As your body ages, it may start to have trouble regulating temperature, meaning that a home can become uncomfortable even with an air conditioner. 

There are a number of things that can be done to ensure that a home is always cozy. For one, the air conditioner can be automated so the temperature in each room can controlled at the touch of a button. 

An automated air conditioner or smart conditioner can also be programmed beforehand so that you do not have to adjust it constantly.

An air conditioner may be the right choice to keep you cool, but you will want to make sure you have a good system to keep you warm. 

A furnace is a must, but you might also consider a gas fireplace, or even heated floors to keep you cozy in luxurious fashion.

A Swimming Pool & Jacuzzi for Health

You might find this hard to believe, but scientists have found that swimming is quite beneficial for older adults. 

It seems that swimming works on the core muscles of the body, which is incredibly important for aging men or women since muscles naturally weaken as you grow older. 

Swimming seems to help ensure that coordination and balance is improved at the same time. This is one great reason why you should install a custom swimming pool, but it is not the only reason.

You might also consider adding a hot tub or spa to your property. The heat from a hot tub can help to ease aches and pains and relax your muscles. 

Some say that a spa can also help you to fall asleep by increasing levels of naturally occurring melatonin. This is the neurotransmitter associated with drowsiness and deep sleep. 

The relaxation can be very helpful to those who start to have problems sleeping as they age. Many hot tubs also have water jets, which add even more relaxation potential. 

These water jets help massage the body when muscles are sore, but they also help increase blood circulation as the skin and muscles are stimulated. This ensures a strong blood flow within the body, which is great for your overall health.

Of course, these are just some ideas to make your home a retirement haven. There is more that you can do. 

The most important thing to do is to consider what you want during your golden years. Make sure you consider comfort and resolve possible issues that may make it harder for you to live like you want.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Retirement Savings Crisis - Infographic

It's terrible how ill prepared most of us are for retirement. It's not like we don't know it's going to happen. We have more than half of our lives to get ready for it. Sadly, some of those that did prepare have had their savings taken out by the current economic problems. 

If the government really wanted to do something about this they should have a method to start the preparation for retirement when we are born. At birth we give children a Social Security card, why not a retirement account also. Why wait to start something important like that 25 years later? What's your take?

Image created by

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Living on a Budget after Retirement

Frugal living is not easy even if you have a job. There are so many things to think of, to budget and to decide. Most of the time, a regular wage is not enough to cover the expenses you need to settle monthly. In fact, it has now become a big challenge to live decently. How much more if you are nearing your retirement age? 

For some people, retirement is never an issue especially if they have ample savings for their future. But for the majority whose salaries are good enough to let them survive each month, life after retirement is still hazy. Does this sounds familiar? Well then, here are a few tips to help you get through your retirement and live a frugal life.

Plan Ahead Where to Retire

Before your retirement period, it is essential to plan things ahead. Decide where you want to spend your retirement. Do you want to stay in your home? Or, are you planning to move in another place where costs of living are lower? The cost of living in each state and city varies. For example, if you are living in a big city like NYC, obviously, you need to spend more. 

If you want to live on a budget after retirement, find an area with cheap cost of living than your current place. Some cities have lower property taxes and housing rates. In addition, these areas might have lower personal and sales taxes. One good example of city with low-cost of living is Austin, Texas. In this city, the costs of housing, food and transportation remain cheap in comparison to other cities. 

Live in a Smaller Home

If you used to live in a 5-bedroom house, it’s about time to reconsider letting it go. At this age, chances are, your children are grown up and have their own family. Staying in a big house with only two of you living will really make you feel empty. And this is even worse, if you are alone. Additionally, huge home requires more maintenance, which means more budget and work needed. 

Downsize your retirement home. Look for a smaller house or an apartment that can accommodate you (and your partner if you have). Smaller living space consumes less energy. And, less energy used means low utility bills. Thus, this enables you to save money and minimize expenses. Above all, the best thing about small home is less maintenance. 

Invest Only on Essential Things

After retirement, you might be tempted to buy anything that catches your attention with your retirement fee. Resist temptation! This will likely drain your finances in no time. If you want to buy something, make sure it is of great use and you really need it. Don't buy a brand new couch just because it has a very nice shade. If you really need it, go for it. But if it’s not necessary, do not spend your money. 

When it comes to your health, you should never be stingy. Investing in medical devices, like medical guardian, is essential if there is a need for you to have it. Health must not be neglected at this stage. The most important thing to keep in mind is to be wise. 

So, these are just some tips on how to live on a budget after retirement. Remember, planning is a vital element to have a successful retirement.

This article is by Ashley O’connor.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How to Plan a Financially Secure Retirement

saving and spending
saving and spending (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)
You may think that you should only think about planning your retirement once you have plenty of funds saved and then and only then, seek financial advice. However, the most sensible way to approach it is to begin that planning process from your very first job. Don’t leave it until it is too late to save the money that you will need for retirement. 

Start Early

You don’t need the help of anyone in order to get started. You should start by saving a small amount of money a week and keep it in a savings account. Leave it to build up to a few thousand pounds. At this point, you can begin to invest the funds into the stock market. Ideally, you would invest in multiple diversified mutual funds, in addition to ETFs. Continue to save and invest until you have a nice little nest egg. Then you can begin to diversify further. 

Diversify Investments

To help in diversifying your savings, start to look at your portfolio as a whole and ensure that there is no single region, sector, industry or investment that is dominating your holdings. Essentially, ensure that you have investments in technology stocks, mature stocks, foreign companies, value stocks, growth stocks etc. To achieve this, begin to look through your mutual funds and note which company types and sectors are in each mutual fund. You should be reasonably diversified but this is nothing too much to worry about at this point. 
Focus on and take control of your retirement
Focus on and take control of your retirement (Photo credit: SalFalko)

When you have reached a significant amount of savings, you can diversify even more. You can then look to purchasing property. If you have the time on your hands, that is. Alternatively, you can buy real estate trusts or real estate fund in either residential or commercial properties. They can act as an effective diversification strategy from conventional assets, such as stocks or bonds. 

Build on Your Plan

Once your investment portfolio has grown, you need to be increasing your awareness of investing as well as the level at which you are planning for your retirement. Estimate how much you will need in order to retire and begin to work toward that goal.

One option you do have and should consider when planning your retirement is a payday loan from a company such as It may be that a member of your family is forced to have an operation or a loved one passes away. Such a measure should not be used for frivolous purposes but it can alleviate some of the stress that comes with retirement, just knowing that it exists as an option. 

As the time draws closer to your retirement, you will either feel secure or find that you are worried. If you are feeling nervous, it may be worth visiting a personal financial planner to assess your plan as it stands. They will be able to use sophisticated software in order to estimate the demands you are likely to be met with and calculate the odds of you running out of money. If you do feel secure then, by all means, enjoy your retirement!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

How to Supplement Your Retirement with Income from Other People's Properties

Property in Europe
Property in Europe (Photo credit: Images_of_Money)
Do you have fears about not having enough money for a comfortable retirement? Perhaps you are looking to invest in property, either to supplement your existing pension, or to become financially independent from the portfolio itself. What you may not have realised, however, is that you don’t necessarily need to “own” a portfolio in order to create cashflow from one. Read on and discover how my daughter Emily and I went from 0 to £5000 per month from properties we don’t actually own... 

Would Ownership Work for Us? 

We had heard a great deal about building a small portfolio of properties that we could buy cheap or finance, refurbish and sell or rent to up-and-coming young professionals. It sounded a good plan on the face of it but the problem was that we were quickly running out of cash. Since the credit crunch, lenders usually require a hefty 25% deposit. Even if a property could be obtained below market value, it was costing us around £21,000 per property. After all that investment, we were only making around £200 per month cashflow. At this rate, we realised that it was going to take a long, long time to become financially free, so it was back to the drawing board. We knew that there had to be another way. 

Single-Lets vs. Multi-Lets 

As I mentioned, renting the property out as a single-let property, namely when the entire property is let out on an AST, just wasn’t producing the cashflow we required. It was then, that we discovered how multi-letting a property, namely renting the property on a room by room basis, created substantially higher cashflow each month. It did not take us long to realize that multi-letting was the way forward. However, we still had the problem of stumping up the hefty deposits required by lenders. That’s when the light bulb moment hit... 

You Don’t Need To Own! 

We knew that multi-letting was the best was for us to maximise cashflow, but we still faced the same problem, namely raising the huge initial deposit. It then suddenly dawned on us. Why do we actually need to buy these properties? We knew that there must be struggling landlords out there who are looking for a guaranteed rent and for someone to manage the property for them. We decided to contact letting agents and make arrangements to rent the properties through what a corporate let. We would rent on a room-to-room basis to multiple renters who would be young professionals between the ages of 23 and 35. The agent would have a guaranteed rent, and we would take care of having minimal renovations performed that were necessary to make the house attractive to tenants. Initially we were met with scepticism and were even thrown out a couple of offices! But we persevered and within 6 months we had 9 multi-let houses in 5 months generating £5000 pcm net! 

Finding the Right Properties 

In our target area, we look to acquire properties that had a number of larger bedrooms, such as Victorian houses. Double bedrooms rent out much more easily than singles, especially if they have an en-suite. We normally look to pay the landlord around £200 pcm for each double bedroom in the house. So a property with 4 double rooms, we will rent off the landlord for £800. We then advertise the rooms for around £400 per room. After all cost, we aim to make £500 per month cashflow off each property. 

This system has been working out well for us and we plan on expanding our portfolio of rent to rent properties in the next year or so. We have created systems so that we only spend a few hours each week managing each property. It really has worked well for us and can work for you too. As Nike would say “Just Do It!” Francis Dolley is an expert on this unique rent to rent system and runs courses in the UK teaching students how they can successfully build a portfolio of properties that they don’t own, yet generate substantial cashflow profits each and every month.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Planning For Retirement On The Installment Plan

Retirement (Photo credit: Tax Credits)
When people are planning for their retirement future the first idea for saving is through a 401K plan. Many times these plans are not available to all people. This brings up the question of how do I start to save for retirement. 

Because planning for retirement takes a lot of financial planning and management of money and resources it might be a good idea to hire someone who can help guide you. For those who do not will often fail and will not have any money to live on once retirement has approached. It is important to plan for retirement while you are still working and have an income that is guaranteed. Of course the earlier you start planning the better.

When looking into retirement plans for the future many people often inquire about a payment plan or an installment plan where money can be placed and saved for future use. This is where an annuity can come into play.

Fixed Annuity

There are two different types of annuities that can be used. The first of these and the most common is the fixed annuity. When investing in a fixed annuity there is a one-time payment that is involved. This investment for a specified time period and will involve a fixed interest rate through out the time period. For this reason financial planners will often recommend this type of investment plan. It is a source of income that is not interrupted when you go to retire.

Another large advantage of a fixed annuity when compared to other investments is when it comes to be tax time. Tax deductions are not applicable on the money that is used to invest in the annuity. The reason why this makes a fixed annuity so attractive is because when the person who has invested has reached the maturity come retirement age they are out of the income bracket to be taxable. Therefore any returns that are obtained by the annuity are tax-exempt.

Deferred Annuity

A deferred annuity can also be used as an installment plan for retirement. This is a plan that comes with a periodic investment. There is not a fixed amount needed when it comes to this type of investment. However there is a certain fixed amount that is needs to be made for a certain amount of time. The person who is investing is who decides how much should be invested. The investor will start to receive the returns of their investment once the annuity reaches the maturity date. As with the fixed annuity the investment is not taxable but the return will be taxable at the end of the year.

When a person wants to invest in their retirement so that they are able to enjoy a worry free life one of the most popular ways to do this is through installments. By working with a financial planner and figuring out what is best for you it is possible to achieve and enjoy retirement without having to worry about how to live comfortably.

Author Bio
This guest post is a contribution by Janice. She has been linked up with some good financial communities. She used to share her thoughts there. She is specially experience on topics like debt, credit card, bad credit personal loan, insurance, mortgage etc.

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