Archive for April, 2009

Have You Asked Yourself, How Do I Plan For Retirement?

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Thinking about retirement?

If you are serious about getting the most out of your retirement, then it is absolutely vital that you begin the planning process now. When you begin putting together your plan for retirement, you should make sure to include the following:

– First you should sit down and take inventory of your finances.

You absolutely must know where you are financially, as well as where you would like to be and what it is going to take to get you there. If you are deep in debt right now, then the chances are that you are not prepared for retirement. Your retirement plan is going to have to keep in mind that you will need around 70% to 90% of your current level of income in order to maintain your current standard of living.

– Now you need to sit down and focus on what your retirement goals are. What does retirement really mean to you?

For some people, retirement is all about sitting on the porch all day and watching the grandchildren play. For others, retirement is all about traveling to see the entire world. These types of retirements are going to involve considerable expenses. For other still, retirement means a balance between these two things. The more you know about what you want out of your retirement, the easier it will become to make your retirement plan.

– If you want to enjoy retirement in the future, then you need to lead a healthy lifestyle now.

Lose those extra pounds, get rid of the cigarettes and get yourself healthy. If you are not healthy when you retire, then good living habits and frugal spending will mean nothing. If your employer offers a retirement plan, make sure you have an explanation of this plan so you can figure out whether or not you can contribute to it, and whether or not your employer will provide matching funds.

– Speak with your loved ones about your retirement plans.

If your spouse has a retirement plan, find out more about it. Are you entitled to receiving any benefits as the spouse? Make sure that you understand waivers and consent forms that you my need to sign.

– Another good idea to consider is to open an IRA.

Almost all Americans can open up an IRA account if they have earned income of any type. An IRA can either be a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. Your bank will be able to tell you how to open up an IRA account. Once opened, you should contribute the maximum possible amount to your IRA every year.

If you are near your retirement age, then you really need to spend more time discussing your retirement plans with your spouse. You may have completely different plans, and some kind of compromise may need to be made. Your family needs to have a good idea not only of your retirement plan but also what other long term goals you have that may affect them.

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Originally posted 2020-12-30 05:03:51. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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7 Budgeting Examples

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Remember to budget for travel, holidays, birthdays, and more as you find necessary.

When it comes to budgeting examples, one of the best things that you can do is to look at a successful budget and draw from it to establish your own. Everyone has a different idea of what makes a good working budget, and your budgeting examples need to be unique to your needs and wants if you want to get the most out of them. Here are some tips for creating working budgeting examples that will allow you to manage your money more wisely than before.

1 – Keep yourself busy after work in order to keep from overspending.

If you prevent yourself from overspending, then staying within your budget, so make sure to practice this. Find something else to do, like getting a fun second job, going back to school, volunteering, or getting into shape. The more you find to do, the less you will end up spending in the long run.

2 – Watch out for miscellaneous categories.

Make sure that you use well defined categories in your budget to capture how you are actually spending your money. If you put too much money into a miscellaneous category, it will make it significantly harder for you to track what you are spending, and it will make it significantly harder to control your spending in the process.

3 – Determine the difference between wanting and needing.

If you did not know that you needed it, you probably still do not need it. Do not buy things because they are on sale, or because you may eventually need them. If you didn’t want them or need them before they showed up on sale, then do you really need them?

4 – Budget for special occasions when forecasting your expenses.

Include gift giving occasions, eating out occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, traveling, and holidays among others. If you plan on spending money on any of these occasions, then you need to remember to include them in your budget for the best results.

5 – Do not use forms of debt to eliminate other forms of debt.

Taking out a consolidation loan may seem like a good idea, but doing this to pay off other debt is ludicrous. Why create new debt to eliminate old debt? Try consulting free debt counselor groups rather than paying in the long run with a pricey debt consolidation loan.

6 – Budget your time as well as your money.

Time is money; we have all heard this phrase. Well spent time can be just as big an investment as investing money. Take a few moments every day to figure out how you can save on bills by researching lower rates or cutting out unnecessary services. This is time spent that is well worth it.

7 – Keep track of your expenses daily to keep better control over your money.

Call your bank’s automated teller or check your online statement and get your banking settled before you go to bed. It only takes about ten minutes but it works wonders for your budget and making sure you have the money that you think you do.

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Originally posted 2020-12-29 05:58:49. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Searching for a Legitimate High Yield Investment?

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Flying high on investments? Avoid scams!

If you’re just getting started with investing, you’re probably searching high and low for a legitimate high yield investment to sink some money into and make lots of profits. Everyone wants to find those high yield investments so they can do the same thing. The biggest problem, of course, is that many other people know how to prey upon those looking for good investments. Scams abound on the Internet, ranging from simple pyramid schemes where you can lose a few hundred dollars or more complicated investment schemes that can cost you thousands.

One good way to figure out if a legitimate high yield investment is a scam is to really think about what you’re being told, and why. Read about the investment with an objective eye. Is the reason it’s such a good investment being explained thoroughly, or is it just a lot of hype and promises designed to get you to sign up? The old adage really does apply—a high yield investment that seems almost to good to be true, probably is too good to be true.

Be wary of the person or the company that’s introducing you to the investment. What’s in it for them? Are they selling you the information about the investment? Be wary. This is how many scammers make their money. They talk you into paying them for information, and once you get the information it usually proves useless—or explains that by giving them even more money, you’ll get even more information. . . avoid these types of pitches. If the investment they’re touting were really a legitimate high yield investment, they’d be making all their money off the investment and wouldn’t need to sell their “secrets” or “system” to you.

One of most common scams involves pyramid schemes. These plans always sound like legitimate high yield investments to people unfamiliar with how they work, and people have been known to sink thousands of dollars into these “investments” before they realized they were being scammed. It’s easy to recognize a pyramid scheme, though, because you’ll probably have to recruit people so sign up for the plan or program, and you’re promised profits off of them and everyone else they sign up. It sounds fine in theory, but the problem with pyramids are that there’s nothing of value being offered. You make money from them signing up—it’s a simple passing of cash—with those at the top making the most and those lower down finding it harder and harder to get people to sign up.

Also, anyone who claims to have a legitimate high yield investment for you and is promising that you’ll double your money or make dramatic profits very quickly is probably just selling something, something on which you’ll lose all your money.

The best way to research high yield investments is by keeping an eye on trends, and reading financial magazines, and online finance magazines like Forbes and The Motley Fool. You’ll get sound investing advice, free of the hype and the desire to sell you something.

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Originally posted 2020-12-26 05:47:15. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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How Do Savings Bonds Work? Is My Money Safe if I Purchase Them?

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

B is for Bond.

These are questions most people ask when they consider buying savings bonds. Yes, your investment in savings bonds is one of the most safe investments you can make. You’re purchasing the bond and giving the government cash, which they pay you interest back on at a later date. It’s rather like the government borrowing a small amount of money from you, and paying interest on the loan.

Savings bonds are issued by the United States government.

They’re non-transferable, which simply means they must be sold by the government. You can buy savings bonds in a variety of denominations, with $50 and $100 savings bonds being quite popular amounts. You pay less than face value for the bond, and it begins earning interest so that when it matures, usually in several years, the bond is worth the face value. Most bonds will continue to earn interest for years after maturity, so by the time you cash in a bond it can be worth much more than its face value. Some bonds will continue to accumulate interesting for up to 30 years, so if you wish you can leave your investment long-term and still continue to earn profits.

Because savings bonds are registered securities, they’re replaceable.

If they’re damaged, stolen or lost, there is a record of your ownership of the bond so you don’t lose your money. And the amount of a savings bond can never go down, so the money you invest in a bond cannot be lost. Savings bonds are also fairly fluid—the money isn’t locked away so that you can’t get to it in the case of an emergency. But if you cash in a bond early, you won’t see the full return as it won’t be worth its face value yet. And bonds cashed before 5 years are also subject to an interest penalty. But for some, that risk is worth knowing that they can withdraw cash from their investment at any time.

When you purchase savings bonds, you do have to pay Federal Income Tax on the interest they earn.

But you can ease this burden on yourself—a wise choice if you have multiple high-value bonds—by paying the tax on this interest yearly. Or you can opt to wait until the bond is cashed in and pay this tax in one lump sum. You’ll only pay federal tax on bonds, not state or local tax, and if you use the bonds toward education, taxes are sometimes waived.

The two types of bonds you can purchase today are Series EE bonds or Series I bonds.

For Series EE bonds (also called Patriot Bonds) you’ll pay half the face value and it will draw interest every month for 30 years. Series I bonds also accrue monthly interest for 30 years, but you pay full face value for the bond and the interest rate varies with the current inflation indexes.

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Originally posted 2020-12-23 05:49:16. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Traditional Magazines vs. Online Magazines

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Traditional vs. Modern

While many people subscribe to a variety of financially-oriented magazines to keep abreast of the latest economic happenings, others find that online finance magazines are a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest financial news, all with just a click of the mouse.

Online finance magazines have advantages over traditionally published monthly or weekly magazines, as well as some drawbacks. The chief drawback is that the information is never quite as in depth as it is in a traditional magazine. Most of the websites like Forbes and Kiplinger’s are designed to get more subscribers to their traditional magazine. So of course they can’t provide everything on the website that they do in the magazine—there’s little incentive to pay for something when you’re already getting it free.

Also, most online finance magazines, and almost any kind of article or magazine these days, are filled with advertising. Yes, traditional magazines are supported by advertising, too, that’s an important part of what makes a magazine successful. But typically in online magazines you’ll have to read an article over several pages, each filled with more and more advertising. Even small articles are often split up so that you have to click through 3 and 4 ad-filled pages to read the entire thing.

But where online finance magazines have an edge over traditionally published magazines is the ability to change the information fast. While the article in your latest copy of Inc. probably contains great general information, any new happenings in the markets or the economic state of the country or the world will have to wait until the next issue is published.

The online finance magazines, however, will jump on that news and can have great information up on their websites almost immediately. Did the stocks jump 300 points, or fall 500 just yesterday? You can’t get that kind of up-to-date news and information from a traditional magazine, only the dynamic and constantly changing properties of the web allow for that fast information assimilation. And when it comes to your finances and investments, the latest information is often the most valuable.

Aside from the online finance magazines already mentioned, other great resources are Worth, Smart Money, Money and magazines like BusinessWeek and Barron’s. All these sources are filled with great up-to-date information about investments and the markets, among other important financial topics.

Probably the key to managing your finances as well as possible, especially in these shaky economic times, is to use a three-pronged approach. Read books about financial subjects for the broadest information, read some of the top traditional magazines like Forbes and Money to get more focused articles about specific topics that are on people’s minds today, and regularly visit their websites so that you’re getting the very latest news on the financial markets and the state of the economy. The general information combined with the best news and advice from the online finance magazines can help you expertly manage your financial affairs.

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Originally posted 2020-12-22 05:56:09. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Free Investment Research Can Make Your Money Profitable

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Research Investments.

Do you still recall learning how to conduct research in high school and college? If you are tired of researching subjects for school, it may be difficult for you to come up with a good reason to continue conducting research as an adult, but it is unfortunately a little necessary, especially when it comes to investing and turning a profit from your money. Learning how to conduct research in high school and college may not have seemed important back then, but it really does apply to every day life, especially when it comes to conducting free investment research for the sake of turning your money into even more profits. Learning how to conduct free investment research online and through other means can be extremely helpful and can be a great skill for you to have. In other words, the research you learned how to conduct in school will benefit you for when you start doing investment research as an adult in order to grow your money and make it work for you.

Whether they would like to admit it or not, many people are lazy when it comes to conducting research of any kind, even free investment research. This is what leads many people to cheat, trying to bypass the research and simply rely on guesswork to decide which way to go when it comes to investing. Just like cheating on tests was a bad way to go while you were in school, cheating when it comes to obtaining free investment research is not a wise way to go. Instead, you need to be willing to put some serious time and effort into obtaining the proper free investment research if you really want to get the most out of your investments.

The greatest thing about free investment research is that there is such a wide variety of different professionals out there that are available to help you conduct the research that you need. They can help you no matter how much money you want to invest, as long as you like stocks and want to make smart, educated and informed decisions about your investments. If you are serious about getting the most out of your investment portfolio, you need to have a powerful support team and you need to be willing to conduct some free investment research in order to figure out which stocks and other investments will best suit you and which are worth skipping all together. There are plenty of professionals out there that will help you conduct the free investment research that you need in order to make smart decisions about your investing. The more educated your decisions are, the more successful you will be at getting the most out of your money.

Free investment research is vital as a part of your investment process, so do not make any guesswork based decisions, but rather research your investment options and act based on solid information.

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Originally posted 2020-12-19 05:16:15. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Child Savings and Investment

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Are you investing for your child?

Having children is not cheap by any means these days, especially when you consider the long term basis. The older your children get, the more they will end up costing you, especially when you consider education costs which are rising with every passing year. It may seem easy to put saving and investing for your child’s future off, since higher education is so far away when your kids are young, but it is absolutely vital that you start saving now if you want to make sure that your children have everything they need in life, even far into the future. Surveys are luckily beginning to suggest that as a whole, we are beginning to realize how important it is to save ahead of time for the future. Saving and investing for the future of your children is a necessary parental responsibility. Here is some basic information on how to save for your children, and a look at some of the available financial products that may help you with this process.

* Bank Accounts –

The first step that many parents take toward saving for the futures of their children is to open a savings account on the behalf of each child, making small cash deposits over time. Most banks have accounts that are designed specifically to tailor to children, often offering a higher interest rate and other incentives like savings club memberships for kids, piggy banks, badges and other toys. Even if you are not sure how often you will be able to make deposits, it is still a good idea to set a deposit account up as soon as possible so that it is there any time you want to put money aside. It is surprising how quickly this money can add up if you are diligent about depositing it.

* Tax –

Children are subject to income taxes on their bank accounts just as adults are. They do receive a tax allowance, and they will not be taxed on the interest as long as their total income does not exceed this allowance over the span of the financial year. This only applies to savings accrued by relative or friend gifts so the money that you deposit will be naturally subject to the tax amount.

* Trust Funds for Children –

Trust funds are a unique way for parents to invest money into their children’s futures, creating a fund that belongs to the child but only after they reach a certain age. Most trusts last until the child turns 18, meaning as soon as they reach adulthood they will have access to a savings fund of money that will help them with purchases like buying a car, going to school and so on. Money can be invested into these funds every year, and you can choose between savings funds, shares funds and stakeholder funds depending on your needs and the needs of your family.

There are lots of other possibilities when it comes to savings methods for your children, including bonds, savings accounts, trust funds, investments, shares and stocks. Some are not designed specifically for children, but all can benefit the child as long as you are willing to manage them on the behalf of your children until they are old enough to handle the management their own selves.

Photo Credits: 1

Originally posted 2020-12-18 05:17:37. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Stocks are a Great Investment

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Know your facts.

Most people recognize that stocks are an excellent investment, but purchasing stocks can be a confusing process. This is especially true if you have little experience in investing, or no experience at all. You can turn the stock buying process into a good investment even as a beginner, and all that it takes to make this happen is to take your time and find the perfect combination of stocks to improve your portfolio and greatly improve your profits in the process.

* Read the History!

Choosing the right stocks means sitting down and exploring your options long before you make an actual investment. Read the history of each company and their stock, and also get to know the bare basics of the stock market before you make an investment. Most people mistakenly are led to believe that the stock market is purely a short term investment market offering high yields. This is not the reality however, as stocks actually perform better on a longer term basis than on a shorter one. When you are planning on making an investment in the stock market, you should plan to leave that investment alone for at least a year, or as many as five years if not longer.

* Know how much to invest!

The amount that you decide to invest into a particular stock is a decision that needs to be made carefully. Stocks are not a completely safe investment, so the amount that you choose to invest should be disposable income, or income that you do not depend on for important purchases like bill paying or groceries. Making stocks into a good investment is done by choosing a healthy amount of money to invest, that will not impact your ability to pay bills but that also will be large enough to earn you a good profit. An excellent initial investment amount for the stock market is generally around a thousand dollars.

* Know who to work with!

It is important that you understand the pros and the cons associated with hiring a stock broker when investing in the stock market. You are going to want to do some basic research before you commit to a particular broker, because there are fraudulent brokers out there that need to be avoided. Conduct a search online or in your local area to find a broker that you trust and feel comfortable working with. It is usually preferable to choose someone on a local level so that you can visit them for face to face advice, speak over the phone and speak online as well when necessary.

* Know how to make your investment work!

Making stocks into a good investment means that you need to avoid panicking if they should happen to fall below a certain amount of money per share. The stock market naturally fluctuates, but you need to retain your stock for as long as you possibly can before you decide to sell it. More often than not the market will go back up, so if you cash out too early you may end up losing money.

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Originally posted 2020-12-17 05:22:51. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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