Archive for December, 2008

How Do I Plan For Retirement?

Friday, December 5th, 2008

One of the most common questions people have is how do I plan for retirement? Whether you’re looking at retiring in five years or thirty five, it is important to come up with a plan that will provide you with more than enough to live comfortably. It is no longer sufficient to rely on social security to make ends meet once you are no longer working and it’s time to get proactive about securing your future. Here are some answers to the question, how do I plan for retirement?

Plan for your nest egg.

1. How do I plan for retirement in five years?

If you have nothing saved away at this point, planning for retirement is not going to be an easy task but it can be done. Depending on your financial situation and the amount of your paycheck, this is the time to start thinking about putting a significant portion of your earnings into savings. Although many are tempted to get into a high risk situation in order to make more money quickly, this is usually a bad scenario.

When you need to plan for retirement quickly, the best option is to speak with a financial adviser that can assist you in developing a portfolio of investments that will begin returning right away, as well as in the future. This is the safest means of getting your finances in order in a short period of time.

2. How do I plan for retirement in fifteen years?

This gives you a little more leeway, but it doesn’t mean that you should put off saving money and setting up alternative income streams right now. With fifteen years before retirement, you’ll need to take a hard look at how much you can save each year and whether or not it is possible to increase that amount, either through getting paid more money at your current job, or finding news ways to make more income.

At this stage, investment properties and stocks that have a solid history of returns are an excellent idea for many people. However, you should consult with a financial adviser to get a better idea of where you stand and how much time you have to start putting money aside. They can help you develop goals and stick to a plan to make sure your retirement will be worry free.

3. How do I plan for retirement in twenty five years?

At this point in many people’s lives, retirement is far enough away that it isn’t a real worry. However, this is the ideal time, or even before this point, to start saving money seriously and developing a long term plan to secure your financial future. Keep in mind that the cost of living will go up each year, and that your money today may not be worth the same amount in twenty five years.

This period of time should be spent developing a solid portfolio, multiple streams of income and a reliable savings plan that will help you get prepared for any eventuality.

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Online Finance Magazines

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Finance Magazines

There are numerous different reasons to take the time to read online finance magazines. By buying and reading online finance magazines, you can learn a great deal about financing in a small amount of time. By buying and reading online finance magazines you will be infinitely better able to stay in touch with whatever new developments are going on in the finance industry, and you never have to leave the house to buy the finance magazines in print to do so.

If you want to learn about the latest developments in the finance industry, then one of the most advantageous things that you can do is to locate online finance magazines that you can read to get the information that you need. This will give you access to excellent financial information and know-how without requiring you to read mind numbing financial books and eBooks, which usually contain outdated and irrelevant information rather than hard hitting data and information about today’s financial industry.

Here are some of the excellent benefits that are associated with buying and reading online finance magazines:

– You will be able to learn what the top executives and sales people in the world have to say about a myriad of different topics, including topics relating to finance, leadership, management and a whole lot more. By reading what the experts in the industry have to say, you can learn a great deal about the finance industry as a whole, and current events going on in the finance industry today.

– You will be able to keep up to date on new developments relating to both financing in general and making money.

– Expanding your own knowledge about topics relating to finance and money, including both current events and up to date topics, and general knowledge as well.

– Getting a brand new take on how to finance a car, a new home, your children’s college education and so on. You may have some ideas already, but by reading other people’s ideas, you may find information you never thought of before.

– By reading online finance magazines rather than print finance magazines, you are getting access to the content that you need more quickly and more easily than ever. Forget leaving home when you can simply log in to the internet and read the online finance magazines that have the information you need.

One of the best things about online finance magazines is that they can allow you to get a great edge over your competitors before they even knew what hit them. By keeping yourself updated on all of the newest developments within the finance industry, you will always remain one step ahead of your competitors, because they are not gaining new intelligence on finance but are sticking to their old, outdated beliefs instead. If you want an edge over competitors in the finance industry, reading online finance magazines is absolutely the way for you to go.

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Breaking Down Budgeting

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

A personal budget is simply a spending plan. Before you work on personal budget planning you need to have a good idea of where and how your money is being spent. It can be a tedious process, but it can also be a true eye opener if you are not already well aware of how and where you are spending your income. Many people tend to spend their money with no real idea of where it is going. The first step to making a budget that you can live with is to come up with an accurate and easy to follow system for accounting for your expenses.

Track your spending! One simple and inexpensive method for tracking your spending is to purchase a small notebook from a grocery store. Keep this notebook with you at all times, and every time you spend money, write it down. You need to be able to keep track of ATM withdrawals, debit transactions and credit card expenses. You may also consider using a simple spreadsheet software program or a paper system in order to record and track your expenses from day to day.

Budgeting doesn't mean hoarding your pennies.

Create a budget! Having a budget does not mean that you have to squirrel away every penny, doing without important things that you need in your life. What it does mean however is that you are making sure that your most basic needs are being taken care of first and foremost, and that you are keeping yourself aware of how much money you have for splurging purposes. After you track your expenses, the next step is personal budget planning. Here are some things that will better simplify the personal budget planning process.

Income –

Make sure to include all sources of income and revenue, including gross income paychecks, child support, alimony, bonus checks, government checks, investments, retirement and personal business income as well.

Recurring Expenses –

Here are some of the usual monthly recurring expenses that you may find yourself dealing with. Along with your record of spending, this list will help to make sure that you are remembering everything that you need to account for: Food, home insurance, childcare, health insurance, gas, automobile insurance, electric, cell phone, home phone, internet access, cable, satellite television, water and sewer, prescriptions, dining out, garbage service, school lunches, entertainment, work lunches and charitable giving as well. You are also going to want to include monthly savings account goals, dining out, movies and other activities that you will spend money on regularly.

Variable Expenses –

This is a list of expenses that come regularly but not on a monthly basis. Some examples are spending for holidays like Christmas, Thanks giving, birthdays, personal care, income and property taxes, household repairs, prescriptions, doctor visits, clothing, shoes, school tuition, book costs, school supplies, school expenses, home equity, mortgage expenses and automobile expenses.

Unsecured Debts –

Here you should make sure to track any credit card debt, loans, school loans and other types of unsecured debt that needs to be paid off.

In order to put together all of these personal budget planning elements, you need to track your income and expenses on a month by month basis. Take the net amount you earn from each income source and figure out how much is earned in a year following this plan, then divide by twelve for a monthly average. Do the same with your expenses to come up with an average monthly amount. This is the best way to budget. It may not be exact, but it does allow you to more effectively and efficiently plan both for incomes and expenditures.

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The Best Small Investments

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Investing even $20 makes a big difference.

Wall Street’s recent cataclysmic events are still unfolding and the entire planet is feeling their aftershocks. For this reason, interest in what is going on in the stock market is rising quickly, even for those who do not normally understand what the stock market is all about, or what Wall Street even has to do with it. Whether you are completely new to this, or at least have a small idea of how the money markets and stock markets function, the purpose of this article is to explain how to get the most out of the best small investments on the stock market, and how a small, single initial investment can easily grow to benefit you on a long term basis, even when right now all you have to invest is some insignificant amount of money like $20 for example.

$20 dollars may not initially sound like a lot, but you can easily put it toward shares in one of many large companies like Harley-Davidson, Intel and even Johnson & Johnson. There are thousands of different options available offering shares below $20. If you invest $100 instead, even more options will open up to you. So now let us take a brief look into investing small, medium and large amounts of money into the stock market.

Let us begin with the initial small investment of $20 dollars.

Are you afraid that it is really not worthwhile to invest such a small amount? One way to invest this money for a grand return is to invest through DRPs, or Dividend Reinvestment Plans. These are also known as Drips. Drips or DRPs and Direct Stock Purchase Plans or DSPs allow you to completely bypass the broker, avoiding the need to pay a commission, by buying directly from the company that you are looking to invest in, or buying from the company’s own unique agents instead. There are more than 1,000 unique major corporations that offer these types of stock plans, and many do not charge a penny in fees. Those that do charge fees usually offer fees that are low enough that it is still quite worthwhile to invest a small mount like $20 or $30 each time that you make investment.

These investments are some of the best small investments that you can make because they are ideal for anyone who is just starting out and is looking to invest only small amounts at a time. Drips will allow you to purchase as often or as infrequently as you like. Once you are in the plan, you can set up automatic payment plans so you can make contributions whenever you like without actually even needing to buy a full share each time. So if you can only invest small amounts each month, invest what you can and every time you accrue enough to buy a share, you can. This is why this is one of the best small investments that you can make – Because every dollar that you invest counts and you can accrue a lot of money slowly to invest in good stocks, even if you cannot always buy a share with each investment.

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What Are Safe Investments?

Monday, December 1st, 2008

What are safe investments?

If you are putting consideration into investing money, but you are not sure which is the safest way to invest your money, then your first stop should be someplace where you can get professional advice on the subject. The last thing that you are going to want to do is to risk losing all of your hard earned money because you took a poor recommendation or made a poor bet. So what are the safe investments to make?

If you need to know what safe investments are in comparison to more high risk investments, then you should know that there are many qualified consultants out there who are well trained to give sound advice on the subject. Some safe investments are government backed, guaranteeing that you will receive a predetermined interest rate as well as a solid return on your money. Even then, however, you are going to be faced with numerous choices and will have to decide which one to go with. You are going to hear a lot of the same ideas when talking to different experts, like Treasury Bond, Note and Bill, especially when it comes to Government backed investments. These are low interest investments that have backing from the Federal Government, and they are about as secure as you can get when it comes to investing.

There are questions that you may want to consider, such as “What are safe investments going to realize when I withdraw my capital?” One point that you need to comprehend is that it is really rare to get something out of nothing. In order to have the security that you want, you are going to have to make sacrifices, especially when it comes to the interest rate that your investment offers. Investment schemes like treasury bonds, notes and bills do not carry high returns, but they are still worthwhile simply for their safety.

If you want to opt for a higher type of interest rate instead, then you are simply going to have to forgo some of the assurances that you would receive from secure and stable options, instead putting your money into riskier markets with higher rewards. This may include investing in stocks or shares. If you have a considerable amount of money available to invest, then using a specialist consultant is by far the best way to go. These consultants tend to have up to date knowledge on the current market condition which will help you invest in the right ways. However, they will be working based on commission so expect to pay a little extra in the process.

Keep in mind that even with expert advice, no investment is as safe as a government backed scheme. While you should not let this persuade you against investing in markets with higher returns, you do need to be realistic regarding which investments are the safest to make and which should be avoided based on your expectations for safety, security and return.

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