Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

How Do I Plan For Retirement?

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

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.

Photo Credits: 1

Originally posted 2020-12-05 05:02:33. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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To Borrow or Not to Borrow against a 401K

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Question –

Because of the credit crunch, is this a good time to consider borrowing against a 401(k) savings as a means of paying off other loans? My current 401(k) planning investment return is 5 percent, and the interest I will be paying on it is 9 percent.

To borrow or not borrow against a 401K.

Answer –

If you only really consider the numbers in the situation, taking out a loan against your 401(k) in order to pay off a high interest credit card or some other higher interest debt may seem like a no brainer decision. This is because you would be paying yourself back the interest by paying back a 401(k) loan, but with credit card debt or a high interest loan you would be paying as much as 15 percent or more straight to the bank. Plus in today’s market, the 9 percent that you speak of is more than you would make if you were just keeping the money to sit in your account.

With that said, however, most 401k planning experts would shudder at the mere idea of raiding tomorrow’s intended nest egg to fund the financial indiscretions of today. This kind of thing may work out in terms of pure numbers, experts will gladly agree, but that does not make this a good idea, or even one worth putting consideration into. Financial planners generally agree that there are a number of concerns to touch on before you ever make a decision as large as this one, for example:

What if you leave your company?

If you leave your company for any reason at all, you generally only have 30 days to pay back the entire loan in full; otherwise you will have to pay ordinary income taxes on the withdrawal along with a 10-percent IRS penalty, assuming you are under the age of 59 and a half.

The bottom line here is that this is a pretty foolish move in most if not all situations, even if you are desperate to pay off a high interest credit card or some other high interest debt that has been accrued. If you are likely to rack up more debt in the process, have concerns relating to job security, or are paying off loans that are tax deductible or low interest, then this is definitely a foolish way to go. On the other hand, there are scenarios where this could allow you to come out financially ahead, but they tend to be few and far between. If you’re not sure, then it would be wise to sit down with an investment advisor or financial advisor who can help you weigh your options.

Before you take out any loan you should sit down with an expert that can help you review your choices. You just may discover that there is a better, less risky and less costly option that you have not yet explored for this particular situation.

Photo Credits: 1

Originally posted 2020-11-10 20:58:13. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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How Much Money Do You Really Spend?

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Overspending is an enormous problem for Americans right now and the sad truth is, many of us do not even know we are doing it. If you are finding it hard to make ends meet at the end of the month, or you are desperately waiting for that next paycheck to arrive, you may need to take a hard look at your financial situation, your budget and how much you spend every month.

Track how much money you spend on small things.

We typically consider our rent or mortgage payments, car loans and utilities as the only items that need to be budgeted, but there are many small items that can crop up and eat away at your bank balance. These are typically unnecessary expenses, and over time, enough of them can quickly add up. Let’s take a look at how to determine how much you spend and how you can get your expenditures in line with what you make.

It’s a great idea to keep a little log book and write down everything you buy for the period of one month. Everything, no matter how small, should be noted down in your log. At the end of the month, total everything up and see just how much money you have going out the door. This is probably the easiest way to figure out what needs to be cut, since you’ll have everything right in front of you. Here are some of the most common culprits.

1. Eating Out.

Americans spend thousands, if not tens of thousands, eating out and these expenses can quickly add up. You can save quite a lot of money simply by cutting out one meal out a week, and even more if you really get serious about cutting back. Once you’ve logged how much you spend on food, you may be surprised at how much of your paycheck is missing.

2. Recurring Subscriptions.

This is a problem for many online. You sign up for something, forget to ask for a refund before the trial is over, and before you know it, you’ve got several “memberships” or recurring fees that you don’t even know about, all being taken right out of your account every month. These will add up fast, and can do a lot of damage if they are not caught in time.

3. Superfluous Items.

Even though these items are typically small, they take up a big chunk of your budget. All too often we don’t think about the little, “it’s only a dollar,” items that we see at the store. While each one may be inexpensive, when you add them all up, it can be shocking to see just how much you are spending. The log book of your monthly expenses really comes in handy to see which of these items can be cut from your budget.

By taking the time to see how much money you actually do spend, you can stop overspending before it gets out of control and starts to eat away at your paycheck.

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Originally posted 2020-10-10 05:16:41. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Mortgage Interest Rates Start To Change

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Mortgage rates are changing – what should you do?

There was big news within the mortgage industry recently as interest rates finally went back below 6%. The reaction was mixed, but the rate did prompt many people to rush to refinance their homes. For those that are stuck with variable rate mortgages, the current situation in the housing market has been volatile to say the least and many consumer advocates have been pushing the need to refinance if at all possible.

This has not been easy for many, especially since interest rates were quite high until this week. Every small drop helps however and the current resurgence for refinances could help bolster the struggling housing market. While much damage has been done, there is still light at the end of the tunnel, despite the decision to take over Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, two of the US’s biggest lenders.

While there is hope for some borrowers, those in a subprime position may not find it easy to refinance their homes, in spite of the drop in rates. Banks are shying away from this sub-set of borrowers and the specter of foreclosure still looms for many. For those that are unable to refinance, there are steps that can be taken to avoid foreclosure, but they must be taken quickly.

The first step is to determine how to free up enough cash to handle increased mortgage payments. For those that did not plan ahead for a switch to a variable rate, the shock of a much higher payment was a rude awakening. Although thousands knew that their fixed rates were only short term, there was a general lack of awareness of how this would affect them personally.

If you have been switched to a variable rate mortgage and are struggling to make your payments, foreclosure does not need to be the first option. In many cases, the difference in payments can be as small as $50, or as high as several hundred dollars. For those that are living above their means, simply curtailing some additional expenses can free up the funds necessary to make those higher payments.

Other options include getting a second job on a temporary basis until the rates do drop to a point where payments become livable again. For those that do not have the time for this option, selling a car, or other household items may be the best solution.

Today’s news was heartening to many and does show that rates may be on the way back down, at least temporarily. If you can get a refinance plan on a home loan, taking action now may be beneficial. If you cannot seek this type of assistance however there still are plenty of other options available that can help you keep your home, until the economic outlook brightens again. Housing changes and rate fluctuations are normal, and riding out the storm is typically the best solution.

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Originally posted 2020-10-07 05:12:06. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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3 Ways to Increase Your Cash Flow

Friday, June 5th, 2009

If you’re finding it difficult to get by, one of the easiest ways to combat this issue is by increasing your monthly cash flow. While you may not be able to make a huge difference right away, slowly building up the amount of money that you have coming in, building secondary income streams can have a dramatic effect on your finances over time. There are many different ways that you can increase your cash flow, and although each person’s situation is different there are some universal concepts you can apply to help you increase how much money you have coming in every month.

Start your own personal business.

1. The first place to start is with your job.

If you’re up for a raise, don’t be shy about asking for it. If you can work a few extra hours and make some overtime, go for it. This is probably the easiest way to get a little extra cash flowing in every month. While it may not make you a millionaire over night, getting some extra take home pay can free up your finances a bit and make it easier to get to your next paycheck.

Before you jump in however, you’ll have to remember the basic problem of overspending so you can avoid this issue. Getting paid more is not a license to run out and start spending more money. This is however the perfect opportunity to get more cash coming in that can be used for savings or to keep current on your bills.

2. Consider opening your own business.

If you have a skill that you can exploit for more income, this is the perfect answer to help increase your cash flow. Whether you are good at fixing cars, watching children or even cooking, there is a huge market for this kind of work. Pay attention to the needs of your local community and then see how you can help fill them with your expertise. Obtain a loan through Loanio to jumpstart your business.

You can also get a second job, at least temporarily, especially if money is particularly tight. This is a fast way to increase your cash flow, even if it does require more work on your part.

3. Set up some safe investments.

Creating multiple streams of income is always a good idea, and if you have some safe investments you can make that won’t put your finances in jeopardy, this is a very easy way to increase your cash flow and help you build up extra income that you can rely on for many years to come. Investments or annuities can be very useful when you’re caught short, and the money they bring in can easily be put to good use.

You don’t have to struggle to make ends meet if you don’t want to. Simply taking the time to build up your cash flow can produce terrific results and give you the peace of mind of knowing that you do have alternatives out there to reduce your reliance on your normal paycheck.

Photo Credits: 1

Originally posted 2020-10-06 16:16:35. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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4 Ways To Get Out of Debt

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Earn some extra money – hold a yard sale.

For thousands of people, the specter of debt is an all too real problem that affects not only their financial life, but the rest of their lives as well. However, there are steps that can be taken to get yourself out of debt, reasonably quickly, despite how much you owe. While the length of time needed to pay off those debts may vary, taking action as quickly as possible can help prevent debt from mounting up further. Let’s take a look at four easy ways that you can get out of debt, starting today.

1. Negotiate with Creditors and Consolidate.

Many creditors are willing to negotiate with you, especially if you have had a good payment history with them. The worst thing they can tell you is no, so it definitely pays to take the time to see if you can’t work out a better arrangement. Credit card companies, for example, will often reduce the interest, or they may be willing to take a partial lump sum on the balance.

If you are unsuccessful in negotiating your debts down yourself, you may want to consider consolidation by working with a reputable debt consolidation or debt relief organization. There are some questionable ones out there, so do your homework and be careful.

Finally, and arguably the best approach, is to get a lower interest rate loan (see #4) that will allow you to zero out your other debt and leave you with one simple monthly payment.

Consolidating your monthly payments and lowering the overall amount of interest you owe can have a dramatic effect on your finances.

2. Get a second job.

If you truly want to get out of debt quickly, one of the best ways is simply to get a second job until the debt has been paid off. You can funnel everything you make from your second job into paying off your debts and get them taken care of in short order. A second job doesn’t have to mean slaving away at McDonalds however.

You may be able to find ways of earning extra income from other avenues, such as leveraging your abilities to find work in your community, or by starting your own business to help you make enough money to pay off your debts in less time.

3. Reduce your junk.

Holding a yard sale may be a slower way of paying down your debt, but there are many ways that you can turn your household items into cash that can in turn be used to pay off your debts. You can sell items on Ebay, put ads in the paper and find people that are interested in buying your possessions. Depending on what you own, you may be able to quickly sell off everything to take care of your debts.

You may also want to consider cutting back on extraneous expenses, getting a cheaper car, and finding other ways to save money. With what you have left over, you can start using it to pay off your debts until you are completely caught up. Don’t let your debt control your life. You can find ways to get it paid off – and quickly.

4. Debt Consolidation via Loanio

Loanio is now open for for business! You could post a loan request there asking for a lower rate and then pay off your higher interest debts.

Loanio is an auction based, peer lending platform where individuals can borrow or lend money to each other. By cutting out “traditional lenders,” and adding an auction based element, borrowers can get lower rates and lenders can get higher returns than other banking options. Give it a try!Borrow money with Loanio.

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Originally posted 2020-10-03 16:40:17. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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