Guest Post

How You Can Start Saving and Retire Years Before You Planned

September 5th, 2018  |  Published in Guest Post  |  Comments Off on How You Can Start Saving and Retire Years Before You Planned

The goal of millions of people is to be able to retire comfortably without having to worry about money ever again. This is going to take dedication as poor financial management can lead a person to delay their retirement for decades or permanently. A majority of us do not want to work until we cannot anymore as we would like to enjoy our retirement. A proactive approach about saving as well as earning can allow a person to retire years before they had planned to. The following are tips to help save money to help retire years ahead of schedule.

Invest In Energy Efficient Renovations

Certain renovations are going to end up paying for themselves in savings then saving you money month after month. A great example is that of energy efficient windows which can make a large difference on the electric bill for those living in extremely warm or cold climates.  Check out a review site to learn more about replacement windows. The savings on the electric bill will help cover the cost for the renovation then the savings end up going directly into your account. A new air conditioning can also be a huge difference maker if you have an older AC unit that could be wasting electric daily.

Find Some Extra Weekly Income

The world of freelancing has erupted with technology becoming so prevalent around the world. Those people who have skills in web design or are proficient writers have a great opportunity to earn supplemental income consistently. This does not require a person to go outside of their own home and many freelancers work in places they enjoy being like a restaurant on the beach or anywhere comfortable that also has Wi-Fi. Even personal assistants can stay at home as long as they schedule meetings, relay messages, and handle email communication efficiently.

Write Out A Realistic Budget

Writing out a realistic budget can help save money and it also allows a person to see where they are spending their money. Certain things like the mortgage or insurance are fixed costs so your expendable income will be targeted when trying to save money. You might even find out that you are paying for a subscription a certain channel, website, or service that you haven’t used for years. Follow a budget and set a certain goal of how much you want to save monthly. Find out more about budgeting at TheMoneyAlert.com as well as information on other finance related topics.

Downsize To A Home You Need

People nearing retirement that have had their children grow up and move out should think about downsizing their home. It might not be necessary to have a large home when family only comes to visit on the holidays. You will save yearly on property taxes as well as utilities as larger homes are more expensive to keep running. Do not downsize your home until the housing market in your area is healthy as this can help put thousands of dollars extra into your retirement account.

As you can see it just takes a proactive approach to saving for retirement to succeed. Set a retirement date goal and see if you can start knocking months off of the goal to retire early!

Common Health Problems for the Elderly

August 11th, 2018  |  Published in Guest Post  |  Comments Off on Common Health Problems for the Elderly

Common Health Problems for the Elderly

 

As you’re planning for your retirement by figuring out your financial situation and exploring your options for life insurance in San Antonio, it’s also a great idea to familiarize yourself with some of the health complications you can expect in your golden years. Knowing what those health conditions are allows you to take steps to prevent and lessen them, which benefits you physically as well as financially.

 

Arthritis

 

While arthritis should come as no surprise when talking about the elderly, it deserves a spot on the list nonetheless. Eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, keeping your weight under tight control, exercising and taking steps to protect your joints are all effective ways to prevent arthritis. Additionally, you’ll want to keep up with regular doctor check-ups so you can get an early warning about your chances of developing arthritis in the future.

 

Heart Disease

 

Heart disease is a chronic condition that has lead to a number of deaths of elderly individuals. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are two common factors that increase a person’s risk of not only contracting heart disease but of having a stroke. Getting sufficient exercise, eating healthy and getting sufficient rest are all ideal ways to kick heart disease to the wayside.

 

Alzheimer’s Disease

 

Another condition that goes hand in hand with aging, Alzheimer’s disease is one that not only causes cognitive impairment but can lead to death as well. While the exact cause of Alzheimer’s has yet to be pinned down, there are steps you can take to avoid it. For instance, getting a good night’s’ rest and engaging in sufficient exercise could help. In regards to foods that can help keep your mind healthy, Harvard Medical School recommends eating whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes and fish.

 

One thing to point out with Alzheimer’s disease when it comes to elderly individuals is that memory slips in the senior community are common and aren’t always cause for panic. Even middle-aged people forget where they put their keys, it doesn’t mean they have Alzheimer’s. It’s when you have difficulty carrying out your daily routine because you’re unable to think as clearly as you used to that you should visit your doctor.

 

Diabetes

 

While diabetes is another condition that can easily be diagnosed by a doctor, you can also find out your overall risk of diabetes. Like many of the other health conditions on this list, there are things you can do to see to it that you never have diabetes. Again, exercise goes a long way in treating and preventing health conditions throughout your life, and it’s essential that you take steps to remain physically active as you age. You should also be sure you get plenty of fiber in your diet to help you feel full and boost your blood sugar control. Additionally, whole grains like those found in bread, pasta and cereal can also keep you from becoming diabetic.

 

Depression

 

While depression is more of a mental health problem than a physical health problem, it’s a mental health issue that can definitely impact a person’s physical health by crippling the immune system. Besides being more socially active, additional ways of treating and possibly preventing depression include engaging in mindful meditation, taking care of your physical health, sleeping and eating well and engaging in activities that make you happy. Because stress can also lead to depression, it’s good to know your triggers for stress so you can take action on handling your bothersome situation before things set in.

 

While there’s a lot that needs to be done as you prepare for retirement, all your hard work is sure to pay off. Be sure to keep these common health concerns in mind to get the most out of your retirement.

 

When Can I Retire? When Should I Retire?

April 20th, 2018  |  Published in Guest Post  |  Comments Off on When Can I Retire? When Should I Retire?

While most of us would dearly love to retire as soon as possible – tomorrow if we could – the reality of life is such that a lot of factors conspire to push the magical date of retirement further and further away.

A common irony exists however, that as we do get closer to our retirement, we start to get more and more apprehensive about taking that step. And this is only natural, since it is one of the biggest steps in life we take, and feelings of uncertainty can easily take over.

But the good news is, there are ways to plan and things to look out for that can help determine the best time to retire.

Transition to Retirement

Retirement need not be an abrupt stop on one day. Increasingly people are easing back first, working part time for some months or even years before retiring fully.

Some countries even have a formal pension system that allows for transitioning to retirement. For example the Australian system pays a part pension to people over 60 working part time, see the explanation by Industry Super.

Retirement Readiness

Finally, it’s important to feel that it’s the right time to retire. Leaving stable employment can affect a lot more than simply your income. So much of our social and community life is influenced by our workplace. Will this be affected when you no longer spend time at work? Make sure your prepared for this.

Of course, then there’s all the extra time you’ll have. Most of us look forward to the prospect of having the time to spend doing what we want, but without the structure of the daily schedule we’ve become used to, it can feel a bit disorienting – especially if your position or role plays an important part in your life and status in the community.

So before you retire, make sure you have access to support systems, activities and groups to keep you occupied and happy.

After all, this should be the time of your life, so planning when and how to retire should fill you with excitement, not trepidation.

Investors Leverage Securities Tied to Free Software

October 29th, 2016  |  Published in Guest Post  |  Comments Off on Investors Leverage Securities Tied to Free Software

Investors and brokers have long argued back and forth about whether or not software developed around an open-source model will ever turn a profit. Plenty of vendors have lost a significant amount of money by giving away their products for nothing, and these companies ultimately dragged some unfortunate portfolios down with them. The market is changing, however, and several top vendors are again leveraging their experience in free software to reap large profits. Some analysts are now advocating adding these companies to a healthy portfolio in the interest of diversification.

Canonical Attracts International Funds

Mark Shuttleworth isn’t a figure many investors have heard of, but those who are putting together technology investment funds are taking a close look at him. Canonical is a private British computer software company. Shuttleworth, a South African investor, has put his entire weight behind the company. It’s positioned to become one of the largest open-source model vendors in the world. While Canonical technically loses money, that’s at least in part because Shuttleworth continues to invest most of the profits back into the firm.

The company is currently privately held, but they’re exploring revenue streams that aren’t traditional for most software vendors. Shuttleworth applied for trademarks that would allow the company to sell shirts and hats featuring their company’s logo. Few software firms have that kind of faith in their product’s brand image. These alternative revenue streams are drawing interest from investors who want to add Canonical’s securities to their technology-based mutual funds once the company goes public.

Putting on a Red Hat

Red Hat is one of the biggest technology stocks to watch today. It’s become famous for being a rare example of a security traded on the New York Stock Exchange that saw it’s target price appreciate from literally nothing to a hefty sum. The company provides software solutions in several industry segments that analysts previously thought were worthless. They distribute open-source software solutions based solely on crowdsourced operating system technology. Red Hat once shared their name with what was then the most popular free operating system.

Today they market Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), which provides industrial and commercial users with all of the support they would expect from Microsoft or Apple. RHEL proved to be extremely competitive in the marketplace, and it continues to steal customers away from Windows and OS X. Individual consumers have flocked to Fedora, which is Red Hat’s distribution for personal desktops and laptops. The company provides training and consulting services for people using either distribution, which gives them a strong second stream of revenue. It’s no wonder that investors are extremely bullish when it comes to this particular stock.

Can Free Software Make Investors Money?

Investors are quickly asking if the open-source model can ever turn a profit. The answer is yes according to Vista Equity Partners founder Brian Sheth. Vista Equity recently acquired a majority stake in Granicus, which is a software vendor that specializes in solutions marketed toward government agencies. Sheth has faith in the company’s mixture of free and commercial software solutions. Leaders of major equity funds don’t usually put their backing behind projects that they have little faith in. The fact that there’s so much support seems to indicate that free software will indeed make money for those willing to invest in it.

How to Get a Personal Loan When You Have Bad Credit

August 6th, 2016  |  Published in Guest Post  |  Comments Off on How to Get a Personal Loan When You Have Bad Credit

Debtholders with a below average credit score are often afraid that they will be unable to obtain a personal loan. Raising your credit score in order to meet the standard lending rate is not the only way to receive one. If you have bad credit and wish to get around high-interest rates, here are some tips to consider.

Recognize the Numbers

In order to set a goal for yourself, you first need to know where your credit score falls. A credit score is a number assigned to an account that indicates the lender’s capacity to repay a loan. The credit scores vary depending on the company, but FICO with a range from 300-850 is the most widely used model. A low credit score based on the FICO model is considered anywhere from 300 – 559, a below average score is 560 – 659, and an average score is 660 – 724. Key factors that often affect your credit score involve making heavy use of your available revolving credit, and how much credit history that your account has.

Consider Using a Cosigner

A Cosigner or Co-signer when considering a personal loan, is a person who signs an official document along with the lender. Having a cosigner with a reputable credit score will allow the company to trust that debt will be paid back through either the lender or the cosigner if the lender fails to pay. Missing a payment on the loan will also affect your cosigner’s credit score, so make sure to discuss with them if you feel unable to make a payment. If you cannot find a cosigner you may want to look into a personal loans with no credit checks.

Apply to a Credit Union

A credit union is a nonprofit cooperative whose supporters can borrow from a mutual sum of credit at a low interest. Credit union membership is different from a bank and is operated entirely by its members. It’s common for lenders to seek out a community that allows them to have a similar link, such as working in the same industry or geographical area. Many credit unions will offer the same services as a bank such as checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, CDs, auto loans, and personal loans.

Tap into Your Home Equity

Your home equity is a line of credit that uses your residence as collateral. If you’re a qualified homeowner with available equity, you can tap into this line of credit. Since your line of credit is based on your home equity, it normally results in lower interest rates than other forms of unsecured credit. You can spend and pay back the funds as long as you’d like during your draw period, the first 10 years of the loan or set of time depending on who you take the loan from.

Taking Back Control

Trying to build up credit when you have none can be discouraging to see your scores so low. Taking out a personal loan with a bad credit score should be part of a solution to your debt problems, and not a way to delay the unavoidable measure of paying your debt back.

This content was provided by a friend of the blog. It’s rare that we have the opportunity to share something so awesome which helps cover the cost of running the blog!

Three Financial Threats to a Peaceful Retirement

December 12th, 2014  |  Published in Guest Post  |  Comments Off on Three Financial Threats to a Peaceful Retirement

Three Financial Threats to a Peaceful Retirement

After spending all your life in the rat race, retirement is supposed to be the time when you can kick back, relax, and rest on your laurels. Unfortunately, the grim reality for many is that retirement is hardly a time of relaxation. Many retirees have debts that are almost impossible to maintain on a retirement income. As a result, many are reentering the workforce just to make ends meet, when they should be chilling in a condo in Boca Raton.

If you are not sure how much you will spend in retirement there is a calculator at Industry Super. Or take a look below at some common pitfalls to a debt free retirement, and ways to deal with them.

Below are some common pitfalls to a debt-free retirement, and ways to deal with them.

Credit Card Debt

If you have been using credit cards as a source of income, such as borrowing against the card or using your line of credit for living expenses instead of your income, you could end up stuck in the vicious cycle of borrowing and paying but never really catching up.

If you have not retired your best option is to pay down or eliminate as much of the credit card debt as possible so that you can retire with a fairly clean slate.

If you have already retired then you need to focus on getting those credit cards paid off as quickly as possible. If your retirement income is not sufficient to pay all of your bills, especially if you have already taken hits on your credit, you might want to speak to a credit repair company like Lexington Law find out your options for cleaning up your credit report.

Another option is to transfer the credit card balance to another low interest card. If you choose this option you should stop using the card that you transfer the balance from, or at least reserved for emergencies only, and not make any new purchases on the new card because the interest-rate that you get for the balance transfer might not fly to new purchases.

Mortgages

Mortgages are one of the biggest threats to a financially peaceful retirement. While it is true that making mortgage payments does give you certain tax advantages, those advantages are really worth it when you take into account the monthly expense of the mortgage – especially if your retirement income is significantly less than what you were earning when you were working.

If you have not already retired, one solution would be to try to pay off or significantly pay down the mortgage before your retirement. That way you won’t have that extra monthly expense, and if you do have the expense it will only be for short time and it might be easier to budget for it .

If you have already retired, one solution might be to look into a reverse mortgage. With a reverse mortgage you are essentially selling your house to the bank , in return they pay you either in one lump sum, in monthly payments as long as you live in your home , pay all required taxes and fees, and maintain the property. When you move out of the home , the property automatically goes to the bank. The biggest advantage to reverse mortgages that you get to stay at your home without having a hefty monthly mortgage payment. The downside is that if you want to leave the property to your heirs, they will have to pay off the remaining balance.

Another option would be to sell your current home and downsizing to a property with a smaller mortgage, or you can try to refinance your current property to lower monthly payment. Of course both options mean that you will essentially extend the life of the mortgage. It can lower your monthly expenses, but you’re also still in the same boat of having a mortgage that you have to pay when that money could be better used elsewhere.

If you’re concerned about your mortgage, you should speak with a financial advisor can go over these options as well as find other options to reduce your monthly expenses.

Your Children’s Debts

This includes any student loan payments that you’re helping them make, any loans that you may have cosigned, and any other financial assistance you may be giving them. This is not to suggest that you should completely cut them off , but you may need to work with them to reduce the a lot of money that you are giving them each month.

For example, if you have cosigned on a car loan and they have stayed current on the payments and have a decent credit rating, it might be time for them to refinance and put the loan and their names alone.

If your children are still in the stage where they are having financial difficulties of their own, you may need to work with the financial counselor to find a solution that works for everybody.

How Many Installment Loans Should I Have

August 14th, 2014  |  Published in Guest Post  |  Comments Off on How Many Installment Loans Should I Have

Installment loans are a typical part of every adult’s life. Even if there is enough cash to go around, to pay upfront for everything you need in life, installment loans still happen. These do help to build credit but at the same time, can be detrimental to your credit score should you default on the loan. These types of loans do have interest attached to them, which varies depending on your credit score at the time of the loan being taken out.

Traditional Installment Loans

Any time that you purchase a home, vehicle or take out an equity loan, these are installment loans. Even a quick cash title loan is an installment loan. This means that based upon your credit score and your income level, a creditor can extend a loan in a specific amount of money to be paid off over time.

These payments are setup on a monthly basis and have a minimum amount due. Paying the minimum only does help to show that regular payments are being made, but it doesn’t help speed up repayment. Consider paying more than the minimum amount due to pay down the loan faster. In terms of how many to have, a house payment and a car payment are sufficient. Some consumers can handle an equity loan, mortgage and vehicle payment.

Revolving Credit Installment Loans

Revolving credit is another name for a credit card. These are a type of installment loan that gets consumers into a lot of trouble.  In regards to this type of installment loan, one, perhaps two is beyond sufficient. The more plastic you have in your wallet, the more debt you accumulate. This type of credit replenishes itself as long as you are able to continue paying on the cards, there really are no limits on the number of credit cards that you can have. It is important to not cross your own financial thresholds.

Installment loans are created in a variety of ways. The more you have, the thinner your household budget gets. Keep installment loans to a minimum where possible, outside of the necessary mortgage and car payment loan types. Living outside of your means is a recipe for financial disaster. It is up to you to be keeping track of what payments are going out and what each totals. Paying on time or early is a must. Only borrow what you can comfortably pay back is the general rule.

No Win No Fee Claims: What Are They Really?

May 10th, 2013  |  Published in Guest Post  |  Comments Off on No Win No Fee Claims: What Are They Really?

In recent years you may have heard the term ‘no win, no fee’ mentioned a lot in the newspapers and on television but are you 100% you know what it means? There is a lot of confusion surrounding the term, a lot of which has led to misunderstandings and people losing out on money they were entitled to.

Doesn’t mean no cost

The first thing you need to understand is that it does not mean no win, no cost. This is something that many people have had trouble understanding and the source of much confusion. You need to go into any case with your eyes open and in full possession of all the facts.

At its most basic, no win no fee is an easy way of referring to a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). These were introduced in 1995 when the legal aid system stopped applying to personal injury cases. Without CFAs, personal injury cases would only have been available to those who could afford to make them. That essentially meant that better off people could receive compensation when they had been affected but the rest of us had little choice.

Thanks to no win no fee, justice has been done for thousands who otherwise would have been unfairly punished by the system. It has levelled the playing field and given the little guy a voice.

A no win no fee or CFA is an agreement made between client and solicitor that means if the client does not win, they are not charged. If you win, the solicitor earns his fee as usual but it comes from the opposing party. You keep the compensation awarded, the solicitor receives payment from the insurance company or other party involved.

If you lose you may be liable to pay these costs but your solicitor should have arranged an insurance policy to cover these costs. You need to be aware of this before you start any case. This ‘After Event’ insurance covers you against a loss.

It is not in any solicitor’s interest to take you case if they don’t think you can win. If they do not think there is a case to answer they won’t give you a CFA in the first instance. However, this does not mean you shouldn’t make yourself aware of the facts first.

If you feel you do have a personal injury case, then why not contact a specialist in the field like for more information?

Why Having A Will Matters

May 1st, 2013  |  Published in Guest Post  |  4 Comments

As you get older different things become more important than at other times in your life. If you are lucky enough to have close family, children or grandchildren, the idea of providing for them and helping them on their way is something that increases day by day.

Having peace of mind that loved ones will be looked after when you are no longer around to do things yourself can be a valuable thing to have, and there are some easy ways to get it.

Insurance

Having life insurance is a great way to make sure that there is a financial buffer for those that are left behind. It means that at a difficult time your loved ones won’t have to worry about financial matters, but it is something that many people think is not a cost effective thing to do.

What is essential is to make sure that the things you have built up over a lifetime of hard work go to those that you want it to.

The Importance of Having a Will

Although many people have insurance policies and other financial considerations in place to look after their loved ones after they die, making a will is sometimes seen as morbid.

If you die without having a valid will there can be problems and delays in your loved ones inheriting your estate in the way you want them to, but when you have a will it sets out a clear record of your own desires as to what happens to your estate.

Your Estate

The term ‘estate’ is basically a legal way of saying ‘everything that is yours’. So all of your assets make up your estate, and it is up to you how that is distributed after you die.

Probate and Administration

When someone dies there are many legalities to be looked after, and one is establishing whether or not there is a valid will. If there is, the next step is to apply for a grant to enable the estate to be distributed.

This is known as granting ‘probate’ and it gives the person named in the will as the executor the legal right to distribute the estate as per the instructions of the will.

If there is no will this can complicate matters as the estate is then distributed along general legal lines, which might not be true to the wishes of the deceased.

Legal Help

Although making a will is quite straightforward, it is best to take legal advice to make sure everything is done in the right way.  They are experienced in helping people through the process and making it simple and easy.