Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Best Ways To Manage Your Money

finance management
With Christmas fast approaching many of us are likely feeling the pinch. It’s a time of year where all senses of financial management seems to go out of the window, but it is important, to be successful with our wealth we need to manage it wisely, here are some tips to get you started.

Track Your Spending

Sometimes we just buy on impulse, and before we know it we’ve bought all sorts of stuff we don’t need or regret, so start tracking everything you buy, if you do this you can see it all adding up and it’ll stop more needless spending. Once you’ve started to do this you can start using a budget, I know a budget may sound complicated, but if you do it religiously it saves you a lot of time and money in the long run. Keeping a budget may sound complicated but it's easier than you expect.

Consider Hiring An Expert

If you have money in a few different accounts and really don’t know how to make the best of them then you could potentially hire an expert. Everyone wants the best money and investment tips, what better than to have your own, Ian Filippini is a great example. Experts can manage your wealth and come up with budgets to help you function. They can ensure you save just the right amount and come up with strategies to make sure you’re making your money work for you.

Make a Bill Calendar

Knowing when each company will bill you for services rendered is vitally important. You can budget your finances accordingly and know what to keep back ready for a payment. It also makes sense to combine finances with your partner. Doing this makes paying mutual bills much easier and ensures transparency. You could potentially phone your providers and ask them to change the billing date, this can spread out your outgoings over the month of if you’d prefer lump it all together at the month’s start so you know exactly what you have to spend for the rest of the month.

Build An Emergency Fund

Put money into an Emergency fund. You never know what life is going to throw at you, perhaps you or your partner could unexpectedly lose their job, or your house could become damaged in a storm. Whatever happens, it's always great to have an emergency fund in back up. It can stop you getting into trouble if you have any unexpected bills at the end of the month and ensure you don’t end up paying overdraft fees.

Use The Right Saving Accounts

There are many savings accounts across the land and each are vying for our custom. Do your research. If you’ve got some savings you know you’re not going to touch then it may be worth investing into a cash ISA. It means you can’t touch the cash for a set period of time, but you get much better interest rates. You should also keep an eye on the terms, they may only give you great interest rates for one year, after which they’ll significantly drop, so be sure to keep swapping your ISA to the next best provider, this will keep the interest pouring in.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Financial Sages Weigh In On What Seniors Should Be Doing With Their Money

financial retirement for seniors
There’s a lot of advice out there from financial experts about what seniors should do with their money. And there should be, after all, from a financial perspective, going into senior life can be one of the most challenging times. You have to think about your investment portfolio, your maturing annuities, how you’ll finance life in retirement, how you’ll pass on your wealth in the future, and the money you should be putting aside for healthcare.

Because of all these complexities, we’ve put together a curated list of financial advisors and experts, giving their opinions on what seniors should do with their finances. Let’s take a look.

Don’t Overallocate Stocks

Bob Klosterman is a senior partner at a wealth management company. Over recent years he’s seen an investing trend among seniors away from bonds and CDs to stocks, thanks to the low rates of interest in the bonds market. Because retirees should be saving for the long term, Klosterman doesn’t think that this is a good idea. Bonds tend to go up in value no matter what, whereas stocks jump and bounce around all over the place, making returns unpredictable. Back in 2008, millions of retirees lost vast amounts of wealth, primarily because they had bet on the stock market, and their bets hadn’t paid off.

As Klosterman points out, a market decline of just 20 percent means that it has to rise by more than 33 percent to just break even. If you do invest in the stock market, Klosterman’s advice is to keep some money in cash so you can ride out the storm should there be another crash in the market.

Think About Life Insurance

Life insurance is a financial tool that people can use to make sure that their families continue to be looked after once they’re gone. Essentially, you pay the life insurance company and they agree to pay out upon your death a certain sum of money to family members. Getting life insurance without the exam, however, can be difficult. Insurance companies want to know whether you are in good health, or whether your health is failing you. According to Chris Walter of Policy Genius, having a life insurance plan alongside your will is essential for making sure that your family is well looked after when you’re gone. Your children should know where the plan is and how to activate it, should the worst happen.

Get A Medical Improvement Plan

One of the biggest concerns for seniors right now, according to Whitney Lee, an analyst at a finance firm, is the rising costs of health care. Health care costs are now double what they are in most developed countries and still rising fast, despite attempts to curtail prices. At the moment some health care is available to seniors through Medicare, Lee points out, although the amount of cover that seniors qualify for is usually very limited. She suggests that seniors look into Medical improvement plans which don’t cost any additional money up front. These plans are mostly helpful for seniors who require ongoing cardiovascular care, people who have diabetes or those who have chronic illnesses that typically push up the price of their bills. The great thing about these plans, Lee says, is that they cover the costs of some of the most expensive and long-running medical conditions.

Balance Your Portfolio

Thanks to the fact that seniors are living longer into retirement than any generation that came before them means that planning is now more important than ever, according to Eric Nelson, chief financial officer at a wealth management company. Nelson says that elderly people will need more long term investments to provide a longer period of income while in retirement. He suggests using two particular approaches to accomplish this. The first is to put a substantial proportion of assets into low-risk assets. This includes things like government bonds, gold and physical plant. These assets should be short-term, says Nelson, to protect investors against sudden crashes in the stock market, allowing them to get at their money in case of an emergency. The second tactic, he recommends, is to maintain a lifelong commitment to nurturing a broad base of global stocks using index funds. Although the market is prone to crashing, Nelson points out that the stock market has a track record of producing real returns on investments over the long term.

It’s important that seniors regularly review their financial position and make sure that their portfolios are working for them. There are various pension income calculators and tools online that allow you to see how much income you are likely to receive as a result of your various pension plans and investments.

Friday, December 2, 2016

How To Keep Your Online Business Financially Secure

financial security
The internet has made payment very easy. No longer do you have to trek down to the bank every time you want to cash in money or pay a client. That said, there are dangers to dealing with money online. All the crooks that used to plan their time breaking into banks have now moved onto the web. Protecting your business against these hackers and scammers can be easily done by following these steps

Be careful of suspicious emails

One of the main ways fraudsters get people to divulge their account details is through emails posing as charities, loan companies and sometimes even your bank. Having a spam filter should filter most of these out. If an email seems suspicious, avoid clicking on any links as these could lead you to virus-filled pages.

Install digital security

Some people will try to get away with not having to pay the cost of anti-virus software. You shouldn’t do this with your personal computer and you most definitely shouldn’t do this with a computer that you’re using for business, which is likely to not just have your details but the details of staff and clients too. Buy yourself the latest internet security and make sure that it is constantly updated and renewed. Most reliable antivirus software will update and renew automatically.

Protect yourself against all types of payment

Some forms of payment can be more risky than others. Cash should be exchanged in person when possible to prevent receiving counterfeit money. When dealing with credit cards, look into merchant services to ensure a secure transaction. Some companies have been recently accepting bitcoin, which can come with extra added risks. Don’t accept this form of payment unless you’re familiar with bitcoin already.

Regularly change passwords

An obvious one, regularly changing passwords will put off hackers. At the very last, you should have different passwords for different log-ins and different PIN numbers for different accounts. This way of a hacker does discover one password, they cannot get into the rest of your personal information. If you have colleagues or employees of whom you communicate with online, do not share passwords with them online.

Encrypt financial information

Encrypting files is the best way to put off would-be hackers, as the effort of then having to decrypt them isn’t generally worth it. Some services such as VISA USA and Mastercard, will only work with companies that have taken the step to encrypt their files. Encrypting files can be done simply on most Microsoft and Apple computers although you can download additional software to do it too. All files can be encrypted including those stored on the Cloud. Make sure that other staff members are aware of necessary passwords to decrypt these files if they need them, but again tell them in person – not in a message.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

4 Smart Ways to Invest Your Money In 2017

investments 2017
If your finances are in good shape, but you want to see them bulk up some more, choosing to invest could be the option for you.

Invest wisely and you’ll diversify your portfolio, let your money work for you, and give yourself a project to stay on top on.

Here are four places to consider investing your money in the new year.

1. Help a startup (and yourself)

Crowdfunding has made it possible for innovative companies to succeed. And it gives investors the chance to get in on the action. For your money, you’ll get shares in the new business, and short-terms benefits, too. Say you want to invest in a speaker company. Your money could fit out your living room with a home cinema system as an extra bonus.

Crowdfunding websites make it easy to find a fledgling company you believe in. They let you invest quickly and easily by debit card. And offer regular updates on the startup’s progress. For a little direction, read www.forbes.com’s 6 Top Crowdfunding Websites.

2. Go for gold

The elder statesman of the investment world, gold’s value doesn’t bend with other assets such as shares or property. So, it can offer solid insurance against inflation and volatile stock markets. You can invest in gold bullion, or open a gold Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

These accounts hold gold – and other precious metals – for you. Like other IRA assets, there’s no tax until you withdraw, so the value of your gold can grow exponentially over time. Websites such as goldbullioninvestment.org let you compare the top-rated gold IRA companies out there. Here’s a beginner’s guide to investing in gold.

3. Go overseas

Savings and fixed income investments are safe ways to grow your money slowly. But wealth management products from offshore banks can offer the same security with the benefit of more growth. They offer a fixed income investment deal, but because of globalization and emerging foreign economies, you can get more interest. Discover more tricks like these to grow your wealth at www.financeideas4u.com/

4. Buy a house

Good old bricks and mortar. When your money is zeros and ones that fluctuate with the stock market, there’s something reassuring about investing property. If it’s your first home, your saving money wasted on rent. If you’re adding to your investment portfolio, you can afford to keep an eye on the market and buy when prices are low. Like now! With 50% of homes bought in summer, winter is a great time to buy.

Are you buying to let? If so, your home state might not be the best place to maximize your investment. Consider buying a property abroad. Even with letting agent fees, you could make more bang for your buck, and have the advantage of a holiday home.

If you’re bold and wise with your investment, you can retire early. Go gung-ho, and you might have to work overtime. But if you explore the options above, we reckon you’ll be onto a safe bet.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Considering the Costs of Caring for an Elderly Loved One

costing for elders
What are your choices when it comes to taking care of an elderly loved one? There’s no universally correct answer. One person may be better off staying at home. Some may do better staying with family. Another may do better in a specialized home. In any case, you need to consider this from a financial perspective.

Talking to them

You must talk to your elderly loved one because you need to find out what their plans are. You also need to see how prepared they are. What are their legal and financial plans? If they don’t have any, this needs to be exposed. For instance, what is the situation with their power of attorney? Read more about power of attorney at www.caregiverslibrary.org.

If possible, you should find out as much about their finances as possible. Do they have insurance? And if so, what kind of insurance do they have? That insurance may not cover everything. If they have any savings, you should probably know about them.

Help from a home

They may already have plans for future care. They may already have decided that they want to go to a nursing home. In that case, you need to consider the costs. You will have to know as much as possible about finances. Do they already have some sort of payment plan?

Nursing homes bring bad thoughts to many people. Many see them as expensive or emotionally cold solutions to this “problem”. Some worry that the home itself may be dangerous, with abuse or fraud taking place. Of course, in such cases, you’ll always have the backing of the law. See www.stromlawyers.com for more information.

Taking them in

Taking an elderly loved one into your home can be a great solution. You get to spend more time with them. But it may create more stress for you. After all, you probably have a job to do. And this brings us to another financial problem. Will you have to take time off work to help out here? And besides, do you know how to take care of an elderly person? You could consider taking classes in elderly care. These, of course, represent another expense.

Your home also needs to be a comfortable place to be. This may require alterations to your house to make it more accessible. And since when have renovations or property additions been cheap? Thankfully, you do have options when it comes to getting the money for such a project. Loans are available to those who need help with this specific problem. Read more about such options over at www.payingforseniorcare.com.

It’s important to think of the benefits and negatives of each option available to you. Some people would judge someone for not taking in an elderly family member right away. But you have your own finances and life to deal with. What you decide may ultimately be determined by your financial situation. It’s important to take care of the generation that came before you, sure. But you also need to take care of yourself. Remember to consider your finances.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Want to Renovate Your Home Before Christmas? Go for Short Term Personal Loan

festive loans
Renovating a home is as complex as purchasing one. It is an expensive affair and therefore, it is important for individuals to set a budget and stay within the same to avoid financial difficulties. Furthermore, seeking estimates from multiple contractors before making the choice is also advisable. This will help them to understand the market rates and will ensure they do not end up paying higher costs. Most importantly, funding the renovation project becomes crucial because it has long-term repercussions if an uninformed choice is made. Homeowners who want to undertake such projects may save the money required for the renovation. Although this is the cheapest option, it is a long and cumbersome alternative. Another option is to borrow against the home’s equity through a line of credit. However, the home equity balance may be insufficient to fund the renovation. Furthermore, if the borrowers fail to repay this money, they may lose their homes. Therefore, the most feasible option is to fund the renovation project through a personal loan. This may be a convenient way to renovate the home before the festive season.

About Personal Loans

Personal loans are generally unsecured and borrowers do not have to mortgage their homes to avail of these funds. The personal loan interest rates are often higher when compared to other types of loans. Furthermore, these rates depend on the overall credit score of the borrowers. However, the interest rate is fixed for the entire duration of the loan, which enables homeowners to keep a track of their monthly expenses. Another benefit of choosing a personal loan to fund home renovation projects is the shorter duration ranging between one year and five years. The five-year repayment period enables borrowers to repay the loan without facing any financial difficulties. Compared to home equity or home improvement loans, personal loans are sanctioned faster. This is because lenders do not require a large number of documents at the time of application. The entire procedure is completed within a few days, which allows homeowners to commence the renovation faster.

Comparing Personal Loans with Other Funding Options

Homeowners must choose the best option depending on their financial situation. If they have a good credit history and the renovation is not going to be expensive, considering 0% credit cards is recommended. However, individuals are advised to ensure they are able to repay the entire amount before the end of the interest-free period. If they are unable to do so, they may end up paying higher interest on their outstanding balance. Home improvement loans are another popular option to fund renovations. Although these are cheaper than personal loans, most lenders do not provide these loans for all types of renovations. Furthermore, banks offer between 75% and 90% of the project costs. The balance expenses have to be incurred by the homeowners. If an individual does not have this margin money, opting for a personal loan may be a feasible choice. Increasing the amount on the existing home loan is also an option. However, this would entirely depend on the market value of the home (as determined by the lender). Compared to all these options, a personal loan is less cumbersome and requires less paperwork. Moreover, it is unsecured, which means there is no risk of losing the home if the borrower fails to repay the money on time. However, any delay in the repayment of the loan is reflected in the credit scores of the borrower. Having a good credit history is important because it would affect his capability to borrow in the future.