Monday, November 21, 2011

Ensure Yourself a Beautiful Retirement Home

The Baby Boomer generation is not leaving the workplace any time soon because of an unstable retirement system that has been put in place. The generation that was looking towards an entitlement program like Social Security to get themselves through their golden years fell victim to faulty 401k's and a housing bubble that left everyone unsure about planning for retirement.

The citizens of Greece and Italy decided to pack it in early and set up their retirement homes all at the same time. According to ABC Melbourne, the new governments elected are raising taxes and slashing entitlement programs en masse. Citizens are rioting across the country in protest of these new decisions. While this is happening in Greece, we are facing the same problem in the US with the Occupy movement.

A recent report by Ameriprise Financial found that Americans aged 40-75 are more anxious and worried about retirement plans than ever before. Even if you have been working hard all of your life, have a double income household, and a little bit of a nest-egg saved up for yourself, the chances of living a comfortable retirement in your dream home are becoming more grim.

Real estate prices in Florida, Arizona, and any coastal tropical climate are going to be more expensive than anything that is inland. If you want to find a good place to retire with a warm climate, you should look towards other areas that share a temperate climate. If you travel up the east coast from Florida, the Carolinas and Tennessee offer excellent and scenic locations to retire without the steep real-estate prices.

An excellent way to set up a guaranteed retirement property is to purchase a property lot in your 40's near a lake or other body of water. Instead of moving to a planned retirement community, you will have more freedom and a sense of ownership in what you have built for yourself. You can start by purchasing an old, dilapidated property you will have the chance to make it into something beautiful.

By learning about house restoration from sties like HGTV, hiring a personal contractor, and encompassing some clever landscaping tricks, you can turn a tiny house next to the lake into an expansive property where you can cherish your spring, summer, and fall. By building a fireplace, you can also have a cozy cottage perfect for the cold of winter.

Planning for retirement is a lot harder now than it has ever been for Americans. Just because you work hard all of your life doesn't mean you can sit back on Social Security and your employer's pension for the rest of your life. By carefully planning things out and getting financial advice you can start to set up your retirement plans now.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Short-Term Borrowing: Pros, Cons and Why

Of course debt is to be minimized and avoided. We have all heard this time and time again. But not everyone’s life circumstances are perfect. What were once two-earner households are now one-income households. That will stretch a budget very thin very quickly. Throw in a healthcare problem, an expensive (and poorly-timed) car repair, on top of an underwater mortgage, and you will find that life can be quite imperfect, despite all your best efforts.

These are the grey areas, the shaded nuances of personal finance. You can be a frugal and restrained shopper. But while your weekly savings from coupon clipping might be $75 or $100, that $5000 deductible on your health insurance can wipe out a year’s worth of savings in one playground accident. So how do you manage? Particularly if you lack a rainy day fund or credit line with a credit card issuer?

Short-term loans are one option. Even if you have imperfect credit and no collateral to offer, you can get one in the form of a payday loan advance. These are designed to be small and paid back within 30 days or less (on your next payday). It’s emergency money for times that absolutely call for it, with three distinct benefits:

1. Psychologically easier – These loans do not ride on your back for months and years, as is usually the case with credit card debt. You know that it is a necessary financial tool, but that you will settle up the debt in just a few days or weeks.

2. Long-term financial damage is limited – The comfort is more than psychological. A short-term loan is far less expensive than one held for the long term. The cost of debt always rises with the longer that debt is held.

3. Reduces the negatives of missing due dates – Short-term borrowing is often done to make timely payments on key bills. If you make a required payment on certain debts, you avoid penalties, higher interest charges and poor credit reports.

For the busy working person, the other benefit is that with online technologies these are faxless payday loans. The time required to process an application is about five minutes and can be done any time, day or night, from one’s personal computer.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

8 Smart tips to avoid monetary worries

The U.S economy has not recovered from the devastating effect of the recent financial crisis. Unemployment rate is still quite high (9%, says the labor department) and consumer debt is soaring. Therefore, it is no wonder that monetary crisis is the foremost problem in most American families these days. Under the circumstance, you need to be smart in money matters. You should follow some simple yet effective rules to say goodbye to fiscal problems. Here are some great money tips for you:

  1. Maintain a rainy day fund: Do you think you don’t need an emergency fund? You are wrong. An unexpected financial crisis can push even a well-off person into debt. It would be great if you can use a high yield savings account for this purpose. Contribute at least twice a month towards your rainy day fund. Make sure that you do not touch this money for trivial reasons.

  2. Get organized: Difficult economic climate demands prudent money management. Therefore, consider keeping your entire financial information in one place. You might take advantage of free services of websites like Also, there are several other free personal finance softwares that would allow you to get an idea about your financial health, analyze your finances, and start a budget.

  3. Get rid of your debt: Consumer debt has become a major issue in America. But you can easily come out of it if you follow an effective strategy. For instance, you might want to check out the debt avalanche method, which is advocated by Robert Kiyosaki. According to Mr. Kiyosaki, it is always a wise decision to eliminate the debts with higher rate of interest first. If you stick to this strategy, you are bound to get out of debt within a reasonable period of time, and you would also be able to save money.

  4. Debt consolidation: Depending on your situation this can be a good move. Debt consolidation refers to merging all your debts and paying them off by taking a single loan. This debt relief process works best for people with several credit card debts. The best thing about debt consolidation is that it does not hurt your credit rating.

  5. Do not mess with retirement accounts: Your debt payments are important. So are your everyday expenses. But that does not mean you will borrow from your retirement account. Retirement accounts like 401(k) guarantee you a secure future. They would help you to support yourself and your family when your income drastically drops after retirement. Consider liquating 401(k) and other similar accounts only to avoid serious situations like bankruptcy.

  6. Hire a financial advisor if you can: A lot of people believe that financial advisors are exclusively for extremely rich people. This is a rather misleading theory. You certainly do not need to hire a FA with extremely high fees. But hiring someone with reasonable fees might pay off. A FA can spice up your investment strategies and help you to reap huge profits.

  7. Be careful with stocks: Stocks can make you a millionaire, but they can ruin you too. Remember that investment in stocks demand a certain level of expertise and a thorough knowledge of the market. If you are a newbie, but you want to put your money in stocks then better invest a small amount to play safe.

  8. Set short term and long term goals: It is very important to have a clear idea about what you want from life. So make a list of your goals and make plans accordingly. Are you planning to buy a house? Do you want to retire early? Are you determined to save for your child’s higher education? These are goals which require planning. So make your moves carefully.

Money management is a very tricky business. So you should always remember the above tips and maintain fiscal discipline while managing your finances.