More Than Finances

Get your finances in order!

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Knowledge is Power When it Comes to Investment

The more you know… It’s amazing how knowledge changes your behavior. Most of us are bad with money, or we were sometime in the past. We all understand that it’s important to change these kind of financially wasteful behaviors, but we just…don’t…do it. Why is that? I don’t think it has much to do with lack of self-control, though that’s the thing we tend to beat ourselves up about. It’s that we don’t know what we’re doing.

 

Ol’ Plato once said that ignorance is the only evil. Applied to personal finance, that maxim would indicate that the more we learn about money, the better our financial lives will become. That’s an interesting thought, but you might wonder if it’ll hold water in real life. I can say from personal experience that I wasn’t able to make a change in the way I used my money until I learned about money itself.

 

Financial knowledge gives you a perspective that you’d otherwise lack. You learn the value of money, and you learn why it’s important not to waste it. You also learn how your life can change for the better if you have more of it, or simply regulate it better. These are important realizations that everyone needs to have if they hope to have any future financial stability. This knowledge is also the foundation of investment. You can’t handle investment if you can’t handle your personal finances.

 

So where does one start? This can be the most discouraging part of learning about money. Not all of us have the time or resources to get a degree in finance. We just want to have more money left over after we pay our bills. I would recommend a double-tiered approach:

 

Learn about the money you have. This is the essence of budgeting. You’ll have to track all the money that you brought in during the last couple of months. Try to get your final figure down to the dollar. Then figure out how much you spent. Most people find that the second figure is higher than the first.

 

Now figure out how much money you should spend next month. When the 1st of the month rolls around, stick to this plan. MAKE it work. If you’re able to make this budget work for several months in a row, you won’t be sinking or treading water. You will have learned the basics of personal finance and you’ll be ready for something more complicated.

 

Learn about the money you want to have. Investing is about growing the money you have. A great way to learn about basic investment is CMC Markets. They have a lot of educational resources in addition to their brokerage of quite a handful of quick turnover investment forms. Because their investments can be initiated and grown to maturity in hours or days, they’re a great way for a new investor to learn investment before tackling investments which will take decades.

 

Knowledge is the foundation of investment. Without it, you won’t be able to tell where to put your money. Knowledge is the best way to allay risk in investment. So invest in learning. It has a better return than any other investment.

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Retiring with a mortgage: Should you sell your house?

If you are thinking about retiring in the near future, but are worried about how to pay the mortgage, then maybe you should consider selling, paying the mortgage off and downsizing?

With more and more people stepping on to the property ladder later in life, it has become common to carry mortgages well into retirement. Paying off your mortgage and moving is a good idea if you feel that you can’t keep up with the monthly payments after your working wage stops.

Assess your retirement savings

Before you make the transition into retirement, you must assess your savings. If you think you’ve got enough savings to last you through retirement comfortably making mortgage payments then it’s probably best that you don’t budge. .

However, if the interest rate on your mortgage overshadows the growth potential of your savings then paying off your home loan quickly by selling your house may be the best idea for you.

Cashing in your pension early

For some, retirement promises a debt-free life, eliminating monthly payments and bills. If you want to say goodbye to your mortgage for good but don’t have the available funds. you could cash in your pension.

However, this should not be taken lightly, carefully consider the consequences if you are thinking of taking this step.

Downsize your property

Instead of eradicating your mortgage completely, you could always consider downsizing your property and moving the mortgage on to a different building.

Sell your current property to pay off the existing mortgage. Then move to a smaller property where the mortgage payments are much less. You could even apply for a reverse mortgage, available for the over 65s, which converts part of the equity of the home into cash so that the mortgage provider pays money to the borrower.

Home equity

If you are hoping to use your home equity to cover some of your living expenses, then selling up is probably not the option for you. Keeping your existing mortgage will be cheaper than paying off the rest of your housing debt and taking out a home equity loan.

The process behind making a solid retirement plan may seem daunting, and every aspect should be carefully considered before any drastic decisions are made. What is right for some retirees, may not be the right thing for you to do, but it’s good to know that you do have options.

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Be careful when choosing a real estate agent

Today with all online applications it has become very easy to stay informed and to be a wise consumer when you need to buy or sell a house. However the importance of a good real estate agent should not be underestimated. You can find a house of your dream with a help of a right agent or just lose your time and money for unnecessary variants with a bad one.
Despite making a serious purchase many people do not pay much attention to choosing appropriate real estate agent. However it is very important to find a person who can understand your desires, who can be like a friend to you in order to find really good house and make a sound deal.

You should spend some time to find the right person. You can discuss this question with your friends and neighbors, they may recommend someone. Also you can find a special agency online and interview the persons you like. Do not forget to read online reviews; however do not completely trust them. To make a good choice you should make a list of questions and get all necessary information. And do not be ashamed to ask, it is their work and they will be glad to describe it and their achievements. Some agents may demand prepay, in such case you can use cash advance online in order not to hurt your planned budget.

Here we tried to sum up some mistakes that people do during choosing an agent:

  1. The agent may set too high price for your house. Of course you want to get as much money as possible. However do not be so confident that a higher price will help you. Listen to different agents and understand the real price of houses in your area. Setting the appropriate price will help you to sell it quicker and with no hassle.
  2. The agent works just part-time. It is not a good variant. You should look for a person who devotes all working time to this sphere. He or she needs to know the tendencies in the market and follow all news related to the real estate. And this obviously takes time.
  3. The agent is your relative. It seems to be nice and comfortable to deal with a close person. However after some time you will understand that he or she is just fulfilling their own dreams and looking for a house that will be appropriate to him or her. In such case you may fail in finding a house and also quarrel with your relative.
  4. The agent does not specializes on your area. It is really very important to find a person who knows your location. He or she will understand the market better, know the prices or might know some sellers in this region.
  5. The agent’s name is on the top. It is good and remarkable, but you should not pay much attention to this, because it is just advertising. He or she might have paid for this position. So you should contact this agent at first, and then make your own opinion.
  6. The agent is not specialized in your type of property. Make sure that a person you choose really deals with a type of property you have. It will help you to avoid unnecessary difficulties and misunderstandings; also it will help you to save your time.
  7. The agent does not work with your price category. The agent can be the best expert in your area and know the market; however he or she can specializes in very expensive luxury houses or in cheap accommodation, so it will not be an appropriate variant for you.

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Health Insurance Programs for Retirees

Everyone should take care of personal health but when you reach the retirement age the issue of health maintenance comes to the fore. The government provided its citizens with the opportunity to use a variety of customized health insurance plans. With that purpose Affordable Care Act was issued but it doesn’t mean that Medicare ceased to exist. Though the act doesn’t determine health insurance programs for retirees it determines changes in plans which occur after retirement.

You have several healthcare options after your retirement and you are free to choose the most appropriate one. If you were covered by an employer, through a self-funded program you may leave that Medicare plan as basic but there are different additional available plans that may complement your primary health coverage or even substitute it. You may choose the simplest and the most inexpensive plan if you feel that you can do well without doctors. There are many people who take care of their health since youth and they don’t need to waste money neither on expensive health insurance nor on visiting doctors. And in emergency cases they always can use cash loans and still it will be much cheaper than having an advanced health insurance.

And here is some information about different health insurance plans for people at the retirement.

Basic healthcare for retirees
Government provides and finances Medicare program which covers people after retirement and some invalid people. It covers fundamental health care costs which are common for people from these groups. Medicare doesn’t cover the full cost of medication and there are some conditions which determine who and how much coverage will get. There are three different directions of costs which are covered by Medicare.
1. The first plan covers traditional hospitals and specializing hospitals stays. It is called the primary hospitalization plan.
2. The second plan is the main health coverage and it includes medical advisers, ambulant clinics, laboratory studies, and so on.
3. And the last plan covers medicines costs.
You can have one of these plans in your health insurance program or all three at once if it is needed. You will not have to pay any money for the first plan if you have stayed with Medicare and Social Security for 10 employable years. For the second part consumers have to pay from $105 to $150 depending on your annual income. And the last part may be acquired through private insurers and its price varies depending on the provider.

Advantage Plans
Such health insurance comes from Medicare but it is provided by private insurers. Some people find that it is more beneficial to use Medicare Advantage rather than the conjunction of three previous plans. Different providers of Medicare Advantage Plans suggest various prices which depend on the state rules where the consumer lives as well as it depends on services which are included in the plan. That is why it is better to visit several providers and to choose the most appropriate one.

Supplemental Insurance
Consumers may also purchase “Medigap” – a Medicare Supplemental Insurance provided by private insurers which covers costs that are not included into the first and second plans. Medigap doesn’t provide long-term insurance that is why it should be purchased separately.

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MAKE SURE YOU’RE INSURED BEFORE YOU RIDE

Whether you choose four wheels or two as your primary mode of transport, you potentially face many risks and pitfalls. Stalwart bicycle and motorcycle enthusiasts who prefer handlebars to a steering wheel, need to know that insurance is an absolute must.

Before considering motorcycle, car, and/or bicycle insurance it’s important to do some research, and with a great variety of insurance comparison websites online, the job is much easier.

BICYCLES:

Cycling enthusiasts or those who ride a bike for recreation are at risk every time they mount up. Not only are they vulnerable to being knocked off their bike by motorists, but cyclists can also cause damage to other vehicles and pedestrians. Bicycles are also a favourite prize for thieves. Some bicycles are extremely valuable and like all your possessions, should be insured against theft or damage. If you or your family own more than one bike, it’s even more important to ensure that all bikes are covered in case of damage, loss or theft.

The first step is to check your home and contents insurance policy to see if your bike is included in the list of valuables. This might be sufficient for some people, but if you plan to actually ride your bike, and it happens to be stolen while you are away from the home, you obviously won’t be covered. Also, if you belong to a cycling club and ride competitively, you’ll want to consider a higher level of insurance.

Those insurance companies (http://www.nrma.com.au/bicycle-insurance) who deal specifically with covering cyclists will usually include:

  •  Theft from home or away from home, including overseas
  •  Personal accident cover
  •  Loss, or damages sustained in transit, for example on roof racks or on a bus or train
  • Accidental damage or crashing whilst racing or competing
  • Accidental damage or crashing whilst riding in any situation

As with all insurance policies, it’s important to ensure that you have enough coverage on your bicycle, as some insurers may impose a cap or limit on the amount insurable.

MOTORCYCLES:

The risks that apply to bicycle riders also extend to motorcycle riders. However, insuring your motorcycle is different to car, and/or bicycle insurance. In terms of risk to the insurer, there are a number of factors to consider.

  • Comprehensive Motorcycle Insurance protects you if your motorcycle is damaged, or you damage someone else’s property, or if it’s stolen. Comprehensive policies even cover theft or loss of expensive riding gear like helmets, boots or other valuables in storage compartments on your bike.
  • Basic Third Party Motorcycle Insurance is general cover which protects you if you cause damage to someone else’s vehicle or property. Premiums vary between insurers, but it’s an affordable option favoured by many motorcyclists on a budget.
  • Anti-theft Motorcycle Insurance provides a cheaper option and will cover you if your bike is stolen and is not retrievable. This includes replacement with the same make and model if you purchased the bike brand new. If your bike is damaged as the result of theft, this insurance will pay for repairs and on-road costs.

Cyclists and motorcyclists alike enjoy the freedom of getting around on two wheels, so it is of paramount importance to keep safe, protect your property – and make sure you’re insured before you ride!