Nothing Better Than Retiring In Peace

Growing old is a natural procedure which is bound to happen to all of us. Those who are preparing for it should know the benefits of planning a retirement fund to meet all the requirements in the old age. Looking at the present times and considering your lifestyle one can easily predict the requirements for you in the years to come after you are retired. These appropriate amounts could prove quite near to accurate when you consider the fact that you are the one to control the expenses at home. In order to achieve the required financial level in pension you need to keep an eye out for the fund and the amount of return it generates over the time.


Hire an expert

Retirement can already be a very crucial issue for many to even consider discussing. It is one time in life which is not supposed to be stressed or full of worries. This is why you need to plan it early and ensure complete financial freedom for your family requirements. Value of your pension fund is what keeps your future secure against any financial turmoil. In order to keep it safe you can try using the help of experts who know how to handle money well. Visit sites like to know more about the financial advisors who can be of assistance to make you feel secure about the retirement plan.

Making your retirement stress free depends on how well you plan and execute the financial part of it. Nothing can be predicted to perfection but there are means to get an approximate value that can suffice major needs for anyone. Planning you retirement in a proper way can be crucial as it can help you avoid dependency on anyone else when you have no source of income later.

Plan it early

There is nothing like planning early for any kind of future contingency. This will allow the person to stay calm and progress in a gradual manner towards the goal set out in the initial phase. Having a solid retirement corpus and deciding for it early in our youth would be the ideal way to start for it. Money management that can help sustain a good lifestyle is paramount for each one of us. A tension free life await for the people who are planning early for a time when you don’t have to work after the age of 60 years. There are many ways to keeping your financial interests safe. The best way is to keep in check the savings that you are doing and ensure you have proper designs in mind rather than random installments.

Most people just buy a scheme for the sake of having investments. This is not bad as investment in any form is always going to be useful. Only that you want to be aiming for specific returns that can match the needs of future. Economic hardships awaits those unaware of financial planning methods. At least you should be able to acquire the services of some expert who can give valuable advice with regards to proper execution of plans. Many means are made available by government and private financial firms that one can depend on to form a retirement fund. Insurance, fixed deposits, savings certificates, equity and debt instruments are just examples of the various plans that one can use to safeguard their family against problems.

Play well to win

Always remember that finance is unpredictable when it comes to market movement and future planning. It is very critical to continuously evaluate the whole situation so that you don’t miss out good opportunities that can benefit you in the long term. Mixing it well is also a great tactic when investments are concerned. Never keep all the money in same kind of financial instrument like government bonds or bank deposits. A person who is unwilling to diversify is going to rue on such a grace mistake. Once you have formed a good amount of retirement fund then it is better to call in the expert from sites like as they can aptly help with maintenance of the whole corpus. They can help you manage it well and avoid any kind of volatility that could erode the value of your future funds.

How to Create a Diverse Retirement Portfolio

It is never too early to consider your retirement portfolio. While many people have a 401(k), the key to a solid retirement portfolio is diversification. The reason that diversification is recommended is that it helps stop the loss of all your assets in a sharp decline. The stock market is prone to plunges and losses. Essentially, you don’t want to put all of your eggs into one basket.


Image Credits dawnfu, CC0 1.0

At the same time, you don’t want to invest into everything. Smart retirement plans take research and consideration. Decide what kind of retirements you want to make, how diversified you want to be in each category and how much money to invest.

Utilize the 401(k)

This is where most people start when planning for their retirement. If your company offers to match your investments, you should invest up to the match. For example, if your company offers to match up to 6%, then invest 6% of your income. Otherwise, you are passing up free money.

Building the Portfolio

After you have invested in your 401(k), it is time to look for assets. These are things such as:

Stocks: It’s smart to pick a variety of stocks across the market such as:

  • Small capitalization
  • Mid-range capitalization
  • Large capitalization.

At the same time, picking styles such as growth and value will help minimize the risk of loss. You should also consider international and global stocks. You don’t have to invest in just U.S. companies. Remember not to invest too much into one single stock.

A rule of thumb suggests that a portfolio should contain at least five stocks but no more than 10.
Bonds: These provide a good backbone if an area of more volatility tanks. You can expect at least an 8% return in bonds despite any losses in the stock market. For a more conservative bond investment, invest in government bond funds such as:

  • Immediate term
  • Short term
  • TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities) fund

Cash: It’s recommended to have six months of expenses saved in cause of an emergency or job loss. Cash investment options include:

CDs (Certificates of Deposit)
Money Market Funds: These are mutual funds that have a high quality of investments over short term.
The hope is, if one area isn’t generating a good return, the other portions of the portfolio are growing. It’s also wise not to overinvest into one area. You are looking for variety, not quantity. If you are wondering how to invest properly, it’s important to align the investments with your time frame and financial needs, along with comfort level with possible risk.

For example, if retirement is closer, a higher allocation to less volatile investments may be better. This includes assets such as bonds and short-term investments. On the other hand, if you have a long time to invest, history shows use that stocks have higher growth over longer periods of time despite losses.

Review and Rebalance

It may be wise to keep in contact with an investment professional who knows how to invest properly. They can help monitor your portfolio. Sometimes, you will find that the selected variety isn’t yielding the returns that you desire. In this case, it’s time to rebalance so you don’t drift too far. This should be done every six month.

For example, if your target range for large capitalization stocks is 15% of your portfolio, but it has become 20%, you need to sell off 5% of the stock to reinvest in an area of your portfolio that has been depleted.

The hardest part about creating a diverse retirement portfolio is finding the right balance and the right level of risk. Diversification is a great strategy to reduce the risk of loss on investments. You must stay actively involved with your portfolio to ensure they are meeting expectations. Be ready to make adjustments if needed and your investments will surely grow over time.

Important Tips for Planning Your Retirement as a Business Owner

As a business owner, it’s vital to begin planning for retirement early. Since you run the business, you’re the one who has to take initiative and ensure that you have proper funding for your retirement. Here are some important tips to begin planning for retirement as a new business owner.

Contribute to Retirement Funds Each Payday

It can be difficult to predict your paychecks as a new business owner. Many take home whatever is left after meeting all operational expenses. With a new business, that number can be dreadfully low sometimes. Even if you don’t have much to spare after paying your bills, it’s important to contribute a small amount to your retirement funds. An amount as little as $20 a paycheck will add up, and you can raise that amount when your business takes off and you have more to spare.

Choose a Good Retirement Plan

The type of retirement plan you choose is just as important as the amount you contribute to it. Retirement plans are not ‘one size fits all’ and you need one that works well for you and your company. Here are some common retirement plans, and the basics of how they work. You can contact a financial planner if you want a professional’s opinion about which retirement plan you should be using.retirement

Traditional IRA

A traditional IRA is a retirement plan that offers a tax deduction each year for contributing to it. As the money in your retirement fund earns interest, it grows tax-free. Once you reach 70 ½ years of age, you have to start making regular withdrawals to avoid tax fees, but you don’t have to make any withdrawals until then.


A 401(k) is the most common type of retirement fund offered by employers. Obviously, as the business owner, you have to set up your own 401(k) plan. Once your business grows to the point when you can offer benefits to full-time employees, a 401(k) is a great choice. A 401(k) has limits for how much you can contribute per year. The maximum is $18,000. However, the maximums change yearly depending on inflation. If you choose only do have a 401(k), and you get to the point where you can afford to contribute above the limits, look into also having an IRA or a traditional IRA.

Roth IRA

Roth IRAs are similar to both a traditional IRA and a 401 (k) in different ways. You can only contribute to a Roth IRA if you modified annual gross income is less than $131,00 as a single tax filer. If you are married and file jointly, your modified AGI must be less than $193,000. Contributions to a Roth IRA won’t earn you any tax breaks, but you can withdraw from the account without paying any taxes on the withdrawal. The major difference between a traditional and Roth IRA is that with a traditional IRA you avoid taxes when you deposit, and with a Roth IRA, you avoid them when you take the money out.

Grow Your Firm

Of course, growing your firm as large as you can while you’re working is a great investment toward your retirement. You might start with one small building on a corner in a bad neighborhood and retire with an entire empire at your feet. You don’t want to spend your life trying to grow your business, and make so many mistakes you end up with a dying business that isn’t worth the building it operates out of. You could get to the point where you have people running the business for you, and you spend your golden years collecting paychecks from the company and your retirement funds. Make sure you know the mistakes many people make when growing their firm so you can avoid them early on in your business. There is a fantastic article called, Four Big Mistakes Hurting Your Firm’s Growth by Damian Ornani, Fisher Investments. Although the article is targeted to RIAs (Registered Investment Advisors), it’s an important piece for every business owner to read. It can help you realize mistakes that you didn’t even know you were making. If you catch them early, you could avoid many potential disasters in the future.

Live Modestly

One major mistake that many people make is not living modestly, at least for a while. As soon as a business booms, many business owners start charging expensive sports cars and big fancy houses. If something goes wrong with the business, they end up losing everything because they can’t make the loan payments. Make sure your new income is steady before you begin splurging. Wait a couple of years and save your money. You might be able to buy that fancy sports car with cash by the time you decide the income is steady enough to start spoiling yourself. There is nothing wrong with rewarding your hard work, but if you do too much too soon, you could end up in serious debt.

You work too hard for too long to not enjoy retirement. Make sure you follow these tips so you can enjoy life after running your business.

Are You Planning to Retire Earlier?

retirementHave you ever asked the question, “can I retire early“? By retire early, most people mean before age 62. If one wants to retire early, the success of this comes down to a few different things.

Saving Enough Is Key

We hear it again and again. Save early and often. But that’s not enough. It must become something that is automatic. Saving should be like brushing your teeth every morning; it’s something we should do without even thinking twice about it.

Case Study In Saving

So how much to save? It is best to look at a case study for this. I ran some interesting scenarios for a 40 year old couple in our publicly available WealthTrace Retirement Planner. First, our assumptions:

1) I assumed they will spend $65,000 per year in retirement.

2) They have $250,000 in savings (75% stocks, 25% bonds) today, saving $20,000 a year.

The Results

I ran their retirement plan and found the following:

1) They will have $1.5 million at retirement. They will also have an 85% of never running out of money in retirement. I found this probability using Monte Carlo analysis, which runs 1,000 scenarios and calculates the number of times they never run out of money in retirement. To read more about how much money it takes to retire comfortably, you can take a look at our research on this here.

2) If they cut their savings by just $5,000 per year, their nest egg at retirement drops by $500,000! Their probability of never running out of money falls to less than 70%.

It goes without saying: saving is absolutely key. But it’s more than that. Saving consistently is very important to retiring when you want.

Which Accounts To Save To?

So you’re now in the habit of putting money away for retirement every single month. OK, that’s a good start. But which accounts should you save to? If you’re only saving to your taxable accounts, you are probably not maximizing your savings impact.

RetirementTaxes are an inevitability, but if you’re not using retirement accounts to defer (or with a Roth, completely eliminate) those taxes until retirement, then you’re putting a dent in your chance of an early retirement.

By first maxing out the $18,000 you can put in your 401(k), and then the $5,500 you can put in a traditional or Roth IRA — plus additional “catch-up” contributions for the 50-and-older club — before contributing to a taxable account, you’ll defer the tax impact until you retire.

Roth IRAs will allow you to withdraw your money tax-free in retirement, at the cost of paying taxes on that savings today. You can use our free IRA calculator to help you figure out which type of IRA is best for you.

Saving combined with good tax planning can lead to not paying any more in taxes than you have to. The differences add up and compound over time. If you want to retire early, it makes sense to develop smart tax management strategies. These tools will give you more money to work with and help to stretch your retirement funds even further.

Create Strong, Stable Income

Treasury bonds do not generate enough income for most people in retirement these days. That is why I recommend using dividend-growth stocks that have a long history of increasing their dividends. Dividend-growth stocks, such as Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Coca-Cola (KO), Procter & Gamble (PG), and Exxon (XOM), will provide stable income in retirement and will ensure that the principal value of your investments becomes less and less important. This is so important for your retirement years and is one of the best alternatives to bonds in retirement today.

Relocation to Dallas Made Easier

homeRelocating can be both a dream and a nightmare. Coming into a new community can mean a brand new start and a new life for many people. However, coming into a new community can mean not knowing where to live, where to work, or where to play. Without close friends and family nearby, it can be even more confusing. But, relocation is a bit easier when you have a good real estate professional at your side.

Real estate professionals have the community knowledge to steer you towards a residence that will make you and your family happy for many years to come. They know where the best schools are located and what kind of commute times is common between certain points. This makes narrowing down new home choices a bit easier. They can give you the knowledge of your new community to make home buying or leasing easier.

Most people relocate to a new city for a job offer or for the potential of a new career. They may be leaving good and bad memories in their old home. But, the new home can represent a fresh start after a major change in life. Those who are graduating college may have received a job offer in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Others may be coming off a divorce or the breakup of a long-term relationship and need to make a new start in a new location. There are dozens of other reasons for moving, but all of them represent a major change in life and location.

Are you single and moving on your own? For you, the options are quite diverse. If you want to work and live within a short distance, you might consider residential units in the downtown or Uptown areas of Dallas. These areas are becoming easy living for urban dwellers with top businesses just steps away from luxury condos. Restaurants, shops, and other amenities are just steps away from both the job and the home. These areas promote walking and biking back and forth for most activities. There are both luxury and affordable living options in both areas. These are very popular areas for young professionals as well as the arts communities.

Do you have a young family? Then finding a home with a good school district is likely your priority. Dallas/Fort Worth has many cities with good school districts such as, Highland Park and University Park. You may find a gated community on the outskirts which is a good option. Most of these communities are within a short drive of major commuting routes. You might find one of the historic neighborhoods a good place to balance family and business needs. The homes available on the market are diverse and will give you plenty of choice.

For others moving into the DFW area, the housing options are wide open. There are many communities within a short distance of downtown. There are many communities also tucked into rural enclaves with plenty of land around them. The real estate opportunities in Dallas – Fort Worth are deep and wide, so you will find something to fit your family, budget, and lifestyle. If you are unsure how to proceed, you may want to stay a few months in a rental while trying to find your ideal family home.

Omni Chaparala works for DFW Realties, a DFW real estate company serving home buyers and sellers in the Dallas – Fort Worth metroplex.

Avoid Retirement Blunders on Your Super Fund

Picture this. You’ve been the hallmark of your organisation. You’ve inspired people and have initiated changes for the benefit of your company. After achievingnumerous milestones in your career, it’s expected for your retirement to reflect a rewarding lifestyle.

Don’t be caught helpless with claims which turn out to be less than what’s due for you. Make sure you’re updated with strategic superannuation tips to fully maximise your retirement benefits.


Alarming Facts on Superannuation

Employees are usually tempted to put off their super plans and strategies until they’re required to cram for benefits. Think of these facts again before delaying another appointment with a superannuation expert:

  • Losing Benefits in Billions of Dollars

Speaking of lacking good super fund habits, research has found that residents from the Queensland suburb of Toowoomba have lost about $113.6 million in benefits from last year. In fact, almost every single Australian has mismanaged his or her fund, to the point of missing out on $2,582 worth of assistance, nationwide. To sum up all super finances, $18 billion of funds has been misallocated and eventually lost for Australians to reap their benefits from.

  • Frequencies of Dentist Visits vs. Super Reviews

In a survey shared by Sunsuper financial, most Australians find managing their super more taxing than visiting the dentist or having their folks over for the weekend. It can be quite a chore for them to update their accounts on a regular basis. Without the proper discipline in maintaining a super fund, Australians wouldn’t be expected to reap their benefits to the fullest.

  • Large Amounts Do Not Mean a Comfortable Retirement

The pool of budgeted benefits may look hefty.These, however, do not guarantee full coverage for future retirees. With economic factors such as increased inflation ratesand the GFC, increasedbudgets for aperson’s retirement savings won’t suffice a comfortable lifestyle.

Based from research,a typical worker’s superannuation funds reach up toonly $1.1 million at the age of 65. Acomfortable retirement budget should be at an average of $ 1.67 million.

Taking Charge of Your SuperannuationPlan

You’ll need to be more aware of super policies and strategies as you aim to live out a comfortable retirement.

  • Know Your Investment Personality

Every retirement program is unique in as much as every person’s preferred lifestyle varies. You’ve got your habits set out based on the activities which please you. You can be a person who takes things slow until you’ve built on your funds or perhaps you’d rather live it up while experiencing life to the fullest.There will always be specific packages which can prove practical for you to benefit from.

  • Draft Up a Strategy

Basic super practices have broughthundreds and thousands of dollars more into people’s pension funds. These amounts spell the difference between meagre to a comfortable retirement.

Here are some basic strategies used by members, as they gained increased chances of a grand retirement:

  • Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF)

Be your own trustee and allocate your funds on a wider range of services. This gets you to decide on your pension facilities faster, as you have total control of your money. Just make sure you have enough skills, experience and resources to grow your investments.

  • Taking Chances on Stocks

Experts and investors from top companies can offer considerable amounts of dividends. You can place a small percentage of your contributions to your super portfolio. This not only increases your chances at earning from long-term bonds. You’ll also avoid the pitfall of placing all your eggs in one basket. This means should a fund facility from another organisation fail to work, you’ll have another entity to rely on and provide for you.

Employeesdeserve to reap the rewards of their labour. Make sure you have an expertto advise you of the best super strategy.

Photo Credit: Tori Evans


Why Tech Friendly Seniors will have a Better Retirement

The world is becoming more and more technology-oriented. The gadgets we use are only going to get more complex and impressive in their abilities, and greater in their scope. As technology becomes the defining characteristic of our times, it makes sense to shed one’s inhibitions and join the bandwagon.

BRGLogoBigI’ve noticed that older people often shy away from technology instinctively. They are overwhelmed by all the gazillion features that smartphones, ipads, and laptops contain. The Internet simply bamboozles them.

They need not worry though. Even younger people often find no use for the endless features on smartphones. And the Internet, though vast and labyrinthine, is primarily used only for its basic functions, which anybody can learn.

Since today’s senior citizens grew up in a different time, it is perhaps impossible for them to get their heads around how a small piece of technology can become central to anybody’s life. My parents still don’t get how I can spend hours and hourson end just sitting in front of my laptop.

I tell them they can, too.

You have fulfilled all your responsibilities; carried out all your duties; sorted out your taxes, your medication,your auto, health, life, pet, and AARP insurance, and your income and investments are safe and adequate. What’s there to do now?

You can’t be travelling or talking to people all the time, and retirees have a lot of time on their hands. Turn to the Internet for some harmless fun.

Here’s how:

Get your children or grandchildren to teach you online video games. They will keep you sharp.

Social networking will tell you what your friends and family are up to even if none of them bother ringing you anymore.

You can download free photo-editing software and tweak your old photographs with them. You will have so much fun with this, you won’t even realize it’s 2am and that you have to be up at 5!

You can watch an endless number of movies via online film subscriptions, and not just Hollywood movies either.

You can relive your old memories on YouTube by listening to the songs you grew up with.

If you are fond of reading, the Internet is the best thing that could have happened to you.

If there was a discipline you always wanted to pursue but couldn’t, you can do it now. Who cares about attending classes and earning a degree? After all, it’s the knowledge that matters. Love anthropology? Devour the latest research on the Net.

You can keep track of your medical reports, your bank statements, and all your investments in one place.

You can become a better cook than you ever were.

You can create your own music with music editing software.

You can pursue new hobbies, while following online tutorials.

Sign up on forums for people of similar age groups and interests as yours.

If you are alone, try online dating.

Finally, you can start writing for fellow retirees: Create your own blog, or sign up with blogger communities, to share your experience and wisdom with others. You never know who will end up taking heart from your words.

Yes, there is a danger of getting carried away on the Internet, but the more you use it the better you will be able to moderate your use of it.

And while a retired person is busy doing all of the above, they are enjoying themselves to the hilt. And not ruminating about the past, or worrying about a tomorrow that’s looking increasingly uncertain for all of us, regardless of our age. They are focusing on making the most of the time they have now,with the enthusiasm and glee of a child who has just discovered a new world. Sleep on time, get plenty of exercise, watch your diet, and laugh out loud with YouTube videos!

loriLori Wagoner is a marketing and business consultant working with All Car Insurance Companies, which is a realtime online platform for reviews of auto insurance companies, comparison of quotes, and discussion/resources related to the car insurance sector in the U.S. Catch Lori on Twitter @LoriDWagoner.

Saving For Retirement Invalid Reasons to Avoid Doing It

SavingsWhen it comes to saving for your future, the process may seem overwhelming. After all, in these tough economic times, it’s easy to feel pressure from student loans, mortgage rates, banking fees, creditors, insurance and other expenses. Planning your retirement may seem like the last thing you need to prioritize.

Millennial face the brunt of the retirement woes. According to Forbes, only 29% of millennial in a recent survey said that they used a retirement calculator to see how much income they would need for a healthy retirement, and only 17% said that they were currently on track to meet their retirement goals. In a post recession economy, experts say that now more than ever should young people start planning and saving for retirement.

With that said, many people under thirty still tend to rationalize why they aren’t prioritizing for their future. Here are five of the biggest excuses and justifications people tend to make whenever the topic of “retirement planning” comes up in conversation.

I Don’t Have Enough Income

This is bar none, one of the biggest excuses people like to make and its one of the easiest to dismiss. No matter how small your monthly income is, there are always ways to start budgeting for your future. Even many minimum wage jobs offer some sort of 401(k) retirement plan.

Start small and don’t try to save too much too fast. The younger you are, the less your monthly savings goals should be. As you get older and your income increases, gradually raise your amount taken off every paycheck.

I Don’t Know Where to Begin

This is another excuse that young people tend to make when it comes to saving for retirement. There are a plethora of ways for those in their twenties or thirties to start a retirement savings plan immediately. In addition to withholding partial sums from payroll checks, it’s beneficial to look into Roth IRAs or annuity programs.

Check out annuity assist to find out if annuities are right for you. These financial products allow you to pay your insurance company with either a lump sum or in small chunks. Over time, you’ll see that money return in disbursements while accruing interest. This option is perfect for young people who want to start saving responsibly right away.

I Will Rely on Social Security

Despite what you may think you know about American Social Security, it’s unwise to put all your eggs in one basket. The Social Security Administration was even quoted as saying “don’t count on it” when it comes to relying solely on it for retirement planning. According to an article on, a 2010 report from the Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees states that SS funds may be depleted by 2036.

Experts expect young people will get at least 75% of their Social Security benefits – an estimated credit of $1,269 a month. While Social Security benefits are certainly an asset for retirement planning, it should be used to complement what Americans have after a lifetime of other savings and investments.

I Have Plenty of Time

Most finance experts agree that the earlier you save, the better off you’ll be after retirement. It’s a simple logic really. However, those in their twenties may not realize the importance of saving for a future that’s decades away. The thing most young people seem to forget is that a large portion of money accrued for retirement does not come from what is put into it. A good amount of that nest egg is accrued from decades of gradual interest and wise investments.

For example, a person who invests $15,000 a year for 30 years results in a sum of $450,000 saved. However, thanks to compounding interest, that same total could result in a figure of a couple million dollars. This interest takes years to accumulate though, and those who start earlier will reap the rewards and could earn several thousand if not millions more than those who wait to begin saving and investing.

I Don’t Have Enough Time

While it’s true that many people wait too long to begin saving for retirement, on the flip side, some people may feel that they’ve missed their window of opportunity to get started. While there will have to be some sacrifices made and possibly an extension of your working career, retirement “late bloomers” still have a shot of having a nice savings set aside for their golden years.

Remember, anything you can scrimp and save and set aside will pay dividends if you took the right steps to invest wisely.

What Should You Be Doing in Yours 20’s and 30’s to save for Later Life?

Money is the cause of most arguments in married couples. It can be the biggest source of conflict in a relationship, but whether you like it or not, money does make the world go round.

It can be very easy to turn a blind eye to retirement when you are young and in your prime. The world is your oyster, so why should you care about taking out a pension or investing in property? Well, the answer is that you should pay attention to saving for later life.

It is far better to start preparing early, to put yourself in a financial position in which you are stable and comfortable when you finally finish working.

A worrying 22% of UK residents between 30-years-old and state pension age, are not putting any money aside for a rainy day. Life expectancy is increasing and as a generation, we are living much much longer. We NEED to put money away for our golden years, and the secret is to plan decades in advance.

So, what should we be doing in our 20’s then?

  • Open a tax-free ISA and start saving
  • If you have any debts, try to start to cut them down/ wipe them off
  • Does your work offer a pension scheme? Set one up
  • Enquire about a mortgage

credit card debtsBy the time you have reached your 20’s, it is hoped that you have your first proper job. A modest wage is a great starting block to repay any loans or credit card debts.

An ISA is much better than a regular savings account because it has a higher interest rate, therefore you will get a larger payout. Normal savings accounts have an amount of the interest cut, whereas cash ISAs are tax-free savings accounts and allow you to keep all you savings’ interest.

How can you start to reduce your debt? Make a list of your expenditures, prioritise them in importance, cut down on the extravagant treats e.g. trips to the cinema, and put a budget in place.

Try to stick to it and really assess your outgoings- are you getting the best rates on your electricity and heating bills? Can you swap brand foods for supermarket’s own produce? Can you get a second, part-time job at the weekend? Do you have any special skills that you can hone in on, such as knitting or teaching instrument tutorials?

Ask your work about starting a pension; companies of a certain size are now legally required to offer their employees a pension, and they must contribute a minimum of 4%. By starting it now, you will have a bigger pot for when you retire. For advice, check out the Department for Work and Pensions website.

Many industry experts are saying that getting onto the property ladder and securing a mortgage, also has the same financial security.

What should we be doing in our 30’s?

  • Assess your outgoings
  • Clear your debts
  • Join the work’s pension scheme ASAP
  • Consider long-term investments
  • Purchase property

This decade, you really need to get your act together if you haven’t already done so. If you still think of yourself as a young, free-spirited individual, well then it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee my friend.

Now is the time to assess your outgoings and put a plan in place. You might have got married, had children, or bought your first property; in which case you have probably attained some debt.  Get control of your finances, put a budget in place, and begin to clear off outstanding debts.

Not got a company pension yet? Find out what the interest rate is and what contributions your employer will make on your behalf. Then get one started ASAP.

mortgageIf you are still renting property, work on getting a deposit together to acquire some property. The longer you leave it, the harder it becomes to be approved for a mortgage because of health reasons. Yes, the property market goes up and down, but a property will always hold its value, or increase, over time.

So there you have the financial goals to which you should be working to, at each milestone in your life. Now everyone is different and works at various speeds; so please don’t be taken aback if you are already at one of these points in your life, and have not achieved all of the objectives.

The Money Advice Service is a fantastic website that can help you to learn when and how to start saving for your pension. They can help you to understand the different types of pension, tax options, about transferring pension schemes, and managing your finances in retirement.

Do you think that there are any other financial necessities to start in your 20’s and 30’s? Let us know below.

(All images courtesy of Flckr)

This article was written by Lauren Grice on behalf of Cheselden, the leading NHS continuing care review specialists. Speak to the experts today for expert advice and information on paying and reclaiming wrongly paid care fees.

5 Disadvantages Of Early Retirement

retirement lifeThe only thing better than retirement for some people is early retirement — when you are able to line up your ducks in a row and bow out of the workforce before the standard retirement age. Yet there can be significant disadvantages to retiring early — making it that much more critical that you project your future income and expenses as accurately as possible. Before you hang up your hat for good, make sure you address the following five concerns:

  1. Inflation. A common misconception about retirement is that you will be spending less than you currently do. The truth is, you likely will be spending more because you will have the free time to enjoy leisure activities, hobbies and interests you could not freely pursue as a full-time employee. Add to this challenge the inflation factor, and you could be looking at a 170 percent increase in living expenses by the time you reach age 80 if you retire at age 55. If you neglect to account for inflation in your retirement planning, you could be in for an unwelcome surprise later, so do your due diligence to ensure you account for both rising inflation and rising expenses.
  2. Change in lifestyle. The general rule of thumb is that during their retirement years, most retirees should plan on spending 75 to 80 percent of the amount they currently spend. As noted above, this amount could be much higher, not only due to lifestyle changes, but also possibly due to medical expenses. If you are unable to increase your income for your retirement, then you might have to adjust your lifestyle and forgo some of the plans you had for enjoying your leisure time.
  3. Health insurance costs. High health insurance premiums go hand in hand with individually purchased policies. You could be forced to spend large amounts of your retirement savings on health insurance until you become eligible for Medicare at age 65. If you wind up spending all your money on health care, then your early retirement won’t make much sense.
  4. Too much time, not enough money. Many retirees, finding that they have time on their hands and have too little retirement savings, turn to part-time employment to supplement their income. However, you cannot count on this option, as good part-time jobs can be even more difficult to find than good full-time ones. (Think about it: How excited would you really be to flip burgers in a burger joint as a retiree?) Additionally, you will need to account for the additional costs that part-time employment may incur, such as higher income taxes and reduced Social Security.
  5. Reduced Social Security. If you collect Social Security before age 65, your benefits will be reduced, and the benefits for early retirees will lag behind inflation. Check your calculations carefully: If they show you will have to begin drawing Social Security benefits at age 62 to help meet living expenses, then you likely cannot afford an early retirement.

On the bright side, it is possible to retire early if you can ensure your long-term financial security. Say, for example, you have accumulated sufficient personal resources to allow for an early retirement, or your company offers early-retirement incentive programs — aka window incentives, now a popular method companies use to reduce the size of their workforce.
In any case, the key is to be realistic as you make your projections, and know exactly where your money will be coming from and how much you can expect to bring in during retirement. Sit down with a financial adviser to go over the details and build a plan for early retirement that won’t leave you struggling to make ends meet, but rather enjoying your newfound freedom.

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An expert on financial and retirement planning, Felicia Gopaul offers timely tips, advice and guidance at Her articles help readers to manage their finances, plan for college and retirement, and save and spend wisely. When she’s not writing on money matters, Felicia also enjoys travel and travel writing, as well as reading, hiking and yoga.retirement life

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