Financial Planning With a Professional Financial Advisor

Professional Financial AdvisorAnyone can write a financial plan, or at least it seems that way. You can consult your banker, go to a brokerage firm, or hire someone who calls himself or herself a financial planner to prepare a plan for you. Financial planning simply isn’t that complicated, right?

Let’s consider what’s included in a comprehensive financial plan. There’s a section on what happens if you died today. Will estate taxes be due? Does your estate have enough liquidity? Another section outlines what happens if you become disabled or need long-term care. Have you saved enough for retirement? And how will you pay for your kids’ or grandkids’ college education? What about charitable giving, income tax savings, and investment allocation?

The first place to start is selecting the right person to develop a financial plan. Find someone with a fiduciary responsibility such as a Certified Financial Planner™.

It is important to seek out someone who will listen to your objectives and design a plan to meet your goals. Be sure the person you choose to draft your initial financial plan is familiar with how the planning you do in one area affects outcome in another. For example, what you do in the area of investment planning can affect your tax planning. What you do to provide for asset protection can affect your estate planning, and so forth.

A sound financial plan should also address how you are expected to behave when placed in a variety of scenarios. The only certainty in life is that the unexpected will always happen. When placed in an unexpected situation, most people will tend to make major decisions based on emotion, and then try to rationalize them, undermining their long-term planning. Therefore, a solid financial plan should be flexible enough to accommodate the unexpected. This is especially true in the investment-planning arena. It is important to have a written investment policy statement to help protect your portfolio from unplanned and impulsive revisions of sound long-term policy. Especially in times of market turmoil, investors without an investment policy statement are inclined to make investment decisions that are inconsistent with prudent investment management principles–and their best interest. Your investment policy provides an agreed-upon and well-thought-out framework from which sound investment decisions will be made.

Many people believe the process ends once the plan is written. But good financial planning means regularly monitoring and adapting strategies to ensure you’re meeting your goals. Remember, you’re not just trying to create an end product that won’t ever need to change. You’re developing a map that will help guide you toward financial stability. And regular comparisons of where you planned to be in the future with where you actually end up can generate important discussions about why you ended up where you are. Are you ahead of plan because your investment portfolio did better than expected, were taxes lower than expected, or maybe you spent less than expected? The reason you end up at a particular place is important to understand because that determines what types of adjustments might be needed for your plan A financial plan that’s developed with the help of a professional financial planner could be the right map to help you reach your financial destination.

Many people can help you prepare a financial plan, but the most successful plans are crafted by professional planners whose allegiance is to you, the client. Professional planners have the credentials and understanding to know how the different areas of financial planning affect one another so they can help determine what is right for you. And professional financial planners will follow up with you after the plan is in place to assist in analyzing deviations from the plan in order to make competent adjustments to steer you away from failure.

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Tips For Managing Your Own Personal Finances

Personal Finance Tips

Many people were not taught personal finance tips in high school nor college. If people were actually taught how to manage their finances from a young age, many would not be in the financial situation they are in today. Too often people are prone to putting off for tomorrow the things that can be done today in the manner of finance that leaves you one crisis away from disaster. Being aware of and managing your personal finances will guarantee financial stability, especially in this financial recession.

Budgeting

Create a budget and stick to it. Make a list of all your monthly expenses. Be sure to include your monthly savings, miscellaneous or emergency for eventualities that you did not plan for. Subtract your total expenses from your income to ensure that everything is covered. Creating a budget will show you where your money is going and will allow you to control your spending and increase your savings.

Spend less than what you earn

Many individuals spend more than they earn and have a reoccurring debt each month. Identify areas that you can cut costs and spend less and increase your savings. This will help you in the long run.

Save

Create a savings plan. Pay yourself first. Don’t wait until you’ve deducted all your bills before seeing what’s left for savings. Try to put away at least 10% of your pre-taxed earnings into a savings account. To guarantee savings have money automatically deducted from your paycheck and deposited into a separate savings account.

Pay Off Credit Card Debts and Loans

Credit card debt is the number one obstacle to getting ahead financially. Pay off all credit card balances in full each month. Credit card debt is usually the debt with the most interest. Avoid using your credit card for cash advances as the interest rate can be outrageous. Opt for debit cards that can be used as credit cards once there is a balance in your account. This will help you control your spending as it prevents you from spending what you don’t have. Ensure that all loans are paid on or before the due date. Overdue loans will attract interest and will result in you spending more money.

Contribute to a Retirement Plan and Invest

Ensure that you contribute to the retirement plan offered by your employer. If your employer does not offer a retirement consider an IRA. Contributing to a retirement plan will guarantee you an income after retirement. You do not want to retire and not have an income to sustain yourself. Research and select legal and low risk investments. Seek professional help if needed. If you don’t understand an investment don’t buy it. Invest for the long-term.

 

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How Debt Settlement Can Help Consumers Eliminate Unsecured Debt

Extreme situations require extreme solutions. Credit card debt has become rampant in the US. A vast majority of customers splurged on their credit cards as usual but could not pay up. There are hundreds of reasons for incurring debt like losing your job and a regular source of income, losses incurred in small business or simply bad planning. Any of these factors could have been the reason for your credit card debt. Now if the time you need to look ahead into the future and not lament over the past.

Look for ways and means to eliminate the huge credit card debt that you picked up all these years. If you do not look for debt relief now, there is a threat of the debt fully engulfing you and forcing solutions like bankruptcy. By the way what is so extreme about bankruptcy? Let me tell you, it is going to damage your credit for more than a decade. Filing bankruptcy will make you ineligible for any low interest loan for almost 10 years. I am sure you would not like to languish for a decade.

There are many simple and workable solutions being aggressively marketed on the Internet. Go in for a simple debt management plan. You will need to sign up for a DMP with a Debt Management Company. The company will open an account for you and ask you to make regular monthly deposits in it. Once the third deposit is done, the DMP managers will start negotiations with your creditors. They will handle all your credit cards and secure a reduction in monthly payments.

If you wish to eliminate your earlier debt all together go for a debt settlement plan. The plan needs you to make deposits in an account. Once a sizable balance is built up, the Settlement company will negotiate with your creditors to accept a lump sum payment of 40 to 50 percent of your net outstanding. Balance amount is waived by the creditors. You can use your savings or take a consolidation loan to make the lump sum payment.

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Quick and Valuable Personal Finance Tips Online

Personal finance has always been one of the crucial aspects, which largely affects the success of an individual in various fields. Just like a house needs strong foundation to withstand the various charges of weather similarly all individuals require strong foundations of personal finances to withstand the basic charges of life. Strong financial situation has always been the sure shot route towards a sound and independent financial situation. Maintaining a control over personal finance enables one to maintain a control over the entire financial situation and to maintain a control of where is money coming in and for what use it is being used. There are a range of topics covered under it. Some of the vital areas are budgeting, investment, retirement and debt handling.

Personal finance tips cover many crucial aspects that one has to do with his money, starting from generating it to spending it. The various areas –

  • Budgeting – Budgeting is one of the most essential and crucial areas. Since it is a time consuming and a tedious process, many people refrain from doing it and hence create acute financial problems for themselves. Budgeting is nothing but to ascertain what you must spend versus what you want to spend. Budgeting allows one to maintain a balance between his income and expenses so that all the priority needs are fulfilled optimally.
  • Investments – This is another crucial area as it allows individuals to lock some amount of money and hence stop spending money impetuously. Investments can be of various types like short term investments, long term investments, current investments, etc. Each of this investment has their own specific features like rate of return, minimum amount, lock period, etc. Individuals must invest in accordance to the capacity and such that their financial independence is not hampered.
  • Retirement – it is very vital to plan for retirement, because the cost of living index is escalating at a rapid pace and it’s very important to safeguard one’s future.
  • Debt handling – The fact cannot be ignored that all most all of us raise debts to tackle our various financial needs. However, at the same time individuals should not trap itself in the web of debt. One should ensure that they raise debt according to their repaying capacity and make sure that the payments are discharged at the time.

Some other quick personal finance tips –

  • Insurance is a must – it is very vital to have optimum insurance policies as they are nothing but safe investments. Insurance protects dependents of the insurer and the income in the case of disability or death. One must insure according to his financial situation. For example, there is no sense of life insurance if an individual does not have any dependents and it is very much necessary for every car owner to have car insurance.

Have a proper savings plan – It is always said that one should always pay himself first. Proper and regular savings helps individuals to take care of all sorts of emergency financial needs.

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Personal Finance Tips For You by Nocita Carter

Personal Finance Tips for You includes twenty-four topics covering an array of areas. The author states in the introduction “it is important to know as much as you can about managing your personal finances in these economic times.” Some of the areas covered are credit card traps, keeping on track to pay your bills, handling your checkbook, the price of gas, identity theft, catching up on retirement planning, what to do if you receive a lay off notice from your job, checking your credit report and talking about finances if you are planning to get married. These are just a few of the topics. There are many more.

The first topic covered is Don’t Get Caught Up in The Credit Card Trap, Stop Yourself Before That Happens. This is a very important chapter for everyone to read because it is so easy for this to happen in tough economic times. The author offers several excellent tips to help anyone who has this problem. It is clearly explained why it is so important for you to pay down the credit card debt.

Another important topic covered is How Do I Keep On Track to Pay My Bills on Time. The author gives the reader some tips on creating a budget and keeping track of your income and expenditures.

How do you survive the high cost of gas? We all know, not long ago the price of gas kept soaring. The author gives us many tips on how to save money by doing some simple things like consolidating trips just to name one of the pointers. There are many tips mentioned that I never thought of myself.

How do you establish your credit if you are young and just starting out on a job? Nocita Carter tells you exactly how to go about doing this.

Do you think you can save any money by just saving your change? This is one of the tips made by the author. I can personally vouch for this one because each day when I purchase an item, I take the change and add it to an old coffee can. After a few months, it gets quite full. I am always surprised by the amount of money I saved from my loose change.

I could go on and on with each chapter because there are so many good points in this book but I think you get the message and would get more out of Personal Finance Tips for You if you purchase it and read it yourself.

There are several aspects of this book that I really liked. It is written in language that is very easy to understand. It is not like some of the other books on finance that require you to have a dictionary by your side as you read. The book is very organized. Each chapter starts with an introduction to explain the topic. Once that is done, the author lists several tips to help the reader accomplish these tasks. Nocita Carter has written this book in a manner that makes the reader feel like they have a personal finance expert right there beside them. Personal Finance Tips For You is recommended for any age. It will be a valuable tool for younger people who are starting their first job. On the other hand, one is never too old to find something they did not know in this book. After reading this book, I learned quite a few tips to help me with my finances. You will find this an excellent resource guide to keep by your side at all times.

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Basics of Emergency Financial Plans

Personal finance tips can help you plan and budget to where you would wisely spend your monthly income. These tips are also good to consider for you to spare some of your money for emergency expenses.

Imagine this: your wife has on-the-spot visitors on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Eventually, you would need to offer some snacks for them to eat. Dinner is fast approaching but you have insufficient money to buy enough food for both your family and your visitors. Now, how can you handle this situation if you have no money for emergencies on your wallet?

Preparing for a financial emergency is one thing that most people do not mind to consider. This task maybe difficult especially to those who get just the exact amount of money from their monthly incomes. A situation which happens urgently before your eyes with you being caught unprepared will put you into trouble.

These personal finance tips would make you devise an emergency financial plan. Here are some items to ponder upon for you to handle emergency financial situations that would arise sooner or later in your life.

  1. Have a list of all your assets for you to liquidate
    2. A list of luxuries you can’t live without to plan a separate budget for these items.
    3. A list of available resources in case these emergencies occur.
    4. Simple jobs you can generate from the raw materials at home to add to your income.

To sum it all up, you need to make a plan of expenses. It is like your armor when a financial storm will strike your home. What good is a good income if you are caught unprepared during emergency situations like death of a family member, divorce, sudden sickness, bankruptcy, floods and many more. These personal finance tips are essential for you to follow so that you can spare yourself some time to devise a plan before the worst financial storm arises within your family.

Save yourself from the nightmare of not being able to handle effectively the emergency situations. These personal finance tips equip you with the knowledge you need to use as a weapon against devastating financial emergencies.

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 How To Get Yourself a Home Improvement Loan

If you have owned your home for a while, you might be looking around and have started making a list of the things that might need some work done. After your review you may have also come to the conclusion that there is no way that you can simply afford to pay for all the things that you would like to have done to it. There is no need to fret, there is a way that you can get these things done without having to wait even longer to get them done. You can do so my getting yourself a home improvement loan.

First things first, you should figure out what you think needs to be done and then get in touch with some contractors and have them come out to your home so that they can give you some professional estimates for the jobs that need to be done. You can then add up all of the estimate and get a total for all of the work that needs to be done. This will give you an idea of how much you will need to borrow.

After you have done this you will need to make sure that you gather up all of the information that any lender is going to require of you. This would include your taxes from the past couple of years, your credit history, proof of your employment, proof of any secondary income like social security or a second job, your debt to income ratio and of course actual pay stubs from your place of employment.

You should make sure that you request a free credit report. This way you can look it over before the lenders do and see if there are any things that don’t look right. These are not perfect and sometimes there are errors on them that can hurt your credit. So, if there are, you will need to clear these things up prior to going to a lender.

Once you have done all of this you can go and start shopping for a lender. You should look at their interest rates and their reputation. You need to make sure the lender is reliable and has a good and established history. If the terms by the way, for the loan look too good to be true, you might want to back off, because generally the truth would be that it was too good to be true.

You will also need to decide if you want a home equity loan or a line of credit for home improvement. Both of these loans will be second mortgage but the home improvement one is given in a lump sum with a revolving balance.

Make sure to read all of the fine print on the loan documents before you sign any of them. If you have questions you feel you need to ask don’t wait till after you have signed the document to ask them. If there is something that bothers you or if the lender tries to avoid your questions it might be a good idea to move onto a different lender.

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12 Personal Finance Tips To Survive The Credit Crunch

  1. Use A Budget

You won’t know where your money is going and what kind of financial situation you are in if you don’t have a budget, or spending plan, to track your spending habits. Write down how much you bring home and then, beneath it, start to subtract what you spend the money on. You might be surprised at what you learn from this simple exercise.

  1. Consolidate Debt

If you are an average American, you have some debt. If you have a lot of high interest credit card debt, you should consider taking out a loan from your local bank to pay if all off, and then work at paying off the bank loan which will have a much lower interest rate.

  1. Don’t Add New Debt

Aim to pay cash or use a debit card from now on. You won’t be paying interest for that video game you bought six months ago if you use cash or debit cards. Also, you tend to spend less when you see the money in your wallet vanishing.

  1. Create An Emergency Fund

Provide some insurance against emergencies by stashing away a small emergency fund which you only dip into when a true emergency happens–your car breaks down, your son breaks his arm, or other such situations that cannot be planned for. For most people $500-$1000 is sufficient.

  1. Raise Insurance Deductibles

To help fund your emergency fund, take the money you save from raising your car or health insurance deductible. If you have $1000 sitting aside for emergencies, upping your deductible from $250 to $500 is no big deal.

  1. Carpool

If you live near coworkers or within walking distance of your office, leave your car at home. For those who don’t have this option, make sure you combine as many stops as you can into your outing so save on gas and time.

  1. Unplug Appliances

Even on standby mode appliances use electricity. Use a power strip for your computer or entertainment center areas and then unplug them at night of when out of the house.

  1. Consider Downsizing

It may be possible for you to save considerably by moving to a place with a lower rent or mortgage. If this isn’t for you, think about taking in a roommate or renting out a spare room. Or making some quick cash by having a garage sale.

  1. Learn to Negotiate

Many things, from Internet to food at the farmers market, can be negotiated. Spend time practicing and then call up your phone carrier to see how much you can cut your bill.

  1. Don’t Be Brand Loyal

If you can get a cheaper rate by switching cable providers, change. This also goes for foods, cleaning and personal care products.

  1. Shop On line

Many retailers offer better discounts on-line plus free shipping. Shop through a cash back site to get even more for your money.

  1. Do It Yourself

Try doing minor repairs yourself to avoid high repair fees. Change your own oil, unclog the toilet and cut the grass by yourself. Also preform regular maintenance to avoid repairs.

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5 Awesome Personal Finance Tips

There are countless articles and publications online and offline which warn about neglecting your finances. Its not surprising either given the state of the economy, it seems we are a nation of spenders that just cant stop. The worst part and the major factor of our economy being so weak right now, is that the money we are actually so happily spending is not ours!

It is also our complete and utter ignorance towards our own finances that has contributed to our downfall. The majority of people employ the same attitude when it comes to obesity too, the “someone else will sort it out” attitude.

Anyway, if you aren’t one of these people (or perhaps you are reforming) then you might find the tips in this article very useful.

1) Get saving. You need to start saving as much money as you can afford as soon as possible. Things don’t always work out the way you want which means inevitably you will get caught short and need some emergency funds. Even if you can only save a really small amount, as pathetic as it is, it will soon add up.

2) Pay everything on time. If you have a credit card or a store card, pay the invoices on time. Late fees are big fat unnecessary payments so don’t get pulled into them. They are also common on utility bills, rent and charges for going overdrawn catch a lot of people out too.

3) Set yourself some financial targets. Sit down and think about what you want out of your life (note: be realistic!) and then create some financial targets, short term, medium term and long term. Targets such as a new car, moving into a new house and when you want to retire. Research suggests that the psychological impact of subliminally knowing what you want to achieve helps create positive actions and will help towards achieving your goals.

4) Don’t be a pushover. Go out and get what you’re worth and don’t let anyone try and get in the way of you getting out of life what you want. If you think you deserve a pay-rise, go and ask for one. If you think you are good enough to do a better job, challenge yourself to do a different job.

5) Budget. Probably one of the most commonly quoted financial tips in the world, but it’s for good reason. A budget is something that can literally save you thousands a year and it takes no time at all to put together. The idea is that you write down everything you spend your money on and stick it in a spread sheet. The key to making this work is not just guessing what you spend your money on, actually go a week or two jotting it all down as you do it. This way you will see exactly where your money is going and what its going on and you can make the necessary cut backs. Some people are shocked by the amount of money they flutter away on parking tickets and coffee and save an absolute fortune by really tightening their ship.

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How to Make the Distinction Between Your Needs and Desires

If you start tracking down your expenses to the smallest detail, you will see that it will be much easier to keep track of what you really need to spend money on – like transportation from your home to your work and back – and things you desire, like an energy drink that helps you thorough the day. The difference between your needs and things your desires help you control your spending.

There are situations when the two overlap: maybe you will see some new pants for $70. There would be no arguing you need a pair of new pants, but the price tag would make you think twice. However, there is no point in buying something that is cheap, but you are not entirely happy with: why are you working to make money if you can’t have any joy in it?

There are some questions to ask yourself to see what the difference is between the things you really need and the things you desire. What is the purpose of this purchase? Can it save time, energy or money for you? Will it help you do something you want or must do? When will you use this purchase? What are the pros and cons of buying it now versus waiting?

What are the things you must give up to buy that thing? Do you have to say goodbye to your savings? Will there be any delays in the purchase of other things? Can you make this purchase and stick to your plan to pay down debt? Keep in mind that the real price of a thing you buy can not be defined by its price plus sales tax. If you buy something, you may loose an opportunity to invest that money.

A good trick is setting your own price tag to different things: before you decide to buy something, a lunch, a car or a vacation, ignore its price tag, and decide how much that thing is worth to you. If you do this, it will be less probable you overspend on something you don’t really need.

So if you decide how much a flat screen TV is worth to you and you are not willing to pay more on that, you will see that the yearnings for the things only rich people can afford. You will walk away freely from things that have a price tag that doesn’t match your own price.

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5 Personal Finance Tips From the Wealth Masters

If you pay attention to these tips like the wealth masters do, you will learn exactly how the top dogs at WMI make their millions. Believe me, it starts small.

Small tips make it possible. For instance, knowing what you need money for… what are your financial goals? Why bother with all this? Once that is clear, personal finance becomes personal and steers finance the right way.

That, after all, is what personal finance is about. Personal is ‘one’s own’ and finance is ‘a way to pay’. If one doesn’t know why one is paying for anything, obviously one will fumble with ‘one’s own way of paying for it’. So tip 1 is, know why you are learning this and why you’re spending any money.

Some of the money mistakes people make start from the late teenage years. They are probably climbing up debt through school, house, marriage, or material purchases. Wealth Masters advise you keep a tab on how much you’ve borrowed because that will affect everything about how you repay for the next 10-20 years and your income is the least at startup. The best way to handle a credit card is to not carry it with you.

The third tip is to get a free copy of your credit report every quarter to know you are clean. This will help to get an apartment, borrow money, get a cell phone, even get a job. There are many agencies that organize these reports in USA.

If you ‘don’t know where your money is going’, write down every expense every day for a month… or get a receipt for everything you spend money on. One of the wealth masters discovered he was spending $350 on taxicabs before it struck home that he needn’t be broke because of that avoidable expense.

Finally, use the ‘pegging technique’ by which you do business with businesses that are the best bang for your buck. Which is the bargain dry cleaner? Where are the appetizers free? What time is the half-off movie show? Where do you get flowers cheaper on particular days? Know these things and splurge intelligently and economically.

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