Retirement? Plan Your Next Income Opportunity!

For everyone who is about to leave university or for has just started their first job, there couldn’t be anything more exciting than building a profitable and brand new professional career. But for everyone who’ve been working in a company for a few years, it’s difficult not to think about retirement, especially as retiring means that you can finally enjoy your time and your money to do whatever you want to. Except that this is the best possible case scenario. Most people don’t plan for retirement. They simply work their way to it and then are faced with a difficult situation: They don’t know how to fill their days when they’re not working anymore. It’s time to take retiring seriously, from making a bucket list of what you want to do when you’re older to planning your financial strategy when you stop working. The earlier you plan, the more you’ll enjoy a smooth and easy pensioner’s life!

 

Know your rights

Did you know that there is no retirement age in the U.S.? Naturally, this doesn’t mean that you can stop working when you feel like it. In fact, there are some essential retirement milestones that you need to be aware of. For a start, you can’t claim Social Security retirement benefits before 62. Similarly, you can’t withdraw from your retirement savings — aka your 401(k) — without paying penalties before you’re 59 1/2. However, not everyone is lucky enough to retire because they’re reached old age. Some individuals are struggling with injuries or disabilities that stop them from working. If this is your case, you may need to consider early retirement by consulting an attorney to explore the possibility of replacing your income via disability benefits. You may be entitled a Social Security disability insurance, for instance.

Consider downsizing when you retire

While they are many options to take into account when it comes to housing during your retirement years, downsizing is one of the most profitable courses of action. Indeed, you need to ask yourself in all honesty why you should be paying for additional space that you don’t need. Most adults in the age of retiring still live in the same family house they children grew up in. You probably don’t need these extra bedrooms anymore. Additionally, as you cut down housing expenses, you create more retirement income. Now that’s something the plus side of a frugal lifestyle!

Create a new income

What if you’re ready to stop driving to the office every day, but you want to keep your mind sharp and active? Well, nobody said that you were forced to stop working altogether. You can embrace a freelancing career to offer your knowledge and experience as a business consultant, for example. All you need is to identify the market niche. Let’s say you’re a math teacher. You could merely offer math tutoring to local students. There’s always someone who needs a little hand to get the results they need to apply to their dream college. Make sure in the consulting sector to prepare a few templates and a pricing list before you start, though!

It’s time to rethink retirement. It doesn’t have to be synonymous with old age. You can retire from your current job at any age, assuming that you’ve planned to replace your current income source, either through Social Security supports, a frugal lifestyle, or even tackling a freelancing career.

4 Ways to Deal With Overwhelming Debt

In the modern age, debt is a standard part of life. We rely upon credit to buy our cars, homes, phones and many other essential elements of modern living, and debt is the inevitable result of this. A normal, manageable amount of debt is not only common, but it is a good thing, as it helps us to build the credit that will be needed for the future.

But after a certain point, debt becomes a terrible burden that can impact our finances, relationships and even our health. Overwhelming debt can completely take over a person’s life, and it may feel as though there is no way to recover. It is at this point that many consumers begin to turn to unsavory options such as predatory lenders, borrowing from friends and family, draining savings and even bankruptcy.

For some people, debt gets to a point where these types of options are the only possible solutions, but there are techniques that should be attempted before seeking such ends. While there are companies that will offer quick and easy ways to get out of debt, a responsible consumer must understand that there is no way of dealing with excessive debt that is either quick or easy.

Getting out of debt will take responsible decisions, changes to spending habits and accountability, but the path to financial freedom does not have to start with a major, risky action. Before you choose an option that could be detrimental in the end, try some of the follow techniques that can help you rebuild your credit, pay off debt and get back to a normal life.

1.  Renegotiate

If your main issue is credit card debt, the simplest solutions is to try and renegotiate your payments. There is nothing about your interest rates, payments or even the balance that is set in stone with credit card companies, and most would rather negotiate a payment plan than lose out altogether. Doing so may have an impact on your credit score, but it is always preferable to more extreme options.

2. Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation can be a realistic and responsible decision for some consumers with excessive debt. While there are different techniques for consolidation, they all involve taking out one large loan (ideally with a very low interest rate) and paying off all of your current debts. This option can obviously be dangerous if done improperly or with the wrong lender. Before taking this route, you should research and learn about Credit Repair Organizations Act and other regulations which protect consumers from predatory companies. Consumers Advocates.org also gives reviews on many of these companies.

3. Borrow From Retirement Funds

If you have a 401k, IRA, investments or other retirement funds, you could borrow from these accounts in order to help pay off your debt. But you should be aware of all the potential risks and fees and determine whether or not this would be the right option. Depending upon the type of account, the amount you plan to take out, time in which it could be repaid and other factors, this strategy may save you from bankruptcy.

4. Reassess Your Lifestyle

This may sound obvious, but the first step you should take to deal with overwhelming debt is assessing your current lifestyle, budget and spending habits to determine what is unnecessary. This may not be easy, and it will certainly not be pleasant, but honestly and thoroughly reviewing your income and debt and making responsible changes could be the simplest solution.

 

 

Is University Worth It?

Studying for a degree used to be free for British students in the UK. Former Prime Minister David Cameron, who was born to a wealthy family, had the privilege of studying a degree at Oxford University. Once he had graduated, he pursued his ambition of becoming a career politician, and by 2010 he had assumed the highest office in the UK. Once there, he introduced legislation that increased tuition fees threefold. David Cameron, a man whose education was covered by the generosity of the British taxpayer, has now ensured that fewer working class students can attend university. Many are now faced with a difficult decision: acquire a degree and take on all of the debts associated with it, or start work and potentially resign yourself to not being as able to access graduate level positions. It is prompting many people to reassess the value of a degree. It is a massive investment and a decision that should not be taken lightly.

The situation in the US is, if anything, starker. The cost of attending an Ivy League University is now as much as $63000 per year. That sort of debt is substantial and could be an obligation for students well into their later lives. The decision to attend university is in one sense a financial one. Will such an outpouring of money produce of a return that justifies it? The answer may depend in part of what major you chose to study; research shows that in 2016, engineering majors were earning on average $64891 while those who had studied education were earning just $34891. The difference of $30000 is pronounced and reflects a trend. STEM graduates (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) regularly earn more than people who studied the humanities. However, not everybody is naturally inclined towards such objective subjects. Whether they should study a STEM degree just because it will likely enable them to earn more money is contentious. Your choice of major can determine the rest of your life. Studying something you are not passionate about for financial reasons could easily be characterized as rather short sighted and shallow besides.

However, it is not just the subject of your degree that needs to factor into your decision. The internet has broadened the scope of modern education, and it is now possible to study for your degree online. Since you do not have classes to attend in person, you can choose which hours you wish to work and fit your studies around other areas of your life. You still get the benefit of a professor’s knowledge and guidance, but the whole experience is more flexible. This can also allow you the opportunity to work while you study and therefore get a start on paying back your debts. There are many programs now, such as FPU Online, which offer full degree programs at a much lower rate than many other private universities.

With every decision, there are necessarily going to be trade-offs. You just need to decide which ones you are going to concede, if any at all.