Top Tips for People Who Want to Retire Early

When are you planning on starting your retirement?

A few years ago, most people would have answered with numbers like 60, or even 50 if they were feeling lucky. However, as the workplace becomes more demanding, and it grows increasingly difficult for us to save money outside of our monthly expenses, it might feel as though you’ll be working forever.

Average retirement ages are increasing to 80 and beyond for some people. Although there’s nothing wrong with working when you’re older if you love your job and you’re looking for a good way to spend the day – you don’t want to be forced to work until a late age just because you didn’t plan properly.

The following tips could help you to retire a lot faster.

1.    Know your Goals

There’s nothing quite like a clear set of goals when it comes to keeping yourself and your family motivated. Before you start working on your budget and adjusting your spending, ask yourself what you want to accomplish with your money. Do you want to retire at the age of 40, or would you prefer to go on vacation with your family every year?

Are you interested in living in a big home, or would you mind moving into something smaller if it meant that you and your partner could live without a job for a few years more? It’s all about getting your priorities in check from day one. Decide what matters most to you and build a plan that will help you to move towards your goals.

2.    Compare Everything

When it comes to saving money, every little bit helps. That means that you can’t afford to take prices at face value. Rather than just agreeing to a cost because that’s what’s written on a website or price tag, ask yourself if you can get a better deal elsewhere. More often than not, you will be able to save some money just by switching to a different vendor or buying from a new store.

For instance, when you’re getting an online loan, you know that the best way to save money is compare the different banks and building societies that can give you your money. The less interest you need to pay each month, the more cash you’ll have left over for the rest of your life.[Continue Reading…]

Financial planning for middle-income people. Stop the bleeding!

“The most important thing for middle income people to overcome is their concept that, ‘I don’t make enough money to warrant the need for a financial planner.’ I find it’s the opposite. Since you don’t have excessive income, it’s most important to get a handle on what are your expenses, where can they be cut and what can you do to meet your retirement goals.”

Those words are from David Bohannon, a certified financial planner at Consultant’s Corner in Louisville, KY. A self-serving attempt to drum up business? I don’t think so. Why are so many people ready to throw money at Lotto tickets or the hottest stock when a sure-fire way to pile up money is to quit wasting it? Paying for a few financial planning sessions with a good planner might beef-up your bottom line.

CFP James Knaus of LaBrecque, Jackson, Price & Roehl in Troy, Mich., says he, also, doesn’t base financial planning on the size of the assets.

“I base it on the problems or concerns they want to have addressed. I have a no-obligation meeting that probably lasts 30 to 45 minutes to see if we can connect and if there’s something I can do for them. I tell them how long it will take and what I charge. It’s a low-key approach.”

Do your homework

If you decide to see a financial planner, be prepared to do some homework in advance. Knaus asks clients to bring in an approximate balance sheet consisting of assets and liabilities and a cash flow statement. He says most people are able to put them together reasonably quickly if they don’t have them.

“What’s really important for you is to have an idea of what you want to accomplish — goals and priorities,” says Knaus. “I ask an open-ended question and let ’em rip. It’s amazing how much people will divulge. My job is to shut up and listen and take notes.”

David Bohannon says a lot of people may not need to see a financial planner on a routine basis, but they need to sit down with a planner and do a complete financial makeover to get on the right track.[Continue Reading…]

My business is having trouble – Why are things going badly?

It doesn’t matter how big, or successful your business is, a start-up, an established business or even if you rule the market at some point you’re likely to have trouble. Sometimes things can seemingly be running smoothly, with a business being self-sufficient and sustained. However, if things tip in the wrong direction, you could find yourself massively struggling. So, what are the tell-tale signs that things aren’t heading in the right direction?

You don’t understand how well the business is performing

Running a business and working as a director are two different things. Owners can easily get distracted with ongoing projects or other important aspects of the company. Naturally, owners and directors have to delegate jobs within the business, but unless you have accurate knowledge of money coming in and out of the business, the feeling of team chemistry within the business and the view of the general public, it’s unlikely you will genuinely know how well you are really performing.

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An owner should know every aspect of their business, including in-depth knowledge of how every aspect of your company works. This will enable you to have a clear understanding of your strategy, what you are looking to achieve and where your business is headed. Without you can lose track of what your business is really about and where it’s headed. Knowing the key statistics of the business is key to its success, without that knowledge, it can be hard to keep track of how well it’s really performing.[Continue Reading…]

Why are Brits so hesitant at switching banks?

They say that Brits are more likely to get divorced than split with their bank. However, why is there little switching? There is even a current account switching service ensuring that direct debits and salary payments are smoothly changed to a new bank.

The numbers say it all. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) banking industry investigation discovered that only 3% of current account customers had moved their bank account.

More than half of those customers had been with their bank for more than ten years and had never changed. This loyalty is the type that retail, in particular, would beg to have.

So why don’t they switch then?

Brits don’t trust banks

A recent poll by Positive Money found that two-thirds of British adults do not trust banks, with 72% believing banks should have faced harsher penalties for their roles int he 2008 financial crash, leading to austerity measures and the subsequent credit crunch.

Despite years of regulation and banks promising to change and paying fines and compensation for their role in the financial fiasco, the public at large still do not trust them.[Continue Reading…]

Funding a new business venture

If you are setting up a new business, then you will have many things to sort out. From finding premises to hiring the staff you need and planning your marketing push; your to-do-list will no doubt be lengthy. Of course, this is all part of starting a new venture and something that you should find exciting. With it being your business, you get to make the choices and to plan how it will all work.

With most start-ups a funding source is needed. There is no doubt that setting up a new organisation can involve huge costs when you factor in buying machinery and stock on top of all the other expenses you will have to meet. The big numbers involved very often means that self-funding is out of the equation. Even if you do have the money needed in your bank account, you may be unwilling to risk it all.

business venture

So, what is the solution to this predicament? For lots of business owners, it is finding a source of external funding to help them get started.[Continue Reading…]

How to keep up with the latest news in the world of forex

The foreign exchange market is as big now as it ever has been. The influx of new traders thanks to the digital transformation that the sector has seen has kept it as the biggest financial market around. Even the London Stock Exchange with its $4.5tn market cap cannot compete! The sheer range of currencies to trade, high liquidity and potentially big returns all make it one of the best options to consider as a trader.

If you are trading in this market, then you will be well aware of one thing that makes a big difference to how it moves: news.

News moves price

In very simple terms, this is all you need to know! Currency pairs will either go up or down in price over time – you make money if you have opened a trade in the right direction. What moves prices? The major factor is breaking news and official releases from governments as to the state of their economies.[Continue Reading…]

How to Finance Your First Car

Your first car is always going to be a big deal. Not only is it one of the first big financial investments you will make in your life, it is also a huge emotional investment. This car is what will take you to work, to fun days out, back home, and to any road trip you desire. It is what will give you freedom unlike anything you’ve purchased before. It can also be a huge money pit if you aren’t careful. Finance your car for too long, for example, and you can end up paying far more than it is worth. Instead, follow this guide so that you can finance your first car the right way:

Pick the Right Car

The longer you have your car, the more economical it will become for you. You should never go vehicle shopping with the notion that you can sell your car after a few years to recoup the costs. When it comes to cars, the depreciation value is huge. What this means is that the second you drive a new car off the lot, you cannot sell it for the same value the next day. You also don’t want to choose a used car that is, say, on its last legs. The longer it works, the more value you will get out the car. The same applies to the mileage.

How to Finance  

There are many ways you can pay for your new car. If you happen to have good credit, you can pay for it through your credit company (applicable only if the vehicle is worth between £100 – £30,000). You can also pay for it through car financing, but it is important to be wary of the APR rates. The lower the rates, the less you will pay over time. These rates are often provided when you sign up for higher repayment sums over a shorter period of time.[Continue Reading…]

Examining the Effect of the New Health and Safety Guidelines on UK Businesses

In 2016, the Sentencing Council’s guideline for sentencing related to health and safety offences dramatically changed. It has now been in effect for more than two years, so we can definitely see the results and reactions to that law. Let’s take a closer look at the after-effects of the new health and safety guidelines on UK businesses.

The Cost-Benefit Analysis More Strongly Favours Prevention

The sentencing guidelines set hefty fines for businesses of all sizes, though fines are based on the turnover of the company. Large companies with a turnover of more than £50 million regularly pay fines of more than £1 million for straightforward health and safety violations. Small to medium companies are periodically hit with six-figure fines. This makes many companies see the clear benefit of investing in greater levels of training, preventative devices, and safety procedures.

The new guidelines focus on the potential risk of harm rather than what harm was actually caused when serious breaches occur. Risk mitigation then becomes a priority. This forces businesses to invest in safety measures that reduce the overall risk of accidents and their outcome, far beyond general mitigation methods that were the norm. Paying for independent consultants to review one’s health and safety policies becomes a priority. And up to date health and safety courses such as the ones listed on findcourses.co.uk can become an investment in the company’s bottom line.[Continue Reading…]

How contractors can get a handle on their finances

Over three million Brits are believed to work as sole traders, and there are plenty of benefits to doing so. Not only can contractors largely set their own priorities and schedules, but they also have the benefit of experiencing different types of work. However, with financial considerations such as tax obligations and pension payments to think about, it can also be a headache. Here are some of the main ways that contractors can avoid these problems.

Set up a pension

As a regular employee, it’s likely that you’ll have your pension looked after for you by the business that employs you. In fact, most employers now legally have to enrol you into a pension scheme – so you’ll have at least some protection, even if you have to cede some salary voluntarily as a personal top-up contribution. However, for contractors, this isn’t usually an option.

You’ll need to take out a self-employed pension to ensure that you’re covered for retirement, and this can be a hassle. When working out your rate, then, ensure that you add on say 4% or 5% – or potentially even more – in order to cover what your employer would otherwise be contributing if you were a regular employee. That way, you’ll know you’re covered.[Continue Reading…]