Thursday, December 29, 2016

How to Maximize Your Rental Return When You Invest in Real Estate

real estate investments
Looking after a rental property is really important, and you need to consider how to maximize your rental return. There are so many things you can do that will help you to improve the property and attract better tenants. Think about what you can do to maximize your rental return and make as much money as possible. Bear in mind that this is your job, so you need to do as much as possible to ensure you are making as much as you can.

Choose the Right Tenants

It starts at the very beginning. If you want to make sure you are getting the rent paid in full and on time every month, you need the right tenants. This is something that can be a bit of a lottery on occasion. There are so many different potential tenants out there, and it can be difficult to pick the right ones. That's why we have references and background checks to help us out. Picking someone with a good track record and history is a good way of ensuring that your rental requirements will be met on time. Many property owners can run into difficulties with this kind of thing, and they tend to suffer as a result of bad tenants.

Landlord Deposit Scheme

There are a lot of finance options for landlords, as well as important things like landlord deposit schemes out there that you can use. These are important because they protect your rights and assets as a landlord. You have to use one of these schemes as much as you possibly can. There are a lot of benefits to entering into one of these deposit protection schemes. You need to bear in a position where you are going to be protected and reimbursed if problems occur with rental payments or bad tenants.

Property Management Company

It’s also important to have some help and support throughout the process. This is something you need to make sure you sort out as much as you can. There are a lot of pitfalls when you become a landlord, and you have to make sure you are maximizing the rental return on your properties. The way to achieve that is to make use of property management companies. They provide lots of services and guidance that come in really useful for you. To protect your future and success as a real estate investor, this is something you need to focus on. A property management company can make all the difference for you as a landlord.

Maintenance

It’s also important to make the property a more attractive prospect for people. There are a lot of different things you can do to draw more people to the property. This will increase demand and improve your rental prospects. Maintaining and renovating the place is one of the best things you can do. It's a great place to begin and will help you to make sure your property looks as good as possible. You can start off small then work up to much more ambitious projects.

You have to do what you can to make sure the property is as attractive a prospect as possible. This is something you’ve got to focus on and try to get sorted as much as possible. Use the ideas and suggestions on this post to help you increase and maximize your rental return as much as possible.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Don't Fall Into These Small Business Finance Traps

business finance traps
There are many financial mistakes you can make which could potentially hurt your business. Taking the first step into business and making it a success is hard enough, but now you’ve got a multitude of things to worry about and fret over. With all of this, it can sometimes be easy to forget about certain things and fall into financial traps which can hurt varying parts of your business. You can see some outlined below.

Tax

Well of course you pay your tax, but are you paying too much? Many small businesses don’t have the time to look too much into their tax so they just pay what they logically owe and move on. However, depending on your business type you could be eligible for tax breaks, grants and varying government schemes that can end up leaving you with more money. Your best bet is to have a consultation with a tax planner who knows all the ins and outs of the trade and can help you get what you owe. Their fee can be worth it when you earn way more in tax breaks. But, if you don’t want a tax planner there’s no harm in looking into it yourself. It’ll take more time but it’ll be worth it if you end up saving money.

Payment

Have you ever been somewhere that says “cash only”? Or somewhere that doesn’t offer contactless pay? It can be quite frustrating, especially if you had planned to pay in a certain way. Well, you don’t want to alienate customers, because by only offering certain types of payment you can limit potential sales. Using a specific card reader can help, if they’re fast and reliable the customer is going to leave happy and not get held up. Customer service is paramount and can keep the customer coming back for more. The option of Apple and Android pay can also be a huge plus, it’s somewhat of a novelty, but allows for speedy service. It will also increase productivity, allowing you and your employees to get more done throughout the day.

Overpaying On Equipment

Some businesses pay far too much when ordering equipment. This is certainly the case with I.T equipment. If you’re ordering servers make sure you have the space for them and that you aren’t ordering too much. In this day and age you may not even need a server, opt for cloud based computing instead which is safer and far more flexible. The same for computers, yes, you may get a great business deal, but there’s no point in buying more than you actually need because it’ll end up setting you back. Watch the software bundles too, sometimes providers will throw extra things at an extra charge that you just don’t need. If you’re uncertain you can use a business analyst to check exactly what a business of your kind needs. Remember, as a business owner buying large quantities of stock you hold the cards and you have a significant amount of bargaining power. Use it.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Got A Burning Financial Question? Here's Who To Ask

finance planting
Throughout your life, you’ll run into a few financial situations that can throw you slightly off balance. These may not be too serious, but they could end up with you having a few questions that you want answering. Perhaps you just have some questions about your current investments. Or maybe you just want a particular type of bank account and its pros and cons explained to you in language that you can understand.

So what happens when you have some burning financial questions that you need answered pretty quickly? Thankfully, there are plenty of sources where you can find your much-needed information. So what do you need answering right now? Here are the best sources to turn to in your times of financial need.

Financial Blogs

Thanks to the Internet, there are now lots of financial writers who are now able to publish their views and opinions online in the forms of blogs. Most of the big financial blogs are full of invaluable information. You should be able to find a post that covers the topic you have questions about. If not, it could be worth commenting on a blog post to see if any of the other blog readers are able to jump in and answer your question for you.

Financial Newspapers

There are also many newspapers that focus on the current market and economy. These often have a lot more detail in than the blogs. Not only that, though, but they also have up to date on the prices of stocks and shares. One of the benefits of regularly reading the financial papers is that you will be able to read all about the current trends that are affecting markets. Looking at the markets can help you to make better judgements when it comes to investments and big money decisions.

Financial Advisors

But what if you think that your current question is closely linked to your own personal finance situation? If this is the case, then you could always see a financial advisor. As they will have lots of experience and training in the financial sector, they will be able to draw on all their knowledge to advise you with all your finances. Once you do sign up to a financial advisor, you will be able to call them whenever you have a question that you need answering. You will be able to chat to your advisor about a number of financial topics, including investments, retirement plans, and life insurance.

Financial Charities

A few charities have been set up to help people who find themselves in bad financial predicaments. If you are struggling to get out of a lot of debt, these charities will be able to advise you and can also help you to better manage your money. They can help you set goals for yourself which is one of the first important steps to improving your financial situation.

Your questions won’t worry you for too long once you turn to one of the above useful sources.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Clever Tactics To Sell Your Home In Any Market

selling home
Buying a home is one of your life’s most wonderful experiences - but it doesn't’ always work out. There are a variety of reasons why you might have to consider selling up and moving on somewhere else. A job loss, a death in the family, bad debts - the list is endless. The trouble is, the market doesn’t always want to play nice, and it might make it hard for you to achieve your goals. There are, however, some smart tactics you can use to ensure that you can sell your home in any economic situation - let’s take a closer look.

Make it presentable

First of all, it is nothing less than essential to make your house look like a home. Of course, there are no guarantees that it will sell on this alone, but you will scare off potential buyers if they cannot imagine living there. It needs to be homely, welcoming, and free of clutter. If you have the funds, it’s worth installing a new bathroom, kitchen, or both - sorting out these areas can increase the desirability of the place. If you can create a good impression and show people why you love your home, there’s a much greater chance of you tempting someone to make an offer.

Depersonalize

When you are looking for a new house, what is your thought process when you attend a showing of a potential property? In the vast majority of cases, people like to buy a home that they can start living in straight away, without a whole bunch of repairs or renovations. But it’s also important to create a soothing, neutral, and depersonalized space. The blunt truth is that family pictures, your DVD collection, or your children’s toys strewn everywhere will put people off, rather than tempt them to make an offer. Always show your home as if you were a landlord, and keep your personal items out of sight - and mind.

Use a speedy home seller

If you are in a genuine rush to sell your home, you could consider using a house buying company. According to SellHouseFast.com, this type of business will buy virtually any home out there, which can help households who need to free up cash for financial reasons. However, be aware that you will often get less than the market value - it’s the price you pay for getting the deal done within a week or so - and maybe less.

Competitive pricing

Price your home way over the top, and you won’t attract buyers - it’s as simple as that. It can take months - or even years - to sell if you aren’t prepared to get people interested. Offering your home at a competitive market price, however, will tempt a lot more people to place a bid. The quicker you get people making offers, the more likely it will sell within your desired time frame.

Sweeten the deal

Finally, is there anything you can do for a prospective buyer that could sweeten their deal? Investopedia.com recommend you offer them a helping hand with their closing costs, for example, or offer a transferable home warranty. Even offering to complete some general repairs might help them make a faster decision.

We hope you are never in the situation where you have to sell quickly. But, if you are unlucky, these tips should help.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Finance Options For Landlords

financial landlords
Most landlords will know about standard buy-to-let mortgages, but you might not be aware of the other types of finance that can help grow or enhance a portfolio.

Karl Griggs, Director of CPC Finance, shares his property finance 101…

Buy-to-let mortgages

Buy-to-let (BTL) mortgages are used by investors looking to buy and hold a residential property, which is let to tenants on an assured short hold tenancy agreement. The rent from BTL properties is used to cover the loan repayments, and to generate additional income. BTL mortgages can be taken out by both individuals and limited companies.

Loans for Houses of Multiple Occupancy

The definition of a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) is a specialist asset class where a single property is subdivided, with shared kitchen facilities, and rented out on an individual basis to different people. Lenders provide specialist buy-to-let finance for HMOs as they are more complex to manage than a residential property for a single family. Generally, lenders prefer borrowers to have experience managing HMOs, but they may also consider landlords who manage multiple single properties.

Property portfolio finance

For a landlord with multiple properties, consolidating loans into one finance package can enable them to manage investments more effectively. Having one finance package can make it easier to secure finance based on your portfolio as a whole, as well as improving cash flow management. Consolidating loans can also be used by investors looking to refinance multiple properties at once.

Short term loans

Also known as bridging loans, short term loans can be secured on a residential or commercial property and can be used for a variety of purposes. They can be arranged for a period of one month to two years, either as a first charge loan on a property or second charge, sitting behind the existing mortgage. They are ideal for raising capital for refurbishment works, or covering a gap in a broken property purchase chain.

Finance for refurbishment projects

There are short term loans available specifically intended to enable landlords to carry out refurbishment works on a property. Depending on the amount of work, investors can either go for a light refurbishment loan (where works cost less than 15% of the property’s value), or heavy refurbishment, where the works cost more.

Examples of light refurbishment include cosmetic improvements such as rewiring, fitting a new kitchen or repainting. Heavy refurbishment work can need planning permission or involve building regulations. Once the work has been finished, landlords are free to sell on or change to a BTL mortgage, some of which have no early redemption charges

Secured loans and second charge mortgages

A second charge mortgage can be useful for those investors who have equity within a portfolio they would like to use, but who are unable or unwilling to remortgage. Such a mortgage sits behind the first mortgage meaning that a favourable fixed, tracker or interest-only mortgage can be retained.

In general, landlords are advised to consult professionals regarding their finance and tax affairs. Working with a FCA-regulated broker will give you an independent overview of the finance options available. A broker will help both find the most suitable loan and help package the application to give it the best chance for approval.

Post courtesy of Portico who are London estate agents.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Stop That Injury From Causing Serious Hurt To Your Finances

covered injury
It can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. In the workplace, on the road, and in your own home, there are health risks. Falling prey to them isn’t always just a matter of physical pain and injury. Sometimes it can be downright debilitating for your finances, too. If you lose the ability, whether temporarily or permanently, to work, what are you going to do about money? The truth is that the more you prepare for that potential beforehand, the better your chances. It can be a stressful time, but hopefully these options can help alleviate that for you.

Get yourself insured

If you haven’t yet suffered an injury and you still have the ability to contribute to your preparations financially, then insurance is one of those preparations you need to start laying the groundwork for. Most people are already well aware of how health insurance can help them cope with the costs of recovering from an accident. But there’s further insurance you can take out to keep you economically sustained while you’re out of work. We’re talking about options like accident insurance, which are built specifically for the possibility you’re taken out of work by an injury. Income protection insurance is a broader and often more expensive option that can cover more than just accidents, as well.

Seek justice

If your injury or illness was caused by someone else then, by all means, you certainly shouldn’t have to be the one paying for it. In the heat of the moment, you have to take the time to prioritize. No-one likes having to bring up a liability case against someone else. But the truth is that people need to take responsibility that their actions or negligence have on the lives of other. From car accidents and accident in business premises to assault and general harmful behavior, you could be liable for compensation. It’s all about acting quick and getting the qualified help, like the Rothenberg Law Firm LLP you need to press a claim. Legal advisors should be amongst the first calls you make after an accident so they can help you protect your right to claim.

What your boss can do for you

Take a closer look at the benefits your boss has offered you. Most employers are obligated to contribute workers’ comp if an injury or illness is caused by the job. But some will go a little further and offer to help cover you even if it happens outside of the workplace. One of the most overlooked benefits an employer can offer is disability insurance, but there are still plenty who do. Check whether or not your paychecks include an ‘LTD’ code with deductions from your pay. This means you have long-term disability insurance, so see how much coverage you’re liable to get. Usually, it’s around 60% of your standard pay, certainly not money to be unaware of.

There’s more government assistance like social security that’s available for you to apply to. However, those options are never guaranteed, so it’s best to have a few others to help back you up.

Get Shorty: Benefits Of A Short-Term Loan

loans for short time
Getting a loan is something that is not to be taken lightly. It is, in many ways, both a blessing and a curse. Whether you need a home loan or you need to pay off some debt that has been hanging over your head for some time, having a financial injection in one go can take a lot of worries off your mind. Short-term loans are very helpful, but what are the pros and cons?

They Are Very Convenient

Paying off something like a credit card or an electric bill with a short-term loan is very handy. Even businesses use this method if they cannot cover their overheads.

The Impact On Your Credit Score Is Insignificant

The normal process when you have to borrow money, you will need to have your credit score checked. And it is a very difficult part of the whole money borrowing process, because if your credit score is not very good, not only will you be declined for the loan, but because you have had your score checked, that makes a negative impact on your score and ability to secure a loan in the future. With a short-term loan, the impact is a lot less, but it doesn’t hurt to get a free credit report beforehand.

It Is Very Flexible

Any loan can weigh heavy on your head, and if you have obtained a large one it is very difficult to try and pay it off in one lump sum. Shorter loans are perfect for this, and there is more flexibility in paying back the money.

The Interest Rates Are Higher

Due to the shorter time period, the lender of the loan will be asking for a much higher rate of interest. But, even though the rate is higher, the amount that you would pay in total is very likely to be less in comparison to what you would borrow over the long term. So, it begs the question, what do you need the money for? Is it feasible to pay it back quickly?

The Loan Cycle...

It is such an easy habit to get into. Getting a short-term loan to pay off debt, and then getting another one to pay off that loan, and it can go on and on. The issue with shorter loans is that they are almost too convenient a habit. You might be better thinking about planning your finances more appropriately rather than getting into a whole heap of debt.

And Finally…

Do you need the loan? It is sometimes a lot easier to get an extension on your bank overdraft, which is a temporary solution without the repercussions that can come with getting a loan. Of course, it is all dependant on the bank that you are with and their own criteria, but it may be a short-term solution that will better benefit you in the long run.

Be sure to weigh up what you need. Short-term loans are a great option if you have the means to repay it quickly, but the heap of debt that you can get into may be more than you can stomach.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Protect Your Financial Future With These Shrewd Decisions!

financial protection
Trying to look after your money, and ensure you are taken care of financially is important. Out can be so difficult to make ends meet in the modern world, so any advice and support you can get is crucial. That's why you need to look at ways of protecting your financial future.

Make a Few Investments

If you want a secure future, you've got to think about the future, and the way to do that is to think about investments. There are a lot of investment opportunities these days, and it’s important to use them as much as possible. So, you have to come up with as many ideas as you can to help you make the right investments. You may decide you'd like to get some advice to help you do this. It’s really vital to get this right because the perfect investment can set you up comfortably for the future. It's certainly something you need to make sure you consider for your financial future.

Avoid Debt

Debt is one of the scariest and most intimidating risks linked to finances. So many people are in debt these days, and it seems so difficult to get out of. So, you need to make sure you do as much as possible to avoid slipping into debt. That means avoiding things like credit cards, as well as kerbing your vicarious spending habits. If you can be shrewd and sensible with your money, you should be able to avoid debt and have a more secure financial future.

Hire Lawyers if You Need To

Sometimes, in order to protect our finances, we need to take legal action. That's why so many people choose to hire lawyers sooner rather than later. See, having legal protection can help you more than you might imagine. And, if you want to protect your future this can prove invaluable. For instance, if you wanted a personal injury lawyer you might check out www.mbpersonalinjurylaw.com. It’s important to protect yourself from a legal standpoint. If you've been injured, you may not be able to work, and this affects you financially. So, you have to make sure you file claims for compensation and to drop that you will need a lawyer.

Financial Advisor

A lot of people like to use their lawyers for financial advice, and you might like to do the same. However, it’s probably more likely that you want to ensure you have expert help. That's why it's a good idea to hire a financial advisor. They can help you make the best decisions with your money, and boost your financial future. There are a lot of things that financial advisors will consider that you may not even have thought of before. Yes, and accountant is useful as well, but a financial advisor is essential for helping protect your financial future.

Protecting your financial future is even more important than ever these days. We live in uncertain times, so it’s important to do as much as possible to ensure you are financially secure. Many of us struggle with this because of the fact that everything costs these days, and, in many ways, costs are on the rise. Use the suggestions above to help you get your cash under control.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Smooth Moving: How To Take The Stress Out Of Selling Your House

moving after sell
Selling your home is one of those things that is guaranteed to be pretty stressful no matter what you do. In fact, it's often cited as one of the most stressful things that you'll ever go through in your life. Of course, that doesn't mean that you should simply resign yourself to all of it. After all, just because you're guaranteed some stress doesn't mean that you should just expect it to be a grueling, horrible experience. In fact, there are lots of things that you can do to make selling your house as smooth and easy as possible. Here are just a few of the simplest and most effective ways.

Get professional involved

It should really go without saying that it's not a good idea at all to try and sell your house completely independently. Working with a qualified realtor should be first on your priorities. After all, these are people who specialize in helping match up homes with buyers. They are trained to find the perfect buyers for your house as quickly as possible, as well as making sure that you get the best possible deal from the sale. Of course, it's always a good idea to pick your realtor carefully. You want to choose one who will be able to sell your particular property as effectively as possible.

Give yourself time

One of the biggest causes of stress, when you're selling your house, is working against the clock. A lot of the time you will be trying to sell your house at the same time as buying a new one. This will mean that the money for a new home will probably be tied up in your old one. It's a good idea to avoid leaping at the chance for a new property too quickly. If you have somewhere to go for a short time after selling your property that gives you much more flexibility over time. That means that you don't have to rush the process of selling your house which can lead to a lot of stress and even taking offers that you otherwise would turn down.

Keep your home clean

Visitations are a necessary evil of trying to sell your home. It's never comfortable having strangers in your home, especially when you're trying to impress them with its quality. To make these experiences as stress-free as possible, it's a good idea to keep your house as clean and tidy as possible. That way all you really need to do is to straighten the place up a little bit before anyone comes to view it. It's also a good idea to de-clutter as much as you can. Clutter and mess are great ways to make your house looking smaller and more cramped than it actually is. If you really want to avoid any added discomfort during house viewings then try to make sure that they happen at times when you'll be away. That way you don't have to worry about hovering and putting any added pressure on your buyers.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Popular terms you must know when applying for a home loan

get your house loan
Mihir Mishra, 56, found the home loan process a bit confusing. He was not tech-savvy, so he did not want to applyfor it online. He went to the lender’s office, but all he heard were terms such as 'advance disbursement', 'pre-EMI', and so on. Only after doing some research did he figure out what these terms meant. Along with clearing up many of his doubts, it also made the home loan process simpler for him to understand.

Perhaps you too have been struggling to understand certain things that lenders say. To help you out, here is a listof some commonly used home loan terms and their meanings.

Margin

A home loan provider paysabout 85% of the total property price. You have to pay the remaining amount. This amount that comes from your pocket is known as the margin amount or the down payment amount.

Post-dated cheque

You have to submit a few post-dated cheques to the lender after the loan approval. These cheques act as a kind of assurance that the lender will get back the loaned amount. Theywill be cashed on the dates mentioned.

Disbursement

When you submit all the documents and pay the margin, the bank hands you the loan, which is known as disbursement. You can open a loan account in the bank and deposit the cheque. It is sometimes common for lenders to charge a disbursement fee at this stage.

Advance disbursement facility

At times, the property builder could request the borrower to disburse the entire loan before the project is complete. This is not a common practice, however. The lender entertains such a request only if the builder is highly reputed.The lender needs to be convinced that the project will be completedon time and in the right way.

EMI

This is perhaps the most common home loan term that you have heard of. EMI or equated monthly instalment is the amount you pay to the bank every month to repay the loan. It comprises of a part of the principal along with the interest component.

Pre-EMI

Let’s sayyour property is still under construction. The lender may ask you to pay only the interest component of the EMI until the entire house ready. This payment is called a pre-EMI. You can avail tax benefits on pre-EMIs as well.

Pre-approved property

Many builders get a reputed home loan provider to verify and evaluatethe property beforehand. If you have applied for a loan from these lenders, you need not carry out further verification checks to get the loan.

Credit appraisal

To get a home loan, the borrower needs to have a good credit score. The credit score is a record of the borrower's past loan repayment patterns. Those who repayall their loans properlygenerally have a good credit score, as opposed to someone who defaults on their loan. So, the lender runs a credit appraisal of the applicant before approving the home loan.

Pre-payment

You can choose to repay your home loan earlier than the stipulated time in one or two large payments. This is termed as pre-payment of a home loan.

Processing fee

Every home loan provider charges a processing fee during the loan application process. The fee is usually about 2% of the loan amount. You have to pay this fee even if the lender rejects your application.

You now know and understand many of the common home loan terms.This should give you confidence when tackling the home loan process. Good luck!

How to save time on your home loan application process

home loan approval
It was regular morning for Seema. She was sifting through the newspaper, just like any other morning. But something stood out that day--a very good home deal in the paper caught her attention. The builder was offering a hefty discount on the first 50 bookings.

Naturally, Seema rushed to the sales office.After seeing the sample flat, she decided to book one for herself too. But the builder asked her to complete the financial formalities at the earliest.Otherwise, he would not be able to offer the discount.

Seema had to work very fast on her loan application. Thankfully, she knew a few tricks,which helped her to get loan approval in just a few days. She is now a proud homeowner.

Like Seema, you too can get quick approval for your loan. The points mentioned below could help.

1. Pre-approval of the home loan

Getting your home loan pre-approved can save you a lot of time. What is pre-approval of a home loan? Itinvolves getting your loan amount approved by the lender even before submitting the loan application. This saves time, as you do not have to re-negotiate the loan amount with the lender. To get a pre-approval on your home loan, you need to submit an application. The lender will assess your financial standing before approving it. Your credit history will also come into play here.

2. Apply online

Most home loan providers allow you to submit the home loan application online. Spot approvals also happen in the electronic space, eliminating the need to make repeated trips to the lender’s office.This means you can get an instant home loan with just a few clicks no matter where you are.

3. Check your credit score

Every lender will assess your credit history before approving your home loan. Do you want to save time on your home loan process? If so, check your credit score before you apply for the loan. Just visit CIBIL’s official website to find out where you stand. If you have a good credit score, yourloan pre-approval should not take too long.

4. Maintain a good employment record

The lender will assess your employment record before approving your home loan. So, try not to change too many jobs within short spans.That could make it seem like you have an unstable employment record,and coulddelay the loan approval process. Submit salary slips for the last 12 months to establish that you are financially stable. This will speed up your home loan application process.

5. Get your documents in order

Finally, get all your documents in order. You can find the list of documents needed on the lender’s website. Incorrect submission of documents is one of the main reasons home loan approvals takelong. SO, take charge and submit the right documents to ensure speedy loan processing.

The bottom line

No one likes to wait in suspense for a long time to get a home loan approved. With these points in mind, your home loan application process will be super-quick and super-simple.

How Small Investments in NPS Can Help in Retirement Planning

after retirement
Improvement in medical aid, health and sanitation facilities has increased the life span of an average Indian, thereby enhancing the number of post-retirement years. A smart investment plan is essential in order to continue to live an independent, comfortable and stress-free life after retirement.

While there are a number of retirement investment options in the market, an attractive scheme is the National Pension System (NPS). Initially, the scheme was mandatory for government employees. However, on May 01, 2009it was made available to the private sector. NPS is a low-cost, tax-efficient, flexible and portable retirement savings plan. Some of the benefits include NPS deduction for tax of INR 1.5 lacs under section 80CCD(1), an additional tax deduction of up to INR 50,000 under section 80CCD(1B) and flexibility to choose asset allocation between equity, fixed income instruments, and government securities.

Pension calculator

Investors may use a pension plan calculator to determine the amount of investment they would have to make. One such calculator is available on the Kotak Mahindra website. This will help individuals understand the amount they would need after retirement to sustain their current standard of living.

NPS for post-retirement corpus

Investing small amounts in NPS at regular intervals helps investors to have access to a substantial corpus after retirement. Starting at an early age has dual benefits. Firstly, investors will have to invest smaller amounts to achieve their desired corpus. In addition, they can enjoy the compounding effect for accumulating moreamounts in their NPS accounts.

NPS Investment rules

Subscribers may contribute a minimum of INR 6,000 to their Tier I accounts with no maximum limit to the annual contribution. They may allow a maximum of 50% in equities and balance must be invested in debt or government securities. On maturity, investors may withdraw 60% of their accumulated sum as a lump sum and convert the balance to an annuity. The NPS tax benefit is not available for the lump sum withdrawal on maturity. Premature withdrawal up to 25% of the contribution (except employer’s contribution) is allowed after 10 yearsand may be used only for certain defined purposes like children education or purchase of a first home.

The highlights of the National Pension System are the tax savings and tax deduction benefits offered to the investors. Each investor is issued a Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN), upon successful registration to NPS. Investors are informed of their PRAN number status via email and SMS. Subscribers may also know their status by contacting the issuing bank.

Indian investors look for flexibility, simplicity and robust performance in investment options. The National Pension System (NPS), is one of the few investment options available today, that provides all these features with added advantages of tax saving and additional tax deduction under section 80CCD (1B) of the IT Act.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

In The Black: Simple Ways To Stay Out Of Financial Trouble

budget balancing
Money is one of those things that can take up a lot of space in your mind. When you're worried about money, it's hard to concentrate on anything else. It's the sort of thing that can have a serious knock on effect on the rest of your life. It can affect your relationships, your work life and just about any other part of it. Of course, everyone worries about money from time to time; the current economy means we've all got to be a little more careful. The problem arises when you start to get into some serious financial difficulty. The best thing that you can do is try to avoid that happening in the first place. Financial troubles are a lot easier to avoid than they are to fix. With that in mind, here are three simple ways to avoid getting into financial trouble.

Set a budget

One of the things that most commonly causes people to get into financial difficulty is that they don't actually pay close enough attention to how much they're spending. You might think that you can go through the month without spending much money at all, but if you were to look at your monthly outgoings, you might be surprised. If you have a set budget that's based on your average outgoings and income, you can figure out what you can actually afford to spend. Once you know that, it becomes much easier to avoid spending money that you simply don't have.

Get covered

In a perfect world, nothing would ever go wrong, and all of your money would stay in your pocket. Sadly, we don't live in a perfect world and eventually something in your life might go wrong. This could be on your way to work, out with friends or just at home. Whatever happens, you really don't want to be left with a large bill to pay. Make sure that you're covered in case of emergencies. Home warranty and breakdown cover are both essential in order to ensure that you don't have any nasty surprises.

Start saving now

A lot of people treat saving like something they can put off until the future. The problem is that usually means that when the future arrives, they still haven't saved anything. Don't put off saving money. Make sure that you're always setting aside at least a little bit every month. Even if it's just a tiny amount, as long as you're putting it away regularly, it will start to add up. And when it does, you'll be so glad to have that financial cushion there. Saving money can help you become more disciplined with your spending as well. It might be tempting to splash out with that money you've saved, but by keeping it aside for a rainy day, you'll avoid getting into trouble if you ever need a large sum of money for an emergency.

Friday, December 16, 2016

A Guide To Coping With The Cost Of Christmas

xmas cost
Christmas is a time for giving – for those that don’t have much in our accounts to give this can be a problem. You may have been scraping through the year just fine, but now Christmas is here and it feels like a year’s spending in one month. There are gifts to get for everyone, masses of food for the day, decorations to put up – all on top of the regular bills and spending. No-one should have to be financially crippled by Christmas, but similarly no-one should have to skip this event just get to by. If you’re short of pocket, here are ways to save money this year and survive Christmas!

Spread your Christmas spendings throughout the year

It’s a little late to do this now, but worth taking into account for next year. You can either put aside some money each month for December spending, or you can buy gifts throughout the year. For decorations, take advantage of the January sales. Prices plummet as nobody has any use for Christmas decs any more – why not prepare for the next year instead? Spreading out some of the spendings can soften the blow when it finally reaches December. Obviously certain things such as food will have to be bought nearer the time as these expire (although some may be able to be frozen).

Tell people your situation

Everyone knows that Christmas is expensive. Let people know the situation that you’re in, and they’ll understand if you can’t buy them huge gifts. There’s a lot of generosity around Christmas – if feeding people for dinner is a problem, a family member or friend may invite you around theirs. If you feel like you really have no-one to turn to, look into charities that might work specifically with families in need at Christmas. Telling people that you’re skint may not be easy to do, but so long as you don’t beg for money from people, most people will be understanding.

Take out a loan

If December is the one month that you struggle with, why not take out a loan and slowly pay it back over the next year. There are loan companies that offer relatively small amounts, but have a high approval rate. Application is much easier than going into a bank (you can learn about it at Cigno Loans). Of course, you should always budget exactly how much you are able to pay back over the coming months. And you should never pay off a loan with another loan. Be careful and it can be a lifesaving Christmas strategy. Many people do it.

Make cuts to food and presents

The way to save on any occasion is to make cuts. With gifts, there are countless ways to make trimmings to your budget.

The first is to consider joint presents. Instead of sending a separate present to two nieces or two members of a couple, give them a shared gift that they can both enjoy. Similarly, you can team up with your partner or a sibling to cut the costs on certain gifts.

You then have to decide who really needs a present or a card. If someone hasn’t bothered to send you a gift or message in a few years, cut them off. Save money on postage to distant relatives and friends with a digital Christmas card. Also consider sentiment instead of financial value. A photo album might have more of an impact than a piece of jewellery. Put thought into your presents instead of money – consider private joke items instead of generic cheap tat such as socks and toiletries. For hobbies, buy guide books, t-shirts and mugs instead of actual equipment – sometimes the more practical objects are better chosen by the person with that hobby.

When it comes to food, cut down on treats on the lead up to Christmas – it will make it all the more worthwhile. Remember that the Christmas meal will provide leftovers that you can use for a week after the day. You may not need to do a full weekly shop on top of a Christmas meal. If finances are really a problem, look into eating out at a pub. Budget how much cooking your own Christmas dinner would cost compared to dining out. Not only may it save you money, it will also save you the kitchen stress.

Consider handmade decorations

For whatever reason, most of us keeping buying new Christmas decoration every year. If you already have a load from last year, including a tree, and you’ve hit hard times, don’t bother buying new items – use what you’ve got.

However, if for whatever reason you’ve lost most of last year’s decs, or this is your first Christmas in your own property, using last year’s adornments may not be possible. If this is the case, it’s time to get creative. Buy some glitter and paper and start making your own decorations – including paper chains and paper snowflakes. If you have kids, you can get them involved. This will work out a lot cheaper than tinsel and baubels and feel all the more personalised.

Sell gifts you don’t need after Christmas

Everyone gets gifts at Christmas that they don’t need. Either it’s a piece of clothing you’ll never wear, or an object you already have. Whilst it’s rude to admit it to the person giving you the present at the time, you shouldn’t have to cling onto it afterwards out of guilt. Sell these unnecessary items and make some money back.

Similarly, Christmas may clutter things up around the home. January may be a great time to declutter and get rid of all the things you don’t need. Of course, you shouldn’t just bin these surplus items. If you can make money out of any of it, do so. There are many online stores that take second-hand clothes and books – even damaged ones.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Times When Taking A Loan Is Actually A Good Idea

time for loan
Although no one likes to be in debt, and any responsible person will always be apprehensive about the thought of taking out a loan, there are times when taking a loan is actually a good idea, and it doesn't have to be seen as getting into debt, but making an investment in something.

For example, if you want to invest in something like your education, your professional or personal development, and you need to make a big purchase, but you don't have access to the cash all at one time in order to pay for it, then taking a loan could prove to be a good solution to that.

It provides you with the immediate cash that you need, and if you know that you will make the investment back very quickly, and that allows you to pay back the loan within a comfortable amount of time, and not impact your finances in a negative way, then taking out a loan at that point actually makes a lot of sense, and it allows you to progress further and actually make more money.

Another time a loan is good idea is, for example, if you want to consolidate your existing debts into one manageable monthly payment, you’ll find that Enness Bridging Finance and similar places can offer ones that can be used towards consolidating your existing debts and freeing you up financially, so that you only have one monthly payment to focus on.

However, it's also advisable to make sure that you can actually afford to take any kind of loan, whether for consolidation or any other purposes before applying, because it can increase your chances of more financial problems and leave a negative trace on your credit score if you’re not keeping up repayments.

In addition, purchases such as home renovations and even healthcare related purchases can sometimes be justified by taking out a loan, and again, it all depends on your current personal circumstances, and if you can actually afford to make the repayments, and you have money left over to live on comfortably, then taking a loan in these situations can be a good idea.

Obviously loans are not intended to be used for silly purchases, or just for the sake of having money when you can't really afford to borrow.

If you choose to borrow then make sure that you can afford to make the payments and that you do so responsibly, as loans can really make your life a lot easier for certain things, but there's no sense in taking something just for the sake of fast cash if you really can't afford to, or can actually justify it.

It's only you who can decide whether or not taking a loan is a good idea, and hopefully these tips have shown you that there are some ways and reasons that taking a loan can actually help you and should be considered, but in other ways maybe it could make more sense to just save up the money, depending on how long that will take you.

Also, when looking for a loan, try to look for one that suits your needs, and that doesn't have a ridiculous rate of interest to pay back, as sometimes these can actually be higher than the lone themselves, and if the interest turns out to be at least half of the loan repayment, then it really doesn't make sense in the long run.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Civilian Life: Your Finances After Leaving the Military

finance after work
When you decide to retire from your military career, you can find yourself facing some interesting financial issues. Your financial situation can begin to look different for a number of reasons. The major thing to look at is what you're going to do next if you're not planning a complete retirement. However, there are other financial factors you need to take into account when you return to civilian life. They can range from your savings and retirement funds to accessing any military benefits you might be entitled to. If you're planning on leaving the military, consider these important issues.

Before You Leave

Ideally, you can start to plan your exit from the military on your own terms. While that's not always possible, you can take advantage of it when it is. You know you have a year or perhaps just a few months before your time is up. During that time, you can start to create a plan and take action for your civilian finances. It could involve a number of things, from applying for jobs to putting aside some savings. It would be excellent if you could walk right into a new job. However, you might have a few months or perhaps longer when you will be job hunting. Setting up a transition fund will make this easier.

Accessing Military Benefits

Another thing you might need to consider when you leave the military is whether you're entitled to any benefits. For example, you might want to apply for veteran's disability benefits. Injuries or illnesses you suffered while on active duty may entitle you to these. However, you might be concerned about making an application. Perhaps you're unsure if the VA will treat you fairly or maybe you have already had your application turned down. Enlisting a lawyer can help you if you need to fight your case. If you visit online at brownandcrouppen.com/social-security-disability/veterans/, you can find out more about it.

Finding Work After Leaving the Military

Finding a job after leaving the military can be difficult. You might be unsure of what you want to do or struggle to get employers to recognize your skills. You should start looking for work or perhaps thinking about retraining as soon as you can. If you have been in the military for years, you might find that your job hunting skills are a little rusty. You could try taking a class to help you improve your resume and your interviewing skills if you think it will help. Networking can also be a great help when you're looking for work.

Decide What to Do with Your Savings

Don't forget to consider your savings. If you took advantage of the Thrift Savings Plan, you need to decide what to do with your funds. You can leave them in your TSP account, roll them into an IRA, or roll your money to your new employer's plan. Whichever one you choose, you won't have to pay any tax.

Prepare yourself financially before leaving the military if you can. You might experience a transition period when your finances are tricky to handle.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Financial Issues You Need To Consider When You Head Off To University

educational expenses
Going to university is often one of the best ways you can score the best jobs in the future. After all, you will get the training you need to ensure you are ready for your career. However, going to university can cause many financial woes for students. In fact, this article says 70% of students worry about funding issues. With a high proportion of them worrying about paying their studies, plus their monthly expenses, it can jeopardize their experience at university. Therefore, here are some financial issues you need to consider when you head off to university, so that your studies run smoothly.

How will you pay for the funding?

You might not realize that the average degree can cost the undergraduate around $19,000 a year. Therefore, you need to consider how you will afford this before you join university. You might want to look into student loans that you can pay off after you finish your degree. Or you could talk to parents about funding part of your degree. And remember to look into grants, scholarships or bursaries which could help fund your degree. You can speak to your university about this in advance so that you know whether you are eligible.

Do I need to change my bank account?

It’s also vital that you consider your bank account when you are off to university. After all, there is a good chance that you might end up facing an overdraft during your time at uni. And if you don’t have a student account, you might face huge charges if you don’t pay it back quickly. Therefore, you should get in touch with your bank and tell them that you are going to university and want to set up a student account. As we discussed before, alongside lenient fees, they are also excellent for freebies such as discount travel. Therefore, it can be helpful during your student journey.

Am I going to struggle to pay back the debts in the future?

Before you agree to pay the fees for attending university, you need to workout if you will be able to afford to pay it back in the future. Of course, you hope to get a job that will ensure you can pay it back slowly. But you need to look into the charges that will occur with your loan if you don’t manage to pay it back. In some cases, you can get your loan forgiven by the government. But if you do this, you might face student loan forgiveness tax which can be expensive. Therefore, look into all your options before you decide to go to university.

Will you be able to afford the social aspect of uni?

It’s also vital to consider how you will afford socializing during university. After all, the costs of boozy nights out can see your debts spiraling out of control. You might want to consider getting a part-time job while you are in uni. A lot of campuses have roles you can take on for some extra money. That way, you can fund your social activities which are a vital part of being a student!

And remember to research the career you are going into after your degree. You want something that will pay well so that your time at uni is worth it.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Real Estate: Quick Tips For A Quick Sale

its for buyer
Some people plan to sell their house years or even decades in advance, and making it more tempting to buyers becomes a long-term project they’re constantly thinking about. Others, however, make the decision to sell much more suddenly, and find themselves scrambling to find a buyer. If you’re in the latter party, and you need to sell your home fast, then this post is for you. Quick sales can be tough to pin down, but remember that they’re certainly not impossible!

Work on Your Curb Appeal

As with so many other things in life, first impressions count for a lot when you’re trying to sell your home. Understandably, you may not have the time to make any large, significant upgrades which will get house hunters drooling over your property. However, there are still various quick improvements you can make to improve your curb appeal, and convince buyers to take a closer look. From the day your listings go up, you need to make sure that the landscaping at the front of your house is pristine, and that your lawn is nicely mowed 24/7. It’s also very important to keep your exterior walls, driveway and porches clean and presentable. If you can fork out on a professional gardener, I guarantee it won’t be a wasted investment!

Get the Price Right

One of the biggest things that holds people back from the quick sale they need is failing to price their home competitively. Getting the listing price right the first time is hugely important if you want to have your sale polished off in time. If it’s priced too low, you’ll walk away leaving money on the table. If it’s too high, you’ll get hardly any offers, and your home will quickly become stale. To hit the nail on the head, the best thing you can do is hire a professional real estate agent to inspect your house and set a competitive price. Alternatively, you can use more specialized services to dodge real estate commission, escrow fees and other expenses, such as Florida Cash Home Buyers. As you can imagine, there are pros and cons to each option, so do your homework before settling!

Depersonalize Your Home

By the time prospective buyers first come through the front door and look around, your home needs to be thoroughly depersonalized. Some people might feel even more comfortable in a home with a wall full of limited edition sci-fi masks, but for the most part it’s best to keep them out of sight! No one wants to go to a viewing and feel like they’re a burglar walking around someone else’s home. They want to be able to look at empty spaces, and imagine their kids playing, or themselves relaxing after a long day of work. Find a storage unit like the ones from Extra Space well in advance of the viewings, and use it to hold anything that’s a little too unique. Though it may sound like overkill, making your home a blank canvas is an important step for making a quick sale.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Get The Right Loan To Suit You

correct loan options
Money and financial woe can pile tonnes of stress on our lives when we really don’t need it to. Sometimes the best way to get out of a financial bind is by taking a loan. Yes, you may not want to and it could appear like the wrong thing to do, however if you’re careful you can use a loan to consolidate all of your debts so you know exactly what you owe and you owe it to one lender instead of multiple.

Standard Personal Loan (Fixed Rate)

Fixed rate loans are essentially a rate of interest on the amount you’ve borrowed which does not change or fluctuate. It means you pay the same amount every month so you know exactly where you are with your outgoings. The loan offers great security and the interest rates can be quite good depending on how much you borrow, usually upward of 1000 gets you better interest rates, but don’t let this bump you up above the amount you originally wanted to borrow.

Payday Loans

These have extremely high interest rates and fees, so you should only use these if you’re desperate. They are also known as advancement loans, as they are an advance of your wages. There are some decent companies which can help you with structured settlement loans, and another benefit is that there is usually a great turn around time from application to money in your account, normally no longer than 24hrs. They can be great if you have an unexpected bill, such as car maintenance.

Secured Loan

With a secured loan you can borrow higher amounts of capital secured against an asset such as your car or house. The interest is usually variable which means you can end up paying higher interest over the course of the duration. Also, if you cannot keep up with a payments you can lose whatever it was secured against. The benefit is that you can really reduce monthly payment by prolonging the loan from up to around thirty years, giving you a comfortable repayment rate, albeit for a long time.

Credit Card

Certainly a type of loan, using a credit card is essentially getting a loan to pay for certain items. Many people put things like holidays on their credit cards and pay them off over the year. They can be great interest rates with even 0% ones on offer, but they do usually go up after an initial period so bigger purchases should be made within this time frame. There are many different types of credit card with varying annual fees, so it really does pay to choose exactly the right card for you. They can also help you get a better credit rating if you use them properly.

Overdraft

These can be really useful types of loan, but make sure they’re planned, tell the bank you’d like one and they’ll arrange it for a far better fee than an unplanned overdraft. They can be more money saving than payday loans and allow you to choose however much you like, within reason, for the same fee. The trick is not getting to far into it, because then each month you’ll end up back in your overdraft and paying the fees, again, they’re a short term option. Again, you should shop around for the best overdraft rates, then you can find one with fairer rates or more suitable to your needs.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Compensation: Are You Eligible?

claim compensation
There is a wide range of various scenarios in which you may be eligible for a compensation payout. Think that something that happened to you wasn’t your fault? Then there is a big chance that you will be able to claim compensation for it. Not sure what you can claim for? Here are some of the most common cases.

Delayed Or Cancelled Flights

Did an airline leave you stranded in an airport for quite some time last time you went on holiday? Well, you may be entitled to some money for the flight’s delay or cancellation. If you are traveling from an EU airport or on an airline that is based in the EU, you are covered by the Denied Boarding Regulation. This states that the airline should help you if the flight’s delay goes on for so long. If there is just a short delay between two and three hours, then you are entitled to free refreshments. If there is a very long delay caused by something that was the fault of the airline, then you will be able to claim some compensation.

Personal Injury

Have you suffered from an accident that wasn’t your fault? If so, you need to contact a team of accident attorneys. They will help you to take your case to court and try and come to a settlement in your favor. You need to be able to prove that the accident wasn’t caused by you. One of the best ways of doing this is through evidence from witnesses. So, if possible, try and contact people who may have witnessed the accident so that they can help you win your claim.

Medical Malpractice

If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, there is a large chance that you are entitled to a significant sum of compensation. Medical malpractice can come in many different forms. The most common are when doctors prescribe treatments that do not do a patient any good, and the patient continues to suffer for a sustained period. More serious cases of medical malpractice involve surgery that has gone wrong or the wrong medication being given. This could lead to the patient injuring themselves further.

Unfair Dismissal

These days, it is illegal for an employer to dismiss their employees for reasons based on prejudices. If you believe that you have lost your job because of your sex, race or religion. The dismissal should only be based on the employee’s performance. If you have reason to think that you were dismissed unfairly, you should speak to an attorney who specializes in employment. They can help you get an out of court settlement. However, if such a settlement isn’t agreed to, you may have to take the case to an employment tribunal where your attorney can help you win your case.

There are various cases which you can now claim compensation. Generally speaking, if you have lost considerable amounts of money or have suffered an injury for reasons that weren’t your fault, you will have a case for compensation.

Friday, December 9, 2016

How to Make your First Step into Entrepreneurship an Easier One

startup ideas
Starting your own business is fraught with risk, which is why almost half of all new ventures fail to make past the first 12 months. The first steps are indeed the hardest, as you gradually become familiar with your new business arena, and with a little planning and forethought, things can certainly become a lot easier. Here are some useful tips to help you make the transition a successful one.

Outsource Essentials

This is the smart way to start a business, and by bringing in a third party to take care of your IT needs, you can focus on other important aspects. Virtual office services are available, and this can save a lot of money, especially if you have just started the business. A leading company is BPO Virtual Assistant, and they have qualified office staff available in the Philippines, which is a much cheaper alternative than directly hiring office staff at home. An Australian owned company, they have offices in the Philippines and can supply you with trained English speaking staff who can take care of all your administrative office tasks.

Reduce your Outgoings

This is essential, and with virtual office staff, your salary payments will be much lower than if you hired people in your home country. Outsourcing offers a new business a range of qualified staff, including the following:
  • IT services – Web development
  • Accounting – data entry
  • Receptionists
  • Sales and Marketing
  • SEO Related
  • HR positions
The Philippines

What is it that makes the Philippines a perfect location for your virtual assistant? For one, English fluency levels are every high, and with many qualified people who are genuinely looking for a permanent position, there is no shortage of experienced candidates in a range of industries. Although your staff will be remotely located, you have the benefit of an Australian company overseeing the day to day running of the office staff, and with a range of instant communication apps, you can talk to your workers as though they were in the same room.

Same Time Zone

Manilla is in the same time zone as Perth, which means your employees will work the same hours as you, and there is no delay due to time differences. Business process outsourcing works so much better when everyone is using the same clock, and with salaries so much lower in the Philippines, your outgoings will not be too high.

Degree Qualified Staff

All employees are university educated, and due to the employment situation locally, many people are looking for a stable, permanent position and have the necessary skills to be an asset to your business. Any work that can be done remotely is ideal for virtual office assistants, and with the office overseen by an Australian company, you can be sure that your staff have everything they need to complete their work.

Outsourcing can provide you with essential office employees at a fraction of the cost of hiring locally, and with degree qualified candidates who live in a country with a low cost of living, you have the best of both worlds.