Tag Archives: finance

3 Ways to Start Planning for Your Retirement Budget

Retirement budgetThey say life begins at 50 because it is the age when you are in the prime of your life and retirement is just around the corner. It’s easy to lose track of your plans at this age, as this is when you begin to think about preparing for retirement.

When you plan for retirement, you should consider your retirement savings and the lifestyle you want to have as a retiree.

If you are having difficulty with planning your retirement funds, you can opt to employ the services of a financial advisor for retirement planning. An advisor can help you think about the choices you have now and how they can affect the way you spend your time during retirement.

Here are a few ways to start planning for your retirement in your 50s.

Personal planning

Individuals who are nearing retirement tend to switch focus to obtaining a financial plan to map out their funds and be able to manage their finances better. While this is an important factor in preparing for retirement, you want to take the time to think about how you want to spend your post-career life.

Maybe you want to be a volunteer at a local charity, take a short course in baking, or spend your time traveling the world. Whichever you choose, make sure to take your personal preferences into consideration.

Financial planning

The kind of lifestyle you will have during retirement is linked to your financial resources. If you choose to spend most of your time traveling, you will need to secure larger funds to make it happen. This is to avoid encountering any debt problems during retirement.

Your retirement income can come from different sources including employment-related sources, government pensions, retirement accounts, and your personal investments.

Your retirement income will be enough to cover your envisioned lifestyle as long as you choose hobbies or activities that fit your monthly income.

Having a financial plan before you retire can make the transition from your day-in, day-out job to post-career life smoother. You should also evaluate your expenses and create a budget you can stick to. If you have debt from personal loans and credit cards, it is better to pay them off before you retire.

But if you are expecting your investments to grow in the coming years, you can use the higher interest to pay off your debt.

Loan-To-Value: Defining LTV in Layman’s Terms

A variety of mortgage ratesA mortgage involves plenty of complicated terms, which is why homebuyers and sellers must understand these in simpler explanations. Among all the technical jargon, LTV is one of them. Loan-to-Value or LTV is the percentage of the balance of the mortgage loan divided by home value.

For instance, a resident with a balance of USD 500,000 and USD 550,000 home value will have more or less a 90 percent LTV. You have to know this because LTV plays a crucial element to mortgage companies in Jackson, TN such as Mortgage Investors Group, as it is part of mortgage approval procedure.

Through a refinance, your LTV is usually equal to the size of the loan divided by the evaluated value of your home. When it comes to purchase, LTV relies on many factors such as the rate of sales of your house, unless your house values for below its purchase rate.

When this occurs, the LTV of your home will depend on the lesser appraised value and not its purchase rate. Here are samples to demonstrate the notion of LTV:

Refinancing a house without a second mortgage

  • Value of Home – USD 150,000
  • Balance of Loan – USD 110,000
  • Equity – USD 40,000
  • LTV – 73 percent

Refinancing a house with a second mortgage

  • Value of Home – USD 150,000
  • Balance of Loan – USD 110,000
  • Second Balance of Loan – USD 10,000
  • Equity – USD 30,000
  • LTV – 80 percent

Purchasing a house that appraises for more than its purchase rate

  • Price of House – USD 150,000
  • Value of Appraisal – USD 160,000
  • Down Payment – USD 20,000
  • Amount of Loan -USD 110,000
  • LTV – 73 percent

Purchasing a house that appraises for less than its purchase rate

  • Price of House – USD 150,000
  • Appraised Value – USD 140,000
  • Down Payment – USD 20,000
  • Amount of Loan – USD 110,000
  • LTV – 79 percent

It does not matter if you are refinancing or buying because the LTV is crucial as it helps to identify your eligibility for the loan and mortgage rate.

Buying a Car? 3 Tips on Finding the Best Deal

Smiling couple buying a new car from a salesmanBuying a car is a major decision. Individuals, families, or companies who intend to get a car must consider three things before proceeding with the purchase. First, they need determine what type of car to buy. Then, they have to allocate a budget. Lastly, they must find a reliable dealer who could give them the best deal.

Weber Dealers Association agrees that learning more about these processes is highly important.

What Car Do You Prefer?

Before anything else, you must decide what car you’re going to get. Consider how you intend to use the car and who else will use it. Will you use it for personal or for business purposes? Who is going to drive the vehicle frequently? How long will the car be used per day? Asking these questions will help you decide which car you will buy.

How Much is Your Budget?

Managing your budget for the car can be tricky. Suddenly you’re not so sure anymore on which car to buy because you saw another one that seemed to look better. When you have many options, it is important to stick to the budget you planned. The ones that look better most likely are more expensive, so check if it’s still within your budget or if you could bargain to reduce its price.

Which Auto Dealer is Trustworthy?

Finding an auto dealer you can trust is important. Look for one that’s near you, so you can save on transportation costs. For example, if you live in Weber, an auto dealer there should be enough for your car needs. In addition, check the credentials of the dealer. They should have a license to sell and records to show a good reputation. If they have these, then you are sure to get the car you want at a reasonable price.

These are just some of the most important questions to ask yourself when buying a car. Finding the best deal is easy when you keep these tips in mind.

The Significance of Mortgage Rates in Determining Monthly Payments

House loan financingYou already know you can use a mortgage loan to borrow against, purchase or refinance any home, but, there is more to that. It is with first mortgages that you can buy a house or refinance a loan, with second mortgages allowing you to take out loans using the available equity, to add to a first mortgage.

You can also take advantage of the times when mortgage rates here in Ogden are at an optimum low to enjoy an equally lower monthly payment that you would have had you locked in the loan when mortgage rates were high.

Even a 0.25% dip can mean a whole lot of difference

Yes, you read that right. However, besides you identifying any dip from current average rate charts, it will need you to involve a credible credit union to know whether what you term as a low rate is what has been the case in the market. It is only until when you have confirmed that can you lock in that loan.

Should you notice that the mortgage rates are rising, it is advisable that you wait unless your projections for the project for which you are taking the mortgage show that unless you make the step now, the investment will not be cost-efficient.

The Other Jig of the Puzzle

Irrespective of when you take a mortgage loan, it is important you note that closing costs and loan processing fees remain a constant factor that you must take into account. These include, among others, escrow & title fees, lending, appraisal and credit fees, and insurance and taxes.

Whether you are planning to buy a (or borrow against your) Ogden home or to refinance a loan, you can benefit from understanding how the current mortgage rates can affect your monthly payment.

However, besides doing your research on that, engage a qualified financial service provider in discussing your options and determining a time that will be the most cost-efficient to take the mortgage.

Types of Mortgage Lending Institutions

A mortgage agreement needs to be signedThere are many advantages of buying your home using a mortgage rather than cash. Shopping for the right one can be overwhelming, however. Another critical factor is the mortgage lender you choose to work with.

A mortgage company is a financial institution that helps individuals secure mortgages for purchasing a property. Irrespective of the mortgage company you choose to work with in South Jordan, financial expert citycreekmortgage.com states that a loan officer will help you with the loan application process.

Here are the typical kinds of mortgage companies you can choose from for your home loan.

Retail Banks

Banks are perhaps the prevalent mortgage lenders available for home loans. These range from large banks to credit unions and small local banks. They are involved in underwriting, approving, and closing home loans for approved clients.

They typically give clients who use their other financial services lower interest rates.

Mortgage Brokers

A broker is an intermediary between homeowners and banks. They do not lend you money directly. They can shop for reasonable rates for you across lending companies and help you with the loan process. Mortgage brokers come with a wealth of experience in the home loan market.

They can offer invaluable advice and ensure you get the most suitable loan.

Mortgage Banks

These firms underwrite, consent and close loans for their clients. They then sell these underlying loans to investment firms and retail banks who bundle them into mortgage-backed securities (MBS). Larger banks can retain the servicing rights, but small mortgage banks sell the rights.

The loan agent here controls your loan process from its beginning to end.


If you are looking for a fast loan process, mortgage brokers might be the ideal solution for you. Though credit and retail banks offer low-interest rates for their loans, they might not provide other loan types. Keep in mind that interest rates change daily and this should not be your deciding factor.

Missing out on Music Royalties

A portrait of a drummerSupporting yourself through music is tough. It requires an immense amount of hard work, patience, and shrewdness. Otherwise, you’re going to go broke by spending more money to produce and distribute your works instead of earning from selling records and playing live.

One of the main things to focus on is royalty collection. Getting compensated every time someone else uses your music is a great way to earn revenue. However, many artists, especially indie ones, struggle to fall short on collection. If you get most of your royalties, these are the possible reasons:

You Don’t Know What You Can Collect

Many indie artists are not completely aware of the royalties they can claim. In music publishing, you can generate money in the form of mechanical and performance royalties. The former refers to every composition sold or reproduced, while the latter talks about whenever your song gets played in public.

You could also get paid through licenses for synchronization and sampling. If your composition gets duplicated in print form, you should also get paid for print rights for sheet music.

You Don’t Invest in Accounting Enough

Royalty management can be technical and complicated. You must use advanced royalty accounting tools to ease the process, boost your collections, and generate greater revenues. Or else, you might lose a lot of money without realizing it.

You Don’t Have Control of File-Sharing

The ambiguity of fair usage is perhaps the biggest thorn in the side of independent artists. Channels such as YouTube, offer a great platform for distributing music. Unfortunately, they also empower fans to do whatever they want with the content for free. Once published, users could download singles or even whole albums at no cost. The absence of proper licensing regulations hurt indie music artists the most.

In a perfect world, independent artists get adequately paid to the last cent. In the real one, though, living off music isn’t always sustainable. You must have a strong game plan to collect the royalties you could realistically earn. This can help you keep doing what you love while providing for yourself and family.

Choosing the Right Construction Loan – What to Consider

Construction Loan in UtahOwning a home or some property could be the ultimate investment to many people. Despite this, very few have what it takes to finance a construction project from their bank account. Choosing a good loan will not only help you get the money you need for the job but also ensure that you do not incur too many loan-related charges.

Before choosing your construction loan in Utah, you must first understand the different things that will help you secure the best loan possible. Here are some of the things to look out for.

Mind your down payments

Most of the construction loans will always need a downpayment. This will range from 2.25 to 20 percent of the financed amount. A better downpayment, for instance, will get you better interest rates and ensure that you get the most convenient way possible.

Learn how to compare offers

No construction loan will be similar to the other. Most people look at interest rates and assume that this is all there is to a loan. You will have to know the other components that contribute to the loan costs. Do some research, learn all the necessary components and always consider them before choosing your loan.

Take care of your credit score

Most of the loans providers do a quick background check before giving you a loan. It is very important that you keep your credit score at its best. Be careful not to do anything that will destroy your credit score just before and during the construction loan processing as this could mean more charges for you.

Understanding the different kinds of construction loans and the accolades that affect your loan rates will prepare you to choose the right loan for your work. Evaluate your options and always take time before applying. An informed position will always be what you need to make all the decisions right.

Debt Consolidation through Personal Loans: An Easier Way of Handling Debt?

DebtIt’s every person’s fear — debts piling up uncontrollably. It’s often unavoidable, and there will come a time when you find yourself owing money to a lot of people and providers. With the high cost of living, coupled with increasing costs of essentials, this isn’t a farfetched idea for some people.

Juggling multiple debts is a nightmare, and many find it difficult to find a realistic solution. While it may be foolish to think that getting a personal loan can solve this dilemma, it isn’t unrealistic when there’s debt consolidation involved.

Personal Loans and Debt Consolidation

In New Zealand, personal loans are becoming one of the more popular loan types due to the lower rates and relative ease of applying. Personal loans can also be used for varying purposes.

As its name suggests, debt consolidation combines multiple debts into one single loan, allowing you to handle multiple debts and pay for them in one simpler payment plan. It makes budgeting easier because there’s just one loan to manage.

Debt consolidation is ideal if you have several high-interest loans or debts. The interest rates of personal loans used to pay for consolidated debts are relatively lower than when you pay each debt separately. The weekly or monthly payments are also significantly smaller, and can be stretched over a longer period, depending on your needs and financial requirements.

Debt Consolidation: A Way to Improve Your Credit Score

Applying for a loan is full of difficulties. People who have a poor payment history with previous service providers find it difficult to apply for loans since banks consider them high-risk borrowers.

If your credit score has been damaged by consistent late payments, getting a personal loan with debt consolidation is a simple and manageable way to rebuild your credit score again — so long as you keep up with your monthly payments. Having a good credit score means you pay monthly dues on time. Because the repayment for your personal loan is stretched over a long time and is significantly smaller, you are unknowingly improving your credit score.

Debt consolidation’s benefits are more than just putting all of your debts into one loan. Thanks to its longer repayment time frame and smaller monthly payments, you’re also rebuilding or improving your credit score.

The Tax Breaks Every Homeowner Should Know

Tax in UtahOwning a house can be stressful at times, but did you know that the tax benefits you could get will actually help pay off your investment in the long run? Here are some strategies and tax breaks to help reduce your taxes.

Your Mortgage Interest

Many homeowners consider this as one of the biggest deductions during tax season. This applies to newly refinanced loans and home purchases, home equity loans or second mortgages, as well as HELOCs or home equity lines of credit. To make the most of this tax break, you must organize your deductions and make them as detailed as possible. American Loans and other well-experienced mortgage lenders in Utah adds that you can determine the amount of mortgage interest you paid each year through the statement sent by your lender.

Your Mortgage Points

If you recently bought your home last year, you can deduct your mortgage points from your tax bill. Many borrowers choose to pay for mortgage points that come in two types. These are the origination fee for the loan and discount points that enable borrowers to prepay a portion of their interest as a trade-off for a reduced mortgage rate. One mortgage point is equivalent to 1% of your mortgage’s overall amount.

Your Property Taxes

You can deduct your property taxes only in the year they are paid, and not the year they’re due. In the event that you bought a property and reimbursed the seller for the taxes they’ve already paid, you can see those in your settlement statement.

Your Mortgage Insurance Premium

If the down payment is below 20% when bought the house, you are probably paying insurance premiums. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers your insurance payments as interest that is deductible on your Form 1040’s Schedule A.

Don’t forget about these handy tax breaks when tax season is nearing, so you can save hundreds to thousands of dollars. Keep in mind that in case your itemized deductions aren’t worth as much as the average deduction you qualify for, consider going with the average deduction instead.


Spilling Blood: How Asking For A Loan From Relatives Can Turn Bad

FamilyWhy shouldn’t you borrow from blood? Because it can get seriously “bloody” if things go wrong! And with money involved, it usually does. 

Here are three sensible reasons to avoid borrowing from relatives.

There Are No Clear Regulations

There are times when the “gift” turns into a “loan” just because the relative who helped you out suddenly ends up with a financial crisis too. The sad part is, since this is blood, asking for a contract with clear delineations and regulations would be considered and insult. “We’re all family here” can easily turn to “We’re all mad here” of Alice in Wonderland lore when in dire need. In the end, the amount of chaos created by a singular loan can also be insulting to the family line. Borrowing from online companies that offer fast approval loans will not create the same situation.

They Might Need the Money Too

They might have lent you that amount because they were truly worried about your situation. However, that loan could actually be their utility payments or the money reserved for their kids’ birthday party next week. If you don’t pay them back on time, expect the consequences to fall on them and not you. Besides, you would probably be the talk of your whole NZ generational line if you do something so heartless to those who have given you so much to begin with.

You Might Fall Into the Same Trap

Once you’ve borrowed money from a relative, you are opening yourself to being borrowed from in the near future. Whether you’ve paid your dues or not, some relatives may consider you as a loan option once you’ve borrowed from them. And when word gets out, you are most likely to have to deal with a lot of other relatives who need financial assistance.

You can avoid all this drama by just going online and apply for an online loan. There will be interest to pay for eventually, but better to deal with that than the loss of interest in attending family reunions. Money isn’t worth losing blood over.