Marrying The Money

Marriage is a joyous and wonderful time in a person's life. But like any voyage, the trip to wedded bliss is greatly aided by having a guide along to help illuminate the path when it comes to saving money early. For those of us who have struggled along the way with this, we tend to help those who have not quite hit this part in their lives as early as possible, like a young sibling or a young family relative.

Saving your money early – and letting it compound – is very important for financial security many years later. And although some of us may have done this well early on, it's doubly important now as you look into these life changing events like marriage.

I have often seen young couples spend money on luxury items and other things that are not necessities. They very often don't realize that if they had saved that money and reinvested it, their nest egg would be worth so much more years later.

It's mind-boggling to think about all the stress a married couple could save themselves if they have the proper funds for college educations for their children and retirement for themselves, etc. Instead, too often that money is blown on trips, cars and other such things that might spice up a marriage early, but paint you into a corner later. For example, if a young couple saved $ 100 per week over 20 years, growing it at 8 percent it would be worth $ 266,884.

It's healthy – and should be mandatory – for all couples before they get married to have a discussion on their financial views and goals. Although they might be a "match made in heaven" in many respects, if they are not compatible financially it could spell trouble down the road.

As a practice, I suggest that all couples have a budget – and built into that budget should be their "fun money." This money should be used for having fun. But by budgeting properly and limiting that money, you'll have a better chance of being a financially strong couple in your older years.

There are many tough decisions that couples have to make, from buying a car to a house and taking vacations. As a general rule, do your best to err on the side of spending less. Because in life, there are always surprises that we need money stocked away for. You don't need to have the biggest house on the block or the nicest car, but a good goal to strive for is having the happiest marriage.

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Financial Planning – Five Critical Steps in Financial Planning

1. Gather and Prepare Your Personal Financial Situation Status Quo

This kind of information can depend a lot on you as an individual, but it usually has to do with …

– your investments,

– your insurance policies (life, health, long-term care, property, liability, etc.),

– your retirement benefits,

– your tax situation (income tax, estate tax, gift taxes, etc.),

– your will or trust,

– your other estate planning information,

– your powers of attorney,

– any other financial information or documents you may need.

It's helpful for you to put together some simple personal financial statements. These can be much like those that are used in business. They might include your personal balance sheet, an income statement, and other relevant statements.

In the case of a balance sheet and income statement, the assets and liabilities, as well as your income and expenses, are included in the statements. These can be combined, for example in the case of husband and wife, or separate income statements and balance sheets could be put together for each person in your family.

If you are using a professional, they may have forms already made up that you can use for these purposes.

2. Identify Your Goals and Objectives

This will take some thought, and is one of the most important foundations to your financial planning.

Put some time and thought into it, and the rest will fall into place much better.

3. Compare Your Current Scenario With Alternative Ways To Handle Each Part of Your Financial Planning

Relate it to your goals and objectives. Get the advice and information you need from others, including professionals, and make decisions for changing what is the status quo.

4. Develop and Put Into Place Your Plan

Not someone else's plan, but YOUR plan.

Putting together the facts of your current situation, your potential future situation, your goals and objectives, and looking at those alternative ways of handling your case, you can lay down a plan that, while flexible, will act as a map for your future years in planning your finances.

5. Review and Revise Your Plan As Needed Periodically

Don't think of your plan as carved in stone. Things change. Circumstances change. YOU change.

There may be family occurrences like marriages, divorces, deaths, births, changes of occupation, varying economic conditions, and many other things that enter into making financial planning decisions.

Put these five steps into play, and you'll be glad they did. Read more. Absorb lots of information. But don't let it paralyze you. Information plus action will take you a long way.

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Frozen Shoulder Physical Therapy – Will My Insurance Cover It?

The unfortunate individuals having to deal with adhesive capsulitis (also known as frozen shoulder) many times end up choosing frozen shoulder physical therapy as their treatment choice. If the person has decent insurance this is a wise choice, however since this condition knows no economic boundaries, many times the sufferer has less than adequate insurance and is faced with the possibility that their particular policy will not cover such services.

Traditionally in the past Medicare has always covered physical therapy services provided they are medically necessary. However there has been an ongoing battle in congress on whether to cap physical therapy services after a certain amount has been paid. A cap is very limiting as it usually encompasses other ancillary services. This means that if someone has extensive medical problems they may have very little if any therapy covered by the time they need it. Frozen shoulder physical therapy in particular requires multiple sessions with one-on-one joint mobilization in order to achieve functional range of motion.

Recipients of Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance typically have been covered at the rate of 80/20 – that is 80% insurance responsible and 20% patient responsible. However it is becoming more frequent to see some BCBS policies limiting outpatient therapy to a number of visits per year. Good luck if you have a particularly bad year with more than one injury or surgery requiring PT. Make sure you, as the recipient of health care, do your due diligence towards what your individual policy may cover regarding therapy.

Individuals injuring there shoulder on the job may be covered by Workmans compensation. All employers with greater than 5 employees are required by law to carry Workmans compensation insurance. This does not necessarily mean treatment for your injury is covered. The resulting injury and development of adhesive capsulitis must be documented as work related. Therefore all work related accidents or injuries must be reported to a supervisor who documents the dates and times of the occurrence as the first step. It is also a good idea to keep your own log of dates and times, mileage, etc… if you are injured during the course of performing work duties.

Medicaid recipients will need to check with their provider to see if Medicaid is accepted. If it is, then consult with the therapist directly as to how many units or allowable charges his or her plan of care may require. Medicaid restricts certain charges to a finite number per year.

All-in-all, frozen shoulder physical therapy is covered by most insurance plans in some form or fashion, but each individual will need to due a little investigation to make sure they are covered and do not end up with out-of-pocket expenses.

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Advantages Of Reading a Business Magazine

Like any other entrepreneur, you are also quite ambitious about your work and want to increase the turnover of your corporation. Therefore, you must be looking for the some important tips to improve the condition of your organization. To give a boost to your work and to make your flourish it, you will not only have to collect information about your own profession, but have to acquire information about the other businesses that are directly or indirectly related to your venture. You can check out the news to know the present condition of the enterprise sectors. However, for a detailed analysis, you should check out a renowned corporate magazine. There are several advantages of reading such magazines.

By reading a business magazine, you will be able to get a detailed analysis of trends and cycles various businesses follow. In such magazines, you can find experts’ opinions and tips regarding some intricate issues of a particular type of profession. As you will get the tips and suggestions on intricate issues related to the enterprise you are dealing in, it will be easier for you to improvise your works condition, which in turn will increase the profit level of your enterprise.

Expert consultation and advices are never available for free. You will have to pay a fee for each consultation and this might incur a huge cost at the end of the year. However, if you check the corporate magazines to get the advice of the experts, you will be able to get the advice of the experts without paying the fees. You just need to pay the price of these magazines. To reduce your expenses on the account of corporate magazines and to get the issue of your favourite magazine on time, you can opt for a subscription. Such publications offer different deals on the subscriptions of corporate magazines. Therefore, you will be able to get the best value of your money.

In the newspapers, you can find detailed report of the conditions of different sectors of the economy. But, all reports might not be related to your profession and you might not be able to get the best help from these reports. However, if you opt for corporate magazines, you can purchase the magazine that focus on the aspects of the work you do. By opting for such a magazine, it will be easier for you to get the advices that are related only to your field and thus you will be able to use the tips for the improvement of your business.

Such magazines are of great importance as they give a detailed report and analysis of the economic sector. Reading the corporate magazines regularly will help you understand the market condition and you will be able to conduct the business activities in a guarded manner. The economic recession has affected almost all the economic sectors of the world. Now, each and every corporate owner, whether small or large, is making his deals with carefully as they do not …

Why Men Pull Away From Relationships When They Are Having Personal Problems

Have you ever wondered why men pull away from relationships when they’re having personal problems? Maybe he’s having trouble at work, financial problems, and an illness in the family etc. Whatever the issue, a lot of men will begin to pull away from the woman in their lives when they are facing certain issues.

As a woman, you want to be there for your man when he needs you. The problem is, when a man is facing difficult times in his life he often prefers to be alone. You must not take it personally; men and women are just different. Generally speaking, when a woman has a problem, she wants someone to listen to her. She wants to talk about the things that are bothering her. She doesn’t necessarily want someone to solve the problem for her; she just wants someone to listen. Most men are exactly the opposite. They don’t want to talk about their issues, they just want some time to figure things out and fix it for themselves. That is a big reason why men pull away from relationships when they are under stress. They just want some time to figure things out.

If you are in the beginning stages of a relationship, the man you are dating may call, text, or e-mail less often when he has some issues he needs to deal with. In a long-term relationship, or even in a marriage, your man may need some time to himself and disappear to his man cave to figure things out. Sometimes men just need something to occupy their time for a while. A woman may think a man is wasting time when he is playing a videogame or tinkering with something in the garage, but a man who is dealing with issues in his life needs to do something that he finds relaxing and enjoyable to take his mind off things for a while. The last thing a lot of men want to do when they are having personal problems is to talk about their feelings.

It’s important to give your man the space he needs when he is having personal problems. Eventually he will figure things out and your relationship will return to normal. As a woman, it is important to understand that about your man. If he goes into his den, garage, man cave etc. he really doesn’t want you to follow him in there, trying to get him to talk about what is bothering him. If he tells you that things between the two of you are fine and that he is just dealing with some personal issues, give him the space and time he needs to work things out for himself.

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Money on Sale

The last week of stock market drops has taken the S&P 500 into correction territory for the first time in two years. While still in an upward, bullish trend, the S&P 500 fell officially into correction territory on Thursday, down more than 10 percent from its record reached in January.

One theory about why the market may be correcting now is because of a fear that the economy is too strong and complacent. The fear is that this can lead to inflation, which may cause the fed to raise interest rates too high too quickly and cool down growth.

Another concern is that the yield chase over the last 8-years and the low interest rate environment have created an extremely risky situation for retirement income planning. The threat of higher interest rates creates uncertainty in the stock market as it can potentially make stock dividends less attractive. Remember, uncertainty causes volatility which can lead to sudden corrections in the markets.

An obvious lesson for investors during this bout of volatility is that periods of uninterrupted returns don’t last. A correction is a normal part of investing. When markets correct, you can’t control their length or severity, but you CAN control how you respond.

The recent dramatic pullback in stocks has created a buying opportunity if you follow the stock-buying theory of “buy-low, sell-high”. I have no idea where the market goes next. It may continue into a longer-term correction or it might go back to its January highs. One thing is for sure, you had to put some money to work if you were smart enough to take some profits off the table at the end of 2017.

This brings me to an important point of enlightenment: if your Financial Advisor didn’t put at least some money to work in this correction – you need to FIRE HIM!

The job of a good “Financial Advisor”, no matter what they call themselves: CFP, CHFC, etc., is to make sure that you are allocated properly and have money available to buy stocks when they go on sale. You are paying him to keep you calm and help prevent you from panicking and selling your investments at the wrong time. Furthermore, your advisor should have made sure you didn’t get greedy in this bull market and took steps to help you take some profits so that you had money to deploy when stocks got cheaper.

Understand that I do not endorse “market timing” which is specifically being “all in” or “all out” of the market at any given time. However, it is extremely important to have a methodology for buying and selling investments.

Also, if you are getting close to retirement or already in retirement, it is critically important to understand that avoiding major drawdowns in the market is the key to long-term investment success. The long-term results of avoiding periods of severe capital loss will outweigh missed short-term gains. Small adjustments can have a significant impact over the long run. The best …

Advantages of Non-Financial Performance Measurement Over Financial Performance Measurement

Financial Performance Measurement

The motive of every business is to achieve the bottom line of maximum financial benefits. In order to comply with the same, companies have come up with financial performance measurement techniques. The very idea is to ensure that no matter what the resources do and the way they function, they would have to show profits in the profit and loss statements. It is carried out generally in three different steps. They have been mentioned as follows:

Firstly, it encompasses selecting the goals of the organization.

Secondly, and also as the most important part, it is to consolidate the measurement of information with respect to the performance.

Finally, the required changes made by the managers so as to serve as a remedy over the weak links in the financial charts of the company. So, one can say that the financial aspects of performance measurement is basically sales driven. There are certain milestones that companies set for employees. A deficiency in being able to fulfil even a certain process can be harmful for the position. So, this method of performance measurement is also known to show certain insecurity for the employees. Hence, it might not give the most authenticated results. Business Performance Management is by and large measured by the financial aspects of performance measurement. The specific techniques for the same have been mentioned as follows:

Approaches to Financial Performance Measurement

Economic Values Added

This method deals directly with the economic profit of the organization that goes directly into the balance sheets. This method in other words can be used to measure the Net Operating Profit after Taxes. There are also certain adjustments that are made in the calculation of Economic value added so that the companies can make it more synchronized with the profit entry in the profit and loss statements. This method is generally used by lower stature companies these days. The reason for the same is that at the moment, the companies can afford to look at the business functioning only from the financial perspective. There is much more to achieve.

Activity-Based Costing

The fundamental law of economics says that management would have to make the most from the least resources that are available to them. In regard to keeping with the statement, the companies generally identify the processes that are in the system and then classify them as separate activities. Followed by this, the companies assign separate costs to each of the activities. This can be done in the form of direct and indirect costs.

Reason for shift from Financial to Non-Financial aspect

In other words, we can say that this is also a form of performance measurement on the basis of finance aspects. One can assign costs to each of the activities, but then there are always, restrictions on the use of the activities that are highly expensive. Once, again, this method would not be applicable in the long-run. The reason for the same is that this method forms a hindrance to the long-term …

Benefits of Life Insurance for Seniors

The majority of senior residents of North America are not able to afford long-term care due to the high cost. Only a few seniors use their insurance to cover the expenses for long-term care. This is a serious issue; too many seniors are unprepared for these costs, leaving them and their families at financial risk. There is a solution: purchasing life protection can help cover all possible expenses for long-term care. There are also several other advantages of purchasing life insurance for seniors; find out about these below.

Provide Financial Support for Your Spouse

Married elderly couples are often anxious about leaving their better halves with debt after passing away, and for good reason. Funerals in countries of North America are quite expensive – they can cost as much as $5,000 or more. Not every family can afford these costs, and that is why life coverage comes as a practical solution.

Life protection policies can fully cover the expenses of the funeral and burial of one spouse, and that coverage can bring some peace of mind to the insured person. Covered by a life protection policy, the individual can be sure that his or her significant other will receive the necessary support to deal with the financial side of a funeral.

In addition, a surviving spouse can use the funds from the coverage to increase the benefits from their pension plan.

Life insurance for seniors makes it simpler to deal with the expenses of a funeral, and that means the financial pressure does not add to the already-stressful situation.

You Can Still Get Life Insurance If You Are Sick

A lot of the insurance companies that provide traditional life protection policies often refuse to provide life protection for seniors who have pre-conditions. A serious illness poses a high risk to your life, not to mention the fact that advanced age also contributes to that increased risk. These are the main reasons an insurance company will decline your life insurance application.

Having a pre-condition does not mean you are left without life coverage at all, though. There are many insurance companies that do provide insurance for people who cannot or do not want to undergo a health exam. This type of insurance, often called no medical life insurance, does not require a medical examination for qualification; however, this feature also makes the price of this type of insurance higher, compared to a traditional life protection policy.

There are two types of life insurance policies that do not require a health exam: guaranteed issue and simplified issue. Guaranteed issue insurance plan requires no medical tests and no medical questions; that means that you are approved for this insurance automatically, but you will have to wait two years before the policy starts to work. Simplified issue insurance requires you to answer a series of questions, but there is no medical examination, and the policy provides coverage from day one.

The Bottom Line: Life Insurance Is a Reasonable Choice for Seniors

Progress in …

IRACIS – A Roadmap to Business Intelligence ROI

So often when companies are considering a business intelligence project or software purchase, a question arises that seems to stump everyone involved.

“Where is the ROI in this project?”

This question has stopped many a business intelligence project in its tracks. Maybe it’s asked by the CFO or CEO. Maybe it’s brought up in one of the meetings with a vendor or consultant presenting a solution. The sad truth is if you can not answer this question with hard numbers in specific areas, the ROI probably isn’t there.

I.R.A.C.I.S. is a simple acronym that can be used to quantify a business intelligence project’s worth to a company. It stands for the following:

Increase Revenue – How will this application and functionality drive more sales to new or existing customers, shorten the sales cycle, and/or bring down the cost of sales?

Avoid Costs – By far the area most focused on in BI project justifications. How will this application help us improve efficiency, put more information in the hands of our business people and eliminate wasteful processes?

Improve Service – Will this application affect our client base noticeably? Will we be able to provide more timely and valuable information to our customers, prospects, and suppliers?

Many times in a business intelligence effort, there are outcomes that are deemed desirable. Things like ad-hoc report generation, more informed operations staff, and less lag time in financial reporting are nice. But they will not justify the investment in a business intelligence solution from a quality software vendor without direct and secondary benefits quantified in the there areas mentioned above.

Let’s face it, business intelligence solutions are not cheap. There are many scalable solutions on the market today that range from traditional software implementations, to SaaS (Software as a Service), and even open source solutions. Large companies have long embraced the benefits of business intelligence and now with these diverse offerings the small and mid sized companies are also taking advantage. However, any business intelligence project is only as good as the planning, effort, and data that go into whatever software platform you are using. Hence another phrase often heard in many BI projects, “garbage in, garbage out.”

By using the I.R.A.C.I.S. model to quantify the value of the solution to the company, you provide everyone with a clear roadmap to what is deemed a successful project. From the executive sponsor at the company, to the vendor you are working with, there is no ambiguity as to what is expected as a final outcome. I would challenge any company that is considering a business intelligence project of some sort, that if you can’t find a solution that addresses at least one of the three areas above, if not all three, that the project is probably not worth doing at all. And if the solution or software product is incapable of scaling to address all three areas in the long run, then it probably isn’t the best product for you. This may seem like harsh criteria, …

How A Personal Microloan Can Help Your Business

People utilize personal loans for a number of reasons, such as consolidating debts, paying for a medical debt or for costly auto repairs.

But there is something else the average consumer needs to know: a personal loan can be used for your small business.

Despite the label, a personal loan could just be what is needed to maintain your business. The personal microloan can be used for certain expenses such as:

• Inventory

• Equipment (things like printers, tools, copiers, manufacturing equipment, cubicles, etc.)

• Office space (either to purchase or rent)

• Marketing and advertising (digital, promotions, print, etc.)

For any type of business expense, if your business does not have the extra capital but needs cash to grow, then a personal microloan is a feasible option.

Small Business Loan vs. Personal Loan

Most small businesses that require necessary funds in order to grow their business typically search for a small business loan. This makes sense as a small business loan is generally beneficial to the small business owner.

In certain situations, the small business loan assists the business owner to purchase large ticket items, such equipment, inventory, or raw materials. However, just because the small business loan is the industry standard, it does not always make it the correct solution.

The biggest problem with a small business loan is the stringent requirements. Not only does this hold true with the eligibility requirements, but it also comes into play during the application process. Here are some of the biggest challenges:

• Lengthy application process that can eat up hours of valuable time

• Documentation requirements, such as providing a business plan, tax returns, references, and financial data

• It can take a long time to receive the funds (even after you get an approval), as the entire process can take up to 90 days

• There are as many as seven different types of small business loans… choosing the right one for you could take some time

Although it’s common to initially assume that a small business loan is the best choice, you may find that these requirements are difficult to meet or will take longer than you want to get your business moving.

Is a Personal Loan Application Process Any Better?

The short answer is that an application and decision regarding that application can be made by the company offering the personal loan within one day.

With a personal loan, you don’t have to jump through nearly as many hoops. Instead, its’ much easier to acquire a loan in a timely manner (and without the hassles mentioned above).

Some of the primary benefits of a personal loan for business use – especially compared to a small business loan – include:

• Simplified application process that can be started online or over the phone within a matter of minutes

• Fewer documentation requirements

• Same day decision (not always but most of the time)

• Fewer complications, with the main decisions being the repayment schedule and amount to borrow…