Have you ever had one of those months when everything seems to go wrong at once? A chipped tooth requires a costly visit to the dentist the day after you were slapped with a parking ticket, which was only a few days after you realized you went over you phone’s data and have to pay a penalty. And on top of it all, you still have your monthly payments for rent, utilities, and other essentials. When an unlucky streak such as this demands payment, sometimes even the most prepared person doesn’t have the savings available to cover all of their responsibilities.
Break your unlucky streak by contacting a direct online lender. They realize that sometimes, despite your best efforts, you can come up short at the end of the month; life can hand you lemons and throw out any budget. That’s why they offer small dollar loans with flexible terms to help out when times get a little tight. Even if you don’t have a perfect credit rating, direct online lenders will consider your application.
Bills have strict due dates, which is why direct online lenders build their practice around speed and convenience. Their goal is to eliminate the complicated bureaucratic process that so many individuals encounter when trying to attain a loan. By offering their loans to customers through a secure online platform, direct online lenders have removed the frustrating red tape that can delay or even prevent you from receiving the money you need.
You will receive the exact loan that you need for your specific situation when you contact a reputable online lender. With a simple online application, they will fast-track your request so that you can be approved within 20 minutes. From there, you can be advanced up to $500 in loans or $1,000 in a line of credit. And how and when you repay your loan will be tailored to your situation. Single-Pay loans have a short repayment period and are available to those who can repay the entire loan in one lump sum within a couple of weeks, or whenever your next paycheck is deposited. If this isn’t an option for you, flex-pay installment loans allow you to repay your loan throughinstallment payments over a longer period of time.
To get the loan that fits your situation, there aren’t too many requirements. You must be a US citizen of at least 18 years of age with an active banking account and a verifiable source of income. An email address is vital, as this is how online lenders will communicate with their customers. You must also be willing to search out the best direct online lender in your state
If you live in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Kansas, Ohio, Illinois, South Dakota, Utah, Texas or Missouri, then MoneyKey is the best choice for loans as they work according to each of these states’ laws and regulations regarding lending. MoneyKey offers personal short-term loans with state-sanctioned rates and terms that encourage responsible borrowing habits. Should you wonder if a flex-pay installment loan or a personal line of credit is more appropriate for your needs, MoneyKey has dedicated representatives who can answer any of your questions. Being an online lending company, their goal is simplification. They don’t want you frustrated over confusing terms or long waiting times any more than you do.
If you’re experiencing the month from hell, don’t waste your time with other lenders. Turn to a direct online lender who you can trust to match you with a small dollar loan when you need it most. With quick access to cash and clear, manageable repayment plans, you’ll pay off your debts and get back to normal in no time.
As the largest market in the world it’s no surprise plenty of businesses have formed and built themselves up around foreign exchange. Whether an individual or business looking to get involved in forex trading, especially for beginners, using a trading platform from one of these providers is essential.
Even though the exchange rates for each currency will be the same across the board no matter which forex account you use, they each have their own differences. A lot of your time and money will be on the line, so search through many platforms and compare these important aspects before deciding on the one right for you.
Every forex account delivers the same overall service of allowing you to trade currencies on the forex market. Certain companies such as FxPro will provide platforms which allow you to trade from your computer, smartphone and tablet, linking your account together. This makes it easy to stay on top of changes in the market wherever you are.
Most will also offer a range of varying platforms that differ in the services they offer, depending on whether you want to trade fixed or floating spreads and in what level of depth. Using a reputable company is advised.
The start-up costs will differ for each company but one advantage of forex is that there are no commission based fees for making trades. Unlike on the stock market where you’d have to pay a broker a percentage for each deal made, forex companies make their money from bid/ask spreads.
The market maker captures the difference between the bid and ask prices. Each company will have different spreads for currency pairs to help them make more of a profit or attract new traders with lower ones. Even if they only differ by a few pips it can make a big difference if you’re trading a lot and over a long period of time.
Depending on the amount of money you’re looking to put into the forex market will affect which firm you use. Leverage allows you to control large amounts of capital using a small percentage of your own finances.
This means the opportunity to make large profits is achievable with a lot less capital, but also big losses. Each firm will offer different leverage ratios, so if you intend to risk more to earn more or want to play it safe then choose one with the appropriate leverage.
A windfall can come from a number of different sources and by definition, it is a sum of money that is considered large enough to make a difference to your personal finances and even your lifestyle.
Some people can be overwhelmed by a sudden addition of extra zeros on their bank account balance and this means that they can often end up making poor investment decisions and don’t make the most of the financial opportunity that has been presented to them.
If you are one of the fortunate few that win the lottery then you have plenty of pleasant options open to you but a windfall can also be in the form of compensation for example, so with this one, you will need to try and safeguard your financial future if you are unable to work.
Here is a look at some sensible strategies to adopt if you suddenly acquire a large amount of money, so that you can make the most out of the situation you find yourself in.
Becoming a millionaire
Unless you have to share the pot with a few others, the likelihood is that if you win the lottery for example, you will instantly acquire millionaire status.
Listening to what previous winners have had to say about their experience of coming into a life-changing amount of money, there seems to be a general consensus of opinion that you should not rush into anything the minute the money arrives in your bank account.
This is a good strategy to adopt whatever sum of money you come into. Take your time to clear your head and think about what you want to achieve with your money and what the best way of investing the money would be in order to meet these goals and targets.
Always consider taking financial and legal advice to confirm if your plans add up and make sound sense to someone independent and suitably qualified to give you an expert opinion.
One of the most common sources of a windfall is to inherit money from a loved one who leaves you a sum of money or property in their will.
It is obviously important to try and make the most of your inheritance and therefore you should consider all of your viable options before actually making a final decision as to what you are going to do with the money.
It would probably be beneficial to pay off any debts that you have like loans and credit cards, as these are expensive to service and will cost you more in interest than the equivalent rate you will earn in most savings accounts.
There is a definite logic to paying off debts with your windfall or savings you now have, as it will free up extra monthly income and almost certainly put you in a better financial position in the long term.
Start by paying off debts with the highest interest rates attached to them, but make sure you have an emergency savings fund still available, in case you need some extra money in a hurry due to an unforeseen circumstance.
Hopefully you will have received enough money to clear your debts and also invest for the future, so make a plan of what you want to do and then get professional help if you need it, so that you can use the money wisely to achieve these goals.
Charlotte Summers enjoys a successful career in financial services. She is passionate about widening public knowledge on personal finance matter. Her views and ideas can be found on a number of relevant websites
Many retirees make the same mistakes, copying each other and paying the consequences. Here’s some of the most common mistakes you should avoid so that your retirement gets off to a great start.
Learn A New Life Skill
Many financial planners harp on the fact that you need money in your old age. But, you also need mental stimulation. Pick up a new life skill. This could be one of the most important factors in you aging well.
Do Not Overdraw Your Savings
Common retirement mistakes include spending too much, not saving enough, and not really developing the mindset of a retired person – namely, that you’re living on a fixed income.
But, one of the more fundamental problems people have is drawing enough money to live on without drawing down too much.
Bottom line: Don’t overdraw your savings.
Most people expect to be able to withdraw 4 percent from their savings during retirement. Some people believe they can withdraw more. That’s not realistic.
The classic 60/40 split (60 percent stocks/40 percent bonds) might yield an average weighted return of just 7 percent, before inflation assuming bond yields remain compressed and never rise beyond 3 percent and stocks return 10 percent.
Do Not Retire Early
Retiring early sounds cool. Plus, you can spend more time going on vacation, seeing your grandkids, and gardening in your back yard.
The retirement dream is really nothing more than a myth. Unless you really hate your job (in which case maybe all you need is a new job), there’s nothing sexy or exciting about retiring early. What it really means is that you better have saved even more money because you’ll need it (you’ll be living longer in retirement if you start early).
Not only that, if you retire too early, there will be a gap between health insurance coverages – you won’t be able to get Medicare until your normal retirement age.
Bottom line: Do not retire early. It’s less cool than it sounds.
Don’t Overestimate Your Skills As An Investor
Everyone believes that they are great investors. Here’s a reality check: most professional money managers can’t consistently beat the long-term average of the stock market. What chance do you think you stand?
Unless you’re willing to commit to learning about investments, and spend most of your time studying and experimenting with your retirement funds, odds are you’re not going to beat the market randomly buying and selling stocks or mutual funds.
Bottom line: If you believe Warren Buffett, you shouldn’t expect long-term stock returns of more than 8 to 9 percent, before inflation. You shouldn’t expect more than 3 to 6 percent from bonds, either. So, if you’re doing the classic 60/40 split, that puts you at about 7 percent or 5 percent adjusted for inflation. That doesn’t include fees or taxes which will reduce your returns further.
Don’t Underestimate Your Life Expectancy
In 1987, the average life expectancy of a man was 71 and 78 for a female. A lot has changed since them. Today, life expectancy is 76 for men, and 81 for women. And, if you do live to age 65, then those expectancies change.
If you do make it to age 65, plan on living into your late 80s. If you make it that far, you will likely live into your 90s and, if you make it that far, you could join the rising number of centenarians (people over the age of 100).
Don’t laugh. According to some research, there has been a five-fold increase in the number of centenarians over the last three decades.
In England or Wales, for example, the number of people over age 100 in 1981 was just 2,420. By 2012, that number had shot up to 12,320.
In the U.S., between 2007 and 2011, the American Community Survey found that people aged over 100 accounted for 55,000 people or 0.02 percent of the population.
By 2050, it is expected that the number of Americans living over the age of 100 will rise to between 265,000 and 834,000 people.
Today, the total number of people over the age of 110 (worldwide) is 381,790.
Bottom line: plan to live to at least 80. If your income doesn’t outlast you, you won’t be enjoying life beyond that.
Allen Foster has held a senior position in a financial planning role for a number of years. He enjoys the opportunity to provide tips and general advice online. His insights and suggestions can be found on a number of different websites.
I told you so!
It’s been a while since I’ve written a post here, but I had a big life event happen today and I just had to write a little post and give a big fat “I told you so” to a bunch of people who doubted me over 2.5 years ago.
In December of 2012, I wrote a post about how I was taking a $15,000 401k loan to help on the down payment of my first house purchase.
Here are a few quotes from the comments of that post, including a few people who thought my financial decision was so awful that they had to stop reading this blog altogether:
401(k)’s are for retirement and unless it’s an emergency cash need, I just can’t advocate that as a good idea.
I feel more like you’re trying to justify your decision than advocating this as a great choice. I see our financial goals at odds, so I gotta unsub.
I agree with Lindsey. It looks like it’s time for me to unsubscribe as well. It appears that we have completely different financial (and life) goals and I don’t agree with yours.
Fast forward to July 13th, 2015. After buying the house for $200,000 in December of 2012, I closed on the sale of this house for $288,000. To complete the math, we did put about $35,000 into renovations on the home, and also paid a 3% Realtor fee to the buyer’s realtor at the sale. So here’s the final math:
$288,000 Sale Price – $200,000 Purchase Price – 8,640 Buyer Realtor Fees – $300 Seller Realtor Fee (flat fee listing) – $35,000 investment – $5,250 401k withdrawal tax+penalty = $38,810 profit.
259% Return on Investment in 2.5 years
In December of 2012, I had two options. I could either leave my $15k in my 401k and let it grow there, or I could leverage that money to buy a house.
If I had left it in the 401k and invested in the S&P 500, I would have gotten a substantial gain of 48.25%. That’s nothing to be upset with. But instead I bought a house, flipped it, and made a 259% return on investment, even after I did change jobs and had to pay a 25% tax + 10% penalty on the withdrawal.
In personal finance, there are no “right” answers because nobody can tell the future. Personal finance is personal and I certainly don’t have any issue with individuals who would never take a 401k loan to buy a house. That’s a perfectly legitimate financial decision.
However, when looking back you can absolutely determine which of two options had the better financial return, and it’s obvious that I made the decision that had the greatest return over 2.5 years.
The next step of my life is to use a big chunk of the profit I made to close on the new house my wife and I are building. We took the equity out of our house and put it back into a bigger, newer house where we plan to raise our family for decades to come.
Even though I’ve gotten a new, better paying job since December of 2012 and we are still being frugal with our money, I never would have had the money to build a dream home for our family if I hadn’t bought and flipped our first home.
Maybe the real estate market will crash and keeping my money invested in my home will make me a loser overall. Or maybe my new home will be worth 2 or 3 times what I paid for it when I look to sell in 10-20 years. I have no idea.
But I do know I made the right decision in taking a 401k loan to buy a house back in 2012.
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