This video covers 5 options for Americans who want to retire abroad, focusing on Costa Rica, Italy, Spain, France and Ireland.
The number of underwater mortgages is plummeting as the housing market continues to recover. This will have huge ramifications for the finances of millions of people and families.
The housing recovery is one of the main reasons why we can now start getting optimistic on the US economy. So many people were stuck in impossible situations, and now that burden is being lifted. The Fed has been a huge driver of this improvement, along with the billions in private investment looking for deals on under-priced homes.
Tags: family budgets, home buyers, home loans, home mortgage, home ownership, home prices, housing industry, housing recovery, housing sector, mortgage loans, mortgage payments, mortgage rates, mortgages, real estate industry, real estate issues, real estate prices, rebounding real estate prices, underwater mortgages
The economic recession and resulting volatile stock market has almost become cliché. Advertisers overuse the situation and analysts overthink the problems until we almost stop listening – but still, we want answers. Being able to discern between the nonsense and the facts is an ability that can be quite beneficial. It’s necessary to understand the ways that a shaky economic system can affect your investments and the actions you can do to counteract the effects. What can we do to protect our financial security and future in a market such as this?
Think Long Term
Too many investors look at gains monthly or yearly. The real value of our investments isn’t short-term; it’s the value they accumulate over decades of solid investing. We know the concept of diversifying investments, but we don’t recognize the importance of diversifying our investment plans. Invest some money for short return, say five years from now. Make other investments for a return in 10 years, 15 years and 20 years. This strategy hedges investments in the same way as diversifying our portfolios with a mix of high risk and low risk stocks.
Turn Off the News
Up, down, up, down…. we know how it goes. Once you’ve made sound investment decisions, ignore the buzz of the day and concentrate on the future of your investments. Historically, the market sees solid gains after a recession subsides. Even this world leading financial adviser Kenneth Fisher can’t say exactly when things will level out, but almost all economists believe the market will eventually recover. Instead of fretting over market swings due to daily news events and political situations, keep your eye on the end goal.
Is it easy to turn a blind eye when it seems like the global marketplace is in turmoil? No, it isn’t. But investors who keep their cool and continue to make sound investments not only see returns financially in the long run – their investments are helping drive the market forward into a better, more sound future for us all.
We’re starting to see new regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau trying to regulate the mortgage market and prevent some of the outrageous abuses we saw leading up to the 2008 financial meltdown.
This will make it harder for some people to qualify for mortgages, but that’s reality. There will be a phase-in period. I’m also curious to see how people in markets like New York react where prices are so high. But in the grand scheme of things these reforms were needed.
This video does a pretty good job of explaining exactly how a biweekly mortgage works and the benefits. The benefits really go to making extra payments each year which can cut years off of your mortgage. It also aligns well with your biweekly paychecks, so it’s extremely convenient.
Just be careful in case you bank ties fees to this payment structure.
Getting your finances in order can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. There are simple steps you can take to prevent or cure a financial letdown. One of the options you can take to get back on track, and stay there, is by refinancing your auto loan. Here’s how the process works.
Much like when you refinance a home mortgage, refinancing your auto loan pays off your existing vehicle loan. But it’s much faster and simpler to refinance the loan on your car or truck. During the process, your new lender pays off your old loan and the title to your vehicle is transferred to your new lender.
Refinancing your auto loan can lower your interest rate, decrease your monthly payment by changing your terms, or both. Most often, people refinance when interest rates are low to reduce the amount of interest they’re responsible to pay. You can also lower your monthly payments by extending the duration of your auto loan to break your payments up over a longer time frame.
You could potentially enjoy significant savings by refinancing your vehicle loan. Exactly how much you’ll save depends on the remaining balance of your current loan, the difference between your old and the new interest rates, and the terms of your new loan.
No matter what motivates you to do it, refinancing your vehicle loan is an option that’s well worth your time and effort. A little extra research now could blossom into huge savings over the remaining months or years of your auto loan.
Nobody who plans on an evening at the casino expects to lose money. The vision that runs through everyone’s head is of loud noises and colorful lights heralding them as the next big winner. Just to be safe, you should check your financial books before heading out to the casino.
Whether you are going to a physical casino or you are getting ready to enjoy the convenience of an online, no-deposit casino, you should still keep close track of your finances. A fun night at the casino can be ruined if you realize that you just gambled your mortgage payment away.
Create A Monthly Budget
Developing a monthly budget is good financial advice. But if you intend to make frequent visits to the casino, then balancing a home monthly budget will allow you to see how much you have to gamble with each time. This is how you prevent yourself from gambling away the mortgage payment or losing the grocery money for the week.
Plan On Losing
It is entirely possible that you will win some money at the casino. But if you really want to keep your casino visit checkbook friendly, then you should only take as much money as you can afford to lose. Check your monthly budget and set aside monthly gambling money that you can afford to do without.
Leave The Plastic At Home
When people head out to the casinos, they will sometimes take their ATM or credit cards with them. This defeats the entire purpose of setting a budget and staying with it. Limit your spending by taking cash from your bank account and using that for your gambling. Once your cash is gone, you are done. Leave the plastic at home.
Walk Away A Winner
If you can walk away from the casino a winner, then consider yourself lucky. When you start winning on the slots or at the tables, try to limit how much of your winnings that you put back into the casino. If you can come home with half of your winnings, then you can use that for your next casino trip. It will also help you to keep your personal budget balanced.
Adjusting your finances prior to heading out the casino can seem like it takes the fun out of gambling. But gambling can be a lot more fun when you plan it right and avoid losing money you cannot afford to lose.
Since Barack Obama passed financial reform that included the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it’s no surprise that payday lenders are coming out for Mitt Romney who opposes more regulations to protect consumers in this area.
There is a big philosophical difference between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama on financial regulation, so this is just corporations putting money out there to protect their self interest. The question then becomes what is in the public’s interest?
Payday lending is a huge ripoff for consumers. If this is something your do – be smart and stop it. Get a bank account and start using direct deposit of your checks. Create a budget so you aren’t living paycheck to paycheck.
If you have extra rooms in your house or apartment, you can make extra money by renting out rooms to travelers on either a nightly basis or for loner periods. In high demand areas like New York and South Florida this is becoming more common, but it can work anywhere.
With sites like Airbnb.com It’s now also very easy and you have immediate access to tons of potential users. This site is getting all the buzz in this space and you can read much more about it on publications like Forbes and Fortune. It’s very easy to post rooms or places to rent and it’s equally easy to find what you’re looking for. The site is also loaded with photos and users are ranked with feedback so you have some idea of the kind of person you’re dealing with.
It’s becoming very popular among younger people and business travelers as it can be much better than renting a hotel. This can be perfect for empty nesters as well who have extra space.
Check out the site, read the articles and consider whether this might be a good option for you.
Although now, in the early summer of 2012, the economy is starting to gain traction, many people, even those with jobs, are struggling to remain financially solvent. One of the main reasons people are struggling is a lack of financial awareness and information. Fortunately, in our modern world where the smart phone reigns supreme, There is, as they say, an app for that. Here are a few of the top personal finance apps.
The Big Picture:
For an excellent look at your big picture financial situation, Mint.com has a free app for iPhones and Androids, which can also be accessed from the Web. Simply hook it up to your various accounts (savings, checking, investments, credit cards ect), and it will give you a good idea of your overall financial health. Unfortunately, because it’s free there are advertisements, which can get slightly frustrating. However, the company does need to make money somehow and the advertisements allow them to offer an amazingly helpful service without it being too good to be true.
Getting the True Price:
Those with weighty credit card balances might want to check out an extremely useful app called “Debt Dog.” With this app you imput the price of the item, and the type of credit card you are using, and it will tell you the true price of purchasing that item when you don’t actually have the money on hand. Although not quite sophisticated enough to allow you to imput late fees, it will raise your awareness of how much credit card interest is costing you in the long run.
Alternative Payment Method:
Use PayPal whenever possible. Although you are probably already familiar with the Website, PayPal now has an app that may make debit cards obsolete. Let’s say you and four friends go out to dinner. You could either pay with five different credit cards and cause your waiter or waitress a great deal of unnecessary trouble, or you could just pay for it with your PayPal app and then have your friends send you their portion of the bill instantly. This service is fast, safe, secure, and (as a new feature) allows you to deposit checks by taking a picture of it with your phone!
And All For Free?
I believe I can guess what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “that all sounds well and good, but aren’t smart phones expensive? and wouldn’t it be counter intuitive to spend a lot of money on a phone to get my spending under control?” Yes, it would if smart phones had to be expensive. Look into T-mobile free cell phones, many of which are smart phones, when you get a new contract with them. What’s even better about this is T-Mobile’s amazing 4G network, which will allow you to download, and use, your apps more quickly.
Although getting your finances under control may be a daunting task, you can take the first steps with these amazing apps!