Retirement

It’s no secret: Americans are not good at saving money. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about emergency funds, retirement accounts, or even just keeping a piggy bank on the dresser; the majority of Americans have grossly underfunded their accounts. The reasons why vary from they just don’t know better to they don’t make enough money. FutureAdvisor, however, wants to change the statistics to make sure everyone is able to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

90% of Americans Don’t Save Enough

Suppose you were to go out and ask people on the street this question: “What is the median retirement account balance for those approaching retirement?” What sort of answers do you think you would receive? $250,000? $500,000? I would expect that most people would think that the average retirement account is enough to cover at least a few years’ worth of expenses. The National Institute on Retirement Security, however, finds a drastically different number. Their data indicates that the average account for a person nearing retirement is just $12,000. Most people who try to retire on that amount would likely have to return to work after 3 to 6 months; let alone be able to live comfortable for 30+ years.

Life Expectancy is Increasing; Savings Rates are Decreasing

As medical technology improves, people are living longer than ever. At the same time, they are saving less and less. Despite the fact that we are living a lot longer now, when we compare our savings rates to those in the 1980’s and 1990’s, we are saving less money.

Why exactly is this? One reason may be due to the fact that people are scared of the market. If you look at the stock market, it is much more volatile in the computer age than prior. Media coverage that shows bad news can cause an instant massive drop in the market, even if there is no real bad news. This volatility sways people away from investing.

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Barcodes

Barcodes are used just about everywhere in today’s technologically saturated society. One visit to the grocery store, movie store, drug store, or other retail location will quickly reveal that barcodes are a vital aspect of the way most businesses operate. Although many businesses utilize barcoding and barcoding systems, there are still many small businesses that have not yet joined the barcode movement. This comes as a surprise to many people who cannot even remember a time during which barcodes were not utilized in major business endeavors. The truth remains: many small business owners are still standing behind counters with pencil and paper, trying to create legible ledgers that accurately display financial information and inventory specifics. Any small business owners who are fed up with traditional methods of tracking finances and are looking for a more effective, efficient, smooth operating system may want to read the information below.

Barcodes Are Affordable

One of the main objections presented by small business owners concerning the installation and implementation of barcoding and barcode systems stems from financial concerns (which is slightly ironic, considering that barcoding systems help a large percentage of businesses “shape up” financially). For instance, a small business may consider the initial investment involved in purchasing a barcode system far too much – especially since no rewards will result immediately. The truth of the matter is that small business owners must be willing to take a leap of faith concerning an investment in barcoding systems; the initial investment pays off incredibly if business owners will give the system a chance to operate on a gradually inclining timeline.

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Pay When You Profit, Not When You Invest

by Sean Bryant on October 27, 2014

Zercatto

Investment is handled completely the wrong way in the finance industry. Think about it for a second: you pay management fees to a financial advisor to provide you with expert advice, and they get paid whether they’ve helped you to make a profit or a loss. When it’s their advice that’s led to you losing money, should you really be rewarding them?

Let’s take a closer look. Financial advisors charge a percentage of the money you have whatever their result; and in brokerage and banking, commissions are made on a per trade basis. This means that the investor is given advice in the form of trade ideas or internal research, and while he or she might not be charged directly for this knowledge, there will be a charge every time the investor enters or closes a trade. This charge can take the form of a direct commission in the spread of the price at which you make the trade (with this spread being the brokerage fee), or through an overnight interest rate charged in case you hold leveraged positions. Again, you are charged even if the result of the knowledge you’re given is a loss.

It’s becoming more and more apparent that this out-dated, historic model no longer meets the needs of the modern investor. If we don’t make a return, we shouldn’t lose even more money in additional fees – that’s just condoning poor service. And if we don’t do that in other service industries, why should we in finance?

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Budget Holiday Road Trip

With the holidays right around the corner, travel planning is in full swing. Since volatile airline ticket pricing has made plane tickets for your family of five to visit Grandma way out of your budget, you’ve decided to hit the road and make the big drive instead. Spending more on gifts from Santa instead of on a seat next to a mouth breather in 10A sounded like a good idea, but with high gas prices, you realize how important it will be to get the most fuel efficiency out of your vehicle. Here are some tried and true tips to help you stay within your budget on your holiday road trip:

Check Tire Pressure

While slightly under inflated tires can make for a smoother ride, they make your vehicle guzzle more gas than necessary. Check the pressure on all of your tires to ensure it’s within the manufacturer’s recommended range listed on the tires. If the pressure is low, fill up your tires at a local gas station or visit a service station if you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself. Do this a week before your scheduled departure and check the pressure again a few days before you leave to ensure the tires are holding air and you don’t have a slow leak. If you do, you’ll need to replace the leaking tires before hitting the highway.

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Utility Bill

Electric bills can be huge in the summer and the winter, water bills are excessive when you have to water the lawn and you can pretty much always count on a high cable bill. That’s the bad news. The good news is there are ways to bring all of your utility bills down. Here are a few tips:

Electric

If you live in the certain parts of the Southwest, you know summer temperatures can hit 115 or higher. This really stresses your air conditioner and runs up the electric bill. Depending on where you live, your monthly electric bill can run several hundred dollars. If you live in the northeastern part of the United States, then you are familiar with below zero temps. This makes your heater run and run. No matter what time of year, electric bills are high for everybody. What can you do to lower your electric bill and raise your bank account?

  • Change your air conditioning filter: According to EnergySavers.com, not changing your air conditioner filter is the single biggest contributor to a high electric bill; you can lower your energy consumption by up to fifteen percent and save $9.00 per month, or $108.00 per year if you change the air conditioner filter once a month.
  • Turn the thermostat down in the winter: A high number on the thermostat in the winter means a higher number on your electric bill. Turn your thermostat 68 degrees (or lower) during the day, and then lower it more at night, suggest US News & World Report. Every degree lowered full time cuts down on 3 – 4 percent of your electric bill. Lower it three degrees and save thirty dollars per month.

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Where to Sell Your Stuff for Extra Cash

October 3, 2014
Craigslist

Most of us accumulate stuff. It is just the culture that we live in. We like to buy things, and when one gets outdated, broken, or we just don’t want it anymore we store it rather than get rid of it. Being financially savvy we often will go through our items and decide to sell […]

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How to Use Social Media for Your Business

October 1, 2014

Social media can generate customer engagement and additional income for your company. The key is to choose the right social networks for your business. For example, Facebook has a broad audience and is driven by media (images and videos) and Twitter, while it also has a broad audience, is primarily text- driven (links). LinkedIn on […]

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