Things to Know Prior to Obtaining a Reverse Mortgage

If you own your own home, you may be considering taking out a mortgage on it. However, a traditional mortgage may not be right for you, especially if you are 62 or older. Once you reach retirement age, your income is likely to be lower than it used to be. Therefore, you may have difficulty taking on the extra burden of a regularly scheduled mortgage payment. An alternative available to retirees or those of retirement age is a reverse mortgage. Here’s what you should know prior to obtaining one.

A Reverse Mortgage Can Pay You Continuously

If you so choose, you can be paid by a reverse mortgage. In other words, your reverse mortgage lender will give you monthly payments. Therefore, it will be similar to replacing a portion of the regular paychecks you were receiving when you were working. The advantage of taking out a reverse loan and getting those payments is you will be able to cover monthly bills after you retire. However, you can only borrow up to a certain amount. When you reach that limit, the payments will stop.

A Reverse Mortgage Can Also Pay You in Other Ways

When obtaining a reverse mortgage, you do not have to request monthly equal payments. You can opt to be paid in other ways. For example, you may choose to start a home equity line of credit. If you do so, you will be able to get funds from your reverse mortgage lender when you need them, similarly to using a credit card for select purchases. Alternatively, you can request one large reverse mortgage payment. That might help you cover a major unexpected home repair, medical or other expense.

How Much You Can Get from a Reverse Mortgage

One thing you may be wondering about is how much you can get from a reverse mortgage in total. There is no simple answer you can determine on your own. Your lender will have to use a reverse mortgage calculator to figure it out. The final terms of the loan will be set based on the results.

The purpose of such a tool is to calculate the equity of your home by comparing many different factors. Also, the amount determined by a reverse mortgage calculator must take government caps on percentages that can be borrowed into account. The total value of your home may be influenced by the economic state of the area and the condition of the home itself, among other factors. Your lender will let you know how much you can borrow after making all of those calculations.

When Repayment of Reverse Mortgage Funds is Required

The short answer to when you have to pay a reverse mortgage back is it depends on your goals. The total loan balance will not be due until you move out of the home. At that time, you can opt to not pay the loan balance at all. However, if you do so, the home will be sold. If you want to pass the home on to a family member or friend, you must pay the balance within a short time after vacating the property or before you leave it. Also, be aware reverse loan balances can get quite high because interest will continue to accumulate during each of the years you live in the home after the agreement is signed.

Online Shopping Hacks to Save You Money

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If all my past romantic relationships were like my experience with online shopping, then I’d be deliriously happy. Sadly though, I have yet to strike gold in the romance department. But at least, I have been successful so far with shopping online.

Curious about how to safely shop online and grab some internet deals? Then read on for my tips:

Keep track of price drops. Add your favorite items to your wishlist, and you’ll get alerts from the online store when the price for your desired item goes down. That would then be the perfect time to swoop in and buy it.

Use coupon codes. Ah, the sheer bliss of magically slashing prices off the items in your cart! One way to quickly find working coupon codes is to simply type the brand of the item with the words “promo code” in the Google search bar. You’ll then get a list of verified coupon codes of the product you want.

Stay in the loop. Remember to follow the social media pages of your favorite online store, so you don’t miss out on promotional deals. You can likewise subscribe to their newsletter, so you’ll get regular promo updates through email. It always pays to be in the know.

Safety is king. The last thing you want to do is fall prey to internet thieves. So whenever you go on any online store, make sure that it says “https” at the beginning of the site url. This assures you that you are entering a secure site.

I hope that the above tips help you enjoy a seamless and money-saving online shopping experience. At the end of the day, nothing beats scoring an awesome deal on your prized product.

Do you have any more tips or helpful hacks on online shopping? Please feel free to share them in the comments section below.

5 Smart Ways People Are Creating Wealth in 2018

Creating wealth isn’t something that you are going to do with your full time 9-5 job. Sorry to say. It doesn’t matter if you get paid a fair salary, or even more than fair. Wealth usually refers to being financially free, having more money than you can really use – and not having to work all that much to keep it up. If you’re constantly swapping your time for money, one day you’re going to become tired and old. You may not be able to give up as much of your time, or any time at all. You may not have any time left. Then what will you do?

Building wealth is something you are better off working towards earlier on so you can relax later. It takes time, but it is more than worth it. So, how are smart people creating wealth in 2018? Read on for 5 techniques:

1. Finding Places To Invest Their Cash

Investing your cash slowly but surely is one of the best ways to become wealthy later on down the line. Now, you need to start off small, as there are tons of things you can invest in and many ways you can do it. It’s good to find something you’re already a little bit interested in and invest in that, as this is a good way to get started. You don’t want to plug all of your money into savings, as although you need a savings account and emergency fund, that money will not appreciate over time. Some people are even investing in real estate online and enjoying fundrise ereit returns. It’s becoming easier and easier for newbies to invest these days, so don’t wait.

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2. Diversifying Their Portfolio

Diversifying your investment portfolio is important, as you don’t want to put all of you eggs into one basket, so to speak. Having various investments is safer and will reward you more over time.

3. Building A Dropshipping Business

Many people who are looking to build wealth are using platforms like Amazon to start a dropshipping business. The idea is simple: pick a popular product, find a place that will sell you that product and rebrand it for you, then send it to Amazon’s warehouses and wait for the orders to come in. Of course, you should have good seller reviews for this to work. It takes work in the beginning, but eventually a business like this can run itself.

4. Creating Content And Posting On YouTube

Youtube is the world’s second largest search engine, and you can get paid for posting videos – for free. If you have knowledge in a certain area, it could be a good time to set up a niche channel. Even if you don’t know your niche yet, getting started will help you to figure it out.

5. Creating Courses/Books

Another great way to share your knowledge; courses and ebooks. If you establish your personal brand a little and build an email list, these techniques could be effective. You do the work once, e.g. write the book, and then people keep on ordering it.

Remember, to build wealth you also have to live below your means. Spending less than you earn and making frugal decisions is a must!

Affording the Car You Need

Cars are a big part of our lives, no matter where we come from. If you have a car, you have a reliable means of transport that you can hop in and out of whenever you need to, and get to your destination in record time. It’s a lot less stressful than having to resort to public transport, no matter the benefits of that, and that means buying a car is always a step up in your lifestyle.

But can you afford one? We usually only go out for a new model when we absolutely need to, but have you got the budget to cover such an upgrade? And if you do invest in a car, will it actually benefit your lifestyle, or just be another money mistake? Here’s some help for answering these kind of questions, so keep on reading below.

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Make Sure You’ve Worked Out a Budget

 

This is the first step in making sure you can afford a car, and you’re never going to get anywhere without knowing you’ve got an entire payment plan available to keep your costs low and your engine humming. So, make sure you take your typical yearly budget and lay it out, and then add a car into all the relevant boxes; can you afford gas each week? Can you afford an annual review on how well your motor is doing? Of course you don’t know when a crash or accident can happen, but do you have an emergency fund to cover repairs?

These are scary questions to ask and hard questions to answer, but they’re not impossible, especially considering the help you have out there. If you know, without a doubt, that buying and running a car will be cheaper for you than trying to walk everywhere or get the bus, look into using an auto payment calculator. Loans aren’t as bad as you think, and hopefully you will have freed up some of your old transport money to help pay it back.

 

Find the Best Deal

 

Don’t just head down to your local dealership and hope for the best; make sure you’ve done your research, received and compared quotes, and gone a little out of your way in order to save some money. Most of us can’t afford to make mistakes when it comes to investments in our lives, so doing the legwork now is going to pay off later.

Thankfully, the internet has plenty of solutions for you here. Sites that’ll compare the most popular quotes for you, show you all the insurance providers you could ever need to turn to, and whether or not a loan is truly the best option. Take a risk if you have to, just make sure the research shows it’ll pay off.

Being able to afford a car is a big deal, and when no matter where you are in life, you’re going to have to account for it to change your lifestyle. Hopefully this post could help you down this long road!

The Following Financial Tips Can Help You Keep To Your Budget (Each and Every Month!)

It’s pretty typical for there to be a bit of fluctuation in outgoings each month. After all, when the kids are off school, you can end up spending a bit more on days out, and then there is the uniform to pay for when they go back! However, even these fluctuations are no excuse for not spending the budgeted amount or less each month, something that the advice below can help you with.

 

Save on groceries.

One tactic that can make it a lot easier to keep to your budget each month is to save on the grocery shop as much as possible. Luckily, there are many smart ways of doing this including planning your meals, so you only buy what is necessary, as well as using coupons to get a reduction in the cost of your overall shop.

Of course, you can always get a bit more serious about your couponing if and start a stockpile and save even more money. Although you don’t have to be a potential start of the next Extreme Couponers, show to get the cost of your bills down.

 

In fact, if you commit pureeing and freezing fruits and vegetables just before they go off, instead of throwing them away, you can then use them in cooking and for soups at a later date. A strategy that can save a fortune, and is one that will ensure your family has plenty of healthy food to eat too. Something that makes it the perfect way to save on your grocery bill.

 

Save on interest payments.

Next, to keep to your budget each month it vital that you ensure you are not paying out for things that are unnecessarily. Of course, you may not even realize that you are doing this, especially if you are being charged high-interest rates because your credit score is poor.

Luckily, you can repair your credit score, something that you may need to remove late payments from your credit report to do, or even re-age your account. Topics that you can find out more about online or from professional credit repair companies.

 

Always have an emergency fund.

Also, an emergency fund can help you to stay within your budget each month because it allows you to pay off unexpected costs without overspending. This can be especially useful for parents that may want extra funds during the summer when the kids’ need more entertaining.

Of course, it means that you have to set up this fund in the first place, and it can also be useful to set up a standing order to keep it topped up as well. Something that is well something doing if it can help you maintain a better hold on your money from month to month.

 

Sell what you no longer need.

Lastly, its can be useful to have a clear out of the kids old clothes and toys, periodically and then sell them online. After all, not only are you creating more space in your home and getting rid of clutter, but you will also be reclaiming some of the cost of the items which can be reinvested into your emergency fund and help you to keep your budget, each and every month.

 

 

 

Easy Ways to Make Extra Money Online

Time and money are two things we all wish we had more of. But the truth is, time is much more precious than money, because once it passes you by, it’s gone forever. As for money, at least you can create it and recreate it- if for some reason you lose some of it. Lucky for us, there are numerous ways to earn extra money online. Here are a few:

Blogging

If you have a knack for writing- thrown in with some handy SEO skills- then this is a good avenue for you to take. You can get paid through affiliate marketing- you promote a company by adding their link on your site, and get paid a commission whenever anybody clicks on that link to buy something from the company’s site. Or, advertisers may contact you directly for paid posting opportunities.

Online gaming

Now you don’t have to drive to the casino and play inside a room reeking of the smell from cigars. You can make extra bucks simply by playing online games like poker, roulette and slots. Always remember to exercise discretion when placing bets. You wouldn’t place all your life savings on a bet, would you? Just be sure to do your homework, and search for legitimate online gambling sites.

Paid Surveys

Even with just basic internet skills, you can earn extra money by taking online surveys. Yes, companies will pay you for answering a simple survey. You can check out this website called Clixsense, as it covers most if not all paid survey opportunities from various companies.

With the advent of the internet, making money has become easier now more than ever. You can earn extra money while you still keep your day job. A few clicks or taps on your computer or smartphone can now bring you closer to your dreams of financial security.

5 Methods That Help You Improve The Customer Journey at Your Online Store

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The ecommerce industry has made it possible for just about anyone with the time, motivation and upfront investment to start selling online. A variety of popular shopping cart services are available that help users create an online store and process orders. No matter what you’re selling at your online or on your other sales channels (like Amazon, eBay and Jet), your hard work at attracting new customers is going to waste if you’re not creating a positive and memorable customer journey that brings customers back. Use these proven methods and you can improve retention and loyalty.

No. 1: Product Videos

If you don’t have product videos, you are missing out on serious sales volume. As a matter of fact, recent studies find that product videos can increase conversions rates by as much as 174% when a customer watches the video before buying.

Getting product videos in place for your online store isn’t as hard as you may think. There are ample YouTube videos that help you learn how to create a lightbox, and most smartphones have HD video recorders you can use. Some simple video editing software and elbow grease can result in videos of your most popular products, so you can improve conversions across the board.

No. 2: Apparel Sizing Charts

Did you know that apparel is the most commonly returned product that’s purchased online? Apparel has one of the highest return rates of any ecommerce product, averaging around 40%. The primary reason apparel is returned is because consumers can’t try it on before they buy it.

To counter this dilemma, the solution is simple: add a sizing chart to your online store. You can also find a variety of apps (located in the App Store of most online shopping cart software providers) that integrate sizing charts, too. You’ll need to configure the settings first. But doing so can increase conversions by 100% or more.

No. 3: Integrate a Persistent Shopping Cart

What is a persistent shopping cart? It’s a cart that remembers what was added to it. For example, let’s say you start shopping on Amazon and add a few items to the cart, but later bounce away to another website. If you return back to Amazon later, the items will still be in the shopping cart.

Studies find that about 50% of shoppers will webroom – which means they’ll compare products and prices between two or more online stores before buying. If you make the sale easy when they return, you’ll experience a sizable uptick in conversions.

No. 4: Newsletter Signup Discount

Want more sales? Then you need to give your prospective customers and existing base a powerful message. That starts with a great newsletter. Today’s array of shopping cart services providers make it easy to add a newsletter signup to your store, and you can even integrate popular services like Constant Contact and MailChimp to use as your services providers.

But getting people to sign-up is another story. The simplest trick you can use here is to offer them a 10% discount off their initial purchase if they sign-up. Email marketing has an average click-through rate of 5%. New sales could be just a few clicks away.

No. 5: Cross-Channel CRM

Improving the customer journey begins with getting to know your customers better. Today’s ecommerce shopper is scrupulous, which means that you need information about trending products, return habits, shopper behavior and seasonal trends. This is made possible with newer ecommerce CRM software solutions that plug right into your online store and deliver reporting and relationship-building methods from day one.

With the right CRM in place, you can identify key trendsetters and capitalize on them. What’s more, you’ll be able to put a name and face to customers across your sales channels. Tapping into the customer journey can help you find your niche and appeal directly to your target customer base.

Combined, the five methods we’ve delivered to you here are surefire sales increasers for your online store. They’re relatively easy to implement, too. Over time, they’ll prove to be a huge benefit to your bottom line.

Wholesale Purchasing Brings Better Profit For Your Business

Whenever there is good bargains, there will be large crowds. No one can resist a good deal or a good discount. We all want to buy more but spend as little as we can of our hard earned money. Why should we pay more when we can pay so much less? There are so many great bargains and super deals out there. All we need to do is shop around and before you know it you will stumble upon some great deals.

These good bargains usually comes from wholesaler websites. A wholesaler is a company that buys products from the manufacturer at a lower price. The wholesaler will resell the products at a small profit margin. These products are usually much cheaper and more affordable compared to the retailer. These products are sold at discounted price and the price tends to be more competitive.

When buying wholesale products online, we need to buy from a highly credible wholesaler or from a recommended one to enjoy the endless benefits. Wholesalers will not run out of stock, and easier and quicker for customers to restock when the time comes.

For those who are thinking of starting a small scale online business this coming summer, you might be interested in selling sunglasses. All you need to do is find a reliable cost-effective wholesaler that also provides quality products. Buying in bulk or buying wholesale is considered to be one of the most cost-effective methods to gain profit.

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You get to look up the sunglasses on the wholesaler’s website and order the latest and trendiest fashion sunglasses wholesale for your own business or to retail. Besides fashion sunglasses, you might be interested to add to your order cart some other sunglasses such as vintage, aviator, polarized, or classic sunglasses to give your customers more choices to choose from. There are also reading and driving glasses to consider.

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Since you will be selling sunglasses, you may even consider ordering some vintage glasses frames wholesale as there are customers who are only interested in buying vintage frames. No product is complete without the accompanying accessories e.g. strings and cases for the glasses.

Once you become a regular customer, you will get to build a relationship with the wholesaler to pave way for negotiation for a better credit facility. Buying wholesale increases saving and profit. With the extra money from the saving, it could be used to buy more products to save on shipping and handling costs.

Tips For Finding Your Ideal Property

Stewarding Your Resources

There are a lot of ways to go about property acquisition. Let’s start from a universally applicable axiom: you get out what you put in.

If you’re haphazard in your choice of permanent residency, don’t be surprised at the ultimate result of your efforts. Meanwhile, if you prepare the requisite time and choose carefully, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor securely and with diminished stress. Here’s how.

With this in mind, as someone between the ages of 18 and 40, it is reasonable to expect you to be able to find employment in the neighborhood of $3,500 a month after taxes.

Whether it takes working at a fast food joint until you’ve become a manager, opening up your own store, starting a landscaping company, working in construction, climbing the ladder at a department store, or what-have-you, provided you are healthy and willing to work, you can get to $3,500 a month within five years.

The key is the will to succeed.

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Desirable Ratios

 

Try to spend a fifth of what you make back due to upgrade; that’s a pretty secure property investment advice. You might have to take out a few loans, but if you’re careful, you could very realistically sustain annual $10k appreciation over five to seven years after expenses.

And this is all on a $2.5k/month salary. In fact, if you’re frugal, you can maintain your residence for $1k a month, or thereabouts. Call it $1.2k to be safe and include an average ballpark figure. That leaves you with $1.3k for discretionary purposes, like food, gas, vehicular maintenance, insurance, etc.

It’s not unreasonable to assume that you could get by with $1,000 in savings should you have no loans from college or anything weighing you down, and a strategically frugal approach toward a perpetual minimization of recurring expenses.

Still, even in the situation of collegiate debt, you could just use any free cash to pay off your college loans, then finish the job when you sell the property and still have a couple hundred thousand to sink into something else.

 

A Conservative Estimate

 

If you’re pulling in $3.5k a month, that’s $42k a year. Let’s go even less than that. Let’s assume you’re pulling in $30k a year, but want a fine property.

For reference, $30k a year is $2,500 a month (after taxes). Let’s assume you’re 23 years old.

You get a mortgage—you may need someone to sign on with you; a parent or other more financially sound individual is recommendable. There are many ways to go about this. At any rate, the mortgage you get is on a property worth $200k.

You want it to be zoned such that it can be sublet, and you want to sublet it between four people (yourself included) at the rate of $3,333k/month—all of which goes to the mortgage. To clarify, that’s $833.33 per renter, yourself included.

This means for a thousand bucks per person, you get a run of a full house with full facilities—a backyard, a driveway; the works.

Depending on where you buy, you may have more. If you can room with three others who work digitally from laptops, you can buy some cheap properties with extensive amenities in communities who have experienced housing crises like Detroit.

Within between five and seven years’ time—depending on the interest inhering to your mortgage—you’ll have the $200k property paid off free and clear. Now you can sell it, and flip that money into the home you’ve been looking for.

 

Considerations

 

One thing to be careful of in the subletting process is those who you choose to work with. If you’re subletting your property, you don’t want your renters to act as subletters themselves.

First, figure out your budget, then strategize from there.

Establish a financial baseline for buying your first home and never dip below it. In fact, float yourself above it as much as is possible.

Also, if you want to double down on the value you get through this strategy, you want to  upgrade property value. Install a bar in the basement, put in a hot tub, landscape the backyard, add night lighting and a fence, or take down a fence.

Put in new trees and bushes, ensure the grass is green. Paint the home, fix what’s broken and install new appliances as you can.

Have you considered sustainable energy solutions? These increase property value while saving you money. If you’re savvy about where you purchase—because this will affect what you can sell for—you may be able to add some tenable value to your property.

So refurbish the whole thing and put in $5k worth of solar panels you install yourself. If you’re strategic about the property you buy, where you buy it, how you refurbish it, and who you sublet to, you can turn a $200k property into a $250k to $300k property inside six or seven years.

 

A Realistic Aspiration

 

Hypothetically, if you made $2.5k a month, and could budget things tightly enough to afford your regular living as a single individual at around $1.5k a month, you can save $12k a year, or $60k over five years. In seven years, you’re at $84k. If you can upgrade value at $10k a year, you could conceivably come away with $354k in buying power.

If you start this plan at 23, between the ages of 28 and 30 you can be financially free and in full possession of your own home. If you can sustain a job that requires no fixed location, the world is your oyster—and with the internet, that’s an increasing possibility.

 

Five Creative Ways to Give Cash as a Gift

Five Creative Ways to Give Cash as a Gift

Cash is easier than ever to send, even to friends and family who live in a different country. Whether you want to mail an insured package or you decide you want to use a money transfer service, there’s no reason not to acknowledge important birthdays, anniversaries, and events.

It’s true that money is always an appreciated gift, but that doesn’t mean it’s very memorable or meaningful. That’s definitely true if you just slip a $20 bill in an envelope, but with these ideas, the gift of money can be just as meaningful as an expensive present you picked out all by yourself.

Hide Some Cash in an Umbrella for a Rainy Day

This is the perfect gag-turned-real-gift idea for anyone who wants to give money as a gift. Hang bills of any denomination on individual strings inside the umbrella so it hangs down like rain when it’s opened.

When it’s closed, it looks just like a regular umbrella. The recipient will think you gave them the most unthoughtful gift ever, until you tell them to open it!

Fold Money Using Origami Techniques

Origami has been around for hundreds of years, so it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of techniques for folding money. A few designs include:

  • Hearts
  • Fortune cookies
  • Clothing, like dresses, shirts, and pants
  • Animals, like an elephant
  • And more

Disguise It as Something Else

Money is an appreciated gift, but the recipient isn’t likely to spend a lot of time looking at it. Disguise it as something else and you can make sure they spend plenty of time on your gift.

One example is to modify a tissue box by removing the tissues and taping cash together so it can be pulled from the box. You can hide money inside a Pez dispenser, inside a chocolate box, or even inside a pizza box!

Hide Cash in Party Balloons

Balloons are a must at any celebration, so why not make them do double duty by hiding cash inside them!

You can turn it into a fun game where guests who pop the balloons get to keep the cash inside, or you can simply bring over a handful of floating balloons and ask the recipient to pop them at some point during the get together.

Mini Rolled up Money Diplomas Are Perfect for Graduates

Graduation is the perfect time to hand out a little cash. It usually gets stuffed into greeting cards, but why not roll up bills as mini diplomas instead!

Roll up multiple bills of different sizes and place them in a jar. For an even more creative gift, top the jar with a graduation cap.

Giving money doesn’t have to be boring, and it definitely doesn’t have to be less meaningful than other gifts at the party. Not when you give one of these fun ideas a try! Not only will the recipient get the money they want, they’ll remember your gift because you presented it in such a unique way.