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January 12, 2019

Borrowing money when you’re retired – Knowing your options

retirement money needThere are several retirees who are of the opinion that they won’t be able to obtain a loan just because they don’t get a salary any longer. Although it is true that it can be tougher to qualify for loans during retirement, yet it is not at all impossible. You must have been saving in your retirement accounts like your Roth IRA or 401(k) accounts but something that you should avoid is borrowing from these accounts. This can have an adverse impact on your savings and also on the income that you fall back on during your retirement. There are several kinds of online loans and offline ones which can save you from a financial setback even during retirement. Read on to know more on this.

Borrowing during retirement – How do you qualify?

When you’re self-funded, lenders will typically decide the monthly income utilizing 2 different procedures which are as follows:

  • Asset depletion: In this technique, the lender will subtract the down payment from the entire and sum total of the value of your fiscal assets and then take 70% of the remainder amount and then divide by 360 months.
  • Drawdown of assets: The regular monthly amount that you withdraw from your retirement accounts in the form of income will be taken into account.

Retiree loan borrowing options

Secured loans are still easier to borrow as you can set collateral against the loan but as long as unsecured loans are concerned, they’re tough for a retiree to borrow as there is no collateral to assure timely payment and hence the interest rates will also be pretty high. Here are few loan options combining secured and unsecured.

MORTGAGE LOAN

The most common kind of secured loan is definitely a home loan which carries your home as collateral. However, the income of the retiree is a major setback, more so when most of your income comes from savings or investment earnings.

CASH-OUT REFINANCE LOAN

When you refinance your existing loan with an amount that is more than what you owe and less than the value of your home, this is called cash-out refinance loan. The extra amount that you make is the secured cash loan. This will also extend the time that it take to repay your mortgage loan.

DEBT CONSOLIDATION LOAN

As the name suggests, a debt consolidation loan is only designed to consolidate debt. It is more like refinancing your current debt. This will mean paying off the debt throughout a longer period of time with lower payments. The new interest rate that you pay may be lower than your present rate or may not be.

PAYDAY LOANS

Anyone including retirees can qualify for unsecured short term loans like payday loans. You may check out websites like www.PaydayMe.com to get short term loans during an emergency when you’re sure that money will come in again with which you can repay the existing payday loan on time.

Therefore, when you’re a retiree who is thinking of ways in which you can fund your emergencies, you can take into account the above mentioned options.

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December 18, 2018

Own a Home, Not a Mortgage

time for no mortgageOwning a home is one of the biggest dreams of almost every adult, especially when they have a family. Mortgage arrangements come in handy to make this desire a reality. Nevertheless, homeowners are left with another big question on their minds: What strategies can I employ to pay off my mortgage as quickly as possible? Well, it is natural to want to be free of any debt commitments, and to know that you own your home and that no one has a claim on it. This is because owning a home will allow you to work on other financial goals, like saving for retirement, saving for your children’s education, and so on.

Paying off your mortgage in a shorter period is not too difficult or unachievable, but it calls for slight adjustments in your payment plan, or changing a few things in your mortgage terms. Here are some things you can do:

Increase the frequency of your regular repayments

The normal terms are monthly payments, but you can choose bi-weekly or weekly payments. Such an arrangement will significantly enable you to save on interest and it will set you free from mortgage sooner than if you only do it monthly. The goal is to make more monthly payments each year without realizing it.

Go for the shortest amortization period and the biggest repayment amount you can afford

Opting for a larger monthly payment, which means it will be paid off quicker, will cause you to consider it as a budget item, thereby shaving several years off your mortgage. While still clearing out your mortgage, a good and consistent mortgage repayment history will enhance your credit score, because mortgage is one of the trade lines (credit accounts) that contributes to your score. You can work with experts to boost your credit score to access more credit at better rates. You need not look further than https://www.boostcredit101.com/ to boost your score and find more advice.

Increase your monthly payment amount when possible

If you have had a mortgage for some time, you have most likely set a plan to make uniform payments each month. It is time you consider increasing the amount, if you can manage. Additionally, if you have experienced an increase in your income, be it from a new job, a pay raise, or any other source, it would be prudent to increase your mortgage payment with the increased income.

Pay lump sum amounts

Mortgage arrangements come with some privileges or additional options that the borrower can use to their advantage. For example, any chance to make lump sum payments should be utilized, especially an annual lump sum payment, against the mortgage. Based on the options you choose for your mortgage, you can pay amounts equal to 10%, 15%, or 20% of the initial principal figure of your mortgage at any time for each year of the mortgage term.

Diversify your mortgage

You need to weigh the various options and choose the mortgage arrangement that offers savings and flexibility.

Conclusion

It is such a relief to pay off your mortgage as fast as possible; thus, you need to work out how to save on other things and repay your mortgage in larger, more frequent payments. Also, you should do lump sum payments when possible.

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December 10, 2018

Avoid surprises with Your Medicare Benefits – What’s not covered

health coverageWhen people turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare, they are sometimes surprised to learn that Medicare doesn’t cover all of their healthcare expenses and services.

On average, Medicare covers around 80% of your inpatient and outpatient services. There are also some items which are not covered by Medicare at all.

Learning what Medicare covers ahead of time will certainly help you not to experience any unwelcome surprises. doesn’t cover will help you be better prepared for your enrollment ahead of time.

Items That Medicare Doesn’t Cover

When Medicare was first rolled out in the 1960’s, it was designed to cover hospital services and medical services. There are several things that fall outside of these that are not covered by Medicare at all.

These include routine dental, vision, hearing and foot care. Original Medicare also does not cover cosmetic surgery, most medical care in foreign countries, or long-term care like nursing home or assisted living facility care.

Medicare also did not cover any outpatient prescription drugs for many years. However, in 2006, Congress rolled out a voluntary program to help with outpatient medication expenses called Medicare Part D.

For many years, Medicare didn’t cover preventive care, but in 2010 this was changed and now Medicare offers an annual physical as well as a number of other preventive care procedures.

Fortunately, there are also many individual insurance policies on the private marketplace to help with some of the other items, such as dental, vision and hearing insurance or long-term care insurance.

Covering the Gaps

We mentioned that Medicare covers only about 80% of your medical expenses. You pay the rest in the form of deductibles, coinsurance, and copays.

You can purchase insurance coverage that helps you to pay these expenses when they arise. There are two primary types of additional coverage that you can choose.

You can choose to enroll in a Medigap plan or you can opt to get your Original Medicare benefits through a private insurance program instead, called a Medicare Advantage plan.

Medigap plans are sometimes called Medicare supplements. These plans pay after Medicare first pays its share. The plans help to cover the deductibles, copays, and coinsuranceon your behalf. There are ten standardized plans to choose from in most states, and there are several plan options provide a foreign travel emergency benefit up to $50,000 as well.

You can use your Medigap plan at any Medicare provider nationwide and you never need to get a referral.

Medicare Advantage plans are also called Medicare Part C plans. These private insurance plans typically involve treating with the plan’s network of providers. Typical networks include HMO-style networks where you must choose a primary care doctor or PPO networks where you can see any doctor in the network and even treat outside the network at additional costs.

You will pay copays for various medical services as you go along, and these expectations will be outlined in the plan’s Evidence of Coverage booklet.

Part C Medicare Advantage plans can also build in some extras that Original Medicare doesn’t usually cover, such asdental care, vision exams, and eyeglasses, hearing aids, and even gym memberships. Each plan must cover all of the same medical services as Original Medicare, but how you pay for your share of these services is different. Approximately 30% of Medicare beneficiaries enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.

Prepare Ahead of Time

Though Medicare isn’t free, you can work with a financial planner or Medicare insurance broker to estimate your costs for Medicare ahead of time. This will help you avoid any unwelcome financial surprises and also help you to fully understand how your coverage will operate.

Danielle Roberts is the co-founder at Boomer Benefits, where she and her team help new Medicare beneficiaries to learn about their coverage and benefits. You can visit her website to learn more about your eligibility for Medicare.

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October 3, 2018

How you can invest in an appropriate term insurance

term insurance coverageYou can get an unexpected happiness or some sudden mishaps in life can lead to never-ending grief and sadness, one can never be sure. In the unfortunate events like the untimely death of an individual who is the bread earner and head of the family, everything seems to be so scattered and hard to manage for the rest of the family. Term insurance is one of the insurance that can be availed for a certain period of time. Term insurance helps the family of the policyholder to meet the various financial needs like education of a family member, household expense and etc in absence of the policyholder. With the assistance of Term Insurance plan, a family of policyholder can maintain their lifestyle and do not need to beg other people in this world of inflation. There are many benefits of term insurance cover. The coverage of term insurance plan also differs from one plan to another, so one need to be aware of his/her various expectations and requirements from the term insurance while buying a term insurance policy.

Term Insurance Policy-

There are different types of term insurance plans like Standard Term Life insurance Plans, Term Return of premium plans, Group term insurance plan, Term insurance plan by number of years, Decreasing and Increasing term Insurance Plans, Convertible Term insurance plans, Single life and joint life term insurance plans, Offline and online term insurance plans in India. One can choose one term insurance plan as per the age, tenure, cover requirements, tenure and premium amount. Various companies offer a wide range of Term insurance policies in the market but, you should read terms and conditions and understand different types of term insurance policy before buying any.

Even to enhance the beauty of term insurance plans, there are various additional riders that can be enjoyed by the customer at a little more premium amount such as Critical Illness Rider, Total and Permanent Disability Benefit Rider, Accidental Death Benefit Rider, Hospital Cash Rider, Waiver of Premium Rider and etc. Riders can play a vital role in protecting our money if choose wisely.

Pointers to look for the best insurer-

There are various factors that one needs to check before getting a term insurance plan and some of the pointers are as follows –

1. Claim Settlement Ratio – This is the most important pointer. The number of claims settled against the total claims received by the insurer. An insurer with the highest claim ratio is more preferred than other. One can find this data in the annual report that is published by IRDAI for each life insurer.

2. Featured products – it is not necessary that all insurers offer all insurance products. One need to keep an eye on the various products featured by the insurer and filter which insurance policy is actually needed.

3. Customer service quality – Valuing a customer is the most important pointer. A number of queries resolved against the total reported complaints/ queries show the mirror to the customer handling status of any insurer.

Objective –

Right from shoes to clothes we want to give our family the best we could afford. Term insurance is the best thing that you can do for your family, as it offers Maximum cover in minimum investment. The main motive of a term insurance is to help an individual’s family to meet their regular expenses and normal lifestyle in their absence during all future needs. Ideal term insurance helps an individual to wave a web to cover all necessity of his/her family. Eventually, it is your responsibility to prepare you and your family to face any unforeseen event. Don’t wait, use an online insurance web aggregator like PolicyX.com, compare quotes on the basis of benefits, premium, cover and choose the right one accordingly.

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October 2, 2018

DIY Investing with Peer to Peer Loans

another loan optionAre you a hands-on investor who enjoys evaluating investment opportunities and finding a diamond in the rough? If so you may want to consider investing in peer to peer lending. As a peer to peer lender you have the opportunity to review individual borrower applications and select the ones that you think are going to repay their loans.

What is Peer to Peer Lending?

For those of you not familiar with peer to peer lending (also know as P2P lending), let’s take a moment for a quick introduction. In the past ten years several websites (known as platforms) like LendingClub and Prosper have sprung up offering personal loans to individuals. This is certainly not unique but what makes them different is that they are not banks or financial institutions in the traditional sense. These websites get funding for the loans they provide from individual investors in amounts as small as $2,500. In a sense, anyone can be a banker with just a small amount of money. The signup process is quick and easy, and as soon as you transfer the funds you can start investing.

How Do You Invest in Peer to Peer Loans?

The process for P2P lending investing is pretty simple. Once you have opened and funded your account you will be able to see all of the loan applications that the platform has approved. These loan applications have been evaluated based on industry standard underwriting techniques and many are rejected. The ones that are approved are rated and the highest rated borrowers get the lowest interest rates.

Lenders review the approved loan applications and decide which loans they would like to invest in based on their comfort level with risk and their desired return. Investment in a loan can be as little as $25 and most experts recommend investing the minimum amount and spreading your portfolio over as many loans as possible in order to minimize risk through diversification. This is where you get to Do-It-Yourself. The platform provides dozens of pieces of information from the loan application and the borrower’s credit history. You get to determine which factors matter, how much to weigh them and what a good borrower profile looks like. To some people this may sound boring and tedious but for many investing junkies this is the fun part. You can look at data like length of employment, debt-to-income ratio, home ownership vs. renting, late payments, outstanding debt, bankruptcies and so much more.

There are a limited number of filters available on the platforms that allow you to quickly find loans that meet certain criteria, then you can review them in the more detail individually. Or, for the really hardcore investment analysis junkies, the information for all available loans can be downloaded to a spreadsheet for study and review. There are approximately 50 to 250 loans available at any given time and there are approximately 80 pieces of information available so, as you can imagine, this can be an enormous amount of data to review. However, with some simple sorting and filtering in your spreadsheet you can pretty easily identify the loans that meet your criteria.

There is also room for intuition and past experience in the analysis process. There may be more loans that meet your criteria than you have funds to invest. Ultimately, you may have to ‘go with your gut’ in order to select the loan or loans that you think are most likely to be paid back.

For those who want passive income or do not feel they are savvy enough to select quality loans there is also an auto invest feature that will choose the loans for you based on your desired risk/return level. But for the investment analysis enthusiast the DIY approach is the way to do. All in all, this can be a fun way to achieve a great return on your investment.

Cody Smith is the founder of PeerLoanAdvisor.com which provides information and advice to peer to peer lending investors.

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