Tips For Buying Property Abroad

Buying property overseas is not just for the rich and famous. It has real financial benefits for the average American too - as a long term investment option, part of your retirement plans or simply as a chance to live abroad and sample what the rest of the world has to offer outside of the USA. 

If you are considering buying abroad then there are a few things that need to be considered. First of all there are many legal and economic qualifications you need to understand about living and working in another country that might have an impact on how you choose to buy your overseas property.

Then there is the tax question.  For more information and advice on how your tax might be affected if you move outside the USA visit here.

Once you have done your research and you are ready to make the leap and buy a house overseas here are the necessary steps you should take to ensure you protect your investment and exchange contracts without falling foul. 

1) Thoroughly investigate the market; global real estate markets do sometimes follow the same trends but what is more common is for individual markets to go up or down independently depending on outside factors determined by the country’s other political of financial systems. Therefore before you start your property search abroad you should get a feel for where is going to be the right place to put your money. This is of course assuming you are not moving for employment or family reasons where you will be limited to a choice; however if you are looking purely for investment or for an exciting change it pays to look at lots of different areas and compare their potential for growth and income. Don’t limit your research to the real estate market either - you should also consider the country itself in terms of how stable it is, it’s ability to support foreign investment and whether it would be a nice place to live - culture, weather and safety are all important issues to add to your search criteria.

Tips For Buying Property Abroad

2) Limitations; once you have a country/ies in mind then you need to understand and preventions or limitation to buying real estate by foreigners in that area.  If you don’t have a legal right to buy then there is no point continuing with your search as you could end up handing over cash for a property that you will never be able to own. 

3) Find a real estate attorney; you may now think you know all there is to know about the country you are buying in but when it comes to legal and financial transactions it is vital you have an independent professional on your side. A real estate attorney doesn’t just ensure that the paperwork is correct they are there to check out the local housing market, spot challenges and potential problems before you even make an offer, understand the currency exchange and what paperwork actually needs to be filed for that particular legal system - and a whole lot more. Dealing with a foreign process in a foreign language is asking for mistakes to be made. If you can’t afford an attorney you can’t really afford to buy abroad.  

4) Make sure it all adds up; with your attorney onboard now is the time to start looking at your budget and working out just how much you have to play with. Don’t overstretch yourself because there is less protection in certain countries and you could find yourself losing your home very quickly.  If you are planning on finding a home loan then you will need to either find a local bank who is willing to lend against an overseas property or venture into the realms of foreign borrowing. If you are looking at countries like the UK, Europe, China or Australia you will probably find it easy to negotiate local lending solutions. However some countries this will now be an option and you will need to find financing options from elsewhere. Your attorney can help navigate this issue. Even if you are planning to finance your investment yourself then there are still consideration to make in terms of the final numbers including factoring in legal expenses and any other expenses determined by the country’s property system.  You may also find restrictions on overseas property ownership which all need to be understood before you can even start looking at suitable properties. 

5) Beware exchange rate movements; exchange rates do not need to fluctuate by much to substantially change the value of your purchase. If you start looking at houses within your budget and there is a 10% drop in the value of the dollar against the seller’s currency for instance then this could suddenly put the house outside of your budget. If you have already signed contracts this could be a real issue and one that you will want to avoid at all costs by understanding your budget in both currency terms. A fluctuation in currency will also affect the cost of your mortgage particularly if you are still earning your income in the US. A foreign exchange specialist can help with all of these issues and is another key member of your team when looking to purchase abroad. 

6) Only use the professionals; unlike buying property at home there are very few guarantees for property sales abroad because of the different legal systems in which you are operating.  This is another reason for employing a real estate attorney with international investment experience as they will understand this and will do everything they can to minimize your risk. Using a professional agent is also a must as this will allow you to ask the right questions. You probably know a which developer or bank has a good reputation locally but how can you be sure that the person or people you are buying from abroad has the same consideration for quality and customer service. A professional agent will not only get the information needed on the property you are buying but also the company that is selling it so that you can be a little more reassured that your money is in safe hands. 

7) Find the property that’s right; once you have your team in place and you are ready to start searching potential properties.  This can be an incredibly exciting time and one of the highlights of the whole process. It can also be one of the more challenging aspects as you are suddenly faced with the reality of trying to find a property in a country where you don’t speak the language and where there may not be the well organized process of posting property for sale as you are used to in the US. Often you will need someone on the ground to find suitable houses for you to stop fruitless trips to see properties that don’t match your criteria or may not even be on the market. Likewise someone on the ground can alert you to a property that is for sale but that hasn’t made it on the list of the limited number of agents that act in that area. Then you have other barriers such as language and even timing of appointments. If you are buying in India for instance don’t expect viewing appointments to run anywhere near to time, which can be very frustrating. If you approach the process with a sense of humor and discovery however you will get through it and once you have found the right property you are then ready to move on to close the deal.

8) Have your documents translated; once you have made an offer on your property you are likely to receive a lot of paperwork and this might be more than confusing if it is in another language. Before signing any legal document or in fact any document relating to the sale make sure you have them professionally translated so that you can understand what is being asked of you, what to expect in the transaction and how your money is going to be transferred and protected during the process. If you sign without full understanding you could become liable under law for whatever the document asks even if you disagree with the content.

9) Moving on; when you finally exchange contracts and the property is yours you then need to decide how you are going to protect it and what you are going to do with it.  If you are going to live there it is a slightly more straight forward case of moving. If you plan to rent the property out however then you will need the support of a local agent to ensure your property is being marketed and managed properly. 

10) Where there are rewards, there are risks; finally buying a property abroad has lots of rewards. A better and cheaper lifestyle, the chance to significantly increase your investment or provide a nice income on your retirement. However it comes with substantial risks too. Ensure you are looking at both sides of the coin when making your investment choices. Being aware of all the facts and having contingency plans if things don’t quite work out will save a whole lot of pain after the fact. 

Stay Debt Free For Life

You might think that people who end up in debt aren’t like you. Ah their financial situation was always poor, and they probably lived on an extremely limited income, you say. Or, maybe you think that people who end up in debt are frivolous, constantly spending money that they can’t have and can’t afford. But actually, none of these things are true. 

While it’s possible to end up in debt due to a limited income a lot of people find themselves facing heavy unpaid loans even when they have an average salary. And, people who do end up in debt don’t necessarily get there because of silly purchases that they could have avoided. They are situations where they had no choice but to spend money that they didn’t have. An example of this would be medical bills. You can’t choose whether you pay medical bills. If you need treatment, you have to pay the price and medical bills can be insanely expensive. They can cost anywhere up to five hundred thousand if you need surgery. 

Stay Debt Free For Life

In fact, most people end up in debt due to some fairly basic mistakes. Mistakes, that, if avoided, can keep you debt free for life. 

Borrowing From The Wrong Source

If you search online right now for ‘borrow holiday money’ you’re going to find a lot of websites offering this possibility. They’ll lend you upwards of five thousand grand so that you can go on holiday this year. Just think about how attractive that idea is for a moment. You don’t have to spend months saving, you don’t have to worry about whether you raise enough money. Instead, you can take out the money and head off on your trip next week. 

Of course, there’s a catch with options like this. Before you have even arrived back from your holiday, you’ll owe a lot more money than you borrowed. This will be due to the obscene levels of interest that lenders like this charge. On top of that, you might find more unexpected bills such as late payment fees and even referencing charges. They might charge you for credit checks that in all likelihood, they completely ignored. 

Companies like this are often referred to as debt traps. Think of them like Venus fly traps. They look attractive, tantalizing even and as soon as you land, snap! They look you down and never let go. They debt they cause will consume you, and it only gets worse from there. These companies often employ debt collectors who have a very flimsy understanding of the law on collections. 

People borrow for a variety of reasons. One of the most common is to pay medical bills. However, another option would be to make sure someone else pays them for you. For instance, you might have been injured by someone else and if that’s the case they should pay your bills. You can see Bradford Legal for details on how this works or check out a similar company. Or alternatively, you can just make sure you have enough money in your account to pay the bills yourself. 

No Savings Needed

You should be saving at least a quarter of your paycheck per month. That’s just to make sure that you have a decent quality of life when you retire. The chances are you won’t have all that money left when you retire though because it should also be used for emergencies. Hopefully, this ensures that if you do need money, you don’t need to take out a loan. Instead, you can borrow from your own savings and that way, avoid the issues with interest. You just need to make sure that you do pay yourself back for however much you needed to spend. 

The problem is that many people find saving quite difficult. They have too many bills to pay and can’t afford to save on top of that. Or they can only save a tiny amount and don’t see the point so instead spend it on things that they want. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s possible that you’re not being honest with yourself. You must treat saving like a tax. It needs to be paid every month and should come as a top priority. You can start with a fairly small amount, something like fifty dollars a month. Squeeze that into your budget and then work to build it up. 

If you’re struggling to save perhaps, it’s time to think about boosting your income. This doesn’t necessarily mean taking on another job or quitting your current career. Instead, you should look for ways to set up a second income. That way, you can make more money on the side and dramatically boost your saving possibilities. There are lots of side job options that you can take up in your spare time. For instance, you can think about working online. 

You might want to try blogging. If you set up a blog, it can be a great way to earn a little extra cash and put some additional funds in your hands. 

Living Beyond Your Means

Many people make the mistake of living right on the edge of their finances. If you do this, you probably have a couple of dollars left in your account just before you get paid. You’re pushing your income as far as it will go and this is a mistake. It’s probably because you’re living beyond what you can really afford. For instance, you might be living in a larger home then you should. Or, you could be driving around a car that costs a fortune in insurance. You get the idea, it’s not a smart move to spend all your paycheck. 

So, if you do live in a large house, you might want to consider downsizing. This is going to free up a lot of your money that you can immediately put in savings and fall back on during difficult times. For instance, wouldn’t it be wonderful if when you were made redundant, you had upwards of a hundred thousand in your account to rely on while you searched for another job? This is how some people avoid debt while others fall into it. In short, you need to be a little more frugal with your spending and except a lifestyle underneath what you can actually afford. You may not take as many holidays as you like or buy the latest tech. But you also won’t be dragged under by debt. 

Avoid these simple mistakes, and you can spend your entire life completely debt free!

Universal Tips For A Brighter Financial Future

Obviously, you want to ensure the brightest financial future possible for you and your loved ones. That’s why you wound up on this blog, right? With all the different media channels we’re exposed to these days, you’re probably hearing all kinds of conflicting advice, and may be feeling pretty lost as to what you should actually be doing. Whether you’re up to your nose in credit problems or simply want to grow your existing wealth, here are a few universal tips to ensuring a brighter financial future…

Educational Planning Should Begin at Birth

All too often, parents put off thinking about their children’s further education expenses when it’s way too late – usually when the kid is only a year or two away from going off to college. Around this point, the compounding and tax advantages of a typical 529 college savings plan can be greatly diminished, and the imminent expenses are likely to be paid using any remaining cash flow, or by racking up a lot of debt. The cost of going to college is always on the up, usually a few points over inflation. As soon as your child is born, you should be taking steps to plan for their further education. The earlier you start, the longer you’ll have to watch your savings grow and compound.

Learn to Play the Markets

Learn to Play the Markets

If there’s one thing that anyone looking to ensure a bright financial future should do, it’s learning something about trading securities on the stock exchange and other financial markets. Though this is a pretty challenging learning curve in any niche, if you take a proactive and generally positive attitude to it, you can go from just finding your feet to knowing how to make millions with penny stocks in a relatively short space of time. Don’t jump right into it straight away, as you’ll only wind up burning yourself through inexperience. Instead, spend a long time researching the different markets and getting familiar with how they morph and fluctuate. Learn about stock valuation, different kinds of common triggering events, how human decisions and errors cause securities to go up and down, and the best time to buy and sell different shares of different companies. Then, make a point to learn as you go, and watch your capital swell!

Outsource your Taxes

Unless you have a thorough understanding of the complex tax system we live with, it’s generally not a good idea to crunch through your own income taxes by yourself. Sure, you may save some money by foregoing accountancy services, but you could wind up worse off in the long run simply from not being clued up on all the credits and deductions you may be entitled to. Sure, there’s a lot of advice and software out there that can help you, but nothing can beat the years of knowledge and experience which you can leverage through a professional accountant. The next time you’re chewing over your taxes, don’t put your money at risk by doing it all yourself!

Make Credit Card Problems Disappear

We all know how easy it can be to get into trouble when it comes to credit card debts. They can spiral out of control while we’re not paying attention. Before long, we’re in a position where it’s impossible to cover the minimum payments. That’s a real pain because if you don’t deal with the issue, debt collectors will soon start sending letters to your home. For that reason, you should never let the situation deteriorate to that stage. Instead, you should look for solutions that would assist you in getting back on track. Use the suggestions on this page as your starting point for further research. 

Credit Card debt

Sell pensions or structured settlements

Depending on your age, you might be in the position to sell your pension scheme. There are specialists you can contact who will determine if that concept is appropriate for you. In some instances, you can also part with structured settlements you might have received from a court case. Again, you just have to perform some research and contact the right companies. Reading a JMW Settlements structured settlement review could help you to understand the process. Both of those ideas will enable you to receive a lump sum of cash. You can then use that money to cover your credit card debt. 

Downsize your property

If you’re a homeowner, you might consider selling your home and downsizing. That is a fantastic solution if you’ve paid the mortgage for many years. You could end up with hundreds of thousands of dollars in your account. You can then invest that money in a smaller property after paying your credit card debt. It might seem like an extreme move, but it isn’t. At the end of the day, the courts could force you to sell if you don’t solve your financial issues. So, it’s better to beat them to the mark and start the process ahead of time. With a bit of luck, you could cover your debt long before collectors get involved. 

Get a consolidation loan

In many instances, working people can apply for a consolidation loan to cover their debts. That means you lump all your obligations together into one affordable monthly payment. While the companies that facilitate that process will add charges, it’s often the best option on the table. You get to continue your life without worry, and your creditors get their money. Of course, if you default on the repayments, you will probably lose everything. So, you need to consider all the pros and cons before making any agreements. 

Those three ideas should help to point you in the right direction when it comes to settling credit card arrears. On top of that advice, you also need to ensure you keep your creditors in the loop. If you stop communicating with them, they could sell the debt to a collector in a matter of weeks. If you make sure they’re always informed, that shouldn’t happen. It’s in their interests to work with you because they will never get the full amount if they pass the debt to collection agencies.

Financial Market Trading: Globalisation’s Impact on the World's Financial Markets

“Finally, I think we believe that when we see an opportunity, we have the duty to work for the growth of that international community of knowledge and understanding with our colleagues in other lands [...] We think of this as our contribution to the making of a world which is varied and cherishes variety, which is free and cherishes freedom, and which is freely changing to adapt to the inevitable needs of change in the twentieth century and all centuries to come” –  J. Robert Oppenheimer, The Flying Trapeze: Three Crises For Physicists

What is globalisation, and how will it impact our ability to trade successfully on the world's financial markets? There is much talk of both the positive and adverse impact of globalism and its associated geopolitical and socio-economic events on the growth of the international community and, by inference, the financial market system

Globalisation and its history

Before we look at how global events affect the world’s financial markets, let’s ensure that we have a clear understanding of what globalisation is.

global market

In a nutshell, globalisation is "the worldwide movement toward economic, financial, trade, and communications integration... [It] implies the opening of local and nationalistic perspectives to a broader outlook of an interconnected and interdependent world with free transfer of capital, goods, and services across national frontiers."

It is easy to assume that globalisation arose as part and parcel of the Information Age with high-speed Internet connections as well as easy access to businesses and people all over the globe. However, globalisation is not new. People have been buying from and selling to each other from as early back as the Middle Ages. Trade routes such as the Silk Road traversed Central Asia connecting China and Europe. Similarly, people have been investing in overseas companies for thousands of years. 

Globalisation and the World’s Financial Markets 

According to Michael D. Bordo in his paper titled “The Globalisation of International Financial Markets: What Can History Teach Us”, “globalisation has become the buzz word of the new millennium. It is viewed as the cause of many of the world’s problems as well as a panacea.” Until a couple of years ago, the benefits of open capital markets included: “optimal international resource allocation; inter-temporal optimisation; international portfolio diversification and discipline on policy makers.” 

Unfortunately, with good cause, the prevailing viewpoint has swung from the positive to the negative. The ongoing global crises such as Brexit, the Arab Spring and continued civil war in Syria, Grexit, the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the USA, etc. have all contributed, and continue to contribute to the current financial market volatility and instability. 

Surviving the negatives of globalisation

To the uninitiated, and the expert pundit to a certain extent, it seems as though we never know what global events have taken place overnight and how the markets will react to them when we wake up in the morning. Consequently, this has led and continues to result in a certain amount of investor uncertainty, which in itself results in more market insecurity. 

Consequently, I believe that all of the above content begs the question, how do we make a success of trading on the global financial markets? The good news is that there are a few simple tips, which, when enacted correctly, will help us trade successfully on any one of the world's financial markets: 

Constant trading strategy revision

When the financial markets are volatile and unstable, it’s important to consider a short-term trading strategy such as day-trading. In a nutshell, day-traders make sure that all of their trading positions are closed by the end of each business day. They do not leave any trades open overnight; therefore, they do not wake up the next morning to any nasty surprises.

Online trading partner

Furthermore, it is critical that we select our online trading broker with care. It is vital that we do not leave anything to chance. On the one hand, if we choose a reputable trading partner such as Lionexo, we are guaranteed a greater chance of trading success. However, if we select the first broker we come across, we are opening ourselves to the risk of losing our entire investment.

Final words 

I believe that globalisation has both advantages and disadvantages. We have greater access to the world’s markets; ergo, more excellent opportunities. However, on the flip side, there is a greater responsibility to make sure that we trade with foresight, knowledge, and wisdom.

Don't Go It Alone: Expert Wisdom When You Need It Most

Money is something that many people struggle with for most of their lives. If you are such an individual, you will know how stressful it can be to try and make the most of your finances only to fail repeatedly. More often than not, this simply means that you don’t have the kind of expert advice on board that you could probably do with. The fact is, there are certain times when it really helps to have professional wisdom behind you, so that you have a better idea of what you are actually meant to be doing. In this article, we are going to take a look at a few examples of when this might be necessary, so that you can prepare for those scenarios as best as possible.

personal finance

When You Get Your First Job

Although it might not seem like a particularly pertinent point, the truth is that seeking financial advice when you get your first job is probably a powerfully good idea. There are many reasons why this might be so, but above all they will be able to advise you how to best start saving hat you can so that you can think about your future. Speaking of thinking ahead, they might also want to take a look at your retirement and pension plans, so that you can be sure you are on the best possible plan. It is also possible that your employer is not paying everything they need to be paying, so this is a good opportunity to double check that they are holding up their end of the bargain. On top of all that, your financial advisor might even be able to give you tips on how to best make use of the sudden influx of cash. This is also a good time to speak to a careers advisor. They will be able to help you with finding the best route for you personally, so that you can ensure that your career is as flawless as possible. Obviously, this has a profound effect on your financial future, so this is a powerful thing to do.

When You Get Married

Marriage is a time when you really need to think about your finances and how they fit in with your partner’s. You will need to start thinking about to what degree you want to share your finances, and during that process it can be a huge help if you have some legal and financial assistance as well. On top of all that, there are some particularly difficult decisions to make, such as whether you are going to get a prenuptial or not. Having some extra help with these decisions can sometimes help to take some of the pressure off, and you might find that it is a huge weight off your chest that way. Of course, you will want to ensure that you hire someone whom you can trust to discuss such personal matters with, and it needs to be someone that both of you feel able to talk to easily. If you include a third party in this way, you will probably find that you are less likely to make any emotional mistakes, and that will make a huge difference to your finances on the whole.


When You Are Injured

Injuries can be caused by all sorts of occasions and events, and no matter how it happens it is often a time to think financially. The last thing you want is to have to deal with mounting medical bills, so ensuring that you have some financial help on board can really take a lot of the strain off. Of course, this is not the only way in which you might need some professional advice at this particular juncture. If you have been injured at work, or in a way which wasn’t your own fault, then you might want to also consider contacting a personal injury lawyer like John Medler. They will be able to help you ensure that you get everything you are entitled to, however much that might be, and that will help in turn to make the most of a bad situation. If you are ill for a long time or you are struck with a chronic illness, then you might find that having someone help you to plan your future can be a big help too. The more strain you can take off yourself, the better, and that is exactly what those professionals are there for.

When You Win Big

Well, it unfortunately doesn’t happen as often as we would like, but occasionally you might come into large sums of money, and when you do it is a good idea to seek out the advice of the professionals. Bringing in a lot of money in one go can be dangerous in many ways, and you will want to make sure that you know what you are going to do with it so that you don’t make any major mistakes. A professional will be able to advise you on the best course of action to take with your newfound money, so that you can make the most of it and not waste or splurge any of it either. When you are looking for someone here, make sure that they have the necessary qualifications to give you sound advice. The last thing you want to do is waste your money because of advice from a poor source.

When You Are Retiring

It’s not just planning for retirement that requires you to get help from the professionals but when it actually comes time to retire as well. When this happens, you need to do everything to ensure that you get every penny you are owed, and sometimes that means that you need to hire someone to help you do that. If you do, make sure that you have all the necessary paperwork which they will need to help you out with it. Otherwise you might find that you accidentally don’t receive everything that you need to.

Financial Traps That Senior Citizens Are Most Likely To Fall Into

Maintaining financial health is a priority that remains with us until the day we die. Over the years, we tend to grow in knowledge and experience to make smarter decisions in almost every aspect of modern life. However, monetary issues are something that can impact us all – regardless of how old or wise we may become. 

retirement

Senior citizens may avoid a number of problems hurting younger generations. On the other hand, they may be more vulnerable to other mistakes than anybody else. So whether you’ve hit retirement or you’re a concerned child wanting to help your parents doesn’t matter. Being aware of those traps is the only way to avoid them. 
  
Go the extra mile to avoid these common pitfalls, and those financial landscapes will look brighter than ever. 
  
#1. Needlessly Keeping The Big House 
  
Property is an important asset in our lives both financially and logistically. Throughout the majority of our lives, keeping hold of that possession is hugely beneficial. Once you hit retirement, however, it might be better to consider downsizing. 
  
Selling a property doesn’t need to be as difficult as you first fear. Moreover, it will save you the cost and hassle of adapting the home to suit your changing mobility and requirements. Many senior citizens also find that being in an environment built for retired residents is more comfortable too. 

selling property

Those setting can range from care homes to residential retirement apartments. Given that downsizing will free up money to enjoy other aspects of life, it’s hard to see why so many put up with struggling in their old family homes. 
  
#2. Misunderstanding Tax 
  
After a lifetime of paying taxes, you’d think retirement would bring an end to those issues. Sadly, that just simply isn’t the case. Therefore, appreciating the full details regarding this area of retirement is key. 
  
Withdrawing your pension can be considered an income, so that will influence tax situations greatly. Visit kiplinger.com for more info on how various retirement revenues are taxed. Once you have a clearer picture of the situation, you’ll be ready to make far smarter decisions. 
  
Ignoring this crucial factor will bring huge implications, not least because you’ll have less money than you planned for. The available funds will dictate what options are available in almost every other aspect of the challenges ahead. Underestimate it at your peril 
  
#3. Overlooking Healthcare Costs 
  
If there’s one expense that will soar during later years, it’s medical costs. As we age, our bodies require additional attention and support to remain healthy. Without the necessary precautions, this can end up harming your financial health dearly. 
  
Knowing about financial support, including tax credits and discounts will give you the best chance of keeping control. Meanwhile, it’s imperative that you understand the entitlements offered by your insurance plans. 
  
Prescription discount counts can be extremely useful also. Appreciating the full situation won’t only aid your finances. It’ll additionally give you a better chance to concentrate on those elements.   
  
#4. Ignoring The Inevitable 
  
Nobody wants to think too long and hard about death. Nonetheless, it is something that needs to be appreciated. This is especially true if you want to avoid causing problems for the loved ones that you’ll leave behind.  
  
Taking out a suitable insurance package should be top of the agenda. Learn more about senior citizen plans at lifeinsuranceforseniorsover80.com to make smarter choices. Meanwhile, writing a will is another item that you cannot ignore. The last thing you want after you’re gone is to see family members miss out on what they deserve. 

Being in control of these issues will aid your loved ones during what will be a difficult time for them. Perhaps more importantly, it gives you the sense of self-satisfaction needed to enjoy your remaining years.   
  
#5. Scams 
  
Even if you take the necessary steps to keep your finances in good health, there’s always someone ready to make life harder. Unfortunately, fraudsters and scammers often see the elderly as easy targets. Do not let yourself become a victim.   
  
A little research goes a long way, and learning about these common scams will help you stay protected. However, there are plenty of other methods out there. If you ever feel that someone is trying to take advantage, end the communication. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. 
  
Above all else, never hand over personal data that could be used against you. Frankly, dealing with the financial and emotional fallout is the last thing you need at any age.

Should You Tackle Your Home Business Finances Alone?

One of the most travelled paths when securing your financial situation is to start a business. It’s a creative way to invest your money and there’s more potential to see your funds grow than simply keeping it stored in a bank account. However, there are a couple of major issues when it comes to managing your own business, and one of the most glaring is the problem of finances.

Home Business

Accounting is simple when you have a steady job. You pay your taxes and insurance contributions automatically, meaning every penny you get on your paycheck can be spent. You won’t need to worry about self-assessment tax payments and you don’t need to worry about not having enough money to pay the taxman when he comes knocking. However, once you start to earn multiple streams of income or start your own home business, things can get a lot more complicated.

Discipline is important

One of the major issues with managing your own finances is discipline. Since you need to hold onto money to pay off your income tax, you need to practice saving money. If you don’t, then by the time you have to complete a self-assessment and pay your income tax in a lump sum, you might be short a lot of money and, as a result, spend a lot of time paying it off. However, if you’re able to discipline yourself into calculating how much income you have, monitoring your expenses and counting up how much tax you need to pay, then you should have no problem managing your finances.

A brief online course in accounting can do wonders for your home business venture. You’ll learn how to efficiently manage your income, how to record expenses, and the proper way to deal with tax payments. You’ll also learn a lot of tricks on how to visually represent your cash flow using spreadsheets, charts and diagrams. Accounting is a useful skill to have especially when you are just starting up your business, but there are times when you’ll need some support.

When it starts to become a grind

Let’s face it, unless you’ve had some extensive training in accounting and you’re fairly experienced, dealing with your books every week will probably eat up a lot of your time. It’s probably that time of the week where you love getting paid, but simply hate chasing down clients if you’re a freelancer, or realising that you need to spend two to three hours making sure all of your payments are correct and that you’ve put away enough money for tax payments in the future.

Not only does managing multiple revenue streams get tiresome to do, you are also prone to making mistakes if you don’t have finance IT support. There are many programs and outsourced services that can give you a hand with your financial needs. Since bookkeeping is a rather static task, it’s the perfect job for software to take over. Online accounting software is extremely popular among home business owners due to the low subscription cost and flexible set of tools.

However, if you’re going to hire some help to manage your finances, then it’s recommended you pick something a little more flexible such as hiring an accountant to work for you. This can usually be done over the internet with outsourcing. It’s not recommended to actually hire a full-time employee yet because outsourcing an accountant is generally more cost-effective and less stressful to recruit.

Making the switch

However your business is currently going, you probably have plans to grow your company in the near future based on your current success. As a small business that operates from your home, it’s understandable that you want to be frugal in order to save money that can be invested back into your business. However, it’s important to note that you will eventually need to switch gears and start hiring people or outsourcing services in order to grow your company.

The first major hurdle is usually hiring your first employee. If you don’t plan to move to a physical location anytime soon, then you should consider switching to cloud services in order to accommodate remote employees. With the whole internet at your fingertips, it’s not unlikely for you to find the perfect employee you’re looking for and at an affordable price. This is why hiring an accountant is such a major draw to new startups—they’re easy to find, their services are only needed a couple of times a month, and they can be relatively cheap for the amount of time and effort they help you save.

If you’re going to grow your business sometime soon, then managing your finances alone isn’t an option. However, if you’re just starting out, then the frugal option of using a spreadsheet and studying how to manage finances is a good beginning point.

Serious Investors and the importance of Portfolios

Serious investors know the importance of diversifying their portfolios. Along with investing in stocks and bonds, they also may be advised to invest in other assets like real estate. You can diversify your own portfolio by learning the key reasons that you should add real estate to your investments.

Steady Cash Flow

The primary reason to invest in real estate involves establishing a steady cash flow that you can confidently anticipate and upon which you can rely. You can secure this positive cash flow with leases.

investment

Leasing your real estate creates regular income and can yield more substantial dividends on this asset than other types of investments like stocks and bonds. By working with a certified management accountant like James Dondero, you can utilize these dividends to your benefit and ensure that they benefit your portfolio to the fullest.

Collateral

Another reason to add real estate to your portfolio involves securing collateral that you can borrow on as needed. If you want to raise cash to invest in other assets or to buy more real estate with, you can accomplish this with buying and borrowing against real estate.

This asset lets you secure additional investments with fewer out-of-pocket costs. It also may appreciate in value and become even more significant to your portfolio as you pay down the equity loan.

Tax Benefits

Unlike other types of investments, real estate can offer unique tax benefits that save or help you generate more money. When you invest in real estate, you may receive tax benefits like:
  • 1031 provision
  • claiming unlimited mortgage interest on your returns
  • claiming depreciation values of your real estate investment
  • taking a 1031 provision at the time of sale to defer future taxable gains

A chartered financial analyst like James Dondero can tell you more about what tax benefits are available when you add real estate to your investment portfolio.

Appreciation in Value

Finally, real estate has the capability of appreciating in value faster and more significantly than other types of investments like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Depending on the economic conditions, your property can double or triple in value within a matter of weeks, giving you an asset that is more lucrative to you than any other investment.

As noted, you can increase the value of your real estate by leasing it. Financial advisers like James Dondero can give you other suggestions for how you can effectively manage your real estate investment to benefit your portfolio.

Before you purchase residential or commercial real estate, it is important that you consult with people who can help you choose the best property in which to put your money. You may find it in your portfolio's best interest to partner with a licensed Realtor, for example, as well as a chartered financial analyst like James Dondero who can advise you on how much and what kind of property in which to invest.

James Dondero Bio:  As a certified management accountant and a chartered financial analyst, James Dondero has more than 30 years of experience in the financial industry. He formerly worked for companies like American Express and the GIC subsidiary of Protective Life.

He is now the co-founder and president of his own company, Highland Capital Management in Dallas. He also volunteers for Dallas charities and educational organizations.

The Bad Credit Financial Lockdown

Money can be a hard thing for people to master. With the digital age in full force; most people are buying their good online. Unfortunately, without the transfer of physical money, it often feels like you’re not spending anything. Or, that it doesn’t matter. This disconnection and many other issues have led to countless people suffering. When you find yourself with bad credit, nearly nothing in the bank, and loans to repay; you need to put your finances on lockdown. And, to help you out, this post will be showing you how.

The Bad Credit Financial Lockdown

Stage One: Budget Hard

The first stage in this journey is a simple one. You need to be spending as little as possible. And, this will mean enforcing a hard budget. To start this, you should be spending nothing at all on things that aren’t essential. The things that you don’t need in life are added costs that can be avoided. And, for the purpose of enforcing good habits; it’s wise to cut them out entirely until you get to the second stage. Once you have a solid budget in place, it will be easy to predict how much money you will be able to save. If this is a negative number; this means that you’re not earning enough or are spending too much. The only ways to sort this out are finding more work and spending less. It will be hard; but, it will be worth it.

Stage Two: Start Saving And Repaying

Stage two is a little more complex than stage one. You need to divide your efforts into two areas. To start, you need to be trying to save money. It’s best to keep this out of your current account, though. Most banks will offer online savings accounts that can be accessed instantly. This gives you the chance to have your money hidden away from what you have accessible. And, it will generate more interest on your money. It’s wise to try and aim to save at least three months worth of money. This gives you security if you find yourself in a rough patch. And, it will give you enough to cover most of life’s big emergencies.

Once you’re saving some money, you should also be thinking about repaying. The split between the amount you repay and the amount you save is hard to figure out. If you have the choice; it can be good to go for a half and half split. But, you may have to pay back a minimum amount each month; taking out of your hands. As you repay your loans, you will have a great feeling of satisfaction. It’s best to start with the highest interest loans first. Or, if they have the same interest; it’s best to go for the loan with the highest value. A lot of people start to crumble at this stage. It can feel like you have a mountain to climb; when you’re paying off debt. But, once you reach the summit; your life will improve massively. So, it’s worth working hard.

Stage Three: Consolidation And Investment

As your loans get smaller, you’ll be able to start consolidating them. This means that you’ll be opening one big load, paying off the smaller ones with the loan. And, then, you pay the big loan back slowly. The benefits to doing something like this can be great. In most cases, having your loans sealed together will give you the chance to get a better interest rate. And, it will have less of an impact on your credit score. Finding loan information is easy in the modern age. Most countries have laws that force companies offering loans to be very open and honest with their customers. This makes it very easy to compare and review loans to make sure you choose the best option for you.

At this stage, you should have some good savings behind you. Hopefully, you will have reached the goal of three-months of money. And, you’ll have some spare money knocking around. But, you should be treating yourself too much just yet. Instead, you should be looking for some investments. If you want to make some serious money in this area; you have to be brash. Start with a group of small, but risky and high-interest investments. Some of these are likely to fail. But, when they do, you should invest double the original investment into one of the successful ventures. As time goes on, you’ll be able to start finding bigger investment options, with fewer risks. Investment is a great way to secure a steady future. And, it will make your life much easier to live.

Stage Four: Reaping The Benefits

Now, here is the fun part of all of this. It might take several years to get to the point that you are comfortable with money. Or, it may only take a few months. Either way; this will be an incredible accomplishment. And, it’s time to start enjoying the benefits. With your new-found financial freedom, you’ll be able to afford bigger purchases. Your lifestyle will be much more akin to the one you desire. And, it will give you the security you need. Having a family in this sort environment is much safer than one where you’re struggling. It will give you the chance to look after other members of your family. And, most of all; you won’t have to be stressed anymore. Any amount of work would be worth these benefits. 

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start making a real difference with your finances. Wherever you sit; there’s almost certainly some room for improvement. Budgeting, saving and investment are all incredibly valuable skills. If you can make them habitual; you will find this entire process much more simple. A lot of people struggle to find motivation in something like this. So, you need to think about what life could be like without money issues. Consider how nice it would be to afford to go on holidays. Even just being able to go to the shop without worrying that your card might be rejected. These are all things worth working for.

Go on a Vacation This Summer without Worrying About Money

A famous Mark Twain quote goes something like this - “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” This is especially true for travel. These days, taking a vacation that’s a little bit more luxurious than you think you can afford is not as taboo as it used to be. Whether you’re treating your loved ones to a well-deserved family vacation, or looking to satiate the wanderlust in you, opting for a personal loan for travel can be quite a good idea.

Go on a Vacation This Summer

A personal loan is an unsecured loan, ideal for situations when you need funds & will be in a position to repay the money systematically over a fixed period of time. This period could range anywhere between 1-5 years. You can avail a personal loan even if you don’t have a property or security to serve as collateral. However, this often means that personal loan interest rates are higher than other secured loans. 

Salaried employees find it easier to get approvals but self-employed individuals can also avail of personal loans if they can provide proof of income from their business. Businessmen may need to provide the income tax returns for 3 years. 

If you decide to go ahead and apply for a personal loan, make sure you set aside a budget. Without a budget, there’s a chance that you may spend beyond your means and end up regretting your decision to take the trip altogether. Look for loans that come with flexible repayment schedules. For instance, if you’re going for an unsecured loan, look out for any penalties in case you decide to foreclose or extend your loan period. Choose the one with the best terms and conditions.

You’ve Inherited A Property – What Now?

Inheriting a property can be an exciting opportunity. However, it can also be a stressful process, especially if the previous owner was a close loved one and you’re still coming to terms with their loss. You don’t have to make any rash decisions. By taking the following steps at your own pace, you can decide the best way of dealing with your inherited property and turn what could be a very sad time into something positive.

Settling any ownership claims

If the property has been left to multiple people, or if there wasn’t an official will, you’ll need to first legally settle who has ownership of the property. In most cases, people will reach an amicable decision, but in those rare cases which things aren’t so black and white, hiring a solicitor can be worthwhile. Specialised attorneys such as probate lawyers from IRB law will be able to come to an agreement, at which case if you are legally entitled to the property you can then start making further plans.

Sell, rent or move in?

You have three options as to what to do with your inherited property. Most people will choose to sell, in which case it’s important that you know the area so that you can get an appropriate sale price. It’s easiest to go through an agency if you’re unfamiliar with the area, although you can try and sell independently.

Inherited Property

Renting can often be the most financially rewarding option. If the mortgage still needs to be paid off, make sure to switch to buy-to-let mortgage, otherwise you could be breaching laws. Similarly, if you’re not familiar with the area, renting through an agency can ensure that someone is always there to liaise with tenants, keep on top of rent payments and update you with any issues.

Moving in can be another option if the location is appropriate. For some, it could be a chance to upsize or alternatively get one’s foot on the ladder for the first time. If you’re moving from another property, you could even keep on to your old home and rent it out whilst living in your inherited home.

Dealing with possessions

Many possessions may have sentimental value but in all cases it’s unlikely you’ll be able to keep onto them all. Sell and donate as many items as you can. Auctions, flea markets, thrift shops and second-hand online shops such as eBay can all be great places to find a new home for these items.

For those possessions that you really find hard to part with, consider putting them in temporary self-storage. One day you may be able to afford a property to house these possessions. Alternatively, you could ask around friends and relatives in case any of them need such items. One of your children, or niece or a nephew, could be moving out of home for the first time and need a sofa or a desk or crockery. Giving these inherited possessions to them may feel less of a loss, as you know they’ll go to a good home.

Is There Life After Debt?

Debt seems like it will ruin lives. Indeed, lots of people are now without a home or a car thanks to their arrears. For the average person, this makes it appear as if there is nothing more dangerous in the world. After all, no one wants to become homeless due to bad financial decisions. Plenty of people make mistakes when it comes to their finances. But, the important thing to remember is that the errors don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. To answer the question in the title: yes, there is life after debt. For the non-believers, below are a couple of reasons why. 

Is There Life After Debt

One Step At A Time

Lao Tzu once said that the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. There are no truer words regarding debt. An individual that owes lots of money will jump to the wrong conclusions. They believe that their life is over because they owe more money than they can afford. In reality, there is always a way out thanks to the risk factor. Creditors don’t like to gamble with their money because they would rather get some back than none. In the case of a defaulter, there is a significant chance that the person might go bankrupt and pay back zero pennies. This is the worse case scenario, which is why they are flexible. Debt is quite simple to reimburse one day at a time with a payment plan. 

Consolidation

Anyone with more than one loan might find numerous payment plans hard to manage. Don’t fear, though, because there is another option. It’s called debt consolidation, and it breaks debts down into a single monthly arrear. The advantages are obvious, which is why it’s such a tempting tactic. However, there are disadvantages which http://www.moneycrashers.com/ believes might not make it beneficial for some people. The major thing to note is that people can pay more than managing an array of debts. Those that don’t do the maths beforehand might end up paying more. In the grand scheme of things, this is a huge mistake. If the payment is lower, consolidation is a no-brainer. The secret is to make sure it works before pulling the trigger. 

Cash Injection

Wisdom dictates that a debtor isn’t a viable option for a loan because they are in debt. Yes, banks do refuse the majority of applicants with a bad credit history. But, banks aren’t the only lenders on the market. Anyone with poor finances can still get an injection of cash if they go to the right places. Bad credit loan companies, for example, tend to accept everyone and anyone. That might sound bad, but it’s a godsend when the bills need paying and there is no cash in the account. By juggling the debt, a non payer can wiggle free after a lot of hard work and due diligence. No one is saying it’s a foolproof plan, which is why sites like http://www.moneysupermarket.com are useful. Still, it’s a plan nonetheless. 

Life After Debt

Credit Cards 

Before defaulters go running to Wonga or another pay day loan firm, they should do their research. Depending on the amount of debt, a quick search will bear a lot of fruit. A normal credit card lender will sanction a piece of plastic to an applicant even if they have debt. All said applicant has to show is that they are in the process of paying back the outstanding amount. Credit cards are essential for two reasons. The first is that everyone has important payments to make regardless of their finances. Say there is a car crash, for example. Should the victim not be able to get in touch with https://www.rothlawyer.com because they’re poor? Of course they shouldn’t. Secondly, a card allows an individual to manage their finances smartly. If there is a cash flow problem, a credit card can bridge the gap until the liquidity improves. 

Opportunities 

The universe has a perverse sense of humour. In a person’s time of need, it often stretches out a hand in solidarity. Opportunities are everywhere, but they lie in the least obvious places. Debt is such a place as with a mountain of debt there is the prospect of wiping the slate clean. What does mean? It means that the worse case scenario is bankruptcy, and filing for a Chapter 13 isn’t the end of the world. The great thing about a Chapter 13 is that it clears all unsecured debts. So, any debts like bank loans instantly disappear. The only arrears that stay are the ones which are secured by the government like a student loan. With one strike of a judge’s gavel, the future can look a lot brighter. Sure, there are consequences, and they need addressing before any person takes the plunge. If the pros outweigh the cons, bankruptcy is a viable option. 

Good Vs Bad

Not all debt is bad. In fact, http://www.investopedia.com/ says some of it is good as it has the potential to grow. In the haze of panic, a typical person won’t be able to see the growth potential for fear of going bust. When a debtor steps back and takes a breath, they aren’t hard to spot. The trick is to ask a series of questions like will the asset's value grow in the future? Property is the best example. A house or a piece of land is very expensive in the short-term. The debt, however, won’t last forever if the property value rises in the future. In one foul swoop, an asset like a house can wipe out all debt, good or bad. Bad debt is the kind that makes people pay more for assets which don’t increase in value. In this case, the lender wins as they recoup more than they lend in the first place. As long as the majority of debts are healthy, there isn’t much to worry about as long as it pays out. 

Yes, there is life after debt. It’s a hard life that might look bleak, but it improves with time.

Can You Afford to be Accused of a Crime?

No wants to find themselves charged with a crime. It’s something we all want to avoid. But what’s often ignored is the financial implications of this situation. Even if you have done nothing wrong and are subsequently found innocent, you can lose a lot of money throughout the process. There are just so many costs that have to be covered.

The Costs of Hiring a Lawyer

First of all, you’re going to have to think about the cost of hiring a lawyer. Unfortunately, this is not always something that comes cheap. You have to be prepared to cough up the cash, though, because if you don’t, you will not get the representation that’s so essential in a court case. You don’t want to put your future at risk by not having a lawyer that will be on your side and willing to work hard for you and your case. It’s not going to be cheap, though. Finding a way to cover your costs and hiring an affordable lawyer will be high on your list of priorities when you get charged with a crime.

Hiring a Lawyer

Covering Bail Bond Costs

You might also need to get yourself out of prison on bail. This is another cost that you’re going to have to deal with when you find yourself in this situation. Acme Bail Bonds can help you if you need that kind of support. But the money that’s paid will have an impact on your overall finances. This is one of those issues that people forget about when it comes to the costs of facing a criminal charge. Most people do find a way to get the bail paid, though. That’s because the alternative is so much worse. No one wants to be sitting in prison when they could be back at home.

Potential Loss of Income

There is always a chance that you could lose out on a significant chunk of your income when you get charged with a crime. For example, some jobs require people to have a clean criminal record. And if you’re going to be unable to work for a long stretch of time, this also might be enough for an employer to fire you. Even if you get found innocent later on, there is still a chance that you will be affected by this. It causes people who know about the situation to view you in a different way, even when you did nothing wrong.

Court Charges

On top of everything else mentioned above, you will also have to find money to cover any of the court charges that come your way. These are quite messy and hidden, and you can be hit by them without even being aware that this is going to happen. It varies depending on where you’re located. But if you’re going to court, it’s important to do some research to make sure that you know the situation surrounding court fees in your area. You don’t want to be taken by surprise by a big bill that you don’t know how you’re going to pay.

The Key to Buying a Home? Flexibility

People often forget that home sellers are actually on the hunt for a good buyer. It’s often thought of almost exclusively as the other way around! The fact is that buying a home isn’t one of the most complex transactions out there. You expect a good price - and the seller expects a buyer they can work with.

The best way to approach this is to be as flexible as you can. Not many sellers want to work with a rigid buyer who can’t move out of very strict parameters. Those parameters may be related to quality, location, finance - any of the things that people need to consider when they’re looking for a new home.

Buying a Home

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t stand firm on certain things. But if you’re too intransigent about certain things, then you may find yourself missing out on a good home, even if you have the money. So let’s take a quick look into the issue of flexibility while buying a home.

Are you sure you don’t want to rent? 

While we’re on the subject of flexibility, it really is worth asking yourself if you’re ready to buy. Because once you have a home, then your flexibility really does take a bit of a nose dive! It’s worth looking at an in-depth comparison of your options. A lot of people always assume that buying is better than renting - but it may work best for you.

Mortgage pre-approval is the way

If you’re not prepared financially, then you’re not very flexible at all. Let’s say a seller has two people interested in the property. One of them is you - you’re nice and everything, but you haven’t got a mortgage approved, so you can’t make a decision right away. The other person isn’t quite as likable, but their mortgage is approved - they can buy now. The seller is going to pick the latter, I’m afraid. Mortgage pre-approval allows you to be much more flexible. Use a mortgage approval calculator to get prepared.

Home inspection

Home inspection problems

Unless you get a professional home inspection on a property, then you don’t truly know the condition of that property. Not a great position to be in. Sellers should expect a prospective buyer to order an independent home inspection. But there are a lot of different inspections you can order, and the more you order, the more you’ll test the patience of the seller. If you’re going to order inspections for radon and lead paint and formaldehyde and a million other problems, then the seller will simply think you’re a bit too stringent. And maybe even a little crazy. They’ll work with someone else. 

Don’t get hung up during negotiations

The seller wants to sell the house for as much as possible and the buyers wants to buy the house for as little as possible. The problem is that people on both sides often forget to consider the person on the other side. Arguably, this is more common among buyers. Buyers often assume that all their research is going to allow them to whittle the sale price down to whatever they wish and get hung up whenever the seller refuses to budge on certain things. Don’t be so strict, though. The haggle will be difficult, and you shouldn’t expect to get the exact price you want.