3 Old-Fashioned Retirement Rules to Discard

I am not much in love with rules of thumb when it comes to finance though their significance to the rank and files cannot be downplayed. From experience, I know everyone is not willing to research on the financial topics and they love to stick by easy-to-remember conventional rules. On the flipside, these guidelines are often not correct and outdated as well, keeping you away from fulfilling your financial goals.

When people think about saving for their after-retirement life, most of them get attracted to these conventional rules. Unfortunately, these are often claimed to be facts even though most of them are no longer applicable. Here are two obsolete finance rules as well as what you should follow instead:

$1 million will make your life comfortable

The first rule of thumb says $1 million is a nice sum to live on whereas the reality is it is no longer a big figure that it was used to be a decade ago. It cannot ensure a comfortable life for 20-25 years, particularly if you live in a posh area and enjoys a high living style.

Though it is not a hefty amount anymore, it is still a dream figure for many Americans. In fact, less than 5% of total Americans earn $1 million in their lifetime. For many, it’s so frustrating to accumulate the amount that they will give up the idea of saving at all.

What you should do: Make it a target to save eight times of your final salary. There is no easy-to-remember figure; rather things are more personalized to make the goal achievable for any worker irrespective of his/her salary slab.

Replace 80% of your last salary after retirement

It’s not an out-of-date advice. However, it’s too much generalized and you can hardly figure out how much to save for sunset phase of your life. How much you will need in your post-retirement life depends on activities during that time. If you want to travel around the world, you must have more nest eggs. If you experience frequent or serious health problems, more retirement income will be needed than what you would if you stay fit and fine just like what you used to be in your heydays.

What you should do: Figure out how much you need, depending on your present lifestyle. The conventional rule does not consider several variables in a retiree’s life, including cost of living, health issues, leisure activities etc. Take time to question yourself about what you want to do after retiring from service and how much you need to support your lifestyle.

How to Optimize Your Mindset to Succeed In Forex

While Forex deals in the trade of the most valuable commodity, Money, it is often a market with severe possibility of losses. Studies show that nearly 90% of the forex traders suffer from small to major losses due to several errors in judgment. Despite of the chances of terrible and mind shattering losses, forex trading is a popular business and experienced traders make huge amounts of profits through forex trade. Hence, it is an obvious natural question that what do the experienced and professional traders do in order to make huge profits that you don’t? To answer this question one often needs to focus on the mindset of a professional forex trader as the reason for their success lies in the way they think. Here are some quick tips on how to think like professional forex traders.

  1. Taking Control of your Emotions

The words business and emotions are the worst enemies and can rarely go hand in hand. When it comes to forex trading, chances of emotional outbursts are high as your hard earned money is on the line. Fear and greed are the two major emotions that one needs to be wary of. Remember that forex trading is a risky business and money loss is inevitable. With proper patience and self control, it is very easy to eliminate fear and greed that lead to bad decisions.

  1. Aim To Control Your Actions Rather Than The Market

Unlike the other markets, forex trading isn’t about tycoons and kingpins. Most professional forex traders aim on deriving the maximum profits from the various opportunities that are present in the market. Experience traders know the importance of disciplined trading and do through market analysis before jumping into the market. Trying to conquer and control the forex market is not only a foolhardy notion but will only result in loss of your hard earned money.

  1. Never Make Wild Guesses

The most common cause for failures in forex trading is caused by the habit of making wild guesses and bets. Most failing traders are somehow led into the belief that they know how the market will function. Most experienced traders are well aware of the fact that forex is one of the most volatile markets in the world and one needs to analyze the market conditions properly before making any assumptions. No one truly knows how the market will do next and it is best to adopt a set and forget trade mentality for higher chances of success. An exit before the stop will not only curb your chances of success but will also have a bad influence on your confidence.

  1. No Risk No Reward

Most experienced traders know about the 50-50 chances of success in the forex market and thus take calculated decisions that may lead in smaller losses but also bigger profits. Traders must respect the market and think more about the level of risk involved than its reward. Anticipation of trades and risk bearing are the primary quality that successful traders have. Remember, that the forex market is not an ATM machine but a roulette wheel that can result in losses. Professional traders are known more for their risk bearing abilities than the overall profit they have made.

  1. Do Not Get Attached To Things

For a long term success in Forex, one must first and foremost, learn the ability to let go of things. Forex trading has no room for emotions and attachments and knowing when to exit is an essential quality that traders should possess. Getting attached to non-profitable will only cause you further harm and make you lose your hard earned money. Holding a position for too long is never advised and will cause significant damage to your morale and possibility of long term gains.

Forex trading is a waiting game which requires immense levels of patience and analysis. Planning your moves in advance will not only protect you from unexpected losses but will increase your chances of making a good trade.

Luke Peters is an avid reader of books and other materials related to finance, marketing, trading and stock. He is also an experienced forex trader on forex trading platforms like cornertrader.ch where you can also find Cfd trading tutorials or create a demo forex account.

Best Android Apps to Manage Your Budget

Based on the Linux Kernel, Android is a popular mobile operating system co-developed by Google. It was initially launched in 2003 as an alternative to Symbian and Windows mobile operating systems for touch screen devices and smartphones. In 2005 the company was acquired by Google who saw the development of the operating system into its current state. Android is a remarkable user interface based on direct interaction with the aid of touch screens and virtual keyboards. Today, Android OS is known for its multifunctional user interface and largely supports open source applications which are developed by independent app developers. If you are looking for an app to manage your budget, here’s the list of the most popular ones available for your Smartphone.

  1. MoneyWise

While being a relatively new addition to the Google play store, MoneyWise is available in both free and paid versions. While the free version makes it convenient for a tryout, the paid version has most of the practical features. Opening the app shows you your total income and expenses and shows the difference between the two. Bill payment reminders, auto-filling of commonly used transactions, separate widgets for income, expense and unspent amount, calculator, currency converter and an ATM/Bank locator are the most stunning features in this App.

  1. My Budget Book

Despite of its simplistic interface and lack of graphical features, My Budget Book is the hottest selling budgeting app available at the play store. The home screen shows 9 shortcuts represented with icons that allow you to separate your income, expenses and savings. The separate icon for uncategorized transactions allows you to apply various budget categories to keep your resources organized. Budget reports, password protection, DropBox integration and currency converter that support over 100 different currencies are the various additional features in this app.

  1. Budget Calendar

Using an ingenious calendar to manage your monthly budget, the Budget calendar provides a great number of functionalities to the user. The calendar interface provides a much easier way to plan your budget as compared to the confusing ledger system employed by most Apps. You can appoint each expense to a specific date on the calendar and also set payment reminders which never let you miss the payment of important bills. Detailed monthly reports, statistical data and budget forecasts based on your spending habits are the few additional features in the Budget Calendar.

  1. Toshl Finance Budget & Expense

Available in both free and paid versions, the Toshl Finance Budget & Expense app is one of the best apps to manage your budget. Despite of its high price, the app is highly popular due to its smooth interface and multiple functions. Budgets can now be planned on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or onetime payment basis. Adding multiple budgets and sources of income, easy export to popular file format such as excel and PDF, monthly email reports, data sync and online expense search are the distinctive features of this app.

  1. Mint

 A powerful app developed by Intuit inc. Mint pulls all your expenses, income sources and savings under a single page. The homepage itself displays all your financial information including bank accounts, credit cards, loans and investments etc. in a single place. You can categorize your spending under different headings such as gas, food, electricity bills and phone bills etc. and provides you will several features that help you track your unknown expenses. The app is available for both smartphones and tablets and provides a high quality budget management with regular alerts.

It is easier to keep a track of your earnings and spending if you are a minimalist. However, for people with various sources of income and several expenses, it is always advisable to use any of the above apps to organize your finances. Apart from these one can also find out several other popular and multifunctional apps for budget management, straight from Google play store.

Luke Peters is a technology enthusiast and like to write about various topics like finance, law, technology and gadgets. He is also a content contributor for several blogs and websites like mediagroupperformance.com that is the best place to find rtb advertising for financial services companiesand likes to keep up to date with the latest developments and news in the market.

Advantages Of Placing An Online Advertisement

Placing an online advertisement for buying and selling stuff is pretty much in vogue these days. Thus, if you’re willing to earn some or save some extra bucks, these online classifieds can be a great option. Simply place your advertisement, and you’ll soon a get a huge response. Well, with the easy-to-use interface of the websites, placing an advertisement is of no hassle at all. But that’s not all; you can also compare the rates and finally buy or sell your goods at the best rates with these online classifieds. Read on, for a quick scoop on some of the best advantages of placing an online advertisement.

Overwhelming response

This is one of the major reasons, why you should opt for these online advertisements. With these ads, you come, a step ahead to the prospective buyer or seller. In fact, in most cases, you get an overwhelming response right after you post these ads. As these advertisements can be posted and viewed for free, people across the globe will get the access to the check the product. In fact, the reach of these online advertisements is way greater than the regular ones in newspapers.

Quicker response

An online advertisement has a quicker response than the regular newspapers or anything of similar sort. As these advertisements have no Geographical boundaries, people across the world can check it and avail it. Thus, from a seller’s point of view, these ads turn out to be an extremely profitable deal as they come with absolutely no complications and have a wider reach and greater impact on the people. Unlike the conventional mediums, interested individuals can contact the seller directly without any hassle. Thus, online classifieds have a greater response due to lesser complications involved in contacting the sellers. You can thus post free ads in Ghana and enjoy quicker and tad more overwhelming response than the conventional mediums.

Extremely economical

When these advertisements can be posted or browsed for free, there’s absolutely no question regarding their affordability. These ads are extremely economical and they also bring the right buyers closer to sellers and vice versa. In case, you want to stand ahead of the rest, you can also promote your advertisement at an easy and extremely affordable rate. With this promotion, your advertisement will be at the top of the page.

All in all, if you want to buy or sell your things quickly, at the best prices and to the right buyer/ seller nothing can work better than choosing these online classified portals.

How to Improve The Credit Without Credit Cards?

Either you must be very wealthy or you execute your planning to live frugally to survive without the need to apply for loans. Most of the people are in need of credit at some point or the other. Wise use of credit cards helps to build credit which is necessary to get approved for loans if needed. However, not everyone can get credit cards. While some are denied the cards, there are those who are hesitant to get credit cards for fear of getting into debts. Since it is necessary to have good credit while applying for loans for any of your financial requirements such as buying a home, a vehicle or for education, it becomes inevitable to learn the strategies of building credit even without using credit cards.

Options to improve the credit score after bankruptcy

A good credit report helps to get loans for reasonable interest rates. You can save on insurance premium. When you are on the lookout for any utility provider, it is your credit report that determines whether you are required to pay any security deposit. A good credit rating saves you hundreds of dollars every year. Since bank accounts are considered as the indications of financial stability, it is recommended that you create bank accounts. The financial dealings are being observed by the major credit bureaus, especially after bankruptcy. You can request the okay lending companies to report your prompt payments to the credit bureaus so that your ratings get improved.

The monthly payments towards the rent, water, power and cable utilities can be reported even though these companies are not obliged to report your financial activities. By becoming an authorized user of someone else’s credit card, you can avoid a card for you but boost the credit score. However, you need to be cautious while using this means to improve your credit score. The person who owns the card should have prompt payment records or else your score gets hurt. Fortunately, your credit accounts can be removed if you remove yourself as an authorized user.

Instead, a joint credit card can be opened which is not the same as using other’s card as an authorized user. Some of the people keep away from credit cards due to the fear of default. However, if you find it difficult to get approved for credit cards due to poor credit history, you can try to consider the alternative options. Secured cards can be obtained from banks by making a deposit. The card with a specified credit limit of the amount deposited can be obtained. This card functions as a prepaid card. It should be ensured that the banks or the credit unions that have issued the card report the transactions to the credit bureaus.

The fees are quite high. The interest rates are also higher. However, the option is considered by many people after the discharge of bankruptcy to rebuild the credit ratings. Charge cards which are similar to credit cards do not allow balances and you are required to settle the bill entirely every month although there is no limit to the amount you spend. Getting a loan is a good idea if you are confident of making prompt payments. The loans help to improve your credit score as long as they are yet to be settled. Whether it is the credit card loan or loan of any type, it should be ensured that the repayments are reported promptly.

Secured loans can be considered as the approval is faster than for unsecured loans. The interest rates are higher for the borrowers with poor credit. However, the rates are lower for the loans from credit unions than from banks. If you have difficulties in getting approval, you can seek the help of a cosigner with good credit to obtain the loan. Peer to peer loans can be alternative sources for poor credit borrowers. Although the interest rates are higher for short term unsecured loans, you can have the choice of interest rates with peer to peer lending unlike in payday loans which are very costly.

Understanding Trading Regulations of Binary Options

Binary options are relatively new and until recently, not as closely regulated as other forms of trading. At first, they appeared as a refreshing opportunity to invest in a market attempting to rally back from global financial failures. However, unsuspecting buyers experienced unjust conditions, market infractions, thievery, and in some cases monetary ruin. In response, several countries have implemented measures designed to offer protection to binary options traders. Therefore, it helps to be aware of the current trading regulations and to understand what to look for.

Protecting Traders

The burden of regulation falls primarily on binary brokers in order to ensure that they are supporting the best interest of their clients. Brokers need to have a physical establishment with a respectable staff that is equipped to handle claim withdrawals. They must be prepared to undergo periodic regulatory enquiries. Client funds are to be separate from broker accounts so as not to suffer a loss due to brokerage bankruptcy issues.  The purpose of these regulations is to prevent traders from fraud and unjust financial damage.

Regulation of Binary Options

Until recently, there has been little regulation in the binary options arena. Binary options received a reputation as a type of gambling rather than respectable financial trading. There was little segregation of funding sources.  Government regulators failed to monitor binary options brokers. Binary operations were not always transparent and capital requirements remained open-ended.

Fortunately, the binary options situation for trading regulation is undergoing a transformation. As of May 2012, CySEC (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission) announced a change in binary options classifications. This development followed grievances regarding “bucket shop brokers operating in Cyprus.” As a result, the classification for binary options changed causing them become ‘financial instruments’ requiring regulation. This revamped policy was to go into effect late in 2012 and by late 2013, all binary options dealers had to conform to the new regulations.

International Regulation

Since then, Malta has transferred binary options status from the gaming industry to the Financial Services Authority. Japan no longer allows for trading options with expiration under two hours. Italy and Turkish industry regulators for financial services can legally block binary options IP addresses to selected brokers. France and Spain have warned binary options agents about regulatory status requirements. In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority regulates binary options trading. In Australia, regulation occurs through the Australian Securities and Investment Council.

US Regulation and Trading

The US allows a single regulated dealer for binary options, NADEX. As such, it provides for trading on several instruments, regulated through the Commission for Commodities and Futures Trading. North America requires US citizens to report taxable profits to the IRS. Additionally, US law prohibits binary options traders from dealing with brokers from other countries.

Although the handling of regulatory requirements differs between countries, it is clear that both traders and binary options brokers must adjust to heightened standards or face potential financial loss.

What are Basic Bank Accounts?

A basic bank account — as the name suggests — is an account that provides basic banking facilities.It provides a place for you to store money and pay money from, but with no overdraft services or in-credit interest.  There are saving and checking accounts as different options for your bank accounts. In addition you will be given a debit card which you can use to make payments online and in shops. The account also allows you to make direct debits. This is good as it can make bills cheaper as compared to paying by cash or by cheque.

Is the account free of charges?

Not really. Just because there are no overdraft charges it does not mean that there are no charges. Charges on this account will however be incurred only when you try to make a payment with your debit card or have direct debits going out when you do not have adequate funds in your account. You will incur a charge; an ‘unpaid transaction fee’ of up to £25 for each transaction.

The basic bank account is not publicised because it does not make any money for the bank offering it unlike the standard bank account. Unless you make a mistake, the bank has no chance of making money from you as a customer.

Instead, the bank will make a loss due to administration costs related to your account, for example; setting up the account for you, producing and then sending your debit card and bank statements. This is money the bank might never recover from you. Banks therefore do not tell clients about these accounts as they are not beneficial to them and would thus prefer not to have them.

Who are these accounts for?

Anyone can open a basic bank account at a trusted bank like BB&T. If you have a very poor credit history with some serious defaults, CCJs or even bankruptcy, it will be very difficult for you to open a standard bank account. In this case, the only bank account you can own is a basic bank account as you sort out your credit issues.

You may choose to open this account even with a good credit history if you want an account that will help you manage your money with no overdraft facilities. You will have to ask for this account specifically as the bank might try to push you towards a standard account.

The only people who cannot open this bank account are those who have been convicted for fraud. Other convicts can still apply provided they fulfil other account-opening requirements. All you need to open this account is a form of identification. Without this, your application might be rejected.

Cut the Red Tape with a Cooperative Short Sale

When you’re underwater on your home, you need a way out, and fast. That’s where short selling can help you. Short selling is a process whereby you sell the property for less than what you owe on the mortgage. The bank takes a loss, but they get the property into the hands of someone else that can make the payments. The thought is that the new homeowner will help them recoup the losses sustained by you.

It’s not always your fault that you can’t pay the mortgage, either. This isn’t a “blame-game.” You may have lost your job, or suffered a medical emergency, and now you can’t pay. Here’s how to work with the bank, instead of against them, to create a win-win scenario.

How Cooperative Short Sales Work

A cooperative short sale is one where you work with the bank to sell your home. In a sense, the bank becomes your partner in the sale. You agree to cooperate with the lender to keep the property in good working order during the selling process. In return, the bank lets you stay in the home for free.

You become something of a property manager. Why would a bank do this? For starters, it costs a bank almost $50,000 to go through the foreclosure process. It may cost half as much, or even less, to let you sell the house. At the same time, selling the house on your own may take a long time – time that the bank will spend losing money, which it doesn’t want to do.

Some banks even pay you for entering into an agreement with them to do a cooperative short sale.

How Realtors Help

Some companies, like NJ short sales, can help you speed up the process of selling your home if you need a quick turnaround. Real estate agents bring expertise to the table. Some banks even require you work with a real estate agent if you enter into a cooperative short sale agreement.

Real estate agents will do all of the advertising, and help you with all of the documentation necessary to move the property. Banks can even set up a listing price for you so that there’s no haggling later on when a buyer wants to make an offer. This dramatically reduces the red tape involved and gets the home sold much more quickly than the standard foreclosure auction.

The Benefits To You

One of the major benefits to you is that you get to live in the house without paying rent or your mortgage payment – yes, you get a free residence. The bank may also pay you several thousand dollars, or even up to $20,000, $30,000, or $40,000 to do the short sale.

Basically, the bank is incentivizing you to keep the house maintained by paying you – again, it’s cheaper for it to do this than to go through the expense of a traditional foreclosure.

Your credit will be hurt by this process but, at the end of the day, you still walk away a winner in the sense that you’ve got money in your pocket and you’re out from under the bank’s mortgage. You’ve also had plenty of time to find a new apartment and you didn’t have to pay for a motel or become homeless.

Lisa Anders has spent the last five years as a real estate consultant. She enjoys researching alternatives to foreclosures and sharing her insights through blogging. Her articles mainly appear on real estate investment blogs.

Master's Program to Enhance Your Chances of a Future Promotion

It used to be the ultimate accomplishment to graduate with a four-year business degree, giving you an instant ticket to a lucrative career. Today’s competitive employment environment, however, tends to reward people with higher degrees. If you have an undergraduate business degree, it’s time to consider a master’s program to enhance your chances of a future promotion.

Evaluate Your Goals

Many businesspeople want to branch out with a master’s degree, which makes nearly any accredited program perfect for their needs. Reputable universities offer degrees through both traditional classes and online courses. Because you probably have a full-time job at this point, commuting to a school may not be feasible. If that’s the case, then online classes may be your ticket to a brighter future. However, plans to work as a staff member at a college require a special degree certification. Referred to as an AACSB online MBA, any applicant wanting to work at a school needs this AACSB credential to be considered.

Find Your Specialty

Every business has some common feature with others, even if it’s in an entirely different industry. Retaining customers, boosting profits and developing new products are all goals for business anywhere. However, your MBA doesn’t have to reflect basic business knowledge. Select a specialty while taking your classes. There are specific classes regarding finance, marketing and healthcare, for instance. If you want to work as a top business liaison within the healthcare industry, specialty classes concentrating on health issues are crucial to landing the job. Other applicants may only have basic business experience, making you stand out.

Online Class Features

Online classes today are some of the finest programs you’ll find at any university. Professors appreciate the format, allowing them to communicate with several students while at their office or home. You’ll earn your MBA with hard work as discussions, assignments and papers are given out throughout the year. You have the flexibility to work on the assignments as you please, but deadlines must be met. Some students mention the work could be more difficult in an online class because you need to prove yourself across a virtual platform. The end result is a strong business background ready to benefit any company.

Find your niche in this world by exploring different classes with your online program. When you add passion into your work, you’ll begin to see positive results.

Tips To Managing Your Education and Debt

Too often, college students graduate with a diploma and a mountain of debt. Although student loan debt is a fact of life for many grads, there are ways to prevent the debt from growing out of control. By understanding debt and making good financial choices, you can find a balance between creating debt that helps you earn more in the future and ruining your credit, which will be a stumbling block to renting an apartment, turning on utilities and even finding a job.

Here are some tips to mange your education and debt.

Major in a Growing Field

If you are going to go into debt in order to earn your degree, be sure that your field of study is one that will lead you to a high-paying career. If you’ve realized too late that your degree isn’t going to help you find a great job, pursuing a graduate degree in a growing field can turn things around. With WSU’s online MBA degree, you can earn a degree around your schedule.

Apply for Scholarships

There are so many different scholarships available for practically anyone, it’s almost silly not to search for ones that you would qualify for. Using various online search engines and resources from your college of choice, you should be able to search through all of the available scholarships to find ones that might be right for you. Applying sometimes takes some work, but in the end, it’s worth it.

Use Summers For Paid Internships

Before your term is over, apply for paid internships and jobs in your field of study. They typically pay better than a minimum wage summer job and you get some real-world work experience. Paid internships are in high demand, so begin applying early in the term so that you’ll have something lined up before summer. Once you start making money, don’t be tempted to spend it all on summer fun. Instead, save as much as you can so that you’ll start your next term with some cash in your pocket.

Get a Part-Time Job

Part-time jobs, especially jobs that are related to your future career, are great ways to earn money while you’re in school. For example, if you are studying finance, a part-time job with a bank or other financial institution will teach you about the job from the ground up. Building experience before earning your degree builds up your resume, making it easier to find a job after graduation. Plus, having a steady income makes it easier to save up for larger purchases, books and even nights out with friends.

Don’t Take Too Much Credit

Credit card companies are notorious for extending credit to unemployed college students. Sometimes, these credit offers come with offers of free stuff like t-shirts, Frisbee and even iPods. The details of the credit agreement are spelled out in the fine print but. most students don’t bother to read it or don’t understand what it means. Instead, they learn the hard way that missing just one payment can drastically increase a card’s interest rate and the interest rate on other cards as well. Suddenly, that $100 charge for a night of beer and pizza will take years to pay back.

Learn Money Management Skills Now

While you’re in college, you will have access to the best educational opportunities. Don’t pass up the chance to take a course in money management. Most colleges offer workshops and other programs designed to help students learn how to understand interest rates, balance a checkbook and create a budget. These courses will teach you how to make good financial choices.

What makes managing debt especially tricky for college students is that they have already accepted a great deal of debt to attend college. Their hope is that one day, once they’ve earned their degree, they’ll be earning a lot of money and have no trouble repaying their loans. While that is often the case, limiting the amount of debt helps make repayment even easier. Not all debt is good debt and even with a great career, it’s difficult to overcome bad credit.