How to Manage Your Personal Finances – Retirement Capital Requirements

Many articles have been written about the subject of retirement planning and there are many books published by experts on this very important issue. I have just recently joined the fold of the retired group and I have been through the mill (so to speak) of planning and implementing my retirement plan in it's initial phase. It is this, the initial phase, which I would like to concentrate on in this article.

So, how do I plan my retirement date?

Most companies have contractual dates for retirement. For example, retirement ages could range from 55 years old for early retirement to 60 years old for Directors to 65 years old for operational staff. These dates are generally a guideline since companies do exercise some flexibility when applying these parameters. However, each individual should be using these parameters as a benchmark and then build a projected financial model to see if they are adequately provided for in retirement. Note: The use of a financial advisor is highly recommended in this planning process.

Since the above guidelines, your retirement date is in fact flexible provided that you can satisfy the golden formula which is expressed as: "Accrued income plus passive income must exceed your current cost of living plus an adjustment (up or down) for lifestyle choice in retirement plus inflation projections and sufficient liquid cash for emergencies ".

Let's face it, the thought of early retirement is in the minds of all of us but if you can not afford it, you are heading for suicide.

Let me expand the golden formula as follows:

  • Accrued income is the monthly pension or income that you can derive from your pension accumulation through your working life. This figure will be provided to you by your pension fund or your investment institution.
  • Passive income is income from investments that you made through your working life. Here you consider regular income from property investments, equity investments, dividends, savings interest, business partnerships and any other form of reliable income which you will derive on a monthly basis.
  • Current cost of living is the full annual cost of your current lifestyle. Be extravagant in estimating this figure and be sure to include everything that you incur as a cost.
  • Adjust your retirement requirements up or down depending on your circumstances and your intended lifestyle in retirement.
  • Make adequate provision for injury during your retirement years. Your financial advisor should project your retirement capital adequacy over your expected lifespan.
  • Ensure that you have a 'nestegg "of cash available for emergencies such as buying a new car, unexpected medical bills, renovating your house, helping your kids, taking some holidays and anything else which is relevant to your situation.

I spend many hours pondering the above elements and I suppose it is only natural to be very conservative about whether you can actually go ahead and retire. Assuming that the criteria for the golden formula are met and in order to make the decision a little easier, the following points are highly recommended:

  • You should have no heavy debt burdens. Your mortgage should be paid off, your car hire purchase agreements should be settled and you should have no major debt commitments. In fact, you should be able to live from cash out of your wallet.
  • Your "wish list" for your activities in retirement must be catered for in your planned expenditure.
  • You must not have any plans that requires you to erode your capital base.
  • You need to be sure that your monthly income is pretty secure and you need to have alternative plans if for some reason, your monthly income drops.
  • You need to be able to save some of your retirement income monthly just to prove that you are coping.

In this planning exercise, you need to budget for everything that you want in retirement. Once you have taken the step, there is no turning back if you are serious about retiring. You also do not want to find out that you can not afford some of the things which you had in your vision.

In conclusion, the most important factor in planning your retirement is to ensure that your life partner (if appropriate) is fully informed and on board with the plan and that you create a mutual acceptance and arbitration about your future in retirement.

The above article is created to stimulate thought on your own unique circumstances and you need to tailor your plan accordingly.

Setup Web Hosting – Get Connected

When you are ready to setup web hosting for your website, there are many different options to choose from. In order for you to get your website live to the internet, you have to point your website files to your host. This is called FTP or File Transfer Protocol. Websites can have large files and FTP is a way to upload your website files to your host.

When you setup your host all you are doing is renting web space and bandwidth from a company. In return your upload files and your website is live to the internet. Depending on the kind of website you have your hosting plan will vary. I have listed some key terms when purchasing a web hosting plan to look out for.

  • Bandwidth (your traffic funnel)
  • Storage (depending on the size of your website)
  • Up time (this is when you server is up)
  • How many e-mail accounts (depending on your number of employees).

What ever you do stay away from the free hosts, if you care about your customers and business. I know free sounds good, but when we are talking about your host it is not. I will list some downfalls when choosing a free web host.

  • Unreliable (here today gone tomorrow with your website).
  • No real domain (you use a sub domain of their domain name such as your-name.their-domain.com). You can not build a customer base with that name.
  • They have the right to cancel you at anytime for any reason (your return customers have no website to return to).
  • Pop ups all the time on your website not even relevant to your content.

Web hosting is affordable with plans that start out about $ 3.99 a month for a basic plan which is plenty for a simple website. I hope this article has helped you in some way, so when you decide to get your website live to the internet you will be one step ahead.

Steps in Obtaining a Birth Certificate Copy Online

The Internet is a vast and truly wide repository of updated information, records, as well as archives of past data. In doing a search for public records online, experts note that the first crucial step towards quickly locating information about people, companies or personal data begins with gaining a thorough understanding of what defines a public record as well as private information. After gaining a clear overview of the limitations and scope of a public record search, you’ll find out how important this search mechanism is, especially in searching for information such as a birth certificate copy, among other sensitive and vital information.

In essence, personal or confidential data is considered as private and restricted information. Items such as date of birth, an individual’s Social Security number, insurance, medical, financial, as well as birth records are private by definition; however, online researchers note that confidential private data sometimes becomes public, which means that you may be able to locate or retrieve these types of records ethically and legally. This includes searching for a birth certificate copy.

The first step to do in finding birth certificate copies online is to type the name of the city/town where the person you’re looking for was born, along with the name of the county in the search engine. After this, locate the specific county register, by typing for example ‘county register/clerk recorder’. Once you get in the county registrar’s Web site, begin searching for the birth certificate. Once you’ve found the specific record, print out a copy of the certificate’s request form, fill the forms and read the instructions. Once you get the copy of the form, have it notarized and send it to the indicated address along with the required check or money order payment for the fees.

In obtaining birth certificate copies online, you should know that some US counties are so small that they may not have the required information posted on their web site. Should this be the case, and then call the phone number posted on their site for proper instructions. Online search records experts say that some counties will allow you to order a copy of you birth certificate online, and all you need to present is a valid credit card, as well as to fax the notarized request form to the county registrar. These days however, with concerns about identity fraud or theft, not all individuals are allowed to obtain certified birth record copies. The persons or individuals who are only allowed to obtain an authorized certified copy are the registrant himself or his/her parent and legal guardian. The individual or entity may also be allowed to obtain certified birth record copies online whenever this is mandated by a court order, or from a lawyer or a registered adoption agency that wants to obtain the person’s birth record copies in compliance with certain sections of the US Family Code. Law enforcement officials and representatives of a governmental agency are also allowed to access birth records, provided that they are conducting official business. Lastly, a child, sibling, spouse or grandchild of the individual may also be allowed to obtain copies of his/her birth records, as long as these persons have been properly authorized to do so.

The Similarities and Differences in Graduate and Undergrading Financial Aid

In less than forty years the cost of a college education has dramatically dramatically and today a college education will cost about ten times as much as it did when I myself attended college. Fortunately though there are now a variety of programs available to help you to fund your education and the path that you follow will depend upon whether you are an undergraduate or a graduate student.

As an undergraduate you will rely on an often compounded mixture of scholarships, grants and loans and, in the case of loans, these will either be taken out alone, by your parents, or as a combination loan in which for example you take out the loan in your own name with your parents as co-borrowers or co-signers to the loan.

By far the most popular student loan program today, which accounts for more than ninety percent of government backed funding, is subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans. The most desirable are of course subsidized loans on which the government picks up the bill for interest payments while you are in college and for a grace period of up to six months after you graduate. These loans are however needs based and so there are a couple of hoops which you have to jump through to qualify. Unsubsidized loans in contrast are not needs based and so are available to almost all students.

For a graduate student however the picture is somewhat different and, while there are graduate scholarships and grants available, these tend to be few and far apart. It is however often possible to get a teaching or research assistantship, which is essentially a low paying, long hours job which many graduates avail themselves of to help them through their course or while carrying out research.

Another recently introduced option for graduations is a PLUS loan. PLUS stands for Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students and, as the name suggests, was originally designed to allow parents to take out a preferential loan in order to help a son or daughter through college. Now though this program has been extended to also allow graduate students to take a PLUS loan in their own right.

PLUS loans are available available and are credit, rather than need, based. For some graduates this may cause a problem but the majority of graduations have not had time to get them into the credit problems which are suffering by so many adults today. Consequently, although you may have a sparse credit history, you probably will not have enough bad marks on your credit report to rule you ineligible for a PLUS loan.

The downside of PLUS loans is that, in historical terms at least, current interest rates which are generally either 7.9% or 8.5% are not low. This means that interest charges on even a reliably small loan can be high and repayment will need to start within 60 days of the grant of the loan, with no grace period.

As with all student loans, whether for undergraduates or graduations, there are a variety of different loans available from both government and private sources and, government loans in particular, have different caps for both single loans and lifetime loans from individual programs. As a result this is one area which you will need to research carefully, rather than simply rushing in and applying for the first loan which springs to mind.