Forced to Retire Early? Follow These Five Tips

Retire Early

Sometimes, we may be forced into a position where we have to retire early. While this may cause some initial problems, it might benefit you in the long run. However, preparing for an early retirement will involve some difficulties. Due to this, we want to share five steps you should take if you need to retire earlier than you expected.

Think About Pensions and Social Security

As you worked at your job over the years, you most likely put money into social security, and you may have a pension. This means you will need to strategize your pensions and social security to get the most out of your benefits. Each of these will provide you with a certain amount of money. While social security benefits automatically accumulate as you pay taxes, you will need to see if you have a pension. 

Identify A Location

As you plan to retire, you need to find the best location available. You will still need to pay certain bills and taxes, so you need to find a location with a low cost of living. On top of this, you should purchase the home you want to live in to avoid paying rent. Once you identify the location you want to move to, you can create your plans around that idea.

Look at Investments

Many people will have different investments they contributed to as they worked. This can include IRAs, 401k plans, and purchasing stocks that increased in worth. You will need to review your investments to see how much money you earned through all of them. From here, you can add these investments into your funds alongside your pensions and social security. This will help you see how much you will have during retirement.

Create a Budget

Once you know how much money you will have, you can create a budget. Depending on the options you have available, you could easily identify how much money you will have access to each year. From here, you can divide your money to see how much you can spend each month. This will assist you as you plan for your retirement.

Make Necessary Life Changes Immediately

If you plan to move, get a new home, or anything else that will change your life, you should do it immediately. If you hold off on these changes, they will become major expenses later on. Since you will most likely receive your money in portions, you won’t be able to pay them all off at once. Due to this, it’s better to make those changes as soon as you can.

Conclusion

While you will face some problems when you need to retire early, these steps will help you out. Following them will let you see the amount of money you will need to retire alongside any other preparations you should consider. These steps will get you on the right track as you prepare for your early retirement. Make sure you review and apply them to make your retirement process as easy as possible while ensuring you have enough money for your needs.

Expert Financial Tips for Young Adults

Personal finance is not a required subject in most high schools or colleges, which is extremely unfortunate as this causes a lack of primary financial education and leaves many young adults unaware about how to manage their money, apply for credit, and how to get or stay out of debt.

With self-employed loans bank statements are not required, you have quick access to your capital, and you will be able to build credit. In this article, we will look at the most important things to understand about money and help you to live your best financial life.

Control Your Financial Future

Most children learn this skill from their parents. If you are not so lucky, keep in mind the sooner you learn, the sooner you will find it easy to keep your finances in order. Most people can effortlessly purchase any item on credit the minute they want it, but it is better to wait until you have saved up the money. When buying anything on credit, you end up paying interest, be it a pair of jeans or new furniture.

It is essential to learn how to manage your money, so often, it is straightforward to mismanage your finances due to bad spending habits. Seek professional financial advice, research has shown that those who plan for the future end up with more wealth than those who do not believe in the long run. Realistically, the prospect of planning far into the future is a daunting task when you are young. Rather than setting long-term goals, set a series of small short-term goals that are both measurable and precise.

Know Where Your Money Goes

Educate yourself by reading financial books; nowadays you can listen to a podcast or watch YouTube videos. Understand how important it is to ensure that your expenses are not exceeding your income. The best way to do this is to budget by making small, manageable changes in your daily expenses that will have just as big of an impact on your finances as receiving a raise. Also, keep your monthly payments as low as possible as this would help you save significantly.

Start an Emergency Fund

It is wise to find some money in your budget to contribute to an emergency fund every month. This way, you will have money in savings to use for emergencies and to keep you out of financial stress. Getting into the habit of saving money will allow you to have more than just emergency money saved up, you will have a retirement fund, vacation money, or even enough money for a down payment on a home.

Get Health Insurance

If paying for health insurance seems impossible, imagine what you would do if you had to go to the emergency room, where a single visit can cost thousands of dollars. If you are uninsured, do not wait another day to apply for health insurance. It is vital to have insurance that can cover medical costs and allow you to get proper medical attention if you are involved in an accident or diagnosed with a medical condition.

You will thank yourself down the road when you do not have excessive medical bills to pay. Using these simple financial tips will allow you manage your finances better and equip you for any incidents that may occur in the future as you will know that you are prepared and covered by insurance and savings if anything were to happen.

How to Protect Client Confidentiality in Business

You have a duty to take the appropriate steps to protect confidential information in your company, whether it relates to your customers or your employees. Failure to ensure the data is properly protected can result in litigation, as well as harm to the credibility of your company and result in a loss of business.

Here are some of the easiest ways to protect the confidential information your company handles:

1. Control Access

For any information that is stored digitally, it is incredibly important that you use firewalls, passwords, and encryption to control any access to it. This is particularly important when the information is stored on smaller storage devices that can be lost easily, such as USB drives.

When you use passwords to secure access to sensitive information, you must ensure they are both safe and frequently updated. Using passwords that are easy to guess is a mistake many companies make and something you should stop doing if you want to keep your sensitive information secure. A mixture of upper and lower case letters and special characters are the best type of passwords to use.

2. Using Shredders and Confidential Waste Bins

As common as digital data has become, many businesses are still dealing with a great deal of paperwork on a daily basis. When sensitive documents need to be disposed of then be certain to use a confidential waste bin or shred them. Issues such as identity theft mean you should never believe that because a document has been dropped in the bin, nobody else will see it.

3. Lockable Document Storage Cabinets

When you need to permanently destroy classified documents, then a shredder would work well but what about the documents you need to have on hand? The best option in this situation is to have lockable storage cabinets which only a few select people have the key to.

It’s also a good idea to keep some lockable storage cabinets in a locked room which can’t be accessed by anyone other than a select one or two people, to provide an extra level of protection.

4. Safe Distribution of Confidential Documents

It is one thing to safely store confidential documents at your own premises, but if they need to be distributed then it is extremely important that this is conducted in a secure way. If it’s actual documents that need to be sent, then using a reputable courier service is a good idea, or preferably, get them delivered by someone you trust inside your company.

You can either e-mail or use a file-sharing program for digital documents that need to go to a third party. If you are using a file-sharing system, it is very important to encrypt the documents and to ensure that you are using a trustworthy service provider.

5. Employee Preparation

When it comes to leakage of confidential data, the biggest risk is often the employees of an organisation themselves. This is not necessarily due to malicious reasons either; it’s often simply because the proper training was not given.

When training your employees in ways to prevent a breach of confidentiality, it’s a good idea to begin by discussing why data protection is so essential and then educate them on the practical aspects of data protection, i.e. deleting records, using secure passwords, etc. If you want to teach them about data confidentiality, you can either do it internally or hire a third party. It may be more realistic to do your own in-house training on non-technology aspects of this, but if you want some guidance on passwords, phishing or other areas of IT, then you’ll also want some expert advice from an external IT company.

10 Components of a Modern Marketing Foundation

A thorough assessment of your marketing foundation is essential to devising marketing strategies, selecting the right agency partners and allocating resources. If the core of your marketing program is strong, then you can leverage that foundation, and focus efforts on driving leads and sales. However, if your core is weak, then you’ll need to build the basics and properly align ROI expectations and budgets.

  1. Brand Awareness: Do people recognise your brand name, and know what you do? While awareness is a somewhat intangible asset, marketers can track their success in building brand awareness through online reach (i.e. blog subscribers, Facebook likes, Twitter followers, LinkedIn group members and website visits), non-branded keyword search traffic, and brand engagement.

  2. Brand Positioning: Strong brand positioning (i.e. clearly conveying your brand story and value proposition) leads to customer preference and purchase. Know who you are, what you stand for, and why it matters to your audiences.

  3. Buyer Persona Profiles: Organisations with a deep understanding of their consumers can more effectively target their marketing activities on personal connections, and influence buying behaviour. Consider pain points, needs, goals and communication preferences.

  4. Competitive Advantage: Most likely, you’re not the only organisation that offers your product/service. Your key differentiating factors (i.e. brand awareness, unique product features, pricing model, sales process, talent, quality of product/service, etc.), are what sets you apart from your competitors.

  5. Customer Database: The size and quality of your customer database are two of the most critical factors in any marketing programme. With a solid customer database, you can enhance marketing strategies deeper in the funnel to improve retention and loyalty and drive revenue and profits.

  6. Lead Database: Do your marketing and sales teams manage a database for tracking online and offline leads? How do you gather lead information, and what process do you use for scoring them to identify top-quality leads? Make sure your team are keeping track of this data and updating it regularly.

  7. Opportunities for Growth: Solid products or services, smoothly run operations and a talented team will put any company in a position to take advantage of greater opportunities – from growing the bottom line to driving innovation within the industry.

  8. Sales/Marketing Integration: Information sharing between marketing and sales is key. It can greatly impact the customer experience and increase the efficiency of the sales process. If the two teams aren’t fully in-sync, it leads to miscommunication, and you’ll be failing to drive the business forward.

  9. Sales Process: Sales cycles differ greatly depending on the product/service; whether it is complex or simple, an efficiently structured process is key to ensuring success.

  10. Website: As the online front door of your business, your website is one of the most crucial elements to your marketing and sales programs. It should be an accurate reflection of your company’s brand, tell its story, house product/service information, enable contact information collection and serve as the key publishing tool for quality content.

The strength of these ten core marketing elements is critical to the success of the organisation, from both a marketing and sales perspective. They help set a solid foundation that drives new leads, assists in customer conversions and encourages brand loyalty.

How Can Working Alongside With Andrew Argue Help Your Accounting Firm

After years of experience as an entrepreneur, Andrew Argue has opted to share his knowledge with fellow accountants via several organized, comprehensive programs. Argue has plenty of great advice to offer whether you are an independent accountant trying to establish a new business or a large, more established firm. Here is how working with Andrew Argue can help your firm:

Get Better Clients: The range and type of potential clients can vary for any accounting company, and some clients may be better suited for your business than others. For instance, clients who are rude, or are not willing to pay fair price are probably best left for other firms. Argue teaches how to find and close prestigious, high paying clients, and how to properly price services. The Andrew Argue price model is still consumer friendly, but will help ensure that accountants are paid for their skills and time.

Develop Sound Marketing Strategies: While Argue studied accounting in college, he also made an independent study of marketing and business when he wanted to start his own company. It is important to consistently market any business, but not all marketing strategies are equally effective. This is where Argue can help your company save time and money while attracting high-quality clients.

Tweak Your Business Model: Almost every review of Andrew Argue and his program credits Argue’s strong business model. With experience as an independent entrepreneur as well as being a part of a major company, Argue has plenty of helpful tips for large and small accounting firms. Accountants who have worked with Argue report developing a sound business plan based on Argue’s methods that allowed for increased efficiency, growth and client retention.

There are plenty of Andrew Argue reviews from both individual accountants and large company owners. With great feedback, Argue’s program promises a high yield return on investment.

 

 

Forget Your Goals – How to Make Real Changes to Your Finances

Your life is full of more money advice than you can possibly take in. Unfortunately, much of it falls into the “just give up that expensive cappuccino!” variety, which makes sense on the surface, but only applies to 0.001% of the population. The fact is there are no “easy” fixes to real financial problems. Changing your financial life is just as hard as changing your health, your relationships, or your career. So if you are tired of your money problems, open your mind, take a deep breath and read on.

Forget Your Goals

Chances are you’ve had the same financial goals for a long time now. “I want to own my own home.” “I want to live comfortably.” “I want to be debt free.” If these goals were going to fix things, you’d have checked some of them off the list by now. Unfortunately, for change to occur, there needs to be a clean slate. So stop trying to fix the ramshackle financial house you’ve built in your mind. Instead bulldoze it and rebuild from the ground up. To do that, there are a lot of other things you need to forget.

Forget What You Want to Own

You are currently surviving with what you own. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be wasting your time reading an article on finances. This means that, at a fundamental level, you don’t need more stuff. This isn’t meant to be a judgment against struggling people who “waste” money on fast food or cigarettes that only the rich “deserve.” Instead, it’s a fundamental change in how you think about possessions. They just don’t matter until your money situation is fixed.

Forget “Saving” Money by Spending It

This goes hand in hand with the previous point but also applies to spending on essentials. If there is a great sale on something you want, but it means buying more than you budgeted, don’t. The hypothetical money you “saved” by spending more may feel good, but it won’t help you in an emergency the way money you actually save and put aside will. Having real money set aside for real emergencies is a must.

Forget Your Credit Score

Your credit score has one real purpose – to make it easier to take on debt. Sure, in the long run making good financial decisions will improve your credit score, but until you get where you need to be financially, it might as well be the high score on an old arcade game. Sure, it makes you feel good about yourself, but you might waste a lot of money achieving it. Save for emergencies and pay off debts that will make a difference to your long-term situation rather than paying off debts that will protect your high score. And never, ever try to improve your score by taking on new debt.

Forget Fairness

Oscar Wilde, who was no economist, once said “Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.” This is hard to accept. The world is stacked against you in many ways that you cannot change. There may be some ways that it isn’t but for the most part, you won’t notice those. If you are going to change your financial life, you cannot beat your head against the wall bemoaning the fact that some people get to have things you don’t and do things you can’t. Yes, it is unfair. It is also the way things have always been. The one comfort is that if you can tolerate that long enough to truly change your financial situation, then you have a better chance of becoming one of the people that other people are jealous of.

Informational credit: Accuplan Benefits Services, providing self-directed IRAs and 401Ks

8 Money Habits That the Wealthiest Individuals Practice Regularly

The gap between the world’s rich and the rest of the population continues to grow and be more evident. As the numbers of poor people increase, more individuals are trying to figure out the secret to becoming successful. While it’s true that family connections and luck have sometimes carved out a path of good fortune to some of the richest people on earth, for most individuals who have earned their way to the top, it’s about specific money habits. Here are some of the best money tips for those looking for a little bit of inspiration from the best.

1. Don’t Live Beyond Your Means

One of the biggest problems that plagues many people who have difficulty with their finances is that they live well beyond their means. It’s important, no matter how much money you bring in each month, to develop a modest budget and to stay within it. Spend less time collecting new things and more time experiencing moments and developing new skills. Drive a used, late model car instead of the newest one on the lot, and live in a house you can afford.

2. Stop Playing the Lottery

Another habit that the most successful individuals share is they refuse to buy into the lottery systems that are run around the country. While millions of people get excited at the thought of becoming an instant millionaire with a lucky jackpot, the reality is that winning the lottery is not something that’s going to happen to you. Every lottery ticket purchase is simply a waste of money that could be better spent. So, if you are a lottery player, think about the cost of all of the tickets you have bought, and what you could use the money for instead.

3. Spend More Time Talking to People

The top people who have reached ultimate success in the world also share another important characteristic; they have a way with their words. Taking the time to talk to people is another key factor that helps propel you to financial success. Meeting new people is easier when you open yourself up to a new conversation. This can help expand your network, which puts you in a better position for your career and ultimately, your finances.

4. Avoid Time Wasters

If you want to get ahead, the first things you need to cut out of your life are the big time wasters. Sitting in front of the television for hours at a time, playing video games, and spending the day online for no specific reason are all big activities that produce no viable outcome for those who crave success. If you are looking for something to do in your spare time, take up a hobby instead, such as music, sports, or reading. Hobbies that help you develop a specific muscle or skill are much more likely to help you be your best.

5. Do Your Best Work

The next helpful tip that can give people a greater chance of finding huge success is to do your best work. No matter what you do to earn your money, make sure you do it well. While many of the richest people in the country had various jobs before they made it big, whatever they did, they did it well and with passion.

6. Get Professional Advice for Money Decisions

Those with large amounts of money must also take special care to protect what they have. Wealthy individuals never make foolish decisions about money because they employ the help of financial advisors. Even if you aren’t a millionaire, it’s still a good idea to get advice from professionals for the best path to take with your financial reserves.

7. Focus on Task Completion and Organization

Making a large amount of money can only be possible if you’re constantly working toward completing important tasks and have some sort of organizational system for everything that you do. People who put things off or procrastinate difficult and time-consuming work may struggle to reach a certain level of success. A system of organization is vital to those who want to be able to deal with more demands as they become more prosperous.

8. Make Realistic Goals for Yourself

The last important habit that the richest people in the world are good at is that they make realistic goals for themselves. You can adapt this idea to your own life and career as well. Instead of existing in a life that doesn’t fulfill you and dreaming about a different path for yourself, set small goals that you can realistically achieve. Once you reach a goal, make a new one, until you finally get to where you want to be financially.
Following in the footsteps of the people at the top of the earnings chart can help you get to where your highest financial level may be. When your hard work and smart decisions start paying off, you must continue to focus on your goals and stay the course.