Single Senior Finances And How You Can Manage It Well

Single Senior Finances And How You Can Manage It WellSingle senior finances are one of the points in your life that you need to plan for because you will have a tougher hill to climb than the rest. You need to understand that one of the components that makes old life easier is when you have a family with you. If you are going through it alone then it changes the dynamics of old age retirement.

If you start comparing it to traditional retirement planning, going at it alone is a lot different. Parts of your retirement planning might seem a little easier since you are only planning for yourself. However, you need to understand that this is more challenging because you would need to do everything on your own.

Single senior finances mean that you do not have any spouse or even children to help you with old age needs. You might have some friends from work or in your neighborhood but may not be enough. Besides, they might start to focus on their own needs as they get older. When that happens, they might not be able to help you as much as they want.

This and the fact that you are alone makes it all the more important to make sure you plan for old age well. While you can, you need to put in all the work to make it possible your golden years. There is no one else to rely on but yourself so better make it count. Here are a few things you might want to look into to help you prepare better.

Manage all debt payments before hitting retirement

While you can, it is important to manage your debt obligations especially if you are nearing retirement. If you are just starting out, try and plot out your payments to make sure that you pay everything off before you retire. This is important especially when you start to look at your big-ticket debt items.

For one, you need to make sure that you pay off your mortgage loan before you hit retirement. It will put too much stress on your finances because house payments tend to be a big amount in your expenses. Take a look at other big payments such as your student loans and even car loans try to work on the same timeline. Your objective is to pay these off before heading into retirement.

Carrying these debt payments while trying to enjoy retirement will cut into your retirement funds. You can make an argument that you can just sell the house and even earn from the sale. But these types of life and financial decisions need to be planned out very carefully. You also need to time these well so you are not left homeless on the street.

Look for ways to lower your expenses in old age will help single senior finances

Making every dollar count is important in single senior finances. You need to be able to stretch your budget to cover a lot in your expenses. This might even be a good time to start looking into a frugal lifestyle. Whatever you decide on, it is best to identify areas on how you can cut down on your budget expense side.

As mentioned earlier, joining the tiny house movement in retirement is one of the ways you can bring down your expenses. You might even be able to get a hefty sum from the sale of the house. However, timing is important in these types of decision. You need to make sure that selling the house and closing your purchase on the one you want to buy net are in succession. A hitch on one of the will either make you pay for two mortgages until you dispose of your old house or become homeless when you sell the old house but fail to close on the new one.

One other idea you might want to consider is relocating to a new place where the cost of living is relatively lower than where you are now. Forbes shares that Costa Rica is one of the top retirement countries at present. This can help you get more out of your retirement money. Choosing to live in a smaller house and in a new place may look daunting because you are doing something new. Just think of it as an exciting stage in your life where you get to meet new people in a new place.

Identify areas to increase your income

Once you hit retirement, you might have this notion of just hanging out in your porch the whole day reading newspapers or books or knitting whatever you want. Though there are some retirees who feel it is for them and this is their idea of single senior finances, this should not be your default thinking. If at all, retirement should be an exciting stage in your life.

For one, it can give you the chance to pursue something that you really love. That is if you did not have the luxury of doing the same while you were still working. Not everyone lands their dream job so retirement affords the luxury of going after what you really want to do. As an added benefit, you can even earn from it.

This becomes an income-positive hobby that benefits you in two ways. You get to spend time doing what you love doing. In this case, you will not feel like you are working at all. The money you earn can be used to add to your retirement fund. This can give you more elbow room to pursue other activities such as vacations or visiting family and friends.

Lower down your stress level

This is one of those objectives which are easier said than done but it does not mean it’s impossible. There are a few things to look into and try to lower down your stress level. For one, doing a hobby that you earn from can be great in reducing stress. If you love baking, then it can help you manage some stress in your life. The additional income, if you get to sell it, will even help with single senior finances.

You can also try and start putting in some exercise into your daily routine. It helps you feel food afterward. Not to mention that the stronger and healthier you are, the more it can help with your single senior finances. It lessens the need for doctor’s appointments and even hospital emergency visits. You might also lower the need for maintenance medicines.

Look for new friends

If you do decide to retire elsewhere and buy a smaller house, it is important to make new friends in your new place. For one, you will need the support system once you find it harder to move around. If your finance allows it, you can check out assisted living facilities so there will be people taking care of your every need.

Single senior finances might be daunting for single people who are about to enter into retirement. It might feel like you are going to be up against everything all by yourself. However, this is not the case because there are a lot of living arrangements you can opt to make a comfortable life in retirement. You can still have a full life in your golden years if you start preparing for it early on.

Credit Score Affects Finances In A Number Of Ways

credit score affects financesThere is no question at this point that credit score affects finances in a lot of ways. However, the bigger question is that if you have an idea of what areas in your life are directly affected by it. It is one thing to agree that it does have a hand on several areas in your life and another to be able to pinpoint where they are exactly.

Knowing how your credit score affects your finances can help guide your thoughts and actions to better manage your finances. Think of it like a ship out in the sea and you have no bearing on where you are going. You simply keep on sailing out in the sea not really knowing how your present course affects your overall objective of reaching a specific place.

Much like how your credit score affects finances on a daily basis, you need to have an idea of what it affects in your financial life. It will help you plan your actions accordingly so you reach your goals in the future. Here are a few of the things you need to look into to understand this better.

Mortgage loan

This is undoubtedly one of the biggest decisions you will ever make in your adult life. You might be trying to take out a loan because you are getting married and want to live in your own house after the honeymoon. You might also already have a family that is growing that is why getting a mortgage loan for a bigger house makes a lot of sense. It is also possible that you simply want to have a place of your own and build equity on a property early on.

Whatever your reason is, applying for a mortgage loan is a big deal where creditors and lenders will look at and scrutinize your finances. This is one of the areas where credit score affects finances because it will have a direct hand in your lender’s decision to approve the loan. One of the biggest deciding factors in mortgage application is your credit score.

If you have been managing your finances well, there is a chance that you enjoy a high credit score. In these instances, lenders will see this as a positive sign that you pay your obligations on time. They will not see the need to assess a high-interest rate on the loan because their risk going into it is low. On the contrary, the lower your score is, the higher the rate will be. There can even be a chance that you will not be approved for the loan.

Upgrading your credit limit

Credit score affects finances even when you are just trying to request for a higher credit limit on your credit cards. There are a few possible reasons why you may find yourself requesting for a higher credit ceiling. It might not seem to be a good financial decision but if you can control your credit use, this can be a great financial tool.

One of the reasons why you might think of requesting for a higher credit limit is because of travel. There are times when it is easier to use your card when traveling abroad. This is especially true when you are using a card fit for international purchases. There are also instances where this move can help increase your score because you get a better credit utilization ratio.

This goes without saying that your credit score will affect whether you are approved for a credit limit or not. Much like how your mortgage loan works, this decision is dependent on your score. The higher it is, the bigger the possibility of getting approved. Just as if your score is low, your creditor might think twice in extending a higher limit.

Moving into a new apartment

Your credit score affects finances and even when you are moving into a new apartment. It might seem a stretch but there are some landlords who will take a look at your score. This is because they want to be assured that you will be able to meet your monthly rent payments. It also follows the same idea – the higher your score is, the more your landlord will be inclined to let you rent out a unit. The lower it is, the harder it might be to convince them or they might ask for a bigger deposit.

Starting a business

One of the earlier challenges of starting a business is getting your hands on some start-up capital. A lot of people decide that their best option is to borrow some funds from a bank. Your credit score will have a direct effect on whether you get approved or not on the business loan. The higher your score is, the higher your chances of getting the loan. If you do not realize how your credit score would one day affect a business loan application, you might not be serious about it. In the end, you might jeopardize your chances of getting a business loan.

Securing your first job

Much like getting into an apartment, credit score affects finances and even when you are trying to get that job. This is because there are some employers who go out of their way for potential hires by pulling their credit score. Of course, they cannot do this without your consent so it is better to tell them about financial issues before they check your score.

There are also some government jobs that require a credit check as part of the whole application process. This is important especially when people are applying for sensitive positions in the government. There will be an intensive background check for sensitive government positions. This is a process done to ensure only the most qualified gets sensitive jobs.

How to improve your credit score?

Now that you understand how credit score affects finances and a lot of other areas in your life, here are a few of the ways you can improve your credit score.

Pay your bills on time

Late payments will have a direct effect in pulling your score down that is why you need to make sure you make them on time. Try to create alarms to remind you about your payment due dates to help remind you of your obligation. You can also set up automatic payments to help you send payments even when you are too busy to do it.

Check your credit score regularly

One of the financial habits you need to develop is checking your credit report regularly and you can do that with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This gives you the chance to request for a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from nationwide credit reporting bureaus. It can be from TransUnion, Equifax, or even Experian. This way, you can regularly screen your credit activity and be able to pinpoint any inconsistencies.

There are a lot of ways with how credit score affects finances and the way you live now will affect future plans you might have. That being said, it is best to know how your score will play a crucial role with your goals in life so you can better prepare at present.

Importance Of Credit Score For College Students

Importance Of Credit Score For College Students Maintaining a decent credit score for college students might not be on top of mind for most people but it does carry a lot of financial benefits. The challenge in pursuing this path early on is that students are much too focused on another set of numbers – grades, GPA, and more importantly, their student loan amount.

That being said, it would be difficult for the younger generation to try and focus on financial habits to improve their finances which improves their credit score. While in college, it is far more important to focus on their studies and graduate with a degree on hand. It gets them earning faster and be able to pay down student debt faster.

However, financial management does not choose a specific age range and learning about it starts very early in life. This means that going to college is not enough reason to put it on hold. In fact, this is a good time to understand just how important credit score for college students really are.

As Census shares, there were over 19 million students that attended several colleges and universities in 2015. This means that if a good portion of these students put in an effort to improve their finances while still in school, a lot of them could graduate with decent credit scores. If you are one of these students and wondering what benefits you can get out of high credit scores, here are some of them.

Credit score for college students can help with future employment

It might surprise you that there is a correlation between your credit score and that dream job you have been eyeing since your senior year in college. This is because there are some employers who might check out your credit score to assess how financially responsible you are. This basically gives them an idea of your maturity and commitment in meeting your responsibilities early on in life.

This might not be a deal breaker but if everything else being equal, wouldn’t you want to work with someone who has exhibited responsibility early on? That might be at the back of the mind of the person conducting the interview and your potential boss. This is one of the reasons why working on a decent credit score for college students is something you need to focus on.

Getting your first apartment after college

As soon as you graduate from college, housing starts to be a concern. For some fresh graduates, they decide to move back in with their parents so they can save up for a downpayment on a house. One way to keep your home loan affordable is to put in a considerable amount of equity in the beginning. And moving back to your old room can help you save on rent money.

However, if you are feeling more independent and really want to get a head start on your solo living arrangements, you could explore renting an apartment. And much like how potential employers might pull your credit to check how responsible you are, the same can be done by the landlord.

The reason for doing this is pretty much the same, they want to be able to gauge how responsible you are when it comes to your finances. This is even more of an issue for landlords because they will have to know if you have the habit of paying bills on time. This is one of the reasons why credit score for college students is important.

Applying for utilities

Once you move out and start living on your own, you might find the need to apply for utilities such as gas, electric, and water. That is if no one is already paying for it. The FTC explains that applying for utilities is similar to applying for credit. That being said, companies would require your Social Security number to check your credit.

There is no doubt that it is easier to get approval for utility application with a good credit score. However, falling below desired expectations of the company might make them ask you for a deposit. They can ask for that or a letter of guarantee or credit which is coming from someone else who will be willing to pay for the bill in case you default on them. These guarantors are usually off the hook after you have made on-time payments for a specific amount of time.

Getting good rates on loan items

The importance of a good credit score for college students might really show its benefits when you start applying for big-ticket loan items. These usually consist of a car loan or a mortgage loan. At this point, you already know that your credit score is the direct opposite of interest rates. The higher your score, the lower your rates can be just as the lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate could be.

The earlier you start to build on your credit score, the easier it would be to apply for these types of loans. What you need to understand why a lower interest rate is important is because it affects your payments. The lower the rate, the lower the monthly payment could be. In the long run, you also pay a lower total amount as compared to a higher rate.

Low rates on credit card offers

There is no doubt that at this point in time, credit cards seem to be an invaluable piece of plastic in managing your finances. That being said, a lot of people would have these cards safely tucked away in their wallets including yourself. You might already have one as a college student but you will have more over the course of time.

Credit score for college students would be a determining factor on what your credit card interest would be. The higher your score is, the more you might be able to get better deals with your lender. These can go a long way with how you use your credit cards and manage your payments every month. 

Here is a video to help you understand the dangers of store credit cards as you manage your credit score:

Better loan consolidation rates

One of the best ways to manage your student loan repayment after you graduate is looking into debt consolidation. The mechanics would be different if you are consolidating federal student loans as against with a private lender. For the latter, your interest rate on the loan would again depend on your credit score. If you were able to manage that number while in school, you could have a more favorable rate once you choose to privately consolidate them.

This could soon be a not that big of a deal for Brown University students as Forbes reported that the school will replace loans with grants which will not have to be paid back. That is great news for the students but that does not mean that they can disregard the value of what a great credit score gives a college student.

The benefits of paying attention to the importance of a credit score for college students will benefit the younger generation well after they graduate. The key is finding the balance in protecting their credit with that of performing well in school to increase their chances of better employment once they graduate.

Financial Problems Can Come From These 5 Well-Meaning Financial Decisions

Financial Problems Can Come From These 5 Well-Meaning Financial DecisionsAs you go through life, financial problems will always pop up and often times catch you off-guard. What makes this even more of a challenge is if you do not have any reserve funds to rely on. This is, of course, for those unexpected emergencies such as appliances breaking down at home, to the car needing new batteries, or even when you are given the pink slip in the office.

There are times when problems manifest because of a direct result of your actions. Sending in a late payment on a bill can lead to penalties and fees. Choosing to go over your card limit would also expose you to completely avoidable charges on your bill. On top of these, there can be adverse effects on your credit score.

However, there are times that financial problems will not only surprise you, it can even come from what you thought were sound financial decisions. This is a curveball that can come up and completely ruin your whole game plan. The best thing you can do is to try to learn as much as possible from the experience of other people so you do not make the same mistakes. Here are some of them.

Pursuing higher education

There is no question that pursuing higher education and even post-graduate studies can do a lot for your financial future. Numerous studies have proven that a college degree can open doors for better career advancement compared to high school graduates. There are, of course, exceptions to that rule with some prominent personalities dropping out of school and later on forming big companies.

In that sense, education remains to be a vital component for future success. However, you need to watch closely with how you pursue that dream. This refers to the student loans you might have to take out to pay for the cost of attendance. The sad part is that tuition seems to be increasing year on year which leaves students and families taking out bigger loans. As a result, they graduate with big debt looming over their heads.

This is one of the financial problems you will encounter and the way to address this is to start saving up for college early on. This can be undertaken both by the parents and even the student themselves. It is also helpful to explore all sources of free money. This refers to grants, scholarships, and other sources of money they do not have to pay back. This would drastically lower down the student loan to take out and repay in the future.

Purchasing a car

Gone are the days when you want to buy a car just to show off to family and friends. Though it can still happen at present, the more common reason for buying a car is a need. It can be to get to and from work or even for a business venture that you are starting up. Having a vehicle makes you mobile and gives you the ability to do accomplish more tasks.

Even the LA Times shared that vehicle sales in the country is up in 2016 compared from the past year by about 80,000 units. There are tax issues that could affect this growth in 2017 but the trend has proven that a lot of people are buying cars. The problem lies when you start to neglect your payments and send them out either late or not at all. This triggers collections calls and can deeply tarnish your score.

This is one of the financial problems you can address by carefully deciding on the type of vehicle that you need. Doing so helps ensure that it not only fits your need, it also fits into your budget. This is a commitment that takes years to pay off and requires timely payments every month. Be sure that you have the ability to pay it back and put in place reminders to give you a heads up on the payment due dates.

Buying a house

This is part of the American dream and a lot of people, especially married couples, aspire to have a house of their own. They envision raising their family in this house building up memories and helping grow a family in love and harmony. This prompts consumers to explore getting a mortgage loan to be able to finance a house.

There is no question that this is one of most expensive acquisitions you could ever make in your life. As such, lenders use more stringent measures to help them ensure they get paid. On the other hand, this could have the lowest interest rates among all your financial obligations. This is due to the fact that it is a secured loan.

That being said, messing up your payments and defaulting on it can prompt lenders to take back the property. This is one of the most challenging financial problems you would ever face. This is so they can sell it to other people and recoup their losses. Not to mention the significant drop in your score. One way to avoid this is to prioritize your mortgage payments and decide on a property that you can afford. Remember that house payments can take as much as 3 decades to pay off.

Getting a new job

Financial Problems Can Come From These 5 Well-Meaning Financial DecisionsThe Balance shared in a recent article that there are a lot of people that jump from one job to the other averaging 12 changes in their career. A lot of people are in search of greener pastures and bigger compensation. There are only a few that seems to stick to one employer their whole life. This is not to say that one is better than the other as they each have their own set of pros and cons. It is just that in today’s time, people equate moving around from one company to the other as the best way to hike up their salary.

That being said, there seems to be no downside in choosing to move onto another job. This is especially if you get to enjoy a higher pay. However, there is a saying points out how a rolling stone gathers no moss. If you keep moving around, your pay might go up but you need to remember that loyalty is also a valued commodity in any industry.

If you chance upon a company that suddenly has to start retrenching employees, there is a big chance that new hires could be on the chopping block. Constantly moving around could also confuse you with your 401(k) fund and you could lose money in the process. There are also vesting schedules when it comes to employers matching a 401(k) so moving around could make you lose your right to that free money.

Using different credit cards for specific purposes

This is actually a great idea as you get the chance to compartmentalize your expenses. Each statement would list down your cost for specific items in your budget. However, this opens you up to all sorts of financial problems such as mixing expenses and even payment with one another. This could lead to over payment for some and under payment for others. If you plan to use different credit cards for specific expenses, you need to organized enough to ensure you do not mix one with the other.

There are a number of financial problems that can show up even if you are pursuing well-meaning financial goals in life. The idea is to be prepared and proceed with informed decisions in life with caution.

6 Ways How To Financially Recover From A Natural Disaster

6 Ways How To Financially Recover From A Natural DisasterTo be able to financially recover could be one of the top priorities of people living in Houston at the moment after Hurricane Harvey made landfall a few days ago. The hurricane affected Texas the most were people from Houston getting the most rainfall they have seen for a while. It almost put the city under water affecting thousands of people in the area.

There could already have been financial tragedy lessons from Typhoon Haiyan though it devastated countries mostly in Southeast Asia. Hurricane Harvey affected coastal areas south of the US. Even the National Weather Service explained that catastrophe Harvey afflicted is unprecedented. This means the impact it has brought to Houston is like nothing they have experienced before.

The extensive flooding was in part due to almost 50 inches of rain that dropped on the city. This means full recovery could take a while for Houston. NBC even shares in an article how the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is looking for volunteers to be able to help Texas residents from the aftermath of Harvey.

In light of all these, affected residents also need to find a way to financially recover from the natural disaster. Here are a few things to consider as they start to rebuild their lives.

You and your family’s safety is of utmost importance

However you look at it, you need to make sure that you and your family are able to come out of it alive. If you already know beforehand that a hurricane is fast approaching and about to make landfall in your area, seek shelter. Listen in to emergency broadcast services or call local authorities for help.

Regardless if you have been living in your area for years now. You might think that nothing bad could happen as it has been relatively safe in the past. However, climate change has been a critical issue for years that we are experiencing never before seen levels of natural disasters. As such, you might be surprised that water could reach your second-floor area or that the river near your residence would quickly overflow.

Secure critical documents

As you prepare for a natural disaster, it is easier to financially recover if you are able to secure all your critical documents ahead of time. This is because it gives you a starting point in when you start to rebuild rather than stressing out trying to request for original documents again. There is also the chance that if your local lender is also affected, it could take time to reproduce the documents.

However, on the off chance that you do lose your documents, it is important to know where you can request copies of them. According to Red Cross, there are specific agencies where to get documents. The Department of Motor Vehicles for driver’s licenses, your attorney would have a copy of your will, and lending institutions for mortgage papers are just some of them.

Housing concerns

It is a lot easier to financially recover from a natural disaster if you are proactive with your finances. Take your house payment for example. Damage to your home does not automatically exclude you from paying your mortgage payments. However, there are lenders who take the initiative in working with you to avoid default. The important thing is to reach out to your lenders so can talk to them about it.

If the damage is so severe that you cannot stay at home, you need to contact more than just your lender. Reach out and talk with your utility providers to initially suspend your services. That is if they have not yet done so. There could be cases where they take it upon themselves to suspend services when they know a large area has already been affected.

The reason you need to do these things is to prevent any payments from being unpaid. If you overlook this and accrue fees and penalties, it will make recovery a lot more challenging than it already is. A proactive approach and taking control of your finances and payments early on keeps you away from debt and unnecessary penalties.

Tap into your reserve funds

reserve fundsNatural disasters are a perfect example of why you need to have reserve funds in your budget. This type of savings would allow you to continue covering your monthly expenses and payments without going into further debt. More than having money for food and other basic necessities, your emergency fund will be your lifeline as well as a source of immediate financial support.

One of the first things you need to do is assess how much you have in your reserve funds. You also need to verify how quickly you can access them for your immediate need. If your bank is also affected by the natural disaster, find the next closest branch so you can take out money to use.

You need to prioritize payments when you get your hands on your emergency fund. If your lenders for the house loan and even other unsecured debts cannot work with you, make sure you pay them. This will prevent you from operating in the red which will put a lot more stress on your finances.

Acknowledge you might need help

One of the things that will help you financially recover from big emergencies is to acknowledge that you might need help. It is innate for some people to just want to get through life on their own but there are times when you need an extra hand. Especially in times of natural calamities, you would need all the help that you can get.

This can be in the form of a special loan from the government, lenders, or even from family and friends. This is to help you rebuild your life and even property and put you back up on your feet. It also gets you in a position to start earning again and be able to repay back these loans. When everything gets too much to handle, you can always look into a debt consolidation loan to help you manage your payments.

Come back stronger

One of the things you need to remember when trying to recover from a natural disaster is to keep in mind the lessons you learned. These will allow you to grow as a person, be able to prepare and come back stronger than ever. It could have exposed vulnerable areas in your life which you might not have the chance to address.

It can be your finances and your lack of preparation and even how you keep yourself together in handling all the stress that comes your way. These lessons will make you a better person only if you let it. Accept the shortcomings that you have, look for ways to improve and plan out concrete steps to make sure that you address those concerns.

It is tough to try and financially recover from a natural disaster because it will not always be only about money. You have your family’s emotional and even mental well-being to consider. However, taking control of your finances and being proactive will keep you from worrying about it as you rebuild your life. This can be one less thing to worry about and when you are trying to pick up the pieces from an emergency, one less thing to worry about can be a lifesaver.