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Finance - Part 2

Finance Archives

Finance

Retirement (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

As the Association of British Insurers warned last week that living beyond 100 will become the norm by 2100*, research from later-living experts McCarthy & Stone reveals many over-60s have no idea how they are going to cope financially.

McCarthy & Stone, which has launched a free mini-guide to financial planning for later life to help people plan for their retirement, conducted research among 1,000 retired people aged over 60 and found:

  • Nine per cent of respondents have no idea how they are going to cope in the future, which if compared to the population of over-60s living in the UK, equates to over 1.2m people**
  • 25 per cent have not made a will
  • 48 per cent have never talked to their family about their money, pension, savings or future housing and care needs

McCarthy & Stone’s new financial planning guide provides a variety of information, including a financial planning checklist, advice on state benefits that people might be entitled to and options to help them fund their retirement, including equity release and downsizing. It also gives advice on issues such as making a will and appointing a power of attorney.

Ali Crossley, Executive Director of McCarthy & Stone, said: “As experts predict that life expectancy will continue to increase, people cannot afford to bury their heads in the sand about the way they will manage financially in their retirement years. They need to discuss these issues with their family and put clear plans in place.

“Our new free guide provides a concise overview of the key financial issues and options that people should consider when planning for retirement, plus organisations that can provide further help and advice. We believe it will be invaluable for many older people who feel daunted by the financial implications of retirement.”

The guide follows a number of financial services that have recently been launched by McCarthy & Stone including a Pension Annuities Service, an Equity Release Service, a Lasting Power of Attorney Service and a Guaranteed Funeral Plan.

The guide can be obtained by calling +44(0) 800 919 132 or by e-mailing money@mccarthyandstone.co.uk .

Notes to Editors

McCarthy & Stone Money   provides financial planning services to people in later life. The company offers a range of financial services that are tailored around the customer to enable them to make the right choices when making important decisions about how to support their retirement lifestyle:

  • An annuities comparison service.
  • An equity release service in partnership with Age Partnership.
  • Later Life Planning services such as Will writing and the preparation and registration of a Lasting Power of Attorney (Property & Finance), as well as thoughtful and cost-effective support with planning a funeral.
  • A Free Benefits Advice that offers customers support to help understand which benefits they are entitled to and how much financial support they can expect to receive.

*Otto Thoresen sets out a five point plan to tackle the UK savings gap in his speech to The Actuarial Profession Life Insurance Conference in Brussels (PDF). http://www.abi.org.uk

**14,275,000 over 60s in the UK in 2011 (Office of National Statistics, UK Population Report, 29 March 2012). 9% of this group equals 1,284,750.

The research was conducted for McCarthy & Stone by OnePoll

For more information:

Andrew Baud, andrew.baud@talapr.co.uk, +44(0)20-3397-3383 or +44(0)7775-715775
Julian Hargood, julian.hargood@talapr.co.uk, +44(0)20-3397-3383 or +44(0)7521-907919
Catherine McNulty, catherine.mcnulty@talapr.co.uk, +44(0)20-3397-3383 or +44(0)7943-855078

Bankruptcy Filing Tips

Bankruptcy Filings...

Bankruptcy Filings... (Photo credit: MyEyeSees)

It can be very complicated to file for personal bankruptcy. Bankruptcies come in different types; what you choose is subject to your financial situation and the kind of debts that you have. You need to know all you can about bankruptcy before you decide to file your petition. The below advice can assist you in beginning.

During a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may still be able to get a mortgage or car loan. But, it could be harder. You must meet with a trustee to gain approval for a new loan. Draw up a budget, demonstrating that you can afford the new loan payment. The odds are also good that you will be asked exactly why you’re purchasing a new item. Make sure you have a good reason.

Make sure you hire a good bankruptcy lawyer. Because of the increase in bankruptcy filings, this field attracts a lot of newer, inexperienced attorneys. Be sure the attorney you retain has at least five years of experience and is board certified. The Internet could be a great help in checking the disciplinary record of a particular lawyer, as well as his background and client ratings.

Timing is everything. Timing can be critical when it comes to personal bankruptcy cases. For some people, filing right away is best, however for others, waiting a while is best. A lawyer is in the best position to evaluate your case and figure out when you should file for bankruptcy.

If your debt problem is mostly in the form of student loans, you might have a hard time filing for bankruptcy. The majority of states have very tough laws in regards to discharging student loan debt. If you wish to discharge student loan debt, it is necessary to demonstrate undue hardship for extreme hardship.

When you are on the road to filing for bankruptcy, you are likely to have more than a few conversations with your creditors. Make a point of getting any agreements you make with creditors in writing. Offers of flexibility received from your creditors can greatly affect your bankruptcy case, but they must be in written form.

Two to three months following your bankruptcy hearing, get a copy of your credit score from the major reporting agencies. It is important to make sure the report reflects your debts as satisfied and that any accounts you closed are noted. If anything is incorrect, then follow up quickly and start repairing your credit.

Some good personal bankruptcy advice is to think twice about getting a divorce when you are in a difficult financial situation. Many people who divorce must immediately file bankruptcy because of unforeseen financial difficulties. Reconsidering divorce can be a very smart option.

Now you can probably see that filing bankruptcy is a decision that is best thought out carefully before pursuing. After weighing all of your options, if you conclude that bankruptcy is the best option for your particular situation, be sure to hire a competent attorney. Follow the advice given in this article to get through this rough time and move on to a more secure financial future.

Disclaimer: The writer is not a licensed Attorney and is not giving legal advice in this article. The article was written for educational purposes only. Seek a competent Bankruptcy Attorney for answers to your individual legal questions.

Retirement: What Exactly is the Magic Number?

Retirement

 

Retirement! It’s something that most of us look forward to. A time that we can finally tell our boss to shove it, if we feel like it. Just think about it for a minute. You give your boss ample notice that you’re going to retire, or maybe not. Either way, the big day finally gets here and you’re walking out the door with your personal belongings for the last time. You leave behind all the stress, the headaches, the politics, the 5AM wakeups and the traffic jams. Now you can play golf all you want, go fishing or just stare out the window. Everything is great. Or is it? Have you done all the planning necessary for your retirement? In other words, do you have enough money to keep on being retired? Here’s a few things to consider before you take that big step.

The other day a reader left the following comment;

I read a lot and figure someone needs $2M to really have a good shot at living well and retiring with few worries. Roger your thoughts?
The reader also shared that he is 58 with the implication that he is close to retirement age. Another reader left a comment on a Seeking Alpha post of mine agreeing that $2 million is the figure. Between the two comments I feel like I am being asked in part for my personal views and choices.

The best generic advice I can give is to live below your means, don’t accumulate debt, save a lot and if you ever do need to fund your expenses/lifestyle out of your savings take no more than 1% per quarter. My use of the word generic is not meant as a slight, I believe the above combo is an essential foundation to a successful financial plan and we live by the first three now (we are a few decades from the withdrawal stage).

Assuming the 4% rule, a $2 million portfolio would allow for $80,000 in portfolio withdrawals. Are you then going to assume getting social security or not? How does the $80,000 (plus social security or not) compare with how much you live on now? Not how much you earn but how much you live on.

There are several types of expenses that we have to contend with and try to plan for one way or another. I’ve written about these before; things that probably can be easily planned, those that cannot and one-offs–things like vet bills, new tires and home repair.

Our recent three foot snow storm lead me to come up with another category which is things we probably will need. At some point I may not be able to shovel out a three foot snow storm. If we want to stay where we are then at some point we will need either a snow blower or an ATV that we put a plow blade on. These are not disastrous expenses but also not $100 to go to a baseball game either. We have a long uphill driveway which probably rules out a snow blower– the cheapest option. A more expensive option would be the ATV and blade and an even more expensive option would be moving. Where we are it would not be wise to rely on being able to hire someone to do this for us.

Source

There’s a lot to consider when contemplating retirement. If you haven’t done so yet, now may be a good time to talk to a Financial Planner.

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