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

Casino Operators Hot to Trot for Phila.

English: Slot machines in the Trump Taj Mahal ...

Casinos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced today that it received six applications for the available Category 2 Slot Machine Operator license prior to the close of the application period on Thursday. The Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act mandates that this license be awarded to an applicant that would place the facility in the City of Philadelphia.

A Category 2 stand-alone license enables the casino operator to have up to 5,000 slot machines and 250 tables games.

Applications received in the Harrisburg PGCB offices, along with the stated location of the casino, are:

  • Tower Entertainment, LLC (The Provence) at 400 North Broad Street
  • Market East Associates (Casino Philadelphia)at 8th and Market Street
  • Wynn PA, Inc. (Wynn Philadelphia) at 2001 Beach Street, and 2001 through 2005 Richmond Street
  • PHL Local Gaming, LLC (Casino Revolution) at 3333 South Front Street
  • PA Gaming Ventures, LLC (Hollywood Casino Philadelphia) at 700 Packer Avenue
  • Stadium Casino, LLC (Live! Hotel and Casino) at 900 Packer Avenue

The agency will later announce when public versions of the applications will be available on the Board’s web site.

About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board:

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was established in 2004 with the passage of Act 71, also known as the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act. Pennsylvania’s first new state agency in nearly 30 years, the Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry. The 11 casinos in operation all offer both slot machine and table game gambling, employ over 16,000 people, and collectively generate an average of $4 million per day in tax revenue. A portion of that money is used for property tax reduction to all Pennsylvania homeowners; provide funds to the Commonwealth’s horse racing industry, fire companies, a statewide water and sewer project grant program, and the state’s General Fund; and, established a new stream of tax revenue to local governments that host casinos for community projects.

A wealth of information about the Gaming Control Board’s regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. At this website, visitors can watch Board meetings live or view videos of past meetings, look up future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, obtain information on identifying a gambling problem and gaining assistance, access an interactive map of casino locations, request a speaker for their group, along with much more information.  You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.

CONTACT: Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

Web Site: http://www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov

Starbucks Acquisition Under Investigation

Redesigned logo used from 2011-present.

Starbucks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shareholder rights attorneys at Robbins Umeda LLP is investigating possible breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of the law by members of the board of directors of Teavana Holdings Inc. (NYSE: TEA) in connection with their efforts to sell the company to Starbucks Corp. (NASDQ: SBUX).

On November 14, 2012, Teavana and Starbucks announced they had entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Starbucks will acquire Teavana through an all cash tender offer with a total value of $620 million. Teavana shareholders will receive $15.50 per share. Following the completion of the merger, Teavana will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Starbucks.

Board’s Actions May Prevent Teavana Shareholders from Receiving the Maximum Value for Their Stock

Robbins Umeda LLP’s investigation focuses on whether the board of directors at Teavana is undertaking a fair process to obtain maximum value and adequately compensate its shareholders.  The offer price is substantially below the company’s stock price earlier this year and below the company’s stock price during its initial public offering last year.  Further, multiple analysts have set price targets higher than the $15.50 offer price. As recently as September 5, 2012, an analyst from KeyBanc set a target price of $24 per share, and an analyst from Piper Jaffrey set a price of $23 per share on September 4, 2012.  Finally, recently the company has reported impressive results.  On September 4, 2012, Teavana reported its second quarter 2012 earnings results reflecting a 38% increase in net sales and a 3.5% increase in comparable sales over the same quarter in 2011.  Given these financials and the company’s historical stock price, the firm is examining the board of directors’ decision to sell Teavana now rather than allow shareholders to continue to participate in the company’s continued success and future growth prospects.

Teavana shareholders have the option to file a class action lawsuit against the company to secure the best possible price for shareholders and the disclosure of material information so shareholders can vote on the transaction in an informed manner.  Teavana shareholders interested in information about their rights and potential remedies can contact Darnell R. Donahue at (800) 350-6003, ddonahue@robbinsumeda.com, or via the shareholder information form on the firm’s website.

Robbins Umeda LLP is a nationally recognized leader in securities litigation and shareholder rights law. The firm represents individual and institutional investors in shareholder derivative and securities class action lawsuits, and has helped its clients realize more than $1 billion of value for themselves and the companies in which they have invested. For more information, please go to http://www.robbinsumeda.com.

Press release link: http://www.robbinsumeda.com/shareholders-rights-blog/teavana-holdings-inc/

Attorney Advertising.Past results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Contact:
Robbins Umeda LLP
Darnell R. Donahue
ddonahue@robbinsumeda.com
(619) 525-3990 or Toll Free (800) 350-6003
www.robbinsumeda.com

Web Site: http://robbinsumeda.com

Stock Market Optimisim Dips Again

 Investors’ confidence dipped somewhat again in the third quarter of 2012, according to the John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index®, released today by John Hancock Financial Services.  Investor sentiment declined by two points to +17 in the third quarter compared with a score of +19 in the second quarter of this year. The shift was driven by a drop in positive attitudes toward investing in bonds partially offset by very small upticks in stocks and real estate.

It was the second consecutive two-point drop quarter to quarter for the Index, which also declined from +21 in Q1 2012 to +19 in Q2 2012.  Still, the Index remains above the +15 score in the fourth quarter of 2011, and well above its low of +10 in the third quarter of 2011.

The John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index® is a quarterly measure of investors’ views on a range of investment choices, life goals, and economic outlook, as well as their confidence in these areas.  The John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index® is derived from a quarterly poll of approximately 1,000 investors, and reflects the percentage of those who say they believe it is a “good” or “very good” time to invest, minus those who feel the opposite. The third quarter survey was conducted from mid-to late August of 2012.

Investors’ views on most types of investments remained largely unchanged in the third quarter of 2012 compared with the year’s second quarter. Forty-nine percent of investors in the third quarter said it was a good time to invest in stocks compared to 48 percent in the second quarter. Nearly 25 percent thought it was a good time to invest in bonds (24 percent), down slightly from 27 percent in Q2.

However, several measures have changed significantly compared with levels of one year ago. Investors were more bullish on stocks in Q3 of this year, with 49 percent saying it was a good time to invest in them, which is up from 41 percent in the third quarter of 2011. Fifty-one percent of investors had positive views of balanced mutual funds in Q3 of 2012, which also is up significantly from 42 percent in Q2 of last year.

Optimism seems to be rising in certain areas. Positive attitudes are increasing toward retirement products, with 73 percent saying it is a good time to contribute to 401(k) plans or IRAs, whereas in the third quarter of last year that number for IRAs was 67 percent and 66 percent for 401(k) plans.  While healthcare costs remain a major worry for investors, the share of investors ranking it highest as a concern (56 percent) is down significantly from 64 percent in the second quarter of 2012.

However not all themes are positive.  Optimism about stock market growth has waned.  Significantly fewer investors now think the Dow will close above 13,000 in June of 2013 (67 percent), compared with 74 percent in the second quarter of 2012 who thought the market would reach that level. And compared with the second quarter of this year, more people are worried about being able to save enough for retirement (33 percent in Q3 of this year versus 27 percent who were worried in Q2).

“Investors are showing consistency in their attitudes toward many investment products, and seem to be saying there isn’t much on the horizon that would cause them to change their views,” said Bill Cheney, John Hancock’s Chief Economist.  “We are continuing to see positive trends, for example with investors remaining committed to investing in retirement plans such as 401(k)s and IRAs. Nine in ten investors (88 percent) are confident in their ability to maintain a financially secure retirement. And 94 percent of those we surveyed describe themselves as long-term investors.”

Among the findings for Q3 2012:

  • Investors predicted that blue chip stocks will perform best over the next six months. Twenty-four percent said this, up sharply from 17 percent who thought so in the third quarter of 2011. Small caps have the best outlook according to 13 percent of investors, whereas seven percent thought so a year ago.
  • Of the major issues facing the US, investors’ chief concern continued to be the level of the national debt (62 percent), which replaced healthcare costs as the top concern
  • Nearly four in ten investors (36 percent) predicted that the inflation rate will be four percent or higher two years from now, while just 21 percent thought inflation will run at less than three percent.
  • Saving for retirement remained investors’ biggest financial priority (34 percent said this).  As a top priority, paying down debt has dropped in importance, with nine percent saying it is most important to them compared with 14 percent who said so in Q3 of last year.

About the John Hancock Investor Sentiment Survey
John Hancock’s Investor Sentiment Survey is a quarterly poll of investors.  The survey measures investors’ feelings about the current economic climate and their evaluations of what represents a good or bad investment given the current environment.  The poll also asks consumers about their confidence in reaching key financial goals and likelihood of purchasing financial products and services.

This online survey was conducted by independent research firm Mathew Greenwald & Associates.  A total of 1,027 investors were surveyed August 13 th  to August 24 th  2012. Respondents were selected from among members of Research Now’s online research panel.  To qualify, respondents were required to participate at least to some extent in their household’s financial decision-making process, have a household income of at least $75,000, and assets of $100,000.

The data were weighted by age and education to reflect the population of Americans matching the survey’s qualification requirements. In a similarly-sized random sample survey, the margin of error would be plus or minus 3.12 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.  Due to rounding and missing categories, numbers presented may not always total to 100 percent.

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial Corporation
John Hancock Financial is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. In 2012, John Hancock celebrates 150 years of serving clients across the United States, while Manulife celebrates its 125th anniversary. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and in most of Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, Manulife Financial Corporation offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$514 billion (US$504 billion) as at June 30, 2012. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers a broad range of financial products and services, including life insurance, annuities, fixed products, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com .

CONTACT: Beth McGoldrick, +1-617-663-4751, bmcgoldrick@jhancock.com

Web Site: http://www.jhancock.com

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.

Las Vegas Real Estate Setting Records for Sales

Las Vegas Homes

 

We knew it had to happen sooner or later. Nothing lasts forever, not even the low housing prices in Los Vegas. The investors are coming out of the woodwork and have snapped up about 60% of the homes in Vegas for cash. Read more about it here:

http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-vegas-home-sales-20120328,0,3278002.story

Foreclosure Numbers Dropping

Foreclosure

The banks are reporting lower foreclosure numbers for the last quarter of 2011. Some of that can be attributed to the robo-signing fiasco and some to the new programs that the banks have put in place to help the home owner keep their home. The banks have become a little more flexible in dealing with these delinquent mortgages mainly because the tactics they were using before simply wasn’t working. You can read more about it here:

 

 

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.

New Business Owners Top 10 Regrets-Video

New Business Owners

 

A lot of new business owners, and I mean brand spanking new never been in business before new, make a lot of mistakes when first starting that new business. They’ll look back sometime down the road and realize that things could have been a lot easier for them in the beginning if they only had a little more insight. The video below will help you get through some of the rough parts with a few less bumps and bruises.

Sound Business Plan is Crucial to Success-Video

Business Plan

 

All the experts will all tell you that a sound business plan is an absolute must if you’re going to make it in the business world. Forget about the info-commercials and ads that show you the mansions, expensive cars and suitcases full of money. All of that is just a sales pitch to get you to buy into a program that promises that you’ll be filthy stinking rich almost overnight with very little work.  Unfortunately the real world just doesn’t work that way. As they say, if it was that easy then everybody would be doing it and it wouldn’t have any value. To get on the right track to a real and successful business, watch the video below.

 

 

 

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