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Dealing With A Financial Emergency

A financial emergency isn’t something you can really plan for, is it? After all, you never know when one is going to happen, having some savings set aside for such an emergency is always going to be a good idea. But that might not always be enough to cover the financial impact of an emergency, there’s no resource guide to preparing for a financial emergency either. Because there are just too many variables to consider.

A financial emergency can take many different forms, after all, it could be something like your car getting damaged meaning you’ll have no means of transport. Or something that could be potentially more long-lasting like you lose your job, or you suffer a medical emergency. There are so many variables that having a way to deal with everything is going to be very difficult.

With things like a medical emergency or accident, you will often have more important things to focus on than your finances as well. However, your financial situation is still very important and can cause greater problems if you don’t get a handle on it quickly.

So, how do you deal with a financial emergency then? Well while there is no one guaranteed way to actually ensure you will always be able to deal with the financial implications of an emergency you can certainly help ease them. Below I’ve outlined a number of tips that will help ensure you will be able to at least lessen the impact to your finances.

Set Up A Savings Account

One of the best ways to ensure you will always have money in case of an emergency is to set some aside every month. You can do this is many ways, some people use money jars or spare change boxes and save up that way. But I find one of the ways to save money is to actually set up a savings account.

Set this up with your bank and simply place a portion of your pay check into it every month. You can even have this set up automatically by your bank if you prefer. By doing this is you can avoid the temptation to spend the money more easily. Best of all you’ll also get added interest by not taking money out of the account.

Set Up A Budget

Another great way to help ensure you will always have money in case of a financial emergency is to set up a budget. Allocate costs to everything like shopping, transport, equipment, and entertainment and then place whatever you have left into your savings.

Setting up a budget is a great way to help cut costs, if you think you’re spending too much money on your weekly shopping then by setting up a budget you’ll be able to take the opportunity to see where savings could be made. You could opt for cheaper brands or cut items all together to help save some money.

You could also find ways to be a bit more frugal instead of eating out for your lunch prepare it at home and take it in with you. And that’s just one example there are lots of ways you can live a more thrifty lifestyle and a budget will help you do it. The hard part is sticking to the budget and not being tempted it might sound easy, but it will require a lot of willpower.

Asking Friends or Family for Support

This is a divisive option and understandably isn’t an option for everyone and it depends on the nature of the emergency and of course the relationship you have with your friends and family. However, it is worth thinking about many people’s friends and families will be willing to help them out in an emergency if they can.

Although this will never be a popular option for the majority of people it can be a viable solution so at the very least it is worth considering. You might also be able to turn to the internet to help websites like Go Fund Me are used by many people who are suffering a financial emergency and need help. Of course, this will all depend on the nature of your emergency and there are of course no guarantees.

Apply For A Loan

Last but not least my final tip for ensuring you have a way to help lessen the financial burden of an emergency is to apply for a loan. This does offer some benefits many of the other methods won’t be able to match for one you can get all the money you will need (depending on the type of loan) whereas for many people their savings will only be able to go so far.

But it does come with the highest risks as well, if you can’t pay back the loan you’ll face repossessions and possibly even legal consequences. There are also many types of loans you could apply for, due to their speed many people apply for payday loans in an emergency to get money quickly.

It certainly understandable why they would do this, but the high-interest rates can be a difficult obstacle to overcome and while it might solve one financial problem it will usually cause another much larger one. Other types of loans worth considering are title loans which use your vehicle as collateral and base the amount you can borrow of the age and condition of it as well.

There are still risks but in general, they are a better alternative for many people and do offer many of the same benefits. Namely a quick application process and fast access to the money you need. You can also check out for professional information on title loan providers.

Whatever loan you decide to apply for I would strongly recommend doing some research first and checking out professional advice and comparison websites. You should also try to be patient don’t rush into a loan straight away because it could end up causing further problems down the line.

Your Get Out Of Debt Strategy!

Struggling with debt is difficult and even a small amount of debt can spiral out of control and feel like a significant weight. You can’t ignore and forget about debt, either can you? Whatever you’re doing that dreaded feeling is going to be on your mind at all times.

There’s no one-way to get out of debt either, if it was that simple then debt wouldn’t be such a problem would it? But millions of people a year struggle with debt and while you might not hear about it as much many of those people succeed in getting out if it.

But how do you get out of debt? While there is no easy, quick, one-size fits all solution I do have a number of tips and there is a lot of information and solutions out there that can help such as this IVA help website will help you build a winning strategy for beating debt and getting your life back on track. So, without further ado let’s begin, shall we?

Be Patient

Let’s get one of the hardest parts of your dealing with debt strategy out of the way, first shall we? When you’re struggling financially you need to be patient with yourself, if you have a lot a debt to pay off then you will need to be patient.

In some more extreme cases, debts can take years to fully pay off so you need to make peace with this fact. Patience is important not just for your mental wellbeing but also your physical health as well. One common mistake some people make when it comes to debt is that they will focus entirely on clearing the outstanding debt as quickly as possible.

This might not sound like a bad thing at first, but many people will focus so much on clearing their debt that they will forgo necessities like food and drink! Yes, this is extreme cases but it’s not uncommon to see people in debt sometimes skip meals, so they will have a little more money to pay their creditors.

It’s important that you don’t fall into this trap because you will still need to buy things to survive while paying off your debt. You need to be patient and prepare for the long-game when it comes to building a strategy if you want to get out of debt with your health intact.

Visualise The Finish Line

This tip follows on from the last and they go hand in hand, you’ll soon learn that patience alone won’t get the job done. You also need to be positive and optimistic. Now, of course, you won’t be able to do this all the time.

It’s perfectly natural to feel down about being in debt but you need to focus those feelings on getting out of it. It might very tempting to throw yourself a pity-party in the comfort of your own home but don’t take to long feeling sorry yourself because it won’t do you any good in the long run.

One tip that I’ve found very helpful is to visualise your finish line. If you can work out a rough date when you’ll likely be debt free or at least have a substantial part paid off then keep a note of it on your calendar and remind yourself of it every so often.

When you’re starting to feel unhappy about your situation just visualise that finish line and remind yourself that one day all this will be in past and just a distant memory. It might sound cliché but it’s essential you don’t give into despair when you’re dealing with debt.

No one is expecting endless optimism or positivity, but you can’t get anything done if you’re just feeling sorry for yourself. 

Consider All Your Options

I talked earlier about how there is no one easy, quick solution to getting out of debt. You have a lot of options open to you some are almost always going to seem tempting but will usually not work out in the long run. Things like payday loans fall into this category they might offer quick cash, but they’ll just leave you with another often much larger debt.

However, things like an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) where you consolidate all your debts into one monthly payment might actually help make managing your debts easier. It all really depends on how much money you owe, how many creditors you have and how much income you make.

No matter how you decide to proceed one thing you will likely always need to do is prepare a budget. A budget will help when it comes to any kind of debt because it will ensure you save money and keep costs down, not all budgets mean slashing all your expenses and living on the bare minimum.

There are a lot of ways to craft a budget and when you do it right it will be sure to make dealing with debt much easier. So, consider all your options when it comes to dealing with debt and talk to a professional if you’re struggling to decide what option is best for you.

Talk To Someone

My final piece of advice towards building a successful strategy for dealing with debt is one of the most important. Many people won’t like telling others they are in debt, in fact, one of the most common causes people get into debt is that they simply can’t face their financial problems, so they ignore them.

So, when some people can’t even admit to themselves they are having financial difficulties you can understand why they can be reluctant to tell others can’t you? Feelings of embarrassment and shame are common and while I think many people will benefit from telling a trusted friend or close relative that might not always be an option and some people simply won’t want to do it.

But there are other options besides family and friends. There are a number of charities in the UK who can offer advice and support when it comes to debt. There’s National Debtline, Stepchange, and the always helpful Citizens Advice to name just a few. So, if you’re really struggling with debt tell someone because there is help and support out there.

Tips On Choosing The Right Family Lawyer!

What is family lawyer?

A trusted family solicitors is one trained to carry out legal processes regarding your family and their legal commitments. They are there to both help guide you and to draw up agreements and documents that will be required to legally enforce matters throughout your personal relationships when the need arises. This will be done by setting guidelines, rules, obligations and the roles of those involved in order to settle any conflict or disagreement by creating rules, via a legal document, in advance or during any issues that may arrive.

Which are their areas of expertise?

They will cover:

  • Marriage and civil partnerships
  • Cohabitation
  • Divorce
  • Domestic violence
  • Property rights
  • Parental responsibility
  • Child custody
  • Children’s rights
  • Child protection

Heading into a marriage or civil partnership, partners may want to draw up contracts to protect their existing assets with the creation of a prenuptial agreement in the event that their new partnership may not work out.

Couples who live together will need a fair plan in separating accumulated assets and belongings should they separate. This is called a cohabitation agreement and is a crucial document in retaining order and fairness during separation conflict.

Married couples entering into divorce are generally the most in need of legal representation from a family lawyer. It takes a great deal of skill to negotiate a fair settlement while keeping stress and emotional distress to a minimum.

If you have encountered domestic violence then this is another area of family law that requires great understanding and delicacy with sound efficient and official guidance and protection for those involved.

Also in the event of a relationship separation a family lawyer will negotiate a fair and legal split of your property assets.

The rights of each of your children and the breakdown of care and accommodation are incredibly personal matters during separation where emotions are often taught therefore a good lawyer is a must to help manage these issues with sensitivity while reaching an appropriate solution for both parties. Your children’s welfares are a must so a good family lawyer is imperative in these situations.

In happier circumstances the addition of a child to your home and family by adoption is also a matter for family law. An efficient and experienced legal representative can streamline the whole process for you taking much of the worry and stress away allowing you to focus on more important matters.

Things to look out for – professionally

Are they industry recognised?

Check reviews and scores on Trustpilot and see if they feature in the Legal 500. All lawyer and solicitor firms should openly display their legal accreditations to not only instil confidence but to prove they are operating in a legal and professional manner.

Are they Resolution members?

Resolution is an organisation of specialist family law lawyers who are committed to the codes of practice set out by proven solutions and methods. They promote a non-confrontational approach to problems in order to try and protect the whole family. They will aim for a constructive resolution of your family issues in order to avoid unnecessary conflict affecting you, your partner or your children.

Do they have experience?

You will feel a great deal of reassurance and confidence in your lawyer if they show a wealth of experience and satisfactory outcomes to many previous cases. The more cases they will have undertaken the higher the chance they will have seen similarities to yours garnering the exact experience to help you arrive at a resolve as simply as possible.

Are their explanations clear and understandable?

You will need to understand where you stand regarding the law and what you can legally expect from your partner, for your children or in relation to your home or property, but often the legal terms and glossary can be difficult to understand. Ideally your lawyer will have a great way of converting these facts into simple English you can digest without leaving you confused or unsure.

Do they outline a specific list of goals and steps to achieve?

Your lawyer should be beginning to form an active plan for you as soon as you reach the completion of your initial consultation. Of course there are always hiccups along the way so such a plan cannot be set in stone but a set of specific goals, how to achieve them, the timescales involved and just as importantly, the costs for each, should be presented to you in order for you to decide how to proceed, to allocate budget and if the cost of the process is fair in the current market.

Things to look out for – personally

Do they operate as a team or an individual?

Many hands make light work! The lawyer you meet to discuss your issues with will more than likely work as part of a team; each of which will have their own experiences and knowledge base to utilise a healthier chance of trouble free resolution.

A collaborative lawyer will work on finding resolve outside of the courts that demonstrate a very understanding and progressive practice. These methods can often reduce a lot of unnecessary pressure, stresses and costs associated with passing through the court system.

How is the office accessibility and availability of staff?

Check for opening hours, appointment availability and the option to make emergency telephone calls when you’re unsure of what to do is a must. Not being able to have access to your lawyer when you need it will add to the stress and emotional issues of an already difficult time.

Are they good listeners?

Each case is unique so it’s imperative that your lawyer pays complete attention in order to understand all the nuances of your case and offer a tailored and personal solution to your resolution. If you feel at any time they’re uninterested or missing important information then they are not the lawyer for you.

Do you feel as though you can trust them?

Real trust in your lawyer will help fill you with confidence. This is something you need when dealing with such valuable assets as your family, your home and your belongings. Without feeling a full level of trust in your lawyer you should consider looking for an alternative where you can.

Do they inspire confidence?

If they are confident in their work it is more than likely from an on-going level of success in their role. The confidence they will impart should hopefully outline their assurance of completion with your best interests and the best outcome at heart. It’s a big tell in how a lawyer operates and feels about themselves and the cases they undertake.

It’s time to check your list

These are not an exhaustive source of what you should look out for but they are a positive guide in where to start. You should get a better feel for your lawyer and their practices when you engage with them in person as you discuss your case and specific needs. If they tick all of your boxes and come with the attributes and prices you feel are right for you then you’ve found a family lawyer who can hopefully guide you simply to your resolution without too much emotional stress along the way.

The Truth about Trust Deeds – Everything you need to Know

Trust Deeds are a solution for people struggling with debt who live in Scotland. They can be a great solution for problem debt, but, of course, are not suitable for everyone. With so much written about Trust Deeds on the internet, it can be hard to separate the fact from the fiction, and decide whether a Trust Deed is the right solution for your circumstances.

Below we address some of the most common misconceptions about Trust Deeds, so you can make an informed decision about whether one is right for you.

How do Trust Deeds work?

A Trust Deed is a formal, legally binding solution to problem debt, which allows you to make reduced monthly payments to your creditors for a set amount of time (usually four years), after which your remaining debts are written off.

To enter into a Trust Deed, you must speak to a licensed Insolvency Practitioner (IP). They will ask you about your income and expenditure, allowing them to work out how much you could afford to pay towards your debts each month. The IP will then get in touch with your creditors to propose this repayment plan. If they accept the proposal, the Trust Deed becomes ‘protected’. This means that creditors can no longer contact you, or take legal action against you. They must instead communicate through the IP handling your case.

Once the Trust Deed has become protected, your monthly payments will continue for the agreed-upon length of time, after which any remaining debt you owe is written off. During this time, any interest and fees on your debt is also frozen. If you are a homeowner, you may have to remortgage your property towards the end of the Trust Deed, but this is not always necessary, and you can instead keep up your monthly payments for an extra year.

Misconceptions about Trust Deeds

Because the Trust Deed process varies from person to person, some myths about the solution naturally appear. Below we explain some of the most common Trust Deed misconceptions.

  • Trust Deeds put your Home at risk

If you are a homeowner, your property is not put at risk by entering a Trust Deed. In fact, Trust Deeds can be a good alternative to sequestration because they do not depend upon the sale of assets to repay creditors. In some cases, you will be asked to release equity as part of your Trust Deed, but you will never be asked to sell your home – unless you would actually prefer to, and suggest this yourself.

  • Trust Deeds are exactly the same as IVAs

IVAs (Individual Voluntary Arrangements) are a debt solution available to people in England and Wales. They take a very similar form to Trust Deeds – both are an alternative to the more extreme solutions of bankruptcy or sequestration and involve making reduced monthly payments – but there are some key differenced to consider:

  • IVAs usually last for five years, but Trust Deeds typically last for only four
  • To be eligible for an IVA, you usually have to have around £6,000 of debt, whereas for a Trust Deed, you need a slightly lower £5,000 of debt
  • IVAs require you to have at least two creditors, but to be eligible for a Trust Deed, you need only have one
  • Trust Deeds are always the best Debt Solution

Some companies are keen to encourage people to take on a Trust Deed, even if it might not be the best solution for their circumstances. Of course, Trust Deeds can be a huge help for many people struggling with debt but, for some, sequestration or a debt management plan would actually be a better fit.

  • All of your Creditors have to agree to a Trust Deed for it to become Protected

Your creditors do have a say in whether your Trust Deed can begin, however, not every creditor has to vote in favour of it. If creditors who hold two thirds of your debt accept the proposal, all your creditors are bound by it. Creditors have five weeks to respond to your Trust Deed proposal, and if this time elapses and they do not respond, it is automatically assumed that they accept the Trust Deed.

  • You must tell your Employer if you have a Trust Deed

For the majority of jobs, having a Trust Deed will have no effect on your employment, and if you prefer not to, you need not tell your employer. There are some exceptions: you may not be able to hold certain positions in the financial industry, and if you work for the Police, Fire, or Prison service you may be obliged to disclose your Trust Deed to your employer. If you are unsure, check with your HR department or your contract. You should be aware that all Trust Deeds are published online on the Register of Insolvencies, but it is highly unlikely that anyone you know would stumble across your details, since they would have to know to search for your name specifically.

Who should consider a Trust Deed?

Choosing a debt solution which does not suit your circumstances can cause more problems further down the road – it is vital to ensure that the solution you choose is sustainable.

To be eligible for a Trust Deed, you must:

  • Live in Scotland
  • Have £5,000 or more worth of debt
  • Be able to afford a monthly contribution (Creditors will expect to receive at least 10p for every £1 you owe over the term of the Trust Deed)
  • Be unable to pay back your debts at your current rate

If you think you could manage to pay off all of your debts, given a longer repayment term and lower monthly payments, a debt management plan might be a more suitable alternative. This is an informal solution, so will not appear on a public register or have such an adverse effect on your credit score. With a DMP, you will have to repay everything you owe, and creditors might not agree to help you by freezing interest payments or fees.



Life Insurance for Elderly Over 80

Losing a dear loved one is a difficult loss that leaves a void. With that loss, comes the responsibility of bearing certain expenses. As the head of the family, it is your responsibility to secure your family’s financial future before taking your leave from this world. A secure and common practice by which to do that is life insurance. As you get older, complex life insurance options become more difficult to understand. However, to simplify, if you are 80 and over, there are options for you.

When looking at life insurance options for older people, it will be found that there are several options available. From there, it just becomes a matter of comparing the different policies for whole life insurance over 80 years and choosing the one that suits you best.

Why does an 80 year old senior require a life insurance policy?

At certain stages of each individual’s life, we begin to think about ensuring a peaceful departure and wiping all the red from our ledgers. With a life insurance policy, the senior members of a family will be more relaxed about how to settle their debts, mortgages after they are gone. They will also have peace of mind knowing that they will leave behind money for their family. However, it is best to get a life insurance policy as early as possible. The longer the wait, the more the cost of the policy.

Is a medical exam mandatory for 80 years old who wishes to apply for life insurance?

Medical exams are a part of standard policies. One can choose burial, whole life or term life insurance options. Many companies don’t offer the medical plan for anyone 80 and above, but to know for sure, you need to compare the rates to find a option suitable for you. Life insurance policies for seniors are specially arranged. Thus with a little research, you can definitely find one.

Basic Questions about Health

An insurance provider will ask a series of basic health questions. These will be about major surgery and major diseases like cardiac issues, cancer, strokes, diabetes or HIV/AIDS. There will also be questions about smoking and drinking habits. Questions like this may or may not have an impact on the policy.

Options Available After 80 Years

Whole Life Insurance

Whole of life policies are much rarer than term options and are more expensive as they offer a guaranteed payout after your death. If you look to arrange such a policy when you’re young, you may find the premiums affordable; this is because insurers may expect you to live for a long time and you’ll have to keep paying the premiums until you die.

Regular whole of life policies may be extremely difficult to find for the older age group, but they are out there. The main selling points – guaranteed acceptance and payouts with no medical checks – are likely to appear attractive, but make sure you know what you’re getting into with such a product. Therefore, do your research carefully.

Burial/Funeral Insurance

Dedicated funeral cover plans are available, designed to cover the costs of your burial and sold on the belief that they reduce the burden on your loved ones after you’ve gone.

You should be aware that the standard of these plans can vary widely and there have been criticisms of the way they operate, with many failing to cover the funeral expenses they were intended for. Beyond that, funeral insurance can share many of the same benefits and pitfalls as over 80s lifelong protection policies.

You need to set the comfort of having a guaranteed payout against the fact that inflation will work against you, and you need to realise that your estate may not get out as much as you’ve paid in.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is the most common type of life cover arranged by younger age groups, but if you’re aged 80 or over, it might not be the best policy for you. Term policies only cover a set period and do not pay out if you die after the policy expires. For this reason, you should find that term policies are cheaper than whole life options.

Advantages of Life Insurance for Seniors Over 80

  1. Life insurance provides an infusion of cash for dealing with any adverse financial consequences coming about as the result of the insured’s death.
  2. Life insurance enjoys more favourable tax treatment then other financial instruments. What this means is that death benefits are income tax free for the beneficiary.
  3. Loans taken out against the policy are interest free
  4. A life insurance policy can be exchanged for another without incurring any extra taxes
  5. It is a long term investment that creates cash value

Cost of a Policy?

The reality is, each company charges a different rate or premium. It comes down to many factors such as the county you’re living in, the type of plan you apply for and at what stage of your life you are applying. On average, a senior community member over 80 pays about GBP 100 for a life insurance plan. However, this varies. Gender can also play a big role in determining final cost to the policy holder. An exact cost cannot be written. The best way to determine is to visit the different insurance providers closest to you and ask for quotes. Then sit down and list those quotes together for comparison. This way, you can make the best informed decision possible.

How Does Remortgaging Work?

For most people, a mortgage is the largest financial commitment they will ever sign up for. Typically, it will last for a number of years, if not a number of decades. During this time, your circumstances are likely to change, meaning your mortgage may no longer be the best mortgage rate available to you. If this is the case, it doesn’t mean you have to stick with an unsuitable mortgage that’s costing you more than needs be. Instead, you can remortgage for more information click here.  

What is Remortgaging?

Remortgaging is the process of changing your current mortgage into a new deal. This can either be with the same lender or with a completely different one. Many people will look at remortgaging when the introductory offer on their mortgage expires and they’re placed on a higher rate. At this point, it’s worth comparing the cost of remortgaging versus the amount of money you could save with a different mortgage deal. 

Things to Remember When Remortgaging

Before you decide to remortgage, there are some things that you need to consider. These include:

Exit fees. Your current mortgage lender will most likely charge an exit fee. This is meant to cover the administration work needed to close your account. The cost of the fee will be listed in your original mortgage offer document. Some mortgage providers may offer to cover your exit fees, as an incentive to remortgage with them. You can use the Annual Percentage Rate of Charge (APRC) to compare deals.

Early Repayment Charges. It is common for lenders to charge an early repayment charge (Erc) for the introductory period. This is normally the case for mortgages that have a fixed-rate or are tracker mortgages. For example, if you have a four-year fix, you will most likely be charged a fee if you get out of the deal during those initial four years. This isn’t a problem for short term fixes as your circumstances are unlikely to change drastically during such a short period of time, and if they do you don’t have long to wait before the fix expires. However, deals like a 10-year fix may charge you an early repayment penalty that is thousands and thousands of pounds. If that’s the case, you need to weigh up whether it’s more cost effective to stay with your current deal instead of remortgaging.

Arrangement fees. Not only will your old mortgage provider charge a fee, your new lender will probably charge for setting up your new mortgage. Because of all these fees, the mortgage with the lowest interest rate may not actually be the cheapest option. You’ll need to work out the actual total you’d be paying per mortgage offer, and then you’ll find the most cost-effective solution for your circumstances.

Your finances. Depending on the amount of equity you have in your home, you’ll qualify for different mortgages. For example, the best remortgage rates require you to have at least 25% equity in your property. Therefore, it may be worthwhile delaying the remortgaging process until you’ve made a couple more payments in order to qualify for better deals from lenders. Alternatively, you may be someone who has a lot of debt or has had difficulty paying debts in the past. If this is the case, you can still remortgage with bad credit, and may even find a more suitable rate that allows you to consolidate your debts and escape the fines you could be accruing from multiple lenders.

 The Remortgage Checklist

 In simple terms, here are the things you need to do when you’re looking to remortgage your property.

Check the value of your property. If it’s been a couple of years since you had a valuation of your property, the price may have significantly changed. This could be down to a number of factors, from any renovation work you’ve had done to the reputation of the neighbourhood, or simply because of inflation. To confirm the value of your property, lenders will request that you pay for a valuation survey. It will be cheaper than your initial mortgage valuation or may even be paid for by a new lender. In addition to sending out a valuator, lender may use data on websites like Zoopla. If your property is valued and you think it is too high or too low, you can contest the valuation and present evidence as to why you think the amount they’ve chosen is incorrect.

Find out how much of your mortgage you currently owe. When comparing different mortgage rates, you can make sure you get accurate quotes by inputting the amount you currently have outstanding on your mortgage. You can find this information on your mortgage statement. If you don’t have that to hand, you can request a redemption statement from your lender. The less you have outstanding on your current mortgage, the better the deals you will be offered by remortgaging lenders.

Choose what type of mortgage would be best for you. Depending on why you’re remortgaging, a different type of mortgage may be suitable for your circumstances. You could be remortgaging to consolidate debt, to get a better interest rate, or perhaps because you’re looking for more flexibility. Over time, you may even have found yourself in a better financial situation that when you took out your current mortgage, meaning you’re looking to remortgage to increase the monthly payments. If you’re unsure of where to begin with deciding the best type of mortgage for you, then get some advice. A qualified expert will be able to point you in the right direction.  

Compare mortgage deals. Check out price comparison websites like MoneySuperMarket and CompareTheMarket to find the best rates for your circumstances. These websites may take different factors into consideration when giving results, so it’s always worth checking out more than one comparison website.

Apply for your new mortgage. Once it’s been completed, your solicitor will arrange for your outstanding debt to be transferred over from your old mortgage to your new one.

What is ‘investing’ and is it right for you?

There’s often a bit of an incorrect perception when you mention ‘investment’ to people. There’s an impression that the word is reserved for business moguls who are putting capital into new businesses – or even cash rich individuals who are exchanging money for commodities and ‘playing the market’.

The reality is very different. Everyone’s likely to invest at some point in their life – it’s just that we don’t consider buying a house or opening a savings account to be an investment.

We’ll run you through the most popular kinds of investment, explain what’s involved and help you work out which, if any, is right for you.

What is an investment?

At its most basic level, the term ‘investment’ is something you put your money into to get an increased return. They typically come in one of four types with varying levels of risk:

Cash – By placing your money into a bank or building society account you’re actually investing it – behind the scenes, the bank using the money they have to invest further – they make a large return and offer you some of their profit in the way of interest. This is considered a low risk investment.

Property – Although it might not be the primary reason for the purchase, when you buy property you’re investing in the bricks, mortar and land – with the likelihood that it will be worth more than you paid when it’s sold on. There are a lot of variables, not least with the country’s economy – but property is generally considered a safe investment if bought properly.

Shares – Buying a stake in a company is normally done with the belief that the company will grow in size and value, thus making the share you hold worth more than the moment it was purchased. Markets and company performance are extremely unpredictable – and trading in shares is therefore considered a high-risk investment.

Securities/bonds – Buying bonds or securities is a little like loaning your money to a company or government with an ‘IOU’ note in return. The time period and value/return is set in advance – with your money and interest being returned at this stage. Securities and bonds are generally considered much lower risk than trading in shares.

True ‘investing’

There’s plenty of great information already available online about saving, savings accounts and purchasing property – so we’ll concentrate on trading in stocks; what most people consider to be the real meaning of investing.

Before we continue, it’s really important to understand what this kind of investment is: It’s essentially gambling – you’re placing your money with the hope that the investment returns a greater amount – but, it’s just as possible that money invested will return nothing at all. You should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose.

Even billionaire investors agree that the stock-market trading floors you see in movies aren’t an accurate representation of investing in real life – the truth is frankly more boring, carefully selecting an attractive company, buying shares and then, well… waiting.

When you’re done with waiting, the advice is usually to wait to some more. Although in the short-term shares might fluctuate, they’re unlikely to deviate massively, which means holding on to them for years is often the way to see a reasonable amount of growth.

The stock market

Although the intricacies are much more complex, a stock market is a place where buyers and sellers exchange shares. Companies release these shares to build the amount of capital they have to develop their business. So, you buy a share and you become a shareholder – albeit a very small one.

Although the share information you see on the financial news only covers the large or significantly newsworthy companies and share values, you can check a company’s share price at any time.

There are lots of factors that will dictate the value of the share; the country’s general economic state, the company’s financial performance and the behaviour of other shareholders all contribute to the ‘sentiment’ of the market – the overall attitude toward the shares and therefore, the desirability and the price.

ivnest - What is ‘investing’ and is it right for you?

Making a profit

No one can tell you how much you’ll make or lose when you’re investing. Some of the most complex computer code ever written is made for predicting upward trends in share prices – and even that won’t perform all the time.

Once again, it’s important to remember that money invested in shares is a gamble – maybe you’ll make a fortune, maybe you’ll lose a fortune. Risking more than you can afford to lose is an easy way to end up with unmanageable debt. You can find out about more about debt management strategies online elsewhere. Even an investment in a company that’s performed well for years doesn’t predict that share’s performance tomorrow, so be careful.

Shares tend to deviate in price just a few percent in the short term – whereas they’ll typically increase or decrease more significantly over 5 or 10 years.

Experts will generally tell prospective investors to invest widely – thus mitigating the risk of one company or industry performing poorly. Monitoring a share or share portfolio is also important, the risk that relates to shares changes with the market – and you should only continue on a basis you’re happy with.

What’s right for you?

For most people, starting with an ISA is a good place to invest. While interest rates might not look amazing when compared to the returns you could get with some well bought shares, there are a couple of things you can be certain about.

Firstly, money that is invested in an ISA is tax exempt – which isn’t the case for the profitable return on shares. Although an ISA’s interest rate might be low, the big tax saving often makes up for it.

Secondly, an ISA is about as safe an investment as you’re ever going to find – so if the idea of risk is a scary one, an ISA means you can sleep soundly.

If you’re going to explore stocks and shares – remember to only ever invest what you can afford to lose, oh, and be very wary of ‘sure things’ that you might hear people talking about or have recommended to you – there’s no such thing as certainty in trading – if there were, we’d all be millionaires!

Tips for Early Retirement

Nowadays, there is more and more pressure to stay in work, and with money becoming tight, an easy retirement can seem like a pipe dream. However, it’s important that we approach retirement in the right way. While it may seem complicated, a few simple processes can have you on the right path to early retirement.

Don’t Rush into Retirement

While there are many who have reaped the benefits of an early retirement, there are just as many who felt they may have retired too soon. Retirement can take a lot of readjustment, so if it’s possible, it’s best we ease ourselves into retirement.

For example, if you have recently paid off your mortgage, then you will be in apposition to switch over to part-time work. This gives you the best of both world before making a final decision.

Save As Soon As Possible

This may seem obvious, but the sooner we are able to start saving, the sooner we can retire. While we shouldn’t look to work ourselves into the ground, it does mean that we should treat our money with care. It can also mean making decisions that could change circumstanced in our current situation.

If you are due a pay rise, you could request that the additional funds are placed in your pension fund. Not only does this allow you to save for your future, but is also more cost-effective for your employer. However, it isn’t a decision that should be made lightly, as the last thing you want to do is push yourself into financial hardship.

If you’re looking to retire at 55, you would need to be saving £1,600 per year from the age of 25. The longer this is left, the higher the figure goes. As such, you can expect to make some difficult decision, and stick with them for the long haul. If you’re able to maintain this, then retirement could be closer than you think.

Break Your Retirement Plan into Stages

If you’re looking to retire sooner, then it makes sense you may want to explore the world a little, or seek out some adventure. However, this won’t always be the case, and as such, means that you may not need as much as you first thought to retire.

plan - Tips for Early Retirement

It makes sense that we get less active as we get older, and we need to ensure we’re looking after ourselves to ensure we’re getting the maximum quality of life. Taking factors like this into consideration may help reduce the retirement you need, meaning that retirement isn’t as unattainable as we thought.

Lower Your Cost of Living

It stands to reason that the more we spend now, the less we will have in the future, unless there is some dramatic change in our income. With this in mind, many look at their current lifestyle, and make changes where they can. What these changes depend on your lifestyle, but it could mean opting for a cheaper vehicle, cheaper holidays or a smaller house.

It may not be the most appealing aspect of planning for your retirement, but it’s one that needs some consideration if you’re looking to retire at an earlier age.

Can You Increase Your Current Income?

If you’ve been doing your sums and have realised that your current income isn’t going to cut it when it comes to early retirement, then it may be time to consider some changes. The first thing we should consider is whether we can get a raise in our current position. If this isn’t possible, then we may need to look for an alternative position or secondary role.

If we do need to take on a second job, this evidently means we will be working harder as a result, so it’s not a decision that should be made lightly. However, it is one you may need to consider if you’re looking to retire sooner rather than later.

Pay Off Any Current Debt As Soon as Possible

Avoiding debt can be nigh on impossible, but when we’re looking to retire early, debt is something we need to take control of as soon as possible, otherwise it can hinder our retirement plans moving forward.

When looking at our current debt, it’s not only the amount we owe, but also the interest. Depending on how many loans and credit cards we have, we could be paying an excessive amount of interest, something which would be better invested in our future.

Depending on the amount you owe, a consolidation loan could be the answer. You need to look at the current interest you’re paying, and then look at the interest of the loan. If the loan offers a lower interest rate, then it makes sense to take out a loan, pay off our current commitments, and the repay the loan at a lower interest rate.

If you do take out a consolidation loan, it’s important that you not take our any other lines of credit. Taking out credit on top of a consolidation loan is only going to add to our debt, which defies the object of the exercise.

Retiring an early age is certainly possible, but it can mean making several changes, meaning that it may not be for everyone. However, if you’re able to make a few changes and tighten the purse strings, then early retirement is certainly still possible.

How to Get the Best Out of Your Team

Your company may be a team of 5 people, or it may have grown to have many departments, and many teams, all trying to work together as part of one finely tuned machine. No matter what your situation, it is very likely that, at some point, you are going to need to create a team, and make that team run as smoothly as possible. Here are the most important lessons in teamwork that financial outrage has picked up over the years.

  1. Hiring

Always be aware of what your team might be lacking, not just in terms of skills. If you are expanding, such as needing an IT manager, don’t hire just anyone. Think about who is on the team already, and find someone who has the personality, as well as the skills.

Maybe you already have some very vocal, ideas-driven members of the team, and you know that another hot-head who will butt heads with your financial manager or your marketing manager could seriously damage productivity.

Or maybe, you need technical innovation, so a pioneering IT manager is just what you need!

You might need a critical thinking ‘problem-finder’, to balance out all your ‘problem-solvers’, or vice-versa.

Trying to maintain that careful balance between innovators and producers, or critical thinking and creative thinking, to make your product or service the best that it could be, while maintaining efficiency, can be very hard. So don’t just think about the employee’s personal skills – think about how they could affect a dynamic for the better.

  1. Communication

Probably the most important aspect of any team is communication. Do you find team members have regularly done slightly different work than you expected? Is one member of the team holding back their thoughts/ideas? Are there misunderstandings, or even unresolved conflict, that are negatively affecting productivity? Do you come out of meetings with clear, and mutually understood, resolutions, or vague long-term goals?

If any of this sounds familiar, then your team is likely to be wasting time and energy on unnecessary, or misunderstood, tasks.

Thankfully, communication is also one of the easier problems that can be fixed. It may feel unnatural, or even patronising, but taking the extra time to go over what has been discussed and decided on at the end of a meeting, can make all the difference. As can typing out, and sending round the minutes immediately for checking.

Be aware of anyone who is staying quiet and encourage them to talk, but make sure the atmosphere is open enough for them to say something stupid and not be shot down. Building up a friendly atmosphere is key, and there are more tips on this later. But, it is equally important not to allow a formal meeting to turn into a party. Make sure that only one person is talking at a time, and that the topics of conversation aren’t straying away from the goals of the meeting

team - How to Get the Best Out of Your Team

  1. Organisation

Organisation is interlinked with every aspect of teamwork. The better organised your team is, the more you will succeed. But, this doesn’t mean that you should only hire the most organised team members you can find. You could be sacrificing something important.

If you have the resources for personal secretaries and an operations manager, then that is an obvious answer to any organisational issues. But, understandably, not all companies are able to do that from the get-go.

The essential thing to do is to be organised yourself, and to ensure that at least one other person on the team is as well, a ‘team manager’ of sorts. This could be an operations manager, or you could hire someone you know to be highly organised in any role, provided they will have the confidence and authority to organize others, when necessary.

If you are not an organised person, don’t panic. But you have to be honest and upfront about your weakness, and make sure to publicly give authority to the most organised member of the team to act as a ‘team manager’.

  1. Motivation and Socialising

Some teams can have issues of motivation. You should always aim to hire people who are excited to work in your industry or field. But, sometimes, people can become demotivated, and that can become a huge problem for quality and productivity.

There are many ways to motivate people, but the best way is to make everyone truly feel like part of the team. The easiest way to do this is to encourage socialising, not just a Christmas party once a year, but a few work events, and, even better, simply eating lunch together. It doesn’t have to be every day, in fact spending time apart can be just as healthy for a group dynamic as spending time together, but making sure you all eat lunch together once a week and don’t talk about work can build bonds that will benefit you

The Importance of Personal Finance Budgeting

Financing is regularly made more unpredictable than would normally be appropriate, and legitimate planning of individual accounts to make riches ought not to be upsetting. Just by following a couple of straightforward fundamental guidelines of the individual back, you’re planning won’t just return you to the budgetary way, yet will likewise start the way toward making riches that we as a whole merit.

The standards of making a solid riches building framework require an establishment in light of private financing of the fund. Strong and reliable planning is one of the laws of own back that you abuse at your own cost. The cost of not following your cash and knowing how your cash streams and from your ownership are costly, and an extremely common mix-up. Be that as it may, what are the standards of effective planning.

The main rule of financing own back, which emerges before any frightening counts or spending gauges, is to expel every one of the feelings from your accounts. This is the most troublesome and most imperative of the privileged insights of budgetary financing, which will be unveiled. On the off chance that you are astonished by obligation stresses, paralyzed by incalculable monetary commitments or simply despising tallying of records and wages, you are not the only one. In any case, it is critical and essential to attempt endeavors to expel any feelings from this procedure. You essentially check the numbers to draw a guide of where you are presently, and measure advance towards your riches. Expelling feelings from your back spending will proceed, and you ought to dependably stay alarmed to his arrival.

The following stage is the point at which the individual money related spending will incorporate a rundown of your benefits and your liabilities. With this progression in the planning procedure, we are endeavoring to survey your esteem. You simply need to influence a rundown of what you to have, relegate every component a number for what it can offer, or its present esteem, and subtract from this rundown what you require. For instance, on the off chance that you have a watercraft that can be sold for $ 1500, regardless you require $ 750, you will stay at $ 750, which can be considered a piece of your total assets. Characterizing these figures in an individual monetary spending plan, we can better comprehend in an expansive sense that you are monetarily commendable.

After deciding your total assets, our next phase of planning ought to figure out what your dynamic funds are. This sounds more entangled than that; I simply solicit you to make a rundown from what your month to month wage sources are and the amount you get every month from these surges of pay. At that point, we have to make a rundown of your month to month costs, what they are and the amount to deduct from your month to month wage. Legitimate planning of your funds implies no expenses or things on the rundown, regardless of how little they consider everything. This planning assignment demonstrates to us that you are going to your funds, either to budgetary destroy or to the goal of riches.

You have accomplished all that you require for sensible individual financing. Presently you can assess what your esteem is and have a thought of ​​what your goal is (the objective of your riches) and you know how quick you are going to it month to month. Your spending gives you an unmistakable thought of ​​where your cash is and how they stream. With this data, you would now be able to settle on better choices and enhance your funds, this with the assistance of a little individual planning of back every month.