Monday, September 14, 2020

Your Dog - Social Media

 What Your Dog Wants You to Know About Using Social Media

 
Social media is a wonderful way to stay in touch with family and friends, but it can have its downside. Numerous studies suggest that overdoing it on Facebook or similar sites can make us unhappy.
 
For example, having more than 7 social media accounts triples the risk of depression among young adults, according to researchers at The University of Pittsburgh. Maybe it’s the multitasking or the pressure to look cool in multiple venues with different rules. Either way, that’s one mistake your dog wouldn’t make. He’s content with playing in the same park each afternoon, and eating his usual for dinner each night.
 
If you’re going to use social media, there are a few more things your dog could teach you. After all, he’s man’s best friend, so take a look at these ideas he’d want to share with you.
 
Play Nice:
 
Online spontaneity can lead to regrets if you say something insensitive. Even dogs benefit from being socialized.
 
1.      Think first. Ask yourself if what you’re typing is encouraging and constructive. Imagine how you’d feel if you were on the receiving end.
2.      Consider your audience. Context matters. Avoid misunderstandings by choosing the appropriate platform for your remarks. Puppy pictures will get more laughs on Facebook than LinkedIn.
3.      Take the high road. You’ll probably run into some rudeness and aggression online. Try to elevate the conversation or leave gracefully if necessary.


Accept Yourself:
 
The average mutt can have just as much confidence as any Westminster Kennel Club winner. Loving yourself protects you from feeling inferior online and off.
 
1.      Be authentic. Know that you are worthy of happiness and respect just the way you are. Celebrate your strengths, and enjoy exploring the areas where you want to grow.


2.      Resist comparisons. Sometimes it looks like everyone else on Facebook is taking exotic vacations and bragging about their gifted children. Count your blessings and pursue your own definition of success.


3.      Think positive. Think of challenges as opportunities. Wake up with a smile and be kind to yourself. When you talk to yourself, choose words that comfort and inspire you.


Stay Active:
 
Being sedentary takes a toll on your mental and physical health. Maybe you need to step away from the computer.
 
1.      Take a walk. Exercise each day. Walk your dog an extra mile or visit the gym.
2.      Move around. Incorporate more physical activity into each day. Climb the stairs or do some extra chores around the house.
3.      Interact offline. Cultivate relationships face-to-face. Meet up with friends for a regular coffee or lunch date. Throw a potluck dinner with your neighbors.


Engage in Meaningful Activities:
 
Your dog can find fulfillment in chasing a stick. You may need to aim a little higher. If you’re feeling down about squandering the last 2 hours on celebrity gossip, devote your time to finer things.
 
1.      Live mindfully. Any activity can be profound if you keep your purpose in mind. Enjoy preparing breakfast for your family or giving your dog a bath.
2.      Find a hobby. Fill your leisure time with projects that expand your knowledge and skills. Play a musical instrument or study a foreign language.

3.      Focus on giving. True gratification comes from helping others and contributing to your community. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or library. Tell a retail worker when their patience and kindness helps to make your errands more pleasant.


If your dog can figure out how to avoid Facebook depression and Instagram anxiety, so can you. Monitor your social media use and pay attention to your life offline. You and your dog will both benefit!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Kaligh X

9 years ago my husband and I set out on a journey to change our lives and the way we live. Not many people today understand it but after finding ourselves homeless, broke, and in debt a few months before our wedding we decided we never wanted to be like that again. We got married while we were homeless and the cabin on our cruise boat was the first private room we had in several months (our wedding/cruise was prepaid so it still happened). We started attending Church soon after and Financial Peace University was being offered that Fall of 2011. We decided (Well I decided) we were going to see what it was all about. We started our relationship as roommates and were still treating our cash accordingly. We were challenged in FPU to combine our money during the class. (I didn’t want to be responsible for his debt so this was really hard for me). We combined our money and jointly set the task before us to get out of debt from the credit cards, cars, medical bills, etc. It took us a few years to pay everything off but we did it and it’s been an amazing feeling to not have anything hanging over us. But it has always been a dream to be COMPLETELY debt free including our home. Today is the day! We finally made it! We are DEBT FREE INCLUDING OUR HOUSE! The journey has not been easy. We definitely have had to live like no one else to make this happen over the years. But by using biblical principles in managing our money here we are. 33 yrs old and DEBT FREE. Pandemic or not 2020 is a year I will always remember! I hope our story brings hope to others. If we can do it so can you. Stick with the plan and it WILL happen!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Mark N.

 Can I share with you what God did? The year my wife and I got married, I spent 3 months in the hospital fighting for my life — battling AIDS, with no immune system. And due to mounting medical bills, college loan debt and credit cards, our house was foreclosed on and I had to sell my vehicle. Needless to say we were broke. Then we met Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University, followed his baby steps and were faithful in our tithes. In the months and years to follow God showed us His faithfulness. Within weeks of graduating from FPU, my wife and I prayed and we felt led to leave behind the increasing costs of renting an apartment and purchase a mobile home or RV. I was working at a children’s home (a large residential campus that included a small campground) and it was the plan to move the mobile unit onto the children’s home campground, which would eliminate our rent and utilities — giving us the ability to pay down more debt with gazelle intensity. Within a week of looking, we found an used RV for $8,000, but after looking at it, the owner said, “I need to know tonight, because I have someone else interested.” Well we knew then that this was not from God, because we all know what Dave says about large purchases... wait at least 24 hours. So we waited, and the next week, I was hosting an event for donors at the children’s home, and within a few minutes of welcoming guests this couple that I had never met before came up to me and said, “we need to talk to you.” I pulled them into a separate room, and the husband proceeded to say, “we have a brand new motorhome that we would would like to donate, so you or another staff member can live in it.” I was blown away by the greatness of our God. A few weeks later, they delivered this class A Winnebago and my wife and I moved in. This couple came to visit us in our new home on wheels in the months to follow, and said to us, “we had no intention of donating the RV until we drove onto the property that very first day, and the Holy Spirit told us someone here needed it.” We know through obedience, God will supply every one of our needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. We give Him all the glory!

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Leigh A

 

Two years ago at age 30 we finished paying off $160,000 of student loans and 2 days ago (for my 32nd birthday present) we paid off our mortgage!! 

The teller at the bank said, "Wow, that is quite the accomplishment at your age"! But my husband and I can officially say we are debt free.

The journey seemed like a long one, but after only 5 years, we can look back and say we made all the right sacrifices because this feeling is the best feeling!

Had to share here, because I knew you could all relate to the journey, the struggle, and the sacrifice. I really want to shout it to EVERYONE I know at the top of my lungs, but I knew this was the only place that would truly understand.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Federal Student Loans

Student Loan Borrower: Don't wait on congress for more relief.

Federal student loan borrowers haven't had to make payments since March. But without continued government intervntion, those unable to pay can expect long waits for help come October when bills are scheduled to restart. Automatic interest-free forbearance provided by the first coronavirus relief package was not extended by the Health, Economic Assistance Liability Protection and Schools Act proposed by Senate Republicans. There's no additional relief for studen loan borrowers in the proposal.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Education

Image result for Education Quotes



Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion and directed research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, however learners can also educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. The methodology of teaching is called pedagogy.


Many professions are required to take continuing education. Have you considered even if you only graduated from high school, college or trade school that your education continues your entire life. What are you doing to continue your education? Here at this blog you encourage you to learn how to manage your money in a way that you are out of debt and you can build wealth for your future and the future of your family and community.

We offer a free initial meeting where we will provide you with free tools to get out of debt and start building your wealth.

Coach Dungy of the Indianapolis Colt says that everyone needs to have mentors in their life. That includes someone that can help you to keep you on track regarding your financial future.

“We’re having to readjust some things, but we can still be intentional with our money.” — Chris Hogan

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Best Credit Cards

Looking around the web I find many companies advertising their credit cards. Do you know how many credit cards you should have in your wallet?

Are you the Master of your credit? Are you seeking a Visa for your next trip? Are you hoping that the lockdown ends so you can Diner out once again with family, friends, and business associates? What about that emergency expense? Are you thinking I can whip out that piece of plastic to solve my financial problems?

I see company after company that is seeking to expand its customer base. Maybe it is Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Macey's, Home Depot or just name your favorite place to shop that has a credit card. Wow, I can save anywhere from 10% to 20% on my first purchase. How much do you save on your next purchase with your favorite retailer when you go into making a purchase. Whoops, why am I visiting a retailer to make a purchase or why am I visiting their website to buy something? Do I really need that credit card? Oh, yes now I know why I need that card. I need to build my Fico score I am thinking. Really? Why do I need credit? Oh, yes, I remember, I need it because I want to purchase a new home or a new car.

I am out looking at new cars with loans that are zero percent interest on the loan. This is a great deal. I get a new car with a new car smell and I can drive all over town with people looking at my new car seeing how successful I am in life.

I have news for you. You do not need credit. Credit is your enemy, it is not your friend. People do not care what stuff you buy in life. They are sitting on the sidelines cheering you on to make purchases (they might get some benefit) or they want you to go on vacation with them. Oh, vacations are on hold at the moment for most of us with COVID-19.

Did you know that credit card interest rates are between 0% (limited time) and 29% each month you have an outstanding balance. Do you have credit card debt? If you have $1,000 in credit card debt you may be paying out as much as $290 a month in money that you will never see again. This $290 is like taking the money and lighting a match to it. I know you would not really do that but in essence, that is what you are doing.

I am getting off the subject. There is no best credit card or loan anywhere on this earth. All credit cards are your enemy and interest is your enemy!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Covd-19 and Job Loss

Life can change in just a few days. The Coronavirus  has changed many of our lives permanently. Life will not be the same this year as it was in the past and it will probably never be the same again. For some of us we have lost our jobs and have to start a new job search and life for most of us is uncertain.

Here are some things we can do to make our lives a bit easier.

Unemployed

Apply for unemployment. For many of us this seems impossible. If you are having difficulties keep at it. Sooner or later yo will succeed on filling out the online forms or getting someone on the phone. It has been my experience that when you do get signed up that you can get paid retroactively.

Are you in need of extra cash. Filling out surveys can help to provide some extra income. It takes a bit of work. I personally have filled out surveys for several companies and have been paid. It is not a get rich quick way of earning an income but at least it can help to put food on the table, keep you from becoming homeless and maybe put a bit of gas in the car. See the top survey sites of 2020.

Click Here to visit the Survey Police

The Four Walls

We teach that when you are short of funds it is necessary to go into storm mode and concentrate on your four walls. The four walls consist of food, shelter (including utilities), basic clothing and basic transportation. Transportation can be expensive so we recommend using public transportation if at all possible. You stop paying monthly bills on credit cards and anything that is not essential for daily living expenses.

Make Every Dollar Count
Cancel all subscriptions. These would include any monthly memberships in clubs, gyms, entertainment items including cable. Youtube.com is a great way to watch television and if you have a smart phone, smart television or tablet this will work almost as good as cable. If you have favorite programs do a search on YouTube and you may find what you normally watch but for free! One of the items some of us have are things like pet insurance. This usually has high deductibles and I have found that many items that are basic at the vet are not covered. As much as we love our pets sometimes it is time to depart from our pet when their health is keeping them from having a good life. Stop  using credit cards for any purchases. Many times we use credit for wants. Remember anytime you use credit and it is not paid off by the end of the month that you will pay interest. Interest is money that you are never able to spend on things that you want or need in the future.

Expand Your Job Search
Just because you normally work in a factory or warehouse or maybe in a more upscale job it does not mean you limit your job search to the same job or skill set. We need to look to create new skills or apply for other types of employment. Many companies are seeking temporary workers or even permanent employees to take the place of those that are unwilling to go to work because of Coronavirus. Consider delivery jobs. Consider task that you can perform in your local neighborhood. If you are going to drive in a new job be sure to check with your insurance company. Consider pet sitting or dog walking as a possibility. Go door to door in your neighborhood and meet your neighbors.

Sell Stuff
Many of us have purchased stuff over the years. Look around your garage or basement. You can likely find stuff you can sell on websites or maybe have a sale of items in your driveway. Let folks know about your driveway sale on twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts. Sell so much stuff the pets think they are next.

Investment Accounts
For some of us we have been investing for our retirement. To maintain the 4 walls that we wrote about earlier you may want to consider taking small amounts from retirement accounts for survival. We recommend that this money be used only for the 4 walls. Do not spend these funds to pay off debt or any creditors. 

Reverse Mortgages
This tool is not recommended. These come with high fees and can mean that you will not have a home to stay in if you do not meet all the requirements. You must maintain the home in good repair and you still pay all the taxes. You can live in the home until death. If you do not live in the home for 12 months the monies received in a reverse mortgage come due on the reverse mortgage. This means at that time if the reverse mortgage is not paid that a foreclosure will take place.

Social Security
If you qualify you can begin to receive social security payments. It may take some time to get started but payments will be received from the time that you apply. For full details you need to contact social security. There are many variables that need to be discussed with them that includes the possibility of suspending payments or repaying amounts received if you change your mind.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is back in business this summer. Just don’t book your trip expecting that the rides, restaurants, hotels, and general atmosphere will be the same as the “Most Magical Place on Earth” was before shutting down in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Among other things, kids (and adults) shouldn’t anticipate getting hugs from Mickey or any of the princesses. Everyone who is out of diapers will have to wear a face mask, too. Here’s more of what you need to know if you’re considering a trip to Disney World anytime soon.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Life Insurance


The Easy Way To Get Life Insurance in 2020
The Easy Way To Get Life Insurance in 2020

What happens to your family if you or your wife should pass away? Do you have insurance to replace the income that comes into your home? How do you pay for day to day expenses if the husband should die. How do you pay for expenses if the wife should die? If you are depending on insurance from the workplace what happens if you lose your job or choose to change jobs. If this happens you have no life insurance. The insurance at work is a nice extra. Financial advisors say that term life insurance is the best value for your dollar. Do not let time pass. If you do you are in jeopardy of not having money to cover expenses and the longer you wait the more expensive the insurance gets. You want to provide for your family and life insurance is one of the ways you provide for financial needs if something should happen. People in the world of finances say that you should have 10 to 12 times your annual income for insurance. This should apply to both the husband and wife individually.

Life is short... so it shouldn't take long to find a life insurance policy that covers it. Don't waste time — Zander Insurance  the fastest, easiest, and most comprehensive way to search curated life insurance policy quotes from top carriers, in partnership with Zander Insurance, all from the comfort of your couch. With different levels of policy coverage depending on your needs and wallet, you could have life insurance before you finish your morning cup of coffee.


Friday, May 8, 2020

National Debt

Ask Chuck: Are We Taking On Too Much National Debt? 
Chuck Bentley
Dear Chuck, I just don’t understand how America can implement another massive bailout/stimulus without some long-term consequences. Aren’t we already carrying too much national debt? 

Read Article

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Debt Free Before Dating


Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Dave Ramsey or Ramsey Solutions. I will be sharing short vidieos from Ramsey Personalities. I recommend you go directly to you tube to learn more about how to handle your finances.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Debt Free Degree



Every parent wants the best for their child.
That’s why they send them to college! But most parents struggle to pay for school and end up turning to student loans. That’s why the majority of graduates walk away with $35,000 in student loan debt and no clue what that debt will really cost them.

Student loan debt doesn’t open doors for young adults—it closes them. They postpone getting married and starting a family. That debt even takes away their freedom to pursue their dreams. But there is a different way. Going to college without student loans is possible!

In Debt-Free Degree, Anthony ONeal teaches parents how to get their child through school without debt, even if they haven’t saved for it. He also shows parents:
  • How to prepare their child for college
  • Which classes to take in high school
  • How and when to take the ACT and SAT
  • The right way to do college visits
  • How to choose a major

A college education is supposed to prepare a graduate for their future, not rob them of their paycheck and freedom for decades. Debt-Free Degree shows parents how to pay cash for college and set their child up to succeed for life.


Tuesday, January 7, 2020

SMART INSIGHTS FROM PROFESSIONAL ADVISERS

SMART INSIGHTS FROM PROFESSIONAL ADVISERS
A Widow's Broker Made a Huge Mistake
Karen, a recent widow, reached out to me for help with getting financially organized after her husband passed away. Her husband had a broker, but Karen didn't really know him. So she hired me, and together we got to work on her Survivor's Financial Plan, a tool I use to review the financial, retirement, estate, investment and insurances of a new widow. 
The Cost Basis Never Stepped Up 
As I got to reviewing her investment statements, I immediately noticed something was wrong: The cost basis of the stocks in the joint account were never stepped up to her husband's date of death. The way the tax code works, if a spouse passes, the deceased's share in the cost basis in those shares is stepped up to the value on the date of death. This is important because when you go to sell a stock, the difference between the fair market value and the cost basis (the gain) is the income tax due. This could be extremely costly. If she went to sell the stocks, she would have owed a substantial amount of money in income taxes, since she had a substantial gain due to the low cost basis in the stocks. 
Here's how it works. Karen and her husband, John, have a joint investment account holding several individual stocks. They bought the stocks several years ago, and the majority of them have appreciated over time. One stock, a tech firm they bought for $25 per share in 2003, is now worth $180 per share. So, their $5,000 investment ballooned to $36,000. Since they held the stock for more than one year, if they sold, they would owe long-term capital gains tax on $31,000, which is the difference between the $36,000 market value and the $5,000 cost-basis (what they paid). Karen and John are in the 15% capital gains bracket, meaning they owe 15% of the $31,000 gain - or $4,650 - if they sold the stock prior to John's passing. 
With John's passing, his share of the stock's cost-basis should have "stepped-up" on the date of his death. This means instead of the cost basis being $5,000, half of the cost-basis should have been increased to $18,000 (half of the $36,000, John's share in the stock on the date of his death). Karen's share of the cost-basis remains $2,500 - half of the original $5,000. 
The difference is huge. If Karen went to sell the stock without a step-up in basis, she'd owe $4,650 in taxes. However, with the step-up in basis, she'd owe only half that amount, or $2,325. Repeat this scenario by all the other stocks in their joint account, and you can see the tax-cost would have been significant if she didn't receive a step-up in basis. 
We went back to the brokerage firm to correct the problem. But why did this happen? 
Having a Joint Account, But Different Last Names Was the Ultimate Culprit 
At the majority of investment brokerage firms, the cost basis is automatically stepped-up on the date of death. However, this is not always the case when the deceased and the surviving spouse have different last names, as was the case with my client. She and her husband were married, but she kept her last name. In that case, the brokerage firm didn't automatically step up the basis, but rather needed further instruction from the deceased husband's broker - something the broker must have overlooked. 
Luckily, we caught the error in time. The brokerage firm acknowledged the mistake. Since they already had the death certificate on file, which showed the date of death, no new forms were needed. The investment company went back and corrected it, so half of the cost basis in each stock was stepped-up to the date of John's death. Keep in mind it is not always "half" of the value of the position that gets stepped up. If John owned 100% of the stock in an account in his name, the entire basis steps up on his death. 
It's often the little things that add up to big things in the world of financial planning and investing. Here, the broker's oversight, if left undetected, could have cost Karen a pretty penny in unnecessary income taxes. The key takeaway here is to always double check that the cost basis is stepped up in the appropriate accounts. 
For more financial planning insights for Widows and Widowers, please visit my website at www.survivorplanning.com
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This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.
From Kiplinger magazine January 2020