Month : January 2014

Retirement

How to: Start Saving for Retirement in your 40s

If you’ve reached your 40s without starting to save for retirement, you could be forgiven for feeling slightly nervous about the future. The important thing to remember is that it’s never too late to start preparing for later life.

Get Straight

First thing’s first: you need to get straight.

With the recent state of economy, the reality for many is unpaid debt on credit cards or loans. Expensive debts need to be paid off as a priority, as you’re essentially wasting money in just paying off the interest.

Good tools for helping you to do this are software such as Microsoft Money, or even a standard excel spread sheet. Use these to calculate your incoming vs. outgoing funds, and how much you can realistically afford to pay back each month.

Enter Your Company Pension Scheme

By the time you hit 40 the likelihood is that you’ll have reached your peak in your chosen career route, so now is a great time be putting part of your salary aside into a pension plan.

A company pension plan is especially appealing because it essentially acts as a pay rise.  If your company has a scheme in place, they will start making contributions on your behalf based on the percentage of your salary that you decide to save.  If you don’t take it, you’re effectively turning down free money.

Make an Investment in Property

If you have already invested in property, this will go some way to help you afford later life.

If you haven’t yet invested but it’s viable to do so, then you should definitely consider it. A property is a really lucrative asset to have when the cost of retirement looms, particularly if at some point you need to move to a care home.

Delaying purchase until your 40s means that you’re in danger of on-going mortgage repayments into your 60’s and possibly even your 70’s. However, the state pension age for women is due to be brought into line with men at 65 in 2018 before rising to 66 by 2020 and 67 by 2028, so if you invest now, there’s still time to arrange for the mortgage to be paid in full by the time you hit retirement.

Remember…

Don’t bury your head in the sand.

Yes, your 40s are regarded as late for starting to save for retirement, but always better to be late than never. You’ve still got plenty of working years ahead, so can still afford to make investments and build up a tidy nest-egg.

Secondly, don’t panic. If you know that you don’t have the time and resource to save for every eventuality in later life, you’re not doomed. In some circumstances, the government are legally obliged to pay care home fees on a person’s behalf.  Through the NHS Continuing Care program, the NHS will fund the full cost of care, including accommodation and nursing costs if ill-health is the primary reason for entering a home. 

This article was contributed by Laura Moulden on behalf of Cheselden. Visit the website to find out if you may be eligible for a care fee refund.

Entertainment

Make Mine a Superbike…

superbike

Image credit: http://mrg.bz/8A9zSF

The skills of the superbike riders are very much considered to be unrivalled in the motorsport world. Theoretically, the combination of sheer speed and amazing handling skills on bikes that are in mass production is difficult to find anywhere else. With the success of Britain’s very own Carl Fogarty, you can begin to see the illustration of why the World Superbike Championships seem to attract such a loyal following.

However, some individuals find themselves wondering exactly what it is that makes these superbikes so different from the same models that can be found on the road. There are drastic variances between the two. The vast majority of superbike enthusiasts find themselves wondering whether there are standards to achieve superbike performance and still be legal on the street.

Superbike Standards

superbikestandards

Image credit: http://mrg.bz/UTIext

To begin with, a superbike must have a frame that is exactly the same as a model that would be available on the market. One instance of this would be a Ducatti 1199 or a Honda RC30. It must appear more or less identical aside from the obvious addition of sponsor decals and it must have a four stroke engine to be considered a superbike. Twin models generally have to attain between 850cc and 1200cc. On the other hand, the four cylinder engines can be between 750cc and 1000cc in order to account for the difference in power output.

Superbikes will have some small cosmetic changes from their street legal counterparts. One of these cosmetic alterations include rear-view mirrors. These mirrors will obviously be missing as will the headlights. You would not be permitted on the road or track without these. However, equally the weight difference is really negligible.

Exhaust Upgrades

The first thing most superbike teams tend to do is to replace the stock exhaust with an aftermarket system. An extreme, high-performance exhaust will assist the engine in cooling down more quickly. This permits improved engine activity in a shorter time which in turn will generate considerably greater power.

Exhaust upgrades are truly an alteration where you need to be careful about the rules and regulations. The trade-off for more power is much more noise and often times more heat. This could mean you fall foul of a local racing regulation. It could even mean your bike is not roadworthy or that it might invalidate your motorbike insurance. Be sure to check into these factors prior to committing to a fit.

Wheel Size and Weight

Wheel upgrades can add grip while effectively reducing the weight of a bike. Though they can be costly, those motorbike owners who really want to build up a quality bike need to know just where to go. Most superbikes will have something similar to a 120/70 or a 120/60 tyre size.

You will probably find that if your bike is an ‘off the peg’ superbike there is likely to be plenty of wheel clearance. However, due to this wheel clearance, you might need to make some fairing changes. These fairing changes may be necessary if your wheel clearance is too great.

A Selection of Tyre Choices

Tyre choice is absolutely crucial. It is also very often underestimated in the superbike community. If a rider is serious about nailing a best lap on the track, then having a set of wet, dry and intermediate tyres really is the key. Riders would also be wise to purchase the softest compounds that they can afford. The crucial secret however is to save them for race day. The difference in wear between ordinary road tyres and superbike tyres is quite amazing and drastic.

Brake Upgrades

To match your new found power, your brakes might very well require an upgrade. Again, in this instance, you will be restricted by what sort of brakes your league allows. Ceramic brakes are by far the best for performance. However, they are extraordinarily costly and can favour the riders with bigger budgets.

Any rider will also have to suffer a much greater and sometimes quite ugly brake pad to absorb all of the heat and strain of braking around a track. The extra stopping power will be worth it in the end. Though, you will have to spend some time getting accustomed to your new motorbike brakes.

Marginal Gains

Remember that you do not need to blow the bank to attain the best in upgrades. Thoroughly consider the little things that can be quickly and rather cheaply changed. Altering your wires, spark plugs or belts can all make your drive train just a little bit slicker. Be well aware that though they will not necessarily boost your output power, they will vastly improve the efficiency of your bike.

Engine additives are another popular way of giving your bike a little bit more. Again, some of these are simply not road legal. This makes it crucial for motorbike riders and owners to make sure that they have checked before adding anything into the engine. Superbike performance is definitely possible. Most are just unaware of the fact that it all comes at a cost. Once all is said and done, you are likely to get more enjoyment out of a new bike altogether. This especially applies to those who are intense motorbike enthusiasts. For those who find that the costs of upgrades is just too expensive, try just working a little more on your technique.

For motorcycle insurance visit Aquote bike.

Money Management

How to save and live frugally

According to the experts we have surely escaped from economic crisis. But to check if it conforms to the truth we only need to have a look at the typical family’s bank account. It is quite difficult to survive in these difficult times, but there are ways to make it easier for your life as well as for your budget.

Plan your menus and shopping

Living frugally also depends on you eating and shopping habits. It is necessary to plan the products you have. Before going shopping it would be nice to have a shopping list in advance. Plan out your trip and start with essential goods in your list. There is a huge variety of tablet and phone applications that will make your planning easier. You know your family’s primary goods which usually include: bread, dairy products, meat , seasoning, sugar and so on. You can make a menu for your meals for the week and decide what you need for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Think well if you are out of cereals, breakfast bars, or sweets. Make sure you will need soups and meat for sandwiches.

Try to plan out the menu for your big meal of the day, that is the most important. Thus you will know the meats, vegetables, and specialty items. Also you might try these tips to save a bit of money, instead of using short term borrowing for UK residents:

1. Don’t go shopping if you are hungry. Have a snack or you will start impulse buys.

2. Shop at the local market or with fresh farm stand. Prices for vegetables and fruits are lower and of better quality than at your grocery store.

3. Freeze your extra food. It is always tempting to order food on your busy nights. Instead you will have easy meals from your fridge. In addition, cooking the double batch is cheaper than cooking two separately.

4. Make your own stocks and broth. When you buy a blade roast, it is worth to save the bone to make a soup with later.
Include extras in your planning. Make a double batch if you are going to cook lasagna or casserole.

5. If you have a veggie loving animal, such as a bunny or a guinea pig, request your manager about damaged produce to feed pet.

Cents-off coupons

There are easy ways to save at the checkout. You can save money for your family shopping frugally. Couponing is a handy way to do it. A long time ago people had to wait for a Sunday paper and clip the coupon inserts before going to grocery store. Nowadays it’s much easier. Clipping is out of fashion when where are store savings cards and electronic coupons.

Get free

Presently there is a popular movement which is called Freecycle. It helps people in saving their money and keeping useable items out of landfills. This is a great global project that works locally. All you need is to sign up for your local Freecycle group and start interacting with other members. While you’re doing a general cleaning you might discover at least a dozen items you use no longer but they still have life in them. You contact with freecycle and report you have items to offer. On the other hand when reviewing the daily posts you might find something you need from someone else’s posts. This is all shared for free. You can find any item for your home or yourself and so much more.

These are only few tips. You can make your own research online. Your friends might give you some more ideas you had not had before. It is really possible to make your ends meet.

Politics

Save Money Avoid an Expensive Ticket by Staying Informed of the Law

Recently, Missouri’s state highway patrol released information on some recent law changes in regards to vehicle operation and accidents. This information is very important to drivers, because punishments for driving offenses are now more severe. For Missouri residents, this means enhanced safety on the road and stricter punishments for offenders.

Keep yourself from going bankrupt by following all the new laws and avoiding steep fines and penalties.

Active Emergency Zone

An active emergency zone is a part of the road that has been marked off by emergency responders. It’s essential to drive carefully in an emergency zone, because fines are increased. The first time you violate traffic laws in an emergency zone you’ll be charged $35 in addition to other fines. A second ticket will cost you $75 in addition to your other fines.

Follow these new rules to save yourself the headache of financial penalties:

  • Do not exceed the speed limit by over 15 mph.
  • Do not pass other vehicles.
  • Always stop for a flagman, a traffic control signal and emergency responders.
  • Do not use lanes that are closed off or not intended for motorists.
  • Do not physically assault, threaten or attempt to assault an emergency responder with a motor vehicle or other instrument.
  • Do not intentionally use your vehicle to strike or move a barrel, sign, barrier or other device. Unless, you’re hitting the object in an effort to avoid an obstacle, emergency or to protect the health of another person.

Permissive Yellow-Light Intervals

The Permissive Yellow-Light Intervals section states that no person can be ticketed or otherwise in trouble if they pass through a yellow light and it turns red while they’re in said intersection. People should be cautious when their light turns green, always on the lookout in case a straggler is caught in the intersection after passing through a yellow light.  

If a car accident occurs in this situation, it may be difficult to determine who is liable. It’s recommended to contact a personal injury lawyer, like Missouri’s own Christopher R. Dixon, who suggests asking witnesses to stay on scene, after an accident, so they can give a statement to police. A car accident can be incredibly expensive, which is why it’s important to protect yourself when you’re not liable.

Insurance Policies

Thankfully, laws have been updated to allow drivers to prove they have insurance with a digital image, like the one on a cell phone or tablet. For Missouri residents, this means living life greener, with less paper products. It also means saving time on the side of the road, if a driver forgot to put their insurance documents in their glove box.

Many drivers have received expensive tickets for not having proof of insurance. In most cases, those drivers were freed from their financial obligation when they could deliver proof of insurance in a certain time frame. This meant accepting the ticket and fine, then driving home and printing out copies of insurance information. Or, driving to the insurance company and requesting duplicate documents. If insurance couldn’t be proved in a specified length of time, the driver would be forced to pay their fines and tickets.

Save Your Money – Stay Clear on the Law

The only way to avoid the huge expense of a ticket and a fine is to not break the law. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, when the flashing red and blues come alive behind you. If you truly want to avoid this hefty expense, keep alert behind the wheel and stay clear on the law. 

Debt Management

Don’t Let Debt Overload You

Debt is a huge burden when it’s accumulated for the wrong reasons. Using credit cards to by the next big thing is never the way to go when it comes to being financially responsible. 

However there are times when debt is ok. For instance, you want to buy a house. Yes it is possible to buy one with cash but that would probably take a decade if not more. So getting a loan for something like that isn’t a bad thing. 

A car loan also isn’t that bad because a car is a necessity for most people. Of course you should be getting it for it’s purpose if you’re going into debt and not necessarily because it’s the best looking sports car available. 

And another time it’s ok to get a loan….a significant hit to your finances. For instance you lose your job and you’re about to be homeless. Getting a loan to cover your mortgage isn’t the worst thing you can do. Of course, you should have cut everything to the bone as far as your expenses. 

Debt is everywhere and most people have it. But don’t let it take over your life.

Surprised at the state of UK consumer loans? View how quickly UK consumers accumulate debt with this live debt ticker.

Breaking down UK loans infographic

This infographic is brought to you by QuickQuid