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August 3, 2013

Are You Ready for Retirement?

Disclosure: Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial in partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network. All opinions expressed on this post are mine.



Are you part of the baby boomers generation (born between 1946 and 1964)? This 2013 the oldest baby boomers turn 67 and the big question all over town is if baby boomers are already ready for retirement?

Here are some tips on planning for your retirement:

1. I’m sure some of you aren’t totally ready to give up working yet. If you still enjoy some aspects of your job, it is best to consider shifting to part-time or consulting work instead of pursuing a full-time life of leisure. Having a modified schedule can help you enjoy a less stressful life without totally giving up the fulfillment that you feel when working and engaging in the business that you’re in.

2. Prepare yourself psychologically and emotionally. The prestige and power that your work gives is not easy to let go, that’s why you have to prepare yourself that things will change once you retire and someone from your work will have to take your position.

3. Have a plan on what you want to do after retiring. Do you want to be able to do tennis or golf? Do you want to open a new business? Plan the new identity that you want for yourself, whether its a life of leisure or other passion that you want to pursue, you have to decide which path to take. This is the time for you to open yourself to new possibilities and not see it as closing of doors. If there are things that you wanted to do before but you can’t, now is the time to do it.Continue reading

July 3, 2013

How to Manage Couples Finances

Disclosure: Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial in partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network. All opinions expressed on this post are mine.

Couples Finances

Couples Finances

How to manage couples finances? This is an important question every couple or those who are deciding to move-in together should think about and if possible ask to their financial planners. Well if you’re in-love, money matters is probably the last thing on a couple’s mind but a little financial planning is very important before you decide to get serious in a relationship. Unfortunately some couples are already deep in the relationship even before they realized that money management is an important factor for having a good and stable relationship.

Managing couples finances is tricky, some even say that it’s a conversational time bomb. Money matters can be a source of conflict, but would you rather talk about finances early on to have a healthy relationship and avoid conflicts or have a nasty battle in the end when both of you decided that the relationship is not working?

Here are some advice on handling couples finances:

1. Get acquainted with each other’s financial habits. If you have shortcomings confess it to your partner early on, there shouldn’t be any financial secrets. Are you a shopaholic? Do you have people who depend on you financially? Do you have a lousy credit score? These are heavy stuff but it’s better to get the big stuff out of the way early. It doesn’t mean that once you discover something nasty, you have to break-up with your partner. This is where planning comes, solve the conflict by meeting halfway and talk about how you both want to compromise. Have some ground rules that both of you will agree on. For unmarried couple, this is the time to discuss if you both want to have pre-nup when you decide to get married.

2. Have a joint account but also make sure to have your own separate account. Save money for your own use! It is better that you already save enough money before you move-in together. This will give you the freedom to indulge once in a while by buying things that you want without getting into an argument with your partner. According to a recent study, the number one precaution that you can do to safeguard yourself financially is to save more money before moving in with someone else.

3. Create a budget. Have a game plan, discuss how much each of you should contribute for the household expenses. If you have debt, how much should be allotted for paying the debt. It is important to contribute an amount for saving for the future. The rest of the money you can keep it for your personal use or savings account.

4. Keep track of your purchases. Make sure to keep receipts and all your financial statements. Document what has been a joint purchase or a personal purchase.

5. Safeguard your assets. If you’re not married and are renting make sure that your name is on the lease. Assets acquired during marriage generally are marital, but you must keep your non-marital assets titled in your own name.

6. Have a regular money talk. You can dream and plan, discuss your priorities. This is very healthy for your relationship because you get to understand your partner better. Maybe one is scrimping because he or she wants to save money for kitchen makeover or so that you can go on a cruise or vacation together or that one is just concern for your future.

7. In any good relationship planning  for the future is a must, especially for married couples. Kids, health, retirement etc., you should discuss all these and decide if it’s time for you to get a financial planner, Genworth Financial has a good coverage worksheet that you can use, so that it will be easier to discuss your needs with your financial planner.

Topic: Couples Finances

June 3, 2013

Why You Need a Long Term Care Plan

Disclosure: Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial in partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network. All opinions expressed on this post are mine.

Long Term Care Plan

Have you considered buying long term care plan?

The need for long term care is something all of us should plan early if we want to have comfortable home or community based medical care in the future. This is a concern that people in their 50’s and 60’s think about a great deal, but one thing that we should all know is that considering a long term care option for yourself, a parent or another loved one, should be done early. It is never too soon to plan, not only will you find better policy options, you also get to save money. According to an article I read in NYTimes, “elder law specialists say consumers must set aside that emotion when buying a policy so that they are clear on what their policies do and do not cover.”

Here are some reason why you should get long term care plan now:

Do not rely on health insurance and Medicare alone, because they do not cover the cost of nursing homes, assisted-living facilities or in-home care.

Long-term care costs have been steadily rising and as demand for trained at-home caregivers raises, it is also expected to drive the prices higher.

It is sad to think but fact is your health status or that of a loved one can change over night. If you wait for an injury or illness, you might be forced to do a hasty decision that might not be best in the long run. You may be forced to pay more or either you can’t afford it or simply the coverage you want may no longer be an option because of the age or health of the person who will need care or coverage.

Do you want to enjoy your golden years? Then if you plan early, you can choose the right long term care facility. There are facilities that can offer your hobby or other social activities. You can also plan the living arrangement that you prefer.

According to Genworth Financial, it’s important to consider care options while a person is healthy because that’s when the best rates and options are available and families are in much better emotional shape to discuss long term care-related planning. So I suggest that you act now and do a research for the long term care plan that you or your loved one will need.

Topic: Long Term Care Plan

May 17, 2013

What Women Need to Know About Life Insurance

Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial in partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network. All opinions is mine.

life insurance

Why Women Need Life Insurance

Whether a woman is single, single with child or married, we all know how women have always been in charge of the financial responsibilities in the household. And in the recent years, women in the workforce is at an all time high rate of over 49%. But why is it that recent studies shows that 43% of these working women have no life insurance and those who have only have an average policy of about $129,800 coverage, that’s 31 percent less than the average male policy?

It is alarming to know that even if women have been contributing financially to their home, only a few takes time to protect the financial value they provide and have a safety net in times of need. What if one day you can no longer provide for your family?

Whether you are the family’s breadwinner or not, women needs to have life insurance and here are some reasons why.

What Women Need to Know About Life Insurance:

1. As long as you are supporting another person, it is a must to have a safety net and life insurance will help you with that. It’s protecting the people you care about.

2. Single women needs insurance too, especially those who have debt load and with aging parents. And did you know that being young and single, you have the advantage of getting affordable life insurance policy? Yes, that’s one of the perks of getting life insurance while you are still young. You can purchase life insurance policy at reduced premiums by locking in a low rate for certain period of time.

3. Single women with child must have life insurance. Being the sole breadwinner, make sure to safeguard your child’s financial future. What if something happens to you? Who will take care of your debts? Who will provide for your child or children’s needs?

4. Married working moms think ahead and ensure the income that supports your family. Don’t let loss of income or tragedy make your family suffer. When in times of need, life insurance can help with the family budget and in times of loss it can cover funeral expenses and other costs.

5. Married stay-at-home moms should not only rely on their husband’s coverage. Not many realize how big the responsibility of a stay-at-home mom is. In case of tragedy and something happens to you your partner may end up hiring people to do the chores and take care of the kids and these will cost them a lot.

It is important to know your options when it comes to life insurance. Genworth Financial offers simplified explanation on the three types of life insurance. They helped me understand more about flexible premium life insurance policy, so before you make your choice check them out to know more about your options.



Topic: Life Insurance

March 1, 2013

What is Your Retirement Plan?

What is your retirement plan?


Picture it big sprawling beach with your toes in the sand. The cook is in the house and the cleaner is making the beds and you are reading a good book without pictures. This is how I picture my life when I retire the problem is how do you get from the dream to the reality? The answer is simple get a financial planner without a good retirement plan you will never reach your dream. I think at this rate we could live the dream above for a year. I am looking for twenty. That means I need a plan.

You will need to meet with a financial planner and bring all the information you have. That means your bank statements, debts, and assets, and dreams. You will want them to do the following things.

Check Your Taxes
Verify that you’ve paid enough into the IRS for income taxes. Now, I’m not a proponent of paying a lot of extra money into the IRS; that’s like loaning them your money without getting any interest. But, unless your expecting your tax return this year to be drastically different than last year’s return, you should have paid in at least as much as you owed last year. You can quickly check this by looking at the YTD amounts on your W-2 and comparing them to the total tax amount on your tax return. You should determine your refund amount if any and try to place it in something that will provide the most return on investment. You need to think about your house on the beach after all that is more important than that amazing dress.

Review Your Retirement Fund
Make plans to contribute to more to your retirement fund than you did last year. If you’ve been doing it all along through your employer-sponsored 401(k) plan, that’s great. If you don’t have access to that kind of luxury, though, you’ll want to put some thought into opening a traditional IRA or Roth IRA for yourself. This is something that a financial planner can help you determine. They have so many tools to enable you to make the right choice for your future. Although you don’t have to make these contributions before the end of the year to take advantage of the tax benefits (you have until April 15th), it’s not a bad idea to start thinking about it now. I say if you are able to cut the expenses you have now and use that money for your future do it! I am on the $5 savings plan and I really like it.

Ponder and Reflect
Take a moment to reflect on the past year. Now is the time to decide what things worked for you and what things didn’t work in terms of your financial tragedy?  Did you take a stab at the envelope method or the denial method, but then realize that using nothing but cash didn’t work for you and not owning up to what you bought was worse than knowing? What went wrong? Maybe you can try a modified version of it next year. How did you do with your savings goals? Did you save enough? What things should you planning to save for next year? Congratulate yourself on the things that went well and look for ways to salvage the attempts that didn’t go as smoothly. Either way, you probably learned a lesson or two about your finances. I read an article which advises to set realistic goals when planning for retirement. You need to project your retirement expenses based on your needs, not rules of thumb. It is important to be honest about how you want to live in retirement and how much it will cost. I believe true success if found by having goals and sometimes we need the help of others to meet our goals. A good financial planner  and a system can make the difference between having a cook and being the cook.

For my own retirement plan, I found Genworth Financial retirement income worksheet to be very useful in helping me know what I have to pay for the life I want in retirement. It’s a budget calculator that estimates the cash flow to cover my “have-to-haves” and “nice-to haves,” a simple but huge first step in making my dream plan to reality.

Disclosure: Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial in partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network. All opinions and content of this article is mine.

Topic: Retirement

February 19, 2013

Home Buyer Guide: Tips for Buying Your First Home

Home Buyer Guide

Home Buyer

I can remember when we bought our home 9 years ago. I wish I knew then what I know now. I would have saved time and I would have saved money. I did really know how to negotiate. I saw what we wanted and we had the money so we bought it. I think back to what we paid out of pocket and what we could have had rolled into the deal and I cringe. I see places in my home that I should have upgraded at the time because 8 years later they are still not upgraded. I have learned to be patient and research homes in my area. I have learned to really be careful whom I chose to represent me as a realtor. We picked someone who wasn’t from the area and I think his lack of personal relationships in our county cost us money. I believe it isn’t what you know but often whom you know. Impulse buying can bring regret and disappointment. I like our house but if I had the kitchen I wanted and the extra closet and additional bathroom then I would love it.


Five Home Buyer Tips To Use When Negotiating For A Great Deal on a HouseContinue reading