Medical bills and poor or declining health are among the top reasons people struggle financially in the US. In fact, medical expenses are the number one reason why people in the US go bankrupt. Add to this not being able to work due to a health condition or illness, and it doesn't take an expert to see how much you will struggle with day to day expenses and living costs.
Not everyone is afforded the luxury of all-inclusive or even generous health coverage, and many people are left facing financial ruin due to not having a trip to the emergency room, never mind dealing with the ongoing cost of treatment for cancer or health conditions such as getting insulin for type 1 diabetes.
Have you ever considered what will happen if you cannot work due to a health condition or a prognosis for mesothelioma for you or a loved one?
Sadly, the bills won't pay themselves, and not everyone will qualify for government assistance or help with healthcare costs. Around 44 million people in the US have no healthcare coverage, and around 38 million people have inadequate health care costs.
Being able to avoid becoming destitute due to needing healthcare, did you know the average cost of cancer treatment is $150,000 and is around four times higher than the treatments? Financial planning is a must.
Even if you have decided not to contribute to a 401k, having some sort of life savings or insurance policy in place for a rainy day is vital.
Even putting a small amount of money away each payday can build into substantial savings over time if you can avoid dipping into them. Saving just $100 per month will give you $6,000 after 5 years, and while this isn't a substantial amount, if you are unable to work, this could be the difference between paying your rent or becoming homeless. Breathing space to allow yourself to get treatment or recover from an accident thanks to even small savings will be a lifesaver in an emergency.
Critical illness insurance can pay for expenses that traditional insurance does not cover. Benefits include being able to use payouts for medical care, expenses, and living costs, which aren’t allowed under typical health insurance plans. The funds can also be used for non-medical expenses associated with the sickness, such as transportation and child care. In most cases, the insured will get a lump sum payment to cover these expenses. Depending on your policy, you could be eligible for anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $100,000 in coverage. Many factors influence policy pricing, including the amount and scope of coverage, the insured's sex, age, health, and family medical history. Be aware that many covers have exclusions, including some types of cancer, and chronic illnesses are typically not covered.
Another option is to look at income protection policies. The cost of your policy is deducted from your wages and can typically reimburse you 50-70% of your income for a wide range of reasons if you are injured at work or unable to work. Like with other insurance policies, check the small prints to know what you are paying and what type of payouts are available to you should you need to claim.Read more
In the best of times, it’s safe to say that juggling your finances can be a challenge. If you are dealing with reduced hours or if you are trying to manage your money properly, then you may find that it is hard to make ends meet. If this sounds like you, then you should know that there are things that you can do to try and make things much easier on yourself. Take a look below to find out more.
The first thing that you need to do is find out what benefits you might qualify for. If you have lost your job, then you may be able to get some supplemental income while you hunt for another position. Severance pay is quite common, so if you have been laid off then you may be entitled to a package. Unemployment aid is also available. If you have lost your job because you are experiencing a health-related issue, then you may be able to claim. There are many mesothelioma law firms out there who can give you some advice on that.
It’s also very important that you take an honest look at your finances, so you can find out what you owe. Now is a very good time for you to review the debts that you have right now. This could well include car payments, any mortgages or even credit cards. This may be overwhelming at first, especially if you are adding up your debts for the very first time. That being said, if you see everything together, then this can help you to make a plan. You may be able to track your debt and money you owe by using a financial app too if you would find this easier.
If you want to use your budget to your advantage, then you need to look at how you spend your money. It might be helpful for you to create a weekly or even a monthly budget. This is where you create categories for bills and necessities. When you have done this, you can then prioritize the right things. You also need to look at how much income you are getting from various sources. Every bit can help here. Think about your emergency savings, any unemployment benefits you may have or even government-assisted programs. It is also a good idea for you to look back on any things that are nice to have, but you don’t need. Some of these expenses may well seem small, but you have to remember that they can easily add up. Some expenses that may fall into this category include streaming services or even subscriptions to magazines. You may also find that cooking at home instead of getting a takeaway on a Friday night is also a good idea, so make sure that you keep this in mind as much as possible. If you can do this, then you’ll soon find that things work in your favor.
People whose credit scores are far from perfect may be tempted to pay for correction of borrowing histories. Debt collectors may promise to make unfavorable information disappear if you pay the debt in question. This involves “pay to delete” letters, and it is not advisable. Discover the main reasons and recommended alternatives in our article.
Generally, you may not remove any valid information from your records. However, this workaround still exists as it falls into a gray area. By law, collectors have to share factual and complete data with the bureaus. If you are offered a paid deletion, think twice. Not only is this dubious, but it may also be completely ineffective.
In 2021, this is a rare deal. In this scenario, a consumer contacts their debt collector in writing or by phone, offering to pay off the account for the sake of erasing it. If the institution accepts the deal, they remove the entry from the data they share with reporting agencies. Check this pay for delete letter template for details.
On the one hand, this is not falsification. Instead, the collector excludes a particular derogatory from the reported range. On the other hand, this is condemned by all nationwide bureaus. It is a vague ethical area.
The trick may have worked in the past, but it has little sense today, given the updated assessment systems. Paid accounts are simply ignored, so the deletion does not affect your status as a borrower. You can achieve better results through debt settlement — check the full guide. This is true for FICO 9 and VantageScore 3.0.
The novel scoring systems remove paid accounts for you, so contacting the collectors makes zero sense. The account may stay on your records. However, provided that you meet your obligations fully, the damage is minimized. For consumers, paying the debt in question is enough without any dubious agreements.
Note that while the latest models disregard paid collections, this is not true for their predecessors. In 2021, some lenders may still use previous versions of the calculations. For example, FICO 8 factors in collections over $100. In addition, mortgage lenders tend to consider any such events.
For the derogatory to appear, your account must become delinquent (30 days past due). Any late payments initially reported by the original creditor remain. Commonly, collections are reported for seven years. After it is paid, it becomes a paid collection.
Sometimes, information related to collections is erroneous. It is one of the many possible errors in your credit reports. According to the official statistics, one in five Americans has incorrect borrowing histories. In this case, there are two methods to consider — DIY repair or professional services.
In either case, the false derogatory can only be removed by the bureau involved. For example, if your Experian report contains a collection account that does not belong to you or contains incorrect details, you need to send a dispute letter with evidence supporting your claim. Here are the key stages in the process.
You can get a free copy of your report from each of the three agencies — Experian, Equifax, and Transunion — once a week. Before the pandemic, it was only possible once a year. The frequency has been changed until April 20, 2022. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com to download the files. Note that all histories are compiled independently, so any of them may have disputable flaws.
After identifying any flaws, including false collections, look for evidence. This includes bank statements and any other official documentation from the lenders and collection agencies. The bureaus do not remove any data without evidence.
Finally, send dispute letters to the bureau or bureaus that made the mistakes. This is a formal process — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau even offers free templates. After receiving your letter (it is preferable to send it by certified mail with return receipt requested) the agency will have 30 days to conduct an internal investigation or 45 days in special cases.
Eventually, it will determine if the account is verifiable and substantiated. If not, the information will vanish, and you will get a free copy of your corrected records. This procedure is possible thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which protects you from misinformation. The biggest drawback is that you have to monitor the documents for errors by yourself.
If you do not have the time or desire to deal with official disputes, delegate this job to professionals. Credit repair agencies liaise with lenders, bureaus, and collectors to establish any accuracies on your records, including collections accounts. They open disputes on your behalf, while you monitor progress through an app or web portal.
This is the most convenient way to have the mistakes corrected, provided that the firm is trustworthy. Check BBB ratings and feedback from customers on sites like Consumer Affairs to make an informed decision. Some firms have a money-back policy, which is a major advantage.
Letters to collectors may have worked in the past, but the latest changes in assessment have rendered them irrelevant. This is a controversial legal area, as debt collectors agree to share incomplete information with the bureaus. Instead of resorting to shady methods, pay off your debts, correct any reporting errors and rebuild your history by becoming a more conscientious borrower.
Chargebacks are a real pain in the backside. They occur when a customer successfully disputes a transaction with your business and gets their credit card provider or payment service to refund the money.
Chargebacks can happen for all kinds of reasons. In many cases, they occur because the cardholder didn’t actually make the transaction - somebody else did fraudulently. It can also happen if you provide customers with misinformation or do something they deem fraudulent. Other reasons include things like accepting an invalid card, not successfully transmitting data to a payment processing company, processing the same transaction multiple times, and problems involving vouchers.
Too many chargebacks can put you on the MATCH list. This is a list of accounts held by your bank that it considers high-risk. Eventually, a high level of chargebacks can cause financial institutions to deny you your merchant account altogether. So what can you do to prevent chargebacks and get off MATCH list databases?
The first step is to educate your staff on the tactics that criminals use to commit credit card fraud. Ideally, you should have at least one person in your organization who can review the day’s payments and tell you whether you have an issue. You also want to educate customers on how to use their payment tools correctly. Something as simple as a reminder on your website telling them to be careful in how they pay can actually help to reduce fraud.
Resubmitting transactions is one of the most common causes of chargebacks. If a bank believes that you have submitted the same transaction twice, they will automatically deny the second payment.
If you’re worried about a payment submission, read up on the terms and conditions surrounding resubmission, Ensure that you are following the correct rules to avoid any unnecessary customer account refunds.
Both MasterCard and Visa offer secure payment options designed to enhance security and keep customers safe. Make sure that you are using these services on your sites for high-value transactions, even if they slow your services down.
If you offer refunds, make sure that you make them to the original card that the customer used to make the purchase. Don’t accept any refund that goes to different accounts. If you do, you could be helping a criminal commit fraud.
Payment processing companies will often issue chargebacks if there is no evidence that the goods and services that a customer ordered actually arrived at their address. That’s one of the reasons why it is so critical to always record your deliveries. Make sure that you are delivering to the right person and get written confirmation and a record.
Always use your POS systems to read card details, like the number and expiry date. Don’t manually record the number as this makes it much easier for the cardholder to commit fraud by changing the numbers to somebody else. Customers may attempt to trigger a fraudulent transaction.
As a parent, you are always thinking of what is best for your child. You want them to be happy and healthy. But there is more to it than that! To give your child the best life possible, you need to prepare financially for their future too. Here are some things that you can do.
The first step you should take is to invest. During the first years of your newborn baby, it's a great time to start putting money away for their future. Setting aside some of your income each month will help you save up for that new car, college tuition, or down payment for a house.
It's tough to think about your child being an adult, but they will be one soon. As a parent, it is essential that you are prepared for the future and put in place plans so that everything goes smoothly when you're gone.
One thing you should do is appoint someone as the recipient of any funds left after you die. This person is called the nominee and will take over any money left to your child in a trust fund or an inheritance, as well as all future assets that come into their possession.
You can also try trust loans, where you give your child access to money that has been set aside for them.
If you're not able to set aside a large amount of money each month, it is still possible for your child to have the financial future they deserve. One way is by looking into partial investment plans designed specifically for those who don't have a lot in savings or income.
As your child gets older, they will start asking about what happens when you're not around anymore. This is the perfect time to give them an answer and help prepare their future by setting up a 529 plan or other savings account specifically for education expenses.
Setting aside a college fund is the best way to manage your finances now so your kid can benefit from it in the future.
Continuing with the subject of preparing for your child's future, it is also essential to take care of their needs as they grow up. One thing you should do is buy health and term insurance cover for them so that if anything happens in life, they will be taken care of at an affordable price.
If you are looking to make your child's future even brighter, but don't know where to start, try creating a family budget. Make sure they understand that it is their responsibility and not yours.
Set aside money for them in each category, such as education expenses or savings, and help teach them about what happens when some months are better than others.
As you take on more and more responsibility for your child's future, finding someone who will assist you is essential. You should never have the sole responsibility of handling their finances. Besides, this person will not only guide them through their daily life but also plan for what comes after they turn 18.
In conclusion, there are many ways to prepare your child for their future. They will thank you then and even now as they grow up knowing that you're taking care of them financially!Read more
It’s fun, it’s easy, it’s food—many people have a dream of owning their own food truck. However, it can be a little intimidating when you start to think about the budget, time management, and the ins and outs of operating a food truck business. Thankfully, there is an easy strategy to help execute this dream—here are three steps for starting a food truck business.
Before you can set up shop, you need to consider the costs. While not as intense as opening a restaurant, starting a food truck business is no small feat. First, determine all the costs you’ll have and work them into a budget—from ingredients to equipment to the truck. On average, a food truck’s budget is between $20,000 and $40,000). Use these questions to develop a more tactical plan:
The next step in obtaining a food truck is to make sure that you meet the Board of Health’s regulations and rules. Any business dealing with food will have to meet several requirements before they can receive approval. To start, visit the Board of Health’s website to determine what regulations apply to you. For example, you may need to verify proof of ownership, supply proper food storage, and provide a history of food purchases.
Depending on the information you gathered during step one, you’ll need to start gathering all the necessary equipment for your truck. Start by assessing the property where your food truck will be, as this will help you determine the size of the vehicle you’ll need. Furthermore, you may want to purchase big items, such as grills, fryers, and the proper size ventilation hood, as well as smaller pieces of equipment like kitchen utensils and cleaning products. Having the right kitchen equipment and technologies will help you succeed come opening night!
Starting a food truck business is one of the most exciting adventures to embark on. With many others paving the way to successfully owning a food truck, you can use these three steps for starting a food truck business to join them.Read more
You have a great idea. Actually, your idea is revolutionary and will help change the world for the better. You believe in this idea so much that you have secured investors and the capital necessary to get everything off the ground and out into the world. Now what do you do? There are a whole lot of things that need to be taken care of before you can even begin to take meetings, talk to clients, and make your mark on your industry. The smartest thing you can do is take your time and make sure everything is in order before your start. It will be to your benefit to get yourself completely ready with all of the boxes of your checklist ticked off first before anything else. Here are a few ways you can get yourself ready to take on the world with your start up.
This is the question that you must ask yourself first.
Although you have a great handle on your idea and you know everything about it, how you present it to the world is what is going to catch everyone’s eye. Your brand is your calling card. It tells potential clients what you are all about.
A successful brand has the following: a captivating logo that can be recognized anywhere whether your company name is on it or not, outstanding colors that will become your signature and remind people of your product, and a specific audience that you will target right away before expanding to other markets.
Each one of the above items all have one thing in common: specificity. The more specific you are about what you are attempting to do, the better. With specificity there is no room for hesitation on your part about what you are selling and why you are selling it. Your investors are going to want to know why this idea is revolutionary, and your clients will want to come on board with you as fast as possible because you will give off confidence in what you are doing, and if you are confident in yourself, everyone else will be confident in you as well.
There are many channels through which you can market your idea. The most popular in today’s world is social media, but who are you going to target? With the algorithms set up for your advertising to show up on the feed of people who are most likely to buy your product, you can make your ad campaign so specific to that audience that your marketing has the ability to become airtight.
When you learn through social media who your audience turns out to be, you can then start advertising in other popular media that same audience is exposed to. Before long, your startup idea will be in front of that audience around every turn, and that becomes the best way for that audience to share what they love with another audience, and soon you will be doubling and tripling your potential clients.
It’s easy to do business from anywhere these days, but it does benefit you to be located in the city or area where your idea will have the capability to grow the most. Anyone from anywhere may be able to access your product, and with modern technology, meetings can be taken anytime anywhere with virtual apps and setups.
In-person business still reigns supreme because of the personal connections you can make by being in the same room as someone else. Choose a location where your core audience is located so that you can not only put your marketing and branding front and center in their lives, but you will also be located where they’re located making conducting business that much easier and less expensive for the client. After you have taken over that city, you will then have the clout to be able to expand to other cities where you can relocate at will.
Now that you have an ironclad brand and marketing strategy, it’s time to do business. No one wants to do business out of a coffee shop or your living room. Responsible and reputable clients are going to want the red carpet treatment and it is up to you to provide that type of experience.
Where you are located within your city is also important because certain neighborhoods can make your clients feel that you are well ahead of the pack and they will most likely want to do business with you over another company that may not be located in such a desirable neighborhood. Every major city is a great example of that. Certain neighborhoods within a city represent luxury, success, and wealth. Startup office space is a business all in itself because your location means everything to your clients. If you have clients that come from out of town, not only can you locate yourself in an area that is easily accessible, but you can also locate yourself in a place with great restaurants and entertainment so that you can show your clients a good time by simply walking outside of your office.
You have managed to find the clients, and now you are showing them around your great space, but what are you presenting to the clients about yourself? Your clients may have traveled far to meet you or have spent most of the afternoon trying to get across town to meet you, and it could be a let down for them if you answer the door in tattered clothing and you look like you just rolled out of bed.
Your personal style and how you present yourself to clients is a direct representation of your idea and your company. It is very important how you look.
Now is a great time to update your wardrobe with quality clothing, and now is the time to style your hair or find a style that is comfortable with you that makes you look professional and on brand for your brand. No one needs to change themselves, but out of respect for your company and the many people you are about to employ, a solid look exudes confidence, and as we have said before, everyone is drawn to someone who is confident, and confident people usually have everyone’s trust.
Everyone wants to be their own boss. They want to run the show, make their own schedule, and be able to come and go as they please. Because of that, there are a lot of startups out there that are trying to woo experienced workers and high paying clients. The one thing that none of these other companies have is you.
You are what makes your startup so unique, so as you set yourself up with all the things you will need to get started, don’t forget to shine the light on yourself. You are going to be the face of your company, so allow your own strengths and knowledge to shine. Work on your interpersonal communication skills if necessary, give yourself the biggest office, and make sure you know how all departments are functioning as you prepare to open your doors. Soon, a lot of these responsibilities will belong to others, but until then, you are running the ship so be confident because you are about to change the entire world.
All businesses can benefit from getting involved in trade shows, and this is definitely something that you should be trying to do as best as you can with your own company if possible. The thing about trade shows and expositions is that it gives you a chance to show off your product, get in touch with an extended network of people and businesses in your industry and related industries, and actually have some face-to-face interaction with potential clients and customers. So here is how you can make sure that you are really making the most of it.Read more
We could always use a little more money, no matter how much we have. The problem is that no matter how hard we work, how much overtime we put in, or how many things we seem to sell, we never seem to have enough. On paper, we should be in decent form. We work hard, and our pay reflects that. The problem is that life has a knack for turning it all upside down.Read more
What’s technical analysis and how does it differ from fundamental analysis? What traders should use it for a trader’s edge? If you want to start using technical analysis, where do you begin?
This article discusses the many ins and outs of technical analysis. No matter where you are in your investing journey it helps to gain a deeper understanding of this trading method that has been around since the late 1800s. Continue reading to learn more about technical analysis.
Technical analysis is a trading strategy that uses trend analysis to predict and identify trading opportunities by analyzing statistical trends from trading activity, such as price movement and volume.
A few things to remember when learning about technical analysis:
Fundamental analysis evaluates securities value based on business results such as sales and earnings. Technical analysts focus on price and volume. Traders who use this strategy incorporate tools that evaluate changes such as price, volume, and implied volatility.
More often than not, traders use technical analysis to generate short-term trading signals from various trading tools. Traders can apply these tools to any security with historical trading data, including stocks, futures, commodities, fixed-income, currencies, and other securities. While technical analysis applies to all securities, traders primarily use it in commodities and forex markets, where traders focus on short-term price movements.
The first examples of technical analysis stem from Charles Dow in the late 1800s within the Dow theory. Several noteworthy researchers, including William P. Hamilton, Robert Rhea, Edson Gould, and John Magee further contributed to Dow Theory concepts to form its basis.
Modern-day technical analysis includes hundreds of patterns and signals developed over the years since these researchers began exploring technical indicators. Technical analysis’s focal point comes from the assumption that past trading indicators influence future performance. When paired with rational trading, these technical indicators can be valuable for traders of all kinds.
Professional analysts don’t often use technical analysis in conjunction with other forms of research. Retail traders might make decisions solely based on price charts and similar statistics, but practicing equity analysts are not as cavalier with their investment strategies.
The top-down approach to technical analysis trading is a macroeconomic analysis that examines the whole economy before focusing on individual securities. Traders using a top-down approach focus on the economy, then sectors, and finally individual securities. Top-down traders focus on short-term strategies instead of long-term.
Bottom-up technical analysis strategies focus on individual stocks instead of a macroeconomic view. Traders utilizing a bottom-up approach look for individual stocks with intriguing entry and exit points. For example, a trader who finds what they believe to be an undervalued stock in a downtrend might use technical analysis to identify optimal entry and exit points. Traders employing this method hold long-term views on their trades.
Other strategies for technical analysis include day traders using trendlines and volume indicators to make their decisions. On the other hand, Swing traders use chart patterns and technical indicators and algorithmic traders might develop different requirements that combine volume and technical indicators.
Technical analysis and fundamental analyses are pretty much night and day. Technical indicators use price action to predict future security movements. At the same time, fundamental analysis involves evaluating a particular company’s stock to determine its overall value based on factors that may affect the price in the future.
While fundamental analysis uses financial data, industry trends, competitor performance, and economic outlook, technical relies heavily on price action and market psychology. Both of these methods require extensive planning, and there is no guarantee with either.
Choosing between the two comes down to your trading style. If you’re a calm, collected trader, choosing a long-term investment strategy such as the ones that form fundamental analysis strategies will likely be the most beneficial strategy for you.
If you’re looking for more of a short-term strategy, such as those day traders use, you should consider technical analysis.
The first step to creating a technical analysis strategy is to pick a system that suits your needs. Technical analysis might not be for you, and that’s okay- different strokes for different traders. You shouldn’t force a strategy that doesn’t align with your personality. However, if you’re looking for short-term growth, technical analysis can be a valuable strategy for you to employ.
Technical analysis is as much about rooting out the securities that don’t align with your strategy as it is about finding the ones that do. Technical analysis best suits liquid and volatile securities instead of stable stocks because of the objective behind the plan: short-term growth.
Different stocks or contracts might also require other parameter choices. In this case, different moving averages such as 15-day and 50-day moving averages can.
Finding a suitable brokerage for you means they support your security types and have the required tracking and monitoring tools in place. Additionally, they’ll keep costs low and help you avoid eating into profits.
Different traders require different metrics and software to measure their success and strategize for future trades. For example, day traders require margin accounts that give the trader access to Level II quotes and market maker visibility.
Technical analysis is an excellent trading tool for day traders or any other trader looking to implement short-term gains. This type of analysis differs from fundamental analysis, which incorporates economic analysis instead of price action analysis.
When it comes to asking whether one or the other is right for you, the question should be more about which one is more lucrative and which is more feasible for you. Are your trading habits geared more toward long-term investments, or are you looking for short-term profits? The answer to that question should help you decide more than any promises for profits.