If you’ve served this country in some capacity, then you will qualify for a veteran based specialized loan. These programs allow veterans to benefit from their service, when they are no longer able to work.
A VA loan is a loan that is available to a veteran with lower interest rates and payments, as a way for governments and loan providers to thank them for their service with a benefit. It will allow veterans to become home owners without needing a higher credit score or a down payment.
There are a few requirements to be eligible, such as not being dishonorably discharged, and serving a number of years. During the financial crisis of 2008, this was the only way to obtain a mortgage without a down payment.
To be eligible for a VA loan, you need to have served at least 90 consecutive days during wartime, or at least 181 days when there is peace. You’re covered if you’re from the army, air force, marines or navy. It covers the national guard and reserves, as long as you have served for at least six years.
You should speak to a VA loan specialist who can inform you of your specific personal information to find out what you can get, as there are a range of different programs available. You can use a VA mortgage calculator to find out how much it will cost you in monthly payments to purchase a home.
A spouse of a veteran is also eligible for a VA loan, if their partner had passed away either during service or after from an injury they sustained. You can work with a provider to earn a VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility, known as a COE.
VA loans are designed to help veterans continue their life away from service, with help to buy, build or improve a home, through a direct home loan. This loan is with a lender, that requires no down payment. There is the cash-out refinance loan, which allows a veteran to cash out on some of their home equity to help pay off debts, school fees or other important needs.
If you’re a Native American veteran, or a veteran who is married to a Native American, then you will be able to apply to the Native American Direct loan. This is known as a NADL, which allows you to buy, build or improve a home on a federal trust piece of land.
There is also the IRRRL, which is the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan. This is similar to a cash-out refinance loan, that aims to assist those who already have an existing VA backed home loan, with the aim to reduce monthly payments and make them more stable.Read more
Embarking on a journey to become a business owner is always challenging. There is no guarantee that you'll be successful and ready to deal with all the risks and obstacles that come along the way. However, the idea of starting a business from scratch can be motivating for new entrepreneurs and individuals who are working tedious nine to five desk jobs.
After all, having the freedom to decide your working hours, not having to report to your CEOs or Directors day-in and day-out, and the possibility of endless growth are three significant factors that entice individuals to start their own business.
These days, every rookie entrepreneur dreams of starting his or her own business. However, only 4 percent of startups manage to cross the ten-year mark. Furthermore, around half of newly-launched companies close up shop before crossing their fifth year.
Such a thing happens because new business owners have no idea about the amount of money, experience, and knowledge it takes to take their business to a level where it starts to break even or make profits.
That said, let us take a look at some of the factors you need to consider before you begin your journey of becoming a business owner.
As you can already guess, earning a business degree will equip you with the knowledge needed to understand the dynamics of the corporate world. Launching your own business or becoming a part of an already established one helps gather the experience you'll need for making big decisions.
However, it is nearly impossible to launch a business that continues its operations for a long time without the necessary business knowledge and skills. As mentioned above, not all companies will end up crossing the five-year mark.
This is because their owners usually lack business-specific skills and education. Earning an advanced degree like an online MBA no GMAT AACSB will help you understand business fundamentals and equip you with the skills needed to identify business opportunities.
That's not all; earning an online degree will also help you learn other business-related theories you'll find helpful for the corporate world. A Master's will put you in a commanding place to start your own business and find an excellent job if things go south.
Many experts and successful business owners agree that developing an effective business plan is the first step a prospective business owner should take to ensure the business idea they've envisioned becomes a reality. A business plan typically includes a business idea, a marketing and sales strategy, financial forecasts, an executive summary, a hiring strategy, etc.
A business plan allows you to anticipate any changes and obstacles you'll face when starting a new business. For instance, if you're creating a mobile networking app for young lawyers, you'll have to consider the dos and don'ts of designing a mobile app.
A lot of thinking has to go into the designing process, and a business plan will allow you to know all the answers to questions that might arise during the design process.
Understanding the importance of a legal structure is highly crucial. Typically, you can choose four types of legal structures: Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership, LLC(limited liability company), and C/S Corporation.
A sole proprietorship is suitable for owners who want to test out a business idea before turning it into a formal business. However, you'll be liable for all your company's debts and profits.
A partnership is perfect for business with multiple owners. That said, general partners have to file state returns and federal tax form 1065. But, you won't have to file individual income tax returns.
An LLC is a legal structure that allows partners, shareholders, and owners to have limited liability. Plus, they can enjoy tax benefits just like a partnership. Under an LLC, You'll be free from personal liability if nobody can prove that you acted in an irresponsible, unethical, or legal manner while carrying out business activities.
With a C corporation, you'll have to pay tax as a separate entity. In comparison, S corporation businesses are suitable for small businesses looking to avoid double taxation. If you require more help choosing the best legal structure for your business, it would be wise to get in touch with a corporate attorney or a business accountant.
Unless you're a seasoned investor or an experienced accountant, you'll need to help nail down such an aspect of pre-business ownership. Potential investors will want to know about your company, your business goals, and how you plan on utilizing their money. Regardless of where you end up acquiring funds for your business, please write it down. That said, business loans from a bank or private lender are always the safest bet.
Include this step in your business plan as there are tons of potential investors out there who would want to take a look at it before making their final decision.
Identifying startup costs is probably one of the most important things to consider before putting your business idea into effect. First, you need to calculate the total cost required to set up and operate your company successfully.
For example, if you're setting up a retail business, you'll have to consider store costs, furniture costs, inventory costs, and capital needed to get through the early days. If you're also setting up a manufacturing plant, you'll also have to account for plant construction costs, equipment costs, maintenance costs, etc.
Lastly, go through the steps mentioned above one last time. When doing so, you'll be able to familiarize yourself with your new business. It will allow you to identify things you should modify or omit from your business plan.
Furthermore, hire a competent attorney if you want to maintain compliance with all federal and state regulations and rules. Investing more time in the planning phase than usual will pay dividends in the long haul.Read more
Companies do not exist in a vacuum. Every business is connected to the larger system of its local economy. If you are building a company, you should leverage the dozens, hundreds, or millions of possible corporate partnerships available. Whether it be a financial advisor, general counsel, or a waste disposal company, you need help to get to where you want to be. With that in mind, here are the types of business relationships your company needs.Read more
If you want to take on a profitable side hustle that can become a full-time job, you have quite a few to choose from. One of the most fulfilling options to try is livestreaming, whether you want to play video games, indulge in some deep conversation, or both. With the right hardware and platform, streaming is relatively easy, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t require care and preparation. Novice mistakes can hurt your numbers if you don’t prepare properly. Sift through this helpful list of common mistakes new live streamers make so that you can avoid them in the future.Read more
Now that you’ve decided to set up a shop online, it’s time to focus on the finer details of doing business on the Internet. From product pricing to photography to web design, you’ll have to account for many elements. Read the following tips for starting your online shop and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself as you build your presence; the right touches can make your business stand out from the rest.Read more
You can’t take it easy when buying a house. It takes earnings of a lifetime to live in a house of your own. Property is so expensive that you have to compromise decades of your life for it. It’s a different story if you are a millionaire, but even then you will have some lifestyle standards for which you will need a more expensive house.
Either way, you have to know what you are doing and prepare yourself both physically and mentally before taking any steps. Here is how you do that.
The very first thing you should check when thinking about buying a house is your credit score. It’s important because it impacts how much interest you will have to pay for the loan. Unless you have a large sum of money lying around extra, you will have to take a loan just to pay the advance of the house.
Your job does not just end at checking. It’s also important that you work to improve your credit score so you can get loans at better rates. More people will be willing to give you a loan when you have a good score and you will have many options to choose from.
If you barely make ends meet, it’s unlikely that anyone will give you a loan of 1 million dollars. This means you should even waste your time looking at a property that is expensive. But the question you might ask is what price range houses should you look for.
The answer depends on the house loan you can get. You can use the services of an online mortgage broker to get pre-approved for a mortgage. They will take information like your income, credit score, and assets to determine how much loan they can give you. It’s unlikely that anyone else will offer you a lot more than that. The number they approve is the range you can afford.
If you want a house that exceeds the approved mortgage, you will have to save some money on the side. Even after buying the house, you might have to spend on repair or refurbishing. Money is important here and you will have to save it yourself and not just rely on the loan. This means you will have to cut expenses and cancel unnecessary subscriptions.
You might have to delay all travel plans and start a simpler lifestyle. In addition to saving, you should work on side hustles to make extra money. Having extra savings ensures you don’t run out of money when you need it the most. Otherwise, you might have to take another loan at a very high interest rate.
Finding a house is almost as difficult as finding money for the house. You will see houses for sale, but very few will click you and would be in your range. Everyone has his preferences about the house and the neighborhood. You will prioritize a house that is in a clean neighborhood, has all the facilities such as hospitals and schools, and is near your workplace.
You pay earnest money to show that you are a serious buyer. It is completely refundable and you get it back in any case. Good houses have many buyers, so the agents filter only the most serious buyers. These serious buyers are the people who actually want to buy the house for their use. Some people just get involved to see if they can make an extraordinary offer that they can avail and do things to sabotage the experience for others.Read more
Going to the gym each day or finding places to run can get very boring after a short while. Some people are able to keep up with their fitness routine, though many struggle to make sure that they are following the targets and goals that they set for themselves. A big part of this is thanks to the lack of enjoyment that they get from going to the gym. If you don’t enjoy the same boring workout routine that works for others, it makes sense to look for ways to make active fitness into your hobby.
Rock climbing has taken off as an activity over the last few years. With more and more climbing gyms becoming available in cities and towns across the world, more people than ever before have access to this sort of fun. Options like bouldering are great, as you won’t need to invest in any equipment to get started, and can learn all of the basics while you take part. This sort of activity is great for fitness, strength, and having fun.
Swimming is one of the oldest and most popular sporting activities out there, with many people around the world using this type of exercise as a pleasurable pursuit. Whether you use a lake, the ocean, or a local swimming pool, spending your days in the water will be a very satisfying way to get fit. Much like climbing, swimming is both a fitness and strength builder, providing you with the means to get enjoyment out of your workouts.
Martial arts have been around for a very long time, but there has never been a time when you could access so many different martial arts in cities across the globe. MMA gyms will often cover a range of martial arts, like judo, kung fu, and boxing. Asian martial arts are generally the most popular, but options like HEMA enable you to enjoy European martial arts, and this often includes sword fighting; perfect for anyone with a love of history.
There are a lot of sports in the world, giving you access to a wealth of different activities if you want to start working out with a team. Football, tennis, and cricket are just a few examples of this, with countless teams across the world for each sport. Of course, you will need to find a team local to you that matches your goals and skill level, but this shouldn’t be too hard if you live somewhere with a lot of people. You could also consider the idea of starting your own team or club.
Working out should never be something that you find yourself dreading. Many people get bored of going to the gym, and this will usually lead to giving up on the routine that they have built. It doesn’t have to be this way, though; you can find new activities that will be just as fun as they are difficult, and this is a great way to work out.Read more
Whichever type of field you work in, your employees are the important cogs that help your business run smoothly. It’s essential to invest in them as this will boost morale, productivity, well-being, and employee retention. You’ll have a more committed team for longer and this could be very good for business. There are several ways you can invest in your staff. You need to focus on improving their wellness, goals, skills, and professional relationships. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Keep your employees inspired by encouraging them to never stop learning. You could speak to them on an individual basis and find out if they have anything particular they want to study. There are a wide range of options for both professional and educational development from an online masters in health administration to custom-designed courses enabling them to progress in their role. The important thing is to ensure they stay motivated and feel that they’re on the right trajectory.
Another way to organize the right learning and training is to perform a skills gap analysis. This is a way to find any gaps in your employees’ knowledge or understanding of certain areas. You can ask for feedback from staff or check performance data. Here are a few more tips on how to conduct a skills analysis. Once you have identified any gaps in skills you can design training programs accordingly.
As well as investing in your employees’ progression in their jobs you also need to take their health and wellness into consideration. You could consider organizing a corporate wellness program. You can have these designs to suit the specific needs of your staff and the type of business you run. Typical topics to include are managing a work/life balance, coping with stress, and finding a more active commute. You can enlist the help of one of the best corporate wellness companies so you can design the best wellness program for your business.
Another thing that will affect both employee wellness and performance is having access to the right tools. This includes having an ergonomic workstation with up-to-date tech. This is especially important when managing a remote team. You might want to invest in chairs with back support and new keyboards and mouse to ensure your staff are comfortable. If you implement any new software or devices make sure you offer training sessions to help with onboarding. The more tools your employees have at their fingertips, the more productive they will be.
It’s also important to invest in communication and collaboration tools. Give your employees the opportunity to give feedback, ask questions, and share information in real-time. You should also consider multiple channels such as group chats, individual direct messaging, and cloud-based task management software. You could even offer them the chance to give feedback anonymously if you work in a larger team. Take the time to hold one-to-one sessions with your staff as well and ensure they feel as though their opinions have been listened to. This will help to improve their job satisfaction overall resulting in more engaged and motivated employees.
If you’d like to boost office morale and strengthen professional relationships you could try some quick team-building activities. These allow coworkers to bond and work together. Always make sure you choose an activity that’s accessible to everyone. Go with the general culture of the workplace. You could even ask your employees for feedback to find out which team-building activities they like best. The goal is to have happier and healthier staff that are comfortable collaborating on group projects.
Show your appreciation by giving your team the rewards and recognition they deserve. These don’t necessarily need to be of monetary value or a celebration. Instead, you can reward hard work with new opportunities for them to work on different projects that align with their interests and aspirations. Here are a few more rewards and recognition ideas.
If you come up with different ways to invest in your employees this could be very good for your business. It’s important for your staff to feel valued and motivated as this will improve their job satisfaction and productivity. Focus on creating a comfortable environment for your employees to progress in and offer them the right opportunities. This way they will be more valuable to your company overall.Read more
Customers put their trust in you as a business to be able to ship items safely and securely, preventing anything from becoming lost or stolen. If your business becomes known for shipping inadequate packaging, it will reflect poorly with future customers and potentially drive away others from ordering. You must implement ways to prevent package tampering during transit to engender customer trust and present a secure and quality product.Read more
Homeowners often have to cover expenses for things that renters do not. Budgeting as a homeowner can be difficult and also very hectic and stressful, especially if you’re new at it. But if you know a little bit about what to expect you will be less shocked when these things come up and you’ll also be better equipped to plan out a budget that you can try to stick to. Make sure you always have an emergency savings fund that you are putting money into on a regular basis in case something should come up that you haven’t budgeted for too, but here are 5 things you should try to budget for as a homeowner.
One of the most important things for any house (or any building for that matter) is the foundation. Make sure that you have a deep foundation and have an inspector come out and look at your property and foundation every couple of years to make sure everything looks the way it should. Also make ground improvements as necessary or have someone do it for you. These things will save you a lot of stress and money in the long run.
Plumbing issues can happen to new houses, old houses, and everything in between. They can range from minor, easy to fix, and inexpensive all the way to emergencies that will require professional help and could potentially be very expensive to get taken care of. Since plumbing is such an important thing for any home to have, you should make budgeting for plumbing problems a priority.
Electricity is another thing that you don’t want to have to go without in any home, so be sure that you plan to budget for electrical issues. Unlike with plumbing and other home issues where there are occasions that you can try and fix the problem yourself before calling a professional, you probably don’t want to try anything yourself when it comes to electrical unless you really know what you are doing. Electrical problems can be very dangerous to fix, so you should always have a professional electrician come and take care of them, so if you own a home you may want to have some money set aside for this because sometimes it can be costly.
Hot Water Heater
Hot water is yet another extremely important thing for any home to have in working order. If your hot water heater breaks without warning, you’ll need to get it fixed as soon as possible. Sometimes it may be a simple fix but you never know when the entire thing will need to be replaced - so it’s best to be prepared for that financially.
If you live in a place with harsh winters, very hot summers, or both, you certainly know the importance of heating and A/C. As a renter you may be able to just call your landlord to come and fix issues with these, but as a homeowner it is up to you to get your heater and A/C serviced, so budget accordingly.Read more