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Finance

Clear Your Debts by the Age of 45, Kassel warns

Phillip Kassel, a financial adviser at Liberty warns that if you are still in debt at the age of 45, you won’t have enough money for your retirement.

Old Man
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Kassel says that if you are living debt-free by 45, you’ll ‘have enough time to save the substantial amount needed for your retirement. He suggests that ‘most employees earn approximately 480 paycheques in their working lifetime’. Moreover, they ‘need to use these limited pay cheques to fund a retirement income of at least 240 months’. He advises that one of the most powerful things that you can do to save for retirement is to make any future debts time-bound.

The message is working. Personal loans are now the fastest-growing means of financial assistance. People are moving away from long-term debt. By offering a fixed amount of financial help for a specific period of time. South Africans, can find their way through a tricky period and pay the personal loan back within a couple of months. With modern personal loan lenders, their calculators help to make the process more transparent and easy to understand. Moreover, the customer can see how much interest they’ll pay over various different hypothetical periods. It’s easy to see why there is a move away from credit cards and long-term loans.

According to Discovery ‘the general rule of thumb in South Africa is that you’ll need to be able to replace 75% of your income to retire comfortably’. This is a lot of pressure for people to follow. Especially when they are not yet halfway through their lives, but already under pressure to be living debt-free.

Is it realistic to be Living debt-free under 45?

Can we change our spending habits to save for retirement in our 40s? Fifteen years ago we consumed debt without thinking. Credit cards were the de rigueur, easy to come by, people lived beyond their means. Then tough times arrived and we became savvier.

The trend today has been to move away from long-term debts to fund lifestyle choices, today. Consumers are more aware of their spending and are turning to time-bound lending, with a clear end date like personal loans. It is no longer so acceptable to charge things ’the card’, instead. Now we seek financial assistance only when we need to.

Saving for retirement under 45 ’is a tough ask, particularly in a low return, difficult economic environment and against a background. Where many people focus on immediate rather than long-term goals-sometimes out of necessity’.

What we can do is continue the move away from credit-cards and remain mindful. However, that high-interest emergency debt should be for a fixed (short) period rather than a tool to maintain a demanding lifestyle. As old age eventually catches up with all of us, these statistics cannot be ignored. With the cost of living high, 45 may be an age by which we should all aim to have moved on from debt as a way of supporting a lifestyle.

Instead, we need to plan to make debt a short-term option for emergencies only. The signs are that if we do this, we’ll give ourselves a fighting chance be on course to retire with enough to see us through comfortably.

Of course, retirement seems a long way off for those who are in their twenties and thirties. Additionally, our thirties and forties, are periods of constant change and growth. So, how long good behavior can last remains to be seen, however, the intention is there.

Have you managed to start saving for your retirement already? Maybe you have a great story of living debt-free success. We would love to hear your stories and tips below!

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Finance

Should You Borrow Money from a Lender? Here’s How to Know

If you need additional cash, it can be rather confusing trying to determine who to turn to. Why there may be quite a few opportunities available to you, it isn’t always clear which path is right for you. Well, fortunately, the process doesn’t have to be quite so confusing. Once in a while borrowing money from friends or relatives can appear to be a more feasible choice than taking out an individual advance.

Borrowing Money from Lender
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Rules for Borrowing Money from Lender

In case you are considering borrowing money from a lender, you need to be certain that this is the right decision for you. The following pointers should make it easier to sort out your situation:

Do You Need the Money Quickly?

The first thing to ask yourself is how quickly you will need the money. If your due date is coming up rather quickly, the same day loans are your best bet. This is because they will often be processed within hours or at least within the day, ensuring that the money will come to you without any delay. These are ideal for emergency situations where time is of the essence.

When you are on a tight schedule, you will discover that there aren’t too many other options available to you. After all, banks and similar institutions will take weeks or longer to approve your request. Even your friends and family will require more time to accumulate or access the kind of money that you need. So, these online loans are the only avenue given the circumstances.

Can You Trust the Lender?

Another thing that you should examine is whether or not you can trust the lender. When you decide borrowing money, you will find quite a few offers coming your way. Thus, it can be easy to become overwhelmed and then misled by predatory lenders.

Therefore, before you agree to anything, check on the lender that you wish borrowing money from. These days, online reviews make it rather easy to determine how legitimate a particular agency is. With a little bit of research, you will find that lenders such as Motusbank are your best and safest option.

Can You Make Monthly Payments?

It goes without saying that you should know that you can make the payments before you borrow any money. This is the only way to stop you from accumulating debt thanks to the interest rate. What’s more, if you get a secured loan, you just may end up losing your car, home, or another asset.

So, factor in the interest rate and how long you have to pay back the money. This will let you know how much has to be returned. While doing these calculations, it is also a good idea to crunch the numbers on how much you will pay back overall. With these comparisons, you will find it even easier to pick a plan that is more suited to your finances and that will save you money in the long run.

Conclusion

So, ask yourself these questions and see how your answers match up to the ones here. By doing this, you can take all of the guesswork out of the equation. Instead, you can make a rational decision whether or not to borrow money from a lender.

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Finance

Fast Economy Growth Behind The Brazilian Real

If long-term forecasts are anything to go by, the world’s emerging economies are set to become increasingly dominant during the next 31 years. This includes the South American country Brazil, which is expected the become the fifth largest economy in the world and achieve a cumulative GDP of $7.540 trillion by the end of 2050.

This may come as a surprise to some, particularly with the Brazilian economy has experienced significant fluctuations of late. However, the fact remains that Brazil and similar Latin American economies are continuing to grow at a quicker and more reliable rate than those in the Asia-Pacific region, and this trend is expected to continue in the longer-term.

Brazilian economic growth
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In this post, we’ll explore the rise of the projected rise of the Brazilian economy and the factors that will inspire this, whilst asking how this will impact on the nation’s currency.

Brazil’s Long-term Growth and the Reasons behind it

At the end of 2018, the Brazilian GDP grew by 1.2% year-on-year, whilst the most recent forecasts for 2019 are predicting the continued growth of between 2.6% and 3% overall.

These make for impressive figures, especially when you consider that the GDP growth rate averaged just 0.57% per year between 1996 and 2018, with this period including a record low of -3.90 during the first quarter of a recession-hit 2008.

Of course, there have been some setbacks recently, with the Central Bank in Brazil expected to delay a proposed hike in the base interest rate amid dwindling consumer confidence and an under-performing construction sector.

However, these are only considered to be short-term challenges, with the forthcoming release of Brazilian Consumer Confidence data expected to reveal a marginal (but temporary) decline from 100 to 99. At the same time, the labor-intensive construction sector in Brazil is also expected to improve on the back of renewed government investment in the future, and this, in turn, will help to create jobs, drive growth and promote continued regeneration.

So, whilst an underperforming construction sector has restricted Brazil’s economic growth during the last couple of years, it will play an influential role in long-term growth and lay the foundations for a far brighter future.

Short and Long-term Trends for the Brazilian Real

As with any international currency, the performance of the Brazilian economy is intrinsically linked to a number of real-time macroeconomic factors.

So, whilst the Real is likely to grow and appreciate in value steadily over time, for now, it remains subject to genuine volatility and periods of depreciation.

The aforementioned factors have certainly encouraged investors to hedge against the Brazilian Real of late, with this currency registering seven months of losses against the U.S. Dollar.

According to Oanda, this pairing even trended at record lows of 3.3155 in March, although the Real has recovered slightly and climbed by around 12.3% since the beginning of April.

However, if consumer data does slip further, traders will once again have the opportunity to hedge against the Real in favour of the U.S. Dollar and pound sterling.

These are definitely the two best currencies to support against the Real, especially with an extended Brexit delay having triggered a hike in the value of the pound.

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Finance

Pension Protection: For Funds Safety

Your pension pot is probably something that you contribute to over time but doesn’t always think about daily. However, it is something that you should have in mind when life-changing events happen. You may not know how to respond to such events and what to do for pension protection.

Solutions For Pension Protection:

So, to help you out, Portafina has given some tips on problems of what events could occur and how they might affect your pension funds. These tips will help prepare you for life’s changes and keep your pension funds safe in the process.

Pension Protection
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Bankruptcy

One major life event that can happen that most people may not plan for is bankruptcy. It can be a tough time financially and create a significant level of instability. In light of this, you may be wondering what’s going to happen to your pension during such a period. You can relax knowing that it isn’t classified as an asset, so money can’t be taken from there.

Nevertheless, what’s most important is that you speak to your pension provider to find out how bankruptcy may affect your savings into and access to your pension fund.

Getting a New Job

Finding yourself in a situation where you have a new job can be an exciting time in your life. However, it’s crucial that you know what it means for your pension protection and whether it will be positively or negatively impacted. The good news is that when you change employers, your new employer has to enroll you in a new pension scheme if you’re over 22 years of age and earning a salary of over £10,000.

Also, find out whether you’d be able to transfer into your new scheme or any existing pots that you have. It’s advisable that you follow Portafina’s Facebook page to keep up to date with the latest pension developments.

Going Through a Divorce

One of the most significant worries for people going through a divorce is what’s going to happen to all of their assets? And how they’ll be divided. You may likewise be concerned about your pension. As it should be included as part of any financial settlement in the case of a divorce. Seeing as there is flexibility in terms of how your pension is shared out, you can rest assured that it can be protected. Some options include both pension sharing or pension offsetting.

Dying

Whether you want to accept it or not, death is an inevitable part of life. This is why instead of ignoring it, you should make it your goal to plan ahead instead. Do this by deciding how you want your funds to be distributed when you pass away. Whether it be by donating it to charity or giving it to your family or friends. Knowing your pension providers policy beforehand should help you make the right decision.

Moving Abroad

Aside from the mentioned, moving abroad is a major life event that could affect your pension pot. Ask your provider questions such as how easy it will be to access your pension abroad. And also whether you’d still qualify for a tax break before making final decisions.

Planning for specific life events can positively protect your financial future, and the financial future of those you care most about. If you have any questions or would like to find out more, you can visit Portafina Discovery a handy resource hub. They also have lots of information on their social channels, YouTube, on Twitter at@Portafina UK, and on LinkedIn.

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Finance

The Do’s and Don’ts of Debt Consolidation

When it comes to debt, worry is a constant companion. No one likes to be in the cross hairs of banks or businesses looking for their money back, so the quicker it’s gone, the better. Still, everyone’s got an opinion on how to solve debt, and debt consolidation rarely gets a fair shout. For some it can be an extremely useful plan, for others, a crippling mistake.

Like with most things, the potency of debt consolidation depends almost entirely on how the user intends to utilise it. If most people have debt from multiple credit cards, streamlining it all into one single loan can be relieving; at least in terms of organisation. With the right frame of mind, the process can be a rather viable solution to many, but not every, debt concern.

How Does Debt Consolidation Work?

debt consolidation
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Here’re a few do’s and don’ts of debt consolidation.

Do Change Your Behaviour

While debt consolidation can be something of a financial lifeline, it’s by no means a continual lifesaver. It’s not there for you to repeatedly exploit, or for you to run to and cower behind every time you deliberately let your finances get out of hand. Put simply, it’s not a get out of jail free card, so make sure that you acknowledge your past financial mistakes and change your behaviour in your personal spending habits too.

After all, it’s obviously not ideal to need something like debt consolidation in the first place. Try to improve things on your end or at least try to identify where your financial misfortunes are coming from. If you can acknowledge the fact that you’ve been complacent and that it won’t happen again, the process of debt consolidation will be far more bearable and useful to you.

Don’t Assume It’s All Over

Debt consolidation is not a ‘one and done’ affair at all. You’ll still need to pay off other loans on time and make your credit payments in a proper fashion. If you miss payments your credit score will not only become more problematic, but you’ll also find that your interest rates on your repayments go up too. Ultimately, debt consolidation isn’t as user-friendly as the most naïve might assume – it’s more of a motivator.

Roll up your sleeves and get to work, as you want to be out of these woods as fast as possible. Don’t be fooled by those longer repayment deadlines, because they occur over a much longer space of time which, eventually, tallies up to more payments and overall expenditure for you. Budget what you can feasibly repay effectively and pay off as much as you can in each individual installment. You’ll get out quicker, and thus save money in the long run.

Do Browse Your Options

Even though those behind debt consolidation might well enjoy masquerading as white knights, it doesn’t mean that every debt consolidation plans out there is right for you. Take your time and mull things over, and you’ll be far more likely to make a wise and beneficial decision.

There’re many finance companies like Think Money who are always happy to help you if you’re struggling, so make sure you’re only visiting reputable businesses. You’ll see a lot of tricksters and fraudsters banding around wild claims about debt consolidation online; research them and authenticate them yourself. Only work with the best of the best and apply for their services and do well to ignore the rest.

Don’t Get Desperate

One thing that debt causes is very intense hysteria. Get away from that mindset as quick as you can, because in all honesty, it won’t help you. Panic leads to ill-judged actions and sloppy mistakes, so make sure that you’ve got a grip on everything you’re doing, including your own composure.

After all, if you find yourself applying for multiple different schemes from various other parties, this will be noted and your credit score will become even more of a problem, hampering your financial situation further. You’re looking for a golden opportunity here and a perfect bullseye, rather than a series of handouts that will land you in murkier financial waters. Take your time to decide what’s right for you.

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Finance

How to Make Investments: Efficient Ways to Find The Knowledge You Need

For some people, investing is a relatively easy task. Perhaps the investor already knows where to source the information they need to make effective decisions. Or, maybe they employ someone to do it for them. But for those behind and looking to find where they can learn more about investing, it is harder to do. They must be well-vigilant in this regard and should try their level best to follow the following.

How to Make Investments for Beginners

How to Make Investments
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However, help is at hand. The wealth of information available on the Internet and the advice in books are among several options open to you. You may need advice on niche information sources or you may prefer face to face communication as well. Moreover, it’s also possible to get advice from a real-life expert who really knows their stuff. No matter what the mode of information you use, you have to be extraordinary serious about your target.

Head online

When it comes to getting an investment up and running and deciding on the ideal location for it, the common choice is to get on the Internet. This is because the Internet has got domination over the others owing to its certain strong points. The web offers a range of options like there are large repositories of information written by trading experts. Moreover, accurate and real-time data on the fluctuations in markets like stock markets, commodity markets and more are also available. Whether you need Forex trading explained or require share price drops to be contextualized, there’ll be a source for you.

And there are also forums designed specifically for traders, too. These sites allow more experienced traders to share their tips and outline their own strategies. Historically, this was the sort of knowledge to share among high level investor circles. But, now it’s available at your fingertips – even if you’re a newbie, and no matter where you base geographically. The main advantage of the web is the speed and ease with which you can practice trading using demo accounts. These trial runs allow you the mistakes you might otherwise make with real money before you even put down cash. In short, this is an ideal way to deal with such things.

Real-life publications

There are also plenty of physical publications which can help you make informed investment decisions, too. Never consider them useless or under-rate them for nothing, as they also carry weight in this connection. Newspapers, such as the Financial Times or the broadsheets, often carry stock tips designed to help you make wise decisions. Remember: these aren’t always correct, and they’re often simply the views of one journalist. But many will publish longer-form or even investigative articles exploring new investment products, safety and security, trading tools and more.

So, it’s worth picking up a copy where you can. And there are also more specialist publications available as well, such as Expert Investor Europe or Shares Magazine. Hence, if you plan to specialize or you take interest in gaining additional expertise, this might be the option for you. You must get many a benefit from this very plan.

Speaking to an expert

Sometimes, the best way in which to expand your knowledge is to speak to an expert in the field. One circumstance in which traders often choose to do this is when they are planning to start trading unusual instruments. Perhaps you are going to trade what’s known as an “exotic” currency pair in the Forex markets.

This is preferable to the major ones like the US dollar, British pound or the euro. Or maybe you plan to enter the world of trading a specific commodity, and you can’t find enough information online. You may hire the services of a financial adviser, stockbroker or other relevant trading professional. You’ll be able to either outsource the knowledge-finding work or simply learn more about the market you’re about to enter. This very step of yours always pay you in the long run.

Another eventuality in which expert advice might be handy is if you’re right at the start of your trading journey. You may be able to find information online or in a book. But, if you’re not aware of how markets work then whatever info you do uncover is unlikely to have significance. By speaking to an adviser, you’ll put everything into context and feel more confident and assertive when making investment decisions. These decisions will prove more fruitful and durable in the long run.

Investing isn’t something that you should do with little knowledge of the subject. You will never be able to perform well in this way. There are all sorts of ways it can go wrong. From scam brokers to mistimed decisions, there are sadly plenty of reasons why people can get flopped. They may end up either losing their cash or finding themselves in a bad place. But by heading online, opening a publication or speaking to experts who can provide you with the knowledge you need, you’ll be giving yourself the best possible chance of success.