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Finance Advice that Could Benefit You in Later Life

Finance Advice that Could Benefit You in Later Life

With the UK economy still in recovery and a volatile stock market, many people are more concerned than ever about securing their financial futures.

Whether you are just starting your career or looking to retire in a few years, there are steps you can take that may pay off down the road.

The following is essential financial advice that could benefit you in later life.

Know Where All Your Money Goes

This starts by making a detailed monthly budget and sticking to it.

There are all kinds of apps and programs available for organising your finances.

Simply making a budget and paying attention to it on a regular basis will cause most people to more carefully evaluate their spending habits.

Many people are amazed to see just how much they spend each month on non-essential items when everything is carefully tracked.

Spend Less Than You Earn

While this may seem obvious, it’s extremely difficult for many people to live by.

Living within your means will translate into avoiding most types of debt, not paying high interest rates, and being able to save consistently until retirement.

Spending less than you earn will be a lot easier after making a budget and knowing exactly how much income you’re bringing in and what expenditures must be paid each month.

Save for Retirement

Whether you’re 23 or 53, you should be considering saving for retirement.

It’s not too early to start, even if you’re in your twenties.

Start an IRA and contribute the maximum amount. Once you’re past 50 the amount you can contribute increases.

It’s important to think about taking advantage of every financial opportunity, especially taking a look at the pension options available in your workplace.

The advice is often to contribute as much as you can to these types of employee based retirement programs – but be sure to be well informed before making a commitment.

Pay off Debt

It should go without saying that it’s smart to carry as little debt as possible.

So which should be a priority, saving or paying off debt?

Mathematically it almost always makes sense to pay off debt before adding to your savings.

This is especially true of high interest debt that can’t be deducted on your taxes. On the other hand, paying a traditional mortgage loan early will only reduce the outstanding principal and the interest.

Paying extra won’t lower your overall monthly payments, which is what happens with most credit cards when you pay down the overall amount.

You should also pay off private student loans before government loans.

Diversifying Investments Can Be Safer

Not having all your eggs in one basket often means your money is safer.

It’s usually recommended to have a variety of assets that includes cash investments, stocks, and bonds. But even within these primary groups diversity can help.

For example, you could include both corporate and government bonds in your portfolio.

There could also be bonds with different maturities and ratings.

Diversifying can also mean investing in real estate or even a hobby such as collecting art.

It’s sometimes a good idea to have tangible investments that don’t rely on the volatility of the stock market.

Make an Appointment with a Financial Advisor

This is often the first step many people take when getting their finances in order.

Knowing what types of debt to carry and which investment plans are right for each individual isn’t always easy to determine.

It’s important to choose an advisor with extensive experience working with a variety of clients, but equally looking for a company that clearly cares about its customers is important.

Social media can be a great way to find financial advisors so look for companies that regularly post useful information and have a big, engaged following. A quick look on Facebook returned Fisher Investments in the UK, a finance company who has over 10,000 followers and post commentary on current economic conditions. You can also look to financial publications, like the Financial Times, who post their top-rated advisor list and timely news articles. It’s information like this that can help finding information when looking for an advisor that fits your financial needs and goals.

You can also look to financial publications, like the Financial Times, who often post top-rated advisor lists and timely news articles. It’s information like this that can help finding information when trying to find a suitable advisor.

Appropriately managing your income can allow you to remove the stresses of debt and pension concerns when you retire, so start making a plan and apply the advice that is most suitable to you, your work and your lifestyle as soon as possible.

How to Sell Broken & Unwanted Gold

How to Sell Broken & Unwanted Gold

The holidays can be expensive. From the gifts and dinner to heating bills and travel expenses, it’s easy to be short on cash around the holidays. If those expenses went on a credit card, that’s not a debt you want to hold on to for too long. High interest charges compound the problem, and it can be months before you’re out from under those holidays bills.

While of course it would be nice to spend less, or get a raise, in most cases that isn’t feasible. Rather than take a short-term loan or sell something with meaning, you might be able to sell some old, unwanted, or broken gold jewelry to help take care of those costs. Gold is still over $1100/oz heading into 2017, so its value can add up much quicker than you might think.

Here are a few tips for selling your gold for the most cash:

1) Avoid jewelry stores

Jewelry stores have huge markups on their products and don’t sell a lot of second-hand gold and jewelry. If they buy it, they’ll probably melt it down at a fraction of its value, meaning they’ll give you even less for it. Add the fact that they’re paying a lot of security, overhead, and rent, and there just isn’t much money left to pay you a decent amount for your valuables.

2) Search for trustworthy local shops

As much flak as cash for gold and pawn shops take, a trustworthy store is often your best local option in these situations. The more gold you have the close to spot price you’ll get, but you’ll still receive quite a bit under what the gold is worth (not unusual or unexpected, though). If you’re going to use a local gold buyer, the best thing to do is do your homework. Research these companies to make sure they are legitimate, have been established online for some time, and have some positive reviews.

Like jewelry stores, there are considerable overhead costs which force local shops to pay less to remain possible (although they are not as high). You can find some registered listings on Sell Your Gold Locations.

Even if you don’t end up selling to a local pawn shop or cash for gold store, it is a good idea to get a quote from them first. This will give you an idea of what gold you have and a price to compare it to. As we’ll talk about, online cash for gold stores guarantee to match or beat these prices, so it’s good to get those offers first.

3) Online Gold Buyers

Worried about selling your gold through the mail? That’s perfectly understandable. A lot of bad companies have come and gone over the past 10 years with bad business practices and reputations, resulting in a very bad name for the industry. But several names were there before the rush and have remained after the rush – companies with large online followings, hundreds of reviews and happy customers, and good overall reputations.

As it is with local buyers, make sure you do your homework here too. But if you can select a good gold buyer to mail your valuables too (make sure it’s fully insured), they typically offer the most cash for your gold. With low overhead costs and efficient mailing systems, these companies have less expenses per transaction and usually guarantee highest payouts.

Cash for Gold Mailer, a new company launched in 2015, even frequently publishes their payout rates. They offer insured shipping, price match guarantees, and operate purely online through a pack mailing system. Free packs can be requested on their site, or you can print a free label and send it to them directly.

How does selling your cash for gold online work?

All the companies that sell packs online these days (all the reputable ones at least), follow a very similar process. It’s quick and easy, and it generally works like this:

1) Request a Pack or Print a Label – Register for a pack on an online cash for gold website. Most then allow you to have a pack mailed to you, or you can just print the label. If you have it mailed, they’ll send you a prepaid envelope to pack your valuables in and mail. If you choose the “print” option, you can print that prepaid, insured label and attach it to a package that you’ve prepared yourself. Either works, but if you’re in a rush, packaging it yourself can save you a couple days.

2) Pack & Mail Your Gold – Be sure to pack your gold safely. If there’s a chance you want your gold returned, or think it might have more valuable as a piece of jewelry than just the melt value, it’s best to use padding to carefully secure your shipment. Pack it up, and then mail it for free – most businesses use FedEx (so drop it off at a FedEx location or drop point), but some still use USPS.

3) Accept or Reject Your Offer – Most of the reputable companies have moved to online systems to process packages. You’ll be able to log in to see the status of your order at all times, and when the package is processed your offer will appear online as well. Log in, and then you can accept the offer or request your items be mailed back.

4) Get Paid! – If you accepted the offer, companies send payment via check or most offer an online payment (via something like PayPal). If you rejected it, they’ll send your package back safely and securely. Due to the reputation of the industry, the best online companies are really good about taking care of transactions quickly.

This won’t take week or months to complete, and is usually turned around in less than a week. If you print your own pack and mail it the same day, a Paypal payment can often be in your inbox the next day. Nearly as fast, and usually much more convenient than local shops. Not to mention that you get paid quite a bit more.

So get caught up on those holiday bills safely, securely, and quickly by selling old jewelry or gold you no longer enjoy. It’s probably worth more than you think!