How you can Save Money on Home and Auto Insurance Together

Home and auto insurance

Insurance is one of the safest means of safeguarding yourself and your precious possessions from unforeseen losses. An individual or an asset can be easily covered for a seemingly low fee charged by an insurance provider. The risk borne by an individual or an asset gets pooled alongside other policies and premiums collected by the insurance provider. However, a policyholder is expected to check several options and consider certain conditions while signing up.  Policyholders tend to vary in their business policies and this gets reflected in their premium structure and coverage benefits mentioned in the policy papers.

5 tips on how you can actually save money on your insurance have been shared below:

Do Comparison Shopping

In order to achieve the best deals with your insurer, you may consider doing your own research. You must achieve 3 different quotes from eminent insurance providers and check them. All you need to do is to fill out an online application form at a provider’s website. You may do comparison shopping by opting for the same features and calculating the premium costs. Although an insurance agent may help you in obtaining the right coverage, they will charge a commission for their service.

Communicate Directly

You may get in touch with any qualified insurance agent in your attempt to identify the right discounts and cheaper protection, but that will increase your overall insurance cost. Again, there are insurers that will reach out to you directly and lower the cost of a middleman. Progressive and Geico are car insurance providers that reach out to you directly. Direct policies are often an inexpensive option although they may not be the cheapest one for you.

Increase the Deductible

A higher deductible helps an insurer in being liable for a lower settlement value. By opting for a higher deductible, you may reduce your premium cost. You may choose to opt for a deductible worth up to $1000, although the most acceptable amount of deductible is $250 for most types of insurance. The different deductibles enable insurers to develop a flexible cost structure for their policies.

Opt for a Single Insurer

Discounts on insurance policies are offered by insurers for covering multiple cars, precious possessions, and properties. Eminent insurance providers have come up with a wide range of policies designed to match your needs. Another way to save money is by bundling your home and auto insurance policies. The costs pertaining to customer services and issuance of multiple policies are fixed. This helps insurers in extending coverage at lower costs. It even helps them in retaining customers making it more difficult for the policyholders to maintain the coverage discount. A consumer doesn’t want to deal with such a time-consuming process very easily.

Don’t File Small Claims

It’s certainly tough to follow than saying it, but it’s probably the main reason why you apply for coverage. You must avoid filing smaller claims as these claims raise your premium cost in the long run. Saving a small portion of your monthly expenses can help you pay for small things that you file for. Raising the deductible even helps in ensuring that you’ll look forward to larger claims only.

Keeping the factors in mind while comparing your policies will certainly place you in the driver’s seat when it comes to beating risks. Make sure you discuss and get all doubts clarified before signing up.

7 Myths of Early Retirement You Need to Know!

Early retirement

The idea of an early retirement is particularly appealing for the fact that it enters you into a point of life where you have all the three basic requirements to enjoy it – Time, Health and Money. It’s far enough down the road that you’ve earned enough money and it’s not so far that your body has started to give up. For many people, it is an escape from their dull and monotonous corporate lives and follow their passions, do a quirky job they love, live their life on the edge, embark upon social and humanitarian services and take similar risks they’d never have dared of earlier or were unable to, due to the lack of the above three mentioned requisites. For others, it’s a time they could give to their loved ones and focus on their family building and have a nurturing social life.

However, like all things in life, Early Retirement isn’t all white. Before you make such a decision, here are 8 myths and facts you need to know:

  1. “I will have all the time in the world to travel!” – Well, busting this myth requires no rocket scientist. It is evident that when you retire early, you will have to save up all of your earnings for a longer period of time. Post retirement, a regular pay is a sketchy deal for most, and pension plans alone will not suffice the travel extravangza that you might be thinking. So yes, any vacations that you’d plan would require a lot of thought into its budget.
  2. “My expenditure would reduce a lot!” – Assuming that an individual does not fall for this trap at its face value and plans his/her budget accordingly to reduce all unnecessary expenses, it is eventual that most or nearly all will face medical issues down the line. Medicines and healthcare in general add a lot to the budget and effectively increases the expenditure. To remedy that, you can find a health and life insurance, which still sucks the money from your wallets.
  3. “I can focus on my health” – one can feel that they’d get more time to exercise and eat healthy, however studies have indicated that people who generally don’t find anything good to do after retirement see a gradual decrease in their overall health due to lack of mental and physical mobility.
  4. “My Children would be my greatest financial aid!” – This would be a tremendous pressure on them in case you opt for an early retirement. For most parents in their 40s in India, their children have either started or will be going to college. A retirement in 50s would indicate your children saving up for you in a time which is their prime in career building.
  5. “I will be happy and can enjoy life” – the realisation that you now miss your work and a lack of routine or a purpose in life leads to disastrous boredom and an eventual ineffectiveness of the mind. This can push people into depression or deprive them of some necessary mental and emotional stability.
  6. “I have earned enough money to sustain myself for the rest of my life” – no other thought can be as detrimental in case of early retirement as this one. As said earlier, not only the medical expenses increase, but it has been observed that with time, lifestyle in general becomes more and more expensive. The more time passes by, the costlier it gets to live.
  7. “I will never turn back to the corporate world/I will never return to my job.” – This again is supported by countless examples that people either want to get back to their older work life or actually do return to it.

These mentioned points are key for any individual thinking for an early retirement. These problems must be taken with utmost certainty of happening in the post retirement plans.

Investing with an Edge

Investing edge

So, you have decided that you are ready to take the next step.  You are going from a part-time, ‘let’s see how this goes’ attempt at investing, to a major-league, leave no investment behind attitude. Good for you.  Let’s look at how you can take your investment game to the next-level, so you can start reaping the benefits.

No Brainers

Have a plan. You don’t want to end up 6 months down the road in the wilds, mumbling about diversification and Bitcoin. Write it down on your phone, a whiteboard, heck tattoo on yourself if you have to. Just make one, stick to it, and update as needed. The most successful investors, and people in life all had a plan and stuck to it. You want to be like them? You need a plan.

Another thing you should be doing is maintaining some sort of emergency fund. Markets can be volatile places, and having a little liquid cash to back yourself up during unforeseen circumstances is a must. Costs of healthcare, education, car repairs, can all easily reach into the thousands of dollars. Having liquid assets, that is capital that is not tied up in credit cards or debt, can get you through the rough patches, so you can keep investing later.

Lastly, there comes a time when you have to decide between whether you are looking at a potential goldmine, or something is too good to be true. It’s always a bad idea to put all your eggs in one basket, so don’t sink your life savings into an investment you have trouble wrapping your head around. Use a little common sense before you put your money down.

Secret Weapons

Let’s talk about Margin of Safety. In short, the Margin of Safety is the difference between the market price of an asset and what you believe it’s intrinsic value to be. For example, say the price of apples on Thursday was $5 a bushel. However, you know that for the past two weeks apples have been selling at $10 a bushel. That $5 difference is your Margin of Safety, Thursday’s price being lower than what the intrinsic value of a bushel of apples is. You basically want every investment you make to have some Margin of Safety, as you will minimize loss and increase your chance for profit. The term was coined by Benjamin Graham who was an investing mentor to none other than Warren Buffet, so yeah, might be a good idea to take it seriously.

Another pro tip from Benjamin Graham is to embrace the volatility. There will be times when it appears your investments are losing steam. Instead of jumping ship or lamenting the cold nature of the universe, look at times of low growth as opportunities to invest in other areas that might pick up once the markets recover. And the markets will recover. They always do, just like they go back down. Embrace it.

Part of that means becoming an active investor. If you want to really make money on the stock markets, you have to get your hands dirty. While the old adage risk = return can be true, the idea of work = return is much more foolproof. That means doing your research on companies, and being more ready to pull the trigger on a risky investment.

Follow the Rules (Just a Little)

As great as it looked to be the Wolf of Wall Street, let’s remember he got caught, and paid a large price. In fact, pretty much everyone who cheats the system at one point or another runs out of luck. That’s why if you are serious about investing you should be serious about following the law to the best of your ability. Knowing a bit about the penalties surrounding excessive trading, how to look out for unreliable stockbrokers, and insider trading laws will help you later down the line. It is common sense and can save you money. All the top investors in the world made their fortunes legally, and the average investor just wants to make his money work for him. If you want to bend the rules, be a 21st century investment cowboy then be my guest, but just don’t be surprised when the Feds come knocking.

Wrap Up

Becoming the investor you always wanted to be takes a bit of work. However, if you are willing to put in some work, take some risks, and follow these guidelines, you will be well on your way to financial success.

Before you Dive in Stocks: Stock Market Investing Tips

stock market investment

“If you are an individual in the stock market, you should know that the system stacks the deck in its favor.”– Ken Little

The financial system has hugely evolved over the past decades. Things are now more complicated than they were before. With a lot of businesses finding ground and money stashing, people are currently looking for more ways to secure their profits.

The stock market is progressively filling with investors; individual investors. Of course, most people would rather invest on their own; it is an exciting feeling knowing that you can personally control your finances. However, as Money Crashers would agree, investing in equities needs strategies for survival as well as a good understanding of how the market has changed.

Starting out as a stock market investor and especially for the first time will raise a lot of questions on the way. This is because there will be a lot of things to learn, and truth be told; you will not only experience ups but also downs. You therefore have to be ready for what lies ahead. However, this is not to say that you should only look out for the challenging times. Success is also part of the game, but you will need to be patient, disciplined and smart.

The Steady Trader also agree that once you know what to watch and follow the necessary investment process, making money in the stock market will not be as hard. Plus, no-sure formula has been set for success in the stock market; that is why knowing some golden rules and helpful tips is critical.

Stock Market Investing Tips for Beginners

  1. Research the market

Deciding to join the stock market as an individual investor is a big step. That is why you will properly need to do your homework; do not just jump in. Take your time to understand the basics by learning about the individual securities composing the market, among other features. For instance, take time to learn and understand the financial metrics and definitions, the stock market order types, and methods of stock timing and selection.

What are the different types of investment accounts and how are they calculated? It is only when you are familiar with the basics that you can go ahead and make your first investment.

  1. Have a plan and time-frame

Do not join the stock market just because that is what everyone else is doing. Why are you investing in the first place? Is it so you can buy your dream house, or pay your college fees? The purpose will help determine the time frame. If you are investing for education, you are most likely to need the money earlier in future than if you are investing to build a mansion.

With knowledge of your reason and preferred duration, you can easily calculate how much capital you need for the investment as well as the returns. Having a reasonable and measurable goal will help you determine the success of your investment endeavors.

  1. Do not be ruled by emotions

Being a stock market investor means you should be ready for the biggest losses; maybe even bigger ones than you have ever experienced. Because of this, it is easy to get all emotional and negative, especially when you invested huge capital but it bore no fruits. However, as financial analysts from Wilkins Finance advice, be a ‘bull’ instead of a ‘bear’

When you feel all negative about the market, you become the bear, whereas being positive makes you the bull. It is normal for tension to arise when stock prices start moving contrary to your expectations. But be careful not to have your judgment clouded by emotions because then you will only be making decisions in a panic or frenzy.

  1. Spread your risks

Diversify and vary your investments so as to stay in on the safer side. Taking the risk to invest in the stock market is commendable, but taking more such risks is considered wise. Why? What if your one and only investment backfires, will you have a backup plan? One way to recover from loss is buying stocks from different companies; you are less likely to experience losses in all the companies.

  1. Believe in yourself

Avoid the ‘herd mentality’ at all costs. Believe that you can make wise and informed decisions as an investor. It is okay to seek second opinion, but not okay to always follow what other investors are doing. Often, investors run to invest in stocks that many other investors are trading in. But as Warren Buffett once said, you should be fearful when other people are greedy; and only be greedy when they are otherwise.

8 Financial Tips for Young Working Professionals

money tips for young people

Just graduated college? And have no idea how to manage anything? The whole just out of college and thrown into the big bad world can be a bit overwhelming. It becomes very difficult for young adults to cope with the responsibilities that have been thrust upon them. The most difficult being managing the finances. Earning money is one thing and responsibly managing it is a totally different thing. Managing finances is a tough task which requires a lot of self- control and patience which is very difficult in this age. So, for this very purpose it is important to have a proper plan to manage expenses. Here are 10 tips to help you manage finances effectively:

1.Exercise Self Control

This is something all parents grill into your head from childhood. As annoying as it seemed when we were kids it helps us greatly as adults. Practicing self- control is the most effective way of managing your finances. You need to carefully differentiate your needs from your wants. That is a cute top but do you need it? Probably not. Exercising control saves you a lot of money.

2.Manage your own Financial Future

A lot of us tend to rely on the advice of others when it comes to managing our finances as we believe we aren’t responsible enough. While this may be a smart thing to do few people tend to advise you in a way that may not be beneficial to you but is beneficial to them. To avoid this try reading books based on management of finances.

3.Create a Budget

You might often get carried away with your expenses. While splurging occasionally is acceptable it is important that your expenditure doesn’t exceed your income. The most effective way to do this is by having a fixed monthly budget. This will help you analyse your expenses and work on managing them better. Also, it saves you a lot of money.

4.Build an Emergency Fund

This needs to be exercised by individuals of all age groups. Having an emergency funds help you in case of well emergencies. A popular personal finance mantra asks you to pay yourself first. You might have low income but you need to make it a habit to put at least something in this fund. This will take a lot of stress from your shoulders and help you sleep soundly.

5.Begin Saving for Retirement

Well, this may seem a bit far- fetched but the sooner you start investing the better it is for you. When you invest the money for a longer time you get much better gains on the invested amount.

6.Gain knowledge on taxes

When you’ve just begun earning the whole tax system can be very confusing. For this reason, you need to educate yourself on how income tax works. Once you cut the taxes from your salary you can estimate how much cash you have left to spend on other stuff.

7.Get Health Insurance

Medical procedures or even a single visit to the hospital could turn out to be an expensive ordeal. Health insurance helps you save a lot of money in that aspect. In the beginning it might be difficult to shell out the amount from your limited salary but it helps you greatly in the long run.

8.Manage your debt

Many young adults just out of college have a student loan riding on their heads. These loans can be overwhelming and often weigh you down completely. For this it is important that you pay them off as soon as possible. Try paying the loan which has the highest interest rate first. This takes away a lot of the stress.

The Importance of Having an Emergency Fund

emergency fund

An emergency fund is liquid money that has been earmarked for financial emergencies and unforeseen expenses. Emergencies do not include monthly expenses or wants, but rather things like medical emergencies, job loss, car repairs or major home repairs. The funds must be liquid (accessible) and you should never rely on credit cards or debt to get you through these. Having an emergency fund can make the difference between a financial bump in the short-term and a financial disaster that upends your life. Here we will look at why an emergency fund is so important.

Insurance at its Best

An emergency fund can be viewed as a type of insurance, although it is even better than that. Each month you put money into the fund (like insurance premiums) and if you need the money, there it is ready for you to use it. You never withdraw the money, unless you are facing an emergency and if you need to “make a claim,” you don’t need to prove anything to anyone – the money is available immediately. Even better, at the end of your days, that money belongs to you so that every premium you paid become part of your estate.

Freedom

Many people, at some point in their life, are unfortunate enough to find themselves in a situation that is unbearable. Without financial stability, those people will have no options, but to continue in their current state. That may be a relationship that is unbearable or a job that you can’t stand. With an emergency fund, you may be able to open your own business, start trading, or go back to school, but without the funds, these options will be impossible.

Job Loss

Most people who leave their jobs and have no other job lined up to start immediately, do not leave voluntarily. The risk of losing your job is generally considered to be the number one reason for having an emergency fund, because with no money coming in, you will need another source for paying your bills.

Major Medical or Dental Expenses

Medical events can be extremely expensive, particularly without health coverage. However, even with health coverage, when you take into account co-pays or other related out-of-pocket expenses, medical events can be very costly. The same is true for serious dental emergencies. Even a single event can be financially catastrophic if you have no emergency fund.

Repairs

The most common emergency repairs include car repairs and home repairs and some repairs cannot wait until you have saved up for them. A broken-down car so you can’t get to work needs to be fixed immediately. A leaking roof or broken heating/ cooling system probably can’t wait. Even if you have home insurance that will cover the repairs, the high deductibles will require you to have a sizeable sum of cash handy.

Bottom Line

Anyone who has faced a financial emergency will tell you that their emergency fund saved them. Don’t become one of the people who had no fund and has still not recovered financially many years later.