Retirement Calculator With Social Security

When you hear the word money counter, the first thing that comes to your mind is someone who counts money. Money counters do count money, but they are not persons. A money counter is a machine that can count, add, stack, and detect money. Money counters are used by banks, arcades, casinos, restaurants, multi-national companies and any firm that handles a lot of cash or change in a day.

Money counters are used all across the world to increase speed of counting cash, eliminate errors and simplify money handling. There are machines that can handle international currencies. These machines can detect the currency from various countries and display their values.

Money sorters come in all kind of shapes, sizes and types, as well as configurations and price ranges. There are simple banks meant for children that help them count their allowance and there are complex counters that place coins into rolls and tally the exact amount. There are other money counters that count and sort cash as well.

Counterfeit Detectors

A counterfeit detector is a built-in setting in a money counter that detects fake currency from the rest of the bundle. If the currency is counterfeit, an alarm alerts the user. A counterfeit detector has the following components

  1. A magnetic detector scans the bills for the magnetic component that is used while making bills. In case of US bills, the bills when passed over the detector will produce a positive magnetic response.
  2. A magnifying detector is used to detect and check micro printing, fine-line printing pattern, serial number, inscribed security thread etc that is customized on various currencies. These cannot be seen with the naked eye. Hence magnifying detectors are used.
  3. A watermark is a specialized marking found on the US currency. It is produced by applying pressure on the bill mold. Holding the currency against a UV bulb will detect the quality of the watermark. A weak watermark means fake currency.
  4. Every US dollar bill has unique color shifting property on its lower right hand side corner. If you focus the bill on the lighted reflector, that part changes color from green to black. If there is no change in color, then it means the currency is counterfeit.

Use counters to improvise your money management mechanism.

Retirement Budgeting

One of the common reasons for business failures in todays business environment is lack of cash flow. The small businessperson must learn how to properly manage his or her business cash flow. For one, cash flow management allows you to balance your income and expenditures, and work towards having cash reserves to help you meet emergencies or unanticipated cash requirements. The other benefit from good cash flow management is that it helps your maintain a surplus cash fund for your necessary capital investments for the future.

It may seem contradictory, but the use of business credit cards to pay everyday purchases of your business may actually help conserve cash or regulate cash outflows. This is an underlying benefit banks and other financial institutions may have in mind when they offer business credit cards and other services that help manage business cash flow.

There are banks that will customize business credit cards to fit the pattern of your cash flows. This has been done widely for corporate business credit cards, and now business credit card issuers believe the same process can be followed for small businesses of appropriate size that need business credit cards. For instance, by issuing business credit cards to key employees, you stand to gain more effective control of your cash expenses. The business credit card issuer can help set up this arrangement, and also assign a billing cycle that fits in with the cycles of your cash flow.

You can eliminate missed payments and save on finance charges arising from late or missed payments if you arrange for a scheduled time to automatically make payment through your business credit card. This means you wont need to write a check and fret about mailing it on time to your suppliers.

In fact, by paying for the purchases you make with your business credit card, you stand to get discounts for prompt payment from the vendor and other benefits from the business credit card issuer too. By paying bills and purchases with business credit cards, you enhance your ability to manage cash and to extend your cash reserve until the due date comes to pay your business credit card balance.

When you or your employees travel within or outside of the country, you can pay your travel expenses through the business credit cards to accumulate rewards and bonus points. Your business credit cards will also save you from the hassles of exchanging your dollars for local currency because you can simply use your business credit card to pay for other travel-related expenses. This saves you from disbursing the corresponding amount from your petty cash.

Your business credit card issuer will send you monthly statements of charges made to the business credit card account. You can use these statements to track your expenses and keep accurate records. The most helpful part is that you can access your account by logging on to the business credit card issuers website to view the history of transactions on your account, which you can also download into your software. This will make analysis of your costs much easier to do and will save you time in your budgeting.

These illustrations serve to show that business credit cards can help you in many areas of your business in helping you follow up on sales opportunities and also in controlling cash expenses. You should find out from your financial institutions about the business credit card programs they have for small businesses.

Advice For Retirement

Problem personal debt levels, especially for people under 25, in the UK have risen since last year according to the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS). In a report released this week they revealed that the average client aged under 25 coming for counselling in 2005 owes $15,000. The report also states that “More young people are getting themselves into situations where they find themselves unable to meet their unsecured credit commitments.”

CCCS chairman Malcolm Hurlston said, “The growing trend for young people to get into these amounts of problem debt is a concern. Bankruptcy figures are soaring, and this rise may be accounted for by the young who are without assets and who have overspent on credit cards and personal loans. These trends are a natural consequence of the desensitization of borrowing – credit cards have blurred the distinction between borrowing and spending and for many young people, student loans have made borrowing normal…”

Financial comparison site Moneynet believes that, students face a potentially calamitous problem with their credit histories on graduation thanks to the now inevitable prospect of leaving college or university with high debt levels. Moneynet CEO Richard Brown said “The majority of graduates are looking at servicing a minimum debt of $15,000 until their mid-thirties.”

University debts are now seriously starting to cause problems for the younger generation. The debts generated at college have for many combined with the spiraling house prices forcing them to stretch themselves financially. Those affected include both those prospective first-time buyers trying to get on the housing ladder and parents trying to help out their children with cash or by being a mortgage guarantor.

Another problem area, although banking organization APACS is keen to emphasize that it only affects a minority of people, is that of credit card debt. Jennifer Brumby from the Newcastle branch of the CCS said, “People are now taking out credit to pay off their credit. But when you get that far into debt, you are really on a slippery slope. People will take out a loan to pay off their credit card and then find they havent got enough money to survive on so they start running up their credit card bill again and the whole cycle starts over.”

Following accusations by the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), it seems that the situation does not appear to be greatly helped by the use of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI), which is specifically designed to help those potentially liable to fall into debt by repaying personal loans or credit card debt if they fall ill or lose their jobs and are therefore no longer able to meet their financial commitments. The charity found that PPI is failing many of those who need it most, adding to their debts instead of protecting them against hard times. The CAB said that, in many cases it is more about providing an additional source of profit for the financial industry than about protecting consumers. The premiums for policies when added to the full amount being borrowed can increase the cost of borrowing on some credit cards by up to 9% per year. The CAB has lodged a super complaint on behalf of their clients, to get the Office of Fair Trading to launch an investigation into the issue.

The CAB stated several different problems with the policies including:

    – common difficulties such as bad backs or mental health issues which often lead to claims, are being excluded to prevent payouts

    – self employed or contract workers are frequently excluded from claiming

    – time limited payout periods reduce the length of time that claims will be paid out for

    – low payment amounts being paid for successful claims, usually only covering only the possible minimum payments on a loan

    – delays in payments being made following the initial claim and leading to increased financial difficulties for the claimant

CAB has said that 85% of its clients who had tried to claim on their PPI policies had been turned down, however the industry is claiming that only 15% of claims are rejected.

David Harker, CAB chief executive, said “We badly need an official investigation of how this market is operating, leading to effective regulation that ensures a fair deal for all consumers, and which also protects the most vulnerable”.

More of the nations young adults are coming out of university and starting their working life with greater debts. Many first-time buyers are finding the cost of housing beyond their finances. More emphasis is being placed on individuals providing for their own long-term future privately. Now the financial safety nets are being shown to contain so many holes that more people are falling through than being caught. The financial future of a generation of young Britons is looking bleak. As more financial choice is being made available to people, less automatic help is becoming accessible from the government and more responsibility is also being required of consumers themselves. Debt may for most people, have become a generally accepted part of modern UK life, and should no longer be seen as something to be scared of, but discovering how to control it and not let it take over control of your life is an important lesson which is best learned as early as possible.

Savings Tips

Experience Teaches You to Recognize a Mistake When Youve Made It

Most stock traders, hereinafter referenced as the Trivial Many, the Herd, the 80 of 80/20 fame and others, tend to make two fundamental mistakes when trading stocks and options. They buy heavily at the top of the market, right before it turns over. And they sell at the bottoms of markets, right before they turn up.

This is not a good way to make money in the markets.

But, theres a bright side. The experts blew it too. You see, most stock traders tend to listen to the analysts, their brokers, and their friends for stock tips.

Of course, their brokers are listening to the analysts, their friends and other brokers (who are listening to the same analysts, etc.) So, as the Titanic is rolling over, were all still raising our glasses.

The problem is recurrent. Nobody (stock traders) really checks to see what the track records of these analysts really are. Studies going back as far as 50 years have shown that only a small fraction of what is recommended by the analysts makes money.

The bright side is that IF you decide to use the analysts as Insiders and others do, you will use their advice as a contrarian signal. After all, theyre WRONG most of the time! I dont mean any single one. I mean the chorus of all of them will be slanted. So, you can learn to use that as a contrarian indicator.

Let me illustrate. Back in 2002, the Insiders were selling small and mid-sized companies at record rates. Now, if you were a stock trader then, you were probably tempted to get in on the action. But, you probably were tempted to BUY more stock in these companies. After all, who is going to be selling stocks when they are still going up?

Insiders thats who.

But, stock traders, a.k.a. the herd, the trivial many, the majority of stock traders, were buying heavily. Unlike drinking heavily, such stock traders do NOT recover easily from their exuberance the next morning.

Granted the Dow was struggling even though these stocks were reaching new highs. And, the analysts were ecstatic. One stock analyst after another was paraded across the screen each with his or her own version of the refrain, Buy.

But, the Insiders werent buying. The Insiders were selling.

Within just a few short months (three months to be exact), those stock traders had lost upwards of 50% of their investment.

But, the Insiders had not lost due to their stock selling. They were out long before the market turned over, having kept their profits intact.

So, time and again, there is market exuberance close to the top of the markets. The chorus of analyst experts are all singing the refrain buy! The herd kicks into gear and revs up the buying spree. And the market turns over and hurdles downward, leaving a trail of shirts along the way.

But, the Insiders didnt lose their shirts.

So who are these Insiders? And who is this Insiders expert George Muzea?

Were coming to that.


So… The new TV analysts are paraded before an adoring public. They present an impressive display on the Tube. Just ask them. They set before us stock tips which will do wonders for your portfolio. Just ask them.

And, in stock after stock, as they speed their way to the top, greed and irrational exuberance empties more wallets as stock traders and investors buy what theyre told to buy.

And predictably in stock after stock, the market turns over again.

What is it about stock traders which makes us learn from our experience at least a dozen or so times before it dawns on us, This aint working? I know what it is. We dont know what were doing?

But, instead of admitting it, we say things like:

“Dang. I got whipsawed….” Notice we dont say (well, at least I never said) “I got faked out of my…”

” Look for divergence in trends. But the one divergence we NEVER take is divergence from the chorus of the stock analysts.

” Buy on the rumor. Sell on the news.” But, what if the Insiders are buying or selling. You could find yourself chasing an extreme top in the market or panicking just before the market turns up from the bottom.

Experience teaches you to recognize a mistake when youve made it again.

One should always forgive ones enemies but not before theyre hanged.

So, who learned from their mistakes? Good question. Perhaps, those who want to leave the ranks of, what Insiders expert George Muzea calls, the trivial many.

George Muzea advises over 100 firms with a combined asset base of about one Trillion dollars. (Yes, one trillion.). They often pay his firm as much as a $100,000 a year for a consultation of less than an hour per month. If you thought Insiders information was some sort of fad think again. George Muzea has been successfully calling the markets for 30 years. Learn from him.

Trivial many George Muzea uses this term seriously so as to alert stock traders to the fact that the vast majority follow the analysts who are guessing and preening on TV. They are also losing other peoples money.

Others are found in the ranks of the investment letter writers. They too are members of the trivial many. Not a distinguished category to belong to.

Those stock traders and investors who follow them are also among the trivial many.

Use the analysts as a contrary indicator ALONG with a good understanding of the activities (translation: buying and selling) of the Insiders. Two great contrarian indicators. Again, according to Insiders expert George Muzea.

George Muzea is the Insiders expert and has been for 3 decades. How do I know that?

Well, having been in the ranks of the trivial many stock traders and investors longer than I care to say (here), I have a singular disdain for the analysts. George Muzea didnt have to teach me that. He taught me rather to use them as a very dependable contrary indicator the chorus of them, that is.

Before I met George Muzea or learned (from him) anything about the Insiders, I determined to forgive and forget the analysts on TV. Of course, one should always forgive ones enemies but not before theyre hanged.

Actually, in all seriousness, George Muzea taught me a very satisfying truth. If you know how to use them, those analysts can really be a contrarian help to you.

But, I dont wish to give the impression that George Muzea teaches that opposite is right. He didnt teach me to think that way. Nor do I teach that when the analysts and news letter writers say, buy, the stock traders should immediately sell. Nor, that when they say, Sell, stock traders immediately knee jerk a Call option.

No no no.

Its far, far simpler than that.

Understand that when these analysts preen themselves shamelessly on the Tube or by newsletter, they need not be a factor at all. Just dont listen to them until you see Insiders behavior changing. THEN you learn to use analysts antics to gauge the markets as a contrarian.

To do that, you need to learn HOW the Insiders and the analysts work. I learned those lessons from Insiders expert George Muzea. You can too.

How Much Retirement Savings Do I Need

Getting Out of Debt, The Smart Credit-Card Plan, the perfect paydown strategy

Behavioral economist Meir Statman, recently said getting out of debt is the financial equivalent of trying to quit smoking.” Just like any bad habit, good intentions alone will not be enough. To ensure success, we need to break our underlying patterns of behavior. How is it we live in the richest most powerful country in the world, but the average American is more than $11,000 in debt. Our European friends who live by a mainly debit card system have an average savings of $13,000. On a recent visit to Germany, I was shocked to find that less than 35% of all the shops and restaurants accepted credit cards. What would we need to do to reverse this trend and get into a (plus) situation.

Plastic Surgery

If we are serious about paying off our balances. We dont have to literally cut up our credit cards, just stop using them routinely. We should go green for our everyday spending. Try carrying around a set amount of cash to use each week. We make better purchasing decisions when we actually have to hand over the green stuff plus theres a preset spending limit. When we run out of money, we stop spending its that simple. When the only way to purchase is plastic, buying online for instance, then use your debit card. Your debit card can also be used as an emergency substitute for cash should you run out.

Leave Those Cards At Home

The best way to ensure that you enforce the cooling off period on new credit purchases is by taking the cards out of your wallet. You should store them in a place thats not easily accessible and safe. Do not let others know where you have hidden them.

Close The Accounts No Longer Needed

Having unused credit available from lenders with whom youve had a long relationship will help boost your credit score. Having too many will harm your credit score. As a rule, 3 credit cards is what works best and try to never spend more than 50% of the available credit on any of the cards. This will keep your score at its highest. You should also consider closing all your store cards, if you need to make a purchase then use your credit card and pay it off at the end of the month.

Lowering Your Interest Rates

Start by reducing what you pay in interest. We can start by calling our current credit card companies and explaining that we intend to transfer our balance to another issuer unless our interest rate is lowered. Almost all credit card companies run promotional programs with low or 0% interest. They will be willing to put you on one of those rather than risk losing your business. All you need to do is ASK.

Tackling Those Credit Card Balances

Finally we need to develop a strategy for paying off our existing credit card balances.

Gather all your credit card statements together and make a simple table listing the entire amount you owe, and the minimum payment and interest rate for each card. This will help us determine the order in which we should pay off our cards. We need to focus on the highest interest rate cards first and pay off as much as you can each month while making only the minimum payments on our other cards. When the first card is paid off, use the same strategy on the next-highest interest rate card and so on until youre debt-free.

Late Payments

Are the number one cardinal sin of debt management. You get hit with hefty late fees and very high penalty rates that can go to 30%, plus of course your credit score will take a big hit.

We all have a responsibility to improve our financial literacy and develop the required skills and practices for effective financial management. There is a real need to get away from the “Someday things will get better in my life” or the “Someday I will be able to earn enough money to stop worrying about the bills”. There is a lot more to life than that, but it has to be said and understood that the only person that can change your life is YOU. There is NO substitute for Action! With Action, you will overcome your fears and hesitations and accomplish everything you set out to do and more.

Retirement Distribution Calculator

If you have a mortgage and are not struggling with the increasing cost of petrol you are in the minority. And if you arent struggling now, how will you fare when the flow on effect of high petrol costs starts to increase the cost of living across the board. For many Australians the question of how to cover all their bills and maintain a decent standard of living for their families will soon become a pressing one.

As you struggle with this challenge, you may discover that your mortgage is actually the solution.

In recent months, oil prices have skyrocketed to $65 a barrel. This has resulted in the price of petrol rising above $1.30 a litre. This increase has been blamed on the recent hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and the resulting production delays.

Already this is beginning to bite the budgets of Australian families. In a BRW report, McDonalds chief executive Peter Bush revealed that McDonalds sales growth had dropped 5 % in just weeks. He attributes this sudden decline to Australians tightening their belts to afford the extra $30 to $40 a week to fill the family car. The same article cited a recent NRMA survey, which stated that 25% of NSW and ACT motorists have cut their spending on food and groceries as a result of the petrol hike.

Petrol prices have risen 30% this year; the cost of petrol being a major expense for most Australian families. In a media release from the University of Newcastle, Dr. Abbas Valadkhani said, “You dont necessarily have to use a lot of petrol to be affected by the price rise.”

Apart from the direct effect we have already experienced, we will soon begin to suffer the flow on effects of the petrol hike. The cost of milk has already increased and a range of other industries such as transport, storage, forestry, fishing, agriculture and meat and all dairy products will have their costs increase due to the rising price of petrol. It is only a matter of time before these costs are passed on to us. If you think about it, there are few goods and services in the economy that dont have fuel costs somewhere in their production and distribution chain.

Well, thats the bad news. The good news is that many experts believe that this spike in petrol prices is temporary. It is a result of diminished production, due to natural disasters. Eventually, the damage will be repaired, supply will return to normal levels and the price will drop. However, that could be six months or a year from now and until then you need to keep paying for the petrol, pay your bills, budget for Christmas and pay your mortgage.

But are you paying the right mortgage? Are you using your mortgage to its fullest potential? With interest rates so low and the cost of living experiencing an unexpected and temporary spike, a logical means of maintaining your lifestyle, during this time, is to use your mortgage to offset this temporary fluctuation.

This may be the time to either take advantage of your home loans features, or change to a more flexible mortgage. For example, you can switch to a loan that has a redraw facility. This allows you to draw back extra payments you have made and use them to help you through this particularly stressful time.

If rising costs are getting on top of you, perhaps refinancing is the solution. You can roll all your debts into your home loan; car payments, credit cards etc., consolidating your debt and reducing your regular repayments, leaving more cash each week to combat this sudden increase in expenses. Instead of running up the credit cards, refinancing your home loan may be the most cost-effective and cheapest way to raise that extra money to help you through the next turbulent 6-12 months.

Using a mortgage-offset feature is another way to have that extra cash handy, but still minimise your interest. Lets say you refinance and leave yourself $10,000 to help pay the bills for the next few months. If your loan is $100,000 and you have $10,000 in the offset account, the interest on your loan is only calculated on $90,000.

The current petrol crisis will eventually pass, but in the interim, why struggle to care for yourself and your family when the solution to your short term budget problems is sitting right there in your home.

Individual Retirement Accounts

People view bankruptcy as a wake up call and well they should because that means they hit the bottom of the barrel and are now scratching the bottom – for more cash! If you believe misery loves company, be secure in the knowledge that there are at least 1.5 million people in there with you, thats how many filed for bankruptcy in the last year. Anyone can over-extend themselves and many do for more reasons than I could count.

Filing for bankruptcy is not only used by the lower and middle class but the rich as well. Famous people have fallen into the hole and climbed out, people like:

Donald Trump, Filed in 1990 – Kim Basinger, in 1993 – Burt Reynolds, in 1996 Rembrandt, in 1656. I am not sure about the last one; he may still be trying to dig his way out.

In the old days they would send people to debtors prison or even put them to death (not in America though), treating them like criminals. In these more civilized times the government not only banned this kind of barbaric action but made into law rules to protect us.

The bankruptcy code, also known by title 2 of the United States code (11 U.S.C.,101-1330), has been put into place to protect the rights of the individual and corporations, giving them a fighting chance against dept collectors, bankruptcy courts having the final word. There are basically two kinds of dept, secured an unsecured. Secured is where the creditor has some kind of collateral, be it your car, boat, house, or any material thing of value that they can take possession of if the dept is not paid. Unsecured is simply just the opposite, where the creditor has no collateral at all. In this case if the dept is not paid all they can do is use a collection agency where they call you day and night. Also you have to watch out with an unsecured dept because if the balance is large enough the creditor can put a lean on your property by getting a court order. This will prevent anyone from selling their house and moving away in an attempt to hide from creditors.

If you or anyone you know is behind on payments there is something they should know. Since 1997 the government stepped in to stop dept collectors and collection agencies from harassing and threatening people in the middle of the night and using unethical collection practices. The Fair Dept Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) makes collections agencies follow certain guidelines. These are things collectors must do:

  • Stop contacting you if the request is in writing and you dispute the dept in writing.
  • Within 5 days of there first contact they must send you a letter stating the outstanding dept and creditor.
  • If you want to dispute all or part of the dept the collection agency must stop contacting you until the creditor responds to your inquiry.
  • If the collection agency wants to take you to court for the dept owed on behalf of the creditor it should summon you to the county where you now live or where you first singed the contract.

Now, dont be alarmed just because a creditor threatens to sue you because most times it is just meant to scare people into paying on dept.

Under the act (FDCPA) there are many things collection agencies cant do, some of which are:

  • No calling you at work
  • Indicating they may be working with the federal government
  • No calling your friends or family
  • Implying that you may go to jail, garnish your paychecks unless the dept holder plans to do it

Our government, in its infinite wisdom reasoned a long time ago that if they send everyone to jail there is zero change of collecting on any dept on behalf of a creditor. You probably have heard of someone that has had there wages garnished, that is creditors who get a court order to take a piece of their check until the dept is paid. This is a common practice in states that allow wage garnishment and there is little you can do about it except for contacting an attorney. Did you know if you have an unpaid school loan or owe the IRS they dont even need a court order to garnish wages, even in states that normally dont allow this. You can bet on it, they can also take your tax refunds.

As for personal property, in cases like a store dept (store credit card, personal check or payment plan) on an item like major appliances or furniture you may have bought they still need a court order to take it back, unless you let them in anyway. Thats right! If you let them in without a court order they can come and get it back! Many times if is just not worth it for them to re-possess items because they have to go the process of getting a court order and pay someone to carry it out. Also it may be harder to sell a used item that may be stained or damaged. One final word on this point, remember on secured loans and cars there is a definite risk of repossession if the loan (mortgage or car finance) is not paid. There is usually too much money involved here for creditors to loose so these payments should be on top of your to pay list.

If you find collectors are not playing by the rules you should call an attorney or the Federal Trade Commissions response center at 1-877-382-4357 (FTC-HELP)

Wrs Retirement Services

To compete in todays economic jungle, you need to embrace change and respond to it better than your competitors. Those leaders who do so recognize the opportunity such an approach can bring.

Therefore, if you want to survive and prosper in todays marketplace, you need to anticipate your clients needs and respond quickly and efficiently. If you dont, your competition will seize the new opportunity and leave you behind.

To position yourself advantageously, learn as much as you can about your client, because he or she is your highest priority. Just as a lion only targets large prey, you must focus and expend your energy strictly on the clients who will provide the greatest return for your efforts.

Below are suggestions for how you can be different and gain the competitive edge.

  1. Be different: Fire your clients. To strengthen your business, keep only the clients with whom you have a good relationship, who consistently use your problem-solving services and who are loyal to your business.
  2. Be different: Make a personal visit. Clients are the center of your business, and e-mail or telephone calls cant take the place of a personal visit. Many companies also waste time and effort trying to capture business that is not worth the effort. The solution is to insist on direct contact with potential customers. There is no substitute for the firsthand information you will gain from a face-to-face meeting.
  3. Be different: Have the right attitude. Your clients power resides in their level of contentment with your services, and your power lies in determining the best and the most profitable actions to take with your clients. Develop an attitude of service to show your clients that they are important to you, and put that attitude into action every day. Also, bring your clients into your circle of influence. You will gain their trust, and the more they trust you, the more they will promote your business, resulting in an ever-widening circle of contacts for your company.
  4. Be different: Learn from failure. A strong leader takes responsibility for failure and uses it to the best advantage. Failure is an integral part of success. Accept failure and learn from it. Recognize that every hour you spend dwelling on failure could be spent creating a successful project. Do not let failure stop you from trying again.

When you get to know your clients and treat them like your No. 1 priority, youll capture the “lions share” of the market. Practice the strategies above so you can better embrace change, meet client demands and combine action with a positive attitude. You can then create a vision for your business and your future success.

Retirement Withdrawal Calculator

Small businesses rely heavily on maintaining a good cash flow and having their clients pay on time. So when half of the UKs small businesses are suffering from poor cash flow that is bad news for small businesses.

Recent research shows that small, medium and large companies have had many bounced cheques. Micro companies, with less than 10 employees, have been less affected.

One way in which this can happen is when someone pays a business by cheque for goods or services. The business pays it into their bank. The prudent business owner checks that the cheque has cleared and writes out new cheques based on the money that is in the business bank account. It later turns out that the cheque hadnt cleared at all and the business owner is now overdrawn and in debt. This means steep bank charges and makes it less likely that business facilities will be extended in the future.

Understanding The Cheque Clearing System

Most people know that a cheque takes anywhere from three to seven working days to clear. The date that a cheque clears depends on:

1. The currency that the cheque is in. Sterling cheques in the UK clear more quickly than cheques in French francs, for example.

2. Whether the bank that has issued the cheque is in the same group of companies as the bank the cheque is being paid into. Cheques usually take longer to clear when paid outside the banking group.

3. Whether the cheque is paid in on a business day.

What most people dont know is that most banks clear cheques when the normal clearing period has elapsed. This sometimes happens before the bank has verified that the funds are available. The bank makes the amount of the cheque available for withdrawal but it hasnt really cleared.

Some unscrupulous people can use this to their advantage. For example, they could pay by cheque for goods or services, write the wrong amount on the cheque, ask for a refund and disappear with the money well before the cheque clearing process is complete. When the original cheque bounces, it is the small business that is left facing an angry bank manager and a large bill.

Payment Help For Businesses

Luckily, there are other ways for businesses to receive money from their customers. The first is the Banks Automated Clearing System (BACS). This is a secure system in which payments take only three days to clear. This system is commonly used to pay salary cheques directly to employees bank accounts.

A more costly system (with fees around $25 per transaction) is the Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS). This system allows same day electronic money transfers.

Business owners who are worried about being left with a large debt should consider getting their customers to pay by one of these systems where possible. This will reduce the high business cost of bounced cheques.

Why Save For Retirement

The threat of repossession is a real one to many people. When the economy is good, mortgage lenders are willing to lend many times your salary at low interest rates. If interest rates rise, however, or your experience job loss, sickness, divorce or other circumstances that reduce your income, you could find yourself in mortgage trouble.

Once your mortgage company has started repossession proceedings, its easy to give in and let the court process take its course, but there are ways that you can slow down and even stop the repossession process:

  1. Talk to your mortgage company

    Even at the last minute, its possible to work out a deal with your mortgage company. Whether its raising additional money to clear your debts, or just agreeing a new payment plan, your mortgage company should be willing to come to an agreement with you. Dont think that because you have been given a date for the courts to consider a repossession order that you dont have time to sort things out.

  2. Be prepared

    If you do have to go to court, make sure you are fully prepared. Keep copies of all the letters and other correspondence you have had with the mortgage company, work out a detailed daily expenditure that shows where you can save money so that you can begin paying your debts and be ready to explain to the court why you are in payment difficulties in the first place. The court may grant an adjournment or delay the repossession order if you can show that you are prepared to take your financial responsibilities seriously.

  3. Seek advice

    If you are in danger of losing your home to the mortgage company, then take legal and financial advice to ensure that you are doing everything possible to avoid repossession. A good legal adviser will make sure that the mortgage company is following due process and not making it unreasonably difficult for you to make payments and clear your debts. They can also help you if you need to go to court, explaining the process and making sure that you have all the supporting documentation you need.

A specialist financial adviser can arrange short-notice loans, which can help you to get out of trouble. With just a few days notice and with access to dedicated lenders, they can arrange a loan that allows you to pay off your debts and start afresh. They can also arrange a quick house sale, without the need for estate agents fees or a lengthy sales procedure, which means that you raise the money you need with the minimum hassle.