How To Save For Retirement Without 401K

Only a few years ago the concept of online banking seemed like a dubious one concerns about security and computer glitches were enough to put most people off. But with the continuing success of flagship companies like Cahoot, Egg and Smile, more and more of us are choosing to do business over the net. Sophisticated technology means that your information is well protected, and an online account offers several advantages over traditional banking.

Anytime, anywhere

The convenience of being able to log on and carry out transactions at any hour of the day or night could be a welcome alternative to visiting the bank on your lunch hour. No queues and no bank holidays mean the customer has even more control over their finances. Plus, your account information is displayed as a clear overview no more riffling through mountains of old bank statements to find the info youre looking for.

Get higher

Because online banks dont have the overheads of running branches, they can pass on the savings to the customer, and offer better rates of interest on your money. Not only do they offer substantially more interest on your current account but there are also loans available with very low APRs that will save you money in the long run.

Safe and secure

Some experts consider internet banking to be even more secure than traditional methods you wont have pieces of paper with sensitive information lying around, and theres no danger of your business being overheard by other bank customers. Check that the site is secure whenever conducting business online, never send passwords or account information in emails, and be sure to log out when youve finished your session

The downside

In the past there have been a few cases of computer glitches revealing customers personal information, but these have been relatively minor and as internet banking becomes more popular, systems are likely to become more secure than ever. Technophobes probably wont enjoy banking online. You do need to make sure your computers security system is sound, and that you have privacy for your session. Some people may miss the face-to-face contact of their local branch, and most will choose a combination of online banking, phone banking and branch visits. As internet banking becomes more established, its likely most of us will end up conducting at least a proportion of our business online, and you could find switching on to the new banks well worthwhile.

Retirement Planning Articles

The Chase Manhattan Bank offers a host of credit cards, which have their respective advantages and lucrative reward programs. Those who are interested in the purchase of and/or are planning to lease a Subaru vehicle within four years of the date of issuance of the card will find the Subaru Master Card very useful. The card promises the cardholder great many rewards in the form of Subaru products and services.

The cardholders should know the key features of the credit card so as to be able to apply for it easily.

Key Features Of The Card

For the first six months, the card has a 0% introductory annual percentage rate on balance transfers. The card does not charge any annual fee. The great money-saver card also has a free of interest grace period on new purchases made with the card. The regular APRs of 14.24 percent, applicable on purchases and balance transfers are also reasonable. The variable APR applicable on cash-advances is based on the prime rate.

The Attributes Of The Card

The highlight of the Subaru Master Card is undoubtedly its rewards program. The card brings with it the opportunity for its members to earn three percent in SubaruBucks Rewards on regular every day purchases.

As per the program plans, when your purchases reach the $3333-mark, you will be eligible for a $100 coupon. In a year, you can earn a maximum of $500 or $2000 in the span of four-years. Remember that the coupons will expire in a four-year period from the date of the issuance of the credit card.

The rewards earned from the purchases made with the card can be redeemed for Subaru parts and services like oil changes, tire rotation and even for buying a new Subaru vehicle. If you intend to purchase a new Subaru car, then you can receive a tremendous discount against the Purchase Price of the new car. You can also receive discounts on the expenses incurred on the maintenance services of an old vehicle.

The Perks

The card offers account related services online. The card also provides other facilities like roadside assistance, auto rental insurance, emergency cash and credit replacement, travel accident insurance, travel and emergency assistance services and other similar services.

The Subaru Master Card proves helpful for the cardholder in yet more ways; it shields you and purchases with services like fraud and security protection services, purchase protection, extended warranty for purchases, and lost and stolen card reporting services, etc. The card also provides you with different Internet account related services.

The Subaru Master is ideal for you if you have a good credit and hardly carry any balances on your card. Before you proceed with applying for a card, make sure that you have a clear conception of the applicable restrictions, exclusions and limitations.

Percentage Of Income To Save For Retirement

Cash advance industry standards have been defined by the Community Financial Services Association, or CFSA, an appropriate task for this industry trade association considering the explosive growth of the cash advance industry. Standards are listed on CFSAs website which has been designed as a one-stop source for all types of cash advance issues. The site is so helpful that its visited regularly by lenders as well as the general public.

Among its many services, by far the most important is the establishment of industry standards for cash advance companies, also known as payday loan lenders. Before a cash advance business can become a member of this respected organization, the business operator has to agree to abide by the associations Best Practices. Its not an exhaustive list; in fact the Best Practices consists of only 11 core standards.

Sampling of Cash Advance Industry Standards

One of the cash advance industry standards states that, A member will not advertise the payday advance service in any false, misleading or deceptive manner. A simple standard, but its one that offers the consumer much assurance. With competition so fierce, its tempting to make all sorts of promises. When you work with members of CFSA, however, you dont have to worry about the company promising you one thing and then ending up with something different than what you were led to expect.

Another of the important cash advance industry standards requires that members fully disclose all aspects of the cash advance including the service fee that is being charged. Besides mentioning the fee scale, members of the CFSA must convert their fees into an Annual Percentage Rate (APR). Important again so that borrowers know exactly how much the cash advance is going to cost.

The Best Practices also ensure that members abide by each states laws as they pertain to loan rollovers, or extensions. Some states prohibit rolling over a cash advance loan, while other states limit the number of times the borrower can rollover the advance. In states where theyre allowed, a rollover is an option in the event that the borrower does not have sufficient funds to repay the cash advance on the due date. That cash advance can be rolled over, along with a new fee, until the borrowers next pay date.

One of the more impressive cash advance industry standards is the one in which members of CFSA agree to self-enforce the industry. Basically, this means members will voluntarily report all known violations of the Best Practices Guidelines. Each agrees to operate a toll-free phone number for reporting such violations.

Several more cash advance industry standards are outlined in CFSAs Best Practices including an important one regarding the collections process. From time to time borrowers default on their cash advance obligations. When this happens, members promise to proceed with collection activities professionally and in a non-threatening manner.

These cash advance industry standards were designed to protect you, the consumer. Make sure that youre doing business with only those businesses that promise to uphold these cash advance industry standards.

Private Pension Plans

You might be looking for a charting platform, or a trading platform. You could also be looking for an automated trading program, or a signal service. You are most probably looking for some form of assistance to help with your trading. This is really the holy grail for a lot of traders who do not have the time or the inclination to sit in front of a computer 16 hours a day. I have done that for a couple of years and done my chart-time, now its time to let the computer take care of it for me.

The best charting and trading platform is MT4, this allows you to also create custom indicators and expert advisers allowing you to auto-trade your account. Some people have created truly excellent Expert Advisers, and its like having your own Forex trading guru sat at your computer 24/6, never getting tired, grumpy, hungry or anything else for that matter.

Provide a stable internet connection and power, and the EA will handle everything else for you. The problem is selecting the correct one, as there are so many out there.

Some criteria you should apply, when judging an EA are;


    – Whether they will give you a free trial

    – Their FORWARD tested history as well as their backtested history

    – What modelling quality their backtests are run on (90% is the best available)

    – Whether they offer a money back guarantee should the EA fail to perform for you

Markets change, and so do the performances of EAs. The goal is really to find one that can perform consistently over different market conditions. The best we have seen yet in the market is the PointBreak EA. This was used by a private trading group by over a year before being recently released to the public.

PointBreak Expert Adviser (Very Aggressive Trading) has resulted 49.76% since October 2007.

This is the most aggressive setting available, the more conservative settings give smaller returns but correspondingly smaller draw-downs.

Retirement Investment Advisors

Last week during his tour of Kyoto Japan, President Bush visited the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji) and described it as magnificent. He was probably referring to the 1398 Japanese architecture but may just as well have been referring to gold prices which are at an 18-year high. Gold has been a magnificent investment and still has considerable upside.

It is a rare portfolio that I build for a client that does not have some allocation to gold and other precious metals. There are three basic reasons why investors should still consider adding it to their portfolio.

First, gold prices are not normally correlated to other asset class prices. It therefore serves as a buffer or shock absorber to the value of a portfolio when other assets classes are out of favor.

Secondly, there are supply and demand factors. Central banks have been net sellers of gold over the past twenty years. Gold accounts for about 9% of the $4.4 trillion in world central bank foreign exchange and gold reserves, down from 15% in early 2000.

But some central banks are now going the other way. For example, the Russian central bank wants to increase golds share of its reserves from 5% to 10%.

Jewelry demand for gold is also picking up especially in China and India. Global investors are also using gold as a hedge for a global recession and potential decline in value of the U.S. dollar or the Euro.

On the supply side, production of gold has been relatively flat for the last 5-7 years and does not appear to be turning around due to maturing mines and higher extraction costs.

The third reason to have some gold exposure in your portfolio is that it serves as disaster insurance from unforeseen but potentially devastating events such as widespread terrorism or severe economic or political upheaval.

Many gold bugs insist that the only true gold exposure is through gold coins. An easier way to gain instant gold exposure is through the iShares COMEX Gold Trust ETF ( IAU) that is up 15.3% so far this year. Another option is investing through the iShares South Africa ETF (EZA) which has considerable exposure to the gold and mining industry and is up 15.9% this year.

Dont come down with gold fever. A 5-10% allocation to your core conservative portfolio should get the job done. Expect some lusterless years as well as some magnificent returns and restful nights knowing you have some gold under the pillow.

401K Loan Calculator

Buying or selling a home is a euphoric experience for both of the parties involved. This euphoria can cool when you learn which party is responsible for the closing costs.

Who Is Responsible For Closing Costs

When looking to buy or sell a home, every person eventually arrives at the question of funding closing costs on the transaction. To put it simply, both buyers and sellers typically are responsible for some of the closing costs. However, the exact amounts paid can vary significantly from area to area and depending on what agreements the buyers and sellers come to in the offer-counter-offer process.

It is important to research the area you are looking to buy or sell in and be knowledgeable regarding any laws and standards of practice for the area. Yes, the requirements are different in each state and often each city. Know what you will have to pay ahead of time so you can be prepared to cover these costs. Here are some examples of what buyers and sellers generally have to cover.

Buyers typically pay the following: fees charged for obtaining a mortgage; inspection fees; homeowners insurance (must be prepaid for one year at closing); transfer taxes if there are any (although the seller may pay these or they may be shared 50-50 between buyer and seller); title insurance and escrow fees (varies depending on the location); and attorneys fees (if and where attorneys are involved in the transaction). If you are confused, a mortgage broker can tell you which fees are customarily paid for by the buyer in your area and how much they will cost. When buying a home, the use of mortgage brokers is highly recommended to both get a great deal on a mortgage and help with the transaction itself. The broker only gets paid if the deal goes through, so you know they will make every effort.

Sellers closing expense responsibilities typically include: loan payoff fees; the real estate commission (in some cases, a portion of this may be paid by the buyer); title insurance (depending on the location); termite repairs (this is negotiable in some areas); cash payments in lieu of repairs to the property; all or part of transfer taxes and escrow fees, if there are any; attorneys fees where applicable; and other fees set by local custom or negotiated during the transaction.

Knowing and researching the area you are buying or selling in is critical to understanding who is responsible for closing costs. Educate yourself and you will avoid overpaying.

Retirement Directions

When I first began trading back in the 90s, I was very fortunate. I had begun trading at time when the market was headed almost straight up. My first strategy was writing covered calls which blended with a rising market in such a way that I almost never lost. Think about it… When most stocks are rising and the options are rich with premium, its very easy to buy a stock at $9, sell a $10 call for $1.50, then just sit back and allow your stock to be called away from you for some very nice profits, indeed!

Now, that was a good thing, because I had burned my bridges I HAD to make a go of it. As I reflect on those times, Im really thankful for my very good run of LUCK. This could have turned out disastrously! The perspective of time (not to mention some unforgettable experiences) has allowed me to learn that no market, good or bad lasts forever and the only constant is change. Under such I conditions, I learned to roll with the flow, adjusting my strategies to match market conditions

Changing Markets

One of my greatest concerns has been how to deal with a changing market in so far as the strategies are concerned. Which ones work in a rising market… What do you choose when the market turns down? Im sure there are several books on THAT area, so I want to focus on something we trade in the AfterHours Trading Lab. If youre not familiar with that, understand that in the evenings, I meet with other traders and we set up trades we will put into play the next morning on their way to work. The AfterHours Lab concentrates on both medium term (30-90 days) and long term (over 90 days) trades. These trades provide stability for our daily cash flow (from the trades done in the morning Short Term Trading Lab), and Net Worth Growth, our “getting rich account, respectively. I want to look for a moment at the medium term trades.

Medium Term Trades

As I explained earlier, my favorite medium term strategy has long been the covered call. This strategy enabled me to manage my fiscal affairs by setting up trades designed specifically to mature at a predetermined date 30, 60 or 90 days out into the future, giving me cash I could count on to help overcome any slow periods of daily cash flow. As the premium began to dry up, I found writing covered calls more and more difficult. I began to look specifically for those stocks which were volatile, yet more or less predictable which could be used to temporarily replace covered calls as my medium term strategy of choice. Let me share with you what Ive started to do.

Stock Movement

Lets look for a stock which moves a lot. I have my Chart Navigator system provide this by automatically calculating the average daily range of stock for the last month or so. I will then look only at the stocks which have at least $1.50 or more movement each day. In the trading labs, weve become so familiar with this concept of ADR that we find it 2nd nature to just toss the ones with small daily movements on most of our strategies. But its not enough to simply recognize stocks that move a lot. You have to have some idea of WHICH way theyre most likely to move and THAT is the fly in the ointment, especially in an uncertain market. So we further narrow this search of high volatility stock to only those stocks which move within a somewhat predictable range, much as a channeling stock. Here, for example, you see a stock trading between $32 and $42, presently resting in the middle of the channel. The average daily movement of the stock is around $2.40 or so.

Given these facts, lets look for a few more characteristics. First, notice that the stock has remained close to or within this range for several months. Additionally, each oscillation takes about a month, moving from the top of the channel to the bottom bottom. Bottom line, this stock is moving a lot but going basically sideways. Now, lets trade this one medium term. If we can do that regularly, then perhaps we can stop worrying about the availability of covered call trades.

The Trade

Before you trade a stock, its generally a good idea to know which way its going. Thats the challenge. Unless youre in to predicting the future (crystal ball) or using technical (highly detailed crystal ball) or have highly placed friends within the company to help (illegal), youre just guessing. Maybe up… Maybe down … We KNOW it moves a lot, so its probably NOT going to be the same price tomorrow. Hmm… It moves a lot – it MIGHT go up – it MIGHT go down – it probably WONT go sideways from $35 … Eureka! Thats it! Trade it BOTH up AND down. Those are the only two ways its likely to go (remember the high daily movement).

We know we cant buy the stock AND short the stock (at least not in the same account), so why not buy a put AND a call? In this case we might consider buying the $35 put and the $35 call. Typically referred to as a long straddle, the position allows us to profit no matter WHICH way the stock moves, usually dumping the losing side of the straddle when the movement direction becomes evident. Not a new idea by any means, the straddle can provide an opportunity to remove the crystal ball requirement from your trading.

What Should I Save For Retirement

Have you ever walked past a footpath where the concrete has lifted or watched several people walk around a spill on the supermarket floor? Ever found yourself saying, “Now theres an accident waiting to happen.”

When a member of the public suffers an injury or loss due to the negligence of another party, that party is liable for that injury or loss. Hence the term, Public Liability. Public Liability insurance is a must for all businesses, large and small to safeguard the publics interests and, indeed, those of the business.

Now weve all heard the stories about exorbitant judgments being awarded to people claiming to have been injured due to anothers negligence. Most of the time these claims seem justified, however, there are others that cause our brows to furrow a little as we mutter: “What the ??”

For example:

A person disobeys an official Council sign forbidding swimming and diving in a rock pool. This person dives in and, after sustaining injuries that render him quadriplegic, sues the Council. Is his multi-million dollar payout justified? Granted, he suffered severe injuries and will need specialized care for the rest of his life but should the Council and, as a direct flow-on, the ratepayers of the area, be forced to pay for his thoughtless folly?

Then theres the hotel patron who left the hotel inebriated and sued the publican after tripping over in the street. Claims like these cause Public Liability insurance premiums to skyrocket and yet, the claimants appear to be at fault. (Perhaps the courts are trying to save government money by not forcing these people into the public health system.)

Its a sad fact that in todays litigious society, fewer and fewer people are prepared to take responsibility for their own actions. Whether its tripping over ones feet while under the influence of alcohol or diving into shallow water, it seems there must always be someone else to blame. The courts have even been presented with cases brought forward by criminals injured in the course of committing their crimes.

Unfortunately, when the publics attention is drawn to public liability insurance, it is all too often because of these less meritorious types of claims. Little is heard of how genuine claims are brought against truly negligent parties and the effects such negligence has had on claimants lives.

For example:

After many requests to her landlord to repair the state of her backyard, a young mother tripped on broken and uneven paving, breaking her elbow. Her landlord agreed to settle her claim out of court for a figure that took into account her incapacity to care for her children without domestic help.

An elderly man was seated in a fast food restaurant when his chair suddenly collapsed causing back, leg and chest injuries. His chair, unlike others in the restaurant had been inadequately fastened in place. The restaurant settled the claim and took steps to prevent similar occurrences.

And who could forget Erin Brockovich, that David and Goliath type class action bringing a giant corporation to its knees. We love to see the little people win, especially against arrogance and big bucks.

When someones life is turned upside down through no fault of their own, they should receive just and proper care. If the cause of their distress is due to the negligence of another party, that party must bear the burden of such care. Medical treatment, loss of income and loss of quality of life are some consequences of injury taken into account when determining claim settlement details.

Public liability insurance is crucial to ensure that

  1. The injured party gets paid, and
  2. The at fault party is not left bankrupt by the result.

With the rising number of public liability claims and the soaring premium costs, however, many businesses are finding it difficult to obtain this type of insurance. In such cases it is recommended to:

  • Ensure sound risk management. I.e.: take every precaution to lessen the chances of injuries occurring.
  • Create your own insurance pool. I.e.: approach similar organisations as yours and apply for insurance as a group with a ready-made insurance pool to draw from.
  • Talk to your broker it is in his best interests to look after yours.

All in all, Public Liability insurance is a necessity in todays society. It allows for justice to be seen to be done in cases of negligence and calls negligent parties to action in doing all they can to prevent other injuries from occurring in the future.

Whose fault is it anyway? With careful risk management, that question need never arise again.

Retirement Planning Tips

Youve moved in, youre paying your mortgage; youre ready to finally breathe out. Congratulations! You are now a homeowner, and should be enjoying the change. Now youre firmly on the property ladder, you can start to make the most of your new status.

With sound judgement and a little luck, the next move you make will be up the way. While the economy is stable and house prices continue to rise, your property will be gaining value year on year. The difference between what you paid and the new value is your equity, and if all goes according to plan, you should make a bit of profit when you come to sell your house.

However, you dont have to sell up to take advantage of your equity. Second mortgages and remortgaging are covered elsewhere in the guide, and show how you can take advantage of your propertys worth. Meanwhile, sound management of your investment covers two areas:

  1. Tend Your Finances

    Keep an eye on the market. If your circumstances change, you may want to change mortgage too. Make sure that you have some kind of insurance protection in place, like payment protection or salary cover. This means that if you suddenly lose your job or fall ill, your mortgage payments will be covered and youll have one less thing to worry about. You may also want to take out contents insurance which can cover your possessions against accidental damage and loss as well as theft or break-ins.

  2. Look After Your Home

    You should be paying buildings insurance, which covers the fabric of the building including its structure. If you live in a flat or shared building, there may also be factors fees to pay. (Sometimes your buildings insurance is covered by the factor.) If you notice any problems, such as leaks or damp patches, investigate them straight away. Problems left untreated can become much worse, and could affect the value of your property. Get a tradesman in to ascertain the source of the problem, and give you an estimate of the cost. Check with your insurance company whether they will cover the bill; policies often come with lots of loopholes and clauses.

  3. Consider Resale

    When planning any home improvements or redecorating, bear in mind that you may want to sell your property at some point. For any alterations to the fabric of the building, check with your local authority to see if you need planning permission or a building warrant.

National Save For Retirement Week

Pathfinder operates on 10 principles originating from books Money Mastery by Alan Williams and Peter Jeppson and The Richest man of Babylon by George Clason as well as information Ive learned over the years.

Principle No. 1: money is emotional. When we make and spend money, its an emotional event. When we get a raise, we celebrate. When we get laid off, our routine and activities are often derailed because of it. Most of our spending patterns are emotional. For example, we dont plan ahead of time to buy a car. Daily, were barraged with ads and commercials that tug at our emotions. Even if you deserve the new item and youve been working hard, you still bought the item emotionally.

The point: If we can acknowledge money is emotional, we can then plan and master its power over us. Well never change the fact that money is emotional, but we can change our spending behavior.

Student testimonials say tracking their spending helps them realize how much they actually spend. Tips from those who have curbed their spending are helpful:


    >Paying with cash helps some people spend less (compared to paying with credit cards or by check)

    >Shop with a plan or list and stick to it

    > Get an accountability partner, someone who you can share what you purchased during the week.

    >Instead of ordering two full meals when they go out to dinner with someone (taking home leftovers), split a meal and order an appetizer or dessert instead.