Real Estate Investing – Can You Make It Work?

Real estate investing is one of the hottest and most lucrative types of investing today. With hundreds of people realizing the potential in this type of investing, more and more people are venturing into it. Yet, there are risks that go hand in hand with investing in real estate.

If you don’t know enough about this type of investment plan, you may make mistakes that can cost you a considerable amount of time and money.

Education Is The First Step

Not only do you need to educate yourself about real estate investing procedures and methods, but you should be educating yourself about the property you plan to invest in. If you are determining the right location, you may be tempted to just pick land or buildings that are located in hot spots, but sometimes, that can be a bad thing.

For example, many areas of Southern Florida are facing a crucial downhill slide currently with over investing taking over. Yet, there are plenty of areas that are booming such as in the Midwest. Selecting the right area means doing your homework on the real estate market in those areas.

Financing To Back It Up

It is also essential for you to have the financing to help back up the real estate investing you plan to do. With some help from the right lenders, you’ll be able to secure a loan that will be allowing you to make money off the purchase of your real estate.

The key is to compare several lenders to get the best possible rates and terms that will allow this to happen. You can easily do this, though, by looking for quotes right on the web and comparing them.

Real estate investing is a smart move to make for the educated individual. Taking the time to gain the knowledge and financial backing that is required helps you to make the right decisions so that every one of those decisions can be profitable to you.

How to Manage Your Personal Finances – Retirement Capital Requirements

Many articles have been written about the subject of retirement planning and there are many books published by experts on this very important issue. I have just recently joined the fold of the retired group and I have been through the mill (so to speak) of planning and implementing my retirement plan in it's initial phase. It is this, the initial phase, which I would like to concentrate on in this article.

So, how do I plan my retirement date?

Most companies have contractual dates for retirement. For example, retirement ages could range from 55 years old for early retirement to 60 years old for Directors to 65 years old for operational staff. These dates are generally a guideline since companies do exercise some flexibility when applying these parameters. However, each individual should be using these parameters as a benchmark and then build a projected financial model to see if they are adequately provided for in retirement. Note: The use of a financial advisor is highly recommended in this planning process.

Since the above guidelines, your retirement date is in fact flexible provided that you can satisfy the golden formula which is expressed as: "Accrued income plus passive income must exceed your current cost of living plus an adjustment (up or down) for lifestyle choice in retirement plus inflation projections and sufficient liquid cash for emergencies ".

Let's face it, the thought of early retirement is in the minds of all of us but if you can not afford it, you are heading for suicide.

Let me expand the golden formula as follows:

  • Accrued income is the monthly pension or income that you can derive from your pension accumulation through your working life. This figure will be provided to you by your pension fund or your investment institution.
  • Passive income is income from investments that you made through your working life. Here you consider regular income from property investments, equity investments, dividends, savings interest, business partnerships and any other form of reliable income which you will derive on a monthly basis.
  • Current cost of living is the full annual cost of your current lifestyle. Be extravagant in estimating this figure and be sure to include everything that you incur as a cost.
  • Adjust your retirement requirements up or down depending on your circumstances and your intended lifestyle in retirement.
  • Make adequate provision for injury during your retirement years. Your financial advisor should project your retirement capital adequacy over your expected lifespan.
  • Ensure that you have a 'nestegg "of cash available for emergencies such as buying a new car, unexpected medical bills, renovating your house, helping your kids, taking some holidays and anything else which is relevant to your situation.

I spend many hours pondering the above elements and I suppose it is only natural to be very conservative about whether you can actually go ahead and retire. Assuming that the criteria for the golden formula are met and in order to make the decision a little easier, the following points are highly recommended:

  • You should have no heavy debt burdens. Your mortgage should be paid off, your car hire purchase agreements should be settled and you should have no major debt commitments. In fact, you should be able to live from cash out of your wallet.
  • Your "wish list" for your activities in retirement must be catered for in your planned expenditure.
  • You must not have any plans that requires you to erode your capital base.
  • You need to be sure that your monthly income is pretty secure and you need to have alternative plans if for some reason, your monthly income drops.
  • You need to be able to save some of your retirement income monthly just to prove that you are coping.

In this planning exercise, you need to budget for everything that you want in retirement. Once you have taken the step, there is no turning back if you are serious about retiring. You also do not want to find out that you can not afford some of the things which you had in your vision.

In conclusion, the most important factor in planning your retirement is to ensure that your life partner (if appropriate) is fully informed and on board with the plan and that you create a mutual acceptance and arbitration about your future in retirement.

The above article is created to stimulate thought on your own unique circumstances and you need to tailor your plan accordingly.

What Rushing Your Design Project Really Means

If you do not plan to allow enough time for your project to be designed, printed and delivered, then you may still be able to have your project completed in time, but the design will have to be rushed.

This means that your designer will put away other client's work and work late nights, even weekends, to get your project out – but at a price. And the price takes several forms other than just financial.

The cost of rushing your project includes:

– Skipping important parts of the design process: With less time there's often not enough time allowed for a designer to spend much time at all on a creative approach or concept for your project. There also may not be enough time for your designer to present a lot of concepts to you or to go through a lot of revisions. You'll also be rushed through the approval cycle – which means it's more likely that you might miss your deadline.

– Quality may suffer: With less time and more stress the finished product often will not be of as high quality as it could be. In design this could mean poorly prepared files, the details of the design are not always attended to, or that a website is coded poorly. None of this will greatly harm the effectiveness of a finished piece, but it's always nicer to have a beautiful, perfect finished piece that has one that's almost all the way there.

– Financial costs: Just like any other profession a designer will charge extra for the late nights and other sacrifices that a rush project requires. It's an industry standard to charge one and a half times the normal cost of a project to rush it.

– Not being able to ask your audience: I highly recommend that you run your desgns-in-progress past your best clients and your target audience. Doing this sort of mini focus-group will enable your clients to give you invaluable feedback on your designs, your text, and their impact on your potential clients. If your project is rushed, then there's often no time to run the design options by your clients to get their input – and you'll lose out on a valuable resource.

Lack of planning can cost you a lot extra. So I suggest allowing plenty of time to design well thought-out materials, at a leisurely pace. This will cost you less and will often produce a more effective design.

Top Workplace Harassment Questions

Harassment at work is a form of employee discrimination. It has many forms with varying degrees of seriousness and legal implication. While it is a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights act, it can often be difficult to prove in a court of law. This can lead to unanswered questions. Below are five of the most common workplace harassment questions.

Q. What are some types of workplace harassment?

Harassment at work includes sexual, racial, religious, and age-related harassment. The fear of losing a job keeps many employees from reporting harassment. Many employers have what is called an "at will" employment. If you are an "at will" employee, technically you can be terminated for no reason at all. Since this is usually your word vs. their word, it becomes difficult to prove. However, if you can prove the harassment – possibly with witnesses or pictures – this could be an important factor in your case.

Q. What is the difference between workplace harassment vs. a hostile working environment?

Harassment at work is any type of unwelcome action taken by either one employee towards another, or by members of management to subordinates. Management includes supervisors, the boss / owner or any person in a position of authority. Any unwelcome action towards an employee that violates the employee from performing job duties or makes the employee feel violated or uneasy can be considered workplace harassment.

A hostile work environment is when an employee experiences acts that provoke fear of going to work. Often, these acts are offensive intimidation initiated by the harasser. Yelling, being rude, and creating an environment full of severe stress results in a hostile work environment. Typically, hostile work situations are created by a boss or manager to provoke an employee or employees to quit their job.

Q. Are verbal threats considered harassment?

Verbal threats are considered a form of workplace harassment in West Virginia and many other states. However, until the harasser actually acts on the threats, you would only have a civil recourse and it does not become a criminal indemnity.

Q. Is slander the same as harassment?

Depending on the situation, slander is often considered a form of workplace harassment, especially if it was sexually oriented. Heinous lies, verbal attacks and rumors can discredit a person and cause not only stress in the workplace, but in his or her personal life as well. The law for slander differs from state to state. However, if you can prove the accusations, you may also have a case.

Q. I have been accused of sexual harassment at work; can my employer reprimand me without an investigation?

Employers are bound by most states to show that some sort of investigation was made in the event that an employee was accused of sexual or any type of workplace harassment. Employers can reprimand an employee through a verbal and written warning to be placed in the employee's permanent record. Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious situation and can have a lasting impact on your career.