Investing Tips for the Freelance Millennial

Freelancing is an increasingly popular way to earn a living among millennials. 

It’s a deviation from the standard 9 to 5 office schedule. Freelancers can use their talents in coding, graphic design, or writing to bring in extra cash on a job-by-job basis. 

However, as glamorous as freelancing can sound, the financial side of it can be intimidating. When you’re considering what investments to make as a freelancer, it’s best to stay on the safe side with options like GICs.

Here, we’ll offer some responsible investing choices that millennials can make as self-employed agents. 

The Rise of Freelancer Gigs

Hubstaff Talent states that there are around 2.7 million freelancers in Canada. This number makes up 15% of the Canadian workforce and represents a drastic spike from the last decade. 

Some freelancers focus solely on securing gigs, while others pick up work alongside a part- or full-time job. 

In any case, freelancers can choose which jobs they take on without being tied down by contracts. They are free to work from wherever they want to as long as they, in most cases, have a reliable internet connection.

Why Invest?

Freelancers don’t receive a set income, so cash flow may often be the primary concern for many of them. Millennials also have a lot more debt than previous generations.

Even with income that isn’t guaranteed, you still need to make responsible financial decisions and set money aside for your future. 

This situation is where investment becomes an attractive way to improve cash flow.

How to Invest Wisely

Even as a freelancer, you have options for investments that will generate the best returns. Here’s how to invest wisely:

1. Lower Your Yearly Taxes with an RRSP

If you’re looking to lower your taxes at the end of the year, consider making contributions to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).

Any contributions you make to your RRSP will be a deduction from your income, which means a delay in the taxes on your RRSP investments.

You’ll earn tax-free investment income on all of your contributions. Because you’ll likely be in a lower tax bracket when you retire, this type of tax deferral will offer you significant savings. 

2. Play It Safe with a Guaranteed Investment Certificate

A Guaranteed Investment Certificate, or a GIC, is a safe way to invest your money as a freelancer. It’s low risk, as you have a guarantee to receive your initial investment amount back after your GIC matures.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding if a GIC is right for you:

  • Minimum amount: To get started with a GIC, you’ll need a minimum of $500.
  • Initial fees: GICs are cost-effective, as you won’t face any charges when you purchase one.
  • Maturity date: A majority of GICs pay a fixed interest rate over a set period, such as six months, one year, two years, or five years. Your interest rate will be higher if you select a more extended period.
  • Penalties: If you withdraw your money from a GIC before the maturity date, you may pay the penalty. 

3. Diversify Your Investments with Mutual Funds

Mutual funds let you diversify your investments without putting your hard-earned money at risk.

When you purchase one, you are investing in a large group of assets like stocks and bonds. Mutual funds are under professional management, so you can rest assured that an expert is working hard to earn you a profit.

These funds often require a minimum of $500, but some brokers will waive their minimum amounts if you agree to make monthly contributions. This option is a great way to add some consistency to your financial goals!

The Takeaway

If your income fluctuates as a millennial freelancer, consider these safe investing options. They are ways to get started and won’t leave you exposed to the volatile side of investing. 

 

Looking After Your Finances For Your Future

If there is anything 2020 has taught us so far, it is that nothing is certain. Everything we know can be flipped on its head and our whole world can be totally uprooted.

As people scramble to make sense of all the new changes and developments with regards to a new lifestyle in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it makes sense you want to look at creating new income streams and investing your money in a way that will benefit you and your family and help you to make the best of a bad situation.

Despite the difficulties facing the world’s economy, there are still ways you can not only invest in your future but also help to generate another income stream to help support yourself as everyone works through these new challenges.

saving-for-the-future

Generating a New Income

Remote working is the way forward now and looking at ways you can utilize your skills and generate an income from home is more important than ever.

If you own your own company chances are you are already doing this but if you need suggestions, below are great ways to get started when it comes to working online.

  • Start a Blog/Website – do you have expertise in a certain area or a flair for writing? Then a blog or a new website based on a certain sector could help you generate an income. advertising is the main way to earn a residual income as people place adverts on your site for a fee.
  • Content Writing – signing up to sites such as People Per Hour or Fiverr as great places to start looking for work when working as a freelance copywriter. There is a huge global market for copywriting but competition is stiff so be prepared to work a lot for less as you build your portfolio.
  • SEO – working SEO is something all businesses with an online presence should be working on constantly. If you are knowledgeable in this area, you can help companies improve their SEO and help them become more visible in search engine results thus boosting their reach and increasing sales.
  • IT Services – helping people maintain efficient IT systems and infrastructure is something people will need all the time. Branching out and using your IT skills to help other companies is something you can take on remotely to build a career in.

Investments

If you are looking to protect your income or your savings for the future, then you have many different options.

Stocks and shares are the main ways that pop into people’s minds when you talk about investing. 

Whilst this is a solid way to invest it isn’t guaranteed you will make money, there is always the possibility you will lose everything you have invested.

You also want to look at investing commodities that will hold their value too. 

  • Jewelry/Diamonds/Watches – invest in high-quality items such as Rolex watches that will be of value for many years to come.
  • Art – Artwork is something that you can guarantee will be a good investment. Art is subjective and only the buyer can decide if it is something worth investing in. But if you have a passion for creativity and can follow trends within the art world, then this could be a great alternative way for you to invest your money in the future.
  • Property – Build your own home using custom builders, buy and renovate an existing property or enter the buy to rent market to give you a good return on your money for now and in the future. It is important to know how to invest well in the property market, as you don’t want to end up being left in negative equity and with a property you can’t sell.
  • Gold – Gold is something that consistently holds its value. It is worth considering when it comes to protecting your funds for the future.

The most important thing when it comes to looking after your finances in an uncertain world is to make sure you have done your homework first. 

Make sure you know the risks as well as the potential benefits and seek professional advice if you feel you need it.

Avoid losses by making sure you have a good understanding of where your money is going and potential risks. 

This is also true for generating income. Be aware of trends within the market so you can be sure you are able to work consistently and make money for when you need it as the main income or to supplement your current income to support yourself and your family.

Can You Remain Financially Stable in an Uncertain World?

The world we live in is fast-paced and constantly moving. There’s plenty of uncertainty and it can leave even the most level-headed feeling anxious. 

The best thing any of us can do is focus on what we can control. Keeping our money in check is one thing we can all aim to do. Here are some ideas. 

Get out of debt

Being in debt is so expensive, the number of interest creditors charge can be insane if you sit and look at your paperwork. 

Because you’re paying this each month, it might not be apparent quite how bad the situation is until you add up exactly what you pay in interest each month and then work it out for the duration of the debt. 

Do what you can to pay down balances and close accounts completely. 

You might have to do drastic measures like selling what you no longer need, using your savings and take on extra shifts at work, or anything to bring down those balances and therefore reduce the amount of interest you’re paying. 

If you’re in more serious trouble with debt then speak to a debt charity or debt management company. 

They can often get interest rates frozen and negotiate new payment amounts which allow you to pay off the balances without them spiraling and finally get back in control of your finances. 

Grow your savings

Once you’re out of debt, you can start to grow your savings. 

Because of how expensive debt is, there’s no point trying to save when you owe balances as it will cost you more in the long run. 

But if you paid your debts and get them out of the way, you can start saving again and begin to build up a buffer. 

It makes sense to have two savings accounts, one for your long term ‘life savings’ for saving towards retirement, buying a house or other things that mean you simply wouldn’t touch the money for any other reason. 

Then you can have a shorter-term savings account. This is handy as a ‘rainy day fund’, like if your car or washing machine breaks down or you’re met with a large, unexpected bill. 

If you have a particular savings goal in mind such as buying a new car or going on holiday, it can be worth having a separate account for this too. 

Separating your savings in this way (rather than keeping them lumped in your regular current account) means you can watch them grow and never dip back into them. 

One of the easiest ways to save is to create a standing order which automatically transfers money from your regular bank to your savings account (or accounts). 

Set this to come out on the day you’re paid, you won’t even notice it going but over time it will add up. 

Work on multiple streams of income

Having multiple streams of income is always a smart move, particularly in today’s uncertain times. 

If one method stops earning you money (such as you get made redundant from your job) then you have other ways to get cash so you’re never without. 

Along with your regular job you could write and monetize a blog and/or Youtube channel. You could do work on freelancing sites or run your own home business. 

While of course, you do need to be flexible and adaptable to do well in today’s modern business world (https://www.intellectsoft.net/blog/what-is-digital-transformation/ explains more about this) if you’re able to run things from home then you get to earn money on your terms. 

Often,  home businesses don’t have high overhead costs to get up and running so they are much less risky financially to get started. 

Get onto the property ladder

With huge changes going on in the world, from the recession to Brexit to the new Covid-19 health pandemic, it’s clear to see that the property market does fluctuate. 

However, it always recovers after a crisis, and that’s because people always need homes to live in. 

Once you own your home it will likely accumulate value every year, there will be troughs and peaks but overall it’s an excellent investment long term. 

It gives you security later in life as once you retire, you no longer need to pay a mortgage or a rent which frees up the limited money you do have. 

In a world of instability, investing in property and buying your own home is still always a fantastic option and something you’ll never regret doing.

So, if you’re able to make it happen then definitely try. 

Store and stockpile

You don’t need to stockpile like you’re preparing for the zombie apocalypse (although in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, most of us are wishing that we had!) 

However, it’s never a bad thing to have some extra supplies in your home. 

Make sure your pantry is always stocked with things like pasta, rice, tinned food and jars of sauces, ingredients like flour and sugar and herbs and spices. 

If something happens where you can’t buy food for a while such as being short on money or a wider crisis going on, you don’t need to panic as you know you have everything you need for a while. 

Buy things like washing powder, dishwashing tablets, shampoo, and soap when it’s on offer and put an extra one or two in a cupboard somewhere. 

If you run out you always have one handy, and if you ever need to miss a week’s shop for whatever reason then you’re set. 

Work on a budget

Finally, having full control of what goes in and what comes out means you’re never overspending. 

Your bills and priorities are always paid first and everything else is properly divided up so you can afford to live without living beyond your means. 

You could use a budgeting app, a calendar or even a good old fashioned notepad to work out your budget and track your spending. 

Politics And Poverty

The subject of poverty has triggered a fervent debate in the US. Over the course of several decades, there have been discussions and accusations, with policies and politicians criticized for failing to tackle poverty head-on. Despite ongoing arguments, there have been improvements in poverty rates.

The infographic below outlines milestones in the fight against poverty in the 20th and 21st centuries. In 1959, over 27% of the population lived in poverty, and in 2014, the figure had fallen to just over 21%. Since 1970, the average personal wage has also increased by almost 50% to $30,176. 

Policies have influenced poverty rates significantly over the years. In 1935, Franklin D. Roosevelt passed the Social Security Act, paving the way for an array of measures that were designed to reduce poverty and provide opportunities. Public work relief programs and aid for poor families were introduced, and over $4 billion was invested in construction projects. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson passed amendments to the Social Security Act, launching Medicare and Medicaid and providing grants for schools and education centers as part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

More recently, over 22 million Americans were lifted out of poverty in 2012 as a result of Social Security, with 10.3 million moving above the poverty line due to the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP). 

Poverty rates have been declining steadily across all demographics, but the most noticeable difference is the drop in over 65s. The proportion of those aged 64 or over living in poverty has fallen from over 35% to 10% since 1959. 


Infographic Designed By Norwich University

How to Save Money For Your Children’s College Funds

College is becoming more and more expensive

When you have kids, you want to make sure that you save up the money for them to get an adequate education, but it’s getting more and more expensive to pay for college. Even more than that, it’s essential to have a plan.

One way to start saving for college is to decide on an amount of money https://www.gcainc.com/the-secret-to-budgeting/ that you want to put away fro college every year. Fidelity investments propose that you multiply your child’s age by 2,000 and that by doing that, you’ll be saving an adequate amount of money.

For example, if you have a three-year-old, that would be $6,000.00. The most important thing is to contribute consistently. Remember, it’s never too early to start saving for college.

When do you start saving for college?

You can start saving for your kid’s college funds as soon as they’re born. Once you have a birth certificate and social security number for your child, you can set up a college savings fund for them. There are many different ways that you can go about starting to save.

Where fidelity gets the $2,000-rule is that there’s an ESA or educational IRA that allows a person to put $2,000 into the account for their child per year. You don’t have to pay taxes on it, which is an advantage. There’s also a 529 plan, and with that plan, you can make more contributions than that $2,000.

Note that the cap on the 529 plan depends on the state where you reside. There’s also UTMA or UGMA accounts. These differ from the 59 or ESA because they aren’t just for education. The custodian of the child controls the account, and once the child reaches 21, or for UGMA, 18, the child gains ownership of the account.

How students save for college

Applying for scholarships is an excellent way to pay for college because if you have a scholarship, you won’t have to set aside as much money or take out loans. Many students get part-time jobs while they’re in school or open a savings account before starting college, where they can set saving money.

Some also take the Summer off of college to work full-time and save up for the following year at school. It’s not always plausible for parents to save enough money for their kid’s college education. Students can participate in the saving process, as well.

One great way to save is to complete your first two years of college at a community college; you can transfer to a four-year school afterward and save a ton during your first two years. At many schools, there are resources such as financial advisors that are willing to meet with students and help them create plans surrounding finances in and after college.

Managing stress around finances and school

Being a student or the parent of a student can be incredibly stressful. If you’re a parent, you might worry about being able to save enough. You could worry about how it might affect you if you take out a Parent Plus loan.

Perhaps you’re concerned about things related to the experience of your kids going away to college such as empty nest syndrome or the safety of your student once they head out for university.

Finances are one of the largest sources of stress for individuals living in the United States, and the monetary strain of college can contribute to that. If you’re struggling with thoughts about saving for college or the college experience itself, therapy or counseling can help.

If you search for “counseling near me,” you can find mental health providers in your area that can help you work through stress and give you a place to talk about your financial problems.

Another option is online therapy, which is excellent for incoming students who are moving and won’t be able to keep seeing someone in their local area or current students who don’t have a lot of time. No matter what you decide, know that it is possible to save money for college, and to maintain a healthy state of mind.

Author: Marie Miguel Biography

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com.

With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

Tips To Manage Retirement Funds

It is very frequent (and if it is not so, it should be), that during our active stage we dedicate ourselves with some intensity to plan our retirement. Saving and having private savings to complement our public pension is the best way to guarantee a peaceful retirement and in line with our wishes and needs.

After retirement, another stage opens that we must analyze and plan to properly manage our resources. To get the idea of how you can save your old age financially read further.

Main changes

From the income side: These are reduced compared to the last salary of our active stage by a percentage known as the replacement rate. This rate will depend on the last active salary and the parameters that determine the public pension.

From the expense side: Normally, after retirement, the expense structure is altered. However, it does not have to be reduced compared to the active stage, because what can happen in many cases is that others replace some.

For example, it may happen that travel expenses are reduced, along with eating meals away from home or buying work clothes. However, at the same time, there are previously non-existent expenses, such as those associated with a new hobby to occupy free time.

How to manage savings?

First, it is very important to preserve savings. Once retired, it is not convenient to maintain a speculative saving profile. We do not have a broad time horizon nor do we have high incomes to recover from a bad investment decision. Therefore, it is essential to select our vehicles to channel these savings, always with a conservative approach.

Plan:

At this stage, it is not usual to address large financial objectives such as the acquisition of housing or obviously the start-up of a business. However, it may be necessary to address other issues such as helping a child carry out a project or addressing health care expenses.

In this sense, the planning is important and is based on determining the objective and the term, analyzing the resources we have and establishing how we are going to address that expense while being the most reasonable. If the situation allows it, we set aside little income little by little

The increase in life expectancy causes you to live longer as a retiree. Therefore, the savings should last longer. It is important when planning the stage as retirees to estimate our income and expenses and assess whether the rate of decapitalization (if any) is reasonable. Otherwise, it should be assessed if there are superfluous expenses that we should reduce or eliminate.

Inflation is a silent enemy since it makes our money worth less and less. It is important, without contradicting the conservative approach. The objective of covering inflation is not a priority but an aggressive investment objective. It is relatively simple to achieve in environments of moderate inflation.

The best way to manage our stage as retirees is to have criteria when selecting income and expenses (ideally, the latter do not overwhelm the former). The best we can do in advance in our active stage is to gradually create private savings or a self-managed super fund to complement our public pension and enjoy a comfortable retirement.

If you have additional issues, it is always important to go to your bank or financial advisor. It is never too late to start making financial changes, and if it did not occur to you before it was important to do so, this is the time. Here are four tips so you can make the most of your money at this stage:

1. Train yourself financially

The first thing you should do is learn a bit about finance and the tools you have at hand to save a little more and why not, grow your money. Some banks have programs for the elderly, other institutions also provide courses, you just have to find out and find the right option.

2. Start investing

investment returns

Again, age should not be an impediment. Understand that through several instruments, you could grow your savings to give yourself the odd taste; it will allow you to start investing. One of the easiest instruments to handle is the Term Deposit Certificates. With them, you can deposit the amount you want and not withdraw it until the deadline (for example, one year); when the deadline is achieved, you can withdraw it and collect the winnings.

3. Take advantage of the benefits

There are many places where they offer special rates for retirees. From cinemas, shows, to pharmacies and clothing stores. What you should do is find out which benefit program suits you best and start using it and that is how you can save on your monthly expenses.

4. Don’t try to solve everyone’s problems with your money.

One thing you should remember is that now that you do not work, you should control your income. It does not mean that you can never give yourself a taste, but it also does not have to go through life offering to lend or buy things to others all the time. Now is the time to worry about yourself and start thinking about your finances, dreams, and goals.

Retirement means living without working. It is a stage of life in which, the person for a chronological issue, generally ceased work in a company or organization. He begins to enjoy (in theory) their contributions made during decades of work, or their savings deposited for a certain amount of years in a pension fund. So far, it sounds good, but the truth is that even retirees require careful management of their personal finances.

On paper, the only income a retired worker will receive will be his pension. Nevertheless, beyond that, regardless of the amount of that monthly pension and the mattress that the person has managed to accumulate to face that period, you must consider an important thing.

bills

The retiree will need to put together a budget where you put all your sources of income and expenses. With this, you can keep an efficient control of your money and stick to an elementary rule that does not change even in the third age: always spend less than what you enter.

A person does not choose a single option to keep their money, but rather distributes it into several different risk and return alternatives.

Conclusion

Speaking of expenses, the final advice for retirees is to avoid excessive disbursements that subtract capital. For those daily or recurring expenses, it is best to use the money they receive as profit. The savings deposited in a financial institution must be allowed to grow and generate profitability.

Budgeting for Irregular Income

It may be a popular belief that budgeting is only for those that have steady income, but budgeting for irregular income is encouraged!

Starting a budget plan can be beneficial for people from all different financial backgrounds. You may have commission-based employment, or contract work that can experience low hours.

Regardless of your current financial status, a budget can help you determine where you stand on your financial journey and help you obtain financial stability when you receive irregular income.

Getting Started on Budgeting for Irregular Income

While getting started on budgeting may seem like a daunting task, it is not as complicated as you might think–especially if you have the right resources. Budgeting can be broken down into a few simple steps for convenience.

Here are a few questions to keep in mind about budgeting for irregular income:

What is the Lowest Predicted Amount for Your Monthly Income?

bills

One of the easiest ways to start budgeting is to estimate the lowest possible amount of income you receive, rather than calculate an average. By planning for the worst outcome, you can find a more flexible starting point for your lifestyle budget.

Go through your pay stubs from the past year and find your lowest monthly earnings. Use that amount as a guide for your budget plan. You want to start with a lower number, as it can be easier to add money to the budget rather than deduct it. For example, if you took out a title loan, you can add the funds into your budget at the end of the month.

Effectively Create a Budget Based Off that Number

Creating a budget is much simpler when you have an estimated income to go off of. Once it is established, the next step is to determine your expenses throughout the month. Your expenses can be separated into two different categories:

  • Fixed Expenses
  • Variable Expenses

Your fixed expenses will not change month to month. These expenses should be a priority, such as your rent, car payments, utilities, and any loan payments you may have.

Your variable expenses usually change throughout the month. These can be costs such as clothing, groceries, gas, and entertainment. Usually, when you are adjusting your budget, these are the expenses with the most variance.

Adjust Your Budget and Track Your Spending as Needed

As the month goes on, be sure to track your expenses and look out for any changes in income. One helpful tip for doing so is to carry your budget with you, either in a physical ledger or through an app on your phone. By having easy access to your budget, it can be easier to adjust or document your purchases.

The first few months will be a test drive for you, as it’s going to take time for you to get comfortable tracking your own finances and establishing a sense of responsibility.

Create a Safety Net within Your Budget

One of the most important steps in creating a budget for irregular income is to formulate a safety net for when business may be slower, or when you may have an emergency expense.

What you can do to secure yourself financially is designate at least 10% of your income into a savings account every month. This will ensure that you have a backup plan for when finances are tight!

Could You Be Saving More On Household General Costs? Top Tips Revealed

Having bills to pay is just one of this life’s hard pills to swallow. We work hard and earn a decent living, but to watch that money slip away from your bank account is never an easy thing to witness.

But we have our bills to pay, and that’s what keeps a roof over our heads. However,  what if I told you that you could be spending more than you should be? Would you want to know where you could make those savings?

Our hard earned money is best lining our pockets. With that in mind, here are some of the ways you could save money on those essential household bills. 

financials

Image source – Pixabay – CC0 License 

Take a long hard look at your outgoings and budget

One of the first things you need to do is look at your outgoings and make a budget. You need to see exactly where your money goes each month. What this might do is unearth some costs that you no longer need to be paying. You would be surprised how many people are still paying for a gym membership they no longer need. Cancel those unnecessary debits and already you have made a saving. What a budget does is enable you to see where you can potentially make some savings. 

Take control of your expenditure

You need to take ownership of your spending. Some of those essential outgoings are completely in your control. For example, your food bill. Changing the way you shop for food and how you prepare each week could be a vital way you save a great deal of money. Meal planning can also reduce the food wastage and ensure that you only buy what you need. Many people have reported that they can reduce their food bill by half, just by making a few changes. 

Work on more frugal shopping habits

a woman with shopping bags

Some essentials need to be purchased, things like clothes and items for the home. So instead of not buying those things it’s worth changing your current shopping habits. Buying things in bulk in the sales is a great way to save over the year. You may also want to consider utilising discount codes and vouchers. Searching online for specific codes like kohls coupons can often give you some great results. They can offer huge savings on full retail price. 

Spend some time hunting out savings

For some people, savings are just waiting to be made on their existing bills. Things like internet payments and energy bills can be reduced, without sacrifice. Often companies will offer great deals and incentives for new customers. So switching providers could reduce your monthly payments. 

Be organized and avoid financial problems occurring

It pays to be organized and to think of worst case scenarios. This is where some of the biggest future savings can be made. Ensuring things like appliances and heating systems are checked over, and keeping notes on payments will all work in your favor in the long run. 

Save money on those debt payments

Finally, debt payments can mount up. But paying several providers is not cost efficient to you. You end up paying multiple interest payments and never reduce your actual debt. Consolidating to a more manageable sum saves you a lot of money per month. 

Let’s hope this has inspired you to save some money on your household bills.

How to Recognize Fraud and Undue Influence in Wills and Estates

It is a challenging and stressful time losing a parent who has lived a long life.  So many arrangements have to be made and so many things have to be taken care of.  One of those things is the estate that was left behind.

After a will has been probated the executor begins the process of distributing the assets to the beneficiaries.  This can be straight forward or wrought with disagreement and dispute.  In the case of the latter, you need to be on the lookout for fraud, dishonesty and questionable behavior.

These matters can be complex and here are 4 situations to consider.

What was the relationship between the testator (the person who made the will) and the beneficiary or any others who may benefit?

Some examples of fraud can be pretty obvious.  If your Father or Mother had a properly executed will in place for years, were still living in their house and being cared for by a neighbor or friend. And that person suddenly is the primary beneficiary in a new will, that you didn’t know about this should obviously be questioned.

Undue influence is a species of fraud that occurs where a person makes a testator execute an instrument they would not have otherwise executed.  If the new will leaves nothing to the children who were beneficiaries in a previous will then the new will can be challenged and nullified.

To contest a will, you must retain a probate or estate litigation lawyer who can file a lawsuit on your behalf.

What was the physical and mental condition of the testator before death?

Unfortunately, when our parents get on in age and into their 80s and 90s some conditions can affect their minds.  A once healthy, brilliant and sharp mind can change and parents can begin to struggle with short and long-term memory.

If a will was changed or a new one was executed when one of your parents was suffering mentally, that will can be contested.  In these instances, your lawyer would look for proof that your Father or Mother was suffering from a cognitive illness.

Medical records or testimony from the specialist doctor, who treated them before the will was changed, is the strongest evidence to secure in order to have a will thrown out.

Be aware of the conduct, character and actions of the person that benefited the most in the will or trust.

In this day and age, it is not uncommon for families to include step-brothers, half-sisters and others. In most cases expanding familial relations leads to a happier and more fulfilling family experience for everyone.

In some cases, it presents challenges especially with large estates that include ranch property, houses, vacation homes and large financial investments. If a will or trust was changed late in a testator’s life and new beneficiaries were introduced, it should be questioned.

It is important to know if the main beneficiary has any history of fraud, deceitful or untrustworthy behavior. As surprising as it may seem there have been cases where a testator, in their late 80s or early 90s was driven to a law office where a prearranged meeting was organized for the sole purpose of changing a will.

An experienced estate litigation attorney will listen to your concerns and uncover the facts behind another person’s behavior and actions.

Was the will executed properly?

A will or change to a will, known as a codicil, must be executed properly.  In Texas, there are strict rules that must be adhered to.  Unless the will is written entirely in the testator’s handwriting, a holographic will, there must be two witnesses present when the testator signed the will.

The two witnesses must be over 14 years of age and must sign the will in the presence of the testator.  The signature of the testator must be valid and not the product of forgery or fraud. The dates, page numbers, signatures and formatting on a will should be correct.  If the document looks suspicious or odd in any way it may be the product of undue influence.

An experienced estate and probate litigator can represent you in these matters to ensure that the wishes of your parents are achieved.  Don’t let yourself be bullied or taken advantage of, most lawyers offer free phone consultations so take the first step and make the call.

Snap Finance Review – Everything You Need to Know About Them

It’s been a tough month … your child got sick, spent the weekend in hospital, and was released Monday morning on a “special diet”. Since you had to miss work on Monday, your employer didn’t accept your excuse and will be docking your pay this week. I’m not going to mention the child support money is late… again!

As much as you wish you didn’t have to, you will look for a quick finance company, and leave your mother out of this one. You’ve been warned about them, but life happens! Snap Finance is one you’ve heard about a lot – maybe give them a try.

What Is Snap Finance?

Snap Finance Company is a finance broker that offers service to businesses and individuals. They serve businesses by offering a finance facility for the business’ customers that require payment terms to complete an in-house purchase. They also serve individuals by offering loans to those unable to get traditional credit. It describes itself as a “digital-finance company that specializes in providing consumer financing and rent-to-own purchase options”.

Here are some general features of finance companies. They are not full-service banking; they are strictly consumer loans. The loans they carry may not be available everywhere; low credit scores are easily entertained. They are not the cheapest loans, but often are better priced than payday loans.

Here’s where this type of facility gets tricky. They concentrate heavily on collections. Whereas a bank may give you leniency for the three months you are late, finance companies are keen to follow up on a single payment missed. Taking possession of the collateral good can happen quickly!

On the other hand, CSRs at finance companies tend to be more personable than bank officers. So yes, when you have a temporary setback, you can make that call, and your voice will be heard, as long as you do what you say you will. They often have special concessions to get you back to meeting your commitments honestly.

Snap Finance Company is actually the middle-man for your loan – they don’t lend their funds, but find finance companies that are willing to do so. From your point of view that fact matters little, since once you get the loan, where and how you pay will be decided. The website of Snap makes all the details simple – at least not your worry.

Why You’ll Love Them

a woman with a credit card

Simply put, if you’re in a financial jam of sorts, these high-risk loans are a good option, if you know how to manage it well. With Snap Finance, the first 100 days are interest-free; I’d say, do your best to meet this timeline. But if you’re going to be just a little late, an extension may be considered. Just call.

The customer service at Snap Finance is often described as “helpful” and “informative”. So many customers report that when their financial situation became more difficult, Snap Finance CSRs made it a little easier.

The website facilitates the easy application process of Snap Finance. Honestly, you already know from the home page that the interest is at least 11.8%. So if you have other cheaper options, explore those first.

Direct debit to pay the loan is a convenience offered by the lender. As long as you agree to a date that you can commit to, you will re-build your credit along with this convenience.

Why You’ll Not

coints stacked on paper

Most people who simply can’t adjust their lifestyle to improve their finances will always blame another entity. Late payments, not reading the contract thoroughly, and non-communication are common factors in clients’ frustration. After the contract is signed, your best bet is to abide by the terms, and only worry about what you can control.

That said, consumer financing can be addictive. Borrow only what you need to get by. If a purchase can wait, try to save before expending just to look good and pay more than is necessary.

Sometimes, in the haste to get funding, consumers don’t focus on all the charges that could happen during the life of the loan. Paying as agreed, these extra charges will be little to nil. You can expect to pay a charge for being late with your monthly payments, but there are a lot of complaints from former customers that these are exorbitant.

Remember, finance charges could be as high as 32%. And with additional charges that may not be apparent at the outset, this could drive the total cost of borrowing up to 100%. You should always make all calculations to know the full cost of the funds before signing any loan.

What I first described as a positive feature, could also be your detriment, if you don’t manage effectively. Should you have the funds in your account on time, direct debit is a wonderful convenience; otherwise, it’s a strike against your credit, among other things.

Finally, collection calls you choose not to answer may end up at your friend’s, your parents’, or your employer’s. All this can be avoided, as already alluded to in this article.

Conclusion

money

All in all, as with everything in life, there are pros and cons to whatever you choose. A short-term loan may be a good choice if you’re willing to be a model borrower.

Of all the finance companies and pawn shops and payday loan facilities you may be able to access, Snap Finance is a good one among many. They may actually help you in your weak moments.