By- Marion Syversen
How can you improve your credit score? The exact formula used in a FICO score (Fair Isaac Company,
the company that computes credit scores) is a proprietary secret, just like the Colonel’s secret recipe for
In this edition of “Mind Your Own Business,” Deb Neuman joined Carolyn Callahan on TV5 News at 5 to tell us about some upcoming events for business.
MaineBiz Momentum Convention
Russ Van Arsdale was in for this week’s Consumer Contact talking about extended vehicle warranty protection.
Russ told us about a website that helps when comparing warranties and what are reliable warranty protection programs and which ones you should stay away from. The website that Russ suggested consumers to us is edmunds.com. He says search warranties on the website to get a list of manufacture warranties that are available. You can compare the costs and coverage of these warranties also through this website.
There are a lot of rules and regulations governing commerce, but there is help out there for small businesses. Deb Neuman joined Jim Morris on TV5 News at 5 to in explain in this edition of “Mind Your Own Business.”
September is Disaster Preparedness Month. Deb Neuman joined Carolyn Callahan on TV5 News at 5 to talk about it in “Mind Your Own Business.”
Review insurance policies
Update as biz grows
Business interruption insurance?
Develop a contingency plan
Things happen because life is full of surprises.
And some of them are hard.
No one can protect you from sudden loss, but here are some ideas to provide some guidance.
Russ Van Arsdale was in for this weeks Consumer Contact to tell us about how to avoid being a victim of one of these door to door repair scams.
If you have been a victim of one of these scams make sure you first contact your local law enforcement agency and then notify the Maine Attorney General’s office at 626-8800.
Practical ways to teach folks about money are the best. Back-to-school shopping is the perfect opportunity. Many of us are doing a good job on this, but let’s look at some great ideas to help tweak things.
Can you keep being frugal and saving money top-of-mind without spending too much time? If you put a few things in place you can make it easy. Do one thing a day, or a WEEK, and maybe you can save a bit of money.Sign up for online credit sites – We’ve talked before about sites that will give you an idea, within a range, of your credit score, though they are not credit reporting sites. CreditKarma and others provide an idea of how you’re doing on your road to financial victory. Do also make a few minutes to call on your actual credit reports annually. They are free. And you can get them all at AnnualCreditReport.comSave cheap sites – If you buy your airline tickets online organize your frugal shopping sites to not only save money but your valuable time. Include consumer review sites like the BBB, so you can check complaints that may be available. You may want to use a separate email for the daily posts from coupon sites, so take a few minutes to activate an email. Helps with clutter.Use comparison sites to find better rates – Web sites such as Billshrink.com compare cell phone costs, satellite or cable providers, even gas stations to give you some idea of where you may save money. They are now TruAxis, but you can find Billshrink at billshrink.comConsider increasing your saving today – Have you refinanced your house? How’s the interest rate? It only takes a few minutes to make a call and get an inquiry started. What about your 401(k) or IRA? Call HR and get the paperwork sent to you to up your savings rate today. Are you satisfied with what you are saving in your emergency fund? Get online with your financial institution and up the amount you save per pay period. There! You are taking control and saving money. Great job, you.Citation:http://www.familycircle.com/family-fun/money/fast-money-saving-fixes/Marion Syversen, MBANorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.comCheck out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.
Walk through these questions with your kids, or the kids you influence, and you will cover so much about finance, money, printing, work that these are good for any age group because of the depth in which these topics can be covered. What is money? – Money doesn’t ‘grow on trees.’ But is used for trade. It’s printed at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, DC. Coins are produced by the US Mint. Other things to talk about could be before there were dollar bills and coins what used to be used for trade? What the advantages of using money?How do we receive it? – Gifts, allowance even a job are all ways we get money. Sometimes we find it in the couch. If you want more money what might you do? What do grownups do when they want more money?How do we spend it?- We spend money on needs and wants, on goods and services. But every time you spend it on one thing, your forgo money’s use on another thing. This is opportunity cost. That is quite a discussion.Money options- One can spend, save or invest. What do all those things mean? When you save money at a financial institution they then lend money to folks starting businesses in the community, or folks buying houses or cars. When you save money at a financial institution how can you get it back out? There are checks and debit cards. You can see your account online. How does someone apply for a loan? Making a budget – If have all these things that I want to do with a limited amount of money. How do I do that? You can wait and save. You could be frugal and get more for less. You could make more money.So many things to talk about! And all from one kids coloring book. You can make this as easy to grasp, or as detailed and nuanced, as your imagination takes you. You can have field trips, ask friends who work in different fields chat with the kids. Just make sure you talk about it.Marion Syversen, MBANorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.comCheck out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.
Read some interesting number recently and wanted to share with our viewers.10%- say there is no point in saving for retirement t because it’s too far away. And besides. They can’t figure out how much they will need anyway. (2/3 are over 45 years old.)9%- encounter regular financial setbacks that sabotages their savings plans.20%- hope to retire early, though they haven’t started saving yet. Those who have started saving have less than $10,000. 40% are over age 45 or older.21% – Many ages 35-44 have started saving and feel they are doing a good job, though only about half are confident they will be able to afford retirement.23% – Believe that if you make provision you can have a good retirement. These folks are risk tolerant and some expect to be able to retire at 60.17%- Have saved and continue to save. Only about half of them are confident in their abilities to do a good job with their money. They prefer simple saving to investing.What category are you? Where would you LIKE to be? It is never too late to do something to change the future. Marion Syversen, MBANorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.comCheck out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.
You are a knowledgeable business owner and an expert in your field. But what about your retirement future? What will you tap for the income streams that all together comprise your nest egg?Big picture- I own a business. So I understand the day-to-day intensity of being so involved with the details that it can be easy to lose the vision of the big picture. What is your goal with the business? Where are you based on your 5 year plan? How close are you to selling or are you expanding, adding workers or additional locations? And what about your personal goals? Have they gotten sidelined as you advance the business or are you staying focused?Biz and personal – Take a step back and get more detailed in your personal and business planning. Take a day or a weekend and go away and really relax and think about the things you hope to achieve. As a small business owner I know that the Syversens and Norumbega Financial are hard to separate. But pull the two entities apart and examine where you are and where you want to be. And set up your goals and plans to achieve them.Investment plan – Besides a savings cushion what are you investing in for your future? Work with an advisor who can guide you in finding the right investments with the amount of diversification that is right for you and your risk and goals. Consider investing in a personalized mix of stocks, bonds, and alternatives to avoid the all eggs in one basket scenario..Taxes- Involve your tax expert in pre-tax benefits like SIMPLE IRAs for the firm or other tax-advantaged options for you as an individual. And work with advisors who keep you current on changes in regulations.\Succession- What happens with the business when you want to retire or you can’t work? Do you have a written succession plan? Do you have insurance products to fund the transition if necessary? Have you updated this information regularly? Does it need updating? Your sudden loss could rip their lives of your loved ones apart. And though in retirement you may have more time to transition, having a clear and well-considered plan is the best policy.Take time to get your personal and business under control and then you will be more ready for every situation with all your bases covered.Citations:http://www.fpanet.org/docs/assets/2-15-07smallbusiness.pdf Marion Syversen, MBANorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.comCheck out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.
What do kids need to know and when should they know it? Here are some tips for you and this summer of fun and learning. Money comes from…? – By the age of five kids should know that grownups go to work to get money, where the money is ‘stored’ and that is limited. They should know the names of coins and cash and around this time get an allowance. Things to know – as they get older they should understand the problem of peer pressure on spending and be given enough control of their cash for their use that you begin to see their inner saver come out. They won’t always spend if they can get YOU to spend instead. They seldom want something THAT desperately. Around age 8 they should know how much things cost around the house and using math to balance the checkbook. Get them in the details so they are smarter than many of us were about real life and finance. Older kids – Kids over age 10 should understand credit cards, advertising, the stock market, working for money and have a checking account. Teens need to know about credit reports and the things that impact your report and understand loans.You have to do the best you can. But you know you need to do something.Citation:http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/money101/lesson12/index.htmhttp://www.parents.com/kids/responsibility/money-management/money-milestones-for-kids/Marion Syversen, MBANorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.comCheck out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.
I recently reviewed an industry report about investors and their financial literacy. Let’s talk about it.Not well-informed – What the survey found was that small investors have a ‘weak grasp of elementary financial concepts’ and that this lack of knowledge makes us much more vulnerable to fraud. Not only that we may be open to be hurt, but that this lack of knowledge makes us less strong to advocate and understand great investments and make a sound financial future for ourselves.What we learned in school – Though there are some programs to teach financial literacy in schools most 17 year-olds are not listening when to discussions of life insurance and home mortgage. Learning general financial information helps me better investors and smarter consumers. Concepts to know – So what should we know? 1.) Interest rate and the wonder of compounding – How can my $10 a week turn into $100,000? It can grow more quickly when interest is earned. Compounding is the concept of additional interest added to the original principal and each period’s interest. Then more interest added to the principal and old interest. And so on and so on.2.) Inflation- How much did candy cost when you were a kid compared to that same candy’s cost today? That is the change in price of items because of inflation. Inflation effects prices. The goal is that retirement savings earn more than inflation so that you can buy candy in your golden years, and everything else you need to buy.3.) Diversification and risk- You shouldn’t be guessing what provides better diversification. You should understand what diversification means and how much risk you are willing to take. Unfortunately less than a third of those questioned for one survey knew the answers for the three concepts above.It’s your money. You work hard and owe it to yourself to know basic financial information so you can take your place as a responsible investor.Citations:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204707104578090822080920906.htmlMarion Syversen, MBANorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.comCheck out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.
By- Marion SyversenJune is a big month for birthdays. It’s my birthday month. As a matter of fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau June and July are the 3rd and 4th most ‘popular’ birthday months. Let’s look at some birthdays that are important for you when planning your finances. Age50 – The age at which you may contribute higher amounts into retirement plans. The provisions, called ‘catch-up’ provisions, allow you to save more than younger workers in qualified retirement plans. So for Traditional 401(k ), 403 (b)’s younger workers can save $17,500 per year but those over 50 can save $23,000 before taxes per current IRS contribution limits. If you have a Traditional Individual Retirement Account (a Traditional IRA) under 50’s can save $5,500 and over 50 you can sock an additional $1,000 away per year per current IRS contribution limits. Age 59.5 – this is the age you become eligible to withdraw money from retirement accounts without a penalty. Taxes may be due on annual distributions but there will no longer be the deterent of an additional 10% penalty for ‘early withdrawal.’ Age 62 – This is the earliest age at which you can receive Social Security retirement benefits. Age 65 – this is the earliest age you may begin collecting Medicare. Age 65-67 -At this age (DEPENDING ON YOUR DATE OF BIRTH) you may be eligible for full Social Security retirement benefits. Age 70.5 – Now you must begin taking Required Minimum Distributions or RMDs from your qualified retirement plans. The RMD varies depending on certain circumstances. And you can find details on the tables used to calculate the percentage on the IRS’ web site. Citations: http://www.babycenter.com/0_surprising-facts-about-birth-in-the-united-states_1372273.bc http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/important-tax-birthdays http://www.ssa.gov/survivorplan/survivorchartred.htm http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/12/~/earliest-age-to-get-social-security-retirement-and-medicare http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Retirement-Plans-FAQs-regarding-Required-Minimum-Distributions#4 The information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from any computer. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc.
I learned while preparing for the article that there is an International Frugal Fun Day. Don’t think people don’t take their fun seriously. Even while being frugal! No stress – Even though you may not be in the land of Financial Nirvana as a person on the journey you have a glorious and bright financially-stress-free future. Bbecause you are frugal, you have less financial stress than others who are still lost and confused as they spend more than they make. It doesn’t make us better,. It just helps our lives have less stress. Already having fun! Free fun – It’s summer and free fun abounds. Movies outdoors, concerts in Downtown, craft shows, so many great things to entertain you and your family that it’s almost hard to spend money! Look around. Check out social media posts, web sites, posters for a weekly listing of the great free activities available in your area. Make it social – Social activities involving walking, hiking, volleyball, Frisbee are free and as close as your filed or neighborhood park . Your fun is only limited by your imagination. Exercise relives stress, keeps you healthy and lets you eat more! Sounds like a winning plan to me. Vacationland!- How can you forget your vacation? You live in Vacationland and have, all in a few hours’ drive, the most beautiful natural areas in the world. From lakes and mountains, to trails and wildlife, oceans and forests are all here for you. You could set a tent in your own backyard and be in a paradise. Make exploring like a tourist this summer’s best vacation ever until you have seen every region and explored the most beautiful state in America. Have a beautiful and frugal summer. Citations:
Retirement is something that you are really looking forward to. But it will not be fun if all you do is feel lonely, have no purpose in life and run out of money. SO, let’s talk about making your retirement terrific! What are your dreams – For thirty, or more, years you have been dreaming of retirement. Most people, in my experience, haven’t really thought exactly what they want to do for the thirty or so years once they have finally finished their job. What are your dreams, my friend? What are you hoping to do in these years? If you are a person who enjoys completing a task, but in retirement you have no tasks, what will that mean for you? It can’t all be napping- Being well-rested in retirement is part of a person’s usual retirement dream. Not having to wake up at a particular time and HAVE to be somewhere. When you’ve been on vacation sitting around all day, every day, makes one more and more sleepy. After a few months of that, then what? It probably won’t result in joy. Where do you belong – And if most of your friends are from the workplace, where do you now belong? The friends at work can’t always take a day and go out with you. They have responsibilities and time commitments. They may see you once and in a while. But soon life will go on, without you. Purpose and passion- I recently read this sentence, ‘When you work at something you love, everything else flow from it. Your social life, your friends.’ Finding your passion not only gives life purpose and makes time fly and be filled to overflowing. You will find others who can’t wait to share in your life as they share theirs with you. Whether you work part-time for money at what you enjoy. Or you go back to school to get new skills and certifications you have YEARS left in life yet to be lived! Follow your passion and retirement will be just even better than you dreamed. Citations:
You are able – You CAN do this. You have to do this, so you obviously will. You’ll get the knowledge you need. You already have the wisdom you need. And you have the courage to make this life beautiful. We believe in you, bud. Make a budget that works- You have to look at all the bills. Hiding from them does not help, as you tell the kids. So, open everything and track what you’ve spent the last few weeks on everything. Budget’s are available online from many sources, or from your local library. Get an idea of how you might allocate resources and then make a PLAN. This might work best if you can make bills automatically payable so that you have one less thing to do. But whatever works for you, do. You aren’t alone- If managing the money hasn’t been what you’ve had to do, or you feel totally out of your element, talk with your local financial institution, your church or friends who can sit down with you and work out a plan. You are not alone. You may not want folks to see you feeling confused. BUT there are people who would LOVE to help you, as you have helped others with their hardships and transitions. It is only if you isolate yourself that you will be alone, buddy. Say no about spending- Do not feel guilty when the kids can’t have things they want to have. Life is not about guilt. This present single life was more than about stuff and money. And you need to NOT get under emotions at this time. The kids will be fine. They will always want more stuff. Even if you had lots more money they would continue to be unsatisfied because it is the job of retailers and product manufactures to help them desire the newest thing. So be strong and calm and clear in your financial direction. The more they can be included in the process by handling their own money or as they mature helping to be a part of the ‘family finances’ the less they will grumble. Keep on keeping on- Now keep going. Keep improving. Keep checking your plan and adjusting as needed. Things are going to awesome. This is going to work out and you will have raised some wonderful people. Citations:
So your baby has completed college! Congratulations to you both. But now what? How can you guide your dear one in a smart money path? Here are a few tips for your clever baby. You just spent approximately four years working like crazy to advance your options and vocation in life. That was an investment in yourself that you and perhaps others made in you. Continue to have that vision for your life that how you spend your money and time adds to that investment in your best self. And start your money decisions with that mindset. Live on less than you earn – If instead of thinking you have finally MADE IT, you will continue to think in terms of being a starving student on a tight budget, life will go very well for you! Many of us made a big mistake beginning with our first job and began an entitlement attitude and spending habits that made life gradually become scary and a bit out of control as we spent far in excess of what we earned. Learn from us, little grasshopper, and be wise. Be organized – If you were the student who procrastinated and couldn’t find your books or your assignments, managing your money will need to be automated. But getting oragnazed now is your very important job. Whether you use a notebook or your smart phone and apps to keep track of your money, make a budget and have a plan for what the heck your money will be doing now that you have a first job. You don’t have the kind of loose cash that letting it fritter through your fingers spilling money here and there that a disorganized life will allow. Unless you get organized you will quickly find yourself getting behind and feeling overwhelmed, my friend. Loans are due – as part of your frugal living remember that 6 months after graduation any student loans are now due. You may have an option that allows a reduced payment based on income and that may be a better fit with your budget. But investigate your options and make the payments. You may want to consolidate loans. I am an investment advisor and not a debt counselor, so this is not my area of expertise. If you will speak to the entity holding your loans you can get more information on your options. Please save- Keep investing in yourself and begin saving for your retirement and emergencies. I KNOW it feels like you don’t have ANY money. But try to do everything you can, including continuing to have roommates, to keep living costs down so you have a bit put aside. It will pay off! You are being encouraged to have a glorious life and future and I’m telling you that though this sounds boring, all this discipline, it leaves a happy and light heart and money worries will not be your lot if you can get on track happy graduate! We are proud of your accomplishments. Good job. A free publication – 14 page Investing in Yourself, from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, is available through this link:
A financial plan covers your entire financial picture: your assets and liabilities, your risk management, your financial goals and whether or not they are realistic. Financial advisors offer plans and because they are so extensive, there is a cost to have one developed for you. In Part 1 presented last week we discussed Net-worth, debt-to-income ratio, cashflow and budget. This week we wrap up the financial plan components. Risk analysis – Depending on the results of your net-worth statement and your budget and the existing and various insurances you have, you are now able to determine if where you or your loved ones are lacking. Managing risk is what life insurance, professional liability insurance and personal property insurance is about. If there is a gap in what you have compared to what you need you may want to fix that gap or face self-insurance. Self-insurance is when you use your cash to cover the loss entirely. If the cost of insurance is cheaper, I vote for additional insurance. Debt repayment – When will your debts be paid off? Do you want to press forward with a more aggressive repayment plan? Where will you start and how much will you allocate to that priority? This is a personal preference. Just don’t short-change your savings. Savings plan – speaking of savings, please remember that the same compound interest that occurs with your debt and interest rate, occurs with any savings. Money saved and earning compound interest adds up more quickly as each period’s principle and interest earns even more additional interest. That works like a lovely compost pile, cooking and growing as year after year passes. Compound interest is a very good thing. For more information check the internet or your local library for more details on creating a financial plan. Citations: