By

Lois Center-Shabazz

Creating a Sustainable Budget in a Time of Financial Crises

Creating a Sustainable budget is defined as a budget that works to meet all of your short-term and long-term needs. It keeps you feed, clothed, gas in your car, your mortgage or rent current, whether you have a lot of money or times become lean.

To create the lasting sustainable budget you must plan, and do it early. You don’t start when you lose your job, get into a car accident or have any other time of financial crises.  Creating a sustainable budget will take care of those issues.

The money you have in good times is budgeted heavily so it will last during bad times. I see too many people who though “caution to the wind”, when it comes to spending. They think they are so special that they will never hit hard times with a job loss, contract loss, or medical emergency.

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Don’t be fooled, it happens to folks of all income levels. So, it does not matter if you are low income or uber high income you have budget your money.  You never know when the, “well will run dry” or the money will seem to evaporate due to lose of income.

So, let’s get started and create a sustainable budget now.  You will create the short-term, the long-term and the budgets for the specific things you need. 

The common sense approach to avoiding a time of financial crises during an economic downturn is to guerrilla budget when times are good as well as when times are bad.

Unfortunately, many people don’t think about budgets until finances are in trouble. Start to create your sustainable budget and continue improving it as time goes on.

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I saw a new story about a young girl, who became a high-income singer, with a contract from a major media company, then came a terrible time of financial crises with an illness. Now  her 1.2 million dollar home is being auctioned off. Where did she go wrong? Is she any different than most Americans in her position?

The answer is 1. Apparently she did not understand how to budget the money she earned, 2. She didn’t  understand the limits of the money she earned. 3. She didn’t understand that, no matter what your income emergencies happen. 4. She did not create a sustainable home buying budget based on worse case scenarios.

The answer to the second question above is, NO, she is not any different than most Americans, and did not anticipate a financial crises.

Budgeting is not taught in most high schools and colleges or graduate school. Because of that we even have PHD’s and MD’s (doctor of philosophy and medical doctors), going broke due of mismanagement of money or the lack of budgeting skills.

They don’t understand that a financial crises can happen to anyone, so creating a sustainable budget early will prevent problems. 

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In this article I will give you a few quick tips to creating a sustainable budget using my guerrilla budget method:

1. Live below your means no matter what your financial status to create a sustainable budget.

This sounds like common sense, but many who have common sense and a good income don’t,  because you feel money will make up for it.

It does not. Ask all of the broke entertainers who once made millions. The 8 cars, and the 8000 square foot house is only a distant dream.

They think about how they could have purchased 3 nice cars, and a 3000 square foot house, put money in savings, invested aggressively, and they would have been set when the entertainment contracts dried up.

Many get caught in something as simple as not paying required yearly taxes. Pay your taxes first, then pay yourself in savings and investing, then pay your other affordable bills. 

2. When you make a lot or are awarded a lot of money

When you enter into a high income or windfall pretend like it has to last you 100 years.

The is a good trick for those who don’t have a lot of self-discipline, it works because you trick your mind into believing the money does not exist, so you are forced to guerrilla budget it.

When you are distracted one day you open your savings and investment account and you realize you did something really smart. You created a sum of money you can actually live off as your business or income falls on hard times.

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3. Be conservative with your purchases

There is no law that says when times are good you should waste money. The problems come when you have not grown up with financial discipline; too many income earners do.

Don’t fall in the trap of, “I have to spend big to have quality products”. You don’t. You can get nice clothes, shoes, cars, homes, and education at a very affordable cost and high quality.

Some things that are very expensive, you will later find that you simply spent too much money and could have gotten the item for a fraction of the cost.

Do your homework, do lots of research and get the best item for the best price. This is a major step to creating a sustainable budget.

4. Buy a home and car with a monthly note you can afford

You do not have to max out your monthly income in “monthly bill payments”. That is that your entire paycheck goes to “monthly bill payments”.

Here are examples; Why not buy the certified pre-owned car with a monthly note of one-third of the new car? Put the remaining two-thirds in a couple of different savings and/or investment accounts.

If you lose your job, you can pull from one of those accounts to continue your payments until you get another job.

creating a sustainable budget with free printables

5. Decide what you can afford based on your income and future

Start with a written budget. Your budget should include cost to run your home (maintenance-rent or mortgage), food – clothes – medicine. Also include things such as getting to work and maintaining a car, going on vacation, and to save, save, save for now and the future.

Everyone has different needs. It is imperative to identify all of your needs you have now or may have in the future. This is an analysis that will take time to figure out.

6. If you have an addiction to expensive “things” work on that problem

That is the number two problem that causes poverty with people who make a lot of money. The number one problem,  is “budgeting ignorance”.

If you have an entertainment contract that last three years, spend  like it will last three years.When you are an independent contractor on a job that will last two years, live like it is only two years.

When you are self-employed don’t fail to get proper liability insurance, health insurance and all insurance that is required by your industry. For those who are self-employed with an office space lease make sure you understand your lease by talking to a business attorney, before you sign.

The general idea here is to get cosst under control, understand that you don’t need expensive things.

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7. If you work on a contract like the singer above probably did

You have to be especially careful with spending because you will have a big tax bill at the end of every year based on your big income (quarterly after the first year).

When you are an independent contractor of any type – self-employed, contracted worker or any other; you will need to pay taxes by quarter and then year-end.

The worse thing to do is to file too many exemptions so you can have extra money in your paycheck. You promise yourself that you will pay it back, and of course that doesn’t happen. Eventually, you get into a nightmare loop of owing taxes, making payments and getting future behind.

8. Remember that it takes a long time to create a  sustainable budget

-Because you have to consider cost that you normally don’t think about.
-You have to consider all timelines for payments.
-Then don’t forget things you may need in the future.
-You can get a simple short-term budget, but a long term budget is ultimately the most important.
-When you do all of the above you creat a guerrilla budget

Go here to understand creating a sustainable budget  of your dreams.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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creating a sustainable budget when times are hard

Home Inspections for Home Buyers

Home inspections for home buyers

Are home inspections for home buyers necessary? In light of the endless possibilities of home defects it is in your best interest to use a home inspector before you purchase a home.

Large defects are very costly but small defects can become costly, if not repaired in a timely manner. Once you have closed escrow, the home belongs to you, and the burden of the repairs is on you, so it is wise to minimize the possibility of home defects before you buy.

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Steps to hiring a home inspector for new or used home:

  1. HIRE YOUR OWN HOME INSPECTOR
  2. HIRE INDIVIDUAL TRADESMEN FOR INSPECTION
  3. CRUCIAL AREAS TO INSPECT
  4. DON’T IGNORE THE ADVICE OF EXPERTS
  5. BUYING A NEW HOME FOR INSPECTIONS
  6. BUYING A USED HOME AND GET INSPECTIONS
  7. NEW HOME OR REMODEL CONTRACTOR WARRANTY

1. HIRE YOUR OWN YOUR OWN HOME INSPECTOR

Hire your own quality home inspection service, not one recommended by your realtor. The inspectors recommended by the realtor will want repeat business from the realtor, so they will have a strong tendency to rush the inspection and overlook crucial defects.

Find your own quality inspector by asking others in the area or go to the American Society of Home Inspectors website.

2. HIRE INDIVIDUAL TRADESMEN FOR INSPECTION

I prefer to hire individual tradesman, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and roofers to inspect within their trade. Most will inspect for free or a very small fee.

3. CRUCIAL AREAS TO INSPECT

The most expensive repairs occur with structural damage, buckling of uneven walls and uneven floors, inside or outside the home. You may seriously rethink your decision to buy a house with major structural defects, for this is a strong sign the house may need to be rebuilt.

Other major structural defects include major plumbing problems, electrical, air conditioning (new air conditioners can run an average of $2500), and roofs ( to go from a leaky roof to a good roof on a small house can cost $10,000 or more).

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4. DON’T IGNORE THE ADVICE OF EXPERTS

Now that you’ve had an inspection, take it seriously; get three contractors to estimate the repair job. Ask the homeowner to pay for the repairs before you close escrow or leave money in escrow to cover the repairs.

If the repairs are in excess of the value of the home, or horribly unreasonable compared to the value of the home, ask the homeowner to reduce the price of the home or you should strongly consider buying a different home.

5. BUYING A NEW HOME FOR INSPECTIONS

Some folks think new means perfect, good, great, or in the best shape. This is not necessarily the case. Many new homes have problems, because despite the required inspections, subcontractors and contractors make minor and even major mistakes that sometimes go unnoticed.

Don’t close escrow until the home has been inspected AND the needed repairs are made.

6. BUYING A USED HOME AND GET INSPECTIONS

Used homes present unique problems, they must be inspected by tradesmen who are very honest and experienced in their field. There are many hidden problems with older homes that are fixable but must be addressed before closing escrow.

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I have purchased both new homes and used homes that I had inspected before purchase. One beautiful new home I purchased was built by a quality builder and had more defects than the used homes I have had inspected in the past.

The contractor blamed all of the defects on his subcontractors work when he wasn’t looking.

In any event, I had the contractor fix every single problem pointed out to me before closing escrow. For a few years after closing escrow, I found a few other problems, which the contractor fixed.

7. NEW HOME OR REMODEL CONTRACTOR WARRANTY

Contractors usually warranty most homes for at least five years. Be sure to contact your builder as soon as you find a problem. Don’t let minor problems become major problems by putting off the repairs for a later date. This is why it is crucial to have home inspections for home buyers.

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Tax Scam Victims Avoidance

Tax scam victims have become a targeted work for tax fraud.  Paying taxes is a fact of life, it always has been, and it always will be. For years the IRS has warned taxpayers about tax fraud, tax schemes, and plain old individual dishonesty. In many cases the dishonesty can result in stiff financial penalties and the fraud can result in jail. But still, this warning continues to evade some taxpayers. So be for warned.

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This evening on our nightly news one of the potential tax victim was rescued by a tax cab driver. An elderly lady told the tax cab driver she needed to go to her bank. She was not aware that she owed the IRS 25 thousand dollars. He ask her several questions and found out someone called her on the phone and told her to wire money to pay off her taxes.

He convinced her that he did not think it was the IRS, there are several tax fraud calls and he would take her to the police station. They informed her that it was not the IRS who called her. Creating tax scam victims continues in the year 2020, but thanks to an aware taxi cab driver she was rescued.

The IRS wants you to know many tax scams and schemes still exist and is heavily promoted as legal by con artist, and individual taxpayer dishonesty is not an option.

1. Tax Scam Victims

As per the IRS, they look shady. They lurk in the shadows. They try to entice you with promises of bigger refunds, audit-proof tax breaks or sure ways to beat the IRS. But the only sure thing about them is that they can cause you trouble … a lot of trouble. If you are aware of this you can avoid becoming a tax scam victim.

Defend yourself by reviewing the IRS update of the Dirty Dozen – 12 schemes and tax scams prowling for victims during tax season.

Check out what IRS agents are finding in their criminal investigations of crooked tax preparers – and their tips for avoiding these characters.

 The IRS urges people to avoid these common schemes targeted to making you a tax scam victim:

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2. Offshore Transactions

Some people use offshore transactions to avoid paying United States income tax. Use of an offshore credit card, trust or other arrangement to hide or underreport income or to claim false deductions on a federal tax return is illegal.

Through April 15, the IRS is offering people with improper offshore financial arrangements a chance to make things right. Eligible taxpayers who step forward will not face civil fraud and information return penalties. A taxpayer involved in these schemes who does not come forward now, however, will be subject to payment of taxes, interest, penalties and potential criminal prosecution.

People interested in participating in the program, called the Offshore Voluntary Compliance Initiative, can contact the IRS by calling 215-516-3537 (not toll-free).

3. Identity Theft

Identity thieves use someone’s personal data to steal his or her financial accounts, run up charges on the victim’s existing credit cards, apply for new loans, credit cards, services or benefits in the victim’s name and even file fraudulent tax returns.

The IRS is aware of at least two recent identity theft scams involving taxes or the IRS. In one, tax preparers allegedly used information, such as Social Security numbers and financial information, from their clients’ tax returns to commit identity theft. In another, fraudsters sent bank customers fictitious bank correspondence and IRS forms in an attempt to trick them into disclosing their personal and banking data.

For taxpayers, it pays to be choosy about disclosing personal and financial information. And the IRS encourages taxpayers to carefully select a reputable tax professional.

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4. Phony Tax Payment Checks

In this scheme, con artists sell fictitious financial instruments that look like checks to pay a tax liability, mortgage and other debts. The con artists may also counsel their clients to use a phony check to overpay their taxes so they can receive a refund from the IRS for the overpayment. The false checks, called sight drafts, are worthless and have no financial value. It is illegal to use these sight drafts to pay a tax liability or other debts.

5. African-Americans Get a Special Tax Refund

Thousands of African-Americans have become tax scam victims and misled by people offering to file for tax credits or refunds related to reparations for slavery. There is no such provision in the tax law. Some unscrupulous promoters have encouraged clients to pay them to prepare a claim for this refund. But the claims are a waste of money.

Promoters of reparations tax schemes have been convicted and imprisoned. And taxpayers could face a $500 penalty for filing such claims if they do not withdraw the claim.

In early 2002, the slavery reparations scam ranked as the No. 1 scheme on the Dirty Dozen list. Following a sweeping public outreach campaign and assistance from members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other organizations, the number of reparation scam claims fell sharply. Tens of thousands of claims were received in 2001, but the claims fell to less than 50 per week in 2002.

6. No Taxes Withheld From Wages

Illegal schemes are being promoted that instruct employers not to withhold federal income tax or employment taxes from wages paid to their employees. These schemes are based on an incorrect interpretation of tax law and have been refuted in court. A recent flurry of court actions has been taken against promoters of these schemes. Taxpayers who have concerns about their employer and employment taxes can get help by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

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7. Improper Home-Based Business

This scheme purports to offer tax “relief” but in reality is illegal tax avoidance. The promoters of this scheme claim that individual taxpayers can deduct most, or all, of their personal expenses as business expenses by setting up a bogus home-based business. But the tax code firmly establishes that a clear business purpose and profit motive must exist in order to generate and claim allowable business expenses.

8. Pay the Tax, Then Get the Prize

The caller says you’ve won a prize, and all you have to do to get it is to pay the income tax due. Don’t believe it. Someone who really wins a prize may need to make an estimated tax payment to cover the taxes that will be due at the end of the year. But the payment goes to the IRS – not the caller.

Whether the prize is cash, a car or a trip, a legitimate prize giver generally sends both the winner and the IRS a Form 1099 showing the total prize value that should be reported on the winner’s tax return.

Since tax scam victims appear to not be doing their research and reading news reports they are particularly vulnerable, so please pass these tax scams on to the elderly and underinformed.

9. Frivolous Arguments

Frivolous arguments are false arguments that are unsupported by law. When a scheme promoter says “I don’t pay taxes – why should you” or urges you to “untax yourself for $49.95,” beware. These scams are as old as snake oil, but people continue to be taken in, and many have become tax scam victims. And now they’re on the Internet. The ads may say that paying taxes is “voluntary,” but that’s just plain wrong.

The U.S. courts have continuously rejected this and other frivolous arguments. Unfortunately, hundreds of people across the country have paid for the “secret” of not paying taxes or have bought “untax packages.”

Then they find out that following the advice contained in them can result in civil and/or criminal penalties. Numerous sellers of the bogus schemes have been convicted on criminal tax charges.

10. Social Security Tax Scheme

Taxpayers shouldn’t fall victim to a scam offering refunds of the Social Security taxes they have paid during their lifetimes. The scam works by the victim paying a “paperwork” fee of $100, plus a percentage of any refund received, to file a refund claim with the IRS.

This hoax fleeces the victims for the up-front fee. The law does not allow such a refund of Social Security taxes paid. The IRS processing centers are alert to this hoax and have been stopping the false claims.

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11. “I Can Get You a Big Refund …for a Fee!

Refund scheme operators may approach someone wanting to “borrow” their Social Security number or give him or her a phony W-2 so it appears that the person qualifies for a big refund. They may promise to split the refund with that person, but the IRS catches most of these false refund claims before they go out.

When one does go out, the participant usually ends up paying back the refund along with stiff penalties and interest. Two lessons to remember: 1) Anyone who promises someone a bigger refund without knowing their tax situation could be misleading them, and 2) Never sign a tax return without looking it over to make sure it’s honest and correct.

12. Share/Borrow EITC Dependents

Unscrupulous tax preparers “share” one client’s qualifying children with another client in order to allow both clients to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit. For example, one client may have four children but only needs to list two to get the maximum EITC.

The preparer will list two children on the first client’s return and the other two on another client’s tax return. The preparer and the client “selling” the dependents split a fee. The IRS prosecutes the preparers of such fraudulent claims, and participating taxpayers could be subject to civil penalties.

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13. IRS “Agent” Comes To Your House To Collect

First, do not let anyone into your home unless they identify themselves to your satisfaction. IRS special agents, field auditors and collection officers carry picture IDs and will normally try to contact you before they visit.

If you think the person on your doorstep is an impostor, lock your door and call the local police. To report IRS impostors, call the Treasury Inspector General’s Hotline at 1-800-366-4484.

Beyond the “Dirty Dozen,” the IRS sees many more tax schemes. Some examples include home-based business scams, disabled access credit for pay phones and a variety of improper abusive trusts.

“The best advice for taxpayers is to remember the concept of ‘buyer beware,’” Wenzel said. “Think carefully before paying for services or signing important documents.

And don’t be fooled by outrageous promises. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Don’t help a con person make you one of many tax scam victims.

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Reverse Mortgage Pitfalls Require Senior Homework

Reverse mortgage pitfalls

Understand the reverse mortgage pitfalls so you know the limitations for your heirs and yourself as homeowner:

I have spoken to a few senior citizens who obtained Reverse Mortgages, but felt nothing but regrets afterwards. Perhaps they did not read the fine print in a brochure that is required by FHA to read before they purchase the loan. After getting constant complaints about Reverse Mortgages, the government has changed the program, but there are still many dangers you need to be aware of.

The pitfalls of reverse mortgages, first learn to buy a home the right way
This article will cover the following pitfalls of reverse mortgages:
What is a reverse mortgage?
How does a reverse mortgage differ from a traditional home loan?
The limitations of a reverse mortgage
Homeowners insurance and taxes
When a reverse mortgage must be paid or you are forclosed
Problems heirs have associated with reverse mortgages
Can heirs take over the reverse mortgage or does it have to be paid off?
When are reverse mortgage repaid?

What is a reverse mortgage?

A Reverse Mortgage is a type of loan open to seniors that are at least 62 years who have a home that is paid off or has a low balance, and they live in the house, and follow the terms of the loan.

The problem that many seniors seem to complain about is that they did not understand the very strict terms of the loan before they signed on the dotted line. Some told me the terms were so strict, it made their lives unbearable trying to live under the guidelines and stay in their home.

How does a reverse mortgage differ from a traditional home loan?

The Reverse Mortgage is different than regular home loans in that it pays you from your loan proceeds, and is available regardless of your current income. The up front fees and cost of the loan, usually taken from loan proceeds are very high–much higher than a regular home loan. You are not required to make payments on the loan while all signers on the loan are alive and live in the home. When the last signer of the loan dies or is out of the home for one year, the loan has to be paid off. A amount of time given to pay off the loan is short, so heirs must act quickly.

Home ownership the right way-is pure joy, what is a reverse mortgage

The limitations of a reverse mortgage

The amount you can borrow depends on your age, the current interest rate, and the appraised value of your home, sales price or FHA’s mortgage limits, whichever is less. Generally, the more valuable your home is, the older you are, the lower the interest, the more you may borrow.

Bare in mind that borrowing costs are far greater than a conventional second mortgage, and once you get a reverse mortgage, you can’t get another loan on your home.

Homeowners Insurance and Taxes Must be Paid While You Are in The Home

With a Reverse Mortgage, you don’t pay monthly principal and interest payments and the lender pays you according to the payment plan you select. The payments will accumulate and add a balance to your home as a reverse mortgage loan that will be responsible for your heirs if they wish to keep the home.

Like all homeowners, you are still required to pay your real estate taxes, insurance and other conventional payments like utilities. If you get behind in real estate taxes or other required payments, you could be forced out of your home by foreclosure.

With an FHA Reverse Mortgage you cannot be foreclosed or forced to vacate your house because you “missed your mortgage payment.” But, you could be forced out for many other reasons, some of them subjective like allowing the home to fall into unacceptable disrepair. Your local property tax holder can foreclose if your property taxes are not paid, so can the reverse mortgage company.

what is a reverse mortgage

A Reverse Mortgage must be repaid in full if you meet the following criteria:

1. When you die or sell the home.
2. When you do not pay property taxes or hazard insurance or violate other obligations.
3. You permanently move to a new principal residence.
4. You, or the last borrower, fail to live in the home for 12 months in a row.
5. An example of this situation would be if you (or the last borrower) were to have a 12-month or longer stay in a nursing home.
6. You allow the property to deteriorate and do not make necessary repairs.

A subjective evaluation listed above is, “violating other obligations” that are normally listed in fine print. It is important to read all the information you can get from a non-sales person before considering this loan. Another subjective evaluation is if you “allow the property to deteriorate and do not make necessary repairs”. This gives way too much power to the lender to take your home if they feel repairs are not
adequate.

You can receive the money in a few different ways: In payments, in lump sum, or the combination of payments and lump sum. It’s better to receive the money in payments to guard against premature spending.

reverse mortgages repaid

Typical Senior Complaints of Reverse Mortgage Borrowers

Complaints I heard from seniors I consulted with were 1. They felt uneasy with the amount of monitoring. 2. If the money is taken in lump sum, there was a tendency to spend it quickly on unnecessary things. Remember, once the loan is taken, there can’t be another loan taken on the house. 3. Seniors have complained that after taking out a Reverse Mortgage the loan officer strong arms them into taking out expensive insurance they don’t need and can’t afford, such as Long Term Care Insurance.

After doing your research and reading all of the fine print about this loan, call a HUD counselor to be sure you get all of the facts before you decide this loan is for you.

An alternative to a Reverse Mortgage is to sell your house outright, place the money in the bank, and have the bank send you a monthly check to live off, in an inexpensive senior apartment. Another option is a traditional second mortgage IF, you can get a low interest loan AND easily afford the payments, and can  keep up the payments if you are sick or incapacited. You should have a responsible person to help you.

limitations about reverse mortgages

Complaints Heirs Have of Reverse Mortgages

The complaint some heirs have, is they were not successful in getting the remaining equity out of the home when their elderly relative dies. Currently, some heirs have told me, 1. They did not know their parents had a reverse mortgage and therefore did not act quickly to get a mortgage to replace the loan or sell the home. 2. another common complaint heirs have told me is they weren’t given enough time to get a new loan to pay off the reverse mortgage or sell the home and were therefore foreclosed on.

3. One women I talked to who actually worked at a Reverse Mortgage Company says that a common problem was that no one in the family could qualify for a loan to pay off the reverse mortgage before their time expired – the reverse mortgage company only gives them a set number of months.

Some stay in the homes for a few years, but with some it is only six months – it depends on many factors. At least one heir is supposed to take classes with the homeowner so they can get all the facts or the mortgage broker is supposed to give them all of the necessary information. This does not always happen.

HUD on Reverse Mortgages

Can heirs take over the reverse mortgage or does it have to be paid off?

When a homeowner over 62 takes out a reverse mortgage the mortgage payments or principle and interest add up in an account overtime. It does not have to be paid back as long as the person or persons who took out the mortgage are still alive and living in the home. The younger a person is when they take out a reverse mortgage, the higher the balance will be when they pass away if they live long.

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Consumer Finance on Reverse Mortgages

But, what happens to that balance that has accumulated in an account over time? Can the heirs inherit the balance and keep living in the home rent free as the balance continues to accumulate. No! The heirs are required to make contact with the company on a regular basis and let them know that they are working hard to get a new loan to pay off the reverse mortgage balance left by their parents or they are working hard to sell the home.

If there is a balance left after the home is sold and the reverse mortgage is paid off, the heirs will get the balance. If the reverse mortgage is large or has built up for a long time, even if it was small, the balance could be large and leave nothing to the heirs.

Avoiding Reverse Mortgage Pitfalls Work Best When:

The homeowner has read the FHA bulletin on reverse mortgages and taken the reverse mortgages class to understand the loan.

The homeowner has a responsible child with excellent credit who can qualify for a new loan or sell the home as soon as the last homeowner on the loan passes.

Sometimes it is best to take the money in payments, but if there are no responsible heirs it may be best to take all the equity, put it away, live off a small draw from the bank and leave the rest to heirs.

The responsible heir must communicate with the lender and stay in contact after the last homeowner dies to understand how reverse mortgages are repaid.

The homeowner ALWAYS pays required taxes and insurance while in the home. Also, the homeowner must maintain the home.

Because the interest and principle accumulates while the homeowner is alive there is always a possibility that all of the equity may be exhausted and the heirs could get nothing, especially if the homeowner takes the loan early, for example at 62 and dies at 92.

What is a reverse mortgage

20 Smart Money Moves in 2020 For Long Term Financial Growth

20 smart money moves in 2020 for financial growth

What are smart money moves?

A smart money move is a tried and true method for creating financial growth and prosperity after education, research, deep thought, mentorship, and experience has guaranteed they will work. Here are some smart money moves for you to begin with, I will discuss:

  • Short term smart money moves you can start now.
  • Long term smart money moves that will permanently change you
  • Understanding the types of smart money moves that will save your financial life

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What are the three types of smart money moves that will benefit you?

1A. Short term smart money moves you can start now

It starts with a guerrilla budget. Judging from the way many of you spend money, I can see that you are not close to any budget, much less a guerrilla budget. A guerrilla budget, as defined by me is “your budget on steroids”. You become the master of your money, not advertising, not spoiled kids, not friends who have financial emergencies, not things you don’t need.

It is you, your tracking your spending and getting rid of everything that is not necessary. Sure, after you get your debt and bills under control you can budget in a few things you enjoy, but first you will start with paying your necessary bills with ease, getting your debts low, and creating a system to have emergency money for your emergencies only.

Learn to say the word no. If you can’t afford it, it should not be a part of your spending process. Your short-term financial goals for the new year should include the following.

  1. Create a budget planner

You know how much money you take home; you know where you are spending on things you can’t afford, so this is where you start.

  1. Track everything you spend

Sometimes you spend money that we are not aware of because we don’t pay attention to what we are spending on. Create a budget for everything you spend money on.

Budgeting, It's what you do with what you make

Maybe you can’t afford a necessary item this month, but if you pay off another item, or save enough money for a new item you need, you can get it in 3 months. Whatever you do, don’t keep charging for things you don’t have money or income for.

  1. Plan what you need

Write a plan for daily needs, weekly needs, monthly and for the year. Do you plan to return to school in three years? You need a plan for that. The plan should include an affordable public school where student loans are kept to a minimum and the education is an absolute must for your field.

Many people gain access to good paying jobs, without college, by working their way up in a company getting experience as they go. Many jobs will pay for you to take courses to gain knowledge and some will pay for a college degree.

  1. Plan what you want

Do you really know what you want? Don’t just take a stab in the dark, know what you want based on experience, knowledge, and research. Many folks get useless education or degrees because they did not research the field and understand “exactly” what is involved.

Occupations change over time, what was in demand 20 years ago, may have no demand now. But some people are still getting into fields with student loans and years of study, only to find out they made a huge mistake and there is no demand in that field.

5. Delete what you can do without, and may not want

Make a list of the things you have or are doing. Then make a second list of the things you can do without. From cable tv to going back to school. What is necessary right now? What can I do to make my life more affordable? What can I eliminate to help get out of debt? These are the questions you need to put at the top of your list.

What are long term smart money moves?

Ladies, it takes skills to purchase a home and non-owner occupied rental property

2A. Long term smart money moves

If you will ever have enough money, you must learn sane savings techniques, these techniques have been created by me for you. Your long-term financial goals should start with money all over the place. Sounds crazy, but it is possible, no matter what your income. There are many ways with these smart money moves.

  1. Start with the dollar and coin jar, save regularly here

Get two simple jars, at least a foot high. Every week empty a handful of coins in your coin jar, place at least a few dollars in your dollar jar, between $2 and $10 dollars. This money will accumulate until the jars are full. Don’t use any of the money until the jars are full.

When they are full, you can use them for inexpensive, minor emergencies. But they need to always be half full. When it gets full, take out the coins, redeem them at the store where there is a coin exchange, take the money from the coins and take half the dollars to the bank.

They will be placed in your passbook savings accounts. The remaining dollars will be used for your small emergencies or expenses.

  1. Don’t be afraid of a basic passbook savings account for emergencies. Yes, I said passbook savings account. This is your first great savings account. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You are thinking, “I am not getting much in the way of interest”.

The interest is not the important issue at this point. The issue is accumulation of funds for short term emergencies’ and long-term smart money moves. This is where we accumulate.

Your short-term smart money moves will be born in your passbook savings account. Everything sprouts from here. Try to put at least $50 to $200 a month in your passbook savings account.

  1. Use your overage in your basic account every six months to fund a higher interest account as you accumulate money in your passbook savings account, it will be added to pay off bills, purchase short term more expensive emergencies or add to a higher interest savings account.

  2. Use your passbook account to fund your needs

Write down your immediate short-term money moves as they relate to your needs. An example would be to pay off a $400 credit card balance when I accumulate $600 in my passbook savings account. 

  1. Use your dollar and coin jar to fund your immediate wants

The dollar and coin jar are for super short-term smart money moves as well as to fund your passbook savings account. A super short-term money move would be to fix the cracked screen on my cell phone or hire a gardener to weed and trim your over-grown yard.

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3A. Understanding the types of smart money moves that will save your financial life

If you don’t understand the smart money moves of big thing buying you can ruin your finances for a long time, buying cars, homes, and an education.

I talk to people all the time who tell me they wish they would have put more thought into purchasing a car, going back to school or even buying a home. There is never a rush.

Making the wrong decisions when it comes to major items can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars you could have saved. Remember, you have many choices, and there is never a need to rush. Do your research, do your homework – identify all your options.

  1. Make “paying off” a car or credit card a goal

I talked to a young girl just a few months ago. She wanted to get her finances in order. I told her you have first start with critical thinking, not allowing advertisers to tell you how to purchase. They recommend high-profit items that benefit their pockets, not yours.

I told her the example of refinancing a car. She, said “STOP”, I already made that mistake. She said she saw an ad to refinance her car for a lower interest rate, she did and then her sister pointed out to her, “do you realize that you just added two years to your car note?”.

She told her, after looking at her paperwork that the two years she had left on her car loan was now four years with her new loan, adding an additional two years. She would have been better off paying a slightly higher interest rate she had and paying off the car in the two years she had remaining.

That was not a smart money move and shows how it happens when you allow propaganda advertising to influence you.

  1. Use the monthly budget you have from a payoff to save money

When you pay off a bill, you now have extra money, use at least half of that money to place in passbook savings. The other half will be used to put on other bills.

  1. Do research on a new car if you need it

New cars are expensive especially when you add the first-year warranty service and the cost of general maintenance and vehicle registration. So, look hard for an affordable new car or consider a CPO, or certified pre-owned car. These are cars that you purchase on the used side of a new car lot, they are less than 5 years old, have about a 150-point check and you get a warranty.

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  1. Buying a home is still possible in some states with a middle income, start your research

Homes are getting extremely expensive in the larger more populace states such as California, New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C. as well as others. But there are many states especially in the south and mid-west where you can buy affordable homes if you are middle income. But I caution you to do your research, do your homework first.

  1. Set a budget for the home you can afford

The most important thing you can do before you think about purchasing a first home or even a second or third, is to set a budget. That budget is based on what you can afford after your down payment, after you have paid off bills, and after you have sold things you don’t need, an example would be a car with a large car payment, may be something you could get rid of.

16. Start a savings account for a home you can afford

After you establish your affordability index, you can now start to save for your new home. I have discussed the many ways to save money above, so you have many ideas. You will need to save for the down payment, the escrow costs, and any repairs that may be needed.

17. Choosing a college; there are no guarantees, research is paramount

Going to college in the United States is tricky these days. The number one goal should be to keep you and your parents out of debt. There are affordable public colleges, consider those first. Private colleges have a lot of hidden cost. For-profit colleges, (that is those that advertise on television constantly and are located online only, or in a strip mall or office building – usually no real college campus, they have quick classes), the cost is high, and the jobs are few. Some employers will not hire from for-profit colleges. 

18. Focus on finding an affordable not-for profit college, preferably brick and mortar There are many affordable non-profit public colleges. Do your research be through, keep student loans at no or low, very low.

20 smart money moves, finances are all emcompassing

19. Find great careers that don’t require college

There are many careers that don’t require college and some online course that are very cheap, but have great careers connected to them.

20. Research community college degrees that pay well, computer science, registered nursing, dental hygiene, at a community college you can get a certificate or an associate degree. From that degree you can get a great starting job, depending on the course matter or you can transfer to a 4-year college if your state permits.

The following demonstration shows you that smart money moves can and will put you on tract to great financial growth when you pay attention to the details.

How To Go To College and Pay Off Student Loans, Debt-Free College Should be Your Goal Part 3

Pay Off Student Loans by Keeping a Reasonable Balance When You Graduate in Four Years

How to go to college and pay off student loans, debt-free college should be your goal

Keeping a reasonable student loan balance requires an immense amount of planning, organization, and discipline, but you can do it. Some kids can’t pay off student loans because they are spending way too much time in college, going five or six years for a four-year degree. Some have to work more than expected, some drop classes, some feel they can’t get all of their classes, and some don’t force themselves to decide on a major course of study when it is time.

You can motivate yourself to become motivated, pay off student loans

Organize yourself, and graduate in four years no matter what. If you want to do something else later, pay for it with cash after you start working, or use your employer tuition reimbursement plan some employers offer.

Some students drop classes, some feel they can’t get all of their classes, and some don’t force themselves to decide on a major course of study when it is time. Organize yourself, and graduate in four years no matter what. If you want to do something else later, pay for it with cash after you start working, or use your employer tuition reimbursement plan some employers offer.
The Nightmare Scenario of Getting Student Loans and No College Degree

Budget For School Loan And College Here

It seems hard to believe that students are taking out thousands of dollars of student loans, and not getting the college degree that comes with it. But, that is happening all the time. I recently listened to a radio show where the host asked listeners to call in with their student loan balances and tell if they got their dream job. He got the surprise of his life when several people, calling in from all over the region said they had $50,000, $70,000 and even $100,000 in student loans, but left college with no degree.

They gave various reasons; some fell behind in grades and were asked to leave, some became ill and had to leave, some did not qualify for the last semester or year of student loans to finish their degree because  they reached their maximum eligibility, some had to quit and work awhile and did not return.

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There were many reasons. Here is the sad part, once the loans payments start if payments are not made you are sent to collections, when you are in collections you have to jump through hoops to qualify for financial aid again, so you can return to school. If you don’t pay your way out of collections and start making payments’, your student loan balance will increase exponentially every single year, due to added penalties’, including collection company fees and interest rates. Avoiding collections is the most encouraging reason you should pay off your student loans as soon as possible.

Get More Student Loan Facts Here

Pay Off School Loans as Early as Possible to Avoid Possible Catastrophic Events

If you can’t pay off student loans after your grace period is over because you don’t have a job in your field, you can apply for government help. You can get an Income Based Repayment Plan or IBR Plan set up by the federal government, created under the Obama Administration. When you are adequately employed your payments will return to normal. In addition to paying your school loans no matter what to protect your lifelong credit, think about paying them off early. Parent loans are not eligible. The bad part of the Income based repayment plan is that, your payments are so low they usually don’t cover most interest or principle. This causes your balance to balloon. I have had students tell me a balance went from $30,000 to $70,000 in a few years or even worse. This is one reason you should do everything in your powers to pay your full payment immediately, and extra to the principle will pay off your student loan early. 

When you pay extra money to principle, you can pay off your loans early. Do your research with your school loan providers, and make sure you pay them off correctly and monitor your statements.  Another way to bring down your loan balance is with the governments [service oriented repayment plan] if you work for a non-profit.

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Get Debt-Free College by Knowing Your Options, Go Here

A Problem Many Students Don’t Discover Until After They Are Enrolled

Most financial aid packages at four-year colleges cover only 80% of costs for the poorest students as well as everyone else, an exception is a full scholarship that covers all income levels. Many poor and middle-income students don’t discover this fact until the end of their freshmen year.

Here is an actual example a college student gave me: a young man was told his college would cost $13,000.00 for the year, all but $2500.00 was covered by his financial aid package, he wasn’t told about this gap in financial aid until the end of his first year. His single mom had no money to help him.

He was asked not to come back until he could pay the $2500.00 balance. They told him the computer would not allow him to register. Another case, that was taken up by a local senator, is that of a young girl who took out $55,000.00 in school loans, she was told that was her maximum, and needed to find another way to pay for her last year and get a degree. She informed them that she had no other way. You can find out how difficult it can be to repay student loans by reading about it at the Student Loan Justice site.

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Read more about colleges and cost in the free downloadable eBook, Budget Planner for College and Avoiding Student Loans

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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Non-Owner Occupied Rental Real Estate As Investment

REAL ESTATE AS INVESTMENT
Non-Owner Occupied Rental Real Estate As Investment

Some investors prefer real estate as investment for long term investing, even though the work is difficult and the costs are very high. Even with property management its hard work. Property management firms are expensive, and when they quit you have to do the work until you find the next manager. You have to rely on property management to show up, tenants to pay their rent and both to properly maintain the property. Every time a tenant moves there are repair and replacement costs, sometimes those cost are huge. You get tax deductions for rental property, but not nearly as much as for owner-occupied property.

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Some owners are surprised to find that even if they a have mortgage on rental property, the rents are considered income, and the rental income is taxed.  Landlords have to file a schedule E (supplemental income and loss for landlords) to get all of their deductions associated with rental real estate. To keep tract of everything you are encouraged to keep a spreadsheet. You can get one online, free, one is google drive if you have a gmail account.

It takes a special person to own and maintain real estate as investment in the form of rental real estate. Depending on the cost, type and area is what depends on the difficulty of owning and making a profit off the real estate. Since the cost are very high (and if you get a loan – it is leveraged with debt), it could take a few decades before you see a profit.

The advantages of residential non owner-occupied rental real estate as an investment:

  • It is possible to have high returns when held long-term, if you hit a time in history when real estate is selling and is scarce.
  • You can depreciate the property (this is far more advantages for property purchased prior to 1987 though, the depreciation deduction is much less after that year).
  • You get a deduction for up-keep, but it is much less than the deduction you get for owner-occupied property.

Debt, the wrong kind is crippling. Use good debt to buy a rental property

Disadvantages of residential non-owner occupied rental real estate as an investment:

  • Non owner-occupied mortgage loans carry a higher interest rate than owner-occupied loans.
  • Required down payment for non owner-occupied loans is much higher than owner-occupied loans. In many cases requiring 20%, compared to an owner-occupied loan of 3%-10% down.
  • You must pay capital gains tax on profits, when you sell.
  • Yearly maintenance cost for residential non owner-occupied real estate is usually much higher than owner-occupied cost. Most people simply do not properly maintain property that does not belong to them, and some are very destructive.
  • Long-term maintenance cost can be phenomenally high.
  • It is difficult to find reasonably priced properties in quality neighborhoods.
  • Neighborhoods with a lot of “four rent” signs are particularly difficult to avoid vacancies, it also sends a message.
  • Lost rents are not deductible.
  • A low quality neighborhood (that with high unemployment), brings a low quality tenant, i.e. the default rate on rent payments are high.
  • The debt carried when the rental is leveraged with a mortgage.
  • The constant turnover of new tenants is expensive due to fix up costs each time a renter moves.
  • You have to keep your fingers crossed, that when it comes time to sell, the prices in the are will be high, the type of real estate you own will be in demand, and there will be enough appreciation

Ladies, it takes skills to purchase a home and non-owner occupied rental property

The combination of an owner-occupied/non owner-occupied residential real estate can be a viable consideration for those who feel some form of non owner-occupied rental real estate is a must, as an investment. An example of a combination of residential owner-occupied and non-owner occupied real estate is a four-plex where you live in one unit, and rent the other three.

The advantages of the combination owner-occupied/non-owner occupied real estate investment:

  • You can qualify for the lower interest owner-occupied mortgage loan.
  • You can qualify for the lower down payment of 10% allowed with your owner-occupied real estate.
  • You can deduct the repairs and up keep on the rental portion.
  • You are present to monitor the repairs and encourage maintenance.
  • You can depreciate the rental portion.

You have a better probability of purchasing a property in a quality community since your initial cost are lower than a non-owner occupied property. A quality community brings a higher probability of a quality tenant. Attracting quality tenants is probably the most important aspect of residential non-owner occupied investments. Real estate as investment works when there is a high demand for rental real estate in an area. You will then have a large number of people to choose from.

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Disadvantages of the combination owner-occupied/non-owner  occupied real estate investment:

  • Your tenants may know where you live, if the property is titled in your name.
  • You can only deduct expenses for the rental real estate portion of upkeep, but not your own.
  • You will be liable for normal capital gains taxes on the non-owner occupied portion when you sell. There is a capital gain exclusion on the owner-occupied portion.
  • If you actively participate in rental activities, you can deduct $12,000 in losses if you are single and $25,000 if you are married on all properties you own.

Getting all of your IRS benefits are possible when you keep a spreadsheet of every single income item, expense and money returned to your tenants.

Laws change on just about everything,  yearly. Consult directly with current Internal Revenue publications for the latest changes
about Real Estate as Investment.

See IRS publication 527 at www.irs.gov: Residential Rental Real Estate Property (includes vacation property)
IRS Schedule E – Supplemental Income and Loss From Rental Real Estate

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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3 Important Facts to Know Before You Invest in Mutual Funds

3 important facts to know before you invest in mutual funds

Here are three facts that are the bare bone necessities to know before you start to invest in mutual funds. In this series, I will give you information little by little about mutual funds until I feel you have a great grasp on the topic, and can choose your own high quality funds.

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1. WHAT IS A MUTUAL FUND?

A mutual fund combines money from several investors to invest in different types of investments or investment companies. The investments could be stocks, bonds, money market instruments’ or other types of investments.

Each investor in the mutual fund hold a proportion of the investment in the way of shares. There are low-risk, mid-risk and high risk mutual fund companies, as well as low earning and high earning companies.

One mutual fund company is typically very diversified and can invest in as many as 400 companies or as few as 40 companies. Diversity is what takes much of the risk out of mutual funds.

Important facts to know about mutual funds

2. HOW DO I PURCHASE A MUTUAL FUND?

Stocks are purchased from stock exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange, usually through a brokerage office or online broker. Mutual funds are baskets of stocks and can be purchased from a variety of places.

Mutual fund shares are purchased from the mutual fund company itself or from a broker. When you are educated in mutual funds, which I intend to do, you can easily purchase your own mutual funds online at any number of investment companies.

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3. WHO OVERSEES THE MUTUAL FUNDS I INVEST IN?

Registered and licensed Investment Advisers, in a team or individually, manage investment portfolios of mutual funds.

Investors have an advantage, by using the expertise and experience of the advisers.

You can go to sec.gov or finra.org to verify that your adviser is a registered investment adviser.

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3 Big Problems When You Buy Real Estate to Flip For Profit

When You Buy Real Estate to Flip For Profit it is Tricky
3 Big Problems When You Buy Real Estate to Flip For Profit

Flipping real estate for profit seminars, advertising, and marketing is going on in my town and all over the internet and television. Since I have experience in long term real estate investing and I have friends who have tried to flip for profit, I would like to share some of our experiences.

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I, and some of my friend’s own properties out of state and we constantly get letters from people who want to buy our properties? We get letters, cards, brochures and everything in between.

Some of the letters are almost begging us to sell our property to them. Some claim they have all-cash, and others claim they are immediately qualified to buy. Here are many of the problems flippers have with those properties, so you may want to think hard before you answer advertisements to attend a flipping seminar who makes their money up-selling tapes and books after the seminar, that don’t work.

  1. It is Difficult to Find Properties That Aren’t Ready for the Bulldozer

Many of the so-called flippers are going to public records to find owners who live out of state and therefore, their reasoning is that they should want to sell. Many of the properties have family members who are taking care of the properties, living in them, and paying the rent. When you buy real estate to flip the most difficult task is finding a property that is not near condemnation.

Money is more important than you think, understand home buying the right way

The fact that dozens of the flippers are going to public records to find sellers tells me the difficulty they are having finding quality properties to buy and flip. Many of the properties that are readily available are in bad shape, so after renovation there would be no profit. Properties that are held by realtors are already priced for the current market. Those that are auctioned off in foreclosure are usually bid up too high for a profit after renovation.

The surprises, especially to the amateur flippers are enormous. The missed surprises include hidden floor dry rot, floor and wall dry rot, rotten plumbing pipes buried under a slab, large holes in the roof, outside gas leaks, damaged foundation, bad electrical junction boxes in the wall or under the house, clogged main drain, asbestos in the outside shingles or inside in the walls, and mold. These are real life problems I have seen others have when buying a fixer or home to flip.

Any of these problems can take anywhere from $2000 to $20,000 or more to fix, each.

Home buying the right way take skill

  1. Flippers Real Estate Agents Offers That Generate Profits For the Flipper

Flippers contact homeowners and write ridiculously low offers, so they have money to flip for profit after fixing up the property. Most of the offers are rejected, even if the home is in bad shape. If the home is in an area with properties that sell quickly and the resale is high, they constantly beg for offers that are below appraisal. This process is easier in areas were homes have low sales value or with homes that stay on the market for a long time.

These homes tend to have more hidden disasters since they have stayed on the market longer. What happens is that the flipper, out of desperation takes the best offer they can get and after finding they bought a home in bad shape they will hide existing problems or get a false appraisal that is too large.

  1. Most Flippers are Forced to Get Financing from Investors

To buy real estate to flip you must have financing. Banks don’t want to do business with most of the flippers who have no assets, little experience, and may not sell the home before they run out of money for renovation, upkeep after renovation, and mortgage payments until the property sells.

After the flipper finds that the home was overpriced for profit and they find the house is in much worse shape than originally thought, then they find that after sharing their profit with their investor or pricing the home for the market, they don’t have much left after sales, sometimes nothing. Then, this is where the flip begins to turn into a flop. Because of these problems, most flips are not profitable, and many flippers constantly find themselves in deep financial trouble.

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Before you think you can buy real estate to flip you should have some command of  both real estate buying and selling, the construction process, and the tax consequences when you have to pay short term taxes. Read the FHA rules to flipping properties.

There are many more facts to consider that you will have the privilege to read when my new eBook about Real Estate Investing comes out.

You can get my sample of “The Ultimate Guide to A Great Money WorkOver” and 7 other eBooks along with expert help with my course.

the ultimate guide to homebuying for women

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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5 Frequently Asked Questions About Mutual Funds For Women

Frequently asked questions about mutual funds

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Mutual Funds For Women
I have given a lot of lectures about mutual funds for women. I like mutual funds because, if you do your research you can purchase low-cost and low-risk mutual funds on your own. Mutual funds are easy to understand and invest in. You can do it yourself once you have done some research. Here are five of about twenty-five of my most frequently asked questions about mutual funds by women I lectured to. After a few decades of successfully investing in mutual funds, I felt it is only fair that I share my expertise with you.

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  • ARE MY MUTUAL FUND INVESTMENTS GUARANTEED AT ALL?

Insurance is provided by the SIPC, which covers fraud. In other words, if you invest your money in company “C”, a registered investment company (registration with finra should be checked), and it is stolen by the President of Company “C”, you will be covered for up to $500,000 for each account, depending on the circumstances. Example: If a husband and wife have a joint account it is covered up to $500,000, if the each have additional retirement accounts in their separate names, the retirement accounts each are covered up to $500,000. Here is the SIPC insurance breakdown.

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  • WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF INVESTING IN A MUTUAL FUND?

With a mutual fund you will get professional management, diversification, an affordable investment, and it is liquid. This is one of the main reasons that I encourage investors to invest in mutual funds, after reading my frequently ask questions about mutual funds. It only takes a little research and study to master mutual funds, but because there is a learning curve I encourage you to master them first.

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  • WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF INVESTING IN A MUTUAL FUND?

You still have costs even when returns are negative, you don’t control the investments totally, you don’t know for sure if the price will go up after you purchase – but after research you can verify that you are getting a quality mutual fund where there is a good chance the price will rise in the future. If you invest on your own you can keep cost low and more money will go to you, but if you go with a broker, you will be required to pay brokers fees which are sometimes hidden and costly.

  •  YOU CAN EARN MONEY FROM YOUR MUTUAL FUND IN THREE WAYS

Dividend Payments — A fund may earn income in the form of dividends and interest on the securities in its portfolio. The fund then pays its shareholders nearly all of the income (minus disclosed expenses) it has earned in the form of dividends.

Capital Gains Distributions — The price of the securities a fund owns may increase. When a fund sells a security that has increased in price, the fund has a capital gain. At the end of the year, most funds distribute these capital gains (minus any capital losses) to investors. Most mutual funds pay money into your mutual fund account yearly, a few pay on a quarterly basis. This means if you pull your money from your mutual fund that pays out capital gains and dividends at years end, you will lose your profits.  So, be patient, and know your payout date.

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Compounded Returns – unlike simple interest accounts the interest on top of the dividends and capital gains will compound year after year, giving you compounded interest.

  • WHAT IS THE NAV OF MY MUTUAL FUND

Increased NAV (Net Asset Value) — If the market value of a fund’s portfolio increases (from dividends and capital gains), and after deduction of expenses and liabilities, then the value (NAV) of the fund and its shares increases. The higher NAV reflects the higher value of your investment. The more the NAV increases, the more money your investment will be worth. The NAV value can fluctuate from month to month or year to year, the important point to look at is that it has a net increase over time.

You have two choices:

Let someone else manage your money and end up with little or nothing OR learn some simple basic rules that could turn a little into a lot over time. I provide you with all the help you need in my eBook on Mutual Funds. I even give a 30-minute free clarification session after you read this article. The eBook I have written is clear and concise, after you finish it you will understand how to efficiently invest in mutual funds.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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I cover dozens of frequently asked questions about mutual funds in this eBook. Get this eBook and 7 more when you take the “Course for fantastic Finances”

Learn to Invest, Stocks to Mutual Funds

Why Women Need to Understand Investing Now

Investing Money for Beginners

Why women need to understand investing now

There Are No Guarantees if Women Do Not Understand Investing

Women need to understand investing now because there are no guarantees you will stay married or even get married, women need to know how to take care of their finances. This is the start of investing money for beginners. This includes learning stock mutual funds, bond mutual funds and simple index funds. With these three types of funds you can buy stocks inexpensively, with low risk and learn to read charts that are not difficult. 

But understanding investing now means you need to understand sane savings (my mantra), mega-money management (because everything is ultra-expensive), and investing (because you need to stay ahead of inflation to keep your money growing).

Save Money, Don't Get Cheated When Buy a Car

Far too many women are still taught to be financially dependent, even when you work, and many don’t get involved in family finances since you feel prince charming will be there to protect them forever. It is important to work together on finances, and staying out of family finances could have dire consequences foreither spouse. Stay involved in your family finances.

Divorce or Death Effecting Your Finances

Because you have at least a 50% chance of divorce and even greater chance of being separated from your spouse, it is imperative that you understand all the nuances of money, including investing. I focus on mutual funds because, 1. That is where my long term expertise and success is, 2. They are easy to understand once you put some “peddle to the metal” and study some of what I call, “mutual fund research”. 

Understand investing now

If you are not dependent on your husband to take care of all finances during your marriage, or an adviser if you are single, then you will know what to at any time, including with an illness, accident, or death. Dependency is not a good thing.

Many women fall victim to con artist who prey on women with money and no financial skills, because they are not familiar with the ease at which others prey on those without financial experience. Understanding stocks, bonds and mutual funds will create a knowledge bubble around you, that will keep you safe.

There are literally millions who have lost millions due to being trusting and naive. Don’t make yourself a victim by keeping your financial knowledge and skills very low. The potential for divorce or death from a spouse are a major reason why women need to understand investing.

A word about home loans for successful home buying for women

Protect Yourself Now and in The Future and Protect Your Money

There are many women who never write a check or pay a bill, after getting married. That is hard to imagine, but it exists. Writing checks and paying bills are a powerful way to keep yourself aware of family finances and the limitations of money.

Then you monitor investments in mutual funds, or other investments for savings, college, or retirement, this gives you another layer of awareness and will help protect your finances now and in the future. I speak to beginning investors all the time who can’t analyze the simplest investments. This is not acceptable. Teaching investing for beginngers is something I am passionate about so you can protect specialty finances. 

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Therefore, women need to understand investing. Social security is meant to be a supplement, that is why the payout is very low for most people. Your 401k can be overrun with success if you know investing money for beginners. If you have a pension or get your husbands pension from death or divorce you can still benefit from know how it invest money. 

Fantastic Finances Tips eCourse, by eMail, by Lois Center Shabazz, for personal finance

When you understand investing, the chances are good you will also understand how to grow your investment retirement account and hold on to the accounts build by you or your spouse. Understanding why women need to understand investing will create an entire class of new and capable investors, who can also teach their daughters.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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Learn to Invest, Stocks to Mutual Funds

3 Tips For Big Thing Budgeting for Groceries

3 Tips For Big Thing Budgeting for Groceries

Budgeting for groceries seems like a simple task. Make a list and buy what you need. Well, it usually doesn’t happen that way. If you are not precise about shopping, the list will be meaningless, and you will end up spending more money than you need to. Shopping the right way can save you thousands of dollars every year. Here is a short list of quick things you can do for big thing budgeting for groceries.

money quotes; budgeting for groceries seems like a simple task

YOUR SHOPPING LIST
1. Shopping with a list is important, but the list must be well thought-out. You should decide what your menu will be for the week, comparison shop for groceries by using prices online or in your weekly sales paper.
It is best to use your list to shop the isles for grocery shopping is much less expensive than the end of isles, where new products are often displayed.

Shop within the confines of a menu. Know exactly how many pieces of fruits, vegetables, meat packages, loaves of bread, box of cereal etc. Know what you will pay for each item and stay within a strict budget.

Home buying the right way take skill

BUY, PREPARE AND EAT IN A FEW DAYS
2. Buy and prepare only as much as you can eat within a few days. Food waste is a big reason for going over budget with your grocery bill. Clean your refrigerator at least once a month to closely monitor food use. It is even better to clean and monitor your refrigerator once a week if you have time.

Keep your refrigerator and cupboards well organized so food is used on a timely basis. Concentrate on fresh foods to prepare, not junk food or food that is already prepared. 

Fantastic Finances Tips eCourse, by eMail, by Lois Center Shabazz, for personal finance

SHOPPING WITH COUPONS WILL HELP
3. Coupons will help if you buy items you need. In other words, don’t use coupons to purchase items just because they are on discount. The next money saver is the sales paper and prices online. Another option is extreme couponing if you have time.

The savings comes at the cash register, when you have product for weeks, and when you sell product that is in excess. Buying in bulk also saves money on food, but you have to calculate your savings, it doesn’t always work. Shop with a calculator. 

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BE VIGILANT ABOUT SHOPPING FOR GROCERIES
Being vigilant about shopping and budgeting for groceries will make a big difference in your grocery bill. The savings can be enormous if you shop the right way.

Shop when you are calm and hopefully you are not bothered by kids sneaking expensive groceries into the cart. When you follow these simple guidelines budgeting for groceries and saving money will become easy.

Get organized with your budgeting by using my award-winning BUDGET PLANNER,  WITH  THE  COMPRENSIVE  FANTASTIC  FINANCES  COURSE.The easy budget planner

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

Interested in a Free Discussion about how I can help you with Fantastic Finances? Let’s Chat – Make an Appointment Here

Get Your FREE Fantastic Finances Tips Course by eMail

How I Build Fantastic Finances ; Read More…