We all know the value of a good credit score. We all try to maintain one. Sometimes, though, life throws us a financial curveball and that score declines. What steps can we take to repair it?
Reduce your credit utilization ratio. Your credit utilization ratio (CUR) is the percentage of a credit card’s debt limit you have used up. Simply stated, if you have a credit card with a limit of $1,500 and you have $1,300 borrowed on it right now, the CUR for that card is 87%. Carrying lower balances on your credit cards tilts the CUR in your favor and promotes a better credit score. (more…)
Medicare’s open enrollment period runs through December 7th. If you are enrolling in Medicare for the first time, you will discover that it is much more complex than an employer-sponsored group health plan.
When you are enrolled in Medicare, you pay multiple premiums for multiple types of coverage (Parts A and B as well as the Part D prescription drug plan), and unlike a group health plan, there are no caps on out-of-pocket costs and a risk that you might have to pay a hospital insurance deductible more than once per year. Original Medicare also does not cover some costs that many seniors would like to cover, such as dental and vision care expenses. (more…)
You’ve probably heard the saying that “cash is king,” and that truth applies whether you own a business or not. Most discussions of business and personal “financial planning” involve tomorrow’s goals, but those goals may not be realized without attention to cash flow, today.
Management of available cash flow is a key in any kind of financial strategy.Ignore it, and you may inadvertently sabotage your efforts to grow your company or even build personal wealth. (more…)
About 13 percent of all motorists, or one-in-eight drivers, do not have automobile insurance.
Having the misfortune of getting into an accident with an uninsured motorist may have serious financial consequences depending upon the state in which you reside and whether it is a “no-fault” or “tort” state. (more…)
“Audit” is a word that can strike fear into the hearts of taxpayers.
However, the chances of an Internal Revenue Service audit aren’t that high. In 2017, the most recent statistics available, show the I.R.S. audited 0.5% of all individual tax returns.
Being audited does not necessarily imply that the I.R.S. suspects wrongdoing. The I.R.S. says that an audit is just a formal review of a tax return to ensure information is being reported according to current tax law and to verify that the information itself is accurate. (more…)
Trust deeds may seem to be a fairly straightforward form of financial investment. You may have heard of them in passing without being certain exactly what they are. It’s also referred to as a private trust deed.
What are they? At the core, these private trust deeds are sort of like mortgages that are used by real estate investors to borrow money to purchase property or finance buildings. The “sort of” part comes from the fact that these private trust deeds are not exactly like the mortgage a homeowner might take from a bank or other mortgage lender to buy a house. (more…)
Marriage changes everything, including insurance needs. Newly married couples should consider a comprehensive review of their current, individual insurance coverage to determine if any changes are in order as well as consider new insurance coverage appropriate to their new life stage.
The good news is that married drivers may be eligible for lower rates than single drivers. Since most couples come into their marriage with two separate auto policies, you should review your existing policies and contact your respective insurance companies to obtain competitive quotes on a new, combined policy. (more…)
With the children now out of the house, financial priorities become more focused on preparing for retirement. At this stage, you may very likely be at the height of your earning power and fast approaching peak savings as you lay the groundwork for retirement. During this final leg to retirement – and throughout your retirement period – wealth protection is critical.
The preservation of your assets will not be solely a function of your investment strategy, but will include a comprehensive insurance approach to protect you against an array of financial risks, most especially health care. (more…)
“What is your greatest retirement fear?” If you ask any group of retirees and pre-retireesthis question, “outliving my money” will likely be one of the top answers. In fact, 51% of investors surveyed for a 2019 AIG retirement study ranked outliving their money as their top anxiety.
Retirees face greater “longevity risk” today. The Census Bureau says that Americans typically retire around age 63. Social Security projects that today’s 63-year-olds will live into their mid-eighties, on average. This is a mean life expectancy, so while some of these seniors may pass away earlier, others may live past 90 or 100. (more…)
For many investors, it can be tempting to think of one’s portfolio in terms of “gains” or “losses.” True, this is a central concept to understanding market behavior, but to truly maximize your investing knowledge, you also need to know about “unrealized gains,” “unrealized losses,” and how they can work to your advantage. As always, the following information is not intended as tax or legal advice. Any financial decision should be undertaken in consultation with your financial advisor and is not intended as tax or legal advice. Ready to learn more? Read on. (more…)
With overseas investments, we remind people that, “international markets carry additional risks, which include differences in financial reporting standards, currency exchange rates, political risk, foreign taxes and regulations.” The Chinese markets are no exception to that.
Summer jobs are a perennial aspect of the American workforce. It’s a time when teenagers are filling out applications and, in many cases, earning wages of their own for the first time. But some of what we’ve become accustomed to may be changing.
High net worth investors face investment challenges that some would consider unique to their financial status. The fundamental tenets of investing apply just as equally to them as any other investor, but these investors need to be mindful of issues that typically arise only from substantial wealth. Let’s examine a few of these.
Corporate earnings season has begun, and the results are turning heads on Wall Street. Of the 120 companies in the S&P 500 index that reported numbers as of Friday, July 23, 89% of them beat the Street’s earnings-per-share estimates by an average of nearly 21%.1
Given the threat of COVID-19, seniors today may be considering their eldercare alternatives with extra caution. In addition to health factors, the cost can be an issue. According to Genworth’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey, the median annual cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is now $90,000. A single-occupancy room may cost … Continue reading “Eldercare Choices in the COVID-19 Era”
Epic Capital provides the following comprehensive financial planning and investment management services: Learn More >