How to Manage Your Personal Finances – Retirement Capital Requirements

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

So, how do I plan my retirement date?

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

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

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

Let me expand the golden formula as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Choose Holiday Apartments For a Skiing Holiday

The growth of skiing holidays has led to a rise in the number of vacation apartments that can be selected on the internet. There are some great holiday properties in most of the ski resorts around the world.

Many families now stay in chalets when going on skiing holidays. In the past accommodation was very expensive on skiing holidays and many people were not able to afford it. In recent years there has been a tremendous growth in the number of self catering properties in skiing resorts. They have now opened up skiing to a whole new market place that could not afford skiing before.

Staying in a chalet on a skiing holiday can be great fun. You can ski during the day and at night sample the local night life. The property can act as a base to explore the local area and you can choose to eat what you like when you like. Most resorts now open during the summer months and the accommodation can make for a very cheap holiday. There is still plenty to do with stunning scenery, long mountain walks and breathtaking views.

By using the internet you are able to find some great vacation properties around the world. It is possible to find apartments with direct holiday bookings. By selecting your vacation property on line, you are able to compare it with the other holiday apartments available to stay in. This will enable you to get the best possible value.

By looking for accommodation on line will also allow you to see exactly what you are going to be staying in. You will be able to view pictures of your holiday apartment and also see what facilities you will be provided with during your stay. It is also a convenient way of checking out the area that you will be staying in and you will have some idea about what shops and restaurants are near to your rental home.

Holiday apartments are a great form of accommodation during your vacations. There is a tremendous choice of properties to choose from to stay in during your vacations. It does not matter if you want a cheap holiday or are prepared to stretch your budget as there are homes to suite all needs and price ranges.

When staying in a holiday chalet on a skiing holiday you can choose to eat out at the local restaurants or cook back in your holiday flat. The good thing about a self catering property is that it gives you the freedom to do what you want, when you want on a holiday.

Staying in a apartment is a great way to spend your vacations. There are some great properties by the sea, in the city centers and even by the ski slopes. There are one bedroom flats with sofa beds all the way through to large luxurious penthouse apartments. People of all ages with different needs and requirements now stay in apartments all over the world. It is no wonder that staying in a holiday apartment is now such a popular kind of holiday.

Credit Card Debt Repair – Solving Your Credit Card Debt Problems

Many people get into trouble with credit cards. Having a couple of credit cards that you manage properly will help build your credit, but many people do not have the discipline to manage credit cards properly and end up with significant debt and a poor credit score. It is important to resist the temptation to open credit cards just because an offer comes in the mail. Many credit cards have interest rates and fees that increase significantly if one payment is missed or is late. Credit card terms and conditions are often difficult to understand so consumers don’t realize what they are getting into before incurring the debt.

Debt consolidation and debt settlement is a solution to unmanageable credit card debt for many people.

Debt consolidation/debt settlement is a good idea if you have several high interest credit cards that you have trouble paying on time or you are only able to make the minimum payment. Having one smaller monthly payment will help you manage your debts and pay them off faster. As part of the debt consolidation program the company you use may be able to get the credit card companies to reduce the interest remove late fees and even reduce the principle.

Remember, if you only pay the minimum amount each month it can take many years to pay them off and most of the payments you make will go to interest.

Paying more than the minimum required each month will help you pay off your credit cards faster and to boost your credit score. This also shows lenders that you are able to manage your finances properly by making your payments timely.

Do not be afraid to use debt consolidation/debt settlement programs if you are in debt over your head. These programs can help you get back on track in a relatively short time. Most credit card companies are ready to offer a deal to these companies on your behalf to help you solve your money owing problems.

All in all, there are debt management programs available for those dealing with high indebtedness, just make sure you are dealing with a trusted company. A check at the Better Business Bureau website could do the job perfectly.

Run Cooler Motorcycles

A motorcycle's suspension is a thankless job as it attempts to isolate riders from the irregularity of the road. With every fork compression and expansion your motorcycle's fork oil gets hotter and ever loses viscosity. As the oil loses viscosity your forks compress easier and easier, and since there is no more added rebound your suspension wallows and the bumps in the road become bumps in your handlebars and seat. Keep your forks still, strong and cool by spending a half hour and $ 15 installing some fresh fork oil. You will need a liter of fork oil ($ 10), a Ratio Rite ($ 4) to measure the proper amount of oil, a car jack, a funnel ($ 1) and some basic hand tools.

Look in your motorcycle's workshop manual to figure out the amount and viscosity of the oil currently in your forks. If you would like a stiffer suspension purchase thicker weight fork oil and purchase thinner oil if you prefer a softer suspension. Raise the front of your motorcycle off the ground using a car jack under the engine block. Remove the front wheel and front fender to allow you access to the triple trees. Measure the amount your fork stanchions stick out above your triple trees and loosen the caps on the left and right fork stanchions. Loosening the upper and lower triple trees and remove both fork stanchions. Unscrew the fork caps but be careful as the caps have a tendency to fly off as a spring is pushing against them. With the caps off, turn the stanchions upside down, remove the fork spring and let the oil drain out. Pay attention to see if the oil is dark, thick or filled with bits of fiber or metal. Pump the suspension up and down to fully evict all of the used oil.

Once the old oil has been removed we can start filling the fresh oil. Since the amount of oil affects how the forks will compress, think about if you liked the handling of your suspension or would prefer a stiffer or softer set up. If you liked the old set up, fill the Ratio Rite with the amount of oil specified in your workshop manual and fill a fork leg. Pump the fork stanchion up and down to eliminate all of the air in the system. This typically involves pumping the fork for two minutes. Once you are done move on to the other leg and repeat the process. When you are finished compress both forks and measure how far the oil is from the top of the forks. The number should be the same for both forks. If not keep pumping or add some oil to the fork with the lower level of oil. Insert the fork springs, compress the fork, install and tighten the fork cap. Insert the fork stanchions through the triple trees up to their previous height above the top triple tree. Reassemble all of the parts, making sure to torque the axle, axle pinch bolts, fork caps, upper and lower triple trees to factory recommended settings. Say thanks to your suspension and your suspension will thank you by running cooler and better absorbing every bump you hit.