Jay Dunlap ran a mortgage company that specialized in dealing with people that had poor credit, explained US Postal Inspector Dan Taylor.
In fact, many of Dunlaps clients had been denied real estate loans in the past. Inspectors say Dunlap used this to his advantage.
He was generally contacting people that were desperate for whatever they could get to try and save their homes, said Taylor.
Authorities say Dunlap would offer to buy his clients houses from them for a year and they would essentially pay him rent.
After a year they would be able to buy the house back and then have better credit and qualify for a regular loan, Taylor explained.
But once Dunlap took possession of the house, he took out several equity loans.
Dunlap took these loans against the property in the belief that the victims would never come up with the cash to try to repurchase the home, Taylor said.
But in this case, victims tried to buy their homes back.
He took their money, deposited it, spent it, but never actually transferred the title back to the victims, said Taylor.
Dunlap stopped paying on the equity loans and banks foreclosed on the property.
Ultimately the victims were foreclosed on and had to move out of the house, Taylor explained.
Postal inspectors say it is possible more victims exist. They also warn anyone seeking a mortgage to do your research.
Be very careful who you are dealing with; check references, check licensing, things along those lines, added Taylor.
Meantime, Dunlap was sentenced to 5 years in prison on bank and wire fraud. He was also ordered to pay almost $350,000 in restitution.
- What is most important to you in the way you want to build your financial resources through your stock or ETF investments? Low risk? Odds of profit? Size of gain?
- Forecasts of next few months’ price ranges, implied from self-protective hedging by market-makers [MMs], provide a way to cut down the prospect list from thousands to tens.
- Actuarial records of how market prices have behaved, following each candidate’s prior forecasts with upside-to-downside balances like today’s, tell how well the MMs saw what was coming.
- Differences in risk exposure, price volatility, odds of winning, quickness of price target achievement, and other satisfaction considerations can vary considerably, even among the best.
- Here are time-efficient ways to identify choice factors important to you, and use them in improving your chances to achieve your desired goals, when you need them reached.
(ThyBlackMan.com) Anyone who wants to achieve personal wealth has to have a little hustle. Climbing the corporate ladder can help you make all the money you need, but if youre still working on the first few rungs of the ladder, it’s a good idea to look at other ways you can boost your income in additional to relying on your current job. The side job is a perfect way to get your hustle on and make enough money so you can start building your retirement fund the right way. Here are a few great ideas you need to know when youre thinking about getting started with a side business.
Look at What the Costs of Startup Are Going to Be
No matter what the business is, youll need to make some form of an investment to get it off the ground. You have to put some serious thought into how much money you will need for things like supplies, hardware and more, according to Money Crashers. Remember that youll need more than just the initial amount required to start your side business; before you start realizing profitability, youll no doubt need to make additional investments of cash. While you may not need to come up with a full business plan at first, you need to be realistic in what your expenses are going to be until your business becomes self-sufficient. Think about whether you need to buy a barcode printer from a company like Shopify in addition to a cash register, as well as the usual business supplies youll need. The more detailed you can be in anticipating your expenses, the fewer surprises youre going to encounter down the road. If absolutely necessary, you can utilize this information to approach your bank and get the loan you need to start your side business.
Analyze Your Passion for the Side Job
If youre starting a side job, you need to remember that youre still going to be working at your full-time job. This means youll need to have enough energy to work both of the jobs with as much vigor as possible. There are going to be times when youre just tired from your regular job and youre finding it difficult to get the energy to work your side job. If your side job is something youre excited about doing, your passion will carry you through and help to get you off the couch, according to Entrepreneur. Remember that when youre passionate about something it doesn’t seem like work. Instead, it will seem like youre having fun, because you are. As youre considering the jobs you want to do, analyze your passion for each one. If you can come up with any excuses as to why you cannot do the work, that means your passion level is not high enough to justify the investment into the side business. If, instead, you think of a business plan and youre full of ideas on how to overcome minor inconveniences, you’ve landed on something you can actually get involved in.
Utilize the Help of the Small Business Administration
Everyone can use a little help from time to time. Getting help for your side business is something youre going to need right from the beginning. The US Governments Small Business Administration (SBA) has a wealth of knowledge you can draw on to start your own business, as does SCORE, a nonprofit business consulting company. The US Department of Veterans Affairs also offers business help for veterans. Tapping into any of these resources will give you the help you need to understand what is expected of you and how you can accomplish your goals. They can also help you to understand how you can get a loan or minimize your expenses. Depending on who you get involved with, you can even speak directly with someone to get the coaching you need for starting your business without having to pay for it. This is something youll find handy when you need that boost of confidence that you can do it.
Take the First Step
When you’ve analyzed your expenses, invested into your company and you know what youre going to do, it’s time to get started. The first step can always be the most difficult, so push yourself into making that first step by setting a deadline. If youre starting a side business where youre going to sell at outdoor markets, you should make a reservation for booth space at one of the outdoor markets. Mark your calendar and remember your deadline. Don’t push it back or make excuses, just make it happen. You will not be perfect the first time, but youre going to get better as you go along. As youre going through this process, make sure youre still giving your all at your main job, so you don’t give them any reason you let you go, according to Bank Rate. You may even want to put in longer hours at the regular job initially so your regular job sees youre still serious about working there.
Staff Writer; Joe Moore
Making the Million Dollar Round Table
Hard work and dedication are a must for any success you desire. These have prompted the success of Natasha McDonald. Her hard work did not go unnoticed as, she also made the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) for Scotia Jamaica Insurance Company.
Shortly after receiving the honour at the recent MDRT annual meeting in Toronto, Canada, McDonald described her experience as one that was great and fulfilling as it allowed her to have an even greater appreciation of the insurance industry.
Its a great achievement, but McDonald also made The Court of The Table, making her one of only four to do so. It is an honour reserved for those who display exceptional professional knowledge, client service, and ethical conduct.
McDonald acknowledges that the MDRT was among her long-term goals. I knew it existed, pursued it and challenged myself each day to accomplish it, she said. This honour was a main goal for many other members, but McDonald achieved it by reviewing the previous one to see what strategies worked and what didnt. My next step was to carefully plan ahead with new ideas gained through communicating with top sales advisors in the industry and reading widely about insurance and financial advising. This allowed me to customise a strategy that yielded this success, she added.
The insurance and financial advisor has been with her organisation for six years, during which she held various positions. Her future career plans include being a multifaceted advisor offering services in insurance, financial and investment sectors.
She continues to put God first and make confidence, optimism, integrity and enthusiasm be her daily guide. McDonald says her success was a team effort which included Ruth Campbell , regional manager, Charisse Williams, and Trezar Lopez, as well as the management and staff of her head office and the Scotia Centre branch.
When he buys a stock, Warren Buffett places more emphasis on
one factor above almost any other.
he has mentioned this single trait more than 20 times in
his annual shareholder letters.
He calls it essential for sustained success.
However, you wont find it listed on a companys balance
sheet. Its value doesnt rise and fall with the market. And even
if a company reports great earnings, the worth of this one
advantage still cant be calculated.
But that doesnt keep it from being a companys most valuable
Take the nasty bear market of 2008 and 2009. From its peak to
trough, the Samp;P lost more than 55%. No investment completely
avoided the downfall.
Well, almost no investment. Of the 500 stocks in the Samp;P,
only nine made money during that period.
Of those nine stocks, six of them (two-thirds) had this
But this advantage also helps these stocks beat the market in
uptrends, too. After all, Buffett has made billions thanks to
companies with this trait.
So what single advantage can capture the attention of Warren
Buffett… help a stock beat the market in an uptrend… and help
it fall less in a downtrend?
That advantage is a term originally popularized by Buffett
an economic moat.
As Buffett puts it…
A truly great business must have an enduring moat that
protects excellent returns on invested capital. The dynamics of
capitalism guarantee that competitors will repeatedly assault
any business castle that is earning high returns.
Therefore a formidable barrier such as a companys being the
low-cost producer or possessing a powerful world-wide brand is
essential for sustained success. Business history is filled with
Roman Candles, companies whose moats proved illusory and were
Warren Buffett, 2007 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder
Economic moats protect a business from competition. That helps
the company with a moat earn unusually high profits.
Let me give you an example…
Everyone knows Microsofts (Nasdaq:
) incredible story. In the 1970s, Paul Allen and Bill Gates
created the company, reportedly earning $1 million within their
first year of business.
Thats where Microsofts moat began. But it was the
introduction of the Windows operating system in 1985 that turned
its moat into one of the widest in history.
Approximately 70% of computers run a form of Windows right
now. Microsoft generated $19 billion in revenue from Windows in
fiscal 2013 — nearly 30 years after it was first introduced.
But how — especially in an industry like technology, which
changes so fast — has Microsoft been able to stay on top of its
Few people love Windows the same way that they seem to
love their iPhone… or their favorite drink at Starbucks
). Yet billions of people continue to use the product day after
day, year after year.
Thats because Microsoft — and Windows in particular –
enjoys a huge economic moat due to high switching costs.
High switching costs mean that the benefits gained from using
another product are outweighed by the costs of switching. If I
wanted to switch to another operating system, I would have to buy
the new operating system, and Id also have to spend time
learning how to use it.
And thats not to mention that many software programs are
built to run only on Windows, creating another hurdle to
That moat has made Microsofts founders, Bill Gates and Paul
Allen, billionaires several times over.
But investing in economic moats can be a tricky thing…
As I said, moats arent listed on a balance sheet or income
statement. And there is no definitive list of what constitutes a
moat and what does not.
But while there isnt an exact list of moats, the most common
ones are easy to spot…
— A company that can provide the lowest price for the same
product can essentially shut its competitors out of a market.
This is the reason behind Wal-Marts (NYSE:
) growth over the past several decades.
High Switching Costs
— I explained how Microsoft has built a moat around its business
thanks to high switching costs. These costs keep customers loyal
to a product, even if better alternatives exist.
The Network Effect
— How has eBay (Nasdaq:
) cornered the market in online auctions? Sellers want to list
their products on the site because of the huge number of buyers
that shop there. And buyers visit the site to find the most
options from sellers. Because of its vast network of users, no
other auction site rivals eBays popularity.
Strong Brand Name
— Coca-Cola (NYSE:
) is one of the most dominant companies on the planet. Much of
its advantage comes from its powerful brand name. Thats why even
though there are literally hundreds of substitutes, Coke is able
to dominate its competition.
— Pharmaceutical companies have been able to pay their investors
billions of dollars in dividends thanks to their patents on
drugs, which shut out competition. Patents and other intangible
assets (like trademarks) can protect a company from direct
Now, investing in moats is no guarantee that a stock will beat
the market. Plenty of other factors come into play. But if the
worlds greatest investor has made billions of dollars investing
in wide-moat companies, dont you think you should too?
Thats why economic moats are one of the key traits I looked
for when making my list of
The Top 10 Stocks For 2014
. While these stocks share a history of outpeforming the market,
many of them are even more known for their reliably generous
In our latest
Top 10 Stocks
report, youll find one wide-moat company that has paid more
than 100 consecutive dividends. Another dominates its market…
has increased dividend payments 104% and has returned over 140%
since it went public in 2008. You can learn more about these 10
stocks, including several names and ticker symbols
As another brief summer storm rolled through Tuesday afternoon, Mark Welch was watching the clock and monitoring the skies, hoping everything would line up perfectly so he could get moving on the next step in ridding the Kanawha Valley of the now-infamous white chemical storage tanks at Freedom Industries.
Contractors were on site. New demolition and storm water runoff plans were in place. Now, if the weather would just cooperate, and if a special large #x201c;shear#x201d; #x2014; the machine that will actually cut apart those white tanks #x2014; would make it in from Cleveland.
#x201c;We#x2019;re this close,#x201d; Welch said, holding his thumb and index finger an inch apart.
Welch, the court-approved chief restructuring officer in Freedom#x2019;s bankruptcy case, was hoping it would finally be the day that a major part of the work of closing Freedom#x2019;s Elk River tank farm and cleaning up the site would begin.
Under a deal with the state Department of Environmental Protection, Freedom agreed to start dismantling and removing all above-ground storage tanks, associated piping and machinery by, on or before March 15.
But the tank demolition has been slowed by a series of problems, most recently a finding that there were 650 pieces of asbestos #x2014; not three, as a survey originally identified #x2014; that needed to be carefully removed from the facility#x2019;s equipment. Welch said the asbestos cleanup set work back roughly two weeks and that it#x2019;s not clear that all of the material identified as asbestos really was. It was easier, he said, to simply assume the worst.
#x201c;It#x2019;s better to be safe than sorry,#x201d; Welch said. During an interview and tour of the site, Welch used that phrase liberally, perhaps in recognition of how Kanawha Valley residents have come to view the chemical storage facility responsible for the January spill that contaminated drinking water supplies serving 300,000 residents in Charleston and surrounding counties.
Welch is a managing director of the financial advising firm MorrisAnderson. At Freedom, his real job is to oversee the company as it basically liquidates its assets in bankruptcy court, a forum where the desires of a company#x2019;s creditors for payment can often conflict with the demands to spend money on expensive environmental remediation projects.
But with attention focused on Freedom and the site cleanup, much of Welch#x2019;s focus is on that project, especially following two storm water spills on consecutive days in June. Welch proudly shows off some of the many steps that he#x2019;s taken to try to ensure the demolition goes smoothly. There are additional storm water pumps to prevent any runoff from reaching the river, and vacuum trucks to suck up any chemicals that happen to seep out of the ground when the tanks #x2014; all now empty of Freedom#x2019;s products #x2014; are demolished.
Walking from Freedom#x2019;s office building toward the tank farm, Welch points to a red trash bin full of somewhat tattered, bright yellow booms. Welch says he replaced those booms, in place since the Jan. 9 spill, with 1,000 feet of new spill-containing booms, as an extra precaution should anything really go wrong.
Welch also says some of the additional measures are really unnecessary, and says with a laugh that the project might move along faster if he could get the DEP #x201c;off my back.#x201d;
In a news release issued late Tuesday afternoon, DEP spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater said that agency inspectors would be #x201c;on site throughout the duration of the project.#x201d;
#x201c;Once the tanks are removed, thorough soil and groundwater analysis can be conducted to determine the scope of the contamination and the steps needed to remediate the site,#x201d; Gillenwater said.
Welch insists he wants the public to see the progress he#x2019;s making at the site. #x201c;I don#x2019;t have anything to hide. I#x2019;d rather more people see what#x2019;s going on,#x201d; he says. But Welch also remains insistent that Freedom#x2019;s periodic budget reports to US Bankruptcy Judge Ronald Pearson #x2014; which give the public an idea of what the ultimate cleanup costs will be and if there#x2019;s enough money in Freedom#x2019;s coffers for the work #x2014; need to remain sealed, to protect competitive bidding for cleanup contractors.
While Welch says Freedom has spent about $12 million to $13 million so far on the cleanup and post-bankruptcy operations, the demolition of the tanks will actually earn the company $25,000. The contract with Independence Excavating calls for the contractor to pay Freedom that amount, in exchange for ownership of scrap metal from the tanks.
If all goes well, Welch hopes crews working 10-hour days will be able to remove the five tanks this week. The first to go will be those numbered 398-402. These are located in the middle of the facility#x2019;s line of 13 tanks. The tank that leaked in January #x2014; tank 396 #x2014; and the other MCHM vessels are scheduled to be taken out next week. The bulk of the work will be done by a shear, a cutting tool attached to an excavator. As the empty tanks are torn down and removed, newly exposed soil will be covered with tarps and sandbags to prevent storm water from running through the area and carrying off any contamination from the soils.
Three tanks, those numbered 403-405, will stay at least temporarily to be used for continued storage of storm water runoff that#x2019;s collected from the site. So far, more than 1.5 million gallons of storm water have been removed from the site. Welch is hoping to work out a deal to send the rest, including 450,000 gallons now stored on site, to the Charleston Sanitary Board for treatment and disposal in the Kanawha River. The local option would be far cheaper than trucking the storm water to facilities in North Carolina and Ohio, Welch says.
All that storm water is collected in a series of sumps on site and in a long trench that runs along the river, down a steep bank from the Freedom storage tanks on the northern end of the facility. The trench is covered with gravel, and fitted with several corrugated pipes that provide a view of the water that#x2019;s been collected. Inside the pipes a float valve is visible that, when it rises to a certain level with the water, turns on a pump that ships the water up the hill to the storage tanks.
In mid-June, it was this setup that failed, causing potentially contaminated storm water to flow into the Elk on two consecutive evenings. The incident caused high-profile problems for Welch, harsh critics from DEP Secretary Randy Huffman, and the replacement of one of Freedom#x2019;s main contractors on the cleanup job.
Welch has blamed those incidents on heavy rainfalls, but conceded Tuesday that the float valve was improperly adjusted, which caused the company#x2019;s pumps to fail to turn on and control the additional runoff as they were supposed to do. #x201c;It was a double whammy,#x201d; Welch said. Additional pumps, more vacuum trucks and a better setting for the float valve #x2014; along with more hands-on monitoring by Freedom contractors #x2014; will keep such overflows from recurring, Welch said. #x201c;Nothing can leave this site,#x201d; he said.
Just to be sure, Freedom#x2019;s storm water control plan for the tank demolition calls for demolition work to stop during #x201c;significant rain events.#x201d; The plan, approved by the DEP on Monday, defines that to mean 2 inches or more of rain during a six-hour period.
But how will Freedom contractors know when rainfall begins if a storm will meet that definition so they can stop demolition work? Gillenwater said the figure was meant as a guideline, #x201c;with the intent being simply that the work is halted during heavy rainfall.#x201d; Freedom contractors #x201c;will be closely monitoring weather reports,#x201d; Gillenwater said.
The major question mark going forward is what Freedom will find when the tanks are removed and testing is performed on the soil underneath. Until the extent of contamination is known, it#x2019;s impossible to clearly outline a long-term cleanup plan or what such a plan might cost, officials say.
#x201c;The only thing I#x2019;m worried about now is when I take out those tanks, what#x2019;s underneath there?#x201d; Welch said.
By mid-afternoon, the shear had arrived and workers were tearing down part of the facility#x2019;s containment dike, which was already crumbling in some places.
Welch, meanwhile, said that his vision is to complete cleanup of the site and pave over the ground where the tank farm now stands. He says he#x2019;s had discussions with two potential buyers for the site. He wouldn#x2019;t identify them or say what their plans for the site might be, but said one of them simply sees an opportunity to pick up some cheap land along the river. #x201c;I will sell this,#x201d; Welch said. #x201c;I guarantee it.#x201d;
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-348-1702 or follow @kenwardjr on Twitter.
My wife and I just returned from a vacation on the Outer Banks. We celebrated my 60th birthday a few days early by rocking and rolling with Hurricane Arthur into the pre-dawn hours of July 4th.
Despite virtual white caps in our toilet bowls during the peak of this Category 2 hurricane, there was no property damage to our stilt-supported condominium in Kill Devil Hills, near the epicenter of the Weather Channel’s overly dramatic live coverage.
We have been distantly, anxious, oceanfront property owners during hurricanes for more than 20 years. Several times we have been on-site to experience 60 mph winds of a nor’easter storm. But as we anticipated riding out our first hurricane, trusted local advisers reassured us that we had no reason to fear for our personal safety if we followed basic instructions.
As the media suggested the need to prepare for Arthur with a supply of ice and batteries in case of a power outage, my 60th birthday loomed as a formidable reminder of the need to solidify pre-retirement planning. Although I have been rounding-up my age for a while, as in “not bad for a 60-year-old,” the arrival of the actual birthday seemed to invite the anxiety triggered by Hurricane Arthur to linger longer than the storm itself. I became preoccupied with deciding whether or not the time has arrived to cash in some earnings, as my 60th birthday coincided with a record high stock market.
The financial advising community offers this general advice for those of us who will retire without a pension: 1. Baby boomers should work until age 66 to become fully vested in Social Security; 2. A nest-egg of eight times one’s final salary is enough; and 3. A reasonable plan is to withdraw 4 percent per year from the nest egg to supplement Social Security.
Considerable expertise in law, investment real estate and insurance does not make me feel qualified to offer financial or tax advice. I failed to predict the financial crisis of 2007-2008, or that the annualized Samp;P 500 return over the past two years would exceed 22 percent. So I am not presuming to issue a warning about the collapse of the stock market or the rise of interest rates.
However, if you are like me, nearing your retirement with some debt that is either aggressively leveraged or with a floating interest rate, it is a good time to consider the opportunity to cash in on the record-high stock market to pay down the debt. This is counter to the conventional wisdom that the leverage of borrowing other people’s money “(OPM) is the dope that makes real estate work.” However, it recognizes not only that the potential damage from market volatility increases near retirement, but also that some experts warn that the present market is over-valued.
In retirement planning, emotional factors may be worth considering along with the financial advisers’ generally accepted rules of thumb. However illusionary, I feel safer in real estate ownership than stocks, investment funds, and other securities. I believe that my actions and decisions personally affect my real estate property values, and I don’t feel that sense of control with stocks and other investments. If I were not an expert in investment real estate, perhaps I would feel differently.
The desire to own something tangible has caused some people to invest in commodities, such as gold and silver. I have no special insight about the probable future value of those investments, but I do understand that an ounce of a precious metal can be measured and touched in way that could seem more real or secure than a fractional interest in a publicly traded company.
Collectable art and antiques are tangible and offer the benefit of enjoyment, as well as some probable investment value. But I can easily imagine events that could make it difficult suddenly to convert the present value of art and antiques into cash when needed in the future to buy groceries and pay medical expenses. Owning a small business offers similar intangible rewards and liquidity risks.
I wish I had invested more in Google and Amazon, especially since both companies’ websites are bookmarked among my favorites. But I have always respected that experts understand the underlying value of the less glamorous companies that serve our essential daily needs. That is why I have deferred to their strategy to invest my savings in funds that do not consider my personal interests or spending habits.
I understand annuities and am licensed to earn commissions by selling them to consumers. However, I generally advise that it is unwise for those who are 65 years and older to purchase an annuity. Even though annuities can provide a guaranteed income stream, most annuities have significant surrender penalty charges. Government programs, which otherwise can help to pay for long-term care when Medicare stops after 100 days or less, often penalize annuity ownership. Extensive experience with the financially devastating consequences of sudden long-term care expenses causes me to advise that retirees with investment assets of less than $1 million would do better to have their nest egg managed by a fee-based financial adviser than to be locked up in one or more annuities.
If you are planning to retire in the next several years, you should develop a financial strategy that considers your expected retirement pension and Social Security income, as well as your current net worth and tolerance for continued investment risk to reach your targeted nest egg at retirement. You also need a legal strategy that considers how to mitigate the risk of your probable need for long-term care. Especially if you have a net worth of more than $500,000 and/or an expectation of investment income of at least $1,500 per month to supplement your pension and Social Security, you should discuss your strategy with a lawyer who understands the risks of long-term care expenses, your tax adviser and a fee-based financial adviser. We offer a detailed written analysis to facilitate such a discussion.
Guest columnist Dave Nesbit is the principal attorney certified in Long Term Care insurance at Keystone Elder Law PC in Upper Allen Township. He can be reached at email@example.com or 697-3223. The Elder Care column appears Fridays in The Sentinel.
One of the higher profile financial planning firms in the area has gone bankrupt.
Reeves Financial Services has filed to bankruptcy leaving almost 420 thousand dollars in debts and listing about 27 thousand dollars in assets.
The firm at one time listed offices in Hamilton, Burlington, Kitchener and Toronto.
Theres no indication that owner Scott Reeves has filed for personal bankruptcy.
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario says people who bought insurance through Reeves Financial should check with the insurance company issuing the policy to be sure their coverage is unaffected.
It adds if they placed investments through Reeves, they should seek legal advice.
Antaeus Wealth Advisors, a comprehensive financial services practice based in Boxborough, Mass., offers a broad range of financial services to a variety of niche markets.
Having served clients across market cycles and multiple generations, their team provides the resources and education for clients to make informed decisions with their money. By following the core values of trust, integrity and prosperity, Antaeus puts their clients’ interests first.
With graduation happening, Antaeus Wealth Advisors announce their top 10 tips for saving for college, and money management while in college.
o Find a way to fill up a Roth IRA. The maximum contribution is $5,500 per year, assuming the student earns at least $5,500, thus let us assume a college student puts in $5,500 freshman year (age 18), sophomore year, junior year and senior year (age 21). Then they add nothing for the rest of their life. By age 67, assuming a non-guaranteed average annual return of 8 percent, the ending balance is $857,473, and tax free, all from just $22,000 in contributions.
o While in college, use one, and only one credit card, and pay it off every month. This teaches thrift, builds credit, etc. If a balance is rolled over to the next month, stop using the credit card until it is paid off. Build credit while having only one statement to watch. A no fee card is best.
o While in college, get a part-time job, such as delivering food, and spend 50 percent of the money on fun, and save 50 percent of the money into a Roth IRA.
o Budgeting is a critical life skill. Making a simple monthly budget and taking it is extremely helpful in college. A budget should have broad categories, so it is easier to maintain.
o Get in the habit of paying yourself first: dedicate a piece of your college job’s paycheck to savings. An amount as simple as $50 per month establishes the habit of saving. In today’s electronic world this can be automated so your bank automatically moves the money into savings each month.
o Get used to living within your means.
o All parents should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Retirement accounts, IRAs and equity in a primary residence generally do not count against the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for financial aid purposes.
o Parents should open a 529 as soon as the child is born to take advantage of compounding. Assuming the child starts college at age 18.5, the parents only have 222 months to sock money away before college begins.
o These accounts may serve as a vehicle for grandparents and relatives to leverage their gifting goals in a tax-efficient manner. For example, provided that no additional gifts are made to the beneficiary during the 5-year period, any individual may contribute 5 years of annual exclusion gifts to a 529 plan, ie, $70,000 in 2014, in a lump sum without incurring federal gift taxes.
o Paying off your house before your child starts college makes it much easier to pay tuition out of cash flow.
There are many ways to build wealth, but what about protecting it?
Im often struck by how strongly Australians focus on the wealth-building side of their goals: they understand mortgages, they know about starting a business and they understand that regular contributions to super are a good idea. But look closer at these wealth-building ideas: they all require that you feed them with your cash or your hard work, and sometimes both.
Its actually you and your income-generation that builds wealth. So what would happen if that capacity was taken away or reduced?
The way to protect income-generation is though an insurance called life products. They insure you and your earning capacity, and every Australian with debts and children should investigate where these products could fit in their financial plans.