Archive for the ‘Finances’ Category

Emergency Preparedness – Rainy Day Money Storage.

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

   Just in case you loose your job, the house burns down, your ARM skyrockets, and/or gas prices or other normal budget items suddenly get abnormal, you need to have some money storage.
   With monthly house payments, car payments, food and utilities, any loss of income will be quite disturbing.  “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.”  Being debt free is it’s own best dividend.
   Today’s employees can expect at least 3-5 job changes before retirement.  That hung-drawn look is far more indicative of  “I’m between paychecks”, rather than “I’m between jobs.”  It is not unusual that 
1-3 months is required to find new employment, unless you are an IT specialist.  Then it’s 12-15 months.
   A 90-day supply of cash in savings is absolutely essential, unless you are totally out of debt.  You don’t have to think about it.  JUST DO IT.  And keep $1,000 in small bills around in case we have an earthquake.
   For more information contact (your emergency preparedness specialist).

Emergency Preparedness – Money Storage in Retirement Plans

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

   Qualified retirement plans are as simple to understand as a chicken farm.  “Qualified” means that the IRS fox is kept away from layer hens and eggs during the working years because you commit to build this flock as a replacement for you for income earning when you retire from the workplace.   
   Now, think like a chicken farmer.  Do you want a big flock or a little flock in the henhouse when you retire?  Additionally, in retirement do you want to live on chicken or eggs?  See how simple?
   You can eat your chickens once.  You can live on the eggs forever and leave your unconsumed flock to someone else, if you learn what can be done and are careful in your choices.
   However, most all pension plans and annuities intend to keep your chickens and only pay you eggs until you die.  If forced to annualize, this is what will happen to you.  For each $l,000 (chickens) you give up, you will get $X (eggs) per month for life.  That X figure can be as much as $6 per month per thousand, or as little as $3 per thousand.  If it is $3, you will get $3 x 12 payments a year, or $36 income for each $1,000 left in the plan.  That’s only 3.6% annual return on each $l,000.  LOOKS LIKE EGGS TO ME, and few at that — and that’s chicken feed compared to simple interest bank rates where you still own your money.
   Retirees, be careful.  You can get help managing your money storage as well as your food storage.
   For more information contact several qualified retirement and annuity specialists and a good CPA.

Emergency Preparedness – Pensions and Lifetime Income Annuities.

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

   All pensions are annuities, but not all annuities are pensions.  What’s the difference?
   Pensions offer retirees life income and benefits can be shared with a spouse only.  At retirement most employer plans will offer a single choice from “six standard payout options.”  Option one pays the most money monthly, but only to the participant until death; options two through six pay less, with the spouse getting a continuing fractional amount until death.  Live long, get a lot.  Die together a day after retirement begins, payments cease.  Providers smile when liability ends and plans retain all your unpaid money.
   Annuities offer more choices, to include life and time specific payouts.  Beneficiaries other than spousal can also receive monetary benefits.  Most important, every provider pays out at a different rate based on each $1,000 of value in the plan.  To be able to shop for an annuity provider with highest rates can mean as much as double the income each month from the same plan balance.  Bank savers shop interest rates.  Retirees should shop payout rates with all structured settlements to see who will pay the most for life.
   Get information from several qualified annuity specialists.   This irrevocable decision lasts a lifetime.

Emergency preparedness – The Myths of Lifetime Guarantees.

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

   “Buy this one,” the wife said.  “It’s only $30 more, but it has a lifetime guarantee.”

   “Whose lifetime,” her husband questioned?  “I’m 78 and have lived 3 years more than I was suppose to.”

   A lifetime guarantee is generally considered to be no longer than 10 years for any manufactured product.  Of course, certificates with fine print can exclude important components, and unless you retain sales slips mere possession may not be sufficient to prove ownership.  Warrantees expire generally when 80% or less of the life expectancy of an item has been reached.  In most cases, ‘new and improved’ will have made your model obsolete by the time it dies, especially if it is an electric or electronic product.
   And what’s to say that the dealer, distributor, or factory will still be around when you need them?  A most amazing fact is that 95% of all new businesses in the US fail in the first 5 years.  Even long established reputable companies appear in the newspaper over night for being in trouble.  As a mechanic said:  “It’s hard to break a drop-forged wrench, whether I buy cheap or expensive guaranteed tools.  I’m more likely to loose it first.  I’ll buy two cheap ones, and then get the new and improved one in a couple of years.  It saves me money and my temper when I mow the lawn and find my wrench right where my kid left it years ago.
   For more information on tools, contact (your emergency preparedness specialist).

We Have to Pay Taxes, . . . don’t we?

Saturday, May 13th, 2006

Emergency Preparedness – We Have to Pay Taxes, . . . don’t we?

   “That which is taxed decreases, while that which is subsidized increases.”  Legislators know this rule well.  Governments need revenue, but will offer tax breaks to encourage things that promote self-sufficiency, valuable social and environmental policies, retirement, and charitable giving.
   If you knew that it only cost $.78 for every dollar you gave to charity, would you be more giving?  In higher income brackets, $.65 of every dollar given is all you will miss.  State and Federal taxes you would have lost, aren’t – and go with your contribution of take-home pay somewhere of your choosing.

   Tax sheltered money storage (retirement) plans are wise to participate in, and many can actually help you get out of debt by allowing you low interest loans of the assets.  You can own your own mortgage.
   Over 80% of all assets are owned by retirees over age 65 who can no longer save to beat taxes.  Charitable giving can still let them decide where untaxed money goes, thereby lowering their taxes and doing good where they see fit.  All expenses associated with donated time are also deductible.
   Blessings can follow giving, especially to those who give to 501-C-3 organizations.  Not for profit groups include all Churches and everything given in Tithing and Other Offerings is tax deductible. 
   Charitable giving today is better than during the Savior’s time.  Caesar offered no tax breaks at all.
   For more information contact your Bishop, CPA, financial or retirement plan administrator.

Turning Off Telemarketers.

Saturday, May 13th, 2006

Emergency Preparedness – Turning Off Telemarketers.

   The objective of marketing is to get people to pay attention to a sales pitch.  It’s dinnertime, the phone rings, and a telemarketer from India, the Philippines, or even Panguitch wants to talk to you.
   Congress to the rescue.  The FCC was instructed to set up a DO NOT CALL list ( some years ago – (888) 382-1222.  Rules are: 1) you must call on the phone you want protected, and 2) you must be the phone bill payer.  One phone, one call, and that’s all it takes to stop the hassle.  The protection is for 5 years and, if you get unwanted calls, a name or number will get the reported caller fined.  
   Now for the scary part.  As of Sept. 30, 2005, not only may landline users be billed for long distance fees from unwanted telemarketers, but solicitors will also be able to call cell phone users.
   To improve on bad budget and impulse buying habits, stop shopping.  To control TV and Internet filth, disconnect.  To stop annoying telemarketers, register each of your phone lines today.
   Now, if we could just stop junk mail! ! ! ! ! !
   For more information contact (your emergency preparedness specialist).

Express Checkout (15 Items or Less Please)

Saturday, May 13th, 2006

Emergency Preparedness – Express Checkout  (15 Items or Less Please) 

   With two carts filled, people in line behind me not only starred daggers, but were sure I would try and pay with stolen credit cards and have half dozen felony convictions and outstanding warrants on my record.
   I never shop without going out the express line, even if I’m buying 15 cases of goods.
   The secret is never buy just onesies and twosies.  Never buy anything unless it is in case quantity and on sale.  That way you not only lock yourself into bargain basement prices per unit, but you have less than 15 items (1 case of TP, tuna, or tooth paste is still one item) and inventorying will cut required trips to the store.  Your purchase is faster to scan, eliminates bagging, and you don’t have to take anything out of the cart to ring up.  Oh yes, all are overjoyed if you pay cash — THAT’S THE FASTEST WAY TO SHOP.
   For more information contact (your emergency preparedness specialist).

Real Relief or Donation Scam?

Saturday, May 13th, 2006

Emergency Preparedness – Real Relief or Donation Scam?

   When natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina happen, fraudulent activities seem to spread like gold rush fever.  According to the New York Times, the FBI lists over 2,300 new websites purporting to deal with hurricane relief and assistance.  Some are legitimate, and others not.  Law enforcement has teamed with Internet Service Providers and computer security companies to try and ferret out the weasels.  Well before the calamities happen, scammers register domain names to foist their fraud.  More than 40 sites were shut down within the first week after Katrina, and starting the day of the storm, “Rita” sites numbered more than 1,100.  How can you tell the real good guys from the real bad ones?
   People who receive suspicious emails or who are directed to suspicious Websites should report the activity to the Federal Trade Commission at or call them at (877) 382-4357.
   Otherwise, you can always donate to the only 100% PROPHET charity and the Bishop can help you.
   For more information contact (your emergency preparedness specialist).

“Ive got all the money I’ll ever need, if I die by 4 o’clock.” Henny Youngman

Saturday, May 13th, 2006

Emergency Preparedness – “I’ve got all the money I’ll ever need, if I die by 4 o’clock.”  Henny Youngman

   “When peoples bank accounts grow, they feel more secure thinking that they can simply go out and buy all of the things that they need.  That’s not the program of the Church.  Food in the basement will be more important than money in the bank,” said President Kimball in the mid l970’s. 

   The only things that have changed from then until now are the attitudes of members of the Church.  Most have ignored increasing dependence on debt for personal maintenance of their family as incomes have declined from competition in the ever-increasing global market.  If this describes the pinch in your budget, consider simpler diet, more home made everything, and less entertainment outside the home.  After all, money isn’t everything.  It’s not even worth as much as it was this time last week.  Check gas prices lately?
   For more information contact (your emergency preparedness specialist).

The Large Print Giveth, and the Find Print Taketh Away.

Friday, May 5th, 2006

Emergency Preparedness – The Large Print Giveth, and the Fine Print Taketh Away.
     Beware of prepayment penalties on fixed or adjustable-rate mortgages, and home-equity loans and lines of credit.  They require borrowers to pay extra cash as a penalty for closing out loans within the first three years.  These fine print contract features, pervasive in the late 70’s and early 80”s during double- didget interest rates, have crept back into lenders agendas to penalize borrowers who see the light and want to dump debt or refinance with companies more favorable to them.  Since 80% of all mortgages are refinanced within the first 7 years, borrowers get an unwanted surprise because they didn’t read the entire loan contract at closing.
    Be a smart borrower.  Look for and cross out with magic marker these undesirable clauses in loans as a self-protection action.  If lenders get upset, remember that you can always find another who will be willing to put the debt noose around your neck, but treat you more kindly with full fees disclosure.  
     Remember, it never pays to go into debt.  You always want to know all of the charges.
   For more information contact (your emergency preparedness specialist).