Is Your Bank Safe? What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

When most people retire, one of the first things they think of is protecting the income they have worked all their life for. After all, you want to protect every last dollar you have earned right?

One of the first things that come to the minds of most retirees and seniors are Bank CDs. Many are under the impression that this is the only safe place to put their assets. They also assume that this is the only place they can gain interest on their retirement savings without any risk at all. That assumption could not be more further from the truth. In this article, you are going to be exposed to what can happen to your retirement savings and what the banks hope you NEVER FIND OUT.

Have you ever asked yourself what happens to your hard earned income when it is placed in a CD? Not too long after your income is place into your CD, the bank loans that money to another source. That’s right, it is loaned out! They will make 60 to 70 percent off of your deposit while you’re promised 4 to 5 percent on your assets. 4 or 5 percent that you have to pay TAXES on at the end of the year. Yes, I said TAXES. But after all, your money is FDIC insured right? Sure it is. Does that mean that ALL your money is insured? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Let me explain. By the way this applies to ALL of your retirement savings at your Bank, NOT just your CDs.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp or FDIC only guarantees that 100,000 of your income is FDIC insured. However, certain retirement accounts are eligible to be insured up to 250,000. Now here is the million dollar question many of you want to know. What happens if the Bank FAILS? Contrary to what most people may think, Banks, at times, DO FAIL. Bank failures are rare but they still happen. According to the FDIC, there were 28 bank failures since October 2000!! (See Link Even worse, the FDIC DOES NOT notify people when their bank has failed or is about to fail! The only way you find out is when your check/debit card gets denied or you arrive at your bank and it has a new name already.

Well what happens to your money once a bank fails? I will be more than happy to tell you so let me explain. The account owners which are within the FDIC guidelines normally are able to retrieve their money rather quickly. Well, what about those retirees with over 100,000 or those IRAs over 250,000? Those with assets not covered by the FDIC will become creditors to the receivership of the failed bank. “The FDIC will then sell off the failed bank’s assets and pay those account holders who were over the FDIC income limit, from the proceeds of that money. This process CAN TAKE YEARS. YES! It can actually take years to get all of your hard earned dollars back. Some of us dont have years or time on our side to retrieve all of our hard earned retirement income.

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Auto Insurance Online – Saving You Time and Money

There are so many things that are available thanks to the internet; you can even obtain auto insurance online, if you need to. The internet is almost making it so simple to do everything that leaving the house seems like a thing of yesterday.

There are a plethora of renowned insurance companies that all have a website via the internet. These companies allow you to review over different policies, receive quotes for your auto insurance and obtain the policy that you want all via the internet.

The different policies that you will be able to choose from are the same policies that have been offered for an elongated period of time. You have your choice between full coverage for your automobile and liability.

Full coverage auto insurance normally serves a significantly better purpose. With this particular plan, if you were ever to be involved in an auto collision, your vehicle would be covered. Of course, after you pay the deductible on your vehicle it will be covered. However, in many accounts a small deductible is nowhere close to being sued if you did not have insurance coverage.

Liability auto insurance works a little bit different than full coverage. With liability, you are covering yourself if you get involved in an accident. Inadvertently, liability will only cover the damages that are rendered to the other party’s vehicle in the event of an accident.

Of course, the smartest plan would be to choose full coverage. However, many people opt for liability coverage instead simply because it bears a smaller price tag.

A lot of people opt to look through insurance policies online after receiving a quote from an insurance company that they were pleased with. An insurance quote is defined as a guesstimated amount that you will be required to render for your vehicles insurance coverage.

More and more people seek out the cheapest auto insurance company compared to the most renowned. With the economic decline that our country is facing who could blame someone for wanting to save as much as they possibly can?

The fact of the matter is, if you can obtain the same great coverage from an insurance company that offers their services at a lower rate. The smartest thing to do would to obtain your policy with that underlying company.

Shopping for auto insurance online has never been easier. With the growth of the internet, more and more insurance companies are switching to making virtual policies, it not only saves you time but it can also save you a lot on a policy.

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Tax Lien Investing Basics: Six Things You Need To Know

If you believe the hype that you here about tax lien investing, you would think that you just go to a tax sale, buy some liens and make loads of money in a few months. But if that were true than everybody would be doing it! If you’ve actually started to invest in tax liens then you know that there is some work involved in order to be successful. You know that you have to do your due diligence on tax sales properties. And you know that those double digit interest rates that everyone talks about can be bid down at the tax sale.

There are actually 6 things that you need to know about the state and/or county that you are investing in when you’re starting out in tax lien investing.

1. The default interest rate
2. The bidding process
3. The redemption period
4. The tax lien expiration period
5. How subsequent taxes are handled
6. Additional Penalties

These six things make a huge difference in your profit and make tax lien investing very different in different states. Let me give you three examples from states that are all bid down the interest states, but because of the other 5 factors that we mentioned investing in each of these states is quite different.

In New Jersey the default interest rate is 18% and the interest rate is bid down at the sale. But it is quite a different process from other bid down states because in NJ the interest rate can be bid down to 0% and then premium is bid for liens. That means that you do not get any interest on the certificate amount and you do not get any interest on your premium. The redemption period is 2 years and the lien expires in 20 years. So why would investors pay premium for liens and not get any interest on the lien amount? Investors are willing to pay premium for tax liens in New Jersey because once you are a lien holder you have the right to pay the subsequent taxes on the property if the owner doesn’t pay them. And you get the default interest rate (18%) on your subsequent tax payments. You also do get a penalty of anywhere from 2-6% on the lien amount when the tax lien is redeemed, depending on the amount of the lien. I’ve simplified the process a little, but that’s basically how it works in NJ.

Florida is similar to New Jersey in that the default rate and the redemption period are the same. But bidding in Florida is a little different than in NJ. In Florida you do not get to pay the subsequent taxes on your lien. If the owner doesn’t pay the taxes, the property will wind up in next year’s tax sale. The interest rate is bid down at the tax sale, and the lien expires in 7 years. Bidders will not bid the interest down to zero, but will frequently bid down to.25%. They do this because they will get the 5% minimum penalty when the lien redeems.

In Arizona, the default interest rate is 16%, and the interest is bid down like in Florida and New Jersey. But the interest is rarely bid down to 0%. The redemption period is three years and the lien expires in 10 years. You can pay the subsequent taxes but you only get the interest rate that you bid at the tax sale on your subsequent tax payments. Some counties in Arizona actually force you to pay the subsequent taxes in that if you don’t pay them they will sell your lien with the current lien in the next tax sale. The interest rate in Arizona counties is rarely bid down to lower than 6% and most bids (at least in the online tax sales) are awarded at or close to double digits. Part of the reason that investors in Arizona are not willing to bid down to very low interest rates, like in Florida, or 0% as in New Jersey is that unlike Florida and New Jersey, there is no penalty in Arizona. And there are additional costs for purchasing liens and for paying subsequent taxes, which you do not get back when the lien redeems. It’s the cost of doing business with the county tax office.

So you see that tax lien investing, even among, these states which have similar interest rates, bidding procedures, and redemption periods is very different do to how they treat subsequent tax payments, and whether they have penalties or not. There are also states that have very different bidding procedures, redemption periods, expiration periods and treatment of subsequent tax payments, which can change the game quite a bit.

In Maryland for instance, the default interest rate varies with the county. Premium is bid at the tax sale but it doesn’t all have to be paid unless you actually get to foreclose on the property. The redemption period in some counties is only 6 months, and the lien expires in 2 years. You do not pay the subsequent taxes unless you foreclose on the property. There are no additional penalties that the investor will receive when the lien redeems except for payment of some legal costs if the foreclosure has been started.

So you can see that it is really important to know about these 6 factors in the state and county that you are investing in. Know the rules before you bid and you will be able to build a profitable tax lien portfolio!

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What Makes an Investment Ethical?

People want their money to work hard to deliver the best possible return on their stake. There are many ways that people can grow their money, from traditional savings and ISA accounts to more diverse investments such as commodities.

Current times are quite challenging in terms of what investments actually do provide a decent return on customers monies, and many people are turning to ethical investment opportunities.

What is an ethical investment?

An ethical (also known as Sustainable) investment is an investment that not only offers a good return on the clients money but also helps the planet. This is done by investing in commodities such as timber, where plantations are created and harvested over a designated period of time. These opportunities often come with social and environmental objectives. They can provide jobs to communities whilst creating sustainable fuels and forestry for years to come.

Why should you chose an ethical investment?

Investing money is all about getting a return at any cost. Ethical opportunities are different in that respect. Ultimately the end goal is getting a return on investment, but alongside this investment you know that the money is being put to good use in both a socially and environmentally responsible way. By choosing an ethical investment you can be sure that your money will be put to use in a way that will also help the environment both now and the foreseeable future.

What are the risk of ethical investments?

There are always risks in any investment and ethical opportunities are no different, however they do tend to often perform well under poor market conditions. It is important to note, however, that an ethical opportunity might have a higher risk profile than other investment opportunities where a companies activities are more mainstream.

What types of ethical investments are available?

There are many different types of sustainable opportunities available to people who are serious about socially responsible investments. These can range from Forestry and Farming to alternative energy sources and eco-housing.

Before you embark on any type of investment, be it ethical or not, you should always seek guidance and where possible have a look at how the market has been performing over a period of time. Sustainable investments can offer a very high return on your investment, but as with any investment there is an element of risk involved. In some cases the element of risk may be higher in an ethical investment than in a non-ethical option so you should always research the market prior to departing with your hard earned cash. You should only ever invest what you can afford to potentially lose.

Sustainable investments can provide you with a high return on your money, whilst also helping to build a sustainable planet.

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