Financial Planning – The Key To Your Lifelong Success

Financial planning is not limited to asset allocation, mutual funds, and fixed-income investments – planning should include every aspect of your life.

Should you apply for that credit card? What type of car insurance should you buy? Should we save for our child’s college or put money in our IRA’s instead? These and many more questions are all part of financial planning.

The Larry Rule – A Little Known Financial Planning Fact

Larry Lindsey is not a famous name, even in financial circles. Currently, Mr. Lindsey is the chief economic advisor to the Bush Administration. In 1996, he was a Federal Reserve Board Governor – and he was denied for a Toys ‘R Us credit card!

To apply or not to apply, that is the planning question. Larry Lindsey, who had excellent credit and a high-income level, set out to demonstrate a flaw in credit scoring algorithms.

He simply applied for every retail store credit card he was offered, and in no time he had “too many inquiries.” Never mind the fact that he had millions in assets and nary a late payment in his 30-year credit history.

Knowing the Larry Rule is key to your financial planning. If you apply for retail store credit cards every time you are asked to do so, it will have negative effects on your credit.

You may then be asked to pay a higher interest rate on your mortgage or home equity loan, which could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Sacrificing $10,000 for a 10 percent discount at Fashion Bug is not smart planning!

Auto Insurance and Financial Planning

Most people think of insurance as a legal necessity, but in reality, it is a financial product, and that’s important to keep in mind. Don’t ever buy insurance just because it’s legally required or in order to give yourself peace of mind. Insurance must serve a financial planning purpose!

You need to have a planning strategy in mind when you purchase auto insurance. The insurance company’s goal is to get you to pay more in premiums than you take out in claims – thus, they profit.

Your goal should to pay as little in premiums as possible in order to be adequately covered. You don’t want to have to use your auto insurance, but at the same time, you don’t want to be subsidizing the bad drivers who take out more in claims than they pay in.

In order to develop a financial planning strategy for auto insurance, it’s important that you become as educated as possible on the subject. Luckily, there are dozens of great sites on the internet that provide free information on the various types of auto insurance plans, and the particular laws of your state.

Everyone has to own some form of auto insurance, and thus it should be the cornerstone of any intelligent planning strategy.

The Financial Planning Dilemma – College vs. Retirement

American parents love their children and will do almost anything to ensure they have every possible advantage. As a result, many parents save for their children’s college instead of saving for their own retirement. This act of selflessness is usually not a good planning strategy.

In order to avoid this mistake, one must have a decent understanding of financial planning tax implications. Most college savings accounts are taxed on some level, whereas financial planning products for retirement purposes generally are not. What’s more, saving for your child’s college can prevent him or her from receiving the maximum financial aid available.

In other words, by foregoing your retirement in favor of your child’s college, you are actually subsidizing the children of less responsible parents – or smarter parents who chose to save for their own retirement, in light of these facts.

Investment And Financial Planning

On a general man to man basis Financial Planning is of more importance when compared to investment planning. If a man fails to save money, then where is he going to make the investment from? It is here that the need to emphasize on a strong financial plan comes to play. Financial planning is on a larger scale compared to Investment planning. Where investment planning is individual oriented, financial planning takes into account the needs of the individual and family. Financial planning is the process of assessing the financial goals of an individual at different junctures of his life. It takes into account all assets and investments that he already has and what others he may require to achieve his financial goals in the near future. The prime objective here is to ensure that the required amount of money is there with him at the time of an investment, thereby enabling him to meet his personal goals. This is how financial planning and investment planning relate to each other. Coming to the investment part, security along with profit is a big question?
Any investment depicts a clear picture of your current financial situation. Bifurcate your investments amongst various assets to reduce the risk factor. Asset Allocation is the best way to ensure that a particular investment made is a success. Monitoring your investment to maintain the allocation with your financial goals makes the investment tax efficient.

Following are certain points as to how one can better their investment and financial planning:

Investment Planning:

1) Create a Budget for Monthly Expenses: This enables you to get a clear picture as to where your expenses lie and how much unnecessary expenditure you could curtail to save a decent percentage of your income.

2) Paying of Debts: Once you clear of your debts, a certain amount of your expenditure is saved. This can be used for investment purposes.

3) Emergency Savings: Emergencies do arrive unannounced. One has to ensure that a certain amount is kept aside to meet these situations. These funds should be invested or kept aside to meet these situations. These funds should be invested or kept aside in investments that can be accessed anytime you need cash.

4) Investing in Long term Assets: Investing in long term Assets is a good decision. Purchasing a house is considered to be a good investment as payments towards interest and real estate taxes are tax deductible. Secondly the value of property increases with time. Other then this investing wisely in Mutual Funds, stocks and insurance will provide you with a good return on your investment.

Financial Planning:

1)Using a monthly spending plan or budget to keep finances on track
2)Making decisions about the job and its benefits
3)Getting the most out of other financial resources, including insurance and employer provided benefits.
4)Saving and investing money
5)Controlling expenses and staying out of debt.
6)Planning for estate transfer.

Generally people enlist the services of a financial planner prior to making any major investments. A financial planner is a professional who helps people deal with various personal financial issues through proper planning, which includes cash flow management, education planning, retirement planning, investment planning, risk management and insurance planning, tax planning, estate planning and business succession planning. While dealing with Mutual Fund Investments they are called �Fund

I Have A Problem Gambling And I Have Lost Everything

To often compulsive gamblers utter the words I am have a problem gambling and now I lost everything. At this point in their life they are finally ready to admit they have a problem gambling. These same people are increasing at an alarming rate.

Only a year ago things seem to be less dramatic then they are right now when it comes to gambling addiction. The accelerated growth in this addiction is paralleled to the growth in the gaming industry. Since a significant number of our population have now been exposed to this gaming industry the negative affects are more apparent. Each and every day we hear a new story about someone who has lost everything due to their gambling addiction and we may now know someone who also has been negatively affected.

Now that we know people are addicted to gambling, what should we do? This is a very difficult question to answer but I believe education and awareness can help those inflicted with this self destructive addiction. Unfortunately gambling addiction also affects all those around the compulsive gambler.

I have received several emails from people who believe their solutions would help decrease the accelerated growth of those addicted to gambling. The following are examples of those emails:

We should outlaw all forms of gambling.

The gamming industry needed rules and regulations that they must adhere to like the alcohol industry.

At the very least remove all ATM machines from gambling establishments especially casinos that have slot machines.

No Check cashing allowed at any gaming establishments

No alcohol should be allowed in casinos

Gambling establishments should not be allowed to use the postal service to send incentives for people to come to their place to gamble. Most people are easy prey. The gambling establishments send a fifty dollar gift certificate knowing the gambler is going to spend a at least ten times that amount.

No large billboard advertising. This industry makes their money by drawing on the innocent only to hook them and take everything they have worked so hard for.

No commercial advertising, donating to charities or sponsoring of the local news.

The above email comments are from those who have suffered directly to the the gaming industry. Remember it is not only the gambler but their family and friends who also have been negatively affected. They are biased and they have a right to be.

Remember these words I have a problem gambling and I have lost everything. because this could be you or your family member. If you even have the slightest notion you have a problem gambling, face it straight on and take the appropriate action. You can recover before you lose everything you have worked so hard for.

If you are have lost everything, you can rebuild your life and move forward. There are so many people who have walked in your shoes. I know this can be very painful, but with each day that passes as you begin your road to recovery you life will get brighter and brighter.

Types Of Online Games And Its Popularity

Few years ago, thinking of online games was incomprehensible. Though internet was there, it was used for basic purposes like emailing and browsing for information. In the past few years, game developers have taken the world of internet by storm.

Now days, not only can you play them online, but they come for free. The opportunity to play free online games is with you 24 hours a day throughout the year. Either you download the games or you use them with particular browsers, Flash enabled.

Though some people do argue the authenticity of free online games in terms of disclosing private information and details, it is an undisputed fact that these free games does help to improve our minds, both young and adults.

How do online games help improve our mind? Thousands of free games are available categorized into different compartments such as arcade games, strategy games, action games, board games, puzzle games, shooting games and others.

Arcade Games- An innovation of the 1970s of neighborhood games played with coins, the arcade games soon enveloped the mind of gamers when arcade games opened online. Online arcade games are a rage these days.

Strategy Games- These games are time consuming and require tremendous practice. It is all about applying your mind to devise new strategies in order to win.

Action Games- The action-oriented games involve futuristic space adventures, fighting, and target achieving games where the players perform actions to gain the number one slot. Skeptics complain about the action games being too gross and bloody, but until one plays with a sane mind, there should not be problems!

Board Games- Evidently, online board games are the animated rendition of traditional board games such as chess.

Puzzle Games- They attract the interest of young and old alike. It sharpens the mind; mind is where all the action takes place.

Shooting Games- It is a safe way to vent your anger and irritation. They generally come under action games but has been kept in separate category due to its popularity.

Card Games- They continue to be popular since the ancient days. With online gaming, card games have become a favorite pastime.

All these games concentrate on churning our minds. Through our mind, we have to combat with speed and actions, make strategy to topple the opponent and be victorious. The opponent could be the computer itself or another human person sitting at another end.

It is amazing to see how the popularity has not ceased. Most of the games are available to players for free and some sites even offer bonuses on winning, like the casino games. You can actually earn as an online gamer. Whether you play for money or pleasure, online games are here to stay.

Dublin: A Nirvana For Folk Music Fans

Dublin is often referred to as the party capital of Europe; full of pubs, clubs and Irishmen extolling the virtues of ‘the craic’. One thing you will find in abundance in the Irish capital is traditional folk music and you certainly won’t have to travel very far around the streets of Dublin to find a place to have a jig and a swig!

Whelan’s in Camden Street, central Dublin is the place to visit for traditional and folk music. This exciting venue has had most of Ireland’s folk talent perform on its stage at some point. Just a stone’s throw away, also in Camden Street, is The Village another vibrant music venue, that’s well worth a visit.

Vicar Street – despite its confusing name – is not a street but a fabulous traditional music venue and can be found in Thomas Street in the heart of Dublin. This prestigious venue opened in 1998 promising to give Dublin a mid-size venue that would ‘punch above its weight’. It presents bands and solo artists that play all types and genres of music including traditional and folk, with big-name Irish bands such as the Dubliners appearing at this venue. Other artists that are slated to appear at Vicar Street include Dara O’Briain, Fionn Regan and Brendan Grace proving that it is living up to its promise to deliver quality acts.

Plus, you’ll find many more places where you can enjoy traditional folk music at most times of day or night. Bars, cafes and hotels in Dublin are all places where you can find Irish Folk Music being performed by eager and talented local musicians. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy just about any other genre of music in Dublin that takes your fancy, from rock to classical. So, if you are planning to visit Dublin, or just toying with the idea, make sure that you are prepared for ‘the craic’!

And if you are in any doubt as to how much the Irish love their music, take note of the following example. The Irish Post Office has recently started selling a series of stamps that pay tribute to four iconic bands whose roots are based in traditional Irish folk music; The Chieftans, The Dubliners, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, and Altan. The bands have been chosen because of the success they have had in taking traditional Irish folk music to the world. The inclusion of Tommy Makem is quite poignant as he recently passed away, and these stamps make a fitting tribute to his life-time contribution to making Irish music popular throughout the United States. They are sure to become collectors’ items, so be sure to pick some up when you visit Dublin.

Video Games Becoming Addictive To Children

Parents, teachers, and adults are beginning to wonder with all the research being done on video games if children are not becoming obsessive even addictive to video games. Most of the research that has been complete have focused on video games that have more of a violent theme due to the behavior now appearing in children.

Researchers do feel that there is a connection between violent video games and violent behavior in children. It is felt that when these violent video games are played repeatedly then the children will have aggressive thoughts and become less helpful to others and less sociable as well. In video games where the goal is to kill as many characters as you possible can, then the objective turns into the violent the kills are the more points that they will collect. While a child is playing such a game ninety-nine percent of the time their heart rate will increase dramatically due to the affect the game is having on them.

A study was done by three teenagers and was put on observation at an International Science and Engineering Fair in Cleveland, Ohio that showed how video games affected children who played them. The study showed that people, not only children, or all ages had a rise in blood pressure and heart rate after they played a super violent video game. However, when the same person played a nonviolent video game did not have the the same effect as the violent video game.

Children all over the world play these violent video games every day and some play for more than three or four hours a day. There will always be a debate as to whether violent video games can actually make an individual have behavior that is of an aggressive and violent nature, but the fact is that these video games are addictive to children. It is true that playing video games can help children develop their visual skills while learning about computers, which may help them in school. In fact, studies are now showing that video games can be helpful for children.

The fact is that video games are proving to help children that labeled ADD or ADHD learn how to focus their attention. Video games are often innocent bystanders to the problems in society. Video games have the potential to inspire children to learn if it is presented in the right manner to children. Video games have already proven to have the capability of improving the coordination and visual skills of children that play them.

Children tend to choose video games that have the combination of being challenging, entertaining, and complicated. Many of these video games can take up to one hundred hours of play to complete and most children will have their concentration focused on the video game the entire time. Children that are labeled with ADD and ADHD by teachers are those children that can not sit still in school, but this might just be because they find the school work boring, because the majority of these children can spend hours trying to make it to the next level of a video game.

These same children, who professionals feel can not pay attention, can play a video game for ten straight hours if given the opportunity simply because the game focuses their attention in a way school is unable to try, which is interactive. These children are not simply sitting and watching, but are participating in what is going on and solving problems.

Tips And Ideas For Better Home Improvement

The time often comes in your life when it is necessary to attempt a home improvement job. You may have purchased a new house and it needs a little facelift or it could be that niggling house job you keep putting off. Follow some simple rules and the task can become a little easier, even enjoyable.

Always take time to prepare. Have a plan of action in the form of a manual or instruction leaflet and do the necessary preparations for the job. Do not forget to protect or shield any expensive items, furniture and flooring that might get damaged or accidentally stained in the home improvement process.

Always make sure that you have good ventilation when doing any home improvement project especially when using paints and some glues. Use your electrical devices with adequate safety protection and keep your tools away from children. If you plan to do any outside home improvements like varnishing or painting check the weather forecast to make sure it is not going to rain.

Although all the previous suggestions are extremely relevant the most important measure for you to take before starting a job is to make sure you have the right tools, and the best quality of tool you can afford. This suggestion should not be ignored. Reference your manuals to get the necessary tools for the job beforehand.

If you just fancy having a go at a home improvement activity begin with a renovation type job. Take a room, for instance the living room, and see what could be done to enhance the beauty or functionality of the room. It may need wallpapering or you may want to change the floor from carpet to wooden floorboards. The furniture may need to be reupholstered or a stray crack in the wall may need to be filled in. In the kitchen a table may need re-varnishing or a cupboard handle replacing. But a word of warning, if you are unsure ask the advice of a trained contractor. Also when you are deciding what home improvement to do think carefully if the alterations would fit into the theme or color scheme of your house.

After you have attempted some minor renovations and repairs this should give you more confidence to try a bigger project, for instance an outdoor patio or decking job. Remember to plan and prepare your home improvement jobs, use the right tools and give yourself plenty of time to get the job done.

Getting Over Someone

Basic question here: how can I tell when I’m over someone and ready to be with someone else?

- C.G., Boston, MA

That is a basic question, but not a simple one. I’m not sure I can even answer it.

Sometimes hearing someone else’s experiences put things in perspective. Here is a situation concerning a person I dated, how I personally view it, and how I make it work for me. Maybe this example will help clear things up a little bit for you too.

In my life, I’ve seen a lot of relationships and been envious of very few. I see a lot of phoniness, relationships of convenience, and people together for all the wrong reasons.

But I knew that my relationship with her was something incredibly, incredibly special. I’d never felt anything like that; it was something totally different than all the rest I’d ever been in. It was comparing apples to oranges, as the saying goes.

In every way, I found her to be the most beautiful thing that I’d ever seen. We showed each other our best and our worst and remained together because we believed in each other as individuals and believed in us as a couple.

It’s interesting to think of all the things we are taught and all we are not. People are taught a million things growing up: how to read, how to use a stove without burning their hands, how to fold a towel, how to drive, and so on.

But we’re never taught some of the things that are imperative in relationships; we’re somehow expected to learn them as we go and by trial and error. I, like many others, never learned how to trust someone to give them all of my feelings, so I’d always held something back, which isn’t fair.

I also never learned how to forgive someone that I loved when they hurt me. And I certainly never learned what to do when you find someone who is perfect for you. It sounds like such a great thing, but it can be one of the most overwhelming feelings you ever experience because you want it to work out more than you want anything else in your life.

And sometimes, by the time you start to realize these things, it’s too late to make everything right.

Making her cry was the worst thing I’ve ever done and just thinking about it hurts me more than anything I’ve ever lost, never achieved, failed at, or I could really explain here.

And now she’s gone. We had talked about “forever” but this isn’t the kind of “forever” I thought we meant.

Who we were at the time we made our memories, we’ll always be – that man will always love that woman and that woman will always love him just as much. I still miss so many things about her, namely counting on – and believing in – us.

I still think about her every day and wonder, wonder, and wonder. I made her an enormous part of my life and now that she’s gone, that life as I knew it is too.

The pain is normal. But don’t think that because you feel pain you can’t move on. What happened between the two of you obviously affected you, so the hurting is expected. Truthfully, and unfortunately, it may be felt for a long, long time.

If you think about it, you probably still don’t feel great about the moment you found out you didn’t get that job you really wanted or a pet that died when you were a kid. You may never feel perfectly fine about this situation either.

What I realized, and what you must too, is that you have to move on. They have. They have their own life going, and whether it’s them being alone or them being with someone else – it’s still them being without you.

There is no other option; you can’t stay closed off and emotionally unavailable forever in hopes they will change their mind about you or that it will work out somehow. Knowing when to let go and move forward it is the hard part.

You don’t want to do it when you’re emotionally unavailable, angry at life, or will be anything but the best person you can be to whomever it is you end up with next. I don’t know if you’re there. Maybe you don’t even know if you’re there.

Financial Planning Software

When it comes to planning your financial well-being, it might be helpful to use one of the many tools available today. Some of these tools include financial planning software. Depending on the type of software you purchase, it could help you in a variety of different areas, such as planning for your retirement or keeping track of your personal and business dealings. Many of the financial planning software that is available today can do all of this and so much more.

There are several different types of financial planning software available on the market today, that you will have no problems in finding one. However, whichever type you choose, you should ensure that it performs exactly as you need it to, in your financial planning venture. For example, some software can help you in managing and calculating your 401k, estimate the costs of college or savings, keep track of your stock portfolio, or analyze the goals of your IRA.

Some other features include keeping track of your profit and loss in regards to your business, balancing your checking account or multiple accounts; maintain a organized list of your customers, contacts, or even employees. There are so many features that come with various financial planning software that it is imperative that you research the software to ensure it can offer you exactly what you need.

The prices vary greatly depending on the financial planning software you purchase. For example, the latest version of Microsoft Money Home and Business, which is perfect for home-based business owners, personal finances, or businesses that employ less than five people, runs for a cost of around $60.00.

The financial planning software that is the most popular and used by many is Quicken. The home and business version of Quicken, gives you power to categorize expenses both personal and business, in efforts to help you when it comes to taxes and reports. Quicken helps you in finding all the deductions you can claim and simplifies the process of preparing your taxes, as well as helping you in managing your flow of cash in an effective manner. This program runs at a cost of about $80.00.

Of course, the choice is yours and you should only make the decision after conducting research on the different financial planning software, determining what your needs are, comparing prices, and comparing support of the company. Make sure when you make any type of investment that you only do so after gaining knowledge and the best information.

Gambling Industry Expanding And Players Who Use Gambling Strategies

What does the word Gamble” mean to you?

For the average player the word gambling” means much more than a risky bet. It can stand for just about anything from vacationing, Las Vegas, and even fun. Devised earlier than 3000 years ago, gambling was well documented to have existed in many civilizations. The games we know today are the incarnations of former ones, with adjusted rules. For the length of time gambling was invented, players have always seemed obsessed with trying to use various gambling strategies for games. However, Casinos have always had the mathematical advantage along with an adamant need for stopping the smart player. It has forever become a vicious cycle of exploitive players vs. casinos catching up.

Today, gambling doesn’t even need to be played at Las Vegas or any other casino chains.

Now for those of you who live under rocks or live in a time warp may say, Wait….outside of Casinos?”

Well you see…

1.In-flight Gambling: Eflyte has been developing in-flight gaming and continues to spread its influence on many airlines. Currently they have the world’s first Multiplayer Poker Tournament along with over 60 games for airplanes. Ceo of Ryanair will also attempt use in-flight gaming by next year. Now casino gambling may be common on cruises, but it’s a breakthrough for airlines.

2.Mobile phones can also be used to buy lotteries and sports betting nowadays. If certain restrictions are lifted, it could even mean much more growth in its use.

3.Internet Casinos are also another medium in which gambling doesn’t seem to stop growing; despite being forced to open offshore from the US. This isn’t necessarily bad of course.

The gambling industry is on a growing trend and it doesn’t seem to stop anywhere in sight. Of course, this naturally means that more and more people will be hooked and continue losing to the casinos.

Even the strategic players are screwed over at times with certain technologies being developed. Some casinos even started to implement tracking devices in chips to catch card counters. Those days of Ken Uston and counting machines are getting harder to come by since casinos already know about the gambling strategies used. New mediums such as electronic gambling can stop card counting dead in it’s track.

Winning through strategy can still be done, just as internet marketing can still make some rich. Yet being particular savvy to news and gambling strategy alike can immensely help the professional gambler. That is, unless gambling is only treated as a simple recreation. Otherwise, the best a player can do is to read up on forums and reference news sources for any changes in their gambling strategy.