Saturday, May 8, 2021

Plans You Should Be Making As You Get Closer To Retirement

 Retirement is not as far off as it ever seems. The more you put off your preparations for it, the harder it can be to enjoy the kind of life you want after you’re done with work. If you’re passing another decade milestone, then you need to seriously consider what kind of retirement life you want to be living and what you should be doing in order to make it a reality. Here are a few plans that you should be making as you get closer to the day you stop working.


Credit - Pixabay License


When you want to retire

The first question should be when are you going to retire? For the majority of people, this question is going to be defined by answering the follow-up question “when can I afford to retire?” There are plenty of retirement calculators and tips that can help you get a good idea of when it’s OK to retire based on your current income and retirement plans. However, for other people, you might have some flexibility to decide when you want to stop working, rather than having to work up to a point that it’s best for your physical health to stop. To that end, you need to look more at what kind of retirement lifestyle you want to live, as well as what kind of wealth planning you want to continue after your retirement.


Where you want to be

The biggest lifestyle choices that you can make with your retirement, such as what amenities you’re going to have access to, what quality of the environment you’re going to be in, and how close you are to family, will all be determined by where you choose to live. You might choose to live in a house that you have bought, for instance. Or you can look at assisted living facilities like La Posada to make sure that you’re well taken care of, no matter what age you are. Look at what living situation is most likely to benefit you when you reach your age of retirement, and then start looking for the places to live that help you meet the needs you’ll have then.


How you’re going to handle wealth building

If you’re able to build wealth that can help you afford the kind of retirement lifestyle that you want, then you might have enough to keep going and building wealth. This can be used to safeguard against all kinds of unforeseen costs, to help provide a sizeable estate for your family, or even to boost your living expenses with dividends. Retirement advisors like Tanager Wealth may be able to help you keep growing your wealth even when you’re well beyond the point of making money from your employment, alone. Since your financial situation is going to change majorly when you stop working, you should make sure that you handle your wealth changes, as well.


How much you’re going to retire

For most people, the point of retirement is going to come suddenly, taking the step from working to non-working at a set date. However, if you’re able to put together the funding that you need to start scaling back your work life a little earlier than most, then you might also want to take a look at making the transition to retirement a more gradual thing. This can be done so you can start to enjoy a different work-life balance as you get closer to your retirement. Sites the Semi-Retire Plan can help you look at how to make that transition. What’s more, some people prefer to have some form of work-related responsibility as they get older.


How much you need to save

When considering all of the options above, the biggest question on your mind should be “how am I going to save for retirement?” The first step is, of course, to simply start saving money. Putting enough money aside to max out your retirement contributions, as well as to put towards IRAs and other savings programs as soon as possible is going to help you make sure that you’re able to enjoy the kind of retirement you want. Even if you’re only putting aside a little at a time right now, you’re going to be able to benefit much more from exponential growth as time goes on.


Your retirement doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. Consider what you want and make sure that you’re starting to put together the plans to help you get there. The tips above can help you get started.


Thursday, May 6, 2021

Improve Your Small Business Bookkeeping

Are you a small business owner who is never happier than when pouring over a spreadsheet? Probably not. Your business’s books are a way to judge how well your business is performing, but if you’re not confident with numbers, doing your bookkeeping can be a real headache. A lot of business owners have good intentions of keeping up with the business finances but get distracted by the day-to-day needs of their business and don’t get around to it. However you feel about bookkeeping, it’s a task that no business owner should put off. 


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  1. Separate business and personal finances. Forgetting to split your finances is a mistake that is common in small business accounting. It can cause a lot of confusion for you later on, especially at tax time. Open a business bank account as soon as you start your business, and get a business credit card. This splits your accounts and helps your business to build a credit rating.  

  2. Automate whatever you can. Entering data into spreadsheets and reconciling the numbers manually is an old-school system. Ditch the spreadsheets and use proper bookkeeping software instead, and handle your business banking online. This means you can sync your bookkeeping software with your bank accounts to make sure you always have accurate, up-to-date records. 

  3. Ask a professional. Talk to your accountant to see if you could use an off-the-shelf accounting software solution or if you would do better with a customized version. Your accountant should be able to offer helpful input and should be able to set up your software and show you to properly use it. If you want to understand more of the money yourself, you can take certified tax preparer courses

  4. Carry out regular financial checkups. If you put off your bookkeeping for too long, you can end up with all kinds of issues to fix like bounced checks, overdue invoices, or figures that don’t add up. Go over your books weekly to make sure everything is in order. 

  5. Do a quarterly review. At the end of each quarter, have an in-depth look at your records. Look for trends like growing or declining sales, year-on-year revenues, or an increase in late-paying customers. Your accountant can help you to understand the bigger picture so you’re ready for future capital needs, like buying equipment or moving to new premises. 

  6. Keep records of business expenses. Tax codes often change, so you should ask your accountant for help on the kinds of expenses that you can deduct next year. Anything that you think you can claim for needs records. Scan and digitize your receipts.

  7. Monitor your employees’ hours with time tracking software. Software like this allows staff to clock in and out on a smartphone, tablet, or computer. This makes your life easier, as it will automatically keep track of things like overtime, time off, and sick days. Choose the time tracking software that will work the best with your bookkeeping software and make payroll much simpler to run too. 


Saturday, May 1, 2021

Getting Your At-Home Business Noticed On a Budget

 Is it possible to promote your business on a shoestring budget? It all depends on how much time and effort you’re willing to put into it. Small businesses have a very tight budget when it comes to advertising because there are so many different things to consider. In order for marketing to be effective, you really need to push yourself out there on multiple different platforms. The more money you have, the more reach you have and that’s generally how marketing goes.


However, if you’re smart about how you market your business, you can make massive gains for a very small cost. Unfortunately, there’s usually a tradeoff. If you want to spend less on marketing, then you’ll need to invest more of your time. And with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to get your business noticed on a budget.


Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/CqQWt4a-XfY (CC0)


Create excellent content on your website that provides value


Content marketing isn’t a new concept, but many small businesses find it difficult to take advantage of it. This is because most people don’t realize just how effective search engine optimization can be at bringing your website to a larger audience. In addition, creating value on your website by providing fresh and interesting content can get people to share it on social media, spreading your reliability and trustworthiness.


Don’t just focus on digital marketing


Digital marketing can be extremely expensive if you’re looking to compete with bigger companies. While it’s possible to do digital marketing on a budget, you might actually find more success if you tried traditional marketing. For example, there are some businesses that will see more success by printing flyers and leaflets to hand out locally. You can learn more here about other forms of traditional marketing such as direct mail. If you want to stand out as a business, then you often need to revert back to older marketing methods in order to get noticed. Digital marketing is extremely effective, but also far too crowded for a small business to have a voice.


Get started on multiple different platforms


You can also benefit from being on multiple different platforms. For instance, YouTube is a fantastic place to host videos about your products and services. People can stumble into your videos on YouTube’s platform itself, and you can also embed the content on your website or even link to it on social media. Spreading out your marketing and content like this is a great way to get noticed and link different platforms together.


Learn to use social media effectively


Of all the low-cost marketing strategies that we could consider using, social media tends to be the most effective if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to learn more about how social media works. Latching on to trends can be effective, engaging your audience can help you get noticed, and there are countless ways to grow your business if you’re willing to take a more active approach to build your brand.


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