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.

Teenage Gambling Addiction Education Needed At Local Schools

For the past few years teenage gambling has been increasing at an exponential rate. The increase in gambling can be contributed to family members who gamble, multiple television programs like poker tournaments and skillful advertising from the gambling establishments. It’s becoming an epidemic among our teenagers with no real solution being presented to the educators of our schools systems.

The new stream of commercials related to stop gambling has had very little affect. The commercials are geared towards helping people stop gambling but are not geared towards the individuals who have not experienced gambling at this point in time. The stop gambling commercials have not been able to reach the teenager with a compulsive gambling addiction. They however may reach the parents who may realize their child has a problem.

The only way to help our youth is to educate them in the classroom and at home. I remember years ago in health class they educated us on smoking and drinking. This was very effective on those individuals who never started. But the ones that were already addicted the educational programs were unable to reach them.

There following educational curriculums are needed for today’s students:

a)Helpful Resources for identifying teenagers who may have a compulsive gambling addiction.

b)Helping Teenagers identify their compulsive gambling addiction

c)Educating teenagers on compulsive gambling addiction. This one is my favorite because this has the best opportunity to prevent a teenager from gambling, helping teenagers identify the signs of compulsive gambling addiction and if the teenager has a problem with gambling.

d)Giving Teenagers the tools to identify others who may have a gambling addiction like their parents. This one has to be handled sensitively. I have received numerous emails from teenagers who did not know where to go, who to talk to in order to help a family member.

e)Educating Teenagers on the resources available to get help by giving them the local stop gambling telephone numbers and helpful stop gambling websites.

f)Understanding Compulsive Gambling Addiction

g)Practical exercises for teenagers with addictions to learn about self esteem, trust and more.

The above educational curriculums are needed to help educate the teenage population.

As each year passes the amount of teenager’s addicted to gambling increases. This increase is due to the increased exposure. This exposure is due to the increase in the number of cable and television gambling programs, advetising by local gambling establishements, retailers jumping on poker craze selling poker chips, the increase in the number of state lotto drawings per day and the state advertising for their scratch off tickets.

Electronic Editions Of Board Games

Many of the classic board games are easily adapted so that they can be played in a number of ways. Computer games are so advanced these days that pretty much anything can be played on one. Video games as well can have the option of allowing players to find classic games on these systems. One of the greatest things about these electronic editions of classic board games is that it can allow multiplayer options without needing those players to actually be present. Through networking and the Internet, anyone can play games with people from all around the world.

Monopoly, Clue, and Risk are three of the biggest board games which have found life through computer games and the Internet. All of these games can be found with electronic editions that will allow you to connect with other players over the Internet and play a highly competitive game with people that you may have never even met. They all have options as well which allow you to play against the computer, meaning that you do not need any other people to actually be present in order to enjoy the board game.

This can be a great feature for killing some time in an enjoyable way. Traditionally, the only way to play any of those games was with a group of people and since that can often be harder to organize than one would immediately think, the option to play against some computer opponents can allow you to enjoy the fun of Monopoly, Risk, or Clue at any time that you wish.

Those aren’t the only three games available with computer play, though. Chess was one of the earliest games adapted to the computer and any number of editions of chess can be found for a player. Chess against the computer can actually be one of the hardest games available, as well as one of the most addictive. Playing against a computer has actually been one of the features of many different chess tournaments, trying to figure out once and for all how well the computer chess systems were written. (It actually turns out that most of the best players in the world can beat some of the hardest computer systems for while the computers can calculate every possibility in the world, they are not so good at handling the random aspects of a game and planning for a change of tactics.)

Networking with others on the Internet to play these board games can actually be a great way to make some new friends as well. Playing a great game with someone can raise a lot of camaraderie between people and when you are looking for a good game in the future, you might be able to find it again with the person you played in the past. After finding a good opponent with them and playing a number of games, you may find that you actually have more in common than just a love of games. In this way, electronic board games can actually benefit you in more ways than just one!

The Best Designer Board Games

Designer board games are something that is generally considered to have been started in Germany, and while sometimes referred to as German style board games, this title can be misleading. Designer board games have come from nearly every country and all have great success stories in the popularity they enjoy with fans. Many different Americans, for example, have produced vastly popular designer board games. A number of designer board games do come from Germany, however, but despite the intimidating nature of the titles, players should feel comfortable with any of these games. They often are similar to many games that players already know and love, but often present some form of twist or enhancement that can make them even more enjoyable!
Good designer board games all feature some sort of theme which unites the strategy and methods used within the game. Sometimes these themes can seem somewhat bizarre and unsuitable for a game, but that is also part of the charm of the designer game. Once such game, Bohnanza, is technically about bean farming, which causes many a player to raise an eyebrow. However, the real game deals with heavy negotiation and trading between players. By using different cards dealt from the deck, players must plant different bean crops, trade for certain bean crops, and eventually harvest the crops to gain money in return. The player who, at the end of the game, has the largest amount of money wins. While initially sounding a bit ridiculous, Bohnanza provides players with much enjoyment as the strategy needed in the game always changes based on the other players.
Tigris and Euphrates is another designer board game which enjoys much popularity with fans. Based on ancient civilizations, this game gives players the chance to act as neighboring dynasties which are clashing over this region. Players randomly select tiles from a bag and during the game, place these tiles in strategic positions around the board, gaining control of areas to expand their kingdoms. Different tiles stand for different aspects of the game and through careful placement, players can build and strengthen their domains in ways that will reap vast benefits. At the end of the game, players collect points based on the numbers and types of tiles that they have placed, and the player with the largest number of tiles is declared the winner of the game.
Scotland Yard is a designer game that pits one player against the others in a team. One player is designated as “Mr. X,” a fugitive from the law who is running around London, trying to avoid capture. The other players all form the law enforcement team trying to arrest him before a certain time limit has passed and Mr. X can roam free. The board is a map of London, marked with certain transportation routes and all of the stops along those routes. All players are forced to travel along these routes, with Mr. X trying to evade capture while the other players pursue. The twist is that only 3 forms of transportation are available and each one can only be used a certain number of times by the police team.
Much strategy and careful teamwork is required with these games, as with most designer board games. However, with the many different varieties and themes available, it is no wonder that they have become as popular as they are. Everyone should be able to find a game that suits their interests!

The 7 Steps Of Do-it-yourself Financial Planning

You are in control

You are already your own financial planner. Regardless of the extent of help you receive from professionals, you ultimately are the decision maker and you are responsible for your own finances. Although the financial world has become increasingly complex, it is becoming easier today to do a lot of your own planning. The variety of resources has expanded such as software for money management and planning; online tools for banking, financial planning and investing, and resources, and books and blogs that are easy to understand. These resources may be good news for you if the cost of professional fee only financial planners is out-of-reach to you. Besides the cost of fees, others may avoid planners because they have heard stories of advisors trying to sell a product that didn’t fit their situation. Cost savings and avoiding product pitches are excellent benefits of being your own planner.

Everyone should take a more active role in their financial affairs. Not only does it help with educated decision making and fraud avoidance it also helps you better communicate with your other professional advisors such as your accountant and attorney. You will also find yourself spotting opportunities when they cross your path.

Becoming a better manager of your family’s finances will also help you ‘dig out’ if you are struggling financially. When you consider the low savings rates and the high household debt, many more people find themselves in this category today.

The following are 7 steps to do-it-yourself financial planning:

Step 1: Commit

The first step to financial planning always begins with commitment. Whether you are having financial difficulty, or have just avoided setting goals and mapping out a plan – commitment is the first step. Commitment provides the discipline and focus needed to help sustain you on the path towards your goals.

Step 2: Set Goals

Without specific goals and a plan to achieve them financial success stays a foggy dream. Therefore the second step is to list the dreams that will motivate you. Write down all of the goals you want to achieve in the short and long term. This will serve as the driver, or the fire in the engine giving you the motivation to move forward. Everyone has dreams, but without constant watering and attention dreams will go dormant. Leave your past mistakes and inaction behind you, light a new fire and chart a course forward. You have an enormous amount of potential and talent, and if you have made mistakes you now have more experience and wisdom. Dare to imagine what you could achieve because your best years are ahead of you.

Step 3: Assemble and Organize Information

Get your stuff together. Planning is easier if you assemble everything in one central location. Make an organized filing system either in a cabinet, accordion file, a box, any way that works for you. Now locate and file all of your tax returns, receipts, insurance policies, contracts, wills, mortgages, deeds, titles, pay stubs, employee benefit statements, banking (loan, savings and checking), bills, investment and retirement plan statements and any other important papers.

Step 4: Manage Cash Flow

Your household is a business. You need to know how much you are earning and spending each month. Balance your checkbook and establish a budget. There are dozens of books and software to help with this, and your bank’s website may provide this as well. This will help you know when and where you are overspending.

Step 5: Self Educate

Establish a sound foundational knowledge base about financial matters. Start with books about budgeting and money savings tips, debt, basic insurance and investing. Be sure to include reading about mutual funds and financial planning. Avoid get-rich-quick, real estate, gold or innovative ‘secrets’ books. Stick to the fundamentals. I find the “For Dummies, ‘For Idiots’ and ‘D-Mystified’ book series to be very helpful for many people. Lastly, stay informed about current financial topics by reading financial magazines, newspapers, the business section of papers, and blogs.

Step 6: Create a Written Plan

A written plan serves as a road map towards your financial destination. It helps you understand where you are presently and the steps that you need to take to move forward. A financial plan is a process. Your life will change, therefore you should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. You should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. If you write your own financial plan, you will have to obtain financial planning software. Your other options are to pay to have a written financial plan completed by a fee financial planner or by an institution or professional that provides products. Be sure to find out about how the planner is compensated and what your fees will be.

Step 7: Engage Professionals

Most people can’t entirely do all of their financial planning by themselves. Assemble a team of trusted professional advisors that you can rely on to help you implement different aspects of your plan, answer your questions and be on the lookout for you. The professionals that can be the most advantageous are a proactive tax accountant and financial advisor with extensive planning, investment and insurance knowledge, an attorney qualified in estate planning, and a banker that can help with credit ratings and debt management. Before committing to anyone, get referrals for trusted professionals from people whose opinion you respect and don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions.

Healthy Relationships & Healthy Sexuality With Self

Not everyone can be a perfect 10, yet there are plenty of people who are
perfectly comfortable in their own skin whether they are skinny or fat. Not
only are they comfortable; they enjoy pleasure their bodies are capable of
sharing regardless of their physical appearance. So, why are you worrying
about being naked in front of your partner? Do you really think that they are
focused on your imperfections when they are interested in having sex with
you? Honestly, when someone is sexually turned on, their partners become more
attractive to them as they are focused on the forthcoming pleasure, good
parts, or the parts that attract them. As one friend of mine often jokes, old
breasts, young breasts, perky breasts, saggy breasts, uneven breasts, or
scarred breasts, he will never turn down the opportunity to enjoy the view!
So, let your towel down, your robe open, or your lights on! Quit worrying
about attracting attention to your negatives, stop apologizing for the way
you look, and enjoy your body and the pleasure it brings to you and your
partner! You really are sexy just the way you are! This article is provided
by Andrea Adams-Miller, The Sexuality Tutor, CEO and Founder of
www.sexualitytutor.com. Andrea helps people just like you capture the Healthy
Relationships and Healthy Sexuality they dream, desire, and deserve. To get
you started towards the relationship & sexuality that will leave you healthy,
happy, and satisfied, she has three free gifts for you at her website,
www.sexualitytutor.com. Andrea Adams-Miller is a three time author, award
winning host of Sex Talk LIVE! radio, and an avid speaker, consultant, and
relationship coach. She has been interviewed on the Hit TV Show 20/20, Time
Magazine, Contemporary Sexuality, Business News Daily, WebMD online, and
more.

Things To Know About Real Estate Loans

Investing in real estate is quite expensive. Most people cannot afford to buy real estate with cash. With a real estate loan, the dream of your own property can be realized.

Many agencies such as banks, credit unions and lending companies offer real estate loans to those who can avail it. There are certain qualifications in order to qualify for a real estate loan.

Real estate loan is a loan on real estate usually secured by a legal document by which the owner transfers to the lender an interest in the real estate to secure the repayment of a debt or mortgage. There are two classifications of real estate loans: commercial and residential real estate loans.

In order to qualify for any of those two classifications of real estate loans the following are some of the requirements needed:

Commercial real estate loan:

Commercial real estate loan application form and real estate addendum.

Current business financial statements and most recent year tax return.

Guarantor’s current personal financial statement and most recent year personal tax return.

The applicant should sign the application form and the application materials should be submitted to the agency or institution where the applicant wants to apply for a commercial real estate loan.

Residential real estate loan:

Residential real estate loan application form.
Financial statement and most recent year income tax return.
Guarantor’s current personal financial statement and most recent year personal tax return.

In the same way as commercial real estate loans, the application materials for residential real estate loans should be submitted to the agency or institution where the applicant wants to apply for a residential real estate loan.

The materials needed for a real estate loan varies according to the requirements of different agencies and institutions.
Whn applying for a real estate loan, there are certain steps that the applicant should follow.

The following are the simple steps that an applicant should follow in order to hasten the processing of the real estate loan.

Select terms. Mortgage terms affect both interest rate and payment. With large amount of flexibility, lenders allow the applicant to tailor the loan to fit the budget needs.

Research the lender. In order for the applicant to save money, the easiest way to purchase real property in low rates is by finding the lowest costing loan. Research and find lenders who offer low cost loans.

Apply for real estate loan. After finding the right lender, the applicant can now apply for real estate loan accompanied with the requirements.

There are common mistakes when applying for a real estate loan. The following are some of it. To make the right impression and secure the loan, it is important to be aware of these common mistakes.
Not thoroughly researching the options. Thorough research on options should be made.

Not having the ducks in a row. Make sure that all the documentation the lender would expect is at hand and an applicant should be prepared to show why the property makes fiscal sense.

Failing to negotiate the best deal. Negotiation should be done to have the best deal.

Not selecting the best lawyer. Hiring the best lawyer is important. Hire lawyer that is very experienced in negotiating the types of real estates loans.

Going straight to a family lender. It is good to have a rapport with a lender, particularly when loan is needed. However, there are new real estate products offered constantly, ant it is worth the time to check out some of the other possibilities before going straight to favorite lender.

Knowing everything about real estate loans is very important when investing in real estate. Make sure you follow all the steps mentioned above.

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.

Gaining Educational Necessities Within Video Games

There are several wonderful features that video games offer the youth of today that are often times completely overlooked by adults, who often feel that these games are simply a waste of time for children that would be better off focusing there spare time on more constructive activities.

Video games offer several unique features that provide young people the chance to increase their learning abilities while stimulating their minds. The younger generation are constantly feeling the demands and requirements that the school place on them. However, they often use video games as a way to release the pressures that these high demands require from them, which makes video games an excellent teaching tool. These technologically advanced video games create an environment where gaming can be fun, exciting, as well as educational while optimizing components in learning.

The main objective of most video games is reaching the highest score or making it through that next level that is often time more challenging than the one before. Often times, video games will give the gamer a variety of options or strategies to choose in which to be able to either move onto the next level or simply win the game in general. Video games, especially action and adventure types games, always leave gamers with an element of surprise, which allows these young gamers the ability to laugh and bring a little excitement into their lives.

If video games were designed differently to where their outcomes would be different each time they were played, then this would drastically reduce video games becoming old and boring. Many of these video games offer children with the ability of memorization where the gamer has to remember where special rewards are hidden during a variety of games. When players have the ability of remember gaming information, then they have a better chance of being able to advance during the game play, but this will also help them during school as well.

There are also games being developed that have more of an ethnic balance by providing more issues within game play where there are options in character gender and have even begun breaking the language barriers. Video games that enable children to learn help teach children in a variety of subjects, which include learning about the solar system, word associations, puzzle solving, and even learning about wildlife. Children are also given the ability to learn about shapes, colors, solids, geometry, and other mathematics such as addition, subtraction, and percentages.

Most video games teach the youth of today in the areas of strategy, time management, and definitely in role-playing. However, every video game offer gamers new opportunities to be able to learn new types of strategies and a variety of problem solving techniques that will be able to be applied in real life. For the most part, gamers are not even aware that they are even learning these skills, which enables them to play while simply enjoying themselves. When video games are designed with teaching children in mind, then these games will require more critical thinking along with skills in math, science, social studies, and language arts. Games often enable children the opportunity to read dialog when reading directions, tips, and even maps.

Commercial Van Insurance Explained

Van Insurance Groups work in similarly as Car and Motorcycle Insurance Groups – and it is these that the Insurance Industry usage to

determine the classification of your non-commercial or business car.Cheapest Van

Insurance With Insurance boost by over 22 percent in 2010/2011 – it is no surprise to learn that numerous otherwise the

majority of car producers are searching for means to lower the Van Insurance Group classifications, to get their automobile much more

affordable in this challenging monetary market.

With Vans and Commercial Vehicles alike, the Insurance Categories provided to the manufacturers is established by the ABI (Association of

British Insurers) and Thatcham – the protection accreditation specialists.Cheapest Van

Insurance Group Unlike motorcycles and vehicles, the modest van has an overview just insurance ranking as a result of

the quantity of uses which business cars can be utilized for. Despite the fact that this is one-of-a-kind to the business vehicle industry, it

likewise passes on to vehicles and bikes where the usage is categorized “for business use.”.