Tag Archives: just so you know

Understanding Reverse Mortgages

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Understanding Reverse Mortgages

A reverse mortgage is a way to increase the money that you have during your retirement by accessing part of your home’s value in the form of actual money. You can borrow up to a certain percentage of the value of your home, and you won’t have to pay it back in the same way that you would a regular home loan. The only monthly installments involved will be the ones that the lender pays to you, unless you request to borrow a large amount at once. You can pay back a reverse loan whenever you want, as long as you don’t move away.

As soon as you leave, the lender can exercise their right to call in the loan, and they can also sell the home to get their money. But, as long as you plan to stay in your house for a while, a reverse mortgage can provide a much needed financial boost in times of trouble.

Who qualifies for a reverse mortgage? There are certain requirements in order to qualify for a reverse mortgage. An individual must own their home outright. If there is still a mortgage balance owed, it must be low enough that it can be paid off at closing. The homeowner is still required to pay property taxes and insurance, so they must have the finances to do so. The individual must be at least 62 years old or, if there are multiple owners, the youngest must be at least 62 years old.

When does a reverse mortgage become due? The reverse mortgage becomes due when the homeowner sells the house, moves out of the property, or becomes deceased. If there are multiple owners, the mortgage does not become due as long as at least one of them still remains in the home as a primary residence. Once the reverse mortgage is due, the balance of the loan must be paid back within six months.

What happens with the estate? In the event that the homeowner or owners are deceased, beneficiaries of the estate can choose to place the property for sale. If the estate sells for more than the amount of the reverse mortgage, the proceeds become the property of the beneficiaries. Should the house sell for less than the total amount of the reverse mortgage, the lender must take the loss. The debt cannot be passed along to the heirs of the estate.

The estate beneficiaries may, instead, choose to pay back the reverse mortgage in order to retain ownership of the property. In this event, they must pay back any balance remaining on the mortgage. This can be done either by using financial assets or by refinancing the mortgage.

What if I change my mind? If a senior citizen obtains a reverse mortgage and then reconsiders, they have the option of paying back the loan early. Prior to September of 2012, lenders could charge a penalty for repaying the loan prior to term. Since then, penalties for prepayments are illegal. However, lenders may charge other administrative fees for processing the early discharge of the loan.

Reverse mortgage counseling: Deciding if a reverse mortgage is right for you depends on many factors, and consumers need to understand all of the pros and cons. An impartial reverse mortgage counselor can fully explain exactly what the loan entails. This counseling is mandatory in order to protect consumers. Counseling may be done face-to-face or over the phone. After providing counseling, the counselor must sign an HECM Counseling Certificate and mail a copy to the homeowner. The copy is presented to the lender along with the reverse mortgage application.

Let’s be honest, any type of financing when it comes to your home can be confusing. It is always best to handle your affairs with the utmost care and to consider how each of your options, like a reverse mortgage, fits into your current lifestyle.

Featured Image By: Flickr

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Productivity Boosting: Simple Guidance For New Company Bosses

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Productivity Boosting: Simple Guidance For New Company Bosses

When anyone starts a new company, they often have to navigate many different stumbling blocks. If the individual manages to do that successfully, they should have a profitable business on their hands. However, there will come a time when it makes sense to implement new measures to boost productivity and efficiency, which helps to increase profits and ensure that the company can satisfy as many clients or customers as possible. The problem, is that most new entrepreneurs have no clue where to start. With that in mind, the guidance below this introduction should assist in providing some advice. Use one or more of the strategies mentioned in this post to increase productivity and take the brand to the next level:

Educate Employees: Sometimes the best way to increase productivity is to provide educational opportunities to the workforce. With a bit of luck, that process will help employees to learn new skills that they can apply to their roles within the company. The business owner just has to work out which course is most appropriate. Most entrepreneurs won’t want their workers to spend too much time out of the office. For that reason, it makes sense to select online programs that allow employees to gain their qualifications at home. MBA management online degrees could benefit people in team leader positions. Likewise, anyone working as part of the marketing team would learn the latest techniques from advertising and promotional courses. Employers just have to:

  • Present workers with suitable education programs
  • Offer to pay for the courses
  • Provide support for all learners

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Knowledge is power!

Make Use of the Latest Technology: There is no getting away from the fact that we are living in the digital age now. New technology reaches the market every single day and business owners need to keep their fingers on the pulse. Failure to do that could mean that the company never reaches maximum productivity and it could also mean that the brand loses out to their competition. Many different software packages could assist in reducing workloads and making the operation more efficient than it was in the past. For instance, entrepreneurs might like to invest in:

  • Cloud storage
  • Accounting software
  • Inventory software
  • Social media management tools
  • 3D printing technology

Many tech blogs and websites release articles discussing the latest advancements. It only makes sense for business owners to bookmark those addresses and take a look at new posts every day.

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#technology

Offer Bonuses to Workers: Human beings are simple creatures and they tend to respond well to incentives. Bosses who want their employees to go the extra mile should offer financial bonuses. People who do that should notice a vast improvement in productivity almost immediately. The process is much the same as dangling a carrot in front of a donkey. Of course, some companies don’t have enough money in their accounts to hand out cash bonuses every week. In that situation, it’s wise to think of some alternative perks for employees who make an effort. For instance, bosses might consider offering:

  • Cinema tickets
  • Food vouchers
  • Alcoholic drinks (for the weekend)
  • New job opportunities
  • Workplace discounts

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$$$$

Know When to Outsource: Most business owners have read about the process of outsourcing in the past. However, a significant percentage of entrepreneurs never push ahead with the idea. That is a terrible mistake to make for anyone who wants to boost productivity. There are going to be many tasks within the company that take a long time to complete. It often makes sense to employ outside specialists to handle those processes. For instance, many firms choose to outsource their customer service departments these days. That is a fantastic move because it means other people deal with correspondence and employees can focus on pushing the operation forward. Customers don’t know the difference because the business owner will create a script for the call center staff to follow. Other jobs individuals tend to outsource include:

  • Parts of the manufacturing process
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Accounting and bookkeeping
  • Human resources

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Move Towards Automation: Experts claim that automation is the key to success in the modern business world. That is especially the case for people who own manufacturing companies. There are many specialists out there who develop custom-built robots that can perform many tasks without human interaction. Automating the production process would mean business owners can get their products made in the fastest time possible. It should also mean there are fewer mistakes than before and the items are made to the highest of standards. However, even those running an office can benefit from automation. With the right tools, it’s possible to automate:

  • Employee salary payments
  • The recording of financial information
  • Inventory monitoring
  • The placing of supplier orders

Business owners just have to search online for the best-automated software packages. If they can’t find anything suitable, the entrepreneur should get in touch with developers. There are people out there who will build almost anything for a price.

Remove the Weakest Links: Just as company bosses have to reward hard workers, they also need to remove the weakest links from their team. If there are employees who show up late every day and never perform as expected, it’s time to terminate their contracts. Of course, all employers will have to follow a standard disciplinary process to avoid any disputes. Some workers will say mistreatment has taken place and that can result in them taking the boss to a tribunal. However, that should never happen if the entrepreneur treads carefully. Anyone who needs to understand the process should get in touch with experienced lawyers. People in that profession know how to get rid of useless workers without creating repercussions. Listen to their advice and put it into practice. In most instances, company bosses will have to:

  • Give the employee a verbal warning
  • Offer two written warnings
  • Present the employee with a final warning
  • Hold a meeting to discuss the situation
  • Fire the employee

People who follow that strategy will have done everything possible to resolve the issue in the eyes of the law. While some ex-employees might try to take the business to court, they will not succeed in their bid for compensation.

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Bye bye!

Remain Flexible: All entrepreneurs should aim to stay as flexible as possible when it comes to their working processes. That is the only way to ensure that they always maximize profit potential. Maybe a new piece of software appears on the market that could slash working times in half? Perhaps a new material could assist in reducing the cost of product production? Only those with flexibility will manage to implement the changes quickly and reap the rewards. Time is often of the essence when it comes to making use of new ideas before the competition. All company bosses should ensure that they can change any part of their operation at the drop of a hat. Strategies for that might include:

  • Ensuring all departments are self-reliant
  • Improving workplace communication channels
  • Employing experts who can adjust the structure of the company quickly

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The tips and tricks listed in this article should be enough to point all entrepreneurs in the right direction. Boosting productivity can help to increase profits and make sure that the business has enough capital in its accounts to expand. Failure to use the advice from this page could mean the company becomes set in its ways. That is the worst thing that can happen to any modern operation, because it is only a matter of time before a rival blows it out of the water. Out of all of the guidance in this post, remaining flexible is the most important, so start working on that as soon as possible!

Featured Image By: Flickr

The Fallout: Steps To Take After Suffering Extreme Damage To Your Home

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The Fallout: Steps To Take After Suffering Extreme Damage To Your Home

It’s never something we would like to think that would affect any of us, but with the rise of inclement weather all over the world, it seems more and more likely with every passing year that your home will be involved in some kind of disaster. Whether it be a flood, tornado, earthquake, or a fire, it is a terrible situation to be in. But what happens after the event to your home and to you personally? Let’s try and address the issues about how to repair all the damage after a disaster.

The First Thing To Do:

The first sort of call when it comes to a disaster happening to your home, once everybody is safe, is to get in contact with your insurance company and file a claim. Depending on whether you are renting your home or not, you would still need to make a claim based on the damage to your property or your worldly possessions. It’s your prerogative at the start whether you would want to use a loss adjuster to deal with the entire process of the claim, which could help with the buildings insurance, contents insurance, as well as providing emergency accommodation. And the sooner you are able to engage with one, the bigger the burden they can remove from your shoulders. Once you have met with the loss adjuster, they will undertake a fact-finding mission throughout your property, and based on the circumstances of the claim, forensic specialists may be called to undertake an investigation, especially if this was a house fire to determine the cause.

The Next Steps:

Once you have met with the loss adjuster, they will submit a report to the insurance company based on the circumstances surrounding the disaster and they will also recommend whether the insurer should pay your claim or not. They will make a decision on whether the policy you have is sufficient enough to cover the damage, which is a big problem a lot of policyholders have, being “underinsured”. From there, the emergency contractors will be appointed to carry out any works that are urgent, and this could include water damage restoration companies, which will provide their own investigation into the causes. If you have issues in your home with things like running water, they will provide a restoration plan for you.

Other companies may weatherproof your property or make your home more secure by boarding up the windows or covering the roof. It’s important to note that the insurers might not pay for this work until the claim has been processed, so it would be your responsibility in the meantime to prevent additional damage to your property. After this, the surveyor will assess the overall damage to your property and put together a plan for the reinstatement of it.

The Contents Claim:

If your home was very badly damaged and all of your possessions have been destroyed, it’s important for you to make a detailed list of all of your contents including the cost for replacements. A lot of insurance companies act on a “like for like” basis. But if you are claiming for things like clothes and bedding, they are replaced on what is called an indemnity basis, meaning that there will be a reduction in their value based on the wear and tear of your original items. And if you’ve got a lot of high-end items such as electronic equipment or designer clothes, you need to provide the proof, the makes, models, etc., before the insurance company will accept the claim completely.

The Personal Impact:

As it would be expected, the process of dealing with loss adjusters and the insurance company can be a trying one, especially if you are without a home. During the process, you will be in temporary accommodation, and this could be the emergency accommodation provided at the outset of the disaster. After that, you would have to find long-term temporary accommodation that suits you and your family during the restoration of the property. This can be difficult to acquire, especially if you have a big family or have pets.

It’s at this point where the stress can get the better of you, as you’re not in your own home. During your dealings with the insurance company, you may feel like you’re being passed from pillar to post, but this is a fact of the situation, unfortunately. If your claim is in limbo, it can take some time. And during your negotiation with a loss adjuster, you may not get everything that you wish in terms of suitable emergency accommodation, as you need to agree on a budget with the loss adjuster.

The Final Pieces Of The Puzzle:

Once the ball has been rolling after the tense negotiations, the process of tendering will begin. At this point, the contractors will be appointed to do the work on your home. The contractors are usually specialist ones appointed by the insurance company, but if you want to use your own contractors, you need to be careful with your choice as there are many out there who may not have a good track record. It is at this point where the surveyor will meet with the contractors to solidify the final parts of the work, which will progress until your home is fully restored. It’s important to note that at this point, you may wish to make some alterations to your home, pending the approval of the surveyor. After this, your contents claim would be agreed, items are secured, and you can return home.

While we all hope that it doesn’t happen to us, it’s important that if your home suffers from any type of disaster that you have the right policies in place. If you don’t have any insurance, it is recommended that you get something for peace of mind. If your home is ever going to suffer a disaster, with the right insurance policies in place you know you can, at least, rebuild your life.

Featured Image By: Wikipedia

Monday Update: This Week’s Lineup Edition

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Monday Update: This Week’s Lineup Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday! This week on lifewithlilred is going to feature a particularly fun post lineup. Not only will I be announcing my guest bloggers for my Falling For Fall series and showing off my new nails BUT I have a new mini series premiering. Read on to find out more:

As all of you know, I have a deep passion for all things skin care. Keeping my skin radiant and extra pasty pale is something that I take very seriously and a new tool that I’ve added to my skin care arsenal in the past few months is the face mask. These products have been all over the blogosphere as of late and I thought I would join in with my Face Mask Festivities mini series, which will discuss the three face masks that I’ve been alternating between. These posts will contain pictures of the products and my MUG as well as in detail reviews of my face mask experiences. Can’t wait to share my findings with all of you!

What was everyone up to this weekend? What is your favorite face mask to use? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Identifying When Your Friend Might Need Your Support

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Identifying When Your Friend Might Need Your Support

Despite the immense potential and beauty that life can offer, and does offer all of the time, sometimes we all must enter periods of sadness, sorrow, and doubt. This can trigger from a range of different problems, and we all experience it now and then. Not everyone can be functioning at 100% all of the time, and periods of depression or isolation can actually serve for the greater good in the long-term. If you’re going through a period of depression, that previous statement must be apologized for in terms of its bluntness, but not it terms of its message.

Trivializing depression is always wrong, but robbing it of all complete perceptive value would be wrong, too. Overcoming a depressive episode can make you a stronger, more down-to-earth person. Remember, a tree’s branches can only reach as high as its roots go. A person who has successfully made it through a depressive episode is likely to come through the other side better off in some ways. It can be a purifying fire, that forces you to prioritize what is important to you, who is important to you, and how you can best live your life with wisdom and foresight.

However, this doesn’t mean that being depressed isn’t real. If you’ve been through feelings of despair yourself, you’ll know about the support that you hope for but usually can’t articulate your desire to retrieve. As a friend, it’s important that you keep an eye on your other friends or roommates to make sure they are okay and doing well. Here’s what to look for if you notice a change for the negative in your loved ones:

Change In Physical Appearance: Depression can rob you of many things, not the least your physical vitality. If you’ve noticed that your friend lacks their usual vitality, they could be deeply depressed, or even worse, they might be turning to substances to overcome their issues. This never works in the short or long term, but is a tempting process for someone who feels that they have no escape.

Communicating your concerns can be difficult to approach in these circumstances without seeming hostile. Living with a prescription addict can be even worse, because they can often get a sanctified, legal way to obtain their habitual maladies. To overcome these issues, try and help them get help through any means necessary. Inform their GP and family. Be there for them. If you have to, organize some form of stay-in recovery. Depression culminates in many ways, and people take it differently depending on their personality. Another sign to look out for is:

Withdrawing From Social Life: Withdrawing from standard social discourse is a good sign that tells you that someone isn’t functioning at 100%. Another sign is keeping an odd schedule, such as replying to your messages on social media at the early hours of the morning. A symptom of depression is late sleeping and late rising, so be sure to look out for this. Even introverted people need social contact, so complete withdrawal, especially if said person used to be social, can be taken in a number of ways.

Communicate clearly to the person that you harbor no ill-will for them limiting themselves or withdrawing, but let them know that you are worried about them. Never stop inviting them to places. Consider doing activities inside with just the two of you. Try and open up conversation as much as possible without being annoying. See what you can do to be present. Even if they don’t show it, they’ll likely need you far more than you think.

Sometimes, the best remedy as a friend is your simple presence. However, sometimes it requires more than that. Be sure to identify which one will be more helpful and take further action when needed. What matters is your observation and your willingness to help your friend through thick and thin.

Featured Image By: Flickr

Rent VS Own: Comparing The Costs

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Rent VS Own: Comparing The Costs

Some people can spend a long time wondering whether it’s better to rent or own your home. While many people have a strong opinion one way or the other, others think that different things are right for different people. It’s ultimately a personal decision whether you think renting or owning is best. Many people change their minds at different points in their lives. Renting can be more flexible, but owning can be more secure. Some people see renting as throwing money away, but if you get a mortgage, the property doesn’t exactly belong to you, either. Working out costs can help you decide which is the best choice for you.

Rent VS Mortgage: The major living expense for most people is the cost of their rent or their mortgage payments. The cost of renting can vary widely, depending on where you live. Some people can spend a third or even half of their income on rent, but others will pay much less. Working out how much you might spend on your own home is easy to do. If you use a house loan calculator, you can work out how much your payments might be. Some people might discover that mortgage payments could end up being less than what they pay in rent in the long run.

Bills & Insurance: Whether you rent or buy, you still have to pay bills. However, if you rent a room or property, your bills could be included in your rent. If you buy a home, you will always be responsible for your bills. This does mean that you have more control over them, though. It’s easier for you to change energy suppliers, for example. Another cost to consider is insurance. As a homeowner, you need to insure the property and its contents. But as a renter, it’s still a good idea to have renter’s insurance. Although the expenses are similar, the amount you pay could be very different.

Property Maintenance: As a tenant, maintenance of the property is usually the responsibility of your landlord. There might be some things that you’re required to do to keep it looking good, but major work isn’t normally up to you. But, as a homeowner, you need to pay for anything that needs to be fixed. And if you belong to an HOA, that could mean a lot of maintenance. Property maintenance is one of the things that can potentially make owning your home more expensive than renting.

The Cost of Moving: Another thing to consider is the costs of moving home. If you own your home, you’re likely to move less often. It’s up to you when you move, unless you can no longer afford to keep your home. But if you do decide to sell and move, it could be very expensive. Of course, moving as a renter costs money, too. You might have to pay a security deposit, first month’s rent, agency fees, and moving fees, plus you could move a lot more often.

Owning a home is often more expensive than renting, but many people prefer it. If you’re trying to decide which is right for you, look at the pros and cons of each and make the choice most suited to your current lifestyle.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

See You Next Week!

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See You Next Week!

Hello everyone and happy weekend!! I sure hope that all of you are feeling a lot better than I am today. I am in a bit of a rut so I will be on a lifewithlilred hiatus this weekend. BUT, rest assured that I will be back this Monday to bring you all of the latest and greatest. OR maybe even this afternoon or tomorrow if I feel so inclined – you never know!

Tell me good things. What are you up to this weekend? How do you stay positive during a rough patch? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah