Archives for Personal Finance

Getting Out Of An Annuity

annuity paymentsAn annuity is a form of insurance payment that families can opt to invest in that will provide them with annual payments to sustain them for the rest of their lives. Usually, this is a third party contract between families and the insurance company of their selection.

However annuities are not beneficial for everyone and in many circumstances, families find this out when it’s too late. Unfortunately, this causes a major problem because opting out of your annuity plan can be more costly than what it’s actually worth. So, before you decide to end your annuity plan and contract, be sure you know all of you options and consequences you will be faced with upon doing this.

Ending Your Annuity

Depending on the annuity plan you’ve chosen, it can be very hard to get out of your contract without facing severe financial consequences. However, Michael Green, a financial planner with Wechter Feldman Wealth Management, explains that even though you have a signed contract for an annuity plan, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are locked in forever; you always have options (Source).

Green also advises that if you are considering investing in an annuity plan, you should really do your research first. One of the biggest reasons that families want to get out of their annuity plan is due to their lack of knowledge of the annuity in the first place. When canceling your plan, your annuity payout option is final, so it’s highly important to make sure the amount you will receive is enough to support you through retirement and then some.

Many families are faced with the issue that their payout is much, much lower than what they are worth and struggle to keep up with their bills–leading to a very stressful and unrelaxed retirement. Ending your annuity can be very tricky and costly since there’s the possibility of a major tax consequence being involved. In many cases where a family wants to end their annuity plan, depending on the type of plan they picked, the could be faced with paying a large sum of money in tax fees. However, if you want to dispose of your annuity plan and your surrender period has expired, you will have the ability to liquidate or terminate your contract without having to worry about those pesky and costly tax fees.

There’s also the possibility of losing out on the benefits such as death and long-term care when ending your annuity plan. So, be sure to you know all the facts before terminating your plan.

Sell Your Annuity Payments For Cash with Rising Capital

If you are attempting to end your annuity but your payout options are significantly lower than what you are worth or what you were originally promised, and you don’t want to pay the thousands and thousands in tax fees, you may want to consider the option of liquidating your annuity. If you do decide to liquidate your annuity, you will have the option to sell it for a better cash-now option. 

At Rising Capital, we can provide you with a lump sum in exchange for your annuity. Contact us today at 1-866-444-5061

 

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How The Powerball Annuity And Lump Sum Works

powerballWhen receiving their money, the very lucky winners of the Powerball have two different options they can choose from. In most circumstances, when collecting their prize, the winners can choose either a lump-sum cash payment or an annuity that makes payments over the course of 30 years. However, when making this decision, winners must be aware that if they choose a lump-sum, they will receive a lower sum of money than what the Powerball originally was.

Of course, like any other financial decision, there are the benefits and the drawbacks to accepting either a lump-sum or an annuity. Lucky for you, we’ve broken down the key concepts behind each option. So, in the event you find yourself a (very) lucky winner of the Powerball, this article will help you come up with the educated decision of which option would work best for you and your family.

Choosing The Annuity

Here’s what you need to know if you decided to go with the annuity option:

In the event the Powerball winner chooses the annuity option, they are opting out of receiving their winnings all at once and instead, will spread out the payments on a yearly basis. Initially, the winners will receive an immediate payment upon winning, followed by annual payments made over a course of 29 years with a grand total of 30 payments. In an effort to maintain the cost of living, each payment will increase by approximately 5% every year. For example, let’s say the Powerball winnings are $83 million and the winners decided to go with an annuity plan that will spread their $83 million in payments made over a 30-year time period. Their immediate payment will be approximately $1,249,269.00 while their payment in the next year will be $1,311,733.00 and so on and so forth. Each year their payment will increase 5% until their payment reaches $5,142,161.00 in the final year, leaving a grand total of $83 million in a timespan of 30 years. The annuity option is also inflation-protected; in other words–as long as you are smart with your finances–the annuity options eliminates the possibility of going into debt. Basically, protecting you from your own frivolous spending.

Additionally, the Powerball annuity payments are marked as “annuity certain” which means that in the event the winner dies before they have reached their 30 allotted payments, the installments will still be made to their estate and their heirs upon their passing.

Taking a Lump Sum Payment

Surprisingly, it’s quite often that we see the Powerball winners choose the lump sum option–a smaller value–rather than waiting for their winnings to be received as yearly installments. It’s understandable, though; not everyone–who’s just won such a significant amount of money–has the patience to wait on a yearly basis to obtain that money. When the stakes are that high, they want their money almost immediately.

With the availability of instant cash, winners have the ability to do what they want with it at any time. This includes the type of investments that many winners may want to consider investing their money with. 

Taxes On Your Winnings

A major factor that most fail to take into consideration is taxes. If you choose the annuity option, you will only be required to pay taxes on the amount of money you receive each year. Whereas with the lump-sum option, winners will be required to pay the taxes off in one whole sum upon obtaining their proceedings. You’ll also have to pay off any taxes that come with investment options such as dividends, capital gains, and interest income each year that you invest. However, many people seem to find this aspect a bit troubling, seeing that it’s not very easy to predict what the federal income tax rate might be; it’s constantly fluctuating.

As you can see, each option has their own set of pros and cons and in the end, it all comes down to what would work best for you and your family in the long run. However, after hearing the endless stories or Powerball winners going broke after choosing a lump-sum option, the annuity plan might just be the smarter option

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Not Saving Enough For Retirement Is The Regret of Many

saving for retirementThere are many things in life that change as we get older.

As we age, our needs, wants, and obligations alter and we eventually retire from our jobs. Although the concept of retirement sounds great, it may be nothing more than a pipe dream if you don’t have sufficient money to fund your it. 

Many people live with monetary anguish and wish that they had better money management skills in their younger years. Not saving for retirement is one of the biggest regrets that retirees deal with. Among Millennials, 11 percent are worried about not saving early enough for retirement while 18% among Gen X are worried about this same thing followed by 39 perfect of Baby Boomers (Source).

Saving Is Never a Bad Thing

Saving money isn’t easy and requires a great deal of discipline. By starting a retirement savings account early on in life, you will have a longer period of time to contribute.

Turning to others, such as family, for financial support can be difficult on both parties involved which is why having a decent savings account is essential in all stages of life, especially retirement.

Once you retire, there are other types of hurdles to overcome. You may have a variety of expenses such as: 

  • Medical bills
  • Assisted care costs
  • A mortgage
  • Cost of a spouse’s funeral
  • Any existing investments

While saving money for retirement is difficult for many, it can be impossible for some due to their salary. According to a recent study, 76 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and 27 perfect of them have no savings at all (Source).

How to Start Saving For Retirement

It’s beneficial to start saving for old age as soon as you can, with the perfect age being your mid 20’s.

Putting aside as much as you can afford, whether that is $50, $100, or $300 a month, will drastically help when you are older. Many times, an employer will assist you with a 401 k match which will become accessible once you retire. Many times, the amount that you can contribute depends on your personal financial situation and you can only put in so much as bills and obligations get in the way.

In order to save, we must be in the mindset that it is not ‘option’, it is mandatory.

Starting to save is the hardest part but once you realize that is it essential to contribute to a savings and retirement account, it becomes easier to put that money aside each month. Remember that starting small is fine and any little bit counts. As your income increases, consider putting more into retirement in order to have a sufficient lump sum come retirement.

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How To Avoid Common Financial Scams

avoiding-scamsIf there is one thing that we all try to avoid, it’s being scammed or ripped off.

What is truly troublesome is a scam that would ruin your future retirement and deplete all the money that you have contributed to it. Although we try to be diligent in detecting scammers, whether it is over the phone or via email, many of us still fall victim to it. When it comes to conmen trying to scam their next customer, they tend to target retirees and senior citizens as scammers know that this target audience tends to have a good amount of money in their savings accounts.

Nearly 1 in 5 Americans over the age of 65 have been victimized by financial rip-offs, according to a 2016 study from the Investor Protection Trust(Source).

“Swindlers and hackers pinched $16 billion from 12.7 million U.S. consumers in 2014”, according to Javelin Strategy & Research’s 2015 Identity Fraud Study (Source). That number is enough to want to take major initiatives to protect yourself, your family, and your bank accounts.

The Various Types of Fraud/Scams

When it comes to fraudulent activity, we often associate it with stolen money out of our bank account but there are other types of fraud that does not have to do directly with your bank account.

Contractor Fraud

When your home needs renovations and updates, we usually call a contractor to do the job. A reputable contractor has a habit of overcharging, leaving you paying more money than you should. Some signs that a contractor is trying to rip you off is:

  • Asking for money/cheque up front
  • Entering your house without your permission (to steal)
  • And trying to sell insurance claims to you

Medical Fraud

Sometimes, a doctor can try and lure you in in order to charge you more so that they themselves can benefit from Medicaid.

Other common types of fraud are: reverse mortgage, bereavement, and investment fraud.

Tips To Avoiding Scams

  • Never e-transfer or wire money to someone you don’t know
  • Never disclose your financial information/passwords/logins/pin numbers
  • Don’t open suspicious emails
  • Always use complicated passwords that only you know
  • Install anti-virus programs on your computer

Always be skeptical of who you trust and always try to choose a company that is listed with the Better Business Bureau.

You work hard to save for retirement, so why not do everything you can to ensure that it is safe? 

 

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Some Seniors Are Being Victimized By Annuity Scams

senior-annuitiesAn annuity is a type of insurance investment that enables the investor to receive a fixed sum of money yearly, for the rest of their life. There are many different forms of annuities that provide customers with a range of benefits but also leave room for certain risks (i.e. stock investments). Annuities are very popular amongst senior citizens since they are primarily bought as form of income during the stages of their retirement.

An Unfortunate Target

Since seniors are prime candidates for annuities, it, unfortunately, makes them susceptible to felony fraud orchestrated by conmen who pose as reliable insurance agents.

For example, two Pennsylvania native sisters, Mary and Philomena Nave, who were in their upper 80’s at the time, had saved up $500,000 to supplement them through their retirement. When looking for a dependable insurance agency to invest their money with, the sisters came across Richard Piccinini Jr., an annuities salesman. Unbeknownst to them, the sisters were ultimately placing their money into the wrong hands. In a four-year span, Piccinini moved the sisters in and out of complicated, long-term contracts that would lead to astronomical commission fees. With constant early-surrender penalty fees, Piccinini was able to embezzle $200,000 of the sister’s $500,000 investment (Source).  

The idea of seniors being victimized by annuity salesmen is absolutely deplorable, but a sad reality. Deceptive agencies who are looking to make money off of uninformed customers are to blame for this. When the time comes to invest your money in annuities, it is highly important to conduct proper research before choosing a company. Sometimes, this burden can be eased with the help of family member who has your best interest in mind.

Sell Your Annuity or Structured Settlement With Rising Capital

At Rising Capital Associates, we can provide you with a lump sum for your annuity payments. If you need cash now for expenses, medical bills, or emergencies, contact us now for more information on selling your annuity payments.

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last-minute-holiday-gifts

10 Last-Minute Holiday Shopping Tips

1. Buy a gift card (on sale). Imagine going to the bank and exchanging $85 for a $100 bill. You do something similar when you purchase a discount gift card. It’s a win-win situation: Gift cards are the most requested gift item each year, and you can buy them for only a fraction of the face-value price. Or you can purchase specific gifts with a discounted card.

To buy discounted gift cards, check out online vendors such as Raise.com and CardPool.com or wholesalers such as Sam’s Cluband Costco.

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students-loans2

Student Loan Debt 101: Everything You Need to Know

In this day and age, most people graduating from college are doing so with some level of student debt. That said, its ubiquity isn’t much of a comfort to those ​20-somethings receiving their very first student loan bill. In many ways, taking out student loans can feel like a huge gamble : For those who struggle to find work right out of college, it can begin to look like a bet they lost.

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Nine Money Tips For Building Your American Dream

Freedom and prosperity are essential parts of the American Dream, but many people overlook financial stability. In fact, learning how to spend wisely, protect your money, credit, and home, and make plans for your retirement are some of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. To help you achieve your financial dreams, USA.gov shares these tips to help you plan for your financial future…

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7 Steps To Living The Life Of Your Dreams

By Dave Ramsey | More Content Now

For more than 20 years, I’ve had the honor of helping millions of families take control of their money and stop drowning in debt. It’s been awesome to see so many people change their lives!
Early on, however, I noticed a pattern with the people I was counseling and the callers on my radio show. The thought of getting out of debt was overwhelming to them. The pile of debt in front of them seemed too big, and they didn’t know how to start.

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4 Low Debt Value Stocks to Ride Out the Market Blues

by Zacks Equity Research

It has not been a good time for the stock market, especially after the particularly tumultuous last week, for most global indices. In about eight months, the S&P 500 has declined 3.4%. Indeed, 2015 hasn’t, so far, been a breakout year for the stocks and clearly, investors had enough reason to be cautious.

Earlier in August, China devalued its currency. The country’s stock market has turned bearish over the last couple of months despite government initiatives to check the fall. The Shanghai composite index went down 0.8% on Aug 28, as investors were concerned that the government may not want to prop up the stock markets any further.

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How You Can Attract Money

This is Money | By Kenneth Doghudje

There is a force behind money that makes it plentiful in the lives of a few, and lacking in the lives of many others. The truth is, attracting money is neither the product of abstract hocus-pocus or rocket science. Anyone can attract the kind of money he or she desires.

There is the law of attraction at work in the universe. An understanding of and acting upon this law is bound to bring what you want to attract into your life. According to Brian Tracy, You are a living magnet; you invariably attract into your life the people, situations and circumstances that are in harmony with your dominant thoughts.

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Leverage your settlement to help you reach your financial goals!

5 Things That Selling Your Structured Settlement Can Help You With Today

To Sell or Not To Sell A Structured Settlement. That Is The Question

Leverage your settlement to help you reach your financial goals!

Leverage your settlement to help you reach your financial goals!

So you see a commercial and you decide that it is time to sell your structured settlement for lump sums of cash, but you have no idea if you should sell all of it or some. We understand the dilemma.

At Rising Capital Associates, we talk to a lot of people who want to use the money that is owed to them, but still want the flexibility to use their payments later on. A lot of other companies will try to convince you that selling all of your settlement is the best choice. These are companies that are interested their profits.

We see things a little differently here.

We want to help you to make the best financial decisions for you and your family. We’ve composed a list of fantastic reasons selling your structured settlement or annuity for cash can help make your dreams happen while still maintaining the flexibility you need.

Invest in your future

Whether it’s starting your own business or wanting to diversify your portfolio, as a financial institution, we understand the importance of making your money work for you. If the cause of your settlement or annuity makes it difficult for you to find work, then selling some it for a lump sum of cash can give you the boost you need to turn your passion into a new career.

Debt (And Stress) Reduction

Stress over money is one of the most pervasive and common strains on the health of Americans. If you find yourself losing sleep and in a bad mood because you worry that ends won’t meet, then accelerating your structured settlement is a great way to ensure that you will live out the lifespan of your settlement.

Auto purchase

Auto loans are notorious dangerous debt and to make matters worst lenders are still providing unwise subprime loans. We understand the importance of having a reliable car and the exhilaration of purchasing a new one. You should be able to enjoy that without a care.

Tuition

If you or your children have decided to pursue a quality higher education, then selling your structured settlement or annuity is a smart way to focus more on the classes, instead of how to pay back the loans incurred.

Home Repair or Improvement

The weather can be unpredictable and the damage it causes can be quite expensive. Whether you want to prepare for the harshness of the upcoming winter, update your house to make it more energy efficient (hint: there’s a tax incentive), or you want to personalize and modernize your home, selling your settlement or annuity for a lump sum of cash should be the first step in making your home more comfortable.

At Rising Capital Associates, your interests are our interests and we want to help you to make the smart financial decision. If you’d like a free quote or to talk to an advisor or financial specialist feel free to contact us here

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August is a great time to find cool things for the house like these pillows as most stores kick into back to school season.

Top 3 Things To Buy At The End of The Summer

Learn How To Save At The End of The Summer

One of the most important things anyone can learn to maximize their money is knowing when to buy something. It just so happens that changing seasons are one of the best times to shop. As the summer is winding down, be on the lookout for some of these great deals and offers.

Cars

August is one of the best times to buy a new car as many dealerships are looking to clear inventory for new models.

August is one of the best times to buy a new car as many dealerships are looking to clear inventory for new models.

 

A recent  study by True Car, an automotive website, shows the average price for buying a vehicle in August can drop by more than $150 lower compared to any other month. On average, that’s $500 less than the other 11 months. That’s a huge saving!

August is the best month to buy a car or truck because dealers are cleaning out older inventory as the new models roll in. This change-over means late-model vehicles are priced to be quickly sold off the lot. Depending on the make and model of the car you’re looking for and the region in which you live, savings can range to several thousand dollars.

When looking for a new car this month be sure to shop around and try to leverage deals from other dealerships. At this point, the real estate that the car is taking up is worth more to a dealer.

 

Linens, Storage Containers, and other Household Items

August is a great time to find cool things for the house like these pillows as most stores kick into back to school season.

August is a great time to find cool things for the house like these pillows as most stores kick into back to school season.

If it’s something that a college student needs for basic living, then it will be on sale. August is the best time to upgrade your bed linens and pillows at Target or Overstock.com. The savings aren’t limited to the bedroom. You can also find a number of ordinary items such as hangers, irons, jars, boxes, and office supplies at an incredibly low price, because of the back to school season.  For a place like The Container Store, this is a peak season and you should try to load up while the savings are good.

Fall Clothes

Check out some of your favorite stores for great deals to upgrade your fall wardrobe.

Check out some of your favorite stores for great deals to upgrade your fall wardrobe.

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the end of the summer is a great time to load up on new fall clothes. Many retailers such as Zara, H&M, and Gap are already clearing out their summer inventory with great sales, but many retailers continue these sales for several weeks. Labor Day is one of the better shopping weekends of the year for clothes, especially if you live near an outlet mall, where you can find exclusive sales up to 70% on top of normal sales. Now is a great time to shop around for jeans, sweaters, shirts, jackets, and even shoes.
If retailer stores aren’t your style and you like things more vintage, check out your local thrift store, as they are certain to be full of new (old) clothes from people clearing out their closets.
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