Monday, October 4, 2010

Weekly Savings Tip: Save Early. Save Often.

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Retirement: the distant fantasy of no work and all play that comes after career. But how much do you know about planning for retirement? Maybe the thought of saving for this milestone 30 or more years down the road has yet to cross your mind. "Save early. Save often." is a good practice to follow when thinking about saving for your retirement. Here's why:

With the widespread use of compounded interest in retirement plans, it's never too early to start saving; compounded interest allows you to get the most out of your contributions, no matter the amount. With simple interest, you only earn interest on your investment, not on the interest that you earn. With compound interest, your annual interest is determined by the total of your investment plus any interest already accrued.

For example, let's take a look at Bill and Benjamin. Bill decides on a plan with simple interest and begins saving for retirement at age 40, putting in an initial investment of $10,000 and contributing $400 per month with a 6% annual rate of return. Benjamin, on the other hand, goes for compound interest and begins saving at age 25, starting with no initial balance and contributing $200 per month with the same 6% annual rate of return. Both men retire at age 65, Bill with $322,069 and Benjamin with $400,290.

Who would you rather be in your sixties: Bill or Benjamin?

Talk with your plan provider about your different investment options for your retirement plan; they can help make sure you're getting the biggest bang for your buck. And check out this chart for a helpful guide to saving for retirement.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

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Mobile Banking—Is it for You?

Mobile banking on your cell phone or other mobile device can help you manage your finances by providing easy access anywhere for you to monitor your checking and savings accounts and credit card activity; check bill or loan due dates; pay one-time or recurring bills and receive low balance or transaction alerts via text messaging.

If you have considered mobile banking you have probably wondered if it's safe. In general, mobile banking offers at least the same level of security and encryption as online banking. Account data is typically not stored on your mobile device. To safeguard your personal and account information be sure to do the following:

Download mobile applications from reputable sources only.

Use strong passwords.

Read your financial institution's mobile banking agreement and disclosures.

Avoid using free wireless service available at public locations when conducting financial transactions.

Finally, be sure you are aware of costs.

While most financial institutions offer free mobile banking services, normal transaction fees will apply. Your wireless service provider may also charge you for text messages or downloads, so know the terms of your data plan agreement.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Weekly Savings Tip: Prioritizing and Paying off Debt

In the United States, the average person carries approximately $8,000 in debt. As this is an average, it represents total debt figures if assigned to every man, woman and child in the nation. It therefore means many people carry far more than $8,000.If you are one of the many who are currently carrying more than one debt and trying to do your best to pay them off, how do you decide what debt to pay first, and in what order? Here are some quick tips to help you make these decisions.Start by knowing your budget. If you don't know how much money is coming in and going out each month, you can't know how much you have to pay down your debt. Start here.

Pay for the essentials first. If you are behind on alimony, taxes or child support, pay off those first. In many cases, you could literally go to jail if you don't do so.P ay off the debt with the least favorable terms/highest interest rate. Which debt has the highest interest rate? Is it fixed or variable, and is the interest something you can deduct from your taxes? For example, mortgage interest rates can be but car loan interest rates cannot. Any extra money in your budget should go to paying off the worst interest rate, not the highest amount of debt. Once you have this debt dealt with, you can apply the money you were using to the debt next on your list.Personalize these guidelines for your specific situation. Tools are available that can be used to take into account the specifics in your life. 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy has resources, tools and calculators to help you determine the best way to drawn down your debt over time. Visit Feed the Pig for more money-saving tips.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Follow Us!

Luxury Escapes Travel is a boutique agency which offers complete travel services that range from the simplest of weekend getaways to the most intricate honeymoon itineraries. We specialize in both corporate and leisure travel. Our boutique is dedicated to bringing you the finest quality of service at some of the lowest rates in the industry. We make it our priority to ensure that our customers are completely satisfied. As a customer of Luxury Escapes Travel, you can also enjoy our complimentary concierge services. Planning to golf? We're more than happy to schedule your tee time. Indulging in a spa escape? Luxury Escapes will happily reserve your massage appointment. We welcome you to our boutique and we look forward to servicing your future travel needs.

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Go Luxe for Less!: Welcome, Welcome, Welcome!

Go Luxe for Less!: Welcome, Welcome, Welcome!: "Welcome to our blog! Luxury Escapes is a new boutique agency looking to service all of your travel needs. Whether you're planning a qu..."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Weekly Savings Tip: April 12, 2010

April 15th is Fast Approaching!

Your 2009 federal and state tax returns should be submitted by this Thursday— April 15th. Whether you owe no money to the IRS, expect a refund or even if you can't pay your tax bill in full—you must still file a tax return by April 15th. If you don't, you could face a penalty for filing late. Additionally, if you owe taxes, you will be assessed penalties for underpayment.
What if you cannot afford to pay your taxes? If your return is complete but you are unable to pay the full amount due, do not request an extension. File your return on time and pay as much as you can. The IRS will send you a bill or notice for the balance due. You can also apply for an installment payment plan or file Form 9465 with your return.
What if you cannot complete your return in time? If you cannot file your income tax return by April 15th, both the IRS and states allow you to extend your filing deadline by six months. However, this is an extension to file your return, not an extension to pay the taxes that you owe. You are still required to estimate and pay the tax that you will owe, otherwise you could be assessed penalties and monthly interested.

For more information on filing an extension on your tax return, visit the IRS website.
Visit Feed the Pig for more money-saving tips.