Many people, at one time or another, have thought about starting a business, but don’t have the money to make a go of it initially. Others have started a business but need money or credit to solve a cash flow problem or fund an expansion. But how does a business get credit and loans?
The entrepreneurial itch can be hard to scratch, and not proceeding properly and thoughtfully with running a business and handling credit can seriously harm your financial freedom. At the same time, doing it right can help you to be successful, make more money, and attain financial security. That is why, in this episode of the podcast, I talk with Ty Crandall, CEO of Credit Suite to talk about how business credit works and how you can use it successfully.
As with any goal in life, the sooner you start working towards it the better. That is certainly true of attaining financial freedom, since habits established when you are young tend to stick with you, and things like saving for a comfortable retirement are easier if you start tucking money away as soon as possible.
That is why in this episode of the podcast I talk with a personal financial expert who has literally been there, done that, and is now spreading the word to others in an effort to, in more ways than one, share the wealth. She is a millennial speaking to millennials, who knows what she is talking about, and I encourage you to listen to what she has to say.
Now that Santa Claus came to town in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the holiday season has officially begun! However, this season can be rather treacherous from a financial standpoint if you do not keep a tight rein on the spending (not just the reindeer). Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, or some other December holiday, the “season of giving” can be a huge budget buster. Everything is great until those credit card bills come in in January!
That is why, in this episode of the podcast, as I did in Episode 45, I talk about some things you can do to be sure that you are celebrating the new year on a firm financial footing after having a wonderful holiday season.
According to CNBC’s reporting on a WalletHub study of taxes as a percentage of personal income New Jersey has the 9th highest tax burden in the country, with a total tax burden of 10.02%, with over half of it (5.12%) going to property taxes. New York has the highest tax burden of personal income overall (13.04%), but when it comes to property taxes, it is a lower 4.78% of income for residents. In fact, only Vermont edges out New Jersey in property tax burden at 5.2%, making our state the second highest in the country!
With this in mind, it is no wonder that New Jersey residents are looking to lower their tax burdens as much as they can (assuming they are not leaving the state altogether). That is why in this episode of the podcast, I talk to local real estate broker and appraiser Lynn Stambaugh of Cardinal Real Estate Services in Woodbury on how you can appeal your taxes and give yourself the highest chance for success!
Having a smart and affordable strategy for college financial aid is critical to starting off on the right financial foot upon graduation and the start of your life. Getting it wrong can mean living with crushing student loan debt. The first step in this process is the completion and submission to the U.S. Department of Education their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (or FAFSA) form.
This can be a daunting task for those doing it for the first time (or even those doing it again). So with the 2019-2020 form having just been released on October 1, I wanted to discuss, in this episode of the podcast, some guidance and tips on how to handle the submission of the form. Hopefully, this will assist you in eliminating mistakes and doing it right the first time!
In this episode I will discuss:
Increasing income is key to maintaining financial freedom. It not only allows you to pay living expenses that are increasing with inflation, but it also makes saving for retirement and special life events like vacations that much easier. But sometimes the only way to get a raise is to ask, which is never easy to do.
That’s why in this episode of the podcast I wanted to talk about some tips and strategies to help you be more effective in making the ask. What do you need to do to prepare and execute a plan to get a raise and be paid what you are worth?
People with bad credit, living paycheck to paycheck, often find themselves with few options when unexpected expenses crop up, or they have a drop in income due to a reduction of overtime or their work hours but not a reduction in their living expenses. As a result, they become desperate for a way to pay the bills, creating a recipe for desperation.
Three of the options they turn to are payday loans, car title loans, and pension loans. However, they have a tendency to make matters much worse, and as such, should be avoided at all costs. That is why in this episode of the podcast I wanted to talk about these loans, why they are the wrong solution, and why you should avoid them if at all possible.
Many of us get involved in activities outside our jobs. We volunteer for organizations like the Elks or the Masons, or we coach our child’s soccer or t-ball team. But did you know that being involved in those activities could possibly get you sued? Having to pay for a lawyer (and possibly damages, if you lose) can break you financially.
The good news is that a little due diligence, and the right insurance coverage, can work to protect you. That is why, in this episode of the podcast, I talk with local insurance broker Dave Strout of Cettei and Connell in Woodbury about what you need to do to get the right coverage to protect your financial freedom!
Older Americans heading into retirement often discover that they don’t have enough money set aside for living expenses. Or they may need to pay down debt because the large amount of equity in their home is preventing them from filing bankruptcy. They need the cash to pay the debt, but don’t have they money in their budget.
This is where a reverse mortgage may be the solution. They’re not for everyone, but in the right situation can be a lifesaver. That is why in this episode of the podcast, I wanted to talk about these loans, what they are, what they aren’t, the pros, and the cons. If it sounds like the right solution for your situation, you should talk to a financial professional about taking the next step.
If you or your spouse are age 62 or older, find out:
One of the things that can happen that can threaten your financial freedom is if your identity is stolen. According to the company LifeLock, nearly 15 million consumers experienced identity theft in 2017, and early 60 million Americans have been affected overall. It can damage your credit status and cost you time and money to restore your good name.
That is why in this episode of the podcast I wanted to discuss what identity theft is, the different kinds, how to prevent it, and what to do if it happens to you!
When people who are struggling with student loans look to ways to get rid of them, they assume that bankruptcy is the only option. Then they are told the myth that student loans can’t be discharged in bankruptcy and think that there is nothing they can do. They are stuck with the loans for the rest of their lives.
However, for many people, there are discharge options outside of bankruptcy that can give them the relief that they need, under certain circumstances. So on this episode of the podcast, I discuss the administrative discharge of federal loans and New Jersey CLASS loans. If you have a loan from another state, check out whether they have these same options.
Most of what you read online about student loans tends to focus on struggling college graduates who can’t repay their debt. Difficulty finding a job, the costs of living like rent and a vehicle competing for those income dollars, and insanely high loan balances upon graduation, combine to make repayment seem beyond reach.
But what about their parents? We hardly ever hear about the moms and dads who are stuck repaying Parent PLUS Loans for children that they put through college. According to an article on the web site Student Loan Hero, Parent PLUS loan debt currently stands at about $77.8 billion.
On top of that, these loans have the highest interest rates among all federal student loans. For the 2017-18 school year, the rate is 7.0%, and older Parent PLUS loans could have rates above 7%.
So in this episode of the podcast I wanted to talk about what parents can do to fit their loan payments more affordably into their finances.
If you have a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, here in New Jersey you probably drive for a living. Therefore, any threat to that license is a threat to your ability to work and your financial stability. You don’t want it suspended or revoked permanently because of a traffic violation.
That is why in this episode of the podcast I talk about New Jersey’s traffic laws and how a violation of them, even if you aren’t driving your commercial vehicle, could result in the suspension or permanent revocation, of that license. You need to protect your financial future!
According to CNNMoney, roughly one-third of Americans have nothing at all saved for retirement, citing a 2016 study from GOBankingRates, and another 23% have less than $10,000 in their retirement funds. That’s more than half of all Americans not prepared for retirement! This may be because they don’t think they have the ability to plan and save for this, or they’ve been putting it off.
Having a good retirement plan is critical to achieving financial freedom and independence. Being able to pay the bills and enjoy life when the paychecks stop is a great feeling, but it takes planning and preparation. That is why in this episode of the podcast I talk about some tips for implementing a plan, so that you can get on that road to your golden years!
One of the biggest obstacles to financial success and freedom can be a criminal record. It can prevent you from getting a better paying job, a security clearance, or a gun permit. Many times this record contains convictions of minor, non-violent crimes that were committed many years ago and represent a very different time in your life.
But that doesn’t have to be the case! New Jersey provides a mechanism and procedure for wiping out this record and allowing you to move onward and upward with your life. So in this episode of the podcast I discuss this process and how you can use it to improve your situation and your chances of financial freedom.
Technology can be a great equalizer when it comes to allowing small businesses to compete with the large corporations. Cloud based products like Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s G-Suite offer complex technology infrastructure that delivers high level productivity without requiring an expensive IT department and support. More and more businesses are “going to the cloud” with their data and applications, making them more mobile and platform-independent.
This can lead to greater vulnerability, though, as we hear all the time on the news about companies like Target and Equifax being breached. Even if you keep your data on local servers and don’t go to the cloud at all, you can be at risk. Being hacked could, quite literally, put you out of business and ruin your financial freedom.
That is why in this episode of the podcast, I talk again with Dave Strout of Cettei & Connell here in Woodbury about what your current business liability coverage does, and does not, cover when it comes to cybersecurity, along with the type of policy you will need to cover you properly if disaster should strike.
Those that serve our country in the military make extraordinary sacrifices in their lives and those of their families. Many come home with physical injuries and disabilities. Others come home whole physically, but bear scars that no one can see. These scars can make it often as difficult to adapt to civilian life as the loss of a limb.
That is why New Jersey’s Veteran’s Diversionary program is so important, as it helps veterans and servicemembers suffering from mental illness to avoid the sanctions and consequences of the nonviolent crimes they commit as a result of this disability. So in this episode of the podcast, I talk about how this program gets veterans the help and counseling they need, not jail time and fines.
The biggest asset most people have is their home, so if they decide to sell it, they want to make sure that they get the most they can in price. This can be particularly important if they still owe a lot on the mortgage or mortgages. But the real estate market isn’t what it was prior to 2008, and probably won’t be again any time soon. So, if you want to make the most from your home sale, you need to be smart and strategic about it.
That is why, in this episode of the podcast, I talk to real estate broker Lynn Stambaugh, the owner of Cardinal Real Estate Services here in Woodbury, about some do’s and don’ts when it comes to selling your home. If you are planning to put your home on the market, or are looking to do so in the next few years, these are some things that you should definitely bear in mind!
There have been some developments in the past several months regarding your credit and your student loans if you have them. When these sorts of developments are released, it is important that people find out about it, as it often gets shouted down by all the other things that the media is talking about.
That is why, in this episode of the podcast, I am starting a new feature where I discuss and analyze important developments that could affect your financial freedom, so they are not lost to you in the noise created by the latest political scandal. Here are two stories that could well affect you and your financial future: one on your credit score, and one on federal student loans.
Student loans continue to be in crisis in this country, with debt over $1 trillion nationally. Naturally, people with these loans are looking for a solution to their problem. Unfortunately, many of them are automatically eliminating one of them based on a common misunderstanding, and that is: Student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
Therefore, in this episode of the podcast, I wanted to dispel this misunderstanding and show how student loans can be discharged in bankruptcy. It is not easy to do, and it definitely is not inexpensive, but it is worth looking into if you have a crushing balance of student loan debt.
Student loan debt continues to be a problem in this country with over $1 trillion owed nationally. A large percentage of them are struggling to make payments or cannot make them at all. They are sliding towards default and an even bigger financial problem.
In the face of this, there have been a lot of ads lately, as well as articles on the web, that tout refinancing of your student loans as a solution to those unaffordable monthly payments. They say that you can get a better interest rate by doing so! While this may be a solution for some borrowers, for others, it could actually make things worse!
That is why in this episode of the podcast, I wanted to talk about the refinancing option and give some advice on when it can be the solution for you. You cannot work towards financial freedom if you are being held back by unaffordable debt that you can seldom wipe out.
Any threat to your employment is a threat to your income and financial freedom. One example of this is your driver’s license being suspended, thus causing a problem with getting to and from your job. Getting caught driving while suspended, because you have to get to work, just makes matters worse!
That is why in this episode of the podcast I wanted to talk about New Jersey’s driving while suspended charge and how to deal with it. In many cases it is fixable and prevents you from making a bad situation even worse!
Traffic violations in New Jersey can have a serious effect on your financial freedom, depending on the seriousness. Not only can the fines and surcharges be significant, but they can also lead to jail time! This is also true of minor criminal charges, like disorderly person’s offenses, that can be brought in this court.
That is why I discussed this topic on this month’s episode of Lunch with a Lawyer, which covered not only ways to avoid a jail sentence, but alternatives to serving that time in a cell. Since this is such an important topic, I wanted to share this information on the podcast as well.
In the previous episode of the podcast, I talked about getting ready for 2018 by formulating a budget and goals for the coming year. This is critical to financial freedom and should be done every year, preferably in December. But for most of you, creating a budget and goals is a new thing, and like any skill, it takes time to develop.
So, in this episode of the podcast, I wanted to talk about what you should expect in the first three months of 2018 as far as this process is concerned. By knowing what is ahead, you will be better prepared for it and be less likely to give up before you build up the momentum you need.