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.

Online Games Is Coming In Like A Tidal Wave!

Online games are growing in popularity at an alarming rate. Many online games imitate real life with virtual scenarios. Online games are now accessable to most of the world’s population. As many as hundreds of online games players can often be found exploring and interacting in virtual environments.

Many free online games are becoming hugely popular due to the ease of access. Furthermore, online games are growing on a global scale and attracting a broader range of demographics than the traditional video game industry. In fact, online games are being perceived as the future of the interactive entertainment industry.

Many free online games are flash or java games that require plugins and other downloads in order to play. On the upside, all these free online games are available for your immediate game-play, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Although many online games are free some sites require that you pay to play better quality games.

For many people these free online games are addictive. What makes these online games so addictive? There are 2 top reasons why free online games are addictive: 1) they are fun 2) the thrill of winning. Most free online games allow instant play access to any player who is online. Instant play adds to the addictiveness of playing online games because of it’s instant gratification.

Some people may not understand why online games are so addictive. For those of you that don’t know, online games are not like your old school Nintendo or Play Station games. Profits to big games companies are soaring from online games that are very popular and addictive. The most profitable online games are the pay for play games which have also been steadily growing in popularity. What makes online games most addictive besides the fun of winning is their interactive nature. People are drawn towards fun and entertaining ways of connecting with other people.

2 main categories of online games which are available to the public are: 1) Interactive games where people play with and communicate to other people; 2) Single player games such as solitaire. A growing trend in online games is skill based games for money where players are able to win prizes and cash. A chess tournament is one online game where every entrant buys their chance to win whatever the cash prize happens to be.

Which online games are attracting the largest gathering of people these days? There are online games resources on the Internet which offer the largest selection of online games. Some online games are “massively multiplayer” games, which means that a large number of players participate simultaneously. These online games are high-quality and challenging. As many as 100,000 people can be found at any given time in some of the more popular ‘virtual worlds’ type of games.

Also known as browser games, online games are often social, with online chat rooms or forums to help connect players. On our site online games are divided into different categories, online racing games, online shooting games, online sports games and other games. Our free online games are in the most popular categories: online action games, online arcade games, online card games, online puzzle games and online sports games.

Menopause – Defination, Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Menopause is the physiological cessation of menstrual cycles associated with advancing age in women. Menopause is defined as absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. The menopausal transition starts with varying menstrual cycle length and ends with the final menstrual period. Perimenopause means “around the time of menopause.” It is not officially a medical term, but is sometimes used to explain certain aspects of the menopause transition in lay terms. Many women experience a variety of symptoms as a result of the hormonal changes associated with the transition through menopause. Postmenopause is the entire period of time that comes after the last menstrual period. The menopause is sometimes referred to as change of life or climacteric.

The condition also exists in some of the other species that experience such cycles, such as rhesus monkeys and some cetaceans. Menopause is a natural biological process, not a medical illness. Several generations ago, few women lived beyond menopause. Today, you may spend as much as half of your life after menopause. Menopause affects every woman differently. Your only symptom may be your period stopping. You may have other symptoms, too. Many symptoms at this time of life are because of you Menopause is a natural process that happens to every woman as she grows older, and is not a medical problem, disease or illness.

Some women may have a hard time because of the changes in hormone levels during menopause. Premature menopause (or premature ovarian failure) is defined as menopause occurring before the age of 40; it occurs in 1% of women. Other causes of premature menopause include autoimmune disorders, thyroid disease, and diabetes mellitus. Menopause experiences are different among individual women, and also among women in different cultures and in different parts of the world. There are many possible signs of menopause and each woman feels them differently. Most women have no or few menopausal symptoms while some women have many moderate or severe symptoms include is weight gain; hot flashes; insomnia; night sweats; vaginal dryness; joint pain; fatigue and urinary tract infections.

Causes of Menopause

1.Perimenopause.

2.Postmenopause.

Symptoms of Menopause

1.Weight gain.

2.Hot flashes.

3.Insomnia

4.Night sweats.

5.Vaginal dryness.

6.Joint pain.

7.Fatigue.

Treatment of Menopause

Take estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which is a combination of estrogen and progesterone, should be an individualized choice. There are three (3) types of replacement therapy:1. Estrogen alone via a pill (Premarin, Ogen, Estrace or ethinyl estradiol), a cream (Premarin or Dienestrol), a vaginal pill (Vagifem), or as a transdermal or skin patch (Estraderm or Estracomb). 2. Cyclical therapy: Estrogen taken daily via a pill or via a patch and a separate progesterone pill (such as Provera) for a certain number of days per month. 3. Continuous therapy: Estrogen plus low dose progesterone in one or two pills taken every day.

Estrogen vaginal tablets and creams are generally prescribed nightly for 2 weeks, and then reduced to twice per week as a long-term “maintenance therapy.” Phytoestrogens are found in soy products (e.g., tofu, tempeh, miso, soybean milk, and meat substitutes and soy powders for adding to foods or to smoothies), in linseed (flaxseed) products, and to a lesser extent, in fruits, vegetables, cereals, and seeds. Concentrated plant estrogens in tablet form have not been shown to be effective. Regular exercise also has benefits for other parts of the body, high blood pressure, and diabetes, as well as gives you more energy and better sleep. Herbal medicine has much to offer women in the treatment of symptoms associated with menopause.

Types Of Online Games And Its Popularity

Few years ago, thinking of online games was incomprehensible. Though internet was there, it was used for basic purposes like emailing and browsing for information. In the past few years, game developers have taken the world of internet by storm.

Now days, not only can you play them online, but they come for free. The opportunity to play free online games is with you 24 hours a day throughout the year. Either you download the games or you use them with particular browsers, Flash enabled.

Though some people do argue the authenticity of free online games in terms of disclosing private information and details, it is an undisputed fact that these free games does help to improve our minds, both young and adults.

How do online games help improve our mind? Thousands of free games are available categorized into different compartments such as arcade games, strategy games, action games, board games, puzzle games, shooting games and others.

Arcade Games- An innovation of the 1970s of neighborhood games played with coins, the arcade games soon enveloped the mind of gamers when arcade games opened online. Online arcade games are a rage these days.

Strategy Games- These games are time consuming and require tremendous practice. It is all about applying your mind to devise new strategies in order to win.

Action Games- The action-oriented games involve futuristic space adventures, fighting, and target achieving games where the players perform actions to gain the number one slot. Skeptics complain about the action games being too gross and bloody, but until one plays with a sane mind, there should not be problems!

Board Games- Evidently, online board games are the animated rendition of traditional board games such as chess.

Puzzle Games- They attract the interest of young and old alike. It sharpens the mind; mind is where all the action takes place.

Shooting Games- It is a safe way to vent your anger and irritation. They generally come under action games but has been kept in separate category due to its popularity.

Card Games- They continue to be popular since the ancient days. With online gaming, card games have become a favorite pastime.

All these games concentrate on churning our minds. Through our mind, we have to combat with speed and actions, make strategy to topple the opponent and be victorious. The opponent could be the computer itself or another human person sitting at another end.

It is amazing to see how the popularity has not ceased. Most of the games are available to players for free and some sites even offer bonuses on winning, like the casino games. You can actually earn as an online gamer. Whether you play for money or pleasure, online games are here to stay.

Pronunciation: Get Better In Another Language

Pronunciation can affect how we communicate. Many people, who have had a go at learning a foreign language, have experienced that sinking feeling when they try a well-constructed sentence in another language only to be met with a blank face.

Why is this?

Languages are built on sounds. If I speak English and live in an English-speaking country I expect a speaker to say sounds in a particular way. In French or Spanish I would expect to hear different sounds. When we can’t recognise the sound we try and adjust how we are listening, a bit like tuning a radio, but if we can’t guess the sound, the chances are we won’t understand what is being said.

The Blocks of Pronunciation

Pronunciation has two main aspects to it, physically producing it and the sound that is produced from it, the hearing of the sound. As we get older the ability to do both of these, i.e. physically work out how to make the sound and recognise it, can diminish. This doesn’t mean we can’t continue to learn new languages but we need some extra tricks to help us.

Let’s look at some ideas on what we can do when we learn a new language.

How am I saying it?

Try saying the letters. Notice how your mouth is working. If you don’t know how a sound is physically made you may find it harder to say it.

What sounds are the same?

English has many more sounds than other languages but it also has a lot of sounds in common with other languages. Good dictionaries in a new language will usually offer an English sound or word to compare with. Use it to check what sounds are similar.

Which sounds are hard to say?

Go through the alphabet of the new language and mark out the ones you find hard to say. Give them some attention. Try and physically make the sound and see how your mouth works. Say the alphabet. Look at how children use the alphabet song in English to help them remember the alphabet, doing the same in a new language will also help memorise the letters and sounds.

Read out loud.

Find some reading form your course book or any other book. There are two advantages here. One you get to say the letters and words. Secondly you get to practise sounds that you expect to hear and you become accustomed to the sounds of the language.

How good do I need to be?

There is much discussion on this. For many of us the ability to get by in other languages is good enough. If we can say what we want, simply, slowly and the person we are speaking to, can understand us, then our pronunciation is probably good enough. After that it is a matter of choice. Some people become very good at other languages and get to very good levels of pronunciation. Not many of us are such gifted linguists but there’s no reason why we can’t make the words so that people can understand us.

Sex Talks: Help! My Kid’s The Town Crier!

Talking to our kids about sex is challenging – for everyone, even me! You feel anxious about all kinds of things like their loss of innocence, or telling everyone and their cousin. You worry they’ll go out and try it or will think that by talking to them you’re giving them permission to do it. You worry about what other parents (and your parents!) will think if you talk to your kid at a young age.

But, you’re feeling great! You whacked up the ginger and read ALL of Robie Harris and Michael Emberley’s “It’s SO Amazing!” book about how babies are made to your 8 year old. She was a little grossed out, had some questions and seemed to understand how sex works. Whew! You are on your way to some great conversations.

You even remembered to tell her “This is a private conversation we have in our family and not with other kids or adults. Other moms and dads want to be the ones to tell their kids about this important part of life. You can always talk to me about it if you have questions or concerns.” Super! You rock!

And then…your lovely child heads straight to her best friend at school and fills her in on all the details! And then you get a call from the friends’ outraged parents and maybe even the school. Not a great moment in sex education history, but not to worry, all is not lost.

Consider this – You’ll probably spend 10 or 15 minutes on the phone with the upset parent explaining your beliefs about sex and kids and that you asked your daughter not to talk to other kids about this. You will apologize, tell them that you’ll remind her of this and then offer the parent a resource for getting more info about talking to kids.

Now consider this – You want to have open and consistent conversations with your child about sexuality, love and relationships throughout her youth, right? This is the most important part of this scenario – your relationship with your child.

When you compare the two, which is more important? The freaked out adult who now is forced into having a conversation they should be having anyway? Or your child who knows you are a trustworthy resource and will look to you for help and support for years to come?

When you start these conversations with your children I strongly recommend you tell the parents of her closest buddies, your parents and any other adult she has regular contact with. They need to know so they can step in if she starts blabbing, asks them questions or the like. It’s easier on everyone if they are prepared in advance for any little surprises.

When my son was about 3 or 4 we had read parts of “It’s SO Amazing.” He loved looking at the pictures of bodies and was very into reading this book. One day he was at my in-law’s house and he looked at my lovely mother-in-law and announced “You have a vagina!” She knew we’d been reading this book and took it in stride. We had prepared her for moments like this.

When it comes to talking to your kids about sex, you cannot worry about what the neighbors might think. The most important relationship is the one with your child. So take a deep breath, exhale, and get ready for the next conversation.

Calculate Needs Before Buying Insurance

Insurance mis-selling is prevalent and is damaging the development of the industry. In fact, majority of insurance experts accepted this fact on various occasions. Generally, intermediaries are the first to be responsible for it especially an agent who sells only those products that earn maximum commission. It is considered as the most popular reasoning in Indian insurance sector. However, there are various other reasons why a customer ends up purchasing a wrong policy. It means that it is not always mis-selling but sometimes mis-buying’ as well.
It may happen because of lack of awareness, buying insurance just to save tax and using policy as a tax saving tool. Some challenges are also experienced by financial planners as well to convenience customers why a product is correct for them, to get the right and full information from them for exact assessment of their profile and portfolio. To handle these procedural challenges, a few years ago, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority had proposed doing a customer need analysis’ before selling a life insurance policy. In January 2012, IRDA’s draft guidelines introduced and also proposed a mandate on intermediaries and the insurers to fill-up a standard need-analysis worksheet of the buyer before it affects sale of term insurance.
It was to make sure that the plan which is proposed to be sold is suitable for the prospect and fulfills policyholder’s requirements. Also, this is aimed at handling under-insurance and is widespread among insurance customers. Though, the proposal has not been implemented in the proposed format, a few insurance companies in India have introduced a few need analysis features. Different needs arise at different age stages, so this tool works by understanding the life stage customer is at, single, married, married with a child, nearing retirement and life after retirement are some very common stages in a product matrix.
Protection requirements are analyzed when customers have chosen life stages. For example, person with a child has more insurance needs as compared young, single person who does not have any dependents. These protection requirements reduce when dependents become independent and loans are paid. Customer’s next step should be assessing their targets and motive of purchasing insurance. Do you want to buy a policy for child’s future education requirements or accumulate a corpus for post-retirement life? Do not forget that the need for investment and savings are connected to the achievement of different financial goals and the plan customer buy must be able to fulfill these needs.
Generally, the need for regular income arises after retirement and customers also need more health cover with advancing age. The analysis tool will help buyers to calculate exact needs as per their goals and prioritization. There are several online tools available for goal-based long term wealth creation, retirement planning and health insurance requirements. A pension plan will be more important as compared to short-term goals such as buying a vehicle or a foreign tour. Those who do not have sufficient life insurance coverage should buy addition protection in terms of rider plans.

Black Jack In The Casino

Whether you’re new to casino gaming or a casino veteran, blackjack is one of the simplest and most fun card games casinos have to offer. The objective in blackjack is to beat the dealer by getting a hand as close to 21 as possible without going over. To play casino blackjack, you need only a basic understanding of the rules and a desire to have fun.

So how do you reach 21? In blackjack, the cards have values. Number cards two through ten are counted at face value, while all face cards (King, Queen and Jack) are worth ten points. The ace is a special card in blackjack: you decide whether it’s worth one or eleven points. Since casino players are dealt two cards to start, if you get an ace and a face card or ten, you have 21, an instant win, as long as the dealer doesn’t get 21 as well. This two-card winning hand is called a blackjack hence the name of the game!

Casino rules for blackjack are basically the same at all casinos. After you get your first two cards, your options are to hit, stand, double down, split, or sometimes surrender. Hit means to take another card; stand means to keep what you have. A double down means you will double your bet in exchange for taking only one more card (you can draw up to five cards in blackjack). If your first two cards are the same value, you can split, or separate them and play each card as a different hand. Not all casinos offer the option to surrender, which means you would withdraw from the hand and receive half your bet back.

When you play blackjack at a casino, be sure to know which table to choose. Most casinos have color coded blackjack tables according to the minimum bet the table accepts, usually $3, $5, $25 or $100. In any casino, it’s a given the $3 and $5 tables will be crowded, but they’re great for beginners at casino games because all of the cards are dealt face-up, as opposed to the one-up, one-down method at higher tables. So the next time or the first time you visit a casino, make a stop at the blackjack tables and aim for 21!

However you have to realise that you can loose alot of money in a casino if you are not careful, always warm up on a low betting table befor joining a big game. you have to see if lady luck is on your side. also give your self an ammount limit and do not exceed that limit, buy your chips once there gone leave! gambaling can be addictive and cause you many problems.

Get Control Of Your Personal Finance With A Budget

It is fairly common knowledge that money matters can be simplified and controlled with a budget. One of the keys to personal finance management is creating and using a household budget. It is not a really hard task, but one that many people avoid. The reason is that it can often be hard to avoid overspending and having a budget really puts spending problems out there.

A budget is basically a list of expenses and income. It should include all expenses, even the seemingly little expenses like a morning coffee purchase. The budget can be made out weekly or monthly, whatever way is best for the household. For someone who gets paid once a week, a weekly budget may be best. For someone who gets paid once a month, a monthly budget would work nicely. Although, it is really a matter of personal choice as to how the budget is made out.

The income section of a budget is usually fairly simple. Most people can easily track their income. Some people choose to list their income after taxes, while others list the income before taxes and include taxes as a expense. That is strictly a matter of choice.

The expenses section is where most people have trouble. It can be hard to see our spending habits in black and white. It is really important, though, to be honest and list everything. You may find it is helpful to keep a spending log for a week. Your spending log is where you will write down every purchase you make. This can be a good way of tracking all the little expenses you incur throughout a week.

Your expenses section of your budget should also include utilities and housing expenses. If you have a car payment, include here as well. You need to include money spent on gasoline, bathroom items, food and any other thing you spend money on. You do not have to include large, one time purchases, though, as they are not a routine part of your expenses.

Once you have your income and expenses listed you need to add each up. The total of your expenses should not exceed the total of your income. If it does then you need to cut back on your expenses. You may have to stop some spending or try to find creative ways of reducing your spending.

The whole idea of a budget is to ensure that you are not spending more then you are earning. Your budget is a blueprint for how you should be spending your money. Once you have your budget made out and it is balanced you need to stick to it. Only spend as much as you have allotted in your expenses and you should find your personal finance situation becomes much easier to deal with.

Five Home Improvement Tips To Help You Transform Your House Into A Stylish Home

When deciding to transform your house into a stylish home, you can use different approaches to the various parts of the house in order to minimize your renovation costs.

- The Interior Design Approach

1. One approach that you can employ is by focusing your renovation design towards your staircase. You can change the design of your staircase to make it appear more cozy and modern or use wooden materials with carving designs to have a more traditional and yet stylish look. Redesigning your staircase would also depend on which part of your house, it is located.

2. Once you have redesigned your staircase, the part of the house where it is located should also follow to match with it. If it’s in the living room, then the living room should be redesigned as well. In renovating your living room, you can repaint the walls to match the color of your staircase railings. If the railings are made of wood, then it would best to have a wall paint colored beige or other variants of earth colors. If you still prefer a light colored wall, you can repaint the base of the wall with a darker tone of brown.

3. Aside from transforming the staircase or the ceiling you may also redesign the flooring of your house. A quick and easy way of doing this is by replacing your old flooring with laminate floorings. You can choose from the variety of materials that are used for laminate flooring. For example, if your theme is the more traditional look, then you may use the laminate flooring which resembles wooden parquet flooring. If you are looking for a more environmentally sound floor, then one of the incredibly stylish and durable bamboo flooring options currently on the market may well be a better choice.

- Transforming by Changing the Furniture

4. If renovating the entire interior of the house is too costly for your budget, you may opt to buy new furniture to replace those old and tired looking pieces that are an eyesore. You can purchase new designs of living room sofas with matching sleek and modern center and side tables. 5. You can also purchase a made to order bar if your living room has more space to accommodate this. A living room bar adds excitement and style to any boring traditionally styled living rooms.

So there you have it, five simple yet extremely effective tips for transforming your house into a stylish home. Have fun!