Daily Coupon USA

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Americans have limited options when it comes to saving money

Broke and barely paying their bills, most Americans have to ignore pleas to save more. No wonder the US savings rate has plunged to historic lows, experts say.

Only about one-third of Americans are living within their means and with their long-term financial future assured, according to Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA).

financial calculationsThe savings crisis cuts across a wide swath of income groups and households — young, middle-aged and seniors. And last week a new CFA survey revealed that the majority are struggling to save.

“I can’t even consider saving,” Shelly Selin, an 80-year-old retiree who lives on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, told The Post. The former HR executive and his wife, who pay a $2,500 monthly mortgage, finance their retirement mostly from investments, annuities and Social Security. That’s before living expenses, including food and electricity, are factored in.

As a volunteer tax preparer with an active social life, Selin is alarmed at talk of saving. “Bank interest rates are at less than 1 percent, and I’ve heard stories of people saying, ‘I thought I had enough money in CDs, and now I don’t.’ They forget these CDs don’t pay any interest.”

These struggling savers are not alone. The United Way of Northern New Jersey charity has coined a new term, ALICE, for the vast population of low- and moderate-income households that are now sometimes a paycheck away from financial disaster.

For ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed consumers), saving is often the last thing on their minds.

“They are barely getting by,” said Laura Bruno of the United Way of Northern New Jersey. “They are not able to put any more aside for savings, so if they have one emergency — [for example, if] the car breaks down — they can find themselves in real trouble.”

Despite today’s bank come-ons for new savers — $200 cash bonuses are one recent incentive — hard-core savers are scarce.

As shoppers rushed to the mall this past Christmas, the savings rate (the percentage of disposable income households are putting aside) declined to an 11-month low of 3.9 percent.

Analysts are not surprised. “The American government strongly believes that people should spend as much money as they get,” said bank analyst Dick Bove of Rafferty Capital Markets.

Source : http://nypost.com/2014/03/01/americans-have-limited-options-when-it-comes-to-saving-money/

Late bloomers don’t worry! Retirement planning for you

late bloomers

One of the biggest concerns is the right amount of money to save for retirement. This is where a lot of people go wrong. They don’t really know how much they should keep aside. The market is getting bigger day by day and so are the rates of commodities.

Saving money for retirement as early as possible is the most important step we all need to take at some point in time. However, there are some people who are not able to stick to a particular retirement plan and end up starting late. Chetan is one such guy who has had a casual attitude towards everything all his life. He didn’t really save anything for his future and consequently faced a lot of troubles while planning for the retirement. If he had invested his money somewhere, then probably he would be getting profitable returns now. One small mistake proved to be life changing for him, but he still managed to do well with his retirement as he got the right advice from experts. One of the biggest concerns is the right amount of money to save for retirement. This is where a lot of people go wrong. They don’t really know how much they should keep aside. The market is getting bigger day by day and so are the rates of commodities. Hence, the bottom line is that you should save as much as you can if you want to live a relaxed life after retirement. Everyone gets a second chance and so even if you are a late bloomer you could do well with your retirement planning. Know the Right Time to Start and Invest Heavily You might probably be a little bit late on getting started with your savings but it is essential to begin quickly. Whenever you have a big sum to invest, you should get started with your retirement planning and saving. When you grow older, you won’t be able to invest as much as you can now as your liabilities and responsibilities increase. So make a move and try to contribute a huge chunk of your savings in one of the premium pension or retirement plans in the market. When you have determined the amount of money you are looking to save, you should try and push back your retirement so that you can get some extra time to arrange more funds. Some examples of popular pension plans in which you can invest your money are discussed below. ICICI Pru Easy Retirement Plan Minimum/Maximum Premium Amount Rs 48, 000/Unlimited Methods of Premium Payment Monthly, Half-Yearly or Annually Minimum/Maximum Age of Entry 35 years/70 years PPT (Premium Payment Term) 5, 10 years or Policy Term Term of Policy 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years HDFC Life Personal Pension Plus Plan Term of Policy 10 years to 40 years PPT (Premium Payment Term) Same as policy term Entry Age 18 years to 65 years Vesting Age 55 years to 75 years Birla Sun Life Insurance Empower Pension Plan Age of Entry 25 years to 70 years Period of Accumulation 5 years to 30 years and a maximum vesting age of 80 years Policy Pay Term Regular Pay Get Rid of All Your Needless Insurance Policies When you start cutting down your expenses, your savings automatically tend to go up. So, you should start getting rid of all your needless insurance plans which cost a lot of money. If you wish to follow a healthy savings route, you must eliminate all the unnecessary expenses from your daily life and start focusing on saving for your retirement. Avoid buying any luxury vehicle or holiday package when you have already started saving for the future. You should even pay off all your remaining debts, if any, so that you don’t have any financial burdens. In case you had taken a home loan some time ago, then you should first repay it and then proceed towards your retirement planning. Relocate to a less expensive locality or city There are innumerable ways of saving money and one of them is to relocate to a less expensive city or locality. It’s a tried and tested method of racking up funds for future. You could also shift to your hometown where everything is cheaply available rather than living in a costly metropolitan city. The property rates, rents and commodity prices in metropolitan areas are extremely high, which would have an adverse impact on your savings. Have all your monetary instruments well structured Over the course of time, we tend to invest our money in various money making instruments such as fixed deposits, mutual funds and real estate properties. When you have finally made up your mind to go for retirement planning, you should get all your instruments well structured. If there are any kinds of deposits which are not yielding you good profits, you need to close them down. When you have made all the arrangements, you can sit back and relax. Retirement planning in itself is a huge task which takes years to accomplish and hence, requires proper planning and structuring.

Source: http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/retirement/late-bloomers-dont-worry-retirement-planning-for-you_1048686.html