Financial Planning – The Key To Your Lifelong Success

Financial planning is not limited to asset allocation, mutual funds, and fixed-income investments – planning should include every aspect of your life.

Should you apply for that credit card? What type of car insurance should you buy? Should we save for our child’s college or put money in our IRA’s instead? These and many more questions are all part of financial planning.

The Larry Rule – A Little Known Financial Planning Fact

Larry Lindsey is not a famous name, even in financial circles. Currently, Mr. Lindsey is the chief economic advisor to the Bush Administration. In 1996, he was a Federal Reserve Board Governor – and he was denied for a Toys ‘R Us credit card!

To apply or not to apply, that is the planning question. Larry Lindsey, who had excellent credit and a high-income level, set out to demonstrate a flaw in credit scoring algorithms.

He simply applied for every retail store credit card he was offered, and in no time he had “too many inquiries.” Never mind the fact that he had millions in assets and nary a late payment in his 30-year credit history.

Knowing the Larry Rule is key to your financial planning. If you apply for retail store credit cards every time you are asked to do so, it will have negative effects on your credit.

You may then be asked to pay a higher interest rate on your mortgage or home equity loan, which could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Sacrificing $10,000 for a 10 percent discount at Fashion Bug is not smart planning!

Auto Insurance and Financial Planning

Most people think of insurance as a legal necessity, but in reality, it is a financial product, and that’s important to keep in mind. Don’t ever buy insurance just because it’s legally required or in order to give yourself peace of mind. Insurance must serve a financial planning purpose!

You need to have a planning strategy in mind when you purchase auto insurance. The insurance company’s goal is to get you to pay more in premiums than you take out in claims – thus, they profit.

Your goal should to pay as little in premiums as possible in order to be adequately covered. You don’t want to have to use your auto insurance, but at the same time, you don’t want to be subsidizing the bad drivers who take out more in claims than they pay in.

In order to develop a financial planning strategy for auto insurance, it’s important that you become as educated as possible on the subject. Luckily, there are dozens of great sites on the internet that provide free information on the various types of auto insurance plans, and the particular laws of your state.

Everyone has to own some form of auto insurance, and thus it should be the cornerstone of any intelligent planning strategy.

The Financial Planning Dilemma – College vs. Retirement

American parents love their children and will do almost anything to ensure they have every possible advantage. As a result, many parents save for their children’s college instead of saving for their own retirement. This act of selflessness is usually not a good planning strategy.

In order to avoid this mistake, one must have a decent understanding of financial planning tax implications. Most college savings accounts are taxed on some level, whereas financial planning products for retirement purposes generally are not. What’s more, saving for your child’s college can prevent him or her from receiving the maximum financial aid available.

In other words, by foregoing your retirement in favor of your child’s college, you are actually subsidizing the children of less responsible parents – or smarter parents who chose to save for their own retirement, in light of these facts.

Gaining Educational Necessities Within Video Games

There are several wonderful features that video games offer the youth of today that are often times completely overlooked by adults, who often feel that these games are simply a waste of time for children that would be better off focusing there spare time on more constructive activities.

Video games offer several unique features that provide young people the chance to increase their learning abilities while stimulating their minds. The younger generation are constantly feeling the demands and requirements that the school place on them. However, they often use video games as a way to release the pressures that these high demands require from them, which makes video games an excellent teaching tool. These technologically advanced video games create an environment where gaming can be fun, exciting, as well as educational while optimizing components in learning.

The main objective of most video games is reaching the highest score or making it through that next level that is often time more challenging than the one before. Often times, video games will give the gamer a variety of options or strategies to choose in which to be able to either move onto the next level or simply win the game in general. Video games, especially action and adventure types games, always leave gamers with an element of surprise, which allows these young gamers the ability to laugh and bring a little excitement into their lives.

If video games were designed differently to where their outcomes would be different each time they were played, then this would drastically reduce video games becoming old and boring. Many of these video games offer children with the ability of memorization where the gamer has to remember where special rewards are hidden during a variety of games. When players have the ability of remember gaming information, then they have a better chance of being able to advance during the game play, but this will also help them during school as well.

There are also games being developed that have more of an ethnic balance by providing more issues within game play where there are options in character gender and have even begun breaking the language barriers. Video games that enable children to learn help teach children in a variety of subjects, which include learning about the solar system, word associations, puzzle solving, and even learning about wildlife. Children are also given the ability to learn about shapes, colors, solids, geometry, and other mathematics such as addition, subtraction, and percentages.

Most video games teach the youth of today in the areas of strategy, time management, and definitely in role-playing. However, every video game offer gamers new opportunities to be able to learn new types of strategies and a variety of problem solving techniques that will be able to be applied in real life. For the most part, gamers are not even aware that they are even learning these skills, which enables them to play while simply enjoying themselves. When video games are designed with teaching children in mind, then these games will require more critical thinking along with skills in math, science, social studies, and language arts. Games often enable children the opportunity to read dialog when reading directions, tips, and even maps.

Home Improvement Tips To Help Sell Your Home

If you are a total layperson as far as home improvement is concerned, then you should hire help or enlist friends if you’re tackling areas where it does make a difference how you get the job done. Simple home improvement projects like painting can be attempted by everyone as the worst you can do is a patchy job that can be painted over.

Have Realistic Time, Money and Expertise Expectations – If you want to replicate a room that you have seen on Trading Spaces or Design on a Dime, get the inspiration but keep your expectations in check.

The people behind the work in such shows are experts; professionals in their field with years of experience. They can do things faster and better than an average person and if things go wrong, they also know how to make them right. When planning home improvement projects, keep your expectations real as far as budget and time considerations go as well.

The designers on the show often get great discounts from others in the business as they need the promotion on popular television shows. Plus, they often accessorize rooms with flea market finds and things picked up at garage sales. You could strike gold too, but it doesn’t happen very often.

Home improvement shows boast of the latest faux paint techniques and the hottest colors for the season. However, the green you like for your master bedroom may not appeal to prospective homeowners. If you do have hot pink bedroom walls for your daughter, tone them down or make them neutral as well. This is because new owners may not have a daughter who will use that room and they may want to move in to something that requires minimum effort.

The designers on the show are experts themselves plus they have a lot of help from back up crew and the like so they can delegate tasks and get more done in less time.

What You Can Do On Your Own – There are things shown on home improvement shows that you can easily replicate like rearranging your furniture, de-cluttering and even painting so don’t give up a home improvement project just because you can’t compete with the pros. However, assess your strengths and keep a plan B in mind. For instance, while you are redoing your kitchen, factor in the cost of eating out for all the days that the floor is ripped out and the appliances unusable.

Go through the entire home and toss, donate or store anything you do not need immediately. This will free up walking space, wall space, counter space and the like and prospective owners will feel they are getting more footage for their dollar. If there are pieces you can not part with, hold them in a separate storage area not your garage or basement. Then if you still feel they are important, bring them back in your new home.

Video Games Becoming Addictive To Children

Parents, teachers, and adults are beginning to wonder with all the research being done on video games if children are not becoming obsessive even addictive to video games. Most of the research that has been complete have focused on video games that have more of a violent theme due to the behavior now appearing in children.

Researchers do feel that there is a connection between violent video games and violent behavior in children. It is felt that when these violent video games are played repeatedly then the children will have aggressive thoughts and become less helpful to others and less sociable as well. In video games where the goal is to kill as many characters as you possible can, then the objective turns into the violent the kills are the more points that they will collect. While a child is playing such a game ninety-nine percent of the time their heart rate will increase dramatically due to the affect the game is having on them.

A study was done by three teenagers and was put on observation at an International Science and Engineering Fair in Cleveland, Ohio that showed how video games affected children who played them. The study showed that people, not only children, or all ages had a rise in blood pressure and heart rate after they played a super violent video game. However, when the same person played a nonviolent video game did not have the the same effect as the violent video game.

Children all over the world play these violent video games every day and some play for more than three or four hours a day. There will always be a debate as to whether violent video games can actually make an individual have behavior that is of an aggressive and violent nature, but the fact is that these video games are addictive to children. It is true that playing video games can help children develop their visual skills while learning about computers, which may help them in school. In fact, studies are now showing that video games can be helpful for children.

The fact is that video games are proving to help children that labeled ADD or ADHD learn how to focus their attention. Video games are often innocent bystanders to the problems in society. Video games have the potential to inspire children to learn if it is presented in the right manner to children. Video games have already proven to have the capability of improving the coordination and visual skills of children that play them.

Children tend to choose video games that have the combination of being challenging, entertaining, and complicated. Many of these video games can take up to one hundred hours of play to complete and most children will have their concentration focused on the video game the entire time. Children that are labeled with ADD and ADHD by teachers are those children that can not sit still in school, but this might just be because they find the school work boring, because the majority of these children can spend hours trying to make it to the next level of a video game.

These same children, who professionals feel can not pay attention, can play a video game for ten straight hours if given the opportunity simply because the game focuses their attention in a way school is unable to try, which is interactive. These children are not simply sitting and watching, but are participating in what is going on and solving problems.

Tips And Ideas For Better Home Improvement

The time often comes in your life when it is necessary to attempt a home improvement job. You may have purchased a new house and it needs a little facelift or it could be that niggling house job you keep putting off. Follow some simple rules and the task can become a little easier, even enjoyable.

Always take time to prepare. Have a plan of action in the form of a manual or instruction leaflet and do the necessary preparations for the job. Do not forget to protect or shield any expensive items, furniture and flooring that might get damaged or accidentally stained in the home improvement process.

Always make sure that you have good ventilation when doing any home improvement project especially when using paints and some glues. Use your electrical devices with adequate safety protection and keep your tools away from children. If you plan to do any outside home improvements like varnishing or painting check the weather forecast to make sure it is not going to rain.

Although all the previous suggestions are extremely relevant the most important measure for you to take before starting a job is to make sure you have the right tools, and the best quality of tool you can afford. This suggestion should not be ignored. Reference your manuals to get the necessary tools for the job beforehand.

If you just fancy having a go at a home improvement activity begin with a renovation type job. Take a room, for instance the living room, and see what could be done to enhance the beauty or functionality of the room. It may need wallpapering or you may want to change the floor from carpet to wooden floorboards. The furniture may need to be reupholstered or a stray crack in the wall may need to be filled in. In the kitchen a table may need re-varnishing or a cupboard handle replacing. But a word of warning, if you are unsure ask the advice of a trained contractor. Also when you are deciding what home improvement to do think carefully if the alterations would fit into the theme or color scheme of your house.

After you have attempted some minor renovations and repairs this should give you more confidence to try a bigger project, for instance an outdoor patio or decking job. Remember to plan and prepare your home improvement jobs, use the right tools and give yourself plenty of time to get the job done.

Gambling And The 20th Century Rulers Part4

Robert Mugabe
(1924)
Robert Gabriel Mugabe was born on the 21st of February, 1924 in the town of Kutama on the territory of current Zimbabwe. Before coming to power in 1987 he had spent 11 years in prison for participation in the national liberation movement. Robert Mugabe is famous, firstly, for his anti-American claims, as well as for the fact that in 2005 he the inflation reached the record 502% in the new 21st century.

Interestingly, but at the peak of inflation growth speaking in front of the journalists the president of Zimbabwe declared that the population of his country was very happy”. What it meant to be very happy” the president knew not through hearsay. A few years ago Mugabe won the state lottery’s main prize in the amount of 2 639 dollars. Curiously, but only those citizens took part in this lottery who had accounts in the National Bank of Zimbabwe, at this for every 135 dollars there was only one lottery ticket. Naturally, under the name of the current president there was registered the record number of tickets, that is why the prize did not keep him waiting for a long time. They say, the results of the lottery upset the citizens of Zimbabwe very much.
Robert Mugabe is a very temperamental person and a typical gambler by nature. A lot of his statements are made in a burst of passion and excitement. By the way, the attitude of the president towards gambling industry is not in the least bad: there are several casinos opened in the country, as well as race tracks with the totalizator, left to the Zimbabwean from English colonizers.

Augusto Pinochet
(1915)
Augusto Pinochet was born on the 25th of November, 1915, in a Chile resort town of Valparaiso. In September 1973 he organized a putsch against the president of Chile Allende and after his murder took the post of the head of the state. Like many other heroes” of the 20th century, he was distinguished by mass terror in relation to the otherwise-minded”.

General Pinochet was quite a cruel and ruthless person, but under his rule hyperinflation was stopped and economic growth began.

The Chilean dictator had a negative attitude towards gambling industry, and there were no gambling-houses in the country during his rule. However, he had rather a loyal attitude to holding a state lottery. Maybe it was because the control over profits from lotteries was entrusted to his daughter Lucia Pinochet Hiriart?

Only after a few years upon retirement of Pinochet under the president Eduardo Free a new casino was opened in the country in 1997.
At present Augusto Pinochet is in Chile under house arrest and is awaiting the trial for evasion from tax payment. The trial, by the way, perhaps, will not even take place because of his age and extremely bad heath.

We can continue mentioning great dictators and rulers of the 20th century and argue about their attitude to gambling industry. Iosip Broz Tito, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Idi Amin, Joseph Desire Mobutu, Muammar Gaddafi, Suharto, Thieu, Somoza, Marcos, Pol Pot, Ceausescu, Bokassa, Hissene Habre, Chombe, Franco, Duvalier, Mengistu Haile Mariam, Batista, Salazar and many others had different attitude to gambling. Some, like Marcos and Batista, liked it a lot, while others, like Gaddafi and Ceausescu, didn’t give it even a chance for existence.
While in Spain all power was in the hands of the general Franco Bahamonde Francisco, people were even afraid of talking about gambling-houses, but as soon as he died and the royal throne was occupied by Juan Carlos I, there were at once opened a number of casinos in the country. While Batista favoured gambling games, Fidel Castro, who substituted him, banned them at once. And it is clear. Batista was an American protg, and Fidel was the one who fought against American imperialism. That is why casinos simply lost favour.

A lot of rulers of the 20th century were quite venturesome personalities having revealed their excitable skills in politics, and not on the cloth of the gambling table in the gambling-house. Who knows, if their passion had been connected with visiting of gambling establishments, perhaps, our planet would be quieter.
Total struggle against gambling in the 20th century was under way only in one, at this the most democratic” country the USA. And after repressions, which failed, gambling industry there not only continued to exist, but started to flourish. The ideas of Marxism-Leninism did not give the right of existence of gambling establishments in the countries that chose the way of rise to radiant future in the form of communism, since the norms of the given ideology prescribed earning money by way of labour, and not in the hours of entertaining pastime. Countries practising traditional Islam do not allow gambling industry on their territory in accordance with their religious dogma. Despite this, Muslim Egypt, Tunis, Morocco and Lebanon have opened gambling-houses. The same was done by the Korean Republic, having demonstrated that ideology is ideology but if the country needs to earn money for the budget, gambling industry won’t hinder it.

Totalitarianism and gambling are not connected with each other in the least. The basis of struggle against gambling industry in 99 cases out of 100 is not the desire to protect the rights and interests of the citizens and the society, but the most trivial desire to win votes of people which any party, striving to come to power, pursues. Politics is rather a subtle thing.

Evaluate The Video Games You Are Playing

There are hundreds of video games on the market today and more are being released onto the market every day. The only problem with these video games is figuring out what games should be played by your children.

Young people are not as concerned with the contents of the video games they are playing as much as adults. That is why adults have such a strong desire to evaluate the video games their youngsters are playing. Many parents try their best to find decent video games for their youngsters to play but there are still questions that unfold in the minds of these parents when their youngsters are playing new games. Parents and adults alike are concerned with how video games that involve killing people or destroying things will effect their children in the future. They are also concerned with video games that have immoral content, illegal content, or contain occult activity. Parents have to protect their children any way they can, especially since there are so many negative influences out there for them already.

There are video games that parents will have no problem with their children playing on their video game system, which would include almost any type of sports video game such as skateboarding, baseball, or football. Video games are actually a way for children, even some adults, to take a step away from reality, but the video games should still install some type of moral values in the children.

As long as the children are not placing the playing of these video games ahead of their other responsibilities, such as school, and if they know the difference between right and wrong, then that is a different matter. The major problem is that few parents are willing to take the time to show their children what is right and what is wrong within some of the video games that they play. Instead, these parents just allow their children to sit in front of their televisions playing what ever video games they choose without any adult supervision what ever.

These video games are highly addicted to children and adults simply because in the game the player is given the ability to control every situation. Many times in the life of an individual they may feel as if their life is simply out of control and the video games allow them to feel as if they are once again in control. This is why so many adults also become addicted to these video games as well as children and another reason why they are so incredibly popular.

In real life, many children and adults find it hard to find respect or to get others to listen to them and they often become overwhelmed with life. However, these video games give them the opportunity to be respected, strong, popular, cool, and even sexy, which they strongly desire to be in real life. This is the result behind so many of these video games becoming so popular with gamers in a variety of age groups. These video games gives gamers the perception of them actually being involved in the game as being a part of the game.

It does seem a shame that these games are being developed and parents feel the need to evaluate them prior to the children participating in them due to so many of them having obscene and immoral content. It seems that the manufactures of video games could produce games that were considered to be more along the lines of family games. These video games would be worth while and would not have such a diverse effect upon children as some of the games being produced now.

Financial Planning Software

When it comes to planning your financial well-being, it might be helpful to use one of the many tools available today. Some of these tools include financial planning software. Depending on the type of software you purchase, it could help you in a variety of different areas, such as planning for your retirement or keeping track of your personal and business dealings. Many of the financial planning software that is available today can do all of this and so much more.

There are several different types of financial planning software available on the market today, that you will have no problems in finding one. However, whichever type you choose, you should ensure that it performs exactly as you need it to, in your financial planning venture. For example, some software can help you in managing and calculating your 401k, estimate the costs of college or savings, keep track of your stock portfolio, or analyze the goals of your IRA.

Some other features include keeping track of your profit and loss in regards to your business, balancing your checking account or multiple accounts; maintain a organized list of your customers, contacts, or even employees. There are so many features that come with various financial planning software that it is imperative that you research the software to ensure it can offer you exactly what you need.

The prices vary greatly depending on the financial planning software you purchase. For example, the latest version of Microsoft Money Home and Business, which is perfect for home-based business owners, personal finances, or businesses that employ less than five people, runs for a cost of around $60.00.

The financial planning software that is the most popular and used by many is Quicken. The home and business version of Quicken, gives you power to categorize expenses both personal and business, in efforts to help you when it comes to taxes and reports. Quicken helps you in finding all the deductions you can claim and simplifies the process of preparing your taxes, as well as helping you in managing your flow of cash in an effective manner. This program runs at a cost of about $80.00.

Of course, the choice is yours and you should only make the decision after conducting research on the different financial planning software, determining what your needs are, comparing prices, and comparing support of the company. Make sure when you make any type of investment that you only do so after gaining knowledge and the best information.

How Personal Finance Works

The concept of personal finance came a long way and it began when money were exchanged for goods. People got jobs in order to make a living and they were compensated in cash. Nowadays, due to the several financial alternatives that we have at our disposal in order to achieve our financial goals, it is vital to become an expert in making the right choices.

Personal Finance management begins most of the times with handling pocket money when we are children and afterwards we gain the ability of planning and spending our finances. Personal Finance includes several different aspects such as investments for future requirements, retirement plans and others. No matter how much money you have, the important issue is how you spend them. A detailed budget will always help you keep a track of your money and not spend more than is necessary. Furthermore, it will help you calculate how much money you can save and what amount you can invest.

Personal Finance is of real help as long as you have a realistic plan when it comes to handling your money. A good management of your finances includes investing, insurance, managing risk, understanding debt and credit and knowing the value of money. Debt can be bad for your finances especially if you borrow more than you can afford to return. Unfortunately, this happens quite often because many persons don’t calculate how much they can pay on a monthly basis for their loan, taking into consideration and the other expenses.

Personal Finance management should also include expenses for housing, transportation, food, personal insurance and pensions, healthcare and entertainment. If you see that you are accumulating more and more debts and you are not able to pay your debts on a regular basis, it is probably a good idea to budget your money. However, if you feel like you aren’t able to do that, a last option would be to hire a financial planner who can help you get out of this mess.

Money Tips represent another useful idea that could help you manage your finances better and become satisfied with your style of life. Some persons need such tips more than others ad it has been proven than women often have a hard time when it comes to establishing their budget. Many women spend more than they actually earn and they become trapped in debts, but fortunately this can change.

Money Tips are important and they can help us overcome a difficult financial situation. It is believed that money represents power, love or control and that our beliefs about money and relationships influence the way we manage our finances. Money Tips can be very helpful for people who are in a difficult financial situation and here is a list of the most important tips: don’t rely on others for your financial security, set goals and stick to them, don’t use money when you feel bad, spend less than you earn, build an emergency fund and learn from your money mistakes.

Money Tips will help you understand that your financial security and comfort depends on your attitudes regarding money and your willingness to take action in order to change your financial situation. Do not wait for miracles if you want things to start changing and no matter how hard it is, stick to the goals you set at the very beginning.

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.