Second Hand Phones: What To Do

It’s safe to say the average person upgrades or changes their phone on a regular basis. For some, this could be every year, whilst others might only upgrade periodically every few years. Yet the end result is the same; over time, this amounts to a small pile of unwanted and unused phones lying around the house. We don’t know what to do with them, so they often become part of the home, collecting dust in various forgotten corners and drawers.

Yet there is always something that can be done. Just because you no longer want or use a phone doesn’t mean there isn’t someone out there who would. From passing it along to the benefits of mobile phone recycling, there is always a market or audience out there. Like the old saying goes, one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure.

 Passing It Down

Not everyone can afford a phone. Likewise, not every really wants the newest and latest model. There are various instances when someone might just want a phone for the simple purpose of making the occasional phone call, or simply for emergencies. There are other instances too, where passing your old phone down has its benefits and potential.

Take younger children, for instance. If they want a phone, it can often be expensive to buy one. Giving them an old phone gives them something that works, yet it also gives them something to learn with. Part of having a phone, like anything, is learning responsibility for it. As such, if an old phone inevitably gets lost, you haven’t lost a brand new phone.

Recycling

Everyone knows what recycling is, yet it’s seldom considered with mobile phones and gadgets. Our T.V gets recycled, as do fridges and other large units. Yet these aren’t so different for smaller gadgets, you just need to know where to look.

In the case of mobile phones, there’s great online business for recycling these. From your end and perspective, this is simply a case of looking up the phone model, seeing how much it’s worth, and sending it off. The value can be quite surprising, too. Then again, considering it’s a phone which has no use or purpose to you, its value is nothing. As such, any money you make off of a well used phone is nothing but profit.

It should also be noted that the recycling industry is usually more generous than the second hand phone market. This is because a phones appeal can age, whilst the key components and resources are still in demand. The older your phone is, the less you’ll get for it at a second-hand shop, whilst recycling ensures it keeps a constant value throughout.

In short, these are just a few of your options, but it should hopefully show that you are not without a choice. Whether you pass it down to someone in need, or sell it for profit, it ensures the phone does much more than sit forgotten in your home.

Jill Pearce is a technology enthusiast and blogger with a keen eye and passion for keeping things both affordable and practical. This involves writing posts on areas such as mobile phone recycling, where a tech junkie’s cravings need to meet financial responsibilities.

Making Your Retirement Investments Last

Most senior citizens have a morbid fear of retirement and the loss of income that comes with this life-changing situation. This is quite easy to understand because retirement comes with several unanswered questions. In most cases, the most significant question is; “how long will the retirement savings last?” Other questions which bother retired people are the inflation rate and the long term value of money. The point here is that a lump of money which has been set aside for retirement may not last the retired person as much as he or she will like it to last. This is why it makes a lot of sense for retired people to have a plan on drawing down retirement assets.

One of the best plans for spending retirement savings is the “4% rule”. This is a great plan because it really works. More to the point, this rule takes care of inflation rates to a certain extent. A retired individual who has, say $1,000,000, can simply aim to live on just 4% of that sum per year. This works out at $40,000 per year and it is a reasonable sum for a senior citizen who has to really cut down on unnecessary expenses. The beauty of this plan is that the person in question can add just 3% per year to this figure annually. This will take care of inflation and ensure that the retiree is still on the right track.

Another great idea is to delay withdrawals from the pension fund for as long as is reasonably possible. This is a perfect option for people who can afford to wait because delaying withdrawal will substantially increase the retirement cash. For people who are married one great idea will be to maximize the years of tax deferral by living on the income of the younger spouse for a while.

As stated already, retirement can be a frightening prospect for some people. For all that, there is one way to make retirement pleasant experience. This can be done by careful planning of prudent spending of retirement savings.

Reasons for Selling a Stock

It can be difficult to know when to sell a stock. Many investors do not like to sell a stock because they view that as admitting they made a mistake when they bought the stock. There are several reasons for selling a stock. I sold my position in several different stocks this year and I will share my reasons for doing so.

One reason to sell a stock is because the reason you bought the stock has changed. I bought a couple of stocks last year based on the fact that I though natural gas prices would rise. That proved to not be the case as natural gas got even cheaper. I sold the stocks because they were going down in value rapidly and it would take a major increase in the price of natural gas for them to have a chance to recover. If you have a 30% loss in a stock, it take a 42.9% gain to recover that loss. You don’t want to have to hope for a 42.9% gain just to get back to even, so it makes sense to sell a stock before it has such a big loss in value.

Another reason to sell a stock is because it has gotten too overvalued. If a stock has made you a lot of money, but now sports an extremely high P/E ratio it might be time to sell. If a stock has a much higher P/E ratio than comparable stocks you need to make sure there is a good reason for it being so highly valued.

One more reason to sell a stock is because it represents too much of your portfolio. If you try to keep a diverse portfolio of stocks you might want to sell a stock when it starts to represent too large a portion of your portfolio. I did sell part of my position in one of my stocks because it grown to be a much larger position than the other stocks in my portfolio.

Since I invest in dividend stocks for dividend income I will also sell a stock when it announces a dividend cut. Usually, when a company cuts its dividend it is having financial problems. Even if the company is cutting its dividend what might be considered a good reason, such as increasing its investment in research, the dividend cut means the stock no longer fits my portfolio. For my portfolio, I want stocks that have a history of consistently increasing their dividends.

A common rule of thumb is to sell a stock when it loses 10% of its value. This rule is ok, but it does have some drawbacks. One drawback is that the loss is sometimes for a temporary reason and you can see that the stock should quickly recover from the loss. Another drawback is that the only selling stocks when they lose 10% doesn’t get rid of stocks that don’t appreciate or lose just a small amount of their value. If the stock has rising dividends I might hold onto it even if the price doesn’t appreciate, but otherwise I don’t usually want to hold onto a stock that doesn’t appreciate in price.

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Retirement Investing Strategies for Late Starters

If you’re getting close to retirement and are a little slim on the retirement funds, do not try to compensate by ratcheting up your risk in an attempt to catch an up-swing as a means of catching up. It is possible to catch up on your retirement savings.  First, don’t worry, you are hardly alone if you’re a little behind in your latter years. Second, the emphasis of your retirement plan should be on saving more. By creating a larger balance, you allow more reasonable rates of return, coupled with reasonable risk, to take over and get you where you need to be. Risk has a funny way of burning you when you least expect or can afford it, so avoid taking too much risk so close to retirement.

There are several ways you can go about saving more. If you cut your expenses you will have more money available to save.  You can use a budget calculator to help determine where you can cut expenses.  Once you have cut your expenses make sure you put all of the extra money into your retirement savings.

Now, if you’re a few years away from retirement, one alternative is to work a few more years so that your retirement savings can grow to where they need to be. A few more years of work means a few more contributions to your retirement savings, a few more years of the balance growing because of your investment choices, and a few more years for you to figure out what it is you want to do with your new free time.

Lastly, after you take advantage of the catch-up provisions in accounts like a Roth IRA, you might want to push the envelope on your investments and maybe put a little more in stocks than the general consensus. Don’t pick a hot new biotech to plow all your money into, that’s just straight stupid, you can’t afford to lose that money; but you can put a couple more percent into that index fund and maybe catch up that way. Don’t go crazy though.

Determining the Best Investments for Today

There was a time when it was simple to choose a product to invest in. The economy was not in trouble and people were not hanging onto that last dollar for dear life. However, things have changed drastically and this has caused many people to take pause before investing a dime in anything. In all fairness, we cannot say this is not a smart decision. Investing can be a risky business and with all the current choices, it is easy to be swept up in a bad decision. Let us look at a few things people are investing in that still seem intelligent.

Gold and Diamonds

No matter what happens in the future, gold and precious gems will never collapse, in terms of value. Sure, the market may go up and down a bit, but all in all an investment made in either of these things is sound, provided you know how to approach the matter, and invest wisely. Obviously, you do not want to take every bit of money from all your accounts and run out on a gold and diamond shopping spree, but collecting pieces over time is very smart. The best thing about investing in jewelry is that there is always a gold buyer or someone offering cash for diamonds out there in case you find yourself in a pinch and choose to sell earlier than planned.

Forex and Other Currency Trading

This is a little more complex than buying and collecting jewelry. In fact, unless you educate yourself well and get the help of a reputable professional, investing in currency exchange of any kind can be a bad move. Nevertheless, this has become a very popular method of investing and more people are finding themselves drawn to it. If this sounds like something you think you would like to try out, read up on it and learn. Choose a broker at first to help you make good choices, and no matter what you do, never invest too much at one time.

Stock in New Companies

Of all the investments, this can be the trickiest. Many of us kicked ourselves in the early 2000’s because we didn’t have the foreknowledge to invest in Apple or other technological products we never knew would become as popular as they are now. With stock investing, you make a choice based on what you think a product will do. Since this is extremely hard to predict, you can either lose your shirt or make a million off a stock investment. Again, tread these waters carefully.

Saving Money and Avoiding Debt

There are currently millions of people dealing with massive amounts of debt. Many of these people will spend years attempting to recover from the debts that are currently producing large amounts of financial stress within their lives. However, learning budgeting techniques can help to prevent them from happening in your life. Very often, financial problems come about as a result of spending more money than you are taking in. When you setup a budget for your expenses during a defined period of time, this would help you to prevent going into debt as a result of spending too much money. The easiest way to go about budgeting your expenses would be to set a ceiling to determine how much you are able to spend on things such as food, clothing or gas. Once you have determined these amounts, you need to deduct for any expenses as you incur them during the period. Typically, people would set financial goals during the month, deducting from the budget would enable you to remain on target and avoid overspending in the process.

Making use of budgeting calculators would make this process a lot easier. Instead of having to do all the work yourself, these calculators would help you to set financial goals and stick to them. Very often, relationships are defined by financial matters such as going into debt without the ability to control your spending. When you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, you may want to take them into consideration when it comes to your spending. If you can manage your expenses through budgeting, you will avoid placing a strain on your relationships. Additionally, you may find it easier to set aside money for the purpose of spending time with someone that you care about. Getting into a relationship can cause a lot of financial stress, but budgeting can help save your relationship. Instead of allowing your marriage or dating relationship to come under pressure as a result of very high financial expenses, you want to learn how to budget your expenses. When you work at saving money, it will become easier than ever.

Book Giveaway – The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Stock Investing

The title pretty much explains what the book is about. The book is aimed at the novice investor.

If you would like to win a copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Stock Investing just leave a comment on this post. The winner will be drawn at random on October 17,2012. One entry per reader. You must have a U.S. mailing address in order to keep my mailing costs down. Other rules will be implemented as necessary to maintain fairness.

You can also visit My Retirement Blog for the “The New Three-Legged Stool” book giveaway.
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Is a Second Home a Good Investment

Is a second home a good investment?

With the price of houses dropping all over North America, coupled with the rise in cheap property through foreclosures, it is clear why many people are thinking of buying a second home. For some, this second home could be a family vacation spot, while for others it represents nothing more than an investment.

However, before you decide to buy a second home, it may be helpful to consider the following questions. The housing market, though rumoured to be gradually improving, can be unstable, and those who do not plan carefully may find themselves losing out. So before you meet with a realtor, ask yourself these questions.

What are you looking for?

It will pay off to narrow down exactly what you’re seeking. Are you looking for a vacation spot that you will use to make lasting family memories? In this case, look for something in an area where you will enjoy spending vacations and that can also accommodate yourself, your family, and whoever else may be tagging along. Conversely, if you want the second home to serve as the place where you retire, look for property that is close to good healthcare facilities and other amenities. Finally, if you are purely interested in investment potential, you can open up your search to include areas with the best prices, lowest mortgage rates, and greatest potential.

How much can you afford?

Because you already are a homeowner, you know how upkeep and maintenance can add up quickly. You will have to go to the house often, check everything out, and make the necessary repairs. Alternatively, you can pay someone to take care of these things for you, but that also can get expensive very quickly. You’ll also need to consider factors like insurance, particularly if your home is located in an area prone to extreme conditions, such as hurricanes, floods, or tornadoes.

Don’t forget the mortgage.

At this point, if you have determined why you want a second home and if you can afford the additional expenses, it can be helpful to start looking into the most cost-effective mortgage. You can find the best mortgage rates today by checking online. That way, you’ll be in a better position to make a decision about whether a second home is a good investment.

Will it pay off?

As with everything, there are pros and cons to owning a second home. If you have carefully considered the extra time and money, as well as how you will use your second home, you can have a clearer picture of the returns on your investment. Other ways you can prepare include looking for a reputable real estate agent, or by researching the homes available, particularly those that have been recently foreclosed, which tend to have significantly lower prices. In any case, research and careful planning will play a major role in investing in real estate.

Considerations for Best Business Broadband

From research to communication and sales generation to marketing, the internet has revolutionised the way that many businesses operate and it’s true to say that there are few businesses that would be able to get by without their internet connection. Although there was a time when dial-up was the main order of the day, nowadays it’s difficult to consider a business (or home for that matter) who isn’t taking advantage of high speed broadband.

As essential as broadband is, there are many providers, speeds and strengths of connection and with this comes a variety of services and reliability. Given the importance of the internet, surely the majority of businesses would surely say that they were only interested in best business broadband.

The question which then remains is what exactly is meant by best business broadband:

Price

Although it is often the case that businesses are looking to cut costs, it is not always the case that they would do so at the expense of the broadband service they receive. Although a low price is a good thing, it is only a bargain if it is a low price for a good service. Cheap is not always better as it can mean that the service received is also below par. Look for added value such as included bolt ons or online account management portals.

Reliability

In order to create the best possible impression to their customers and in order to be able to rely upon the internet to progress their business, their owner of the business must be able to rely on the consistent and uninterrupted service which is part of their best business broadband.

Assured rates are available from some providers to provide guarantees on minimum upload and download speeds.

Applications

Many businesses, of a variety of sizes have more than one computer or terminal working at any one time and therefore any broadband connection must be able to feed to more than one machine at a time. For this reason, many business owners opt for wi-fi rather than modem operated service as this allows their employees to use laptops and smartphones for business use as well as desk based computers. It’s important to make sure you have sufficient bandwidth to allow for the increase in demand on the broadband connection.

Speed

One of the reasons that dial-up internet fell out of favour and broadband has become the most used option is because of the speed it provides. Whilst users once had to wait for pages to load, broadband has all but eradicated this need And providers are able to offer accurate speed tests based on your geographical location.

Support

Technology is a marvelous thing, but if it fails then the business can be affected. Therefore businesses need to know that they have support should anything go wrong with their connection.

The Super Duper Simple Book on Money – Book Review

I was given a copy of the book, The Super Duper Simple Book on Money for review. As you might guess from the title the book is very simple and covers basic money topics. The book isn’t too long and has lots of white space and illustrations making it a quick read.

The author is a financial adviser and uses this experience in writing the book. The book covers five money principles. They are income, expenses, debt, investing, and philanthropy. Since this is a short and simple book, you basically just get an introduction to each of these topics. Another thing included in the book is success stories of his clients. These stories are inspiring, but sometimes hard to believe. A little more detail on how they were able to achieve their success would have been helpful.

The book would probably be too introductory for most readers of this blog. If you know someone who is interested in learning the basics of money this book would be a good start. As of this writing it is only 99 cents on Kindle and available for free at the author’s website. For that price, it is probably worth a look.