Finance and Retirement #10 My Final post

My Experience with blogging

I had a great time blogging this spring and the knowledge I learned from it I will definitely help me with my professional career. I really enjoyed sharing what I know about finance and retirement with others. In a way it made me feel like a professional in my field. I also enjoyed reading other peoples blogs and that’s something that I rarely have done in the past. If I could I would love to be a blogger as a full time career.

Best tools that where effective

By far the easiest and best tool to use was the hyperlink tool to add a link to my topic. I also enjoyed the ease of adding pics. I feel that the most effective tool was to have my blog integrated with twitter, this was an awesome feature on WordPress. I think there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to the way I present my blog and the professionalism in my writing. This experience can definitely help me in the future by showing me how to get my brand name out there and connect with a social media tool like Twitter. After I decide on my brand name I will definitely be using WordPress integrated with Twitter to help generate advertising. Here is a link to help beginners start there blogs.

Analyzing my Stats on WordPress

My most popular week was the week of February 10th, I had 7 views that day. This was my first blog that was the most popular of the year I got a total of 7 views and I think it was viewed that many times just because it was a fresh topic. In reviewing my stats the most surprising thing I discovered was that my most popular day was Thursday with 56% of my views. In addition my most viewed time was 11:00 p.m. In total I had 9 post before this one, 16 views,  and 5 visitors. This has been a wonderful experience and wanted to say thank you to Sara Shields and John Smikly who helped me learn so much this semester about Mass Communications.

This is a picture of me Alfred Hernandez

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Finance and retirement #9

Different Types of Investments

IMG_20160503_103045767 This is a pic of an investment that I have made in some old Mexican currency. Hope one day it pays off nicely.

There are many different types of investments one can make but the important thing is to make sure you know what your getting into and that your comfortable with the amount you invest. Whether the investment be stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, currency, silver or gold do your homework! Be sure you never invest more than you can afford to lose, stay with in your comfort zone. I have wrapped up to much money in an investment before and ended up needing the cash and that’s not a good predicament to put yourself in. To read up on different types of investments click on this link.

Stay Solvent

Staying solvent means keeping enough money in the bank to cover yourself financially  just in case something happens. The rule of thumb is to keep at least 2 to 6 months of monthly salary in savings. This means if you get fired or sick you will be able to pay your bills and cover monthly expenses. A person should never invest this portion of their savings. This is also called being liquid. Always cover your back with enough in savings if you need it.

Make an Investment and let it ride.

What I mean by this is maybe check on your investment once a month, anymore than that and you might start to get worked up for no reason. The value of investments fluctuate and there is never a for sure thing when it comes to investing. Just remember you did your homework on the investment and you made a solid decision. This is why one should never invest what they are not comfortable losing. If you get in over your head a person is sure to lose sleep and might get themselves in trouble financially. Most of all have fun and take your time, never rush into an investment.

Finance and Retirement #7

Good advice on how to help you save money.

Some of the best advice I have ever had that helped me save money was spend more time at home. I saved a great deal of money after putting this advice into practice and I use to be the type of person that hated being at home. Stop going out to eat so much, try to limit yourself to going out to eat to maybe 4 times a month. Grow your own vegetables, I do and not only do I save money they are better tasting than store bought vegetables. Wash your own vehicle and if you can cut your own hair. I know cutting your own hair sounds crazy especially if your a woman but at the end of the year you would have saved yourself a good amount of money.

More advice on how to live frugally

I buy all my everyday clothes at thrift stores or garage sales. I have found so many brand new clothes at both thrift stores and garage sales for a fraction of their retail price. Repurpose wood, I have done this to make many of my exterior chairs and benches. I have also repurposed wood for a profit by selling chairs, benches, and rockers. Its a great way to earn extra cash with very little investment. If you do not know how to do something but you feel you could possibly be able to do it, watch a video on You Tube on how its done. I recently did this and figured out how to replace the window regulator for my automatic window in my truck and saved myself $75.

Be as resourceful a s possible

I once knew a man who put his 3 daughters through college by recycling cans. I know this may sound extreme but every day twice a day you would see him collecting cans by the high schools. I’ve heard of another man bought all 4 of his kids houses by chipping the mortar off of old bricks from houses that had been torn down. Of course he did not do this over night but he did get it done over a period of 30 years. I had a friend who worked construction with me and everyday he took home scraps of wood and brick from the dumpster, he had 2 acres and eventually built himself a house that was worth $94,000.  All these are great ideas to do more with less and save you a lot of money in the long run, for more tips on what you can do to save money click on this link.

Here is a bench I made out of a couple of pallets.

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Finance and retirement #6

Questions to ask yourself to help prepare you for Retirement

In retirement there is not a one plan fits all retirement plan. There are many questions you have to ask yourself and must be 100% honest because the bottom line is you will have to live with the outcome. Questions like what kind of monthly budget would you like to live off of? What income can I count on every month? Also, will I have any dept, will I be in good health, can I earn money from my hobby? What age would I like to retire at? All these are great questions to ask yourself to prepare a plan to help you reach your goals for retirement.

Guidelines to a Healthy Retirement

A persons monthly budget has to be the number 1 question and probably the most important question also. A good rule of thumb is a person should not use more than 4% of there total retirement fund each year. This means that if you have saved $1,000,000 that you should only withdraw $40,000 each year to live from in order for your retirement fund to stay healthy. If a person were to have dept at the time of retirement, such as a house and car payment $40,000 would not be enough so their goal should be to save $2,000,000 which would give them 80,000 a year to live off of. Another very important question to answer would be what age would you like to retire at? The earlier you retire the more money you will have to save simply because it will have to last you that much longer.

Good or Bad health at time of Retirement

Nobody really thinks they will be in bad health but lets be honest there are a couple of ways to try and determine what your future might look like health wise depending on your good and bad habits and genetics. First you should always have good insurance coverage. If you are a cigarette smoker you might plan for cancer or COPD. My mother was a smoker for 43 years and had 3 rounds of cancer and now suffers from COPD. If you drink moderately, exercise regularly and eat right you should live the average life span for a person in good health. Their is one exception to this question and that is genetics, a person would have to pay attention to their parents health and even their grand parents health. Do they suffer from heart attacks, high blood pressure, cancer, strokes or Alzheimer’s because if they do, there is a chance that you might and you can prepare for it at least from a retirement stand point. All these questions are a great to ask yourself to help one start to save for retirement and for more tips on retirement click on this link.

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Finance

Build your Wealth Slowly

Some of the best advice I ever received was take your time and build your wealth slowly. I once had an opportunity to buy five cars and was in the position to do so, but when the man told me the deal was only good for that day I automatically new I needed to slow down. I talked him in to giving me an extra day so I could have my friend look at the cars, I told him he was my business partner but he was actually my mechanic. After my friend looked at the vehicles he told me that I would have to rebuild the engines on two of the cars and another needed a transmission, this would have caused me to lose over $4500 and what I thought was a great investment opportunity would have turned into a nightmare. You see, you must take your time, do your research on any investment and build your wealth slowly, rushing into an investment may be a costly decision.

Seek Advice

I personally have a Financial Advisor that I meet with three times a year. I also call him for advice on any investment as long it is within his realm and he has time to talk. I also speak with Dr. Allen who has her masters in finance  and teaches Finance at Texas State University. I recently had a very nice conversation about my retirement plan with Dr. Davis who also has a masters in Finance and teaches at Texas State University. I explained my retirement plan to her and she gave me some excellent advice. There are countless magazines , web sites, bloggers and people who have been in our shoes who love to talk about how to make money, all you have to do is ask.

Start Small and keep it Simple

I started with investing with $1000 and opened an on-line trading account with Chase. Its free to open and you only pay fees when you buy or sell your mutual funds or stocks. You can even purchase certain mutual funds for free with a minimum purchase.  I like to hang on to my mutual funds for at least six months so I can give my investment time to grow and only look to see how its doing one time a month. By only looking one time a month you take the stress out of it and just have faith in your decision that you researched so diligently. Remember to only invest what you are comfortable with or you will be a nervous wreck. For some pros and cons of investing in mutual funds click here.

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Finance and Retirement #4 ( Blog Review)

FinCon Conference

In this blog Jean Chatzky had the pleasure of visiting the Fincon. Fincon is the country’s premier conference for financial bloggers. While he was there he discovered that there are more than 400 financial bloggers here in the U.S. After he returned he came up with a list of the best and little known sites that can help you save more money, invest more wisely and get ready for retirement. To look at Jean Chatzky’s blog yourself click here. His blog contains priceless information on everything from the stock market to being more money savvy.

Retirement

Mr. Chatzky’s first pick for best blog to read to help you get ready for retirement is called SquaredAway. It is written by Kimberly Blanton, who happens to be a  veteran in finance and is also a great economics reporter. He gives solid advice about what current and future retirees should do to prepare for retirement and how to handle the roller coaster ride that investing in the stock market will take you on. Mr. Chatzky’s  second blog of choice is Johnny Moneyseed. This is a married couple that are retired and are in their 30’s. They give awesome advice on how to live on a frugal budget and  how to save big bucks by down sizing.

Advice on Finance, Budgeting, Saving and Investing

In the blogs he recommends you can find unique advice on taxes and low maintenance investing which is ideal for most of us because we are not day traders. They offer clear practical advice that is easy to understand and apply in the real world of trading. He also recommends a few blogs to help a person understand the value of living frugally and how to retire on a regular salary at an early age. I really like the blogs on the phycology of money, which helps use explain why we spend money on things we know are bad for us. Remember money cannot buy happiness but it can reduce a lot of stress come hard times, so please take the time to read these blogs and give it your best effort to apply these things in your life.

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