Any business demands online media presence. Inspite of having solid business if the business has no website, still investors are hesitant to pick the stock of even a publicly traded company. Not to say to websites, blogs, media files that you would like to publish online needs to be hosted in 100% safe, secure, stable hosting solution. Not to mention so, I have tried handful of hosting providers from 2009 onwards. I’ve used fatcow in the beginning, gave a shot to godaddy , eventually thought of ipage and finalized on Siteground. I’ve been using siteground over past few years with zero downtime, zero issues and this is the best business investment decision that I’ve made Not to say so I have not come across a web hosting solution to which I’m addicted to. Starting from 24×7 customer service support, knowledge of customer support which is very very rare to see in my experience, cpanel option, cache option to increase the website speed which is a major factor in SEO, siteground has everything to offer for individual, business websites. Sitegorund is one of the cheapest hosting options I have ever come across from a stable hosting provider. I wanted to share this information with readers so that they can start their first blog, website in a stable , safe , secured hosting solution What duration should you consider while purchasing? To save money I’d recommend sign-up for 3 years (i.e) 36 months minimum offer that comes at incredibly low cost Why do I recommend siteground? I’m personally using siteground for all my websites. I found it 100% reliable. Henceforth, I wanted to share this information with you all How can you support me? This is an information sharing portal. I’m spending my own money to make this website up and running. If you choose to buy siteground hosting you can help me by making purchase via banner given below. I thank you all
As an entrepreneur aiming to launch new business you can create a checklist based on this idea to launch your next business. This includes both online and offline model of businesses 1) Idea – Many of us think the fundamental element of any business is money.This can be true to some extent. However, idea is the key for any business. If you have money you can think about investment options like stocks, fixed deposits, CD’s, real estate to name a few. If you have an idea you can think of starting something on your own. Basically any business is built around a simple idea. IF you have both idea and money you can expand the business real quick. Money comes as supporting medium and byproduct of your hardwork. Have confidence and launch your idea today even if you are running out of resources 2) Write up – Write the steps to be followed to launch your business. This can include brainstorming sessions with your close friends, family etc. When you write the tasks to be completed you get it right most of the time 3) Prioritize – Once the steps are in place the next step is to prioritize them. This can include steps like launching business website, choosing site, pr marketing, hiring and setting up team to name a few 4) Plan – Create a plan after setting priority. This can include steps like looking for best hosting provider for your business website. In project management terms the work to be done is broken down and the work breakdown structure created in this 5) Execution– This step follows planning. The real business action starts now. This is often toughest portion of any business. Your hard work, 100% commitment, perseverance come into role in this step 6) End Result – Output of any good business is the expected end result. This usually comes in form of turnover, revenue you name it
I logged into my chase credit card account today to check and see if it is still worth retaining chase sapphire reserve credit card spending $450 towards annual fees.
This is a fee that can never be waived. I tried contacting them couple of times in the past as Chase sapphire reserve is the best travel credit card that offers some interesting travel benefits that you can’t find in any other travel credit cards. However, chase was not willing to waive the fees. Upon analysis I found that I’ll end up positive balance inspite of spending this $450 one-time annual fee. Here is how it works
Every year you can redeem $300 travel statement credit while making use of Chase Sapphire reserve credit card. That is each year starting from January upto December
My annual fee renewal is due april of next year. As such I can avail $300 this year plus $300 next year towards travel statement credit
In simple math this translates to $600. Henceforth, I end up $150 positive towards travel statement credits redemption
Also I can redeem the chase ultimate reward points towards travel in the ratio 1:1.5. This will help me purchase a $900 worth of ticket for $900/1.5 = $600 while redeeming in the form of chase ultimate rewards of equivalent value
Chase offers ultimate rewards transfer among all of its credit card accounts. If you already have a chase credit card, transfer existing balance ultimate rewards to this card to gain extra edge while booking travel
As such it would be sensible to retain this credit card spending $450 per year
Home buying process starts with choice of mortgage programs. There are ton lots of mortgage options to choose from. 30 year fixed mortgage vs 15 year mortgage comparison has often been considered most complex decision. Most popular options are 30 year fixed, 15 year fixed. There are less known fixed rate options like 20 year fixed, 10 year fixed rate mortgages To start with how do I determine which is the best mortgage option? If you would have zeroed down on your home purchase the next big step is to shop around for best mortgage rates and pick the right mortgage option. There are ton lots of articles that does discuss the pros and cons of choosing the correct mortgage term. In this article we want to give our honest perspective on what could serve you better 1) Interest rate – We did a quick analysis on many different interest rate options this year. Probability shows that 10-year fixed rate mortgage is the lowest APR option. It is very interesting to note that this is cheaper than 5/1ARM mortgage. If you are someone who would be interested in saving a lot on interest, 10-year fixed rate option is the best. The second best mortgage option appears to be 15-year with second best lowest APR. This is substantially lower than 30-year fixed rate. 20-year fixed rate mortgage is an average option with balanced repayment time frame Conclusion : If you are interest rate conscious and want to save a lot, consider choosing between 15-year fixed or 10-year fixed rate mortgage My tax consultant says that my mortgage interest is tax deductible. Why should I choose a lower time frame? All of us get enticed by this. If you carefully analyse this is not tax credit but only tax deduction. Say, you are in 40% tax bracket and choose to take mortgage interest tax deduction. Still you are paying 60% out of pocket. Keep this in mind when you file your taxes. If you are borrowing for your principal residence 1.1) Federal income tax deduction – mortgage interest rate, property taxes, mortgage insurance are tax deductible 1.2) State income tax deduction – property taxes are tax deductible. This varies from state to state It would be better to have a quick consultation with your tax attorney as soon as you have chosen to give contract on your first home to get to know more details on tax deductions you can avail the current year or forthcoming year based on your adjusted gross income 2) Amortization Schedule – This is something that I did carefully look over. For simplicity, I’ve done analysis of 30-year fixed versus 15-year fixed amortization schedule comparison. Here is what I found: 2.1) In case of 30-year fixed we may have to wait 12 year 4 months for the principal amount to exceed interest amount. People claim that if we have excess funds in a particular month, we choose to pay that towards principal that month. Still we pay high interest rates. As I mentioned in first step, the interest rate deduction is only 40% and 60% excess is a loss only 2.2) If we look at the amortization schedule of 15-year fixed, about 63.3% of the amount goes towards principal from first mortgage re-payment, where as in case of 30-year fixed about 31.5% of the repayment is considered towards principal to start with Tip: Say, you would have held the house for 5 years, the difference in the amount repaid might be around $300 to $500 on an average loan. That boils down to $18000 to $30000 in excess in case of 15-year fixed loan. About $11394 to $18990 is repaid towards principal. In case of 30-year fixed the amortization is different. Hence, it would be better to go with 15-year fixed if you can afford to do so 3) Age of the home buyer – If you are just out of college you want to max out 401k, IRA, 529 college funding in addition to your home mortgage. If the excess money needs to be invested on pre-tax basis 30-year fixed is the best Tip : 401K, HSA, IRA contributions happen on pre-tax basis and has much bigger tax saving compared to repayment in excess in post-tax basis If you make sufficient money to contribute towards 401k, HSA, IRA and then pay 15-year mortgage go for 15-year mortgage. Otherwise, 30-year fixed can be a good choice 3.1) If you are above 30 years of age and still done have sufficient retirement funds to start with the best option would be 30-year fixed 3.2) If you are above 30-years of age and have decent retirement funds, can make retirement investment contribution with 15-year mortgage go for it. Ideally after 15 years your home is debt free, you can use it to finance college education expenses of your kid. By 45 years of age you are free of tension and can focus on your kids education next 5 years, focus on retirement next 5 to 7 years 3.3) If you are above 40 years of age, depending on how much you make choose to balance retirement and mortgage In any of the above cases only mortgage is risk free. Other investment options are in mutual fund and are subject to fluctuation. Even the home prices might go up or come down. You always need your own shelter and make nothing out of rental. Hence, go for it today
FSA the flexible spending account is a common benefit offered by employers to its employees on a pre-tax basis. Similarly HSA the Health Savings account is another pre-tax option available to its employees. So, what is the basic difference between Flexible Spending Account aka FSA and HSA? 1) Both are pre-tax contributions and used for eligible medical expenses including co-pay , OTC drugs also called as over the counter drugs (only drugs labeled as FSA), prescription drug extra amount reimbursement etc 2) FSA is based on use or lose concept (i.e) How long you can withhold money in that account. It is valid for only one year typically the financial year in which you have enrolled for insurance. If the amount is not used it extinguishes at year end 3) HSA is a roll over from year to year. It can be used in retirement. Even if you switch employers you will not lose money 4) There is an annual contribution limit on FSA however there is a higher limit on HSA 5) As per latest tax rules the annual contribution limit on FSA is $2700 for 2019 and this keeps changing every year. The IRS approves $7000 as the maximum contribution amount onto HSA for 2019. This has been increasing in increments of $50 per year for the past few years. This trend is expected to continue You have contributed excess amount onto HSA. Is there a penalty and tax associated with this? Is there a way to avoid these? As part of personal finance investing in pre-tax instruments is an essential step that each and every one of us should consider. The basic principle of investment is start early as money has compounding nature and the earlier you start the better you are. HSA the health savings account is an interesting pre-tax phenomenon that you can consider while choosing medical insurance. As opposed to HRA the amount invested stays with you, can be invested in mutual funds, earns fixed interest rate etc. The amount can be used to pay insurance premium in case of unemployment and what not. HSA comes at the cost of high deductible but low premium. Also, you get employer contribution. Many insurance providers do run incentive programs that enables you to earn significant amount for say biometrics, annual physical, preventive care, health coaching for goals such as weight loss, stress management, quitting tobacco, family preventive care including kids welfare, maternity care by talking to maternity nurse etc. All these incentives are earned on completion of goals one by one. There is a great possibility of exceeding maximum annual allowed IRS limit every year. This is an issue as the excess amount will be taxed and a penalty of 20% will have to be paid if not carefully monitored. It is recommended to monitor the amount contributed to HSA account at the end of december to make sure you dont exceed annual set limit I have exceeded limit. I want to avoid penalty. What next? It is easy and simple. Contact your HSA administrator before end of year or April 15th of forthcoming year at maximum particularly before filing taxes. Get the excess withdrawal form Fill the form and mail to P.O. Box or fax them You get a cheque on excess amount after tax deduction This helps you avoid penalty on excess contribution made by mistake
Home purchase is a major commitment that each and everyone of us will encounter at least once in our life-time If you have plans to retire early, home purchase planning can start as soon as you step into your employer’s office the very first day There are ton lots of mortgage options to choose from. Most commonly known mortgage product options are 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed, 5/1 ARM products I’ve done an analysis based on mortgage amortization schedule today and interestingly found the following figures: 1) As far as the ARM rates goes I’ve analysed 5/1 ARM amortization schedule, the repayment schedule and found that 69% of the repayment goes towards your interest. Only 31% goes towards your principal repayment 2)In case of 15-year fixed mortgage 40% of the monthly payment goes towards your interest, rest 60% goes towards your principal 3) As far as the 30-year fixed mortgage goes 71% of payment goes towards interest, rest 29% towards principal repayment the product with minimal principal repayment 4) In case of 10-year fixed mortgage 25% of the repayment goes towards interest rate and 75% of whatever you pay goes towards your principal So, the conclusion is that 10-year fixed is the best bet if you are looking to repay your mortgage real faster. Approval depends on how much you choose to put towards down payment, your income requirements eligibility, all the factors that will qualify you for this mortgage product. If you choose to plan your early retirement and achieve financial independence in 10 years this is definitely the best bet
Retirement the terminology has very big impact in majority of our lives will be a breeze if planned properly from day 1 you start making money. It can be as early as in your teenage wherein you take up part-time jobs and get paid for your efforts and it goes all the way if you start your own business, take-up a job with another employer, make money in passive basis like dividend income from stocks, mutual funds, investment income like fixed deposit income, profits realized from sale of stocks, assets, mutual funds and lots more Money compounds on its own and this is 200% true with retirement planning. Money savings is directly proportional to the time you start saving money. always start early, sooner the better Let us look at some common retirement options you should not overlook for your early retirement : Start contributing and maxing out 401K Plan Every year – This is the best retirement option that many employers offer. 401K the retirement option offered by major employers starting with small,medium, large scale enterprises comes with hefty tax saving benefit. IRS has set an annual cap of $19000 per person and $38000 for a family of two as of 2019 if both are working. This is a limit that is revised by IRS and check your limit each year. If you are self-employed you have solo 401K option that you can setup on your own. Many financial services firm offer such funds. Talk to them as soon as you start your business to setup one for you What is the real beneft of saving my money onto 401k? 1) Tax saving in Federal and State Income Taxes – All the dollars that are saved in 401K are 100% pre-tax (i.e) you don’t pay a penny tax on this. Basically 401k is a mutual fund that is approved and maintained by your employer. You get deduction in your federal as well as state income taxes on pre-tax basis. In many cases this helps you bring down your tax bracket significantly 2) 401K Loan – This is not recommended as your tax nest-egg should not be taken out unless otherwise it is extremely urgent and you have no other go. You can choose to take loan from 401K account that needs to be re-paid with some interest at a specified period. If you fail to do so the amount will be taxed with 10% additional penalty for premature withdrawal of 401k balance. Generally interest rates will be less than personal loans, credit card interest rates and can be used for rotation. If you choose to change your employer the 401K loan should be paid before leaving employer. Not, all employer 401K plan does come with loan provision. Check with your benefits department about this Some interesting features and facts about 401K loan 1) 401K loans can be availed upto 50% of the existing 401K balance 2) If you’ve already taken a loan against 401K it is posible to take 50%-original amount taken 3) Interest rates are as low as 3.5%-4.5% depending on 401K fund provider + loan setup fees 4) Tenure of repayment varies from 60 months upto 15 years (in case of principal home purchase) 5) this cna be used to settle high rate credit card debts 6) Can be availed in less than 3 to 5 days 7) Easy to access online This has only one caveat (or) trick – If you happen to loose your job and need to quit employer you’ll be given grace period of about 2 months (60 days) to repay entire amount. If your job is stable use it Are 401K loans taxable? There are no taxes or penalty associated with 401K loans. You need to stick to repayment schedule, pay it in full to avoid taxes in case of job loss 3) 401K stays after changing employer – Once you change the employer, your company gets purchased by a different employer, you leave the workforce altogether, you can choose to leave the 401K balance as it is until you hit the retirement age of 59.5 as of now after which you can take out the money and use it without any penalty after paying taxes. If your business is totally shutdown there are alternative options. Move from 401K to IRA which can be done on direct as well as indirect basis. If you want to transfer from one 401K plan to another 401K plan with same employer after buyout, different employer it is possible. Such transfers are done 100% tax free and without any penalty unless the money is used 4) Employer Match on 401K Free Money That you Carry for Life-time– Some employers give 3%, 5%, 10% to 50% 401K match. Top giants even give 100% 401K match. Some employers offer dollar match the free money you can never miss. Some employers do have trueup which is catch up of missed pay match at the end paycheck. This is a sweet spot that comes on tax-free pre-tax basis that grows tax free 5) 401k rollover from self to spouse account – If both members or all members of family work and have different 401k options there arises a desire to transfer 401k from one account to another. So is it permissible to transfer money from 401K to another 401K? As per IRS the simple answer is NO. All we can do is transfer money from one’s own 401K to IRA or spouse’s IRA (if joint IRA account) where as 401K to 401K transfer of another person is not permissible However, if you change jobs and if the new employer offers 401K you can rollover your old/existing 401K onto new employers 401K using direct or indirect methods Will 401K contribution save Social Security and Medicare Taxes in paystub? The plain answer to this question is no. the social security and medicare taxes are paid out in form of pension if the person completes the required number of years in service. This is based on income and not AGI. this value doesn’t change even if the person makes contribution to 401k Check your next paycheck as well as W-2 forms to learn how this computation is done. However, you save lot in federal and state income taxes with 401K contribution Save your health and wealth by contributing to Health Savings Account aka HSA , Flexible spending account FSA, both The latest form of medical insurance the health savings account helps you save upto $7000 per year as of 2019 and the limit keeps changing typically increases year after year. So, even if both are employed the maximum per family is $7000 that includes both employer contribution, health rewards earned towards completion of healthy activities promoted by some insurance providers, employee contribution. Employee contribution portion is tax free and more details of the same is available in your W2 form. This is however taxed in states like New Jersey. Check with your auditor about your state rules
What can I use this invested amount towards?
This amount can be used to pay your medical bills, insurance premium, pharmacy bills while you are on unemployment. Look for the documents as some conditions apply. All the incentives that you earn towards completing certain goals are saved onto HSA. This depends on your employer as well as insurance plans What is the unique advantage of HSA account? One unique advantage of HSA is that as long as you have a highly deductible health plan that is HSA eligible you can contribute in HSA. For 2019 if you have employer sponsored HSA maximum contribution for family can go upto $7000 per year with catchup contribution of $1000 for 55 and above years of age. You don’t necessarily need an employer In case of FSA this is a tax deferred account that necessarily needs to be established by an employer making it challenging if you dont have a job HSA the health Savings Account is an option to save pre-tax money every year. The beautiful thing about HSA is that it can be retained in this savings account for ever and can be used to fund medical expenses. It is much of like 401K, IRA and the money can be invested in mutual funds, stocks, bonds etc. Note that the funds in money market are FDIC insured. However, investment banking investments are subject to market risk. So, what is HDHP and why it is needed to retain HSA? HSA can’t function as stand-alone account. For setting up and investing in HSA it is mandate to have HDHP popularly called Highly Deductible Health Plan from an insurance provider. As per IRS the maximum limit of HSA contribution per couple/family per annum is $6900 in year 2018. For individual it comes around $3400. It keeps changing from year to year To make use of this and invest in full HDHP premiums need to be paid for one whole year What happens if HDHP plan gets canceled in between? The amount in HSA is retained and can be rolled over for years until retirement age. Upon retirement this amount can be withdrawn in full without 20% penalty Note that amount in HSA is calculated on a pro-rated basis and excess amount in HSA needs to be withdrawn before April 15th of next year. There is also a provision to invest less in next year with assumption that you enroll in HDHP the forthcoming year HDHP is needed to make new investments in HSA and for maintaining HSA this can be done as normal bank account Can you avail loan from HSA Account? HSA, Health savings account as it is popularly called is the form of insurance one can go with HDHP the Highly deductible health plan. Unlike FSA the flexible spending account, HSA can be rolled forward across years and one can go for upto $6900 (family plan) the maximum limit that keeps changing and is being set by IRS every year. In case of FSA the maximum contribution per year as per IRS guidelines is $2600 and it varies. We get full tax benefit on $6900 as it is totally pre-tax amount. IRA Tax Saving Instrument for employees and business owners – This comes in two different forms – traditional IRA which is pre-tax, roth-IRA which is post-tax but earnings can be withdrawn tax free after certain years