Are You Ready For Early Retirement?

Are You Ready For Early Retirement?

Within the last century, retirement age for most U.S. adults was extended to about 65 years of age. With recent Medicare changes and improved senior health and longevity, more people are working even longer. However, others are finding ways to make early retirement a reality, perhaps in their mid- to late fifties. If early retirement is your goal, it might be a good idea to give the following questions some thought before turning in your resignation.

How is your Health?

Although you may be 50 and feel great, consider what may lay ahead. For example, if your family has a history of heart disease or cancer, consider getting tested before making early retirement plans. If you are battling a chronic illness like diabetes, get your doctor’s opinion about the future prognosis of this illness so you can plan ahead. In addition to factors like the ability to work and monthly income adjustments when you retire, you should also think about health care coverage before and during retirement.

What Are Your Early Retirement Lifestyle Plans?

Do you want to travel when you stop working? Maybe you plan to downsize your home to a condo. Are there other life goals you hope to accomplish during your golden years? Consider how lifestyle changes may impact your monthly budget and whether or not you might get bored of all that free time. Would you prefer to work part-time or volunteer for a charity? As you envision the ways your life will change after retirement, make sure that you are ready mentally, physically, and financially to make the transition.

How Are Your Finances Holding Up?

Everyone with a stock portfolio or savings plans as well as a retirement fund should meet with a financial adviser at least yearly to keep tabs on their investments. If the economy takes a sharp downturn just when you’re about to retire, will your finances be enough to sustain the new life you have planned? Do you have a backup plan in case of an emergency or unexpected economic shift? Remember that expenses will change in retirement. If you have paid off your home and have no credit card debt to manage, you will be in better financial standing than someone who is loaded down with debt and possibly drawing less income each month than when they were employed.

What Role Will Your Family Play?

Middle-age people often breathe a sigh of relief when the last child graduates from college. But financial and familial obligations don’t necessarily stop there. Wedding expenses may pop up later, along with grandchildren to babysit and aging parents to care for. Give some thought to the time and money that you will need during your retirement years to help family members. When relatives know that you are no longer working full-time, they may expect you to help more often.

Most of us dream of a stress-free, financially secure retirement during which we can fulfill all our dreams. However, as in every stage of life, unexpected financial crises and new responsibility can replace long-sought dreams. Before rushing into early retirement, be sure you’re ready on all fronts so that you avoid disappointment and financial hardship.

3 Ways To Get A Start As A Financial Analyst

There are plenty of opportunities for financial analysts with a few years of experience, but getting that experience can be a struggle. Many young people worry whether they will like working in a financial career, and are unsure about entering a field they don’t know much about. However, there are plenty of opportunities for people who want to become financial analysts to test drive these responsibilities without locking themselves into a long-term career. If you’re considering a career as a financial analyst, try building your experience and knowledge base in these three ways.

Get an Internship

Internships are becoming one of the most popular choices for students to strengthen their work experience. Many companies create tailored internship plans where the student shadows multiple employees, works on projects that require all aspects of the business, and takes on responsibilities of their own. It’s a great way to learn more about the industry over three to nine months.

Many experts recommend treating your internship like a job. If you put as much work into it every day as you would an actual full-time position and still enjoy the field, then a career as a financial analyst is right for you. This is also a great way to get your foot in the door, as many companies hire the top interns full-time after their classes are completed.

Work for a Consulting Firm or Agency

It’s entirely possible that you would enjoy a career as a financial analyst; you just need to find the right industry. Instead of moving from the nonprofit sector to sports to retail, try working for an agency or consulting firm where you will have multiple clients at once. This will expose you to the unique challenges and opportunities that every industry provides, while changing up what you work on day-to-day. You may find that you like agency work itself, or you can move to an in-house analyst position in a field that you’re interested in.

Volunteer With a Nonprofit

Many nonprofits need an extra set of hands handling the marketing, accounting, and operations of the organization. While the local volunteers might be well-meaning, it’s possible that they lack the specialized skill set of a financial analyst. When volunteering for the nonprofit, you will make sure their 501(c)3 status is maintained, make sure donations are allotted to the proper sources, and create budgets and return goals for fundraising events.

Not only does volunteering help you give back to the community, it also boosts your resume and gives you experience working in finance. Furthermore, small nonprofits tend to have volunteers cross over multiple fields, so you may gain experience in volunteer coordination and event promotions – adding leadership, management, and project planning to your resume. These added skill sets can help you find a job you enjoy while making you a more valuable asset to employers.

Even if you don’t pursue a career as a financial analyst, the organizational and management skills that you will pick up during your studies will make you an asset to most companies and industries. People are always looking for someone who they can trust with money.

8 Creative Ways To Earn Money While In College

College students never seem to have enough money. Most of the cash that they earn from part-time jobs goes toward paying for necessities like tuition, books, rent, and food. Once you start going to college, you can forget about spending money without worry.

Smart students, however, find creative ways to earn cash while they go to school. Before you decide to split a two-bedroom apartment with three roommates, think about using these eight ideas to make more money.

Sell Your Photographs

Sell Your PhotographsImage via Flickr by Infomastern

If you have a knack for taking beautiful photographs, you can start earning money today by selling them through websites like Fotolia, Stockxpert, and iStockphoto. Each website has its own pricing model, but you can expect to earn at least a few dollars for each photo that someone buys.

The amount of money that you earn by selling photographs online depends on how good your pictures are and how many images you upload. Following these 13 ways to make your photos look professional should help your work get more attention from serious buyers.

Drive With Uber

Driving with Uber has become a popular way for people to earn extra money. If you own a car that meets the company’s requirements, you can set your own schedule and start making money this week.

As a college student, having a flexible schedule should matter a lot. If you have a typical job, then you have to conform to someone else’s schedule. By driving with Uber, you never have to worry that your job will prevent you from writing a paper or preparing for a big test.

Sell Products for Amway

Learning some basic business and sales skills now will benefit you for decades. When you make extra cash by selling Amway products, you get an opportunity to learn how to plan events, practice public speaking, and improve your organizational skills. No matter what career path you follow after graduation, these skills will help you find a lucrative position.

Selling Amway products also has many of the same benefits that you get from driving for a ridesharing company. You can set your own hours, meet new people, and earn money without neglecting your studies. Direct sales, however, doesn’t require you to own a certain type of car, buy insurance, or fill up your gas tank every day.

Take Notes for Other Students

If you’re the type of person who takes excellent notes in class, you can make money on the side by selling those notes to other students. You don’t have to meet with anyone in person. Just submit your notes to an online service like NoteUtopia or Nexus Notes. The website will help students find and purchase your work. Depending on how many people want to buy your notes, you could make hundreds of dollars each semester.

Some colleges discourage their students from selling notes online, so you should check your school’s policies before you dedicate any time to this venture.

Become a Tutor

If you take great notes, then you might also have the skills you need to tutor other students. Teaching your classmates will earn you some cash while reinforcing the knowledge you need to make better grades.

Some tutors work for companies or colleges. Search for opportunities within your city to see what’s available. If you plan to work for a company, then you may need to take a test that proves you can teach people successfully. If you’d rather not take any tests, then you can advertise your services online or by hanging fliers on campus bulletin boards.

Teach Online Classes

You can start making money from your college education before you finish your degree requirements. Udemy has a platform that lets experts in numerous fields create their own courses. When students sign up for your class, you get paid a portion of their tuition.

Udemy has about 20,000 instructors, so you face quite a bit of competition from other experts. You will have to create an interesting, useful class to attract students. The Udemy platform includes tools that will help you design your online course, but you have to develop the content on your own. According to Udemy, the average instructor earns about $8,000.

Start a Blog

Bloggers typically earn money by selling ad spaces on their websites. You can also use a blog to show off your writing skills, which could attract clients willing to pay you in return for your content creation services.

You should know that it takes time to start making money as a blogger. Some writers spend years honing their skills and connecting with readers through social media. You can, however, make money without a long-term investment.

Using Google AdWords makes it easy for you to generate money from your website. The advertising service will place ads on relevant pages, so you don’t have to spend time convincing businesses to pay for ad space. AdWords isn’t the most profitable way to earn money from a website, but it doesn’t require nearly as much time as contacting potential clients.

Take Online Surveys

Don’t take another online survey until you know whether you can get paid for it. Several companies will pay you a small fee for answering basic questions about your life, spending habits, and product experiences. Some survey websites to try include MySurvey, Opinion Outpost, Toluna, and InboxDollars.

Each company sets its own rates, so you should spend a little time reviewing your options before you decide how you want to spend your time. You’ll find that some of them pay more money than others. Some survey companies will also pay you to test products, so make sure you explore all of your options.

Most people struggle to make ends meet while they finish their degrees. Working a few hours a week may not keep you flush with cash, but it can make your life a lot easier. When you don’t have to worry about how you can afford to pay your rent next month, you can spend more time focusing on your classes.

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