Mortgaging For Funds

Almost one pensioner in four does not have enough money to fund their retirement, research from Prudential reveals, and one property-owning pensioner in five thinks they will have to downsize to make up the difference. Along with those forced to sell their homes, one pensioner in six would consider taking in a lodger. But now, … Continue reading Mortgaging For Funds

Almost one pensioner in four does not have enough money to fund their retirement, research from Prudential reveals, and one property-owning pensioner in five thinks they will have to downsize to make up the difference.

Along with those forced to sell their homes, one pensioner in six would consider taking in a lodger.

But now, pensioners can obtain cash advances secured against the value of their houses through equity release or home reversion plans.

Under home reversion schemes, home-owners can sell all, or part, of their home, and receive a lump sum, an income or both.

The amount owed can increase quickly as interest is charged on the interest added to the loan each year, as well as on the original borrowed amount.

Interest rates on equity release borrowing also tend to be higher than on ordinary mortgages at around 7 per cent.

Unlike a normal mortgage, interest is added to the principal and paid back on the owners’ death, rather than the borrower’s lifetime.

But homeowners who take advantage of the scheme will not receive anything like the actually market price of their house. Instead, lenders typically pay between 40 and 60 per cent of the property’s current value.

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) nearly 12,000 plans were sold initially.

Overall, total borrowing by pensioners through equity release schemes now stand at 2.3billion.

But the CML believes that in future the equity release market could reach 100billion.

“Many pensioners are tempted by equity release as they are asset rich as a result of increasing house prices but cash poor due to low retirement income,” a spokeswoman for Age Concern England said.

However, these plans are not to be entered into lightly it is important that people research the market. One of the main problems with equity release plans arise when borrowers’ circumstances change.

For example, a borrower wishing to move to sheltered accommodation, or a cheaper property, may have to repay some of the loan upfront.

In addition, roll-up loans may leave borrowers with insufficient cash to buy the new property they want.

Borrowers who decide to pay off the loan early can also be hit with big redemption charges.

Also keep in mind while mortgage based products will fall within Financial Supervisory Authroitys (FSA) guidelines, the rules will not cover home reversion schemes.

However, the Treasury has announced plans to consult on the regulation of equity release schemes, often used as a means of achieving retirement income.

The Treasury added the review could mean the FSA will win the power to oversee the sector and ensure elderly people do not lose out.

But there are other ways to make money from your property without having to sell-up.

One home-owning pensioner in ten would consider equity release to top-up their retirement income. Equity release comes in two main forms, home reversion plans and lifetime mortgages.

“There are ways of using your property to generate income in different ways. A lifetime mortgage can suit people who do not want to leave their home in retirement,” said Prudential’s Mr Crossley.

“More people are considering this option nowadays, and this is in part because better, more flexible products have appeared on the market.”

There is no substitute for planning and while obviously the earlier you start the better, there are many things you can do throughout your life to esure a stable financial situation for retirement. Its worth talking to a financial adviser to find out more about your pension options just dont get stuck.

Angel Investors Bring Big Ideas To Reality/Radio

If you’re an emerging company with the next great product, sometimes you need an angel on your side.

A study by the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Venture Research showed that “angel investors” – high-net-worth individuals willing to invest in entrepreneurial companies at an early stage – shelled out more than $18 billion into early-stage companies last year alone, compared to $304 million by venture capitalists.

Finding an angel investor, however, is not an easy task. Safer Smokes Inc. is one company that understands the challenge of attracting the right investors.

This development-stage company is tapping the smoking cessation market with a unique tobacco-free, nicotine-free smoke called Bravo, which has the appearance of a traditional cigarette and burns like tobacco, but is actually made from lettuce fibers.

“Bravo lets you smoke your way out of the tobacco habit gradually,” said Puzant C. Torigian, chief executive officer of Safer Smokes.

For companies like Safer Smokes, it may be too soon to approach large venture capital firms, yet time to move beyond networking with family and friends. Angel investors to the rescue.

“The challenge for raising capital in today’s market is in harnessing the courage and vision of the angel to see through to the real investment opportunity,” said Torigian.

So how do companies like Safer Smokes attract their angel?

* Have a clear-cut target market for your product or service. For example, Safer Smokes is targeting the smoking cessation market, which has sales approaching $10 billion per year, up from $6 billion just three years ago.

Most angel investors prefer companies that are likely to show positive cash flow within their first 18 months, so having these kinds of statistics about your market can be an incentive.

* Match the business plan objectives to the angel’s risk tolerance. Investors want to know the product or service will be unique and well-cultivated. Safer Smokes has a patented solution that company officials say will “affect the landscape of the health care industry.”

The Major Task of Insurance Brokers

Undoubtedly, the insurance industry has carved its niche in the business sector. More and more insurance companies have surfaced over time. Also, with the relative increase in the worlds population, the insurance industry has achieved a greater opportunity to heighten its popularity. Insurance companies specialize in a lot of fields such as health insurance, auto insurance, motorcycle insurance, life insurance, real estate insurance, and many more. To further disseminate the service they render to the public, insurance companies hire insurance brokers to handle the job.

Who is an insurance broker?

Insurance brokers or insurance agents act in behalf of their potential customers or those who act in the place of a principal. They handle all matters in the negotiation. In a selling business, when the agent acts in behalf of the buyer, the insurance broker is called a buyer agent. On the other hand, if the insurance broker acts in behalf of a seller, then he is termed as a seller agent. Moreover, an insurance broker is the representative of the insurance firm who tackles the selling of insurance policies to a number of third parties who are interested with the deal.

No matter what role the insurance agent plays for, there still remains the fact that the insurance brokers are paid with an ample amount for his or her fee. An insurance broker may work full time as compensated with a fixed wage, a salary added with the rightful commission, or solely for a commission alone. Likewise, an insurance broker may work for
various insurance firms based on his field of expertise. It is in the onset of the Insurance Brokers Act 1977 which highlighted the regulation of the term insurance broker. Such scheme had been designed to put a stop to the spurious custom of insurance companies who more than enough term themselves as insurance brokers when in fact they do merely act as representatives of even a chain of preferred insurance firms.

The Real Score of a Broker

Insurance brokerage basically covers general insurance forms such as autos, house, land, and so on. It is not much related to the field of life insurance although there are some firms who continuously adhere to such technique. Moreover, insurance broking is handled by a myriad of corporations which include telephone companies, web-based industries, traditional brokerages, and the chain of Independent Financial Advisers or IFAs.

Why the need for an insurance policy?

Regardless of the type of insurance policy which you as a potential buyer want to avail of, you cannot deny the fact that such insurance policies are important. You never know what may happen in the near future and if you would like to secure yourself and your loved ones, getting an insurance policy is the best option.

Your life and your property can be insured. We all live in a world filled with uncertainty. There are numerous news outbreaks about the natural calamities such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and other deluges. Plus the fact that any moment problems may arise, make you lose your possessions and leave you broken in the end. Life is utterly precious so youve
got to be rest assured that you and your loved ones are always on the safe side.

Basic Responsibilities of an Insurance Broker

It is the primary job of an insurance broker to attract potential customers and convince them to have themselves or their properties insured. As an insurance broker, it is also his task to collect the rate of the premium as the insured party issues the payment.

Selling of various insurance policies whether it be for the home, for a vehicle, for medical or life needs and assisting the insured parties when it is time to claim their benefits during any disaster are among the basic responsibilities of an insurance broker.

Credit Card Charges and How to Avoid Them

It is one of the joys of the UK credit industry that prices of credit, and in particular of credit cards, have continued to fall over the past number of years. Today you can get zero per cent on balance transfers, and even zero per cent on purchases, offers that were simply unimaginable just a couple of years ago. This is all the result of increasing competition in the market place from alternative lenders and banks from abroad, particularly US banks. However, there are still many charges out there and it takes some care and consideration to make sure that you dont end up paying far more than you should for your credit cards.

The main charge associated with credit cards continues to be interest charged on outstanding balances. This is traditionally how credit card providers have managed to rake in the massive profits that they have become associated with. It doesnt take much research to discover that the interest rates on credit cards are among the highest on the market. While mortgage rates and personal loan rates can easily be as low five or six per cent, credit cards rates are easily over twenty five per cent. This is due mainly to the convenience and flexibility of credit cards as a source of needed money. If you find that you are carrying over large credit card balances from one month to the next, you are probably paying far more than you need to for your credit. The best way to remedy such a situation is to consolidate this credit.

Debt consolidation loans, typically secured over your home, offer far lower rates of interest. You can then reduce your outgoings to a single monthly figure that allows you to pay off the debt at a reasonable rate.

Another way to avoid credit card interest rates is to take advantage of zero per cent balance transfers. These can be great opportunities and are offered by credit card providers who are ever more eager to increase their market share and add you as a customer. You will benefit from low or zero per cent rates on any balances that you transfer over to the new card from other credit cards. A word of advice however is to make sure you close the original account. This avoids the temptation of racking up further spending and improves your credit rating by reducing the over all amount of credit available to you.

Other charges such as subscription fees are by and large a thing of the past. Some credit cards still charge annual fees on the basis that they offer other rewards or are more exclusive cards but the general advice these days is that you can get just as good results on cards that do not charge these fees so if you are paying a fee, perhaps you will want to switch to a card that is free in this sense.

Late payment fees and other penalties are incurred if you fail to keep up with your repayment obligations and you should make every effort to avoid these as they are completely unnecessary.