Tuesday, April 24, 2012

There are basic things that we all need to do at various stages of our lives. Yes we all need a skill, get a job, meet a companion, live somewhere, accumulate money or assets, retire then die. It is the American way of a full and hopefully satisfying life. The problem is in how we get to these stages in our lives without harming ourselves and others around us. How do we get through life successfully? Times have changed.
Luckily, we are all off the hook in terms of responsibility till we reach 18 years old. If we mess up before 18, we can blame the parents after all that is the only stage of our lives when they can order us around and get away with it. It is also the best and most free days of our lives. At age 14 we can be as big as an adult, have big opinions about everything and not have to do anything because technically we are still a kid. We get everything we want because we are too young to get a job so, all the cash comes from Mom and Dad. We can go everywhere but we can’t drive so no responsibility there with having to worry about killing someone while driving.
What we can do during our teens is start a profile about us on Facebook. Forget all the other social media, Facebook has clawed itself to the top of the “ Who is that person?” chain to the point that the people who wish to employ you, look you up on Facebook first and then maybe contact one of your carefully selected references.
So, lets start with your e-mail address for contacts. Before you select a name, remember you will have to put that name on job applications. So, change “Sweet Cheeks 24/7” as your name, to something more conservative girls. And guys, ”Beer Chugger 123” is not a good name either. Yes , those names are fun but do you really need a wacky name to represent you?
Here you are ready to go to college and need a scholarship. There are many scholarship programs that are going on Twitter and Facebook and they look at what you have written and what you have shown to the world that represents who you are. If there is anything written on your Facebook pages that can be considered risky or off color or wild and crazy, you just may be denied a scholarship because of what you decided to show on your social media pages. So, you have to be very careful how you present yourself to the world.
Now you are older, you’ve gotten married or you have had a child; maybe you are a single parent. You are concerned about the financial future of your child if something happens to you. So, you want to be responsible and get a term life insurance policy and leave your child as the beneficiary of that policy. Hey!! WAKE UP! Your child is a child. Minors can not inherit money. So, If you die, especially single parents, do you really think your baby or 4 year old will get cash? NO. It will go to a blocked account.
What you should do is have the beneficiary on the life insurance policy be a living revocable trust where someone is NAMED to take care of the money for your minor child. So, look around at all times of your life for someone you can trust with your child and the money you wish to give that child. The name you put on that policy worth thousands of dollars is the one person that will make sure your child has that money to be used for your kid.
Ok! You are still alive. The kids have grown up and now have their own worries in their lives. You own a home and you are approaching those retirement years. If you are 45 years old or older and you expect to live in that home for the rest of your life, what should you do? If you want to catch up, pay down the mortgage of your home so that by the time you retire, which can be anywhere from age 55 to 65, you can possibly do that. The goal is to have more money in your later years because you will have more expenses.
If you do not intend to stay in your home forever then do not pay down the mortgage of your current home. The sacrifice you make to just give chunks of your money to the bank won’t matter much. You will just recalculate the balances during the property transfer. So, whatever stage you are in your life, take care of the important stuff.

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