Jennifer_Warren Archive

How Divorce Affects Your 401(k)

A Couple Going Through DivorceThe distribution of assets during divorce proceedings go farther than bank account holdings and household income. To reasonably split the finances accrued during the course of your marriage, you also have to deal with the finances you put in your 401(k) accounts. Your divorce attorneys in Denver, Colorado will explain the protocol in your state, but you can thoroughly understand the procedure by knowing how courts split it for couples.

1. Decide Between Marital and Separate Property

When dividing your 401(k) accounts, the first step is to identify the total finances you both put into the account during the marriage. The courts won’t really consider finances deposited before the marriage eligible for sharing to both parties. Generally, assets that either of the spouses owned before the marriage, such as 401(k) funds, are separate property. On the other hand, if both of you contributed to the 401(k) accounts during the marriage, then you will most likely divide the finances.

2. Estimate the Splitting of Shared Assets

The state where you live will conclude how to split your whole assets throughout the divorce proceedings. Most community-property states will divide the 401(k) funds that qualify as marital property evenly among the parties. In equitable distribution states, however, the judge could choose to divide the assets in a different manner for they would rather look at the big picture.

3. Finalize the Division Through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order

Besides acquiring a properly accomplished divorce decree, your lawyer should complete and present a qualified domestic relations order concerning your retirement account. This order will specify that the account should be divided based on the divorce order. As soon as the account administrators and judge approves it, they will place your name on the 401(k) as an additional payee.

With the above process, you will be able to claim the retirement property owed to you during the divorce. Ensure that you take your time in maneuvering the allocated 401(k) plans to protect you financially in the future.

Are You Buying the Right House in Brisbane?

Buying a Brisbane PropertyBrisbane is one of the most liveable cities in Australia. It's easy to overlook Brisbane when you’ve set your eyes on the bustling city of Sydney or the quaint and sentimental Melbourne. Through the years, Brisbane has created an image of being relaxed, laid-back, casual and not short on any cultural activities. However, when buying a property, you still need to make sure you get your money’s worth. Here’s how.

Decide on how far you want to be from the CBD.

If you're single or married without children, and you're moving to Brisbane for that job in the CBD, look in–or at least near–the centre. If you want to live in the suburbs, make sure you’re not off the grid, and that everything you need is accessible.

Investigate the property and the area.

You may have found the house you think is perfect for your family. Should you get it right away? No. Take time to investigate and uncover everything–the good and the bad.

Ask the owner why they are selling the property. If you don’t get a straightforward answer, it might be a red flag. This is the time to dig deeper. For instance, you may find out that it’s prone to floods. If this is something you don’t want to risk, move on and continue your search.

Get a property valuation.

Make sure you're paying for market value. Even if the house is within your budget, this doesn’t mean you're paying right. Usually, sellers get the service of property valuators to know how much their property is worth. However, it’s best if you double-check through professional valuation. A certified property valuator will factor in attributes such as location, building condition and local council zoning.

Find out more about the community.

The house, the location and all the technicalities are not the only factors. You're buying it so you can live in it. You'll want to look into the neighbourhood and the community more closely.

Do you feel safe living there with your family? How active is the community when it comes to family and cultural activities? Also, consider whether you're a perfect fit.

Buying a property isn’t as easy as pointing where you want to be on the map. It's not enough that it's only a four-hour drive from Bundaberg or the Mon Repos Turtle Rookery. It's going to be your home, so you need to feel at home.

A Borrower’s Primer on Car Title Loans

Car Title LoanDo you own a car and have recently found yourself in a tight spot in terms of finances? If so, then you should still consider yourself fortunate because you can place a lien on a vehicle you own. There are many lending agencies out there offering loans with cars, trucks, ATV, and motorcycles as collateral.

Read on to learn more about how you can use your car title in case of a financial problem.

The Typical Process

Your credit history is typically not considered when applying for a car title loan. Apart from the vehicle title, you have to submit official documents, including valid identification cards, proof or residence, proof of income, and in some cases, vehicle insurance. The amount you need can be yours within a few hours if you willingly surrender the title of the vehicle to the lender. For borrowers applying for short-term title loan from lenders like UtahMoneycenter.com, creditors usually associate the vehicle title loan with a high interest rate.

You get the vehicle’s title back as soon as you pay the full amount borrowed plus interest. Failure to repay results in loss of the car or truck because the lender has the right to repossess it. Make sure you understand this part of the deal.

Your Vehicle as Collateral

Your car has a specific value and the lender will name this amount after conducting careful inspection of the vehicle. While the title is theirs, you get the money you need and retain use of the vehicle. You have to pay back the loan according to the schedule specified on the contract. It is important that you are completely aware of the time you can get the title back. Some companies may impose a penalty when it comes to this.

These days, you may find yourself in sudden need for fast cash. If there is an emergency in the family and a huge amount of money is required immediately, your vehicle title can serve as collateral. Know your rights and responsibilities before signing on the dotted line and handing over the title to the lender.

Money Management for Businesses: What You’re Doing Wrong

money managementMoney, cash, capital – no matter how you call it, this resource is what keeps your business running. If you don’t manage it right, you’d be in big trouble. Forbes reports that 90% of startups fail – and the last thing you want is to be part of that statistic.

How? It all begins with proper cash flow management. You have to take a second look at the way you run your business and make sure you are not doing any of the following:

Incurring High-Interest Debt

Don’t depend too much on credit cards when running a business. Although these pieces of plastic seem practical, the sky-high interest rates can bite you from behind. Once you have your company up and running, do your best to stabilize the cash flow.

Of course, there are times when borrowing money is inevitable. In such a situation, it helps to look at your options. ProvincialBank.com suggests looking at commercial and SBA loans. Consider credit cards as a last resort to avoid those high interest rates.

Giving in to Impulsive Purchases

At one point, you will have to acquire assets for the business. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t buy new equipment or transfer to prime locations out of impulse. You have to rethink what you’re doing. Before you say yes to a new expense, ask yourself these questions first:

  • What are the benefits of this purchase for the business in the long run?
  • Are the company’s finances stable enough for such an expense?

Remember that when you’re still starting, the most purchase-worthy assets are those that generate positive cash flows. Anything else can wait until your finances are no longer shaky.

Allocating Resources Disproportionately

Think twice before allocating your resources. Although some areas of the business require more capital, you have to avoid allocating too little or too much to all the other aspects of the venture. Make sure that every side of your business has the right amount of resources to function properly.

Failing to Make a Cash Flow Projection

How do you foresee the finances of the company a few months from now? If you have no clear answer to this question, you might want to revisit your cash flow projection. If you don’t have one, it’s time to consult experts about it. Not having any knowledge on possible future expenses makes you vulnerable to other unforeseen circumstances that may ruin your business’s resource allocation.

The financial stability of your business depends on whether or not you’re guilty of these blunders. Review the way you handle your capital to ensure that your company remains afloat and growing.

Beyond Generosity: Why You Should Donate Regularly

Donating goodsDonating goods, money and services does not only help the beneficiaries of charities, but also the people donating. That’s why big corporations have set up their own charities and foundations—non-profit organizations have value when it comes to big businesses.

According to America’s Car Donation Center, American families usually donate around 4.7% of their discretionary income to charity. You can donate much more and get even more benefits from giving. You can get the same (kind, but not scale) financial, psychological, social and mental perks from giving to the charity of your choice:

  • You Get Tax Deductions

While this adds a little more paperwork, you can enjoy tax benefits when donating cars, money or any property to charity. Just make sure you keep the acknowledgement receipt or the documentation for the donation so you can get deductions for the year.

  • You Get to Help the People You Want to Help

A lot of citizens complain that they never feel where their taxes are going or that the government isn’t spending enough to help cancer patients or victims of abuse. When you donate, you get to choose the charity you want to receive the goods or money. These charities always release breakdowns of how they’ve used the funds or property they’ve collected so you can feel like you helped the people you really think need more help.

  • You Build Contacts and Networks

Fundraisers and fund drives are great ways to meet new people who can become business associates, clients and even suppliers. This is especially true when you volunteer as a professional—you get to meet other people in the industry that can connect you to more opportunities and experiences to enrich your life.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to donate money all the time. You can continue donating cars (even if it needs repairs) and most especially your time in volunteerism.

Buying a Land: 3 Important Things to Consider

buying landIt is easy to see why many more people would rather buy land and build a new home instead of getting property with a structure that already exists. A vacant lot offers plenty of opportunities to build according to specific requirements, and gives homeowners total control over the orientation, design, and layout of the property.

If you are thinking of building a house, you need to decide whether you are going to buy the land first and then find a design that can fit the area, or vice versa. To help you get started, here are a few important things to consider when buying land:

Location

Take note of the availability of schools, shopping centres, clinics and hospitals, parks, and others when buying land for sale. Melbourne homebuilders suggest making sure property is located in an area close to conveniences and amenities. It is important to select a location that you will be comfortable and happy living in for years.

It is also best to consider the costs of connecting and maintaining services such as electricity, water, gas, electricity, and sewerage. You should also try to picture what the area or suburban area will look like after several year and assess if it will still be ideal.

Site Evaluation

Land evaluation is important to identify any necessary site modifications. Consider the trees and determine if they have to be removed before getting started. Removing trees can be a little expensive and will require council permission. It is also important to remember that sites near creeks and dams may have building restrictions.

Find out if the site is prone to flooding, as it may be difficult to get insurance or financial help. Moreover, assess the natural feature of the site to take advantage of the maximum energy efficiency and build an eco-friendly and energy-saving house.

Building Limitations

Hire a surveyor to determine the actual boundaries of the land. You should also ask your local council about property boundaries and zoning. Identify the easements for services and agreements that will limit your building material and house size. Check in with the local council if you would like to subdivide the property.

Learn more about land restrictions and limitations before purchasing one. Seek help from property experts to select the best land that will suit your needs and special requirements.