Posts tagged with "financial assistance"

graph via Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Four Retirement Risks that Could Undermind Your Planning

Few things feel better than to finally arrive at retirement confident about all the planning and saving you did to cause it to happen. It was decades in the making, but now it’s here, and you have years left of life to enjoy without having to worry about work. Unfortunately, you may not be out of the financial woods yet. A number of risks to your retirement strategy can still lurk even as you appear to have safely arrived at your post-work destination. Some of the most common ones include:

A Significant Market Drop Shortly Before or Early In Your Retirement

We all know that what the market gives, the market can take away. But a sudden market drop right when you are reaching retirement can be especially devastating. You have less time to make a comeback, especially when you are starting to withdraw from those accounts at the same time the market is giving you fits. Think of it this way. If you have $1 million, and take a 10 percent loss, that’s a $100,000 drop, taking you to $900,000. Now let’s say the market rebounds 10 percent. That means you recover only $90,000 of the $100,000. And if you had withdrawn some of the money to live on, you will recover even less. One way to at least partially avert this risk is to begin moving some of your portfolio into more conservative investments as you near retirement age. When you were relatively young and in the accumulation phase of investing, you could afford to take some risks. But now your investment strategy needs to focus more on keeping what you have.

Inflation that Reduces Your Spending Power over Time

 Even when it seems like you have enough money in retirement, it’s possible you don’t if you’ve failed to factor in for inflation. Let’s take a look at that $1 million again and say that each year you plan to withdraw 4 percent, or $40,000, for living expenses. That $40,000 won’t have the same spending power in year 10 of retirement as it did in year one. That’s why it’s important to account for inflation as you are creating your financial plan and trying to determine how much money you need for retirement.

Unexpected Medical and/or Long-Term Care Expenses

 As you age, health problems can emerge that could quickly drain your money as you pay for hospitalizations, expensive prescriptions, and numerous visits to specialists. At some point, you could require long-term care, which comes with a staggering price tag. The average cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is $7,756 a month, according to the Genworth annual cost of care survey. Genworth also reports that seven out of 10 people will require long-term care in their lifetimes. One option for planning for this is to purchase long-term care insurance, but there are other routes to explore as well.

Outliving your Assets

 People are living longer than ever, which is great, but longevity increases the odds that you could outlive your money. If you are calculating that you just need enough money for a 10 or 20-year retirement, you could be in for a surprise. For example, more than one in three 65-year-old women will live to be 90. For 65-year-old men, it’s more than one in five. Of course, many will live beyond 90. It’s best to expect a long life and plan your finances accordingly.

Conclusion

While all of these factors pose a significant risk to your retirement, a financial professional should be able to help you create a plan that will reduce some of your exposure. Retirement should be a time of enjoyment, not a time to fret over every dollar and how tomorrow could bring unpleasant surprises.

College Student illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Tutors Not Just for Kids

Tutors Are Not Just for Kids: They Help People Get Through College, Too!

Tutoring community, The Oxford Method, offers up tips to help people get through college

Many people tend to think of tutoring as being something for kids. Yet there are millions of college students who struggle and need help, too. In fact, according to EducationData.org, around 40% of undergraduate college students drop out before earning a degree. The website also reports that 30% of freshmen don’t make it to their second year of college. One of the main reasons that people drop out of college is that they struggle to keep up academically, followed by the stress, financial situations, and lack of campus connections. The good news is that there are things that can be done to help address the issues and keep on going.

“Millions of people dream of earning a degree, but when they begin struggling, they tend to leave,” explains David Florence, professor and founder of The Oxford Method, a community that offers tutoring services around the country. “The help is readily available, but many people are not aware of it. We want to change that, so we can help more people see their goals through.”

The Oxford Method is on a mission to share with the world that education is the great equalizer and an essential gift to the next generation. Its goal is to help more people stick with finishing their academic goals. Here are some tips it offers to college students to help them get through:

  • Stay organized. One of the most important things you can do is to organize your schedule. This way you won’t fall behind or feel as much stress. Use a good planner, plan ahead, make lists, set goals, and do things that will help keep you on the right path.
  • Become involved. Rather than feel that you are not connected at college, make a goal to connect. Choose at least one thing to become involved in, whether it’s a fun group, study group, club, or something else. Make the connection so you feel that you are not there struggling alone. This is especially important during this time when so many people are isolated with online education.
  • De-stress. When the stress of juggling everything becomes too much, that’s when many college students want to walk away. Make a commitment to yourself to reduce stress every week. To do this, you can take up hiking, meditation, yoga, or whatever it is that will help you to de-stress in a healthy way.
  • Get help. Those who are struggling academically should get the help they need, rather than fall behind, which will make them drop out. A tutor can help give you the one-on-one assistance you need to gain a better understanding of the subject or lesson and will help keep you on pace.
  • Be gentle on yourself. Many people get upset if they are struggling a little, and they beat themselves up over it. Learn to take things easy, go with the flow, and give yourself a break. Treat yourself how you would treat your best friend if they were in the same position.

“When you are struggling in college, it’s so important to know that there is help available,” added Florence. “No matter what subject you are having difficulties with, there’s a good chance that you can get the assistance you need and keep going. We are happy to be help college students around the nation continue meeting their educational goals.”

There’s good reason to finish college and earn the degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the more you learn, the more you tend to earn. Those with the highest educational attainment tend to make triple of those who just have a high school education. The average weekly earnings for someone with only a high school diploma is $712, compared to the average for someone with a bachelor’s degree being $1,173. Plus, the bureau reports that the unemployment rate is lower for those who have more higher education.

The Oxford Method has over 100 tutors around the country, covering all subject areas. They offer online tutoring, as well as in-person and in-classroom options. Their tutoring services are available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Instructors have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, with many of them having a master’s degree, PhD, and at least four years of teaching experience. The Oxford Method works with their nonprofit, Social Actualization, Inc., by giving them 10% of all profits. The funds are used to provide free computers, high-speed internet, and instruction to underprivileged families in urban and rural America. Plus, 40% of their instructors are PhDs, 40% have a master’s degree, and 20% have only a bachelor’s degree.

Subject areas include science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as business, social studies, psychology, English, history, public speaking, study methods, test taking, and more. To get more information about The Oxford Method, visit the website.

About The Oxford Method

Started in 2020, The Oxford Method has over 100 instructors who provide access to tutoring 24/7. It also has a nonprofit sector of its community, which offers tutoring services and computers to underprivileged students. Its relationship-based education helps everyone, including those who need financial assistance and those with special needs. It donates 10% of its profits to social organizations that help those in urban areas. To get more information about The Oxford Method, visit the website.

What Can You Use a Loan For, Anyway? 

Loans are something that a lot of people are looking at and considering nowadays. There are so many ways to work with them and, on top of that, they are available for so many things. But, what can you use a loan for, anyway? Are there certain things that you need to adhere to? 

Finding the right loan for your situation is paramount, but only after you know what it is that you need it for. Here are some of the most common uses you’ll find for loans of all types. 

Emergency Situations 

Emergencies happen, and there are a lot of things that can come alongside of them. Money is often involved in those situations, and it can be difficult to get the money that you need in order to ensure that you are taken care of. That being said, how can you know that you can actually get money? Emergency loans are one of the top ways to sort this out. 

If bad credit is an issue, companies like LetMeBank can also work with you to help you find emergency loans that you can get with poor credit. You can talk to experts and see what they have to say, and many times, they can give you a pretty solid idea of what it is that you can do and how you can proceed with your plans. 

Home Repairs and Upgrades

Home repairs and upgrades are really common reasons that someone may want to go ahead and get a loan. Many times, you may be looking at a lot of different things that you can get your hands on; home improvement loans can make it easier to pay for home repairs. It’s a lot better to get a loan for home repairs and upgrades than paying out of pocket, even if you have it available. Home repairs and upgrades often end up costing more than what you’re expecting them to. So, getting a loan means that you can cover everything and, if something unexpected comes up, then you can tap into the money you have saved. It can also help your credit score if you do it right. 

Educational Opportunities

Want to take a class or workshop, and expand your learning so that you can get ahead in your career? Maybe you’re looking for options that can help you to get the results that you deserve for your work environment? No matter what sort of educational opportunity you may be pursuing, there is likely some way for you to get money in order to get it done. 
Some banks can help you to find educational opportunities that make sense in your context and allow you to work it out in a way that helps you to get ahead. On top of that, they may have special loans with low interest payments that are meant especially for you and the goals that you have. You just need to let them know what it is that you’re going to be paying for with it. 

Getting a New Vehicle

While some people have the ability to go ahead and pay for a car with cash, most ordinary people are going to need some more help to make things happen. Car loans are some of the most common loans that people end up taking out, mainly because of just how much those end up costing. 
Even people shopping for used vehicles may need to check out car loans. They come in all sizes and, in many cases, you can get preapproved for a car loan. 

Consolidating Debt

If you have a lot of debt, then you may be looking at the options you have for consolidating everything. The fact of the matter is, there are a lot of different loans that can help you to look at your debt and work out the details around it. Loans are a great option because they often have lower rates than your other debt does. And, on top of that, you may find it easier to pay your monthly payments. 
Knowing whether or not you need a loan is the first step in determining if a loan is right for you. But, you’ll also have a much easier time making decisions if you have some sort of idea around what it is that you want to try and accomplish. See what you can find, learn as much as possible, and know that you can get a loan that works for whatever it is that you may need.