Category Archives: Finance

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5 Factors That Influence the Interest Rates for Your Home Loan

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Interest is a big part of your monthly repayments, especially early on in the life of your home loan. If you want to save money during the life of your loan and obtain lower monthly repayments, you need to find the lowest interest rates available.

Once you know which factors influence available interest rates, you should take steps to improve your chances of getting the best rates. Start by comparing loan options from the top lenders in Australia. Using an online lending platform, such as Canstar, Lendi or Rams, you can compare loan products from over 30 major lenders.

As many factors influence interest rates, comparisons provide the perfect way to find the most favourable rates.

Several factors impact the interest rates presented to you. By understanding these factors, you may be able to improve your financial situation and find lower rates for your new home loan.

  1. Your Credit Score

Your credit score is one of the most significant factors that impact the available interest rates. Lenders look at your credit score to determine how reliable you are when it comes to paying loans and debts. Lenders see bad credit as a sign that you may neglect your monthly repayments and possibly default on your loan.

While you may not get denied for a home loan due to your bad credit, lenders are likely to offer higher interest rates.

  1. Location of the Home

The area of the home may also influence interest rates. For example, some lenders may offer lower interest rates in individual states or neighbourhoods. Sometimes, you may find that you get a lower interest rate for a home in a rural area compared to a home in an urban area or vice versa due to the current market conditions or economic factors.

  1. Property Value and Loan Amount

Lenders also look at the value of the property and the amount of the loan when determining interest rates. However, these details can vary from lender to lender. Some lenders may offer higher interest rates for a smaller loan, while others offer higher interest rates for a larger loan.

  1. The Amount of Your Deposit

The amount that you have available for a deposit also impacts the interest rates. If you have a small deposit, you will likely end up with a higher interest rate.

Your deposit also impacts your chances of getting approved for a home loan. Lenders often require that you deposit at least 20% of the property’s value. If you have a small deposit or no deposit, you may pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI), which is insurance for the lender in case you default on the home loan.

  1. The Loan Term

The final major factor that helps determine interest rates is the loan term. This is the length of time that you choose to pay off the loan. The most common loan term in Australia is 25 years.

You can typically expect lower interest rates when you choose a shorter term. However, the shorter term also results in higher monthly repayments. The advantage to the shorter term is that you will pay less interest over the life of your loan.

 

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Dining with Nemo in the Maldives

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The Maldives is a true world class diving destination. There are literally hundreds of amazing dive sites, pristine reefs and unbelievable variety of marine life, to explore on your luxury yacht charter Maldives. But you don’t have to be a diver to enjoy the underwater views in the Maldives; there are several 5 star resorts that have underwater restaurants, where you can watch the turtles, sharks and angelfish as they glide past All in all, and an incredible experience.

The world’s first undersea restaurant was opened in 2005 at the Conrad Hotel Rangali, about 100 km north of Male. The restaurant name is Ithaca, which means “mother of pearl” in the Maldivian language, and this all-glass structure sits 5 meters below the ocean surface, offering a 270-degree panoramic view of the clear blue Maldivian waters.

The An Antara Resort Kiawah also has an underwater restaurant, complete with an extensive underwater wine cellar to choose from, and an almost 360-degree view of the surrounding ocean

A Maldives yacht charter is an unforgettable experience and many Island Sailors guests take the opportunity to have lunch or dinner at one of these amazing restaurants during their sailing holiday in the Maldives.

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Challenges of Leadership in the Global Scenario

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The word Leader comes from ‘ Lord’, which meant, in Old Norse, the course or path of a ship at sea. The leader was the captain, who in Viking days was usually the steersman and navigator as well. Now, whether one is the leader of a nation, of a business, or of an educational institution, one has to keep in mind the fact that the world is shrinking and/or, rather, our world is expanding beyond perceived horizons. In the multi-cultural and cross-cultural environment we work in, dynamic leadership qualities are in order and our perception of leadership qualities are subject to change. Not only are the autocratic, democratic and free-rein leadership styles fast becoming irrelevant they are becoming anachronisms.

Leadership is now, more than ever before, facing several challenges. Never has the world been more interdependent; never before has the behaviour of one individual or group had such crucial consequences for others. Now is the time when all resources available to us must be mobilized to cope with the drastic, all encompassing changes taking place with lightning speed all around us Technological developments have created snow-balling problems in the lives of every human being. Tensions of energy crises are felt everywhere. Adolescents are in turmoil throughout the world. A pervasive sense of fear, confused values and beliefs, alienation felt by many individuals and groups, and the powerlessness of the individual against a power structure too big to comprehend, loom large. The society is in a state of flux and the lack of firmly rooted values is creating a feeling of setting up ones settlements over shifting sands. A society with empowering leadership, not intimidating leadership, alone can counter these problems, and produce and sustain a generation that can stand the onslaught of all perils that besiege the society. A new approach to understanding empowerment is called for to deal with the situation.

What is empowerment? Though the term may mean many things to different people, broadly defined, empowerment is that capacity to feel from within that you are in control of your life and decisions, and given the fact that there are constraints, within which you have certain freedom to think, feel, speak and behave in ways that put you at ease. An empowered person acts purely at his or her own discretion and will, and does not act under traditional dictates, or restrictions imposed by internalized concepts or by others, that cripple ones very right to live as a free human being.

Now, leaders are not working with employees sitting in one office, selected personally by him or her, nor do the employees perform specific assigned roles. With offices spread all across the globe, employees selected by local recruiting agents, or bodies who may or may not understand your organizational vision or goals, and performing multi-tasking non-stereo-typed roles in an environment when leveraging skills has become the need of the hour, a new type of approach towards leadership is needed with cognitive development at its heart. It is an undisputed fact that there is no dichotomy between the cognitive and affective domains The new approach offers the leader the wherewithal for creating a sense of harmony, of order, of sheer joy of living, thus freeing employees from the overwhelming odds of an impersonal society. It also provides a modus operandi for each person to build a sense of her own power as an individual. The leader’s awareness of the cognitive processes that affect our communication would offer a rich store of resources for positive attitude and value building, and impact on the way we relate to ourselves, and to each other. For, this impact alone can bring about empowerment of human beings. A leader realizes that he cannot empower people. He only nurtures conditions that create it – cultivate the conditions of empowerment.

An effective leader constantly bears in mind the impact of communication on empowerment. He is acutely aware of the fact that this approach helps us to search for an understanding in an age when understanding is obscured by upheaval; that it opens to us a range of alternatives, and makes possible the comprehension of the forces that impose themselves upon us and encourages us to examine those forces, evaluate them and change them if required. Such an approach to communication must be based on meaningful study of cognitive processes. Searching, examination and evaluation are cognitive acts that are very crucial to a leader. These processes help the leader to let his employees know that even in a situation where the individual seems powerless there are some choices that are open to them. They help the employees to know there is freedom for us to make decisions about those areas of choice. They help them to know what forces they should grant authority to take over their lives and what forces to reject. These processes bring order to a world of chaos and encourage a sense of autonomy. This process connects the employee meaningfully to the corporate world.

Satraj Singh, Managing Director of FMC- Rallis India Ltd says: “A leader is a teacher but I make sure that I don’t become a preacher. That is an art. I pass on as much as I can through examples, stories. I don’t directly ‘tell’ people what to do. I dare not cite from my personal repertoire of experiences. I don’t simplify to provide all the solutions. I try to make people arrive at alternatives”

An intuitive leader understands that every individual assimilates from and accommodates to, the people or events in the environment. These processes are progressive. The individual also differentiates and categorizes, generalizes and classifies, isolates and identifies several people and experiences. But these processes constitute knowledge. This knowledge is not imparted or transmitted. It is constructed by the individual and there lies the difference. Every individual constructs it in different ways for different reasons. A good leader is able to make her colleagues understand that the consequences of the different constructs vary, and make them see how the cognition and the resultant communication, and empowerment that ensue are interdependent. The leader also helps individuals to evolve ways of effecting intrapersonal and interpersonal communication that could empower themselves and others. A good leader perceives that everyone cannot have every strength and together their strength increases in exponential proportions.

Narayana Murthy, the Founder Chaiperson of Infosys Technologies, knew the strength of the six people with whom he started his Infosys. ” Nandan is good coomunicator, he is probably the best articulator of idea. Raghavan is a great humanist. He is a people’s man. Gopalakrishnan is a great technical person. Dinesh and Ashok are good technical project managers. Above all, they are good human beings. There was a tremendous synergy in the value system” He read the business situation accurately as well. He saw the business opportunity in off-shore development, a concept that was unknown: to create a software supplier leveraging Indian skills and targeted at overseas markets He saw the sustainable competitive advantage.

An empathetic leader realizes that cognitive development of an individual has its origin in childhood. He also does not lose sight of the fact that that the same objects or situations do not provide stimulus for assimilation and accommodation to every person. Every man and woman has, as a child, gone through several experiences and subconsciously imbibed certain patterns of thinking, self-talk and interpersonal communication. Thus, in a given situation, where one person feels totally at ease and empowered to handle, another person feels incapacitated and powerless. That is why we often find that different people operate effectively at different stress levels and the last straw that breaks the camel’s back may be the hundredth for one, while it may be the very third for another.

Sharon Drew Margon who has changed sales paradigm with her book Sales on the Line, which promotes buyer-focused, service-based sales, recounts her experience when she had to ask a corporate client a candid question: “How do you function at work each day when you leave your heart at home?” The client talked about his war experiences, which made him do bad things to good people and how he was led to believe his goodness could hurt people. This embittered person changed overnight and began to develop a humane approach towards the people at work.

A transcending leader finds out what makes the employees feel empowered or disempowered ; the kind of childhood they have had, the inputs they have received; their experiences, whether they perceive themselves to be empowered or helpless; if they feel responsible for whatever happened in their life or if they perceive themselves to be mere tools in the scheme of things that were destined to happen anyway; and if they happen to assume responsibility for the developments in their lives, if the feeling is healthy or guilt-ridden; and conversely, if they feel they are merely taken along a current and have absolutely no power to control the events in their life what makes them think so; the social values they have learned in the cognitive and emotional experience of their social interaction, their awareness about them, the contradictions that exist in value systems. She knows that she has neither the time nor the freedom to delve into the personal histories of employees. Yet, the very recognition that there are individual differences in human responses to situations and these have to be accepted as natural, and there is no room for being judgemental, develops qualities of empathy. As long as the organizational goals are met, these differences should be conceded to. An effective leader impinges upon his colleagues that thinking affects the way a person communicates with himself or herself and the quality of this intrapersonal communication determines his or her own confidence level and how empowered he/ she feels in different situations. She helps employees transcend personal tragedies or inhibiting forces and become self-reliant.

A creative leader realizes that people in a given environment feel in control or helpless according to the kind of communication they receive. The leader recognizes that there are set social and management practices, perhaps very discrete and not directly communicated or consciously thought or exercised, which are detrimental to empowerment of people. In a given situation the range in responses to life varies according to the individual’s sensitivity to problems, ability to identify, and insightfulness, and consequently the coping mechanisms. The leader works on these subtly and redefines the paradigm from which the employees operate so that they feel empowered. Here one may recall what John.F.Kennedy had to say when a reporter asked him: ” Sir, now many people who were your bitter enemies have become members in your cabinet. It is very strange? One destroys ones enemies.” Kennedy replied: “My dear friend, the moment these people became my friends they ceased to be my enemies. Now where are the enemies I have to destroy? He had changed the whole paradigm of peration to be able to perceive this.

A good leader never takes any occasion he gets to communicate with the colleagues lightly and goes unprepared for a meeting or gathering or even a casual get-together. The leader uses every such occasion to build rapport. The feelings may be genuine, the thoughts deliberated and well-planned, but if the medium is not well-formulated, communication fails. Anu Aga’s approach of ‘inducting more humane treatment , openness and sharing which included confrontations and facing upto vulnerabilities, to bring out the authentic person or build one in the process’ shows this meticulous and caring approach that finally proved very effective.

A sensitive leader makes certain that she listens twice as often as she talks. She truly hears what her colleagues want – what they desperately hope to make her understand, appreciate and include within the vision. A leader never allows any barriers to come in the way for people reaching out to her .A leader may believe in hierarchy and there may be a protocol in every organization and insist that people should not by-pass authority. However, the leader also sends a message clear and loud, that any suggestion and grievance can be sent to him or communicated to him if the need is felt by the concerned person. Wherever personal intervention is necessary, she does the needful to ensure that every employee feels that the mechanisms to ventilate grievances are active in the organization and does not feel suffocated.

Russi Mody used the principal management technique of holding regular informal open air meetings followed by tea. Selected questioners are encouraged to even step upto the microphone and speak out their points in public. He gives opportunity for criticism. The humblest worker is free to address the Chairperson.

Leaders should be enthusiastic, energetic and positive about the future. This may not change the context of work, but certainly these qualities do make work more meaningful. A leader should have a dream about the future. He must be able to communicate the vision in ways that attracts and excites members of the organization and encourage the employees to partake in the fulfillment of the vision. Leaders must find some greater sense of worth in our day-to-day working life. This attitude of looking at a job as a calling, motivates colleagues. Intentional modeling is essential for focusing people’s attention, energy and effort on the expected behaviours until such actions become standard operating procedures – part of the daily stream of activities. ” I try to lead by example, by being what I want privates to be. I expect as much out of them”, so says Sergeant Jill Henderson, the first woman to win the Army’s Drill Sergeant of the Year award. She demands of her people what she demands of herself. Leaders should empower employees. The leader should exercise the positive face of power. This requires a great deal of sensitivity to others. Researchers note that the ability to understand other people’s perspectives is the most glaring difference between executives who make good and those who derail. Arrogance, aloofness, betrayal of trust, over-managing, or failing to delegate or build a team are fatal flaws.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. A good leader is aware of his powers, but never uses it indiscriminately. Neither to favour some partisan nor to punish a dissenting voice. Power is used only to delegate, organize, integrate, reward, recognize, and motivate – never to display what one can or cannot do. Building team spirit is the successful and effective way of inspiring leadership – not controling people by power and authority.

An effective leader is caring and shows the human side of a leader by genuinely caring about his people with a warm sense of humor. A leader is one who does not look at the colleagues as clerks, attendants, lecturers, professors , typists, clerks, nurses etc etc. A leader looks at each of them as human beings with a life of their own, a personality of their own, an individuality of their own. They genuinely care to help when a colleague is disturbed, sense when a person is in his elements and when he is not. They show concern in mild unintrusive ways, take out time to talk to the employees and understand their psyche.

An effective leader is fair, honest and consistent in his action and words. Getting extraordinary things done in orgainsations is hard work. To keep hope and determination alive, leaders recognize contributions made by individuals to make the climb for the organization possible. Leaders acknowledge individual merit and this they do consistently. They don’t forget to acknowledge some one’s achievements and recognize another. While celebrating the efforts of the entire group, individual contributions also should be recognized. For that a good leader identifies the inputs given by each team player and gives a pat for that in public. This honest and open admission earns rich dividends in the long run. Not only do you keep loyal colleagues, many more join in.
Gary Hruska, Vice President of Publishing Operations of GTE Directories narrates how a simple penny he gave playfully to an employee with the words “This is a discretionary award for your efforts” was proudly displayed and soon everyone began to crave for this recognition. This was the beginning of the Prestigious Penny Award. The power of acknowledgement is great.

In any effective long-term relationship, there must be a sense of mutuality. If one partner always gives and the other always takes, the one who gives will feel taken advantage of and the one who takes will feel superior. In that climate, co-operation is virtually impossible. To achieve co-operative goals, leaders must quickly establish a norm of reciprocity within teams and among partners. This sense of fairness, if neglected, can be disastrous.

An effective leader accepts criticism sportingly and admits when he is wrong. Even the chairperson’s pencil has an eraser on it. We all make mistakes. That is why they put erasers on pencils. Do not be afraid of admitting mistakes. We cannot be right all the time. The person who is right only sixty percent of the time can be a great success if he is quick to correct his mistakes the rest of the time. The best thing is, people really respect leaders who admit their mistakes quickly and gracefully. It is the mark of a big person. Even Mahatma admitted to “Himalayan blunders”

To conclude, an empowering leader would:

1. Explore certain ways and means of constructing meaningful and effective methods for intrapersonal communication and expunge one of disempowering self-talk.

2. Understand ways and means of devising methods for interpersonal communication that creates a healthy, empowering environment, so that every person in any formal or informal group feels totally in control of ones own life.

3. Recognize disempowering cognitive and communicative processes and social and management practices, and deconstruct them to build a healthy empowering environment.

4. With particular reference to marginalized communities and groups, examine the above with a view to establishing an empowering climate.

5. A good leader recognizes that by categorizing women as a class by themselves with different capabilities, distinct characteristics of its own and slotting them in water-tight compartments men are losing out on the opportunity to find equal partners in their endeavours and this, in turn, affects the contribution that could result from such coordinated and concerted efforts. This is a great loss that intelligent leaders should and can avert by changing the way we look at our equations.

6. A leader is sensitive to and allows individual differences, and, at the same time, integrates organisational needs, group needs and individual’s needs.

7. Integrate task-oriented approach with people-oriented approach wherein the following steps could help could be followed: Plan the Assignment, Brief and Initiate the Group, Help the Action, Provide Supportive Behaviour, Control and review Periodically, Provide Feedback and Information, and Constantly Evaluate and Update.

The basic credo for a good leader should be, as Sudhir Tilloo, the Indian Collaborator for the Japanese giant Hitachi Metals said: ” I need everyone; nobody needs me”

Why You Should Start a 529 Plan for Your Unborn Child

Why You Should Start a 529 Plan for Your Unborn Child

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In the last decade, 529 plans have quickly become a way for parents to help their children attend college. Not all 529 plans are the same, but some of them are high-quality high-class investments which are a great way to save money for your children’s education, even if they have not been born yet. We’re going to look at the example of New York’s 529 plan, and show why opening one of these accounts is a great thing to do.

First, the New York’s 529 plans are managed by Vanguard, which is a high-class high-quality investment company, and it’s a very well run company. Vanguard has one of the largest portfolios of mutual fund investments in North America, and they really have some good choices to pick for mutual funds.

Secondly, there are very low minimums and no fees. You can start with $15.00 to start the account and $15 for any investment. This is very competitive if you put $5000 a year away and only have to spend $15 to invest it, you’re doing a pretty good job relative to a lot of other investment options.

The New York 529 plan is especially beneficial to New Yorkers. Residents of the state can deduct up to $5000 in their state income tax, and the investment grows tax-deferred on top of the fact that they are exempt from income tax as long as the funds are used for an educational purpose.

A lot of 529 plans do not offer a lot of good investment choices. They vary from state to state, and they are certainly not all the same. You should carefully look into what options are available for investments inside the specific 529 plan you are looking at. In the state of New York, there are 15 individual mutual funds from Vanguard that you can choose from. Many of them are very good investment choices. The expense ratio starts at about 0.6% and decreases as more assets are added to the fund.

Finally, these accounts are extremely flexible. You can start out having the beneficiary as yourself, but you can change it to any member of the family at any time. If your children, spouse, or relatives are going through an education, you could withdraw the money and use it for their education without any tax consequences.

Since 529 plan benefits are now permanent, now is as good of a time as ever to start investing for your children’s education, even if they’re not born. The sooner you start the less money overall you will have to put in because of the power of compound interest! Good luck saving!

How To Upgrade To First Class Airfare On Business Trips

How To Upgrade To First Class Airfare On Business Trips

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Business trips are always stressful, and sitting in a cramped seat in coach just adds to your misery. Unfortunately, fewer airlines are offering upgrades to passengers, which makes getting first class airfare even more difficult than before. Unless you work for a company that offers first class tickets as a business perk — unlikely — you’ll have to find other ways to upgrade to first class airfare on business trips.

Have Your Boss Book the Flight

If you’re new to the world of business trips, you might ask your boss or an experienced administrative assistant to handle your travel booking. Often, when you work on the go for many years, you pick up tools of the trade that can get you first class airfare on business trips without batting an eye. This is especially true if your boss or a secretary has book flights with the same airlines for many years. They’re likely on a first-name basis with the personnel and will be more likely to be offered a free (or discounted) upgrade.

Ask About Company Discounts

Many companies — particularly oil and gas corporations — have business deals with various service providers. For example, Weatherford International Ltd., an oil service company, can get its employees discounts on airfare, rental cars, computers and tons of other products and services. Make sure you check with your human resources department to find out whether it would be cheaper to book your flights through the company or on your own.

Ask Specifically for Heavily Discounted Tickets

When you call the airline with which you want to book your business trip, be careful about how you word your inquiries. Asking for the lowest discounted airfare for first class will likely get you a much lower price than asking for airfare on its own. Rather than waiting to see if you’ll be bumped just before the flight, try to get a deal when you book your travel arrangements. This allows you to prepare for first class airfare rather than finding out at the last minute that you qualify for an upgrade. You should also be careful about bargaining away your miles — save that for a last resort.

Use the Smaller Airlines

Getting an upgrade to first class airfare on Continental or Delta might be a monumental feat, but if you use one of the smaller airlines, you’ll be more likely to get the upgrade you desire. This is especially true if you use the same small airline over and over again; they’re more appreciative of repeat business and will recognize your loyalty. Make sure to mention how often you fly when you ask about free upgrades, and don’t be afraid to try a different airline if your current one isn’t giving you the perks you deserve.

Take Advantage of a Long Business Trip

Many of the international airlines, such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, offer a middle ground that might be appealing on those long business trip flights. Rather than attempting to upgrade to first class airfare, consider taking the premium economy seats. This half-step between coach and first class offers roomier seats and more leg room to stretch out. It costs between four hundred and five hundred dollars more, but it’s worth it on a twenty-hour flight.

How To Write an Effective Hardship Letter

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Writing a hardship letter can seem like a difficult task, but once you know the proper elements to include in one, you can master this type of letter. If you look online for a hardship letter template, chances are that you will come across one that serves a specific purpose. However, in the case of a hardship letter, it is important that the content is not generic; the more sincere it is, the more likely it will be that your case is more heavily considered.

One major reason for writing a hardship letter is to request a loan modification on a mortgage. For homeowners who have come into unforeseen circumstances such as high medical expenses or loss of employment, this type of modification might be a necessity in saving their home. With that in mind, it is important to know what and what not to know in writing a hardship letter.

The main thing to keep in mind when writing a hardship letter – or any letter, for that matter – is to see it from the reader’s point of view. In the case of a loan officer, for example, chances are that they have heard every story and have become quite cynical of the stories to the point that any explanation simply looks like an excuse.

The first thing that you will want to mention in a hardship letter is your willingness to work with the company, bank, etc. You can start out by saying, “this is not a refusal or dispute of the charges, but rather an explanation of my financial circumstances.” Once you show that initiative it will be more likely that the reader will take the rest of the letter to heart.

The next thing you will want to do is explain what got you into your financial situation. Simply saying that you lost your job might make an unbiased reader think that you should rely on savings; therefore, they might think that losing your job and coming to them for help right away is financially irresponsible. In this section, you might say something like, “I recently lost my job of ten years, which also meant that I lost my medical benefits; shortly after the loss of my job I was hospitalized, and now I am dealing with the expenses associated with my stay.”

Another important thing right here is to mention every avenue that you have taken to avoid your financial situation. You might say, “After suddenly being laid off of my job which I held for ten years, I spent several months stretching the savings I had accumulated over that time. However, even after cutting back on luxuries like cable and Internet, I have now reached the point at which the remainder of my money can cover the basic necessities.”

An important thing to avoid is overly emotional language. While it will make friends and family sympathetic, it will not weigh in your favor with someone who does not know you personally; also, it is a given that your situation is an emotionally trying one. Make your case as objective as possible.

While you might extract a couple of applicable statements here and there from a form letter, the letter as a whole should flow naturally to make the reader feel like he or she is reading something that was well thought out rather than copied, pasted, and modified as necessary. This certainly is not an easy task, so if needed, consult professional writers for advice. Your willingness to compromise as well as a matter-of-fact and honest explanation of your circumstances can help you to gain the financial assistance that you need.

5 Best Investment Options For A Golden Retirement

5 Best Investment Options For A Golden Retirement

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To ensure that your retirement years are comfortable, it is worth your while to plan for it in advance. Apart from paying attention to logistics, also consider financial planning. This will help you fund your post-retirement lifestyle without any stress.

An important aspect of planning for retirement is choosing the right investments that will offer high returns in the future. Here’s a look at some investments that you can choose from.

  1. Company FDs:

When you are retiring it is important to invest in a safe option that offers you stable returns. While doing so, choosing to invest in a company FD over a bank can be rather beneficial with higher rates of interest. Furthermore, senior Citizen FDs can provide you an even higher rate of returns of up to 8.20% and provide high stability and credibility.

You can also choose between cumulative and non-cumulative FD interest options. While cumulative options offer you interest earnings along with your invested sum at maturity, the non-cumulative option provides you with periodical gains. Make the most of your savings by investing in the high yielding Bajaj Finance Fixed Deposit. This scheme provides you an attractive rate of return, flexible tenor and a higher interest upon renewal.

  1. Mutual funds:

Mutual funds offer good growth for your savings in the medium and long term. They are also a choice option as they allow you to choose funds based on your risk appetite. For example, you can choose equity funds, bonds funds or balanced funds that combine equity and bonds. Since mutual funds are managed by a professional pooling your investment with those of other investors, they offer you in-built diversification. Apart from that, they are easy to sell when you need money. Some tax-saving mutual funds like ELSS also allow you to save on taxes.

  1. Real estate:

With new real estate projects coming up at a rapid pace, this choice of investment is a prime investment option for retired persons. As a retiree, you can invest a sum of money in a property and then gain returns by renting out the property. This helps you receive a monthly sum of income to pay for various household expenses. You benefit from selling the property if the market booms. This can help you multiply your earnings tremendously.

  1. Government schemes like SCSS and POMIS

The government of India has introduced various schemes to enable retirees build wealth. Once of these schemes is the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme. This enables you to invest a sum of up to Rs.15 lakh for a fixed tenor of 5 years. Apart from this there is also the Post Office Monthly Income Scheme. With this option, you can invest a sum of up to Rs.4.5 lakh to mature over a fixed tenor of 3 years. This scheme pays interest in fixed monthly payouts. Another good option is investing in the National Pension Scheme. This is a scheme allows you to withdraw 25% of your contributions before you turn 60 years old. This allows you to access funds even before you are a senior citizen.

  1. Tax-free bonds:

Tax-free bonds are securities issued by the government for raising funds for various projects. Your earnings from these funds are not subject to any tax deductions, which makes them a great investment option.

However, these bonds have a lock-in of at least 10 years, so invest only a portion of your retirement savings into them, or time your investment so you can access your money at the time of retirement. These bonds offer a good rate of return up to 7%. Make sure you check the credit ratings on these bonds before investing to choose the safest ones.

Make you retirement years comfortable by choosing from these investment options. Remember to diversify your portfolio with different schemes maturing at regular intervals to fund your life after retirement more easily.

Also Read : The Complete Guide of Investing

What Is Hybrid Home Loans?

What Is Hybrid Home Loans?

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When you apply for a Home Loan, you are either offered fixed or floating interest rates! However, with the introduction of the Hybrid Home Loans, a borrower can easily enjoy the advantages of floating as well as fixed Home Loan interest rates.

Let’s provide some quick information on Flexi Hybrid Home Loan and make you aware of its insights.

What is a Hybrid Home Loan?

As the name suggests, a Hybrid Home Loan has a combination of fixed and floating interest rate. When you opt for a Hybrid Home Loan, a lender offers a fixed interest rate for initial years and subsequently floating rates may apply. For a Housing Loan with a tenor of around 10 years, you may have to pay a fixed interest rate for the first 2 years and floating rates for 8 years. The floating interest rate is calculated on the existing outstanding principal loan figure, and it may undergo modifications at quarters.

Is it Good to Apply for a Hybrid Home Loan?

Hybrid Home Loans are an ideal solution for borrowers not having the affordability of dealing with hostile changes in their monthly outlay during loan’s initial years. If you are a young professional who has just begun your career, it could help you. Why? It’s because having a fixed EMI helps in better financial planning. Hence, it helps borrowers to save and invest in other key areas.

What about the Risk of Availing a Hybrid Home Loan?

A Hybrid Home Loan is nothing but almost similar to standard housing loans. As a matter of fact, no direct or apparent risk is involved with it. Banks and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) promote such loans to compete with other teaser loans. As a result, you should always analyse the caps and margins if you are considering a housing loan. If you find both as low as compared to market standards, you may go for a Hybrid Home Loan.

How does Hybrid Home Loans differ from Teaser Loans?

The concept is simple to understand – every teaser loan may be considered a Hybrid Home Loan, but you can’t consider all hybrid loan as a teaser loan. Hence, if you are a first-time loan borrower, you may find it tough to make out the differences between the two and may be misleading. A teaser loan during the first 1 or 2 years is laced with a fixed interest rate, and it may be lesser than the current market rate.

Afterward, a high floating interest rate is applicable for the remainder of the loan tenor. You may see many banks, NBFCs and financial institutions offering teaser loans to lure customers. Hence, it is the duty of a loan seeker to go through the entire details of a loan before considering it to apply.

Can You Prepay the Hybrid Home Loans?

Since 2012, the National Housing Board and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have done away with prepayment charges on a Housing Loan with a floating interest rate. It clearly means that if a borrower is willing to prepay Hybrid Home Loans during the tenor with a fixed interest rate, a prepayment charge will be borne by him/her.

Are Hybrid Home Loans Financially Beneficial?

As you are now aware that a Hybrid Home Loan combines the benefits of fixed and floating Home Loan interest rates, it helps you curtail the effects of adversative fluctuations in the rates. What’s more, it also offers you to enjoy the benefits that initiate from the advantageous changes in these two loan rates.

The Bottom Line

You are now well-versed with the basics, benefits and other details of the Hybrid Home Loans; you can apply for it online after assessing your needs and affordability. All the best!

How To Get Bajaj Finserv Chartered Accountant Loan

How To Get Bajaj Finserv Chartered Accountant Loan

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The Bajaj Finserv Loan for Chartered Accountants is a unique financing option that is feature-rich and allows you to finance a range of professional and personal needs. It covers a suite of four loans: personal loan, home loan, business loan and loan against property. While the advantages offered are plenty, it is important to understand how to apply for CA loan, so you can do so with ease when the need arises.

  • Select one of the four loans from the suite of CA loans
  • Choose between a term loan and a Flexi Loan
  • Meet the eligibility criteria; submit the documents
  • Apply online or offline as per your convenience

Here are the steps you must follow to get a Bajaj Finserv Loan for Chartered Accountants.

Pick a loan as per your needs:

Do you want to finance an international holiday? Or do you want to boost your CA practice’s working capital or purchase new premises to expand operations? It is important to ask yourself what your need is and how much it will cost you before deciding on the loan. For example, to finance a holiday you can pick a personal loan, and to boost working capital you can take a business loan. To buy a new office for your firm, a loan against property will offer a higher amount of funds. So, evaluate your needs and the suite of four loans to pick the one that is right for you.

Meet the eligibility criteria for the loan:

Each of these loans has a set of eligibility criteria. It is important for you to match the criteria to ensure approval and get access to funds quickly. Bajaj Finserv makes it easy for you to qualify for this loan. You must have a certificate of practice for a minimum of 4 years and you must own a property in an area in which Bajaj Finserv operates. Then, all you need to do is collect a few basic documents that supplement your eligibility.

Decide an appropriate tenor:

This loan provides you the ability to select any tenor of your choice. So, you have the full freedom to select a short tenor to clear the loan quickly, or choose a long tenor to benefit from low EMIs and convenient repayment.

See if you have any unpredictable or periodic needs:

Whether you’re taking a loan to pay for expenses related to a wedding or to improve your firm’s cash flow, you may need funds at regular intervals or to tackle unexpected needs. In such a case, consider taking a Flexi Loan. Here, you can borrow funds in instalments from the total loan amount based on your needs. Pay interest only on what you use and pay interest-only EMIs if you wish to. You have the choice to repay the principal at the end of the tenor. This facility gives you more flexibility when it comes to utilising your loan amount in a more affordable manner.

Follow the application procedure of your choice:

Chartered Accountant Loan features both online application and offline application. You can choose any one depending on your convenience. Online application involves going through a simple 4-step process. Fill in the form, submit your documents, await verification, approval and disbursal of funds. A Bajaj Finserv representative will call you back. With this procedure, you can get approval for unsecured loans instantly with money in your account in 48 hours, and approval for secured loans in just 24 hours with funds in your account in 48 hours. Following these steps can help you raise finance in an instant using a Bajaj Finserv Loan for Chartered Accountants.

How Can You Arrange The Down Payment For A House?

How Can You Arrange The Down Payment For A House?

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People who often think of buying a household their thoughts to themselves due to high property prices. Some people think that buying a house might be easier by taking a home loan from the bank. However, the plan does not work because the bank only pays up to 80 percent of the loan amount. Rest of the amount has to be paid by the buyer. The rest of the 20 percent can be counted as the down payment. For instance, if the property is of INR 50 Lakhs, you have to pay INR 20 Lakhs on your own.

And according to the new RBI regulations, the stamp duty and registration amount of the property are not to be included in the loan amount. Including the stamp duty and the other expenses you might end up paying INR 30 lakhs for just the down payment. Still, INR 30 lakhs is not a small amount and might not be a piece of cake for everyone. You can still buy a house by availing a Personal Loan for home from the banks.

You can avail a Personal Loan for many things based on your credit score and banking history. There are some points that are to be kept in mind while applying for the down payment assistance loan. They are:

  1. The documents of the house: To approve the Personal Loan, the bank might ask you for the necessary documents of the property. The bank will verify the documents and if the documents are clear, the loan will be approved and sanctioned.
  2. The correct valuation of the house: After the submission of the documents, the bank will get a proper valuation of the house according to the market rate. This will be done in order to calculate the amount needed to be sanctioned for the Personal Loan for down payment.
  3. Credit Score: The credit score is one of the most basic and important things that is to be kept in mind while applying for a home loan. You need to have a good credit score to get your loan approved from the banks. If you don’t have a good credit score, the banks might not provide you the loan.
  4. The rate of interest: The rate of interest is an important factor to keep in mind while applying for a loan in a particular bank. The banks can offer different different Personal Loan interest rates. The rate of interest makes a big difference while repaying the loan to the banks. You can do a market survey for the best provider with a lower rate of interest.

You have to be very careful while applying for a Personal Loan for a home. While there are other options as well by which you can manage your down payment.

You can manage your home down payment by taking a loan from friends and family as they might not charge you interest on the amount and the period of the repayment of the loan is not set. You can repay them the loan before time and you will not be charged any pre-payment charges.

You can also manage you down payment if you have opted for Systematic Investment Plan (SIP’s). They would help you arrange your down payment amount, through the returns gained through mutual funds or purchased stocks. You can even sell the stocks and funds if the stock market is flourishing.

You can even withdraw from you fixed deposit amount or even avail a loan from any insurance policy. The disadvantage of withdrawing from a fixed deposit amount will result in charges. Whereas the insurance policies will provide the loan amount up to 85 percent.

Why Cats Spend Most Of Their Time Grooming Themselves?

Why Cats Spend Most Of Their Time Grooming Themselves?

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If you have ever lived with a cat or witnessed their demeanor you can tell they like to lick themselves a lot. The reason behind it? Well they are very self-aware in terms of cleanliness and self-grooming. You feline friend likes to keep itself clean and neat so that they can have a clear sense of smell. The cat likes licking itself in order to get rid of the debri on its fur.

Other than just simply trying to remove all the dirt on its body, the other reason why your pet has to lick themselves is nothing but thermoregulation that helps keep their body to a normal temperature in a hot weather.

Every cat has a pattern they like to follow when it comes to grooming. While some might like cleaning their neck and shoulders or paws, most cats don’t forget to clear their face once done eating. You would notice that every cat in this world like to keep their face, especially their whiskers neat and clean.

No matter where they go and where they are coming from, they will clean themselves up instantly. One of the other reasons why a cat likes grooming is a sign that they are comfortable in the environment they are in. Coming from the litter box, they will make sure they remove all the litter in their paws and their body. An observation has also pointed out that grooming is a displacement behaviour in cats. Where displacement behaviour means shifting focus from anything stressful to simply grooming themselves.

Should my cat’s excessive grooming bother me?

Not to scare you readers, but there might be times when you should be concerned about the excessive grooming your pet has undertaken to. Especially if you see it licking itself all over the body for more than 50% of the time during the day.

Why you should be concerned?

The reasons could be many ranging from skin infections to fleas, allergies, dealing with some sort of pain in their body and more.

Another observation of excessive grooming could be seen in male cats where you might find then licking their genitals more than often. This could be an indicator to a more critical problems as many vets suggest such behaviour arises when the cat is experiencing  some sort of urinary blockage. It can be hard to diagnose such problems on your own which is why visiting your nearest vet would be an ideal thing to do.

While excessive grooming is common in pets, if your feline friend is showing unusual signs you should consult a neighborhood vet immediately. If you wish to take your cat for professional grooming in New Braunfels, Texas then there are many options to choose from. A professional cat grooming parlor will ensure your cat gets the best care and a nice retreat.

What To Know About ACA and The IRS

What To Know About ACA and The IRS

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) formally Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and nicknamed Obamacare was enacted by Congress is 2010. The purpose of ACA is to ensure that all citizens and resident aliens of the United States have access to health insurance. This insurance may be purchased in most states through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

This plans includes tax provisions that affect individuals, families, businesses, insurers, tax-exempt organizations and government entities. These provisions impact how individuals and families file their taxes. Depending upon your specific circumstances, the Health Insurance Marketplace, health coverage providers and certain employers may provide certain ACA reporting forms to you to help you accurately report health coverage information for you, your spouse and any dependents when you file your individual income tax return. Health coverage providers, employers and the Marketplace will also file these forms with the IRS.

Here are some things you need to know about ACA and ACA reporting forms before filing your taxes:

Claiming Premium Tax Credits

Individuals who purchased coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace may be allowed to take the premium tax credit. During the open enrollment application process for health coverage through the Marketplace, most individuals requested financial assistance. The Marketplace uses information individual provide about their projected income, address, and family composition for the year to estimate the amount of the premium tax credit that the individuals would be allowed on their tax return. Individuals then had an option to have advance payments of the premium tax credit paid directly to their insurer to lower their monthly premiums. To be eligible for the premium tax credit, your household income must be at least 100 – but no more than 400 – percent of the federal poverty line for your family size, although there are two exceptions for individuals with household income below 100 percent of the applicable federal poverty line. Remember that simply meeting the income requirements does not mean you’re eligible for the premium tax credit. You must also meet the other eligibility criteria.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Under the recently enacted Tax Cuts and taxpayers must continue to report coverage, qualify for an exemption, or pay the individual shared responsibility payment. Qualifying health care coverage is also called minimum essential coverage. The IRS will not consider a return complete and accurate if the taxpayer did not:

  • Check the ”Full-year coverage” box on Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ, or submit Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions, claiming a coverage exemption, or
  • Report a shared responsibility payment on the tax return.

ACA Reporting Forms

There are two sets of information returns that employers and coverage providers must use to satisfy their ACA reporting form obligations – the Form1095-B and Form 1095-C. Employers and coverage providers must furnish Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to individuals for the 2017 calendar year by January 31, 2018.

Shared Responsibility Payments

If you do not have qualifying coverage or an exemption for each month of the year, they will need to make a payment with their return. Most people can claim exemptions from coverage when they file their tax returns, there are certain exemptions that must be granted in advance from the Marketplace. If a taxpayer has a pending exemption from the marketplace, they should wait until an approval or denial letter is received before filing their federal tax returns. Exemptions are filed using IRS Form 8965.

Depending upon your specific circumstances, the Health Insurance Marketplace, health coverage providers and certain employers may provide information forms to you to help you accurately report health coverage information for you, your spouse and any dependents when you file your individual income tax return. Health coverage providers, employers and the Marketplace will also file these forms with the IRS.

Why 1099 Processing Is Important For Your Business?

Why 1099 Processing Is Important For Your Business?

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If you think that your business is too small to file a 1099 form then you might be wrong, very wrong! Apparently, there are many misconceptions about these forms circulating out there as the process of filing a 1099 form is complex and is easy to misunderstand, which can ultimately land you in trouble. So, in this blog we will be talking about some of the common misconceptions business owners have regarding 1099 forms and why processing a 1099 from is crucial for your business.

Generally, a 1099 form is an information return that you send to the IRS stating a certain amount you paid to a vendor in the last calendar year. The IRS then uses it to cross check if that vendor has listed that income in his tax return. As a business owner, receiving a 1099 form is no big deal as long as you file all your generated income on your tax return.

While you may also think about filing a 1099 form as more of a hassle than a necessity, here are some not-so-good practices that you, as a business owner, must avoid at all costs –

My business is too small for 1099!

The most common misconception about a 1099 form is that only big businesses need to file it. If you have paid a total amount of $600 to your vendor in the last calendar year than you need to file it. Regardless of size, you are required to review your vendor payments and file appropriate forms when possible.

My vendor doesn’t want me to file a 1099 form!

We often come across this remark when consulting our clients. If you have paid more than $600 in the last calendar year, the only possible reason to not file a 1099 form for this vendor is if its a corporation or a LLC. We recommend requesting a W9 form – a W9 form allows vendors to communicate to your their legal name, address, social security number and clarifies what kind of business entity they are. Request a W9 form complete with all required info from all your vendors to clear the air as not issuing 1099 forms for the payments made to vendors will only put you in the danger zone, and not them if an audit occurs!

Remember, only corporations and LCCs are exempted from being issued a 1099 form.

There is just too much paperwork involved!

Yes, there is a lot of paperwork involved! You need to issue 1099 forms to vendors and you need to report 1099 forms issued to you to the IRS. But handling an insane amount of paperwork that make your head pain is not a viable reason to not be compliant. After all, you and your business will only be held liable if any discrepancy is found by the IRS while matching the 1099 forms to the tax returns.

Consider outsourcing the whole 1099 reporting process to our fully compliant 1099 processing service! We can handle all your 1099 reporting requirements with ease and have been doing it for the past 7 years.

6 Tips For Finding The Best Rental Apartment

6 Tips For Finding The Best Rental Apartment

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As most real estate brokers say, the secret to renting your dream apartment is to plan ahead, way ahead! So, don’t wait for the last minute to start looking for your next apartment to rent and save yourself from settling for an apartment that you don’t really like or want and being stuck with it for the next 12 months!

You need to stay ahead of the pack of other renters as over time, their numbers have only grown making it all the more difficult to find your dream apartment before anyone else signs it’s lease.

So, let’s look at some tips and tricks to get the apartment you like before anyone else gets their hands on it –

Start searching early in the month

Most renters start their apartment hunt in the second or third week of the month, making them the busiest if you are looking to rent an apartment. So, it makes sense to start your search in the first week of the month itself to secure a chance of getting your hands on the best properties available with the least competition from other renters. To broaden your choice even further, it’s advisable to start looking for a new apartment 60 days before you need to move to get the best results for your apartment hunt.

Begin online

Looking online for apartments available on rent is the most convenient way to begin your search and 90% of renters agree with this fact. Searching for apartments on Craigslist or related sites is great way to get a basic idea of the ongoing prices of properties available nearby.

Post on Social Media and ask your friends for help

A post on social media stating that you are looking for an apartment won’t hurt you in any way but the results it can reap for your apartment search is often underestimated. Asking your friends for help will open some new doors that probably wouldn’t have been possible if you were adamant on searching for apartments traditionally.

Make use of an expert

Real estate brokers specializing in rental properties will be more than happy to help you out free of charge. As different brokers have different kind of relationships with different buildings and their owners, the key is to find a broker dealing in the area of your preference.

Know your roommates

If you haven’t met your roommates before, knowing them beforehand is indeed important before moving in an apartment. As apartments mostly are rented out on a joint lease, you don’t want to pay the whole rent all by yourself if your roommates aren’t able to pay their share for some or the other reason. Ask for a separate lease from the landlord before you move in to get rid of the hassle.

Stay away from frauds

Last but not the least, stay away from online scams. If an ad on Craigslist asks you to provide your credit card details to pay an upfront payment to have a look at the apartment, stay away from it like the plague!

Check out our apartments for rent in Lafayette LA to give a perfect start to your next dream apartment hunt!

Types Of Diaper Bag : Which One Is The Best For You?

Types Of Diaper Bag : Which One Is The Best For You?

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It is completely a new phase of life when you go to market for purchasing diaper bag. Parents often get confused when it comes to choosing diaper bag for kids.

It is not easy to decide which one to choose as comfort is a major factor that one looks forward to. You wouldn’t able to handle the bag for long if you are not getting comfortable with the bag you are carrying.

There are various kind of bags available in the market which make parents confused in the selection process. It is not easy to get the clearer picture immediately but possible if one gets all the necessary information about the bags clearly.

In this article, i’m going to discuss types of diaper bags in the market and which one is the best for you :-

Tote diaper bags

Tote bags are the most popular form of bag which most of the parents prefer to buy. They are handy and bigger in size, you can keep kids and your stuff in a single bag easily. Looks bulky but has 2 handles to carry the bag over the shoulder, tote bags are available in different styles. Pick one which suits your personality best, although carrying can be an issue for some who don’t have a habit to carry on one shoulder.

Satchel Diaper Bag

Satchel bags are bit different from tote bags, they are smaller in size and designed in a shape of square. Two handles are provided with these bags but not big enough to carry on shoulder. These are usually carried by moms on elbow, ideal for them as it has few compartments to organise things.

Clutch diaper bag

If you are looking for a bag with a purpose to keep only the changing pad then you can consider this option. It is almost similar to the size of wallet, bit large in size than wallet. It has no handle, you can carry in your hand itself also ideal for those who want a small clutcher to keep inside the diaper bag for changing pads.

Messenger baby bag

It is in trend and looks stylish in comparison to all the other diaper bags available in the market. A fashionable bag with a comforting strap to hang the bag around the chest so that it goes down. It has two compartments (foldable) which are very much useful in case of organising stuffs.

Backpack diaper bags

It will put full stop to your research, if you aren’t get satisfied with all the other bags yet. It is handy, stylish, have compartments, room for your stuffs, space etc. weight gets distributed as you will be carrying on both the shoulders. Variety of styles available in the same to satisfy you even more.

Conclusion

Try to make a list of all the stuffs that you usually carry with yourself. Include your stuff too as carrying kid and bag is itself a difficult task. Then move further on deciding what bag to choose as per the comfort level. Messenger baby bags, tote bags and backpacks are the most preferable one. Although, you can lookout for all as everyone has different choice.

Why You Need To Focus On Renewal, When The Term Insurance Comes Into Prominence?

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Life is full of ups and downs. It would be prudent on our part to fully protect our near and dear ones. Hence the term insurance has come into prominence where the interests of your loved ones are protected. It is a protection if anything untoward happens to you and the family is provided with a financial security. You would need to compare insurance plans before you go ahead as then only the best policy could be purchased.

As a buyer when you are buying an insurance policy you would need to keep on paying premiums regularly. The logic is simple that if you falter with regards to the payment, then the policy is going to lapse. Most of the policies have an option of renewal online. This is a must have of a plan as the onus is on the policy holder whether they are keen to renew the plan. As the buying of a policy is important, so works out to be the renewal aspect attached to it. You should not suffer if you fail to renew a policy

When renewing a policy is considered to be important?

Imagine a situation where you are a policy holder, you suffer a heart attack just before your policy expires. If your policy is not renewed, then the insurance policy holder is bound to suffer various difficulties. It does provide you with an opportunity to extend a policy which is very much part of the original deed of a policy.

If a holder decides to opt for a renewal then there is no need for any form of medical test. Your health record as no share in this regard and an insurance company is an obligation to honour the commitments of the policy. The only thing to watch out is that you need to be in the desired age bracket. If you fail to renew the policy you face the following difficulties

  • The entire purpose of insurance stands defeated- the major drawback of an insurance policy is the purpose of it is going to be defeated. To safeguard the interest of your near and dear ones, it is as important as to pay the premium and give considerations on renewal of it.
  • A larger amount- when you are buying an insurance policy, the premium amount may work out to be on the higher side. For this the insurance company takes into consideration, age coupled with family history and your health record. If the policy is terminated due to your inability to pay the premium, then you do loose out the benefits associated with it. For this reason insurance compare company is a must before you purchase any policy. Do weigh the pros and cons of each policy.

To conclude, an insurance policy lapses if you do not possess an ability to pay the premium on time. Life insurance has become a fundamental requirement of each person and it is something that cannot be avoided.