5 Online Resources for Better Financial Education

Now more than ever, understanding how personal finances work is important for living a more stable and more comfortable life. It gives anyone the ability to have control over their own money and see to it that they know where it goes and how it is actually spent.

Many people have already been able to recognize the importance of creating educational materials about subjects of financial concern, and the availability of published content pertaining to this broad topic can be overwhelming. Forbes, Fortune and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance are just some of the best magazines that share the lime light in terms of learning about finances.

However, learning about money isn’t only limited to printed articles in newspapers, magazines and books. Those who are in need of financial guidance can now have a more comprehensive understanding of personal finances with the help of online materials, from well-constructed articles to highly engaging video tutorials.

Accessing this massive content database is just a matter of fully understanding the topic and determining which sites provide the perfect content that matches your needs. Now, prepare to go on a journey to better financial literacy. Unveil the secrets of the world of finance with these five online learning materials.

New York Times’ Your Money

New York Times is one of the most compelling newspaper companies in the United States. What sets it apart among other reputable resources is the keen understanding of how money goes around and comes around. The Your Money section in the newspaper is one of the most read pages in the US since it provides up-to-date news about financial regulations and changes in the financial outlook for the country.

image2

The section has migrated online to provide longer, more instantaneous narratives about budgeting and finance. In fact, the website now holds hundreds of articles pertaining to budgeting, investing and saving. In terms of credibility, these articles are written by experts and columnists such as Ron Lieber and Tara Siegel Bernard, both of whom tackle personal views about individual financial management.

One of Your Money’s aims is to update readers about financial trends and discuss how these trends can affect people in their daily lives. Such articles are highly effective because they are specific and relatable. Recent articles include topics such as a piece on renting or buying a home, the realities of student loans after graduating, and rainy day saving, just to name a few.

Wise Bread

Personal finance learning should not be limited to listening to financial coaches and reading about the topic in books and magazines. Sometimes, the best kind of learning comes from regular people who share the same problems. This is how Wise Bread began. Now, it has become one of the biggest learning sites in terms of finances.

image1

Wise Bread is composed of a community of bloggers that help other individuals live their lives to the fullest with proper financial management. Its personal take on a wide range of financial situations makes the frugal living tips much easier to understand. However, the personal answers don’t necessarily sacrifice the depth of discussion of the topic.

Articles such as the “5 Ways to Turn Credit Card Rewards Into Real Wealth” show how one can take advantage of a rewards card to make a couple of hundred dollars on the side. Another notable article is the “How to Live a Retired Life Before Retirement” piece where the author discusses in detail how financial preparedness and clever planning can be advantageous as part of an individual’s short term and long term goals.

Investopedia’s Investing 101 tutorial

Another aspect of learning about finances is understanding how investing works. This online learning tool can help anyone interested in investments, even those who have no background in the field.

While this can be taken within a full year as part of a degree, Investopedia’s Investing 101 tutorial has made the program much more engaging and fast-paced, narrowing the science down to an 8-step course. It is a comprehensive guide that allows people to fully digest the importance of investing as part of their financial lives, and how it can be done successfully.

image3

The first and second part of the tutorial introduces the learner to the idea of investing, discussing how it is a tool for building wealth. At that point, anyone can answer the question “What is investing?” Along the way, the course helps the audience to understand the concept of compounding and how it relates to one’s spending habits.

Eventually, the types of investments are discussed, as well as the concept of investment portfolios and diversification. At the end of the tutorial, the learner should get have a good understanding of the investing world and be able to identify effective techniques that are useful in real life investing.

Entrepreneur Channel on YouTube

Video lectures prove to be one of the best ways for people to learn. Not only do they engage students to learn and participate in their own ways, they are also proven to help in problem solving and memory retention as well as independent critical thinking. This is the technique applied by Entrepreneur Online in teaching people about how to make more money and increase savings.

image6

This YouTube channel offers a variety of tips that anyone can utilize in their daily lives. What separates this from other channels is that the articles are based from business ideas in Entrepreneur Magazine and Entrepreneur Network partners. As such, the videos boast expert advice and comprehensive content.

Small Business Owners can get a whole lot of expert information from this channel. By simply clicking on the specific videos on the list, anyone can access a wide array of topics. The channel includes videos on business technology, business psychology and debt management. It gives the viewers a chance to expand their understanding of business techniques that they can then employ in their own companies.

Another advantage of video lectures, especially in Youtube and other online video platforms, is that it can be easily shared with other people. With the use of any specialized video downloader, learners can save their videos in high definition for offline viewing or for information dissemination with other people who have the same interest in the field.

Money Tree Investing Podcast

As video tutorials make their way along the path to being of the more effective learning tools, audio lectures and podcasts are also engaging aspiring learners. This is what Money Tree Investing Podcast tries to employ in its discussion about money, investments, passive income and personal financial management.

image4

Money Tree sets up a panel of experts to interview a special guest and ask a set of questions pertinent to the topic at hand. After which, the panelists open a discussion on what can be learned from the special guest and the whole program.

One of the more recent episodes includes a discussion about retirement planning, paying down student loans and taxes. In this podcast, they shared with their audience the variety of tax strategies anyone can employ in planning their retirement, as well as defensive allocations, and investments if they have the money to work with.

In another episode, they discussed the worst financial advice they’ve heard. Hillary Hendershott from Profit Boss was the special guest at that time, and she noted the worst financial advice she ever heard. She talked about discounted life insurance, house-flipping seminars, cash envelope systems and the “Bucket Investing” strategy.

Given this type of academic conversion, the podcast becomes more engaging and highly relatable to the viewers because the video shows real personal stories and genuine opinions on the topic. On top of that, the answers are drawn from expert knowledge of the subject and could prompt listeners to do their own research for a better personal understanding on the topic.

How Having High Cholesterol Can Affect Your Life Insurance Rate

For those who are planning to apply for a life insurance policy but are diagnosed with a high cholesterol level, this is for you.

Cases of high cholesterol have become widespread nowadays all over the world. In the United States alone, 33.5 percent of Americans have high levels of LDL or low-density lipoprotein, also known as the “bad” cholesterol. As such, the risk of heart disease is at an all-time high for all those 71 million Americans who have high cholesterol.

Given this unfortunate situation, those who are diagnosed with a high level of cholesterol but still want to apply for a life insurance are up for huge challenge. Find out how your medical condition can affect your policy and ultimately, your life.

Understanding High Cholesterol

Regardless of if you are physically fit enough for a reasonable life insurance policy, you still need your health checked as part of your life insurance policy application. Basically, this procedure gives insurance companies enough information to find out whether they would be willing to take the risk on you or not. They need to determine if you can live long enough to pay the policy premium up to maturity.

As part of the health examination required in your application, you need to undergo a blood cholesterol test. This test reveals if your cholesterol is high enough that it increases your risk of contracting any serious, life-endangering disease.

image3

Having a high blood cholesterol level paves the way for you toward getting heart diseases, which is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. In fact, those who have high cholesterol are twice as likely to acquire heart disease as compared to those with a regular cholesterol level.

Whatever results come up, it affects various elements of your life insurance. Primarily, your cholesterol test results would reflect the amount of the claim you can get as your benefit and how much your premium would be to necessary keep the insurance policy enforced.

High Cholesterol vs. Life Insurance

Specifically speaking, when you undergo a cholesterol level test as part of your life insurance policy application, what insurance companies look at is your total cholesterol level. This includes LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and very low density cholesterol (VLDL). This information is important in determining the rates for your life insurance.

In order to qualify for the best rates for any policy, companies like Big Lou would want to see your total cholesterol level below 200-220 mg/dL and a ratio of total cholesterol/HDL at 5.0 or below. In some cases, if you do not initially meet the required level, you are allowed to take prescription drugs to make sure that you do keep your cholesterol levels controlled.

image2

On the other hand, there are other companies that look at your cholesterol level prior to any medicine and base their decisions on the results of the premedication test. This is probably because only 1 out of every 3 adults with high LDL cholesterol can actually get their condition under control.

Then again, if your cholesterol levels go a little bit over the standard levels, you can still get a policy but at a different rate. Now, if your cholesterol level goes far beyond the acceptable rate even after taking in necessary medicine, you might still get approved. However, you might get the policy at a much higher rate, sometimes reaching up to 50 percent more than the regular rate.

Of course, if your test shows a critically unacceptable result (i.e. cholesterol level above 400), your life insurance application may just be rejected completely.

At the end of the day, the approval of your policy application it really depends on the company that wants to help with your desire to be insured. Keep in mind that the insurance industry is all about risk. The riskier you are for the company, the more likely you might be disqualified for the policy.

Easy Ways To Learn How To Save

It has been said thousands of times that it is important to save. Your savings serve as your backup plan in case things gets messed up for you financially. However, at one point or another, you face different challenges on keeping your savings intact or even starting saving in the first place.

For those who are persistent enough to start saving early, when they hit a bump on the road, they forget about continuing on with their financially responsible habit. On the other hand, those who just can’t seem to start saving may see it as a hindrance to their goal rather than a tool.

To finally learn how to save consistently, remember these two tips, and soon, you can enjoy living a more financially secure life.

Be Organized

People become overwhelmed with saving because, oddly enough, they see the money they set aside for this cause as a form of “expense” that they have to pay every time money comes in. Unfortunately, this mindset can never work if you really want to start saving soon.

image1

To avoid this financially unhealthy thinking, you need to start seeing money as a tool that can help you pave the way towards your goals. As it is a tool, remember that money is a resource that you need to appropriately allocate to certain aspects in your life. With that said, you need to be more organized than usual in order to take that first step to financial freedom.

Find ways to organize your cash flow. You can use a logbook to jot down money that comes in and out your pocket. You can also use spreadsheet programs to be more efficient. There are also a lot of applications you can download to ensure organization with your funds. Whatever option you go for, you need to find a way to see the bigger picture with what is going on with your money.

For instance, jotting down your expenses on food can give you a different perspective on what, where, and how often you eat. When everything is written down, you can see exactly what you are spending and decide whether it’s the appropriate amount. You can also determine if there is enough wiggle room for you to reallocate some of your budget to other aspects in your life like in transportation, life insurance, or occasional leisure trips.

Take it Slow

Some people feel the need to start big in terms of their savings. Primarily, this is due to the pressure they feel when they learn that other people have “big savings.” They immediately act on their ego without thinking about it much or planning enough to actually get things done.

image3

In reality, the best way to start saving effectively is to start small. Yes, you can use that piggy bank you have stored away, collecting dust instead of coins. Those who earn well (but can’t save well) can start putting in loose change or spare cash to start off their financial journey.

What this does is teach you how to create the habit of saving. If you have just started working and have just received your first paycheck, put an amount that you feel comfortable with. In the same way, if you are a tenured manager but simply can’t start saving for whatever reason, start building up your home savings with your piggy bank.

When you have created the habit of setting aside money regularly, you begin to realize that you need to put a little bit more. After a while, you add a little bit more until such time that you want to save in a bank, then go for time deposits and ultimately, invest. It may sound too far out, but huge things do start with something small.

Tips on How to Get Life Insurance for Seniors

Life insurance is important, but not everyone knows that.

As you get older and start your family or get married, it looms larger and larger in importance. It can be a safeguard for the people in your life so that they can feel secure no matter what. It can give you piece of mind know that if anything happens, your family will be covered.

You may be a late bloomer when it comes to understanding life insurance. You may even be one of those people who thought having life insurance is unnecessary.

Despite your delayed realization on what you’ve been missing all these years, it is never too late. You can still get a life insurance and feel protected. Then again, because of your delay, there are certain factors that you need to take into consideration in terms of what you can still get from your insurance.

Senior couple with financial adviser. Isolated on white background.

In any case, it is always a good decision to step up, take control of your life and get your own life insurance. Follow these two tips to put yourself on the path to get there.

Get it the Traditional way

Depending on certain key factors, you can still get a life insurance policy from a good number of insurance providers even though you are a senior. Luckily for you, there are certain policy regulation boundaries that can still allow you to apply and be covered by a suitable insurance plan.

One of the most critical factors will be your age. There are companies that still cater to clients up to 65 years old. As long as you pass the other requirements, you can still apply for a policy and be covered for life. However, since the claims for any life insurance policy are primarily based on the length of time that you have kept the policy enforced, you might get benefits that are relatively lesser when compared to the benefits of those who have been insured much longer.

Now, if you passed the age criteria, you also need to make sure that you are in good health. Just like anyone applying for a life insurance policy, you need be in tip-top shape to be given a policy that maturity enough to be worth it in the long-term.

There is a variety of options for you if you plan on going through the regular route of getting insured. Do your research and talk to a financial adviser who can help you know more about insurance products that fits your needs, wants, and your place in life. 

Go for GUL

Surprisingly, there are lots of people aged 60 and older who are on their way right now to get themselves insured. Some have had term insurance or have been part of a group insurance in their previous occupations. Whether the policy has expired or they have left their company thus effectively losing their slot in a group insurance, some people may need a new plan to stay insured.

However, if you are a senior and you want to continue on with your insurance, you would either need to pay more or have your application denied.

This is where GUL comes in. Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance or GUL is like a term insurance but has the far reaching benefits similar to whole life insurance. It is a policy option that is designed to last you a lifetime.

image2

With GULs, policies are set to specific ages. For example, if you set it to age 90, the plan is effective up until you are 90. Now, if you set the age to 100, an age that has a likelihood of paying out a death benefit, you are practically getting the benefit of a whole life insurance.

Also, this insurance product has a fixed premium rate throughout the life of the policy. This makes it a cheaper option for seniors. However, despite of the relatively lesser cost, the insurance benefit goes beyond that of a regular plan applied at ages 60 and above.

Just like any other policies, it is better to know more about GULs’ ins and outs. If you feel that this is the best option for you, contact your local insurance advisor and learn more what makes this product a viable option to a lot of seniors world-wide.