Archive for the “Business News” category

Moving Abroad an Option for Retiring Canadians

015th Jan 2013Business News, Canadians, Income, Real Estate, Retirement, Savings, Self Employed, Taxation, Taxes, Work from home, , , , , , , , , , ,

Dwindling pension benefits are forcing many Canadians to rethink how they’ll spend their golden years, but that doesn’t necessarily mean giving up their dreams of a sun-soaked retirement.

Some experts say that with proper planning, uprooting to an exotic locale can actually help cash-strapped seniors stretch their retirement dollars.

Aside from milder temperatures, they say many of the destinations favoured by Canadians — including parts of Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica — offer another advantage prized by those on a fixed income: a lower cost of living.

“It’s sometimes assumed that an international retirement vision or lifestyle is something that wealthy people pursue,” said Rod Burylo, a Calgary-based financial advisor specializing in international retirement.

“The reality is… some people retire to Mexico because it’s so darn cheap,” he said.

“One could reason, therefore, that if the economy suffered and their finances suffered, they may be more inclined to retire to Mexico because… they could have a better quality of life than they could have here.”

Many Canadians are having to make tough financial choices — including prolonging their careers or downsizing their homes — in preparing for retirement as debt-ridden governments and companies scale back benefits.

While financial considerations alone are rarely enough to prompt a drastic change of scenery, they often play an important role in the decision-making process, according to a recent survey by the BMO Retirement Institute.

The survey by one of Canada’s largest banks found more than 70 per cent of Canadians aged 45 or older have given thought to where they want to live out their golden years.

But it also found that while many fantasize about retreating to faraway lands, just over 10 per cent of respondents said they were willing to follow through and leave Canadian soil.

“I think you get people moving abroad for two reasons,” said Brian Burlacoff, a financial advisor with Sun Life Financial.

“You get a proportion of people who do want to spend time very purposely outside of Canada — snowbirds, for example, in Florida or Arizona — (and) they have a plan for that,” he said.

“But the other group that you get moving away are people that have no plan and they’re kind of drawing at straws because they have to find a place that’s less expensive to live in order to carry out their retirement objectives.”

That kind of “reactive” move, he said, is similar to trading a downtown Toronto lifestyle for a more affordable one in a neighbouring suburb.

But unlike a simple hop across municipal borders, crossing national boundaries can have serious tax and health care implications, he warned.

And even regions where the average day-to-day costs are low can drain the savings of those without a clear budget plan, he said.

A guidebook published by the Department of Foreign Affairs lays out the potential pitfalls for those looking to retire abroad, from the loss of Canadian citizenship or residency — and the resulting loss of health coverage — to the intricacies of foreign tax systems.

“Many developing countries lack the resources to collect taxes on foreign-source income, so they compensate by imposing high consumption taxes or import duties,” the document reads.

“Make sure you take into account all taxes, duties and fees, as well as the withholding taxes you will pay on income originating in Canada.”

Burlacoff and Burylo both recommend consulting an advisor who understands the specific challenges involved, and keeping in touch throughout the preparations and after the move.

At 61, Kerry Strayton believes he’s still up to a decade away from retirement, but that hasn’t stopped the Richmond, B.C., resident from getting a head start on his plans to retire abroad.

He’s already “actively researching” possible destinations for him and his wife, such as Colombia, Uruguay and Thailand — places with a pleasant climate and a thriving cultural scene, that he says are accessible enough that their son and daughter will be able to visit.

Moving seems like a necessity for the couple, whom Strayton says will have to live off their savings and his wife’s “small, very modest” pension given that his employer doesn’t offer a pension plan of its own.

He estimates it would cost roughly $1,500 a month in one of his chosen destinations to keep the same standard of living that would cost $2,500 in Richmond.

“To be honest, living in this part of the country in particular, which is very, very expensive, it’s hard to see how we would manage to have at least some kind of reasonable lifestyle,” he said.

Many unknowns remain: for one thing, the couple hasn’t decided whether to make a permanent move or take the more popular snowbird route.

But with several more years of squirrelling away savings ahead, the pair has some time to figure it out.

And in the meantime, Strayton said, they’ll be checking out the top contenders to see which one could eventually become their new home.

ORIGINAL SOURCE: Retirement Canada: Moving Abroad Still Possible For Canadians With Cash Woes

 

Canadians fear retirement savings will run out

014th Jan 2013Business News, Canadians, Home Based Business, Income, Retirement, Savings, Self Employed, Work from home, , , , , ,

Nearly one-third of Canadian retirees are worried that they’ll run out of money over the long term, even though they are generally satisfied with the current quality of retirement, says a new poll by CIBC.

The survey, conducted by Leger Marketing and released on Monday, found that 69 per cent of retired Canadians say the quality of their retirement is what they had hoped for. However, 28 per cent said they are afraid of running out of money over the longer term.

British Columbia retirees were among the most afraid (45 per cent) of running out of money to sustain certain lifestyles, while Atlantic Canadians were among the least likely (21 per cent) to be worried about running out of money.

“While it is positive to see that a majority of retired Canadians are living the retirement they hoped for, our poll findings also show there is concern around whether their retirement savings will sustain them in the years to come,” says Christina Kramer, executive vice president, retail distribution and channel strategy at CIBC.

Kramer added there are some unique factors facing retirees including low interest rates on savings and the need to make their retirement funds last longer than previous generations, which makes long-range planning even more important.

The results also showed that more than half of retired Canadians indicate that a short-term financial shock could cause cash flow problems, with 54 per cent saying they would not be able to handle an unexpected extra payment of $500 a month given their current budget. Of that figure, 34 per cent said it would be very unmanageable and 19 per cent said it would be somewhat unmanageable.

The poll was conducted online and used a sample of 867 pre-retirees and retirees between over a period of four days in late September, according to a CIBC release.

ORIGINAL SOURCE: Canadians fear retirement savings will run out

Retirement Income

An unfortunate reality in today’s world is that many people either in retirement or near retirement are struggling to make up the shortfalls that recent economic challenges and financial crises have created. So searching for a way to supplement your retirement income is completely understandable.

Further, the traditional pensions we all heard our parents or grandparents talk about or enjoy are also pretty much a thing of the past, so what is a person to do.

Some are forced into working part time at menial jobs such as greeters in Wal-Mart or McDonalds, while others pick up part time jobs delivering newspapers or tele-sales in an effort to supplement their retirement income, but for many health issues make it very difficult to take on part time jobs.

 

How To Succeed In A Tough Home Business World

025th Sep 2012Business News, Home Based Business, Internet Marketing, Work from home, ,

How To Succeed In A Tough Home Business World

There are not many out there who have not considered the amazing possibilities offered through starting your own home business. The benefits of time flexibility and control over your destiny is a major draw. The following article will show you how to use use these ideas as part of you home business plan.

Advertise your home based business online. Make a website that your customers can use easily. Make the content on your site useful. Give your customers the ability to purchase products from you online and to remain in touch with you. The following advice should help you in your endeavors.

A new business you could start could include a meal service, daycare, or any other delivery service. There are no limits to what kind of business you can start.

Make sure you are the only one making financial decisions if you’re the only owner of the company. It’s a bad idea to allow someone else to have access to your business accounts. Personal and business finances need to remain separate. Failing to do so can affect your ability to use purchases as a tax write off.

Make sure that your website has an option for visitors to sign up for a mailing list. Make sure that the mailing list sign up option is on every single page. This way visitors to your site will have a number of chances to enter their contact info.

Whenever you bring in revenue, you must set aside the requisite state, federal and local taxes implicit in your sale. You will need to save at least 20 percent of what you make so that you do not have to come up with it during tax season.

To really make huge profits when running a home business, you need to take what are known as “prudent risks.” Taking risks and trying new ideas can attract a new customer base, and lead to higher profits., If you do the same thing over and over again, you might miss out on a more profitable strategy.

You should try to always maintain a professional appearance when working from home. Working from home can be convenient and fulfilling, but if you simply roll out of bed and start working your personal hygiene may take a hit. Keep yourself clean and well dressed, don’t overeat, and exercise regularly. You can feel better about yourself and boost the way people look at you.

Don’t expect your home business to be successful if you don’t have the drive to take the initiative and make it work. Many counties place stringent regulations on business environments, so you may need to segregate a part of your home to be used only for business. This also helps you make a clean break between your home and business life.

While at work, set ground rules to make sure family members and friends do not interrupt you. You need to communicate to unexpected visitors that you are busy working and can’t chat at the moment. Persistent visitors should be made to wait until you are done working.

To effectively reach out to your customers, you must first know where they are. While there are plenty of potential customers on the Internet, don’t neglect the possibility of cultivating clients face-to-face. Have a community sale or participate in local events.

Sufficient help is important in any business, especially a home-based daycare. If you are unable find this help, the kids will feel that you are stressed, and will probably all start to act out and it can quickly turn into a horrible situation.

If you are running a home business, you will want to learn the basics of search engine optimization. It is a big help in moving your website up in the search engine ranks. More traffic will likely be sent to your website as a result. Everyone has opinions on the best way to go about this, so do your research before you start.

Membership fees are one method of turning a profit. In many cases, your site could easily implement a membership subscription that could increase your profits.

When it comes to taxes and your home business, you want to be sure that you consider hiring an accountant to take care of all of your financial information. Taxes can be a very complex process when you’re a home business owner, and the time you’d spend doing them properly is time better spent on your business.

Remember that investors want to know everything about your company when they invest money in your enterprise. Use the money you already have now.

Your home business should have its own checking account. Doing so will make it easier to keep business and personal finances separate. You will also find it easier to keep business and personal finances straight when it is time to file taxes. By simplifying matters, you have a better chance of avoiding problems with your tax returns.

Search engine optimization is a vital tool to increase the Internet visibility of your home business. Search engine optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, helps to improve your visibility on the Internet. This can boost sales exponentially for home businesses. Many different guidelines exist for performing SEO on your own, and there are many resources out there that can assist you.

As you can see, it will require a little bit of work and dedication to make the jump. If you can manage to pull through and stick to the plan, you will be able to accurately represent your dream in the company’s image and create something that is long-lasting and profitable over the years.

 

Zeek Rewards Shut Down Don’t Be a Vulture

018th Aug 2012Business News, Direct Sales, Home Based Business, Network Marketing, Work from home, , , , ,

Zeek Rewards Shut Down – Don’t Be a Vulture

Zeek Rewards Shut DownBy now you have probably heard that Zeek Rewards has been shut down by the SEC. The SEC has alleged it is a $600 million Ponzi Scheme, here’s the Forbes article. I will share why I am not actively pursuing any Zeekler reps.

The SEC says online marketer Paul Burks and his company raised more than $600 million from more than one million online customers through the website ZeekRewards.com since January 2011.

Investors were up to 50% of the company’s daily net profits through a profit sharing system in which they accumulate rewards points that they can use for cash payouts, according to the agency.

“However, the website fraudulently conveyed the false impression that the company was extremely profitable when, in fact, the payouts to investors bore no relation to the company’s net profits. Most of ZeekRewards’ total revenues and the “net profits” paid to investors have been comprised of funds received from new investors in classic Ponzi scheme fashion,” the SEC claims.

Burks did not admit or deny guilt in the case. He agreed to pay a $4 million penalty and relinquish his interest in the company.

According to the SEC’s complaint, customers were offered several ways to earn money through the ZeekRewards program, two of which involved purchasing securities in the form of investment contracts– they were not registered with the SEC as required under the federal securities laws.

If ZeekRewards customers continued to increasingly elect to receive their cash payouts rather than reinvesting their money to reach higher levels of rewards points then the website’s cash flows would exceed its total revenue leaving investors in the cold, the SEC noted. Last month, ZeekRewards brought in approximately $162 million while total investor cash payouts were approximately $160 million.

“Unbeknownst to its investors, ZeekRewards is, in reality, a massive Ponzi and pyramid scheme. Approximately 98% of ZeekRewards’ total revenues, and correspondingly the purported share of “net profits” paid to current investors, are comprised of funds received from new investors,” the SEC alleges in its complaint.

I want to first be clear, I have no idea whether or not Zeek Rewards was actually a Ponzi Scheme or not. I know from my own experience that just because the SEC accuses a company or individual of something, that by no stretch of the imagination means their accusation has any basis in fact or reality. That said, the SEC could very well be completely correct. The truth about the Zeek Reward Shut Down will probably never be known as from my own experience moving forward only fragments of truth will be published and mostly from the SEC’s perspective.

With that in mind I can think of many reasons not to be a vulture and swoop in after Zeek Rewards Shut Down Victims the first and most obvious is, it’s just not cool to be a vulture. Another reason is your organization looks to you for an example of leadership and vulturing Zeek Rewards Shut Down Victims may earn some short term profits, the last thing you want is to be the leader of a gang of vultures. Your group will do as you do, so lead with integrity.

Remember of the Reps who were promoting Zeek Rewards many have lost money, time invested and for some their dream crushed. Taking advantage of someone in such a situation is just not empowering!

Zeek Rewards Shut Down

Of course there will be many Zeek Rewards Shut Down victims who want to find a new company to work with and a new team to work with and like anyone else out there, I would be happy to welcome Zeek Rewards Reps to join my team but from a place of integrity and empowerment and not like a vulture. I would encourage my team members to conduct themselves with the same integrity.

In the end, a shutdown of a company in our industry by the SEC is not good for any of us in the home based business industry and can make business more difficult for all of us. Let’s behave with integrity and empower others to do the same with our fine example.

Home Based Business in America

117th Jul 2012Business News, Freedom, Home Based Business, Income, Money, Self Employed, Work from home, , , , , , ,

Home Based Business In America

According to MSN Money Entrepreneurship Starts at Home

The idea of waking up, putting on slippers and walking down the hall to “work” sounds appealing to a lot of people. But it’s not the main reason more than half of the nation’s businesses call home their office.

The contestants in StartupNation’s 2010 Home-Based 100 competition demonstrate once again that in today’s economic environment, homes serve as staging grounds for many an entrepreneurial dream. They nurture bold ideas and innovation.

An excellent info-graphic outlining a variety of statistics about Home Based Businesses in America may be found below.

Home Business In America

Source: MSNBC