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The Secret Method for Establishing Your Child’s Financial Future

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The innate drive I have as a parent to teach, influence, and leave a legacy for my children was unexpected. It was sparked at the hospital when they were born and hasn’t stopped since then.

While I was growing up, I wasn’t taught much about money, investing, business, and entrepreneurship. I had to learn a lot of painful lessons. I have been fortunate to establish a financial system from which my kids are already benefiting.

My system runs contrary to the traditional financial system parents and grandparents used to save for their kids’ future in many ways.

But the only way to get uncommon results is through uncommon means. This is my system for establishing for your child’s future.

The Unnecessary Burden of a 529 Plan

The 529 plan, also called a qualified tuition plan, is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future college costs. These plans are very popular and have become a sacred cow, even though they have only been around since 1996.

When my two girls were born, my dad was insistent on contributing to a 529 plan for college. At the time, I was barely into my first job out of college and hadn’t learned what I teach now, so I decided to open one up.

Today, millions of people have them, and your kids and grandkids are attached to them. In my experience, saying no to a 529 plan is like telling a mother her baby is ugly.

I don’t want to say what you’re doing is bad. You’re planning for your child or grandchild’s financial well-being, which is commendable. But if you look at the nature of a 529 plan, it’s not set up for your best interests or the best interests of the child or grandchild.

It’s pitched to you as a benefit, but it’s just another way for Wall Street to sell you mutual funds and make money off your desire to do well by your kids.

The objective of the 529 plan is to put money away and pay for future college expenses while getting a tax benefit for doing so. The catch is, if the money is not used for college or some other qualified higher education expense, you have to pay penalties for withdrawing it. What if you don’t need the account anymore—your kid decides to skip college, for instance—and you want to use that money for something else? Is the penalty you pay on the 529 plan worth it from the beginning?

Additionally, the burden on families to completely fund college has an opportunity cost that is difficult to quantify. Because of that, the financial future of the family may be put in jeopardy. I have seen it bankrupt a few.

The 529 in Practice

Here’s an example of what I mean. Assume your child is five years old and you have committed to taking care of their educational costs for a four-year degree.

Right now, the average annual cost to attend a public university is $25,000, rising by 5 percent a year. That means that by the time a five-year-old today is 18 and ready to go to college, tuition would be almost $50,000. Over four years, factoring in tuition rises, that comes to a total cost of $213,344.

For a 529 account to pay out that much when it’s needed, it has to start with $100,000 and earn a net 5 percent every year through graduation.

Or, you could just save $8,147 a year for 18 years.

To really drive this point home, the opportunity cost for the family during their later years is really where the price is paid.

If you saved $8,147 a year for 18 years and then let it grow past that point until your future retirement, your balance at the end of 35 years would be $551,602.

If you spent that down through a 20-year retirement, the cash flow would be $42,154.24 per year, for a total lost opportunity cost of: $843,084.80.

A More Certain Future

The opportunity cost that comes with following the typical college path doesn’t simply disappear if funded through a WMA—it only gives you more options.

You’re trying to prepare for something in the future that may not happen the way you think or may not happen at all. Consider the opportunity cost of that money—what that money could do between now and the time your child goes to college.

When I learned about what I do today, I cancelled the 529 plans I had and opened Wealth Maximization Accounts on each of my kids. Today, I have multiple policies for each of them.

However, the idea isn’t simply to treat these as 529 comparisons. The money inside a WMA can be used now, without any restrictions. In my experience, that has been a most powerful tool to teach kids, including my own, about money.

Instead of saying no to things they want, I can say yes. The money is borrowed against their policies, however, so it becomes their responsibility to pay it back. We call it our family bank.

For example, my daughter Meghan has used her policies to buy numerous types of electronics and a $400 gymnastics mat, amounting to thousands of dollars cumulatively. She had to create a payback plan before she was given the money. She felt she could earn enough for the payments by increasing the amount of babysitting she did in the neighborhood.

She also researched ways to earn bigger tips by giving better service, such as making little videos of the kids, making sure the house was cleaner than when the parents left, and leaving a handwritten note. This experience has given Meghan an appreciation for where money comes from, what a loan is, and what interest is—both the interest you pay and the interest you earn. I know that will benefit her in the future.

Wealth Maximization Accounts for your kids are the ideal way to teach them about money and also to prepare for their future purchases, such as a car, college, and beyond. Properly structured plans are a superior alternative to a 529 college savings plan. For more resources take a look at Paradigm Life.

Patrick Donohoe is the President and CEO of Paradigm Life, a company he founded to help clients build wealth, create income for life, and leave a legacy of service to those who will inherit their assets. Patrick is a popular speaker at wealth management seminars and hosts The Wealth Standard Radio, a popular financial podcast on the TuneIn network. Patrick grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut, and attended the University of Utah, where he received his BA degree in economics. He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and three children.

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Starting a Family Business? Here’s Why Business Cards are Important

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Starting a family business is no mean feat. It is all the more pressing when you are building everything from scratch. Not only do you have to balance your family and work life in a manner that gives you peace, but you also need to tend to your new business like it’s another baby that you brought into this world.

Remember your business needs ample attention from you right from the get go if it is to reach the level of success that you aspire for it to achieve.

For that, you need to turn to branding.

Only with the proper image and branding can you ensure that your family business isn’t going to run into the ground – especially mere weeks after it spreads its small wings.

And one of the best ways to establish this branding for a budding family business is through utilizing business stationery such as business cards.

Why Use Business Cards for Your New Venture?

Everyone is aware that conventional tools such as business cards are quite easy to obtain, yet just as profound in their positive effects. That is one of the reasons why they are so widespread in their adoption and usage.

With vendors such as Basic Invite, you can order your business cards with an ease that was never available before.

Through Basic Invite’s online design tool, you can ensure to develop your business cards through a variety of designs. In fact, the vendor allows you to have a choice of over 180 different colors for each element of your card.

Needless to say, this gives you virtually unlimited options to design your family business’ branding image. This is what sets Basic Invite apart from other online business card providers.

And that’s not all, since you could enhance those designs with prime accents such as foil cards. As a design element that adds a touch of elegance to any card, these rose gold, gold and silver accents could elevate your branding to a whole new level.

Basic Invite also allows you to order custom samples, so you could order the designs in one sample card to see how it would actually turn out. This way, you can judge your card by holding it in your hands, and change any design elements that do not work for you.

This also saves you a large amount in costs. You do not have to order a bunch of cards on blind faith only to find out that you could have improved on that one element… and have to go through the whole procedure again.

If you don’t like how the sample has turned out, you can simply discard it and change it again. You could then repeat the sample process until you have reached the perfect card design.

But you are not limited to only create business cards through Basic Invite. You could also have additional business stationery options such as envelopes in over 40 different colors. This way, you could complete your professional image while being right at home.

Another feature that sets Basic Invite apart from other vendors is how it allows you to save your recipients’ mailing addresses through its address capturing service. By sharing one simple link through social media, you could have your potential customers sign up to your mailing lists. From there, you could print their addresses onto the envelopes exactly as they are provided.

If you want to order online business cards with all of these features, then don’t hesitate from reaching out to Basic Invite today.

Since the company is running a 15% off promotion with coupon code: 15FF51, this would be the perfect time to obtain your new business cards. Make sure to get them today!

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Moms and the Side Hustle: Making Extra Money for the Family

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Have you heard about mompreneurship? It’s a new trend in the world of entrepreneurship. Momtrepreneurs describes women who start or run their own company while also serving as a full-time parent. There’s no denying that balancing work and family obligations is extremely challenging. Heck, being a full-time mom is a major job all by itself. That said, the rise of technology is providing moms with more opportunities to earn money. Successful momtrepreneur stories are becoming more prevalent. Here are best practices for stay-at-home moms to earn extra money and become momtrepreneurs themselves.   

Sell Sell Sell

If you have a knack for arts and crafts, there is a marketplace for you. In fact, you can sell your products on sites like Etsy, Ebay, Amazon Marketplace and Facebook. Think of creating and then selling products that suit the season. For example, summer is fast approaching and people will be outside. Have you ever thought to build your own bike and then sell it? Many people earn money by putting their hybrid bikes for sale. While there may be selling fees on certain sites, the pros heavily outweigh the cons – the cost of supplies are minimal, and you can work on a schedule that is convenient for you.

Share Your Skills

It’s time to take advantage of your talents and passions. Discover what they are and use them to make money. For example, if you are gifted at math, become a math tutor. Job sites frequently have postings for virtual tutors. Tutoring is also effective if you can advertise to fellow parents. You can help their kids and do it from the convenience of your own home. The same can be said for any number of skills. Are you good at piano? Guitar? Saxophone? If so, how about sharing your talents by offering music lessons to kids in the neighborhood or to classmates of your children? What about fashion? You can post tutorials on YouTube or begin a blog. If enough people visit your pages, businesses may advertise with you.

Online Marketing
Whatever your side hustle, it’s important to sell yourself. You must have an online presence, as a quality website is essential for almost any type of business. If a person is seeking information, they are probably using the internet to find it. When they look for a service or product you offer, you need to show up in their search results and look professional. A website is often the first impression a company puts forth to potential customers. It’s imperative that first impression is a good one. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly, accurate, visually appealing and informative (location, contact information, hours of operation, etc.). Make sure to have active social media representation as well – this includes pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Business Cards
In addition to an online presence, market yourself with business cards. Your business card is your brand, serving as a showcase for you and your organization. A business card serves as a physical product that can meet real-word, face-to-face needs. It provides customers and contacts with something tangible that can be referenced later when they are thinking about products or services pertinent to your industry. You can get creative (double sided business cards) or stay traditional (classic business cards) but remember to design a piece that is identifiable, visually appealing and professional.

The rise of the internet has made it easier than ever to make money from home. You can earn extra cash by selling products, sharing your skills and marketing yourself. Ladies, it’s time to join the long list of successful momtrepreneurs.

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No more wasting time trawling online shops – the online shopping centre is here

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Lets face it, our lives are busier now than ever. Work life balance is a constant struggle and when you’re trying to juggle a family, work, keeping fit and healthy, running a household and try to have some semblance of a social life any little thing that gives back some precious time is well worth it.

One thing that seems to be a huge time stealer is shopping. Dragging yourself and the family to the local high street or retail park is time consuming, often stressful and generally not enjoyable. There are definitely better things to be doing.

Of course there is always online shopping. No need to leave the sofa during those precious spare 5 minutes you have after the children have done to bed but before you have to run around preparing for the following day.

After all any retailer worth their salt invests heavily in a decent online presence. The perfect answer. Greater choice, 24/7 access, competitive prices and delivery straight to your door. It is no wonder it is the busy person’s go to for all their household needs.

Yet even that is becoming tiresome. With access to shops from all round the world, the web is now reaching saturation point. Busy shoppers are becoming overwhelmed by the sheer volume and spend hours trawling hundreds of retailers for the right product at the right price.

Step forward the next generation of online shopping – online shopping centres like Buyviu UK have finally opened their digital doors to the British shopper.

Anything you could possibly need, all in one place

Of course the real benefit of online shopping is speed and convenience, any time by any device you happen to have to hand. We want to get what we need quickly and easily so we can get on with whatever the next thing is on our mental to do list.

What we don’t want to be doing is spending hours scrolling and scrolling through hundreds of sites looking for a good price. This is why the online shopping centre is a master stroke. It takes all of that scrolling away doing all the hard work.

It brings together hundreds of retailers and thousands of products in one easy to use site. Imagine going to the biggest shopping centre in the world but without the crowds, the nightmare parking and bored kids.

Buyviu UK does exactly this, bringing together everything from fashion, jewellery and shoes to grocery staples, car parts, home and garden accessories and appliances and sports equipment. It is quite literally a one-stop-shop.

You can find anything you could possibly need for home, family and the odd little treat for yourself. So instead of wasting a whole weekend visiting the garden centre, the pet store, the car garage, the craft shop, numerous clothing stores, the sports store and the home appliance store, you can save yourself hours and not even move from the sofa. Sounds great right?

The range available in this online shopping centre is incredibly wide ranging. Whether it is school supplies for the kids, household appliances, pet accessories and even food. It has everything.

In the fashion section you can find all the top brands in clothing, footwear, jewellery and sports, from Nike and Adidas to Swarovski and Marc Jacobs. And if you are looking for gifts, there is a huge range of toys and baby products or beauty and home products.

So if you find yourself needing a new lawn mower at the same time as a new clarinet – Buyviu have got you covered.

It even sells car parts, sports equipment and arts and crafts. With such a lot of choice, navigating the website needs to be carefully planned. Buyviu make this easy, organising categories by brand or type, with the ability to search and filter by size, price, colour, merchant and material across all products. No matter what you need Buyviu will find it for you and get you to that shop to make your purchase.

Top brands right at your fingertips

The great thing about an online shopping centre is the easy access to all the top brands you know and love. Brands like ASOS, Dolce & Gabbana, Adidas, Nike, Zanussi, Bosch and other well known household names is second to none.

The baby range is particularly good with brands like Baby Bjorn and Bugaboo easily accessible. The site covers everything from potties, to prams and car seats and of course clothes for children of all ages for when they inevitably grow out of absolutely everything in record time.

Within a couple of clicks you have access to hundreds of retailers. There is just no need to spend hours on the internet going for site to site when it is all in one place for you already.

To make it even better, there is also an easy to access outlet section, all year round. The site pulls in discounted products across all the ranges and retailers and puts them in one easy to search location.

No more waiting for seasonal sales, or a long drive to the nearest outlet village for bargain hunting. Shoppers can do it all from the comfort of their sofa.

Discounts on well known brands are incredibly tempting, in places as much as 70% off, with a much greater choice. It is no wonder that shoppers prefer to spend their hard earned cash online, and the great filtering and search speeds the whole process up considerably.

Take back your free time and go and enjoy yourself

So with all those household needs met, and money saved from super bargains, all you need to do know is decide what to do with your spare time instead. Now you can avoid the weekend shopping chaos why not do something more fun for all the family? Nothing is more important and why not make the most of it.

We finally have a new way to surf the net for purchases. The online shopping centre is the way forward for busy people everywhere.

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