Four Reasons Why People Sell Their Annuities

Structured settlement cash out

In the world of financial planning and retirement, the biggest question isn’t just “What are annuities?” The main question is, “Why are people buying annuities, and then looking for structured settlement cash outs?” The simple answer here is that annuities aren’t always the greatest investment, and many people only find out about the downfalls of their annuity after buying it. For starters…

  1. First of all, inflation is naturally going to occur no matter how much you invest or how strong the economy is; settlement annuity payments rarely — if ever — take inflation into account when calculating the monthly payments you’ll receive. In other words, although you’ll get the same amount of money each year during retirement, you won’t be able to do as much with it.

  2. It’s possible to buy an annuity that gives increased payments over time — these are called percentage increasing annuities, and although they seem to solve the problem of inflation, the remaining problem is that you’ll end up getting much smaller payments at the outset (and if you happen to die soon after you start receiving payments, you’re out of luck).

  3. In fact, as grotesque as it might sound, the issue of how soon you (and/or possibly your partner) die after you start receiving settlement annuity payments can be a major problem, too. Level annuities promise to give you payments each month until you die, but if you happen to pass away just a year or two after you start receiving your money, then the rest of your investment will go to the annuity/pension company. Fixed annuities give you a bit more control over your money by promising a specified amount each month until your money runs out, but if you happen to out-live your money, then you’re left to your own devices as far as finances go.

  4. Taxes are another problem: although your lump sum investment won’t be taxed while it sits in your account, once you begin receiving payments, those payments will be taxed just like a regular paycheck would be. Unlike a regular paycheck, the most common annuities aren’t adjusted for inflation (and consequently for tax increases), meaning that it’s incredibly difficult to plan for how much money will be taken out of your regular payments.

So what do you think? Are these downfalls still pretty minor, compared to the benefits of annuities? Or are they enough to convince you that annuities are the worst? More on this topic.

Home Equity Loans 101

In some financial hardships, you result to your assets. Some situations demand that you consider refinancing as a way to get you back on your feet when in a bad financial status. The loans, especially from a middle market private equity firm, provide property owners access to quick money when the need arises.

Can you use home equity to buy another property? Can you use your home equity to buy another house? As an investor, you can use the home equity loan as a down payment for a second home. The first home becomes collateral. It is vital to note the following when drawing equity from your home; there are ways you can increase the equity of your home.

To get a high value to draw equity from house ownership, pay your mortgage earlier than anticipated. Take advantage of the fluctuations in the home market. There is increased home equity to draw from your home when the market value of your house is high.

When shopping for home equity loans, obtain quotes from several lenders to compare the interest rates. Consider the loan application fee; in most cases, the fee paid as the application is non-refundable when you fail to qualify for the loan after a low credit score.

Online banking savings rate

Let’s get this out of the way first: In a perfect world, everyone would have enough money to pay for the things they need and want, and no one would have to spend hours just to find a bank or mortgage company that provides loans with reasonable interest rates, or the best mortgage rates that won’t cause too much stress. Nobody particularly wants to be in a financial situation where they need to take out a loan or a mortgage on their home, but these things happen all the time — and financial agreements like home equity loans actually help countless people get back on their feet and become financially stable.

So what exactly is a home equity loan?

The “equity” of your house is the amount of money left when you subtract how much you owe on your mortgage from the price at which you could sell your house. This is the amount of money, in a home equity loan, that you could receive in the form of a loan or a line of credit.

The most common way to go about a home equity loan is to do some research, and maybe even seek help from a financial consultant, before you make any big decisions. You can get home equity loans from pretty much any financial institution that offers traditional professional loans and/or home mortgages — e.g., banks, credit unions, specialized mortgage companies, private lenders, etc.

The average amount of money that people are able to take out in these loans is around 85% of their home’s total equity, and like any other type of loan or mortgage, interest rates always apply and always depend on each homeowner’s particular situation. Again, just like other types of loans, home equity loans usually involve the lender paying out a lump sum of cash to the homeowner, as per the loan agreement, and the homeowner will have to pay that amount back in monthly installments.

When it comes down to the basic facts, home equity loans are actually pretty simple to understand, especially if you have a knack for understanding finances and loan agreements.

Now the conversation is turning over to you — is there any important info about these loans that we left out? Make sure to share your insights in the comments section! Read this for more.

Why Online Pharmacies Are So Dangerous

Pos pharmacy billing

Have you ever heard about something called an “online pharmacy”? It’s a pretty straightforward concept — it’s a business run entirely online, and it allows people to buy prescription drugs online and have the drugs sent right to their doorstep. If it sounds a little sketchy to you, your head is in the right place. Because as simple as these pharmacies seem, they actually present quite a few dangers to the health and wellbeing of their customers.

Because the FDA has such a hard time regulating these online pharmacies, it’s pretty to find that they sell unapproved drugs that aren’t legally supposed to be sold in the U.S., and they also tend to send out medications with the incorrect ingredients or with the wrong amount of the active ingredient. Even if these incorrect prescriptions are sent out by mistake (which is pretty unlikely), customers still have no way of knowing that they’re taking the wrong medication — until something serious happens, of course.

Unfortunately, either people aren’t aware that online pharmacies are so dangerous, or they’re simply willing to take the risks (either for financial reasons or for convenience). In fact, the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest has recently estimated that about $75 billion worth of counterfeit drugs — like the ones provided by online pharmacies — are sold every year. Scare tactics clearly don’t work well, and it seems like no amount of government laws and regulations can ameliorate the situation either.

So what can you do to make the prescription drug industry safer?

If you’re a consumer, the easiest thing to do is to stay away from these pharmacies and to encourage others to do the same.

If you run a pharmacy yourself, think about making some technology upgrades and product changes so that your customers will actually enjoy filling their prescriptions at your store. Something as simple as replacing an old cash register with a new retail pharmacy POS system can make a huge difference: transactions will be faster, creating customer loyalty programs will be easier, and pharmacy POS systems that automatically track sales trends will help you figure out which products your customers really want.

It may be difficult, if not impossible, to track down every online pharmacy and shut it down. But by working together, it may be possible to push these sketchy companies right out of business. Helpful links. Reference links.

One of the Biggest Problems in Modern POS Systems

Retail pharmacy point of sale

If you own a small business and have to manage a POS system on your own, being able to detect and solve problems (or find someone who can solve them) is extremely important; it doesn’t matter if you own a restaurant and use a general POS software, or if you own a small local drugstore and rely on a specialized retail pharmacy POS system — being sure that your system is safe and secure is essential for a successful business.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at one of the most common problems that business owners have with a POS system…

Security Breaches

With so many national chain stores experiencing security breaches in their POS systems, the silver lining is that more business owners are becoming aware that their own systems could use some updated security protection. If you start seeing weird files appearing or (ironically) you see an influx of warning messages pop up that suggest you should update the security system on your devices, those are two solid signs that dangerous malware (i.e., a computer virus) has gotten into your system.

Most newer POS systems come with round-the-clock support, and many companies offer to send out updated security features as they’re developed. It’s no secret that security companies are usually only able to create security programs against viruses after hackers have already sent out the malware, so if you have a secure system but still suspect that it’s been infected, that’s fairly normal.

The most important thing you can do is simply be aware of malware signs, and if you suspect that something is wrong, never hesitate to call an expert for help. Read more like this.