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FAQ

Why don't schools teach children about taxes and bills and things that they will definitely need to know as adults to get by in life?
Departments of education and school districts always have to make decisions about what to include in their curriculum.  There are a lot of life skills that people need that aren't taught in school.  The question is should those skills be taught in schools?I teach high school, so I'll talk about that.  The typical high school curriculum is supposed to give students a broad-based education that prepares them to be citizens in a democracy and to be able to think critically.  For a democracy to work, we need educated, discerning citizens with the ability to make good decisions based on evidence and objective thought.  In theory, people who are well informed about history, culture, science, mathematics, etc., and are capable of critical, unbiased thinking, will have the tools to participate in a democracy and make good decisions for themselves and for society at large.  In addition to that, they should be learning how to be learners, how to do effective, basic research, and collaborate with other people.  If that happens, figuring out how to do procedural tasks in real life should not prmuch of a challenge.  We can't possibly teach every necessary life skill people need, but we can help students become better at knowing how to acquire the skills they need.  Should we teach them how to change a tire when they can easily consult a book or search the internet to find step by step instructions for that?  Should we teach them how to balance a check book or teach them how to think mathematically and make sense of problems so that the simple task of balancing a check book (which requires simple arithmetic and the ability to enter numbers and words in columns and rows in obvious ways) is easy for them to figure out.  If we teach them to be good at critical thinking and have some problem solving skills they will be able to apply those overarching skills to all sorts of every day tasks that shouldn't be difficult for someone with decent cognitive ability  to figure out.  It's analogous to asking why a culinary school didn't teach its students the steps and ingredients to a specific recipe.  The school taught them about more general food preparation and food science skills so that they can figure out how to make a lot of specific recipes without much trouble.  They're also able to create their own recipes.So, do we want citizens with very specific skill sets that they need to get through day to day life or do we want citizens with critical thinking, problem solving, and other overarching cognitive skills that will allow them to easily acquire ANY simple, procedural skill they may come to need at any point in their lives?
Which is better and why: term or whole life insurance?
Look at the beauty of marketing by insurance companies. They can cherry pick words & make lousy products look beautiful. And these things sell also? It is a wonder.The difference between term insurance & whole life insurance is this :One is Good , the other ranges from Bad to Ugly.We shall come to the marketing later. Let us see this through the definitions first so that you get it in simple terms.Term insurance is a fixed term contract between you & the company. So you enter into the policy at say 30 years & agree to pay a fixed premium per year for next 30 years (mostly flat per year).Why do you pay? If something unfortunate happens to you, your family gets the “sum assured” amount immediately on which they can sustain till the time the children become independent. Typical sum assured should be between 10 to 14 times your annual income. In mature markets like US, this multiple can be as high as 20 or 25% at very reasonable cost. So it’s simple. You pay for the risk of eventuality & know what your risk cover amount is. If you survive till 60, good for you. The contract ends. The policy gives you the peace of mind while you are earning without spending too much out of your savings(for premiums). That’s all you need for your dependents in your earning years. Right? This is the GOOD product.Now let's move to the whole life insurance also sold as permanent life insurance.This is a category which has various forms (variable, universal and variable universal). It also takes the form of endowment plan, money back insurance, traditional plan, etc.Notice the attractive use of catch phrases like “permanent” , “whole life” & “moneyback” v/s the very non glamourous “term insurance”.These plans are nothing but savings plans mixed with insurance, complexity , high costs & commissions that are peddled through agents with aggressive (mis) selling & poor transparency. Obviously, who will buy the moment you show the product all open & make it simple to understand?All traditional/whole life/ Endowment plans are heady cocktails that are difficult to understand, very expensive & will give you a heavy hangover when you wake up after your “whole life” is in later phases & you need money the most.And there is this marketing blitz. Lets us see how insurance companies market the bad & ugly with smarter words that beat logic.The BAD & the UGLY explained:Here are the selling propositions of whole life plans & the absurdity of logic explained from my perspective:The Gimmick : Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance, which stays in effect for as long as you pay the premiums. This means you never have to worry about un-insurability or losing your safety net as you get older.The absurdity: You are collecting my money. Of course it is permanent as long as I pay. Why would you stop me? My money is income for you. Plus the “risk cover” in case of eventuality is very low, approx. 5% to 10% of what you get in term plans.The Gimmick : How exactly the cash value works depends on the type of policy. For example, in a variable life policy, the cash value acts like a mutual fund, but, with whole life, it’s more similar to a simple savings account.The absurdity: So you won’t tell me the details of charges & high expenses. “Depends” is the best I get. Mutual fund is thrown in to keep my imagination flying on returns but the “depends” eventually will kill me with the returns of a simple savings accounts with lots of costs, expenses & commissions deducted. Huh?The Gimmick: Which plan would you pick from the table below?Obviously the second plan is for “whole life”, has “guaranteed cash value” & earns interest. It is so obvious? SOLD.The absurdity: I need you to cover my risk with “high sum assured” for my family to survive on. Don’t open another savings account for me with poor risk cover. Guaranteed death benefit? Amazing. I have deposited money all along. Of course, you will give me some part of my money back to my family. After deducting your profits & costs. Earns a predetermined interest? I can get interest from a term deposit also at the bank. At least that will not have your expenses baked in. I need insurance to cover my life risk & prme a peace of mind at low cost. Why the complexity?But why do these plans sell after all?Because Insurance is never bought. It is always SOLD.Never underethe selling authority of a person who is “known” to you, sitting face to face , motivated by high commission trails 7 is talking to people with limited financial literacy(that covers all of those who buy such plans).Feel free to write to me via e-mail or twitterHonest, Unbiased & Simplified, as always.Reference: Term vs. Whole Life Insurance: What’s the Difference?Image courtesy: Life Insurance Awareness MonthEdit: I have stayed generic since the answer is relevant for all markets. However the logic hold good in a range for all products in the two categories discussed. Interest rates prevailing in the markets impact the kind of returns you get from savings based insurance plans. What I can assure you is that the rate or returns are going to be…well, absurd.
What is it like to be in the top one percent of wealthy Americans?
First, some background …I started a business in the telecom sector in 1991, and after 25 year in business I find myself at the helm of a 50 person company with sales in the $12M / year range with an after tax income of approx. $1.3M. Our top and bottom line revenue has increased steadily over the last many years, and since I am the sole shareholder with no corporate debt, or even line of credit for that matter, the firm's profits are essentially mine to use, either maintained in the company, or, taken as dividend income as required.Over the last 10 years, especially, and ironically, starting in 2021. my net worth has grown exponentially. I decided in 2021 to apply Warren Buffet's famous expression "Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful", and at the time, decided that when everyone was running for the exit sign was the time to start acquiring real estate, and business expansion. It's like the market was on sale. Employee talent was readily available, talent that only two years prior would have been difficult to find and hire. Same with real estate, in particular, apartment buildings, which I began acquiring in 2021. and to date, have 4 buildings. I just sold one a few months ago. I can probably write many paragraphs on business and some of the risks and strategy I've taken over the years, but, I digress.Back to the question at hand.After 25 years in business me, and by extension, my wife and two kids, have an estimated net worth of approximately $25 million dollars. I figure it's growing by approximately $2 million per year between the appreciation of the real estate, business profits, and conservative investments. BTW, I am no longer a big risk taker, I don't need to be at this stage.So what does it feel like to be in the top 1%?One word. Liberating.When I started my business in 1991 I had very little, and by the summer of 1992 I was down to my last $500 in the bank, so, to fast forward 25 years later and have accumulated so much provides me, and my family, with a sense of security. I know what it's like to live dollar to dollar. Other than my wife, corporate controller, and accountant, no one knows how wealthy we are, and I'm perfectly fine that way. I don't want anyone to know. Sure, they have the sense that we do OK, but, we just don't talk about it. I don't want to be judged any differently because of it.We now have 3 homes. Our primary home, a year round cottage that we use in the summer and winter, and a large home in Florida, all paid for with cash and no mortgage. We rent the Florida house for about 12 weeks per year which covers all the expenses of the home and provides a small profit of about $10,000 per year.Minor expenses, things like doing the roof, car expenses, home upgrades, clothes for the family, are just made without an issue. My wife needs a new car this year (she's driving a 9 year old Honda Pilot), and we'll pay for that with cash. I need a new car next year (it's an 8 year old Lexus), and again, I'll buy it with cash and won't even notice the dent in the bank account. The religious organization we belong to needed to redo the parking lot, they did a fund raising campaign and weren't able to raise not even 25% of the required funds to finish the lot, so, I wrote an anonymous check for the difference. All the above was this past year.We took a family vacation this past spring to Costa Rica for 1 week, went all out, and are taking another one, this time for 2 weeks, to Europe, and again, are paying for that with cash.My wardrobe is very understated. For example, I wear the same pair of shoes to work every day for at least a year before they need to be replaced. I spend no more than $1,000 per year on my wardrobe, it might even be closer to $500.My wife works, not because she has to, but, because she wants to. She makes about $25,000 per year as an interior designer, and is happy to be busy with her clients, client projects, and looking after our family for the balance of the time.My wife and I spend a lot of time making sure our kids are well grounded. They get gifts on their birthday, holidays, new clothes at the beginning of the school year, but otherwise, if they want something they have to buy it themselves with their own money that they make from their own jobs.My son is headed off to university this September, and again, I'll pay for the school tuition with cash.We are not frivolous with our money. We live well, but spend time on things that create lasting memories. Family vacations and spending time with the family is extremely important. Making sure that me, and my family are looked after, living within our means, and knowing that we have more money than we can ever spend, is liberating.It's taken a lot of work, and time to get to this stage of my life. I'm 48 and am hoping to semi retire in 2 years. I work now because I want to, not because I have to.I am a lucky man.I have a beautiful wife, both inside and out, wonderful kids that appreciate what my wife and I do for them, we have our health, and know that no money in the world can buy that, happiness, and most of all, peace of mind.So, how does it feel.Liberating.
Is it better (for homeowners) to buy Life insurance instead of Mortgage insurance when taking out a mortgage?
Term life insurance is a type of life insurance that provides temporary coverage for a duration lasting up to 30 years.Homeowners can buy term life coverage for the duration of their mortgage loan and in the amount of their mortgage to make sure there is enough money provided to the beneficiary of the policy, to pay off the outstanding mortgage loan, upon the death of the insured person.Usually, a mortgage insurance policy provides a form of declining term insurance that declines over the duration of the policy. And, the death benefit goes directly to the mortgage company, not your own family members.Term life insurance is much more affordable compared to the cost of mortgage insurance.Also, term life is level protection that does not decrease over the life of your policy, and the premiums are guaranteed to remain level for the duration of your insurance plan.So, there are at least three main benefits to term life insurance over mortgage insurance:Cost - Term Life is CheaperBenefits Paid to Your Beneficiary, Not The Mortgage CompanyDeath Benefits Do Not Decrease Over TimeAnd, your beneficiary can use the money from a term life policy any way they choose, including paying down the mortgage and for any other needs, such as, living expenses.Learn more about term life insurance to protect your mortgage.
How do I calculate mortgage insurance?
Try this site where you can compare quotes://INSURANCECOMPAREQUOTES.US/index.html?src=compare//RELATEDI was in a car accident. My car was deem a total lost. The insurance towed my car away. I waited 1 year?trying to get my claim paid. Today I received a letter from some car auction center, stating that I had to go get my car or they will charge me storage per day. now my car was a honda 05 I originally finaced the car and still owe money on the car. like 13000. The insurance company is not paying my claim. The finance company gave me a charge off on my credit. Now If I go pick up this car. is the car now mines? I do not have the title. How do I get the title.”Insurance question please?hi i am a learner and but my partner has a car that is insured on his friends name. my question is my partner states he cannot teach me how to drive or put my name under the insurance because it would cost more and he might get into trouble with the police . i just want to know if this is true and if so like how much would it cost.How much would the insurance cost with a 17 year old male driving a 1987 ford bronco 4X4 v8?just wondering because i might buy one as a driving project truckWhat kinds of insurance we should get in California?What kind of insurance we should shop if owner live in the property them self? What kind of insurance we should shop if it’s rented out? What kind of insurance we should buy if we need fix the problems like dishwasher? Is it necessary to buy such kind of insurance?Question about auto insurance?Okay, I’m really stupid when it comes to this stuff, so don’t laugh at this. I have a vehicle insured under my name. If my friend is driving it, would she be covered whether I’m present or not? Does it matter at all if she has her own auto insurance?”Health Insurance for Low Income?We are looking for an affordable health insurance plan. I’m 39 and my husband is 45 living in San Francisco. Healthy and never had injuries or big illness. We used to have a kaiser plan around $600/m and $25 for every visit. Any better deals?How does insurance Work in a dealer finance car if it where to get in a accident?How does insurance work if a car is totalled in accident, but the car is still finance through a dealership? Would the Insurance payoff the balance owing in the car or just payoff what the car worth? What would happen to the remainder of the finance owing if the car is totalled in accident, but the fault is not in you? Thank you.”How much is car insurance for a 19 year old male in Louisiana?How much is car insurance for a 19 year old male in Louisiana?First time Car Owner Getting Insurance?I’m a college student, not living with my parents, which means I will need to start my own parents. and I’m looking to buy my first car, which might be an out-of-state title. Say I eventually, locked on a deal. The question is: Do I have to buy insurance before paying for the car. But then how does the insurance company assess the quote since I haven’t had a car yet. Do I just tell them the make and year of the car I’m Going to buy for sure or how does it work? What if I bought the insurance, but the deal didn’t work out, and I have to choose other car/ make/ year? Or, can I get it insured soon After I make the purchase? If so, what happens between I picked up it from the seller and driving it to get it insured. Do I get screw if I had an accident during this time. I probably sound pretty stupid by now.. but dude help me out here.”Can i get car insurance if i dont have my licence?So basically I didn’t have a car to take my dl test in ( my mom has a stick, and I cant drive it, i tried and failed), so i saved up and just bought a little 2021 saab turbo. Only now i have called Allstate, Geico, and AAA and they all say that 1) I cannot insure my car because I do not have a licence 2) My mom cannot add my car to her insuranve because her name is not on the pink slip, mine is SO is there any car insurance company that will cover my car for like 3 months till I take my test? Like, of course Id have a licenced driver with me in the car so I can legally drive it (im 18).”
I'm 22 years old and I want to become a millionaire by 35. How do I do this?
I became a millionaire when I was 40, but it’s not so difficult to get there by 35.Leverage is key. Leverage is basically the difference between values of the same thing, in two different positions. (Location, time, etc.)Think about a waterfall where there is a height difference. So, water naturally flows from one level to another:Same applies to business. Money flows naturally to where it has more leverage.As a 22 year old, you have all the time in the world. But you can’t simply exchange your time, your biggest asset at a low price point. That’s a poor person’s mindset. You can leverage the difference between value of time in a western country and a developing one. There are millions of people who are ready to happily work on a project in Phillipines, India or Morocco for a fraction of what it would cost in US.Go to Upwork | Hire Freelancers. Make things happen.Go to Find work/ U.S. OnlyFind job posts about a topic that you have an idea about. Social Media Marketing has lots of tasks that a 22 year old can easily manage. Things like editing images, posting them on Instagram or Facebook, etc. But you won’t be doing them by yourself. Merge multiple tasks from different businesses and post another job to have them done by an agency (or an individual) from a developing country. By bundling them as one project, you will have more power in negotiating a better deal. Then all you need to do is make sure they deliver, and communicate with your US based customers.I was able to make between $300-$500 with this method when I first discovered Upwork.This is just one idea out of thousands you can find, utilizing the differences between different parts of the world. Be resourceful and create your own resources, to use them to get to the next level.Make sure to read the story of the guy who made his way to get a house, trading things with more valuable stuff, starting with a paperclip:One red paperclip - Wikipedia
What are the differences between the NPS (National Pension System) and the PPF (Public Provident Fund) in India? Is there any benefit in using PPFs?
Here’s a comparison of the features of both, the National Pension System and Public Provident Fund:Who can invest?All individuals who are citizens of India are eligible to invest in the National Pension System and the Public Provident Fund.Is there an age limit?You need to be between 18-60 to invest in the National Pension System.There is no age limit for investors in the Public Provident Fund.Investment objectiveThe National Pension System is ideal for retirement planning.The Public Provident Fund is only a long-term investment.Fund managerInvestments in the National Pension System are managed by a pension fund manager approved by the Government of India.Public Provident Fund accounts are managed by the Central Government.ReturnsThe National Pension System does not give investors a fixed rate of return. You have to allocate your investment amount between equities, government securities and debt securities. The payouts are not made on a yearly basis. Returns are consolidated and the value of your investment increases gradually over time.With the Public Provident Fund, the interest is paid out at the end of every financial year. There is a fixed rate of interest that is determined at the start of every financial year. The rate of interest is 8.7% for FY 2016.Minimum investmentFor the National Pension System, a minimum investment of Rs. 6,000 per year is required, to keep your account active.For Public Provident Fund accounts, a minimum investment of Rs. 500 per year is required.Lock-in periodThe National Pension System has a lock-in period up to the investor’s age of 60 years.The Public Provident Fund scheme has a lock-in period of 15 years.Tax benefitsInvestments made in the National Pension System up to a maximum amount of Rs. 2 lakh per year are deductible from your taxable income.You can get tax deductions on the Public Provident Fund for investments up to Rs. 1,50,000 per year.Additional Read: Tax Saving With The National Pension SystemWhich components of the investment are taxed? Which are not taxed?With the National Pension System, you get tax benefits on the capital appreciation of your investment. There are no tax benefits on the principal amount that you get on withdrawal or maturity.In the Public Provident Fund, the yearly interest earned is not taxed. Even the principal withdrawn or received on maturity is exempted from tax.What happens on maturity?On maturity, under the National Pension System, 60% of the Net Asset Value (NAV) of your investment is paid to the investor. This includes the principal and return earned. The remaining 40% has to compulsorily be reinvested in an annuity scheme offered by any Life Insurance company. The investor then receives a monthly payment as pension.In the Public Provident Fund, your entire investment is paid back to you, including the interest earned.Premature withdrawals and exitUnder the National Pension System, you are permitted to exit the scheme prematurely and stop any further contributions. You will only get paid back 20% of the current NAV of your investment, while the remaining 80% is to be reinvested in an annuity scheme.The Public Provident Fund permits premature withdrawals. You cannot, however, exit from the fund completely. Beginning from Year 7 of your investment, you are allowed one withdrawal per year. You can withdraw not more than 50% of the PPF account balance at the end of Year 4, preceding the year of withdrawal. For example, if you opened your PPF account in 2021. you will be allowed to make a partial withdrawal in 2021. Your withdrawal amount should be not more than 50% of the total value of the investment on the year 2021 (i.e. the 4th year).Additional Read: Your Income Tax Exemption Guide For The Financial Year 2016-17You can find out more about these investment options from these pages -NPS - National Pension SchemePPF - Public Provident Fund Account, Rules | BankBazaarAdhil Shetty
If my Dad is 50 when he takes out a mortgage protection life insurance and the mortgage is for 30 years, should the insurance be for the life of the mortgage whatever the age?
The purpose of insurance is to replace uncertainty with certainty. In this case, the uncertainty is about how the mortgage payments will be made if your dad dies before it is paid off.In the early years of the mortgage this is a serious problem. But 20 years out, the remaining principal might be low enough that remaining family might be able to pay it off out of savings. Or the home might be sold, the mortgage paid off and the remaining family share the proceeds according to your dad’s will.So, it may not be necessary for the insurance to cover the entire mortgage term.