Showing posts from December, 2012

10 Numbers That Can Change Your Life

By Paul Merriman

At some point, every investor who is planning to retire must confront his or her financial future. For most people, basic retirement planning can be distilled into 10 numbers.

As I worked with thousands of people over the years, and I saw over and over that when these numbers come into focus, the future starts looking clearer and less mysterious.

As you work to nail down these numbers, I suggest you regard the process as an exercise in discovery. Some items are easy to determine, while others may require some digging and careful thought. I think you will do a much better job if you use a competent financial adviser to help you get the right numbers and see what they mean for you.

One: Your current cost of living. This is the foundation of everything that follows. You could go into great detail on this, but a quick-and-dirty approach may be enough to get the process started: Identify your current gross income and subtract whatever you are saving for the futur…

8 Ways to Boost Your Income Now

With salaries up only 1.7 percent for the year--a repeat of last year's meager 1.6 percent--many Americans must look beyond their regular jobs to boost their incomes. There are ways to make extra money, some of them new, others tried-and-true, says Randall Hansen, founder of the career development website Quintessential Careers. Couple your ingenuity with your skills and, in some cases, Internet-based opportunities, and you can expand your bottom line even in these tight times.

Crowdfund your invention. As recently as a few years ago, inventors required bankers or venture capitalists to realize their ideas and move them to the marketplace. Now, crowdfunding sites like and allow anyone to raise money from friends and strangers who want little more than to help bring an offering to life. Of the more than 30,000 projects successfully funded on Kickstarter since its 2009 launch, the vast majority have been the work of an individual, not compa…