Search this blog

Home About Contact

Search The Web

Custom Search

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Millionaires Around The World

My, my... would you believe that in The United States alone, you will find 3.9 million millionaires, the highest population on the globe.

And 8.5% of Singapore's population are millionaires...and here we are trying to figure out on how to get our first million... (Now, do you think it is difficult to be a millionaire?)

By the way, to get the full story, you can go here..

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

7 Critical Factors To Consider In Health/Medical Insurance

Since I was seriously looking for health insurance, I found a few critical factors that we all should know before committing ourselves to it.

  • Not all insurance will be paying in full. Some have co-insurance, meaning that out of the total sum charged by the hospital, we have to fork out a certain percentage from our own pockets. Often it may be in the 80-20 ratio.
  • Do they cover pre-existing illnesses? You'll be surprised that there are some companies that do. Shop around and you'll find one that does.
  • Make sure the insurance company is a reliable/reputable one. You don't want to get into further complications when you fall sick, like your card is denied by the hospital, etc.
  • Make sure you know the coverage limit. Sometimes just having a namesake coverage doesn't help you at all. And get yourself/your loved ones adequately covered. This includes even if you are insured by your workplace.
  • Are pandemic illness covered? Even though recently the government has urged for insurance companies to include coverage on the H1N1 flu, the test and lab procedures before confirming the illness are not included.
  • If possible, get a secondary health insurance at a cheaper rate. Usually you can get this through a group insurance policies. Co-operatives normally provide this packages if you are a member.
  • For convenience sake, some people may prefer the cashless system. Not all health insurance provide this facility. Certain packages are used for reimbursement only. So, don't forget to check on this matter!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Shopping for medical cards!

Health insurance a.k.a medical card is an extreme necessity that most of us don't realise until we experience the pain ourselves. My brother was admitted to one of the private medical centre here. And since it was an emergency admission, we just used credit card to swipe in for the deposit. After all, how much could it cost, we thought. The next day, the specialist came to inform that we needed to top up our deposit as it had crossed 7K. Just 2 days and it had crossed 7K!!!

And even though my brother had a medical card covered by his work place, the limit was up to 12K only. So, we are most likely to foot the total bill that would probably hit the 20-25K mark.And that's a LOT of money!

So, my first priority now would be to ensure that my entire family is adequately insured. I have to hold back on my investment plans for the time being.What else can be more important than the welfare and well-being of your family? And that reminds me..I've to get a card for my wife as well. Earlier, when I got a medical card for my son, I did not take for her because her work place provided her with one.

So for all you guys out there, do not delay in insuring yourselves and your family. Yes, more expenses incurred, but it gives you a peace of mind.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How to Spend Like a Frugal Millionaire

Maybe we have all read about these tips before (you may even find the likes of some of them here, here and here) , but I still found that this article an interesting read...

Saving thousands while still spending.

Millionaires make up just 2 percent of the population. They get a bad rap during recessions for being wasteful with their money and are frequently used as examples of excess. It’s the millionaires that you don’t see that you can learn from in times like these. I call them the frugal millionaires and interviewed 70 of them to uncover ways we can all be smarter with money.

Nearly 70 percent of the economy is based on consumer spending. To keep the economy going we need to keep spending but not waste money in the process. This is where the frugal millionaires come in. They’ve been smart with their money all along and haven’t lost it all and had to remake it. These are the kind of people you want to learn from when it comes to spending your money.

Spending philosophy.

Frugal millionaires are unique thinkers when it comes to spending money: 1) they can easily delay their need for gratification when purchasing; 2) they are resourceful in getting what they want by carefully timing their consumer purchases; 3) they make living below their means painless; 4) they don’t like wasting anything (especially money); 5) their sense of “self-entitlement” is highly minimized: and 6) spending is OK with them…depending on what they are buying (think: appreciating vs. depreciating assets).

[For more, see, "10 Secrets of Millionaires' Money Management."]

Buying tips.

These millionaires keep more money than they spend, that’s why they are rich. Their tactics work for them so they’ll work even better for you. Key Point: They don’t view shopping as a sport. They shop efficiently and spend their time doing more important things with their lives. Here are their tips that will help you save while spending:

Cars: Buy used (or off lease) fuel-efficient cars, often with “certified pre-owned” warranties. This warranty can be better than a new car, plus the initial depreciation hit is avoided. Drive the car for a long time and never lease it.

Eating Out: Bring half of a meal home to eat later (this also saves the waistline). Eat at happy hours. Bring wine from home and skip dessert. Value food quality over expensive ambience.

Eating In: Eat better and less expensively by cooking at home. Make it a friends and family event. Get your kids involved. Bonus: You can have that extra drink without worrying about getting busted for driving under the influence. Also: buy day-old bread at the best bakery in town and freeze it. Eat oatmeal, because it’s the most cost-effective breakfast food. Get a supermarket “club card” and buy food on special. Play the game of trying to see how much of a discount can be saved off the total food bill.

Clothes: When you buy something new donate something used to charity. Buy traditional clothes, but wait for the off-season to acquire them. Go for high quality – not high price. Buy vintage clothing and avoid logo clothing and keep people guessing who the designer might be. Hint: There shouldn’t be one!

[For more, read: "Juggling Your Money in the Recession."]

Consumer Electronics: Buy low-end gear that has the basic functionality of the more expensive stuff. Don’t be the first to buy new technology. Wait at least one lifecycle so the bugs are worked out. Buy refurbished electronics whenever possible.

Computers: Buy more mainstream computers with proven technology. Select higher capacity hard drives, a decent amount of RAM (the memory that the program runs in) and a cost effective processor. Super fast doesn’t always equal super good…unless you are building airplanes or bridges. Laptops are a good compromise between desktops and netbooks. Don’t go through the pain of upgrading operating systems on existing computers, it’s not time efficient and you will probably go insane trying.

Going green: Being green and frugal go hand-in-hand. Yet frugal millionaires don’t readily fall for the trendy green hype machine. They typically buy green if it helps the environment and lowers their costs. They look at the timeframe when a product can pay for itself. They do use compact fluorescent lighting, turn off lights and equipment that isn’t being used, monitor AC and heat usage (with programmable thermostats), drive efficiently, live in “right-sized” homes and turn off the water when they aren’t brushing their teeth or washing dishes. Because they have trained themselves to not waste money they won’t waste anything else either. They get into good habits and keep them going. You can, too.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Why Athletes Go Broke

The “Real Deal” is broke.

Former Heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield is playing the real life game of Deal Or No Deal. It has been reported that his $10 million estate in suburban Atlanta is under foreclosure, the mother of one of his children is suing for unpaid child support, and a Utah consulting company has gone to court claiming the boxer failed to pay back more than a half million dollars for landscaping. Just one more high profile athlete having to scale back his lifestyle to the level to which you have I have been accustomed. Why is it that athletes who seem to have everything are often completely unable to control anything related to finances?

We all played our violins to death when we heard of Latrell Sprewell’s financial troubles. On Halloween 2004, Sprewell, who was in the final season of a $62-million five-year contract with the New York Knicks, said he was insulted by the Minnesota Timberwolve’s offer of a contract extension that was reportedly worth between $27 million and $30 million for three seasons. Sprewell stated, “I’ve got my family to feed.” That quote become a national moniker for the public perception of athletes as greedy, out of touch individuals. Apparently, Sprewell still can’t feed his family. His yacht was recently repossessed and his multi-million dollar mansion is about to be foreclosed on.

While there is certainly the stereotype of the financially irresponsible NBA athlete, no professional sport is immune.

Let’s take a look at some high profile athlete financial sob stories over the years:

1. No one my age can forget Jack”The Ripper” Clark , star player for the Boston Red Sox who filed for bankruptcy in 1992 in the middle of his second year of a three-year, $8.7 million contract with Boston; he listed $6.7 million in debts. Jack was a master of financial planning and prudent asset acquisition. His bankruptcy petition listed assets such as 18 automobiles, including a 1990 Ferrari that cost $717,000 and three 1992 Mercedes Benz cars costing between $103,000 and $143,000. He owed money on 17 of the automobiles and was liable for about $400,000 in Federal and state taxes. He had also lost about $1 million in a drag-racing venture. Sounds like Jack would have been more at home in the NBA. You can read about it hereMike Tyson\'s Bentley

2. Johnny Unitas, Hall of Fame quarterback for the Baltimore Colts, filed for bankruptcy in 1991 citing numerous failed business ventures in his petition These failed bits included bowling alleys, land deals and restaurants. He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1991.

3. Mike Tyson The name speaks for itself. Mike’s bankruptcy was highly publicized. Despite earning hundreds of millions during his boxing career, Mike kept it simple. His bankruptcy petition simply stated: ” I am unable to pay my bills”. According to federal court records, his liabilities totaled about $27 million. You can read that story here.

4. Dorothy Hamill, the women’s figure-skating gold medalist in the 1976 Winter Games, filed for bankruptcy after a series of financial setbacks. Hamill said she has experienced financial setbacks as a result of poor financial investment advice and management.

read more