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How to protect yourself against fraud

How to protect yourself against fraud

With the use of online banking and apps on our mobile devices, the cases of fraud have heightened more than ever before. It is dire that consumers pay attention to their accounts in order to protect fraud and save themselves from oncoming damage.

The Dangers of Online Fraud

The simplest things like using public Wi-Fi in a shopping center or not monitoring online purchases can be grounds for a disaster. It is important to remain attentive when doing these things because of the way technology has made stealing people’s information so conveniently accessible. Unfortunately, the most drastic measures must be taken to protect your name and your money.

When setting up online banking, picking exclusive passwords is an effective way in protecting yourself against fraud. In this era where most people don’t even have to enter a bank to see their finances, it is highly significant to have the best online security.

Emails can get hacked as well. Changing your password constantly is a great way in saving yourself from the dangers of fraud. It provides as protection as well as gives you peace of mind. Securing your email and your technological devices can be an exceptionally efficient way to stop hackers and scammers from stealing your funds.

Like most things there are pros and cons. As long as there are ways to get scammed, there will always be ways to protect yourself from it. Online pop up blockers and anti-virus software can always be downloaded as ways to prevent fraud.

Always be wary of where you are putting in your personal information such as, passwords, account numbers and even personal identification numbers. If negligent, they can be tracked and fraud will be likely to occur.

Who You Can Trust With Your Money

Meeting with financial advisors to know exactly how your money is being handled is a good way to have a handle on your personal finances. One should always take initiative to protect themselves against fraud, but having someone who is trained in the matter to help is always a great plus.

Even with having an advisor, fraud can still occur. Being mindful of what your advisor says is important, but it is always important to remain in control of your life. Do not be afraid to ask about your financial progression because after all, it is your money.

Financial advisors themselves often can be scammers. It is highly significant to do research to protect your assets. A common mistake people can make is putting their trust into an advisor.

It is important to not be fooled or intimidated by certain terminology used. Extensive research can grow tiresome but is well worth it in fighting against fraud and suspicious activities.

Be Alert

Having a financial advisor and changing passwords are efficient ways to protect yourself against fraud. Even with these precautions, you can still have fraud committed against you. As it is your name and your account, you must always have your eyes open to the cruelties associated with fraud.

Understand how your money is being spent and have clear visuals of what your money looks like. Be attentive and knowledgeable to your money. This isn’t only good to know from the advisors perspective but from your financial institution, and most importantly—your own.

Unfortunately, elderly people tend to fall ignorant to the new ways to get scammed out of their money. Even prior to mobile devices and online banking, scammers used telephone calls as a way to track down information.  Now there are new and simpler ways to receive data.

Many times the elderly are not up to date with latest technologies and therefore are blind to what can be done to their accounts. They are likely to be subjected to fraud because of their lack of access to their accounts. They would not even know to protect themselves because they had no knowledge to the new ways.

Modern day technology allows for you to be able to check your account all hours of the day. An elderly person, however, might not be on a mobile device to do so. For them, it is especially critical to be protected, since they may have technological barriers.

But just because elderly people may be more prone doesn’t mean they are limited to fraud. It is something anyone can go through if they aren’t cautious. No one is exempt from fraud but everyone has a chance to fight against it.

What is Holistic Financial Planning

What is Holistic Financial Planning

Holistic financial planning is by far one of the best well known practices that is picking up steam between clients and their accountants. It’s important to understand the reality of what holistic accounting perceives, compared to financial strategies one should take.

The Purpose of Holistic Financial Planning

Holistic financial planning involves more than just counting numbers, and understanding how to forecast the green papers you will obtain as an asset in general. But the most important aspect of holistic financial planning, is to know what to do with the green paper you call cash, and with the rest of your assets.

One can spend money on their own personal wealth, investments, donations, or pass it along to love ones, as well as to use money to take care of those they find dear to their own heart. But the reality of holistic financial planning involves the necessity to understand what your playing field will be like, when you plan to use your money and your forecasted income, as well as curating a thought out plan. The goal of holistic financial planning, is to make sure we understand where you stand with your current financial situation, and determine how realistic your future plans are, as well as to determine any missed opportunities or loopholes with your plans.

What Holistic Financial Planning Really Does?

A great accountant will sit with you, and talk to you about what it is you are planning and looking for. Building a conversation, and in the long run, a sense of “trust” with your clients is part of holistic financial planning. But there is no trust to be built without having reasonable and responsible approaches to one’s hard earn income. As a holistic financial accountant, you have to take the time to see where opportunities lies, and where plans of your clients seem unrealistic. It’s about understanding your client’s cash management, their accumulation of retirement assets, health and life insurance plans, investment on education funding, tax plans and their retirement income plan. These are just some criteria to know when organizing an approach for your client review process.

Why Is Holistic Financial Planning a Good Idea?

Holistic financial planning is a fantastic idea, because it prepares people for the unexpected when planning out a course for their financial investments. What this means is that you can never expect the unexpected. Planning out a financial plan for yourself, in a holistic manner, will open doors for you and safeguard you from the unexpected. It will also create longevity to your personal catered holistic financial plan. The plan is created for you, the client. You can develop, manipulate, and steer it the way you deem fit as a client. Just make sure you obtain your accountants professional opinion when doing so.

Being Holistic Means Being Realistic

Let’s get real here. When you plan to make a holistic financial plan, you may have dreams and aspirations you want to achieve with your current financial situation. There is nothing wrong with being a dreamer, but there is a fine line of knowing when things seem probable, or when things seem out of reach. Always taking the time to understand whether or not you have a guaranteed approach to achieve a goal of your clients is a standard one accountant should always perceive to take. But at the same time, knowing the difference between a guaranteed approach, and a probable, or uncertain one is a standard holistic financial planners should comprehend for themselves.

What Are Uncertainties, and What Are Guarantees?

Uncertainties are factors that may plague your financial plan. I guarantee you that every financial plan faces a few uncertainties down the road (notice how I used guaranteed and uncertainty in that sentence). Having a complete realistic goal, and approach to achieve your goal, is not the same as creating a plan to achieve a goal that may seem “possible” or “probable.”

Unrealistic goals are more than likely a waist of your time, and your money too. But don’t get me wrong, nothing is exactly impossible, there may be a way to achieve your impossible goals. But in hindsight, you better prepare have a fantastic holistic financial plan to achieve those goals.

High Net Worth Accounting

High Net Worth Accounting

As a Long Island accounting firm, we at Nazaire & Co. understand the insanity of making sure your bookkeeping, accounting, and financial records meet immaculate standards. Our firm produces the proper accrual, filing, and disbursement practices your monetary endeavors seek. Being a business in Long Island, we are aware how things work differently in other boroughs and counties. In our practice, we are keen to adopt and identify local financial trends in your local area. Accounting may be a standard principle, but accounting in different towns, states, or industries, will tell you a different financial story in each region, demographic, and industry. The same goes for high net worth clients seeking wealth management accounting assistance. High net worth accounting is a valued accounting practice that is best practiced as a personalized, and discrete service.

The goals of our high net worth accounting practice is to make sure we can plan out, and we will do so, a coordinated and customized planned out effort to make sure you, as an entrepreneur, or an executive, or a high net worth family will be well managed, and be capable to achieve any of your financial planning goals.

Taxes

There are many problems high net worth clients tend to have difficulties facing. One of those problems involve knowing when and how they should go by, taking advantage of the most advantageous tax opportunities with great strategic tax planning solutions. Tax planning solutions, when implemented legally and accordingly will help you in unique situations.

The law of the land is also ever changing. Staying up to date with the changes in tax law will make the difference in having good wealth management accounting solutions. Being as proactive as you are, you should go out and seek assistance from professionals who are skilled and critical in making sure you have great tax planning solutions.

Services for high net worth & wealth management accounting

Questions you may have with high net worth accounting, and wealth management accounting include fields in charitable gifting, planning, financial advisory, tax services, strategies to minimize income tax, family tax planning, strategies to minimize estate tax, investigative services, retirement distribution planning, trust & estate tax planning, business succession planning, tax planning related to transactions and investments. You may have a lot of questions involving your high net worth tax planning solutions. But having accredited CPA’s to assist you will help you lesson your load. It will also relieve you of unwanted stresses and burdens.

Keeping you, your wealth, and your family in mind.

Our Long Island Accounting firm doesn’t just know how to do great accounting. We specialize in personalized accounting to meet your needs! So, if you are looking for a service in high net worth accounting, or wealth management accounting. Nazaire & Co. has the experience of such practices. Plenty of our Long Island and New York City clients will happily say we do.

We undoubtedly keep you, your future, and your love ones in mind when we plan out your financial plans. Our high net worth accounting, and wealth management accounting services are guaranteed to support you and your family’s requisites. We are well prepared and equipped to handle any scenario life throws at you and us, your financial partners.

Tips to Keep Your Small-Business Finances in Order

Tips to Keep Your Small-Business Finances in Order

Being an entrepreneur, it’s hard to grow your business and to keep your finances in order at the same time. You will be too busy trying to grow your business in terms of sales and scalability, and not find any time where you can take a rest, because you will be too busy managing your financial statements afterwards.

We know it’s important for you to grow your business in any way possible (as long as it’s legal) and to have a professional business accountant assisting you with our efforts will only help you even more as an entrepreneur. But if you are a startup business owner who is not looking to invest into an accountant quite yet, here are some tips you will need to follow, to make sure that you (the business owner) don’t make crucial mistakes when putting your finances in order.

Here is a tip that comes straight from an accounting professional. If you plan to bear the burden of reporting financial statements all on your own, try to leverage the work load with tools and other accounting professionals (via outsourced) if you can afford to do so. This will heighten the chance for you and your colleagues to catch any mistakes one of you make. It will also lighten the load from your work pile, as well as to decrease the chances of making costly financial mistakes on your financial reports.

Personal and Business Expenses Should Always Be Separated

Don’t mix your personal expenses with your business’s expenses. It’s important for you, as an entrepreneur, to not make personal expenses on your own business’s credit card. It may be more convenient for you to have only one credit card to use, but by using only one credit card between your personal and business’s expenses, you make it more difficult for you to track your company’s finances.

The best way to avoid major problems when tracking your financial data is to create separate bank accounts, one for your personal use, the other strictly for your business to use. This kind of set up will help you substantially when tracking and measuring your financial and tax information. So you can get rid of the headache of segmenting your financial data between your personal and business’s investments and costs.

Invest into the Right Financial Tools for You to Use

There are many tools out there (especially now more than ever) that can help assist you in keeping your finances in order. Think of QuickBooks or Xero. These tools were created to help you better organize, track, and measure your financial data.

It’s also important for you to invest into a protected cloud service, so you can assess your financial data on the go. It will be very convenient for you, as a business owner, to be able to read your financial data at real time, so you can be quicker at making more rational and relevant decisions.

Like I had said before, there are a variety of financial tools you can now choose from. If you aren’t happy with your current financial tool, make sure you invest in one that best suits your needs and your business’s goals.

Don’t Be Afraid to Outsource Your Financial Work

Let’s say you’ve reached a breaking point in your business, where if you keep tracking, measuring, and analyzing your financial data all on your own, you could be missing out on valuable opportunity costs. Don’t stagnate the growth of your business because putting your finances in order has become too burdening for you to do anything else. If you have to invest into a bookkeeper or an accountant at a crucial time for your business’s growth, then do it.

Also, if you are stressed out with all the acquired work load handed to you, you will become more susceptible to be making mistakes with all the multiple projects you are currently juggling. Outsource your financial work when needed, so you can focus more on your relevant tasks.

You also don’t want to make costly financial mistakes, where if you were rushing to get your financial reports done, you may have made a filing error where you could be penalized or fined by the government for that error. Having accountants or a bookkeeper outsourced to help you organize your financial statements, or to just crunch in your numbers, will leave little room for mistakes when you do your taxes and what not.

Stay Ahead in Your Financial Game

Calendaring your time to make sure you do all your work as a business owner is important. But it’s always better, for your sake, to be ahead in the financial ball game too.

The tips I have given you prior will help you stay organized, but getting your finances analyzed, monitored, and organized beforehand will help you mitigate ideal long term strategies with your finances and business’s goals, as well as to help curate short term strategies when something unexpected happens, like hiring an IT technician to recover lost data in your servers.

Have a Valued Budget Planned Out

When trying to stay ahead in your financial plans, make sure you have a valued budget plan ready. A Budget should be used as a guideline, to help you plan any future business investments or decisions and goals.

Using a budget as a guide will help prepare you in making rational decisions for future business endeavors, as well as to help prepare your financial statements and organize your financial data for the long run.

My Conclusion

As a new or small to medium sized business owner, you should be well equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools needed to put your finances in order. Because, without valued financial statements, and good financial tracking of your business, you can say bye-bye to your beloved business.

If you follow the tips I have given you above, you will find that keeping your finances in order will become a lot easier for you as a business owner. But again, if you find that you are having difficulties in organizing your financial information, don’t be afraid to start hiring outsourced help, or buying tools to make the process easier for you.

Overcome Financial Issues at Different Life Stages

Overcome Financial Issues at Different Life Stages

Oh Boy, Let me tell you. If you don’t need that extra cup of coffee in the afternoon. Don’t buy it, because little did you know, and trust me on this advice, a janitor who drives a charming Ford Fusion gave me this advice. If you save your money and don’t waste it on leisure things that don’t make a different in your life. You are probably capable to save close to 17% on your expenditures a month. All it takes is a little bit of self-control, he says. This advice is certainly a very useful tip when you face financial issues that compromise your living, no matter what! If you are a teenager in college, or a senior living off your pension plan, understanding your financial hurdles is one of the key components to becoming successful in life.

Teens and Post Grads

As you grow older, you will find that value of why it’s so beneficial to understand financial comprehensiveness. Understanding how your parents got you to be where you are, by providing you with an education to learn and be capable to live on your own (from their own pockets might I add) should be inspiring. But how did they do it? You will come to know, at a young age, probably starting around 18 or 19 that it’s important to understand financial issues in every stage of your life.

Teenagers and college students may find that in order to invest in owning their own cell phones, their own cars, their own education, parents and teens may have to share that bill. If you get out of college, you may find yourself having to pay off a student loan.

In your Post-college years, you will definitely start to feel real world money pressures. If you have a credit card, you are also walking with a loaded gun. You better be capable to balance your expenditures at an early age of your life, or else you may develop unhealthy spending habits that will hurt you more than it will ever help with your credit card debts.

Some financial issues young people need to be able to comprehend are the ability to balance their own budgets between their personal expenditures and extracurricular activities. This includes paying monthly bills, building credit, saving money, and learning to become financially independent.

30’s

At your 30’s, your life at this age range starts to change. People start taking into account their weddings, buying a house, raising a family.
At this age range, it’s important to learn how to put money away for yourself each month, begin contributing to your 401(k), pay off mortgages, seriously start paying off any loan debts which you haven’t started to pay off yet, such as credit card debt or school loans, and build an emergency fund just in case you are acquainted with an unforeseen circumstance, such as a medical emergency bill or job loss.

40’s

In your 40’s, be very careful. I say his because you have reached an age where your kids have become older, you might have to start to pay for your child’s education soon. You have become older, you may be facing health issues that include medical visits to your doctors. God forbid you might even go through a divorce. Having money saved from your 30’s will help you weather these issues by your 40’s.

50’s and Up

By your 50’s you should have been able to pay off all your debts, if you have accumulated any. You will need to start planning for your family and your own personal financial plans. 50’s about the age most individual start to think about retirement, and secure your investments.

By this age, you should have maxed out your retirement, payed off your mortgages, and be able to manage your investments. With proper planning, you should be able to officially retire with a supplemental income, such as Social Security. Proper planning at an early stage of your life should allow you to be officially retired worry-free.

No matter what your age, proper financial planning to prepare for your financial issues will help you live a financially responsible lifestyle.

5 Tips To Help You Pay Your Mortgage Off

5 Tips To Help You Pay Your Mortgage Off

It doesn’t take a genius to know that buying a house is an expensive proposition. In the United States the average house costs around $350,000. With most mortgages being 30 years, and having a 3.5% APR it can seem like a daunting task to pay it off in its entirety.  There are however several tips and tricks to use to pay it off, possibly even early. Here are a few of them you can use.

1. Don’t buy a house you cannot afford

The first step to being able to afford to pay off your mortgage is being able to afford the house you are buying. While it’s the dream to own a big beautiful house, it’s important to spend within your means. While the monthly payment may seem reasonable at first, some mortgages are set up so that the payments increase over time. Make sure research is done so that you know whether or not you will be able to afford the mortgage.

2. Pay extra when you can

Paying only the minimum amount of money towards a payment will cause any trouble, but it also doesn’t prevent anything. When possible, pay more than the minimum payment to pay a loan off earlier, and pay less in interest. For example, on a $220,000 30 year mortgage at 4% APR, making an extra payment each quarter will save $65,0000 in interest, and pay off your loan 11 years early. While this may be bit much for those just getting by, everybody should do what they can to pay off their debts as fast as they can, even if it means not taking that Hawaii vacation.

3. Refinance

If possible, refinancing a 30 year mortgage into a 15 year one would be a great way to lower your interest rate. A few tenths of a percent may not seem like much, but on a purchase as large as $350,000 or more in some places, it could mean a difference of hundreds or even thousands in some cases. Besides, being debt free in 15 years rather than 30 is an intriguing possibility. Nobody wants to be in debt for that long.

4. Downsize your home

This might only be a possibility for few. Oftentimes near the end of a mortgage, once the kids have left the nest, people end up with a house with a bunch of empty rooms. While extra space is nice, and echoes are cool, it’s a waste of money to live in a house that is too big. Selling a house to buy a smaller, cheaper one could free up the money one needs to pay off their mortgage, or at the very least make it significantly smaller.

5. Reduce expenses, and put those savings towards your mortgage

Nearly everybody could be a bit more frugal. Whether it’s packing a lunch, or making your own coffee, there are savings to be had. While that $5 latte from Starbucks is delicious, getting one once a week rather than every day would be easy, and save over $1000 a year. That $1000 would be great to put towards a mortgage payment and would certainly help in paying off a mortgage earlier.

Debt can put a burden on not only your wallet but your psyche. With these tips however, anybody can help make sure they don’t start in over their head, and pay off the debt early. Get that financial monkey off your back by using these tips!