Category Archive : Business & Tech

Investment Opportunities for Seniors

You’ve worked hard your entire life and now it’s time to sit back, relax and let your money work for you. In what we would consider a turbulent world, the stock market and real estate sector have seen tremendous growth as of late. A lot of people, including senior citizens and retired individuals, are taking full advantage of the current state of the economy and thriving with their investments.

Investing In Real Estate

Any savvy investor knows real estate is one of the best things to invest in. Whether buying property for yourself, flipping a house or renting out a home, real estate offers an abundance of wealth with little upfront capital. For seniors specifically, you’re likely in a situation where your home is paid off and you have the capital to invest in another property. Or you’re living in a 55 and older community and have the assets to afford investing into another property. In either situation, real estate should be your go-to investment.

Rental Properties

Single family homes and apartments have the best value to turn around and rent to tenants. You can easily find FHA, conventional or VA loans to provide a competitive interest rate and only be required to put down a few thousand dollars. Once the property is ready to rent, you’ll quickly recoup your initial investment and then profit from the monthly rent. Your only monthly expense at that point will be for a property management company like Home River Group.

Townhouses & Condos

Townhouses and condo complexes are another investment gem. Here you will likely be able to purchase multiple properties and then profit even more. Keep an eye out for new construction condos and townhouses as they have the most potential for return.

With a little upfront investment, you’ll be flush with cash no time.

Stocks, Bonds or CDs?

Wall Street has been booming since the onset of the pandemic. Large tech companies like Apple and Tesla have grown their stock price through the roof and many investors are benefitting. For retired seniors, having a wealth manager who is on top of the market is key to your success. A wealth manager should be able to advise you on the best strategies for stocks, bonds, certificate of deposits and any other investing options you should be taking advantage of.

Certificates of Investment

A traditional broker with Edward Jones or Charles Schwaab will advise you on the stocks and bonds they know the best. But did you know you could be investing in a fixed rate fund with little volatility? Certain investment firms offer a Certificate of Investment fund with tremendous returns. The required upfront capital is a bit more, but the returns will get you exactly where you want to be.

Don’t Sleep On Tech Companies

The pandemic has proven that technology isn’t going anywhere. Big companies have improved their technology throughout the pandemic to have more stability and be able to offer products to customers in more efficient ways. Just think how food delivery businesses like DoorDash and GrubHub have grown their services in the past year. The good news here is that it offers you a chance to benefit from a company’s technological advancements.

If you’re working with a financial advisor, ask them to identify high growth tech companies you should be investing in.

Where To Start

If you’re a retired senior with money burning a hole in your wallet, real estate and the stock market are where you will want to turn. Start researching properties for sale through sites like Zillow or The Lynne Koy Group and make a list of properties you would consider investing in. Be sure to schedule a meeting with your financial advisor and determine where you should try to invest in the coming year. While we recommend investing in tech companies actively growing on Wall Street, your advisor may suggest otherwise.

If you started making investments in the new year, let us know how it’s going in the comments.

What Kind of Insurance Is Best for Entrepreneurs?

As any entrepreneur might know, insurance is a tricky subject to tackle when you employ yourself or a small group of people. Obtaining health insurance is a must, but it’s vastly different from signing up for a corporate insurance plan. When you are employed by a company, you sign up for insurance when you start and you renew your plan during open enrollment.

Pretty simple, right?

But when you are self-employed or run your own business, there are a lot more considerations in front of you.

Insurance for Solopreneurs

Self-employed? You still need health insurance for yourself and your family. Although self-employment has its benefits, one drawback is finding insurance. Most insurance carriers want to charge a higher premium when you are not on a group rate. Unfortunately, you might end up paying more for an individual health insurance plan versus signing up for a plan as a group even if the plan includes your family.

You’ll want to check rates from several different carriers and evaluate your current health situation to decide which plan is best for you. Be sure to consider pre-existing health conditions as they can drive up your monthly premiums.

Insurance for a Small Company

Every entrepreneur starts on their own and eventually hires a team. Once you begin hiring new team members, you’ll need to decide how you want to offer insurance to them. Like a desirable salary and bonuses, insurance benefits are a major attraction for those seeking work. Unlike individual health insurance, you’ll provide your employees with a group health insurance plan. And lucky for you, group health insurance plans have lower monthly premiums. Again, you’ll want to review plans from a variety of carriers to find one that fits best for your company.

Health Insurance Can Be Regional

As you shop for new insurance plans, you’ll also discover the plans can be somewhat regional. For instance, a health insurance plan in Manhattan, New York will likely cost you more than an individual health insurance plan in Bend, OR. It’s best to consult with an insurance carrier or individual insurance provider to understand what is best for you and your business.

Think About Long-Term Costs

Insurance isn’t a one-time investment for your business. You’ll need to consider the cost accrued for insurance over the next 3 years, 5 years and 10 years. The insurance plan you select should be part of your overall business plan. Determine where it fits into your costs and how you can scale it over time.

Other Considerations

Before you begin to tackle health insurance for your business, you’ll want to be sure your business is correctly established first. You’ll need to properly register your business as a sole proprietorship, limited liability corporation, s-corporation or c-corporation. Depending on the assets your business has and how you want to approach taxes, you may choose one entity over another. If you haven’t done so already, consider hiring a business lawyer to review your articles of establishment. While it may be costly, an attorney will advise you on what you need to do to properly and legally establish your business.

If you have recently purchased insurance for yourself or your business, let us know how it went in the comments.

Hiring An SEO Company? Ask These Questions First

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of helping website pages show up higher in Google’s search results. To small business owners, this type of marketing is huge for driving new business. As potential customers search keywords related to your business, an optimized page with information and contact details can show up in search results. The small business gets the click from Google and eventually earns the business of the customer who is searching.

While SEO is a complex form of marketing, there are a few things to consider before hiring a company to handle this for you.

Does the Provider Write Copy?

One of the biggest areas of a successful SEO campaign is copywriting. Writing copy for a website’s content, social media channels and other outlets is key for Google to recognize a website. For this reason, it’s highly important to work with an SEO provider who writes their own copy and doesn’t outsource to a foreign country. Google is able to understand semantics, spelling and grammar, so it’s in your best interest to work with a company who writes in near perfect English.

Transparency with Reporting

Transparency is another key area of an SEO campaign. You never want to hire a provider who takes your money and doesn’t provide results. It’s not good for business and it’s not good for your marketing budget. Ask a potential SEO provider what kind of reporting you’ll receive from the campaign. Is it weekly? Monthly? Quarterly? It’s important to measure progress of the campaign and have the results be shared with you. Additionally, ask them what kind of tools they use to measure success.

What Color Hat Do They Wear?

When it comes SEO, there are three “hat” colors providers may have:

  • White Hat SEO: this type of SEO provider abides by Google’s rules and rarely strays into anything not recommended by Google. The results are slower to obtain, but they are at a low risk of being penalized by Google.
  • Gray Hat SEO: this type of SEO provider bends the rules slightly in order to get results faster. The tactics aren’t promoted by Google, but they aren’t necessarily bad either.
  • Black Hat SEO: this type of SEO provider goes completely against Google’s quality standards in order to “game” search results. These tactics are not long-lasting and can get a website in deep trouble.

If you plan to keep your business running for a while, avoid working with someone who dabbles in black hat SEO.

What About Links?

Another major component of SEO is developing quality links. You should ask a potential provider to show you the type of placements (backlinks) they can achieve for you. If you notice the links they acquire are coming from low quality, untrustworthy sources, just know you won’t see the progress you are wanting. Strong SEO campaigns include links coming from real websites with actual traffic and statistics.

Budget

Lastly, you should ask questions about what kind of budget you will need for an SEO campaign. SEO is a technical skill, takes time and hard work to get it right, so you’ll need to be prepared with a realistic budget. However, if an SEO provider asks you to pay $5,000 a month for a small business, you’ve gone past a realistic budget. Shop around with a few SEO companies to get the best gauge of what budget you will need.

If you have recently hired an SEO company to work on your website, let us know about your experience in the comments.