5 Out-of-the-Ordinary Careers Ideal for the Highly Organized

You’re so organized, people tease you for it. Translate your talent into a career that requires your organization skills. You might picture the only career for an organized person is in a general business office, but there are many options for the highly organized you might not have considered. Whether it’s been a dream of yours to work in the medical field or in the hot-button political industry, there’s a job for your talents.

Health Care

Combine your passion for helping people with your talent for organization with a career in patient care services administration that offers stable work and competitive wages. Start off as a nurse or medical assistant for insight into the demands of the jobs and for ideas on how to streamline and transform the medical facility’s practices. Focus on administration as you earn your advanced degree and become a medical facility’s go-to person for providing health care efficiently in your community.

Volunteer Coordinator

No matter the cause that speaks to you, there’s an organization that provides support and aid to address the need. Although sometimes a strictly volunteer position, a volunteer coordinator is such an essential person in the typical charity’s operations that it’s more often a paid position perfect for a highly organized individual. As coordinator, you’ll be in charge of distributing supplies, budgeting donations and tasking volunteers and employees with the work to be done. You may also be in charge of efforts to get more volunteers and spread information about the organization.

Academic Researcher

Not everyone has the drive and analytical mind required for thorough academic research, but highly organized people often do. If you’re passionate about a subject, an academic research position may prove to be an even more rewarding career for you than professor or teacher. As a researcher, you’ll be in charge of collecting and analyzing data, running trial experiments (if appropriate for the subject), pouring through previous research and sources and producing unique conclusions. You’ll write papers, give presentations and meet with other likeminded individuals for engaging discussions about your field of study.

Political Consultant

If you’re passionate about politics, put your organizational skills to use as a political consultant. Rather than tying yourself only to campaigns, as a consultant, you’ll be in a position to manage a person from her initial interest in campaigning through her campaign and even with her image after election. You can switch from one candidate to another or even from one party to another as you earn a reputation in the field. Perform market research for a candidate’s viability and the issues most important in her district, brainstorm ideas for an election and manage the politician’s public image through speeches, appearances, websites and social media.

Financial Advisor

Whether it’s a person in his twenties eager to know when he’ll be able to afford a home and how much he should have in the bank to start a family or a couple nearing retirement wanting to make sure they have enough money to live off in their post-career years, people need financial coaching at every stage of life.

As an organized person with a passion for numbers and accounting, you’ll be able to put together a viable financial action plan for each of your clients based on income, assets and financial goals. Because life doesn’t go as perfect as planned, you’ll also be expected to adjust plans as necessary to reflect a job loss or decrease in wage, a divorce or a change in goals. Because you’re highly reliable and have a keen insight, counseling people about their financial goals will prove an excellent use of your talents.

The International OCD Foundation estimates between two and three million American adults have OCD. Whether you’ve gotten an official OCD diagnosis or you simply notice you have a strong desire to keep things organized, channel your talents into a stable career. People may tease that you’re too uptight, but there are careers in a variety of skills looking for people who can commit to the hard work necessary to keep things operating and organized. Stop focusing on the drawbacks of needing organization and celebrate the advantages by looking into an interesting career.

Your Essential Guide to Cash and Investment ISAs

Individual Savings Accounts (or ISA) are a great financial planning tool. The UK government introduced ISAs in 1999 to encourage UK residents to save for the future. Although the name implies a savings account, ISA is not a regular savings account. ISA offers a tax-free way to save and invest. You’re entitled to keep the money earned from your ISAs, without paying tax on interest, dividends, bonuses and capital gains.

There are two types of ISAs: cash ISA and investment ISA (stocks and shares). In the tax 2013/14 year that runs from 6 April 2013 to 5 April 2014, you can invest up to £11,520 in ISAs. You can choose to invest the full amount in an investment ISA or save up to £5,640 in cash ISA, with the remaining balance of £5,640 in an investment ISA.

With cash ISA rates low, is it better to switch to an investment ISA? Here are some important things to consider when comparing the two:

Length of investment

A cash ISA is more suitable for short-term savings and it’s a better choice if you prefer liquidity. In contrast, investment ISA is ideal choice for long-term investment if you can afford to set aside your money for at least 5 years or longer. However, the value of your investment may go down and there is no guarantee that you’ll make a profit.

ISA flexibility

Your cash ISA can include cash deposited in banking and building society accounts as well as life insurance policies, shares in companies, and stakeholder medium-term products that fail to meet the qualifying conditions for investment ISAs. On the other hand, with investment ISAs, you can buy into individual shares, corporate bonds, equities, unit trusts, investment trusts, open-ended investment companies (OEICs), exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and gilts. With so many investment products to choose from, you should keep your portfolio simple and diversified to mitigate risks.

Where to open an ISA

You can open a cash ISA account with an ISA manager such as a bank, building society, and National Savings and Investments. Select ISA managers who are approved by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and authorized by the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA). For an investment ISA, you need to be invested on an investment platform such as Interactive Investor, in order to access the wide range of investment products. The investment platform allows you to hold your investments in one place, monitor your portfolio performance and rearrange your investments. Most investment platforms also offer trading tools such as market news, company news and reports, and learning guides. Some investment platforms may offer ‘self-select’ ISAs that enable you to choose a variety of shares and securities to build your portfolio.

Different platforms offer different range of investment choices and charge differently. Make sure you find out from your ISA manager about the charges of managing your ISA and whether there are penalties for early withdrawal and switching from one ISA manager to another.

ISA restrictions

While you need to be at least 18 years or over to open an investment ISA, you can open an adult cash ISA on your 16th birthday. Many investments that qualify within an ISA carry certain other restrictions. For instance, you can only invest in foreign shares that are listed on a recognised stock exchange. You need to weigh up the pros and cons of buying individual foreign shares in your portfolio.

For tax purposes, people who qualified for an ISA include residents in the UK, a Crown employee such as a diplomat or a member of the armed forces who is working overseas and paid by the UK government. An ISA cannot be hold jointly with, or on behalf of, another person.

In each tax year, you can only subscribe to one cash ISA and one investment ISA. However, you can choose different managers in different years. Hence, there is no limit on the number of different ISAs you can hold over time.

Whichever type of ISA you choose, it is important to have a good knowledge of the investments you want to hold and design your investment strategies that reflect your desires, goals, and risk threshold. If you’ve not used an ISA before, a lower-risk cash savings option may be a good start, before moving onto investment ISAs.

Image by Images Money, used under Creative Comms license

Dubai Adds Value to any Business Enterprise

Dynamic, forward-looking, innovative, entrepreneurial – descriptive tags which underline why so many foreign companies both large and small are attracted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Persian Gulf. And add to the mix an astute financial services sector always ready and willing to offer a raft of value-added services, ranging from the simple business banking account to the more complex payments and cash management services vital for the well-being of any profitable company.

Glitzy, glamorous Dubai, the largest city in the UAE, is an obvious magnet for the investor, the business entrepreneur and also the millions of tourists who visit every year. It’s not hard to understand why given the city’s penchant for massive infrastructure investment and spending over recent years. Now man-made islands, five-star hotels and gigantic shopping malls, not to mention the tallest man-made structure in the world, the incredible 2,716.5 foot Burj Khalifa, all add a wow-factor which few cities anywhere can match.

The Oxford Business Group (OBG), a global publishing, research and consultancy firm which publishes economic intelligence on the markets of the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America, says Dubai’s economy continued its post-crisis recovery, expanding by around 4.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2013. Much of this was down to growth across the rest of the UAE in a range of sectors, mainly trade, financial enterprises, transport and communications, real estate, construction and manufacturing.

Economic data showed non-oil sectors dominating the UAE’s GDP figures, with the share for trade at an estimated 28 per cent, 16 per cent for manufacturing, 14 per cent for financial enterprises, 13 per cent for real estate and 8 per cent for construction.

Dubai has witnessed a continued recovery in the real estate sector since the beginning of the year, where the average price per square metre of residential apartments increased by about 25 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2012. Like other important sectors in the emirate, the Dubai Financial Market also performed very well since the start of 2013; its General Index recorded a 12.7 per cent growth by the end of March, showing investors’ interest in the capital market.

The activities and events organised in the emirate have also contributed much to attracting the large number of tourists and visitors from various countries, with the Dubai Shopping Festival and Global Village, the region’s first cultural, entertainment, family and shopping destination, adding to the many festivals and exhibitions held throughout the year.

Indeed, rising demand and the recovering economy are driving growth in Dubai’s retail sector, with a sharp increase in new mall space suggesting that it is beginning to shake off the doldrums of the global economic crisis of 2009.

And with the economy rebounding, projects previously put on hold have been reactivated and new developments are being put into the pipeline. The flow through the development pipeline is expected to become stronger throughout the second half of the decade, as new projects are completed and some existing retail spaces expand to maintain their competitive edge.

For more on the UAE and other countries in the Middle East, check out the OBG website here.

Working after Retirement: Some tips

The impression people get when they hear the word “retirement” has something to do with not working any longer. They’d probably go on a long vacation, making the most of the fruits of their retirement funds. However, not everyone thinks along those lines. Many still opt to work even after retirement, for various reasons.

Why do some people still continue working after retirement? One common reason involves financial obligations and commitments. Perhaps their retirement funds aren’t enough to cover any loans they have incurred in the past, say, an outstanding mortgage or student loans, and they still have to pay the rest. Some still have family members to support or kids to put through school. Maybe their savings aren’t sufficient, and they want to build up their post-retirement funds.

Some people also want to continue working for self-fulfillment and because they still savor the challenge. Sometimes, it is already ingrained in one’s personality to keep working, and after retirement, they tend to feel useless and depressed when they’re no longer working. There are even people who look at work as a way to stay healthy and active. They cannot imagine NOT working, and do not want boredom to set in.

Whatever the reasons are for continuing some form of work life after retirement, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Choose between working part-time and working full-time. Your decision would depend greatly on your mental and physical health, if you can keep up with the demands of a full-time job, or you’d prefer to do it part time instead
  2. Choose a job that can balance your work with leisure and family time (and much needed rest as well). There is no point in living only slogging day and night even post retirement
  3. While on the job, look at your take-home pay (net of taxes) instead of the gross amounts. Keep in mind that, depending on your taxing profile, the supplemental security income or social security benefits that you receive (or even a part of it) are also subject to taxes. Budget according to the after-tax income instead of the before-tax income.
  4. If you retired early and you’re considering going back to work before reaching the full retirement age as mandated by law, weigh the consequences on your Social Security benefits. That’s because the Social Security Administration will deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 that you earn more than the annual limit. Your decision would depend on how much you depend on your social security benefits for your expenses
  5. As much as possible, find out if you are working in a job that pays medical benefits. Remember that, retiring before reaching the age of 65 means you won’t qualify for Medicare, at least until you reach that age. If your job doesn’t provide you with health care coverage, you’re pretty much on your own.
  6. Try to find retirement jobs that is already matching your work-related or technical skills. If the new job demands further training which is not taken care of by your employer, that already means spending more from your pocket to secure that kind of a job
  7. Unless you have a great ambition or unfulfilled dream clubbed with a lot of energy, try to move sideways than looking at the next big responsible role in your retirement job

There’s nothing wrong with working after retirement. Before you do so, however, you must first put a lot of thought into it, look into your options and weigh them. Just because you’re already retired doesn’t mean you’re done with planning for the future.

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Investment After Retirement

So you have accumulated a handsome amount of your money in your retirement savings and you are eligible for Social security. Now the question from most retired people is ‘What are the best investment options after retirement?’

Before answering this question, let us talk about what factors post retirement could affect your investment decisions.

Risk: After retirement, since you don’t have a regular job that brings in monthly income, you may want to go for conservative investment (low risk) options that do not deplete your original investment.

Maintenance effort: Some investments such as real estate may require a lot of human effort to take care of it in terms of maintenance. If you don’t have energy and people around you to manage the same, you better avoid such investments. Retired life is meant for peace and not to generate additional headache and pressure.

Frequency of returns: Your post retirement investment should offer regular returns so that you can meet your monthly budget requirements with the same.

Your monthly budget: What’s the amount of money you require for a typical monthly budget.

Excess money saved up: What’s that excess amount of money that you have saved up beyond what’s required for your retired life (Read: How much money do I need to retire?)

Your best investment options

The following are some of the investment options for your retirement life as they offer less aggressive and low risk route.

  • Monthly Income Plans
  • General Bond funds (short term)
  • Government Bond funds (short term)
  • Bank Savings accounts

Ensure that you check out the Morning Star ratings your instruments before making an investment decision.

Avoid these investments

The following is only a guideline on investment types to avoid. Of course, if you have several millions in your hand after all those regular income investments and wondering where to throw your money, you may consider one or more of these as well.

  • Stocks, shares and other equity market linked products
  • Illiquid investments
  • Real estate
  • Precious metals and stones
  • Forex

In summary, enjoy your retired life without taking risks with respect to your investments.

How much Money do I need to Retire?

Retirement planning is a real headache for even the most proficient financial adviser or retirement planning professional simply because of the uncertainties involved in life. First of all nobody really knows how long he or she will live and how many defendants he or she might have at various points of time. On top of that, there are varying factors such as economic recession, critical illnesses, unprecedented calamities etc that can spoil all your calculations.

However, there are ways to calculate how much money you will need (roughly) under normal circumstances in order to retire gracefully and lead a peaceful life thereafter. All these calculations are always based on optimistic known factors and under predefined conditions, though. Also, the earlier you retire the more error prone your retirement calculation will be, because you have more years to live than you already did and the sample figures can go wrong.

Money needed to retire

The main assumption parameters for any retirement planning are the inflation rate, return on your current investments and average life expectancy

For example, in the US, the average life expectancy is around 78 years but most retirement calculations will assume a safer value of 85 years so that you don’t end up outliving the money. Similarly the inflation rate is typically capped at 3% for most calculation purposes in the US though other countries might have much higher inflation rates.

Since the amount required post retirement is a huge figure, you have to plan for your retirement from the day you get your first job

Calculation

First you have to figure out how much you will spend. This is not an easy thing to do but you can still calculate it based on where it stands today. Post retirement, mostly you will end up spending a lot less than you spend today because usually expenses such as gas, work clothes, lunches out etc. On the other hand your health care expenses or cable TV expenses might go up. Based on your priorities, you may arrive at a monthly expense figure for your retirement life. This may be up to 20 or 25% less than your current monthly expenses. Let us call this figure ‘x’. You have to calculate the annualized (multiply by 12) number to arrive at an annual retirement budget or 12x.

Next you have to figure out how much more will you need per month apart from your social security and annuities to meet the ‘x’ mentioned above. For example, if your retirement benefits per month amounts to y, you still need (x – y) per month which you can call the shortfall per month.

The retirement planning is all about covering for that shortfall annualized and multiplied by the number of years after your retirement and till you die.

i.e. 12 * (x – y) * your remaining number of years. Let us call this value ‘z’.

Basically, you have to find a way to cover for this shortfall of ‘z’ using your 401-k plans, interest on your savings account or any other income that you might have and saved up. This is exactly the money needed to retire.

Consuming your retirement money

Researches show that if you are retiring at normal retirement age group (i.e 60 to 65), you can withdraw up to 4% of your retirement money per year parked in various accounts. For example, if you have retired with one million dollars, you can withdraw $40,000 in your first year post retirement. However, if you are retiring at a ‘young’ age of 45 or 50, you cannot afford to withdraw more than 3% per annum to meet your post retirement life. These figures are based on research data for the past several decades.

Please note that the calculation will hugely vary for those countries that have very high inflation rates. Basically in that case, the returns on investment is way below the skyrocketing living expenses and hence take the help from a financial adviser in your area to plan your retirement life.