The Changing Face Of Social Security Eligibility

On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act, a social insurance fund that would, from that time until the present,  enable Americans to retire with funds sufficient to provide them with basic living expenses until they died. It would also provide for life insurance to aid a bread-winner’s survivors upon death. It would fund the care of America’s disabled, and tide the unemployed over to the next job with unemployment insurance. Since that time, hundreds of millions of Americans have paid into the fund and received the benefits, and the U.S. has remained strong, a leader and beacon to the world, the symbol of a nation just, compassionate, and strong. In part, this reputation was established by the Social Security Act of 1935, and this nation is sure to be remembered by history as a nation that valued each and every citizen and cared for their own. This distinction was not so evident at the beginning, when social security eligibility was more restricted than it is today. Recent events may nullify it in the end.

The Social Security Act covers old age retirement, unemployment, public health services, care of the blind, life insurance, assistance to the elderly, aid to families with dependent children, and maternal and child welfare. Social security eligibility meant you were entitled to one of these programs if you belonged to the group addressed. But in 1935 there were other requirements that reflected the definitions and prejudices of the time.

In the beginning of social security, a worker was defined as a working, white male. Half of all women were not eligible for unemployment and retirement, and over a little less than two-thirds of all African Americans were excluded. The discrimination against Afro-Americans was not principally the practice of the federal government, although the exclusion of certain job categories that were performed primarily by minorities was built into the act and thus indirectly discriminated. Racial discrimination was a result of state control of eligibility: southern states that discriminated on the basis of race did not grant eligibility to African Americans, or they would deem them eligible for less than a comparable white worker or family. In some states, children born out of marriage were also deemed ineligible.

Between 1935 and the present, social security eligibility has evolved along with social attitudes about women, minorities, and occupations. In 1935, employees of commerce or industry were covered, except for railroad workers. Between 1939 and 1990, most occupations gained social security coverage, with railroad workers gaining eligibility in 1951. In 1964 women were also acknowledged to have social security eligibility if they were covered under the act and its amendments.

Occupations are no longer a key factor in social security eligibility. You may have several occupations in your lifetime. You are required to have resided in the U.S. for a minimum of 5 years. The most significant factor for eligibility is whether you have paid the taxes that fund social security. Today, 6.15 percent of your gross pay is taxed for social security under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). You pay only half that amount. Your employer pays the other half. Each coverage has its own eligibility requirements and you should look into the one you are seeking. The most common concern is how much you are eligible to receive. For retirement benefits, the amount you receive depends on the amount you paid into FICA. For unemployment benefits, the amount is based on your earnings for a specific recent period before you lost your job.

Into today’s economic climate, the question that concerns most is not how much unemployment you will receive, but how long you can receive unemployment. After several extensions since the world financial crisis began, in June Congress failed to extend unemployment. For 2 million people social security eligibility for unemployment has come to an end. Two million now destitute people may signify the beginning of the Great Society’s end. Let us hope social security comes to mean not only the funding of people’s lives during unemployment or old age, but also the security of the nation’s peace and personal dignity for the individual.

Flaws In Your Personal Budget Plan

Keeping track of expenses is hard for some people. They think they don’t have the time or they simply feel that they have enough money to go around and they don’t worry about a few extra expenses here and there. The truth is that most who are millionaires are such because they watch every single penny that comes in and out, and they avoid reckless spending. You have to come up with your own personal budget plan to keep track of everything, and also to know where you may be missing some extra or hidden expenses that may be wiping you out.

A personal budget plan should be rather easy to put together. You list your major expenses and how much you have coming in, and you can see the difference between how much you make and how much you should be making to break even. You can then decide what you can do with your extra money. Do you want to save or invest? How about paying off an old debt that is hanging over your head. If you don’t know how to do this on your own, there are great software programs out there you can use on your computer to make it easier for you.

There are some common mistakes that people make when they are putting together their own personal budget plan, however, that can mean leaking money out of your budget that you don’t see. Some many people wonder where all of their money went and are surprised when they see where their money is really going. There are small things that people do each and every day that drains away valuable cash. These things seem small, but they add up so quickly. See if any of these drains are in your budget.

If you have a bank card, part of your problem may be the fees that you are paying. For one, using an ATM that does not belong to your bank is probably costing you a service charge. It may not seem that two dollars is very much, but add that up over the year and see how much you are really spending. Also, if you regularly overdraw your account, you could be paying up to thirty dollars each time you do this. Do it more than once in a while and you are throwing away tons of money. Dig out your bank statements next time you look at your personal budget plan and see what you can find.

It is other small but repeated expenses like these that are sucking away your extra cash. Cash you could be using for something else. If you buy your coffee each morning instead of making it at home, you are throwing away your money. Things like lunch out each day, buying drinks for friends all the time, and even forgetting to put money in the meter and having to pay fines are all financial drains that put a bigger dent in your budget than you think. Weed out these holes in your personal budget plan and watch the savings add up.

Secure Your Free Annual Credit Report

One thing we all realize as being very important in this world is credit. At least when you hit adulthood, you find out rather quickly how crucial it is to have a stellar credit score. If you are at the early stage in your adulthood, and you are not sure how to acquire a good credit score, let me give you some input. It all begins with how you manage your finances, and pay your bills on time. For instance, buying a car or applying for a credit card can help you begin building your credit. If you proceed to make all of your payments on time, then you begin to become recognized as someone with good credit. It also helps to make a good income.

It can be beneficial to obtain a free annual credit report. This way you get a good idea each year of where your credit stands. Anything over 700 is commonly seen as a good credit score. The higher, the better. So if your credit score is 780, that is stellar. If it is 680, you should do your best to improve it. The reason for this is simple. The better your credit is, the simpler it is to acquire large ticket items, such as a new home or a new car. Your credit will even be checked when you go to purchase a furniture set for your home. After all, this is a pretty large ticket item that likely costs at least a few thousand.

There are simple and convenient websites that can assist you with finding out what your credit score it. In fact, a few of these will grant you a free annual credit report, if you ask for one. These websites are IdentityGuard.com, FreeCreditReportsInstantly.com, and Equifax.com. Take some time to review each of them so you can learn more about free annual credit reports. While you may not know, your overall credit can be dinged if you check your credit score too much. In fact, once a year is plenty. That is, unless you are doing it for a specific reason, such as a mortgage loan or for a new motor vehicle.

If you have never seen a copy of your credit report, it is high time you took a look at your free annual credit report online. This is made so simple these days. You do not even have to send away for anything, or speak with someone by phone. Just be sure you have a secure personal computer with Internet access. It does not take long at all to receive a free annual credit report via the web. In fact, you have probably seen the commercials for sites like Free Credit Report. These are advertised quite frequently on television. So, stay out of the dark where your credit is concerned, and get a free annual credit report now.

High Yield Money Market Account

If you are not saving anything for the future, then you could be in for a hard road ahead. After all, if you are like most people, you do not plan on working forever. At least this is the goal of most men and women. Everyone wants to retire some day! This is why it is so important to look into methods of saving for the future. One way to go about this is with a high yield money market account. This can come in the form of a high yield savings account, as well as a Roth IRA, or other kind of independent retirement account. The key is to get started at a fairly young age, so that you do not have to worry when the time comes.

There are a few routine high yield money market accounts that everyone should look into when they get a chance. These can be found online at websites like Vanguard.com, EverBank.com, and PersonalSavings.AmericanExpress.com. It is prudent to take some time and look over these online. Especially if you are seriously interested in a high yield money market account. You see, this is where so many people lack or fail. Most people make the mistake of always spending beyond their means, and sadly never investing any money for the future. The problem with this is the debt accumulation over the years, as well as the lack of money saved for the golden years.

There is no magical bank account that randomly appears when you hit a certain age. This is why it obviously pays to be ready for the future with a high yield money market account. The older you get, the closer you are to retirement. The last thing you want to do is wait until you hit your fifties to begin saving for retirement. At this point it is very tough to do, and far too much time has passed. If you begin saving at a young age like 25, you can really be set for your retirement phase of life. In fact, with the right high yield money market account, you can have plenty of money saved by that time.

If you need assistance with a high yield money market account, then you should really try speaking with a financial advisor. This kind of consultant can provide you with plenty of tips for saving money, and investing for the future. Just do not forget about websites like Vanguard.com, PersonalSavings.AmericanExpress.com, and EverBank.com. These sites can assist you greatly with high yield money market accounts, and making the right choices to get started saving for the future.

Can You Really Erase Bad Credit?

There are still a number of companies which send out emails, promising you a quick fix to repair bad credit. Some even go so far as to imply they can ‘erase bad credit’. These type of companies charge a significant fee and can’t accomplish anything you can do yourself. So, you may ask, what are the three ways to erase bad credit?

The first is the easiest. If you have debts showing on your credit report that are not your debts, write the creditor and ask for proof that the debt is yours. They may have mistakenly attached Mary H. Doe’s debt to your report – and you’re Mary J. Doe. Should the creditor fail to provide proof that you own the debt, within 30 days, the law prescribes a remedy: the illegitimate debt must be wiped off your credit report.

The second way doesn’t really erase bad credit, but it does correct your credit picture. If you have a debt you own, but didn’t pay, pay it off if it’s small enough. If the debt is larger, contact the creditor and make a payment arrangement you can fulfill and pay it off over time. Each timely payment serves to incrementally improve your credit score and also demonstrates new  financial responsibility.

The third way to erase bad credit? Well, this method takes a long time – seven years, to be exact. Seven years from the date you incurred the debt, the entry is dropped from your credit history and report. Until then, that black mark sticks with you and looks bad!

Most people with bad credit didn’t earn that rating intentionally, by simply opting to skate out on their debts. For example, if you lose your job or suffer some other financial catastrophe, the last debt you’re going to worry about paying is on a canceled credit card or perhaps a doctor’s bill. You’re going to be worried about maintaining the credit that’s still viable until your finances improve. Nonetheless, those bad debts sit on your credit report, bringing your credit score down and gradually excluding you from future loans or credit you may need.

Give your budget a very close look. Choose just a single legitimate bad debt showing up on your credit report and start paying it off. Cut luxury expenditures to the bone to improve your cash flow. When one debt is paid off, move right on to the next, until all old debt is paid, while your current active credit is maintained on a timely basis. While this strategy may sound painful, the austerity route can be surprisingly satisfying, as you see your credit get cleaned up and your credit score improve.

The bottom line is that the only bad credit you can effectively ‘erase’ are debts that aren’t yours. Those promises to ‘erase bad credit‘? It’s a myth. Do it right.

Hi-Tech Elderly Home Care Helps Make Nursing Homes a Thing of the Past

It’s something my sister and I have heard ever since we were young, and somehow, my father and my mother completely agreed on this too – when they were too old to live independently (and I don’t really think they expected the day would actually come), we were not to send them to a nursing home. Instead, we were to think of some kind of a pain-free euthanasia method to dispatch them. Yes, that’s gruesome, but  the way they said it, it seemed like it was the nursing home that was gruesome, and what they were suggesting was in fact a humane alternative. But now that they are both closing on 90 and their health is failing from a number of diseases that we all get as we live out our geriatric years, I’ve had to investigate the options to nursing home care. I didn’t have a choice –  If I did convince them to go to one, they would probably run away or something. The thing is, technology now has made elderly home care completely possible by remote control. There are ways to go off to work and still be sure that your parents haven’t slipped and fallen, that they have had their exercise, that they’ve  remembered to eat. Of course, it’s the Internet and several high-tech devices that make this possible.

Perhaps the devices and the abilities listed below seem like just some more high-tech wizardry on the market – more stuff on the crowded shelves at the stores; you have to understand that nothing could be farther from the truth. Assisted-living, nursing homes and old-age homes have been ways to put our elderly relatives out to pasture for about a century now. This no longer has to be done. With these elderly home care devices, your parents can live with you; your children and their grandparents can get to know each other, and life will be much kinder to all concerned without wrecking anyone’s worklife. If this isn’t a revolution, what is?

Phillips Lifeline is a unit of the electronics giant that services the elderly home care market. The Lifeline is a Panic Button pendant that can be worn by a person; when an emergency occurs, they can press the button on the pendant, and right away, Philips will send emergency doctors home and call the designated person. Even better, they have an AutoAlert system that can detect falls on its own and call the doctor is in. The service costs $50 a month.

What do you do in a case where you fear that grandma is perhaps too ill to contact you? What if an elderly person suffers a stroke and can’t press a button? The alternative is a system that costs about $1000 a month. An elderly home care company called GrandCare installs custom sensors everywhere your parents are likely to go in the home. They will put a sensor in the shower so that they’ll know if mom has fallen down; there will be one next to the toilet to make sure she isn’t having trouble getting up. There’ll be one on her bed to make sure she gets up at the right time, and there will be one on every door to the house to alert you when she goes out.

How about the pill taking regimen that every elderly person needs to have help with? There are typically a dozen kinds of medicine; how can they ever remember all of that without personal help from you? That’s where the Philips Medication Dispensing Service comes in. You can stock it up with 60 doses of pills, and the machine will speak out when it’s time to take them. If the pills aren’t taken after a reminder, the device will get on the phone and alert you. The service costs $75 a month. Or consider the ActiveCare Personal Assistance Link; it’s a basic cell phone that also has GPS and a fall detector. If an elderly person has fallen, the device will right away call for help, with GP{S coordinates.

In the future, elderly home care promises to get even better. They will put sensors on a walking stick or on the shoes to help remind a person that there is not enough exercise they’ve had.

A Credit Card That Helps Eliminate Credit Card Debt

In a world where people are constantly worried about cyber security and protecting their financial information from hacker schoolkids in China, everyone seems to have overlooked a certain important source of risk to their cards – the cardholders themselves.  We all have credit cards that give us a line of credit that far exceeds anything we could ever afford to pay back. If we aren’t careful each time we fish a card out to pay an expensive restaurant bill or an impulse shoe purchase, we could get stuck with a runaway credit card bill in no time. MasterCard has a new plan now though, to help eliminate credit card debt-saddled families to find a little self-control.

They call this service inControl; as a matter of fact, Britain, that shares the kind of consumer culture we struggle with, has had this in place for quite a while now. It’s like your mother watching over your spending habits and telling you, “This far, and no farther”. If you get a card that has MasterCard’s nanny on board, any time you try to charge something to your card after you’v spent a certain amount, you’ll be declined. You will be declined by design (and not by accident as it usually happens). They have another incidental option to add on to this too – you can ask your bank to refuse all charges from certain countries. If your fear is that you will be targeted by cyber thieves from China or India or any of the former Soviet republics, you can ask your bank to make sure that no charges are ever allowed if they seem to be coming from any specified countries.

One wonders why MasterCard is bending over backwards to help you eliminate credit card debt or any possibility of it. The competition, Visa, Amex or Discovery just doesn’t seem to want any part of it. All they do is, to allow you to ask to be alerted when you cross a spending limit. If you choose to ignore the alert, you can go your merry way and spend as much as you want. Which just raises the question – in a country where people use their credit cards to routinely spend themselves into ruin, why hasn’t anyone come up with this yet? It just makes home budgeting that much easier. You just can’t spend at all over what you’ve determined to be safe when you’re all nice and sane sitting before you computer and managing your budget on Mint. Perhaps the credit card issuers never wanted to be your conscience when you went overboard because they actually profited from it.

You may think you already have this facility on Mint. Whenever you go over the limit, Mint sends you an alert. There’s just one little problem with Mint’s take on it – it doesn’t do live alerts. It takes up to a day to retrieve your spending information from the bank, to see where you’ve got carried away. In that one day with no alerts, you could probably do yourself a lot of damage. This would be a great idea for a credit card for a teenager in college. Not only could you put a cap on how much they spend, they can also make sure that they don’t ever get to use their cards at certain unsavory locations – perhaps at a watering hole.

Helping eliminate credit card debt is a great thing for the health of the nation. Usually, credit card companies don’t really see it that way. Whatever you spend over what you can actually afford to pay back, you pay interest on. And that is their main source of income. If they could only see that a healthy nation makes for healthy company, they wouldn’t be this shortsighted.

Struggling? Debt Consolidation Loans For Bad Credit Can Help!

The number of people with bad credit are quickly overtaking those with good credit! Blame it on the economy, politicians, greedy bankers and a tad of poor judgment on the part of consumers, lured in to more debt than they could manage. Soaring medical costs and a rising cost of living also figure in to this messy picture. Whatever the case may be for you personally, all you know is that you’re in debt up to your eyeballs and need a way back to a sound financial footing. One answer to this pervasive problem is debt consolidation loans for bad credit risks. Let’s see how you might apply this strategy to your finances, in a way that gets you back on track and on your way to an improved credit rating.

Lending institutions all have one objective: accruing cash. Although they enjoy added cash with penalties for late payments and higher APRs, their goal is not to bury you in debt to the point that you’ll simply default. They do want to squeeze you as much as the law allows, but if they were to cut everyone off, they’d soon go out of business. When you find that it’s next to impossible to meet all of those monthly payments in a timely manner, it may be time to look into debt consolidation loans for bad credit.

The purpose of debt consolidation loans is to give you an opportunity to tie up all of your monthly debts in a single monthly payment you can afford. There are consumer advocate organizations which make this their mission. When you’re looking for debt consolidation loans for bad credit resolution, look for websites with a ‘.org’ suffix. These are non-profit ventures which serve to help people with bad credit and no visible way out of their predicament, meet their obligations and save their credit rating.

There is a charge for their services, but it’s nominal, especially when you consider the benefits. A legitimate debt consolidation service has a wide network of contacts in the credit world. You present them with all of your debts and they set to work to reduce your total debt and monthly payments to an amount you can reasonably manage. They will contact creditors, on your behalf, and can often negotiate a lower APR, as well as getting the creditor to agree to waiving certain penalties you may have been assessed.

By the time the consultant has finished evaluating and mitigating as many adverse factors in your debt picture, they’ll put it all together in a packaged loan, giving you a single monthly payment that your income can support. Depending on your debt, it may take up to three years to entirely wipe out your debt, but in the end, your credit rating will be good and you won’t owe anyone.

Debt consolidation loans for bad credit may be the perfect medicine for your financial health!

How To Get A Credit Card For People With Bad Credit

Following the flush economic times during the 90s, almost everyone got bit in the wallet, coming in to the 21st century. As a result, there are now lots of people looking for a credit card for people with bad credit. Due to the size of this new market, bankers and other lenders have come up with just such a product. I suspect that if they didn’t address this need, they would have few customers left! The mission of any bank is to make money, duh.

So now, the banks have devised a new model of credit card, for people with bad credit. Granted, you’ll probably have to accept a higher APR than you’d like and won’t get the credit limit you might have formerly enjoyed. However, those APRs and credit limits can vary substantially, depending on the ‘points’ you accrue on the application. For example, if you have both a checking and savings account which you’ve kept in good shape – no overdrafts and regular deposits to your savings account, with few withdrawals – you’ll pick up a few points on their risk-factor evaluation.

How about your assets? Do you own your car, or are you still paying on a car loan? Owning your car is another plus, so long as it’s a fairly recent model. Your payment history does weigh heavily in the banker’s decision making process. If you’ve got a few late payments glaring out from your credit report, but you have a legitimate explanation, such as a major medical crises, or temporary job loss, don’t hesitate to tell the loan officer how this affected your ability to make timely payments and what you’ve done to correct the situation. Keep in mind that the loan officer wants to give you a line of credit and start collecting some interest, which goes right into the bank’s coffers, as profit. With the credit card for people with bad credit, it’s usually only a question of how much it will cost you and how big your line of credit will be.

If your credit history is really bad, you might get turned down. Before you apply for the credit card for people with bad credit, get a copy of your credit report. You’ll want to clean up any entries that don’t belong to you and pay off other debts you’ve overlooked or defaulted on first. You may find several small debts like this. Your best strategy here is to correct and eliminate as many bad marks as possible, before applying for the credit card for people with bad credit. Once you submit your application, this information appears on your credit report. If you get turned down, this lowers your credit score. Creditors view this application and turn-down to be indicative of a desperate consumer, obviously living beyond their means.

If your application is approved, be sure to read all of the fine print of the terms. If you don’t, you may get a surprise letter from the bank, letting you know your APR has just risen another 4%, along with a $75 penalty fee for one late payment! This is no way to restore your credit rating. Whatever you do, be sure that payment is made on time and that you don’t exceed your credit limit.

If you take good care of this financial opportunity, you can ask the bank to review your account in six months and possibly get a reduction in the APR as well as a higher limit. After all, that bank doesn’t want to lose your business to a more flexible competitor.

Use the credit card for people with bad credit to your advantage. Stick with just the one card until your credit rating improves. Then you’re well on your way to a credit card with friendlier, more manageable terms. Good for you!

Credit Card Cash Advance

Welcome to the era of credit cards! Any way you slice it, the almighty credit card has become a significant aspect of living today. While some people say it is a bad thing, others say this form of plastic money has made so many things possible for everyone. You no longer have to wait until payday in order to purchase something. The only downside is, this spending can get out of hand at times. Unfortunately this can mean debt for some people. Then again, you must keep in mind all of the ways credit cards have assisted you over the years. There are certainly some pluses to having a good credit card, and one of them is the credit card cash advance.

Just think; twenty five years ago, you could not even resort to a piece of plastic for a credit card cash advance. You would not have even heard of such a thing. Back in the 1980s, credit cards were just coming about for the middle class. For many years these pieces of plastic were only for the rich or affluent crowds. Nowadays almost anyone with a job can acquire a credit card. Of course your income will have a bearing on the credit limit you receive. This can be a wonderful thing in certain instances. For example, maybe you need a credit card cash advance at some point. This is one way to acquire instant cash for an emergency.

If you are unclear how a credit card cash advance works, it is basically a portion of money pulled off of your credit card. For instance, let’s say you have a 10,000-dollar credit limit on your Visa. Well, you can pull $800 off of the card, just like that. This can come in very handy if cash is needed, and credit is not allowed. However, you must keep in mind the APR or annual percentage rate that applies to the credit card cash advance. These are typically at their highest points for cash advances. In other words, the interest can be pretty hefty, if you choose to pull cash from your credit card. It is commonly over 20%.

An easy way to get better informed when it comes to credit card cash advances is by checking out the websites for major credit cards. Try looking at Chase.com, ShieldFunding.com, or GenesisCapitalFundingGroup.com. These sites all offer ample information and advice regarding credit card cash advance loans. It is prudent not to pull money from your credit card if you do not need to. Also, it is a good idea if you do pull money off of your credit card, to avoid taking out more than you need. This way you will owe less money in interest for the cash withdrawal.