Chances are you’re devoting more time on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok or LinkedIn. Indeed, the average American spends more than two hours a day on social media, yet more than two out of three employees (67%) spend less than 30 minutes reviewing benefits options during open enrollment season, according to a new Voya Financial survey.
To get enrollment over with quickly, more than 90% of employees simply click the same options as last year, a new report by insurer Aflac shows.
It’s time to rethink your benefits. Treat them like a pile of cash on a table, because your choices can add up to thousands of dollars each year.
The interest rate on a traditional 30-year fixed mortgage, which is the most common type of U.S. residential loan, plunged last week by the most in nearly 16 months. The drop comes on the back of a rally in the Treasury market which drove down the benchmark yields used to set home loan costs.
US weekly jobless claims post biggest drop in 20 months: The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week by the most in 20 months, offering an upbeat picture of the labor market that could see the Federal Reserve continuing to raise interest rates.
Look kids, it’s Big Ben (and Parliament.) REUTERS/Toby Melville
Q. My girlfriend and I are moving to London from Canada at the end of November for an employment opportunity that has been presented to her. I myself am a CPA, so instantly my mind went to the financial aspect of the move and the potential hidden costs, especially considering I have not secured employment in London at this moment.
We both have a decent amount of savings, and her employer is providing some moving related compensation; however, if you have any tips or recommendations, it would be greatly appreciated!
– Michael L.
A. First and foremost, I’m jealous, as I have always wanted to move to London.
I sent your query to Sandra Cho, who is founder and president of Pointwealth Capital Management, a boutique wealth management firm based in Southern California, specializing in comprehensive, generational wealth management.
“While the move to a new place, let alone a new country, can be daunting, there are definitely ways that you can set yourselves up for success and minimize unnecessary costs,” says Cho. “I, myself, spent several years overseas and enjoyed every second of it. However, I also learned some things the hard way, which hopefully, you can avoid.”
Here are Cho’s nine tips to help you with your move across the pond:
Research the cost of living. Understand how much things cost before you get to London to avoid any surprises. This includes your apartment, utilities, groceries, gym membership and any other necessities in your life.
Create a broad budget to keep yourself accountable. After you understand your general cost of living, create a budget. Use this budget as a guidepost for your spending, with ample allotments for apartment furnishings and discretionary spending.
Look into the required work documentation. Research the requirements are to work in London, given that your citizenship is not from the UK. Work visas vary from country to country and some require more work and have higher costs than others. Give yourself plenty of time, and make sure you are not blindsided by a process that could take months. Be prepared to potentially reduce your salary request if it will be expensive for an employer to hire you.
Create an emergency fund and do not touch it. Depending on your savings, put aside three to six months’ worth of living expenses, and do not touch it unless you need the funds as a last resort. These funds should be invested in stable, high-yielding, liquid investments such as money market funds.
Be selective when picking an apartment(or flat). Do your research on different sections of the city and find a place that is close to your frequently visited locations. Do not overextend yourself by choosing a home that is above your means. You can always upgrade your next place once you are more settled into the city.
Wisely negotiate your salary when you find a new job. If you secure a new job with a salary that is less than what you intended for, be smart in your negotiations. Focus on your skills and experience as being the driving factors to a compensation bump, rather than the high cost of living or the fact that you just moved to a new city.
Use public transit wherever possible. Lucky for you, London has an amazing public transit system, allowing you to get virtually anywhere in England with little difficulty at a low cost.
Join Facebook groups. Facebook is a great resource in a new city to find like-minded communities, buy high-quality, discounted home décor items and to find trendy spots for a night out.
Create realistic expectations. No big project was ever completed in one day, one week, or even one month. Give yourselves time to settle into your new home and to create a lifestyle in your new city. Don’t put too much pressure on yourselves to have things completed by an exact date.
Finally, a word from me: HAVE A GREAT TIME! Cheers!
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Sheila Bush filed a lawsuit against cosmetic companies after a study showed an association between hair relaxers and uterine cancer risk. REUTERS/Lawrence Bryant
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