A Chronicle of My Odesk Experiences | The Great, The Good, The Horrible

Lately I’ve been doing some reading about small business.  From the reading I’ve been doing, I liken outsourcing to a bee hive.  Outsourcing is the hive, and the bees are everyone who is writing about and talking about its importance. Now, I’ve got some general reservations about outsourcing that I want to mention, and then I’ll get into my Odesk review. General Outsourcing … [Read more...]

Employers Look at Credit Reports | Ludicrous or Smart Business?

“I’m sorry, Mr. Ford, but we are going to be unable to hire you because of some negative activity on your credit report.” I think if I ever heard those words, I would cry foul. I’ve previously said that your credit score matters, but I’m only just starting to learn about how important they can be. Your Employer May Look at Your Credit Report The Wall Street Journal reports that 1 in 6 … [Read more...]

The Beginner’s Guide to Self Employed Tax

Of course you can read about all this information regarding small business and taxes from the IRS.  You just need to drink a gallon of coffee before you start.  I’ll try and simplify things and explain them in a way that is easy to understand. This will be my seventh year to file as a self-employed individual.  To be perfectly honest, self employment tax information is never fun, but when you … [Read more...]

Using Financial Ratios To Gauge Your Financial Health

How do you know if you're doing well financially? Can you see warning signs that indicate you may in potential trouble? Financial ratios can be used to understand how you're currently doing with your money. This is important, because if you don't know where you are currently, it's difficult to figure out how much more work you need to do to reach your goals. Here are 3 ratios that give you an idea … [Read more...]

Understanding Your Social Security Statement

Do you wonder how you'll manage your money when you retire? If so, your Social Security statement can be a helpful tool in planning your family's finances. Have a taken a look at it recently? A Bit Of Background Information And History Since 1999, statements have been automatically mailed to all workers over age 25 who haven't yet received benefits. The statement is mailed to you about three … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Retire with Less Investment Risk

In my last post, I talked about what really matters about investment risk. The basic idea was that meeting your retirement planning goals should have a higher priority than staying within your risk tolerance. If you invest in a "safe" portfolio but don't reach your goals, was it really a safe investment? I don't think so. But I also mentioned that there are some options if you don't want to … [Read more...]

Ministers and Pastors Social Security Tax | Should You Opt Out?

Those outside paid ministry think that ministry is just about hearing and answering a call.  But there is much to deal with on the side of the minister's salary and relationship with the government. Ministers have very special tax and income situations.  This includes things like a housing allowance, employment status (self employed or employee), and social security.  Ministers also have … [Read more...]

How To Buy Missionary Health Insurance

Moving overseas, living on a minister's salary, and shopping for missionary health insurance is a brave new world.  There are policy limitations, exclusions, and benefits that are not typically part of Stateside insurance options.  This post will focus on introducing you to the elements that are unique to purchasing and shopping for international missionary health insurance.  While this post … [Read more...]

Roth IRA and Traditional IRA Tax Implications in Plain English

When deciding between a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA and the tax implications, you just need to remember one little fact.  You will pay taxes on that money.  The only questions are: when and how. There are other differences, like the IRA withdrawal rules, contribution limits, and income limits, but that is another post for another time.  In this article, we are going to focus on clearly … [Read more...]