Getting Ready For Spring? Your Motorcycle Checklist

Getting Ready For Spring? Your Motorcycle Checklist    

Rev your engine and get ready to feel the cool breeze in your hair as you fly down the freeway – spring is almost here! It’s time to make sure you have your motorcycle ready to take you on adventures throughout the warmer months. Use this checklist to ensure that you and your bike are ready to roll. At InsureUS, serving Cypress, TX, we’re here to help you make sure you stay safe on your bike this summer. 

  • Stop in to see a motorcycle mechanic. While you know your bike inside and out, it’s a good idea to have a mechanic do a quick tune-up to make sure everything is in proper working order. 
  • Get planning. One of the best things about having a motorcycle is the ability to fly wherever the wind takes you, but it’s also fun to have a few scheduled summer trips to look forward to. 
  • Check your emergency kit. Do you have working flares, a poncho, an emergency blanket, and water stowed away, just in case you break down? This is the time to make sure your emergency kit is up to date and ready for summer. 

Call InsureUS, Serving Cypress, TX

If you’re ready to make sure your motorcycle insurance policy is up to par to keep you protected this summer, we’re here to help. Reach out to us at InsureUS, serving Cypress, TX, today to learn more about how we can keep you and your motorcycle safe, so you can rest assured that you’re covered as you embrace the open road this summer.

 

FIRE movement promotes extreme savings, early retirement

A relatively new financial movement aims at financial independence and early retirement, sometimes extremely early retirement.
And that’s the name of the movement: Financial Independence; Retire Early.
Adherents say people can retire in their 40s or even 30s if they practice extreme saving and investing.
The key idea is to enlarge the gap between necessary expenses and income. The money in the gap is what you invest.
As a practical matter that means closely tracking expenses, eliminating anything that isn’t necessary. Make sure your living arrangements are as inexpensive as possible. Eliminate all debt. Cut expenses to the extreme. Then, enlarge the gap by side jobs or part-time jobs to create a big monthly investment number.
FIRE people try to make sure they max out 401K and retirement programs, while saving extra on the side. They intend to retire before they can withdraw funds at age 59 and a half. They also have to make enough money to buy private health insurance.
FIRE retirees actually don’t think of retirement as a way to stop work. They think of it as a way to work the way they want, without worrying about money.
Semi-anonymous blogger Roman, founder of TenFactorialRocks.com, says this can even be done with children. While the USDA says it costs $11,000 to $12,000 per year to raise a child, Roman says it costs more like $4,200 to $7,000 a year, depending on day care costs. Roman writes, “Kids want your time and attention more than expensive gifts, lavish vacations, overpriced tutors and royal treatment summer camps.”
On the other hand, Lisa Harrison of the Mad Money Monster blog, rejected the FIRE movement in favor of simple living. When trying FIRE, she and her husband cut out every single extra expense, from coffee dates to dinners, and they found that, after two years, their savings were up but their happiness was down. They decided to simply live in a frugal manner, saving money regularly, keeping expenses down, but going on dates and buying pizza. “A feeling of relief washed over me,” she writes.

Mortgage rules for condo buyers

No, for the buyer, the same rules that apply to any mortgage apply to a condo buyer. Keep in mind that in calculating your debt-to-income ratio for the loan, lenders will count your condominium fees as part of your total monthly expenses.
A condo mortgage is different because the building itself has to qualify for the loan.
Generally, lenders won’t make a loan on a condominium that is in poor financial shape or poorly maintained. It has to be a properly run residential building.
The lender looks at the condo association records to make sure it is sufficiently insured, isn’t being sued, and residents are paying their dues (no more than a 15% delinquency).
Lenders also want to make sure the building is residential, with at least 50% owner-occupancy. They don’t want to see stores or hotel rooms. They don’t want to see condo units sold as time shares.
Finally, at least 90% of the units have to be occupied.
If the condominium project is established and known to meet guidelines, and you are a credit worthy borrower, you will probably have little difficulty getting a conventional loan.
You might want to do a little extra research, however. Remember that when you buy a condo, you are buying into the Homeowners Association and you are sacrificing some privacy for convenience. It’s a good idea to take a look at the minutes from the HOA meetings to see the sorts of issues being discussed.
When the building qualifies and you find the property suitable, financing a condo should be much the same as a conventional home.

Statistics about Americans

  • 58% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings: GOBankingRates
  • 40% of Americans would struggle to come up with $400 for an unexpected bill: MetLife
  • American debt in 2018/2019 averaged $136,365, and totaled $13.95 trillion: NerdWallet
  • Americans have an average of $6,849 in credit card debt: NerdWallet
  • The Median (half above, half below) household income for Americans in 2018 was $63,179: US Census
  • 12.8 million children lived in poverty in 2017, which was 17.5%. That was a decrease from 2016 when 18% lived in poverty: US Census
  • 45% of Americans believe in the existence of ghosts and demons: YouGov
  • 40% of Americans don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom at home.
  • Super Mario Brothers is the most popular and the most famous video game: YouGov
  • The most popular sandwich in America is grilled cheese (79% say it is their favorite) followed by grilled chicken tied with turkey (75%). Roast beef comes in next at 71%.

For Baby Boomers, it is time to make a profit, save headaches

Baby Boomers (aged 54 to 74) are holding on to their beloved homes, but selling and downsizing now could not only save a lot of headaches, it could also make a tidy profit.
Interest rates are low with the national average rate hovering around 3.6% to 3.9%. Buyers are plentiful. In most areas, there are more buyers than houses for sale. That means a great house for sale could snag a great price.
One option for downsizing is condo living, which can bring a host of benefits to retired Boomers. Condo retirement communities offer a community where people interact and make new friends. Some have parties and even social events for people from the same area. And, you can admire the landscaping without having to mow and trim.
A condo in the city brings the excitement of shopping and entertainment within walking distance. Or, an Uber is just a click away. No more commutes.
Selling that big home and buying a smaller home can add to your nest egg and, if you want, bring you closer to the kids. It’s also a good way to bring the pets along. Along the way, downsizers save big on smaller utility and maintenance bills.
One other consideration: It is always easier to finance a home before retirement. If you have the will and the way, make your move while the market is perfect.