Should I Join An Exclusive Sports Club?

I’m in a pickle and I need your help.  One of my friends who so happens to be a client, but who really is just a great friend who so happens to be a very large client, invited me to play tennis at his posh tennis club the other day.  After we hit around for an hour, he mentioned I should join and he could be my primary sponsor.  I told him I’d think about it over the weekend and let him know.

I did some digging with the Membership representative afterwards.  The first hint that told me I was in for a big dilemma was when she said there were no brochures as everything is “exclusive and private.”  “We don’t advertise our club Sam.” she said.  OK, great, how is that going to help me make an informed decision, I thought to myself.  Not wanting to piss her off or anything, I just asked her if she could tell me about how to join.  This is what she said:

The Comfortable Lifestyle Business or The Big Payout?

Over poker one night, we got to talking about what we always talk about: entrepreneurship.   Out of a table of 10, four work at start-ups, three are at Google, one is a high-tech lawyer, one works as a medical correspondent for CNN, and then there’s me, a hybrid.  I had just got done working on Yakezie.com for three hours after working an 11 hour day, and needless to say, I was a little bit tired.

I love going to Friday night poker mainly because I get to bounce ideas off of really smart and incredibly hard working people.  When I hear stories of one start-up player working from 7am to 3am every night for two weeks straight to launch a product offering, I get pumped.  When the Venture Capitalist player recounts his firm rejecting a pitch by Tim Westergren, Pandora’s founder in 2008, I wince, but daydream in amazement.

THE QUESTION

Myths About Selling a Structured Settlement for Cash

There’s a whole world out there of financial products I have very little understanding about.  Apparently, there’s a market for buying and selling “structured settlements” for cash after you win big money after a court case.  The following is a guest post by Jason from JG Wentworth which pays people cash now for settlements which are paid over time.  Interesting concept and something which is worth learning about.

When a plaintiff settles a court case and is awarded a large amount of money, it may be decided that the settlement will be paid over time in installments rather than a single lump sum payment.  This type of arrangement is called a “structured settlement”.

The advantage to having a structured settlement is that the money is tax-free if set up properly.  Structured settlements can also be beneficial because they provide a source of income for the recipient well into the future, where as lump sum payments will more likely be spent if the recipient does not manage their money responsibly.

Structured settlement payments can also be a disadvantage, trapping the recipient into periodic payments when they may want cash now.  Many settlement recipients choose to sell their settlement payments for a lump sum of cash to start a business, pay for college tuition, purchase a home or other various financial reasons.

Handling a large lump sum of cash can be exhilarating.  And it can be a little unsettling, too.  Money causes people to worry, and worry spins half-truths or unfounded myths about financial issues at hand. Selling your structured settlement into a lump-sum payment is an opportunity to increase your net worth — not limit it.  All it takes is a little guidance from a structured settlement buyer and a plan of action for your cash to breakthrough any doubts.

Apparently there must be some controversy about structured settlements and Jason is here to help clear the air.

MYTHS ABOUT SELLING A STRUCTURED SETTLEMENT FOR CASH

View Your 401K Like Social Security And Write It Off

Every month I contribute $1,500 to my 401K so that by the end of the year, the 401K is maxed out at $18,000. Unfortunately, $18,000 a year is a ridiculously low amount of money to save for retirement if you really do the math. After 10 years, you might have $250,000, and after 30 years you might have $800,000 to $1.2 million depending on the markets and your employer’s match.  Whatever the case may be, the 401K is simply not enough money to retire on, especially since you need to pay taxes upon distribution.

The government needs to get it together and raise the amount of 401K contribution for those in the later part of their lives.  How is it that a 40 year old executive who makes $250,000 can only contribute the same amount in his 401K as a 23 year old kid out of school making $40,000?  It just doesn’t make sense.  Instead, the government should allow pre-tax contributions to increase by $5,000 every 5 years so that by the time one has served 20 years in the work force for example, s/he can contribute $35,000+ a year to their 401Ks until retirement.

Let’s talk about the pencil geek IRA retirement plan for example.  If you’re one of the fortunate who are allowed to contribute, you can only fund $5,000 a year!  Whoopdeedoo!  $5,000 X 30 years later, assuming you don’t lose it in the market yields $150,000-$300,000 maybe!  Great, just enough to buy me a Honda Accord sedan when I’m grey.  Get it together government and raise that $5,000 contribution amount higher with better tax incentives.  Furthermore, let hard working Americans who make over $120,000 the opportunity to contribute regularly, and not just through odd year loop holes.  Empower people to want to save for their future!

DIFFERENT STROKES

Buying Blogs, Selling Blogs: How I Built My Blogging Business

3 years ago, I was told by many bloggers: “You will never make money blogging. And if you do, $200/month will be your highest peak ever”.

Three year ago, The Financial Blogger was averaging 500 visits per month and I was ecstatic when I made my first deal of $10 for a link.

Three years later, I now run three financial websites, bought 2 of them and flipped a blog within a year. I am now able to work 1 full day per week on my online business (while I still have to keep my “day job” in the meantime). I really like buying and managing finance blogs as I think it is currently one of the best investing opportunities we can find.

When I asked Sam if I could write a guest post for Financial Samurai, he asked me to include more details on how I appraised blogs and how do I decide or not to send $10K over the wire (or more!) simply to buy a “.com”.

Look at Blogs as a Real Estate Investing Opportunity