We assume that precious stones and gems are a good investment, but that isn’t always the case. Like any investment, you need to really understand the market and accept the risks. If you play your cards right, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires could earn you a profit.
How to Make the Most Out of Your Precious Stone Investment
A pair of gorgeous emerald earrings or a show-stopping ruby necklace has a high chance of rising in value if you buy right.
Here’s how to make the most out of your gem investment.
Paying the Right Price is the Largest Determining Factor
Precious stones can be expensive, especially if they are high quality or rare. This can make it difficult for some people to afford them as an investment. Not only that, but precious stones can be hard to evaluate, and it's challenging to determine their value without professional help.
But if you have that expertise under your belt, you can find quality gemstones for a decent price. There’s even a possibility a private investor will sell you a precious gem by mistake. Knowledge is power in the investment world, so get to know the Four C’s and other gem-specific topics.
Understand That Gemstones are a Risky Investment
Gemstones are a relatively liquid asset, meaning they can be easily bought and sold on the market, making them a convenient investment option. They may even hold cultural and historical significance, which can make them more valuable to collectors and investors.
With that said, the value of precious stones can be volatile and fluctuate based on a variety of factors, including market trends and economic conditions. If you plan on using precious stones to fund your retirement, you need to be comfortable with taking on a lot of potential risks.
Develop and Train Your Negotiation Skills and Charisma
While precious stones are generally thought of as liquid assets, they may not be as easy to sell as other investments, such as stocks or real estate. This can make it harder to get a good price for your precious stones if you need to sell them quickly. That is unless you’re a negotiator.
You absolutely need sales skills to invest in gems because you need to build relationships with local jewelers. It’s the only way to reliably purchase gems at retail price. You’ll also need to find your own buyers and convince them to pay more than what you paid, which can be difficult.
Consider Your Markup Before Purchasing Any Gems
Precious stones are often considered worthwhile investments because they’re rare and hard to find, are incredibly durable, and can be used in a variety of settings. Even so, your investment isn’t worth a cent unless the buyer thinks it’s valuable and you can make a decent profit.
While it goes against common sense, markups always decline for expensive and popular gems. It’s easy for collectors to stomach a 25% markup on an Alexandrite, but you won’t get over 10% for a diamond. Try to opt for gems that are rarer and allow you to justify a 10% to 25% markup.
Add Other Services On Top of a Regular Gem Sale
The whole reason why novices should tread lightly in the jewelry investment world is that they’re competing with actual jewelers. If a stone cracks, falls off, or goes dull, the customer can go back to the jeweler and get a refund. On a private sale, the customer is risking a lot more.
If possible, you should back any jewelry sale with a guarantee via a contract. Partner with a local jeweler who can recut or style gems based on your customer’s preferences. If you're selling rough gems, tell your customers you can place them in a finished piece, like a necklace.
Insuring your car is one of those necessary yet potentially tedious things that clogs up your to-do list and rarely inspires enthusiasm or excitement.
With access to the web, you can speed up this process significantly, and make big savings as well. So here’s a guide to get you a great deal on car insurance without leaving the house.
Get together your basic info
Before you start, it’s useful to have a few key pieces of information to hand so that the rest of the journey to choosing an insurance policy is straightforward.
Some elements you’ll know innately, such as your name and date of birth. But if you’ve got other people you want to cover with the same policy, you’ll need their details to hand as well.
Also remember to ensure that your driver’s license is up to date, and that you’ve got it to hand. Getting quotes from providers online is only possible with all of this info.
Use a comparison site
If you’re looking for cover from online car insurance you can get it from home via a comparison site. This type of service will pull together quotes from all of the biggest providers out there, allowing you to compare the offers that are put on the table, and select the one that’s a good fit for your needs.
Visit a reputable comparison site, enter the aforementioned details and follow the instructions provided to get access to a list of different deals from various insurance brands.
If you see a quote that you like, you’ll usually be able to click through from the comparison site to the provider’s official site in order to go through with the purchase.
In many cases you’ll also be able to request that the insurer gives you a call to discuss the policy in more detail. This is a good idea if you’re not clear on any aspect of it, or you’d simply feel happier if you spoke to another human before making a commitment.
Consider bundling options
Another perk that comes with shopping for car insurance online is that you can find deals that include more than one type of cover, in order to save you even more money.
For example, bundling together car insurance and homeowners insurance with the same provider could be cheaper than if you picked up policies separately.
Obviously this depends on your circumstances, and is influenced by other factors such as your credit score in many states. Even so, it’s worth considering if the time to renew your insurance has arrived and you are keen to cut down on your essential outgoings.
Look into the coverage that’s provided
The thing about buying car insurance online is that it’s easy to get distracted by the price hierarchy of the policies available, and forget to consider whether or not the cheapest deals are actually the most appropriate.
Likewise just because a given package is expensive, that doesn’t mean it is necessarily more feature-rich than a more affordable equivalent from a different provider.
It’s all about understanding what coverage is included, and whether you need it. For example, if you want complete peace of mind, it’s worth paying extra for comprehensive insurance which gives you protection against more scenarios than a straightforward liability-based package.
Whether you only ever drive to the local store and back each week, or you cover thousands of freeway miles each year, you need a car insurance policy that is tailored to you.
Comparing quotes online and getting expert advice will ensure that this is within reach, all at a price you can afford.
When you think about retirement, what comes to mind? Golf, relaxation, traveling—all these wonderful things that retirement will finally allow you to do. But another important aspect of the retirement planning process is creating a will.
Having a will in place is one of the most important things you can do to secure your future and ensure that all your financial affairs are taken care of after you pass away. A will might seem daunting to some—but it is necessary. Writing a will isn't as complicated or expensive as one might think. The main reason people have their wills written as soon as they retire is that they are concerned about the long-term cost implications of having their wills drawn up at a later time.
By sticking to a few simple guidelines, creating and executing a will can be done at minimal cost and still give you peace of mind in the long run. The main goal is to help protect your loved ones from uncertainty and financial problems.
Name An Executor Of Your Will
The executor is a fancy name for the person who will ensure your estate is settled in the way you stipulated in your will. Anyone can be named the executor as long as they are of legal age. Depending on your location, there might be some other requirements or qualifications, so it's always best to consult a legal advisor or an expert.
An executor's duties may include the following:
Write A Residual Clause
This clause is meant to cover any and all assets that have not been left to any beneficiary, have been forgotten, or have not been adequately described.
You may leave these unlisted assets to a specific beneficiary or allow your executor of the will to use their discernment in distributing these assets.
Having a residuary clause is essential because it is likely that you will forget a thing or two to list down; this clause is an excellent fail-safe to have in place as part of your will.
Name Your Beneficiaries
Naming your beneficiaries is an essential step in the process. A beneficiary is someone who benefits from your estate; this includes valuables, property, and money. A standard error people make in writing the will is failing to update the beneficiaries on crucial information that may have changed in some way after the creation of the will.
You have a large amount of freedom in naming your beneficiaries. There may be one exception, and this would depend on your location. That exception is your current spouse. This person may be entitled to a piece of the estate unless stated otherwise in a premarital or post-marital agreement.
In some states, a minor can't legally inherit assets until they come of age. So, when naming minors as inheritors, it is best to leave the money in a trust or name a trustworthy guardian to manage the assets until the child comes of age.
List Your Assets
Assets are any possession that is in your name or belongs to you. Passing on any of these assets is only possible once you have a detailed list written down. When the executor distributes assets to the relevant beneficiary, there should be no question about the identity of the named asset.
It is essential to check with your region on which assets can be distributed and which can't. Things like investment accounts sometimes are not considered yours to distribute.
It should also be noted that whatever debts you have will be paid using whatever is in your estate. Only after all arrears have been paid will assets be distributed.
Designate Guardians For Minors
If you have dependents who are minors, you must name a guardian or two for them. Failure to do so will result in the court naming them for you. A guardian will be responsible for the minors after the testator's death.
As with executors, try to choose trustworthy individuals who will manage the assets left behind for the minors and take care of them well. It is optional to consult with your guardian choices before selecting them, and it is advised to select alternate guardian choices in case your primary choice chooses to decline the responsibility.
Sign Your Will Correctly
If signed incorrectly, your will may be considered invalid or void. Check out the laws surrounding this in your region. There will be laws surrounding the number of witnesses and how old they must be. In some cases, they can't be inheritors to the will.
Some states may require the will to be notarized as well. Ideally, the witnesses should be people you think will still be around after you pass on in case of any confusion in the will itself. No writing appearing after the signatures will be considered valid until adequately proven.
These few steps are the key points to remember as you begin to do so. However, you can always hire a lawyer or legal counsel to take care of all of this for you if you find the task too arduous or confusing.
So, you have always dreamed of spending your retirement abroad, perhaps living in an apartment overlooking the sea or enjoying a serene life surrounded by nature. No matter what your retirement goals are, you deserve to achieve them! But, before packing up your belongings and booking your one-way ticket, there is one critical aspect to look into: health insurance.
Healthcare standards and costs vary from one country to another, and overlooking this factor can expose you to significant health risks. So, how can you be sure that you are making the right choice? The considerations below can help. Let’s get started.Image by pressfoto on Freepik
Learn What To Expect From the Healthcare System in Your Destination Country
According to a 2018 study conducted by Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement, retiring abroad is a major aspiration for at least 12% of Americans. But while more and more people wish to relocate after retirement, planning your move and ensuring that you can access high-quality healthcare isn’t any easier.
Indeed, healthcare systems vary dramatically in different countries, especially in terms of costs, accessibility, and quality. Before choosing a destination to relocate to, make sure to conduct your due diligence and ensure that you’ll be able to access reliable health services for routine checkups and emergencies alike!
Check Whether You Are Eligible for Free or Universal Health Insurance
Many countries offer free or affordable health services as part of their universal health care programs. Although these services might not be accessible for tourists and visitors, as a resident, you might be able to drastically reduce the costs of healthcare.
Before signing up for public health coverage, be sure to compare plans and check that there are no age restrictions or limitations for pre-existing conditions.
Compare Plans to Find the Right Medical Insurance Plan, e.g. in Dubai
Whether you are not eligible for public health insurance or require add-ons and additional coverage, investing in private insurance is a must for anyone looking to relocate abroad.
When looking for private health insurance in your destination country, partnering with a local provider and comparing policies is always recommendable. For example, if you are moving to Dubai, you’ll be able to find and compare medical insurance plans, and verify that your chosen provider has been certified by the Insurance Authority UAE.
Look Into the Benefits of International Insurance Policies
If you are not prepared to settle in a single destination, or you are planning to travel often between your home country and your new home, you might consider the benefits of investing in an international health insurance policy.
These plans allow you to access basic health services in any country you might be visiting and enjoy global health coverage. However, you should always pair international policies with a comprehensive medical plan in the area where you reside.
Ensure You Have Access to the Prescription Medicines You Need
As you get older, you might become increasingly reliant on prescription drugs and medical treatments. Although this is a normal part of aging and it should not stop you from living your retirement dream, you should ensure that you can continue accessing the medicines you need after relocating.
To do so, consult your healthcare provider and ask whether a certain medicine is available in another country, how much you should expect to pay for it, and under what brand name it is sold. And, don’t forget to choose a health insurance plan that covers the cost of prescription medicines!
Pinpoint Suitable Clinics and Providers Before Moving
Before moving to a new country take time to find the best hospitals, clinics, and healthcare providers in the area. After all, the last thing you’d want is to have to look for a dentist or surgeon during an emergency!
To find suitable providers, assess organizations that have been globally accredited by the Joint Commission International, employ internationally trained staff, and provide services in English (or in any language you are comfortable communicating in). And, make sure they are part of your insurance provider’s network!
Maintain a Healthy and Active Lifestyle To Keep at Bay Health Issues
As you get older, health issues seem to become a constant companion. However, understanding how to manage your health as you age can help you keep emergencies at bay and delay the onset of diseases and conditions that can impact your life after retirement.
In particular, aim to live an active lifestyle, keep your weight in check, be mindful about your diet, and maintain your cognitive skills sharp through socialization and brain exercises.
Anticipate Your Needs and Have a Support System in Place
Whether you have retired early or still have plenty of energy to sell, don’t forget that, as the years go on, you might need more support than you need now. Get ready for it by choosing an insurance plan that provides coverage for mental healthcare, assisted living, or nursing home services.
You sometimes need to raise emergency money, and your options feel scarce. You can ask your friends and family for extra money, but they may not be able to help. In such scenarios, you can apply for a bank loan, which you repay from your next paycheck.
Retired individuals have no jobs and often have limited sources of income. Taking a loan can be challenging for them. Without proper research, they may not find a credible or legitimate financing option if they need to raise money in an emergency. However, senior citizens can get easy loans if they know their options. Seniors can qualify for loans based on their income from social security, pensions, IRA accounts, or investment returns. Here are some loan options retired individuals can avail of.
Home Equity Loan
A home equity loan is a title loan where you take a line of credit against a percentage of the equity in your home. Title loans are loans in which you must put an asset as ‘collateral,’ which the lender can sell to recoup their money if you fail to repay your debt. Title loans are a suitable solution as they offer lower interest rates, and if you pay the loan back, your assets remain with you.
Using the equity in your home as collateral has several benefits. Most seniors own a home and can take out a home equity loan. It is tax-deductible, has lower interest rates, and has no closing costs or withdrawal fees. However, it can be risky if you fail to repay the loan, as you lose the ownership of your estate.
A car loan is a title loan in which you can put your vehicle as collateral. You are required to own a vehicle to get a car loan. You can get a car loan fast, so they are a suitable option for raising emergency money. You may also use the funds obtained however you see fit. After receiving the loan, use your car freely until you default. However, the total amount you get is significantly less than your vehicle's value, and you can risk losing your car. If you own a truck instead of a car, apply for semi truck title loans.
Unsecured Lines of Credit
These refer to loans that are not secured against collateral. You can borrow money without putting any property as collateral. Such loans eliminate the risk of losing your property; however, they have higher interest rates, and if you fail to repay the loan, the lender can come after you. Consider avoiding unsecured payday loans with higher interest rates. You can fall victim to loan sharks or end up in a loan cycle if you are not careful.
Credit Card Advance
Credit Card RatesA credit card advance is suitable if you need to raise cash fast in an emergency. You just take money out of an ATM using your credit card. While this loan is convenient and straightforward, the interest rate is very high, and you pay significant bank fees. The loan amount you can get is only a few hundred dollars. This option will not be applicable if you require a higher sum of money.
Retired life can be a challenging time. You often have few means of income, and raising money is tough if you need it urgently. In such a scenario, you will have to get a loan. You can get title loans against your assets, unsecured loans, or credit card advances. Research your lender carefully to avoid scams and loan sharks.
We’re close to the end of autumn of 2022, which means we still have time to enjoy the slightly warmer weather with a delicious meal next to our loved ones. Therefore, we prepared a list with some nutritious and easy-to-make dishes to save time while providing nourishing properties. These meals can be made by anyone, regardless of the culinary experience, so you only need to follow the recipes carefully, and you’ll create the most aesthetic dish ever. Let’s get into it.
Salmon is not only tasty but also packed with plenty of nutrients (omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, B12). If combined with a healthy lifestyle, eating salmon can help reduce the risk of heart disease, prevent inflammation and protect brain health. You can cook salmon in various ways, but it would be best to pick it fresh. The smell shouldn’t be fishy, and the flesh must be bright and moist to preserve all the good stuff in it.
To get all those nutrients, here’s the recipe we recommend: stuffed salmon with Cajun seasoning. You’ll need the following:
Remember that salmon needs to be stored properly before cooking, so if you can’t prepare it the day you bought it, freeze it and then thaw it in cold water. Never let it sit at room temperature since it’s pretty fragile, and bacteria can build up.
Pumpkin chicken skillet
Not your average pumpkin drink! This recipe combines the sweet taste of pumpkin with a chicken skillet in a nectarous meal. Pumpkin is yet again the star of the meal regarding nutrients because it’s rich in vitamin A, nutrient-dense and provides antioxidant properties. This recipe will only take you 15 minutes to prepare. What you’ll need is the following:
We know that pumpkins are also used as decorations for Halloween, and even if you carve them and lay them on your solid wood cabinets or just place them around the house, it’s best not to waste them. Pumpkin waste is a concerning matter, especially around this date, when most of the flesh is thrown away instead of being used for something. So, next year, try to make the best out of your pumpkin by cooking or using it to feed birds.
Almost every nation has a specific type of delicious dumpling recipe, but now we’ll talk about Asian ones. Dumplings are a combination of ground meat (usually lamb or beef) wrapped in dough. However, you can also fill them only with vegetables of your choice. Most of the time, they’re steamed since this method allows the dumplings to maintain their shape and flavoursome.
To fully enjoy their chewy taste, you could make a soup with dumplings since the simmered broth will give the dumplings their full-bodied taste. However, keep in mind that you must cook them thoroughly, so take off your afternoon if it’s the first time you prepare the dish. For this recipe, you’ll need to cook the broth, make the wrappers and assemble the pork filling.
For the broth, you’ll have to simmer it for ten minutes, along with soy sauce, ginger and garlic.
Then refrigerate it for one hour. Next to the wrappers, you can also find them in the market already made, but preparing them yourself will be more fun. A stand mixer is preferable here because it’ll help you mix the flour and water until the dough is smooth in texture. The dough must then be cut into pieces and rolled to form little thin circles. Regarding the filling, you can do whatever you like, but try to steam the buns to maintain their taste.
This one-pot recipe will not only save time, but you’ll also make an impression at every dinner table. This dish goes wonderfully well with apple pie, roasted chicken and lasagne, so if you don’t know how to assemble your next table for a family night, here’s the best meal combination.
The sausage won’t be the star of the show here, but the garlic breadcrumbs will leave anyone speechless. For this recipe, you’ll need the following:
You can also use lentils in the mix to make it more homogeneous. Puy or green lentils are a great alternative to such a recipe. At the same time, the sausages don’t have to be made of pork; you can use whatever sausage composition you like. Finally, you can add flageolet to chickpeas to make the meal even more nutritious.
Once the cold season starts, we should eat more nourishing food to sustain our bodies for facing the cold. Therefore, we recommended the dishes above to help you pick the vitamins your body needs to store enough healthy fat to get through the winter.
So, what do you think about these dishes?