Where Retirees Rely Most on Social Security – 2021 Edition

Where Retirees Rely Most on Social Security – 2021 Edition – SmartAsset

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Social Security is a financial safety net for millions of retired Americans. Founded in the aftermath of the Great Depression, this social insurance program was designed to pay out monthly income for workers after reaching full retirement age. But for most people today, the money provided by Social Security is not enough to live on during retirement. More than 64 million beneficiaries will see an increase of 1.3% in 2021, which translates to a modest raise of $20 a month. This means that average benefits total just $1,543 per month, compelling many Americans to supplement that income with pensions, 401(k) plans and other retirement savings programs. Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset analyzed data from top U.S. cities with the largest populations aged 65 and older to identify where retirees are the most dependent on Social Security.

To do this, we took the average total retirement income and the average Social Security income from the 100 U.S. cities with the largest 65-and-older populations and found out where Social Security makes up the biggest percentage of total retirement income. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below.

This is SmartAsset’s 2021 edition of our study on the cities where retirees rely most on Social Security. You can read the 2020 edition here.

Key Findings

  • Social Security is 40.12% of retirement income on average. Across the 100 cities we studied, Social Security represents 40.12% of all retirement income. This shows how important it is to save for retirement when you are young, as Social Security isn’t going to be able to make up most of what a person needs in retirement. In only one city – Fort Wayne, Indiana – does Social Security make up the majority of retirement income.
  • California retirees rely the least on Social Security. The bottom of the study is dominated by the Golden State. Of the bottom 20 cities, 12 are in California, with Social Security making up an average of just 34.65% of their overall retirement income. For a comparison, Social Security benefits in the top 20 cities of this study average 45.39% of their overall retirement income.

1. Fort Wayne, IN

With more than 37,000 people aged 65 and older, Fort Wayne, Indiana tops our list as the U.S. city in which retirees rely most on Social Security. The average combined retirement income there is $38,455. Social Security benefits – averaging $20,047 – make up more than half of the overall retirement income (52.13% to be precise).

2. Hialeah, FL

Hialeah, Florida has almost 48,000 people aged 65 and older. Their average combined retirement income is $26,328, and Social Security makes up 49.88% of it, averaging $13,132.

3. Wichita, KS

Wichita, Kansas has more than 54,000 people aged 65 and older. These retirees have an average combined retirement income of $40,867. Social Security income makes up 48.32% of it, averaging $19,748.

4. Tulsa, OK

Tulsa, Oklahoma has more than 56,000 people aged 65 and older. The average retirement income, excluding Social Security benefits, is $22,340. Tulsa retirees average $19,577 in Social Security benefits, which makes up 46.70% of their overall retirement income.

5. Indianapolis, IN

Indianapolis has more than 105,000 residents older than age 65, the largest population of retirees in the top 10 of this study. Those retirees have a combined average retirement income of $40,991. Social Security makes up 46.36% of that income, averaging $19,005.

6. Mesa, AZ

Retirees in Mesa, Arizona average a combined retirement income of $46,995. Non-Social Security income is $25,534. And Social Security benefits average $21,461, making up 45.67% of the total retirement income.

7. Port St. Lucie, FL

Port St. Lucie has almost 39,000 residents older than the age of 65. Their average combined retirement income is $47,235. Of that total, 45.23% ($21,364) comes from Social Security benefits.

8. Omaha, NE

With a 65-and-older population of more than 61,000, Omaha, Nebraska’s combined retirement income averages $44,775. Social Security makes up 45.13% of that total income, averaging $20,206.

9. Nashville, TN

With almost 78,000 people older than the age of 65, the average Social Security income in Nashville, Tennessee is $19,692. This makes up 44.77% of their overall retirement income, which averages $43,980. That means that they have $24,288 in non-Social Security income.

10. Toledo, OH

With a little more than 39,000 people aged 65 and older, Toledo, Ohio rounds out the top 10 of our study with an average Social Security income of $17,008. That makes up 44.62% of their overall retirement income, which averages $38,118.

Data and Methodology

To find the places where retirees rely most on Social Security, we examined data for the 100 cities with the largest population of residents aged 65 and older. Specifically, we looked at the following two metrics:

  • Average retirement income for senior households. This is all income which comes from pension plans, periodic income from annuities or insurance and income from IRA plans. Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 5-year American Community Survey.
  • Average Social Security income for senior households. This includes Social Security pensions and survivors benefits and permanent disability insurance payments made by the Social Security Administration. Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 5-year American Community Survey.

We combined the two income metrics to create one overall retirement income metric. We divided average Social Security income by overall retirement income, showing what percentage of total retirement income was coming from Social Security. We then ranked the cities from highest to lowest.

Tips for Retirement

  • Rely on an expert. Saving early and often is important for a comfortable retirement. The right financial advisor can help you create a financial plan for your retirement needs. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Run the numbers now to stay on track. Use SmartAsset’s free retirement calculator to see what you will need in retirement income and if you are on pace to have saved enough.
  • Make workplace benefits work for you. If you have access to a workplace retirement plan like a 401(k), make sure to take advantage of it. This is often the easiest way to save money for retirement.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/PETTET

Ben Geier, CEPF® Ben Geier is an experienced financial writer currently serving as a retirement and investing expert at SmartAsset. His work has appeared on Fortune, Mic.com and CNNMoney. Ben is a graduate of Northwestern University and a part-time student at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing and a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®). When he isn’t helping people understand their finances, Ben likes watching hockey, listening to music and experimenting in the kitchen. Originally from Alexandria, VA, he now lives in Brooklyn with his wife.
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How to Increase Your Credit Score Quickly and Buy Your First House

April 27, 2020 December 18, 2020 by Emily Huddleston

Updated on December 18th, 2020

Being a first-time homebuyer is tougher these days, as banks and mortgage lenders are tightening their lending standards. While credit requirements for a mortgage can vary, depending on the type of loan and lender, a credit score of 620 is typically the minimum credit score needed for a conventional loan. However, lenders are raising the required minimum credit score and are now looking for at least a 700 credit score from new borrowers. 

So, if you’re exploring the housing market and looking to buy soon, you may need to boost your score fast to meet these new requirements. While good credit isn’t built overnight, there are still some things you can do right now to boost your credit score in record time. Check out these strategies for how to increase your credit score quickly, so you can move forward in your homebuying journey.

grey two story home

grey two story home

Clean up your credit report

While this may not be your idea of an enjoyable weekend or afternoon activity, start by getting a copy of your credit report and looking for any mistakes. Incorrect information on your credit reports could be dragging down your scores. 

First, find out your credit score by getting a credit report. There are sites where you can get a free credit report like AnnualCreditReport.com. They provide credit reports from the three credit bureaus Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion at no charge to you. You will then need to look through those reports, inspecting them for mistakes. Errors could include an incorrect name or address, credit lines that don’t belong to you, duplicate entries, and incorrect account status.

If you find a mistake, you’ll also need to bring it up with each bureau. Each one has a slightly different process for disputing errors, but you should be able to easily find instructions on their websites. Alternatively, you could enlist a credit repair service to help get those errors fixed so you can raise your credit score quickly.

Pro Tip: Correcting errors on your credit reports are not only important to your credit profile but it is also your legal right as a consumer to have any accounts on your credit report, reported accurately. – Classy Credit Repair Services

Lower your credit utilization ratio 

You might be wondering, just what is a credit utilization ratio? A credit utilization ratio is how much you currently owe divided by your credit limit. For example, if you typically charge up a $1,500 credit card balance each month and your total credit limit across all your cards is $10,000, your utilization ratio is 15%. This ratio can impact up to 30% of your credit score, making it a major player in your overall credit score. 

Pay down your balance

It’s recommended to keep your total credit utilization ratio below 30%. So if your credit utilization rate is high, paying down your credit card debt is a quick way to lower that rate, boost your score, and proceed in your home buying process

Pro Tip: Most experts recommend two approaches that could quickly eliminate debt. You could focus on the smallest bill and pay that account off as fast as possible. Once paid, move to the next bill with the lowest balance. The next option is to target the bill with the highest interest rate. As you pay the high-interest accounts off, you will ultimately save money in the long run by not throwing away money monthly in interest. – Masters Credit Consultants

Make multiple payments each month

You may think you are managing your credit card great because you always pay off your card each month. The problem is, creditors are only reporting balances to the reporting companies once a month. So if you run up a high balance or max out your card each month, it will look like you’re overusing your credit.

For example, assume you have a credit card with a $2,000 limit and you use it for everything. It comes time to pay your bill – you owe $2,000 but you pay it off like you always do. However, depending on what day of the month the credit card company reports your balance, it may look like you have a $2,000 limit and a $2,000 balance every month. That means you have a 100% credit utilization ratio.

You can easily solve this problem by breaking up your payments. You can keep charging everything to your card, but make payments at least twice a month to keep your balance low, which will result in lowering your credit utilization ratio.

Ask for a higher credit limit

When your credit limit goes up and your balance stays the same, it immediately decreases your utilization. Of course, this only works if you keep your balances low. 

Pro Tip: Call your card issuer and make sure they are able to increase your limits without performing a hard credit inquiry as that can lower your scores. You can ask for an increase in credit limit usually every 6 months. – Credit Lynx

Become an authorized user

You can also boost your credit score fast by piggyback on someone else’s. If you have a relative or a close friend with excellent credit history, consider asking them to add you as an authorized user on one of their accounts. The cardholder doesn’t have to let you use the card – or even give you the account number – but you will still benefit.

Remember, while authorized users do build credit, that credit can be good or bad. It is dependent upon how the primary account holder manages balances and bill payments. So you only want to become an authorized user on an account owned by someone responsible and that you trust.

Pro Tip: Before requesting or adding someone as an authorized user, make sure to follow these three criteria: 1) Card was issued a minimum of 2+ years 2) Balance is below 30% of available credit 3) 100% payment history. – Pyramid Credit Repair

Don’t open new accounts

Every time you apply for a line of credit, the lender will pull your credit report as part of the application process. This is called a hard inquiry and in the short term, it can hurt your credit score. A hard inquiry is placed on your credit report even if you’re not approved and even if you eventually decide to not accept the credit card. 

Pro Tip: Certain types of loans, namely installment contracts such as an auto loan, can initially bring down your credit score for several months before the payments begin to help your credit history. In addition to this, the lender will take into consideration your DTI, Debt To Income Ratio, and a new large monthly payment can possibly change those ratios and place you into a category where you no longer qualify for the loan. It is best to wait until after you have completed your home purchase before you make any other big financial decisions. – Credit 360 Consulting

Pro Tip: Revolving accounts say to creditors and credit bureaus that you are a disciplined consumer and can be trusted with credit accounts. So if you aren’t looking to purchase a home right away and instead have several months to make long-term improvements to your score, consider obtaining revolving accounts such as credit cards, personal lines of credit, or retail store cards with high limits that report to the 3 major credit bureaus. – Credit Repair of Florida

Don’t close any credit cards

If you’re a first-time homebuyer rushing to improve your credit score to buy a house, be aware that closing cards can make the job much tougher. Closing an account immediately reduces your available credit. If you have outstanding debt, this will cause your credit utilization ratio to jump up and therefore, your credit score to drop.

Pro tip: Closing a credit card account with a high credit limit could have an especially negative impact on your score, particularly if you are carrying a high balance on another card. – AZ Credit Medix

Pay bills on time

No strategy to bump up your score will work if you end up paying your bills late. Why is this? Your payment history makes up 35% of your credit score ― the most heavily weighted factor. So not making payments on time is the single worst thing you could do. Reminder – you’ll want to pay all bills on time. Not just credit card bills, but also your student loans, rent, utilities, phone bills, and so on. 

Pro Tip: Sometimes when payments are late, the creditor will automatically raise the interest rate being charged and this creates a greater problem than just being late. A simple solution to avoid being late on payments is to set up “auto pay” plans and to consider using a budgeting application such as Mint, or Everydollar. – Graves Financial Wealth Management 

Pro Tip: If you end up with debt that becomes a collection account, it’s in your best interest to pay or settle the debt as quickly as possible. To get the best deal when paying a collection its best to have a lump sum on hand. Call the collection agency and offer them 50% of the debt, you may have to do a little negotiation, but you should be able to settle for around 65% of the debt. Also, ask if they will delete it from your credit report. Some will, and some won’t, but always ask. – Credit Restoration of Texas

How long does it take to improve a credit score?

After reading through these tips you are likely wondering – “how long exactly is it going to take to improve my credit score?” Unfortunately, there’s no way to predict the exact timing for when your credit score will go up or by how much. So while you wait, remember to be patient, implement the above tips, and continue checking your credit score to see how it reacts. By following these steps you should be well on your way to improving your score and purchasing your first home. 

Source: redfin.com

The Top 9 Contingencies to Consider in Your Offer When Buying a Home

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, buying a home is an exciting time in your life — not to mention a little anxiety-inducing. But after touring dozens of homes and finally finding “the house,” you’re ready to make an offer. Before you do, take time to consider all the potential risks and home-buying contingencies that will help protect you as a buyer. Such as being able to back out of your offer if a significant repair issue is discovered, like a crack in the foundation or leaking roof. Though you can technically add any contingency you want to an offer, here are the 9 most common homebuying contingencies to consider.

homebuying contingencies

homebuying contingencies

1) Home inspection contingency

As the buyer you should always order a home inspection. A trained and certified home inspector will look for issues with the structure and home systems (like plumbing, electrical, and HVAC) that may not be obvious to the buyer. When you purchase a house that ends up in need of a major repair, you could take a significant financial hit. The inspection contingency can protect you from purchasing a poor property investment because it allows you to back out of the deal if a major issue is discovered.

2) Appraisal contingency

An appraisal contingency protects lenders more so than the homebuyer, and is almost always required by your lending institution if you’re taking out a home loan. It confirms to your lender that the home is worth the price you’re paying for it, and if you default on your loan they will be able to recoup their expenses by selling the house. 

A favorable home appraisal, however, may offer you peace of mind, knowing that you are buying a home with instant equity because the value is more significant than your purchase offer. With an appraisal contingency in place, you can also back out of the purchase of the home if it’s appraised value isn’t as high as it’s listing price.

3) Financing contingency

A financing contingency is a clause in your offer that allows you to back out if you cannot secure a mortgage to buy the home. The financing contingency protects both the bank and the homebuyer. It gives the bank the opportunity to verify your financial history, income levels, and what you can actually afford, while also allowing you to walk away from an offer you can’t afford it.

4) Home sale contingency

This contingency is common for buyers who need the equity from the sale of their current home to purchase the next one, usually going toward the down payment and closing costs. Even if you have funds available for a downpayment, not every homebuyer can afford to pay two mortgages while waiting to sell their current home. This gives buyers the option to back out of the deal if they cannot sell their current home by a specified date.

5) Clear title contingency 

The property title shows ownership and any mortgages against the house. In every real estate transaction, the title company runs a title report on the property to ensure no contractor liens or judgments are outstanding against the property. If the report finds liens or judgments, the buyer can require the seller to satisfy them before the closing date. If these items are not cleared before closing, this contingency allows the buyer to walk away from the deal.  

6) Kick-out contingency

The kick-out contingency benefits the seller by allowing them to continue marketing their house even if the house is under another contingent contract. For example, if a home seller accepted an offer from a buyer that has a home sale contingency, the kick-out contingency would allow the seller to accept another offer and kick out the previous buyer’s offer. This way the home seller does not have to wait around for someone else’s house to sell before theirs can be sold. Usually, the homebuyer with the initial offer gets a specified amount of time – roughly a few days – to either remove their home sale contingency and move forward with the purchase or choose to walk away.

7) Home insurance contingency

As a requirement for financing, lenders require homebuyers to start a home insurance policy before the final loan is approved. This covers the house if something happens after the seller moves out, but before the buyer moves in. This contingency protects the lender and allows them to recover the mortgage amount. If the buyer can’t get insurance on the property, either party can walk away from the purchase.

modern living room condo

modern living room condo

8) Homeowners association (HOA) contingency

The HOA contingency applies to homes or condos under a homeowner association’s supervision. It gives the buyers the right and time to review any HOA agreements and documentation applicable to them as the home’s new owners. If they don’t receive the documentation in time or don’t agree with HOA obligations or restrictions, this contingency can help them get out of the deal. So, if you’re moving to an area like Miami, FL where most condos are a part of an HOA, this would be a contingency worth considering.

9) Move-in early contingency

This contingency allows a buyer to move into a property before final closing – if the seller agrees. If a buyer moves in early, it’s harder to walk away from the deal if other contingencies are not satisfied. If the deal falls through, the seller can evict the buyer. Most real estate agents will advise the seller not to accept an offer with an early move-in contingency. 

Contingencies provide useful protection to both homebuyers and sellers. The buyer’s contingencies protect them from various unknowns about the house itself and the actual purchase transaction. While sellers may view them as potential obstacles, they create an escape hatch if the buyer runs into difficulties selling their current house or obtaining financing. As you prepare your offer, be sure to ask your real estate agent for advice about which contingencies are best for your situation and the current housing market.

Source: redfin.com

The Pros of Hiring an Interior Designer for Your Next Home Renovation

designer paints a modern sketch of the apartment

No matter how skilled you are at any particular task or pastime, there’s a good chance your skills are going to pale in comparison to those of a professional. Sure, you might be a good guitarist, but next to Tom Morello or John Frusciante, you’d struggle just to keep up. Your painting chops might be next level, but can you go toe to toe with the likes of Goya or Monet? 

The point is, even a particularly skilled amateur isn’t going to be able to compare to a person who makes a living from their craft. For those interested in renovating a home, this rings exceptionally true. While you may be able to do a half-decent job with the construction, do you trust yourself to redecorate? 

If you don’t, you’re going to want to get in touch with an interior designer. By getting in touch with one of these professional masters of decor, you’ll take your interior design game to the next level, assuring that your remodel will be accompanied by the decor it deserves. With their help, you can make sure that your home looks way, way better after the remodel. 

But what are the advantages of hiring an interior designer, more specifically? What can you expect when working with an interior designer, and how can you best equip them to ensure that you get your money’s worth out of their work? These are the questions we’re going to be asking today; let’s begin! 

The benefits of hiring an interior designer

Of course, you might not be convinced by our intro. Why hire an interior designer? If you’ve got a decent sense of style, you can just as well decorate the place yourself essentially at cost. This is a good argument, and if you’re comfortable with the work involved, it’s a viable option. Nevertheless, there are a lot of upsides to hiring an interior designer; let’s take a look at a few.

Less work 

Despite the apparent ease with which interior design can be done, the process of renovating a living space can be time consuming and tiring. Choosing decor, coordinating the colors of furniture and other similar tasks can be arduous and infuriating, leaving you feeling clueless and frustrated without so much as an idea of how to go on. 

By hiring an experienced interior designer, you can circumvent these problems almost entirely. While you’ll still have discretionary control over all decisions regarding the interior design of your newly remodeled home, your interior designer will do all the legwork and leave you free to focus on your remodel. Whether you’re going with a contemporary design aesthetic or a traditional one, you’re sure to be thankful they’re in your corner! 

Efficiency

Another salient benefit of hiring an interior designer to oversee your remodel is efficiency. No matter how good you think yourself to be when it comes to interior design, you’re not going to be able to match the efficiency with which a professional interior designer will be able to work. If you want to make your remodel go as fast as possible, you’ll definitely want to hire one. 

An interior designer will all but completely eliminate the headaches associated with this type of work, getting things done as quickly and efficiently as possible. They’ve got the connections and the resources to purchase materials and decor with as little hassle as possible, and they’ll be able to move the process along smoothly without any hassle.

The professional touch 

Perhaps the most attractive upside of hiring a professional interior designer is the assurance that your remodel will end up looking as good as it possibly can, with a well coordinated, professional appearance. You may be a great amateur interior designer, but experience comes with time and if you want your design aesthetic to be on the cutting edge, this is one of the best reasons to hire an interior design professional. 

By hiring a professional interior designer, you’ll be making sure that every facet of your remodel is seen to in such a way that you’ll be happy with it well into the future. From the color of the interior to the choice of wood grain on the furniture, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that the way things look is well thought out and professionally planned, without the inclusion of outdated interior design elements. Such is the value of the professional touch!  

A trove of knowledge 

Finally, hiring a professional interior designer will grant you an all but inexhaustible wealth of knowledge regarding interior design choices. Your interior designer will advise you on questions such as whether or not you’d like to incorporate exposed brick into your remodel, or even something avant garde like a wall mural. 

Your interior designer will also advise you on incorporating the latest interior design trends into your remodel, giving you an idea of what’s likely to catch on and what will be left behind. If you ask them to, they might even help you adopt a more minimalistic approach to interior design, opting for simplicity over spectacle. 

Finding an interior designer

Of course, before you hire an interior designer, you’ve got to find one that fits your remodel and can be counted on to do good work. If you’ve never worked with one before, this might seem like a somewhat daunting task, but rest assured, you’ve got nothing to fear. With a bit of searching, you’ll find one that’s perfect for you. 

The best place to start is with a simple online search; find some interior designers in your area and get some estimates. Share your remodel’s scope and scale with them, and let them know what you’re expecting from an interior design point of view. After speaking to a couple interior designers, you should have a good idea of what it will probably cost you. 

If you haven’t yet found one that fits the bill, you can do some more searching. Find a real estate agent in your area and ask for a recommendation or use tools like craigslist and Facebook marketplace. If it’s a lower price you’re looking for, you’re likely to find it using these methods. These interior designers are likely to be just as if not more experienced than their more well-established counterparts, and you’ll likely get a great deal too. 

Whichever route you choose, be sure to get a copy of the interior designer’s portfolio and previous work, so you know their unique preferences and style. This will give a better idea of what to expect, and how to get your ideal look for your living space. It will also help you feel more in touch with them, so communication is easier. 

Meeting with the designer

Once you’ve chosen an interior designer, you can go forward by setting up an in-person meeting with them to establish your terms for your remodel. You can discuss pricing, materials and what you want from the new interior design of your freshly remodeled home. Just give your interior designer a call and set up a meet in a place you both agree upon.     

Meeting with your designer will allow you to discuss important things to you in a remodel and settle on a coherent theme and aesthetic for your remodel. You’ll be able to propose ideas for interior decor, and your interior designer can help you choose which ideas to keep and which to discard. They’ll assist you in choosing the right colors for each different space in your home, so your aesthetic remains coherent and attractive. 

This meeting will also allow you to discuss pricing and cost estimates, both for materials and labor. While the cost of hiring an interior designer might seem a bit steep, the savings coupled with the value added by their timely work and professional touch are well worth the cost. 

Finally, meeting with your interior designer will help you get a feel for whether or not they’re a good fit for you. While it’s essential to be familiar with their portfolio and body of work, it’s also important that you feel a connection with your interior designer. If you meet and feel uncomfortable or apathetic about them, you might want to resume your search for the perfect interior designer.

Working with your interior designer

Once you’ve found an interior designer who is knowledgeable, experienced and easy to work with, you’re well on your way to having the most well decorated interior of any house on the block. Things are going to start moving now, and before you know it, your house will look like something from an interior design magazine. 

Your interior designer will advise you on a lot of things, from choosing materials that mesh well with each other, to adding the master’s touch to the aesthetics of the interior of your home. They’ll speed up the process of remodeling with the wealth of information and resources they possess, and ultimately prove themselves to be an invaluable asset. 

With this article, we hope we’ve convinced you of the benefits of hiring an interior designer and giving you some helpful tips on finding and working with one. This isn’t a comprehensive guide to finding and working with an interior designer, but it is a good place to start; we hope that we’ve been of some help! 

Did you enjoy this article? Want to ask a question or provide us with some feedback? Leave us a comment in the comments section below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Our readers are our top priority,and making sure you have the best experience possible is of great importance to us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Source: realtybiznews.com

Attention to Every Detail

If you ask Relentless Agent Award Winner, Laura Ennis of CENTURY 21 AllPoints Realty in Enfield, CT, what makes her stand out from the crowd, she’ll tell you without hesitation, it’s all about the details. Known as, Laura “Overly-Involved” Ennis, Laura firmly believes in getting involved in every detail of the transaction to help transform her client’s process into an unforgettable experience.

I don’t think you’re successful by yourself. You have to have a team.

Laura Ennis

Part of what helps Laura give 121% to her clients and her community is that throughout her 25-year career, she’s managed to build key relationships. These relationships have given her the ability to become a top-tier problem solver in almost any situation, ensuring those that work with her, don’t have a thing to worry about during the home buying or selling process.

I can always fix every problem because I can call on somebody who will help me. Between my attorneys, my inspectors, contractors, plumbers, and electricians… I go the extra mile.

Laura Ennis

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There’s no doubt that Laura is passionate about serving her clients and her drive to continue elevating her service is undeniable. There is an additional key area where Laura also places her emphasis on and that’s communication. Laura believes that to be successful in this business, your communication skills must be top-notch. Making it a point to answer her phone every time a client calls, Laura also works overtime to ensure she can provide just the response her clients need to ease their minds and give them accurate information to answer their questions.

A firm believer in giving back in every way, Laura spends a great deal of her time volunteering in her community, as a member of the local Elks Club, to help raise awareness for Autism. She’s also very passionate about serving local veterans and seniors during the holiday season. Laura also helps to support Kyle’s Krusade, which is a local charity that provides support for families of those being treated at the Hartford Children’s Hospital Oncology Ward.

Laura truly leaves no stone unturned and makes each little detail her priority. In business, there can be an emphasis placed on the larger things but as we’ve seen with Laura, her quarter of a century career has been spent focusing and becoming involved in each seemingly small detail that leads up to an extraordinary home buying or selling experience.

Note: This material may contain suggestions and best practices that you may use at your discretion.  The views, information, or opinions expressed in any user-generated content are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Century 21 Real Estate LLC.

Source: century21.com

TV’s Ty Pennington flips Venice charmer onto the market

Ty Pennington, the Emmy-winning host behind “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” is offering up a house of his own. His remodeled spot in Venice just came to market for $2.8 million.

He stands to make a big profit if he gets his price. Records show he bought the property for $1.11 million in 2004.

Pennington, a longtime carpenter who found fame on the home improvement show “Trading Spaces,” put plenty of work into the house during his 16-year stay. Once a drab shade of tan both inside and out, the two-story home now boasts a bright blue exterior and crisp white interiors.

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Inside, he added bamboo floors in the living spaces, concrete countertops in the kitchen and a wraparound porch lined with porcelain tile. In the primary suite — one of three bedrooms — there’s an antique cast-iron tub.

Billed as a “contemporary Craftsman,” the 2,100-square-foot floor plan also features a living room with a decorative fireplace and a sunken family room overlooking the backyard — a landscaped space complete with a dining patio and koi pond.

Pennington, 56, won two Primetime Emmys for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” which ran from 2003 to 2012. In the years since, his other hosting gigs have included “The Revolution,” “On the Menu” and “American Diner Revival.”

Patrice Meepos of Compass holds the listing.

Source: latimes.com

477: Elevate Your Earnings Ceiling by Delivering More Value Using the Tips and Strategies from Carin Nguyen

Are you letting buyer leads slip through the cracks at open houses? Do you or your team absolutely dread phone prospecting? Are you looking for new ways to deliver more value and, in return, make more money in real estate. Phoenix real estate rockstar Carin Nguyen, who leads a highly-successful real estate team and also helps agents as a real estate coach, offers listeners valuable, actionable advice in today’s podcast – advice which you can use to elevate your career and your team while growing your bottom line.

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Source:

Should I Stay Home Due to COVID While My Wife Works? (Hour 1)

Debt, Retirement, Insurance, Relationships, Career

As heard on this episode:

  • Zander Insurance: https://bit.ly/2Xbn7hD 

Sign Up for a FREE trial of Ramsey+ TODAY: https://bit.ly/31ricKt 

Tools to get you started: 

  • Debt Calculator: https://bit.ly/2QIoSPV
  • Insurance Coverage Checkup: https://bit.ly/2BrqEuo
  • Complete Guide to Budgeting: https://bit.ly/2QEyonc

Check out more Ramsey Network podcasts: https://bit.ly/2JgzaQR    

Source: daveramsey.ramsey.libsynpro.com

The 12 best cruise ships for people who never want to grow up

The best cruise ships for those who never want to grow up – The Points Guy


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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Source: thepointsguy.com

4 Reasons to Stay with Your Cellphone Carrier

Senior happily talking on smartphone or cellphone
Photo by fizkes / Shutterstock.com

You see in ads online and on TV all the time: the call to switch cellphone carriers.

Yes, switching could be a great way to save money on your cellphone bill, and even get a new phone at a discounted price. However, switching might not always be the best option.

Here are the top reasons you should stick with your current carrier.

1. You get great coverage

There’s a reason why every carrier likes to brag about their network coverage. Without good coverage, your cellphone plan is basically useless.

If you get strong coverage in all the places you regularly are, switching carriers might not be best option. You could end up on a network that has spotty coverage in those areas.

Instead of switching carriers, you might want to take a look at your current provider’s plans and see if there is one that is cheaper while still meeting your needs.

2. You’re already getting a great price

Switching carriers is basically the best way to save money on your cellphone plan unless you’re already paying a low price. How do you know you’re getting the best rates?

It’s always a good idea to do some comparison shopping now and then to see if another carrier is offering a similar plan at a lower rate. If you find a cheaper comparable plan, it might be a good idea to switch.

On the other hand, if you’re getting the best rates, stick with your carrier.

3. You’re getting the best perks

One of the best features of modern cellphone plans is the perks that come with them. With all the competition out there between the major carriers and MVNOs, carriers are offering some excellent perk packages to gain new customers and keep their current ones.

Verizon offers free Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ on select unlimited plans. T-Mobile offers eligible customers free Netflix or Quibi. Not to be left behind, AT&T gives its own HBO Max free to customers on their Unlimited Elite plan.

If you are digging the perks you get with your current carrier, you might just want to stay with them.

4. You don’t need a new phone

If you need a new phone and you’re looking to save, the best thing to do typically involves switching carriers. That’s because most carriers save their best deals for new customers switching from a competitor.

These deals can save you hundreds, but if you don’t need a new phone, you could stick with your current carrier. Wait to switch when it’s actually time to get a new device.

How do you know you don’t need a new phone? If your phone still holds a charge well, doesn’t have any functional damage, and is supported by current operating system updates, you probably don’t need a new phone.

Sure, it’d be nice to get a new 5G-capable device, but 5G tech is still very new and hasn’t come close to reaching its full potential. For now, your 4G LTE phone should be more than sufficient.

If none of these reasons to stick with your current plan and carrier resonates with you, it’s probably time to switch.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Source: moneytalksnews.com