Practical funding options for a financially sound retirement

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When people talk about retirement, others imagine a day at the beach, bathing in the sun, or traveling the world, savoring their well-deserved freedom. Such activities mark the beginning of a retiree’s new life, but there’s one factor that everyone seems to miss: the process of successfully planning for retirement especially when tackling the financial side of it.

So what preparations should one take into consideration when planning for their golden years? First, it’s important to find smart ways to fund your retirement. Here’s some of them:

  • Stock Market Investments

No matter what financial goal you have, investing in the stock market is always a right choice – especially if you’re still decades away from retirement. Planning for your future means looking at for at least 20-30 years of life and the long-term as well as the short-term benefits that you can get from investing and growing your stocks are the perfect vehicles to fund your retirement. If direct investment in stocks may seem complicated and laborious for you, it’s always wise to seek an expert’s help (such as offshore discretionary portfolio management with LOM Financial) or buy shares from equity mutual funds.

  • Employee-Sponsored Retirement Accounts

One example of an employee-sponsored savings account is the 401(k) plan. While it’s usually a less advantageous choice than a pension plan for a retirement fund, there are several reasons why many people still consider this a go-to option because its tax benefits as well as long-term opportunities to build a stable savings. If you’re planning to rely on your contribution plans such as the 401(k) offered an employer, then you have to know the basics of smartly converting this source of fund for retirement.

  • Social Security

Social Security can be one of your income sources after retirement in the U.S., but did you know that strategically planning your claiming options can double the rewards? Here, timing is everything. While you can already benefit from this income source as early as 62, a single year or two of claiming delays can increase the sum of these benefits.

Economic pillars of the Cayman Islands

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About 290 kilometers northwest of Jamaica and 160 kilometers south of Cuba, lies the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands, one of the world’s leading offshore investment and financial services centers recognized by the biggest players in the global finance industry. The islands encompass three major regions: Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, and the Grand Cayman.

Aside from being a tax-efficient jurisdiction favored by giant multinational corporations and wealthy individuals, the Cayman Islands has a lot more to offer. Local residents are engaged in numerous industries and are all helping the region diversify into newer frontiers. Here are some of the sectors that have significantly helped boost the islands’ growing economy:

Tourism

Located in the Western Caribbean Sea, the Cayman Islands is a popular destination for international travelers. The largest island, Grand Cayman, is known for its pristine beach resorts and mesmerizing diving and snorkeling spots. On the other shores, Cayman Brac is a launch point for other activities like deep-sea fishing excursions. The smallest island, Little Cayman, is a sanctuary of diverse wildlife and is home to several endangered species such as iguanas and seabirds.

Banking

Banking in Cayman is a flourishing sector, thanks to multinational bankers that continuously rely on the region’s efficiency and client-centered policies.  Recent records reveal that there are 140 foreign banks currently operating in the Cayman Islands, and only 18 banks are domestic. Most of these banks are either branches or subsidiaries of international firms from Canada, United States, Europe, and Asia.

Insurance and Finance

The Cayman Islands is an important player in the global financial market, allowing legal and efficient transactions between the users, and their investment capital and financing providers. Thanks to its client-focused market leadership in the financial sector, the islands continue to attract new international clients from the developed world.

Three tech companies that are redefining modern living

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The dawn of technology brought forth innovations that have not only improved people’s way of life but have transformed how the world sees the future. Today, we’re witnessing an era of boundless opportunities, and that is all thanks to the game-changers, the powerful companies, and institutions that broke the limits of not only our imagination but of our perception of reality as well.

Here are some of the most influential and powerful companies that continue to imagine, innovate, and beat the odds.

  1. Facebook

With over two billion active users every month, Facebook is one of the fastest growing tech companies in the world and its influence have contributed to a global avenue where people from every part of the continent can interact with one another with a single click. Nearly a staple in most portfolios—including offshore investments—this social media giant has taken on other business ventures beyond the platform, investing in different innovations like virtual reality and augmented reality technology.

  1. Microsoft

As a resident member of the Fortune 500, Microsoft’s influence in the tech industry remains dominant even after years since it was established. Aside from the company’s massive investments in the cloud computing technology, its mission of making the world a better place by focusing most of their assets of corporate and social responsibility with two primary goals: through the power of technology, protect human rights and save the planet.

  1. Tesla

Tesla is an emerging that has been making headlines because of its visionary and oftentimes ambitious projects. Despite the early failures, this tech giant’s role in making environmentally-friendly technology available to everyone has made it one of the most important front-runners of future tech. The company focuses on different projects committed to social responsibility: solar-panel manufacturing, sustainable energy storage, to name a few.

A look into the music streaming business model

The advent of the Internet produced plenty of digital wonders, but it also put many businesses at major risk—including the music industry. Gone are the days when enjoying music can only be done by purchasing a CD (physical or downloaded) of your favorite artist or listening to the radio whenever top hits are randomly played. Illegal downloads through file-sharing sites dramatically reduced sales and many record labels, artists, and songwriters lost huge potential income. But then, Spotify and Apple Music (and a few other similar services) came into the picture and ‘saved’ the industry by creating a new business model that may actually address issues on piracy as well as help the business return to its glorious form.

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Music streaming is a relatively new form of accessing music services, which was previously dominated by radio playlists and album purchases. In this type of service, customers use the Internet to play songs based on their personal preference without the need to download the entire material. It is effectively music-on-demand, and can be played using computers or mobile devices. Of such type of business, Swedish company Spotify, seemed to have successfully built a strong following around it.

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The Spotify revenue model is based on advertising (free music streaming limited to 20 hours per month supported by advertisements) as well as paid monthly subscriptions (unlimited streaming to PC without ads or unlimited streaming to PC and mobile without ads with additional off-line listening on mobile phone). The company has signed deals with various music giants, including the Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment to fill up its library and attract more customers. Music owners earn based on their market share from total streams.

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While many customers are still considered passive listeners and mainly access Spotify under its ads-supported service, sales of paid subscriptions are growing and may soon outpace the declining purchases of music, whether downloaded or on a CD. Physical sales went downhill to 14 percent while downloads also plummeted by a double-digit percentage. Streaming offers a reliable future because the cost of a year-long subscription—around $120—is much higher than what an average consumer would spend on CDs.