How to Slash the Interest You Pay on Your Mortgage

paying off a mortgageFor most people, their home is the single largest asset they own. And not surprisingly, the mortgage loan is the single largest debt. Paying your mortgage off early means that you pay less interest. This strategy for an early pay off is not as difficult as one might imagine if you implement the appropriate steps early on. Here are three ways to pay your mortgage off early.

1. Bi-Weekly Payments – Many lenders will allow a homeowner to make bi-weekly payments on the mortgage. This method, if implemented early in the loan, can take many years off the mortgage resulting in savings on interest and a fully owned home.

For example, if your monthly is $1500 per month, you would be paying $18,000 per year. If you paid $750 every two weeks (like most people are paid by employers), you would be paying in $19,500 per year and thereby retiring the mortgage earlier and reducing the total interest paid to the lender. A little bit can go a long way when it comes to a 30 year mortgage with interest.

2. Refinance to a 15 year Loan – By refinancing a 30 year mortgage to a 15 or 20 year mortgage, the borrower saves a tremendous amount of interest on the loan. Although your payments will be higher, shorter term loans usually qualify for a lower interest rate. If the lender would then allow a bi-weekly payment plan on the new shorter-term mortgage – the loan would be retired even earlier, thus saving even more interest charges.

3. Make extra income and put it towards mortgage payments – A strategy that many individuals are actively using in today’s uncertain economic climate is to build a side business or home-based business around family and work commitments. Australian website, the Home Business Hub has written some fantastic articles with loads of tips and advice about how to make extra money by working from home or through a home based business.

Although it is a great feeling to retire a mortgage early, the borrower needs to remember that other loans with higher interest rates should be retired before spending disposable income on retiring the mortgage that would be at a lower rate. Credit cards, personal loans and car loans often have a higher interest rate. These types of loans should be paid off first, for example.

Dentist Salary and Workload

dentistBeing a dentist has flourished into a noble profession over the past decade and is still rising in popularity as a preferred vocation. Compensation falls under the category of medical practitioners. This is among the top tier earning group internationally.

The median annual incomes usually have factored in perks like tips, bonuses and overtime hours. In general the highest paid professionals are in Canada, the UK, US and Australia.

The seniority of a dental hygienist also dictates the pay scale. The levels are,

  • Entry level (0-5 years)
  • Mid career (5-10 years)
  • Experienced (10-20 years)
  • Late career (over 20 years)

Location of practice affects the pay level. Fast-paced metropolis practitioners enjoy higher incomes compared to those in mid-size cities and towns. London, Sydney and New York attract agreeable competitive rates.

Running your own private practice pays more than public health or community dentistry.

The area of expertise involves various pay scales. Areas are:

  • General practice
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • Prosthodontics
  • Orthodontists

Surgeons are the highest paid.

Dentist earnings in Canada

Licensed graduate dentists earn up to $132,000 annually (2011). This rate translates to $70 per hour. The average exceeds those of the US or even the UK. This may be attributed primarily to the strengthening dollar. The upshot is frequent wage rises of up to 15% every year.

Earnings in the US

Annual pay is $162,000USD (as of May 2011) c/o Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Earnings in the UK

The average is $89,000GBP annually, working out to an average £48 per hour.

Australian dentist median wage

The Australian Bureau of Statistics puts the mean annual starting salary of a Bachelors degree graduate working full time at $52,000 dollars according to

Other benefits of becoming a dentist

  • The working hours are quite flexible as you get to chose them. One can extend their operation into weekends and holidays or even work part time for only a few days in the entire week.
  • There is a somewhat increasing importance to the status of a dentist. Many communities place huge importance on all kinds of medical practice. This in itself is a huge career motivator.
  • Private practice is popular as it gives the dentist full control in the work place. It gives the dimension of managing your own business. Freedom extends to designing, hiring and monitoring the financial performance of the business.
  • There is also greater choice in regards to the dental philosophy in use and other professional capacities. This leads to the realization of self-respect and overall comfort.
  • Market demand for dentist is high and still building. This creates job security and a guarantee of a steady stream of clients.
  • Practice involves restoring people’s self confidence through elevating their hygiene standards. This creates a feel good boost in other people.
  • Dentists work closely with their patient and staff due to the nature of the job. This enables them to build long term relationships with their clients and partners.
  • A practitioner has the option of practicing and teaching residents at a facility. This facilitates more career options as well as diversifies the revenue stream.

International Client Base? Car Finance Options In Australia

car-finance-options-in-australia-300x223When it comes to car finance, there are different options available and for perspective, and certainly for those CPAs that are dealing with international client bases, today we are specifically looking at vehicle financing options available in Australia.

These options are available in two major types, car finance and loans for individuals and car finance and loans for businesses.

Some of the car finance options available include:

Finance lease or car lease

This option enables an individual or business to use a vehicle while the financier retains the ownership of the car. The car is purchased by the financier who then leases it to the customer at a fixed lease rental fee for the period of lease.

When the lease period expires, the customer can take ownership of the vehicle by paying the final installment or residual value or can extend the lease.

This option is good since the terms of contract are flexible, it has fixed interest rate and monthly lease rental and the final costs are known prior to the lease. However, the financier retains the ownership of the vehicle and it mainly suits those using the vehicle for income generating purposes.

Commercial hire purchase

This is a commercial finance product in which a customer hires a vehicle from a financier for a certain period of time and pays a fixed monthly repayment. The customer enjoys the use of the car but the car ownership is retained by the financier.

When the contract ends and the customer have paid the total vehicle price plus the interest charges then the ownership of the vehicle shifts to the customer.

The benefits of this option are fixed interest rates, fixed monthly payments and fixed terms of contract among others. However, it is quite expensive considering the interest paid and may also not suit those using the car for non-income generating purposes.

Chattel mortgage

This is a commercial finance option where a financier gives loans to a business to buy a vehicle and the loan is secured with a mortgage over the car or vehicle. The benefits of this option include flexible terms of contract, fixed interest rates and monthly repayments and the customer take ownership of the vehicle upon purchase.

However, the interest rates may be high making the total cost to be higher.

Novated lease

This is a three way agreement i.e. employee, employer and finance company in which an employee leases a vehicle (car lease) and the employer takes on the obligations of the employee under the lease and pays a monthly rental lease. This is normally deducted from the employee’s income before tax.

It enables the employee chose a car of his or her choice among other benefits. However, any extra expenses are normally passed to the employee thus may be expensive at the end.

Other forms of car finance option that can be used include personal loan where the financier lends money to the customer to buy a car without taking any security. A car loan is where financier lends money for the purchase of the car and uses the car as security.

A novated lease that is fully maintained is where the employer leases the vehicle to the employee and the lease payments are deducted from the employee’s income before tax. These different forms of car finance options suits different needs thus a person should check for the best option available that will suit him or her most.

The image used in this article was sourced from car finance website, which is a car-related website that features car finance and loans information, reviews and much more.

Car Resale Factors

car resaleAre you one of the growing number of car owners who like to change their cars as often as they change their cellphones? Your game plan probably involves eventually selling your current car and using the proceeds to make a down payment on a new one. If you are, you definitely want your car to fetch as high a price as possible.

Since a car’s value goes down fairly quickly, you have to work at keeping its resale value up. With this aim in mind here are some things to consider:

1. Consider depreciation. It is a major factor in a car’s resale value. The minute you drive your car off the manufacturer’s lot, it immediately loses at least 9 percent of its value, and with each year that passes, its value goes down 15 to 25 percent. Do your research first before making a decision on what car to buy, and keep your ear on the ground for consumer trends. Each year there will be models that are projected to retain their value more than others.

Five years down the line, the car brands that have long-standing reputations for durability and reliability tend to have a higher resale value than the newbies. German cars such as VW’s, Beemers, and Benzes tend to score more residual value and used car buyers are willing to pay much for 5-year-old models of these than 2-year-old Fiats or Toyotas.

2. Consider your capacity to maintain your car. Commit to take care of your car and keep it in good shape, and you will be rewarded when the time comes to sell it, especially if you plan to do it on the tail end of the first 5 years. The older a car gets, the more important role maintenance plays in its value. Make sure that your car doesn’t show too much wear and tear — the more pristine it stays, the better.

3. Consider the preferences of your car’s future owners — that is, if you’re buying a new car with an intention of selling it in the future, think about what they want. The best hatchback cars (check it out) are people pleasers, and if they’re well maintained, there will always be a market for them. You may want to stay away from the flashier models and stick to the ones with more mass appeal. You may also have to rein in the urge to “make it your own”. While tweaking its features — custom paint jobs, lowering it — may give it some personality, some flash and sass, and earn you points when you take it to the streets, too much of that individuality can be bad for resale value. The more “upgrades” you give your car, the more you narrow down the number of potential buyers to the people who share your tastes, and taste is very much an individual thing. Not a lot of people want a pink car, or one with ostrich leather seats. So stick to the safe and generic with considerable longevity.