Results tagged as "personal finance"

  • Citi-ASKI Overseas Workers Financial Stability Program Making a Difference in Singapore

    By Margie Pagdanganan, Citi ASEAN Chief Auditor and Singapore Head of Audit August 22, 2014 02:25 PM

    Over the last three years, I have been actively involved in a Citi Foundation-supported financial education program for overseas workers in Singapore.

    The Citi-ASKI Overseas Workers Financial Stability Program was introduced in Singapore in 2012 to empower migrant workers in the country--primarily Filipino domestic workers--by teaching them financial and entrepreneurial skills to help them achieve their short and long-term financial goals, build assets, and improve their livelihoods.

    I am proud to be a volunteer and champion for the Program, and this year, I am delighted to represent Citi in recognizing 134 overseas workers who have completed the latest round of the Program at the ASKI graduation ceremony this weekend.

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  • Financial Access Solutions for Israel's Unbanked Population

    By Bob Annibale, Head of Citi Microfinance and Community Development May 22, 2014 02:52 PM

    I recently made a trip to Israel to participate and lead the effort to develop a roadmap for financial inclusion for the unbanked. Citi and the Milken Institute Israel Center held a Financial Innovations Lab® along with over 50 key policy makers, regulators, and community and industry representatives. Also present were Citi Israel seniors and leading US experts in this field. As a group, we shared with our Israeli counterparts and government officials a range of information on data collection, analysis, and policies relating to financially under-served and low income communities in the US, as well as regulatory and financial services models and experiences relevant to the discussions in Israel.

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  • 3Ps for Ending Spring on a Fresh Financial Note

    By Linda Descano, Managing Director and Head, Content & Social, North America, Citi April 08, 2014 11:24 AM

    Tax time is a great opportunity to review your finances and get yourself organized for the year ahead. At our recent Financial Spring Cleaning Google+ On Air Hangout, bloggers Kristen Chase, CEO and Publisher of Cool Mom Picks; Meg Favreau and Lars Petersen from Wisebread; and Sarah Kaufman, editor-in-chief of The Manilla Folder shared their ideas on what you and I can do now to set ourselves up for financial success in the year ahead, which I distilled into these 3 actions.

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  • Retirement Savers: How You Might Make Up for Lost Time

    By Jonathan Clements, Director of Financial Education, Citi Personal Wealth Management June 14, 2013 07:51 PM

    According to a 2013 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 57% of workers ages 45 to 54 had less than $50,000 in total savings and investments. Meanwhile, among workers age 55 and older, 52% fell into that camp.

    Even if your nest egg is above these levels, you may not have nearly enough set aside for retirement--and it may be time to play catch-up. Those age 50 and above can do just that, thanks to the catch-up contributions they can make to Individual Retirement Accounts and to 401(k) and similar employer-sponsored retirement plans.

    Those 50 and older can put as much as $23,000 into a 401(k) in 2013, versus a $17,500 maximum for folks who are younger. The 50-plus crowd can also invest as much as $6,500 in an IRA, compared to $5,500 for those under age 50.

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  • No, You Shouldn't Take Out the Largest Mortgage Possible

    By Jonathan Clements, Director of Financial Education, Citi Personal Wealth Management May 02, 2013 05:07 PM

    Have you ever been told "you should take out the largest mortgage possible"? As with so much conventional wisdom, there's an element of truth: For many Americans, a mortgage is indeed the most attractive way to borrow because interest rates are not only low, but also the interest is often tax-deductible.

    But a mortgage isn't some sort of financial freebie--and too much mortgage debt can create severe financial headaches. How so? Consider three issues.

    First, even if your mortgage interest is tax-deductible, it's still costing you a lot more than it is costing Uncle Sam. Let's say you are in the 25% federal income-tax bracket. If you incur $1 of mortgage interest, you might save 25 cents in federal taxes, which means the other 75 cents is coming out of your pocket. Moreover, your mortgage interest is only reducing your tax bill if you itemize your deductions on your federal tax return, rather than taking the standard deduction. For further information, consider consulting a tax professional.

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  • Want to Teach Your Kids About Money? Try These Tricks

    By Jonathan Clements, Director of Financial Education, Citi Personal Wealth Management April 22, 2013 04:56 PM


    If your children grow up to be financially irresponsible adults, there's a good chance you'll bail them out, at which point their financial problems will be yours. What to do? It may be time for some financial self-defense--and perhaps the best defense is to raise money-savvy kids. To that end, consider these seven strategies.

    First, have your children create a wish list. Kids are often the worst sort of impulse buyers, desperate for a particular toy today, only to lose interest tomorrow. To help temper this behavior, get your children to write down the things they want for their birthday or to buy with their savings. Every month, go over the list with your kids and see which items they want to add and which they want to remove. Their wish list will, no doubt, change constantly--and that's something you might want to point out.

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  • Are You Trading Too Much? Check Your Schedule D

    By Jonathan Clements, Director of Financial Education, Citi Personal Wealth Management April 17, 2013 03:23 PM

    Met the April 15 tax-filing deadline? Before you stash your 1040 in a filing cabinet drawer, spend some time with Schedule D to see how many trades you made, especially those that resulted in short-term capital gains. Those gains are subject to ordinary income-tax rates--and, for some folks, that could prove particularly taxing in 2013.

    For single individuals with taxable incomes over $400,000 or couples with incomes above $450,000, the maximum federal income-tax rate is 39.6% for the 2013 tax year, up from 35% last year. Meanwhile, the new 3.8% Medicare tax surcharge applies to income--including many types of investment income--that's above $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. Combine the 39.6% rate with the 3.8% Medicare tax, and some taxpayers might be paying 43.4% on their short-term capital gains, with state income taxes potentially layered on top of that. The bottom line: If you do a bunch of trading in your taxable account, you could pay a lot more in taxes this year.

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  • The Big City and The Budget

    By Supriya Anand, AVP, Social Media Engagement Specialist, Citi February 22, 2013 11:30 AM

    There are few things in life people dislike more than creating a budget. Creating one is time consuming, plus budgets are constraining and difficult to stick to. However, creating and maintaining a budget are a first step toward understanding your finances, as well as getting spending under control. This is especially important if you have a family, but singles can also benefit greatly from abiding by a budget. Nowhere is this more true than in a large city.

    In a large urban metropolis, such as New York, London or Tokyo, living on a budget can seem next to impossible. High cost of living, higher taxes and limitless options for how to spend your money on any given day can be huge deterrents towards budget creation. However, with a little financial savvy and determination, it can be done.

    Below are 5 tips to help you on the path towards creating a sustainable budget, while also enjoying big city life:

    1) Pick a More Affordable City

    You may dream of New York, London or Paris, but be sure to do your research on the cost of living in these cities. There are many other big cities that can offer the culture and vitality of these places, but for less money. Panama City, Bucharest and Chicago, Illinois are just a few cities that provide the amenities of their rivals for a fraction of the cost. If you are moving for a new job, see if your employer has the ability to place you in a city that is more affordable.

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  • This Valentine's Day, First Profess Your Love, Then Talk Money

    By Jonathan Clements, Director of Financial Education, Citi Personal Wealth Management February 11, 2013 11:45 AM

    On February 14, you might agree to spend the rest of your life together. But will you agree about money? This, of course, is hardly the most romantic notion. But it could be crucial to your marriage's success.

    A Utah State University study found that couples who reported disagreeing about money once a week were roughly 30% more likely to get divorced than couples who said they disagreed just a few times per month. How can you reduce the likelihood that you'll fight frequently about money? Try these three steps:

    1. Discuss your parents. Many of us adopt our parents' financial habits and assume their way is the right way. But your spouse or future spouse will likely have other ideas. By talking through your money beliefs, you may not come to an agreement--but at least you'll better understand why you disagree.

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  • Retirement Planning - Start Early & Save Regularly

    By Rohit Gupta, Director & Country Risk Manager, Consumer Banking, Citibank Turkey February 08, 2013 12:00 PM

    Increased life expectancy and the move away from a traditional company "defined benefits plan" make retirement planning amongst the most important and long lasting decisions for individuals and families.

    As a rule of thumb, financial planners recommend withdrawing no more than 4% - 5% of retirement savings every year. That means a lot of savings for an average family (to get a income of $3,500 in retirement would mean savings of just over 1 million).

    How does one save enough over 30 years of working life for 30 years in retirement? The answer is simple - the magic of Compound Interest. Importantly, savings is different from investing (and speculation from Investing). A few percentage points in interest rates can mean a huge difference in your future wealth. Along with safety, one needs to ensure a good return on investments - even after retirement.

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