Everything You Need to Know About Timeshare Maintenance Fees

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Timeshare Fees|Everything You Need to Know About Timeshare Maintenance FeesIf you have a timeshare, you are familiar with its maintenance fees. These are fees that are collected either monthly or annually to maintain the resort property. They go towards paying for insurance, utilities, upgrading the resort, or enhancing amenities for the resort. They may also be used for employee wages. Put simply, the maintenance fees are what ensure that the property is in mint condition whenever you pop in for your vacation. A good analogy would be that of servicing a car to keep it running smoothly. Let us expound more on what you need to know about timeshare maintenance fees.

The Fees are not Fixed

Timeshare maintenance fees are not fixed. They differ from one resort to the next. They will tend to vary depending on the size and type of the resort property. The maintenance charges are usually divided among the different owners of a particular timeshare.

According to a report issued by the American Resort Development Authority in 2019, the average maintenance fee per interval was $1000 in 2018 although the amount people were charged was dependent on the size of the property. The report also showed that maintenance fees are on the rise.

Here are some of the factors that contribute to the increased maintenance fees are:

  • In some cases, the management fees can start on the lower side as a way to attract potential buyers. The timeshare resort then gradually increases the prices once more people have acquired timeshares. You could look at it as a form of an introductory discount to you.
  • The resort may have underestimated how much it would cost to run the property. They increase the fees to cover some costs that they may have failed to inculcate earlier.
  • In some instances, there is an element of greed; some may take advantage of the owners’ legal obligation to pay the maintenance fees.

Can you make money from timeshares?

Timeshares are not investments. They are certainly not something that you buy with the hope of making money from them. They are a product that you buy to use. Nevertheless, there are some avenues that you could employ to lighten the load of maintenance fees. One such thing is renting out the timeshare. With timeshares, there are times when you are not in a position to use them. What better way to offset the maintenance fees than rent it out? You could use an agency that will help you advertise, manage the guests and also process the transactions.

Do timeshare maintenance fees vary depending on the week and the season you have the timeshare for?

All the timeshare owners of property pay the same maintenance fees. The fees are then pooled together to cover all the necessary costs. The time or season in which you have bought the timeshare; be it a high demand season or a low demand season, is not a factor in how much you pay in maintenance fees. Your fees will always be similar to other timeshare owners of the same unit.

Timeshare Inheritance

After many beautiful and memorable vacations, you may be considering giving your kids the timeshare so that they can continue to make more memories. But in many cases, the kids or any other heirs are not willing to take on the responsibility of paying the maintenance fees. Your children may have very different lifestyles and therefore not want to inherit your timeshare and the associated maintenance fees. So, how do you ensure that you do not transfer the unwanted timeshare maintenance fees to them? Timeshare contracts normally have a perpetuity clause that states that the timeshare is only valid if the original owner is alive but once they are deceased, the timeshare will be passed to the deceased estate. This way, the inheritors of the estate will be liable for the annual maintenance fees.

This passes the financial burden to the inheritors of the deceased’s estate. In such a case, if the inheritors do not wish to take the responsibility of timeshare ownership, they could consider declining the timeshare inheritance. They could do this by sending a letter to the timeshare resort to notify them that the owner is deceased and will no longer be needing the timeshare. However, the estate is relieved of the timeshare liabilities only if all the pending maintenance fees are paid.

What Happens When You Can’t Afford to Pay the Maintenance Fees?

When you purchase a timeshare, you enter a legally binding contract in which you agree to pay the maintenance fees for the duration of the timeshare ownership. When you stop paying, you generally default on the ownership of the timeshare. You will not be able to use the vacation destination plus defaulting on maintenance fees could also damage your credit score. The timeshare company could also charge you late fees and interests. Some resorts also go the extra mile of taking timeshare owners to court to compel them to pay bills that are past due.

When the maintenance fees become cumbersome, your safest option is to forfeit responsibly.

You could gift the timeshare to a friend or family member if you can. You could also use the services of a well-established and trusted timeshare cancellation company to help you sell. You can look into the reviews covering top companies like Lonestar Transfer to evaluate if this is the right option for you. Take your time to check on the costs, services, and what other customers are saying. By forfeiting your timeshare responsibly, you will prevent legal and financial issues in the future.

Can Timeshare maintenance Fees be Claimed on Taxes?

Timeshare maintenance fees are generally not tax-deductible but there are some other costs you can write off. Talk to your accountant as there could be other elements of timeshare and tax options. There are elements such as interest expenses that you could claim.

Wrap up

In conclusion, it is vital to understand timeshare maintenance fees before you buy one. It will help you avoid getting stuck with a property that will bloat your finances. You should always seek legal help before you sign any timeshare contract. It is also good to seek help if you are looking for a timeshare exit.

10 Tips to Help You Avoid a Credit Card Fraud in Future

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Credit Card Fraud|10 Tips to Help You Avoid a Credit Card Fraud in FutureIn this digital economy, credit card fraud is one of the biggest and common threats to everyone. Though it offers convenience while shopping online as well as offline with a bunch of other benefits like monthly payments, easy cash loans, etc., it has become risky. The reason being criminals target banks and other financial institutions to steal the credit card data of millions of people.

Fortunately, it is possible to avoid credit card frauds and safeguard your credit card information from cybercriminals. Everyone must follow proactive measures to safeguard their credit card information and prevent cybercriminals from making payments through stolen cards. On that note, let’s check out the best tips for safeguarding credit card information from attackers and criminals.

1. Do not share credit card information

Though it is a bit obvious, you must not share the credit card information with anyone including customer service representatives of the bank or any financial institution. Also, be careful of phishing scams and do not call on phone numbers listed in a random email or share your credit card number with anyone posing as the representative of your credit card supplier. Last but more important, avoid sharing your card details with relatives or friends as well unless you are sure they are going to protect the card details as well as you protect it.

2. Beware of credit card skimmers

A card skimmer is placed invincibly on top of or inside the card slot. These skimmers allow your card to be accessed by the ATM while stealing your card information. This happens in a discreet manner so victims do not notice that something happened until they look at their bank statements later. Avoid this mishap by carefully looking before using your card in any machine: take good notice of any holes, differences in appearance, or something unusual on the PIN pad. Also, look out for any suspicious devices like cameras around the machine. Once you are thoroughly assured of safety, then only use your card.

3. Secure your passwords and PINs

Do not put consecutive numbers, your name, or birth date as passwords, which can easily be guessed by anyone. Also, refrain from saving your passwords online including on password managers (it is hard to trust them). Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase characters with numbers as well as special characters to make it more secure and strong. Never use the same password for different accounts and avoid sharing it with anyone in any communicative way.

4. Protect your physical credit card

Keep your credit cards safe in public places: carry your cards separately from your wallet and be mindful of pick-pocketers as well. It can minimize your losses if someone steals your wallet or purse. Also, make sure you only carry the required cards. Thieves even tend to take pictures of the card so do not expose or keep it in open places. And destroy the unwanted cards as told below.

5. Always shred your payments data

Do not leave your card receipts or statements around your home or office: shred everything that you no longer need before throwing it all out. When it expires, be cautious with sensitive details on the card: scratch off all such information, then shred it away to prevent any kind of duplication or identity theft.

6. Be cautious with credit cards online

Do not do any transactions with sellers or on websites you do not trust. If an online transaction has to be done on an unknown website, creating a new virtual card with low value is a safer option. Many of the card issuing companies will let you create virtual cards from your credit card portal for a short period of time. Also, avoid sharing details online and stay aware of online shopping scams.

7. Report your lost or stolen credit card

As soon as you report your missing card, your credit card issuer can cancel or lock it temporarily, so as to avoid any unauthorized or bogus charges. This way, you will not be held responsible for any fraudulent charges on your account. That is why it is very important that you report your lost or stolen card as soon as you find the lost credit card, else you may have to pay for bogus charges.

8. Secure your digital devices

Keep anti-virus software updated and run security scans on a regular basis on all digital devices. Always proceed with any transaction only on a secure connection — look for HTTPS or lock icon in the browser’s address bar. Also, never click on any link in an email or on the web until you trust the sender or website.

9. Signature is very important

Always sign the back of your card as it provides double protection from any fraud during a transaction and acts as an additional verification for the same. Some retailers or card issuers also ask for signatures on a credit card for any high-value transaction. Of course, it hardly protects against online fraud.

10. Look for unauthorized transactions

Keep in mind to review and analyze all your credit card statements on time. Never skip going through all your bank statements for fraudulent transactions. If you find anything suspicious regarding any payment, immediately contact your credit card customer service and report the fraudulent transaction asap.

By being more aware and careful, you can avoid any fraudulent charges on your card, otherwise, you may have to pay for bogus charges. With a little extra effort and necessary precautions, everyone can protect themselves from fraud.

5 Ways to Reduce Work-Related Stress

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Work-Related Stress|5 Ways to Reduce Work-Related StressIt is common knowledge that a balanced life is a happy life. However, actually achieving a balanced life is another matter entirely. If you have a demanding professional life, finding balance might feel next to impossible. While it may seem like changing jobs is the only way to reduce work-related stress, there are changes you can make right now to relieve pressure and improve your mental health.

Get organised

Developing an organizational system might seem like adding extra work to your plate but having a detailed plan will significantly improve your time management. While it may take time to set up at first, the payoff is well worth it. Having all your tasks scheduled out according to priority will give you peace of mind that everything will get done and reduce any anxiety you might be feeling about the pile of tasks you have to complete.

There are many programs to help you get organized, including:

    • TeuxDeux
    • Notion
    • Google Calendar
    • Play around with them to find what works for you.

Delegate tasks

If you’re a perfectionist, you might find it challenging to share the responsibility with others. However, if you’re struggling to keep up with your day-to-day tasks through no fault of your own, it’s time to offload some of them onto someone else.

If there isn’t anyone who can help you out, write down all the tasks you work on in a day, and track how long it takes you to complete each one. Are any of them taking up more time than they should? If so, strategise ways to make these tasks more efficient and take your proposal to your boss.

Take advantage of technology

While technology has made it difficult to disconnect, it has also simplified many aspects of life. With new technological innovations coming out all the time, there’s sure to be some kind of program or software to help you free up some of your time.

For customer service representatives or self-employed business owners, you can visit this page to sign up for a virtual chat assistant to answer customer queries when you’re engaged with other tasks. It’s also a good idea to look into software options to see if there are programmes that can help make your tasks more efficient.

Set boundaries

Finding balance in your life doesn’t just happen – you have to make it happen. Turn off email notifications outside of business hours and remind yourself that you shouldn’t dwell on work when you’re not there.
Whether it’s crafting, hiking, or spending time with family and friends, actively block out time in your schedule to do the things that bring you joy.

Ask for help

If you’ve done all you can to make work more manageable but are still struggling, it’s time to ask for help. While viable solutions will vary according to industry and your unique situation, set up a meeting with your boss to discuss the challenges you’re facing and the steps you’ve taken to address them.

One of several ways your employer can support your mental health is by implementing self-care policies in the workplace. It’s always worth having a conversation to see what solutions you can come up with together.

8 Simple Ways to Declutter Your Office

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Declutter your Office|8 Simple Ways to Declutter Your OfficeAs your business grows, you will get busier, and your office will get more cluttered. According to Small Business Trends, a cluttered workspace is less productive. Therefore, if you want to improve efficiency, you should have a system in place that ensures that your workplace stays decluttered. However, while this may look like a simple task, it is quite easy to become accustomed to clutter, especially if you spend most of your time in the office. A cluttered office can cause organizational issues, which can take time for you to realize.

Tips on How to Declutter Your Office

Remove all items in your office

If you truly want to declutter your workspace, you should start from scratch. Remove all the items in your office, including your drawers, computers, and shelves. Place your items in neat piles in another room or on the floor. Now that your office is empty wipe down all surfaces and clean your PCs.

Determine what you need in your office

When everything is still outside, spare some time to evaluate what you will need in your office and what needs to go. For most people, clutter piles up because the brain tricks them into believing that everything in the office is crucial. When you find items that you no longer require or things that you had forgotten exist, you should get rid of them.
Decide where to keep the remaining items

Now that you know what you should keep, your next step is to determine where to keep them. Where you place your items is equally important because you will need to access them quickly. Therefore, organize items in your workspace based on how regularly you will be using them. The stuff you most often use should go in the closet drawer, and everything else can go in faraway drawers. If you have several tax and customer files, then you may need a secure AAA Mobile Storage.

Use your phone to take a photo

You have most likely visited another office and found clutter that the owner was genuinely unaware of. This is most likely the case in your office. Visitors may see your office from a different perspective, and they will tend to be more observant of clutter that you may never notice.

To test this synopsis, take a photograph of your office with your phone from the main office door. This will help you to see your office the same way your visitors do. If you don’t find clutter from that photo, take many photos from different angles. These photographs will help you to pinpoint areas that may need decluttering and cleaning.

Tame your cables

From laptop and phone chargers to headphone dongles and HDMI cables, the cables in your office may seem to multiply. Whether these cables are on top of the desk or underneath it, it isn’t easy to get them under control. In fact, most people end up ignoring them. However, ignoring this issue may lead to problems with your electronics. Additionally, disorganized cables can delay you from identifying where the problem is. You can tame your cables by labeling them during installation and use a system like Cablox to arrange your cables in a neat and organized manner.

Create a hidden storage

If using traditional shelves isn’t appealing to you, you have a few other options. For instance, pegboard is a popular way to hide routers, cables, and other gadgets behind your office desk. You can also use magnets to mount some of your important items or hide other stuff behind your monitor.

Digitize all files

If your office is cluttered, then most of the clutter may be paper-based. These can include documents, sticky notes, business cards, and meeting notes, among others. Paper clutter can occupy most of your office space and you won’t need them regularly. Therefore, instead of preserving all this paper clutter, you can digitize the important documents by scanning the documents or typing them.

There are several mobile apps that you can use to scan your documents and store them on your phone. Take the photos of important documents that you don’t want to lose, and then recycle or discard the paper versions.

Clean your office every evening

Even after decluttering your office, your workspace will still get messy during the day. And that’s okay because it shows you’re working. However, keeping it messy will start becoming a problem. Therefore, you need to prevent this from happening by cleaning your desk and office every evening.

Bottom Line

Your office isn’t just your workspace, it’s a place where you and your employees spend most of your time. Therefore, its organization will not only affect physical cleanliness but also affect productivity. With this in mind, ensure that you organize your office files and maintain a flexible work environment to ensure that you maximize your time and effort.

Personal Finance Management: What It Means Before And After You Retire

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Personal Finance|Personal Finance Management: What It Means Before And After You RetireManaging personal finances is one of the critical tasks that every adult must consider. Without effective management of what you have, or what you might have, you’ll always be struggling to make the ends meet.

However, it is noteworthy that personal finance management is not the same for everyone. Particularly, when it comes to managing finances in the present, for the future.

So, how to do it the right way?

When You’re Working…

When you’re young and employed, you can take up much more than you think. To put this into perspective, in younger years you have surplus energy and time to put into strengthening your personal finances. Take a look at some of the tips below to learn how.

Invest and Save for post-retirement

Though it seems difficult, saving for retirement can help you live the life for when you’re not earning. Before you invest in any Risk Management & Insurance, however, you need to know a few things. For instance, you need to assess how much you can spend on these financial investments. In addition to this, you must also try to figure out the returns you can expect when your investments mature.

Create and Scale your Income Sources

Having a primary income source is what you need to stay sustainable. However, if you wish to save and invest for retirement, you need to grow your income. Notably, looking for a secondary income source such as rental income from real estate investments can be a good option. Likewise, you can also invest in mutual funds and reap profits. All of this secondary, or passive income, will help you support better during unlikely times.

When You’re Retired…

When you’re employed it is way easier to earn and invest, as already mentioned. However, when you’re retired, you do not have the same income sources as before. After all, that is what retirement means.

So, how do you manage your personal finances when you’re retired?

Prepare your Retirement Budget

The very first thing that you must do as soon as you retire is assessing your savings and retirement plan’s value. You need to create a budget for your day to day expenses based on the money that you have. If possible you can also think of creating a secondary income source after you retire. For example, you can start offering consultancy services. Or you can scale your rental income during your retirement years. Notably, you should create sources demanding minimal investments.

Optimize your Expenses Efficiently

This might seem a bit obvious, but believe us when we tell you that most people fail to do the same. In most cases, the retirement funds, also known as Provident Funds, are disbursed in one payment. And people usually don’t know what to do with all that money. Perhaps, they end up exhausting their funds before they know. A rather easy way to escape this tragedy is to break your expenses for day to day errands and chores. And the remaining amount can then be used for reinvestments. Thus, creating you a secondary income source too.

The Bottom Line…

Managing personal finances is all about preparing for the future that you don’t know in the present. And only with the right knowledge and skills is it possible to live out a life that you dream of, both pre- and post-retirement.