The fourth quarter of 2015 is proving to be a rollercoaster ride for independent professionals.
One one hand, we have more lenders than ever prepared to offer #mortgage products to contractors based on their day rate.
Even Virgin Money has shown a positive reaction to the increased competition by promising a review of its contractor #LendingCriteria.
But my question is, "Is it too little, too late?"
The Autumn Statement is almost upon us and there's widespread rumour that the Chancellor has his eye on contracting…
…as in, the eye of a vulture.
We can do what we can to support the #contractor community by continuing to knock on the doors of lenders willing to listen.
The question is, will their be anyone left for the Renaissance lenders to welcome through their doors?
Just a little tip, especially for newbies in SEO!
With robots.txt you can stop Googlebot crawling pages, but does not always prevent indexing of a URL.
Google can still index a URL if googlebot discovers the page by following a link from another web site pointing to that page.
But for Google to be able to display that page in the search results, they try to figure out what title to display.
Because they cannot access the content of the page, i.e title tags, description meta tags, etc, they usually rely on the anchor text of the inbound link.
If you really want to prevent a URL from being indexed, the safest way is implementing the following line within the <head> tags of your HTML document.
<meta name="Robots" content="noindex,noarchive,nosnippet,follow">
That will work best, but again only if you are not blocking the page with Robots.txt, otherwise Googlebot will not be able to see that tag.
Good luck with the cleanup.
Talking from experience.
There's a ton of misinformation about pensions out there on the internet, including what you can do with your pot and when you should do it.
To complicate matters, there's no single all-encompassing generic answer that fits all #contractors. Just as there's no two identical limited companies, no two people will have the same aspirations for retirement.
Some can't wait to get there, shred their ties, uninstall Excel from their PC and look at ways of making their autumn years the most serene of their lives.
Others take a different view. They want to work until their fingers are so gnarled with arthritis they can hardly use a keyboard. They'd rather keep middle age at bay by keeping pace with contractors young enough to be their grandchildren than admit it's time to submit their last timesheet.
Either way, drawing down the 25% of your #pension fund that you're allowed to tax-free when you reach retirement age offers opportunities.
For those who've clocked in their last, they can pay off their debts or buy an annuity with that 25% that will last as long as they do, performing alongside the other 75% of their pension pot.
Contractors who don't see retirement age as the end of the line can draw down their 25%, buy an annuity with it and continue to invest in their remaining 75% via their limited company ensuring a financially stable life come what may.
What's wrong with just buying an annuity?
The problem with using your pension fund to buy an annuity - the traditional way of ensuring an income for life - is that if you don't live long enough to reap the benefits, the annuity provider keeps whatever you don't use.
The beauty of taking a tax-free draw down of 25% of your pension at retirement age is knowing that a quarter of the cash you've been setting aside all your working life is there in your account, ready when you are.
It's a particularly peculiar conundrum for contractors. Most will have paid their contributions through their limited company, thus paying in before tax.
Now, do they rest easy, safe in the knowledge that their tax efficiency in the past has secured them a brighter retirement?
Or do they continue to work and add even more to their fund before tax, making an even more remarkable saving? Our #guide will hopefully help you overcome this dilemma:
Wouldn't it be great if all #mortgage lenders assessed self-employed workers using the same criteria? The problem is, they don't. What's good for one lender may have no bearing on what another uses for affordability purposes.
To complicate matters, the way you trade, how much tax relief you claim and whether the lender takes into account your net company profits can all affect how much you could borrow.
So what can you do? Two things are imperative:
1. be expressly clear in your intention: if you're saving for a mortgage, make sure your #accounts reflect that you can afford one;
2._engage a specialist broker who can highlight your mortgage affordability to an underwriter at a lender sympathetic to freelancers and the #selfemployed.
Many lenders on the High Street say they cater for freelancers and contractors. In a way, they do. But a specialist can highlight your accounts or contract in a way that can avail you of the mortgage that your income deserves! In our latest post, we look at the self-employed mortgage process from the view of different stakeholders.
Well worth a read if you're struggling to convince the High Street of your affordability status:
- Florida State UniversityFSU Certified Webmaster, 2004
In 2001, I graduated from the German Academy Brueschke in Bielefeld as a Specialist for Multimedia Office Communication.
The same year, I graduated from the Academy of the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bielefeld as a Web Project Manager (IHK).
Additionally, in 2003 I passed an exam at Brainbench.com in Web Design Concepts. Also, in 2003 I passed my test at Brainbench.com as a Master Web Designer for Accessibility.
In the same year, I completed an online course of study at Carleton University, Sprott School of Business in Usability Testing.Lycos Europe Inc. in various positions for two years:
- 04.2001 - 07.2001 Intranet Webmaster;
- 07.2001 - 03.2002 Ad Format Specialist;
- 07.2001 - 03.2002 Trainer for Web Design for Accessibility;
- 03.2002 - 04.2003 Lead of Usability Testing, supervising the usability tests for the European Web Development.
I also hold membership with the following professional organizations:
- algohunters.com (current)
- Search Editors (current)
- Blog Webnauts Net (current)
- Algojunkie Blog (current)
- SEO Watch Blog (current)
- SEO Workers (current)
- Webnauts Net (current)
- Semantic Articles (current)
- SitePoint (current)
- WebProWorld (current)
- SEO Workers on Google+ (current)
- Morestar (current)
- SEO Workers Labs (current)
- Article Blast (current)
- Doc Sheldon (current)
- rainvac.com (current)
- gmail.com (current)
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