Deciding when to retire is never a simple decision; some people, for example, want to be able to continue working for as long as possible due to a love of their job, while others would rather leave the workforce as early as they possibly can. However, whatever your preferences in terms of work, there is one aspect that influences your retirement date first and foremost: finances.
How can you decide if your retirement income is sufficient?
There’s no absolute method of predicting if your retirement income will be sufficient; there will always be variables at play. However, as a general guide, retirement is an option if your retirement income exceeds your expenses.
There are three main contributors to retirement income: Social Security retirement benefits (provided you are over the age of 61 and eight months), a company pension from your employer, and personal savings – the last of which may provide income in terms of interest or dividends, or by withdrawing a set amount each year (withdrawing 4% per year is usually thought to be a good starting point) to supplement Social Security and your pension.
How can you calculate how much you will spend in retirement?
This, of course, is the big question, and it is one that many people struggle to predict. However, you can get an idea of your potential retirement expenditure by looking at your current budget.
Start by first subtracting any work-related costs from your existing expenditure; for example, the cost of your commute or professional clothes. Next, look at expenses you don’t currently have, but that might apply if you are retired; many retirees, for example, like to travel more than they did while working, so your budget in this area may increase. It’s also helpful to get an idea of how you plan to meet any care-related needs, and also allowing extra expenditure in terms of healthcare costs. After these adjustments, you should have a rough guide of how much you can realistically expect to spend when retired, which you can then compare to your projected retirement income.
What if your current projected expenses are higher than your retirement income?
If you are hoping to retire but your income does not cover your budget, then you have a few options. The first is to work for longer, and to save more of your wages than you currently do. You may also want to consider investing to bolster your savings.
Alternatively, you can look at your budget and see if there’s any area you may be able to cut back on. While it’s important not to remove essentials such as health insurance or moving to a retirement facility from your budget, you may want to cut back on entertainment-related expenses or perhaps plan to travel less in retirement. Ultimately, it’s all about what you feel more comfortable with: working a few more years, or cutting back your expenses to make the math work. Neither choice is “right”; you have to go with what works for you.
The above should be a helpful starter guide to calculating the finances of retirement, so you can plan for the future and decide the right strategy for you.
The average annual cost of household expenses in America adds up to $60,006, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and finding ways to hack household spending will make it easier to spend less and save more. Since most USA residents end up spending a whopping 82 percent of their annual income on household expenses, this is an area where trimming costs really pays off. Follow these tips to hack your household spending, and then use the money you save to make your dreams come true in the future.
Switch to a cheaper home energy plan
No matter which state you live in, you’ve probably got a lot of options when it comes to home energy providers. You may not know that it’s possible to switch energy providers without experiencing service interruptions or cutting through red tape. It’s actually very simple to make a switch, and you may save big bucks by comparing energy plans from different companies and then choosing the one that is most affordable. Quake asserts that homeowners and renters can switch energy providers without hassles and headaches, and then enjoy saving money on electric or natural gas bills.
Shop with cash instead of plastic
If you want to spend less on household items, bring cash along on your shopping trips and use it to pay for smaller purchases, such as cleaning supplies and groceries. Save the plastic for big buys like electronics or large appliances. When you skip the plastic and use cash, you won’t need to pay interest on the cost of your purchases. Some people pay off their credit cards each month so they don’t get hit with much (or any) interest charges, but most people find that interest charges creep up over time and cost them money.
Plant a garden in your backyard
When you plant and maintain a garden in your own backyard, if that garden measures 600 feet square, you can anticipate saving 600 bucks per year on the cost of food. The cost of maintaining the garden should be only 70 dollars annually. A garden of this size should yield hundreds of pounds of healthy produce every year. If you don’t have a green thumb, don’t worry. Anyone can learn how to take care of a garden, and you may find that the time you spend working in it really zaps stress.
When you spend less on household expenses, you’ll free up cash, enabling you to build security for your family. Down the line, this saved cash may give you the means to plan a special family vacation or select investments that become valuable nest eggs. So, why not start trimming household expenses today?
If you are a grandparent who loves nothing more than to spend time with your grandkids, how does a liberating, adventurous road trip sound? The Times published an article about the major comeback of the US road trip, touting it “a tradition that feels like a national birthright.” Being on the road also benefits children and adults in powerful ways. With statistics showing that about one in four Americans spends almost their entire day indoors,, a road trip is the perfect way to free the mind and embrace new experiences – something that is almost always best done in the summer!
Less Gadgets, More Greenery
Many studies have shown that human beings benefit greatly from being in the Great Outdoors. The mind is instantly transported to ‘the here and now’, and stress levels drop in a significant and measurable manner. Road trips give families the opportunity to plan a trip around cities/cultural events, stopping at beautiful natural spots in which to de-stress, enjoy a walk or swim, and even partake in activities like outdoor yoga. When you’re on the road, gadgets and phones somehow seem less appealing. It’s all about making the most of what is around you and experiencing the healing effects of mindfulness. Regardless of which spot in the map you choose, you will probably find a host of interesting natural sites and activities to check out. In the summer, everything from parasailing right through to white water rafting may appeal.
Dance to Your Own Drum
One difficult aspect of travel with young children is transport. When visiting a new city or green area, you may find that you have to take various trains, buses, and other transport combinations to get to desired spots. Moreover, some cities and green areas have better transport than others. A road trip allows you to travel at your own pace, visiting the areas you want to as you go along. It also permits you to change your mind, staying longer when you want to and cutting less desirable stays short. Space is another big benefit. A vehicle for family travel such as an RV is sturdy enough to keep you safe, and large enough to carry family items like toys, clothing, sporting equipment, etc. Luggage and the weight of equipment can be a big problem indeed if you opt for flight or train travel with little children.
Time to Bond
Road trips are as ideal for what goes on inside the vehicle, as out. Pew Research has found that older Americans say that having more time to spend with family is by far the best thing about being a senior. During the school year, you may find it hard to see your grandchildren as much as you like to, owing to the many demands that academic and sports activities impose. Road travel allows you to play little games as well as reveal experiences and funny anecdotes. It also gives you hours on end to ask questions that can enlighten you more on your grandchildren’s passions, interests, and views.
Road trips are enjoying a big boom for many factors – including their relatively lower cost, and the freedom and independence they afford. Travelling across the U.S. in a comfortable vehicle allows kids to rest, and older folk to have a break when they are driving. If you are ready to enjoy the adventure of a lifetime, plan your next road trip but don’t plan it too minutely. Let your instinct and wishes be your guides as you travel at your own pace and discover the beauty that surrounds you.
Pet ownership is on the rise in the US, with almost 68 percent of all households or about 85 million families reportedly welcoming a pet between 2017 to 2018. About 60.2 percent of these pet owners are taking care of at least one dog in their home. It will not be a surprise if the number will continue to increase over time, since more and more families are contemplating to get their own pup especially after learning that these furry pets can help improve a person’s health. If you are still unconvinced if you want to introduce a dog to your family, perhaps these benefits may help seal the deal.
Dogs Can Inspire You To Live A More Active Lifestyle
Most members of the family are starting to have a sedentary lifestyle because of technology. But if a dog will be added to the household, everyone will be encouraged to have some form of physical activity like walking. You can ask your kids to take turns walking the dog from time to time to establish their bond with their furry friend and encourage them to drop their gadgets and go out to exercise. Families can also enjoy different games with their pets such as ball fetching. You can also try getting a tool that can get dogs to play with you such as an automatic ball fetch machine to make the game more fun for the dog and all members of the family. Aside from engaging dogs in a strenuous physical activity, this machine can also help in stimulating their minds and prevent them from being bored.
Dogs Can Tell If Someone Is About To Get Sick
There have been several instances when dogs have been able to help save someone’s life. In 2011, a study revealed that a specially-trained black Labrador retriever was able to detect colorectal cancer accurately by sniffing a patient’s breath or stool. Another report mentioned that trained pups are able to smell even the faintest hint of peanut, which will be helpful if someone in your family has fatal peanut allergies. If you are planning to welcome a furry member in your home, you might want to have it trained for specific health purposes.
Dogs Can Make A Person Happy And More Sociable
It is common for people aged 60 and above to get lonely. But a study showed that having pets can help senior members of the family to have lesser chances of being diagnosed as clinically depressed. Dogs can also encourage their human owners to interact with other people, especially when they have to go out for a walk. Having a canine companion can make children more approachable and interact with other kids who also love playing with their pets.
Dogs Can Serve As Your Constant Companion
There are times when kids would feel so alone, especially if the parents are always out for work. But letting your children take care of a dog at home allows them to have someone a companion while waiting for you to return. Constant cuddles with their pet will also give them comfort and can help ease their loneliness.
Dogs Can Inspire Stronger Connections Between Humans
You may think that you need to train your dog for basic obedience, but your dog may be training you to be more empathetic to other humans as well. According to a research, those who have a strong attachment to their pets may also have strong connections with their families, their communities, as well as other relationships.
Owning a dog may be a big responsibility for everyone in the family. But if you will consider all these benefits, the challenges of welcoming a four-legged pal into your household could outweigh all the risk. So the next time your children ask you to get a pup or two, you might want to give in to their request.
All occasions, including weddings, birthdays, holidays and anniversaries, are incomplete without a cake. Whether you are getting a cake for an event or as a dessert, your choice will determine if it was a worthwhile investment. This is why some people predictably choose the same type of cake every time they are asked about their preferred option. Factors such as the theme, flavor, and design are vital when seeking the best birthday cakes.
Choose a neutral flavor
Unfortunately, it is difficult to find a flavor that everyone will agree is the best when used in cakes. For example, If you are to buy a flavor that is favored by everyone in a family of four, you may be forced to buy four different flavors to make everyone happy. This may not be a realistic approach if you are purchasing a birthday cake that will be eaten by several people.
Some flavors are considered neutral and acceptable by most people. Consider vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut, strawberry, butterscotch, coffee, and blueberry. If in doubt, ask the cakemaker for his or her opinion. You may also request for more than one flavor if you wish. If you have doubts about the flavors, you may sample some of the cakes to help you decide.
Pick an ideal theme and shape
Before anything else, a cake is always judged by its outward appearance. A cake may be tasty, but if it is not attractive, it will create a bias that will affect people’s perception of its taste. This is why a cake needs to be appealing before it is cut. Having a theme will help you appreciate the cake even more. For example, if you want a birthday cake for your son, friend, spouse, or even yourself, consider a theme that is telling of the person. You may pick a child’s favorite cartoon, a fashion theme for someone interested in fashion, or a sports theme for your favorite game.
Pick the right size
If a tasty cake is not enough for all your guests, it may not be considered the best, both by those who were lucky to have a bite and those that missed out. It is essential for you to review the number of guests when ordering a cake. Understandably, cake may not always be enough, especially if you are hosting cake lovers. However, everyone deserves a taste.
Find out cake trends
Cakes have changed significantly, especially in the recent past. A few years ago, cakes were pretty basic. All one needed to do was decide the flavor and size, and pick it up at an agreed time. The flavors were limited to a few choices, the icing and finish were left to the baker to decide, and creativity was not as it is today. Today, more options are available when it comes to cake decorations. If it has been a while since you last ordered a cake, it may be best to look at the current trends before deciding on the perfect cake for your birthday.
It is always best to order your cake early. This will give you the time to get the best person to bake the cake, and also for you to scout for the best cake.
Maintaining a home sometimes can be a real struggle. This is because of having many things to take care of, especially if your family is large. In such a situation, you might want to minimize all kinds of cost to avoid overspending. Electricity is an important necessity that every home requires for various activities. Its prices vary depending on the amount of energy you use or the supplier that you have subscribed. If you do not put an up close on your usage, it can be quite expensive than it should be causing financial instability. An increase in energy providing companies has created competition. Here are four tips for finding deals on electricity fee plans:
1) Compare the Cost
If you realize that, your energy bills have a drastic rise; it is always recommended you do your calculation for assurance. You can use your recent and past receipts for a comparison. This helps you to decide whether to change your tariff or whether to complain to them. Contacting them should always be the first step if you realize a problem so that they can give you the right feedback. If your terms do not agree with theirs, you can always choose other suppliers. Due to high competition in this field, other suppliers offer low electricity rates to attract clients with better discounts.
2) Target Cheaper Rates
When you are finding deals on energy supply, you always find the one that is cheap and has better offers. Different suppliers have different offers, so it is for you to choose the one that suits you more. Negotiating for the price is required so that both you and the energy provider can have an agreement to avoid future problems. Be cautious when accepting these offers. Some are too expensive, yet they have no service to you.
3) Research on Different Suppliers
It is good to research further about energy suppliers, especially if you want to change to a new provider. You check on the reviews they have from people their offers and prices. Finding a cheap provider can be a challenge, so what you look for is reliability. For instance, you are not at home during the day, but only at night, you might consider using a supplier who is flexible with your program. This helps you to cut any extra charges that may occur
4) Be Polite
Being polite helps greatly when we are negotiating deals even in normal life. You acquire this skill simply by controlling your temper. If you find a better deal than the one you had or even a new being polite is the key. When the price you are paying does not impress you, you contact the customer service for directions. Be polite to them. The supplier that you do not want to lose you as a client so your appeal will likely go through if it is within their policy. This is because of the high level of competition in this market.