Travel Is an Adventure, so Embrace It!

Jessica Larrabee from Explore Local Box

Retirement is an adventure …….Embrace it! is the motto of Retire Early Lifestyle.  That has also been my travel philosophy – travel is an adventure, so embrace it and what better way to embrace it than to immerse yourself in local culture.

I am writing this on a plane heading home from my latest adventure in Montana. Watching all the travelers at the airport, I thought about the many different ways to travel: cruises, tour groups, international, camping, all-inclusive resorts, hotels, hostels, house rentals, timeshares, rural, urban, and more.  These choices shape how we experience the destination.

When I travel, I enjoy going at my own pace and exploring – checking out what makes that area unique and different.  I get off the highway and explore the area like a local. I try to visit farmer’s markets, visit restaurants that are unique to that area and check out little shops to get a feeling of the local culture.

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By trying to experience the area like a local, I feel I get to see what daily life looks like in the community and experience a different side of the place.  Plus, it is fun to interact with the people who live there.

Thinking back on my Montana trip, I had a nice conversation with a man I met while hiking one day.  As it turns out, his parents spend summers at the same coastal town across the country where my family spends time. Another day, I was chatting with the woman who checked me in at a small locally owned hotel; she spent a year as a nanny in the same town where I grew up and told me why she loved her new hometown in Montana.

I may have come across these same people if I stayed at a large resort or at the tourist attractions, but likely the interactions would not have been the same.  I think the people I meet this way are more chatty and willing to share their stories because they know I am interested in their home town.

I love finding craft markets and farmers markets when I travel because it is just one more way to interact with locals from the area.  I was lucky to come across a small craft market the first day I was in Montana.

I met and talked to a few artisans there and purchase some unique items from them.  One is a bricklayer from Arizona who spends summers in Montana now that he is retired.  To make extra money, he carves wooden bowls from local trees.  Another is a potter who makes clay items from Montana clay.  Not only does purchasing souvenirs from them support the local economy and help the artisans make a living, but also it helps keep these communities thriving.

These are the places that make each community unique. While chain stores play a role in the national economy, we all know that it is the small businesses that create the distinct character of a community. Plus, it is so much more interesting to interact with the artisans and small business owners and hear their stories.

After traveling to all 50 states, most of them multiple times, I love comparing areas and seeing how one place can be so similar to another – a place in Arkansas can remind me so much of Billings, MT. It is also fun to experience the great contrasts in this country from the white beach coasts to the red-rock deserts, to granite mountains and scenic farmland and see how the locals live.

I started Explore Local Box because I love traveling and after exploring amazing places in all the states, I wanted to share my experience and bring unique locally made items to others.  Explore Local Box is a gifting and subscription box service which provides customers an opportunity to explore a different USA city each month through local products and food.  Every box has local items from a different city – some food, some locally made products.  These are all items that I have bought or would buy if I were visiting the area.  I hope to make the recipient get a feel for the character of the area and what makes the cities similar and what makes them feel different.  The recipient gets to “explore” the city and experience some wonderful and delicious products and the interesting people who have created them.

Take a look at my website and see if you are as excited about this idea as I am!

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The Wealth Summit – Don’t Miss It!

You may be going back to school (the Wealth Summit “school”, that is!).

But here’s the good news: there are no grades and no real “assignments”, and if you want to lurk in the back row, that’s totally okay by us! However, the best way to get incredible value from the Wealth Summit is to do just what you learned in school:

Show up

Ask questions (live sessions and the Wealth Masters Private Facebook Group)

Implement & follow the session Action Items and Key Takeaways

In the live masterclasses and panels, we’re giving you plenty of opportunities to interact and ask questions.  Since our money gurus are some of the most in-demand experts in the world, you should be taking every opportunity to connect and learn from them.

Other hints:

1) Set a goal.

When you think about building your financial future, what’s your biggest fear or challenge?

Are you worried about having enough money to retire at a desirable age? Then you’ll want to pay attention to the sessions on 401(k)s and Roth IRAs.

Perhaps you’re eager to start investing but burdened by massive student loans. Then the information on eliminating your student loan debt is right up your alley.

Concerned with what type of advisor you should trust to manage your finances? Make sure to tune in to the sessions on the differences between “suitable” and “fiduciary” advisors.

There really is something for everyone, regardless of age or financial means.

Get your FREE Pass here today!

In fact, please take a quick minute to email me directly and let me know what your biggest financial concerns are! I’ll be happy to incorporate strategies to fix your money worries into the Wealth Summit series as much as possible.

2) Block out time on your calendar.

We’ve got incredible financial and wealth experts speaking at this unique online event–over 30 of them! With over 30 hours of content, it might be difficult for you to watch it all right away. We get it.

But each session is only available for 48 hours–a short time when work, family, and life get in the way.

That is why you need to prioritize the sessions you want to watch immediately. Look at the schedule and block out the time RIGHT NOW. Make it a priority, your future “financial self” will thank you!

Get your FREE Pass here today!

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Make Money Without Leaving Campus!

Danielle Ward

Being a full-time college student is difficult.  You are stressed from all the work you have to do, alongside the struggle to find an internship, maintain a social life, keep your grades up, take care of yourself- the list goes on.  One of the biggest concerns that a college student has is paying off student loans after college.  Receiving higher education is expensive, and many students are unable to balance a job and school at the same time- it’s just too much to handle!  Luckily, there is a way to make money without leaving campus.  It may seem fairly obvious, but the benefits to this can help a college student dramatically decrease their student debt, while keeping their grades up.  How can a student do this?  Find an on-campus job.

What are the Benefits of Working On-campus?

I know what you’re thinking, working and being a student is difficult.  Although this is true, on-campus jobs make the impossible feat possible.  The majority of on-campus jobs have flexible hours, meaning that your boss will look at your class schedule, take into account your study time, and place you in shifts that do not conflict with those times.  This is helpful for college students to ensure that they stay on track with their coursework and do not fall behind.  The flexibility of hours makes it great for college students who need extra money, but also want to have enough time to study.

Another great aspect of working on-campus is that you may be eligible for work study.  This means that the money you earn from working goes directly to your tuition and loans, making payment hassle free!  Even if you do not qualify for work study, you also have the option of having your paychecks go directly to tuition.  If you decide against that, you can get your payment as you would if you were working elsewhere.

If you are hired to work on-campus, you are officially a university employee.  There is a certain prestige to that job title, and many benefits that go alongside it.  It means that a large institution found you and your skills to be useful and helpful to the university.  Any future employer would be impressed that a young college student has worked for a college, regardless of what job you held.  Depending on your university, being an employee means that you have perks that regular students are unable to have.  For example, you could get a specialized parking pass that allows you to gain access to more and better parking spots.  You could also get discounts for campus events, food, and more.

One of the best things about working on-campus is that you are able to gain experience in a field related to your major.  Many professors often look for lab assistants, researchers, or even shadows, to help them with their work.  By finding work in a specific department related to your interests, you can earn money, experience, and prestige at the same time!  Working with a professor is like an extra class – you gain so much knowledge, but you don’t get a grade for it.  It is an extremely rewarding job, in terms of experience.

What On-Campus Jobs Are There?

This all depends on your specific college, and what positions are available at the time, but generally speaking many campuses do have the same jobs.

  1. Resident Advisor: As an RA, your duties consist of making a group of college freshman feel welcome, educate them about dormitory rules, enforce said rules, and partake in conflict management. You can usually get this job in your second year of college.  One of the biggest rewards of being a Resident Advisor is that housing can be discounted, or even free for you.  Usually, room and board are waived for university employees that work in the dormitories.  By living and working on-campus, you save time, earn money, and have time to study.
  2. Tutor: If you excel in a certain subject and meet a GPA requirement, you are eligible to apply as a tutor for your college.  Your job would consist of helping students with whatever academic problems that they need assistance on.  Students who work as a tutor can also be able to receive course credit for doing so.  Class credits in addition to earning money from work makes for a happy student.
  3. Food Service: On a college campus, there is a large amount of places where people can go to grab a bite, or a drink.  These places are almost always hiring since they can never have too much help.  One of the benefits of working in a food establishment is that you can get discounted and/or free food.  What college student wouldn’t want that?

Of course, there are many other jobs like doing paid survey, online work from home, data entry etc, besides the three listed above that you can find on-campus.  These are the most common jobs that are almost always hiring.  Obtaining an on-campus job is great for college students who need money, and prefer convenience over struggling to fit everything into their schedule.  Since the job is on-campus, you don’t have to commute any further to get to work.  The benefits from being employed by the university are great- discounts, prestige, less tuition to pay, etc.  Finally, working on-campus allows for flexible scheduling, meaning that your employer will make sure you are not being overworked.  They understand that you are a college student, and have classes to study for.  It is possible for students to make money without leaving campus- it’s easy when your job IS on-campus!

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An Aspie comes out of the closet – Why I knew early on that I would never be popular

By Garret Mathews

I’m recalling three events from fifth grade that foreshadowed the fact I would never achieve most favored status in high school.

  1. Mustard, peas, mashed potatoes, hominy grits, oh my.

I received no allowance, and Dad made me give back the money Granny pinned in my shirt at the end of every visit. So that left me no choice but to eat disgusting foodstuffs in the lunchroom for financial gain.

Anything the cafeteria ladies dumped on our plates was fair game. I also put no limit on seasonings, sauces and flavorings. I used to allow classmates to bring stuff from home until I was counseled during homeroom by Tommy, the foremost science scholar in the entire school, who said unscrupulous types might smuggle motor oil or carpet cleaner, and the nickels and dimes I might collect weren’t worth having my stomach pumped and maybe dying.

It was agreed that I forfeited all coinage if I threw up. Once I had a few fitful moments with a vinegar-sugar cocktail, but the dry heaves produced nothing more than a few beads of saliva which the judges ruled incidental dribbling.

As the school year wound down, my audience became exclusively male. A few girls watched my warmup exercises — usually a Fudgsicle coated with ketchup — but they were long gone when I progressed to the money rounds and the vinegar.

“You’re gross,” they said when we passed in the hall, even though I always made sure to wipe my mouth and clean my tongue after performances.

I remember asking Jennifer if I could buy her a Coca-Cola on the walk home from school.

“Are you going to use the money you got at the lunch table?” she asked.

Well, yeah.

“Then absolutely not.”

  1. Bringing members of the low-riding animal kingdom to class

I thought it great fun to pocket woolly worms during recess, and plant them inside geography books of unsuspecting classmates while they were on the monkey bars.

A rookie sicko puts the critter anywhere he can and slams the book before he’s caught. The veteran sicko knows the day’s lesson is the Adriatic Sea on page 311, delivers accordingly, and gently places the pages down softly so there’s not a corpus delicti. It never failed. The shrieking was something out of a horror film.

While I was never found out or even accused, I stopped after the teacher said whoever was causing the woolly worm scare was someone, and I still remember the quote, “with very poor social skills,” and if she ever found out who it was, “These incidents will be put in his permanent record until the end of recorded time.”

I couldn’t take that chance. There would be no more wiggling inside geography books.

  1. Ah, Sylvia

Every day I passed her a note saying I loved her and could we run away together some day after the final bell? She was always too polite to reject me out of hand, scribbling back that she liked me a little, but wasn’t ready to settle down.

One day on the playground, David Sutton ran into the swing set and got a black eye. Sylvia fetched a cold compress and held it against his face for the rest of recess. Talk about heaven. When David didn’t immediately get better — which would have taken a complete idiot — Sylvia hugged him.

I wanted Sylvia to nurse me back to health in similar fashion, but I needed a shiner. No problem. I went in the bathroom and proceeded to hit myself under the eye. Ten times, 20 times. Finally, a red welt formed. The next day, helped by some boot black, I had an injury.

Sylvia was playing tetherball with Doris Jean when I presented myself. Ta-da. Major contusion. Cold compress time.

She told me the nurse’s office was the second door down from the principal’s office and went back to her game.

Almost worse than that, the boot black ran down my face and I eventually had to explain how it got there.

At home that afternoon, I prepared my own cold compress and held it against my eye. Sometimes you just have to do things for yourself.

Other stories by this author:

Thank God for Humor – Garret’s Prostate Removal Surgery

Memo to Family – Do Not Hyphenate Me

Want to know sports lingo? An insider’s View

Did you really say “Far Out, Man?”

The Early Years

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How to choose the right manual wheelchair for your elder granny

By Lyuthar Jacobs

Wheelchairs are designed for people who are not able to walk or walk for very short distances. The wheelchairs are specifically designed for the elderly people so that they stay independent in their own house.

When you are looking for the wheelchair for your loved ones, then you will get the best selection at many stores in US. However, don’t forget that you can get some money off the deal from CouponsMonk while buying them online. There are two configurations of the wheelchairs that are available in the market.

Key points which are to be taken into account while you choose a wheelchair include:

  • The user’s requirements, abilities, and the constraints,
  • The caretaker’s demands, proficiencies, and the shortcomings,
  • Transporting factors, and
  • Financial factors.

When you are in a dilemma of whether to go for a wheelchair or not, there are a few things that come to light. Some of the key considerations are stated as below.

Have a look at them and decide for yourself!

Want a Self Propel or Transit Wheelchair?

  1. Self Propel:

If the patient wants to handle the wheelchair herself, then they are in need of a self-propel wheelchair. They are specifically good if your dear ones will be dealing with any rough terrain or topology, viz. grass or in the curbs.

  1. Transit:

If the user has to be supported by someone every time, then the transit wheelchair is preferred. The transit wheelchair models having the smaller rear wheels are more suitable. There are manual brakes so that the carer can reduce the speed or lock the equipment for safety whenever required. Moreover, transit models are lighter than a self-propelled one and require lesser room than others.

Which type of wheelchair do you need?

  1. Lightweight:

The average weight of the lightweight wheelchairs typically ranges from 12 to 16 kg. If you remove the leg rests and rear wheels which are totally optional, then the weight comes much lower. The lightweight chairs are best suited for people who are watching their budget along with wanting comfortability.

  1. Ultra Lightweight:

The total weight of the ultra ones ranges in between 8 to 13 kg. This wheelchair is much easier to propel and transport. Available in additional sizes as well.

Heavy duty:

The Heavy Duty Models are specifically designed for the larger or the Bariatric patients. These chairs have the capacity to hold weight from 160 to 325 category. The total weight of the chair comes in between 15 to 27 kgs category.

  1. Tilt and Recline:

This feature gives you the liberty so that you can change the orientation of the patient without any additional pressure on his hip and back. The “Tilt and Recline” feature also allows the user to recline and lie-back in the wheelchair safely and comfortably.

The physical conditions of the patient

The physical conditions of the patient include height and weight of the person, some medical issues like arthritis, or any other injury and so on. Also, this includes the factors like whether she is looking for additional cushioning or backrest for lateral support, and a lot more.

Will you be transporting often?

How often you transport from here and there is also important. You can choose a model that is foldable with flip back arm rests that will assist in the process along with side transfer.

Time to be spent using the chair

For short durations to be spent on the wheelchair, you will need a Transport Chair. But if it is required for the all-day purpose, then the best thing is to go for a Simple Basic Wheelchair. But if you are heavy and tall, then you may require a chair which has extended seat lengths and widths along with Heavy Duty construction.

Now you know about the key factors that are responsible for choosing a wheelchair correctly for your granny, and you will need to have a complete knowledge about her health conditions as well.

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How Getting My Finances in order Let Me Live the Life I Love

Thank you for visiting Retire Early Lifestyle. The article you are looking for is no longer available.

Look at our Captivating Characters and Early Retirees Interviews for more inspirational stories.

Thanks!

Come back and visit again!

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How to Get Easy Personal Loans at Reasonable Repayment Interest Rates

Ryan Harris is the author of this article, and he is a professional financial expert as well as advisor. Get the best guidance for the best payday loans in his blog.

A financial crunch can appear at any time, and that can lead to various problems. When a sudden crunch for money comes, we will face difficulties in paying EMI bills, credit card bills, medical bills and much more. To get some relief at such a time, you might consider opting for a personal loan. People choose this route especially when they are in a deep financial crisis or when they require money to purchase something expensive. Getting a loan is not easy these days, and that is concerning for the borrowers. Here are some suggestions for easy borrowing money at a reasonable rate of interest.

Loans from Banks

When a low rate of interest is your priority, try getting a loan from a bank. Banks and major financial institutions under the federal government offer loans at reasonable rates of interest. Hence, loan repayment would not be difficult for the borrowers. Things can get daunting when you do not have a good credit score, and to get a bank loan, you need to show your credit score. If you do not have good credit, your loan application will not be approved. Most people have an average or low credit rating. Such people should look for alternative sources for getting personal loans.

Get Loans from Friends or Relatives

Obtaining a loan from friends or family is a viable option when your requirement for money is not too high. Hopefully, close friends or relatives would not ask for a high rate of interest. In fact, they may not demand any interest at all. They might lend you money upon trust, and you have to repay them in time to keep that trust intact and unharmed. The problem is that you cannot take this option as a good alternative to a bank loan when your need for money is quite high.

Opt for Payday Loan

The best choice of bank loan is a payday loan. To get the best payday loans, you need to find a good lending company. Payday loans come with certain benefits and drawbacks and you need to understand those benefits carefully. First of all, these types of loans have been endorsed or advertised as a loan without any credit score checking. It is true that the lender does not check your credit score at all, but they will check your monthly income record. If you have a steady source of revenue, the loan will be approved for you.

Easy Logbook Loan

If you are not a salaried person, getting a payday loan will be difficult for you. Moreover, the rate of interest for a payday loan is quite high. If you are not okay to deal with such a high-interest rate, you can just choose to go for a logbook loan. This loan has been sanctioned against the logbook of your car. If you have a new and expensive car, you may end up getting a good amount of money.

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Car-Free Transportation Options in the U.S.

Q&A with a Reader

We love your site. We have consulted it for countless years. We are not world travelers but we applied many of your principles to retiring in the city of Boston. By controlling what we spend and investing conservatively we are still thriving after 15 years of retirement.

The transportation system in Boston made it easy to go car-free. We now plan to relocate to Colorado where car-free will be much more challenging if not impossible. My question relates to car rentals. Since you do not own a car what do you do for car insurance on a rental? The rental insurance costs seem exorbitant. Any help is greatly appreciated.

All the best to you both,

Richard

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Hi Richard,

Thanks for the kind words regarding our website.

We have not rented a car for a few years and agree that the rates are high. First I would try getting a 3 week to a monthly rate….as well as talking with your credit card company to see what they will cover.

What about using Uber or Lyft? or perhaps there is car sharing like Turo in your neighborhood. You could also look on the Carfree website – (see our Transportation Page) they have information, ideas and links you might find useful.

Not to mention that you might be able to pay a neighbor to take you around to some locations. Lots of times people are looking for a little bit of extra cash.

And of course there is public transport, bicycling, and using a taxi from time to time. Even with the high taxi fee, it is far cheaper than owning a car.

Keep turning over rocks. You might surprise yourself!

Best,

Billy

 

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6 Tips for Cutting Your Medical Bill

By Fehmeen who is an MBA graduate and who owns the personal finance blog, Top Money Hacks. Be sure to visit the site to check out some top money management tips.

Planning for retirement can be challenging because there are plenty of variable expenses to look at, the biggest variable being related to healthcare. Medical bills can quickly add up after retirement because health drastically deteriorates with age and because the cost of good medical care is slowly rising with time. This means any sum of money saved for retirement may eventually run out while footing these bills, possibly leading to medical debt.

The obvious solution may be to get a robust health insurance policy with extensive coverage, but that can be costly on its own. The truth is, one can never achieve peace of mind regarding the future, but there are certain steps one can take to cut healthcare costs, even if an adequate insurance policy is in place and plenty of money has been saved up.

  1. Maintain good hygiene to keep your health

“Handwashing is like a do-it-yourself vaccine—it involves five simple and effective steps (Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, Dry) you can take to reduce the spread of diarrheal and respiratory illness so you can stay healthy.” Centre for Disease Control.

Prevention is better than cure, they say. This proverb holds true for both medical and non-medical conditions, because it’s easier to stay away from a problem than to find a solution.

Hand washing is an obvious tip that can save you from a lot of diseases in the long run, which is why it cannot be emphasized enough. Washing your hands diligently, for instance, can prevent the transfer of many viral and bacterial infections that require visits to your doctor. There is certainly no need to be obsessed with being germ-free, but simple habits like bathing regularly and carrying hand sanitizer when out and about, can keep you relatively safe.

  1. Make your home allergy-proof

According to the Eurostat website (the official source of statistics covering the European Union) respiratory diseases are one of the most common causes of death across the European Union. We often blame high levels of air pollution in urban areas for this problem, and rightly so, but we must also consider the fact that most of our time is spent indoors.

There are plenty of allergens in our homes, such as pet dander, mold, dust particles and micro-organisms that cause irritation in our respiratory tracts. While external air pollution is correlated to indoor pollution, we can control the latter to some extent by keeping our homes clean:

  • Ensure proper ventilation,
  • Remove dust from various surfaces,
  • Eliminate mold,
  • Get rid of damp spots, etc.

These practices can help reduce the negative effect of allergy triggers, and cut the number of related trips to the hospital.

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  1. Nip it in the bud

A range of preventative healthcare services are offered these days, some of them as part of public healthcare programs and some as part of insurance policies. Let’s have a look at two basic types of preventative services:

Vaccines can significantly lower the risk of catching various illnesses that are prevalent in many parts of the world. Granted, this tip is not for everyone because some people are against the use of vaccines.

Medical professionals can run a series of screening tests to catch the onset or risk of developing certain health conditions, such as cardiac diseases, bone degeneration conditions and cancer. The treatment for such diseases can be both lengthy and expensive. Fortunately, catching them at an early stage can:

  • Improve the effectiveness of treatment,
  • Disrupt the spread of the disease and
  • Cut the cost as well as duration of treatment.

Make sure you get regular check-ups and any screening tests ordered by your doctor to help nip your illness in the bud.

  1. Medical tourism can save you a fortune

If you have been diagnosed with an illness, the treatment for which involves a major surgical procedure, you probably expect a big dip in your bank balance. This is because healthcare costs in USA are extremely high, as is the case across much of the developed world (exceptions exist). Be it a hip replacement procedure or cardiac bypass, you can be sure the final medical bill will soar to tens of thousands of dollars, possibly resulting in large medical debts.

Medical tourism can help you avoid all this because you may find plenty of countries that offer good quality medical services at a fraction of the prices charged in your home country. All this, inclusive of the travel cost! This concept has been covered at length by Billy and Akaisha, on this blog’s Medical Tourism page. Do have a look.

  1. Milk your insurance policy

Sometimes, we fail to understand the exact terms of our insurance policy, which prevents us from using it effectively. I’ll illustrate this point with examples:

  • Be organized: My insurance firm reimburses me for any visits I make to the doctor if I submit the medical bill within a month of the issue date. I have been guilty of misplacing medical bills and of missing the one month deadline on a few occasions. That money could have easily been saved. Oops!
  • Be aware: The same insurance firm recently broadened their coverage to include the reimbursement of multivitamin pills. I had developed the habit of discarding pharmacy bills for these pills for the last few years, and continued to do so out of negligence (for several months) after the insurance policy had been broadened. Again, oops!
  • It doesn’t hurt to ask: One of my relatives underwent cataract surgery to change the lens in his right eye. A colleague had undergone a similar procedure a few months earlier and had a Grade B lens replaced into his eye, but when my relative decided to ask his company’s HR department about the various possible options, he was told that he could get a Grade A lens inserted under the same policy, for both his eyes! This incident took place a few months before his retirement, so the timing could not have been better.
  • Fight your case: A few years ago, a friend wanted to have her insurance firm pay for visits to an off-panel gynecologist, who served at an off-panel hospital. She pleaded her case on the basis of trusting this renowned doctor who had treated her family for years, and her poor experience with other on-panel gynecologists. After a bit of back and forth, the insurance firm agreed to pay for her bills for a period of one year, long enough to see her through her pregnancy.
  1. Buy ‘generic, non-branded’ medicines when possible

Branded medicine can cost a lot more and are more popular than their generic counterparts, even though they are the same for all practical purposes. According to the FDA website:

“A generic drug is the same as a brand-name drug in dosage, safety, strength, quality, the way it works, the way it is taken and the way it should be used.”

In other words, both types of drugs are equally safe and effective because they must pass strict tests imposed by the FDA before being sold in the market. On your next visit, ask your doctor if it is possible to get a prescription for alternative generic medicines. If you’re still in doubt, peruse the FDA catalog of all approved drug products.

These are my top tips for cutting your medical costs over the years. Be sure to keep your doctor in the loop though, because this article should not be considered medical advice.

I always say, “Take care of your body and your body will take care of you.” A healthy lifestyle which includes regular exercise and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, is vital for good health.

Can you think of any other ways to limit your medical expenses?

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Senior’s Best Friends: 5 Most Caring and Loyal Dog Breed Companions

By GoReach

A senior’s life tends to get lonely. When our kids move out, and your loved ones and friends pass away, there’s no one to keep us company. In fact, for most of us, caregivers are the only company we have and the only people we can talk to throughout the day.

A lot of companies like A Better Way in Home Care can help us find a good caregiver who can help us around the house and be a great friend to talk to. But, in the evening when they are gone, all that’s left is the eerie silence.

Social isolation can be a dreadful thing and can lead to conditions such as depression. And while everyone has a different story, isolation seems to be a recurring theme for most seniors.

And while we cannot expect our children to give us their full, unconditional support now that they have their own children to care for, not all hope is lost.

Why Seniors Love Dogs

Dogs are known as the “man’s best friend,” and for a reason!

Their loyalty, undivided attention and constant support are just what most of us need. On those lonely days, their eyes full of admiration are all we need to make it through the rough patch.

Studies also show that pets can have more than just psychological benefits. In fact, dogs can have a calming effect on their owner and even improve their physiological condition. An American Heart Association study concluded that seniors who had a surgery recovered better if they interacted with dogs.

A study at Australia’s Baker Medical Research Institute shows that pet owners exhibit lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

Another study conducted at the Queen’s University in Belfast with 138 pet owners suffering from diabetes concluded that dogs reacted to their owners’ drop in blood sugar level.

Dogs can also react to other medical conditions and serve as a reminder that we should look for medical assistance.

Best Dog Breeds for Seniors

While all dogs provide unconditional love, some are more compatible with seniors than others. Small breeds have certain traits that make them a perfect fit for any lonely senior soul. In this article, we’ll list five breeds that make the perfect senior companions.

Maltese

These little furry delights are perfect as they adore people and spend most of their time in your lap. They prefer the indoors, making them the perfect match for anyone who does the same.

They usually weight between 5 and 8 lbs. when fully grown. They don’t exhibit any troublesome behavior, which is why they are often used as therapy dogs.

The best part is that they are hypoallergenic and rarely suffer from any health issues. The only downside is that they require frequent grooming so their fur can stay soft.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

These puppies also enjoy spending their time curled up in your lap but enjoy the outdoors as well. However, they don’t take spending time alone too well and can become anxious. This makes them ideal for seniors with the same problem. They are easy to train and enjoy traveling.

Shih Tzu

Loyal and affectionate, Shih Tzus were bred to be the perfect lap dog and a loyal, cuddly buddy. They are perfect companions for seniors as they are devoted and alert. They also require frequent grooming, although some owners prefer to keep their fur trimmed short.

Poodle

Whenever you picture a senior and a dog, that dog is almost always a poodle. There’s a reason they are so popular among seniors. They are fun, intelligent and loyal. On top of that, they shed very little and enjoy showering their owners with love.

Havanese

The Havanese are a very playful and social breed that require very low maintenance. They are very well mannered towards guests as well, but they tend to devote all their loving to their owners. They are very intelligent and even able to master the litter box. This is ideal for seniors who cannot get out too often.

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