Germ-free kitchen: 4 ways to help you get there

John Liverstone

It would be fair to say that cleanliness is even more relevant in the current times we are living in. The recent outbreak of coronavirus means that we are all more conscious than ever of staying hygienic and ultimately, reducing the chance of bugs, viruses and harmful bacteria making their way into our system.

There’s no doubt that the kitchen plays a huge part in this. It’s the place where all sorts of harmful germs can accumulate and if you don’t tackle them appropriately, you are left with some major health and safety issues.

Unfortunately, the sheer scale of this room means that we can’t dissect each and every threat, but by the end of today’s guide you will hopefully be armed with enough information to make your kitchen a much healthier place to live in.

Start with your lighting

We’re talking about germs, so there might be a few raised eyebrows with this first suggestion. After all, unless we are talking about a super hi-tech piece of lighting equipment, this isn’t going to directly help in our battle to clear our kitchen of harmful bacteria.

However, it can at least point you in the right direction. A lot of kitchens are dimly lit, meaning that we just don’t see where all the stains and general bacteria are. It means that things get left for weeks and weeks and in short, the damage has probably already been done by then.

Clear the clutter

This next point follows a similar path to the previous one. Clutter isn’t directly going to result in germs coming to your kitchen, but it can prevent you from clearing them up.

If your counters are full of clutter, the chances of you being able to give them a proper clean are exceptionally slim. As such, clear the clutter, and work with completely empty surfaces. You’ll spot all sorts of dirt that would have previously gone unnoticed.

How your oven can be the silent contributor to germs

So far, a lot of today’s article has spoken about the dirt and residue that is found on countertops. This next point goes a little more granular and just focusses on your oven.

This is one area of the kitchen where many of us forget about. We think that due to the high temperatures in there, we don’t really have to give it a proper clean.

As it turns out, there are all sorts of health threats that can emerge in the oven. Many of these can be easily prevented, so we would really urge that you don’t forget to clean your oven on a regular basis.

Be wary of your dishtowels

Another area that few of us think about are the dishtowels. These are one of the easiest ways for harmful bacteria to be passed around from location to location around the kitchen, and again have a really simple course of action associated with them. Put simply, they need to be changed regularly – sometimes every day. Have separate towels for separate duties; the best approach is to have one towel for dishes and another for hands.

Posted in Guest Blog Posts, Health, Housing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Tips For Designing The Perfect Home In Early Retirement

Karoline Gore

The AARP survey shows that 76% of Americans, aged 50 and above, want to stay in their homes, and 77% hope to remain in their current neighborhoods, according to Kiplinger. Aging in place is a common trend among seniors, as it allows them to live independently, comfortably, and safely. Nonetheless, you can still age in place after leaving the workforce earlier.

In fact, early retirement gives you endless opportunities for creating a lifestyle of meaning. This includes designing a living space that fits your lifestyle now and in the future. Check out these tips for designing the perfect home in early retirement.

Choose Ideal Interior Design Elements

As an early retiree, you want your space to stay functional and beautiful for the years to come. So, when looking at aging in place home designs, determine your dream features and pick suitable interior decor that fits your style. For example, in addition to lowering counters to create a spacious and wheelchair-friendly kitchen, consider fitting marble or granite countertops for long-term care.

Alternatively, create a gourmet kitchen with a large but stylish island. Also, instead of installing the typical chrome grab bars in the bathroom, opt for ones customized to match your interior décor.

Hire Expert Custom Home Builders

Whether you’re looking to remodel your existing house or build a custom home, make sure to work with expert builders. A professional contractor understands your vision of living in a perfect home after retiring. Because of their expertise and reputation, they will focus on quality and even go the extra mile to find the right neighborhood for your dream home.

According to Paradisa Homes, you deserve a space with thoughtful designs, high-quality materials, and masterful construction. Expert builders will give you a clear perspective on creating the ideal infrastructure and design, based on your present and future needs. By hiring building experts, you can achieve the perfect house that is visually striking and appealing for aging in place.

Pick the Right Floor Plan

As you grow older, staying in the home where you have grown comfortable and created long-lasting memories sounds ideal. However, you need to create safe and accessible spaces. Your home should have an open floor design with few obstructions. Keep in mind, climbing up and down the stairs might be a simple activity now, but as you age, it becomes challenging. Thus, think of designing a stair-free entrance, open kitchen, and bedroom on the first floor.

With the help of an expert designer, you can build an exterior door and accessible ramp as part of the architectural design of the house. You will also want wider doors, lever-style door handles, and non-slippery floors. Having an open floor layout allows you to build a comfortable space without the worries of accessible issues in the future. Consider placing your bedroom on the first floor and install large windows to maximize the flow of natural light.

Your daily lifestyle matters when enhancing your retirement home. For instance, if you enjoy golfing, fishing, and other outdoor activities, find a retirement spot that allows you to engage in your hobbies with minimal setbacks and limitations.

Posted in All Things Financial, Guest Blog Posts, Housing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Downsizing During Retirement

Jane Brown

Retirement often comes with innumerable changes in a person’s lifestyle. It is an exciting phase of life associated with financial freedom and big plans, such as downsizing a home. Typically, This involves purchasing a smaller house than the current one. Downsizing is a real opportunity to save and enjoy equity from the home sale. As a retiree, this means less upkeep, low bills, and more time doing things you love doing. However, to see through this process, it involves researching the best states to settle and considering various aspects such as taxes, health care, and the cost of living.

According to real estate experts, the majority of retirees opt to downsize their homes owing to a variety of reasons as discussed below:

High Home Maintenance Cost

Age comes with a decline in health and the ability to perform demanding household chores. Therefore, a larger home is a burden to retirees when it comes to attending to daily house tasks. Downsizing gives them an option to move into a smaller home near their family where they can get help with home maintenance. Living closer to loved ones allows them to focus on their healthy life. However, if the family is distant, you can opt for moving to stratified communities that offer critical amenities without moving far distances.

Smaller houses with excellent features fit aging individuals in leveraging the amount of upkeep at an older age. They can still have some style in their smaller home by adding a custom sliding barn door. These trendy doors are easy to slide open or shut and gives them the ease of being able to divide a room, if necessary.

Living in a Larger Home Alone

Having your kids leave home is a significant change in terms of company and socialization. It can cause loneliness since the ones you love the most are now gone to cater to their life responsibilities. At some point, this may affect your daily motivation and routine. The space children used to fill in the house becomes more extensive for your needs. Such unused rooms will elevate the cost of upkeep and property taxes, yet they are not used. Downsizing to a home that suits your lifestyle the best will help in eradicating such expenses and increase your retirement workflows. This can enhance you to make investments that generate cash flow and create a reverse mortgage. Reverse mortgages allow individuals to stay in their homes and convert them into a lifetime income stream.

Increment of Home Value

If you have been living in a home for quite some time, chances are its value has appreciated. This is if it has been well maintained. Many homebuyers will want to purchase it. All you need is to be assertive on the real estate market to get maximum profit from the house. Such investment can lighten your financial load by extending your savings for retirement. This allows you to have flexibility in your retirement based on the amount of money that you have saved.

Increased Monthly Housing Expenses

While working, housing costs may fit comfortably within your budget. Retiring can unexpectedly push your expenses to over thirty percent of your regular payments. The National Housing Act recommends standard housing affordability of thirty percent. Therefore, any individual paying over thirty percent of their pay is considered financially troubled. Despite the moving expenses associated with downsizing, living in a smaller space reduces the cost of utilities, property taxes, and maintenance. This reduces monthly debt and increases the monthly cash flow.

Housing Features No Longer Fit Your Lifestyle

There may be many features you might be passionate about in your home while working. However, as time moves on, you develop disinterest in them. For example, you might have loved your home’s closeness to a nearby elementary school because of your kids. But after your kids grow and move out, you now find noise irritation from the school. Furthermore, features such as staircases or a steep driveway may take a physical toll as you grow older. Weather can also be a consideration since shoveling snow becomes more difficult with each passing year. Besides, since you’re only using a few rooms, it makes no sense to pay for heating, cooling, and lighting rooms that you don’t use.

There are many things to think about when retiring. Using good common sense will get you where you need to be to enjoy those retirement years. You deserve it.

Posted in All Things Financial, Guest Blog Posts, Housing, Legal Matters | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amazing Things That You Can Undertake After Retirement

Jane Brown

Retirement is very thrilling, especially since you have spent the better part of your life working hard to take care of your family. As exciting as it might sound, retirement may turn out to be challenging and you may even lack enough things to do.

Retirement is that period of time where the only thing you think about is how you are going to rest and relax. If you like sleeping, then the size of a queen bed offers the greatest comfort. The queen size is a popular mattress that can meet your need for a comfortable and restful night’s sleep.

It is very essential to start planning for retirement way before you are out of work to ensure that you have abundant things to do. This will purely depend on your budget. For instance, if your budget is scarce, look for activities that are inexpensive as long as it improves your well-being. On the other hand, if you like playing expensive sports, such as golf, you have to save in order to meet your expenses.

Here are incredible activities that you can try during your retirement period:

  • Travel the world

Traveling is usually luxurious and time-consuming but it is definitely worth trying during retirement because you have all the time in the world to yourself. Plan a trip to that city that you have always wanted to visit whether by air, train, or ship. The experience will be thrilling.

It is not necessarily a must that you travel to other countries. You can even consider exploring numerous places within your own state that you never visited. The experience is still mind-blowing. If you are straining to meet your budget, there are travel options that you can turn to such us the RV lifestyle which makes traveling more affordable.

  • Engage in a new hobby

You may have had hobbies in the past that you wanted to start but perhaps you were too busy with work and had no time. Well, the retirement period is the best time to work on your new hobbies. Take that cooking class that you have always wanted, engage in gardening if it makes you happy, join a knitting class or music classes to keep yourself busy and happy at the same time.

Trying new hobbies will help you interact with other people and learn a thing or two about them.

  • Spend time with your family

The retirement period is a fantastic time to connect with both your nuclear and extended families. Take your grandchildren to special places like museums and zoos and learn new things. Share your time with them and learn a few things that are vital to them too.

  • Volunteer in activities that are critical to you

Most people who retire feel the desire to give back to society and they tend to join volunteering groups or organizations. Through these groups, you are able to partake in activities that are vital to you; for example, feeding the orphans, teaching in a local school, or use your expertise to help new business owners.

  • Access health care

At your older age, you are prone to quite a number of health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart attack, among others. You, therefore, need to access health care services at your home after retirement. You may look for quality healthcare providers within your area by asking for referrals from friends and family as well. You also need to ensure that you access healthcare services that you can afford.

  • Resting and relaxation

Once you retire, you will no longer have so many duties to carry out on a daily schedule. It is time to relax and enjoy your retirement. Get the best sleep you have always missed on your big bed during your working days. Maximum relaxation is ideal in keeping you healthy after your retirement. Stay home and interact with your loved ones. You could also take a walk around your neighborhood and see the sights you missed when you were so busy.

Retirement comes with vast opportunities and sufficient time to try everything that you have always wanted. Whether you want to explore the world, start new hobbies, or even interact more with your loved ones, this is the time to try out your options.

Posted in All Things Financial, Guest Blog Posts, Health, Travel Tips and Insight | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Conquering Corona: How Seniors Can Respond to the Outbreak

Sam Bowman

You’ve faced a lot of obstacles in your life and have conquered them all, but the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Our economy has ground to a halt. Our schools and business are shuttered. Our towns and cities are on lockdown. Religious services are being held online. Holidays are celebrated by computer.

All of this is being done, or so it is said, to protect people like you: senior populations and those who are sick or immunocompromised. But you are not, and have never been, a victim, and you are far from helpless. Your independent spirit and fighting heart are needed now more than ever as you prepare to survive a threat that you cannot see. This article discusses the best tips and tricks you can use today to ride out the pandemic with your health, your sanity, and your finances intact.

First Things First

When it comes to preparing for and responding to the coronavirus, the first order of business is to safeguard your health. That means practicing rigorous hygiene, wearing a face mask, and maintaining social distancing until the crisis passes in your particular area. The days of handshakes and hugs may be gone, at least for a while. Additionally, taking advantage of curbside pickup, food and pharmacy delivery, and store hours reserved for vulnerable populations is probably a good idea right now.

It also means doing your best to shore up your immune system to help you prevent infection or fight it off more effectively, especially if there is community spread in your area. This includes getting sufficient sleep and eating a well-balanced diet packed with essential nutrients. You’ll want to infuse your system with the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your body needs to make it an inhospitable environment for any bug that would dare try to invade.

These are measures that won’t just protect you but will also protect those around you. Our already overburdened healthcare system, long beset by a shortage of doctors and nurses, now teeters on the verge of collapse. We need to collectively confront the surge. Anything you can do to relieve the burden on healthcare workers will benefit your community and its sickest patients.

Protecting Your Financial Health

Once your physical health is safeguarded, turn your attention to your financial health. Whether you’re already retired or preparing for retirement, the pandemic can pose a serious threat to your finances. After all, we’ve gone from a record-breaking economy to record-breaking unemployment in fewer than four weeks.

Now is not just a good time to take stock of your finances; it’s essential. An assessment of the state of your finances today can help you better predict the state of your finances tomorrow, no matter what may come to pass in these uncertain times.

Calculating your long-term debt to assets ratio, for instance, will help to ensure you have enough assets on hand to not be overwhelmed by your liabilities, even if these hard economic times should last for a while. You can also take advantage of the array of financial calculators, retirement and post-retirement planning guides, and mentoring resources available online.

It’s also important at this time to resist the urge to overspend, especially if you’re shopping online. You may be feeling bored, anxious, or worried, and that’s just when the temptation to “treat yourself” may be greatest. Right now, it can feel like a package coming to the door is the only thing to look forward to right now, but you don’t want a moment of indulgence and self-comfort to rob you of the future you deserve once this lockdown is over!

Fear Itself

Studies show that the greatest fear many retirees face is the fear that health challenges will derail their retirement dreams. For many seniors inundated with a daily barrage of bad news about the pandemic, it probably feels like those fears are coming true, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you are living alone, with your spouse or children, or in a retirement community, you may be struggling with the anxiety and loneliness of social isolation.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to pay as much attention to your mental and emotional well-being as much as you do your physical and financial health. Make certain that you are reaching out to friends, family, and your healthcare providers for support, and don’t forget the wide array of mental health services available online, many at low or no cost!

This is also the perfect time to integrate gentle exercise and other stress-relieving, mindfulness practices into your daily routine. Consider journaling or meditation or taking a long walk around the neighborhood (properly distanced, of course) at the end of each day.

Above all, limit your intake of the news. Right now, it can be all too easy to get sucked into and consumed by the constant stream of updates, commentary, and health briefings which can make the personal threat seem larger and more immediate than it is right now. Limiting your daily dose of the news can help keep you properly informed while helping you maintain the perspective you need.

The Takeaway

As we contend with this “new normal,” it’s crucial that you take steps to protect yourself, physically, financially, and emotionally, from the particular threat this invisible enemy poses to seniors. Protecting your physical health means taking good care of yourself by getting good sleep and healthy exercise and by eating a nutritious diet. It also means practicing social distancing, wearing face masks when you’re in public, and being meticulous about your hygiene.

Now is also the time to protect your well-being in ways beyond the physical as well. Tabulating your long-term debt to assets ratio, for instance, can help ensure you’ll remain in good financial shape for the future, no matter what the pandemic might bring. However, your financial health won’t mean much if you’re in a constant battle with fear, anxiety, and loneliness. To protect your heart and mind, as well as your body, seek the support of friends, family, and mental healthcare providers to see you through these troubled times.

Posted in All Things Financial, Guest Blog Posts, Health, Housing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Survive Financially after Retiring from the Military

Karoline Gore

Out of 630,000 homeless people in the United States, approximately 67,495 are veterans and 30.2% of veterans are unemployed, according to the Military Wallet. After serving the military, life should be fun and fulfilling. But that’s not always the case for service members who are forced into early retirement due to lifelong injuries.

They may experience challenges such as poverty, lengthy periods of unemployment, disabilities, mental health issues, and home foreclosure. Fortunately, having flexibility in your retirement is still possible after leaving active duty earlier than planned.

Cut Fixed Expenses

Cutting down the cost of fixed expenses like food, clothing, transportation, insurance, and shelter is great for ensuring your funds last longer. For example, you can move to a smaller house to cut the cost of utilities, insurance, and tax. Also, consider moving to an affordable location.

Other ways you can cut expenses is by limiting to one car or use public transportation. Also, opt for less expensive life insurance cover, and commit to eating at home often.

Consolidate Debts with Personal Loans

Paying off debts and avoiding loans is one of the best tactics to attain financial independence after retirement. Unfortunately, you are likely to take loans to settle medical bills, mortgage, and buy food. Although loans offer some financial aid, the interest rates can be high. If you have bad credit, access to financing can be challenging. For these reasons, you may want to choose personal loans for veterans.

Despite having a bad credit score, personal loans for retired military personnel are easy to access. They also have flexible terms; for example, APRs range from 5.99% to 35.99% and a repayment term of 3-60 months based on the loan amount. The flexibility of these personal loans allows you to pay off old debts. That way, you can focus on repaying your loans at a lower interest rate.

Have a Travel Plan

Traveling during your early retirement for relaxation and sightseeing is therapeutic. However, aim for budget-friendly travel that will push your money farther. Whether you are going on vacation abroad or within the region, pick travel dates during off-peak seasons.

Find Streams of Income

While most veterans with injuries qualify for disability benefits, the payouts are not always sufficient for housing and other basic needs. As a result, they end up with accumulated debts. There are various part-time job opportunities for veterans looking for jobs to stay busy during retirement. It is also wise to invest in passive income. Renting out your home, blogging, and photography, for example, can help you bring in a passive income while you travel.

Creating a retirement budget that covers the cost of food, utility bills, transport, insurance, and shelter is essential. A financial plan prevents you from overspending your monthly income and retirement benefits. Hire a financial adviser that will help you choose the right savings and investment plans to support your monetary goals.

Posted in All Things Financial, Guest Blog Posts, Legal Matters, Travel Tips and Insight | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tips on How to Purchase a Home in an Active Adult Community

Q&A with a Reader

Been wanting to ask you for years……

I believe you have a “permanent residence” in Arizona.

Knowing how money conscious you are ( I am the queen of frugal ) do you have to pay steep HOAs on your modular home residence?

I had a serious health issue two years ago “Livin’ the dream” now but this has made my hubbie and I seriously look at how we can spend more time together.

While cutbacks in spending are a huge part of this equation, so is trimming down housing costs.

We have so learned this from being an avid reader (and fan!) of you both!

Keep rockin’ it. In spite of COVID you have done us all a great service!

Pam

Hi Pam,

Thank you so much for your kind words about our website! We appreciate it.

Our place is in an active adult community in the foothills of Arizona. Let me just say that there are literally dozens and dozens and dozens of these communities in the surrounding area and you probably will not have a problem finding a community that will suit you. You could even try New Mexico, Texas, or Florida.

Ours is small (350 sites?) and we chose this place years ago because it had a tennis instructor and we wanted to learn the game properly. We were blessed with this greatest guy to teach us…

But there are also communities that have 1,000 spots – some more and some less. The bigger the community, the more pools, community areas, and activities you will have. And I would imagine, the higher the HOA or “Lifestyle Fees” would be. But you also have a choice to purchase the land in some of these places (that means higher property taxes and insurance) or lease the land (which is what we do) and this gives us lower insurance rates and our property tax is based on our place being a vehicle, instead of a brick and mortar home — savings of thousands of dollars a year.

I would recommend going online, “virtually viewing” a few of these locations, and then go out there in person to see them. Then… when you have a location narrowed down, rent for a season to see if you like the community, the activities, where you are in relationship to shopping, theaters, professional ball games or what-have-you.

Then…

When you are ready to purchase, we would recommend that you purchase from an owner instead of through an agent. (This will also save you thousands of dollars).

If you go at the time the yearly “rent” or “Lifestyle Fees” are due, there will be units for sale by owners who might choose not to return to the area for any of a number of reasons. It might be they can’t afford it, it might be they are Canadian and have decided to spend their lives in Canada (for the healthcare), it might be because a spouse has died or is ill, and they cannot return to their place in AZ.

You can get a good price for their unit, because they would rather sell it than spend the $1,000s of dollars for the yearly fee if they are not returning.

Yes, it will be used, and yes, you might not be “in love” with their decor, but you will have saved so much money by

1) not purchasing the land

2) not going through an agent, and

3) buying at the time when rent is due

Then you can realistically purchase whatever bed, couch or curtains you want to make the place yours.

Another benefit to having the place used, is that it will be completely furnished. Our used unit came with EVERYTHING including pots, pans, glassware, hammers, nails, light bulbs, sheets, towels, mops, brooms, bleach, laundry detergent, TV, stereo, … you name it. Again, it might not be your perfect style, but you will have saved a lot of money by not having to furnish the place completely from scratch. If you have doubles of things, just give them away to a senior home, church, orphanage, school or a charity.

Take a look at this piece, Worry Free Housing if you haven’t already.

Please feel free to ask us any other questions. We hope you find this information to be useful.

Again, thank you for your very kind words about our website.

We are thrilled that you have overcome your health issue and that you have many years ahead of you to enjoy your life with your husband and family.

Sending you our very, very best.

Akaisha and Billy

Posted in About us, All Things Financial, Heart Song, Housing, Legal Matters, Q & A From our Readers, Travel Tips and Insight | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Improving Life as You Age

Jane Brown

As we all age, we find that life can become a little bit harder. The things that we once used to take for granted are now something to be appreciated. As seniors age, they may have a harder time doing the things that they once did with ease. While many seniors may never admit that they need help, there are many things that we can do to help our loved ones.

When the ones we love age, they start to have a harder time getting around. Their mobility may start to decrease and their manual dexterity may also decline. Our loved ones may also experience more trips and falls which can cause us to worry a lot about their safety and security. They may also experience forgetfulness and memory loss. While these things are a common part of aging, we can help reduce the appearance of these things and make life easier. Here are some things that can benefit seniors as they age.

#1) Senior Living

One of the best ways for seniors to improve their quality of life and have more fun as they age is to enter a senior living community. Select Senior Communities can help find independent care, assisted living, or memory care for your loved one. These communities can give a senior just what they need. They also offer social gatherings and trips that allow them to engage their minds and stay active.

#2) Power Wheelchairs

As the ability to walk and move around gets harder with age, many people may find themselves staying home. Staying home and isolated from the ones you love is not a good idea because that can lead to dangerous health problems like dementia or memory loss. Staying active and getting out, even if you need a wheelchair, is best for your health. If your loved one does not want to feel dependent on others, you can get them a power wheelchair so that they can move freely wherever they want.

#3) Hearing Aids

Another necessary item a senior might need is a hearing aid. As we age, our ears do not work as efficiently as they did in the past. It can be embarrassing when you cannot hear what people are saying to you. To help keep the ones you love confident and happy, you can get them a pair of hearing aids to help them hear everything that is going on around them.

#4) Personal Alarms

One of the best tools that you can get your loved ones is a personal alarm or a medical alert button. These alarms can stay on your loved one all hours of the day and they can facilitate getting immediate help. They often have a small monitoring fee, but it gives them direct communication with emergency responders if they do need help. This can provide your loved one and you with peace of mind.

#5) Gym Memberships

While this may seem like a strange gift to get a senior, it is ideal for many of them. Find a gym that offers senior classes or low impact exercise opportunities such as water aerobics. This class will not only get your senior exercising, but it will also give them an opportunity to bond and make friends with others.

#6) Food Delivery

Cooking your own food and driving to the store to get your own food can be a challenge, especially as you age. Getting the ones you love a food delivery plan can help them eat healthily and worry less about their plans on how to get food. It can provide them with healthy dishes that they can enjoy without all the work.

#7) Vacation

One of the best things you can do for seniors is to give them a vacation. All seniors want to feel young again, and, if they are able, you should give them a vacation that they can enjoy. Depending on the person, you can let them join in on a family vacation or get them their own trip with other seniors. This will improve their happiness and overall view of the world.

These things can all help the ones we love age much more gracefully. As their lives become more difficult, these small tools and ideas can help brighten their day.

Posted in Adding Pizzazz to Your Life, All Things Financial, Guest Blog Posts, Health, Housing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How Investing in Property Can Increase Your Retirement Fund

Olivia Hanlon

Many people are turning towards investing in property rather than saving in a pension pot. This is especially true for people who have a significant amount of savings and don’t want these simply collecting dust in a bank account. However, some people decide to invest in property whilst also having a pension pot and simultaneously get prepared for their retirement. Whatever option you choose, there are various benefits to investing in property to increase your retirement fund.

You’re able to start putting into a pension pot from the age of 22 or sooner if you wish to be enrolled as early as possible. However, while the return on pensions can be great if you’re on a regular salary, anyone who has extra cash may want to consider the other options that could end up more lucrative for them in the long-term. After all, when you retire, it would be ideal to have a monthly income you could depend on, and a property, for example, could provide this income for you. Alternatively, you could sell your investment when it comes to retiring and have a lump sum of money to travel with and enjoy. The choices are endless, but first, you have to decide what is best for you.

To help you get started deciding whether investing to increase your retirement fund is worth your time, we have listed some things to consider and how to be successful, ensuring you invest in the best places and get a huge return on your initial investment.

  • You can save monthly rent

If you invest in a buy to let opportunity, then you can use the monthly rental income to save up and add to your pension pot when you’re ready. You could potentially even create a private pension pot separate from your employer one where you can earn interest on your savings. For example, a lifetime ISA is available to those up to the age of 40 and gives individuals the chance to save up £4,000 a year and earn £1,000 interest bonus on this. Ultimately this means you could put your monthly rental income you’re acquiring from tenants into the ISA which will then be ready to withdraw when you retire. Plus, you will also have the ability to sell on or pass down the property you own and make even more money.

  • Research the best areas to invest for maximum returns

Anyone who is investing in property to increase their retirement fund will need to make sure they’re successful with multiple (or just one) investments so they can reap the financial rewards when they finally retire. Therefore, before investing in property, you must research the best places to invest that will allow your property to gain capital appreciation over time and end up being worth a lot more than you bought it for. Off-plan developments are ideal for investors who want properties for below-market value prices and still want to feel secure in their investment choice. RWinvest is a property company who specializes in both residential and student properties, and they recommend investors look towards the north-west of the UK for the most lucrative returns. Cities like Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester are all in their recommendations for anyone struggling to decide on a city they want to put their money into through property.

  • Selling your property for maximum returns

If you’re savvy enough to have invested in an area and property that encounters high capital growth, then you will be able to sell it when you retire and have a sum lump to do whatever you wish with. In the next four years, it is predicted that property prices in the north-west (specifically) will increase by 24% so imagine how much more growth there will be between you investing now and then selling the property in one or two decades.

Posted in All Things Financial | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Watch Your Income Increase with Four Money Management Options

Jane Brown

Saving money is probably something that most adults today wish they had started doing earlier. Many young people with little to no expenses often forget that one day they will have to put more money towards bills than they get to put towards recreation. This not only applies to youth but also for adults who have trouble saving enough money.

In order to start truly living the life you want, you have to understand the importance of:

  1. Having a savings account
  2. Having a budget
  3. Setting clear goals for yourself
  4. Investing in a CD

Having a savings account

While young people may be more invested in saving up for a new outfit or cellphone, adults face a lot of expenses that they have to save up for. For example, if you just recently bought a house and are going through a renovation that calls for French doors, you may have to save up to cover the cost.

Living the life you want doesn’t have to be a difficult task when you choose to save early on before you need the money. Most adults who have the privilege to purchase a home have access to money through their personal savings accounts. Many people have these, but the value of savings accounts, in the long run, shouldn’t be understated. Living paycheck to paycheck is a surefire way to not have enough money to make that next big move that might involve buying a house or an emergency that comes up.

Having a budget

With all of the pictures we see of celebrities showing off their new cars and expensive clothes, setting a budget may seem like no fun. However, budgeting is very helpful for managing money in a smart way. If you find yourself in need of more money, more often then not, you most likely aren’t doing a very good job budgeting.

There are multiple ways you could go about spending your money. If you’re doing it right, you will come out on top. Some of the best people who really know how to budget understand the concept of doing something or buying something at a reasonable price. For example, if you have a goal of having enough money to travel frequently, you may find that learning how to travel for less could save you a lot of money to put aside. The best thing about budgeting is that you don’t have to conform, but you are able to save money that you really don’t have to spend.

Setting clear goals for yourself

In order to reach your financial goals, it is imperative that you set reasonable, clear goals for yourself. If you aren’t creating expectations for what you want, it will be hard to tell if you have made any progress in your financial journey. Not only that, but you will not have a clear mind as to what you need to do to reach that next milestone. If your goal is to earn more income, you may have to change the way you use your time. You may have to set aside more hours to work remotely or pick up another job to work during your free time. Goals are extremely important, not only to motivate you to take action, but also to help you move the needle in your financial life.

Investing in a CD

One last thing you can do to manage your money in a smart way is to consider investing your money into a CD (certificate of deposit). This is essentially a high-interest savings account that you can use if you just want to put your money in and watch it grow rather than taking it out in the long-term. CDs are meant to work in the long-term and can have strict rules on when you can access the money that is stored away. According to Business Insider, the best way to save your hard-earned money is to place it somewhere that has high interest like a CD. Overall, this is a smart option for someone really wanting to see their money grow in the long-term and can afford to put it away in limited liquidity.

Posted in All Things Financial, Guest Blog Posts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment