Weighing the Pros and Cons: What You Need to Know About Retiring Abroad

Amanda Greenberg

Adults who’ve spent the majority of their lives hunched over an ergonomic keyboard crave the obligation-free days of retirement. Besides allowing you to settle into your golden years and recover from the wear-and-tear of corporate living, retirement can swing open the door for new experiences, fuller relationships, and a new-and-improved, self-care-oriented mindset.

Many folks who have already retired often remark on the joys that follow when work is no longer the top priority. You can focus truly on yourself and carve out more time for loved ones. For those with an irrational fear of free time, you may be on the hunt for an exhilarating new challenge or hobby to fill your freed-up days. If this is the case, retirement could be the perfect opportunity to treat yourself to the global adventures you cast aside to advance your career. 

For many folks who choose to travel after they retire, the consensus is that charting unfamiliar territory keeps senior citizens on their toes. Not to mention, retirees who travel, especially as a part of a group or with their families, can combat the isolation that many seniors fear will set in once the regular human connections at work are no longer there.

Some retirees, however, are making plans beyond a weeks-long vacation. Many folks are dedicating their retirement to overseas relocations. With an increasing number of folks setting their sights abroad, hordes of retirees have migrated to tropical (and senior-friendly destinations) like Medellin, Colombia, Bilbao, Spain, Panama, Malaysia, and Mexico. Why relocate? For starters, ex-pats who retire to international locations can flee icy-cold temperatures and enjoy relatively low living costs compared to the U.S. 

If you are on the fence about retiring abroad, this list will walk you through some pros and cons to help you decide if this type of retirement adventure is right for you.

Cons

The lengthy moving-overseas checklist

Up and moving to a different country is not as simple as obtaining a passport and finding a place to stay. With an international move, you’ll need to take even more steps than you would if you were relocating within the states. For example, you’ll want to update any vaccinations, create a healthcare plan, and make sure your finances are in order before you ship out. 

Additionally, you’ll need to plan your packing list very meticulously. You perhaps may not want to ship a container of all your old furniture to your new condo in the tropics. But, depending on the transportation situation in your new location, you may need to move your vehicle with you. To accomplish this, you’ll need to plan and schedule your auto transportation via providers like Guardian Auto Transport.( www.guardianautotransport.com )

Potential language barrier

For many retirees in the process of choosing a location in which to retire, the prospect of learning a new language can intimidate even the most confident travelers. While some seniors may scout out loopholes to learning a second language, your English will only get you so far—unless you set up camp in a tourist destination. 

However, many expats will tell you that learning the language native to the place you move to will not only make your day-to-day life easier but will help you gain acceptance with locals and make you an overall better neighbor. 

Moving away from friends and family

If you are an individual who relies on family and friends’ in-person support, retiring abroad may be emotionally wearing. Depending on where you decide to relocate, seeing folks from back home in person may become a costly and lengthy journey for yourself or those who come to visit. For those who are concerned, technology like FaceTime and Skype are helpful in this arena. 

However, if you find yourself with very few things tying you down to the US, moving abroad could be the nudge you’ve needed to kickstart your new adventure. 

Pros

Lower cost of living

Retiring overseas can help you attain more valuable life lessons and spend less in life post-career. In many countries, particularly in Latin America, average living costs are significantly lower in countries outside of the US. 

You could easily live on $2000 a month. As such, your retirement savings and Social Security pension will stretch a lot farther, leaving you to enjoy prime housing locations, delicious local food, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences to be had while exploring your new home. 

High quality and affordable healthcare

Many retirees are concerned about the state of healthcare should they decide to move abroad. However, any lingering concerns over the quality of care you’ll receive abroad aren’t rooted in reality. Many expats say that the government-run healthcare systems in other countries provide quality care without the cost or stress that many folks experience when navigating the US healthcare system.  

Freedom of choice

Retirees who choose to spend their days abroad can reward their years of hard work with an enhanced sense of freedom and adventure. When sunbathing within walking distance of tropical waters, you no longer have to worry about a monotonous life spent at home. Instead, you’ll be able to dip your toes in the foreign cultures, languages, and traditions that present themselves when living overseas. 

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Should You Get a Cosigner for a Debt Consolidation Loan?

Amara Etter

Carrying debts is burdensome for a few reasons, namely that debt is a hassle and it tends to be quite expensive. Many borrowers see whatever balance they originally borrowed grow and grow thanks to interest that just keeps compounding — meaning it often takes longer and is more expensive than originally anticipated to eliminate each debt.

Taking out a debt consolidation loan is one solution to make tackling debt simpler and less costly. However, there are a few things to know about debt consolidation loans before taking one on — like how they work and what it means to add a cosigner to the loan.

How Debt Consolidation Loans Work

It may seem counterintuitive to take on new debt to pay off old debt, but there is a method to what seems like madness at first glance. Borrowers with credit ratings in the ranges of good to excellent — like a 670 or higher on the FICO scale — can often qualify for loans at lower interest rates than they’re paying on credit card balances, as credit cards come with notoriously high average interest rates.

Put simply: If you can qualify for a debt consolidation loan at 10 percent APR, it’s generally less expensive to pay this back than it is to juggle credit card debts with 15-25 percent APR. As an added bonus, it’s usually easier to keep track of making a single loan payment to a single lender at a certain APR than it is to manage multiple credit accounts across multiple issuers, each with its own terms and APR.

Debt consolidation can help people simplify their approach to retiring obligations, but it’s not a magic solution guaranteed to help. For instance, personal loans with long loan terms may result in borrowers having to pay more in interest over time — even if the loan does in fact have a lower APR than the credit card balances. It’s all about doing the math ahead of time to ensure it’s the best time for debt consolidation for you.

Another potential pitfall of consolidation loans is they make it tempting to accrue new credit card debt after seeing that number drop to zero. Basically, consolidation loans can bestow a false sense of being “debt free,” when really it’s very important to budget for loan repayment and avoid racking up new debt in the meantime. The potential downfall here is that borrowers may find themselves in even deeper debt if they take on a consolidation debt and run up their credit card balances once again.

Pros and Cons of Using a Cosigner

Say a borrower believes a debt consolidation loan would help them escape their credit card debt more efficiently — but doesn’t have the strong credit score necessary to qualify for the lowest rates available.

Having someone with strong credit cosign the loan is one possible workaround here. A cosigner agrees to pay the loan if you default, so lenders are more likely to approve applications with cosigners if a primary borrower’s credit isn’t convincing enough on its own.

The cosigner is accepting a lot of risk, as they’re on the hook for the full amount if the first borrower can’t make payments. This means there needs to be a high degree of trust and accountability.

Cosigners can expect the loan to show up on their credit report, too, which means it affects their credit utilization and debt-to-income ratio. This might make it trickier for them to get approved for their own lines of credit until the consolidation loan is paid off.

Adding a cosigner on a consolidation loan is a possible way to get approved if your credit score isn’t strong, but it’s very important for everyone involved to know the risks before agreeing.

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The Benefits of Buying Real Estate in a Tourist Town

Alessia Olsen

Whether you are buying your second home or vacation property, buying real estate in a tourist town is one of the smartest investments you can ever make. Over the past years, real estate properties in tourist towns and cities have increasingly become popular.

As a result, these towns’ property prices have shot up and continue to grow steadily, making them a very good investment. For instance, homes for sale in Surfside Beach, SC, have casually increased in value, and the prices are expected to double in the coming five years.

These properties range from villas to condos and everything in between. Although buying a property in a tourist town can be an expensive affair, it always proves to be a worthy investment in the long run.

For starters, having a beach house would mean that you can spend your holiday without having to worry about accommodation. At the same time, you can accumulate the right amount of income whenever you decide to rent your property. Read now.

Here is a list of more benefits you can expect from buying a real estate property in a tourist town.

High Resale Value

When it comes to tourist towns, locations such as Surfside Beach, tend to give you good value for your money when it comes to real estate properties.

It’s essential to keep in mind that although the ocean and seawater in such vicinities may not be scarce, finding a waterfront property may be challenging. Land in tourist towns is usually limited, making properties edgy and highly desirable properties.

In light of this, you can expect the price of such properties to increase each year with more and more buyers always trying to buy out any willing sellers.

Buying a real estate property in a tourist town can translate to massive returns once you decide to sell your property especially if you choose to maintain your property to the best possible standards.

Charming Environment

Today’s vast majority of homeowners prioritize general living experience instead of material things, and a property in a tourist tow offers precisely that. Homes for sale in Surfside Beach offer a relaxed way to escape the chaos that characterizes city streets to the charming serenity of ocean waves and sunny beaches.

As mentioned above, many people prioritize experience over material things when buying a home. Getting your hands on a property in a tourist town is a decision that will not only make you happy, but your family will also grow in a lovely location.

You cannot dispute how magical it is spending time with your family and loved ones on a beach! The tranquility of waking up to the sun reflecting on the seawater against a backdrop of the blue sky is unmatched.

Great Tax Benefits

One of the best reasons for investing in tourist towns such as Surfside Beach is the tax exemptions. Most tourist destinations have several tax exemptions, with the biggest beneficiaries being real estate property owners.

For instance, rental income is not subject to self-employment tax in many tourist towns. This means that you and the person renting your property won’t suffer from stiff rental income taxation.

Additionally, most local governments often give tax breaks depending on property valuation, travel expenses, maintenance expenses, and insurance. So the more you invest in your property, the lower the tax rates for all your investments in the long run.

Long Term Financial Security

Like any other investment property, buying real estate in a tourist town comes with long term investment security. Ideally, when you decide to rent your property, you will have a steady cash flow which will, in turn, translate to more significant financial rewards in the long run.

There’s also the fact that real estate especially in a tourist town will always be on the upwards in terms of property value. However, while there’s every likelihood that your property will always appreciate over time, it’s worth noting that there is no guarantee that the value will increase indefinitely.

Depending on the location you choose, different factors, such as natural disasters, can tarnish the inclining trend of your property’s value.

Recreation and Amenities

Whether you enjoy golfing, spa visits, skiing, or spending time on the beach, you should consider buying a property in a tourist town. This way, you will have a lot of time to access such world-class amenities depending on the tourist town you decide to buy real estate property in.

If you’re an outdoors enthusiast, getting a load of the amenities available can take quite some time. But if you decide to own a real estate property in a tourist town, you will have ample time to indulge in the activities you enjoy so much.

You won’t feel pressured to squeeze all these activities into a one or two-week experience. This is mainly because you won’t be competing with other tourists who choose the best times of the year to visit your location and hog everything that’s fun around.

More Shopping and Entertainment Options

Tourist towns are usually made up of shops that offer everything from expensive products to cheap, locally made products. These towns also consist of fantastic restaurants and nightclubs that provide different experiences to tourists. A lot of tourist towns also tend to have several cultural festivals and events that can be both educational and fun-filled.

You can have access to all of these enjoyable experiences if you chose to buy property in a tourist town.

Consider Homes for Sale Surfside Beach SC

Owning real estate property in a tourist town comes with an array of benefits. Apart from enjoying life in a financially favorable environment and interacting with new people every time, you get to enjoy financial rewards if you choose to rent it out or sell later after the property value has appreciated.

However, owning property in a busy area with lots of tourist traffic is not all roses and sunshine. You also have to consider that the houses in such areas are often very pricey. The cost of living too is not for the faint-pocketed.

Make sure you take the time and look into an area before committing to anything and analyze its pros and cons.

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Things to Consider When Retiring Early with Children

Sam Bowman

Image source: Unsplash

The average retirement age in the U.S. remains 64. But, more people are trying to retire early to enjoy their ‘golden years.’ There is something liberating and freeing about early retirement, and there are many benefits.

But, if you have children still in your home, retiring early may not be as easy as it would be if your children were grown and you were an empty-nester. On one hand, your children can actually help you retire earlier. Children provide a sense of urgency in the best way possible. You might want to spend more time with them, and make sure you’re there for every aspect of their upbringing.

On the other hand? Children are expensive. According to the USDA, it costs over $233,000 to raise a child. That includes everything from food and clothing to education and housing.

Retiring early when you have children can help you to make the most of your time with your kids and avoid the shock of empty nest syndrome later by staying positive. But, it’s important to make sure you can afford it. Let’s look at a few things you should consider before deciding to retire early.

The Cost of Raising a Child

To retire at any age, one of the most important things to consider is how you’re going to afford cost of living for the rest of your life. Again, children are expensive, and not just when they’re young. As your children grow, expenses can come in the form of:

  • Fundraisers for school
  • Sports
  • Arts
  • Trips for school or extracurriculars

As your children become teenagers and graduate from high school, you might also have to think about the cost of college. College savings accounts and financial aid are both options that can save you money and get your college student the tuition funding they need. But, oftentimes parents have to either take out a loan on their own or co-sign for their teenager’s private loan to fully finance tuition.

In most cases, you don’t have to start paying on these loans until your student graduates. But, the interest keeps rolling from the moment the loan is approved, and it can end up cost thousands of dollars over the years.

What You Want Your Life to Look Like

If you plan on retiring early with children, think about what you want your life to look like now, and in the future. What will you gain by retiring early? Some of the biggest benefits most retirees consider include:

  • The opportunity to travel
  • Health benefits
  • More time with family
  • New opportunities

But, one of the biggest ‘cons’ is constantly stressing about money and whether you’ll have enough to lead the lifestyle you truly want. It’s admirable and loving to want to retire to spend more time with your children. But, it’s also important to think about the literal cost of leaving early.

Don’t let that deter you from retiring early if it’s what you really want. There are ways to live the lifestyle you want after early retirement and still spend time with your family. It’s a great time to consider a new business venture on your own or a ‘side hustle’ that allows you to make money doing something you love. Retirement doesn’t mean you have to give up on making money. There are plenty of ways to do it without working a full-time job. If your passion or side gig is important or innovative, you might even qualify for some type of assistance or grant to help you.

So, consider what you want your life to be and what you want to accomplish through early retirement. Retiring early allows you to do more of the things you want, and that could include being quite successful while still raising children.

What to Do When Your Children Are Grown

We touched briefly on empty nest syndrome above. But, it can be a real problem for parents who aren’t sure what to do when their children are grown and end up leaving the house. That can be a consideration you make when you decide to retire early. Retiring later in life might mean missing out on some of your child’s activities when they’re young. It could also make you feel less attached to your partner or spouse because you spent so many years working. So, if you were to retire at an older age and your kids are grown, that empty feeling could be even worse.

If you’re thinking about early retirement, you’re probably focused on the here and now, not 10 years from now. But, take into consideration what your future might look like once your children are grown. Will you still be able to afford the lifestyle you want from retiring early? What will you do with your time? Will it have been worth it to leave your job early to spend more time with your family?

Early retirement is almost always a personal choice. But, it becomes even more personal when children are involved. Keep these considerations in mind if you’re toying with the idea. If you can manage your finances and ensure that you can afford the cost of raising a child while having enough left over to enjoy your retirement years, you will never regret being there more often for your family while your children are young.

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Divorce, Drug Abuse & Prevention

Anne Davis

Unfortunately, things will happen in your life that will stand between you and your happily ever after. Nobody marries thinking that they will end up as part of the statistic that at least half of all marriages end in divorce. Although there are several different reasons marriages end, that doesn’t make dealing with your own divorce any less stressful. 

Some marriages are never quite “right” and it’s just a matter of time before you and your partner decide divorcing is the best option. Other marriages dissolve due to different issues, such as adultery, abuse, or poor quality of life. If you’ve previously had or currently have issues with drug abuse, that certainly compounds concerns in the divorce. 

When it comes to recognizing that you have an issue with substance abuse, it’s important to seek out trusted addiction treatment in southern California. Getting help before things get too far out of hand will make getting your life back in order that much easier. 

Prevention

There are things you can do to prevent drug addiction from becoming an issue. Regardless of genetic predisposition or environmental factors, being aware of preventive measures can help you stop addiction before it starts. 

Don’t let stress get the best of you. It’s when stress overwhelms you that seeking comfort in drugs is more likely. That supposed comfort couldn’t be any more misplaced. Hiding from your problems, or worse, altering your reality so that you aren’t dealing with them, doesn’t get rid of stress, it adds to it. Instead, find healthy ways to deal with the stressful things in your life. Learn how to meditate, take up exercise, or find activities that relax you. These types of activities will keep stress from taking over. 

Talk to a Professional

Sometimes life’s lows can feel lower than usual. If you have a feeling of doom that doesn’t go away, it’s time to talk to your doctor. Even if prescription medicines aren’t something you’re interested in to help you with your depression or anxiety, your family doctor can refer you to speak with a therapist or counselor. Being able to get advice from an independent, unbiased professional, and learning how to share your concerns and learn how to deal with them is priceless.

Be Happy

Make sure your schedule allows you to have “me time” to do things you truly enjoy. It doesn’t matter if you enjoy walking, reading, or alphabetizing your movie collection; the important thing is to make sure you are taking the time to enjoy the things you like to do.  By staying happy and keeping depression at bay, you lower your likeliness to turn to drugs to escape your unhappiness. 

Predisposition

There is a genetic link that shows that if you have family members that have had addiction issues, there is a strong chance you are predisposed to also have addiction issues. Make sure you understand your family’s history so you can avoid pitfalls your relatives may not have. 

Complicating Divorce

Going through a divorce is a stressful and turbulent time. If either you or your separating spouse has issues with drug or alcohol addiction, it can certainly compound and complicate the process. If you have children and are trying to figure out what is in their best interests, struggling with sobriety dampens your ability to take care of them. 

Raising children is demanding; trying to shift the responsibilities to a co-parenting agreement between divorcing parents is difficult enough. Trying to figure out if your children are safe with a parent with dependency issues is nearly unbearable. Even if drug addiction problems contributed to the breakdown of your marriage, it doesn’t also have to stand between you and your children. 

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How to find the lowest personal loan rates

Samantha Waites

The interest rate you pay on the loan is the single biggest determinant of how much you pay over the life of the loan. Late fees and roll-over or refinance fees are secondary, though a higher interest rate on the loan could force you to pay those fees because you can’t afford the monthly payments. The question for most consumers is: how can I find the online personal loan with the lowest rates?

Know Your Risk Profile and How Lenders Respond to It

Your credit score is probably the most popular borrower risk profile measurement. The higher your score, the lower the interest rate lenders offer. The inverse is also true. Unfortunately, many online lenders use automated underwriting. If your credit score is too low, they’ll reject your application. This cut-off point varies from lender to lender. It may be in the fine print. Don’t bother applying if they’re up front about rejecting your application on that basis.

A different issue is how they gauge the risk of loaning money to you, and this can require some research. For example, lenders use different thresholds to separate bad credit from fair credit or fair credit from good credit. You might be offered a lower interest rate at a different lender because your credit score is in the “better” category with that lender than others. You could use online lending portals that let you compare lenders to find out what credit score they use as this cut-off point.

Shop Around

We shouldn’t need to say this, but the best way to find a loan with lowest personal loan rates is to shop around. Too many people apply with their current lender for a loan and assume that they’re getting the best rates due to their existing business relationship.

Shopping around has a number of benefits. You may find a lender with a much lower interest rate. You’ll learn what most lenders consider a reasonable interest rate for a client with your credit. You’ll understand what terms and conditions are standard and which are out of the ordinary, be it an application fee or a high late fee. And if you decide to go back to your current bank or credit union, you can use that information to argue for a lower interest rate. This doesn’t mean you’ll get it, but you have no negotiating room if you don’t like what they offer and have no other choices. And if you know you have options, you have the ability to walk away from the negotiating table and go somewhere else.

If you’re going to be applying for a loan with a given lender, go ahead and shop around, too. You may find that they offer a lower interest rate to consumers going through an online portal than what they offer you when you apply via their home page.

 Know How to Lower Your Risk Profile

The interest rate lenders charge is partially profit, but it also has to offset the losses caused by those who don’t repay their loan on time or in full. They will try to mitigate the risk by charging a higher interest rate to those who are higher risk. You could get a lower interest rate by lowering your risk profile. There are a number of ways of doing this, though many aren’t an option if you’re staring at the online loan application right now.

For example, ensuring that your bills are paid on time and in full for several months will result in a lower interest rate quote on a car loan or mortgage than if you were late last month. Making debt repayment a priority so that your debt-to-income ratio is lower could result in a lower interest rate offered by auto and mortgage lenders, too. But what can you do when you’re about to apply for an online loan right now?

Lenders sometimes give you a lower interest rate if you can improve the odds they’ll be paid on time. For example, you might get a lower interest rate if they can automatically withdraw the monthly payment from a verified checking account instead of trusting you to send them the payment. A side benefit of automating payments is that you won’t be hit with late fees or other penalties, as long as there is enough money in the account to cover the draft.

Another way to lower your risk profile is to get a co-signer. That is someone who promises to pay the bill if you don’t or can’t pay it. Note that it is illegal to add someone’s name and contact information to a loan as a co-signer without their permission. And there is relatively little benefit to adding someone as a co-signer if they have bad credit, too.

On the other hand, there are mistakes you may make that can increase your risk profile right before you apply for a loan. For example, applying for several loans in a short time period can raise red flags with lenders. They may not know how much you asked for, but they will see that you’ve had a lot of hits on your credit report. You could get rejected if you accidentally submit multiple loan requests to the same lender. This could happen simply by hitting submit several times instead of waiting for the application to go through and/or waiting for them to finish processing it.

Don’t Be Afraid to Refinance

Refinancing loans can lower your payments when you qualify for a lower interest rate. Debt consolidation with a new lender can result in both a lower interest rate and a lower risk profile. For example, if you consolidate four loans into a new loan at a slightly lower (average) interest rate, you won’t miss one of the four payments and get hit with a late fee. If you’re making that one payment on time every month, your risk profile goes up. And if the new payment is lower than the total payments you were making, you have more financial margin every month. We’re not saying that you should refinance your loans and then use the extra 100 dollars a month to buy something else on credit. However, refinancing existing debts could end up improving your risk profile, saving you money, and eventually making you a better prospective customer to future lenders.

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How to Plan a Remodel in 5 Steps

Cormac Reynolds

  1. Develop a Detailed Plan for the Home Improvement Project

The first step in a remodeling project is building a plan clearly stating the goal for the renovation and usually includes designing inspiration along with a work outline.

The project plan also needs to include the following:

–           A list of wants and needs for the project

–           Sketches or blueprints of the finished project

–           Project steps divided into steps requiring professional intervention and DIY steps

You should also investigate the local planning permission at this point in planning a home renovation.

If you will be completing a project that’s likely to change the structure of the home or the use of a room, then a permit will most likely be required. Wait to apply for permits until when you hire a team and come up with a timeline for the project.

When to Begin: 6 – 12 months prior to the start of the project

  1. Set a Budget for the Project

Determining your budget and financing is the next step when planning a home renovation. The budget needs to include the costs for building materials and permits, labor costs, along with the cost of cosmetic touches or decorations.

To build the budget:

–           Decide on the amount of money you are willing to spend and finalize financing. Set aside at least 10 percent of the budget for unexpected costs.

–           Price out all materials required for the project

–           Ask professionals for cost estimates

If the cost estimates don’t fit in the budget, use the home improvement project plan from the first step to eliminate lower priority project elements. To find the ideal option for the budget, request cost estimates from several different contractors.

When to Begin: 3 – 6 months prior to the start of the project

  1. Hire Contractors

The next step in your home project planning is to hire your team. Refrain from hiring contractors based solely on the cost estimates. When you interview and select contractors, it is also important to consider the following:

–           Certificate of insurance: The contractor should have liability insurance for the kind of work they do as well as workers’ compensation.

–           Years of experience: A contractor that has been in the business for longer is a safer bet than one that’s new to the business.

–           Payment schedule: Reputable contractors don’ ask you to pay the full price upfront, and the Better Business Bureau advises against it. Still, it is important to discuss payment terms before construction starts. In some instances, it is better to spend a little bit more to get someone that you are comfortable working with.

–           Contracting License: Ensure that the contractor has gone through all the steps required to obtain the relevant certifications specific to their line of work.

Use the checklist above when hiring contractors to complete the process.

If you will be hiring multiple contractors for the project, determine who will be in charge prior to commencement of the project to avoid slowdown or confusion later.

If you will be completing a DIY project you need to ensure that you have the necessary support and expertise needed to complete the job without hired help, including confirming the assistance of family and/or friends once the project begins.

When to Begin: 2 – 3 months prior to the start date.

  1. Build a Timeline

Once you have the budget and team in place for the remodeling plan, you should now put together your timeline. The first step here is to identify a suitable start date. Next, sit down with the contractors to determine the amount of time each portion of the project is likely to take. Discuss the steps of the remodel that have to be finished first, the amount of time they are likely to taken and which project portions can be successfully completed concurrently.

You should also ensure that the timeline:

–           Includes time for cleaning out the project area

–           Accounts for holidays that your contractors may take off

–           Allows for the shipping and delivery of materials

Use a calendar to mark out every step of the project. Choose a completion date that’s inclusive a few days’ worth of wiggle room in case of unexpected issues. Confirm with team members or contractors that it is a realistic timeline that also keeps you within budget.

When to Begin: 1 – 3 months prior to the start date.

  1. Pack Up and Prepare for the Renovation

Now that the home project planning is close to the end, you need to prepare the space and make plans to avoid using the room while construction is underway.

Whether or not you can live in the house while construction is underway will depend on the work being done. If you plan to have major work done to the kitchen, you should build a temporary place for cooking and eating and remove all the dishes and minor appliances. If you are renovating the master bedroom, make new sleeping agreements and find a place for storing the furniture like container storage. You might need to move out completely for a relatively short amount of time if you plan a whole house renovation.

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What Are Most Common Grounds for Divorce?

Martin William

Sometimes in life, some things just do not work out the way we initially planned. Unfortunately, one of those things is marriage. Sometimes relationships between people change, and at other times they never worked to begin with.

If you have never been through a divorce before, it can sometimes be challenging to know what most people file for divorce. By exploring the main reasons behind most divorces, you will improve your marriage actively in those areas. Or, if your relationship is already too far gone, it can be helpful to know that many other people have gone through the same challenges you are now. This article will seek to outline a few of the most common grounds for divorce.

Adultery

Sometimes, people are unable to control themselves or feel unsatisfied with their relationship and, consequently, start seeing other people. Cheating, or adultery, is one of the most common reasons for divorce. Events like this can often be the ‘last straw’ in a long and ongoing struggle with your spouse. If you catch your spouse cheating, then that is certainly grounds for divorce.

Poor Quality of Life

Another one of the most common grounds for divorce is due to a loss of quality of life for no reason or because of your partner. Unfortunately, sometimes our lifestyles clash with other’s, and the best course of action is to go your separate ways. If your spouse is responsible for your life becoming much poorer quality, then this can be grounds for divorce. Experts discuss how a divorce lawyer can help you get more informed on the types of grounds for divorce. An example of this situation includes if your spouse was consistently making your home a huge mess and refusing to clean up after themselves. There are many different ways that someone can make your quality of life lower, so be sure to research if you are unsure about anything.

Domestic Violence

Unfortunately, an extremely common reason for divorce is domestic violence. This type of reason for divorce is one of the most heinous, and also one which should give you a sense of urgency to leave the relationship. Domestic violence is a problem, even in many developed countries. Some organizations have set up shelters for women trying to leave an abusive relationship to help provide a safe transitionary location for a temporary period of time. This can be extremely helpful to many people, and in many cases can also help to get children and pets away from abusive partners as well.

Hopefully, this article has been helpful and informative regarding the different most common grounds for divorce. Getting divorced is never an enjoyable thing, but that does not mean that it can’t be easy and civil. By recognizing that many people get divorced every year, then you will be able to feel a little bit better about it not working out. Sometimes if you really love something you need to let it go. Other times you just realize you don’t love someone and that you need to continue living your own life.

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Ways to Make the World a Better Place for Your Grandkids

Anne Davis

The thought of making the world a better place can be daunting. However, if everyone simply did a single thing to make a difference, generosity, social responsibility, and untold acts of kindness would be happening – and that could be just what it takes to alter the world. 

What if making the world a better place could be done simply by making one small change? To that end, here’s a quick look at a few ways to leave the world better than when we found it for our children and grandchildren.

Sustainable Flossing

We all floss, right? At least, we’re supposed to. Why not do it more sustainably by using silk floss? Not only is the floss made from a material that’s 100% compostable, but the tube it comes in is also made from glass that’s recyclable. Using a product without the plastic floss and container means that even something as simple as flossing can be making the earth a better place. You can find sustainable floss and other products at any online Zero Waste store.

The Gift of Advice

We could all get some good things from the memories and advice of our forefathers. Give this gift to your children and grandchildren in the form of a legacy journal. Not only will you be passing down family stories and memories, but you’ll also be giving them life advice at the same time. Just think, if everyone did that, how much better could the world be?

Volunteer

Volunteering at a local school can also make a vast difference. Whether or not you have a child or grandchild in school, they’re the future of this world, as we all know. Spending a bit of time assisting them with reaching their total potential by taking part in one of their after-school programs, mentoring, or tutoring can go a long way towards improving the world of tomorrow.

Teaching Respect

Teach your kids to respect each other and our fellow man. Allow them the opportunity to consciously realize that each homeless person they see is, in fact, a human being. Through circumstances beyond their own control or even through the choices they themselves made, they wound up in the condition they’re in. However, they’re still part of the human race. Greet them warmly, say hello. This might bring a bit of healing to their heart and heal the world a single person at a time. Regardless of their social standing, treat everyone as an equal.

Go Easy on the Paper

If you still read a newspaper, read it online as opposed to having one delivered. Our forests are disappearing at a rate that’s alarming. Save them by using less paper. Send emails as opposed to letters. Use a map on your phone instead of printing one out to follow. Use reusable shopping bags as opposed to paper ones.

Finally, be generous and teach your children and grandchildren to be generous as well. It can be simple to be a bit selfish when it comes to our resources, money, and time. We tend to get a bit caught up when it comes to those societal expectations that are material-driven. Be a bit more generous and notice how things change. Just stop and listen as a friend tells you what’s going on in their lives, read to the kids at your library, buy a cup of coffee for someone. The chances are excellent that being generous will actually energize you and make you feel like you are making a positive change in the world around you.

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How to Create the Ultimate Backyard for Retirement Lifestyle

Outdoor cooking is a fantastic fair weather activity. If you’ve progressed from the occasional marshmallow roast all the way up to “grillmaster,” maybe it’s time to upgrade your setting. Here are some ideas for your new outdoor kitchen.

Practical Features

It’s important to maximize the usability of your outdoor cooking area. It will be disappointing if you can only use it when the weather is exactly perfect, so make design choices that allow your event to carry on, even if there’s a sprinkle of rain or a little wind. Proper covering will help you take advantage of less than perfect days, and extend your outdoor cooking season. A grill gazebo like Sojag has, lets you cook and entertain in any season. Gazebos are available from simple to elaborate, with or without side panels, and endless storage options. If weather isn’t a concern, a pergola offers a similar atmosphere to a gazebo, with a more open and airy presentation.

For saving space, a seating area can be incorporated into the food prep station. A series of bar stools at a marble or granite countertop give your guests a casually elegant experience, and the countertop can double as the food prep area until you’re ready to serve.

Do you already have a pool? Consider incorporating your outdoor kitchen into the pool area. Even if swimming season is over, the pool can serve as a scenic backdrop for your cooler weather gatherings. Possible ideas might include a BBQ cabana or poolside pizza oven. Or, if you want to get really adventurous, how about a swim-up bar adjoining a below-ground-level food and drink serving area?

Since you’re already running electrical power to your outdoor kitchen for appliances, you can add atmospheric lighting. LED fixtures draw minimal power, so be generous with fairy lights in the trees, ground level up-lights for splashes of color, and walkway accent lights.

Refrigerator

The ability to refresh drinks without running into the house will keep your guests happy, and having immediate access to food ingredients makes the trip to the grill instantaneous. Keep the pace fast and save hundreds of steps with all your cooled cooking and beverage supplies close at hand. Choose a fridge that’s big enough for all the supplies you’ll need for larger gatherings. For self-service beer dispensing, consider a “kegerator,” which combines elements of a refrigerator and beer keg.

Grill Choices

Gas or charcoal? Why not both? A two sided grill offers the ability to use both methods on the same grill. You can also dedicate one side to meats and the other side to veggies and bread items. Short of buying two separate grills, this offers great flexibility.

Side burners are now considered a must-have, even for more modest BBQ grill setups. They are commonly found even on portable grills. A side burner lets you simultaneously cook multiple items that require different time and temperature. With hot dogs and burgers on the main grill, side burners can handle the baked beans and collard greens.

For keeping your cooked meats warm while you prepare large quantities for a big gathering, a built-in warming drawer is a great feature. Late arriving guests will especially appreciate this. And you can use it to warm rolls, tortillas, pita bread, or anything else that needs a little refresh.

Pizza Ovens

A wood fired outdoor pizza oven is a smaller option, but can still be an impressive backyard centerpiece. They can be built out of brick or stone, or for a more modest budget, portable units are also available. And they’re not just for pizza. A pizza oven is equally good for baking bread items, roasting meats, even grilling fish.

Sinks

If you want to commit to a truly well-appointed outdoor kitchen, consider adding a sink and running water. Once the plumbing is in, a dishwasher is an easy add-on. And you might want that sink to have a garbage disposal, because why not?

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