Pro Tips for Becoming a Silver Nomad

Alex Smart

People decide to retire early for all sorts of reasons, from wanting to spend more time with their families to just getting to the point where there they realize they have better things to do than go to work every day. And if you have the means not to work, why not?

One of the most common reasons for ditching the day job at the first possibility is to pursue lifelong dreams of travelling the world. It’s no wonder that the numbers of so-called ‘silver nomads’ – people who take up long-term travel seriously in retirement, or even become ‘location independent’ – are growing rapidly. Retirement is the perfect time of life to explore the world.

Put it this way – once free of the ties of a career and raising children, what else are you going to do?

For those feeling the tug of wanderlust strongest, waiting until statutory retirement age is just too long. They want to swap the day job for the highways and byways of the world as quickly as they can. But what do you really need to know to turn your traveling dreams into a reality?

Here are some pro tips experienced older travelers use to get their long-held travel plans off the ground.

Rent out your home

The slightly romanticized stereotype is to just sell up and set off when you decide to take up a more nomadic lifestyle. But it can actually make more sense to keep your old home and rent it out while you are away. This serves two purposes. One, you always have a base to return to in between adventures, which to many people is a lot more reassuring than just cutting all ties. Two, renting out your home provides a valuable source of income to fund your travels.

Be careful, however – in many countries, you need permission from your mortgage provider to be able to rent out your home. It is likely they will want to switch you to a buy-to-let mortgage, which will prove more expensive, eating up any profit you get from letting out your home. This is therefore an option that works best when you have paid off your mortgage.

Go to a specialist travel insurance provider

What they don’t tell you about traveling in later life is that insurance can start to get expensive. This is because most general providers start to add a premium at around age 60 to cover what they see as the heightened risk of older travelers making claims, especially for medical care. These premiums tend to increase incrementally by age, quickly becoming prohibitively costly.

A bespoke provider which specializes in travel insurance for over 60s will do things differently. They will offer much greater control to include the things in your policy that matter most to you, including cover for specific medical conditions. Not only does this end up providing much better value, it gives more reassurance that you are covered for the things you actually need.

Work as you travel

If you really want to travel long term, you will have to think about how you will fund it. If you have built up enough of a nest egg during your career to finance many years of happy traveling, all well and good. If not, no need to worry. Cinderella can still go to her ball. She might just have to do an odd job here and there on the way.

Working as you travel doesn’t have to take the fun out of things. There are plenty of ways to make money linked to traveling itself – such as taking a job as a tour guide or local travel agent, for example. Or you could have a go at getting into the world of travel blogging, turning your experiences into travel guides and advice, or sharing photos of your adventures. The bottom line is earning that extra bit of cash you need to keep you on the road.

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Preventing Senior Falls – Everything You Need to Know

By Lori Thomas, Associate Editor

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Why Travel Leads to a Healthy Retirement

John Liverstone

Exercise and diet are often thought to be the best way to a long and healthy retirement, and they certainly play an important role. But why not add travelling to the list of things to do to be healthy in retirement. Of course, we all travel for enjoyment and adventure, but along the way there are opportunities to widen our views, release the day to day pressures and generally expand our outlook in life. There is no doubt that travelling at any age can improve our health and therefore can contribute to an extended life and more enjoyable retirement.

Here are three ways that travel improves life, especially for retirees and are great tips for travelling with high blood pressure.

  1. Travelling provides the desire to be more active. As you go through the hustle and bustle of the airport, heave your luggage through the hotels, do lots of walking around the city roads, amble through the many museums, perhaps take a swim in the sea or pool and possibly try hiking through mountain treks. Doing many of these activities means you will be raising your heart rate and perhaps breaking sweat, all of which will help lower the risk of future heart disease and can also help reduce symptoms of existing conditions.
  2. Travelling can provide many social benefits. If you travel with family and friends no doubt these relationships will strengthen and deepen, but you also have the chance to meet new people and cultures. Travelling in groups either with existing friends and family or brought together by such sites as Road scholar, improve mental health and keep your mental faculties sharp. Travelling abroad nearly always introduces you to new people and cultures and it has been proven by research that having such social activities, especially during the later years in retirement, provides excellent benefits for our emotional well being.
  3. You will find cognitive benefits as well. You can venture into different types of holidays than the traditional sitting by the pool ones, perhaps you could try an educational trip, or try attending cultural excursions in places like Chautauqua Institution. Whatever trip you plan, you will meet all kinds of new people, cultures, foods and venturing into new areas all of which provide excellent stimulation for our brain activity, which likewise improves our cognitive function. One study found that travelling regularly has a direct link with lowering the danger of dementia in later life.

One thing is certain, when sorting out your retirement budget make sure you factor in travelling. If you find that your budget is limited, do not abandon travel, but rather look for inventive ways to cut the cost of holidays without infringing on the enjoyment.

Consider that you do not need to travel to popular destinations to get the benefits listed here. Many retirees have reported that some of the best destinations are not to far flung places, but rather to destinations where family and friends are, which substantially cut costs on accommodation and eating out.

So, in conclusion, do not think of travel as an option depending on budget, but rather as an investment for your improved mental health as you get older.

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Travelling in Retirement: What Do You Need to Know?

Alex Smart

People take early retirement for all sorts of reasons. For some, it’s to spend more quality time with their families. For others, it’s to pursue a hobby they are passionate about or invest time in creating their dream home. For a good proportion of early retirees, they just don’t want to be chained to the workaday life any more.

Then for a growing number of people, retirement is the key to unlocking one of their lifelong dreams – travelling the world. Let’s face it, you don’t really get much of an opportunity to explore this wonderful planet of ours by taking just a few weeks’ vacation every year. For those who want to do it properly, they often have to wait until they are in a position to leave working life behind.

There are different ways to travel in retirement. You can approach it as taking a series of extended vacations, picking a destination and then planning to spend a couple of months there rather than a couple of weeks. You could go a step further and become ‘location independent’, taking up the globetrotting lifestyle full time. Or, if there is a particular place you fall in love with, you could upsticks and relocate there permanently, using that as a base from which to explore further.

However you approach it, you will have to do some planning and there is a fair amount to learn. Here are some of the key things to think about when making your retirement travel plans.

Financing your dreams

It’s an obvious place to start, but if you want to spend your retirement enjoying a jetsetter lifestyle, you are going to need the financial means to pay for it. People who plan to retire early usually only do so on the understanding that they have built up enough personal wealth in the form of savings, pension contributions and assets to see them through the rest of their life without working. But that is usually calculated based on following the same lifestyle you always have done at home.

There are two options here. One is to approach travel so that it does not cost you any more than living at home would. This usually means taking the budget options, and can actually be easier to achieve if you move abroad permanently – especially if you head to a country where living costs are lower.

The second is to find a means of additional income to supplement your travel plans. If you are a homeowner, this can be a very useful asset. If you have already cleared the mortgage, you could remortgage to gain additional capital. Alternatively, if you aim to travel for long periods, you could rent out your home while you are away. Other options are to find a way to make extra money while on the road – by starting a travel blog business or writing a travel book, for example.

Protecting yourself

Long-term travel comes with certain risks, especially when it comes to your health. If you fall ill or have an accident on a months-long adventure, you will find yourself a long way from your physician, your local hospital and your support network, not to mention that your health insurance won’t cover you. It makes sense to take some precautions.

Once you reach 50, it is advisable to seek out specialist senior travel insurance rather than go through a general provider. Because people are more likely to experience health issues as they get older, travel insurance providers see seniors as posing a higher risk of making a claim, so they start to hike up the premiums – often incrementally, year by year. This quickly becomes very expensive. A specialist provider will do you a much better deal.

You should also weigh up whether you are best off taking out single trip or multi-trip annual travel insurance. If you plan to do a lot of travelling in any given 12 month period, a multi-trip plan can save you money compared to buying individual policies for each. However, multi-trip plans often have a limit on how long each individual trip can be. If you want to head off for several months, you will probably need a single trip policy, and if you intend to visit multiple locations, you will need a provider who will draw up a bespoke plan for you.

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Is an HSA Your Best Friend for Early Retirement?

Shobin Uralil

Early retirement takes dedication, planning and expert tax-savings. While your personal strategy might be unique, clearly the more you save of your own money, the faster it can grow. Let us show you how to leverage an HSA to get to retirement faster.

Unparalleled Tax-Savings

An HSA offers unparalleled tax-savings. It is the only savings account on the market that allows for tax-deductible contributions, tax-free growth, and tax-free distributions (as long as they are used for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses).

Low-Cost Healthcare

It’s likely that in early retirement, you will still require healthcare, before Medicare starts. HSA-eligible healthcare plans like high deductible health plans (HDHP) are the most cost-effective health insurance on the market. Their lower monthly premiums ensure you keep your fixed costs low. Their set out-of-pocket yearly maximums set the ceiling for any unexpected health costs, capping your financial exposure.

Coupling an HDHP with an HSA ensures you have pre-tax funds ready for any health expenses that come your way this year or in years to come. Those pre-tax funds limit your tax-liability and effectively reduce the real-dollar costs of medical expenses.

Like a 401(k), but Better

You want options. Savings options. Investing options. Tax options. HSAs enable all three. An HSA is like a 401(k), but better. It provides the dedicated funds you want later in life but doesn’t lock those funds until 59 and 1/2 years of age like a 401(k) (unless you are willing to pay tax penalties).

You can use tax-free HSA funds for qualified medical expenses today or save them for tomorrow. In fact, after the age of 65, those funds can be used for anything, just like a 401(k) – just pay taxes. No penalty.

Additionally, HSAs don’t require mandatory distributions in retirement. You can let your HSA investments grow into your 70s, 80s, and 90s.

Self-Directed Investing

Early retirement requires an independent mindset. HSAs allow you to apply that mentality to self-directed investing. This ensures you can tailor your HSA investments as part of a larger savings strategy. Please check with your current or prospective HSA provider, so you can invest in what you want. Maybe a low-cost ETF?

An HSA ensures you maximize your tax savings and better prepare for future health costs. The result is more tax-free savings and investment options for early retirement. Use an HSA as an effective tax-savings and investment strategy for both healthcare and retirement. Turns out HSAs are great for both!

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Top 8 Reliable, Easy, and Convenient Online Money-Making Methods for Retirees

Danielle Ward

Life post-retirement can get quite financially taxing, even if you have a steady pension coming in every month. Medical bills, family expenditure, and miscellaneous expenses suddenly appear more daunting than they used to be. In most cases, retirees are not able to sustain 9-5 jobs as they did before either due to health problems that might crop up as one ages. Thankfully, the online job market can provide you with ample opportunities for a steady cash flow.

Here are the best 8 online job opportunities that you can tap into to get back into great financial shape:

Freelance writing

As a freelance writer, you will need to write scholarly articles on the topics provided. The employee usually provides you with suitable online links that you can look into as background research for your writing. A certain word count is set, along with a deadline that may be negotiable depending on your employer. All correspondence is conducted through phone or mail and the work can be easily completed at home. The only qualifications that you will need to have for this job are a flawless vocabulary and working knowledge of grammar.

Virtual entrepreneurship

If you have a set of skills that you can appropriate to create a successful business venture, the Internet makes it remarkably easy to seek out potential clients and market your products to them. Online pop-up shops and retail businesses are booming at the moment. You get to pick your work-hours and be your own boss. For instance, if you are good at cooking, an online catering service might prove to be rewarding! Virtual businesses, even the ones that function at small levels, bring in a handsome amount of profits.

Online tutorials

The advent of social media platforms has been a boon for marketers. As a retiree, your valuable experiences in the commercial or service sector job markets can be promoted amongst those looking to pursue a similar career trajectory. There are plenty of sites that you can partner with to deliver a series of lectures or online workshops on the same. Make sure that you are an informed negotiator when it comes to the terms of payment. Alternatively, you can even set up your own media account and offer paid subscriptions to students.

Blogger and reviewer

There is no age limit to becoming an online blogger. The job basically requires you to try out different products and services and report your thoughts on the same. You can do this via a written report or video-blogging. Moreover, you can either stick to reviewing a certain kind of product, say books, or be multifaceted. This job will yield exceptional results for those with far-reaching connections and social acquaintances, where you can target your reviews. Companies offer paid sponsorship opportunities to bloggers with a large following on social media.

Online survey

Signing up for an online survey site is a quick and easy way to make money. Sites like Vindale Research look for survey-participants from diverse walks of life, and retirees are a significant demographic that they are always eager to tap into. All that is required of you is that you fill out an online survey as honestly as you can and provide the surveyors with elaborate insights. The pay is decent, and you can complete as many surveys as you wish to on a variety of topics.

Online marketer

Much like telemarketing, online marketing jobs require you to conduct correspondences with prospective clients via mail and try to sell your company’s product to them. Marketing jobs usually come with target-based payment systems, along with handsome perks and bonuses for top performers. You will have to advertise the product in the most lucrative way possible in order to catch the attention of your clients. You will be required to log in during usual work hours, and possibly work for a few extra in order to bring home the white whale.

Online fundraiser

There are plenty of organizations that conduct campaigns to raise funds for the various projects that they undertake. They often hire campaign managers to look after the virtual leg of their campaigns. Although the jobs are usually not permanent, the pay offered is quite lucrative. The job portfolio is self-explanatory: you will need to spread news of the campaign far and wide and convince people why they should contribute for your advertised cause. You will be required to shed your inhibitions and keep going after potential contributors until they budge.

PR manager

As a PR manager, your goal is to keep your company in the limelight to generate and sustain public interest in its products or services. Usually, your employer will provide you with a list of social media posts, advertisement campaigns and PR articles that you will need to generate and promote within a certain deadline. The job generally comes with performance-based incentives, along with a generous pay package. It is always a good idea to read up on articles on social media marketing strategies that might help you with your tasks.

Concluding remarks

Exploring virtual career opportunities is a smart move to make in today’s economy. The pay is stable, the work hours are flexible and you don’t need too many qualifications to be a suitable candidate.

 

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A Trip through Veneto

Ed Walker

There is practically no place in Italy which is not worth seeing. With its rich cultural and architectonic heritage and its wonderful natural landscapes, Italy is one of the best countries in the world to go for a holiday. While still planning for your holiday, you should check Theaa.ie for travel insurance, you can save if you apply for more than one package, like car insurance for instance. Although large cities like Rome, Palermo or Naples rank highest as tourist destinations, they can sometimes be tiresome, especially if you’re interested in a more tranquil holiday. The Veneto region, on the other hand, could be exactly what you are looking for.

Gondolas in a small canal in Dorsoduro district, Venice, Veneto, Italy

Situated in the northeastern side of Italy, Veneto comprises world-famous cities full of history and culture such as Venice, Padua, or Verona, as well as picturesque natural landscapes, such as the Euganean hills, the Dolomite Mountains, the Adriatic Sea, or the Garda Lake. The best way to reach this region is to fly to its capital, Venice, and, after spending a day or two in this wonderful and highly peculiar city, rent a car and take a leisurely ride through its other famous places.

Venice, a city situated across a group of 118 islands separated by canals and connected by over 400 bridges, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, attracting up to 30 million tourists per year. Besides its geographical peculiarity and quaintness, Venice is also famous for historical landmarks such as St. Mark’s Basilica, the Grand Canal, Piazza San Marco, or the Doge’s Palace, and for the important international events and festivals it hosts, including the Carnival of Venice, Venice Biennale, and the Venice Film Festival.

However, Venice can often be overcrowded and your stay there, although extremely interesting, might not be as relaxed as you would want to. If tired of hectic Venice, jump into a car and start exploring the surrounding areas. There are at least two other impressive cities in Veneto which you should not miss: Padua, famous for its dense network of arcaded streets, its old and renowned University of Padua (established in 1222), where figures such as Galilei and Copernico worked, and its wonderful landmarks like the imposing St. Anthony Basilica, the Palace of Reason, the Botanical Garden (a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where Goethe did some of its botanical research), or the Scroveni Chapel (containing breathtaking murals by Giotto); and Verona, the city of Shakespeare’s famous lovers, Romeo and Juliet, with its ancient Roman edifices and monuments (including the Roman Arena and Theatre), its Medieval and Renaissance architecture, and its thriving artistic and musical scene, including the lyrical season at the Arena, where renowned operas and symphonic pieces are performed in front of up to 15,000 spectators.

If you want to get in touch with nature, Veneto can offer you many possibilities too. The Euganean Hills are perfect for leisurely strolls, offering beautiful sights which inspired poets like Petrarch or Shelley, and the possibility to enjoy the thermal baths from Abano or Montegrotto Terme. If you’re into more challenging activities though, such as skiing, hiking or BASE jumping, the Dolomite Mountains are what you need. And if you like swimming, sunbathing or boating, you have two choices in Veneto: either visit the amazing seaside resorts from the Adriatic Sea’s coast, including Lido, Jesolo and Sottomarina, or take a trip to the fantastic Garda Lake near Verona, the largest (370 square km) and most visited Italian lake.

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Money Moves That Can Help You Retire Early

Lora Young

The term retirement seldom enters the mind of young men and women who are aged 25 years and below. In fact, it is not even meaningful to them. This term only becomes meaningful to a person when one reaches the age of late 30s and begin to feel the ennui and boredom of life. But let’s face it squarely — all who labor everyday will definitely retire someday, and being happy in retirement should be one of their important goals of life.

Visualize Your Retirement

The transition from active life to retirement life can be made smooth if you follow the simple advice of Stephen Covey in his classic bestselling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. He said: “Everything is created twice: first, in the mind; then, in reality.”  By applying this axiom in your life, you will surely find retirement a meaningful and happy period of your life. To paraphrase, what Covey said simply means that you can imagine and envision your years of retirement. Afterwards, you should act on how to achieve the kind of retirement that you have envisioned for yourself.

What he wanted to say is this: if you are a highly effective person, you would surely plan ahead your retirement, and work towards achieving your plan. Years before your retirement, you should be working tirelessly—even if everybody else is dawdling and dilly-dallying—towards the fulfillment of your retirement dream. You must also try to gain insights into how retirement can be made awesomely happy. Here are a few tips on how you can plan and realize your dream retirement:

First, you should have a good income so that you can save and pay for all the necessary benefits that you could get when you retire. You should develop a career that would net you a sizeable retirement pay and would allow you at the same time to save. One caveat however with savings is this—that you should make your savings as hard to reach as possible.

You should diversify your sources of income by investing. If you want an early retirement, you should have investments that would allow you to gain more income. Diversifying your sources of income will make you less dependent on one source of income. Buy properties that you could utilize or sell in the near future at a higher price. You can also invest in stocks or bonds and whatever you think would net you more earnings in the years to come.

There are other factors that may help you achieve your dream retirement. One is your behavior. Behavioral change at present can help you achieve the ideal retirement. If you have the habit of procrastinating, for example, you should replace it with a “do-it-now” attitude.

Three Factors That Could Determine Your Retirement

There are basically three factors that could determine the type of retirement you would have. These three factors are earnings, savings, and investments. If you have figured out how to perfectly do these three things right, you would surely be in for a happy and meaningful retirement period.

 

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Fun Games to Help Your Senior Loved One Exercise the Mind

Lori Thomas

We all know about the importance of exercise and what it can do for the body. However, as we age, it is just as important that we take the time to really exercise the mind. If you want to help your senior loved one stretch their mental muscles—there are so many fun ways that you can help. Brain teasers, puzzles and games are all really important for seniors as they age. They help keep the mind sharp and make sure that different areas of the brain that many not normally be activated are getting a bit of a workout.

Ready to have some fun? Here are a few games that are great for all types of seniors and help improve their concentration, memory and thinking skills all while they have a little fun at the same time.

Sudoku

This is a great game for seniors to play on their own or with a friend. This numbers game is popular in puzzle books, magazines and newspapers and there are also plenty of apps that you can download to play on-the-go as well. This game will challenge critical thinking and problem solving skills and come in a variety of levels from easy to difficult—meaning there are puzzles for every type of player.

Boggle

This game has been around for ages, but it is still as fun as ever. You can still order the original board game version of Boggle or try one of the apps that is available on most tables or smart phone. When the game randomly puts together a grid of different letters, the players have a limited amount of time to find as many words as possible. This is another fun game that seniors can play on their own or with a friend and it challenges their critical thinking and linguistic skills at the same time.

Memory

Memory has a great benefit for seniors, for obvious reasons. Many seniors struggle with memory issues as they age and sometimes playing memory-centered games for a few minutes a day can really help! Memory can be played with a card set, on the computer, through an app or you can play verbal memory games whenever you are sitting around the home.

Banana Grams

Looking for a fun and silly game to play with your senior loved one? Check out Bananagrams. You can buy it on Amazon, or wherever games are sold and enjoy a fun silly game that encourages you to make and connect words. Similar to games like Scrabble that can challenge the thinking skills, this word game is all about pushing the linguistic part of the brain. However, the best part is that the winner gets to shout “Bananas!” when they’re done to signify they’ve won.

Lumosity Brain Games

If you log online to Lumosity.com, you will find a massive collection of games and puzzles that will tease the brain and help work out the mind muscles. The best part about these games is that they are free, and you can download an app right on your phone or tablet. You can even choose what type of teaser you prefer so your senior can work on areas of the brain they really want to work on whether it is attention, speed and memory, verbal fluency or problem solving.

These games are all fun ways to challenge the mind, so next time your senior loved one is looking for something fun to do give these brain teasers a try and see first-hand how beneficial they can be!

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Downsizing Once the Kids have Left Home

Many couples with kids invest in larger homes so that there is adequate room for the whole family and so they can be in a property that is close to schools and other vital family amenities. However, once the kids have flown the nest and moved into their own home, there seems little point in continuing with a larger home when you don’t need one.

Running a family home can be costly and time-consuming, so as an older couple with kids that have now left home permanently, it is well worth considering downsizing. You can, of course, stay in the same area if you wish to. However, if you are retired you can also enjoy the freedom to move to a different area. By downsizing, you will be able to save yourself money on the cost of running a larger home as well as the time it takes to clean and maintain a larger property.

Points you need to consider

There are various points that you should consider if you are considering downsizing. One key point is whether you want to stay in the area you already live in or move elsewhere. If you decide to move to a new area that you are not familiar with, make sure you research if beforehand. You can conduct research online and carry out everything from a sex offender search to an area background search to check on the safety and suitability of the area.

You also need to think about how much you want to downsize. For example, you may want to go for a one bedroom property since there are now no children living there. However, if you regularly have guests or your children come over to stay, you might want to look for something a little bigger. In addition, the type of property has to be considered. While you may have been in a larger family house previously, would an apartment be more suited to your needs now or would you prefer to stick to a house with a garden?

As with any property that you purchase, when you downsize you should make sure you move to a place where you have the necessary facilities and amenities within close range. While you may not need to look for things such as schools now that there are no kids living at home, there are still other important facilities you should consider. This includes medical facilities, shopping, and entertainment venues amongst other things.

By considering all of these points, you can more easily find the right property to downsize to, which means that you can start looking forward to the various benefits of moving to a smaller property. In addition to easier maintenance and cheaper running costs, you will also be able to look forward to making some money on your old property if you have already paid off the mortgage. You can then use this as part of your nest egg for your retirement.

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