Helpful Tips for Keeping Retirement Costs Low

Joanna Stovic

The key to planning for retirement is to get your finances in order, and determine what brings you value. The earlier you can start to figure out the various pieces of the retirement puzzle, the sooner you can take off and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Keeping costs low is an integral part of retirement planning. Here are some helpful tips for cutting costs without sacrificing value.

Use Projections and Budgeting

Retirement planning should start well before you’re reaching the golden years— the sooner, the better. To keep costs low during retirement, you need to have a big picture budget outlining everything you currently spend money on. From there, you need to use projections to determine how your spending and income will change in the future.

Creating a budget and projection plan will help you identify the magic number for your retirement. In other words, it will tell you how much money you need in the bank before you can hang up your hat and call it a day. 

Create a Debt Payment Plan

One of the essential parts of retirement planning is to get out of debt. If you’re in debt when you reach retirement age, things will be extremely challenging for you. 

Look ahead at what debts you currently have in place and make a payment plan to get rid of them. Some common debt payment solutions:

  • The debt snowball – paying off small debts and using the extra money to pay larger debts.
  • The debt avalanche – paying larger debts first to mitigate interest.
  • The debt landslide – paying down your newest debts first to boost your credit score.
  • The debt cascade – setting a recurring amount slightly over your minimum payment to slowly pick away at debt. 

If you have a mortgage, it’s also worth considering how you’ll eliminate it before you retire. Depending on your mortgage term and house size, this could include anything from selling and downsizing to running out the clock.

Prepare for Healthcare Costs

Planning for healthcare costs is a challenging part of retirement. As we get older, it’s natural that we have increased healthcare needs. Furthermore, retiring often means giving up company-led insurance. 

Set aside time to look at the best Medicare supplement plans for your needs and how you can use an HSA to fund future health treatments. 

Practice Mindful Spending

Building a healthy relationship with money and limiting impulse purchases is essential for keeping costs low before and during retirement. You’ll need to create a mindset shift that forces you to pause and measure each purchase’s value. Practicing mindful spending helps you understand the difference between being frugal and being cheap.

Consider what things or experiences are important to you in retirement. If you want to travel the world, then having a fancy car at home might not be worth the expense. When you feel compelled to purchase something, put it off for a few days or weeks. If you still feel as though you need it after time has passed, consider buying it. Otherwise, leave it on the shelf.

Remember to Plan for Taxes

Unfortunately, taxes don’t cease to exist when your work life comes to an end. You will need to pay taxes on withdrawals from your retirement fund, which will vary depending on the type of fund and size of the withdrawals. Even without a mortgage, your house will still be subject to property taxes.

Working with a financial advisor can help you better understand taxation and prepare so that you don’t end up in a precarious situation. 

With these tips, you can keep costs low during retirement and have a fun, stress-free experience. 

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Top 6 Reasons to Visit Colorado for Your Ski Adventure

Carlos Ford 

As a successful blogger with more than ten years in the industry, Carlos Ford has successfully gained thousands of loyal readers online. Carlos loves to share his interest in sports, home improvement, and business through his articles. 

Do you want to spend a good time with your family after your retirement? If yes, there are many things you can do with them. For example, skiing is one of the amazing things you can undertake after retirement. And if you love skiing, but you’re not sure where to go for your upcoming adventure, consider going to Colorado.

The amazing slopes of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are surrounded by different ski resorts. Each of these resorts guarantees to offer you an amazing skiing experience. In fact, you can enjoy military ski discounts in some of them.

In this article, we’ll explore the top reasons you have to visit Colorado for your ski adventure.

  1. Colorado Ski Resorts Are Higher Than Anywhere Else

One reason Colorado is a must-visit location for your next ski adventure is because all its resorts are higher than anywhere else in the world. Colorado has the highest lift-served terrain, and most of their resorts are 14,000 feet high. With that elevation, you get knee-buckling views, incredible snow, longer trails, and more vertical feet.

  1. Family-Friendly Resorts

Some of the best and most family-friendly ski resorts are in Colorado. It means you won’t only enjoy the ski resorts, but also a great time to bond with your family on the slopes.

Colorado is best for skiing with kids. Most resorts make it easy to bring them along with you whenever you want to make the most of your ski adventure. As a matter of fact, ski resorts around Colorado have perfect deals for families. Such passes will let your whole family enjoy the slopes without spending a tremendous amount of money, making your skiing trip more convenient.

  1. Perfect Skiing Conditions

Another reason Colorado is perfect for your ski adventure is that it has the perfect conditions for it. The low humidity, high altitude, and sunny days in Colorado make for the best ski conditions. For example, if snow comes in from the northwest, some resorts will get endowed with fresh and fluffy snow.

The Colorado mountains also feature Champagne Powder, which is considered the best snow. The term came from the Colorado’s Rocky Mountains because of the light and fluffy nature of the snow once it piles up. It also produces a good skiing experience, providing skiers a floating sensation as they carve a graceful turn to the low part of the mountain.

The snow in Colorado is also renowned for being dry, smooth, and light, which enables effortless and comfortable glides down the slopes.

With such conditions, there’s no doubt why Colorado gained an excellent reputation as a world-class skiing destination.

  1. The Ski Season Is Longer In Colorado

In Colorado, most ski resorts stay open later and are open earlier in the season. Loveland Ski Area and Arapahoe typically compete to be the North American resorts to open early with every ski season. This is because of the high altitude in Colorado. Base elevation for the said resorts is approximately 11,000 feet above sea level. Moreover, the passion to make the ski season last as long as possible is what motivates ski resort operators.

  1. Multiple Options for Ski Resorts

With a lot of slopes and resorts in Colorado, you have countless options when it comes to skiing. If you want an all-inclusive, feature-packed resort, you need not look anywhere else. Even if you prefer a laid-back and small resort, Colorado has some options for you. So, whether you want big or small ski resorts, Colorado offers it all.

  1. Colorado Has the Best Off-Slope Activities and Events

You don’t always need to buckle yourself into your snowboard or strap on the ski to have fun at Colorado ski resorts. With places to shop, skate, snowshoe, and sled, there are lots of activities and events that you and your family or friends can enjoy.

Some ski resorts offer horse-drawn sleigh rides, while others allow you to ice skate on frozen lakes with views of the beautiful slows. You can also enjoy visiting the ski towns in Colorado. Depending on your preferences, you can indulge fireside lounging, shopping, and dining at slope-side villages. You can also enjoy a high-end retail therapy while you ski at Telluride, Beaver Creek, Aspen, and Vail.

Bottom Line

While there are lots of ski destinations across the globe, few can beat the excitement Colorado offers to all ski enthusiasts. From having the perfect conditions for skiing to multiple ski resorts, you can be assured that you’ll experience an exceptional ski adventure in Colorado.

So, if you want to take up skiing when you retire, or take your skiing experience to another level, make sure to plan your trip to Colorado as soon as possible.

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Is It Possible to Retire if You Are in Debt?

Why do People Have Debt in Retirement?

Retirement is supposed to be a golden phase in life. It’s when years of hard work are rewarded and things are supposed to get a little easier. That is entirely possible, even if you owe money. The Federal Reserve Bank routinely conducts what is known as a Survey of Consumer Finances. Part of this report measures the number of people with outstanding debt, while in retirement.

For many people, the notion of retirement is a pleasant one. You’ve worked hard your whole life, and now you are going to reap the fruits of your labors. Debt is an ever-present reality that people have to contend with. Mortgage debt, healthcare-related debts, automobile debt, credit card debt, and personal loans comprise the bulk of debts that people owe, even in retirement.

Clearly the ideal situation is to enter retirement with as little debt as possible. This utopian setting would allow retirees to reap the full rewards of their 401(k)s, personal savings, social security payments, and other sources of income. Debt eats into personal disposable income, and if managed improperly can place a tremendous burden on your lifestyle in retirement. For this reason, most financial advisers recommend aggressively paying down debt in the pre-retirement phase, so that your retirement is as comfortable as possible.

Potential Solutions for Managing Debt in Retirement

A 2018 study sheds interesting insights into the levels of debt that are being carried by the average retiree. Figures ranging between $65,000 – $100,000 tend to be the norm, even with lowly Social Security payouts of $1,300 per month. This presents financial challenges to retirees. Without a stable source of income to rely on, retirees are compelled to think outside the box for solutions to debt management. Financial advisers recommend the following solutions for managing debt in retirement:

  • Mortgage debt – if you currently owe a substantial sum of money on your mortgage, in an era of unprecedented low interest rates, consider refinancing to a lower mortgage rate to reduce your overall monthly burden. Known as a Refi, these refinancing options will be particularly beneficial to anyone who purchased fixed or moveable assets on credit before 2018, when interest rates were much higher. Today, in 2020, it is possible to lock in a fixed interest rate at less than 3% with the right mortgage lender. By adopting this approach, more personal disposable income is available for other necessities such as living expenses.
  • Credit card debt – if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of owing a substantial sum of money on your credit cards, with higher interest repayments, help is at hand. There are many ways to roll over credit card debt to 0% APR credit cards for set periods of time. True, there is a commission for the amount of debt that needs to be rolled over onto a new card, but the fact that there is zero-interest repayment will save heaps of money in your retirement. This is highly recommended with the right credit card provider.
  • Debt consolidation – one of the main problems with debt is that it accumulates from many different sources. When all of this debt is combined, it’s usually a sizeable amount that we would rather not be dealing with. One way to reduce the burden of debt is through debt consolidation loans. You simply sum up all the debt that needs to be repaid every month, and the interest that is repayable on that debt.

Next, search for debt consolidation loans that will cover all the outstanding personal loans, credit card debts et cetera, at a lower rate of interest than you’re currently paying. The cost savings, convenience of single monthly payments to a single loan provider, and easier-to-manage nature of debt consolidation loans are worth the effort. Have a look for more information about how to pay off debt in retirement.

  • Reduce expenses – during your productive years, it’s much easier to maintain a large property than it is in retirement. As you reach retirement, your ability to generate income typically diminishes and is fixed at a certain level. Before you hit this point in your life, consider downsizing from a big home to a condo, apartment, or retirement community. The less expense you have to incur the better. The savings can be re-routed into repaying your debt, reducing your financial burden, and your stress levels.

By the Numbers: How Are Older American Doing with Debt?

CNBC author Greg Iacurci penned an article titled, ‘Debt among oldest Americans skyrockets 543% in two decades.’  Among the key points listed are an increase of 543% in date for American 70+ years of age from 1999-2019. The declining social safety net has adversely affected seniors, and the absence of cash flow can be devastating in retirement. By 2019, the total debt burden for American 70+ years of age increased to $1.1 trillion, while debt for people in their 60s increased by 471% to $2.14 trillion. These numbers are particularly troublesome, but there are pervasive for all age groups. Any time debt exceeds 40% of income, it is deemed troubling, and the number of people in this predicament is steadily rising.

By adopting the strategies listed above, it is possible to reduce the ballooning debt problems faced by retirees in modern times. People are living longer, which means that their money needs to last longer. This is pushing the retirement age later into the 60s, with a growing number of people choosing not to retire if they don’t have to. Fortunately, it is not necessary to retire with no debt whatsoever. That’s an ideal situation which rarely comes to pass. Provided the cash flow is sufficient to cover expenses, debt is really just a part of life that we all have to deal with.

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I’ve Become a Snowbird, Now What?

Gary Wilkinson

Becoming a Snowbird is the day that most people wait for virtually their entire lives. Leaving the cold winters behind and trading the snow for days in the sun. Chances are if you’ve been dreaming about being a snowbird for years, you also have your accommodations lined up and are ready to hit the road.

But before you cruise out of the blustery air, there are some housekeeping items you shouldn’t overlook. Things you may never have thought about in your old lifestyle of one primary residence now may be something you need to look into or make changes on.

Keeping Your Home Insured

Why would anything at your primary residence need to change under insurance? It’s still your home, right, so why would the insurance company care that you aren’t there for an extended time? The truth is, some policies actually have a clause that states that if you are not in your home for so many days during the winter months, they can actually let your policy lapse.

It is very important to make sure your insurance is right for your new lifestyle.

Of course, not all policy requirements are bad. This is a great time to discuss your policy and any upgrades you may have made to your home that can qualify you for discounts. One common thing that many snowbirds have invested in is a security system. Not only does it give them peace of mind while they are relaxing away, but for some insurance companies, it means big savings.

Pro-actively Preparing to be Away

You’re excited to get out of the cold weather, but unfortunately your home still remains up north. Because of this, you will need to take some actions to make sure it stays safe while you are gone. Not only security, but also with some general housekeeping.

One of the biggest problems of snowbirds are burst pipes. When temperatures drop and you are home, you know to open cabinets and let the water drip to keep your pipes open. When you are away, this is not possible. It is an important practice to turn the water off at your home, if you are able, while you are away. This prevents water from sitting in the pipes and ruining your home if they do end up bursting. Being gone for months at a time with a burst pipe could mean irreparable damage to your home and your belongings.

Other housekeeping items to consider are things like stopping the mail or paper delivery, paying someone to shovel your driveway so your home doesn’t look empty through the winter, and traveling with all important documents and valuables so that if something were to happen, you have the important items with you. If you don’t feel safe traveling with them, consider a lock box at the bank or a mounted, fireproof safe.

Check in on your Health Insurance

Most insurance companies cover you for urgent and emergent visits while you are on vacation, because unfortunately sometimes things happen. But when you are gone for months at a time, it is very likely that you will need to see a doctor or have routine health needs taken care of.

Being a Snowbird is not a new concept, so insurance companies already have plans in place and rules and regulations set up, so you have what you need. Now is the time to review provincial health insurance rules so you don’t miss out.

Knowing your specific area’s timeframe on how long you must be in your home each year is essential. Some insurance companies require a minimum of six months at home, while some requirements aren’t as strict. This is certainly one of those things you don’t want to take a guess on. Make sure your coverage remains in effect and covers you the whole time you are gone.

Supplemental travel insurance is another safeguard to traveling. Travel insurance is a non-negotiable if you are traveling outside of the country. This is the easiest way to make sure you are covered for anything you may need, saving you potentially thousands of dollars in medical bills should the need for a doctor arise.

Car Insurance

Another checkmark on your to-do list is to check in with your auto insurance company and make sure you are covered out of state. In most cases, you will be fine, but you may need to adjust your coverage depending on the place you are traveling to. Just like home insurance, auto insurance has a limitation on how long you can be gone from your primary residence and still remain covered as a resident of that state. It is best to have all of the answers before actually needing to file a claim.

Once all of those questions have been answered, insurance companies have been contacted, and all policies are up to date, you are ready to pack up the car and head south on a new adventure as a Snowbird.

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Lost and Found Pissarro Paintings History

Camille Pissarro was a painter that lived from 1830 to 1903 and made a significant impact on art history. A Pissarro painting can range from the Impressionist style to Neo-Impressionism but he’s most well-known as the Father of Impressionism as a founder of the movement. He remains the only artist to have ever shown his work at all of the Paris Impressionist exhibitions.

What many people forget, though, is that some of Pissarro’s art was nearly lost to time. His lost and found paintings are among his most beautiful. This the story of the art that was nearly buried in the annals of history.

Why Was Pissarro’s Art Lost?

The temporary loss of Pissarro’s art came at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. In the early 1930s, anti-Semitic laws forced Jewish art owners to give up their art at minimal prices, no matter what the actual worth of their art was.

As Jewish people were forced to flee Germany for other parts of Europe, they were unable to bring all of their possessions along with them. In other cases, Jewish people were taken from their homes by Nazis, forcing them to leave with only what they had on them at the time. In both cases, possessions of worth were stolen from the homes for the monetary gain of either the individuals or the Nazi party. This included many of Pissarro’s works.

Many of the stolen artworks were originally housed in key locations such as Munich and Paris, where the Nazis had control of the region. As the Allies began liberating Europe, many of these looted valuables were housed in secret salt mines and other locations where the Allies would be less likely to find them.

Some stolen artworks were even acquired by high ranking members of the Nazi party, where they kept them as parts of their private collections. Other works deemed “degenerate” were even sold to international collectors to build the German war-fund.

Recovery of the Artworks

As World War II drew to an end, the process of recovering stolen valuables begun. In the decades following the war, several Pissarro works were found in galleries and museums across the globe. In some cases, legal action was brought to return the artworks to their rightful owners.

After being discovered as stolen artworks, many paintings were returned to the descendants of those from whom the works had originally been stolen. Once returned, some of the artworks were then gifted to museums and galleries where they remain to this day. This has allowed the artworks to be viewed widely, ensuring the legacy of Pissarro lives on.

Examples of Found Pissarro Paintings

Pissarro’s 1897 painting, Rue St. Honoré, Apres Midi, Effet de Pluie, was found in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid. A legal battle ensued in 2011 when the Spanish government refused to return the painting at the request of an American ambassador.  A trial in the United States found that the museum was indeed the rightful owner of the painting.

A similar legal battle occurred when Pissarro’s Le Quai Malaquais, Printemps resurfaced after being missing for many years. It was discovered that the painting had been donated to a trust by a Nazi art collector after the seizure by the Gestapo during the war. After being rediscovered in 2007, the process to track down the rightful heir was started.

There were several other Pissarro paintings lost during the lootings of World War II. The 1897 work, Le Boulevard de Montmartre, Matinée de Printemps, was restituted in 2000 when it was found to have been forcefully sold to the Nazis. Similarly, Le Marché aux Poissons was returned after being missing for more than three decades. It was returned to the French ambassador, a symbolic act of returning the work to Pissarro’s home country.

Pissarro’s Legacy

The legacy of Pissarro’s artistic career is not limited to his artworks alone. While his artworks continue to be regarded as some of the most influential impressionist paintings of the era, they are also remembered for their cultural significance. The loss of Pissarro’s artworks stood as a recognition of the crimes of the Nazi regime.

Even decades after the war, Pissarro’s artworks continue to be recognized as a symbol of the survival of democracy. Each missing Pissarro painting that has been recovered comes with a story that has reminded critics and collectors of its importance. Despite years of being missing, these works were given justice by being returned to their rightful owners.

Conclusion

The devastation of World War II was not lost on the art world. Many works were lost through destruction and theft during the war, with some never being recovered. The Pissarro paintings lost during the war have been recovered in recent decades, putting them back in the rightful hands of private collectors and museums.

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As Gold Hits Record Highs Is It Smart Adding Gold to An IRA?

Christina Baker is a blogger who loves to produce content on health, wellness, and aging. Christina understands how her readers fear aging, which is why she strives to help them transition to this stage easier through her articles.  

Retirement can be a significant stage for people who’ve already reached their senior age. It’s the time when you permanently choose to leave the workforce, undertake many amazing things, and enjoy the remaining years of your life without financial problems. These are just some of the reasons why you should have an individualized retirement account (IRA) that provides you with financial security and independence when you retire.

However, building an IRA is never easy. You need to consider the risks of each investment asset before adding it to your portfolio. For example, given the gold’s increase in price throughout history, you may consider adding this precious metal to your IRA.

To help you decide whether gold can be a great part of your retirement plan, keep reading this article to know what you’re up to.

Gold IRA Account: What Is It?

Primarily, a gold IRA, which is also known as precious metals IRA, refers to an individualized retirement account wherein it allows the investment of other alternative assets, such as precious metals and real estate. It’s different from the traditional option due to the degree of investment freedom offered. This means that aside from the traditional assets, such as bonds, stocks, and cash, you can invest in gold, silver, and other valuable metals, as well as the real estate market.

Reasons For Adding Gold To An IRA

In these unstable times, your financial security should be your top priority upon retirement. That’s why it’s essential to find an investment asset, like precious metals, that can help you do this. Luckily, due to gold’s price increase, building a gold IRA can be a great way to secure your wealth during your senior years.

Below are the essential reasons why you should add gold to your individualized retirement account:

  • Protects Portfolio In The Face Of Uncertainties

It’s common knowledge that gold has been existing since the dawn of civilization. Because of this precious metal’s ability to withstand the test of time, it’s been a haven investment for people looking to become financially stable during their retirement years.

That said, even if your country faces inflation and economic or political crisis, adding gold to your individualized retirement account can protect you from these events. Unlike stocks, bonds, and other traditional paper assets, gold isn’t affected by the fluctuation in the market.

Generally, gold is moving toward the opposite direction of the traditional assets, which means that the valuable metal offers an insurance policy against inflation. You can rest, knowing your retirement account can still survive from the losses usually caused by the said crises. Thus, if you want to ensure your retirement wealth against inflation over the long-term, choose gold as one of the investment options you can add to your IRA.

  • Allows You To Take Control Over Your Retirement Savings

Incorporating gold to your IRA also gives you greater freedom to control your retirement savings. Unlike the standard individualized retirement account, you can choose different gold coins and bars that you want to add to your portfolio.

Moreover, when you have a gold IRA, you can take advantage of the market by knowing when to buy or sell this precious metal. For example, if the gold price decreases, you have the freedom to sell your assets to avoid significant losses on your retirement investments. Hence, it’s a smart idea to add gold to your individualized retirement account.

Therefore, if you consider setting up a gold IRA, the people behind reputable companies, like InvestingIngold.com, can assist you. They’re composed of a network of professionals who can help you get started with gold investments, including how you can leverage them for more profits.

  • Offers Financial Stability

As gold hits record high for its prices, you have every reason to include this precious metal in your retirement portfolio. It offers a safe layer of diversification in your IRA account, which can help hedge from any risks and ensure financial stability for you and your family.

Unlike other assets, many investors value gold because of its ability to stabilize your wealth in the long run. Thus, even if you reach your senior age and retire, you can rely upon your gold IRA for financial security.

Final Thoughts

With the information mentioned above, today is the best time to put gold in your IRA. As gold hits record high for its price value, it can be an excellent way to become financially independent and stable when you reach your retirement age.

Hopefully, you find this article helpful in understanding why you should consider the addition of gold to your IRA as a smart investment option for retirees like you.

 

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The Golden Age: Healthcare Policy & Preventative Health for Retirees

Sam Bowman

Image Source: Pixabay

You’ve been dreaming of and planning for your retirement for years. It’s what you’ve been working toward your entire adult life.

Now it’s here. And you want to enjoy it to the fullest for many years to come. The last thing you want or need is for bad healthcare policy or worse, your own ill health, to derail your plans and rob you of everything you’ve been striving for.

But there are things you can do to ensure that you remain the healthiest and most vital retiree on the block. What it takes is planning.

Get Covered

When you retire, chances are you’re going to be giving up the group coverage you had with your employer, unless your employer offers retiree coverage. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though, especially if you take advantage of all you are entitled to under Medicare.

If you’re turning 65, or you have a disability and have been covered under SSDI for at least 24 consecutive months, then chances are you’re eligible for Medicare coverage. The important thing is to meet your enrollment deadlines and ensure you’re clear on what the various Medicare plans actually cover.

Remember, too, that your spouse isn’t going to be covered under your Medicare plan, unlike with most traditional group insurance plans.

Likewise, standard Medicare, Part A, only covers hospitalizations and related services. Coverage for other services, such as routine medical care and prescription coverage, will require you to enroll in Parts B, C, and/or D, depending on your particular needs. Those plans cost far less than private insurance, in general, but they’re typically not free.

Know the Rules

If you’re planning to spend your retirement traveling the world, then you need to channel your inner nerd and do some heavy studying up on the healthcare policies in the areas you intend to visit — or even just to pass through.

These policies are going to shape who gets treated, how, and by whom. It’s also to determine how the care is to be paid for and when. If you’re living or traveling overseas, for instance, you generally can’t use Medicare Part B to cover your medical expenses. On the flip side, though, the cost of care is generally much lower abroad than in the US, so absorbing the costs yourself might not be much of an issue.

An Ounce of Prevention

If you’re planning for a long and healthy retirement, it’s not enough to know the healthcare system wherever you may find yourself or to ensure you have enough insurance coverage to meet your needs.  You also need to prioritize prevention.

After all, the best doctors in the world aren’t going to be able to give you the happy golden years you deserve without your cooperation. Staying strong and well means cultivating mind, body, and spirit.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes of death for both men and women in the United States. But by focusing on diet, exercise, stress management, and lifestyle, you can keep those veins strong and your heart, lungs, and circulatory system in tiptop shape for decades to come.

But if you’re one of the 133 million Americans who has a chronic illness, that doesn’t mean that it’s too late to build a healthy and happy retirement. It’s possible to retire well even with a chronic health condition. And that doesn’t require you to compromise on your medical care or give up your financial security.

It simply means you might have to work a little harder to access the support you deserve and the resources you need. You may choose to call in a financial expert to help you access medical funding support. Likewise, you might find yourself exploring various alternative health agencies to address your particular health needs.

The Takeaway

Retirement really should be the golden age. After all, you have worked hard your entire life to get here. But it won’t mean much if you don’t have the health and vitality to enjoy it. The good news is that with a bit of planning and some commitment, you can protect and even improve your health throughout your retirement years. It begins with understanding your particular health needs and the resources that are available to you. It also means practicing prevention, including taking care to safeguard your cardiovascular health and protect against the leading causes of death in the US. Above all, it means recognizing that having a chronic health condition doesn’t mean you have to give up your fantasy retirement. It just means you may have to take a bit of extra care of your physical, mental, and financial health. Yes, it may take some effort, but it will all be worth it when you’re living your best retirement life!

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House Move And Finances: How Do You Manage Them?

Leah Powell

House moves can easily be one of the best things that can happen in your life. After all, this is a way for you and your family to start fresh and open a new chapter in your lives. Regardless of the reason for your move – be it to buy your dream home, get a new environment, switching jobs and schools – it’s still awesome being in a new neighborhood and establishing a new start for your family. Unfortunately, house moves aren’t just “getting your new keys and transporting all your belongings.” If you’re worried how a house move can affect your finances, you might panic as to how you can efficiently manage your finances when conducting a move.

Deciding whether or not to hire long distance movers can add to the expenses, but for many people it is worth it as they greatly reduce the amount of time invested and the stress of the process.

Thankfully, we have some fresh tips you can use to make sure you don’t sacrifice your finances when conducting a move for your and the family.

Here are some tips:

Plan your moving expenses and adjust from there.

Instead of worrying about your savings immediately, try to plan for your move as though you don’t have anything to worry about. It’s best to list the ideal circumstances of your move first and then adjust from there. If you had the money, just what would you want to do with your move? From there, you’ll likely end up with the list that you can “tone down” and adjust according to your needs. For instance, instead of hiring all sorts of professionals, you can instead hire cross country movers and focus on making sure your things are moved to your new location while you handle the rest of the interior design and unpacking yourself.

Allot a budget to your move and stick to that budget.

Regardless of how tempting overspending might be for your move, try to stick to a particular budget in order to make sure you don’t burn through your savings. This might be difficult in itself, but this is also a good training on your end as to how you can adjust a particular budget to fit particular needs in terms of your moving requirements.

Consider having a garage sale.

If you have an existing inventory or if you’re planning on making an inventory, you should also consider things you plan on selling and throwing away. Before making your house move, try to sell things you no longer want, so you have some way of recuperating some losses you’ve spent on your moving budget.

Adjust your packing materials according to costs.

Ideally, we want our moving and packing materials to be new and sturdy, right? However, we might soon realize that buying a ton of boxes for a one-time thing might not be worth the while. As such, instead of buying a ton of boxes and packaging tape, we might want to instead consider buying materials we’ll be using for a long time… or reusing things we have at home. For instance, before buying packing materials, consider consolidating all existing boxes you have from your other furniture and see if you can fit other things there. Likewise, you should also consider buying plastic containers that are reusable in order to store them in your new home afterwards and use them in the future if needed.

Hire professionals to save time and add manpower.

One of the worst things that can happen during an expensive move is to waste more time during the move, especially if you’re doing things by yourself. Spending a lot of days off just packing and transporting your things can be costly for your job and your personal life, and it’s a risk you shouldn’t take. Instead, you can hire a moving company Manhattan in order to get that manpower you need and the equipment necessary to transport your things safely. This might seem counter-intuitive since you’re being asked to spend a bit for movers, but their expertise will at least be a worthwhile investment, compared to risking damaging your things just to save money during the move.

Moving And Finances: Management Works!

With the above tips in mind, it’s important to remember that managing your finances is still possible with your move. And you might be surprised to learn that things you do everyday can be tweaked to accommodate your move and not blow up your budget to the extreme. Hopefully, you’ll be able to manage your move properly without bursting your wallet and without denting too much of a hole in your savings plan. Good luck and happy moving!

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Interesting ways to increase your social security payments during retirement

Author Bio: Michael is a seasoned writer who loves to write about issues relating to retirement, Medicare, and Social Security. Holly currently works as a writer for “Social Security Office Near Me”, where she writes about Social Security benefits and issues affecting the senior citizen population.

Retirement living can be a worrisome part of life, especially for those dependent on salaried jobs as their income source is not valid anymore. Most people resort to their pension, but that might not be enough more often than not. Thus, the Social Security benefit act was signed in 1935, where the citizens who work for more than 35 years are given financial benefits. This is known as Social Security payments, and it has been discussed in detail here.

Social security

It is a type of financial security for the elderly people who opt for the service and have a minimum of 35 years of service behind them with a stable income. A certain amount is taken during their earning years, and based on it, credit scores are calculated. A person is eligible for 4 credit scores a month and should have 40 credits to qualify for the payments. The amount is based on calculations of the past 35 years of work.

Types of social security

Social Security can be of the following types-

Retirement benefits

It is the type of security that you become eligible for after retiring from work. It is generally around 65 years of age. The earning at the time of retirement is important here.

Disability benefits

It is applicable to anyone who comes disabled and cannot work or provide service anymore. The earning at the time of disability again becomes vital here.

Survivor’s benefit

If any worker passes away during the collection tenure, the deceased’s survivor is given the Social Security payments.

Supplemental Security Income benefits

This is for people who do not earn adequately to sustain themselves during their earning years.

What is social security retirement called?

It is also called Supplemental Security Income as the payment generated from it may not be enough to sustain an individual completely but can help to pay off any debts or take care of all the basic needs.

Ways to increase your Social security payments during retirement

You must receive the maximum benefits while withdrawing your Social Security payments. Here are some ways to ensure the same-

You should be working for more than 35 years for the best financial policy. In case you fall short of 35 years, the zeros are taken into the calculation, and the amount you will receive at the end will be less. It is better to have a year with a low income than a zero-income year.

Your salary should be higher in your earning years as the amount calculated to be your Social Security payment will be related to the salary that you had at the time of retirement or just prior to it.

Do not start claiming your Social Security payment at an early age of 62 years, even though you can do so. According to calculations, you could lose up to 25% of what you could have got back as a return on doing so.

A delayed pickup and claim of Social Security payments up to the age of 70 years can actually increase your returns by as much as 8%. Therefore, you have the option to postpone it more for more amount later.

In case you have already started claiming the payment at an early stage, and you see that you are losing money because of it, you have the option to suspend your payment till you reach 70 years. You can avail yourself of a replacing social security card to halt or start your payments according to convenience.

You can withdraw from the benefits of Social security payments as and when you want and become a part of the scheme later.

In case you have a spouse who is eligible for Social Security payments as well, you can get up to 50% of that payment in case your own payment amount is lesser than that.

In case, for some reason a person who is eligible for Social Security payments dies, the spouse can become eligible for the money as a survivor. The condition is that either the spouse should not be eligible for her own payment or have a lesser amount than the deceased. The widow or the widower also has the option of getting a one-time benefit from the deceased.

The children of a person eligible for Social Security can also get the benefits if they are deceased prematurely.

You should be able to estimate your health concerns and the number of years you will live, factoring in your family history. This will give you a proper idea of when you should start claiming the Social Security benefits. If you’re not sure, you can always go to the Social Security Administration near you and confirm.

Calculating the retirement benefits

The main criteria for calculating the retirement benefits for Social Security payments are taking an average of your income for the past 35 years. A particular agency keeps tracking your earnings for 35 years and then divide the whole by 35 to get your average yearly income. This is followed by dividing this calculated money by 12 to get the monthly estimate. The ultimate amount is dependent on the total earnings then and not for the last 4-5 years as such.

You should try to be in an earning state all 35 years to have a larger average. On failing to do so, the amount is taken as zero for the time lost. The payment that you receive monthly on retirement is also dependent on the age that you start collecting the claims. Doing it as early as 62 years can reduce the amount and stalling it until 70 years can increase it by 8%.

The bottom line

Social Security payment is a very good initiative to take care of your financial problems after you have started enjoying senior living. You should opt for the plan while in service and fulfill your part of the deal to get maximum benefits.

Now that you know about Social Security payments in detail, you should become aware of executing the scheme and leading a carefree retired life later.

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