Tag Archives: Lifestyle Decisions

When deciding on a great place to live, what is most important to you?

great place to liveWe were wondering what are the most important factors that determine where a person lives? How do you choose a great place to live? Do they focus  on jobs that are available? Do they focus on good schools for their kids? Do they focus on interesting things to do?  What about the cost of living and housing? Does it depend on the stage of life that they are in? Maybe being close to family, getting away from the cold and the snow and other areas that are important to people in their lives all comes into focus when they are considering where they will live. It really boils down to what is important to them and how they want to live their lives.

Young Adults

It appears that most young adults are focused on where they can get a job once they graduate from school. The over riding factor is to find a job and if that means they need to move, then that is what they will do. They are relatively mobile with few ties and encumbrances like homes and furniture to be concerned about. Given a choice they will prefer a location that maximizes their social life, whether that is skiing or wave boarding or even both in some locations

Adults with Families

Life suddenly got a lot more complicated. While they will move to take a job, these moves are not taken lightly. Spouses may have jobs to think about and there are often children’s schools to think about. If the kids are older, there may be some resistance to moving as well due to leaving friends etc.

This is all a balance in life style, however the most important thing for most people is to find a decent job that they can obtain to pay for a home and food etc. if there are no jobs, then the family may have to move regardless of the other priorities in life.

Retirement great place to live

This is often very difficult for many people as well. Do they stay in their current home? Are there sufficient support services available to help them when they need help. Are they healthy enough to look after the home and travel or do the things that they like to do while retired? Where is the family? Should they move closer to the family or should they move to a location that has always been their dream.

One of the issues that people who are retired have is that they have just too many opportunities and too many choices. Sometimes they cannot make up their minds what they want to do and end up just staying where they are.

Your comments and plans about the life stages and where you want to live would be appreciated. What drives you to stay or move? For more posts about life style issues, click here.

Working Beyond 60 Needs a Healthy Body

Working Beyond 60More and more people are planning to work well beyond the age of 60 years of age, simply because they cannot afford to quit their jobs. They did not save enough money for retirement and they do not have enough money coming in from pensions, so there is no choice but to work. As long as their health holds out they can continue working with no problems, but as soon as health issues get in the way, they may not be able to work even sitting down at a desk. What are they to do at this moment?

This is a really tough question that more and more baby boomers are beginning to face. They do not have enough money saved for retirement and they cannot work. How will they survive?

Sufficient savings no worries

If you have sufficient savings that can generate an income for you then you really have no worries. Continue working as long as it is interesting and meets all of your personal objectives. This is the most enviable position to be in since you can really quit when you want and retire or find another job that gives you some pleasure. But if you do not have enough money, then it is time to start saving money.

Not enough, top up savings

Save as much as you can for retirement. If you are starting late, you may not be able to save enough, but then something is better than nothing. Talk to a financial advisor and figure out how much you will need to save in order to have the life style that you want to have, then start saving money now.

Working Beyond 60

Even if this means you have to work well into your 60’s at least you will have a plan that will make your life a little easier and if your health gives out and you cannot work then you have something that you can fall back on. Working when you know you have savings to fall back on is much easier than when you have nothing or not nearly enough saved and must work just to make ends meet.

Set aside a minimum of 10% from every paycheck and watch it grow over the years. The earlier you start the faster it will grow.

A healthy body helps

Keep your body healthy. Exercise a bit, go for 20 minutes walks every day and eat the right foods. The odds will be better for you when you exercise that you will maintain your health and if you need to work you will be able to. This is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that you have a healthy body if you need to work.

Take care of it and avoid getting some of the ailments that many older people get when they do not eat right, exercise etc. Stop smoking and reduce your drinking as well to protect your body.

Health issues get in the way

When you do get sick it usually means time off the job. Serious health issues can take a long time to deal with and they can mean you have a lot of extra cost as well as reduced income. With a large savings and paying for health insurance until Medicare kicks in will help you avoid becoming totally broke as you age. Health issues can come up at any time so you need to be prepared .

Plan for surprises

One of the largest issues that many people have to deal with is that they are not ready for surprises from a financial perspective. Whether it is repairs to the car or the house or some other major issue, if you do not have the savings for major issues such as these then the money has to come out of your current income and this can be difficult to deal with.

It also means you must keep working for a longer period than perhaps you planned. Always have at least 6 months of equivalent income saved up to deal with layoffs, and other emergencies that occur from time to time. If you have to dig into your emergency savings, top it back up as soon as you can.

For more thoughts about retirement risks, click here.

Balanced Life Style

Balanced Life StyleEveryone should think about maintaining a balanced life style. What does this really mean and why is it so important? It all comes down to maintaining your health over the long-term. This was explained to me by a senior manager who was providing some mentoring to me one day. I think that he thought that I was working too hard. He wanted to make sure that I maintained a balanced life style for myself and my family.

His guidance to me was based on the following. If you assume a basic work day is eight hours and you have 8 hours for sleep, then that leaves 8 hours for family and social activities. This is a pretty good balance if you can maintain this, since we all need on average at least 8 hours of sleep every day.

Balanced Life Style – Work vs. Personal Life

Now if work gets busy, maybe you are trying to get promoted and want to put in more effort. Chances are you are going to be at the office for more than 8 hours. Let’s assume 10 hours for the sake of illustration. We still want to maintain our time with the family and with our social activities. After all this is part of the reward and is fun as well for most people. If we work 10 hours and play 10 hours, then that only leaves 6 hours for sleeping!

Now once and awhile is really not a problem for most people. You are tired the next day due to lack of sleep. But then you work a regular day and get a good nights sleep that next night. The problem creeps in when working 10 hours at the office becomes a habit, a regular occurrence. The amount of sleep you get on average gets a lot closer to 6 hours instead of eight.

Balanced Life Style – Considerations

Now with lack of sleep creeping in, people are making more mistakes. They do not operate machinery or cars nearly as well. They have accidents! In addition their bodies do not have as much time to recuperate. There is a greater chance of becoming sick which means time off the job.

This is some of the best advice that I ever received. Hopefully other people will read this material and they will change their life for the better. Stay healthy, spend time with your family and work smart at work to succeed in life. The company will not remember you. They will not care about you if you get sick and have to retire early or quit work altogether.

Ten Best Things to do in Retirement

Ten Best Things to do in RetirementThis is the list of the Ten Best Things to do in Retirement that we recently read and wanted to pass this along to our readers. Basically you can do something that keeps you busy and that you find rewarding or you can help people. Sitting around and doing nothing really does not help you or anyone else that matter, so why not make a contribution to society in some manner? Sitting around being bored is actually bad for your health and will actually shorten your life. Be active and do something that you enjoy and really get into your retirement.

Ten Best Things to do in Retirement

  • Get a job
  • Take up a sport
  • Volunteer
  • Start a business
  • Start a hobby
  • Travel the world
  • Take a year off work
  • Go south for the winter
  • Go to a camp for adults
  • Meet new friends of all ages

Get a job – a lot of people will take a second job after retirement to make a little money to pay for the extras they want and to also replace their social life that they lost when they retired.

Take up a sport – there are lots of sports that retirees can participate in, some are expensive such as golf, but other such as bike riding are relatively inexpensive.

Volunteer – helping other people is both rewarding and it makes a contribution to society, while adding some social activity as well to your life.

Start a business – starting a business is a challenge for many people and some retirees miss the challenges that work gave them. Starting a small business is one way to replace that loss.

Start a hobby – that hobby you always wanted to pursue but never had the time is ready and waiting

Travel the world – if you have enough money traveling can be a wonderful pastime, provided that you have the budget available to travel in the lifestyle you prefer.

Take a year off work – instead of retiring, take a year off work to see if you are ready and develop some of the things that you will be doing during retirement

Go south for the winter – lots of people cannot stand the winter and love to travel south for the winter where they can golf and pursue some of the sports they enjoy in the summer.

Go to a camp for adults – we are not sure about this one, but you can pick a camp that caters to your interests and meet new people at the same time.

Meet new friends of all ages – take the time to meet new friends, everyone has a story to tell and many are really interesting to listen to.

How long do I need life insurance?

life insuranceMost people have life insurance of some kind to cover their debts when the pass away and to also provide for their families when they can no longer support them. No one want to see their family suffer after they are gone, especially if they are the bread winner.

Life insurance can be the safety net if someone suddenly dies leaving debts and dependents. But what should you do once the kids are grown up and out working, raising their own families etc? Of course you still want to have enough money for your debts and to cover your spouse, but how much should you have and when should you stop paying for life insurance. This is a question the writer is struggling with and trying to make a decision on. There is a business decision side to this and there is a emotional side of the decision. So far the emotional side is winning, since I feel that I really do not need to have life insurance at this time in my life. I am just afraid to give it up.

Stop Payments on Life Insurance When I retire?

Some people feel that retirement age can be the trigger to end your life insurance payments. If your income from pensions etc is sufficient to cover all of your expenses and this income will continue after you are gone, then you may want to consider stopping the insurance. However if your spouse will suffer a huge drop in income once you are gone due t a pension or pensions stopping, then you may want to reconsider your insurance coverage and keep it a bit longer.

Does it Depend On Your Personal Situation?

The answer is that it really does depend on personal situations. What your pension income is; how much will be left after you pass; what your savings level is and how much income can be derived from your savings. You may want to keep a small policy to cover your debts and not much more if you feel that there is enough to go around and pay for everything that needs to be paid.

Timing is Important

The longer you wait to make a decision the higher the chance is that you may have a health event. Once this occurs it will be more difficult to not only obtain life insurance. It will also be much more expensive to purchase life insurance. The payout may also be reduced as well.

If you are age 50 or older and have not yet had a health related event, you may want to give your health insurance vs. your life insurance some serious thought.

Long term care insurance is another factor that begins to creep into the picture the older we get. Some experts believe that while you might be dropping life insurance, you may also want to pick up insurance for long term care to cover the situation were you end up needing care of this kind.

Cannot Forecast the Future

None of us can predict what will happen. If we could we would only buy life insurance when we thought we would need it. Life insurance deals more with average probabilities and also our personal family history. We can take a look at how our families survived. How long they lived to help us decide when we need to have life insurance vs. long term care insurance. But there are no guarantees on life so bottom  line is:

  • Have enough life insurance to cover your debts
  • Have enough life insurance to make sure your dependents will live comfortably
  • Consider long term care coverage before it is too late
  • Evaluate your savings etc. Consider whether you want to be able to leave something as a bonus for loved ones.

Once you have made those decisions, the decision about life insurance and how much you should have will become easier to make. That is my take on it, however many people have a variety of opinions on this topic. Leave us your comments and ideas if you agree or disagree.

How do You Know It is Time to Retire

How do You Know It is Time to RetireWhen is the best time to retire? The answer is that is really depends on many personal issues that each person must consider. Retirement is a very personal issue which for most people is emotional as well as extremely stressful as you try to understand whether you have sufficient funds to retire on. Most people have no idea and are unable to determine if they have enough to live on. They need help figuring this out and should have a good financial adviser to help them, one that they can trust and be able to consult with. Here is a list of some of them. We will discuss them in more detail later in the post:

  • Hate going into work
  • Health issues
  • Family requirements, such as grand children
  • Time to move on to enjoy life
  • Other work opportunities
  • Change your life style

Time to Retire

We used to work until the magic age of 65, now people are retiring voluntarily at 50 or even younger and doing some of the things they always wanted to do. Some just move on to another job, so you cannot really call that retirement. Other work contract and take time off during the year, so you might call this semi-retirement or transition to retirement.

If you are flexible with your living expenses or somehow have sufficient funds to live on, why not take time and do something different. For most people, the trigger is something that either happens on the job were they have just had enough, or there is something in their personal life that triggers retirement.

If you cannot stand going to work, then it is probably time to retire or at least change. You are not going to do as good a job and it will become more frustrating as your boss gets on your case. Don’t let this happen, take control of your life and make your own decisions.

Before you make the big decision it is important to have some sort of plan and I am not talking about a golden parachute. Sure money is important, but so is what you are going to do with your time.  One of my neighbors was quoted as saying he watches the grass grow , since he is so bored. This is not good for him or his family. Here are some questions to ask yourself. Depending on your answers, you may need to really think about retirement and plan appropriately:

  • Do I have a life outside of my job?
  • How will this affect my family?
  • What else can I see myself doing?

Do I have a life outside of my job?  Build a social life outside of and away from the job. Once you move on, after a not to long a time, your colleagues at work will move on. Also they are not available when you are.

How will this affect my family? What will your spouse do and are your kids old enough and do you have sufficient income to enjoy retirement. You cannot go from managing your employees to managing your family. This will generate all kinds of conflict which you do not need or want. Spend quality time with your kids, and your grandchildren!

What else can I see myself doing? You need to have a plan for what you will do with your time after you retire. Typically you need to fill 40 hours of work plus your commute time. Sitting watching TV is not a good idea and you cannot golf every day. You really need a broad mix of things which can include more golf, but also other hobbies and projects around the house. Even volunteering or part time work  or starting a business or whatever you may find enjoyable. The important thing is do what you find interesting and enjoyable.

The best time to retire is when you can afford it and the life outside work looks much more interesting!

Enjoy Retired Life

enjoy-retired-lifeEnjoy Retired Life?

There are many studies that have been completed to try to figure out what helps to keep retired people happy and be able to enjoy retired life. After you boil away all of the words and statistics there seems to be several things that seem to emerge as key elements to enjoying retired life. These include and we must say here that they are not in any particular order:

  • Having sufficient money for your desired lifestyle
  • Matching your lifestyle with what really interest you
  • Being close to a supportive and loving family
  • Enjoying close friends and family
  • Having an active life in terms of social as well as activity
  • Having a rough plan that evolves with retirement

These are pretty general items and some people may rank some higher than others. Again the list above is not ranked because each of these items will have a different level of importance for each person. One couple we know has different views between them. The grandmother just wants to stick around home and see her children and grand children every week. she cannot get enough of them and does not want to go on trips. Her spouse on the other hand, loves his kids and grand kids, but wants to go on trips and travel a bit. He enjoys his family but occasionally wants a break. They will need to work this out between then and find a solution that works for them.

Concerns about Retired Life

It is only natural to have concerns about retirement. Most people are concerned about retirement however, it’s important to understand this is likely the fear of the unknown, which can often be an unfounded fear.

The best approach to deal with concerns is to talk about them with people who can assist you with these concerns. Whether it is a family member or a financial adviser discuss your concerns and develop a plan to deal with these concerns. Quickly the unknown will become known and you can approach retirement with confidence.

Regrets about Retired Life

When it comes to regrets, many people have regrets and these regrets manifest themselves as you get closer to retirement. If you are young and reading this post, now is the time to give some thought to these issues and do something about them to avoid them as you get older. If you are retiring now, why not address some of these issues as best you can to improve your retirement and enjoy it more.

Some regrets among retirees include:

  • Not taking better care of themselves;
  • Not starting to save earlier for retirement; and
  • Not traveling enough
  • The main regret of pre-retirees was not starting to save earlier for retirement .

Successful Attributes about Retired Life

The vast majority of retirees who say they are having a successful retirement indicate the following are very important to that success:

  • Biggest secret to retirement success being realistic expectations
  • Having saved enough money
  • Good planning ; and
  • Staying involved with people.

Having a realistic plan about retirement is tough to do. Usually there is a spouse involved. Both parties must face retirement together with similar plans. Other wise you risk disagreement and conflict that will get in the way of your retirement success.

Being retired, we can say that all of these ideas are excellent and something that we all should pay attention to. There is one more which we alluded to in the previous paragraph. That is excellent communication with your spouse. Which leads to shared goals and realistic objectives with your spouse. Sometimes you just need to talk things out and work them out until you find a solution that works for them.

We appreciate your comments and ideas about this post and retirement in general. Our readers will appreciate the suggestions and help that your comments provide.