<![CDATA[retiredbrains.com - Blog]]>Thu, 01 Nov 2018 14:26:33 -0700EditMySite<![CDATA[Home Improvement Tips for Smaller Dwellings]]>Thu, 01 Nov 2018 17:23:53 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/home-improvement-tips-for-smaller-dwellingsWhile getting the most square footage possible remains at the top of many people’s lists when they want to buy a home, a growing trend focuses on the benefits of smaller units. In addition to changing preferences of first-time homeowners compared to those in previous generations, the rising popularity of smaller homes can be attributed to increased demand for the limited space in urban areas as well as the price constraints imposed by stricter borrowing standards.

Smaller homes will inevitably demand some creative decorating and renovating on the part of the homeowners. Fortunately there are a number of ways to make the most of limited space without cutting off the comfort your dwelling should provide:

Embrace big

It’s counterintuitive, but deciding when it’s appropriate to go big is important when making improvements to a smaller dwelling. For instance, the master bedroom should have a big bed with plush comforters and pillows to match. The relatively large size of the room and limited opportunity to put much else in there means an imposing bed provides a proven anchor for a few smaller pieces to center around. Likewise, don’t be afraid to put a big sofa in the living room. Opting for smaller furniture in order to open up a few feet of space will be a disappointing trade off considering most people aren’t doing much in the living besides sitting down.

Modern Technology Appliances

​Focus on maximizing the use of limited spaces by upgrading to high-quality, modern technology equipment or appliances. For instance, you may consider installing a pair of drawer dishwashers instead of a standard drop-down in order to avoid having to make room for the door with expanded floor space. Likewise, take advantage of shelving in bathrooms to optimize accessibility without infringing on the existing tight fit.

Get low

Smaller homes tend to have lower hanging ceilings. To counteract the potential for claustrophobia, use low-sitting furniture. This can apply to bed frames as well. When people enter a room with a low-ceiling with equally low-lying furniture, they are less likely to notice a difference compared to rooms with standard ceiling heights.

Let there be light

Lighting is an especially important factor in small home design, primarily because there is little room for error. As far as windows go, the fewer the better, but only if they are large. In other words, each room will only have space for one or two windows, so they should be allowing as much natural light in as possible. For rooms with limited sun exposure throughout the day, a well-placed central ceiling light fixture is crucial.

Multi-purpose matters

Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about multifunctional elements and their importance in small home design. Futons, fold-outs, desk-to-tables, shelved room dividers, and storage-friendly coffee tables are just some of the multi-purpose furniture pieces to consider incorporating into your small home design.

​Home buying has traditionally revolved around getting as much space for your money as possible, but an increasing number of first-time homebuyers are choosing smaller-sized dwellings. Fortunately there are ways to get the most out of smaller homes.
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<![CDATA[Decorating Your Home’s Interior and Exterior]]>Thu, 01 Nov 2018 17:17:04 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/decorating-your-homes-interior-and-exteriorHomeowners in a position to make changes to the look of their property are often afflicted with analysis paralysis - the inability to make a decision due to overthinking the situation. There are so many options to choose from when it comes to decorating the interior and exterior of a house that it feels impossible to narrow them down into a practical plan going forward.

One possible solution for those undergoing analysis paralysis while planning a home decorating project is to explore several different styles at once. Rather than try and further narrow down your shortlist of preferences, incorporate them all into the redesign project. We call it the White House approach, and here is how you do it:

Different themes for different rooms

​Are you torn between a love for classic decor and a passion for modern design? If so, why not devote a room to one and a room to the other? Similar to how different bedrooms in the White House are themed differently, the rooms of your house can each have its own distinct look and feel. Decorate a home office with antique furniture and ornate light fixtures, then plan the living room to be up-to-speed with the latest trends in interior design. Do this for every room to get a taste of each theme on your shortlist.

Form in the front and function in the back

​As far as the exterior of a home is concerned, many people choose to do little if anything in the way of altering the decor. It is important to upkeep your outdoor cabinets to ensure that if you improve the small things, it will go a long way. We want to avoid ruining the existing aesthetic of the property as viewed from the front, but this approach adds up to lots of wasted space. Get the most out of your exterior by making improvements in places which are hard to see from the street, mainly in the backyard area. This is similar to the White House, where the grounds appear timeless and untouched from the street thanks to state-of-the-art upgrades being concealed by foliage.

At this stage, your creativity can take you down several different interior and exterior decor approaches. With that said, it’s important not to stretch yourself too thin, both in terms of the planning effort and labor involved. When it comes to the interior of the house, focus on one room at a time. Don’t move on to the next one until the first is complete. While this may not sound like responsibly managed time, this process can be done over the course of a week or so if planned out the right way.

As far as the exterior of the house goes, prioritize the decorating in a back-to-front fashion. That way when your backyard patio area is complete, you’re able to modify foliage and fencing to better conceal the back of the property. If you work the other way around, your decisions in the front may not be enough to adequately frame-off and cover those in the back.

The decision to make changes to the decor of your house can quickly turn into an inability to make decisions about which changes you really want to make. Consider several approaches in order to lessen the burden of tough choices, as well as explore several different design styles.
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<![CDATA[Survey Finds Estimated Medicare Costs for 2019]]>Wed, 31 Oct 2018 23:32:05 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/survey-finds-estimated-medicare-costs-for-2019The open enrollment period for 2019 Medicare coverage recently began on October 15, and will extend until December 7. This means it’s once again time for current beneficiaries and eligible Americans to start thinking about which Medicare plans are most advantageous for their health needs and budget parameters.

Making this decision is based on a variety of factors such as the kind of benefits available, the physicians in-network, the deductible amount, and the cost of both premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. Once you determine what plans offer the coverage you are looking for at a rate you can afford, this can help inform your choice of whether to stick with Original Medicare (Parts A and B), or to select Medicare Advantage (Part C), Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D) and other Supplement plans in addition.

If you are among the more than 56 million Americans who depend on Medicare for health insurance, consider the average price breakdown from these survey results enumerated below when shopping around for your 2019 benefits.

​Medicare Costs At-a-Glance Based on Current Beneficiary Responses

Recently, a segment of the senior population enrolled in Medicare coverage was polled in regard to the expenditures accrued from their current plans. They were surveyed on three main areas of cost related criteria—monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs, deferral or avoidance of treatments, and usage of supplementary benefits.

To address this issue of monthly expense, the survey found that 33% of respondents are charged less than $100 each month in premiums, and 57% are charged between $100 and $199. Conversely, just 10% of respondents are charged $200 or more in premiums. Next, factoring in the out-of-pocket expenses, around three quarters of these polled beneficiaries indicated they owe less than $100 out-of-pocket each month, while 22% stated they owe upwards of $100.

When asked if they delay or decline certain medical procedures due to cost despite having a Medicare plan, 19% of respondents answered “yes.” Others chose to offset these more expensive treatments by adding a Medicare Advantage or Supplement plan to their existing policies. In fact, 45% indicated they are enrolled in an Advantage plan, while 26% are enrolled in a Supplement plan, and another 43%, who are currently without a Supplement plan, have considered adding this coverage.

​Other Factors to Keep in Mind when Reviewing Medicare Plans

Calculating and comparing the estimated prices can help steer your decision, but there are other elements worth researching too. As you examine the different coverage options during the course of open enrollment, familiarize yourself with the various Medicare changes and updates taking place in 2019.

One of the major amendments going into effect this new year is the freedom for Medicare Advantage enrollees to switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, or revert to Original Medicare with standalone prescription drug coverage, between January 1 and March 31. This time-frame gives you three months to determine if a certain plan works for you and then to adjust the coverage if needed. However, within this grace period, just one change is permitted. 

The other modification relates to Part D coverage—as of 2019, beneficiaries with high-cost prescriptions will not be subjected to the “donut hole” issue anymore. This means the gap between your Part D’s coverage limit and the maximum out-of-pocket cost will be reduced, so the amount you are required to cover will decrease to 25% of the total price for brand-name medications and 37% for generic medications. 

The average monthly premium for Part D coverage is also expected to lower from $33.59 down to $32.50 once the new year begins. If you are high on the income bracket though (at least $500,000 for individuals and $750,000 for couples), prepare to be charged increased rates for both Part D and Part B premiums in 2019. In fact, these added surcharges will result in paying 85% of the total coverage. 

Finally, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has projected that Medicare Advantage premiums will reach their most affordable cost in three years, with a 6% decrease to $28.00 or lower each month. The number of Advantage policies offered will expand also, giving about 91% of beneficiaries over 10 plans to choose from. This upsurge in variety and downturn in cost is forecasted to boost Medicare Advantage enrollment to an impressive 22.6 million Americans, the highest concentration to date.

As you navigate the different Medicare policies and programs available for this upcoming year, the information provided is intended to ease your mind and streamline your choice. For an additional resource, this Guide to Medicare can help you understand the different nuances and facets of coverage more in-depth, so you can enter 2019 feeling empowered and secure in your healthcare decision.
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<![CDATA[ABCs of Managing a Millennial Workforce]]>Tue, 30 Oct 2018 07:00:00 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/abcs-of-managing-a-millennial-workforce​Business owners with only a decade or so to go before retirement are hiring more and more millennial-age people to work for them with every year. While it can be tough for those in their 50s and 60s to develop a successful method of managing those of a younger generation, this phenomenon is hardly new. The age gap between upper management and employees is a time-tested dynamic every business owner will need to factor into their operative practices.

While every generation is a little different, millennials aren’t so special from other age groups as to be impossible to manage. To improve their relationship with younger workers, older business owners can utilize the following ABCs of managing a mostly millennial workforce:

Account for individuality

There is more diversity in the millennial age workforce than in those of previous generations. While this includes things like race, religion, and gender, it also includes things like lifestyle and dietary choices. With this in mind, business owners who wish to better manage a millennial workforce will want to account for individuality as best as possible, but simultaneously avoid drawing too much attention to it. For instance, when it comes to handing out holiday offerings to employees, a turkey gift certificate is a sure winner nine times out of ten, but what about Jim the vegetarian? Having a comparable alternative is a nice way of saying you acknowledge and respect him as an individual without making a big deal out of it.

Be results-driven

​One of the biggest complaints business owners have about millennial age employees is how they don’t seem to respect work schedules, break time rules, and other clock-oriented aspects of employment. As an owner-manager, you have two options: become more strict about enforcing set schedules, or switch to a results-driven model. By placing an emphasis on the results i.e. the quality and quantity of work an employee produces in a given amount of time, employers can let millennial age staff move at their own pace but still hold them accountable. Start by developing mid-week and end-of-week goals for workers, coupled with a mid-week and end-of-week review of their productivity.

Capitalize on their tech-savvy

​Some people look at how often millennials are on their smartphones and in cyberspace and shake their head at the apparent waste of time and energy. Those with an innate entrepreneurial spirit, however, look at this and see an untapped source of digital expertise. Most millennials are naturally gifted when it comes to finding reliable information online, managing a social media presence, and troubleshooting various glitches and hiccups with software and apps. Business owners ought to incorporate this into their day-to-day operations to better harness the talents millennials are bringing to the table.

Don’t “Fellow Kids” them

​If you’ve thought about using memes to reach out to your workers, note that what you’re doing is itself already a meme. Rather than trying to fit in with your millennial employees by seizing on the eccentricities of internet culture, focus on the organic common ground. There’s more of it than you or they probably realize. A mutual appreciation for professional sports is one example. Another would be a shared fondness for a particular book, movie series, or TV show. Even food is something people of multiple age groups can.

Express displeasure appropriately

​In addition to being flaky about work schedules, millennials also have a bad rap when it comes to taking criticism. But rather than treating them with kid gloves and consequently preventing your business from improving, older managers of millennials ought to focus on the appropriate means to express their displeasure with a person’s performance. Begin by understanding the difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism. Follow up by delivering the critique in person one-on-one rather than through email or in a meeting. Do not mince words, but do not end the conversation without outlining a clear path for improvement. If you genuinely feel like your employee is capable of making the necessary changes (which you would if you are choosing to keep them) make sure they know your feelings on the matter.

Business owners nearing retirement age are probably managing a workforce of mostly millennials. If you’ve been having trouble finding the best way to lead employees belonging to this generation, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are a few relatively simple ways to improve your management of millennial workers without sacrificing the values and techniques which led to your success in the first place.
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<![CDATA[Simple Investments You Can Make In Your Home]]>Mon, 29 Oct 2018 18:28:57 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/simple-investments-you-can-make-in-your-homeThere are many different investment strategies when it comes to saving for retirement, and not all of them are tied up with money in the bank. Many people agree that having a great savings account is important. Others agree that having a 401k and other such retirement savings are great. One new way that people are looking into saving for their retirements is by investing in their home. There are many ways to improve your home, but not all will raise its value. It’s important to research whatever you decide to do, and comply with all local laws. 

​Simple Home Improvements 

One investment many people make in their home is adding a deck. There are a lot of different options available for this, and there is no one-size-fits-all package. Having someplace to relax on warm, summer evenings is one of the great perks of homeownership. 

Fresh paint is another simple home investment you can make. Painting your house is fairly easy and inexpensive to do, and it can give your house a new design that makes you fall in love all over again. 

Another way people invest in their homes is by doing simple home maintenance. This is one of the easiest investment strategies for retirement. It's fairly inexpensive, but takes time to do and still costs money. Working to do all the basic upkeep on your home will ensure that you have a great opportunity to relax and enjoy your home when you retire. 

​Solar Panels

Solar panels are another way you can invest in your future. This investment will help save you time and money. Before you invest in these panels, consider the following: 

* Are these panels right for you? These panels are an investment that can save you money throughout the life of your house, but it does cost money as an initial investment. Think carefully about how long you're planning on staying in your local house. 

* Are these panels allowed by your local zoning laws? While most places are becoming friendly to these panels, some may have laws against them; so make sure to check your local laws. If space is an issue you can always look into roof mount solar panels that won’t add as much clutter to the yard.

Final Notes

It's up to you to make the final decision on what investments you should make for your retirement. If you decide to invest in your home, remember, you want it to be comfortable and friendly. Making sure your home is well-designed now will allow you to kick back and relax in it when you are older. 

Before making any major repairs and expenditures in your home, it's ideal to make sure that these are really what you're going to want long term. Take time to do research and determine whether or not the home repairs are worth the investment. 

There are many great companies that offer these services, so don't feel like you have to do all the hard work on your own. While doing a project on your own can potentially save money, it does take time. Hiring a professional can make the job quicker and easier.
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<![CDATA[Aging In Place? Here’s What You Should Do To Make Your Home Ready]]>Mon, 29 Oct 2018 18:11:25 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/aging-in-place-heres-what-you-should-do-to-make-your-home-ready
There is indeed no place like home, so we truly understand if you want to spend your twilight years in the home that you’ve built with the ones that you love. 

But aging brings with it a lot of physical changes. You might start to feel that your joints are getting weaker and your vision is getting more and more blurry. There is a need to tweak your home a bit to accommodate the changes that you are experiencing. We’ll discuss in this article the little changes that you should not fail to implement.  

​Add grab bars in bathrooms

​Orthopedic issues are some of the most common complaints that older people have. Even the healthiest of seniors will notice that their bones get weaker and moving around becomes a chore.

The bathroom is a place that you should really modify if you want to safely age in place. Because there will be water, there is a very good chance that floors there will get slippery. Younger people won’t have problems holding themselves up. But older ones need support, and this is precisely what grab bars are for. If they are new to you, these fixtures are installed on walls so that you can easily hold on to them for support as you move around the bathroom.

​Get rid of some furniture items

​A home looks full and attractive when it is fully furnished and well-decorated. However, having a lot of items inside the house means greater demand for cleaning and maintaining. While exercise is good for seniors like you, cleaning and other similar activities that require you to bend and crouch for sustained periods might be too much, especially if you already have back and knee problems. To minimize the need for home cleaning, you might want to consider sticking with the basics when it comes to furniture. If a sofa and a chair is all that you need, then a sofa and chair should be the only pieces that you have.

Change the floor plan in accordance with your activities

A home should be laid out in such a way that it ergonomically supports the routine activities of the people living in it. If you are spending too much energy getting to places around the house, it’s a sign that there is a need to do some home modifications for seniors, at least as far as the floor plan is concerned. Study your behavior and list the areas in the house that you frequent; these places should be kept free from obstructions.

Keep cords in check

Electric cords that are just left lying around are hazardous because people might trip over them, damaging not only the appliance but also the health of the persons involved. Hence, wires should always be kept out of the way. In doing so, there really is no need for fancy cord organizers. You can just coil long cords, tie them using an ordinary string, and neatly keep them in a place away from spaces where you or your guests usually walk. 
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<![CDATA[Why You Should Hire A Lawyer To Help With Your Disability Benefits Claim]]>Fri, 26 Oct 2018 07:12:50 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/why-you-should-hire-a-lawyer-to-help-with-your-disability-benefits-claim
If you are unable to continue working due to disability, you will likely be filing for your Social Security Disability Benefits through your state. Keeping in mind that every state has its own rules and regulations for their own systems, there are still several things that can be done by any applicant to help ensure a fair case hearing.

In fact, over 50% of all initial claims for disability benefits are denied. The system is extremely complex and rigid, and can reject your claim based on anything from a typo on your application to missing a documentation deadline. For claimants who find themselves unable to work and bring in any income, the stress of having to cut through the red tape can be very stressful.

If you have never dealt with Social Security before and are unsure of how to proceed through your application process, you should consider talking to a lawyer. There are many firms available with experts that can help you deal with your disability benefits right from the start. Find out more about the benefits of having legal counsel on your side when facing the disability benefits system.

​Application Assistance

The application for benefits can be lengthy and confusing for many people. With the help of a Disability lawyer you can make certain that your application is error-free and complete. Your lawyer will walk you through each part of the process while ensuring that everything is correct and submitted on time. In some cases, when a Disability application is handed in with errors, your claim can be rejected before it is even considered. Make sure that you give yourself the advantage of legal advice to increase the chances of your application being considered the first time.

​They Know The System

When you hire a Disability lawyer you can help lower the stress levels involved in the application process. Your lawyer deals with the system on a daily basis and is an expert in the field. You will be able to confidently go through the process while staying in the loop about what is happening with your claim.

Increase Your Odds For Approval

With more than half of all Social Security Disability claims being rejected on their first submission, you want to have every bit of ammunition in your corner while going through the process. Trying to navigate all of the paperwork and submissions on your own leaves you at much greater risk of rejection. The system is just waiting for any type of error that can allow them to legally deny your claim. Protect your interests by gathering the best team with you to file your application.

Less Stress

​When you are already dealing with an injury or sickness that is making it impossible to work, your life can be filled with stress. Just the financial strain alone can be enough to further affect your health in a negative way. When you hire a lawyer to help you file for your Social Security Disability Benefits, you can relax a bit knowing that all of your interests are covered.
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<![CDATA[Home Improvement Tips for Those in Retirement]]>Thu, 25 Oct 2018 20:56:08 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/home-improvement-tips-for-those-in-retirement​If you’re a recently retired homeowner with your mortgage paid off or nearly paid off, congratulations on reaching a major milestone of the American Dream. The years ahead are open for a wide variety of fun and adventure, meanwhile, there’s the security of knowing you always have a home waiting for when you get back.

If you’re planning on living in the same house for the foreseeable future, it might also be time to tackle some home improvement projects you’ve been meaning to have done. But before you get started, it’s important to consider the years ahead; as you get older, mobility will become increasingly limited, vision may deteriorate, and the same can be said for hearing. Home renovation plans put together during retirement should, therefore, incorporate the realities of aging.

Basic home improvement tips for those in retirement:

​Minimize movement

While seniors need to stay active through regular exercise, they should be trying to cut down on the amount of turning, walking, and other movements they have to do in their own home. For instance, when designing an outdoor kitchen, you want to make sure countertops and cooking elements can be accessed with just a step or two this way or that way. Having to routinely walk several paces, maneuver around islands, and overcoming other obstacles just to make dinner will add up to increased aches and pains over time.

Efficient / No-Hassle Appliances

​Another effective home improvement tip is to upgrade your appliances! Avoid the hassle of appliances breaking or not functioning properly and upgrade to modern technology appliances. For example, you can search from a wide variety of washer and dryer sets that range in price, while maintaining your standard of quality.

Invest in security

​When retirees think of security, they tend to focus on preventing their identity from being stolen and other forms of wire fraud. However, physical security of yourself and your property remains something to seriously consider when you retire. Now is the time to replace flimsy door and window locks with no-nonsense upgrades. Go further by having motion-detecting live-feed security cameras installed, complete with real-time remote viewing capability.

Install handrails

​Walk through the house and scrutinize places where slips and falls are most likely to occur. Common spots include the bathroom, laundry room, and stairwells. If these spaces lack handrails, have some installed. More importantly, make a habit of using them so that in the event you need to suddenly grab one, you reflexively know where to reach.

Think about maintenance

​Lastly, it’s important for retired homeowners to think about maintenance when devising plans for major home improvements. A koi pond may sound like a nice touch to add to the backyard landscape, but are you game for the sometimes labor-intensive responsibility of looking after one? Consider how you will be able to keep up with maintenance as your body continues to age. If it seems like it would be too much of a challenge to meet the minimum requirements for upkeep, it’s probably best to pass on the project.

Newly retired homeowners are in a position to fulfill the home improvement projects they always dreamed about. However, they ought to be factoring in their aging into the decision making process.
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<![CDATA[Top 4 Problems Senior Citizens Face When Living Alone]]>Fri, 19 Oct 2018 22:50:58 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/top-4-problems-senior-citizens-face-when-living-aloneEveryone has to get older, it’s just a part of life, but the days when senior citizens sat in their rocking chairs on the front porch and waited for their time to come have long been a thing of the past. Today, seniors are active, foster relationships, and are happy and going strong, well into their later years. That is, most seniors do. There are senior citizens who are not active and spend the majority of their time alone, which can lead to a whole host of problems. Read on below for a few of the top problems senior citizens face when they are not active and live alone.

Prescription Drug Abuse

One of the ever-present dangers of senior citizens living alone, with little contact with the outside world, is the very real possibility of prescription drug abuse occurring. Not just from the depression that could set in, but from forgetting whether they have taken their meds that day or not. If you feel that your elderly loved one is abusing prescription drugs, then please contact a facility like Windward Way Treatment center for help. They are dedicated to helping your loved one get back on track.

​Depression From Isolation

Even for younger people, being alone for too long can lead to severe depression due to isolation. The feelings of solitude, depression, and worthlessness can go unnoticed when senior citizens live alone, increasing the chance of and thoughts of suicide. The best way to ensure your senior is not depressed is to have contact with them every day and encourage them to get out and socialize with their friends.

​A Higher Chance of Elder Abuse

When a senior doesn’t have contact with the outside world often, the instances of elder abuse tend to be greater. If you have someone who stays with your loved one all of the time, but that is the only contact they have with the outside world, you don’t really know or see the symptoms of what could be happening to your aging parents or grandparents. Seniors who are active and out and about as much as possible are less likely to be abused and more likely to report it if they are.

Greater Risk of Falling and Not Being Found

When your loved one lives alone, there is a much greater risk of them falling and no one finding them right away. Even if you check on your elderly parent many times a day, it’s still better to have them not live alone if at all possible.

What Can You Do?

​There are many ways that you can keep your loved one from living alone as they age. One way is to move them in with you, another is to hire in-home help, though you still need to be vigilant about checking in on your aging parent every few hours. One of the more popular options today is moving your parent into a senior living community, where they are not alone and can remain active by socializing with their peers while still having some independence.
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<![CDATA[Why The Most Unpredicted Acquaintances Become The Best Ones]]>Thu, 18 Oct 2018 18:00:37 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/why-the-most-unpredicted-acquaintances-become-the-best-ones
If you are open to different experiences, you must have tried online tools of communication where you randomly meet people and talk to them. If you have not tried this possibility, you cannot even imagine how many doors the digital world opens to humankind nowadays. This is not only in terms of business, start-ups and service solutions, but also about people and their relationships. One of the most priceless things on the Earth which we tend to underestimate is communication. 
Those who have already been in contact with online tools, the so-called random chat, will eagerly state their experience to be unpredictably good and exciting. If you are still brand-new to all this chatroulette hype, we have prepared a few tips and hints on how to make true friends and why random acquaintances can impact your life significantly or maybe even change it drastically. Even though this tool works not for everyone, it is definitely worth trying! 

All Ins And Outs Of Making Friends Digitally

If you are looking for some new experiences and life feelings, getting to know new people will definitely be the panacea. Whether you want to visit someone on the Couchsurfing, go abroad to study or simply log into the chatting site, as a social being you are looking for the same thing - connecting with unknown ones, their perspectives, and life-changing experiences.
Here is our top advice on how to get those mentioned above in the digital world without the need of leaving one’s house: 
  • do not make rapid judgments: human beings love to make quick assumptions and stick labels. We all do this, some consciously and others subconsciously. If you want, though, to get the utmost experience while talking to a complete foreigner from the other part of the world, you have to grow that love to human-beings and be patient to persons you encounter in the digital world; 
  • embrace diversity: the reason why you may lose your interest in the people from your town or city is that you think you already know too much about them. You know where they go out and which Netflix shows they love the most. However, these complete strangers from all over the world for sure have a completely different and unique background and thus will bring more interest in you;
  • be open-minded: you will never completely understand all the cultures from all over the world as this is simply impossible due to the fact that our lifetime is limited. Therefore, if you really want to have fun and make some new and reliable friends, you have to be open to all the possible cultures, lifestyles, and worldviews. 
All in all, even if our world becomes more and more complicated and hard to survive in, there are always new ways for a person to make connections and realize social needs of communicating and belonging to a certain community. This can perfectly be done with the help of digital tools and websites for random acquaintances! 
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<![CDATA[Where to Invest Your Money Now for Retirement]]>Wed, 10 Oct 2018 06:28:43 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/where-to-invest-your-money-now-for-retirement
​Like it or not, investing isn't as easy as it used to be. Even finding a simple return on a cash investment can be much harder than it once was. Whether you're looking to invest a hundred dollars or $100,000, finding a sure thing can be difficult. We're going to look at how to find a good investment in these difficult financial times, so that you’re in a better position once you get to retirement.

​Evaluate risk

Before investing, you're going to have to decide how adverse to risk you are. Obviously, more risk can equal better returns - but you might be able to find a sweet spot between how much you're willing to lose and how much you could gain. As with anything, make sure you only invest an amount you're happy to lose unless it's a guaranteed investment. Gone are the days where you can make huge returns on your investments with little risk - but there is still money to be made.

Pick carefully

Once you've worked out how much you can afford to lose, you'll next need to find the right investment for you. Many people like the security of fixed-rate interest bonds or other solid investments. Yes, the interest rates may be lower than they used to be - but you can still make a good return on your money with very little risk.

10% yields are a thing of the past for simple investments like this. Nowadays, you might be happy to get 3%. Bear in mind, however, that these sorts of investments, in simple savings accounts with reputable banks, are much more secure than any other investment. Yes, you won't get rich, but you should be able to let your money grow securely.

Investment funds

Investment funds have taken a lot of criticism in recent years, but they can still be a great way to grow your portfolio. Many funds claim to offer up to 20% yearly returns on your investments. They also come with much bigger risks when compared to traditional investments.

Make sure you research each fund extensively. Don't go on the recommendation of a friend or someone you met at the golf club. These investments are riskier than some, but they can bring you bigger gains.
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Source: https://www.wealthprofessional.ca/news/mutual-funds/changes-announced-for-sprott-investment-funds-229076.aspx

​Real estate

Even with the recent troubles in the mortgage industry, real estate has always been a good place to put your money (especially if you can pay in cash and avoid the fluctuations of mortgages).

The great thing about property is it does normally go up in value while giving you a decent yearly yield on your investment. Yes, you might not have made much money if you bought a property in 2007 before the cash, but if you bought it five years earlier you should still be doing fine.

For more information on the best way to invest 1000 dollars, you can do some further research online.

If you need a bit more help with your investment plans once retired, check out 401K Administrators for a wealth of information. Retirement shouldn’t be stressful, and if you’ve made the right investment decisions in the years prior, you should be in as good a place as possible financially. That’s why the right financial investment is so important, even if you’re decades from retirement. As long as you get the right investments in place early, you should see the benefits for years to come.
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<![CDATA[The Importance of Maintaining Strong Relationships in Retirement]]>Tue, 09 Oct 2018 05:54:55 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/the-importance-of-maintaining-strong-relationships-in-retirementHumans are social creatures. Even the most introverted among us are bound to have a few close friends and loved ones. It’s therefore no surprise that as you enter retirement, maintaining strong relationships will prove critical for achieving ongoing happiness and fulfillment.

Here are just some of the ways in which strong relationships are important for those in retirement

Staying Out of Trouble

​If you’ve worked hard your entire adult life and are fortunate enough to reach retirement, the one thing you may not be prepared for is the abundance of free time at your disposal. While it may seem like a dream come true at first, someone with more time than they know what to do with can easily find themselves getting into trouble, often at the expense of their health. Maintaining strong relationships with friends and loved ones helps to keep you occupied in retirement, and less likely to engage in bad behaviors. 

Take substance abuse for example. Professionals working with older patients in outpatient rehab in San Diego and other cities with growing rates of addiction among the elderly note the outcomes are much more likely to be positive if the individual is going home to live with a spouse or family member versus living alone. In fact seniors who live alone and/or who aren’t maintaining strong relationships are probably more likely to develop a substance abuse problem in the first place.

Feeling Wanted and Needed

​People want to feel valued, that their existence means something, and this sentiment only grows stronger as we grow older. However, as our kids grow up, our careers wind down, and our looks begin to fade, we find ourselves seemingly wanted and needed less than before. This can contribute to depression and other mood disorders developed in our retirement years.

Maintaining strong relationships where we are wanted and needed doesn’t have to necessarily include other people; owning a pet provides a similar outlet for fulfilling our sense of purpose. In fact in cases where an animal requires special attention, such as daily medication for preventing dog seizures, the bond between owner and pet can become especially strong.

Staying Healthy

​Retirement age is a time when we begin to slow down both mentally and physically. In some ways this is a welcome change, especially for those coming off of demanding careers, but it can also prove detrimental to your health. Without ongoing activity, your muscles will atrophy while bones and joints will become more prone to injury. Similarly, a mind which is not routinely exposed to new ideas and new experiences will lose its sharpness.

It’s imperative for those in retirement to maintain strong relationships in order to achieve a healthy level of physical and mental activity. Meeting up with friends for a weekly night of bowling, joining them for a morning cup of coffee, and similar social activities will keep you on your feet and more importantly, able to think on your feet as you grow older.

Impart Wisdom

​Whether we realize it or not, anyone who has lived to see six or more decades is a rich source of knowledge and wisdom. This is achieved by virtue of experience.

However, all that knowledge and wisdom is lost if a person is unable to pass it onto others. No one lives forever, at least not yet, and it’s therefore important to maintain strong relationships in order to ensure you’re able to teach important life lessons to grandkids and others which have an influence even after you’re gone.

Retirement is a time when we’re allowed to take it easy and go do the things we always wanted but never had the time to get done. But it’s also a time to strengthen the relationships you already have, as well as build new ones wherever and whenever possible. Doing so not only improves your quality of life, it makes it a life worth living for many years to come.
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<![CDATA[Health Conditions Older Entrepreneurs Are at Risk Of Developing]]>Thu, 04 Oct 2018 17:38:06 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/health-conditions-older-entrepreneurs-are-at-risk-of-developing​10-15 hour work days, piles of work with little support, few resources and lots of competition. This about sums up the life of an entrepreneur - especially in the beginning stages of business. They have the passion and dedication to work really hard to bring their dream to fruition, but with limited finances and support, most small business owners are under a lot of stress. In an effort to make it to the top, these strong-willed professionals work themselves into a hole. If they’re not careful, it could lead to a host of health problems. Including those listed below

​Mental Health Problems

At the top of the list of health problems that entrepreneurs are at risk of getting its mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, or chronic stress. Trying to run a business takes an emotional toll on you. The frustration of a heavy workload, the pressures to succeed, and the pure embarrassment of failure can cause individuals to feel extremely anxious or overly saddened by it all.
 
Being an entrepreneur is for the strong-minded. You must learn how to balance your emotions so that they don’t take control of your life and the success of your business. Find time in the day to do something that has nothing to do with business as a means of unwinding. When you have an especially stressful day, make a mistake, or feel undue pressures to succeed, try to recenter yourself with meditation, journaling, or therapy.

Addiction

​Often going hand in hand with mental illness, entrepreneurs are at an increased risk to suffer from addiction. This addiction can be to a substance like drugs or alcohol, or it could be to a behavior like working or gambling. In an effort to numb the pain, overlook the problem, or push through the madness, entrepreneurs may turn to negative substances and behaviors.
 
If you are showing signs of substance dependency, addiction, or engaging in reckless behaviors, you should seek help right away. Most addictions are complex in that they are a direct result of mental and physical aspects. Treatment options like rehab, group therapy, or addiction counseling treat the addiction and underlying cause to help you learn how to cope with the many pressures and emotions of running a business.

​Sleep Disorders

​It’s not uncommon for a novice entrepreneur to find themselves struggling with a sleep disorder. Suffering from pain or dealing with the anxieties and stress of running a business can keep you awake at night.
 
If you’re having a hard time getting to sleep, this isn’t good for you or business. Lack of sleep eventually leads to a decline in concentration, focus, and productivity. Not to mention it weakens your immune system, decreases your energy levels, and puts you at risk for a number of health problems. Contact your doctor for remedies to help you get to sleep. If they prescribe medication like Ativan, however, be sure to use only as prescribed as they are easy to become addicted to and will require you to enroll in an Ativan detox program to get clean.

​Body Aches

​From migraines due to stress and backaches due to sitting at a computer desk all day, an entrepreneur’s body is put through the ringer.
 
Body aches can often be avoided or at least completely reduced with a few simple tips. For starters, get up from the computer screen every few hours and stretch. This gives your limbs and eyes a break from sitting in the same position. Posture is also important when your desk involves sitting for hours at a time. Make sure that your feet are planted on the ground, your shoulders are back and you’re not slouched over. Lastly, working out and getting massages can help to get rid of that tension from stress.
 
This is only a few of the health issues that can come up for entrepreneurs. From high blood pressure and executive burnout to increased risk of diabetes and heart disease, their health is put to the test on a regular basis. To ensure that you remain healthy it is important to take care of yourself. Eat clean foods, get plenty of rest, find ways to reduce stress, and when necessary, get help when you need it. It may not seem important now, but taking care of yourself as an entrepreneur truly is the key to success. Essentially, if you’re not your best self, your business can’t reach its fullest potential.
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<![CDATA[How to Run A Successful Team]]>Thu, 27 Sep 2018 20:38:03 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/how-to-run-a-successful-team​No matter what industry you’re in – from politics to fashion to marketing or more— if you’re working with a team, there’s a clear-cut formula ensuring that it’s successful, on track, and well managed. It takes a lot of different skills to build a great team, and although every single team is different (varying from the people involved, the industry type, and the end purpose), the formula for running a successful team is largely the same.

It takes leadership, dedication, and of course, some careful strategy in order to keep your team on track, focused, and in sync. But what does that entail? We’ve got you covered! Check out some of the leadership and team skills that we’ve learned from VeryVoga and JJ’s House – two successful, team-oriented fashion companies.

Set Goals

Setting goals is going to be a vital component to creating the most successful team possible. Before you can work on other team skills, you and your team need to be on the same page in order to understand what you’re hoping to accomplish. Work with your team on building up their communication in order to effectively create the goals the entire group is working toward. Try having a brainstorming session where you get the whole team involved – does everyone understand the main goals you’re working toward? Does everyone know exactly how the team plans to get there? Accomplishing this, before any other type of strategy, is going to be crucial to your team’s success.

​Use Team Building Activities

​A team that doesn’t get along, trust each other, and know how to work together is a team that likely won’t succeed in any endeavor they choose. If a team can’t work together, then they’re not a team at all – they’re simply a group of individuals all in one place. Try using team building activities to get your group bonded and thinking like a team. Lots of teams try things like challenge courses, ice breaking games, and even trust building activities. These get your team thinking, working together, and most importantly, teach them to trust in each other abilities.

​Equal Bonus Opportunities

​Because you want your team to understand that their success comes from working together, ensure they understand that equal bonus opportunities are in place for the team who works the hardest. Let the bonuses you plan for you team reflect the company’s definition of success for the entire team or entire group performance.

Encourage Leadership

​If you’re the leader of the team, it can be hard to relinquish your role, but if you’re hoping to build a team of strong thinkers and hard workers, you’ll need to encourage leadership. Teach your team that, although you’re the one in charge of encouraging success, group leadership isn’t a bad thing. Reward members of the team who take charge in a positive way, get them working hard together, and ensure they know that you support their strides toward leadership.
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<![CDATA[VPN: Starting Your Retirement Business Properly]]>Thu, 27 Sep 2018 19:30:15 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/vpn-starting-your-retirement-business-properly​Starting an online business after retirement is not only for those who can or can't save for the retirement. Actually, including a business into your retirement plans is a good, profitable idea. Though a lot of people do save for the retirement, there is a high number of those who can't afford it right now. So, why not to become an entrepreneur despite the fact whether you've saved the amount of money you wanted till now or not?
There are lots of different spheres and sectors, where you can start a business online. Why online? It doesn't require extra expenses on office, high-cost ideas, or a big staff to undertake responsibilities. It is a profitable way of running a business. But e-commerce and everything related to the Internet has its own pitfalls. And one of them is data security. If you've never faced this issue before, check the article here to get the basics of Internet privacy.

First of all, an online business is about safe browsing and secure transactions. What does it mean? This means you can't do it without a VPN at least.

​VPN for Online Business

Being a successful entrepreneur includes very different aspects. And one of them is to gain customers' loyalty and trust. You can't get it without providing them and your business with a secure environment. In order to achieve that, any work-related data should be encrypted, thus protected.

Stolen and leaked information is the risk of your business being compromised even if you don't think you have any sensitive information related to work. A professional hacker can easily use any kind of information, whether it is business, financial, or property related information against you.

Having a VPN that protects the network can help a lot.
A VPN represents a virtual private network. It is a piece of software that serves for a secure connection to the Internet. It creates an invisible tunnel between your computer and the global system of computer networks. Your traffic goes through a VPN tunnel first instead of being sent to the Internet directly. A VPN is based on the encryption technology. This means your data and traffic are fully encrypted (encoded) while you're online.

The functions of a VPN are:
  • Data security and encryption;
  • Online privacy (replacing your real IP and location);
  • Better Internet browsing (providing access to previously blocked sources).

​Where to Get a VPN?

A VPN is not a limited edition version, available only for big corporations or something like that. It is that kind of soft available for every Internet user. You can pick a service depending on your budget, operating system, the number of devices you have, the number of servers you need, or the number of extra features you want to have in a VPN. You can pick a service you would like to get on any VPN-related website.

To cut the long story short, it is hard to imagine a successful business model online without having at least some kind of data protection tool with it. That's why getting a VPN is the first step.
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<![CDATA[What to Inspect When Buying a Previously Owned Car?]]>Wed, 26 Sep 2018 19:11:56 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/what-to-inspect-when-buying-a-previously-owned-car​Most car buyers do not know that inspecting a vehicle before purchasing it is a very important task that should be carefully approached. If you do not know how to do the check yourself, you can always order the service from business professionals. Although the service is affordable, many car buyers do not want to pay extra money for vehicle checking before purchasing it. However, trusting car dealers is not the best decision - it is always better to know everything about vehicle before paying for it
With the right approach, the process of “bug verification” can be very fast and revealing. In case the expert finds no reason to worry, you can be sure of the good. If there are any suspicious  issues with the car, you may reject buying it at all or agree on a lower price taking into account the repair.

It Is Crucial To Check a Vehicle Before Paying for It

Industry experts confidently claim that a used vehicle must necessarily be checked before making a decision on buying. In the popular majority of cases, the customer considers this a very expensive and long process. In fact, a quality, fast, and professional car inspection conducted by FAX VIN before you buying will help you select an excellent vehicle and avoid many troubles or extra expenses after buying a car with problems.

Experts also recommend a small test drive of the vehicle before buying it. The test drive route should be chosen so that the road surface includes paving stones, long lifts, and descents. This will do the check of vehicle suspension, brakes, engine traction, and transmission work for you.

​Expert Tip

It is always the right approach to involve an independent auto expert in the deal. Thus, you will know the real state of the car before giving money for it. This advantage allows the buyer to pay an honest price for the vehicle.

Reviews

​Car reviews on the Internet can be a good source of useful data for your informed decision. These can be both very positive and extremely negative. In fact, after buying a used car, the owners face a bunch of troubles. After such an issue, it is never enough to leave just negative feedback or review. Instead, it is better to invest in an auto check before conducting a deal to avoid the negative associated with permanent breakdowns.

​Benefits for Car Sellers

Car check is beneficial not only to the car buyer; its owner can conduct such a check and attach inspection reports to a package of documents when selling a car. Such information will attract buyers and raise the rate of the vehicle before selling.
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<![CDATA[Overseas Travel Tips: How to Prepare to Become an Expat]]>Wed, 19 Sep 2018 18:39:25 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/overseas-travel-tips-how-to-prepare-to-become-an-expatThe moment has finally come—by the time you are reading this, the universe must have cleared the way, and you’ve received a “go signal” to become an expatriate. First things first, congratulations! We bet you’re excited to start on this new chapter, and you can’t wait to see what’s in store for you and your family abroad.

But before you get packing, you should be adequately prepared. Preps for the expat life should begin well before you say goodbye to your home country and step on the plane. Once your decision is more or less set in stone, we suggest you work on the following: your paper trail, your insurance plans, and the routines to be fulfilled in your new home.

Here are our six essential overseas travel tips to get you started on the expat life!
  1. Organize your visa, passport, and the like. Of utmost priority is organizing all the relevant paperwork for moving abroad. Obtain the type of visa you need, renew your passport, and advance copies of your employment contract and certifications to your new workplace. Make sure to scan and store backup copies of all these documents for yourself in case anything untoward happens.

  2. Enroll in an international health insurance program. Another arrangement that should be of priority is your health insurance plan. Before you move, enroll in an international health insurance program like that of Now Health International—so that you can benefit from the inclusive coverage and the high standard of service delivery. This will ensure that wherever you are in the world, you and your loved ones can be at their happiest and healthiest.

  3. Secure all your financial assets. Start making decisions pertaining to your assets in your home country, and what the status of these will be once you move abroad. If you anticipate being away for a set period of time, you might want to hold on to your house and properties; if you plan to settle down permanently in your new host country, perhaps it’s a better idea to sell them. Regardless, these will be the basis of expat taxes you will be paying while abroad.

  4. Try to start figuring out a new everyday routine. Prepare yourself for your new home life as early in advance as possible. You can search online about where to take public transport, where you can do your groceries, where you can obtain potable water, and where you can have your laundry done. Also, take the time to learn at least the basics of the local language, as there’s a chance that English is not as widely spoken there.

  5. Reach out to the local expat community beforehand. It’s a wise idea to contact any friends and family members living in your new host country—or better yet, to make new friends among fellow expats. Join a local club or chapter of fellow nationals, and get the best tips from them about how to navigate life in the local community.

  6. Talk things over with your loved ones. If your family members will be going with you on this new journey, make sure that all of you are emotionally prepared. Feel free to speak about any problems that you might encounter along the way, such as culture shock and homesickness. The expat life has its growing pains, and moving abroad can inspire feelings of anxiety as well as of excitement. Encourage your family members to talk about how they feel and confront the hard questions. Above all, reassure them that wherever you will be going together, you will be “at home.”
​That said, expat life will be amazing. Get ready for the many surprises in store in your new home country, and we wish you a safe trip!
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<![CDATA[Senior Essentials: Dental Health Care]]>Tue, 11 Sep 2018 00:38:05 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/senior-essentials-dental-health-care
There are so many things that become more complicated as we age. Many personal care routines become more involved, or more complex, but they’re necessary to protect against the signs of aging. There are several ways to improve your quality of life as a senior. Dental care is one such essential, yet it’s also one of the most overlooked.

So, why exactly should senior dental health be taken so seriously? Read on, and find out why. 

Dry Mouth

Saliva serves as the first step of the chemical digestion process. It not only helps keep the mouth lubricated, but it also allows you to wash down food debris and bacteria. By keeping the mouth wet, saliva helps prevent the growth of bacteria and it also supplies calcium and phosphorous to your teeth.

​Dry mouth is a common occurrence among the elderly because of the intake of medication that has dry mouth as a side effect. Having a dry mouth is a precursor to many of the following problems in this article.

Gum Disease

​Gum disease, or gingivitis, is caused by the food particles that have been left behind in the mouth (because of poor oral hygiene). It is often the first sign that you need to start taking better care of your teeth. It can also be caused by poorly-fitted dentures, smoking, and highly-acidic diets. If left unchecked, gingivitis will lead of several serious illnesses, some of which, will be mentioned in this article.

Periodontitis

​Otherwise known as “severe gum disease”, Periodontitis hinders the body from being able to properly process and absorb insulin. The inability to make use of insulin is one of the main characteristics of Diabetes.

​Diabetes

​Whether it’s type 1 or type 2 Diabetes, Diabetes is characterized by one thing - the chronic inability to regulate blood sugar. Periodontitis is one cause of both types of Diabetes. This also causes the patient to become irritable as well as to lose substantial weight.

​Drifting Teeth

If left unchecked, tooth decay will eventually lead to the removal of the infected teeth in order to prevent the infection from reaching the gums. Now, the removal in itself is not the cause of drifting teeth (or the change in formation and orientation of the teeth). Rather, it is caused by the failure to replace the extracted teeth. This is a procedure that is best performed by an implant dentist. Failure to replace extracted teeth will cause your teeth to reposition, thereby causing bite problems as well as a distortion in the jawline.

Pneumonia

​Pneumonia happens when bacterial droplets from the mouth are breathed into the lungs. The bacteria then infects one or both of the lungs, causing them to become inflamed. Pneumonia has various degrees of severity ranging from mild to life-threatening.  

Seniors are particularly susceptible to this condition because they often require the help of caregivers and nursing staff to help them maintain their oral hygiene (which is actually the most effective way of preventing Pneumonia).
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<![CDATA[When Birth Injury Lawsuits Become Necessary, Be the Voice of Reason]]>Fri, 07 Sep 2018 14:52:19 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/when-birth-injury-lawsuits-become-necessary-be-the-voice-of-reason
​Lawsuits are taxing not only to the defendant but also to the one who brought the case before the courts. There is the pressure to be meticulously accurate all the time. Then there is the need to be very mindful of even the most minute details. It’s important to remember that some medical malpractice cases are dismissed just because of some technicality. Of course, there is also the infamously high cost of litigation.
​Because of all these reasons, many people, especially younger ones, tend to shy away from lawsuits. This is very understandable. However, there are just times when pursuing someone in a legal battle becomes necessary. A good example would be when a grandchild is injured during delivery.
​As the older and therefore more knowledgeable person in your family, you have to make a firm stand during those times. Convince your younger relatives to engage worthy battles in court. In cases that involve birth injuries, the points outlined below will be strong arguments that support your rightful stand of taking proper legal action.

Birth injury lawsuits can win you much needed cash for the rehabilitation of the child.

​What’s involved in a birth injury lawsuit? This is perhaps one of the first questions that young parents ask. The answer may be simple, but it’s surely impactful. The family’s financial future and the child’s health are the matters that are at stake when parents file a birth injury lawsuit.
​You have to make them understand that there are injuries such as Erb’s palsy that take a significant amount of time to heal. Children affected by these types of maladies often require more assistance and care. One of the parents might be forced by this circumstance to stay home. This alone already has serious impact on the family’s economic state.
​consequences of their actions. Winning the case, of course, does not reverse the injury. However, it delivers the monies needed during healing and rehabilitation.

A successful legal action sets precedence.

​Medical professionals hold very sensitive positions. Because we entrust our health and safety to them, they must be competent in the tasks that they perform. When errors occur, such wrongs must be met with accountability so that the personnel in question will be more careful in the future.
The punishments that are enforced due to the error can also serve as warnings to other medical professionals. In a way, therefore, young parents get to serve the community in their own unique way just by fighting the right battle and eventually winning it.
​Setting their eye on the prize does not at all diminish the hardships that the young parents will have to go through. The whole process will surely demand time and effort from them. But in the fight against injustice, the whole legal bout is a necessary sacrifice that will surely be rewarded in the end. They just need support and guidance, and these things can very well come from you.
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<![CDATA[How To Prevent Disease As We Age: A Guide for Busy Parents]]>Mon, 20 Aug 2018 11:09:32 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/how-to-prevent-disease-as-we-age-a-guide-for-busy-parentsWhen you’re a busy parent, it can be easy to forget about one of the most important things in your life--your health. Whether you’re too busy taking your kids to and from soccer practice, so you can’t make time for similar exercise-related activities, or the stress of everyday life at the office is grinding on your emotional health over time--it’s something that happens to everyone. But neglecting your health on the daily can have eventually devastating effects, from heart attacks to diabetes. We know it’s hard, but it’s important to make time for your health, even if it’s in small ways every day.
​That’s why we’ve compiled this list of tips. By finding creative ways to stay healthy every day--even if it’s just twenty minutes--you can prevent disease as you age. No matter how busy you are! And here’s how.

Stretch at work--and go for a walk if you can

We all know that sitting is bad for us, but did you know that sitting for long periods of time is deadly? According to DocWire, “sitting for six hours or more each day (defined as prolonged leisure-time sitting) increases the risk of early death by 19 percent, compared with those who sit for fewer than three hours daily. Sitting is linked to 14 diseases that could result in mortality.” Considering that most Americans are at work eight hours every day--and that’s not even counting the hours spent sitting in the car in traffic--most of us are at risk. That’s scary.
If you aren’t able to work remotely from home, think about other creative options. For example, stretch at work. It may look strange, but once you present your colleagues with this info, they’ll probably want to stretch with you every hour, too. Additionally, go for walks during your lunch break, and if you can, get a standing desk.

Hydrate

​Another important part of staying healthy is hydration. 60 percent of a man’s body is made up of water, with the brain and heart made up of 73 percent, the skin 64 percent, and bones (yes, even bones) 31 percent. Women’s bodies are similar, as are babies’. So it’s no surprise that hydrating your body prevents illnesses. Dehydration has a variety of negative effects, including exhaustion, heightened blood pressure and cholesterol, and bad mood. Hydrating, on the other hand, will give you energy, help you lose weight, and give you energy when you’re juggling all your responsibilities.
​It can be hard to make it into a regular habit, but the more you do it, the easier it’ll be to stay hydrated. And the best part? You’ll be teaching your kids about the importance of hydration. Keep bottled waters in the fridge at all times, and during the summer, have spare bottles in the car. Insist that your kids drink water at dinner instead of soda or juice, and keep track of what you drink, so you’re consuming eight eight-ounce servings daily.

Focus on preventative health

​They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away--and even though only apples aren’t going to be enough to keep you healthy, the idea is still valid. Preventative health is highly important because by taking care of ourselves day-to-day and going to doctor’s appointments before things get out of control, we avoid serious health problems later on. This means scheduling yearly visits to the dentist, doctor, and other specialists who might be important in your situation. If any health problems run in your family, it’s a good idea to keep those in check, too.
​Especially when you get a bit older, this is going to make a huge difference. About one in eight women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime, so finding that lump earlier just by doing checks yourself (be sure to do it once a month or so) can save you a lot of hassle and possibly your life. Eating well, keeping your weight in check, and going to the gym regularly (three to five times a week) will make a difference, too.
The best part about focusing on preventative health is that it forces you to practice healthy habits, which your children will in turn learn. That means that when they move out and go to college, and start working at their stressful jobs, they’ll be healthier than most young adults their age.
The best part about focusing on preventative health is that it forces you to practice healthy habits, which your children will in turn learn. That means that when they move out and go to college, and start working at their stressful jobs, they’ll be healthier than most young adults their age.
​These are some of the best ways to stay healthy even when you’re busy parenting. What other strategies do you think would work for you and your family?
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<![CDATA[5 Interesting Facts about the Camino de Santiago]]>Thu, 09 Aug 2018 07:00:00 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/5-interesting-facts-about-the-camino-de-santiago​There are some trails worth walking and experiences worth talking about, the Camino de Santiago is just this kind of trail. Every year thousands of walkers choose to walk this famous trail for many reasons. Last year over 300,000 people from all walks of life choose to take a break from their busy schedules and enjoy the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other.

Whether you are looking for a new challenge, would like to connect with other cultures or need time out to reflect on life, the Camino is the perfect way to escape. The beauty of a walking holiday is that you can be any age, any nationality and any level of walker to enjoy the towns along the Camino in Northern Spain. Here are a few facts that you should know about the ancient Camino de Santiago pilgrimage before you plan your journey:

How long does it take to walk the Camino?

This is completely up to you. You must walk at least 100km to receive your Compostela certificate at the end of your walk. Many choose to walk this over the course of one week, others opt to complete the full route of the Camino Frances from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela: 800 km (497 miles). The average time taken to walk this route is 30 days.

​What route is the most popular?

The Camino Frances is the most popular Camino trail.  Over 300,000 walkers collected their pilgrim certificate in 2017.  The Primitive Way, or Camino Primitivo is the most ancient trail, dating back to the 9th century is the oldest trail. The French Way is the most popular today and it is the route you will find featured in films, such as, the Way.

Following the arrows

As you walk through rural villages and coastal paths of the Camino de Santiago you will see yellow arrows around every corner pointing you in the right direction. Be mindful that the arrows should follow the trail and consult your walking notes and maps for guidance if you are unclear.

Where did the scallop shell symbol come from?

The scallop shell, often found on the beaches of Galicia in Northern Spain, have long been the symbol of the Camino. The shell is frequently seen along the trail to help guide pilgrims. In addition, pilgrims often wear shells or attach them to backpacks to denote that they are travellers on the famous trail.  According to the legend, the son of the Count of Pontevedra on the day of his wedding, decided to jump into the sea with his horse, to grab his wife’s attention. But sadly, they disappeared under the water. When everyone thought he was dead, he emerged in the shore, with his clothes covered by scallop shells. A couple of days after, the boat carrying the remains of Saint James the Apostle arrived in Galicia region. The son of the Count decided to walk to Santiago de Compostela, carrying a scallop shell with him. Today the scallop shell is the symbol of the Camino de Santiago and often known as a sign of protection along the way.

​Most popular starting point for the Camino de Santiago

During the Middle Ages, traditional pilgrims used to start their walk towards Santiago de Compostela from their houses. Pilgrims coming from continental Europe used to take the French Way in St-Jean-Pied-de-Port, or the Northern Camino in Irún. Those pilgrims coming from overseas, landed at the various ports of Spain or Portugal, and continued from there to Santiago (the origin of routes like the Portuguese Way or the English Way). Today these routes are well marked and guide walkers on their way to Santiago de Compostela. The most popular starting town on the French Way is St-Jean-Pied de Port for those doing the full route and Sarria for those who would like to walk a week. The Portuguese Way starts in Lisbon, and the Portuguese Coastal Way in Porto. These are also popular starting points. 
 
It is important to remember that you must walk at least 100km to receive your Compostela certificate when you reach Santiago de Compostela at the end of your trip.  We would always advise spending an extra night or two in the beautiful city of Santiago de Compostela. With cobbled streets, a vibrant atmosphere and tapas everywhere this is a fantastic place to finish an epic trail. 
 
Camino experts CaminoWays.com have designed detailed Camino travel tips that will provide you with everything you need to get started on this amazing experience on one of the worlds most famous long-distance trails.
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<![CDATA[How Different Are VA Loans from those Provided to Retirees?]]>Fri, 03 Aug 2018 22:13:38 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/how-different-are-va-loans-from-those-provided-to-retirees
VA mortgage loans or VA loans help make it easier for a lot of veterans to get funds necessary to buy a home. Usually, VA loans don’t need a down payment. This is available only to military veterans and those who are on active duty. The loans are done through private lenders. Once a vet takes a loan out, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a guarantee. Hence, no mortgage insurance will be necessary. Vets are also not required to provide a minimum credit score to qualify for a loan.

This is one of the major differences between VA loans and loans provided to retirees. Although they are also given some opportunities, VA loans are easier and more comprehensive. If vets apply for loans using conventional mortgages, it could be more challenging. As long as lenders meet the guidelines provided by the government, they can offer their loans to vets.

Only certain types of homes are allowed

Although it is a good thing that vets can have easier access to loans with the help of the VA, they are only allowed to buy certain properties. These are usually in move-in ready condition. Single homes, condos and modular housing are allowed. Other choices like working farms or downtown delis are not. Vacation homes are also not allowed either. Homes are mainly used for residential purposes only. Retirees, on the other hand, are allowed to choose any type of home they wish to purchase. 

​The VA does not provide the loans

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a guarantee for vets who take these loans. They don’t provide the loans themselves, but you can search online for a list of VA home loan lenders that has been approved by the Department of Veteran Affairs. If not on this list, they might not provide the guarantee. Since the VA is a government agency, lenders are more confident about providing the necessary loans.

Vets with a history of bankruptcy can still get a loan

​Despite a history of bankruptcy, vets are still allowed to take out a VA loan. Even those who have experienced foreclosure before can still make use of a VA loan. Obviously, there is no such guarantee for retirees.

Not anyone can be a co-borrower

For other types of loan programs, you can get anyone as a co-borrower. This is not the same when it comes to VA loans. When you have a co-borrower who is not your spouse or another vet having a loan entitlement, you are required to pay a down payment.

There is no prepayment penalty 

Prepayment is usually done in order to make instant payments when necessary. For some types of loans though, there is a penalty when it is done. This is not the same with VA loans. You can even structure the payments so that they are automatically deducted from monthly income to avoid worrying about the payments. 

These are among the many reasons why VA loans and the ones retirees can get are totally different.
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<![CDATA[Four Types of Food to Avoid If You Have GERD]]>Thu, 02 Aug 2018 07:00:00 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/four-types-of-food-to-avoid-if-you-have-gerdHeartburn comes in many shapes and sizes, and not all causes are the same. Certain foods stimulate stomach acid production, while others relax the valve between the esophagus and stomach, allowing acidic stomach contents to pass into the esophagus. This is especially true if you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
Making changes to your diet is much more effective at addressing heartburn symptoms than medication. The topic of nutrition is complex and best addressed by looking into what, when, how much, and how often we eat. It’s difficult to address all of those factors at once, so let’s start with some diet tips that you can follow to minimize symptoms.

Avoid foods that relax your lower esophageal sphincter (LES)

Many foods lead to a relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter, which is the valve that normally prevents food and acid from moving up into the esophagus. If your LES is damaged or weakened, which happens naturally with age, reflux can occur.
Chocolate contains an ingredient called methylxanthine which has been shown to relax the smooth muscle in the LES and increase reflux. Peppermint and mint-flavored foods like chewing gum and breath mints also trigger acid reflux because they relax the muscle that controls backflow between the stomach and esophagus. Alcohol is also a common trigger for heartburn, as it opens the LES and allows the acid into the esophagus.

Avoid foods and beverages that cause gastric distension

Carbonated beverages cause your stomach to swell, which puts pressure on the esophageal sphincter. Garlic, raw onions, and cruciferous vegetables can cause gas, distending the stomach and promoting reflux.
The key to avoiding heartburn from these foods is to reduce stomach pressure. Research shows that increased fiber intake, specifically in the form of fruits and vegetables, may protect against GERD.

Avoid foods that increase acidity

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, but certain types can trigger GERD symptoms. Highly acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus, and juices made from them can increase the acidity of your stomach contents and cause heartburn.

Avoid high-fat foods that slow stomach emptying

Foods high in fat can cause the LES to relax, allowing more stomach acid to back up into the esophagus. These foods also delay stomach emptying, so there is more of an opportunity for a distended stomach. These factors combine to make heartburn more likely.
Common offenders are foods that hit several of the heartburn-causing marks. Onion rings are high in fat and distend the stomach, so they’re more likely to cause symptoms than onions that haven’t been fried.

Conclusion

​An anti-heartburn diet addresses the cause of reflux, while medicine only lowers acidity. Research has linked onions, acidic foods, and carbonated drinks to heartburn, but those triggers aren't universal. A glass of red wine may not be a big deal on its own, but if you also have tomato sauce on your pasta and a glass of orange juice in the morning on an empty stomach, it could cause your symptoms to flare up.
No one specific diet will work for every person, as the topic of GERD has complex causes. The best way to determine your ideal diet is to track foods that trigger your heartburn. Keeping a log of all meals, drinks, and activities throughout your day will allow you to determine which foods and activities aggravate your reflux and which ones help alleviate recurrences.
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<![CDATA[Don’t Want to Stop Working Just Because You’re Retired? Start a Small Business: Here’s How!]]>Thu, 19 Jul 2018 07:00:00 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/dont-want-to-stop-working-just-because-youre-retired-start-a-small-business-heres-howEveryone knows that most businesses will not hire someone who is nearing or who has reached retirement age. For those who want to keep working even after they have retired, it can be frustrating knowing that your options are limited.

If you don’t want to work a job that you will hate, you should be aware that there are a variety of new ways to work at home.

Here’s how you can start your small business today.

Know Your Options

The conventional workforce may be out of reach, but by starting your small business you don’t need to worry about your age holding you back.

The rise of the Internet and remote working has completely changed the playing field. Think about the skills you have and how that can translate into business ideas.

Some of the options available to you include:
  • Freelance writer.
  • Online Tutor.
  • Freelance Translator.
  • Web developer.
  • Web designer.

​These are only a fraction of the small business options on the table. Spend some time thinking about your options and consider whether they’re viable.

How Much Money Do You Need to Start Your Small Business?

​If you’re retiring but don’t want to quit working, you’re probably wondering how much money you’ll need to invest in your venture.

The truth is that most jobs for the retired can be started for less than a hundred dollars. It doesn’t make sense to incorporate your new venture until you start earning a decent income. All you need is a small budget to establish your presence online.

And free professional websites can be made in hours through platforms like WordPress, which drives more than half of all websites on the web.

Establish Your Web Presence

Everyone needs a little piece of web real estate to tell people they exist. As already mentioned, opt for a WordPress website. With free templates and the ease of being able to drag-and-drop features onto pages, you don’t need a professional web designer to do this.

You should also consider making your business more professional by getting a virtual online address. It also has the benefit of protecting your privacy because you don’t need to put your home address on anything.

These addresses can be purchased for only a few dollars.

Invest in the Technology You Need to Run an Efficient Business

The retired are often accused of not knowing enough about new technology to succeed in the modern business world. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Invest in technology like Skype. Enhance your business communication efforts, even if you intend on your small business remaining a one-man show.

Be Prepared to Wait

Understand that the world of online business is competitive. Don’t anticipate on matching your previous salary overnight. It’s necessary to start at the bottom again.

You need to build up your name as an authority figure in your industry. This will take months to manage, so don’t be afraid to offer discounts on your work in the beginning to do this.

When Should I Incorporate My Business?

It depends.

Some people do it to make their business look more professional in the beginning, but if you’re a freelancer this isn't necessary.

However, sooner or later you will need to become an established company for tax purposes. Talk to an accountant and business lawyer to establish when you should start the procedure, and hire a professional to help you.

The answer to this question is always going to depend on a variety of factors, including where your business is and the state you live in.

We recommend not immediately incorporating until you have established the framework of your business. It can be expensive to incorporate and it’s an expense you don’t need in the very beginning.

​Last Word – How Can I Start My Online Business?

​It’s a fact that the retired are at a disadvantage when it comes to conventional employment. However, running a small business online levels the playing field.

You have a lifetime of experience behind you and now you have the tools to start your small business. Now there’s no reason why you can’t utilize your skills to build a business for yourself.

What sort of small business do you want to start?
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<![CDATA[How To Get Extra Cash As A Retiree]]>Fri, 06 Jul 2018 22:08:23 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/how-to-get-extra-cash-as-a-retireeAre you a retiree looking to earn a little extra cash to help you afford a big purchase or simply to get you through day-to-day life? When you retire, it can be difficult to know what to do with your free time, and while there are a number of things that you can do at home, quite often finding a hobby that requires you to get out and about can cost money. While payday loans online are available for those who are in some sort of employment or receiving benefits depending on the lender, for retirees, finding a little bit of extra cash can
be slightly more difficult. Here, we’re taking a look at some of the best ways for you to earn a little extra money on the side of your pension.

​International Housesitting

​This is a great option for retirees who are bored of staying in their own house and want to spend some time abroad. While you may not have enough funds to purchase your own holiday home, you could turn to international housesitting, where you can find yourself in some of the world’s most exotic locations, looking after the house and sometimes even pets. There are a number of housesitting websites across the internet and you may find yourself living on a secluded beach on the other side of the world, or in the heart of bustling Singapore situated in a luxury condo. The best part? You may find that the house owners will offer you some form of wage for doing the housesitting, although others are only willing to pay for your travel to get there. Either way, who doesn’t love a free holiday and the opportunity to earn a little extra cash?

​Join The Microbusiness Movement

Etsy is a prime example of websites leading the way when it comes to microbusinesses and if you’re good at crafts, knitting or sewing, you may find that you are able to create your very own microbusiness too. There’s a lot of room to really branch out with your creativity and as a retiree, you’ll have plenty of time to master your craft before producing items that you are happy to sell to others.

Make Your Home A Bed & Breakfast

If you’re a people-person and you have a largeish home in a great location, then you may want to consider making your home a bed &amp; breakfast. The start up costs are relatively modest, unless you really need to revamp your home in order to accommodate guests, and this can also be a good cash generator too. However, you will need to have a lot of patience in order to deal with the strangers who come in and out of your home constantly. You may not always have the kindest or tidiest of guests, so you will need to ensure that your temper doesn’t flare or you could find the repeat business factor of a B&B start to dwindle.
There are a great number of options that you can consider when it comes to making money in your retirement. Whether you opt for a little part time job such as tutoring or start your own business whether that’s a B&amp;B or a microbusiness selling your very own handiwork, earning a little extra on the side has never been easier.
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