<![CDATA[retiredbrains.com - Blog]]>Wed, 20 Mar 2019 20:28:18 -0700EditMySite<![CDATA[Life Quotes to Encourage You for Your Accomplishments]]>Wed, 20 Mar 2019 22:36:10 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/life-quotes-to-encourage-you-for-your-accomplishmentsBig achievements require steady persistence and effort, and sometimes the path to success is long and meandering. At moments like this, when we feel demotivated and exhausted, inspiration is a powerful force that propels us forward. A few words of wisdom from people who have overcome all the hurdles and written their names in history can help you regain the energy you lost.

Do not overlook the importance of inspiration. The most monotonous work can still feel meaningful if you keep your goal in sight. These life quotes may bring the spark you need to reach your target and continue striving for perfection in spite of all odds. After all, the people whose words you will find below, knew what they were talking about.

​Powerful Words


​1. Perseverance

As the football star Pele, said, “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do”. Do not give up too easily and walk on.

Politician Colin Powell would agree with the famous sportsman, as he once admitted, “A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work”. On another occasion, the statesman and four-star United States general rephrased it as, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure”.

2. Find meaning in routine

If you feel soul-crushed by a repetitive job, heed the words of Dwayne Johnson: “Success isn't always about greatness. It's about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come”. The effort you make today may be crucial to your quest to achieve great things further on.
​Even Pope Paul VI praised the value of hard work when he famously said, “All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.”

​3. Hard work vs. talent

Importantly, talent is no guarantee of success. No matter how gifted you are, you won’t go places unless you put in real work. According to the world-famous Stephen King, “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work”. If sportspeople inspire you most, consider the quote from the football quarterback Robert Griffin III, “Hard work pays off - hard work beats talent any day, but if you're talented and work hard, it's hard to be beaten”.

Words of advice from people who managed to achieve fame, prominence and wealth, may be just the thing you need in times of discouragement. Stay the course and never lose sight of your goal. Eventually, your hard work will pay off.
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<![CDATA[A guide to downsizing]]>Fri, 15 Mar 2019 20:14:40 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/a-guide-to-downsizingDeciding to downsize in order to prepare for retirement is becoming an increasingly attractive option to make. There is an estimated 2.5 million people in the UK that move into smaller properties in order to improve their cash flow and disposable income. However, you may be wondering whether it would be the right option for you. We have put together a guide to downsizing, explaining the main things you need to know about it.

Why should I downsize?

There are a number of different circumstances where downsizing could be worth considering. For example it is particularly popular option with ‘empty nesters’ whose children have now permanently left home, and therefore choose to downsize so that they can use the equity that has been raised to boost their income before, or during retirement.

Others may downsize as they are finding it difficult to get approved for a new mortgage, meaning they have no other choice but to downsize.

From a financial position, downsizing can give you a huge injection of cash, providing that you own the home outright and have paid off your mortgage. Equally if you have not paid your mortgage, you will be going to paying a lower monthly rate, which should free up some funds for leisure, holidays or to supplement your pension.

Plus, if you are planning a new lifestyle change whether it is buying a boat, new car, holiday or buying a place overseas, you can do so with the money you have freed up, without having to take out personal loans or similar.

Downsizing options

​If you are downsizing with no urgent debts outstanding, you can take your time with the housing market and find the best option for you. It is important to plan ahead and find a place that is accessible and easy to use for old age. Having large staircases or a long distance to park the car is not ideal for seniors.

It is worth telling your estate agent (if you are using one to sell your house) about your intentions to downsize. A professional might be able to advise whether you should move or consider making improvements to the home. One has to consider the turbulence of the property market and which option is going to yield the best returns.

If you would like to sell your property sooner rather than later, you could look at getting in contact with a specialist house buying service, who can considerably speed up the moving process on your behalf. Providing that you accept the offer and are happy with the terms and conditions, this could mean you end up moving into your new, smaller property in just a matter of weeks.

Things to consider when downsizing

Before you make the commitment of deciding to downsize, you should consider the following key points:
  • Remember hidden moving costs: don’t get too caught up in the idea of moving in order to release equity if you have not also taken into consideration other costs of moving too, such as: agent’s fees, surveys, repairs and removals. Be sure to factor in these costs before you decide to downsize.
  • Plan ahead: you should always keep in mind that you are making a long-term decision, and therefore you should be considering things such as having grandchildren to stay over, or having an office if you need to work in the future.
  • Location: The location of a property makes a big difference to its value. If you downsize in a high-end area, it may not help you access much finance.
  • Think about space: you should seriously consider whether you would be able to function in your day- to-day life by moving into a smaller property. Would you still be able to do the things important to you, such as entertaining family and friends, or pursue your hobbies? Taking into account just how much space you need, or how important it is to you, is vital when thinking about downsizing.
  • Think about storage options: the last thing you want when you move into a new smaller property is not having enough storage to put all your possessions. This is why it is important to remember not only the potential money you could save, but at what expense does this have on your comfort in your new home?
  • Consider selling or donating: When looking to downsize, it is wise to think about which items you really want to take with you in your new, smaller property. Now is the best to get rid of all the things you don’t need by either selling at an auction, online or at a car boot sale, or alternatively you can donate items to a local charity.
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<![CDATA[How to borrow from family and friends in the right way]]>Thu, 14 Mar 2019 07:00:00 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/how-to-borrow-from-family-and-friends-in-the-right-way​Borrowing from family and friends is the most popular way to borrow money in the UK and indeed across the world. Where mortgage borrowing was £73.5 billion last year, borrowing between parents and children was around £88 billion for things including new homes, cars, debt consolidation and towards new businesses.

But when money comes between close relatives and friends, it can get ugly and can lead to conflict if not handled in the right way. We proudly offer some of the top tips for borrow successfully between friends and family

​Understand what the money is for

​Being transparent between all parties is very important and this starts with understanding what the money is for. The person who is lending the money typically wants to know what their investment is going towards and can feel betrayed if it is used improperly.

Essentially, they want to know that their money is being used for good such as paying off debts or helping the person get a start on life through their living situation or business. The last thing they want to hear is that their money is misused for recreational purposes, illegal activity or consumer spending.

Being clean and honest from the beginning is a good way to lend between friends and avoid any confusion down the line.

Putting repayment terms in place

​When borrowing small amounts between family and friends such as £10 here and there, the money is rarely questioned and there is typically no need for interest or repayment. Many people just simply write it off or repay at their next availability.

However, for larger sums that run in the thousands, it can be worth putting repayment terms in place such as getting repaid in full by the end of the month, year or in monthly installments.

This adds a bit more formality to the transaction and manages expectations for all of those involved.

​Do you charge interest?

Between close relatives and friends, it is not common to charge interest on an informal loan such as this. However, some social groups expect interest to be charged and this is likely to be determined between both parties. The rates charged should be more competitive than your local bank or if you went with a direct lender for bad credit, where you might be limited to higher rates.

Alternatively, some parents or friends may wish to take a percentage of sales or a stake in the business that they are investing in, preferring to take a long-term view than the immediate returns from a loans agreement.

Using parents or friends as a guarantor

If the parent or friend is unsure whether to lend money, they can act as a guarantor for a loan. This means co-signing a loan agreement and agreeing to repay any interest if the main borrower cannot keep up with payments. This can be a great way to give someone an opportunity, without having to put all the money upfront. However, there are risks, since the guarantor can be left with a huge sum to pay if it does not go to plan.

Should you write a formal loans agreement?

​The Money Advice Service embraces the idea of putting together a formal loan agreement between family and friends. This can consist of just a few pages outlining the terms of the loan including rates charged, repayment expectation, amount borrower and late penalties if viable.

This does not need to be made by a lawyer, but can be put together on a word document and signed by both parties – for the very least to manage expectations.

Provided that you cover these areas, borrowing between family and friends can be very productive and effective. Some of our favourite restaurants and start-ups have thrived under this model including Facebook, Apple and Amazon!
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<![CDATA[Making Money Following Retirement]]>Tue, 05 Mar 2019 00:06:24 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/making-money-following-retirementIn years gone by, many people who retired from work found themselves at a loss what to do in order to keep themselves busy and active. After years of working, it can come as quite a shock to have literally nothing to do, and this sort of lifestyle simply doesn’t suit some people.

Fortunately, in today’s digital age, there are far more ways to keep busy and even earn money after you have retired. Just because you have officially retired from work, you still have financial commitments ranging from housing costs through to utility bills and life insurance policy costs. By taking advantage of modern technology, you can keep yourself busy and make some extra cash to
supplement your pension.

Some Simple Ways to Make Money with Modern Tech

By turning to modern technology, you can make extra cash and keep yourself active and busy even after retirement. Perhaps you enjoy doing research and have a flair for writing. If so, you could offer online content writing services, which is something you can do from the comfort of your own home by setting up a home office. You can work as many or as few hours as you like doing something like this, which makes it an ideal choice for those that want to strike a balance between keeping busy and enjoying their retirement.

Maybe you have a flair for baking or crafts such as making jewelry, greetings cards, or scented candles. If so, you can create all of these at home and then advertise them online. You can sell them via a range of different portals such as on social media sites, on sites such as eBay, or even by setting up your own website. If you cannot create your own goods but you would like to make money from selling online, you can consider opening up an eBay store through which you can buy and sell items to make a healthy regular income.

If you have a background in accountancy or book-keeping, you could also offer your services to businesses on a part-time basis after you retire. There are many businesses and individuals looking for experienced number-crunchers, so this is a great way to put your skills and experience to good use, keep yourself busy, and make some extra cash. Again, you can do this from the privacy and
comfort of your own home and work the hours and days that suit you and your retirement plans.

Simple Solutions for Life After Retirement

​There is no doubt that modern technology has provided us with a simple solution to make life more exciting after retirement. You can continue working and doing something you enjoy, you can bring in extra cash to supplement your income, and you can eliminate the risk of total boredom setting in. You also get to enjoy the benefit of flexibility, as you can work from your own home and during
hours and days that suit you. This makes it easy to enjoy earning and working even after you retire.
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<![CDATA[5 Tools Every Self Employed Worker Needs]]>Fri, 15 Feb 2019 05:21:46 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/5-tools-every-self-employed-worker-needs
​Being your own boss is a liberating and fulfilling experience. When you’re making your own hours and setting your own prices and policies, the benefits are exponential. Being self-employed does mean you’ll require assistance now and again, so we’ve compiled a list of the five tools you need if you’re self-employed.

​1. Time Management Software

You can be the hardest and most talented worker out there, but if you’re constantly missing or late for appointments, you’ll find keeping clients to be a challenge. Being on time shows professional responsibility and maturity, and shows the attendees that you’re serious about the purpose of the meeting.

While there are hundreds of apps for time management on the web, the best one for you will depend on your needs. Are constantly showing up late? You may just need an alarm clock and reminder that you can set to an earlier time.

Are you always forgetting about your engagements? You may need a calendar to help you document those important dates and send reminders before they arrive.

Google Calendar is a simple and free time management application that can be downloaded onto any mobile device or used on a desktop/laptop. It allows fully customizable events and reminders, as well as the ability to invite anyone with a Google account to said events.

This makes tracking the attendees easier than ever while providing a simple and reliable interface to help you keep your appointments.

​2. Invoice Generators and Payment Processing

Receiving payments and sending invoices is arguably the most important part of your business. Your revenue stream keeps you paid and the business running smoothly, so your billing process should be as painless as possible for both you and your customers.

Your invoices should be professional and concise. They should contain your logo, contact information, and details of the sale, as well as your payment and return policies. If you’re not familiar with designing documents, you can try using an online invoice maker instead.

This will allow you to choose and customize templates rather than starting from scratch. The invoices will look clean and professionally created, which in turn makes you look more professional as well.

After you’ve created the perfect invoice, you’ll need to set up a way to send and receive customer payments. Wave offers payment services as well as an online invoice generator so that all of your billing needs are organized in one central location.

Make sure your customers are aware of your invoicing preferences. If you deal strictly with online invoices, keeping the customer aware will ensure there are no surprises during your first transaction.

Likewise, if you’re making the change to online invoices, be sure to let the customer know as
well. Keeping your customers informed increases the likelihood that you’ll be paid on time and generate returning customers.

3. Project Management Tools

​Once you’ve got your time managed and your billing system in place, you’ll want to utilize some tools to help your projects remain on task and organized. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of projects, especially when you’re passionate about what you’re doing.

Project management software makes it easy to organize tasks and delegate to other team members (if any). Sites such as Basecamp provide the user with a central hub where projects can be assigned, and users can be held accountable for their role in those projects.

If you’re unsure what to look or in a productivity app, or which are the best rated, Proofhub has compiled a list of the 36 best project management software and tools for 2019.

Once you’ve taken control of your tasks, you’ll find you’re much more productive and organized, allowing for extra time to start new projects or even take a break. Organizational skills are the key to running any successful business.

4. Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is the best alternative to the traditional filing cabinet or bin storage for important documents. It’s also a great way to send and receive documents, pictures, and other media from anywhere in the world.

Cloud storage is essentially a virtual hard drive. Your account is linked to a predetermined amount of storage space (which is usually free up to a certain amount) from which you can grant permission to other users to view and edit documents.

The best cloud storage is secure, although nothing that’s internet based is ever entirely airtight. Choosing cloud storage can save you money in paper and printing costs while consolidating space and facilitating easy sharing of documents. That’s one advantage which any self-employed worker should consider.

​5. A Website Builder

​Every business should have a stunning website associated with their brand. Your website acts as a central hub for your services and products, and as a catalyst for your customer base to give feedback and request support.

Website building is easier than ever with sites like Wix, which offer free templates and discounted hosting services. With online templates, you can design a professional looking website for much less than the cost of a web developer.

In addition, you can create and update your website from anywhere in the world, meaning real- time improvements and adjustments on the go.

Another Great Addition To Any Self-Employed Worker
While these tools we’ve listed are definitely necessities, one of the most important tools at your disposal is your team. The team you choose to build can have a significant effect on the success or failure of your business.

Be sure to recruit reliable and passionate people, and never be afraid to share a larger vision. A team that helps your company grow will benefit from said growth, as will your business in general. People will always be the most important tool for any business.
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<![CDATA[Cavities Aren’t Just for Kids — Taking Care of Your Teeth as You Age]]>Thu, 07 Feb 2019 17:53:40 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/cavities-arent-just-for-kids-taking-care-of-your-teeth-as-you-age​More seniors reach their 70s and 80s with natural teeth intact, something that was unheard of decades ago. As you plan your active retirement, make sure your teeth can stand up to all of the new things on your plate. It’s possible they have a few battle scars, like old fillings, or a bit of wear and tear. Your teeth have served you well, so make sure you give them a little TLC, so they’re in tip-top shape as long as you need them.

​Dental care is even more important as you age

Modern dentistry has better tools and technology than ever before. For example, in the past, many people didn’t have widespread access to fluoridated water, and a higher percentage of people smoked. These factors can raise your risk of tooth decay as you age.

You can’t isolate dental health from your overall well-being. Dentistry doesn’t just treat your mouth; it provides a view of your whole health. Consider your dentist one of several specialists on your medical team who can help keep you healthy. Just as your endocrinologist advises you about diabetes or thyroid disease, your dentist is a mouth specialist.

Dental problems are common as you age, due to side effects from medication, aging fillings, and receding gums. From dry mouth to periodontal disease, these issues become more widespread the older you get. Oral health directly impacts your overall health, so it’s important to address tooth and gum health with the same level of priority as heart or digestive health.

​Bone loss from dentures

Although every effort is made to limit bone loss, once you lose all of your natural teeth, it can be hard to stop the process. Natural teeth and implants stimulate the jawbone to grow with every bite you take. But without the bone-strengthening stimulation of chewing, your jaw bone starts to shrink.
Over time, dentures that once fit well will feel loose. Dentures are custom fit to your jaw when they’re made, so if they feel loose, they need to be adjusted to match the changing shape of your gums and supporting jaw bone.

You can use a denture adhesive for a short term fix, but see your dentist to consult about the bone loss causing your jaw bone to shrink away and remodel. Left untreated, this issue can cause nutritional shortcomings because ill-fitting dentures cause people to avoid hard to chew foods.

Replace missing teeth quickly

If you lost a tooth to time and decay, an implant is the only restoration to permanently replace the function of a natural tooth. Implants replace the root and visible portion of an extracted tooth without damaging the adjacent healthy teeth. The replacement keeps the rest of your teeth from shifting into the space next to them and can be used as an anchor to hold other artificial teeth or partial dentures in place.

Like your natural teeth, dental implants need regular dental checkups, but you can plan on them lasting a lifetime. Careful planning and extensive surgical experience are required for the best outcome, like the local dental surgeons at ED USA.

Screenings for other health issues

Visit the dentist regularly for a full oral exam, even if you wear full dentures and don’t have natural teeth. Your dentist performs a cancer screening with every exam. Your doctor will thoroughly screen your mouth, lips, and neck for signs of cancer. The average age of diagnosis for oral cancer is 62, and the highest risk factor is long-term smoking. If you find an ulcer or rough patch anywhere in your mouth, see your dentist to have it evaluated.

Dentists are often the first medical professional to diagnose conditions like diet deficiencies, eating disorders, diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. All of these conditions are interrelated with your oral health, so your mouth is frequently the first place to show symptoms. Poor oral hygiene can also contribute to many of the same illnesses and conditions, so it’s critical to see your dentist regularly.

Conclusion

​As you age, conditions like dry mouth, aging dental work, tooth loss, and the wear and tear of years can leave your teeth more susceptible to decay. It’s important to take the best care of your teeth so you’ll have them for years, but also because they impact your overall health. If you need a dental procedure, get it done as soon as possible to deter long-term bone loss. Maintaining healthy teeth is far easier than fixing issues afterward.
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<![CDATA[How Surety Bond Claims can Destroy Your Auto Dealership]]>Fri, 01 Feb 2019 21:38:29 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/how-surety-bond-claims-can-destroy-your-auto-dealershipAcross franchise and independent auto dealers, more than 36,000 new and used dealerships exist today. Throughout these businesses, many auto dealers understand the importance of having a surety bond in place as it is a requirement for having an auto dealer license. However, most fail to think about their auto dealer bond until it is too late – that is, when a claim is filed against it. Understanding your auto dealer bonding as well as how claims can derail your business success are crucial to keeping the dealership doors open and customers coming in.

Learning About Your Bond

An auto dealer bond is a necessity for nearly all licensed auto dealers, whether selling new or used vehicles. Auto dealer bonds vary from state to state as far as the type of bond needed, the amount, and the price of the bond, but one thing remains constant. Auto dealers are required to have a bond in place because it provides certain protections for customers. If a dealer fails to abide by its state regulations or laws and customers are harmed in the process, a claim against the bond can and likely will be made.

Understanding how an auto dealer bond works in practice helps professionals in the industry stay ahead of the curve in terms of managing claims and protecting their business. It can be challenging to do so, however, with ever-changing industry regulations, when switching surety agencies, or when an inaccurate claim is made. The best step for auto dealers is to recognize the impact claims may have against them, and how their surety agency can help throughout the process.

The Impact of Claims

As with any business in any industry, there may be customers who file claims that have no merit. In these cases, auto dealers need to work with their surety agency to get to the bottom of the claim and have it dismissed or otherwise handled before it becomes an issue. However, when claims are legitimate, due to an auto dealer’s bad business practices, they have a significant impact on the business.

Auto dealer bond claims not only have a negative impact on your reputation, making it more challenging if not impossible to get new customers, but they also influence the cost of doing business in different ways. First, auto dealer bond claims that are found to be accurate are initially covered by the surety agency – that’s the reason the bond is in place. But dealers must repay the claim amount at some point in the future. This can represent a significant cost to the business.

In addition, auto deal claims that result in a payment to a customer or organization such as the state impact the dealer’s claim history in a negative way. When it comes time to renew your required auto dealer bond, you are likely to pay much more for the price of your bond, even if the amount has not changed. This is because surety agencies are extending a form of credit to you with a new bond, and when that credit is used because of a claim, the cost of your next bond goes up. This additional expense, combined with repayment of previous claims, can derail your financial footing as an auto dealer.

Working with the Right Surety

Auto dealer bonds are required as part of doing business in the industry for a reason, and in most cases, the cost of purchasing a bond for your dealership will not be prohibitive. However, to ensure that cost continues to stay at a manageable level, working with the right surety agency is a must. Be sure to find a surety company that understands the auto dealer business, offers tools and resources to help you manage your surety bond and claims, and provides access to claims specialists that know how to handle claims, legitimate or otherwise, when they come.

Having the right surety agency on your side limits the potential for closing the dealership’s doors due to claims over the long-term, and it keeps the cost of your auto dealer bond affordable each renewal period.

Eric Weisbrot is the Chief Marketing Officer of JW Surety Bonds. With years of experience in the surety industry under several different roles within the company, he is also a contributing author to the surety bond blog.
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<![CDATA[5 Creative Ways to Make Money]]>Thu, 31 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/5-creative-ways-to-make-money
The internet has opened a whole new world for money-making opportunities. These days you don’t only have the option of working a part-time or full-time job in order to make income. Instead, the internet has created all sorts of new options for people to make quick cash.

Keep reading to learn about 5 creative ways you can put more money in your bank account.

1. Use Paribus

Product prices fluctuate on a daily basis, and while you may have waited to purchase an item at the lowest price possible, there’s always a risk that the price may decrease even more after you make a purchase. When this happens, you have two options. You can return the product and repurchase it for the lower price, or you can ask the retailer to refund you the difference between the two prices.
But, keeping track of prices after you’ve purchased something isn’t realistic. It also isn’t a simple process to have the price difference refunded to you. To make the process of price difference refunds even easier, you can use the app Paribus. The app looks at your email receipts and keeps tabs on items that you’ve purchased and their current price.

When a price drop is found, Paribus sends you a real-time alert. The app also starts the refunds process for you so that you can quickly get the money you deserve. If you’re not yet convinced, just read Paribus reviews and learn about the tens of millions of dollars that the app has saved consumers.

​2. Sell Items You Don’t Need

We’re creatures of habit, and over the years, instead of cleaning out closets and getting rid of things we don’t need anymore, we tend to hold onto them. But, this causes clutter. Though it can be hard to get rid of the things we’ve held onto for years, you can make serious money by getting rid of clothes, electronics, and even jewelry you don’t wear anymore.

Selling things you don’t need anymore is one of the quickest ways to make money. You can hold a yard sale in your community or post the items online. As you sell items, not only are you able to make money, you can also free up space in your home. De-cluttering while increasing your income is a true win/win.

​3. Watch Videos

Americans watch millions of videos a day, so chances are you partake in this time-wasting task. But, what if you could make money by doing something as enjoyable as watching videos? In reality, you can! Sign up for Swagbucks and get paid for watching selected videos. The site offers hundreds of videos on various topics such as food, hobbies, sports, parenting, and much more.

What’s great about Swagbucks is that the site also pays you for other easy tasks such as taking surveys and searching. These are all things you already do on a daily basis, so why not get paid for doing them?
With Swagbucks, you earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards and cash. The more points you have, the more money you can cash out.

4. Become a Freelancer

Do you like writing? Do you know a little bit about digital marketing and search engine optimization? If so, becoming a freelancer is a great way to pull in some serious cash. Online there's an endless amount of freelance work. If you dedicate enough time, you can make thousands of dollars a month. This is especially true if you land a big client.

As a freelancer you can find jobs for:
  • Creating blogs
  • Posting updates on social media
  • Proofreading and editing
Freelancing can become more than a side hustle! In fact, there are many people who work as freelancers as their full-time job.

​5. Become a Driver

Your car doesn’t have to be a money-sucker. Instead, you could use it to your advantage by becoming a driver for one of many companies. You can choose between Uber, Lyft, Instacart, GrubHub, Doordash, and many other options. Uber and Lyft are ride-sharing companies while Instacart, GrubHub, and Doordash all put you in control of delivering food to customers.

By becoming a driver, you have total control and flexibility over your schedule. You work when you want and for as long as you want. Obviously the more you work the more you make but, the key to a side hustle is making it work for your schedule.

​Conclusion

Thanks to the internet and our ever-connected world, there’s no shortage of ways to make money. From working as a driver to creating online content, if you need to increase your cash flow, you can easily do just that with these simple tips.
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<![CDATA[How to Prepare your Budget for a New Pet]]>Wed, 30 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/how-to-prepare-your-budget-for-a-new-petWhether it's a dog, a cat or something more exotic, it's easy to fall in love with a new four-legged friend. Maybe your child has been asking for a pet for years, and you think they're ready to take on some responsibility. However, before you bring someone new into your family, it's important to make sure that you have the budget to handle looking after them.

Preparing your budget for a new pet isn't as simple as just figuring out how much you're going to have to pay for their food each month. There are other expenses to consider too. Here are some tips to help you.

​Think about the Adoption Fee

Most of the time, it costs to adopt a furry friend into your home. If you're getting your dog or cat from a breeder, then you're likely to pay a much higher price than you would if you looked for a pet at a rescue shelter. That's one of the reasons why it's such a good idea to look for your dream pet at a shelter before you go elsewhere.

Picking a pre-loved pet to bring home with you is a great way to give these animals a second shot at happiness while saving some money. Some shelters will include extras in your adoption fees, such as spaying, neutering, and vaccinations.

​Veterinary Expenses

Speaking of things like spaying and neutering, you should always make room in your budget for vet bills. If you're lucky, many of the major expenses of adopting an animal will be handled for you by the shelter, but if not, you're going to have to put cash aside for everything from micro-chipping to licensing. Additionally, even if your pet has all their shots, they'll need to go to the vet from time to time, just like a human being needs to go to the doctor.

Remember that a visit to the vet can cost thousands of dollars depending on what kind of support your four-legged friend needs. With that in mind, many people find that it's a better idea to get insurance to help them handle bigger expenses.

Pet Insurance

For the most part, pet insurance is an "added extra" on the list of essential expenses that you'll need to address when getting your new furry friend. However, it's worth noting that it's often a lot better to pay twenty dollars a month for insurance than to shell out thousands if your cat suddenly comes down with an illness that needs treatment.

Remember, when you're looking for pet insurance, you should compare your options, just as you would with any investment. You wouldn't get a loan without looking for the cheapest interest rates, so don't get pet insurance without checking out your premium options.

​Food

Feeding your pet will be an ongoing expense that you need to think about when you're looking at your budget. Feeding a cat can be a lot cheaper than feeding a dog, but it will depend on the breed that you decide to get. Some specific kinds of cats and dogs require a very specific diet to keep them healthy, so make sure that you take this into account when you're deciding who to adopt.

It might also be worth thinking about treats and other "added" expenses that might go into your food budget too. Treats are particularly important if you plan on training your pet. For puppies in need of behavioral training, they're a must-have.

​Supplies

​The supplies that you need to support your new pet will depend on the kind of animal that you get. Cats need nail clippers, beds, collars, litter boxes, and food bowls, while dogs need leads, leashes, and sometimes a crate too. There's also things like grooming supplies to think about too.

If you have any places in your home that you want to remain "off-limits" to your pets, then you will also need to invest in gates and locks to make sure they can't access that area.

Toys

Finally, a complete budget for your new pet also needs some consideration of toys and entertainment options too. Cats are easy to entertain with plenty of random things around your hats, including cardboard boxes and mats. However, it helps to get them a scratching post if you want to save your furniture.

Dogs often need a few more toys than cats to keep them busy when you're away from the house. Make sure that you stock up on things that they can safely bite and chew.
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<![CDATA[5 Ways Quitting Alcohol/Drugs Makes You a Better Parent]]>Tue, 29 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/5-ways-quitting-alcoholdrugs-makes-you-a-better-parentParenting is a precious job that can be demanding. Often, we as parents feel overwhelmed. Alcohol is a
quick and convenient escape away from the steady attention that children need. Drinking can appear as an aid to help us cope. The question does arise about the real truth concerning mixing alcohol or drugs with parenting.

​What Does Your Child Experience?

Children live in a world where they instinctively see their parents in a way that shapes their world. Parents are the go-to for everything. The kids do not see your needs or desires. They need what they need when they need it. Children do not understand the energy you put out when you are working either in the home or workplace.

Everyone has good and bad days, including the kids, but they may not be aware of yours. When parents drink or take mood-altering drugs, all the children experience is you pulling away from them. The kids depend on the parents for security. When they experience your drinking or the effects of the drugs, they sense that you are less available for them. A sober parent may be tired at times, but the children know you are there for them. 

Role Modeling

Being real with the kids is the key to successful role modeling. I am not suggesting parents dump their
adult challenges on them. What I am saying is the kids are watching the parents respond to their issues. This set of parents are laying the groundwork for the next generation. The kids are watching the parents responses by how they solve the problem, the way parents present the solution and the reaction from others to the solution. 

Drinking and drug use can present a false picture of the way the parent would handle an issue if they
were sober. Being under the influence portrays that the way the parents respond does not have to be
consistent, which in turns devalues the issue and the response. Misunderstandings can escalate an
otherwise simple, straightforward resolution. Serious problems may be downplayed when the parent is
not sober. Children are relying on the parent to show them how to handle problems in a consistent
manner.

​Positive Consistency

Children need positive constructive consistency in all aspects their lives. They are looking for the parent
to provide a structure that they can depend on. The kids want to know that they are loved and come first in mom and dad's life. Being under the influence can destroy the consistency of everyday family life.

The weekend can be a problem if the parent makes it a habit to binge. Sure, the kids may be in bed on
Friday night when you open that bottle of wine, roll that joint, or start on that six-pack, but it is the
hangover the next day that affects the kids. This is the time they are looking forward to family time
together while the parent is dealing with a hangover and just want to be left alone. A sober parent will
be there for them, ready to work and play together.

Kids Need To Know They Are Not The Problem

Kids and parents will not always agree. There are times that they require structured discipline. It is
necessary for them to learn to make good choices. If they are loved, the discipline will be a bonding tool. When the parent drinks or takes drugs, the child begins to wonder if coming home to them is a problem. The child will begin to doubt their worth to the family or the parent.

By staying sober, this concern will not arise. Even though there may be differences between the children and their parents, the kids will not think that the parents are trying to escape them or not care about them. The child's self-esteem can be damaged.

​Financially

Alcohol and drugs are expensive. Even if you have a comfortable lifestyle, the time and money spent on drugs and alcohol could be going toward family use. Think of vacations together, college funds, and
home upgrades. Show the family that they are the most important part of your life. Be there for them
every moment of every day.
To learn more about drugs and alcohol addiction, please visit The Recovery Village website.
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<![CDATA[5 Steps You Need to Take to Pay Off Debt Effectively]]>Fri, 25 Jan 2019 19:33:09 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/5-steps-you-need-to-take-to-pay-off-debt-effectivelyDebt is no stranger to most people. In fact, almost 82% of millennials are in debt. However, debt
isn't just for the younger generations either. More than 80% of baby boomers are also in debt.
While it’s somewhat comforting to know that you aren’t the only one facing debt, don’t let this
keep you from taking the steps needed to begin digging yourself out of the financial hole.

Keep reading to learn 5 effective steps in paying off debt. In just a few short months, you’ll find
that you’ve made significant progress in paying down your loans and credit cards

1. Prioritize Your Debt

​Chances are you have a variety of debt. Most people have student loans and credit cards along
with a mortgage and a car payment. In order to pay off your debt effectively, it’s important to
have a plan of attack. Start by prioritizing your debt.

There’s no wrong or right way to prioritize debt, but there are two preferred options. The first
method is to pay off highest interest rate debt first. This typically includes credit card payments
and personal loans. By paying off this debt first, less of your money will go towards interest over
the life of the loan.

The second option to prioritize debt is to pay off the smallest debt amount first. If you have a
credit card with a $1,200 balance, you can likely pay it off in a just a few payments. This is a
quick way to have more money to put towards higher debt amounts.

After prioritizing your debt, you can also use tools like a debt payoff planner to help you to
manage when payments on due along with a projected schedule of when a certain loan or credit
card will be paid off. By using a debt payoff planner, you’ll have visual goals to work towards,
making it much easier to stick to your payoff plan.

2. Always Pay on Time

Another critical tip to effective pay off debt is to always pay more than the minimum. Paying just
the minimum amount due won’t get you anywhere if you’re serious about tackling your debt and
wiping it out for good. While you may not be able to afford to pay double the amount due on all
of your debt, even the smallest amount can have a big impact on your debt amounts.

Before determining how much to pay towards each debt, it’s helpful to sit down and make a
budget. Write out all of your monthly sources of income along with bills and debt payments.
With the money you have left over, you’ll want most of it to go towards the highest priority debt.
From there you can put extra money towards other debt payments.

​4. Minimize Spending

To ensure you can pay more than the minimum amount due, it’s important to find ways to
minimize spending so that you’re able to put more money towards your debt and less towards
day-to-day costs. Some effective ways to minimize spending include:
  • Cooking meals at home
  • Using coupons when buying groceries, clothing, etc.
  • Bundling at-home entertainment services
  • Using cash back apps
  • Comparing prices before making a purchase
By minimizing spending, and only purchasing items that you really need, you’ll have more
money left over each month to put towards your debt. Once you have a good handle on your
spending habits, you may even find that you have money available to put into a savings account
or towards an emergency fund.

5. Increase Your Income

Another effective way to pay off your debt quickly is to fund ways to increase your monthly
income. Do you have items in your home that you no longer use? You could hold a yard sale or
sell them on eBay to make cash while also freeing up space in your home!

Do you like to write and know a little bit about marketing? You could apply to become a content
creator or social media marketer for clients.

The key here is to find an activity that doesn’t take up too much time but also allows you to
make a little bit of money. By increasing your cash flow each month, you’ll have more funds to
put towards debt payments.

Conclusion

Paying off debt without a plan of attack isn’t likely to succeed. Use these 5 steps to effective pay
off your debt and to start enjoying financial security and freedom.
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<![CDATA[The Importance of Tracing Your Roots]]>Thu, 24 Jan 2019 18:47:37 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/the-importance-of-tracing-your-roots​Genealogy is about more than simply tracing your family tree. It’s also about discovering your true heritage, piecing together your family’s story, and maybe even about creating a family medical history. Discovering all about your family is an opportunity for learning as well as a hobby. It can take you across continents and through time.

​Getting Started

Most people who research their families will start with their parents or even their grandparents and move back in time from there. For example, if you want to research your Jewish American Genealogy you should visit GenealogyBank and start your journey. You might be surprised at how easy it is to find out your family history and potentially connect with a few members that are still alive.

​Records Are Important

Tracing your family heritage will give you exposure to quite a few different types of personal records. What you’ll find in these might surprise you. As an example, death records will give you clues to any sort of prominent illnesses that might be present in your family tree. Death records that are older might also have causes of death that aren’t typical, which then gives you interesting information for your family stories. 


Baptism and birth records will also tell you quite a bit about people, including who was present when they were born. These clues can then assist you when it comes to finding those obscure people in the family who don’t appear anywhere else. Wills and land records can also contain important information regarding the people your family dealt or associated with while they were alive. 


It might not be too surprising to find that many of these types of records will involve in-laws that you’ll now be able to trace with ease. Records of this nature also hold correct information regarding how names were spelled as well as birth dates and places. Family stories and lore might have one way the story goes, but the actual records will have the truth of the matter.

A Few More Reasons

  • Some people might pursue their familial knowledge in an effort to determine if they’re related to any famous people in history.
  • People might also want to determine how their ancestors were involved in well-known historical events.
  • People also use this method to determine genealogical proof when it comes to family connections for potential heirs.
  • If you were adopted, you might get into genealogy to find out about your biological family. On the other hand, it can also be used to find children who were put up for adoption.

​In Closing

Genealogy is a task that’s quite important for everyone. It gives you a way to bridge a connection to the past while also building a future. Genealogy can give you a better sense of your roots and create a sense of familial pride.
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<![CDATA[Medicare at 65: Are You Eligible?]]>Wed, 23 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/medicare-at-65-are-you-eligibleTurning 65 is a big day in the lives of most Americans. If you worked and paid Medicare and
Social Security taxes, you’re able to retire with full Social Security benefits, and you’re eligible to
enroll in Medicare.

If you’re about to hit that retirement milestone, here’s what you need to know about your
Medicare eligibility and benefits.

Who is considered eligible for Medicare?

The rules for Medicare eligibility are pretty simple. You are entitled for full Medicare benefits,
including premium-free Part A, if you are an American citizen or permanent legal resident of at
least five years, and one of the following applies to you:
  • You (or your spouse) has worked enough years to qualify for either Social Security benefits or railroad retiree benefits (usually around 10 years), or
  • You (or your spouse) worked for the government under the pension system, but paid Medicare taxes.
You can still get Medicare if you or your spouse don’t have a qualifying work history, you’ll just
have to pay Part A premiums, which may be as high as $437 in 2019, along with your Part B
premium payments.

Is my spouse eligible for Medicare when I turn 65?

Medicare is individual insurance; you can’t cover your spouse or dependent children under your
policy. Your spouse will have to get health insurance through an employer or other plan until he
or she reaches 65 and enrolls in Medicare.

​Do I have to enroll in Medicare when I turn 65?

If you don’t enroll in Medicare when you first become eligible, and you go without health
insurance coverage, you’ll pay a late enrollment penalty with your Medicare premium when you
eventually enroll. This penalty never goes away, you’ll pay it as long as you have Medicare
coverage.

If I’m still working at 65, do I have to enroll in Medicare?

That depends on the size of your employer. If you work for a company with 20 or more
employees, you can delay Medicare enrollment as long as you are working and/or you have
health insurance through that employer.

When your employment or health insurance coverage ends, you have a special Medicare open
enrollment period of eight months. If you enroll during this period, you won’t pay any late
enrollment penalty.

Note, however, that for Medicare’s purposes, only coverage through active employment counts.
If you are using COBRA to get health insurance from your employer, you can’t delay Medicare
enrollment without penalty.

If you work for a small employer, your employer may opt to end your group insurance coverage
when you become eligible for Medicare. In this instance, you must enroll at age 65 and
Medicare becomes your primary insurer. Your employer may allow offer some supplemental
retirement insurance benefits that work with your Medicare benefits, but these become
secondary to Medicare. In other words, if you don’t enroll in Medicare, your employer’s plan
doesn’t have to cover any of your health care costs.
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<![CDATA[Stop Smoking or Lose Your Retirement]]>Tue, 22 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/stop-smoking-or-lose-your-retirementWhen we are younger, we can get away with a lot of abuse to our bodies. Our systems are robust, and the body has a very powerful ability to repair itself. But as we edge closer to retirement, the damage begins to show in life-threatening ways. This is especially the case when it comes to prolonged use of tobacco products.

Just about everybody knows the dangers to health caused by smoking, so we aren’t going to go over them in too fine a detail. What’s important is knowing your heart, lungs, skin, and other vital organs will thank you if you give up the habit for good.

What’s more, those approaching retirement age need to stop and ask themselves if smoking is worth it if it means cutting their lives short. You’re saving and planning for retirement, wouldn’t it be a shame to never get to enjoy it?

With this in mind, here is some worthwhile advice for those who want to stop smoking in order to look forward to retirement:

Consider Vaping

​While mostly associated with millennials and college students, vaping is a healthier substitute to smoking which can be enjoyed by people of all ages. The best e liquid brands sold in stores and online still contain nicotine, but at adjusted concentrations and without all the toxic byproducts generated by smoke. Better yet, vape juice comes in an almost endless variety of flavors, which can’t be said for traditional tobacco products. Being completely free of addiction should be the ultimate goal for everyone, but vape provides a crucial stepping stone towards that final stage, one which is significantly safer than cigarettes and other smokables.

The Modern Medical Aids

​There are medications used for quitting smoking for good. Bupropion is great because it can help to combat depression and it can mitigate the unpleasant side effects of nicotine withdrawal. Varenicline is another common prescription used to quit smoking. More popularly known by its brand name Chantix, varenicline limits the pleasure response to the nicotine which can help you to disconnect from the mental side of the addiction.

Digging the Mental Trench

Use these tools if you need them. However, for most, this isn't the main issue. It is your relationship to the cigarette that needs to change. In those dark moments, you wage war with the past, present, and future. Your associations with these will determine your success. You must treat this as an MMA fighter. In a fight, willpower means nothing if the fighter hasn't trained their preconditioned responses. Mental repetition is needed to build the necessary instinctive reactions. Those gut-level reactions hold the key to your freedom.

Dr. Joe Dispenza, an established neuroscientist, travels across the globe to teach individuals how to precondition their minds for financial, emotional, and habitual success. How do they do this? It’s called meditation. Yeah, you've heard this before, and no, it shouldn't surprise you. Our memories are pliable and we can pull them out and reprogram them. We can also simulate future experiences and our desired reactions. Recent research has shown that the body cannot tell the difference between meditating on experiences and actively living those experiences.

That means that we can establish patterns of success by mentally simulating those moments and their successful outcomes. It digs the trench, a path, that makes your mind susceptible to following the correct course of actions that create success. Try it out, and you will see results. Each morning, set your doubt aside for twenty minutes. Run through those dark moments, and let yourself feel the emotions, sensations, and the thoughts that commonly run through your mind at those times. Now, picture success and enjoy it. See yourself at the point beyond that craving. This may seem silly, but it has been hugely successful for many people.

There are more treatments available to you than those listed. I hope that these tools help you to live the life that you seek. You can recover your health. As long as the heart beats you can work towards recovery. Making it to retirement is entirely possible, and you will enjoy the rewards that a lifetime of work brings.
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<![CDATA[How to Care for Energy in Autumn and Winter]]>Mon, 21 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/how-to-care-for-energy-in-autumn-and-winterIn autumn and winter, it is especially important to provide the body with the right amount of energy. How to do it in this difficult period are suggested by our experts, which are telling us their ways for being healthy in autumn.

​The Right Diet for Cold Months

In autumn and winter, it is especially important to provide the body with the right amount of energy. However, it should be remembered that this is not done by eating more calories in meals – advise our expert.

It is also improper to limit cereal products in meals, thinking that in this way we care for the line in the autumn - adds another dietitian - when the body, does not receive the right amount of energy from food, will demand more food, so we can achieve the opposite effect and take on on weight. Remember that in accordance with nutritional recommendations, cereal products, thanks to the high content of complex carbohydrates, should constitute for us the main source of energy in everyday nutrition.

Cereal products should be found in every meal during the day and should be the main source of energy.

What's the matter with this energy hidden in cereal products? Every cell of our body needs regular supplies of nutrients. Our body cannot function properly unless we also provide it with regular energy - it is necessary to maintain a constant level of glucose in the blood.

Complex carbohydrates, included in cereal products, they are the best source of energy because, subject to gradual metabolic changes, they help the body maintain a constant recommended level of glucose in the blood. If we understand these relationships - the professor notes - the fact that each of our meals should contain a portion of cereal products becomes clear. The complex carbohydrates contained in them are gradually absorbed by the body, and this makes it easier to maintain - repeat it again - the recommended glucose level and guarantees an even supply of energy. This energy is priceless. The body uses it to work the brain, breathing, work of the heart, so-called basic metabolism and physical activity - says the dietitian. And the professor adds - The fact that cereal products break down slowly in our body, giving energy for a long time, is an extremely important issue because we feel saturated for a long time.

​What, then, do you Eat when there is Cold, Rain, Rain and Snow Outside, and we have Absolutely no Energy?

Above all, we increase the amount of warm meals and we make sure that their products are always cereal products. On the “healthy plate” products, such as pasta, cereals and bread, occupy one of the most important places. This should be taken into account especially in autumn and winter, when there is a greater demand for energy.

Eating cereal products, let's not forget that the principle of a balanced diet is diversity, because each of the product groups has a different function and complement each other. The second group of products that should not be missing during the day are vegetables and fruit. In the autumn and winter season we have a huge variety of all kinds of vegetable and fruit preserves, including silage - cucumbers and cabbage, treated as taste components, rich in high amount of vitamin C.

We adhere to the principles of diversity every day, regardless of the time of year. What does it mean? Add braised vegetables or a portion of meat to the pasta and, for example, sauerkraut salad. Eat porridge or cereal with hot apples and plums and a portion of butter. Let's put a slice of bread smeared with butter, favorite additions, for example a slice of meats or cheese and some vegetable, even a pickled cucumber. For a second breakfast or an afternoon snack, we can quickly eat a slice of bread with cottage cheese and crunch a raw carrot. I recommend especially whole-wheat bread, rich in fiber, which in the colder months we need more, because usually we move less – says the expert.

Let's Start with Breakfast


​Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but in autumn and winter this fact is even more important!

​In the cold months the breakfast should be even more generous than usual and additionally warm, because we are exposed to cold and we need much more energy. We can eat, for example, a bowl of hot vegetables, preferably steamed or stewed with the addition of favorite spices, and add a slice of wholemeal bread with butter or a breadcrumbs. A good solution is also a bowl of cereal with stewed apples or a hot mousse of dried fruit. In the morning porridge works perfectly (it can be cooked the day before), seasoned with favorite herbs, butter, vegetables or a sliced ​​and heated slice of cold meat or melted cheese.

To understand why breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and regardless of the time of year, we have to go back to the night hours when we sleep deeply. During sleep, our brain uses up to 25% of all glucose consumed by the body during this time. Therefore, in the morning her blood level decreases and when we do not eat breakfast and do not provide a fresh portion of energy, our concentration decreases, especially in autumn and winter, when the energy demand is much higher. Let's try to imagine - the professor urges us - how we function when we have weaker concentration, what happens to us behind the wheel, at work, at school - everywhere, wherever we go in the morning and whatever we do.

​We should eat more often, but less - the validity of this principle can be seen during the cold months

​The research showed that long breaks between meals mean that we also have lower productivity - adds the dietitian. Therefore, when we eat less, but often, we feel an unflagging level of energy and it is very beneficial for our body, especially in cold months, when we use additional forces to fight the cold.

In autumn and winter, change the type of drinks you drink

​In addition to warm dishes, in the autumn and winter it is also worth taking into account hot drinks, which also warm us. A good idea is tea with herbs and fruits. To make herbal tea, for example, chamomile, lemon balm or yarrow, or fruit I mean raspberries, hawthorn, blackberries, apples, chokeberries or black without - says the professor - we can add lemon juice, honey or various spices, for example cardamom, ginger or cinnamon. Such warm liquids, drunk before a meal, blend in well with warm dishes prepared on the basis of cereal products.
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<![CDATA[5 Ways to Remember to Take Your Meds]]>Sun, 20 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/5-ways-to-remember-to-take-your-medsTaking medication is an integral part of illness recovery and maintaining health. Depending on
your condition, there can be serious consequences to missing or mis-timing a dose. But we’re
only human, and humans sometimes forget. Some medications even require a very specific
schedule, such as “take before bedtime” or “take on an empty stomach.” Here are a few quick
tips on how to remember to take your meds.

​1. Associate your meds with a routine.

If you take a certain pill in the morning, put it next to the mug you use for your morning cup of
coffee, or next to where you sit to read the paper. That way, you’re guaranteed to see it on
your morning routine and be reminded to take it.
If you take a pill right before bed, put it on your bedside table, next to the last lamp you’ll turn
off before going to sleep. If you take a pill at lunchtime at work, put the pill inside your
lunchbox.

​2. Set an alarm.

Set a good old-fashioned alarm for when you need to take your meds. For multiple alarms and
maximum flexibility, use the clock function on your smartphone. You can customize different
alarm tones for different meds, or even record yourself saying “take your pills!” as the alarm
sound.

​3. Use reminder products

​There are plenty of nifty products out there designed to help you not miss a pill, such as daily
pill containers and dispensers.

​4. Have a back-up.

Keep a few extra pills in your purse, car, or at work. There are also little container keychains you
can attach to your keys so you’ll have an emergency set of pills if you suddenly remember you
haven’t taken them.

If missing a dose is a serious issue for you, talk to your doctor about making an emergency
back-up plan. Don’t assume that you’ll be perfect and take your drug correctly every day.
Planning for irresponsibility is part of being responsible!

​5. Ask for help.

​Letting someone else know about your medication schedule gives you a failsafe. Two heads
remembering are better than one! Preferably, this would be someone you live with or spend a
lot of time with every day, such as a partner, family member, or colleague.

Need affordable, regular drugs? Get them shipped to you!

Medication in America is expensive. If you’re struggling to afford your pills, consider buying
medicine online from a Canadian pharmacy referral service like Rx Connected. Rx Connected
sources prescription medications from reputable international and Canadian pharmacies whose
products have met stringent safety standards. Ordering online may also help you worry less
about remembering to take the trip out to a local pharmacy for a prescription refill.
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<![CDATA[Investing Later In Life – Does Diversity Matter?]]>Thu, 10 Jan 2019 23:51:42 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/investing-later-in-life-does-diversity-matterWhen talking about investing, most money managers advise their clients to spread their money around or diversify their investments. Doing this will protect you from losing everything if the market heads south. The way stocks have declined in recent years is proof that putting all of your eggs in one basket can be quite risky.

However, if you want to properly diversify, you need to know what to invest in, how much to invest, and how to diversify even within a single investment category.

Variety Over Quantity

​Having many investments doesn’t mean that you have diversified. You need to have lots of different types of investments. That means that along with investing in zcash mining​ and other cryptocurrencies, you should also have international securities, real estate funds, bonds, stocks, and cash.

Investments that are made in these asset categories each do different things.

The Allocation of Money

How do you determine how much money to sink into each category of investments?

First, you should set aside enough money in income investments and cash to take care of any sort of near-term goals and emergencies.

Next, a rule a lot of money managers stick to says that you should subtract your current age from 100 and put that amount into stocks and the rest of it into bonds. For example, if you are 40 years old, you would put 40% of your money into stocks and the rest into bonds.

After that, if you want to diversify your money with the other groups of investments, 10% - 25% of the stock part of your portfolio should be in international securities. Take 5% of both the stock and bond portfolios and use this money for real estate investments.

Diversifying Within Categories

Once you have diversified into different categories, you need to further diversify within those categories. It isn’t enough to simply purchase one stock. You need to have many different types of stocks. Do your research to determine which ones will be the best investments. This will protect you from being devastated if a single stock takes a dive.

If you don’t happen to be uber-rich, diversification while you are purchasing individual shares can end up costing you a lot. This is due to the trading fees you have to pay when you buy each one. The most cost-efficient way to do this if you have a modest amount of money, is to invest in mutual funds.

Mutual funds are a sort of investment pool that combines the money many people have invested to buy things like international securities, real estate, bonds, and stocks.

Risk vs. Return

​Diversification can protect you from losses that are devastating, but it can also cost you when it comes to returns annually. This is because reward and risk go hand in hand when it comes to the financial market. This means that anything that will reduce your risk will also reduce your return.

The best answer is a combination of these that works for you. If a bit of additional risk won’t keep you awake at night, you might be able to get higher returns. But if you’re more worried about the risk, you might want to stick with safer investments.
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<![CDATA[Gift Shopping from Your Home]]>Fri, 04 Jan 2019 20:17:17 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/gift-shopping-from-your-homeDuring the holidays, there is always so much to do that it quickly becomes quite the chore. If you are bed-bound or otherwise unable to leave the house to get Christmas shopping done, the stress of trying to figure out how to celebrate the holidays can be almost overwhelming. Luckily, we live an age where you can do almost anything from the comfort of your home or bed.

​Follow along on a wintery trip through some of the more interesting ways to do some Christmas shopping with limited mobility:

Good Ol' Ham Voucher

Nothing says Christmas dinner like a delicious ham in the center of the table. Unfortunately, it may not always be easy or possible for people to go out and find a nice juicy ham to prepare for their family meal. This is where you can help save the day and give a great holiday gift without ever leaving your chair.

A ham voucher, like Christmas ham gifts by Perfect Feast, is a time-tested way to give the gift of delicious meat to the people you love the most. There is no need to rush out and grab the best one before everyone else. Instead, you just let your friends, family, or someone else choose the perfect meal for their family.

​Fruit or Gift Basket

​The fruit basket is a traditional and appreciated way to show appreciation and offer a warm, heartfelt greeting at Christmastime. The best thing about fruit and gift baskets is there are so many choices available. This makes personalizing your Christmas present for each person on your list easy and fun to do. If you are doing Christmas shopping with limited mobility and have vegan friends and family to shop for, gift baskets are a great way to offer something thoughtful and non-offensive.

Much like the voucher, fruit baskets and other food-related gift baskets can be ordered online or with a call at one time. They are then sent to the recipients without any extra work from you.

​The Internet is Open 24-Hours

​The internet never sleeps. This makes it possible to do your Christmas shopping anytime, day or night. If you have limited mobility or an odd schedule, simply doing some Amazon shopping when you can is always an option. More than just Amazon shopping, the net is full of specialized stores and art-shops that offer one-of-a-kind gift ideas for everyone you know. Online stores like Amazon offer a number of shipping options and offer items that may not be found elsewhere.

Paper and Plastic, Please

​If all else fails, there is always the gifts that everyone loves. There has never been anyone in the history of the world that has ever said, "I wish I didn't get this money for Christmas." While it may lack the personalized touch of gift baskets and online gift shopping, cash, and gift cards are often gladly accepted during the holidays.

With gift cards, you can often find deals going into the holidays with stores offering extra money on your gift card for the same amount. These sales are a great way to get extra bang for your buck during the holidays, but you can also use this time to stock up on future gifts or even money-saving gift cards for yourself throughout the year.

Holiday shopping doesn't have to involve crowds, pain, or discomfort. Instead, stay home and get things done your way in our digital shopping landscape.
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<![CDATA[Putting Your Artistic Talent to Work in Retirement]]>Thu, 03 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/putting-your-artistic-talent-to-work-in-retirement​One of the many perks of retirement is the free time that comes along with it, but if you're easily bored, that same free time can be less of a blessing and more of a curse. For retirees with artistic talent, finding a profitable way to fill that time has never been easier. Websites like Etsy streamline the selling process of crafts and handmade goods, making online selling possible for creators who wouldn't previously have had access to a larger market.
If you're primarily a crafter, setting up shop on Etsy is fairly straightforward. Find a few different items that you can get done quickly, make them in a few different colors or options for samples of what you can do, and post them to Etsy. You can also take commissions on different pieces once you've gotten your samples up, a service you can charge more for based on complexity. An online storefront also allows you to keep a smaller stock of items, as you wouldn't have to fill up space in a physical store. If there are larger or more complex pieces that you would be willing to do on a commission basis, you can also set up sections for those.
​Another option that works for some creators is painting. Many people sell original art on Etsy, but if you're still learning the ropes, or you're not sure what you want to paint, there are companies that turn photographs into gorgeous paintings. As long as you can paint pictures out of photos, that's a viable option for you, and if you prefer coming up with your own art, there's definitely a market for that too.
​An added benefit to this route is that turning photographs into a custom painting can lead to commissions. Those you do painting for through a third-party may be so impressed with your work they insist on hiring you to do another.
If none of this seems to apply to you, consider taking the opportunity to learn a new skill! Have you always been curious about knitting? What about woodworking, weaving, or ceramics? Taking the time and effort to learn something new when you have the free time and effort to can keep your mind sharp and your hands busy. If you know you get bored quickly, or that you've already tried most "standard" crafty things, you can always try out a few things at once instead of focusing in on one. Look into beginner versions crafts you've heard of, or find ones that you've always been envious of the skills it took to do. Underwater basket weaving might not be a real thing but basket weaving definitely is, and if you've always wondered about glassblowing, retirement is a good time to learn.
​When you've spent your whole life working, the first thing on your mind is relaxation and the last thing on it is getting paid to do something you love. A hobby might not be something you've ever considered to be a moneymaker, but people sell original art on Etsy for a reason! Even if it's not a get rich quick kind of thing, selling handcrafted items has gotten popular enough that online stores cater to the needs of smaller producers. Don't let your own self-doubt get in the way of a brand new opportunity for you. If there's something you've wanted to do, go do it. If there's a dream you've had, dream it bigger, then work to fulfill it. If you have the time, the drive, and the artistic talent, why not give it a go? You might learn something new about yourself.
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<![CDATA[Important things to keep in mind when saving for retirement]]>Mon, 17 Dec 2018 22:36:26 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/important-things-to-keep-in-mind-when-saving-for-retirement​You may be looking forward to retirement, but retirement isn't generally very enjoyable for those who don't have enough money saved up to live comfortably. If you're struggling to put enough money aside to do everything you want to do during retirement, it's time to get creative.

The following are a few suggestions on securing a little extra for retirement. You might be able to work some of these options into your plan so that you enjoy a secure retirement and don't have to worry so much:

Expect the unexpected

Even if you have a lot of money saved up and think you're going to be secure, surprise expenses can sometimes come up that can wipe out large portions of your savings. Events like car accidents or illnesses cost consumers a great deal and can sometimes quickly convert a consumer's financial savings situation from being ready for retirement to being set back a decade. If an injury threatens to wipe out your savings, a personal injury lawyer like Mike Pines in the San Diego area can be a great help in replenishing your hard earned money. If you’re not in San Diego there are great attorneys nearby.

Properly insuring yourself to protect your finances is one thing you can do to cope with these surprise expenses. Also, investing in good lawyers who can protect you when you're facing a liability issue is important.

​Diversifying your investments

You've probably heard before that you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket. It's good to put your money into diverse account types so that at least a few of your investments end up generating good returns.

Diversify your stock portfolio and try to build up a 401(k) in addition to your pension or IRA if possible. The more fund sources you have to draw from during your retirement, the more comfortable and secure your retirement is likely to be.

Working more or taking on a second job

​Taking on a second job while you're young and energetic can be a great way to quickly boost your retirement savings. It can even permit you to retire early. If there is some side business venture you have the opportunity to get into that could be lucrative, you might not want to let the opportunity pass you by.

Claim your benefits later

It's always best to wait until you qualify as being at full retirement age before you start drawing from your social security.

Full retirement age is considered to be either 66 or 67 depending on what year an individual was born in. When you wait until you've reached full retirement age before collecting, you get 100 percent of the benefit that you're entitled to. However, this number can push even higher if you don't start collecting until you've reached age 70.

You'll be eligible to start collecting your benefits once you turn 62. Those who fall into the temptation and start filing at 62 will pay for it down the road because they're only going to get a reduced amount back for everything they've put into the system through the years. 
If you can continue working until you've reached 66 or 67, you will be able to rely more on social security and less on your own savings during retirement.

The more effort you put into planning things out and anticipating surprise expenses, the less likely you'll be to have your savings wiped out all at once. It's best to save not just enough to cover your retirement, but more than enough so that you can afford some unpleasant surprises along the way.
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<![CDATA[Top 4 Fashion Tips for the Working Woman]]>Fri, 14 Dec 2018 06:26:27 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/top-4-fashion-tips-for-the-working-womanWe’ve all been there. The coffee that spilled on the only dress we had clean for work, the run in your last pair of nylons. There are many fashion mistakes and mishaps that working women have to deal with every day. Whether you've been on the job for years or out looking for a new one, fashion for the workplace can be a challenge. Whether you are a corporate manager or grade school teacher, read on below for a few of the top tips out there to help you be comfortable and stylish.

Go Comfortable and Classy

Look online and you will find sites like Perfectly Priscilla, where they know that the busy woman doesn’t always have time to iron, dry clean and wash constantly. That’s why they offer many comfortable and classy clothes for those who are always on the go but want to look their best. As a busy lady, comfortable but classy and easy to take care of is the only way to go.

​Think Underwear

The last thing you want are uncomfortable bras or panties that ride up and are uncomfortable when you’re working or out on the town. When searching for undergarments, do a little research and choose the ones that are no muss, no fuss, and comfortable at the same time. You can even go a little unconventional and look at briefs. They aren't just for men anymore!

The Art of Planning Ahead

One of the easiest ways to ensure you are fashionable and ready to hit the ground running for work is to lay everything you are going to wear to work out the night before. Accessorize, coordinate and have it ready to slip into the next morning. The last thing you need is to find the pair of shoes you picked have a scuff mark or a broken heel right before you walk out the door for work. If you lay everything out the night before, you’ll know for sure that you are ready to go!

Likewise, packing a lunch the night before can get you a few extra minutes for yourself. Hit the snooze button one more time, luxuriate under the warm spray of the shower, or have that second cup of coffee.

​Keep the Makeup Simple

Keeping the cosmetics simple is another way to look fashionable without a lot of rigmarole to go with it. Keep it simple with powder, a little blush, mascara, and some lip gloss, to ensure you are ready to go in no time at all, but still look like a million bucks. Being a working woman isn’t always easy but keeping the makeup simple will help and make you feel good about yourself at the same time.

These are just a few tips to help you be fashionable and comfortable at work. Following these suggestions will have you dressed for success and out the door feeling great in no time at all.
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<![CDATA[Preparing for a First-Time Trip to California Wine Country]]>Wed, 12 Dec 2018 08:00:00 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/preparing-for-a-first-time-trip-to-california-wine-countryOne of the more popular items on many retirement to-do lists is to take a trip to wine country. If this is a goal of yours, and if you live in the United States or plan on visiting in the near future, it’s safe to say California is where you’re headed. After all, the Golden State produces 90% of the wine made in the U.S., meaning there is no shortage of visitor-friendly vineyards to choose from.

Here are some basic tips for those preparing for a first-time trip to California wine country:

​Go Beyond Napa and Sonoma

California Wine Country specifically refers to a relatively small region near San Francisco, but winemaking is a tradition which stretches across the entire state. With this in mind, consider heading down to the Central Coast and Southern California in search of lesser-known vineyards hundreds of miles away from the fabled valleys of the north. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the gems you uncover by going on one or two San Diego wine tours available to visitors of America’s Finest City. The same can be said for those in Orange County.

Drink Responsibly

It’s considered in poor taste to become intoxicated by trying wines on a wine tour. With that said, the chances of visiting one of the greatest winemaking regions of the world and leaving without having too much to drink at some point sound pretty low. Play it safe by coming prepared. Have the two major rideshare apps - Uber and Lyft - ready to use on your phone as well as the phones of anyone you’re traveling with. Pack a hangover prevention pill bottle to keep from spending a day of your trip sick in bed. It’s also important to remember to drink plenty of water whenever possible to stay properly hydrated.

Explore Other Things

California is a very big place. Not only does roughly 10 percent of the American population reside there, but the Golden State would rank as having the fifth largest economy in the world if counted as its own country independent from the U.S. Throw in the fact that California is also home to so many national treasures including the Redwood forests, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Hollywood, Disneyland, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, and Yosemite National Park, it’s a no-brainer that California has a lot more to offer older vacationers than its impressive array of vineyards. In other words, it’s highly recommended for California wine tourists to take advantage of being relatively so close to so many wonderful things.

Do Your Research

A series of historically destructive wildfires have swept through several parts of California in recent weeks as well as over the last several years. While the sheer size of the state means there will always be vineyards left, each fire tends to claim many great wineries before it's put out. Given this unfortunate reality, it’s a good idea to do your research on specific regions prior to planning your trip. It’s also a good idea to have a basic plan in mind in the event you’re caught in the middle of developing fire during your visit.

Many people yearn to visit the wine regions of California at some point in their lives, with most waiting until they’re in retirement to make the trip. If this is your situation, it’s important to properly prepare for your first visit, in order to be as safe as possible as well as have a great time.
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<![CDATA[How to Find a Good Chiropractor]]>Tue, 11 Dec 2018 08:00:00 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/how-to-find-a-good-chiropractor
​Everyday, millions of Americans suffer from back pain and other spinal conditions. These conditions prevent people from leading normal, active, and productive lives. It’s against this backdrop that people are beginning to realize the importance of treating back health.

There are numerous methods that can help you deal with a serious back condition. There’s, of course, spinal surgery and there are also treatments that involve prescription medicine. But a chiropractor should also be considered when you feel like you’re active all the time or  you’re prone to experiencing high levels of stress.

Chiropractors are people who specialize in treating back conditions through spinal adjustments. They help you treat the symptoms that are common in people who suffer from frequent back pain.

When it comes to finding a professional to help you out, though, you will need to find the right chiropractor. After all, you wouldn’t want to risk getting one that will make your back condition worse. Not sure how to find a good one? Here are a few tips you may want to consider.

1. Consider proximity

​For sure, there’s a community chiropractor just a few blocks away from where you live.  Come to think of it, there are chiropractic clinics everywhere in the United States. Want to find a local NYC chiropractor? You can bet your bottom dollar that there’s one just around the corner. It’s only a matter of doing a quick online search or browsing the local directories for names and numbers you can contact for your chiropractic needs. Once you have a good list of possible clinics nearest to your location, you will then have to select the best one.

2. Focus on the specialty

​Chiropractors, just like any health specialist, have areas that they are good at. For instance, if you want to know if you have any underlying conditions aside from a painful back, a therapeutic chiropractor is the best choice for you. On the other hand, there are chiropractors that provide straightforward services in treating various spinal conditions such as vertebral subluxations, which are known to affect motor-neuron functions in older people. By knowing your specific needs, it will be easier for you to find a chiropractor who can make sure you get the best possible results.

3. Read reviews

​Don’t just rely on the fancy taglines that chiropractic clinics provide. Instead, you can go online to look for positive reviews about a clinic. The best thing about tools such as social media is that it’s easier to know if a service is worth it without trying it out for yourself. Reviews can help you weigh your decisions properly and determine a clinic’s quality. But other than online reviews, you can also get information from people you know who have been clients to the clinic of your choice.

4. Look for credentials

​Finally, the best pieces of evidence to help you vouch for a clinic’s legitimacy are the certifications and licenses that they are able to provide. After all, it’s part of federal law for chiropractic professionals to have a documented license of their practice. But what if these are fake? Well, you can investigate further by running a simple search with the right authorities such as the American Chiropractic Association.
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<![CDATA[Unique Retirement Gifts]]>Wed, 05 Dec 2018 02:07:39 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/unique-retirement-giftsAfter decades of working, you're finally able to hang up your work boots and take the hard-earned time off you deserve. Now is the ideal time to pamper yourself and buy those large-ticket items that you've had your eye on.

If you're not retiring, but a loved one is, finding the perfect gift can be challenging. You don't want to buy something that they won't or can't use, but you still want to be thoughtful. Fortunately, there are a few unique items that are sure to satisfy.

Home Remodeling

One of the best gifts you can give to yourself when you retire is the gift of a home remodel. Perhaps you're getting older and not as mobile as you used to be, or maybe you now have the time and money to make the changes you've desired throughout the years. Consider what you're looking for such as an updated kitchen or maybe even in the addition of a beneficial infrared sauna to help promote your physical health and wellness.

Because there are many people out there who prey on seniors, make sure you thoroughly do your research before you hire a professional to come in and start working. Have a lawyer look over any contracts before you sign anything and always have a contract before you hand over any money for legal recourse should you need it, which hopefully you won't.

​Trip to Paradise

What's better than traveling when you have no time restraints and no job to get to? Absolutely nothing! Retirement is the perfect time to visit the places on your bucket list such as Maui, if you want to stay in the United States, or London, for example, if you're looking to travel abroad.

If you're gifting a trip, make sure it's somewhere your parents or grandparents want to go. Try not to book a trip that comes with a rigid itinerary as that takes out the spontaneity and freedom for the recipient to explore on their own. It's okay to include a few gift cards for a popular restaurant or destination attraction, but leave the daily scheduling up to them. Another great thing to include with the tickets is a travel journal, so they can record all of their destinations and experiences.

A New Wardrobe

Now, this definitely may seem like stepping outside the box, but chances are the retiree has been limited to a specific wardrobe for work purposes. A new wardrobe is one way to celebrate retirement. Donate the career wear to local charities and build up your new arsenal that shows off the new you. Whether it's polo shirts and khakis for the golf courses or one of those colorful plus-size dresses for women that's perfect for afternoon tea, the point is to have fun and let loose and stop letting people dictate your dress code.

Retiring is fun, but with it comes a lot of free time and this is where thoughtful gifts really make the difference. Step outside of the box and really make it count whether you're buying it for yourself or your loved one.
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<![CDATA[Great Gifts for Him & Her: Married Kids Edition]]>Sun, 02 Dec 2018 08:00:00 GMThttp://www.retiredbrains.com/blog/great-gifts-for-him-her-married-kids-edition​With the holidays just around the corner, it is time to start thinking about gift ideas for everyone on your list. Although some people are a breeze to shop for, other loved ones on your list may require more thought. As many older parents know, shopping for your children when they were younger was a lot easier than finding gifts now that they are adults.

If your grown-up son or daughter happens to be married, one easy way to tackle that problem is to focus on the shared interests of your married children and build their gifts around a theme. For example, if your son and his wife have shown an affinity for collecting antiques, a good idea would be to buy them matching antique porcelain collectibles. If the gift idea goes over well, this could be something that you make into a tradition and carry through for many holidays to come.

If your daughter and her husband are outdoor enthusiasts, you can focus on gifts that they will find both practical and entertaining. This is also an easy way to work in a theme of matching gifts for your married children. For example, if they love being on the water, you could do a his-and-her gift set of brand-new paddle board paddles for him and a premium beach umbrella for her. Although they will both get their own individual gift to enjoy on their own time, they can also use the gifts together as a couple.

Even a mini vacation to an outdoor destination will delight those family members who truly love connecting with Mother Nature. The possibilities are endless if you think outside of the box and focus on the things that bring the people on your list the most joy in life.

For those pop culture fans in your life, a good his-and-her gift idea would be a movie night gift box. This is easy to put together and will bring the entire family enjoyment long after the holidays are over. You can appeal to both of their tastes by choosing one chick flick and one more masculine film. Finish off the gift basket with specialty popcorn and candy and you will have a gift that they both will love.

Food is also a good pick for his-and-her themed gifts. The key is to pick a culinary theme that appeals to both people. For example, if they both love Italian cuisine, then you can stock a gift basket with different types of pasta, gourmet sauces, a few bottles of wine, and all of the fixings. Top it all off with a cookbook detailing a variety of Italian recipes to get the budding chefs started. Not only is this a practical gift, but it will also bring the couple enjoyment as they prepare the food and spend quality time in the kitchen together.

With a little creativity and careful examination of the interests of your loved ones, you can be sure that all of your gifts will be a hit this holiday season. It will be obvious to the recipient that you put a lot of thought and love into choosing the best gifts for all of their shared interests.]]>