Downsizing your home is a great option for retirees. The considerable money it can generate helps safeguard you and your family’s future. In addition, moving to somewhere smaller can also mean moving to somewhere you prefer, anywhere in the country, and there are always ways to manage the reduction in living space.
The Downsizing Bonus Helps You Secure the Future
Nationwide, on average, you can save a couple of hundred thousand dollars by moving from a 4-bedroom home to a 2-bedroom one. That’s enough to pay off debts, set a young relative up with an apartment or a college education, or simply build up savings for the years ahead and changeable factors such as healthcare costs.
The downsizing gain can be several times the national average within regions with high housing costs such as California. And, of course, moving from a higher-cost to a lower-cost state, or from a major city to a small town, also puts a lot more in your bank account.
Get Organized for Your Move & Your Smaller Space
You can carry out the moving process yourself, but it is usually better to book a reputable professional company well in advance. You can also rent a self storage unit at low cost near your new home so everything can be moved there in one go, leaving you to transfer your belongings into your new space on your own schedule when it is completely ready — you don’t want the rooms full of furniture if you need to decorate them.
With your downsized living space, now is a good time to rationalize your possessions, so sell furniture, toys and other items you can do without or donate them to charity. And you can leave items you don’t use regularly in your storage unit — for example sports gear, tools and seasonal decorations — so they don’t clutter up your new, smaller home. Get Organized for Your Move & Your Smaller Space
The List of Top Retiree Destinations Always Includes Florid
Choosing a new place to live is an exciting thought for retirees! The best US metropolitan areas for them will prioritize factors such as the cost of living, safety, tax burden, healthcare provision, year-round weather, life expectance and leisure options.
The Florida metros centered on Cape Coral, Sarasota and Tampa get high marks for seniors, with golf, beaches, winter warmth and safe environments. Considering a 4-bedroom Tampa home costs $508K on average, compared to $283K for a 2-bedroom, you could save $188K after taking into account closing costs and property taxes, and renting a Tampa self storage unit would help extend your living space.
Northern Retirement Destinations Earn You More Downsizing Money
If you have a more limited budget, metros such as Ohio’s Cleveland-Elyria and Dayton-Kettering tend to have housing costs around half what you would pay in Florida’s retirement hotspots. Costs of living are lower there, too, while the provision of health care and social assistance is reckoned to be good.
Maybe you can’t face becoming a Cleveland Browns fan! New York’s Albany-Schenectady-Troy and Connecticut’s Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk are also both known to have good healthcare provision and safety. Meanwhile, the metro centered on Providence, Rhode Island, is known for its provision of age-restricted accommodation — apartment communities set up especially for seniors, generally with a 55+ age rule, meaning that it offers downsizing retirees a particularly appealing range of housing options.
Downsizing your home could be one of the best decisions you will ever make, and also it ticks all the same boxes for those already happily retired, boosting finances and giving the impetus for a new start in life. The best retiree destinations across the US include not only places where you can stroll on a beach but also fine cities offering great value for your downsizing dollar and much more besides.
How to Retire at a Disney Resort
If you’re a Disney fan nearing retirement, you’ll be happy to know that the Magic Kingdom is planning to make your golden age a wonderful experience!
For now, this is only a concept, but dreams and wishes are the very foundation of the Disney empire, right? Well, there are other factors involved, but right now, we know that Disney is creating a special community for its 55+ fans who want to continue to enjoy their beloved stories and characters.
Located in California, this community will provide a luxurious retirement experience for anyone interested in living among their favorite Disney characters and entertainment opportunities. The community will include amenities like a clubhouse, swimming pool, and fitness center, and will be surrounded by the incredible beauty of Walt Disney World.
If all of this sounds appealing, keep reading to learn how to turn your golden years into a truly magical experience.
Story Living Communities
Disney’s vision speaks of Story Living communities enriched by “The Disney Touch,” managed by Disney Cast Members who are trained and experienced in delivering world-class service.
The first such community, named Cotino, is planned to be built in Rancho Mirage, California, but if things go well, chances are Disney will expand to Florida as well. After all, Florida is one of the most affordable places to retire and home to Walt Disney World parks and resorts.
Also, this wouldn’t be the first Disney-powered community in Florida. The company has tried its hand in real estate before, with communities like Golden Oak or Celebration, in an effort to attract more people through the good-old Disney charm.
For instance, residents of Golden Oak get a series of benefits, such as VIP tours, special event tickets, shuttle service, and even holiday decorations (in the spirit of Disney, of course). The great news is that people love this approach, so any new communities should have similar perks.
Side note: If you can’t wait until retirement and are looking for Disney perks now, check out ParkSavers.com - here, you’ll find anything Disney-related from news, how-tos, and discounts.
What to Expect from a Disney-Powered Retirement Community
According to its concept, the Cotino community should include accommodation options for a wide range of people, with a section designed for 55+ residents. In addition to the residential areas, Disney plans a mixed-use district where residents can shop, enjoy their free time, or enjoy a delicious meal out.
Besides this, there will also be plenty of space for various activities such as golf, watersports, walks in nature, and more. There’s also a private beach area, where residents can enjoy lazy mornings and afternoons, and plenty of room for club activities. Moreover, residents will have access to wellness programs, entertainment seminars and classes, and live events. Of course, many of these activities and entertainment options will be Disney-themed!
And, if you’re still having doubts about living in a retirement community designed by Disney, we should add that you’ll be served and assisted by Disney employees. These are well-trained people who know how to create a stellar customer experience and how to make people feel like magic is all around.
Disney’s retirement community promises a unique combination of luxury, convenience, and nostalgia. Plus, it will be easier to convince grandkids to pay you a visit or even live with you over the summer.
Overall, communities like Story Living may be the perfect place for Disney fans to retire and create memories that will last a lifetime. However, we’ll have to see when these plans will become reality and whether the end result holds up to the dream.
Finding extra cash can be a difficult task for any family. There are countless bills that most of us need to think about every month, not to mention everyday expenses to cater for, like food and utilities. If you don’t have the time to take on a second job or expand your earnings with a freelancing strategy, it could feel like you have no way of accessing extra money. However, if you own your own home (or even just a fraction of it), you could already have money available to you that you’re not aware of.
Unlocking some of the value tied into the equity of your home means you can access cash for renovations, family vacations, and more, without having to sell your property or take out an expensive personal loan. Here are some of the options you can explore. Homeowners throughout the world with mortgages have seen the equity in their properties grow substantially in recent years. This equity gives homeowners an opportunity to unlock additional cash, without having to give up on their current lifestyle. There are a few different ways you can utilize the equity in your home and here are the most common options.
Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC)
Perhaps the most flexible way to take advantage of the equity in your home, a HELOC is a type of second mortgage which offers a revolving balance. You can tap into the equity you’ve already built up in your property, without having to sell anything. You borrow only what you need at any given time, then pay off the balance so you can borrow again later. HELOC options are close to having a credit card, but the interest rates are generally much lower.
Additionally, there are no closing costs, and often highly adjustable rates to take advantage of. With a HELOC, you can leverage significant amounts of cash from your home, without placing yourself at risk of excessive extra debt. However, like any form of loan, a HELOC has pros and cons to consider, and this strategy might not be right for everyone. If you’re thinking of exploring the benefits of HELOC lending, you can learn more online and get to know how a home equity line of credit works so it can help you with your decision.
Home Equity Loans
Home Equity loans are a little more straightforward than a HELOC, but they’re less flexible. Essentially, they work like a second mortgage which you can access for a specific set period. You’ll be able to requires borrowing a specific amount of money and pay it back according to a rate chosen by your loan provider. This is a highly structured form of lending. Although home equity loans can be beneficial for some homeowners, they have some significant disadvantages you should also be aware of. These loans tend to have a higher interest rate than a standard mortgage.
Unlike other forms of home equity solutions, cash-out refinancing doesn’t always require you to take out a second loan. However, it can provide additional funds to a homeowner. In this instance, you’ll work with a lender to refinance your home for a larger amount. This will allow you to access the additional money available to you in cash.
What’s the Best Way to Access Home Equity?
Home equity can be an excellent resource for those looking to take advantage of additional forms of cash and funding. If you need to build extra money for any reason, then tapping into your home equity could be an excellent solution. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for success. The smartest strategy for leveraging your home equity will depend on your plans, what you want to do with the money, and your current situation. When it comes to your credit, what your score is can also come into play when you’re making your decision. It’s worth talking to a professional about your options if you’re not sure which equity method will work best for you.
There used to be a time when a person went to college, studied, and committed to a job or industry until retirement. However, over the last decade, things have changed; with rising costs of living and people working for longer, many people are enjoying more than one career in their working life.
Rather than seeing retirement as the end of work, today it can be seen as the end of one career path and the opportunity to begin another one. Similarly, while tech jobs used to be seen as the younger person’s career choice, there is plenty of scope now for people in their 40s and beyond to pursue a career in tech.
Making the move to tech
In today’s digital world, there are plenty of programming jobs available, which makes it a relatively safe career option for people of all ages. What’s more, rather than allowing your career to slowly fade out as you age, pursuing a career in tech will allow you to do something meaningful, varied and well paid while also offering you the flexibility to work from home or work hours to suit your lifestyle, potentially allowing you to enjoy semi-retirement while still having a successful second (or third!) career.
Research the opportunities.
If you are unsure of whether a career in tech might be right for you, it can help to have a look around at the different tech jobs that are available. This will give you a good idea of the opportunities that are available right now, as well as the working hours, flexibility, pay and other benefits that you can hope to expect if you decide to train for a programming job.
Assess your skills.
You may not have a wealth of experience as a programmer, but as an older person, you will possess a wealth of experience that someone straight out of college is unlikely to have. Make a list of your skills, starting with your previous encounters with technology (depending on your previous career you may have more tech experience than you realize), before looking at the attributes and skills that you have which will help you to be an effective programmer.
Consult a tech recruiter.
Once you have a good idea of what you might like to do, and your existing skillset, get in touch with a tech recruiter. They will be able to take your strengths and experience, confirm the opportunities that are available to you, and advise you of any gaps in your knowledge and skills that you need to address prior to making applications. Programming jobs are unusual in that they don’t require college degrees; there are different routes to getting the right experience that you need, and a tech recruiter will have a great insight into what employers are looking for, as well as what they are happy to teach on the job.
Define your expectations.
If you were a senior manager in your previous career, it can be tempting to look for jobs at the same level in your new career. It is a good idea to manage your expectations and recognize that as you are starting a new career, you may need to aim for entry-level jobs with the plan of working your way up again. However, bear in mind that previous skills and experience may mean that you progress more quickly in subsequent careers than you did in your first one.
With an idea of what is available, what skills you have, and what kind of job you would like, you should have developed a good idea of what skills you need in order to get the jobs that you want. There are different training options available, including formal college training, online courses, apprenticeships and self-teaching. A tech recruiter will be able to tell you what most employers in the industry tend to prefer.
Actively seek employment
Whether you are retired already, or looking to switch careers, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the employment market throughout the process to see what opportunities come up, which jobs you feel are best suited to you and your lifestyle. Once you are ready to make the move towards your new career, it is time to move from general research to the active searching phase. If you have skipped speaking to a tech recruiter until now, it is definitely worth getting on their register as they will know of current and future opportunities that will be a best fit for you.
At a time when there are more programming jobs available than there are skilled programmers to fill them, a new career in programming could be a wise choice, regardless of your age. As long as you are willing to learn and are committed to providing the same level of hard work and commitment at the ages of 40, 50 or 60 as you did at the age of 20 and 30, there is no reason why you can’t have a fulfilling and successful career in tech.
When you retire, you have all the time in the world to travel, see your family, or simply relax, but a lack of a career may leave you feeling empty. We often connect our feeling of purpose with work, but there are other ways to find meaning. For example, you could take up photography
10 Reasons Why Retirees Should Take Up Photography
While the possibilities are never-ending, photography is a good hobby to explore. There are so many great reasons for being a photographer in retirement.
Here’s 10 you should consider.
1. Spend Time Outdoors
Photography can encourage you to get outdoors. You can use your camera to capture the beauty of nature or to photograph urban landscapes and people. As you explore new areas for the perfect shot, you’ll be soaking in all the natural delights your city or town has to offer.
2. Stay Sharp
Photography can help to keep your mind active. As you get the perfect framing or exposure levels for the perfect shot, your cognitive functions will be stimulated. As long as you’re learning new skills and exploring, you’ll have a great activity on your hands that improves mental health.
3. Create Art
Your retirement is the perfect time to master a creative skill, and with photography, the possibilities are vast. For example, you can take whimsical images, turn your photos into art to hang on the wall, or create collages. You could even sell your photos or display them at expos.
4. Capture Life
Do you have plenty of photos of your family and friends? Or perhaps you’re looking for that next angle or a new perspective for a special event. If you’re in retirement, you’ve got the time to capture moments that matter, which you can then turn into photo books of unmatched quality.
5. Connect With Other People
Photography is often a shared experience. When you take a photo, you’re connecting with the people it captures. Whether you’re taking a portrait of a family member or immortalizing a happy moment with your fellow retirees, you’ll be creating memories that can be treasured forever.
6. Develop a Sense Of Flow
As you hone your craft, you’ll likely find yourself in a “flow” state. Artists often get “into the zone,” which is a total state of focus and relaxation. It helps you get absorbed in the creative process. If you’re shooting images for fun, the success of the image you create will be a reward in itself.
7. Express Yourself
Photography gives you the opportunity to communicate through art. You can document your own stories and share them with others by conveying certain emotions, thoughts, or ideas. If you’re someone who holds back their emotions, photography can bring those out in you.
8. Reach New Heights
Photography can be a great way to stretch yourself, try something new, or find a different perspective on something that you do regularly. You could explore aerial photography or opt for underwater shots. Either way, you’ll gain a different understanding of the world you live in.
With photography, you can experiment with techniques, camera equipment, and filters. There are plenty of new ideas to explore and techniques that can enhance your creativity. The trial and error of it all will no doubt lead to plenty of learning experiences and hundreds of cool moments.
10. Share With Others
When it comes to photography, showing is almost as fun as taking a shot. Whether you opt for the coffee table book version or an online photo book, you’ll have fun sharing your images with others. Your works may even inspire other retirees to take up their cameras and start shooting.
Car accidents are a major potential downside of getting behind the wheel, but driving has become a necessary part of life for most people. Over 42,000 people died on a yearly basis as a result of car accidents, which goes to show the importance of learning how to avoid this event. The first step in learning how to avoid a car accident, however, involves identifying what the most common causes for accidents are.
7 of the Most Common Car Accident Causes
As mentioned, a person needs to understand what the most common car accidents are in order to spot the signs that one may be about to occur. While a car accident can happen for any reason, the below seven causes are among the most common culprits:
In the modern age, distracted driving has become an even more common cause for car accidents. Cell phone devices such as the iPhone have presented new stimulants for drivers out on the road. Texting and calling are among the primary causes for distracted driving accidents, but even taking your eyes of the road to change music on your device is deadly and illegal. If you notice a driver near you continuously glancing away from the road, keep extra distance between yourself and them.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence is illegal in the United States of America. On a daily basis, roughly 32 people die from drunk driving accidents, with more on top of that when taking into account other drugs. If you see someone swerving erratically on the road or changing speeds on a whim, it’s possible they are under the influence. Leave extra space between you and that vehicle and attempt to contact the authorities if it safe to do so.
Driving While Tired
A lesser recognized cause of car accidents is simply driving while exhausted. We’ve all been on a road trip where it seems to never end, but when you feel your eyes start to droop it’s best to get off the road. If there is another driver in the car, pull over and allow them to take over driving duties so that you can get some rest.
Speeding While Driving
Speeding is another common cause for car accidents. Over the last two decades, speeding has been present for one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities that have occurred, going to show how deadly it can be. If you notice a driver speeding rapidly in your rearview mirror, it’s best to maintain your lane and allow them to pass you, as opposed to quickly switching lanes to get out of the way.
At the end of the day, some drivers choose to drive in a manner that knowingly presents a risk to all others on the road. Reckless driving is another common cause of car accident that is difficult to prevent. As a driver, always signal your intentions, follow speed laws, and adhere to the rules of the road rather than making your own rules.
Driving During Poor Weather
Poor weather conditions can cause a large number of accidents, especially when they occur in areas that don’t usually receive that type of weather. For example, the first rainfall in most states is the most dangerous, as the rain lifts many oils from the road that can create slick conditions. Always drive slower in bad weather to help prevent accidents.
Hazards in the Road
Finally, hazards in the road can cause drivers to make quick and unexpected lane changes that can cause accidents. While it’s not possible to always avoid an object on the road, do your best to scan the road ahead of time to give yourself more reaction time.
How to Avoid Getting Into a Car Accident
In the long run, car accidents can result in injuries that don’t show symptoms until later in life, making it all the more important to avoid an accident in its entirety if possible. Below are some of the best strategies for avoiding a wreck:
Handle Business on Your Phone Before Driving
While it can be tempting to touch your phone when a song you hate comes on, avoid doing it at all costs. Set your music and send any texts you need to prior to taking your car out of park and answer any phone calls in a hands-free manner to prevent distracted driving on the road.
Limit Night Driving as Much as Possible
While driving at night is impossible to avoid in its entirety, try to limit the amount of time you spend on the road at night. Besides increasing the likelihood that you’re tired, night driving comes with reduced visibility that can pose a danger to you and other drivers on the road.
Handle Preventative Maintenance on Your Vehicle Regularly
Preventative maintenance refers to the regular scheduled checkups all vehicle owners are supposed to handle on their vehicle. These checkups can help prevent major breakdowns from occurring, which can cause an accident if one occurs while you’re on the road. By handling this maintenance ahead of time, you can reduce the risk of an accident.
Follow the 12 Second Rule
When on the road, all drivers should be scanning 12 seconds ahead of them on the road, rather than staring straight ahead. This will allow you to see any road hazards, traffic, or other dangers on the road before they are on top of you.
Follow the 3 Second Rule
Similar to the 12 second rule, all drivers should also adhere to the three second rule. This refers to keeping a three second gap between you and the car in front of you. To test this, pick a marker on the road such as a street sign, and wait to start counting until the car in front of you reaches it. Ideally, it will take you three seconds or longer to reach the same point.
Stay safe out on the open road
Keeping yourself safe behind the wheel of a vehicle is incredibly important for your health and the health of other drivers. However, you can’t control the actions of other drivers which is why contacting a lawyer when an accident occurs should also be a priority. If there is disagreement over who caused the wreck or issues with insurance providing compensation, a lawyer can help you get what is rightfully yours.