After many weeks of quarantine, the majority of the population has realized the importance of being able to go out to get some physical activity and mental stimulation. The forced sedentary lifestyle, although relatively short-lived, has had effects such as:
Why do we feel good in nature?
The reason for the feel-good sensation most of us experience while in nature (or green spaces) has been explained by Edward O. Wilson in 1984. The biologist explained the phenomenon as with the hyphotesis of „biophilia“. What that means is that since the very beginning, humans have continuously evolved in nature, as opposed to big, gray cities, and that their brains have been ‚programmed‘ to keep them close to indicators of survival. Those indicators referred to greenery and bodies of water (trees, fields, lakes, rivers, etc.), and so, it is the reason why we instinctually feel connected to nature.
As mentioned, this is only a hypothesis, and it might not apply 100%, however, research has proven time and time again that nature has a great effect not only on the physical but also on mental health. And both are extremely important to a person’s quality of life, since poor mental health is confirmed as being equal to physical disability, or having the same damaging effects of CVDs and circulatory disorders.
Regular exercises, especially when done outdoors, weigh a lot too. The combination of working out at least 30 minutes per day and breathing in the fresh air while doing it is the perfect mix for a healthy mind in a healthy body. Fitness experts at Winsor Pilates encourage practicing yoga and Pilates outdoors for this reason. These two practices help relieve stress while activating muscles during the movements needed for the poses. Practice in nature, and you will be surprised how big your change in mood, mindset, and fitness level will be.
Greenifying cities is a Work-in-Progress
As more and more studies have brought to light the importance of having a green space near every neighborhood, a growing number of cities have already started working on bettering their land by:
Taking matters into your own hands
If greenifying isn’t something that’s going to happen in your city any time soon, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do something about your living condition yourself. If you have a backyard, plant trees, flowers, or bushes, and maybe add a misting feature to turn it into your little refreshing oasis whenever you feel like the city life is too much. And, if you live in an apartment building, potted plants are still an option. Aloe vera and snake plants are some of the cheaper options which can help you reduce air pollution, and the former can also be used in many other ways (drinking, moisturizing, healing, etc). For those with chronic respiratory issues, plants might help but they can’t clear the air of particles the same way an air purifier for asthma could (you’d need way too many plants). More often than not, these devices use HEPA filters, which have been proven to be the best for relieving symptoms and can also come with many other features, like carbon filters that remove odors, and ionizers that amplify their efficiency. Pair them with a room full of greenery, you’ll feel as if you’re on a mountain path with the crispest air that you can take in.
Benefits of Green Spaces and Nature
The main excuse that many representatives give when explaining why greenifying isn’t a viable option usually has to do with the costs. But those costs mean nothing compared to the benefits that citizens experience from having a city that is redesigned to be environmentally friendly. Research and analysis involving more than 7 countries and 8 million people have shown that having a preponderantly green city adds to its citizens‘ quality of life and lessens the chances of them dying earlier than expected, this regarding each individual group. And it all applies globally. For an easier understanding, we’ll be separating the benefits into 3 different paragraphs that have to do with the impact greenery has on the city, on the citizens‘ physical health, and on their mental health.
Greenery can be a Buffer
Think about the last time you’ve been in a forest. Have you noticed any loud, bothering noises, even if the forest was near the main road? Probably not, and that’s because vegetation tends to absorb noise pollution, keeping everything more quiet and relaxing, especially helpful during the nighttime. Another harmful human-made byproduct that it can absorb is air pollution, specifically harmful particles (and not only) that can affect the human nervous system and also trigger mental health issues. And if all this isn’t enough, harsh temperatures and weather phenomena can also be toned down with the help of the right trees and plants. Therefore, even a simple line of trees planted between a busy street and an apartment complex can make a big difference.
Continuing off from the initial point (the one introducing the benefits) in a more specific way, living near plenty of vegetation around has been linked to 12% lower mortality in 2016, in a study on US women residents. Links were also made to smaller death counts related to:
The last aspect that benefits from exposure to green spaces is your mental health. The reasons for this are varied, but we will go through with an explanation for all of them. Also, as a note, these all apply to both people who suffer from certain psychological conditions, and people who don’t. The possible reasons behind the positive association between nature and psychological effects are:
The conclusion we can draw from all this information is that not only are green spaces good for you for a wide range of reasons, but you should also strive to bring more of nature’s helpful qualities into your own home so that you can always have a space of your own to escape to.
Online card games are not only great fun to play. They can also benefit your brain. Here are four of the best card games you can play to keep your mind sharp.
The card game solitaire can keep your mind sharp because it enables you to develop strategic and decision-making skills. Playing solitaire can also have a calming effect on your mind. There are lots of different types of solitaire, each of which is beneficial for your brain. One of the most popular and challenging variants of solitaire is Freecell.
Also known as Baker’s Game, Freecell Solitaire is played with a standard fifty-two-card deck of playing cards. The aim of the game is to build four home cells in ascending order, starting with the Ace at the Bottom and leading to the King at the top. When you complete all four sequences, you win the game. Ready to start playing? If so, here is a fantastic site for playing Freecell online.
The best card games to keep your mind sharp are those that require attentiveness, strategy, and memory skills. Bridge, which is also known as Contact Bridge, is one card game in which all of the above are used. You will learn reasoning, logic, patience, concentration, and quick-thinking skills.
While the game requires four players of two partnerships, there are plenty of online Bridge games in which you can play against the computer. The game consists of a number of deals that progress through four phases. After the cards have been dealt, players can call in an auction in an attempt to take what is known as the contract; specifying how many tricks your partnership needs to take to receive points from the deal. During the auction process, the players exchange information about their hands. After the auction, the cards are played. The declaring partnership tries to fulfill the contract and the defending partnership attempts to stop the declaring partnership from achieving its goal. It may sound a little complicated, but once you get into it, you are sure to have great fun playing online Bridge.
If you want to improve your memory, there are many card games that require you to remember information. One of the best online card games for helping you to improve your memory is Matching Pairs. There are lots of variations of this game. The simplest form involves all of the playing cards from a single deck lying face down.
You then select two cards to be shown face-up at a time. When two cards match in number, the cards are put aside in a pile. So, you could match the five of hearts with the five of clubs or the five of spades. If the two cards do not match, they return to being face-down. The aim of the game is to remember which cards you have turned over and what their values are. When you match all pairs, you win the game.
Gin rummy, also known as just gin, is a variation of the card game rummy. It is good for keeping your mind sharp and improving your memory because the game requires careful attention to track which cards have been picked up and which have been discarded. Gin Rummy is played with a standard fifty-two deck of cards. The objective is to score points and reach a number of previously determined points before your opponent does.
The number is usually one hundred or more. The basic strategy of Gin Rummy is to improve your hand by getting rid of deadwood and forming melds. There are two types of melds: a set of three or four cards that share the same value and runs of three or more sequential cards for the same suit. Deadwood cards are the ones that are not in any meld.
Klondike Solitaire is more than just a game - it can actually have benefits for your mental health. Studies have shown that playing Solitaire can help improve your brain function. Solitaire can also help relieve stress and anxiety and can even help improve your mood. So next time you're feeling down, try playing a game of Solitaire - it just might help you feel better.
At first, it’s jarring, then maybe you become sad, or even angry. It’s a bill collector and they’re calling about your late kin’s outstanding debt. Here’s what you need to know when dealing with the debts of deceased relatives.
Aren’t Debts Voided When the Debtor Dies?
Would that that were the case. Debts hang around, even when the debtor is gone. But legally, the family is not on the hook – most times. More on that in a minute. The debts are usually to be paid from the deceased individual’s estate. If there’s no money to pay the debt, well, that’s usually it for that.
Note that there are situations in which the family IS liable: if you or a family member co-signed a loan or similar, or if you were married to the deceased individual and reside in a community property state.
Also, you may be responsible if the deceased debtor was your spouse, and your state of residence mandates that you satisfy specific types of debt, such as medical bills. Or, if it was your job – legally – to handle the estate and you flouted, or just didn’t follow, some laws.
Discuss the situation with an attorney if you’re confused or unsure about responsibility here. And if you do find that you’re personally liable and can’t afford to pay due to credit card obligations, check out credit card debt relief programs.
Who Handles the Estate?
The person named in the will as executor is responsible for acting on the deceased person’s stated wishes. Absent a will, the court may appoint a person to handle the estate. Sometimes, state law will dictate the process by which someone can represent the estate.
Do I Have to Speak with the Debt Collector?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act states that collectors can reach out to and go over delinquencies with the deceased individual’s husband or wife; parents, if the deceased was under age 18; or administrator, executor, or guardian. If there’s someone else who is empowered to pay the deceased person’s debts, the collector may legally contact him or her. But that’s it. There’s no one else the collector can discuss the deceased person’s financial affairs with.
What Can the Collector Speak to the Family About?
Debt collectors are allowed to contact other kin or individuals linked to the deceased loved one but who don’t have the authority to pay estate debts. However, they can only do so one time, and that is to get contact information for the deceased person’s spouse, executor or other person who has the power to pay. Also, collectors may not discuss debt details.
Can I Legally Tell a Collector to Cease Contacting Me?
The law says you can, absolutely. But you need to put it in writing and send the letter via certified mail, keeping a copy for your records. After that, the collection agency is only permitted to contact you to confirm request receipt, or to tell you it plans to sue you or some such.
Note that the debt does not disappear, and the collector may still attempt to collect the debt from the estate or someone else as described earlier.
So, that’s what you need to know about dealing the debts of deceased relatives. Peace of mind is priceless, particularly during a period of bereavement. You may want to keep this info handy for if, and when, the time comes.
There are so many ways in which you can show your personality in all that you are and all that you surround yourself with. To make us all happy and feel comfortable with ourselves, we have to make our surroundings ours. We can do this with color schemes, furnishings, clothes, and accessories.
Trying to fit into a box or a certain kind of category does nobody any good at all. We are all individuals, and we should be able to show it wherever we can.
Surrounding yourself with items you love
It is important for your happiness to surround yourself with the items that you love. These items not only will make you happy but will show your personality, make you and your friends and family feel welcomed and comfortable within your space.
These items are not just your household contents but also stretch as far as your car. Having the correct car for your personality is a must for your happiness. We travel so much due to work and family commitments, so if you have the wrong car for you or you are frustrated with it, it is probably time to look at finding yourself a new one.
Many makes and models are available on the second-hand car market, and finding the perfect one for you may not be as hard as you think. Many garages offer extra services such as home delivery or even remote viewing by way of videos or extra photos of the cars they have on offer. Obtaining finance for your next car need not be a bother either as you can quite easily use a finance broker to apply for 2nd hand car finance Buckinghamshire in order to gain the funds you will need.
Do more of what you enjoy
In order to be able to show your personality in all that you are, you need to enjoy all that you do. If you are feeling that you are struggling to get up for work and make it on time, then perhaps it is time for a change of career path.
Finding yourself a job within a sector or profession that you enjoy can really lift your mental state. If you have a hobby or favorite pastime, then perhaps looking to see how you can make money out of this or if there is a job within that area which you could turn your hand to will give you a new lease of life and not only because you will be doing something you really enjoy but because you will meet like-minded people who you will already have lots in common with, therefore enhancing your social life.
Encourage others to be themselves
In showing your personality in all that you are, you will be encouraging others to do the same and lead by example. Anyone close to you will be able to see a marked difference not only in your attitude, but also within your energy levels, stance, happiness and wellbeing. This will, in turn, improve your mental health as well as your physical health too.
Playing games has become a popular hobby and even a unique lifestyle for millions of gamers around the world. As the gaming market continues to rise, players have even more choices and can easily pick a game that suit their preferences.
So, you don't have to own the latest gadgets in order to play some high-quality video games or mobile games. Actually, there are plenty of benefits of gaming for seniors and fortunately there is a great range of games available on both mobile and desktop devices.
Not many would believe that gaming can be a social activity. But, contrary to popular belief, gaming nowadays has many opportunities, mainly because the internet connects gamers in the local area or across the globe, and gamers have a chance to compete against their friends, chat in the gaming lobby, or even share some gaming experiences. Gaming can be a chance to make new friendships to enjoy your free time gaming together with your friends and have fun.
As we mentioned earlier, the number of video and mobile games is growing exponentially but also the technology behind video games has improved significantly in the last few years. So, the games feature captivating storylines, high-quality graphics, and crisp sound effects.
Furthermore, the latest trend in this sector is associated with casino games. More specifically, there are online casino games that will create an immersive gambling atmosphere in the comfort of your own home. Actually, live casino games on reliable casinos like NetBet Live offer an authentic gambling experience with human dealers in real time. So, you will be able to interact with other participants in the game, as you would in a traditional casino.
Plus, there is an abundance of other casino games in many variations. In other words, you can try your luck with blackjack games, or explore the collection of slots, among many other options on the online casino.
Playing games is all about coordination and moving in the right direction to reach the final goal. While games definitely activate hand-eye coordination, the benefits of playing games in terms of coordination are much more complex. The knowledge players gain while gaming is something they can transfer in everyday activities, especially those that help in the reorganization of the brain and help the brain organize information better when it comes to more complex tasks.
Online games became the most popular games thanks to the internet. They can be accessed from any device and all you need is a reliable network connection to connect you with the rest of the gamers who play the game. What follows are some benefits of gaming in your free time and how to use your time wisely playing games.
Gaming requires fast decisions and making the right moves. Strategy games are known for improving the decision-making process because the games are all about making the right decisions. They improve the player’s flexibility, cognition, and the ability to make decisions faster.
The games are usually time limited, and players need to make a decision as soon as they can. They also help you master making decisions in real life, especially at the workplace when you need to make things work at the last minute.
Unfortunately, as we get older, we can develop more health problems. That can include skin conditions like rosacea. While there is no actual cure for rosacea, the good news is there are some excellent treatments available for easing the symptoms. But what exactly is rosacea and what causes it?
What is rosacea?
The skin condition rosacea is very common. It causes the flushing or blushing of your face. Blood vessels can become visible and sometimes small pus-filled bumps can occur. Most people with rosacea see their symptoms flare up for a few weeks or months before disappearing for some time.
What treatments are available?
The treatments that are available for rosacea focus on controlling the signs and symptoms. The most common treatment is a combination of good skincare and medication. However, it can take time to find the right skincare products to help treat your rosacea, so it is a good idea to seek advice from a professional dermatologist. For example, the treatments from Nava MD are formulated by dermatologists and personalized with your unique skin complexion in mind.
What causes rosacea as you get older?
While rosacea can affect anyone of any age, it is actually most common in middle-aged white women; and it can get worse the older you get. What causes rosacea as you get older is unknown. In fact, what causes rosacea in anyone is not known for sure. However, after many studies, many experts agree that rosacea could be due to factors that include an overactive immune system, environmental factors, and heredity.
A little more is known about the causes of flare-ups, although the causes do not apply to everyone. If you have rosacea, you should make note of when your flare-ups happen to identify if any of the following things affect it:
Are older people more likely to get rosacea?
Medical experts agree that rosacea can become progressively more severe without treatment, and it can become particularly intrusive in older patients who have delayed diagnosis and treatment. According to a survey by the National Rosacea Society, which involved 2,000 patients with rosacea, 44% said their symptoms first developed when they were in their thirties or forties and 43% said they first noticed symptoms after the age of fifty. Only 13% said they first developed rosacea symptoms before they reached the age of thirty.
What should you do if you have rosacea symptoms?
The first thing you should do upon noticing rosacea symptoms is to make sure that it actually is rosacea. Sometimes things like acne can be mistaken for rosacea. Visit your doctor for a diagnosis. Then get advice on the best skin care treatment from a dermatologist. If you feel self-conscious, you could use cosmetics to make your skin’s appearance less blemished and red. Having rosacea can be distressing, but that is perfectly normal. If you are feeling distressed and alone with rosacea, consider talking with a counselor about your feelings or joining an online or offline support group.
Times are challenging for all consumers, especially for small business owners. Nowadays, people have cut their spending to necessities while many consumers have been laid off with small businesses being shut. The new economic crisis made thousands of entrepreneurs seek additional financial assistance to help their ventures remain monetary afloat in such tough times.
Small enterprises are the ones being affected the most by the current pandemic. While consumption habits have already changed, below are some available funding options and grants from the government and the private sector.
The Impact on Small Businesses
Thousands of small ventures have been negatively affected by the current pandemic. People are trying to lower their expenses so that entertainment, going out, and traveling costs aren’t on their spending list anymore.
While people are learning to become more frugal, it has impacted small business owners who don’t have profit now. Many businesses have already been closed but the majority of them are still trying to survive. Regular consumers have also lost their jobs with women being the most vulnerable stratum of the population.
It’s not easy to keep on paying salaries to your employees, pay the monthly bills, or cover the rent payments when you have no income. Many entrepreneurs need to renew their business model and rethink new ways of building their companies.
There are many grants available to consumers today which may assist your business and help it stay afloat until the situation becomes more stable again. There is a variety of grants, so you may have a closer look and select the most suitable option. We are going to tell you about the best offers and assistance programs.
Interesting fact: Last year, the number of small businesses in the U.S. reached 31,7 million!
American Rescue Plan Act
You can find information about COVID-19 relief options offered by the US Small Business Administration. There are several grants available for consumers and small business owners for the period of the pandemic. Also, you may look through the American Rescue plan Act signed into law by President Biden.
It was signed in March 2021 allowing entrepreneurs to obtain additional funds from the government including $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program. Industry-oriented grants allow restaurant owners to qualify for $28.6 billion from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Such pandemic relief grants and assistance programs are designed to help small business owners survive during the quarantine.
The only drawback of such government-issued programs and grants is that they require lots of paperwork. So, they are quite time-consuming for the borrowers. If you value your time and don’t want to waste it on submitting multiple documents and applications, you may opt for alternative assistance programs and small business loans from online creditors.
Alternative lending solutions are also popular today as they let common consumers and even unemployed people obtain urgent monetary aid. For instance, 2500 loan bad credit is widespread among those who have lost their jobs or simply need urgent money.
While entrepreneurs may apply for special grants and programs from the government, unemployed mothers and parents may also qualify for financial assistance from alternative lending services. Such small loans are meant to support their needs during challenging times and help them fund their daily needs until they find a suitable job again.
Top Government Grants and Assistance Programs
The above-mentioned government website offers a wide choice of grants and assistance programs for small businesses in different industries. The money flows straight from the federal government to ventures.
Certain funding is divided between local and state governments, not-for-profit organizations, etc. So, you may choose between various options and apply on the state or local level. Here are some of the most popular grants available today:
All in all, there are many funding grants and assistance programs available today for small business owners. Take some time to review the most popular funding options and select the one that meets your current financial needs.
Depending on several qualifying factors, you may either get approved for one of these government-issued grants or apply for a small business loan from alternative creditors. Such funding options are designed to help entrepreneurs support their business needs during an economic crisis.
Dealing with Divorce in Retirement
Going through a divorce can be very difficult at any stage in life but once you are retired, being divorced has a different set of challenges compared to in earlier stages of life. Divorce impacts people in many different ways but for retired divorcees, these are some of the biggest difficulties:
No distraction of work
Even though you may look forward to the day you can retire so that you do not have to go to work, the time you spend at work can be a good distraction from going through divorce. Most people spend a large amount of their life at work and they have relationships with co-workers where they can feel supported when they are going through personal problems such as divorce. Once you retire, without the need to go into work every day, you have more time to think and worry about the divorce.
When you divorce during retirement, it can affect you more from a financial perspective. If you do not have an income to rely on, you may have been depending on your spouse’s pension to help pay for bills during retirement. Even if your pension entitlement is not affected by the divorce, separating can mean that you have more living expenses to pay as an individual, rather than as a couple living together. Instead of splitting bills, you may now be living alone and therefore paying the same amount of bills by yourself.
If you are considering starting divorce proceedings and need some advice about how it could financially impact you, you should speak to a family solicitor such as www.brookman.co.uk.
Retirement usually provides a lot of time for hobbies and following interests but if you had planned to do things together as a couple, you may find that living on your own is very lonely. If you have children who have moved out of home, you do not have the company that you would have had if you divorce earlier in life while the children still lived at home.
How to deal with divorce in retirement
Get a part-time job
Many retired divorcees consider taking on a small part-time job, either paid or on a voluntary basis if they do not really need the extra money. This helps them to feel more involved in the community and to spend their time doing something really worthwhile. It can provide company through regular interactions with people and can also be a good distraction from worrying about the divorce.
Start new hobbies
To try and avoid being lonely or bored, you should try and discover some new hobbies and interests. There are so many different types of groups and activities that you could get involved in, from joining a walking group, going to coffee mornings or taking up an art class, for example. It might be a bit scary to go outside of your comfort zone to start with but once you have met some new people you will probably find that there are a lot of people in the same situation as you.
If you have a local community centre, library or church, they may have some events that you could get involved in. Alternatively, if you are interested in joining a specific group such as a choir, book club, dance class etc. you should be able to find local groups by searching on the internet. Hobbies that get you outside of the house and socialising will be really beneficial to take your mind off your divorce and will help you to look to the future, starting a new chapter in your life.
Talk to your family and friends
Some people feel embarrassed to admit to their friends and family that they are feeling lonely after a divorce but you need your support network to help you to cope with your emotional journey through divorce. Family members might not realise that you are lonely unless you tell them and then they will hopefully make more effort to spend time with you or help you to find some new hobbies.
By talking to the people close to you, it can also help you to deal with some of the emotions you are going through and help you to make some decisions that will enable you move onto the next stage of your life. If you do not feel you can talk to anyone about your situation, there are other ways you can get support. Organisations such as The Samaritans or Age UK provide support to people going through difficult times, or for older people who may need some companionship if they are feeling lonely.
Getting divorced once you are retired is not always a negative outcome, it could be the second lease of life you need to pursue a hobby you enjoy, meet new friends and maybe even find love again.
Investing on a Limited Budget
Have you been searching for ways to invest in things like stocks, bonds, cryptocurrency, and precious metals but are afraid that there's just not enough money in your budget to do so? Fortunately, in the modern trading environment, just about anyone, in any income level, can get involved quickly and easily with potentially profitable investments of all kinds. The trick is to figure out which areas lend themselves to budget investing.
For example, there is one precious metal that works well for those who have modest amounts of disposable income. Likewise, there are ways to take part in the stock market with small sums of capital. Finally, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin offer fractional ownership so that you only need a few dollars to buy a stake. Here are several of the most suitable ways to start putting your money to work for you, even if you live on a limited budget.
Compared to gold, silver offers an ideal way for new and investors on a budget to acquire significant amounts of one of the most popular precious metals. Consider the fact that gold usually costs about 70 times what silver does, and that you can purchase an ounce of silver for between $20 and $30. Those two facts mean that just about anyone can set aside enough capital to build up a nice stash of silver over the course of a single year.
Penny stocks have been around for decades and continue to attract investors of all stripes. If you have limited capital right now, you can invest small amounts of money and buy hundreds of shares of penny stocks. The best way to get started is to review a guide that explains to beginners the basics of buying and selling these low-cost shares. In fact, it's possible to build up a diverse portfolio of corporations in multiple sectors by investing a modest amount of money into various low-cost issues.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, and hundreds of other cryptocurrencies offer people with limited amounts of capital an excellent way to acquire a stake in one of the fastest growing, and most volatile, segments of the economy. As with all other kinds of investing, there is risk involved, but crypto, as a category, represent an asset class with virtually unlimited upside potential. Plus, some of the most popular and stable alt coins sell for less than a dollar per unit, which means you can acquire a diverse portfolio of crypto on a limited income.
Fractional Shares of Blue Chips
Even if you're a traditionalist who values the idea of sticking with blue chip companies, you don't need to have unlimited wealth to buy a stake in these highly prized companies. The way to get involved is to select an online broker that offers fractional share ownership. Not all do, but there are enough of them that you can easily find one and open an account. Then, you'll be able to purchase a stake in some of the biggest, most formidable corporations listed on the exchange. Be sure to ask about fractional ownership when you explore brokerages online.
Retire Abroad U.S. Tax Guide
So you have just retired, now what? You’ve decided to spend your golden years in a foreign country. We don’t hold it against you! Retirement abroad for U.S. citizens is all about enjoying life to the fullest. Many Americans spend years daydreaming of a picturesque expat retirement, sipping champagne in the Italian countryside, or taking daily strolls along a picture-perfect tropical coastline.
For many people, planning for all the exciting aspects of retirement abroad can take precedence over thinking about the more fundamental elements of retirement abroad, such as taxes. This is one of the most common retirement pitfalls. Whether you’ve only recently conceived the notion of spending your golden years abroad or are a seasoned expat, it’s critical to understand that even expats who live and work in the United States must pay U.S. taxes.
Yes, you read that correctly: even if you are an expat enjoying retirement in a foreign country, you may still be subject to United States taxation. If you are still a citizen of the United States, regardless of where you live in the world, you are still accountable for your U.S. tax obligations. We’ve outlined the essentials of what you need to know about taxes in an expat retirement in the sections below.
Does a Retiree Need to File Taxes?
Do I need to file taxes after retirement? If you retire outside of the United States, you will leave the country, but not the tax system, because the United States taxes income based on citizenship rather than residence. The IRS minimum thresholds, which usually begin at around $12,000 per person (although these thresholds can be lower, for example, just $400 of self-employment income), mean that American citizens living abroad must still file a federal tax return every year if their global income exceeds certain thresholds.
To qualify for this exemption, all worldwide income must be included in the calculation. This includes social security payments, pension distributions, dividends, bank interest, and rental income, as well as any post-retirement employment or self-employment earnings.
Individuals who retire abroad may also be required to file a state tax return in the state where they last resided, depending on the tax regulations in that state, which are frequently dependent on whether or not they have ties to the state in the form of property, dependents, financial accounts, or other means of support.
The combined total balances of their foreign financial accounts (including bank and investment accounts) may exceed $10,000 at any point during the year, in which case Americans who retire and have financial accounts abroad may be required to disclose those accounts by filing a Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR).
How to Avoid Double Taxation
American citizens who pay foreign income taxes in the nation where they retire can claim the U.S. Foreign Tax Credit when they file their federal income tax return by completing IRS Form 1116 and submitting it to the Internal Revenue Service. The Foreign Tax Credit allows them to claim tax credits in the United States based on the amount of foreign taxes they have paid. For Americans who choose to retire in a country with a greater income tax rate than the United States, this will eliminate their U.S. income tax liability. Those who pay less or no foreign tax than their theoretical U.S. tax bill, on the other hand, are frequently required to pay some amount of U.S. tax.
Pensioners who still earn some income, such as through freelance work or consultancy services, can claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion on Form 2555, which allows them to exclude their earned income from their taxable income. The FEIE will enable them to deduct up to just over $100,000 of their earned income from their U.S. tax liability each year under certain conditions.
A provision in some of the international tax treaties that the United States has signed provides for the prevention of double taxation on retirement income, such as social security income and pension distributions. On the other hand, the terms differ from case to case, and such provisions, when advantageous, must be claimed on Form 8833.
How to File Taxes
Filing U.S. taxes from abroad is more complicated. It is always advisable to seek advice from a U.S. expat tax professional like TFX, who will be intimately acquainted with all of the forms and circumstances that Americans who retire abroad may encounter, and who will guarantee that they file most efficiently and beneficially possible to maximize their benefits.
Have you ever gotten discouraged by the fact that you studied so hard and still failed a test or got a rather low grade? The thing is, no matter how much time students spend on learning, it all depends on the methods they apply.
Some things can be delegated to a service where you can pay to write essay, especially if the assignment doesn’t align with your education goals. However, the rest should be remembered and comprehended. So, how do you do it?
Have Short Sessions
Long hours of going through books and notes usually lead to quick burnout. Yet, “short” doesn’t mean you should spend 20 minutes a day preparing for your exams. Have several short sessions during the day or pick several hours in the evening and alternate between chores and studies.
When you get stuck with a task and see that nothing helps, it’s time to take a break. Your mind needs to get distracted completely. So, when it becomes tough, focus on other important things you had for today:
Revise What You Learned
Even if your study session was successful, don’t neglect to revise what you processed. Otherwise, the information will stay in your short-term memory for a while and will be gone in a week or so.
If you have a schedule (which is also good practice), choose a couple of days when you have to revisit key topics on different subjects. Go back to the previous material regularly. Studying something for the first time takes more time than revision. Yet, the revision is 50% of success, if not more.
Apply your knowledge in practice, check whether you still can solve a problem similar to the one from your homework pay to write essay, or remember a fact. If you can’t, write down the points you stumble upon and work on them after the revision.
List Your Weaknesses and Strengths
Some topics are easy to comprehend, or you may know one better and deeper since you got a chance to devote more time to it. It’s okay. However, always take notes of what material you know the worst.
Murphy’s law never sleeps, and such material is something you’ll probably have on your test or exam. Finally, some topics can be barely comprehensible if you don’t get to learn the basics. So, go through that material when you have a chance.
Don’t forget to list your strengths as well. It’s easy to get discouraged over one simple topic you failed to process, especially when everyone around you managed to do it. Still, brace yourself and write down what you already managed to learn to get motivated.
Eat the Elephant One Bite at a Time
Huge tasks or long-term goals can scare anyone unless they are aware of the “elephant” concept. Whatever assignment you have, split it into parts. For instance, when writing an essay, one usually starts with an outline and then proceeds with sections or ideas that should be covered.
The same refers to any task - before even starting completing it, write an outline of how you are going to complete it. Then go step by step. When written down, the stages look more precise and specific. You always know what to do, which makes the process less chaotic.
Moreover, with this approach, you can see the results of your work regularly, which is a good motivation. On the other hand, when there is no plan for the process, you may jump from one thing to another and, in the end, get tired and give up.
Study With Other Students
Going through the material alone is not helpful if you have some questions only a human can answer. In case you struggle to understand a concept or method, googling and reading a number of forums and articles may only steal your time.
Meanwhile, when studying with a couple of your classmates, you can ask the question instantly and probably receive the answer. There will be rare cases when all of you cannot find the solution. Still, it’s much easier and quicker to search for information on different sources together.
Remember that it’s not about having fun and talking about irrelevant stuff. You can have a break during the study session for this purpose, but still, you should focus on the material.
Retell the information in simple words - which is one more effective technique you can use to memorize important things - or test each other. To make the process less boring, you can write down specific questions and pass them to your classmates to answer them in rounds one by one.
To Sum Up
Studies are not the funniest period of anyone’s life, but they can be less boring and more effective if you approach them right. The most important thing is to analyze what techniques you’re already using are not fruitful. Replace them with those that won’t make you exhausted and will improve your learning.
Are you thinking about your retirement? Could you be retiring soon and need tips on how to go about the retirement experience without financial strain? These are questions people who want to retire early may have. Well, retirement need not be a stressful idea for people who have planned for it. There are many YouTube channels that you can watch and learn more about retirement. It is also possible for you to start your own YouTube channel about retirement. Once such a channel is up and running, you can then get subscribers on YouTube, monetize your channel and end up making money out of it. You may, however, need to learn how other such YouTube channels are fairing before you start your own.
Here are YouTube channels for people planning a retirement that you can learn from:
1. Retirement Answer Man
This channel was started by Roger Whitney and has been active since February 2013. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, Roger explores many topics that would make sense to people in retirement, those planning for retirement, and even those who want general knowledge on this topic. With a frequency of at least 1 video per week, anyone interested in learning about retirement will find sufficient content on this channel. You will learn more about topics such as IRAs, how to invest, pensions, how to create an income, and healthcare expenses, insurance, and other vital topics that can help people in retirement to live a happy life.
2. Retirement travelers
This is a channel started in February 2020. It was started by John and Bev and deals in topics on how to travel in retirement. The channel, though based in the United States focuses on how people can travel the world without the need to use tour companies or agencies. Here, you will also find content on trails, visiting communities that live in the countryside, how to run in many places around the world, visiting parks, and so on. With this channel, people can expect to watch at least 3 videos every month.
3. Retirement Think Tank
This is yet another important channel that teaches people how to retire early and live a happy life thereafter. With over 7.6K subscribers, this channel covers topics such as financial planning, research on retirement income, and general retirement topics that all would love to learn about. This channel will also educate people who plan to retire without any pension. You will also learn how to survive (as you retire) on 401K, IRA plans, and so on. With the right information about retirement, this channel can come in handy for all people planning to retire.
4. Retired at 40- Live Life. Simple
This is a channel started by a retirement enthusiast known as Brian, together with his wife. This channel will especially come in handy for people who are planning to retire at the age of 40. With 110k subscribers, you will be sure there are many people interested in the topics discussed here. The channel teaches people how to live a simple but fulfilling life through cooking, gardening, food preservation, and how to make passive money and save at the same time. You will learn how this couple was able to retire at 40 and made a successful life in retirement. The couple posts videos every Sunday at 8 AM.
Caring for elderly parents in the home isn't always as affordable as you might think it would be. This is often the case when your parent is in need of home healthcare services. While your decision to care for mom or dad at home wasn't based on finances, you might discover that there are hidden costs you hadn’t planned for. The important thing is that you are able to keep them close to your heart and care for them in their final days as they have always cared for you. Unfortunately, hidden costs can often add up to more than you can comfortably handle, and so you are looking for ways to cut costs while still providing the very best care possible. These tips might prove very useful indeed.
Consider Disposing of Disposable Healthcare Products
You might have been led to believe that disposable healthcare products are safer and much more sanitary, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Reusable home healthcare products, if chosen wisely, can be much more cost effective and the right products can be cleaned and used over and over again. If you have an elderly parent who is incontinent, those disposable incontinence pads can run up quite a hefty expense. Reusable fabric backed pads are actually more comfortable than their disposable counterparts and they can be laundered for reuse many times over.
Then there are face masks which are worn whenever your parent may be exposed to anyone outside the family circle. Instead of paying a small fortune for disposable masks, have you considered the benefits of reusable face masks which are most often safer than disposable masks and will be much less the cost because they can be laundered and reused over and over again?
Utilize Insurance Coverage for Home Health Workers
You might want to look at whether your parent has supplemental insurance coverage in addition to Medicare. If your parent’s physician deems it necessary to have home healthcare services, Medicare may pay part of the cost. Supplemental insurance may cover the remaining balance but, in the event that there is no supplemental coverage or limited coverage, you may be left wondering how to cover the cost.
If it’s only a matter of respite care so that you can get out from time to time, you may want to find relatives or friends to relieve you from time to time. Sometimes you can trade respite care with members of a support group you belong to and other times you simply may need to pay a ‘sitter.’ In any case, always exhaust all insurance options before paying anything out of pocket. The fewer expenses you need to pay for, the easier it will be to provide a level of care you desire.
It’s All About Quality of Life in Those Final Years
There may be circumstances in which your parent would receive better care in a senior living environment with 24/7 care services and other times your mom or dad would maintain a better quality of life when residing with you. It is important to make a logical assessment of the type of care they need. However, when you feel they can be better provided for in your home, these tips may help you stay within a limited budget.
If you have been invited to Thanksgiving dinner at someone’s home, you should not show up empty-handed. They have been kind enough to ask you, likely spent countless hours cleaning, and prepared a scrumptious meal.
The great news is that there are many beautiful Thanksgiving gifts on the market, so you do not have to go through a lot of work to be a great guest.
Personalized Wine Labels
Do some detective work and find out what the main entrée will be on the Thanksgiving table. Then, buy a bottle of excellent wine to accompany that entrée. Cover the original label with a beautiful Thanksgiving wine label.
Get your favorite deli to prepare a nice cheese tray. Then, bring it with you along with a festive cheese spreader. When you leave, be sure to leave the cheese spreader as a gift for your hostess. They will enjoy using it many times.
A beautiful candle makes a no-fuss Thanksgiving hostess gift that is sure to be enjoyed. Consider bringing one in a great fall scent, like apple, pumpkin or cypress. You can even find candles that will allow you to add photos of you and the host to the candle holder or consider one with a beautiful fall message on it.
When you are preparing a large meal, you never seem to have enough cutting boards. Most hosts will enjoy having a new one, especially one that has a great Thanksgiving message on it, like “give thanks.” Each time they use it, they will think warmly of you.
If the host asks you to bring a dish to Thanksgiving dinner, put it in a beautiful baking dish. When the meal is over, quickly wash it up and present it to your host as a gift.
Mason jars continue to be all the rage. Opt to give your hostess one that doubles as a warmer. Then, give them some great wax warmers or essential oils to go with it. You may want to consider cinnamon bark, juniper or frankincense.
Thanksgiving Food Basket
Thanksgiving gift baskets 2021 by Hickory Farms are thoughtful gifts that you can quickly bring to a meal gathering. The gift baskets are filled with everything from a variety of cheeses, to cold cut meats and wines in them. With the diversity and quantity in each basket, your host can choose to share it with everyone who makes it out to dinner. However, they may also choose to put it away upon arrival and treat themselves for all the cooking with the goodies on a different day.
Flowers With Vase
Every host will be delighted to receive a beautiful flower bouquet. Do not leave them scrambling to come up with a stunning vase when everything is tucked away for a big Thanksgiving dinner - make sure to give them a gorgeous vase too.
It can be hard to get those last-minute preparations finished when everyone wants to congregate in the kitchen. Therefore, consider bringing a game that everyone will enjoy playing while waiting for dinner to finish.
If your host puts up his tree as soon as Thanksgiving is over, then think about giving them a beautiful ornament. They will think lovingly of you every time that they see it during the holiday season.
It is only proper to never show up empty-handed at Thanksgiving. Use these ideas to snag the perfect Thanksgiving hostess gift.
There is no getting around it. As we get older, our bodies are not what they used to be. We, therefore, need to take more care of our health. Ensure you do not make the following common health mistakes that many seniors make and you can maintain your optimal health for years to come.
Not Eating Healthily
As you get older, your body will not absorb nutrients as well as it used to, so getting the right amount of nutrition during your senior years is vital if you want to stay healthy. By eating healthily, your muscles and bones can stay strong and your mind can stay alert, so do not make the mistake of ignoring your diet.
All of the food you eat is made up of macronutrients and micronutrients. The three main macros are protein, fats, and carbohydrates. You need lots of macros but only a small number of micronutrients. The latter is found in vitamins and minerals. The number of macronutrients your body needs depends on things like how much exercise you do and your personal lifestyle. But you can easily find out how many macronutrients your body needs, based on your personal circumstances, by using an online macro calculator.
Here are some good food sources for each of the three macros you need in your diet:
Not Drinking Enough Water
Seniors must not make the mistake of forgetting to drink water. It is vital you stay hydrated to stay healthy and alert. After all, 70% of your body is made up of water. Experts typically recommend that seniors drink at least 57.5 fluid ounces, or around 7 cups, of water per 24 hours.
Pretending They Are Not Getting Old
Some people deal with getting older better than others. But if you want to enjoy your senior years, you should accept the reality of the aging process. For one thing, an attitude of denial can lead to health problems. For instance, if you refuse to wear dentures, eyeglasses, or a hearing aid, or refuse to walk with a stick when you need such items, you will not be able to live life to the fullest. In turn, that could lead to staying indoors more. With less fitness, no sunshine, and no fresh air, your health could take a turn for the worse.
Not Talking About Their Health Problems
Many seniors also make the mistake of not talking about their health problems. But by not talking about your issues, you will not be able to take steps to make them better. Your condition could actually get worse. Sure, it can be embarrassing to talk to healthcare professionals, or even family members, about things like urinary difficulties. But if you leave symptoms unattended, your health will probably decline. Even if symptoms seem trivial, such as constipation, jaw pain, or stomach upsets, it is important you tell your doctor, as the symptoms could potentially indicate something more serious. The sooner you discuss your health issues, the sooner you can get treatment.
Not Asking Doctors to Repeat Themselves
It is great that you get to the doctor to discuss your health issues, but if you do not understand what your doctor tells you about your health problem or treatment, it could result in serious health consequences. If you do not fully understand what a doctor has told you, ask the doctor to repeat him or herself. It can be useful to take a family member with you to doctor appointments to ensure you comprehend everything.