Retirement Planning: Everything You Need to Consider in Old Age

About 10,000 Americans hit retirement age every single day. Whether or not they can afford retirement, many will retire anyway.

But money isn’t the only thing you need to consider for your retirement planning. There’s a lot else on your plate that you should try to tackle while you’re still young. Here are the top things you need to consider.

Money

When you think about retirement, money is probably the first thing you consider. Can you even afford it, and how do you know if you can or can’t?

It used to be that retirement was considered a 3-legged stool. Retirees could count on social security, their pension, and their own savings to get them through the later years in life.

But today, companies gave up pensions for cheaper 401(k) plans that are a good tool, but not as good. For anyone currently under 40, they’ll likely never see a penny of social security.

Which leaves savings. Our 3-legged stool is now a pogo stick.

Hopefully, you started saving for retirement when you were young, but most likely that wasn’t the case. Use a retirement calculator to figure out how much you need to be saving, and what you can live off of.

A Place to Live

Housing is currently the biggest expense most people have. Now is a good time to think about retirement homes where you can live affordably throughout your golden years.

Some of the best places to retire include Florida and Arizona since the weather is typically warmer. If you own your home, it may be worth downsizing into a cheaper, smaller home that’s easy to upkeep when you’re gone. You can use some of the profits from selling your home to bolster your retirement savings.

Your End of Life

While you may have a full 20 years from the day you retire to the day you leave this world, you never know when you’re going to go. So it’s smart to plan out your funeral and your end of life wishes ahead of time.

This will make it easier for your loved ones when it’s time for you to go. And if you can prepay for as many of the funeral and burial features as possible, you’ll save them a big financial burden.

Consider the cost of cremation vs burial and other major funeral purchases to help you save money.

There’s a Lot to Consider When You Hit Retirement

There are a lot of things you need to consider when you’re planning for retirement. People used to retire at 65 when the life expectancy was 67. Today you’re likely to have 20 full years after you retire, so there’s a lot you need to think about.

Making sure you have enough funds, a place to live, and as few expenses as possible is a great place to start your retirement planning.

Now you know what you need to consider for retirement. What else would you like to know more about? Keep exploring for more insights.

Selling a House Without a Realtor: 6 Things You Need to Know

When it comes to selling their home, 11% of homeowners decide to sell their home on their own without the assistance of a real estate agent. If you decide that selling a house without a realtor is for you, then there are a few things you need to keep in mind. 

Without the guidance of a real estate agent, you need to create a to-do list of tasks. This will ensure you don’t make any unintentional missteps. Follow this guide and learn how to sell your house without a realtor. 

1. Set a Realistic Price 

Do not let your emotional attachment to your home influence your perceived value of the property when selling a home without a realtor. Remember, potential buyers will see your house as their future home. They don’t have the memories and history that you have with it. 

Price your house too low, and you’ll walk away from the deal with less money than you could have made. Go too low, and people will wonder what’s wrong with the home. 

Price your home too high, and your house could sit for months on the market. You’ll have to wait for either the market to catch up to your asking price or wait for someone to come along who’s willing to pay. The only other solution is to lower your asking price to where it should have been in the first place. 

How to Set Your Asking Price 

There are three ways you could go about pricing your home. Check out websites that you can use to sell your home.

You can get a free evaluation quickly and easily. But be careful, these evaluations can be off the mark by thousands of dollars. 

Another option is to get a competitive market analysis from a real estate agent. Most agents do an in-depth analysis of your home’s value in hopes of getting the listing. This means that while you’ll get an accurate analysis, you’ll also get a sales pitch. 

The third option is to hire a licensed appraiser. The analysis you’ll get is reliable, but it’ll cost you money. Typically an appraiser will cost a couple of hundred dollars. 

2. Get Your Home Market Ready 

Before you begin selling your home without a realtor, you need to get it ready. Take a critical eye to your home and put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer. Look for the flaws, defects, and potential problems. 

You’ll also want to pay special attention to the curb appeal of your home. This first impression can turn potential buyers off before they even walk in the front door. Follow this list of improvements to get your home ready. 

  • Make minor repairs
  • Paint 
  • Declutter 
  • Remove personal items 
  • Clean everything 
  • Spruce up landscaping 
  • Paint and repair outside of the home 

If your home has furniture, then you’ll want to arrange it to stage your home to make it inviting. If the home is already empty, consider paying for a staging service to come in. 

3. Promote and Market 

When working with a real estate agent, you’ll find out there are some surprise costs. You’ll still have these if you’re selling your home on your own. These include professional photography, staging, and listing fees. 

Having a professional photographer take photos of your home is well worth the investment. A real estate photographer knows how to photograph your home to showcase its best qualities. 

Professional photos will also help your listing to stand out online, which will garner more attention from potential buyers. 

You’ll also want to look into paying for a flat fee listing on your local MLS and online listings. This will help get the attention in from of agents nationwide and independent buyers. You should also put a sign in the front yard and consider all other avenues for marketing your property

4. Verify Potential Buyers 

Do not move forward with any buyer until you verify their ability to buy your home. Ask potential buyers to provide you with a mortgage preapproval letter. This lets you know that the buyer is capable of getting approved for a loan large enough to purchase your home. 

Look for offers with minimum contingencies that could slow the progress of your sale down. 

5. You Might Need an Attorney 

You are not required to have an attorney to sell your own home. However, having an attorney is a prudent decision. Most homeowners don’t have extensive experience with buying and selling real estate. 

Hiring a real estate attorney will cost you a few thousand dollars, but you’ll receive valuable legal guidance

6. Be Prepared for Complications 

When you don’t have an experienced real estate agent guiding the process, mistakes can be made. These could happen at any point in the process. It could be pricing the property wrong, listing in the wrong locations, or not negotiating well.

Things can get even more complicated once you have a potential buyer. You could find yourself addressing issues with the chain of title, non-permitted work, or requests for price credits or repairs. 

Selling a House Without a Realtor Is Possible

As you can see, selling a house without a realtor is possible but requires a lot of work. Now that you know how to sell a home without a realtor, you’re ready to create your list of action items. 

Work your way through the list so you can avoid making some of the more common mistakes. 

If this sounds like a lot of work, then you may want to work with a real estate agent. Check out our article outlining the ten qualities you should look for when hiring your real estate agent. 

5 Tips and Tricks to Make Your Home a Cozy Home

Did you know there’s now twice as many Americans working from home than going to a workplace?

Whatever your circumstances, chances are you’re spending more time at home in 2020 than in years past. Since that trend is likely to continue, isn’t it time to make your home more cozy and comfortable?

In this post, we’ll offer 5 ideas for creating your own “cozy home.” Grab a snuggly blanket and read on!

1. Add Organic Elements

Nothing adds positive energy to a room like live plants, so add some to each room of your home.

Houseplants can reduce stress, improve your mood, and boost productivity by up to 15%. They also remove harmful toxins from the indoor air.

Add potted herbs to your kitchen window or your favorite flowering plants to your living room table. Instant coziness!

2. Warm up Your Lighting

Another essential element of a cozy home is the right lighting.

Harsh overhead lights and “cool” bulbs that give off blue light are the opposite of cozy and inviting. Swap out those cool bulbs for warmer ones and you’ll be amazed by the change in your home’s atmosphere.

String lights, nightlights, and candles are also easy and affordable ways to make your home cozier.

3. Include Layers of Texture

One of the ways the Danes have perfected hygge (the “art” of getting cozy) is by adding layers of soft texture to each room. Here’s how to do it right.

Start with plush, warm rugs on your floors, along with a fluffy bathmat in your bathroom. This cozy layer will feel wonderful on your feet, especially during colder winter months.

Next, add as many “touchable” items as you like to each room. This might include decorative pillows, soft throw blankets, or plush window curtains. Bonus points for adding a woven basket to store extra pillows and blankets for guests!

4. Choose a Warm Paint Color

Just like light bulbs can give off warm or cool light, the same is true of paint.

Any paint with a base color of blue or gray is going to cool off the feel of the room. Even “white” paints have an underlying warm or cool tone.

Add a pop of warm color by painting your walls beige, gold, or yellow. If you prefer a more neutral look, what about eggshell or creamy white?

5. Don’t Forget to Use Good Scents

Nothing makes you smile like walking into a room that smells wonderful.

Certain scents, like rosemary, peppermint, and citrus, can even make you feel happier.

Stock up on candles in your favorite scents and add them to every room of your house. You could also buy an aromatherapy diffuser and add your favorite essential oils for great scents all day long.

Ready to Create Your Own Cozy Home?

By using the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to a comfortable, cozy home of your own.

Use a warm paint color on your walls and switch out those cool light bulbs for a warmer shade. Make the space cozier by adding soft textures, live plants, and your favorite scents.

What else can you do to make your home more comfortable? Browse our latest DIY articles for more great advice.

What Is a Temporary Tooth Filling? This Is What You Need to Know

92% of American adults have experienced decay in their mouths at some point, and many of these individuals have fillings as proof.

A dental filling is the most common treatment option for decay, but a dental filling is not the same as a temporary tooth filling.

If your dentist tells you that you need a temporary filling, you might wonder what this is and why you need it.

Here is a guide to help you learn what this product is and why dentists use them.

A Temporary Tooth Filling Is a Temporary Fix

If you have a cavity, a dentist will remove the decay and fill the hole with a tooth filling. This tooth filling is not the same as a temporary tooth filling.

One fundamental principle of a temporary tooth filling is that it is a temporary fix. A temporary filling is not the final solution to a tooth problem. Instead, it is usually just one step in the process of repairing a problem with a tooth.

When a dentist uses a temporary filling, he or she will remove it at the next appointment. It only stays on a tooth for a short time.

The Common Uses for Temporary Tooth Fillings

So, why would a dentist use a temporary tooth filling? Many reasons can explain the answer to this, but here are the most common reasons:

To Protect a Tooth During a Root Canal

If you ever need a root canal procedure, your dentist might complete it in two visits. After the first visit, the dentist might place a temporary filling on the tooth to seal it up.

When you return for the second half of the root canal, the dentist can easily remove the temporary cavity filling to complete the rest of the root canal procedure.

To Protect a Tooth While Waiting for a Crown

If you need a dental crown on a tooth, you will also likely need to go to the dental office for two appointments. The first appointment prepares the tooth and measures it for the crown. The second appointment is when you get the crown.

To protect the tooth between these two visits, a dentist might place a temporary filling in the tooth.

To Protect a Tooth While Waiting to Perform a Procedure

Dentists might also use temporary fillings when they need to complete additional work on a tooth that they cannot finish during your appointment.

For example, if the dentist finds a problem with a tooth that he cannot fix at this time, he may place a temporary filling on it to keep the tooth safe until you can return to have the tooth fixed.

Learn More About Tooth Fillings

Now that you understand what a temporary tooth filling is, you might realize why you need one.

Temporary fillings are generally part of the process of fixing a tooth issue, but they are not the end solution. If you have questions about temporary fillings or want to know more about them, check our blog for more information.

Should You Hire Someone to Write Your CV?

You’re staring at your curriculum vitae or CV on the computer screen, knowing it might be the most important document you’ve ever written. It’s the key to getting your place at your dream university, so you need to highlight your strengths in clear, error-free language. Can you trust yourself to do it right, or should you hire someone?

Hiring someone to write your CV depends on how well you know your weaknesses and strengths. Can you tell your own story? Are you a good writer?

Read on for ideas to help you decide whether to hire a CV writer or not.

Can You Emphasize Your Strengths?

Each academic position or job posting has different requirements. Your CV will need to show that you fulfill the requirements. That means you will need to tailor your CV and showcase your strengths for each application. 

If you have trouble identifying your strengths, or if you feel self-conscious about identifying your strengths, you may want to use professional CV writing. An experienced CV writer can consult with you to help you figure out your best qualifications for certain positions. Sometimes a CV writer can even help you identify strengths you didn’t realize you had.

Can You Focus on What’s Important?

An academic CV can be 3-5 pages long, which gives you plenty of room to list qualifications, experience, and publications. But having too much information, or irrelevant information can hide your most important information. It’s also easy to focus on some of your favorite work, instead of your most relevant work.

An objective CV writer may be able to identify what’s most relevant for each individual application.

Can You Write Clearly?

Although you’re applying to a university, your language needs to be clear and not full of academic jargon. If you’re too used to writing formal academic style, you may need someone to help you break through to clarify. You might also need someone to look at your CV and help you catch jargon that’s only used at your university.

Likewise, if you know that writing is not one of your strengths, get some help. You may ask a trusted friend who’s also a good writer or turn to a professional. 

Does Your Experience Fit a Template?

A good CV template will give you a good start for your writing. Many universities include examples of templates, including the University of Oxford and the University of Leeds. You can also find general CV examples on different websites.  

If you feel that your experience doesn’t fit into one of these formats, you may want to consult a professional for guidance.

Do You Have an Advisor?

The best people to help you write your CV are your faculty advisors. They know what kinds of information to include, and what formats are most effective. 

If you don’t have access to a faculty advisor or a trusted expert, you may want to consult a CV writer.

Let Your CV Show Your Best Self

Once you know your strengths and weaknesses, you’ll know what to work on and when to ask for help. You’ll be able, to sum up, your qualifications and your best work so that your CV will help you reach your goals. 

If you liked this post, read our blog for more great articles.

 

 

 

4 Types of Doctors Everyone Should Regularly See

A recent report shows that about 8.5% of the American population doesn’t have health insurance. Even those who have health insurance find themselves paying close to $5,000 in premiums alone.

If you’re waiting for healthcare to be cheaper before you see the doctor, you’ll be waiting a long time! Instead of waiting, you need to learn how to maximize your healthcare budget by prioritizing what doctors are a must-see.

Read on to learn about four types of doctors that deserve your money.

1. Primary Care Physicians

A primary care physician is usually the first medical professional you’ll see when you’re having some type of issue. For instance, let’s say one day you wake up and notice your right-hand is tingly and numb. 

You’d first visit your primary care doctor to explain your symptoms. From there, it’s like your primary care physician would recommend you to a specialist who can take a closer look at what’s causing your problem.

Other times the primary care physician will be the only medical professional you’ll need to see to help with a healthcare issue. For instance, let’s say you have a respiratory infection. You’d likely only need 1 trip to your primary care physician to get a prescription for a medication that can help.

Regular Doctor Check-Ups

It’s also a good idea to visit your primary care physician when you’re healthy for routine checkups.

By establishing a good relationship with your doctor, it’ll be easier for them to have a baseline for the status of your health. Instead of going to a stranger for your healthcare needs, you’ll have a friendly familiar face to guide you through things.

2. Urologist for Men and Women

First on our list of different types of doctors is urologists. You may think that urologist appointments are only for men. However, urology is a part of health care that both men and women can benefit from.

Urologists help deal with diseases that affect the female and male urinary tract. Your kidneys, ureters, urethra, and bladder all fall under the scope of urology.

Tips for Men

For men, a urologist will also be able to monitor the health of their testes, prostate, penis, and scrotum. They can also assist with male fertility problems.

Here’s what men can expect to happen at a typical urology appointment:

  • Provide a urine sample
  • Fill out paperwork
  • Enter exam room
  • Give medical history
  • Physical exam

If you’re dealing with problems like incontinence your urologist may also order imaging studies. For instance, they may want a sonogram of your bladder, kidneys, or prostate.

It’s also possible the urologist will recommend an outpatient office-based procedure like a cystoscopy. A cystoscopy is minimally invasive and it allows the urologist to examine the urethra and bladder.

Tips for Women

Women can expect to have almost identical experiences at the urologist as men. You’ll need to provide a urine sample upon arriving, fill out paperwork, and provide your medical history.

The biggest difference however is that after taking the limited physical exam, women will usually have a limited pelvic exam as well. Finally, the urologist may suggest further tests or treatments.

3. Eye Doctors

Ophthalmologists and optometrists are commonly mistaken as being the same type of eye doctor. However, while both of these doctors are medically trained to care for your eyes, they each have unique specialties.

Let’s start by looking at the role of an ophthalmologist. These eye doctors specialize in the health of your vision as well as surgical eye care.

The ophthalmologist will be able to monitor your eyes for signs of diseases or conditions that might be developing. By quickly diagnosing issues before they get worse more effective treatment plans can take place.

The second type of eye doctor you should see regularly is an optometrist. An optometrist can help with vision problems like farsightedness or astigmatism. They’ll be able to prescribe you the right type of contacts and eyeglasses after an easy eye exam.

Keep in mind that over time, your vision changes. If you use glasses or contacts now regularly seeing an optometrist is the best way to make sure your prescriptions are accurate.

We find that it works best if you have a primary optometrist and ophthalmologist that you visit annually. By taking a team approach to the health of your vision, it’ll be easier to monitor how your eyes are doing overall.

4. Dermatologists Do More Than You Know

When you hear the word dermatologist, do you instantly think of a doctor that takes care of your skin? While skincare is a part of a dermatologist field of study, it’s not their only specialty! They can also help you with treating your nails and hair, whether you’re a baby or 100 years old.

Oftentimes people with acne will wind up seeing a dermatologist help their skin clear up. However, even if you go to the dermatologist for acne, that’s not the only thing they’re going to treat.

Dermatologists are there to help you you with every skin, hair, or nails problem that you might have, even if you aren’t aware you have a problem. That’s why scheduling an annual appointment is a wise choice, even if you don’t think you have any skin, hair, or nail issues. If you’ve never been to the dermatologist before you’re probably wondering what your first appointment would be like.

First, when you arrive you can expect to fill out forms and provide your medical history. After entering the exam room, you might need to change into a paper gown for a full body checkup. For instance, the dermatologist can check for suspicious-looking moles that could be cancerous.

Know the Types of Doctors You Need

Now you know about four types of doctors you need to see regularly. Don’t wait to start booking your appointments today.

After all, every step you take to invest in your health is a step towards a happier life! For more ways to infuse your life with joy, read another one of our articles.

7 Incredible Benefits of Building an Outdoor Kitchen

Summer days call for outdoor living while lapping up the fresh air and sunshine and there’s no better way to enjoy it than in an outdoor kitchen.

Studies tell us that some homeowners spend as much as $30,000 on extravagant outdoor kitchen areas. If that figure makes you think you can’t afford to build your own outdoor kitchen, think again. 

The above applies to only 22% of those who install an outdoor entertainment area. You determine your own budget when you construct an outdoor kitchen. 

Besides, here’s why building an outdoor kitchen will pay for itself over and over again.  

1. Increases Your Home’s Saleability

Improved appeal to home buyers is one of the best-known reasons to build an outdoor kitchen.

An outdoor entertainment area makes your home stand out among equivalent homes in your area. When prospective buyers arrive to view your home, an outdoor kitchen is a deal-maker. 

It’s bound to stand out more in their minds than any of your home’s more unattractive features. 

That’s why homes with outdoor kitchens attract more offers and sell faster. 

2. Building an Outdoor Kitchen Is Budget-Friendly

One of the best benefits of an outdoor kitchen is that you can start small and make it more awesome as you go along. 

A basic outdoor kitchen consists of a concrete countertop and a grill. Add some stylish outdoor furniture or even a few lawn chairs, and that’s all you need to get the party started.

As time goes on, you can add extra features like a sink, fridge, permanent seating, an awning, and a multitude of cooking options. 

3. A Variety of Outdoor Cooking Options

There’s no end to the meals you can cook up in your outdoor kitchen thanks to the various add-ons available nowadays.

Some of the more popular ones are:

  • Pizza ovens
  • Fire pits
  • Outdoor fireplaces
  • Bars
  • Storage solutions
  • Fire tables
  • Chimeneas
  • Smokers
  • Gas cooktops
  • Charcoal grills  

A pellet grill is a modern-day alternative to gas and charcoal grills, that imparts delicious smoky flavors into your food, read more now.

4. Adds Entertainment Value

When you have an outdoor entertainment area, it’s easy to round up your friends for a casual barbecue, cocktails, and poolside fun. 

There’s no worry about keeping an eye on your children either. They can play in the garden within easy view, or entertain their peers with their own toys and games. 

If they do pick up a scrape or two, you don’t need to rush home or to the store for a band-aid, since you’re already there.  

When you have an outdoor kitchen, you can relax with your friends knowing your little ones are safe at home. Other parents in your social circle will agree, and you’re bound to have a steady stream of friends wanting to join you for summer socials. 

There’s always a place at the table in your own home, so there’s no need for restaurant reservations either. You also won’t have to spend hours finding a restaurant that serves meals the whole family can enjoy. 

5. Saves You Money

Who needs to eat out when you can cook up your own delicious meals on your doorstep? 

It’s way more entertaining cooking up your own delicious eats and experimenting with new dishes than it is sitting in a crowded restaurant waiting for service.

You can feed and entertain all your friends at a fraction of the cost too.

In this way, an outdoor kitchen saves you a small fortune on eating out or hiring a venue for a special occasion get-together. 

Do you have special dietary needs? You can cater to your own preferences without having to pay a premium for trendy vegan or keto meals. 

When you’re cooking up a storm in the kitchen during the summer, your air-conditioning has to work extra hard to keep your home cool. Eating outdoors takes the load off, helping to decrease your utility bills. 

6. Convenient Cooking

Outdoor cooking means less mess in your kitchen and very few if any, pots and pans to scrub after the fact. Spills are easily remedied with a quick hose down instead of hours of scrubbing.

If you install an outdoor fridge and ice machine, you’ll soon learn to love the fact that you can reach for a cold drink right where you are, instead of traipsing inside to refill.

When you’re entertaining guests from a conventional kitchen, you may be cut off from your friends, not so with an outdoor kitchen. You won’t need to keep excusing yourself to check on the progress of dinner either. 

Your friends help with the preparation of meals without fear of cramping your style. When it comes to outdoor kitchens, the more the merrier. 

You’ll have no problem with strong cooking odors permeating your house and lingering for days either. 

Unlike the kitchen that comes with your house, when you build an outdoor kitchen, you can choose a layout that works for you, so everything’s within easy reach. 

Grilled food is also a lot healthier than takeout options or fried food.  

7. Improves the Value of Your Home

Real estate experts agree that outdoor kitchens bring an ROI of up to 200% if you decide to sell your home.

So even if you don’t get as much use out of it as you should, you always win when you build an outdoor kitchen.

Outdoor kitchens also increase the living area of your house, especially if it’s undercover and close to your house. More square footage automatically translates to a higher price when you sell your home. 

More Useful Upgrades

There’s no doubt that an outdoor entertainment area adds value to your life and home. 

Whether you’re building an outdoor kitchen or wondering how else you can upgrade your home and garden, we have the answers.

Keep reading our blog for more of the latest real estate-related tips and tricks.