Ways to Prepare for Retirement

When it comes to retirement, many are not prepared and aren’t saving enough for retirement. And that’s crazy because a small, life-long change can result in long term financial freedom.


There are many methods, theories, and approaches to retirement preparation. But we are speaking about saving & investing in providing an income stream for the future. As a long-time investor, I believe the earlier a person begins saving for retirement, the better. What follows are my thoughts, observations, and experiences about how to prepare for retirement.


Secure a monthly pension

A pension fund may be deposited in any bank or development-bank run by the government or invested in a mutual fund. According to the amount, pensions can either be paid as lump-sum payments or monthly installments for life. Usually, pensioners expect a pension of at least up to 50% of that earned during working life.


It’s a smart move to play it safe and invest in the security of a pension. There is a guaranteed monthly payment that can help me throughout retirement.


Take advantage of tax benefits

Taxes are confusing, and one should take advantage of tax benefits. With traditional retirement plans, such as a 401(k), IRA, or pension, the employer may offer savings incentives and matching contributions. Use tax-advantaged retirement accounts to responsibly save for retirement while reducing the overall combined tax burden now and later on in life.


Plan for the additional expenses of retirement

There are many expenses associated with retirement, and one of the biggest ones is health care. I must plan for the money I will need to cover premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. For example, many people spend more on prescription drugs during this stage of their lives. Contact an advisor about ways to plan for extra expenses in retirement. Furthermore, your life might only just be getting started! You might want to move into a senior living environment, such as Starhaven Villas in Utah, to get the most out of retirement and enjoying older age. If this is the case, you will want to keep some money stashed away to have ready to splash out when the time comes!


Start planning for potential health care costs

When it comes to expenses during retirement, health care tops the list. That means I have to plan for the costs associated with any long-term care treatment or future medical needs that may arise. I can start by calculating my current income. Then factor in any additional income I will obtain from sources such as Social Security and investment. Once I know how much money I have coming in every month, I can choose a plan that fits my needs and budget.


Pay off debts

Paying off my debts gives me a more secure economic future. While it may seem like a good idea to rack up different credit cards, or even a mortgage, this extra debt can increase my financial risk when I retire. Addressing my debts by clearing any outstanding loans reduces my financial risk for the future.


Save early and often – invest for growth

Saving early and often is one of the most important ways to customize my investment strategy. Several smart investment options are available, including a broad range of mutual funds that are perfectly suited for anyone’s needs and risk tolerance.


For instance, I am a 35-year-old person with $50,000 of income (mostly made through crypto investment) and a contribution rate of $200 per month saved for 30 years with an average annual return of 7%. With the help of compound interest, I could have nearly $1.8 million in my retirement account at age 65.


Build an emergency fund

Having a solid emergency fund is the first step towards a better retirement. Whether I am saving for an upcoming trip, a new car, or some unexpected medical expenses, knowing I have money to fall back on immediately puts my mind at ease.


That way, when life gets rough, I will be less likely to make rash decisions such as adding to credit card debt or cutting into my savings.


First, I decide how much money I’ll need for emergencies and carve that amount out of my daily budget. Then aim to put some cash in a safe place -preferably a high-yield savings account or a money market fund that keeps my cash accessible.


In later years, achieving financial independence when I am not as mobile or physically fit as I once was is a challenge. Depleting supplies of cash and accumulating more debt add to the stress that growing older can cause. Fortunately, these tips can help ease the process in the future and ensure a comfortable retirement.



Home-Based Activities to Do With Kids

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the renewed restrictions, we cannot take our children out to the park or to their friend’s house to play. We cannot invite friends over because we have to maintain social distancing. Some countries are still under lockdown, which means that our children are home throughout the day. The kids have online classes that keep them busy, but they have a lot of free time because they are at home. Below is a list of some of the things we can do with our children that will keep them busy and at the same time enjoy the activities.

Make Mathematics Fun

We should try and engage our children when preparing meals for the family. This is the best time to indulge in mathematics activities because they get to know different measurements, recognize different shapes, improve their estimating skills, and make comparisons. In short, it will be a practical learning experience for the kids, and we can all have a good time as well as a great meal. I always ask my kids to help in kitchen activities such as measuring and counting using cups and spoons. Kids can also count and estimate how many utensils will be needed when laying out the table for lunch or dinner. Let us teach the kids different shapes and colors using our cutlery.

Read More Books

These days, we give our children mobile phones or video games to keep them busy. Many children are not interested in reading books. We should always read out texts more often for our children if we want them to develop a reading culture. We can read out different stories and explain to them words they do not understand. Make it more fun by giving them a small quiz at the end of a chapter or reading session to monitor if the kids have understood what has been taught to them. Encourage the kids to tell us a story daily and use different creativity.

Play Board Games

There are many board games that we can play with our children. These include snakes and ladders, checkers, chess, and Monopoly, which is an exciting game for children. This game teaches the kids how to manage money, which estate is worth investing in, and paying bills and fines. Moreover, these games keep us occupied, and we have a great time with the family.

Discover Family History

With the development of so many sites such as Genealogy Bank, it is now easier than ever to look up your family history. Kids love to discover if they are descended from royalty or if there is anyone famous in their tree. You can combine this activity with creating a physical family tree as part of a craft project. Other activities like this might include looking up your last name origin or even searching through Newspaper archives for fun stories about your relatives.

Encourage Out-Door Activities

Many children these days do not like to play outside. Most kids are interested in playing on mobile phones or video games. This isn’t good for a child in the growing stage of life. We should try getting tricycles for kids and teach them how to ride, play different games such as hop-scotch, or even consider treasure hunt games. We should also play other sports such as badminton or football with the kids. If we have a small inflatable swimming pool, we can teach them to swim. These activities keep the brain active, and by the end of the day, the kids are tired and will definitely have a good night’s sleep.

Try Different Crafts

Arts and crafts can be exciting and so much fun. Let us encourage our children to draw, color and paint. The pictures do not need to be perfect, and with time we will notice an improvement. We should let the kids paint and color freely and teach them to do it in one direction so that the crafts work looks neat. Trust me; this can be therapeutic for children and adults. We can also make different crafts with the children. We should always encourage the kids for a well-done job through gifts and appreciation when work is done neatly.

Try Different DIY Hacks and Tricks

We have many items at home that we do not use. Make use of them by creating something new. YouTube has many videos that show us how to re-use clutter. For example, we can make coasters out of old CDs, or make a small garden using plastic bottles, among many more activities.

These activities will keep our children active and limit their time watching TV or playing games on mobile phones. They will help the kids learn and grow in different ways, and it is also a great way to have a good family time.


Cryptocurrency and Price Volatility

Cryptocurrency provides a safe haven for your money that is not a part of the mainstream financial system as all cryptocurrency transactions are anonymous and outside the purview of the government. But this has not been without risk. We’ll take the example of the most widely used and valuable cryptocurrency of recent times which is bitcoin. Bitcoin was one of the first cryptos to enter the market and had a rapid rate of adoption but has seen massive swings in its value over the course of its lifetime. It has been quite volatile since the beginning but the last few years have been a wild ride for investors seeking to profit off of the digital currency. While some people have made millions with an upswing, others have lost both large and small bitcoin savings with equally brutal downward swings.


Hence, even though bitcoin can prove to be a worthwhile investment it’s best to be aware of the risks associated with it to prepare for the worst and minimize losses or even rake in profits by being smart about crypto management. The main two risks with bitcoin investment are: highly volatile exchange rate and investor uncertainty.


Here we can outline the main few factors that impact the main risks associated with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general:


1) Cryptocurrency is a new market

Cryptocurrency has garnered much press and media attention over the past decade but despite all the commotion surrounding the digital currency, it is a very new market, especially compared to the traditional fiat currencies and commodities like gold. Even during the peak of bitcoin, its market cap was very small compared to the stock market in the United States.


The smaller size of the market means that certain key factors or players can have bigger effects on the entire bitcoin currency. Such as a massive investor buying or selling their holdings can result in slight fluctuation of the price. Other similar factors can have ripple effects all over the bitcoin economy. But this smaller and emerging market also creates opportunities for exciting opportunities such as a new company entering the market with a product that can grow in popularity quickly and receive larger attention than in the fiat market.


2) Cryptocurrency is entirely digital

Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are purely digital assets meaning they are not backed by the government or any independent financial entity. Its price is mostly determined by the law of supply and demand resulting in higher and quicker fluctuations as there is no central entity governing the price. Because of this, the price of bitcoin can tend to gravitate towards both extremes. Media hype and artificial demand can result in a hyper-inflated bubble which is then followed by market correction and a sharp fall in prices. Hence, knowledge about typical bitcoin price movements can be necessary for short-term investing. Long-term investing tends to be safer as the price tends to correct itself sooner or later.


3) Development of crypto technology

Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin work based on a decentralized technology named Blockchain. It keeps track of all the digital transactions happening in the bitcoin network. The technology is still new and rapidly developing. Since crypto transactions are completely dependent on it unlike fiat currency, any congestion or problems in the blockchain can affect the service for millions of people. The network congestion can also result in higher transaction fees which are not desirable as one of the key attractions of bitcoin is lower transaction costs than traditional banking transactions. But since the technology in bitcoin is so rapidly developing, it leaves a lot of room for new technologies to develop and take the space of current ones diversifying the available tech for use in bitcoin.


4) Speculation, media and new investors

Speculation, media hype, and investors all work in tandem to determine the price of bitcoin. The heightened speculation can lead to media promoting or criticizing bitcoin which can lead to newer investors buying or selling their bitcoin assets. Since bitcoin is purely digital, there’s little to no entry barrier for a new investor. All a person requires is their payment card and a crypto wallet to buy and sell all kinds of cryptocurrencies. Hence it becomes even more important to research and study bitcoin and its behavior to make informed investing decisions. A smart and focused strategy can lead to some great returns over time making it imperative to avoid amateur mistakes when working with this new age currency.


Tips on Investing in Cryptocurrency

Many of us are now realizing the profitability that comes with investing in cryptocurrency. It’s impressive how cryptocurrencies have made our transfers and purchases secure and safe. However, the cryptocurrency market is unpredictable, and it keeps changing.

Investing without proper knowledge can lead to making huge losses. But just because I can make losses and the market is volatile doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t invest in cryptocurrency. Here are useful tips that can help you and me invest in cryptocurrency.

1. Conduct Proper Market Research

The cryptocurrency market has many scams, and I can be tricked to invest in a money scam. Understanding the cryptocurrency market is the only way I can make money from it. It’s essential that I proper market research and check for legitimate sites that I can invest in.

It’s also wise that I invest in something that I have an idea about. Researching and updating ourselves with trends in cryptocurrency is important. Moreover, I should be aware of the different terms used in cryptocurrency transactions. For example, if I want to trade in bitcoin, I should be aware of terms like private keys, public keys, wallets and digital coins.

2. Selecting a Good Broker

We can define a good broker like the one you can find here, by the quality of technical support, security, client communication style, and funding capability that they can provide us with. It can be tempting to choose a broker platform that has a beautiful platform. However, that is not the most important factor that should guide my search for a broker. What I need is a platform that will solve all my problems and provide me with safe, secure, and efficient transactions.

The best way that we can know our broker is efficient is by reading reviews about the broker from other investors. Reading articles about different cryptocurrency brokers will enable us to make an informed decision.

3. Investing in Different Coins

We already know that I can make losses by investing in cryptocurrency, and that is why I should look for ways of minimizing the losses. The best way to do this is by investing in more than one coin. For example, it would be wise to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, and E-Yuan kaufen. This means that I will be spreading my investment risk across various cryptocurrencies.

Therefore, I will split my money and invest it in diverse digital currencies instead of investing in just one currency. For example, we shouldn’t invest all our money in just Bitcoin. Instead, we should choose another currency to invest in, for instance, Ethereum.

A good example of investing is if I want to invest $20, then I should invest $10 in bitcoin and the other $10 in Ethereum. That way I can be sure that even if I make a loss in one currency, then the other one might give me a profit. Moreover, I can make a profit in both coins or make a loss in both since they are both risky investments.

4. Being Ready for Profits or Losses

Cryptocurrency investing is full of uncertainties. The future of cryptocurrency is not a predictable one, and its value in the market can either appreciate or depreciate. I should ensure that I am investing money that I am ready to lose. For instance, I should not invest using money for basic needs like food or place my emergency fund in cryptocurrency. I should have a mindset that I can either make huge profits or huge losses. For those of us who aren’t willing to lose money, then don’t invest in cryptocurrency.

5. Learning from Investment Professionals

The best way that I learned how and where to invest in cryptocurrency is from professionals who have been investing in cryptocurrency for some time. There are many professional YouTubers that post guides on investing in crypto. However, do not take all their information as gospel truth. Do your research and compare notes from other people too. If you know someone investing in cryptocurrency, then talk to them because they can be more forthright with information.

I hope the information above has helped you out and increased your understanding of cryptocurrency. I hope I have helped you cut through the noise and the crazy marketing tactics from people who want to profit from your lack of knowledge.


How to Organize the Perfect Holiday with the Kids

What is a family holiday, if not the perfect occasion to spend some quality time together with your kids? Whenever I have some time off work, I always plan something interesting to do. Unfortunately, it’s hard to have more than a week off without severe repercussions for my professional activity.


Even so, seven days are more than enough to have a fantastic, unforgettable holiday. When I talk about this to my friends, the comment I usually get is, “How can you do that? A week is too short; you’ll only stress yourself out!” Nothing can be further than the truth. In fact, some of the most enjoyable moments I spent with my kids were on short vacations during long weekends.


Nevertheless, as it always happens with parenting strategies, there are a few tips and tricks to be put into practice to avoid ending up, at the end of the holiday, more exhausted than relaxed.


Respect the Childen’s Timings

When vacationing with my kids, I enjoy traveling in our car. It’s far better than the train, or even the plane because it allows us to fully manage our travel schedule. One of the most important things to consider is taking the necessary breaks; it’s crucial to keep the crew’s morale up. Instead of thinking about getting to a particular place at lightning speed, I treat the road and the trip as a destination in itself.


When planning the holiday, I search on the map for lovely, exciting places we can visit on our way. It could be a park, a small town, or even a country restaurant. Kids love to see new places, so it doesn’t matter if you take them to Niagara Falls or to a little pond where they can feed the ducks. Actually, the second option would probably keep them entertained for a much more extended period!


If they are tired of being in the car, I don’t force them. I prefer to anticipate their needs, and I usually stop at gas stations along the road, where they can have a bit of a walk, stretch their legs and get some fresh air.


Share the Magic of New Experiences

Children are young but not naive. They can correctly understand your comments and remarks about the places you see, whether it’s the British Museum or a souvenir shop. Also, sharing ideas and thoughts with them is an opportunity I don’t really want to miss. They can see things from a different and surprising point of view.


Under my guidance, they can understand what they are experiencing, creating memories. They can pick up so much more than you think. When we went to Rome, my five-year-old boy stood in front of a magnificent statue of Moses. I saw he was really impressed, so we started talking about marble statues, about Michelangelo, about how old the figure was and who was depicted. Now that he’s ten, he still remembers it and sometimes uses the statue as a benchmark to measure other things: “that’s as big as Moses.”


Never Lie to Children

If I cannot meet their expectation, I simply don’t promise them I will. I’ve learned this by experience. One day, we were on the road to a friendly little ski resort. I knew we were going to drive by an amusement park along the way. So I said to them we were going to have a lot of fun on the roller coaster and on the carousel. Unfortunately, when we got there, we found that the park was closed for the low season. It was a big let down.


That’s why, apart from checking the opening times of amusement parks, I’ve learned that deception is a big drawback for children, especially when they are so looking forward to something. That’s why I keep expectations low. One day we have decided to take a short trip to the local beach. It was a beautiful day, but it was still early spring. So I said: “We are going to play with the sand, but I’m not sure if we will be able to bathe as it may be freezing cold.” Fewer expectations may lead to pleasant surprises. The water was just perfect.


Fun Family Activities During the Pandemic

The parks are not as open as they used to be because of the lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. What else is there for entertainment and fun? I think it is time we looked elsewhere and perhaps became a little more innovative.


I found myself worried that my kids are beginning to get bored with staying at home. I am certain I cannot be the only one noticing the mood within my household suddenly changing as everyone gets dull with limited outdoor activities through which we used to bond?


Cabin fever is becoming common, and I think I found several ways to beat it – these are ways that could help anyone in the same situation. For the last one year, I have devised ways of having fun within my household; I have been able to engage the kids and my wife for a wholesome and fun-filled family experience.


Play Board Games

I find board games an excellent way to liven the mood whenever I am stuck in the house. The competitive nature of board games, even with nothing material at stake, is what makes board games interesting. The kids will want bragging rights and to feel the pride of winning over their siblings or parents. Common board games that I brought to the house include chess, scrabble, snakes and ladders, and monopoly.


There are many kinds of these games out there while it is also possible to become innovative and create a game of such kind at home using simple materials. In fact, instead of playing chess, my eldest child has created a board game similar to chess but drawn on a box cutting and played using bottle tops.


Play Cards

I also have a deck of cards in the house that we use to play several simple card games. One exciting thing about cards is that they offer the opportunity to play different kinds of game set-ups even with small children as long as they can tell numbers and letters. Like board games, a deck of cards can give an entire evening of fun.


Watch Old Family Movies


Recently I was browsing through my DVD collection and found old movies from the Home Alone series. These are films I used to watch twenty years ago when I was ten years old or so. My kids had never seen these films. I decided to start watching these old family films with the family and having movie nights with the family. Of course, I have to make sure they are PG-rated and age-appropriate.


Watching entertaining family movies together is a great way to kill time and keep everyone entertained; the kids of today love to see what we used to see back then during our times. Besides that, there is a lot of family-oriented content both on cable TV as well as streaming apps nowadays, so you could think about spending some quality time watching kids’ movies or shows if they do want to watch something else for a bit. Look through shentel cable packages or other similar packages that can provide you with an Internet connection as well as TV options. This should keep you and your kids entertained for quite a while!


Solve Puzzles and Conduct Experiments

I am probably one of the people whose children do not like to engage in anything academic or mentally strenuous outside of school. I don’t complain much; I used to be that kid too. But when we solve puzzles or do experiments together using simple materials from the house or puzzles found online, I find the children to be more engaged. This is not only a way for them to have fun but also a means of blending fun and learning; challenge their minds, and sharpen critical thinking.


Cook Together

If one thing changed for many households, it is the fact that people suddenly started spending more time together at home than they did before. Before the pandemic, I could not remember the last time we cooked together as a family, or even with my wife. Many families only do so on special occasions.


Fire up that grill in your backyard or on your balcony and have a barbecue. Cook nice meals together- the meals you know your kids and the whole family love and enjoy. Nothing warms people’s hearts more than good food. Bring the fun you go to seek out there into your house and to your home.


Lastly, live, love, and laugh! Do not let anything take away the fun from your household. Let there never be a dull moment. Such activities make us bond more and promote a healthy family and a happy home.