3 articles Tag plan

Settling Down? Plan As Much As You Can

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There comes a time in anyone’s life where the idea of being free to do whatever you want is less appealing than settling down, and starting to build something that will last. In order to enjoy anything worthwhile in life you need to discipline yourself in a certain direction, and that means a sacrifice. For example, heading to college to get a good education means spending time studying that you could have spent frolicking around your home town, bowling, playing music with your friends, staying up late and never worrying about tomorrow. But in order to improve our station in life, we know that this time is worth it, and so we do this without complaint.

The same feeling is felt when settling down. Raising a family, purchasing a family home, enjoying the years of mutual love and growth and doing so with your closest loved ones around you can be preferable to just traveling the open road year after year – but of course, it’s all up to you. When or if you do decide to settle down, however, it’s worth doing so with surety. This means planning everything you can to prevent the nasty surprise of being mistaken. As far as that is concerned, we would warmly recommend the following advice:

Planning Your Mortgage

A mortgage is the main structural backing that should allow you to gain a property you truly care about, providing the backbone of your settled life. However, it’s not only an aid, but an obligation. It’s essential that you make all the correct and most reasoned checks towards your own personal affordability that you can when undertaking this process and agreeing to it. This is because defaulting on your mortgage could not only lead you to full bankruptcy, but worse, it could leave you without a place to stay. This is why it’s very important to consider the long term ramifications of a deal like this, on top of the seasoned wisdom that asks if you can approximate this best financial solution in the first instance or not.

It can sometimes be that with the right terms, the right upfront payment, and perhaps lengthened repayment options that you can gain a property outside of your usual wheelhouse, or perhaps a more affordable solution from the beginning. The more you assess your options, the less settling down can feel like an incredible ask and more a reasoned plan for the future.

Finding Promising Value

When you decide to settle down in a property, you are tying yourself to that area for a good number of years, unless you decide to go through the complex and lengthy process of reselling or transitioning your mortgage. This is why it’s important to get it right the first time.

How have house valuations been historically, within the area you are now searching? Might this change in the future? Could gentrification lead to a larger construction effort in the local environment, and how might that affect your house price? What are the transport links like, and will they improve? What are the movement habits of local residents? For example, it’s not uncommon for certain areas to gain a vibrant youthful presence due to the expansion of a local university, but this renter’s haven could thereby lead to different impacts on your housing valuation, and that could be a good or bad thing.

In simple terms, it’s always best to find the most promising value in your local environment and measure the potential means in which it can be affected. This can help you assess your financial standing or to plan your asset management as the weeks, months and years move on.

Planning Your Income Periods

Forecasting your income projections can also be a great place to start. Sure you may be going strong with a partner right now, but what about when your expected twins are finally here? Will you be able to sustain the family and the property on one income rather than two, at least for a good amount of time? Could it be that you enjoy less job security than you think you will? Is it wise moving out of that freelance position and choosing a salaried job that will come with more benefits and less work drought than usual?

Income is usually the factor from which many base their life decisions, and this is essentially important when planning your ability to settle down. Even something as seemingly stable as an owned business could lead to further financial intensity, especially if the financing is tied to your household. This planning, taking as a cohesive whole, can help you not only make the decision to settle down first and foremost, but can curate the decisions you make going forward.

Factoring In Unforeseen Costs

Unforeseen costs can come from any direction. If you decide to purchase another car in addition to your usual runabout, then that is twice the likelihood that one day an emergency breakdown will burn a hole in your wallet. It could also be that if you live in a flood-prone area, that one day the need for intense driveway renovations will take hold and be a problem that leaves you frustrated all Spring. We cannot plan for every single measure, and sometimes we are luckier than others. That being said, it can’t hurt to plan those unforeseen costs to some extent when making your household or lifestyle investments – even if that simply results in you purchasing better insurance on all fronts.

The Priceless Factor

There are many measures of settling down that are priceless and may help you motivate your interest in doing so. Perhaps you’re happy to commute an extra twenty minutes to work due to the gorgeous seafront view you have acquired, and the option to settle down in such a wonderful property only came once. It’s important that you do keep in mind your own tastes and to fight for them, because remember, you’re not settling down for anyone else, and ultimately you will be the one paying for it.

With this advice, we hope you can settle down in the best possible sense – by planning as much as you can.

Retirement: Everything You Need To Know And Consider For The Future

Being a parent, it’s difficult to see beyond the here and now. We focus so much on the daily routine. The school runs. The fact whether our kids are eating. The chores, our work life perhaps. Not feeling like we have the right balance, but yet hoping to have as much quality family time as possible, sound familiar? This is the norm for most parents of today. There is so much focus on what you should be doing right now, and less about the future. It was a different story for our parents and grandparents. They tended to make provisions for the future.

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It’s not that modern parents don’t think about it, I think it may be more to do with the issue of it seeming like a big task. Future finances, our retirement plans. They seem like such big decisions to make for our lives that seems so far away. But as we all know, time moves exceptionally quick. Before we know it, that will be us. So I thought I would take some time to break down exactly what you should think about for the future. It’s not as difficult as perhaps you believe.

Your finances

Finances are possibly one of the biggest things you need to tackle for your retirement and future. Not everyone is lucky enough to be Elon Musk and have SpaceX Aktien kaufen! Once you or your partner leave employment, that is it for income. Of course, you can draw your state pension. The one everyone gets. But that may not leave you accustomed to the life you have gotten used to. Don’t threat. There’s plenty of things you may have already put the wheels in motion for, and certainly, things you can start doing right now.

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Equity Release

Have you bought a property that you own? Whether you live in it or rent it out for income, that’s one big step for securing your financial future. If you haven’t bought a property yet now’s the time to start saving to do it. It’s a great investment and one that can secure you in the future. Equity release is one of the things you can consider. This is where you draw down some of the equity in your property, it can be done in a lump sum and then used to live off or pay for things like holidays. Some people love this kind of option whereas others see it as using up funds that could be passed down to children or grandchildren when you pass away. If you’d like to see how much you could get, using an equity release calculator can give you a good idea of what will be available to you. The choice is yours to make, but it is an option.

Pensions

You may have one you pay into already, which is perfect. However, many employers now offer the workplace pension scheme, and it is one you should consider. The money is taken directly from your wages each month so you don’t need to think about it. Your employer also pays a set amount, which means you get more investment. It’s a great scheme that many of you can take advantage of. If you want to consider a personal pension, then there are many advisors who will be happy to advise on some of the best packages available.

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Savings and investments

Finally, when it comes to your finances, you could always look into your savings and investment options. This is where you could tie in your money to a high interest savings account for a set period. Or consider investing in the stocks and shares market, although that can be quite risky if you are inexperienced.

What you might do with your time

On a positive note, now is a great time to consider what you will do with the time you have. Retirement is a new chapter in your life and one that should be embraced wholeheartedly. You should make the most of the time. If you are unsure, here are a few suggestions.

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Make a bucket list

Start now and sit down and make a bucket list. This could include all the places you want to see and experience. It’s a great idea to get some perspective on where you want to go in life. Retirement is the perfect time to take advantage of seeing these pleases, but don’t let that stop you if you have the chance to begin exploring now.

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Travel

Now that you have some time, and no doubt have saved for retirement, you could consider travelling. There are many options like taking extended cruises, seeing different countries or travelling to the other side of the world.

Take up a new hobby

Whether it was something you stopped years ago or something you have always wanted to try. Retirement offers you the chance to start a new hobby, and invest yourself into it. It could be anything you like. If you are stuck for ideas, there are plenty of websites to provide some inspiration. Taking part in a hobby or pastime allows you to get involved in your community and could ensure you make some firm friends in the process.

The future beyond

The one thing we cannot predict is our health. It’s one of those things that would love to prepare for in advance, but sadly that isn’t the case. While you may take care of yourself with a balanced diet and regular exercise, you never know what the future holds. This is why it is worth having a plan in place, just incase.

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Would you consider a care home?

Many people are put off by the idea of heading into a care home when they are older but these days these places are state of the art and luxurious. A care home could provide you with everything you need around the clock, and provide you living that is more comfortable and rewarding. Care homes can cost, so this is why it is something to consider for the future, it’s worth knowing whether this is what you would want. If you want some more information, you can find it from HC-Care-Homes.co.uk.

 

It may also be necessary to enlist the help of a care home like Mount Battenhall Retirement Village if you experience unexpected health issues as you grow older. Even if you are not planning on living in a care home, you should incorporate the cost of one into your financial plans and search out the best options. Most likely, if you do end up needing one, it will be unexpected and already having a plan and a place will greatly reduce your stress and anxiety during an already stressful time.

 

Family carers

Alternatively, you could consider staying at home and having a relative or family member care for you. There are many benefits to this including being able to stay in your home. You could consider having it adapted to help with mobility. There are many options, depending on what you need. Carers get allowances to help cover the financials. If you wnat to look into this further, then check out https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/overview.

Have you made out a will?

Making out a will is often something we can forget to do. But it’s our opportunity to make a note of how we want things to proceed when we pass away. While it is never a pleasant subject to think about, what is nice is that you can ensure your family’s future. You may want to make sure that your children get the house, or that your grand daughter gets your wedding ring. It might even be to make a note f how you want things to happen when it comes to a funeral. It is your time to have your say, so don’t miss out on it.

We highly recommend that you use a company such as Casey & Associates to complete your will so that you can be sure it is done properly. You don’t want there to be any way for someone to contest the will and go against your last wishes.

Using a professional company such as this will ensure that your last wishes are honored, exactly the way that you intended them to be. Speak to a member of the team, and see what you think about the service that is being offered before you sign with them though, because you never know what is going to crop up if you keep doing your research.

Funeral plans

So as we mentioned this isn’t exactly a nice subject to think about, but you may have strong beliefs that you want taking into account when the time comes. Perhaps you don’t want a fuss at all, or want people to wear bright colours instead of black. Perhaps you want someone in particular to say a few words, or you prefer to be cremated instead of buried. These are all things that you have every right to request and note down. This is your last song. This is where you still get the chance to be in control when you have no control whatsoever. It’s one moment in your life that you have to think about it, and then it’s done, and noted for when it is needed.

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Dividing of assets

Again, perhaps not the nicest thing to think about it, but you have worked hard for your money and assets. The last thing you will want is someone else taking control of matters. In you will you need to make a note of who you want things to go to. Mostly people keep things simple and state that their estate is divided between their children, or to their partner. Many couples agree to have their assets transferred to one another in the event of someone passing before the other. Then it would be divided after that. It’s up to you. You can go into as much detail or keep it as simple as you want. Again once it’s done, it’s done. The only thing to bear in mind is that assets change over time, you may purchase more property or get a bigger house. Try and remember to keep your will up to date.

I hope this has opened your eyes a little about the future and made you realise it’s not as difficult to plan ahead as you once thought. It’s just about taking a few moments to consider some things, and then carry on living your life.

Blogging When You’re Time-Poor

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that things have changed a lot over the last few months in the Mum’s the Word household and for me personally, the biggest change has been going back to work full-time. The way in which this has impacted me the most is that my time is a lot more scarce that it used to be.

A typical day goes: Get up at 6.45 am, jump in the shower, get out, iron my work clothes (yes, I know doing this in the morning isn’t the most practical solution), get Sausage up, make her breakfast, get myself ready, get Sausage ready, gather bags/flasks/keys etc, say goodbye to Husband, take Sausage to school, go to work, get home from work, do dinner or eat dinner that Husband has made, watch The Simpsons, get Sausage ready for bed, snuggle, invariably fall asleep in front of the telly, drag self to bed and get up at 6.45am, ad infinitum.

As you can see, there’s not much wiggle room in there and one thing that struggles to get a look in is blogging. Now, I may not be winning any awards for my site (but if you want me to, you can nominate me here <—- SEAMLESS PIMPAGE), but I adore blogging and am not in a hurry to give it up, so I’ve had to make a real effort to fit it in where I can. I know that a few of my blogging buddies have also faced a struggle in terms of where blogging actually fits into their lives, so I thought I’d give you all some tips and share how I’ve been coping.

1. Technology is Your Friend

I realise that many bloggers are super tech-savvy, but there are plenty out there who aren’t and the best advice I can give them is to get to grips with mobile blogging. The WordPress app for Android and iOS is really rather good and if you spend some time getting used to it, you can get a lot out of it. I’ve composed whole posts, including pictures, in my lunch hour at work. Sure, typing on a touchscreen can be frustrating, but if you take the time to get used to it, it really can be a great tool. I have a photo editing app which I can use on the go too, which can enhance any mobileography you do. Also, if you’re an old-fashioned type and still like pen and paper, check out the Livescribe 2GB Echo Smartpen,

2. Make Notes

I have several ways of making notes, from a permanent file on my iPhone with ideas for posts, to writing on scraps of paper or even the back of my hand. I think most bloggers would agree that there’s nothing more frustrating than having an idea for a post and then forgetting it before you get a chance to write it out. I know of other bloggers who actually use their blogging platform to store ideas too, giving a new post a title and possibly some bullets before saving it as a draft and coming back to it at a later date which, if you take note of tip one, could be a great solution if you use a blogging app.

3. See Time Differently

If you’re poor on time, you often find you can scrape some seconds back if you start to see time differently. Don’t see your commute as a wasted half an hour, see it as time in which to think or even write. Use your lunch hour to start posts and if you don’t finish them, get them polished off while daddy reads the bedtime story. So often, people get stuck in a blogging rut and do things almost formulaically including when they choose to write. Shake things up a bit and you may find you have plenty of time to write (like now, for instance, Sausage is in bed and Husband is having a pre-bedtime session on Far Cry. Also, I started this post on Saturday night, finished it on Sunday morning and have scheduled it to publish now!).

4. Think Ahead

This one depends on your blog, but I tend to find that if I publish a post at a certain time, it just doesn’t get read. I’ve spent a fairly extensive amount of time looking at my stats and other info and know roughly when a post gets the most hits, so scheduling is a good way to get around this. If you take the advice of tip number one and think about using a third party app for posting to social networks (like Hootsuite) you can also schedule your social media posts too, so even if you’re busy, your posts will still be publicised. I know some bloggers also keep a blogging diary or calendar where you can plan posts as far ahead as you need to and this would work especially well if you’re a craft blogger or regularly write themed posts, i.e. for Christmas, etc.

5. Go Easy on Yourself

If you’re blogging for the sake of blogging, it’ll show in your posts. If you’re mega busy, super tired and barely have time to think, give yourself a break. Your blog isn’t going to die on its arse because you miss a Silent Sunday and your readers will forgive you for taking some time to refresh and ultimately, you’ll be doing them a favour as when you do have something to write about, it’ll really be worth reading.