Retirement Living

When individuals begin considering their way of living in retirement, they may consider moving to a small, cheaper home. Some may even look at seniors’ condos or retirement homes. If the house you live in has been paid off, you may think about downsizing but you may actually see your housing costs increase, even though technically, you are reducing.

Baby BoomersMany who have lived in the city are moving to a cheaper, less urban setting.  This also typically lowers property taxes. Some individuals feel adventurous and that they are financially at the age in their lives when they can see the world and travel without obligations such as work and children to care for.  Some enjoy doing this in an RV. RVs typically cost between $5,000 and $160,000.

While travel is seen as exciting by some, it is not for every retiree. Some prefer to remain in the community they have live in for a while-they feel better knowing their neighbors and possibly having family nearby. They may already be familiar with the activities in the area.

Some do look at moving away, especially if family is living far away.  A lot of people prefer to be near their adult children and especially grandchildren. Moving near family also provides a connection in a new city. Socializing and activities may be introduced by your family.

If you are to do it feasibly, why not go live in Australia for a few months? It does not have to be there- the point is , go do what you always wanted to but could not because of work, school or caring for children.

Today, many retirees are pursuing a college education, or at least taking a few classes.  Many are seeking post-secondary education either as additional education or purely for interests’ sake.  In many American states, residents are eligible for a few months of free tuition if they are over the age of 65. Many find it beneficial to their mental health, to keep their minds active and always learning. You can take the Introduction to Shakespeare course you never had time for, or Introduction to Physics.

Some,  but certainly not all retirees find themselves feeling restless during retirement, especially at the beginning. When you have gone to work every day for fifty years, this feeling is not uncommon. Many retirees look at volunteering as a means to do something with their time, improve certain skills, utilize skills they already possess, and meet new people.  There are many organizations, both profit and non –profit, needing volunteers. Finding a volunteer position which fits your skills and interests should not be too difficult-from building houses to serving soup at a soup kitchen to working with children- everywhere is searching for volunteers. This generation has been involved with activism for decades, pursuing a cause you are passionate about but were never able to dedicate a time to- the time is now!

However you decide to spend your retirement, whether it be volunteering, lying on a beach or traveling the world, make sure it is exactly how you want to spend it and it is what is making you happy. After all, you only have one retirement.

Flying South for the Winter

Many people consider flying south for the harsh, freezing winters to spend them on the white sand, by the ocean, basking in the sunshine.

Sandy BeachesHow do you know if this is the right decision for you? How will you know if this is what you need to enhance your retirement? Many think about becoming a snowbird in their retirement because they feel this is the first time  in their lives with no work pressure, no caring for young children, and they feel they have finally earned a breath of relaxation. There are a few thing you need to be aware of before you give yourself permission for takeoff.

You must consider your current income.  Your income is now likely fixed, unlike before.  Be sure to shop around, looking at different accommodations and prices, what may be included in some packages, and ensure this is something you are able to spend your finances on.  The last thing you want is to have overspent when on a fixed income.

If you are traveling with a spouse or companion, discuss finances ahead of time. Plan what will be spent and be sure to give yourselves time to consider the options of where you will stay, what you will be spending on food and drink, if you will have transportation while there. If you have family, you will be away from them for months at a time. Think about how that will affect them and how it will impact you.  Discuss with those family members how often you will be in touch with them, and if they are able to visit you.

If you do end up flying south for the winter, you may choose to rent or own a home. Depending on what works best for you, you may choose either- some recommend turning off heat and hydro in your original home to cut down on the bills. Some choose to have a live-in house sitter, in which case you will need to keep those things on. Depending on your financial situation, you may choose to have the house sitter live there only paying bills.

Some people may also use a sitter for their pets, however most people will bring their pets  with them.  If you do, ( and you probably will) you may bring them on the flight with you. Almost all airlines charge a fee for bringing a pet on the airplane. If you end up driving down south, ensure your pet has an abundance of food and water. Be sure your pet has seen the veterinarian  and has all vaccines up to date. Some airlines will require  certification for a pet before flying.

If you choose to snowbird, you will want to choose insurance that cover them from state to state ( if American). If flying to the US from Canada, be sure to have Traveler’s insurance that will cover you in case of an emergency. Canadians are able to travel to the USA for six months provided they possess a passport. Bringing a birth certificate along with your passport is best.

Snowbirds may want to anticipate that they could need to get home very quickly in case of an emergency such as family illness or death. It is recommended to set money aside for flights home should this be the case.

Some novice snowbirds are nervous about making friends. An important thing to remember is that all snowbirds were once in the same position.  Within the community, and on the beach, there is ample time to make new lifelong friends you can see yearly.

Can Foreign Exchange Trading Help you save for an Early Retirement?

Have you ever exchanged currency to go on a trip? If you have, whether you knew it or not, you were trading Forex.

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What is foreign exchange trading?

Foreign exchange consists of trading one type of currency for another. The foreign exchange market, also known as the Forex or FX market, is the world’s largest market, operating 24 hours a day, with enormous amounts of money, almost one trillion, traded on a daily basis. As investors become more knowledgeable the market continues to grow. Unlike other markets, the forex market has no physical location and no central exchange. It operates through a global network of banks, corporations and individuals trading one currency for another in an over the counter fashion. Unlike any other financial market investors can respond to currency fluctuations at the time that they occur, without having to wait for the exchanges to open. Access to modern services including news services, charting services, 24 hour dealing desks and sophisticated online trading platforms has allowed the forex market to explode, particularly for the individual trader. There is a massive reward potential for the successful trader, but you do have to keep in mind that every successful trade is balanced by a oss somewhere else.

How does it work?

Forex trading is typically done through a broker. As a forex trader you can choose a currency pair that you expect to change in value and place a trade accordingly. Orders can be placed with just a few clicks and the broker than then pass along the order to fill your position. When you close your trade the broker closes the position and credits your account with a loss or gain. This can all happen within a few seconds.

Getting started

Before jumping aboard the forex train it is probably a good idea to learn as much information about the market as you can. Research brokers to determine who you will work with. If you choose one of the bigger banks you’ll find they offer a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. In addition it is a good idea to get online and join forex discussion groups, forums and to read blogs. This will help you learn how to spot the market trends that will help you to be successful. A good place to start researching would be on a website like ForexCurrency.us. You can find a lot of useful information tools and tutorials on their website, as well as advice on choosing a broker and getting started.