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Showing posts from January, 2014

Infographic: How to Plan (Pay) For Your Retirement by Mark Johnson

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Going to retirement someday? Here are some fact you might need. This infographic from Mark Johnson compiles statistics and advice from the experts on what actions you should be taking if you are going to retire using using your own nest egg. He has also included a list of his sources so you can do a little checking of your own. Of course, the piece of advice I thought to be wisest...SPEND LESS THAN YOU EARN! Other key points: Avoid acquiring more debt and pay off high interest debts first.36% of income should be used to pay off debt. And 28% of total pre-taxed income should be going toward your mortgage.Take care of your IRA and 401k plans. 10% of your income should go to an IRA or 401k retirement plan.Plan to have saved 8x your yearly income by the time you retire.
What would you add to this infographic if you had a say? Here it is...only on Retire In Style Blog. Take a look!

When the Dog Dies...Saying goodbye to Teagan!

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She wasn't even my dog. My daughter, her husband and two children brought her home from Canada so many years ago I cannot remember. The children that were small then are now 20 and 16.

My husband and I were just people that showed up at her house periodically so she could bark. Surprisingly, when I found out she was gone I felt very sad. She was a part of every family gathering.

Teagan didn't care much what you wanted, never came when you called her and ruined so many screen doors her family gave up and just swatted the flies.

She was a mass of nerves and barked incessantly so she required a bark collar. She liked to come and go at her own pace. She ran away at the blink of the eye, moved so fast you could never catch her. She required an invisible fence.

In fact, it seemed her goal in life was to prove that, although you needed her, she did not need you.

The neighbor's dog was her friend and she would go to their house and ask to be let in so she could play. Racoons kept h…

Google's Blogger: Afraid to Ask the Questions!

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I do read the fine print on Google because I love to write on my Blogger account.  But the fact is I might be breaking the rules when I link to a business in a post. I do vet the articles and make sure that I can support what they propose but it is a gray area that I often wonder about. I often wonder why Google doesn't go into the business of offering a paid option for their clients. It would be wonderful.

Blogger is the most wonderful service a writer could ever have.  The simplicity of the website is something I love. I even think that the Adsense ads add a lot to the page. But if the Adsense doesn't work and bring in income, why even use it?

My husband points out that we don't need the money and he is right.  I guess it is just a little validation for what I do...with the emphasis on little. And, if I begin to earn more, I gain the spotlight which is not going to make things easier for me.

As for the title, Afraid to Ask the Question, I went ahead and sent a note to …

The New York Times and the 99 Cent Deal!

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The New York Times logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)or Please, Cancel my Subscription

Oh my gosh, I think I need a good rant...no, I know I need a good rant. You see, I love the NYTs but I cancelled my online subscription today anyway.  My ongoing love affair with the newspaper may be coming to an end soon. After this latest experience I have decided I just don't like the way they treat their subscribers.

The NYTs was costing me $20 a month and I really don't make that much money online. I knew they didn't play fair with subscribers but I didn't realize what their game was.  Imagine my surprise when I found out how much I could have really gotten it for if I had known the rules and called sooner.

I decided to take the online version twice in the last few years. I think the first time I took them up on the $.99 a week offer I ended up paying almost $30 a month when the grace period was over with. After I called the paper at the mystery number hidden on a page with many Q&a…

HOW ARE AMERICANS SPENDING THEIR RETIREMENT?

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About 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day. While previous generations may have been content with a leisurely life after leaving the workplace, today’s retirement planning often places a heavy emphasis on staying active. In fact, in a recent Pew Research Center Study, 60 percent of adults 65 and older reported feeling younger than their actual age. Here’s a look at how they’re spending their golden years.



Seniors and the wonders of the internet...finding out it's not magic yet!

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My husband pointed out Bob Lowry's article about getting his wife's Affordable Care Act insurance policy with the government this morning. Healthcare.gov: Betty's Experience is the name of the article.

Many senior citizens are not a knowledgeable as Lowry is about the internet so when they are faced with this insurance dilemma, I can imaging that many will just give up. They will get frustrated because for them the online world is somewhat of a magic place where stuff gets done and no one actually knows how. Evidently, you must have access to a computer to sign up for the plan and there really are people that don't have one. Even if they do, they don't realize that the online world is NOT MAGIC!

Seniors and online stuff and magic...
Before Christmas a neighbor came to me with a question about his email account. Simple huh? Most of the people I know don't understand how it all works but somehow it does anyway. Well most of the time. In this particular case my fr…

3 Things about Changing Another Person

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Have you ever tried to change someone you know?  If you haven't then you are a saint...s-a-i-n-t! Honestly, the old adage "Everyone is crazy except me and thee and sometimes I wonder about thee." is true. Even those of us that see ourselves as tolerant and kind are not telling ourselves the truth...or at least that is what I think. I am as guilty as sin!

My mother was always trying to change people and I thought it was a bunch of bunk. I suppose I felt that way because she would plan and plot for days on end. I do not work that way. See, I don't really want to change people especially my friends because I liked them when we became friends. Still, I hear myself being cranky for things that they do, small behaviors usually. I still like them. I just don't want them to do a few things!

Then I get home and I am so mad at myself. After all who am to be trying to make someone else perfect when I am not perfect myself. I have to remind myself that it is not all about ME…

New Year's Resolutions, Promises and Chekhov's Gun

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I was looking at StumbleUpon this morning when a Wikipedia article titled Chekhov's Gun caught my eye.  The concept leading to the title came from Anton Chekhov, a 19th century writer considered to be among the greatest short story writers of all time. He was also a noted writer of plays. He lived from 1860 until 1904. The gun he talks about is a play prop that promises some action in the future. The idea is that when you place a prop on the stage during a play, it foreshadows what will come later in the play. His thinking was that if you place the gun on the stage, the audience will expect the actors to fire it. Otherwise why would it even be there? In a letter written to a friend he said,
"One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage if it isn't going to go off. It's wrong to make promises you don't mean to keep." I suppose writers and livers of life have been thinking about that "rifle" since Chekhov wrote the words in 1889. Writers know that…

Capturing the Story: 5 Photographs that Tell a Story

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I don't suppose I am doing this for you as much as for myself. The joy of taking pictures is one of my great loves. Being able to capture what I see with my minds eye and then bring it to my computer to make the image my very own is very satisfying. Adding my lovely iPhone camera to the mix and my life is perfect. Here are 5 images that tell a story.
Maddie just completed her horse show
which she absolutely loved...all of the pictures afterwards? Well not really!
Outside our favorite Mexican restaurant...a driving dog waiting for carry out?

Foreign Travel Myth? "I get a better exchange rate if I bring cash with me!"

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"I am taking a trip to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos going through Vietnam. My friend told me to bring cash and I would get a better exchange rate. " I was sitting in the chair with the back rub device running. I had slipped into the coma I always experience when I am getting a pedicure when the woman next to me began talking to her pedicure girl.  Everyone in the salon is from Vietnam so when the lady announced that she was flying into "Saigon" the next day, the girls were very excited.  I sat up and took notice. Of course I wanted to know what her plans were because my husband and I had been in Vietnam a couple of years ago. That was when she told me that she planned on taking cash so she could get a better exchange rate.

My radar went up immediately. She had already had the conversation about not taking expensive jewelry and the girls in the shop warned her about con-men but I don't think she was really focusing in on what she was proposing to do. It sounded v…

How to Make Overseas Pension Transfers

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If you are in one country and your pension fund is in another, it’s time to consider making an overseas pension transfer. Today, we invite Dan Abrahams, Co-Founder of MyCurrencyTransfer to help out with some expert advice
British expats can take advantage of a Qualifying Recognised OverseasPension Scheme or QROPS for short. You have worked hard for your money over the years and it is important to ensure you get access to your money in the best possible way.
QROPS are often referred to as offshore pension schemes because the companies supplying them are based outside of the UK. There are over 3000 different schemes running in over 46 countries and that’s great news for those shopping around for the best scheme to suit their needs.
The First Step - Finding A Good Financial Advisor
A professional financial advisor experienced in both UK and overseas pension schemes will ensure that you have access to the most suitable and profitable pension transfer deals available to you. Your advisor can …

Find the Travel Guide Book that Fits Your Needs

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We posted an article about the best places to travel in 2014 as suggested by Lonely Planet the other day.  Lonely Planet is one of those travel guides that take you down the back street of some of the most popular places in the world.  They have been a go-to source of information for my husband and I for many years.

It has occurred to me that the travel guide you use and feel comfortable with is very much an individual thing.  For many years we used Fodor's because when we traveled here in the USA, we wanted to find very good food in every town and we didn't want to depend on taking advice from someone that had a relative running a diner down the road.  Fodor's guided us to great food in Lincoln Neb, Orlando Florida and every where in between. We have even used their suggestion in our home city of Portland Oregon.

But when it came to traveling in the far east, we knew we needed to come up with a new guide that told us how to act and where to go. Lonely Planet was one of ou…

Five Places to Visit in 2014

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Every year various lists of ‘places to see’ are released, intended to inspire travelers and shape holiday plans. Lonely Planet publish the most well-read of these lists and 2014 is no different; as ever there are plenty of countries and cities to get the travel juices flowing, many of which are chosen in accordance with big, international events and some of which are chosen because they’ve just begun to emerge as new, exciting tourist destinations.
For those of you who haven’t yet decided on your travel plansfor 2014, here’s five of the countries being cited by Lonely Planet as the places to be over the next 12 months:
Scotland On the back of the 2014 Commonwealth Games being held in Scotland’s Glasgow and the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles, the country has been chosen by Lonely Planet as one of their top countries of the next year. There’s so much to see here, from ancient castles in the Highlands to stylish cities like pretty Edinburgh. To see the best of Scotland, aim to travel in summer, as…