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5 Ways To Give Yourself The Gift Of A Happy Retirement

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happy retirement

After having lived a full fast-paced life, a peaceful retirement is not too much to ask for, is it? As it turns out, if you play your cards right, it is definitely possible for happiness and retirement to go hand in hand.

Mind you, it’s not just about having saved enough money to fall back on, neither is it about having an impressive pension coming through, but of course, both of these things will definitely help.

In this piece, we will look at 5 ways in which you can give yourself and your partner the gift of a happy and satisfying retirement. The definition of getting retired is not the same as it was a decade ago. For many people, retirement is not about calling it quits at 65 and then living a life of complete relaxation. There’s so much that can be done and so much still left to explore.

That being said, here are the 5 ways that will surely increase your chances of leading a life of retirement in complete bliss:

1. Establish what you expect out of your retired life

By this we mean that you have a fair idea of how you would like to spend your days, where do see yourself spending these days and what would make this one of the most fulfilling experiences of your life.

One such key decision is to figure out where you wish to retire and how much are you willing to travel. Having lived majority of their lives in one place, some people choose another place or another country altogether to retire. Now we are not implying that this is everyone’s cup of tea, but a survey conducted by 389 expats by the website of Places in the World to Retire discovered that 81% of the people were happier in a new country as compared to where they resided before.

Now those stats are staggering in a good way of course because for one, the standard of living and the resulting costs were often much less in the new place. That meant that retired couples or individuals did not need to worry much about the expenses. They didn’t have to worry about finding a high-paying job when in retirement.

Several of these expats also stated that they were far less stressed as compared to before because the new country they migrated to wasn’t as fast paced. Many were also recorded saying that they loved their new and ‘simple life’, particularly because they had so much free time on their hand.

In case you’re wondering about the best places in the world to retire, the answer will largely depend on the survey conducted. International Living states that Panama and Ecuador are the ultimate places topping the list.

2. Have a frank discussion with your partner about what you want out of your retired life

Two heads put together are better than one and taking the opinion of your better half into consideration will sort out a lot of things for you. It is helpful for couples to discuss their expectations and dreams regarding retirement and write them down for good measure. Once this is done, these couples should go ahead and classify each item on their list as a ‘must have’, ‘a want’ or a ‘wish’ and be prepared to make compromises.

Another thing that couples must definitely talk about is the amount of time the two want to spend together since this might probably be the first time in years that the both of them will be available all the time. Researches and surveys have shown that some couples came up with a solution to this – early in the week, they would end up spending time either by themselves or with their friends. Then towards the end of the week, they’d plan to do things together like go to the theatres, museums or restaurants.

3. Come up with a brilliant retirement income plan

Of course this should be topping your priority list. You ought to know how much money you have, its whereabouts and how much are you likely to get each month. Figure out how much all your accounts will contribute when put together, any kind of security or investment that you have and the money that you’re likely to get out of it. Think about the pension you get and how much you can afford to withdraw each year out of all your available options. The general rule of thumb is to not go above 4% to live a comfortable life. You must also figure out which accounts you can tap into first for withdrawals to save on taxes.

Devising a foolproof retirement income plan before it comes knocking on your door, will go a long way in reliving your stress once you actually retire. Another important thing to remember is to not be surprised in case your retirement income or expenses does not turn out the way you thought it would. A survey conducted by Ameriprise shows that three types of expenses were more than what the retirees expected and these are – food, health care and taxes.

4. Stay occupied and healthy

It is a proven fact that the happiest retirees are the ones who have occupied their time engaging in some fruitful activity or are actively employed somewhere. Retired individuals have become successful entrepreneurs, have started encore careers, signed up for either paid work or taken up volunteering work for the greater good.

Along with this, these individuals can put in real time efforts at keeping themselves fit and healthy by adopting good eating habits, sleeping soundly and engaging in exercise at least thrice a week while also maintaining strong social connections. Health is wealth and truer words haven’t been spoken and according to a survey conducted by Age Wave and Merrill Lynch, good health is the key reason of leading a happy retired life.

5. Pursue your passions and learn new things

Reacquaint yourself with passions you had when you were much younger but somewhere along the way you just stopped pursuing it. It could be absolutely anything from learning to play an instrument or painting or maybe writing or singing – basically any activity that makes you immensely happy. Retirement is great to discover new passions, polish it and make something out of it. You could sign up for one-on-one lessons as well to get good at what you want to pursue.

Check out the local colleges for courses that you can possibly take and learn about. You could emerge equipped with skills that you can put to use or just acquire knowledge for the pure joy of it all. The world is at your feet and options are innumerable!

Amidst all the fun that awaits your retired life, do not forget to make important decisions for your loved ones. Use a free Will template to draft your Will so that your final wishes are honoured just the way you want. When you get all the important stuff out of the way, there’s nothing else that can stop you from living a happy retired life, after all.

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Lifestyle

Birthday Gift Ideas for Nieces From Aunts

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Birthday Gift Ideas for Nieces From Aunts

As young girls grow, it is important for them to have positive female role models. Mothers and grandmothers are perhaps the most important, but not far behind are the aunts, whether adopted or biological. One of the fun parts of being an aunt is spoiling your niece on her birthday, and there are lots of ways to do so.

Special Outing

Although kids love to unwrap presents, something they may love just as much or more is spending quality time with you. Take your niece on a special outing with just the two of you. A trip to the aquarium, zoo or amusement park could be a wonderful experience for both of you. Include a stop for lunch or ice cream and just about all her dreams will have come true by the end of the day.

Start a Collection 

Collectibles are a great way to start a fun tradition with your niece. She will love getting a new addition to her precious moments princess train set or a new purse every year for her birthday. Even though she may come to expect a certain type of gift, she can still look forward to adding something special to her collection.

Remember Her Interests 

Keep in mind what your niece is interested in. Does she love science, books or art? Try and find something that will help foster her interests and you may just watch her confidence grow along with her talents. As she gets older, these interests will change, but she will always remember her first science kit or that series of novels that her aunt introduced her to.

There are lots of ways to be a good aunt, not the least of which is spoiling your precious niece for her birthday. Choose a gift that shows her just how special she is. These gifts and experiences make wonderful memories that she can treasure for her whole life.

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Lifestyle

Basic Camera Care All Photographers Should Learn

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Camera maintenance, Camera care tips

Whether you are a seasoned business portrait photographer with several years of experience tucked under your belt, or just a newbie who has started dipping his toe in the hobby, one of the critical lessons that you need to learn and master by heart is camera care.

Knowing how to care for your camera correctly will not only allow you to take care of your investment. Proper attention can also ensure that your gear performs optimally, enabling you to make the most out of it, whether for business or fun.

Store Your Gear Correctly

Dust, moisture, and sunlight are the greatest enemies of your photography gear. This should be your guiding principle when storing your equipment.

Cameras and batteries are best placed in a cool area where any temperature fluctuation should be minimal. High temperatures can damage your camera’s central processing unit and sensor, while cold temperatures can pose serious harm to its LCD.

Make sure that your camera’s storage area is well-ventilated with a humidity of around 35 to 45 percent. Excessive humidity, coupled with moisture, will only invite mildew and rust. Extreme dryness, on the other hand, adversely affects the lubrication of different parts which can fast-track wear and tear.

Whether you are storing your camera and lenses in a box or a bag, put some silica gel inside to counter moisture.

Invest in a Good Camera Bag

An essential aspect of caring for your camera is using a camera bag.

Most cameras are susceptible to dust and scratches which can be easily avoided by storing them in a proper bag. Furthermore, water-resistant bags can shield your precious gear from rain.

Make it a Habit to Turn Off Your Camera

Turning off your camera allows you to conserve the power of your batteries and increase the overall lifespan of these.

But more than conserving battery juice, there is another reason to turn off your camera’s power – to protect it from damage.

Avoid leaving batteries inside your camera as much as possible, especially if you are storing your camera for an extended period. Batteries can corrode when stored in a moist area or if left completely drained off.

Whether you are changing your lenses or removing the memory card or attached cables, make it a habit to turn off the camera first. Changing lenses when the camera is still turned on increases the risk of dust getting into the sensor. On the other hand, there is a significant chance that you can damage your memory card by pulling it off from the camera when it is still running.

Clean Your Gear Right

First things first – before you schedule a cleanup for your camera, make sure that you have a special cleaning kit on hand. Under no circumstance should you touch your camera with ordinary household cleaning materials.

Go to a reputable camera shop and invest in a few brushes, a microfiber cloth, and specialized cleaning solutions.

Don’t waste your money on canned air. You might see a few people cleaning their gear with it, but you can seriously damage your camera and its accessories if you insist on using it.

Canned air contains chemicals which are harmful to your equipment. Instead of canned air, consider using a brush or a squeeze bulb for hard-to-reach areas.

Protect Your Lenses

It is relatively easy to damage lenses. And unless you are willing to cough up money over and over again, it is sensible to invest in lens protection.

A simple filter can prevent breakage, cracks, dents, and scratches. Additionally, filters offer a variety of uses, depending on the type you get, ranging from glare reduction to reduction of shutter speed.

Care for Your Memory Card

Memory cards are a vital item of photography gear that can be easily overlooked. If you want to get more out of your memory cards, you need to learn how to care for these properly.

First, invest in a protective case which will help keep your memory cards dust-free. Second, do not expose the cards to heat. Place these in a cool, dry place. Finally, never put your memory cards near magnetic sources.

Camera care is an essential skill that anyone can and should learn, whether you are a hobbyist or a professional photographer. From a financial standpoint, this vital skill can help you save a lot of money. And from a functional perspective, keeping your gear in good order can help your equipment perform optimally.


AUTHOR BIO: Stefanie Descheemaecker is the Studio Manager at Stu Williamson Photography at The Palm Jumeirah – Fairmont Hotel in Dubai. She has been with the company for almost 3 years and is the driving force behind the success of the business. A keen amateur photographer, Stef combines her natural creative eye with a strong business acumen to help Stu Williamson Photography become the most trusted and successful photography business in the UAE.

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Fitness

How To Get In Shape While On Holiday

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Vacation. This is a word that can mean so many different things. Some people consider vacation as a time away from all the hassles of their daily work. Others look at it as a way to break away from routine and there are also those who just want to use up their vacation leave. Whatever your purpose is on your next holiday, there is one important thing that you need to make plans for – your fitness regimen.

how to stay in shape on vacation, gym while traveling, how to keep in shape on holiday, how to lose weight while traveling for work

Shopping – A Great Form of Exercise

Since a huge chunk of every vacation is one’s shopping spree, then you might as well use this opportunity to stay fit. Imagine walking all over the different malls that you can find. To add to this, you also get to carry the things that you buy so this is an effective way to work off on self-indulgence.

Do not just buy the first items that you find. Ask around first so that you get to find the best bargains on athleisure while you also spend more time (and more energy) going from one shop to the next. Also, make it a point not to use elevators or escalators, utilize the stairs so that you will burn more calories.

Utilize the Hotel Gym / Boot Camp It

Yet another part of any holiday is the need to stay in a hotel. Most hotels now have indoor gyms so it would be a waste if you do not use the exercise equipment there. Being on vacation is no excuse to stop your exercise regimen. What you need, though, is your strongest willpower and an activewear. Have the determination to continue exercising and you will surely reap the benefits later on.

Another fun way to get into shape is to go to a bootcamp. These prove to be a super fun way to burn excess pounds, test your body’s limits, and learn new and positive habits. Imagine how much better you’ll feel in that bikini after you’ve been sweating it out in a boot camp!

Pack Some Exercise Essentials

If it is impossible to hit the gym during your vacation, then you might as well take any of these with you – light weights, exercise band or a jump rope. Toning your muscles isn’t all about sweating in the gym. Sometimes, you just need to be disciplined enough to exercise on your own and make do with your packed resources while vacationing.

Steer Clear of Some Foods

One other thing that is equated to vacation is food, especially if this is your first time to visit a certain place. For instance, if it is your first time to go to Germany, you might be instantly tempted to try their different types of beers and fattening cuisine. If you do not curb your urges, you could end up trying every bit of food that you could lay your eyes on – and this is not good for your figure.

The secret is to try one, unique meal at a time and then to couple this with your usual fruits and vegetables; this way, you maintain your healthy diet while still getting to taste exotic cuisine.

Swim That Body Fat Away

If your destination for your holiday vacation is a beach resort, then make good use of the resource that you have right in front of you – the rolling waters! Swimming is an activity that can help you trim down while keeping your heart healthy – technically, you are hitting two birds with one stone. If your vacation does not involve any water activities, then plan for a lot of walking. Rather than ride a cab, it is best to walk and enjoy the scenery or architectural wonders around you. Tuck that pedometer and you’re just about ready to walk around a city!

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