Why Not Consider Renting In Your Retirement?

 

Rent sign Have you considered renting in your retirement? There are a number of valuable benefits associated with renting during your golden years. It enables many people to cut costs whilst still maintaining an enviable, active lifestyle……so renting in retirement could be the way to go. Here are ten reasons for renting……

 

1. Greater Mobility

 

Renting gives you the opportunity of living in interesting new places without the hassle and cost of selling the home that you own. All you have to do is give notice and vacate when your lease is up. In a home situation, you would have to find an estate agent, prepare your home for sale, be around for viewings, wait for someone to make an offer, and then negotiate a deal, all before moving on to our next spot. There is a lot of uncertainty and worry involved. Renting is a simpler way to experience new locations in retirement without all the strings attached that come with owning a property.

 

2. Tap Into Your Home Equity

 

When you sell your home and become a renter, you can add the equity tied up in your home to your nest egg, which can significantly improve your retirement finances.

 

3. Downsize To Smaller Place

 

Once your children move out your home, you don’t need as much space, belongings and furniture. Downsizing to a living space more appropriate for your current needs can be additionally helpful if you move from a two storey to a single-storey home, for example there are no longer stairs to climb.

 

4. Lower Your Cost Of Living

 

Retirees no longer need to live in expensive areas near the office or in good school districts. Sometimes moving even a short distance can result in a drastically lower cost of living.

 

5. Outsource Home Maintenance

 

In many rental agreements, it is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the property, including the lawn, exterior of the building and many of the appliances.

 

6. One Call For Repairs

 

When something breaks, you don’t have to spend your day finding a person to carry out the repair or get price estimates. You simply call the landlord or administration office and put in a maintenance request.

 

7. Live Near The Amenities You Use

 

You can relocate to a walkable location near stores, parks and recreational opportunities. It can be useful to base yourself near public transport facilities in case you reach a point when you no longer want to drive.

 

8. Relocate Near Family

 

Retirement can be an opportunity to move closer to your children and grandchildren, which saves on travelling expenses. You can also help with childcare and the family can help with your own care later in life.

 

9. Look For Age Related Features

 

Retirees can select apartments with amenities that will allow them to live independently for as long as possible. Features to look out for include apartments with a minimum amount of stairs, convenient laundry facilities, handles in the shower………

 

10. Extra Help Is Sometimes Available

 

Some senior housing arrangements allow you to live independently for as long as you are able to, and then offer increasing levels of services as you need them, such as nursing homes and long-term care. Many senior communities also offer the added bonus of social activities for residents and a chance to make friends. Everyone’s circumstances are different but I hope that there is something of interest for you in my post.

 

Cautionary Note

 

Rents have increased at more than twice the rate of earnings in the past year. The average rent in England and Wales is £753 a month, which is up by 1.6 per cent on the previous year. By contrast wages have risen by just o.8 per cent with average pre-tax pay being £1,941 a month

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Your Blog Will Benefit From This Medicine

 

Have you been struck down with a virus this winter? Maybe you took yourself to bed with a hot water bottle and large packet of paracetamols. It really knocks the stuffing out of you for weeks. Well it’s the same with your computer which, as we all know, is also susceptible to viruses. Just like you it will benefit from a regular dose of medicine.

No doubt you keep an eye on your comments, traffic stats and the like…….but when was the last time you carried out a thorough check of your blog? As a reminder of the various actions you need to take, I have compiled this checklist.

 

Keep Updated

WordPress is constantly introducing updates, so do ensure you have downloaded the latest version, as some of these updates improve the security of your blog. Plugins and themes should also be updated.

Before upgrading, you should backup, as your content may become corrupted whilst installing a new plugin. The simplest way to carry out a backup is to go to cpanel and click on the backup icon which you will find under ‘Files’.

Broken Links

Nothing is more infuriating than coming across a broken link when you are reading a blog…..so make sure your reader is not confronted with a ‘Page Not Found’ screen or a ‘404’ as it is known. Broken links are detected very rapidly using a dedicated tool such as Broken Link Check

Keep Your Content Fresh

The worst possible sin in blogging is promoting an offer which closed several months ago. At the very least amend the graphic by adding a ‘Sorry, Now Closed’ stamp.

Double Check Your Menu

Strange things can happen…..even though you haven’t touched your menu, it sometimes has a mind of its own and sends the reader to the wrong place. It’s worth spending a few seconds checking your menus and sub-menus to ensure your reader can navigate quickly to the correct page……people soon lose patience and move on to another sit.

Wayward Widgets

You can easily develop ‘sidebar blindness’ if your blog has been running for a long time. Every post has a date when it was published, which immediately highlights how fresh the content is and how often you are posting new material. Just updating your copy, or adding a new post, will rejuvenate your blog.

Passwords and Username

As hackers become more and more sophisticated it is worth reviewing your WordPress password. It should be at least 12 to 16 characters long with a mix of letters and numbers with the odd hyphen, question mark….thrown in.

If you are concerned about forgetting your password you can use a password management form such as Roboform. Never, ever use ‘admin’ as your WordPress username, as hackers will use this username to launch brute force login attacks.

Viruses and Scanning

If you are running a WordPress site without security then your site is either getting hacked right now or you’ve already been hacked. Of course there are host of companies offering security protection….the market leaders probably being Norton and McAfee, although I use AVG who have always served me well.

However basic housekeeping can prevent a buildup of problems. The most obvious is to run a scan every 7 days and fix any errors before they become too serious.

I have recently installed software called Blog Defender, which provides excellent security. The installation procedure is described in a series of short videos. I would highly recommend this software, which gives you peace of mind. Are you going to risk losing everything for the sake of a few dollars? Take action now.

Don’t forget to request your free ebook ’20 Ways to Supplement Retirement Income’  by completing the subscription form in the right hand sidebar

 

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Niche Social Networking Sites

 

Social Media icons

 

The number of Facebook members has reached stratospheric levels and there is no sign of its exponential growth slowing down. I use the word ‘members’ advisably……just how many of those members are regular ‘users’? I don’t have the figure to hand but I guess it’s a very small percentage. For this reason alone it is worth considering using your time to best advantage by becoming active in niche social networks.

 

They focus on a certain interest or product and their members are attracted by the content of the social network……in other words they are already warm prospects. A little research will soon reveal whether there is a social network dedicated to your niche. You may like to look at a few niche social networks I have discovered…..some are long established, whilst others are only in their infancy.

 

Gentlemint

Around 80% of Pinterest members are women, so it is hardly surprising that another social media site has emerged which caters for men’s interests and needs. Although Gentlemint mirrors the layout of Pinterest with images which can be shared and commented upon, these images are not of babies, fashion and food, but are more likely to be of cars, guns, alcohol…. Gentlemint is the perfect community for promoting services and products that appeal to males. 

 

 

This popular network gathers mommy bloggers together on a single platform. Marketers have found that CafeMom offers a great resource for promoting services and products to mothers who are looking for parenting advice. This site enables you to research the most popular interests and topics of moms. You can then tailor your offering to meet this interest or need. Mumsnet is the UK equivalent of CafeMom 

Third Age

Senior citizens are the fastest growing age group on the net. Consequently, the internet has become am important resource for pre-retirees and seniors to connect with their families and to source advice on retirement, ageing, health…. There are discussion boards, groups, newsletters, forums, videos, classes and much more… You can research how best to connect with this demographic group and to service their needs on the Third Age. ThirdAge

 

Maybe you have a question about coding or retirement income….whatever it might be Quora will have the answer. So if you are looking for answers or want to position yourself as a thought leader, Quora is the place to be. There are several ways you can use Quora as a resource…..

  • Ask questions to discover what your audience is thinking

  • Answer questions….this will help to position yourself as an expert within your niche

  • Provide links to useful resources…..this helps you to gain respect within the community

  • Include a few links to tutorial ebooks, relevant posts, webinars….enabling you to capture business leads. Quora

 

APSense is a great platform for social networking within a business community. It’s an ideal site for branding yourself and promoting your business to like minded people. Four forums enable you to ‘Ask a Question’, ‘Write an Article’, ‘Create a Review’ and ‘Sell Your Talent’.  There are several ways you can make money through APSense…clicking on Solo Ads, joining a Team Promote campaign, referrals…. APSense

 

  When I joined AdlandPro nearly 10 years ago, it was already going strong. It’s robust format has stood the test of time, which speaks for itself. It offers a range of services…..classified ads, groups,, forums, photo sharing, an AdlandPro newsletter with useful tips and of course social media….known as the AdlandPro Community. At the click of a key you can get a lot of information about your online friends…..first name, thumbnail photo, location, number of friends, their birthday……. This is of great assistance in identifying the best prospects for your offer. AdlandPro

 

 

 If you are interested in food then Epicurious is the place to be. They have a host of recipes, menus, articles and guides on every cooking topic imaginable. There is a very active forum where you can review peoples’current interests and the queries they have, which will help you service their needs. Epicurious

 

Care2

Creating a green, sustainable environment has been an extremely important trend for some time. Many marketers want to put a ‘green face’ on their products. By participating in Care2 you can find out how to implement ecofriendly tactics in your marketing strategies. Learn what others are doing and what topics people really care about. Care2

 

An important part of any markerter’s job is planning and attending events. At Meetup you can find out about events happening in your area. You can target a particular business niche and identify the most worthwhile events to attend and even connect with people planning to go, prior to the event taking place. You can also publicize your own events and attract more attendees bygeography and industry. Meetup

 You may find your niche social networking site at cornucopia of  social sites

Don’t forget to request your free ebook ’20 Ways to Supplement Retirement Income’  by completing the subscription form in the right hand sidebar

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Top Ten Tips For Improving Your Pension

 

 Retirement cake 1

 

Here are ten points to consider when planning for retirement

 

1. ANNUITIES

 

For many people, the long road to savings ends with the choice of when to take annuity and which annuity to take. This will be the income guarantee that will provide you with your security in retirement.

 

New legislation could cost annuity providers a substantial amount of money and in turn drive down the rate of future annuities. Another key question relates to the impact of quantitative easing. Will it drive up inflation? These two factors alone will have a significant impact on pushing annuity rates up so taking an annuity today rather than deferring may well prove to be a mistake.

 

2. PROPERTY

 

Those people who have 15 to 20 years to go before they retire should consider up-sizing even if this means buying a property that is too big for their actual needs. Over the medium to long term, property prices have historically risen.

 

Buying a larger property every, say, 5 years means that when retirement approaches the property owner should end up with a very valuable property. This can then be sold to downsize with any profit generally being tax free.

 

3. CURRENT PENSION PROVISION

 

When you begin your retirement planning, you should always check if your employer offers any type of pension arrangement. If your employer does, it is quite possible that the scheme will match any contributions that you make (up to a limit).

 

If this is the case, it will usually be a Money Purchase arrangement, where the level of eventual benefits will be mainly dependent on the size of the fund that has been built up at retirement – and therefore the additional ‘matched’ contributions from your employer will help you to build a bigger fund.

 

Alternatively your employer may offer one of the seemingly ever decreasing number of Final Salary schemes. This is where your employer effectively takes all of the investment risk by providing a benefit related to pensionable salary and service completed.

 

The cost of providing these benefits are underestimated by many, with the level of contribution required under an equivalent Money Purchase scheme typically being as much as three times higher than those of a Final Salary scheme member.

 

4. TAX

 

Work out what your total income is now, and where it might be in the coming years. If you think your income will always be under the higher rate threshold then consider whether there are any benefits in tying your money up and getting basic rate tax relief at outset and then paying basic rate tax on the income in retirement.

 

If, on the other hand, you think that your income will rise above the higher rate threshold, you may wish to consider delaying further contributions until you can get 40% tax relief. Getting 40% tax relief at outset and proposition.

 

5. ISAs

 

Saving for retirement does not always mean a pension. Whilst it’s true a pension should probably form the bedrock of your retirement plans, you should not ignore the ISA.

 

The income from an ISA is ideal to compliment a pension: it is free from further income tax and there is no capital gains tax on the profits. On top of this, the best ISAs can be cashed in at any time, giving you access to your capital if needed. .

 

6. PLAN AHEAD

 

Do not bury your head in the sand when it comes to retirement planning. Fundamentally, pensions are something consumers may wish to forget. But if you don’t take an interest in your future, then who else will?

 

If you have a pension, you do not have to wait until your annual statement arrives to see what you have in your pot and more importantly, what it is likely to give you in retirement.

 

Ask yourself the following all important questions.

 

  • When was the last time you reviewed how much you are paying in?

  • Have your contributions kept pace with any increases in earnings you may have had?

  • Do you fully understand what fund or funds you invest in and is the risk profile of those funds still suitable for you?

  • Have you got old pensions sitting in poor funds with high charges?

  • Have you considered moving away from traditional insurance company funds and explored the possibility of different types of investments?

  • Do you know what charges are being deducted from your fund?

  • Are your retirement plans realistic?

  • Do you know what state pension you will get?

     

 7. MULTIPLE SOLUTIONS

 

Always consider that a single product solution is often not the best strategy when planning for retirement. Thinking about how and when to draw benefits from a pension pot is every bit as important as the strategy for building up the pot in the first place.

 

For most people a single product solution is not the answer. The best strategy is often to employ a range of income generating methods that combine guarantees of certain base levels of income with additional strategies for allowing flexibility and escalating income potential.

 

8. THE TIME FACTOR

 

Firstly, start your retirement planning early. If your employer has a pension scheme then join it! Usually employers match your own payments or at least put in 3% to 6% of your earnings and this is a huge boost to your own savings.

 

Secondly, retire late. Think long term – if you are in your 20’s you may well have a life expectancy into your 90’s. When the state pension age was set at 65 life expectancy was nearer 70.

 

Add to this the fact that your grandparents probably started work at 16 and you may not have started work in your 20’s (after gap years and university) and you can see why you have to pay the penalty in later life! Expect to retire in your 70’s and plan your retirement accordingly.

 

9. OUTGOINGS

 

Planning for retirement is all about ensuring that you have enough income to live the lifestyle you want when you stop working. Provision is not just the building of assets and savings to provide an income, but possibly more importantly making sure that your outgoings are as low as possible in retirement.

 

This means paying off debt as far as possible, so that that there is no mortgage or any other debt payments to be made from pension income. Once this has been achieved, you can then start saving without having to worry about whether your returns are higher than the rates you are paying for your borrowing.

 

10. SUPPLEMENT YOUR PENSION WITH AN ONLINE BUSINESS

 

Supplementing your personal retirement pension with an on line business has a number of attractive advantages.

 

  • You can build your on line business in your own time and at your own pace. Everything is under your personal control….not at the whim of your employer or the government.

  • Whatever your interests and expertise away from your job can be utilised in your embryo on line business.

  • The internet is an exploding marketplace hungry for new services and products.

  • On line marketing tools are becoming more sophisticated by the day, along with the ability to communicate with huge numbers of potential customers at the click of a key.

     

A great site for showing you how to create a successful online business is Wealthy Affiliate You will find a huge range of step by step tutorials, great support and a fantastic community spirit.

 

 Don’t forget to request your free ebook ’20 Ways to Supplement Retirement Income’  by completing the subscription form in the right hand sidebar

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