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Friday, December 26, 2014

Psoriasis Drug May Help Treat Alzheimer’s

Researchers at the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz in Germany has discovered that a drug that was originally meant only to treat psoriasis, enhances brain cell activity of patients with Alzheimer’s.

The researchers found that the enzyme, ADAM10, can suppress the effects of Alzheimer’s, which include:

Impaired cerebral function
Short term memory loss
Problems with language
Mood swings
Behavioral issues

Aside from the said effects, they also found out that it can  improve memory by making things easier to remember or not easily getting lost.

Read the full article here:
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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Financial Tips for Newlyweds

Change in finances is one of the changes you need to face after getting married. Couples should sit and take time to sort out their finances after their honeymoon.

Here are some tips for the newlyweds to help them build a strong financial foundation as they start their married life:

1. Be open.
Transparency is the key when you talk about money with your spouse.
Disclose every financial detail with each other such as your current financial status, debts and money habits.

2. Find the best account set up.
Decide if you are going to combine your money in a joint account or keep an individual accounts.

3. Set goals.
Goals will keep you focused, enhances your teamwork and improves your overall financial outlook and status.

4. Evaluate your Insurance Needs
Major life changes such as getting married warrants an evaluation of your current insurance policies and in some cases, it may prompt you to consider getting new ones.

5. Enjoy life.
Remember that financial planning as a couple is not just about keeping as much money as you can and depriving yourself of the luxuries in life.

Read the original article here:
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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cranky Old Man

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.

Cranky Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you're looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . ... . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . ... lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. ...Babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future ... . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I've known.
I'm now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
It's jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. .... . ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there, too!

The best and most beautiful things of this world can't be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart!
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Genworth Launched New Fixed Annuity with Lifetime Rider

A new fixed index annuity with a lifetime income rider was launched by Genworth intended for buyers who plan on setting up a retirement income.

“With defined pension plans becoming increasingly rare, SecureLiving® Growth+ with IncomeChoice rider is a great fit for consumers who are seeking solutions to fund their own retirement,” said Lou Hensley, president of Life Insurance and Annuities at Genworth.

“SecureLiving®Growth+ with IncomeChoice rider can help consumers save for retirement and gives them the added benefit of protection from market losses, growth potential greater than existing interest rates, and guaranteed lifetime income that can keep growing,” added Hensley.

Read the full article here:

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2015 New Year Retirement Resolutions

New year is near and it offers you a great opportunity to review your finances of the past year.
This is essential to makeso that you can make necessary changeas to boost your retirement savings and increase the chances of a secure retirement.

Consider these retirement-related new year's resolutions for 2015

1. Try to save at least 1 percent more next year. If you get a raise, redirect part of it to a retirement or investment account.

2.  Investors can defer paying income tax on up to $18,000 contributed to a 401(k) and $5,500 deposited in an individual retirement account in 2015.

3. take advantage of employer contribution to you 401(k) account.

4. Take a look at how much you are paying in fees and expenses on your investments. Consider switching to similar lower cost funds when they are available.

Read the full article here:
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Year End Financial Planning Ideas for 2014

Shore up you finances before this year end. Here are 8 ways to do that:

1. Be generous. Reduce your tax bill by donating to charity.
2. Before year ends, spend down your flexible spending account (FSA).
3. Lessen your tac bite by harvesting your unrealized gains and losses.
4. Review and rebalance your asset allocation plan.
5. Confirm you are still on track to meet your written retirement savings goal. If you don't have a written plan and goal, get one.

Read the full article here:
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Monday, December 15, 2014

Google Wants Pinoys Abroad to #MissNothing

Google has made their presence felt by becoming more relevant to Filipinos ever since they opened their office in Philippines. We’ve seen a variety of campaigns from them and their latest one is a certified tear-jerker.

Google uploaded a beautiful and touching video made for Pinoy overseas workers (OF/OFWs). If you’re Pinoy it’s definitely worth watching and sharing. Check it out below!

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

‘Inspirational’ 92 Year Old Comes Out of Retirement for Job He Started in His Teens

A Washington man’s love of cars started at age 15 when he bought a Ford Model T convertible for $15. Lloyd Ness of Bothell, Wash., would go on to fix up cars and begin selling them. Now, after more than a decade retired from the sales industry, Ness is returning to the showroom floor at the call of his former employer who needed help.

Earlier this month, the Bothell Reporter painted a picture of Ness’ more than 70-year love affair with cars and speed.

As a teen in the 1930s when his dad thought he was taking the bus to school, Ness told the newspaper he was “buying cars for $10, fixing them up and driving them to school.” He’d then turn around and sell them for $15.

Ness also admitted to the Reporter he engaged in illegal street racing — and got caught. Ness was fined and went 40 days without his license.

Although he said it “proves I wasn’t afraid of the law,” he got “more serious about my future” afterward. It was a future that would, of course, include cars.

Ness would later go on to work at a car dealership in  in Grand View, Wash., eventually ending up at Brooks Biddle Automotive where he would stay for three decades before retiring at 78 years old.

After than a decade in retirement, Ness told the Reporter he missed selling cars. So, when Brooks Biddle Automotive President John Biddle called Ness for help earlier this month, the man who will turn 93 on Jan. 2 was more than happy to oblige.

According to the Reporter, Ness has sold at least one car each day since he returned.

“People just love him,” Biddle told the newspaper. “He’s always helping others. He’s just an inspirational character for our city.”

His secret to selling a set of wheels?

“I think I am successful because I have never tried to oversell anyone or misrepresent a car,” Ness said. “I tell it like it is.”

Watch Ness talk about his love of cars and work as a salesman in KCPQ-TV’s report:

“I can’t wait for tomorrow, because you never know what tomorrow brings. It’s these little things you learn as you cruise through life,” Ness said in KCPQ’s report, smiling at his play on words.

Read the Bothell Reporter’s full feature on Llyod Ness and the job he loves.

Ness isn’t the only car salesman who is still going at 93 years old. Bob Soell of St. Louis told KDSK-TV earlier this year said he has no intention of retiring because “I’m just getting my second wind.”

Original Post:

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The Longest Married Couple - Inspiring Story

John and Ann Betar eloped on November 25, 1932 - because Ann's father had planned to marry her off to a man 20 years older. But she was in love with the boy who lived across the street, who drove her to school every day.
And on Monday, they'll celebrate their 81st anniversary and become the "the longest couple" in America.
The day the couple tied the knot, the Great Depression was in full swing, "king Kong" hadn't hit movie theaters yet, and future U.S. President John F. Kennedy was just a high school student.
Now, the Betars have 14 grandchildren and 16 great grand children. So what's the key to their happy marriage?
john Betar says: "They Key is to always agree with your wife".

-- Sounds good! :P

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Retirement Planning: 3 Mistakes you Can Avoid Easily

Retirement planning may be overwhelming, but it is the simple and avoidable mistakes that hurt your returns the most.

Here are three common mistakes that Jason Hall listed on his article on The Motley Fool:

1. Cashing out your 401(k) early.
2. Ignoring "free" money
3. Paying too much in fees

Read the full article to find out what you can do about it:
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Friday, December 12, 2014

A Driver's Retirement Plan - Motivational story for future retirees

My driver Bernard (for the past 24 years) is turning 60 this year. He has been driving for me for over 20 years now and has been exposed to many of my projects, knows many of my friends and colleagues, and is almost the telltale sign that “I am probably in the area” when our employees see him waiting in the parking area or near the store or office.

He recently went to Cebu to attend his son’s college graduation and found some time to visit his wife’s birthplace and hometown. In this small town near the sea, he enjoyed deep sea fish, freshly-caught and simply grilled to preserve its inherent sweetness. He cooked and ate corn grits instead of rice, and found out he did not become hungry as fast as when he ate white rice. It must be the kind of sugar there is in native corn as opposed to white rice, its glycemic index or it probably also is all “in the mind”.

He observed that in that town, older men in their late 70s still fetched water and were still able to carry the jerrycans or containers on their shoulders. “They may be old,” he says, but “they looked healthier”.

For two weeks he ate vegetables they picked near their piece of property, they gathered coconuts and ate its meat and drank coconut water. He could catch fish ,too, if he had more time. But the day’s catch is available at a price almost anyone can afford, he says.

So, he wonders why he and his wife never thought of just retiring in her hometown. Well he did not think of it ..until today. So, I assured him that I would let him retire at 65 if he wanted to. This gives him a few more years to fix his house in Cavite, so he could rent it out and live on the rental income. He also has worked long enough to fully-pay his humble home and be debt-free.

So as we were planning his rental income, he added that he also wanted to buy a coffee maker and some equipment to even put up a café for tourists. Oh, Bernard, my lessons did not go in vain or fall on deaf ears. He has been listening all this time when people ask me for advice on what to do upon retirement. And he listened well.

He reminds me of the chauffeur in the movie “The American President” where he listened to his master’s advice and tips for the stock market and bought when his master did, and sold when the master sold his holdings.

Well, at least he has his retirement all figured out. To plant his own food in their piece of property. To fish when he can or to enjoy whatever the sea has to offer. And most of all, he has a regular income from his house to be rented out in Cavite. And let us not forget his plan to open a little café.

I am no Suze Orman but I think Bernard learned many lessons from my conversations with friends, colleagues, NGO people and even government officials.
He knows the mayors I have met, has traveled to many coffee farms and towns, and has been a part of my advocacy the past twenty years.

Retirement does not mean stopping to work. I think it only means doing what we love to do, eating what is good for us, spending less on city life and spending time with our loved ones while we are still healthy and wise. Being wealthy helps I am certain. But that is something people aspire for and sometimes never get to. And in the process of chasing all that wealth we forget why we were chasing it in the first place.

Maybe it was to buy a farm near the sea. So we could fish and plant our own food. And enjoy retirement while we still can.

For Bernard and his wife, they had it all along. That piece of land by the sea. But it took a few good working years for him to appreciate that this piece of land is his perfect idea of retirement. And now to also add the idea of having a coffee shop ,too.

All will be perfect for him as he retires in five years. We all need to do something even when we retire. For some it only means the beginning of a new, relaxed but more fruitful phase in life.
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Boost Your Retirement Savings

According to financial experts you can delay your gratification on purchases, pay off your credit cards and save your raises if you are already behind your retirement savings.

USA TODAY asked financial experts for their five best tips for boosting savings and income now and during retirement:

1. Delay gratification
2. Save 10% to 15% of your annual income.
3. Take advantage of matching contributions.
4. Save your raise.
5. Pay off high-interest-rate credit card debt.

All that said, Fidelity offers this rule of thumb: Save at least eight times your final salary to help increase the odds that you won't outlive your savings during 30 years in retirement.

Read the full article here:
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Retiring at 27: Ambitious, Lazy or Crazy? - Inspiring Story

I don't know why the word "lazy" gets such a bad rap -- I'm a big fan of lazy.

Here's why: Lazy is a smart man's motivation to get from point A to B as quickly as possible. A lazy person knows there's lots of life and fun to be experienced, so finding the shortcuts through the slough just makes a lot more sense than dragging your feet down a long road.

Lazy can help you build a multi-million dollar business in a few short years and reach retirement in your 20s. At least, that's how I decided to do it.

Everyone has their own version of what happens after we die. Mine is simple: you are dead. You are dirt. The end. Game over. Thank you and goodbye.

To some, this could be very troubling, and if you're not careful, you could misinterpret this belief and make it an excuse to do nothing. It's all futile anyways, right? Absolutely not.

Believing I only have one shot, I could not be more motivated to craft the exact life I want to live. I mean, what did I have to lose?

With retirement as my starting point, I decided $7 million after tax was the number and age 27 would be the deadline.

I was 21 at the time with only one year of operating my own thriving business, Renters Warehouse, under my belt.

The numbers for my property management company were already looking good and the trajectory was definitely heading towards my seemingly lofty ambitions. It was time to walk the walk.

I meticulously set forth to build a business that I could exit when the time was right, with employees and management that were just as vested in the long-term vision as I was.

With my self-imposed retirement goal nipping at my heels, I focused on building "bench strength" at Renters Warehouse. This meant having a president groomed to be CEO, an office manager capable of becoming my operations manager and a litany of cross-trained employees that were hungry for professional growth.

Transparency being paramount, I empowered key executives by giving them full access to the books, called on them for crucial management decisions and made sure they had a hand in the branding, funding and hiring decisions early on.

Woven into our company culture was the idea that leadership comes from all corners. It wasn't long before the encouragement to step up would inch me closer and closer to stepping down.

After talking such a big game for seven years, the time came to meet this retirement I had envisioned for myself. It didn't come with that big blast of confetti you might have imagined. If anything, the dawning of this new era came with apprehension, and of course, a little fear.

By 2013, I had built a business I was proud of and now had a net worth of just under $20 million. Months past my 27th birthday, I was on vacation with my wife in the Virgin Islands. Caught working with my laptop, a very important interrogation took place: "Didn't you say you were going to retire when you were 27?"

It was time to move on.

You can imagine that telling people you're planning to retire after less than a decade of work can get you some disapproving looks. I probably couldn't sound lazier if I tried.

All too often, people associate retiring to handing in the office keys for hammocks and golf courses. What about those who grow to love their office just as much as a golf course? I refuse to believe it has to be all or nothing.

Retirement means I can choose when I want to work and when I want to golf. Maybe next week I venture off to Peru and the following week I plan a media tour to expand our franchise awareness. Designing each day of your life is a privilege. It's a privilege earned through the proficiency in which you design your team and your company's culture.

Call me lazy or ambitious, just don't call me on vacation -- or my wife might have a few words for you. Who knows, it might be just what you need.

Original post:
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Retirement Planning - The Biggest Changes for 2015

The retirement planning market has an influx of new financial products, a changing investment market and a variety of legal changes.
There were five changes that occured this 2014 that everyone planning needs to know about:

1) decreased creditor protection for inherited IRAs;
2) introduction of qualified longevity annuities to 401(k)s;
3) a reduction in the number of IRA to IRA rollovers;
4) increased access to annuities in target date funds; and
5) the creation of the myRA.

Check out the full article showing the brief overview of the said changes at:
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Golden Box From a Daughter - Discovering A Response To Unconditional Love

One day a man punished his young daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he
was furious when the child tried to decorate a box.

Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, "This is for you, Daddy." He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty. He yelled at her, "Don't you know when you give someone a present, there's supposed to be something inside it?

His daughter looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Daddy, it's not empty, I blew kisses into the box.  All for you, Daddy."  The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness.

An accident took the life of the child only a short time later and it is told that the man kept that gold box by his bed for many years and whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember
the love of the child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each of us have been given a gold container filled with unconditional love--love and kisses
from our children, our friends, our family and from God - despite how we have behaved toward them.

What must we do in order to truly express our response to such gifts? Share it with us by commenting below.Thanks!

Original Article:
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Plan Your Retirement Lifestyle Too!

Knowing what you want to do during your retirement can help motivate you to save more and invest appropriately.

Planning can be hardwork and time consuming, but we all need to make time to do it.Thinking what you want to do during your retirement is not an activity you want to shortchange. Here is why planning your how will you spend your time in retirement pays off.

1. Planning your retirement days puts you in the right frame of mind to retire. Retiring to a good life is much more pleasant than retiring from a bad career.

2. Daydreaming, or retirement dreaming, helps motivate you to work harder toward the goal. Saving money to fund future expenses is hard. One way to mitigate the feeling of sacrificing is to visualize your golden years.

3. Coming up with a plan will help you foresee potential issues. Many people start slowing down in retirement. You might develop lower energy levels as you age, and perhaps choose to sit around instead of getting up and being out and about.

4. Your chosen activities will determine your budget and help you come up with a retirement number. Once you know how your days will generally be filled, then it's much easier to estimate how much to save for retirement.

Once you start your plan you will naturally make appropriate adjustments to secure a more comfortable retirement.

Read the full article here:

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What Things Should You Do Every Day To Improve Your Life?

1) Get out in nature

You probably seriously underestimate how important this is. (Actually, there’s research that says you do.) Being in nature reduces stress, makes you more creative, improves your memory and may even make you a better person.

2) Exercise

We all know how important this is, but few people do it consistently. Other than health benefits too numerous to mention, exercise makes you smarter,happier, improves sleep, increases libido and makes you feel better about your body. A Harvard study that has tracked a group of men for more than 70 years identified it as one of the secrets to a good life.

3) Spend time with friends and family

Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert identified this as one of the biggest sources of happiness in our lives. Relationships are worth more than you think (approximately an extra $131,232 a year.) Not feeling socially connected can make you stupider and kill you. Loneliness can lead to heart attack, stroke and diabetes. The longest lived people on the planet all place a strong emphasis on social engagement and good relationships are more important to a long life than even exercise. Friends are key to improving your life. Share good news and enthusiastically respond when others share good news with you to improve your relationships. Want to instantly be happier? Do something kind for them.

4) Express gratitude

It will make you happier.
It will improve your relationships.
It can make you a better person.
It can make life better for everyone around you.

5) Meditate

Meditation can increase happiness, meaning in life, social support and attention span while reducing anger, anxiety, depression and fatigue. Along similar lines, prayer can make you feel better — even if you’re not religious.

6) Get enough sleep

You can’t cheat yourself on sleep and not have it affect you. Being tired actually makes it harder to be happy. Lack of sleep = more likely to get sick. “Sleeping on it” does improve decision making. Lack of sleep can make you more likely to behave unethically. There is such a thing as beauty sleep.

Naps are great too. Naps increase alertness and performance on the job,enhance learning ability and purge negative emotions while enhancing positive ones. Here’s how to improve your naps.

7) Challenge yourself

Learning another language can keep your mind sharp. Music lessons increase intelligence. Challenging your beliefs strengthens your mind. Increasing willpower just takes a little effort each day and it’s more responsible for your success than IQ. Not getting an education or taking advantage of opportunities are two of the things people look back on their lives and regret the most.

8) Laugh

People who use humor to cope with stress have better immune systems, reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, experience less pain during dental work and live longer. Laughter should be like a daily vitamin. Just reminiscing about funny moments can improve your relationship. Humor has many benefits.

9) Touch someone

Touching can reduce stress, improve team performance, and help you be persuasive. Hugs make you happier. Sex may help prevent heart attacks and cancer, improve your immune system and extend your life.

10) Be optimistic

Optimism can make you healthier, happier and extend your life. The Army teaches it in order to increase mental toughness in soldiers. Being overconfident improves performance.

Original Post:
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Family Love & Acceptance

A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam. He called his parents from San Francisco. “Mom and Dad, I’m coming home, but I’ve got a favor to ask. I have a friend I’d like to bring with me.” “Sure,” they replied, “we’d love to meet him.” “There’s something you should know,” the son continued, “he lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go and I want him to come live with us.” “I’m sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live.” “No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us.” “Son,” said the father, “you don’t know what you’re asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we can’t let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He’ll find a way to live on his own.”

At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him. A few days later, however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from a building, they were told. The police believed it was a suicide. The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son. They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn’t know. Their son had only one arm and one leg.

The parents in this story are like many of us. We find it easy to love those who are good-looking or fun to have around, but we don’t like people who inconvenience us or make us feel uncomfortable. We would rather stay away from people who aren’t as healthy, beautiful, or smart as we are. Thankfully, there’s someone who won’t treat us that way. Someone who loves us with an unconditional love that welcomes us into the forever family, regardless of how messed up we are.
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So many people spend their health gaining wealth

So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health.
- AJ Reb Materi
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Monday, December 8, 2014

Changed Lives

In 1921, Lewis Lawes became the warden at Sing Sing Prison. No prison was tougher than Sing Sing during that time. But when Warden Lawes retired some 20 years later, that prison had become a humanitarian institution. Those who studied the system said credit for the change belonged to Lawes.But when he was asked about the transformation, here’s what he said, “I owe it all to my wonderful wife, Catherine, who is buried outside the prison walls.”

Catherine Lawes was a young mother with three small children when her husband became the warden. Everybody warned her from the beginning that she should never set foot inside the prison walls, but that didn’t stop Catherine!

When the first prison basketball game was held, she walked into the gym with her three beautiful children and she sat in the stands with the inmates.

Her attitude was: “My husband and I are going to take care of these men and I believe they will take care of me! I don’t have to worry!” She insisted on getting acquainted with them and their records.

She discovered one convicted murderer was blind so she paid him a visit. Holding his hand in hers she said, “Do you read Braille?” “What’s Braille?” he asked. Then she taught him how to read.Years later he would weep in love for her.

Later, Catherine found a deaf-mute in prison. She went to school to learn how to use sign language. Many said that Catherine Lawes was the body of Jesus that came alive again in Sing Sing from 1921 to 1937.

Then, she was killed in a car accident. The next morning Lewis Lawes didn’t come to work, so the acting warden took his place. It seemed almost instantly that the prison knew something was wrong.

The following day, her body was resting in a casket in her home, three-quarters of a mile from the prison. As the acting warden took his early morning walk, he was shocked to see a large crowd of the toughest, hardest-looking criminals gathered like a herd of animals at the main gate. He came closer and noted tears of grief and sadness. He knew how much they loved Catherine.

He turned and faced the men, “All right, men you can go. Just be sure and check in tonight!” Then he opened the gate and a parade of criminals walked, without a guard, the three-quarters of a mile to stand in line to pay their final respects to Catherine Lawes.

And every one of them checked back in. Every one!

Original article:
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“Augmented Reality by Transamerica” (ART) - An App For Your Retirement Readiness and Savings Needs

A new augmented reality app was launched by Transamerica Retirement Solutions to help people increase their retirement savings and enhance their retirement readiness.

The app named “Augmented Reality by Transamerica” (ART) is an interactive mobile technology that allows users to watch short awareness and readiness retirement videos.

The app lets users click at a printed advertisement on their smartphones and it gives them an additional digital layer of content.

Learn more about the app here:
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Planning is Profound....

Planning is profound.
You cannot accomplish what's most important if you have no idea what's most important.
-Robin Sharma
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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Prepare For Retirement NOW - Here's Why..

Whether your retirement is decades away or fast approaching, no matter what age you are, it is possible that you have not think about will happen when you stop working.
Unfortunately, due to financial issues or restrictions, a lot of people are unable to retire when they want to.

Careful planning will help you avoid those pitfalls. Planning ahead for retirement allows you to decide when and hoow will you retire, and wether you will continue to work.

Watch this video that has created to show you reasons why preparing for retirement is essential. Also feel free to share or use this on your blog or website, just give don't forget to give them credits. 

Please feel free to share and use this video if you find it useful.
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5 Hacks That'll Improve Your Life

 Credits to Buzzfeed Videos
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Saturday, December 6, 2014

On Your Retirement

For the dedication and hard work, you deserve the best retirement ever.
Enjoy this new journey of your life.
Cherish every moment and have fun!
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Newbie Employee's Response To His Angry Boss Is Perfect

Everyone usually has a hard first day at a new job, and it's no different for the kid in this fun fictitious story.  When his manager comes to check on him after his first day, he is disappointed by the number of people the kid has made sales to.  Check out the story to see how the kid replies to his boss's outburst.

A young guy from North Dakota moves to Florida and goes to a big "everything under one roof" department store looking for a job.

The manager says, "Do you have any sales experience?"

The kid says, "Yeah. I was a vacuum salesman back in North Dakota."

The manager was unsure, but he liked the kid and figured he'd give him a shot, so he gave him the job.  "You start tomorrow. I'll come down after we close and see how you did."

His first day on the job was rough, but he got through it. After the store was locked up, the manager came down to the sales floor to check on how the kid did on his first day.  "How many customers bought something from you today?"

The kid frowns and looks at the floor and mutters, "One".

The manager replies, "Just one?!!? Our employees average sales to 20 to 30 customers a day.  That will have to change and soon if you'd like to continue your employment here. We have very strict standards for our sales force here in Florida. One sale a day might have been acceptable in North Dakota, but you're not on the farm anymore, son."

The kid took his beating, but continued to look at his shoes. The manager felt kind of bad for chewing him out on his first day. He asked (semi-sarcastically), "So, how much was your one sale for?"

The kid looks up at his manager and says "$101,237.65".

The manager, astonished, says, "$101,237.65?!? What the heck did you sell?"

The kid says, "Well, first, I sold him some new fish hooks. Then, I sold him a new fishing rod to go with his new hooks. Then, I asked him where he was going fishing and he said down the coast, so I told him he was going to need a boat. We went down to the boat department, and I sold him a twin engine Chris Craft. Then he said he didn't think his Honda Civic would pull it, so I took him down to the automotive department and sold him that 4x4 Expedition."

The manager said "A guy came in here to buy a fish hook, and you sold him a boat and a TRUCK!?"

The kid said, "No, the guy came in here to buy tampons for his wife, and I said, 'Dude, your weekend's shot, you should go fishing.'

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Friday, December 5, 2014

The New Retirement Reality: Review Your Plans Now

Boomers and even younger generations are now talking about continuing to work even beyond what is usually considered as normal retirement age.

The reality, due to uncertainty of economy, workers tend to retire much later than expected, meaning the traditional retirement must be re-imagined.

In the wake of the most wrenching downturn since the Great Depression, surveys suggested many workers were planning to delay retirement for at least a few years.

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Retirement Advice You Need To Hear

Usual advice about retirement is boring, but topics that go beyond conventional financial recommendation like investing in a pet, playing more golf and taking more fishing trips can leave many new and soon to be retirees craving for more.

Invest In A Pet. 
“Roll over!” isn’t just a command from your financial advisor, it’s also one of your best friend’s tricks. Dogs and cats aren’t traditional retirement planning topics, but owning a pet can be one of the best investments a retiree makes.

In addition to providing unconditional love, a pet can keep you active. A dog, for example creates opportunities for a daily walk, and can dramatically improve your social life by making it easier to meet new people. A purring cat, with fewer outdoor needs, can provide affection and daily social interaction within more confined spaces.

Research indicates that pets give owners a sense of purpose, which can be crucial when you’re feeling down in the dumps. Companionship combats feelings of loneliness, boosting a person’s overall mood and can even increase one’s level of joy and happiness.

CDC and National Institute of Health (NIH) studies also point to health benefits, noting that pet owners often have lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which can minimize the risk of heart attack.

Consider adopting a pet from a local shelter to personalize the concept of socially responsible investing.

Play More Golf. 
Precious metals come in different shapes and sizes, with some of the most popular being numbered 3 through 9. Just as some investors hedge their portfolio to offset risk, retirees need to do the same as a hedge against retirement’s dark side, which can include addiction, depression, and more. Activities such as golf help retirees stay fit, socially connected, and mentally stimulated.

Research suggests that golfers who walk nine holes carrying their bag can burn upwards of 721 calories and cover more than 2.5 miles. Golfers employing a caddie can burn over 600 calories; while those who ride in a cart still burn 411 calories on average.

A set of golf clubs can go a long way in helping you build an identity outside of the workplace, keep you in touch with family and friends, and provide opportunities to meet new people. Additionally, golf allows you to give back and help others through participation in a variety of charitable and other fundraising events.

Physically, older golfers tend to have better balance, control, and confidence than non-golfing peers. And mentally, golf can keep you sharp through concentration on the ball, imagining your swing, and calculating scores.

Take That Annual Fishing Trip. 
When most people think about making sure their assets pass onto their heirs and the need to avoid probate, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t usually selecting a fishing lure (get-it? pro-bait) However, I believe that if people concentrated on the really important aspects of their legacy, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.

Fishing instills important values, such as stewardship of the environment and natural resources, while sharing a fishing experience helps strengthen relationships with family and friends … just ask a kid how much fun reeling in that first fish was.

Another of fishing’s “legacy” benefits includes spending time outdoors, which can help a retiree feel alive and connected to the world. Many wild fish are low-fat, low-cholesterol and high-protein, which may just keep you around longer, creating more memories and traditions on your favorite dock, boat or shoreline.

Similar to other secrets of life, anglers know that fishing isn’t about catching the perfect fish; it’s about the immeasurable life lessons and experiences gained along the way. After all, a bad day of fishing still beats any day spent in probate court.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Find the Right Long Term Care Insurance Provider

Long term care (LTC) is valuable to people who are not able to live independently due to an inborn condition, recovering from a serious injury, chronic disease, or old age. Long term care insurance (LTCI) companies understand this need and that’s why they want to provide the ideal plans and services for their clients.

However, many have the same dilemma of deciding which insurance provider to choose and how to get the right LTCI policy.

The First Step Involves Learning

Everyone interested can get a long term care insurance policy. However, it is highly recommended for people with chronic diseases to purchase a policy.

On the other hand, if you have a good family health history and you are physically healthy based from your recent physical health examination, you can still benefit from owning LTCI by securing your future.

If your current health condition is good and you have stable financial resources, it is still good to assess your future healthcare needs. By doing this, you will have an idea of what LTCI plan you may need.

Ask other policyholders covered by different insurance providers about their policies. Ask for honest feedbacks and suggestions about getting a policy.

Search online insurance raters such as A.M. Best and Moody’s, to check which companies are in the industry for a long time and have good feedback from clients.

Why Buy a Policy from LTCI Providers?

Even though people have seen how LTCI has helped many Americans get over the expenses involved with long term care, many still ask, why should they get a policy from LTCI providers?

Here are answers why buying a policy from insurers makes sense:
1.       Long term care is expensive
The rate of health care per month is around $3,000 to $4,500. Annually, that’s roughly around $55,000. That amount does not include other expenditures like medication and use of facilities.
Buying health insurance early can save you thirty percent from what you would be spending for health care.
That’s nearly forty percent savings which would leave you a total of $22,000 annually. Comparing the figures, it’s obvious that you’ll be saving more with LTCI.

2.       A person who needs care can be a burden to the family
Getting LTCI, not only protects you from the high costs of care, it also keeps your family and friends lifted of the burden of having to shoulder the expenses.
Aside from being a financial burden, a person needing care can also be a burden to the family’s personal time.

3.       Nearly everyone will need LTC in late adulthood
Almost 70% of people turning age 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives, according to
All of us might need long term care during our late adulthood and some people in that age find it difficult to admit that there are times they need help.
You can avoid certain financial errors in the future by investing in a LTCI policy. You need to consider that the costs of care today will double in 20 to 30 years. You may not be worried by the costs of care today, but you have to be prepared in your late adulthood, when you are most likely to need it.

Aimed to Provide Your Needs
LTCI providers work hard to give you the best offer and come up with solutions to your needs, while meeting your budget.

Insurers know how they can work out things so everyone can afford their premiums. Seeking consultation with different insurance agents will also help.

Even if you are financially stable, you may still want to get a low premium. Everyone wants to save money. You can do this by getting long term care insurance quotes.

Ask LTCI quotes from your prospective insurance providers. Before insurance agents can give you quotes, they need your personal information first.

Make sure that everything you write down is true, especially with your health history and budget. Once you have collected the quotes, take time to study each quote and find the one that best answers your need and suits your budget.

You need to review the terms of the quotes because you do not want to miss out on important details. Once you have made your choice, contact your insurance agent and let them know that you are ready to buy the policy.

Before signing the policy, you will be guided by an insurance agent to read, review and clarify some terms when it is unclear to him/her. This is to avoid future problems or issues in the future.
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Small Business Owners Top Retirement Strategies

As an owner of small business, you are responsible for your own retirement planning. Since you don't have an employer to set up a retirement plan or choose a set of possible investments for you, you're definitely not getting a pension.

This article that was originally posted at, will discuss the considerations and retirement savings plans that you, as a small business owner, should consider when planning for both your own retirement and that of your employees.

Develop an Exit Strategy

It might seem strange that developing a business exit strategy should be one of your first considerations when planning for retirement. But consider this: The small business you spend your life building might become your largest asset. If you want it to fund your retirement – and if you want to actually stop working – you’ll have to liquidate your investment.

To prepare to sell your small business one day, it needs to be able to operate without you. It’s never too early to start thinking about how to accomplish that goal and about how to find the best buyer for your small business. Who besides you could run your business? Who besides you might want to own it and might be willing to pay good money to do so? Are you interested in selling to a partner, a competitor, a relative, an employee? Do you want to retain a partial stake in your business or be done with it entirely?

Market conditions will affect your ability to sell your business for top dollar. You might want to build flexibility into your retirement plan so you can sell your stake during a strong market or work longer if a recession hits. You definitely want to avoid a distress sale: One problem you’ll encounter if you wait until the last minute to exit your business is that your impending retirement will create the impression of a distress sale among potential buyers and you won’t be able to sell your company at a premium. While 35% of small business owners said they were depending on income from the sale of their business to fund their retirement in a 2014  study by the Guardian Insurance and Annuity Company, only 17% had identified potential buyers.

Choose a Retirement Strategy

Next, let’s discuss some options for using your small business to fund your retirement while you’re running it.

Establish a SIMPLE IRA.

The savings incentive match plan for employees, or SIMPLE IRA, is one retirement plan available to small businesses. In 2015, employees can defer up to $12,500 of their salary, pretax, and those who are 50 or older can defer up to $15,500 by taking advantage of a $3,000 catch-up contribution. However, employees who participate in other employer-sponsored plans can contribute no more than $18,000 in 2015 to all employer-sponsored plans combined. Employees choose how to invest the money among the investments allowed by the financial institution that administers the plan, and they pay tax on the distributions when they withdraw them.

Employers can match employee contributions to a SIMPLE IRA up to 3% of the employee’s compensation. Or, employers can contribute 2% of each eligible employee’s compensation of up to $265,000 in 2015, meaning that the maximum employer contribution would be $5,300 per worker. Employer contributions are tax deductible.

Set up a SEP IRA. A simplified employee pension (SEP) is another type of individual retirement account (IRA) to which small business owners and their employees can contribute. In 2015, it lets employees make pretax contributions of up to 25% of income or $53,000, whichever is less. Like a SIMPLE plan, an SEP plan lets small business owners make tax-deductible contributions on behalf of eligible employees, and employees won’t pay taxes on the amounts an employer contributes on their behalf until they take distributions from the plan when they retire.

Almost any small business can establish an SEP. It doesn’t matter how few employees you have or whether your business is structured as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or nonprofit. Each year, you can decide how much to contribute on your employees’ behalf – if anything – so you aren’t locked in to making a contribution if your business has a bad year. Owners of the business are also considered employees and can make employee contributions to their own accounts.

Overall, the SEP plan is a better option for many small businesses because it allows for larger contributions and greater flexibility. For more insight, read Business Owners: How To Set Up An SEP IRA.

Investigate other options: IRAs and Solo 401(k)s. If you’re in a competitive field and want to attract the best talent, you might need to offer a retirement plan, such as the two described above. However, employers are not required to offer retirement benefits to their employees.

If you don't, one way you can save for your own retirement without involving your employees is through a Roth or traditional IRA, which anyone with employment income can contribute to. You can also contribute to an IRA on your spouse’s behalf. Roth IRAs let you contribute after-tax dollars and take tax-free distributions in retirement; traditional IRAs let you contribute pretax dollars, but you’ll pay tax on the distributions. The most you can contribute to an IRA in 2015 is $5,500 ($6,500 if you’re 50 or older). Your employees can set up their own Roth or traditional IRAs, as well, of course.

Finally, if your small business has no eligible employees other than your spouse, you can contribute to a solo 401(k) – read 401(k) Plans For The Small Business Owner.

The Bottom Line

More than a third of small business owners surveyed in 2014 said they didn’t want to retire, a quarter said they don’t plan to retire, more than a third said they plan to divide their retirement time between work and leisure, and more than half said they would find it hard to completely retire. Even if you’re among the many small business owners who plan to keep working, establishing a retirement plan for your small business is a good idea because it gives you options – and having options means you’ll feel more satisfied with whatever path you choose.

If you want to run your business until the day you die, there’s nothing wrong with that, but you should do it because you want to, not because you’re financially forced to. And remember: A generous small business retirement plan is also an excellent incentive for top employees to join your company and stay there.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

2014 Year End Retirement Tip! A Must Read

Take care to meet these retirement account deadlines.

Reminder: You only have a few weeks left to accomplishe your 4019k) contribution that will get you a tax deduction on your 2014 return. The deadline is also rapidly approaching for retirees to take required minimum distributions from their retirement accounts.
Take a look at these retirement planning moves you need to take before the year ends.

Make last-minute 401(k) contributions. Workers age 49 and younger can contribute up to $17,500 to their 401(k) plan in 2014. Income tax won’t be due on the amount deposited in a traditional 401(k) account until the money is withdrawn.

Extra time for IRA contributions. While 401(k) contributions typically need to be made by the end of the calendar year, you have until April 15, 2015, to make IRA contributions that count toward tax year 2014.

Take your required minimum distributions. Distributions from traditional 401(k)s and IRAs are required after age 70½, and income tax will be due on each withdrawal.

Get the saver’s credit. Workers who earn up to $30,000 for individuals, $45,000 for heads of household or $60,000 for married couples in 2014 and save in a 401(k) or IRA are eligible for an additional tax perk, the saver’s credit.

Reset your contributions for 2015. In tax year 2015, the 401(k) contribution limit will increase by $500 to $18,000, and the catch-up contribution limit will also grow by $500 to $6,000.

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