Sometimes, perhaps at retirement or maybe after the loss of a spouse, seniors quickly realize it is time to move to a smaller place with fewer responsibilities relating to home and garden maintenance.
It is a huge task: Finding a new place, sorting through belongings, selling the old and buying the new, moving, setting up, and settling in.
Often, though, seniors might like to move but wonder how they can manage the huge project. Adult children might wonder how they can possibly fit a task of this size into their busy lives. They might not even understand why the move is even necessary. They might think mom or dad are fine where they are.
So, if you want to move, tell everyone with no reservation and tell them you need help with the project.
Here is a brief idea of how to plan your move. You’ll need six months, with help from family and friends.
1. Spend some time sorting through keepsakes. Some keepsakes can come with you. Some, like old photos, can be distributed to the family. Securely pack the keepsakes you are taking and move them to your storage unit.
2. Identify a suitable apartment location, even if you are not ready to move in. Be sure to try senior living locations and look at places near family or friends. Once you find the right place, you can get a sense of the size and decide what you can take with you.
3. Identify the furniture you want to take to the new apartment. You may also be able to buy new things if your existing furniture is to be sold or donated. Identify the things that will go with the house at the sale: appliances, for example.
4. Sell things that you won’t need. Friends and family might be able to sell more expensive items piece by piece. However, at some point, you will be left with a variety of things unsold. You have choices with these leftover items. A junk hauler will take almost anything away, even big items, and the cost should be reasonable.
If you have furniture, silverware, dishes in a quantity that you haven’t sold, an auction house will often send a person out to pack up everything, sell it for you, then give you a percentage of the sale.
5. Once the old house is pretty much cleaned out, you’ll want to rent an apartment and arrange to move.
6. As soon as the house is cleaned out, hire a real estate agent and sell.
New investors grow stimulus money in markets
After years of sitting on the sideline, younger investors have stowed stimulus money in the markets, investing in products and services they love and using new financial services.
Many people received stimulus money over the past year-plus. According to a CNBC poll, half of the investors aged 18 to 34 invested stimulus money in stocks, mutual funds, and other assets.
Likewise, Charles Schwab found that 15 percent of all retail investors first jumped into markets in 2020, with a median age of 35. Dubbed “Generation Investors,” many focused on long-term growth rather than short-term profits.
Writing for Forbes, Stephen McBride argues that younger investors want “to own companies changing the world. It all but guarantees disruptors will continue to rip higher over the next few years.”
As for specific stocks, APEX Clearing reports that Apple, Amazon, Tesla, Microsoft, and Facebook are the most popular stocks among millennials.
Cryptocurrency is also finding its way into investment portfolios. The CNBC survey found that 11 percent of investors actively invest in cryptocurrencies. While crypto has a reputation for quick gains and wild swings, 60 percent are investing due to long-term growth prospects. Thirty-six percent of new investors believe Bitcoin will gain value, compared to just 20 percent of other investors.
Despite increased participation, younger folks still lag behind older investors. Gallup found that 39 percent of people aged between 18 and 29 owned stocks in 2021, compared to 62 percent of those aged 50 to 64.
Still, younger investors are already impacting financial services. A Motley Fool survey found that 37 percent of millennial and gen Z investors use Robinhood, which offers commission-free trading.
In response, Ameritrade, Charles Swab, and other traditional brokers have rolled out zero commission trading.
Free and low-fee investing options may encourage stock ownership and help investors keep more of their money in their portfolios.
Transplant daylilies and hostas in October
When you look at your yard or garden this fall, you probably see plants that should be separated or moved. We’re talking about daylilies that are choking each other so they won’t bloom as well next year.
How about that expensive hosta, for example, that has grown so big it no longer fits where it is? If you separate it, you’ll have two plants next year instead of one overgrown specimen. Here’s how to do it.
* Pick a new site and prepare the soil.
* At dawn or dusk, dig some distance around the old plant so you won’t cut the roots, then lift it out of the ground. Cut off its foliage 1 inch above the base.
* To divide it, place it upright on its side and cut with a large knife or a spade. Plant both parts immediately.
* Pat soil around the plant, leaving a ditch around it that creates a saucer to collect water. Water it regularly for two weeks.
4 benefits of spaying or neutering your puppy
Spaying and neutering are safe procedures and have many advantages. Here are four benefits of sterilizing your puppy.
1. It alleviates behavioral problems
Sterilized dogs are calmer, less aggressive, and less likely to get into fights with other animals. They’re also less likely to run away or mark furniture and other household items.
2. It lowers the risk of disease
Spaying and neutering can reduce or eliminate the risk of reproductive problems such as prostate disease and ovarian, uterine, mammary, and testicular cancers.
3. It increases their lifespan
Sterilized dogs live longer and healthier lives than unsterilized dogs.
4. It helps your community
Spaying and neutering reduce the number of strays in your community and helps prevent overpopulation.
The recovery from this surgery tends to be the easiest on young dogs. In general, it should be done between six and 15 months of age, depending on the breed. Talk to your veterinarian to learn more.
Store it right to prevent back injuries
At home or on the job, storing heavy items properly can cut your risk of back injuries.
Some heavy items should not be stored on the floor, which might seem counter-intuitive.
People tend to store heavy items on the floor since it offers the best stability and support. Heavy objects won’t fall and cause injury when stored on the floor.
But while that’s great for storage, it is terrible for retrieval.
Heavy objects that are frequently lifted should be stored at waist level rather than on the floor or shoulder level.
Lifting a heavy object from the floor — even when you lift properly — is twice as risky as lifting an object while you stand upright, according to Safety and Health Magazine.
That makes perfect sense when you think about it. To retrieve something from the floor, you’ll have to bend down to get it. Even if you lift with your legs and bend your knees, you are still lifting the weight of your body plus the object, putting stress on your back.
Heavy items stored shoulder level or above are not only at risk of falling but also put a strain on the neck and shoulders.
At waist level, you can easily hold an object close to the body to move it while you maintain a straight spine.
If you do have to take something off the floor, lift properly:
* When you must lift a load from the floor, keep your head up, back straight, bend at the hips — not the waist — and lift with the legs.
* Do not twist your body as you walk. Instead, shift your whole form.
* When you’re ready to set down the load, use your leg muscles to lower it to the floor, clear of fingers and toes.
4 tips to communicate better with your teenager
Open and honest communication is a key building block for any healthy relationship. However, when it comes to talking to your teenager, this may not always be easy. Here are some tips to help you converse with your teen.
1. Listen mindfully. This is one of the best things you can do to improve how you communicate with your child. Focus on what’s being said, and don’t interrupt. Let your teen finish their thoughts before you interject.
2. Pay attention to timing. Choose the right moment to have a conversation with your teen, and make sure they’ll have your undivided attention. Having a conversation while participating in an activity together such as walking or cooking can help take the pressure off the conversation and foster an open dialogue.
3. Be understanding. Put yourself in your teen’s shoes. Try to start all conversations from a place of understanding and avoid being judgmental or critical. Your teen will be more likely to confide in you if they feel understood.
4. Tailor your message. Think before you speak and choose your words wisely. Use “I” statements, and avoid making accusations, as they can cause your teen to feel attacked and get defensive.
If you find it difficult to communicate with your teenager, or you’re concerned about changes in their mood or behavior, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
Smoke alarms: The sound of fire safety’
Do you know the sounds of fire safety?
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make specific sounds for different situations:
* A continuous set of three loud beeps — beep, beep, beep — means smoke or fire. Get out, call 9-1-1, and stay out.
* A single chirp every 30 or 60 seconds means the battery is low and must be changed.
* Chirping that continues after the battery has been replaced means the alarm is at the end of its life and the entire unit must be replaced.
Homeowners sometimes unplug or remove the device after a false alarm. That’s a very dangerous move.
* The kitchen fire alarm is the one most likely to be removed because residents burn toast or food and don’t want to be bothered by the sound. Then they don’t bother to put it back in place. In home fire deaths, some 23 percent of smoke alarms had been purposely disconnected.
* Cooking is still the number one cause of home fires and injuries. One of the most significant things you can do is to update your smoke alarm system.
* Replace batteries and check the alarm to be sure it works.
* Install another smoke alarm in a different area of the house, such as near bedrooms. Interconnected alarms that sound at the same time increase safety.
* Consider having smoke alarms hard-wired into the electrical system. Permanent installation eliminates the task of changing batteries. Hard-wired alarms worked in 91 percent of home fires in recent years, while battery-operated units worked only 75 percent of the time. More than half of smoke alarms in reported fires and two-thirds of alarms in homes with fire deaths were battery operated.