Are you adopting a dog and wondering which breed is best? Here are some factors to think about when making your choice.
1. Temperament. Every dog is an individual with its own personality, but generalizations can be made about the various breeds. Some are known to be patient and docile, which is ideal for young families. Others, however, can be stubborn and require an experienced owner with a strong hand.
2. Time. All dogs require attention and at least a couple of walks every day. If you don’t have the time to devote to your pooch, you may want to think twice.
3. Size. Do you want a tiny pet that can cuddle up on your lap? Or would you prefer a big dog that can handle some roughhousing? Be careful to not equate size with energy level, however. Some big breeds are happy to lounge around all day while some small ones are very active.
4. Energy level. Do you want a couch potato to relax with or a pooch that you can take on your daily jog? The dog you adopt should be able to keep up with you and vice versa.
5. Grooming needs. All dogs need to get their teeth brushed and toenails trimmed on a regular basis, but some require more grooming than others. If you’d rather not brush your pup’s fur every day, choose a short-haired breed. And to avoid needing to vacuum dog hair on a daily basis, opt for one that doesn’t shed too much.
While you may have a better idea of what to expect when you adopt a purebred puppy, mixed-breed dogs are just as worthy of your affection and tend to have fewer health problems. Regardless of breed, consider heading to your local animal shelter to adopt your new dog and be wary of unethical breeders.
How to reduce waste
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that, in 2015, Americans produced 262 million tons of waste. Most of this garbage is sent to landfills where it releases methane gas, a byproduct that’s over 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of environmental impact. This is why reducing the amount of waste your household produces is so important. Here are some tips that can help you get started.
Habits to adopt
You can reduce waste at the source by doing the following:
• Rent or borrow tools and appliances instead of buying them, especially if you won’t use them often.
• Ban disposable and single-use items like razors, plastic bags and paper plates.
• Buy food and household items in bulk, or privilege environmentally friendly, biodegradable packaging.
• Renovate “green” by using recycled and refurbished materials.
• Avoid food waste by properly storing ingredients so they last longer, eating your leftovers and freezing any surplus.
• Compost your organic waste. If you live in the city, find out if there’s a dedicated organic waste collection program.
Don’t forget that small acts make a difference. Taking the time to adopt greener habits will pay off in the long run.
Do you have a retirement plan?
Have you started to make plans for your retirement? To make sure you have the means to achieve them, good financial planning is essential. A solid retirement plan will allow you to assess the revenue you’re going to need and what sources of income you’ll have when the time comes.
Generally speaking, you’ll need 70 percent of your average annual gross income over the last three years of your working life in order to maintain your standard of living after retirement. Why not 100 percent? Even though leisure expenses will increase after retirement, those associated with work will diminish or even disappear. You’ll be paying less income tax and you’ll no longer need to contribute to your retirement plans.
Naturally, the percentage will vary according to your salary, the age at which you retire, your family expenses, personal savings, and what you want to do during your retirement years. To determine the income and savings you’ll need to live a fulfilling retirement, you’ll also have to take into account inflation and the fact that healthcare expenses could eventually increase.
Are you struggling to answer all these questions? Consulting a financial planner is always advisable if you want to benefit from the best possible retirement plan. He or she will analyze your financial situation, tell you about the group or individual plans that will allow you to finance your retirement, and advise you on your investments. Once you know that your dreams are in order, you can relax and get ready to enjoy your retirement.
A financial planner can help you prepare for your retirement properly.
Aim for a retirement with no regrets
Try asking a few people over 60 what they regret most about how they prepared for retirement. You’ll probably hear that they wish they’d gone about their financial planning in a different way. It’s worth studying their answers so you can avoid major discomfort later on. Here are the most common regrets:
“I should have started saving when I was younger.”
It’s important to start saving for retirement even in the early stages of your career. You probably won’t work for the same employer for an extended period of time, the way your parents did, and a company or government pension can easily disappear from under your feet if you lose your job before you qualify. Even if you are self-employed, open a 401K and be vigilant about it.
“I thought I didn’t have enough income to contribute to a savings plan.”
Whether you’re highly disciplined or a free spirit whose money burns holes in your pockets, the cost of living may always seem oppressive. But saving money doesn’t have to gut your paycheck. Set up an IRA with your bank, life insurance company, mutual fund, or stockbroker. Make contributions that match your current capabilities and up the contributions whenever you can.
“I didn’t diversify enough.”
Diversified retirement planning is crucial; don’t be tempted to put the bulk of your savings at the mercy of the marketplace. If you count on just one source of retirement income, such as a pension and stocks, you and your loved ones may be left short if the market plummets. Practice comprehensive financial planning with IRAs, a 401K, life insurance, and mutual funds.
PC : Start planning early.
How to choose your next range
Are you thinking about upgrading your stove? If so, here are some things to consider before choosing a new range.
The space you have
If you’re not completely renovating your kitchen, you’ll need to purchase a range that fits into the available space. On the other hand, a renovation means that you have more options. Perhaps a separate cooktop and oven would be a good option? In either case, you need to know how much room you’ll have for your new appliance.
How you’ll use it
Someone who doesn’t cook much may be happy with a basic range, but those who love to create in the kitchen will probably prefer a gas model. Alternatively, a parent may appreciate an induction stove, which works quickly but doesn’t get hot to the touch.
Your kitchen’s style
A sleek, stainless steel range is well suited to a modern kitchen, while a white enamel one complements a more traditional esthetic. If you have the budget for it, you can also order a custom range in a color of your choice.
No matter what type of range you select, be sure to opt for one with an Energy Star label. This certification guarantees that your new cooker is energy efficient and eco-friendly.
4 fresh ideas for decorating wedding tables
The centerpieces at your wedding are sure to be the decor that your guests notice the most. Here are four fresh ideas for centerpieces that will make a statement.
1. Potted plants. A welcome change from cut flowers, potted plants can be taken home by guests and enjoyed for years to come. Anything goes, from cute succulents and cactuses to tall orchids and even herbs or flowers that can be transplanted outdoors.
2. Terrariums or lanterns. A geometric glass vase or container will complement almost any type of wedding esthetic. Fill it with moss and cut flowers for a romantic look or sand and seashells for a beachy vibe. Or, substitute the vase with an old lantern if you want to create a more rustic look.
3. Candles. A wedding is the perfect time to indulge in a romantic, candlelit dinner. Tall tapers in a variety of different candleholders are ideal. Or, use candles of varying heights to add visual interest.
4. Suspensions. If the ceiling and venue allow for it, consider hanging your centerpieces from above. Flower arrangements, candles and other items can be hung to add ambiance to the table and will dramatically impact the look of the room as a whole.
No matter what type of centerpiece you choose, make sure it’s not so tall or wide that it gets in the way of conversation around the table.
The many benefits of visual art
You don’t have to be an artist to reap the benefits of making and enjoying art. In fact, even small doses can be advantageous. Here’s what you should you know.
A tool for learning
Making art helps learners create different kinds of connections in their brains and increases their ability to think creatively and solve problems. Studies show that those who study art in school tend to enjoy learning more and do better in classes like math, English and science.
A feel-good activity
Art isn’t just for kids. In fact, an increasing number of adults are making art as a way to relieve stress. From filling in adult coloring books and making art journals to completing DIY projects and assembling crafts from a kit, it’s easy to find ways to unleash your creativity.
Indeed, taking a pause to color, paint, draw or sculpt allows you to break away from routine thoughts and the daily pressures of modern living. What’s more, creating art has been shown to release dopamine in the brain, one of the chemicals believed to be responsible for feeling good.
Viewing art is also good for you
Studies indicate that just one hour of looking at art, such as at a museum, can change the way you think and feel. In fact, it’s been shown that those who spend time looking at art are able to think more critically about things and feel more empathy toward other people.
From doodling with a pen to creating a masterpiece with paint and a canvas, making art is good for you. And remember, creativity is a like a muscle: the more you use it, the more powerful it will be.