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How many times have you heard somebody say that they wish they had learned about money earlier? Maybe you’ve even said the phrase yourself. Wished you had a better financial education from the start so you could avoid some of the hefty mistakes that we can pay for well into our adult life.



Due – Due

Well, you cannot go back in time, but you can make sure the teenagers in your life learn these lessons early on – and get to avoid the costly pitfalls. This might not feel like the most exciting subject to a teenager, but it might just be the best gift you can give them.

By getting their finances off to a great start they can benefit from things such as budgeting skills, larger savings, fewer debts, and compound interest. And just by having a thorough financial education, they’ll be more equipped to avoid common money mistakes and make smarter financial choices.

These are the ten best ways to guide teens about money in 2022.

1. Give them a monthly allowance

One of the first things you can do to help your teenagers learn about money is to give them a monthly allowance. That means instead of them coming to the bank of mom and dad every time they need something, they get a monthly amount to budget themselves and decide what is a priority or not.

It’s up to you whether you want to equate this monthly allowance to specific chores around the house, or to rules such as “going to their violin lessons’ or “getting B’s and above at school’, for example. If your teenager struggles with motivation then adding a financial reward can be a good way to incentivize them, and teach them how good it feels to earn your own money.

Alternatively, the concept of an allowance can also just be an agreed monthly payment, that usually increases with age.

2. Encourage them to get a part-time job or side hustle

One of the greatest money lessons you can give a teenager is the skill of discipline and hard work. By having this ingrained from a young age, they’ll naturally grow a better appreciation and understanding of money than somebody who doesn’t start working until much later in life.

Having a part-time job, whether that’s after school, on the weekends, or during the school holidays, also teaches valuable social skills and can grow them as an individual.

Popular part-time jobs for teens

The responsibility and grind that comes with a part-time job will quickly be rewarded when your teenagers start earning their very own income. However small, having your own money is an exciting time and for teenagers with little costs, this can vastly improve their quality of life.

  • Retail
  • Hospitality
  • Lifeguard
  • Babysitting
  • Delivering newspapers
  • Fast food server

Side hustle ideas for teenagers

The teenage years are the perfect time to start a side hustle because you have free time and no responsibilities. Without the fear of failure hanging over your teenagers, they can afford to spend time experimenting and trying out what side hustles they enjoy most before they have bills to consider.

They’ll also learn valuable entrepreneurial skills, and if they do well could create the beginnings of a business to continue in years to come.

  • Tutoring other children at their school
  • Creating a blog or Youtube channel
  • Teaching languages online
  • Selling physical products
  • Digital products online with unique selling proposition

3. Guide them about budgets

One of the first financial lessons you need to guide your teen is how to budget. No amount of money earned makes up for a lack of budgeting, because until one has control of where their money goes it can leave as quickly as it came. As John Maxwell said, “A budget is telling your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went.”

For this reason, budgeting is something your teen needs to understand before they go off into the world and start making their own money. Ideally, you would start teaching them about budgets during childhood with their allowance or money they’re gifted. Teaching them simple lessons of prioritization, and when they get to the store to spend their money making sure they stick to the agreed budget and not caving and topping up their funds for them when it comes down to it.

If your child doesn’t have money of their own yet, you can try getting them involved with the family budget. Not only will this give them a greater appreciation for the things they have, but it’ll prepare them for the day they need to budget for their only family.

4. Play games that involve financial strategy

One of the most fun ways to introduce your teenager to the world of finance is to play games that involve financial strategy. Learning is easier and less intimidating when there’s an element of play involved, and even particularly reluctant teens won’t be able to resist getting involved.

Games that teach money lessons

  • Pay Day
  • The Allowance Game
  • Monopoly
  • Risk
  • The Game of Life
  • The Stock Exchange Game

5. Explain taxes

Many of us didn’t learn about taxes until we left school and started working. Or in some cases, not even then. Poor education around tax can result in missed payments, painful fines, bad credit scores, and a lot of headaches. So teaching your teen about taxes earlier rather than later is definitely not a bad idea.

One of the first things you can teach your teens is why taxes exist in the first place. Explain how taxes benefit us in our everyday lives and make the world a safer, fairer place. By drumming this in from an early age, you can make sure your teen is responsible with their taxpaying and feels proud of the contributions they can make to society instead of resentful.

Make sure your teens know that tax is not optional, despite what they might see online.

6. Give them a bank account

Putting away the piggybank and getting a bank account is an exciting moment in anyone’s life and will make your teen feel very grown-up and responsible. The more you can involve them in the process of choosing a bank and account type, the better.

Many banks offer sign-up incentives and other benefits, such as cashback on purchases. Teaching your teens how to make the most of these from an early age will result in savvy spenders later on.

By using online banking, your teens will improve their financial literacy and be better prepared for when they don’t have you around to help. Take some time to go through their bank of choices app with them, explaining how to read a statement, set up direct debits, and make payments. This will give them a chance to ask questions and you can test them on the different features.

Warning: with money-making scams more prevalent than ever, this is a good time to give your teen a talk about online safety and not transferring money without your permission. If you have any concerns about this, consider agreeing to shared access of your teen’s online banking to make sure they’re not in any danger.

7. Explain how investing works

You will rarely meet a person who doesn’t wish they began investing earlier. Making your money work for you is an exciting prospect, even to an unassuming teen, but many are too intimidated to start until much later in life- Says Stefan F. Dieffenbacher, Founder of Digital Leadership

Encouraging your teen to start investing a portion of their income (whether that comes from a part-time job, business, allowance, or gifts) is a great way to set them up for success in the future.

Because investing comes with a risk, teens should be given a thorough introduction to the world of investing before they commit to any serious amount of money. Teens may be more susceptible to un fact-checked social media posts and what their friends tell them which can cause problems when you team that with the impulsivity and lack of financial education many young people have. So, this is your opportunity (and responsibility) to ensure your teens know exactly what they’re getting into and understand all the possibilities beforehand.

Investing topics to discuss with teenagers

  • Compound interest. Make sure your teenagers understand compound interest and how beneficial it could be to them to start their investing journey early.
  • Diversification. Let your teenager know about all the different ways they can invest their money and how to create a diverse portfolio to balance the risk.
  • Patience. Explain the concept of “buy and hold’ and make teenagers aware that there is no such thing as a quick buck when it comes to investing.

8. Consume financial education resources together

If you don’t feel like you have all the answers to share with your teenagers, then try consuming financial content together. This could be as simple as listening to finance podcasts in the car or scrolling through money tips on Tiktok together, and it can be a great way to introduce new topics to discuss and research further.

Teenagers don’t like to feel like they’re being lectured to, so finding a way to make it entertaining or using up dead time is a great way to inspire them to learn more in a fun, less formal way.

By making the most of all the great financial resources out there you’re also introducing a wider range of financial advice and insights than any one person could possibly give. A well-rounded financial education needs to come from varied sources and people from different backgrounds and walks of life.

Free financial content to consume with your teenager

  • The Financial Diet
  • The Ramsey Show
  • Millennial Investing
  • Afford Anything
  • Girls That Invest
  • The Diary of a CEO
  • You Need a Budget
  • Simple Money
  • Save Live Thrive
  • The Broken Wallet
  • The Break Platform

9. Teach them about debt

You cannot teach your teenager about money without giving them an education on debt. Whether your family deals with debt or not, it’s important that your teenagers understand the role debt has in society and how this affects people.

Instead of demonizing all debt and making teenagers feel like this is something to be feared (because this will result in feelings of shame and hiding debt in the future) you can educate them on the different types, the ways it can be utilized, and the types to avoid.

Debt topics to discuss with teenagers

  • Credit card debt. At the same time, you can teach your teenager about credit scores and the effects this has on their future financial choices.
  • Student loans. If it’s likely your teenager will have to take on a student loan to attend college, make sure they’re aware of how this might affect their future as well as variants that could lower this impact, such as community college and scholarships.
  • Car payments. Many teenagers want to get a car as soon as possible, but make sure they understand the difference between owning a car outright and leasing one – and which option might be best for them.
  • Debt repayment strategies. While you might not want to imagine a world where your teenager is struggling to get out of debt, it’s important to be realistic and prepare them for ways to repay any debt they incur as responsibly as possible.
  • Mortgage. The one kind of debt that most people can expect to have in their lifetime. The sooner you can teach young people about mortgages and the house buying process, the sooner they can start making the right steps towards this.
  • Interest. Make sure to teach your teenagers how interest varies from debt to debt, so they can spot those sneaky high-interest repayments that can cause a vicious cycle to incur.

10. Watch financial tv shows together

If your teenager starts yawning whenever you bring up money management strategies, you may need to meet them somewhere in the middle. Start small by suggesting TV shows you can watch together that are entertaining and involve money lessons. This way they’ll still be learning but feel less intimidated because they’ll be in the comfort of their living room.

You can use the time afterward to initiate wider conversations around the topics mentioned, let them ask any questions, and use this as an ice-breaking technique.

TV shows and films that teach money lessons

  • Shark Tank
  • The Apprentice
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
  • The Profit
  • The Pursuit of Happyness
  • Dirty Money

Bonus Tip- Discuss retirement options

Your teen probably doesn’t spend much time thinking about retirement, especially if they haven’t entered the world of work just yet. However, you can never start too early with these things, and getting a good understanding of their retirement options will help them make choices now that their future selves will be very grateful for.

If your teen struggles to grasp the concept of retirement then you could draw upon some examples of retirees in their lives, like grandparents and great grandparents.

The retirement options you’ll discuss with your teen will depend on what country you live in, so we won’t deep dive into this here, but you might want to chat about the following:

  • What retirement is and why do people need money for their old age
  • The age people tend to retire, and the concept of FIRE (financial independence retire early)
  • How much money they might need to have a good quality of life in retirement
  • The importance of compound interest and getting started early
  • Company benefits and advantageous pension schemes to look out for
  • Saving for retirement as a self-employed person
  • What is a 401k and the tax benefits that come with it

Final words

I hope you found these eleven strategies to guide teens about money helpful. You have an incredibly important opportunity to make a difference in somebody’s life by giving them these insights, and they’ll one day be very grateful that you took the time to impart this knowledge to them.

At the same time, it’s okay not to be a complete financial expert. Be honest with teenagers about what you do and don’t know, and don’t be afraid to share your mistakes with them. They’ll appreciate your honesty and vulnerability, and understand that it’s how we rectify our financial mistakes that matter most.

Teaching teenagers about money is also a great way to brush up on your own financial education, assess the choices you’re making, and be the best role model that you can be.

Happy teaching!

The post Ten Strategies to Guide Teens About Money appeared first on Due.

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It’s an ugly statistic, but it’s reality: Nine out of ten companies don’t make it. Disruption in all its forms, whether technological, financial – or more recently, biohazardous – has made it critical that entrepreneurs and business leaders are resilient and can make fast decisions to survive in this landscape.



Sam Riley

In this constantly evolving environment, the companies that thrive are those who are innovative, adaptable, and who never stop searching for ways to bring value to their customers.

One man has made it his mission to help millions of businesses raise, realize and protect their potential, and be ready for the most important outcomes in their lifecycle. With more than his share of laid-back Australian charm, Sam Riley is a passionate leader with a knack for great storytelling and a history of challenging the status quo.

Related: Stellar Customer Service Starts with the Hiring Process

Since those early days of running his startup from an ice cream factory parking lot (listen to the podcast here), Sam has turned Ansarada into a multimillion-dollar global company with 150 employees around the world and annual revenue of 35 million. Ansarada has been frequently listed on Deloitte’s innovative Fast 50, and the company gives back 1% of all equity, time and product to the Adara Group to serve the less fortunate.

A history of problem-solving for customers

After a failed business venture left Sam at a low point, a new door opened in the form of an opportunity raised by his sister (and Ansarada co-founder) Rachel Riley, an accountant for KPMG at the time. Sam and the other founders, two accountants and a Russian software engineer (walked into a café, not a bar), to discuss the early software prototype for simplifying the due diligence process for M&A.

“The prevailing way to do due diligence back then was physical, and that wasn’t going to survive in the digital age,” says Sam. “We spoke to the people we knew to see if this was a problem worth solving – lawyers, bankers, advisors – and they all said it was a nightmare. As Jim Rohn once said, ‘You get paid for the value you bring to the marketplace.’ In the context of multimillion-dollar transactions, we could bring a lot more value.”

The early days of Ansarada were all about listening and responding to the customer, building up trust and confidence through R&D and small deals. After hearing from multiple parties that Q&A in due diligence was a huge pain point, the small team mapped out the Q&A feature.

“I was obsessed with the fundamentals and getting it right – speaking to future customers and diagnosing things so we could build the right features. Step by step, it was about validating every little piece,” says Sam.

The major catalyst for Ansarada came in the form of a high-profile transaction in Australia. A $6 billion dollar deal and very public media recapitalization was executed using Ansarada’s Data Room technology, bringing a flurry of new business in the following years. At this early stage, Sam was supporting this deal from his laptop in the car park of the ice cream factory.

Challenging the status quo

Ansarada’s success stems from Sam’s unswerving attitude to solving problems and making life simpler for the customer.

“Diagnosing problems is in our DNA. We’re always thinking about how we can make things easier, reduce risk, make deals quicker,” says Sam. “Automation, collaboration, predictive technologies and more are here, and things won’t stay how they’ve always been. We exist to champion change and unlock value of all kinds for companies, investors and advisors alike.”

Related: If Your Company Is Not Customer-Obsessed, You’re Doing It Wrong

After accumulating a wealth of experience on tens of thousands of deals, Ansarada was still proactively anticipating and diagnosing the problems at hand. The reality was that most businesses failed to realize the value in their most important deals, and that deals were hugely distracting, stressful and expensive – up to 12 months and thousands of hours to prepare for and execute.

“We learned that deals are risky and time-consuming because the way these companies run their information day to day is not aligned with what investors want when they go through it with a magnifying glass in due diligence,” says Sam.

Ansarada shifted its attention to make it easier for companies as they are operating day to day, so that they can be confident and benefit now, not just when some big event occurs. They created a complete operating system for the C-suite, for total information governance.

Building a better future through better business

Ansarada’s values are fitting: curiosity, care, courage and change. From the beginning, from asking endless customer questions as a founder, that philosophy has followed through. By listening and reacting, Ansarada today is proactively solving more problems than ever. The platform now includes operational functionality around critical activities like risk management, compliance management and board management. “We can simultaneously improve the way businesses operate today, then when they go to do an event like a cap raise or IPO, they pass due diligence with flying colors,” says Sam.

Another key area of focus is ESG, which ties in with the company’s values and mission for positive, sustainable business growth.

“Everyone wants to do ESG really well; they want to be a good corporate citizen and show that their company is acting in the best interest of the environment, of society. And we want to do both – grow the business and do good for the world,” says Sam.

Related: The Rippling Effects of Quality Customer Service

Using Ansarada’s platform, companies can quickly, easily and credibly demonstrate their ESG strengths to investors, customers, and to potential employees. More than ever, people want to work for a company that is purpose-driven.

“We’re obsessed with anything that helps companies improve the way they operate today, based on the pain they will feel down the line if they don’t,” says Sam. “The better businesses do, the better society and people do. We believe businesses should have a better chance of succeeding, and we exist to help them do it.”

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Concerns about social media’s impact on mental health aren’t new, but the increasing popularity of video platform TikTok — especially among younger users — has continued to raise red flags in recent years, even prompting psychological studies that have identified “TikTok addiction” and its symptoms.

But TikTok has decided to do something about it, at least to an extent. Today, the social media company announced that it would introduce a tool to allow people to control how much time they spend on TikTok during a single session by providing the option for regular screen time breaks. Users can set timed prompts to remind themselves when to take a break.

Related: How to Use TikTok to Promote Your Business

The new feature follows TikTok’s existing daily screen time limits, which help people set parameters for their daily app usage, and its parental screen time controls, both of which have been available since 2020.

TikTok has also rolled out a new screen time dashboard that gives users a glimpse into how much time they’re spending on the platform, including summaries of daily time spent on the app, the number of times they’ve opened the app, and a snapshot of daytime and nighttime activity. An optional weekly notification to review this dashboard is also available.

Additionally, TikTok has published a new digital wellbeing guide within its Safety Center; it encourages users to consider how they’re spending time online and set healthy boundaries. And when TikTok users between ages 13 and 17 use the app for more than 100 minutes in a single day, they’ll be reminded of the screen time limit tool the next time they open the app.

Related: How to Integrate TikTok Into Your Video Marketing Strategy

TikTok offers more screen time tools than competitors such as Instagram and YouTube, and more regulation, both self-directed and governmental, is expected in the market soon.

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It’s no secret that the cryptocurrency market has taken a serious hit over the past several months. But Gemini, a crypto exchange and custodian founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, faced an additional setback in February in the form of a $36 million breach — and now the company is being sued over its alleged failure to protect its customers.

The stolen crypto assets belonged to customers of IRA Financial Trust, a platform for self-directed retirement and pension accounts. Now, as stated in its complaint, IRA Financial Trust claims that Gemini didn’t have enough safety measures in place to protect customers’ crypto assets and that its failure to freeze accounts immediately after the incident led to more losses.

Related: Crypto Exchange Shuts Down Withdrawals After Hackers Reportedly Steal $33 Million in Bitcoin, Ethereum

“Gemini boasts of supposedly industry leading security protections, such as two-factor authentication, ‘whitelisting’ withdrawal addresses, and fraud detection algorithms,” the lawsuit states. “Gemini says that these protections, among others, ‘eliminate single points of failure.'”

But according to IRA Financial Trust, Gemini made IRA the “master account,” adding all IRA customer accounts as sub-account holders under the IRA account, and gave IRA a “master key” that made it possible to bypass any existing security protections. Per the complaint, the key was exchanged in numerous unsecured, unencrypted emails — ultimately allowing hackers to gain access and transfer tens of millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin and Ether into a single retirement account.

In a statement to Engadget, Gemini rejected the allegations, saying that the attackers targeted IRA rather than exchange, that no Gemini systems were compromised, and that it “acted quickly” when it became aware of the situation.

Related: Bitcoin Billionaire Cameron Winklevoss Says Gold Could Be the Next GameStop

But this isn’t Gemini’s only recent lawsuit. Just last week, Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued the exchange for misleading customers in sections of its exchange and futures contract.

Gemini also recently laid off 10% of its staff in response to the tumbling cryptocurrency market.

Bitcoin was down nearly 40% in a six-month period as of this morning.

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The modern world is designed to distract us. From social media to smartphones, we have notifications and noise coming at us from all directions.

That means that in a business context, and especially so for entrepreneurs, we can get distracted by trying to do too many things at once. We get “shiny new object syndrome.” If you have unlimited time, resources and money, why not experiment and try multiple different products, services, strategies and ideas?

That could be the mindset for some. However, in the absence of limitless availability, focus becomes your best friend.

Success might mean acknowledging that you will focus on only a few things at any one time. This allows you to give each thing a fair go, which will also allow you to make a fair assessment on whether to continue a project or not.

Related Links: Want to Be Successful? Focus on One Business.

Focus on your vision

Imagine you get into your car. You know you want to go somewhere, but you’re not sure where. You drive around for a while. Maybe you find a nice place to stop, or perhaps you get stuck in traffic. You don’t know where you’re going — you’re just driving.

That is the way that many people start (and run) their business. It’s great in the beginning as you experiment, but it will not allow you to be productive and grow.

When you plug your destination into your GPS system, you get there faster. You may encounter traffic on the way or even closed roads, but you deal with these on your ultimate path. It allows you to navigate these challenges more easily and make informed decisions when you know where you are going.

Formulating a vision and shared philosophy for your business may not be urgent, but it is important. It allows you to achieve success in the long term.

Related Links: The Difference Between Clarity and Focus, and Why You Need Both to Become a Successful Entrepreneur

Focus on what’s important, not just what is urgent

A trap that I see many entrepreneurs falling into is a constant flurry of busy-ness. Meetings, networking events and client calls — their diary is packed. They rarely ever stop to question whether they really need to be doing all those activities or what value they really bring. Everything feels urgent, and many entrepreneurs continue running on that treadmill.

It may make us feel good about ourselves to stay busy. It’s treated almost like a badge of honor. However, the bigger question is whether we are being impactful.

Constantly running on that treadmill and not taking the time to reflect, reassess and restrategize may keep us stuck where we are rather than allowing us to grow. It may prevent us from seeing the highest growth areas in our business, identifying future trends and anticipating roadblocks.

In other words, this treadmill can keep us reactive rather than proactive.

Focus on mastering your niche before diversifying

Rather than focusing solely on external factors and competition, acknowledge these factors and focus on what you can control. Before Google became the search engine of choice, there was Ask Jeeves (and a few others). Google came along and did search engines better than anyone before them.

You may not aspire to be the next Google, but you can focus on being the absolute best you can be.

What product or service can you offer that you can be the “best in the world” at doing? What problem are you here to solve in a unique way? Focusing on those questions, rather than trying to copy or outdo your competitors, means that you can really get to work at serving your customers.

It’s a lot easier to scale a niche that you’ve mastered.

Related: When Faced with Adversity, Focus on Solutions, Not More Problems

Don’t forget. Timing is everything.

Focusing on a particular goal, with measures to track success of that focus area, will enable you to plan more effectively in the short and medium term. This will enable you to make informed decisions about what to leverage and what to let go of in your business.

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Did you know that the average time to fill a position is 42 days? However, this varies by industry. Still, during that span, top talent may accept an offer elsewhere. And that means you have to continue devoting resources to filling that opening. This puts more strain on your current team as they have an additional workload.



Calendar – Calendar

But, there are some additional benefits to speeding up the recruitment process. It improves the candidate experience, but this can also lead to higher acceptance rates. And it will put a smile on the faces of your recruiters and leaders.

But, how can you make the recruiting process faster? Well, try out these ten strategies.

1. Enhance your job postings.

Let’s not mince words. Having a lot of unqualified applicants applying to your job openings might be due to your job posting. So what makes an effective advertisement?

Yes. Your job posting must include all essential requirements. However, it should also be aspirational as well.

In order to attract the best talent, you need to write about why the candidate should choose you over anyone else. In other words, promote your company as their best option.

There’s nothing wrong with the description of your job following a general template. However, it should also include the following criteria:

  • Give a brief description of your company. Make sure you include your firm’s tagline or pitch.
  • Make it clear whether the position is remote or on-site. It’s simple to narrow candidates who are only seeking remote work opportunities.
  • The job posting should also be specific about the role. For example, describe who the candidate will report to and their responsibilities. Also, explain how they can succeed in their new role and how to track their performance.
  • List the skills, requirements, or pre-requisites that your candidates must possess. Of course, some candidates may not apply unless they meet those requirements. Yet, it can assist serious candidates in deciding whether this role suits them.
  • Explain what the perks of your job or company are. By doing so, candidates will feel valued before they even meet you.

2. Make it easy to apply.

A lengthy and exhausting application process is not appealing to candidates. What’s more, they expect to apply for the job directly from their phones. According to Indeed, it is estimated that 62% of job seekers use mobile devices for their job search globally. Mobile job searching is driven primarily by convenience for 55% of job seekers. Additionally, 66% of applicants would use a mobile device to apply for a job if it were easier.

As a result, they expect you to parse their resumes. And also limit the remaining fields to relevant information related to the application process.

In fact, Careerbuilder reports that 20% of candidates abandon application forms that take more than 10 minutes to complete.

Take the time to review your application process. If it doesn’t meet these standards, you need to step up your recruiting game. To start, you can offer a mobile-friendly application process that helps candidates apply faster by choosing the right recruitment software. Some suggestions would be Zoho Recruit, Recruitee, or Freshteam.

3. Encourage passive candidates.

Passive candidates are also encouraged to reach out during recruitment. Often, those not actively looking for work have extensive experience, ideal for a position you’re filling.

Is it hard to convince specific passive candidates? It can be. You might be able to secure an interview with nothing more than a quick email to a few candidates you’re interested in.

4. Automate tasks.

Looking to focus most of your recruiting efforts on the jobs that have the most significant impact? Well, removing time-consuming tasks from your schedule is key.

Thanks to technology, recruiting has become more effective and time-efficient. In addition, these tools allow employers to automate menial tasks. For example, screening resumes, scheduling interviews, answering simple questions, or sending rejection emails.

In the same way that talent pipelines influence efficiency, task automation does the same. This way, you can focus on improving your hiring process’ speed and quality.

5. Implement an employee referral program.

There’s no spoiler warning here. Many of the best employees are hired internally or through employee referrals. About half of referrals (45%) stay for four years or longer. And, only 25% of employees hired from job boards remain for more than two years.

Employee referral programs let your employees do a substantial amount of recruiting on your behalf. By doing so, recruiting and hiring will take a lot less time, and advertising costs will be reduced. It is also more likely that candidates with a personal relationship with a current employee will accept a job offer.

Best of all? Referral programs are not complicated or expensive. You could, for instance, try an old-fashioned approach like asking your employees who they know. However, you should make sure that they know you will help them through the process.

6. Leverage AI-powered candidate screening.

Screening candidates is a crucial step in the hiring process. Why? Recruiters can eliminate applicants who are not suitable for the job, focusing on the most qualified ones.

However, you probably have to perform this manual task daily. And, suffice to say, it can take a lot of time and effort. Moreover, if you receive many applications, it is practically impossible to screen all of them accurately and ensure only the best are considered in the hiring process.

The best solution? Automate the screening process with AI.

Using an applicant tracking system allows you to automate the process of selecting candidates based on the job requirements you set. As a result, it can speed up your recruiting process while retaining the quality of screening. Also, this technology doesn’t get tired of screening candidates and reviewing their CVs. Additionally, it doesn’t rely on human biases.

7. Expand the reach of your job listing.

Again, providing a good job listing will appeal to prospective employees and make the hiring process faster. If the listing has not been placed correctly, serious repercussions can be. Without enough job advertisements, your candidate pool will be less diverse, and the number of applicants will also decline. You can save time and resources by diversifying where you advertise your job openings now and in the future.

The thing is, if you do it inefficiently, actively increasing the preparation phase can bog down the process even further. After all, if you aren’t using the right tools or channels, you’ll be wasting both time and money. So instead, make your company more recognizable by increasing brand awareness, or use the next tip for optimal results.

And, despite your personal feelings, don’t overlook the power of social media. For example, 94% of recruiters leverage LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter in their recruiting efforts.

8. Hire from within.

Employees should always be encouraged to apply for new positions. The reason? Well, it’s less expensive and boosts employee engagement. But, it also makes the recruiting process faster.

Based on your current employee’s skills, knowledge, loyalty, and work ethic, you already know they are a good fit for your business. Likewise, it takes time and effort to welcome a new team member. But, on the other hand, an existing employee is already settled and comfortable in your organization.

9. Embrace flexible interviews.

Can you offer more flexible interviews? For example, do you have the availability to meet with them during the evening or weekend? Are you willing to travel to meet them? Or, the interview can be done remotely over Zoom.

10. Enhance the candidate experience.

Lastly, improving the candidate experience will make your hiring process more efficient. Besides improving candidate experience, these methods also speed up hiring.

Candidates would get a better experience if the application process were shortened. Recruiters would also have fewer touchpoints.

If you keep an engaging career page and employer brand, candidates will be able to decide if they will fit in with your company culture. By pre-screening, they can reduce the number of applicants not fit for the role. Informed and enthusiastic candidates will also feel more qualified and enthusiastic about the job.

Final tip. Keep in constant contact with candidates. Through effective communication, you can improve their experience and prevent delays and roadblocks.

Image Credit: Tima Miroshnichenko; Pexels; Thank you!

The post How Can You Make the Recruiting Process Faster? appeared first on Calendar.

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We often like to talk about great customer experiences (and how content fits into them), to give you positive examples of how to reach buyers most effectively. But sometimes, it’s just as instructive to take note of bad examples as well — and unfortunately, there are plenty of these available. After all, many organizations are still failing to connect the dots between content and an elevated buyer experience. To help you avoid making the same mistakes, here are three customer experience breakdowns that happen all the time.

Related: Customer Experience Will Determine the Success of Your Company

1. Buyers only hear from you when you want something

How often are you asking for customer feedback or offering something of value (e.g. a tutorial) to your prospects, with no strings attached? In a perfect world, this should happen frequently. But, all too often, the only time customers hear from a salesperson is when they clearly have an agenda.

This could be a salesperson sending an email asking about the buyer’s “business goals” when their renewal is around the corner. Maybe not a terrible thing if the two have been in touch often, but if the salesperson hasn’t connected with the buyer once otherwise? This is a big no-no, and your buyer will see right through your attempt at subtlety.

Another example is the old “just checking in” note when a new product or service has recently been released. If you know your customer well, and know they could find value in said new product or service, sharing it with them is one thing. But if they’re used to radio silence from you and you only pop in to promote something you’re selling, it’ll come off as smarmy — because it is.

The takeaway: Give your buyers credit, and be a resource to them always, not just when there’s something for you to gain from it.

Related: Is Poor Customer Experience Person-Related or Policy-Related?

2. Their requests are ignored

Few things are more frustrating than being told “no,” but being ghosted is even worse. No one wants to be ignored, and yet oftentimes buyers feel like they’re telling a business what they want and not even being given the time of day.

For example, we’ve all tried to unsubscribe from an email list, just to continue receiving emails from the same company regardless. So, the next step is to follow up directly and request to be removed from all lists. When you do this, are you sent a response and confirmation of the removal? Or are you ignored? It might seem crazy, but the latter is often the case.

Or, maybe you’ve been corresponding with a new prospect and they ask for a cost comparison between you and a specific competitor. You don’t have that type of content yet (or you have no idea where it is), so you just change the subject or stop responding to them altogether, hoping they’ll forget their request. This isn’t just poor form; it’s also bad business.

The takeaway: If a customer or prospect makes a request of any kind, do your best to accommodate them. Even if you can’t, acknowledge their request (at the very least), and let them know you’ve tried to fulfill it. Oh, and start using a content experience platform so you can organize, tag and access your content easily and quickly whenever a specific content request is made.

Related: How to Deliver A Great Localized Customer Experience

There’s friction with your content experience

There are many shades of friction, but three in particular can sour your customer’s experience fast.

  • Trouble accessing the content you share. Maybe you send a link that leads to an error or a landing page that won’t load. Or, you’ve sent them to a page where they now have to fill out a form in order to view the content you’ve promised. Any of these scenarios are likely to make a customer decide the content isn’t worth the struggle and move on.

  • Sending a great piece of content at the wrong time. Let’s say you share a super compelling infographic about the value your solution can deliver. But your prospect just spent all their budget and has no more to give. In such a scenario, they’re bound to be frustrated by the experience, because they missed a great opportunity (and frustrated with you for not telling them about it sooner). Timing is crucial.

  • Unclear next steps. If your content is high quality and helps a buyer to see that they want to work with you, it should be immediately obvious how they can do so. Maybe it’s a CTA to enroll in your training course, or a form they can fill out in order to receive a quote. If you fail to include this, your buyer might end up feeling like the time they invested in consuming your content and getting excited about your solutions was nothing but a waste.

The takeaway: Create a content destination that seamlessly moves your recipient through the pieces you’ve curated for them. Also, learn as much as you can about your buyer’s own timetable and purchasing cycle before you send them content, and aim to connect every piece of content to a particular stage in the buyer journey. Lastly, remember to anticipate what will come next so you can guide the buyer along a clear, friction-free path

You don’t have to look too hard to run into bad customer experiences, but they do provide good learning opportunities. Remember to avoid the mistakes outlined here to elevate your content experience — and your buyer’s overall relationship with your company.

Related: How Customer Experience is Defining the Success of any Business

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Although very popular and quickly becoming mainstream, cryptocurrency is something that still seems to confuse many people. Throw in a new financial system made up of FinTech companies that provide crypto loans and other crypto-related services. Then things start getting even more confusing, which is why all efforts to unravel this new technology are essential so everyone can make the best use of it.



Due – Due

One of the first questions that come to mind when someone hears or reads the term crypto loan for the first time (other than wondering what it even means) is, will it affect my credit score? This post will explore how credit scores work, how crypto lending works, and whether or not it can impact your credit score. So, read on to learn more.

An overview of credit scores

A credit score is a score or number determined by a proprietary mathematical algorithm that helps lenders predict the individual propensity to pay back loans. It is calculated by a process developed by the three major credit bureaus in the United States – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These agencies use the information in your credit report to establish a score that reflects your credit risk. In other words, it’s a number that tells lenders how probable it will be for you to pay back a loan.

Conversely, it also helps financial institutions like banks and credit card companies assess the risk of lending you money. The assessment allows them to understand whether you usually make timely payments every month or are more likely to default on your payments. This, in turn, allows these companies to decide if they should give you a loan or approve you for a good credit card, to begin with — and at what rate so that they can distribute risk among their stakeholders.

Why do you need a good credit score?

A good credit score is essential because it gives you access to better terms on loans and other financial products. For example, if you want to take out a mortgage, the interest rate you’ll be offered will be influenced by your credit score. The higher your score, the lower the interest rate you’ll be offered. This can save you a lot of money over the life of your loan.

Similarly, if you want to take out a car loan, your monthly payments and the total amount you pay over the duration of the loan will be determined in part by your credit score. So a higher credit score could mean lower monthly payments and less money paid overall.

In short, having a good credit score can save you a lot of money. But a good credit score is also important because it gives you access to bigger loans. If a bank sees you as a risky investment, they’re unlikely to lend you a lot of money or any money at all. But if you have a high credit score, they see lending you money as a low-risk investment and will generally agree to give you a bigger loan.

What is a good credit score?

A credit score is a number, usually in the range of 300 to 850, with higher numbers indicating lower risk. A score of 700 or above is considered good, while an 800 or above is deemed excellent. For example, many premium credit cards require a credit score of at least 650 for you to apply, but the likelihood of being approved dramatically increases if your score is higher. Therefore, you want to aim for a score of 700 and above.

Factors that affect your credit score

Many factors go into your credit score, but the following are some of the most important:

  • Your payment history: This includes whether you’ve made all your payments on time and in full. It’s one of the most critical factors in determining your credit score.
  • Your credit utilization ratio: This is the total amount of money you owe compared to the available amount of credit. This factor alone makes up 30% of your credit score, and the lower your ratio, the better. The optimal credit utilization ratio is around 25%, meaning that you should avoid borrowing more than a quarter of the available credit.
  • The length of your credit history: The longer you’ve had credit, the better. This shows that you’re a responsible borrower who can handle credit over a long period of time.
  • The types of credit you have: A mix of different types of credit, such as revolving credit (like credit cards) and installment loans (like mortgages), is generally seen as more favorable than having only one type of credit.
  • Credit inquiries and new credit: Every time you apply for new credit, an inquiry is made on your report. While this doesn’t affect your score directly, too many inquiries in a short period of time can indicate to lenders that you’re desperate for money and are, therefore, a high-risk borrower.

After considering these factors, it becomes clear that taking out any loan, including crypto loans, can impact your credit score, affecting your future ability to access more credit. So let’s take a look at crypto lending, beginning with what cryptos are and how they work.

Cryptos: What they are and how they work

Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual tokens that we use as money or means of exchange, investments, or stores of value. Bitcoin, for example, is a cryptocurrency that we can use to buy goods and services, trade for other currencies, or hold in a digital wallet to protect savings. They work similarly to physical money because they have value because people agree that they do. However, they’re different in the sense that they’re virtual (i.e., they only exist as lines of code stored in a decentralized digital ledger known as a blockchain), they’re not controlled by any centralized government or institution, and don’t require a middle man to keep track of and verify transactions, making transaction processing cheaper, faster, safer and tamper-proof.

In the case of fiat currencies, the value is established by governments. With cryptocurrencies, there is no central authority that sets the value. Instead, the market decides the price based on supply and demand, and the way they’re set up ensures that supply slowly runs out, therefore ensuring that value will always increase. Even so, hype and trends tend to make crypto prices fluctuate wildly, making the crypto market notoriously volatile.

Crypto loans 101

Crypto loans are secured loans where you pledge a part of your crypto holdings as collateral in exchange for an equivalent amount of fiat currency or even another type of cryptocurrency. The lender holds your crypto as collateral until you repay the loan, at which point you receive it back.

For example, if you wanted to take out a 1-year, $10,000 loan with a 10% interest rate, you would put up $11,000 worth of cryptocurrency as collateral and receive $10,000 in cash. The lender would then hold onto your cryptocurrency until you repay the loan plus interest.

The pros of crypto-backed loans

Looking at the example above, you may be wondering why not just sell $10,000 worth of crypto, get your $10,000 and then use the money how you see fit, saving yourself $1,000 in interest. In other words, why even bother to use your crypto as collateral?

The answer to this is the same as with any other secured loan. However, there is a benefit to avoiding selling your assets and retaining ownership during the lifetime of the loan:

Crypto loans allow you to exchange your crypto for another currency without selling them.

One of the benefits of crypto loans is that they let you use your crypto holdings’ value without liquidating or selling your position. This appeals to people who invest in cryptos like Bitcoin or Ether as a store of value the same way they would invest in gold, letting it grow over the years.

Also, if you sell your crypto, you’ll usually have to pay income tax on the amount you earn. On the other hand, if you use them as collateral since you don’t actually sell your cryptos, receiving the loan won’t have any tax implications.

Crypto loan rates are lower than traditional loans.

Another reason to use cryptos, instead of other assets, as collateral for a loan is that interest rates for crypto loans are usually lower than for traditional loans. This can help you potentially save hundreds to thousands of dollars down the road, depending on the particular conditions of the loan.

They don’t depend on having good credit.

One of the most appealing reasons for getting a crypto-backed loan is that FinTechs usually don’t do credit checks on borrowers or rely on their credit score to approve a loan. This is because it is a secured loan, and, contrary to other secured loans, the lender won’t have any trouble at all in liquidating your collateral if you default. In addition, no significant and threatening tattooed repo men need to come knocking on your door because the loan conditions are programmed into a smart contract that will automatically change ownership of your crypto if you default.

This offers a two-fold advantage: first, you won’t add a hard or soft credit inquiry to your credit history by taking out a crypto loan. Second, you can get a loan even if you have bad credit, which probably won’t be an option in the traditional financial system.

They can be instantly approved and liquidated.

Finally, precisely because they don’t need to perform a credit check and there’s almost no need for trust when issuing a loan, lenders can approve you for a loan simply by verifying your ID and maybe doing a quick background check to make sure you’re not wanted for money laundering or something similar.

Once approved, the loan is usually liquidated right away, giving you quick access to money when you need it the most.

The cons of crypto-backed loans

Regardless of all the pros, there are some cons to look out for when considering a crypto loan.

Crypto loan repayment terms are usually short.

While, in theory, you could get a long-term loan, most crypto loans have short repayment terms of 1 to 3 years. This is because lenders want to be able to quickly liquidate your collateral if you default because of crypto price volatility.

This can make it hard to repay the loan, especially if you borrowed a large amount of money, as you’ll need to find the money to repay the loan plus interest within a relatively short time frame, which makes the next drawback even worse.

Crypto loan minimum amounts are usually high.

Most crypto lenders have a minimum loan amount that usually falls in the $5,000 to $10,000 range. This means that crypto lending is not for those looking for some extra cash to pay utility bills or buy a couple of pizzas. Combined with the fact that payment terms are usually relatively short, as stated above, this tends to make crypto loans hard to pay if you’re not careful.

You may have to provide more crypto if your collateral loses value.

When you take out a crypto loan, the value of your collateral is locked in at the time of the loan. So, if the asset’s value falls during the life of the loan, you’ll need to provide more crypto as collateral or risk defaulting on the loan and losing all your crypto. Considering the volatility of the crypto exchange market, this can be a bit too much risk to handle for most.

Will a crypto loan impact your credit score?

Now that we have a clear view of how credit scores, cryptos, and crypto loans work, we are better prepared to understand the effect of getting a crypto loan on your score.

The straight answer is that taking out a crypto loan will not generally impact your credit score.

First of all, since FinTechs that offer these services seldom do credit checks to approve your loan, requesting a loan, regardless of being approved or not, will not show up on your credit report. However, this is not always the case. TransUnion, one of the three main credit bureaus in the US, has already started allowing users to share their credit information with crypto-lending platforms, which may change in the future.

Secondly, securing a crypto-backed loan doesn’t usually appear in your credit history. Consequently, it won’t impact your total credit or your credit utilization ratio. Therefore, crypto loans are an excellent way to get liquidity for your crypto assets without losing ownership, without impacting your credit score (for good or bad), and even if you have bad credit.

The bottom line

Crypto loans have quickly become a popular way to get liquidity for your crypto assets. This is because they are quick and easy to approve, and you don’t need good credit to get one. However, there are some things you should be aware of before taking out a loan. For example, repayment terms are usually short, the minimum loan amount is high, and you may have to provide more crypto as collateral if the value of your original collateral falls.

Despite all this, a crypto loan will not impact your credit score. So if you need quick cash and don’t want to sell your crypto, a crypto loan may be the way to go. Just make sure you understand all the terms and conditions before signing on the virtual dotted line.

The post Does Crypto Lending Affect Your Credit Score? appeared first on Due.

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To retire comfortably, Americans say they will need $1.1 million. Unfortunately, less than one in four will have the savings to do so.



Due – Due

According to the 2022 Schroders US Retirement Survey, 22% of people approaching retirement say they’ll have enough money to maintain a comfortable standard of living. The figure is down from 26% the previous year.

Overall, there is a general expectation among Americans that their retirement savings will be inadequate. In fact, the majority (56%) expect to have less than $500,000 saved by the time they retire and 36% anticipate having less than $250,000.

Not surprisingly, American workers were most worried about inflation shrinking their assets in retirement. The second most-feared scenario is becoming a reality, at least right now – 53% of respondents fear “a major market downturn significantly reducing assets.”

“The list of concerns that retirees have, and that Americans in general have, are longer and they are more serious today,” Joel Schiffman, who oversees defined contribution products in North America for Schroders, told Bloomberg. “Inflation, the stock market, the cost of healthcare, taxes — there is this compounding effect.”

People already retired said they were comfortable, or that their circumstances were “not terrible, not good.” But 18% said their retirement was hard, and 5% said it was an absolute nightmare.

Among respondents, a quarter said that in order to afford their “dream retirement” they must sacrifice what they want today; another 25% just need to keep on keeping on. The study revealed that 35% of respondents between the ages of 60 and 67 said they would have to win the lottery to achieve their dreams.

Before panicking, though, you should answer an important question. What is a comfortable retirement lifestyle?

What is a Comfortable Lifestyle in Retirement?

Your mileage will certainly vary. However, “Comfortable Retirees were more likely to have intermediate levels of financial assets (between $99,000 and $320,000) and income,” reports the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

ERBI also found that;

  • One in two homeowners were mortgage-free, while 37 percent had a mortgage.
  • A third had no debt, while 42 percent had debt that was easily manageable.
  • They were most likely married and had college degrees.
  • More than half said they plan to grow, maintain, or spend a small portion of their financial assets, and almost three-quarters said their retirement savings are sufficient or above their needs.

“In this group, more retirees cited workplace retirement savings plans such as 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs), in addition to Social Security, as their major source of income than any other group,” they add. The most common types of debt are credit card and auto loan debt, and 1 in 3 had at least one of each.

“Half of the retirees in this group spend less than $3,000 a month, while the majority said they can afford their current level of spending,” states ERBI. “In this group of retirees, most think their standards of living have not changed since their working years; however, 1 in 4 believes it has declined.”

Retired Comfortables were on average just behind Affluent Retirees in their level of happiness during retirement.

Choosing a Comfortable Retirement Lifestyle

Before getting too consumed with an exact dollar amount, a key question to ask when planning for retirement is, “What do I want to do when I retire?” After all, putting money away for retirement without determining how you plan to make use of it can leave you unprepared for your golden years.

In terms of retirement, men are looking at over 18 years and women at over 20 years, as per the Social Security Administration. As such, it will be important to make sure you’re happy with how you spend that much time. If you’re stuck, you should take into account the things in life that are important to you. Examples include friends and family, socializing, travel, hobbies, etc.

To get started, answer the following questions. When you do, you should be able to figure out what your priorities for retirement are.

  • Are there health concerns that will impact your retirement lifestyle?
  • To what extent is the quality of health care where you live important to you?
  • Are you planning to stay in your current residence?
  • Would you like to live near your family or friends?
  • Are you interested in moving to another state?
  • Do you think living somewhere with lower taxes is important?
  • Is it your dream to retire abroad?
  • Would you like to move into a retirement community?
  • When you get older, do you plan on moving into assisted living?
  • During retirement, what kinds of activities do you want to pursue that you are passionate about?
  • Are you interested in traveling?
  • Is it important to you to participate in charitable activities?
  • How much income will you need in retirement?
  • Would you like to remain in the workforce? Full-time or part-time?
  • In retirement, are you interested in reinventing your life?

When you figure out what your priorities are, you’ll get a better idea of what you should include in your retirement plan. And, more importantly what it will take to maintain a comfortable lifestyle in retirement.

It’s Not About Money, It’s About Income

When figuring out your retirement “number,” it’s important to take into account that it isn’t just about deciding how much you need to save,” explains Robin Hartill, CFP®. Americans, for example, tend to want to retire with a million-dollar nest egg. That, however, is a false assumption.

“The most important factor in determining how much you need to retire is whether you’ll have enough money to create the income you need to support your desired quality of life after you retire,” adds Hartill. Is a $1 million savings account enough to sustain an individual forever? Possibly.

So, how much income do you really need? Well, for most retirees, it’s definitely not 100% of your pre-retirement income. The reason? These expenses are probably not an issue;

  • There’ll be no need to save for retirement.
  • If you don’t commute to work, you might spend less on transportation costs.
  • By the time you retire, your mortgage may be paid off.
  • If you do not have dependents, you may not need life insurance.

“But retiring on 80% of your annual income isn’t perfect for everyone,” says Hartill. Depending on the type of retirement lifestyle you intend to have and the range of expenses you expect, you might need to adjust your goal.

It may make sense to aim for 90% to 100% of your pre-retirement income if you plan to travel frequently in retirement.

Alternatively, you may be able to comfortably live on less than 80% if you intend to pay off your mortgage before retiring or downsizing your living arrangements.

“Let’s say you consider yourself the typical retiree,” she says. Your annual income is $120,000 between you and your spouse. Using the 80% rule, you can expect to need about $96,000 in annual income after retiring, or $8,000 a month.

Social Security

The good news? If you’re like most people, your Social Security benefits may provide some additional help beyond your savings. In fact, at the end of 2020, nearly nine in ten seniors were receiving Social Security benefits. Moreover, Social Security benefits make up about 30% of an elderly person’s income.

However, Social Security typically replaces a lower percentage of income for higher-income retirees. “For example, Fidelity estimates that someone earning $50,000 a year can expect Social Security to replace 35% of their income,” clarifies Hartill. On the other hand, if someone earned $300,000 a year, their Social Security income replacement rate would be only 11%.

As a rule, you can expect to receive less than half your pre-retirement salary in Social Security benefits. Therefore, you will be responsible for covering the difference.

But, there are still ways for you to still live comfortable off just a social security check:

  • Delay taking your benefits. Try to wait until after you have reached your full retirement age before starting to collect benefits. Your Social Security benefits will be at their maximum if you wait until you are 70 years old. And, if you already filed, you can still withdraw your claim.
  • Pay off your debt. Before retiring, it is best to pay off all debts, including credit card bills and mortgages, so you can maximize your Social Security benefits. So, instead of spending your benefits on things you have already bought, you can put them towards things you need today.
  • Relocate. By lowering your cost of living, you can reap greater Social Security benefits. If you can consider moving to a tax-friendly state. Alaska and New Hampshire do not levy sales or income taxes, while Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming do levy sales taxes, but do not levy income taxes or taxes on pensions.
  • Don’t overpay for prescriptions. Medications can get rather expensive. Always choose generic over brand-name prescriptions when you can. Additionally, you may want to join a prescription drug membership program at the pharmacy where you buy your medication so that you can earn rewards and receive discounts.
  • Take advantage of discounts. Speaking of discounts, if you go out to eat only go to restaurants the offer senior discounts. Also, the same it true with retailers like Kohl’s.

Consider Savings, Annuities, and Other Income Streams

While it’s possible to live comfortably just off Social Security, I wouldn’t completely bank on that. As a general rule, Social Security will only replace around 40% of your pre-retirement income. And, if you’re using the 80% rule as a benchmark, then that’s only half of your retirement income.

To make sure they are able to meet their bills and have a life in retirement, most people need additional income retirement streams. And, these income streams are typically;

Qualified retirement savings plans.

A 401(k) plan, an IRA, or another type of retirement plan are the most common in the private sector. Throughout your working career, you invest money into the plan. If you contribute to a retirement plan or take money out after you retire, you typically get a tax break. If you’re self-employed, you can contribute to a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP-IRA) or an Individual 401(k).

Retirement portfolio.

In addition to a qualified retirement, you should also have a diversified retirement portfolio. Generally, this consists of stock, high yielding bonds, high yield savings accounts, and dividend paying stocks.

Annuities.

An annuity is a contract that you purchase from an insurance or annuity company. It can provide a steady and guaranteed stream of income in retirement.

Pensions.

Private pension plans have become rarer over time. Government workers, who still have pensions, can rely on them as a regular source of income throughout their lives.

Veterans pension benefits.

Veterans Pension benefits may be available if you meet certain criteria, including serving during wartime, being 65 or older, having a service-connected disability, and little to no income. It differs from your military retirement pension, which is based on your number of years of service.

Work Part-Time.

Moreover, you may want to consider working part-time. Besides the additional income, it can help make the transition into retirement smoother. And, it’s a surefire way to remain physically and mentally sharp.

Some suggestions would be freelancing, consulting, or babysitting your grandkids. You could also enter the gig economy by driving for Lyft or Door Dash. And, you could even rent out a spare bedroom to a full-time roommate or list it on Airbnb.

To learn more about the tax implications of retirement savings or collecting Social Security benefits during retirement, speak with your licensed financial advisor. Your finances may be affected.

Senior Living Options

The cost of housing will likely be your largest retirement expense. Housing-related costs averaged $1,406.68 per month for Americans 65 and older between 2016 and 2020.

The good news is that there are a number of ways to lower your monthly housing costs as well. When you pay your mortgage off, you won’t have a large monthly expense. Instead, you would only have to pay taxes, insurance, and maintenance.

Another choice would be to downsize to a home that costs much less and take advantage of the equity in your home. You can also save money on heating, cooling, maintenance, and taxes if you live in a smaller home in a cheaper neighborhood.

From what activities you can pursue to who you will socialize with to how much your new lifestyle will cost, where you live can make a big difference in your retirement lifestyle. With that in mind, here are some options worth exploring.

Move to a more affordable state.

Make sure you consider factors like taxes, cost of living, health care, and other quality of life issues before deciding where to retire within the United States. However, based on median home cost, medicare advantage cost, and the cost of living index, here are the 12 cheapest states to retire:

  • Mississippi
  • Alabama
  • Oklahoma
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • South Carolina
  • New Mexico

55+ retirement communities.

Age-restricted retirement communities commonly offer detached houses as well as townhouses or apartments for active older adults. The community may have golf courses, organized activities, social calendars, and other conveniences.

Senior living apartments.

Older Americans can benefit from age-restricted apartments, condos or townhouses, which are specifically suited to their needs. The majority of them offer pools and fitness centers. On the other hand, medical or dining facilities aren’t usually available. The equity in your home can be released when you move into an assisted living complex for travel or other retirement activities.

Living abroad.

Approximately 432,000 retired Americans were receiving Social Security benefits in foreign countries at the end of 2019, according to the Social Security Administration. Many countries offer retirement benefits for Americans while stretching their retirement dollars, such as;

  • Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
  • Chitre, Panama
  • Northern Belize
  • Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard
  • Popoli, Italy
  • George Town Malaysia
  • Cuenca, Ecuador

The secret? Finding a good balance between finances, a place you will enjoy living, and understanding the issues of becoming an expat, from health care to tax issues. Also, in a foreign country, Medicare typically doesn’t cover your health care, so you’ll still need to pay income taxes in the states.

Retirement Hobbies and Activities

When you retire, you should be able to focus on what makes you happy and what makes you feel fulfilled. However, you can still pursue hobbies and activities that meet both of these goals while living within your means.

Here are some of the best hobbies and activities you can enjoy throughout your golden years.

Creative pursuits.

In retirement, you can pursue hobbies that interest you and have time to devote to them, such as knitting and photography. Also, here’s your chance to start a blog or write a book about something that interests you – without having to worry about going back to work every day.

Outdoor adventures.

Retirement is a great time to explore national and state parks or your favorite fishing hole during a weekday and avoid the weekend crowds. Even better? Most parks offer senior discounts.

Health and fitness.

Golf courses are commonly found in retirement communities. There are dozens of healthy lifestyle choices to pursue after retirement, including running, swimming, biking, and dozens of other activities. Physical activity is important for long-term health. Adults 65 and older are recommended to get at least two and a half hours of moderate – or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous – physical activity every week.

Travel.

Traveling around the world may be limited only by your budget since you do not have a limited number of vacation days. It may be affordable to spread out an RV adventure across the country over several weeks. But, the cost of intercontinental travel can be reduced with flexible travel dates and group tour packages. And, with four-day packages that offer affordable options, cruises provide action-packed adventures at sea.

Volunteer.

An estimated 42% of retirees volunteer in their communities, according to AARP and Independent Sector, an organization that partners with nonprofits and foundations. Volunteering is a great way to stay active, meet new people, and make a difference in your community while feeling fulfilled.

Continue your education.

By taking classes at your local university or community college, you can keep your mind active in retirement. Studying a subject you were always curious about but never had time to investigate is a great idea when you are retired. Senior citizens have access to reduced tuition rates at many colleges and universities. Some may even be free.

Frequently Asked Questions about Your Lifestyle in Retirement

1. How much will I spend in retirement?

That depends as everyone’s situation is different. But, the 80% rule can provide a guideline.

Based on your current income, you can start the planning process by assuming you’ll spend about 80% of the income you will make before you retire each year. This ratio is called the retirement income replacement ratio. You can expect to spend about $36,000 a year in retirement, for example, if your preretirement income was $45,000.

Think of 80% as a good starting point. You can modify this number based on your lifestyle, health expectations, and income.

2. Where does retirement income come from?

The majority of retirees have multiple sources of income during their retirement years. Investment accounts that provide inflation protection, governmental benefits, or continuing paychecks are some examples. To ensure you have enough income to live comfortably, it’s best to have multiple income sources.

When deciding where your retirement income will come from, diversification is an important aspect to consider. As a result, your future income can be protected and market risks can be reduced.

3. How long will I live?

According to the CDC, the average life expectancy in the United States is 77 years.

4. What will my taxes look like in retirement?

Your retirement planner can provide you with an estimate of your tax rate in retirement if you ask this question. There are certain retirement savings, for example IRA and 401(k) accounts, that are taxable. You may also have to pay taxes on your Social Security benefits based on your income. You must also consider federal and state taxes.

5. Should I pay off my mortgage before I retire?

It all comes down to personal preference. Those who itemize deductions may find that their mortgage interest reduces their taxes. If the interest rate is low enough, you might be better off investing more money than paying off the debt.

If you plan on retiring comfortably, you need to consider the impact of paying off your mortgage. Even though it’s best to enter retirement debt-free, it’s not a good idea to drain your retirement fund to pay off a house.

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When Covid-19 first hit, our company went entirely remote. We soon saw 10% drops in productivity.

Two months after the initial nationwide lockdowns, while most other companies kept working from home, we returned to the office. We’ve been here since. During that time, we’ve experienced 300% growth. Our workforce has more than doubled to over 300 team members. And we learned there’s no substitute for in-person collaboration.

Our strategy was simple: embrace flexibility, use common sense and, above all, trust our people to act responsibly. While conditions will obviously differ from business to business, we learned a powerful lesson on how to navigate disruption — even one as great as a pandemic.

One immediate concern was customer privacy. As a financial firm, we zealously guard client information. Before the pandemic, we would chaperone electricians and plumbers through our office to make sure no outsiders could review clients’ private information. Now, with remote work, we had to trust our team members to protect customer data at home. In reality, we had little idea of who else might be able to see it. Again, trusting our team members was key.

Then there was the issue of sales. Making dozens of client calls a day takes initiative and discipline, two traits that are much harder to manage when workers are alone. By week two or three of remote work, the distractions of home crept in. It became much easier to procrastinate around a kitchen or TV or lists of chores. Outbound productivity fell by 10% or even more in certain cases.

Salespeople used to the electricity of the office found remote work lacking in collaboration and excitement. There was no applause from colleagues or the triumphant ringing of the bell after a sale. Our spirited team competitions lost their luster in the disembodied world of Zoom.

We were also getting complaints from team members. Remote life was putting a definite cramp on their earning power. Some didn’t have the privacy or the internet quality to be as productive at home. Others admitted to lacking the self-discipline. Their commission-based pay dropped as much as 20% as a result. We had to make a change that would protect our team members’ ability to earn the income they were accustomed to.

Related: Should You Bring Employees Back to the Office?

Trust your people to be adults

Our company has some architectural advantages. We work in a spacious building with cubicles six feet apart. We adhered to all the science, installing air ionizers and sanitizing stations as well as requiring masks in common areas. In-person meetings were halted and the conference room was verboten.

Still, we didn’t try to over-engineer our return, or formulate rules to meet every scenario. Instead, we trusted our people to make adult decisions, balancing their personal needs with their personal safety.

We made sure people were comfortable. Workers with symptoms were sent home. If colleagues were reluctant to go out in public, or lived with someone who was immunocompromised, they could still work remotely. We erred on the side of assurance, trusting them to self-manage their own situations.

Many of our employees are in their 20s and 30s, and still living active lives outside the office. Not surprisingly, a virus outbreak arrived within months of our return to in-person work. More than 20 salespeople got Covid-19. This resulted in 90 “exposed” colleagues, all of which were sent home with laptops, not to return until CDC isolation guidelines were met.

Related: The Importance of Returning to the Office After Remote Working

There was another outbreak of approximately 15 cases and several smaller ones with a handful of cases. I had to quarantine once myself, never testing positive for Covid-19 but still becoming stir crazy before my week of isolation was over. It offered firsthand experience in the difficulty of working and living a solitary life in lockdown. Studies show that long term isolation breeds depression, anxiety, alcoholism and substance abuse over time. We knew we couldn’t let this happen to our team.

As long as team members hit their metrics, they had the flexibility to do what worked for them. Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive, but of course not everything was perfect.

Our experience won’t work for everyone. If you’re a Silicon Valley engineer plowing through a four-month project, remote work may be more productive. The same goes for workers who now forgo long commutes in congested cities like New York or LA. The idea is to avoid one-size-fits-all edicts.

Did we do everything right? Probably not. Yet we had no real repercussions. And we didn’t get bogged down with an authoritarian rule book that could have broken the employer-team member bond.

It’s clear that interaction is healthy. Treat people as adults and give them the freedom to adjust as needed, and they’ll make smart decisions that work for both business and their personal lives. It allowed our company to pull together under the worst of conditions and allowed us to thrive during unprecedented times.

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