Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Millennials Planning for Retirement: Should You Purchase an Annuity to Get Started?

Millennials Planning for Retirement: Should You Purchase an Annuity to Get Started?


Depositphotos 24635031 xs Millennials Planning for Retirement: Should You Purchase an Annuity to Get Started?

The Social Security trust fund will be depleted by 2033, resulting in reduced benefits going forward, according to a prediction in the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees summary of their 2013 annual reports. Tax income will only be sufficient to cover 77 percent of scheduled benefits, and this number drops to 72 percent by 2087. Given this, smart millennials are considering buying annuities to boost their retirement savings. If you’re considering purchasing an annuity, here’s a get-started guide:

How Annuities Work

Just as life insurance provides for your loved ones if you die, an annuity guarantees your own income if you outlive your savings. You pay an insurance company an amount in return for guaranteed income starting at a specific date. This is like depositing money into a savings account which pays you back with interest—only annuities enjoy tax benefits over regular savings accounts.

Varieties of Annuities

Annuities come in two main varieties distinguished by the length of time before payment distributions begin, called the “deferral phase” of the annuity. In an “immediate annuity,” the deferral phase is nonexistent or minimal, with initial distributions typically beginning within a year. In a “deferred annuity,” which also goes by other names, deferral continues longer.

During the deferral phase, as you make one or more deposits, the value of your annuity increases on a tax-deferred basis. The increase can be set at a fixed interest rate or it can fluctuate at a variable rate tied to the performance of stocks and bonds.

After deferral an annuity enters its “income phase.” During this phase, depending on your plan, you may receive a series of payouts or a lump sum. Distributions can be fixed or increase at a periodic rate. Payouts can extend over a set number of years or the lifetime of one or more beneficiaries.

Some annuity holders may decide to liquidate their policy by selling all future payments for a lump sum of cash upfront. You can learn more about this option by visiting the J.G. Wentworth Facebook page or another company that buys annuity and structured settlement payments.

You can buy an annuity with single payment or multiple deposits. Payment distribution methods also vary.

Use Annuities Wisely

Annuities can help guarantee retirement income under certain circumstances. For those who are nearing retirement age, an annuity can help ensure continued income and postpone tax obligations, provided that payments are scheduled to kick in before other assets are entirely used up, and if the policy holder is willing to run the risk of dying before payouts start.

For younger people seeking to adopt this strategy, retirement planners suggest a fixed annuity as a viable option for those expecting their annuity to provide their main source of retirement income, while variable annuities may serve those with multiple investment streams. Young annuity holders should be aware of penalties for early annuity withdrawal and consider whether they will need the money before retirement when weighing annuities against other options.

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Planning An Event Here Are Five Important Things You Should Do First

Planning An Event Here Are Five Important Things You Should Do First


planning event Planning An Event Here Are Five Important Things You Should Do First

For every event, planning is important. But even that planning requires a good measure of prior preparation. And, this is why, we have given five important things you should have in place, in order to have a smooth and successful ahead.

1)   Set a timeframe

planning event1 Planning An Event Here Are Five Important Things You Should Do First

This is THE most important part of every event planning process. Setting a timeframe means having a clear roadmap and setting achievable goals throughout the course of the duration. Moreover, giving yourself a deadline leaves you with enough of time to not only achieve every task on the list, but also identify problem areas and troubleshoot effectively. Thus, giving you enough time to create a backup plan as well as bring everything together without a single glitch.

2)   Don’t lose sight of the goal

planning event2 Planning An Event Here Are Five Important Things You Should Do First

Yes, we agree that the whole process of planning and putting everything together and doing a good job at it can be very chaotic. But don’t let it get to you and don’t lose yourself in the storm of things to do. No matter what happens don’t lose sight of the ultimate goal. Don’t falter in the quality. Right from the first step to the final day, your goal should be to pull off an amazing event, as opposed to “let’s just get done with this thing”.

3)   Make a list

planning event3 Planning An Event Here Are Five Important Things You Should Do First

No matter what the scale of the event is, a list of things to do and things you’ll need is the ultimate life-saver. Event planners across every niche and level find a list to be their trustiest companion and most failsafe weapon. Start by identifying the tasks that are on top of your mind and require immediate attention. Things like the venue, catering, vendors, sound system, invites etc. should form the first half of the list. This should obviously be followed by the smaller yet crucial details. Once you start putting the list together, everything else falls into place on its own. Do this, and you’ll never regret it.

4)   Finish the bigger and tougher tasks first

planning event4 Planning An Event Here Are Five Important Things You Should Do First

Leaving the bigger part of the task list for the end will also end up leaving you in a very sticky spot. Moreover, these are often the easily noticed details and if left unattended, can spell disaster for the whole event. The most efficient event planners get to work on the large and tricky details as quickly as possible. The sooner you get done with it, the easier it will be to run through every aspect of the event and be less stressed when the big day nears.

5)   Delegate

planning event5 Planning An Event Here Are Five Important Things You Should Do First

A lot of things go into making an event a grand success, and even the smallest details go a long way in creating significant changes. This is why, it’s always good to delegate. Plus, you may be good at planning the event, but there’ll always be someone who can take care of the finer details better, and make the whole thing easier and bearable for you. Delegation becomes important especially when it comes to big groups and events that require great attention to detail and a high degree of precision.

6)   Take it easy

planning event6 Planning An Event Here Are Five Important Things You Should Do First

At the end of the day, remember that Murphy’s Law is always at work. So, whatever has to go wrong, definitely will, and despite pulling all stops there’s nothing you can do about it. All that matters is that you have an open mind, to take every glitch in your stride and have fun. It’s the mistakes that make you a successful planner and the enjoyments make you a cooler one.

Planning an event is no rocket science; all you need to do is be patient and go about the whole thing step by step.

This post has been contributed by Arnold Rebello, who is an employee at Visual Concepts in Calgary. His hobbies include experimenting with food and travelling to different places.

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Be Prepared: Planning For The Perfect Tattoo

Be Prepared: Planning For The Perfect Tattoo


tattoo Be Prepared: Planning For The Perfect TattooPrepare your mind, body and skin before getting a tattoo.

Thinking about getting a tattoo? Before you sit down in the artist’s chair, make sure you’ve carefully planned it. Getting a tattoo on a whim is a bad idea. Like any major decisions in life, forward thinking is essential before permanently placing a major piece of art on your body.

Research First

A few weeks before you plan to get a tattoo, do extensive research on a variety of designs. Decide which one is best for you and do some more thinking. It’s very important for you to be absolutely sure about the type of tattoo you’re going to get.

Once you’ve found your ideal tattoo design, choose a sample rendition that the tattoo artist can easily copy. If you cannot find a suitable one, visit the tattoo parlor a few days ahead of your scheduled appointment to let him know about your ideal tattoo design. This will give him ample time to draw up a sample for you to inspect.

The quality of the sample is very important when planning for the perfect tattoo. A poorly drawn sample will lead to a poorly designed tattoo.

Be Prepared Mentally and Physically

While many folks may not realize it, being ready mentally and physically for your tattoo appointment is very important. Follow these guidelines the day before your tattoo appointment:

  • If you’re sick or recovering from any type of illness, wait to get a tattoo until you feel at your peak.
  • Don’t get a tattoo if you’re pregnant.
  • Don’t drink alcohol on the night before to your tattoo appointment. Drinking can thin your blood, leading to excessive bleeding during the tattoo process and a prolonged healing period. Some medications can cause this problem as well. Common medicines like ibuprofen or aspirin can make you bleed too much.
  • The night before your tattoo appointment is very important. Make sure you get enough sleep and eat a healthy, balanced meal for dinner and for breakfast the following morning.
  • Increased sleep means less stress. Stress can lead to complications during the tattooing process. Besides getting enough sleep during the previous night, make sure you don’t over-exert yourself on the day of your appointment. Come into the tattoo parlor as relaxed as possible.

Prepare Your Skin

Most people don’t think about the importance of having healthy, prepared skin before getting a tattoo. By taking good care of your skin ahead of time, you set yourself up for a faster healing process:

Two weeks before your tattoo appointment, use an organic body scrub product to remove any dead skin cells that may cause complications during the tattooing session.

Keep yourself hydrated during the days leading up to your tattoo appointment. Drink plenty of water every day and avoid large amounts of alcohol. Body lotion will also help you keep skin hydrated. This makes the process easier for both you and the tattoo artist.

Jessica Bosari writes about skin care and tattoo topics for New Look Tattoo Removal in Houston, Tx.

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4 Simple Tips For Planning A Stress Free Dinner Date

4 Simple Tips For Planning A Stress Free Dinner Date


Whether you are planning an anniversary, birthday, or just a casual dinner date, there are some simple but important things to keep in mind. Going to a restaurant is nice, but there is something to be said about going the extra mile and showing that special someone just how much you care about spending quality alone time together.  Also, you might find it’s easier than you think to plan that perfect romantic dinner. Let’s get started.

gold battery candlestick 4 Simple Tips For Planning A Stress Free Dinner Date

1. Decorate

First, make sure to spend time decorating your indoor space.  This will help you to transform the common dining area and make it special for your dinner.  One of the easiest ways to enhance this space is with good lighting.  You can hang strands of battery operated lights over the table or arrange them around the room.  Although simple, these lights will help you to set the mood and add detail to the area.  In addition to lighting, flowers can add natural beauty and intimacy.  You can try sprinkling rose petals over the table, or you can create a beautiful floral centerpiece.  Finally, make sure to set the table with nice tableware.  China or fancy porcelain plates are recommended.

2. The Menu

Once the room has been decorated properly, you can focus on the menu for the evening.  Romantic dinners commonly have multiple courses.  They usually also involve fancier foods.  However, every couple is different.  If the love of your life is more basic with their tastes, then you might consider more traditional food items.  Therefore, plan the menu with them in mind.  It’s more important to make an extended effort than it is to cook something fancy.  Also, make sure to serve an appropriate beverage with the food.  If you are planning to toast each other at some point during the even, wine or sparkling cider will be necessary.

3. Music

Another great enhancement to a romantic dinner is music.  There are a variety of ways to include music with your dinner.  Some people invite a jazz band to play background music.  Others create a playlist with their favorite songs on it.  If you are creating a playlist, make sure to avoid songs that are too loud or too upbeat.  Instead, focus on softer, romantic tunes that are more fitting for the environment you are creating.  Also, when you play the music, make sure to find an appropriate sound level.  It should feel like elevator music.  Although you want to hear it, you should still be able to talk with each other.

4. Remove Distractions

Furthermore, it is important to make an effort to remove distractions from the dinner.  There are many things that can easily distract you and decrease the intimacy of the experience.  Cell phones are a common distraction, as are TVs.  Also, for many couples, children create an added distraction.  Therefore, it is important to determine beforehand what the potential distractions may be.  Then, make an effort to eliminate them during the dinner.  If you do this, your dinner will be more enjoyable, and you will have an easier time connecting as a couple.

Have fun planning for your romantic dinner.  It is a great way to bond as a couple and spend more time together.  You will be glad you made the effort.

Sarah Trell is a writer and blogger and loves keeping her readers informed on all things beauty and fashion.

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Top Lessons For Wedding Planning From Dont Tell The Bride

Top Lessons For Wedding Planning From Dont Tell The Bride


Don’t Tell the Bride is an international program with a simple premise. Here a couple who are struggling to afford their wedding get the show to pay for their expenses in exchange for agreeing to one simple term – the groom organizes the entire thing, and the woman doesn’t know anything about her big day until she arrives at the venue.

Of course this is somewhat nerve wracking for the woman who has no doubt been dreaming of getting married since she was a little girl – and even more nerve wracking for the groom who has no idea about how to organize a wedding and knows he’s going to be in for serious trouble if he gets it wrong.

The only winners then in this situation are the audience – because the results are usually hilarious, bizarre and fascinating. What’s more though is that it can also be quite educational – and when you see it all go so horribly wrong it reminds you exactly what not to do when you arrange your own celebrations. Here we’ll look at some of the most important lessons from the show to help you avoid catastrophe.


This is the first thing you should do before you even begin planning a wedding. Make sure you’re both on the same page and make sure you both know what the other one wants from the day. It always shocks me that this the man doesn’t already know what his fiancé wants in terms of venue and theme – so make sure you’re not going after two different things.

Start Early

Due to the nature of the show, the guys have to contend with a very short deadline when they’re planning their celebrations which often means they don’t get the guests they want or the venue. Make sure that you avoid this problem then by starting to arrange your wedding as early as humanly possible. Sending out ‘save the date’ invitations can also help a great deal, as it means your guests can book time off and make arrangements even before you have a .

Find Ways to Save

The budget is always another common issue on DTTB, and this is usually because the guy foolishly blows it all on the stag party or on flying everyone out to a foreign country. Look at ways you can save money on your honeymoon or on your pre-wedding celebrations and you’ll be able to spend much more on the actual wedding itself.

The Devil is in the Detail

While most guys on the show seem to get the big things right – like the wedding venue and the dress – it’s often the small factors they forget and by focussing on the bigger picture they often forget the flowers, or the shoes or the wedding limoand then have no budget left for them. Don’t make this mistake – because missing the small details can actually ruin the whole day even when everything else comes together nicely.

Heather Jefferson is a successful wedding planner. She believes that a successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.

wedding Top Lessons For Wedding Planning From Dont Tell The Bride

wedding1 Top Lessons For Wedding Planning From Dont Tell The Bride

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