Let’s Talk About Retirement

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It may seem like a long way off, however retirement is probably going to sneak up on you a lot quicker than you expect.  Besides, if you are really lucky you might even be in a position to retire a little earlier than most.  So, let’s have a quick look at what you need to be prepared for and how to ensure a happy retirement without any major hiccups.


Firstly, if you own a business then it pays to have an idea of your business exit plan.  Will you have children who may want to take on your role?  Perhaps you will sell the business after building it up.  Or is your company more of a lifestyle business which will also retire along with you.  Understanding the future of your company and how to retire from it when the time comes, can help you prepare for any tax implications or costs involved.  So get some advice during the early stages.  You can always tweak the plan if things change over the future years.


Retirement brings with it a lot of change.  You will, of course have a change to your routine.  You will also have a major change to your income.  However the changes to the amount of tax you have to pay are an area you need to get to grips with pretty fast.  You need to find out how your pensions are taxed and when interest on your savings might be paid tax-free.  There are also increases in the amount we are allowed to save through an ISA too.  So get all your ducks in a row and keep on top of any changes that happen during government change or annual budgets.


Working out your income is vital.  So preparing for this at an early age will ensure you have a little extra cash to play with.  Hopefully your outgoings will reduce dramatically.  If you have a mortgage it is a good plan to work towards paying this off 10 years before you want to retire.  This way you will have an asset which could support you should you need any expensive health care in older age.  It will also ensure you aren’t paying out large sums of money each month.  


Around 5 years before you intend on retiring it is important to work out a daily budget.  Looking at all your pensions and savings you can roughly work out how much of a daily living allowance you have.  It is also a good time to factor in what legacy you want to leave for your children.  

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Planning for your retirement should be something you bear in mind the moment you start working.  You can pay more into a pension and create interesting investments which will release equity upon your retirement.  So get creative, get advice and get prepared as soon as you can.  Even if you are thirty years away from the big event.


Then sit back and work out how you will use up all that spare time.  

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Awesome Solutions to Work From Home Woes

Ask anyone who goes to work in a busy office every day, and they will tell you they are jealous of those that can work from home. And to an extent, they are right – working remotely from the comfort of your home can be a great experience. But it’s not without its issues – and I’m going to go through some of them with you today, and provide a few simple solutions to common work from home woes.

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Separating work from home life


According to https://www.psychologies.co.uk, one of the biggest benefits of working from home is also one of its most major issues. Working from home allows you to spend a lot more time with your family, and it can be amazing being around the kids, never missing a crucial moment. But at the same time, there are constant distractions to overcome. You need to tidy up before you can get a clear head space to work properly – no office cleaner for you to rely on! The kids can come in at any given moment, and if they are upset about something, no project is more important than dealing with that. The solution? Be vigilant with your time, and ensure that everyone knows that work time is precious. It won’t always work out this way, of course, but if you can get into the right routine, you should overcome all of these issues.




Loneliness quickly becomes apparent when you start working from home. You might miss the camaraderie of office life or the water cooler chats and jokes with many different people. Working from home alone is a little like being in solitary confinement, and it can cause problems for some people. Make sure you are getting out whenever possible – attending networking events and meeting clients, for example – if you want to avoid isolation issues.


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It can be hard to be taken seriously when you work from home. Can you guarantee that your clients will offer you business when you are competing with more professional operation based in an office? It can be a tough sell, and in many cases, you have to work extra hard to prove yourself. If this is a big problem for you, consider getting a more professional business address – in a coworking space, for example. According to www.hoxtonmix.com, not only can coworking space give you that critical professional business address, but it can also give you access to a community of people. Plus, of course, if you need help with a particular aspect of your business, you could find it within the hub and get aid and assistance for anything.




When you don’t have a line manager of boss physically breathing down your neck, it can be easy to take your eyes off the ball with work. Perhaps you are doing something boring, and fancy a nice cup of tea. Then you might read the newspaper, or open a few emails. By the time you start work again, you’ve lost 60-90 minutes – maybe even more – and have achieved nothing. Make sure you are focused and working efficiently and remove all distractions as much a possible.

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Training Employees: It’s About Skills, Not Traits

Every year, companies spend billions of dollars on training in the hope that it will make their staff more productive. But a lot of that training, according to training and sales guru Duane Sparks, goes to waste. The main reason for this, he says, is that companies fundamentally misunderstand what training is.



People who have been in business a while know the wisdom of hiring personalities, rather than skills. Sure, it’s helpful if a person has the right skills, but what really matters, especially if it’s a long-term job, is the personality of the individual. A worker who has the right personality  – or traits – can learn pretty much anything and be an amazing employee. A worker who doesn’t have the right personality can only go so far.


Companies need to realize that a similar principle applies when it comes to training. There’s no point training an introverted person to be more extrovert to generate more sales since this advice fundamentally opposes their basic personality – something that can’t just be wished away. If you’ve got an introverted person on your sales team, Sparks says that it is a much better idea to focus on selling skills that they can develop, like being a good listening and working out which product the customer wants.


Teach Appropriate Skills


Another mistake that businesses sometimes make is not teaching the appropriate skills. If you’re a private refuse collection firm, it’s far better to train employees to use a Dumpmaster bin tipper than it is to teach them about the virtues of internet marketing. Equally, if you’ve got different types of employees in your business – some who go out and sell and others who develop existing relationships – there’s not much point teaching both how to sell. Limit your training so that it is appropriate for the task that you want various members of your staff to perform.


Implement Skill-Based Metrics


In business, it’s often said that what gets measured, gets done. There’s a lot of truth to that. When employers can’t monitor worker productivity, it becomes very hard to tell whether workers really are working as hard as they could, or whether they’re slacking off and hiding behind other members of their team.



For this reason, says Spark, it’s imperative that companies find a way to measure employee progress, based on the application of their new skills. For instance, if you’re trying to measure the performance of a new safety procedure, measure the number of injuries caused by a particular department. Another example might be sales. You might have done some training with your sales staff on how to convert customers at a particular point in your conversion process. So a good yardstick would be to measure their conversion percentages at that stage before and after training to see whether it made a difference.


Reinforce Skills

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Finally, skills only get better if they’re constantly reinforced. It’s the way our brains work. Ideally, you want to turn new skills into habits, so that your employees do them automatically without thinking. Coaching is, therefore, essential.

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Seriously? My Own Website Can Help Me Find A New Job?

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Finding a new job is never simple. In fact, it is one of the most complex and frustrating things any adult can go through. Firstly, you have to beat the competition to an interview, and then you have to impress during said interview. Finally, you have hope that no one is better qualified. It can take weeks and months to secure a new position the old-fashioned way, so why not try a new age method? Yes, your own website can be a great help, and here are the reasons why.


It Makes A First Impression


As soon as an employer comes across the site, they will make a judgement. And, if it’s a positive one, it will stick in their minds like mussels stick to rocks. Think of a website like an artist’s canvas where you have the freedom to express yourself how you please. All you have to do is express yourself in a creative and unique way and the employer won’t be able to say no. So, start with a quality web design company because the looks matter. Plus, you don’t want a site that is similar to thousands of others on the internet. After all, how is that unique? Then, pick your best pieces of work which you think shows off your talent. A tip: always go for a variety of different genres and styles.



Better Than A Resume


When you think about it, a resume is a lot of words on a page. There is no way to know whether the words mean a candidate is the best fit for the company, yet that’s how businesses think. Sure, a great CV will get you through the door and into an interview, but a great site will get you the job. Because the website hosts all of your work, you can show a potential employer what they will get if they choose you. Employers love this as it lowers the risk of hiring someone who isn’t for the role. All you have to do is give them the URL and wait for a phone call.


Networking Potential


The savvy among you will notice that the first two steps need you to be on a firm’s radar from the beginning. That is to say; you need to find a way to get them to your site as they won’t stumble across it out of luck. Or will they? Thanks to social media platforms like LinkedIn, employers are seeking out employees more often than ever before. As you can network and show off your skills, there is no need to go running to job sites and job agencies. What you should do is create an excellent profile and converse with any interested parties. Indeed, you never know when one will offer you the position of your dreams.



Also, don’t forget that it shows employers that you are a modern job seeker. Searching for jobs isn’t the same, and you have to demonstrate that you understand the process to stand out from the crowd.

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5 Situations in Life When You Need a Lawyer

For most people, lawyers are scary people who have the power to completely ruin your life or life you from the gutter. They are powerful individuals that have the tenacity to argue their way through anything in front of a judge, and they can be your most helpful ally or your worst enemy depending on your situation. There are many situations in life that require the help of a legal professional, but to give you an idea of the most common reasons, here are five examples of when you’ll need a lawyer in life.

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Personal Disputes


If you and your partner have broken up and you need to reach a mutual understanding when it comes to assets, then you need the help of a lawyer. When it comes to personal disputes, it’s essential that you hire someone who has experience in these matters. Most lawyers specialise in particular fields because the law is a vast and complicated subject, meaning it’s very hard to know every single nuance about how it works. For instance, ASB Law is one such law firm that specialises in personal disputes such as divorce and could be your saving grace when it comes to splitting property, deciding child custody arrangements and financial support.


Losing Your Job


If you feel that you’ve been discriminated at work or have lost your job unfairly, then you can consult a lawyer for help. However, much like personal disputes, it requires a lawyer who understands this section of the law. Unlike civil disputes, you can be sure that your opposition will also have a lawyer ready, so be prepared for a battle if you want to get your job back or seek compensation.


Driving Under the Influence


DUI charges are very serious and there’s usually no way around the consequences if you are caught. You can, however, reduce the penalty so you don’t have to go to jail or lose your license. The amount your charges can be reduced by depend on your circumstances and your lawyer’s expertise, and if you’re lucky you could get away with just a fine.


Car Accidents


No one likes to be in a car accident, but it’s one of the many situations you could get into that require the use of a lawyer. The first service you should be contacting is, in fact, a lawyer and not your insurance company. If you’re in a car crash that involves several other people, then you can be sure that they too will have legal representation that will be all over you, and the best defence is to fight fire with fire.


No one likes to talk about the death of a family member or loved one, but it’s an inevitability that you have to take care of. There will be many disputes and many legal matters that have to be fixed, meaning it’s essential that you have the right legal representative to help you through a tough time. Your first Will should be set up as soon as you have a child to inherit all of your assets, and it should be amended whenever a life-changing situation occurs.

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Help Your Home Office Come To Life

A lot of us are now opting to work from home. After all, it can be so convenient to just move to another room in your house in the morning. And it can save you a lot of money when it comes to commuting! And with offices becoming a lot smaller, businesses often prefer you to work in your own space, especially in creative positions. But you need to make sure your home office is appropriate for your role. After all, you don’t want a room where you struggle to concentrate every single day. Therefore, here are some ways you can make your home office come to life.

Opt for a professional desk and chair

First thing is to try to find the right furniture for your office space. While that makeshift desk might be working for you at the moment, it’s not going to put you in a professional mode! In fact, it might delay you getting on with your work. Therefore, you need to make sure you opt for a professional desk and chair which will make you feel like you are at an office. And it will help to transform the spare room into an office. You can look for desks online which have been previously used at offices. Opt for one with drawers which will have space for all your belongings. That way, you can keep paperwork and stationery close to you. And make sure you get a good office chair which will keep you comfortable during the work day. After all, if you opt for a cheap chair, you are going to end up getting up and moving around during the day. Therefore, make sure you get an appropriate chair which will leave you comfortable for hours on end!


Add plenty of light to the room

A lot of people make the error of working in a room in their home with little light. But light can give you a boost you need to get on with your work. In fact, if you are starting to drift off task, some light can ensure you carry on with your day. And in the long run, it can help your vision working in a light room. But if you are limited to windows, it might be worth looking at getting some extra lighting for your work office. For example, a LED panel light would be great to ensure your room gets a ton of extra light. In fact, you can add several in the room to make sure it comes to life.


Limit non-essential work items

It’s quite tempting to put extra items in the home office like a bookshelf and a TV. But these items could end up putting you off your work. And you know how easy it is to lose concentration and procrastinate anyway! Therefore, it’s important to just put items you need for your job in the room. And if you want something a little extra, opt for some inspiring artwork or quotes which you can hang on the wall. After all, these will spur you on when your day isn’t going well!
And it’s worth getting some form of a lock to ensure nothing can be misplaced in your home office. And it can stop important paperwork getting into the wrong hands if someone did break into your home. Check out my previous blog for some ways to secure the office.

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