How To Pursue Your Passion

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No one likes the idea of getting a job in a field which they simply don’t care about. Having to spend a good portion of your time in a place which you don’t like will make life feel boring, but a lot of people find themselves in this position. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of dream jobs to go around, forcing those who want to achieve their goals to push themselves a lot harder than those around them. Of course, though, while your goals may be hard to make into a reality, it isn’t impossible to get a job that you love, and this article is going to show you how to do it.

What Do You Love?

One of the hardest parts of all of this for a lot of people is figuring out what they are passionate about in the first place. School never does much to help people with this, forcing them to figure out their own path in life. Instead, you need to think about what you most enjoy doing in your spare time, followed by figuring out a career which would give you elements of this in your daily life. For example, if you like to listen to music and can’t stop tinkering, looking at some audio engineering schools could give you an opportunity to start learning skills which you’ll enjoy using. This is much better than working at a job you hate.

What Can You Do To Get There?

The scope of your career will always be determined by the level of education you’re able to attain before you start building it. Not everyone has the same opportunities in life, and this makes it worth melding your path to suit the opportunities you have. For example, you may not have the money or time to go to school again, but may know people who already have roles in the field you like. You need to leverage the areas which you are able to work on the most, and this may involve climbing the ladder a little. As long as you’re still earning something, though, this shouldn’t be too painful to pull yourself through.

Keeping Yourself On The Right Track

It can be all too easy to give up when you’re approaching such a difficult goal. Getting a job which you love is something which most people never get to enjoy, and this shows that it won’t be an easy task. Instead, you will have to work extremely hard, pushing and motivating yourself along the way. Thankfully, though, there are loads of ways to help yourself with this. You need to think about the reasons you have for the goals you want to overcome, giving yourself the drive to get up each morning and push as hard as you can.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to get started on pursuing your passion. A lot of people struggle with this sort of work, finding it hard to know what needs to be done when they want to improve their career.

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10 Retirement Building Blocks for a Long, Financially Strong Life

Originally posted by Jerry Golden on Jun 11, 2017

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In a world where political ideas come and go, trends surge and falter, revolutions bloom and then fade, a few foundational concepts for retirement remain true: Income is of prime importance, planning for your specific circumstances will increase your financial stability, most retirement calculators are seriously flawed, and you can lessen – but not eliminate – the burden of taxes.

We recently completed a survey of the advice I have offered in this space for the past five years. Here are 10 retirement building blocks that I expect will remain useful no matter how long your retirement lasts.

The retirement foundation

To understand how to build a solid retirement, start with the idea that income is the prime goal. Savings are good, but only if they can be converted into spendable income to maintain the quality of life you had before retirement. Income is money that you can count on whether the stock market is plunging or your party is out of office. Social Security and company pensions set the standard. You can follow this guide to producing pension-like retirement income.

Think about retirement in two stages

Too much of the financial literature treats retirement as a single event. We are generally living longer, however, and our requirements change during those additional years. I plan for a two-stage retirement to account for different needs and wants as we mature. This video explains the benefits of looking at retirement in this way.

Optimize Social Security

For most of us, our Social Security payments represent a substantial percentage of our retirement income. Waiting to tap this valuable resource will increase your payments. Here I suggest how to wait as long as possible to start Social Security, in combination with other opportunities.

Minimize taxes

If you have a 401(k), a rollover IRA or own securities that have appreciated, taxes may take a large chunk out of your retirement savings. I explain how to defuse this tax bomb. I also believe it is prudent to minimize taxes and manage for income.

Learn about income annuities

Especially around Tax Day, you will hear many opinions about income annuities. I dispel some of those myths in this article. And in this blog I explain the benefits that I find in income annuities.

Why retirement calculators may fail you

There is no magic number for your retirement savings. Calculatorsgenerally input your retirement age, your income goal and number of years of payments, and then solves for amount of savings you need. Based on the results, the calculator (or an advisor) will tell you to save more or spend less. Here is my advice to increase peace of mind: Plan beyond the averages.

Add deferred income annuities and QLAC to the equation

deferred income annuity from a top-rated insurance company can provide income guaranteed for life at a date in the future, similar to Social Security or a company pension. For the second stage of retirement, an income annuity called a Qualifying Longevity Annuity Contract, or QLAC, purchased out of your Rollover IRA account can provide income to cover late-in-retirement expenses.

Develop spendable income

During your working years, you depend on getting a regular paycheck. Dependable, spendable income is the key to retirement, too. A large savings account doesn’t necessarily translate into income, as I illustrate in this article.

Save a legacy for your heirs

I argue that you should take care of yourself first. I refer to a couple of books that help you decide what is important to you and how you might be able to provide for all of it.

How to work with financial advisors

The decisions you make about your finances during retirement are some of the most important you will consider. Learn enough about your options so you can ask the right questions of your advisor – and trust your own judgment. You might find that advisors tend to operate in silos, constrained by the types of products their company sells. Educate yourself to feel more comfortable while you shop for retirement products.

Managing around life events

The closer we get to retirement, the more we realize that life happens. We can plan for some events, and others cause us to react. Second marriages, transitioning to a single life, and other life-changers are all events that can be managed for optimal financial outcomes, even if they are surprises.

Visit Go2Income for more information and guidance on how to create a plan that fits your retirement needs.

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3 Things That You Need To Be More Mindful Of In Life

In life, whether you realize it or not, you often live on autopilot. And it’s for this very reason that you may find that you don’t actually realize that you’re doing it. However, this can be quite dangerous. Because there are always going to be those things that prove to be a little risky in life. And these are the things that you ought to be a little more mindful of. But what are they? Let’s take a look.

Lifestyle Choices

First of all, we have your lifestyle choices. It’s easy to feel as if health problems come your way because they’re programmed to. But that may not be the case. Sometimes, the lifestyle choices we make with regards to food, exercise, and toxins, can contribute. So this is something to be more mindful of.

Carelessness

As a step on from, we have carelessness. Again, it’s easy to live on the conveyer belt and not overly think about our actions. Yet when we’re careless and not thinking, we’re at outmost vulnerable and at risk of harm. So it’s important to be alert and have your whits about you.

Everyday Hazards

And finally, there are those things in life that we’ve come to see as normal, yet can be very dangerous indeed. Like driving! There are so many risks and fatalities with driving, as you can see in the infographic below, that it’s important not to forget about this! So you need to be more knowledgeable on the risks and statistics, so that you’re not putting yourself or others at risk.

Infographic Design By car accident statistics

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Entrepreneurs: You Don’t Have To Do Everything

Entrepreneurs who have decided to quit their jobs to become their own boss tend to share a common story. They grew bored of their workplace.

For young parents, it’s often a matter of flexibility. Some companies fail to offer flexible working hours, which can impact on the relationship of families with young children and babies. As a result, launching a home-based business often feels like the best option to make a living while caring for the kids.

For others, the cumulation of frustrations drives them to quit. Whether it’s a bad boss or an unpleasant colleague, more and more individuals decide to take matters in their own hands and create a safe and welcoming job for themselves.

Regardless of the reason behind your independent career, you are likely to find yourself battling with the challenges of your solitary position. Indeed, when you launch a solo-business, you need to be smart to make it work. You can’t only focus on your expertise. You need to establish the necessary process to run your business as effectively as any other company. Ultimately, your clients expect the same level of professionalism and reliability than they would from bigger firms. While you might be tempted to spread your work across multiple fields, you should stay away from multitasking. Indeed, you’re unlikely to have the necessary skills to manage multiple business processes. Besides, you will soon run out of time if you try to do everything! Instead, you need to find effective alternatives.

The Internet is a dangerous place; you shouldn’t go alone there

If digital plays a role in your business activities – whether you’re using online storage options or interacting with your customers online –, you need to consider the safety of your IT solutions. As surprising as it might sound, many independent entrepreneurs put their business at risk by failing to introduce online safety measures. More often than not, the idea is that hackers and other cyber attacks are more likely to target large corporates. In reality, while big firms can be the victim of a hacking attack, cybercriminals prefer small businesses. Indeed, the absence of adequate protection makes them an easy target. Admittedly, it would be foolish to expect you to become an IT expert on top of your other skills. Therefore, it’s a good idea to entrust your digital protection to a specialist, either by using a software tool that does all the hard work for you or by finding an IT security consultant.

Find an IT consultant

Wait, how much tax do I owe you?

Preparing your taxes is never easy. But when you manage a business, there are many regulations, exceptions, and calculations that you may not be aware of. It’s not uncommon for small businesses to over- or underpay their taxes as a result of miscalculations or lack of knowledge. The worst thing that can happen is to get in trouble with the tax collecting organization, which is never a good thing for a small business. Instead, you should find professional expertise that you can trust in your day-to-day activities. Solo-entrepreneurs on a tight budget tend to prefer using cloud accounting software tools that let them keep track of their budget, invoices, and other financial transactions and duties in real time. Alternatively, if you don’t have any time to dedicate to the matter, you should let an accountant manage your books and your taxes.

Google Analytics is free, but I still don’t get anything from it

Collecting customer data is an essential part of your business growth. For solo-entrepreneurs, the abundance of free and cost-effective tools offer a strategic advantage, whether you need to check your web visits on Google Analytics or your keyword rank. Unfortunately, while data are easy to access, analyzing them a lot more challenging. Countless amateurs waste precious hours reviewing Analytics dashboards without being able to find pertinent information. In fact, the situation is so dire that Google decided to provide free support sessions to entrepreneurs via the Digital Garage initiative. But, the truth is that unless you’ve got time to invest in learning a new skill, one-to-one Analytics sessions are not going to be helpful. Instead, a dedicated consultant who can provide regular data reports and highlight threats and opportunities can be the best solution to encourage you to grow your business.

I’m not too sure about this strategy

Ah, designing your business strategy is not for the faint-hearted. It takes excellent data knowledge and analytical skills, which, if you haven’t invested in a data collection and interpretation solution, is going to be difficult to achieve. Many entrepreneurs fall in the trap of bad strategy approaches, which force them to accommodate conflicting factors as they occur without giving their business a chance to focus on a long-term goal. At its core, your strategy needs to serve as a response to a market challenge. As a result, you need to know and understand the problem to provide the best-suited response. Working closely with a consultant is a preferable solution.

You may be knowledgeable, but you’re only one person

The truth is that even with the best of will, you can’t tackle all the challenges of your business. Running a business is not a one-person job. You need all the support you can get to be able to stick to your professional goals. Indeed, too many new entrepreneurs get trapped in a situation where they spend the majority of their time managing their business instead of using their expertise to deliver income-generating services. There is no point in learning the skills if the cost of your doing the work in-house is too high. That’s where outsourcing can help you to maintain your market position by freeing up valuable time.

I’m ready to hire someone… but how do I do it?

Are you ready to bring a new employee on board? Hiring your first employee is one of the most difficult things you’ll have to do, especially if you lack recruitment experience. However, mistakes can prove devastating for your reputation and your finances. It’s always a good idea to hire a recruitment specialist for the task.

Know how to recruit

The image of the multitasking and hard-working entrepreneur is, unfortunately, wrong. When you are ready to launch your own business, you need to accept that you can’t manage on your own. Finding consultants to support you and outsourcing specific jobs can help you to build a profitable and sturdy business.

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Is It Time To Start Working For Yourself?

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In life, it’s always going to be important for you to like what you do. Working isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to be terrible. Nor should you hate it! While we all know that we have to work, you should also recognize that you spend a long time working. So you really owe it to yourself to be able to love what you do and make the most of your working years. Yet, when you’re stuck in a job that you hate, you can’t always do that. And so, it’s in your best interest to find a career that you’re going to love doing, and that you find rewarding. One way to do that is to work for yourself and create your dream career. Let’s take a look at how you can do that.

  1. Choosing What To Do

So the first thing for you to do here, is to decide what you’re going to do. Are you going to take your current job freelance? Are you going to write or consult or create an online product? Think about what skills you have, and what you can do to create a successful business.

  1. Creating A Website

When you’ve worked out what you’re going to do, then you need to set up a website. And it’s crucial that you set something up professional that you can use to showcase what you’re doing and get interest in your business.

  1. Marketing Yourself

The next thing that you need to do here, is make sure that you’re promoting your business and what you do. Because if you want to drum up business, for whatever it is that you do, you need to be marketing. So think about some of the tactics you can use, such as the top 7 advertising strategies, to do this. Make sure that you’re on top of your marketing, if you want to succeed.

  1. Managing Well

But there’s also something that you need to keep in mind – and that’s time management! Because you may find that you either are all over the place and struggle to stay organized, or that you’re just working too much. Neither option is good for you. Instead, you need to be managing your time well. So be sure to create a routine that will help you to be productive.

  1. Setting Goals

And finally, when you work for yourself, it’s so important for you to be able to keep yourself motivated and on track. Because that’s the thing about self-employment – the flexibility can be a bit too good! But when you incentivize yourself, you may feel as if you can work hard, put the time in, and get to where you want to be. Setting goals for what you want to achieve can help you to do exactly that. So be sure to have an idea of what you’re working for, and set some actionable steps in place to do exactly that.

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Are You Ready To Launch Your Digital Business from Home?

If you have been thinking about owning your own online business for a while, you will need to know that it can be a bumpy road, and you cannot expect results immediately. Instead of just doing what others are doing, you will have to come up with a strategy that is similar to the one you would create if you were to launch a brick-and-mortar business. Below you will find a few tips to increase your chances for success.

Improve Your Skills

There are certain skills entrepreneurs need to succeed. The first one is more like an attitude; self-discipline. You will need to focus on making the most out of your time, so managing your calendar and prioritizing your tasks is going to go a long way. You should make the most out of your existing skills and focus on the development areas; take responsibility for your own personal development.

Enroll In a Course

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If you have been working for an employer for a long time, you will need to change your attitude and become an entrepreneur. You will have to take responsibility for your own learning, and this means that you might need to enroll in a college course to get an IT qualification that will make you more effective in creating content or building websites. After all, you will have a limited budget, and every cent you save will help you invest more in your business.

Consider Affiliate Marketing If You Are Just Starting Up

When you are starting a digital business, chances are that you will not have a product or service yet. This doesn’t mean that you cannot make money, though. You can start affiliate marketing on a zero budget, provided that you can generate enough traffic to get conversions. After all, you should first get to know the industry and avoid investing a lot of money into developing your own product or service.

Create an Action Plan

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If you would like to succeed in affiliate marketing, it is important that you create an action plan that will help you stay focused on the end goal; profits. You should identify the steps you have to take to make it work for you; not enough traffic will kill your business, and offers that don’t convert will kill your profits. Consider building a sales funnel that will automate most of your marketing processes.

Set a Target for Everything

If you want to manage working from home, you will need to develop a high sense of responsibility and discipline. Track your productivity throughout the day, and make sure that you are able to optimize it through implementing technology and marketing automation. After all, you are not setting up a business to sit in front of the laptop 24/7.

In case you have been itching to get started and build your own business from home, you will need to consider investing in your skills and personal developments, and create a detailed plan of action.

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The Best Way You Can Spend Your Weekends

The weekends can come and go in a blink of an eye. But for some people, working Monday to Friday, nine to five is exhausting, which means that your weekends are often spent recovering from the stressful working week. But, when Sunday evening comes back around, many people can often think they have wasted this time off and not doing anything they have truly enjoyed. It is time to make a change. Here are some of the best ways that you can spend your weekends. Let’s hope it gives you the inspiration you need to boost your weekends.

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Go on a camping trip

As weekends are normally two days off, why not utilise that and do something a little different? Camping can be a great way to spend some time with friends and family, and packing the car up and going somewhere new can often be a cheap alternative to other holidays. Whether you just look at the stars or enjoy a fishing trip, it could be a great way to spend the weekend. Websites like outdoorgearonly.com could help, from fish finders to the right mattresses and sleeping bags, will ensure that the trip is comfortable and enjoyable for all involved.

Head away on a city break

If you can afford to, why not head away on a city break? Grabbing a flight on Friday night when you finish work and coming back late on the Sunday can give you two full days to explore somewhere new. Keeping the flight time to as low as possible can capitalise on the time that you have, and ensure that you make the most of it. Have you ever wanted to see somewhere new? Can you think of a city that you could enjoy on a weekend?

Enjoy a leisurely morning

Who says the weekend needs to be filled with activities or going away? Why not take the time to enjoy a leisurely morning? Sleep in for a few extra hours, head out for breakfast and allow someone else to cook up something for you. Go out for a stroll or walk your dog, and just enjoy the quaint and slow-paced life for a while. It could be all you need to recharge your batteries ready for another week in work.

Go on a hiking trip

Hiking can often be a great way to spend your time, so you may want to head out on a trek with your friends or family and spend your day doing it. Hiking is something that is one step future along from walking and taking a pleasant stroll. It can be labour intensive, and a workout, but so worth it to enjoy the beautiful scenery and picturesque views.

Spend it with the people you love

Finally, no matter what you do, ensure that you spend your weekends with the people that you love the most. Be that you family, your partner, your children or your friends. It can often be the people that you do things with, that can make it enjoyable and worthwhile.

Let’s hope this has given you some inspiration on how you can spend your weekends in the future.

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