How to Prepare for a Forced Early Retirement

No one wants to think about the worst case scenario, but sometimes it is necessary to make sure that you are prepared for the challenges life may bring. Getting ready early can help you to be able to handle anything that life has in store for you, even a forced early retirement. You should be working proactively to prepare for that possibility, especially since it will help you even if you don’t end up needing to retire early.

Contribute the Maximum to Your 401(k)

Having a 401(k) is important, but if you aren’t contributing the maximum to it, you aren’t taking full advantage. Saving in general is good, but the money in your 401(k) is protected and treated differently by the government. That means that the money you put in your 401(k) will be taxed less heavily and it will help you to have more for your retirement. Contributing the maximum will also help your money to build up sooner so you will be able to afford the necessary things for life if you do have to retire early.

Plan for a Disability

Most people don’t think about the possibility of potentially becoming dsiabled. But even if you think it is not something in your future, it is important to plan for it anyway. About 25% of adults will become disabled at some point before retirement. That means that there is a one in four chance that you could become disabled as well. Getting disability insurance is a great place to start to protect yourself from the possibility of losing your job due to a disability.

Talk to a Financial Advisor

A financial advisor can help you to plan carefully so you can count on your finances staying stable no matter what position you find yourself in. Many people aren’t sure where to start looking for a financial advisor, but you have many options. You can search online and read reviews of financial advisors. You can also talk to friends and family members so that you know that whoever you work with is someone you can trust. Whoever you choose, make sure that you let them know about your concerns so they can help you as much as possible.

While you may not want to think about the possibility of being forced to retire prematurely, you still need to give it a little thought. That way you can plan in advance and make sure that you are still taken care of. It’s never too early to start planning for a bright future.

Check out this article on how to protect your income from unseen events!

How to Avoid Burnout at Your Job

Have you ever felt stressed, exhausted, and frustrated in a job that you’ve had? While it is normal to feel these emotions occasionally, if you’re feeling them all the time, you’re probably experiencing burnout. Burnout can be difficult to deal with, especially if you want to stay in your job or don’t have a lot of other job opportunities readily on hand. Here are a few steps that will help you to avoid burnout at your job and maintain a positive outlook.

Find a Balance

First off, it is important to find balance between your job and all of the other responsibilities that you have in your life. You need to learn to compartmentalize your different responsibilities. For example, when you wake up in the morning, enjoy your morning routine that helps you to start off your day right. Try not to hop right into work responsibilities. At the end of the day, try to put your work worries behind you. Enjoy dinner and the evening with your family and try not to talk too much about work, but rather pay attention to your family members. When your job starts to dominate the rest of your life, this is where you can start feeling out of balance and burnt out.

Take Your Breaks

Another step that will help you to avoid burnout at your job is by taking real breaks. Sometimes, you might feel like you have too much to do to be able to sit down and eat a meal. However, if you don’t take care of your body, you’ll get exhausted and stressed more quickly. In order to have enough energy and stamina throughout the day, you need to actually sit down at a designated time and take your lunch break. Lunch breaks are more effective when you aren’t doing any kind of work. This will help you not only to be happier and more energized as you work, but you also won’t feel as drained when you get home.

Foster Positive Relationships

Finally, one of the best ways to avoid burnout at your job is by fostering positive relationships with people at your workplace. If you feel like you have good connections with your coworkers, you’ll be able to enjoy your time at work. One important part of fostering positive relationships is having healthy patterns of communication. If you and your coworkers are able to communicate in a positive, constructive way, you’ll be able to work together much better.

It is natural for everyone to feel some feelings of burnout at one point or another, but there are things that you can do to fight against burnout. Remember the steps that were suggested in this article, but keep in mind that there are also other approaches that might help you personally. Make sure that you take time to evaluate what causes you to feel burnout, and then address those specific concerns so you can continue to enjoy your job.

Check out this article on factors that can negatively affect your work performance!

How to Stay in the Legal Clear as a Real Estate Agent

Pursuing a career as a real estate agent brings with it the potential for nearly unlimited earnings, the ability to choose your hours to a certain extent, and the ability to work with people on a day-to-day basis. But with real estate, there also comes some legal risks that many people, particularly novice real estate agents fail to realize, with devastating consequences. If you are thinking about becoming a real estate agent or are a real estate agent, then you need to follow these three tips to stay in the clear as a real estate agent.

Understand Your State Laws

As a real estate agent, you will need to be licensed by every station in which you wish to do business, which is why many real estate agents focus on one state, frequently homing in on one city and sometimes even one particular neighborhood. When you are a real estate agent, it is essential that you are aware of your state’s laws on real estate agents. Each state has slightly different rules, regulations, standards, and requirements that you need to follow to stay in the clear from a legal perspective.

Keep Your License Active

The other and arguably most important thing to do to stay out of legal trouble as a real estate agent is to keep your license active. You need to keep your license active to operate as a real estate agent legally in any state. You need a sponsorship from a real estate brokerage to keep an active license. If you no longer wish to work with your current brokerage, you will need to start your own or find a new brokerage to be sponsored by to keep your license. Make sure that you understand what you need to do to maintain an active license.

Operate Honestly

You may know a few real estate agents that operate business in less than ethical ways. Whether that means hiding the truth about issues with a house or working with or against other professionals in the market, not everything they do would be considered morally good. But there are costs to operating a business like this as a real estate agent, and keeping to the truth always keeps the best outcome. Make sure you work as a real estate agent with integrity and honesty, and this will help you stay in line legally.

Becoming a real estate agent is a great career choice for many people. But being a real estate agent comes with some legal concerns. Follow these three tips to ensure that you stay in the clear legally as a real estate agent.

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Must-Haves When Looking for Your Next Job

When you start looking for your next job, don’t sell yourself short! You deserve a job that you enjoy, that provides for your needs, and that can last. A job that fits this description will offer you these three things.

Opportunities to Advance

In Abraham Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs, the top need for happiness is something called self-actualization. This refers to the little spark inside all people that wants more than anything to reach their potential. To reach self-actualization at work, you need opportunities to advance. It goes against human nature to stay stagnant, perpetually performing the same work at the same level. This could include raises, promotions, growth opportunities, special projects, or career development. Whatever it is, make sure your next job offers advancement opportunities. As Maslow knew, self-actualized people have increased confidence, are more grounded, take more risks, and are generally happier.

Benefits That Fit Your Lifestyle

Depending on your stage of life, your job should provide the benefits that fit your lifestyle. If you don’t already have health insurance, finding a job that provides a health plan is a huge perk. Health insurance is expensive but vital for financial stability. With a company plan, you get all the benefits of quality coverage for a fraction of the price. Maybe you are fresh out of college and feeling a bit overwhelmed by your student loans. Many businesses offer student loan repayment benefits, which contribute a certain amount toward your loans for each year that you work there. If you are nervous about the future, get a job that provides retirement benefits. This could be a company matching 401(k) plan, a traditional IRA, a company pension plan, or even an employee stock ownership plan. If you have a family, vision and dental benefits can save you a ton of money. For example, the price of braces after insurance is much more affordable.

Reasonable Working Hours

Not all jobs are based on a 9 to 5 timeline. Many jobs require you to come in early, work late, or even work holidays. Find a job with hours that work for you and that lead to balance. Some companies tell you what your hours will be, but the culture of the company includes putting in extra time. Be sure that you fully understand even subtle expectations before accepting any job. And don’t forget to ask about paid holidays, sick days, and flexible time off. These are all perks that could affect your decision to choose one job over another.

Make sure that your next job works for you. Don’t be undersold! You deserve advancement opportunities, benefits, and a work-life balance. When you choose wisely, your next job can become a career.

Finally found a job? Check out this article on what you need to do when you start a new job

Factors That Can Negatively Affect Your Work Performance

It is obvious that satisfied employees are more productive. Unfortunately, satisfaction is easily disrupted by distractions and negative factors. Work performance is negatively impacted by stress, trouble sleeping, and toxic workplace cultures. Understanding these influencing factors will help you identify solutions that will improve your performance.

Stress

Workplace stress is a performance killer. Many employees feel pressure to meet work demands, keep organizational goals, compete with coworkers, and keep their personal life separate. Symptoms of too much stress include getting sick more often, performing poorly, feeling less motivated, and having employee burnout. Burnout will prevent you from being as capable as you used to be, ever again. You must take care of yourself. Communicate with your team when work is asking too much. Take time to decompress from a stressful day. If family situations are impacting your performance, talk with your supervisor to find a workable solution.

Trouble Sleeping

Stress can impact your ability to sleep at night. There are also a variety of other influencing factors that can impact your ability to sleep. When struggling with keeping consistent sleep patterns, it is important to implement relaxation techniques. Try fostering a relaxed environment to clear your mind and relax the muscles in your body. Use controlled breathing to enable a sense of calm and prepare the brain for sleep. Some individuals need extra assistance getting their body to rest. Supplements like melatonin can help you fall asleep at night. Sleeping problems will reduce your energy, concentration, and memory. Bad sleep negatively impacts your work performance. If these problems persist, consult with a doctor for treatment options.

Workplace Culture

It is no surprise that your work environment will impact your performance. Research shows that 86% of individuals believe company culture helps productivity. Culture encourages engagement and high-performance mindsets. When you work in a toxic environment you can feel disengaged, stressed, and unsafe. Leaders are responsible for creating open communication and respectful environments. You need to feel like you can share your thoughts and that you are a part of something bigger. Friendship and teamwork are powerful motivators.

So much of your life is spent working. Finding a job that you enjoy and excel at is essential to living a happy life. Influencing factors will have an impact on your job satisfaction, however. It is your responsibility to identify negative factors and find a solution that will increase your happiness.

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What You Need Before Quitting Your Job

We are living in the age of great resignation. People everywhere are finding that their services and expertise are more valuable than their current employers are willing to offer them, and taking their work freelance, getting a higher paying job, or starting their own businesses. This is a great step for workers to take ownership of their work and get the compensation they deserve. Still, quitting your job is a big decision that should not be made without preparation. When you know that quitting is the right choice for you, there are three key things to do beforehand!

Adequate Savings

Often, you need to have a decent amount of money saved up before you can quit your job. You won’t be able to focus on starting your own business or spreading your freelancer wings if you are stressed about making ends meet and having to work side jobs to pay the bills. For those looking for a new employer, it’s possible to line up when you start your new job with the one you quit, but not always probable. Make sure you have at least a few month’s salary saved up so that you are stable for some time to devote your working hours to establishing your next stream of income. When you have saved, you know that you will have the resources you need to quit without too many financial stresses.

Think About Health Coverage

No matter how strange it is, the truth is health insurance also has to be taken into account when leaving a job, specifically if you are getting insurance through your employer. Luckily, you can now get relatively affordable health coverage as an individual, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. A part of health insurance to never forget about as an individual is dental insurance. You can purchase dental insurance through the health insurance marketplace. Having both dental and health insurance will help you keep your mouth and body healthy without taking on massive debt.

Work/Life Balance

The reality of working as a freelancer, owning your own business, or taking on a new job, is that work/life balance could become harder. A new job may have different demands on your time, and when you work from anywhere, it means you work everywhere. Make sure that you are ready to figure out ways to schedule your work and carve out time for your family, friends, and yourself to ensure that you stay sane once you are your own boss. Know your limits and make sure that you respect your work/life boundaries no matter your next occupation.

Quitting your job may be the right move for you and your career. But it doesn’t mean that you can just up and walk out without preparation. Think about these three key factors before you quit so that you are ready and prepared for the next phase of your life.

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What You Need to Do When You Start a New Job

Landing a new job is a huge accomplishment, so before you get to the nitty gritty of what you need to do, take a moment to celebrate. With that taken care of, you can focus on making sure you start things off on the right foot. There are several things you can do that will make life a little bit easier once you get into the swing of things with your new position. 

Start Off on the Right Foot

It’s important that you make a good impression when you first start at your new job, which can be easier said than done sometimes. It helps to know a little bit about the expectations of the workplace and the company culture. Talk to HR when you first start to make sure that you know what is expected of you. It’s especially important to check in about things like dress code, communication expectations, and other elements of the day-to-day life of the workplace you are entering. 

Choose Your Benefits

In the early days of your new employment, you will want to make sure that you choose which benefits you want to take advantage of. Getting health coverage is important, but you may also want to consider dental and vision insurance as well. Many companies offer these kinds of coverage. They understand that employees that are healthy are better able to do their job well. That extends to the family as well. Dental insurance might be a good idea if you have kids, as it can help cover braces among other dental costs. 

Make Some Friends

A new workplace can be stressful, but having a few friends around can make things a lot easier. Make it a point to reach out to your new coworkers and start building positive relationships. That can help you feel more comfortable in the workplace. Even just having one or two friendly faces to turn to at work can make a huge difference in your work life. Start by simply having a smile on your face, being humble and teachable, and being willing to help anyone who needs it. 

Starting a new job is a great opportunity to start making positive changes in your life. Make sure you get off to the right start so you can excel in your new workplace. Once you are settled in at your new job and you’ve gotten the hang of things, you can start to feel more confident that you’re doing a great job.

If you’re not going to be satisfied long-term in the position you got hired for, you need to become a leader. Learn about the characteristics of a leader so you can become the leader you always wanted to be.

How to Manage Employees When They’re Scattered Around the Country

With remote work becoming one of the most popular methods for working, it means that distance is no longer an issue in the hiring process for many businesses. However, it can be challenging to manage a team of people who all live in different areas of the country. If you can learn to help your team work well together despite the distance you can take full advantage of the benefits remote work brings to your company and your employees. 

Establish Expectations for Collaboration 

When you have new employees, it is always important to make sure they understand the expectations of your business. This is especially true when your employees aren’t in the office to get a more direct view of the company culture. Collaboration is a big part of any successful business and you want to make sure that it can still happen effectively, even if you and your team are far apart. By establishing the regular rules and expectations for collaboration, you can help your team to better understand their place within the company

Work in the Cloud 

A lot of mistakes can occur in remote work if everyone is working on different versions of the same document. By working in the cloud, you can make collaboration much simpler and decrease the likelihood of a major mistake. Cloud hosting can reduce the need for hardware maintenance. As you and your employees start working together in the cloud you can make things easier on your whole team and the equipment they are using to complete their work tasks. 

Maximize on Flexibility Where Possible 

While some things, like meetings, need to happen at a particular time, other elements of remote work can be more flexible. That flexibility makes it easier for you and your team to work in a way that best works for their needs. Flexibility can also improve productivity since your team will feel more balanced in their life and more able to work when they are feeling most creative and inspired. 

Having remote workers can definitely present some challenges for your business. But it can also help you to find a great balance and increase productivity throughout your company. By taking the time to plan ahead you can make sure that your team is working with great synergy even though they aren’t in the same place at the same time.

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How to Put Yourself on Track for a Successful Career

One of the biggest desires that most people have for their lives is to have a career that they enjoy and that gives them a good life. No matter where you are in your education or career, you can set yourself up to be successful if you make the right choices. Here are a few suggestions that will help you to put yourself on the track to success. 

Grow Your Network

One thing that you should always be working on when it comes to your current or future career is growing your network. Your network refers to the connections that you have with other people that could broaden your opportunities and experience. As The Execu|Search Group points out, you can grow your network in many different ways. One of the best ways to grow your network is to talk to the people that you know about the opportunities that you’re looking to have. Often, you can find great connections from the people that you already know. You can also grow your network as you attend networking events and use networking apps such as LinkedIn or Handshake. 

Finish Your Education

Another important step that will put you on the path to a successful career is to finish your education. If you haven’t finished your high school education, you should definitely start there. According to GED Testing Service, studying for the GED test may take as little as a month. Once you have your high school level degree, you will have many more opportunities when it comes to jobs and continuing your education. If you’ve already finished high school and are in college, you should also consider the opportunities that you could have with a higher degree, such as a Master’s Degree or Ph.D. 

Build Your Resume

As you’re working towards your future career, don’t forget about the importance of building your resume. When you’re applying for jobs, internships, and other educational experiences, you are always asked to submit your resume for review. You’ll want to make sure that your resume is sufficiently padded with helpful education and important experiences. If you are trying to achieve a certain job position, try to gain skills that would help you in that position through education or experience. When a potential employer sees that kind of proficiency and specificity on your resume, they’ll be more likely to hire you. 

Now that you know a few of the most important steps to have a successful career, don’t waste any time in getting started! Make sure that you follow the suggested steps that have been discussed in this article. As you do so, you will be more prepared to have the successful career that you’ve always dreamed of.

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How to Protect Your Income From Unforeseen Events

Your income is the most important asset that you have, keeping your finances In check and supporting your lifestyle. Your income also protects your future, allowing you to save for retirement to continue your lifestyle after you are done with work. But there are a lot of things that could impact your income, and if you don’t have plans in place, these can be catastrophic. Here are a few ways to protect your income from unforeseen events.

Invest in Your Human Capital

The most important thing you have is yourself and your own skill set. The more you can do, the more ways you are employable. You should continually be investing in more education, and broadening your skillset to make sure that you are able to offer the most you can to make the best income. The more skills you have, the more valuable you are to your employer. Not to mention, the more you can do the more employable you will be in the event you lose your job. The Taplow Group recommends you learn new skills and take new classes to expand your skill set.

Insurance Coverage

Most people do not have disability insurance, which is surprising given the high rates of disability impacting people in the workforce. According to Insurance Center Associates, 25% of adults will suffer from a disability before they retire. And if you develop a disability before you reach retirement, you may find yourself without income. Disability insurance covers you in this situation, giving you a portion of your regular income while you are unable to work. This is the best way to protect yourself from disability that impacts your income.

Develop Multiple Income Streams

According to The Creative Life, developing multiple income streams allows you to diversify your income, so that if one stream of income is impacted your others can stand firm. There are many ways to diversify your income stream, like starting a side hustle, investing in dividend paying stocks, or purchasing investment properties and rental properties, or freelancing your services. There is no right or wrong answer to how you diversify your income stream. Whatever works best for you is a good move!

The fear of losing your income can be a major stressor in your life. But a good way to put those fears to bed is to protect your income from emergencies. You can do this in many ways, like insurance, diversifying income streams, and investing in yourself. If you can take care of these three things, you don’t have to worry about going without income again.

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