Helping You Define Your Lifestyle

Choosing a Granite Memorial for Your Loved Ones

It’s going to get easier with time, it’s not going to be quick, but you’ll get there. Losing a loved one is something that can’t be compared and will forever leave a mark in your life.

The first advice you can take from this article is that you must actively seek to heal, to slowly recover from the pain that loss brought by bringing closure to this transition.

The best way to do this is by remembering those treasured times you spent with your loved one and replace the pain and grief with those happy and warm moments.

Once you’ve begun this process, you might want to gift a memorial to embody the love you have for this special person.

We might not be able to help with much more in your emotional distress, but we can aid you choose a nice granite memorial to provide closure to this cycle and leave an everlasting memory that will forever carry your love and memorialize the life of that person.

Why Choose Granite?

Choosing this material will guarantee that, with proper care, your memorial will outlive you, everyone in else in your family, and several generations to come, holding the memories and the particular message you engraved to withstand the test of time, perpetually immortalizing the memories you shared with your loved one.

Types of Granite Memorials

Although the traditional granite memorial is known as a headstone, there are several different kinds of memorials available that you can place in a cemetery.

However, keep in mind that depending on the local cemetery or churchyard there might be a specific set of rules and guidelines on what sort of memorial you can install. Making headstones the standard and commonly accepted choice amongst different locations.

If the regulations permit it, you can also look for a kerbed, a lawn memorial, and traditional vases, that will exalt the beauty of the granite and spruce up the dedicatory.

Kerbed memorials and lawn memorials cover the whole grave and allow you to install larger decorations, flower vases, and even creating a small personal garden on the grave.

Always look for a stonemason’s previous work to see if you genuinely like his craft since these investments are filled with emotions and care, and each detail should carry be considered to create the most exceptional commemoration possible.

Engravings

The message that you wish to etch in the memorial is something very personal and should be chosen carefully, as it will convey your feelings and memories.

Depending on the size and work of the stonemason you can engrave words, designs and even pictures into the memorial, so you have a wide range of options available.

From the common message of remembrance from its beloved, a lovely poem written especially for the occasion, or a happy image of the deceased, these details can be arranged by a professional craftsman.

Immortalizing the Live of a Person

The most important aspect about choosing a nice granite memorial is that you try to forget the pain of loss and instead celebrate the life and great memories you shared with that person, engraving them into the granite and creating a soulful dedicatory that will forever speak about the love you shared.

Remember that it will slowly get better, that stinging feeling of pain and loss is something that will gradually wane, and the first step to recovery is giving a proper closure to the cycle of life. What a better way of commemorating that love and those beautiful memories than with a nice granite memorial that will forever evoke those great moments.

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5 Time-Tested Strategies for Financial Success

Financial Success

There are no short cuts to achieving financial success. To build, preserve and expand wealth that lasts you a lifetime, you must follow some proven principles. Here, we’ve compiled a list of 5 of the essential strategies you should make a part of your financial short and long-term plan to help you build your own financial success.

1. Set up a brokerage account

As soon as you’ve opened a bank account and signed up for your company’s retirement savings programme, jump on the next stage of smart wealth building by setting up a brokerage account. With it, you will be able to invest in stocks of different companies, no-transaction-fee mutual funds, as well as exchange-traded funds, which most people can’t access with their 401(k). 

To give you a quick guideline, opening an account with an online broker, Fidelity requires you to start with a deposit of $2,500; while at Charles Schwab, you’ll need only $1,000, which is not compulsory if you signed up for automatic monthly deductions of $100 or more from your account. For better money management and investment planning, it’s advised you go with a debit card that helps you with that goal in addition to making transactions convenient. 

2. Ensure your investing costs are at a minimal level 

Generally, less expenditure means more money in your account. As a fund investor, focus on ETFs and mutual funds with low expense ratios. As we already pointed out, the first thing to do is to register with a reputable online broker such as Fidelity or Charles Schwab so you can buy and sell stocks averaging $7 per trade. Besides, there are top discounters that allow you to trade select ETFs without requiring sales fees. Seriously consider index funds, especially those that track S&P 500, with estimated annual fees of 0.05%. Funds like Mairs & Power Growth (MPGFX) and Dodge & Cox Stock (DODGX) are recommended as they are top low-cost actively managed funds. 

If you have a fund manager, you’ll probably pay an annual consultation fee of 1%; but you can always negotiate for a lower fee. Another option is to go digital with an AI adviser, which can help manage your stock portfolio by using digital technology. An example is Wealthfront, which will not charge you a management fee if your balance is less than $10,000 and requires you to pay only 0.25% per annum for sums above that. You may also check Betterment, which levies just 0.25% of assets under management yearly. 

3. Diversify your investment 

Spreading out your investment with a variety of good value stocks and bonds can help you weather the storms of volatile periods and enhance your long-term ROI outlook. If, for example, your retirement is at least ten years away, keep 70% of your investments in stocks and put 30% in top-quality bonds. Mutual funds are good great for you too. For example, mutual fund managers, Vanguard Wellington (VWELX) keeps two-thirds of investments in stocks, as a principle, and the rest in bonds; and it has maintained a yearly return of 8.2% over the past 20 years. 

4. Rebalance, retarget and realign as necessary 

It’s important you get regularly balance your portfolio up for better overall performance. Move your investment assets around sometimes, divesting some funds off the ones performing well and shoring up the laggards to get a good mix. Always review your brokerage statements at least twice a year to see where your portfolio needs some rebalancing, retargeting or realignment and then go on to make the necessary trades. 

5. Adjust your investments

As your countdown to your retirement, your target should be an investment portfolio that gives you a good return that can stand the tide of inflation and also minimises your risk.  A spread of 50% stocks, 40% bonds and 5% cash is a nice mix that can help you achieve that goal. A mix of 60% stocks and 40% bonds and cash will likely give more growth; but if your risk threshold is less, then try a mix of 60% bonds and cash and 40% stocks.

Living with Depression: How to Keep Working

Living with Depression

In recent times, depression has become one of the most talked about mental illnesses that affect people in ways that no one could have foreseen.  It is easy to get disillusioned especially after you try for a long time and constantly fail to shake that dreadful feeling away

When your depression starts to creep into your work, it is the cue for you to shake things up a bit and try something new. Here are the things that you can do to make sure that you are not crippled by your depression at work.

1.  Break Up Work into Smaller Chunks

When you are depressed, you will find yourself settling for just being able to make things works. However, you will need to do more than just make things work. At some point, you will have to show up to work and get tasks accomplished. 

However, as you very well know, depression tends to scatter your concentration and suck away your energy. So, how do you keep yourself focused and energetic under these conditions?

Break up tasks into small ‘bite-sized’ bites and then work on them that way. Completing achievable goals will give you a sense of satisfaction.

2.  Work Does Not Make Depression Go Away

No doubt, you have heard people tell you or other depressed people, that if you get into something productive, you will not have time for depression. You hear it so much; it starts feeling as if it might be the elusive solution you have been looking for. 

However, this is far from the truth. Productivity will only do so much to distract you from the real problem. You will need to make sure that you are not duped into buying into this false philosophy. Do not fight fire with fire. While it will likely help distract you for a short period, it will not work a long-term cure or solution.

3.  Speak Openly About Your Depression

There is the potential that being open about your depression at work will have some disadvantages that you will not want to deal with. It has been proven, however, that speaking about it is much better than sitting on it and many workplaces now are very open to helping those affected with mental health problems.

1 in 4 people in the lifetime will have a mental health condition which means, realistically speaking, that in an office of 80 people 20 of those people will suffer from a mental health condition at some point.

When an employer or manager is made aware of the situation, they will accommodate the little things that you may miss, and you might even get perks like working from home when you feel like you cannot make it work.

4.  Personalise Your Workspace

It is always great to work in an environment that makes you feel comfortable and welcome. There is a lot that goes into making your space your own. You can start with lighting, colours and noise minimisations. All these things can affect your mental health without your realising it. Go for anything that makes you comfortable and positive. Add plants, family pictures and anything that makes you smile. If you do not want noise, you can get noise-cancelling headphones to block everything out and make yourself focus.  

To Sum Up

It is possible that you can be depressed and still function well. High-functioning depressives can juggle everything that demands attention and still have time to work on themselves. It all has to do with finding the right lifestyle, starting to operate with the right habits and then going for professional help. Medical care and therapy only help when you are doing more than just waiting for pills to kick in or things to get better.

Accept your depression – then challenge it!