Helping You Define Your Lifestyle

Retirement: Financial issues that everyone forgets about

It’s meant to be one of the most relaxing periods of life, but if you were to survey the majority of retired people it would become clear that the post-work phase is anything but. Of course, things even out over time, but the “one big holiday” that some people assume it is couldn’t be further away from the truth.

Today’s post is going to take a look at retirement from a financial perspective. While it might appear somewhat negative in places, hold on tight and you might uncover some information that saves you a lot of stress and hassle when you do finish working for good.

Issue #1 – Life after death

Let’s start with something of a morbid topic, but one that can serve you well if you plan comfortably ahead. Some people may believe that their funeral isn’t something which should really concern them; after all, they won’t be there to oversee it.

However, those that are left to pick up the pieces might have a lot on their mind. The average cost of a funeral has now surpassed £4,000, with this figure only increasing.

Sure, this is something that always has to be paid for, but the way in which you plan ahead can make a monumental difference. For example, funeral plans allow you to pay today’s rate, and this means that there won’t be any nasty surprises for your family when the time does come. Its small thoughts like this that can make the world of difference.

Issue #2 – The “average lifespan”

This is probably the biggest problem that we will uncover. When you plan for retirement, you generally do so with an average lifespan in mind. At the moment, this is around 80 – but this might not necessarily relate to you.

In other words, this is just a number – nobody can guess how long you will live for. It’s known that the average lifespan is on the rise, so what if you live to 100? How will your finances shape up then?

If you are serious about living a peaceful retirement, with no concerns about your bottom line, its questions like this which need to be answered.

Issue #3 – The needs of your family

In truth, an entire dissertation could be written about this as it spans so many different areas.

Firstly, while your major expenses such as your own mortgage might be over, it has become more common than ever for children to use their parents as the main borrower when they fund their own property. While this isn’t something you are obliged to do, it’s at least an area to think about.

Next, and this is something where obligations do enter the picture, is your partner or any other elderly relatives that you take care of. This is the time in life where additional care might be needed and unfortunately, these costs can spiral quickly. There’s been a lot in the news about them over recent times and it’s something that a lot of people just don’t consider when it comes to their standard pension plan and what it should be covering.

The laws of meetings: How to maximise your business efficiency

It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a large or small company; views on meetings are largely universal. They’re often overused, inefficient, and generally a waste of time.

Of course, there are plenty of exceptions, but in a nutshell, meeting dynamics across the world can be reformed.

Taking this into account, when it comes to your own company’s meetings, how should you approach matters? Should you go with the flow and “become one of them”, or should you challenge the norm and take matters into your own hands? Suffice to say, today’s post is on how to achieve the latter.

Tread carefully with recurrent meetings

The software companies gave themselves a huge pat on the back when they allowed recurrent meetings to be scheduled at the quick of a button. In truth, this is a worthwhile feature for many meetings – but not all.

After all, while you might build a case for a weekly performance meeting, many other recurrent ones aren’t perhaps needed.

Now, before you suggest that you can simply “play it by ear” and decide when you get to the meeting, this is one of the easiest mistakes to make. After all, by the time everyone has arrived and discussed the matter at hand, regardless of how briefly, valuable time has been eaten away.

The moral of the story? Carefully decide whether your recurrent meetings really need to be recurrent.

Get the agenda out there – and make it actionable

There’s nothing worse than being called into a meeting only to find that there is no structure or agenda. In these cases, it often leads to a free-for-all where people can talk about anything and everything, regardless of how important it actually is.

Of course, there will always be exceptions to the rule, but in general, an agenda is key. Not only does it give the meeting some much-needed structure, but it also allows you to assign actions to specific people. This, in turn, makes the meeting far more actionable and less of a time waster.

Stop people from going off on tangents

There’s always one person in every meeting that just can’t help themselves. They see the meeting as an opportunity to show off their knowledge, regardless of how relevant it is to the discussion.

While it’s important to allow some level of creativity, you also need to rein people in when they start to go off on tangents. After all, if everyone in the meeting starts to do this, it quickly descends into a free-for-all where nothing gets done.

Could a remote meeting do the trick?

It would be fair to say that we’re now well and truly in the age of remote meetings. Most of us are used to them now and like them due to how much time they can save us.

However, they don’t always work. This is particularly true if you want to impress new clients or perhaps need a whiteboarding session. In these instances, nothing quite beats the dynamics of a face-to-face affair. If you decide to go down this route, the obvious caveat is the knock-on effects. Whether booking that dreaded meeting room or ensuring your insurance obligations are up to scratch ahead of receiving external visitors, make sure you’re prepared for in-person meetings.

Keep it short and sweet

There’s no need to drag out meetings unnecessarily. If you can achieve everything you need to in 30 minutes, there’s no need to make it an hour-long affair.

How to Use Poker as a Mindfulness Practice

Most common mindfulness practices are fundamentally simple. Things like deep breathing, counted breaths, and short breaks and walks can help to calm us, clear our minds, and generate simultaneous states of relaxation and awareness. As much purpose as these small, simple practices have though, there are also some more involved activities that can assist with the development of greater mindfulness. And it may surprise some to learn that the game of poker is among them.

Gaming and Meditation

It is first important to understand that a link has been established between gaming and meditation in general. For a long time there were a lot of misconceptions about gaming as an active, almost violent practice meant solely for young people. But perceptions have changed over time. We now understand that people in all age groups play games of all kinds, and we further accept that a lot of these games have meditative qualities. Gamer testaments and a few scientific studies alike have indicated that the right game can have a soothing effect on one’s mental state.

This is the case with poker as well. A passion for many around the world, it’s a unique game that doesn’t necessarily fall under the umbrella of traditional “gaming” as we tend to think of the term. It is nonetheless similar with regard to mindfulness, however. Approached with intention, it can be a calming, almost meditative hobby for players.

Mental and Emotional Calm

When considering the game of poker specifically, one tends to think first of strategy, luck, and mathematics. In some sense, these are the building blocks of any given game of poker, and it will of course be important for any aspiring player to learn how they all factor in. However, what really helps successful players to win at poker is a sound mindset. The manifestation of a sound overall poker game requires that players learn to accept defeat and to avoid getting too high from a win. It demands reasonable approaches to betting and competition, clear-eyed social interaction, and the ability to operate without ego.

Add those factors up, and what success in poker really demands is mental and emotional calm. Players need skill and strategy to be sure, but above all else they need to be able to clear their minds of various pressures and shut out hasty impulses. This in and of itself is nearly a form of meditation, and certainly serves as a sort of training for mindfulness practice.

Focused Meditation

Beyond helping players to establish a general sense of mental and emotional calm, poker also leads to an ability to focus that, in its own way, is meditative. Generally, a focused meditation is described as the practice of focusing on something intently as a way of staying in the present moment and slowing down inner dialogue. It more or less means zeroing in on one subject to the exclusion of all else for the purpose of clearing one’s head — which is pretty much exactly what one has to do in poker! Even the slightest distraction can be a problem, and while the game demands a lot of attention it still makes for such narrow focus that one can clear one’s mind in a useful and soothing way.

Even given all of these benefits, poker does not comprise an entire mindfulness or meditation routine. For those interested in working on these aspects of personal wellness though, it’s always good to have one more option! Some will find this simple, popular card game to be legitimately beneficial.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our piece on how to boost your energy, especially useful as we enter a new year and search for fresh motivations!