No one likes to think about the end, but when it comes to money, it’s important to plan for retirement with a long-term mindset. Making your money last is something that all retirees and those planning for retirement have to think about. After all, no one wants to run out of money before they die. The good news is that there are ways to make your money last for longer, making this something anyone can accomplish with a bit of patience, discipline, and self-control.
In the following post, you’ll find a list of the top five tips to make money last for the rest of your life and even longer.
Tip #1: Save, save, save.
The most important thing you can do to make your money last is to start saving as early as possible. The sooner you begin to save, the more time your money has to grow. If you’re already retired, it’s not too late to start saving. Even if you only have a few years left until retirement, every little bit helps.
The key to saving effectively is to live below your means. While this may sound like obvious advice, that doesn’t mean it’s less relevant. Living below your means is about spending less than you earn and investing the difference. If you can do this consistently, you will build up a sizeable nest egg that can last for decades.
How to know how much you need to save
There are several different approaches to knowing how much to save every month. As a general rule of thumb, you should do your best to save as much as possible after accounting for all necessary living costs like housing, food, transportation, and healthcare. However, saving “as much as possible” may not cut it, and you may need to take extra steps to ensure your money will last long enough.
But how do you know if you’re saving enough or not? You still need a specific number to aim for, which is where the following approach comes in.
You need to estimate how big your nest egg needs to be by the time you retire to provide enough income to pay for your desired lifestyle during retirement. This is done in two steps. You first need to know how long your money needs to last. That goes through deciding when you plan to retire and knowing how long you’re likely to live, which you can find in online life expectancy tables.
Once you have that information, you can establish a monthly, quarterly, or annual withdrawal plan that provides enough income to pay for the lifestyle you want. You can then use an online calculator to determine the value of your nest egg so that it lasts the number of years you’ll likely have left.
Once you get that number, you can use the same calculator to find out exactly how much you need to set aside every month, starting today, for your savings to grow into the nest egg you just calculated.
Tip #2: Max out pensions and social security
Pensions and social security are two of the most important sources of retirement income for many retirees. If you have access to either of these benefits, be sure to maximize them.
Pensions are a type of retirement plan offered by many employers. They generally provide a fixed income for life, making them an ideal retirement income source. If you have a pension, find out how much income it will provide and when you can start receiving payments.
Social security, on the other hand, is a government-provided retirement benefit available to all retirees. The amount you receive from Social Security is based on your earnings history and the age at which you retire. You can start receiving Social Security payments as early as age 62, but if you wait until your full retirement age, you’ll receive a higher benefit.
How to max out your Social Security benefits
If you’re still working, maximizing your Social Security benefits is to continue working and paying into the system for as long as possible. The longer you work, the higher your benefit will be. If your employer offers to match your 401(k) contributions, ensure you contribute all you can to get the full match. This is free money that can ensure your nest egg lasts as long as you need it, especially after compounding for several decades.
In addition, if you’re married, you can also maximize your benefits by ensuring that you and your spouse are working and contributing to social security. This will allow you to receive two benefits when you retire, which can significantly increase your retirement income.
This will also allow you to take advantage of spousal and survivor benefits. Survivor benefits provide a spouse income after the primary breadwinner’s death. In contrast, spousal benefits allow a lower-earning spouse to receive a benefit based on the higher-earning spouse’s work history. This can be as high as 50% of your spouse’s benefit, so if either of you earns significantly more than the other and maxed out your Social Security contributions, the spousal benefit can add a significant amount of retirement income.
Tip #3: Purchase annuities for fixed income
An annuity is a financial product that provides guaranteed income for life. There are two main types of annuities: immediate and deferred. Immediate annuities start making payments as soon as you purchase them. In contrast, deferred annuities grow tax-deferred over time and begin making payments in the future, such as when you retire.
Some people choose to use annuities as a way to supplement their retirement income from Social Security and pensions. Others use them as a primary source of retirement income.
The biggest advantage of an annuity is that it provides guaranteed income for life, and you can make that income as big as you want, depending on how much you put into it. Combined with your pension and Social Security benefits, an annuity can help cover your basic living costs like housing, transportation, and healthcare entirely.
Things to look out for when purchasing an annuity
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right annuity for your retirement. To start, you need to choose the right type of annuity. You have several options, including purchasing a deferred fixed annuity and paying it off monthly until you retire. Alternatively, you could invest your money in other ways before retirement and buy an immediate annuity with a single lump sum taken from your nest egg upon retirement. That way, you’ll automatically turn your lump-sum payment into a steady and guaranteed income stream.
You need to be mindful of the costs associated with annuities. A plain, vanilla income annuity will be your cheapest option, and it will provide the highest possible income, but it comes with several strings attached. If you wish to retain access to your principal, have payments that increase over time, or have other special features, you will likely have to pay fees for those extra bells and whistles in the form of annuity riders. These fees can seriously add up and take a considerable chunk of your income, so be sure to read the fine print carefully before signing on the dotted line.
The amount of money you put in an annuity is also an essential factor to consider. You should never put all your eggs in one basket, especially if that basket gets locked up for years before you can access it. It’s not wise to put all or most of your savings into an annuity to cover all your income needs during retirement. It’s smarter to use income annuities to supplement your income and cover the basics, investing only a small portion of your net worth.
Tip #4: Establish passive income sources
A passive income stream is one that doesn’t require much work on your part to maintain. This could include investment in income-producing assets like rental properties, dividend-paying stocks, and mutual funds. But there are hundreds of other ways to start earning passive income. Some common examples include:
- Creating and monetizing a YouTube channel
- Writing a book and earning royalties
- Sell original music as NFTs with royalties embedded into the smart contract
- Starting a blog about retirement lifestyles and using it for affiliate marketing
- Renting out your spare tools or even your car
- Creating and selling online courses
- Sharing photos on stock photography websites and more.
The key to making passive income work for you is choosing an activity you enjoy and can see yourself doing long-term. That way, it won’t feel like work, and you’ll be more likely to stick with it. Once a passive income stream is up and running, it can provide a significant source of additional retirement income that can help make your nest egg last longer, regardless of your health.
On the other hand, you can also look for alternative sources of income that aren’t as passive. This could mean turning a hobby into a side hustle or taking up a part-time job that allows you to work remotely from a beach in Barbados.
Tip #5: Budget, budget, budget
Once you’re retired, it’s crucial to closely examine your expenses and ensure they align with your new income and lifestyle. Many people find that their spending patterns change once they retire, and that’s perfectly normal, but you need to know exactly how they changed. Creating a budget is the best way to keep track of and manage your expenses.
Budgeting during retirement is a bit different from budgeting during your working years. For one, you’ll need to account for any changes in your income as time passes, whether from a reduction in Social Security benefits or a change in your pension payments. You’ll also need to factor in any new expenses, such as increased healthcare costs, and account for the possibility of inflation eating away at your purchasing power.
There are many ways to approach budgeting in retirement, but one of the simplest and most effective is the 50-30-20 method. Under this system, you would allocate 50% of your monthly income towards essential expenses like housing, transportation, and healthcare. 30% would go towards discretionary spending on things like travel and entertainment, and the remaining 20% would be set aside for savings and investments that will help your money last longer.
If your monthly retirement income doesn’t quite stretch as far as you’d like it to, there are a few ways to cut costs without sacrificing your lifestyle. You can read this post to learn about some ways to save retirement money.
The bottom line
With these five tips, you can help ensure your retirement savings last at least as long as you do. Purchasing an annuity, establishing passive income streams, and budgeting carefully are all keys to making your money last a lifetime. You don’t have to be a millionaire to enjoy a comfortable and worry-free retirement, living life the way you want and always dreamed of. All it takes is a little bit of planning and some smart financial decisions along the way.
Published First on Due. Read Here.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by ANTONI SHKRABA production; Pexels; Thank you!
How to Find a Professional Design Team
A business that wants to grow and scale will need a design team. According to Firstsiteguide, 70% of small-to-mid-sized enterprises invest more in their digital presence. As companies began to move online, the demand for user-friendly software to attract large numbers of customers has increased.
If existing enterprises require designers to create a website or application, startups also hire specialists to develop a product design. Software is essential for sales and recognition, so managers carefully approach personnel selection. If you’re looking for an experienced design team and want to know how to choose the best one, check out the tips for finding the perfect candidates.
When to Look for Designers
The online market is constantly improving, and with new digital features, customers are no longer willing to collaborate on the old model. To avoid losing your clients, you should keep up with innovations: update a legacy interface, introduce new communication ways and think about a payment system. Rapid adaptation gives the company a guarantee of maintaining sales and image.
Selling software needs a convenient and simple design, but only some entrepreneurs decide to improve it. To determine if it’s time to involve a designer in the project, analyze your situation:
- you do not have a selling website design or your product design;
- you are constantly selling your product or service using the software;
- you are not satisfied with your design quality at the moment;
- your potential users are not willing to interact with the content;
- your product design is different from the design of the application.
If you are familiar with these issues, your business needs an experienced team of designers who will analyze the product and create a modern structure for productive work with clients and partners.
Types of Design Teams
Before starting the search for specialists, managers decide on cooperation options. There are two types of employees: in-house and outsourced. Each has its pros and cons, making a choice more difficult.
In-house specialists are full-time employees engaged only in the company’s project. They are fully involved in internal workflows and communicate closely with the team. In-house designers understand the product they work with, its values, and its philosophy. It is much easier for the manager to control the result of such an employee and set new tasks at no additional cost.
In-house designers are well-versed only in a particular industry, so tasks from other niches can cause them difficulty. Also, constant work on one project can lead an employee to burnout and dismissal. The primary in-house designer disadvantage is the expense of sickness and vacation pay. While outsourcing teams only budget for working hours, a full-time employee also counts on vacation pay.
The outsourcing team is specialists who come to the company for a specific project or task. They help businesses free up time for more important things or help with tasks businesses can’t handle. Each outsourcing specialist offers a wide range of knowledge as they constantly interact with different niches.
A significant advantage of companies providing outsourcing or outstaff services is strict personnel selection. They choose only experienced employees and introduce them to the modern features of the digital environment. Outsourced teams do not require payment in the event of an employee’s illness or vacation. If one of the employees falls ill or is unsuitable for your project, they replace them with another in a short time.
The main disadvantage of outsourcing is the price. You need to pay for each hour of work of each specialist, reducing the quality of cost control. Also, you will be unable to assign additional tasks to an outsourced designer in other areas, which sometimes burdens internal processes. Outsourcing workers cannot be trained for themselves, as they come to your company for a certain period and work only on the agreed tasks.
Signs of a Professional Design Team
Meeting future colleagues for the first time can take time to determine their competence fully. Since candidates want to make a good impression, they will highlight their good qualities while glossing over their flaws. Catch the details to avoid falling for this trick and make the right decision.
The portfolio of a professional design team should impress every beholder. And this does not apply to individual works but to the entire portfolio. When selecting candidates, check the quality of each design rather than picking only the best.
To understand your compatibility with potential employees, find a project similar to yours in their examples. If the design team already has experience in your industry, they know how to interact with your audience and hook them for a successful sale. Experienced specialists will tell you about your niche’s design features, what design details they can add to software development, and which ones you should avoid.
If you are hiring an outsourcing team for a project or using an outstaff, you need to determine how these people will interact with your full-time employees. Since designers communicate closely with developers and project managers, they will have to find a common language to understand and support each other. At the interview, ask your future designers about their attitude to working in a team with employees from different departments.
The outsourcing design team is fully responsible for the work specified in the contract. The project implementation is a long, complex process, but the specialist must adhere to the designated deadlines. The ability to self-organize and write a clear action plan to avoid going over budget is an important criterion when selecting web designers.
A person’s design skills, as well as managerial skills, play a significant role in the successful completion of a project. Experienced workers will competently build an action plan, and you will be calm about the timing of work completion.
One of the vital signs of a good specialist in any field is the desire to grow and develop. Progress does not stand still, and the digital environment offers new solutions for IT engineers. Since any leader wants to make gradual progress in their product, they will opt for a designer who wants to learn something new and implement it into current projects.
An experienced worker will make changes to avoid confusing the client and let them get used to the latest software version. Thanks to the constant improvement of the user experience, the business will not only scale but also increase sales.
Where to Find a Professional Design Team
Finding a reliable outsourcing development team is a manager’s first and most challenging task. Many entrepreneurs need help finding professionals with extensive experience in their industry and how to make sure that they are experts.
The best way to search quickly is word of mouth. Ask for recommendations from your friends or colleagues who will tell you the right decision. You can also search the Internet yourself. The most popular sites for designers are Clutch, Dribbble, and Behance. These resources provide complete information about the company, customer reviews, ratings, and examples of work. Having found an attractive offer, you can read reviews about the design team on third-party resources and conclude.
Hiring employees is a responsible job that must be approached with caution. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to learn as much as you can about designers’ expertise. Hiring the right people can build a successful business and achieve your goals faster than your competitors.
Featured Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Thank you!
No Cookies? Retention.com Helps Provide Privacy-First Actionable Data
The ongoing struggle over safe data management continues to heat up. Third-party cookies have had a bad rap for years, and while their future for providing actionable data remains murky, it doesn’t look good.
This leaves businesses scrambling to look for new, more ethical ways to collect and utilize customer data. This is especially the case in an information-first environment that has no intention of reducing the importance of analytics going forward.
Retention.com is a revolutionary e-commerce retention marketing solutions provider that has been sounding the alarm on the demise of third-party cookies for a while now. In response, the innovative brand has developed industry-leading identity resolution technology. This offers timely aid to companies looking for alternative customer data management solutions.
Retention.com has created a unique, user-friendly approach to first-party actionable data. Before considering its impact, though, let’s start with the major issue facing marketers at the moment: the slow but steady death of third-party cookies.
The Delayed (But Inevitable) Doom of Third-Party Cookies
Digital marketing has always relied on cookies. This browser-based form of tracking analyzes basic user behaviors, from dwell time and frequency of site visits to past purchases.
Sometimes brands gather this information directly from a consumer for internal use. Often, though, it’s collected by others and utilized across various other websites without consent — something called third-party cookies.
Third-party cookies are an unpopular form of data collection.
In fact, they’re not just unpopular. They’re unsafe, which is why Google has announced it will phase them out in the name of greater data protection and consumer security. However, the search engine giant has delayed this deprecation process to 2024 (as of the time of this writing).
Even with the delay, the removal of third-party cookies still poses very real concerns for e-commerce businesses. Any company that doesn’t want to be caught flat-footed by the shift when it does finally take place needs to find an alternative to third-party data now.
The Struggle to Capture Actionable Data from Customers
For those who lean on third-party data to market and engage with consumers, the impending doom of third-party cookies is a monumental concern.
Even for those who don’t tap the unsavory data source, it still leaves them with the challenge of capturing customer data first-hand — something referred to as first-party data. Brands can glean first-party data through various tools like surveys and sign-up forms, but these are only effective up to a certain point.
For instance, consider a customer who visits an e-commerce site from their desktop computer. The visitor ignores a request to sign up for their newsletter. They start looking at products and then leave without making a purchase.
They could be at any point in the sales journey. Perhaps they are discovering information on a sales page, adding items to their cart, or even looking for a promotional code. Regardless, if they leave before clicking that all-important “complete purchase” button, they disappear into the ether. They leave no possible way of following up.
To make matters worse, they might hop back onto the site later from their phone, and the company wouldn’t even know that it’s them. The visitor would have to start the purchase process all over again, too, making the likelihood of completing the activity that much lower.
All of this can be resolved with actionable data.
When a brand has basic customer data, it can reserve its clients’ past activity. It then catalogs their preferences and streamlines future purchases. With third-party data on the way out and a cookieless future ahead, though, companies must find effective ways to collect first-party data if they want to boost ROI.
That’s where Retention.com comes into the picture.
Retention.com Streamlines First-Party Data Collection
Retention.com has developed a solution to first-party data collection in the form of its identity resolution software, Reclaim. This addresses a key area of underperforming ROI that the e-commerce retention marketing solutions provider refers to as “abandonment revenue.”
The definition of the term is in the name. When potential customers abandon a sales funnel, they leave unrealized revenue behind. When a company doesn’t have its website visitors’ personal information, it can’t follow up or provide personalized interactions.
Reclaim boosts abandonment revenue as much as 10 times over. The software does this by quickly and effectively tying unidentified customers to first-party cookies. This turns anonymous e-commerce site users into bonafide, real-world individuals.
The ability to identify who is on a site can have a dramatic effect on engagement (and consequentially ROI) by triggering different activities, such as cart abandonment emails and SMS flows. This leads to more browsing and greater dwell time.
One of the key factors of Retention.com’s revolutionary marketing software is its ease of use. Reclaim doesn’t require days of setup and integration. It takes hours to implement the code and proliferate it across an e-commerce site. This creates a quick-and-easy, set-it-and-forget-it solution that businesses can use to start tapping into their abandonment revenue streams. The software is even designed to scale along with businesses as they grow.
No Cookies, No Problem
As third-party cookies continue to die a slow death, every e-commerce business faces the prospect of a dramatic change to the status quo. The question is, which enterprises will be able to find creative solutions to help them operate in a cookieless environment?
Retention.com offers a simple, effective way to outsource the issue of first-party data collection. Its Reclaim software takes less than a day to implement and integrates with countless e-commerce applications.
This fast application leads to near-immediate results in the form of boosted abandonment revenue. Customers begin receiving SMS and email communications through ethical first-party cookie connections that offer personalized messages and encourage results-oriented engagement.
To top it off, the service is affordable, and customers only pay for incremental performance. Retention.com even offers its “Flow Insurance” as a 100% guaranteed refund if clients don’t see their abandonment flow revenue improve.
From the ease of use to its impressive impact, Retention.com’s software solutions are showing e-commerce companies that it’s perfectly possible to not just survive but thrive in a cookieless world.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay; Pexels; Thank you!
What is Metaverse and How is it Changing AR/VR World?
VR augmented reality has already been a mainstay of science fiction. The idea has been the subject of numerous works of fiction and popular media, but we are finally at the point where it can become a reality.
It’s safe to say that the Metaverse has been the subject of several discussions and arguments. While some see it as the future of technology, others dismiss it as nothing more than a fad. The reality is that the Metaverse is here to stay, and its effects on everything from our mental health to our ability to do our jobs will be profound.
The Metaverse: what is it?
The term “metaverse” refers to a network of socially-connected 3D virtual worlds. It’s defined as a simulated online setting that uses VR augmented reality, blockchain, and social media concepts to create environments that seem very much like the actual world but allow for more nuanced human participation.
Everything can be found there, from sports to conventions to retail therapy. Putting on a headset and logging into the virtual reality portal is the only way into Metaverse.
Moreover, Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Meta (formerly known as Facebook), estimates that it will take five to 10 years for the core features of the Facebook metaverse to become standard.
On the other hand, the Metaverse is growing at an astounding rate.
Even though not everyone has access to them, ultra-fast broadband connections, virtual reality headsets, and always-on online worlds are now a reality.
Now we will examine the two most distinguishing features of a Metaverse platform:
The Metaverse tech would combine elements of vr augmented reality. Space and time in a Metaverse app should feel roughly equivalent to real life.
Visual, aural, and kinetic interaction modalities are all possible in the real world. Similar digital collaborative opportunities are anticipated from a Metaverse platform.
One of the requirements for a successful Metaverse software is that it can function on multiple Metaverse systems (s).
Creating applications for the Metaverse hints at a wide range of untested technology possibilities.
The developers, whether newcomers to the Metaverse or established figures with deep roots, might create either restrictive or flexible features.
Furthermore, there is an abundance of resources that can be used to bring this envisioned future into being. Unreal Engine, Unity, Amazon Sumerian, Blender, and Maya are just a few examples of such development environments.
Learn more about the practical applications of the Metaverse and the benefits it provides by looking at examples from other industries.
According to Bloomberg Intelligence, the Metaverse technology market could be worth $2.5 trillion by 2030, up from a projected $800 billion in 2025.
The sector is getting the outside stimulation and attention it needs to change both vr augmented reality technology and the future. Let’s look at some pioneering initiatives that have led to the development of Metaverse tools.
For example, the Metaverse Rules contain the following:
Only one Metaverse exists. All people should have access to the Metaverse.
The Metaverse exists beyond everyone’s control. The Metaverse must be accessible most of the time.
Most importantly, the Metaverse doesn’t care about your hardware. Both the internet and networks are part of the Metaverse.
When you put on your VR headset, you enter a virtual reality (VR) environment called the Metaverse.
It has enormous potential in many areas, including retail, business, and the workplace. In the Metaverse, real and virtual worlds are fused using tools like VR augmented reality (AR), describing a vision of a linked 3D digital global (AR).
Virtual worlds like Decentraland and online gaming platforms, like The Sandbox, are only two examples of existing metaverses. Participation in the Metaverse is growing at an unprecedented rate in the game industry.
According to Participation in the Metaverse is growing at an unprecedented rate in the game industry according to 65 % of the global population has participated in media extravagance, such as viewing a television show, movie, or premiere within a video game or working together to create a live concert.
Who Uses the Metaverse the Most?
Sixty-nine percent of humans have engaged in social activity, meeting new people, attending a group gathering, or visiting a virtual world while playing a game.
Almost three-quarters (72%) of people on Earth have engaged in some form of financial activity within the Metaverse. This can include the purchase of virtual goods, the purchase of virtual money, the purchase of digital goods from digital markets, or the purchase or sale of other gamers.
Augmented Reality (AR) in the Virtual World
Market leaders like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg are betting big on the potential of the “embodied internet” that is the Metaverse. It’s either a virtual reality experience or something that can be brought into your life (via AR).
The popularity of virtual worlds is on the rise, but the actual Metaverse may be the future wave regarding augmented reality.
The most natural way to supply digital content to the human perceptual system is to incorporate it directly into our physical surroundings.
How Does Your Brain Make a Unified Representation to You?
Your brain creates a unified representation of the arena based on information gleaned from your senses of sight, hearing, touch, and movement.
As long as virtual factors are powerfully recognized in your environment in terms of space and time, this is possible with augmented reality, even with reasonably poor visual constancy.
Now that our ability to judge distance (or intensity perception) is refined, it is not hard to believe this.
Augmented reality will inevitably become the norm. It may replace smartphones and computers as the dominant interface to digital content, and it will undoubtedly eclipse virtual reality as the primary doorway to the Metaverse.
Augmented reality may give us superpowers, allowing us to change our surroundings with a finger or an eye.
VR Augmented Reality in the Metaverse
Customers can now bridge the gap between their digital and physical worlds by entering the Metaverse thanks to virtual reality.
We will be able to explore new locations and make reports more accessible to more people by using virtual versions of people, objects, and landscapes.
In a nutshell, it’s an alternate reality where you can do all sorts of things like go to class, work, a concert, or shop without ever leaving your house. Virtual reality allows users to experience events, shop, and learn about new opportunities. Augmented and mixed reality, on the other hand, will open hitherto unimaginable possibilities for enhancing the physical world around us.
There are already add-ons to the XR landscape, such as haptic commenting tools, that will allow us to feel the handshakes and embraces of our contacts no matter where we are physically located.
Featured Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Thank you!