10 Steps To Save Your Retirement

Many of the brightest and hardest-working marketing and advertising people in the country are obsessed with getting you to spend money and, if necessary, to go into debt to do so. Absolutely all the media that reach you every day are designed to get you to spend money. In order to save money in this environment, you will need determination to withstand the constant pressures to spend now.

What is it that separates those who are successful from those who are not?

Successful individuals have a strong personal vision of what they want and why they want it. That vision gives them the strength to stick to their strategies even when doing so is uncomfortable. It gives them the determination to persist when they are discouraged. This is the same characteristic of women entrepreneurs and is the reason their new, small businesses are successful.

The 401k Plan

Today, the 401(k) plan has become the main investment vehicle for working women to save for retirement. But many don’t take full advantage of their plan, and this could leave them with a lot less at retirement. Here are some steps we believe you can take to improve and eliminate any retirement worries about whether or not your retirement will be pleasurable or public charity; or whether you will have all the free time to spend with your family or friends.

1. Increase your contributions to the maximum that you can manage. Many women contribute just enough to take advantage of their employer’s matching contributions, and then they stop. By adding more to your account, beyond the matching contributions, you’ll end up with more in retirement.

2. Invest at the start of each year instead of taking a little bit out of each paycheck. Nothing in the law says you have to invest in a 401(k) plan a little at a time, from each paycheck. By investing early, you’ll put your money to work sooner for your benefit.

3. A few years ago it was reported that more than 30 percent of the money in 401(k) plans was invested in money-market funds or similar accounts. For investors nearing retirement, that may be appropriate. But most workers in their 40’s and 50’s need growth in their retirement investments. Put more of your investment fund in equities and less in money-market funds.

4. Research indicates that over long periods of time, small-company stocks outperform large-company stocks. Since 1926, In the equity part of your portfolio, shift some of your money into funds that invest in small companies. Don’t put your entire equity portfolio in small-company stocks. But consider investing at least 25 percent of your U.S. equity investments in that fund.

5. Numerous studies have shown that value stocks outperform growth stocks. According to data going back to 1964, large U.S. value companies had a compound rate of return of 15.1 percent vs. only 11.4 percent for large U.S. growth companies. Among small U.S. companies, the difference was even more striking: a compound return of 17.4 percent for the value stocks vs. 12.1 percent for the growth stocks. Don’t put your entire equity portfolio into value stocks. But if there’s a value fund available to you, consider investing at least 25 percent of your U.S. equity investments in that fund.

6.Rebalance your portfolio once a year. Your asset allocation plan calls for a certain percentage to be invested in each of several kinds of assets. Rebalancing restores your asset balance and allows for the possibility that last year’s losers may be this year’s gainers. Diluting your diversification actually increases risk in your portfolio over time, which is a result that’s just the opposite of what most investors want.

7.Without compromising proper asset allocation– use the funds in your plan that have the lowest operating expenses. Choose funds with low turnover in their portfolios.

8. Don’t borrow or make early withdrawals from your 401(k) unless that is the only way to respond to a life-threatening emergency. Furthermore, if you take an early withdrawal before you are 59.5 years old, your withdrawals will be subject to a 10 percent tax penalty (in addition to regular taxes) unless you are disabled. Just don’t do it.

9. If you leave your job, you’ll get a chance to roll over your 401(k) into an IRA. Take that chance. In an IRA, you have the same tax deferral as a 401(k), and you’ll have the flexibility to invest in virtually everything you can get in a 401(k), plus much more.

10. Here’s the most important thing you can do to maximize your 401(k): Keep your contributions automatically payroll deducted, and make them no matter what. It’s simple, but it’s not easy. Half of the households in the United States have net worth of $25,000 or less. In a typical year, about two-thirds of U.S. households do not save money.

Remember, to be successful, first, imagine your early retirement; the Caribbean condo, the yacht, the new Lexus. Luxury and pleasure as far as your eyes can see. Create a strong vision, and then don’t let go. The power of a clear, strong vision applies to more than just your retirement savings. Let your vision shape your life, instead of the other way around, and all of the time in the world can be yours. You won’t be spending your Golden Years working at the Golden Arches.

Five fireside accessories that you need in your life this winter

Looking out of my window, it’s dark by 4.30pm; winter is here. As the nights draw longer and the cold comes in, all I want is to be curled up by the fireplace with a good book.

Image Credit

That said, a bare fireplace is almost as bad as no fireplace. Make yours more inviting by treating your home to these must-have fireside accessories and keep your house cosy all winter.

However, when lighting fires, make sure you have adequate fire safety at home and never leave a burning flame unattended.

1 Candles

The warmth of the fireplace can only be improved by placing scented candles on the mantelpiece. Selecting candle holders of different heights adds variety to your home and provides an excellent place to add foliage or other decorations over the festive period.

Image Credit

2 Log holder

To create that roaring fire, you’ll need logs to burn. Invest in a stunning metal log holder to add something a little different rather than a wicker basket, see a company such as https://www.themetaltree.co.uk that sells beautiful, alternative log storage options perfect for any home.

3 Tools

Any real fire needs the right tools. To keep your fire burning through the cold nights you will, at least, need a poker, shovel, tongs, rake and brush to keep your fireplace looking its best. That said, just because fire tools are functional doesn’t mean they can’t be beautiful. Find a set matching the tone of your room to make even the necessities appear to be ornaments.

4 Big mirrors

Often, the space above the fireplace can be a big expanse of wall needing something extra to bring the room together. Forgoing artwork in favour of an oversized mirror creates the illusion of an extra window, without the need to let in any more cold air. Mirrors also make your room feel bigger and help to create a focal point.

5 A good blanket

No experience of curling up by the fire is complete without the perfect throw or blanket to cover up cold toes. Find one that makes you feel at home so even when the rain is pouring you can keep cosy.

Grab your blanket, a good book, make yourself some hot chocolate and snuggle up by the fire until the sunshine returns.


I know it’s sad, but I can’t wait for them to leave

This morning I heard Joe and Katie talking about how they were looking forward to going away for the week down to Cornwall for a spot of windsurfing. When they saw me looking at them, they started talking in that human code that they seem to think that I don’t I understand.

Image Credit

“How do you think you know who will be staying at you know where?”

What they mean is how do they think I will be staying at Dog Boarding Surrey venue https://nestledownboardingkennels.co.uk They always worry so much when they go away and leave me at the boarding kennels. Fretting about whether I will miss them, and will I forgive them for leaving me when they come back, and will I be a good boy for the owners?

Well I can tell you exactly how I am going to be … ecstatic!! Now don’t get me wrong I do miss them both when they are away, but the kennels is amazing. I finally get some time to myself where I can ponder on what I am going to have written in my memoirs – now all I have to do is perfect holding a pen in my mouth and learn to write. Oh, and spell. Anyway, back to the kennels. The place is sheer luxury a room all to myself, no more having to listen to Joe snoring at night. He really should get that looked into, he sounds like some sort of pneumatic drill and it is really hard to dream about chasing my tail when all I can hear is him. Also, the lady at the kennels gives the best tummy rubs. Not that I would ever tell Katie that.

Image Credit

All this excitement thinking about my impeding stay in the kennels has got my tail waging furiously. I mustn’t let them see me being too happy about it. I don’t want to spoil the illusion that I am going to be devastated when they leave and pine away for them for a week. I wonder if my good friend Bertie will be staying there this time. He has been there the last two occasions I have stayed Bertie is hilarious he likes to think that he is some sort of detective, always trying to work out where the dogs in the other kennels have come from and what their families are like and he has such long fur over his eyes that can often be heard crashing into his food bowl in the middle of the night.

Well, I’m off to start packing my favourite toys to take with me. I will fill you in on all the kennel gossip when I get back.

FCA Outlines Plans to Use AI to Identify Mis-Selling

There have been many blogs/articles outlining the benefits of AI in the financial sphere. But now there is a move to utilise this technology in a different way.

Image Credit

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has recently outlined plans to use automation to stop independent financial advisors from mis-selling products. If an advisor makes a false or misleading statement about a financial product, this is classified as mis-selling, as are omitting facts or not outlining risks associated with any investment.

The FCA’s Richard Monks told a recent conference that he wanted to explore the idea of using machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to investigate companies or individuals that are likely to mis-sell products. The predictions would be based on a wide data pool, including publicly available data, data about complaints and historical records of approved persons and/or controls. Using big data could help identify the advisors who were likely to mis-sell.

If you live in or near Wiltshire and are looking for an independent financial advisor Marlborough is a great place to start. A small market town and civil parish, there are a number of firms and independent financial specialists based there.

Image Credit

Good financial advice should cost less than the benefits it generates in the long run. If you are looking for some independent financial advice, why not take a look at the website of a reputable firm such as https://chilvester.co.uk/ today?

Digital Reporting

Monks added the FCA is also looking to further increase investment in the digital reporting of transactions. Wholesale markets already offer almost real-time transaction reporting and analysis, but retail transactions do not. By adopting digitised transactions for retail, the FCA could be notified almost immediately of any transactions that meet its pre-defined criteria of ‘dubious’, ‘potentially fraudulent’ or ‘potential mis-selling’. This type of digitisation would also reduce the costs associated with regulatory reporting, as a considerable amount of data could be centralised.

IFA Numbers

Regulatory returns showed that at the end of November 2017 there were a total of 25,951 advisors in the UK (with 5270 firms employing at least one advisor). This was a small increase on the previous year.

Better data would enable the FCA to concentrate on high-risk investments made by those firms/individuals that are flagged up by AI as more likely to mis-sell.

What to expect when visiting an STI clinic

If you’re at all worried about visiting a clinic because you think you might have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) – don’t be. There’s nothing to worry about, the whole service is completely confidential and the staff at the clinic are not there to judge anyone – just to make sure your sexual health is looked after.

Image Credit

Male or female, LGBTQ+, old or young, the service is for everyone. Under 16s sometimes worry that the clinic will tell their parents – absolutely not. The service is for you, not your parents!

Expect discretion and confidentiality

As at any clinic, you’ll be asked for your name and contact details. The fact you’ve visited the clinic won’t be passed onto your GP unless you give permission. But if you still don’t want to give your real name, that’s OK. Just make sure you leave a valid contact point if you’re having tests where the results aren’t available immediately. This is just so that you can get the results. If you opt for a letter, there’ll be nothing on the outside of the letter to show where it’s from or what it’s about.

Try and remember dates and symptoms

When it comes to an STI test London has lots of clinics, and you can also do your own test, www.checkurself.org.uk/plus/ for some STIs before deciding to go to a clinic.

Image Credit

When you get to the clinic, you can request a male or female doctor or nurse. You’ll be asked when you last had sex, and whether you’ve had unprotected sex (without a condom). The medic will want to know what symptoms you have, and what has made you think you might have an infection. There’s a good NHS guide to symptoms here: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/#symptoms.

Tests and results

The next step is the tests. For some infections, test results, and even treatment, are available the same day. For others, you’ll need to be contacted later. A positive result means you’ll be asked to go back to the clinic, to discuss treatment. You should tell your sexual partner but if you can’t bear to – don’t worry – if you agree, the clinic can do it anonymously, without revealing your identity.

Don’t worry about visiting the STI clinic – it’s there to help you manage your sexual health, not to judge you.


Six Advantages of CNC over Conventional Milling

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling has a number of advantages over the traditional method. It will definitely continue to be widely used in the future as CNC machines begin to be connected to other manufacturing processes and interfaces.

Image Credit

Let’s take a look at some of the many ways in which this computer-driven process can benefit your business.

1. Training and Labour Costs Can Be Controlled

It’s hard to maintain production quality without an experienced operator when you’re using a conventional milling machine. However, while CNC operators do have to be trained, it’s a less intensive training. The machine contributes much more to the final product, and quality is much less dependent on the experience of the operator.

2. It’s Like Having Your Own Production Line

Conventional machines are great for one-off specialised products. But if you need to produce many parts of the same type, CNC milling from https://www.parallelprecision.co.uk/cnc-milling is definitely the way to go. You can program the machine to carry out the same cut repeatedly with exactly the same quality standard.

Image Credit

3. No Need for Time-Consuming Prototypes

Using a CNC machine speeds up product development and production because you can run a computer simulation of a part, check it, refine it and get a working specification without having to actually produce the part. This is a far faster process than prototyping, producing and refining actual parts.

4. You Can Make Demanding Products and Grow the Business

With CNC, tricky and complex products that were previously not feasible can now be produced cost-effectively. That extends your business offer to clients and opens up possible new markets.

5. CNC Future-Proofs Your Business

It’s important to be ready to meet future developments and challenges. CNC helps you to prepare for a digital future. With 3D printing and robotics on the horizon, the future for manufacturing and engineering can look problematic. But getting into CNC now will help you to see these new developments as opportunities.

6. Improved Productivity, Lower Costs

You can rely on the CNC machine to minimise the amount of human error and yet maintain the required quality. That leads to increased productivity. In fact, it can also lead to lower numbers of operators being required.

Don’t get left behind – join the CNC revolution and let your business reap the benefits.


Advice for Making Online Banking Safe

Banking online can be a fantastic way to save you time and even money.  Most large banks now offer online banking or online account access, and for the most daring: some banks are only available online.  With the latest in web safety, these sites are heavily encrypted and designed to be hack-proof.  The largest cause of accounts being hacked into actually falls upon the account holders.  There are several simple steps that can be taken to avoid your account, money, and personal information being put at risk.  Some may seem simple, but it is better to be safe!

1) Never give out your username or password.  Your bank will not ask you for your password or even username.  They already have it.  They will not lose it, and only a very select group of employees can even access it.  If you think you need to address this issue, call them at the number your normally call, do not take the phone number off an email or a website, look in the phone book or just stop in at your local branch.

2) If you access your accounts from more than one computer, be sure that computers used by others have up-to-date antivirus software.  You should also make sure that the machine is running an up to date browser that can support the standard 128-bit encryption used by most secure websites.  When you are done, always be sure to log off and even clear the Auto complete bar also, it can make it too easy for someone to log in and guess your password.

3) A good password in very important, also, using more than one password can be just as valuable.  If a hacker, worm, or virus is to get into your computer and find a password, they will try that same password in all of your cached login areas.  It also helps drastically to use letters and numbers.  Birthdays, pet names, and nicknames also tend to be easiest to guess.

4) Never trust any email sent to you that links directly to your login page.  This is the number one trick for hackers to “cloak” or “phish” you out of your own private information.  Even though the site looks like the site you are familiar with, it may not be.  These thieves have become experts at copying the look of real sites with their own copies designed to extrapolate victim’s bank numbers and more!

By following these steps, you can be confident that your identity and information is still yours and still protected.  There are thousands of people and programs trying to steal your information, but you have plenty of tools, people and strategies on your side also!  Go ahead save yourself some time and gas money!

Accident Claim Compensation

There are a number of factors affecting the likelihood of the accident claims’ success.

* Timescale. It is unlikely that a solicitor will be willing to deal with the case if the incident occurred more than three years ago. The limitation period for most personal injury claims is three years and if the case is not settled or proceedings have not been issued in a court of law prior to that time then the matter becomes statute barred. There are exceptions to this rule. The most important one being that time does not begin to run until a person reaches the age of 18 years. There are other exceptions and accident claim advice should always be sought in regards to matters relating to limitation.

* Injuries. The doctor who originally treated the injury will hold medical details, which are of paramount importance when making a claim. The solicitor will use this record as evidence of the type and cause of the injury and if necessary will obtain another specialist’s medical opinion as the case proceeds. It is therefore extremely important that medical advice is obtained as soon as possible after any accident either from a General Practitioner or from the local hospital Accident and Emergency department.

* The Police. A specialist accident claims advice solicitor will liaise with any police officers who witnessed the accident or the occurrences shortly after the accident and will usually obtain a copy of the police accident report which will be made available as soon as any relevant criminal prosecutions are completed. A policeman may be called to give evidence in any civil court case for damages if necessary.

* Witnesses: Sometimes there are witnesses and it helps if their statements are collected immediately. Witness statements greatly support the claimant’s case. However, these statements should never be obtained personally by the injured person. A solicitor or a private inquiry agent employed on the client’s behalf will usually obtain signed statements which will verify the client’s version of events.

* Evidence. The more evidence and information gathered, the greater the success rate. Clients are recommended to take detailed photographs of the location and any injuries. A daily diary charting the recovery from injury is also useful in assessing any compensation payable for pain and suffering. This should include any entries on what kind of activities you can no longer enjoy, or how the pain intrudes on your ability to enjoy a ‘quality” life. All receipts for expenses incurred should be carefully kept and filed (be sure to make photocopies).

Resisting the urge to scratch.

One of the most maddening things that can happen to a human being is being itchy. It’s made even worse if it’s a particular itch that you cannot scratch or if you do you find that it gets progressively worst. What makes us feel itchy? A lot of the time its set of by looking at crawling bugs or being told when someone has nits or that a Dog or Cat may have fleas. The itching that we feel in those case is quite psychological not and actual physical manifestation. Situations and environments also play a part. If one colleague of goes down complaining of itching than it can have a knock-on effect where all the other office members start to feel the same.  That can be easily rectified especially if you get the assistance of a Commercial Cleaning Company Cheltenham way like http://cleaningcompanycheltenham.co.uk/ at least that way you’ll be able to rule out the office being a festering bed of fleas.

Image Credit

The answer to why we feel itchy is pretty much all in our heads. There are two stages to the process of how we react to being itchy. This was laid down in the British journal of Dermatology after some extensive study, so they should know what they’re talking about. They found that the initial urge to be itchy is not related to the skin on your body. For example, if someone talks to you about lice, or fleas then the mind immediately kicks in by reminding you of what a flea looks like and what it feels like on the skin. This is a defence mechanism that the brain uses so that you try and avoid any contact with a flea ridden person and don’t end up the same way. However, it also starts a reaction in your skin to make you aware and this is when you start to feel the start of itching. What the Scientists did to prove this was to expose one group of people to images of insects and insects biting and monitored their reactions and asked them how they felt. The other group were not and went through the same questions, but both showed different reactions. The group with the insect pictures got itchy.

Image Credit

The second phase of the cycle is the actual scratching. By this point the itch has become unbearable and then the scratching has started. The only problem with scratching is that whilst he takes away the sense of the itch it starts to make the feeling worse. Thus, you get into a never-ending cycle. Apparently, the best thing to do is to rub the area and focus on something else.

The Most Important Factors to Consider when Selecting a Fulfilment Partner

Success has a price. It’s the price of busy-ness, instead of business – unless you find the ideal partner who can take care of your orders and ensure they are fulfilled with you having no worry about the quality, quantity, and cost of the service. Sounds like a dream come true? Not at all – that’s the beauty about specialisation. That’s the beauty about outsourcing your needs. Most owners and managers agree: leave it to the experts; that’s how you become successful. You build on what’s great out there. You create time to focus on your own needs and tackle the most immediate problems one at a time. If you are in this position, then this one’s for you: here are the most important factors to consider when selecting a fulfilment partner.

Is it done right?

Find out what you need first. This is a critical point, because when you start guessing or are unsure of your own requirements, the door to miscommunication and misunderstanding is open. List it down, in terms that are as specific as possible – then see how your potential partner can help you with it. You want it to be done right, and it starts with you.

Background checks

Never be afraid to do a background check. On the Internet you may be able to find a lot of testimonials and wonderful phrases from customers, but you want to make sure they’re real and that the company truly does have that reputation. Do it the old-fashioned way; make some calls.

How advanced are they?

The modern business expects (rightfully so) that there is a certain standard of automation and efficiency. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and see how fast they can get the jobs done. Ask about the technology they use, what their efficiency rate is, and how often mistakes happen.


Depending on their location, a fulfilment company may be able to help you in more ways than one. Or they may be able to recommend a great logistics partner, as well.

Cost and communication

Make sure you do your homework, read the fine print on the contract, and have open communication lines that are clear and transparent.

Last, but not least, you should also make sure the turnaround time fit your standards. Everything might be happening on time, correctly, and in a cost-efficient manner, but it should also happen fast – or at least at the speed you require. In the modern world, this usually means: the faster, the better (as long as it doesn’t diminish the efficiency and no mistakes are made). There’s no doubt getting the right fulfilment partner is a great choice, for any business. But do you research and make sure you do get the right one.