Is It Ever Too Early To Begin Planning For Life Post Retirement?

Most of us will be familiar with the phrase, “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” This perfectly sums up retirement planning. In a time where 78 percent of Americans are woefully unprepared for their retirement, early planning may be the key action that helps you avoid becoming one of the statistics. Planning for the future is often synonymous with those nearing the end of their working career as they anticipate sizeable changes. Yet, if you opted to be more proactive in our retirement plans earlier on in our life, you are giving yourself the best chance of achieving those dreams you may have, and also boosting the likelihood of being adequately prepared. It’s simple: the earlier you plan for your retirement, the more time you have to make those plans become a reality (and possibly exceed your initial goals). Contrary to what many believe, retirement planning centers on more just establishing and building your financial investments or savings. It is about future proofing your finances, establishing security for you and your loved ones and overall, preparing your life for what is to come.

Is It Ever Too Early To Begin Planning For Life Post Retirement? #retirement #planning #money

What Does A Retirement Plan Entail Exactly?

When it comes to establishing a retirement plan, there are several misconceptions about what exactly the process entails. One of those misconceptions? Retirement planning is a one-off action. In fact, planning for your retirement is an ongoing process and should be regularly reviewed from time to time, to gauge your progress and reassess whether your goals have changed. This is particularly highlighted in the changing costs of retirement that seniors are experiencing in society today and the guessing game that is life expectancy.

Guessing your life expectancy is in fact, one of the starting blocks when beginning your retirement planning. In addition to your current savings and assets owned, the length of time you are looking to provide for will help you gauge what your end goals will look like.

This also brings us to the second misconception. It is often assumed that planning for retirement is mostly about establishing investments. While retirement planning does largely center on your savings and income streams post-career, it also entails providing for medical emergencies, providing for debt obligations and even taking steps to amend your lifestyle to be more suitable to the new dynamics that comes with leaving the workforce. It is important to also establish that retiring today no longer means leaving the workforce completely. More seniors are choosing to become entrepreneurs, volunteer or embrace freelancing as a part of boosting their income and also as a retirement goal. Therefore, this aspect has also become a part of new age retirement plans.

Getting Started By Creating Savings Security

A Gallup survey showed that 43 percent of adults aged 50 to 64 expect to rely solely on their Social Security Benefits during their retirement while a staggering 21 percent of Americans have no retirement savings at all. This places many people in a precarious position and one that can rapidly lead to a debt spiral. One of the first things you can do immediately is to begin saving for your retirement goals once you have mapped out what those goals are and what they will cost. It is estimated that the average retiree spends $3,800 per month or $45,756 annually. While this is a great starting point, it is best to personalize your savings goals. Look at your outgoings currently and get in the habit of budgeting. With the help of spreadsheets and mobile friendly budgeting apps, you can sync all of your spendings and see where you can trim money. Generally, it is recommended that you begin putting away 15-20 percent of your income into savings or investments including any workplace retirement plans.

Is It Ever Too Early To Begin Planning For Life Post Retirement? #retirement #planning #money

Diversify Your Portfolio And Make It Work For You

Our income changes with retirement and therefore making arrangements to supplement the loss of income that comes with retirement is a wise move. It is also great to do so earlier on in life since it gives you more time to implement them and iron out any kinks. Many people opt for stocks and share investments which can be conveniently done in the comfort of their homes thanks to the recent invention of investment Robo advisors or with the help of a financial planner if preferred. Another income stream to include in your portfolio is real estate. Thanks to advancing financing options, you do not necessarily have to purchase buy to let properties on your own but can make use of real estate funds and platforms. Finally, business income such as establishing a small business can provide a useful income stream in retirement. Take the time to maximize your 401k and Roth IRA as well, starting early. This also applies to the self-employed starting their retirement savings plan in lieu of an employer-sponsored plan. The more years you are able to contribute, the more you will be able to put away.

Cover Your Bases, Provide For The Unknown

For the retired, healthcare has been one of the most steadily increasing spending categories. It is estimated that healthcare in retirement will cost a couple $280,000, not including any long term care costs. While there is national and state insurance such as Medicare that covers some of the healthcare expenses in later life, there still remains an increasing gap between consumers’ savings and their coverage. In this case, securing medical and life insurance (including coverage for long term illness) proves to be a prudent move.

For those aged 65 and over, insurance premiums can cost over $4,000 each year and increases with age. One good tip is to create dedicated savings pots for events such as upcoming insurance premiums and to secure coverage earlier rather than later. By saving throughout the year, you guarantee continued coverage and avoid the budgetary squeeze of premiums. In addition, lump sum payments tend to come with discounts, making it more budget friendly.

There is a lot that goes into planning for retirement, and what is important to note is that that process never stops. While there is always some degree of uncertainty attached to estimated what life after retiring may look like, there is one thing that is certain: you can never start planning for the future too early.

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Pet Care Through Life Stages

Pet Care Through Life Stages

Our pets are our friends and family. They have the ability to bring us humor, joy, and happiness throughout their lifetime, which can feel tragically short for our liking. That’s why we care so deeply about how we provide for them throughout the various stages of their life. From adopting a new puppy and watching them discover the world, to the old lap cat that enjoys an afternoon cuddle on a sun-soaked chair. Our animals present us with comfort and companionship. So how do we help them get the most out of their time with us?

Pet Care Through Life Stages #petcare #pets #puppy #kitten #dog #cat #family #life

 

Your Dog’s Life Stages

Your canine friend goes through a series of six stages in its lifetime. Every breed will go through these stages at different rates, phasing from one to the other gradually. If you want to get more specifics on your breed and what to expect throughout their life, talk with your veterinarian and their team about what you should know and be prepared for in regards to your pet’s behavior, lifestyle, and diet as they get older. Those six stages are:

  • Puppy
  • Junior
  • Adult
  • Mature
  • Senior
  • Geriatric

 

Your Cat’s Life Stages

Your cat also goes sees a similar six life stages. As with a canine, these stages can differ between breeds, but the gestation of these phases stays relatively similar. These stages are:

  • Kitten
  • Junior
  • Prime
  • Mature
  • Senior
  • Geriatric

Pet Care Through Life Stages #petcare #pets #family #life

Tailor a Wellness Plan

Knowing what your pet needs from the very moment you bring them home can be tricky. We can do all the pet-proofing, buy the best toys, and give them all the tummy scratches they could ask for. Even still, if we don’t do the leg work to understand the lives of our family pets, we’d be doing them a disservice.

Providing the ultimate care means taking the time to understand the awesome, and sometimes tough moments, that our pets will inevitably go through. Work with their primary vet to tailor a wellness plan for your pet based on their breed and age. Learn about what they might be vulnerable to at certain stages in their life. And of course, make a plan for their general wellness.

Pet Care Through Life Stages #petcare #pets #puppy #kitten #dog #cat #family #life

Exercise is Always Important

Make sure that exercise is a part of your pet’s daily life. Don’t skip out on it as your pet gets older. Daily exercise will help prevent obesity and other common health problems that easily effect senior animals. Not only does it help keep their body’s functioning, but it can help stimulate their senses. Remember, a bored animal is not something you want in your house. It can often lead to destructive behaviors and even depression.

If you’re taking your senior dog out for a walk, keep the distance short at first. Make sure your dog is comfortable before lengthening the distance later. Try and keep your outings to the early morning, or later in the afternoon when the sun isn’t at its strongest. Older canines are more susceptible to heat. Make sure to bring water with you as well. Your senior dog may become more quickly dehydrated than you thought possible.

Find toys that stimulate your senior cat’s senses. If they enjoy chasing around a laser, set some time out of your day to get them moving, or “hunting” after that squirrelly dot. It’s easy for senior cats to put on excess weight in their twilight years, and not getting them up and moving can cause unwanted stress on their joints.

 

Preventing Disease

A large part of animal care through the years is keeping diseases at bay. Although ticks and heartworms might be something you worry less about due to where you reside—just as you take care to prevent diseases spread through pests that could harm your own person—it’s wise to make sure similar pest can’t harm your animals, as well. Take necessary precautions on trips to new places, keep a careful eye out for ticks embedded in fur after walks and parasites spotted after bathroom outings.

 

Annual Visits to the Vet

Never underestimate the importance of an annual wellness exam! The ailments our pets may be dealing with could be going unnoticed. Get your pet to the vet at least once a year. You could have the chance to catch something happening with your pet well before they begin to show signs of discomfort or struggle. It’s also important to get any pet that spends time outdoors their basic round of yearly shots. It’ll give you the needed piece of mind that they’ll be safe at the dog park where diseases can be present.

Pet Care Through Life Stages #petcare #pets #puppy #kitten #dog #cat #family #life

As your pet reaches their mature, or senior stage, you might decide to visit their vet more than once a year. By nature, your dog or cat could be hiding signs of the pains or discomfort in their old age. Be sure to keep an eye out for signs they may need an extra checkup. For instance, it may be normal for your dog to pant after a long romp around the park, but if your feline friend begins to pant this would be a concern. Keep an eye out for any unusual behaviors.

 

Investing For The Absolute Beginner

Millenials are being encouraged to invest more, but it’s not something that you should venture into lightly. There’s a lot at stake when you’re moving money back and forth: one wrong move, and you could lose some of your money. Fortunately, though, getting started with investing isn’t too difficult, even for someone who knows nothing about it; as more beginner-friendly resources have started to appear more on the market.

Investing For The Absolute Beginner #investing #money #lifestyle #beginner

Invest In Your Future With An App

To appeal to the younger tech-friendly generation, several apps have become available that let users invest small amounts of their money in different sorts of accounts. Acorns, an app that takes a few cents out of your paycheck each month, is designed to work more or less automatically and return you money on your investments. However, there are others, such as Stash, which are designed to work manually. Stash is meant to teach you how to build your own portfolio through investments.

Real Estate Investments

There are many additional forms of investment to choose from. Real estate, for example, is often considered an investment, though it can be regarded as short-term or long-term depending on how you intend to treat it. Although investing in real estate often involves a rather significant barrier to entry in the case of buying homes, it makes up for that in being a sound investment.

When buying real estate for investments, short-term usually refers to a buy-and-flip model, while long-term usually involves a buy-and-wait model. Buy-and-flip models typically involve purchasing a house, redesigning it or updating it, and selling it for top dollar. Buy-and-wait homes, on the other hand, are often used as long-term appreciating investments, and they can be rented out for additional profit (or to cover the cost of a mortgage) in the meantime.

What Does Diversification Mean?

Diversification is an investing term that means spreading your assets over several different areas. For example, if the stock market crashes and you have all of your money invested in stocks, you’re in for a bit of a rude awakening. However, if your investments are spread out over different kinds of accounts, like bonds, real estate, and mutual funds in addition to the stocks, you might lose some of your money, but you’ll still be in good shape. Diversification is a recommended tactic for anyone interested in investing.

Investing For The Absolute Beginner #investing #money #lifestyle #beginner

There is a lot to learn for the beginner starting down the path of investment. However, with the many resources available today, anyone can learn everything they might need to know to invest knowledgeably. Whether you choose to do so through a largely self-sufficient app or do it yourself through some other method, as long as you educate yourself well before going in, you can find success through investing.

5 Ways to Take Back Your Space

Do you ever find yourself looking around your home and realizing that it’s not the space you thought it was? Or what you hoped it would be? Your cabinets have a thick layer of dust, there are questionable food items hidden in the back of your fridge, and the floor of your closet is just a pile of clothes, once clean but no longer distinguishable between the dirty ones? Things like this happen without you even noticing, because the change is gradual. It seems that one day your home was organized and put together, a harmonious space. And then the next, you feel embarrassed having a guest over because of the clutter you are suddenly noticing. In most cases, these changes don’t happen overnight, and they’re gradual messes. So, it’s time to take back your space. How?

Take it one room at a time

When cleaning and reorganizing, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It’s an overwhelming job! This is one reason why things get so bad before cleaning them, is because it’s overwhelming. The task gets to be so daunting that you keep putting it off. But now you’re here, and it can’t be put off any longer. So, take it one room at a time. Dedicate time to one room until it’s done, even if it takes days longer than planned. Don’t advance to the next room until you’re finished with the room you’ve already started. Trying to do it all at once is an easy way to get overwhelmed again and give up. Maybe decide which room is most urgent. Is your closet so untidy you can’t get to the things you need? Or is the smell coming from your fridge overwhelming? Pick one room, start there, and then move on.

5 Ways to Take Back Your Space #home #organize #space #homeideas #lifestyle

Find organization systems that work for you

The reason we let our space get so out of control is often from a lack of organization. If there isn’t a clear place to put your things, they get put wherever there is a clear surface, until you don’t know where anything is. If you’re going to spend all of this time reorganizing your space. you don’t want to see it all fall to disarray a week later. Organization is the key to keep that from happening.

5 Ways to Take Back Your Space #home #organize #space #homeideas #lifestyle

Get rid of the things that you don’t need

As you organize and clean, you’ll come across things that you haven’t used or even thought about in years. With the exception of memorabilia and seasonal items, things that don’t get used on a regular basis don’t need to be taking up space in your home. If you’re having a hard time parting with certain items, put them in a box and put them in your garage. If you don’t go out to the garage to get those items within a month, you probably don’t need them. When the month is up, take them to be donated, or set up a garage sale to get rid of the things you no longer need. Not having these things in your home will keep you organized so things don’t get out of hand again!

Make sure your space is safe

One thing that is common for a space or even just a single room that has been neglected, is for it to obtain health hazards. Pests, mold and even just excessive amounts of dust can be dangerous to your health. Consider having pest control come and check your home, ordering a radon test kit, and scrubbing down any areas of your walls that may seem at risk to develop mold. If you find black mold, you should have a professional come and take care of it immediately, as it’s not safe for you to remove.

Don’t let it get out of hand again

Saying that you won’t let your home, or even just that one room you always store your junk in, get that messy again is a lot easier said than done. The easiest ways to make sure your home stays clean and comfortable is to make sure that you have things organized in an easy way to maintain, as well as have a system in place to clean things more often. Maybe on Fridays you wipe down all of the bathrooms every single week. Saturdays you mop the floors, and clean out the fridge. Sundays are for washing windows and wiping down baseboards. Even if you space things out every other week, to keep the workload more manageable, having set days that you clean different areas of your home will not only keep things clean, but will keep the job from getting overwhelming.

5 Ways to Take Back Your Space #home #organize #space #homeideas #lifestyle

6 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Workout

Nobody goes to the gym expecting mediocre results. When you have invested your time, money, and energy into working out at a gym, you want to see results in the form of a leaner, more sculpted body. And if you have been working out for a while and haven’t seen those results, it can be disheartening. It seems that everybody, from the beginner to the experienced gym shark, is always looking for more ways to get the most out of their workout. But the good news is, researchers have been looking for that very thing, and they have found a few ways to do just that. So, for everybody who is looking to make the most of their gym membership, here’s a list of a few easy ways to get a better workout.

6 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Workout #workout #healthy #music #rest #food #water #weights

Listen to Music

First and foremost is a tip that everybody already knows, but it’s worth restating: listening to music is an excellent way to get the most out of your workout. In addition to providing your body with energy so you work out harder than you otherwise would, listening to music actually helps your body recover faster. It increases levels of serotonin and dopamine, which have been shown to foster recovery. Of course, if you’re wearing headphones, you’ll want to know a thing or two about headphones and hearing safety, but other than that, you can jam out and get in a great workout.

Rest

Many people who are new to exercising or who are overeager to get started fail to realize the importance of resting. While it might seem counterintuitive, taking a day or two each week to rest between workouts will actually be more beneficial in the long run than working out every day. Our bodies need time to rest, so be sure to take a day or two each week to rest, and be sure to get enough sleep every night!

Eat Healthy Foods

Everybody knows that regular exercise and a healthy diet are the two factors that contribute to better physical fitness, but many people find it difficult to incorporate them both into their lives. However, it is important that you do incorporate both of them because one without the other won’t do you much good. The two habits complement each other and work together to give you great results. If you’re wanting to get a good workout in, healthy foods will give you the energy you need.

6 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Workout #workout #healthy #music #rest #food #water #weights

Drink Water

Closely related to eating healthy foods, drinking water deserves its own category because again, people who exercise regularly and eat healthy foods can still neglect drinking enough water. Studies have shown that many people are already dehydrated by the time they enter the gym, and the problem only gets worse as they sweat. If you’re dehydrated, your workout will feel harder, your performance will suffer, and it will take you longer to recover from your workout than if you were properly hydrated, so be sure to drink enough water before, during, and after your workout! 

6 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Workout #workout #healthy #music #rest #food #water #weights

Use Free Weights

The machines at the gym are a very tempting option because they do well to isolate specific muscle groups to ensure a great workout. And while they do have their benefits, it is important that you also incorporate a lot of free weights into your workout as well. The reason for that is when you’re using a machine, the machine does all of the supporting for you, which means that all of the stabilizing muscles in your body aren’t engaging in the workout. When you use free weights, however, it’s up to you to keep everything stable, so you’ll end up using more muscles, working harder, and getting better results.

6 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Workout #workout #healthy #music #rest #food #water #weights

Switch It Up

Adding some variation to your workout won’t just keep you from getting bored (though that is important). Studies have shown that people who perform different variations of workouts get better results than people who only stick with one or two workouts. If you’re looking for a fast, easy, and fun way to get a better workout, it would be a wise decision to switch things up every now and then. That way, you’ll work different muscles, have more fun, and see better results.

Room Redesign on a Budget

Do you have that one room that just needs a little love? Maybe it’s a tad outdated, or maybe it just doesn’t carry the aesthetic of the rest of your home. We’d love to be able to change up, or restyle a room whenever we got the urge, but if we’re on a budget, that might not be realistic. Here’s some tips to redesign a room on a budget. Little changes can have a huge effect on the outcome of your living space.

Room Redesign on a Budget #roomideas #budget #budgetfriendly #home #redesign #paint

Evaluate Your Space

  • What is this space?
  • What do I use it for now?
  • How does it make me feel?

It’s good to figure out what this space currently means to you. If this space is technically a living room, what do you consider its use? A family den, a greeting space, a place that houses your couches? It’s important to understand what this space means to you and the others in your household before you decide what it’ll eventually become. Once you evaluate the space and have your answer to those three questions, then ask yourself: what do you want this space to be and how do you want to feel when you’re in this space?

Room Redesign on a Budget #roomideas #budget #budgetfriendly #home #redesign #paint

Easy Transformations

If you choose to redo a room, try first to transform it through budget friendly means. From reusing, or upcycling items you already own, to merely painting the space a new color. There are a million and one ways to spruce up your space.

  1. Paint! Painting a room is one of the simplest, more affordable ways to reimagine your room. Color has a transformative power. If you’ve already decided to change up what’s hanging on your walls, or rearranging furniture, you may want to think about taking a pause on putting anything back up before you have a chance to paint.

Room Redesign on a Budget #paint #redesign #room #house #budget #money

 

Use paint to bring a certain emotion, or presence to a room. Is there a color that makes you feel happy, studious, or calm? Don’t be afraid to get creative with your interiors, and your color schemes. If you’re going for a minimal look, but want to bring color into the space, try painting one wall with a strong accent color. If you want to bring an extra uniqueness to a room with concrete or wood floors, try painting your floors instead of your walls.

  1. Chalkboard Paint

If you’re looking for creative way to utilize your walls, try using chalkboard paint. It’s a fun and useful way to use a wall in a room. It’s excellent for children’s rooms, as they can doodle on a chalkboard wall as much as they’d like without ruining the wall itself. It’s also a great idea for decorating a front room, or kitchen on a budget. It’s a great idea if you like to have a “to-do”, or grocery list visible to everyone in your household.

 

Have Fun With Your Furnishings

Move it around! If it’s not in your budget to find brand new furniture for the room you’re redecorating, use some time to move your furnishings around. Sometimes, all it takes to look at a room in a new light is just the simple act of moving things about. There’s always that one piece of furniture that either suits a room or doesn’t. Find a clear space for it.

Room Redesign on a Budget #paint #redesign #room #house #budget #money

Upcycle & D.I.Y.

Before you go out and make a new purchase for your room, try and upcycle something you already own. Whether you’re giving a beloved piece of furniture a facelift, or take an upholstery class to update tired seating with new slipcovers.

Room Redesign on a Budget #paint #redesign #room #house #budget #money

Make It Livable

Only spend on what you know you’ll love for years to come. One of the most enjoyable things about getting to revamp a space is having a chance to change the way you experience the space. Whether you make bold choices, or simple ones; this is your chance to fall in love with a space you’ve maybe forgotten about, or even avoided. Redoing a room on a budget doesn’t lessen the work that can be done, but it does mean you should be willing to get creative.

Make sure you know where and why you’re spending your budget. If you plan to splurge on one or two items to pull your room together, do so carefully. There’s nothing worse than spending your budget on items that will never use, or items that will run out their welcome quickly, you can purchase decorative drapes and curtains that’ll give the room a pop. If you intend to buy instead of repurpose, make sure that you’ll love what you bring into a space many years down the road. Keep your spaces unique, but livable.

Tips to Spring Clean Your Budget

Now that spring is here, it’s time to take a look at your budget and see some ways that you can cut down on how much you are spending, on a month by month basis. If you don’t already have a budget, then make one! If you do, then pull it out and take a look at some simple ways you can cut down on the money you routinely spend…

Tips to Spring Clean Your Budget #spring #budget #money #lifestyle #savings

 

Use Public Transit (or Other Methods to Drive Less)

Cutting down transportation costs is one of the best and quickest ways to lower your monthly expenses significantly. If your area has sufficient public transportation to get you where you need to go, don’t hesitate to use it. You’ll be surprised at the fortune you save on gas.

Again, anything you can do to cut down on transportation costs will make a huge difference. Another option you have is to ride a bike. Making a bike your primary mode of transportation will also be good for the environment and improve your health. If you’re looking to cycle to work, but don’t have the budget for a brand new bike, check the inventory at secondhand stores and check yard sales too.

Tips to Spring Clean Your Budget #spring #budget #money #lifestyle #savings

Get Rid of Unused Gym Memberships

Cancel your gym membership and head to your local park to get the same workout for free. Use the natural layout of the park, trails, playground equipment, and benches to create a comprehensive workout routine. Not only will you save on gym membership fees, but you will also enjoy some time in the sun.

Tips to Spring Clean Your Budget #spring #budget #money #lifestyle #savings

Cut Back on Subscriptions

Whether it’s the newspaper, magazines, or even an internet streaming service like Netflix, subscriptions are usually things you can easily live without. If you’re really looking to cut monthly expenses this summer, cut all subscriptions and spend more time outdoors.

Be a Smart Driver

You’d be surprised at how much money you can save merely by changing some simple driving habits. Let up on the gas pedal just a little when accelerating, cut down on speeding, and try walking to destinations that are reasonably close. Even if you can’t completely live without a car, chances are you can whittle down your gas expenses significantly.

Eat Less Meat

It may be difficult to BBQ less and cut down on the number of steaks you grill this summer, but the fact is meat is expensive. Take the opportunity to learn some new recipes and cook some refreshing vegetarian dishes. If you grow a garden, you can use your own vegetables and save even more on meals than you ever thought possible.

Partake in Free Events

Summer is a great time to get out into the action of your hometown. If you’re looking for some budget-friendly excitement to mix up your summer, go to a free concert or local outdoor event. Taking advantage of these seasonal events may provide your family with a free or inexpensive experience that would normally cost a lot more to enjoy.

Tips to Spring Clean Your Budget #spring #budget #money #lifestyle #savings

Update to LED Lightbulbs

LED lightbulbs are becoming a popular alternative light source in contemporary homes. Not only do they last longer than traditional light bulbs, they are also more energy efficient, more versatile, and completely silent. Switching over to LED lightbulbs will cost some money upfront, but will prove to be a saving investment in the long run.

Unplug Unused Electronics

It may be a task so simple that it never crossed your mind. Or, it may seem so menial that you haven’t actually gone through with it. Either way, now is the time to try it out. Unplugging all electrical devices you aren’t currently using them can save significantly on monthly electric expenses.

Ask About Loan Modifications

If loan payments are becoming more than you can handle from month to month, you might want to look into getting a loan modification. Making a permanent change in one or more items on your loan can be a huge help in giving you some leeway on your monthly budget. Not to mention your loan payments will feel less daunting.

Do Specific Chores Yourself

For some chores, you may be tempted to use a professional service, but you can save hundreds of dollars just by doing it yourself. For example: lawn mowing! Use a non-electric push mower and turn a boring activity into a time of connection with the outdoors. Mowing with a push mower will save you the money you would have otherwise spent on gas for an electric one.

Another example is car washes. Now that the weather is warming up, it is the perfect time to wash the car in your own driveway and complete a chore while having some family fun too. Grab some cleaning supplies and head to the driveway when the heat of the summer strikes.

Minimizing the risks of fire in your home

Every home should be a safe place for families to grow and thrive together. In addition to taking steps to ensure that our homes are free of judgment and frequent arguments, it is also important that we do all we can to eliminate the threat of physical danger as well. Every home has a number of safety hazards that could potentially cause some serious damage if steps are not taken to prevent them. When we are at home enjoying time with our family, somebody accidentally getting hurt is usually the last thing on our minds. But statistics have shown that accidents do happen—usually when we least expect them.

Unfortunately, accidents in the home are responsible for causing more than 18,000 lives each year in the United States alone. They also account for more than 21 million medical visits each year, which amounts to around $200 billion dollars annually. Perhaps the worst thing about all of these accidents is that they are preventable with some planning and preparation. Here is a guide to make you aware of common home safety hazards and what you can do to prevent them.

Fires

Just over 3,000 Americans are killed each year due to house fires, making it the third most dangerous safety threat as far as home accidents are concerned. In addition to being physically dangerous, they also do a lot of damage to the home and valuable possessions within it. Here’s how you can avoid fires in your home.

Minimizing the risks of fire in your home #safe #family #home

  • Install smoke detectors in each bedroom, the kitchen, living room, and any other large room.
  • Test your smoke detectors each month and replace their batteries every six months.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in your home and make sure it is easily accessible.
  • Have a fire safety plan that everybody in your home knows and understands.

Falls

Falling is the most dangerous household accident, claiming over one-third of all home fatalities. Elderly people are most likely to fall and be seriously injured afterward. However, falls can happen to anybody, so it will be well worth it to take some simple steps to reduce the risk.

Minimizing the risks of fire in your home #safe #family #home

    • Install safety gates at the bottom and top of staircases to prevent anybody (especially small children) from accidentally falling down them.
    • Place rubber mats in all showers and bathrooms.
    • Wipe up any spills or wet floors immediately.
    • Make sure all stairs both inside and outside the house are stable and in good condition.

Poisoning

Consuming poisonous materials claims the lives of over 5,000 Americans annually. Young children are most likely to succumb to this kind of accident. Here’s what you can do to lower the chances of your children being poisoned.

      • Keep all cleaning products that contain dangerous chemicals in high places, out of children’s reach.
      • Store paints, pesticides, and other dangerous chemicals behind locked doors or cabinets.
      • Never leave your children unattended in the kitchen, garage, or anywhere else where they might be exposed to dangerous chemicals.
      • Keep the number for poison control readily available in your phone or posted somewhere in your house.

Carbon Monoxide

Perhaps one of the scariest household threats is carbon monoxide. It is impossible to rely on our senses to detect dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, which is part of the reason why it takes so many lives every year. The most important step you can take to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home and test them regularly.

Drowning

Around 800 Americans die from drowning in their homes each year—most of them are children ages one to four. It does not take much water to drown a small child (two inches is plenty), so it is essential that you take steps to minimize the risk. Here’s how.

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      • Never leave children unattended in a bath tub, no matter how much water is inside of it.
      • Keep all toilet lids and bathroom doors closed when they are not in use.
      • All swimming pools, ponds, and other outdoor bodies of water should be protected by a gate that is only accessible intentionally.

Following these simple steps will help you greatly reduce the risk of accidents happening in your home. All of these things can be done in one week and will help to keep your home a safe place for you and your loved ones for years to come.