Plan for Retirement- 13 Tips

  • plan  when how and where you will retire;
  • return a faithful tithe,10% of all your increase;
  • start saving  10% of your salary (better on gross income than on net income);
  • buy Term Life Insurance and invest the rest;
  • join a Superannuation Fund or purchase a Pension Plan;
  • contribute to the National Insurance Fund or similar program;
  • contribute to the National Housing Trustor similar housing savings program;
  • buy Life, Disability  and Dismemberment Insurance;
  • write a Will and make sure your partner does too;
  • stay married, it gets too complicated to split assets when you do not;
  •  keep your job, but if not, do not spend your pension but rather transfer it to another Pension Fund;
  • plan kids’ Education Funding early in their lives;
  • homeschool children to Primary level and invest what you save from fees deferred.
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I am a Nervous Wreck, Some Days

via Daily Prompt: Nervous

Just over a month now I made an investment in an online marketing business.

When you are about to dive into the deep blue or face a storm in the middle of nowhere will cause some jittery feelings, perhaps even diarrhea.  Nervousness to the point of shaking, having a fever, chattering of the teeth and yes I mean cold sweat. That has been my experience after doing it.

The way its works is a lot like network marketing, but with a twist.  In the network marketing that I am familiar with, what with having tried out Amway, Symmetry and Herbal Life and failed miserably at all three. The idea is that I would buy into a “franchise” selling a particular product. I would then sponsor others into the same business and they would duplicate what I do. Each sponsor would create a downline network from whose business he/she would profit. Almost in every case, the person at the apex of the group would benefit most. I like network marketing because it involves personal selling so there was no need for me to have a block-and-mortar business. We get to attend lots of events and workshops held in fabulous hotels wherever in the world, we choose to go.

But this current business has a twist. The product we sell is a series of e-learning courses divided into tiers. So depending on how I want to be positioned I have to buy the franchise for that level. I then get trained up to that level. In turn, I market and earn commissions, on sales up to my level. Or, some variation of that idea. I decided to go to an intermediate level. I went to my bank and took a loan to make the purchase. But, I have not been so nervous in my life about it.

All I can think about is what if I do not make enough money every month to pay back my have dogged me for the last couple of weeks. Lord help me! I am a nervous wreck.

Over forty? You could be blind by sixty unless..

Someone told me  recently that his ophthalmologist told him that by the time he gets to age sixty, he will have glaucoma. That is a scary thought. No-one wants to hear that they might lose their sight.But he said, that it is not in his DNA  and that will not happen to him. Perhaps he is denial, but what do we  really know about glaucoma? This led me to thinking about my own vision issues and the whole idea of age-related eye diseases.

What we should know about Glaucoma

  • Glaucoma often has no early symptoms.
  • People at higher risk need a comprehensive dilated eye examination every 1–2 years.
  • Early detection, treatment and follow-up care are key to preventing vision loss and blindness.
  • Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damages the optic nerve. Optic nerve damage is caused by increased pressure from fluid that builds up inside the eye. The amount of pressure that can cause damage varies from person to person. Glaucoma affects peripheral (or side) vision, narrowing the field of vision.
  • Left untreated, glaucoma can cause total vision loss. Glaucoma can affect one or both eyes. The most common form is primary open-angle glaucoma”.( National Eye Institute website)

 

When I had my fortieth birthday,it seems that very day my vision began to deteriorate.Suddenly my computer screen, fine print in books and  the like became really blurry. You know I panicked and rushed to see my eye doctor, “I think something is wrong with my eyes . I am getting blurs”. To my horror, the gentleman said to me, ” No, you are just getting old”. He further explained to me that I was developing  Age-related  Macular Degeneration or AMD.Since that time, I have had to change my prescription every year.

What is Age-related Macular Degeneration

AMD is a disease that blurs the central part of vision that affect  your ability to do close-up activities like reading, sewing ,using the computer and other similar activities. It is not likely to make you go completely blind ,but it does progress to a point that you may experience blank spots. It may  also cause things to appear less bright than they actually are. If you were to come to my house you would notice that I have installed much brighter light bulbs now than  before, simply because am not seeing that well with light at normal brightness. The video below gives more details. ( National Eye Instutute  website: http://www.nei.gov/health)

Risk Factors for AMD

The risk factors for this disease seem to be related to lifestyle, race, age , family history and genetics. It appears that onset occurs usually after sixty , but it sometimes occurs at younger ages.there appears to be some relationship to family history and genetics. But the research on these is not definitive. However race seems to be a factor, since the occurrence of this disease is greater in Caucasians than in Blacks or Hispanics. Lifestyle ,  as in many other diseases can either make this disease worse or better. Smoking is definitely a worsening factor, whereas good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle and a diet rich in green, leafy vegetables help to reduce the effect,  lengthen the time before onset and reduce the degree to which the  individual is affected.

 

AMD worsens with certain other diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. But the more worrisome problem with diabetes and  your vision is that diabetes can cause worse eye problems which ultimately could cause blindness. Changes in the blood vessels in the retina -retinopathy, cataract and glaucoma are a bad combination and could cause you to go blind.If you are diabetic make sure when you speak with your eye care provider you ask about dilation of the eyes. This is a method eye professional uses to check your eyes for early signs of disease.

 

Therefore, protect your vision from early in life. Stay healthy and fit and visit your eye doctor regularly.   The world is too beautiful a place to loose sight of.

 

 

Written by Karen Morgan

8/2/2017

References : https://nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts

https://nei.nih.gov/nehep/programs/glaucoma/learn-about

 

 

 

My First Blog Post

I have wanted to write for a long time, but could never find the time (no pun intended).

I can no longer endure the hum-drum of the job, so I will use my precious time to do what I love-write. I spent fifteen years  of my working life selling life insurance and advising my prospective clients and customers about the importance of savings and investment to secure the future for themselves and their children.I learned an awful lot about people-their pains, their fears and their triumphs.

My blogs will be about people’s lives, especially my own. No subject is out of bounds I will write about anything and everything .  Experience is one heck of a teacher and after many ups and downs in the journey through this Earth, my heart is heavy with emotional and spiritual burdens . I will seek to unload much of it as I write,some of you may find a chord with what i have to say.  Enjoy!

Email: karen.morgan@lifeactualise.com

Valentine Blues?

 Image result for free clip art valentines day

Feeling down or blue,unloved even , has this Valentine foolishness got you feeling disappointed? Didn’t get roses or the chocolate today, not even a teddy-bear ?  Image result for free clip art valentines day

Well get up out of that funk! Why? Well, because He loves you so much that He has engraved you on the palms of His hands.

Isaiah 49:14-16 English Standard Version (ESV)
14 But Zion said, (A)“The Lord has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me.”

Image result for picture of Jesus's nail scarred hands

15 (B)“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.

16 Behold, (C) I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.

So fret not yourself my little one ,do not be blue for Jesus is crazy about YOU.
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Dealing with loss of the young loved ones

I am inspired to write this blog to help someone to cope with the difficulties of  dealing with the death of a newly found friend. I hope that anyone who is experiencing  grief or loss will find some solace in this piece.

“I am not in a good place right now. Will you call me please?”  This message was “What-apped” to his mother,on Tuesday evening. His profile picture was very telling,it presented with his hand covering his eyes and quite uncharacteristically,he was wearing black . She dropped what she was doing and called him right away. “Mommy ,” he said,”my  friend has passed,he just died in his sleep. Mommy, I was with him on Friday and we were goofing  around and running jokes. But he did say he was tired, because it was so hard walking to and from work in the snow.”  Both of these guys are from tropical countries and they do not ever get snow. Did he die from exhaustion or was it a heart attack? That was not determined.

New friend’s funeral

The country, where they are currently living and working do not ship dead bodies.Hence the deceased young man had to be churched and cremated there. It was not anything he had ever seen before.  This is how it went:the undertakers brought the body to the temple in a box (just a  wooden box) without any handles for the pall-bearers to hold;there were no assistants with the undertaker, he drove the hearse and delivered the box to the temple.So the friends, who attended the ceremony had to lift up this one hundred and eighty pound body,somehow, and lay it in state. After placing the box in the temple,they then had to remove the body from the box, wrap it in white sheets and then cover it with flowers. “It broke my heart to have to  cover his face,” he later shared. Poor boy! Do understand, that there were three of them as friends of the deceased in attendance,and they had to do all of these things, themselves? But that was not all.

When the rituals were completed, the friends had to go to the crematory and watch the process of cremation from start to finish. But that is not  even the whole story, the worst part was that the long bones and the hipbones were not completely burnt,,so they had to pick them up and package them along with the  ashes.This was an indignity to all concerned. The pain of the loss and the undignified way in which the processing of the remains of his friend only  redoubled their grief. His parents  had to endure the entire charade by Skype.

Loss to suicide

If you knew this youngster  you would know that funerals are not ,and I mean not his favourite place to be at any point in time. He shows up only if it is a close family member or really close friend. May I just tell you that he lost a few friends in their teens? If I remember rightly, they were in first year at college and one boy hung himself. The funeral for this kid was so unbearably sad. I remember when everything ended at the burial site a bunch of them just stood by the grave  and they wept. Some of us as parents stood by and we all just hugged those boys and wept with them. Even writing about it now brings tears to my eyes.This kid was his mothers only child!

Loss to car accident

There was another untimely death that really hurt him .  This time, this young man’car crashed into a wall and somehow his brain dislocated.  He was in a coma for  a couple weeks, well, he never recovered. This  boy died and left a little sister and  wow , his mother and his friends were devastated.

Victims of Crime or Terrorism

This young man has experienced the death of yet another close friend to murder. This time there were two of them a boy and a girl,killed. These guys were his school-mates. They were involved in an accident and  in their attempts to do right by the victim,who was injured met their untimely death.

 

A parent should never bury his/her child

Often in cases of untimely death of children I have heard the grieving parent lament with great agony, that a parent should never have to bury their child. I concur. Today I listened to a sermon given by my friend who lost her oldest child, by natural causes. It hurts  the most probably  because of the choices he made. You see he was asthmatic, but he was also a smoker. Her grief is still very very raw and she gave this sermon on the anniversary of his passing. She spoke about how she has  been able to cope with the loving support of her closest friends and counsellors. But she also mentioned how other people made it harder for her because they would make ugly remarks and somehow appear to blame her for not doing enough to help him. I have cried with her so many times. I just lose my ability to find words to say, nothing from my lips to her ears to help  her to cope with her loss.

Grieving is a process

I have lost many of my dear friends and relatives too. Some have been ill and died at a young age. Others have had surgery and never woke up. Those I have been able to get over quickly enough. I have learned to cherish their memories and the loss ,by accepting that death is a part of life’s complex process.The Bible tells us that death is an inevitable appointment for man.

But the one that I have not been able to let go, not ever ever stopped grieving was a brutal rape and murder of my “bestie”. She was my friend and confidant. I remember vividly the last time I saw her,so many years ago now, I was going out on a date and I changed  clothes at her home that evening. When I was about to leave, she kissed my forehead and that’s something she had never done before. . Days later, I heard she went missing and that was it. I am crying now even as I write this.

I did a bit of research and  am drawing some inferences from grief counselling I have received during my life’s journey in giving grieving individuals some tips on managing your grief. The psychologists believe ,that if you understand what you are feeling or experiencing,  that is the first step towards coping with your grief. There are different stages that one goes through during the grieving process.

Here are a few tips to help you understand the grieving process.”Understand the Process of Grieving, that I found on the  medical website webmd.com

“Doctors have identified five common stages of grief:

  • Denial: When you first learn of a loss, it’s normal to think, “This isn’t happening.” You may feel shocked or numb. This is a temporary way to deal with the rush of overwhelming emotion. It’s a defense mechanism.
  • Anger: As reality sets in, you’re faced with the pain of your loss. You may feel frustrated and helpless. These feelings later turn into anger. You might direct it toward other people, a higher power, or life in general. To be angry with a loved one who died and left you alone is natural, too.
  • Bargaining: During this stage, you dwell on what you could’ve done to prevent the loss. Common thoughts are “If only…” and “What if…” You may also try to strike a deal with a higher power.
  • Depression: Sadness sets in as you begin to understand the loss and its effect on your life. Signs of depression include crying, sleep issues, and a decreased appetite. You may feel overwhelmed, regretful, and lonely.
  • Acceptance: In this final stage of grief, you accept the reality of your loss. It can’t be changed. Although you still feel sad, you’re able to start moving forward with your life. ” (reference: http://www.webmd.com)

Prayer and meditation

I am a Christian and I believe that prayer ing does help in coping with loss. The Bible tells us  we do not have such a High Priest that is not touched by our sorrow. For he has been through all of it, just like we do. He knows how we feel and he sympathises with us. Therefore, we have that friend in Jesus who will bear our sorrows and or grief.So when you are down and feel lonely or discouraged or when our hearts feel like we just cannot take anymore, then ask him to help us cope. He hears and he answers our prayers.

Conclusion

Death is inevitable and we cannot choose (except in the case of suicide) how we die. Those who are left behind have to find ways to cope with the pain and loss. We will experience immense grief after death especially when the life lost is that of youthful persons and ones near and dear to us.  Grieve if you must but never lose faith.