Category Archives: Married Life

Downsizing Your Home to Prepare for Retirement

For the near 70 million baby-boomers entering the empty-nest or retirement phase of life, home downsizing is a popular trend. Downsizing your home can reduce your mortgage payments and decrease the time you are dedicating to home maintenance tasks. These benefits are attractive no matter what your retirement plans may be. But before you run out and pound that “for sale” sign in the yard, you need to decide what you are looking for in your next home.

Decide how to downsize and make a plan that works best for you

Baby boomers who have decided to include home downsizing in their retirement plan will be likely to stay in their next home for the duration of their lives. For many retirees this can mean choosing a home to sustain them for 30 or more years. There are some critical questions to ask yourself when contemplating how to downsize and remain satisfied with your new home for years to come.

  1. Where do you want to spend your retirement years? Many people use retirement as a chance to move to a different climate or to relocate near children and grandchildren. Others simply want to downsize to reduce space while remaining in the same location.
  1. What type of property are you looking for? While reducing square footage by moving into a smaller, single family home is adequate for some, a good number of retirees want to be done with home and yard maintenance as well. This might lead them to purchase a condo or a home in a neighborhood overseen by homeowners association. It is always a good idea to review your different housing options your before making a final decision.
  1. Will you need to store or sell some of your belongings to downsize? This can be a tough decision, but certainly one that needs to be thought through before reducing square footage. Decide what absolutely needs to come with you, what you are willing to sell and what you might be giving to relatives for safe keeping.

Reduce your mortgage payment and more by downsizing your home

If you are looking into home downsizing during retirement, start by talking to your mortgage lender and accountant about your options. Downsizing may not only reduce your payments, but can also lighten your tax obligations. Plus, you may be able to profit from the sale of your current home by using it as retirement income or paying for a new, less expensive home in full, eliminating mortgage payments altogether.

Sponsored content was created and provided by Citizens Financial Group.

The romantic side of New York City – cozying up in the grand city

New York is a bustling, vibrant global metropolis. It is always updated with every new development in the free world, and is the heart of business and finances the world over. Sometimes, however, it is best seen as old New York. Classics never grow old, and New York is full of them. Relive your childhood with your significant other as you revisit the classic hotspots of New York. Spend a day going from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building. Take a walk and have a picnic in Central Park. Taper off at with a stroll through the Metropolitan Museum of Art where the exhibitions are sure to take your breath away! Then, either head off to a swanky casino or hide back in your hotel room’s coziness and take a shot online at a casino gaming destination like Caesars Casino. Join us as we list the most romantic things to do in the city that never sleeps.

Take a break by the river

The River Café in Brooklyn has probably the best view of downtown Manhattan. Tucked away under the Brooklyn Bridge, let the view take your breath away as you sit nestled with your significant other, insulated from it all. The River Café is quite famous, and offers excellent food along with the view. Turn this into a dinner-date, and turn any regular night into something special!

What’s more fun than Broadway?

Broadway is so well known, people often forget about it! Looking for a night out but tired of the movies? Broadway offers an excellent alternative that will turn any boring date into a magical one. Become infected with the energy of the performers, sing along to known tunes and fall in love with the phenomenon that took hold of the city like no other since. There are many options available, from tragedies to comedies, from low-budget production to celebrity musicals. Choose you own fun!

Relive a fairytale in Central Park

Ah, Central Park. This is a reliable friend when you want to spend time with your significant other in a beautiful place. With beautiful landscapes and lovely people always around, you can’t really go wrong with Central Park. A picnic here is a staple on every couple’s list, though it probably has been done to death by now. Add a bit of magic to the day by taking a ride in the many horse-drawn carriages available! It is an old-fashioned way to explore a high-fashion city. Though a little cheesy, you can’t beat the giddy, silly and happy feeling after!

Indulge your senses in a chocolate café

New York is simply dotted with Jacques Torres Chocolate cafes. Why is this romantic you ask? The entire menu is chocolate. From chocolate drinks, to chocolate truffles to chocolate cakes and sweets and a host of other things, this is the place to bring your sweetie. There is even chocolate wine for the most mature of the crowd who still feel childishly happy with chocolate. What better way to end a perfect day than with a literal cornucopia of chocolate?

Three Tech Challenges Faced By the Modern Couple

Frank Sinatra once sang: “Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage.” However, Sinatra didn’t have mobile devices to contend with. If you throw technology into the mix, the traditional marital arrangement becomes a lot more complex. The fact that you love your partner doesn’t necessarily mean you want them casually flipping through your smartphone and seeing all your personal info. This is one of the many challenges facing new couples in the modern age.

Here are three more tech-related challenges that complicate modern romantic relationships:

Your partner’s devices are not your devices

Even newlyweds need a little elbow room and the need for personal space extends to personal electronics, too. You wouldn’t use your partner’s toothbrush–why have a different policy for their iPad? In a strange way, smartphones and tablets are just as personal, if not more. Contacts, text messages, Facebook news feeds, tweets, and sensitive emails are just a few of the elements that might show up on a partner’s screen when casually activated.

Even if you are more open about these sorts of things, it’s not wise to just assume your partner is. In my house, I open the mail with my name on it. My partner’s mail gets passed on unopened, unless otherwise directed. A similar policy of respect is wise for personal devices. Don’t let your first major argument be over the fact that you thought it would be okay to use her tablet without permission.

Over-sharing on social networks

Social networks are made for sharing. They are so suited for the task that sharing too much personal information is all too easy. Yet, over-sharing can create emotional rifts that damage or even end your marriage. Remember: love isn’t the only valuable commodity in a relationship–privacy and personal space are just as important.

It does not take long before you have enough information about your partner to create some major trust issues. Couples’ sharing random memories, events, or preferences can be embarrassing and even traumatizing.  What you share about yourself should be carefully considered, too. The public disclosures and exhibitionism of your single days may not go over very well in married life. Excellent advice on this matter can be found here.

It might even be prudent to sit down with a couples counselor about some of these matters before they become major sticking points in the relationship. It is certainly appropriate to seek advice from someone who specializes in your areas of interest.

For example, social networking doesn’t have to be a destructive force in your relationship. In fact, online social channels can be used to mend damaged relationships. Case in point: marriage and couples counselor, Dr. Sam Von Reiche, who believes social networks and online software can and should be used for the benefit of a relationship. Practicing what she preaches, Reiche’s unique approach offers virtual psychotherapy services that incorporate Skype, FaceTime, and G-chat.

Tech addiction

How many times have you been to a restaurant and witnessed a couple sitting across from one another gazing lovingly at… their smartphones? It’s even more awkward if only one is doing the gadget gazing. Unfortunately, tech-addicted people usually don’t know they have a problem and it’s all too easy to let a beloved gadget come between you and the person you love without even being aware of it. It’s as if the iPad becomes a third member of the relationship. This Chicago Tribune article is filled with cautionary tales about the deleterious effects of tech addiction on relationships.

In conclusion, let’s remember that technology is neither good nor bad. It is what we make of it. Let’s also remember that the modern couple faces digital distractions that previous generations didn’t have to deal with. Smartphones, social media and other tools and gadgets can present significant challenges to martial bliss. Work together and make the best of technology in your relationships.