working http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9416/all en-US 8 Signs It's Time to Retire http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-its-time-to-retire <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-signs-its-time-to-retire" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/senior_woman_relaxing_0.jpg" alt="Senior woman relaxing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There will come a time when you consider making the shift from worker bee to retiree. But knowing the best moment to stop working is not always easy to determine. How do you know whether your money will last once you stop earning a salary? Is there a &quot;magic age,&quot; when retiring makes sense, or do you just go with a gut feeling?</p> <p>There's no science to knowing when to retire, but there may be some signs to follow. If most or all of these apply to you, maybe it's time to submit that resignation and begin the next chapter of your life.</p> <h2>1. You have enough money for the retirement you want</h2> <p>It's impossible to know precisely how much you'll need in retirement, but there are some basic calculations you can make to see how long your money will last if you stop working.</p> <p>You must first calculate what your annual living expenses will be. Research shows that people tend to spend less as they get older, but be sure to factor in the potential costs of new activities like travel, eating out, and caring for grandchildren. Then, examine how much money you have saved, and what the return on that money might be as you age. Match those numbers up with your expected life span. There are other things to consider, such as whether you plan to draw equity from your home. There are many online calculators that can help you with these figures.</p> <p>Generally speaking, if you take the annual expenses you expect and multiply them by 25, you'll be in the ballpark of what you need to retire comfortably. Once you are approaching this number, it may be a sign that you can stop working. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</a>)</p> <h2>2. You must collect distributions from your retirement plan</h2> <p>If you have a 401(k) or IRA, there comes a point at which you are required to take distributions. For most people, this age is 70-&frac12;. You can delay taking 401(k) distributions until after you stop working, but not for the money in a traditional IRA. If you are being forced to take distributions, there's not much incentive to continue working.</p> <h2>3. You can collect the maximum in Social Security</h2> <p>The government incentivizes people to retire later by offering them more money from Social Security if they wait longer to collect it. You can begin collecting benefits as early as age 62, but those benefits will be higher if you wait longer. Those approaching retirement age can get full benefits if they wait until age 67, and may get additional credits if they wait until age 70. If you're already getting the maximum benefit from the government, perhaps it's a sign that you're ready to retire for good. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-boost-your-social-security-payout-before-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Smart Ways to Boost Your Social Security Payout Before Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>4. Your expenses are the lowest they've been in years</h2> <p>Your house is completely paid off. The kids are out of the house and college is paid for. You're not yet at the point where you have high medical expenses. Your cost of living hasn't been this low in decades. Sure, you may have big ticket things you want to pay for (travel, for example), but your day-to-day existence no longer requires a bi-weekly paycheck. It's still important to assess whether you have enough saved to last, but if you've downsized your lifestyle to a super-low level, it may no longer be necessary to keep working.</p> <h2>5. You no longer get any pleasure from work</h2> <p>We've all heard stories about older people who continue working simply because it makes them happy. Often, working gives them purpose and a sense of satisfaction that can't be replaced in retirement. But what if you're not one of these people? What if the work itself isn't rewarding, and you find yourself drained rather than energized by it? Then it may be time to consider retiring, assuming that your financial ducks are lined up well. Life is too short to work at an unsatisfying job if you don't have to.</p> <h2>6. Your health is starting to decline</h2> <p>In a perfect world, you will be healthy and spry enough to take advantage of all that retirement can offer. You will be perfectly able to handle that long bike tour through the south of France, and those backpacking trips on the Pacific Crest Trail. You'll have energy to spend time and keep up with your grandkids. But, if you are starting to see your health fade, perhaps it's time to stop working before you're unable to enjoy retirement the way you wish.</p> <h2>7. Your spouse wants you to</h2> <p>If your significant other is done working and has an urge to begin the next chapter of their life, perhaps it's that time for you as well. Many of the happiest retired couples are those that retire at the same time, and make post-work plans together. How fun is your spouse's retirement going to be if you're still schlepping into the office every day? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-conversations-couples-should-have-before-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Conversations Couples Should Have Before Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>8. You are confident in your post-work plans</h2> <p>Many people continue working because they honestly don't know what they'd do otherwise. But if you have mapped out your retirement life, have a good sense of how you'll fill your days, and feel excited about what you want to do, that's a sign you may be ready to retire. If work is actually preventing you from moving forward on your plans, maybe it's time to think seriously about stopping work, assuming you are also ready financially.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-signs-its-time-to-retire&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Signs%2520Its%2520Time%2520to%2520Retire.jpg&amp;description=8%20Signs%20Its%20Time%20to%20Retire"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Signs%20Its%20Time%20to%20Retire.jpg" alt="8 Signs It's Time to Retire" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-its-time-to-retire">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-age-milestones-that-impact-your-retirement">6 Age Milestones That Impact Your Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-face-these-7-scary-facts-about-retirement-saving">How to Face These 7 Scary Facts About Retirement Saving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-of-the-toughest-decisions-youll-face-in-retirement">Three of the Toughest Decisions You&#039;ll Face in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-expensive-mistakes-of-the-newly-retired">9 Expensive Mistakes of the Newly Retired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-enjoy-retirement-if-you-havent-saved-enough">How to Enjoy Retirement If You Haven&#039;t Saved Enough</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 401(k) downsizing expenses Health leisure required minimum distributions saving money social security working Thu, 14 Sep 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 2020506 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Keys to Quitting a Job Like a Professional http://www.wisebread.com/8-keys-to-quitting-a-job-like-a-professional <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-keys-to-quitting-a-job-like-a-professional" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/i_quit_my_job.jpg" alt="I Quit My Job" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This is it: You're ready to quit. You've been dreaming of this moment for months (or years) and you are all set to let the company know you're moving on. Well, before you throw down your resignation letter and waltz out of the door, take some time to make sure you do this the right way.</p> <h2>1. First and foremost &mdash; Are you sure you're ready to quit?</h2> <p>Like, really sure? Because once you hand in your notice, you've put yourself on a path that leads directly out of that company. So, make sure you're leaving for the right reasons.</p> <p>Some people act irrationally after a major upheaval or event at work, and hand in their notice while they're still in a cloud of anger and frustration. If you have been feeling this, and have decided &quot;I've had enough,&quot; then take at least a few days to cool off and think it over. Talk to people you trust, and explain the situation. They may agree with you, and say that you're working in a toxic environment that is hurting your health. But, they may say that you have a good job with good coworkers, and that you're blowing things out of proportion.</p> <h2>2. You might not be required to give two weeks' notice</h2> <p>Most states in the U.S. have something called &quot;at-will employment.&quot; This means your employer can terminate you at any time, without any reason at all, and without any kind of warning. Conversely, you have the exact same rights with regard to leaving. You can quit at any time, for whatever reason (even if you don't have one), and walk out of the door without giving notice.</p> <p>Some employers like to have it both ways. They will be more than happy to let you go at the drop of a hat, but the company handbook states that you are required to provide a minimum of two weeks' notice. This is just something the company wants, but cannot enforce. If you live in an at-will employment state, two weeks' notice is not required. But, if you don't provide it, and leave the company in the lurch, you are potentially burning a valuable bridge. You always want to leave on good terms if you can, so unless the situation requires an immediate exit, give your employer the two weeks they expect.</p> <h2>3. Write an excellent resignation letter</h2> <p>Now is the time to start working on a resignation letter. If you have been at the company less than a year, you don't have to go overboard. Be polite, explain briefly that you are moving on to a new stage in your career, and thank the company for the opportunity they gave you. If you have a lot of years under your belt with the company, you may also want to add in some of the significant achievements and successes you had at the company, and call out people who genuinely made a difference to you, and helped you grow.</p> <p>You may be tempted to throw people under the bus in this letter, or point out everything that is wrong with the company. Don't do it. This is a permanent record, signed by you, and that can come back to bite you.</p> <h2>4. Hand in your notice on a Friday</h2> <p>There are all sorts of reasons to wait until Friday to hand in your notice. Midweek is just an odd time, and on a Monday or Tuesday, you are catching people as they are about to dive into a full week of work. Doing it on a Friday is best. It gives you and your employer the rest of the day, and the weekend, to think about it and come to terms with the decision. If you are a key member of the team, your boss will likely need to come up with a game plan on how to replace you. He or she may also want to make you a counteroffer, asking you to sit on your resignation and think it over. For this reason, Friday is the most strategic day to hand in your notice.</p> <h2>5. Be positive and productive in your final weeks</h2> <p>You've handed in your two weeks' notice, and now you can just coast for the next 14 days, right? Well, not so fast. It can be tempting to slack off, take long lunch breaks, arrive late, leave early, and have a general disregard for the rules you used to obey. But that is not going to sit well with a company that is still paying your salary.</p> <p>You can have the &quot;What are they gonna do, fire me?&quot; attitude, but it's not professional. You have history with this company, it has paid your salary and probably provided health benefits, and you owe it to the company, and yourself, to act as professionally as you did before you resigned. In some cases, if you don't have another job to go to, the company may well ask you to stay on as a contractor, at a higher rate of pay, until they find your replacement. They will not offer this if you are just treating the job as a joke.</p> <h2>6. Help the company through the transition</h2> <p>After you resign, you should offer your services in finding your replacement. You should also be willing to speak to the departments you work with on a regular basis, and ask them what you can do in your final two weeks to make sure everything runs smoothly once you are gone. Do they need certain files or contact names? Do they need you to show them how certain processes are managed, from inception through completion? Take this time to ensure that when you leave, the ship is not sinking without you.</p> <h2>7. Don't use the exit interview as a complaining session</h2> <p>A lot of people who resign have some sharp words for the human resources department, or the owner of the company. And while it is OK to point out areas of improvement, you should do it in the most constructive way you can.</p> <p>This should not be the time to do corporate assassinations on people who've crossed you over the years. If you have genuine concerns about some of the people you are leaving behind due to a toxic work environment, then by all means bring those up. But be delicate about it. Talk about the need for improved communication, or more flexible working hours and telecommuting. Give them a checklist that makes them think you really want the company to flourish after you depart.</p> <h2>8. Stay in touch</h2> <p>Seriously, don't burn a bridge. You don't know what could happen in the future, and a company that you have a history with can be a powerful ally when you need help. If you ever need to pick up contract work or come back in a different role, you will want to have people to reach out to.</p> <p>So, use LinkedIn and social media to stay in touch. Send the occasional email to people you know there, asking how they're doing. Be a friend to them. It can really pay dividends should your departure become a mistake.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-keys-to-quitting-a-job-like-a-professional&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Keys%2520to%2520Quitting%2520a%2520Job%2520Like%2520a%2520Professional.jpg&amp;description=8%20Keys%20to%20Quitting%20a%20Job%20Like%20a%20Professional"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Keys%20to%20Quitting%20a%20Job%20Like%20a%20Professional.jpg" alt="8 Keys to Quitting a Job Like a Professional" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-keys-to-quitting-a-job-like-a-professional">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview">5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-you-should-always-ask-in-an-exit-interview">8 Questions You Should Always Ask in an Exit Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-do-on-your-first-day-at-a-new-job">6 Things to Do on Your First Day at a New Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-transition-to-a-new-career-after-30">6 Ways to Transition to a New Career After 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-good-reasons-to-become-a-contractor">8 Good Reasons to Become a Contractor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building burning bridges employment human resources leaving a job professional quitting two week's notice working Mon, 11 Sep 2017 08:30:08 +0000 Paul Michael 2017192 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Reasons You Shouldn't "Vacation Shame" Your Coworkers http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_stressed_work_654187068.jpg" alt="Woman being vacation shamed by coworkers" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In 2015, Americans left <a href="http://www.projecttimeoff.com/research/work-martyrs-cautionary-tale" target="_blank">658 million vacation days</a> unused. It's a problem that has continued to ingrain itself in the American way of life, and it's only going to get worse. It even has a name &mdash; &quot;work martyrdom&quot; &mdash; and one of the most troubling reasons for it is feeling guilty about taking paid time off.</p> <p>Have you ever felt guilty about taking vacation, or made your coworkers feel guilty for taking time off? Well, you shouldn't. It's dangerous, and bad for both you and your company. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-actually-take-all-your-vacation-days-this-year?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Actually Take All Your Vacation Days This Year</a>)</p> <h2>1. Vacation is vital for good health</h2> <p>You wouldn't want to make your coworkers physically ill, but by guilting them out of their vacation time, you could be contributing to some very serious health risks. The Framingham Heart Study, the world's longest running study of heart disease, has some frightening statistics on vacation and health. The biggest &mdash; that men who failed to take a vacation for two years or more were 30 percent more likely to experience a heart attack than peers who took regular time off.</p> <p>A Marshfield Clinic study showed that women who took at least two vacations per year were less likely to suffer from depression than those who don't take time off. Other research has shown that not taking vacation can also lead to higher blood pressure, stress, poor family relationships, and if you're extremely overworked, even suicide. So, it's vital to actually encourage coworkers to take time off, especially if they look worn out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/science-proves-it-you-need-to-take-a-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Science Says We NEED to Take a Vacation</a>)</p> <h2>2. Vacation refreshes the mind and body</h2> <p>Research has proved it; when you take a vacation, you are improving your mind and your overall health. And if you work with people who need to be great at their jobs in order to make you and the company thrive, then you should encourage vacation time.</p> <p>A vacation is to a person what a reboot is to a computer that is slow, glitchy, and taking forever to do tasks that used to be done quickly. Mental breaks <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mental-downtime/" target="_blank">recharge the mind</a>, and improve memory, productivity, and creativity &mdash; all vital in almost every job out there. You will find that although you may miss them when they're gone, your coworkers are upgraded versions of themselves when they return. And, they will be eager to dive in and get things done.</p> <h2>3. Vacation is just as much of a right as a bathroom or lunch break</h2> <p>Would you shame a coworker for daring to leave their desk for an hour to eat a meal? Would you point out that they could be doing valuable work when they are heading to the bathroom? Well, of course not. These are needs, and vacation is just as important as either of those.</p> <p>Vacation time may not be granted by U.S. law, but most employers offer paid leave as part of the benefits package. It's right there with health care and sick time (which, by the way, people also feel guilty about taking).</p> <p>The bottom line &mdash; every employee who takes paid time off has earned it, and they are simply using a benefit that comes with the position. In the case of people who don't get paid time off, which stands at around 25 percent, you have even less reason to shame them. They are losing money by taking this time, and that is a difficult financial decision for anyone to make.</p> <h2>4. Vacation keeps good employees at the company</h2> <p>An unhappy employee is one that is looking for another job. A 2015 Talent Trends survey found that one out of every three employees is actively looking for a new job. That's almost a third of the people at your company, right now, that wants out.</p> <p>It is a fact that it costs a company a lot more money to replace employees than it does to retain them. For entry level employees, it's between 30 percent and 50 percent of average annual salary. That figure increases to 150 percent for midlevel employees, and a <a href="https://www.eremedia.com/tlnt/what-was-leadership-thinking-the-shockingly-high-cost-of-employee-turnover/" target="_blank">whopping 400 percent</a> for high-level or specialized talent. And guess what? One of the big reasons people move on is the lack of a good work-life balance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is Off</a>)</p> <p>It is in the best interests of your company to keep people around, because it will not be spending excessive amounts of money retraining staff. Want a raise? More travel? A promotion? It's more likely to happen if people aren't quitting due to lack of time off.</p> <h2>5. Vacation broadens the mind</h2> <p>Well, to be more accurate, travel broadens the mind. But it's a little hard to travel if you don't take a vacation.</p> <p>In some careers, especially ones that require creative or lateral thinking, this can be a great asset to the company. A well-furnished mind is one that can draw from many life experiences. This can translate to new, innovative ideas and suggestions, and lead to positive changes at the company. This, in turn, can boost productivity and profits, and even lead to expansion.</p> <p>Someone who is staring at the same four walls day after day, month after month, is not going to be as valuable to the company as someone who has gone out into the world and done something new. Your company needs people who are well-traveled, not overworked.</p> <h2>6. Vacation boosts organizational morale</h2> <p>Who wants to work in a company filled with miserable, exhausted, irritable employees? That's what you get if you work in an environment that vacation-shames people.</p> <p>When you have very little to look forward to, coupled with a hectic work schedule and poor work-life balance, you're not going to be much fun to be around. Compare that to someone who is planning to go on vacation. They are recognizably happier and more enthusiastic, because they're looking forward to doing something fun. For those weeks, or months, they bring a sunny disposition with them to work. Then, they go on vacation and come back rested, refreshed, and ready to help.</p> <p>This is all good for the company, and good for you. You will get a lift from their energy, instead of being dragged down by morale that's in the gutter.</p> <h2>7. Vacation leads to better performance reviews and higher salaries</h2> <p>Put this in the &quot;strange but true&quot; category if you like, but a 2006 study by Ernst &amp; Young found that each additional 10 hours of vacation an employee took led to performance reviews that were 8 percent higher the following year. And, of course, higher performance reviews lead to increased salary bumps, promotions, and greater opportunities within the company.</p> <p>Why would this be? Well, look back at all the reasons given in this article for taking a vacation, and the answer becomes obvious. Employees that take vacation are sharper, happier, healthier, and more productive than coworkers who do not take time off. Naturally, this translates to better performance at work, a better attitude, and a better review.</p> <p>So, even if you're not vacation-shaming anyone (and hopefully that's the case), you should look at your own vacation plan and increase your days off. It will positively impact your career.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Reasons%2520You%2520Shouldnt%2520Vacation%2520Shame%2520Your%2520Coworkers.jpg&amp;description=7%20Reasons%20You%20Shouldn't%20%22Vacation%20Shame%22%20Your%20Coworkers"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Reasons%20You%20Shouldnt%20Vacation%20Shame%20Your%20Coworkers.jpg" alt="7 Reasons You Shouldn't &quot;Vacation Shame&quot; Your Coworkers" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-a-retired-life-before-retirement">How to Live a Retired Life Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/they-offered-you-a-promotion-and-no-pay-raise-now-what">They Offered You a Promotion and No Pay Raise. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off">9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-jobs-you-may-not-have-considered-but-should">9 Jobs You May Not Have Considered (But Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-a-personal-problem-from-hurting-your-career">How to Keep a Personal Problem From Hurting Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income employment health benefits promotions shaming sick days time off vacation days vacation time working Wed, 05 Jul 2017 08:00:11 +0000 Paul Michael 1977385 at http://www.wisebread.com The Absolute Worst Ways to Ask for a Raise http://www.wisebread.com/the-absolute-worst-ways-to-ask-for-a-raise <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-absolute-worst-ways-to-ask-for-a-raise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/skeptical_interviewer_looking_at_interviewee.jpg" alt="Skeptical interviewer looking at interviewee" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Asking for a raise is not easy. You don't want to come across as greedy, or antagonize your employer. But at the same time, you've done your research, know what you deserve, and believe you are an asset that should be compensated accordingly.</p> <p>Before you talk to your boss, make sure you avoid the following traps. They could sink any chance of a bump in pay. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-you-should-demand-a-raise?rerf=seealso" target="_blank">5 Times You Should Demand a Raise</a>)</p> <h2>1. Saying you're having trouble making ends meet</h2> <p>There are a few truths that you must accept, and one of them is this &mdash; your personal money problems are your problems. You took the job, and you accepted the salary. Scraping by or falling behind on your bills is a reason to ask for a raise, but it's not the reason your employer ever needs to hear.</p> <p>You need to justify your raise for reasons that a boss can comfortably take to the payroll department, and the people he or she reports to. Saying &quot;Well, Jane's rent was just raised and she also owes on her taxes&quot; won't cut it. Instead, present your case in a well-researched and thought-out manner, explaining why you deserve a pay bump based on merit and hard work.</p> <h2>2. Criticizing any of your coworkers</h2> <p>There is a time and a place for pointing out problems with the team, and it is not when you want to get more money. If your boss is any good, he or she will already know the big problems with underperforming staff. Other issues can be brought up during your usual one-on-one sessions, or team meetings. If you use your coworkers' poor performance as a reason to get more money, you will come across as mercenary.</p> <p>Sure, you may have been picking up the slack for lazy coworkers, or correcting mistakes, but there is a way to mention this without throwing anyone under the bus. By all means, say that you have been taking on more responsibility, working longer hours, and saving the company money by catching errors. But do it without saying, &quot;John sucks at his job, he's always late, and I have to do everything!&quot;</p> <h2>3. Asking when the boss, and everyone else, is insanely busy</h2> <p>Timing is everything, and perhaps the worst time to bring this up is when everyone is scrambling to meet a deadline and deliver the goods. Whether it's behind the counter of a fast-food restaurant, or during a huge pitch for new business, asking for more money at this time will hurt you in several ways.</p> <p>First, it makes you look selfish; everyone is rushing around, and you want the boss to stop and focus on you. Second, it makes you look inconsiderate; now is not the time, can you not see how busy everyone is? Third, it makes you look like you're trying to take advantage of the situation. The boss is not going to appreciate you trying to hurriedly negotiate a raise during a crisis. So, back off, and bide your time. Things will calm down, and then you can strike.</p> <h2>4. Catching the boss off-guard</h2> <p>When you are initiating the subject of a raise and/or promotion, you are making a request that has consequences. Your boss has to examine the numbers, look at performance and salary averages, and consider the budget for the department. And the boss usually has to get the approval from other people in the company. This is all very official.</p> <p>So, casually having a one-on-one in the elevator, out of nowhere, is a huge mistake. Your boss will be taken by surprise, and may even feel threatened or trapped. They won't be able to give you an answer anyway. Schedule a time for a meeting, at least 30 minutes, and warn the boss in advance that you want to talk about your future at the company. You don't have to outright say &quot;I want to talk about a raise&quot; &mdash; if the boss is intuitive he or she will know just what this meeting is about.</p> <h2>5. Beating around the bush</h2> <p>A little friendly banter before you bring up the subject of your raise is OK. In fact, it's courteous and expected, and sets a friendly tone. However, if you meander off for 15 minutes on topics that are completely unrelated, you're only going to frustrate your boss. He or she has a pretty good idea of why you're in the room, and wants to start the conversation.</p> <p>Most likely, after five minutes of talk about the weather, the ballgame, the family, and plans for the weekend, you'll be asked to spit it out. But by that time, you've already shown yourself to be less than efficient, and that puts you in a position of weakness.</p> <h2>6. Storming in with ultimatums</h2> <p>&quot;If I don't get a raise, I'm quitting. Simple as that.&quot; How many times have people told you they are going to say that to the boss? How many times have you thought it yourself? Sure, it's human nature to want fair compensation, and we all hope to be so valued that people will do anything not to lose us. Sadly, life isn't like that.</p> <p>Ultimatums are not the answer, because one of three things will happen. First, you will get your raise, but you will be tarnished as difficult, selfish, and egotistic. Second, you will be told no, and realize you can't quit after all. Your bluff will have been called, and now they know you aren't going to quit if you don't get what you want. Third, you are told no, and have to quit to save face. Are you ready for that?</p> <p>One way to get around the ultimatum is to come to the boss with a higher paying job offer from another firm. Then, it's a business negotiation. You can say that you would much rather stay, but this offer gives you more money, and you may have to take it. In this case, most employers, if they value you, will match the offer. They see you as in demand, and that puts you in a positive light.</p> <h2>7. Getting way too emotional</h2> <p>Anger. Tears. Jealousy. Disbelief. The emotions can run high when you believe you are getting the short end of the stick. However, it's unprofessional to unload your emotional state onto your employer. You may feel you are not being recognized for all you've done for the company. Or you may be behind on your bills, with new expenses coming up in the future.</p> <p>It can be hard to mask these emotions when you are stressed. But it's important to get these under control before you ask for a raise. Get the emotions out first before coming to work. If you need to cry, do it. If you are angry, find a way to release the tension. You need to have a calm, clear head before you can talk money.</p> <h2>8. Acting entitled</h2> <p>Arms crossed. Eyebrows furrowed. Breathing hard through your nose. You're in the boss's office because enough is enough, and you should have had that raise months ago! From the moment you open your mouth, you are incredulous that you even had to call this meeting.</p> <p>Acting this way does you no favors. You'll come across as a spoiled brat, and unless you can back all of your claims up, you'll also look foolish. Don't go into the room feeling angry and cheated. Instead, calm down, and prepare. Write down all of the quantifiable reasons you deserve a raise, and give the boss the ammunition he or she needs to get that extra money for you. Be polite. Be yourself. And don't expect anything.</p> <h2>9. Making demands when the company is in trouble</h2> <p>There's an argument to be made that it's OK to ask for a raise if your company is facing some light financial difficulties (maybe they've laid a few people off), or if you know your specific department is still doing well. But that's about where you'll need to draw the line.</p> <p>If the business has fallen on <em>really</em> hard financial times, it's another story. Maybe executives have had to make significant cutbacks, or it's even possible that the company could be filing for bankruptcy. If you decide that this is the best time to ask for a raise, you are only showing upper management that you are utterly tone deaf. If you survived the cuts, you should probably be thankful you're still on the payroll at all.</p> <p>A company can encounter nonfinancial trouble, too &mdash; and you should also back away from any kind of salary negotiation until these stormy waters have calmed. A public relations scandal, for example, will have the company in a panic. No one will give your salary concerns a second thought when there are much bigger fish to fry. Or, maybe several key workers have left to form another company, or work for a rival. Again, the only thing management will be concerned about is keeping the ship afloat.</p> <p>You know when the company is not doing well. Do what you can to help, and do it with vigor. Then, when it's all worked out, you'll have more ammo for your salary discussion.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-absolute-worst-ways-to-ask-for-a-raise">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-signs-that-your-job-sucks">10 Important Signs That Your Job Sucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-this-job-worth-it">Is This Job Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-career-moves-that-prove-youre-finally-a-grown-up">8 Career Moves That Prove You&#039;re Finally a Grown-Up</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-skills-that-helped-your-boss-get-ahead">6 Skills That Helped Your Boss Get Ahead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-fired">How to Get Fired</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building asking for raise boss employer job manager promotions salary strategies working Fri, 02 Jun 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 1957904 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Live a Retired Life Before Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-a-retired-life-before-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-live-a-retired-life-before-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/falling_in_love_is_so_much_fun.jpg" alt="Falling in love is so much fun" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many of us dream about being able give up the day job and settle into a life of freedom, flexibility, and financial security in retirement. But unfortunately for many Americans, this dream is getting further and further out of reach. The reality is that the average age at which U.S. citizens are able to retire is on the increase.</p> <p>Being financially prepared is rightly a large concern, particularly because people tend to make big plans for when they do finally retire. It also means that some people put off following their dreams with hopes that they will be better able to afford them later in life.</p> <p>But if you're sensible with your savings and clever with your planning, it's possible to find a balance between securing a comfortable retirement and still living life to its fullest.</p> <h2>Take more time off</h2> <p>Taking vacation is something that shoots fear into the hearts of millions of people. Reasons for this vary from being worried about the amount of work that we'll face when returning to the job, to fears of losing our job altogether as a result of taking too much time off. It's a sad fact that the majority of Americans don't take their full vacation allowance each year, with 55 percent reporting leaving days unused, according to Project: Time Off.</p> <p>If you're among the large number of Americans who don't use their vacation days, then the first step to getting more holidays is simply to take them. Booking your vacations far in advance will allow your employer to plan effectively for the time that you're not there. It also gives you time to help ensure that whoever is covering you knows what they are doing and is properly prepared.</p> <p>If you're already using your allotted time off, consider asking for more. Requesting extra vacation is understandably daunting for many people, but as the old saying goes, if you don't ask, you don't get. It helps if you can provide justification for your extra holiday time, like a dream trip to Europe, and it's even better if you can demonstrate it will have a positive effect on your productivity. In fact, a study by the Harvard Business Review directly linked having more vacation days to an ability to get work done quicker.</p> <p>Another option that many don't even consider is to take unpaid time off. Though this may seem counterproductive, it's basically like buying extra vacation days. If you value your time off then it can work out to be very cost effective.</p> <p>Ask your employer about &quot;banking time,&quot; which basically allows you to work overtime shifts for regular pay (instead of the regular time-and-a-half), and then use those banked days to extend your holidays or take a few extra days off throughout the year when you need a break from the grind.</p> <h2>Focus on discounted, cheap, and free experiences</h2> <p>A great way to enjoy the quality of life that you crave without breaking the bank is to take advantage of discounted and cheap experiences. You might have a list of things that you want to do, see, or accomplish in your lifetime that you're putting off because you think it's too expensive. Instead, try looking out for when it's possible to do these things on the cheap.</p> <p>Always wanted to visit a certain country? Research when high season is and make a plan that allows you to go in low season instead. This will save you money on flights, accommodations, and many activities to do while you're there.</p> <p>Create a bucket list with a twist. Rather than containing activities that cost money, focus on experiences which cost little but provide you with a high sense of personal achievement. Physical activities are good for this, like hiking a certain mountain route or running a marathon, as well as things that will tax your brain like writing a book or learning an instrument.</p> <h2>Move somewhere cheaper</h2> <p>Lots of people envision moving away to a rural area or a tropical place when they retire, but why put it off until then? Moving to a cheaper city, state, or even country could allow you to live out your dreams, save more, and work less all at the same time. If you're not tied to your home by your job, then it doesn't necessarily even have to be a permanent move. You could spend half your time in the cheaper place having fun while still saving money.</p> <p>Numbeo ranks the U.S. as one of the most expensive places to live in the world. This means there's a lot of choice if you are looking for somewhere cheaper to settle down abroad. With 8.7 million Americans living overseas, you won't be alone. There are many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/x-exciting-world-cities-you-can-afford-to-retire-in" target="_blank">attractive, cheap locations</a> that could be the perfect place to call your new home.</p> <p>If you don't know where to start, write a list of what's important to you in your everyday life and research which places can accommodate those aspects of your life. Lots of countries in South America, Asia, and Europe are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries" target="_blank">significantly less expensive</a> than the U.S. but still offer a great standard of living.</p> <p>Moving to a new country isn't a decision to be taken lightly, and definitely not one that should be made based purely on cost. You need to be sure that the move is right for you and is one that will have a positive impact on your life. But there's no need to hold off until you're 65 to move to an amazing location.</p> <h2>Work from home</h2> <p>If your career is getting in the way of living the life you want right now, then perhaps it's time to start thinking about changing to something that will allow you to do this. The office environment is rapidly transforming, and working from home is no longer a rare and prized entitlement for the lucky few. If you don't have to spend time commuting or dressing for an office environment, you can free up time to do more of what you want to do.</p> <p>Lots of employers are becoming more flexible when it comes to this idea and there is a wide range of opportunities that are well suited for remote work. Advancements in technology have made remote working progressively easier, with a Gallup survey showing that 43 percent of employed Americans spend some portion of time working from home.</p> <p>Some industries that have embraced remote working include finance, insurance, and information technology, so it's a bonus if you already have a background in one of these fields. But even if you don't, the trend of working from home is growing, and may hit your industry soon.</p> <p>Don't confuse working from home with doing less. It's not a way to ease into the retired life in that sense. What it does bring is flexibility around when you work, as well as potentially huge savings in the time wasted getting to and from the office. It's also common for it to lead to increased productivity thanks to having fewer distractions at home than in a typical office environment.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-a-retired-life-before-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-taking-a-mini-retirement">5 Money Moves to Make Before Taking a Mini Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-retirement-hotspots-that-are-cheaper-now-than-ever-before">9 Retirement Hotspots That Are Cheaper Now Than Ever Before</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-worst-states-for-retirees">The 10 Worst States for Retirees</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement">5 Questions Couples Must Ask Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-am-doing-well-financially-now-what">I Am Doing Well Financially. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Retirement discounts experiences moving relocating remote retired life telecommuting time off travel vacation time work from home working Fri, 02 Jun 2017 08:30:07 +0000 Nick Wharton 1958436 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is Off http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-529066538.jpg" alt="Woman realizing her work-life balance is off" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many Americans, the daily 9-to-5 is just a dream. The U.S. is renowned for having the longest work hours in the industrialized world, and our hours are only getting longer. Family, friends, personal pursuits, and general relaxation are all sacrificed.</p> <p>Too often, it's by choice. While extra toil may seem like the best way to advance your career, numerous studies &mdash; summarized in the Harvard Business Review &mdash; have shown that <a href="https://hbr.org/2015/08/the-research-is-clear-long-hours-backfire-for-people-and-for-companies" target="_blank">overworking can backfire</a> by damaging your health and <em>reducing </em>your productivity at work. One study in particular by HBR and the Boston Consulting Group found that forcing consultants to take time off at predictable periods (such as nights and weekends) improved their efficiency and effectiveness.</p> <p>Are you part of the growing, and disturbing, trend of self-sabotage through overwork? Read on, and see how many of these red flags you check off. It's possible your work-life balance is completely out of alignment.</p> <h2>1. You're working way too many hours</h2> <p>Let's start with the simplest red flag. The typical workweek is 40 hours. Some days you may work a little more, some a little less &mdash; but it should even out to around 40 hours overall. You may not have a time sheet to fill out, but you should still have a general idea of how many hours you're putting in.</p> <p>If it's consistently more than 50 per week, you are working too much. Any more than 60&ndash;70 hours a week, and you pretty much have no life outside of the office. This kind of stress can affect your health in many negative ways, including increasing your risk of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22952309" target="_blank">heart problems</a>, <a href="http://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587%2814%2970178-0/abstract" target="_blank">type 2 diabetes</a>, and <a href="https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn26793-long-hours-make-people-more-likely-to-drink-heavily/#.VSLlF5N4r6c" target="_blank">substance abuse</a>.</p> <p>Even if you work from home, you need to delineate your time. If you have a home office, make it off limits after certain hours. If it's a laptop or computer in the corner of a room, shut it down. If you are working overtime for extra money, only do it for short periods of time.</p> <h2>2. Falling asleep (or barely staying awake) at work</h2> <p>If you're routinely having trouble staying awake on the job, you are probably putting in too many hours. It's not unusual for some professions to demand an excess of 40 hours per week. In advertising, for example, it's considered the norm to work 60 or 70 hours, which burns many people out. This burnout is not only dangerous &mdash; it's deadly. You risk having a stroke, severe anxiety, depression, and if you work more than 80 hours per week, your <a href="http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/PressRelease/pressReleaseId-112164.html" target="_blank">risk of major heart disease</a> increases by 94 percent!</p> <p>If you're sleeping at your desk, getting in early, staying late, and drinking eight cups of coffee to get through the day, you are working way too much. Slow down. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work</a>)</p> <h2>3. You have no social life</h2> <p>Think back over the last few months. How many times did you cancel plans because your job took priority? How often did you turn down invitations to parties or get-togethers because &quot;something came up at work?&quot; Did you have to sell your tickets to a concert, or back out of a weekend trip, because the boss needed you to come in?</p> <p>These are all signs that your work-life balance is completely messed up. It's OK to work late once in awhile. Sometimes, it's unavoidable. But if your social life always takes a back seat to your career, you will suffer. And so will your work. You need down time. Take it.</p> <h2>4. Work is always on your mind</h2> <p>You muse about it at the dinner table. You think about it in bed. You lose track of the conversation because you're worried about the project you're working on. When the only thing on your mind is work, you have a serious problem.</p> <p>At work, it's great to be this focused. At home, your focus should be your family, your friends, your hobbies, and other nonwork pursuits. Thinking about the job all the time will take its toll on your mental health, and you'll eventually burn out.</p> <p>If you find yourself unable to switch off, it may be time to seek help from an occupational therapist. They will teach you coping skills that allow you to turn off the &quot;work brain&quot; and come back to reality.</p> <h2>5. You are constantly checking work emails</h2> <p>These days, we carry smartphones that put the office in our pockets. You can open emails in the checkout line at the grocery store, at the ballgame, or even on a date. And if you're doing any of those on a regular occasion, your job is taking over your life.</p> <p>You need to put hard restraints on your private time. You should not be expected to check emails all hours of the day and night. Some people even get woken up in the middle of the night by emails from an overzealous boss or coworker. Set limits. Refuse to answer emails after a certain time. It's as simple as that.</p> <h2>6. You never take a vacation or sick day</h2> <p>Americans aren't using their vacation days. As of 2015, workers only took an average of <a href="http://www.projecttimeoff.com/research/state-american-vacation-2016" target="_blank">16.2 days of vacation</a> per year &mdash; almost a week less than the average between 1978 and 2000 &mdash; and 55 percent left days unused. That's a lot of wasted opportunities for a healthier work-life balance.</p> <p>Vacation days are important. Sick days are important. Refusing to use either of them is going to have serious repercussions on your wellbeing. Even if you think you're completely fine, but haven't taken a vacation in years, you may be ready to burn out. Sadly, by the time it happens, it can take months to put right. Sick days are vital for when you are genuinely sick. Not only will showing up to work prolong your illness, but you'll also spread it to other people in the office.</p> <p>Your work suffers when you're sick, too. This is why companies want you to use your sick days when you are ill. Dedication is one thing, but letting your health suffer isn't helping you or your employer.</p> <h2>7. You crack under the slightest pressure</h2> <p>You find yourself having far less patience these days. You shout and become frazzled at the smallest provocation. You apologize often for outbursts that never should have happened. You are almost certainly showing signs of a work-life balance that is very unhealthy.</p> <p>When we have our work-life balance right, we can more easily handle problems that arise. We don't crack, and we don't fly off the handle. But the more we work, and the less time we have to relax, the quicker our patience reserves go into the red. If you're breaking easily, you need to re-evaluate the time you're spending at work.</p> <h2>8. You constantly think about quitting</h2> <p>They say that if you do something you love, you'll never work a day in your life. Most people don't have that luxury. It's a job, it pays the bills, it provides health insurance, and it serves its purpose.</p> <p>But if the job starts consuming your life, and all you can think about is quitting, then your work-life balance is way off. Yes, it may also be because the job itself is not pleasant, but when the bad job becomes the bane of your existence, it tips the scales. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs You Should Quit Your Job</a>)</p> <h2>9. Your personal space is a mess</h2> <p>No time to clean. No time to organize. No time to do anything other than work &mdash; and boy, does it show. It usually starts with your desk at the office, and then it spreads. Before you know it, your home is just the place you sleep and shower. Your space is an utter mess, and you ignore it all.</p> <p>Why? Because you're never there long enough to care. And when you are home, you're exhausted. Take a look around you, right now &mdash; has your personal space gotten out of hand? Is everything a mess? Then it's time to take a much-needed break.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-stressful-job-may-be-making-you-healthier">Your Stressful Job May Be… Making You Healthier?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers">7 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t &quot;Vacation Shame&quot; Your Coworkers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-jobs-you-may-not-have-considered-but-should">9 Jobs You May Not Have Considered (But Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-its-never-too-late-for-a-career-change">6 Reasons It&#039;s Never Too Late for a Career Change</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income burnout employment exhaustion overworked personal time stress work life balance working Tue, 16 May 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Paul Michael 1947497 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Reasons It's Never Too Late for a Career Change http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-its-never-too-late-for-a-career-change <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-reasons-its-never-too-late-for-a-career-change" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-509227828.jpg" alt="Woman learning it&#039;s never too late for a career change" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life's too short to spend your workday being unhappy. If you're dreading going into the office, it's time to grab your career by the horns and switch things up. It's never too late &mdash; and here's why. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs You Should Quit Your Job</a>)</p> <h2>1. You shouldn't wake up every morning dreading the workday</h2> <p>I've been my own boss for the past nine years, ditching the nine-to-five grind shortly after moving to Manhattan in 2008. I didn't like working a thankless job every day while I made somebody else better off than myself. I chose a harder road &mdash; it's not easy paying your bills on time when you're responsible for your own income &mdash; but it's provided me a freedom that has facilitated an overall happiness in my life.</p> <h2>2. Your skills may be transferable (or you can learn new ones)</h2> <p>Many people are afraid they're not qualified for a career change, but unless you have a very specific job with specific qualifications, chances are your skills are transferable. But even if what you want to do requires a particular skill that you're lacking, you still may be able to find educational resources to help you learn. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-a-major-career-switch-without-going-back-to-school?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make a Major Career Switch Without Going Back to School</a>)</p> <h2>3. You're never too old to start something new</h2> <p>I might sound like one of those motivational posters here, but you're only limited to what you limit yourself to. Perhaps you're hesitant to apply for a certain job because you think you're too old. But it's important to ask yourself first &mdash; too old for what, for whom?</p> <p>You'll never know what the outcome of a situation will be unless you throw yourself into it. You have to apply to a job to know whether or not you're qualified. Every individual brings his or her unique perspective &mdash; and yours may be the one the company is looking for. Either way, it's worth a shot, and certainly better than sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself.</p> <h2>4. It doesn't matter how many years you've invested in your current company</h2> <p>I hate to break this to you, but, in all likelihood, your company will drop you like a bad habit when it no longer has any use for you. As such, you shouldn't feel obligated to stay with an organization just because you've been there forever and they've been good to you. That's great, and you should probably thank them for it, but that doesn't mean you owe them a lifetime of service (especially if you don't have a pension). If you feel like it's time to move on, it's time to move on. Eat the farewell cake, say your goodbyes, and press ahead.</p> <h2>5. You can probably accommodate a change of income</h2> <p>Most of us are looking for upward financial mobility when changing careers, but it's not the end of the world if the job that will make you happy pays a bit less. I'm not encouraging you to send yourself or your family into debt because of it, but if you have the option to downsize your life and reduce your monthly budget to accommodate your new, lower-paying career, by all means do it. Money isn't everything. If you can live just fine with less of it and still wake up with a smile on your face, you're doing something right.</p> <h2>6. Many companies also want to switch things up</h2> <p>The traditional workplace is undergoing massive changes to accommodate modern appetites for flexible hours, less commuting, working from home, and so on. Top candidates take roles at one company for a few years before being offered something more interesting and moving on. Companies no longer expect lifelong service in the way they used to, and these changing attitudes have paved the way for businesses in general to be more flexible in the way they attract talent.</p> <p>All of this means that now, more than ever, it's easier to take the plunge and try a new career.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-its-never-too-late-for-a-career-change">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-nows-the-right-time-to-jumpstart-your-career">Why Now&#039;s the Right Time to Jumpstart Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/protect-future-earnings-by-negotiating-the-right-starting-salary">Protect Future Earnings by Negotiating the Right Starting Salary</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-transition-to-a-new-career-after-30">6 Ways to Transition to a New Career After 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-jobs-people-quit-the-most">The 4 Jobs People Quit the Most</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-j-o-b-s-that-aren-t-that-b-a-d">Five J.O.B.’s That Aren’t That B.A.D.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income career changes happiness income jobs never too old quitting resigning skills working Thu, 27 Apr 2017 20:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1934993 at http://www.wisebread.com These 5 Expenses Will Probably Cost You a Lot Less in Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_bike_dog_492263352.jpg" alt="Woman finding things that cost a lot less in retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are a lot of scary headlines out there about how poorly prepared people are for retirement. And it's hard to deny the research: Many people simply are not saving enough.</p> <p>One silver lining in the retirement funding equation, though, is that you'll probably spend less in your later years. Let's take a look at some of the most common costs that decline after exiting the workforce, along with some that may go up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make?ref=seealso">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a>)</p> <h2>1. Housing Costs</h2> <p>Ideally, you'll retire your mortgage by the time <em>you</em> retire. Of course, you'll still be on the hook for property taxes and insurance, but entering retirement mortgage-free is one of the best ways to reduce the cost of living in your later years.</p> <p>You may also decide to downsize, which could cut the cost of home maintenance, repairs, and insurance, too.</p> <h2>2. Work Costs</h2> <p>If you're no longer working, you no longer have to worry about the cost of commuting, work-related clothing, or all those restaurant lunches. Plus, you'll no longer have to contribute to Social Security or Medicare as you probably had been doing via withholdings from your paycheck.</p> <h2>3. Car Costs</h2> <p>If you've been a two-car household during your career, it's possible that you could make it just fine as a one-car household in retirement, which would reduce the cost of vehicle maintenance, repairs, insurance, and gasoline. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-cant-make-it-as-a-one-car-family-now-what?ref=seealso">You Can't Make It as a One-Car Family: Now What?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Saving &quot;Costs&quot;</h2> <p>It's hard to call adding money to a 401K or IRA a cost, but the reality is that once you're done working you'll probably stop contributing to your retirement accounts and start withdrawing from them.</p> <p>By the same token, if you had been stocking a 529-plan account or two with college money for your kids, hopefully they'll be done with school by the time you retire, so those &quot;costs&quot; should disappear as well.</p> <h2>5. Kid Costs</h2> <p>Speaking of kids, even though people are marrying and starting families later in life, by retirement, the kids should be on their own. Just think of all the money you've been spending on their clothing, food, activities, medical care, insurance, and more.</p> <h2>Caution: Your Retirement Spending May Change</h2> <p>While many costs may come down when you leave the workforce, keep in mind that retirement is not a homogeneous season of life. You'll probably be healthiest and most active when you're newly retired. That means some of your costs could actually go <em>up</em> right after retirement. You may spend more on travel and recreation, for example.</p> <p>Then, as you age, you'll probably become less mobile, which means eventually you'll spend less on recreational activities than before you retired.</p> <h2>The Big Unknown</h2> <p>The largest question mark looming on the retirement horizon is health care. Your monthly insurance premiums may decline once you go on Medicare. However, what about your potential need for nursing home care?</p> <p>While that's not the happiest topic to think about, it's far better to deal with it now than when you actually may <em>need </em>the care. To manage that risk, you may want to look into the cost of long-term care insurance. And keep in mind, your choice is not just between paying the high cost of as much coverage as possible or none at all. You could opt for a more affordable policy that would help with <em>some </em>of the costs, while leaving you responsible for some, as well.</p> <h2>The Bottom Line</h2> <p>The very real possibility that your living expenses will be less in retirement than they are now is not an excuse to shortchange your retirement accounts. The best approach is to run some numbers, creating pre- and post-retirement budgets based on your unique circumstances and retirement goals.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-its-time-to-retire">8 Signs It&#039;s Time to Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals">Don&#039;t Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement Cars expenses family housing costs kids saving money spending the future vehicles working Wed, 14 Dec 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Matt Bell 1852822 at http://www.wisebread.com How I Saved Enough for a Down Payment While Working in China http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-enough-for-a-down-payment-while-working-in-china <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-i-saved-enough-for-a-down-payment-while-working-in-china" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_hand_globe_43186582.jpg" alt="How to save for a down payment while working in China" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was first considering teaching abroad after graduating from college, I had many friends and family who were concerned that I'd be setting myself back financially. With the best of intentions, these loved ones told me that I would be making a mistake by moving to Asia and accepting a lower paycheck. How would I ever afford a car or a house if I didn't find a high-paying job in Canada or the U.S. and start saving right away?</p> <p>Ten years later, I look back and realize that teaching abroad was one of the best financial decisions of my life. During our four years <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/follow-these-5-credit-card-rules-when-traveling-abroad" target="_blank">teaching in China</a>, my husband and I saved enough between us for a down payment on our house in Southern California.</p> <p>Not every job abroad will be a an ideal situation for saving, so if you're considering teaching or working abroad, and want to prioritize saving, here are a few tips for how to save as much as you can.</p> <h2>1. Find Free or Subsidized Housing</h2> <p>Many schools and companies abroad realize that it's hard for foreign employees to pick up and leave their home countries without having a living situation set up in the new country. Therefore, many employment contracts abroad include either a housing allowance, or a free or subsidized apartment that belongs to the company. In our case, the school we worked for owned an apartment block which provided heavily subsidized living quarters for teachers and employees.</p> <p>Living rent-free or on subsidized rent saves a <em>huge </em>chunk of your income that you can put entirely toward savings. It also saves a tremendous amount of time and stress when your overseas employer helps arrange your living quarters.</p> <p>It also helps greatly if the living quarters provided by the employer come furnished, which will cut down on the initial costs of moving. Having to purchase furniture and appliances can make it harder for you to start saving right away.</p> <h2>2. Take Advantage of the Lower Cost of Living</h2> <p>Another huge factor that enabled us to save was the lower cost of living in our host country. By choosing to eat at local restaurants and shop at local grocery stores, we saved hundreds of dollars every month on food in a city where the local cost of living was quite a bit lower than at home in the U.S. Of course, it would have been easy to blow our paychecks eating at expat-oriented bars and restaurants (Starbucks was pretty much everywhere in our city), but we saved the pricier international food for weekends and special occasions. A nice side effect of our frugal mentality is that we discovered a whole new world of delicious local dishes that we would never have tried otherwise.</p> <p>Not all countries will have a lower cost of living than your home country, of course, so it's worth looking into what it typically costs for food, clothing, rent (if you are renting a place yourself), health care, and other necessities before going.</p> <h2>3. Use Public Transportation</h2> <p>We saved the cost of having to maintain a car because our apartment was walking distance to the school where we worked. On weekends, a cheap and efficient subway system was our transportation of choice whenever we wanted to leave the school campus. When looking for a job overseas, be sure to ask questions about how you will get to and from work, and what transportation options exist to take you to the fun part of town. Some jobs (generally not teaching jobs, though) will even provide a company car and driver to make things easier for you.</p> <h2>4. Live Simply</h2> <p>Curbing excess spending is a good financial strategy no matter where you live, but I think it's easier to live simply when you anticipate moving in a year or a few. Because we didn't plan on staying more than a few years, I was less motivated to buy unnecessary stuff, with the mentality that everything needed to fit in a couple suitcases for the trip home. While we did spend money on leisure activities such as traveling during our holidays, for the most part, we just enjoyed meeting new friends and exploring our city, activities that didn't cost much.</p> <p>We did end up shipping a few souvenirs back home, but because we had to pay to ship them, we were more mindful about purchasing only what we loved.</p> <h2>5. Research Your Tax Exemptions</h2> <p>Although U.S. citizens and residents are required to pay taxes on foreign-earned income, a large chunk of that income (or even all of it depending on how much you make) could be <a href="https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/foreign-earned-income-exclusion">exempt from income taxes</a>. When filing your yearly taxes, be sure to file your foreign-earned income correctly. Of course, you may be taxed in your country of employment, but in our experience the local tax was very low. You will want to research the tax rate in the country you're thinking of working in before you accept a job.</p> <p>Before accepting a job overseas, be sure also to ask about health benefits and support in case you run into a medical emergency. If your employer does not provide adequate health benefits, you may have to purchase it privately, which you should factor into your savings plan. It also goes without saying that you should do research into typical salaries for the job you will be doing, as they can vary widely depending on the employer.</p> <p>If you play your cards right, you can certainly turn a few years of adventure working overseas into an opportunity to save and to meet your financial goals.</p> <p><em>Have you considered working overseas? What's holding you back?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-i-saved-enough-for-a-down-payment-while-working-in-china&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%20I%20Saved%20Enough%20for%20a%20Down%20Payment%20While%20Working%20in%20China.jpg&amp;description=How%20I%20Saved%20Enough%20for%20a%20Down%20Payment%20While%20Working%20in%20China" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20I%20Saved%20Enough%20for%20a%20Down%20Payment%20While%20Working%20in%20China.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-enough-for-a-down-payment-while-working-in-china">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month">5 Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries">Retire for Half the Cost in These 5 Countries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-almost-anyone-can-afford-to-retire-in-mexico">How Almost Anyone Can Afford to Retire in Mexico</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget">The Easy Way to Save Up a Big Travel Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-to-know-before-retiring-abroad">9 Things to Know Before Retiring Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Travel cost of living expats living abroad overseas saving money taxes teaching abroad transportation working Thu, 25 Aug 2016 10:00:15 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1778730 at http://www.wisebread.com Day Job or Freelance: Which Is Right for You? http://www.wisebread.com/day-job-or-freelance-which-is-right-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/day-job-or-freelance-which-is-right-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_freelance_work_82597869.jpg" alt="Woman learning if a day job or freelance is right for her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in three American workers earn their keep through a model of work that is <a href="http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2015/article/freelancers-in-the-us-workforce-1.htm">not a traditional 9-to-5 job</a>. Many of these are freelance and contract workers, earning their income from one or more different jobs, and known alternatively as &quot;portfolio careerists&quot; or the slightly less glam &quot;slashers&quot; (as in writer/coach/unicycle performer).</p> <p>For some people, a portfolio career is proof that necessity is the mother of invention. When the economy tanked and jobs were scarce, this was a great way to make ends meet. But it's a very different work environment than a typical full-time job.</p> <p>While it is unsurprising that the number of people taking multiple part-time jobs might rise during a recession, the trends seem to show that these numbers are continuing to grow &mdash; a sign that the days of the traditional model of work are numbered. By 2020, it is anticipated that <a href="http://http-download.intuit.com/http.intuit/CMO/intuit/futureofsmallbusiness/intuit_2020_report.pdf">40% of the American workforce</a> will work as a freelancer, with a mix of part-time, contingent roles. But which is really better? Here are some pros and cons of each lifestyle.</p> <h2>In Favor of Full Time</h2> <p>For now, at least, full time work is still the norm. So what's so attractive about the traditional approach to careers?</p> <h3>1. High Rollers Are Seldom Part-Time</h3> <p>If what you want out of your working career is to rise through the ranks and achieve the status and salary that comes with that, then a full-time, permanent job is definitely the right option for you. While people in portfolio careers certainly <em>can</em> achieve wealth and status in their respective fields, this is much harder to do. If you want a healthy 401K, benefits package, and paid vacation, then stick to the full-time gigs.</p> <h2>2. Society Is Still Structured to Suit Full-Time Employees</h2> <p>Bringing in a steady full-time income, from a company that is established and understood, has a number of benefits above and beyond the cash. Organizing your taxes, planning your retirement, keeping a healthy credit record, and getting a mortgage are all easier with a full-time job than a portfolio. The variety you get with working several part-time or freelance jobs has to be offset by the increased burden of admin. and organization, particularly in a financial sector which has not adjusted to the needs of this population.</p> <h3>3. It Leads to Better Work Relationships</h3> <p>For many people, the reason you get up to go to work is not so much about the work itself, but rather about the people around you. With bonds built over years of employment, your colleagues can often be the closest people to you &mdash; an experience that few freelancers get to share. Consider your social needs carefully before you think too hard about a portfolio career!</p> <h2>The Pros of Freelancing</h2> <p>It's growing at a rapid pace, but will it last? Why is portfolio living attractive to people who could choose a nice, safe 9-to-5?</p> <h3>1. Freelancers Have Multiple Sources of Income</h3> <p>Ironically, a portfolio career might mean better job security than a full-time job. Having multiple income streams means that if one dries up, others can fill its place more easily. Since the economic downturn, more people than ever have found themselves being laid off from their regular jobs. As a portfolio careerist, this can be less of a terrifying option, and more a redirection of your time.</p> <h3>2. You Build a Diverse Set of Skills</h3> <p>One of the reasons that a portfolio career can snowball into a very lucrative choice, is that you naturally develop sets of varied but complementary skills, which can be sold at a premium. Take a freelance writer, who can also take (and sell) a decent photograph, teach writing, or build a personal blog that draws in advertising revenue. Each individual effort links to the next, growing valuable skills all the time.</p> <h3>3. Variety Is a Given</h3> <p>If you're even vaguely thinking about a portfolio lifestyle, then you're probably a fan of new experiences. Since the &quot;same job for life&quot; concept disappeared a generation ago, people have increasingly questioned why staying in one career field is necessary. If you can't climb a traditional career ladder anyway, then why not seek new and varied working experiences. Welcome to the world of portfolio careers.</p> <h2>How to Make Freelancing Actually Work</h2> <p>We are still learning what it looks like to be a successful freelancer. There's probably no single correct way to nail this lifestyle. However, some useful advice has certainly emerged.</p> <p>If you're thinking of taking this route, then remember:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Keep one or two reliable income sources</strong>. Consider an anchor-orbiter model, in which you have one or two steady roles (the anchor), with other work which is more flexible, orbiting around this main income source. This works especially well for people who want to keep some form of a steady job on a part-time basis and build a freelance income on the side.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Build up an emergency fund.</strong> And learn to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income">budget as a freelancer</a>. With no fixed income, budgeting becomes more complex, even before you start to worry about paying taxes and keeping up insurance and other necessary payments.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Nothing is forever.</strong> If you try the portfolio life and it is not for you, there is no reason why you can't take your newly acquired skills and experiences back into a traditional role. In fact, the broadened horizons of having worked independently might even mean you can find a better role than ever.</li> </ul> <p><em>What's your best advice for others looking to follow in your footsteps? Tell us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/day-job-or-freelance-which-is-right-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-jobs-for-work-life-balance">4 Best Jobs for Work Life Balance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-biggest-mistakes-freelancers-make">The 5 Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-terrible-work-from-home-jobs-you-should-avoid">8 Terrible Work-From-Home &quot;Jobs&quot; You Should Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-that-really-annoy-hiring-managers">9 Things That Really Annoy Hiring Managers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-the-9-to-5-is-right-for-you">8 Signs the 9-to-5 IS Right for You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Extra Income Job Hunting 9-to-5 day job freelance freelancer job hunting job search workday working Tue, 28 Jun 2016 09:30:28 +0000 Claire Millard 1740456 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Lessons I Learned Selling Office Supplies http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_food_service_21858355.jpg" alt="Woman sharing money lessons she learned selling office supplies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My first real job came when I was 16 years old and landed a position at one of those large <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-office-supply-purchases?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">office supply stores</a>.</p> <p>As jobs for high schoolers go, it was not a bad one. I earned some money to get through the summer, kept myself busy, learned a lot about varieties of printer ink, and made some friends in the process. I also took away some solid money lessons that have proven helpful over the years.</p> <p>So as we enter summer, let me offer these financial bits that I <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-i-learned-working-as-a-corn-detasseler" target="_blank">learned from my first job</a>.</p> <h2>1. Work Isn't So Bad</h2> <p>Everyone fantasizes about not having to work. But by having a job at the office supply store, I realized that being employed isn't a bad thing. A job gives you income, which is a pretty important thing to have if you want do stuff. And working at a job allows you to learn and enhance key skills like communication, reliability, and even mathematics. A job, to put it simply, can give you a foundation for life.</p> <h2>2. Investing Is Better Than Spending</h2> <p>I can tell you for sure that the cash from my first paychecks did not go into a Roth IRA, or even a savings account with a decent interest rate. No, it went to movies, trips to Burger King, Stone Temple Pilot CDs, and baseball tickets. If I had enough money leftover for gas in my car, I was happy.</p> <p>I had fun as a teenager, but if I had saved more of my earnings and invested them, the total stash would have grown tremendously, and I'd have a lot more money in the bank now. Even just $1,000 invested in an index fund in 1996 would be worth about $4,000 now. If I had somehow managed to save $5,000, I'd have about $20,000 today.</p> <h2>3. The Government Get Its Cut</h2> <p>My first job meant my very first paycheck, which meant I got a glance at the amount of money Uncle Sam takes away. And it certainly seemed like a lot! By looking at my first check, I came to understand that you can only plan your spending based on take-home pay, not your gross wages. Later on in my work life, this understanding of the tax man led me to learn about 401K, Roth IRA plans, and other tax-advantaged ways to invest.</p> <h2>4. You Can Always Haggle</h2> <p>Everything for sale has a price, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's what you have to pay. There's very little downside to asking if you can pay less for an item if you believe it's overpriced. Often, stores will have price-match guarantees that aren't advertised. And you can always ask a manager to adjust a price if you think you have a good reason. When I worked at the office supply store, we had a small refrigerator for sale that had a damaged handle. It otherwise worked fine, but the manager agreed to cut the price in <em>half </em>simply because the customer asked.</p> <h2>5. Never Stop Learning</h2> <p>When I worked at the office supply store, we had many high-schoolers and college students on staff, but also a number of middle-aged and older employees who had been there a long time. Seeing these older workers made me realize that I did not want to find myself employed as a stockboy at an office supply store for the rest of my life. It was important for me to continue with school and develop a wide range of skills that would give me career options and the chance to earn more money over time.</p> <h2>6. Salespeople Want You to Part With Your Money</h2> <p>Though my primary job at the office supply store was to help with customer service, I also helped with sales of office furniture. I was encouraged to convince customers to buy our brand of chairs, desks, and shelves.</p> <p>Keep in mind, my job was not to ensure people ended up with the best product. It was to get them to <em>believe</em> our product was the best, whether that was true or not. I became a master in the art of spewing baloney, and it somehow worked a lot of the time. I earned a bonus each time a customer bought a product I helped sell.</p> <p>Remember this: A salesperson does not work for you and does not have your best interests in mind.</p> <h2>7. Everything Goes on Sale at Some Point</h2> <p>I worked long enough at the store to know that just about every product was discounted at one point or another. It wasn't always easy to predict when items would go on sale, but I learned that if you waited long enough, a lower price would come around. And certain items went on sale at certain times a year. There were usually deep discounts, for example, on many items at back-to-school time. And the holidays usually meant big <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surprising-ways-to-save-even-more-on-black-friday?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campagin=article">Black Friday sales</a> and other promotions.</p> <p>I learned that the most patient shoppers were the ones most often rewarded with bargains.</p> <h2>8. Americans Love Their Credit Cards</h2> <p>As a teenager, I didn't have a credit card. And my parents were rather frugal people who used cash whenever possible. So it came as a surprise to me when, as a cashier, I would see most customers using credit cards, even for small purchases.</p> <p>It's possible that many of these customers were only using cards to collect reward points or cash back, but I can't help but think they were racking up considerable amounts of debt.</p> <p>We're up to about $1 trillion in credit card debt as a nation, and I can't help but think a portion of that is the result of people using cards for small purchases when they could have used cash.</p> <p><em>What was your first job? What did it teach you about money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-i-learned-working-as-a-corn-detasseler">6 Money Lessons I Learned Working as a Corn Detasseler</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-people-who-are-good-with-money-never-say">5 Things People Who Are Good With Money Never Say</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-tips-for-introverts">8 Personal Finance Tips for Introverts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income investing life skills money lessons saving summer jobs teenagers working Wed, 08 Jun 2016 09:30:23 +0000 Tim Lemke 1725703 at http://www.wisebread.com You Don't Need a Retirement Plan — You Need a Financial Independence Plan http://www.wisebread.com/you-dont-need-a-retirement-plan-you-need-a-financial-independence-plan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-dont-need-a-retirement-plan-you-need-a-financial-independence-plan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/saving_retirement_fund_000088359337.jpg" alt="Learning the alternative to retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the golden age of a &quot;job for life,&quot; and when defined benefit pensions were the standard, all you had to do was tough it out to hit the jackpot. A mere 40 years of employment, and you struck lucky in your golden years.</p> <p>Whether the idea of working in the same place for a lifetime fills you with nostalgia or horror, the reality is that those days are long gone.</p> <p>Without a steady employer doing the hard work for us, traditional notions of retirement planning do not work. The alternative, it seems, is the ostrich approach, with 48% of working age Americans saying they have never even tried to calculate the amount of savings they might need for a comfortable retirement. Ignorance might be bliss in the moment, but it's no genius long term plan. So what's the better option?</p> <h2>What Went Wrong With Retirement?</h2> <p>The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) found, in their 2016 survey measuring retirement confidence, that nearly one in five American workers (19%) were <a href="https://www.ebri.org/pdf/surveys/rcs/2016/PR1157.RCS.22Mar16.pdf">not at all confident</a> in their ability to finance a comfortable retirement. For these workers, options are limited &mdash; spend less now, work for longer, and be prepared to compromise more on the lifestyle they expect in later years. Not a happy picture.</p> <p>To add insult to injury, working longer is not actually a viable option for many of us. The EBRI reported a large gap between expectations and outcome, with a massive 37% of people saying they expect to work past the age of 65, compared to the more modest reality of only 15% of retirees in 2016 who were older than 65. This is often because options to continue working later in life become limited, with layoffs and declining physical health ending working lives without regard to the size of one's pension pot.</p> <p>So with working until you drop off the agenda, what can we do to improve the prospects of having a happy, and financially secure retirement?</p> <h2>Start Thinking Personal Financial Independence</h2> <p>Ironically, part of the solution might actually be to stop thinking about retirement, and replace that thought with one of &quot;personal financial independence.&quot;</p> <p>Retirement today has changed as much as working life has, meaning there is no longer a cookie cutter approach to retirement planning that can be relied upon. The answer instead is to get educated about your household finances, with a focus on achieving personal financial independence &mdash; for life, not just for your later years. Getting clued up about your money is the only way to do that.</p> <h2>Start Creating It</h2> <p>Pull your head out of the sand, and get a realistic grip on what savings you have &mdash; and what you will need to finance your retirement.</p> <h3>Do the Math</h3> <p>Work out what you will want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-can-you-afford-to-spend-in-retirement">spend in retirement</a>. Tools are out there to help, like this <a href="http://money.cnn.com/calculator/retirement/retirement-need/">retirement calculator</a>, which helps you calculate what you might need to save to achieve a desired financial return in future. If you don't have an idea of your goal, then planning is a whole lot more difficult.</p> <h3>Optimize What You Have</h3> <p>If you have money in 401K plans, then you're in a strong position already. But don't just assume that it's being managed in your best interests. <a href="http://americasbest401k.com/fee-checker/">Check out the fees</a>, which vary wildly and through a compounding effect can whittle away your savings at an alarming speed. Once you can safely withdraw from your 401K without incurring penalties, you will be able to choose to take a lump sum if you wish, to help you achieve the magic 4% number described below.</p> <h3>Understand the 4% Rule</h3> <p>A common premise of modern retirement planning calculations is the &quot;4% rule&quot; which assumes that you can live happily on the growth of a savings pot, without significantly denting the principle, so long as you withdraw no more than 4% per year. This principle, put forward by Bill Bengen in 1994, has <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertberger/2015/05/20/how-much-do-you-really-need-to-retire/#90464644939a">come under some scrutiny</a> due to our current turbulent times &mdash; but as a starting point is still considered a sound measure.</p> <p>Here's how it works.</p> <p>Start with the amount of money you think you will need to finance your retirement lifestyle. Multiply this by 25 to get the amount of savings you need to have to make that number a reality if the 4% rule is applied.</p> <p>Then sit down, because in all likelihood that number is going to be scary.</p> <p>If you calculated that you would like a household income of $40,000, then the sums say you need a pot of a cool million. How hard this really is to achieve depends on your current position. If you're just setting out and don't plan to retire for 40 years, you will need to save something like $640 a month (shared out among the earning members of the household &mdash; so half that if you're in a couple), assuming a <em>modest </em>5% return on your investment. If you plan to retire a lot sooner, or do not not have existing savings or 401K plans, this number might be more daunting.</p> <p>If the savings you need to achieve financial independence feel unrealistic, then it's time to start thinking of the levers you have to close the gap. Earn and save more, or plan to spend less, perhaps through lifestyle adjustments or by taking <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-places-to-retire-abroad-that-anyone-can-afford">advantage of geographic differences</a> in things like cost and quality of living. Or, plan to manage your retirement as a gradual wind down, continuing to be economically active after your usual retirement age, but in a flexible role. Considering these options now, rather than being pushed into them at the point you wish to quit working, is far more likely to have a happy ending.</p> <p>The new world of planning for later life brings with it more choices, but also more questions to mull over and decisions to make. Instead of facing these questions, too many of us are ignoring the issue. Experience shows that working longer (or windfalls, or a fairy godmother) is unlikely to be the answer. Getting clued up about your money <em>now</em> is the only way to give yourself a shot at the golden years you deserve.</p> <p><em>What do you think? What is the optimum way to plan for your retirement now?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-dont-need-a-retirement-plan-you-need-a-financial-independence-plan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-its-time-to-retire">8 Signs It&#039;s Time to Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement">These 5 Expenses Will Probably Cost You a Lot Less in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-protect-your-retirement-from-inflation">4 Ways to Protect Your Retirement From Inflation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-taking-a-mini-retirement">5 Money Moves to Make Before Taking a Mini Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-invest-in-stocks-past-age-50">7 Reasons to Invest in Stocks Past Age 50</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement calculator careers financial independence jobs saving money working Mon, 25 Apr 2016 09:30:29 +0000 Claire Millard 1693265 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways Working From Home Can Save (And Cost) You Big http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-working-from-home-can-save-and-cost-you-big <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-working-from-home-can-save-and-cost-you-big" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_from_home_000029434486.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways working from home can cost and save her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For several years, I had a full-time job that allowed me to work from home. But then I switched to a job that required me to be in an office. So I've experienced life on both sides, and can tell you that each job had its own impact on not just my lifestyle, but my personal finances.</p> <p>Working from home allowed me to wear pajama pants in the middle of the day or take afternoon naps without guilt. And in many ways, it allowed me to save some money. But there were some drawbacks on the financial side as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-jobs-for-work-life-balance">4 Best Jobs for Work Life Balance</a>)</p> <p>Here are some of the ways that working from home can impact your finances, both positively and negatively.</p> <h2>The Good</h2> <p>Working from home has some pretty amazing financial perks.</p> <h3>1. Zero Commuting Costs</h3> <p>When I worked from home, I put very few miles on my car. My trek to work consisted of a stroll from my bedroom to my home office 100 feet away. Now, I spend more than $150 monthly on public transit costs. My colleagues who drive spend a similar amount in gas and parking. Working from home = no commute = money saved.</p> <h3>2. The Eating Out Temptation Is Eliminated</h3> <p>When you work in an office, you might tell yourself that you'll pack your lunch every day. But that's hard when there are 10 great restaurants and coffee shops around the corner, not to mention all the places on the way to and from the office. You may have colleagues who invite you to lunch or happy hour, and you'll feel tempted to run out to Starbucks for that afternoon caffeine run. When you work from home, going out to eat is less probable.</p> <h3>3. Wardrobe Flexibility</h3> <p>Most office environments have some sort of dress code, and that's going to lead to some expense on your part. Even a casual office environment means you'll have to invest in a few decent shirts, dresses, or slacks. If you work from home, your comfort is your only guide.</p> <h3>4. Taxes</h3> <p>This really only applies to people who are salaried employees who work from home. If you fit that bill, you may be able to save on taxes by getting deductions for things like computer equipment or building a home office. If you can prove that you use a certain percentage of your home for work purposes, you can get a tax deduction based on that percentage of your utility bills. Even some automotive costs could be tax deductible.</p> <h3>5. You Can Argue for a Raise Based on Money Saved</h3> <p>There's a lot of evidence that telework policies save companies money, particularly on real estate costs. Fewer workers in an office means less demand for space. At your next performance review, raise this point when discussing the potential for a raise in pay.</p> <h3>6. You Can Be More Productive</h3> <p>If you were spending an hour commuting in the past, but now work from home, that's an hour that you can give to your employer. Working from home also frees you from various distractions, like co-workers popping in. (But be careful, as working from home can come with distractions of its own.)</p> <h3>7. No Relocation Needed</h3> <p>Many companies have found that it's cheaper to allow employees to work from home rather than spend tens of thousands of dollars to help them relocate to new cities. And imagine the money &mdash; not to mention the stress and hassle &mdash; saved by the worker who doesn't have to worry about uprooting his or her life. I personally know some employees who live in communities with low cost of living, but are paid based on the salaries of those near the company's offices in a more expensive part of the country. Score! (Of course, be warned that this could also work in reverse.)</p> <h2>The Bad</h2> <p>Despite the perks, there are still ways to burn through money while working from home.</p> <h3>8. Utility Costs Increase</h3> <p>One of the nice things about heading to an office is that you're not using up electricity, heat, or air conditioning during the day at home. Working from home can cause those bills to shoot way up.</p> <h3>9. Home Office Costs Add Up</h3> <p>When I worked from home, I was expected to keep a professional workspace, but was not given any funds to build it. So any costs associated with constructing a home office fell to me. Some of these costs were tax-deductible, but the deduction did not cover the full cost of things like a desk, a decent chair, lamps, and even some office supplies. These expenses can add up.</p> <h3>10. No Networking</h3> <p>Working from home can be socially isolating, but that isolation can also hurt your wallet. If you are removed from an office, you will get less face time with the boss, and may also miss out on office gossip and interactions that might be helpful to you and your career. It's harder to impress your employer if they never see you. If this sounds like you, make an effort to drop by the office for meetings on a regular basis, or even pop in to take a colleague out to lunch. <a href="http://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/resources/costs-benefits">Global Workplace Analytics</a> reported that &quot;teleworkers who maintain regular communications with traditional co-workers and managers find career impact is not an issue.&quot;</p> <p><em>Do you work from home? What other costs do you incur? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-working-from-home-can-save-and-cost-you-big">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed">10 Ways to Save Money When You Are Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-its-never-too-late-for-a-career-change">6 Reasons It&#039;s Never Too Late for a Career Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired">11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-jobs-you-may-not-have-considered-but-should">9 Jobs You May Not Have Considered (But Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies">8 Money Lessons I Learned Selling Office Supplies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Budgeting jobs saving work from home working Tue, 22 Dec 2015 18:00:03 +0000 Tim Lemke 1625207 at http://www.wisebread.com Give Yourself a Break: The Productivity Secret That'll Change the Way You Work http://www.wisebread.com/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coffee_break_sign_000068533353.jpg" alt="The productivity secret that will change the way you work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a person who makes a living doing freelance and contract work from home, there are two questions I tend to get about my job. The first is whether I work in pajamas. (The answer is no.) The second is how I manage to get any work done at all.</p> <p>&quot;If I worked at home, I don't think I'd get <em>any </em>work done,&quot; people often tell me. &quot;How do you manage to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stay-productive-while-working-from-home">stay productive</a> for eight hours a day on your own?&quot;</p> <p>The simple answer? I don't.</p> <p>And, according to research about productivity in the workplace, you probably aren't productive for eight straight hours either, whether you're working at a laptop at your kitchen table or sitting in an office or cubicle. In fact, some research suggests that many office workers are productive for <a href="http://www.employeebenefits.co.uk/news/only-three-hours-of-productivity-a-day/103618.article">as little as three hours</a> per eight-hour work day.</p> <p>Here are five tips on how to get the most work done in the least amount of time so that you can head home early &mdash; or at least right on time.</p> <h2>1. Recognize Your Window of Productivity</h2> <p>When I sit down at my desk, I typically jump right into working. Then, after a while, my mind starts to wander. In the past, this really frustrated me. I need to be working! In fact, periods of inattention are pretty normal &mdash; necessary, even.</p> <p>Research by Draugiem Group, a social networking company, suggests that the average person can only maintain concentration and productivity for about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3035605/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/the-exact-amount-of-time-you-should-work-every-day">52 minutes at a time</a>. However, while many people try to push through this window, the most productive workers actually do something quite different: They take a 17-minute break during which they do something completely unrelated to work. They leave their desks. They take a walk. They chat with co-workers. They read a book. They take a nap.</p> <p>That might sound lazy, but research suggests that our brains &mdash; much like our bodies &mdash; need to rest following hard work. And, just like doing too much exercise without rest will eventually cause the body to break down, running your brain at full speed tends to lead to burnout. That's because our brains are designed to cycle between two types of activity: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/opinion/sunday/hit-the-reset-button-in-your-brain.html?_r=0">focused attention, and wandering or daydreaming</a>. And, it is in this latter phase of attention that our brains not only rest, but collate and process the things we've just been working on. It's why inspiration tends to strike when we're doing the most mundane things. It's while at rest that our brains have a chance to make new connections.</p> <p>So, the first step to becoming more productive is to get a sense of how long you can work before your mind starts to wander. Is it 30 minutes? 50 minutes? An hour? Once you figure that out, you can start breaking your work day into blocks of about that size, followed by short, restful breaks.</p> <h2>2. Be Realistic About Your Goals</h2> <p>No one's going to pat you on the back or give you a promotion for writing a single page of a huge report. Nevertheless, this is exactly the kind of goal that'll help you finish a project in the most efficient, effective way possible. Why? Because it's simple, it's achievable, and it's motivating.</p> <p>In fact, according to Harvard researcher Teresa Amabile, small, daily progress is the <a href="http://progressprinciple.com/books/single/the_progress_principle">most powerful workplace motivator</a> there is. So, rather than setting goals that are days or weeks in the making, set smaller goals that you can achieve each day. By completing a small, tangible goal each day, you will build momentum that'll help keep you on track. Plus, you'll be chipping away at bigger objectives in the most productive way possible.</p> <h2>3. Break Work Into Blocks</h2> <p>Now that you have some key goals, break your work into tasks that'll fit into 52-minute (or thereabouts) blocks. Start each work day by thinking about what you can complete within your productive window(s). Can you empty your email inbox? Finish a section of that spreadsheet? Write a specific portion of that big report? Whatever it is, prioritize your tasks and designate a block of your day for each thing you want to work on. Even with frequent breaks, your brain's mental capacity will wane as the day goes on, so you may also want schedule the most difficult tasks first thing in the morning</p> <h2>4. Spend Less Time on the Job</h2> <p>Depending on where you work, working less may not possible, but research suggests that it's ideal. Workaholics might <em>think</em> they're accomplishing more, but the research doesn't bear that out. In fact, it suggests we should all go home at 5:00 pm and get a life.</p> <p>We've known since way back that super-long work weeks deliver diminishing &mdash; and even negative &mdash; returns. In the early 1900s, Ford Motor Company determined that the optimum work hours for worker productivity amounted to no more than 40 hours per week. They even found that while adding an additional 20 hours per week boosted productivity initially, that increase only lasted for about a month, at which point the increase turned negative. More recent studies have found that the sweet spot for employment productivity is <a href="http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/sites/default/files/ef_files/pubdocs/2002/07/en/1/ef0207en.pdf">30 hours per week</a>. Other studies have found that after 50 hours, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2014/12/working-hours">output remained the same</a>. In other words, people tend to get the same amount of work done, whether they spend 50 hours or 70 hours on the job each week.</p> <p>Depending on where you work, you may not be able to cut your work days short, but you may be able to avoid being sucked into a culture that promotes staying at the office well into the night. Going home on time isn't a sign of laziness. It's smart idea, and one that'll help you deliver more and better work when you are on the clock.</p> <h2>5. Work Hard, Play Hard</h2> <p>Being more productive isn't about working longer or even harder. In fact, it's all about giving yourself a break. So if you find yourself unable to resist a few cat videos during the day, or you spend a little too long chatting with a coworker at lunch, it doesn't mean you're wasting time. As it turns out, that space between periods of work is where the real productivity happens.</p> <p><em>What techniques do you use to increase your productivity?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-stay-motivated-on-the-job">6 Ways to Stay Motivated on the Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-career-tips-your-younger-self-would-give-you">9 Career Tips Your Younger Self Would Give You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-alternatives-to-nagging">15 Alternatives to Nagging</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Productivity attention span motivation taking breaks working Tue, 21 Jul 2015 17:00:13 +0000 Tara Struyk 1493871 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Transition to a New Career After 30 http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-transition-to-a-new-career-after-30 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-transition-to-a-new-career-after-30" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/career_focused_woman_000021163237.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to transition into new career after 30" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The average American <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704206804575468162805877990">changes jobs seven times</a>&nbsp;over a life time of work, and the pursuit of better job satisfaction and financial stability are among the top reasons. Most of these career shifts happen in a person's teens and twenties, when hop-scotching from bartending to telemarketing is more common than not. Mid- and late-career changes, however, are less common, largely because they require the implicit trade of the familiar for the unknown. The risks may be bigger, but the rewards are sweeter.</p> <p>If the mere thought of jumping from a well-heeled spot on one industry ladder to the bottom rung of another is intimidating enough to prevent you from pursuing the job of your dreams, you're not alone. Later in life <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-its-time-to-make-your-side-gig-your-career">career changes</a> can seem impossible when you weigh the financial risks of starting anew with the responsibilities of child-rearing and mortgage payments. But if you're truly unfulfilled at work, over time it will take a toll its toll. So don't let a little fear of failure hold you hostage.</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the best ways to transition to a new career after 30.</p> <h2>1. Skill Shift</h2> <p>Grab a pen and pad and take a few minutes to list all your skills &mdash; and not just the ones you acquired on the job. Be sure to include those you picked up while volunteering for the Parent Teacher Association, leading your child's Girl Scouts troop, caring for an ailing relative, paying down your debt, fundraising for cancer research, and building the new deck in the backyard. Now brainstorm all the ways you can apply these strengths of yours to a brand new business venture. You just might surprise yourself with how quickly your experience planning a neighborhood block party complete with food vendors, a bouncy house, and live music seems to become more beneficial than what you learned from your collegiate calculus homework. Especially if it's a new career in event planning that you're pursuing. So don't be afraid to acknowledge your outside-the-box accomplishments and play to them.</p> <h2>2. Get Educated</h2> <p>While you may find you have a slew of transferable job skills, the likelihood that you'll need to acquire some new ones is pretty high. That doesn't necessarily mean you need to dole out tens of thousands of dollars for a new degree &mdash; although, depending on your new occupation of choice, it might. Education, in all its forms, will counter what you lack in experience. And it will show potential employers that you are committed to your new career choice and driven enough to do what it takes to land a job in your new field. Books, lectures, certification courses, and volunteer opportunities are all great ways of snuffing up.</p> <h2>3. Go Where the Growth Is</h2> <p>There's something to be said for career fields that are forecast to add future jobs. And that something is stability. Job growth means there's less likelihood that your bread and butter will be rattled by economic turmoil. It means you'll have a better shot at securing promotions and making lateral moves with pay increases. So you might want to jot down these fastest-growing occupations: industrial-organizational psychologist, personal care aide, home health aide, mechanical insulation worker, interpreters and translators, diagnostic medical sonographer, and brick mason. All these fields are on pace to see stellar growth rates, which means you'll have an easier time finding a niche for yourself.</p> <h2>4. Stage a Dress Rehearsal</h2> <p>A travel magazine editor might seem like the ultimate occupation, but how often does he or she actually get the opportunity to fly to Morocco for an all-inclusive stay at a posh new resort? There's only one way to find out: Network with people in your desired field, mine for opportunities to shadow folks working in your desired role, and ask a lot of questions. When possible, try out the work for yourself on a limited, exploratory basis to see if it's really for you. You just might find that the travel editor gig you've been swooning for actually brings about more computer eye strains than passport stamps.</p> <h2>5. Tap Your Network</h2> <p>Determining your new career calling is half the battle. The other, of course, is getting hired. But when you lack the typical resume for a career that lies outside your realm of experience, it can be difficult to secure a position &mdash; no matter how captivating your cover letter is. So don't rely on a piece of paper to get your foot in the door. Instead, tap your network: Friends, family, former colleagues, past classmates, neighbors, and mentors. These are the people who know your work ethic, smarts, and potential for success in ways that can't be captured in black ink. They can vouch for you. They might even be able to help you land an interview you otherwise wouldn't have scored. The rest is up to you.</p> <h2>6. Rebrand Yourself</h2> <p>If you're going to take on a new role, it will serve you well to look the part. That goes for your online persona as much as your wardrobe. Before you begin the interview process, be sure your social media accounts, websites, business cards and voicemail greetings are reflective of the professional life you want. The fact that you're in a period of transition is no excuse for an outdated or sloppy digital presence.</p> <p><em>Have you made a career change? What worked for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-transition-to-a-new-career-after-30">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-jobs-that-robots-cant-do-yet">10 Jobs That Robots Can&#039;t Do, Yet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-its-never-too-late-for-a-career-change">6 Reasons It&#039;s Never Too Late for a Career Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-keys-to-quitting-a-job-like-a-professional">8 Keys to Quitting a Job Like a Professional</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/finding-the-right-job-there-s-plenty-of-phish-in-the-sea">Finding the Right Job: There’s Plenty of Phish in the Sea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-do-on-your-first-day-at-a-new-job">6 Things to Do on Your First Day at a New Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building employment jobs skills transitioning working Tue, 21 Jul 2015 09:00:12 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1490872 at http://www.wisebread.com