Bye till Sept 7th!

Keith and I are on our big 2016 Adventure: Beijing, Xi’ian, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Bangkok, Hong Kong – no posts till then. See you in the Fall! #stayinspired #3qt

How To Retire with Enough Money

When I turned 35 I had a sudden, and scary, realization. According to many books and financial advisors, the age of 70 is the best year to retire because you will collect the maximum benefits from everything.

I just thought ‘Oh my goodness – I am halfway there! Am I doing everything I can to ensure my future is secure?” As I would typically do, I started reading up on everything I could about the best ways to retire.

The advise was pretty consistent and made perfect sense. Because this is a very important topic and knowledge everyone should know, I decided to summarize everything I learned in quick, digestible chunks.

I hope this helps. #stayinspired that we will all have a great retirement!


In your 20’s: If your company has a 401k, participate in it. See if your company provides a match, it’s even better. If it doesn’t offer a 401k, open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Goal for both is to put 15% of your salary away. Also, use debit cards and cash – you don’t want to get in unnecessary debt. Regarding  credit cards, do your best to pay them off every month.

In your 30’s: These are the years we start talking about/having families. Things to really consider are determining if a parent stops working. Remember this is a personal choice, but after 2 years staying out of the labor market hurts the person’s future earnings. Depending on your career category, 6 months could have an impact, too. It’s important to factor the cost of child care into your decision to have a family, also. When it comes to mortgages, if possible, get a 10 year one. You should also try and make a 20% down payment. This will save a fortune in interest and you will get a good rate.

In your 40’s: These are the consolidation years. Embrace and love your lifestyle and the stuff YOU ALREADY HAVE! Prioritze that mortgage (if you have one). Paying it off is savings for you. College for your kid may be a topic of conversation. Do not be seduced by big name private colleges. How many people can really afford $400k for college and save for retirement? Prepare yourself to choose a college that fits the needs of your child and is financially appropriate for your situation.

In your 40’s and 50’s: Not always thought of as a financial investment but get a check on your health. This will save you health care costs in your 60’s and 70’s. Eat right, have an exercise routine, and take care of your self-care (mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually). If you discover you haven’t saved during your career, now is the time to save 50%. That means you  are going to have to go cold turkey on spending to have money later. Bear in mind, this is the time when you need to improve your work skills because if you lose your job it will be more challenging to get a new one. Bite the bullet and learn new things (social media literacy, etc.), make sure you have good communication/people skills and keep up with technical skills.

In your 60’s: Use your 401k to delay collecting Social Security till that magic age of 70. That’s when the government will pay the maximum benefit – put it this way, it will be 76% higher than it would have been if you had started collecting at age 62. You will now have a finite amount of money. Stop giving handouts. Make financial plans and live a life within your means.

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Resource: I am a HUGE fan of Money Magazine: They have great articles on personal finance. I hope you find them as a great resource, too.

Side note: If you are anticipating an inheritance that is great, but let it be a nice surprise. Don’t assume it will happen. Anticipating and relying on money gifts is not a smart play in a financial plan. Also, if you win the mega millions or Powerball, you can disregard everything I said 🙂

Motivational Monday w/o Aug. 15th: Legends!

This will be the last Motivational Monday post for 2016 August month. Keith and I will be on holiday for the rest of August embarking on some great adventures and self-discovery.

This week’s motivation is realizing what a legend we all are once we stop seeing ourselves as average. #stayinspired #togreatness #legend #3qt

A Legend

Cuddle Class? Travel Never Looked So Good For Pets!

My mom and dad love to travel. Naturally I want to be part of their adventures, but it really takes it’s toll on me. After a bit of research, I discovered some airlines and airports are making tremendous efforts to accommodate the needs of pets! I also learned that a new federal regulation now requires airports that serve more than 10k passengers to have pet-relief areas. As I get older, I really appreciate this. When you gotta go, you gotta go!


  1. Delta offers a GPS tracker for flying with dogs. Owners can see the temperature and location surrounding their 4-legged friends.
  2. On American Airlines for an additional $125 when you buy a first class ticket on select flights, dogs can fly in a ‘cuddle class.’ These are ventilated cabins designed for the pet carriers next to the owner’s seat. I get to travel next to my mom!
  3. JFK Airport in Queens, NY is unveiling a 178,000 square foot pet terminal dubbed the Ark at JFK. Sounds like a kingdom! It will have a play area, spa (massages!), grooming facility, vet services and a bone shaped dog pool. I hate the water, but would definitely dip a paw in!

Humans are hearing our barks / meows! Can’t wait till my next trip. #stayinspired!



Motivational Monday w/o August 8th: Rules of a Champion

Very simply put – the rules for becoming a champion. Take care of your body on a physical and emotional level, eat / fuel up with the best foods & get rest.


Tips for Working from Home

Many people have said to me, ‘Wow, you are so lucky to work from home. Dream commute (there is none), you can run errands if you need to, and you make your own schedule.’

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There is truth to that, but there are also challenges to every situation. It does sound blissful but the reality is there is a sense of isolation which can lead to loneliness, procrastination, anxiety.


From experience, here is my advise on staying sane, productive and happy when working from home.

  1. Set up a routine: Set up specific hours for your work, including time for lunch/meetings/breaks. A schedule will help motivate you and ensure you have a finish time because working from home can tempt you to never shut off. (And you must for sanity!)
  2. Reward yourself: Checking off items on the to do list provides a sense of accomplishment and leads to increased productivity. Celebrate it! It could be something like ‘If I accomplish this, I will do that load of laundry / read a chapter in my book / book a massage / hit the gym / grab a coffee and check out / etc. ‘ Again, this is motivating.
  3. Exercise: Working out keeps your brain sharp and keeps our physical body in good health. It battles off anxiety and depression, too. Simply put, exercise is one of the best natural doctors we have available to us. It doesn’t have to be in a gym. Exercise is movement – walk, roller blade, hit a class, walk your dog, dance in your living room! Just move!
  4. Plug into a local coffee shop: Interacting with other humans has a profound positive influence on our emotional well-being. Just by ordering a coffee and being around other people is a great outlet to feel like we are not isolated. I also like to schedule a coffee or lunch meet up. In an attempt to get healthy, I combo #3 and #4 and try to meet friends for workout dates. It’s social and it’s beneficial to mind + body.
  5. Play hooky: If you’ve completed everything on your check list and it’s only 1pm give yourself permission to engage in something that will improve your quality of life. Don’t deny yourself the ability to do fun things when you can. Hit a museum, take a walk and admire nature, read a book, call a friend and catch up, work on a hobby…

There is a huge trend towards the #youeconomy. Many people will be working remotely in the future. These little tips will help keep you smiling when you are working from home.

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