Connie and Bill Dolloff's Blog
There are countless variables in life which make it nearly impossible to predict the future. Whether you're talking about your own life, your children's future, or how society will change in coming years, we can only make educated guesses about where any of us will be in a decade or two.
One of the few things we can predict with a high degree of certainty is the continued growth of the senior citizen population. According to the Institute on Aging, the percentage of retirement-age adults in the United States will reach 20% by the year 2030. That's when the youngest members of the so-called "Baby Boomer Generation" will turn 65.
Although the proportion of older Americans will level off after that, the actual number of people in that demographic group will keep increasing. An advantage of growing older in the next few decades is that we will be in good company! As a result, services, societal attitudes, and government programs will likely be more in-tune to the needs of an aging population.
Empty Nest Syndrome
When children grow up and leave the nest, middle-aged parents often look around them and re-evaluate their needs. As more people reach retirement age, a major lifestyle decision many couples will be weighing is the possibility of "downsizing." While they may still want to be able to have enough room for family gatherings and overnight guests, a large home may no longer fit their lifestyle or financial goals.
Buying a condo, cottage, or other type of smaller home can offer retirees a lot of benefits, especially for those ready to scale back on property maintenance. Moving into a gated community or planned development can free you from the burden of lawn mowing, landscaping, and other time-consuming maintenance tasks. Since these potential benefits may also come with restrictions, it pays to fully understand and feel comfortable with Homeowner Association agreements.
There's also the option of purchasing a smaller and easier-to-manage new home in which you don't have to comply with the requirements and fees of an HOA. For senior citizens of all ages, moving to a house that has a smaller yard to maintain and fewer stairs to climb can make life a lot easier. More compact homes also bring with them the advantages of lower heating and cooling costs.
Depending on financial resources and goals, some Baby Boomers decide to keep their family homestead and buy a second property for vacation purposes, rental income, or a combination of both. While that may seem like the opposite of downsizing, costs can be offset by renting the vacation home to reliable tenants or sharing it with family and friends. Owning a second home also gives you the option of transitioning completely to it when you are ready to downsize or relocate.
It's been more than 10 years since American workers started to ask their employers if they could take advantage of telecommuting work arrangements. Today it's not uncommon for employees to work one or more days from a home office.
Right home office setup isn't the most important thing
The numbers of adults who are setting up their own businesses right at home is also growing. Artificial intelligence and robots aren't the only changes that are creating shifts in the world environment. Independent contractors are performing jobs that core employees once fulfilled.
If you're an independent contractor who provides services for a number of organizations,setting up an effective home office can save you time. A reliable computer, backup laptop, operating telephone and a functioning multi-purpose printer are home office equipment basics. Home office mood boosters include large windows that invite lots of natural sunlight inside your office, plants and soothing colors.
A comfortable desk and chair that are adequately aligned by height and width can alleviate back aches and keep you from stretching and straining to reach pens,the telephone and other office supplies. What the right home office equipment,supplies and mood boosters can't do for you is give you healthy home office boundaries.
You need healthy home office boundaries to avoid getting stuck
Absent healthy home office boundaries, you could end up working on projects into the wee hours of the night. Don't be surprised if you hear yourself telling your children to watch television just so they won't make noise or bother you while you rush to finish yet another work assignment.
Time that you spend with your spouse could also suffer. Even while you're out on a date or on vacation, you could be thinking about work that's waiting for you at home. Keep this up and you'll never get a break from work. Don't fall into the trap. Create healthy home office habits by:
- Establishing the days and hours that you will work from home
- Sharing your work schedule with your family
- Learning to say "no" to relatives, neighbors and friends who ask you to run errands while you're working. You may have to persist until everyone understands that just because you're working out of a home office that doesn't mean that you can stop and do them daytime favors.
- Shutting off your computer at the end of your scheduled work day
- Putting up an email message that alerts customers and colleagues to the fact that you are away for the rest of the day and will respond to their email on the following work day
- Letting go of the belief that an organization or person won't make it if you stop working
- Setting up a separate work telephone number and turning the number off at the end of your work day
- Signing out of work email accounts at the end of the work day and not checking emails or voice mails until the following work day begins
Working out of a home office has advantages. You'll save on commuting expenses, be where your family is and get to care for pets without paying for a pet sitter. You could also work day and night, including on weekends if you don't create healthy home office boundaries.
Ready to buy a new home? Not so fast! You'll first want to establish a budget to understand exactly what you can afford month after month.
What does it take to set up a homebuying budget? Here are three tips to help you establish the right homebuying budget.
1. Consider Your Monthly Expenses
How much do you spend on food, electricity and other monthly essentials? You'll want to consider these costs closely before you begin your search for the perfect home.
Ultimately, your monthly expenses can play an important role in your ability to afford your dream house. And if you can assess your monthly expenses, you can map out your home costs accordingly.
Make a list of your monthly expenses versus your monthly earnings. Then, consider if there are non-essential items that you can remove from your monthly budget.
Remember, if you save money now, you may be better equipped to land your dream house when you kick off you your home search. If you can cut non-essential items from your monthly expenses, you can start saving for a down payment on a new house.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Banks and credit unions across the United States offer a wide range of mortgage options. Review all of the mortgage options at your disposal, and you should have no trouble getting pre-approved for a mortgage that meets your needs.
Adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages are two of the most common mortgage options for homebuyers. However, if you discuss your financial needs with a bank or credit union, this lender may be able to provide you with additional mortgage options as well.
After you are pre-approved for a mortgage, you will be able to set a price range for your home search. As a result, you can narrow your search and accelerate the process of finding the perfect home at the best price.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents are available to assist you throughout the homebuying journey. These real estate professionals can put you in touch with lenders, keep you informed about new homes that fall within your price range and even offer tips to establish a homebuying budget.
Perhaps best of all, real estate agents will make it easy for you to explore a broad array of homes that match your budget. These real estate agents can help you determine which homes you can afford – and which ones you can't – and ensure that you can stick to your homebuying budget.
Your real estate agent is committed to helping you get the best results, and he or she is happy to respond to any homebuying queries. That way, you can receive expert guidance as you start your search for your ideal residence.
When it comes to buying a home, there is no reason to browse the real estate market on your own. Instead, work with an experienced real estate agent, and you can find a great home at a budget-friendly price.
Welcome to Exeter, New Hampshire! We look forward to helping you find the home of your dreams in New Hampshire. Exeter is but one of the fantastic towns here in New Hampshire. Contact us to find your next great adventure here in the Granite State! Watch our Exeter Video!