7 Tips To Make Your Early Retirement Goal A Reality

Retirement is supposed to be a phase to reap the fruits of your labor. In many ways, carefree retirement is an attractive concept. Since financial freedom is an important factor in happy retirement, many think that you can only attain it after many years of backbreaking and arduous work. Thus, a vision of gray-haired individuals in their 50’s or 60’s blissfully spending their days pursuing the things they love is a common impression people have about retirement.

Just recently though, a growing movement named Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) is challenging this typical concept of retirement. This lifestyle trend breaks the notion that retirement is only something that people in their golden years can enjoy. Although FIRE has its own share of criticisms, no one would probably say no to the privilege to do whatever you please without work responsibilities to think of even at a young age. After all, there is no rule setting a certain age for retirement. Check out the suggestions below that will help you attain financial independence and enjoy the benefits of retirement earlier in life:

Visualize your goals.

Every dream starts with a vision. It will be difficult to hit a target if you do not know where the target is in the first place. Therefore, if your wish is to retire early, the first thing you need to do is to lay out the things that you want to happen in your mind. At what age do you wish to sign off your work for good? Where and how do you want to spend it? It concerns your future so feel free to design a clear yet realistic vision of your retirement years. Visualizing your own perfect retirement in your mind will keep motivate and inspire you to take steps towards your goals.  

Make concrete plans.

A vision without accompanying action is likely to stay a vision. You need to develop tactics in every goal you pursue especially if it is something as ambitious as early retirement. What are the steps you will take to achieve your goals? You may need to list a step-by-step plan to easily keep track of your goals. It will be great if your concrete plans also involve a specific time frame so you can realistically gauge how long it will take to turn your dream into reality.

Save more.

Several factors make up a blissful retirement but one of the most important is financial freedom. You need a steady flow of income so you can afford to live comfortably after retirement. To do this, you need to be serious and aggressive about saving money. You can start by increasing the portion of your income that goes to savings. As long as you do not deprive yourself of basic needs, saving as much as 75% of your salary is an option you can consider. 

Work more.

You can easily save more if you earn more. So use your extra time wisely by finding ways to earn extra income.If you are creative and resourceful, you can discover a lot of ways to earn additional income. Do make sure that the side jobs you accept will not jeopardize your health or cause problems in your full-time job. 

Reduce expenses. 

To enjoy the rewards of early retirement, you may need to be willing to make some sacrifices. To make it possible to save more, be ready to cut your expenses as well. This might involve living below your means and depriving yourself of some luxuries.  Focus on your end goals so you do not get tempted to splurge. You can make this goal less difficult by adopting smart money-saving strategies. In the process, you may even learn to appreciate the beauty of living with less. 

Invest wisely. 

We all have to deal with rising inflation so it is best to maximize your hard-earned money by investing it where it can yield the greatest interest. You have several options such as starting a business, buying a property, or investing on stocks. These ventures can provide passive income that can be a great source of livelihood when you retire. Do remember that every investment has an accompanying risk so be very careful before making a decision. You need to study and understand the terms of investments as well as weigh the pros and cons. Consulting with a mentor can also help you make a wise choice. 

Settle your debts.

It would be hard to look forward to days of fun and leisure if debts and its accumulating interest are constantly lurking at the back of your mind. Make it a goal to breeze through retirement by settling your debts early on. You can research for ways on how you can settle existing debts with a lower interest rate. If you can, it may be wiser if you choose not to accrue debts in the first place.

In case you are thinking of a worthy goal to pursue, early retirement might not be such a bad idea. However, the road to a happy retirement is not something you can expect to receive on a silver platter. You need to be determined and committed to achieve your goals. Things may not be easy but with a few conscious efforts to do things differently, it is certainly a possibility.

Ty and Venessa Crandell7 Tips To Make Your Early Retirement Goal A Reality
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4 Role Models that Every Child Needs

A popular African proverb states, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Many parents have a story or two to verify the truth of this adage. Child rearing is a team sport. We rely on our support systems to help us meet the needs of our children. Amongst the collective of special people who contribute to our kids’ upbringing, are role models of all kinds. It’s human nature to seek out people we admire and want to emulate. One day your children will begin to search for role models of their own. When they do, make sure to surround them positive influences who you trust. Here are four role models that every child needs.

Famous Role Models

Fame is attractive. It’s no wonder many of us daydream of our chance to be amongst the stars. Though celebrity is rare, it’s natural to fawn over the power, talent and riches of the selected few. Because celebrities hold great influence on culture, entertainment and the latest trends, it’s important to guide your child toward positive celebrity role models instead of those we’d rather our children not imitate. Expose your children to people who are impactful, inspirational and bettering the community. Point them toward people who use their position for good. Children should have celebrity role models who set the bar high and encourage them to strive for greatness.

Family Role Models

Children also benefit from role models within the family. Immediate family, distant relatives and even longtime friends who’ve earned the distinction, can serve as role models. Unlike other types of relationships, with family your child is able to build a unique bond that comes with familiarity built over years. There is a different comfort and trust level, which gives your child the opportunity to engage in a way they can’t with others. Instead of only having the opportunity to admire from afar, your child will have the chance to frequently interact with their role model in a genuine manner. Because of this, family role models are the perfect bridge between children and their parents.

Peer Role Models

Peers have the power to affect the way one thinks, their self esteem and their daily choices, making them one the greatest influences in a child’s life. When you’re young, your reputation and others’ opinion of you can hold great weight. Peers’ ability to easily elevate or lower the social standing of the people around them heightens their importance in the eyes of your child. Consequently, children sometimes fall victim to the trap of negative influence. The best way to stay on the right path is to surround children with peers who motivate them to make beneficial choices. Your child needs friends who won’t embarrass or abandon them for doing the right thing. They need friends who they can look up to. They need friends who help them be the kind of child you raised them to be. The ideal peer role model reinforces the lessons you’ve instilled in your child instead of tempting them to do otherwise.

Teacher Role Models

Because your child already has you and several other influential adults around, a teacher role model may seem redundant. However, teachers garner a different type of respect. To earn the title of teacher, one must be a trained expert on a topic. Because the time spent in teacher-student relationships is strictly devoted to the selfless act of passing on knowledge, children tend to hold their teachers’ advice in very high regard. Consequently, students sometimes put more weight into their teachers’ opinion. This is especially true when it comes to academic or career advice. Teachers also make wonderful role models because they often communicate with parents and can reiterate messages that need to be restated.

Great role models can serve as a second line of defense when it comes to raising, encouraging and protecting your children. You will always be the first and most important example for your kids, but you can’t (and shouldn’t have to) shoulder that weight alone. Successful children grow by collecting valuable lessons from multiple sources and experiences. Positive role models can provide the extra boost of support parents need to raise happy, well-rounded young adults.

Ty and Venessa Crandell4 Role Models that Every Child Needs
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How to Establish a Legacy

“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”
-William James

The word legacy is defined as a gift that is passed down from one generation to another. Tangible legacies can be proprietary; property, companies and finances. Legacies can also be more abstract. The way you live your life, inspire others or think about concepts similarly qualify as gifts that can be passed from generation to generation. Both concrete and philosophical legacies greatly impact the lives of those we leave behind. So, how should you go about building such a precious heirloom? Here are five tips to establish a lasting legacy.

  • Focus on Your Passion
    Your legacy should represent you. It should paint a story of who you are, what you value and your daily pursuit to achieve it. The best way to identify what your legacy should be centered around is to refer to your passion in life. What motivates you? What gives your life meaning? What do you feel you were put on earth to do? Wherever your deepest passion is, place your focus there.
  • Don’t Wait
    When it comes to solidifying your legacy, there is no age minimum. Most people think of their legacy as a late in life, retiree accomplishment that is only earned after decades of hard work. And even though it is true that legacies are typically associated with endings (whether it be in career or life), every ending has a beginning. When you start is up to you, so why wait?
  • Be Consistent
    After identifying your passion and initiating your pursuit, it’s time to get to work. Whether you are aware of it or not, you are authoring your legacy every single day. How profound your result is depends on the effort you invest. Be intentional about regularly planning and executing your next step toward greatness. Every step in the right direction strengthens the legacy you’ll leave.
  • Study Worthy Models
    Need guidance on how to go about your life’s work? Consider the following. Whose legacy do you admire? Who fuels your passion? Whose work motivates you to do more? Seek out those people. Research their stories, study their steps and use them as your blueprint. Adapt their outlines and make them fit your own. Originality is important, but there’s nothing wrong with finding sources of inspiration.
  • Destroy Interference
    Now that you’ve locked in on your mission, begun executing your plan and sought guidance, the last step is to stay the course. If your legacy is proprietary, be sure to tightly manage your savings, property or business to guarantee its continued growth and success. If your legacy is conceptual, make sure to live a life that matches the legacy you’ve chosen. Lastly, avoid any drama or controversy that could potentially tarnish or overshadow your end goal.

Maya Angelou famously said, “If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.” Through habitual dedication and discipline, you can perfect the gift that will represent who you are and what you stand for. And with these five tips, you can write your own story and leave a legacy to be proud of.

Ty and Venessa CrandellHow to Establish a Legacy
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Four Science-Proven Tactics To Save Money With Ease

For the majority, money is an essential resource that you need to work hard for. With that in mind, you surely would not want to waste the fruits of your labor with careless spending. Proper cash management is essential to securing your future. Aside from the material benefits that money can provide, researchers from Texas Tech University proved in a study that increasing savings or assets significantly contributes to one’s life satisfaction or happiness. In spite of this, saving money is easier said than done. The temptation to splurge and spend follows you wherever you go. With the money-saving strategies presented below, you can watch your finances grow in no time.

Prioritize savings.

If you wait until you are done paying bills and buying necessities before setting aside money to save, you may end up with zero left over to store. You can avoid this mistake by using the “pay yourself first” tactic. Prioritize growing your savings by deducting the money for saving right after receiving your salary.  This is easier to do today as banks and companies often team up to offer an automatic savings option. An experimental study revealed automatic payroll deductions is a highly effective way to increase savings may convince you to try this method.

Hide your credit cards.

Credit cards can provide a convenient way to shop, but cashless transactions make it easier for you to overspend. To spare yourself the trouble of high credit card bills and charges, get into the habit of paying in cash. Cash may be your last option when your credit card is available, so you may want to leave your plastic at home. If you are not carrying your cards around, you can think twice before purchasing an item or only use it during times when it is really necessary. This claim is proven by Dun & Bradstreet, a consulting company with a study showing that people tend to spend up to 18% more when using credit cards. Just think of how much you can save by paying with physical vs. plastic money.

Procrastinate on spending.

Procrastination is a bad habit that kills productivity. Surprisingly, the practice of choosing to do things later can be a great tactic to help you save for the rainy days. You can do this by opting not to immediately buy items that you want. Instead, give yourself a day or two to think about whether you really want to purchase that item. Chances are, your desire to purchase something might have dwindle. If you are lucky, those items might already be on sale when you do come back to finally buy it. This strategy is proven to work, according to a research from Paris Dauphine University, saying that by delaying purchases  you can kick the habit of impulse purchases and save your precious dollars.

Visualize the future.

If you really want something and you have the cash for it, stopping yourself from buying it can be extremely difficult. To avoid overspending on unnecessary items, try imagining the negative consequences of giving in to your wants. Think about the rewards that you will reap by sticking to your resolve to save money. If you spend without regard about its effects on your future financial status, saving money is much harder. This theory is proven by a study from the Journal of Consumer Research. In order to grow your savings with ease, it will help to visualize the positive and negative effects of your spending habits.

Money management takes hard work and discipline. It may be hard to save up cash to ensure a comfortable future but it will surely be worth it. If you do not want money to be a major concern someday, you have to exert real effort to build up your savings. If you save religiously and invest wisely, you can soon enjoy  financial freedom.

Ty and Venessa CrandellFour Science-Proven Tactics To Save Money With Ease
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Want To Excel At Work But Afraid Of A Burnout? Try These Life Hacks!

The goal of delivering excellent work performance is a definitely not a one-time deal. It is a day-to-day task that you should deliver impressive job or service regardless of the circumstances. The huge pressure of this responsibility can be terribly stressful which may lead to exhaustion or burnout.

Sadly, poor work-life balance often puts the most motivated and talented people at risk for a breakdown. It is a must for everyone to take steps to avoid burnout because it can kill enthusiasm, decrease productivity, and prevent success. The good news is that with a few simple hacks, you can effortlessly excel at work and keep burnout at bay:

Listen To Your Body

Sometimes, common sense is all you need to survive in this world. If your body is already screaming with undeniable aches and pains, it means you need to give it a rest. Many highly-ambitious individuals would try to rise above expectations and do as much work as possible to the point of stretching their stamina to the limits. Do not forget that without enough rest and proper nutrients, your physical and mental faculties cannot function at its best as well.

Focus On Quality Rather Than Quantity

Overachievers may be tempted to work on several projects at once with the belief that they can accomplish a lot this way. However, multitaskers may find it hard to claim expertise in a specific area because it limits the time and attention they can devote to each task. Aside from that, they greatly increase the possibility of experiencing fatigue. On the other hand, if you solely dedicate your best efforts to a single project at a time, you get a chance to master a specific skill and considerably lessen the workload. This theory proposed by author and professor, Morten Hansen, in his book, “Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More” is a must-try if you want to sustain your interests and satisfaction in your work.

Adopt Good Habits For Better Time-Management

Your day will be twice as hard without routines and habits that can guide you along the way. Useful habits such as planning your day, making to-do lists, and waking up early will go a long way to make your day as smooth and stress-free as possible. This also emphasized the need for discipline as you set out to deliver top-notch performance for every task at hand.

Insert Quick Breaks In Your Routine

You may equate a highly-productive day to longer working hours and fewer break times. Apparently, this concept is the culprit for many work-related health issues and may even result in poor job performance in the long run. To avoid this, you may want to try a time-management strategy called the Pomodoro Technique which was developed by entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo. In this method, you reward yourself with 5-10 minutes of break after working uninterruptedly on a task for 25 minutes. This technique lowers the chance of a burnout and also claims to effectively combat procrastination, increase productivity, and enhance focus.

Do Not Hesitate To Say No

If you say yes to every request or invitation, you may find yourself laden with more assignments than you can handle. This is unlikely to happen if you have a realistic perception of the number of tasks that you can take. So wisely assess your situation to know if you can still squeeze in a favor to your schedule or will it already cost you precious time.

As a conclusion, it pays to always be on the lookout for mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion as you challenge yourself to achieve great things and exceed expectations. You owe it to yourself to aim for a healthy work-life balance because your own well-being and happiness should always be your first priority.

Ty and Venessa CrandellWant To Excel At Work But Afraid Of A Burnout? Try These Life Hacks!
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4 Qualities To Seek Out In Finding The Right Mentor For You

So often when people dream, they hold an unsustainable perception that in order to successfully achieve their goal, they must become some form of perfect. This common misconception of needing to be the best of the best can be seen across all fields and even be applied when people are in search of a mentor. Indeed candidates for mentors are ideally ones that have experienced a high level of success, but keep in mind finding the right mentor for you weighs more in importance than finding one that is able to do anything. Consider these four traits when narrowing in on who you want to guide you.

They Practice What They Preach
When seeking out a mentor, their consistent behavior is equally as important as their achievements. Anyone can read a textbook, how-to guide, or job description to uncover the proper techniques and qualifications for a specific role. When it comes to health or career choices, people are well aware what the correct decision is, but have a tough time following the path that they must be on. In selecting a mentor, find individuals that are dedicated to their purpose and disciplined to the process. Seeing someone act in a way that you aspire to be will help you find your motivation. A mentor that is true in both their words and actions will be able to assist you in overcoming roadblocks on your path to success.

There Is A Balance of Success and Failures
Whether you relate to the idea that “the greatest successes stem from failure” or “The greatest lessons are learned in failure”, there’s no denying that a stifled attempt at success can teach you great deals. By no means should you support an individual that continues to putz around in faulty practices, but dig into a mentor’s past to see if they have stumbled and gotten back up. The ability to learn from your mistakes is a vital skill to have and will make you better in all that you do. People that have recovered from instances of failure will also have the compassion and encouraging words for when you stumble along in your journey.

You Want To Learn From And Inspire Each Other
While their knowledge may be more factual about what will work and what won’t, your mentor should have an open mind about the things that they can learn from you. You should inspire each other to learn and grow together as individuals. Industries and skills are constantly transforming to make jobs more efficient or daily processes more effective. Find a mentor that is comfortable with the idea that they can learn from you and one that gives off positive energy that you can both work off of.

They Know When To Push You
Another key benefit of having a quality mentor that is right for you is having someone to push you past hurdles. A good mentor will have your best interest at heart because they care about you as a person, but will know when to give you an extra nudge to move you up to the next goal. The right mentor will be able to accurately assess your emotions and abilities towards the task at hand and will be able to push past your comfort zone without tearing you down. Whether it be through verbal coaching for your spirit, or addressing different character traits you need to possess to reach your goal a mentor is not afraid to be hard on you when they can see that you are capable of defeating the current barrier you are facing.

Ultimately when finding a mentor, take a moment and think if they are someone you would like to resemble in the future. You should never aim to be just like another person, but if you can respect and admire the way your mentor goes about their daily life, then you have found the person to guide you.

If you yourself are looking to become a mentor and don’t know if you’re fit for it, check out our post Is There Such A Thing As A Perfect Mentor?

Ty and Venessa Crandell4 Qualities To Seek Out In Finding The Right Mentor For You
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4 Ways Mentoring Enhances Your Life

Making the decision to join and participate in a mentoring program may be a personal one, but it should never be a difficult one. Choosing which program is the best fit for your personal needs, on the other hand, is where the most important decision-making comes into play. But, generally speaking, simply deciding to participate in a mentoring program should be a no-brainer because these programs offer countless benefits that provide both the mentor and the mentee with invaluable opportunities and experience, and here’s why.

For those considering mentorship, here are 4 Ways Mentoring Enhances Your Life

Mentoring sessions are 100% supportive and completely confidential.

Mentoring sessions are completely confidential, and they provide the mentee with a trusted confidant to talk through any difficulties, setbacks, or problems that are relevant at the time. With the guaranteed trust of both the mentor and the mentee, each mentoring session is certain to a be a productive one, and likely both people will leave feeling refreshed and encouraged on their individual life endeavors.

Mentoring sessions enhances chances for success.

By participating in mentoring sessions, the mentee will gain knowledge, advice, and skills from the real-life experience of someone who is already successful and established in a particular field. Mentoring sessions also provide the mentee with guidance on how to most effectively incorporate the knowledge, advice, and lessons learned into their own life for the highest chances of success.

Mentoring sessions increase professional socialization.

Mentoring sessions are also a chance for the mentee to gain experience in conversing with someone highly well-informed in their field. In doing so, the mentee will gain professional social skills that are tailored to their field and required for success in it. If nothing else, mentoring sessions provide a valuable chance for mentees to network with successful business professionals on a similar career path.

Mentoring sessions provide clarity.

It is completely acceptable for a mentee to go into a mentoring session without a clear idea in mind of what they want their next five, ten, or fifteen years to look like. And what a relieving feeling that is!  Mentoring sessions serve as a tool to create a forward-thinking plan that clarifies future goals and the methods necessary to achieve them. In fact, it’s encouraged to leave behind certain thoughts about the future at the door and enter each session with an open mind. Even if the mentee is sure of their future plans and goals, mentoring sessions provide an opportunity to question and refine these plans so that they serve the mentee in the most successful way possible.

Ty and Venessa Crandell4 Ways Mentoring Enhances Your Life
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Is There Such Thing as a Perfect Mentor?

Is there such thing as a perfect mentor? Well, to answer that question, let’s pose an equally loaded one: is there such thing as a perfect person? Absolutely not! That idea is nonsensical. While there’s no such thing as a perfect mentor—and certainly no such thing as a perfect person—there are phenomenal mentors and incredible people. More than that, though, there are collectives of fantastic mentors and people that come together to help one another and propel each other to greater and greater success.

So, no, there isn’t such thing as a perfect mentor, but there are a thousand ways to be a wonderful mentor, and thousands of mentors you can look up to for different levels of guidance.

Great Mentors Work in Teams

Great mentors rarely fly solo. They’re the ones who can be found with an extensive network of contacts, people they know, and hands they’ve shaken. They’re connected, and they love introducing potentially great fits to one another.

When you’re attempting to be a great mentor or find a great mentor, you need only look for the people who seem to love making connections and casting positive nets. It takes knowing a great mentor to become a great mentor, after all.

Spectacular Mentors Work For You

The most spectacular mentors are the ones who aren’t in the game to advance themselves. They’re looking to help others and lay groundwork for the next successful generation of people. That’s why the most influential and helpful mentors are the ones who aren’t working for themselves; they’re working for you.

If you’re wanting to be a spectacular mentor, know that you’ll have to be in it to win it and have a positive attitude and a desire to help others, even if it means you do nothing for yourself in the process.

The Best Mentors Work With You

All of that being said, the onus is not all on the mentor to do the work for his or her mentees. The best mentors are the ones that work with you more than anything else. They’re there to help guide and motivate and steer you in the right direction.

In order to be the best possible mentor, you have to be willing and able to work well with others to achieve their dreams. And that’s about as close to perfect as you can get.

Ty and Venessa CrandellIs There Such Thing as a Perfect Mentor?
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