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Monday, August 26, 2013

Mental Health Day? Make it Count!

Sometimes you just have to take a “mental health day” to maintain your balance. Your health, your work, and your family will benefit if you give yourself some time off every once in a while. But if you spend your day just doing work at home, you’ll defeat your purpose. Don’t miss your chance to rejuvenate. Here’s how to energize yourself:


• Ignore errands and chores. Focus on yourself, not all the little things you need to do around the house. The dripping faucet or stack of bills will be there on the weekend, and you can fix them then. If chores are too tempting, get out of the house for several hours.


• Focus on gratitude. Turn your mind off work and onto the more meaningful things in life, such as your family, friends, and health.


• Keep the TV off. Television can prevent us from thinking and paying attention to ourselves. Simply be quiet and stay in the moment. Or pick up a book or magazine and read.


• Assess your goals. Sometimes work-related stress is a signal to pay attention to what’s lacking in your job. For example, your frustration with your current duties may mask the fact that you want a position in a different department. Think about what you want and start developing plans to pursue your goals.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Teens do Listen to Parents About Drinking (Study Finds!)

If you have a child preparing to start college this fall, you’re probably thinking about the cost of tuition and board, the quality of the cafeteria food, the high price of textbooks—and the temptations of alcohol. You may worry that nothing you say will make a difference once your student is on his or her own.


Fortunately, a study from Pennsylvania State University’s Prevention Research Center suggests you may have more influence than you think. The researchers surveyed 1,900 future college freshmen on their drinking habits. Then they sent parents a handbook of general information on college student drinking, and asked those parents to talk to their children during the summer before starting college, sometime during their students’ first fall semester, or both.


The results? Freshmen whose parents broached the subject over the summer were more likely to show a pattern of not drinking or light drinking, or to transition away from heavy drinking habits if they were already big consumers of alcohol.


Experts note that the tone of such conversations is important—you want to share your thoughts without lecturing your kids. But the findings indicate that talking about drinking instead of hoping for the best can have good results.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Boomers Feel the Strain of Boomerang Kids

The baby boomer generation is feeling the strain of boomerang kids with more and more adult children being forced to stay in or return to their nest because they are unable to financially afford to do otherwise. Adult children are finding it tough to be able to achieve self sufficiency in our post-recession age thanks to low wage gains and high rates of unemployment, with many parents helping them out, some at the risk of their own financial security.


While many parents simply help out by offering free or low room and board, others are going so far as to help with major purchases such as computers or motor vehicles, paying off credit card bills or even paying for groceries or helping them out with rent.

High property prices, increasing youth unemployment and the increasing cost of post-secondary education is forcing young adults to rely on their parents for financial support more than ever.

Monday, August 12, 2013

How to Survive the Family Dinner

Mealtimes can be a strain in the family home. Everyone likes the idea of the family dinner, but far too often such events are marred by children needing to go the lavatory, spilling drinks, clanging cutlery, refusing to eat vegetables, dropping food on the floor or just plain throwing a tantrum.


One of the biggest complaints from mothers is that their children are such picky eaters, as well as the sheer impossibility of trying to get their kids to eat stuff that’s actually good for them. Fortunately there are a few tips to try and get through the family dinner without one of the adults losing their minds.


Try and get your child to have at least a taste of everything they are offered. Appetites can change and children often need to taste something several times to decide if they like it or not so just a taste of a food they may not fancy the look of can be a good idea. Another good tip is to feed your kids the kind of foods that you enjoy and consume. If you eat healthy, flavorful foods then chances are your children will want to as well.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Parents' Texting While Driving Children

Most parents are distracted in one way or another while driving their children around, according to a new survey. 90 percent of the 600 parents who responded to the survey say that they had been using technology at least once during the past month while driving a child between the age of one and two years old, with phone calls being the number one distraction. Other common distractions include eating, drinking, smoking or picking up a toy for or feeding the child in question.


The risk is also contributed to by the issue of child safety restraints, with an alarming amount of those who were more likely to be distracted also less likely to have adequate child safety provisions in place in their vehicle.


Experts insist that parents need to give their full attention to the task of driving while they are on the road, with some noting that additional laws may need to be put into place to further prevent such actions.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Retirement Savings Tips

There is a wide array of savings options that are available to married couples, from plans that are sponsored by your employer to individual retirement accounts. It is a personal choice to decide which is right for you as this is a large part of your financial planning landscape.


You should discuss with your spouse how you can benefit the most as a team. After all, you will most likely want to be together in your retirement years so it is wise for the pair of you to try to come up with a strategy that benefits both of you.


There are a number of things that you should try to work out, such as how much of your income you can afford to contribute to your retirement accounts, if your employer retirement plan includes appropriate, well rated options for investing that come with reasonable fees, and if you want to have the least amount of investment accounts that you will need or are comfortable having multiple such accounts.

Just by doing a little bit of research you can learn a great deal about the kind of investment vehicles that are available to you.

Friday, August 2, 2013


Tips for busy lifestyles
Maintaining a regular health and wellness regimen is very important, but the reality is that today’s busy schedules can often throw even the best of us off track. Plenty of Americans do their best to attempt to stick to a balanced diet yet continually come up short when it comes to the valuable and crucial nutrients that are important to maintaining a healthy body.

The good news is that even those with hectic lifestyles can maintain nutrition just by following a few simple steps. The key is to eat meals which are filled with nutrients so set aside just five minutes per day to pack a healthy work lunch such as a turkey sandwich with whole wheat bread or a salad with grilled chicken – healthy options that offer a mixture of fiber and protein to provide you with sustained energy all day long.


Taking vitamins is also important and can fill in any gaps in nutrition in your diet while getting plenty of sunshine and staying active is also highly recommended.