Spring – not sure where it is but not here yet

Well, it is “officially” spring but the only thing ‘making it so’ are the blossoms which come out by date rather than the weather.  Make sense?  I don’t think so either but the plants seem to know more than we do and seem to anticipate the weather.

Anyway, sorry folks, been a little busy last few weeks and also, for some reason my Apple laptop doesn’t want to talk to my iPhone so it makes it a little more complicated uploading/transferring photos to the laptop.

But I have some photos for you and also some cards.  First of all some cards I made for the Splitcoaststampers over a couple of weeks.

Then some photos and perhaps a video, of a trip to Perisher Valley with some medical students for their networking with Ambulance, Ski Patrol and Medical Centre to gain a sense of working as a medic in alpine and remote areas.

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Wholly Cow!

Well, with that title I’d better explain.  Today we went for a drive and stopped for morning tea in Sawtell, NSW, not far from Coffs Harbour.   We parked the car and were in fact parked only a couple of shops from the cafe “Wholly Cow” and I just couldn’t resist having morning tea/coffee.  I had a coffee,  my partner had a hot chocolate and a vanilla slice each.  The vanilla slice was the best I have had in years.  I don’t usually write about this sort of thing but this time I thought I’d give them a plug.  No, I didn’t take a photo but the pastry was so beautifully flaky, it was melt in your mouth and the filling – custard – was homemade, not the powder-made custard you usually find.  Absolutely beautiful and delicious!  Their burgers are great value too.  Definitely recommend when you’re next in the area.

And just in case you think I’m joking with the name I did take a photo of their business card.  Cheers for now.

Happy Boxing Day!

Hi there, hope you all had a relaxing and happy Christmas day with family and friends yesterday or on Christmas Eve for those who observe their gift giving and family get together the night before.  It’s not quite new years but I resolved that I will make and post (here on my blog) at least one card a week.  Being a creative consultant, I should be able to accomplish this even with my studies and other activities.  I don’t like making promises I may not be able to keep, but I think one card a week should be achievable.  I know of one crafter who promised to make a card a day for a year – yes, 365 cards – quite a task, so when I read that I thought it was quite an ambitious task, some would say rash.  Why? because many things can intervene to prevent you from achieving such an undertaking.  How many did he achieve you ask, well, if I remember correctly approximate a little over 1/3.

I am not promising, I merely resolved to do one card a week and upload here. My why? Because at least that way I have a weekly goal to achieve and we all know that goals are reached one step at a time.  Also, we are told by the “experts” that we should have a goal and make every effort to achieve it.  Well, I thought I would start with a small goal, one card a week and see what happens.  Anyone out there care to challenge yourselves, it can be anything really, like reading x amount of pages per day of a certain book, writing a letter – not an email – to someone you’ve neglected for some time.  Make it whatever you have been promising to do “one day”.  There are many things people keep promising themselves that “I will get to that one day” but that ‘one day’ never seems to arrive.  Why not join me and set yourselves a goal?   I will now get off my podium:-)  Until next time.  Cheers. img_1211

Best way to “de-stress” yourself?

Well, I don’t know what you like to do to “de-stress” yourself but I like going out to nature and enjoying the trees, birds and just “delighting in life”.  You may have noticed that one of my favourite stamps is “Delight in Life”  I love using that stamp because it is useful for many occasions.  Anyway, for those of you not in Australia, the place we went to, is in the snowy mountains called Thredbo in the State of New South Wales and the river is so clear and pure you can see the bottom and even fish on occasion.  Despite the hundreds of people milling around it is still peaceful and rejuvenating just to be there, somehow the trees and the hills around the village just make you feel relaxed and at peace.

The photo at the bottom – crow trying to steal someone’s lunch – didn’t come out very well because I only had my mobile phone to take photos and I didn’t want to scare it off before I took the photo, but it was quite determined to get that lunch, it was really banging into the bag, luckily whatever it was trying to get was in a solid container not just plastic or paper wrapper.

I cannot say I have “caught up” because I have heaps more to do but I hope I’ve given you something of interest for now and I’ll be back in a while – as soon as I find something else interesting to post.  Cheers for now.

Clear, cool waters of Thredbo, NSW.
Thredbo River, Thredbo NSW Australia
Bush on the edge of Thredbo River
Rugged Thredbo River, Thredbo NSW Australia
Thief crow!
Crow/black bird trying to get into someone’s lunch!

What Is the Best Age for Retirement?

While everyone has different views and opinions on the right age for retirement, it is really a personal matter. Several factors need consideration before determining the best age for retirement.

Obviously, retirement is a financial issue; however, there are many other factors involved in the process of preparing for and thinking about retirement.

Health Matters

The typical age for retirement is somewhere around the ages of 62 – 67. However, you need to consider your health into the equation as well. Many older folks tend to suffer from common ailment such as:

  •  Arthritis
  • Impaired vision
  • Heart disease
  • Memory loss

These are just to name a few. If you are planning to work as late as possible, then maintaining proper health is an important requirement to retirement planning. The decision to take good care of your health is never too late. Taking good care of your health will ensure that you will be able to work longer, earn more, and put more away for your golden years.

In America, you will also be able to collect more Social Security the longer you work. In addition, keep in mind that the longer you work, the longer your health insurance will stay in place.  Of course, different countries have different rules and regulations about pensions, health benefits etc. for retirees.  You need to check these with your relevant official offices/departments.

Finances

Of course, finances are one of the biggest parts of the equation for retirement. You need to plan, plan, and then plan some more when figuring out your financial situation for retirement. If you have begun to save early, then your retirement age will come earlier. If you are a late saver, then it stands to reason that your retirement may be put off until a bit later.

  1. Seek advice from a professional – If you have not already started, seek the advice of a financial planner. You may think you know how much you need to retire, but that figure may be way off from what you will really need to maintain your standard of living after retirement. If you have superannuation or similar you superannuation representative will be able to help you with working some of these things out.
  2. Take advantage of being over 50 – If you have any tax deferrable accounts, look into the possibility of contributing more dollars for fewer taxes. Speak to a professional about this option. In some countries you might be able to have tax offsets which will help with how much tax you pay, therefore, giving you more in your bank account/take home pay.  Again you will need to check with your tax department about anything like this.
  3. Get comfortable with being a senior citizen – There are financial benefits to being older, such as eligibility for tax grievances, senior discounts on dining, parks, and even travel.

Think Ahead

Think ahead about what retirement means to you. If you are perfectly fine with retiring at an average age and just kicking back and relaxing, then retiring at a later age might suit you just fine.

However, if you plan to be actively engaged in sports and physical activity, retiring at an earlier age may be a better fit.

The road ahead - resized

Back on air!

What’s on you mind, I’m asked. Well for one, it’s months since I have posted anything here. Amazing how time flies. Since my last posting we have moved into our new home – at last, only took 12 months! Could just about write a book on the subject of do’s and don’ts. One definite is a “don’t” for those wanting to borrow against the equity in their homes with a reverse mortgage. Why? Because they take you to the cleaners! Even when you want to pay the mortgage out they will take their time to give you a payout figure, ignore your calls, letters, anything just so they can extend the time to clock up more interest payable by you. Complicated for a quick post here but simply put – they refused to give a payout figure for a year after our initial contact with them and even then they didn’t want to until threatened with media and ombudsman investigations. This cost me upwards of $12K.  No, I’m not afraid to mention the bank, BankWest. If the CEO happens to see this he is welcome to contact me.

Encourage the little people in your life or just your favourite one….

Why not check out these little books for yourself and see how you can motivate the children in your life. Whether your grand-daughter, grandson or your own son or daughter who needs just that little bit of an incentive to achieve. Go to:  http://www.12path.com/raevon2/imsoproudof/ and buy one for each. For a limited time (until December 1st) you can get quite a good discount for multiple buys. So go check it out and get your little ones motivated.