Monthly Archives: August 2016

What are you doing when you are busy during retirement

You’ve been picturing your retirement for years and envisioning what you’ll do when there are no more meetings or deadlines or big projects. But now that you’re out of the office, you’re discovering many hobbies and travel you planned on are more expensive than anticipated. Don’t let your wallet force you into becoming a recluse. Here’s what you can do with a limited budget to stay busy, fulfilled, and entertained:

 

1. Start an “encore career”

We know, we know. You just retired and we’re telling you to go back to work. But about forty million Americans are either pursuing a second career after retirement or would like to according to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. A second career can be far more fulfilling than your first. It’s your chance to do something you really love. In fact, the research shows that an encore career gives you the same sense of fulfillment that volunteering does. The money you make in your second career might even be able to go straight into savings for that trip you always wanted to take or pay for a hobby you’ve been wanting to pursue.

 

2. Get involved in your community

This one’s a two-fer! Get out there and really explore what your community has to offer, and make friends doing it. You’ve spent years with your nose buried in work, and now you have time to dig into all the great things your neighborhood provides. A lot of them may be free or inexpensive. Pick up a catalogue from your local Parks and Recreation department to find something you’d enjoy. Make friends who are interested in the same things, and have some great new people to spend time with.

 

3. Start an exercise group

If you always meant to take up yoga, now is the time to actually learn it! You don’t need to sign up for private classes or join an expensive studio to learn a new skill. There are free videos online, so find someone as eager to learn as you are and get started. In fact, someone else may have already had the same idea. Check out local listings for whatever you’re interested in and see if a group exists. You may get lucky and just have to show up with your mat.

 

4. Don’t make your house your life

House rich but cash poor? Hate your neighborhood? Hate all these suggestions because you hate your neighborhood? You might want to consider moving. What would it feel like to live in a smaller, cheaper home that’s closer to family or friends, or even just people interested in the same things you are? As you go through your first year of retirement, really keep an eye out to see if you’ve lived in your town for so long because the commute was good, or if you really love your neighborhood. If you decide to move, reexamine the above suggestions once you’re in a place where you can really see yourself making friends.

 

5. Meet with your financial advisor

It’s not the most time-consuming, here’s-your-new-favorite-hobby item on this list, but you’ll definitely want to set aside some regular time to make sure you’re budgeting effectively, getting good advice on when to start withdrawing from Social Security, and doing everything else you can to have a prosperous, stress-free retirement. Don’t delay going just because you’re nervous about what he or she might say. Get a regular appointment on the books and treat it as you would your annual dentist appointment: it ain’t fun, but you’re doing it for your own good.

 

6. Discuss what you learn

Go to your local bookstore to find out about reading groups. Or if books aren’t your thing, see if they have (or could help you start) a podcast group. It operates on the same premise: everyone listens to an episode of a podcast and comes prepared to discuss it. If you’ve never listened to a podcast before, start with a popular one like Radiolab or This American Life. If you’ve got specific interests, Google them to see what podcasts might be a good fit for you. You might think you’re the only person out there interested in historical homicides, but actually, My Favorite Murder is regularly topping the podcast charts, so chances are a few other people in your area are listening in, too.

Let the sunshine in

Full glass sunrooms are the best way to bring the outside indoors. Sunrooms can provide a space with natural light for an indoor swimming pool, a spot to nurture a garden or a sanctuary to nurture yourself. If a sunroom might be in your future, the following two questions can help you decide which kind of sunroom meets your requirements and your budget:

  1. Do you plan to use your sunroom year-round? In some areas of the country, you can easily use your sunroom 365 days a year, while others with four distinct seasons can require fully insulated windows, roofs and walls to combat broiling summer days or freezing winter nights. You may also have to install additional heating and cooling systems.
  2. Do you want to remodel an existing room or create a new space? If there’s already an existing structure such as a patio or deck, it may be easier and less expensive to install a new sunroom there.

The answers to these questions can steer you toward the best sunroom choice for your home.

Care After Transplanting

After transplanting, your job isn’t over. New transplants require ongoing care and consideration. Don’t expect them to come back in full force for at least a year, as they need to acclimate to their new space before sending out new growth above ground.

  • Mulch. Add 2 – 3 inches of mulch around the base of transplants to help retain moisture and moderate soil temperature. That helps promote root growth as the plant settles in. Be sure to keep mulch away from tree trunks and the crown of shrubs, to keep air flow optimal and prohibit rot.
  • Water Deeply. It’s important to water a newly transplanted tree or shrub thoroughly, and consistently, for a couple of weeks after moving it. Give it a very deep drink every day that it doesn’t rain substantially.
  • Stake Trees. If you’ve transplanted a tree, you need to stake it, at least for the next 6 – 12 months. Use 2 – 3 stakes, making sure any wire or rope used doesn’t strangle the trunk, damaging the bark.
  • Don’t Fertilize. Do not fertilize newly transplanted trees and shrubs. That encourages new leaf and branch growth, when all the plant’s energy needs to focus on rebuilding the root system.

Shrubs in Fall

Why Transplant?

  • Landscape Changes. Perhaps you’re adding a deck, or expanding your driveway, and plantings are in the way. You can use them somewhere else on your property if you carefully transplant them.
  • Space Issues. Some trees and shrubs are planted in spaces too small for their mature growth. You can move them, or adjust their spacing, to increase their chances of remaining healthy, and looking great.
  • Failure to Thrive. All plants have different light, water, and soil requirements. If a shrub or tree is underperforming, it may need a change of scene. Some flowering shrubs manage to live in shady environments, but their blossoms won’t flourish without six hours of unfiltered sunlight daily. Similarly, drainage problems may waterlog the roots of a plant that prefers dry soil conditions. Transplanting these specimens may give them an opportunity to shine as nature intended.

Tips for Transplanting

  • Choose the Right Location. If you’re transplanting for lack of space, avoid the same mistake again. Be sure there’s room for the tree or shrub to grow to maturity. Ensure its new home will provide the right light, soil, and water requirements.
  • Dig the Right Hole. You should dig a new hole that is at least 2 – 3 times as wide as the root ball, to allow the lateral roots to spread out. Only dig as deep as the root ball, so the weight of the plant or tree is well supported. Dig the new hole, and water it well, prior to removing the transplant from it’s old location. This will minimize chances the roots will dry out.
  • Water Well. Water the soil well around the tree or shrub the day before transplanting. It will make digging easier, and help soil stick to the roots as you remove the plant, reducing stress.
  • Root Pruning. Do not prune branches when transplanting, as that will stimulate new top growth. You want the plant to concentrate on re-establishing roots instead. Root prune as you dig up. Remove the top soil from the roots around the trunk or crown and mark the area where you’ll dig. Use a sharp, flat spade to dig around the plant, going progressively deeper to create a root ball. As you run into big roots, cut them with a lopper. After you’ve completely root pruned the circumference of the root ball, dig under the plant to sever the roots beneath.

Care After Transplanting

After transplanting, your job isn’t over. New transplants require ongoing care and consideration. Don’t expect them to come back in full force for at least a year, as they need to acclimate to their new space before sending out new growth above ground.

  • Mulch. Add 2 – 3 inches of mulch around the base of transplants to help retain moisture and moderate soil temperature. That helps promote root growth as the plant settles in. Be sure to keep mulch away from tree trunks and the crown of shrubs, to keep air flow optimal and prohibit rot.
  • Water Deeply. It’s important to water a newly transplanted tree or shrub thoroughly, and consistently, for a couple of weeks after moving it. Give it a very deep drink every day that it doesn’t rain substantially.
  • Stake Trees. If you’ve transplanted a tree, you need to stake it, at least for the next 6 – 12 months. Use 2 – 3 stakes, making sure any wire or rope used doesn’t strangle the trunk, damaging the bark.
  • Don’t Fertilize. Do not fertilize newly transplanted trees and shrubs. That encourages new leaf and branch growth, when all the plant’s energy needs to focus on rebuilding the root system.

With planning and careful attention, you can transplant shrubs and small trees in your landscape with success, giving them the opportunity to bring you enjoyment for many years to come.

Customize your comfort home

Why build a sunroom and not let the sun in everywhere, with floor-to-ceiling glass? There are several reasons, each one specific to your particular climate, the room’s orientation to the sun, or other factors.

Dirt: Many sunrooms have a masonry or framed wall 24 to 36 inches high that keeps window bottoms free from grime caused by garden watering, blowing dust, or snow residue. Utilities: That partial wall permits you to run electrical outlets and heaters to the room, extending its season and comfort. Heat control: In warmer climates, sunrooms can let in too much of a good thing. Solid roofs and partial walls shield the room from unwelcome early or late heat, and won’t substantially affect room comfort. Study where the summer sun rises and sets. Privacy: Place partial walls to keep out prying eyes.

It’s your sunroom. Analyze potential problems. Partial glass sunrooms can maximize enjoyment.

Full glass sunrooms are the best way to bring the outside indoors. Sunrooms can provide a space with natural light for an indoor swimming pool, a spot to nurture a garden or a sanctuary to nurture yourself. If a sunroom might be in your future, the following two questions can help you decide which kind of sunroom meets your requirements and your budget:

  1. Do you plan to use your sunroom year-round? In some areas of the country, you can easily use your sunroom 365 days a year, while others with four distinct seasons can require fully insulated windows, roofs and walls to combat broiling summer days or freezing winter nights. You may also have to install additional heating and cooling systems.
  2. Do you want to remodel an existing room or create a new space? If there’s already an existing structure such as a patio or deck, it may be easier and less expensive to install a new sunroom there.

The answers to these questions can steer you toward the best sunroom choice for your home.