Quick Hits

Are you dreaming of the day when you can say good-bye to the office for good and head to a beach where you can spend your days enjoying retirement? While you may have a specific place in mind for the latter part of your life, not every state is all that great for it, and a new report reveals which ones are the best and the worst.

WalletHub looked at all 50 states to determine which are the best and worst to retire in, judging them on 41 key indicators including things like affordability, health-related factors and overall quality of life.

And while you may joke about Florida being filled with old people, it seems there’s a good reason for that. Florida tops the list as the best state to retire in, scoring a 66.79 out of 100 and landing on top for affordability, and pretty high for overall quality of life as well.

Best States For Retirement

  1. Florida
  2. Colorado
  3. South Dakota
  4. Iowa
  5. Virginia

On the flipside, retirees are going to want to stay clear of Kentucky, which scores only a 43.06, and is near the bottom for quality of life and healthcare. As for the overall least affordable state to retire in, that would be New Jersey, with Hawaii, although beautiful, coming in just behind them.

Worst States For Retirement

  1. Kentucky
  2. New Jersey
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Mississippi
  5. Arkansas

Source: WalletHub

According to data released this month from personal finance comparison site Finder.com, more than half of parents (53%) with kids under 21 give them an allowance. The survey of 2,000 adults finds that the average amount given is $16.98 a week, and about 14% of parents say they don’t require their kids to do a chore to get the cash. But experts say that’s not such a good idea, and here’s what they recommend instead:

  • Tying allowance to chores helps kids learn about money - The earlier children learn basic financial principles like the exchange of goods and services for money, the better it is, says financial investigator Pamela Yellen. It’s good for kids to have things to do around the house that they don’t get paid for, but the allowance can be for doing more than the required minimum tasks.
  • Start ‘em young - Experts advise giving your kiddos an allowance starting around four or five years old, or around the time they start asking about and understanding the concept of money. For the little ones, getting cash can teach them about different denominations and how many coins it takes to make $1. And when they’re a little older, you can teach them about how to divide their money into what to save, what to spend, and what to give to charity.
  • So how much should you give? - Some say that the amount you give is less important and the idea is to get kids used to handling and talking about money. But if you’re looking for a rough guideline, Mike Falco, founder of Falco Wealth Management notes many parents he works with give a dollar per week for each year old their child is. So an eight-year-old would have a maximum allowance of $8 a week, if they did all the required chores to earn it.

Source: Moneyish

Speaking of...like a lot of parenting topics, people have a strong opinion about whether to give or not to give a kid allowance. But one mom has taken the allowance debate to a whole new level by sharing that she actually takes money from what she gives her kid. "I MAKE MY 5 YEAR OLD PAY RENT," Essence Evans declared on Facebook. But don’t freak out, when you hear her reasoning for it, it all makes sense.

"Every week she gets $7 dollars in allowance. But I explained to her that in the real world most people spend most of their paycheck on bills with little to spend on themselves," Evans writes. "So I make her give me $5 dollars back: $1 for rent, $1 for water, $1 for electricity, $1 for cable, and $1 for food."

Evans lets her little girl keep the other $2 to use on whatever she wants. And the $5 she collects isn’t actually going to bills, mom is depositing it into a savings account that she plans to give back to her daughter when she turns 18. “So if she decides to move out on her own she will have $3,380 to start off.” Plus a whole lot of interest added to that!

Evans’s post has gone viral, but not everyone is a fan of her idea. Some critics say kids shouldn’t be made to feel like they have to pay rent for a home they didn’t ask to be born into. Others feel this little girl is too young to understand the lesson. But others applaud Evans for her clever plan that teaches her daughter about money at such a young age.

Source: The Stir

Now that you’re in the habit of recycling and reusing at home, it’s time to bring those practices to your workplace. If your office trash can is always stuffed with paper and empty takeout containers, there’s a lot you can do to make things greener there. Here are some tips for cutting down on waste and creating a greener office from environmentalist Summer Rayne Oakes.

Make sure everyone knows the rules of recycling - Brush up on the rules of recycling in your area and make a little sign to hang near the recycling bin to clarify what can be thrown in. It gets really confusing in the office with different types of envelopes and such, so the sign can clear it up for everyone.

Get a desk plant that clears the air - Some plants are great at filtering formaldehyde, benzene, and other VOCs from the air, so they’re perfect for offices. Here are some that would be great for your desk:

  • Snake plant
  • Dracaena
  • Peace lily
  • Spider plant

Bring your own lunch or set up a meal-share lunch program - Cut down on takeout containers by bringing your lunch from home in reusable containers. And if you know your coworkers well, start a lunch club where someone different cooks for the group every day, so you get a healthy meal without all the waste.

Make sustainable switches - In your office kitchen try reusable rags instead of paper towels and reusable plates and silverware instead of throw-away versions.

Consider composting food scraps - There are systems like Bokashi that make composting easy in a city, where you can’t always take the compost out to the backyard. Plus, one of your coworkers might love to use that compost in their garden.

Source: Mind Body Green

Jay and Dawn

Jay and Dawn

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