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1. The key to always having enough money: The 4% Rule

An easy way to figure out how much money you can spend each year while still saving what’s needed for a happy retirement (and what you can spend during retirement) is to use a simple formula and focus on real, guaranteed money. First you tally up your guaranteed income from sources like personal savings, investments, and social security, then estimate what your income will be from savings. (This great worksheet will help you figure out sustainable income and creating an account with Social Security will help you estimate how much your social security payments will be when you retire). Take 4% of what remains and that amount is what you can “safely” spend each year. Divide that number by 12 and you’re left with a budget that is designed to protect you from the worst of times (it would have even gotten you through the Great Depression!). To read more about the formula and how to apply it to retirement spending, check out the full article by Jane Bryant Quinn, a personal finance expert and author of How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide.

2. Quote I am pondering

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank

As we say goodbye to a year full of ups and downs, this quote is a simple reminder that in 2019 we all have the power to improve the lives around us, even in little ways. This quote comes from Anne Frank’s journal, which was published by her father as The Diary of a Young Girl after she passed away in a Jewish concentration camp during World War II. It became one of the world’s most inspiring books, and Anne’s words are still moving to this day.

3. Do you have to go to the company doctor after a refinery accident? Answer: No

Despite what your boss, the human resource department, or an accident “claims adjuster” tells you, you are free to get your own medical treatment from doctors you choose – not who your company tells you to go to. We see it all the time in the cases we handle: our client was injured because of dangerous working conditions and they thought that their company would do the right thing and help them get back to health. Instead, the company is refusing to accept responsibility, the client can’t work, bills are piling up, and they are getting no help at all, or they are being told that the only medical treatment they are eligible for is through the employer’s doctors. This doesn’t have to be the case and if this sounds like something that you or a loved one is going through, make sure to call us so we can explain what your rights really are.

4. Best apps for staying healthy in 2019

Whether you want help keeping track of what you eat or the miles you run, this list of The 41 Best Health and Fitness Apps has something for everyone. Nearly all of them are free and subjects range from diet and exercise assistance to encouraging water consumption and the best ways to meditate. Do you have a favorite app that helps you stay on track? Tell us about it by posting it to our Facebook page!

5. Getting your kids back into the school routine after Christmas break

Excitement from presents, staying up late, sleeping in, and a whole lot of sugar can make most parents dread the first morning back to school. To ease a little of the stress, try these five tips for getting back into the routine – one that helps in our house is to practice the habits a few days before school starts, which for many of us is this Monday. This weekend get the kiddos to bed on time, practice setting out clothes and packing lunches the night before, and wake up as if you have to catch the bus. It’ll help, I promise!

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