Sunday, 9 December 2018

Seeking & Securing Financial Help In Retirement

It’s a sad reflection of the current state of affairs that a large number of people get to retirement age, only to find that they cannot afford the life they want as easily as they had always assumed. Constantly being told that your pension will suffice and then finding that it doesn't is incredibly disheartening, and it is a situation which appears to only be getting worse over time, with the current millennial generation feeling unlikely to have anything in the way of a pension at all. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have some ideas about what you can do to get hold of some financial help in retirement. Fortunately, there are some options, and the more you know, the easier this time of life will be. Let’s take a look at a few of the best options.

Equity Release

For many people who do not have much to live on, but do at least have a home of their own, there is the possible option of going for equity release. What is Equity Release? Well, put simply it is a way of drawing out money from the value of your home as a lump sum, so that you can live more easily. As you can imagine, it can be an incredibly useful way to get a sudden load of cash, with the obvious disadvantage of your home becoming less valuable, or at least of having less of a stake in it. However, it can be tax-free and it is often useful and necessary for those over 55 who are struggling to make ends meet.

Private Savings

If you have thought ahead and put money into a savings account, then that is a sure way of ensuring that you can get the kind of financial help you need when you are retired. Of course, this relies upon you being sensible while you are young, so that is something that you need to think about if you are hoping to make retirement as easy as possible. With a good savings account and a regular approach to putting money away, you can find the retirement years to be much easier indeed, so if you are still in a position to think about this, then make sure that you do so as soon as possible.

Loved Ones

Finally, sometimes it is necessary to seek some assistance from those around you, such as your family and friends. Although this is not a situation that anyone wants to find themselves in, sometimes it is the only way forwards - and it is at least worth remembering that it is a possible way to go ahead and improve your financial standing. If you happen to have some generous and able people around you, then things can be a lot easier. Your loved ones are always there to help as much as they can, and sometimes it is all you need to make sure that you are going to live as well as possible.

This is a collaborative post.

My Sunday Photo 9th Dec

Got to get a few posts in here before the end of the year.
A wander round the fishery ponds last week at sunset, a difference of about twenty minutes can make a huge difference to the light at this time of year. Time we took the swans and wandered back to the car the sun was about set.

We took some prawn crackers with us but they were not impressed.

A walk round the fishery is routine but when you get sights like this routine can be very pretty.


Saturday, 8 December 2018

Project 365 week 49


Becoming the norm to only have overtime on a Saturday now but not Sunday so a walk round the fishery with hubby and dog. No time to go any further as it is dark less than an hour after I get in.

This one wandered over.


We remembered to take the prawn crackers out off the car to feed to the swans, they were not impressed so we crumbled them and spread them on the grass for the smaller birds.

Sat in the evening watching a film upstairs while I wrapped most of the Christmas presents. I would have done them all but I misplaced the refills for the tape dispenser.


Much nicer weather, cold but dry so hubby took the dog further afield for a walk.I stayed behind doing house things as I had been in the town doing bits and pieces in the morning. Loved these decorations round the town centre, very environmentally friendly.


Rained all day. I popped into the poultry shop and topped up the freezer with chicken. Special offer I got five bags for just under ten pound, I had initially picked up four which were going to cost sixteen so adding a fifth apparently gives you a wholesale price so made sense.
DD1 not been feeling well this last week and she had phoned for a GP appointment but they only do one hour in the village a day and so her appointment was with the same practice but in the next village on. She was not up to driving herself so I took her and her husband watched the children.
Dropped my laptop off to see if the keyboard is sort able. Treated myself to a fold able keyboard that will make using the tablet for typing much easier and if my keyboard not sort able on my laptop then it will double up for use on there as well.

A lot of the neighbours have their displays on now, makes it a nice walk with the dog in an evening.


Finished the wrapping and have found both bedroom again totally upstairs now. DD2, SIL2 and Ziggy are down on Tuesday so had to be done, sometimes I get lazy and just shut the door on it all  thinking I will get it later, well later had come, only took another half hour.

Took Dixie dog to the vet and she had the one tooth out so hopefully that will help. We had planned on some shopping a wander round the charity shops and tea in 'Spoons thinking we would have to leave her till 5.30, the normal pick up time from the vet and as it was a 1pm drop off  then was not worth coming home But it was all over and done in less than an hour but we found what we wanted before going back to pick her up.

She barely moved out of her bed all evening, but was fine by the next morning.


A quick blow round the fishery just before lunch time. I made a couple of cakes, not baked for a few weeks. Did an Irish barmbrack and a spicy fruit and banana loaf. I soaked the dried fruit over  night in some hot cola instead of tea for a change.

Had SIL and DIL round for a meal. They were up in Scotland visiting family who live nearby so stopped in at us first. Was a nice evening and some interesting conversation that has given me food for thought on an event that is due to happen.

They dropped off our Christmas presents and a home make Christmas cake as well. It is beautifully wrapped so will share a pic once it is unwrapped.


Hubby spotted this the other week in a charity shop, don't believe a word of it, could not be further from the truth!!

Laura Beresford shared a link. 5 December at 21:04

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Project 365 week 48

Have been doing more reorganising with the bedrooms this week. My old sewing room is now gone and the space is child safe again and the toys are all moved into cupboards in there. All my sewing stuff is in the loft along with my sewing machine.

Also won two giveaway's this week. The sender of the first one makes hand made cards so she included a beautiful card with her prize. A very lovely gesture. The other one from a fellow blogger.


This sign always makes me smile when I see it, quite apt outside an A&E dept. Have to say the sunset was lovely tonight from the windows on the top floor of the hospital which sits high up on a hill. But no way of photographing it during working hours.


A walk round the fishery with the dog just before it got dark. No filters just as it came off the phone.


I had to have a 24 hr ECG, this is one of the tests ordered by the Consultant from when I was in hospital with my black thumb a few weeks ago. Unfortunately I took an allergic reaction to the stickers and have ended up with an itchy allergy rash all over my chest, most uncomfortable. Could feel it while they were on and did have permission to remove them if I wanted, but I thought the damage was done so may as well keep it on the whole hours rather than possible not getting a good enough result and having to have it again.


My birthday, thankfully the last one in the family before Christmas. DD1 and Bob came round with my birthday cake and a card. I am sure they got the number wrong, that first one should be a 2.  DD3 bought me a replacement battery for my laptop, the other one was knackered which was annoying when I wanted to print anything as the printer is upstairs so meant shutting down the laptop to take it up and then switch it back on once plugged back in, and the same for back down. DD2 assures me she bought a card but forgot to leave it here when she was last down.


Have worked away at bits and pieces in the bedrooms but today decided to finish getting it sorted. More stuff in the loft, some stuff out of the loft and ready for the charity shop and more of the Christmas pieces found and put into the cupboard ready for wrapping. The stationery drawers have been sorted and the cupboard that came from my mums house has also been emptied. Not really much more we can do until January when we will need to be moving the bed into the back room but I have some peace of mind knowing it is done so will relieve the stress for doing it in January.

A very very flooded fishery for a walk this afternoon after all the rain we have had. The sun came out for a short while but the wind was rather cold.The village was reflected nicely in one of the ponds.

DD1 came up with the three wee ones and Fifi to get some birthday cake and play some games. They share their's with us so only fair.


Took Dixie the vet. She has had some bother with her teeth when we first got her and for a 2 yr old dog her teeth were quite grubby looking. They were cleaned when we had her spayed but are badly plaqued up again despite daily dental sticks and whole raw carrots. So she is to go in next Thursday and have one or more out and the rest cleaned up. We are convinced she is getting pain from them.

Took her for a walk round the park and popped in to see an exhibition on pre WW11 planes and the length of the room was taken up with a mock up of a 1930's American airport made out of Lego bricks.

Then dropped off a pile of magazines that I sorted out of our room and then took some bits and pieces to a charity shop.


Have been sent two full size bottles of DermaLoch to see if it helps the bad patches on my hands. Better than they were a year ago when they first flared up and took about six months to settle. I am sure it was stress related when I was off sick this time last year but never really gone back to being what I would call clear. A lot of stress coming up in the next few months so hoping it does not flare up again.

My first impression from one small spray on my hand to test I am not allergic to it before I spread it across both hands is it smells a bit like midge repellent. But if it works I can suffer the smell.

Dermaloch Rejuvaderm

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Project 365 week 47.


Fifi's birthday  sweet sixteen and a very lovely sixteen she is. A full day at work. I thought I had downloaded an episode of Criminal Minds to watch but the download must have failed. So I watched Paddington that Amazon put onto my kindle for me instead while I did some cross stitching. Have to say my kindle was a blogging gift a few years back and it used every day, or should that be night, when I use it to listen to audiobooks.


A walk round the fishery. Not quite sure why all the balloons were here but the dog was not keen on them at all.


Went for my smear test this afternoon. No more for five years if this one comes back normal, I suppose turning 60 next year has to have some benefits.
In the evening I went with DD1 and Fifi to her school where they had a show of last years art work that was put in for the highers and higher 5 exams. Very talented people.


The twins birthday, that is them now five. So after teatime I took their cakes and presents down for them. I need to buy some new baking tins when funds permit as Fifi's and Minky's cakes both broke coming out of the tin.
They are turning into amazing little people. Minky had changed into his new jumper he got from his other grandparents.


A run to Kilmarnock for hubby to pick up a pair of computer speakers and a wander round the charity shop as looking for new cake tins as all my cakes have been a disaster with sticking this week.
A walk round the fishery after lunch and then back to get stuck into the two bedrooms.
My back bedroom that Ziggy sleeps in has been fine for her when she was in her travel cot but now she is in a bed it is a dangerous space for her. So the plan is to clear all the sewing stuff out and make room for her toys etc.
So material is in the loft and toys have been moved through. The space under the spare double bed has been cleared. Need a few more lidded storage boxes to store other items and then get the table back down to where  it use to live. Also have a cot bed to assemble for her. They are not back until the 10th December so no desperate rush but don't want to leave it all too late in case something crops up.

This was taken part way through, room not quite this bad when visitors are here.


Another few hours spent sorting more stuff. A few bags full of rubbish and a pile started for the charity shop.
This evening we went to a Prize Bingo at the Bowling Club, nice to support local businesses. DD1 won a prize but she was the only one at our table.


Fed up of ended up tangles in wired headphones over night and I spotted DD1 had bought the twins headphones built into a headband, so I ordered myself one. They are great. Works by bluetooth so no cable and very comfortable when you get them on.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

A walk round the fishery

A few weeks back I had Spud while DD1 was in hospital with Bob. So as it was a dry day we headed down to the fishery to meet hubby and Dixie for a walk. I popped her in the buggy as the kids are not use to walking huge distances and part of it involves walking along a road with a 60 mph speed limit, so thought better play safe.

So I got her put of the buggy when we got to where the car was parked and off we went.

We watched the swans playing chase.

She threw some biscuits for Dixie to find in the grass.

and played running away from Granddad the tickle monster.

She chased Dixie dog and Granddad round the bushes.

Lots of leaves to throw at each other.

and then fed one of the swans with Granddad

and more running away from granddad giggling her head off.

She got lifted onto the digger and Dixie followed her up

After Granddad and Dixie got back in the car we went round to see the chickens and peacocks. The babies are getting bigger.

To finish off here is some video footage of her playing chase and throwing leaves at each other, and Dixie pinching her stick also made her laugh.

A simple walk can be so much fun when you are only two.

Country Kids linky

Monday, 19 November 2018

Save Money In Time For Christmas

Image source 

Christmas is just around the corner, and that means that you're going to be spending a lot of your hard earned money on gifts. This can be a very stressful time for many people, especially parents, as there is a lot of pressure to have the perfect Christmas and outdo the one from last year, and unfortunately, a lot of this boils down to how much money you spend. It shouldn't be the main focus, and there are many hacks out there to do things for a lot cheaper, and sometimes even free depending on how creative you're willing to get. Us grandparents do not get off much lighter to be honest. I always treat the older ones to a Panto visit and the younger ones have the Disney Life app between them and then they still have to have presents to unwrap when we do second Christmas as we do every year.

In the meantime though, here's where you can save up your money in time for Christmas.

Plan your grocery shopping
One of the easiest mistakes to make in life, is going to the grocery store with no list. This is how stores make so much money - they draw you in and cause you to make impulse buys for things that you don't even need. The best way to avoid this easily, is to preplan what meals you'll be making for that week, that way you only write down the ingredients and items that you need. Then it just boils down to your willpower. As long as you stick to the list, you'll be keeping your money nice and secure in your bank account.

Walk when you can
If you're used to driving everywhere, then you'll love the freedom of being able to jump into your vehicle and go wherever you need to. It's important to realise that this is a luxury though, and sometimes it's unnecessary to abuse it when you have perfect working legs to get you from A to B for free - all within reason of course. You wouldn't believe just how much money you can save in fuel by opting out of driving. So if you need to run a few errands which involve popping to the shop down the road from you - walk there. You'll even be saving the planet, and burning calories too.

Change your phone provider
Our phones are what give us all the things that we need, like the news and what's going on in the world, staying connected to our loved ones, right down to what our favourite celebs are wearing. So they are a must-have in our lives. Having said that, they can also cost you an awful lot every month. Fortunately, there are companies out there like SMARTY free SIM, that allows you to spend exactly what you pay for, meaning any unused data will be credited back to you the following month, ensuring you get the most out of your money.

Now that you have a few ideas, keep them in mind when going about your daily routines. They're only small changes, but they can make a huge difference with just how much money you are able to keep hold of. And now is a better time than any considering it's nearly the holidays!

This is a collaborative post.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Project 365 week 46

Made a start on some Christmas shopping as was in buying birthday presents for the twins for next week.


The virus scan on the computer did not find anything yesterday, so today formatted it, but that still did not help. Tried disabling the keyboard but it wanted to restart to disable it - and then re-enables it upon was going to get launch into the bin the mood I was in. It was opening literally hundreds of pages of Microsoft Edge windows 10 help files.


Having given up with the computer yesterday today hubby blasted the keys with a cleaner and I attacked it with a paint brush, that seems to have worked so so far so good. In other news I sewed the cross stitch designs onto Spud's blanket and walked the dog round the fishery in between torrential down pours. The swans are still giving each other much aggro.


DD2 is down for a few days. Has an appointment to see the consultant and have another scan to book in to have this baby at our local hospital.  Makes ,more sense than anywhere else.
My electric bike went back. Sadly barely been out on it with one thing and another.
It has rained and rained here this week, this flowing water is normally no more than a trickle in the dip and not usually even visible. This trench is about 4 ft deep. Never seen it as high as this.


Lots of jigsaw puzzle and dancing fun with Ziggy. She manages them very well indeed for somebody who has just turned two.
Won four tickets to see Mr Poppers Penguin in Glasgow so will take the twins to see this show. Much easier by bus and train considering it costs £10 to get your car back out the car park up there. They will enjoy the train experience as much as the show.


Off to soft play with Ziggy and DD2 and met up with her MIL and SIL.


Today is DD3's 30th birthday. She is away to do Harry Potter stuff in London and then a few days away in Amsterdam.
 We went to do some shopping and walk the dog around the beach park in Irvine.
DD2 spent quite a bit of the day at DD1's house helping with bits and pieces for the twins party tomorrow.
I baked Fifi's cake, she turns 16 on Sunday, Going to get Ziggy to help decorate it tomorrow night. Ziggy managed to fall down the bottom two stairs and landed on the side of her head on my hall floor, which is concrete with laminate on top, gave herself a huge fright and me as well.


Today was the twins party. They will be 5 on Wednesday. The Entertainer is a family friend and makes for a great party. Think everybody seemed to enjoy it. They did really well with both prsents and money.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Project 365 week 45


No overtime today so came home and fell asleep for an hour, and then did an hour of cross stitching while listening to my audiobook. A walk with the dog after tea and some more cross stitching while we caught up with Dr Who, not really enjoying this series but keep hoping it gets better. Really want to get this blanket of Spud's finished as want to get my sewing machine put away but will need it to complete the blanket.


Had an appointment for my annual asthma review. Not been for a few years as I feel it is such a waste of time. I know how to control my asthma and when to ask for help with it. But the Practice need to keep their statistics up so suppose I have to do my bit.
DD1 got a set of bunk beds for the twins today so she dropped off a cot bed here along with a pile of clothes for Ziggy and the baby as well as a pile of bedding. The dog was having lots of fun exploring the bags.


  Had to take the car to the garage to get the boot lock sorted. They had secured it on Friday to keep the car safe which meant I could not use it, so that ruled out having the bike in the car. Got them to drop me in town rather than going home, and by some pure coincidence the other woman getting a run home works for the same department as DD3, on a different site, but they knew each other - such a small world. Did a few small bits and pieces of  shopping and then they phoned to say the car was ready I was walking back out to pick the car up, and so happened to pass DD1 just getting back in her mini bus and so got a lift some of the way back.

A walk round the fishery and spotted these swans eating.


Hubby was away visiting in Stirling this evening so I had a nice peaceful evening of watching what I wanted on the tv. Quite difficult to cross stitch with a dog on your knee. Working my way through Criminal Minds series 11.


Decided to take the bike out and we went to Whitelee wind farm, hubby walked the dog and I cycled for just over an hour, getting to further away places we don't normally get to when up there walking. This is the visitor centre in the background taken from the Blackhill viewpoint


A run into town to pick up hubby's prescription and some shopping and walked the dog round the park at the same time, The idea had been to take the bike back out but we lost a set of car/house keys and spent over an hour looking for them and so we emptied the car thinking they were in the boot, and as time we found them we were short of time to take the bike out so it stayed locked in the shed.
Back to babysit the three wee ones while DD1 took Bob to gymnastics. Had to laugh as Minky suggested I went home and left him, he would be fine by

This is a new carving, a Spitfire in The Remembrance Garden in a local park.


Got the final piece of Spud's cross stitching finished. Just need to sew them all onto her blanket now.