Wellesely Financial Blog

Dangers of Rotating Shifts

Health Hazards

Working rotating shifts is a health hazard that many researchers are studying in an attempt to find solutions. It makes perfect sense that changing work shifts would cause medical problems for people, because it is not a normal way to live. The human brain and body has particular rhythms for being awake and sleeping. Scientists already know that individuals with sleeping patterns that are outside the norm experience chronic health problems such as high blood pressure and migraines. One of the most disturbing things about rotating shifts is that workers employed in essential and stressful jobs that require clear thinking are commonly scheduled this way.  While rotating shifts may be necessary in some industries the effects can be mitigated by having a clear picture of how the schedule looks and preventing workers from having too many back to back shifts.  A good way to accomplish this is to use employee scheduling software to help visualize and plan shifts.

Human Errors

There are things that employers can do to ensure their workers are thinking and feeling their best while working on a rotating shift basis. Not only does implementing these plans protect employees from the dangers of depression, ulcers and heart disease, it also protects the public. Employees working in industries such as medical care and transportation are more likely to make errors that risk the public and patients when they are stressed, tired and mentally confused due to working rotating shifts. Working an irregular schedule also leads to workers having poor sleeping and eating habits.

Increase Light

Due to constantly changing work hours, workers find it difficult to maintain a normal social life, leading to family problems and stress. Workers constantly experiencing health problems due to rotating shifts are often unproductive or have higher rates of absenteeism. Companies can find ways to alleviate the mental and physical problems that employees experience as a result of rotating shifts. For individuals who are working at night, the lack of natural sunlight changes their mind and body’s reaction times. Companies can easily increase the lighting in buildings to simulate sunlight to help employees feel better.

Improving Diet

Because people have a natural inclination to stay up later each night, rotating shifts forward is healthier than moving shifts back. Moving shifts back leads to workers having perpetual jet lag with feelings of grogginess and lethargy. Proper nutrition is an important part of ensuring someone is full of mental and physical energy. Unfortunately, employees working rotating shifts have a difficult time maintaining a healthy meal schedule that prevents swings in blood sugar levels. Keeping cafeterias open round-the-clock in medical facilities and factories permits workers to consume a healthy diet when they are on rotating shifts.

Improve your Personal Finances and Kiss your Money Worries Goodbye

Personal finances do not only refer to how much money you have in the bank. It is how you manage your money that truly defines your financial worth. Improving your financial worth is all about planning for the future, managing your finances and learning how to budget.

Spend Less than you Earn

Improve your Personal Finances and Kiss your Money Worries Goodbye

This goes without saying. Spending all of the money in your pay check is hardly the smart thing to do. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you get paid. Designate a portion of your pay check to savings. Make a separate savings account and automate how much it draws from your pay on a monthly basis. This will help you keep track of how much you spend, how much money you have in your bank account and how much money you have in your savings account.

As you climb the corporate ladder, you have more money to spend. Of course, this means that your lifestyle will get an upgrade as well as so will your spending habits. You might find yourself splurging on things that you would think twice about such as eating on once a week or shopping for clothes from the most popular (read expensive) brands. After all, matching your colleagues’ spending habits can be hard. You may be able to afford luxuries with your new job description but the decision can come back to bite you. You do not want to be living off pay check to pay check. In times like these its best that you -

Separate your needs from your Wants

This will help you make better spending choices in the long run. Your needs will be items or priorities that you will need to survive. This includes groceries, food, shelter, clothing, transportation and of course, healthcare. Set aside some savings as well. After you have identified your needs, make a budget for them. For example, make a separate budget for your monthly groceries.

Next, identify your wants. Your wants are items that you desire but don’t necessarily need to survive. However, most people tend to blur their needs with their wants. Let’s explain this with an example. Say, that you need a family car to drop and pick your kids up from pre-school. You can opt for a less expensive car or more practical car. Instead, you choose to purchase a luxury SUV that costs more and is a gas guzzler to boot. You have just blurred the line between your wants and needs. The luxury SUV is money that you didn’t have to spend but did anyway because you wanted to.

There is an easy way out of this quandary. Prioritise your needs over your wants. Set aside any additional income for your wants after you determine that your needs can be paid for. You don’t have to spend all the money that is left over each month. Save it in a savings account for an item that you want.

How to save for Retirement

Not all companies offer pension plans in their compensation packages. Instead, it is now up to the individual to create a retirement plan for himself. Needless to say, planning now to ensure that you enjoy a secure retirement is a good idea. Here is how you can save up for it –

Making the Decision

This goes without saying. You cannot build a nest egg without deciding to do it. However, having the discipline to start paying now what you have to spend later can be difficult. Fortunately, you won’t have to wait that long if you take advantage of compound interest. This is a small amount of money that you contribute to a Roth IRA or 401(k) savings accounts. The money from the accounts can grow substantially over the course of several years.

You can start off by looking at your budget. How much are credit card companies shaving off of your monthly income? Focusing on paying off all of your debts on your credit cards now will help you save up for retirement later.

Have a Plan

Saving up for retirement can seem like a difficult task at first. This is why it is always best to come up with a solid plan before you figure out how much you should save. The first order of business would be to determine your net worth. Your net worth refers to the total value of your assets. For example, this can be what your house is worth minus the amount of mortgage payments that you still owe. Suffice it to say, the total value of your assets should be more than your debts.

Of course, you can’t always guarantee a positive figure. However, you can take action to rectify that. Remember, your savings must deliver over 90 to 70% of your pre-retirement salary. Ask yourself questions like how you intend to contribute to that amount or what the current state of your funds are.

Don’t Touch your Savings

Your retirement savings will cease to be savings if you start tapping into them whenever your grocery fund runs out. You also stand to lose a lot more. For example, you may lose tax benefits, interest or may have to pay withdrawal penalties if you start taking out money from your retirement account. Of course, leaving your retirement funds alone might be hard if you are out of a job and are looking for employment. In cases such as these, you can ensure that your retirement funds remain secure by rolling them into an IRA or into your new employer’s retirement plan.

Last, but not least, always remember to keep contributing funds in your retirement account on a monthly basis. This will ensure that you are able to provide for yourself after you quit your job.  Remember, how you choose to save up for retirement is as important as how much you plan to save. Fortunately, there are a number of saving plans that can help you on your road to retirement.

A Change in Mindset is a Change in Wealth

No one has ever been successful because of luck alone. No one suddenly became a millionaire by chance. Real entrepreneurs worked hard to be where they are now, but before they changed anything else in their life, they changed only one thing : their mindset.

There’s a real difference between doing something just because you have to do it, and making something happen because you want to do. The difference is the passion you put out because your entire being is 100 percent behind a project or undertaking. Of course, this isn’t a mindset that you can just change on a whim. You have to find out if you really want to change, how you want to change, and what or more precisely who you want to change into.

Once you’ve begun training yourself to think more positively, you’ll also have to change how you think about income and expenses. There will always be things that will be out of your budget in the long run, but remember to treat yourself every now and then. If you have to dress for the job you want, you’ll have to live like you really want it.

Of course, a positive mindset is nothing without old- fashioned hard work. As that old saying goes, ” If you don’t want to do it, there are plenty of excuses, but if you do want to do it, there are plenty of ways. “

Managing Pension Funds in a More Challenging Retirement Era

Pension plans are supposed to look after employees after they’ve passed the mandatory age of retirement plans. The idea was that the employee could enjoy his golden years without having to work until he was 90 years old. Today’s options however are making it more difficult for this generation of employees due to a number of reasons.

First of all, the next few years will see the most number of baby boomers retiring. This means that more funds are needed for these retirees. The government is feeling the pressure right now, and has added concerns about rising health costs for these baby boomers. There are also fewer pension companies willing to accommodate all of these options on their basic retirement plan.

While there are more people retiring, there are also fewer people entering the workforce at a younger age. A lot of young professionals are choosing to pursue higher education, which is good for their own development, but detrimental to the pension plan as it means they’ll start working later rather than sooner.

There are also more employees who choose early retirement. Thus, the source of pension funds are getting smaller while those needing the money are growing larger in number. Still, this will only force the government and individual employees to start being more creative about retirement.

Insurance You Really Don’t Need, Credit Life Insurance

One of the myriads of insurance that is now available is called credit life insurance. Essentially what this insurance does is, much like life insurance, pays off your loans or credit lines if you happen to die. However, you might find that this is not as great of a deal as you would think.

The major problem with this insurance type is that it is simply too expensive when you compare it to the premiums that you would pay for term life insurance. Especially in cases where the amount is set, like a car loan. This is because the amount of coverage would constantly be decreasing. This is due to the fact that the insurance really only pays out to the bank, as opposed to going to you.

Let’s contrast this with life insurance, which pays out directly to you. Another problem is that there is typically no physical or quotes associated with this insurance. This means that you are only assessed for qualifications after you file. This could lead to you paying out for years, and not even receiving benefits! Not a great deal if you ask me.

For a great alternative, I suggest that you look into life insurance policies and if you have credit life insurance, I suggest you cancel it immediately.

Being Thrifty Also Means Being Happy

The word frugality has somehow become synonymous with poverty, which is really not the case. Just because a person lives frugal life doesn’t automatically mean that he lives below the average income level. Likewise, a frugal person isn’t necessarily dissatisfied with his life. A frugal life can also be a very happy life.

A frugal person avoids unnecessary spending and is careful about how he takes care of the assets he already has. He does not turn out his pockets for short- lived luxuries. Thus, these people are usually free of crushing debt or unnecessary financial burden that keep them awake at night. Frugality can therefore be a smart way of living a stress- free life.

Because of monetary constraints, frugal people usually have to resort more creative ways in order to minimize spending. These alternatives can be more fulfilling as they give the person a sense of accomplishment without any of the useless expenses. They also encourage the mind to explore new opportunities which might otherwise have been overlooked in the first place.

In order to maintain a frugal life, a person must also plan their budget carefully. A good plan has always been the cornerstone of many successful businessmen. Thus, it can be said that frugality is really the beginner’s path towards a financially rewarding life.