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About Contributing Authors

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Wrapping your head around reverse mortgages

Retirement always sounds like a good idea on paper, but retirement with a little spending money sounds better. You will not be the first person to have wondered how to free up some more money for use during their retirement. A retirement home loan, also known as a reverse mortgage, is a perfect solution, exclusive to those of retirement age. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about this unique kind of loan.

Payback time 

When it comes to paying back your loan, you have far more time to pay back a reverse home loan than you do for a regular mortgage. A reverse home loan is designed to provide you with some backup cash during your retirement, by giving you back part of the total value of your home. The payback terms are dictated by how long you choose to live in the house. If you choose to leave the house after a year of taking out the loan, the repayment will be due then. If you choose to leave 10 years after taking out the loan, that is when the repayment will be due. The flexible nature of this condition gives you a lot of control over the loan period and its repayment.

Don’t forget the basics
Although this may seem idyllic at the outset, you do need to understand that, as with any loan, you will still be subject to paying interest on the money you borrowed. If you are unable to pay back the loan amount, including its interest, after the loan period has ended (when you choose to leave the house), the house will be sold to cover outstanding costs. 

Therefore, it is important to calculate the current value of your home accurately before taking on a loan. Your lender will assist you in determining this value using a reverse a home loan calculator, which is a tool that helps to determine the value of your house by taking factors such as age, location, and condition into account. Because you are prohibited by law to borrow the full value of your home, this calculator will help to determine what percentage of the total value you are eligible for, in the form of a loan.

Taking your money into your own hands

Once your lender has approved your application, you will need to choose how you will take delivery of the funds. Luckily, there are several available options when it comes to deciding how you want to borrow it. You could set up the payments as recurring episodes, like when you received a monthly salary. It helps to create predictability around monthly income and you’ll know what you have to spend in a month.

Another popular option is to set up the funding as a line of credit, so that you can access the money as and when you need it. Finally, you could opt to have it paid out as a single bulk payment, which means that you will have the full amount available to spend at any point as you require.

The Single Dad Wardrobe Must-Haves – How to Ooze High Fashion and Style

Calling all single dads! Are you ready to do a massive overhaul of your wardrobe? Is your lack of fashion and style perhaps putting the wrong impression out there? Do you feel like you’re not making the best first impression on meet-ups and dates simply because you don’t know how to put together a high-fashion style? Rather than just give up and carry on with the wardrobe you have, why not take a little time to make some changes, update your wardrobe, and in fact elevate it in terms of fashion.

Of course, coming to the conclusion that it’s time to change up your wardrobe is one thing; actually doing it is an entirely different beast. Where do you start? What are the key items to pick up in order to build a high-fashion and trendy wardrobe that suits and flatters you? Here we’ll take a look at some very basic steps that you can start to take right away that will help you revamp and, in fact, drastically improve your single dad wardrobe.

Amp Up Your Casual Wardrobe

While your first thought may be to invest in all new suits, shirts, and ties for work, in reality it’s probably your casual wardrobe that needs the biggest overhaul. Men are notorious for just grabbing whatever fits off the rack without giving much thought to current trends, what is stylish at the moment, and of course what flatters them most. Now is the time to change up your way of thinking.

A casual wardrobe has the ability to be just that – casual – but in a way that looks extremely well thought out, proper fitting, and speaks to your own personal style. Your casual wardrobe can really make its own fashion statement and create the kind of confident first impression you want to put out there.

So where to start? A great place that isn’t intimidating is your footwear collection. Designer sneakers are one of the easiest and most impactful pieces you can add to your casual wardrobe. 

Take for instance the Fendi sneakers available online through SSENSE. They feature a wide variety of Fendi sneaker styles in all different colors and cuts, which means you’re going to find at least a pair or two that work with your look. This is a great way to be comfortable while running around after the kids, but ooze style and high fashion at the same time.

And it doesn’t stop at footwear; you can also amp up your collection of joggers and sweatshirts. The first rule in looking for high-fashion is to ensure you’re not wearing oversized items. Buy the size that fits you correctly. From there, you can start to look at the various designers and what they offer in their casual lines. They tend to feature more form-fitting cuts, higher quality material that just drapes nicer on the body, and the hottest colors, prints, and textures.

Get Into Color Blocking

If your big issue is putting an outfit together, not knowing what colors and prints work together, you can get into the habit of color blocking. Color blocking looks incredibly high-fashion and sophisticated, yet it is probably the easiest way to style an outfit. All you have to do is choose items in the same color tone and family to create a monochromatic look. The end result is something you’d see on a fashion runway.

With that said, there are a couple of tricks to follow. Ideally you want to choose neutral colors for this fashion trick. Try not to rely on black all the time; instead try color blocking with brown, olive, camel, tan, ivory, white, navy, or gray. Don’t forget: just because you are sticking to one color palette, this doesn’t mean you can’t mix various fabrics and textures. This will add interest to the outfit.

Accessories Work for Men Too

If you’ve been under the impression that accessories are just for the ladies out there, it’s time to think again. In fact, accessories are a really simple and instant way to elevate your look. Accessories can include a designer watch, a high-end stylish belt, a fabulous hat that makes a statement, and scarves that you can pair with blazers and jackets. There are actually a large number of men’s accessories that you can invest in that will truly give personality to each of the outfits you create.

Letting Your Inner Fashion Icon Out

So, if you’re a single dad and you’ve been feeling like you’re stuck in a style rut, it’s time to break free and let your inner fashion icon out. Dressing in a more stylish, high-fashion way helps to create a sense of confidence, which is an extremely attractive trait. Looking good helps you feel good, and every aspect of your life will benefit when you feel good about yourself.

How to Help Your Daughters Develop a Positive Relationship with Their Bodies

Teenagers girls have a notoriously tumultuous relationship with their bodies. They are changing and continue to change throughout their teen years. Add on hormones, peer pressure, and media pressure, and it’s no wonder that almost 3% of all adolescents are diagnosed with an eating disorder, and possibly many more remain undiagnosed. 

Eating disorders are, of course, not just something that girls will experience, but they are the majority of sufferers, with 80% of teens suffering from bulimia and 75% of teens suffering from anorexia being female. 

Though you cannot stop an eating disorder per se, you can absolutely work to improve her relationship with her body and keep track of the signs and symptoms so that if your daughter does develop an eating disorder, you can get her help ASAP. 

Know the Signs of an Eating Disorder 

Your daughter might never suffer from an eating disorder, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared. Knowing the signs, like: 

  1. Binge eating 
  2. Mood changes 
  3. Always afraid of weight gain 
  4. Excessive Exercise 
  5. Bathroom use immediately following meals 
  6. Swollen cheeks 
  7. Raspy Voice 

It can help you recognize if your daughter is suffering from bulimia. Ideally, before it becomes so ingrained in her that it takes years for her to recover. The earlier the treatment, the more successful the recovery, so if you do spot these signs getting her help from a center like Eden Treatment can be a lifesaver. 

Don’t Compliment Her Body 

There are so many ways to praise your daughter. Compliment her accomplishments, her smart thinking, how funny she is, how strong she is, and so on. Saying she looks pretty is fine, but if that is the only compliment, then that is the only thing she is going to think she is worth. The same applies if you or anyone else in her life is overly fixated on her weight. 

By changing the narrative and finding new things to praise her about, she will have new things about herself to be proud of. 

Work to Find her Active Passion 

Everyone has one thing that they love to do that is related to exercise and finding that sport or activity can help you stay active and healthy throughout her life. Take advantage of open days, sample sessions, and community courses to give her a chance to try out sports she is interested in on a budget. 

Be a Strong Support System 

Above all else, your daughter needs to know that she can turn to you through thick and thin. She should be able to come to you after an argument because she needs help and not feel scared to do so. 

This sort of trust and support takes time to develop, but build the foundations now, and she will always have that support with her through every stage of her life, and you will enjoy a strong bond that is nigh impossible to break. 

Our relationship with our body is a complicated one. Still, by having other things to be proud of, a healthy lifestyle, and a strong support system, we can overcome feelings of doubt. Your daughter won’t have the ability to build these systems herself, so do the hard work for her so that she can grow up healthy and happy. 

Four Doctor of Nursing Practice Specialties (and What They Do)

The healthcare landscape is changing at an ever more rapid pace, and so too is the scope of responsibility for the nursing profession. Nursing is a profession with high demand and is a solid career choice for dads who are looking for both stability and exciting career choices.

The American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN) recently stated that nursing calls on the “highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise to assure quality patient outcomes” when discussing further education that nurses can undertake. The need for higher levels of education reflects the ever more specialized work that nurses across the healthcare sector are now doing. Credit is due to the hard work of nurses everywhere.

Nursing Education

There are four levels of nursing in the USA, each state regulates nursing their own way, but broadly these are: 

LevelAverage Salary (median)Scope of work
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)$24,000 Certified Nursing Assistants usually work under the supervision of Registered Nurses. They are usually found performing basic tasks such as taking vital signs, moving patients in and out of wheelchairs, bathing patients and dispensing medications, etc.  
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)$41,540Licensed Practical Nurses perform the same duties as a CNA in addition to more complicated duties. These may include performing a therapeutic massage, administering injections, changing bandages and dressings, preparing patients for surgery, maintaining patient records, and so on.
Registered Nurse (RN)$65,470 Registered Nurses are usually found in more supervisory roles, with one or more CNAs and LPNs below them. They will perform the same takes as a CNA and LPN daily, but they will also be qualified to make nursing diagnoses. 
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP)$96,460 Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners are nurses that have undergone post-graduate education to specialize in a specific aspect of nursing, such as midwifery, anesthetics, or nursing practitioners.

By far, the level of nursing employing the most significant number of people is the Registered Nurse level, with over 2.7 million Registered Nurses in the USA. By contrast, Advanced Registered Practitioners account for only 151,400 nurses currently working in the USA.

To become a Registered Nurse (RN) in the USA, students must take one of three educational paths: a baccalaureate degree (BS), an associate degree (AD), or a diploma. It is possible to take an accelerated nursing program if you have a degree in another field of study.

The Advanced Registered Practice Nurse will have taken a post-graduate qualification, usually either an MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) or a DPN (Doctor of Nursing Practice). It varies state by state as to what responsibilities can be put on any level of a nurse, but the seniority levels are observed in every healthcare setting.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Registered Nurses who choose to take the Doctor of Nursing Practice qualification are set to improve their career and salary-earning prospects quite significantly. This level of qualification is a post-masters doctorate level and is recognized to be equal to a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D.). 

The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice have a distinct difference. The Ph.D. study field is much more based on research and less focused on clinical work. In contrast, the Doctor of Nursing Practice is a clinical-based qualification usually aimed at Nurses who wish to specialize in a field of Nursing.

Here is a brief introduction to four of the many specialties within a DNP program:

Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP)

Adult-Gerontology nurse practitioners work with elderly patients, sometimes referred to as geriatric medicine. AGNPs work with older patients to ensure good health practices are being followed and to prevent illness. They will have experience in areas such as palliative care, health policy, and old-age diabetes as required by their role.

AGNP DNP duties may include performing extensive health assessments, supporting families of elderly patients, managing chronic health conditions, some diagnosis, and medical evaluation within a patient care plan.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Family Nurse Practitioners usually work within a family practice setting, although they may also be found in ER departments and other healthcare settings such as community outreach programs. It’s not uncommon for Family Nurse Practitioners to become consultants and run their own practices.

FNP DNPs work with a variety of aged patients, from newborn right up to seniors and end-of-life care, although other specialisms deal with these age groups specifically.

Nurse Executive Practitioner (NEP)

Nurse Executive Practitioners work a little differently to previously discussed DNPs. Nurse Executives are usually the most senior nurses in a healthcare organization. Their role is mainly administratively based and involved a high level of leadership understanding as well as the ability to communicate across all levels of the organization, from the nurses on the ground right up to the Board of Directors, to ensure the smooth and effective running of the organization.

Nurse executives are the most senior nurses in an organization. They handle the administrative side of healthcare and are instrumental in helping organizations follow their mission of delivering excellent healthcare services by ensuring all teams and facilities are operating smoothly. Nurses in executive positions carry out duties such as hiring and training staff, undertaking financial responsibility, and resolving issues within an organization. They also collaborate with other health professionals and develop networks and partnerships.

Just as the other DNPs on this list, it is possible to partake in one of the many online DNP nurse executive programs and specialize in this interesting area of study.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners work specifically with infants, children, and adolescents. In most states, this will be patients aged from 0-18, but in many states, Pediatric Nurse Practitioners will work with young people aged up to 21.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners can be found in many settings, including hospitals, Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU), Family Health settings, and private practice. The duties they will be qualified to perform are varied but, as with other DNPs, will involve many high-level decisions.

Parenting during quarantine: how to help your teen cope

As adults struggle to work from home or fill their days with productive activities if they’ve been furloughed, our teenagers are struggling in a different way, making good parenting during quarantine a necessity.

How is quarantine affecting teens?

Many of our teens are missing out on sports, clubs, and the simple joy of leaving the house. For teenagers, attending school is often…

  • Their only form of socializing, especially if they’re underclassmen with no license.
  • Their last chance to see their favorite teachers and good friends before college.
  • Their biggest escape from home life and stress.
  • Their only opportunity to practice skills like sports or music with their mentors.
  • Their transitional period into adulthood.

As one 16 year old boy told us, “Seeing my friends at school was the one thing that got me through the school day.”

Instead of easing into adulthood over the next few months, teens are suddenly struggling to come to terms with this part of their life coming to a close, pass exams, and attend online classes. While 75% of households are lucky enough to own a laptop or computer, those who cannot attend classes through online options could be facing even more uncertainty.

It makes sense that our teenagers are feeling more anxious than usual. Some kids who have never experienced anxiety before are beginning to face it for the first time. They might also be coping with feelings of depression, uncertainty, and more than a little cabin fever.

But how does your parenting during quarantine help support a teen with anxiety?

Explaining the importance of social distancing

Some teenagers might think that social distancing isn’t that important. They tend to feel that they are invincible since they have their whole life ahead of them. That’s why it’s important for you to explain how social distancing helps protect people they love including their grandparents and even their parents.

Of course, your kids might be hesitant to accept this information, especially if you try to explain it when tensions are running high. But sitting down with your teen and having a heart-to-heart can show that your sometimes strict parenting during quarantine is coming from a place of concern and love.

Other important notes to hit include:

  • It’s not about them. But they could become a carrier and pass the virus onto someone else like a grandparent.
  • They’re not the only person suffering. Almost three million people typically fly on airlines each day, but social distancing measures mean everybody needs to stay home. Even Disney closed its parks.
  • Quarantine doesn’t mean the end of learning new things. Online school is still school. Learning to live with more online learning may be a skill they will need in the future.

It’s a difficult conversation to have, but the sooner you can get it taken care of, the better. If your kids ignore social distancing measures, that’s on you, dad.

Don’t be afraid to put your foot down. After all, setting boundaries is a part of good parenting during quarantine and always.

Loosen the rules on using the internet

When you took your fatherhood 101 class, setting limits on internet use was probably lesson number one. But during this time of social distancing, all we have are our phones and laptops to communicate with friends. In times of crisis, the internet connects us all.

You might also want to download a few different video calling apps. If you’re not sure what your options are, consider services like:

  • Zoom
  • Skype
  • Google Meet and Google Duo
  • Facebook video chat
  • Snapchat
  • Instagram

In the midst of relaxing your internet rules, however, parenting during quarantine is still essential: it’s key that you talk to your teen about the news. If they’re obsessing over the news, explain that this might be causing further anxiety.

Invest in healthy foods

When your teen is feeling anxious, their diet might start to change. Some teens don’t want to eat at all while others can’t help but over-indulge. Regardless, giving your child the nutrition they need can help keep their mental and physical health in check.

Kids between the ages of nine and 18 need at least 1,300 mg of calcium each day. On top of that, your teen might not be getting the necessary vitamin D that they need to boost their mood. After all, they can’t spend as much time outside.

When you’re planning meals, be sure to include calcium-rich foods and veggies that have a lot of vitamin C and vitamin D. For example, broccoli actually offers more vitamin C than oranges. Meanwhile, fatty foods like salmon are perfect for boosting vitamin D intake.

Consider online therapy

Thankfully, the stigma against mental health resources is slowly starting to crumble. If your teen is open to talking with a professional about their feelings. There are plenty of affordable online resources you might want to consider. If your child is a younger teen, it may be hard for you to imagine him or her wanting to talk to someone other than you about their frustrations. Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to talk to a parent about the personal issues a teen is going through, like relationships both romantic and platonic. Simply letting your teen know that you support therapy options could help in ways that you never anticipated.

Being a dad can be hard. Raising a teenager can be even harder. But good parenting during quarantine is so important. It won’t last forever, but while you’re getting through it, make sure your teen knows you’re in their court.