Employees are the backbone of any organization and perhaps its biggest asset. However, recruiting employees is definitely not an easy task. The recruitment team usually has its hands full. Setting up interviews, carrying out employee verification, screening candidate profiles, and negotiating salaries are just some of their many tasks. But to make these tasks easier, many recruitment services are available to employers today. Here are some types of recruitment services employers should know about:
Many recruiting agencies provide contingency services, wherein they get paid only when the company hires the candidates it refers to them. The recruiting agency tries its best to zero in on as many candidates as possible over a short time. But before it begins its search, the agency talks to the company to determine how much it will get paid if a candidate they refer gets hired. Once the amount is finalized, the recruiters start looking for suitable candidates based on the company’s criteria. The recruiter gets paid when the company recruits any of the candidates.
Recruitment process outsourcing
Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) is when a company outsources its recruitment tasks to an agency wholly or partially. When a company entirely outsources its recruitment activities to an agency, from sourcing and screening to hiring and onboarding, it is called full-scale RPO. Here, the agency takes over all the recruitment responsibilities. In some other cases, a company may suddenly need to recruit employees, so it may outsource some tasks to a recruitment agency. This scenario is called on-demand RPO, wherein the recruiter and the employer get into a short-term contract.
Executive search recruitment
Executive search recruiters try to spot suitable candidates for executive positions in companies. They help hire CEOs, COOs, CFOs, heads of departments, etc. Since these are high-profile positions, the executive search recruiter is responsible for hiring people with all the necessary leadership skills in addition to the required qualifications and experience.
Recruitment agencies offering staffing services essentially hire consultants instead of full-time, permanent employees. Clients contact these firms if they need to fill up multiple positions within a short time. Unlike a traditional recruitment agency, a staffing firm’s job is continuous because many companies always need consultants. Staffing agencies can conveniently fill vacant positions but charge higher fees than regular recruitment services.
Niche recruitment services
Some recruitment firms may offer niche recruitment. They have the expertise to find employees from particular fields of specialization. For example, some agencies may deal exclusively with hiring IT professionals, while others may hire only for creative roles.
Traditional recruitment services
Traditional recruiters’ work models and fee structures are similar to those of contingency recruiters. But here, if an employee selected by the recruiter quits the job within a certain period, it must hire a new employee for free to fill the position or refund the fee. Usually, traditional recruiters screen resumes, call up candidates, and conduct interviews and psychometric tests as part of their services. They also perform other essential recruitment services, like checking candidates’ backgrounds and communicating with candidates whose profiles are not shortlisted.
Prepaid plans generally do not carry overage fees but require one to use data top-ups to continue using the internet. Whereas for postpaid plans, the user buys for a specific high-speed data limit. If one uses that data within a given period, one either pays overage charges for the additional data or continues using the internet at reduced speeds. Buying unlimited data plans, using the internet judiciously, and changing some phone settings can help prevent data overuse.
Here are some ways of managing data usage wisely so that one can stay within purchased limits:
1. Get a data plan that covers the family needs
Make a rough assessment of the monthly data required based on the number of family members and devices. On average, one requires around 1.5GB of data if one uses it only for browsing, reading news, texting, or sending and receiving emails. Others would need about 2 to 2.5GB of data for streaming apps, watching videos and movies, listening to podcasts, or playing games. Choose a plan that can provide the bandwidth for all the family members, considering if they would use Wi-Fi or other broadband at school, college, or workspace. One can find many carriers that offer plans offering 100GB and more.
2. Know the plan
After finding a plan that comes with sufficient data, it’s important to understand how it works. Does it enable one to track data usage for each device or for the entire family account? Additionally, make sure to research and find out what the consequences or penalties are if one goes over the data limit outlined in the plan.
3. Choose unlimited plans
Unlimited plans are one of the best ways to avoid data overuse and overage charges. After determining the data usage requirements, one can look for plans from the current carrier or carrier supporting the phone.
4. Use public Wi-Fi
Use secure Wi-Fi at schools, colleges, workplaces, and other community places offering these services to users. Set up auto-connect to places one visits regularly to reduce data usage.
5. Track data usage
One can track the amount of data used in the plan by following any of these options.
6. Download content only using Wi-Fi
Downloading movies and music consumes a lot of cellular data. Whenever possible, download them using Wi-Fi to save data and additional costs.
7. Work offline in apps
Many apps, like GPS and gaming apps, allow one to work offline. Use them offline and turn on data only when real-time statistics or information is required.
8. Disable data-guzzling features
Disable features like location tracking, default and automatic downloads, and automatic updates and set them to manual downloads and updates so that they do not use cell phone data.
9. Enable the data save option
Check phone settings and enable the data save option to close background apps, data fetching, and toggle off auto downloads of apps and photos.
10. Share large files only through Wi-Fi
Unless urgent, do not transfer or share large images, videos, or documents through text or email using cellular data. Use a Wi-Fi connection while uploading images and videos on social media and sharing large files or images with friends/family.
Data plans for multiple lines from different carriers
AT&T – Unlimited Premium Plans for four lines (up to 200GB data)
For $50 a month, the Unlimited Premium Plan is one of the best data plans without overage charges. AT&T offers unlimited data, text, and talk time without any overage charge or slowing down speed. One can utilize 50GB of monthly data for each of the four lines. The plan supports 4K UHD streaming and features mobile security and identity monitoring.
Sprint Max at $85 per month
Users can get unlimited data, text, and calls with 40GB of high-speed internet with a Mobile Hotspot from Sprit. One can get Hulu access, unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi, up to 4k UHD video streaming, and global roaming. Additionally, the cost includes taxes and fees.
Verizon – Unlimited Ultimate at $65 per line
Get the Unlimited Ultimate plan at $65 for one and $30 for four lines for 5G Ultra Wideband Internet. Users can get an additional 60GB mobile hotspot and 1080p HD video streaming. Upon adding a new smartphone line with the Bring Your Own Device tool, users can receive up to $540 in promotional credit. In addition, one can get a 50% discount on two-device plans.
US Cellular – Even Better Unlimited Plans
Get unlimited text, call, and data with the Even Better plan from US Cellular at $50 per line for four lines. Users can get unlimited priority data and full HD streaming. Other benefits from US Cellular include the Call Guardian app, which filters spam calls, and a price protection guarantee.
For those looking to switch phone service providers, navigating the process smoothly to ensure a hassle-free experience is important. By avoiding common pitfalls, one can save time, and money. Switching to a new provider with better data and call plans can be a great option to reduce cell phone bills, but it’s essential to be cautious and avoid unnecessary expenses. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most critical pitfalls to watch out for when changing phone service providers.
1. Not knowing the amount of data required
It is easy to give in to the luring advertisements for limitless data plans. But does one consume the data? Well, the fact of the matter is that many people do not know their monthly data usage on cell phones. The typical average American user consumes 12GB of data per month, so an unlimited plan might not be the cost-effective option for many. Therefore, it is advised to review past cell phone bills and data consumption habits to determine the average monthly data usage. This will help one find a plan that offers the right amount of data, neither too much nor too little, and maximize the savings.
Also, be wary of the “size-up trap.” While it may seem like a good deal to purchase an extra 2GB of data for $10, if one doesn’t use it, one might end up paying more than required. So, research and choose a plan that fits the data usage habits to avoid overspending on cell phone bills.
2. Purchasing extra features
People are unaware of the costs that come with their cell phone plans. Therefore, it is important for everyone to assess the value they are getting for their hard-earned money, especially since the average American spends over $1,000 per year on their cell phone bills.
Ensure the new plan doesn’t include unnecessary services that one already has access to or doesn’t need, such as roadside assistance or cloud storage.
Additionally, when plans offer data-free (zero-data) streaming possibilities, one is not required to pay for additional data. Frequently, one can stream movies and music without using up all of the cellular data from carrier partners’ websites like DirecTV, Spotify, and Pandora.
3. Ignoring budget operators
Most people do not search for alternative carriers and stick to the four big carriers: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. While using the same infrastructure and towers as the larger carriers, several smaller mobile carriers (MVNOs) and prepaid carriers operate at much lower costs.
For instance, H2O Wireless is an attractive option for those looking to save money on their phone service because it provides more data at a lower price than Verizon’s internet offerings. Conversely, Verizon has a great network and service, so it’s a safe bet for anyone looking for high-end connectivity at affordable pricing.
Additionally, certain carriers, including US Mobile and Ting, specialize in “build your own” plans that let customers choose the call, text, and data buckets. These smaller carriers offer significant cost savings for people who simply need a cell phone as a backup in an emergency situation or who want to provide their kids with a data-free, internet-free phone alternative.
4. Ignoring hidden charges
Despite the listed monthly price being a good deal, some providers will add extra fees and charges to the bill. These include activation fees, SIM card charges, and administrative fees. Examine the cost breakdown with great care to get an idea of the total price tag associated with the new plan.
5. Not porting the number correctly
One of the most important considerations when moving carriers is frequently maintaining the current phone number. One can easily switch to a new carrier with the same number; this process is called porting. If one fails to follow the correct porting process, there’s a high chance that one won’t be able to retain the current phone number. It’s crucial to ensure that the porting is done correctly to avoid losing the phone number. Contact the new service provider to learn about the porting procedure and to ensure a smooth transition, as one will be required to submit crucial personal information like account number, PIN or password, and ID cards.
It’s essential to avoid traps while switching phone service providers. This is extremely important when considering Verizon phone plans and bundled choices like Verizon internet services. Make sure one thoroughly researches the plans, comprehends the conditions of the contract, and evaluates network coverage around one’s location. By avoiding these hazards, one can get through the process hassle-free and take advantage of Verizon’s phone plus internet services, dependable connectivity, and offerings.
Taking care of a child is a full-time job. And when you are a working parent, it becomes more difficult to split time between work and home. It is one of the reasons why you hire professional help to take care of the child’s needs. But not all nannies and babysitters check across the board. So here are eight warning signs to look out for and catch any red flags that might impact the child’s routine.
The child is afraid
Often, young children develop a bond with the babysitter that is different from what they have with their parents. So, there are telltale signs for you to figure out how the babysitter is going about their routine. For instance, if the child seems afraid, anxious, or withdrawn or is very rigid in their behavior around the babysitter, the sitter may not have the right attitude or chemistry with the child.
The sitter is secretive about their routine
If the sitter is giving you vague answers about the child’s routine and cannot provide details, chances are they are following a routine that they don’t want you to figure out. This is a red flag that the sitter is not paying enough attention to the child.
The child is showing signs of hunger and tiredness
If the sitter neglects to follow a proper routine or your specific instructions, for that matter, the child will be impacted. Children might feel hungry or extremely tired because they missed their meals or nap time during the day.
The child looks unkept
Bathing, feeding, and cleaning are among the primary tasks the sitter must do to ensure the child is healthy and well-kept day and night. So if their clothes smell or their nappies are not being changed regularly, and they develop a rash, you should realize that the sitter is not paying attention.
The babysitter or nanny is tardy
Showing up late for work, leaving before time, and requesting too many holidays are all red flags you should take notice of. These signs of unprofessional behavior will impact both the child’s and your routine. It would be best to know the person who will care for the child.
Your nanny or babysitter denies the request
It is not simply enough that the nanny takes care of the baby’s routine. They must also be willing to take upon specific requests that might be outside their comfort zone. For example, showing resistance or reluctance to pick up such requests is a red flag you should pay attention to. Therefore, both caregivers must set priorities straight for the baby’s sake.
The child has been in multiple mishaps
Children tend to get injured when they are exploring in and about the household. But if there have been multiple instances where the child has been injured beyond a few bumps and bruises, the babysitter is not paying attention to what the child has been doing.
The nanny or babysitter criticizes your parenting skills
You and the babysitter are on the same team. But there will be times when you might disapprove of the daily routine set for the baby. If the nanny is unwilling to adapt and questions your parenting skills or motive, that should be addressed immediately.
Using telephones, company-assigned smartphones, or calling apps empowers a business to become more strategic in several aspects. Using a calling device enables employees to increase business outreach and profitability. However, apart form the benefits, one may often make mistakes during a call that might hamper their reputation and that of the business. Therefore, avoiding these errors and learning about ways to improve them may help one sail through business calls smoothly.
Ignoring calling scripts
Most cold calls follow a directional and well-structured script. And while one does not need to follow it to a T, winging the call might be tedious and could quickly turn into a blunder. Therefore, one should ensure they stick to the calling script as far as possible to avoid hiccups and make a positive impact on the client.
An individual might make direct calls after generating their leads in a race to complete a set target on time. However, this will result in a relatively cold call that lacks connection with the other person on the line. Therefore, before making a call, one should profile one’s client with the help of professional tools approved by the business. Through this, they could create a direct dialogue with the client and increase conversation opportunities, making a successful business call.
Passing on the caller
Many loyal and potential clients often spend several minutes on the automated system before being informed by an agent that they’ve connected to the wrong department. What’s worse is that these agents ask the customer to call another department, which could reflect terribly on the employee and even more on the business. So if an individual comes across this situation, they should collect the caller’s details and assure them of a callback by the respective department as soon as possible.
Getting the wrong information
An employee who isn’t trained to take notes may remember incorrect information about a caller. And feeding in inaccurate data could be drastic to a business. To ensure that the business call sails smoothly, one should ask the customer for a few moments so that they can type in the necessary details appropriately. Moreover, one should also consider using phonetics to confirm whether the information is accurate.
Excessive hold times
Placing a customer on hold for too long is one of the worst errors to make on a business call. This may happen when the employee looks for ways to address a query. As a workaround, one should be more proactive about why they need to place the call on hold. If the problem is taking longer to solve, they should inform the client about the hold-up and arrange a suitable callback within a tentative time frame. Moreover, one should also avoid placing calls on mute for too long.
Apart from these factors, one should avoid using low-quality and glitchy software for communications as these may result in dropped calls, glitches, and longer downtimes, affecting the business. Instead, they could look at popular options from companies like 8×8. The brand offers the 8×8 eXperience Communications Platform™ that has features including an integrated contact center, video, chat, voice, and embeddable communications. Business owners can find the pricing for various versions of the software on the 8×8 website.
Charity is a noble contribution a person makes, often to nonprofit organizations, to help them further a social cause. In addition to bringing fulfillment and joy, the act can provide extensive tax benefits to the donor. However, not all social organizations are legitimate. So, diligent research is critical to ensure your monetary contribution is put to good use. Here are nine simple tips for vetting a charity before making a donation.
Identify the organization’s mission
To begin with, identify the cause you intend to support. It could be animal protection, racial equality, nature conservation, child welfare, or another noble cause. Then, depending on your preference, look for a suitable organization or group that pursues the same mission. Seeking suggestions from family and friends can help. Finally, after shortlisting the names of preferred organizations, research them thoroughly.
Verify their registered information
A legitimate charity must register itself with a regulatory body. So, visit the websites of organizations like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for information about them. The IRS can help verify if the charity is authorized to accept donations.
Check Form 990
Form 990 can give you a better understanding of the nonprofit’s financial standing. Each year, nonprofit organizations submit this form to the IRS, which includes information related to their governance, finances, and mission. They are also required to make the report available to the public.
Go over their history
It is crucial to analyze the organization’s past contributions, financing sources, and news stories and determine how long they have been functioning. Those with a consistent track record of excellence and support from reputable donors can be trusted.
Scrutinize their social media channels
It is advisable to go over the organization’s social media presence. Doing so can give you an idea about their impact on society and what others have to say about their work. It can also help track their next course of action and the outcomes.
Speak with donors and volunteers
Connect with other donors and volunteers to learn more about the organization. Such individuals will be able to provide you with the names and contact details of key members who can give additional information.
Examine their impact
It is necessary to gauge an organization’s performance in terms of the number of people it helps and the hours it puts in to fulfill its purpose. While at it, compare its old and new financial reports to ensure the organization is not stagnant. Donations should be made to charities moving closer to achieving their goals.
The best way to get a clear picture of an organization is to get involved or volunteer. Meeting people in the same community can help build trust in their contribution and an emotional connection and provide the necessary surety to donate.
Contact the charity
If possible, get in touch with the nonprofit. Inquire about their mission, goals, committee members, how long they have been around, who they are assisting, and so on. A discussion may lead to establishing confidence.
These steps may seem too elaborate and unnecessary for smaller donations. But research is vital to ensure every dollar spent for a good cause reaches the hands that truly need it!
Changing the oil on your vehicle may look straightforward enough. But often, the simplest tasks are the ones that can result in unexpected problems if you are not paying attention. Just investing in premium quality oil to keep the engine running is not enough; you also need to follow the proper steps to ensure there are no engine troubles arising from poor maintenance. Here are a few simple tips to get you started right.
6 useful tips for a successful DIY oil change
Buy the right oil
You cannot just use one motor oil for different vehicles. Note that motor oil comes in different forms of density and viscosity, each formula unique to the engine that needs servicing. So, before comparing the best brands to buy premium motor oil, check and confirm if it matches the engine and vehicle configuration. Your vehicle manufacturer will mention the type of motor oil suggested for the current make, year, and model.
Do it step by step
The first thing to do is use the correct size wrench and unplug the oil filter. You need to first unlock the pan screw and allow the old engine oil to drain. It is better to use a jack to lift up the car so that you have more space to work with rather than trying to fit under the vehicle when it is sitting level. The next step is to remove the oil filter gasket and replace it with a new one. Old gaskets can wear out with regular use, and it is better to replace gaskets with every oil change. If you are unsure about the size, check the vehicle manual to find the right products online. Once the new oil is filled, place the gasket and tighten the plug to make a perfect seal.
Use protective gear
Changing oil at home is a simple enough procedure. But it is better to wear a pair of thick rubber gloves that reach up to your elbow and keep some towels or sponges handy to mop out the excess that spills. Experts also advise using drain pans with a funnel to collect everything directly in the pan.
Note the right time to change oil
Change the oil only when the vehicle has been sitting idle for a considerable time. Once that’s done, it is advisable to run the engine for only a few minutes to ensure the oil is flowing freely and that there are no leaks.
Use a dipstick
Dipsticks have a standard gauge of measurement that lets you top off just the right quantity of oil. This ensures the oil doesn’t spill when the engine is running hot and hard. No matter how good the seal is, there is always a chance of spillage, so ensure you rev up the engine a few times before taking out the vehicle.
Don’t just throw away the old oil
Oil is a major environmental hazard, so you need to be careful about the way you dispose of the same. You can always take the replaced engine oil to a petrochemical recycling facility, where they charge a small fee for safely recycling old lubricants. More importantly, make a note of when the new oil was changed so that you can set up periodic reminders and be ready for the next change.
Over the past few years, streaming services have grown exponentially. Nielsen’s monthly Gauge platform rankings show that the combined usage of all the streaming services in the country accounted for 34.8% of the total consumption, surpassing cable and broadcast. This is why many media companies have introduced their own subscription-based streaming services, but these can be expensive. So, here are some practical tips for saving money on these platforms.
Use one service at a time
Today, it has become increasingly difficult for viewers to keep track of all their subscriptions. Viewers lose the most money by forgetting to unsubscribe from a streaming platform after they are done with the service. So it is best to subscribe to one service at a time and cancel it before moving on to another.
Opt out of unnecessary subscriptions
If you have already subscribed to several streaming platforms, it is best to figure out which platforms you rarely use and can do without. Scroll through your phone and check credit card statements to track your subscriptions. Consider consolidating all your streaming services onto one credit card to track them easily. Over a few weeks, evaluate each service you are paying for and see if you use it frequently. Then, you should unsubscribe from the ones you don’t use often.
Use free trials
Almost all popular streaming services offer a free trial period, ranging from 3 days or a week up to a month. However, opting for a trial period involves sharing your payment details, and the platform can start the billing cycle once the trial expires. So, cancel the subscription before the trial period ends to avoid being charged. Nevertheless, a free trial enables viewers to access everything on the platform at no cost. If you only want to watch a single show, you can use the trial period to your advantage and binge on the series over a long weekend. Disney Plus, for example, is a much sought-after streaming platform offering entertainment suitable for all age groups. It features blockbuster movies and shows from popular studios like Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. The platform has amassed over 100 million subscribers. If you are looking for a Disney Plus 30-day trial, then check out Verizon’s unlimited plans and get a free Disney Plus subscription for 6 months or even a year. This is ideal for those willing to try the service before subscribing to it.
Choose cheaper plans
Almost all services offer cheaper subscription plans more suitable for mobile or phone streaming. The plans offer less resolution and can last for a shorter duration. But these lower-priced options can sometimes offer more value for money than the premium ones.
Share subscriptions with friends and family
Costs escalate quickly when you opt for numerous services and long-term subscriptions. One way to save big is to opt for family and group plans. Services like Disney Plus and Netflix allow subscribers on the same plan to watch shows on different screens at the same time.
Additionally, you can also consider going for a yearly subscription for services that you are going to use all year round. It requires a one-time payment, but the per-month cost here is almost always cheaper than that of a monthly plan. Many free streaming apps can compensate for subscription fees with commercials.
Subscribing to super-cheap cell phone plans is a great way to save money on your phone bills. Besides, requiring more data doesn’t always mean you need to spend more on cell phone plans. Some of the best cell phone plans out there offer more for cheap. If you’re on the lookout for affordable plans, check out the super-cheap cell phone plans from these providers.
Several popular networks in the country offer 4G and 5G coverage to cell phone users of all ages. However, the myriad of options can make it challenging for you to choose the best plan. Factors like the number of minutes, texts, available data, connectivity, cost, and exclusive services are a few things you must consider. To help you get started, we have scoured the internet to find the three best no-contract mobile phone plans.
If you are looking for an unlimited data no-contract cell phone plan, Mint Mobile offers you one for $30/month. You can switch to their network and still keep your current number. The plan is also compatible with unlocked phones, so you can bring your own device to avail of the offer. But ensure to check out the official Mint Mobile website to understand network coverage and make sure your area code offers the best speeds for downloads. If you prefer limited data, worry not! Mint also features 4GB, 10GB, and 15GB plans starting at just $15/month.
If you are scouting for a network that supports your 5G device, this one is for you. Boost Mobile offers a sweet 5G-enabled no-contract cell phone plan. You can retain your existing number from any network and avail exclusive coverage across states and cities that support 5G calling and data. The brand offers unlimited texts, calls, and 1GB of internet for just $5/month. Alternate no-contract plans include 5GB of data for $20/month and unlimited 5G internet for $35/month. All three plans support unlimited minutes and texts, where you will be charged only for additional data usage over and above the fair policy.
Seniors interested in availing of no-contract cell phone plans can benefit from Twigby Mobile deals. The service offers affordable pricing across a wide range of plans starting at just $6.50/month. The cost of unlimited text and talk time packages varies depending on the additional data provided. Offers include 3GB, 5GB, and 10GB data starting at just $10/month. Twigby also allows customizing plans for seniors who can manage with limited minutes and data. International calling and texting are available free of charge with the brand’s no-contract cell phone plans.
Note that offers are subject to policy changes, and network availability will vary depending on 4G and 5G infrastructure. Also, not all plans will support 5G, so contact the vendor to confirm these services.
Donating to charities is a meaningful way for individuals to contribute to society and gain personal benefits. Unbeknownst to many, charitable contributions made in the country make an individual eligible for tax advantages, creating a win-win scenario. Contributions like cash donations, non-cash donations like clothing or household items, stocks, etc., can lead to tax benefits. Explore some tax-deductible charitable gifts and donations below to understand how to make a positive impact while enjoying financial advantages.
Cash donations are one of the simplest ways to contribute to charitable causes and get tax benefits. Cash donations can be made in various ways, including checks, credit cards, or through payroll deductions made by one’s employer. If one is donating cash to qualified public charities, it allows them a tax deduction of up to 60% of their adjusted gross income (AGI) in a year. Furthermore, making cash donations to private foundations allows individuals a tax deduction of up to 30% of their AGI. To claim tax deductions, one must keep records of their donations, such as bank statements, canceled checks, or receipts and acknowledgment letters from the charity.
Besides cash, donating goods such as clothing, furniture, or household items can also yield tax benefits. When donating these, one must ensure the items are in good condition. It is also necessary to obtain a receipt from the charity specifying the donated items. One can also find estimated donation values for such in-kind donations on various websites to get an idea about the tax-deductible amounts for each.
One can also donate stocks or other appreciated assets to charities and get tax deductions. If one has stocks that have grown in value, donating them directly to a qualified charity allows them to avoid capital gains tax. The IRS allows them to deduct the fair market value of the donated stocks. However, the deductible amount differs for public charities and private foundations. For donating to public charities, one can get a tax deduction of up to 30% of their AGI, and for donating to private foundations, one can get a tax deduction of up to 20% of their AGI.
Donating real estate or other capital assets to charities also has significant tax advantages. This category includes land, buildings, machinery, and closely held securities that one has owned for at least one year. By donating these assets to a qualified charity, one can support a cause close to their heart and benefit from a substantial tax deduction.
Individuals aged 70.5 years or older have a unique opportunity to contribute to charitable causes while enjoying tax benefits through Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) from their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Instead of taking required minimum distributions (RMDs), one can direct those funds, up to $100,000, directly to eligible charities. This fulfills their RMD and keeps the distributed amount out of their taxable income. QCDs provide a tax-efficient way for retired individuals to support charitable causes.
Going on a cruise is one of the best experiences one can have at any age—childhood or adulthood. However, not all cruises are ideal for everyone. Some cruise lines offer special packages that meet all the needs of seniors, ranging from arranging flights, finding restaurants, booking excursions, and even checking in and out of hotels. Keep reading to know more about some of the best senior-friendly cruises and their features.
Popular companies like Viking offer ships that can cater to approximately 930+ passengers on the sea. However, these cruises do not allow anyone under 18 on board. Further, the ships are designed to serve passengers aged 50 and above. Viking cruises are ideal for seniors, as they offer informative lectures and destination-specific entertainment on board. Further, Viking cruises focus on getting seniors to key attractions and UNESCO world heritage sites all over the world. In most cases, everyday shore excursions are included in the cruise fare. These include voyages such as the Mediterranean odyssey and the Atlanta crossing, to name a few.
Among the top river cruise lines around the world, AmaWaterways has a total of 24 ships with extraordinary itineraries aimed at seniors. The cruise packages here usually offer exploring ports across Europe but just a few trips to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. In most cases, their range of shore excursions meets everybody’s interests and abilities. These excursions include guided hikes, bike rides, and cooking demonstrations. In addition to the above, the cruise line also offers seniors concierge services, hotel reservations, and flight transfers as a part of the packages.
This cruise line offers trips as short as four to five days. So, if one is going on a cruise for the first time, they can book Avalon Waterways packages to test the waters. Further, Avalon Waterways offers its senior customers several options to travel across Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. Its long cruises also provide passengers with special entertainment activities such as the Storyteller series, which may include popular authors like Candace Bushnell onboard. Additionally, the cruises may also have off-shore activities such as picnics and kayaking. One feature that sets this senior-friendly cruise apart is the availability of open-air balconies in the cabin, providing the seniors with a comfortable place to relax and enjoy the view.
This cruise line offers ships that can carry up to 700 passengers and is one of the niche companies that cater to all the needs of well-traveled seniors. Additionally, Azamara is one of the best cruises for seniors that do not wish to splurge but still want top-notch service, ambiance, and amenities. Usually, cruises offered by Azamara involve trips to Europe. However, some packages may offer overnight stays at key destinations, making these cruises ideal for passengers who wish to travel on their own.
Usually, the cost of cruises depends on the length, time of the year, and extent of luxury. However, the average price for a seven-night cruise may be anywhere between $1,000 to $2,000. Nevertheless, the above-mentioned cruise lines can offer special deals and discounts for seniors.