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6 Retirement Plans Millennials Should Start Thinking About (Or Embrace ASAP)

6 Retirement Plans Millennials Should Start Thinking About (Or Embrace ASAP)

Most millennials are still struggling to pay their student debt, so when you tell them to think about retirement plans, most of them are going to tell you to stop mocking them. The reality is, retirement plans are not a priority for millennials, but they should be. Why? Time flies! And starting to save early in life is going to ensure your retirement years are happy years.

Unfortunately, most millennials are afraid of all those complicated words and the sheer length of tax codes, so they need someone to explain these things in plain English. Well, here are the 6 best retirement plans for millennials explained.

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1. 401(k)

The 401(k) is the most popular plan, and most employers offer it, so you can just make a call to the HR department of your company and ask them to solve the papers for you. The maximum revenue is $18,000 per year, and you can pick how much you want to contribute. The contributions are made before the taxes, which are paid when you will take out the money.

One of the major benefits of a 401(k)[1] is the fact that it enables you to grow your retirement plan fast, but you have to stick to the options your employer picked for you.

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2. Regular IRA

If you have a taxable income, or your spouse has one, you are eligible for IRA.[2] With this plan you can earn $5,000 per year, and the contributions are made before the taxes, just like with the 401(k). You are going to pay the taxes when you take out the money.

Of course, this ensures a high growing rate for your fund. Unlike the 401(k), you can invest your money in investments offered by your bank. The cons come with the taxes: because you pay the taxes when you withdraw money, you might notice your tax bracket is higher when you take out the money, so you will be paying more taxes.

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3. Gold IRA

This is not exactly a retirement plan itself, but more of an option to add to your regular plan. Regular IRA and 401(k) are compatible with gold investments. Gold IRA is exactly what you think: investing your money in gold,[3] because its value grows nice and steady over time.

4. Roth IRA

The Roth IRA is dedicated to singles who earn at least $116,000 per year, or couples who earn less than $180,000 per year together. The best thing about this retirement plan is the fact you won’t pay taxes when you take out the money! The contributions are made after the taxes, and you can earn as much as $5,500 per year. Another nice fact is there is no mandatory withdrawal when you are 70 years old, as it is with the other plans.

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5. SEP IRA

As many millennials are entrepreneurs, or they are on their way to becoming entrepreneurs,[4] here are two retirement plans dedicated to small businesses. The SEP IRA allows you to plan for your retirement along with your employees. The maximum amount is 25% of an employee’s compensation, or $51,000. For the employee this plan comes with free money from the employer, and for the employer it comes with tax deductions for the contributions. This is one of the best retirement plans for the self-employed. The con of this plan is the fact that you will pay taxes at the current tax rate when you start withdrawing.

6. Simple IRA

Another IRA for businesses, with a $12,500 maximum contribution. The contributions are taken from the employees salary, and the employer can contribute to his or her account, or to their employee’s accounts. The employee can decide how much to contribute on this plan, and the contributions are made before the taxes. At withdrawal you also pay the taxes.

With a simple IRA the penalization for withdrawing before 60 years of age can be up to 25%, so make sure you do your calculations right.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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