Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I’m what the youth these days would call “old school”, fair and square. I’m from another generation, one in which we grew up expecting that when we bought an appliance, it would work, work well, and continue to do so until we no longer had any use for it. I’m deeply saddened these days by the throwaway, disposable culture, as it is referred to. I abhor cheap plastic manufacturing. It makes me so sad to think about all the great American factories and companies that used to exist and make wonderful home appliances, when all I’m able to find at my local department stores these days are cheap, plastic machines that don’t work well at all, and feel as though they’re about to disintegrate.
Do bear all that in mind as you read on. Recently, I found myself simply overwhelmed by the quantity of cat hair in my house, having adopted two tabbies earlier in the year. I had made do for the longest time with my old central vacuum, which was wonderful for its time, but is simply not something that modern companies will maintain. Bereft of my old appliance, I set out on a search to find a new vacuum.
May I take this moment to express my utter disgust with what I found. Every vacuum these days seems to be made of the same paper-thin, cheap plastic parts that feel as though they’re on the verge of giving way at the slightest touch. Out of the department store I quickly went, back home to my computer. I’m so thankful for Google in times like these. One feels as though there are no options besides those in the department store, but I suppose that’s rather the intention, isn’t it?I resorted to searching after the best stair vacuum cleaner reviews on google, and finally happened upon the Miele brand of appliances from Germany. From what I can see, they’re something like what KitchenAid used to be here in America. A company who takes pride in what they make, putting thought and effort into designs and using quality parts.
I purchased a Miele Titan because the website recommended it as the best for me to deal with pet hair. I couldn’t be more pleased, dear reader! That is in spite of the fact that I paid twice the price of the plastic equivalent to get this German machine. The Titan is wonderfully ergonomic, which is very important to a little old lady like me. It feels very well thought-through, and I find the wand very helpful for my carpeted stairs. They seemed like such a good idea in the 90s, but now that I have my kitties, they’re simply fluffy with stray furs.
I also am delighted by the vacuum bags on my little Titan. I detest using vacuums that have no bags, as they’re disgustingly dirty and unsanitary. This wonderful machine has bags that seal themselves, so as I remove them from the chamber, not a single hair comes free! How delightful.
I can’t think of a single criticism for the Titan, which is truly saying something. It works very well on my carpets when I use the electric motor brush. I also love the velour pet hair attachment for my armchairs, where my friends tend to nest when I’m not reading. Simply put, it’s old-fashioned in the best sense. The brushes are real bristle, not the plasticized components I’ve been so disappointed by on American brands. As I’m quite a collector of elegant trinkets, having a dusting brush with an element of finesse is essential. It’s no wonder to me that this vacuum consistently came in at the top of rankings for the best-rated vacuum for those wishing to clean up after pets.
I do expect this is the last vacuum I shall need to buy, and not simply because I’m getting on in years. This feels like something I could give to my son when I’ve passed on, which is not something I could say for my toaster, my lawnmower, or any of my other recent purchases. I’m about to order a Miele coffee maker as well, and I’m endlessly excited. I used to be such a loyal customer for years until the big American brands went overseas and began to cut quality. To discover a wonderful company that still makes excellent appliances is a real treat, and I wanted to share my discovery with you!
French women are famed for their ability to look stylish and attractive. This national attribute is a fine quality to have at any stage in life, but it really comes into its own when a woman reaches her more mature years. There are quite a few useful tips that American women can learn from observing how French women age gracefully.
5. Finally, the ability to enjoy relationships with friends and family is a wonderful way of keeping alert and interested in life. This gives youthful serenity to a woman and ensures that she will retain her poise and age gracefully, just as women do in Paris today.
When a person finally reaches that time in life when they are able to retire it should be a happy time with the expectation to do all those things they were unable to do while working long hours. There is plenty of time available to take those long vacations previously dreamed of and spend some of that money that has been piling up in a savings account for use during retirement years.
Once a person reaches the age of 65 it is typical to feel more relaxed and happy. This period of happiness typically lasts until the age of 85. According to a MONEY magazine survey almost half of the people surveyed reporting feeling happier than they had expected to in retirement and less than 10 percent felt disappointed.
One of contributory factors to a person’s happiness in their retirement years is financial security. Maintaining health and fitness are also extremely important. Financial security and good health are the obvious factors in enjoying retirement but there are others that are less obvious but still important.
The following secrets to retirement happiness will help people get the most out of their retirement years:
There is little doubt that the more money you have saved for retirement the happier you will be once you do stop working. According to financial planner and author Wes Moss the happiest retired people had the highest net worth. He conducted a survey of 1400 people who had retired across 46 states and results showed that despite having a good-sized nest egg the boost to a person’s mind slowed down once $550,000 was amassed.
For the most part those people who choose to continue to work after the age of 65, either full time or part time, are happier than those that opt to retire at 65. The important point to note here is that this is only true for those who have a choice. For anyone forced to work due to financial necessity the level of happiness drops considerably.
There are other benefits than money to working beyond retirement age. Keeping active both physically and mentally is a huge benefit, as is maintaining social interactions with co-workers. For some retirees giving up work entirely can be a mistake as they find their level of activity decreasing and loneliness creeps in.
The busier a person is during their retirement years the happier they seem to be. It can be quite a shock to go from working 40 plus hours a week to suddenly having every hour of the day available to do as they please. For some it is exciting and for others it is confusing, but when a person has hobbies and interests to pursue. According to Wes Moss 3 to 4 hobbies or interests provides retirees with the highest level of happiness, and retirees with only 1 or 2 hobbies were not anywhere near as happy. The happiest retirees tended to have really busy lifestyles.
It’s not just enough to have hobbies. At least one of those hobbies needs to be social in nature. The top choices of happy retirees are golf, travel and volunteering. For those who chose solitary interests such as reading, writing, fishing and hunting the level of happiness was much lower. This should come as no surprise considering that people over 65 gain a lot of enjoyment out of socializing.
While it is the expected norm to own a home when a person reaches their later years owning a home can become more of a problem than a joy. Houses require constant maintenance and become an anchor more than an asset. Once a person reaches their 80’s renting is likely to be a better choice. Renting allows a person to live in comfort without facing the expense of repairs and maintenance, thereby enjoying a less stressful life.
Once a person no longer has demands on their time their close relationships can impact how they feel on a day to day basis. Married couples who are both retired are more satisfied with their lives than single retirees, but this is largely dependent upon how well they get along. Being constantly in each other’s company can be a good thing but in some relationships it can be a source of unhappiness.
While at retirement age a couple can expect their children to have grown up and moved out of the family home, if they live less than 10 miles away it can cause issues. While the reason for this is not clear it could be that children see their parents’ retirement as an opportunity to take advantage of them as babysitters.