10 POPULAR RETIREMENT LIFESTYLES

Here are ten basic retirement lifestyles, some with a bit of tongue-in-cheek. But face it, if you’re retired, you probably fit at least partially into one of these categories. If you’re not retired, maybe this will give you an idea of what to expect after you hand in your papers and accept your gold watch.

Traveler. You’ve already been to the national parks and Europe. You like to read articles about travel to exotic places. Now you’re looking to expand your horizons and hit some of the must-see destinations like the Pyramids, the Great Wall or Machu Picchu. Next you’ll be trying a different twist on the standard European vacation, perhaps venturing to Latvia or Romania. And instead of just visiting France or Spain, you could take a river cruise on the Loire or walk the Camino de Santiago.

Social butterfly. A book club simply isn’t enough. Perhaps you belong to three book clubs, or bridge or lunch clubs. You feel like a failure if you find yourself at home more than one or two nights a week. You like to dance, party and go to meetings. It doesn’t really matter the topic. You just like to have places to go and people to see.

Loafer. You’re a type B personality. You like to watch TV, are a voracious reader and could spend hours listening to music. You are at your happiest when wearing a t-shirt and slippers or padding around the house barefoot, feeling comfortable and content.

Dreamer. No matter where you are physically, your mind is somewhere else. Maybe you’re planning a vacation, researching the place where you’re going to retire or trying to decide on a political cause to get involved in. Your fantasy life is so active that there isn’t much time to actually carry out your plans. That’s OK. Your mind is occupied, you’re not spending too much money and you’re safe from the dangers of the world.

Artist. You carry a camera everyplace you go, and your walls are covered with photographs. They are big and small, color and black and white, pretty sunsets, stately architecture and sharp-angled abstracts. Or maybe you’re into knitting, crocheting, painting or woodwork. You might spend your weekend prowling around arts festivals, or maybe your work is featured on Etsy.

Athlete. Maybe you play in the over-50 softball league, go hunting with your buddies or play tennis at the club. Whatever the sport, it is what you live for. Then there’s the golfer who takes the game a little further than the casual player. Finally, there’s the fan. He’s got the hat, jersey, license plate and season tickets. He’s in a league of his own.

Worker. Some people never retire. They love their work. Sometimes their colleagues are their friends, while other people just don’t want to sit around at home. If forced to retire, you plan to find another job. You might spend your retirement years consulting, offering your services to a nonprofit or down in the basement working on a craft or home improvement project.

Ways to Make Your Home Look Elegant on a Budget

Interior designers have shared a few secrets over the years that have given homeowners some insight on how they can make their home look elegant without breaking the bank. From adding pillows and a fresh coat of paint to window treatments and hardwood floors, these are simple solutions you need to know about.

Here, you will discover 10 of the simplest and least expensive ways to make your home look elegant. Take the time to keep reading – you just might be surprised at these simple tricks to fooling your guests into thinking you live a high-end life.

1 ) Crown Molding – Details Matter

It’s all in the details. When it comes to decorating your home to look high-end and custom-made, details are key.  In this instance, the detail is crown molding.

Crown molding has a way of making a room look complete or finished; it brings the ceiling and the walls together, giving them an elegant appearance. Without this finishing touch, rooms tend to look cheap or unfinished.

Fortunately, crown molding is relatively inexpensive (especially the plastic, paintable versions), making it affordable on almost any budget. There are many widths to choose from, but if you want a greater impact, chose the widest trim that your budget will allow.  For the ultimate in glamour, try adding all types on molding to your home, i.e. crown, high baseboard, ceiling beams, columns, ceiling medallions, chair rails etc…

2) Paint – Color Matters

Paint color is perhaps one of the most difficult decisions to make when decorating a room, especially when the remaining décor will be based off the color palette. However, if elegance is what you are after, there are certain colors that add instant glamour to your home.

Choose one of these two color options—bold and dramatic OR soft, understated hues. These hues allow you to add instant elegance to your home. It simply depends on your color personality in terms of which option you choose.

Painting interior doors black is another great idea. It automatically creates an expensive feeling, without causing much damage to your wallet. If you choose this option, however, be sure to add some black accessories to the space to tie the overall design together.

3) Pillows – Comfort & Elegance

Pillows throughout your home serve two purposes. One, if they are chosen correctly, they can really punch-up the elegance factor. Two, they provide your guests with a little extra comfort on the couch, and offer a cozy, layered feeling to your rooms.

The comfort aspect speaks for itself, that is, if you choose pillows that are large enough to rest on, and soft. Speaking of size, you want to avoid the standard 12 to 18 inches for a throw pillow. Instead, choose something larger, such as a 22-inch pillow cover stuffed with 24-inch inserts.

Large, overstuffed pillows create a very plush, elegant appearance—and don’t skimp on the pillow inserts, down-filled is the only way to go.

It’s simple—a home without window treatments will look unfinished and cheap. Fortunately, window treatments are one of the most budget-friendly ways to add some elegance to your home, as well as much-needed privacy.

When selecting window treatments you want to make smart choices. For instance, choosing unlined flimsy materials look terribly cheap, even if they are the least expensive option. It is recommended that you avoid see-through materials. This does not mean that you can’t buy off-the-rack curtains. A lot of chain stores offer lined draperies that appear elegant and expensive —even though the price is right.

When it comes to window treatments stick with elegant materials such as natural silk, linen and cotton (polyester or man-made fabrics usually look cheap). If draperies are not for you, then try woven bamboo shades or wood blinds. Just be sure to dress your windows—they ensure your home looks elegant and well-designed.