Smart Home Purchases for Empty Nesters

Ah, the golden years. The kids are out of the house and college is paid for. Perhaps you did away with your mortgage as well. So, what do you do with all of that extra money? What about making some smart investments for a more secure future?

There are other decisions and purchases you can make that will help you lead a healthier and safer life, while also gaining peace of mind. Here are five smart purchases for empty nesters to consider.


Look into Home Automation
You've likely seen ads for home digital assistants, like Amazon Echo and Google Home. Commercials present home automation devices as fun to use for everyday tasks like ordering groceries, but they have value that may allow you to age in place safely. For example, both the Amazon and Google devices pair with home security companies to allow you to activate your home alarm or close your garage door. If you've installed "smart" door locks or light bulbs, these devices can also lock doors or turn on lights when you're not home.

Consider Installing a Home Standby Generator
My mother retired to Maine, a state known for harsh winters. During one of her first winters there, the region was hit with one of the worst ice storms in history. She was without power for two weeks and swore never to let land in such a position again in the future. She invested in a home standby generator. It has provided peace of mind ever since. Many of my neighbors here at the Jersey Shore made similar decisions after Superstorm Sandy, recognizing how important it is to be prepared ahead of the storm.

Cummins produces some of the most reliable home standby generators on the market, and their website includes a generator sizing calculator to help you figure out which generator is right for your home.

Invest in Fitness
Staying fit becomes even more important as you age. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are three components that everyone – especially older individuals – should have in their fitness routine: cardiovascular exercise, interval training and strength training. Some experts suggest balance training, such as yoga, is also important to help prevent falls.

You can achieve these fitness goals by setting up a home gym of your own. A stationery bike or treadmill and hand weights are a great start. Or, if you like the social aspect of working out with others, invest in a gym membership. Look for a gym that offers a range of classes – yoga, spin, weight lifting, etc. – so you can meet all your physical activity needs in one place.

Trade In for an Energy-Efficient Car
Are you still driving the gas-guzzling mom taxi that got you through those raising-your-kids years? Sure, the car has long been paid off and probably doesn't cost much to insure. But how much does it cost to maintain or fill up its tank? As you know, gas prices aren't likely to go down in the future. Does it make sense to trade in that car for something more energy efficient? Or can your home with two older cars afford to become a home with one smaller, more energy-efficient car?

September is a great time to buy a car with dealers looking to clear out last year's models to make room for the next year's. If you're serious about getting a new car, you may find some great deals.

Work With a Financial Planner
It makes sense to continue contributing to your retirement savings as you age. If you're not already working with a financial planner to achieve your retirement savings goals, you should be. Financial planners can help you with so much more, too. For example, a financial planer can help you figure out what kind of long-term care insurance you need. Long-term care insurance can help fill the gaps when your traditional savings can't cover health-related expenses.

Making informed purchases and financial decisions can improve your health and happiness well into your Golden Years. Start with the recommendations above, and you’ll be well on your way to a secure future.

Leah Ingram, Freelance Writer, Lifestyle and Money-Saving Expert

Leah Ingram

Leah Ingram is a freelance writer, lifestyle and money-saving expert. Her mission is to help you feel more confident about your spending, regardless of income.


She is the author of Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less, which compiles Leah’s unique money-saving advice, including how a family can save $25,000 a year. Her second title in the Suddenly Frugal series is Toss, Keep, Sell!: The Suddenly Frugal Guide to Cleaning Out the Clutter and Cashing In.


Currently, Leah is working on a personal finance book, chock full of ideas to help middle-class families pay for college. That book, tentatively called College Money Hacks, will be out from Career Press in Fall 2017.


For more information, visit Leah's website at

How a Home Generator Can Help Sell Your Home for Top Dollar

Image of generator set outside of home

Retractable glass walls. High ceilings. Quartzite countertops. Butler’s pantry. Spa bathroom. Smart home systems. 4-car garage. Barn, carriage house or in-law apartment. Home standby generators. All are luxury features found in high-end homes according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal

Inventory of luxury homes currently exceeds demand. To attract more buyers at high-end price points, sellers must invest in the right upgrades with innovative features. A home standby generator can help protect those home upgrades featured in The Wall Street Journal’s list of upgrades to sell your home for top dollar in the event of a power outage, but it also offers innovative features of its own such as quiet operation and low carbon footprint. A home standby generator turns on the moment an outage strikes to maintain power to appliances, smart home devices, security systems or even your entire home. 

According to our resident real estate expert Angel Piontek, Associate Broker and Vice President of Marketing at Coldwell Banker Elite in Fredericksburg, VA, homeowners who install a home generator will recoup half of their investment within the first year of ownership, making investing in a home standby generator a no-brainer. Additionally home standby generators also allow you to be a good neighbor during an outage, save money, and protect your home and family during the cold winter months

To find out if a home generator is right for you, visit

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins Power Systems Celebrates Significant Production Milestone and Reflects on Partnership with the Department of Defense

Cummins Power Systems offers innovative products that power the unique needs of our customers across the globe. Since the first contract was awarded in 2007, the Department of Defense (DoD) has been one of these customers who relies on Cummins technology to support combat operations tactical power requirements using the Advanced Medium Mobile Power Systems (AMMPS). The team behind the product recently celebrated production of the 25,000th unit built in the Fridley, Minnesota (USA) plant, a significant milestone for this critical technology. 

For the past 12 years, Cummins has been the prime contractor for the DoD and the producer of AMMPS generators. In August of 2018, a new $491 million contract was signed to continue AMMPS production through 2023. This volume necessitates two shifts on the Fridley line for the next four years. Colonel Adrian Marsh, who leads the AMMPS procurement office, PM-E2S2, and is responsible for all Tactical Electric Power within the DoD, explained, “Everything the soldiers do depends on Cummins AMMPS generators. AMMPS powers all equipment required for us to complete our mission. In addition, Cummins generators provide electrical power so our soldiers can call home and speak with their families, watch television to stay connected with home, and stay cool with air-conditioned facilities.”   

Colonel Marsh journeyed to Fridley to help celebrate the significant 25,000th production milestone, and was joined by over 100 plant and office employees who have been integral in the production of AMMPS. The celebration was an opportunity to reflect on the current and past partnership between Cummins and the United States Army. Gino Butera, Vice-President of Cummins Power Systems, reflected on the strength of this relationship, stating, “Cummins and the U.S. Army have been partners for over 75 years. Cummins supplied the Allied Forces during WWII with over 70,000 generator sets. Cummins also produced the first Military Standard Generator for the U.S. Army and partnered with the Army on the second generation Tactical Quiet Generators (TQGs) and today the third generation of standard generator sets, AMMPS.” 

Darren Wildman, America’s Operations Leader for Power Systems summed up the sentiment shared by all who work on this program by stating, “It’s been an honor to be of service to those who serve us unselfishly every day.”

Congratulations, and thank you to all employees who have contributed to this milestone. 

Colonel Adrian Marsh of the Department of Defense engages with Cummins employees who have worked on the AMMPS units.
Colonel Adrian Marsh of the Department of Defense engages with Cummins employees who have worked on the AMMPS units.
Cummins employees celebrate the 25,000th AMMPS unit produced in the Fridley, Minnesota plant.
Cummins employees celebrate the 25,000th AMMPS unit produced in the Fridley, Minnesota plant.


Doreen Swanson Photo

Doreen Swanson, P.M.P.

Doreen is a veteran Program Manager and Account Lead who has successfully led the internal cross functional team through the development and testing of the Advanced Medium Mobile Power Sources (AMMPS) 5kW – 60kW generator sets. Doreen has over 25 years of experience in engineering, program management and account management, 21 of which have been with Cummins Inc.

Power Train Returns to Oman with Continuous Professional Development Accreditation

Specifically designed for electrical, mechanical and consulting engineers who design and specify generator installations, 102 attendees convened in Muscat, Oman for Power Train.
Specifically designed for electrical, mechanical and consulting engineers who design and specify generator installations, 102 attendees convened in Muscat, Oman for Power Train.

After two successful Power Train events in 2010 and 2012, Cummins distributor Universal Engineering Services LLC once again hosted the event in 2018 with over 100 industry professionals completing the training.

As a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) accredited course, Power Train offers attendees CPD certification upon completion.

The two-day Generator Set Application and Installation Fundamentals course was held 5-6 December 2018 at the Grand Millennium in Muscat, Oman. The course is specifically designed for electrical, mechanical and consulting engineers who design and specify generator installations. The 102 attendees included representatives from the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Health, Royal Oman Police, Royal Court Affairs, Tanweer (RAECO) and the Public Authority of Civil Aviation. Thirty engineers from various reputed consultancies also completed the training.

Now fully CPD accredited, this demonstrates the exceptional quality of training delivered by Cummins and UES to equip industry professionals with the knowledge and resources to lead in their respective fields.

“The focus is on complete integration,” said Rajgopal Shetty, UES Sales Manager. “As it has always been, this was purely a technical training event, and the knowledge base applies to all make of generators.”

For more information on Power Train and other professional development opportunities, visit

Anisha George

As a Marketing Communications Specialist, Anisha is part of the Africa Middle East ABO supporting marketing, communications and event management for power generation marketing. Anisha joined Cummins Middle East in 2009 to support the Administration team in a temporary role. She gained more industry experience working in the event management field before joining back in 2011. Her previous role in Cummins Middle East include Marketing Assistant where she supported special events and marketing activities. Anisha has a Bachelor’s degree specializing in Commerce & Marketing, followed by a diploma in Event Management & Innovative Marketing.

As Water Demand Rises, So Does Power, With Cummins Emissions Capability and Expert Consultation

Cummins supplied the Tier 4 Final Certified power upgrade at the Beaver Water District to support increased water treatment operations.
Cummins supplied the Tier 4 Final Certified power upgrade at the Beaver Water District to support increased water treatment operations.

Beaver Water District provides treated drinking water from Beaver Lake to homes and businesses throughout northwestern Arkansas (USA). The University of Arkansas, Walmart headquarters and JB Hunt headquarters are some of the customers served by Beaver Water District.

As the demand for water increased, so did the need for extra emergency backup power. The generators for the power upgrade at the water treatment facility had to operate as both standby power and a utility demand rate curtailment program that required Tier 4 Final Certified emissions on the generators.

Cummins met the water district's power needs by supplying additional generators and paralleling switchgear. The medium-voltage emergency power system includes two DQKAM Tier 4 Final generators and 13.2 kV paralleling switchgear with a Digital Master Control DMC300, with space to add two more generators should operations continue to expand.

Cummins was selected for the project based on the generator performance and emissions capability along with outstanding customer support.

Providing power for the water industry requires significant experience. The Cummins team worked closely with the customer throughout the design, installation, commissioning and after-sale service, supporting the Digital Master Control interface with the customer’s Building Automation System, Programmable Logic Controller programming, solving interface issues, and alarms during initial service.

For more information, visit

Adam Sidders Marketing Communications Leader Power Systems

Adam Sidders

Adam Sidders is the Marketing Communications Leader for the Power Systems Business Unit of Cummins Inc. Prior to joining Cummins in 2012 Adam worked in Financial Services for Europe’s largest independently owned insurer as their Marketing and Communications Manager. [email protected]

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