Friday, June 14, 2019

5 Steps to Take to Guarantee Your 100 Year Old Home is Insurable

Even though many older houses have quite a bit of charm, some of those residences can be very difficult to insure. If an insurance company thinks that a home is going to be a risk, then they probably won’t offer any form of coverage. In order to get homeowners insurance, you might need to improve the safety and security of your older home.

Update the Roof

Every insurance company is slightly different, but most of those providers will only insure a roof if it is under a certain age or completely undamaged. At the very least, you must fix any shingles that are curled, bent, or cracked. Replacing a few shingles is a relatively inexpensive project that most roofing contractors can complete in a single day.

Replace the Wires

Unfortunately, many older homes were built with aluminum wires, and those wires are a major fire hazard. To get homeowners insurance, you will most likely need to replace all of the wires and outlets if any aluminum was used. 

This can be an expensive and time-consuming project, and you should only replace the wires if you truly love the home.

Look for Galvanized Pipes

Over the years, different homeowners might have replaced various pipes, and some of those pipes could be made from galvanized steel. That particular type of steel is prone to corrosion, and a single leak could result in tens of thousands of dollars in water damage. All of the galvanized pipes in the home must be replaced with PVC, PEX, or copper pipes.

Level the Yard

As a general rule, the yards around a home should always slope away from the foundation to prevent flooding. You might also need to build one or more retaining walls with high-quality steel products. Those walls are going to prevent the earth from sliding toward your home after a heavy rainstorm.

Check for Asbestos

Asbestos-related health problems usually aren’t covered by home insurance, but your provider might be wary of insuring the home if any dangerous building materials were used. The easiest way to check for asbestos is to use an inexpensive test kit from a local home improvement store. Those kits are very easy to set up, and you should get results in a matter of days.

Before you carry out any upgrades, you must have every inch of your home looked over by a certified inspector. One of those professionals can give you a comprehensive list of potential issues that need to be addressed.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

3 Benefits of Starting a Personal Medical Emergency Fund

When something happens to us, the world doesn’t stop. This is especially true when it comes to bills. Many people today are starting a personal medical emergency fund to cover unexpected medical emergencies that accumulate major bills or prevent them from working. Here are 3 reasons that you should consider a personal medical emergency fund, too.

Health Insurance Doesn’t Cover Everything

Even if you have health insurance, it can’t cover all unexpected expenses that might occur because of an accident. Many times, dental procedures, weight loss procedures, and alternative treatments are not covered. When something is covered, you may still have to cover a percentage of the cost. 

Many prescriptions aren’t covered, either. An emergency medical fund gives you money to cover the things that aren’t covered by insurance. For people without insurance, an emergency fund is absolutely necessary in the event that they get sick or injured.

Attorney Fees

When you get into an accident, you may have to hire an attorney. An attorney is helpful if you got into a car accident, get injured at work, fall at an establishment, and a number of other reasons. While insurance companies claim to work for you, they are really trying to pay out the least amount possible. 

A personal injury attorney can help you get the settlement that you deserve. They can also listen to your case and tell you whether you should move forward or not. Your medical emergency fund can help pay for the personal injury attorney services.

Medical Emergencies Are Unexpected

If you want to buy a car, you can plan for it. You can save a certain amount of every paycheck until you’re ready to make your purchase. Unfortunately, you can’t plan for an injury or an illness. 

When it happens, you get the bills whether you are ready or not. If you have an emergency medical fund, you will be more prepared when the unexpected happens. This will prevent the bill collector phones calls, which is the last thing you need when you’re recovering.

Going through an illness or injury his bad enough as it is. It gets significantly worse when you see how much it is going to cost you. Make it easier on yourself by planning ahead and building up a personal medical emergency fund. You can use it to cover your medical bills, personal bills, and give yourself a piece of mind after a tragedy.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Natural Ways to Improve Your Mental and Physical Health

Photo by Storyblocks
Everyone wants to be healthy, but few of us are doing enough to get there. Study after study has revealed the bleak truth: Americans are obese, sick, and stressed out. For most of us, caring for our physical and mental health is a battle — and it’s one that we are losing.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. The truth of the matter is that caring for your physical and mental health isn’t necessarily hard. It’s just that we tend to go about it in the wrong ways. We look for cure-alls and make big changes all at once. We opt for fad diets or crash diets, and then we fail to stick to them. None of this works, and we have the studies to prove it.

So what does work? Here are a few simple actions you can take and lifestyle changes you can make that will have a meaningful (and, crucially, a long-term) impact on your mental and physical health.

Take a vacation

Vacations are very good for you mentally and, in many cases, are even good for your physical health. Yet far too many of us are skipping our breaks and leaving our vacation days on the table. We’re working too hard and taking our work home with us, and we’re not doing enough to take ourselves off of the grid for a while.

Make a change. Head down to Florida or out to the West Coast for a relaxing vacation on the beach, or fulfill a lifelong dream and go see some powerful natural or man-made sites. While on vacation, do your best to ignore work completely (they’ll be fine without you).

You’ll get even more out of vacation if you manage to get some exercise in the sun. So go check out the kayak rentals in West Palm Beach or the surfing lessons down the coast. Nobody says you can’t break a sweat while you relax your mind.

Have fun exercising

Photo by Storyblocks

Most of us don’t get enough exercise, but the reason for that isn’t necessarily that we’re lazy. What’s happening is that we’re failing to make moving around and breaking a sweat into a habit. If your workout makes you miserable, then it’s not hard to see why you wouldn’t want to make it a habit.

That’s why the most effective workout for you is whatever workout you have fun doing. Whether it’s hiking, rock climbing, cycling, swimming, kayaking, or something else entirely, find something that you actually like doing and make exercise a part of your life instead of just some chore.

Make a habit of fueling your body

Diets don’t work because they don’t encourage us to form habits. Diets are drastic and temporary changes, and we tend to ditch them when we reach our goals (or before that, unfortunately). And what happens then? We go back to what we were doing which makes us gain our weight right back, and more importantly, makes us less healthy.

Try to make more long-term changes in your diet. This means you should not drastically cut calories or completely change the way you eat overnight. Instead, focus on filling up on more of the good stuff. That means whole foods, especially vegetables.

Your body also needs nutrients, and it can be made healthier with all sorts of other supplements, lifestyle products, and even beauty routines. Choose high-impact supplements like multivitamins, fish oil, and CBD. The last one is all the rage right now, explain the CBD experts at Pure for Life, because it has been shown to reduce anxiety and has a host of other health benefits. In fact, we’re still learning more about some of them.

Choose supplements that are easy to take. Take a multivitamin pill in the morning with your medication, or vape some CBD on your way to work. Use natural products whenever you’re ingesting things or applying things to your body in any way.

When you put the right products and foods into and onto your body, the right kind of physical and mental health outcomes follow.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

How to Budget Your Way Out of a Tough Spot

We’ve all been there. Looking at the bills coming in, and not having the funds or means to pay for them all. Financial stress is truly one of the most all consuming kinds of stress. 

It lingers in your mind like a fog, spilling over into other areas of your life, making it hard to concentrate on other things until you’ve been able to make a plan to get yourself out of the mess you’re in. It’s difficult to get yourself out, but I promise that eventually you will be out of this tough spot! The first step?

Don’t panic

This seems obvious but is so hard to do! Our instinct is definitely to panic. Letting yourself spiral into a depressive thought cloud of “what ifs” and imagining you’re living in a cardboard box on the street is an easy way to get absolutely nothing done. 

It won’t help your situation at all, and in fact, will probably hinder your problem solving. So, don’t panic. Easier said than done.

Calculate your debt

Okay, so how much do you owe? What kind of mess are you really in? Is it worse than it seems? Writing it all out will help you visualize your problems, and plan out your next steps to taking care of this problem. Whether it’s an unexpected medical bill, a leave of absence, or a huge unexpected home expense. 

Using an actual, physical piece of paper, tally up exactly how much you owe on this bill. Add this amount up against your regular monthly budget. All bills, all expenses, and all income. How much extra are you able to put towards this expense per month?

Put yourself on a payment plan

Depending on what kind of expense you’re dealing with, or if you’re just months behind on your bills, you may be able to sort out some sort of a payment plan, rather than paying the entire lump sum all at once. Talk to whoever you owe the money to, and see if this is an option. 

In most cases, they are willing to be lenient because it means they have a greater chance of actually getting any money back. Be honest about your situation and let them know your plans to pay them back, with monthly amounts and a timeline. Showing that you’ve put a lot of thought and planning into your payment plan will help instill confidence in them!

Find creative ways to make extra money

Obviously, the sooner you are able to get out of this rough financial spot, the better. You have your payment plan, but chances are that you will be paying things down for a long while. You may not be able to do much, but look into some other ways to make a little bit of extra money. Any extra income you are able to bring in, will go straight towards paying off your debts!

Do you have any skills that you could potentially monetize? Are you crafty? If you can knit, crochet, or sew, it’s possible that you could use these skills to make products to sell to niche communities. Look into selling items on facebook marketplace, local online yard sales, and etsy! 

Most people have something up their sleeve that they can produce in their free time without even really realizing it! Maybe you can sew while you are catching up on your tv shows at night.

If you’re not crafty, there are other skills you have that you could make a little extra money off of! If you’re good at writing, apply for freelance writing jobs in your area and online. 

See if you can clean windows, mow lawns, or mend furniture. There is definitely something out there that you are capable of doing and monetizing for a short period of time to help you get out of this spot.

Ask for help

No one likes to ask for help, but sometimes you have to swallow your pride, and see if someone can help lighten your load. This doesn’t have to be financial help. If you need childcare in order to pick up a few extra shifts, reach out to family and neighbors to see if anyone can watch your kids. 

You don’t have to go through this tough time by yourself, and even just having some moral support from friends and loved ones can help you as you navigate.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

4 Financial Questions Empty Nesters Should Ask before Retirement

One topic of conversation that’s hardly ever brought up is empty nest before retirement. Having our children move out can have an emotional and financial impact. This leaves people with a bunch of questions that can be difficult to answer.

How Do I Feel about having an Empty Nest?

Sending your little one off into the world can leave you feeling conflicted with your emotions. The emotions parents feel when their kids leave can vary. In fact, some may even experience empty nest syndrome, which is a feeling of grief, sadness and loneliness parents feel when their children leave. 

However, most people fear the anticipation rather than what happens in reality. Truth be told, some parents actually feel happier and relieved once their children walk out the door. Regardless of how you feel, it’s important that you assess how your emotions and feelings impact the choices you make. 

For example, feeling sad about the empty nest may make you spending money and time with your children. On the other hand, if you’re excited that your children are gone, you may find yourself overspending on shopping or vacations.

How Do I Take Advantage of Retirement Saving Opportunities?

Some people think that just because their kids are no longer their financial responsibility, they’ll have tons of money saved. While it is true you may find yourself with a few extra dollars in your wallet, you won’t be loaded. In fact, the average amount that people who have become empty nesters have put into their 401k only goes up to 0.7 percent max.

How Do I Save for Retirement While Prioritizing Debt?

Saving for your retirement should always be on the bucket list, however, it’s important that you pay off any outstanding debt as well. In fact, the interest rates you’re currently paying are most likely higher than the rate of return you could receive from your savings. 

You might even want to sell your condo, as there are many condos for sale on the market. So, naturally, you want to pay off any outstanding debt as quickly as possible.

How Do I Become Serious about Planning My Retirement?

It’s completely fine that you enjoy having an empty nest, but it’s crucial that you plan for the future, and this includes your retirement. Using a dependable retirement calculator can help answer any other important questions you may have. 

These questions may include “When is it safe to retire?” “How much will I need to sustain myself?” “Will I be able to afford health care?” Once you are armed with this knowledge, you’ll be good to go!

An empty nest can leave quite the impact on your life. How you choose to go about it is up to you. Just remember to think things through and plan accordingly.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

4 Small Car Repairs to Make Now before They Become Expensive

Your car has been in need of having some minor repair issues done. As with most cars, time has had its way with your car, and it would be nice if you could snap your fingers and everything would be okay. 

Unfortunately, unless you know how to make these repairs yourself, you are going to have to pay a professional to do them for you. The following are four areas of car repair that you need to address now before the repair issues become more expensive.

A Brake Job

The brakes are an essential part of a working vehicle on the road. The problem is that it has been a long time since you had your brake pads replaced. A couple of days ago, you thought you heard them grinding when you engaged them. 

This is a problem you will want to get fixed immediately, because squealing or grinding brakes are a sign that continuing to drive on your brakes could create more extensive damage to your break system.

Alternator Problems

Having issues with your alternator can be a big hassle. You could be out somewhere and not even realize that you are about to find yourself stranded on the side of the road where your car is getting no power. 

What is worse is that alternator problems, if not dealt with quickly, can cause damage to your car’s battery, and that could make this a more costly repair issue out of pocket.

Camshaft Maintenance

Sometimes the easiest and cheapest way to stay on top of a repair issue is by doing the proper maintenance on your car. In the case of your camshaft, the part that regulates air to your engine, regular oil and valve cleanings are a superb way to save you from an expensive camshaft replacement down the road. 

By doing regular maintenance, you prevent the cam shaft from getting clogged up with dirt and debris which prevents damage to your engine too.

Change Your Air Filter

When it comes to cheap repairs, changing your air filter is not an overly expensive component to replace on its own. The problem is that failing to do this routine maintenance issue can get expensive. 

It could lead to a damaged mass air flow sensor that costs hundreds of dollars to fix. But, if that happens, look on the bright side. At least that is not nearly as expensive as a car repair issue that might land your car in a transmission shop.

Keeping an eye out that something is wrong with your car is an essential part of excellent car operation. Ignoring warning signs that something is wrong will, more often than not, end up costing you more in the long run. It is typically better to simply do the proper maintenance and to swiftly address problems that arise than to let simple repair issues grow to become more expensive problems down the road.

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