Oh! those gushy feelings, where everything seems right with the world, and the ground has been taken from underneath your feet.
Entries Tagged as 'Miscellaneous'
This New Year’s, make sure that you’re having a good time and still keeping safe. Here are some handy tips on how you can make sure that happens:
1. Make sure someone signs up to be the designated driver (DD) even before the celebrations begin. Don’t assume that someone is going to be the DD, because chances are, they’re going to be assuming the same thing about you!
2. If you can’t find a DD, stay where you are until you are sober enough to drive back, or keep a cab company’s number on speed dial. If cab companies are booked through the night, call a friend or relative you know you can count on (keep their number on speed dial as well) so they can drive you home in a worst case scenario
3. Moderate the amount of alcohol you will drink. While it may be alright to let go in the first day of the new year, don’t drink yourself stupid, i.e. don’t let the drink get you into dangerous or inappropriate situations that you are likely to regret later.
4. Don’t leave your drink unattended, especially if you are in a large party where there are many people in attendance. You will invite additional trouble in the form of substances slipped into it.
5. If you are hosting a party where young people who are below the drinking age will be in attendance (as many family parties will be), color code cups to make sure no mixing is happening. Keep an eye out for children fooling around and daring to get alcohol into their cups; having so many adults drinking around them will invite curiosity and mistakes.
6. Stop alcohol service a few hours before you plan your party to end to make sure no one’s leaving the house drunk. Remember to have non-alcohol options planned out for those guests who do not drink.
7. Make a note to yourself to be less boisterous if you can. New Year’s is a time for many to let their hair down, and people hate being the DD or party pooper (I know I do!). But give a friend you know who always volunteers to be DD a chance by stepping into his shoes so he can have a good time. Start the new year with a good deed!
8. If you have a pet (or can see a pet frightened and agitated) around at a house party, pay special attention to it. The same thing applies to little children (who must always be supervised and chaperoned if necessary). We can assume safely that they may not gel well with noise (like drunken brawls or fireworks) and crowds (inability to sit or sleep in silence) and will react to the inconveniences they will face. Designate a part of the house as a safe, silent zone where they can rest when tired. Many parents may forget that children are not open to staying up late to watch the clock strike twelve.
9. Always have company with you. Do not wander into strange areas alone and make sure to charge your phone well before stepping out for the night.
10. While fireworks are a big no-no, everyone knows that they do come out and make a sneaky appearance on New Year’s. Don’t invite trouble or suspicion from the law if you can help it. If fireworks are allowed in your state, practice safety precautions while using them.
This New Year’s, consider starting your financial plans and goals afresh with a life insurance policy. Term life insurance rates are still low and affordable, so make it a resolution to prepare for contingencies with a life insurance plan in place. If you need access to some quick quotes online, try an aggregator website like AccuQuote. Experienced agents will help you with queries that you may have, and you can take your time to make up your mind and compare policies and rates. And if we all survive the end of the Mayan calendar, have a very happy New Year; we hope it’s an exciting, fun and productive one for you all!
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it reminds me to be thankful even when I don't want to be. November typically ends up being a subdued month, when fall slowly gives way to a cold, bitter winter (especially if you live up here in the northeast). I start to panic thinking of all the things I haven't been able to accomplish through the year, and I give myself the ridiculous deadline of New Year's Eve to look back upon the current year so that I can feel good. Thanksgiving is perfectly poised right before any regret sets in, and by habit (and introspection), I am brought to a place where I force myself to sit down and be thankful for everything I have, and everything I need, and savor the moment for what it is.
We all know that Thanksgiving should not be made a ritualistic retreat marked with turkey, tofurkey or your choice of dinner table spreads to share. We all know that expressing thanks at Thanksgiving is not enough; making a habit of gratitude that translates itself into an attitude that you keep on at all times would be wonderful! But we all know that it's not easy. And so we allow ourselves to be reminded by a special day in a calendar that Thanksgiving is good for the heart, mind and soul.
Some of us will be thankful for our immediate needs that are provided for, like food, shelter, clothing, a steady source of income, and a healthy body. No matter where we may live in the developed world, we are now well aware of how some of these basic needs can be considered a privilege if you live in an impoverished nation.
Some of us will be thankful for abilities and rights given to us in the places in which we live, rights and abilities that are so easily and harshly denied to several millions around the world. I'm referring to freedom of expression and speech, the right to information, a protection from the nation-state in which you live. In the last few years, with the proliferation of mass media, we have been exposed to several instances of such denials, costing people their families and their lives.
Sometimes I like to think of advantages that set me apart and learn to be thankful for them. Knowledge, ability, personality factors and other strengths that make me an asset to the people I know. I also like to count on the novelties of possessions and experiences I have had and acknowledge how special they are to me. I count myself lucky to be able to access support networks, both emotional as well as knowledge-based, to help me out when I land myself in trouble. I also think myself lucky to live in times of great progress and change, and I try to engage myself in this change for my own good or the good of others. Of course, I also count times of hardships and failures as things to be thankful for. Without them as learning experiences, I would have had a lackluster life, one where things came easy and I never knew the real value of development that was achieved.
I’m not forgetting the extraordinary things to be thankful for, like my loved ones who I have come to rely on for many things. Their assuring and faithful presence in my life is an ever present source of encouragement and faith, and I hope all of you have the same too.
And because I work with life insurance, I'm going to be thankful for it too. If it wasn't for the idea that I could purchase a life insurance policy at affordable (sometimes, even throwaway) rates, I would be afraid of not being able to be around to provide for them if something happened to me. I would not know how to prepare for an uncertain future without the help of this valuable financial planning tool and I would certainly never know if my family would make it without me. And uncertainty and fear are the opposite of what one ought to feel every time Thanksgiving comes around.
This Thanksgiving, look up some life insurance quotes (if you don’t already have any in place) and set yourself up with some insurance. Give thanks for this opportunity to provide for your family even when you’re not around. And make the most of this Thursday’s reminder to be grateful, it only comes around once a year!
As climate patterns change around the world, extreme weather patterns are becoming the norm. The devastation that Hurricane Sandy left in its wake is still affecting several thousand families on the east coast, with the slowly setting winter and the snowfall it brings posing its own share of compounded problems. According to a recent study done by insurance firm Munich Re, the number of weather-related disasters in North America has quintupled over the last three decades.
While the states of New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia struggle with rehabilitation and damage control measures, the rest of the country is getting serious about what unexpected natural calamities can do to their communities and families. The clean-up effort is going to cost state and country exchequers heavily, with Governor Cuomo of New York pitching estimates of hurricane damage at $33 billion.
Wildly changing weather patterns and the adverse effects that they will have on the economy cannot be ignored any longer. Rescue and rebuilding efforts will take time, extensive volunteer efforts and precious tax-payer money. Several governing bodies and authorities responsible for disaster preparation (like the Long Island Power Authority and NYC Office of Emergency Management) have been criticized for ignoring forewarning and not building an appropriate response to flooding and hurricane-like events.
It's easy to look at large governing bodies and blame them for not managing and preparing for disaster on time. But what about us? Are we being responsible for our own actions and taking necessary and vital steps to ensure the safety and longevity of our homes, businesses and loved ones?
I'm talking about life insurance, a very fundamental "disaster management" instrument that can be put in place for personal emergencies. You may have heard others stress the importance of life insurance before but never taken it seriously, because you've never felt the need for it. A LIMRA study (LIMRA is the life insurance industry's research standard) indicates that 4 in every 10 persons in the United States has no life insurance coverage at all. Are you a part of more than 40% of this country when it comes to making your life insurance decisions? If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, you shouldn't be sitting on the fence when it comes to life insurance!
1. Do you have loved ones who rely on you financially? This can include spouses, children (including step, adopted and foster children), partners, aging parents and/or relatives or friends you are providing for.
2. Do you want to leave behind an inheritance, either for your children and grandchildren or to an organization or outfit whose causes you believe in? You may also want to leave behind money to a mentee or business associate whose talent and spirit you believe in, and who you believe deserves financial assistance.
3. Are you looking for a way to lighten the burden of funeral expenses that your family will have to bear? You may not be able to benefit from low prices that the young and healthy qualify for, but taking care of the expensive bill that a funeral or cremation will bring is important to you.
4. Do you have debts incurred through business purchases that will go bad (and affect someone else, such as a partner or co-signor) if something happened to you? Even if you don't have family or loved ones relying on your income, your need for life insurance to cover business losses is still very much present!
Life insurance is quite affordable if you buy smart, i.e. buy when you're young and healthy. For a young male in his thirties, the monthly premium can cost less than $40 a month. For term life insurance cover of a couple hundred thousand dollars, you can leave behind income replacement for a few years, money for kids' college or enough to cover the mortgage so your family has a roof over their heads.
Don't take chances with your future. Be prepared for the worst, not out of panic and fear but out of a sense of responsibility to your home and business. Talk to your insurance agent today, or look to an online insurance broker website like AccuQuote.com for free life insurance quotes to help you narrow down on a policy that suits your needs.
It's time for that crazy, spooky, pumpkin-y and terribly sweet festival of the year again! Halloween is fun for people of all ages, because let's face it, we all love sugary highs and don't need an excuse to get on one!