Self Help Tips – How to Age with Optimism – Health – #SelfHelp #Tips

(NewsUSA) – Having a “glass half full” approach to life has long been considered important for overall wellness. But evidence suggests that there may be truth in this folk wisdom.

Humana recently surveyed 2,000 people aged 60 and over, and found that 87 percent of seniors who identify themselves as “most optimistic” reported their health as good to excellent. This is compared to 44 percent for those who said they’re “least optimistic.”

Also, the most optimistic people reported nine fewer physically unhealthy and seven fewer mentally unhealthy days per month than their least optimistic counterparts.

Seniors who rated themselves as most optimistic also reported positively on other attributes linked to health, including sleep, confidence and overall happiness.

* 91 percent of the most optimistic respondents reported feeling confident in the past week, while only 52 percent of the least optimistic respondents did, a difference of 39 percentage points.

* 90 percent of the most optimistic respondents reported feeling happy in the past week, compared to 44 percent of the least optimistic respondents, a difference of 46 percentage points.

* And only 31 percent of the most optimistic respondents reported getting a restless night’s sleep in the past week, while 62 percent of the least optimistic respondents did, another difference of 31 percentage points.

Despite these impressive numbers, having an optimistic mindset is often easier said than done. The stresses of life, social stereotypes and one’s natural temperament can all impede approaching aging with optimism. Dr. Yolangel Hernandez Suarez, Humana vice president and chief medical officer for care delivery, has the following advice for anyone struggling to stay on the sunny side of life:

1. Take ownership and recognize that your health is your own. To achieve your best health, you need to set personal goals – just for you.

2. Engage with your doctor or other health care professional and build a trusting relationship.

3. Find a higher purpose that makes you excited to get up in the morning. Humana’s survey found that the majority of respondents (86 percent) who identify as optimists also rank a sense of purpose as an important attribute for aging.

4. Remain socially engaged, not isolated, and nurture close relationships. The importance of social engagement is recognized by the 71 percent of Humana survey respondents who identify as optimists and get together with friends or relatives either monthly or weekly. Further, 80 percent of optimists say maintaining an active social life is an important motivator to stay healthy.

5. Stay active and remember that physical activity is important. Find something that’s right for you and that you like to do. Almost all of the most optimistic survey respondents (97 percent) say remaining physically active is a major motivator for retaining good health.

6. Practice gratitude and make it a habit to look for and appreciate everything you’re thankful for in life.

“As a boomer myself, I know that the majority of the decisions about my own health take place outside of a doctor’s office,” said Dr. Hernandez Suarez. “With the knowledge that optimism may be linked to health and well-being, I’m focused on making positive health decisions through all aspects of my life. Our goal at Humana is to empower everyone to approach health in the same way.”

 



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Self Help Tips – 7 Steps to Get Financially Fit in 2018 – Money – #SelfHelp #Tips

(NewsUSA) – As 2017 draws to a close, you may be thinking about next year’s resolutions. While many of us vow to get to the gym, you may want to consider getting fit in your personal finances before 2018 even begins.

Here are seven money moves to make before the clock hits midnight that will start your year on the right foot.

* Declutter and sell: Have an aunt that gives you an ugly sweater every holiday? Consider selling your unwanted clothes, gift cards, electronics, and the like, online. Sites such as Raise, thredUP, and Ebay are great places to sell your unwanted items and earn extra cash.

* Start investing: Investing doesn’t have to be scary. And you can start small (such as taking the extra cash you earned from selling your unwanted items!). The easiest way to start investing is to make sure you are enrolled in your employers’ retirement savings plan. You can also use apps such as Stash, Robinhood, or Acorns to begin.

* Check your credit report: Planning on making any big purchases in 2018? Your credit report contains information about the status of your credit accounts and your bill-paying history. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recommends checking your report at least once a year, and check again before applying for loans for big purchases such as cars or a home. Keep in mind that if your credit is frozen, you can anticipate a $20-$30 charge to unfreeze your credit so a report can be run.

* Make a plan to ditch your debt: Evaluate all the different loans and any credit card debt that you’ve accrued and consider combining them into a single loan with one easy payment. A loan with LendingClub transfers all your different debts into one place, and with a much lower interest rate.

“Managing one payment is a lot easier,” says Alia Dudum, consumer debt expert for LendingClub.

“With lower interest rates on your debt through loan consolidation, you’re setting 2018 up as your best year yet.”

* Create a budget: Ah, the dreaded “B” word. To avoid taking on even more debt in 2018, make a budget to plan your spending. Think about your net income, allocate 10 percent of your paycheck to your savings, itemize necessary expenses, and then you an use what’s leftover for vacations, shopping, and eating out.

* Take a money minute: Get into the habit of scheduling time to look at your spending and checking in on your financial goals. Put an alert on your calendar to check it once a week. You should also make this a family affair by scheduling meetings with your spouse, parents and children to talk about your financial status and your financial goals.

* Reward yourself: If your downfall is spending and racking up credit card debt, for example, allocate a small amount of money to treat yourself to something small once you have reached a specific financial goal, such as paying off that one credit card, not eating out every day, or sticking to your budget.

LendingClub is a smarter way to take your debt head-on in 2018. For more ideas on how to make 2018 a prosperous year, visit www.lendingclub.com to connect with experts who can help.



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Self Help Tips – Are Fewer New Year’s Financial Resolutions A Worrisome Sign of Inertia? – Money – #SelfHelp #Tips

Are Fewer New Year's Financial Resolutions A Worrisome Sign of Inertia? - Money

(NewsUSA) – Blame it on things being too good?

As America enters the ninth year of a bull stock market, the number of people making year-end financial resolutions is at an all-time low, according to the ninth annual “Fidelity Investments New Year Financial Resolutions Study.” And its authors say that’s because so many “are feeling better about their personal financial situation and are generally optimistic about what 2018 will bring.”

In fact, only a paltry 27 percent of respondents said they intended to make a financial resolution this year. That’s down 16 percent from the high of 43 percent who answered similarly heading into 2014, and – here’s the study’s main red flag – could actually signal a worrisome sense of “inertia” settling in.

“Now is not the time to take one’s foot off the pedal, because good financial times can represent the best opportunities to help achieve your goals and establish saving and investment habits that can get one through good times and bad,” warned Ken Hevert, Fidelity’s senior vice president of retirement.

So what were this year’s top three vows?

The same as last year’s: save more, reduce debt, and spend less. Where that starts getting interesting, though, is that when you look at those respondents who ended 2017 feeling better about their finances – and they were at a record high – a whopping 66 percent singled out being able to “save more” as a major factor.

Dig down to Millennials – who recently surpassed Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation – and it turns out they’re the most euphoric demo of all. Not only did 78 percent of those surveyed report that higher savings had improved their finances, but 90 percent believe they’ll be even better off in 2018.

That’s not to imply that all is “Happy Days Are Here Again.” (Note to Millennials: That’s the title of a song associated with both Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Barbra Streisand, whom you may have heard referred to as “Babs” by some of your parents.)

Fifty-seven percent of all respondents cited “unexpected expenses” as one of their top concerns for 2018, and a large chunk of them were so spooked by all the natural disasters we’ve been experiencing that they’re planning on increasing their emergency funds.

Which brings us to the big question anyone who’s ever made any kind of resolution grapples with: How to maintain your momentum past January?

As far as your finances go, know that two of the best strategies that worked for the study’s respondents were:

* Breaking a goal into smaller, more attainable targets.

* Rewarding yourself for hitting milestones along the way.

More in-depth tips from Fidelity, titled “3 Ways to Succeed at New Year’s Resolutions,” is available at fidelity.com/resolutions. And for those who really want a financial reality check, including tax guidance, there’s “Savvy Money Moves to Make Before Year-End” and “Five Things to Review Annually.”

Fidelity’s Hevert even has a piece of advice for those who disdain financial resolutions entirely: “Make saving and investing a permanent habit, not just a once-a-year vow.”

 



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Self Help Tips – Hit Reset with a Kitchen Lighting Update – Home – #SelfHelp #Tips

Hit Reset with a Kitchen Lighting Update - Home

(NewsUSA) – Ready for a redo? Many homeowners resolve to kick-start a new year by making improvements to themselves as well as their home. When it comes to home renovations, the first place on which most people focus their attention is the kitchen.

According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), popular trends in finish-outs and appliances are impacting kitchen lighting choices.

In general, kitchen design is trending toward the contemporary side. Jeff Dross, corporate director of education and industry trends for Kichler Lighting, explains that homeowners with previously traditional taste are looking for more transitional products, while transitional homeowners are moving toward a soft contemporary décor.

And many of those with existing soft contemporary furnishings are switching to a more austere contemporary solution.

Countertops Impact Lighting: While granite is still used in entry- and mid-level homes, most highest-end countertops are now quartz-based, particularly with a matte finish, also sometimes called suede, honed or leathered. The matte-finish trend alleviates the tricky business of providing adequate illumination in kitchens without causing glare from glossy countertops that have been popular for the past decade.

Dark Appliances Require More Light: The use of black stainless appliances is on the rise, which eliminates unsightly fingerprints, but creates the need for additional light in the surrounding space. “Black stainless has lower reflectance than white or stainless steel appliances, making the room appear darker,” says Dross. “The trend toward more involved backsplash materials makes lighting even more important.”

Taller Ceilings Mean Taller Fixtures: Over the past 15 or so years, ceiling heights have become higher with 9 feet becoming the accepted minimum height. It is now common for North American homes to have ceilings 10 to 12 feet high. That means taller sconces and taller chandeliers are necessary to fill the additional space.

“In addition to taller ceilings, center islands are now substantially bigger than in the past,” says Dross. “That means the tiny, mini-pendants that were all the rage a few years ago are disappearing. Kitchens demand larger, taller pendants.”

Before jumping into a kitchen renovation, it is best to design a lighting plan to make sure your fixtures are the right size and style for your new space. A professional lighting consultant at your local ALA-member showroom can work with you to develop a plan and provide the most-up-to-date lighting styles and technology. To find a list of nearby ALA showrooms, go online to americanlightingassoc.com.

 



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Self Help Tips – Creative Gift Giving Is Easier Than You Think – Seasonal – #SelfHelp #Tips

Creative Gift Giving Is Easier Than You Think - Seasonal

(NewsUSA)http://www.newsusa.com/ – It’s no secret that shopping for holiday gifts can be overwhelming.

The answer to alleviating the stress of thoughtful gift giving comes in a cardboard box.

Seriously.

Subscription box services are popular options for a “gift that keeps on giving,” providing a personalized experience delivered safely every month.

In fact, in a survey conducted by the Paper and Packaging Board from August 2015 to November 2016, 82 percent of those surveyed agreed that they could rely on corrugated cardboard boxes to get their merchandise shipped and delivered safely. And 60 percent feel that products that come in paper-packaging tend to feel more premium.

Innovations in box and packaging design allow these boxes to delight well past delivery with extended use and upcycling options.

Find the perfect gift for your loved one this season with one of these favorites:

* KiwiCo (Kiwico.com):

For the Kid Who Is Going to Run the World.

KiwiCo develops monthly STEAM educational hands-on projects and activities to spark curiosity and creativity in kids aged 0-16+.

Each eco-friendly corrugated box is filled with interactive projects to fit a child’s respective age group. As your child or loved one grows, so do the boxes!

* Loot Crate (LootCrate.com): For the Pop-Culture Obsessed.

Loot Crate is a pop culture- themed subscription box featuring a changing monthly theme that covers all fandoms.

These corrugated boxes hit every interest from video games to television and movies. Loot Crate offers an additional perk – the box is part of the monthly theme itself, which is to say, the box transforms into a “bonus” gift with some simple cuts and folds. You have to see it to believe it.

* Graze (Graze.com) – For the Foodie.

Graze is a subscription box that uses high-quality, nutritionist- approved ingredients to provide wholesome snacks. Graze uses responsibly resourced paper-based packaging to ensure that its products are safe and fresh for consumption.

Foodies can subscribe for weekly, bi-weekly or monthly deliveries of personalized Graze boxes based on their custom-snack profile.

*KitNipBox (KitNipBox.com): For the Cat Lover.

KitNipBox is uniquely themed so cats (and their humans!) have something fresh, fun and new to look forward to each month. The design of the box, which can be recycled, is specifically made to fit 95 percent of cats, so they can play with the box and fit inside of it.

Additionally, KitNipBox uses specially designed crinkling tissue paper in the boxes, so that the unwrapping experience is even more special for cats and their owners.

* Cratejoy (Cratejoy.com):

For Everyone.

Cratejoy is the world’s premier subscription box website, providing a global marketplace of products.

Cratejoy offers a vast selection of uniquely crafted corrugated boxes suited to virtually any hobby, interest or taste.

Gifting a subscription box service is an easy yet thoughtful option for anyone on your shopping list! Unbox an experience that will last long past this holiday season. Find out more by visiting HowLifeUnfolds.com

Click here to view video.

 



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Self Help Tips – New Books Offer Retirees The Way To Plan For Retirement – Tips – #SelfHelp #Tips

(NewsUSA) – Social Security, Medicare and supplemental insurance, long-term care, IRAs, life insurance, post-retirement investments and income taxes can all affect the success of your retirement. To that end, an easy-to-understand book and workbook are now available to help guide you in this process.

“The Complete Cardinal Guide to Planning for and Living in Retirement,” an Amazon bestseller, and the accompanying workbook, written by Hans E. Scheil, CFP, can answer your questions about retirement, such as:

* When do I?start my Social Security check?

* How do I?supplement Medi-care?

* Should I purchase Long-Term Care Insurance?

*What should I do with my IRA or 401(k)?

* Am I investing and creating enough income in retirement?

* What about income taxes after age 65?

* How do I handle life insurance and transferring assets to children and grandchildren?

* How do I choose financial and legal professionals to help me?

Long-term care planning is one subject both books explain in depth. The average annual cost for nursing home care is $85,755 and in-home care is $49,192, according to Genworth. This cost can go on for years and many retirees, as well as their adult children, do not have a plan to pay for this. There are options available for covering long-term care, which are outlined in the books.

“The consequences of failing to plan for long-term care are suffered by the family,” Scheil says in his book. “I deal with family members all the time who are doing last- minute planning for a client who has just checked into a facility or is receiving care at home. I experience the confusion, fear, anxiety, pain, and disappointment that comes with these situations. The adult children have a tough time with it. Our job at Cardinal is to help people avoid or minimize these challenges.”

Throughout his 41 years in the financial services industry, Scheil has worked with clients age 65- plus to provide them with the financial solutions they need to have a successful retirement. He also shares his experience caring for his mother, father and grandmother in their later years.

In his books, Scheil addresses the major problems retirees can face and provides simple strategies that can be put in place with the help of a qualified professional.

Scheil is a Certified Financial Planner professional who accepts speaking engagements to help educate the public on the basics of planning for retirement. Hans serves clients in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

To get the books, visit Amazon.com or your local library. To get more information, call (919) 535-8261 or go to CardinalGuide.com.

 



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Self Help Tips – Brighten Up Your New Year with These Lighting Trends – Home – #SelfHelp #Tips

(NewsUSA) – The beginning of a new year is an opportunity for a fresh start for your home.

One easy change that will make a big impact is a lighting update. Simply changing a fixture – a chandelier, a few pendants or even just a table lamp – can give a room a whole new look. So whether you are considering a minor update or a major renovation, stay on top of the latest lighting trends with a few tips from the American Lighting Association (ALA).

Mix and Match

Your home is a reflection of your style and personality. Create your own look by bringing in fixtures of various styles and finishes.

“One of today’s popular design trends encourages individuals to create unique lighting designs by mixing and matching their favorite fixtures within the same space,” says Jennifer Kis, director of marketing communications for Progress Lighting. “There is no need to feel limited by fixtures, or even finishes, in one particular collection. Coordinating complementary pieces creates a cohesive feel to the home, while also reinforcing your design style.”

Lighting manufacturers are making it easier for homeowners to select fixtures that work well together by offering collections that feature details and finishes that are complementary to a range of fixture families.

Bring the Outside In

Look outside for inspiration. Using interior design elements in outdoor spaces has been popular in recent years. But gaining popularity lately is the idea of incorporating exterior fixtures with inside décor.

“We have seen a lot of creative ways designers are using a variety of exterior lanterns inside,” says Kis. “Nature-inspired elements and outdoor wall sconces or hanging lanterns that are traditionally used to enhance curb appeal can also be ideal when incorporated into interior design schemes within the home.”

Pendants are Perfect

For versatility and compatibility, opt for pendants. Available in a seemingly infinite array of shapes, colors, sizes, finishes and materials, pendants are more popular than ever. These adaptable fixtures can be hung in groupings of two, three, four or more, depending on a particular space and need. Pendants can serve as overall task or ambient lighting, as well as add visual interest and beauty to the overall décor.

For more information, and to find a list of local ALA-member lighting showrooms where you can see the latest fixture styles and talk with a professional lightingconsultant, go online to americanlightingassoc.com.

 



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Self Help Tips – Easing Senior Loneliness – It’s More Important Than We Think – Seniors – #SelfHelp #Tips

(NewsUSA) – Social isolation is a little-thought-of, but growing, factor in the health and well-being of people 65 and older – and it may play a greater role than obesity as a public health hazard, according to research at Brigham Young University.

But what does “social isolation” really mean? It’s how often we interact with others, and how much we enjoy those connections. In fact, social interaction is so important that it’s actually a key factor in maintaining good health.

As we age, a support system is more important than ever – because often, basic life circumstances may have changed. For example, seniors may be on a fixed income, with less money to spend on eating out. Or may not see well enough to drive. Bottom line, it can become difficult to fulfill the basic human need to connect with others.

“Relationships really do matter when it comes to healthy aging, because there’s a strong correlation between a satisfying social life and a senior’s overall well-being,” says Larry Weinstein M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Humana Behavioral Health. “If you’re feeling isolated, the first step is to talk your doctor, and it’s important to reach out to family and friends for encouragement and support. There also are lifestyle changes we can make to better nurture our emotional health, and by extension, our physical health.”

Humana’s Dr. Weinstein recommends five ways in which to become more active and engaged:

1. Socialize on Schedule

Nurture existing relationships by scheduling a weekly phone call, coffee date, or game night with friends or family.

2. Volunteer

If you love animals, consider volunteering at a local shelter. Or comforting babies at a hospital.

3. Stay Active

Local senior and community centers offer health and wellness activities, exercise classes, walking clubs, and social programs, often at little to no cost.

4. Learn Something New

Join a book club or take a class to learn a new skill. Local libraries are a wonderful community resource, often offering seminars free of charge.

5. Get a Pet

Pets are wonderful companions. Choose a pet that suits your needs. For example, an older, trained dog is easier to care for than a puppy. Or a cat or fish might be a good fit.

When it comes to maintaining good health, social interaction matters. If you – or a loved one – are struggling with social isolation, please contact your physician.

And for more information on health and wellness, please visit humana.com.

 



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Self Help Tips – How to Boost Your Business in The UK – Business – #SelfHelp #Tips

How to Boost Your Business in The UK - Business

(NewsUSA) – The term “global economy” has been bandied about for more than a decade and there is no doubt that with evolving technology, businesses can go global from anywhere in the world.

To that end, if you’re looking for a new direction to take your interests, you may want to consider the United Kingdom (UK). Taking a business to the UK can be a unique and profitable opportunity when equipped with the right insight.

But keep these simple strategies in mind to help avoid pitfalls when entering the UK market:

-Prepare. Before exploring taking your business to the UK, do your due diligence. Be aware of opportunities to launch your business in conjunction with an annual show or exhibition, or by putting on your own event designed to appeal to UK consumers.

-Plan. Several elements of expanding a business overseas are the same as those for expanding within the United States – locating space, hiring staff, and creating local interest and buzz.

However, these tasks can be challenging to complete remotely and having local insight on factors including competitors, the right route to market, and the appetites and demands of customers/consumers allows an incoming business to be more efficient and effective.

-Partner. A common pitfall that businesses may encounter when establishing a foothold in the UK is trying to manage everything from the United States.

Forming a partnership with a local marketing group can help incoming companies understand the local business environment and open up networks.

-Purpose. Determine the goals you want to achieve with your business expansion.

For consumer goods, pop-ups are one way to test the waters by setting up a short-term shop. Consider social media campaigns and focus groups. But remember that what sells in the United States may not sell the same way in the UK. Determine whether your business brand travels well and what products or services will be a hit by utilizing local experts to design ways to target your core audience.

-Profit. Many factors make the UK a desirable place to grow a business and increase profits, including tax breaks, flexible employment, and a diverse population.

Partnering with a local company that specializes in helping businesses enter the UK ensures that you make the most of this new market opportunity.

For more information, call 646-905-0646 or go to rochesterprgroup.com to find more information and advice about expanding your business to the U.K.

 



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Self Help Tips – Do Your Health Insurance Homework – Health – #SelfHelp #Tips

Do Your Health Insurance Homework - Health

(NewsUSA) – Fall means not only shorter days and colorful leaves, but also the season of open enrollment for health insurance for most Americans.

Employer-sponsored benefits can be confusing, and a combination of doing some homework and seeking expert advice can help most individuals make the most of the plans available to them.

Confusion over health insurance remains a common problem; approximately 76 percent of American workers reported that they did not understand some elements of their health insurance, according to the 2017 Aflac WorkForces Report conducted by Lightspeed GMI on behalf of insurance provider Aflac.

Areas of concern reported by survey respondents included deductibles, copays, and the determination of whether a health care provider is in-network.

Consumer education is the key to making smart decisions during open enrollment periods, according to Aflac, which offers three top tips for maximizing health insurance.

-Be prepared. Before your employer opens enrollment for health insurance this year, take the time to look into all the available options. Data from Aflac’s consumer survey showed that 83 percent of workers spent less than an hour researching potential health insurance benefit plans, and 20 percent of those did no research on health insurance plans at all.

-Be advised. Get expert help. The Aflac survey found that approximately two-thirds (67 percent) of workers said they were confident that they understood all aspects of the health insurance plans for which they signed up.

However, only 24 percent said they understood everything when they were questioned in more detail about deductibles, copays, and in-network providers.

-Be enhanced. Consider additional voluntary insurance coverage to help fill the holes in employer-offered plans. Approximately 81 percent of employees report a need for voluntary insurance benefits, according to the Aflac survey, and 90 percent say that they view voluntary insurance as essential to a complete health benefits program.

Some examples of voluntary insurance include not only health insurance, but also accident insurance, insurance for critical illness, and insurance for hospital stays, which may not be covered by an employer’s insurance. Voluntary insurance also can be used to help with expenses associated with gas, groceries, and rent for individuals with illnesses or injuries that prevent them from working.

Visit Aflac.com for more information about options for health benefits and how to choose a benefits plan.



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Self Help Tips – Contemporary Style – What It Is And Tips for Your Home – Home – #SelfHelp #Tips

Contemporary Style - What It Is And Tips for Your Home - Home

(NewsUSA) – Contemporary style and design are everywhere and can be a foundation for many new homes built today.

But what exactly does that mean and how can it be incorporated into existing homes?

“Contemporary style is really about reduction – reducing things to their essence and having really clean lines and uncluttered spaces,” says Alan Pickett, Pella Corporation’s resident architect.

Current contemporary design offers a softer take on modern – it has the same simple, clean lines, but with decoration that is naturally minimalistic. Light, color, and fabrics all play a part in gaining a contemporary look for your home.

Today’s contemporary-style dwellings will have asymmetrical shapes, windows with minimal trim in a contrasting or dark color, and a lot of glass and other textures.

The following tips from Iowa-based Pella Windows can help you find just the right design to accent your home:

* Add neutrals with color – One clear sign of contemporary design is neutral tones, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring.

Shades of gray and blue are particularly prevalent in contemporary style, and white and taupe color palettes allow for simple, bold colors to take center stage as in favorite wall photos or a definitive area rug.

*Let the light in – Light and shadow in a space are key to contemporary style and are much less about decoration. Not only do the light fixtures need to have straight lines and sleek metallic finishes, but even the windows in your home can outline its contemporary design. Windows with a vast expanse of glass and thin frames, such as Pella’s Architect Series Contemporary line of wood windows, can engulf a room in light and be the foundation for achieving contemporary style.

* Use textiles – In reducing things to the essence, silk, wool, linen and cotton – all natural fabrics – are typically used to highlight the clean lines of contemporary design.

This also means having furniture with less ornamentation and using natural materials such as wood with less grain. The natural textiles also offer the option of adding bold color into a minimalist space.

* Mix it up – Most homes today are going to have some existing traditional elements – such as crown molding – but don’t let that stand in your way. Paint the existing design features in the previously mentioned neutral colors – shades of gray and blue, white and taupe. Then add an accent color and some contemporary furniture that will pull the traditional and contemporary vision together.

You can find more contemporary trend tips at Pella.com.



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Self Help Tips – Encourage a Love of Reading During National Family Literacy Month – Education – #SelfHelp #Tips

(NewsUSA) – For many parents, it’s a struggle to get kids to read outside of the classroom, but November is the perfect time to change that, because it’s National Family Literacy Month.

The importance of reading goes well beyond acing a test or getting an “A” on a book report. It’s a lifelong skill that helps you to better understand the world around you and even yourself. And it’s becoming increasingly important to ensure that kids don’t become non-readers in their busy, over-connected daily lives.

“Reading opens up so many possibilities, from discovering a new interest to sparking untapped creativity. Best of all, it is a great way to spend time together as a family,” says Emily Levitt, vice president of Education for Sylvan Learning.

Here are a few suggestions to help kids to fall in love with reading, and to share fun, memorable reading experiences together as a family.

* Read Aloud — The easiest way to get kids interested in reading and to build their vocabulary is for parents to read aloud to their children, no matter their ages. Kids will often skip over words they don’t recognize when reading alone, but if they hear their parents say the word, they may ask for the definition. Putting aside just 15 minutes a week to read aloud to kids can make a difference.

* Start a Book Club — Starting a book club with a group of your kid’s friends and their parents is a great way to make reading fun. Give participants a month to read the selected book, then organize a party where everyone can chat and enjoy themed snacks.

* Stick with What They Like — Kids will be more inclined to read if it’s about something they’re already interested in. And if you can share that interest with them, that’s even better! And because not everyone loves the same subjects or genres, try to at least hook them with engaging books on whatever they enjoy — be it baseball, magic or anything else.

* Monkey See, Monkey Do — It’s important that kids see their parents reading. If they don’t, it’s an unspoken statement to your child that it’s okay not to read. From crossword puzzles to comic books, it’s easier than you think to build literacy as a family. Make a conscious effort to set time aside time for you and your kids to read together.

* Deploy Backup — Not every child is a natural born reader and even kids who are great readers can use reading help.

Sylvan Learning offers reading programs from Pre-K through Grade 12. And because no two children are exactly alike, they personalize reading tutoring for each child, giving kids the personal attention and confidence they need to thrive.

For more information, please visit www.sylvanlearning.com.

 



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Self Help Tips – Post-Hurricanes Harvey and Irma – How to Prepare For the Next Storm – Home – #SelfHelp #Tips

(NewsUSA) – Sponsored by GAF – When did you ever think you’d see much of Houston submerged under several feet of floodwaters? Or more than 6 million Floridians ordered to evacuate in anticipation of a storm that would ultimately prove so monstrous that seemingly anything that wasn’t nailed down might turn into what locals called “dangerous flying projectiles?”

But both those things just happened as first Hurricane Harvey and then Hurricane Irma laid a path of death and destruction that boggled the mind.

“Such a vicious one-two punch hasn’t hit the U.S. in over a century,” National Geographic reported.

And with the official end of hurricane season not until November 30, homeowners can’t be blamed for wondering what to do, proactively, to increase their odds of beating future challenges from Mother Nature. Read on for some ideas.

* Clean your gutters. Even in perfect weather, Angie’s List says you’re looking at a possible “nightmare” if they’re so clogged with mounds of leaves, sticks, and other debris that it causes your roof to leak. Factor in a hurricane-strength rainstorm, though, and the very roofing system component meant to control the flow of all that water -; thereby protecting your roof, walls, foundation, and landscape from flooding -; can be about as useful as a virus-infected laptop.

“If you let gutter cleaning go by the wayside, it could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars,” the website warns.

* Trim weak tree branches. One of the many tragedies in Texas involved a 60-year-old woman who died when a tree crashed on her home while she slept.

That’s the extreme end of what can happen.

Far more common is wondering how you’ll rebuild after the battering your house just took from a fallen branch. And as the New York Times reports, “Tragedy’s hand may be unpredictable, but the road to recovery is forged in the language of your homeowner insurance policy, words that will determine how — and if — you will be made whole again.”

* Make sure your roof is in good condition. If you haven’t done so already, now’s the time to have a professional roofing contractor check for and fix any signs of wear and tear like broken or missing shingles. And since manufacturer’s warranties typically don’t cover roof damage caused by disasters like hurricanes, you’ll also want to review both your own warranty and home insurance policy to fully understand the coverage and any restrictions.

“If you are going to replace your roof, consider shingles that have passed the UL2218, Class 4 impact test, the toughest in the industry,” says Jason Joplin, program manager of CARE (the GAF Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence).

Joplin especially likes the Timberline ArmorShield II line of shingles from GAF (gaf.com), North America’s largest roofing manufacturer. In addition to looking good, they’re made with SBS modified asphalt, which he describes as “a rubber-like material for enhanced flexibility and durability during extreme weather conditions.”

Added bonus: Depending on where you live, shingles that pass UL2218, Class 4 impact tests may also qualify for significant discounts on that homeowners insurance of yours.

* Reinforce windows. Four words say it all: flying shards of glass.

You don’t want them. Which is why the Federal Emergency Management Agency – in describing windows as “particularly vulnerable” – recommends springing for either impact-resistant glazing or permanent storm shutters. (A grief-saving tip from FEMA: “Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.)

 



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Self Help Tips – Parents Get Help Coaching Teen Drivers from Michelin, NFL Star – Auto – #SelfHelp #Tips

(NewsUSA) -; As a parent, there is no shortage of things to worry about when it comes to your kids. If you have teenagers, that anxiety can rise even more, especially when they start to drive.

Car crashes remain the top killer of teenagers in the United States, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

To bring awareness of teen driver safety among teens and parents, top tire manufacturer Michelin has teamed up with football legend -; father of a teen driver -; Emmitt Smith in an educational campaign, “Coaching Your Teen Driver.”

“As parents, we play a critical role in coaching our teens to be safe drivers,” Smith says in a statement announcing the campaign in conjunction with National Teen Driver Safety Week.

“Keeping a cool head on the road starts with a strategy and a plan -; that’s where Michelin’s resources for coaching your teen driver can help.”

The campaign features a downloadable handbook that includes practical road safety advice for coaches and trainees, as well as a series of “offensive” and “defensive” driving plays to master with your teen driver.

Offense: The handbook’s offensive driving plays are designed to build new drivers’ confidence on the road. Offensive plays include adjusting mirrors for maximum visibility, as well as changing lanes, passing other cars and merging smoothly onto highways safely and with confidence.

Defense: Defensive driving maneuvers are essential for safety on the road. The handbook reinforces key defensive driving plays, such as how to manage tailgaters, drive safely near large trucks, keep a safe following distance and respond to changes in road conditions due to weather or other factors.”

The handbook also emphasizes critical tips for coaches -; such as knowing when to call a “time out” and pull over when stress levels rise, and the importance of conducting a “post-game analysis” with your teen after the driving lesson to review what went well and where they can still improve.

In addition, a section on basic vehicle and tire maintenance includes information that teens should know to stay safe on the road, but that often are not taught in drivers’ education classes.

“Sharing even simple tips with teens, like how to maintain tires, could result in a few extra feet of stopping distance that could mean the difference between life and death,” Scott Clark, chief operating officer for Michelin North America says in the statement.

Find more driving and tire safety information for teens – and download the full Coach’s Handbook – at www.MichelinMan.com/SharingSafety.

 



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Self Help Tips – How to Increase Your Savings on Your Terms – Business – #SelfHelp #Tips

(NewsUSA) – “You need to save money.” You tell yourself this. Others tell you this too. However, according to the 2015 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households*, approximately nine million U.S. households don’t use any type of bank account to save their money. Since banks tend to offer similar products and services, even those who do save often don’t see a need to explore their options. Understanding the ins and outs of saving for the future is the first step to becoming a successful saver.

It’s important to note that all savings accounts are not created equal. Online bank accounts often offer higher yields than traditional bank branches, with savings account interest rates and certificate of deposit (CD) interest rates that are higher than the national average annual percentage yield (APY).

For instance, Goldman Sachs Bank USA (GS Bank) empowers consumers to save by offering a high yield savings account and CDs to help achieve savings goals, while at the same time providing the convenience and the security of a traditional bank. Additional advantages include no minimum deposit required to open an account, no transactions fees and only a $1 balance required to earn the APY associated with an account. With the backing of Goldman Sachs, GS Bank customers have access to a range of savings products that will help them save, as well as the expertise of a 148-year-old financial institution.

Digital alternatives to traditional banking don’t have the overhead that comes with managing branches and are therefore able to be more competitive with their rates, providing consumers with a realistic way to accumulate savings with higher interest rates and a stronger financial portfolio.

Accumulating savings can be difficult at any age. Here are some small steps that can make a big difference in the long run:

Make a budget: If you don’t know what you’re spending each month, start paying attention. Track your spending for a few months and make a budget to live by. Track the money you save by eliminating unnecessary spending and put it right into your online savings account.

Split-deposit paychecks: Consider having your employer split-deposit your paycheck to your checking account and a separate high-yield savings account. This way, saving becomes automatic and because your savings account is separate, you might be less tempted to spend it.

Manage spending: For instance, you could save money by bringing your lunch. If, for example, you average $8 a day for lunch at work, that’s $40 per week and $2,000 per year. It adds up. If you were to bring your lunch from home for about $2 per day, you could achieve a savings of $1,500 per year to add to your savings account. Homemade sandwiches taste pretty good when you’re watching your savings grow.

Sock your money away: Once you accumulate significant savings, you may want to move some of your savings to an FDIC-insured fixed-rate CD account to lock in an interest rate. A CD is a type of savings tool that offers a higher rate than most standard savings accounts. Generally, there is little risk and most typically don’t have monthly fees.

Keep your savings safe and secure: Consider keeping all or a portion of your core savings in an FDIC-insured bank. This can mean keeping your money in savings or CD accounts that are insured by the FDIC up to the maximum allowed by law. According to the FDIC**, since the FDIC was established in 1933, no depositor has lost a penny of FDIC-insured funds. For more information about FDIC deposit insurance coverage and limits, visit FDIC.gov/deposit.

As you work towards achieving your savings goals, you can learn more about savings strategies and financial insights from GS Bank by visiting www.GSBank.com. Have additional questions? You’ll find someone to connect with at 1-855-730-SAVE (7283). Start saving more right now to make a difference for your future.

*2015 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households (link to: https://www.fdic.gov/householdsurvey/) **According to the FDIC (link to: https://www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/) **According to the 2015 FDIC



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