Emergency Fund - How Much Is Enough?

How much should I save for an emergency fund, you ask? Well, that's a highly debated topic. The answer is, it DEPENDS. Before I get into how much is enough, let's back track and talk a little about the purpose of an emergency fund. Webster's dictionary says that an emergency fund is "an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action." That "call for action" is the second part of this topic, FUND.

So, what kind of emergencies are we talking about? Here are four common emergencies that come to mind:

1-You lose your income. This one is all too familiar to Americans in this economy. When you lose your job, what do you do? Most take out unemployment benefits. Unfortunately, the government's unemployment check will barely cover the food bill. To make up the difference, an emergency fund would help ease the strain of unemployment while you search for a new job.

2-Unexpected car repairs. How many times have you hard of people complaining about unexpected auto repairs? Things like transmission failures, blown head gaskets, and serious engine damage. These problems can cost a pretty penny and most families don't factor this into their monthly budget. So when a car repair is needed, where does the money come from? An emergency fund would be helpful. You could use emergency funds for the car repair and your monthly family budget would be unscathed.

3-Home repairs. Having lived with my parents for 22 years, I'm all too familiar with home repairs. Septic tanks, water heater, plumbing leaks, upgrading windows, and air handler units come to mind. These are not cheap to replace by any means. And what if your house floods? And what if a fire burns everything you own? These are issues you need to plan in advance for. Part of planning in advance is having an adequate emergency fund.

4-Medical problems. We all know how expensive health insurance is. And even then, almost all insurance plans don't cover 100% of major procedures and medicine prescriptions. Oh, have I mentioned medical bills are one of the top reasons why Americans file for bankruptcy? Step one is to have great health insurance. Step two is to have an emergency fund on hand.

Now, how much is enough for an emergency fund? This will be up to the individual and unique circumstances. Many of you know of Dave Ramsey. He created Financial Peace University. His program recommends a 6 month emergency fund. I tend to agree with him. Some financial experts recommend more than that but most agree that 6 months is a nice cushion to have if an emergency arises. A 6 month emergency fund should include all typical expenses for a six month period of time. These things include but are not limited to: groceries, rent, gas, insurance, etc...

Currently, I'm in the process of building my 6 month emergency fund. Along with saving for getting married someday and saving for retirement, I make my emergency a fund a priority. Once it's fully funded, I will be able to funnel additional income towards my retirements accounts.

I also want to point out that it's better to pay off your debt before you save for an emergency fund. It's as clear cut as that. If you have debt, pay it off immediately. Who wants to be paying a bank interest! I'd rather be making interest off of them!

So, where should you place your emergency funds? I like to keep life simple. Some people make things complicated and have numerous accounts to make an extra.5% of their emergency fund. I like having all my accounts in one location. I'm with a local credit union and have all my accounts with them. I have a checking account, general savings, and an emergency fund account. If you so desire, ING and Ally have high interest savings accounts. It's important to title your account "emergency." This will ward off any temptation to retrieve funds from that account. The goal is to never touch it unless you desperately have to.

I would like to end this article on a Biblical note. Some Christians believe that you should trust God whole heartedly with finances and to not take it out of his control. I see it a little differently. The Bible clearly describes two contrasts, one who is a fool with his money and one who is wise with it. The Bible is as clear as day on this topic. God provides us with tools to be wise with our money. Saving money is not a bad thing. As long as you are giving a portion of your money away to His kingdom, saving is a Christian habit. I believe God wants us to have emergency funds but he also wants us to trust Him for our daily bread. I'll end with two Bible verses:

Proverbs 21:10- "In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has."

Proverbs 27:12- "A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences."

Now start saving for that emergency fund!

-JE

Hearing Aids Prices

Hearing aids were first manufactured with the intent of helping our brothers who are either deaf or hard of hearing but currently they are complaining of the high cost of these hearing aids prices and their complaints are not being heard and the immediate problem they normally face is that hearing aids are not usually covered by the regular health insurance plans while cochlear implants are. Even Medicare, the government's own health insurance provider does not include hearing aids on their many benefits, even including a statement on non-coverage of routine hearing exams and aids in hearing.

One of the reasons why there are few insurance companies who have coverage of hearing tools is that the numbers as they say do not justify coverage since there are more hard of hearing patients than deaf people who can get more out of cochlear implants and there are improvements on the said technology that may allow hard of hearing patients to use the implants as well.

Now the dilemma that faces those who need hearing devices is that the hearing aids prices has suddenly become skyrocketing and even if there are a good number of hearing aid models lately, the better ones that allow the patients better detailed hearing opportunity are the most expensive for obvious reasons. A survey shows that fifty five percent of our senior citizens who do not have hearing tools blamed the burgeoning cost as the culprit in their inability to afford one for themselves. The basic analog hearing devices are more affordable but as the hearing loss progresses, there would be a need for a more advanced type of hearing device and those are the ones that are prohibitively-priced. Some have resorted to the internet to buy used hearing tools at their own risk since these hearing devices were not properly tested and may be already worn out or just recently repaired which greatly compromises its quality.

There are sad stories of people just giving up on the high cost of hearing devices including the story of this citizen who recounts: "I have struggled with the high cost of hearing tools. When my insurance did not cover hearing tools, I wondered if was worth it to spend thousands of dollars to upgrade. Due to a progressive loss, I had to keep buying more powerful aids. After the last hearing aid purchase, I told the audiologist, "That's it. I can't afford to keep doing this every five or six years. If I lose more hearing, I'm not buying another set of aids." After I lost more hearing, I did stop. This was my personal choice."

Yes, manufacturers also need to recover the cost of their research and earn some profit in the process but hearing equipment, which contains the word "aid", should also aid not only the rich but the poor as well.

Free Medical Scooter - New Secret To Get Around All The Paper Work

Have you put off trying to get a free medical scooter because of all the paperwork? I'm going to show you a trick to get all the paperwork filled out and submitted for you at no charge. This works over 90% of the time.

The first step to getting an insurance company to pay for a disability scooter is to show you have a need. Are you trapped inside your home because you can't move about without someone's help? Do you ever feel guilty about asking for help because they have already done so much for you and you hate being a burden? The result of that is not good. It leads to depression.

It's hard to stay inside when the whole world is right outside your window. You've seen almost every show on television several times. You watch the clock to see how long it will be until it's time for bed and you can enter your dream world where everything is perfect. You start to withdraw into yourself because you feel trapped inside your body that will no longer obey your commands. This is what it's like to be disabled. You need an electric wheelchair to help you escape this prison.

If you understand how insurance companies work, you will be able to take advantage of the system. You see, insurance company clerks can't see your suffering. They don't know what it's like to be you. They only see a piece of paper with your name on it. If they paperwork is correct, they approve your claim.

The first tip is to fill out the paperwork they require accurately and completely. Unfortunately people with disabilities often have a difficult time completing paperwork accurately.

The second tip is to get someone to do it for you. This may not sound like a tip at all. You may have had your spouse or your kids or even someone from your church fill out your claims already. But I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about a professional who gets paid to submit successful claims. Where do you find such a person?

This is the big tip I was telling you about. It's really no secret but many people overlook it thinking it will cost them money. The medical chair vendors often have insurance departments staffed with experts who will gladly fill out and submit your paperwork for you if you are buying your power chair from them. It really is that simple.

So what are you waiting for?

How Much Does a New Roof Cost?

A hail storm has just come through your neighborhood and you are seeing roofing company pickup trucks everywhere. Then you notice many of your neighbors getting new roofs. Yikes! Should you be concerned and what should you do? How is everyone paying for these new roofs? Do you have hail damage on your roof, and if so, how bad is it? What should you look for? There is one very easy indicator...

Your car has hail damage

Your first indication that you very well may have hail damage on your roof is if hail damage has taken place to your car. If it was sitting out in the driveway the day or night of the hail storm it will usually have hail dings on the hood, roof of the car and trunk area. Now it's time to seriously think about the roof of your home. What should you do now? Contact your local roofing company in Colorado Springs and schedule an appointment. He will perform a free roof inspection and tell you if damage has been done to your shingles or not. If there is evidence of hail damage then you will simply contact your insurance company's claims department. Most roofing contractor's will recommend you bypass your direct insurance agent and go directly to the claims department. They will ask you several questions about the damage which your roofing contractor will have already briefed you on.

Whoa there son! Let's Back Up the Train. How Much is this Gonna Cost Me?

Now this is usually where those individuals prone to panic attacks head to the medicine cabinet. Just kidding! Most homeowner's have insurance in place and the policy will normally cover hail and wind damage. But the question some may have is about the total cost of a roof replacement. Well, the cost will vary based on many different factors such as, but not limited to:

1. the grade or incline of the roof itself
2. the type of shingle selected as there are many, many types
3. metal roof could be an option which is priced differently
4. different types of tar paper selections
5. roof valleys
6. extended warranty options
7. number of chimneys
8. number and types of vents
9. local building permit

Once you have had an inspection, confirmed hail damage and called your insurance claims department then it's time to discuss the deductible amount of your policy with your roofer. There are many options available and there is no limit to the creativity of a roofing company to assist you with absorbing most of that deductible. Many, many times a homeowner will have very little out of pocket costs associated with a new roof so there's no need to worry.

How to Protect Your Property From Flood Damage

Flooding can occur in any place at any time. But, how can you be prepared to alleviate or avoid flood damage? The following are some tips every home owner should keep in mind.

Practical Things to Do Before Flood Warnings

Make sure all of your electrical outlets, circuit breakers and wiring are above 12" from the floor. If they are not, contract a professional electrician to make the needed changes. Appliances such as furnaces and washers and dryers should also be raised at least a foot off the floor.

Another great precaution you can take is to have a plumber install a backflow valve so that sewage cannot enter your home in case of flooding. Also, seal your basement walls with a waterproof compound.

If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, you may want to go to such extremes as to have your whole house raised off the ground. Some also have built flood walls, which create barriers help prevent flood waters from enter your home.

Simple Measures to Take When There is a Risk of Flooding

You will want to make sure that the gutters on your house are not clogged with leaves or any other material. If gutters are clogged during heavy rain, water could enter the house, and cause severe flooding.

Putting sump pumps in place in your basement will help to expel flood waters, should they enter. It is good to always make sure they are in good working order and that they have a backup energy reserve, in case of an emergency.

If flood risk is imminent, keep updated by tuning into local television or radio stations. In case flash floods are predicted, you should quickly take any brief precautions to protect your home, and leave the house. Also, make sure that the main circuit breaker of the home is turned off before evacuating.

After Flooding

As soon as it is safe to do so, those affected by flooding should act quickly so as to save any valuable objects. Any electrical objects should be removed so that they can be dried out and hopefully salvaged.

Remove standing water from inside the house as soon as possible. Install fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the home. Thoroughly clean and disinfect your home.

Check with your insurance company to see if they will cover any damages you may have suffered due to flooding.

eBay Shipping Guide

USPS shipping rates to change again on January 4, 2010. Changes are mainly small increases, which we will be recorded in this booklet. We still continue to examine the dilemma of the buyer-seller now in progress. How the seller to collect a fair shipping fee, and is still making a profit? Is there an easy way for buyers to analyze a vendor delivery basis to determine whether the transmission is too high?

First, let's become educated about USPS shipping. In 2007, the USPS not only raised their rates, but also changed the method they calculated rates, placing their emphasis on the shape and size of packages, and machinability, not only on body weight. The theory is that the cost can be overcome by the machinability usable automated scanning and processing engine can be used in full, and to reduce the need for human intervention. A small fee is charged for the package nonmachinable.

Mailing ACTUAL COST DOMESTIC

before 5/11/eff 5 / 11 change / +

Media Mail <1 pound $ 2.23 / $ 2.38 / +.15

New level of 1-2 pounds $ 2.77

New level of 2-3 pounds $ 3.16

Small gain weight, maximum 70 pounds

Some forms, such as tubes and square envelopes, may require additional postage

Priority Mail

by zones of less than 1 pound $ 4.95 / $ 4.95 / all the weight now vary according to zone up to $ 5.55 for the first pound.

After a pound, an increase in the rate of non-linear. For example, a package of 1-2 pounds traveling from NY to Vermont still will cost $ 4.95 but the same package will be from NY to California would cost $ 9.55, up from $ 8.70 / $ 0.60 +.

Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope (12-1/2 "x 9-1/2") $ 4.90 / $ 4.90, or place (8-5/8 "x 5-3/8" x 1-5 / 8 ") without the weight or destination $ 4.95 / $ 4.95 / no change

Priority Mail Flat Rate Box Medium (11 "x 8-1/2" x 5-1/2 "or 13-5/8" x 11-7/8 "x 3-3/8") regardless of weight or destination $ 10.35 / $ 10.70 / + $ 0.35

Priority Mail Flat Rate Box $ 13.95 large weightless / $ 14.50 / + $ 0.65, slightly lower for the APO / APO addresses: $ 11.95 / $ 12.50 / + $ 0.65

Great first class envelope (rectangular, not more than 12 inches high by 15 inches long 3 / 4 inch thick; - should not be rigid and uniform thickness) vary from 1 oz. at $.71 / $.88 / + $.03 13 oz maximum. to $ 2.92; package price (No more than 108 inches in length and girth combined) rates vary from 1 oz. of $ 1.22 to a maximum of 13 oz. for $ 3.26 (no change in the package.)

Delivery confirmation $ 0.80, no change.

eBay requires the cost of insurance for inclusion in the post quoted to you, the seller can no longer costs as a separate service. The seller USPS charges $ 1.75 to $ 50.00 the first value / amount varies for each additional $ 50.00 value, no change, but not many vendors offering more insurance.

How does this affect the domestic BUYER? The concern for buyers is unchanged:

  • Realizing how much the actual shipping costs, and watchful for sellers who charge excessive rates and handling costs. E-Bay has tightened guidelines for their delivery, so this is less likely to occur than a few dollars for handling past.A fair, but $ 5 or $ 10 extra gouging. If you have not read the vendor shipping policies before you bid or buy, then you have to buy postage increases and the item! Make an informal survey on the item, read the various vendor shipping policies, and feel what to look for in a FAIR policy, and what to avoid. Sellers sometimes charge a handling fee and delivery with a flat rate, citing the cost of packaging materials, the work to package item, gas to go to the post office as a pretext for an additional fee.
  • eBay has made it easier for buyers to report unfair practices of delivery, responding to complaints about excessive shipping as they have in the past about other practices that are not appropriate. If you find a list of what looks like excessive shipping, drop the line vendors to tell them that their shipping costs appear excessive, and requested clarification. Sellers are generally very helpful about answering questions, and clear all misunderstandings about their policies. How does a vendor approaches your question is a good indicator of their general business philosophy. If you get a response, prompt fun, you can probably expect the current transaction, and I'm sure you can fill the vacancy on the rough or a short response... there is a link at the bottom of each list so you can make a complaint about excessive shipping.

HOW MUCH RISK ARE YOU PERSONAL willing to take? In a perfect world, we will not suffer loss, if we act as buyers or sellers. enforcable customer service policy, but enforcement will be needed because everyone would treat others fairly. Unfortunately, eBay is the world a more perfect society, and there is no moderate. How many people will take risks was the decision, personal subjective, such as decisions about how many people will try to take advantage of others and the point where people believe that he is being exploited. Personally, as a seller, I prefer to ensure that any item valued at over $ 50.00.

WHAT OPTIONS?

AS BUYER,

  • How do you protect yourself. Ask questions if you have them, and if you choose to buy from the seller, do not expect a different matter if there is a problem. Do not use feedback as a weapon-it was against eBay policy. Although the regulations do not allow sellers feedback leaving negatives, sellers are not required to leave feedback.
  • If the seller does not include insurance in the amount of shipping costs, you may still be covered for losses if you pay for your purchase via PayPal or credit card, ot if you purchase the eBay buyer protection. Monitor the time because no time to wait before a claim can be filed, and the time limit after which you no way.

AS A SELLERS

State your terms clearly and follow up. Elaborating on the insurance included in shipping costs, and what your policy on items lost in post or damaged in the mail.

  • Know your shipping services. Media Mail and Parcel is a good offer, but they are not Priority Mail service. USPS estimates 4-10 days for delivery via non-Priority mail. Realistically, could take up to 5 weeks for domestic mail delivery during the holiday season, or if the package is traveling between distant points like New York and Alaska. That's because there is no place available in the trucks, and must wait for available space first. If you need the item immediately, for example, a gift for someone or a textbook for the class-you would be better to use Priority or First Class Mail and pay a little more for a faster delivery time 2-3 days.
  • If you find a vendor with a fair policy, and good merchandise, bookmark or sellers shop for future reference.

The seller can profit in the short term from gouging on shipping, but they do risk their reputation (negative feedback) and ultimately harm them in the long term (loss of repeat business, the punishment of eBay). Such practices undermine the strength of our community, and gain competitive advantage.

Way for advertisers to keep shipping prices low:

  • Use creative packaging: recycle, return, bubble wrap and peanuts. That's good for the environment and save on buying the retail package. Save the film tube, the pill bottle with the supervisor, and clean plastic bags to protect small items. Buy a paper machine press and damaged, and junk mail for packing material.
  • Connect your tasks and plan your route to save time and petrol.
  • Use USPS "Click'n'Ship to print your stamps, and pay less for postage, and delivery confirmation. For a few reservations, by using PayPal MULTIORDER SHIPPING. That allows you to print all the transactions as well as shipping and packing slip, and you can choose the option that produces a scannable number of binding all the numbers together as a delivery confirmation single file. Officer post this form only to scan one for all the items to be included as a post) you can schedule. Free carrier pickup-free if you have at least a Priority or Express Mail package.
  • Offer discounts for multi-item purchases.
  • Go to the price of the runner other than USPS (UPS, FedEx DHL) because they may be better to buy some type of mail (eg: a very large packages or weight).

INTERNATIONAL RATE CHANGES-4 January brought little change.

International Priority: This will give the general idea

Flat rate envelopes (12-1/2''x''9-half) or Small boxup flat rate to 4 pound (8-5/8 "x 5-3/8" x 1-5/8 ")

Canada / Mexico: $ 11.45 was $ 10.95-12.95/now

All Other Countries: Varies / now $ 13.45

Regular flat levels of up to 20 pounds (FRB1 11 "x 8-1/2" x 5-1/2 ") or (FRB2 13-5/8" x 11-7/8 "x 3-3/8")

Canada / Mexico: the $ 25.95/now $ 26.95 / + $ 1.00

All Other Countries: was $ 41.95/now $ 43.45 / + $ 1.50

Great place flat rate up to 20 pounds

Canada / Mexico: is $ 32.95 - $ 33.95 $ 53.95/now

All Other Countries: Varies / now $ 55.95

International First-Class Rate zoned - up to 64 ounces, no more than 24 inches, no more than 36 inches in combined length, height, and depth.

1 oz. Package $ varies from $ 1.23 to $ 1.44/no changes

64 oz. vary from 1 oz. packages $ 16.77-$ 30.34/no changes

Remember that although this is also one of the Community market in the world. There are elements of good and evil in proportion to those existing in the real world. BUYERS-If you buy seems too good to be true, if it is against common sense, you may need to pass on it. Sellers-If the temptation to push sales feel vulnerable, probably is-remember that relative anonymity is not going to hide your actions from a person who is really important for your-self.

Now, go and eBay!

Thank you to my sources: U.S. Government Accountability Improvement of Post and legal texts, USPS guide Rates and Fees Effective January 4, 2010, USPS guide Rates and Fees Effective January 2008 4,; e-Bay and Bay sellers shipping board, and PayPal.

Points To Look Into When Choosing A Chiropractor

If you have back or neck problems, seeing a chiropractor will be a good step to take. The best professional to handle your problems may still be a medical doctor, but even medical communities now recognize the value of chiropractic in rehabilitative treatment of spine and neuromuscular illnesses. Long gone are the days when chiropractic was frowned upon by science.

Today, it is a well-known and accepted fact that this method of healing is actually effective and can even suffice by itself under certain situations. Apparently, people with back and neck problems but no pre-existing serious health conditions can just go to a chiropractor without a doctor's permission. Over time, more and more people have realized how this type of healing can make a great difference in improving their health.

If you yourself are considering visiting a chiropractor, the following are the most basic things to look into:

1. Education and Experience - It is safe to ask which school the chiropractor finished his education and training, whether or not he has a bachelor's or post-graduate degree, and how many years he has been in practice. Experience and education are the basic things to consider when hiring a chiropractor to make sure that you are in good hands.

2. Qualification - The chiropractor you choose first be licensed in their state of practice, must have passed the National Board exams and must be accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education.. It is also good to look into whether the chiropractor has undergone disciplinary action by inquiring from the state's Chiropractic Board of Examiners.

3. Fees, Discounts and Insurance - Definitely, fees, discounts and insurance matter when choosing a chiropractor. Ask how much the fee is for an initial exam as well as for standard chiropractic adjustments. It's good to ask as many clinics in your area as you can so you can compare. Also inquire about insurance and what types of plans are covered as well as which services are not covered by the insurance company. Discounts are common for patients who come as families or groups.

4. Patient Satisfaction - This is something you can do well only by actually asking patients who come or leave the clinic. Be discreet when you do this and try to listen to what people tell you. Whatever their experience with the chiropractor in the clinic is probably what you will experience with him as well. You can expect varied reports of both negative and positive experiences, but it is all up to you to judge.

Refi, What Should You Know Before You Refinance?

Refi rates are not as low as they were a few weeks ago but they're still at incredible lows. Today, Bankrate's website is showing rates at 4.25%. That is higher than a couple weeks ago but we have to remember that rates were in the 6% range earlier in the year. Q:Is this a great time to refi? A:YES!

I wish we could still refi with interest rates in the 3% range too... But there's good news! If you act quickly, you can change your rate while we're still at unprecedented lows. This is known as OPPORTUNITY! Don't wait till interest rates get back in the six percent range or higher, again. Act NOW. You'll be glad you did.

Imagine being one of the people who will say "My interest rate is 4.25%" and not someone who says "I wish I had a 4.25% interest rate". You can!

When you're looking into refinancing, you must consider a few things. Let's take a look at them in this article. Get this info and you'll be in great shape because you'll know exactly what is the right direction for you to take.

Knowing the value of your home will help you when you're considering a Refi. If you have 20% equity it should be easier for you to get the loan you'll also have more options available to you. By having this much equity, you'll also avoid Mortgage Insurance (MI) in most cases. MI is at an extra cost and would increase your payments unnecessarily.

By the way, mortgage insurance is an insurance policy that the lender takes out to protect the bank (not you) in case you default on the loan. It's not a policy that benefits you in any way. I'm no tax professional, so what I'm going to say is just opinion, however in my opinion you should avoid having to pay it if you can. It's certainly something that you should weigh, when considering a refi on your home, and it may be unavoidable, but you need to be armed with this information to make the best decision you can.

If you don't have 20% equity, it may be more difficult to refinance but don't quit just yet. There actually are several banks that will allow a refi, with 10% equity. This is where that mortgage insurance will, most likely, come in to play but if the numbers pencil out you might still want to move forward on it.

If you have less than 10 percent equity and your loan amount falls within FHA guidelines, you might qualify for an FHA loan. With an FHA loan you only need a minimum of 3.5% equity. Advantages and disadvantages of an FHA loan are not covered in this article but, for the most part, it's a good loan.

If you already have an FHA loan but want to refi for a better rate, you might consider an FHA Streamline Refi. Streamline refi's will save you money and time since they will typically use the appraisal and income information that's already on file. I won't go in depth on a streamline refi but essentially the amount of paperwork and cost are reduced because FHA will go off your most recent appraisal and may use supporting documents on file to close the loan.

Prior refinancing you should check your home's value so you know how much equity you have. I'm going to recommend you call a local Realtor to give you their opinion of value. You don't need to get a full appraisal, since the bank will do that (unless you're doing a streamline). Most Realtors will give you a CMA for free, in hopes to gain your business in the future.

One last tip is to check your recapture time. Recapture time is the amount of time it will take to recoup what you spent to get the loan. There are some great calculators at bankrate.com and I highly recommend using them.

I hope you found some great value in this article. Please visit our website for more insight when looking into an refi.

Professional Street Performers

Walking through the fairs and markets and myriad of festivals that take place right across the country throughout summer, the number of street performers, and the quality of their work, can often be overlooked or taken for granted.

At one end of the spectrum are people who are having a go at some sort of performance simply to test themselves in front of an audience. A dare gone wrong perhaps, but more likely someone who has some level of talent who wants to see how far they can push themselves in the quest for personal development.

These people may or may not have talent (more often the latter if the truth be known). They obviously think they do have something to offer but are yet to test themselves in front of an audience or a professional in their field. Busking is actually a great way of getting the first slice of public feedback. If the person has no talent then the money box in front of them will probably remain empty and the number of people staying to watch the show will be few and far between. Perhaps this busker will consider other options.

At the other end of the spectrum are performers that travel around the country with itineraries that are carefully planned to have them in front of the largest crowds at the major fairs and events. These people know they are good at their profession because they can hold a crowd and they make a reasonable living from their daily takings.

Some festivals (the St Kilda Festival in Melbourne each February for example) actually make a feature of street artists and have a roster of artists, some of who come from overseas, for the duration of the festival. These artists don't just turn up on the day hoping to get a gig. They are vetted months in advance and selected based on their history, type of show and quality of performance.

Many of these shows involve acts that an amateur simply wouldn't consider doing. Swallowing swords, breathing fire, doing a handstand on an upside down chair that is balancing on another upside down chair and so on.

These performers will often let their audience know that they are professional entertainers that live on their takings. Unlike amateur buskers they do have travel costs and probably some weird sort of insurance that will cover a sword going down the wrong way. Even the sad eyed dog will have pet insurance to cover his role in the show.

So next time you see a street performer, stay for a bit and consider whether the show you are seeing is good. If it is, give them a clap and some change for the next leg of their tour.

After Hours Clinic

For many patients, finding an urgent care center during regular daytime weekday hours is relatively easy. Most family practice, internal medicine and pediatric offices and clinics offer some availability for walk-in patients, although waiting times for those without prior appointments may be excessive. For patients who are fatigued, in pain, or experiencing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or other symptoms, sitting in the waiting room may be less than ideal.

Finding an after hours clinic is often more challenging since most facilities close by 5 pm. After hours clinics are scarce in many locations, and patients may see the emergency room as their only viable option for urgent care after hours. In San Francisco Bay Area, for example, patients are surprised to learn that after hours clinics are rare.

While some after hours clinics may remain open until 7pm, most have more limited hours. Patients commonly resort to the emergency departments for their after hours clinic urgent care. Unfortunately, waiting times are generally prolonged because ER's tend to become busier during these times. While waiting, ER situations may change each moment because of the arrival of sicker patients and other emergencies. This is not to mention the added cost factor.

Emergency room and hospital fees are generally much higher than outpatient care, by a significant multiple. For patients with high deductible insurance policies, and for those who lack insurance altogether, the ER may present a frightening option.

Lastly, the ER can be a challenging environment for a sick patient. Patients may be exposed to other sick patients, "superbugs", and even the unruly behavior of the inebriated. For the protective parent, the ER waiting room may be the place to stay on guard.

A new, highly convenient and affordable and safe option is now available for patients in place of the after hours clinic. Housecalls services brings the physician and clinic directly to patients, wherever there are. The house call doctors evaluate and treat patients at home, in hotel rooms, workplace, businesses, and elsewhere.

Such practitioners bring the whole to you. Medications, injections, IV fluids, stitching, splinting and more are available during the house call. Even x-rays, instant blood tests, strep tests, urine tests and more may be provided on site. Patients of all ages are treated by these house call providers, including children. They are highly experienced in emergency and urgent care.

Life Settlement Predictions For 2011

As 2010 draws to a close and the dawn of a new year beckons, those in the life settlement industry look forward with renewed optimism. By most accounts, the life settlement industry's bottom is behind us and the secondary life insurance market is now in the process of recovering. How much and how fast is still to be determined. However, below are the Top 10 Predictions For Life Settlements in 2011.

1) Secondary Market To See Increased Buying. As everyone knows, capital has been slowly reentering the market but it is still off the highs experienced prior to the Great Recession. Much of the activity in 2010 was focused on tertiary trades and investors looking for distressed policies or portfolios. As those opportunities become less available in 2011, capital will be redirected to secondary market activities and policy origination.

2) Private Equity Will Arrive: As the investment banks and other types of investors left the market in 2009 and 2010, everyone has been anxious to identify the next big player. Much attention has been paid to Private Equity and in 2011 it will arrive. Rumors have been swirling that PEG's have been looking for acquisitions of established market players and have recently started funding some providers.

3) Small investors will make a splash: Many have been waiting for institutional investors to flood the life settlement market with capital, while forgetting that high net worth individuals and family offices in aggregate have the potential to play a serious role. With an eye towards diversification and predictable returns, expect accredited investors and family offices to be active buyers, as never before, in 2011.

4) Higher Life Settlement Broker Utilization In the past, it has been relatively easy for producers to act as de facto life settlement brokers. However, new industry best practices suggest life settlement brokers are preferred as intermediaries for policy owners interested in selling their policy. Not only are brokers more able to source small pockets of capital, but more stringent licensing, regulatory and compliance requirements make it difficult for anyone but brokers to effectively navigate the landscape. 2011 will see producers more likely to refer cases to brokers than try to handle them autonomously as they may have in the past.

5) Continued Push Towards Regulation While approximately 20% of the states remain unregulated, the writing is on the wall that change is imminent. Some of the key unregulated states already have legislation in the works and consumer protection is a hot button issue that resonates with legislators. Expect the trend of consumer friendly life settlement regulation to continue in 2011.

6) Agents and Advisors Will Have To Address Life Settlements Like Never Before In 2011 expect numerous states to adopt the new NCOIL model act requiring carriers to notify consumers of the life settlement option when policies are to be surrendered or allowed to lapse. Agents and financial advisors that previously didn't consider settlements in their practices will now be forced to address the issue as carriers drive policy holders with questions and inquiries to those on the insurance front lines.

7) Greater Focus On Information Security For too long, sensitive insured and policy owner information has been transmitted between agents, brokers and providers using insecure methods such as email. In 2011, as industry best practices demand secure data transfer, expect much higher utilization of specialized life settlement software such as Settlewerx and others.

8) Smaller Providers While the big players aren't going anywhere, expect the trend of boutique providers serving smaller pockets of money and niche investors to continue into 2011.

9) Asian Investment US and European investors are the stalwarts of US life settlement investments. In 2011, expect to see more capital coming from Asia and the Middle East, which are relatively untapped sources of investment capital. Newly established offices and initiatives in that part of the world should begin to produce new funding sources in the coming year.

10) Broader Buying Parameters While cherry picking great policies at a discount was the name of the game in 2010, expect 2011 to bring a broader approach to buying. With increasing competition for policies, buyers will have to consider cases that might not have otherwise received bids in 2010.

With the broader economy improving and capital returning to the markets, 2011 promises to be an improved life settlement environment. For those that were able to survive the past two tumultuous years, they will hopefully be rewarded with a fruitful 2011.

Rating An Air Purifier---5 Easy Ways to Rate An Air Purifier's Effectiveness

Trying to find the best air purifier for your situation can be confusing and frustrating. But there are certain constants that every cleaner needs to have to work well for you. Take this check list of 5 features with you in your search and you will be surprised at how much easier rating the purifiers will be. Choosing a cleaner with these features will insure that you bring home the best one for you and your family.

Four Filters---The more filters a cleaner has the better it will be able to remove airborne pollutants. Units that have one or no filter will need frequent maintenance either through washing and cleaning something inside; or they will require frequent purchase and replacing of the filter. Either way, this is valuable time lost for you and down time for the unit when it is not cleaning your air.

The most important type is the high efficiency particle arresting (usually shortened to HEPA) filter. This technology continues to prove itself to be best at removing particles from the air. By definition this filter is required to be able to remove 99,997 out of every 10,000 airborne particulates that are.3 microns or greater with a micron being defined as one millionth of a meter. This means it is able to remove normal household pollutants such as dust, dust mites, pet dander, mold and mildew spores, and seasonal irritants such as pollen.

Your cleaner should also contain a carbon filter because it has proven best at removing gaseous pollutants such as smoke, chemicals, and odors. Having both types of filters in the unit means that one cleaner is able to take out multiple types of pollutants.

A large and medium particle pre-filter will catch large and medium particles that can be seen with the naked eye. These include particles like pet and human hair, dust, and lint. These filters save the HEPA filter for the microscopic particles and prevent if from becoming clogged with big particles that the pre-filters can remove.

Variable Speed Options---When the unexpected happens, you need the ability to clear the air faster. Being able to choose the rate at which the air is cleaned is invaluable when life happens. High, medium, and low filtration settings will give you the most control.

Steel Housing---Units made of plastic often off-gas fumes from the plastic when the motor heats up. Steel insures that when the motor gets warm, it will not produce obnoxious fumes. The last thing you want to do is to pay money for a cleaner that puts more pollutants into your air. Steel casing insure that the only by-product will be fresh clean air.

24 Hour Coverage---In order to keep indoor air quality high, pollutant levels need to be kept low. The only way to do that is to continuously filter the air. Your purifier needs to be able to run 24 hours a day safely, efficiently, and effectively. Don't settle for less.

Pro-rated Filter Warranty---One of the best ways to tell whether the filter will last is to look at how long the manufacturer will guarantee it to work. A 5-year prorated warranty on a filter lets you know that the company is serious about the filter lasting and is willing to pay if it doesn't. That kind of guarantee almost insures that you want have to use it.

Auto Accident Settlement: What You Need to Know

Auto accident settlements are payments that are made out to you after you have been involved in a car accident and found not to be liable. This is usually done by your insurance company, assuming of course that you are insured and paid up on all your premiums.

How much will I get?
The amount of payout that you will be given will depend on many factors including the amount of insurance you opted for, the type of coverage you chose and how much the monetary value of the damage is from the accident. Sometimes you may be found to be partially responsible or liable for the accident in which case the amount you receive may be lower, depending on how liable your are determined to be. Your insurance company will be able to tell you much more specific information on payment amount and liability specific to your case.

What should I do to get a maximum settlement?
There are certain things you can do to maximize your auto accident settlement. Obviously you can't change the circumstances in which the accident occurs, but you can take some simple steps to help your situation afterward.

First, straight after the accident, you should call the authorities and report the situation. By law, this is what you should do. Plus: police and ambulance staff will become witnesses that will provide evidence via police and medical reports, to help you get your maximum settlement.

After this, it can be a good idea to take photographs of the scene. Recording the original situation on film can make sure that evidence is not lost, disturbed or tampered with, which will be a benefit to your claim. Take pictures and videos of the scene from as many angles as possible.

Next, once you have been cleared by the authorities, if you need medical help head to the nearest medical center for aid. Gather up all the papers and documents that they give you and make sure you do not lose them. Documents like receipts, medical reports, bills for medication, prescriptions and even x-rays can all be used as evidence to help you gain compensation. Keep it all.

Also, try document, with pay slips or letters from your employer, any loss of income if the injury has stopped you from working. You may be eligible for "loss of income" cover as part of your settlement.

Finding The Best Tradesmen

Question each and every paving contractor you are considering.

Below are some questions you should ask:

How much time have you presently been in a company?

Search for a well-established business and check it over with customer safety officials. They're able to inform you in the event you will discover unresolved client grievances on file. one warning: Zero history of grievances against a particular groundworks contractor does not suggest no prior consumer problems. It might be that issues exist, but have yet to be reported, or that this paving contractor is performing jobs under various names.

What range of projects similar to my own have you ever completed within the last 12 months?

Request a list. This may assist you to determine how competent the driveway contractor is together with your type of job.

Will my project need a permit?

Most locations need permits for building jobs, even for simple jobs like decks. A reputable paving contractor can get all of the crucial permissions prior to commencing work on your job. Always be suspicious if the paving contractor insists upon you to get the grant(s). It may imply that the driveway contractor isn't accredited or registered, as needed by law or your local authority.

Can I have a list of references?

The paving contractor should really be able in supplying you with the names, addresses, and phone numbers of a minimum of 3 previous clients that have projects comparable to yours. Ask every exactly how lengthy ago the project was finished and should you can see it. Also, tell the paving contractor that you would like to go to jobs in progress.

Will you be making use of groundworks subcontractors on this project?

If yes, request to meet them, and make sure they present insurance coverage and licenses, if required. Additionally ask them if they had been paid on time by this paving contractor. A "mechanic's lien" might be placed on your house if your driveway contractor doesn't pay the sub driveway contractors and suppliers on your project. Really the subpaving contractors and suppliers could go to court to make you sell your house to meet their outstanding bills from your project. Safeguard yourself by questioning the driveway contractor, and every sub driveway contractor and supplier, for a lien release or lien waiver.

What kinds of insurance do you hold?

Paving contractors need to have personal liability, worker's compensation, and property damage coverage. Ask for copies of insurance certificates, and ensure they're up to date. Steer clear of performing business with paving contractors who don't carry the correct insurance. Otherwise, you will be held liable for any injuries and damages that occur during the job.

Wet Floor Signs Types and Purpose

When you walk into a building most of the time, the first thing you notice is the appearance of the floor. Does it shine or is it dull and dirty? If it seems extra shiny it could be that the floor is wet and if so, there should be wet floor signs indicating such.

Wet floor signs are not simply to let you know the floor is wet, rather to give a visual warning that there is the possibility of unstable footing which could cause a person to slip and fall sustaining injury. If you mop or refinish your floor causing it to be wet and someone slips and falls and the warning signs are not in place, there is a big chance are you will get sued and you will lose. Insurance companies and private industry lose millions of dollars every year because a wet floor was not marked with warning signs or wet floor cones.

A good rule of thumb to remember when using wet floor signs is to insure they are visible from every point of entry into the area where the work is being conducted. This will insure that anyone entering your work space will notice the warnings and take extra care as they pass through. Many of the signs today will not only be bi-lingual but have a pictogram as well giving an extra visual aid of the warning.

There are a number of different types of wet floor signs all designed to do one thing; warn of potential hazards due to the floor being wet. The most common type is the sandwich board style which is a two sided sign indicating the message. Another popular style is the pop up safety sign which looks like a pyramid with the visual warnings on each side. There are also expandable types and banner signs available. One other type is the cone style which basically looks like the cones you will see in a highway construction zone. Depending on each application and area to protect will help determine which wet floor sign is right for the application.

Using wet floor signs are the most economical way to insure the proper marking and warning of a potentially hazardous area. Always use the proper warning signage not just to be compliant, but more so to give visual warning so that people entering an area can avoid injury

How To Sell Your Car Online

If you are looking to make some cash by selling your car to either pad your bank account or get together down payment money for a new car, you may want to consider selling your car online to see if you can make more than what a vehicle trade in would offer. However, in order to do this correctly, you need to know the best methods for selling your car online so it doesn't become a long and drawn out process.

First, before you make a posting on a car for sale website, research how much your car could potentially be worth so you know where to start the sales process and also where you are willing to negotiate to. It is important that you consider the condition of the car, the year, the mileage, and how long you have owned it. You must be open and honest about any repairs or damage the car has experienced in its lifetime. Furthermore, now is the ideal time to grab all vehicle maintenance records and receipts that you might have in your possession, chances are, an interested buyer is going to want to see this information.

Look at a trusted source for pricing information. Kelly Blue Book is the industry leader in used car conditions and pricing and while this source can offer values a little higher than average, it is a good place to start. Also consider NADA, as this is the reference material most dealership and financing providers use when researching vehicle value.

Next, consider where you are going to post your advertisement. Look for a reliable and noteworthy website that many buyers use. Consider cars.com and also think about Craigslist. While the former has a stringent listing process, the latter has more flexibility. If you are thinking about using Craigslist, make sure you only work locally and verify all payment before turning your car over. You don't want to get scammed.

When you write your ad make sure you are as descriptive as possible. Add pictures to your posting and make sure you position your car in the most flattering light as possible, i.e. don't post pictures of a dirty or messy car. Remember, no one wants to buy someone else's junk.

After you post the ad, know that you may have to enter into a negotiation process with a potential buyer. The economy is not fantastic right now and people are trying to make their money stretch. Make sure you know the lowest that you are willing to go in sales price, so you can feel confident about making a decision. Finally, once you have sold the car, get the vehicle ready to be turned over. Provide the new buyer with a clean and washed car and transfer all paperwork and maintenance records to the buyer for future reference. Make sure you keep copies of all items for your records and report to the state and insurance companies that the car is no longer in your possession.

Essen, Germany and Its Hospitals

A small quaint town in West Germany, Essen has become a hot tourist attraction in the recent years. With lots to offer on the recreation front, like trade fairs, exhibitions, ancient churches and monuments, Essen is one spot that has risen in popularity meters over time. As a non resident visitor, your mind might be consumed with many issues. Among these issues may be the concern about the availability of proper medical facilities. Like all other cities in Germany, Essen is competent in the provision of world class medical services. With over 1300 beds in about eight hospitals, Essen's medical practitioners are not incompetent in any aspect.

While language remains an issue on, the hospitals never make this a reason for compromising with treatment. In fact, the German government believes that medical help should not be rendered on the basis of ability to speak any language. The hospital staff does not necessarily speak very fluent English, but they have connections with interpreters who assist in consultations and treatments. There are various agencies that can also help tourists approach hospitals with a clear understanding of the diagnosis and treatment processes.

Essen hospitals are clean with up to date facilities. New discoveries in the field of medical science have made Essen a name to be reckoned with in the medical world.

Medical services in Essen are billed in a manner different from American or other European nations' methods of billing. The German Government has a fixed rate for every separate kind of medical treatment. This rate is then added to according to the services rendered to the patient along with the fees for tests performed and food bills.

The hospitals in Essen have separate departments dedicated to different needs. For instance most hospitals have in house physicians, oncologists, neurologists and gynecologists. The doctors are very dedicated to their patients and can be consulted even on phone. The Essen hospitals offer unmatched quality that will assure you that you will not miss out on proper treatment while on a visit here.

The best known hospitals are the University hospital, St. Elizabeth hospital, St. Josef hospital and Marien hospital. All provide top class facilities and offer reimbursement of hospital costs incurred, on proof of insurance coverage even in the case of a non German visiting patient.

Yet Another Benefit for California Veterans: CalVet Loans

In earlier articles I discussed the benefits of home ownership using VA loans to veterans nationwide--low-to-no money down & lower closing costs are a few examples. These special loans for veterans can be obtained from a variety of mortgage brokers. With CalVet loans, on the other hand, you need to apply with the California government because it's a state sponsored program. Additionally, this program is not valid for re-financing veteran's current homes.

Because it is a veteran's benefit the state government will make every effort to make the loan available to all veterans. You will be qualified for the loan using the same criteria as other lenders, but because the state is a direct lender and they service the loans they make, they are able to give every veteran extra consideration, and if you qualify for a loan you get the same rate as everyone else. You will not be classified as a higher risk and have an increase in the interest rate.

The program is a bit different from a regular house purchase because CalVet uses a Contract of Sale, or Land Contract, as the financing instrument for the loan. What this means is that CalVet actually purchases the home you select and takes legal title and then sells the house to you using a contract of sale. When the loan is finally paid in full, after 30 years of payments or because you sell it and move or refinance, CalVet will issue you a grant deed to transfer legal title to you.

One advantage to this program is that CalVet gets groups rates on Fire & Hazard insurance as well as Disaster insurance, providing the veteran with superior coverage that would not be available as an individual.

The other advantage to a CalVet loan is through their Life & Disability coverage. With this mandatory life insurance your family will be protected for up to 5 years of principal and interest payments in the event of the insured's death.

Additionally, CalVet offers a Home Improvement Loan program as well that can be used to finance most improvements on your home.

Whether you as a California veteran choose a CalVet Loan or a VA Loan doesn't matter. Examine which program is best for you, your family and your situation. What does matter is that you take advantage of these powerful, money-saving tools available to you in order to partake of the American dream of home ownership.

The Value of Custom Golf Clubs

Golf is a sport that requires dedication as it takes up a lot of peoples' free time. Not only that, but golf equipment can cost thousands of pounds depending on the quality and where it has been purchased from. Custom golf clubs are certainly not for people that are looking to make their golf experience any cheaper - that is for sure!

For hundreds of years, golfers have been looking for ways for people to improve their game. This might be down to improving the strength of hands and wrists, improving stance or simply enabling players to obtain the perfect swing. Some inventions have been successful, where as others have not. Of course, there are plenty of gimmicks on the market that cost a lot of money, but do not really help anyone. One option for people that are prepared to spend the cash is having a custom golf club built. They are extremely expensive, but they do have a great value to the person holding them as they can help a golfers game a great deal.

Many amateurs believe that custom golf clubs are simply a fashionable or prestige choice. They believe that people have them designed and decorated in a certain way for no real reason. The reality is that they could not be further from the truth. Custom golf clubs are designed in conjunction with the individual. They take nearly every aspect that affects the game into consideration. This means that they measure a persons height, their hand length and even things as detailed as their longest finger. They take all measurements and personal characteristics into account to design a club that will work with the player perfectly.

So what does this mean for golfers? Golfers that are looking at custom clubs can expect to pay around five times the amount of a normal club. So that means if a club they have been looking at is priced at £50.00, they are likely to pay around £200-250 for a similar club to be custom made. Of course, it is all down to the outlay versus the actual reward. If a player plays on a regular basis and is likely to benefit a great deal, then it might be that a custom club is the perfect route to take!

There is one thing to take into account though and that is the resale value. If thieves are present at a course it is likely that they will aim for custom clubs to steal, rather than lower value traditional clubs. So it is wise to invest in golf club insurance and storing your clubs securely in your home, not a garden shed or your car boot.

Learn From a Professional Mover - Cost of Relocating to Your New Home

The task of moving is definitely more than just linking with the right professional mover that can provide the right kind of services that you need in launching a trouble-free and stress-free move. You would also have to crunch those numbers in order to determine and assess the cost implications of such move to your new home. Of course, you want to properly manage the move so that you won't end up spending more than you should. While relocating is a pricey undertaking, there are certain ways by which you can minimize your expenses without having the sacrifice your primary objective, which is to transport your possessions to your new home without any hitches or complications.

You must first come to terms with the main priorities of the move before you even start making arrangements with your professional packer and mover. This will ultimately impact on the actual cost of the move. You have to go over the details and make sure that you only avail of the services that you actually need.

Here are some important tips that you must consider to ensure that you go through the process without any problems or foul-ups:

Fees and Charges of your Professional Mover

This is a no-brainer - you will definitely have to look into the total breakdown of charges and fees of your professional mover. Packing and moving services don't come cheap, but the good thing about the services of a professional mover is that they can provide you with estimates which you can use as basis whether to go for their services or not. Make sure that you allocate for unforeseen expenses and provide an allowance for your relocation budget. Focus on the expected number of hours needed to complete the task and manage your budget based on this estimate.

Tips for your Professional Packer and Mover

Make allocations in your relocation budget for the cost of tipping the packer and mover. While there are people who believe that it is not necessary anymore to provide tips for the services that already cost them quite a fortune, there are still those who believe that their packer or professional mover deserve fair remuneration for their hard work.

Insurance and Warranties

A professional moving company should at least offer a limited warranty, and insurance coverage should be part of the service cost. You have to clarify with your professional mover if the coverage of such insurance, as in most cases, does not provide protection for high-value items. In which case, you may have to consider allocating additional budget for insurance coverage for these expensive items.

Medical Malpractice: A Complicated Legal Affair

Medical malpractice is not always intentional. However, there are several scenarios where a medical professional is negligent while treating patients. This may result in misdiagnosis. There may be injury at the time of any operation too. This may result in permanent injury too.

It must be kept in mind in this regard that personal injury law is not a federal law. As a result personal injury law is dealt at state level. This brings into the scenario variations in same offence from state to state.

A patient after being victim of misdiagnosis in a local medical facility finds to his dismay that the doctor is not an employee. In this type of complicated legal issue who is liable for compensation? There may be a situation where the victim has been shifted from one medical facility to another for better treatment. However, when the patient is discharged he realizes that he has been a medical malpractice victim.

Then the question arises, who is responsible for the medical malpractice done to the patient? A lawyer is an expert in law but not an expert in medical science. In order to reconstruct the case you would require the advice and evaluation of another medical practitioner.

All states make it mandatory to have a testimonial from a registered medical practitioner along with the lawsuit. The testimonial is an assertion about the validity of the lawsuit. Since, the compensation claim can run into millions of dollar depending upon the nature of the lawsuit. Several states have made it mandatory for doctors to have liability insurance.

In this type of insurance policy the insurance company pays the compensation payment. As a result the insurance company tries to reduce the compensation payment by hook or crook. Common defense strategy is to blame the victim that the injury preexisted. It must be clarified in this regard that the same injury can be used to claim compensation though a similar injury has occurred to the victim in the past.

Statistics of a city may vary based on several factors. The population of the desired region, the number of medical facilities will determine the medical malpractice case volume. There are several small cities in USA like the Johnson City in Tennessee. This city was previously a rail road conjunction point. In case you are a victim of any form of medical malpractice related persona injury approach a Johnson City Medical Malpractice Lawyer.

Auto Body Shop Work Performance

The chances are that everyone would at least once in their lives make use of an auto body shop. Getting involved in a collision is frightening for some. Others find it extremely frustrating.

Mechanical services are not just provided for collision repair. They can also attend to any minor or major breakdowns or just regular maintenance services. Before taking a vehicle for a repair it needs to be made clear of what to expect from a mechanical shop.

Obtain references and see work done for former clients. The customer should know their rights and always ensure workmanship is guaranteed. Get quotations from various shops, this is normally offered for free. The place with the cheapest or even the highest price might not necessarily be the best suited. Get to understand mechanical terms and what a reasonable charge on parts is.

In the event a vehicle has to get repaired due to an accident. Confirm what the insurance will cover. If the vehicle is out of service for a few days, arrange alternative transport. Once again this must be confirmed if the insurance company will provide a rental vehicle. If no insurance was available, ensure that costs will be covered in full before signing any agreements.

Insurance companies will liaise directly with the mechanical company. They will follow up with the client if work was completed satisfactory. In the event that the clients were not satisfied, the matter will be taken up with repairer and payment could be withheld. Any defects or problems should be made known as soon as possible. This should be attended to immediately.

It is critical that the quotation is signed off before any work commence. Ensure that nothing else could be added to the pricing and that no alterations have been done on the paper. After completion of work, check the vehicle for any problems. A mechanic should run through the process of what was done and check if replaced parts are new. Old parts should be shown if requested.

Working with an auto body shop could be frustrating. If a good communication bases is established and there are no misunderstandings, work are to be completed within a set time as agreed upon without any problems. The customer should feel comfortable with the repaired to ensure services would be used again in future. One good idea is to ask the body shop how long they will guarantee their workmanship.

The Most Common Types of Personal Injury Claims

When an accident happens and it is not your fault at all, take ease in knowing that you can actually file a claim against the person responsible for your injuries. Normally, the claim will first be filed with the insurance company that is used by the negligent party. However, you will need to be diligent in following up with them and you will also need to document your injuries, you need the evidence of the accident, and you need proof of financial damages that was incurred. In most cases, the insurance company will proceed to offer a settlement quickly to close the file but often at a lower price, and you could also be denied of a settlement completely.

With cases that involves negligence; it is often difficult to file a claim as the case will not be strong and hard to prove. Your best bet would be to hire a personal injury lawyer to handle the case for you. Below are some examples of the most common personal injury claims:

1. Slip and fall claims: This would be the most common type of claim, also known as premises liability and is often filed against homeowners, businesses or local governments, depending on who owns the property that caused the injury. Being the owner of such premises, you should always make sure that the grounds are safe for those around. Floors, parking spaces and walking areas should always be clear of any hazards to avoid people from injuring themselves and later filing suits against you to claim compensation for their personal injuries.

2. Vehicle accidents: This is also the most common type of accident especially if you consider the number of anything with wheels such as cars, bicycles, motorcycles and also the pedestrians in the country. When involved in an accident with a vehicle, the insurance company will conduct their own recorded investigations to get both sides of the story. Often times they will try and get you to admit that you too contributed to the accident. This way, their client will be half off the hook and since you admitted that you too might have contributed to the accident, you will not get much compensation or any at all. So, always be careful of what you say to them.

3. Medical Malpractices and worker's compensation: You can file a medical malpractice claim if your doctor has been negligent in diagnosing your illness and treating it. As for worker's compensation, you can make a claim if you have been injured on or during the job. This is most often the case for construction and manufacturing workers as their working environment is not the safest place to be.

No matter what type of claims you are making, you will first have to deal with the insurance companies. If for any reason you are denied a claim or a settlement, or the amount given is too low to cover your bills, you can pursue your case with the help of a personal injury lawyer by filing a lawsuit against the guilty party.

Taveuni Island, Fiji - Accommodation

Taveuni, the third largest island in Fiji, after Vanua Levu and Vuna, is a tourist paradise with lots of wonderful flora and fauna, and magnificent resorts and tourist attraction spots. Are you looking for a place to spend your summer holidays? If so, then why not try this one out. I can assure you that you'll have more fun than you can imagine. There are numerous tourist hotspots like Lake Tagimaucia, Bouma falls and a number of beautiful gardens in the western part along with animal sanctuaries. If you like adventure sports, then there's mountain trekking done in the Southern Taveuni Mountains and also scuba diving which is easily the best tourist attraction in Taveuni.

Now, if you are interested in exploring this little island, then the first thing that you'll be looking for is the accommodation facilities. There are many resorts like Paradise Taveuni Resort, Taveuni palms, Maravu plantation beach resort and spa, Qamea beach resort, and many more. These resorts are ideal for a romantic getaway and for those who've always dreamt of the perfect beach wedding. They provide a tranquil ambience and non- commercialized setting ideal for couples very much in love. They also provide idyllic packages for newly married couples or honeymooners. This wonder island is certainly blessed with highlands and verdant rainforests and the accommodation is tailor made to suit all your vacation interests and your budget.

These resorts are one of the finest, consisting of private guestrooms and also with areas covering the sandy beaches and encircling the freshwater swimming pool. The villas offer bedrooms equipped with bathrooms, and also indoor/outdoor bathrooms. The outdoor sheds are fully equipped with chairs and coffee tables so that you can enjoy the panoramic sunset view and the blue seas with ease and comfort whilst just sitting and relaxing. These resorts also have private chefs, with kitchen and bar appliances and the house staff is very professional here. They aim make your vacation to Taveuni a truly memorable one.

Other resorts like Paradise Taveuni resort has many oceanfront bures and tropical bures as well, each of which allow 2 to 3 adults per bure. Snorkeling is available at the private marina along with kayaking, hiking, and not to mention scuba diving. Wait, here's more; you can also discover the new Fiji life while staying here under cool thatched roofs and outdoor showers, with nicely furnished lounge rooms. Bird watching, village trips, waterfall visits are other activities added in your tour itinerary.

Lastly, to get to Taveuni, you need to fly to Nadi International airport in Fiji, from where you can catch flights connecting to Taveuni Island. Also, you need to get travel insurance before you set out for Taveuni. The hotel fare once booked has to be cleared at some point of time, so, if you encounter any accident during your journey or if you feel sick before leaving for Taveuni, then the insurance will take care of your expenditures. These will surely help you recoup most of the costs incurred for the journey. These insurances are quite affordable and so it is recommended that you insure yourself immediately before flying off.

What Exactly Is Decreasing Term Policy?

Protecting yourself with Decreasing Term Plan. Have you come across this term "Decreasing Term policy" being discussed by your friends or seeing it in the newspaper?

If not, let me share with you the 3 main features of this insurance plan.

3 Main features of Decreasing Term Policy comprises of the under-mentioned:

a. It is a life insurance plan that provides a lump sum payment upon death, total permanent disabilities (TPD) and in some particular cases Critical Illness (CI).

b. The policy holder will need to pay a pre-determined rate of premium payment for a limited duration.

c. The difference between decreasing term plan and normal term plan will be, for decreasing term plan, the sum insured decreases over time, while for the term plan; the sum assured remains the same throughout the fixed period of time.

For example, let's presume that you have a decreasing term policy with coverage of $200,000 over 20 years. The annual premiums remain the same throughout the policy but the sum assured is expected to decrease by $10,000 annually until it reaches zero.

Do you need Decreasing Term policy?

Read on and see if you match the following criteria, ask yourself this question "Do you require for high level of protection during your early stage of life because you have a lot of liabilities to pay off, for example, home loan, car loan and etc?" If yes, think through this other question, "Will these liabilities decrease over time and no longer exist?" If both questions are "Yes", you might be looking for the correct medicine.

BUT a decreasing term will not have any cash value, unlike a whole life insurance. Before making a decision on buying a policy, you must be very clear and concise on your objective. If your objective is to enable your family to pay off a mortgage loan upon any mishap, you might choose a decreasing term plan. If you plan it for retirement or other purposes, you might choose to save or invest using another separate bag of money.

In summary, always have a crystal clear objective whenever it comes to financial planning.

Workers Compensation Claims: The Financial Impact Of Death In The Workplace

Although it's not something that most workers ever think about but it's a sad fact that an injury due to an accident at work can lead to a fatality either instantly or at some time in the immediate future. Under such circumstances, it's the immediate family that is left behind to pick up the pieces and try to get on with life. It is the family that is left coping with the trauma of losing a loved one as well as the financial burden of losing what in most cases is the main income of a household. It goes without saying that this can be a very difficult situation to deal with which can sometimes be made even more miserable if they should end up having to fight the company's insurers when filing workers' compensation claims.

One of the biggest problems that anyone faces when making this type of claim is that usually they will have to go through a company's insurance provider to process a claim and receive a damages award. As we all know insurance companies can be a little on the slow side when it comes to settling claims especially anything that may result in a large payment. It is bad enough that the family may struggle coming to terms with the loss of a husband/wife but having to deal with an insurance company that are somewhat reluctant to pay up just compounds their misery.

In most cases and under normal circumstances a family that is left mourning the loss of a family member due to an accident or injuries suffered at work are entitled to file for workers' compensation claims such as death benefits. Death benefits are usually available to dependants and/or direct descendants of the deceased. Death benefits are made to give the family monetary support and are payable to those who have been most affected by the financial loss and those that are finding it the most difficult to carry on a normal life.

In cases where death has occurred due to injuries suffered in the workplace how the family relationship is made up, in other words how those left behind are directly related to the deceased can be a deciding factor in who is eligible to receive payment. Because the laws in different states and territories do differ there may be strict guidelines in place on how the family relationship is determined. Some states can be very strict denying some family members whilst others can be more lenient. In some regions, the law will be based rather more on guidelines more so than on strict rules. It can be that unmarried partners, stepchildren, in-laws even unrelated persons that were living and financially dependent on the deceased may be eligible to a reward.

Under workers' compensation claims when a family member loses their life at work the family left behind will normally find that payments will take shape in two different ways. Firstly, there will be payment for any funeral expenses incurred. The second payment is made to aid the family with everyday living expenses. These are commonly called support payments, and depending on what type of compensation scheme the company have in place there may also be provision for a lump sum payment.

Are Carpet Cleaning Companies Offering Too Good To Be True Prices Worth It?

No, I've heard many stories of customers using low price companies which have then left them at best disappointed and more often chasing the company that has carried out the work trying to get them to come back and rectify a problem or replace items that have been damaged. Four of the most common rip-offs are listed below.

Unbelievably low price

All of us are attracted to a low price because we want to work within a budget. But some companies use price as a bait to catch customers. They offer a cheap price, usually between 5.99 and 9.99 per room- and then once they are in the home, they pressure you into buying "add-ons" which should already be included. It's as if you were buying a car and found that the dealer was charging you extra for the tyres and steering wheel. If a price looks to good to be true it probably is!

Bait and switch

Dual process carpet cleaning describes the process of heavy preconditioning, followed up by Hot water extraction cleaning this is used in situations where the carpet is extremely soiled, stained and matted in the main walkways. Unfortunately, unethical companies use dual process as a bait and switch technique. Here's how it's done: First, they "bait" you with a basic cleaning (single process) at an unbelievably low price. Then, when you call, they try to "switch" you to a more expensive dual-process cleaning. If you don't fall for the switch and choose their basic service, you'll likely receive poor workmanship which will result in ineffective cleaning and possibly damage to the carpet.

Door Knocking, Flyers and Telesales

You may have seen or experienced carpet cleaning companies using the above methods of advertising, and while many use them honestly to promote their businesses, some companies hide behind the anonymity that they provide. They will target an area over a short period of time and then move to another area. Leaving any customers with complaints trying in vain to contact them to deal with the problems they have left behind.

Inadequate Insurance

All businesses should have Public Liability insurance to protect their customers in the event of any accidents, which result in damage to their customer's property. Its little known that most Small Business Insurance Policies have exclusions relating to carpet cleaners, the most surprising been that any damage to the carpet been cleaned is excluded. It is possible to purchase what is known as treatment risk cover to cover any damage to the item that is been cleaned. But it is not a cheap option. Therefore some carpet cleaners do not take it out. The customer only becomes aware of this fact if the carpet is damaged beyond repair after cleaning and asks the cleaner to replace it under his insurance. The cleaner then has to explain that he has no cover for this and unless he is able to pay for replacement from his own resources, which if he does not have the money to pay for treatment risk cover is unlikely. The only option the customer has then is to pursue the matter through the courts.

Local Doctor: The Path to Choosing One

Finding a local doctor can be easier for some people than others depending upon where they live. Once you do start looking you may find that your options are many. It is important that you assess the needs you have for a medical practitioner. It is important that you find someone that you feel comfortable with as well as someone whom you can trust. You want to establish a relationship with the local doctor you choose that will last for many years. In this way you will always feel that you can bring your concerns to your physician and that he/she will treat you accordingly.

One aspect of being able to communicate with your healthcare provider is to keep the lines of communicate open and to feel that the communication between the two of you is effective and respectful. You want to be treated by someone who will listen to you and will understand what you are saying. In turn you want a physician who will speak to you in regular everyday language and will explain your diagnosis and treatment options to you in a manner that you can understand and not in difficult medical language, sometimes referred to as "medical speak." Respectful and trustworthy communication is one of the key points you should look for when it comes to choosing a local doctor and staying with that doctor for the long haul.

You need to choose a medical provider who works with the kind of insurance that you have. You can approach this either way. You can ask for a list from your insurance company of doctors who work with your plan or you can get in touch with a variety of medical offices and inquire what types of insurances the physicians deal with. The former method will be less time consuming but it is up to you how you wish to do it. Either way you will be able to match up suitable doctor choices with the plan you have. If you choose a physician that your insurance does not cover then you will have to pay for his or her services out of your own pocket.

The credentials of a doctor are important. Find out where the practitioner attended medical school and where he/she completed his/her fellowship program. You also need to find out if the doctor is board certified. You also need to inquire if the physician is licensed in the state you live in and if he or she has taken continuing education courses. Does the doctor do research in the field he or she specialized in as well as remain current with medical publications? Is he or she a member of any medical organizations? The more you can learn about the doctor the easier a task it will be to compare him or her to other doctors.

Whether you are looking for a primary care physician or a specialist you need to be very clear about what you want in the local doctor you choose. Once you know that for sure then you will know the right questions to ask and you can let your information gathering stage begin.

Quotes From Movers - The Secret To Hiring A Moving Company With Confidence

Are you going to hire a moving company, but don't want to do that until you can be sure it is done with confidence so you can be sure it is completed right? Then you need to be aware that quotes from mover are the key to hiring the right company with confidence.

There are many reasons that the quotes are the key to making the right choice. The following are the reasons that you need to be smart and use these quotes to help you make your decision.

1. Quotes help you find the company that offers the right price for you - The right price is always a factor for anyone that is going to hire a moving company. You can find out what every company is going to be charging you, with quotes.

If you get multiple quotes, you will be able to find the one that gives you the best cost for your moving budget. Paying too much money is not smart for anyone and the moving quotes will help you ensure you don't.

Plus, the right company for you to hire is going to be the one that offers you the best price for your particular budget.

2. You can be sure that the company will provide all the services that you need - Services are one of the most vital things to find out about before hiring a company. Most companies will offer similar services, but they won't always be the same.

With the quotes, you can learn what services are offered by each individual company. That way you can choose the one that gives you all the services you will need.

Don't choose any company without first finding out about the services because if you do, then you need to be prepared when you find out that they don't offer a particular service that is vital to making your move complete.

3. Learn what the fees are and what the insurance will cost you - Every company is going to charge fees such as, fuel charges and others. You have to know what these fees are so you are only paying for the ones that you will use.

You also need to find out about insurance because this is going to be vital during the move. Not every company will have insurance on their estimate, but most of them will. Sometimes you may have to ask about it.

You just want to be sure you choose a company that will only charge you for fees that you are going to be using and that they offer insurance, just in case something should happen during the move.

These are the main reasons that quotes from movers are the key to hiring the right moving company with confidence. Just be sure that you take your time and gather as many quotes as you are able to since this is imperative to making the best choice. With the quotes in hand, you will not have a hard time making your decision with confidence.

Choose a Criminal Justice College Instead Of Falling For the Law School Swindle

For as long as anyone can remember, having a law degree was the ticket to a high salary and heaps of respect. In a crushing article written by the New York Times, the writer interviewed recent law graduates and revealed the dirty truth behind what many people call a prestigious degree. Despite this indictment of law schools and the reality of the graduates, we need people trained in the law in order to keep America safe from the inside out. A criminal justice college might just be the ticket to this balance.

The truth about law degrees today:

  • Statistics offered by the American Bar Association (ABA) in conjunction with the National Association for Law Placement say that 93% of law graduates were working nine months after graduation - even if the job was NOT in law.
  • U.S News statistics can be easily "massaged" by each institution, but are still approved by the ABA.
  • High tuition and low-cost makes law schools the "cash cow" of higher education.
  • No impartial bodies check to see if surveys taken by U.S. News Report for Law School Rankings are sound, leading many to assume that colleges "massage" numbers for better rankings.
  • Four years of undergraduate school and another three years of graduate school plus the added thousands of dollars and extra months after graduating to take the bar exam.
  • With the U.S recession, hundreds of law firms around the country had to downsize and suspend promotions.
So what are some alternatives for a career that involves law studies and will only incur a small portion of the debt that many law graduates have?

Paralegal

A paralegal is basically the jack-of-all-trades assistant to a lawyer. He or she will do the administrative duties of keeping documents on file, researching for cases, drafting up important documents and helping the lawyer prepare for important trials and other cases. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a projected growth of 13 percent by 2018 in this career field with a median salary of $46,129 and the top 10 percent making more than $73,450. Most paralegals have earned an associate's degree or completed a certificate training program after another related undergraduate degree through a criminal justice college. Many continue with a graduate master's degree also through a criminal justice college.

Occupational Health and Safety Specialist

These men and women are trained to protect workers, the environment and property from harm by conducting safety inspections, designing safe work places and making public spaces safe for people and the environment. They also help to keep a business efficient when it comes to employees and equipment. They must have an in-depth knowledge of state and federal laws and regulations. There is a projected growth of 11 percent by 2018 with a median salary of $62,250 and the top 10 percent earning more than $93,620 (BLS). Most of these specialists will have a bachelor's degree in occupational health and safety or a related field like chemistry or engineering. A certification from a related credentialing organization in the field is not required, but encouraged, by employers. Those that advance to leadership positions generally have a lot of work experience and an advanced degree.

Claims Adjuster and Examiner

The person that deals with an insurance holder's claims filed with their insurance company for business or personal claims. They investigate, validate and negotiate settlements between the insurance company and the claimant. Anywhere from a medical claim to a natural disaster, claims adjusters are the bridge between the person and the insurance company. Job opportunities are expected to be about average for 2018, with growth at a steady 7 percent with median earnings at $55,760 and the top 10 percent earning more than $84,260. Education requirements are not as strict - although employers might show preference to a college-educated candidate. It would be beneficial if the degree was in a related field, such as medicine or business. Continued training in certain fields is necessary for advancement. For example, a medical claims adjuster needs to be up to date on the latest medical advances and legislation.

Career options are not limited for those that may want to be in a field related to law, but do not want to risk the high tuition of a law school. These three options require knowledge of law and legal studies, but do not have the student in school for an expensive education that can last years. A respected and accredited criminal justice college will prepare you for any of these careers. These days the options are getting even wider with the availability of criminal justice colleges online.

Annuity Horror Stories That Will Make You Think Twice About Your Finances

We all want to do what is best for ourselves when it comes to saving up for our retirements. However, when we finally start to reach that age, we will start to get all kinds of new offers that we have never heard of before. For many people, their mailboxes will start to fill up with all kinds of mail from life insurance companies and companies that are selling annuities. However, if you make a rush decision about your finances, you may end up being one of the many unfortunate people that the annuity horror stories talk about.

Annuities are a financial product that can help you access your retirement money in a way that works better for you. For example, depending upon several factors, you may be able to turn your small payments that last for a number of months into a series of larger payments that last for a shorter amount of time.

There are many reasons why people choose to trade their pensions for these types of financial products. They may be sick and feel that having access to more money over a shorter time period will help them live more comfortably. Alternatively, they may have some big plans that they would like to achieve before it is too late.

There are many different kinds of annuities. Some are targeted towards to healthier people, while others are for people who have certain illnesses. The products that are for people with illnesses tend to target those who have serious or life threatening illnesses that will most likely decrease their life spans by quite a bit.

There are also products available for people who fall into certain health risk categories. For example, if you are very overweight, smoke frequently, and have a history of high cholesterol or high blood pressure, it may be easier for you to secure one of the many annuities and receive a decent payment each month. Generally speaking, the worse off you are in terms of your health, the higher your annuity payments will be each month.

The reason that many people have problems with annuities is that they have not fully considered their investment options before accepting the agreement with an insurance broker. Additionally, many people sign up for this service and have no idea what they are getting themselves into. By misunderstanding the terms of the agreement and the fees involved, they put their financial futures at great risk.

Another problem that people have had with annuities is that they end up with a product that is based on the market performance of high risk stocks, which as many younger people know, is constantly going up and down. This type of financial product is very dangerous for people who are in their elderly years and it can reduce the amount of income that they had been expecting.

There are good annuities out there, but you must choose the annuity that is right for you. Before you sign on for an annuity, be sure to check what your investment options are and decide if it is right for you.

Corset - Orthosis - Low Back Support - Finding A Local Orthopedic Brace Company

Are you someone that has low back pain?

Are you a medical professional that is searching for a corset type brace for one of your patients?

1.) Corsets Have Modern Use in Medical Field

In the medical field, many physicians recommend that their patients get lumbar sacral corsets to help support their lower back.

A corset is a very helpful brace that is typically a prefabricated item that usually is used for your lower back. This is the simple way to put it. For those of us that want more detailed information, a corset should extend from a point 10 millimeters distal to the xyphoid process and it extends down to a point that is 10 millimeters superior to the symphisis pubis. - These braces can help facilitate healing and reduce a patient's pain as well. Many times they can also be worn under a garment like a t-shirt.

A physician will request that you wear a corset after a lumbar or sacral surgical procedure to help give you added support. They can give you pain relief and support but they are not usually used for people that have unstable spine problems. They are more of a reminder for people.

2.) General Differences Among Corset Types (Lumbar Sacral vs. Dorsal Lumbar Corsets)

There are basically two kinds of corsets. One type is for your lower back (as described above) and the other type of corset is used for people that can not tolerate rigid braces. We are referring to what is called a dorsal-lumbar corset here. These braces typically extend the length of someone's back and have over the shoulder straps that help to prevent people from flexing their spine. This is helpful for people who have posture problems (sagittal imbalance) or a compression fracture.

3.) Where To Find A Corset Near You (Chicago example)

You can find one near you by going to Google. If you type in, for example, "corset Chicago" you will most likely find brace companies that are in this area. Or, you can go for a more specific area by typing in "corset" and "60601" for example. - This example can be used pretty much everywhere you live, even if it is not in the United States.

4.) Corset Braces & Insurance

Typically, these kinds of braces can be billed to someone's insurance, when there is medical necessity for the corset. You will need to bring your insurance card and I.D. to the appointment when you go to a brace company as well if you want to have an insurance claim submitted.