Why Estate Planning is Not Just for the Retired

Why Estate Planning is Not Just for the Retired

estate planningEstate planning is a topic that is likely to cross your mind later on in life. As a matter of fact, many Americans lack the most basic estate plans, thinking they don’t have the means to warrant such documents. Some are too busy with work and family, and think they have plenty of time on their hands. Others simply just don’t want to talk about mortality, or at least don’t take it seriously at such a young age. But taking care of this matter ahead of time actually pays dividends.

Utah-based legal firm, Drew Briney Attorney at Law explains that there’s no better time to think about it than now. Actually, it’s one of the most important decisions you should make while you’re still alive and healthy.

Your Net Worth is Irrelevant

This process is not exclusive to the retired and affluent. Regardless of the amount of wealth you have in the bank or the kind of assets you have, you have the liberty to make sure every single thing you own would go into the hands of someone you trust when you’re gone. Be it a small house, an old car, or any object with sentimental value, nothing brings you peace like knowing that your valuables would be passed on to the right people.

You May Not Want Your State’s Way

States have a way of doing things if you’re no longer capable of assigning your estate. Say you abruptly die or become disabled, the court would take over, and distribute your wealth in accordance to the law. It may seem convenient, but the results may not be that desirable on your family’s part. Estate planning is among the many ways to avoid inheritance conflicts.

You Don’t Know What May Happen

The possibility of passing away is always there. You may be young and in good health, but a single accident could end it all, leaving no clear guideline on how you want your assets distributed. Trouble comes to the unprepared.

Estate planning early is one of the most considerate things you can do for yourself and your family. Consult a financial adviser and an estate lawyer to take the hassle out of this complicated process.

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Where Exactly Did the Hoodie Come From?

Where Exactly Did the Hoodie Come From?

man wearing hoodieFrom being a basic clothing piece for the medieval-era monks to being the unofficial uniform of anyone in the tech industry, the hoodie has certainly gone a long way. As a matter of fact, even notable designers have incorporated the hoodie in high fashion collections, emphasising the piece’s importance in modern lifestyle.

But how exactly did the hoodie become such a fashion staple?

Where the inspiration came from

Before the hoodie, there was the cowl – the piece that the monks wore during that time. But unlike the garment we know today, the cowl was simply an additional piece attached onto a robe. This became a de rigueur piece for outdoor workers back then.

Where it all began

Medieval history aside, the modern hoodie came to life back in the 1930s. It’s all thanks to the New York-based company Champion Products. The firm’s main goal back then was to provide a piece of clothing to the labourers who had to endure working in freezing temperatures. Champion transformed the typical sweatshirt we all know and attached a permanent hood onto it.

Where it rose to fame

Champion’s first hoodie didn’t become a fashion staple. Although some workers sported the garment, the piece was stuck at that level. Where the piece really gained fame (and, to some extent, infamy), is when the hip hop culture developed in the 1970s. Soon enough, the skate and punk culture also embraced the hoodie.

Some might say that the hoodie did get quite a negative impression during the prime of hip hop culture, but that all changed a couple of decades later. People grew more open with the fashion piece and realised its creative style on top of its practical applications. Some even joke that the hoodie has become the quintessential piece for every person in Silicon Valley (thanks, Mark Zuckerberg).

Today, FireLabel.co.uk says stylish zip up hoodies have become a go-to piece for many whenever the weather becomes a bit nippy. With its utilitarian and stylish flair, the hoodie has morphed into an essential piece in any wardrobe.

The hoodie had quite a journey from its early days to its current status as the preferred casual garment. But one thing is clear: the public did need the hoodie, a piece that’s both practical and fashionable. The cliché “necessity is the mother of all invention” rings true, after all.

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Don’t Be Content with Your Online Content

Don’t Be Content with Your Online Content

content writingFor those who have been dabbling with SEO for quite some time now, changes are nothing new. A lot has happened in the industry over the past few years. Many of the changes have affected long-held SEO methods and compelled digital marketers to make adjustments to their strategies.

Of all the changes, however, the one that made the biggest impact is the sudden emphasis on the quality of online content. Websites started dropping like flies when Google rolled out changes focusing on content, and here’s a quick discussion why:

Hail the King

Recent updates to search engine algorithms hint at where the industry is headed. It does not come as a surprise for some, though, that creating quality content has become the focal point of the changes. More than the link building strategies and social media optimisation techniques, compelling content is what drives a consumer to know more about a brand. It makes sense for search engine giants to reward sites that provide relevant information.

IMAdvantage.com.au says streamlining local SEO services to focus on specific markets helps. Use particular keywords relevant to the place you are targeting so users can engage more with your brand.

Changing Platforms

When creating content for your website, you have to consider how your visitors access and navigate the website. With the growing reliance on mobile devices today, you need to make sure the user experience is consistent across all platforms. The experience of reading content on desktop, for instance, is drastically different with mobile. Users usually search for short content or snippets of information on their mobile devices. If you have not optimised your content for mobile use, visitors may find it difficult to pummel through your content.

Going Viral

What good is creative, well-written content if it cannot be shared? Apart from optimising your website for different platforms, you must also think about how users can spread your content. You might have a blog worth following, but if it cannot reach more users, it won’t reach its potential. Use social media widgets to expand your market. You can also subscribe to feeds or newsletter invites.

You have to stay vigilant in your drive to make content more accessible. Breakthroughs in technology, for example, can be of great help. With the introduction of smart watches and other devices, it may be time to reconsider your content strategies once again.

When it comes to SEO and content marketing, do not be content with your content. You have to find ways to make it better and build your online presence. After all, you are not just creating content for the web crawlers to index. You create content to inform real people.

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Cost-Effective Ways to Keep Warm This Winter Season

Cost-Effective Ways to Keep Warm This Winter Season

window blindsDuring the winter months, it’s a challenge for many homeowners to keep themselves warm. They have to spend on central heating, which causes their electricity bills to skyrocket. Fortunately, you don’t have to blow your budget to make yourself comfortable at home. All you need is to think of the most cost-effective alternatives possible. Here are some examples:

Install Plantation Shutters

Shutters don’t only control light and promote privacy, but also maintain the temperature indoors. The tilted bars are good insulators because these work for both hot and cold weather conditions, according to The Blinds Gallery. Shutters trap cold and warm air, so your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems don’t have to work too hard. In addition, shutters come in different styles. As winter isn’t all dark and cloudy, you can open them fully to let sunlight enter your home.

Adjust Your Thermostat

Don’t turn your thermostat to its maximum level immediately. The ideal temperature is 68 degrees. If you want your heating system to suit your temperature at home, try lower temperatures until you find just the right heat level. This can save at least 5% on your electricity bills.

Use Your Ceiling Fans Wisely

Your ceiling fan can either make the room feel hot or cool. If you let it run in a clockwise direction, the blades will do the opposite effect and make the heat from the ceiling go down the room. Find the switch of your ceiling fan’s cylinder. If you can’t, contact its manufacturing company to know if the model you have at home has this feature and if you can change it by yourself.

The heating system you have at home isn’t the only way to keep you warm. If you want to save money, try other options with the things you have. As such, you can maximise them and keep your budget under control.

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You’re Not Alone: How to Stay Ahead in Business

You’re Not Alone: How to Stay Ahead in Business

public relationsAfter the difficult years of establishing your brand, the next stop would be defending your market position.

Many companies think that launching thousands of marketing and social media campaigns is key. Unfortunately, this does not apply to all businesses, as staying ahead of the game means a great deal of work and higher competence levels.

Sustain your own brand buzz

World-renowned marketing strategies Al and Laura Ries say the best brands are built with public relations first. Supported by public relations strategists in San Diego, staying ahead in the business means sustaining your brand buzz through the fundamentals of public relations.

As basic public relation principles would dictate, constantly reach out to your market and find your niche in the business. Look for new target markets that show enthusiasm toward your business, and analyze their behavior. Identify their interests and establish an identity of being a go-to source by providing the chunk of information they need. Cultivate your own brand while competing with other companies. Launch unique strategies that can expand your reach while standing out from the crowd.

Beef up your market research

Your consumer is your boss. Maintaining a competitive edge entails a great deal of market research—identifying the ins and outs of the consumer landscape. Your company needs to be flexible enough to adjust to their varying needs and wants at a specific period.

Know your value by the numbers

Critical numbers may either break or make the business. Constantly monitor your return on investment (ROI) on marketing campaigns, and average customer value (ACV) or how much money an average customer spends with you in a specific period. By knowing your numbers, you can commit yourself in tracking and improving them.

As experts say, business is a playing field where even small percentages indicate the difference between winning and losing.

Every business action that you make is part of your leadership and legacy, including failures and moments under the limelight. At the end of the day, what matters is how you have demonstrated your brand while encompassing different marketing theories and entrepreneurial concepts.

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FCA Announces Proposals for Cap on Cost of Payday Loans

FCA Announces Proposals for Cap on Cost of Payday Loans

financial compliance expertsIn July 2014, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced proposals for its cap on the total cost of a payday loan. This measure comes into force in January 2015, after the financial regulator was forced by the Government to limit the cost of this form of borrowing.

Financial compliance experts from scottrobert.co.uk shares some details on this new scheme:

The headline proposal is that, from the start of next year, no payday lender or other firm whose loans meet the FCA’s definition of high cost short-term credit will be able to ask a borrower to repay more in interest and charges than the amount they have borrowed.

Subject to this overriding principle, interests on payday loans will be capped at 0.8% per day, and default fees cannot exceed £15. These caps will continue to apply if the loan is rolled over.

The FCA has estimated that these measures will save the average payday loan borrower £193 per year, and that the payday loan sector will lose £420 million per year in revenue as a result, equivalent to 42% of the current size of the sector.

The FCA now invites comments on its proposals, and responses must be received by September 1. The regulator has promised to conduct a review of the impact of the cap in two years’ time.

Martin Wheatley, the FCA’s chief executive, said, “For the many people that struggle to repay their payday loans every year this is a giant leap forward.”
Giving examples of what the cap would mean in practice, he said, “If you borrow £100 for 30 days and pay back on time, you will not pay more than £24 in fees and charges and someone taking the same loan for 14 days will pay no more than £11.20.”

“Alongside our other new rules for payday firms – affordability tests and limits on rollovers and continuous payment authorities – the cap will help drive up standards in a sector that badly needs to improve how it treats its customers,” he added.

Consumer groups welcomed the announcement. “It’s good to see the regulator tackling the eye-watering cost of payday loans, especially the excessive default charges that sting struggling borrowers and lead them into spiralling debt,” said Which? Executive Director Richard Lloyd.

Martin Lewis, founder of the personal finance website MoneySavingExpert.com, described the cap as “not restrictive enough to make a real difference,” and said he “would have liked to have seen the cap … nearer 50%.”

However, industry spokespersons were less keen on the proposals. Russell Hamblin Boone, chief executive of the Consumer Finance Association, commented on the restrictions in access to credit that may occur as a result. He said, “Anyone who thinks that a price cap is good news for borrowers should have a thought for those many people who will be turned down for loans because the best lenders will have to reject those with the worst credit records.”

Also, the FCA announced that it would start consulting on the introduction of compulsory real-time data sharing in November 2014, unless the payday loan sector has already made significant progress by that time.

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Successful SEO: Prioritizing Your SEO Efforts

Successful SEO: Prioritizing Your SEO Efforts

seo servicesPrioritization is one of the most common challenging jobs in search engine optimization. Whether you’re optimizing your own website or managing an SEO company, you need to prioritize clients, tactics, keywords and other things important to an SEO campaign.

If you don’t have enough experience managing SEO and analytics, you may find it hard to prioritize your efforts. Read on to learn more ways to focus and prioritize your SEO strategies.

Set Goals

If you want to accomplish your goals, don’t just focus on SEO. Focus on the business goals, too, to boost revenues. Don’t just focus on using keywords with the highest search volume. Think of goals with a qualitative aspect so you can measure it and determine if you achieved it.

Know Areas for Improvement

After setting your goals, figure out how you can fulfill them. Evaluate your past efforts and determine the areas that need improvement. Figure out the rankings for relevant keywords and the name of websites outranking you. By auditing the website, you can determine the SEO aspects you need to prioritize.

Get Expert Help

If you run an SEO company, it is important to get help from reliable service providers to offer quality solutions to your clients. SearchEngineLand.com and SEOResellerProgram.com recommend working with SEO reselling companies to help handle different campaigns effectively.

Focus on the Small Scale

The most frustrating part of prioritization is not getting accurate results. While you can predict results based on experiences, it is still unclear how the search engines will look at it. This makes it important to implement changes on a small scale instead of applying drastic changes to every part of a website. Test new strategies first to find out if it works. If it doesn’t, figure out the reasons and test again.

As your company continues to grow, there will be plenty of things you’ll need to deal with. Consider these tips to prioritize your efforts and achieve your SEO targets.

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Getting the Type of Tutoring Your Child Needs

Getting the Type of Tutoring Your Child Needs

tutoring your childThere are many reasons to seek educational support for your child. Whether it is for improving grades or mastering a certain subject, it is important to know why support is necessary to get the best tutor for your child.

Here are some of the most common reasons parents seek tutorial support:

Maintenance

This method helps students adjust to a new academic environment. It is beneficial for students moving from the primary to secondary level or those transferring to a new school with that are more demanding. Maintenance tutorial sessions help your kids with time management skills and understanding their new school responsibilities.

Remediation

This type of tutoring is beneficial for students struggling at school. Remediation focuses on addressing certain gaps in areas such as math, reading, or writing. As subject development progresses, the tutor will broaden the subject areas that need to be strengthened. ATA.edu.au and ProgressiveHomeTutors.com.au suggest finding a tutor with experience in both classroom teaching and one-on-one methods.

Enrichment

If your child performs well at school and is comfortable with more challenges, it may be helpful to find a tutor to help further development in certain areas. Enrichment tutoring presents plenty of challenges to students who have already mastered subjects the class is studying. This can also help reveal your child’s potential and enables them to shine in unique and different ways.

Support Tutoring

This method is used for older students studying below grade level. It concentrates on a student’s deficient areas and keeps them from falling further behind with schoolwork. Support tutoring is ideal for students with learning disabilities who want to finish academics at grade level.

Test Preparation

Various exams cause anxiety for high school students wanting to get into their preferred college or university. Test preparation assistance reduces test-taking anxiety and helps your child prepare for exams better.

Tutors help students perform better in school. They can help kids focus and spend time efficiently on lessons and homework. Make sure to find the right tutor that can support your child’s educational progress.

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Taking Your Kitchen Outdoors: Tools For The Perfect BBQ

Taking Your Kitchen Outdoors: Tools For The Perfect BBQ

sausage-bbqBackyard barbecues are the perfect way to spend the weekend with your family and loved ones. You get to play grill master and cook slabs of juicy meat for everyone to feast on during the day.

Burgers, sausages, ribs, and steaks need to be grilled and cooked to perfection. Bringing out the flavour out of all that meat requires something short of alchemy genius. As with most things, the success of your barbecues will likely depend on the tools you will use.

Here are the most common barbecue tools for perfect barbecues:

Tongs & skewers

Barbecuing entails having to constantly turn your meat over while under the flame. This makes tongs and skewers indispensable tools. These make delicious barbecues so much easier.

Mitts

Unfortunately, burns come with the territory when working with fire and heat. Always be sure to have mitts handy so as to avoid nasty burns while barbecuing.

Rack, grills, and grates

Rib racks can increase a grill’s capacity for cooking because these keep slabs of meat at an angle the open heat sources.

Charcoal

Gas simply does not cut it. According to barbecues supplies for sale provider longacres.co.uk, there is no replacing charcoal. Long burn charcoal briquettes,  olive lump wood charcoals, wood chunks and chips are essential to cooking up the best meat.

Drip pans

Drip pans are the best way to keep all the freshly grilled meat and retain their flavourful juices. You will serve up batches of delectable meat with these.

Grill brushes

After a day’s worth of barbecues, make sure that your tools remain clean and free of residue for the next cook out. Grill brushes are a great way to rid your tools of the most stubborn dirt and residue.

With ample barbecue tools and the right approach, you will be churning out the tastiest burgers, sausages, ribs, and steaks. Be sure to arm yourself with the right tools when it is time to take the kitchen outdoors. Keep these in mind and your barbecues will be the highlight of any gathering.

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A Comfortable Bedroom Can Help You Be the Best Version of Yourself Every Day

A Comfortable Bedroom Can Help You Be the Best Version of Yourself Every Day

comfortable sleepOh, how sweet it is to come home to a relaxing bedroom and end each day sleeping like a baby. That’s what the bedroom is for, to be your safe haven and resting sanctuary.

Not all people experience this kind of bliss, though. Some suffer from insomnia and discomfort because they don’t know how to achieve calmness before going to sleep. The Mattress Department offers some tips on what your bedroom should contain for you to sleep like a baby.

Calm Colors

The paint color in your room contributes to its coziness. Colors influence how you feel, so choosing the right color inside the bedroom is important. Find a color that is conducive to sleep. Glossy and neon colors should definitely be out, while flat colors can work well.

A Magic Mattress

A mattress’s magic comes from its ability to contour to your form and make you feel cozy. The right mattress actually depends on your sleeping style. Be aware of that and ask a mattress expert to help choose the right mattress for you. One trend today is mattresses with temper foam that pushes you down to relax your back seamlessly.

Right Lights

Turning only the lampshade on is helpful if you want a wonderful sleep. Make sure you use a 45-watt bulb that provides just the right amount of brightness to tell the brain it’s sleep time.

Dreamy Pillows

Most people know how irritating and inconvenient it is to sleep on a bad pillow. That’s why it should be totally off limits inside your bedroom. Stomach, back, and side sleepers need different types of neck support. Find the perfect pillow so that you dream happy dreams every night and wake up feeling great each day.

Allow yourself the luxury of letting go of all worries and just sleep soundly. Evaluate your sleep schedule and environment, find out if there’s anything wrong, and change it. This will renew your mind, body, and spirit to face every day feeling refreshed and happy.

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