Archive for September, 2017

Work For Yourself

When it comes to working, it’s a mixed bag. While we all feel compelled to do something meaningful, it can quickly become abstracted by the inner workings of modern capitalism. However, when we do work that fulfills that need to do something meaningful, it benefits us on a spiritual level. This is why so many of us fall in line and want to be rock stars and otherwise pursue fame. We see that person, that creator, and we internalize that as the ideal job as a result. However, this is not necessarily the case, but it serves as a good analogy. We often encourage young people to give up on their dreams for practical reasons, and that’s a shame. My dad, when I was growing up, offered me more of a compromise. Work on what you love, but work for a paycheck. This, and a number of other factors led me down a road of mostly just working for a paycheck and, by my own struggles with mental illness, letting my dreams fall to the wayside.

However, recently, I’ve have a second wind of sorts, and I’m currently drawing more and finally writing a novel. The thing about following your dreams, within the framework of maintaining a living wage, is that it follows Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to a tee. You prioritize the more important needs like food (work) and save self actualization (accomplishing your personal goals) for when everything else is taken care of. However, putting your dreams on hold entirely only increases the odds that you’ll be without the skills necessary to jump back in when the time comes, and you may abandon it soon thereafter due to frustration. This is why you should, instead, strive to make more of your leisure time “work” on your hobby of choice so that you can develop that skill without taking away from your ability to provide for yourself.

So, my advice to anyone and everyone is to do just that: work on both making and saving money and developing the skills of your hobby in order to more easily fulfill your dreams once you can afford to invest more time and energy into it. As such, I also recommend taking certain steps that, of course, vary from hobby to hobby, from dream to dream, to ensure some manner of success moving forward. For example, if you want to run a website, grab a domain name from Namecheap sooner, rather than later, and work toward building it gradually. In my case, as an aspiring novelist, my advice to my past self would be simply to write as much as you can without worrying too much about quality. That way, you have that foundation to build off of later and can write your perfect novel gradually while you focus on survival.

What The Heck Is An Estate Planner, and Why Do People Keep Telling Me I Need One?

Planning for death is widely considered unpleasant and even morbid, but let’s be real — ignoring it will only lead to problems for family and friends down the line. Having a detailed plan of what should happen to you, your possessions, and your estate is essential to reduce the stress of the people left behind.

When people talk with you about things like this, they might mention something called an “estate planner” from time to time. But what is an estate planner? Do you need to hire one? Let’s explore these topics to give you a better idea on how to plan for your future.

What is An Estate Planner?

An estate planner is a specialized lawyer trained in helping people figure out what they want to happen to their possessions after death. Closely related to elder law, they’re in charge of planning for and reducing the amount of uncertainties after their client has died.

How Can Estate Planners Help?

Duties vary depending on what a client requires, though estate planners are commonly hired to write or revise a will. In it, they will outline how to distribute a client’s property after death, as well as any other valuables or assets they own. Assigning guardianship for minors or other dependents is also possible, as it declaring power of attorney in the event the client is indisposed but otherwise alive.

They can also help a client find ways to minimize or eliminate estate taxes through strategic distribution of assets among loved ones, as well as provide general legal advice related to estate planning.

When Don’t You Need An Estate Planner?

Though having an estate planner help you with your end of life problems can be helpful, certain situations may mean you don’t need or don’t want to utilize the services of one. For example, if you plan to sell your life insurance (surrendering a policy for its cash value) to help with expenses or get some extra money, an estate planner’s services might come in a little redundant. Or perhaps you feel confident enough to write your own will with little assistance or the use of an automated program, or maybe you just lack the money to hire an estate planner.

It’s also possible you simply don’t have anything you feel is worth planning out in the event of your death, wishing for probate law to assign your possessions.

Conclusion

Hiring an estate planner can certainly help reduce the stress your loved ones feel after your death, but hiring one is not required, either. If you require professional help planning for your passing, you may wish to look into hiring one in the near future — ultimately the key is planning ahead.

What’s The Difference Between A Chapter 7 And A Chapter 13?

If you’re trying to pay off a substantial amount of debt, bankruptcy is one option that could help, although it requires you to give up quite a bit of financial control over your life. You have two common bankruptcy options, and these are called Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Each works very differently and has its own advantage and disadvantages.

Liquidate or Restructure Your Debt

Because of how they work, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as liquidation bankruptcy, whereas Chapter 13 bankruptcy is known as restructuring or reorganization bankruptcy.

With Chapter 7, you’re giving permission for the court to liquidate any assets that aren’t protected under the bankruptcy laws set by the federal government and your state. The proceeds of these sales goes towards your debtors. This type of bankruptcy wipes out many types of unsecured debt, although there are certain debts it can’t wipe away. These include student loans and tax debts. For secured debts, the debtors can repossess the collateral on the loan.

With Chapter 13, you’re setting up a payment plan with the court that will result in your debt being paid off within three to five years. You can negotiate the total amount you’ll pay and you can have late fees and other charges added to your debt to avoid repossession of any property. According to the Bankruptcy Law Office, a Chapter 13 can stop a foreclosure if the bankruptcy is filed early enough in the process. With secured debts, you can choose to either make those parts of your payment plan or let the debtor repossess the collateral to be done with the debt. You need to monitor how you spend your money while you’re on that payment plan, and the court may require you to use zero-base budgeting that you show to them at any time.

How Long Your Bankruptcy Will Last

Chapter 13 bankruptcy lasts until you complete your payment plan, which will likely be three to five years. Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically lasts between three and six months.

Qualifying for Bankruptcy

One important thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have 100-percent control over which type of bankruptcy you choose. Your income determines which one you qualify for. If you make enough for a payment plan, you’ll need to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you don’t, then you need to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is a major decision, and it’s important to understand as much as possible about it before you file. Think about which chapter you would likely qualify for, and then consult a bankruptcy lawyer to see if filing is a smart move.

What Kinds Of Accidents Most Often Result In Fatalities?

While a good number of drivers strive to exercise caution on the road, there are some situations that are beyond our control. However, it is important to be aware of the kind of traffic accidents likely to result in fatalities since you will be in a better position to avoid these situations. Although auto makers are continuously coming up with cars that incorporate modern safety features, the majority of the accidents on public roads are attributed to human error.

Head-on Collisions

There is no doubt that speed kills. In fact, one of the reasons why head-on collisions often result in fatalities is because of the impact that the added speed of both vehicles produce. However, fatal head-on collisions are not just limited to the case of two moving vehicles. When a vehicle travelling at high speed hits a fixed solid object, there is likely to be almost the same kind of impact. The car will not only sustain serious damage, but the occupants may also suffer fatalities.

Rollover Accidents

The rolling motions of a car rolling over on its side or roof will cause the occupants to get tossed. Even when they are belted, the upper torso will still be subjected to sideways motions, leading to serious injuries that could even result in death. The situation is even more serious for unbelted occupants since they could be ejected from the car after such an accident.

T-Bone Crashes

While most cars have bumpers that protect against front and rear collisions, there is little protection against side impact. When crossing an intersection, another car may run into yours, hitting the relatively thin side door, and causing great damage. Driving at high speeds increases the chances of fatalities when such crashes occur.

Drunk Driving Collisions

Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents. This is because drugs and alcohol impair judgment and undermine physical ability and reaction times. Depending on the circumstances, drunk driving can result in fatalities. In case you sustain injuries or lose a loved one in a collision where one of the drivers was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you should consider contacting a car accident lawyer. The legal expert will explain the options available to you.

One of the best ways to avoid these road accidents is to ensure that both the car and driver are road ready before going on a trip. This means getting adequate rest and making sure your car is properly maintained.

5 Most Expensive Cars To Insure

Buying a car may be one of the most expensive purchases to make in a life time, second only to buying a home. Before buying a car, it is important to do all the homework to ascertain all aspects of the vehicle you are buying. Some of the elements to look out for include availability of spare parts in case of vehicle mechanical failure, depreciation, and maintenance costs. In addition to these, you need to get a good insurance policy to cover the car in the event of an accident or vehicle mechanical failure. The following are some of the most expensive cars to insure:

Dodge GT Viper

5 Most Expensive Cars To Insure

This is a speedy car with a V-10 engine that can hit 60 mph in just three seconds. The car costs about $4,048 to insure every year. The high cost is partly caused by the fact that it is preferred by people who want move very fast. This car is said to cost over three times the cost of insuring a Honda Odyssey. Other reasons that make them expensive to insure is their vulnerability to thieves as well as the high costs to repair.

Mercedes SL65 AMG

This is among the three top most expensive cars to insure. Its annual insurance cost amounts to $3,797. Generally, cars that are cheap to repair in case of vehicle mechanical failure and have fewer claims filed by the owners cost less to insure.

Mercedes S600 BI-T

The Mercedes S600 BI-T costs $3,539 every year to insure. The insurance rates however differ from state to state. This is because each region presents different sets of challenges including terrain and climatic conditions.

Mercedes S63 AMG 4Matic

This is the fourth most expensive car to insure with its insurance premiums standing at $3,513 every year. The car has an AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine which produces a lot of power and is able to reach 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds.

Porsche Panamera S Executive

5 Most Expensive Cars To Insure

This is one among the most expensive Porsche models and one of the most expensive cars to insure. It costs $3,484 every year to insure. To save on insurance costs, it is advisable to get at least three quotes from different insurance service providers.

Insurance is one of the elements that stretches its costs above then original buying price. The best way to approach it is to compare the different quotations from different providers as that you get the best deal.

Sources

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-most-expensive-cars-to-insure-2016-02-25

https://www.daveabels.com/mechanical-failures.html

https://gearheads.org/5-most-expensive-cars-to-insure/

5 Necessities For Full-Time Truck Drivers

Full-time truck drivers quickly realize what’s a necessity and what is not. This has led to an abundance of people sharing their expertise. With all these differing opinions, it may be overwhelming in determining where to start. Being prepared on the road is essential to a successful career. Accidents, hazards, and theft can all find their ways to a truck driver. These 5 Necessities for Full-Time Truck Drivers, below will have you ready for any situation out on the road.

Maps

A GPS system is hands off information that can help you achieve a stress-free trip. With features like voice command, real-time traffic updates and detours, and the latest map updates, having a GPS system can be the best “backseat driver” out there. Keep in mind, while most technology proves useful, systems can fail unexpectedly. Be sure to keep a hard copy map with you for the added security that your destination point can be approached without any hiccups to your plan.

Emergency Kit

While many trucking companies will provide a basic kit in most stock cabs, be sure to check the inventory of supplies before every departure. A good kit will take into account the supplies necessary for road emergencies–no matter the hazard. Basic tools from screwdrivers to wrenches are a given, as well as jumper cables, flashlights, emergency flares, and extra fuses. You never know what you’ll encounter so also be sure to include fundamental needs like–food, water, extra clothing, and any necessary medications and first aid supplies.

Entertainment

When you’re not on the move, your downtime should be an opportunity to unwind and relax. While there are a variety of ways we can entertain ourselves, consider your load–you wouldn’t want to carry around more than you need. Laptops can be a great option as they can perform a variety of tasks. Whether you want to watch movies, connect with family and friends, listen to music, or check your email–there are a number of reasons why having one is necessary. Additional entertainment devices can include game consoles, smartphones, and portable video and audio devices.

Documentation

Insurance information is especially important for full-time truck drivers. Accidents do happen and you never know what situation you might encounter on the road. Protecting yourself from the unpredictable occurrences are essential to the job. Remember, when in an accident, if they don’t have insurance, contact an attorney. They will verify your documentation and get your case rolling forward.

Baby Wipes

These wipes are so versatile. They are handy for cleaning up messy food spills, wiping your hands after a trip to the gas pump, or freshening up in between showers. You can’t go wrong with having a pack of wipes ready at your disposal.

Conclusion

Truckers encounter a wide range of challenges while on the road. From battling fatigue to eating and sleeping on the go–they’ve got to be prepared for just about anything. Having a well-stocked cab can increase your ability to maintain stress levels and increase your efficiency on the road.

Enough Dreaming: 8 Steps That Will Get You Closer To Career Goal

Managing your career seems like a full time job by itself, but if you want to be successful, you need to look at it that way. Reaching the point of success is very important if that is something that means a lot to you. I suppose many people just give up after a while if things are not happening fast enough. You need to realize that all that happens for good takes a little hard work and some time. Here are 8 steps that will help you achieve your career goals faster.

  1. Have clear goals

Before you can start working on achieving anything, you need to know what those are. Your goal can not simply be that you want to achieve career success. Make sure that you go a bit more in detail about what your end goal is. At which company do you want to work at or what earning power are you looking for? These are very important questions and following that, you can move closer to your goals.

  1. Smaller achievable goals

So now that you know what your end goal is, you want to create a list of smaller achievable goals. These goals should be achieved in a short amount of time, to motivate you. Let’s say you want to be a professional biography writer, but you are just starting out. Getting your first client could be an achievable goal. You start with one and build from there.

  1. Network

Having individuals in your life that are influences in the industry you are in, is very important. You never know who is going to open doors for you in the future. Go to industry events or connect with some of them online. As long as you start networking with those who can help you in the future, you are heading in the right direction.

  1. Professional image

It does not matter which industry you are working in, a professional image is crucial. We do not want to be judged by the way we look, but unfortunately we are. I am not saying that you should be in a suit and tie when you are a construction worker. Just make sure that your appearance is neat and adhere to the company’s dress code.

  1. Mind-set

Although hard work can take you places, it is going to be fruitless if you do not have a positive mind-set. If you are looking at an example of a bio and you believe that you would never produce something so amazing, you lost the battle already. Believe in yourself.

  1. Do the work

If you want to reach goals that not many have, you are going to have to put in the work. Success does not come easy and it definitely does not happen overnight. It takes time and commitment.

  1. Growth

While you are working on achieving your career goals, you want to increase your knowledge and skills levels. Taking an extra class or course is only going to make your resume more attractive. Never stop learning.

  1. Decrease the pressure

Do not be too hard on yourself. If you want to be a bio writer, it might take a little while. Stressing yourself out about not getting to your end goal in the time-frame you set, does not amount to failure. It just means that you are not ready yet and when you are ready, you will get there.

The Best (and Worst) Degrees For Business Success

If there’s one thing the Great Recession taught us, it’s that some degrees count for more than others in the business world. If you’re dreaming of a career in business, chances are you’ve thought about your educational options more than once. After all, some degrees are worth more than others and some degrees can help you more than others when it comes to achieving business success. If you’d like to know more about the best and the worst degrees for a career in business, read on.

The Best Degrees for Business

Getting the MBA

Many people who dream of business success gravitate toward the MBA degree. The Master of Business Administration degree teaches students about making managerial decisions and about the principles of economics. It also provides a solid foundation in accounting and offers insights into customer buying behaviors. This type of degree offers useful skills like accounting and management training. According to the Payscale website, those who earn an MBA can earn as much as $126,000 per year. Some companies will even pay for employees in senior positions to obtain an MBA, especially if it’s pursued from an online university.

Other Business Degree Options

If you’re not quite up to committing to a full MBA-track degree, Investopedia recommends getting a Master of Finance degree. This degree teaches you about risk management, investments, and how to successfully manage your assets.

The benefit of this degree compared to other advanced degrees is that it only takes a year to earn. This means that you can work in the business field for a couple of years before getting the degree. Not only will you gain some practical experience in business, you’ll have the opportunity to save up some money to pay for the degree. Not having to take on student loan debt in the process of getting your degree will help you in the long run. The money you save by not having to pay back your student loans can be invested in a business of your own.

Other Useful Degrees

The Best (and Worst) Degrees For Business Success

In the age of the Internet, the ability to write clearly and the ability to communicate has become more important than ever. That’s likely why an Entrepreneur article suggests that degrees in English and Communication can play a vital role in business.

Nowadays, business writing isn’t just about creating memos and writing emails to clients, though that’s part of it. SEO, or search engine optimization, and the specific writing skills that this marketing technique requires make up the foundation of many businesses’ marketing communication strategies. SEO writers ensure that a business’s website get organic visitors from the web. The advantage of these types of potential customers is that they very often come online with the intention to buy. The ability to use the right keywords to attract them to a company’s site plays a key role in that. That’s the job of an SEO expert. If you want to learn these skills, you’ll often find classes in them in your local college’s English, communication, and marketing departments.

The Worst Degrees for Business

Liberal Arts Degree

According to Forbes, the demand for the arts goes up in an “up” economy, but the arts are also the first thing to suffer in a recession. The same can be said for arts degrees, some humanities degrees, psychology, philosophy, history, etc. While there is an argument for a liberal arts education – namely that it gives you the look into human nature that you need to successfully understand your customers – it isn’t necessary to get a liberal arts degree to do that. Most degrees, even business degrees, require their students to take core classes in the liberal arts.

Psychology

The Best (and Worst) Degrees For Business Success

Like the liberal arts degree, an education in psychology can be useful if it’s done right. After all, some careers like advertising and marketing rely on understanding psychology in order to understand customer behavior. However, taking some psychology classes as a part of an advertising or marketing degree makes more sense for the business person than going straight for the psychology degree.

Final Thoughts on Useful Business Degrees

Getting a useful education is one of the best things you can do for yourself in terms of earning an income. This is doubly true for those pursuing a career in business. The skills you learn by obtaining a business degree will provide you with the skills you need to run your business on a daily basis. That said, some degrees are more useful than others. While it can be argued that liberal arts or psychology are useful when it comes to dealing with people, they shouldn’t be the only classes that college students take. It’s better to take coursework in these subjects alongside other more business-related topics if you want to have success in business.