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Sunday, November 29, 2009

7 Insurance Myths That Can Cost You Big Time

Myth #1-Replacement Cost-Reality: Usually, replacement cost coverage ONLY covers the depreciated value of your damaged possessions. In this case, you'll have to come up with the extra cash to buy new replacemnet items. Plus, many times you'll have to do it in 12 months from the date of the loss. What You Should Do: Check the time limit. Check with contractors and ask if they are willling to work with your insurance company to recover the full cost. For damaged contents, replace some items quickly and file a claim. Then use the insurance settlement money to replace more. Myth # 2-Insurers Only Replace The Damaged Sections-Reality: If replacing a damaged section of your home creates a visible difference between the replaced section and the old section, the insurer MUST replace the undamaged areas as well. What You Should Do: If your insurer tries to dodge responsibility to replace undamaged sections, write a letter to the adjuster stating what should be covered by the policy. Then add: " It is my understanding that in accordance with the line-of-sight-rule, I'm also entitled to replacement of the siding on the south and west side of my home as well. If you have any doubts about this, please refer to your Fire, Casualty and Surety( FC&S) Bulletins and get back to me." Most adjusters usually back off when policy holders cite this trade publication known by few outsiders in the insurance industry. Myth # 3- You Have To Live With The Work The Auto Repair Shop Mandated By Your Insurer Reality: Right after your insurer's mandated repair shop finihses its work, take the vehicle to a dealership service department and request an evaluation of the damaged area. If the vehicle was in a serious collision, request a 4 wheel alignment. These types of alignments usually uncover lingering problems with vehicles that have been in collisions. Share your findings with your insurer, and say, "You warranted these repairs, so take my car back and fix it properly." Myth #4-My Car Is Covered By Any Driver - Reality: When you lend your car out, it depends on the policy. Some insurers now provide coverage only to drivers specifically named on the policy. So before you lend your car out, check with your insurer. Myth # 5 - It's OK To Call Your Insurance Company To Inquire About Small Claims- Reality: Your insurance company wll open a claim as soon as you call the claims department even if you don't persue payment. What You Should Do: Don't call your insurance company unless its going to cost you more than your deductable. Myth # 6 - Independent Insurer Adjusters Are Fair- Reality: An adjusters job is to look out for the insurance company whether he or she works for the insurer or is independent. He or she will pretend to be your friend and try to steer you towards repairs instead of replacing the damaged areas. The only exception to this rule is when you're dealing with company adjusters from Chubb or Amica who are pro customer. What You Should Do: If you feel an adjuster is not being fair with you, hire a public adjuster. In fact, most public adjusters will tell you that you should contact them FIRST before you call your own insurance company! Reason? They can get you more money before your insurance company has a chance to downplay the claim and offer you a paltry sum! Public adjusters represent policy holders in their negociations with insurance companies. However, they are not all created equal. So when you decide on which one you will call, make sure you check out the adjuster's reputation at www.BBB.Org Public adjusters can be found in the yellow pages under "Insurance Adjusters" or "Adjusters-Public" or through the National Assocation of Public Adjusters. Call 703-433-9217 or go2: www.Napia.Com Public adjusters usually charge 10% to 25% of the total claims settlement which you should negoiate before you sign a contract.Myth # 7- You Can Cancel Your Insurance By Not Paying The Bill - Reality: Insurers usually give you a 30 day grace period before coverage is terminated. Policyholders are legally responsible for premiums charged during the grace period even if you have no intenion of continuing with the coverage. So its better to call and cancel a policy you no longer need.

Friday, November 13, 2009

How To Make 8% On Annuity Investments And Ten Questions You Should Before You Buy

1. Why Am I Buying It? People buy annuities to protect their savings from market downturns, to enjoy tax deferred growth, or to generate a guaranteed income for life or for some other fixed period of time. If you're not trying to achieve one or more of these goals, annuities may not be for you. 2. How Much Will My Annuity Pay Out? Your sales advisor should be able to tell you the guaranteed minimum it will pay each year, based on your initial investment and the date of your distribution. Note that if you are funding a varible annuity over time, that won't be the case. 3. How Much Will This Annuity Cost? You should know the mortality and expense charges that fund the annuity guarantees,any administrative fees, and in any fees for optional benefits. With a varible annuity, you should know the underlining expenses for the investment in your account. 4. What Are My Investment Option? When you a buy a varible annuity,you typically invest in a portfolio of stock and bond funds until you begin withdrawals. The end avalue of that portfolio will impact how much money you will actually receive. So you should be comfortable with the investments your varible annuity offers you. 5. Will My Heirs Get Back My Investment If I Die Prematurely? Buying an annuity without a death benefit means higher income for you. But if you don't vfeel good about the possibility that an insurance company will keep any portion of your premium that it hasn't paid out by the time you die, loook for an annuity with a death benefit. Most offer them. You can also choose a "joint and survivor" annuity that continues to pay out as as you or a designated second person like your spouse is alive. 6. Can I Get My Money Back If My Circumstances Change? Once you convert you account balance into a guranteed stream of income, you can only access the money on that schedule. If that's a concern, ask about options that permit additional withdrawals. 7. What Surrender Fees Apply? Most fixed or varible annuities impose surrender fees if you make withdrwals during the first several years of ownership. If that'sa concern, look for annuity with a "free corridor" that lets you withdraw some money each year without a fee. Just make sure to compare corridor terms from one provider to the next. 8. What Are The Tax Consequences Of Annutities? Annuities are tax deferred investments, but depending on your age and other circumstances, some withdrwals could jepardize your tax status. For instance, taking money out beofre 59 1/2 generally triggers a 10% federal income tax penalty. Also, any portion of your withdrawals representing investmnent earnings are taxed as oridinary income, not capital gains. 9. Can I Lose Money On This Annuity? You can lose money on any annuity that doesn't have a death benefit. But you can also lose money on a varible annuity that does not offer any minimum withdrawal or income guarantees. That's because your account valuen can go up or down based on your investment portfolio. 10. How Strong Is The Insurance Company? No matter how attractive an annuity may seem, it will prove to be a poor investment if the inssuing company isn't around to make good on its guarantees when you need them. So check out the issuer's financial strength at websites of the major rating companies. To make 8% interest on a $100,000 investment that pays $700 a month for life see www.ImmediateAnnuities.Com and www.AnnuityQuickQuote.Com

Sunday, November 8, 2009

How To Have A Great Thanksgiving Holiday

For info on buying and fixing the turkey, sides dishes crafts and games, make sure you visit http://urbanext.illinois.edu/turkeyls For the best Bl;ack Friday deals, go2: www.black-friday.net

How To Fake Gourmet Fixings

To supercharge MAYO mix a tablepsoon of lemon juice, add a 1/3 cup of olive oil, a dash of black pepper, a dash of garlic and fresh herbs into a store bought cup of mayonnaise. To upgrade OLIVES drain a 7 oz jar of ordinary brine. Then gently crush the contents of the jar, put in a new container, add 1/4 cup of olive oil, one or two crushed cloves of garlic, and one tablespoon of thyme. Chill for 3 or 4 days, and they'll rival anything you can buy at the gourmet deli. Soup up your STOCK with a quick shot of flavor. Mix 2 or 3 chicken bouuillon cubes with a 1/2 cup of white wine, 3 tablespoons each of carrots, onions and celery. Then add two sprigs of parsley, a 1/3 of a bay leaf, and a pinch of thyme. Simmer for one half hour.

New Book Reveals Hidden Dangers Of Cell Phones,Cordless Phones,WiFi & Microwaves

A new book titled Public Health SOS, The Shadow Side Of The Wireless Revolution by Camilla Rees stated that in 2007, The American Journal of Epidemiology reported that cell phone users who spent more than 22 hours a month on their cell phones were 58% more likely to develop tumors of the salivary gland then those who didn't use cell phoneas as often. Studies funded by the cell phone industry show that cell phones are safe. However, they usually last 6 years or less which is not long enough for a tumor to develop. Plus cell phone studies define heavy use as just a few hours a week. So to be safe, use cell phones only for emergencies or to retrive messages. Return all calls on a land line phone. Also, regularly switch the cell phone from one side of the head to another to minimise one side radiation exposure. Also, turn off your cell phone when not expecting a call because cell phones send and recive signals even when you're not talking. Another good habit is don't let the cell phone tocuh your ear or body parts. When talking, hold it at least one inch away from your head or use the walkie-talkie feature. Naturally, text-messaging is safer because the phone is away from your head. Bluetooth technology uses radiation but it is less than levels generated by your cell phone. To be safe, use a pneumatic plastic tube ear piece to reduce your exposure to radiation. A company called Mercola sells these headsets. You can visit their website at http://products.mercola.com Next, don't use a cell phone in the car. In a car, it uses more power because it must continually reconnect with antennas. Plus the signal is reflected by the metal in the car which increases exposure to radiatrion. Cordless phones used in the home pose the same risks as cell phones. To be safe, you should replace all cordless phones with corded phones when practical. WIFI is also a strong source of electromagnetic radiation. So use cables to connect everything to your computer. But if you must use a wireless router, place it as close as possible to the devices it controls. Microwave Ovens leak radiation even up to 20 feet away. So your best defense is to leave the kitchen when the microwave is on. If you want to test your mircowave, put your cell phone in the microwave and close the door. ( DO NOT TURN ON THE MICROWAVE ! ) call your cell phone. If you hear it ring, then it means radiation is able to pass out of your microwave.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Natural Swine Flu Remedies

If you don't plan on getting the swine flu vaccine, or if it is not available in your area, here are some natural remedies that may protect you. If you would like to improve your immune system and take preventative steps, then you should take an Astragalus capsule once or twice a day before meals. If you start to notice the signs of swine flu symptoms, then you should take Oscillococinum (pronounced o-sill-cox-see-num)capsules which may reduce the severity and duration of the flu.Another potent remedy against swine flu are chinese herb formulas. They often have an antiviral effect and may increase your immunity. The best and purest brand of Chinese herbs is Wellness Formula by Source Naturals. Just make sure you only buy formultaions made in the USA since formulations made in China may contain toxic levels of mercury. Another great antiviral supplement is Black Elderberry. And naturally, before you take any supplement for a medical condition you should always first consult your doctor.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Best Place To Buy Mens Suits, Shirts & Shoes

The best place to buy a men's suit is at Nordstrom. The house brands called John W. Nordstrom and Broletto sell for around $600. But these garments are equal in quality to suits selling for $1,000 or more. Nordstrom also employs skilled tailors and sales associates which will increase the odds that you will get a good fit for your body type. If you live or work near a Saks Fifth Avenue store, their Saks house brand suit at $695 is another excellent value. Just maker sure you choose a timeless style that won't go out of date and select a fabric in an 8.5 oz to 10 oz weight. This fabric can be worn year around in every season. The best place to buy high quality dress shirts with french cuffs at a fair price is at Charles Tyrwhitt in London. You can buy one shirt for $59 or 4 for $199. See: www.ctshirts.co.uk Since many people will form an impression of you based on the quality of your shoes it's a good idea to invest a few extra dollars in a quality pair of shoes. You can now wear dark brown shoes with gray or blue suits but you should wear black shoes with black suits. Just make sure you buy laced-up shoes or slip-ons and avoid shoes with tassels. They look dated. The best value in quality men's shoes from $195 is at Allen Edmonds. They are made in the USA and the company will "re-craft" your old Edmonds shoes like new starting at $30. Call 800-817-7615 or see: www.AllenEdmonds.Com

The Best Way To Find A Job

The odds of finding a job mailing out resumes is just 7%. When you respond to ads in a professional journal your odds of success are still static at 7%. Responding to job on the internet gives you a slight boost at 10%. Responding to newspaper ads gives you the lowest odds of success at 5%. But it could jump to 24% if you're looking for a minimum wage job. Working with a private employment agency only gives you a 5% success rate since employers don't feel the need to pay private search firms in a down economy. However, your odds of finding a job by networking jumps to 33% because employers love to hire people based on personal recommendations from trusted employees and cntacts. If you don't mind knocking on doors unannounced your odds of success will jump to 47%. But this tactic doesn't work well with large companies. So limit this method to companies with 50 employees or less. Calling companies out of the yellow or white pages can boost your chances of finding a job to 69%. Just ask for the owner and briefly explain your background or skills. Then ask if he or she knows anyone who would be interested in hiring someone like you. Keep in mind this won't work with large companies that have voice mail systems and operators. The best odds of finding a job jumps to 70% when you partner with others to form a job hunting group. Just put together a group of job seekers like yourself and agree to keep any eye out for each other for jobs for people in the group. You could meet once a week at a coffee house or someone's home to trade job info and strategies.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

How To Eat Steak On A Hamburger Budget

The pre-cut, pre-packaged meats you see at the supermarket are grossly over priced. You can request much cheaper and equally delicious alternatives from the butcher working behind the meat counter where you shop. Instead of Rib Eye Steak at $13 lb, you can buy Chuck Eye for about $2 lb. Ask your butcher to cut a 4 inch roast off the front of a bonless chuck, peel out the chuck eye, and cut it into steaks. Instead of buying Beef Short Ribs at $5 lb, buy Flatiron at $2 lb.Wait until there is a sale on cross rib roasts which happens all the time. Then ask your butcher to carve a flatiron roast out of the cross rib. Then have him cut up the flatrion into boneless country-style ribs. Instead of buying Lean Ground Beef at $7 lb, buy Bottom Round a lean, meaty beef cut at $2 lb. Just ask your butcher to grind up a bottom round roast for you. Instead of opting for Pork Tenderloin at $6 lb, ask for Boneless Loin Roast at $2 lb. Ask the butcher to carve an entire roast or cut it into medallions fro frying, chunks for BBQ's, oe thin slices for strir-fry. Roasting Chickens or large whole frying chickens are $1.69 lb. Instead, buy pre-packaged Whole Fryers at .69 to 1.29 lb. You can also buy dark meat hindquarters at .59 lb. Instead of buying Veal at $13 lb, get Boneless Pork Sirloin at$2 lb. Its a tender cut from the backbone of the hog that has the same color and mild flavor as veal. Ask your butcher to slice it very thin and it makes a great substitute for veal in veal Parmesan and veal Scalopini. Instead of buying Italian Sausage at $4 lb, get Pork Shoulder Butt at $2 lb. Have your butcher grind it then you can easily mix it with Italian or breakfast sausage seasoning yourself. Without seasoning, its a great substitute for ground beef. If you buy organic meats, you can cut the price of organic cuts by 66% by using this tips.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

How Rent Out Your House Or Apartment For $10,000 A Day

Resourceful people know that they can rent out their house or apartment for movie shoots, TV commercials, fashion shoots and other events for $1,000 to $10,000 a day. When you rent just make sure you're dealing with a reputable company. That means you should have a contract , the producer should be insured and you should be paid before the shoot. Also, anything fragile should be put away or protected. In addition, the production company must carry at least $1 million in general liability and third-party property damage. They must also supply a security deposit. For more information, contact the www.EmpireLocationCompany.Comat 646-717-4307 and www.WorldLocations.com at 310-659-0599.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentine's Day Recipes

Linzer Heart Cookies Preparation Time: 1 hour plus chilling Bake Time: 10 to 12 minutes Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened 1 cup granulated sugar 1 large egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup raspberry jam, strained 1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium, beat the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy; beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture until combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill 1 to 2 hours or overnight. 2. Preheat the oven to 350F. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough to an 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/4-inch heart cutter, cut out heart shapes, rerolling scraps as needed. Repeat with the remaining dough. 3. Place the heart shapes 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Using a small heart cutter, cut out centers from half of the hearts; remove the centers with a small spatula. 4. Bake the cookies until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely. 5. Set the racks, with cookies still on them, over waxed paper. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the heart frames. Lightly spread about 1/2 teaspoon of the strained jam over the large uncut hearts. Place the heart frames on top of jam-topped cookies. Tip: Baking Times The heart frame cookies will take less time to bake than the uncut hearts. Check the cookies after just 8 or 9 minutes and remove any cookies that are done. Variations Instead of raspberry jam, you can use strawberry—or whatever flavor strikes your fancy. For chocolate lovers, replace the jam center with melted semisweet chocolate. When set, drizzle more melted chocolate on top of the confectioners’ sugar. Brownie Heart Tartlets Preparation Time: 45 minutes Bake Time: 15 minutes Makes about 3 dozen tartlets Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup cocoa powder 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons milk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted 1 tablespoon butter, melted 1/3 cup brown sugar 1 egg Confectioners’ sugar Mini candy hearts 1. Preheat the oven to 350F. In a food processor, combine the flour, granulated sugar and cocoa and process until blended. Add the butter and process until the mixture is crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla; process until a dough forms. 2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter or a glass with a 2 1/2-inch diameter, cut out rounds of dough. Reroll scraps as needed. 3. Carefully press the rounds into the cups of heart-shaped mini muffin pans. Trim off excess dough by gently pressing a dull knife along the tops. 4. In a medium bowl, combine the melted chocolate, melted butter, brown sugar, egg, remaining 1 tablespoon milk and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of the filling into the dough shells in each heart cup. 5. Bake the tarts until the filling has set, about 15 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool slightly. Carefully remove tarts from the pans; cool completely. Decorate the cooled tarts with confectioners’ sugar and candy hearts. Tip If the rounds of dough tear, don’t panic! Just press the pieces together when placing the dough into the muffin cups. Variation Dress up these tarts even more by piping whipped cream along the edges and topping with a cherry. Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries Preparation Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Makes 9 berries Ingredients: 2 ounces semisweet chocolate 1 tablespoon butter 9 large strawberries with caps or stems 1/4 cup cognac or orange juice 2 tablespoons honey 1 cup sour cream 1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside. Heat the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, stirring, until melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let cool slightly. 2. Holding the strawberries by the cap or stem, dip one at a time into the chocolate mixture, coating halfway. Gently place the berries on the lined baking sheet; let coating set. 3. Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce. In a small pan, simmer the cognac and honey until reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Cool briefly, then fold the mixture into the sour cream in a small bowl. When the chocolate is set, arrange the strawberries on a serving plate. Serve with the dip. Tip Don’t refrigerate the dipped berries or the coating will “sweat” and become mushy. Molten Chocolate Cakes Preparation Time: 15 minutes Bake Time: 15 minutes Makes 12 individual cakes Ingredients: 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) butter 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips 4 medium eggs 1/2 cup sugar 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 12 caramel candies 4 tablespoons evaporated milk 1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease 12 muffin cups. 2. Combine the butter and chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water. Cook, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted. Let stand to cool slightly. 3. In a large bowl with a mixer set at medium, beat the eggs and sugar until thickened, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the flour, beating at low speed. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until thick and glossy, about 3 minutes. 4. Fill the prepared muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake the cakes for 5 minutes. 5. Meanwhile, combine the caramels and 2 tablespoons evaporated milk in the double boiler. Cook, stirring constantly, until the caramels are melted. 6. After baking the cakes for 5 minutes, spoon 2 teaspoons of the caramel mixture into each muffin cup. Bake for 8 minutes longer. Invert cakes onto individual serving plates. 7. Stir the remaining 2 tablespoons evaporated milk into the remaining caramel mixture. Serve the sauce with the warm cakes. Tip: Microwave Option To melt the chocolate chips and butter in a microwave oven, use the Defrost setting and microwave, stirring the mixture occasionally, for about 4 minutes.