A Confusing Housing Market

Retaining Assets

Today’s housing market has a number of unique qualities. There has been a substantial downturn in property value in many places; but in others, property value is skyrocketing, and no one actually knows where the upper limit is as yet. A perfect example of this would be San Francisco.

Though much of America is currently struggling with recessionary economic difficulties, and the uncertain housing market is expected to see an increase in mortgage rates set to dampen refinancing, there are still areas of the country that are wildly booming.

Look At The Situation Carefully

The key to retaining assets and not losing money in the real estate game today is to buy smart, and know what your goals are. There are quite a few worthy strategies that stand to yield lucratively. As an example, in San Francisco, buying while rates are continuing to climb virtually ensures a positive return on your investment over time. The key is selling before property drops below purchase price.

In contrast, right now Detroit has some of the cheapest land in the country. If you’re looking for real estate polar opposites, contrasting Detroit and San Francisco is like contrasting day and night. Where San Francisco is booming, Detroit is quickly dwindling. As a result, both regions have opportunities and dangers that savvy real estate buyers can take advantage of.

San Francisco is seeing value skyrocket, meaning those who’ve bought earlier and are willing to sell will see substantial increase. Detroit’s cheap land is, in contrast, an excellent opportunity for starting businesses such as card processing for dentists or internet-based businesses which don’t have location-specific services. The land is cheap, as are the property taxes that go with it.

Getting A Real Idea Of The Situation

Whatever your needs are in real estate, what you’re going to want to do is shop around. Debt is bought and sold in America today, and often considered an asset; as are loans. But you want to be informed before you get into a venture which could exhaust these financial components of modern business.

Amerinote Xchange can “provide you with a written proposal within one business day (or less), which will allow you to make a sound decision on your available options when taking your loan-assets to market.” Such information can be instrumental in helping you make the right decision pertaining to whichever assets you’re bringing to the table.

Of course, the best course of action in any transaction of the magnitude often associated with real estate involves buying outright; but who has that luxury? Buying outright ensures you own the property and none but you can lay claim to it.

Most people simply don’t have the resident assets to do such a thing. And, unless you’re a savant when it comes to real estate, you’re likely not going to know how to properly work with loans or debt pertaining to property. At least, your acumen won’t be the same as a professional agency’s.

Informed Choices

Once you’ve called around and learned where you truly stand as far as assets are concerned, you can purchase property, sell property, or retain property in a way that will increase your personal wealth. Real estate is big business, and getting a handle on the market won’t just serve you; it’ll serve your family.

Uncertain markets are full of opportunities for those who know where to look. Even though some markets are frightening right now, profit is waiting for those clever enough to find the right angle and properly exploit it. Provided you have the knowledge to focus your vision, you may find there are gold mines all around you.

Author Bio:

Kevin Bennett

Title: SEO Marketeer

Kevin is an SEO marketeer with Towering SEO and Youth Noise NJ who designs value-rich content aimed at increasing clientele for expanding businesses. Networking, building partnerships, and providing quality products with shareable value make this possible. He’s an author (Amphibian and The Thief and the Sacrifice to his credit) whose professional writing follows business trends in technology, marketing, SEO application, and much more.

March 22, 2017 at 2:12 PM Leave a comment

Book Review: It’s Only Money and It Grows on Trees

What visions come to mind when you think about money? Do you have negative or positive associations with earning and accumulating wealth? Do you believe anyone can achieve wealth or do you believe in the scarcity mentality that most of us will struggle to achieve financial success throughout our lifetimes?

What have you learned about money from your grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and neighbors? What memories do you have of your parents succeeding or struggling in their day-to-day lives or early on in their careers?

In order to attain wealth I believe you must first understand your relationship with money. What is it and what can it do for you?

Think back on your first memories of money. Try to remember the first time you saved money in your piggy bank, paid for a toy or were told you couldn’t buy something because your parents did have enough money to pay for it.

Now imagine you were seated in a class with students of different races and religions. Imagine you all came together to discuss the topic of finances and wealth. Imagine how many differing opinions and points of view you might have. Also, imagine how many common themes and feelings you would share.

Cara MacMillan’s book It’s Only Money and It Grows on Trees introduces us to the concept of money in a diverse classroom.

The kids sat down just as the guest professor walked in.

“Hi, my name is Catherine. I am here to teach you about money. Let’s start with a question—let me qualify, every answer is right—so, what is money?”

There was silence for a while. Then finally, the answers started to come…
“Money makes you popular.”
“Money is power.”
“Money means shopping.”
“Money means rich.”
“Money means you can buy whatever you want.”
“Money means you don’t have to work.”
“Money is something you fight over.”
“Money is greed.”
“Money is fun.”

This book encourages readers to reflect on their upbringing, their culture, their past, present and future in order to define a new relationship with money. MacMillan tells us there is abundant money to be had by all. The key is to figure out how to earn it, save it, invest it and let it grow.

This would be a great book for a young high school or college student. It focuses on the importance of figuring out your talents, living within your means and finding ways to let your money earn money for you.

I would love to give away a copy of this book to one lucky reader. If you are interested simply leave a comment below or drop me an email.

March 20, 2017 at 4:45 PM 1 comment

How Much Can You Afford to Spend in Retirement?

As you fight traffic, bosses, and backstabbing co-workers day after day, you probably fantasize about a day when you can build your vineyard, vacation with your spouse, or sit peacefully in your garden. For too many seniors, retirement dreams take a backseat to the realities of inadequate funds. 1 in 3 Americans has no retirement savings at all.

Retirement is no fun if you’re constantly worried about money. No retiree wants to pinch pennies or miss out on their retirement dreams. So how can you tell how much to spend in retirement? After all, you don’t know how long you’ll live. Here are some helpful clues.

Plan for Long-Term Expenses

Health care expenses, including long-term care, are major cost drivers in retirement. You can cut down on these expenses, thereby maximizing the amount you can spend each month, by signing up for Medicare. Late enrollment can mean higher premiums for the life of your Medicare account, so sign up during the enrollment period surrounding your 65th birthday. A few other strategies can help you keep unexpected and long-term expenses under control:

  • Pay down debt as quickly as possible, so that market shifts don’t drive interest payments through the roof.
  • Invest in long-term care insurance.
  • Ensure your home and car are in good working order before you retire.
  • Take proactive steps to maximize the value of any pensions your employer offers—even if that means working an extra year or two to vest.

Try the 4% Rule

Retirement analysts have long suggested a 4% rule as a good guide for retirement spending. It works like this: in your first year of retirement, you can withdraw up to 4% of your savings. In each subsequent year, withdraw 4% plus enough to cover inflation. For someone with a retirement of about 30 years, this will ensure more than enough money—but only with a well-balanced portfolio. Your financial adviser can help you determine whether 4% is conservative, aggressive, or just right given the specifics of your savings.

Make Projections With an Analyst

The amount you can withdraw each month is heavily dependent on the type of investments you have, and how much they are projected to grow. Don’t assume that your investments will continue growing at their current rate. The market always shifts, and downward trends are inevitable. A market analyst can explore how previous trends might predict future changes. This can help you arrive at a reasonable projection of your retirement accounts’ total value. Stay conservative by withdrawing less than the amount your adviser recommends, and it’s likely you’ll never run out of money.

Don’t Forget About Potential Alternative Revenue Streams

Your home is probably your most valuable investment. Particularly if you have a small retirement account or a large number of expenses, it can form part of your back-up plan if you land in financial trouble. That’s why it’s wise to pay down your mortgage can keep your home in good condition leading up to retirement.

A reverse mortgage can help you stay afloat in retirement. If you’re over 62 and own your home, you’re eligible. As long as you obey the loan’s terms, you don’t have to repay it until you leave your home. The money can be used on anything you want, including savvy financial strategies such as paying down debt, buying a vehicle in cash, or repairing damage to a home you hope to sell.

March 16, 2017 at 10:39 PM Leave a comment

7 Charities That Need Your Help Today

Often it seems that a small handful of charities receive the lion’s share of attention. More popular organizations like Make a Wish and UNICEF take in millions of dollars in donations every year, and while their messages and actions are certainly heartwarming and beneficial, there are thousands of other charitable groups eager to do good but desperate for resources. This year, instead of contributing to a well-known charity, you should consider donating to any of the following seven underrated nonprofit organizations.

1. Global Links

Though health care systems might be in turmoil, hospitals and health care facilities in the wealthy West are rarely wanting for essential medical supplies; in fact, a good amount of medical necessities are thrown out every day. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for developing nations, where health care professionals are in dire need of nearly every medical resource. Global Links works to bring health to all and make health care organizations more sustainable by taking in unused supplies destined for landfills and providing them to needy communities. As an individual, you can donate money or gently used medical supplies like canes or wheelchairs, and if you work for a health care facility, you can partner with Global Links for even greater good.

2. Kids in Distressed Situations

Kids in Distressed Situations (or K.I.D.S.) is devoted to improving the lives of children around the world by connecting retailers and manufacturers with children in need. The charity works to distribute clothing, toys, furniture, books, and other kid’s items to those affected by tragedy of poverty, and it is remarkably efficient at doing so: More than 97 percent of its donations have directly benefited troubled children. You can help K.I.D.S. by making individual donations of money and items or by partnering your kid-specific business with the organization.

3. Boat Angel

Boat Angel is a charity that eagerly accepts donations of unwanted boats, as well as jet skis and cars. The organization reconditions the vehicles and sells them in auctions, donating the proceeds to various good causes. This nonprofit organization is diverse in its good works, but generally it focuses on organizing children’s programs teaching the importance of leading drug-free and crime-free lives. Helping Boat Angel is incredibly mutually beneficial if you have an ignored, old vehicle because your contribution creates a sizeable tax deduction.

4. Adopt a Classroom

Unlike other education programs that help kids learn, Adopt a Classroom indirectly benefits needy children by helping teachers and schools afford supplies. Around the country, K-12 public schools are underfunded, resulting in educators spending personal funds to help their students, and this organization hopes to ease their burden with charitable contributions. Your donations can be targeted to benefit specific programs, such as the arts or STEM, or you can ensure your contributions affect your local schools.

5. Books for Africa

According to USAID, roughly 40 percent of children in Africa do not attend school, and of those who do, many are forced to share textbooks and other supplies. Books for Africa aims to end book scarcity around the continent by supplementing collections in school libraries, community resource centers, orphanages, and more. By donating to Books for Africa, you are increasing opportunities for African kids and adults to learn and helping African communities grow and become self-sustainable.

6. National Alliance to End Homelessness

The National Alliance to End Homelessness knows that homelessness isn’t merely a result of laziness; complex social and economic systems that perpetuate poverty and punish disability creates the homelessness problem. Yet, the solution to homelessness is simple in concept, if not in execution: The homeless need housing, and donations to this charity can help them find warm, stable places to live. Your donations will help the Alliance effect permanent change, through both emergency re-housing and community-building endeavors.

7. Animal Rescue Corps

While millions of animals wait to be adopted in shelters around the country, millions more are being thoroughly mistreated by careless and cruel owners. Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) is dedicated to improving animals’ lives in many ways: by rescuing animals from abuse and natural disasters, by increasing awareness of animal suffering, and by training shelters and professionals in proper treatment of animals. If you love your furry friends, you can donate to this charitable organization to help others like them.

March 10, 2017 at 12:22 PM Leave a comment

You already know about 3D Printing – How about Selective Laser Sintering?

3D has evidently changed the way businesses, manufacturers, and individuals do everything from conceptualizing ideas to building revolutionary inventions that will shape the future. You’ve heard of 3D printing, but what is selective laser sintering (SLS)?

3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is the process of transforming digital designs into three-dimensional, physical objects. It is an affordable and convenient way to make prototypes and even finished products ready for retailing or use. 3D SLS printers from Konica Minolta, for instance, are very popular with inventors, hobbyist and especially businesses who are looking to leverage the use of such devices.

What is selective laser sintering?

SLS machines can print objects in a variety of materials, including glass, ceramics, and even metal. This makes it a popular process for creating both prototypes as well as final products.

How SLS works

SLS machines make use of a high-powered laser, usually made of carbon dioxide, to fuse a powdered plastic, ceramic, glass, metal, or alloy together to form a physical 3D object. Prior to the process, a computer-aided design (CAD) file or digital design of the product.

The design then is broken down by the machine program into a number of cross-sections. The printer will quickly build these one after the other, piling them on top of each other until the final product is finished.

After the cross-sections have been processed, the material is laid across the build platform. The laser will then fuse the material together into the form of the first cross-section. After a cross-section is finished, the next layer of material is placed, and the second cross-section is fused on top of it. This will continue until every cross-section has been laid and fused together.

How SLS useful for businesses

SLS is particularly useful for industries that require only a small number of objects printed in high-quality materials. For instance, in the aerospace industry, engineers are able to build cheap prototypes to be used for airplane crafts.

Since airplanes are built in small quantities and remain in service for long periods of time, it won’t be cost-effective for companies to produce or buy physical molds for airplane parts because they will be too expensive to make and would need a long-time storage without being corroded or damaged.

Through SLS, companies can create prototypes that are stored digitally as .STL files, which is available later for reprint or redesign. And because SLS machines are capable of printing in a range of high-quality materials, from food-grade ceramic to flexible plastic.

SLS is also capable of printing customized products, such as dental retainers, hearing aids, and even prosthetics. And because objects printed using SLS don’t require moulds or additional tools, this manufacturing method is also very useful for businesses that withes to print a high complex or particularly delicate object.

End Note

There are currently many companies around the world that uses SLS machines to provide their clients with prototypes and high-quality finished products. 3D SLS printers from Konica Minolta are one of the best machines available in the market right now. If you’re in the business of manufacturing, then you should strongly consider the use of 3D printing to streamline your processes.

March 9, 2017 at 6:44 AM Leave a comment

How to Handle the Loss of a Pay Check

Many young married couples want to have a family. When there are two pay checks coming in each month, it is relatively easy to pay the bills, save for a deposit to buy real estate, pay off debt such as student loans and even plan retirement. That all changes if you decide to start a family because in many cases, one of the pay checks will suddenly disappear. Even if it does not there is usually the cost of childcare that needs to be put into the budget. Whatever your personal circumstances, you must think about the financial implications of starting a family.

The worst case scenario, from a financial point of view, is that one pay check disappears completely while the vast majority of existing bills still need to be settled and there is the additional cost of a child.

Expensive Debt

One thing is certain; you will certainly not want any expensive debt when that pay check disappears. The most obvious, and potentially damaging, expensive debt is a credit card balance. Credit card companies charge a high rate of interest on any outstanding balances at the month end. If you have not really worried about such a balance and merely paid the minimum the card companies require, the companies are happy but you shouldn’t be. You are building up core debt and hardly reducing your balance even if you are not spending much on the card each month.

Before you find yourself with just a single pay check you should clear such balances. If you take out a consolidation $5000 personal loans from a top lender for to pay off any expensive debt you will be paying a much lower level of interest and you can put the monthly instalments into your budget so you can see the difference it will make. You can keep your card but use it for convenience and only buy what you know you can settle in full when the monthly statement arrives.

But Have You Got a Budget?

Every business in the world needs to make informed decisions. That can only be done well if they have a plan, a forecast and budget that can monitor their progress and which can be amended as circumstances change. It is no different in family life so you need a budget as a matter of urgency. One paycheck less is certainly a ‘’change of circumstance!’’ A comprehensive budget that reflects all your income and expenditure is the only way to tell whether you are living beyond your means anyway.

Economize

There is little doubt if you lose a pay check you will have to economize. That doesn’t automatically mean major sacrifice though your fancy coffee on the way to work may be a casualty? Take coffee with you because it will basically taste the same. You can walk a little more rather than use the car and probably end up healthier as a result, and as an added bonus. You may not be able to spend as much on your social life, drinks with friends and restaurant visits but with a new baby, that will cut itself back.

There are some areas of regular monthly expenditure that you can investigate as well. Many people stick with the same energy supplier for years. It is the same with insurance and telephone. There is no room for sentiment here. There are comparative websites that can help you find out whether you are getting the best deal available. As long as you compare like for like, and read the small print, you may find you can save money on each of these things and they will be significant figures in your monthly expenditure.

Other Income

There is always a chance of increasing the household’s income other than a full-time job. If the wife is staying at home, there may be income opportunities online which she can do while the baby is asleep. It is usually flex-time and may compensate a little against the loss of a pay check.

The Importance of Agreement

It is impossible to overstate the importance of a couple agreeing about a financial plan and its implications. Everything should be discussed to ensure that your future, and that of your new baby, is secured.

March 8, 2017 at 4:43 AM Leave a comment

Dealspotr: A New Site Where You Can Find Deals and Make Money

Thanks to the Internet we can all sit around in our pajamas any time of day or night and order clothes, toys, household items and food. Within days or sometimes even hours the items we buy land on our front doorstep waiting to be opened and used. But be careful, because the Internet can be a dangerous place for your money.

Do you find yourself spending more money then you intend to each month? Do you head to Amazon every time you want to purchase something new? Do you add an item to your cart and immediately checkout without searching for deals or better bargains?

Would you prefer to protect your hard-earned money? Would you like to find the lowest prices on items you want to buy? Financially savvy shoppers understand how to search for online bargains. Smart shoppers know you should never order an item without comparison-shopping. They also know it is always wise to search for an online discount code before checking out.

But even those who are careful with their money may find themselves wasting time in search of cancelled promotions or invalid discount codes. Have you ever spent five or ten minutes searching for a code only to find that it doesn’t work when you enter it into the checkout field? With all that time wasted you return to the Internet in search of another code only to find that it doesn’t work either.

Wouldn’t it be great to find a website dedicated to finding active, non-expired promotion codes that work every time you attempt to use them? Wouldn’t you love to find a website that lists the bargains and sales you care about the most?

If you want a one-stop shop for bargains, discounts and deals then check out Dealspotr; a social couponing website that relies on its users to find valid, up-to-date deals.

With Dealspotr you will create a profile that includes the types of deals that most interest you. Do you have children? Then select the Babies & Kids category. Do you want to explore the globe? Then select Travel. Are you interested in getting fit and losing weight then select Fitness & Sports. These categories will help Dealspotr narrow down the deals and bargains that are most suited to your needs. You can also subscribe to specific brands, topics and people to ensure you find the sales most relevant to you.

These deals are added, edited and policed by Dealspotr’s 30,000 members, which means you will find active sales and coupons rather than the outdated and expired ones you may find on other deal-gathering sites.

Best of all Dealspotr will pay users just for using their site. As a Dealspotr user you can earn points for posting in-store and online deals, validating the deals others have posted, finishing your daily checklist and referring new members. Those points can then be redeemed for Amazon gift cards. Saving money is always great, but earning money while bargain hunting is even better!

I became a member of Dealspotr a few months ago, but over the last few weeks I’ve taken a more in-depth look at the website and found it’s just as easy to search for bargains as it is to post bargains that others may find useful.

I am a coupon clipping, deal finding junkie. I don’t shop often, but I do love finding bargains especially on items I need to buy. When my youngest needs diapers I turn to the Internet in search of Pampers at the cheapest price I can find. When my husband runs out of printer paper for his business I search Staples for the highest quality, least expensive pack of paper money can buy.

After all, I work hard to earn money, why shouldn’t I take a little time and effort to ensure I’m not wasting it. Would you like to find great bargains all while earning Amazon gift cards? Then click on the links within this post or the image below.

March 4, 2017 at 11:50 PM Leave a comment

Plan Ahead to Avoid Unexpected Care Costs for Your Senior Relative

Aging is something that none of us like to dwell on. Still, it’s an inevitability that requires preparation. As we grow older, we become more dependent on services that we didn’t need in our youth. You may have a parent that is becoming more medically dependent, or even completely dependent on you. Caring for an elderly person can get costly in the long run, so it’s necessary to account for it now.

Decline of Mental Health

As we see our parents age, we often notice a declining state of health. This decline doesn’t exclusively apply to their physical health; mental health can deteriorate with old age as well. As a result, more frequent trips to the hospital may result. Also, a dependency of prescription medications may also be necessary to cope with common health issues.

The need for constant medical attention is common for senior citizens. Often, we can expect our health insurance premiums to rise as we find ourselves subjected to old age and the medical conditions that come with them. Fortunately, there are medical options exclusively for senior citizens.

Care Options for Seniors

If you find yourself in the position of taking care of one of your relatives, you may want to consider looking at some of these options beforehand. While they might not be quite as dependent on modern health care now, this may change over time. Medicaid and other senior-exclusive programs will often cover a portion of residential care costs as well.

For those of us who have a strong connection to our family, assisted living centers and nursing homes may not seem like an ideal option for our parents. Both offer pros and cons but many seniors like to remain in their own homes. Not only does this save money that would go towards assisted living care, but it also provides the peace of mind that your parents are in good hands.

Remaining at Home

Before you decide to go this route, you will want to consider certain factors. You will need to consider whether you can afford their medication, the additional amount of food and toiletries, and the cost of doctor’s visits.

There are many potential costs that can occur when caring for an elderly relative, even beyond the obvious expenses. Costliness is common in the latter part of life, and there are several organizations and government resources available to assist with this. If you can see yourself caring for an aging relative anytime soon, you may want to get a head start by looking at cost-reducing options.

February 16, 2017 at 11:55 PM Leave a comment

The Complete Guide to Surviving Long-Haul Flights

You’ve booked the dream holiday to the other side of the world and then you suddenly realize – the flight lasts over 6 hours. Flying is not necessarily the most pleasant experience at the best of times, but it can be especially disheartening when you need to sit on your seat hours upon hours. Yet, the world has so many amazing places to offer and you don’t want to put off your dreams just because the flight is long. So what do you do? Here are all the essentials for surviving a long-haul flight.

Before the flight

A good and successful long-haul flight starts with proper preparation. You can make the flight a lot smoother if you just focus on a few things before you’ve even set foot at the airport.

First, you need to organize a ‘flight survival’ kit. The items are the essentials you need to pack in your hand luggage to make your flight more bearable. For a more relaxing and fun flight, you need to get:

  • An inflatable travel pillow.
  • Noise cancelling headphones and an eye mask.
  • A good pair of woolly socks.
  • A notebook and a pen, a book to read and/or laptop or tablet.
  • A bathroom kit: toothbrush, toothpaste, wet wipes and a moisturizer.

The above won’t cost a fortune if you shop smart, using voucher codes and even second-hand stores. You should also remember that a good inflatable travel pillow is an investment that will last a long time. You could also ask if your friends have a pillow to borrow, if you travel less frequently.

Other than that, you should check with your airline the day before for a possible cheap upgrade! You can sometimes upgrade your tickets from economy to premium economy or even business, as airlines release cheaper upgrade options in the final minutes.

Arrive at the airport on time. Even if you end up having some extra time to spare, it’s much nicer to sit at a café at the airport rather than rush around hoping you make the flight – not to mention the cost of having to reschedule! You might also be able to enjoy from quicker check-in or other lounge option if you join the reward programs. Emirates UK has these options available and it can make the final moments before the flight a bit more bearable.

During the flight

Once you’ve made it to the airplane, you should first sit down (of course!) and take a breather. As the airplane is all settled and has taken off, you can walk around a bit to see if there are any empty seat rows. If so, ask the flight attendant if you can move to sit on these.

You should also put on your woolly socks and possibly change into a nicer cardigan or hoodie. You want to stay comfortable and warm. If the flight attendant starts offering alcohol, say ‘no’ – you’ll ruin your trip by drinking, even if just slightly. You definitely want to eat any food you’re offered and perhaps ask for a cup of tea.

You should then try to sleep. Read a bit of your book or listen to a relaxing podcast. Wear the eye mask, put on the travel pillow and get rid of annoying sounds with the noise-cancelling headphones. If you aren’t able to sleep easily, try taking some melatonin tablets with you and pop one before your nap.

If you’re not sleepy, just enjoy the inflight entertainment or doodle in your notebook. Thinking about work is definitely a good way to fall asleep!

Once you wake up, you want to walk around for a bit and drink a glass of water. If your flight will continue for a lot longer, you’ll probably receive another meal by now. You can eat and continue to nap or take advantage of the entertainment.

The two key things to do are drinking enough water and getting up, even if just for a moment. Right before your flight is landing – an hour or so – you can wipe your face, add moisturizer and/or makeup, and brush your teeth. Change your socks and shirts as well, if you’ve done this at the start.

After the flight

Once you’ve landed and you’ve gotten hold of the gear, you should continue doing light movements to get the blood flowing. Anytime Fitness has a great guide for exercising in the airplane and airport, which you should check out.

You should also try eating something as soon as possible and continue drinking enough water to prevent jet lag. Once you get to your hotel or home, you can pour yourself a glass of champagne as well – for surviving the long-haul flight!

If you follow these tips, your journey will be much smoother. You won’t even notice how the hours have gone by and you can start your holiday or business meeting feeling refreshed!

February 14, 2017 at 7:58 AM 1 comment

6 Pro Parenting Tips You Probably Have Never Heard Before

Our children are our future. Raising happy and healthy children is a goal for most (if not all) parents not only in this country but also around the world. However, parents are often submerged in a hectic modern lifestyle that entails busy jobs, family hustle, and an increasingly higher bar to achieve one’s life goals. As a result, we often run out of ideas regarding what needs to be done to be better parents for our children. Worse still, some of us are so badly engrossed in this hectic modern lifestyle that we even ignore our own health. I wrote this post to offer 6 inspiring pro parenting tips for the 21st century parent.

1)    Take care of the old folks – Long Term Care Insurance

How are you going to set a good example for your kids if you don’t relate well with your own parents? If you’ve not been in good terms with your folks, make sure you solve these unresolved issues so that you’re 100% free to raise a happy family of your own. Show your kids that you have a lovely, positive relationship with your own parents, and they will emulate the same. A lot of middle-aged American parents are also shouldering the burden of caring for their aging parents. If you’re not particularly well-off, this added financial burden (nursing home care costs at least $80,000 annually) can strain your own household. However, you can avert this situation by buying Long Term Care (LTC) insurance. You can learn more about this form of insurance in a news article just written this week here.

2)    Inspire confidence and virtues

The best time to inspire that ‘natural’, unshakable confidence in your children is when they’re still very young. In today’s competitive world, confidence is a fundamental quality. Teach your children to be courageous, honest, and inspire integrity. There are so many different ways to inspire different positive virtues. You could use books or specific activities. A simple online search should provide any answers you’re looking for regarding this.

3)    Set aside quality time

Spend quality time, and then more quality time with your kids. You don’t need to make a massive change in your daily schedule. Just about 15 minutes of special every day time for each child will go a long way towards cementing your relationship. You’ll be able to learn more about their growth, and provide the inspiration your child needs. Put all distractions away (including your phone) and dedicate this special time to connecting with your little hero or heroine.

4)    Practice Emotional Intelligence

Often, impossible workplace challenges, interpersonal conflicts, and everyday life frustrations lead to negative emotional reactions such as sarcasm, anger, and ridicule. Your home is not the place to pour out these emotions. Negativity will only impact your child ‘negatively’. You shouldn’t just be a responsible adult, you should be a responsible father or mother. If you have problems containing your emotions, devote some time every week to learn how you can improve your Emotional Intelligence (EQ),

5)    Nurture your child’s strengths and talents

Identify your child’s strengths and talents, and nurture them. Providing opportunities, praise and encouragement will go a long way to develop your child’s identified talents. Let your kids know that you’re very proud of their abilities, and show an interest in their talent areas. Take steps to broaden and enrich your kid’s grasp of what they love doing. As goes the popular saying, ‘knowledge is worth as much as gold.’ Create an environment where learning and self-improvement are the order of the day.

6)    Use the praise and reward system

Harsh old-fashioned discipline doesn’t always work in this fast-paced and interconnected world. Instead, try to merge a variety of discipline methods. Praise and encourage your children for any effort that they make. This boosts their self-esteem and encourages good behavior. Additionally, you should teach your children both natural and logical consequences to behavior. Teach positive discipline methods, avoid threats (and those scary face lectures), and give yourself a break every once in a while.

We are all different, and everyone’s parenting style is bound to be unique. But you can improve your own style with these pro tips, and find more content to enrich your parenting. Your children are one of your biggest investments, and polishing up your parenting skills is one of the few things you can do to make that investment fruitful.

February 13, 2017 at 10:27 PM 2 comments

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