Understanding Opportunity Costs

Opportunity costs is a term used in economics to explain that for every decision made in business (or personally) there is both an opportunity and a cost associated with that opportunity. If you have never been exposed to opportunity cost before it may not make a lot of sense, so I will summarize the concept in simple terms so you understand this very important concept.

Let’s say you can only have either chicken or hamburger for dinner tonight, but not both. The opportunity to have chicken will cost you the opportunity to have hamburger. Likewise, if you choose to have hamburger, it will cost you the opportunity to have chicken. The opportunity cost analogy can be applied to every decision we make, every waking moment of our lives. When you wake up in the morning, you can choose to wear slippers or shoes but not both. If you choose shoes, it will cost you the opportunity to wear slippers and vice versa. Give this some thought and you will see that you make decisions on how to use your time and if you spend time at one task, it will cost you the time to apply to the next task and so on. The opportunity to stay awake cost you the opportunity to sleep. The opportunity to get married costs you the opportunity to be single. You get the idea. The key is to grasp the enormity of this concept in your daily life and just as importantly, how you spend time at work or in business.

You are either unemployed, employed, self employed, a business owner or an investor. And in each case there is an opportunity and an associated cost. Can you determine what the opportunities and costs are?

I am a BIG believer in getting educated and knowledgeable about a matter before leaping into any project. I am rarely impulsive because I have learned that impulsive actions have consequences that usually cost more than the opportunity to be impulsive, and this is especially true in business. In other words, the opportunity to be impulsive costs me the opportunity to be managed and controlled. However, the opportunity to be in control costs me the opportunity to be impulsive. I choose control over impulse because the probable outcome tends to be more positive rather than negative.

I come from a poor family in Detroit, Michigan and was fairly uneducated before I first started in business some 20+ years ago. I met a man named Doug Wright, a commercial attorney in Toledo Ohio. He was a professional, smooth, well spoken, articulate, tall and charismatic man who commanded whatever environment he was in. I, on the other hand, just a young guy of 25, was ignorant, naive, arrogant, and a wet behind the ears know it all. Doug saw something in my personality that inspired him to mentor me and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Doug was able to gracefully show me how much I didn’t know contrasted to his vast knowledge and experience. And being the competitive person I am, I went to the library and took out business books on marketing, sales, management, philosophy, etc. I had to get on a more level playing field with Doug who had degrees coming out his Ying Yang. I got smarter fast but I didn’t have a degree to compete with Doug. So I spent thousands of dollars to get a degree in business. And I got licensed in real estate. And I was a commercial mortgage broker. And I wrote books that went national. And many more accomplishments that few people ever have a chance to obtain. All the accomplishments were achieved because I wanted to know how the world spins, what makes one business a success while another fails. But the opportunity to get all this education cost me tremendous amounts of time and money. Doug passed away last year and I lost a good friend.

But coming from a poor environment and “thinking I knew what was going on” versus actually knowing what was going on, was a vast difference in reality. I knew I could help people, like me, who wanted to know how it REALLY works in business. I knew I could help people who could not afford an education. I could give people the opportunity to get smart fast without the corresponding costs typically associated with education. So, in 1990 I started a publishing company called Smart Books Publishing and we created easy to read books covering real estate and business. The whole premise behind Smart Books was to provide a way for people of modest means to get their hands on high impact information that gave them the information they needed to succeed in business. To see the bigger picture, make better, more informed decisions based on facts rather than guesswork. I knew I could give people like me an opportunity to get educated without the cost of time and money that I had paid.

And where did this inspiration come from? I was reading an Entrepreneur magazine one day and I saw an ad for a “How to Become Commercial Loan Broker” book for $100.00. I reluctantly and skeptically paid $100.00 for the program thinking it was a scam. When I got the book, I read it thoroughly and it was jammed packed with insights on how to put together bank packages, how to fund business loans and commercial real estate mortgages, etc. That single book inspired me to try and be a commercial loan broker. As a result, I met major financial players around the U.S. including real estate developers, Investors, commercial mortgage bankers and I originated over 32 million dollars of commercial real estate for financing. None of this would have happened If I would not have invested $100.00 in that mortgage program. It was the single best educational investment I ever made. Did it have all the answers? No. But it gave me enough insight to be able to talk to the pros that mentored me in the business. And these experiences combined are what inspired me to create Smart Books. The only difference is that Smart Books products are all less than $50.00, so more people can afford the products.

And what does this have to do with opportunity cost? Here’s the answer: If you lack education in business or real estate you have choices. The opportunity to get educated will cost you time, effort and maybe some money. But what is the cost of not getting educated? Not taking action on education, especially if you are thinking of starting a business, or buying a home or whatever you are thinking of has the potential for cost immeasurable.

The opportunity to click the link below will cost you the time and effort to click the link and check it out. But what’s the cost of not clicking the link?

Copyright © 2006 James W. Hart, IV All Rights reserved

Source by Jim Hart

How Are Lottery Winnings Taxed in Europe?

Around the world, lotteries have been launched to raise money for government programs and community initiatives. The funding is not only derived from ticket sales but also from taxes that winners must pay on their prizes. In Europe, tax rates differ from country to country, with each government taking a different portion of the prize.

In America, all lottery winnings are taxed at a rate of 25%. This money is then used by the federal government to fund various initiatives. Across the pond, the same applies, and taxes range from 10% to 20%, depending on the country.

In Greece, a new law was passed that will tax all lottery winners 10% on their prizes. The legislation was met with a great deal of resistance, as taxes must be paid on absolutely all winnings – even those worth €1. In other countries, there is a €500 to €3500 minimum that players must win in order for their winnings to be taxed. In Portugal, players must spend 20% of their winnings on taxes while Romania requires a 25% lottery tax. In Poland, the lottery tax is 10% and in Italy, it is 6%.

If you’re an avid lottery player, it seems that the best places to live would be France and the United Kingdom. All winnings, no matter how large, are paid out as lump sums and they are not taxed. It may sound too good to be true, but this is actually the case. Over 8500 players have been made into millionaires thanks to the French lottery, and none were required to spend any of their money on paying taxes. In the United Kingdom, the lottery is known for awarding millions of pounds in funding to various community organizations, but these donations are derived from ticket sales rather than lottery taxes. Other tax-free lottery locations are Austria, Germany and Ireland.

For tax-free winnings, you can also play the EuroMillions lottery draw. Renowned for paying nearly a billion euros in cash prizes over the years, this generous lottery has made thousands of Europeans into millionaires. Winners of this jackpot receive their prizes as lump sums, and they do not have to pay taxes.

However, there are some exceptions. In January 2013, the Spanish government introduced a 20% tax on all EuroMillions prizes. Portugal has had a similar rule for quite some time, requiring all winners to pay out 20%. In Switzerland, EuroMillions winners have to pay taxes, but it varies depending on the state in which the winner lives.

Source by Jillian M Giordano

Anna Maria Island, Florida: Hollywood of the Gulf Coast

For more than 60 years, Anna Maria Island has been a star. The island’s spectacular white sand and turquoise waters have frequently been used by Hollywood movie producers to create the ideal beach scenes. Some of the biggest icons in Hollywood have graced the beaches of AMI, however it’s easy to see the island is the real star.

AMI is a 7.5 mile island located directly south of Tampa Bay on the Gulf of Mexico. The island does not permit high-rise resorts, which keeps the beaches much less crowded. Majestic sunsets, high-quality quartz sand and low predictable Gulf waves make the Island and its surrounding waters a perfect choice for filming.

Here are a few of the films shot on Anna Maria Island that you might have seen or heard of:

  • On An Island With You: Anna Maria Island’s first appearance on the big screen was in the 1948 MGM Studios musical “On an Island With You.” The film cast Hollywood legend Esther Williams as the lead in one her infamous swimsicals, films that combined her stellar acting, singing and swimming. The film also included icon Jimmy Durante. The plot of the movie centers around a love triangle on a military base in the Hawaiian Islands. AMI, seamlessly pulls off its part as an exotic island destination in the film, just as it continues to do every day in real life.
  • Out Of Time: One word… Denzel. Ladies, feel free to being swooning. That’s right Denzel Washington ran the beaches of Anna Maria Island while filming the 2003 MGM film “Out of Time.” Floribbean restaurant Banana Cabana proudly promotes that they were host to Denzel’s thank you dinner for the “Out of Time” crew members.
  • The Perfect Storm: If Denzel isn’t a big enough heartthrob for you, how about George Clooney or Mark Walberg? The 2000 Warner Brothers picture The Perfect Storm was partially filmed on off the coast of Anna Maria Island. Producers used the predictably smooth Gulf Coast waters to capture the calm before the storm.

You don’t need to be a movie producer to capture the beauty of AMI. The greatest films shot on the island will always be home movies. Although it’s nice to see AMI on the silver screen, the culture of the island has never been about the limelight. It’s about families and friends enjoying one of the world’s most magnificent beach settings in a quiet, relaxed environment. So be sure to bring your camera.

Source by Danny Stooksbury

Free Betting – How To Bet Without Investing Own Money

It would be nice to bet without risking and investing your own money. You could try your luck with different betting systems and strategies. But is it really possible?

To get yourself free betting capital you can use bonus promotions and free bets offered by bookies. But downside to this is that you still need to deposit your own money to receive bonus and that means you will risk it too.

Of course it’s possible to find free bets with no deposit requirements. But these are very small – around $1. And what $1 is worth? That’s right, nothing! Minimal stake in most bookies is $0.5 or $1, that means you lose two times in a row and your “Bank” is gone. Everyone will understand that betting with $1 is not serious!

So we need to return to the first option – free bets and bonuses with deposit requirement. Actually it’s possible to safely extract these promotions with betting system called Matched Betting. You can find more about it by following link below in a resource box. It will eliminate any risk to lose money. By using this system it’s possible to clear many bonuses and free bets and in that way you can build yourself a betting capital without risking to lose anything. For example, you deposit $50 in a bookmaker and they give you $50 bonus. You use matched betting system and extract it safely. Now you have $50 to bet with. Original deposited money is available for withdraw at any time after promotion is cleared. You can extract multiple bonuses and build yourself even bigger betting bank.

This is the only way to get real starting bank for online betting. Maybe you can find some bookmakers which will offer you to punt with play or some pseudo money. But betting without real money is like having sex with rubber doll.

Source by Joseph Peck

Aquasana Review – An In Depth Breakdown

If there is one thing people need, it is water. Did you know that a human can survive days without food but never without water? If earth is covered with approximately 71.11% water, the human body is approximately 60%. Having said that, water, in whatever quality or condition, is actually a man’s best friend. And being that we are human, we are made with such complexity that if we put garbage in then definitely what goes out is garbage as well. Simply put, we need quality and healthy water to make our body healthy and strong.

We have seen and read a lot of tap water reviews or studies made by mostly government agencies and water utility companies. And more often than not, these reports do not disclose every nitty gritty detail of what the consuming public must know. However, in a study made by an independent organization with a strong advocacy in watching out for environmental toxicity, Environmental Working Group (EWG), there are a total of 315 contaminants in U.S. tap water. These result were based on the various tests conducted by water utility companies from various areas within the United States from 2004-2009. And because of this research they are recommending that consumers use a water filter system that can somehow lessen if not eliminate all toxins that exist in our ordinary tap water.

That brings me to an in-depth review of one of the more popular and sought-after brands in the United States, the Aquasana Water Filter System. The Aquasana Water Filter System is manufactured by Sun Water Systems, Inc. A company, who’s been manufacturing high-end home water filter systems for the last 50 years. They produce drinking water filters, shower water filters and whole house water filters, all with one aim in mind – to provide quality and economical filtration system that can provide quality tasting and healthy drinking water. Aquasana Water Filter System boasts of several awards and citations. It was awarded the Best Water Filter by the Consumer’s Digest Best Buy Award for performance and cost per gallon in 2003. It garnered a Gold Customer Service Award and got a 4.9% rating out of 5% from Amazon.com, where consumers are the ones rating each product they buy.

Additionally, all Aquasana filters boast of their multi-stage selective filtering system. With this system, several filtration processes take place namely carbon filtration, ion exchange and sub-micron filtration. When others provide one filter on their water filter system, Aquasana has dual filters that definitely takes away more of the contaminants that ordinary filters cannot remove including stubborn by products of chlorine that causes sickness and other related diseases. With these kind of filtration, rest assured that more contaminants are eliminated thus making your drinking water healthy and a real quality.

Let’s get a rundown of the various Aquasana Water Filter Systems currently on the market.

Drinking Water Filter Systems

The Aquasana AQ-4000 Single Faucet Filter

Otherwise known as the Countertop Water Filter, the Aquasana AQ-4000 is the most popular product of Aquasana. Having earned the Best Water Filter Award by the Consumer Digest Magazine for six straight years, the countertop water filter is easily installed on top of any kitchen faucet and provides 30 gallons an hour of filtered water. Cartridges maybe replaced every 6 months and is available at any retail outlets or the Aquasana shop. Consumers also have the option to enroll in their Auto Ship Water for Life Program where you get your cartridges automatically every six months at further reduced cost.

Aquasana AQ-4500 Water Filter and the AQ-4501 Premium Water Filter

If the AQ-4000 is the Countertop Water Filter, AQ-4500 is the Under Counter Water Filter System. Just like it’s famous counterpart, the AQ-4500 follows the patented dual filtration system. And because of this, it filters out chlorine, cysts, which are by products of chlorine, lead and other Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) that make their way in our ordinary tap water through septic system cleaning, weed and pest control, fumigation, and dry cleaning. VOCs is the umbrella term given to various synthetic chemicals that greatly affect our body. Studies show that when these VOCs are ingested, it may cause cancer, liver and kidney malfunctioning and disruption of the nervous system’s performance. Additionally, when inhaled, it would severely affect the tissue of the lungs and skin.

Unlike the AQ-4000, the AQ-4500 water filter system is installed under the kitchen sink. Much that it provides instructions in installation, it is wise to seek the assistance of a certified plumber for optimum performance. On the other hand, there is also the AQ-4501 Premium Water Filter which has the same characteristic as the AQ-4500 and the only difference is that they use premium faucets.

Aquasana AQ-7000 Inline Filter Water System

This type of water filter system provides quality water for water fountains, icemakers and refrigerators supply line. It does contain the filtration system most Aquasana water filter system offers. It eliminates turbidity, cysts, chlorine, lead, THMs or trihalomethanes. THMs are chemical compounds that are formed as a result of a reaction between organic materials in drinking water and chlorine added as a disinfectant. These are one of the many byproducts of water chlorination, which when ingested in drinking water, can cause a number of physical problems like spontaneous abortion and miscarriages. They are also known to cause bladder and rectal cancer and can adversely affect nervous system functioning, as well as trigger liver and kidney malfunctions.

Aquasana Shower Filters

Aquasana AQ-4100 and AQ-4105

These models are otherwise known as the shower filters. As the name implies, its basic function is to provide quality water even while you are taking a shower. The AQ-4100 is directly placed on the shower spouts while the AQ-4105 are handheld massage wands. The shower filters of Aquasana, just like any other model of the brand, carries with them the dual-filtration system.

Stage 1 of the filtration removes chlorine and enhances pH balance with a natural copper/zinc mineral media called KDF-55D. Stage 2 of the filtration stage uses a carbonized coconut shell medium for the removal of synthetic chemicals, THMs and VOCs that vaporize from tap water and are inhaled or absorbed through the skin, potentially causing adverse health and cosmetic effects.

The Aquasana shower filter system installs in seconds and provides healthy filtered water for showering. It aids people with skin conditions and breathing disorders. Additionally due to its quality water and elimination of chlorine, it also provides extra moisture in your skin and in your hair. Users boast of improved moisturized skin and lustrous and shiny hair. In fact, Aquasana is so confident of the effects of the water filtered under their system that they offer a money back guarantee in cases where you do not experience the benefit it claims it would give you.

If you tried swimming in a chlorinated pool and get the dry effects the chlorine in the pool gives your hair and your skin, with the Aquasana shower filter, those problematic days are gone. The water coming out of the shower filter system is guaranteed to give you the cosmetic benefits it is widely popular for.

The shower filter comes complete with the two-stage filter cartridge that lasts 6 months and the deluxe Niagara adjustable pressure showerhead. Additionally handheld shower wands are available for purchase separately.

The Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System

Aquasana EQ-300 Rhino Whole House Water Filter System

When you care for the people you love, you only want the best for them, right? For every product that Aquasana makes, foremost in their mind is to provide a long lasting relationship with their customers. As such, they give them a wide variety of choices that would suit your budget and still enjoy the benefits of having a quality and healthy drinking water. As part of the company’s commitment not only to service excellence but to quality products as well, Aquasana brought to its consumers the Rhino E-300 Whole House Water Filter System.

With the Rhino Whole House Water Filter System, you need not worry which faucet to open to ensure safety. The whole house filter system provides you with the state of the art dual filtration system of Aquasana and not only to your kitchen or your bathroom while taking a shower. It provides quality water for the whole house in general.

The Rhino Whole House Water Filter has completed three years of evaluation by Underwriters Laboratories. The product, the factory and all performance claims are certified by UL under the strictest industry guidelines. In fact, no other whole house filter system boasts of such great documentation than the Rhino E-300 Whole House Filter System. With a 10-year history of outstanding quality performance, it has the Best Rating ever accorded by the Underwriters Laboratories.

The Rhino EQ-300 can be installed by any plumber and comes complete with main filter unit, pre-filter, installation kit, shut-off valve and required hardware. Typical installation takes 1.5 to 2.5 hours by a licensed plumber, and is usually done in your basement, garage, or water closet. The main filter unit is easily replaced (no plumber needed) every three years For less than $20/month you can have clean, healthy water flowing from every outlet in your home.

The Rhino E-300 is less expensive than bottled water, and you drink, shower, bathe and live in healthy water! You will notice softer skin and hair in just a few days by showering and bathing in filtered water. And because Aquasana values the quality of their product and the benefits it gives to their consumers, it comes with a money back guarantee. If at any one time you feel that the benefits the product claim is not true, you can return the unit and the company will happily refund you. That is how they are confident about the product they sell.

The most stringent tests have been performed on the Aquasana products in California. The water filters comply with NSF Standards 42 and 53, and are certified by the California Department of Health Services Drinking Water Treatment Device Program. California has the strictest requirements in the United States. It can also provide its consumers with documentations and proofs of its various certifications from several certifying bodies. In fact, in comes with the product itself. Aquasana is indeed the best choice for water filter system.

The comprehensive review made about the various Aquasana water filter system products could give you a complete view of the product, its quality and its capabilities. No other brand can offer these kind of quality and these kind of assurance.

Much that there are cheaper brands of water filter systems out in the market, Aquasana would look expensive. However, comparative analysis would show that Aquasana is the most economical brand. Despite the dual filtration system, but with the filters being replaced every six months and the main one after three years, the cost per year of expense is lower than those filters that require replacement on a quarterly basis.

So next time you think of providing the most affordable but a quality appliance for you and your loved ones, think Aquasana. It’s the only water filter system that could give you black and white proofs of certification and the only product that could give you the value for your money! With its expertise in the manufacture of home water filter systems for the last 50 years, nothing comes close to Aquasana.

The Aquasana Water Filter System – quality, affordability, economical and fantastic customer service. What more can you ask for? Aquasana is one with its consumers in providing the healthy water every person on planet earth deserves. The choice is yours – would you settle for those brands that promises benefits and economy without proofs or would you rather settle for a brand that offers you the quality, the proof and the assurance that indeed what you are buying is definitely worth your life! Choose and decide.

Source by Jacob I King

Mortgage Marketing To Realtors: Get 10 Realtors in 30 Days

Mortgage marketing to realtors can be an easy and enjoyable process. Having a steady flow of referrals from real estate agents is a great way to insure the continued growth of your business.

But how do you develop a network of quality, low maintenance realtor referral partners? Good question. Below you will find the answer.

Are you ready to get started? Here are step by step easy to follow instructions given in an outline format to help you develop 10 realtor referral relationships in the next 30 days.

I. Finding Real Estate Agents

Option 1: Escrow Officers

1) Select 5 huge title companies in different parts of town.

2) Use the top escrow officer at these companies for a transaction.

3) Wow your client and have the escrow officer complete your customer satisfaction survey at close so the title officer can see what a great job you do for your clients.

You can download a sample customer satisfaction survey by visiting:

[http://www.mortgage-leads-generator.com/a/survey.htm]

4) Immediately after the transaction funds, send the title officers at all 5 offices a gift and tell them how much you appreciated their top notch service during the transaction.

5) Exactly one week after the title officers receive your thank you gift, go see each of them face to face and ask them for referrals to top realtors. Ask for referrals to real estate agents that are easy to work with and do at least 2 transactions a month (or however many transactions you would like).

Option 2: Top Producer List

Ask your title officer for a list of the top producing real estate agents in your area. This list will enable you to target real estate agents who are actually doing business.

II. Approaching Real Estate Agents

Option 1: Approach Letter

1) Send a letter to one or two real estate agents per day. Be sure to stay organized. Use software or some other method to keep track of who needs a follow up call each day.

2) Send your letter in an unusual way so it gets noticed – like a Fed Ex overnight package for example. Everyone opens overnight packages with great anticipation.

Here is the delivery method I used. I learned it from Todd Duncan and it worked well:

Wrap your approach letter around a Pay Day candy bar, use a gold ribbon to keep the letter attached to the candy bar, then send your letter / candy bar to realtors in a tube.

This letter delivery technique is sure to get noticed.

For a sample approach letter to use when mortgage marketing to realtors visit:

[http://www.mortgage-leads-generator.com/a/realtor.htm]

Here are some important elements to include in your approach letter:

* Offer a unique selling proposition (USP) that can help their business

* Tell them a little about yourself.

* Also, tell them you will be calling in 2 days to schedule a face to face meeting. At the meeting you will explain your USP and how it can improve their business.

Option 2: Office Managers and Realtor Associations

1) Contact real estate offices and ask to speak with the manager. Explain to the manager that you are a top producing Mortgage Planner. You are currently offering complementary seminars to a limited number of real estate offices.

Here are a few seminar ideas:

* How realtors can use 1% mortgage loans to increase their business

* How to get more leads from your real estate website

* Anything you can think of that would benefit the realtors at the office.

2) Offer to give the short talk during their next sales meeting.

3) Offer to bring lunch.

4) During your talk offer the realtors a valuable tool, gift or information that can only be obtained by giving you their business card. When you send the gift include an approach letter explaining you will be contacting them for a face to face meeting to discuss a USP that can increase their business.

You can also use this technique with local realtor associations. Offer to give your talk to the entire association. Just be sure the topic and information you discuss is truly useful.

Give these ideas a try. They really work! You’ll be amazed at how fast your mortgage referral business will grow.

By the way, if you are the shy type and do not want to conduct seminars or face to face realtor meetings, you can always hire someone or bring on a partner to do this stuff for you.

Please feel free to reprint this article as long as the resource box is left intact and all links are hyperlinked.

Source by Hartley Pinn

How to Restore a Jet Ski

The restoration of a older model jet ski can be a rewarding experience upon completion. If you’ve lived by the water for the better part of your life, you should be at least remotely familiar with jet skis, maybe even intimately familiar. This read is for those personal watercraft enthusiasts who may wish to restore a jet ski. The phrase “how to restore a jet ski” is not necessarily a how to rebuild carbs or pumps, but how to approach a restoration project from day one. First of all it is important to consider that the people who can best afford to restore a jet ski, usually don’t. Those who can’t afford restoration projects are usually the ones that desire and ultimately attempt them. Many times, these projects usually come undone because the owner failed to anticipate the cost properly. Fixer upper jet skis are rarely good deals. Money is a very important aspect in these projects.

If you haven’t got cash, then it’s likely a mistake to think that you can perform a complete restoration. Looking at it from another point of view however, taking a well designed, well built, older jet ski and restoring it can be the most cost effective way to get yourself onto a good quality jet ski that you would not otherwise be able to afford. Older models tend to have less bells and whistles but when you’re cruising across the water with a breeze in your hair, does that really matter? Regarding your best bang for the buck, it is possible for the economics of such a project to work out because a lot of the investment is going to be old fashion elbow grease. The similarities between jet skis and older homes are astounding. This is evident by watching just about any home improvement show on television. Someone takes an older home, restores and rebuilds the house and reaps heaps of profit and pride. The restoration of vintage model jet ski, or even a late model personal watercraft with an enormous amount of hours, can produce a high resale value in some cases, but the pride of a self restored jet ski is a guarantee.

Here are some basic concepts to guide anyone in the right direction regarding their own jet ski restoration project. First, there is a matter of legalities. Be sure the jet ski comes equipped with a title of ownership or some form of legitimate registration. One could only imagine the horror of a fully restored personal watercraft that was not legal to operate on public waters.Of course, laws vary greatly among the states so check your locality either at the department of motor vehicles or other appropriate governing office. Now on to the fun stuff… The hull of the watercraft should be sound and not require any type of substantial reconstruction. A solid foundation is the best way to start any project. If you plan on investing your hard earned money, be sure it is a desirable model based on the possibility you’ll need to resell at some point. Do your financial homework, an accurate estimation of overall cost is essential to any project. next of course be sure you have the funds allocated to complete the job, maybe even a buffer is even a good idea. Too many projects go uncompleted thanks to a lack of funding. A very liberal consideration needs to be given to total restore time as well. Chances are that it will take about twice as long to complete your project than originally anticipated. Being that personal watercraft are a seasonal vehicle in most cases, off-season work would be best so there is no hurry with critical portions of your work. Patience is key from start to finish.

Another thought to consider is partial sub-contracting. If there is any part of the engine or hull where an expert can achieve better, or longer lasting results, than go for it. There is no shame in hiring out a portion of the restore if you feel you may not do the best job on your own. Some mechanics are not strong electricians and vice versa. It is important to know when assistance is necessary. Painting or refinishing the hull with a custom paint scheme is a great example of something that may need to be handled by a professional.

Nevertheless, these types of restoration projects are not for everyone. But for those that have desire, skill, time, and plenty of money, such projects can be rewarding and ultimately enjoyable. Maybe the trick to your success is to attack the restore with a business-like attitude. Guaranteed you’ll feel like a million dollars on the day you place the jet ski back in the water.

Source by Chet Val

Can Health Savings Account Funds Be Used To Pay For Health Insurance Premiums?

While Health Savings Account (HSA) funds can be used for a long list of health care expenses before you become 65, these funds cannot be used to pay your monthly premiums for your high-deductible health insurance. Once you turn 65, though, it’s a different story. At that time, you can withdraw money from your HSA to pay for anything without incurring a 20-percent penalty on the withdrawal. You will have to pay taxes on the withdrawal, though.

Health Savings Accounts May Be Used To Pay For Qualified Long-term Care Insurance

Health insurance is critically important, but it doesn’t cover a significant amount of the care that is often needed as people age. Long-term care insurance helps with the day-to-day assisted living expenses that aren’t covered by health insurance, including help that can keep you in your own home or increase care in an assisted living facility or nursing home.

By age 65, nearly 40 percent of people spend some time in a nursing home, which may only mean a short-term stay while recovering from a fall or other injury that makes independent living difficult. Neither Medicare, nor Medicare Supplement policies, covers long-term care expenses and those costs can be unmanageable. It’s typical for private nursing home costs to range from $65,000 to $90,000 per year!

When looking into long-term care plans, it is important to understand certain features that govern how the plans work. Be sure that your plan covers a range of locations, including adult day care, assisted living facilities and at-home services. Also, confirm exactly what triggers these benefits. Typically, the benefits become available when you are no longer able to perform at least two activities required during daily living.

Long-term care insurance also has limits on benefits, such as how much it will pay for a specific service or a period of time that it will cover a specific service. Even though the average stay in a nursing facility is about 2.5 years, you may want to see what it costs for lifetime coverage. On that note, you may also be interested in an inflation rider to protect you from inflationary cost increases.

Long-term care insurance also has elimination periods, during which you must pay for your long-term care expenses. Typically, the longer that period lasts, the lower the cost of coverage will be, much like the trade-off of low premiums for high-deductible health insurance.

What Else Can Health Savings Accounts Be Used To Fund?

You can withdraw funds from your HSA and pay for many services not covered by health insurance even before you turn 65. Common withdrawals include dental expenses because typical dental policies only have limited coverage for a restricted network of dentists.

Both mental and physical therapies may also be funded through an HSA. That includes services from psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists. In terms of physical therapy, you can pay for chiropractor services, hydrotherapy and medical massage therapy from an HSA.

Other health-care related costs that health insurance rarely covers include acupuncture, aromatherapy, Ayurvedic Medicine, healing services provided by a Christian Science Practitioner or other type of healer, homeopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine. All may be funded through an HSA.

With the wide range of health care that may be funded from an HSA, some lodging and transportation costs may be included, as well as disability-related expenses, including special telephone and TV equipment as well guide dogs expenses.

In addition, your HSA can be used to pay for these kinds of expenses that are incurred by your spouse or a dependent member of your family including same sex and domestic partners, even if they are not covered under the insurance policy.

Source by Wiley P Long

Collections – Why Do People Collect Things?

There were seashells everywhere. The room was furnished with couches and chairs with a seashell pattern on the upholstery.There were lamps with shades covered with shells. Sculptures made of shells and books about seashells sat on the tables. Family photos in seashell- encrusted frames lined the shelves. A curio cabinet was filled with more shells. I was visiting the home of a new acquaintance. She collects seashells. A special room in her home was dedicated to shells. There were shells from all over the world everywhere in that room. Even the business card she gave me was decorated with a photo of a large shell.

People have a natural tendency to collect things. Seashells may not be their passion but whether its coins, stamps, postcards, spoons, or more bizarre things like teabags, chocolate bar wrappers or traffic signs we human beings seem inclined to be collectors. Dr. Steve Anderson, a neurologist at the University of Iowa says our need to collect may harken back to an earlier point in our evolution, since many animals hoard things, especially food.

According to Susan Pearce, author of the book Interpreting Objects and Collections one in three North Americans collects something. There are many different kinds of collections and collectors.

Some collections are souvenirs or mementos of a place. I once visited the home of a couple who collect masks every time they travel. One wall of their dining room is covered with traditional painted masks from South Africa, Egypt, Vietnam, the Philippines and dozens of other places. When they are on a trip they never have to stop and think about what to buy as a souvenir. They just look for a mask to add to their collection.

Some collections are gifts. I know a man who gives his mother a china plate every Mother’s Day with a message or saying about mothers on it. He hunts through antique stores and curio shops, often for weeks, until he finds a plate and a design that he hasn’t already purchased. His mother has more than twenty such plates in her collection.

Some collections are of practical use. I have friends who are world travelers and collect Starbucks Coffee mugs from every place they visit. There are Starbucks franchises in more than forty countries. Our friends don’t have forty different mugs but certainly enough for a fairly large group of coffee drinking guests.

The desire to learn new things can also be the impetus behind a collection. I know someone who collects military artifacts from the World Wars. He has uniforms, machinery, vehicles, sheet music, maps, books, flags and photographs. His collection has helped him learn a great deal about military history.

Some people collect things because of their monetary value. I used to work with a woman who collected Barbie Dolls. She assured me someday she would sell her collection and make a mint of money.

Susan Pearce says there are some collections which she terms ‘magic’. There is no rhyme or reason for collecting them but they have a certain appeal or attraction for the collector. I imagine this might apply to a collection of snow globes or a large collection of Superman memorabilia.

Collections can remind us of positive experiences and important people in our lives. They can help us learn new things. They can be practical or magical. If you’re not a collector you might want to think about becoming one. Collections can enrich our lives.

Source by MaryLou Driedger

Things You Need to Set Up an Auto Insurance Policy

Money is an obvious one. And, of course, having a vehicle to insure and a garaging address is another. A completed application with signatures applies to all polices. Also, each company will have their own unique set of guidelines for what you will need. Lastly, legal requirements can change in different jurisdictions.

Payments to start a policy are mostly made by check or credit card. Many policyholders now a days use an electronic form of payment. For credit and debit cards the account number, expiration date, and security code are needed. For an electronic funds bank transfer the account and bank routing numbers. In either case the account holder, which is not always the policyholder, must provide authorization.

Before a policy can begin the exact Vehicle Identification Number or VIN (17 digit alpha numeric) is needed. Providing the year make and model is insufficient. Each car has a unique VIN which identifies the characteristics for that particular car. Air bag, antilock brakes and other vehicle features are verified. CLUE reports (Claims Loss Underwriting Exchange) indicating vehicle claims history require the correct VIN.

Information not provided on computer generated reports such as the MVR and CLUE are necessary to complete the application and issue (begin) a policy. Be prepared to provide the employer (school) name and address for all drivers. When making payments on the car the bank or leasing company name and address is necessary. The application will have to be signed and payment authorized.

Companies often require a variety of documentation supporting the policy. Proof of prior insurance or school transcript for discounts is typical. Photographs of the vehicle or policyholder picture identification are less common. If there are different vehicles in the household covered by another insurance policy you may be asked to provide proof. Not all jurisdictions have the same legal requirements. For example, 7 counties in Florida require mandatory vehicle inspections when starting a new policy that include physical damage coverage.

Most, but not all, of the necessary information for a policy is generated by reports from your name, address, drivers license and VIN numbers. It is imperative that the 17 digit VIN number you provide is correct. Complete information, payment details, specific requirements, and signatures are the things you need to set up an insurance policy.

Source by Clifford J Schimek