If you rent your home you ought to have renters insurance. What is renters insurance and why do you need it? What should you look for? How much should you be paying? And, where do you find the best deals?
Why Do You Need Renters Insurance?
Too often tenants believe that any problems will be covered by their landlord’s insurance. The landlord’s insurance only covers what the landlord owns. The building itself and the land will be covered by the landlord’s insurance. Any of your possessions within the rental space will not be included in the landlord’s insurance policy. It may well be that this is specified in your rental agreement. Even if it is not you really need to have rental insurance to cover any damage that may occur to your belongings, theft of those belongings and things such as fire or water damage. In short, if your rent, you need renters insurance.
What Do You Want in a Rental Insurance Policy?
Personal Property Coverage: You want a policy that offers you coverage for the theft, loss or destruction of your personal belongings in the event of a fire, storm or other covered risk. You will want to replace items that you use on a daily basis such as clothing, furniture and appliances. Items such as jewelry and collectibles may require what is called floater insurance or scheduled personal property coverage. This may be extra but may be worth it if you have thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in jewelry, rare coins, etc. And you want coverage for personal belongings when they are outside of your home, such as when you take your laptop computer with you on a trip and it is stolen.
Liability Coverage: A friend of a friend is injured in an accident in your home. He or she is no longer a friend but a claimant for injuries suffered. Your renters insurance should have liability coverage in case you are sued by a guest who is injured in your home. Such coverage takes care of legal expenses, medical bills and any and all other damages. Liability coverage should also cover damages that you or your family cause by accident to others. A common example is when your son throws a baseball through the neighbor’s living room window.
Additional Living Expenses: If there is a fire in your apartment where will you live? Your renters insurance policy should cover temporary living expenses such as staying in a hotel and eating in restaurants.
Who Does and Does Not Have Renters Insurance?
Only about three out of ten renters have renters insurance. This is typically a matter of people not knowing that renters insurance is available or simply not having thought about it. Cost is typically not an issue as a very basic policy will commonly run between fifteen and twenty dollars a month. Renters insurance is available from any insurance agent and there are many listings on the internet. It is a good idea to make sure that the policy that you are getting will cover what you need and that the price is competitive.
Out of work and need something to do to make money? Or do you simply have time on your hands want to put it to good use? There are lots of ways to make money from home in your spare time. The kind of work that you need to look for is often available on the internet and something that you can do when you have time and ignore when you do not. The idea is to think creatively in order to make money from home in your spare time. What are your skills and assets? Are you fluent in Spanish and English and do you have a computer and a headset? There are jobs that require bilingual persons working a computer anywhere in the world. Using the extra language, or two, that you know is a great way to make money from home in your spare time. Be a translator, an online call center person working from home or someone who acts a virtual assistant to one or more persons elsewhere in the world. We offer just a few examples but once you get the idea of what sort of things are possible you will find many more.
A simple way to make money from home in your spare time is to answer surveys. Big companies like Coca Cola, McDonalds, Target or VISA pay to find out what people are thinking. Set yourself up for taking surveys and answering questions and make money from home in your spare time. Take a look at this link. It goes to a web site that offers work filling out surveys, for a chance to win $50,000!
If you are someone who juggles the family calendar and likes to organize and keep organized you may want to look for work online as a virtual assistant. Doctor’s offices, dentists offices, physical therapists and virtually any business needs someone to make appointments, hand email, set up travel arrangements and handle personal matters as well such as how to get a child from school to an appointment when mom or dad cannot get out of the office to help. The skills you will need are the ability to speak clearly and organize well and you will need a home computer with a reasonably fast internet connection and a headset that allows you communicate with anyone else in the world. Having Microsoft office on your computer helps although employers will commonly provide the software that you will need. Workers commonly get $10 an hour through staffing agencies for this kind or work two and three times as much when working directly for the employer.
People need things and often do not have the time and patience needed to track down the items that they need. Experience buying and selling through Craig’s List or EBay is useful. Any you will need a head for numbers as you will need to be able to find things that are under priced and sell them for a fair and substantially higher price. It helps to develop a list of sources of surplus merchandise that you can turn around and promote.
You can make money from home in your spare time working as a call center employee, document translator, data entry person, answering service employee, interview transcriber, content writer, affiliate blogger, online tutor and teacher, tech support rep and seller of beauty products. It all has to do with assessing your skill set and finding a job that fits.
Anger, grief, fear and shock are common reactions to permanent disability, yours or a loved one’s. Some disabilities are partial and have a measurable but limited effect on a person’s life. And some disabilities are total and change our lives forever. The reaction one has to disabilities and the difficulty in dealing with disabilities is strongly related to the totality and severity of disabilities. And, our reaction to disabilities is normal. The healthy thing is to talk about your reaction to the disability. There is no right or wrong reaction when dealing with disabilities. There are, however, more and less effective approaches. Learning how to effectively adapt is the key.
Learning to and Coping with Change
It is common that a person will need to change where they work or where they live or make changes to compensate for a disability. Calmly analyzing the situation and making concrete plans is healthy as well as necessary. Here are a few insights from those who have learned how to deal with disabilities.
You or your love one will find certain activities impossible without taking a different approach or getting help. Common daily tasks may take longer to accomplish. It is important to understand this, accept it and plan the day to get things done as efficiently as possible given new circumstances. A commonly successful approach is to break tasks down into small bits and learn to accomplish those small bits one at a time, adding a new task once the first has been mastered.
If an assistive device such as a wheelchair is needed get professional advice and check to see if your insurance covers the cost. This is commonly the case. Assistive devices such as brushes with suction cups, “clapper” light switches, cutting boards for one hand use, door openers, garage door openers, holders (drink, utensils, etc.), one-handed can openers, portable phones, reachers, remote controls, scoop dishes, under-cabinet jar openers, and wheeled laundry baskets are all helpful under certain circumstances. A rehabilitation specialist will often help you or your loved one in picking and choosing which devices will be helpful to you and help you learn how to use them.
Scheduling and Making Special Arrangements
You may be disabled but you can often travel, attend sporting events or simply spend time out of doors in a park. In each case it is wise to think though what is necessary. Ask the airline for a seat at the front of the compartment for easier access. Make sure to ask to get on the plane first and leave last. Aisle seats are good. Rental cars can come with hand controls if you ask ahead of time and hotels have many handicapped accessible features if you check in advance. If you need a wheel chair make sure that the restaurant you want to go to has an access ramp and easy access inside the restaurant. Sending someone to scout out facilities beforehand is a good idea.
Communication Is Often the Key
Communication is a two way street. If you are dealing with disabilities, your own, remember that other folks are not familiar with what you are going through and how your disabilities affect you. Do not be afraid to explain what for you is obvious to those who do not get it right away. And if you have a friend or loved one who is disabled do not be afraid to ask specific questions in order to find out what you can do and how you can help. And, talk to the person, not the disability. Your friend or family member is a person with a disability and not a disabled person!
Patience, Practice and Success
Dealing with disabilities can be tiring, frustrating and painful. Be patient. In dealing with disabilities things often take more time to accomplish. Practice until you get it right. Many times you or your loved one need to develop an entirely new skill set that simply takes repetition to learn correctly. And acknowledge success. Dealing with disabilities can be difficult and rewarding yourself or your friend with kind words goes a long way towards making life easier and disabilities more bearable.
Offer to Help; Don’t Insist
A common response when one is in the presence of a person with disabilities is to take over and do things when things are going too slowly. First of all ask the person if he or she wants help. If you are the person with a disability ask for help when you need it and tell the person that you need to do it yourself if they are interfering. There are skill sets to be learned when dealing with disabilities and many times the person with the disability needs to be left alone for a minute in order to develop that skill set and not be rescued every time things go slowly and those around start to feel uncomfortable.
A great way to buy a home when you do not have sufficient credit is to rent to own. How does this work? How do you know if rent to own is right for you? And how do you get started? First a little background info about rent to own.
What Is Rent to Own?
Rent to own is also called rental-purchase. It is a type of legally documented transaction in which tangible property, such as furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances or a home is leased in exchange for a weekly or monthly payment, with the option to purchase at some point during the agreement.
A rent to own transaction is different from a traditional lease because the person can purchase the leased item at any time during the agreement. Rent to Own is also different from a hire purchase/installment plan because the lessee can terminate the agreement by simply returning the property.
Rent to own agreements began in the United Kingdom and Europe, and first were used in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. While rent to own terminology is most commonly associated with consumer goods transactions, the term is sometimes used in connection with real estate transactions. That is what we are talking about here when we look at rent to own agreements.
Why Would You Rent to Own?
Maybe you are not sure how long your company will keep you at your present location. If you may move very soon you may choose to simply rent. But if there is a chance that you may be in your current city for years you may choose to rent to own. And, if you have had credit problems you may have a poor credit score and find it hard to qualify for traditional mortgage. If you have a low credit score you will be able live in a home while you take the steps necessary to fix your credit and secure a mortgage. Most Lease Purchase Agreements allow you to lock in a market rate when you sign the contract.
Rent to Own Drawbacks
The contract period for rent to own is crucial if you are trying to repair your credit. The down side to not being able to fix your credit and move to a regular mortgage is that you will have to walk away from the rent to own contract and lose any equity that you have built up. On the other hand if you simply had rented you also would have had no equity when you moved.
Terms and Conditions to Rent to Own
In a rent to own transaction you live in property and pay towards purchasing the property at a fixed price within a specific period of time. This is ordinarily between one and three years. There is often a nonrefundable deposit included at a down payment at the end of the lease. There is also a rent credit that is escrowed and eventually added to the deposit if your transition to buying is successful. The renter holds the legal right to purchase the property ahead of all others up until the end of the rent to own contract period. However, if he does not keep up on payments this may not be the case and if at the end of the contract period he is unable to make the transition and make the purchase the owner may seek other buyers.
Mesothelioma is a devastating disease. Not only is it eventually fatal but the disease can take a terrible toll on the family of the person with the disease. Much can be learned from those who have traveled the same path that you are on. Here are several suggestions for coping with mesothelioma.
Coping with Stress
At times the most difficult thing is not the disease but the stress that is visited on the patient and family. Here are a few tips for coping with the stress of mesothelioma from Asbestos.com. Their suggestion is to start by researching details about the cancer.
You may have never of even heard of mesothelioma before your diagnosis. The doctor may have given you some information, but you will have lots of questions. New patients should compile a list of honest questions they want answered. Some common questions:
What caused my cancer?
Can mesothelioma be passed on to my children?
Where is the cancer located?
How do you treat it?
What are my treatment options?
What are the pros/cons of my treatment options?
How much time will treatments give me?
In addition Asbestos.com suggests writing about what you know and writing down your thoughts and feelings. Then find a support group specifically for mesothelioma patients and/or families or for patients with cancer and/or their families. Staying active and involved is also a useful way to deal with stress.
Dealing with Physical and Financial Issues
Mesothelioma-aid.org takes a practical approach. Deal with physical and financial issues as best you can and it will you deal with the stress of coping with mesothelioma.
Many people think of coping as only an emotional process, but dealing with treatment regimens and their potential side effects, as well as quality of life concerns must also be addressed. While you can’t control the fact that you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you can learn to minimize its effects on your health and wellness.
Serious illnesses like mesothelioma can deplete your life savings quickly. Most cancer treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can be costly, and because of the rarity of mesothelioma, you may feel you want to travel to a specialist for a second opinion or for treatments not available in your local area. By being aware of the financial resources available, including compensation from the asbestos industry, you can help ease the stress on yourself and your family and, therefore, maintain control over your life.
The more accurate information you have the easier coping mesothelioma is. If you have mesothelioma you need to see a specialist and you need to understand everything the he or she say to do. Do not be afraid to ask questions and ask again to be sure that you fully understand what to do and when. The financial burden of this disease can be very worrying. Make sure just what your insurance covers. If you served in the US military find out about care at a veteran’s hospital. If you need more help from the government go and ask for it. And make sure that you fully understand the pros and cons of any treatment or procedure before giving informed consent.
You can find more information in our previous two articles about mesothelioma. Please feel free to read them.
Last week we asked, what is mesothelioma, and looked at some facts and figures about the disease. Despite the fact that we know that exposure to asbestos fibers causes this disease, mesothelioma cases continue to surface. As an example, asbestos.com reports new mesothelioma cases from the Iron Range in Northern Minnesota.
Nearly two dozen newly diagnosed cases of malignant mesothelioma among taconite workers in northeastern Minnesota’s Iron Range region is sounding alarm bells among the state’s health officials.
The 21 new cases of the deadly asbestos-related cancer bring the total number of diagnosed cases to 101. Only three men from all confirmed cases are alive.
“We know this is a horrible disease. We have always expected to see additional cases as time went by,” state Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger said in conference call with reporters. “We expect to see still more cases going forward.” All these cases are part of a Minnesota Department of Health and University of Minnesota study involving 69,000 iron ore mine workers that researchers have been observing since the late 1990s.
Currently, there are more than 4,000 workers today employed in Minnesota’s iron mine industry. Only those miners employed before 1982 are involved in the study. The state’s cancer tracking system provided data for the investigation. “These are newly identified people whose disease, after many years, came to a point where it could be clinically diagnosed,” Ehlinger said. “This is the continuation of what we normally would do.”
Although many people with mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos in industry we would expect the cases of mesothelioma from such sources to dwindle and go away as companies are forced to comply with measures to prevent exposure. However, some types of work as with the iron ore workers in the taconite industry in the Minnesota Arrowhead region continue at risk. The question is, for workers in such industries how can one prevent the disease and what sort of monitoring is useful?
Mesothelioma prevention is tied to asbestos avoidance. The ultimate way to prevent this disease is to ban the use of asbestos in industry and in jobs where it is unavoidable such as in taconite mining, to demand effective precautions such as mask and respirators. Watch dog organizations such as the ADAO are constantly working toward these goals.
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which combines education, advocacy, and community to help ensure justice for asbestos victims, today announced the speakers scheduled to present at the upcoming 11th Annual Asbestos Awareness Conference, “Where Knowledge and Action Unite” , April 17-19 2015 at the Crystal Gateway Marriot in Arlington, VA. ADAO also will be celebrating its 11th year of asbestos awareness success since the organization’s inception in 2004. ADAO is the only U.S. nonprofit that organizes annual conferences dedicated to preventing and eliminating asbestos-caused diseases.
Collaborating with organizations around the world for a global asbestos ban since its inception in 2004, ADAO has become a leader in social media advocacy and community outreach for asbestos victims, their families, and loved ones to share support, resources, and provide hope. ADAO has shifted education and awareness activities into high gear – with an unparalleled effort to educate the public and medical community about asbestos-related diseases and preventing exposure. Responsible for three Surgeon General asbestos warnings and ten Senate Resolutions designating April as Asbestos Awareness Week each year, ADAO is recognized as one of the largest organizations fighting for justice on behalf of asbestos victims in the US and abroad.
The price of a mesothelioma free world is constant vigilance. Next week we will talk more about advanced forms treatment.
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the chest cavity, heart or abdomen. Exposure to asbestos is the main cause and risk factor leading to mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of all asbestos related diseases.
How Does a Person Get Mesothelioma?
This is a rare disease as there are between 2,000 to 3,000 cases diagnosed each year in the USA. (By comparison there are a 1,500,000 cases of diabetes diagnosed each year.) You get mesothelioma as a late effect of working around asbestos fibers. Shipyard workers, drywall tapers, electricians, firefighters and auto mechanics are commonly exposed to asbestos to varying degrees. The disease, however, does not appear until decades after the person has been exposed. This fact can make it hard for people to make the connection between the work that they once did and the disease that they now have.
How Do I Know That I Have Mesothelioma?
According to the Mayo Clinic pleural mesothelioma (affecting the lung cavity) causes symptoms like these:
- Chest pain under the rib cage
- Painful cough
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual lumps on the chest (under the skin)
- Unexplained weight loss
If the mesothelioma involves the lining of the abdominal cavity these symptoms may be present:
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Lumps on the abdomen
- Unexplained weight loss
These symptoms will commonly lead the doctor to order a chest x-ray or scan of the chest which will often show the tumor or tumors. There are also blood tests that may be used but the definitive test is a biopsy of one or more of the cancerous lumps.
How Is Mesothelioma Treated?
There is no cure for malignant mesothelioma. Treatment is based on the cell type found on biopsy. These types are epithelioid, sarcomatoid and biphasic. And treatment is based on how far the disease has progressed. There are four stages, I through IV. If you have this disease you will be referred to a specialist who will recommend chemotherapy, radiation therapy and/or surgery. There are clinical trials for new treatments which you may be referred to if your case matches the required criteria such as type and stage.
What Is My Outlook if I Have This Disease?
Malignant mesothelioma is a fatal disease. With expert care and when the disease is diagnosed early life expectancy may be many years. When the disease diagnosed late life expectancy is commonly no more than four years, although with new treatments this number is expected to increase.
Can I Catch This Disease from Others?
None of the forms of mesothelioma are contagious. This is a disease that is caused by repeated and prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers. It is not a germ and is not passed from person to person. However, people who are being treated for mesothelioma with chemotherapy may be more susceptible to catching and getting sick from common infections because their immune system is compromised by the chemo.
The US economy is improving and there are more jobs. But not everyone who wants a job has found one yet. Could you use help finding a job? The days when you could walk down the street and apply when you saw a help wanted sign are gone. And the days when booming US industry was hiring huge numbers of people are gone as well. So, if you could use help finding a job what can you do? Here are a few thoughts on the subject and a suggestion or two.
What Kind of Job Are You Looking For?
When times are good people look for a job that fits their highest skill set, a job that pays the best and a job with great benefits. And when times are tough, like they have been, it is often enough to just find a job that pays the bills. Remember, when you go out to find a job, that what you commonly want is a career. So, even when times are bad, look for work that can lead to advancement, better pay and a comfortable life style.
Getting the Word Out
A first and easy step is to look to see what is available where you live. Go to any and all businesses and introduce yourself. Hand your resume to the person in Human Resources. In short, make yourself available. And, do not hide the fact that you need work from your friends, especially your social media friends. This is an easy to use extension of talking to friends and family. If you are the king or queen of Facebook, Twitter or WhatsUp use these services to let your friends know that you need work. They can tell their friends who will tell their friends, and so forth. In this case your need to find a job will pass quickly out of the realm of friendship so you will need to add a couple of specifics about what you are looking for and what sort of skills you can bring to the job. This can be a quick way to get leads about work.
Almost all employment services have an online presence these days. So, your first place to look is online. If you do not know which service to approach, we ran across an online service that might help. Click here for help finding a job. And before you contact anyone try to put together a resume. This is a list of when you have done and what you can do. Add references from people with and for whom you have worked and provide your phone number, physical address and email address so that they can contact you. When you deal with an employment service look to see what jobs they are trying to fill. These are the easiest to get providing that your skill set and experience are a match to what the employer wants. And never forget that courtesy and a smile are door openers in all aspects of life. Many companies will hire an energetic person who gets along well with coworkers before hiring a highly skilled worker with a negative attitude.
Tired of carrying around a wad of cash? Prepaid credit cards let you pay bills and make purchases efficiently. Can’t get a regular credit card because of a poor credit rating? You can use prepaid credit cards the same way you would use a VISA or MasterCard and improve your credit score as you go.
Denied Credit and What to Do
If you have been rejected after filling out a credit card application you are not alone. Poor credit is often the cause. The problem is, a major credit card is commonly necessary for hotel or airline reservations or placing an order online. And, simply having a credit card makes it easier to function than by carrying around the cash that you need. But, how do prepaid credit cards fit into this picture?
A prepaid credit card is a card issued by a financial institution and is preloaded with funds so it can be used like a regular credit card. However, a prepaid card works opposite the way a regular credit card works. Instead of buying paying with borrowed funds you pay with money funds that you have already deposited with the institution. With a prepaid card your credit limit is determined by how much money you deposited into an open checking or savings account. Fund the account with a required amount and you get a prepaid credit card that can be used anywhere that you could use a regular credit card. If overspending and running up debts is what got you into credit trouble in the first place, this does not happen with prepaid credit cards because your account needs to be replenished in order for you to use the card.
And, get the right prepaid card and your institution reports you card history to the major credit bureaus. This allows you to rebuild your credit by using prepaid credit cards.
Where Do I Get Prepaid Credit Cards?
Many banks offer prepaid credit cards. You can also find them online. In fact, while researching this article we found a good place to check out prepaid credit cards. Take a look and see if this is what you need.
Checking Your Credit Score
If you have been denied credit and are thinking of prepaid credit cards it is also useful to have an idea about how credit scores are calculated and how to find out your score. A credit score is a number based on credit data and calculated using statistical techniques. The end result is a number that correlates with how well a person will do in paying off his debts. A credit score is meant to predict how likely it is that a person will go 90 days past due on his bills, or worse, within the next twenty-four months. The information to calculate credit scores comes from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax which are the big three credit bureaus. Credit scores are typically reported in what is called the FICO system and range from 300 to 850. A score in the low 700s is average. Higher score mean a better credit rating and lower scores mean you will be less likely to remain current on paying your debts. You can get a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus. But this is not a free credit score! It will cost you $7.95 to get a credit score. If you get a free credit report and find a mistake you can dispute that mistake and the credit bureaus have 45 days to respond.
Good luck in fixing your credit and in the meantime think of prepaid credit cards.