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Money Secrets for Seniors

Kevin Wells

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Senior Discounts Ahead

People enjoying the benefits of senior discounts can also appreciate the available offers for tourism opportunities, cost savings, and the daily perks of being a certain age.

There may be thousands of dollars in savings available and the process is simple to understand.  Vacation planning and enjoyable shopping trips can be arranged for seniors appreciating discounts.

The savings can be amazing and the additional amounts of money available can instead be utilized for fun projects or exciting opportunities.

Here are some amazing “Money Saving Tips”  available to you.   

Know about the Available Programs

The FMERR program is an example of a quick and easy way to reduce mortgage costs.  More than $3,100 each year can be saved with the Freddie Mac Enhanced Relief Refinance program (FMERR).

The savings can be used for other items that can bring you more comfort and happiness.  The cost is free and the process can take less than five minutes to use the online form.

Qualifying For Large Cash Payouts With Amounts Of $100,000 or More

Cash out payments may be ready for you.  As a homeowner, you can check to see if you qualify for programs that offer amounts up to $100,000.  

It is a quick process and people are encouraged to do this at least twice per year.  The amounts can be helpful for debt payoffs, vacations, or other nice purchases.

Reduce Your Life Insurance Premium By Up To 70%

Quality policies should be affordable and comfortable with cost savings up there around 70%.  An easier qualification process is available with affordable prices, benefits, and borrowing capabilities.  

Your protected account has your money that should be available as a personal banking account with interest and loan availability.

Save Thousands Easily

Knowing what to research for health plans can be nicer as you know the best ways to take good care of yourself.  

Focusing on fitness and health can help save thousands on healthcare and some supplemental insurance plans with medicare offer gym memberships for good health.  Staying out of doctor’s offices can save thousands.

Home Maintenance and Cost Savings

Smartly researching options for home maintenance and repairs can be a nice way to cover any costs for improvements.  

Home warranty programs are available for people who haven’t just moved into a new home, and they can help with any costs for heating, air conditioners, appliances, or even larger projects such as a roof.

Understand Debt Relief and Helpful Programs Available

Debt relief is available!  

People with more than $20,000 in credit card debt have relief from high interest rates (18-30%) and the burden of high monthly credit card bills.  Thankfully, the process has been simplified to get quicker relief with workable solutions.

Homeowners Insurance Savings

Homeowners insurance should be affordable and a savings of 30% might be available for you with comfortable solutions for monthly or yearly payments.  

Policy options should provide quality homeowners insurance with the right protections of your belongings.

Store Discounts for Food and Necessities

Buying food at a discount can help on a monthly basis and shopping trips can be more enjoyable.  Available discounts at local stores can be a smart way to plan for meals, snacks, and beverages.  Certain days of the week may be when the discounts are honored.

Saving money with discounts and coupons can make meals even better with additional selections to enjoy and healthy choices always available.

Enjoyable Outings for Food and Nourishment

Sometimes people are craving certain foods which may include a nice helping of international cuisine.  With great health benefits, these restaurants and food locations might offer certain discounts.  

This may apply for delivery services so be sure and ask about options, discounts, and any suggested orders that might satisfy your appetite.  Good food is a healthy choice and satisfying your cravings can be part of good fitness with excellent health benefits.

Save on Monthly Expenses  

A good place to cut costs could be with any utility bills.  Most companies and cooperatives offer savings, discounts, and programs.  

Saving on your bills for heating and cooling are easily achievable and there are national grants available also to help cover costs.  

Affordable Plans are Available

Several options are now available for cell phones.  Prepaid services are easier for planning purposes and a simplified way of payment makes this even nicer.  Larger stores are now offering choices for cell phones with many options that could work with a comfortable amount prearranged for monthly expenditures.  Data usage and messaging services could be included with some of the purchases available.

Shopping Trips and Planned Outings

Knowing the best places for discounts can be an enjoyable way to plan out those shopping trips.  

Many department stores and boutiques offer discounts that may apply without any restrictions.  Often, food can be enjoyed during these fun shopping visits and the options available can really make it nice for planning the best trips.

Vacation Planning

Some of the best planned vacations may include a simple car rental that offers flexibility while traveling.   

With the discounts and cost savings, some people find it even nicer to plan out vacations with options to enjoy the outdoors with the right car rental.

Saving Money with Tourist Packages

Discounts are available for traveling to many destinations.  Researching options can be enjoyable with resort discounts and travel packages available throughout the year.  

Saving money can make it nicer to see incredible sites with tourist attractions.

Tourism Packages

Some hotels offer discounts on food, local attractions, and other purchases that are appealing for travelers.  Finding these hotels is easier now and customizing your packages is often an option.  Making the arrangements is also simpler with online research.

Visiting Other Locations

Traveling to another city or location is an opportunity to enjoy the outings offered to local residents and tourists.  Visiting some of the best restaurants might be enjoyable so planning ahead can make the trip even better.  

International discounts may also apply and it is smart to plan ahead for currencies and money exchanges.

Cruises, Food, and International Visits

Traveling internationally with a cruise ship can be an enjoyable vacation.  Often these types of cruises provide opportunities to visit international cities.  Preparing is much easier now as people understand what locations are offered and what type of planning is suggested when they arrive at those places.  Several cruise packages offer discounts and the options for traveling are amazing.  

Parks and Trails

Enjoying the outdoors can be another reason to plan out vacations and international travels.  There are online resources available with park locations, trail descriptions, and suggested supplies for these types of outings.  

Local hotels might offer discounts for vacation planning.

Check for Better Auto Insurance Rates

Knowing to ask about discounts could be the smartest way to save money with auto insurance and other opportunities.  Huge discounts are available for certain areas and people that drive less than 50 miles a day on average.  

Even if you think your premium is low, it may be worth checking for discounts.  

Classic Car Insurance is also simpler now with many options for quality policies.

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Culture

Doctors Debate a New Study That Puts Kids’ Screen TIme in a Positive Light

Kelly Taylor

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Is Screen Time A Common Sense Issue, Or Is There More To Learn From A Recent Study?

Children glued to their phones and tablets may give parents a break, but is the overall, long-term effect of “screen time” actually positive? On TV, the show “The Doctors” took on this question in response to a controversial study that seemed to claim that kids benefit from screen time more than they are harmed. Ironically, parents can go online and spend some screen time of their own catching up on this segment of “The Doctors” along with videos from well-known medical sources such as Kaiser Permanente and even the U.S. Government‘s NIH. Why did these doctors get heated about the results of the study?

The Potential Dangers of Children Spending Significant Screen Time

Mental development of children involves diverse sensory inputs, problem-solving, interaction with others and managing of emotions. Screen time may help educate and entertain kids, but overall the brain and personality development of the child could be at risk if they spend too much time face-to-screen.

Is Erosion of Family Life Another Concern?

While studies often focus on screen time as a negative factor in children’s school and developmental progress, the effect on family life as a whole is sometimes omitted. Kids who spend so many hours alone, not interacting with their families when they are at home, would in the past have been cause for concern. They might be depressed, have a developmental issue, or be holding in feelings about some difficult issue in their lives. Screen time is a distraction that could serve to mask these and other concerns. When kids participate in the family, physicians note, they not only grow but they have better access to interactive parenting.

Dr. Judy Ho And Her Analysis Of A Controversial “Study”

On “The Doctors,” the team considered the positive spin on kids and screen time of a new but controversial study. Clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Ho, who had strong opinions on the subject, played the “bad guy” and asked tough questions, offering her own well-developed views. She noted that the study they were discussing was missing several key elements of a well-designed piece of research, and so the conclusions were unlikely to be useful as information for parents. The data simply served as an informal survey of interested parents, and the results were a compilation of general comments about kids’ characteristics. There wasn’t really any direct and scientific way to see cause and effect.

Boiling Down The Issue Of Screen Time For Kids

Parents may use decisions about gadget use as a teachable moment in their children’s lives, but as always peer pressure is going to be a powerful force. Kids who aren’t connected tend to miss out, as previous generations of TV-watching kids did, on social interactions with other kids which revolve around common media experiences.

Teaching Your Children to Grow into Adulthood

Parents have to weigh social “coolness” against developmental, family, and educational concerns. In the end, though it may be difficult for some parents, Dr. Patty’s suggestions are a great starting point: have no-screen zones like the dining room with a basket by the door, have concrete limits for screen time — typically less than two hours a day — and try to make screen time a parent-child experience rather than a media consumption moment. Talk about screen-based experiences, think about them together, laugh at the funny stuff and ask questions about the serious stuff. Use screen time to help your child’s mind grow.

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Culture

Stella the Dog Can Talk!

Renee Yates

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Christina Hunger is a speech pathologist who works with young children around two years old to enhance their ability to communicate with adults. Christina has always wondered if she could teach a puppy to use the word buttons, too. Several years ago, Christina adopted a dog named Stella.  She decided to try and see if the same methods she uses for her therapy would also help her puppy to learn to communicate.  Many dog owners would like to really understand what their pets are thinking about.  Stella uses buttons to communicate her wishes to her owners.  Christina can talk with her dog.

Christina set up a group of buttons for Stella to push with her paws.  Each button was introduced singularly, and over time Stella learned the meaning of a variety of buttons. The buttons were also grouped by color.  Each color represents a particular group of words.  Stella can press “walk” or “beach” with her paws to indicate what she wants to do.  She can also press buttons for Christina or Jake, her other owner.  Stella will walk on the board of 26 buttons as she looks for the one she wants.  Stella took the longest to learn her first button.  After that, it was much easier to introduce more buttons to the dog.

When Stella began to learn to use the buttons, she would only use one paw.  Over time, Stella began using both paws to press the buttons. Using both paws makes it easier for Stella to put more than one button together.  At this point, she can put a series of five or less words together such as “Christina walk”  or “Want Jake Come.”  Christina feels that the dog showed relief when she finally learned how to punch the buttons for her needs.  Stella barks when she hits the buttons, and is able to repeat requests if Christina does not understand her or does not see the dog punch all of her buttons.

Christina has started a blog entitled Hunger for Words where visitors can see the progress of Stella and her buttons. The blog has a number of cool videos of Stella’s day.  Christina is hoping to teach this method to other dogs and hopes that this method will improve the communication between owners and pets.  She also feels that having the board made a recent move easier for Stella to understand.  Moves often make pets anxious, but Stella was very calm about their recent move to the beach.  Stella intends to introduce more words for Stella to learn.

Stella has been featured in People magazine, which is following the story of Stella from time to time for its readers.  For more on Stella, go here to reach Christina’s blog.  Christina is currently looking for another dog that can learn to push buttons.  She is hoping to organize a class of animals and show their owners how to make both of their lives easier.

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Culture

Gallant Helps Pet Owners Plan Ahead By Banking Dogs’ Stem Cells When They Get Spayed Or Neutered

Shannon Jackson

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If you’re wondering what you can do to make your pet’s life as long and healthy as possible, it’s a good idea to consider banking your dog’s stem cells. Gallant is a new startup devoted to pet health that can help you do just that.

Human health care has benefited enormously from stem cell technology in the recent past. Now with the help of Gallant, pet health can benefit too. Gallant’s mission is to make it so that dogs can benefit from regenerative therapies. The company now has collected $11 million in funding and is based in Los Angeles. 

The founders of Gallant have made note of the fact that we plan ahead for our children, but we rarely plan ahead for the lives of our pets. However, harvesting stem cells when dogs are young and healthy creates a huge asset to pet health care in the future. 

The stem cell banking service offered by Gallant has just recently launched. Yet it is already stirring up a lot of attention in pet care. The company has grown to acquire part of the previously existing company Cook Regentec. This acquisition has included possession of stem cell banking services that were already being offered by Cook Regentec. It has also included acquisition of various cell therapy products that involved harvesting reproductive tissues. 

The strength of the operations of this company lie in the fact that it involves harvesting stem cells when neutering and spaying is being performed. This maximizes the efficiency of the harvesting and also makes it so that stem cells are harvested when the animal is young. At this time, the stem cells are healthiest and best for regenerative cell therapies.

The founder of the startup enterprise is Aaron Hirschhorn. Hirschhorn initially founded DogVacay. He founded this company after suffering from back pain himself. After suffering from back pain, Hirschhorn also saw his dog suffer through arthritis pain. While Hirschhorn noted that he was able to benefit from regenerative therapies, no such therapies were available for his dog. 

Another leading figure at the company is Linda Black. Linda Black is an entrepreneur with experience with other ventures in the past involving the life sciences. Other companies Black has worked for have included SciStem and Medicus Biosciences. These two ventures were also focused on regenerative therapies. 

Thanks to the $11 million in initial funding available to Gallant, the company made the purchase of the Cook-Regentec division. Now Gallant is able to offer pet owners the option to have stem cells collected any time they take a pet to have a spay or neuter surgery performed. 

In the future, regenerative therapies will be more widely available for pet owners, but it’s important to have the young stem cells available to provide these therapies. With the services of Gallant, it’s easy to ensure that effective treatments will be available for your dog for chronic conditions like arthritis down the road. 

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Routine Traffic Stop Turns into Heartwarming Occasion Thanks to Officer’s Kind Gesture

Shannon Jackson

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Getting pulled over can be a stressful situation. You may not know right away why you were asked to stop, but you probably have a good hunch that it’s not for a good reason.

More often than not, that premonition we have about being pulled over turns out to be accurate and we have to be involved in a less than ideal situation. It’s why many of us dread stopping to talk to an officer so much.

Andrella Jackson may now have different thoughts about being asked to stop by an officer though.

Not too long ago, Jackson was spotted by Milwaukee police officer Kevin Zimmerman and was asked to pull over. Officer Zimmerman requested that Jackson stop because she had the wrong registration for her car.

As he approached the vehicle though, something else caught the eye of Officer Zimmerman. To be more specific, he saw that there were three kids in the backseat of Jackson’s car and two of them were still very small, WTMJ-TV reported. He also noticed that the two small children in question were not in car seats.

Officer Zimmerman then asked Jackson why the small kids were not placed in car seats and she said that she did not have the money to pay for those essential pieces of safety equipment at that time. Jackson mentioned that with winter on the way, she was saving up to buy her children new coats and boots.

A shortage of money is the same reason why Jackson had failed to get her vehicle registered properly.

Per the American Automobile Association (AAA), there are laws in every state dictating that children should be in car seats or restraints.

It would have been easy for Officer Zimmerman to issue Jackson tickets for her violations, but he opted to handle things a different way. Instead of adding to her problems, he went about solving one of them.

Officer Zimmerman soon made his way to a nearby Walmart, and after learning how much the kids weighed from Jackson, he went ahead and purchased two car seats using money out of his own pocket. He even stuck around to install the car seats himself.

By the way, the police officer did more than just give Jackson and her kids new car seats. According to this report from CNN, Officer Zimmerman also made a stop at the police department to pick up a few things – children’s books and stickers – that he also gifted to Jackson’s kids.

The police officer explained why he went the extra mile to help out Jackson. Officer Zimmerman shared that he has kids of his own. He hinted at how frightening the thought is of his own kids moving around in a vehicle with no car seats and how they can be placed in grave danger if an accident occurs.

Officer Zimmerman also said that he was always taught to “do the right thing even if no one is looking.” In this case, both Jackson and the Milwaukee Police Department wanted to make sure that Officer Zimmerman would receive the recognition he deserved even if he wasn’t looking for that.

The generous act touched Jackson, prompting her to shower Officer Zimmerman with numerous “thank yous.” Her kids got in on the chorus of generosity as well.

Jackson called Officer Zimmerman “awesome” and that she is appreciative of the kindness he showed. She added that with the car seats now purchased and installed, she will be able to allocate a bigger budget that will then be used to buy those new coats and boots that her kids need.

What could have turned into an even more trying situation for Jackson and her kids became a shining example of humanity at its best and that is thanks to the generosity exhibited by Officer Zimmerman.

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Culture

On The Way To The Last Chemotherapy Treatment, Man Wins $200,000

Shannon Jackson

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Most people understand that life is full of its ups and downs. There are times of happiness and there are times of sadness. Sometimes, life throws all of these feelings at someone at the same time. Perhaps nobody knows this better than a retired transportation worker from the state of North Carolina. This gentleman had been diagnosed with colon cancer. He had faithfully gone to all of his doctors’ appointments and was on his way to his last chemotherapy treatment. After this, his cancer would be followed closely to ensure it was totally eradicated; however, along the way, he stopped by a local convenience store. There, he paid one dollar for a scratch-off and realize he had won five dollars. Then, he decided to purchase two more tickets in an effort to double-down on his five-dollar winnings. As he scratched the second ticket, he could see a bunch of trailing zeros appear. He didn’t believe it at first; however, the ticket was reading $200,000. The gentleman thought that there was no way he had won that kind of money. The store clerk did verify his winnings. He was instructed to proceed to the headquarters of the lottery system to claim his winnings.

The gentleman says that this only served to make a great day even better. He was already excited. After all, he had been being treated for cancer for a while and was excited that he was finally nearly done with his course of treatment. At the same time, winning this kind of money only made his day even better. He decided that his must have been his lucky day. He completed his cancer treatment and then proceeded to the headquarters of the local lottery system to verify and claim his winnings. Of course, he isn’t going to take home every penny of that $200,000.

The gentleman stated that after the state and federal taxes on the winnings, he will still take home more than $140,000. Not a bad payday for an individual who just spent a couple bucks on some scratch-off tickets. He says that he is going to use the money to cover his medical expenses and add to his savings account in case of other emergencies. He does concede that he has good insurance that is going to cover most of the expenses related to his cancer treatment. At the same time, no insurance is perfect. He still has a deductible to pay and many policies have coinsurance as well. For someone who has spent his life working for the local Department of Transportation, these costs can be difficult to bear. The lottery winnings are certainly going to help him out. He is happy to have experienced such fantastic luck on a big day.

According to information from the lottery for North Carolina Education, this system has raised more than $700 million for the local system. Life has a strange way of helping people and this gentleman is the perfect example. He concedes that, had he not been diagnosed with cancer, he probably wouldn’t have purchased that lottery ticket. Even though he has been struggling with colon cancer, he decided to take a chance. In a sense, this might have been life rewarding him for sticking it out during a difficult time. He says that this is a chance to learn a valuable life lesson. Even when times appear dark, it is important to remain optimistic. People never know when their luck is going to turn around. For this gentleman, this is exactly what happened. 

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