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Understanding Viatical Settlements

If you’ve never heard the term viatical settlement, you’re not alone. Most life insurance policyholders are unaware that there is a well-established option for cashing out on a policy when the patient receives a terminal diagnosis. It is meant to ease the financial burden on the patient during their final months of life, allowing them the freedom to pay hospital bills, debts, and daily expenses, as well as allow the holder to spend more time with friends and family and accomplish anything else they wish before passing on.

Purpose

When a terminal diagnosis is received, it may become pointless to continue paying into a life insurance policy, as neither you nor your beneficiaries will gain any benefits upon your death. The money that you have already paid into your policy may be put to better use while you are still alive so that you can prevent any financial burdens on your beneficiaries once you pass. Your diagnosis could also mean you will be unable to accomplish your bucket list items unless you have the financial means to accomplish them while you are still physically able. A viatical settlement allows you to sell your policy to a third party, with the help of a viatical company, who will then continue to pay your premiums until you pass away. In the meantime, you will receive a lump sum that, while less than the full value of your policy, can be enough to help you enjoy your remaining days. When you pass away, your policy’s buyer can cash out on your benefits.

Qualifications

All types of life insurance, including whole, term, group, and universal, are eligible to be sold as a viatical settlement. A policyholder can be of any age so long as they hold policy, and their diagnosis is not limited to any specific disease. In general, the holder should have received a terminal diagnosis and given up to 24 months to live. Individual insurance companies will have other specific qualifications that the holder must meet, but the purpose of this type of settlement is to ease the financial burden during an extremely difficult time, not add to it, so the process tends to be relatively simple to ensure the holder receives their cash as quickly as possible.

Risks

As the original policyholder, the risks for selling your policy are fairly minimal. The burden of finding a buyer falls on a viatical company, so you are only responsible for sharing your medical and existing policy information. Remember that you will be paid less than the total value of the policy, and you will not be eligible for any additional funds paid into the policy once it is sold. The buyer will purchase your policy for less than the death benefit, and they can cash out that benefit once you pass away. If you outlive the timeline provided in the diagnosis, the buyer may receive a lower return. The buyer is, therefore, the one taking on the risk, as they are purchasing your policy as an investment.

Receiving a terminal diagnosis is never easy for you or your loved ones. Knowing there are options to help ease the financial burden can help make a painful time a bit easier to manage.

3 Benefits of Steel Construction

Trends in construction are showing an increased interest in buildings. More specifically, steel frames are being regarded as one of the most efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly options. The frames can come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Quonset buildings offered by SteelMaster USA and the barndominium designs that mimic the wooden structures found on many farms. When it comes to the material selection for your next building project, take inventory of the pros and cons associated with steel fabrication. If you have an open mind, you will see why steel stands above the rest for construction projects.

Becoming Earth-Friendly

There is a lot of attention to organic eating and green living, and some people aren’t aware of just how far they can go with making environmentally-friendly choices. Steel buildings are eco-friendly because they can be built from recycled steel, and they can also be recycled. When you use recycled steel, it can reduce the need to rely on other resources and the energy that it takes to mine other elements from the earth. Choosing to use recycled steel also help save thousands of gallons of water given the need for water supply in mining operations and refinement processes. Once the structure is no longer needed, it can be taken to the scrap yard and easily recycled. This helps keep waste out of the landfill and reduces the impact on the environment.

Keeping Quality a Priority

Steel is a highly durable material. Even if the steel has been recycled, it still keeps its natural qualities. It can resist a number of weather conditions, given its composition of iron and carbon. This makes it an ideal building material where wind damage or storms are highly probable. When steel is alloyed with carbon and heated, it creates a bond that makes it highly resistant to corrosion. It becomes a prime choice for exterior construction framing and even siding materials. This resistance also brings steel to the forefront of choices for both construction and ornamental designs. For additional corrosion protection, galvanizing has become another method of coating metal materials. Resistance to corrosion and even damage from weather elements reduces the costs associated with repairs and upkeep, but it also gives your building a high-quality exterior.

Making Progress Affordable

Many would think a building crafted from steel would be more expensive than a traditional wooden frame structure, but consider the importance of recycling. There are some materials that are simply consumed and nothing is left. Because steel is easily recycled, it does help reduce the overall cost of materials. However, calculating the cost of a project doesn’t just include the materials. Many companies offer prefabricated design structures, which also helps reduce the cost. The time and labor that is reduced when using a prefab building is a considerable financial benefit for investing in a steel frame project.

Whether you need to expand on your current space or you want to build a whole new structure, steel frames and buildings can provide an economical but quality option. Projects that utilize steel will be more durable, stable, and prepared to face the weather conditions that might otherwise threaten the building.

4 Times a Personal Injury Lawyer is a Necessity

Whenever someone is in a vehicle accident, they almost always look to a lawyer for medical help or compensation. But did you know that personal injury attorneys deal with more issues than car and motorcycle accidents? In fact, the lawyers often need to wear many hats as they fight for lost wages, therapy treatments, and other types of compensation. Some of these issues can include problems when giving birth, a wrongful death, spinal damage, and medical malpractice. Read on for more information about how a personal injury attorney can help you.

Severe Injuries

If you have suffered life-threatening or severe injuries, your insurance company or workers’ compensation claim may balk at the amount of recovery time you require, the number of medical bills you accumulate, or the extent of your injury. When that happens, it is always best to seek legal counsel from a knowledgeable law firm in Toronto. Your counsel will discuss your case with the insurance company and fight for your rightful and just compensation.

Unclear Liability

Sometimes there can be more than one party to an accident; in fact, there are times dozens of cars and hundreds of individuals are involved in the same accident. When that occurs, it can be difficult to know who holds the liability. Insurance companies often try to divvy the compensation money around to each party without taking into account the extent of the injury. Hiring an attorney can ensure you are protected and receive the coverage you are entitled to.

Permanent Disabilities

If the unthinkable happens and you become permanently disabled due to an accident at work or a vehicle collision, call a lawyer. Whether you find yourself in need of long-term care, long-standing hospitalization, or permanent bed-side nursing, your attorney can help you accumulate the paperwork to justify lifetime expenses from the insurance company or your workers’ comp claim. Since most permanent disabilities will impact your ability to provide a stable financial base for yourself and your family, those facts and figures need to be applied to the compensation request as well.

Bad Faith Problems

It doesn’t happen often, but when an insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer to help you with would could be a long court battle. You should also contact an attorney if you are in negotiations with an insurance company after an accident and those talks break down.

When you or someone you love is badly injured, contact an attorney. You deserve compensation for your pain and suffering.

5 Types of Personal Injuries That Require a Lawyer’s Expertise

Personal injury is a legal term encompassing a variety of mental and physical injuries. Often the damages are due to someone else’s actions, negligence, or liability. Here are just a few of the many times a personal injury may require a lawyer’s expertise.

Slip and Falls

This category includes accidents where you trip and fall, step into a hole or slip on something on the floor. The result can be torn ligaments, broken bones, or severe strains and sprains. If you lose time at work, find yourself in pain, or incur medical bills, seek the aid of a lawyer.

Wrongful Death

A wrongful death occurs when someone is negligent and causes the death of another. If someone you love experiences a wrongful passing, contact a law firm in Hamilton, Ontario for information on what steps to take for legal compensation.

Motorcycle Injuries

For some reason, many drivers complain they do not see motorcyclists, but that is certainly no excuse for inattentive driving. When someone is involved in a motorcycle accident, the injuries are often severe and disabling. After any vehicle accident, contact an attorney for help.

Dog Bites

Over 750,000 Americans are required to seek medical care each year due to a dog bite. This injury has three categories and always requires the owner to be responsible for the actions of a wayward and vicious dog. Seek legal counsel if you get hurt by a canine.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse is a type of personal injury that often goes unreported for years, and when it is reported, personal rights are frequently overlooked or trampled. Whether it is a family member the oversteps boundaries, a stranger that becomes too familiar, or a date that takes things too far, you do have rights. Talk to a lawyer.

Work Accidents

Work-related accidents are covered by workers’ compensation of some type most of the time. However, even when the injury is covered, there can be complications. Medical bills can be astronomical, wage loss can be devastating, and you may even find you are permanently disabled. If you experience a work-site accident, contact an attorney.

Automobile Injuries

Auto accidents are the most common type of personal injury that occurs every year. One of the legal problems associated with this type of injury is the large spectrum of possible bodily damage that can occur. Another problem can be huge medical bills. If you have an auto accident, talk to a lawyer.

Laws vary between areas, provinces, and states. That is why it is important to know your rights by discussing the situation with an attorney.

Make Your Property Pop With Specialty Lighting

If you’ve ever driven down a street at night and noticed that certain buildings stand out, it’s likely because they had dazzling lights and light features. While it can sometimes be tough to set your property apart from others on a crowded street, lights are one surefire way to create an attention-grabbing look. Learn some tips here.

Customized Designs

If you are interested in having a unique and one-of-a-kind light system designed, this is guaranteed to turn heads. You can use backlighting and colored lights to create the perfect ambiance and style. It may be overwhelming to do this on your own, but there are many experts available to assist you. Just open up your computer and search online for commercial electrical services Houston to find the best professional to help turn your lighting dreams into reality.

Landscape Light Designs

A huge wow factor in lighting comes from landscape design that incorporates lighting. Whether you like the look of simple path lights, the whimsical effect of rope lights, or the more dramatic illumination of tree-mounted lights and uplighting, there are options for every aesthetic. If your property has any water features, you can really add a lot of personality to them with floating lights or fiber optic lights. Landscape lighting can even be set to timers or use motion sensors to save power.

Holiday Lights

A favorite activity for many people is to simply drive around and enjoy holiday lights. You can join the light show and make an impression with a variety of tactics. Try using projection tools to create special effects for large flat spaces, or bring fairy tales to life with animatronic light displays. You can spread cheer with light-up message boards. Holidays are the perfect time to really get creative and experiment with lights you may not use on a regular basis. Holiday revelers are sure to appreciate your efforts and twinkling creations.

No matter what type of look you want to create for your building, there are plenty of ways to achieve it. Using lights to enhance the beauty of your property is just one benefit. Specialty lights also generate additional safety on your property. Keeping paths and stairs lit in the dark help people avoid mishaps, which is important for any terrain and property. There are many great reasons to add lights of many types to your land and buildings, so don’t be afraid to start planning.

The Truth Behind Private Label Supplements

If you are like many people around the world, you took a vitamin pill or herbal supplement today. You have a lot of company. The global dietary supplement market hit the $115 billion mark last year and is poised for considerable growth in the future, according to one research firm. Supplements are enjoying growing popularity among people of all ages who want to improve their overall health and wellness, athletes interested in enhancing sports performance, and those looking for weight management support. As the market grows and the selection of supplements follows suit, you may have a few questions.

Where Do the Supplements Come From?

It may surprise you to know that the name on the bottle, jar or tube may not identify the actual source of the contents. The pills, creams or serums may have come from a supplement manufacturing lab that specializes in private label contracts. This practice allows top-quality specialty products to reach clinics, veterinary offices and gyms. Labs will typically offer a line of products that can be packaged and branded as is, but some go further and create custom blends according to specifications provided. This means, for example, that your dermatologist can formulate a lotion with the exact active ingredients your skin needs, have that lotion prepared and tested under proper lab conditions, and have it shipped right to your door.

How Can You Ensure Quality Products?

Invest your time in a little research and insist on acquiring products that come from a lab with decades of experience. The manufacturer should have a dedicated research and development arm so they stay on the cutting edge of technology and abreast of the latest scientific findings. It is best if the facility boasts multiple testing labs, state of the art manufacturing equipment, knowledgeable staff, and a strict quality control process. A lab that offers supplement fulfillment services will ensure that products reach consumers at their peak effectiveness and highest quality. Custom packaging and climate-controlled warehouses are hallmarks of a reputable manufacturer.

What Will Each Supplement Do?

Answering this question requires more research but be careful when using online sources. You know you cannot diagnose your symptoms after a few clicks on WebMD. Likewise, you should not trust a manufacturer’s website alone for facts about a substance; the information on that site is intended to sell the product. A complete picture of a substance must include such aspects as uses, dosage, contraindications and side effects—and the pieces of the puzzle may be scattered among several sites. A good place to start is this list of objective resources. Keep in mind that some of the best health advice comes from people who know you well. The health professionals you see in person like your doctor or dietician can offer sound advice based on your specific situation. Friends and family may have valuable anecdotal advice—just use common sense, follow up with your own research and take each suggestion with a large grain of salt.

What Does All This Mean For You?

If your research has uncovered effective solutions to your problems you will probably want to share your findings with other people plagued with similar issues. All this information gathering can lead to an exceptional business opportunity for you: your own private label supplement business. With the right lab as your partner, you can start a side business or develop a full-time business opportunity. This is most easily done as an Amazon store or another web-based store, but you can also act as a wholesale supplier to various brick and mortar storefronts. Pain management products may be welcome in chiropractors’ offices, whereas cleansers and anti-aging formulations will interest salons. Use a little creativity, invest a little effort, and you can DIY to greater physical and financial health.

Image credit: Unsplash/Gesina Kunkel

How to Communicate Your Needs With Your Influencers

Social media influencers are people with lots of followers or subscribers on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn. They often help businesses promote their brands by recommending them to their followers. For example, beauty influencers often mention products while giving tips about contouring, choosing the right foundation, or other topics. According to TapInfluence [PDF] and Nielsen, 7 in 10 people trust recommendations posted by peers and influencers on social media. Influencer marketing can help your company improve sales. It’s much more cost-effective than traditional ads like pop-ups or commercials, so even small businesses can take advantage of it.

However, you’ll need to communicate well to encourage better content from influencers. Here are some tips for communicating with your influencers.

Let Them Be Creative

Influencers value their authenticity, and they need to stay honest and have a sense of humor to attract followers who trust them. If an influencer says that they don’t agree with a statement you want them to make, let them say something else.

Overly restrictive content guidelines can make content feel like it’s an ad from your company, not great advice from an expert. They can also keep influencers from wanting to work with you in the future. Also, creative content from an influencer is a lot more interesting than a standard ad. You’ll get more new customers from a video of someone using a product, enjoying it, and having fun than you would from a similar video with an actor or actress just talking about the benefits.

Build Long-Term Relationships

You can get excellent returns from one-time social media posts or campaigns, but you’ll be missing out on even more customers and sales if you don’t maintain those relationships. You should communicate often with influencers before, during, and after social media campaigns. Ask questions and make reaching you when they have concerns easy. Answer their questions honestly and keep them updated about new developments in your business.

To maintain great relationships, you can ask the most successful influencers to become regular contributors to your website. You can also give them exclusive news about new products and early access. Share their content on your social media pages and invite them to speak at events or be part of a podcast or webinar series. If possible, build a personal relationship and become friends.

Stay Organized

Influencers can’t do their jobs well if communications from companies are inconsistent or disorganized. Give clear instructions and consistent deadlines, and make sure that each influencer works with a particular person, not just a department in your business. They should know exactly what you’re looking for. Avoid last-minute requests or changes and make payments or give other rewards promptly. Influencers won’t want to work with you if you change policies or requirements often or take a long time to compensate them.

Communication is essential for all relationships. You can increase the effectiveness of your social media influencers by building relationships and making sure that these people have all the information they need to promote your business successfully.

How to Help Your Child Keep Up in School

Students fall behind in school for a number of reasons. Even the most intelligent students can struggle at times, but what do you do to help your child during this time? First and foremost you want to make sure there is not an underlying cause. If there is something going on at home or outside the classroom, you’ll want to take care of your child emotionally first. However, as school gets more challenging, many students just need a little extra help understanding certain concepts. Here are some ways you can help keep your child from falling behind.

Hire a Tutor

Hiring a tutor is a great way to keep your child on track. You can either hire someone to work one on one with your student, or you can try out small group tutoring. These usually take place at a learning center where students are grouped according to grade level. It is a good idea to check with your child’s teacher first to find out what they need the most help on. Reading programs often focus on reading comprehension, while math programs go over everything from addition to order of operations. This way you can find somewhere that can follow along with the school’s curriculum and focus on the concepts your child needs the most help on.

Give Extra Practice

It is never a bad idea to give your child a little extra practice at home. You want to make sure they have time to play and go to different activities, but try to set aside some time for school work as well. This is especially beneficial during the summer when children tend to forget what they learned throughout the school year. You can visit your local learning or book store to find workbooks for your little one to do. You can also print off worksheets online.

Use Online Programs

If you look online you will find plenty of websites that provide additional help for your student. You can also download apps for your child’s tablet. These are often fun and interactive, so you may even end up having a hard time pulling your kid away from them. You’ll just want to make sure that these sites and apps are safe and secure for your little one. Read reviews and do some research beforehand. You can even ask your child’s school or teacher for the ones they recommend the most. School’s often have a list of apps and sites that they approve, so you know these will be safe.

If you see your student struggling, it is best to intervene as early as possible. Concepts, especially in math, build on themselves, so if your child doesn’t understand one thing, they may have a very hard time getting anything after that. It is never a bad idea to give a little extra practice at home even if your child isn’t behind. Students often forget a lot of what they learned over the year during the summer break, so this is a great time to provide your student with some extra work at home to get them ready for the next school year.

Should You Rent or Should You Buy?

Making the decision to rent a house or to buy one can keep you up at night, but taking the time to examine your situation can make the decision easier. Will you need to move within the next few years? Are you earning enough to take on a home loan? Are you ready for the responsibility of owning a home? Answering these few questions can help you see the way forward.

Settling Down

If you know that you will need to move in the near future, renting is probably the better option for you. If you will need to relocate for a job or school, renting gives you flexibility,  but if you are ready to settle down, buying may be a possibility. Real estate professionals recommend staying in a property for a minimum of five years in order to recoup your investment–of course, this depends upon market fluctuations–but even while you are renting, you can take steps to make buying a home in the future much easier. Be sure to always pay your rent and bills on time. This will help you establish good credit and this will be important when you are in a more stable situation and ready to buy.

Examining Your Finances

The money you pay in rent is essentially gone, but house payments build equity and are an investment. Take a look at your monthly income and expenses, or debt-to-income ratio (DTI), an important consideration when applying for a home loan. To calculate your DTI, add up all of your recurring, regular monthly payments for things that are considered debt, like car loans, student loans, credit card payments or mortgage payments. Then divide this figure by your total monthly income calculated before taxes–also known as monthly gross income. A DTI under 50 percent is acceptable, but a DTI of 20 percent or less will give you more financing options. A Sun West Mortgage representative can help you find financing that works with your situation.

Taking on the Responsibility

When you rent, the landlord takes care of maintenance and repairs on your home, or you hope that is the case. When you own a house, that responsibility falls to you. But you also have the flexibility to choose how your home will look: you can decorate it how you like, decide on your landscaping or paint it whatever color you choose. You can make your home a true reflection of your style, which is not always possible with a rental property.

Once you have examined your living situation, finances and desired level of responsibility, you can make an informed decision about renting or buying a home. No more sleepless nights!

Building a House Cleaning Kit

Most people don’t enjoy household chores like cleaning toilets, dusting furniture, mopping floors or washing windows. Unfortunately, these are necessities of having your own home to live in. Since you have to do the job, why not make sure you have the tools to do it right? As you embark on building the perfect cleaning kit for your home, here are some essential tools you’ll need for each job.

Cleaning Floors

Clean floors make a huge impact on the perception of your home’s overall cleanliness. If there are stains in the carpet, crumbs on the floor or dirty footprints on your tile, your whole house will seem dirty. Fortunately, cleaning the floors is the easiest on your list of chores. If you have carpet, start with a good vacuum cleaner. Make sure you buy a more powerful vacuum if you have furry pets. The vacuum can also serve double-duty for your hard floors. A good mop is also important. Just note that the type of mop you need will differ depending on the flooring you have in your home. Reach out to a company that sells cleaning products in Canada to help you pick the right tools.

Cleaning Bathrooms

Having to clean bathrooms is the bane of most homeowner’s existence but since it is so prone to germs, it’s essential that they are cleaned well. Your vacuum and mop from above will see use in the bathroom to clean up the floors. A high-quality cleaning solution will make sure you kill germs. Use something with antibacterial disinfectants or bleach to make sure nothing harmful remains. A good toilet scrubber will help get the bowl clean. Then use a soft cloth and your cleaning solution for surfaces and fixtures.

Cleaning Furniture

With the right vacuum, some of your furniture cleaning can be made easier. An upholstery attachment will allow you to vacuum your couches, chairs, mattresses, and sofas to remove dust and crumbs. The right attachments for your vacuum can also help with blinds, vents and baseboards. A nice feather duster can help remove light surface dust on shelves and cabinets.

Cleaning Windows

Windows and mirrors with streaks, smears or water spots leave the impression of a dirty house. Fortunately, cleaning these surfaces isn’t too difficult. Find a cleaning product specific to windows, spray it on and scrub it off. Sometimes, especially outside your house, you can utilize a brush and squeegee to clean large areas at a time.

While cleaning the house can be a chore, having the right tools will make it easier. Go through this list and make sure the next time you have to clean, you have exactly what you need to get the job done.