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Why Would I Want to Raise My Insurance Deductible?
We're all looking for ways to save a buck or two. When it comes to homeowners insurance, a great way to put more money in your wallet is to bump up your deductible.

"Won't I have to pay more when I make a claim?" most people ask. Yes, but you'll likely save in the long run.

If you're like the average homeowner, you'll make a claim only once every nine years (and often wait considerably longer). If you can save a little more than $100 a year in premiums by raising your deductible, the math typically works out in your favor.

Making this adjustment to your deductible results in a threefold benefit:

Lower premiums: A higher deductible reduces the cost of your insurance. Typically $50yr+/- per $500 Ded.

Increased cash flow: With less money flowing out of your account to cover insurance premiums, you have more on hand to cover other regular expenses (like groceries, the heating bill, Payoff/down other debt, and transportation expenses).

Reduced claims: If you have a small loss or theft, where costs will likely fall short of your deductible amount, you can opt to not file this claim and decide whether you want to replace the item. Fewer claims help keep your premiums lower.
Honestly; We Mostly Need our Insurance for those Large claims in the Many Thousand dollar range.

If you decide to go this money-saving route, it is important to establish a savings "buffer" by creating an emergency fund that you can easily access if you need to cover the full deductible. Your insurance advisor can review deductible and premium options with you to determine the best fit for your financial needs.

Exercise = Weight Loss: It's Not That Easy
For years we've been told that weight loss is a simple equation: the more you exercise, the more weight you lose.

Sadly, it's not that simple. Exercise improves physical and mental health, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of acquiring Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's. It's a stress reliever. But according to an article on, some 60 studies have found that exercise's impact on weight loss is not that significant.

It's explained this way: We gain all our energy from food. But thanks to our basal metabolic rate (over which we basically have no control), we use 60% to 80% of that energy just to function. We use 10% in digestion, leaving only 10% to 30% of energy available to be burned in physical activity (which includes exercise).

What works then? Interestingly, researchers have found that those who are successful in losing weight "weigh themselves at least once a week. They restrict their calorie intake, stay away from high-fat foods, and watch their portion sizes. They also exercise regularly."

Hey. We knew it all along.

Tech Devices Can Teach Your Kids Money Management
Tech Kids
Our kids may be computer whizzes, but chances are they're not very financially savvy. Money management is an essential life skill, and one that's not usually taught in school. But perhaps it should be; the consequences of not knowing how to manage money as an adult can lead to a host of money mistakes. Hence the introduction of device-based programs to teach kids about managing money.

One British start-up, Osper, has been offering a mobile banking service for children as young as eight that is designed so parents and children can work together to manage the child's money. It uses the technology that kids understand so well and offers parents the security of oversight.

The service functions like a prepaid credit card: The child is the cardholder and he or she can use it to make purchases in store, online, and for transactions at banking machines. Parents fund the card according to a budget they create with the child. An app helps them track spending, and parents can lock the card if it's lost or stolen.

Bankaroo is a similar service and allows parents to keep track of their children's earnings from chores and allowances, and to follow their spending. A multi-child family account permits money transfers and tracks the children's individual financial goals. It's available in different currencies and languages, as an app for iOS and Android, and on desktop.

Good news: Bankaroo is now being offered in some North American schools. So tech-focused money management courses may soon be available at a school near you.

Umbrellas Are Important on Sunny Days, Too
You have homeowners insurance. You have auto insurance. You're covered, right? Your skies look clear. Why would you need an umbrella policy?

Picture this: You're hosting a neighborhood barbeque. Bill from down the block slips on your deck and suffers serious injuries. Your homeowners policy liability coverage pays out $250,000. That's great, but his total medical expenses, plus lost wages, create a grand total of $450,000. How will you come up with the additional $200,000?

This is where a personal umbrella policy comes into play. It's designed to extend your liability coverage beyond your auto and homeowners policies. In a case like Bill's, or if you encounter a similar situation with a car accident, your personal umbrella will cover you. Once you reach the limit of your standard policy, the umbrella coverage kicks in. This additional policy can make a huge impact when you face a large liability claim.

Million-dollar claims

Personal umbrella policies are typically available in million-dollar increments, and most personal umbrella policies cover between $1 million and $5 million. While this amount may seem high, keep in mind that 13% of personal injury liability awards and settlements total $1 million or more. With today's higher health care costs and hefty litigation awards, one incident can become very costly.

Umbrella policies are helpful for those with considerable assets as well as for those without much money in the bank. If you have few savings, an umbrella policy will provide the much-needed funds to cover a large liability cost. If you're wealthy, opportunists may be more likely to file lawsuits, knowing you have the funds to pay their settlement. With this extra coverage in place, both groups are fully protected; your savings and assets won't be at risk if you have an umbrella policy in place.
Rates are also very affordable often From $180-$480+yr depending on how many vehicles drivers and dwelling locations owned.

Contact your insurance pro Alex, who can help you determine how much additional coverage you may need.

Is Shopping Online for Insurance Really a Bargain?
Buying auto or homeowners insurance on the internet seems easy and cheap. But is it?

Discover how relying on the web to protect your most valuable assets could cost you more - and put you and your loved ones at risk - by requesting my free guide, "The Dangers of Shopping Online for Insurance."
Just reply to this email and I'll send it right out to you.

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Which Shakespearean play inspired West Side Story?

Rosemary Balsamic Lamb Chops
A spring favorite, this dish goes well with mashed potatoes and fresh peas, and can be served with reduced balsamic for a touch of sweetness.
Serves 4
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
8 1-inch-thick lamb chops
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, and rosemary. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a plastic bag with the lamb chops. Refrigerate and marinate at least one hour, turning occasionally.

Turn on broiler. Remove chops from marinade and arrange on broiler pan. Broil for 5 minutes, then turn and broil for an additional 2-3 minutes for medium. Rest meat for 5 minutes and serve.
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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