20 September 2018

What to Do When a Pipe Bursts in Your Home

A burst pipe can destroy your property in the blink of an eye, and it might take months to deal with the aftermath if you aren't careful. Luckily, there are a few steps that you can take to quickly get your life back in order after a pipe has burst. With a little bit of planning and some hard work, you will be able to repair your home and replace your property before you know it.

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Make Sure Everyone Is Safe--

Your primary concern should be your family’s safety, and everyone needs to leave the home until you are sure the area is no longer dangerous. As a general rule, you should turn off all water, gas, and electricity after a pipe has burst. You will then need to have a plumber and electrician thoroughly inspect every inch of your home.

Document Everything--

Once you are able to go back inside your home, you must carefully document all of the damage for your insurance company. In addition to taking pictures and videos, you also need to make a list of all the items that have been damaged or destroyed. Some of those items might not be covered by your home insurance policy, but you still need to save that information somewhere. After you have that data, you can then call your insurance provider and ask them to send out a representative to assess the damage.

Contact a Water Damage Repair Company--

Taking care of water damage requires advanced tools and quite a bit of skill, and that is why you need to contact a company like advancecompanies.com. Most residential cleaning companies aren’t equipped to deal with water damage, and a second-rate cleaning job could result in mold later on. You need to work with a company that specializes in water damage and mold remediation.

Dealing with a burst pipe is always going to be a stressful experience, but that type of damage shouldn't bring your life to a grinding halt. A team of experienced contractors will be able to help you get through this situation as quickly and affordably as possible.

How to Keep the Workplace Environment Healthy and Happy

As a boss, you should be concerned about the health and happiness of your employees. Workers that are satisfied with their work environment and feel that they are valued are more productive. When they are healthy, they miss less work, and you reap the benefits. When employees are ill, your business is not performing at top capacity, because key people are not able to perform their duties.

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Implement a Policy that Promotes Fairness--

It is essential that all employees understand policies regarding your company. This applies to fairness policies as well. Each employee plays an important part in the company and should be treated fairly. Just because someone is a manager or supervisor does not mean they should be treated differently when it comes to policy violations. Everyone has the responsibility to follow the rules and perform to the best of their ability.

Clean, Safe, and Comfortable Workplace--

The workplace should be kept clean. This helps employees feel good about coming to work. A cleaning service can keep up with all the major cleaning, and employees can be encouraged to clean up after themselves in the break room or elsewhere. The office temperature should be comfortable during all seasons. Changing filters on HVAC systems regularly can help maintain a healthy air quality. One example of an air filter supplier in Richmond is Greenleaf Filtration.

Safety is another important aspect. Make sure accidents are not waiting to happen because of slippery floors or exposed electrical wires. There are many steps that can be taken to make sure the workplace is safe, including holding safety inspections. This reduces the risk of injury, and that means employees miss less work.

Provide comfortable working spaces. From offices to reception areas, your workplace should reflect a cheerful atmosphere. Furniture should be comfortable. There should be sufficient lighting for tasks that are being performed. Equipment that is used in daily operations should function as intended. All of these things combined can contribute to a workplace that employees enjoy coming to each day.

19 September 2018

How to Keep Your Computer Safe While Browsing the Internet

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#1 - Use a Good Anti-Virus Program

Computer threats come in all forms – from malware to viruses. These two forms of threat can restrict and restrain certain computer functions, resulting in a large dip in performance and operating speed. Anything that hinders your software or hardware components should be considered a threat, and one should use every means to keep your computer clean from all forms of infection. A good anti-virus program is the first step in that process. Look for one that is ‘all-encompassing’, meaning that it encompasses every threat, in every form.  

#2 – Consider Using a VPN

Some of us old-schoolers may have never used, or even heard of, a VPN. A VPN is a Virtual Private Network, allowing the user’s connection to be re-routed through a private, and encrypted, anonymous third-party connection – hiding every facet of one’s online interactions. When you use a VPN connection, everything from the very basic data your PC transmits, is encrypted and nearly un-traceable. In fact, even if someone with ill intent were watching your online interactions, they would only see the encrypted information, and zero raw data. If you’re interested in learning more, or using a VPN, find out more about VPNs and ensure that one looks up their local, state, and federal laws regarding the technologies use.

#3 – Use Google Incognito for Questionable Websites

In-case you accidently (or purposely) find yourself on a questionable website while scrolling your PC, or phone, at any point throughout the day, remember that Google Chrome has a fantastic feature that allows you to surf the net, without the browser saving any of your history. Looking to make an anniversary, or birthday purchase, and don’t want your significant other to see it when they use the same computer? Chrome’s Incognito mode has your back. Need to use your neighbor, or friend’s PC or Phone to check your bank? Simply engage Chrome’s Incognito mode, and everything you sign into, including bank information or email/website accounts, will be technologically forgotten the moment you close browser.

3 Ways to Save Money While Shopping Online

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#1 - Try to Find Online Coupon Codes

Nowadays, coupon codes are everywhere.  There are Google extensions that claim to find the coupon code that you are looking for when you need it, there are apps on your phone that will bring up the coupon code at the nick of time, and there are even websites like https://sello.com/ dedicated to having all the latest and greatest, tried-and-true codes at your fingertips.  Searching for a coupon code that fits what you are trying to buy is a little bit difficult, because sometimes they do not match up to what is in your online cart at the time.  With a little browsing, it is possible to match up a code with what you need and save an easy 5-25% from your online purchase.

#2 - Use Second-Hand Shopping Sites

Buying brand-new items is not something that you have to do only in a brick and mortar store.  Now you can purchase second hand items online, and it can save you a ton of money.  There are a lot of websites that offer this luxury, and it brings to the table a whole new base of items that are practically brand new and affordable.  It is a fantastic way to get your hands-on brands, and items, that you have wanted for a long time without breaking the bank.  Plus, you do not have to leave the house to do it!

#3 - Always Aim for Free Shipping

A trick to shopping online is to always target the free shipping deals.  Typically, you can find free shipping coupon codes that allow for this expense to be negated.  However, if you do not, it is smart to email the company and ask for a free shipping code as a new customer.  If the purchase is not timely, then most of the time emails come around for free shipping and you can wait for the code.  Other times, websites will run deals where shipping is free after “X” amount of $ is spent.  It is wise to pre-plan purchases to assume that shipping is indeed included in the purchase amount.

17 September 2018

How to Start Planning for Health Care Costs in Retirement

The cost of healthcare is slowly on the rise. In this kind of health climate, now is definitely the time to start thinking about your retirement and, more importantly, the cost. When considering retirement, many individuals forget to include the cost of healthcare in their overall plan. This is usually because they’re used to paying a lower amount because of health subsidies from their employers.

What everyone should remember is that you won't have those benefits once you retire, though there are federal programs that help lower costs. It’s possible you’ll be expected to pay a higher out-of-pocket cost for your health care, not to mention you’ll need to choose the right coverage plan. Your health is your most important asset, and now is the time to start saving. If you ’re retiring in the near future, here are a few points you need to consider to prepare for health costs.

Selective Focus Photography of Left Hand on Top of Right Hand on White Pants

Consider Medicare--

Discussing Medicare is a given when it comes to planning for retirement. It is one of the best federal programs, and while you may think this is something you don’t need to worry about, it’s best to prepare early. Take the time to become familiar with the Medicare plans and consider which coverage you’ll most likely need during retirement.

Medicare is not a one-and-done situation. After you retire, you can revisit your Medicare plan every year to make sure you are receiving the coverage you need under Parts A, B, C, and D. The plan you choose when you retire might not be the best for you later in life. Always be aware of the treatment you are receiving and compare it to the coverage you selected. Your doctor can help direct you towards a Medicare plan that will cover your needs.

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Factoring Health Costs--

While you may not know exactly how much money you will need in retirement, there are plenty of ways to get a good quote on how much you should have when you retire. There are multiple websites that offer health costs calculators so you can figure out how much to start saving. These calculators will take in consideration your age, gender, and health to give you an estimate on what you will be spending on health care.

Of course, this isn’t set in stone, there could be an unpredictable illness that could cost you. Choosing from one of the low-cost health insurance companies that help seniors find affordable care is a good way to be prepared for anything.

However, money isn’t the only thing that could help you plan for health care costs in retirement. Choosing to take care of your body now will lower the likelihood you needing to spend excess money on healthcare in the future.

Health Savings Account (HSA)--

Before retirement consider opening an HSA (Health Savings Account). These kinds of accounts are available for individuals with a high-deductible health plan and no other health insurance. HSAs have minimum options for your annual contribution, but you might not always have to tackle that limit on your own.

If you’re still employed, you might only have to put a certain amount of money into your HSA while your employer places a portion as well. Even better, the money you place into this fund is tax-deductible (up to the HSA contribution minimum) and any interest earned on the account is tax-free as well.  

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Unpaid Care Options--

Another factor that could influence your plan for health care costs in retirement is taking into consideration your unpaid care options. If you were to need care, is there a source in your life that could support you? For instance, could you rely on your children or family to care for you if you were to need additional assistance?

These are hard questions, but ones you’ll need to tackle realistically. When considering health costs for retirement, talk to your family about facility care, in-home living solutions, and other options. The answer could affect your retirement plan, so take the time to think about what you would like to happen in this instance.

Thinking about retirement is an extremely important part of preparing for your golden years. Taking the steps to secure your financial future now can tremendously help you in the future, especially when it comes to health costs. Remember to consider all your options for saving to secure a strong, healthy tomorrow.