Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Term Insurance vs. Cash Value Insurance

I am curious as to what everyone thinks about life insurance. With my step-father just passing away, I am learning more and more about it and I am finding very interesting thing about both types.

First of all, my step-father had Federal Government Employee sponsored life insurance. They suggested that he carry just over 1 years worth of life insurance. What that means is he left just over $54,000 to his widow. Now $10K of that will go directly to the funeral, leaving $44,000.

Now luckily, my mother is an independent and self-made woman. She has a very nice job and lives comfortably on her own, his income was a bonus that allowed them to travel and enjoy their time together. However, had she relied on his income as so many women do, myself included, that would have been a huge blow. She would have barely had enough money to sustain the family through her getting a job.

But, even if the newly widowed woman finds a job, how is she going to make ends meet. Suddenly she is alone, with all the expenses they had prior to her husbands death, but now she has the added stress of child care which can be devastatingly expensive, on average about $160 per week, per child.

So, to me, term insurance looks like the way to go. It's less expensive for the coverage you need now and later, when the kids are gone and the house is paid off, the widow/widower would not need as much money to survive.

What do you think? What do you have and why? I really need ideas and suggestions.

RV in this Economy? Take II

One thing to think about before you run out and buy that new RV, here are a few things to keep in mind...

You will need to plan for the care of your RV. Every year you will need to register, insure and repair your RV. This can be really expensive but if you do it right you can save yourself alot of money. I can give no advice on saving money on your registration costs with the sole exception of pay it on time and avoid any fines. Your State has that one nailed down.

But as for the rv insurance,make sure you shop around. There are some really great deals out there if you look hard enough.

And the repairs, look to some of the privately owned repair shops. The dealerships handle warranty issues as well as customer issues. So when they charge the manufacture upwards if $300 per hour, charging you a mere $150 per hour seems very reasonable. On the other hand, a struggling rv mechanic in his own garage looks at $60 to $75 per hour and is thrilled! Look around. Make sure your repair technician is licensed and trained, but try to avoid the spendy dealership service centers.

Have fun RV'ing!

Resturant Ambiance

What ambiance do you prefer in your restaurant of choice? Do you tend to venture into softly lit, relaxing atmospheres or do you prefer the bright and cheery type with lots of windows and sunshine spilling in? Do you prefer rustic or ultra modern decor?

Me, I have found that while sometimes I enjoy the cheery ambiance of some of the more brightly lit, heavily flowered restaurants where everything is painted white and the windows go from floor to ceiling, sometimes I get the impression that I am eating in the beams of xenon lights, spotlight on me, everyone can see.

I guess I am more of a private person. I prefer the quiet, softly lit types where soft classical music is playing and I can relax and enjoy the company that I am currently keeping. I prefer a modern contemporary feel with linens and silver, glass and roses. But I also enjoy just a touch of antique. Give it just a hint of what once was, just enough to whet your palette for more, but not so much that the entire place seems dusty and worn. I like the heavily polished golden railings and cushy dining chairs and most of all, wait staff in crisp, clean suits.

So, what ambiance are you into?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

RV in This Economy?

With gas prices starting to sneak up again and the economy not yet rebounding from the media-induced recesson, would it really make sense to buy an RV? Who's going to travel right now?

The answer is YES! Would I go out and buy a brand new RV? Maybe, but it may be a better idea to find a used rv for sale. My Dad just sold a 30' motorhome, complete with a 5000 watt generator, in excellent condition for $1500! That was a steal! My friend got his for $2000 and it is a beautiful C class and in great working condition.

What I'm saying is, there are lots of great deals out there right now, air travel and hotels are expensive and eventually the economy will rebound and the prices of RV's will rise again so BUY now and you will have an instant vacation whenever you and your family needs it!

A Time for Tea

Today, while looking for a corner bakery, I found one of the greatest little gem's, litterally a "Diamond in the Rough". Situated between an abandoned building and a large parking lots in downtown Ogden, sits about 4 quaint little shops, one of which is A Spot of Tea. Opened in February 2009, a bright cheery little shop, offering a wide assortment of fine teas along with tea sandwiches, english scones and dilectable desserts.

The interior of the shop is bright and decorated like a tea party complete with white linins, ladies frilly hats, flowers and tea pots. The atmosphere lends itself to any variety of informal gatherings. It makes me want to throw out my wrinkle cream, put on a funny hat and enjoy the afternoon! I would love to take my 6 year old and a group of her friends in for a special occasion or a dear friend for an afternoon lunch. It's also a wonderfully nice, quiet place to sit and have lunch while catching up on a bit of writing or reading.

The food, while not out of this world, is still special. (Although, I have not had a chance to try their "Friday Special" English Fish and Chips. I promise an update when I do!) Each sandwich is handmade with a special touch and goes finely with their out of this world teas. And their dessert menu is nearly half the menu, excluding the teas and I highly suggest trying the Chocolate Cake. It is as mosit as any cake I have tried!

As for price, I have to give this quaint little shop bonus points for having prices that are affordable, even for struggling families. To give you an idea, their world class teas, served by the pot, are only $2.00. Their Deserts are $1.85 per serving and meals with tea, sandwich, baked apples and a cookie are only $6.50. They also serve "High Tea" and for only $24.50, 6 people get scones, tea and sandwiches. That's just over $4 per person.

So on a chilly winter afternoon, this is a great little place to warm up your hands and your heart and fill your tummy without breaking the bank!

Getting back to school!

Not the kids, ME! I have been a stay at home mom, part time homemaker and the like for the last 13 years and I decided that it was time for me to get back into working and I decided to start by going back to school. I looked at alot of different options and I decided that Business Technology was the best option for me.

But there are so many, many options out there. I had a very hard time choosing. I looked at Culinary Arts classes and Medical Technology classes. I even looked into masters information security classes.

I really liked the last two because there were so many options for online classes. However, my decision was based on the need to get OUT of the house so online study would defeat the purpose for me. However, for most Mom's, it's a great way to get your degree!

Looking just at the Masters of Science in Information Security classes, they offer someone the opportunity to train at home for a job that could eventually be a telecommuting position. You would be working towards one of two goals, the first would be how information security affects businesses and individuals and the second would be focusing on how to make information security stronger and better than ever.

Medical Technology classes can prepare you to do Medical coding from home and have very short completion times. The average Medical coding class is 10 months and the starting pay is $26K per year in my area.

I however chose Business Technology because I am ready to work in an office environment, have my own desk and not deal with sales any longer!