Living Green

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What’s the Scoop on ADT Home Security Systems?

by Sarah Parr - June 7th, 2013

If you’re on the market for a new security system then you’ve probably heard of ADT. But the question remains: Is this the right company for you to work with? The answer depends on a number of factors. One thing to know is that they are the most popular home security company in the U.S. Should that be the only thing you consider when you think of choosing them? No, of course not, but it is important to realize that more people chose them than any other company for a reason. Their services may not be what you need and they may not be the best fit, but they’re obviously doing something right.

Another thing to consider is that ADT Home Security Systems offers a ton of services. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find services that they don’t offer. From burglary, fire and carbon monoxide, to window and door sensors and motion sensors, they have it all. Some are included in their base packages, will others can be added on for an additional fee – like glass-break detector that is constantly listening for the exact frequency that glass makes when it breaks. Take a look at their available services and then decide if they’re right for you.

Consider Health Classifications When You Compare Life Insurance

by Sarah Parr - June 6th, 2013

It makes sense that a life insurance company would consider your health. After all, those in poor health are much more likely to utilize their term life insurance. However, understanding how the health classifications work can be tricky. The first thing you should know is why it matters. Simply put, the health classification you’re assigned will affect your premium. The majority of life insurance companies will have between 12 to 15 health classifications, with the best being something like Preferred Plus. The higher your health classification, the lower your premium will be. Some companies require you to simply answer a few health related questions while others require a medical exam.

Of course as you compare life insurance you’re likely wondering what specifically affects your health classification. For the most part, they will only consider current health and not past health – with exceptions for heart attacks, cancer, and stroke. Other things that can affect your premium include being overweight, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. You may also be downgraded if you have a strong family history of certain diseases, like cancer and heart disease. In the end you don’t have much control over these factors when it comes time to get coverage but it is important to know what can affect your premiums.

What You Can Really Learn From a Home Mortgage Interest Calculator

by Sarah Parr - June 5th, 2013

Anyone who’s looked into buying a home or refinancing their current loan has likely heard of various calculators they can use, but that doesn’t mean that everyone understands how these calculators can be helpful. For example, are you aware that a home mortgage interest calculator can tell you how much you’ll pay in interest over the lifetime of your loan? This can be useful information in a variety of ways and can help you decide whether one interest rate is better than another, in conjunction with the amount of money you’ll have to put down and other factors.

You can also find out how much your monthly payment will be. Look for a calculator that takes all the factors into consideration, such as you real estate taxes and insurance. This will give you the most accurate idea of what you can expect to pay each month. Some will give you simply the principle and interest you’ll pay each month, which may be useful as a baseline but not as useful as a comprehensive idea of what your payment will be with all the requirements included. Once you know what your payment will be then you can decide if you can really afford the home you’re looking at.

Does a Mortgage Interest Calculator Really Help?

by Sarah Parr - June 4th, 2013

If you’ve been looking for information on mortgages, then you’ve likely heard about mortgage calculators. But knowing that they exist and understanding what they do can are two different things. The first thing to understand is that a mortgage calculator can be an invaluable tool in helping you discover how much of a mortgage you can afford. You simply plug in a few numbers and it lets you know how much your payments would be, based on the amount of loan you want to take out and how much interest your lender will charge.

This is the basic purpose of a mortgage interest calculator but in fact you can do much more with it. For example, let’s say you have an option between two different loans. One requires a larger down payment but has a lower interest rate, while the other has a small down payment but a higher interest rate. It can be hard to determine how much you’ll really save in the long term, but when you use this calculator it’ll give you an idea not just of your monthly payment but how much you’ll pay over the lifetime of your loan. In this case, it’s often easy for home buyers to see that a slightly higher interest rate can cost thousands of dollars over the course of their loan.

Simple Tips to Help You Best Protect Your Home

by Sarah Parr - June 3rd, 2013

homeowners insurance is a good moveThe reality for most people is that their home is the single largest investment they’ll ever make. However, not everyone treats it that way. Of course it’s essential to keep it in working order because you live there, but there are other reasons you should take the best care of your home and insure it appropriately. Take a look at these simple tips that will help protect your home, your safety, and your investment.

Security Systems Can Make a Big Difference

Security systems can do the obvious – help secure your home – but they can do a lot more than that. Not only will they help to prevent burglars from getting into your home, but they can also prevent them from even trying. Often if a burglar sees you have a system they will simply move on to a non-protected home down the road. You may also find that your homeowners insurance premium is lower if you have a security system than it would be if you didn’t. Finally, a high tech security system can be an asset when you go to sell your home.

Throw Out All the Old Info on Break-Ins

One of the most essential things for you to understand is that the old information on how to avoid break-ins is largely irrelevant. For example, have you heard that having your newspaper service stopped is essential so thieves don’t notice the papers piling up and know you’re out of town? If so, then you should consider that having it stopped can actually have the opposite effect – it can alert thieves that you are on vacation.

Another common misconception is that you should leave one light on when you go on vacation so it looks like you’re at home. Again, a thief will notice after a few days and this could cause you to be a target. Aside from a home security system, one of the best moves you can make is to hire someone to stop by your house at irregular times. This will make it difficult for thieves to break in because they’ll never know when the hired help is going to stop by.

Check Your Homeowners Insurance Policy

When’s the last time you took a look at your homeowners policy? The reality is that the coverage you need when you moved into your home may not be the coverage you need today. Perhaps you’ve added a new room to the home, or you now own the latest electronics. Policies don’t update on their own – it’s up to you to make sure you’re fully covered. Take advantage of sites like http://www.homeownersinsurancegeek.com/ that give you the details you need on the options in coverage and determining which level of insurance is right for your home – and your investment.

Does Life Insurance for Senior Citizens Make Sense?

by Will Messmer - June 2nd, 2013

It’s common for senior citizens to believe that since they’re already in their golden years, life insurance won’t make sense for them. Indeed, it can often be considerably more expensive to get coverage as you get older, but in some cases it still makes financial sense. Read on to learn about the different situations in which it may be your best bet.

What is Your Current Health Situation?

There are many plans available for younger folks that don’t require medical exams or answers to specific medical questions. This will typically not be the case for older folks. As a result, your health can have a big impact on your rate. If you’re in good shape for your age, don’t have a history of disease, and are relatively active, then you could discover that your rates rates are much lower than you expect. Even those with less than perfect health may discover that the offered rates aren’t as high as they’d thought.

Has Your Financial Situation Gone as Planned?

If you’d planned to pay off debts and have a certain amount saved by the time you retire, and you’ve met those goals, then it might not make sense to take out an insurance policy. However, if life got in the way and you still have substantial debts or you don’t have the money you were hoping to have in your retirement account, then it may be the right move to get a life insurance plan. If nothing else, it will give you the peace of mind that your loved ones will be taken care of after you’re gone.

Check Life Insurance Rates to See What You May Qualify For

Many people make assumptions about how much their life insurance will cost, and then make decisions based on those assumptions. The reality is that you don’t know how much you’ll be charged until you get a quote. People are living longer and longer, which means that while someone as young as 65 used to be virtually uninsurable, they can now be considered a low risk with a good 30 years of life left. The best option is to check out http://www.lifeinsurancecompaniesbystate.com/ and get detailed information on what you can expect in your state. Don’t make a decision before you have all the facts.

Add It Up to Come Up With the Right Answer

There are two basic reasons that senior citizens frequently don’t think it’s the right time to take out a life insurance policy. They either think it’s too expensive or they have investments that either have paid or or they believe they will pay off before they retire. Now is the time to crunch the numbers and find out of either of those statements are really true for you. Do you have investments you can be really sure of? Is life insurance as expensive as you think it is? Call a local life insurance office today and get a quote. You may be surprised at what you discover – and it’s always worth it to gather more information.

4 Ways to Invest a Little and Save a Lot

by Will Messmer - June 1st, 2013

If you’re looking to find serious savings, sometimes it pays to invest a little. Spending something now that could have big rewards in the future is often well worth it – if you know what you’re doing. Take a look at these 4 ways that an investment today could pay off tomorrow.

1 – Take a Look at Your Retirement Plans

Sure, investing in your retirement plan can mean big savings when you retire, but it could also lead to great savings before that. Many retirement plans allow you to pull out money once it’s been fully vested. In this way, a retirement plan could be a plan that allows you to save just a few years from now. For example, if you need to make a down payment on a new home, you may be able to pull out some money to help – which would mean you won’t have to take out a high interest loan to make that down payment.

2 – Invest in Savings Clubs

There are several savings clubs that require a monthly membership but allow you to buy food and household goods at a serious savings. Spending just $50 a year could save you hundreds of dollars over the course of the year. Most clubs allow you to take a look around for free, so be sure to check it out before you invest. If the cost is high, consider finding a friend who’s willing to split a membership with you. Also make sure you know which items save you money. In some cases, you may find better deals at your local grocery store if you simply use a coupon. On the other hand, there may be some things you save big on at these stores.

3 – Start a Small Business

Do you have a skill that could potentially bring in a little extra cash? If so, consider making a small investment to get started. Remember that you don’t have to start big. You don’t have to quit your day job and invest your life savings. For example, if you’re an expert baker, invest in some equipment and a little advertising. Take a job or two a month and build up a clientele. Before you know it, you may have a full time career on your hands.

4 – Refinance Your Home Mortgage

For most people, the largest expense is their mortgage payment. There are several ways you could potentially save big. One option is to refinance. While you will likely have to pay some fees to do so, it could not only save you money every month but save you a significant amount of interest in the long run. Take a look at http://www.refinancehomemortgageguide.com/ to learn more about your options and decide if now is the right time for you to take advantage of the opportunities out there.

Internet Providers In My Area Are Tracking Online Habits: How Can We Protect Ourselves?

by Will Messmer - May 31st, 2013

Most consumers know that their online habits are being tracked by companies the world over. And this is happening so often that most of us don’t even think about it. But others say that we should be worried. Even our browsers collect and send information to companies. There is a protocol that any site wishing to track a customer must employ before doing so. Called the P3P policy, it requires sites wanting user information to reveal how they plan to use it. Unfortunately, only Microsoft Internet Explorer supports it. This is because P3P has been deemed to not be very valuable to consumers.

The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights may assist with how consumers’ information is used. It requires internet providers in my area, along with any other company that uses consumer info to be held accountable for how they handle that information. The bill requires that consumers have the right to control which and what amount of data they allow companies to collect. It also requires any information about security practices be easy for consumers to understand. Finally, any companies which collect personal data must comply with the bill when doing so. As specific as the bill may be, however, many say it still needs a lot of work.

Comparing the Best Home Security Systems Chicago Illinois

by Will Messmer - May 31st, 2013

Those who are looking to invest in home security often don’t know where to turn. Sure, it’s easy enough to google and find out the names of companies offering security services, but how do you know how to compare them? Consider these tips to decide which of the home security systems Chicago Illinois is best for your needs. First, make a list of what you’d like to have and a list of what you must have. It’s easy to get caught up in pricing and end up with a security system that doesn’t meet your needs, just because it’s inexpensive. If you’re sure of what you want before you search then you can avoid this problem.

Next, find out which companies offer these types of services in your particular neighborhood. Not all security companies will necessarily cover the entire city, so you’ll likely visit their site and plug in your zip code. Or, alternatively, you could visit a site that gives you detailed information on all the options. Then find the plans that meet the requirements you’ve set out and keep an eye out for the things on your ‘want’ list. When you’ve done that it’s as simple as comparing the options you’ve identified

Does Your Home Owners Insurance Chicago Adequately Cover You?

by Will Messmer - May 30th, 2013

Is your homeowners insurance enough?Many homeowners get their policy when they buy their home and then they continue to pay it year after year without considering it. The reality is that there may be a lower priced policy available to you, or you may be able to cover your home for things that aren’t currently covered. It’s likely that your policy covers issues like stolen goods, but does your home owners insurance Chicago replace the cost of the items when you bought them or their replacement values? This can be a huge difference, especially when it comes to things like electronics that lose value quickly.

It does cost more to have replacement value but you may find that the extra coverage is worth it, if only for the peace of mind of knowing that you’re fully covered. In fact, take a look at your policy and make sure you’re fully covered in other ways. There may be issues like mold that aren’t covered by your basic policy. But you could add on an endorsement that adds that coverage. Once again, this will cost extra, but if you live in an area that’s prone to mold then it may pay for itself in the long run.

Are You Ready to Live Green? Get All the Info You Need

by Admin - March 25th, 2013

Whether you’re just getting started on a green lifestyle, or you’ve been living one for years, there is tons of information that can be helpful to you. Some will be reviews of products that you may have used in the past, or products that are brand new to you. Others will be new information on the latest ways in which we can live a more consciously green lifestyle. Or perhaps just fun facts that will give you a leg up the next time you’re at a trivia game. Regardless of what you’re looking for or what you need, you’ll find interesting tidbits here.