Home Blog Page 4

5 Weight Loss Programs that Actually Work

0

Modern life features an abundance of food with regular access. It can be hard to fight the urge to pull into the drive-through on your way home. TV commercials, billboards and radio ads bombard you with temptation. They keep chanting about sugary treats, salty snacks, and fatty foods. But you can buck your weight-gain trend for a healthier lifestyle with one of these proven weight loss programs.

Fasting

This program is called intermittent fasting (IF), alternate day fasting (ADF) or one meal a day (OMAD). The program is simple — don’t eat for a specified period of time. Eat for just eight hours per day on IF, every other day on ADF and once a day on OMAD.

Calorie Restriction

If longterm hunger isn’t your thing, then you can always fall back on traditional calorie restriction. You’ll just have to weigh your food and track calories. Research also suggests that your body lowers its metabolism in response to conventional calorie restriction to make it challenging to keep weight off. Just ask contestants on The Biggest Loser. Also, calorie restriction diets have also been proven to have some anti-aging results, which can be nice for those who are worried about looking older than they really are.

Xyngular

This program is a science-backed supplement program that can rev your engine. The supplements cleanse your body, reset your metabolism and allow you to burn fat quickly. According to reviews, you can choose from three different products that can all help you shed pounds and keep them off easily. There are separate systems to jumpstart your weight loss, burn fat and control hunger.

Keto

Eat mostly fat while avoiding carbs and reducing your protein intake to produce ketones. Your body then shifts its energy source to ketones which burns fat. Interestingly enough, Xyngular comes with a keto cookbook to accelerate weight loss. You can get two programs in one. However, there are many people who have done just keto and have had amazing results.

The Potato Diet

A famous example of this somewhat niche diet is Penn of Penn & Teller lost 100 pounds eating potatoes. He ate nothing but potatoes for two weeks to reset his taste buds. This allowed him to experience food naturally. Sugar was too sweet and burgers too fatty when he returned to normal eating. Unsalted corn now serves as Penn’s dessert because he thinks the vegetable is so sweet with reprogrammed tastes. There have been others who have tried this with similar results, so maybe it’d work for you!

Stick to any of these programs, and you’ll lose weight. It can be hard at first, but it’ll help you feel better about yourself, more confident, and you’ll actually be able to keep the weight off unlike some other programs.

Here are a couple articles about similar topics we think you might be interested in!

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Botox

How to Start Running, and Love It!

What Are Free Radicals and Why Are They Bad News?

7 Case Studies of Businesses Who Turned It All Around

0

Capitalism can be a hard game to play. One day a business can be thriving and the next it can make a costly blunder that puts it at the edge of insolvency. It can be unpredictable who goes from successful to barely hanging on. The plus side is that it is just as unpredictable who can go from the brink of collapse to a position of strength again. Listed below are seven businesses who approached the abyss of failure and still made it to victory.

Marvel

These days, it would be hard to find someone who isn’t at least aware of the cinematic juggernaut that is Marvel Studios. Yet, before movies like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War was raking in planets worth of money, Marvel was not the most solid investment. In 1996, Marvel was still strictly publishing comics. In the early 90’s, the comics industry was experiencing a massive collectors’ bubble that popped in the mid-90’s. Marvel declared bankruptcy and was ready to completely fold. The company began to sell the movie rights of their prominent characters such as Spider-Man and the X-Men which helped them pull the company out of the red. Since then, the movie model has been Marvel’s primary source of income and has made them among Disney’s more lucrative acquisitions.

Apple

Despite a reputation as a tech powerhouse of the 1980s and 2000s, Apple nearly fell into nonexistence in the 1990s following Microsoft’s meteoric rise. In 1997, Apple edged toward bankruptcy after losing $1 billion in a single year. Ironically, its salvation came in part from Microsoft who sent a $150 million investment presumably to keep Apple in business and prevent the headaches that come with becoming a de facto monopoly. Founder Steve Jobs then returned to the fold to build the iMac and the iPhone, leaving the rest to history.

GM

Perhaps the most famous of the victims of the 2008 economic recession, General Motors stood on the edge of absolute collapse. The problems became so egregious that President Barack Obama had to commit to a controversial bailout package to save the auto industry. Since then, GM has paid back the bailout in full and enjoy better than expected success in recent years.

SpaceX/Tesla

Thanks to Elon Musk, this entry is a two for one. Just like General Motors, Musk’s dual projects, SpaceX and Tesla, suffered hard from the 2008 recession. At one point, it was believed that Musk would have to cut one to save the other. Rather, Musk pulled a risky venture by refusing to sell off either one and banked on SpaceX’s deal with NASA to keep the two companies afloat. The gambit paid off and both projects are now synonymous with innovative tech companies.

IBM

Like Apple, IBM suffered heavy losses in the 1990s and a massive fracturing of the company seemed inevitable. Under this heavy cloud, Lou Gerstner came in as CEO to rescue the famous computer company. Gerstner underwent the unenviable task of massive layouts and a total restructuring of the company’s assets. After a complete transformation in culture and marketing, IBM came out on the other end as soluble again.

Chrysler

The American auto maker has actually tipped close to the end more than once through its existence. Chrysler suffered from the instability of the oil market in the late 1970s. At that time, the government bailed them out with $1.5 billion and saved the company. Chrysler then moved back into the black with inexpensive cars in the 1980s. The company then risked insolvency again during 2008 before Fiat took over the company’s reins, bringing the company back to viability again.

Best Buy

In the wake of retail stores such as Circuit City falling to the specter of 2008, Best Buy found itself on the line. In 2010, revenue was dropping, excerbated two years later by a sex scandal cover up involving the CEO. The company then completely reorganized the business, integrating online services into the customer service apparatus as well as introducing new exclusive products like Apple and Samsung. After innovative restructurings and shuttering struggling locations, Best Buy pulled back from failure and maintains a strong presence in electronic retail today.

Conclusion

Some of America’s greatest business monoliths can be vulnerable to insolvency. Whether through macro-level financial circumstances such as the 2008 collapse or industry-specific volatility, no private institution in America is immune to chaos. However, these same business are capable of bringing themselves back to stability and greatness. Circumstances may influence decisions but perseverance is what makes the decision.

References:

Thewrap.com

Digitaltrends.com

Businessnewsdaily.com

Yourstory.com

Gobankingrates.com

AntonyBatty.com

Which Countries are the Most Business-Friendly? You Might Be Surprised

0

A great many people, at one time or another, have participated in, or at least have heard discussions about countries around the world, and how they fare economically in a business context. How their business climate and culture compares to others in the global market. Loyalists may always stand by their convictions that the U.S. consistently ranks at the top of business-friendly countries, what with our open trade policies, business relationships with other world economic powerhouses, and so on. But based on economic freedom data provided by Heritage Media, the U.S. doesn’t even rank in the Top 10 globally in 2018 (there are, after all, a lot of roadblocks and considerations  in starting a business in the U.S.). Some of the countries that do rank highly, who are exceptional in the listing’s metrics, may just come as a surprise to some people.

Economic Freedom equates to a Business-Friendly Culture

The more economically free a country’s overall climate is, the more prosperity residents and businesses within that climate and culture of that given nation can realize. The more freedom and flexibility businesses have in maintaining, developing, and consequently expanding their operations, the more “business-friendly” that nation emerges as a whole.

Heritage Media’s 2018 Index of Economic Freedom provides comprehensive data covering 12 freedoms citizens have in 186 countries. Readers can evaluate the very latest macroeconomic data and economic freedom scores of these nations individually, as well as detailed cross-country comparisons of two selected nations.

Looking Well Beyond Our Borders to See The World Leaders

Heritage based their rankings on a broad number of criteria, with countries scoring 0-100 overall. These countries were ranked by their total scores, placed into Free (100-80), Mostly Free (79-70), Moderately Free (69-60), Mostly Unfree (59-50), Repressed (49.9-40), and Not Rated classifications.

The top 6 nations, the only ones falling into the “Free” classification, are:

  1. Hong Kong (90.2)
  2. Singapore (88.8)
  3. New Zealand (84.2)
  4. Switzerland (81.7)
  5. Australia (80.9)
  6. Ireland (80.4)

Quite obviously, the metrics used to formulate these rankings are not skewed toward raw monetary earnings, size, or populations of world countries, among the seemingly countless variables and data that can be incorporated into a list. In this list of 2018 country rankings, the U.S. is ranked #18 (75.7).

When looking at the six nations in the Free category, the tiny country of Singapore really seems to stand out as perhaps the biggest surprise of them all. Here again, it’s clearly obvious this ranking list isn’t biased towards the biggest “players” in the world market. But in terms of Economic Freedom (again, equalling a business-friendly environment), the numbers simply don’t lie.

Singapore

There are many reasons why this tiny city, state, and island country in Southeast Asia is so prosperous on the world stage. At 277 square miles in size (roughly four times the size of Washington D.C.) and with a population of 5.6 million people (New York City alone has a population of over 8.7 million), it’s not the size that matters, but what the country does with what systems they have working for them that does.

With countries that struggle to lower unemployment rates to below 5% (the U.S. being one of them), their unemployment rate is at an astounding 1.8%. And while many of the (seemingly) most prosperous nations in the world take to many, many measures to curb their often spiraling, increasing inflation rates, their inflation (CPI) is at -0.5%.

Many people can relate to these numbers a little better when compared to U.S. figures. So regarding GDP (PPP) 5-year compound annual growth, they are at 3.3%, the U.S. at 2.1%. Singapore’s per capita – GDP (PPP) is $87,855. The U.S. is $57,436.

Why This Nation is Thriving Now

Their prudent monetary and fiscal policies, corruption-free and very open business environment, and a legal framework that is highly transparent lead to the country’s highly developed free-market economy. The government is proactive in implementing active industrial policies, which promote economic diversification and development. Business concerns are addressed through targeted fiscal incentives and significant public investments. Although keep in mind, if you register your business in Singapore, there is a law that demands you employ a Singapore company secretary.

Do Tax Rates and Government Spending Play Key Roles?

The nation’s top corporate tax rate is 17% (U.S.: 35%). Their overall tax burden equals 13.6% of total domestic income (U.S.: 26.4%). Their government spending has resulted in budgetary surpluses of 4.1% of GDP, whereas the U.S. has seen budget deficits averaging 4.0% of GDP.

Clearly, this little Asian powerhouse, with strong numbers in so many leading categories, indicate they are doing great things there to foster growth, development, and prosperity for their businesses, and in turn, their residents. Perhaps countries that are struggling with the economic and government problems they currently have should look to the course of action such prosperous nations take. When it comes to some things in life, bigger isn’t always better.

 

How Microbrews are Changing the Face of American Beer Forever

0

Featured image credit: Vega Direct

Years before there even was an America, there was an American brewery. The year was 1587, and corn was being brewed into ale. Twenty years later, beer would arrive from England to the colonies. The first documented female “Brewster”, Mary Lisle, took over her dad’s Edinburgh Brewhouse in 1734. She would run the establishment until 1751.

Over the many, many years of this nation’s history beer has changed and evolved along with the tastes of those who drink it. From the need for near beer during the Prohibition years to the release of the first beer in cans, that evolution has meant that new companies, both big and small, have sprung up across America. Some have flourished; others floundered and died.

In 1977 the first craft beer was created at the New Albion Brewery. Several years later, Colorado would introduce us all to the Great American Beer Fest, which is still in existence as the oldest and largest beer tasting and competitive festival. Homebrewing became legal in 1978, and in 1982 breweries were finally allowed to sell their own beers on their premises and sell food giving rise to the microbrewery pubs.

How Microbrews are Changing the Entire Face of American Beer

American brew has the stereotype of being bitter or stale. Many of them are weak or watered down, and some people have complained that the major US beer brands have allowed their quest for greater numbers to turn their beers into a churning river of similar tastes. Whether any of this is right or wrong, it is impacting those big brands right in the wallet. According to CNN Money, the 4 US brands (Bud Light, Miller Lite, Coors Lite and Budweiser) are faltering with shipments decreasing by nearly 4%. This, coupled with the fact that microbreweries and craft pubs are opening in huge numbers, is definitely affecting the sales of the 4 largest US brands. Even the number of craft beers itself is climbing at a fairly steady pace. According to Denver Microbrew Tour, there were nearly 4,000 microbreweries in the United States in 2017, an increase of 19% from the previous year. For that same time period, craft beers rose to 6266 up 15.5%, and brewpubs are up to 2252 up 10%. At the same time, the larger brewers are closing breweries and distribution centers.

The Continued Evolution of American Beers

From that first corn-based ale, American beers have evolved over and over to reflect the demands of the consumers as well as other factors like politics and the climate. During the earliest years of Prohibition, brewers knew they needed to adapt or face bankruptcy, so “near beer” came to the rescue. In 1921 alone, more than 300 million gallons of this not-quite-alcoholic beer was brewed.

The first of the canned beers came along in 1935. Innovations to beer can sizes and openings were noted in ’54 and ’63. It wasn’t until 1969 that the cans would start outselling bottled beer. Brewers would continue making innovations to their cans, including special lining to prevent changes to the taste of the beer and other designs that made the beer as cold as possible. Good ideas in their times –but not good enough to prevent the onslaught of microbrews and the huge selection of craft beers that were starting to flood the market.

Every brewer takes a traditional recipe and then makes it his own in some way. He may adjust one or more of the ingredients. He may change the amount of carbonation or part of the brewing process. At some point, the brewer may have fudged with a recipe to the point that he has created an entirely new beer. It would be nearly impossible to list every type of craft beer because they are constantly evolving. The basic and traditional standards including ales, wheat beers, stouts, porters are getting new and interesting entries alongside the more traditional flavors. Specialty beers which can evolve based on the area of the country and the season are also popular. Hybrid beers are also incredibly popular, and sell very well in many regions.

When Brewers Meet up with Wine Makers

By estimate, the average American lives within ten miles of a brewery. Those same people may live that near to a vineyard as well. Non-traditional winemaking states are gaining in popularity and whether by design or by demand, some of those vineyards are also introducing microbrews or vice versa. Tours and tastings can help bring in more people while expanding the palates of everyone involved. Some of the craft brews are starting to adopt some of the traditional flavors and appearance of wine specifically to lure in some of the die-hard wine drinkers. There is even a hard cider/rose wine hybrid on the market now.

Festivals and Other Events

American festivals celebrating music, seasons, and local peculiarities happen in every region and in virtually every season. Most of those festivals have at least one beer tent with more and more of them welcoming microbreweries as a way of encouraging local business people. Some of these events are centered on the beer itself and can be a single day to many days in length. There might be a brewing competition, and all of the local microbreweries will vie for the title. They get great publicity, and everyone has a good time and some good beer.

Beer has long played a role in other events, including obstacle course races. Each of these races partner with a brewery, usually a local craft beer company if possible which is an incredible boost to that small brewer. Some of these races bring in thousands per race day, many from across the country so the publicity alone can be an astounding boost.

Some of these microbreweries end up with such a following that they ship their craft beers to other states. Some get a fan following based on their name, their logo, or their advertising materials even before that first beer is tasted. Larger bars might start selling the craft beers right alongside the big named guys, and as long as the micros are selling, they get to stay. You might even find your favorite microbrew’s wares in the local market or even in a grocery store.

Rather than diluting the market in any way, these new crafters keep the older ones on their toes. Everyone has to keep their product lines as fresh and interesting as possible, or they will fail just like the big guys are doing. The major brewers, some of them in business for hundreds of years, competed with one another and focused on things like better bottle styles or flashier TV ads to the point of neglecting the most important thing: the beer. Eventually, the little guys saw the opportunity and took it. Thousands of craft beers and microbreweries means that your perfect beer is out there. You get to taste and savor the different styles and techniques, and you get to find the exact beer you have wanted.

As in nearly every business, consumers drive the demand. As long as the IPAs, the dark ales, the pale India ales, and the specialty beers sell, the microbreweries will brew them, even the Pumpkin beer that crops up every fall and makes people fight like Mad Hatters over whether it is good, bad, or an abomination. There must be people who drink it because come October, it will be there.

Sources:

https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/101/history_american_beer/  

https://www.brewersassociation.org/statistics/number-of-breweries/  

https://money.cnn.com/2018/06/29/news/companies/bud-light-miller-lite-budweiser-coors-light/index.html  

https://www.craftbeer.com/beer/beer-styles-guide

It’s 2018, Why Are Millenials So Into Horoscopes?

0

New age spiritualism has been on the climb, we know this – but a specific sector of that has blown up in popularity. According to a recent study by Refinery29, millennials have shown significantly more interest in astrology than generations before them. Between 2011 and 2016, the field of psychological services – which encompasses everything from astrology to tarot readings to palmistry – increased by two percentage points. That’s a significant climb, and it seems mostly spurred on by young adults in their 20s and 30s. But understanding why astrology has become so popular means recognizing the significant and sometimes radical shifts in attitudes and circumstances among the millennial generation.

Non-Religious Doesn’t Mean Non-Spiritual

Millennials seem to represent a shift away from orthodox religious practice in the general population. A seven-year period saw a decline of an astonishing 11% in a seven-year period, while those who didn’t affiliate with a religion saw a drop of 11% in a belief in God. While this could signify a move towards atheist or at least agnostic sentiments, the big picture tells a deeper story. One out of four Americans identifies as “spiritual but not religious.” But even as millennials decouple their ethical thinking from religious dogma, they’re still hopeful for a quasi-supernatural explanation for the sometimes chaotic world around them. Some now turn to spiritual beliefs that mean working on oneself with focus on emotional healing and emotional wellness, which may include belief in chakras and energy.

That distinction between ethics and impartial meaning is critical. Practically all the religions of the world are defined by the moral precepts at the heart of their philosophy. Whether it’s the karmic circle of life or seven testaments etched into stone tablets, these are philosophies that presume a moral framework that underpins our reality and is most often created by some form of higher power. While forms of spirituality like star charts and tarot readings implicitly suggest a higher power, they remain primarily distinct from one’s moral and ethical standards. This allows a generation disillusioned with organized religions, which often adopt ethical stances that run contrary to progressive-leaning millennials, to disregard the messy complications of religious law while still holding on hope for some variety of higher power. This is reflected clearly in the practices themselves. While astrology suggests that our personalities and characteristics are tied to the alignment of the stars, these characteristics are mainly neutral of hard ethical context. Palmistry and tarot reading, meanwhile, presume to predict future events without placing these tides of change at the whims of a discreet and known deity and without tying the consequences to negative or affirmative action on behalf of the parties involved. As the millennial population grows more spiritual and less religious, these practices offer the best of both worlds.

Instability Spurs a Desire For Universal Truth

The world that millennials exist in is quite different from that of the generation before. Between increasing political polarization, the looming threat of climate change, and dramatic technological revolutions, it can be hard to understand the shape of the world. When things are always changing, it’s that much more difficult to believe in a religion rooted in fundamental and unchanging principles. This uncertainty is equally reflected in the personal lives of millennials. A belief in stagnant wages and increasing reliance on the gig economy to survive an make members of this generation feel as if they’re always at the mercy of forces other than themselves.

In a climate like that, it makes sense that they seek out some form of soothsaying that helps them read the currents of those larger forces. Astrology provides a sense of meaning in a disordered world. The detailed parameters of natal charts offer millennials with prisms through which they can see themselves, and the changing signs of the planets and stars on a daily basis allow them to attribute some sense of cosmic pattern to both luck and misfortune. This is reflected in other forms of spirituality too. Aside from just horoscopes and natal charts, people are also turning to look at tarot cards as well. While astrology is primarily rooted in the present and the internalized self, the latter seeks to provide answers regarding one’s future. To a generation with a potentially lost understanding of where they’re going and what they can expect when they get there, tarot readings and palmistry can provide a distinct path to follow.

Prejudices Against Astrology Are Fading

This isn’t the first time that astrology has become a significant part of the popular consciousness. The 1960s and 1970s saw the rise of the New Age movement, and with it came a turn towards an alternate route to traditional religions. This too was a time of significant political, social, and economic change, and the shifting values of the younger generation made them more amenable to notions of unorthodox spirituality. In the time between, astrology never went away, even though it partially faded into the background. It became something advertised on late night infomercials and a diversionary section in the back of the local newspaper, a novelty mostly disregarded.

But as sensibilities have started to change, so have attitudes towards the art of astrology. Part of this is due to the rise of the internet. Aggressive branding and outreach by online apps like Co-Star Astrology have re-centered astrology in the public sphere, and online personality quizzes, a sort of modern equivalent to star signs in the first place, have increased the popularity of natal charts and other astrological content immensely. Where astrological predictions were once pushed to the back of popular girls magazines, they now sit as some of the most prominent articles between the covers.

It’s a Universal Language

As the relationships of millennials change, so do the ways in which they communicate. Social media has expanded friendships out to vast networks of casual connections and acquaintances, and the online dating grind lends a new level of anonymity to the act of finding romance. Regardless of culture, political, or geographic differences, the fundamentals between astrology are the same. It can serve as both an icebreaker and a way to organize friends and acquaintances. And while astrology may be a truly miraculous science to some, part of the appeal of getting your tarot cards to read and evaluating your natal chart has to do with the pure, self-oriented fun of it.

References & Resources:

 

5 Most Dangerous Forms of Energy

0

While technology and humanity move towards a more sustainable source of energy, some currently used forms of energy production can prove hazardous to human health, at the moment. In this article, we will discuss five types of current energy production and their possible effects on humans.

Coal

Coal is a dangerous source of energy. It is formed when dirt and sediment compressed plants that existed millions of years ago and is a black to brownish-black rock. There are four types of coal: anthracite (86% – 97% carbon), bituminous (45% – 86% carbon), subbituminous (35% – 45% carbon) and lignite (25% – 35% carbon). Emissions from burning coal result in the release of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulates, carbon dioxide, mercury, and other heavy metals. These emissions result in acid rain, smog, respiratory illnesses, lung illnesses, and greenhouse gas production.

Natural Gas

Natural gas is composed of hydrocarbon gas liquids and non-hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbon gases are alkanes (i.e., ethane, propane, butane, and natural gasoline) and alkenes (i.e., ethylene, propylene, butylene, and isobutylene). It is formed from plants and animals that have been covered with dirt and rock and compressed over time. Oil and coal are also formed by this process. Natural gas at low levels is not harmful to your health, but a severe leak can cause dizziness, fatigue, nauseousness, headache, and irregular breathing. Because it is a flammable gas, even a small spark can cause an explosion where there is a leak.

Oil

Oil is the third product of sedimentary processes. Crude oil is a fossil fuel, a mix of hydrocarbons. It exists in liquid form deep underground in reservoirs, and closer to the surface in tar sands. An oil spill can be hazardous to human health. People who clean up the spill are susceptible to skin and eye irritation, as well as neurological and breathing problems. Breathing in the vapor from oil can cause headaches, dizziness, nauseousness, and respiratory irritation. High levels of fumes can cause coma and death.

Hydroelectric

Hydroelectric power, generated by dams, is also dangerous to the communities around the dam. The dams cause high concentrations of methylmercury, which is toxic to humans. It can cause problems in developing fetuses, and in adults can cause an increased risk of heart disease, autoimmune effects, and paresthesia, loss of coordination, difficulty in speech and narrowing of the visual field, hearing impairment, blindness, and death.

Nuclear

Nuclear energy is produced when water is warmed by nuclear fission. The steam from this process turns turbines, which create electricity. Although considered a clean source of energy, when a nuclear power plant fails, it can cause severe problems for both humans and the environment. The radioactive waste produced in this way can be very hazardous to humans. It can cause cancer, DNA damage, bone marrow depression, radiation sickness, radiation dermatitis, and gastrointestinal complications. The radiation from meltdowns can make the environment unlivable for thousands of years.

How You Can Help Out with Energy Usage

There’s a variety of things you can do to help conserve energy. One big thing to do is to stop using too much electricity. Another thing is to start using solar panels. And for people thinking that they want to remove their trees should think twice. Trees help conserve energy by cooling the planet, providing shade to patio areas, and help modify and regulate climate. Unless your tree is showing signs of being diseased (such as soil build-up, fungi, dead branches, or large cavities inside the tree) than you should probably keep the tree. Other ways of saving energy include drinking water in steel water bottles, shopping for less mass-produced meat, and helping out local farmers.

In conclusion, although there are many forms of energy production, most have both pros and cons to them. We must carefully explore both pros and cons when we decide what type of energy we will be using for our fuels.

References:

http://www.energyjustice.net/coal

https://www.creativesafetysupply.com/articles/arc-flash/

https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2016/11/human-health-risks-from-hydroelectric-projects/

https://www.treequote.com/services/tree-removal/

https://study.com/academy/lesson/risks-of-nuclear-power-plants-and-radioactive-waste-safety-and-health-concerns.html

I’m Divorced. Do I Need to Redo My Will?

0

It may be easy to overlook your will and estate plan during and after a divorce, but it is vital that you consider them. A divorce agreement and a will are separate legal documents. Just because something was written on your divorce agreement, that doesn’t mean it will change in your will. Ignoring this can come with some troubling consequences you don’t intend, such as having your ex-spouse inherit all of your property. It is a good idea to consult with an estate planning attorney to finalize your will and estate plan after a divorce. You can be better prepared when you speak to your attorney by considering the following.

Completely Revoke Your Old Will

It is common for disagreements and disputes to arise over inheritance when more than one will is found. Generally, the newer will takes precedence, but any old wills create the possibility for dispute. This means it is important whenever you make a new will to ensure your old will and all copies of that document are completely destroyed.

A paper shredder or even a professional document destroying service are good options. In the digital age, you may also have to consider electronic copies of your documents, such as those stored on disc, in flash drives or on cloud servers. You will also want to destroy those kept with law offices or estate planners you may have worked with in the past. Simply provide them your new will or instruct them to destroy your old documents. Ensure there is absolutely no copy of your old will anywhere. This is the only way to truly ensure your old will is revoked.

The Importance of Timing

In most jurisdictions, the consequences of divorce when it comes to inheritance and estate plans only take effect once a divorce is finalized. Keep in mind that if you should pass while a divorce is still in process, your not-quite-ex-spouse will still be entitled to marriage inheritance. If you feel your passing may be imminent and you don’t want this to happen, you may need to make a new will and structure it a certain way before the divorce is finalized. It is a good idea never to delay updating or revising your will.

Interactions with State Law

What exactly happens with wills and divorce agreements is determined by state law. This means it can vary from place to place, and it may change over time. In some states, a divorce automatically cancels out some parts of inheritance, even if stated in a will, and in other states, it doesn’t. It may even cancel out inheritance in ways you don’t expect. For example, in some states, a divorce will cancel out an inheritance for anyone related to the former spouse, including people you may wish to keep as part of your estate plan.

Understanding how state laws affect your estate plan is best determined by an attorney knowledgeable about those state laws. This is where consultation is especially important even if you are planning to do most of your will yourself.

Naming New Beneficiaries

The main purpose of a will is to name beneficiaries to inherit your assets. When you remake your will, your first goal should be to consider your new list of beneficiaries. You may even wish to keep your spouse as beneficiary over some assets. Since that person will no longer be entitled through marriage, they will have to be specifically named as a beneficiary when they may not have needed to be before.

It is also important to name alternate beneficiaries. In some circumstances, your named beneficiaries cannot inherit. If you have not named anyone else, then those assets may become mired in the probate process until they are ultimately given to someone. This often results in a loss of value for the asset or even requires the asset be liquidated, and the cash be disbursed—almost always at a loss and usually via auction. It is much better for your heirs and your assets to have an alternate beneficiary clearly named.

Name a New Executor

Generally, your spouse would also be the executor of your estate, or the person responsible for overseeing your estate plan and the disbursement of assets. This person has an incredible amount of power to make changes to your estate, so it is important your executor be someone you trust. This is unlikely to be an ex-spouse. Sometimes your ex-spouse is automatically revoked, and sometimes they are not. This again depends on state law and may change. It is safer to name a new executor and also an alternate in case the first is not available or is unwilling to serve as executor.

Children and Guardianship

An important part of any will, especially for parents of younger children, is the naming of a guardian in case both parents die or are otherwise unable to serve as parents. Divorce can complicate the guardianship decision. A will can serve to help clarify your wishes on guardianship and custody after divorce.

If possible, you should still try to reach out to your former spouse and see if both of you can keep the same people listed as guardians on your wills. This makes the appointment of a guardian easier and more predictable. If the wills between parents differ on the choice of guardian, a judge must make the final decision. Keep in mind that divorce generally has little impact on parental rights, so whatever your ex puts in his or her will for guardianship will have legal standing.

A will is not usually the place to argue custody or parental rights, but these may still be very important issues for your case. If you held sole custody, you likely have strong feelings about your ex-spouse retaining custody after you pass. Unfortunately, unless your ex-spouse’s parental rights have already been revoked, custody will likely pass to them as the only surviving biological parent. You may, however, use your will and supporting documents to influence the court’s decision.

If you feel strongly that your ex is not fit to be a parent, you may attach a letter of explanation to your will. This does not have direct legal standing, but the judge may still weigh all the evidence when deciding on your children’s best interests. If you held sole custody, then your wishes as the primary caregiver will have weight, and it is possible, albeit rare, for the judge to assign primary custody to a guardian instead of the other parent. If this situation pertains to you, then it is an important conversation to have with your attorney.

Powers of Attorney

While this is somewhat separate from a will, it is still an important part of your overall estate plan. Powers of attorney give another person the ability to make legal decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. You may have expressly named your spouse as power of attorney, and this right may not be revoked by divorce. It is important to directly revoke these powers and name new powers of attorney after divorce if you don’t want your ex making important health and financial decisions for you.

Remember Trusts and Other Parts of the Estate Plan

While your will is of primary importance after a divorce, it is not the only component of your estate plan. Don’t forget about your trusts, insurance, and other types of accounts that are strongly tied to inheritance. These accounts may be legally separate from both your divorce agreement and your will. They must be updated directly. Divorce can change many things about your future and your desires for your assets and heirs. You may also plan to get remarried and have a new group of relatives to consider in your estate plan. If you created a trust that left substantial assets to a stepchild or even a biological child you no longer have custody of, then you may want to make changes.

Divorce can be a complicated and intimidating process, and updating your will and estate plan is no less complicated. It is important to consult with an attorney and come prepared with an idea of what your wishes are. Your attorney may then help you revise your estate plan in such a way that your new wishes and life situation are best represented on paper.

References:

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Botox

0

Botox injections are one of the most commonly administered aesthetic procedures in the United States. Although the treatment is a popular method that is used to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, there are many other uses for the substance. Botox is made of botulinum toxin, and it was first produced to help individuals with eye spasms. Read further to find these seven facts you may not know about Botox.

It Can Be Administered on Your Lunch Break

The procedure is very quick and typically takes between 15 to 30 minutes to complete. Many prefer to have Botox because it is fast to administer, and there usually isn’t any downtime after it’s finished.

It Works for Migraines

It may sound strange, but botox works on preventing and reducing the pain from migraines! According to Reveal Your Radiance Botox, botox is a great treatment for chronic migraine sufferers, as it can ease tension in the neck, shoulders, and forehead. Once injected, the Botox will reduce muscle tension and prevents nerve endings from sending signals to the brain. It’s been reported that individuals who received two treatments stated that it reduced migraines by 50%. In 2010, the FDA approved Botox treatments for migraines. Those with chronic migraines should have the treatment administered every 12 weeks, and it prevents an average of nine migraine days per month as opposed to six migraine days that were seen in the placebo group.

Botox Works on Other Medical Conditions

Hyper-Hidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating, and it affects millions of individuals in the United States. Botox works to reduce sweating when it is injected directly into overactive sweat glands and is effective for up to six months. In fact, a new trend is emerging where women are getting Botox in their scalp to extend their blowouts, and they don’t have to wash hair in between workouts. Botox can be used on any condition that includes an overactive bladder and crossed eyes.

According to WebMD, two studies reported that Botox can help an overactive bladder. In one study, 9 out of 10 participants noticed a 50% decline in the amount of daily incontinence episodes every day.

Botox can also treat a condition known as strabismus, which is when the eye area has uncontrollable spasms. This condition can affect adults and children, and it can be so severe that some individuals can’t open their eyes. Botox can treat strabismus for up to three to four months after it is administered, and it only takes 24-48 hours for it to start working.

More Men are Getting Botox

Since 2000, the number of males who get Botox has grown by 337%. Many men state that competition in the workplace is a primary factor when it comes to getting Botox, and many of these men are white-collar professionals who want to stay competitive in the workforce. However, Men’s Health explains that social media has been a significant factor in men getting botox and other cosmetic operations.

The primary age among men who get Botox is between 35 to 65 years old, and most of them get the treatment administered into the brows and near the eyes. Although it’s not known by the masses, many men are turning to cosmetic procedures, such as Botox, to achieve a younger look.

Botox is one of the Safest Cosmetic Procedures Offered

Botox has been subject to many studies and research, which is why it is one of the safest and most effective anti-aging treatments available. The FDA has approved Botox for many uses, which includes between the eyebrows, crow’s feet, and other medical applications.

Botox was Discovered Almost 200 Years Ago

Although Botox started to become popular in the early 2000s and wasn’t approved for aesthetic treatment until 2002, botulinum toxin was actually discovered in the early 1800s by Dr. Justinus Kerner, according to NBC News. Its use for wrinkles was found by Dr. Jean Caruthers after using it to treat a spasm near the eye in 1990.

It can be Used to Treat Gums

There are some individuals who are using Botox to fix their gummy smiles, which is when an individual’s teeth are overpowered by disproportionate gum tissue. These individuals have Botox to keep the lip from raising too much when they smile. In the Journal of International Oral Health, a 23-year old received Botox injections as an alternative to orthodontic treatment for a gummy smile. After two weeks, the results were effective, and the patient had an attractive smile.

With the many surprising uses for Botox, it a wonder drug that can alleviate migraines, help diminish wrinkles, and prevent excessive sweating. In addition, new studies are emerging that show Botox could treat depression. In 2014 that was published by the Journal of Psychiatric Research, it found that 52% of participants who were given Botox for depression noted relief for their depression symptoms. Researchers continue to find new ways to use Botox, and it is a minor procedure that has shown to yield significant results.

If you’re looking for some more information on a whole variety of topics, make sure to look around our blog! We have articles touching all parts of life, so there’s bound to be something that intrigues you!

The Importance Of Training Your Dog Not To Attack

0

Your dog is likely your best friend, or if not, an important part of your life (or your family’s life). You might have also trained your dog to be a bit of guard in the home, acting aggressively to potential burglars. However, that doesn’t mean that your dog should attack everyone who comes to your home. There are proper ways to train your dog to understand who should be at your house and who the family needs to be warned about. Here are a few reasons as to why it’s essential to train your dog not to attack.

Aside from the possible guilt and the aftermath of a dog injury, you will most likely be responsible for the damage taken by other people or other people’s property. Dog bite attacks are costly mistakes that many people don’t think about until they take place.

Taking Breed into Consideration

Examples of breeds that have been labeled as vicious are Pit Bulls, Dobermans, and Rottweilers. These are breeds that have a history of being fighting dogs or guard dogs, and thus have been labeled as aggressive. Mind that most of these breeds can be taught and trained to be docile (and quite loving), and aggression can be trained out of them to a certain extent. But it’s important to remember that any dog can become dangerous if not trained properly, and so breeds shouldn’t be considered a guarantee or a justification for any violent dog. Breeds are never going to be justification for not training your dog, or not taking into consideration the safety issues they present.

The Dog’s Reason and Situation

Some dogs tend to be possessive over their food as well as their owners. This is when most dog bites tend to occur. Train your dogs to share food, toys, and time with owners instead of growling or intimidating others. You can teach your dog to leave toys on the floor and to leave treats and food, making it a bit easier to deal with any possessive tendencies that your furry friend might have or develop with age.

If your dog is in pain or even feels like it is in danger (because perhaps they have a history of being abused), then there is a possibility that an attack might occur, as it might trigger some fight or flight responses/self-defense responses depending on the relationship it has to the people it’s interacting with – most particularly strangers. There are some ways to help naturally anxious dogs relax around strangers. One popular method of stress relief for dogs is CBD oil supplements. Most vets agree that CBD oil is safe to give to dogs, and has the same calming properties for them as it does for humans. Some owners report that it may also assist with pain relief.

Dogs can be quite trusting, but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to be trusting of all, especially if they’re injured in any way

Conclusion

Any dog can attack if it’s not trained properly. If your dog does attack, you could end up spending a lot of money if someone visited your home and got bitten by your dog, as these type of injuries are usually enough to make a personal injury claim. If you don’t think you can train your dog yourself, consider hiring a professional to help. And if your dog’s aggression is due to some other circumstance (like anxiety or pain), you can definitely see your vet about any medication or natural remedies that could help.

 

References:

 

How Does The Division of Assets Work In A Divorce?

0

About 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States are going through a divorce. It’s particularly unfortunate as  women tend to be psychologically and emotionally affected by divorce. Usually, divorcing couples have no clear-cut state of emotions to make appropriate decisions on the division of matrimonial assets and child support. In fact, it’s advised that couples immediately consult with an experienced divorce attorney so that their interests are fully represented at the beginning of this process.

If you are in the middle of a divorce, these problems may sound familiar. If you can’t resolve these matters, or you fail to resolve specific issues from the get-go, this will become a bigger problem as. If the divorcing couples cannot resolve all these matters, then it will be decided by the family court judge following a trial on the issues. The judge will review the details of the requests and the underlying facts considering the desires of both parties.

Division of Matrimonial Assets

You should talk to a lawyer who will ascertain the net worth of the assets to be shared. These assets include those that were acquired by either or both of the parties during the marriage to the date of separation excluding pre-marital gifts or inheritance from a third party. The financial burden of your kids and the need for the separated spouses to adjust their finances to the divorce are considerations a judge will make in the division of matrimonial property.

Also, the judge also considers factors such as an agreement between the parties on the ownership and division of property. In the division of financial assets, if it was the man who wasted away the family finances, the judge will consider far away from equal sharing. Primarily, each case is different, and judges make decisions based on circumstances.

How does Child Support Work?

Deciding who and how to raise a child is like looking for a needle in a haystack because both parties have strong emotional attachments to their children. However, each party always wants to have custody of their own despite having a divorce. If the divorcing couple cannot reach a resolution on all of these matters, then they will be decided by the family court judge following a trial on the issues.

Particularly for women, you need to show the court that awarding you full custody is in the best interest of your child. You need to show and exhibit a healthy relationship with your child, and that you have ability to provide a quality and stable life to your child. But just because you want your child to live with you doesn’t mean that is necessarily right. Your child needs both their parents in their life, so be willing to compromise and put the child first.

Divorce can be an incredibly difficult time, so be sure to reach out for the support that you need..

References:

American Psychological Association

Coover Law Firm

Livestrong

Nolo