Glascock & Meenan Insurance

Seven Ways to Approach Retirement Challenges

Sally Abrahms

Shortly after he retired, my friend attended a cocktail party. He had been head of a high profile company in town. A guest who knew he looked familiar but couldn’t place him asked, “Didn’t you used to be somebody?” He laughed when he told me. “Does that mean I’m nobody now that I’ve hit retirement?”

For some, work defines them or how others see them. Interacting regularly in a job can provide friendships, a common goal, and a sense of identity. When that’s gone, there can be feelings of loss and soul-searching.

Does this sound familiar? You’re not alone. Approaching life as a retiree isn’t always easy so we’ve pulled together strategies to help you cope with common challenges in retirement.

Who am I now and what do I do?

Whether you can’t wait for the day you are gainfully unemployed or you are a surprise retiree, one thing is certain: Retirement is changing. Better medicine and health has led to greater longevity—on average, providing 20-30 extra years—than in the old days.

“Our research repeatedly shows that retirees are shocked at just how long retirement actually is. No longer is it a few short years of golf, beach walks, and bike rides. Today we are talking decades,” says Joseph Coughlin, director of the AgeLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of The Longevity Economy.“Retirement is no longer simply about relaxing.” Many people are finding that, after a while, something is missing.

“People of all ages seek lives of meaning and purpose,” says Paul Irving, chairman of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging. That’s never been truer than for older adults today who talk often about “leaving a legacy” and “making a difference.” Read Full Article

10 Unique Ideas for the Perfect Holiday Gift

The holidays are upon us, which means purchasing thoughtful presents for our loved ones is top of mind.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for your significant other, your children, or your grandchildren we’ve compiled a guide that will help make checking people off your list easier.

Gifts For Your Significant Other

Something Sweet

Sweet treats are always a great gift idea – especially when they can be delivered right to your door.

Toffee Boutique offers milk chocolate, dark chocolate and vegan toffee options so you can find the perfect nutty, crunchy treat for your loved one.

Vegan Treats Bakery ships dairy and egg free sweets like cannolis, cakes and truffles country-wide.

Cost: $7.49 and up

Something Sentimental

A membership to Ancestry.com will allow your significant other to unearth details about their family history and gain access to records and photos.

Cost: $99 to $199 for Ancestry.com subscription (AARP members can save 30 percent)

Something Memorable

Giving the gift of an experience is a great way to make memories and possibly learn something new.

Whether your loved one has always wanted to learn how to bake, ride in a hot air balloon, or take dance lessons TrulyExperience.com allows you to customize the experience.

You can even book an extraordinary getaway to places like Romania and Switzerland. If you do decide to travel, these apps will make it easier and these tips will help you prep your home before you go away. Read Full Article

How to Cyberproof Your Smartphone

Nancy Mann Jackson

You may call it a “phone,” but that smart device in your pocket is actually a tiny computer. And that means it’s subject to the same security threats as your desktop or laptop. Any device that connects to the Internet is open to hackers, viruses and data breaches.

When your smartphone is hacked, your finances, private information and photographs, and even your personal safety can be at risk. For instance, some attackers may download financial information from your phone’s history, such as your use of Internet banking or mobile pay apps, and others may tap into your phone’s GPS to keep track of where you are.

Make sure your phone is secure by following these steps.

1. Use passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs).

If your phone is lost or stolen, you want to make sure that no unauthorized person can access its information. Use a PIN to activate your phone, and set different passwords for all of your important applications, such as email, banking and mobile wallet. Entering passwords all the time may seem laborious, but it will be worth the effort if your phone gets into the wrong hands.

2. Back up your data.

The documents, photographs and contacts stored on your phone are likely important to you—and if your phone becomes compromised or lost, you could lose them. Just as you would back up the data on your computer, you should perform backups to the data on your phone. You could back up your phone to a computer or external hard drive, or back up your data in the cloud.

3. Install only trusted apps.

When you download apps from a mobile app store, you are allowing the app provider access to your device. And although most are trustworthy, some apps carry viruses or malware that could attack your phone. Before you download an app, read reviews about it, make sure you’re using a legitimate app store for your phone, and make sure the app’s logo in the app store matches that on the app developer’s website. Read Full Article

The 70 Best Moving Tips

Johnna Kaplan

If you’re one of those people packing up your entire life and heading someplace new, you might be feeling overwhelmed at the thought of juggling all the moving pieces (pun intended) of relocating.

To make the process easier, The Extra Mile is compiling all our best moving tips, from packing tricks to handling long distance moves to settling into a new apartment. If you’re confused about timelines, tipping, or transporting your household across the country, this list will help you get organized and get moving.

Moving Tips and Tricks

1. Purchase all Your Moving Supplies Before you Start Packing

Unless you’re hiring full-service movers who will do everything for you, you’ll need:

  • Boxes
  • Sturdy tape
  • Markers
  • Packing materials such as newspaper, bubble wrap, tissue, or packing peanuts
  • Optional: Saran Wrap

2. Stock up on Cardboard Boxes With Handles

These are much easier to lift. If you already have boxes without handles, it’s easy to make them yourself.

  1. Just draw two rectangles, about four inches long by two inches high, on opposite sides of each box.
  2. Cut out the rectangles with a box cutter, and voila – instant handles.
  3. Place your handles wherever feels most comfortable to you, but take care not to cut too close to the top of the box, as that will risk tearing the cardboard when you lift the box. Read Full Article

Can I Put My Car Insurance On Hold?

Yes, you can certainly put your insurance on hold but there are some important considerations when suspending the entire policy. Between maintenance, gas, and insurance, owning a vehicle can be expensive; the good news is that you don’t have to keep paying for something if you don’t need it.  Is your vehicle going to be out-of-use for a period of time? Consider reducing the coverage on your vehicle.

In the below infographic, The Extra Mile introduces you to important information about suspending your auto insurance. Consider each element before jumping into the change. Read Full Article

A Step-by-Step Guide to Storing Your Car for the Winter

Whether you are traveling to a warmer climate for the winter or you own a convertible or classic car that you don’t drive in the cold, snow, and ice, proper storage can prevent an array of problems, some of which cost hundreds of dollars to fix. For example, a storage mistake could lead to blemishes or rust on your paint job, mechanical problems, or even rodents taking up residence in your tailpipe.

To prevent these problems, follow this step-by-step guide to storing your car for winter:

1. Make sure your car is insured.

It’s important to protect your car with standard car insurance or classic car insurance, even when it’s in storage. There are several reasons to avoid letting your policy lapse even when you’re not driving the car. First, a gap in coverage could cause your premium to increase once you’re ready to reinsure your car. Second, if something happens to your car while it’s in storage (e.g., a tree topples onto it), insurance can help cover the costs of repairs.

If you own the car outright, it’s a good idea to maintain your comprehensive coverage. As long as you don’t plan to drive your car, or allow others to drive it, you can drop your collision coverage. Note that if you have an auto loan, your lender might require you to carry both comprehensive and collision insurance at all times.

Depending on your insurer, you can update your address and make changes to your coverage online.

2. Decide where to store your car.

If possible, store your car in dry location with a concrete floor, such as your garage or an indoor storage unit. Many self-storage facilities offer indoor and/or outdoor vehicle storage options. You can safely store your car in the elements for several months if you cover it properly, says Lauren Fix, aka “The Car Coach,” a nationally recognized automotive expert. However, if you need to store your car for years, it definitely should be kept inside. Read Full Article

What’s Your Accident Risk?

We all want to be safer drivers, but it can be difficult to improve something if you don’t have a way to measure it. Knowing your Accident Risk Level is a great first step to improving your safety behind the wheel.

We all want to be safer drivers, but it can be difficult to improve something if you don’t have a way to measure it. Knowing your Accident Risk Level is a great first step to improving your safety behind the wheel.
This quiz can help you learn what your Accident Risk Level is and areas where you can improve your driving habits.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Sommelier and wine enthusiasts selected Vault Field Vineyards In a blind taste test!

In a blind taste test of select wines from 14 wineries, a panel of a professional sommelier and wine enthusiasts selected Vault Field Vineyards 2010 Estate Bottled Reserve Red as the top wine at the Gloucester Wine Festival on September 22nd winning the “Best in Pour” trophy. The 2010 Reserve Red is a Meritage blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.

Keith, Joanne and Dan Meenan are the owners of Vault Field Vineyards in Kinsale. Vintners Keith and Dan adhere to the principle that good wines are made in the vineyard. The care of the vines is yearlong, starting with hand pruning during winter months. Next comes hand weeding and continued pruning during the growing season.  Finally, in late fall, when the grapes ripen, they are handpicked. The grapes are destemmed, individually sorted, fermented and aged in tanks and barrels on site. The result is high quality, premium wines.

Visit the winery in Kinsale, VA Thursday thru Sunday or by appointment.

http://vaultfieldvineyards.com/

The 5 Biggest Financial Threats to Your Small Business

Remember, no household is free from fire risk. And risks will change over time. It’s a good idea to take this assessment periodically to identify any changes.

Running a business is about balance. You have to balance your weaknesses with greater strengths. You have to balance your team with talented candidates in many different disciplines. You have to balance threats with opportunities or at least proactive measures to reduce those threats.

Threats to your business can come in many forms, from conceptual failures to real physical consequences. Some of the most dangerous threats are financial threats, which can escalate your costs, stifle your revenue growth, or in some other way compromise your profitability.

As you grow and develop your business, be sure to avoid these five major financial threats.

1. Losing a Major Client

Once you get your business up and running, you’ll probably have a handful of major clients or a major segment of your audience that you rely on for the majority of your revenue. The Pareto principle applies here for most businesses—approximately 80% of your business (or revenue) will come from 20% of your customers. Losing the bulk of that 20% of your customer base could be devastating for your revenue, leaving you with all the expenses of your original model without the income to offset them. Depending on the size of your business and the contingencies you have in place, it could spell disaster for your company in a matter of months.

The solution: The easiest way to prevent such a potential disaster is to strategically build your customer base. If you have one major client that provides the bulk of your revenue, try to find another that can balance them out, or build a backup of several dozen smaller clients so you aren’t as dependent. Similarly, you can expand your target demographics so you aren’t dependent on sales from one niche market. Either way, make sure you have formally drawn-up contingency plans that allow you to either drastically cut expenses or change strategies should your revenue suddenly diminish.

 

2. Overspending

It’s easy to overspend, especially when you’re excited about developing your business, but spending too much too quickly could wind up devastating your bottom line. The two main culprits here are marketing and hiring. On the marketing front, companies tend to overestimate the impact of their marketing campaign without grounding the numbers in research. As a result, they’ll throw thousands of dollars into a campaign they know nothing about, and might be forced to leave before they see any real results. On the hiring front, companies might hire a full team of full-time workers, anticipating increased demand, only to find their revenue growing far more slowly than expected. Read Full Article

14 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Fall

Danielle Gunraj

I love fall, especially early fall. Maybe it’s because the sweltering heat and the humidity of the New England summer dissipate and the weather transforms into crisp, clean breezes and cool nights. Maybe it’s because the leaves change from vibrant greens to jewel-toned reds, oranges, yellows and purples. As the author and philosopher Albert Camus describes it, the fall is “when every leaf is a flower.” Or maybe it’s because I take joy in knowing that school children have to wake up just as early as I do once again.

Whatever the reason, I’m really looking forward to it, even if it means that I’ll have to tackle some house and yard maintenance in the coming weeks. Here are my tips for getting your home into top shape this fall.

OUTDOOR PREP

1. Roof

Although you might want to wait until the majority of your leaves have fallen before you clean your gutters, clogged gutters can quickly lead to a watery mess, so it’s best to get started on this task sooner rather than later.

In addition to removing leaves and other debris, check for an accumulation of granules. This could indicate that your roof is losing its coating, so if you do notice a buildup, contact a roofing specialist. Once your gutters are clean, consider installing gutter guards to reduce the likelihood of a clog in the future.

And don’t forget to check your downspouts for clogs. One way to do this is to guide a plumber’s snake into the downspout to loosen the debris. It’s also a good idea to add downspouts extensions to direct the flow of water away from your home and foundation.

3. Siding

Be sure to check your siding for any cracks or gaps. With the weather cooling down, small animals might try to make their way into your home for shelter and warmth. Repair smaller holes with caulk and patch larger holes with new siding material. Also, touch up your exterior paint as needed. Not only will this increase your home’s curb appeal, but it will also help to shield your home from the elements.

4. Landscaping & Gardening

Have your tree branches trimmed, particularly those that are damaged, that are too close to your roof or power lines or that overhang your driveway. Cool weather is often accompanied by strong winds, and the last thing you need is for a tree to come crashing down on your car.

Once the leaves begin to fall, stay on top of raking them. You might be tempted to let them pile up, but there are a couple of reasons to avoid this.

  • Your Neighbors. Nothing annoys me more than my neighbor’s leaves blowing into my clean yard.
  • Your Yard’s Health. The more the leaves pile up and begin to break down, the more difficult they’ll be to clear away. If it snows before you’ve had a chance to rid your yard of them, they’re likely to stay on your lawn all winter, where they’ll block sunlight and encourage the growth of mold and fungus on your lawn. If this happens, don’t be surprised if you have to reseed next spring.

After you’ve cleaned up the majority of the leaves, apply fertilizer to your lawn to help prevent winter damage and so that it revives quickly next spring. Read Full Article

From THE BLOG
  • Seven Ways to Approach Retirement Challenges
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  • 10 Unique Ideas for the Perfect Holiday Gift
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  • How to Cyberproof Your Smartphone
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  • The 70 Best Moving Tips
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  • Can I Put My Car Insurance On Hold?
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  • A Step-by-Step Guide to Storing Your Car for the Winter
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  • What’s Your Accident Risk?
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  • Sommelier and wine enthusiasts selected Vault Field Vineyards In a blind taste test!
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  • The 5 Biggest Financial Threats to Your Small Business
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  • 14 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Fall
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  • Distracted Driving: It’s Not Just Your Cellphone
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  • 5 Steps to Buying the Perfect Fixer-Upper
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  • Finding the Best House Plan for You
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  • Crash Test Doggies: Prevent Your Pet from Becoming a Projectile
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  • 18 Questions to Ask References Before Hiring a New Employee
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  • Do I Need Business Liability Insurance for My Small Business?
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  • 7 Things You Should Know About Insurance Deductibles
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  • The 5 Most Important Financial Decisions Entrepreneurs Face
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  • 7 Surprising Dangers of Driving with Pets
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  • 7 Tips to Prevent Your Pup from Becoming a Liability When Renting
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  • Hunting Safety
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  • Fire Prevention: Rare Fires That Have Happened
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  • Is Your Dog the Subject of Prejudice?
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  • Protecting Your Business With Surety and Fidelity Bonds
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  • The Basics of Business Insurance for Small Business Owners
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  • 7 Things You Should Know About Insurance Deductibles
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  • When the Fire’s Below, How Do You Escape from Above
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  • Keith Meenan, President of Glascock & Meenan Insurance Agency (right), presents a $5000.00 check
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  • The Best Time of Day to Make Critical Business Decisions
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