Four Home Improvement Mistakes

When doing home improvements – watch out for these common mistakes:

Mistake #1: Any renovation is a good one.
You may think that renovating your home is always a good idea, but be cautious not to make your renovations too specific to your lifestyle wants if you are planning to sell your home soon. Just because you may want a living garden in the middle of your home, bear in mind that not a lot of prospective home buyers will have a green thumb!

Mistake #2: I can do it myself.
There is no doubt that home renovation stores are doing a booming business. While much of the work you may be able to handle yourself, be sure not to stretch beyond your own capabilities and knowledge. Make sure your renovation looks good on the outside and on the inside. There are many codes that you have to adhere to, and when it comes to plumbing, electrical and gas work, it might be well worth your while to have a professional look after some of the work for you. Know your own limitations, and don’t be afraid to ask for or hire help when it’s warranted.

Mistake #3: Pools and hot tubs add value.
A lot of people think adding a swimming pool or hot tub is a sure seller. That is often not true. Pools certainly add value in many warmer climate regions, but in the northern hemisphere, be cautious. Pools can be very expensive to maintain, and a big expense to remove. Always bear in mind that only a small percentage of buyers want a pool or a hot tub, so if you have one, you may limit your potential resale market.

Mistake #4: The latest is the greatest.
Many homeowners think it’s a good idea to follow the latest design trends. Not true. For instance, peach wallpaper went out in the ’80s. Outdated features must go before a house goes on the market. Granite counters could be shag carpet of the future. Neutral colors or palettes have more of a timeless feel and will appeal to far more people. Choose a timeless design, and spice things up with easy to change items such as paint color. It’s a whole lot easier to repaint than to peel wallpaper or replace carpets.

Well it’s hard to believe that Cupid’s favorite month is already upon us! Before you know it the snow will be melting and it will be time to dig out the lawn mower. Maybe that’s wishful thinking, but it’s allowed is it not? Hope you enjoy this months articles – they are both all a worthwhile read!

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A Better Understanding Of Health Insurance

In the present world where medical services and prescriptions are becoming costlier and difficult to afford health insurance plays a great necessity. Just like our other forms of indemnity, health insurance is also the collection of premiums by means of which people secure the health risks (medical expenses) that they might encounter.

The health insurance plan is actually an agreement between an individual or a sponsor (employer) and the health insurance company who would compensate or pay for most or all of the medical expenses incurred by the individual. These health coverage plans usually work by paying monthly, quarterly, half yearly or yearly premium. This contract can be renewed yearly or also kept for life long. The premium and the benefit amount is however decided upon the age of the individual and the time duration of their plan along with the premium amount that is affordable by them.

In some countries we have insurance companies that is public owned, while in others it is organized by a non-profit or by a for-profit company.

Health plans can be divided into four categories: health maintenance organizations, point of service plans, preferred provider organizations, fee-for service plans. We also have prescription plans, health saving accounts, discount plans and so on.

Health maintenance organizations (HMO): is a prepaid plan found in the US. This plan pays for the coverage in advance, instead of paying for each service separately i. E., you pay a monthly premium and in return, you get a comprehensive coverage for you and your family including doctors visit, x-rays, emergency care, lab tests and so on. Depending on the premium you select, HMO will offer range of benefits from dental to vision.

Point of service plan: this plan allows you to manage your plan. This is an option provided by HMO where if your doctor refers to someone outside the network then the plan pays all or most of the bill. If you refer someone out of the network and if that is covered in your plan then you would have to pay coinsurance.

Preferred provider organizations: in this plan you can use the doctors you prefer out of the network and still the plan would cover some part of the bill, but you would land up paying a larger amount. Some people prefer this option, as they don’t have to change their doctors just to join this plan.

Fee-for service plan: as the name says it depending on your service, the hospital would send the bills to the cover company and they will cover that particular expense. For this plan there would be a specific deductible every year, only then the coverage would start reimbursing the expenses.

Individual health insurance is when we take health coverage on an individual basis and not in a group. This can be sold to a single person, a family, or a dependent child or to a parent. Individual coverage generally works out much higher than group coverage. The individual health insurance policy varies for each state. They have their own means of implementing the marketing and selling strategies.

Sometimes health insurance might include dental plan with a much higher premium else it would have to be taken separately. Dental plan is an insurance designed to pay for dental expenses. We have individual, family and group dental plans. If you are self-employed or the insurance provided by your employer doesn’t include dental coverage, then individual dental plans come handy. Like health insurance plans, dental plans also have various types of coverage like HMO dental plans, Preferred provider organization dental plans and so on. There are various plans offered by companies where about 60% of the bill amount would be covered or reimbursed.

There are many healthcare companies like the United Health Care, CIGNA, Aetna, Blue Cross, CHCS Services Inc, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Continental General Insurance Company, Great – West Healthcare, Harvard University Health Services, Health New England, Chinese Community Health Plan and so on.

Learning the Etiquettes of Corporate Gifting

Giving away corporate gifts is important for businesses in order to strengthen their business relations. Year-ends and holidays are some such opportunities, when businesses can rekindle the spark of their brand name among their stakeholders, clients and media associates by sending corporate gifts. If you are also a business owner, then there are certain things about corporate gifting that you must know. Continue reading to enrich yourself in this regard.

Whom to gift?

It depends on your business type and you can only answer to it by closely examining who all are important for your business, especially for its future growth. You should gift corporate gifts to your clients, suppliers, employees, loyal customers, and media associates. Where you must not miss gifting your old clients, there, you also must start building strong relations with new clients by giving away gifts. Make a list of those, whom you need to gift.

What to Gift?

For your top executives and best of the clients, you must choose corporate gifts which cater to the gift receiver specific interest or hobby. You can gift better, if you chose the persons individually. This helps in easy decoding of the gifts. In this section of people, the gift must be something that is classy, desirable and of course expensive. It can fine wine, a sterling silver ball mark or a putter for a golfer. For other employees, you should also opt something that is usable, like an elegantly crafted box or a leather desk set or anything of utility purpose. Similarly for giving away to media associates also you should choose something of high utility like a letter opener, a pen set or some desk accessory. But for all kinds of gifts, you must use packaging engraved with your business logo and name, this is one way to promote your brand.

When to gift?

Never miss on those occasions, when you know your gift receiver is positively expecting gifts from you. It’s important that you keep your employees, business associates happy and gratified by giving away gifts in their expected times. But gifting at unusual and not expected time is also a smarter move, especially with your clients. Surprise gifts are always appreciated and it brings your clients professionally more close to you as your gifting behavior delivers certain personal inputs into your professional relationship. Such occasions can be your clients’ birthday, marriage anniversary, your company’s annual tenure completion etc.

How To Write A Retro Game Review

Reviewing a retro video game differs in many ways from your traditional video game review. In general, a video game review is written as close to the release date as possible, if not before it’s even been released, so as to obtain as much exposure as possible to the article in question while interest in the subject is at it’s peak. In a normal video game review, comparisons and observations are made keeping in mind current day gameplay mechanics and expectations of growth within the video game industry. But in a retro game review, one must be willing to make many sacrifices and be able to live in both the present and the past.

Before writing a retro game review you should ask yourself why you want to write it in the first place. Is it to bring exposure to a video game you remember from childhood? Is it to show how far video games have come since the 80’s? Retro game reviewers are not unlike historians. We do thorough research on every title we come across and take into consideration the social, political and economic climate present when the title was produced. As well, we study advancement in the industry retrospectively, learning who did what and how we got to where we are today.

But being a retro game reviewer is hardly all about the glory. You should consider the following before setting out to write:

The niche in question is incredibly small with little potential to monitize; you are dealing with products that are typically not being sold anymore, and probably haven’t been sold in a decade or more.
Those that are interested in the niche are incredibly passionate and you must be willing to accept a great amount of both criticism and praise from a very eccentric demographic.
Although the nich is small and most information out there is dated and thus a few slots are ripe for the taking, the competition is old and fierce; although not as difficult to break into as a general gaming niche it is still difficult. After all, what can you offer that Wikipedia can’t?

So, let’s say you have either the initiative or the capability to do what it takes, how exactly do you write a retro game review? Well, as with almost all venues of journalism for the most part you are free to do it however you wish. There are, however, some points that you can consider in order to facilitate the writing process. So without further hesitation, here are some tips on how to write a retro game review.

Refrain from your typical numerical or “star” rating systems. You are reviewing content that is usually only relevant in a historical sense, and thus any rating you could give a game are largely arbitrary. A game might once have been a 10 out of 10 or a D minus back in the day, but by today’s standards could be considered either influential or to have aged quite poorly (or both!)

Do research about the game itself, outside of gameplay. What was notable about it’s release. Who designed it, and who was the president of the company at the time? Was the game meant to compete with another company’s game?

Provide the reader with just enough history to interest the reader without becoming to insistent about it’s origins. After all, if they want to know everything about it, they’d have gone to Wikipedia. Just enough history to tell the reader why it’s relevant to the industry is enough.

Use terms and descriptions that a gamer who hasn’t played the game in question before would understand. Use terminology that most gamers would use.