Category: Home Surveillance

Working From Home? No Problem Here’s How To Be Productive – Shelcy V. Joseph

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While many people would choose to work from home if they could, some actually prefer going to the office every day. One of the reasons being that they find it easier to focus at their desk, than when they’re in pajamas, working with a laptop on their bed. And it makes sense. When you’re left to yourself (without the scrutiny of your boss and other people at the office), staying disciplined and productive can be a challenge……

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/shelcyvjoseph/2018/09/15/working-from-home-no-problem-heres-how-to-be-productive/#56f69a934a95

 

 

 

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Home Improvement & Remodeling Ideas that Increase Home Value (And What to Avoid) – Heather Levin

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With the real estate market still in a slump, more and more people have decided not to sell their home. Instead, they have chosen to stay put, until things get better. I count myself in this group; I had my own home on the market for two years. My house sold, and the sale fell through, on two separate occasions. As a result, I’ve resolved to stay put until the real estate market improves.However, now that I’ve decided to stay in this home instead of moving, I plan to make several home improvements to make my home more comfortable (e.g. building a sunroom to combat the dreary Michigan winters, and building a backyard deck)…..

Read more: https://www.moneycrashers.com/7-home-improvements-to-increase-its-value

 

 

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Simple Desk Improvements That Make an Open Office Easier to Bear – Alan Henry

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Open floor plans and “flexible” office seating are common in today’s modern, meticulously designed workplaces. While designers and managers hope that they’ll improve communication by encouraging people to talk to one another, more than a few studies have pointed out that they may actually do the opposite, and instead are simply designed to be cost-effective. And there is widespread agreement that they make workers miserable.

If you’re stuck with an open floor plan, there are a few things you can do to block out the noise, focus and make your work space a bit more inviting every day.

Make Yourself at Home

A few personal effects, like a photo, a desk toy that expresses your personality or a sweater you can wear if it gets too cold (and we all know how chilly it gets in open offices) will make your desk — flexible seating or not — feel like a place you can settle in and get work done. Add a water bottle, hand sanitizer and lotion, and it’ll really feel like home. I like to keep an umbrella and a blazer in my desk storage, depending on the season.

Roy Mann, chief executive and co-founder of monday.com, a company that helps teams collaborate better, said he likes to keep a few clocks visible — not just the ones on your laptop or phone.

“We do this so that people can measure their time,” Mr. Mann said, “understand how long meetings take, and assess how much time they’re spending on projects.”

Similarly, consider a few quality-of-life upgrades for your desk, like a wireless charging pad to keep your phone’s battery topped off during the day. If your phone doesn’t support wireless charging, or even if it does, a powered USB hub keeps everything charged and also gives you a way to plug in additional gadgets.

Wirecutter, the New York Times company that reviews products, has suggestions for both USB 3.0 hubs and hubs for newer computers that use USB-C. They also have a great pick for a multi-port USB charging hub that’s small enough to stash on any desk, even a shared one. Just remember to bring a good charging cable.

If you don’t have an assigned desk but do have storage like a closet, locker or cabinet, make sure your effects are also portable enough to store. You may even consider bringing a small tote bag, so you can pack up your stuff at the end of the day and grab it when you arrive in the morning.

Add Some Green

A little greenery can create a more relaxing space, and office friendly plants like succulents and air plants are easy to care for. They’ll survive if you have to switch seats, stay home sick for a few days or go on vacation. We have suggestions for plants that are hard to kill and tips to care for indoor plants.

Whatever you do, make sure the plants will thrive in your specific desk environment. Even if the plant you buy doesn’t need a lot of water, it may not do well in fluorescent lighting, far from the windows. Others might be fine without direct light, but a chilly office will stunt their growth. At my last job, I had a set of succulents that were too close to a cold, uninsulated window, so they didn’t grow until I moved them away from it.

Use Headphones to Cancel the Noise

Office designers hoped that open floor plans would encourage workers to collaborate by physically removing the barriers to communication. Instead, headphones became the new walls, because those open plans can get loud, and privacy is at a premium. I’m a headphones-in-the-office enthusiast, and while they can certainly make some office interactions a little awkward, it’s not difficult to overcome, and the trade-off in privacy is more than worth it.

Not all headphones are equal, and not all headphones are great for the office. So-called open-back headphones offer more expansive, rich sound, but the open back means everyone around you can hear a little of what you’re listening to. Closed-back headphones, on the other hand, offer a little more isolation, which means sound quality can feel more closed in and tight, but you won’t treat the person next to you to an impromptu concert.

You could use the same earbuds you use with your phone; if you need help finding good wireless earbuds, check out Wirecutter’s guide. However, if you want good audio and a clearer way to signal “I’m working,” you need a pair of over-ear, noise canceling headphones.

Both Wirecutter and I agree you can’t beat the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II. They’re comfortable to wear for long periods, offer great audio quality and feature noise cancellation that will block out background noise like chatty co-workers (as long as they’re not the really chatty ones.) They are pricey, so Wirecutter has plenty of other, budget-friendly options as well.

Use Music to Help You Focus

Not everyone likes music while they work, but I find an upbeat, instrumental playlist helps me tune out the rest of the world and focus. You probably have a favorite streaming music service already, or even a killer playlist you listen to when you’re in the zone, but consider trying one of those services’ mood-based stations as well.

Spotify and Google Play Music, for example, let you type in a word like “focus” or “work,” and will automatically play songs to encourage you to get things done. If you don’t care for what Spotify or Google serves up, YouTube has user-driven, live-streaming music channels that play specifically “music to work or study to,” like lo-fi, instrumental hip-hop stations and other 24/7 streaming stations playing subdued, instrumental, electronica intended to help you focus. If you’d prefer more control, Pandora is always a good bet because you can prompt the service with an artist or song and let it handle the rest.

Get Away Sometimes

Regardless of your work space, try to get away from it sometimes. Working from home is a great option if it’s available to you. If it’s not, try to find a quiet corner in your office to escape the noise. You might even try camping out in an empty conference room for a few hours, or book it for most of the day to give yourself — and maybe a few of your colleagues — a quiet place to be productive.

Mr. Mann endorsed this idea. “Sometimes, you just need a few minutes of privacy or a room to to focus and not be disturbed,” he said. “The smaller rooms are essential to success in an open work space as it gives people an opportunity to work privately or quietly together. An open space also allows for large public areas to be built for gathering and socializing. For an open space to be effective, people also need to have the ability to sit alone or with someone else in private.”

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When Should Children Have Access To Their Inheritances – Rob Clarfeld

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Regardless of whether or not you are subject to the estate tax, it is essential to have a current will and related documents. I recently wrote two articles on the sticking points that can cause well-intended adults to delay the execution of their estate plan: Choosing an Executor of your Estate and Naming Potential Guardians for Minor Children.

Another common consideration is determining the appropriate time for children to have access to their inheritance.  Although my focus here is on distributions from trusts created by a will (testamentary trusts), these considerations also apply to trusts created during your lifetime (inter-vivos trusts).

A major distinction between your will and lifetime irrevocable trusts is that; during your lifetime your will can be regularly updated to reflect current thinking, while amending or changing provisions within a lifetime irrevocable trust will generally be more restrictive and often require a statutory solution (decanting), where possible, or having to seek permission from the courts.

Generally, distributions can be discretionary, mandatory or event-driven. For most (with high confidence in a trustee), I recommend a combination of allowing for both mandatory and discretionary powers to make distributions – assuming the facts and circumstances allow for it.

The most common distribution structure we’ve seen over time seems to include mandatory distributions at specified ages – i.e. ages 25, 30 and 35. This could mean that one-third of the principle is distributed at age 25, one-half of the balance at age 30, and the remaining balance distributed at age 35.

Prior to or between mandatory distributions, the trust can provide that the fiduciary has the power to make either fully discretionary distributions or distributions under some “ascertainable standard,” such as for the beneficiary’s health, education, maintenance and support (HEMS). The power to distribute can be very broad (absolute) or narrow – the HEMS standard is a statutory standard that lies somewhere in between and may provide certain tax protections.

I find it interesting that clients with young children often initially choose ages 25, 30 and 35, only to then stretch out the ages of mandatory distributions as both they and their offspring age. This implies that any initial confidence the parents had in their children’s ability to handle large sums of money early on (e.g. age 25) dissipates as the distribution becomes more imminent and, perhaps, the monetary sum increases.

A common alternative is to allow for a portion of the principal to remain in trust for the beneficiary’s lifetime, while granting current beneficiaries the power to appoint future beneficiaries (e.g. descendants). Putting aside one’s choice of ages of distribution, I favor a hybrid approach that combines some mandatory distributions with the ability to make discretionary distributions for assets in continuing trusts. To me, this approach stands out for its flexibility and asset protection benefits.

Specifying only mandatory distributions or event-based distributions (i.e. earning a degree, marrying, passing drug screens, etc.), greatly reduces the fiduciary’s flexibility. As a fiduciary for many estates and trusts, I often see inflexibility as an unnecessary impediment to a more successful plan particularly when a beneficiary’s life circumstances change.

For example, recently a beneficiary with a medical degree finished his residency and chose to specialize in high-risk surgery. As a trust provides a significant degree of asset protection, I would have preferred that at least a portion of the principal remain in trust for the beneficiary’s lifetime. This would have been most beneficial to the beneficiary given his exposure to potential future liability due to his choice of profession.

Of course, decisions with respect to trust distributions include both the principal (as discussed above) and the income that is generated by that principal. It has been common to allow income distributions at age 21 or some other age. However, it should be noted that when an estate plan is designed, you may be unsure of the ultimate size of the children’s inheritance, thus requiring mandatory income distributions (or principal distributions) that may lead to very large distributions at relatively young ages.

An alternative approach can be to designate an income stream in today’s dollars, and then build in a cost of living adjustment to account for inflation. Even better, perhaps, would be to allow for income distributions to simply be at the discretion of the trustee. By giving greater flexibility to the fiduciary, distributions can be made based on the requisite need at the time.

Overall, there is not a “one size fits all” solution to these situations. It is of paramount importance to invest the appropriate amount of time, thought and care when drafting these documents. Doing so will help to lay the groundwork for more favorable outcomes later in life that ultimately better reflect the grantor’s initial intentions.

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How To Make Home Made Free Energy – Free Video Reveals A Crazy Secret To Cut Your Electric Bills | Online Marketing Tools

Source: How To Make Home Made Free Energy – Free Video Reveals A Crazy Secret To Cut Your Electric Bills | Online Marketing Tools

How To Make Your Home Energy And Cost Efficient

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Are you planning on making your home more energy efficient right now or in the near future?  If so, pay attention! There’s finally a new, breakthrough book created just for people like you! And, if you really want to have the most beautiful, utility bill that will bring a smile to your face, then this book is definitely for YOU! This book covers everything there is to know about scrapbooking. In fact, some people have called it the “Energy Efficient Home Manual “. It’s like having your very own energy star expert that you can reference and ask questions anytime that you need to. You’ll uncover a wide array of tips including interesting facts that made them what they are today!

You’re going to discover so many things on how to transform your house to being more energy efficient with little effort!  Not only will you discover alternative sources of fuel, but you’ll also learn extra bonus tips to actually teach people.
Here’s Just “Sneak-Peak” At What You’ll Uncover With How To Make Your House Energy And Cost Efficient

Discover how to determine your current costs.
Learn the cost of savings analysis.


Find out exactly how to get started on your biggest needs.
Discover how exactly to save big money with windows.
Learn how to start small for huge savings.
Discover the fireplace advantage.
Find out all the energy saving tips to develop.
Discover how to properly use your thermostat for your energy saving needs.
Learn exactly what energy star is and how to use it to your advantage.
Discover how to make the outside of your house energy efficient easily.
Learn all about alternative sources of fuel.
Discover how build your new home to meet your energy saving needs!
Learn all the little things you can do to save huge on your bottom line.
Plus much MUCH More!

This new breakthrough book is a guide, really.  A guide as a result of years of searching, studying, and scouring hundreds of websites, stores, and magazines.

And this isn’t one of those “Latin” books where you don’t understand what’s being said.  Everything is in plain English, so you can put the Latin book away 🙂  This easy to read home energy savings book is completely comprehensible and won’t take weeks to read.