Don’t Overlook Critical Illness Insurance

Critical Illness insurance is a product that is not very well known by the consumer and therefore is considered the most overlooked type of insurance that an individual may take out. Often referred to simply as Critical Illness Cover, this is an insurance policy that pays a lump sum of money to an individual suffering from a life-threatening disease that is listed in the insurance policy as critical illness.

Critical Illness Insurance will pay the cost of the medical treatment, but if you are actually suffering from a critical disease, your chances to get this type of insurance are practical null. This type of coverage involves a waiting time (called survival period) after an individual has taken out a Critical Illness insurance policy. Thereafter, if he or she develops a critical illness the insurance company will make the Critical illness policy effective, but this will not happen when an individual has a pre-existing medical condition or the critical illness occurs during the waiting time stipulated in the policy.

Do Not Wait Until Your Health Is Deteriorated

One main reason that Critical Illness insurance is often overlooked is the fact of thinking that this kind of coverage is only for people who are prone to get sick sometime soon or when a member of their families suffered from a critical illness that could be inherited. However, the true fact is that the best moment to take out Critical Illness Insurance is exactly when people are healthy, regardless their chances to suffer from a critical illness.

Nobody can predict what is going to happen with their life and even if their medical history and that of their family is excellent, a sudden injury at the work place could be the root of a life-treating illness that may cause the type of illness that this insurance covers. Therefore, getting Critical Illness insurance is protecting your family in case you could no longer work.

Full Payout for the Most Costly Illnesses

This is something that you should keep in mind; the insurance companies usually pay in full the cost associated to four critical illnesses that may come naturally with aging, living factors and even environmental conditions, no matter what your actual health condition are cancer, stroke, heart attack, and coronary artery bypass surgery. Now, you can see that being an individual with a fragile health is not a determining factor to buy Critical Illness insurance.

This is Not an Alternative to Life Insurance

Many people believe that a Critical Illness Insurance Policy will provide them with the same protection that a Life Insurance policy provides. However, this is a wrong perception. Critical Illness coverage is a policy that pays for those days that you cannot work due to a medical condition that requires specialized attention due to its critical nature, preventing you from working as you regular would.

It will not pay any proceed to a beneficiary nor funeral expenses, just the treatment of the critical disease based on the terms that are included in your insurance policy. Thus, it is advisable to buy Critical Illness insurance to extend the benefits of your life insurance policy, but not as a “stand-alone” alternative.

How an Encapsulated Crawlspace Saves You Money

Many homes in America come with a crawlspace under them, whether the owner wants them or not. Unfortunately, standard insulation does little to prevent moisture penetration, and the installed vents rarely remove enough water vapor to be effective. Therefore, many crawlspaces are inadequately proofed against moisture.
The Problem

Bare soil allows moisture to percolate through it and evaporate into the crawlspace. Poured concrete will do likewise if it is permeable. This results in the crawlspace becoming a humid environment. In some instances, the humidity may condense back into a liquid. If this moisture gets into wooden structures, such as the beams supporting your home, it can result in mildew and mold. This mold may give off spores, which can be harmful to you and your family’s health.

Crawlspaces can also harm your finances by increasing energy usage. They can make your home colder in the winter, and hotter in the summer. This will tax your home’s heating and AC systems as they attempt to warm or cool your home, resulting in higher energy bills.

The Solution

There is a one-time solution to all these problems; crawlspace encapsulation. This involves lining the floor, walls, and piers with a vapor barrier. This barrier will trap moisture in the surrounding soil, preventing it from entering the crawlspace. The ineffective vents will be sealed over to prevent damp outside air from flowing in.

The Health Benefits 

Encapsulating your crawlspace will bring a number of benefits to your health and the environment.
? Better air quality within the crawlspace, which results in better air quality in your living space.
? Reduced humidity in the living space, which results in greater comfort throughout your home.
? Prevents the musty smells that may emanate from a humid crawlspace.
The Economic Benefits
What’s more, it will save you money in the following ways:
? It will help keep your home cool in the summer, and warm in the winter, reducing the need for air conditioning and heating, thus lowering energy bills.
? It is a relatively simple installation that only needs to be done once. This saves on the time and manpower costs which come with repeat treatments.
? It will prevent rot and mold spores, potentially reducing medical and repair bills.
? Helps to prevent insect and vermin infestation, thus potentially saving money on exterminators.
? Helps to preserve the floor, HVAC equipment, and other elements of the crawlspace you may have installed, thus lessening costly repair and replacement bills.

The task of encapsulating your crawlspace is relatively straightforward, so you could conceivably do it yourself, however, many companies offer this service. This is a wise investment, as crawlspace professionals will be able to assess what needs to be done, and ensure it is done correctly, preventing the need for costly remedial works.

Energy bills have been rising steadily over the last decade and may continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Therefore, encapsulating your crawlspace now could be a very wise investment which will save you money in the long run.

How to Get a Million Pound Mortgage

Seven Figure Mortgages are in Easier Reach than You Think

The continuing strength of the property market means million pound houses are becoming the norm. And mortgages are growing to match

The idea of a million pound mortgage might sound like the sort of financial product that is only available to the rich and famous. But think again. There are more than 770,000 UK properties worth a million pounds or more, and the vast majority are owned by everyday hard working people.

The truth is that there is nothing extraordinary about million pound mortgages in the present landscape and there are more psychological barriers than financial ones standing between you and a house on Millionaire’s Row.

Work with a trusted broker

Any mortgage represents a big ticket purchase decision, and it is vital to carefully assess the different products on offer. Clearly, with a mortgage that runs into seven figures, this is even more important. Choose your broker with care, and he or she will help you navigate the different types of lenders that will be queueing up to offer you a million pound mortgage.

High Street banks

For most of us, the obvious place to go to get a mortgage is your high street bank, but you might think you need something a little more specialist for such a large loan. This is not necessarily the case. The banks have adapted with the property market and many conventional high street lenders are prepared to offer as much as £3 million.

The downside to this option is that they typically work on the same “check box” process for a £1 million mortgage as they do for a £100,000 one. There is usually very little room to negotiate, mortgages are generally limited to standard repayment models and they will struggle to accommodate unusual circumstances.

Still, if you have an exemplary credit rating, a sizeable deposit and a good monthly salary, the high street lenders can offer the most compelling choice, as they typically offer highly competitive interest rates.

Private banks

A private bank will offer a far more tailored, bespoke service and treats every client on a case by case basis. Private banks are not as intimidating as many people think, but they will want to engage in a full financial relationship with their clients that goes beyond simply providing a mortgage. The more closely you engage with them, for example by placing your assets or investments in their care, the better the deal you are likely to get out of them on your million pound mortgage. In this respect, they are the polar opposites of their high street counterparts. It is all about flexibility and relationships.

Building societies

Not every building society got swallowed up by the big banks in the 1990s, and there are still some specialists out there that operate in the middle ground between the above two options. Their rates are a little higher than the high streets, but they typically have more flexible mortgage products available. And signing up for one is a straightforward matter with no strings attached.

There are pros and cons to each of these types of lender, so take time to run through your financial circumstances with your advisor to understand which is likely to work best for you.

4 Things You Should Know About Swing Trading


As an investor in the stock market, your primary aim is to meet maximum profits while minimizing risks. However, the dream of winning big can be rarely or frequently hampered by losses, depending on the market trends. With online trading, you achieve small profits while circumventing losses. The little profits, if consistently accumulated over time amounts to significant gains.

Currently, there is a wealth of online resources on swing trading. The resources, coupled up with tools, and platforms that support this type of trading is progressively attracting many investors. Key factors to note about swing trading include:

  1. Swing trading makes a perfect way to ease into trading

Generally, this type of trading doesn’t require spontaneous decision-making approaches compared to other types of trading. Rather, this particular type of trading has easy to grasp and implement strategies. Swing trading doesn’t focus so much into the intrinsic value of the stocks an investor wants to trade. Instead, it capitalizes on time, and the market shifts likely to occur within the given time.

Since swing trading captures short-term trends of stocks, it makes a perfect choice for a part-time trader. For instance, unlike day trading which requires an investor to open and close trade within the same day, swing trading proffers a holding time of between three to seven days.

2. Recognizing price action is a critical aspect of this type of trade

The art of understanding the shift in prices of stocks is what can make you a success. To gain significant returns on investments over time, you have to master how to identify when prices are stagnating, recognize when prices are rising, and be cautious to note when the patterns are plummeting.

A series of actions associated with good interpretation of the market structure include pre-market analysis and market overview in search of potential trades. Finally, watchlisting prospective stocks pre, during, and post market hours is also a good strategy. It is advisable that decision making is made during the pre-market hours while awaiting execution during the marketing hours is best. The decisions effectiveness can then be reviewed during postmarketing hours for necessary refurbishment.

3. Most concepts that apply to other forms of trading equally apply to swing trading

Despite being a different mechanism of trading, swing trading still holds most principles applied in other types of trading. Therefore, do not be too biased on learning the different patterns only associated with with one way of trading. The more you know, the better you will become.

As a futuristic trader, go beyond learning how the candlesticks work and make the extra effort of familiarizing yourself with the fundamentals that steer the market in general. Learn useful trading indicators, and much more, after that, apply all the relevant concepts to whatever trading venture you choose for better results.

4. Over analysis of market events can make a bad swing trader

Finally, since swing trading is not focused on the intrinsic value of a given stock, do not be caught up into the insignificant details. For instance, several shares from a given industry simultaneously gaining value is a good enough indicator that investors are pumping money into the industry. Any further analysis of such a scenario can lead to delayed action hence limited gains.  

4 Home Maintenance Tasks That Can Save You Money

Owning a home has many benefits, from keeping a roof over you and your family’s heads to serving as an investment that will hopefully increase in value over time. Homeownership is a joy, but it also takes work to care for your home and keep it in good shape. Here are four home maintenance tasks, which if done diligently, will save you money over time.

Keep Gutters Clean

Gutters are attached to the edge of your roof to collect rainwater and divert it away from the foundation of your home. Gutters can easily clog with leaves, sticks, and other natural debris. Once a gutter is clogged, it can trap rainwater and eventually lead to flooded basements and crawl spaces, as well as degrade the quality of a roof and lead to leaks.

Cleaning all your gutters of debris at least once a year will keep rainwater flowing smoothly away from your foundation and spare you from costly repairs in the future.

Replace Weatherstripping

Every place that a hole was cut through an exterior wall of your home — whether for a door, window, or air conditioner — is a place that air can leak out of your house. Depending on the season, you can lose precious heated or cooled air through those leaks. These small leaks will make your furnace or air conditioner work harder, which can decrease its life span and increase your utility costs.

Weatherstripping is the rubber or metal strips that can be installed around doors, windows, and indoor or outdoor appliances to make the leaks airtight and decrease your utility costs over time. As a bonus, stopping those leaks will keep your favorite picture window cozy for curling up in, no matter the season.

Install Clean HVAC Filters

Your HVAC system is likely the largest appliance in your home. HVAC systems not only control the temperature to keep your home comfortable year-round, but they also filter the air to keep dust particles, allergens, and bacteria from circulating throughout the house. To filter the air, heated and cooled air is pushed through a filter. Once that filter becomes clogged, the HVAC system has to work harder to push the air through, decreasing the system’s efficiency.

Luckily, HVAC air filters are relatively inexpensive and easy to switch out. Install a fresh air filter every three months or more frequently if you have pets.

Repair Water Leaks

At least once per year, check your toilets, sinks, and washing machine lines for water leaks. These leaks may not be obvious — especially in less-used areas like guest bathrooms — but they can cause serious damage. Leaking water can result in mildew, mold, and the need to replace flooring and sheetrock.

Checking for toilet leaks is simple with a little bit of food coloring, and sinks and washing machine lines can be checked with a visual inspection. If you see something amiss, either look to repair it yourself or call in a professional.

Your house is not only a place to call home but an investment in your future. Properly maintaining your house will make it comfortable for you and your family, saving you money by having you avoid big repairs in the future.

Read This Before You Sell Your Home for Cash: Must-Know Pros and Cons

If you’re a homeowner considering the option to sell your home for cash to a real estate investor, then this must-read list of pros and cons is for you!

Did you know that the housing market got influenced by the 2008 economic crisis?

As a matter of fact, the homeownership rate declined since 2005. Right now, the rate sits at 64.2%, a surprising slight increase after a decade of decrease.

If you’re in need of money, you might opt for a personal loan to cover for it. Sometimes you might not have the means and might sell your home for cash. Read on if you want to know how this affects you.

Pros

If you’re selling a house to a cash buyer, these are the pros you can expect. Read more here if you want a more in-depth discussion on the pros of selling your home.

1. Investors Buy As-is

There are a lot of people who can’t afford to repair their homes before selling, so if you don’t have the means of funding significant house renovations, cash offers become appealing. After all, your investors will buy your house in its current condition, no matter how bad it might be.

Completing the repairs on your own will cost you both time and money, and a lot of those renovations are necessary to put it up on the market. But the problem lies with the fact that you won’t get as much money in return.

You’ll get a low return on investment for projects like bathroom remodels. So if you want to make the most money, you can sell houses for cash instead.

2. You Avoid Contingency Clauses

There are a lot of contingency clauses on house contracts, and this helps protect buyers since they can back out of the deals. But these can become detrimental to you as a seller.

With this, you need to always keep vigilant when reading contracts since the fine print might say that the buyers only honor the offer if you meet certain conditions. It might be a time limit or something similar.

Either way, you don’t need to worry about it when you’re selling houses for cash since investors don’t need these contingency clauses. It’s an extra hurdle you avoid, making the process more convenient for you.

3. Financing is Different (In a Good Way)

The reason it takes forever to sell homes is due to the banks’ involvement. When borrowing money, you’re working on their timeline since the banks won’t care about your time constraints, regardless of reason.

Financing is the area home sales don’t excel in, that’s why it’s better to sell homes for cash since you don’t deal with banks at all. The investors often pay for any closing fees once you’re done with the deal.

4. Selling is Quicker

If someone shows interest in your home, you don’t need to go through all the processes that involve listing your home. You don’t need to hire professional photographers to make your house look attractive. It’s not required to spend hours to figure out a great marketing description as well.

You’re most likely not going to have an inspection. This allows you to skip out of any responsibilities involving repairs. With this, you also bypass any lending steps common when selling houses.

Often, all you need to do is to call investors. They’ll ask you some questions and make offers based on your answers. You can choose to take it or try somewhere else, making it quick.

Most deals close within a week or two, so you get money without waiting for long. The simplicity and speed can make it a better deal if you don’t have all the time in the world.

Cons

Selling homes for cash is a great way of getting money. But it’s not all benefits for you since there are drawbacks when you opt for this option. Here are some of the few:

1. You’ll Get Lowballed

Any investor buys houses for specific prices. Yet it’s important to remember that you’re trading speed with money when it comes to cash sales. A vast majority of your potential investors will try buying your home for a lot less than its real value.

In most cases, companies will offer around 65%-80% of your home’s fair market value. This means that you get an average of 23% less value per square foot of your property. Remember, investors aren’t buying because they want to live in your home.

Your investors aim to flip the property and sell it at a higher rate for profit. So if you want to get a lot of money, you’re better off hiring a reputable listing agent. You can still get better offers even if your asking price is lower when using the traditional methods.

2. Most Investors Aren’t Local

Companies that buy homes for cash often run a nationwide business. What this means is that they have minimal knowledge of your locality. They’re buying your house with no regard to certain factors since all they care about is to resell it faster.

That means they won’t take your neighbors into consideration. They won’t care whether your area is close to a lot of great places. They’ll disregard the fact that your neighborhood has a low crime rate.

If you want to get a better deal, you might have to sell your house to locals. These people will care about these factors and put it into consideration. That way, you get someone who can use your house and add more to your beloved neighborhood.

Learn How to Sell Your Home For Cash Today!

If you want to sell your house, you need to understand your options. When you’re not concerned about the time it takes, you can go with the traditional method. There are a lot of things that you need to do, but in the end, it will get you a higher monetary value.

When you sell your home for cash, you can expect a fast deal. But it’s often lower than your actual home’s worth. If you don’t want to pay more for renovations, this option is the best.

Do you need tips for selling your home? Check out our guide here and get more tips for a good asking price.

4 Legal Documents You Should Know About

There are a variety of legal documents that currently exist, some of which are easy to identify. However, the mention of most of these documents may come as a surprise to many. It’s important for all citizens to comply with all legal expectation required by the government.

Legal documents serve the imperative role of protecting your loved ones, personal property, assets and most importantly, the legacy you leave behind.

Here are 4 legal documents you should know about:

  • A will

The will is a crucial legal document that every individual needs to create. It lists all your assets and stipulates who gets each of your personal property. It’s best to create your will using the appropriate legal channels. Therefore, consult your attorney prior to commencing. Having a well-written will helps to secure the future of your kids and also allows you to distribute your property as you wish. If you own a prime estate, you should indicate who administers it after you’re gone (the executor). This ensures that the estate is handled by a responsible individual.

  • Social security card

The U.S. government requires all American citizens to have a social security card. Some scenarios in which you might need this card including applying for a job, opening a bank account and utilizing a credit card. You will certainly require to fill Form ss-5 when applying for your unique social security card. When filling this form, it’s important to consider your circumstances – some fill it because their social security card was stolen/lost while others fill it because they were recently married. But whichever the case, you must provide some key information when filling form ss-5. This includes your citizenship status, name and date of birth.

  • Medical Directive

This popular legal document is also called a living will. It explains the sort of care you desire to receive should you fall ill or become incapacitated. It can either be specific or wide-ranging, depending on your own preferences. Living wills normally define medical issues such as life-sustaining treatments. This document is extremely important because it dictates how health professionals should proceed should you fall terribly and lack the ability to communicate. You might be currently healthy, but our bodies degenerate as we age. We are also prone to accidents and unfavorable incidents that may leave us in terrible states. That’s why it’s crucial to have a succinct medical directive.

  • Revocable living trust

Wealth comes with its distinct set of complications. In a few cases, children forcibly take over the property and estates of their parents, much to the chagrin of the latter. A revocable living trust is a critical legal document that helps prevent such scenarios from happening. It secures your parents’ control and management of their estates, allowing them to transfer assets to beneficiaries as they deem fit. Simply put, parents become the executors of those property, estates and assets that they own. This revocable living trust effectively circumvents estate probates when their owners pass away.

These 4 legal documents will certainly come in handy at one point or another, so act hastily to avoid ruffling the feathers of law enforcers.