Peace of Mind in Retirement

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Planning for retirement — and keeping that plan on track — can be difficult. You have to make sure your money grows so that it lasts as long as you do. There’s a product offered by life insurers that helps people with this challenge. It’s called a variable annuity.
A variable annuity is like a 401(k) plan in certain ways. Your savings grow tax-deferred, and you can invest in accounts tied to the stock market or at guaranteed rates. Like a 401(k), a variable annuity works best as part of a long-term planning strategy. A key difference between a variable annuity and many 401(k)s is that a variable annuity offers a guaranteed stream of retirement income for life to supplement Social Security. Put another way, a variable annuity’s guarantees provide two vital elements to any comprehensive retirement plan — financial security and peace of mind.
Like all financial products, a variable annuity has fees associated with it. Fees are assessed for management of the annuity’s funds — similar to mutual funds. Fees also pay for the annuity’s unique insurance elements such as guaranteed lifetime income in retirement, something that is not available in any other financial product.
Annuities can include other unique features to address your financial concerns. One such feature ensures that if you die before annuity payments begin, your designated beneficiary will receive a benefit from the annuity. The amount of the benefit is defined in the annuity’s contract and is guaranteed, even if your accounts tied to the stock market perform poorly.
Since they are designed to be long-term planning products, early withdrawal from variable annuities can trigger additional charges. These are commonly referred to as withdrawal or surrender charges. Often, after a time specified in the contract, these charges are eliminated. Some annuities waive them under specific circumstances such as death, confinement to a nursing home or terminal illness.
Variable annuities are among the most regulated financial products in the marketplace. These regulations provide variable annuity owners with significant protections. From product development to advertising to sale, life insurers must comply with state and federal laws and rules that protect consumers’ interests.
Variable annuities may not be for everyone. But for millions of retirees, the guarantees from variable annuities have been the difference between a secure retirement and an uncertain financial future.
More on variable annuities and how they may fit into a retirement plan is available at the American Council of Life Insurers’ website, www.acli.com.

Florida Remains Launch Pad to Space Thanks to Private Firms

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Since the first U.S. moon landing in 1969, we have been fascinated with the mystery of space. Fast forward to 2016, when we’re celebrating the 5th-year anniversary since NASA launched JUNO and the August 19 ULA Delta IV launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Despite the current U.S. space program weathering some storms, the aerospace industry is enjoying a renaissance, thanks to private firms in Florida and its recognition as the next high-tech utopia.
The High-Tech Corridor, located in Central Florida, is home to a plethora of companies such as Craig Technologies, Northrup Grumman, United Launch Alliance (ULA), Blue Origin and Space Florida, among others.
These companies are shaping the future, which holds a generous helping of manned space travel. ULA — a partnership between Lockheed Martin and The Boeing Company — has been working on a crew launch vehicle to fly the first Operation Test Flight (OFT) in late 2017. Blue Origin is building its new 750,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, set to open in December 2017.
“Today’s Florida space industry is a far cry from what it was six years ago,” says Frank DiBello, president and CEO of Space Florida, an economic development organization for the aerospace business. “We have revitalized the industry and today, we’re not only the busiest space port, but we’re now building and landing rockets, next-generation spacecraft, in state-of-the-art facilities.”
In order to feed the contractors who are flooding the Sunshine State, Florida’s colleges and universities are preparing a new workforce for the opportunities that a new space program will offer.
Colleges such as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach and Florida Institute of Technology are producing some of the world’s most elite and sought-after engineers and the next generation of rocket scientists. At the University of Central Florida, students are leading the world in simulation and nanotechnology sciences, as demand for these sciences continues to grow in both the public and private sector.
In addition to the presence of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), there are two spaceports in Jacksonville and on Florida’s Space Coast, Brevard County’s Cape Canaveral. An aerospace manufacturing powerhouse, Florida houses companies such as L-3 Crestview Aerospace in Florida’s Panhandle, B/E Aerospace in Palm Beach County, and HEICO in Broward County.
“Florida’s in a very unique position with a longstanding history, NASA, the various military bases, as well as some of the commercial aerospace industry that’s been here,” says Anish Patel, President of Radiant Power Corp. “We’ve got a strong foundation for technology, great universities, and good high schools that are feeding those universities.”
For more information, visit www.enterpriseflorida.com.

Get the Right Light for Outdoor Entertaining

OutdoorLivingLightingSummer is in full swing, but there’s still time to plan a relaxing staycation or backyard soiree while the evenings are warm and clear. To make the most of your family and friends time, look around your outdoor space to see if the existing lighting works properly and enhances the ambiance.

According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), a few updates to your outside lighting can make your alfresco time more enjoyable. And the best part? It doesn’t have to be time consuming or costly to transform your existing patio, deck or pool area into a lovely retreat.

9 out of 10 Americans More Likely to Come to London Following Brexit

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Take a walk through London this fall, and you will notice how the city’s world-famous museums and galleries are opening dozens of new exhibitions and events featuring the works of some of the most famous artists in history.
Picasso, Caravaggio, Pollock and Rodin are just a few of the names soon to be wowing the crowds. Coupled with inspiring exhibitions commemorating the Great Fire of London, 100 years of war movies and a photography exhibition from Sir Elton John’s collection, the city offers one of the most diverse cultural experiences on earth.
Last week at London’s Science Museum, Mayor Sadiq Khan officially launched London’s Autumn Season of cultural exhibitions and events, supported by the British government’s GREAT campaign, which aims to promote the U.K. internationally.
London & Partners, the mayor’s promotional organization, also revealed a piece of research that showed that two-thirds of U.S. tourists who have recently visited Britain are planning to come back, after the Brexit vote made the destination better value than ever before. A family of four will now save $10 on their tickets to Westminster Abbey, for example, whilst tickets are now $16 cheaper at the London Eye.
And an overwhelming 9 out of 10 Americans agreed that London offered the best cultural experience of any city in the world.
The mayor said: “Our city’s world-class museums, galleries and exhibitions have firmly positioned London as one of the most welcoming and culturally rich cities to visit. Not only does our unique cultural scene make a substantial and vital contribution to our city’s economic prosperity, but I’m delighted to see that London’s creative sector plays such an important role in entertaining tourists from across the Atlantic.”
So walk through London’s streets and get ready to celebrate the Autumn Season with highlights including William Kentridge: Thick Time at the Whitechapel Gallery, London Fashion Weekend at the Saatchi Gallery, Twilight Tours at the Tower of London, Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery at the Science Museum, Michael Clark Company at the Barbican and The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection at the New Tate Modern. For more information, visit Visitlondon.com/autumn.

Meeting the Health Care Needs of Next-Generation Consumers

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Even though they’re young, members of Generation Z have experienced the effects of a recession, so it’s no surprise they are prone to saving money for a rainy day. Yet one illness or injury that leads to an emergency room visit or inpatient care can result in medical bills that even a savings-conscious person didn’t anticipate. To help protect a starter salary or the money that Gen Zers have worked so hard to save for the future, young people should be educated about why voluntary health care coverage isn’t just for older generations. It’s lifestyle protection for everyone. Learn more at aflac.com.

The Great Divide: Balancing Travel and Protecting Delicate Ecosystems

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – For some, traveling is a calling, a way of life. It’s about those who are more traveler than tourist, who prefer upscale lodging, who are happy to hike, horseback ride or kayak as a mode of transportation.
In short, they are adventurers who recognize the importance of exploring the world, albeit responsibly, to leave as small a carbon footprint as possible.
Welcome to ecotourism, or as The International Ecotourism Society defines it: responsible travel to natural areas that doesn’t just conserve the environment, but also improves the well-being of local people.
As goodwill ambassador to the San Diego Zoo’s Zoological Society, Joan Embery knows there is incomparable value to this type of travel.
“The tourism market, if properly managed, can have a huge positive effect by educating people who become ambassadors when they come home and talk about their experiences,” says Embery. “For many countries, it’s a major source of revenue, giving value to the resources we want to protect.”
For those interested in seeing the world in a different way, travel guru International Expeditions (IE) can help. This Alabama-based company is well-versed in handling travel plans from the Amazon to Zambia. Whether your upscale adventure includes lemurs or penguins, birds or reptiles (and everything in between), IE takes care of all the details to make your vacation a seamless experience.
With the support of IE, travelers are free to absorb local lore, and sample local food and discover unique customs and cultural practices. The end result, according to the Matador Network, is economic growth paired with authentic and appropriate interactions between locals and visitors.
This attitude of respect and reverence for another country’s culture, said Embery, is key to eco-traveling, and why she continues to travel halfway around the world to places like East Africa.
“I always enjoy taking people there [to East Africa] because you can’t be disappointed. There is always something to see — the sights, the sounds, the sunsets, the landscape and just the expanse of it. It’s mind-boggling to realize that still exists,” she said.
For more information, please visit www.ietravel.com.

Katy Perry Helps Support Teachers and Students

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Did you know teachers spent hundreds of their own dollars each year on school supplies for their students? Katy Perry and Staples have teamed up to donate $1 million to support classrooms and encourage people to make their own donations at Staplesforstudents.com.

See full-sized image here.

Say Cheese! How What You Eat Affects Your Smile

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Face it: We live in a selfie-centric society that, combined with our health-driven lifestyles, makes a smile more important today than it has been in the past. And while your smile speaks volumes to the world around you, it should also mean a lot to you since it can boost your self-esteem and confidence. That’s why it’s so important to look at what you eat and learn how it can help or harm your teeth.
The Stainers
For many of us, a cup of coffee is essential to starting the day off right. For your teeth, it sets the stage for stains. And for those who like to have a glass of red wine at night, you’re also ending your day with a noted tooth stainer. Other culprits can include: tea, sports drinks, curry, berries, tomato sauce and candies.
The Eroders
Your enamel is not only vulnerable to obvious acids like citrus fruits, vinegar and white wine, but sugar can have an acidic effect on your enamel as well. Plaque bacteria use sugar to produce acid, which then eats away at tooth enamel. This means the sodas, juices, sports drinks and candies
— basically anything with sugar in it — can be eroding your enamel.
The Breakers
It goes without saying that biting into something very hard can damage your teeth. Similarly, something extremely chewy can pull on teeth and cause damage or loosen a crown. The foods to be wary of include: hard candies, chewy candies, ice, popcorn seeds and corn on the cob.
The Driers
That horrible “cotton-mouth” feeling after you’ve had a couple of drinks is actually bad for your teeth. When saliva flow is reduced, you stand a greater risk of tooth decay, oral infections and possibly gum disease. Triggers that can cause dry mouth include: alcohol, coffee, tea, caffeinated beverages and any salty foods.
Don’t despair! There are plenty of food options that actually promote tooth strength, whiteness and freshness. Feel free to indulge in fiber-rich fruits and vegetables that stimulate salivation. Cheeses, milk, yogurt and other dairy products are packed with calcium, phosphates, vitamin D and other minerals that promote all-over health. Also, calcium mixes with plaque and sticks to your teeth, providing protection from acids and rebuilding enamel on the spot. Green and black tea (without sugar added) can slow down tooth decay and gum disease by suppressing bacteria. Use fluoridated water to brew your tea, and you’ve just added a powerful decay prevention agent.
For more information and to locate an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry AACD member dentist near you, please visit www.YourSmileBecomesYou.com.

What Would It Take to Get You to the Dentist?

(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – If you’re like most Americans, you can probably think of 10 things you’d rather do than go to the dentist. Going to the dentist can be scary. It can be inconvenient. It can be expensive. And as a result, it’s rarely at the top of anyone’s "to do" list. In fact, 155 million American adults didn’t visit the dentist last year. Despite the large role dental health can play in overall health, dentistry has unfortunately become a discretionary "nice to do" instead of a "need to have" due in large part to these barriers.A new campaign from Aspen Dental that asks "What would it take to get you to go to the dentist?" has the company going to extremes to make dentistry easier for Americans to get into a dental chair and on track to good dental health. Now through December, you can share your "What Would It Take?" wishes on social media using the hashtag #AspenGetsIt. Some of those wishes — no matter how big or small — will be selected and fulfilled throughout 2016, so there’s still time to get involved and share yours now.To kick off the campaign, NASCAR driver Tony Stewart joined fellow driver Danica Patrick’s Turbocharged Tooth Fairy Squad at the Talladega Superspeedway, where they asked race fans "What would it take to get you to go to the dentist?" Over the course of two days, Stewart and the Tooth Fairy Squad surprised lucky fans with many of the things they said it would take to get them into that dentist chair: a Chevrolet Camaro, a fishing boat, an ATV, a cruise and more. Visit TurboToothFairy.com to watch the video and see one fan whisked away in a helicopter. The destination? The dentist.The campaign is the latest effort from Aspen Dental-branded practices to shine a light on the importance of oral health. It is designed to not only let patients know that Aspen Dental understands the barriers they face, but also signal that dentists and teams at Aspen Dental practices are willing to do whatever it takes to make dentistry easier. For more information, visit TurboToothFairy.com. 

Student Backpacks Are Literally a Big Pain

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Beware the overstuffed school backpack!
If you wonder why more kids than ever before are complaining about back and neck pain — and you should be, what with classes starting up again — a likely reason is that they’re weighed down by backpacks crammed with everything from textbooks to laptops to musical instruments.
Consider this: “The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission calculated that carrying a 12-pound backpack to and from school and lifting it 10 times a day for an entire school year puts a cumulative load on youngsters’ bodies of 21,600 pounds,” The New York Times reported, “or the equivalent of six mid-sized cars.”
No wonder experts warn that kids are putting themselves at risk of even more serious conditions like stress fractures in the back, inflammation of growth cartilage and nerve damage in the neck and shoulders.
“Over time, the heavy weight of a backpack can cause an unnatural alignment of the spine as students are forced to offset the pressure by arching the back or bending forward at the hips,” said Sherry McAllister, DC, executive vice president of the not-for-profit Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, adding that students who are already prone to slouching may experience further pain from sitting at a desk for prolonged periods.
Doctors of chiropractic, who have a minimum seven years of higher learning, specialize in providing drug-free, hands-on care that helps to naturally align and strengthen the spine. And since they also routinely advise on proper body positioning — especially important to ensure while children are still growing — the foundation knows from whence it speaks on these backpack-related tips:
* Limit packs to no more than 10 percent of a kid’s weight.
* Packs with padded straps and multiple compartments help distribute weight.