One New Year’s Resolution You Don’t Have to Keep to Be a Winner

(NewsUSA) – Looking for a resolution that can literally pay off even if you wind up not keeping it? Think your finances.That’s right, unlike the gazillions of other New Year’s pledges we make this time of year only to soon break — can you spell D-I-E-T?– simply vowing to handle fiscal matters better can have "a positive impact" on your bottom line.That’s one of the more intriguing findings from Fidelity Investments’ just-released eighth annual "New Year Financial Resolutions Study," and it’s based on stats like these comparing respondents who said they’d made financial resolutions at the start of 2016 to those who hadn’t:* Resolvers beat non-resolvers when it came to ending 2016 more debt-free than the previous year (45 percent vs. 34 percent).* They also now feel more "financially secure" (45 percent vs. 34 percent).* And they also feel more optimistic about their finances looking ahead to 2017 (52 percent vs. 37 percent).And those who actually did follow through on their resolutions?Sixty-six percent said they’re now "in a better financial situation."The fact is, people who make resolutions on money matters tend to feel better about the state of their finances, which helps them stay engaged and make progress toward their goals," says Ken Hevert, Fidelity’s senior vice president of retirement.So what did the study find to be the top three financial resolutions for 2017?Turns out Americans are remarkably consistent.For the eighth straight year, saving more topped the list among those at least considering making a resolution (50 percent), followed by paying down or paying off debt (28 percent), and spending less (16 percent).And while Americans were optimistic about 2017 — Millennials being the most upbeat, with 87 percent of them believing they’ll be better off financially — those surveyed had some real concerns. Chief among them: the dreaded "unexpected expenses," which was Number One last year, too."Whether it’s a new roof for your home or a medical emergency, the unexpected can throw your finances for a loop," says Hevert. "In fact, for those whose resolutions fell short in 2016, almost three-quarters said they were derailed by unforeseen expenses, so setting aside an emergency fund can create a buffer."Which makes resources like Fidelity’s new online "Three Financial Resolutions for 2017" especially worth reading. It includes a rather savvy tip on how people could find themselves with a $22,000 windfall if — instead of paying the typical household’s $43 a month in bank and credit card fees — they switched to no-fee institutions and invested that money over 20 years at a hypothetical compound annual growth rate of 7 percent.Hmmm. Not a bad addition to anyone’s resolutions list -; only, in this instance, they’d have to follow through on it. 

Reverse Mortgage Can Help With Retirement Planning

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – This article is a paid advertisement. The content was provided by One Reverse Mortgage.
When people want access to money from the equity in their home, they often turn to a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). But homeowners who are 62 and older may have another option — the reverse mortgage line of credit. Similar to the HELOC, a reverse mortgage line of credit’s value is based on the equity in your home, and you can access the money whenever you need it.
Unlike a HELOC, the available funds in a reverse mortgage line of credit can be a big benefit for many people, because whether they ever use it or not, the reverse mortgage line of credit grows in value. This can be a great safety net that can cover future expenses for financially savvy clients. Another way people use the reverse mortgage line of credit is by receiving monthly distributions to live on while they defer the use of their retirement assets. This, in turn, may allow those assets more time to grow.
The reverse mortgage line of credit is widely used due to its many features. Some financial advisors are recommending that the reverse mortgage line of credit be used as a financial tool in retirement planning. But the line of credit is just one way to receive your proceeds from your reverse mortgage. You have other options, too. One of the best features of all reverse mortgage products is that you are not required to pay monthly mortgage payments; however, you are still responsible for paying homeowners insurance, property taxes, and home maintenance costs.
To receive more information, request a free guide from One Reverse Mortgage by visiting www.onereversemortgage.com/nu/ or call (888)779-8011 to speak to a licensed specialist. The licensed specialists at One Reverse Mortgage are trained to answer any questions you may have and get you started with a reverse mortgage product.
Equal Housing Lender. Listed in all 50 states. One Reverse Mortgage NMLS #2052
These materials are not from HUD or FHA and were not approved by HUD or a government agency.

Small Wineries Find Creative Ways to Thrive

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – A real-life David and Goliath battle is brewing in California wine country, as smaller wineries fight to compete against behemoth wine companies–corporations and private equity funds that are changing the face of the West Coast’s wine industry forever with a frenzy of acquisitions.
“2016 will be remembered as one of the busiest years in M&A history for California wine, in terms of numbers of transactions and the amount of high-profile purchases,” says George Coope, an analyst for Zepponi & Company.
Higher wine consumption; consumer interest in more expensive, higher-quality wines (known as “premiumization”); and lower interest rates are among the forces driving the trend. Premiumization is perhaps the most important trend shaping today’s U.S. wine industry, according to Coope.
So how do the small vintners thrive and compete? Some streamline the number of wines offered; others focus on building their wine clubs and relationships with consumers who purchase direct. One California winery has taken an unconventional approach–creating a values-based partnership with a like-minded winery in another part of the world.
Jordan Vineyard & Winery, in Sonoma County, and Champagne AR Lenoble in France, recently announced a new kind of collaboration. This one requires no financial investments; just two family-owned wineries sharing expertise and each other’s wines. Jordan now serves guests who attend Jordan culinary events and winemaker dinners Jordan Cuvée by Champagne AR Lenoble. AR Lenoble also serves Jordan wines to its guests at the winery in the village of Damery. Both wineries take pride in being independent in today’s globalized wine world.
“We believe small, independent businesses like ours are stronger if we stick together,” Antoine Malassagne, winemaker and co-proprietor of AR Lenoble says in a statement. Founded in 1920, AR Lenoble remains one of the few houses in Champagne that is 100-percent independent with no corporate investment.
The Jordan Cuvée by Champagne AR Lenoble will be served at Jordan’s special events and will be available for purchase direct from the winery in spring 2017.
“Sparkling wine is a family tradition we just couldn’t let go of,”says John Jordan, proprietor of Jordan Vineyard & Winery. Jordan Winery has a history with sparkling wine dating back to 1987, when John’s father and sister created J by Jordan sparkling. His sister sold J to the E&J Gallo corporation last year.
“Independent businesses need to be nimble to succeed in an increasingly corporatized industry,” Jordan says. Founded in 1972, Jordan remains independently owned, increasingly less common for established mid-sized wineries in Northern California.

Good Dental Care: Make It Safe

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Fitness, dance, MMA studios, spas and gyms looking for the next big trend may start to heat things up with FitBomb’s new specialized fitness sauna. The Studio Fitbomb far infrared sauna from Hi-Q Fitness is available for literally hundreds of health and fitness centers after its successful debut placement in Cabana Spas.
“The addition of the Studio FitBomb far infrared sauna has already given us a huge boost in client interest,” says Cabana Spas owner Glen Harrod. “We had enough interest from paying customers that we may have nearly paid for the cost of the unit before it even arrived.”
The new patent-pending Studio FitBomb has many key features, including strategically-placed “D” rings throughout the interior of the sauna that allows three customers to exercise simultaneously.
Think Hot-Yoga, Pilates, and flexibility training for dance students or Martial Arts or anaerobic exercise with bands attached to “D” rings on the floor, the walls and the ceiling for building muscle in an infrared-heated, healthy tool that fits three at a time. “With three clients for every half-hour time slot, paying an average of $1 per minute, profits can build quickly,” according to FitBomb inventor and author of “Heat Shock,” David Floyd.
“If you just charge half that price, you generate as much as $700 for each 8-hour day in the Studio FitBomb,” says Floyd.
The benefits of the far infrared sauna include reducing the risk of injury by pre-heating your body, and improving the ability of muscles to flex, move and stretch, making it an ideal complement to any spa, gym or health and fitness facility. The heated system of the sauna is proven and even the FDA accepted it for its powerful relief of pain and muscle soreness while simultaneously detoxifying the body through sweat.
In addition, using a sauna such as the FitBomb can promote greater strength and fitness by encouraging the release of human growth hormones and a muscle-building (heat shock) protein.
The FitBomb infrared fitness saunas also feature a 36″-screen TV so participants can watch pre-recorded routines. You can watch and learn martial arts, dance, yoga, and almost any exercise routine you can imagine with our proprietary instruction videos, activated by FitBomb’s proprietary mobile application.
But the Studio FitBomb is designed for more than just fitness fanatics; the far infrared sauna complements a spa setting, where it may be used as part of a program to detoxify the skin and body, promote relaxation, and reduce stress. Every FitBomb is handicap-accessible, ADA-compliant so anyone, regardless of age, physical handicap or injury now has access to the FitBomb tools that help them achieve explosive health, fitness and therapy goals. Any business lacking the available size requirements (the Studio measures 7′ by 9′ wide) can achieve similar benefits using similar features in our smaller FitBomb varieties.
For more information about the Studio FitBomb, contact Hi-Q Fitness LLC at 888-589-7286. Or visit our FitBomb distributor website at luxsauna.com or contact sales@luxsauna.com.

New Resource Created for Families of Children With Heart Problems

(NewsUSA) – The birth of a child should be a joyous occasion, a time for families to celebrate the excitement and wonder that comes with parenthood.But for families of children born with congenital heart defects (CHD), this exciting time can quickly become a scary journey of decisions, emotions and subsequent surgeries. It raises myriad questions, often with minimal guidance and few answers. And the emotional and financial stress can be staggering.Jennifer Page, mother of 11-year-old Max, who starred in an iconic Super Bowl commercial as the Little Darth Vader, has first-hand experience with the highs and lows that came with his diagnosis. Max had his first surgery at 3 months old and has had 11 surgeries already in his short life. He is one of the 40,000 U.S. children born each year with CHDs."At first, the diagnosis of a congenital heart defect was so frightening and overwhelming," said Jennifer. "But over time, I needed to learn all about Max’s condition and what his future would look like. I’ve come to understand how critical it is to have immediate, current and accurate information."To help families facing a CHD, the nonprofit group Mended Little Hearts worked with medical experts, parents and caregivers from across the country to develop the Mended Little HeartGuide. This comprehensive digital guidebook, developed with the generous support of global medical device manufacturer St. Jude Medical Inc., is aimed at parents and families of children with heart conditions.The guidebook includes information about "what to do after a diagnosis," "how to cope in the hospital," "how to navigate insurance" and "how to manage information overload." It also provides helpful advice and tips, such as:* How to build a caring support network* It’s natural to feel stressed* Keep asking questions* Don’t feel guilty when things don’t go perfectly* Take care of you* This is a lifelong journey"We believe this guidebook — written by moms, dads, doctors and other advocates who know the struggles of caring for a child with a heart defect — can be a helpful resource," said Dr. Mark Carlson, vice president of global clinical affairs and chief medical officer at St. Jude Medical. "Empowering families is part of our commitment to create innovative medical solutions that improve lives and keep kids thriving."For more information on CHDs and to download the Mended Little HeartGuide, visit MendedLittleHeartGuide.org.

The Many Colors of Love: Engagement Rings Get a Makeover

WeddingDollarsCYou can thank Kim Kardashian and Kanye West for setting the bar so high when it comes to getting married.

The average cost of a wedding — sans a honeymoon — has now soared to more than $31,000, according to the wedding planning website TheKnot. And experts say the “images of celebrity wedding extravagance,” a la last year’s $12 million “Kimye” nuptials in Florence, Italy, are influencing couples’ spending choices.

Another reason for the jump, experts say, are the engagement rings.

Small Businesses Hold the Key to Employee Happiness

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – As the calendar flips to another year, many employees will consider starting the new year on the hunt for a new job. In today’s changing workforce, it is more important than ever for companies to realize that a salary alone is no longer enough to recruit or retain strong employees. According to a recent survey by Aflac, small businesses deserve a round of applause for their ability to keep employees happy. The report found that 85 percent of small-business employees are happy in their current job and more than half (51 percent) agree that most of or all of their happiness in their current job is because is a result of working for a small business.
The keys to happiness
Nearly a quarter of participants (23 percent) stated that the feeling of importance was the best part of working for a small business. Small businesses have the unique ability to make employees feel appreciated, respected and valued on a personal and professional level. In a small business environment, there are typically fewer layers between newcomers and leadership. This tight-knit structure of small businesses can create a family-like atmosphere that allows employees to feel that their opinions matter and that they play a significant role in the business’s mission.
Flexibility is also vital in creating employee happiness. According to the report, 30 percent of respondents noted that flexible scheduling was the best part of working for a small business. This can include working from home, leaving work early to play in a summer sports league or giving new parents an extra week of paid time off to help care for their newborn. A workplace that promotes healthy work-life balance can create happier, less stressed employees and can also increase employee productivity on the job.
Unlocking improvements
Although small businesses excel at keeping employees happy, there is always room for improvement. In a small-business community, money does not seem to be the only motivator. In fact, 65 percent of small-business employees indicate that an improvement in their benefits offerings would make them happier employees. By offering a robust benefits plan that includes voluntary benefits, small businesses can ensure that their employees are able to find the right benefits to meet their individual needs.
Learn more at aflac.com/smallbusiness.

The Latest Buzz Phrase in Health Care

(NewsUSA) – Here’s a buzz phrase you’ll be hearing a lot more of as part of our brave new world of health care: "integrative care settings."Not to worry: This time, if you’re a patient, you may actually wind up liking what it means for you.Basically, we’re talking about providing different types of care under one roof. Which makes sense when you consider that: (a) we’ve already begun moving away from a "sickcare" model, where many patients only visit a doctor when their health has declined to one emphasizing a more preventative "wellness-based care;" and (b) the "team approach" to care has also made headway."MDs are already focusing on sick-care, so who’s the expert in wellness and preventative care?" Kenneth C. Thomas, DC, a member of the Council on Chiropractic Education, wrote in an article for the Chiropractic Summit, which brings together leading voices in fields like education, research and government.His answer, not surprisingly, was doctors of chiropractic, known for their drug-free approach to treating disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems.But guess what? Not only have major companies already incorporated chiropractic care in their on-site health clinics — there’s that integrative approach for you — but chiropractors are increasingly co-managing a wide variety of patients ranging from professional athletes to members of the military.And research suggests chiropractic’s benefits include:* Lower health care costs* Enhanced patient outcomes* Higher patient satisfaction"I think we’re looking at a more collaborative, patient-centered focus where chiropractors have an important role to play," says the not-for-profit Foundation for Chiropractic Progress’ Gerard Clum, DC.To learn more or to locate a doctor of chiropractic in your area, visit www.F4CP.org/findadoctor.

Survey Shows Americans’ Views on Dental Hygiene Differ by Region

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Does where you live impact your flossing and dental hygiene habits? A new national survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) shows it does.
For instance, while more than a quarter of adults surveyed said they lied to their dentists about how often they floss their teeth, those who live in Atlanta (82 percent) are more likely to be honest about how often they floss. Could that be Southern manners at play?
Conversely, one in five, or 20 percent, of Chicagoans said they would rather sit in an hour of the city’s notorious gridlock traffic than floss daily. In D.C., less than one in five participants, or 18 percent, said they would let a friend know if they had something in their teeth.
Other key survey findings by geographic region:
* Three in five (60 percent) of U.S. adults, including New Yorkers, who have a partner say their partner’s oral health has an effect on their intimacy.
* Twenty percent of Houstonians guessed incorrectly when asked what a periodontist treat-ed versus a majority of those in other metro areas.
* Almost half of those in Los Angeles (45 percent) and Boston (44 percent) are more likely than those who live in Chicago or Houston to say a smile is the first thing they notice when meeting someone they are attracted to.
* 21 percent of Philadelphians would rather wait in a long check-out line than floss.
So, while the survey indicates oral health habits may differ from region to region, it also clearly shows that Americans do have one thing in common — we all don’t floss as frequently as we should.
While flossing should only take an extra minute or two each day, it would appear it’s more than we’re willing to give. There are more than 500 bacterial species that can be found in dental plaque, which brushing alone won’t remove, so that should be incentive enough to get flossing.
Whatever the reason for our reluctance to floss, there are benefits to showing your teeth a little love, according to the AAP.
The most obvious is that flossing prevents plaque, and those 500 bacterial species, from building up below the gum line, causing swelling and eventually leading to periodontal disease. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to a host of oral health issues such as receding gums, tooth decay and tooth loss, and is even linked to other chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The good news is that periodontal disease is preventable by brushing at least twice a day, flossing once a day and receiving an annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation. If you are at risk for or have gum disease, a periodontist has the specialized training and expertise for the right treatment.
For more information, visit www.perio.org.

Novel Program Brings Hope to African Nation

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Ah, the plight of parents with college-bound children.
According to the just-released 9th annual national “College Savings Indicator Study” conducted by Fidelity Investments, while more parents than ever before are socking away money to finance their children’s college educations — 69 percent nationwide, up 5 percent from last year — they’re still on track to save just 27 percent of their stated goals by the start of freshman year.
Even non-math whizzes can see what’s described as “the challenge ahead” implied by these two numbers: $232 (the median monthly amount parents report saving) and $31,231 (the current average annual cost of tuition and fees at private colleges).
Of particular interest may be the behavior of millennial parents.
This is the generation, born between 1981 and 1997, whose particular revelation from the 2008 recession was how tough it is paying off their own student loans while trying to establish a career (56 percent who graduated with such debt remain saddled with it). So it’s understandable, as the study found, that they “appear particularly determined to help their children” avoid the same plight — specifically, by planning on covering 8 percent more than the 66 percent of their offspring’s college costs than parents overall.
“Millennials have weathered challenging conditions for much of their adulthood, and have adopted smart savings habits at a higher rate than their older counterparts,” says Keith Bernhardt, vice president of retirement and college products at Fidelity.
Here are some ideas you might not have thought of to keep from underfunding your own kids’ higher education:
* Consider opening a 529 Plan. According to the survey, 93 percent of parents using one of these state- or state agency-sponsored, dedicated college accounts say it helps keep them on target. Savings can be used for tuition, books, and other education-related expenses. And the best part? Federal income taxes are deferred on any earnings, and separate state tax deductions may also apply.
* Get with the trend. You’ve heard of wedding registries set up to help finance a honeymoon in, say, exotic Bora Bora, right? Well, it’s the same for college. If you have a 529 Plan through Fidelity, for example, its free 529 Online Gifting Service lets friends and family contribute to your account — with a private dashboard provided for you to send invitations and track gifts.
* Reallocate pre-school dollars. If your child has aged out of day care and afterschool care, that’s an average of $730 in monthly fees that could instead be squirreled away in a dedicated college savings account.
One other finding to emerge from the study: 70 percent of all parents say they need more “guidance” on the whole subject. Among the most popular Fidelity resource is an interactive, online College Savings Quick Check that lets you see how you’re progressing.