Food, Fuel, and Finance … The 3Fs of Economics

(NewsUSA) – Nearly half of U.S. high school students say they do not know how to establish good credit and more than one-fourth believe they will be unprepared to manage their finances upon graduation. This is according to recent research that reveals a lack of financial literacy among American youth.But teachers and schools can now turn to a dynamic interactive learning module, Foundations of Finance, to introduce students to fundamentals of personal finance, such as saving, applying for student loans and buying a car, among other features.The module — one of three aligned with the Council for Economic Education’s standards for economics — is offered by CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms.Foundations of Finance also presents students with fundamentals of economics using real-world scenarios, interactive components, embedded assessments, and accompanying Educator Guides.The Foundations of Finance module is part of an Econ Essentials trio of standards-aligned educational modules that includes: The Facts About Food, which lets students take a journey from "farm to table" by serving as an advisor to a farm, and Fueling the Future, which challenges students to start a shuttle business.In The Facts About Food module, students learn how the supply chain and other global factors influence supply and demand. They also explore the role of economics in food prices as well as what influences food prices.With the Fueling the Future module, students learn about supply and demand by discovering how and why gas prices fluctuate and the impact of changing gas prices on their daily lives. Students apply their knowledge to set a ticket price for their business to determine if they make a profit.Teachers find that the Econ Essentials educational program helps their students learn fundamental economic principles in an engaging, digital environment."Students become equipped to make wise decisions in both their public and private lives, and also grow such important skills as critical thinking, problem solving, media and information literacy," says Jackie Prester, business and technology teacher at Mansfield (Mass.) Public Schools.More information about Foundations of Finance and the food and fuel models are available at http://www.econessentialsinschool.com

Choosing the Perfect Holiday Gifts for Everyone on Your Shopping List

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – We all know when the trick-or-treaters head home with their Halloween candy and the turkey comas set in after Thanksgiving dinner, the holiday season is right around the corner. Meant to be the happiest time of the year filled with joyous memories, the holiday season can quickly turn into an unwanted shopping nightmare as you try to find the perfect holiday gift for everyone special in your life. Getting all your bases covered when on a budget can seem like a daunting task, but when you’re making a list and checking it twice this year, keep in mind these fun and budget-friendly items to put a smile on all your loved ones faces, as well as in your wallet!
Between graduations, school dances, and family vacations, picture-perfect memories are always ready to be made and we all know that mom is the go-to photographer for that special occasion! So make sure the mother in your life has everything she needs to take great photos with the Vivitar VXX14 Selfie Camera ($39.96). When using this camera, mom can take crystal-clear pictures in superior high definition. Get up close with 4x digital zoom so mom can catch every unforgettable moment! The 180-degree screen rotation on this fun and easy-to-use camera allows you to see the shot before you snap the picture, guaranteeing the perfect selfie with every use. And with the included self-timer, mom can get in on a family photo every time!
Taking care of the kids while also setting some time aside for a little fun is on the to-do list for many fathers, making the Vivitar Air Defender X Drone ($99.99) the perfect gift idea. This Wi-Fi enabled drone has a 16.1 MP camera and high-definition recording abilities that ensure smooth and steady footage. Two integrated LiPo batteries deliver approximately 14 minutes of flight time per charge, as well as the ability to hover, flip, and fly upside down. In addition, the drone has a 360-degree view, 32 LED lights, and takes a 32 GB Micro SD card so every dad can stay on top of the latest technology advancements while exploring his inner kid at heart.
Don’t waste time searching for your son’s perfect holiday present when you can get the Sakar Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) enthusiast in your life the TMNT Smart Watch ($59.99). This 4-in-1 device lets your crime fighter-in-training wirelessly sync any device, track his activities, and includes 20 clock faces so your son can customize his watch to express his personal style. The interactive touch screen panel keeps any child on top of new and growing technology trends while providing a simple and easy-to-use functionality. This watch easily captures everyday moments with the built-in camera and microphone so your little ninja can record all his action-packed adventures, and it syncs activities and sleep patterns to the free, easy-to-use mobile app for hours of nonstop entertainment perfect for any superhero-in-training!
If you have a daughter who can’t get enough of Superhero High and loves to sing, let her inner rock star shine with the DC Superhero Girls Flashing Lights Disco Ball Karaoke ($59.96). This fun music device comes complete with a retro disco ball that dazzles and shines while she rocks out with Wonder Woman, Super Girl, and all her favorite powerful classmates. With the ability to connect to her favorite smartphone device, she can sing all her favorite songs the moment she presses play. It also includes a karaoke microphone so she has everything she needs to take center stage as well as a second audio jack input for connecting an additional microphone?perfect for a karaoke duo!
For the teenager in your life, you probably get a lot of closed doors, curfews tested, and most commonly, loud music that vibrates through the walls of your home, always threatening your favorite china. Give the young adult in your life the ability to escape to a world of great quality sound with the Altec Lansing Evolution 2 Bluetooth Headphones ($49.99). These must-have headphones boast superior audio with 40mm Neodymium Drivers, a rechargeable battery, 12 hours of battery life and a wireless range of 33 feet, allowing them to keep their phone safe while dancing around their room. The onboard microphone and song navigation/telephony buttons provide easy-to-use functionality and let them never miss an important call while providing hours of fun and comfortable listening.
As the holiday season quickly approaches, rest assured that this year you will fulfill all your family members’ desires while still staying within a reasonable budget and not having your credit cards beg for mercy. These quick and easy holiday finds are just what you need to get your shopping done while you sit back, relax, and enjoy the festive season with family and friends.

Reverse Mortgages Can Be a Valuable Retirement Tool

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – This article is a paid advertisement. The content was provided by One Reverse Mortgage.
Today’s reverse mortgage has more uses than you may realize. In fact, many financial advisors are now recommending this loan to their older clients. Why?
A reverse mortgage allows you to access a portion of your home equity and use the funds to pay off your current mortgage.* Any remaining money can be used for anything. The program has a variety of products to meet specific goals.
The fixed rate loan allows you to receive a lump sum or monthly distributions. The purchase loan product allows you to purchase a home without a required monthly mortgage payment as long as you live there.* However, according to One Reverse Mortgage, a leading lender in the reverse mortgage industry since 2007, the most popular and beneficial loan option is the line of credit, which has the potential to grow in value over time.
It’s a fact that people today are living longer; and studies show that many are not financially prepared for retirement. According to an article from Time Magazine, one in three Americans does not have any money saved for retirement.**
The reverse mortgage line of credit addresses these concerns. It isn’t just for people who have an immediate need. It is even more beneficial as a retirement tool because the line of credit product can actually extend the life of your retirement savings and give you access to more money later. Another smart way to utilize it is to live off the proceeds to delay using other benefits to give them time to increase in value. The greatest feature of the reverse mortgage line of credit is that the available funds increase in value over time when left untouched. It can be a perfect safety net for future expenses – both planned and unexpected.
The mission of One Reverse Mortgage is to educate people about this program and how it can be best used in retirement. The experts at One Reverse Mortgage are licensed professionals and the company operates nationwide. It also has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
For more information, visit www.onereversemortgage.com
* Homeowner is still responsible for taxes, insurance and property maintenance.
**Kirkham, Elyssa. “1 in 3 Americans Has Saved $0 for Retirement.” Time Magazine. 14 March 2016. http://time.com/money/4258451/retirement-savings-survey
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.

Fitness Sauna Promotes Health and Profit for Small Businesses

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.

Study Finds Boomers Are Sinking Their Teeth Into Looking Younger

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – For baby boomers, looking and feeling young (especially in a society that values youth and vitality) is paramount. One way to appear younger than you are, according to a recent study, is to take care of your smile.
The study, conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry [AACD], showed that people are most likely to underestimate the age of a person if he or she is smiling.
“We tend to find smiling faces more attractive, youthful and upbeat,” says Dr. Ed Lowe, editor-in-chief of the AACD’s Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry. “A smile or laugh’s age-defying power may lay in the fact that smile lines make it challenging for an observer to correctly predict a person’s true age.”
Dr. Chiann Gibson, AACD president, who practices in Naperville, Illinois, agrees.
“More than half the people over age 50 believe that a beautiful smile can overcome the effects of aging,” she says.
Which is why, Dr. Gibson continues, 80 percent of adults claim they’d spend money to hide or correct signs of aging, and more than 60 percent would first spend on their teeth rather than on excess weight loss or plastic surgery.
The following tips will help you fight the effects of aging and keep your smile looking young:
* Reshape your teeth. Dentists can often predict a patient’s age by checking the wear patterns of their teeth because teeth naturally wear down, crack or chip as people get older.
* Make wrinkles go away. Smile lines show a well-enjoyed life, but also tend to show your age. Use moisturize around your lips and wear a lipstick or gloss with an SPF of at least 15 (preferably higher). This will help prevent new wrinkles.
* Whiten your teeth. While coffee and wine are delightful, they can leave stains, as can smoking and general neglect. Whitening your teeth can help prevent discoloration. A word of caution: Don’t overdo it. A youthful smile is not obviously white, but healthfully white. Once teeth are whitened, try to avoid (or at least practice moderation) those things that can stain teeth, such as grape juice, coffee, red wine and smoking.
“They [baby boomers] see an attractive smile as youthful,” says J.A. Reynolds, AACD Vice President, who runs a private practice in Franklin, Tennessee. “And looking one’s best is a priority in modern society.”
For more information, visit www.YourSmileBecomesYou.com.

Camden Preserve Offers Opportunity for Developers

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – As the population nationwide grows and uncharted areas are increasingly few and far between, those looking to purchase or develop land have fewer and fewer options. Is developing new, high-quality land an American dream of the past?
Camden Preserve is one continuous 1,221-acre coastal community that is located in Camden County, Ga. The community overlooks the White Oak River, approximately a 20-minute boat ride to the Atlantic Ocean. Other local destinations, such as Sea Island and Jekyll Island, are within a short ride as well. Despite trends, this preserve seems poised to offer new opportunities to interested developers.
The location is also just a 35-minute drive from the Jacksonville International Airport, which makes it easy to get anywhere in the world. Brunswick, St. Simons and Savanna, Ga., are all just a short drive away.
Outdoor enthusiasts will find that the location is extremely appealing thanks to an abundunce of golfing, boating, fishing and hunting spots. And for those who just want to sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery, there are miles of gorgeous marshfront. Simply put, the location truly offers something for everyone to enjoy.
As of now, Camden Preserve is undergoing phase one of development. The developing company is Egret Landing, LLC, which is managed by Zuckerman Homes, a Florida-based company specializing in residential communities.
Additional land at Camden Preserve is already zoned, meaning that growth is imminent and opportunities will come and go quickly. In fact, the federal and state government recently selected the area as home to the new Interstate 95 interchange because of the predicted growth in the days ahead.
As one of the last pristine approved properties available in southern Coastal Georgia, it is a rare and special place for those looking for new opportunities. The question is, how long will this opportunity last?
Developers interested in learning more should contact Zuckerman Homes via email at info@zuckermanhomes.com or by phone at (954) 481-3700.

How to Display Proper Hygiene in Public

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – You would think that public hygiene protocol would be a standard, taught in kindergarten, reviewed in middle school, and essential for your college diploma. Yet, more often than we care to admit, both knowing and remembering social “dos” and “don’ts” proves a challenge for even the best of us.
Stay classy and clean with a few simple tips on how to display good public hygiene.
Cover your mouth
This one is so simple we feel it deserves the first spot on the list. Hearing you sneeze or hearing you cough is one thing. Asking someone to feel you sneeze or feel you cough is entirely another. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. Keep your hands clean by using your upper arm as your shield.
One tissue does not conquer all
Feeling under the weather? Looking and feeling your best can be truly difficult when your sinuses are working against you. Do your best to show your care for public hygiene by following the little guidelines you can still muster doing, like washing your hands regularly, using hand sanitizer, and refusing to reuse and reuse the same tissue while public.
Watch for bad habits
Unfortunate habits, like biting your nails, playing with your hair, or picking at your face can work against that clean, sophisticated image you desire. These habits are also a way that unwanted grime, oils and bacteria can spread from different areas on your body and eventually onto any object you touch. Do your best to keep your hands away from the top half of your body whenever possible.
Launder
Laundry is no fun, but there are few public hygiene no-nos worse than dirty clothes. Pick one day of the week to be laundry day and stick to it. Invest in a dependable iron and ironing board, and carry a stain remover in your purse or bag.
Use FLASR
For smokeless tobacco users, a small, spill-proof portable spittoon is an essential and the ultimate display of good public hygiene. Fortunately, for these individuals, there’s FLASR, an Atlanta-based company that specializes in exactly that. The FLASR spittoon has a chic design that is pocket-size and features a secure locking mechanism to avoid messy mishaps.
For more information about FLASR, visit www.flasr.com.

Sleep and Happiness: How Parents Can Have Both

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Helping your baby sleep through the night is one of the great milestones of parenthood. Establishing good sleep habits and patterns early can help babies learn how to sleep, which is a key component in a baby’s happiness, and makes for less exhausted (sort of) parents.
Gerber Good Start Gentle’s sleep consultant Christina Gantcher advises parents to focus on the Three E’s: Eating, Environment, and Education.
* Eating: Poor feeding can impact your baby’s ability to sleep well. If your baby doesn’t seem to be eating at regular intervals or gaining weight at an appropriate pace, talk to your lactation consultant or pediatrician.
* Environment: You can facilitate better sleep for your new baby by creating a quiet, dark environment in a dedicated area. Remember, babies should always be put to sleep on their backs; supervised tummy time should occur during the day when baby is awake. Always put your baby on his or her back to sleep with no loose blankets, pillows or toys nearby. Try to follow a bedtime routine to help baby recognize cues to associate with going to sleep, such as a bath or book.
* Education: Learn about your baby and you’ll soon recognize his or her cues about being ready to sleep, such as eye rubbing. Don’t neglect naptime. Remember that infants are typically only awake for short periods, and daytime naps can aid nighttime sleep. When you feel your baby is ready, try placing him or her in the crib when they are drowsy but still awake, so they can start learning and remembering how and where they fell asleep.
Gantcher also advises parents to be as consistent as possible with a sleep routine, but be patient as you learn the habits of your individual child. Sleep helps give babies energy and puts them in the mood to learn and explore the world, and a rested baby often means a happier family, too.
As part of their desire to help support parents through their journey and provide them with the confidence they need to help their baby sleep through the night, Gerber Good Start Gentle has sponsored Christina Gantcher as their sleep consultant on Gerber’s panel of experts. Gantcher will be available to provide free, personalized, one-on-one phone consultations five days per week.
To sign up for a consultation with Gerber Good Start Gentle’s sleep consultant, please visit Gerber.com/experts or call the Gerber Parents Resource Center 24/7 at 1-800-284-9488 for help in scheduling an appointment.

Waste and Recycling Jobs: Opportunities Are Plentiful

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Trade and technical positions are the bright, shining stars of the economy these days. They don’t require a college degree, do provide the opportunity for a meaningful career, and they often pay very well.
One industry, in particular, shines brightest among those hiring these positions: America’s waste and recycling business.
“These are great careers,” says Sharon H. Kneiss, president and CEO of the National Waste & Recycling Association. “We do a real service for residents and business owners alike. And business is growing!”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of waste and recycling collectors is expected to grow significantly over the next seven years. Between 2012 and 2022, more than 21,000 jobs are expected to be created — a 16-percent growth rate.
In 2012, the median annual pay for truck drivers was about $38,000. With overtime, experienced waste and recycling drivers can earn much, much more. Some workers in various cities make upwards of $100,000 when you factor in overtime. And, most jobs in the field offer generous benefits and possibilities for upwards mobility.
Driving a refuse truck generally requires a commercial driver’s license; however, companies are happy to train new recruits.
“The advantages of driving a waste or recycling vehicle are significant: the hours are regular and predictable, the job is local, and it pays well,” Kneiss said. “Plus there’s job security: We’re always going to need good drivers.”
But the opportunities in the waste and recycling industry don’t end there. Mechanics and welders who work on the industry’s fleet are also in significant demand.
For example, the BLS reports that the 2012 median pay for a diesel mechanic was more than $42,000 per year and that the total number of jobs across all industries was expected to grow by 9 percent from 2012 to 2022 — more than 21,000 additional positions.
There are both formal and informal diesel mechanic training programs. In some cases, the company will train you. But there are also a number of programs offered by vocational schools, community colleges and adult education programs.
In addition, mechanics qualified to work on compressed natural gas engines would do well to investigate the waste and recycling industry: It has one of the largest CNG truck fleets in the U.S.
To learn more about opportunities in the waste and recycling industry, go to http://beginwiththebin.org/jobs.

How to Secure Income for Retirement

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Ten thousand Americans a day are turning 65, including a couple we’ll call Stu and Helen. In excellent health, Stu and Helen could be facing a retirement of 30 years — or even longer. One of their biggest fears about their impending retirement is their potential longevity — and running out of money to not only pay their bills, but enjoy their free time.
Stu and Helen participated in their companies’ 401(k) plans. Like many workers, neither has a traditional pension, so they are solely responsible for their own retirement security.
Fortunately, couples like Stu and Helen have options for creating a “personal pension.” By using some of their savings to purchase an annuity, they can guarantee a steady stream of income for life.
With an immediate annuity, they can make a lump-sum payment to a life insurance company, and the company will send them their choice of monthly, quarterly or annual payments. They can choose to receive the income payments over a specified number of years or as a guaranteed stream of income they can never outlive.
They could also consider purchasing a deferred annuity, which allows savings to grow tax-deferred during an accumulation phase until they decide when payouts begin. People who are years away from retirement — or who are retired but don’t need income right away — might choose this type of annuity.
With a deferred annuity they decide how their money grows during the accumulation phase. A fixed annuity earns interest at a guaranteed rate. An index annuity is tied to a market index like the S&P 500 stock price index. In a variable annuity, savings are placed in subaccounts that are invested in stocks and bonds.
Another option is a special type of deferred annuity, often called longevity insurance, which will provide them with a guaranteed stream of income once they reach a certain age, usually around 85.
Surveys show that 90 percent of annuity owners think annuities are an effective way to save for retirement. And annuities are among the most regulated financial products in the marketplace. From product development to advertising to sales, life insurers must comply with state and federal laws and rules that help prevent fraud and protect consumers. In addition, most states provide a “free look” period allowing customers to return annuities to the insurance company for a full or partial refund.
Planning for retirement can be stressful. But for retirees like Stu and Helen, the guaranteed income from annuities can provide peace-of-mind for a lifetime.
For more information on annuities, visit www.acli.com.