Find a New Career Without Giving Up Your Day Job

<b>Find a New Career Without Giving Up Your Day Job</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Unhappy at work? Many Americans stay in careers that they consider ‘just bearable’ for fear of unemployment, but doing so compromises their well-being. Life is just too short to spend eight or more hours a day in misery, and work-related stress can reduce quality-of-life.

Today’s Americans can’t exactly bank on early retirement. Employment remains uncertain in the current economy, and many companies are cutting retirement benefits. Current employees will need to stay in the workforce longer than previous generations. The wrong career choice could mean decades of unhappiness and frustration.

And while the down economy might seem to limit options, it actually expands them — there has never been a better time to pursue your passions, further your education or look for employment in a new field.

Those who are unemployed may be able to take a break from the workforce, choosing to volunteer or travel as a means of self-discovery. Americans considering a career switch might want to “try out” a job or two. For example, someone considering a new career in teaching could substitute teach a few classes or become a volunteer educator at a children’s program.

Even those who continue to support themselves can find ways to set the foundation for a career change. Online courses, for example, allow full-time workers to learn on their own schedules, and without the expense or inconvenience of commuting to campus. One accredited online university, American Public University, offers 76 degree programs and 51 certificates, including programs in business, criminal justice, sports and information technology, as well as grants to reduce textbook prices.

Panteha Vaghedi is pursuing a Master of Science in Environmental Policy and Management at American Public University. “Accepting the responsibility of becoming a student — in addition to continuing as a business owner and full-time mother — is made easier in part because of the options APU offers.”

For more information, visit www.studyatapu.com.

GPS and the Road to Greater Savings

<b>GPS and the Road to Greater Savings</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Unwilling to ask for directions? Prepare to pay the price in gas and wear and tear on your vehicle.

Your efficiency behind the wheel can affect your bank account. If you get lost too often, you’ll waste gas while putting unnecessary miles on your automobile. And in a down economy, when every penny counts, few Americans can afford taking “the scenic route.”

If your sense of direction or map-reading skills prove subpar, you might want to consider purchasing a GPS device. Today’s GPS devices are relatively inexpensive and offer a wide range of useful services and may actually save you money in the long run. Here are a few ways in which a GPS device can improve your efficiency behind the wheel:

– You won’t get lost. With a GPS device, you’ll easily find your way to your destination, no matter how labyrinth-like the backcountry roads. GPS devices tell you what road you’re on, so there’s no getting lost down unfamiliar roads. If you do take a wrong turn, your GPS will offer new directions until you get back en route.

– You won’t miss your exit. GPS devices offer highway lane assistance, so you’ll know when your exit’s approaching. For example, the Magellan Maestro 4700 tells you street names, when to turn and when to change lanes. 3D landmarks give you visual cues for maneuvers. The device includes built-in AAA TourBooks, which provide ratings and descriptions on AAA-approved places to stay, dine and save. A OneTouch menu lets you access your favorite places and searches instantly, while a voice-command feature simplifies navigation. Avoiding unnecessary exits, U-turns and backtracking will improve your fuel efficiency.

– You’ll avoid traffic. Idling in traffic wastes fuel and raises stress levels. A GPS unit with an integrated live traffic receiver and a subscription service will give you real-time traffic reports and offer alternative routes when roads become jammed.

– You won’t go out of your way to find services en route. You can program your GPS for several destinations, helping you plan the most efficient route possible. When traveling to new areas, you can use your GPS to find the nearest ATM, bank, coffee shop, restaurant or hotel so you don’t waste time hunting for the services you need.

For more information, visit www.magellangps.com.

Despite Tough Times, Employees Save for Education

<b>Despite Tough Times, Employees Save for Education</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – As the economic recession continues, the value of education becomes more apparent. Workers who continue to further their education are more competitive in the workplace, earning more promotions and helping their employers stay afloat in the down economy.

But paying for higher education or additional job training is difficult, especially as banks become more reluctant to offer student loans. But employers clearly benefit from a more highly trained workforce, leaving some to offer Lifelong Learning Accounts (LiLAs), saving plans that allow employees to put money away toward their continued education.

LiLAs work like 401(k)s. Employees set aside a certain amount of money from their paycheck, which then enters their LiLA account. Employers may match some or all of an employee’s contribution. At any point, the employee can access the account to cover education-related expenses like tuition, workshop fees, textbooks or class materials.

The Council for Adult Education and Experiential Learning (CAEL) has piloted LiLA programs in several states. Even as the economy fell, employees continued to save and access funds.

In fact, as the economy worsened, employees started contributing more to their LiLA accounts. Current participants in Illinois contribute $18 more per month than employees who participated in LiLA programs between 2001 and 2007.

“The response that we have seen from employees in our programs has just been overwhelming,” said Pamela Tate, president and CEO of CAEL. “It has made such a difference in people’s lives.”

Rose Yankosky, an employee of Western Consolidated Technology for 17 years, used her LiLA to work toward her associate’s degree and earn ASQ (American Society for Quality) Certification from a community college. This helped her obtain a job as a Quality Inspector with another employer when Western Consolidated closed its doors. “I have definitely benefited from [LiLAs]’, says Rose. “I have learned and understand more aspects of my job. My earning potential has increased, and my marketability has increased. Nowadays, companies want people who are ASQ certified.”

For more information about LiLAs, visit www.lifelonglearningaccounts.org.

Software Revolutionizes Capital Formation

<b>Software Revolutionizes Capital Formation</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – In a down economy, when investors do not want to take risks, entrepreneurs struggle to raise capital through the traditional venues. But some entrepreneurs have found innovative ways to raise capital.

New technologies help raise capital in new ways. Entrepreneurs are using software programs to organize and streamline their fundraising efforts.

One company that specializes in assisting start-up and early-stage companies raise seed, development and expansion capital through the issuance of securities, Commonwealth Capital Advisors, LLC, has created software that teaches aspiring entrepreneurs how to raise capital. The program, Financial Architect, substantially reduces the cost and time needed to raise capital.

Timothy Daniel Hogan, a former Wall Street Investment Banker, created Financial Architect with several goals in mind. First, Financial Architect teaches people how the real world of capital works through the e-book “The Secrets of Wall Street – Raising Capital for Start-Up and Early-Stage Companies.”

Second, Financial Architect helps entrepreneurs create a “Marketable Deal Structure” for the securities that investors want to buy, while enabling entrepreneurs to keep the vast majority of common ownership interest and voting control. Better yet, Financial Architect helps Entrepreneurs avoid falling into debt as well.

Financial Architect also helps businesspeople produce the required securities-offering documents so that they are fully compliant with federal and state securities laws.

Third, the software teaches entrepreneurs how to access real investors for personal introductions, which help get the job done.

In creating Financial Architect, Commonwealth Capital Advisors, LLC has taken one of the most complex, arduous and expensive processes and reduced it to a simple, easy and inexpensive system. Commonwealth Capital Advisors, LLC has borne 90 percent of the cost and has done 90 percent of the work involved in the process, allowing entrepreneurs to finish the process of capitalizing their companies.

You can get started by reading the abridged version the e-Book, “The Secrets of Wall Street – Raising Capital for Start-Up and Early-Stage Companies.”

To download a copy, visit, www.CommonwealthCapital.com and enter promotional code 1492.

Recreating Yesterday’s Housing Market

<b>Recreating Yesterday’s Housing Market</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Just a few years ago, home sellers found themselves inundated with above-market offers. Open houses drew many potential buyers, leading to frenzied bidding wars. Today’s housing market looks much more dismal.

In the first quarter of 2008, real estate prices declined 14.1 percent -; the largest price drop in 20 years. According to the National Realtor’s Association, there are now 4.55 million properties on the market. That means that the number of homes for sale far outnumber the people looking to buy real estate.

In a down economy, many people focus on everyday costs, like groceries and gas, rather than large purchases, like homes. But people looking to sell properties can find buyers -; if they can distinguish their home from the other houses flooding the market.

One group of Californian real estate professionals recently published a step-by-step guide for homeowners looking to sell their properties, with or without a real estate agent. Called the “Fast Action Home Sales System,” it helps homeowners feel like they’re selling in an “up” market.

The system teaches sellers to use signs, print ads, a custom-built Web site and their own 800 phone number to capture buyers’ attention. The advertisements lead to open houses, where excited buyers engage in bidding wars. Attracting multiple bids gives sellers the advantage, even in a buyers’ market.

In a down market, expensive, prolonged mortgage costs can destroy homeowner’s personal finances. “Even in today’s market,” says Conrad Kuiken, one of the professionals who developed the system, “we almost always get at least one bid at fair market value.”

Homeowners using the Fast Action Home Sales System typically sell their homes within two to three weeks. A quick sale is hard to make in today’s housing market -; according to the New York Times, there are now enough homes on the market to satisfy buyer demand for over 11 months.

For more details, you can access a “quick-start guide” to the FAST Action Home Sale System at RealEstateKit.com, or call 1-800-669-1038.