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Crucial Advice You Should Know About Auto Repair

Do not wait for things to get worse if you notice something wrong with your vehicle. If something were to happen to it, when investing your money in a vehicle, it would only make sense to know what to do. Go over this article to find out more about auto repairs and maintain your vehicle. Have a battery charger in your car at all times. Batteries die all the time, but you won’t be in trouble if you can charge it. Make sure you learn the points on your car where the battery charger should be connected.

Ask any questions you have. Find out what caused the issues, and ask what you can do so this does not happen again. Learning how to prevent certain issues will help you save a lot of money. Read the manual for your car and make notes of important pages. The mechanics will need to know specifics from the manual that are unique to your car if you have to get an auto repair. You may also find answers to your problems, inside. A record of maintenance and repairs should be in your car. Some people keep this paperwork in the glove compartment of their car so it is readily available, if needed. Before working on your car, the mechanics who work on your car will need to see your maintenance records. This will facilitate quicker diagnostic processes.

Ask your mechanic if he has had experience working on your type of car. There are many similarities between vehicles but some issues are specific to certain makes and models. If you’re not sure, it may be worth it to pay extra at the dealer. Make sure to get multiple estimates if you’re having serious repairs done on your vehicle. While most mechanics can be trusted, you might wind up being charged more than is necessary. Find a shop that specializes in your particular make of car. Such shops have a greater chance of knowing how to fix your car. Fixing a headlight or a taillight by yourself is very easy. Doing it yourself is much cheaper than hiring a mechanic, though it’s simpler in some vehicles than others. Ask an experienced friend to give you some pointers.

Before you give your keys to a mechanic, ask about labor and prices rates. Some shops have their rates in conspicuous places, so read carefully and ask questions if you don’t understand something. You will need to know what to expect on the final bill. Some service shops have estimated times for repair, establish by the manufacturers. Other shops may charge an inflated rate for a minor repair that should be done within a shorter period of time. Just because it is winter does not mean you shouldn’t wash your car. All that buildup is terrible for your car, though your car may get dirty again quickly. Salt and sand lead to rust and abrasions. Prevent ice from forming on your car: dry it thoroughly after washing.

 Even if your car only seems to have a small issue going on, you should definitely have it looked at. Small issues can often turn into larger ones. Do not diagnose car problems yourself. Remember, you are not an expert! Do not assume an issue can be fixed easily, unless you have previous experience with this type of issue. Let the auto repair shop diagnose the problem. Tell them what you’ve observed, and then let them do their job. There are better ways to deal with car problems and you should be better informed about these ways now. Learning tips like these should give you more confidence in dealing with car problems when they occur. Use this advice the next time that you experience car problems.

Use These Handy Tips for a Garage Door Repair

From times immemorial till now, people have had bulky cars and scooters and there was always a need to store them in a place which is quite huge yet not a part of the house, so came the concept of having garages. Garages are quite popular worldwide, some are small, yet some are really spacious and people also store iron boxes and other kinds of stuff which are not used frequently. The garage doors are generally made of a metal or strong wood so that rain or wind cannot cause major harm to it. The doors could be single panelled or even double panelled depending on the need and the space available.

Let us have a look at the materials that are used for the garage door to be able to study further the steps or tips that can be used for repairing them.

Materials used for constructing garage doors-

• Aluminium – If made of aluminium, the cost is quite low, nonrusting and require less maintenance. But they are likely to get damaged.

• Glass and Vinyl- Doors made of these materials are fused units. These are more expensive than the aluminium ones.

• Steel- These doors are more prevalent and also come in a number of sizes and polishes, these are sturdy, safe and economical. Additional power is obtained due to many layers of electrified steel which has a low indicator

• Wood – These doors provide a beautiful and visual appeal but require high maintenance and are very heavy on the pocket. The ones on the lower budget are of inferior quality,

After having a look at the types of materials that are put to use while constructing the doors, we will now ponder about the steps of garage repair and its benefits.

Steps for Garage Door Repair

• Step 1: Door needs to be locked and fix it to the trail.
• Step 2: Untie the steady spring.
• Step 3: Unravel the endless spring.
• Step 4: Detach the springs present in the central bracket.
• Step 5: Protect the twisting tube.
• Step 6: disconnect the former spring.
• Step 7: Fix the spring on left.
• Step 8: Mount a new bearing in the centre.

Even though we have seen the steps, yet a lot of issues can still crop up and all problems associated to springs are not so easy to handle, require a lot of risks and can even be dangerous, so its best to get it done through professionals and it even has its own benefits.

Few of them are listed as below:

Benefits of Garage Door Repair

• Since the professionals are well trained, they are adept at fixing the issues.

• They can identify the nature of the problem and solve it on spot or replace a part if needed.

• Some specific types of tools are required for fixing which could be of a high price and not easily available to the customers but are available to the professionals.

• The experts are well conversant with all sorts of risks which come with the repair, so it is highly recommended to be safe and acquire professional services designed for this.

• Not only will the experts give a new life to the door, but will also offer a guarantee for the same and that way any problems in future can be easily taken care of by just calling them.

Thus, it can be said that even though the repair looks to be a simple process, yet for everybody’s safety it is best to get it done with professionals since doors are very heavy and serious injuries could happen, making life more difficult.

How to Get Development Finance

Introduction

In recent years and following the financial crisis, development finance has become somewhat hard to come by. It used to be a case of simply going to your mortgage lender and procuring the finance you desired (provided your development was realistic of course!). However, these days mortgage and development lenders alike are asking a lot more from borrowers in terms of background checks, experience & income requirements and are seen to be operating on a far more stringent box-tick approach. This lack of willingness to be flexible from the larger banking institutions has created a new breed of development lender who has the ability to act quickly and flexibly for their clients, which is where most developers now go for their financing needs.

What will I need to get development finance?

Depending on your requirements there are a number of different lenders to suit your needs. However, each of these lenders will have different requirements, which is why I have put together a brief list of requirements that most lenders will want. Of course, this varies often dependent on the size of your development but these are all sensible things to have in place nonetheless.

Personal
Some experience in development and evidence of experience

Planning
A site with outline or detailed planning permission
Discharge of relevant planning conditions
Schedule of works
Schedule of costs
Structural Warranty Insurance (for instance Buildzone)
Developers all risk insurance

Funding

Most lenders will expect a minimum 30-40% deposit on the purchase of the site however will usually be able to fund 100% of the build costs

Where do I find lenders?

The problem you will find when looking online is a number of brokers the charge high fees, guised as principal lenders and comparison sites alike. Although they can offer sound advice and get you good deals with associated lenders, you are often better off going direct. Do your homework – find a few lenders that lend in the range you seek and get three respective quotes. It’s easy to be mislead by low initial rates however make sure you query what other fees that could be charged and exactly what happens if say, you are late to repay by a month. Afterall – when was the last time you completed a development that went exactly as planned?

What are the risks?

As with any business opportunity there are inherent risks. When financing your development using a short-term lender there are a number of risks to be aware of. Firstly, you should make sure that you can rely on your lender to provide the drawdowns in a timely manner and that the conditions/ requirements for these drawdowns are abundantly clear and well documented. Your solicitor should do this job for you but it’s always prudent to run through the documents to make sure you understand it too. Secondly you should make sure you are clear on all events of default and what the penalties for going into default are. It may be beneficial to the lender when you go into default because for instance they will earn more interest on a monthly basis when you are (it is often double the standard rate). Although this is a very cynical view I have first hand experience of lenders behaving in this manner so it’s important to remember a lender is a lender, not your friend. Lastly, make sure your schedule of works or timetable leaves plenty of room for error. The reason that 75% of development facilities go into default is due to facility expiry. This could be down to a number of things but more often than not it’s a simple case of the developer being too optimistic with the amount of time it will take for a sale to go through.

Summary

Getting finance for a development can be challenging at the best of times but being prepared for every question a lender asks will put you in good stead. So, before you start going to various lenders to seek quotes have those key elements above to hand.

What Are Shock Absorbers?

Often, you will come across many terms that don’t exactly make sense to you. Shock absorbers could be one of those terms. If you think about it, the name says it all – it absorbs shock.

In more detail, a shock absorber is a device that uses hydraulics to control rebound and impact specifically controlling the springs and suspension of the car. The device assists the driver to feel as little bumps as possible for a comfortable drive.

Along with making the ride as smooth as possible, shocks also keep the tyres in contact with the surface of the road at all times. Ensuring that the tyres are constantly in contact with the road will make the drive a lot safer because of how much more control the driver has. Braking response is also ensured with shock absorbers.

So now you know what a shock absorber is but do you know exactly how it works?

These are basically little oil pumps that have a piston inside. The piston will push the oil or hydraulics through tiny holes and valves. The valves and holes are inside the piston that assists with control of the resistance and movement. Because only a small amount of oil is let through the tiny holes or orifices, the piston will get slowed down which will also decelerate spring and suspension movements.

There are also different types of shock absorbers that were manufactured for the different cars. The different types include Conventional Telescopic, Strut Type and Spring Seat shock absorbers.

Conventional Telescopic – these are the standard devices that are so cheap that a mechanic would rather replace than repair. They can be used for front and rear suspension.

Strut Type – these were made specifically for heavier loads. Part of the system is equipped with a strut to withstand the heavier loads on bigger vehicles. Certain parts of this model can be repaired whilst others need to be completely replaced.

Spring Seat – these versions are the two previous shock absorbers almost combined into one. The Spring Seat is the suspension unit and damping unit all in one. They can’t cope with heavy loads like the Strut Type. Sealed off parts would need to be completely replaced instead of repaired.

The shocks are helpful devices that protect the entire wheel as well as the driver. They come in handy with very bumpy roads to avoid any damage to other components of the car. Damaged shock absorbers could lead to damaged wheels then you’ll need to get all those parts replaced and find a wheel supplier that can replace the wheels and tyres.

How to Save on Electricity in 2018

Solar energy represents an inexhaustible source of energy. Thanks to its unlimited and free supply throughout the year more and more households and electrical appliances and powered by it. However, none of it would be possible without a medium converting the energy from the Sun into electricity – a solar panel.

Using a solar powerhouse brings along many advantages. The first and for most people the biggest advantage is a lower power bill. Installation of a solar powerhouse requires a decent amount of money as an initial investment but, on the other hand, the sum is not that high and the money will gradually pay back in the form of reduced expenses for electrical energy. Additionally, solar panels do not serve only as the sources of electrical energy production. They can be also used for heating and water warming.

The second biggest reason for a solar photovoltaics is the easy maintenance of the whole system. While other types of powerhouses require frequent monitoring this one allows you to go on holiday without having to worry what might happen. While you are enjoying your free time on vocation the solar powerstation continually generates energy that you can then use. As it does not contain any moveable parts the chances of the breakdown are quite small. Provided service inspections a few times a year the solar complex can run smoothly for several decades.

On top of that, solar powerhouses are environmentally friendly as they do not emit carbon dioxide or other harmful substances.

The only disadvantage is the fluctuating amount of potential energy over the year. Solar panels work most effectively when the sunshine is falling on them directly. The more cloudy the sky is the lower performance they have. Of course, not everyone who desires a solar powerhouse lives close to the equator. Their unique geographical location allows them to fully use the sunlight only during certain times of the year.

Nevertheless, latest findings from one of the best world university shows that it does not mean an obstacle for enjoying all the benefits anymore. A powerful and effective solution for such people are 3D solar panels that generate provably more energy than their 2D versions. Thanks to their flexible arrangement the photovoltaic panels absorb as much sunlight as possible regardless of a year season. Furthermore, 3D Solar Panels are so easy to install that you anyone can do it themselves in less than a day.

Nine Things To Do When a Spouse or Parent Passes Away

As we age, we are inevitably confronted with the loss of a loved one. Sometimes we have time to prepare, other times it is sudden. If we are fortunate enough to have some time to prepare mentally and emotionally, the process of coordinating these items can be much more controlled and organized.

If the death is sudden and we are dealing with it unexpectedly, it will be harder as the traumatic and emotional effects of our loved one’s passing are still fresh and we need time to allow ourselves to grieve. Aside from the immediate needs for the funeral arrangements, final medical bills, and notification of family and friends, the rest of these items can be handled over the coming weeks or even months if you are not ready or willing to address them immediately after your loss.

The following 9 items should be addressed as soon as you are able to grieve and get comfortable taking on the challenge.

Item 1 – Get 5-10 extra copies of Certified Death Certificate.

For most survivors, you will need the ability to prove the death of your spouse or parent in order to transfer or change the ownership on assets, close accounts or modify existing benefit programs. Most of the companies and organizations that handle these items will require a certified copy of the death certificate as proof of death. Some may be willing to use a photocopy if you ask. They may be required to visually inspect the certificate before they accept a photo copy, just to ensure that it is an original and is certified.

Unfortunately, there are individuals out there who attempt to collect death benefits by using falsified and illegal death certificates. This has become more common and many institutions will not accept copies because of this. But, especially if you are meeting with the institution in person, bring an original, certified copy and ask if they can make and accept a photocopy.

Each of these original, certified death certificates will cost between $5 and $25 if you get them at the time of the funeral. If you wait until weeks, months or years later, they could cost $50 to $200 depending on where you have to get them from.

Estimate your needs for the bank, brokerage, IRA, 401k, life insurance, annuity and other accounts that you have. Then add about 5 more to that number for various others that may require it. Plus always save at least one original for your future records and your family in case they need it later.

Item 2 – Assemble Your Trust Team.

Your Trust Team. Who is on your Trust Team? For most people, this should start with family members. Parents, children or siblings should always be considered first. As you age, it may even include some grandchildren who you have learned are worthy of your trust. This first component is those individuals that you know you can trust because they share your grief and are always looking out for your best interest.

Many of the decisions that you will need to make over the coming months may involve looking out for your best interest and your financial, emotional and physical well-being. While the ultimate decision is always yours, you need the advice, input, insights and help of your trusted loved ones to help shape the best decisions for your present and future needs.

After you decide on a few trusted family members, you should then add some of the following outside members to your team. I suggest that if you have a financial and estate advisor, bring them in first to review your situation and make suggestions on what can be done first without the need for an attorney. Most good financial and estate advisors will be able to help you handle all the filings and forms needed to make death claims, benefit changes and updates with the need for attorney fees at this point. If you already have an existing relationship with this financial advisor, there may be little to no costs involved with these services.

If you were to bring in an attorney first, many of these basic filings would be charged to your account at rates that could amount to 5 percent of the value of the assets, transfers or distributions. These costs could be saved by using a financial advisor to guide you through them.

You will also want to involve your income tax preparer at some point to make sure that you get everything properly arranged with the IRS before the end of the year that the death occurred. If you don’t, there may be penalties that will be incurred.

Having a lawyer involved is something that you may need to do. But I would read the rest of these items and then make sure you have the checklist of items that you want the attorney to handle. If done correctly, much of the estate will already be administered and distributed before you visit with the attorney.

Item 3 – Contact Employers and Social Security

You will need to contact Social Security to notify them of the death. They will then begin processing the information and stop any monthly payments if there were any. Don’t worry, this is normal. A surviving spouse will receive the higher of the two social security amounts upon the death of one spouse. As an example. If Spouse A was receiving $1,000 monthly and Spouse B was receiving $750 monthly, if spouse A passes away, Spouse B will then receive the higher of the two amounts, $1,000 each month from then on.

Contact all past and present employers of the deceased. Ask if there were any death benefits as part of their employment. Also, ask if there were any death benefits as part of their retirement plan. Ask if there are any modifications needed to any monthly pensions that are being received. Finally, ask if there are any modifications needed for their health insurance if it was being provided through the company. Based on these answers, you will know if there is anything additional to take care of.

Item 4 – File Life Insurance Claims

Many individuals have multiple life insurance policies, possibly from several different companies over the years. If you find the policies or receive any bill or statements in the mail, inquire about the death benefits and options that you have available. Provided that you were the beneficiary, there should only be a few forms to fill out and submit before you can receive your life insurance death proceeds. You may need to file a death claim for each different policy that you have in order to satisfy all policy claims.

Item 5 – Contact Banks, Brokerage, and Credit Unions

Your local bank, brokerage, and credit union will need to be notified of the death. If your accounts were owned jointly with your spouse or parent, then you will just need to change the names on the account to remove the deceased individual. If they were only in the name of the deceased, then you will need to handle them differently. Ask the institution what their rules and procedures are as they pertain to these accounts and file the appropriate paperwork to handle the transactions.

Item 6 – Close Unwanted and Unneeded Accounts

It probably makes sense that you should close out any unwanted or unneeded accounts at this time. The only exception is that you may want to keep one joint account open, in case you receive a check payable to the deceased. You may be able to deposit this check into the joint account by signing it over for “Deposit Only”. This could save you an expensive trip to the attorney or surrogate court’s office later.

Item 7 – Revise Wills and Powers of Attorney

It is always a good idea to review your wills, power of attorney, medical directives, health care proxies and any trusts that you may have established on a regular basis at least every 3 to 5 years. It becomes even more important after the death of a spouse or parent. You may need to revise executors, trustees, and other appointees to reflect the current situations.

You will also want to look at your existing beneficiary arrangements and see if they can be simplified, modified and corrected to better represent your current wishes. These can be done with an attorney, or online, or with one of the many legal software programs that are available. The key is to make sure they get revised, executed, and notarized as needed.

Item 8 – Review Real Estate Ownership Arrangements

If the deceased owned any real estate on their own or jointly with others, you will need to take a look at how this will be affected by their death. There are certain rights that joint owners of real estate can have, or not have, depending on the type of ownership. It can also differ from one state to the next depending on whether the owner was a resident or held the property for vacation purposes.

Once you have a clear picture of what type of ownership arrangements exist, you can then begin looking into how it should and will be handled. You may need to consult with a real estate attorney, but I would begin by asking what they charge for a “Real Estate” transaction.

Only after you find this out, mention that this will involve a deceased owner. It may cost a little more as real estate transaction for a deceased owner, but if you mention it as an estate transaction, many attorneys will try to charge a much higher fee, (possibly up to 5% of the value of the house) run it through probate and the estate process. This could cost you thousands instead of hundreds of dollars if you let them. But now you know better.

Item 9 – Protect and Preserve Your Assets From Fraud

Today we have a whole new breed of criminals out there. Many of them prey on widows and senior citizens. They have no conscience and are more than willing to take advantage of anyone that is willing to listen to their story.

Make sure that you have one or more trusted children, siblings or friends review any kind of financial “opportunities”, investments, donations or scams before you decide to part with your money. These con-artists will try to get small amounts at first, then escalate their fraudulent activities to much larger amounts once they feel they have you on the hook.

Don’t let this happen. Always contact one of your Trust Team members before making any big or suspicious decisions.

Summary:

As we get older, making good decisions can become more difficult. It becomes even more difficult if you just lost a loved one and are in the process of grieving. Don’t let anyone rush you, but listen to your Trusted Team members if they tell you that you need to do something now. Ask them to explain why it needs to be done immediately or if it can wait until you are ready. Some items do require more urgent attention, especially if your loved one passed away closer to the end of a calendar year.

The majority of these items can be handled over a period of time when you are ready to address them. I suggest that you take them one at a time and ask for help from your Trust Team members. Finish one, then move on to another, until you complete them all. If you attempt to do them all at once, you may end up frustrated and unwilling to continue. There is a great saying… “This Too Shall Pass”. Remember that, when you are feeling overwhelmed. This Too Shall Pass!

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Keith Maderer has been a Financial, Investment and Tax professional in the Buffalo-Niagara region for over 30 years. He helps individuals and families to Clarify their needs and goals, Solve their problems, and Simplify their life to avoid the common pitfalls that get in the way of enjoying life and retirement.

He is an author, an entertaining and humorous speaker that enjoys captivating audiences with stories, anecdotes, and messages that inspire and motivate others to achieve their goals.

Factors to Think About When Selecting a Used Car Dealer

Life is a series of decision making processes and deciding which one is the best is not always that easy. When it comes to cars, choosing a good one becomes even harder, especially if it is a second-hand option. There are many ways that can be applied to your search but doing some research always helps. Take time to think about the qualities that you want. When you are looking for a good dealership, there are some factors that can be considered so as to narrow down the options.

The kind of car you want

When you want to buy a used car, then you most definitely have something in mind. When selecting the best seller, consider whether they have that particular automobile in stock. Think about the model and brand that you are looking for. When you have a specific option in mind, then the entire process becomes much easier. If you are not too sure, then the showroom people can assist you even though the final decision lies with you.

After sales services

Find out about the services that they offer after the sale has been completed. It is important to select a seller who will help you in the maintenance of the vehicle to have it running efficiently. If the warranty needs some extra payment, then it is really worth it. This is the part where you take your time to make comparisons between different sellers to come up with the best decision.

Price

Price is always an important consideration. You should compare what different sellers are offering and consider why there are price differences between them. It is always important to choose a vehicle that will not be too much trouble after you make the purchase. Of course, your own budget and the financing you get will determine the price limit that you can work comfortably within.

Condition of the vehicles

The sellers usually have their own rules in the used cars that they have in their showrooms. You could consider things like the mileage, the age of the car, and so on. This is the only way you can get the best value for money.

Variety

If you are not so sure about the car model, then it is advisable that you visit a showroom that has the widest variety of vehicles that you can settle for. As such, you will be able to walk around and select the one that connects with you most uniquely. This process should be done with great caution. It is also important to learn more about the vehicle that you end up picking before making the settlement.

The best sellers are usually able to offer all services that relate to automobiles and so you should be able to get advice regarding financing solutions as well as the most affordable servicing. They should be a place where all your auto needs are satisfied. Some even have online shops where you can browse what is available at your own convenience.

Used cars El Cajon strives to offer the clients unmatched convenience when they are selecting the best cars. There are many vehicle models that you can select from and this is what makes your e experience so much more rewarding. You will receive guidance on the areas that you may not understand.

Is Your Home a Good Fit for a Renewable Energy Retrofit?

Did you know that the amount of sunlight that strikes the earth’s surface in an hour and a half is enough to handle the entire world’s energy consumption for a full year? Solar energy has amazing potential to power our daily lives thanks to constantly-improving technologies.

Solar energy systems come in all shapes and sizes. Residential systems are found on rooftops across the United States, and businesses are also opting to install solar panels to offset their energy costs. Utilities, too, are building large solar power plants to provide cleaner energy to all customers connected to the grid.

There are two main types of solar energy technologies-photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP). You’re likely most familiar with PV, which is utilized in panels. When the sun shines onto a solar panel, photons from the sunlight are absorbed by the cells in the panel, which creates an electric field across the layers and causes electricity to flow.

The second technology is concentrating solar power, or CSP. It is used primarily in very large power plants and is not appropriate for residential use. This technology uses mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto receivers that collect solar energy and convert it to heat, which can then be used to produce electricity.

Every location on Earth receives sunlight at least part of the year. The amount of solar radiation that reaches any one spot on the Earth’s surface varies according to:

Geographic location
Time of day
Season
Local landscape
Local weather.

Because the Earth is round, the sun strikes the surface at different angles, ranging from 0° (just above the horizon) to 90° (directly overhead). When the sun’s rays are vertical, the Earth’s surface gets all the energy possible. The more slanted the sun’s rays are, the longer they travel through the atmosphere, becoming more scattered and diffuse. Because the Earth is round, the frigid polar regions never get a high sun, and because of the tilted axis of rotation, these areas receive no sun at all during part of the year.

The Earth revolves around the sun in an elliptical orbit and is closer to the sun during part of the year. When the sun is nearer the Earth, the Earth’s surface receives a little more solar energy. The Earth is nearer the sun when it is summer in the southern hemisphere and winter in the northern hemisphere. However, the presence of vast oceans moderates the hotter summers and colder winters one would expect to see in the southern hemisphere as a result of this difference.

The 23.5° tilt in the Earth’s axis of rotation is a more significant factor in determining the amount of sunlight striking the Earth at a particular location. Tilting results in longer days in the northern hemisphere from the spring (vernal) equinox to the fall (autumnal) equinox and longer days in the southern hemisphere during the other 6 months. Days and nights are both exactly 12 hours long on the equinoxes, which occur each year on or around March 23 and September 22.

Countries such as the United States, which lie in the middle latitudes, receive more solar energy in the summer not only because days are longer, but also because the sun is nearly overhead. The sun’s rays are far more slanted during the shorter days of the winter months. Cities such as Denver, Colorado, (near 40° latitude) receive nearly three times more solar energy in June than they do in December.

The rotation of the Earth is also responsible for hourly variations in sunlight. In the early morning and late afternoon, the sun is low in the sky. Its rays travel further through the atmosphere than at noon, when the sun is at its highest point. On a clear day, the greatest amount of solar energy reaches a solar collector around solar noon.

The Five Secrets of Successful Estate Planning

Estate planning is something no one really wants to deal with if only because you have to take on the subject of your mortality. Given the rather morose and unhealthy mindset we’ve developed regarding the end of life, it’s safe to say that most people try to avoid talking about death like, well, death. It isn’t an easy topic to bring up, and it certainly doesn’t get any easier when discussing how your belongings will be disseminated after your passing. What’s more, when it comes to your finances, the topic of estate planning is all the more difficult because it involves actually coming face to face with some serious numbers.

It’s too bad that so many people tend to face their final financial planning as a way of showing how little they’ve accomplished over their lifetime. People need to focus on the fact that they are making a plan the benefits their family after you are gone. They should be allowed to grieve, and proper estate planning accomplishes this task.

Here are five secrets (truth be told, it’s just common sense) to successful estate planning:

1. Draft A Will – Mocking up a simple version of your will doesn’t cost much and at least starts the process of where things may stand when you pass.

2. Name the Executor – As the title suggests, this is the person who will handle all aspects of your estate. You want someone you can trust, but you also want someone who you know will do a proper job.

3. A Living will – A living will scares a lot of people because it makes you face the possibility that you’ve either suffered a serious accident or are completely unable to communicate with those around you near the end of your life. Major court cases & drawn-out family dramas have come from a living will not being available & everyone scrambling to perhaps know what you might think would be possibly OK to do for you. It can get messy.

4. Update Your Will – Not only do you need to start the process of planning your estate, but you need to review the documentation at least once a year. Any changes that may come your way such as major life events (i.e., deaths, marriages, etc.) may change the contents of your will, so it pays to look it over regularly.

5. Communication – Before you pass & a final reading of your will takes place, and certainly before you are unable to communicate with your loved ones, you need to keep the lines of communication open so that you can tell everyone what plans you’re making. Yes, your will is the legal document of record, but should an issue arise regarding your intentions, you’ve at least been keeping everyone abreast to your wants.

Estate planning is not a fun time. Rather than approach the matter as a dreary “to-do”, though, think of it as just another note in your day planner. It is a rather defining moment in adulthood and one that everyone must understand is perhaps the most important thing they’ll do to help their family out when you’ve passed on. But it isn’t a way to signify an end to life; it’s more a symbol of you firmly having your sights set on the future.

Don’t let your personal estate planning fall through the cracks. Be sure to address this important documentation as soon as possible for sake of you & your loved ones’ peace of mind today.

What Do The Specifications Mean When Buying A Car?

When you buy a car, the first thing to look at is the specifications on the brochure of the car. Many people know what type of engine a car has just by looking at it, whilst others need to have a proper breakdown of what these specifications mean.

    • Engine – you will only get three types of engines. In this instance, electric hybrids will be excluded. The two main types of engines you will get are diesel and petrol options. Each has a completely different set up to the other, such as the construction of ignition system.
    • Cylinders – this is the amount of cylinders found inside the chamber. Smaller cars have four cylinders whilst the most powerful engines that get used on race tracks will have twelve cylinders. Sometimes, cars will be described with a “straight-six” which means that all cylinders are in a single line opposed to V-Types and horizontal set ups.
    • Displacement – on most of the cars you will notice there is a number like this: 1.4 or 2.0, etc. This is the amount of litres the car will use in a single cycle. Motorbikes will have a number like this for example: 800cc; which means eight hundred cubic centimetres.
    • Transmission – There is a four-speed transmission, five-speed transmission and so on. The number indicates how many gears your car can be put into. There is also manual transmission and automatic transmission which are two different driving systems.
    • Power – Many car owners will know the power of the car by using the unit Horsepower. In simple terms, one horsepower would be the equivalent to the power of one horse. So image what power you will have if the car has 700hp. That is a very fast car.
    • Fuel Tank Capacity – this is a pretty straight forward specification. This is the amount of fuel that the fuel tank can hold. In other words, it could be a 30 litre tank or a 40 litre depend. It will depend of the particular type and size of car. This helps you to understand how much fuel you can use with one full tank so that you can plan your fuel budget.
  • Drivetrain – your car will either be a FWD (front wheel drive), a RWD (rear wheel drive) or a 4×4 (four wheel drive). Keep in mind that a four wheel drive does not mean that the car is an off road vehicle and rather that power gets sent to all of the wheels and tyres. Front wheel drive means that the power gets applied to the front wheels. With FWD the car needs to be pulled. Rear wheel drive sends the force to the back wheels which means that the car is being pushed.

Minty’s is amongst the leading tyre suppliers in South Africa, and is recognized for our high standard of customer service. We have built a reputation amongst our customers and ensure that they receive tyres and alloy wheels of the highest quality, amongst the largest brands nationwide.