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There are a few key perks that can make having a Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card worth it.. Access to the Companion Fare When you have an Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card, the Companion Fare is definitely one of your most valuable benefits. With a Companion Fare, you can get a significant discount...
Reyna Gobel is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The article Most Valuable Perks of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
In honor of my birthday this past week, I bring you 10 things I learned when I was 37…
1. I am more resilient and stronger than I realized.
I faced a lot of fears this past year, including going to India for the first time and getting Delhi Belly all alone in a hotel room for 36 hours — and I survived and am stronger for it! Plus, I went back to India a few months later!
Read all about our second India trip here.
2. I love podcasting — especially with Jesse as the co-host!
About a year ago, we launched The Crystal Paine Show. I have loved learning this new communication medium and getting to have so many of you on the journey with me!
The best part has been getting to do the podcast with Jesse as my co-host. We have a lot of fun putting the shows together each week for you all (and THANK YOU to each and every one of you who tune in and have sent such kind emails and constructive feedback!)
(Also, marriage to my best friend just gets better and better!)
3. My 3 older kids might not need me physically like they used to, but they want to spend as much time with me as they can.
Regular dates, checking in, just hanging out, being available whenever they want to talk, and stepping into their world are the best ways to foster good communication.
(By the way, Jesse and I did a podcast episode on this, but please note that the first 20+ minutes are us recounting our trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. A few people really complained about the long intro on this episode, so if you just want the part about communication, just skip ahead to 23:41 to listen to us talk about communication with our kids.)
4. The best way to get over your fear of having a car accident is to get in the car and drive again — even though it really scares you.
I was in a pretty significant car accident in December and I honestly didn’t want to drive again after it. But I made myself get back in the car and drive the next day… because I knew the longer I waited, the harder it would be. It took me weeks to not feel anxious when I was behind the wheel, but the more I got in the car and drove, the easier it got.
5. Don’t settle for living with pain if the initial doctor’s reports say nothing is wrong.
It took going to a specialist and an MRI to discover my hand was broken after the accident. I’m so grateful that after 6 weeks in a cast, it is fully healed!
6. I love opening up our home.
37 was the year I madly fell in love with hospitality — we hosted hundreds of people this past year and it’s been such a joy (something I never dreamed I would say!)
Read how I got over my fear of hospitality here.
7. I really love National Parks and now want to visit all of them.
I read Dear Bob and Sue earlier this year and it inspired me to want to visit all the U.S. National Parks. Then, we got to visit Yellowstone and Grand Tetons and it confirmed that desire! Now we’re looking for any opportunity to visit another National Park!
8. Jesse and I make a great remodeling team.
Okay, not the actual remodeling part, but we had so much fun planning and picking all the colors and details for our first remodeling project — our bathroom!
9. I am passionate about foster care.
Getting licensed to be foster parents took up hours and hours and hours of this past year and our journey is only beginning. We can’t wait to see what the future holds as we trust God one step at a time in this.
10. God isn’t limited by doctor’s reports that say “impossible.”
Case in point: my 10-week pregnant belly. Also, being pregnant with three older kids instead of being pregnant with a toddler and preschooler (like 10 years ago when I did this the last time!) is a completely different experience!
What’s something YOU learned this past year? I’d love to hear. Share it in the comments! [...]
Do you ever think about who is going to take care of you when you can’t take care of yourself? Is it something you want your family or kids to have to do? What if you don’t have family close by?
According to an April 2019 report by the Urban Institute and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of adults over 65 will develop a need for some kind of long-term services and support. Nearly half will receive some paid care during their lifetime, with 24% needing more than two years of care.
Home health care, assisted living facilities and nursing homes are expensive, and most health and disability insurance policies won’t help pay for them.
Long-term care insurance is one way to defray the — often exorbitant — cost.
Long-Term Care Costs How Much?
Each year, Genworth, a company that sells long-term care insurance, conducts a survey of more than 49,000 providers to find out how much different types of care cost. Results from the 2018 survey showed the annual median costs for various services.
Adult day care: $18,720
Assisted living: $48,000
Homemaker services: $48,048, or $21 an hour
Home health aide: $50,336, or $22 an hour
Semi-private room in a nursing home: $89,297
Private room in a nursing home: $100,375
During the 15 years of the study, the cost of care in an assisted living facility, also known as a residential care facility, has gone up 67%, and private rooms in nursing homes have increased 54%.
What is Long-Term Care Insurance?
Long-term care insurance covers the things regular health insurance or Medicare does not, like nursing home care, assisted living facilities, in-home medical care, in-home assistance for routine daily activities, adult day care, home modification and more.
“Most people actually get family or friends to do the helping, so there’s no money changing hands in that case. But many times, people who need this help don’t have family or friends who are available to do this, or don’t want to do it. And so if they do need help, they have to hire someone,” said Steven Weisbart, senior vice president and chief economist of the Insurance Information Institute.
In a 2016 study, The National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the Center for Insurance Policy Research reported 7.2 million long-term care insurance policies were in effect in 2014.
Benefits kick in when the covered person suffers from dementia or another cognitive impairment or can no longer do at least two of six “activities of daily living” on their own such as bathing, dressing, eating, getting out of bed and using the toilet.
A doctor usually needs to show that a patient needs long-term care before a policy would kick in. Each policy has an elimination period before benefits begin, a monthly maximum benefit and a total benefit period. Some policies include inflation protection and a lifetime maximum. Once you buy a policy, as long as you pay your premiums, the company cannot cancel it.
How Much is Long-Term Care Insurance?
There is no way around it. Long-term care insurance can be pricey. According to 2019 data from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, about 350,000 Americans bought some type of long-term care protection in 2018. They paid an average annual premium of $2,050 for a 55-year-old single male, $2,700 for a 55-year-old single female and $3,050 for a male and female married couple, both age 55.
The same data shows long-term care insurance companies paid out $10.3 billion in claims in 2018. Most were for home care followed by assisted living care.
Premiums depend on a variety of factors.
Age and health: The older you are and the health problems you have impact the price.
Gender: Women usually pay more because they often live longer and therefore have a greater chance of making a claim.
Marital status: Single people pay more than married couples. Couples can also get a shared rider allowing them to share a pool of benefits, lowering the individual cost for both.
The insurance company: Companies charge different prices for similar policies.
Coverage: You’ll pay more for a shorter elimination period, higher daily and monthly limits, longer coverage period, inflation adjustments, etc.
Once you have a policy, the insurance company cannot raise the premium just for you, but they can raise it for everyone in a particular classification, and they often do.
During the past several years, the number of companies selling long-term care policies has dwindled, and companies have increased rates on older policies as they made assumptions about how people would use their policies. Many companies thought people would progress from living at home and needing care, to assisted living, to nursing care. Instead most claims are ending in the same place where they began. Also, fewer people dropped policies and insurance companies paid out more claims than they expected.
The one good thing about long-term care insurance premiums is they are tax deductible. The amount you can deduct depends on your age, increasing as you get older.
Medicare and Medicaid Limitations
For people age 65 and over, Medicare covers only short nursing home stays, mainly for rehabilitation, and limited home health care options. It does not pay for long-term care.
Medicaid will pay for some long-term care, but only kicks in if a person has depleted financial resources. It does not pay for assisted living and there are long waiting lists and limited availability for nursing homes because low reimbursement rates make care facilities reluctant to accept Medicaid patients.
Some states have what they call partnership plans with insurance companies to encourage people to plan for the expenses that go along with long-term care. These plans often involve a way to keep some assets and still quality for Medicaid. Call your state’s insurance department to find out if your state has a partnership plan.
Should I Buy Long-Term Care Insurance?
Thinking through how you will pay for long-term care is an important part of any financial plan. Don’t wait until you need care to figure it all out.
Long-term care insurance can protect your savings and give you more choices for care. In the bigger picture, it can provide peace of mind knowing that you won’t be putting the burden of your care on family or friends.
If you feel you can cover the cost of long-term care, you might not want to buy long-term care insurance. You can probably afford to self-insure if you use less than 4% of your savings each year for living expenses.
If you have no assets, Medicaid might provide you the care you need.
“So all of us who are in the middle, not too poor, and not too rich, are the potential long-term care [insurance] audience,” Weisbart said. “If long-term care services can be provided by family and friends, then you don’t need long-term care insurance. But, if there is no family or friends, if there isn’t a way that you can be sure that you will be able to handle these things, or if you’re in the middle income group, those kinds of conditions suggest that you might take a shot at some long-term care insurance.”
In addition to looking at finances, assess your risk by looking at your health, hereditary conditions, and longevity in your family.
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Need some easy meals for 25 people…or maybe just some easy recipes for large groups? Here’s how we fed 27 people on our recently family vacation including the meals we made + how we divvied up the responsibilities.
Be sure to also check out my post from earlier this year on Our Vacation Menu Plan for a Crowd + last year’s Big Family Vacation Menu Plan!
Easy Meals for 25+ People
Last week, we drove to Lampe, MO to spend a week at Table Rock Lake with almost all of my extended family. (This time around it was my parents, 2 brothers, 3 sisters, and their spouses and kids. My youngest brother couldn’t come because he’s working at the Wild’s camp this summer).
My dad rented Caboose Junction Resort for us all (it has a main house and then 6 caboose that have been turned into small “cabins”).
In addition to spending lots of time skiing, boating, and swimming, we ate a lot of yummy meals. But in order to feed 27 people without it being too much work, we not only stuck with easy meals for 25+ people, but we also all pitched in and helped with the food.
Since you all loved my large group menu plan posts, I wanted to, once again, share what we ate and how we planned and divided up the responsibilities. This might give you some inspiration in case you need some suggestions for easy meals for 25+ people.
How We Planned and Divvied Things Up
Like last time, my sister planned the menu with easy meals that would feed a crowd and sent out a sign-up form using Perfect Potluck (it’s free and so easy to use!). Each family signed up for the main dishes and side dishes they wanted to be in charge of.
(A screenshot of the sign up form on Perfect Potluck.)
Whatever meals or parts of meals you signed up for, you were in charge of bringing the ingredients for and cooking/baking.
We also had a sign-up for kitchen clean-up, too, so that one person didn’t have to do a bunch of the clean up and everyone could enjoy plenty of time for fun!
Easy Breakfasts for 25+ People
Here’s what we served for breakfast:
Pancakes, Bacon, Scrambled Eggs, Orange Juice
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, Sausage, Eggs, Orange Juice
Baked French Toast, Bacon, Eggs, Orange Juice
Baked Oatmeal Sausage, Eggs, Orange Juice
Biscuits & Gravy, Eggs, Orange Juice
Homemade Granola with fruit and yogurt
Easy Lunches for 25+ People
For lunch, we had our usual huge Build-Your-Own Salad Bar (most all of my family loves salads!). We also had bread and meat/cheese for sandwiches for the kids and any adults who didn’t just want a salad. In addition, we set out any leftovers from breakfast or dinner.
Build-Your-Own Salad Bar Ingredients: A variety of Greens and Lettuce, Canned Salmon, Boiled Eggs, Raisins, Seeds/Nuts, Avocados, Bell Peppers, Cucumbers, Chickpeas, Cherry Tomatoes, Feta Cheese, Croutons, Dressings
Simple Dinners for 25+ People
If you’re looking for some really easy meals for 25+ people, here’s what we made for the dinners:
Spaghetti Pie, Lettuce Salad, Garlic Bread, Green Beans, Fruit
Southwest Rollups (Toppings: Shredded Lettuce, Sour Cream, Salsa), Mexican Rice, Fruit
Pizza & Soda Pop (We ordered from a local pizza place — we ordered it online and then my dad went and picked it up.)
Baked Potato Bar & Five Cup Salad (The toppings we had: Baked Potatoes, Taco Meat, Sour Cream, Cottage Cheese, Chopped Green Onions, Shredded Cheese, Bacon, Salsa, Chopped Tomatoes, Broccoli.)
Grilled Chicken, Lettuce Salad, Homemade Biscuits, Corn on the Cob, Fruit Salad, Steamed Veggies, Twice Baked Potatoes. (I used the leftover baked potatoes to make these.)
Hamburgers/Hot Dogs, Homemade French Fries, Veggie Tray, Leftover Corn on the Cob, Leftover Fruit Salad
It’s amazing how it’s not too much work on any one person to feed 20+ people if we all pitch in and help!
What other ideas of easy meals for 25+ people or easy recipes for large groups do you have? I’d love to hear!
Want to cut your grocery budget? Go here and sign up (it’s free!) I’ll send you my 10 Easy Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill By $50. [...]
Teaching your kids how to fail is one of those underrated parenting skills.
By making mistakes in a controlled, safe environment, kids can learn coping skills before they incur real-world consequences. That’s particularly true when it comes to teaching kids about finance.
Those lessons can have an important impact on your child’s future. A Penny Hoarder survey found that one-third of adult respondents did not grow up discussing basic personal finance topics, such as credit scores or debt. The result? For those with no early financial literacy, 40% had no savings at all, compared to 17% for the group that did discuss finances.
One important lesson that you can teach your kids is how to use credit responsibly — before they get credit cards of their own.
Wondering if you should get your pride and joy a credit card? Here’s why and how to do it so they can learn how to handle credit responsibly.
Should Your Kid Get a Credit Card?
Although it might not seem like a priority, getting your child a credit card helps them build credit history.
You can help protect your child’s credit score from identity theft by checking their score periodically, or at least by the time they turn 15, when the score may become more relevant.
Credit history makes up 15% of your credit score, which will become important to your kids in the future if they want to finance a car, buy a house or possibly even get a job. And unlike other factors — like credit utilization or credit mix— there’s no way to improve your credit history other than with time.
But simply allowing your child to sign up for a credit card presents two problems:
They may not be ready for the responsibility of handling credit and could end up thousands of dollars in debt, thus wrecking the credit score you wanted them to build.
They probably can’t qualify for a card … because they don’t have a credit history.
That’s where you come in.
You can cosign on your child’s credit card or even consider adding your child to your credit card to build credit. Which one should you choose?
Should You Be a Cosigner or Make Your Child an Authorized User?
Choosing between becoming a cosigner or making your child an authorized user starts with their age — you cannot apply for a credit card until you’re at least 18 years old, so that’s the earliest age you could be their cosigner.
But becoming a cosigner on your older teen’s credit card makes you legally responsible for the debt if they miss a payment, according to Todd Christensen, an Accredited Financial Counselor and education manager with MoneyFit.org.
“The problem is, cosigners are not usually 100% involved in the billing process — they do not see, typically, the monthly bill,” he said. “So often, a cosigner will be contacted six to 12 months after a payment is missed, and then be requested to make all the back payments plus fees, and this is in the meantime hurting their credit.”
The CARD Act of 2009 made it more difficult for people under 21 to get a credit card. However, there are plenty of cards that are marketed specifically to college students who can prove they can pay.
Adding your child as an authorized user means they aren’t receiving the privileges (or reward points) of having their own card — they’re essentially just carrying your card. For most issuers, an authorized user doesn’t even get a separate credit card number.
That also means your kids are depending on your credit history to build theirs. If your payment record isn’t so great or you have concerns about your ability to keep up with your credit card balance, you way want to consider the cosigner option when your kids get older.
But if you’re ready to teach your kids by showing them what a responsible card holder looks like (that’s you), adding them as an authorized user is the better choice. Here’s why.
Adding Your Child to Your Credit Card to Build Credit
By adding your child as an authorized user on your card, they can learn to handle a credit card in a low-risk way.
“It’s a great opportunity to build credit,” Christensen said. “It doesn’t cost [parents] anything. It doesn’t affect their credit at all.”
The minimum age for adding your child to your credit card depends on your credit card company — many have no minimum age requirements at all — and some premium cards charge a fee for adding an authorized user, so check your issuer’s terms and conditions before adding your child.
Seven years is typically the amount of time needed to establish a good credit history, so adding a very young child as an authorized user won’t do much to help their score.
“I typically recommend it especially in the late teens,” Christensen advised.
You can track your child’s spending instantaneously by setting up text alert messages for all credit card transactions or less frequently by checking your account activity daily.
Still unsure if you can trust your kid with the plastic? You don’t actually need to tell them they’re getting the card.
“I’ve done that with my own kids,” Christensen said. “I had them as an authorized user on my wife’s and my card for several years, and they never knew it until they turned 18.”
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Even though his daughter wasn’t aware she was building her credit history, Christensen noted that she ended up reaping the benefits of having that credit history.
“When my daughter went to apply for a car loan after she moved out, one of the credit ratings had her in the 700s because she was an authorized user on our accounts,” he said.
Additionally, if you’re using the card to teach your older kids about handling credit cards responsibly, by allowing them to be authorized users on your card, they can reap the benefits of building credit — and make a mistake without putting your own score in danger.
As long as your child uses the card responsibly, don’t remove them as an authorized user until they get their own credit card and have had a few years to build that credit history.
“If their credit goes south, it should not make it onto [your] credit rating,” Christensen said. “But even if it did, a simple dispute online will have it removed.”
Ready to give your kids the chance to learn but aren’t sure where to start? Check out The Penny Hoarder Academy’s Credit Cards 101 course and this post on how to use a credit card as guides for teaching them about using credit in a responsible way.
Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Read her bio and other work here, then catch her on Twitter @TiffanyWendeln.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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The post Save on a Subscription to Food Network Magazine! appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Hurry and print this new $3/1 Motrin or Bengay coupon!
There is a new $3/1 Motrin or Bengay coupon available to print! You can use this coupon to score Motrin for free plus overage at Target and Walmart! Here’s how:
Motrin General Pain Reliever 20-Count Capsules – $3.99
Use the 20% Off Motrin IB Cartwheel Offer (exp. 6/08)
Use the $3/1 Adult Motrin or Bengay coupon found here
Get back $1.50 from Ibotta when you buy one select Motrin items 20-count or larger (exp 6/15; limit 5)
Free plus $1.30 overage after coupons and rebate
Motrin Liquid Gels 20-Count Capsules – $3.98
Use the $3/1 Adult Motrin or Bengay coupon found here
Get back $1.50 from Ibotta when you buy one select Motrin items 20-count or larger (exp 6/15; limit 5)
Free plus $0.52 overage after coupon and rebate
Thanks, Hip2Save! [...]