Jennifer_Warren Archive

The Changing Ways of Cost-effectively Honoring the Dead

mortician carrying the urn to a bed of white rosesToday, funerals are more about honoring the dead than following religious traditions. And there is no problem with that. As you honor your late loved one’s wishes, you are preparing them for the afterlife–whether that’s Heaven in your religion or simply them laying on the ground waiting for natural processes to set it.

What are the changes that have made burials in Ogden more memorable but less costly, you ask? Here are some:

Cremation

Cremation is on the rise, with more dead bodies being cremated than buried traditionally in cemeteries as of recent. More people seem to prefer cremation because it gives them the ashes or cremains of their loved ones, which they can store in an urn at home, scatter in the deceased’s chosen spot, or keep in a crematorium. This eliminates costs such as casket purchase and digging a hole in the ground. There is also no need to prepare the body for viewing, removing costs associated with embalming and grooming.

Donating to Science

For those who would like their death to help future generations understand the human body better, donating to science is a great opportunity. Anyone can make arrangements for this in advance so that when they reach their end, their family members already know what to do. If you donate a body to a laboratory or educational facility, they often take care of the transportation of the body and its eventual cremation. Some facilities return the ashes to the loved ones, while others plant a tree in honor of the deceased donor.

Pre-paying

This is more than just a way to pay for the same amount in advance. Through pre-planning a funeral, you’re using money that would otherwise be used for taxes and paying for a senior home, where most retired individuals go to get the care and assistance they need. Rather than waiting for your money to be used up paying for assisted living, use it to buffer the costs of a funeral.

Being alive is expensive, but so is dying. Prepare for the costs so your family can focus on grieving.

What Makes Phoenix a Thriving City

a happy family sitting outside their homePhoenix is one active city, with its residents all contributing to Arizona’s overall growth. In Phoenix, you will not have to worry about staying out late or needing a quick burger fix in the middle of the night. You will not have to worry about unemployment either.

Here are some of the factors that make Phoenix a good place to settle down:

Competitive mortgage rates

Phoenix is home to plenty of mortgage lenders, one of which is the Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc., that collaborate with real estate agents to make the loan application easier. You can easily find a mortgage rate you will be comfortable to make payments for, and qualifying for it should not be hard if you keep your credit score in check. Even for those who have a bad credit score, there are mortgage options available.

An active crime-fighting community

There is a possibility of crime anywhere. It is impossible to find a place with no history of crimes at all. What’s good about Phoenix is that the residents genuinely care for each other, as evident in the police crime watch that they have in place. What started as a small group in WhatsApp is now the Phoenix Crime Community Assist, which helps residents deal with emergency situations. Not a lot of places can proudly say that they have such level of care for the safety of their residents.

Great work opportunities

Phoenix used to be a call center hub, but it has expanded beyond that. It is now a tech hub, where IT corporations plant their roots and thrive. This means great opportunities for you, especially if you are working in the technology sector. Moving to Phoenix would not seem like a tough choice if you have a job waiting for you.

Whether you are seeking to live independently or start your own family, there is no question Phoenix is a good place for you.

NZ Government Assures Safety of Cladding in Apartments

Modern Cladding SystemThe New Zealand government assured the public that cladding systems remain safe for apartments, despite fire-related incidents abroad.

In London, faulty building materials allegedly caused the 24-story Grenfell Tower to be in flames. Those that worry about their homes catching fire can heave a sigh of relief since the New Zealand government banned the use of these materials on January 1.

Flammable Cladding?

Flammable claddings in apartment buildings are uncommon in New Zealand, according to Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith. Still, the government is not taking any chances, as it required councils nationwide to find out if there are any faulty materials used in their areas before the ban.

In May, several proposals aim to enhance fire safety regulations for high-rise buildings. These measures included stricter verification for cladding systems and improving accessibility for water supply and fire hydrants.

For now, businesses should only transact with domestic companies that provide products and services designed and developed in New Zealand.

Local Expertise

When searching for reputable cladding providers, look for those vouched by the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) such as Nu-Wall Aluminium Cladding. The company uses local supplies in manufacturing its cladding systems before shipping them to construction projects worldwide.

In this way, you can be sure that these products went through screening by New Zealand’s quality standards. Nu-Wall combined different elements in creating their cladding solutions, taking aesthetics, weather-resistance and functionality into account.

BRANZ has appraised the company for three times, which makes it a good choice for residential and commercial building projects.

While concerns have spread over the safety of cladding systems, New Zealand has stringent safety measures for applying these materials to its buildings. Many local companies adhere to these guidelines not just to retain customers, but also to maintain their reputation as industry leaders.

6 Cost-Effective Ways to Improve Your Business

Team brainstorming about business plan and growthA startup business always needs cash to support its operations. This, however, should not hinder you from achieving your goals. You need to find ways to get through the process and succeed in your industry. Marketing experts from Vonazon share some effective ways to improve your business without having to suffer financially:

1. Always Help Your Customers

Your focus should be to help the customers, and as a result, the business will run smoothly. Every time you add value to the lives of your customers, they will reciprocate that gesture by being loyal to your brand. This relationship will provide cash consistently to finance the growth of your business.

2. Open a Credit Line

Banks are always lending money to interested and qualified parties. You should establish a relationship with the bank and open a credit line that will boost your purchasing power. If the current interest rate is low, then you can easily repay the loan.

3. Automate Marketing

This is a cheap and effective solution. You may use a software application to automate different marketing processes within your organization. You will need to automate some repetitive tasks in different departments of your business. These tasks include website optimization, video production, social media marketing, and email marketing. With marketing automation, you will make different tasks easier and effective.

4. Build Strategic Partnerships

If you want your business to excel, you need strategic relationships through which you can outsource some tasks. By outsourcing tasks that are not very competitive, you can ensure that your business remains efficient and offers quality services regardless of its size.

5. Provide Excellent Customer Service

You will need to deal with sales inquiries and after sales support. You can use a variety of tools to improve customer support. Great service will not cost you much, but will greatly enhance the customer experience.

6. Focus on Now

To avoid wasting precious resources, you should focus on proper planning and build your operations around the challenges you are currently facing. You should save money to solve existing problems and prepare for the future. Running a business is more than just selling and providing services. You need to oversee all aspects of the operations to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction and maximize your profits.

How Divorce Affects Your 401(k)

A Couple Going Through DivorceThe distribution of assets during divorce proceedings go farther than bank account holdings and household income. To reasonably split the finances accrued during the course of your marriage, you also have to deal with the finances you put in your 401(k) accounts. Your divorce attorneys in Denver, Colorado will explain the protocol in your state, but you can thoroughly understand the procedure by knowing how courts split it for couples.

1. Decide Between Marital and Separate Property

When dividing your 401(k) accounts, the first step is to identify the total finances you both put into the account during the marriage. The courts won’t really consider finances deposited before the marriage eligible for sharing to both parties. Generally, assets that either of the spouses owned before the marriage, such as 401(k) funds, are separate property. On the other hand, if both of you contributed to the 401(k) accounts during the marriage, then you will most likely divide the finances.

2. Estimate the Splitting of Shared Assets

The state where you live will conclude how to split your whole assets throughout the divorce proceedings. Most community-property states will divide the 401(k) funds that qualify as marital property evenly among the parties. In equitable distribution states, however, the judge could choose to divide the assets in a different manner for they would rather look at the big picture.

3. Finalize the Division Through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order

Besides acquiring a properly accomplished divorce decree, your lawyer should complete and present a qualified domestic relations order concerning your retirement account. This order will specify that the account should be divided based on the divorce order. As soon as the account administrators and judge approves it, they will place your name on the 401(k) as an additional payee.

With the above process, you will be able to claim the retirement property owed to you during the divorce. Ensure that you take your time in maneuvering the allocated 401(k) plans to protect you financially in the future.

Are You Buying the Right House in Brisbane?

Buying a Brisbane PropertyBrisbane is one of the most liveable cities in Australia. It's easy to overlook Brisbane when you’ve set your eyes on the bustling city of Sydney or the quaint and sentimental Melbourne. Through the years, Brisbane has created an image of being relaxed, laid-back, casual and not short on any cultural activities. However, when buying a property, you still need to make sure you get your money’s worth. Here’s how.

Decide on how far you want to be from the CBD.

If you're single or married without children, and you're moving to Brisbane for that job in the CBD, look in–or at least near–the centre. If you want to live in the suburbs, make sure you’re not off the grid, and that everything you need is accessible.

Investigate the property and the area.

You may have found the house you think is perfect for your family. Should you get it right away? No. Take time to investigate and uncover everything–the good and the bad.

Ask the owner why they are selling the property. If you don’t get a straightforward answer, it might be a red flag. This is the time to dig deeper. For instance, you may find out that it’s prone to floods. If this is something you don’t want to risk, move on and continue your search.

Get a property valuation.

Make sure you're paying for market value. Even if the house is within your budget, this doesn’t mean you're paying right. Usually, sellers get the service of property valuators to know how much their property is worth. However, it’s best if you double-check through professional valuation. A certified property valuator will factor in attributes such as location, building condition and local council zoning.

Find out more about the community.

The house, the location and all the technicalities are not the only factors. You're buying it so you can live in it. You'll want to look into the neighbourhood and the community more closely.

Do you feel safe living there with your family? How active is the community when it comes to family and cultural activities? Also, consider whether you're a perfect fit.

Buying a property isn’t as easy as pointing where you want to be on the map. It's not enough that it's only a four-hour drive from Bundaberg or the Mon Repos Turtle Rookery. It's going to be your home, so you need to feel at home.