Monthly Archives: April 2019

What It’s like to Retire to Indiana

IndianapolisHow Indiana got the nickname of the Hoosier State is still up for debate, although you have probably encountered the term “Hoosier hospitality”. But will you really experience this famous hospitality if you choose to retire there? This article might give you a clue.

The Hoosier Hospitality

Sporting a median age of 37.2, it is obvious that retirees do not make up much of the population in Indiana. This is nothing to worry about though, because you might easily feel at home in the Hoosier State. Hoosiers pride themselves on being caring and polite. As a tourist or a newcomer, you might find that the people make sure that you feel welcome, especially in the smaller towns.

The cost of living in Indiana is also relatively low. With the median home price of approximately $114,100 (for comparison, the national average is nearly $280,000), you may say that it literally does not take much to find your home there.

The arts and culture scene

The small town of Nashville in Brown County, Indiana has dubbed itself the “artist’s colony of the Midwest.” You can see this justified by the galleries and artist studios that line the streets of this tiny town.

If the arts and culture scene is already large in such a small town, what more in the more in the bigger cities? Indeed, Indianapolis and the suburbs surrounding it have an opera company and a symphony orchestra. The Center for the Performing Arts, a three-venue performing arts center in Carmel, Indiana, also attracts musicians, performers and artists from all over the world.

The flourishing art scene of Indiana may be attributed to the numerous college communities in the state. Being the home to more than 50 colleges and universities, the state provides a wide customer base for locally-owned shops, ethnic restaurants and music events that some towns might not have.

retired senior couple enjoying breakfast

The climate

Winters in the Midwest are notoriously gritty. From December up until March, the normal temperature is normally below freezing point. There are lots of things you could do when the weather is nice enough though. Pete Dye, who is considered as one of the fathers of modern golf course architecture, has designed seven brilliant courses that you can enjoy at the Pete Dye Golf Trail. Indiana also sports miles of shoreline on Lake Michigan. If you want to go canoeing, try the Chain O’ Lakes State Park that features a cluster of eight beautiful lakes.

Healthcare and medical services

You may find the healthcare in Indiana to cost less than most parts of the US. Several hospitals that are renowned nationally are located in Indianapolis but, sometimes, the people who live in the northern part of the state prefer to head to Chicago for better medical services. The costs to avail of assisted-living and hospice in Indiana are significantly lower than the national average too.

Normally, people from colder states in the US prefer to retire someplace warmer. This might be part of the reason why the Midwest is not a particularly popular region for retirement. But if you are the kind of retiree who would not mind experiencing some real winter and warm, welcoming neighbors, Indiana is perfect for you.

Applying tint foil on a car window in a garage

Drivers’ Primer on Car Window Tint Care

Applying tint foil on a car window in a garage

Window tint has become necessary for drivers battling the daily commute in sunny and warm parts of the world. Protective car tint for Scottsdale, AZ residents reduce glare and improve road safety.

Is car tint necessary?

Some drivers manage to go by for years without tint, and they’re okay with it. However, in a warming world, and in time of the year when the sun’s rays hit the windshield without mercy, even the most stubborn car owner would start considering quality tint. Darkened glass looks cool and current. The best car tint material is scratch-proof and does not tear readily. When it’s time to choose remember there are legal restrictions as to how dark you can go. Make sure you are compliant to local and federal regulations.

When it’s time to clean the windows of your car

Along with the benefits described above, there is a downside. Tinted car windows come with precise cleaning instructions. No matter how well the tint has been applied it would have to be cleaned in time. After all, the thin film adheres to the inside surface of the windows, and are exposed to various chemical compounds and environmental conditions. Remember to refrain from cleaning a newly applied car window for the first 30 days. You may be tempted to do so, but trust us when we say you’d best leave the film alone.

Cleaners containing ammonia should be kept away from tinted car windows. Ammonia is harsh, and it weakens the tint. If you continue using chemicals with ammonia you’d be dealing with torn or scraped tint. When cleaning windows, you must prepare a dry cloth for removal of the cleaning compound.

Essential tools for window tint maintenance

Cleaning tinted window glass should be done with a soft rag or cloth. If you only have paper towels, head out to the supermarket, and look for microfibre towels. They’re not difficult to find. If you already have a sponge for the car, or a squeegee, abandon the plan of using them. You need a microfibre cloth and soap that does not contain ammonia.

When applying a cleaner solution, stay out of the edges. When wet cloth touches the edges, the fluid could seep into the microscopic layer between the glass and film. When this occurs, you’d see bubbles building up—a terrible sign. Bubbles will go away if the patch is rather small, and can still be addressed with a heat gun.

Watch out for a white film on the windows

Installing tint film on car window

The white film is the bane of many car owners. If you don’t follow window cleaning instructions, the while film will remind you of your filly. The film also arises from road salt, hard water exposure, and the action of pollutants. To avoid this unfortunate development and unsightly water spots, wash the windows under the shade.

Cleaning is an essential aspect of car tint care. If you are new to car window films, you’d better know how to maintain them properly.

woman with the flu

How Flu Affects the Respiratory System

woman with the fluOne of the deadliest natural disasters in the world is an all-too-common disease: flu. Back in 1918, Spanish influenza infected more than 450 million people and eventually wiped out about 3 percent of the global population.

In spite of the vaccines today, flu continues to kill men, women, and children. Most of these deaths, though, were associated with complications, such as respiratory infections.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 650,000 people die each year due to respiratory diseases that can accompany seasonal influenza. These include pneumonia. The risks of death are higher among certain groups such as children.

Unlike bacterial infections that can disappear with antibiotics, flu is viral. The most practical approach is to deal with the symptoms as early as possible to reduce the complications. If a child suffers from flu with wet cough (it has phlegm), it’s best to provide them with a mucolytic agent.

What’s a Mucolytic Agent?

Medication such as a Fluimucil sachet is mucolytic since it targets the buildup of mucus on the lungs and throat. It’s normal for people to produce mucus. In fact, the body needs it since it helps trap the pathogens that enter the nasal cavity. The body, though, has the mechanism to get rid of it without the person knowing it.

When a person contracts the flu virus, the pathogen can attack the respiratory system, particularly the lungs and airways. As an immune response, the body can produce more mucus.

woman sick on her couch

To remove the buildup of mucus, the body tries to expel it by coughing. The problem is, when there are excessive amounts, mucus can become viscose or sticky. It becomes more challenging to get rid of it. A lot of mucos can trap more viruses and bacteria, which can still multiply in the respiratory system.

A mucolytic medication can help provide breathing relief and decrease the likelihood of infection by thinning out the mucus. In the process, it becomes easy for the body to cough it out.

The Challenges of Giving Mucolytic Medicine on Children

Depending on the age, a child with flu and cough might have to take a mucolytic medication, which can be a tablet, syrup, or drops. There are pros and cons to each option. Syrups and drops are the easiest to administer since they’re liquids. Those meds for children usually have a fruity or sweet flavour to make them more appealing. These drugs, though, are ideal for little ones only.

Older children might have to take the tablet form, and it can be challenging for the parents. One, they typically don’t have the best flavour. Sometimes they even leave an aftertaste. Some children have difficulty in swallowing pills. They have a condition called dysphagia, or they might have had a negative experience with medication. In these situations, parents can consider effervescent tablets or granule sachets, which they can dissolve in fluids such as water.

Influenza doesn’t have a cure, but the symptoms are manageable, especially with the right medication. To know more about how to fight the flu, the Ministry of Health provides more information.

person loading boxes for shipping

Ways to Reduce Your Shipping Costs

person loading boxes for shippingShipping costs often eat into the bottom lines of many companies, especially if they can’t pass on the additional fees to the customer. However, you can lower these costs without compromising the customer experience.

Due to the constant increase in gas prices, some businesses end up spending a fortune in transportation costs. Sometimes, these costs can be as high as 50 percent. To avoid bleeding money, you have to pass on these costs to the consumers.

Doing so increases the price of goods, sometimes putting them just beyond the affordability of the market. A slowdown in sales can hurt your bottom line. Working with European road haulage companies can help lower your transportation costs.

Stick to one carrier

As with all businesses, you will get better prices when a logistics company handles all your shipping needs. High volumes entitle you to better charges, which can lower your transportations costs. You only need to find the carriers with the best rates.

In addition to looking at the charges, you also need to be sure that the carrier has a large fleet to cover all your delivery routes. Picking the company covering most routes spares you from the shipping headaches. Offering a carrier large work volume elevates your status with them, which gives you sufficient leverage to negotiate the best possible rates.

It transports your firm into a critical business account, which means that the carrier might go to great lengths to retain your business. However, you need to be sure that they can avoid loss and delayed deliveries as these can lead to dropping customer satisfaction.

woman receiving shipment

Consolidate all your shipments

Unless you’re dealing with perishable goods, you can opt to gets all your deliveries in one day. In most cases, the pay rate with haulage companies is negotiated on distance, weight, and other variables. Consolidating shipments increases the size of the load, which lets you reap the rewards of larger purchases. Your ability to make changes depends on the type of cargo you handle and the size of your business. It’s imperative to crunch the numbers and consider other relevant factors before making a decision.

Rethink your packaging strategy

Typically, you want to ensure that all your shipments get to their destinations in one piece. However, the need to protect your goods shouldn’t cause you to incur a fortune in shipping fees. Refining your packaging strategy enables you to pack more products in a pallet.

You can switch to cube boxes as you can stack them well to take a few spots on the pallet. Your preferred carrier can help you with the process of building more efficient pallets to increase product safety and efficiency.

In the end, you should remember that lowering your shipping costs can give you an edge on the market. Due to the reducing overhead costs, you can price your products affordably while ensuring a healthy bottom line. Working with a reliable hauler can help you meet these goals quickly. If you feel unsure, you can seek the advice of an expert.

father and son

Solo Dads: Simple Ways of Showing Them Love and Appreciation

father and son

Parenting is an enormous responsibility and requires great sacrifice to make sure that your family’s present and future are secured. It’s all the more challenging for those individuals who become single parents because of circumstances. Although it is a difficult situation regardless of gender, it still hurts to see an individual undertaking the responsibility of two people.

Many adults begin to realize how much a single father or a mother sacrificed for their child. For many fathers, the problem may be more difficult, as they may lack some skills in taking care of toddlers and babies. If you know someone who is a single father, you know how difficult their life can be. Here are some things you can do with your friend, brother, or father to celebrate their fatherhood.

Travel together

Do you remember when your dad used to take you to places of fun such as the carnival or video game arcade? Now that you’re an adult, you might say that it’s your turn now. Being a father is a busy undertaking, let alone being a single parent. Therefore, your dad wouldn’t have much time for himself because he dedicated a big portion of his life to raising you. Despite that, he’s still human, and the longing for entertainment and adventure won’t be answered by watching TV. Ask them what kind of place they’d be interested in going to and travel there. You can prevent interruptions when you travel together, stick to your car’s regular maintenance schedule.

Take the time to talk

father and son

A good old-fashioned conversation doesn’t require much preparation or spending. You only need to dedicate a bit of your time to engage your dad in an interesting discussion. Fathers aren’t usually expressive of their emotions, so you won’t see what they feel until you try to break the ice and talk to them. It could come as simple as grabbing a few beers in your garden and talking about anything and everything under the sun. Tell him how you appreciate him for the little things such as taking you to your game or buying you that toy you’ve always wanted as a kid. Such simple sentences can travel miles and would mean a lot to them.

Token of appreciation

For sure, you’ve asked a thing or two from your dad back in the day, and without a second thought, he made sure to give it. Now that you’re a working adult, you’re not reliant on him anymore and can now purchase items with your own money. What better way to use that than giving your dad a gift or two? Regardless of its price, your donation will surely be appreciated. No tag is too big or small for a father that sacrificed so much of him so that you’ll grow up to be a happy child.

Father’s day is a celebration of the sacrifice and loves our dads gave to us. However, we don’t need such special days to make them feel special. After all, whether it’s an ordinary school day or Christmas, he’s never ceased to fulfill his role in your life as both mom and dad.

Getting an insurance

When Do You Need To Have SR-22 Insurance In Illinois?

If you have been looking for SR-22 insurance in Chicago, IL, you may have noticed that rates are more expensive since this document indicates that you are most likely convicted of a serious driving offense, such as a DUI or avoiding payment of damages from a traffic accident.

Drivers normally pay an average of $1,222 on vehicle insurance in the state, and requiring SR-22 insurance will definitely increase your premiums based on your record. Even those who fail to pay child support may need to have this type of insurance, while those with suspended licenses should also have one despite not owning a car.

The Nature Of SR-22

An insurance provider files an SR-22 on your behalf to prove that you have the minimum coverage as required by the Illinois Driver Services Department. Aside from DUIs and not paying damages, those who are required to have this document include being caught driving without insurance at least three times; causing an accident while doing so, and evading tollway fee payments.

You must maintain your SR-22 coverage for at least three years. Otherwise, your license and car registration will be suspended. It’s safe to say that you need to start over again to reinstate your driving privileges. You should renew the insurance at least 45 days before the expiration date since the filing process takes up to a month.

A sample quote for a 30-year-old male driver in Chicago costs between $1,800 and $2,250 for annual SR-22 insurance. This is around 50% to 80% of the price for a similar driver without a DUI conviction or other traffic violations. You could sell your car to qualify for non-owner insurance coverage if you need to drive a car. Non-owner coverage may cost as low as $183 per year, and it only provides liability coverage for occasional driving.

Alternatives To SR-22 Insurance

If you don’t wish to pay for SR-22, an alternative requires you to make a cash deposit of $70,000. You also have the choice of depositing the amount in the form of securities, real estate or surety bonds. This serves as a guarantee in exchange for being able to drive again. These options are definitely not any cheaper than paying for SR-22 coverage.

The only ways to avoid spending on a high-risk insurance policy will involve taking public transportation, riding a bike or carpooling. In case you leave Illinois, it’s possible to file a waiver of responsibility for SR-22. Take note that you may still be required to purchase it in another state, as SR-22 laws are similar in most parts of the U.S.

Conclusion

Insurance benefitsIt’s important to ask for as many quotes as possible from different insurers before making a purchase decision. Once you find an insurer that offers SR-22, they will submit the form to the state department. You could check with the Driver Services Department about the paperwork status. You could start driving as soon as your license is reinstated even if you haven’t received the paperwork yet.

two men making a construction plan

Increasing Property Value by Successful Remodeling Projects

two men making a construction planSuccessful home remodeling projects can increase its value. This, however, requires thorough planning and execution to make the most of your investment. It’s not just about making your property look more appealing to other people. You also need to be efficient on how to allocate your resources. This means setting your priorities right in place.

Running a Thorough Inspection

The first thing you need to do is to inspect your property room by room. Take note of the areas you need to improve. Focus on the fixtures or hardware that require immediate repair. Before proceeding to the overall design of the house, it is advisable to prioritize the functionality. Remember, there should always be a balance between aesthetics and functionality.

Make a draft of everything you need.  As much as possible, start with the simplest tasks such as decluttering, cleanup, and other quick temporary DIY fixes.

Creating a Home Renovation Plan

Once you have an idea of the things you need to accomplish, you may now start with the actual plan. This should include all the important details such as the budget and your desired output for each area. This is where you should audit and allocate your resources accordingly. Weigh the pros and cons of each renovation project.

Find ways on how to cut down the costs without compromising the quality, especially when choosing the materials. Remember, the goal is to make your investment worth it from these renovation plans.

In addition, there should always be a timeline for each project. Create an organized schedule so it would be easier for you to keep track of the progress and ensure the tasks can be completed on time. Make sure to coordinate with the contractor, as well.

Making your Property More Attractive

modern houseWhen it comes to increasing value, you need to identify the best features of your property. According to real estate investors, home buyers usually pay more attention to the most functional areas of the house. Curb appeal is also a big factor. Here are some of the areas you might want to prioritize:

  1. Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most functional areas and could be one of your best selling points. According to real estate investors, a successful kitchen remodeling project in Kansas City can actually up to 100% of your investment, as long as you don’t go overboard.

There’s no need to spend a fortune to come up with a well-designed kitchen. The key here is to maximize floor space. Check those bulky kitchen cabinets and other storage containers. Aside from they eat up most of the space in the kitchen, they are also more expensive. Some of these furniture can cost around $1,000. On the other hand, mounted or hanging shelves can only take around $100 or even cheaper. It also saves up a lot of space in the kitchen.

For countertops, you may check out granite materials for style and durability. Others also use vinyl to match the overall design of the kitchen.

  1. Bathrooms

Well-designed bathrooms can increase by about 50 to 70% of your investment. Again, you don’t have to overdo this. Focus on efficiency and functionality. Fix faulty pipes and leaking faucets. Just like the kitchen, you need to maximize the space. For smaller bathroom areas, you can make it look bigger by putting mirrors strategically.

You may also enhance those countertops and vanities by simply repainting them. Upgrading the light fixtures is relatively a small investment that can give you instant results.

  1. Exterior Area

Updating the exterior area can boost your property’s curb appeal. You can invest in small landscape projects to make the entryway look more inviting. The objective here is to give other people the right impression of your property without even entering the house just yet. Check those interior windows, as well. Replace them if necessary.

Revamping your property before making them available in the market is a good idea. These remodeling projects can even make the selling process faster. Always put yourself in the buyer’s perspective.

stained glass

Wall Decorating 101 Raw Brick or Fancy Mouldings?

stained glass

Walls are important parts of your home. Not only do they literally shape your house and protect you from the elements, their shape, color, and presentation also affect the mood and tone of a room. Unless you put an art piece up or repaint a room, their look tends to be permanent, too.

But with the turn of the seasons comes the opportunity to refresh the look of your walls. Feel like that’s the case for your home? Go grab the stained glass, plaster, and other materials and tools you need for your home’s new look.

Stained Glass Finish

Stained glass seems like it’s reserved for fancy places, but knocking out a dent on your wall and fitting in this colorful finish can brighten up a room. The finish also works for your ceilings. Choose a theme that suits the room you’re planning to put it in and bring in colorful, natural light into your home.

Faux Finish

faux stone

Feeling like adding stone walls to your den without spending big bucks on a faux stone? Invest in faux finishes. These materials resemble stone or brick without the extra weight or labor. Slap on these 6mm thick-finishes on a wall for your desired effect at a fraction of the cost.

Stencils and Chalkboards

Homeowners who change their mind on a design every month may find it useful to invest in stenciled motifs. These are easy to apply and remove, allowing homeowners to change the visuals of a blank wall whenever they want.

Chalkboard walls are also a great option for fussy homeowners. The drawable surface produced by chalkboard paint means you can change the look of your wall with a simple swipe of chalk. Painting a child’s room with chalkboard paint can also save you the hassle of cleaning up if they love drawing on walls.

You’ve done up your walls, but you think it’s not enough. The new walls you did could use a few paintings or banners to really get it to pop. Or you’re a renter and you can’t do anything permanent to your walls. Wall decorations can help you get over your home decorating crisis in a jiffy.

A trip down to a charity or discount store can yield amazing finds: antique paintings, throw rugs, shirts you’d rather hang up on walls than wear, and fancy clocks that still look great despite no longer functioning. Drop by a hardware shop to get some tacks and long strips of wood to create a shelved gallery look, a bookcase, or a small greenery.

Savvy decorators may also play with neon lights, washi tape, and decal stickers to create unique, disposable looks. Fashion-minded decorators can turn their extensive wardrobe into statement pieces. An old jacket, hat, or a pair of shoes can be cleaned up and hung as wall art.

Like any home improvement project, the ceiling for your wall improvement journey likely involves three things: budget, practicality, and maintenance. Living in an area with frequent water problems will dry out your wall fountain a lot, having a back condition could make dusting your built-in shelves a problem, and you may only have enough in the budget to cover half of your wall with new wallpaper. Renovators keep these three factors in mind to limit the disruptions to their renovations.

Senior couple doing yoga outdoors

Ensure That You Age Healthy with These Tips

Senior couple doing yoga outdoorsGrowing older is a big challenge. One of your worries is your health. However, you can grow old while keeping your health in check. All it takes is dedication and vigilance and you should be able to enjoy your old age.

Here are some tips on how you can stay healthy as you age:

Have Regular Checkups

The first thing you need to remember is that you are going to need regular medical checkups. Doctors have the expertise and equipment to detect anything wrong early enough to do something about it. For example, radiology technicians in American Fork and other urban areas can help detect if there is anything wrong with your bones and internal organs via X-rays and other scanning technologies.

It’s not just your regular doctor that you need to see. Your teeth and eyes are probably feeling the effects of aging; you need to see your dentist and optometrist regularly to hear what they say about your condition.

Stay Active

One of the key things to keep in mind when growing old is to stay active. Don’t let the retirement blues take you down. You should do your best to remain able and mobile. Take a walk each day or even learn yoga or Tai Chi. What is important is that your body gets enough exercise. Regular activity helps maintain the health and function of your body systems.

In addition, there are several advantages to active living. For example, you can avoid falls better because exercise keeps your reflexes sharp. Other advantages include lowering the risks of diseases, such as diabetes and heart failure.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

When you hit the retirement age, you shouldn’t be obese or underweight. Both conditions will cause you problems as you age. If you are any of the two, then you need to get your weight to the right level. Not having a healthy weight can cause problems with your body that only get worse as you get older.

Eat Right

Happy senior woman cooking healthy foodPart of maintaining the right weight is eating properly. You need to binge on things less and start eating nutritious food. This is because you are going to need all the vitamins and minerals you can get to sustain your body’s requirements Calcium is one of the most important nutrients since you will need it for stronger bones, but others are just as important.

Stay Social

Staying healthy is not all about the physical aspect. You need to consider the mental aspect of it, too. That is why having social activities is important. It ensures that you don’t feel alone and depressed. Feeling bad can soon translate into sickness in your old age, so try to stay positive by going out and meeting your friends.

Take Your Prescription Medicine

Your doctor most likely prescribed you a variety of medicine. Don’t forget to take them as scheduled. They are important if you want to maintain your health. Do it regularly and it will soon become a habit.

Growing old is not a problem as long as you remember the tips above. They ensure that you will be enjoying your twilight years, so consider them when you are planning your retirement.

doctor examining petient's problem with earwax

Everything You Need to Know About Earwax

doctor examining petient's problem with earwaxCerumen, the medical term for earwax, is a shiny, sticky and oily substance that the wax glands in your ear canal’s outer area produce. Your body naturally produces earwax to help protect, lubricate and yes, clean your ears. Sometimes, however, your body can produce too much earwax that it builds up inside your ears and may need to be removed manually.

Earwax is essentially made up of 20% to 50% fat. Its main job is to coat your ear canal and moisturize it, keep dirt, dust and all sorts of debris from getting inside the ears, and ward off infection. Majority of individuals produce enough earwax, but if you don’t have enough of it, your ears will become dry and vulnerable to infection.

It normally falls out of your ears once it has done its job, migrating from the canal to your ear’s opening, where it will then dry up and eventually fall out. While the exact reason for this is unknown, some individuals naturally make more earwax than other individuals. In some instances, too much earwax could build up in your ear canal and lead to the following symptoms.

  • A sensation of fullness inside your ear
  • Ear pain
  • Hearing loss
  • Ringing in the ears or tinnitus
  • Itchiness
  • Discharge from the affected ear
  • Ear odor
  • Ear infection
  • Coughing

Why Do You Have Excessive Earwax?

Many different things could cause excess earwax, the most common being that some people naturally have more earwax than others. Age is also a factor because wax easily hardens as you age and accumulates inside the ear.

Also, those with narrow or hairy ear canals are more prone to excess earwax. In addition, wearing earplugs, hearing aids and the like can push earwax further in.

Can You Remove Excess Earwax Safely?

Earwax removal is a normal part of the hygiene routine for most people. Usually, they use cotton buds or metal ear cleaners to remove their excess earwax. Done incorrectly, however, this could push the earwax buildup deeper inside the ears, block the eardrum, lead to ear canal irritation, or worse, result in the eardrum rupturing.

To clean your ears safely, use a wet washcloth to wipe your outer ears and wash them when showering, but never put anything inside your ears. If your earwax buildup is particularly hard, you can put a couple of drops of baby oil, mineral oil, glycerin, carbamide or hydrogen peroxide to soften and get rid of the buildup.

When Should You Get Professional Help?

doctor examining patient's ear

Visit your local ENT doctor in Denver if you have excessive earwax, hardened earwax buildup, and you’re experiencing the symptoms mentioned above. Your doctor will inspect your ears using a lighted device known as an otoscope and then safely remove the earwax buildup using a suction device, water irrigation, eardrops or other methods. If you’re prone to earwax buildup, it’s best that you have your doctor examine your ear and remove any buildup at least every six months.