Author: Melissa Thompson

Ready to Switch Phone Carriers? The 11 Most Important Questions to Ask

Your choice in phone carrier has more impact than you might realize. Who you choose dictates how much money you spend on your phone plan every month, which phones are available to you, what coverage you get for your basic phone needs, and what type of service you get when you need customer support. Accordingly, millions of Americans switch phone carriers on a periodic basis, when they feel they could save money, or when their needs change. But while switching to a new provider promises to be advantageous in some cases-it could be costly in others. Before switching, you...

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Student Loan Forgiveness Scheme on Hold as Rules Revised

The Trump administration is delaying action on requests for student loan forgiveness, putting tens of thousands of students scorned by for-profit colleges in limbo. More than 65,000 former students have submitted claims to the Education Department under the Borrower’s Defense scheme. The department has put these claims on hold as it rewrites rules implemented by the Obama administration. The student loan industry has been pushing for a rewrite of the rules, which provide student protections. Obama’s rules would have prohibited schools from forcing students to sign agreements waiving their right to sue. Students who were defrauded would have had...

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What To Do When You’re Stopped for a DUI

DUIs are among the most common traffic stops police officers make. Although speeding and broken tail lights are of concern to law enforcement officers, they’re more concerned about keeping drunk drivers off the road. Every year, more than 1.5 million people are arrested in the United States for driving while under the influence of intoxicants. That doesn’t include all the traffic stops during which the officer chooses not to write a citation or make an arrest. You’re well aware you should never drive when you’re under the influence, but if you happen to make a poor decision one night,...

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3 Recommendations From Financial Advisers on Planning for Succession

Financial advisers are retiring in droves, with 37% of advisers planning to retire in the next decade. The biggest shocker is that many of these advisers don’t have a succession plan of their own to follow. A lack of a succession plan leaves their businesses at risk. But those who don’t have a plan in place are considering a lot of avenues to leave their business in good hands. These avenues can be followed by any business owner to help their business survive long after they’ve died. 1. Hand the Business to a Colleague Colleagues spend time, energy and...

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Cancer Treatment Centers of America Divorce Ends in $27,500 Month Alimony

Alicia Stephenson, the former wife of Richard Stephenson, will receive $27,500 a month in alimony payments, after taxes and a tax-free payment of $6.5 million in her divorce settlement. The eight-year legal battle came to an end on Wednesday in McHenry County. Richard, the founder of Cancer Treatment Centers of America, offered his wife $9,000 a month in alimony, while she was seeking $400,000 a month. The couple married 26 years ago in a mansion wedding. The couple has been separated for 10 years, but Alicia only filed for divorce eight years ago. The couple tried to hammer out the details of their divorce on their own, outside of court, but it took eight years and an eventual trial last week to finalize the agreement. Alicia had a lifestyle analyst come to her defense during the trial, stating that she was accustomed to a standard of living that demanded $5 million per year to maintain. The honorable Judge James Cowlin states that the couple “certainly enjoyed the lifestyle of the rich and famous.” Judge Cowlin states that he found it unnecessary for Richard to provide the same lifestyle to his wife. Alicia still receives a substantial settlement that includes $55,000 per month in maintenance. She will receive around $27,500 after taxes. She will also receive two motorcycles, a 401(k) fund, jewelry and a Porsche in the settlement. Alicia will...

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Finding the technology balance in networking

The only constant in the business landscape might be that it is always changing. New developments in technology has dramatically changed how both suppliers and customers do business. It has also changed the way we communicate with each other and how we keep in touch. There are definite benefits to using technology to its full potential in how your company operates, but it is important to make sure you stick to some tried-and-true methods. First, if you’re going to successfully run a business today, you need to use some level of technology. New or different technology can often be a way for your company to meet your clients’ demands in a better or more cost-efficient way. By keeping up to date, it will allow you to provide unique solutions and keep your customers happy. It also allows for easier communication when it comes to both existing clients and new potential clients. However, it is important to note that technology won’t solve everything, and it isn’t a holistic solution in all cases. Tools like LinkedIn are a great way to make connections or find a job, but sometimes in person networking is the best way to go. Going to local networking events is a solid way to meet new potential clients and build your own brand as well as your company’s. But, it requires more than one event. You’ll probably...

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Read the Fine Print Before Requesting a Quick Loan or Preapproved Offer

Financial security is something everyone wants. But what happens when you’re doing everything right, and an offer that seems too good to be true comes along? You read the fine print and ensure that there are no catches involved. There are two main financial instruments that have fine print that can get you in trouble quickly: credit cards and loans. If you’re not careful, you can get yourself in a lot of trouble with both. There may be a time when you need a loan or credit card to pay for an unexpected bill. These tips will help you minimize your risks of falling even further into financial debt. Preapproved Credit Cards Preapproved credit cards are easy to get, and they can be difficult to pay off. Zero-percent interest cards are ideal because you won’t accrue more debt when you use the card. But, 0% interest is only short-term and an offer to get most people through the door. Nerdwallet discusses credit card fine print in great detail, with some of the best tips being: Fees. A main concern when opening any credit card is the fees that will be attached. Black cards, you know those exclusive credit cards some people get, often have $500 annual fees. Look at the fine print to see if the $0 fee is just for the first year. Rates. The rates matter. You...

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Johnson & Johnson Stock Rises 1.16% Remains Steady After $417M Settlement

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) stock is up 1.16% on Thursday and 0.65% in the trailing five days. The company, founded in 1886, suffered a landmark ruling in late August linked to the company’s talc baby powder. A California judge ordered the company to pay 63-year-old Eva Echeverria $417 million because of ovarian cancer, which she attributes to her use of the company’s Baby Powder. The settlement did little to impact the company’s stock in late August, with Johnson & Johnson vowing to appeal the settlement. The company is facing hundreds of similar cases that could result in tens of billions of dollars in settlements. Johnson & Johnson investors remain confident that the enterprise can continue to be profitable despite record settlements. “The personal/bodily injury practice area covers any situation where a person suffers bodily injury or death as a result of another person or corporation’s negligence,” states PM Lawyers. Johnson & Johnson’s stock benefitted from the expansion of the company’s oral pulmonary arterial hypertension medicine (PAH). The FDA approved the label expansion for the company’s Tracleer medicine to be used for pediatric patients. The expansion allows for a 32mg tablet to be prescribed to patients as young as three years of age that suffer from PAG. The FDA expects the usage of Tracleer will allow the patients to improve their exercise ability. The company’s Q2 2017 earnings report showed...

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3 Health Impacts Divorce Has on Children

Divorce is difficult for everyone. Couples that have children are going to face an uphill battle in a divorce. Children complicate divorces, making them more emotionally painful and confusing. Many parents choose to stay married simply because they don’t want to hurt their children in a divorce. But staying together until the child turns eighteen and then splitting is also a difficult decision. Your child’s life will be impacted by a divorce. Even if your child is eighteen, they will suffer from emotional distress following divorce. If you know how a child’s health is impacted, you’ll be better prepared to help during this difficult time. 1. Depression is Common Depression is common. Since every child is different, some will show no outward signs of depression after a divorce, while others will be visibly impacted. Parents need to know the signs of depression so that they can get their child the help they need. Signs include: Lethargy Withdrawal Distancing Declining grades Aggression Frustration Agitation Parents often mistake these signs as a child acting out, but depression is up 23% among children up to the age of 20. So, nearly 1-in-4 children are already depressed, and this figure is in general. Divorce will have an even bigger impact on a child’s risk of becoming depressed. As a parent, self-care and compassion is essential to helping yourself and your child cope with...

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What to Look for in a Cloud Platform

The cloud is now widely considered to be the platform of choice for the vast majority of IT. But even though enthusiasm for the cloud is almost universal, the conversation often avoids the importance of finding the right cloud platform. The perfect cloud really is an advantage. But an imperfect cloud can raise security concerns, cause you to suffer downtimes, create unexpected costs, and engineer exactly the kinds of problems the cloud was intended to fix. Unfortunately, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of a cloud platform is hard to do without relying on it daily. And switching from a bad platform to a good one is not a seamless process. Look for these features to feel confident you’re choosing the right cloud platform from the start: More Than One Redundant Backup One major advantage of the cloud is that you can backup and recover your data reliably even if your office is damaged or destroyed. But this kind of seamless retrieval is only possible if your cloud platform has multiple redundant backups. That way, if something should happen to the cloud itself your essential data is safely stored in more than one alternate location. This features is fairly common on cloud platforms, but it’s still important to confirm it before making any commitments. Excellent Encryption and Security All businesses are vulnerable to hackers, and all data is potentially a...

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