What Is a Roth IRA and How Can It Help You Save?

Planning for retirement is a boring, adult-style subject. There is not a lot of excitement in talking about compound interest, long-term financial planning and investing for your future. Most youngsters would rather talk about SnapChat and other social media platforms.

But to ignore the subject in your 20s and 30s is a bad idea. What you need to do is learn as much as possible about a Roth IRA and other avenues for retirement savings. A Roth IRA is one of the best and most-used retirement investment vehicles out there. One of the reasons that it is so popular is that it is generally not taxed at any stage of its development.

A Roth IRA can be a retirement account for just one individual that contains holdings in securities, sometimes common stocks and bonds, but mostly in mutual funds. It can also be an annuity, which is purchased from a life insurance company.

Contributions to a Roth IRA are not tax deductible, which is very different from a traditional IRA. Withdrawals are tax free, under certain conditions. If you are over 59 and a half and you have had the account for at least 5 years,  you are free to take out the money without penalty. The contributions are made to a Roth IRA from your after-tax dollars, which is why you get the tax-free holiday later in life, when you withdraw.

Roth IRAs are used by companies as benefit carrots to attract and retain top talent. They take the burden off companies from offering pensions or other defined benefit retirement plans and allow the employee greater control over their savings.

Who is eligible? Basically anyone under 59 and half and earns less than $118,000 per year. Married couples with a combined income less than $186,000 per year can contribute the maximum amount.

The Roth IRA is a great retirement plan for lower-earning employees that start contributing early in their career and do not miss the income from their check as they get older. They are used to their salary level. And they get to benefit from years of investment and compound interest.

One of the best aspects of a Roth IRA is that transactions within it, like capital gains, dividend splits and interest income, are not eligible to be taxed. That income is all yours. Also, you can take some money out of your Roth IRA to pay for a principal residence, provided you meet certain conditions, like not having owned a home for the past 24 months. Assets from a Roth IRA can be passed on to descendants and heirs.

One of the big disadvantages of a Roth IRA is that you cannot use the principal as collateral for a loan. So as a traditional asset, that aspect is not so helpful. And double taxation may happen at some point, if you are gaining income from foreign dividends or if you are a Canadian with a U.S. based Roth IRA.

And you have a cap on your yearly contributions to a Roth IRA, up to $6,600 at the top level.

But, all in all, a Roth IRA is a great retirement investment vehicle for young people and even mid-career employees. The tax benefits are there and so is the potential for years of compound interest to work its magic.

Kia Optima – Why You Want the 2017 Model

Every year, people look forward to releases of the newest car models. What changes have been made to the exterior? Any new accessories? What are the differences between the old and latest models? Have better features been incorporated into the designs and functions of the vehicle?

As the world advances, society wants to see their ride reflect our newest technological achievements. High expectations are poured into flashy new cars, and every model competes to meet the challenge. Recently, the 2017 Kia Optima was released, and it hit the road ready to leave the competition in the dust. Do you own one? If not, here’s why you should!

Top-Notch Safety Features

Since 2015, there has been a 14% increase in car accident fatalities, making the rising rate the largest in more than 50 years. This makes safety a top priority when selecting your next potential car. The latest model of the Kia Optima has you covered with top-notch safety features like:

  • Rear child-safety door locks – Keep the kiddos safe by preventing them from opening the door while the car is moving.
  • Lower anchors and tethers for children (LATCH) – Feel confident that LATCH will promote easy, quick, and secure installation of universal child seats.
  • Internal emergency trunk release – Should you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation and not be able to exit the car via standard methods (i.e. doors and windows), the trunk can be opened from the inside.
  • Vehicle stability management (VSM) – Regain lost control with stabilizing features of the VSM to support capability of steering control.
  • Driver’s side knee airbag – Reduce possible injuries sustained by collisions when using an additional level of safety that’s coupled with seat belts.
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS) – The car will detect possible skidding with electronic sensors which will activate brake force modulation for reducing skidding, allowing you to maintain control.

And, that’s not even all of the safety features! You can have peace of mind in knowing the 2017 Kia Optima is ready to protect your family.

Packed with Modern Technology Convenience

Our evolving world requires modern technology, and this model does not fall short in providing advanced convenience:

  • Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS) alerts you of possible objects ahead of you that could potentially cause an impact, allowing you to slow down before the predicted collision.
  • Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC) automatically slows or accelerates the car for you based on changing road conditions, while always maintaining a safe distance.
  • Surround View Monitor (SVM) offers a bird’s-eye view for moving in and out of tight spaces.
  • Stay in control of how you drive on the road with other smart features like:
    • Blind-spot detection
    • Autonomous emergency braking
    • Rear cross traffic alert 

Luxurious Amenities

When you pay good money for a new car, you want it to come with all the bells and whistles that you can enjoy. The new Optima will definitely give you something to brag about! Just a few amenities include:

  • Heated and ventilated seats
  • Touch-screen display
  • Push button start
  • Chrome finish
  • Locking fuel-filter door
  • Rear-view mirror that auto dims
  • Trunk mats and carpeted flooring
  • Bluetooth wireless capability
  • Heated outside mirrors
  • Rear camera
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Integrated memory system (IMS) for the driver’s seat
  • Voice-command navigation system

Even with this long list, there are still more amenities you may be offered. These are huge incentives to trade your old car in for a new 2017 Kia Optima.

Interior and Exterior Brilliance

The Kia Optima’s interior is designed to provide an amazing driving experience before you even hit the road. The cabin is spacious, and it features different amenities that make driving fun and easy. Your ride will be even quieter thanks to these elements:

  • Enhanced body stiffness
  • Improved cabin-sound insulation
  • Sound-absorbing windows
  • Re-contoured mirrors

Bold, chic, comfortable—you will love the feeling of this new car! Likewise, the exterior also offers some things to appreciate:

  • Sleek headlights that are available in LED
  • Tiger nose grill
  • Aerodynamically sculpted
  • High beam assistant
  • Modern design
  • Dynamic bending light (DBL)

This eye-catching car will turn heads when you drive by.

Browse Your Local Kia Dealership for More Information

Don’t get caught driving down the road in a car model from ten years ago. Trade it in for a brand-new, eye-catching vehicle that will make heads turn as you cruise through town. The 2017 Kia Optima is just the car you are looking for. From impressive safety features to stylish comforts, you will love your new ride!

4 Handy Things to Have When Insurance Shopping

Even if you consider yourself a shopaholic, chances are that your trip to the mall doesn’t revolve around finding the perfect insurance policy. Insurance is a necessity in our society and you’ll find legal reasons to have it for your car and home. On top of that, you’re likely being strongly encouraged to also insure your life, especially if you’re the breadwinner in your family. However, just like there are all kinds of insurance, there are many players in this industry, from banks, private insurance companies, brokers, and more.

Navigating this complicated web of legal documents and insurance policies is not for the weak of heart. That’s why we have put together a “toolbox” which should not just help get you out in one piece, but ultimately satisfied with the results.

List of Insurable Assets

The most popular kinds of insurance are auto and house, however, you might have more assets to insure like your business or a vacation property.  Even if you don’t own your own home, look into tenants’ insurance to protect all your belongings inside the space you are renting. Many insurance companies can offer you a better “bundle” rate than when you spread your insurable assets throughout several companies and policies. When asking for a quote, ask for their rates for the separate assets and then having them bundled together. Don’t be afraid to put in counter offers- remember, it’s a big market and you’re bringing them your business.

Details of Assets

If you want an accurate quote quickly, you’re going to need to have all the details on hand. From information about your property, including value, size, property size, age, condition of the roof, closest fire station, what kind of boiler you have, etc., to information on your car’s model, make, age, accident history, and more. The better prepared you are to give this kind of information, the quicker you will be able to get a quote and eventually choose a service. If possible, call ahead and ask for the list of questions that you will be required to answer so that you can gather the information beforehand and be ready for the questionnaire, whether it’s done in person, over the phone, or over the internet.

An Insurance Broker

Rather than calling every insurance company and filling each of them in with your details, when you go to a broker, he or she can compare many policies at once from a range of companies. You’ll have insurance brokers who work for you, not the insurance company, to provide expert, unbiased advice. A well-connected broker might even be able to get you better rates for the same policy in the same company than if you just called them directly. So, you don’t just drastically cut down your research time, you also usually get a much better rate then if you approached insurance companies yourself.

List of Discount Reasons

So apart from bundling your insurance policies for a better rate, look for more reasons for which you could score a discount. Make a list of possible attributes from being an alumnus of a university, member of the Chamber of Commerce, being employed by a certain company, to being a professional in a well-regarded industry. Never be afraid to ask, “is that the best you can do?” or ask if there are discounts for any of the previously mentioned reasons.

Insurance shopping doesn’t have to be that complicated. If you are prepared for the “hunt”, your insurance broker will be able to quickly put together a number of quotes from different companies. Use your toolbox wisely, and you’ll construct a policy and rate that you can live with.

Discover the benefits of accurate technical translation

As we all know, certain terminology can be tough to understand even if you are a native speaker of the language in question, and that is why accurate technical translation is immensely important. If we want to fully grasp the concepts and the meaning of the text, we need to have access to reliable and accurate translation, and this axiom is relevant to any area of human activity. In other words, accurate technical and engineering translation services are vital when it comes to having a clear and informative content on hand, and without certified translators – this job would be impossible to complete.

– The basics of technical translation

Specific terminology related to a certain field can be hard to understand and fully comprehend, and technical translation allows us to have access to fluent and easy-to-read content. What this means is that all sorts of texts can be translated into a different language without losing any precious information. Of course, translation, by definition, is a demanding and challenging profession, and certain compromises always have to be made when we want to adapt a text to an entirely foreign language and vocabulary.

Technical translation predominantly focuses on documents and texts which are used in industrial production, i.e. in connection with different products and services. For instance, warning labels and specifications need to be translated into various languages, and the same rule applies to health and safety manuals. Similarly, all sorts of training materials, such as brochures and handbooks, are often translated into several most used languages, and this allows students and beginners to easily understand their tasks and responsibilities.

– The importance of accurate translation

Misleading translations can have dire consequences, and that is why accuracy and expertise are crucial when translating technical documentation. In other words, mistranslated texts can be the cause of many problems, and they can result in numerous lawsuits, penalties, and similar occurrences. Not to mention the fact that people can get severely injured if the translated texts contain wrong and misleading information. When it comes to saving fuel and obtaining a good fuel economy, accurate technical translation can also play a significant part in the overall process, and that is why all major companies pay a lot of attention to this element of their operations.

– How translation can affect our fuel saving habits

As we already said, an easily comprehensible material is paramount to staying with the text till the end and understanding the points that were stated within the document in question. Fuel saving is an activity which can benefit several parties, i.e. you as a driver can save money on gas, and at the same time – you will reduce the emission of carbon-dioxide. Those compelling reasons are more than sufficient for paying attention to our fuel consumption, and technical translation can facilitate this process and make us learn new things in an easy and convenient manner.

For example, specialist knowledge of the translators can help us grasp the basics behind many fuel saving tips, simply because some of those tips are using specific terminology and phrases. One example of this situation is the advice of keeping RPMs at an optimum level, and without accurate technical translation – many people would fail to understand the point of the text. Lots of other tips are using technical terminology, and it is essential that they are explained in a conversational and easy-to-understand language. For instance, the need for turning the A/C off as much as possible, or to avoid idling of the engine are just some of the tips which require accurate translation.

Great Second Date Ideas

So you made it through the first date and are looking to schedule a second one. The awkwardness of meeting up together perhaps alone for the first time has past now it is time to dig a little deeper. First dates tend to involve coffee, food, little alcohol, etc.. Basically, the purpose of the first date is just to get to know a little bit about one another and to test the waters. The second date should involve something a little more fun than just food but not too much fun that you scare them away. According to an article on Marie Claire no one likes making reservations so let’s skip the dinner and a movie for the second date. How about visiting some wineries for some wine testing or renting bikes and going for a ride together? What about visiting a local haunted house or going to an outdoor public pool after hours once all the little kids have gone away? Better yet, Stylecaster suggests you go to an amusement park, horseback riding, paint balling, making martinis together or seeing a show or a concert.

If you have opted for a concert than StubHub has got you covered. You will find all types of concerts in your area when you visit StubHub and with their partnership with Groupon Coupons you will also be saving money on that second date which you can save in case you get a third date.

Visit StubHub today and get ready for a thrilling second date that will surely lead to a third and possibly fourth date. Not so fast there! Be sure to visit Groupon Coupons first for money saving promo codes and coupons. Use this promo code and enjoy $20 off your order! Act now and get huge savings on sporting tickets. Searching for more savings? Act now and smile when you get those second date concert tickets for less with this promo code. See Ed Sheeran with a discount when you purchase your tickets with this coupon. Enjoy Hamilton at your local theater and save more when you use this promo code. Make your second date special with theater and comedy tickets and save too when you use this code. See San Francisco and save when you use this promo code. Got a change of plans? Use this coupon and save on last minute deals. Enjoy Red Hot Chili Peppers for your second date and save too when you use this code. From enjoying saving on John Mayer live tickets to discovering Lollapalooza deals you will always be saving when you visit Groupon Coupons first.

Treat your date to something special the second time around when you go to see a concert together.  Use StubHub with Groupon Coupons to save yourself some dough that you can relocate for the third date in case you are lucky enough to get a third one that is.

Why Reports Are So Important to Your Business

In big corporations, you can often feel the tension in the air as the month begins and the reports from the previous month are do. Compiling all the information, presenting, and analyzing it seems to take up so much time and effort for the average project manager or analyst. Well then, why do we do it?

Gathering data and creating reports gives a clear snapshot of the activities which have gone on in the last period of time, whether that be an hour, day, week, month, or year. This information can be used to make decisions in the present and future, track the success of certain actions or changes, or just be able to predict annual trends.

However, putting all the information in one report is very difficult to do, and that’s why most business owners decide to break them down into categories and assign them to people who are most acquainted with the information or might have an insight as to why the numbers present what they do. Small business owners might have to run all of these on their own, however the time spent creating and analyzing these reports are a worthy investment of your time.

What sort of reports should you be running? Here’s a starting point:

  1. Sales: This is a parameter that business owners most often want to see. However, let the final numbers distract you. Look for trends like popular items, ones bought in conjunction with others, decreasing popularity, and opportunities to capitalize on success and tweak things to make underperforming areas better. With online sales becoming an important part of many retailers, see where the purchase was made and the circumstances under which it occurred.
  1. Inventory Status: Regular reporting on inventory is important for maintaining a reliable company. Whether these are products you are selling or materials you need for your production to keep your business running like a well-oiled machine, you’re going to have to have a good handle on your inventory. Over-ordering could mean paying extra for storage or having to later resale at a discount because of difficulty in getting rid of it. On the other hand, ordering not enough stuff at a time means that you could run out, affecting the reliability of your company and possibly resulting in loss of profits. Also, bigger orders often have a discount, so you don’t want to be making a lot of small orders…As you see, there is a lot to think about, but knowing what your levels are at all times keeps you from running into any issues.
  1. CRM: Customer Relationship Management software is used to track many things, but mostly the buyer’s journey. It tells the story of how the customer first came into contact with the company, which marketing campaigns he or she has been exposed to, purchases made, details regarding communications, and more. Creating detailed reports of your CRM will give your marketing and sales staff a lot of information to work from. They will have more information about the consumers, what they are interested in, where they live, and be able to use this to create more effective strategies for remarketing and for capturing similar clients.
  1. Accounting

Unless you are a bookkeeper, chances are that keeping books is the most dreaded part of your business. Making sure that all your incoming and outgoing numbers are properly categorized, recorded, and reported can be a dreary and sleep-inducing job. However, this is where the real health of your business is measured. Unless you create these reports, you won’t have a true understanding of your profits or losses, meaning you could be in the middle of a financial rut and not even know about it!

Though reporting can seem like a full-time job, there is software out there that easily generate reports on Sales, purchases, Inventory status, CRM, Accounting, and much more. Find one that helps you reap from all the benefits of reporting without feeling the full brunt of the work.

Importance of Litigation Lawyers for Your Business

Whether you have your own business or are involved in business processes of another company, conflicts are normal. In case of conflicts, commercial litigations play a key role. To resolve your legal issues, employ services of a local law firm. For example, if you live in Montreal, you can contact a law firm located in Montreal and specialized in real estate and in commercial litigation.

For most companies, the point of conflict roots from financial problems, or those involving property or contract. However, any commercial litigation entails legal matters that can be taken to court. Especially for bigger conflicts, businesses and individuals are advised to employ services of a commercial litigation lawyer.

If you take legal matters in your own hands, it could be risky. It can cost a lot of money to you and your company. The more practical decision would be to consult a specialized lawyer. He could even help you get a settlement contract outside the court of law.

These commercial litigation lawyers assist those who are involved in severe legal matters. Most of them try to resolve the legal dispute out of the court and suggest an agreement that both parties would agree to. All of these happen even before the accused business has to present before the court.

When the problem is taken to court, resolution takes a lot of time. Settlements are more efficient and quicker. Both parties appoint their lawyers to handle the case and figure out what is best for them. If both parties can agree to the terms suggested by the lawyers, they can save themselves from a lot of hassle. Staying out of court also saves a lot of money.

It is wise to rely on authentic and experienced commercial litigation lawyers who are great at handling such issues. They will resolve it while keeping both legal aspects and interest of the business in mind.

Many businesses benefit from involvement of litigation lawyers. Newly incorporated firms enjoy advantages such as benefits of different tax breaks. They often hire professionals to ensure all the processes are completed correctly. Litigation attorneys would be the best option for this job.

Another common area of action for these lawyers is real estate. They handle land acquisitions and company mergers, as both are sensitive areas. You can resolve issues quite easily with the help of an experienced lawyer who has the right skill set and knowledge for this job.

In addition to the aforementioned applications, commercial litigation lawyers usually have experience in representing their individuals for construction disputes, employment disputes, breach of contract, litigation oversight, product liability, general civil litigation, insurance coverage litigation, appeals and appellate review, business interference, business torts including restrictive covenant disputes, unfair competition, trade secret disputes, etc.

All businesses require such services at some point. They might have to contend with some kind of commercial litigation. When that happens, a huge amount of stress is exerted on those who are involved. One of the biggest impacts of this is seen on the company’s financial performance.

To ensure that the company runs smoothly even during legal proceedings, it is important to select legal representation carefully.

It is surprising that many people choose non-specialist legal representation for serious disputes. Even though they are able to handle litigation issues, they are less qualified than specialist commercial litigation solicitors. They have lower success rates and failure can lead to huge loss for your company.

Therefore, it is best to spend some money on a specialized litigation lawyer, as it will help prevent your company from losing money in the future.

What to Look for in Your Car Mechanic

Finding a good, trust-worthy car mechanic is like looking for a needle in a haystack these days. Unless you grew up with a friend who now has his or her own garage, you are left at the mercy of anyone with an auto mechanic license. This person not only diagnoses the problem and fixes it, but also is the one who writes the invoice, meaning that he has full control of not just your vehicle, but your wallet as well. A bad mechanic can either not take the time to properly find the issue and jump to expensive conclusions, or even switch things out that weren’t necessarily broken, just so that he can charge you for it. But enough of the horror stories, we’re all scared as it is.

What this means is that it’s time to find that one in a million mechanic. (And treasure him when you do)!

  1. Ask for Referrals

Your network of friends and acquaintances is a good place to start. They are sure to have their fill of terrible experiences, but maybe someone will let you in on a secret source of great auto service. Just remember, if it’s a secret, it’s a secret, you gave your word! When you meet the mechanic for the first time, remember to mention that you were referred to his garage by a friend. Who knows? You might get even better service as now he has a reputation to uphold while your friend might score a discount in the future. It’s a nice little thank you for the tip!

  1. Check out their Garage

Though garages don’t quite hold the same sanitary or aesthetic standards as a salon, there is a lot that the state of a workshop can say about its master. Is all the equipment stored in an organized fashion? Are there clipboards with paperwork being filled out on the go? Are all those working wearing the proper safety equipment needed for the job? If you feel unconfident judging this on your own, ask a more experienced friend to come along with you.

  1. Look for Certificates

Car have been evolving since they have been invented, with newer and better models coming out every year. So if the car industry is introducing new technology like hybrid electric vehicles, wouldn’t you think that mechanics should be constantly learning new things as well? If you don’t see evident proof of continuing education, ask about it directly. Inquire about new tools of the trade and whether they are being employed here, how often staff is trained, and what’s their source of the most current information regarding their industry. Just like you won’t choose a dental clinic which uses plain plier to yank out teeth, but instead choose a dental clinic that invests a lot of time to learn new dental skills, you shouldn’t pick a mechanic that uses old technology. Though the pain of an old-fashioned dentist might be different than that of an old-fashioned mechanic, both have health and safety concerns that need to be addressed.

  1. Good Communication

Once you think you have found “the one”, it’s time to see whether or not you were right. Testing communications skills is the last step before being able to gloat about how amazing your mechanic is. When you leave your car for a fix, see how well the mechanic communicates throughout the process. Does he call you once the problem is diagnosed with options for you to decide one? Does he call to let you know when it has been resolved and ready for pick up? How close was it to the estimated time he gave you initially? Once you arrive, does he go over the invoice with you, explaining all the costs? If so, you are truly blessed, because it looks like your mechanic is one of the good ones.

Being a good mechanic is about more than just being able to replace the brakes in a car. He should be valued by his current customers, have a well-kept garage, be constantly looking out for the newest and greatest new things, and communicate well with his team and clients. Once you have tracked down a good mechanic in your area, be sure to treat him or her right- it’s worth it!

5 Things you Should be Maintaining Weekly

If you feel overwhelmed by your daily to-do list and can’t imagine where you could fit in “regular maintenance”, you’re not alone. So many people feel like they are falling behind on things that should get done, often sacrificing it for things that have to get done. However, if we make a commitment and get into the habit of making time once a week to maintain regular, everyday things, then that ends up on the “has to” list and will finally get done. These are some basic tasks that you should be tacking onto your weekly “to-do’s”

  1. Your Car

It’s easy to fall into the mindset that if you change your car’s oil when the sticker tell you to, you’re better than fine. The truth is that a car runs on more than fuel and oil, and it will need proper maintenance to service you properly for years to come. Though no one has time to do a full check up on a weekly basis, it’s a good idea to at least check your tires’ pressure weekly, along with an exterior body check. Take a few minutes to give your car a once over, checking for any scratches and dents that could have occurred over the last week, cracks in mirrors or windows, and signs of paint chipping or rust. These are things that should be dealt with, or at least recorded, as soon as possible. Every few weeks, check your fluid levels, the functioning of all your lights, and the battery. To keep your car looking fresh and new, vacuum the inside, wash the outside, and rinse your rubber mats. This way, your car will retain good resale value, as it will look newer and in good shape, no matter the age.

  1. Your Bicycle

More and more people are beginning to use their bicycles to get to work and run errands, especially in urban areas. Some of these people think that because it’s not a car, their bicycle requires no maintenance. And though it definitely has fewer things that can go wrong, a bike still needs to be properly and regularly maintained, especially when it is used often. On a weekly basis, it’s important to check the pressure of your tires. Having fully inflated tires means that you will have an easier time getting around as you’ll be putting in less effort and moving faster. Isn’t that great? Another simple thing you can do, even if you are not mechanically inclined, is to keep all the bicycle’s moving parts clean. Use an old t-shirt or a soft rag to remove any dust or small particles which could be trapped in the chain or gears. Then get a few drops of WD-40 or any cleaner on your rag to remove any rust and resistant dirt which might still be on there. To top it off, spray some rust resistant products to keep the chain from being affected by water, and then lubricate as necessary. The cleaner the bike, the smoother your ride.

  1. Filters Around the House

Some of us don’t know (or pretend not to) that there are several different kinds of filters in a home, all of which need to be replaced at one point or another. Depending on the type, these filters need to be replaced monthly, quarterly, annually, or every few years. However, most of us don’t even check up on, not to mention fail to replace, filters in the kitchen hood, the HVAC, the water tap, or around the drains in our bathrooms. Make a list of filters which need checking, cleaning, or replacing, and make a point of addressing at least one filter a week. It will make for a cleaner and healthier home.

  1. Dishwasher and Laundry Machine

Home appliances all have different roles in our lives and require different maintenance to keep in top shape. However, some require weekly attention in order to do their job properly. Any appliance which is supposed to clean something, like the dishwasher or the laundry machine, should be clean itself. Far too many people make this an annual occurrence, but frequently cleaning out your washing appliances is not just good hygiene, it’s common sense. Once you empty the dishwasher drain from any gunk you may fund, run an empty dishwasher cycle with some baking soda and a cup of vinegar to get all your racks and dishwasher walls nice and clean. With your laundry machine, also apply a baking powder and white vinegar treatment, but before you turn on the hot water cycle, soak and scrub any removable parts and wipe down the exterior with a cloth. After you run the washer, wipe down the inside drum with your cloth and a little vinegar, and voila, you’re done!

  1. Your Skin and Hair

Finally, we can get so caught up maintaining all of your major appliances and assets, that we forget to spend some time on maintaining ourselves. Regardless of whether you are a man or woman, it’s important to set some time away weekly for personal maintenance, which includes taking care of your nails, skin, hair, and body. Schedule a massage if you are feeling tense or are in pain, or benefit from a glycolic peel to exfoliate a thin outer layer of dead skin cells, eliminate impurities and tightens pores. Don’t ignore or forget about scheduling time for your body, because proper maintenance means better health, being more in tune with yourself, and respecting all that your body is and can do.

Take care of it, and it will take care of you. Though it’s not always the case, in general, regular maintenance protects your investment, keeping your possessions and yourself in good shape for a healthier and safer life.

5 Reasons to Treat Your Car as if it Were a Pet

Owning a car is a great responsibility. Though a car isn’t a live pet, both a dog and a car have needs that need to be met in order for them to stay in top shape. We’re not saying that you should start taking your car to a parking lot to mingle with other cars, or make sure that he had sufficient petting and affection that day, but there are certain parallels which one could draw from this analogy.

  1. Going to the Vet vs. Going to the Mechanic

Though you would obviously take your dog to the vet if there was something wrong with it, most frequently the reason for the visit is a checkup and to update vaccines. Too often, we think that cars only need to see their “doctors” if they are broken and need to be fixed. The truth is that they need regular maintenance to keep them from falling into disrepair and a regular tune up and evaluation is a good place to start. Just like the only way to know whether you have an STI is to have a screening test done, the only safe way of finding out that there’s something off with the inner workings of your car is by taking it to the mechanic’s. He or she will give it a checkup, top up the fluids, see if the brakes are wearing out, evaluate the condition of certain important components, and give recommendations from there. It’s much better, and more pleasant, to find out that your car’s battery can’t hold a charge at the garage, rather than on the side of the road, far from home and cell phone reception.

  1. Grooming your Dog vs. Caring for the Exterior

Regular grooming ensures your dog’s fur is in prime shape by redistributing natural oils, removing dirt and dust, as well as promoting circulation. You might not give it a lot of thought, but the exterior of your car also needs some TLC every once in a while. Regularly washing and buffing it keeps dust and dirt from coating your car and potentially leaving microscratches. If you see paint flaking, it’s time for a paint job. It won’t just improve the appearance of your car, it will protect it from rust.  Invest in the coating of the body and underbody of your vehicle, and it will be years before you see rust, even if you live in a climate in which rain, snow, and salt are an issue.

  1. Choosing a Good Diet for Your Dog vs. Good Fuel for Your Car

Why are there so many different types of dog food? It’s because the quality and content of these foods vary from bag to bag. Depending on your dog’s particular needs, the vet might suggest a certain brand or blend over another because it promotes healthy skin and fur, controls weight, or delivers minerals or nutrients the pooch is lacking. Cars also have different needs and therefore need to be “fed” according to them. If you have a turbo engine, you’ll be actually ruining it by pumping low quality fuel into it, while if you are driving a beater, there’s really nothing that the “platinum” octane blend will give you. Do some research about the kind of fuel you should be putting into your car for a high-quality ride and longevity.

  1. The Dog House vs. the Garage

Regardless of whether your dog spends most of its time outdoors or inside your house, it has a place to call its own. It might be a little dog house or a big pillow in the corner of your bedroom, but Max can feel safe and secure in it. Your car has similar needs. If you are looking to have a highly-functioning car, you are going to need to provide a proper home or shelter for it. It might be a garage space, car park, or even a spot on the driveway, but it needs designation. Parking on the street puts your car at a higher risk of being hit by other vehicles, being towed, or even being splashed by the street cleaning vehicle.

  1. Go Out for Walks vs. Taking the Car for a Spin

No one really condones going out for a daily pleasure car ride unless you catch a commercial from the 1950’s. However, if you don’t use your car regularly or have it in storage, it’s important to make sure that you start it and take it for a spin before you plan on using it again. Otherwise, your car battery could run out, your tires could get flat without you noticing, and rust could spread. If you aren’t around, ask a friend or family member to give your car a joy ride every once in a while, just like you would ask them to walk the dog. Different reasons, but the same concept.

As you see, having a car and a dog is quite different, even though there are many parallels we can draw between them. However, one thing is for sure. If you want your car to outlive your Yorkie, you’re going to have to start treating it better, starting by changing your perspective on what it means to have and commit to a car.

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