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Weigh Anchor with Insurance Coverage This Summer
 

Do you enjoy boating on the Intracoastal or the ocean? If you do, don't set sail without your anchor, your insurance anchor, that is.

While car owners usually ensure they obtain proper coverage for their vehicles, boat owners are often unaware of their options. Due to the risks and potential costs involved, insuring water vehicles is just as important as insuring land vehicles. In fact, your boat may well have a higher value than your car! Before you hit the water with this valuable asset, talk to your agent about insurance coverage for your boat. Options are available for a wide range of boating concerns:
  • Risk coverage: Insure your boat in case of fire, theft, storm, capsizing, stranding, collision, or explosion.
  • Property coverage: You likely have a lot invested in the equipment aboard your vessel, possibly more than you realize. Insurance can cover items such as tools, life preservers, seat cushions, anchors, oars, dinghies, extra fuel tanks, canopies, and skis.
  • Liability coverage: This will provide coverage in the case of an accident. You will be protected against legal liability if you injure someone with your boat or cause damage to others' property.
  • Medical payments coverage: This provides payment of medical expenses if you and/or other boat occupants are injured in a boating accident.
  • Wreck removal: This coverage pays expenses incurred if you have to remove or destroy your wrecked boat.

 
Nature Nurtures: The Power of the Great Outdoors
 
Trees
Everyone knows what research now proves: nature is good for you. Be they gardeners, dog walkers, or wilderness wanderers, people simply feel healthier in the great outdoors. But why?

In a recent column, gardening expert Mark Cullen tells us it's all about trees. He writes, "We know we feel better when we spend time in the natural environment of a conservation area or urban park, or in our backyard. ..." Referring to a University of Chicago study, Cullen adds, "In fact, 10 additional trees per city block increased...subjects' health perception by as much as $10,000 in extra income (like winning a small lottery!)."

In a recent article in Ecologist, Richard J. Dolesh explains why: "New research reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine now provides scientific proof that walking in nature and spending time under leafy shade trees causes electrochemical changes in the brain that can lead people to enter a highly beneficial state of 'effortless attention.'"

Psychology professors Rachel and Stephen Kaplan have been researching what they call "the restorative benefits" of nature for decades. In a cover story for the American Psychological Association, writer Rebecca A. Clay summarizes their findings: "People don't have to head for the woods to enjoy nature's restorative effects, the Kaplans emphasize. Even a glimpse of nature from a window helps. In one well-known study, for instance, Rachel Kaplan found that office workers with a view of nature liked their jobs more, enjoyed better health, and reported greater life satisfaction."

So get out there! It's good for you.

 
How to Choose the Right Type of Life Insurance
Choosing the right type of life insurance is an important decision. These guidelines can help you narrow down your options between term and permanent life.

Term life insurance

This provides you with coverage for a specific time period. You might consider it under two circumstances:
  • If you have a need with a time limit; for example, if you have young children and want to ensure their college education will be paid for in the event of your death, term life insurance might make sense. You can choose a variety of different terms, 10 years or even 20 years, depending on your health and the ages of the children.
  • You might also consider term life insurance if you have a limited budget, as it generally costs less. If you are still alive when the term expires, coverage stops, but you will also have the option of renewing it or buying a new policy. Keep in mind the fact that premiums are typically lowest when you're young, and they increase as you age; so when you go to renew, it could be costlier.
Permanent life insurance

Permanent life insurance pays a death benefit whether you die tomorrow or live to be 100. In other words, it's in effect forever. That offers peace of mind when you don't know what your beneficiaries' future needs will be, but it comes at a cost; premiums for permanent life insurance policies are generally higher than they are for term life insurance policies. 

"Convertible" term policies 

If you don't believe permanent life insurance is for you but think your financial needs might change, you may want to consider so-called convertible term policies, which let you convert your term life insurance to permanent life insurance in exchange for higher premiums (and usually without a medical examination).

Your insurance advisor, who knows your situation, can help you decide the best option for you.

 
Struggling With Hearing Loss? You're Not Alone
 
As America's population ages, many individuals struggle with hearing loss. In fact, about 20% of Americans report some degree of hearing impairment. One reason people avoid hearing aid purchases is cost; the average price of "mid-level" hearing aids is approximately $4,500 for two, according to AARP. And most health insurance plans cover little of the cost of hearing aids.

Medicare, for example, doesn't cover the cost of hearing aids, exams, or fittings, but may, in some circumstances, cover "diagnostic testing" for hearing loss. However, you must still pay your Part B deductible and an additional 20% of the cost of testing.

On the other hand, Medicare Advantage may provide some coverage toward hearing aids and the associated costs of exams and fitting, such as a co-pay for hearing exams, some coverage for the hearing aid fitting, and a small amount of coverage, perhaps $500, toward a hearing aid purchase.

While many people accept hearing loss as a normal part of aging, those who resist purchasing hearing aids may want to rethink waiting: recent studies have shown a link between hearing loss and Alzheimer's disease. In two Johns Hopkins' studies, researchers found that those with hearing losses serious enough to impact conversation were much more likely to develop dementia.

As well, older adults with hearing difficulties feel lonely and isolated, resulting in depression and other physical and psychological problems. If you are in the 20% struggling with hearing loss, discuss your options with your insurance agent or check AARP's website, Paying for Your Hearing Aid. It's so worth it!
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Recipe: Strawberry Pistachio Bruschetta
Serves up to 8 as an appetizer
1 baguette, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup shelled salted pistachios
1 cup goat cheese
1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/4 tablespoon balsamic glaze (store bought or homemade)
Freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Preheat oven to 450°. Brush one side of each bread slice with olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet, oiled side down. Place in oven until slightly browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Lower oven temperature to 350° and toast pistachios until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer to a cutting board. Let them cool down before roughly chopping.

Place toasted baguette slices on a platter, oiled side up, and spread a thin, even layer of goat cheese on each slice. Arrange strawberry slices on top, drizzle with balsamic glaze, sprinkle with chopped pistachios, and finish with black pepper.
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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