Toward the end of adolescence and continuing straight on through to “over the hill,” many Americans spend the majority of those years working. Assuming that the average person works 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year from the age of 20 until 65, that’s 90,360 hours at work. With all that time spent on the job, it’s no surprise that a large number of accidents and injuries occur in the workplace. While all employees deserve to return home at the end of their work day alive and uninjured, the reality is that not everyone does. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more than 4,600 workers died on the job in 2014 and more than three million others suffered serious, non-fatal injuries at work. These alarming numbers include multiple categories of workers with varying levels of healthcare coverage: employees and independent contractors, full-time and part-time, temporary and permanent.
While the Affordable Care Act has given more people access to health insurance, medical bills and related costs can leave injured workers in a tough spot. Co-pays, high deductibles, co-insurance, travel to and from healthcare facilities, lost wages and daycare costs are just a few of the expenses that can add up quickly. A well-known actuarial firm that has published a medical index for the last 15 years known as the MMI (Milliman Medical Index) calculates that the average healthcare cost for a family of four has more than tripled since its value of $8,414 in 2001 and now stands at $25,826. This rate of increase exceeds the growth in the consumer price index (CPI) for medical services as well as the average two percent annual increase in median household income between 2004 and 2014. Compared to employers, employees are now responsible for more of the healthcare costs than they were 15 years ago – they now pay 43 percent, up from 39 percent 15 years ago.
It’s not hard to see how getting hurt at work can be financially devastating. Over the past decade, the average amount that middle-income households spent on health care increased by 51 percent, which is nearly double the growth in their incomes (30 percent) and three times the rate of growth in their spending for all other products and services. It’s no wonder then that unpaid medical bills are the number one cause of personal bankruptcy filings (62 percent), surpassing both credit card and mortgage debt. Job loss is another reason that people are unable to pay off their debts. Spending more than you make is easy to do when you have no income. Losing a job also means losing health insurance if you are the plan subscriber, and the high cost of COBRA insurance can be hard to sustain for long. Imagine, then, the economic difficulties experienced by someone who has the all-too-common experience of being injured at work and then losing that job, whether due to layoff, termination, or resignation.
Bleak financial scenarios are one very important reason to take steps to protect yourself if you have a jobsite-induced injury or illness. Whether it was an acute traumatic injury (like falling from a ladder) or a cumulative-trauma injury (such as carpal-tunnel syndrome), there are a few basic things you should do to protect yourself.
Report it. Tell your manager, supervisor, company nurse, union representative – whoever is in charge. Be clear about how the injury happened and that it happened at work. Report it immediately even if you think you are not seriously hurt. That knee you twisted or back you strained might not require medical treatment until a few days later, and then your employer can claim you were injured someplace else. While you are usually allowed between 30 to 90 days depending on your state, some companies impose shorter deadlines and can issue formal reprimands or suspensions of pay for not reporting an accident in accordance with their policies.
Keep good records. Being organized and having proof can make the difference between winning and losing financial reimbursement for a workplace injury claim. There will be medical reports, incident reports, and insurance paperwork, but you can also help yourself by keeping detailed documents of conversations and employment actions. Request copies of any papers your employer keeps on the incident and hold on to paystubs and timesheets showing income and hours worked. What you don’t document may not be covered, so try to keep a thorough record of all expenses that are a direct result of your work-related injury.
Consider contacting an attorney. Cases involving a workplace accident can be very complicated and can involve doctors, physical therapists, independent medical consultants, adjusters, insurance company lawyers, co-workers, equipment manufacturers, maintenance companies, and more. Because it may be difficult to determine all of the details and sort out all of the necessary parties, having your case evaluated by an attorney will maximize your compensation. Many workplace injury lawyers offer free initial consultations, so it’s often worth your time to talk to an attorney who can help while you are dealing with the aftermath of a serious injury or illness.
Workplaceinjuries stem from a wide range of incidents and an even wider range of causes. Some of the more common injuries include bodily reaction (bending, reaching, climbing, etc.), being caught in or between objects, falling from heights, repetitive motion, overexertion, slips and falls, falling objects, and vehicle accidents. Of course, construction workers have different on-the-job hazards than office personnel, but all workers can help themselves by practicing safe work habits appropriate for their jobs. Keeping work areas free of clutter and taking care not to rush (many injuries occur when people hurry and take shortcuts) are two practices that can benefit virtually any worker.
Things can go wrong even in the best run business, but not every employee is able to build up an emergency fund to draw from in the event they get hurt. Medical bills should not lead to financial ruin.Depending on the circumstances, there may be grounds for a legal cause of action. At a minimum, an experienced work injury lawyer may be able to advise you on your options, including negotiating with the medical providers, seeking out help from federal and state entities, and whether bankruptcy is truly the best choice for your situation.
Author: David Mann is a workers’ compensation attorney located in Macon, Georgia. He’s a member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and is a past president of the Middle Georgia Trial Lawyers Association.
If you had to sum up the US economy as it currently stands using just 3 numbers, which numbers would you choose? It’s hard, isn’t it?
The Financial Times US managing editor Gillian Tett has attempted just that in a short new video released online:
The first number listed is 40% of all supposed Mexican imports are actually born right at home in the US. During the manufacturing process, car parts can cross the Mexico/US border up to eight times, but they start that back-and-forth journey north of the border.
The second number is 53 million, and is the amount of Americans who are currently self-employed. If you can’t quite imagine this amount of people, it is roughly the population of the entire nation of South Africa, and yet the number is set to continue to rise thanks to the current ‘gig’ economy. You’ve heard of Uber? Well, all of their drivers are actually self-employed.
The final number is an incredible 12 trillion, which is the amount in US dollars which is due to be inherited by the kids and grandkids of those born in the 20’s and 30’s over the next decade. It’s set to be the biggest wealth transfer ever, and totals more than 152 times the total wealth of Bill Gates.
Watch the video and comment with which 3 numbers you think represent the US economy, and check out the official Financial Times website for a 4 week trial for just $1 https://sub.ft.com/spa_8/?ftcamp=subs/ft_display/trial/endcard/video/acquisition&utm_source=endcard&utm_medium=ft_display&utm_term=trial&utm_campaign=video&segid=0301050
Title loans are one of the helpful means if you are looking for a short term loan. Here, the loan gets instantly approved and the borrower finds it as one of the best available option.
Title loan is secured to the vehicle as collateral, but you can still freely use the vehicle in the manner you want. Many lenders take the vehicle as collateral to back the loan repayment. It is important that the borrower has a clear title to the loan. He needs to produce valid documents proving that he owns the vehicle at the time of approval of the loan.
The processing time in title loans is very fast. In regular loans, the borrowers have to wait for several days for the approval. In title loans, the borrower can know the status within 30 to 45 minutes after the application is filed. People with bad credit who are disheartened because of refusals in the application process will find title loans different. No credit check is required in Title loans Texas. You can still get approved for title loan even if you have county court judgment, individual voluntary arrangement etc. by being regular in the loan repayments, you can have a sizeable positive effect on the credit status.
While applying for the title loan, the borrower needs to present his pay stub, a couple of personal references and a valid address proof. Once these documents are submitted, the loan can be sanctioned for use.
Title loans are best used for short term because of high interest rate. Hence the term of repayment should be for a month or two.
Due to unavoidable circumstances, if you are not able to pay the title loan in the month it is due, you will have to pay the double amount in the subsequent month, plus the interest of the first month. This is because interest in the second month costs equal to the actual amount.
It is advised to use title loans only during emergencies and not to get trapped in it. If for some reasons, the borrower fails to pay the title loan in the month it is due, then he has to pay double in the subsequent month or else he will just pay the interest. This means that the principal will be carried over to the next month and the borrower has to pay interest equal to the principal. This way it becomes a vicious cycle making it difficult for the borrower to come out of this trap.
Before taking the title loan, it is important to plan repayments and make sure to pay it on time to avoid the late fees. The rate of interest is very high so one should keep this factor in mind.
In 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act established a federal minimum wage that all private sector employers have to pay to their nonexempt employees. The existing federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour has been in place since July 2009 and tallies to just $15,080 a year, before taxes, for a full-time position. A family of three living off of minimum wage is well below the poverty level. States are allowed to have their own minimum wage standards that may be equal to or more than the federal rate. Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and South Carolina have not adopted a state minimum wage, so the federal minimum wage is applied.
Intended to reduce poverty and share economic growth across workforce levels, the minimum wage loses value every year due to inflation. The first wage was $0.25, which, adjusted for inflation, would be $4.19 today. If the federal minimum wage kept up with inflation it would actually be $10.75 an hour, and if had kept pace with workers’ productivity, the inflation-adjusted minimum wage would be $18.67. Currently, 29 states have minimum wages above the federal rate, with the highest being $10.00 in California and Massachusetts.
Historic increases became law in early March when the governor of Oregon signed legislation for a regional tiered approach, increasing the current $9.25 statewide to $14.50 in metro Portland, $13.50 in smaller cities, and $12.50 in rural communities by 2022. The minimum wages in these areas will rise by cost of inflation each year, ensuring that wages keep up with cost of living.
With small businesses making up over 70 percent of all U.S. businesses, and wages comprising the largest portion of operating costs, the amount of the minimum wage greatly impacts small businesses. Some argue that in order to deal with a higher minimum wage, small businesses have to reduce their number of employees, reduce employee hours, reduce employee benefits, put hiring freezes into place, sacrifice expansion plans or upgrades, or pass the cost on by raising prices. Others claim that raising the wage increases worker productivity, provides workers with more money to put back into the economy, allows people to support their families without government assistance, improves employee morale and loyalty, and attracts talented workers.
A 2015 survey by The Wall Street Journal and Vistage International found an even split in small business opinion of raising the minimum wage. Although 75 percent of the 728 small firms that were assessed did not employ minimum-wage workers, 49 percent thought the current wage should be raised, while 49 percent did not. According to the survey, some business owners intended to offer wage increases due to a tightening labor market and stiff competition for workers with large corporations. Of the 180 business owners who employed people making minimum wage, 142 said they would offer a $1 raise within one year.
The Raise the Wage Act was introduced to Congress in April 2015, seeking to increase the minimum wage in increments to $12 by 2020. One poll conducted for Small Business Majority found that 60 percent of small businesses supported gradually raising the federal minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020 and adjusting it annually to keep pace with the cost of living. This support came from small business owners across a range of industries and political affiliations. Of the 50 percent of the respondents that compensated their lowest paid employee from the current federal minimum wage up to $12 an hour, nearly six in ten supported the increase.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, the average person who benefits from a higher minimum wage is 36 years old and earns more than half of their family’s total income. Slightly more than half are women working full-time, and 28 percent have children. That’s a far cry from the teenager with the after-school job that many people imagine as the type of individual who earns a minimum wage. While the reality of living on a minimum-wage income has become a financial hardship for many, business interests must be taken into consideration. The delicate balancing act of how high is high enough continues.
About the Author: Thomas Bunch Sr. has been a practicing attorney in Lexington, KY for more than 50 years. Mr. Bunch is a well-respected business bankruptcy lawyer, specializing in Chapter 7 bankruptcy as well as the seemingly never-ending reorganizations in chapter 11 bankruptcy code. Mr. Bunch continues to accept cases to this day and currently practices law at Bunch & Brock Attorneys At Law
In general, one of the business owner’s primary concerns is optimizing her or his bottom line. To ensure that you can earn the exceptional conversion rates you desire, it’s a good idea to have a strategic plan in place. Here are three strategies that should be a part of that plan:
1. Invest In Internet Marketing Services.
One great way to optimize your bottom line is by investing in internet marketing services. Doing so will help your brand maximize exposure across diverse online platforms such as social media channels. When you start looking for the perfect digital advertising company, make sure you select a group of professionals who have extensive experience working with people in your specific field. Also make sure that the digital firm can offer comprehensive services, some of which should include:
-web design and development
-search engine optimization
-social media optimization
-online reputation management
-responsive web design
2. Focus On Employee Development.
Another strategy you can implement to help optimize your company’s bottom line is focusing on employee development. This technique is important because it helps ensure that your staff members can complete their daily assignments with speed and skill, thereby creating more time and energy that can be devoted to money-making ventures. There are numerous ways you can put focus on employee development, such as having your staff members participate in ongoing training workshops that keep them up to date with new industry methodologies and regulations.
3. Mind Your Health.
One final technique you can deploy to optimize your bottom line is paying close attention to your health. Business owners who are perpetually ill, fatigued, or plagued with mood instability are less effective in getting their daily tasks accomplished quickly and correctly. With this idea in mind, make sure that you’re doing all that you can to look and feel your best. One way to get this process underway is by using testing kits to identify any debilitating conditions that may be hampering your body. You can obtain a wide range of testing kits from companies like Diagnostic Automation/Cortez Diagnostics, Inc. They offer serology test kits as well as kits for cancer, hepatitis, diabetes, and HIV.
If you’re ready to make 2016 your company’s most profitable year yet, now’s the time to implement conversion optimization strategies. You can use some or all of the techniques outlined above to ensure that your company earns an impressive bottom line this season.
Going to court is never a fun experience. Unfortunately, it may become necessary for you to sue someone so you can get justice because you feel that you have been wronged. You could also be sued by someone and you will need to defend yourself in court. You can never predict how a jury will vote. Therefore, you need to do everything you possibly can to convince a jury that you are in the right. This is not always an easy thing to do. However, using an expert witness to testify for you will definitely help your case dramatically. Here is how an expert witness can help you in court.
1. Impress the jury
Expert witness testimony is something that has the power to swing a case in your favor that you were previously losing. This is because the jury will take notice of the facts the witness provides that back up your argument. It sometimes only takes a few minutes of testimony from an expert witness to get the jury to come around to your way of thinking. However, it is important that you watch videos of an expert witness testifying in previous cases to make sure that he speaks well in court. An expert witness might know a lot of important things. However, he or she might sabotage your case if they start stammering when they are on the witness stand.
2. You will become more credible
Credibility is key in any type of court case where a jury is involved. Basically, the jury will be asking themselves why they should believe anything you are saying. An expert witness is someone who has worked many years in a specific field in order to gain the reputation of an expert. Therefore, a person like this supporting your claims will instantly turn you into a credible person in the eyes of the jury. Keep in mind that a person cannot simply claim to be an expert in a particular field. The court must approve of a person’s status as an expert based on his or her career and prior work.
3. An expert witness is difficult to dispute
A witness is considered to be an expert in a certain field for a very good reason. This person has worked in a certain field for many years. This makes it nearly impossible for the opposing attorney to dispute anything an expert witness says.
As a child, you may have had a simple savings account that accrued a little interest over the months. When you’re an adult, however, saving money for retirement and education are critical parts to life. Many people are confused or intimidated by the investing process, but there are easy ways to start your own nest egg. Take a look at these smart investment strategies and choose a few that work for your situation.
Start a 401(k)
Most employers offer some type of investment account, such as the traditional 401(k). You may look at these accounts as optional, but they should be considered mandatory for a comfortable retirement. Contribute as much of your paycheck to the 401(k) as possible because you’ll gain high returns over the years. You’ll also reduce your reported income too. When income taxes are due, you’ll pay less because of the 401(k) contributions.
Determine Employer Matches
Another major reason to use 401(k)s is the possible employer-match amount. For example, your company matches your contribution percentage up to 6 percent. Ideally, you should contribute no less than 6 percent to the 401(k) because you’ll miss out on the employer’s full payment amount. These contributions are part of your salary that makes saving for retirement even easier than ever before.
Contribute to IRAs
Another investment strategy involves IRAs or individual retirement accounts. There are several IRA types, including an education-based one or traditional retirement. In fact, you can have several accounts and contribute to each one. You can save for retirement and your children’s education at the same time. This strategy also reduces your income level as reported on your taxes.
Avoid Early Withdrawals
Your 401(k) or IRA may have thousands of dollars after a few years, but don’t be tempted to take out these funds. Early withdrawals only increase your tax liability and reduce your overall retirement amounts. Extreme financial emergencies should be the only reason when you take money out of these accounts. In the end, they’re exclusively meant for retirement and education needs.
Research established and new investment strategies as you gain more experience with your money. You might read about Sharia complaint investments or monetary options at your bank. In the end, you want a stable investment strategy that builds wealth over the years. Your retirement will be entirely enjoyable with ample funds supporting your lifestyle.
Nowadays, many people are interested in starting their own home-based business and make good amount of money. Normally, a person will work two to three professions in his work life. People who leave their career behind tend to start their own business at home.
Many people who have been a part of conventional labor force are on the brink of retiring from that routine and now they have their plans open about which direction to go for in the near future. Fortunately, anyone can start a business from home and feel the adventure. Below are some good examples of home based businesses you can start on your own.
Home repair service: Many homes usually face the common problems of dripping sinks, back logged water drains, broken appliances and a variety of other problems. Many of us don’t have the time or knowledge about how to deal with these problems. If you are an expert with your hands and have a good amount of knowledge on home repair, then you can start this business of home repair services. And to get more clients, you can charge less from the professionals in your area. Your target will be on how to save more money for people. The more you save for them; you will keep getting new clients. To start with, you need to have a good set of resources and a large vehicle for transferring your equipment.
Organizational Specialist: Sometimes you will notice messes and clutter in many houses and firms. If you feel interested, then you can start your own business as an organizer. There are many books available on arranging things properly and how to keep things in place to get more free space out of it.
Collect materials about this job niche: To get started, you can practice this skill on your friends and family for a little fee, and once you get your knowledge and experience, you can sell your skills to other people. Make sure that you get some good testimonials from your friends and families whom you have helped. You can also buy and mark up prepared good, or get in touch with craftsmen, to set up closet organizers, racks, and other furnishings.
Online content creator: there are many companies who have their business online and they are always in the need of new articles and blog posts for their websites. As a content writer, you can write up articles or posts for their websites, bringing up professionalism, trust or creativeness.
Web designer: web designers are needed for website development services. If you are experienced in this industry, you can offer it as a standalone service. It is important to have a collection of all your works as a web designer so that you can show it to your clients and advertise your services.
Flea market sales: flea markets are just like a garage sale. If you enjoy garage sales, you can consider it as a business. You can market many items such as crafts or merchandise for resale. There are many marketplaces where you can sell your skills like car detailing or antique restoration.
These are just a few examples of the many home based businesses that you can easily start sitting at the comfort of your home.
Your employees are more than just members of your payroll: They are also one of your company’s best assets. When you do all that you can to help your employees thrive, you will both benefit. You don’t necessarily have to invest a large quantity of money to do this, but you do have to make a conscious effort to help your employees be their best.
Seek Honest Feedback
It’s difficult to help your employees thrive if you haven’t gained a full understanding about what is holding them back. No business is perfect, and seeking honest feedback from your employees is a great way to find areas that need improvement.
In order for employees to provide candid feedback, they need to feel safe. In most cases, employees feel more comfortable providing feedback in an anonymous manner. Print a short survey to distribute to employees, or create an old-fashioned suggestions box to place in the office.
Invest in Training
Once you know which areas need improvement, you can work on making strides in these areas. In many cases, the proper training can relieve a lot of the stress from your employees. Investing in software is great, but you won’t be able to take full advantage of the new program if you haven’t also invested in Sage 100 training.
Training sessions don’t have to be full-day events that keep everyone away from their regular duties. Instead, look for ways to scatter shorter training sessions throughout your schedule. Host a lunch meeting where you bring in a customer service expert, or take an hour on Friday afternoon to have a refresher on email etiquette.
Few things in life are more motivating than positive feedback. Instead of harping on all that your employees are doing wrong, make the choice to recognize excellence. Employees who feel that they are appreciated will work harder and gain a sense of loyalty to your business.
Bonuses are always a great way to reward excellence, but you don’t have to abandon this idea if you are short on funds. Instead, think of other ways to reward great employees. Give the gift of an extra vacation day, give the employee a temporary break from one of her duties, or simply give positive feedback in front of other people at your next staff meeting. You might be surprised how a culture of positivity changes the attitude of your staff members.
Life is just not just about big dreams, high end luxuries and expensive comforts. Amidst your hectic schedule and working hard to make your both ends meet, you may often forget to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. These pleasures, though may seem trivial or frivolous in nature, can bring immense satisfaction to you. They are called the finer joys of life.
Ever wondered about the finer joys of your life? Well, here is a small list:
- Looking at the joy on your child’s face when you take them for their dance class
- Dropping your wife for Zumba classesen route to your office.
- Pursuing that long-cherished hobby of learning to play the guitar.
- Watching your favourite singer performing live in a concert.
This list can be endless. You have an earnest desire to live these finer joys, but then there is the other side of the coin which calls for being practical to make them come true. You need to make time to do these little things you want to do as well as manage your finances to spend about the same.
Managing your time is relatively easier. You could start waking 15 minutes earlier every morning. Or you could limit your screen or digital media hours. You can even set aside a dedicated hour of the day for ‘me time’ and ‘family time’.
But, what about the money part? This requires a conscious and systematic planning at your end. Here is what you could do to achieve the finer joys in your life without worrying much about the finances.
- Make a Budget
Write down income and expenses (better, if maintained in an excel sheet). Review once in a fortnight or a month. Analyze the reasons if you have exceeded the budget on some counts. Try and live within the budget.
- Save Smartly
You should aim to save at least 15 – 30% of your income to meet the key milestones of your life – child’s education & marriage, own home, retirement, etc. Keep a long term perspective and allocate your savings to a diversified portfolio comprising fixed income securities, equity funds and insurance plans (life, health and non – life) for a better risk-return trade-off. Also, keep an emergency fund, equivalent to your 3 – 6 months, aside to meet unforeseen expenses. Similarly, you should allocate a part of your income towards the expenses that you will need to incur on the finer joys of life. This way, you and your family can enjoy the small pleasures of life without creating an additional burden on your budget.
- Invest in a Money-back Policy
The finer joys can occur at different stages of your life. To be able to enjoy them as and when the time comes, you need money at periodic intervals. Rather than juggling your finances impulsively in future for such things, it is better to plan for regular payouts ahead of time. A money-back planis quite suitable with this regards. It gives a guaranteed income flow at fixed stages during the policy term, so that you have the money when you need it the most. You could plan the payouts as and when you desire to fund the finer joys of your life. With a money-back plan in your investment kitty, you have an additional source of income in hand and you can glide through your recurring financial commitments smoothly.
If you plan your time and finances well, you need not forget, sacrifice or postpone those finer dreams in your life. Start planning today, your little joys are waiting to unfold!