Personal Finance:

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Sales Careers How To Pay For College Top Five Career Tips Majors And Careers Serving Your Country Medicare Enrollees Spiraling Health Care Costs Friedman's
100th Birthday

 

Are You Ready For A Career Change?

(NAPSI)—Deciding whether you are ready for a career change may be as easy as asking yourself five simple questions:

1. Do I feel satisfied or challenged in my current job?

2. What kind of future do I have at my current job?

3. Do I like the way my company does business?

4. Do I feel stressed when it’s time to go back to work?

5. Am I satisfied with what I am making?

If your answers don’t satisfy you, you may want to consider a career change.

A down economy may not seem like a great time to look for a new job, but there are satisfying, financially rewarding jobs out there.

According to USNews.com, “Job seekers may be having a tough time landing a position these days, but don’t assume they’re willing to take anything they can get. According to a recent survey by job search engine SimplyHired.com, today’s job hunters have pretty specific ideas about what they’re looking for in their careers and in prospective employers. More than 80 percent of those polled by the site said they’d rather have a job they love than one that pays well.”

Some companies actively seek to recruit Gen Xers. For example, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian) has found Gen Xers a good fit with its entrepreneurial business model of independent sales. With the rise of former startups like Amazon, Google, Facebook and LinkedIn that have become megacompanies in less than a generation, Gen Xers have been called the most entrepreneurial generation America has ever seen.

Gen Xers want to deploy their strong in-person and social media networking abilities and expect cutting-edge technology in the workplace. Careers that allow them to take control of their lives are highly valued. Rather than viewing entrepreneurship as a Darwinian path to wealth, Gen Xers are embracing Joseph Campbell’s advice: “Do what you love and the money will follow.”

Many of these entrepreneurial Gen Xers may wind up in the insurance field. For example, Guardian expects to increase its sales force by 5 percent, adding over 800 new members to its national distribution team in 80 agencies across the U.S. Life insurance industry experience is not the only desirable background, and the company hopes to fill many of those positions with Gen Xers looking for new opportunities.

For more information, visit www.GuardianLife.com.

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Tips For Students And Parents

(NAPSI)—A college education is one of the most important investments of time and money that students and their families will make. Workers with a bachelor’s degree earned 65 percent more, on average, than those with only a high school diploma, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Fortunately, there are steps to take now that can help make a college education a reality.

If college is on the horizon for you or a family member, you probably need to think about how you’ll cover the costs. Understanding your scholarship, financial aid and student loan options will help you get started on the right foot.

Prospective, new and current college students also need answers to questions such as how to select a major, what school is a good fit, and which housing options will best suit their personality, lifestyle and study habits.

Tackling these questions can seem daunting, but students and their families have resources for finding answers thanks to friends, family, school guidance counselors and financial aid officers. Talking to other students and parents who have already gone through the process or are in the midst of it can help save time and energy. In fact, a new resource is available to help do just that: Wells Fargo’s Online Community. It connects people with college-related questions with others who can help in developing a plan and getting answers.

Here are a few things students and their families may want to discuss:

Develop a budget: Paying for college involves a lot more than tuition and housing. Make an itemized list of monthly expenses such as cell phone and Internet service, food and school supplies to get a good estimate of your overall expenses.

Create a plan: Young people should get a summer or after-school job, and then set up a savings and checking account to organize finances.

Research financial aid: Check in on your financial aid options early and often. There are a number of steps to getting the best financial aid package for your needs. Track deadlines, so you’re not left scrambling.

For more information and resources and to join the conversation with other students, parents, financial aid officers and loan experts, visit www.wellsfargocommunity.com.

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Insurance Industry Seeks Talent

(NAPSI)—Whether you’re a recent college grad seeking a first job or a sales professional looking for a career change, the insurance industry has well-paying jobs available. Risk management and insurance majors, salespeople and other qualified employees are sought for career-track positions that could lead to business ownership one day.

Why Insurance?

• Actuarial science is a top-10 job, based on income and employment outlook;

• Underwriting is a top-25 job, based on income, environment and security;

• 44 percent of insurance organizations anticipate adding staff this year.

Independents Seek Sales Pros

Independent insurance brokers need risk management, insurance, and employee benefits specialists to serve clients worldwide. If you’re looking for a rewarding career that potentially could lead to business ownership, consider a future with an independent insurance broker. Independent insurance brokers are always looking for talented salespeople, from recent college grads to mid-career professionals.

Top Five Career Tips

Want to learn more? Assurex Global, the world’s premier network of independent insurance, risk management and benefits brokers, provides “Five Steps to Finding a Lasting Insurance Career” on its blog, http://tinyurl.com/assurexglobal.

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A Path To Success For Latino Students

(NAPSI)—There’s good news for Hispanic high school students who want to pursue a goal of higher education.

There’s a resource that can aid their academic development and enhance their chance for success in college and beyond. In fact, many believe Advanced Placement (AP) courses can do that and more.

AP courses are designed so that students can learn to think critically, construct solid arguments and see many sides of an issue- skills that prepare them for college and beyond.

“In addition to the academic and economic benefits, AP courses can motivate students to have greater self-confidence and see themselves as successful college students and professionals,” says Steve Colón, executive director within the Advanced Placement Program.

The courses are offered in 34 subjects, each culminating in a rigorous exam. Taking them is often seen as a way to demonstrate to college admission officers that students have sought the most rigorous curriculum available to them.

A Strategy for Success

A recent report from the College Board—The 8th Annual AP Report to the Nation—indicates that students who succeed on an AP Exam during high school typically experience greater academic success in college and are more likely to earn a college degree than their peers.

Research also indicates that minority and low-income students who earn a score of 3 or higher on an AP Exam are more likely than their peers to earn higher grades in college and a college degree within five years of beginning college.

The College Board believes this news has particular significance for Latino students, given that only 19.2 percent of Latinos ages 25−34 have completed an associate degree or higher.

A Way to Reduce Expenses

Advanced Placement courses are offered in over 14,000 high schools across the nation. Students who score a 3 or higher on an AP Exam may be eligible for college credit or advanced placement.

This has the potential to accelerate the graduation process and thus reduce or offset the cost of tuition. AP courses can also enhance a student’s scholarship opportunities.

A Step up in Science

There’s also evidence that students can benefit in a number of ways from AP courses in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines.

According to the College Board’s report, minority students who took AP math or science exams were much more likely than non-AP students to earn degrees in physical science, engineering or life science disciplines—fields leading to some of the careers essential for America’s future prosperity.

To learn more about AP courses, visit www.collegeboard.org/ap.

 

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The Benefits Of Serving Your Country

(NAPSI)—Helping to make our nation a safer place is not without its rewards.

Becoming a member of the Army National Guard, a 375-year-old branch of the U.S. military, gives soldiers a chance to accomplish great things in addition to serving their country and state.

For a start, serving is not full-time and does not require you to leave your personal or professional life behind. The difference between the Guard and other military services is that Guard soldiers serve part-time and close to home. These soldiers can work or go to school full-time and also serve their communities part-time by responding to natural disasters and other emergencies.

That may be why it’s such a popular option. Currently, the Army National Guard has 360,000 citizen-soldiers who are ready to protect and serve their local community, state and country at a moment’s notice.

Meeting The Nation’s Military Needs

The Army National Guard is one component of the U.S. Army. It partners with the other two components-the Active Army and the Army Reserve-to help fulfill the country’s military needs. The Guard dates back to 1636, when Colonial militia forces were organized into regiments in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Since the Pequot War in 1637, the Guard has participated in every national war or conflict.

The Guard has a dual state and federal mission. At the state level, it provides vital emergency assistance when there is a natural disaster, such as responding to fight wildfires or helping communities deal with floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and snowstorms or civil disturbance. The Guard also supports federal homeland security efforts and stands ready to mobilize in times of war and national emergency.

Emergency And Recovery Efforts

In 2011, the Army Guard aided in emergency evacuation, rescue and recovery efforts for events such as Hurricane Irene; the devastating tornado in Joplin, Missouri; wildfires in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico; and blizzards across the East Coast and Midwest. On the federal side of things, National Guard units are currently serving in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as in peacekeeping missions in Kosovo and the Sinai Peninsula.

Besides the opportunity to serve, there are several financial advantages to signing on that include pay and bonuses, low-cost health and life insurance, plus a chance to rise in the ranks. The Guard also helps members with their education by offering college tuition assistance.

For More Information

For more information, visit www.nationalguard.com.

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Medicare And Medicare Supplement Insurance: Simple Steps To Help

(NAPSI)—When retirement starts knocking on your door, make sure you have a plan in place before you open it—you especially need to plan when it comes to your health care.

For people approaching retirement, the cost of health care tends to be a weighty concern. The high cost of health care makes some sort of coverage a necessity. Millions of Americans age 65 and older rely on Medicare to provide that coverage. However, even with Medicare, there’s a potential for high out-of-pocket costs.

That’s why many Medicare enrollees will also choose a Medicare supplement insurance policy, according to Mutual of Omaha’s Dan Kresha.

“Medicare supplement insurance is designed to work hand in hand with Medicare coverage, covering expenses not paid for by Medicare, including deductibles and co-insurance,” Kresha explained. “It offers some predictability in health care costs, which is often a plus for those concerned with making their retirement savings last.”

The best time to purchase a Medicare supplement insurance policy is during your open enrollment period, which lasts for six months beginning on the first day of the month in which you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B. During the open enrollment period, an insurance company cannot deny you coverage or place restrictions on your coverage due to your health.

Choosing the right Medicare supplement plan can often be overwhelming. “The key to making the best decision is making an informed decision,” said Kresha.

Kresha offers some tips to help individuals considering Medicare supplement insurance:

• Understand Medicare. Find out what it does and does not cover. A good resource is medicare.gov.

• Choose a plan with the best fit. Determine which Medicare supplement plan best meets your needs based on your health and financial situation.

• Select the best company. Check the reputation of the company, its financial stability and the level of service offered.

Finally, Kresha advises, don’t underestimate the value that an insurance representative can offer in your planning. Look for an agent willing to answer your questions and help you understand and determine your needs.

For more information, visit www.mutualofomaha.com.

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Overcoming Barriers To Better Health Can Make Seniors Part Of The Solution To Our Nation’s Spiraling Health Care Costs

(NAPSI)—An astounding 87 percent of Americans 65 and older have at least one chronic condition, and 67 percent have multiple chronic conditions, according to a 2004 report prepared by Partnership for Solutions. Baby boomers are aging into Medicare at a clip of 10,000 per day, which means that the number of Medicare beneficiaries with chronic diseases is set to skyrocket, putting an unprecedented strain on our health care system.

These startling statistics mean that, more than ever, seniors need to understand the connection between the sustainability of our health care system and their lifestyle choices.

“The U.S. spends more on the health of a 65-year-old than any other country in the world. Almost one-third of total health care expenditures in 2008, the last year for which we have data, were spent on care and treatment of the elderly,” said Reed V. Tuckson, M.D., executive vice president and chief of medical affairs, UnitedHealth Group, which serves more than 9 million members through its portfolio of Medicare plans. “Because the health of our seniors is important and we all have a stake in escalating health care costs, it’s essential that we work together to support each other in making healthy lifestyle choices.”

To help older adults feel empowered about their health, Dr. Tuckson authored “The Doctor in the Mirror,” which is based on the premise that much of our wellness is in our own hands. Dr. Tuckson says seniors can break down barriers to better health by making small lifestyle changes that can result in significant improvements:

• Take a permanent vacation from smoking. It’s never too late to quit—and people often see immediate health benefits once they do.

• Watch your weight. Start by calculating your body mass index (BMI). With your BMI in mind, develop a plan to help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

• Have your blood pressure checked regularly. This “silent killer” usually has no outward symptoms but can increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease−related death.

• Get active. Start with simple goals, such as elevating your heart rate 15 to 30 minutes per day. Then incorporate stretching, balance and strength exercises into your routine.

• Adopt a healthier diet. Choose foods that are low in cholesterol and sodium, including lean meats, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy and whole grains that contain plenty of fiber.

For more tips, strategies and resources designed to help older adults age with vitality, find “The Doctor in the Mirror” on Amazon.com or visit www.DoctorInTheMirror.com.

 

 

 

 

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Friedman’s 100th Birthday: Time To Remember

(NAPSI)—Vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry. Drive, walk, or public transit. Rent or own. In the United States, we make more choices every day than we realize.

In countries ruled by dictators or communist regimes, citizens have little choice where to live, what school to attend, or what job to pursue.

That’s because those nations are not centered on freedom and free markets.

Milton Friedman, the foremost economist of the 20th century, believed that competition was the lifeblood of freedom and the best way to ensure a stable democracy, lifting the masses out of poverty. The Nobel laureate, whom The New York Times dubbed “the grandmaster of free market economic theory,” is recognized worldwide for his work.

When Friedman began his career at the University of Chicago, free markets looked like a lost cause. Half the world was in slavery and the other half was caught in a crisis of confidence in its central idea: government based on individual liberty. Friedman helped restore the free world’s faith in liberty, sparking a global revolution that transformed international politics, economics, and, toward the end of his life, education.

Every summer, the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice hosts events to celebrate Friedman’s birthday. In 2011, there were 85 events in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and six countries honoring Friedman’s work as one of history’s most influential thought leaders.

But this year there will be special emphasis, as July 31 marks what would have been Friedman’s 100th birthday. A gala will be held in Chicago to celebrate Friedman and the influence of his life and work worldwide, welcoming dignitaries from around the globe.

In addition, to celebrate Friedman Legacy for Freedom Day on July 31, the Friedman Foundation plans to host 100 events across the country and around the world to celebrate and bring greater awareness to Friedman’s influence.

The Foundation is offering grants to organizations or groups interested in hosting educational programs, breakfasts, lunches, or events to discuss Friedman’s work.

For example, last year in Arizona, college students gathered to watch a segment of the “Free to Choose” public television series where Friedman discusses what’s wrong with government-run school systems. In Idaho, charter school families and supporters enjoyed an ice cream social and movie viewing. And in Hong Kong, a free market think tank held a panel discussion with students, diplomats, financial and legal representatives about Friedman’s influence as a monetarist and free market ambassador.

The Friedman Foundation encourages similar events to celebrate 100 years of one very influential economist and American—Milton Friedman.

To learn more about Friedman, the Friedman Legacy for Freedom Day, or to host an event in your community, go to EdChoice.org or submit an online registration by April 30 at EdChoice.org/FriedmanDay/Register.

 

 

 

 

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