Ever Wonder How a Class Action Works? We Talked to an Expert to Find Out


The numbers are always striking.

Honest Co. agreed to pay out more than $ 7 million after a dispute over ingredients.

Another $ 11.2 million is coming from adultery website Ashley Madison after a massively embarrassing security breach revealed customer data.

And a judge ordered that Dish Network pay a whopping $ 61 million for telemarketing calls a contractor made on behalf of the company to people on the National Do Not Call Registry.

If you qualify for even one of these class-action lawsuits, seeing settlement agreements in the millions can make you feel like you’ve won the lottery, at least in the beginning. But if you’ve ever received a payout, you know that in most cases, by the time your check arrives in the mail, your cut of the pie can feel pretty insignificant.

To understand why, you need to understand a bit more about the life cycle of a class-action lawsuit, and the difference between how we use some terms colloquially and what they really mean to legal professionals.

First, let’s start with the phrase “class-action lawsuit.”

A lawsuit is classified as a class action when a group of people sue the same company, accusing it of the same wrongdoing. In a traditional lawsuit, a single person or company sues another person or company.

The phrase “class-action lawsuit” is often used in newspapers, on TV and even by us at The Penny Hoarder from the moment a lawsuit is filed against a company. But the lawsuit isn’t technically a class action that early in the process, according to corporate attorney Jeff Lieser.

“You’re basically just putting the defendants on notice that you will be seeking to have a class certified,” he said. “Just because I decide I want to file a class-action lawsuit and I entitle the complaint a class-action complaint against John Doe for ripping off consumers, that does not make it a class action. It’s up to the judge.”

(Disclosure: Lieser works for the Lieser Skaff Alexander law firm, which handles legal issues for The Penny Hoarder.)

When Is a Class Action Really a Class Action?

Female judge discussing paperwork
PeopleImages/Getty Images

In some cases, class certification comes in the early months of a lawsuit. In other cases, that can take years, if it comes at all.

In the Ashley Madison case, class certification happened during the settlement process.

According to Lieser, pretty much every one of those scenarios can be considered normal. When it happens is less important, but the class certification is necessary if anyone other than the person or group handling the legal battle is going to get paid.

And getting a judge to certify a class can be tough.

The prerequisites for a class action in federal court are laid out in Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Most states have rules modeled after Rule 23 to govern class-action lawsuits filed in state courts.

Here’s what Rule 23(a) says must be in place before a lawsuit can be certified as class action:

  1. There have to be enough members in the class for it to be impractical for each to file individual lawsuits.
  2. The law has to apply in the same way to each member of the class.
  3. The claims of individuals in the class must be similar, and the company’s defense against each class member must be similar as well.
  4. The class representative — this is the person whose name is usually on the lawsuit as the plaintiff — and their attorney have to be willing to protect the interests of the class.

If all four prerequisites are met, the court moves on to Rule 23(b).

Here, only one of three items must exist for the lawsuit to move forward as a class action. The most common is the final item, Lieser said: The class members’ similarities should be greater than their difference to show that what happened to each person is a common practice of the company being sued.

Of course, if you are considering being the class representative for a class-action lawsuit, you’d have a lawyer to make sure these requirements are met. For most of us, though, we’d be among the unnamed participants waiting to see if it ends in a win at trial or an out-of-court settlement followed by a check.

Why Do Companies Settle and Say They Did Nothing Wrong?

Statue of justice
belenox/Getty Images

If you’ve ever read even one article about a lawsuit that’s been settled, you have probably read that despite a multimillion-dollar settlement and the promise to change business practices, the company still “denies all wrongdoing.”

If you think this seems contradictory, you’re not alone. But Lieser said the laws governing class-action lawsuits make it so companies can right wrongs without admitting guilt.

“If you’re changing your business practices, people are going to assume that they need to be changed because they were screwed up before or you did something wrong,” Lieser said.

But legally, agreeing to settle and change practices without conceding guilt is allowed.

“That is because courts want to be an agent of change, and they don’t want there to be a disincentive to remedying those things that are out there that can cause harm,” Lieser said. “They don’t want something used against you… The courts want companies to do the right thing.”

That’s why the apparent inconsistency is allowed: The courts don’t want a change in practice or a large settlement to eventually lead to more lawsuits against a company that has just admitted guilt.

OK, There Was a Settlement. When Do You Get Paid?

Close up of hands
MangoStar_Studio/Getty Images

Like just about every other question we had about class-action lawsuits, the answer is: “It depends.”

“It’s always going to be years,” Lieser said. “It’s just a matter of how many years. It’s a safe bet that it’s going to be anywhere from two years to 10 years or more in some cases.”

Then, when a case is finally over, the large cash settlements cover much more than consumer payouts.

The money must also cover attorney’s fees, which Lieser said normally hovers around one-third of the settlement, and the cost of informing members of the class that they’re owed money.

That means the bare-bones websites that go up so people can file electronic claims; any ad space purchased in newspapers, online or on TV; the pay for people on hand to answer questions from those trying to see if they qualify for a payout. All of that could come out of the settlement.

“Class actions often get a bad rap for this,” Lieser added.

And depending on the size of the class and the settlement, it could mean just a few dollars, like the Red Bull settlement a few years back, or more than $ 1,000, like the Dish Network case.

The deadline to file a claim is usually stated in the settlement agreement, but in some cases, that can be extended. In the Wells Fargo fake account settlement, for example, the deadline to file was extended to July 7 after the bank failed to properly notify consumers about the settlement.

No matter how long it takes, if you’ve been promised a settlement and you can prove that you qualify, you’ll likely get paid eventually — even if it’s just a few bucks.

Desiree Stennett (@desi_stennett) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She writes about how government and court actions impact your wallet.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Expert Tips for Selecting the Right House Plan

The Winchester plan offers a great open
concept kitchen and family room for informal
entertaining and a separate dining room for
more formal events!

It can be a little overwhelming to decide between so many fantastic options so we asked Diego Rizzardo of SanDiego Homes to share some of the tips he uses to help homeowners pick the best home plan for their lot at their Lakeside Living community in Innisfil!

LIFESTYLE Consider the daily needs, activities and hobbies of those who will live there. If you love to cook, a kitchen with plenty of pantry and workspace is a must. If you are a fitness buff, choose a plan that allows space for a gym. If you work from home, you will need space for a home office. Another important aspect is your entertaining style. “If you often have a large number of guests, a flexible, open concept space is a must,” says Diego. “If you prefer a more intimate setting, you may want a plan like The Winchester that has a separate, formal dining space.” You will also want to consider bedroom space if guests often stay overnight.

The Strathmore plan offers bungalow style living
with plenty of space for guests, perfect for
those who love to entertain and want a home
that will allow them to age in place.

CURRENT AND FUTURE NEEDS It is important to consider how your needs may change over the next 5-10 years. A newlywed couple may feel that a two bedroom plan is perfect for them but if they plan to have children in a few years, they will outgrow that plan quite quickly. For older homeowners, it is important to consider future health and mobility needs. “We offer a variety of bungalow style plans that will allow homeowners to age in place without costly renovations down the road,” says Diego. “Wide hallways are also standard in all models to ensure ease of mobility.” A main floor laundry, master bedroom and bathroom may not seem like a necessity right now but may greatly affect your ability to live independently in the home later in life!

PROPERTY AND LOCATION The lot you are building on and the surrounding area may also affect your decision. How will the position of the sun and wind direction affect the home? What is located on each side of the property? Large windows that take in a beautiful view of the sunset are great but those same windows facing the side of the neighbor’s home are much less enjoyable. “Choose a plan that will take advantage of the best aspects of your property.” says Diego, “But also consider available outdoor space and choose a plan that leaves space for outdoor entertaining, gardening or other outdoor activities you enjoy.”

The post Expert Tips for Selecting the Right House Plan appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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Ask an Expert: Choosing Deck Materials

Photo Source: XMT Construction

What type of materials should I use when building a deck?

Most people are using composite materials. With the climate and weather we experience in the Lower Mainland, composite is ideal. Composite decking will outperform wood and other decking materials in every way. It will provide equal or greater traction than dry wood when it is wet. It requires no painting or staining, it will not produce splinters and it is made from 95% recycled materials. It is virtually maintenance free. – Adam Clark, www.xmtconstruction.ca

The post Ask an Expert: Choosing Deck Materials appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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New home sales growth concentrated in more affordable south: Expert

Patrick Newport, IHS Markit executive director of U.S. economics, and Susan Wachter, University of Pennsylvania Wharton real estate professor, discuss the jump in new home sales in May. All the growth in new home sales is in the south where housing is affordable.

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Ask an Expert: Hiring a Pro to Repaint a Home

My home’s exterior needs to be repainted. Should I attempt to DIY it or hire a pro?

Exterior paint, when properly applied, helps shield the surface from the regular day-to-day damage of weathering, temperature changes, and sunlight. Most exterior surfaces will last longer and look better when properly treated with paint, plus you get a brand new look for your home and a boost in curb appeal!

The quality of the paint you are using is extremely important. Spray-Net formulates their own brand of industrial-strength coating and they apply it using their specialized equipment and technique. Each coatings is tailored to the specific exterior surface to ensure maximum adhesion and a premium factory-quality finish that won’t peel and leaves your home looking brand new, not repainted. Plus, you have peace of mind with their fifteen year no-peel warranty that you won’t be repainting every few years!

Painting your home’s exterior on your own can be a major project. Using a professional service means you can focus on smaller and easier projects. With Spray-Net, most projects are complete within a day! If you’re considering refreshing the look of your aluminum siding, vinyl siding, brick, stucco or even your doors and windows, definitely hire a pro! – Melissa Grasso, www.Spray-Net.com

The post Ask an Expert: Hiring a Pro to Repaint a Home appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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4 Bra-Fitting Tips an Expert Wants You to Know

According to Fitzgerald, styles that once worked for you may no longer do your figure justice—especially if your body’s gone through significant changes. Be open to trying on different styles, cuts, and sizes.

Shopping for bras, no matter what size you are, is likely the last thing you want to do. Between navigating the right size and finding a style that makes you feel cool and confident underneath it all, it’s a tedious task. However, if you have the right bra-fitting tips, it can make things a whole lot easier.

Let’s face it—there’s nothing more uncomfortable than an ill-fitting bra. After all, it’s one of the reasons we can’t wait to remove them at the end of the day or go into the braless territory is to avoid the lingerie piece altogether.

We looked to Tiffany Fitzgerald from The Lace Lounge in Los Angeles for her best tips to make sure you get the right bra fit. When you have these in mind, finding the perfect bra that feels comfortable and looks great will be a breeze. Check out her tips now.

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Pink has never been a bad thing. Available in sizes 1 to 5.
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A longline bra is a nice alternative to your regular pick. Available in sizes 32B to 38DDD.
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You’ll feel so luxe in this bra. Available in sizes 32C to 36C.
Wear this under your favorite blouse. Available in sizes S to L.

“A woman’s breast size can change several times during her lifetime. Do not get married to a size, go with what fits, and don’t get hung up on sizing,” she says.

Once you’ve added these to your cart, check out how to wash your lingerie to make sure those last as long as possible.

“Most of the time you might wear a 36C, but depending on how a style or brand is running, you may sometimes need a 36B or a 34D,” Fitzgerald says. She also mentions that different fabrics and your breast shape dictate how a bra will fit you.

Fitzgerald says, “28D, 30C, 32B, and 34A are sister sizes. These sizes have the same cup volume but have different band lengths. The band and cup work in ratios. For instance, 30B, 32B, 34B, 36B, and 38B all have the same cup-to-band ratio, but each is one cup size bigger than the other.”

Now shop for some gorgeous bras to add to your own lingerie collection.

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Ask an Expert: Funding Cottage Renovations

funding cottage renovations

funding cottage renovations
Photo Source: 5 Cottage Updates You Can Do In A Weekend

Q: I recently purchased a cottage property that is in need of renovations. I have a fair bit of equity in my home. Can I use the equity from my primary residence as a source for funding cottage renovations?

A: Your best course of action will be a home equity loan. A home equity loan is secured against the equity in your home, separate from your mortgage and you can use a home equity loan to access funds for a variety of purposes, including completing renovations on another property!

Because Tribecca is a non-bank lending service, we are not required to operate under the same regulations as a bank or financial institution. This means it is much easier to access your home equity funds.

Additionally, the terms and payment options can be customized to your situation, taking into consideration your funding needs, ability to make payments and long term plans for the property.

One of our Finance Managers can customize a plan that will give you the best use of your equity with as little stress as possible! – Rejan Kaushal, www.Tribecca.ca

The post Ask an Expert: Funding Cottage Renovations appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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Expert Advice: Consider All Your Options Before Buying!

What is the biggest mistake you see buyers make when considering a home purchase?

FAILING TO CONSIDER ALL OF THEIR OPTIONS!

Homeowners will sacrifice their dream location because they can’t find a house that suits their needs or leave a neighborhood they love because they have outgrown their home. There is no need to compromise! In both situations, an addition provides the perfect solution. For homeowners who love their neighborhood, an addition can drastically increase available living space and may also be more cost efficient that moving would be!

When looking to buy, if there are no available properties in your desired neighborhood that offer the space you need, an addition can turn a smaller home into your dream home! While we all love the idea of a “move in ready” home, a little extra effort and the help of an expert team can result in the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood with no regrets! – Bole Cirovic, www.Modular.ca

The post Expert Advice: Consider All Your Options Before Buying! appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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Four Tips to Increase Your Credit Score From a Credit Expert

Credit is nothing to play with. It can work in your favor or completely work against you. Black Enterprise caught up with founder Christia’n Annice of eMillions+, a credit repair agency, who gave us four tips on how to increase your credit score.

(Image: Credit Karma)

(Image: Credit Karma)

 

1. Pay your bills on time.

Delinquent payments and collections can have a major negative impact on a credit score. According to FICO data, a 30-day delinquency could cause as much as a 90- to 110-point drop on a FICO Score of 780 for a consumer who has never missed a payment on any credit account.

In comparison, as stated on Equifax, a consumer with a 680 FICO Score and two late payments (a 90-day delinquency on a credit card account from two years ago and a 30-day delinquency on an auto loan from a year ago) would experience a 60- to 80-point drop after being hit with another 30-day delinquency.

2. Keep balances low on credit cards and other “revolving credit.”

When your balance is low so is your utilization percentage which is extremely important to your score. To boost your score, pay down a credit card with a high balance relative to its credit limit. Also, try and increase your credit limits. You can do this by calling credit card companies to negotiate.

3. Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed.

Applying for new credit accounts for about 10% of your FICO score, so the impact is relatively small but still important to consider.

Open new accounts is a different scenario. If you only have had credit for a short time, don’t open a lot of new accounts too rapidly. As stated on MyFico, new accounts will lower your average account age, which will have a larger effect on your FICO® Scores if you don’t have a lot of other credit information.

4. Pay off debt rather than moving it around.

It is extremely important to pay off your debt. A lot of people use moving it to different cards as a strategy but, the only sure fire way to make sure that it is affecting your score in a positive way is to pay it off.

For more information on getting your credit in shape, click here.

The post Four Tips to Increase Your Credit Score From a Credit Expert appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Expert Advice: Know BEFORE You Buy!

What is the biggest mistake you see buyers make when considering a home purchase?

FAILING TO OBTAIN A HOME PERFORMANCE DIAGNOSTICS REPORT!

This report provides valuable information about the current condition of a home and possible future issues. Essentially, it provides a detailed checkup of the home.

Unlike a typical home inspection, the home is tested under dynamic conditions in order to show how it breathes (are there leaks) and the condition of it’s heart (furnace/AC systems), arteries (ducts), and coat (insulation). The tests also show how effective and efficient air filtration is in the home, ensures all gas and combustion appliances are leak free, checks quality of building materials and effectiveness of the exhaust ventilation.

In case of any indoor air quality concerns, a separate assessment is performed. Samples for mold, bacteria or any other contaminant are processed by a registered lab. The report also includes a list of improvements recommended to rectify deficiencies found and a post renovation/ improvements test can be performed to verify the results. – Andrej Bagar, www.FluxAir.ca

The post Expert Advice: Know BEFORE You Buy! appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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How to Write the Perfect Instagram Caption, According to an Expert

In the fashion community, few social media platforms are as beloved as Instagram. Whether we’re sharing snaps of our latest #ootd or browsing through other fashion people’s fabulous posts from runway shows, parties, and beyond, Instagram is where it’s at. There’s only one problem.

Posting a photo to Instagram, of course, isn’t really a hard thing to do—the challenge comes in crafting the perfect caption to accompany the image. Some of our favorite It girls are really good at it—we’re looking at you, Alexa Chung—and while we take inspiration from their daily musings, we thought it might be wise to pick the brain of a bona fide social media expert. And that’s just what we did.

We sat down to chat with Michael Kwolek, the director of research at social media consultancy firm Room 214. We asked him to share his learnings on the types of Instagram captions that work—the ones that increase engagement, are prone to getting you more likes, and generally make people like you more on the platform—and, of course, the types of captions that don’t work.

What he had to say really surprised us. Keep scrolling for an expert’s tips on how to write the perfect cute Instagram caption.

“Brevity is so important,” Kwolek tells us. “I like when people just use a caption like ‘This.’ [to go along with their image]. That’s always a good go-to. Something super brief. It should be shorter than a tweet.”
It’s true: All those people you follow who like to #hashtag #every #word #in #their #Instagram #poststhey’re doing it wrong.  “
Gasp. According to Kwolek, if your Instagram caption is borderline illegible, that’s a bad thing. (Though you’d probably never know it from taking a quick scroll through your feed.)
“Add value to the image with the caption,” Kwolek recommends. “When I scroll through Instagram, I don’t necessarily even read the captions. If you want to have a caption that people are actually going to want to read, you kind of have to build that up with the image first. You want people to say, ‘I’m going to look at this image, but hey, I’m going to read this caption too.'” And how do you do that? “
For all the blushing brides out there, this one’s for you: Event-specific hashtags are lame, according to Kwolek.
Yes, à la Beyoncé, Instagram photos without captions reign supreme.
Susan Alexandra’s whimsical bags make us really inexplicably happy.
The clear trend is bubbling up in jewelry, too.
These would complement an athleisure outfit like no other.
The earrings you’ll find adorning every fashion person right now.
Skinny sunglasses keep evolving. 
Minimal design with maximum effect.
See all the modern ways we’re loving to wear pearls right now.
These cult-favorite bags just got a fresh spring coating.
Will there ever be a time when berets are not in style? Serious question.
Wear these to complement all your spring sandals.

How do you approach writing Instagram captions? 

This post waspublished at an earlier date and has been updated.

Celebrity Style and Fashion Trend Coverage | http://www.whowhatwear.com

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This could get ‘very ugly, very fast’ for Boeing, says one market expert

With so much political uncertainty surrounding trade policy, Boeing's pain could grow.
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Ask an Expert: Financing Condo Renovations

financing condo renovations

Q: I entertain often and my cramped, closed in condo needs a makeover to better accommodate my guests and lifestyle. I’d like to access the equity in my condo for financing condo renovations and create an open concept makeover but refinancing my mortgage now will result in penalty fees that I’d rather avoid. Is there a better option?

financing condo renovations

A: In your situation, a home equity loan may be the perfect solution for financing condo renovations. This is a loan secured against the equity in your home but separate from your mortgage. With a Tribecca home equity loan, you can have an answer in 24 hours and have access to your funds within a week so that your renovations can begin without delay.

A home equity loan can be a very flexible option as well, allowing you to customize to your needs. For example, you can use the home equity loan to access the equity now and then, when your mortgage does come up for renewal, you can remortgage to include the remaining loan balance into your mortgage without any penalty fees. You may even qualify for a no-payment plan which lets you access the equity now without taking on another monthly payment and then pay back the principal with interest at a later date; when you remortgage, for example!

One of our Finance Managers can help you go over the options available and customize a plan that will give you the best use of your equity with as little stress as possible! – Rejan Kaushal, Tribecca

If you’re looking to access the equity in your home, the experts at Tribecca Finance can help! To get started, simply Apply Online or call them at (416) 225-6900 and one of their lending specialists will be pleased to assist you.

The post Ask an Expert: Financing Condo Renovations appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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Expert on UK Poison: We Have Never Seen It Used

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Some 90% of hedge funds aren’t worth the fees, but there’s still a place for them, says expert

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Ask an Expert: Finding the Right Area Rug

I am having trouble finding a rug that works for my dining room! What would you suggest?

First, ensure you are looking for the correct size; large enough that you can pull the chair back with the feet still on the rug. Also keep in mind that the dining table covers the center of the rug so the border design is more important than the center.

If you are unable to find the right rug for your specific space, our custom rug program offers an easy solution. This starts with a home visit where I take measurements and go over your design inspirations. We also determine size, texture and material and help you select colors from an extensive range of options. This information is used to create a design that perfectly matches your needs and style.

Once the artwork has been approved, the design is sent to a master weaver where it is reproduced into an original, beautiful, hand knotted rug. The length of time it takes to complete a rug can vary depending on the materials you choose. Our custom rug program guarantees you’ll have the perfect rug without sacrificing color, style or size! – Nishant Mehrotra, Indo Designer Rugs

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Feds appear to add economics expert for fight over AT&T-Time Warner merger

The arm’s race is underway. President Trump’s regulators, gearing up for their much-anticipated legal showdown with AT&T, appear close to securing a star witness: well-regarded University of California at Berkeley Professor Carl Shapiro, The Post has learned. “He’s as good as they get,” a source close to the situation said. The Department of Justice, which…
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This Barre Expert Dishes Exactly What to Wear to Class

As fashion girls, we find ourselves putting in as much effort when getting dressed for a workout class as we do when getting dressed for everything else in life. Just like the explosion of the sneaker market—which, in a few short years, developed into the massively trend-driven scene it is today—activewear is taking its place in the fashion spotlight. With cool new brands emerging one after the other, the question of what to wear to work out is increasingly being answered by a slew of stylish options. Whether you’re headed off to yoga, Spin, or barre class, there’s a plethora of stylish leggings and tops to choose from, each tailored to a specific activity.

So what exactly is the distinction between barre and yoga attire? To find out, we went straight to the source and spoke with Jennifer Williams, the founder of cult barre studio Pop Physique. Whether you’re devoted to cultivating your barre physique or you’re considered a “Pop virgin,” you have to admit that the millennial-targeted, candy-colored studios have come to define this era where the cult workout classes you attend are as much a part of your personal brand as your Instagram feed.

Go on to see what Pop Physique’s founder, Jennifer Williams, has to say about getting dressed for class.

WHO WHAT WEAR: What should first-timers expect in a barre class?

Jennifer Williams: A fast-paced but safe workout, with the principals of ballet technique without the requirement of prior dance training. We focus on posture, active stretching, and muscle toning and elongating.

WWW: Which is better: leggings or shorts?

JW: Definitely leggings! There are parts of the class where you are seated, and you’ll be more comfortable in leggings.

WWW: What should you never wear to a barre class?

JW: Don’t wear shorts or bare feet. You’ll want the coverage of leggings and socks for safety and cleanliness.

WWW: Is a leotard required?

JW: Definitely not. Leggings and a somewhat form-fitting top are ideal (think tank or T-shirt).

WWW: What shoes or type of footwear is recommended?

JW: We do the class in socks. Pop makes two types of custom socks. Our traditional full sock and a more breathable and thinner ballet sock. They come in lots of fun colors and styles.

WWW: What’s your favorite ensemble to wear to a barre class?

JW: High-waisted leggings, a tank, and a light sweatshirt that I can take on and off as needed. I love the cut of our custom J’Adore Barre tank.

WWW: What other pieces of advice would you give to potential barre class goers?

JW: Bring a water—you may want to sip during class. And always eat some protein before! A French- or Greek-style yogurt with some fruit is perfect.

Now shop the must-have activewear pieces for barre classes.

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How to Style Tassel Earrings, According to an Expert

2017 has been a strong year for statement earrings, and with its most festive weeks still ahead, we’re looking forward to pairing them with every outfit we leave the house in—and maybe some we don’t (you know, for selfie purposes). Top of our list right now is tassel earrings, which manage to look both classic and thoroughly of-the-moment and offer an easy way to incorporate a little color into your look, even if your wardrobe skews toward all-black.

Designer Hart Hagerty has been creating tassel earrings since 2013 when she returned to her native Charleston, South Carolina, after five years of living in Shanghai (she still works with artisans in the city to produce her line). So it’s safe to say she knows a thing or two about how to style the eye-catching earrings in ways that feel fresh and unexpected. To wit: “The beauty of my tassel earrings lies in their simplicity and versatility,” she says. “They go with pretty much any outfit from bohemian-chic to classic-cool.”

Hagerty’s tassels range from OTT double-layered tufts to elegant silky fringe. “I love playing up contrast. I’ll wear the sparkly new holiday earrings with a vintage band T-shirt (the more beat-up, the better),” she says. “The more subdued silky topknots are chic, understated, and cool, especially when paired with timeless classics like cashmere sweaters and slip dresses. They make just enough of a statement for the cool girl’s look. They’re never trying too hard.”

Here are four outfits Hagerty is styling with tassel earrings this season:

Shop our tassel earring picks below.

A cool multicolored metallic for nights when you need something special.
Hoop + tassel = statement earring gold.
Fuchsia is hard to resist.
We love the rose-gold hardware on this delicate pair.
Lizzie Fortunato’s pieces always have a worldly vibe.
The only jewelry you’ll need.
Wear these with your fanciest dress or your favorite gray sweatshirt.
Each pair includes more than 1000 beads.
Easy and elegant.
Party pineapples.
Two tassels are better than one.
Feathers are a fun take on the trend.
No one does vintage glam quite like Rachel Zoe.
Just add jewel tones.
Pack these on your next tropical vacation.
Some shoulder dusters for your holiday parties.
These will make green and blue eyes pop.
Mixed-material magic. Up next: The fresh way to wear all your winter dresses.

Celebrity Style and Fashion Trend Coverage | http://www.whowhatwear.com

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Foreign investors are missing out on bargains in US property, real estate expert says

Foreign investors in U.S. property are missing out on the "real bargains" by overlooking second and third tier cities, says Dan Flanigan, a partner at Polsinelli.
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Expert Care Everywhere: Kaiser Permanente Health Plans Receive Highest Rating from NCQA

OAKLAND Calif. — When tremors from Parkinson’s disease began to severely limit the life of Richard Williams, 70, he turned to his Kaiser Permanente physicians in Northern California — and they offered a dramatic solution.

“I couldn’t eat soup because it was too hard to control the spoon,” said Williams, a retiree in Sonoma, California, about 40 miles north of San Francisco.  “It was challenging to insert a credit card into the self-service slot at gas stations.”

Kaiser Permanente neurologist Rima Ash, MD, knew Williams was “a perfect candidate” for a surgery called deep brain stimulation, or DBS.

In January, Williams underwent two separate six-hour surgeries in which Kaiser Permanente neurosurgeon Patrick Pezeshkian, MD, implanted wire leads deep within his brain. A generator, much like a pacemaker, implanted below Williams’ clavicle delivers high-frequency stimulation to the leads, thus improving the tremors and restoring his quality of life.

“I can’t say enough about the professionalism and skill of my doctors,” Williams said. “But really I had an amazing support system from everyone at Kaiser Permanente. I could feel their concern, and that everyone was right by my side throughout.”

This level of expert specialty care, compassion and personalized service is a hallmark of Kaiser Permanente. The National Committee for Quality Assurance’s Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2017-18, published today, recognize Kaiser Permanente health plans again this year as among the nation’s top performers for consumer experience, prevention and treatment. logo for National Committee for Quality Assurance

NCQA’s annual report rates more than 1,000 health plans, including Medicare, Medicaid and Private (commercial), on a 0-to-5 scale, with 5 being the best. Only 15 health plans in the country (approximately 1 percent) were given a 5 out 5 this year, and Kaiser Permanente has six of them, more than any other organization. All Kaiser Permanente health plans were rated 4.0 or higher for overall care.

In addition, for the second year in a row, Kaiser Permanente is only health care organization in the country to have a health plan — Kaiser Permanente Northern California — rate 5.0 for both its Medicare and commercial populations. And for the sixth year in a row, all Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plans are rated highest (or tied for the highest) in the areas they serve. Kaiser Permanente serves more than 11.8 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia.

High fives for Northern California
Out of more than 1,000 plans rated in the NCQA Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2017-18, Kaiser Permanente Northern California is — for the second year in a row — the only health care entity in the nation to receive a 5.0, the highest score possible, for both its Medicare and commercial (Private) populations.

In addition, there were only 15 “5 out 5” ratings total in the annual report and Kaiser Permanente has six of them. Along with Northern California, Kaiser Permanente Medicare plans in Southern California, Washington, the Northwest and Hawaii each received a 5.0 rating. All Kaiser Permanente plans rated 4.0 or higher.

“The NCQA ratings once again highlight Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to providing affordable, high-quality health care coverage to our members and giving our patients the outcomes they expect and deserve,” said Patrick Courneya, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. “Since we began as a health care organization more than 70 years ago, our excellence has been rooted in our clinical experience and evidence-based medicine approach. We know that prevention, early intervention and accessibility help our nearly 12 million members — like Mr. Williams — get well sooner and get back to doing what they love most.”

“Our year-over-year outstanding NCQA results shine a light on our highly skilled physicians, nurses, clinicians, front-line staff and care teams who are dedicated to doing what’s best for the member,” said Michael Kanter, MD, executive vice president and chief Quality officer for The Permanente Federation, the national organization for the more than 21,000 physicians who exclusively provide care to Kaiser Permanente’s members.

The NCQA’s Health Insurance Plan Ratings are based on combined scores for health plans in the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set®, commonly called HEDIS; the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems®, or CAHPS; and NCQA Accreditation standards scores.

The ratings and methodology are posted on the NCQA’s website as well as on WebMD.com.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 11.8 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.

 

The post Expert Care Everywhere: Kaiser Permanente Health Plans Receive Highest Rating from NCQA appeared first on Kaiser Permanente Share.

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Ask an Expert: How to Find a Windows Installer You Can Trust

It can be hard, as a homeowner, to know that you’re getting quality workmanship and products for your money. Often, the difference between a good installer and a bad one lies in technical know-how that takes an industrial professional to spot. To help sort through these issues, we spoke to John Litsey, of Houston’s Window City. John clued us into some common misconceptions about window installers, and how to research your installer’s background history and expertise. Here’s what he had to say.

Boy in Sunny WIndow

What should homeowners look out for when they’re hiring a window company?

I sell a window for two or three hundred dollars, while other people might sell a window that’s 90 percent of the quality of that one for $ 2,000 dollars. The only difference is just profit and overhead. When you sell such an expensive product that’s so much higher than something else, you have to come up with some way to differentiate the windows. But the reality is that most of these windows—at least a wide swath of the premium window segment—are all pretty close. They have to come up with some kind of justification for why their prices are so high. And they generally try to make their window appear to be unique.

So they’ll tell the homeowner that they manufacture their windows, so therefore they’re the only ones that can offer that window. But if a windows salesman tells you that they manufacture their own window, there’s a high likelihood that they’re not telling the complete truth.

Secondly, you have a group of companies that sell a composite window and a fiberglass window. These windows can be three times the price of a good quality vinyl window, so the companies have to come up with a reason why their windows are so expensive. They try to convince the homeowner of the problems with vinyl—that it won’t last, or that it’ll warp.

But the fact of the matter is that you don’t need anything stronger than vinyl. The vinyl windows are all tested by AAMA [American Architectural Manufacturers Association]. They go through rigorous structural testing. And all they do is sit in the window opening. They don’t hold up anything. They don’t need to be stronger.

So how frequently would you say a homeowner actually does need to replace their windows?

Probably about once in a lifetime.

How can you tell that you do need to replace them? If you have an older home, or so forth?

If you can feel leaks in the windows. One of the advantages of replacement windows is that they seal up the home more so you have a more quiet environment. The noise that comes through aluminum windows won’t get through vinyl windows. It buffers a lot of that outside noise.

A window replacement also makes your house more aesthetically pleasing, so it adds to the resale value. Plus, it makes the house more comfortable, because you don’t have a wide discrepancy in the temperature. For example, a homeowner recently told me, “I have one room in the house that will get really hot, because it’s right where the sun is shining in through the windows.” This affects the overall environment of the whole home. But with new windows, you have a more consistent temperature throughout the house. And that means your AC unit doesn’t have to run as much, so you end up saving money. It’s more energy-efficient, and just provides a lot of comfort.

What specific things do you recommend for homeowners who want to improve their energy efficiency?

The most important thing is the low-E coating on the glass. They’re pretty much required now [in Houston] because of the energy codes.

But one of the biggest things that affects the overall performance and reliability of the window is what’s called a spacer system. It provides the seal between the two panes of glass. The best spacers are not metallic. They’re a rubber or foam type material. Most companies use a metal spacer. But with metal, you get a lot of expansion and contraction, and it has a tendency to force the glass out to where you get a seal failure, which results in moisture in between the panes.

That’s probably one of the most overlooked and most important parts of a window. Because it’s on the inside of a window, it’s not anything that a homeowner can see. The only way they would know about it is if someone told them about it. And if somebody sells a window with a metal spacer system, they’re not going to be forthcoming with that.

window installation

How can homeowners tell a good installer or window seller from a bad one?

Always check with the Better Business Bureau. If the companies that you’re talking to are not registered with the Better Business Bureau, then that’s a huge red flag.

You should also look at online reviews. Search that company and find different review sites like Yelp and Google. Also, the Better Business Bureau now has a review section on their website, so homeowners that work with a particular company can go give their review of the project. If a company has 50 or 60 complaints with the Better Business Bureau, that’s a pretty bad sign. That’s because if somebody files a complaint with the BBB, it tends to be their last resort to get any type of resolution to the problem. And the Better Business Bureau will make that company attempt to solve that problem. If a homeowner submits a complaint, the BBB will contact that company so that they have the opportunity to respond to that complaint. And then the homeowner has the ability to either accept or reject their solution to the problem.

If the vendor doesn’t put forth a solution that the homeowner agrees with, then the Better Business Bureau can force the company into arbitration. And if the company doesn’t reply to the complaint, they’ll be expelled from the BBB. People who are members of the Better Business Bureau are more cognizant of that—they don’t want bad reviews, so they don’t put their company in a position where they would get one.

It only costs $ 550 to become a member of the Better Business Bureau. So the only reason someone could have for not wanting to become a member is to say it costs too much. But if you don’t have that $ 500 to give a homeowner peace of mind, then that’s a red flag. It makes you question the company motives. If they’re not a member of the Better Business Bureau, why? Maybe they used to be and they got booted out.

It definitely doesn’t seem like a good sign. Thank you for talking with us today, John!

Thank you for having me!

The post Ask an Expert: How to Find a Windows Installer You Can Trust appeared first on Modernize.

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Ask an Expert: Everything You Need to Know About a Window Replacement

A window replacement is a sizeable investment—but it’s well worth it, in terms of making your home more energy-efficient, visually appealing, and comfortable. We sat down with Jeff Ludy of Houston Window Experts to ask your top questions and make the window replacement process more manageable. Here’s what he had to say.

windows installation

How can you tell that it’s time to replace your windows?

People have many different reasons for replacing windows.

First, because they need to. Second, because they want to. I like to think of it as comparable to two different types of surgery. If you have a ruptured appendix, you need it. But if you’d like to have body sculpting, for example, it’s because you want it. It’s much more fun, I imagine, for a surgeon to help people feel more happy about the way the looked, versus the other surgeries, even though both give you a certain level of satisfaction as a doctor. So we really like it when people contact us to say, “I want my home to be more beautiful and/or more comfortable.”

With those kinds of projects, do you ever do any major replacements, such as to the wall structure (ex: enlarging the window, etc)?

There are times a customer will contact us and say (for example) “I have a new pool going up and I’d like to turn this double window into a door or a sliding door.” That’s one of the projects we’ll take on as a company. A lot of times, people who are in the window/door replacement business truly aren’t qualified or interested in the extra time and work it takes to involve a mason, to do siding, or finishing out the new opening, or building out transition pieces between existing flooring and the new door, etc. But we have a qualified crew that does this at least a few dozen times per year.

What can a homeowner expect with their first initial meeting with either on a sales floor or a contractor?

One thing that separates us from other window companies is that we offer 18 brands of windows to choose from. I designed our business around the CarMax model—we offer lots of different brands, and we’re happy to give our opinions about the different brands, but ultimately it’s up to the customer. So on a typical first visit, we spend more time listening than talking, so that we can determine what you want and if we have a product, and if we have the skillset needed to do your project—and if we don’t, we’ll point you in the right direction.

Once you get to the quote/estimate, what should a homeowner expect to see in it?

We’ll come out and take some measurements, for estimate reasons, and give you an on-site estimate (based on that info), specifying each window opening based on its “room name” (living room, etc). Then we come back with specifics for each window—the energy efficiency rating, the sound transmission, how much each window costs individually, etc. We like doing this more than giving a lump sum price on the back of a business card, etc. This builds confidence in a homeowner about us, and it enables them to make changes if needed, based on budget. For example, if you want a big picture window facing your backyard pool, rather than two smaller windows, we’ll print out both options (prices) to give you the choice. This is important because that big picture window could require much heavier glass, or it may require tempering the glass. As a result, a project that should’ve been $ 10,000 is now $ 12,000, so this helps you plan and adjust your budget for the project.

New Windows

You said that when you make the estimate, you also include the energy ratings. What are some of the energy considerations when you’re replacing your windows?

If you have a super energy efficient window, it’s definitely going to improve your home’s energy efficiency, and therefore decrease your monthly utilities, but the trade-off is that it will make your home much darker. So I like to look at it by each particular project and what they’re trying to accomplish, and also room by room. If they say “upstairs on the west wall is a game room, and it’s always hot up there, we might go with a more energy efficient option there on that side where the sun sets (than we would across the front of the house) because otherwise, they end up with these dark living rooms. 

Is there a time of year that’s best for replacing windows?

It depends on where you live. If you live in Minnesota or Michigan, winter is a really tough time to have your windows open and people in your home. But in the southern climate, where we are, the phone typically rings all year round. A lot of homeowners who delayed their project for years and years say they wish they’d done the replacements sooner, because they realize they could have enjoyed the improved comfort, reduced energy bills, etc, for so many more years. Plus, the prices of new windows continues to rise each year, so waiting 5 years to save money doesn’t make sense. So if you think you’re going to do it eventually, it makes sense to do it sooner rather than later.

Have you seen any new products on the market, etc, that you’re excited about/that seem to be taking off?

 Milgard Windows and Doors came out with a product line called “Essence”—it’s a full fiberglass-framed window with a real wood interior. When most window companies offer a wood product, it’s a wood window that has some form of a small thin layer of cladding on the exterior. But in our climate, once water gets behind that cladding, it can’t get back out—and then the wood begins to rot and the cladding pops off.

But Milgard’s window is different. The entire window is made from a composite material, and the wood is on the inside, where it’s not exposed to any of the elements. It works well for humid and wet climates, or for really cold climates. But one of their latest products was a radius top casement window. They’re the only company in the US making this radius top casement window, where you don’t have to have a divider between the top and the bottom. For example, sometimes you see a window that has an arch on top of it, or there’s a bar separating the arch from the window beneath it. So they’re able to take a product that’s a composite 4×8 sheet, almost plywood—it was considered the product of the year by Window and Door Magazine.

Anything else you’d like to add, or any advice for homeowners?

There are two chief components for a successful, “I’m happy, I’m smiling at the end of my window project” project. The first is finding a window you like (meaning you’re happy with the look, performance, color, and warranty), and the second is a good installer. Unfortunately, I see the mistakes that other people have made, and the problem is almost always not the window itself, but the installation. Having a great window with a bad installer is, in my opinion, a bad window. If anything, you’d be better off having a great installer installing a bad window. This is something that people tend to overlook, the installer. Focus a lot more than you are now on the installer, more than the window itself.

That’s great advice to end on. Thanks for speaking with us today, Jeff!

My pleasure.

 

The post Ask an Expert: Everything You Need to Know About a Window Replacement appeared first on Modernize.

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This pharmacy expert says Amazon could serve those who urgently need meds.
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Parenting expert compares hitting children to breastfeeding

A parenting expert has been slammed by Good Morning Britain viewers after comparing smacking children to breastfeeding. Kate Ivens, from the Campaign for Real Education, appeared on Tuesday’s show and said that if parents have a physical relationship with their kids through nursing, their punishments should also be “tactile.” She admitted that when her kids…
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Personal Finance Expert Ash Cash on Ways to Manage Your Money

Personal finance guru and author Ash Cash offers practical and actionable personal finance tips, which you can get a jump on now. His expertise extends to subjects like getting the right life insurance, the importance of property investment, and more.

Take a look at this video to get all of Ash Cash’s wealth management tips, and take control of your finances!

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Cancer treatments another possible casualty of Obamacare repeal: Expert

The future of cancer patients' covered treatments is in jeopardy, says Dr. Laurie Glimcher.
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An Apology Expert Analyzed Greg Gianforte’s Letter To Ben Jacobs

Montana Republican Greg Gianforte, who was elected to Congress last month, issued a letter of apology on Wednesday for an incident in which he physically attacked Guardian journalist Ben Jacobs. 

“I had no right to respond the way I did to your legitimate question about health care policy. You were doing your job,” he wrote.

Gianforte is accused of body-slamming Jacobs after the reporter asked a question about health care policy. It was reported that Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck and broke his glasses. Gianforte was charged for misdemeanor assault that evening and won Montana’s lone congressional seat the next morning.

Jacobs accepted the congressman-elect’s apology shortly after it was released. Gianforte is expected to appear in court on or before June 20. He faces a maximum punishment of six months in jail and a $ 500 fine for his behavior.

Experts agree that apologies, private and public alike, should contain several elements to be considered effective, according to Roy Lewicki, an apology expert and a professor emeritus of management and human resources at the Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. 

“The tone of the letter conveys a certain amount of sincerity and genuineness,” Lewicki said. “There’s multiple expressions of regret.”

What makes an apology effective

Research by Lewicki suggests that there are six elements to an effective apology. They are, in order of importance, an acknowledgement of responsibility; an offer of repair; an expression of regret; an explanation of what went wrong; a declaration of repentance and a request for forgiveness. The more elements an apology includes, the more likely the apology is to be accepted, Lewicki said.

Gianforte’s letter is well-rounded based on these standards. Lewicki, who has analyzed prior public apologies, reviewed what makes Gianforte’s note stand out. Below is the letter to Jacobs, re-typed, with annotations of where these apology elements come into play:

Dear Mr. Jacobs: 

I write to express my sincere apology for my conduct on the evening of May 24. My physical response to your legitimate question was unprofessional, unacceptable, and unlawful [acknowledgement of responsibility]. As both a candidate for office and a public official, I should be held to a high standard in my interactions with the press and the public [acknowledgement of responsibility]My treatment of you did not meet that standard [expression of regret].

Notwithstanding anyone’s statements to the contrary, you did not initiate any physical contact with me, and I had no right to assault you. I am sorry for what I did and the unwanted notoriety this has created for you [expression of regret]. I take full responsibility [acknowledgement of responsibility]

I understand the critical role that journalists and the media play in our society. Protections afforded to the press through the Constitution are fundamental to who we are as a nation and the way government is accountable to the people. I acknowledge that the media have an obligation to seek information. I also know that civility in our public discourse is central to a productive dialogue on issues. I had no right to respond the way I did to your legitimate question about healthcare policy [declaration of repentance]. You were doing your job. 

In the hope that perhaps some good news can come of these events, I am making a $ 50,000 contribution to the Committee To Protect Journalists, an independent non-profit organization that promotes press freedom and that protects the rights of journalists worldwide [offer of repair].

I made a mistake and humbly ask for your forgiveness [request for forgiveness]

Sincerely, 

Greg Gianforte

Gianforte’s apology repeatedly accepts responsibility and shows remorse over his actions. That matters, according to Lewicki.  

“One of the things we found in our research was that acknowledgements of responsibility were probably one of the most important components of an apology and he comes back to that several times,” Lewicki said.

Lewicki said Gianforte’s request to repair ― aka, the $ 50,000 donation to the Committee to Protect Journalists ― is somewhat remarkable and does a good job of expressing genuine concern. 

“That’s not chump change,” he said. 

How the apology is being received

Gianforte’s expression has received mixed results, from praise to criticism. Some believe the apology is genuine:

Others denounce the apology for glossing over the initial statement released by Shane Scanlon, a spokesperson for the Gianforte team. Immediately after the body-slamming incident, Scanlon blamed Jacobs for initiating the altercation. 

The apology letter says, “you did not initiate any physical contact with me,” but does not go into detail about the original effort to cover up what happened. 

But Lewicki says what’s more critical now is the apology Gianforte is making directly to Jacobs. However, one letter cannot determine if Gianforte is truly sorry. For that, Lewicki says time is the ultimate decider on whether the contrition sticks.

“You’ll have to look now at how Gianforte handles himself in the future,” he explained.

A solid apology is a good first step.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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The Love Advice That Shocked Expert Karl Pillemer

SPECIAL FROM Next Avenue

By Suzanne Gerber

You’d think that nothing could shock Karl Pillemer, when it comes to the lives of older folks. After all, the distinguished gerontologist, family sociologist, Cornell University professor and leading researcher on aging (he runs the Cornell Legacy Project) wrote the 2011 bestseller 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice for the Wisest Americans.

And yet, he says, “I was surprised at how important sex is to a couple’s relationship even into their 80s and 90s. I shouldn’t have been, but I was also hit over the head by how open and willing older people are to talk about sexuality with an interviewer.”

Pillemer is referring to the thousands of hours of interviews he and his team conducted for his latest book, 30 Lessons for Loving: Advice from the Wisest Americans on Love, Relationship, and Marriage. Over the course of two years, they talked with some 700 folks whose marriages lasted an average of 43 years and came away with valuable lessons for everyone — including himself.

View From the Finish Line

Published this month, “30 Lessons for Loving” picks up where the first book left off, but instead of offering advice on a host of topics, this one, as the title suggests, focuses on love and marriage. Pillemer chose that subject partly in a leap of faith and partly because of the strong feedback he was receiving from readers.

The leap of faith was the result of the research he kept encountering. “Study after study showed that people in their 70s, 80s and beyond were actually happier than younger people,” he says.

And the data shows that successful relationships are very important to the next generations, leading Pillemer to conclude that “marriage is here to stay. Nearly 100 percent of young people plan to get married and think it’s a good thing. I know they’re receptive to hearing advice from people who made it 50 years because they’ve got credibility.”

Readers were also writing to him asking for more material on love and marriage. One woman told Pillemer she gave a copy of the first book to her son when he got engaged and at the wedding the couple had a “Lessons for Living” station, where guests were invited to leave comments. Dozens of other readers told Pillemer they gave their children copies and bookmarked the lesson, “Don’t Rush Into Marriage,” as a not-so-subtle hint. Thus, 30 Lessons for Loving was born.

A Dangerous Experiment

According to Pillemer, this is the first time in history that young people have little to no contact with older people except maybe a grandparent. “New data shows that less than one-third of people over 65 have had meaningful conversations with people under 30 in the previous month,” he says. “Take out family, and it’s less than 5 percent. People are more likely to have friends of another race than friends more or less than 10 years apart.”

Not only is this shocking to Pillemer, it’s deeply disheartening. “I think we’re in the midst of a dangerous experiment,” he says. “This is the most age-segregated society that’s ever been. Vast numbers of younger people are likely to live into their 90s without contact with older people. As a result, young people’s view of aging is highly unrealistic and absurd. “

So now, Pillemer says, “I’m focusing on older people’s wisdom and helping creating positive new images. That’s one of the reasons for this book.”

Love and Marriage

Lessons for Loving is divided into five sections — Lessons for Finding a Mate, Communication and Conflict, Getting Over the Hard Parts, Keeping the Spark Alive and Thinking Like an Expert About Love. Each of these is further broken down into six lessons, such as “Give Up Grudges” and “Accept Your Partner As Is.”

The book reads like a candid and entertaining advice column, which is precisely what Pillemer intended. “As an academic I had to learn to write in a whole new genre that I felt younger people could use,” he says. He succeeded. The book is eminently readable.

The “experts” — the author’s solution to the dilemma of what to call folks in this age range — had surprising and enlightening things to say.

Pillemer recently got to put one such gem of wisdom, from a 71-year-old interviewee named April, to good use. When he and his wife were having what he calls persistent and irreconcilable differences about a bathroom renovation, he recalled the woman’s words: “It’s important to let some things go, to figure out what matters and what really doesn’t matter. If [my husband and I] were in some sort of struggle, we would stop and say, “Which one of us is this more important to?” And when we could figure that out, the other one found it so much easier to let go.”

In describing his bathroom drama, he says, “My wife wanted a claw-foot tub, and I wanted a stall shower. The disagreements went on and on until I recalled April’s advice and realized how important the tub was to my wife. So I let her have it. It might sound small, but it was huge to us.”

The best thing about researching and writing this book, Pillemer adds, was the long view it’s afforded him. “It never hit me before, but marriage is really a discipline, where you agree to forgo something for long-term success.”

His other big takeaway: “I have a renewed sense of hopefulness that we can keep things vibrant and exciting.”

Now, that’s exciting.

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