A Daughter Holds Her Mother Accountable for Her Mistakes | Iyanla: Fix My Life | OWN

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3 Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Creating an estate plan is something that every person should
do at some point during their lifetime. Since the future is unpredictable, it’s
never too early to plan ahead and determine things like how your assets will be
distributed, or who will receive specific gifts when you pass away.

An estate plan is a combination of documents that specify
how you want your assets (including money) to be handled when you pass away, so
it’s important to make sure these documents are completed correctly and updated
when needed.

Although most people create their estate planning documents
with care and attention, there are some common mistakes that people tend to
make. This post goes through some of the most common issues people have so you
can avoid them or take the necessary steps to correct them in your own estate
plan.

Misspelled Beneficiary Names

A common mistake with estate planning is misspelling beneficiary names in documents like a Last Will and Testament. It might seem like a small, inconsequential error, but a misspelled name could potentially cause unnecessary stress and grief for your beneficiary.

For example, let’s say one of your beneficiaries got married
at some point after you created your Last Will, and now their legal name is
different from what you have listed in your document.

Although it’s possible that the beneficiary could still
receive what they were intended to, it adds a layer of complexity to executing
the Last Will that would not have been there if the name had been correctly
changed in the first place.

In addition, depending on your jurisdiction, some insurance companies may require additional documentation from family members, such as an Affidavit, to prove the beneficiary’s identity.

Not Updating Your Estate Plan After a Major Life Event

An estate plan is comprised of living documents, which means
they can be modified as needed. You should revisit your estate plan is if
you’ve recently experienced a major life event, such as getting married,
divorced, or having or adopting a child. If you don’t, your estate plans may be
executed as-is without making allowances for circumstances that ma have changed.

For instance, if you got divorced but neglected to remove your
now ex-spouse’s name from your estate planning documents, there is a
possibility that they would still receive assets and/or property from your
estate even though you didn’t want them to.

Not Talking to Your Executor or Attorney-in-Fact in Advance

Being an executor in a Last Will or an agent in a Power of Attorney is a big responsibility that often requires a significant level of commitment from whoever is appointed.

Sometimes people will assume that close family members or
even friends are up for the task when they are not, so it’s important to not
only ask the person you want to be your executor or attorney-in-fact, but have
a serious discussion with them regarding their responsibilities should they
accept the role.

If an executor or agent is unwilling or unable to act on
their role, the final decision of who should act as your executor or agent may
fall to the court and the outcome may not be what you intended.

Avoiding Mistakes in Your Estate Plan

Executing estate planning documents when someone passes away
can already be a lengthy process, so adding unnecessary confusion with
avoidable errors only makes the execution process longer and more complex.

It’s important to review your estate planning documents
every time you make changes to ensure accuracy so that your estate plan can be
executed as smoothly as possible when the time comes.

The post 3 Common Estate Planning Mistakes appeared first on LawDepot Blog.

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Design Mistakes for Workwear

design mistakes for workwear

Here’s a fun topic we haven’t gotten into in a while: What are some of the biggest designer mistakes for workwear that you’ve seen? Things that make the garment unwearable, things that aren’t as appropriate for work as the fashion community seems to think, or things that just annoy you to death? In the past we’ve talked about designer no-nos like double-breasted blazers (now, super in!) and hated workwear trends like sharkbite hems and exposed zippers, and more — but what are the biggest design mistakes for workwear that you’re seeing in 2019?

Some of my top designer mistakes for workwear would be:

design mistakes for workwear bell sleeves

1. Full-length bell sleeves, particularly in a dry-clean-only fabric. If you’re eating, writing with ink, or washing dishes, full-length bell sleeves are a pain in the butt. Plus, I have a feeling you’re going to instantly date any item you own with that feature.

design mistakes for workwear - step hems on skirts for work!

2. Step-hems for workwear. Nooooooooooooo. So…. ugly. For denim, I might be able to think of it as fresh and trendy, but for workwear it just looks like a mullet or something.

design mistakes for workwear - faux wrap tops

3. Loose wrap shirts that look like faux wraps but are just entirely open. I just ordered (and sent back) a top that had looked great online but turned out to be totally open in the front. Even when I was a nursing mother I wanted a bit more coverage. 

design mistakes for workwear - satin and other party fabrics

4. Party fabrics for day. We talked about this a bit in our post on wedding wear vs. office attire, but a lot of stores and brands seem to think “workwear” includes fabrics like tulle, satin, sequins, and more. No thank you. I think the only exception here is with a very traditional tweed blazer — sometimes a shimmery thread running through it is okay and gives dimension, but that shimmery thread should feel like less than 10% of the garment — probably a lot less than that. 

How about you guys: What workwear trends make you cringe right now? What design elements and trends do you wish that you could persuade fashion brands and designers away from? 

The post Design Mistakes for Workwear appeared first on Corporette.com.

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[VIDEO] The Top 3 Millennials’ Money Mistakes

From early 401(k) plan withdrawals to not actively investing in stocks because that is for “old white people,studies show Millennials rank near or at the bottom when it comes to financial savvy. Here are the top three Millennials’ money mistakes:

Millennials Money Mistake 1: Being All For The ‘Gram

Keeping up with the Joneses (or even the Kardashians) for the sake of Instagram can keep you in a world wind of purchases and outings you cannot afford. The continued pictures of you dining out, vacationing on a credit card, and costly “lituations”is an expensive lifestyle when you add it all up.

Yes, you can have fun, especially when you’re young. However, you’re not only losing valuable time, but if you find yourself spending more than you can afford, you will end up robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Just do the math—by time you have added up the cost of that lifestyle for even one year, you could have created your own “bank” by purchasing a new financial solution that offers a cash value via Index Funds. That way, you could vacation or even purchase a new car without putting your checking account and credit cards in the negative.

In this video, financial expert and advisor Robinne Alexander breaks down the other top two financial mistakes Millennials make.



 

The post [VIDEO] The Top 3 Millennials’ Money Mistakes appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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85 Million Americans Could Have Credit Report Errors. Here’s How to Find the Mistakes

Your credit score is important. The better your score, the better deal you’ll get on a mortgage, car loan or credit card. We’re talking big money here.

Even if you’re not buying a house anytime soon, a lousy credit score means you’ll get hit with a high security deposit whenever you rent a car or move into a new apartment.

But did you know your credit score could be inaccurate? One out of four credit reports have an error, according to a study by the Federal Trade Commission.

To keep a closer eye on your credit, get your credit score and a “credit report card” for free from Credit Sesame. It breaks down exactly what’s on your credit report in layman’s terms, how it affects your score and how to address it.

Because it simplifies everything, you should be able to spot any errors. For instance, if you find an “unpaid” credit card that you know you paid, or a bill in collections you know never existed, you can dispute the incorrect information and raise your credit score.

James Cooper, a motivational speaker, raised his credit score 277 points using Credit Sesame. Now he talks to high school students about the importance of having good credit and uses what he’s learned through Credit Sesame as a blueprint for his lessons.

“We want to touch the Z Generation,” Cooper says “We’re not in the business of fixing credit. We want to get to you before you have to fix your credit.”

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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7 Mistakes to Avoid Now If You Ever Want to Retire (and What to Do Instead)

Picture this: You’ve finally retired, and now you are sailing in the Gulf of Mexico on your boat with your closest friends and loved ones. The water is blue, the breeze tickles your nose with salt and the cool drink in your hand is perfect.

Or maybe your retirement dream is built around a cabin in the mountains, travel to exotic places or just a whole lot of golf. But what if you lose your focus?

We spoke with Mike Windle, a retirement planning specialist at C. Curtis Financial in Plymouth, Michigan, about some common bad moves people make to derail their retirement savings plans.

And, because we don’t want to see you still punching the time clock in your 70s, we’ve added some solutions to help keep your retirement savings growing in a way that will support you after you’ve called it quits.

Bad Move No. 1: Having Too Much Debt

TPH photographer, Tina Russell, in various scenes showing credit card debt, consolidation and bankruptcy on August 14, 2018

It’s hard, if not impossible, to make great strides toward your retirement if you’re paying a small fortune in interest on old debt.

Have you ever considered consolidating that debt? It could substantially lower payments you’re already making and help you save more money each month.

A lot of us are being crushed by credit card interest rates north of 20%. If you’re in that boat, consolidation and refinancing might be worth a look.

A good resource is Fiona, a search engine for financial services, which can help match you with the right personal loan to meet your needs.

Fiona searches the top online lenders to match you with a personalized loan offer in less than 60 seconds. Its platform can help you borrow up to $ 100,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 4.99% and terms from 24 to 84 months.

When you’re not shelling out so much money for high interest debt, you have a little more that you can put toward the future.

Bad Move No. 2: Not Starting While You’re Young

According to Windle, this is the No. 1 issue when it comes to bungling retirement plans. It’s best to start young, and it can be very difficult to make up the difference if you start later on.

“For every year sooner that you start, on average, you’re able to cut potentially two to three years off of how long you have to work,” he says.

However, when you’re young, it seems like you never have enough money left over after you pay bills. If you’re like most of us and wish your money would just take care of itself, consider starting an investment account through Acorns.

You can start small and stack up change over time with its “round-up” feature. That means if you spend $ 10.23 at the grocery store, 77 cents gets dropped into your Acorns account.

Then, the app does the whole investing thing for you. It doesn’t offer all the benefits of a retirement account, but if you need a little help, it can at least get you started.

The app is $ 1 a month for balances under $ 1 million, and you’ll get a $ 5 bonus when you sign up.  

When it comes to long-term investing, starting young is rule No. 1. Even if all you can do is a little, it can make a big difference down the road.

Bad Move No. 3: Ignoring High Fees on Your Retirement Accounts

If you’re saving for retirement with a 401(k), awesome.

But when’s the last time you truly checked in on your account, adjusted your allocations, addressed any fees and all that other fun stuff?

Try using a robo-adviser to make sure your 401(k) is on track with your retirement goals. Blooom is an SEC-registered investment advisory firm that’ll optimize and monitor your 401(k) for you.

Your initial account checkup is free, and you can do it online in less than five minutes. This will help you get to know your account a little more intimately. Find out if you’re paying too many investment fees or if you have the appropriate amount of money invested in stocks versus bonds.

If you’re satisfied with the outcome of your initial check up, great! If not, you can enroll in Blooom for $ 10 a month (Penny Hoarders get one month free with the code PNNYHRD). It’ll automatically adjust your 401(k) to best fit your needs all the way up to retirement.

Bad Move No. 4: Stashing Money in a Low-Interest Savings Account

Business Man Stock, shot in Atlanta, GA, on November 25, 2018.

OK, maybe you don’t want to risk everything on investments. That’s OK, but if you want a simple savings account for some of your retirement savings, at least make sure you’re earning better-than-average interest on that money.

An iOS app called Varo Money combines traditional banking tools with modern technology to help its customers become financially healthy.

Here’s the best part: Pair your Bank Account with a Varo Savings Account where you’ll earn 1.75% Annual Percentage Yield. That’s nearly 30 times — repeat, 30 times — the average savings account, based on a 0.06% average reported by CNN Money.

Varo goes easy on the fees, too. As long as you use one of its 55,000 ATMs across the world, you’ll never pay fees.

Additionally, you’ll pay no monthly service fees, no minimum balance fees, no foreign transaction fees and no cash replacement fees. You’ll just pay any fees charged by out-of-network ATMs and cash deposit fees if you deposit cash in-store through Green Dot.

Bad Move No. 5: Taking Money out of Your 401(k) Early

Just when your retirement savings are doing well, your car breaks down. Or you have medical bills that pile up. When things get tough and you need money, that stash you have sitting in your 401(k) can start to look pretty tempting.

There are better ways to fight through a tight spot than to sacrifice your future. Try getting a low-interest loan instead.

“Any low interest is better than draining money out of your 401(k),” says Windle. “If you take it out, you get a 10% penalty, most likely. For the vast majority of America, most of their retirement is in a 401(k), so if you start to deplete that and pull out $ 10,000, $ 20,000, $ 30,000, you could be taking two to three years [of savings] off and adding four to six years on the back end.”

If you need a personal loan quickly, look into the online lending platform Upstart, which can help you find a loan without relying on only your conventional credit score.

Unlike traditional underwriting models that use only the common FICO scoring model, Upstart’s technology looks at factors like your education and employment history to determine your creditworthiness.

It can help you borrow up to $ 50,000, potentially with better terms (e.g. lower interest or lower monthly payments) than traditional lenders. If managing many different bills and credit lines is a hassle, you can also use an Upstart loan to streamline all of your loans into one.

Windle says there’s another option, as well. “A lot of times, 401(k)s will offer loans. Technically your money is still in there, so it’s still growing, but you end up paying yourself back.”

Bad Move No. 6: Not Contributing the Right Amount to Your 401(k)

If you think you’re on top of your game because you’re tucking away 2% of every paycheck and you’re still young, think again.

If your employer offers a 401(k) program, there’s also a good chance it offers a match. Typically you’ll see companies match your 401(k) contributions up to about 3 or 4 % —  some are even higher. That doubles the money you’re saving. Then, when interest kicks in, you really get a boost.

So how much of your paycheck should go to your 401(k)? You might be surprised at the answer.

“The best strategy, this was against the grain, but really you only want to put in the match,” says Windle. “By putting more into your 401(k), all you are doing is creating taxable income down the road.”

If that’s the case, how do you save more than just what your employer matches?

“If your work offers a Roth option, that’s where you want to put the most you can,” he says. “Anything above the match, you definitely want to go into Roth.”

A Roth IRA or 401(k) account is an account that uses after-tax money. That means you’ll pay taxes now, but it’ll earn interest tax-free, and you won’t pay taxes when you withdraw it.

Then reconsider your contributions when you get a bump in pay.

“As you get raises, take a portion of that raise, and put it toward your retirement,” says Windle. “Typically what I recommend is at a minimum, take 10 to 20% of that raise and add to whatever you’re doing for retirement savings.”

It won’t be long before you’ll love checking in on your retirement accounts and seeing how much they have grown.

Bad Move No. 7: Not Budgeting

Budgeting with cash in envelopes.

Budgeting is like going to the dentist. No one really wants to do it, but if you do, it makes life much, much better.

You don’t have to go right for a root canal. Ease into it. To simplify the process, try using the 50/20/30 budget plan: 50% of your money goes toward essential living expenses; 20% goes toward hitting your financial goals (can you say retirement savings?); and 30% is designated for personal spending.

You’ll want to map out your current spending. Rather than combing through your monthly statements and inputting numbers into an Excel sheet, use the automated spend tracker in the Empower app, which helps you organize and track your financial goals.

Simply link your various accounts, and you can review your spending and make adjustments as needed to stay on the right track.

“Write down a budget that shows what you’re spending your money on,” says Windle. “It opens people’s eyes to where their money goes. Circle four to five things you can do without, and see how much you have.”

Don’t Panic, but Don’t Procrastinate

Saving for retirement shouldn’t be a tremendous burden on your life now. That being said, you can’t wait until that magical day when you have plenty of expendable income to shuffle toward retirement savings, either.

Why? Because that day never really comes for most of us.

“It’s human nature,” says Windle. “As you have more disposable income, you’ll get more bills and spend more money. It’s always good to take what excess you have and start saving.”

Set a plan, get started as early as you can and then follow these basic tips to keep from derailing your retirement. You want to make those golden years really shine.  

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.

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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7 Mistakes We All Make When We Have Credit Card Debt

Let’s just come right out and say it: We all make mistakes.

Accidentally dyed your whites a startling shade of pink in the washing machine? Check. Set off the fire alarm when you attempted your first home-cooked meal? Of course. Said “thank you” to a waiter when they told you to enjoy your meal? Find us one person who hasn’t done that.

And when it comes to money, particularly credit card debt, we’ve all had our fair share of missteps.

In fact, it seems like we’re all making the same mistakes over and over, a la “Groundhog Day.” But the time has come to break that cycle.

7 Mistakes We All Make When We Have Credit Card Debt

If you find yourself dealing with credit card debt and worry you’re not handling it in the best way possible, don’t worry. We’re all in the same boat.

1. Overpaying for Interest (and Never Questioning It)

A woman looks in her empty wallet.

When you think about how much debt you have, you might feel a little anxious.

That’s where a company like Fiona can be helpful. It can help you find personalized lending options to refinance or consolidate your debt to potentially save thousands dollars in interest.

Fiona will show you all the lenders willing to help you pay off your credit card and eliminate the headache of paying bills by allowing you to make one payment each month.

You can borrow up to $ 100,000 (no collateral needed) and compare interest rates, which start at 4.99%. The idea is to secure a loan at a lower interest rate, potentially helping you save thousands. Repayment plans range from 24 to 84 months.

Take, for example, Katherine, who faced $ 12,000 in credit-card debt. Holding her back? The 15.24% interest rate. By refinancing with a 5%-interest, seven-year personal loan, she saved $ 12,000 in interest.

If she’d kept on the same road, she would have paid something like $ 14,000 in interest alone over 25 years. Yikes.

So even if you’re simply curious about what’s out there, checking rates on Fiona won’t hurt your credit score — and can probably save you in interest.

2. Sticking to a Budget That Doesn’t Work For You

So, you decided you were going to tackle that credit card debt. The best place to start is making a budget, right?

You did some research, picked out a budget method and have followed it to a T — or tried to at least, because we all know budgeting hiccups are inevitable. So why, even though you did the so-called adult thing and made a budget, are you still feeling overwhelmed by looming credit card debt?

It’s pretty simple, actually: There isn’t one magical, cure-all budget. Everyone’s financial situation is different, so it’s important you find a method that actually fits your lifestyle. You want to control your budget, not the other way around.

Don’t just think about numbers such as income and debt when creating a budget. Consider outside factors that could make your planned budget destined for failure.

How much time and energy are you willing to devote? Are you a schedule-follower by nature, or more go-with-the-flow? Are there any obstacles conflicting with your budget, such as an irregular pay schedule?

Finding a budget that works for you will make you feel more in control of your finances, including that pesky credit card debt.

3. Overpaying for Other Monthly Bills

A notebook with a paged labeled budget sits on a bed with some pens.

You’ve made a budget, you’ve checked it twice — so why are you still wondering where the heck your money is going?

It’s time to dive deep and figure out which bills are taking more than their fair share. Instead of manually sorting through every single credit charge, let someone else do it for you… or something, really.

First, download TrueBill, an app that’ll negotiate your bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions and refund your bank fees. And yes, that includes the Barnes and Noble membership you’ve had since 2009 — even though you haven’t set foot in a brick-and-mortar bookstore in roughly five years. Tsk tsk.

Another bill that makes your eyes involuntarily widen every single month? You guessed it: Insurance.

Insurance bills can be hard to swallow, but the mere thought of shopping around for new rates is arguably worse. Fortunately, Gabi will do the leg work for you.

And the best part? You don’t even have to fill out any forms. Simply link your insurance account and provide your driver’s license number, and Gabi will go to work..

The service will compare major insurers’ rates for your same level of coverage, and even help you switch on the spot if it finds you a better rate.

Once you trim some of your monthly bills, you’ll have a bit more breathing room for paying off that credit card debt!

4. Overpaying for, Well, Everything Else

A woman sits on her couch and uses her laptop.

Dealing with credit card debt doesn’t mean you can just stop spending money. And a major part of life is shopping, whether it’s at the grocery store for necessities or at the mall for a treat yo’self day.

Luckily, there are services that can help you feel a little less guilty every time your swipe that card. How, you ask? By ensuring you’re getting the best deal possible, one way or another.

First up we’ve got Paribus, a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.

For once, it’s a good thing to not clear out your inbox.

Another way to avoid overpaying while shopping online? Ebates, a cash-back shopping site that rewards you simply for buying something online! You can earn 1% to 25% on purchases from more than 2,500 online retailers.

There’s no charge, and Ebates even offers you a $ 10 Walmart gift card as a sign-up bonus.

Disclosure: Paribus compensates us when you sign up using the links we provide.

5. Letting Bills Fall Behind

It’s no secret that falling behind on payments is basically the opposite of what you want to do when dealing with credit card debt or any kind of debt, for that matter. What we all need in this situation is a little incentive to stay on track.

That’s where MoneyLion comes in This app offers rewards to help you develop healthy financial habits and will literally pay you for logging onto the app.

You connect it to your bank accounts, credit cards and other financial accounts. Based on your income and spending patterns, it offers personalized advice to help you save money, reduce your debt and improve your credit.

The app’s reward program will give you points for being financially responsible. Make a loan payment on time? Boom, 200 points right there. You can redeem them for gift cards to more than 15,000 retailers, including places like Walmart, Applebee’s and Amazon.

Let MoneyLion help you stay on top of those credit card bills, and handle them like a boss.

6. Thinking You Can’t Afford to Save

A man looks at the cash in his wallet.

Sure, you want to pay off your credit card debt as quickly as possible. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be devoting some money to your savings.

What if you get hit with an unexpected expense, such as a busted water heater or a trip to the emergency room? Without ample savings to help you out, you’ll only add to your debt anxiety.

We know saving money can be tough, but what if you could do it without even thinking about it?

No, we’re not talking about sorcery, we’re talking about Digit, an innovative app that will automate your savings.

All you have to do is link your bank account, then Digit uses an algorithm to calculate how much money you can safely set aside each day. It will put that money into a FDIC-insured savings account.

The out of sight, out of mind strategy takes the stress and legwork out of saving. One Penny Hoarder, a self-proclaimed “bad saver,” managed to tuck away $ 4,300 using the app.

Digit is free to use for the first 30 days, then it’s $ 2.99 per month afterward.

7. Letting Your Debt Take All the Fun out of Life

Listen, we understand that credit card debt is always at the back of your mind, popping up uninvited, trying to stress you out. We’ve all been there.

But here is a money mantra we stick with and want you to give a try, too: My debt does not control me.

You can be responsible, make budgets and stick to them; pay your bills on time; and save on expenses when possible. And all the while, you can live your life without sacrificing all of the fun stuff. Your financial health is important, but so is your physical and mental health!

Constantly be on the lookout for sneaky ways to save while still enjoying your social life, like hosting happy hour at your house instead of going out. And if you’ve got the time, consider finding a side gig that not only lets you earn some extra income, but is just flat out fun.

Might we suggest dog-walking with Rover? I mean, come on: Getting paid to hang out with dogs? Sounds like a slam dunk.

In short, your credit card debt is obviously important, but don’t let it stop you from living your best — but still financially responsible — life!

Kaitlyn Blount is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s made her fair share of money mistakes on her debt journey. Do you have five, maybe six hours to spare to hear about them?

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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12 Mistakes That Make Your Car Vulnerable to Break-Ins

It’s no secret that Americans practically live in their cars, treating them as a home away from home. But cars are typically much easier to break into than the average home, resulting in an estimated 773,139 motor vehicle thefts nationwide in 2017 and some $ 6 billion in losses, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Data report. Motor vehicle theft continues to rise—in fact, from 2013 to 2017 the number of thefts rose 10 percent. Fortunately, preventing car break-ins is mostly matter of taking simple precautions that make your vehicle a less tempting target. Here are just a few measures you can implement to keep your car and belongings safe from thieves.
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Simone Biles Overcomes Mistakes to Win 4th All-Round World Championship

(DOHA, Qatar) — Simone Biles is still the best even when she’s not at her best.

The 21-year-old star won her fourth world all-around championship Thursday, surviving a series of uncharacteristic mistakes to become the first woman to earn four all-around titles. Biles had a score of 57.491, nearly 1.7 points in front of silver medalist Mai Murakami of Japan.

That’s a sizable margin for nearly everyone else, but not for Biles. Battling a kidney stone, she sat down her vault in the first rotation, came off the beam on her third and stepped out of bounds on floor exercise. Yet she still had enough to extend her remarkable winning streak.

Biles has finished first in every meet she’s entered since the 2013 US championships, though this one was far tighter than usual.

A spirited effort from Murakami — the first Japanese woman to medal in the all-around final since Koko Tsurumi in 2009 — and bronze medalist and U.S. teammate Morgan Hurd helped. In the end, however, it was Biles against herself.

Not content to simply rely on her remarkable talent, Biles is intent on pushing the sport forward. It’s an approach that leads her to put together the most difficult routines and gives her basically a head start in every meet because her start values are so high.

For once, Biles needed the cushion to pull through.

Nearly a year to the day since she returned to the gym following a well-deserved sabbatical after her five-medal haul at the 2016 Olympics, Biles came into the all-around final at the height of her considerable powers. She put on a spectacular display during qualifying, her total of 60.965 — 4.5 points clear of Hurd — made all the more startling considering she revealed she’s battling a kidney stone she’s jokingly called “the Doha Pearl.”

It was more of the same during team finals, when Biles served as the anchor on all four events as the Americans cruised to their fourth consecutive world championship with ease.

Yet the casual dominance Biles has won with for a half decade evaporated in the desert.

Most meets with Biles typically start the same. She drills the vault — where she is the reigning Olympic champion — and then spends the next three rotations simply padding her lead to margins that look like typos.

Not this time. Attempting “the Biles” — a roundoff, half-twist onto the table, front double full off typically done by men — her left arm barely touched the table, causing her to under-rotate. She landed and promptly sat down, forcing her to play catch up. Known for getting angry after mistakes, she responded by drilling her significantly improved uneven bars set, drilling her double-twisting double-somersault dismount to move slightly in front of Hurd halfway through.

Then things got weird. Biles hopped off the beam early in her routine then grabbed the four-inch piece of wood later when she had trouble landing a front flip, a sequence she struggled with during qualifying.

The miscues gave the rest of the field a small opening. One no one in the rest of the top six could get through. Hurd wobbled twice during her set, leaving Biles a slim margin of .092 over Belgium’s Nina Derwael heading to Biles’ signature event.

Murakami’s excellent floor routine put pressure on Biles, but only a little. Needing a 13.308 to win, her 15.000 was the best on the floor by a full point even though her right foot went out of bounds during the end of her intricate opening tumbling run.

Not that it mattered. In the end the meet finished the way they have always finished for the last five years when Biles is involved: with her atop the podium standing above a sport that is desperately trying to keep up.

Sports – TIME

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