The dangerous myths that prevent me from getting the endometriosis care I need

The dangerous myths that prevent me from getting the endometriosis care I need


The dangerous myths that prevent me from getting the endometriosis care I need

I’m sick almost every day, gently poking my distended stomach wondering when my pelvis is going to explode. I have debilitating cramps that begin mid-cycle, accompanied by nausea and a fever that breaks around the time I begin to bleed. At age 26, my OBGYN suspects that I have endometriosis, a disease in which uterine lining grows outside of the uterus, attaching to other organs. It has no known cure. In his plush Upper East Side office, he asks if I’ve considered getting pregnant; he tells me that it’s the best way to treat it. I’ve just opened my first adult savings account and don’t have a boyfriend, so no, I haven’t thought about giving birth to a child. I also don’t yet know his claim that pregnancy is a “cure” for endometriosis is a myth.

That year, unable to pull myself out of bed most mornings, I leave my life in N.Y.C. to live with my father in Georgia; he can add me to his company’s health insurance plan. I had been temping in Manhattan and coat checking at night, but these types of jobs don’t offer health benefits. My new doctor refers to my situation as a “working woman’s disease,” and explains that he can’t diagnose me until I have surgery. An ultrasound cannot detect the disease.

For over 6,000 years, women with heavy cramping, pelvic pain, or pain during intercourse have been dismissed by our patriarchal society—so much so that painful periods have been normalized. Doctors do not consider these symptoms medical red flags, but hysterical complaints by psychologically inadequate women with low thresholds for pain. 

Even doctors that do recognize women’s pain as a potentially serious condition are challenged by the lack of research and resources available.

“Endometriosis is a chronic disease, and with little treatment options, women can suffer for decades. The symptoms are vague and can be associated with other disorders like bowel disease. There are no laboratory evaluations that can be done,” says OBGYN Alyse Margaret Kelly-Jones. According to The Endometriosis Foundation of America, it takes approximately ten years for many of the estimated 200 million endo sufferers worldwide to be diagnosed.


My doctor discourages me from having a laparoscopy to remove the adhesions and endometrioma—cysts filled with dark brown blood formed from tissue similar to uterine lining—that have likely migrated outside my womb. Even after surgery, there is no way to prevent it from attacking my insides. So, I wait while collecting a pharmacy of pastel painkillers with too many side effects to take while working or driving or being awake. My treatment plan consists of extra-strength Tylenol, a heating pad, and sleep. On one hand, I count the number of good days I have each month. I pretend every day to be okay. My home in New York feels like a distant memory.

A few months after my doctor’s visit, I am rushed to the hospital for a ruptured cyst after an evening shift at the restaurant where I work. Now, they say I need surgery. The diagnosis is Stage IV endometriosis due to the large number of implants and endometrial cysts that were attached to my digestive tract, pelvic cavity, and rectum. After surgery, I’m told there is tissue left inside me because it was unsafe to remove it. I get to keep it.

Before the disease attaches itself to my insides again, the doctors go over my options: pregnancy (even though more than half of infertile women have symptoms of endometriosis), hormone injections that cause premature menopause, a hysterectomy.

I feel like I am in the dark ages: Have a baby now or remove the organ necessary to have children in the future. I read The Endometriosis Sourcebook for answers, but it is a mystifying disease with little money allocated to understand—or even agree upon—what kind of disease it is and what causes it. Almost all endometriosis websites include a myth versus fact section. While this may sound like progress, it’s a small win.

The myths are just as pervasive and toxic as the illness itself.

I move to Los Angeles because it’s sunny every day and I dream that the health-obsessed city will rub off on me. It’s only in photos that I notice how sick I look, which is curious to others because I don’t “act” sick. As a child, the gauge of sickness was the rise of silver mercury in a thermometer. I’ve learned that there are key symptoms that people respond to: vomiting, fever, broken bones, bruises. What do you do when all of your broken pieces are on the inside? Sometimes vomiting is really nausea; fever is the chills. I call my symptoms chronic fatigue. But am I more tired than a mother with three kids working two jobs? Who isn’t tired?

I shame myself into hiding my pain, but secrets have consequences. My consequences take the deformed shape of deep scar tissue. After my second surgery, they tell me it’s now or never for children. I now have a live-in boyfriend, but he is not ready. I’m not sure if I am either, but I know I want children, so it must be now. My pain is significantly reduced with Chinese herbs and acupuncture, but when I lose my job, I struggle to keep up with weekly sessions. I return to bottles of burnt orange pills and electric heat, and I am unable to carry a pregnancy to term. We miscarry more than once and turn our spare room into an office.


A Twitter search for #endometriosis yields approximately 2,000 posts in a week; the majority are declarations of excruciating pain or stories of not being believed. Images include a crying uterus and selfies in hospital beds. Hashtags like #endometriosissucks, #endometriosisisreal, and #endometriosisresearch are calls for support, solidarity, and action. @xMelissaR04 sums up what our insides feel like: “On my way to work & it feels like Freddy Krueger has his fingers in my uterus ”

In online support groups, the misinformation that young women receive from their physicians feels criminal to me. High school girls are studying for their driver’s exam while getting hysterectomies. After undergoing eight surgeries, Lena Dunham recently chose to have one, but since endometriosis grows over the uterine lining, she still may experience pain. Unlike Dunham, I imagine that these girls may not have the opportunity to get a second opinion. SpeakEndo.com notes that teens’ endometriosis symptoms are the most likely to be written off as bad cramps.

Founder of Seckin Endometriosis Treatment Center (SEC) and endometriosis excision specialist surgeon Dr. Seckin has a different definition of endometriosis. On his website, he writes, “This is endometriosis, menstrual periods that are literally stuck inside of a woman’s body. The implants can grow deep and wide, spreading and clinging to her uterus, appendix, rectum, ovaries, intestines, leg nerves, and other parts of the pelvic region. They are like leeches that attach to, reproduce on, and grow on whatever internal organs they find. They are similar to a slow-growing cancer that invades the organs in the pelvis. In some rare cases, they can spread to the diaphragm, lungs, kidneys, or brain.”

I have been battling endometriosis for over twenty years. It’s the longest and most toxic relationship I’ve ever had. A relationship I can’t escape.

Last month, I fastened my feet into another pair of stirrups, hopeful that a young doctor may have a more progressive approach. He locates a sizable cyst on my left ovary and a sac of fluid above it. “You haven’t been treating it, so I suspect that your endometriosis has grown back. Have you tried Lupron?” he asks me.

I know that several pharmaceutical companies who manufacture Lupron are being sued by a woman whose body attacked her bones after just two injections. “I know many people who’ve had negative experiences with it,” I tell him, which is the truth. He shrugs his shoulders and tells me that getting pregnant would be the best of both worlds. I have no idea what two worlds he is referring to.

While it wasn’t right for him to blame me, I haven’t been militant with my pain management. I stopped going to acupuncture, and even though I subscribe to a healthy vegetarian diet, yoga, and exercise, I’ve only dabbled in holistic treatments such as CBD or hemp oil, Reiki, and essential oils. The truth is, when I feel good, I want to forget that endometriosis exists.

I should have been better, I think—but then I stop myself.

Is this what it means for women to be advocates of their own healthcare? Does it rest on our shoulders to cure ourselves? There may be better ways for me to manage pain, but I didn’t ‘make’ my endometriosis grow back.


As I was writing this essay, I ended up in the hospital for severe pelvic pain, nausea, and the chills.

My blood work results appeared as emails on my phone as I sat in the waiting room. After watching every patient disappear behind the double doors, I asked the receptionist why I was being seen last. “Patients are categorized by the severity of their condition,” she said with a forced smile. I wanted to read her a recent article that cites endometriosis as one of the most painful chronic illnesses. Instead, I nodded and waited my turn.

“The cyst and fluid sac are gone. They must have ruptured,” the ER doctor tells me. “Endometriosis is a terrible condition; I am so sorry that we can’t help you.” I am not an emergency and I can’t be helped at the ER.

“The good news is that your vitals and blood work are great,” he says. “And your pregnancy test was negative.” I winced, knowing that I am nearing the end of my fertility window. I’m glad that he doesn’t pretend to know how to treat me or tell me that I could have cured myself. At least he doesn’t prescribe me a myth. Instead, he prints out the names of five OBGYNS who may have more experience with endometriosis. “They are excellent doctors,” he says, and I believe him because he believes me.

While new marketing campaigns urge women to “speak out” about their symptoms, history has shown that women who speak out are not believed.

We are not in the dark about endometriosis because women ignore their symptoms; we are ignored because women’s bodies are devalued.

This treatment by doctors has reprehensible effects. It falls on our shoulders to raise awareness and dispel myths that pregnancy and hysterectomies cure endometriosis. We need to band together to demand more studies, more funding, more understanding of women’s bodies. After all, it is our bodies that give life.

The post The dangerous myths that prevent me from getting the endometriosis care I need appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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Everything you need to know about Brooklyn Beckham’s new girlfriend

Sorry ladies but it seems that Brooklyn Beckham has been snatched up once again; the young photographer has been spotted out and about, with a new girl on his arm. Who is she?

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Words by Zeinab Batchelor

Sorry ladies but it seems that Brooklyn Beckham has been snatched up once again, and not by any of us.

The young photographer has been spotted out and about, with a new girl on his arm. But who is she?

We’re used to seeing Brooklyn with his ex girlfriend Chloe Moretz, but it seems that the former couple are officially off, with this week seeing not only Brooklyn and his new GF, but also Chloe moving on too with a playboy model.

The name of Brooklyn’s new girlfriend? Hana Cross.

But who is she? Here’s everything we know…

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Birthday: 7th September: aged 21
Star sign: Virgo
Occupation: Model, signed to the likes of Select, Premium Models, the Lions LA. First making her modelling debut with high-street brands like Asos, Nastygal and Topshop, then got the attention of major fashion house Fendi which sees Cross in one of their latest campaigns.
Height: 5’8
Hometown: Chipping Campden, a small market town in the Cotswold district of Gloucestershire.

How the lovebirds met: Hana is close friends with Brooklyn’s cousin, Libby Adams, as seen on many Instagram stories of the two. Libby Adams is the daughter of Victoria’s sister, Louise Adams.

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The young couple has made a string of appearances over the past few months, some less informal like Winter Wonderland and the Mumford and Sons gig last month. However they seemed to up it a notch by attending The British Fashion awards together, on the 10th December, hosted at The Royal Albert Hall.

And while Hana was photographed on the red carpet alongside Brooklyn and his parents, there are reports that they spent time together during the event, even attending an after party in Belsize Park together.

Now, the question that’s on everybody’s lips – has she met the parents?

Yes she has. Hana Cross and David Beckham were spotted at his launch party for Haig Whiskey just a few weeks ago – surely that’s saying something!

What’s in store for Brooklyn and Hana? Only time will tell.

The post Everything you need to know about Brooklyn Beckham’s new girlfriend appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Climate crusaders need to fix their gaping ‘democracy deficit’

In 2018, California recorded its deadliest wildfire in state history. The combined intensity and duration of the Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans’ tropical storms and hurricanes reached a new high. A group of researchers reported that worldwide fossil-fuel-related carbon dioxide emissions are projected to hit 37.1 billion tons in 2018, yet another annual record. It’s…
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Blood pressure medication recall: What you need to know

This is the third recall for this type of medication in 2018.
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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YouTube’s top earner is a 7-year-old who made $22 million this year—and we need a minute

YouTube’s top earner is a 7-year-old who made $ 22 million this year—and we need a minute


YouTube’s top earner is a 7-year-old who made $  22 million this year—and we need a minute

It’s no secret that YouTubers can earn a fortune from their videos. But 2018’s highest-paid YouTube star is remarkable for an extremely specific reason: he’s a 7-year-old who reviews toys. Yesterday, December 3rd, Forbes released its annual list of the top 10 highest-paid YouTubers, which the outlet based on earnings from June 1st, 2017 to June 1st, 2018. While most of the list was comprised of gamers and vloggers (like the divisive Jake and Logan Paul), little Ryan ToysReview snagged the top spot.

Forbes noted that in the span of 365 days, Ryan raked in a jaw-dropping $ 22 million. According to NBC News, he ranked eighth in 2017, with an income of $ 11 million. The budding mogul has been making videos with his parents since 2015 (when he was just 3-year-old), and his YouTube channel has more than 17 million subscribers.

Forbes reports that Ryan recently launched a toy and apparel line at Walmart called Ryan’s World, which will likely cause his earnings to increase. However, because he’s still a minor, some of his money is being stored in an account that he’ll only be able to access as an adult. According to the magazine, the rest probably pays for the toys he reviews, as well as production costs.

When NBC News asked Ryan why he thought he was so popular, he simply said “because I’m entertaining and I’m funny.”

All of this would be impressive for anyone, but Ryan has accomplished it all while still in elementary school.

BBC notes that this year’s rankings also saw makeup guru Jeffree Star make the list for the first time. Meanwhile, vlogger Logan Paul fell to 10th place from fourth place, after YouTube pulled him from the Google Premier ad service due to a highly insensitive video he filmed in Japan’s “suicide forest.”

We’re seriously so impressed with Ryan’s business acumen, and we’re looking forward to seeing how he grows and develops as a young entrepreneur. And um, maybe he can even share some money-making tips with the rest of us.

The post YouTube’s top earner is a 7-year-old who made $ 22 million this year—and we need a minute appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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The Packers need to replace Mike McCarthy with an innovative offensive mind to coach Aaron Rodgers

The list of candidates should include pro coordinators like Josh McDaniels, Pete Carmichael Jr., John DeFilippo and a college coach like Lincoln Riley.
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Need a gift for your nerdy friends? These Loot Crate boxes are on sale.

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The big gifting holidays come just once a year — unless you’re a Loot Crate subscriber, that is.

Established in 2012, Loot Crate is a service for self-proclaimed geeks that aims to “unite the world through the shared celebration of fandom,” according to its website. It does just that by shipping boxes filled with surprise assortments of merch and gear to the doorsteps of its subscribers, or “Looters,” every month. With ever-changing themes about different universes and all sorts of official, exclusive collectibles waiting in each box, Loot Crate is, in a word, awesome.

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Everything You Need To Know About ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

Your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man is back, but not in a form that’s ever had centre stage on the big screen. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse follows Miles Morales – the Spider-Man of an alternate universe to the Peter Parker with whom we are familiar – as he gets to grip to being the one and only Spider-Man. Only one problem with that – ‘one and only’ has become ‘one of several’, as alternate-universe spider heroes are thrown together in Miles’ New York. Am I creating more questions than answers? Not to worry, because the video above will tell you everything you need to know about Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.

Keep your eyes peeled for more Spidey updates here before you web swing into the Spider-Verse with previews on the 6th of December and general release on the 13th December.

 

The post Everything You Need To Know About ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ appeared first on FANDOM.

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Gap insurance: What is it and do you need it?

woman with broken car on side of road via dreamstime

If you’ve ever bought a new car, you’ve probably had a salesperson talk to you about gap insurance.

It’s an insurance product designed to cover the gap between the outstanding balance on your auto loan and the market value of your vehicle if your vehicle gets totaled in an accident or stolen before you’ve paid it off completely.

Let’s take a closer look to give you a clearer picture of how gap coverage functions and if it’s right for your situation…

RELATED: Best and worst auto insurance companies

Understanding gap insurance

Let’s say you finance a new vehicle for $ 34,000. Then, a week after driving off the lot, that car is declared a total loss in a serious accident.

Fortunately, you escape the accident unharmed and expect your insurance company to pay out $ 34,000 so you can pay off your loan and get into a new vehicle.

Here’s the catch, though: The minute you drove that vehicle off the dealer lot, the value of it depreciated to $ 31,000.

Now your new car is totaled, you can’t drive it and you still owe the $ 34,000 loan. Your insurer, however, only wants to pay you $ 31,000 because that’s the market value of your totaled car.

This is the kind of case where gap insurance would step in with the $ 3,000 difference so it doesn’t have to come out of your pocket.

But that’s just a hypothetical situation. Let’s take a look at how it plays out in the real world.

How gap insurance would work in a real-life situation

One member of our Consumer Action Center reports that her son was recently involved in an accident while driving a newly leased vehicle.

“I had a lease on a Genesis and never thought of gap insurance for a lease. The car was totaled and the difference between the buyout and the value is $ 2,962,” our volunteers tells us. “Therefore, I have to pay the difference between the value and the buyout.”

Gap insurance would have paid this difference if she had a policy.

And get this: The accident was not the fault of the volunteer’s son, yet she still has to pay that gap out of her own pocket because she didn’t have gap insurance.

The Insurance Information Institute reports adding gap insurance to your collision and comprehensive coverage usually adds only about $ 20 a year to the annual premium.

That’s a potentially small price to pay for peace of mind.

Where should you consider buying gap insurance?

As a general rule, car dealerships are the worst place to get gap insurance because they tend to inflate the premium and roll it into the cost of your loan.

Try these alternatives instead.

Buy gap coverage through your auto insurer

By doing this, you’re likely to pay half or even a quarter of the price you would pay at the dealership, according to Car and Driver. That’s because your insurer won’t ridiculously mark it up like the dealer will.

Pay cash for a reliable used car

Gap insurance is a solution to a problem that shouldn’t happen in the first place. When you think about it, there would be no need for gap coverage if consumers didn’t buy vehicles with no money down.

The problem, as mentioned earlier, is the rapid depreciation of new vehicles the minute they drive off the lot. Since you put no money down, that huge spread is what creates a gap that need to be filled.

But what if your buying decision never allowed that gap to be created in the first place?

Buying a reliable used car is money expert Clark Howard’s preferred way for you to get into a vehicle. It’s possible to pay cash for a cheap but good ride.

Here’s a look at the 19 best used cars under $ 15,000.

RELATED: 5 professions that practically guarantee you’ll pay less for car insurance

More insurance stories on Clark.com

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‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ – Everything You Need To Know

You’ve surely heard of Peter Parker; probably Miles Morales as well. Maybe even Gwen Stacey, Spider-Ham, and Spider-Noir ring a bell, but we’re willing to bet Sony’s new animated feature, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, is something new, even if you’re a devout Spidey fan. Not to worry, though, because Fandom is here to provide you with a crash course on everything you need to know about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

The post ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ – Everything You Need To Know appeared first on FANDOM.

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11.23.18 Moving to make more money; Everything you need to know about PMI

Relocating can have a major impact on your salary; Feel like you are throwing away money every month on PMI? Clark gives you all the details about PMI and avenues to get rid of it so you can keep that money in your pocket.

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5 Times You Need a Financial Adviser — and When the DIY Approach Is Fine

When I decided to start investing for retirement, I had no clue where to start.

I had no 401(k), individual retirement account (IRA) or health savings account (HSA). I didn’t even have one of those apps that invest your spare change. I was starting from zero.

I assumed that to start investing you had to have a financial adviser.

So I made an appointment with one who would see my husband and me for free — how sweet of him! — and we sat for hours as he went over four investment options.

I left more confused than I came in. I just wanted to give him my money. But it had to pass through so many hands before it could enter the market, and for some reason, we needed another meeting.

At that second meeting, I found out how he got paid: a 5% commission on all of my contributions. I realized that if I did this on my own, even if my returns were worse, I might come out on top with all the money I’d save without his commission.

That was the first time I realized that I didn’t need to use a professional to start investing.

When Can I Do It Without a Financial Adviser?

If you’re just starting out and you don’t have any complex situations like a large inheritance or six-figure income, you can succeed for a while on your own.

But if you’re going to DIY your investments, you’ll need to commit to learning about investing. Luckily, there’s a wealth of information on the internet.

The Penny Hoarder has a lot of articles to help you get started saving for retirement that explain things like:

If you prefer a book to a computer screen, I recommend “The Simple Path to Wealth” by JL Collins. It explains everything you need to know to get a grasp on basic investing concepts while not putting you to sleep.

As long as you continue accumulating cash in your accounts and everything is smooth sailing, that’s the time when, if you feel confident, you can go it alone.

But what are the signs it’s time to pony up for a professional?

When Do I Need a Financial Adviser?

Financial advisor Paul Ruedi poses outside in front of greenery.

I talked with three professionals in the planning industry who have fiduciary obligations — meaning they’re legally obligated to work in the best interest of clients. (I know: Why isn’t that universal yet?) They filled me in on when you really need to get professional help.

Paul Ruedi of Ruedi Wealth Management specializes in retirement planning. He thinks one of the best times to consult an adviser is before or during the transition to retirement.

Transitioning into life without a paycheck requires making a lot of complicated decisions,” Ruedi said. “On top of that, people’s investment account balances are likely the highest they have been in their lifetime, which amplifies every little movement in the stock market and can turn investing into an emotional rollercoaster.

When you’re making decisions like how to make your investments last for multiple decades, when to claim Social Security and how to best withdraw from those accounts, it’s time to get someone on board to guide you.

In some instances, you might need someone in your corner well before retirement.

Kayse Kress, a certified financial planner at Physician Wealth Services, poses outside.

Kayse Kress, a certified financial planner at Physician Wealth Services, said people often benefit from objective advice.

Even if you are a really smart person, it can be hard to keep your emotions out of your financial decisions,” Kress said. “You could benefit from working with an adviser that will provide you with objective advice and help you make more sound financial decisions.

The people who benefit most in Kress’ practice are those who are just too busy to find time to focus on creating a plan for their finances.

But a big reason people don’t find the help they need is that traditionally, it’s been difficult and expensive to work with someone.

It wasn’t too long ago that if you weren’t sitting on a pile of cash to invest, then it could be difficult to get anyone in the financial services industry to work with you,” Kress told me.

But with the rising popularity of fee-only financial planners, people can now seek out the help they need at any point in their financial journeys.

Chris Hutchins, co-founder and CEO of online financial planning service Grove poses in his office.

Chris Hutchins, co-founder and CEO of online financial planning service Grove, has seen many circumstances when having a financial planner before retirement was necessary. Some examples include:

  1. You’re not sure how to figure out if you’re saving enough or whether you’re on track for your retirement goals.
  2. You don’t know what your goals are or how much you need to be saving for them.
  3. You’ve intended to do something about your finances for a long time, and yet they’re still in the same spot.
  4. You’ve had a sudden financial windfall (inheritance, your company was acquired, etc.).
  5. The stress of trying to figure out whether you’re on track or doing the right thing with your money is too much.

No matter how young or old, or investment savvy or not you are, there’s no excuse to not plan for retirement. For some, that might mean a DIY approach. But for others, it means seeking professional help.

Thankfully, there’s a place for everyone to get what they need.

Jen Smith is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She writes a lot about retirement and gives money-saving and debt-payoff tips on Instagram at @savingwithspunk.

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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Black Friday watch deals that you need to buy now before it’s too late

Where to find the best Black Friday deals for watches

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Black Friday 2018 is almost upon us, and as ever, we predict it opshopo be the biggest online shopping weekend of the year in the UK. And with just 3 days to navigate those jaw-dropping Black Friday watches discounts (just in time for Christmas), we thought we’d make life that little bit easier for you with our guide to the best black Friday watch deals, and what to look for while you’re there.

When is Black Friday 2018?

Black Friday falls on the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States (which is the fourth Thursday of November). Here the UK, Black Friday 2018 will fall on 23rd November (which is a Friday) so you still have time to bookmark the shops you want to visit and pick out the deals you’re going to go after.

Henry London Stratford Chronograph Bracelet Watch, 50% off at Wolf & Badger

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We love a good chunky metal mesh watch and this piece from Henry London is absolutely dreamy. With an emerald clock face and a vintage aesthetic, it’s going for 50% off at Wolf & Badger right now.

Priced at £83, originally £165

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Radley Ladies Heart Dog Charm Leather Strap Watch, almost half off at QVC

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This maroon watch has us thinking tonally this season, with a monochrome clock face and black details.

Priced at £42.98, originally £80

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Ted Baker BOWISA Bow Detail Leather Watch, £35+ off

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Audrey Hepburn, eat your heart out. This minimal black watch will go with every outfit and the little bow cuff on the strap is the sweetest touch.

Priced at £87.50, originally £125

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Ted Baker CASKIA Square Dial Watch, £40+ off 

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This utterly classic watch comes with a charming mesh strap and a square face. It’s also rose gold, plus it has cute little rose gold accents on the clock face if you just can’t get enough.

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What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is a day when shoppers can take advantage of *huge* discounts from various retailers, across all departments (why it’s called Black Friday varies a bit, some believe it dates back to the 60s, when the shopping phenomenon began, where so many people turned up to shop that it caused gridlock, others think it’s because it takes stores’ bank balances from the red to the black).

Because watches can be a bit pricey, we don’t often treat ourselves, but Black Friday is a great time to do so as prices are slashed across board. It’s also a great time to stock up on Christmas presents for your family. Just saying.

Black Friday watch deals at Michael Kors

Who doesn’t love a Michael Kors watch, especially if it’s a classic rose gold boyfriend design. For Black Friday, you can get discounts on all Michael Kors watches, be it gold tone, silver tone or leather bracelet styles. We’re a bit obsessed with the new season plum tones.

If you can’t find the watch you want on the Michael Kors site, don’t worry, because jewellers like H.Samuel, who stock the brand, are offering discounts too. If you’re interested in more high end fashion, it’s worth taking a look at our edit of the best Black Friday designer deals as well.

Shop our edit of the best Black Friday watches below.

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Black Friday watch deals if rose gold is your thing

Let’s be real, it’s still all about rose gold this season, isn’t it? And Michael Kors isn’t the only one to offer sleek rose gold designs. If you check out ASOS, you’ll find a host of pretty and statement watches, and a lot of other high street brands like Oasis, Topshop (which is offering amazing Topshop Black Friday deals across the board) and Next also have some great options too.

Scroll down for our edit of the best rose gold watches.

Black Friday watch deals that are best for fitness

After a fitness watch to track your steps and general health? Black Friday is a great time (no pun intended) to grab yourself a fitness tracker. You can get the popular Fitbit at a discount on various sites, like Argos and Amazon.

Curry‘s also usually does flash discounts on other fitness trackers too, like Jawbone, Garmin, Withings, Polar, so it’s worth checking the site out too.

For Apple watches, you’re of course best off going to the actual Apple website, though the discounts aren’t usually mind-blowing, more like a gift card with purchase situation. But, if your heart is set on Apple, that’s better than nothing, right?

Scroll down to shop our edit of the best Black Friday fitness tracker deals.

Black Friday Timex watches

Tired of relying on your iPhone for the time? Timex offer a range of beautiful watches ranging from work-appropriate classics to chic stacking-friendly fashion accessories to their adorable new Peanuts collection, featuring the likes of Snoopy and Linus. They’ll be offering 20% off everything on their website and it’ll all kick off November 24.

Urban Outfitters Black Friday Deals

Want to beat the Black Friday rush? Urban Outfitters is actually going to be having a pre-Black Friday sale on Wednesday, 22 November for just 24 hours where you’ll be able to score 40% off selected products. If you’re a UO Rewards member, you’ll also be eligible for free shipping.

UO’s also getting involved with the main shopping holiday and will be back with deals in full force from 23-26 November, with up to 50% off specific lines. The offer runs until midnight on the Sunday and shipping costs are going to drop to just £1, so now’s the time to buy that massive coat you’ve been dreaming of. On Cyber Monday, 27 November, they’ll also be offering 20% off select lines.

The post Black Friday watch deals that you need to buy now before it’s too late appeared first on Marie Claire.

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‘Battlefield V’: Everything You Need to Know About War Stories

While much is being made of  Battlefield V‘s multiplayer experiences on offer — including a Battle Royale mode called Firestorm that looks remarkable — we thought we’d catch you up on a few things you need to know about the singer player mode, War Stories. These encompass a variety of tales from some of World War II’s lesser told conflicts, with developers DICE taking you across the breadth of the globe. The result is a game that focuses on the word “world” as much as the one “war.” You’ll find a thrilling, dramatic FPS experience, unlike anything you’ve experienced before.

WHAT EXACTLY ARE “WAR STORIES”?

Instead of one campaign, Battlefield V revisits the format laid down on Battlefield 1 of breaking the single-player campaign into individual, brilliantly written, tonally diverse “War Stories.” One of our favorites is called “Nordys.” set in Rjukan, Norway, in the spring of 1943, which is the tale of a young resistance fighter charged with freeing an allied scientist being imprisoned behind enemy lines, taking her away from the interrogation that would allow the war to swing in the Nazi’s favor. It’s an extremely moving story, which pits you against the brutal chill of the Scandinavian wilds as much as it does more traditional German enemies. Oh, and you get to ski in it, too. Trust us when we say that you haven’t lived until you’ve skied away from a Nazi desperately bellowing, “Come back here!”



NO ONE WAY TO FIGHT

Variety is the key to understanding War Stories. DICE have been on record as saying they wanted to create experiences that could see you fly planes, drive tanks, as well as fight on the ground. The different stories allow you to do that. Similarly, there’s not just one way to play each story. Take “Nordys” for example. When you come to the Nazi base, you can either proceed with stealth or you can get in a truck and drive through the gate all guns blazing. There’s no one way to get from A to B. Different ways of playing unlock different experiences. These aren’t stories you’ll experience just once, but many times, and from many angles.

“Under No Flag” is probably the most traditional story on show, though it’s premise is far from boring. You’re Arthur Bridger, a bit of a bad seed who’s given the choice between spending the war behind bars or making up a brigade of young lads given the chance to work their crimes off by joining the fight. Arthur is a bit Danny Dyer, and also a bit Rambo. His story is written with strong emotions as well as some genuinely funny, laugh-out-loud moments — and it features a cool twist later on. There are also some intriguing strategy elements, like finding high ground to use your binoculars and plan the route ahead. We really want to tell you more about the twist, but we can’t. Just trust us when we say that it’s really, really good…



STORIES LESS TOLD

When we mentioned Battlefield V’s mission to shine a light on stories rarely told, we really weren’t exaggerating. “Tirailleur” positions you as a young Senegalese man called Deme Cisse, who is drafted to fight for a homeland he’s never even seen, as part of the French Colonial Empire. The story takes place within the framework of Operation Dragoon, which was the code name for the Allied invasion of Southern France on August 15, 1944. It’s another example of the game presenting a different take on World War II, showing you things the history books so frequently have failed to mention. It’s a story about racism and nationhood and the fight for acceptance. We’re not ashamed to admit that we found this one really moving.

More to Come

If that wasn’t enough, there’s a War Story coming post-launch, that might just be the most ambitious, nuanced story Battlefield has ever tried to tell. It’s called “The Last Tiger,” and it’s set from the perspective of the Nazis — the only War Story to do so — as the Allies close in on a decimated Berlin in the closing days of the war. In it, an exhausted, war-weary Tiger tank brigade tear apart the Nazi ideology that led them to this point. DICE needs to be applauded for such brave storytelling, and we’re really looking forward to the reaction to it. The story really is symbolic of what Battlefield V is trying to do, which is to entertain you, yes, but also to really immerse you within the varying emotions, motivations, and consequences to come out of the bloodiest battle the world has ever seen.

The post ‘Battlefield V’: Everything You Need to Know About War Stories appeared first on FANDOM.

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Democrats need someone they don’t want in order to win in 2020

Joe Biden is a gaffe-prone 75-year old Washington veteran — who is exactly what Democrats need. The suburbs have turned against Republicans, but President Trump’s working-class base is still with him in a geographic and demographic stand-off that will — absent a game-changer — define the 2020 election. The play for Democrats should be obvious:…
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Everything You Need To Know About Open Enrollment

Why is open enrollment season for health insurance important?

Open enrollment is the annual period when you can enroll in or change your health insurance coverage for the upcoming year. Additionally, if you receive other benefits through your employers – life insurance, unemployment insurance – this is a great time to make any adjustments to these policies as well. Open enrollment is usually the only time you can makes changes, so it is important to understand your options and needs ahead of time.

When is open enrollment period this year?

For those getting health insurance coverage through healthcare.gov, open enrollment runs from November 1 to December 15. However, in some states like California you can sign up for Affordable Care Act plans later. Outside of these dates, you are only able enroll in a health insurance plan if you experience major life events like getting married, changing jobs, losing previous health coverage or circumstances that qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period.

For employer-provided health insurance and other benefits, the timing can vary by company. It is generally in the fall, between October 1 and December 31. If your job offers health insurance and other benefits but you do not know when your company’s open enrollment period is, contact your HR department.

What should we keep in mind when choosing our healthcare coverage?

The most important thing is to understand your options. If you receive your health insurance through your job, you can go to your human resources department about what plans are offered. If your job doesn’t provide healthcare, go to the state or federal marketplaces for the Affordable Care Act to search plan options and costs. Again, the best place to go for this is healthcare.gov.

Next, review the plan type. You will likely run into the acronyms HMO or PPO. These stand for health maintenance organization and preferred provider organization, respectively. Generally speaking, the difference between HMO and PPO plans includes the size of the plan network, ability to see specialists, plan costs, and coverage for out-of-network services. Compare each plan’s summary of benefits to learn more. Your HR department or the online marketplace will provide these.

Finally, determine the best plan for your healthcare needs and your finances. When doing this you want to take into account you and your family’s healthcare requirements. If you are single and healthy, it may be best to go with a low premium, high deductible plan. If you have a family, numerous prescriptions or past health issues, more coverage and a higher monthly premium may be a better option.

What other benefits should we be thinking during open enrollment?

If you have the option of receiving life and unemployment insurance, I would recommend purchasing this coverage. As you have heard me say before, 1 in 4 people will be involved in an accident that prevents them from working for a period during their life. If something happens to you, life and unemployment insurance will protect your family from financial catastrophe.

Open enrollment is also a great time to review your retirement preparations. Most employer-sponsored retirement plans allow you to make changes at any time, but it is always a good idea to check that your contributions, your plan choice and your portfolio mix are aligned with your current goals. If your employer offers matching, be sure you’re getting all the free money on the table. Finally, it is also a good time to talk to your financial advisor about your plan’s performance. 

The Trump administration has shifted a number of healthcare policies. Can you talk about what is new this year?

The Trump Administration has made several changes to the ACA’s rules. In last year’s tax bill, they include a provision that removed the tax penalty for those who don’t buy coverage, essentially removing the requirement that every American had to have health insurance. This means you will not pay a fee for not having health insurance, though I would caution going without is a bad idea. The administration has also made it easier for some people to buy short-term policies that do not include all the consumer coverage protections of an ACA policy.

In reaction to this, some states have made their own changes. In May, New Jersey adopted its own individual mandate, and California banned the sale of short-term health policies that don’t meet ACA standards. Maryland and Alaska have each added other programs to stabilize the insurance marketplace.

Unfortunately, the repeal of the individual mandate and the legalization of short term insurance, along with other regulatory changes made by the administration, have caused some uncertainly in the markets, and we have seen premiums rise about 16 percent higher this year according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. That may mean some of us will pay more for coverage this coming year.

Mellody is President of Ariel Investments, a Chicago-based money management firm that serves individual investors and retirement plans through its no-load mutual funds and separate accounts.  Additionally, she is a regular financial contributor and analyst for CBS News and CBS.com.

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Draymond Green reportedly told Kevin Durant: ‘We don’t need you. We won without you. Leave’

Draymond Green got into an argument with Kevin Durant so feisty, it caused a Warriors player to predict Durant will now leave Golden State in free agency next summer. Green blurted to Durant something along the lines of, “We don’t need you. When Green and Durant bickered last year in a similar, though less heated, incident, it was claimed Green was using “reverse psychology” to motivate Durant.

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Do I Need an Obituary?

Although writing an obituary isn’t a requirement when someone dies, it is a common way to inform others about a recent death.

We all meet many different people throughout our lifetimes,
and family members aren’t always able to personally inform everyone the
deceased knew of their passing. Publishing an obituary is an easy way to let
others know that someone has passed away, and many people also view it as a
message that celebrates the deceased’s life. In this post, we explore the ins
and outs of obituaries.

What is an Obituary?

Obituaries are typically found in local newspapers or online
news sites and include a brief summary of the deceased’s life story, as well as
a list of surviving family members (which may not be exhaustive).

While the deceased’s family usually provides the information
needed to write the obituary it can also be written by the publication’s staff.
Some people even choose to write their own obituaries in advance as part of an estate
plan.

Can I Write my Own Obituary?

Writing your own obituary gives you more control over how
you want to be celebrated and remembered and takes some of the pressure off of
loved ones by giving them one less thing to worry about when they are wrapping
up your estate.

You can use an estate planning document such as an End-of-Life Plan to guide you through the writing process, and you can even have close friends and family members help you if you wish.

How do I Write an Obituary?

An obituary should tell the story of a deceased person’s
life and their accomplishments, such as educational milestones, contributions
to their community, and/or volunteer work. In addition, an obituary generally
includes the deceased’s:

  • Full name, as well as a nickname if they had one
  • Date of birth
  • Final place of residence
  • Birthplace
  • Surviving family members, including spouses,
    children, grandchildren, and nieces and nephews

Typically, an obituary will conclude with information about
where to send flowers or other appropriate
funeral or memorial gifts
, or where to send charitable donations in lieu of
gifts or flowers.

Choosing to Have an Obituary

An obituary is simply a short article written about a person
who has recently passed away that serves to inform others of their passing. It
can be viewed as a way to celebrate and tell a person’s life story to a wide
audience. If you have preferences about whether you want an obituary or what
you would like yours to say, be sure to let your family members or friends know
and include those wishes in your estate plans.

The post Do I Need an Obituary? appeared first on LawDepot Blog.

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What is the Rickshaw Challenge 2018, what’s the route, who is taking part in Children in Need and how can I donate?

CHILDREN in Need 2018 is finally here and with it comes the annual Rickshaw Challenge, headed up by a team of teenage cyclists.

Here is everything you need to know about what the challenge is all about…

Meet the 2018 Rickshaw Challenge contestants
Meet the 2018 Rickshaw Challenge contestants

What is the Rickshaw Challenge?

The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge has returned for the eighth year and launched on Wednesday, October 10.

A team of six young people, who have been supported by BBC Children in Need-funded projects, will be joined by Matt Baker on the eighth day.

The challenge itself started on Friday, November 9 and came to an end on Friday, November 16.

They will cross the finish line in time for this year’s Children in Need Appeal Show.

What is the route for the 2018 challenge?

The 2018 Rickshaw Challenge began on Friday, November 9 in Calais, France.

They then pedalled 31 miles through the service tunnel of Channel Tunnel, which has only been used by professional cyclists before.

From there, to complete Day One, they headed from Folkestone to Ashton.

Day Two saw the cyclists travel from Ashford to Linfield and then spend Day Three working to get to Hook.

On Day Four, their journey took them to Royal Wootton Bassett.

Then, they cycled to Malvern on Day Five and to Ironbridge on Day Six.

After travelling to Chester on Day Seven, the challenge came to an at Salford Quays on Day Eight.

Alex and Matt
Alex and Matt are joined by Maisie who will be taking part in the Rickshaw Challenge

Who is taking part in the Rickshaw Challenge this year?

The Rickshaw challenge features a diverse and inspiring group of young people from all different backgrounds.

Abbie, 16, is from London and was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 12. She fought her cancer diagnosis with various treatment methods and finally heard happy news in October 2015. Throughout her journey, she was supported by Teens Unite, which runs motivational workshops for young people following a cancer diagnosis and helped rebuild Abby’s confidence.

Harry, 17, is from Plymouth and was diagnosed with quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and Worster-Drought Syndrome at the age of one. He’s had multiple surgeries to help him use his legs more easily. Harry also struggles with communication. He’s been supported by Friends and Families of Special Children, which supports disabled children and their families. He is determined to show the world that he can do anything through the Rickshaw Challenge.

Kayla is a 16-year-old from Derry. Kayla’s mother has passed away from an alcohol-related disease following her battle with alcoholism and her father suffers from a rare flesh-eating bug. She cares for his dad and has been supported by Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum which provides a safe space for young people and empowers them.


Kieran, 18, is from South Wales and cared for his mum and younger siblings throughout his youth until he was unable to cope. By 13, Kieran was placed in foster care and started attending The Hwb Torfaen, a project that supports young people to encourage skill development and volunteering.

Maisie, 16 is from Southampton and has achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism. She has gone numerous operations to ease her movements and straighten her leg. At the age of 4, Maisie was introduced to Dwarf Sports Association and says it’s had a really positive influence on her life.

Phoebe, 19, is from Leicester and has had a stammer since she was 8. It made her feel isolated and impacted her self-confidence. She was supported by Action for Stammering Children which helped her gain confidence while communicating and provided a support network.

When is Children in Need 2018?

Children In Need is held in November each year.
The Appeal Show 2018 can be watched on Friday, November 16.


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‘We need to trust the decision-making’ of OPEC: Russian sovereign wealth fund

"I think we need to trust the decision-making of the joint body because they're not interested in artificially high oil prices," says the CEO of Russian Direct Investment Fund, Kirill Dmitriev.
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New cholesterol guidelines for heart health: What you need to know

The guidelines advocate for more aggressive treatment with statin therapy.
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What You Need to Know Before Starting ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’

Red Dead Redemption 2 — the epic follow-up to Rockstar’s 2010 Western masterpiece — is now available on PS4 and Xbox One.


Enjoying the scenery in Red Dead Redemption 2

The Setting

Red Dead Redemption 2 is set in 1899 — 12 years before Red Dead Redemption — with the Wild West all but tamed. The steam engine has revolutionized transportation, railroads carve harsh lines through what used to be wilderness, and while many don’t yet know it, the world sits on the precipice of change.

The world of Red Dead Redemption 2 features swampy bayous filled with hillbillies, snakes, and gators. There are rolling green hills, luscious flat countryside, and snowy mountains to trek over. Cities and towns of all sizes freckle the land, many connected by rail. It’s massive in size: There are more than 1,000 things to do and discover, and NPCs sport half a million lines of dialog — more than twice the amount featured in Grand Theft Auto 5. And it’s made bigger still thanks to the technology of the setting. There are no Hydra Jets or Ocelot Pariahs in the Wild West: instead of thousands of horsepower, you’re traveling at just one.

Rockstar makes the most of this, filling every inch of the map with things to see and do — be it wildlife, other travelers, or landmarks.


Red Dead Redemption 2

The Characters

In Red Dead Redemption 2 you’ll play as Arthur Morgan, an enforcer in Dutch van der Linde’s gang. A no-nonsense kind of guy, Arthur has been a member of the gang since he was a young boy, and his upbringing as an outlaw shows.

The Van der Linde Gang is an anarchic collection of misfit wayfarers — that is to say, a bunch of scoundrels — and you’re a key member of the group. Dutch handles the strategy: He decides where you and the crew will find your next big score. That means train robberies, bank heists, assaulting other gang hideouts, and more — and as one of the best shooters in the gang, you’ll be front-and-center.

Your time is mostly your own though. You can play poker or blackjack, either at the camp or in one of the saloons in the many towns. You can tame wild horses, get into brawls, fish in the rivers, and hunt down wildlife.

If you’re looking to help the Camp out, you can lean on debtors for a loan shark friend or scramble up herbs for your friendly doctor. You don’t have to do these things, but if you do the Camp will grow as you improve it, and you’ll get access to better medicines, fast travel points, and more as you go.


Red Dead Redemption 2

The Combat (or Lack Thereof)

Rockstar is revolutionizing the way we interact with games in Red Dead Redemption 2. If you accidentally antagonize someone, sure, you could draw your revolver and shoot them dead. You’re the notorious outlaw Arthur Morgan, after all. But you’ll get a bounty on your head, and you’ll have to dodge the sheriffs until you get rid of it.

In Red Dead Redemption 2, if you keep that weapon holstered and interact with the person you’ve upset, you’ll be able to try to talk your way out of the situation.

It’s part of the revolutionary new interaction. You use it to bond with your horse, to butter up shopkeeps around the world, to pat dogs, and to start fistfights with men who look at you funny. Instead of primarily interacting via the shooting of a gun, the world of Red Dead Redemption 2 feels more alive because you interact with it in a more natural way.


Red Dead Redemption 2

The Honor System

Those interactions you have influence another new system in Red Dead Redemption 2: Honor. The actions you take will be reflected in the way people react to Arthur in the game world. Do honorable things, and people will be quicker to give Arthur the benefit of the doubt. He’ll get more offers for bounty hunting jobs, allowing him to make legal cash easier.

Act dishonorably, and things will be a bit rougher on Arthur — in law-abiding towns, anyway. People will steer clear of you, and deputies might be quicker on the draw. Outside of civilization though, robberies will pay more, witnesses will be easier to intimidate and the cinematic killshots will be more intense. Balancing Honor will play a large role in your time with the game, and will influence many of your decisions as you play.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is Rockstar’s most ambitious game yet. It’s more in-depth, more intimate and more immersive than any game they’ve ever done. It’s out now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

The post What You Need to Know Before Starting ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ appeared first on FANDOM.

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Here’s What You Need to Know if You’re Considering a VA Loan

If you’re a veteran or an active-duty member of the military, the idea of owning a home one day might give you warm, fuzzy feelings. Or maybe it’s just the idea of not having to move again.

When that day comes, you’ll find yourself researching mortgages, and you may go straight for the Veterans Affairs (VA) home loan.

VA home loans look attractive: They come with lower interest rates, lower closing costs and no private mortgage insurance (PMI), plus you can put 0% down.

But before you jump right into signing papers, it’s worth taking a closer look to find out if a VA loan is your best option.

What Makes a VA Home Loan Different?

A VA home loan is a type of mortgage that helps service members, veterans and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. You can’t use a VA loan on an income property or a second home; these loans can only be used for your primary residence.

VA loans are provided by private lenders — banks, mortgage companies, etc. —  and usually backed by the government for up to 25% of the loan if the homeowner defaults.

Because 25% of the loan is guaranteed by the government, banks can lower eligibility requirements and don’t require you to pay private mortgage insurance.

That means veterans with lower credit scores are frequently approved for more mortgage than they would be otherwise.

“[VA loan] lenders tend to approve a higher mortgage-payment-to-income ratio and a higher total-debt-to-income ratio,” said Doug Nordman of The Military Guide.

But perhaps the most appealing feature of a VA loan is that you can put 0% down.

This might look like a deal, especially on a private’s housing allowance, but you’ll pay for it in other ways.

The Hidden Expenses of VA Loans

Before we compare VA loans with other options, let’s look at interest rates vs. APRs, or annual percentage rates. The interest rate is the amount you’ll pay each year to borrow money. The APR includes not just the interest rate, but also charges and fees from the mortgage broker.

VA loans have lower interest rates than conventional loans, but their APRs are higher.

At the time of this writing, one lender was offering a 30-year fixed conventional loan at a 4.62% interest rate with 4.69% APR, and a 30-year fixed VA loan at a 4.5% interest rate with 4.8% APR.

That’s because the VA loan has a funding fee. Instead of paying a set monthly charge for private mortgage insurance (PMI) to the bank, veterans pay a funding fee to the VA that is added at the beginning of the loan and compounds monthly.

The funding fee for regular military is 2.15% when you put 0% down, though it can be lowered by putting a down payment of 5% or more on the house.

For those in the reserves or National Guard, the funding fee is even higher at 2.4%.

It’s easy to look at the numbers with rose-colored glasses because you can afford the monthly payment. But it’s important to look at the big picture when taking on a loan of that size.

When you look at the breakdown of your mortgage, the funding fee will look lower than a PMI payment, but you can get rid of PMI when you reach 20% equity in your home. Unless you pay your funding fee upfront, it stays with you forever.

To put it in perspective: A $ 200,000 home with $ 0 down will have a funding fee of $ 4,300. That $ 4,300 gets put on the principal, which means you’ll be paying interest on it for 30 years. Even if you refinance, that $ 4,300 stays there.

Who Is a VA Loan Good For?

The funding fee doesn’t mean the VA loan is bad — it has lots of features that make it a good choice for many service members and veterans. Interest rates are lower, appraisals are more affordable, origination fees are capped at 1%, and you can qualify at a lower credit score.

But it’s even better if you can get the funding fee waived.

Those eligible for a waiver are:

  • Veterans who receive VA compensation for a service-connected disability.
  • Veterans who would be entitled to receive compensation for a service-connected disability but are receiving retirement or active-duty pay.
  • Surviving spouses of a veteran who died in service or from a service-connected disability.

Over 4 million veterans receive VA disability compensation, so a waiver is actually an option for a lot of Americans.

The bottom line: Don’t rush a decision as big as home ownership.

“Research indicates that nearly half of all veterans move yet again within two years of leaving the military, because their bridge career doesn’t work out,” Nordman said. “They end up putting that ‘forever home’ right back on the market, or — even worse — becoming reluctant long-distance landlords.”

Waiting until you’re location-stable will give you time to build your credit and qualify for the best home loan available.

Jen Smith is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She gives money saving and debt payoff tips on Instagram at @savingwithspunk.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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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These are the tools veterans need to get the job

Transitioning from the military to the civilian world of work can feel like a minefield. Do you take the first job offer, or interview for several jobs to help you figure out what you want to do and where you want to work? How do you explain to the human-resources screener that your communications experience…
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403(b) vs. 401(k): Here’s What You Need to Know if You’re Choosing Plans

Paper or plastic? Uber or Lyft? 403(b) or 401(k)?

It’s not often that you’re faced with the last choice. But if you’re a teacher, nurse or government employee, you may have been presented with this question before, because tax-exempt organizations can offer a 403(b) retirement plan, in addition to a traditional 401(k) option.

When you select the vehicle that will drive your investments, here are the things you should know about 403(b) and 401(k) plans.

403(b) vs. 401(k): What’s the Same?

Fundamentally, 403(b) and 401(k) plans are the same.

Both retirement plans are tax-deferred, meaning they protect you from paying taxes on contributions now and lower your annual taxable income, and you’ll pay taxes when you withdraw the funds.

The annual contribution limits, withdrawal requirements and rules for taking out a loan are the same as well.

403(b) vs. 401(k): What’s Different?

The differences are nuanced. 401(k) plans can be offered by any employer, while 403(b) plans are offered by tax-exempt organizations, such as nonprofits, religious groups, government organizations and school districts. While these organizations can also offer a 401(k), for-profit businesses don’t have the option of offering 403(b) plans.

The law allows tax-exempt organizations a pass on certain employer requirements, making administrative costs for a 403(b) less expensive. In turn, employer matches and contributions also aren’t as common for 403(b) plans as they are for 401(k)s.

And while annual contribution limits are the same, 403(b) plans have a unique provision called the maximum allowable contribution, aka MAC. It allows employees with at least 15 years of service to an employer to add an extra $ 3,000 to their annual contributions.

If you leave your employer, you’ll face the same rollover provisions for both plans, with one exception: You can roll a 403(b) into a 401(k), but not vice versa.

A 403(b) plan isn’t regulated as closely as a 401(k) plan. In exchange, administrative costs in 401(k) plans can be slightly higher.

  401(k) 403(b)
Eligibility Sponsored by any employer. Sponsored by a tax-exempt employer.
Annual contribution limits
(2018)
$ 18,500 if you’re under 50;
$ 24,500 if you’re 50 or older.
Same as a 401(k), but if you’ve been with your employer for 15 years or more, you can add an extra $ 3,000 to your contribution.
Investments Can contain almost any type of investment. Only contains mutual funds and annuities.
Rollovers Can be rolled over into traditional IRA or new employer-sponsored 401(k). Can be rolled over into traditional IRA or new employer-sponsored 403(b) or 401(k).
Required minimum distributions Withdrawals must begin no later than age 70 ½ Same, except for special allowances on pre-1987 amounts

If Your Employer Offers Both, Which Is Right for You?

If you’re looking to invest early and often, you can’t make a bad decision. But you should take a close look to ensure you’re making the best decision.

Get a list of the investment options and fees for both. While 403(b)s can only be invested in annuities and mutual funds, 401(k) plans have a wider pool of investments, including mutual funds, annuities, bonds, company stock and others.

Both can have very optimal or very suboptimal investments. It’s up to you to make sure the plan you choose is the one with the highest-performing and lowest-fee funds.  

Ultimately, the differences between a 403(b) and a 401(k) are small enough that your choice will likely come down to the options your employer has chosen inside your company’s plan more than the plan itself.

Jen Smith is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She gives money-saving and debt-payoff tips on Instagram at @savingwithspunk.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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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Everything You Need to Play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Switch

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Each passing day brings us one day closer to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It’s the ultimate Smash Bros. experience, so calling it Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was a good call on Nintendo’s part, in my opinion. We now know the full Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster, and with 74 fighters, it really is the ultimate Smash Bros.

You have plenty of time to prepare your body (and your gaming station) for the upcoming Super Smash Bros. entry on Switch. For starters Nintendo, being the savvy company that it is, is reissuing Smash-themed GameCube controllers with a Switch adapter. With every character ever returning to Smash, there are going to be some people climbing out of the woodwork to get back into the action. This list should help you welcome in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate future in which we all soon will live.

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Broadway Jukebox: Every Song You Need for a Creepy, Campy, Show-Stopping Halloween!

Wicked witches, demon barbers, blood-thirsty plants… and that’s just the beginning. Broadway certainly hasn’t disappointed in the horror department over the years, with on stage representations of vampires, beasts, and everything in between. This Halloween we celebrate the spookiest showtunes of the musical theatre catalogue. From creepy to campy, disturbing to grotesque- take your Halloween party to the next level, Broadway-style
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5 places you need to discover in the Caucasus

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Comprised of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, the Caucasus Region is probably one of the most understated travel destinations in the world. With so much to offer, it’s a surprise that these countries have only recently popped up on the traveler’s radar.

However, the region is getting the attention it deserves now, and we suggest you put it on your travel bucket list for the year. Here’s why:

Svaneti

Svaneti is an ancient region located in northwest Georgia, one of the three countries that make up the Caucasus region. This is the highest destination in the Caucasus Mountains that’s inhabited by people. It is also home to Ushguli, one of the highest continuously inhabited settlements in all of Europe. Trekking up to this settlement is a great workout and a fun experience.

Svaneti is a truly mystical place that boasts a rich history. It is home to an indigenous population known as the Svans. The Svans have been here since long ago, and still speak in an ancient, unscripted tongue. As for things to see, you have the ancient towers of Svaneti. There are around 200 of them that have been here since the ninth century. Apart from the towers, Svaneti is home to five museums and 190 churches. Svaneti is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Shikahogh State Reserve

The Shikahogh State Reserve is the second largest forest reserve in Armenia, and to say that it’s stunning would be an understatement. This reserve is truly unspoiled, and proof of this lies in the fact that many of the sections here remain unexplored to this day. The reserve is home to vipers, leopards, wild goats, bears, and a host of other animals. It’s also home to over 1,000 plant species.

Icheri Sheher

Icheri Sheher, also known as “Fortress” or “Old City,” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The area is known for its stunning architectural structures, which are located all over. One of those beautiful structures is Maiden Tower, which has been standing here since the 12th century. Then, you have the Shirvanshah Palace, which is believed to have been constructed in the 13th century. Architectural feats aside, Icheri Sheher is also recognized for its handicrafts, especially ceramic work and textiles. You’ll find several shops that sell such items. In fact, you can enjoy a leisurely stroll while you go from shop to shop.

Kakheti

Situated on the Eastern side of Georgia, Kakheti is known for the variety of grapes it produces. But, that’s not all. There are many other wonderful things to experience here. For instance, you have the town of Sighnaghi, which is referred to as the “City of Love.” Apparently, couples come here to get married; something to do with romance in the air! Then, you have the monastery complex of Davit Gareja, which serves as a tranquil getaway, and several other attractions. It’s well worth the effort to explore Kakheti.

Noravank

Armenia has always been known for its monasteries, and Noravank is the most beautiful among them. Constructed in the 13th century, the monastery is also home to the Astvatsatsin or Holy Mother of God church. There’s an interesting legend behind the church – the locals believe that God himself saved it during the Mongol invasion. So, if you do intend to visit monasteries in Armenia, Noravank should be number one on your list.

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Clueless is being rebooted, so here’s a few other sacred TV shows and films we need to protect

No one told us life was gonna be this way.

90s movie reboots
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There are two kinds of people. First, you have the kind of people who can’t wait for the newly announced Clueless reboot. And secondly, you have people like me: who honestly can’t think of anything worse. Not because I don’t like the film – in fact, I’m obsessed with it – but because it was just so perfect and of its time. Deadline broke the news earlier today that a Clueless remake is currently in ‘early development’ over at Paramount and it’s being helmed by two women whose projects you’ve probably seen recently. Tracy Oliver, who wrote Girls Trip, will be producing the project while Marquita Robinson, who’s behind Netflix’s Glow, will be in charge of the script.

Although the outlet revealed they were currently unsure ‘whether it’s a fresh new take for the millennium and if older characters will be reprising their roles’, I don’t think either option is a great shout. (I’ve learned that the long, hard way after Sex and the City 2 and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.) Like it or not, it seems like it’s full steam ahead. Cher and Josh, I adore you but I don’t know if I can come with you on this journey.

After seeing the announcement come out, it got me thinking about which other classic movies and television shows that Hollywood should just leave the hell alone. By virtue of putting them on this list though, I’m also 150% certain that there are definitely talks behind the scenes about reboots and remakes happening RN. If there’s anything 2018 has taught me, it’s that nothing is sacred anymore. Here’s a few 90s classics and early 00s beauties that should never be rebooted…

Friends

friends sibling theory

NBC via Getty Images

Like Clueless, Friends was this bolt of lightning that just captured a specific cultural moment. Although people have started picking apart the show and exposing its un-PC 90s underbelly, the tale of six pals in New York remains one of the most beloved television shows and continues to spur debates on whether or not Ross and Rachel were really on a break. Nobody will ever be able to fill the shoes that Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Scwhimmer and Matt LeBlanc have left behind and capture their chemistry IMO, so there’s no point in even trying to remake the entire series. The jury’s still out on whether or not a Friends movie is going to happen with them reprising their roles but I honestly don’t think that’s going to happen.

If you’re really keen on seeing what life was like for Monica and Chandler after Friends, an interior design company redesigned Monica’s iconic Friends apartment for the 21st century. It’s actually pretty cool and I’d move in if I could afford it.

Back to the Future

90s movie reboots

Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

I swear, every film student I talked to when I was at uni waxed lyrical about this film. The adventures of Marty McFly and Doc hold a very special place in my heart and seeing anybody try to recreate that magic would hurt. Even though the Back to the Future series succeeded with one of their stellar sequels, it wasn’t magic every time. Please, I can’t do cowboys again.

Matilda

Roald Dahl’s novel was one of the first books I ever really resonated with as a kid and unsurprisingly, the film was no different. This 1996 film captured the zany brilliance of the original story with a spectacular over-the-top approach to the story, bringing to life memorable scenes like the Chokey and Miss Trunchbull literally tossing a girl miles away by her braids. I can’t imagine a better Matilda than Mara Wilson TBH and if you haven’t checked in on her in years, go follow her on Twitter – she’s amazing.

The original Harry Potter series

harry potter costumes

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that whether I like it or not, this is probably going to happen in five years. Nobody, not even J.K. Rowling, can let this beloved franchise go and I think it’s time we all pull a Daniel Radcliffe: hold it in our hearts forever, make our peace with it and move onto other things. The sound of John Williams’ orchestral opening still sends shivers down my spine and we all remember that moment that the doors were thrown open and we saw the Great Hall for the first time; I don’t think anything’s ever going to top that. Plus, let’s be real – who else would really be able to play the original trio but Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint? (Side note: if a remake has to happen, I want it to be in decades and for Daniel Radcliffe to play Professor Dumbledore.)

Bernard’s Watch

My friend Conor once said to me on a night out, ‘If I had Bernard’s watch, I would f*** shit up.’ Bernard’s Watch was such a sweet, wholesome television show and after hearing my pal say that, I don’t trust the powers at be not to abuse the power a magical watch will give a gen Y kid. It probably won’t even be a watch, it’ll probably be an app on an unbranded smartphone and even just typing that out makes me furious that I’ve already thought about this.

Ab Fab

This laugh out loud British comedy remains one of the funniest shows ever and even now, the tales of the chain-smoking, vodka-drinking and totally over it all duo remain some of my favourites. If there was to be a reboot or remake, the only way I’d come around to it would be if Jennifer Saunders was attached to write or direct since she was the one that brought the magic the first time round as one of the show’s main writers and playing Edina Monsoon. We’ve already gotten a sequel movie which wasn’t great, let’s not push our luck here.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

GIPHY

Even though The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was intended originally for American audiences, after it started airing on BBC 2 it became a British cult classic. People love this show (and the opening song which everybody seems to know backwards), so seeing it rebooted for a 21st century audience would be kind of devastating. Plus, the cast of Fresh Prince have since shut down any possibility of a revival since James Avery – who played Uncle Phil – sadly passed away.

Alfonso Ribeira, who played Carlton, told PEOPLE, ‘I think it’s impossible with James Avery being gone. Do we really want to see Will and Carlton in their, you know, 40s and 50s?’

He added, ‘James Avery, right, he’s actually the most important character on the show. … Without him, everything that Will and Carlton did would mean nothing.’

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

GIPHY

I’m still in denial that this reboot is happening. Buffy was one of the first real feminist television icons I ever came across and she’s stayed with me ever since: I’m literally going to a Buffy the Vampire Slayer-themed Halloween party this weekend. The butt-kicking adventures of the vampire slayer were my highlight growing up and seeing how much the Scooby gang cared for one another set the bar high for my own friendships, supernatural disasters and end-of-the-world crises aside. It was bold for its time and I literally can’t stop thinking about some of the show’s episodes, including the quiet, unexpected death of Buffy’s mother and Hush – the experimental completely silent episode.

According to the new showrunner Monica Owusu-Breen, the upcoming Buffy show won’t be a reboot and instead will centre on ‘a new Slayer’. I mean, I’m still not convinced but I’ll reserve judgement till we actually get to see it.

Any Amanda Bynes romcom

90s movie reboots

Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

What a Girl WantsShe’s the Man? Honestly, we were #blessed to grow up with a bounty of Amanda Bynes’ films and TV shows. People aren’t going to be poring over any of these flicks at film school or championing them as a bastion of romance genre excellence, but I still don’t want anybody to touch them. Although Amanda Bynes has faded from the spotlight and gone pretty quiet recently, she was the funny, sassy girl that I desperately wanted to be. Nobody will ever hold a candle to her.

Live-action Studio Ghibli films

90s movie reboots

Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

Disney’s currently on the live-action remake hype train and if Studio Ghibli hops on it, I’m going to lose my shit. These Japanese animated films are untouchable with the likes of Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle and Kiki’s Delivery Services beloved globally. They were brought over to English audiences pretty respectfully (a rare feat) and even attracted voice acting talent like Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Emily Blunt.

That said, my skin actually crawls at the thought of Hollywood making a live-action Spirited Away – mostly because I’m terrified they would white-wash it and cast Scarlett Johansson as Chihiro. Never forgive, never forget Ghost in the Shell.

I’m sure there’s a ton of films and shows I’ve missed, but I’d be here all day if I listed them all. Off the top of my head, I wouldn’t be able to bear reboots of Fight Club, Die Hard, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Saved by the Bell.

Are there any films or shows you actually want to see rebooted?

The post Clueless is being rebooted, so here’s a few other sacred TV shows and films we need to protect appeared first on Marie Claire.

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‘Several’ People Dead After Active Shooter Shouts ‘All Jews Need to Die’ and Opens Fire at Pittsburgh Synagogue

Eight people are reportedly dead after a lone shooter shouting anti-Semitic phrases opened fire Saturday morning in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

via NYDN:

“All Jews must die!” the gunman shouted before opening fire on dozens of congregants inside the Tree of Life synagogue, according to KDKA-TV.

Police confirmed multiple casualties at the house of worship in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, and ordered local residents to stay inside. KDKA-TV reported the eight fatalities, with authorities confirming at least a dozen people were shot — including three police officers.

The suspect, wounded and crawling, gave himself up after a gunfight with cops who were forced to crouch behind their police cars for protection during a wild shootout, the television station reported.

“My stomach is churning,” said lawyer Jeffrey Pollock, 56, who lives four doors down from the synagogue. “I went to get my mail … and saw about a dozen police cars with their lights on.”

He said there was a weekly Shabbat service on the synagogue’s main floor and a bris scheduled for the basement. The mother of one girl attending the services told CNN that worshippers fled to the basement for sanctuary as the gunshots continued on the floor upstairs.

“I’m just sad,” said Jeff Finklestein , president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. “I really don’t know what to tell you. My heart goes out to all these families. This should not be happening, period. This should not be happening in a synagogue.”

He estimated the service held as many as 60 worshippers on a typical Saturday.

Sabbath services at the “traditional, progressive and egalitarian” synagogue were scheduled to begin at 9:45 a.m. Cops quickly flooded the chaotic area around the house of worship, with ambulances seen lining up on the surrounding streets.

President Trump weighed in on the latest mass shooting via Twitter, making a political point in addition to sending his condolences.

“Watching the details from the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue,” said Trump. “Many will tweet today that we need gun control but as always this not the day to do so. We must offer thoughts and prayers and talk about that another day. Believe me.”

The NYPD quickly began deploying heavy weapons teams, including the officers from the Critical Response Command and the Strategic Response Team, to houses of worship across the city. Sector cars will also make additional visits to the religious outlets.

The killings came after a year where the Anti-Defamation League reported a record 57% uptick in anti-Semitic incidents nationwide.

It has been a wild week. Don’t let the madness deter you from getting out to vote in these midterm elections.

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The Federal Reserve doesn’t need to ‘keep our foot on the gas pedal’ anymore, Fed’s Bostic says

The risk of a powerful economy overheating is the reason the Fed should stick to its schedule of interest rate increases, Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic said Tuesday.
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Disney dropped a totally 90s throwback line and we need all of it immediately

Who knew VHS tapes could be so chic?

disney flashback collection
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Remember back in the 90s when you would slam your Disney VHS tapes into the machine and watch Hercules or The Lion King over and over again? Kids nowadays won’t ever know the frustration of having a tape get stuck in the machine or manually rewinding a tape with a pen. Well, the house of Mouse is out to help you relive the magic of your 90s childhood with a brand new Oh Oh My Disney 90s Flashback collection. Safe to say, we’re obsessed.

It’s jam packed with scenes from our favourite 90s films, ranging from popular flicks like Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin through to more niche choices like Hercules and A Goofy Movie!. (I still stand by the fact that Eye to Eye from A Goofy Movie! is the best Disney song of all time. Get to know it if you haven’t already.) From cool magic carpet denim jackets through to bits and pieces we’re 150% sure we had in our house growing up, we want all of it and luckily it’s dropped online already.

According to Oh My Disney, the line was ‘inspired by the decade‘ and aims to celebrate some of their ‘favourite animated Disney classics from the ’90s’. They’ve definitely delivered on that count. I’ll take one A Goofy Movie! VHS clutch bag and a Beauty and the Beast cup, thanks.

Here’s our favourite bits below…

Oh My Disney VHS Clutch Bags

oh my disney 90s flashback collection

Priced at £17, available at shopDisney

Currently available in Beauty and the BeastAladdin and The Lion King

Buy now

Oh My Disney Aladdin Ladies’ Denim Jacket

oh my disney 90s collection

Priced at £50, available at shopDisney

Buy now

Oh My Disney Beauty and the Beast Glasses, Set of 4

oh my disney 90s collectionPriced at £18, available at shopDisney

Buy now

Oh My Disney The Lion King Desk Clock

oh my disney 90s collection

Priced at £12, available at shopDisney

Buy now

Oh My Disney The Lion King Multi-Coloured Pen

oh my disney 90s collection

Priced at £4, available at shopDisney

Buy now

TBH we’re just thrilled it’s Friday because we’re scheduling a 90s Disney marathon ASAP.

You bring the wine, we’ll bring the Oh My Disney goods – let’s do this.

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Living the Gig Life? You Might Still Need Life Insurance. Here’s How to Get It

There’s a reason you chose this life. Being an independent contractor provides a certain level of freedom. You might set your own hours. Maybe you work from your back porch that overlooks the lake. Perhaps it drives you harder, because when you work more, you’ll earn more.

Whether you’re spending your time behind the wheel as a driver with Uber or Lyft, writing articles on parenting or selling your bookkeeping services, life as an independent contractor comes with some serious benefits… and pitfalls.

Without that steady paycheck, you might also be missing key benefits, such as employer-sponsored insurance. Perhaps you’ve already thought about your medical coverage and dealt with it. Kudos.

But what about term life insurance? You know, the insurance that takes care of your loved ones if something should happen to you? Do you need it? How do you get it? How much do you need?

Here’s the scoop.

Do You Need Life Insurance?

Woman painting
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Life insurance is something you buy to help protect your family. You don’t want to think about it, but what would happen if your were to die tomorrow? Could your family get by without your income? Would they have enough for the mortgage? Who would pay the funeral costs?

If you’re making a decent income and have family that depends on you to help pay the bills and put food on the table, you probably should have life insurance. Not sure if you need it? Here are some examples of people who do and do not need life insurance policies.

How Much Is Enough?

DJ playing music
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How much insurance you need depends on who is depending on you and how many bills and obligations you leave behind. Do you have kids? If so, you want to think about their future, including college. How about a house with a mortgage? Are you a business owner? There are a lot of questions to consider when taking out a policy.

Here’s the good news: Life insurance is probably cheaper than you think. A whopping 44% of millennials believe the cost of life insurance to be more than it is… five times more, according to a 2018 Insurance Barometer Survey by LIMRA.

Folks, protecting your family with life insurance simply isn’t as expensive as you think.

How to Find Affordable Life Insurance

Architect building model
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But what if you don’t have employer-sponsored coverage? As an independent contractor, you won’t be able to have that benefit simply taken out of your paycheck, but that doesn’t mean you can’t easily find a good policy that fits your life.

A company like Policygenius offers you an easy way for anyone to compare and buy life insurance. The search engine allows you to compare policies and get instant quotes. Once you find the right fit, you can apply right online.

If you’re young and mostly healthy, consider purchasing term life insurance online from Ethos. It partners with a major A-rated life insurance carrier to provide policies for a low price. For example, $ 30 a month could get your family $ 1 million of coverage.

Anyone, including independent contractors, can secure term life insurance through Ethos without a medical exam or extensive paperwork; just fill out a digital application.

You don’t need employer-sponsored life insurance; you just need to take a few minutes to jump online and find a policy that will work for you and yours.

Love Your Freelance Life, But Protect It As Well

A band performing live
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You don’t have to give up your independent contractor life to get 9-to-5 style benefits. It’s 2018, and there are more options than ever.

Go ahead; keep working from your back porch or your car. Just take a few moments to look into life insurance so, if the unthinkable should happen, your family will be protected. You won’t even need to put on shoes and pants to do it.

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.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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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Dodgers need to find that old magic and quick

LOS ANGELES — On the 30th anniversary of Kirk Gibson’s miraculous home run, the Dodgers could find no magic and not one single clutch hit. The hard reality is that if not for Justin Turner’s two-run, eighth-inning home run in Game 2 the Dodgers would be looking at the possibility being swept by the Brewers….
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My son was finally diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis, now I need more answers

The recently named disease can mimic the symptoms of polio.
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Cardi B and Selena Gomez’s “Taki Taki” music video is here, and you’re gonna need to sit down for this one

Cardi B and Selena Gomez’s “Taki Taki” music video is here, and you’re gonna need to sit down for this one


Cardi B and Selena Gomez’s “Taki Taki” music video is here, and you’re gonna need to sit down for this one

We absolutely live for music collaborations. So when Cardi B took to Instagram in August to tease an upcoming collab with Selena Gomez, we almost lost our minds with excitement.

On August 24th, Cardi posted a behind-the-scenes pic from the set of a new music video. The pic showed four director’s chairs, and the names on the backs of the chairs included Cardi, DJ Snake, rapper Ozuna, and, yep, one for queen Selena Gomez. (Oh, and there was also a tiny chair for Kulture. LOL.)

Selena also took to Instagram to share pics from set.

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today was so fun

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She then shared a series of videos on her Instagram Story that showed everyone looking fierce in fiery red.

And now, we officially have the “Taki Taki” music video, and it’s (literal) FIRE.

The sets, the effects, the ensembles. This video is seriously even more red hot than we hoped, and we’re 100% down for this collab.

Thoughts?

The post Cardi B and Selena Gomez’s “Taki Taki” music video is here, and you’re gonna need to sit down for this one appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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Weird Japanese islands you need to visit

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Japan is a diverse country that has just about anything for just about anyone. For adventurers who seek tranquility on unreachable lands, far away from metropolitans and media, there are a number of islands that seem like a small piece of Eden to those who look for it. This article will focus on the best islands for animal lovers, history lovers, and art lovers, inspiring you to go look for more on your own.

For animal lovers – Aoshima and Tashirojima

More than 120 cats live on these islands, outnumbering humans, which is great because you get to keep as many as you want for about a day. There are no hotels, shops, or kiosks however, so your trip should be planned to make the most of your day with the cats only.

For animal lovers – Okunoshima

If you’ve done your research, you know that this island used to be a chemical warfare testing site. Rabbits were shipped there for experimentation, but when the experiments ended, they were left to dominate the land. They’re all yours to cuddle now.

For history lovers – Hashima

An abandoned island rich in history and the set of a fair number of films, Hashima was once home to coal mines. Roaming around the deserted, almost eerie buildings, you’ll get a great feel of the spooky side of Japan. Almost every travel blog recommends this island – you just can’t miss it. It was used as the set for a number of films and documentaries, and it’s really worth seeing for yourself why the world takes so much interest in this small island off the coast of Nagasaki. As fun as it is, there are a lot of safety precautions and rules. Only the physically able can get through, and certainly no one who screams at the sound of a crumbling piece of concrete should make the journey.

For history lovers – Tomogashima

Loaded with historic sites and buildings, this island is sure to give you that time-travel feel as you roam and wander aimlessly around the small, quiet island, gazing around you at the endless ancient structures. It’s only about an hour or two away from Wakayama, so be sure to spend at least a day there.

For art lovers – Naoshima

This is basically an open art gallery for those who create under the stars and clouds. You’ll find imaginative, unique, and daring works sitting there as naturally as if they were a part of the island all along. If you can recognize them, here’s a few artist that gave their contributions to Naoshima: Yayoi Kusama, Tadao Ando, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Yasumasa Morimura, Andy Warhol, and Richard Long.

For art lovers – Teshima

Teshima is another island, similar to Naoshima, that hosts the work of famous and undiscovered artists, and makes for an unforgettable journey with its luxurious tours and coffee shops. Only you can decide whether it’s worth your time, but with all its beauty modestly collected in a gallery and two museums, it might very well be worth the trip.

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The post Weird Japanese islands you need to visit appeared first on Worldation.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Next Royal Wedding

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On Friday, Princess Eugenie marries her boyfriend, Jack Brooksbank, in a lavish ceremony at Windsor Castle. In the same chapel, just five months ago, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot, giving the British monarchy its greatest boost in a generation. This wedding is likely to have the opposite effect on royal poll ratings.

In many ways, the two ceremonies will be surprisingly similar: Harry had 800 guests, Eugenie is having 850. Harry invited 1,000 members of the public, selected by ballot, Eugenie is having 1,200. Harry and Meghan had a carriage ride through the streets of Windsor, Eugenie and Jack are having one too. Harry and Meghan had glorious weather; Eugenie and Jack no doubt want the same.

But some things will be very different.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Brett Kavanaugh’s chances of reaching the Supreme Court appeared to get a significant boost Thursday as key Republican senators reacted positively to the results of a new FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against him.


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Without Safety Net Of Kids Or Spouse, ‘Elder Orphans’ Need Fearless Fallback Plan

It was a memorable place to have an “aha” moment about aging.

Peter Sperry had taken his 82-year-old father, who’d had a stroke and used a wheelchair, to Disney World. Just after they’d made their way through the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, nature called. Sperry took his father to the bathroom where, with difficulty, he changed the older man’s diaper.

“It came to me then: There isn’t going to be anyone to do this for me when I’m his age, and I needed to plan ahead,” said Sperry, now 61, recalling the experience several years ago.

Sperry never married, has no children and lives alone.

Like other “elder orphans” (older people without a spouse or children on whom they can depend) and “solo agers” (older adults without children, living alone), he’s expecting to move through later life without the safety net of a spouse, a son or a daughter who will step up to provide practical, physical and emotional support over time.

About 22 percent of older adults in the U.S. fall into this category or are at risk of doing so in the future, according to a 2016 study.

“This is an often overlooked, poorly understood group that needs more attention from the medical community,” said Dr. Maria Carney, the study’s lead author and chief of the division of geriatrics and palliative medicine at Northwell Health in N.Y. It’s also an especially vulnerable group, according to a recently released survey of 500 people who belong to the Elder Orphan Facebook Group, with 8,500 members.

Notably, 70 percent of survey respondents said they hadn’t identified a caregiver who would help if they became ill or disabled, while 35 percent said they didn’t have “friends or family to help them cope with life’s challenges.”

“What strikes me is how many of these elder orphans are woefully unprepared for aging,” said Carney, who reviewed the survey at my request.

Financial insecurity and health concerns are common among the survey respondents: a non-random sample consisting mostly of women in their 60s and 70s, most of them divorced or widowed and college-educated.

One-quarter of the group said they feared losing their housing; 23 percent reported not having enough money to meet basic needs at least once over the past year; 31 percent said they weren’t secure about their financial future.

In the survey, 40 percent of people admitted to depression; 37 percent, to anxiety. More than half (52 percent) confessed to being lonely.

Carol Marak, 67, who runs the Facebook group, understands members’ insecurities better than ever since suffering an accident several weeks ago. She cut her finger badly on a meat grinder while making chicken salad for dinner guests. Divorced and childless, Marak lives alone in an apartment tower in Dallas. She walked down the hall and asked neighbors — a married couple — to take her to the emergency room.

“I freaked out — and this wasn’t even that big of a deal,” Marak said. “Imagine people like me who break a hip and have a long period of disability and recovery,” she said. “What are they supposed to do?”

Sperry has thought a lot about who could be his caregiver down that road in a circumstance like that. No one fits the bill.

“It’s not like I don’t have family or friends: It’s just that the people who you can count on have to be specific types of family and friends,” he said. “Your sister or brother, they may be willing to help but not able to if they’re old themselves. Your nieces and nephews, they may be able, but they probably are not going to be willing.”

The solution Sperry thinks might work: moving to a continuing care retirement community with different levels of care when he begins to become less independent.  That’s an expensive proposition — entry fees range from about $ 100,000 to $ 400,000 and monthly fees from about $ 2,000 to $ 4,000.

Sperry, a longtime government employee, can afford it, but many people aging alone can’t.

Sperry also has a short-term plan: He wants to retire next year and relocate from Woodbridge, Va., to Greenville, S.C. — a popular retirement haven — in a home with design features to help him age in place. Those plans could be upended, however, if his widowed mother in Pennsylvania requires extra care.

In the meantime, Sperry is resolved to be pragmatic. “Do I look at my situation and say ‘Gee, there’s not going to be anyone there for me’ and start feeling sorry for myself? Or do I say ‘Gee, I’d better figure out how I’m going to take care of myself?’ I’m not going with pity — I don’t think that would be very pleasant,” he said.

Planning for challenges that can arise with advancing age is essential for people who go it alone, advised Sara Zeff Geber, a retirement coach and author of “Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers: A Retirement and Aging Roadmap for Single and Childless Adults.” A good way to start is to think about things that adult children do for older parents and consider how you’re going to do all of that yourself or with outside assistance, she said. In her book, Geber lists the responsibilities that adult children frequently take on: They serve as caregivers, help older parents figure out where to live, provide emotional and practical support, assist with financial issues such as managing money, and agree to serve as health care or legal decision-makers when a parent becomes incapacitated. Also, older parents often rely on adult children for regular social contact and a sense of connectedness.

In New York, Wendl Kornfeld, 69, began running year-long workshops for small groups of solo agers four years ago. Though married, she and her 80-year-old husband consider themselves future solo agers living together. “We figured out a long time ago one of us was going to survive the other,” she said.

At those gatherings, Kornfeld asked people to jettison denial about aging and imagine the absolute worst things that might happen to them, physically and socially. Then, people talked about how they might prepare for those eventualities.

“The whole purpose of these get-togethers was to be fearless, face issues head-on and not keep our heads in the sand,” Kornfeld said. “Then, we can plan for what might happen, stop worrying and start enjoying the best years of our lives.”

Kornfeld took her program to New York City’s Temple Emanu-El three years ago and is working with several synagogues and churches interested in launching similar initiatives. Meanwhile, elder orphans have begun meeting in-person in other cities, including Chicago; Dallas; Portland, Ore.; San Diego; and Seattle, after getting to know each other virtually on the Elder Orphan Facebook Group.

Kornfeld applauds that development. “So many solo agers identify as being introverted or shy or impatient with other people. They have a million reasons why they don’t go out,” she said. “I tell people, this may be hard for you, but you’ve got to leave the house because that’s where the world is.”


KHN’s coverage related to aging and improving care of older adults is supported in part by The John A. Hartford Foundation.

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You Don’t Need a Green Thumb to Easily Grow These 5 Herbs at Home

If you’re anything like me, you love the smell and taste of fresh herbs but seem to kill every plant with the misfortune of living at your house. That’s why I tend to rely on dried herbs and freshly picked herbs when cooking for my family.

But dried herbs just aren’t the same as fresh, and I usually can’t get through an entire pack of freshly cut herbs so end up throwing them away. Since I hate waste and love food, I decided to look at the best way to grow herbs, and which herbs are the easiest to grow.

Plant Care 101

Before you start planting, you need to consider where you’re growing your herbs. The best way to keep them contained is to grow each herb in an individual pot. Growing them this way also allows you to put them outside for some sunlight on a nice day and bring them inside overnight or when it’s cold.

I spoke with Amy Enfield, consumer horticulturist with Scotts Miracle-Gro, to get some tips on growing herbs indoors.

Use the Right Pot

Some pots have solid bottoms, but for growing herbs you need to look for pots with drainage holes in the bottom to allow excess water to escape, Enfield says.

Location, Location, Location

Kaitlyn Blount poses with her herb seedlings at her home in Tampa, Fla.
Kaitlyn Blount is growing herb seedlings at her home in Tampa, Fla. She is trying to grow thyme, parsley, chives and dill. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

If you put your herbs in the darkest corner of the kitchen and leave them to their own devices, they won’t do very well. “Indoor herb plants will require light, water, food and frequent trimming,” she says.

Instead, choose a window that faces south or southwest and gets at least six hours of sunlight. Create a reminder on your phone to check on them often to see if they need anything.

Don’t Overwater

Too little water can be fatal for a plant, but so can too much water .

“When the soil on the top looks dry, simply stick your finger an inch into the soil. If the soil is moist you can wait; if the soil is dry, it is time to water,” recommends Enfield.

Check the soil more often when the weather is hot and dry. This is one area where I fail at growing plants, so I recommend putting the herbs in a location where you’ll easily see them and be reminded to check them. Alternatively, you can write a note or create a reminder on your phone or computer.

Trim and Feed

“Frequent, light trimming of herbs every two to three weeks, regardless of whether you are using them for cooking, will keep your plants compact and growing new leaves,” says Enfield. She recommends never removing more than one-third of the plant at once, and waiting until your herbs measure six inches tall before harvesting them.

“Frequent trimming also keeps your herbs from flowering,” Enfield says. This means more leaves to use in recipes.

Herbs to Grow at Home

Certain types of herbs are easier to grow than others. Here are five simple herbs you can grow at home.

Basil

A woman harvests basil from a plant.
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Stan Miklis, farmer and degreed horticulturist with 40 years experience growing herbs, works at Caliper Farm to Table. One of his top recommendations for anyone to grow at home is basil.

“[Basil] is absolutely the best for the Italian kitchen and outdoor aroma,” he explains. “[It’s] easy to grow because any loose seedlings will reproduce new plants.”

Basil is typically used in pasta sauces and pizza, but can also be cut up in a salad for an extra pop of flavor, or infused in water with cucumber or strawberry for a refreshing summer drink.

Miklis also recommends Thai basil, which is a fragrant and tasty addition to your garden or kitchen.

“[Thai basil] makes a soothing tea called tulsi,” he says. All you need to grow this herb is soil and water. Additionally, Miklis explains that “a piece of stem placed in a jar of water will sprout new roots,” making it easy to grow new plants to share with friends and family.

Cuban Oregano

Tatyana Rodriguez, botanist and writer for Florence’s Flowers, recommends Cuban oregano as one of the easiest-to-grow herbs.

“Cuban oregano is a very hardy plant [that] likes warmer climates,” she explains. “It doesn’t require that much water [and] prefers full sun, but can also grow in the shade.”

This is one plant that is impossible to overwater. “They tend to grow faster if you keep the soil drenched [and] eventually will look like a bush,” says Rodriguez. You can also easily take a clipping of your Cuban oregano and use it to start a new plant.

Rodriguez mentions numerous health benefits of Cuban oregano, such as treating skin conditions, detoxifying the body, defending against the common cold, easing arthritis pain, stress relief and optimizing digestion.

Citronella

Another easy-to-grow herb recommended by Miklis is citronella. If you live anywhere that mosquitoes thrive, you’ve probably heard of this plant. It’s a main ingredient in mosquito-repellent candles and other remedies.

“[Citronella] grows outside when temperatures are favorable for mosquitoes,” explains Miklis. “[It’s] essential for outdoor living [and] easy to grow in low light.”

Mint

A woman harvests mint from a plant.
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Any gum-chewer knows that there are multiple types of mint, the most popular ones being spearmint and peppermint. Mint is also used in various recipes and is delicious infused in water with lemon (or in a mojito after a long day).

When it comes to growing mint at home, even the most challenged gardener shouldn’t have problems getting it to thrive.

“All [mint varieties] grow so vigorously that they may become problematic,” explains Miklis. “I suggest growing [each one] separately in an elevated container.”

Lemongrass

Sign with text Lemongrass in front of planted lemongrass plants
Tuomas_Lehtinen/Getty Images

One of my favorite flavors is lemongrass, especially in Thai dishes. According to Miklis, lemongrass is also a wonderful herb to grow at home.

“[Lemongrass] is a lovely, swaying, tall grass that also releases the essential oil that repels mosquitoes,” he says. “[It’s] easy to grow in a wide variety [of] soils with a lot of water and bright light.”

Growing your own herbs is much cheaper than buying them from the store and you’ll notice a difference in the flavor of fresh herbs over dried or cut ones. Start with these five suggestions and branch out to other herbs as your green thumb develops.

Catherine Hiles loves cooking and eating, so having fresh herbs at home is ideal. Of the herbs mentioned, her favorite is mint, which she loves mixed with lemon and infused in cold water.

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