Transporting Your Plants

Written by trishfms on . Posted in Be Prepared, central florida moving, Cross Country Moving Company, healthy living, moving advise, moving out of state, moving tips, north american van lines, packing, packing advise, Transportation

The U.S. Department of Transportation allows plants to be transported if the trip is less than 150 miles and transport time is under 24 hours.  However, some states quarantine plants at all times.  Overall, moving companies can’t ensure proper care for transporting plants and unfortunately, cannot be held responsible for their final condition.  Check with us at Florida Moving Systems, Inc (A North American Van Lines Agent) to see if plants are allowed for your move. transporting-house-plants-fl-move If you still wish to attempt transport on your own, keep the following in mind:
  • Allow your plants to store extra energy by giving them extra sunlight several weeks prior to moving day
  • Prune back overgrown leaves and branches one month prior to moving
  • Reduce feeding to minimize growth
  • Water thoroughly the day before moving
  • Stabilize the plant in a sturdy carton to prevent tipping

What To Do When You Win The Millions… Or Billions

Written by trishfms on . Posted in Awareness, Be Prepared, Estate Planning, healthy living, home owner, logistics, Lottery, moving advise, professional moving company, Retirement

With all the Lottery Hype we searched the web and found 10 things to do if you win big!!  Thanks to Forbes Magazine for this priceless information!! winning-the-lottery-fl-move
  1. Remain anonymous if your state rules permit it. Once people know you’re suddenly wealthy, you’ll be badgered by requests for handouts from everyone from charities to long-lost friends and relatives–not to mention all the financial “experts” who will be vying for your business. So check state rules to see whether you can dodge them all by remaining anonymous.
Although Mega Millions is a national lottery, rules on winner publicity vary by state. In New York, for example, winners’ names are a public record. Elsewhere it may be possible to maintain your anonymity by setting up a trust or limited liability company to receive the winnings

Depending on where you bought the ticket, prize winners have between 180 days and one year from the date of the drawing to claim their prize. So find out what the state rules are and plot a course.

FLORIDA LOTTERY LAW:  http://www.flalottery.com/faq

  1. See a tax pro before you cash the ticket. You have the choice between taking the prize money all at once or having it paid out over in 30 installments over 29 yearsin the form of an annuity. With a lump sum payment, you must immediately pay tax on the entire amount. With an annuity, you are taxed only as you receive the payments. People who have trouble controlling their spending might prefer the discipline of receiving the money as an annuity. But this payout form has other drawbacks, You will want to compare the effective yield of the annuity with what you could earn by taking the money as a lump sum, paying the taxes and investing the proceeds.
Another issue to consider is whether taking an annuity will leave your family without the cash they need to pay estate tax if you die before the 30-year period is up, Kirsh says. In such situations people typically buy life insurance policies to cover the estate tax bill.

You have 60 days from the time you claim your lottery prize to weigh the pros and cons. During this time, ask advisors to crunch the numbers and help you decide which type of payment suits you best.

  1. Avoid sudden lifestyle changes. For the first six months after you win the lottery, don’t do anything drastic, like quitting your job, buying a home in Europe, trading up for a luxury car or building a collection of Birkin handbags. Meanwhile, set aside a fixed amount for splurgesit’s only natural to want to celebrate your windfall.
Save the big purchases for later. For example, you could rent a house in the neighborhood where you were thinking of moving, before you make any commitments. If you need a new car, buy a budget model for now.

  1. Pay off all your debts.  Whether it is credit card debt or a mortgage, your rate of return equals the interest rate on the loan. With today’s abysmal yields on relatively secure investments like CDs and Treasury’s, that’s especially true. When you’ve paid down a dollar of debt, that’s a dollar you no longer owe. When you invest a dollar, you can’t be sure whether it will grow or shrink.
  2. Assemble a team of legal and financial advisers. In situations like this it’s very hard to know “who’s trying to help you and who’s trying to use you,” Rather than signing on to a group of advisors that someone else has put together, handpicking your own lawyer, accountant and investment advisor, and requiring them to work together.
Carefully vet each advisor before discussing your situation. Check broker records at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. For attorneys and insurance agents, see whether there have been any complaints filed with state disciplinary authorities.

If you live in a small community and don’t want lawyers there to know your business, seek out a professional in the nearest large city. Names can be found on martindale.com, the nationwide lawyers’ directory that you can search by location and area of practice, and on the Web site of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, a group of trust and estate lawyers.

In effect, the team you put together will function as your board of directors.  You can start by having a fee-only advisor put together a long-term financial plan and running it by the group for comment. Once you’ve decided on a plan, they can provide checks and balances on each other. You can ask one of them to serve as quarterback, coordinating the group effort. That person can also play the “bad guy,” declining requests from people or organizations for gifts that you don’t want to make.

  1. Invest prudently. Put the money in safe, short-term investments and not even touching it for the first six months. Then ask your advisors is to put together an investment portfolio divided half-and-half between equities (such as stocks) and fixed income (like bonds). Don’t fall for investments that you don’t understand or that sound too good to be true.
  2. Live within a budget. Especially if you’re not accustomed to having a lot of money, it may take some discipline to preserve your winnings and not go on a wild spending spree. One way to restrain yourself is to only spend income–not principal.
  3. Take steps to protect assets. People who are worth a lot of money need to guard against losing assets to creditors. They include everyone from disgruntled spouses and ex-spouses to people who win lawsuits against you. If people think you have deep pockets they may look for reasons to sue.
The best defense is to erect a variety of roadblocks that make it difficult, if not impossible, for creditors to reach your money and property. These asset protection strategies, as they are called, can range from relying on state-law exemptions to creating multiple barriers through the use of trusts and family limited partnerships or limited liability companies. It may be possible to rely on a variety of strategies, either separately or in combination with each other.

  1. Plan charitable gifts. You can offset the additional income from your lottery winnings with a charitable deduction. But you must make your donation by Dec. 31.
For gifts to a public charity, donors are entitled to an income tax deduction for up to 50% of adjusted gross income (AGI) for cash contributions and up to 30% for donations of other appreciated assets held more than 12 months.

If you are unable to decide between now and year-end which charities to support, it may be worth considering a donor-advised fund. With a donor-advised fund, you can make a charitable donation this year and claim a federal tax deduction for your irrevocable contribution but postpone recommendations about which charities should receive grants from the account until some time in the future.

NOTE:  If you don’t want to be badgered by requests, see, “How To Stay Anonymous When You Give To Charity.”

  1. Review your estate plan. If your winnings have made you suddenly wealthy, this may be the first time that you need to plan for estate tax. The 2012 tax law offers more flexibility than ever before. Each person has a $5.43million limit on tax-free transfers, which can be applied during life, when you die or some combination of the two. So if you want to share some of your largess with family and friends, this is the ideal time to do that.
Source:  Forbes  

When Family Visits During The Holiday

Written by trishfms on . Posted in Be Prepared, central florida moving, healthy living, Holiday, home owner, Kids, moving advise, Parent, real estate, Uncategorized

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At Florida Moving Systems, Inc., we understand when family comes to visit you want them to be comfortable.

Here are a few quick tips to make their visit is fun and stress free!

Put out Slippers or Ask Your Guests To Remove Their Shoes Upon Entry:

You may want to keep your floors clean and ask your guests to take off their shoes OR put out slippers, which you can buy for cheap at Walmart or Target. This will not only demonstrate your welcoming consideration, but it’ll add an air of coziness to your home.

Convert Your Rooms:

You’ll need extra sleeping accommodations, so you might want to start converting any spare rooms into guests’ quarters. Look for some old couches or purchase a blow-up mattress or two. You may also want to go shopping for a futon so your guests can sit up and talk and have a place to sleep. For added convenience, put a mini fridge in your guest room that’s stocked with beverages.

Plan Fun Activities:

Keep your family members on their toes with activities. Look online for places to hang out, like a nearby bowling alley or shopping areas. If the weather permits, set up a volleyball net in the backyard or take the fun indoors with group games like Taboo and Pictionary. At night, play holiday movies, such as A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Christmas Story.

Source:  NAVL

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Written by trishfms on . Posted in Awareness, Be Prepared, healthy eating, healthy living, Insurance

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  BREAST CANCER AWARENESS:

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. We have made a lot of progress but still have a long way to go.  
 

Every person should know the symptoms and signs of breast cancer, and any time an abnormality is discovered, it should be investigated by a healthcare professional.

Most people who have breast cancer symptoms and signs will initially notice only one or two, and the presence of these symptoms and signs do not automatically mean that you have breast cancer.
 

By performing monthly breast self-exams, you will be able to more easily identify any changes in your breast.  Be sure to talk to your healthcare professional if you notice anything unusual.  (If you are not sure how to conduct a breast self-exam: GO HERE)
 

The best way to fight this is early detection!!

DID YOU KNOW:  MEN GET BREAST CANCER TOO!!! 

BCAM-newsletter-2This year, an estimated 2,360 men in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. An estimated 430 men will die of breast cancer this year.

The five-year survival rate is the percentage of people who survive at least five years after the cancer is detected, excluding those who die from other diseases.
Breast cancer in men and women has similar survival rates. For the earliest stages of breast cancer, stages 0 and I, the five-year survival rate is 99%. Men with breast cancer that has spread to the local lymph nodes have an 84% five-year survival rate, and men with cancer that has spread to other parts of the body have a 24% five-year survival rate. Even if the cancer is found at a later stage, new treatments help many people with breast cancer maintain their quality of life for some period of time.

Age. The average age for men to be diagnosed with breast cancer is 65.
 

Regular self-examinations, clinical breast examinations performed by a doctor or other health care professional, and mammography are important ways to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat. Men should be familiar with the feel of their breast tissue, so they can talk with their doctor if they notice any lump or change. During an annual physical examination, your doctor will perform a clinical examination of the breast. Mammograms are not routinely offered to men and may be difficult to perform because of the small amount of breast tissue. A doctor may recommend regular mammography for men with a strong family history of breast cancer or for those with a genetic mutation that increases the risk of developing the disease.
 

Men with breast cancer may experience the following symptoms. Sometimes, men with breast cancer do not show any of these symptoms or signs. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not cancer.

  • A lump or swelling in the breast tissue. Because men generally have small amounts of breast tissue, it is easier to feel small lumps.
  • Any new irregularity on the skin or nipple, such as redness, scaliness, puckering, or a discharge from the nipple
 

Hurricane Preparedness

Written by trishfms on . Posted in Be Prepared, central florida moving, Cross Country Moving Company, healthy living, home owner, Hurricane Prep, Insurance, north american van lines

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     WHAT is a Hurricane:  Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over the water and move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. These large storms are called typhoons in the North Pacific Ocean and cyclones in other parts of the world. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale classifies hurricanes into five categories based on their wind speed, central pressure, and wind damage potential. With wind speeds of 111 miles per hour or more, Category 3, 4, and 5 hurricanes are major according to this scale. Category 1 and 2 hurricanes can also cause damage and injuries.

    WHEN does it happen:  The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the peak occurring between mid-August and late October. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15 and ends November 30.

    WHERE does it happen: Each year, many parts of the United States experience heavy rains, strong winds, floods, and coastal storm surges from tropical storms and hurricanes. Affected areas include all Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, parts of the Southwest, the Pacific Coast, and the U.S. territories in the Pacific.

PROTECT YOURSELF

EVACUATE Because hurricanes can be detected and tracked in advance of making landfall, residents in the storm’s path often get several days of advance notice. When a hurricane threatens your area, the best action to protect yourself and your family from the high winds and flooding caused by hurricanes is to evacuate when ordered to do so, before those conditions hit your area. Know and follow the directions from local officials for community evacuation or seek higher ground for localized flooding.   If you expect to go to a shelter after evacuating, download the American Red Cross Shelter Finder App at www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/shelter-finder-app.

REINFORCE FOR WIND, ELEVATE FOR WATER Your goal now, before a hurricane occurs, is to reduce the risk of damage to structures from winds and flooding. This includes strengthening the building’s outer shell—including the doors, windows, walls, and roof—and removing or securing all objects and non-building structures, as well as clearing the outside areas around the building. Measures to protect against potential flooding include waterproofing basements and elevating critical utilities (e.g., electrical panels and heating systems). In flood-prone areas, consider elevating the entire structure.

INSURANCE Purchasing flood insurance provides financial protection for the cost of repairs due to flood damage. Standard insurance policies do not cover flooding, including storm surge flooding, but flood insurance is available for homeowners, renters, and business owners through the National Flood Insurance Program. You may also be able to purchase insurance for wind.

STAY PREPARED

Store your supplies so you can grab them quickly if you need to evacuate; know in advance what else you will need to take. Take time now to make a list of the things you would need or want to take with you if you had to leave your home quickly. Store the basic emergency supplies in a “Go Bag” or other container. Be ready to grab other essential items quickly before leaving. Remember to include specialized items for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, such as older adults, children, and those with Limited English Proficiency.

disaster_supply_kit

Here are some suggestions to consider: –

  • Prescription Medications
  • Flashlight and radio, either hand-cranked or battery-powered, with extra batteries
  • At least 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days. A normally active person needs about three-quarters of fluid daily, from water and other beverages. Water is also needed for food preparation and sanitation
  • At least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food for members of your household, including pet food and considerations for special dietary needs. Include a nonelectric can opener for canned food
  • First aid kit, medications, and medical supplies; and Battery backup power for power-dependent mobility devices, oxygen, and other assistive technology needs.
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person, if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Personal documents:  Birth Certificate, Passport… etc.
TO VIEW AND PRINT FULL PREPARATION GUIDE, CLICK HERE

SOURCE: http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1409003345844-0e142725ea3984938c8c6748dd1598cb/How_To_Prepare_Guide_Hurricane.pdf

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