What Is an Annuity and How Does It Work? – Annuities Explained

nest egg cashIf you have a 401k or Roth IRA, you probably feel like you’re doing everything you can to be financially prepared for retirement, right? Maybe you are, but you might also benefit from incorporating an annuity into your savings plan.

So how do you know if you need an annuity?

Let’s look at the basic characteristics of these unique savings vehicles, how they work, and most importantly, if you would benefit from having one.

What Is an Annuity?

An annuity, by definition, is simply an agreement to make a series of payments of a certain amount of money to a specified party for a predetermined period of time. Annuities also refer to a commercial insurance contract offered by a life insurance company.

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7 Reasons Why Now Is a Great Time to Invest in Real Estate – Buyer’s Market

handshake real estate investingI know, I know – you’ve been hearing for years that it’s a great time to buy real estate. When the bubble burst a few years ago, and people were losing money on their houses, it made investing in real estate, understandably, a scary proposition.

But thanks to the same recession that caused the real estate mess, there are loads of opportunities for those with the financial resources and means to buy real estate. Here are seven reasons why it’s currently a buyer’s market in 2011.

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7 Common Items That Should Never Be Flushed – Prevent Clogged Toilet

toilet plunger cloggedThere’s a pretty popular TV commercial that’s been on lately for a well-known toilet maker. In the commercial, a guy sees a very pretty female plumber going into his neighbor’s house to fix a problem. Obsessed with the fact that he want this girl over to fix his pipes, he starts flushing everything he can down his toilet to clog it up.

Diapers, toys, and even entire plants are flushed down the toilet. Miraculously, the thing never clogs. If you’re interested, the video is embedded at the end of this article.

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Apple iPad 2 Review – Is It Time to Buy the Tablet?

apple ipad 2If you’re like me and you use an iMac, tote a Macbook Pro or Macbook Air, and carry an iPhone, then you probably pay close attention to all of the new product launch announcements from Apple, whether you need a new gadget or not.

You also know that there was something revolutionary about the iPhone, and that the iPad has that same quality. They both brought a lot of new users into the Apple world. I like to call them the “gateway drugs” to becoming an all-Apple user. But when the first iPad came out, I warned that you should wait for the next version. Apple recently announced that the second generation of the iPad is on its way, and it’ll be packed with a lot of features that the first one should have had.

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7 Benefits of Live Online Customer Service Chat – Save Time, Money & Aggravation

customer service chatDealing with customer service is the bane of my existence. If I could pay someone to do it for me I probably would.

There are only so many ways to contact a company, and each one has severe drawbacks. When you try a telephone call, you risk spending valuable time navigating phone trees and waiting on hold, only to try explaining the problem to someone who may not understand your issue, may not know the finer points of English, or just may not be able to help. When you try email, you may have to wait days to receive a form letter that doesn’t even address your problem. Using the fax machine or sending a letter only increases the odds of an unsatisfactory or untimely response.

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6 Ways to Get Help with Vet Bills – Lower the Costs of Veterinary Care for Your Dog or Cat

dog veterinarianMy dog just needed to have gum surgery. Seriously. The poor thing had to eat wet food for a week, and my poor husband almost had a heart attack when we got the bill: $1,250. To say the least, veterinary services aren’t cheap. There are many benefits to having a dog, but you obviously need to assess how much a dog really costs.

Smart Money reported that veterinarian bills for a dog rose from an average of $172 to $219 between 2002 and 2006. Vet bills for cats rose from $133 to $172. And they keep getting higher. To make matters worse, those averages only account for routine checkups and vaccinations. If your pet has an emergency, like mine did, you can expect to pay well over $500.

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Dividend Stock Investing Strategy – How to Choose the Best Dividend Stocks

stock market coins dividendsMany investors find themselves experiencing extreme emotional shifts in concert with the unpredictable rises and falls that come with stock market investing. Anxiety may hit like a ton of bricks when prices fall, while excitement sets hearts racing with exhilaration when they rise.

Those who choose to invest in long-term dividends, however, will not feel this same angst as stock prices shift. These investors know that the financial success of their investment is not based on the vagaries of the market itself, but rather on the long-term success of the company. They believe that the stock price and dividend will eventually rise over the long haul, resulting in huge gains over a long period of time.

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