Florida Is a Vacation Must

When looking for your ideal vacation, the most important thing to consider is location. Florida is a great location spot for family, friends and couples. Referred to as the ‘Sunshine State’, Florida has a lot to offer people of all ages and provides days of a variety of exciting and fun filled adventures to experience.

People choose Florida as their vacation destination for a variety of reasons. Disney World, Sea World and Universal Studios are some of the major attractions that bring many vacationers seeking out their getaway to the southeast coast. There also is an abundance of famous historic places to visit and investigate. Florida is also known for great beaches and famous golf resorts. Whatever it is you are looking to discover on your vacation, Florida is a great place choose as your destination vacation.

The most visited vacation spot favored by people on the continental east coast is the Florida Keys. The Keys is a tropical string of islands spanning more than 120 miles. Located just five miles off of the southern tip of Florida and is the only continental location of an exotic living coral barrier reef. With so many amenities to offer vacationers, the Florida Keys is one of the more revitalizing locations in Eastern United States. With its sunny beaches, clear blue water, famous restaurants, and exciting nightlife, when you visit you will see what exactly has attracted many vacationers for years.

There are several ways to ensure you have the best and most affordable vacation is to plan ahead. One great way to save money on your Florida vacation is to plan on an off season. During an off season you can get the best prices on pretty much everything, including accommodations. Just because you choose to have a vacation on the off season, does not mean you will have to settle for less inviting weather. Florida has great sun and weather most of the year.

The cost for accommodations will also depend on location. If you book your accommodations outside of the prime area, you can reduce your cost dramatically. If you rent a house you can save money by sharing accommodations with friends or family. You also get the benefit of having a full kitchen which will save you money when you dine in.

When you do decide to dine out you can save money by utilizing coupons or discount vouchers that are made available for vacationers. Many attractions will also offer discounts that are made available in most Visitor Centers.

Plan your ideal destination vacation in Florida and have the experience of a lifetime.

Florida Annuities – 4 Reasons to Move to Florida

The state of Florida offers annuity savers and investors many advantages besides great fishing and sunshine. As more and more baby boomers retire from states that have high income and property tax rates, Florida will become even a better potential state in which to move to.

Reason #1 (No Income Taxes)

No income taxes are especially attractive to retirees. This allows people who will be on a fixed income to keep more of what they earn from their pensions and other investments. If you are taking money from your annuity on a monthly basis, you will only be responsible for paying federal taxes according to your tax bracket. People who live in high income tax states are and will be moving to Florida to keep more of their money.

Reason #2 (Creditor Protection)

One of the best advantages to living in Florida is the protection it provides to annuities and life insurance cash value. This state has laws in place that protect your annuity money from creditors and lawsuits. This is very attractive to people who have money in annuities because they can sleep better at night knowing their money has an additional level of security. One of the most famous residents of Florida was O.J. Simpson. His pension, annuity money, and home are protected from his lawsuits from the early 1990’s.

Reason #3 (Home Stead Laws)

As mentioned above, Florida offers an additional benefit to its homeowners. This extra layer of protection is their Home Stead Laws. These laws give homeowners protection from creditors and certain lawsuits.

Reason #4 (Good Products)

This state gives its residents many advantages. One of the best advantages is the amount and quality of approved annuity products. As of January 1, 2011, a new rule called the 10 10 rule was enacted. What this means to you is that annuities cannot have over a 10% surrender charge and cannot be more than 10 years in length. In the past some annuities offered huge bonuses to the consumer but the downside to the free money was the fact that the early surrender charges were 15-22%. Most annuities are liquid and offer at least 10% yearly free withdrawals on deferred annuities.

The approved products that are offered provide annuity savers the opportunity for potential, protection, and income. If you live in Florida or considering moving to Florida, you should consult with a qualified annuity advisor.

How to Add Cash to Your Savings Account by Choosing Florida Vacations

Although everyone uniformly agrees that Florida is a tourist paradise, many families are hesitant to go to Florida for holidaying as they feel Florida vacations will be expensive and unaffordable.

Vacations are indeed the time to get away from your stressful daily routine and spend quality time with your loved ones and certainly not the time to unduly bother about expenses. Having said that, it must also be mentioned that Florida vacations need not be expensive and if properly planned, you can spend well within your budget and even save money.

Florida, familiarly known as the sunshine state, is one of the much sought-after travel destinations with beaches, theme parks and many other enchanting tourist spots including the renowned Disney World Orlando.

There is no denying that the major expense for any vacation pertains to accommodation. You can save a lot of money and add cash to your savings by choosing the right accommodation in Florida. You will have to necessarily do some forward planning for choosing the right and economically-priced accommodation in Florida.

If you are going on vacation with your family and your family size is large or if your family is going to be accompanied by a few close friends, then opting for Florida villa will work out terribly cheaper than occupying multiple rooms in a hotel and that could result in a lot of savings. If you patiently search the Internet, you will come across several economically-priced Villas in places like Kissimmee, Orlando area, Davenport etc.

These Florida luxury villas cost less per person and also have a variety of facilities for recreation like swimming pools, spas and most importantly have a kitchenette, which gives one the opportunity to reduce the cost of dining out every day.

Planning the vacation well can make you save a lot. Choosing Florida vacation as a package which includes food, accommodation, airfare and touring will help as booking them all individually will cost more. Consider visiting places which are free like the state’s aquariums, museums and parks, even though they are free they are maintained well by the state and there are a number of entertaining activities to keep everyone occupied like bike riding, canoeing, fishing etc.

Awareness is one more thing to focus on, with the internet available to all you can easily find a number of discount offers by activating Google alerts for ‘Florida vacation deals’ or similar search terms. Google will mail you the updates and you can know the latest deals.

Searching for discount coupons on parks that are famed like Disneyworld and other tourist attractions like Busch gardens in Florida will help you to add more to the savings. Talking to the Florida locals over there and getting to know of the best ways to save and enjoy the vacation is something which all must consider, most people hesitate to have a talk with the locals of Florida because of their reserved profiles.

Opening a vacation account savings well in advance of the Florida holiday will help as you have a particular amount saved for the vacation and you also get an interest for it which can be added to your savings account.

Changes in the Orlando Florida Property Market

The professionals in the Orlando Florida property scene, the Orlando Regional Realtors Association, tell the story of market conditions in their February 11th 2009 report, extracts of which are:

“The median price of Orlando homes sold in January ($148,274) decreased by 33.06 percent compared to January 2008.” “Buyers are responding to lower prices and mortgage rates but uncertainty about the economy is creating hesitancy and pent-up demand.” “Homes of all types spent an average of 104 days on the market before being sold in January 2009” “There are currently 22,613 homes available for purchase through the MLS.” “The inventory level reflects a 23.63-month supply at the current pace of sales.”

What a difference a few years makes. In December 2005 we wrote a newsletter to our clients containing the following views of the Orlando real estate market:

“After Disney-area property prices built to a frenzy by the late 1990s, the only significant slowdown happened around the year 2000 with the US economic downturn followed by the Sept 11th 2001 terrorist attacks in New York. This resulted in approximately 12 to 18 months of virtually no growth in home price.

The past 2 years have certainly reversed that flat growth – and then some! Individual accounts of buyers purchasing a new home to be built, then selling it for a $50,000-$100,000 profit or more at closing, are commonplace.

However, this recent period is one that we would be surprised to see ever repeated. Orlando Florida property builders ran out of building lots, home prices spiked by $50,000-$100,000 and the inventory of available re-sale homes almost went to zero. This caused a seller’s market and multiple bidding, which resulted in homes selling for above the asking price.

It has now finally slowed down to a more manageable level. Although no one has a crystal ball and can say what home appreciation will be next year, it appears that it may maintain a lower, more reasonable but still positive pace. We believe that this is a very welcome event: if the appreciation rate of last year continued, home prices would soon reach the million dollar level and the discrepancy between personal incomes and home prices would become unsustainable.

Somewhere between the talk of a real estate bubble and corrections in real estate prices are the middle ground opinions, which suggest that Florida real estate will continue to fare well. Florida is one of the top states in job growth and approximately 1000 people per day are relocating here. The most recent statistics show apartment rental occupancy at 96%, which represents virtually full occupancy and is indicative of housing demand here.

So our overall view of the Florida real estate market? Opportunities to make money still exist and we remain bullish on real estate investment with one caveat. Last year, a purchaser almost anywhere in Florida, and of any type of property, could hardly go wrong. With the market returning to normal, buyers need to use more discretion in their selection process – for example, does the property represent good value for money, is it the right property in the right place, and so on. In addition, we believe that real estate purchases should again be viewed as minimum 2 year if not 3-10 year investments. Although last year saw individuals flipping properties in 6 months, this is usually not the formula that works most successfully in normal markets.”

At that time, there was effectively no inventory available because buyers snapped up almost whatever they could the moment it was listed. Builders became addicted to monthly price increase running into the thousands of dollars. And buyers and investors suspended any doubts about how long the party could last in a frantic effort to join in the riches that seemed to be unending. Clearly it could not last, as our newsletter predicted, but even we didn’t see the fall being so fierce or long lasting.

Will it ever recover? Well, just like the good times appeared to be never-ending, so do the bad ones now. But things will change. It may take the rest of this year or even longer, but almost inevitably we are convinced that we will eventually return to the sort ot situation described in the newsletter – when Orlando Florida property will represent good value for money if viewed as a medium to long term investment. That will benefit both buyers and sellers!

Florida Real Estate Investment

Economy is declining. Analysts are even speaking of a recession. In this period of the economy, most people are afraid and reducing their expenses, which is quite smart. But, when talking about expenses, you must distinguish between what is really throwing the money through the window and what is really an investment. If you have some money in the bank, you should consider having better investments tools than bonds and funds. The later tools offer nearly nothing nowadays.

In this period of time, one of the best investments is real estate. Price are now decreasing and when recession ends, some people will start to look back to invest in properties that are good for holidays or for when they retire. In the field of real estate, Florida is one of the hottest states in which to buy a property. The state of Florida offers beautiful tropical weather, incredible scenery, with lakes, beaches and sea and lots of fun attractions.

Depending of the market you’re targeting, you will choose in which area of Florida to invest. If you’re targeting young people, or families with young children, who are more seeking for fun and attractions, you can consider buying real estate in Orlando. The city of Orlando offers three extremely popular theme parks — Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World. Therefore, this is an ideal location in which to own a luxury condo. As a condo owner, you’ll be able use the property when you want to and rent it out to vacationers the rest of the time. In this area, you’ll also can be assured that the property you purchase will increase in value over the years.

Miami is another good place if you’re looking for property to rent to young people. Many vacationers, including the rich and famous, visit Miami’s beautiful South Beach every year. Therefore, very luxurious properties can easily find a buyer or renter.

For investment in property ideal for retired people, who want to live in Florida and don’t want to be surrounded by a lot of noise and chaos, there are smaller towns which are close enough to the big cities but far away enough to be peaceful places to live. Counties like Polk and Suwannee are great places, quiet and warm. Lakeland and Pembroke Pines are also nice medium-sized towns. Live Oak is a very small town that offers a real down-home environment reminiscent of days gone by.

As a conclusion, don’t waste your money in foolish expenses in this particularly period of time. You must look for ways of better invest your money, as good offers are arising. Florida is a nice place for real estate as it enables you to target young people looking for fun as well as adult who are looking for a place where to live when they retire. Don’t miss it. Invest in Florida Real Estate!

How to Find the Best Long Term Health Care Insurance in South Florida

How does one find the best long term health care insurance in South Florida? People living in the state of Florida should be aware of the many long term health insurance options that they have. The reason for this is that long term care insurance is becoming very common through the state and in the entire United States, and for this reason it is important to know the various options given to you by an insurance company. You must also know the different types of care that you can receive after being diagnosed with a chronic illness or after you cannot perform two out of the many daily activities. In this article you will find out the long term care health plans in the “Sunshine State” and the many options you have.

Types Of South Florida Long Term Care Health Plans

It is very important to understand that the variety or the extent of what a plan covers varies by company and can also vary by state. For this reason it is very difficult to describe the many plans offered by every single long term care insurance company operating in the state of Florida. We can help you with the two different types of policies that a customer can get when it comes to long term care insurance. Before this however, it is important to mention that you can get long term care insurance at any age and that in the United States people between the ages of 18 and 64 are covered.

1. Non Tax Qualified: This type of long term care insurance is also called NTQ when abbreviated. It was once called “Traditional Long Term Care Insurance because it was the first form of long term care implemented. This type of policy has been in the industry for the past thirty years and it simply includes that for a person to get the benefits specified in the policy, they will need a “medical trigger”. This trigger can only be stated by your own medical doctor or a doctor from the insurance company itself, and from that point on if the trigger is effective you will receive the benefits in the policy. It is important to highlight that the status of the benefits under this plan have not been determined by the United States Treasury Department, which means that you might be at risk for facing a large bill for what the insurance paid.

2. Tax Qualified: Also like the type of policy mentioned above, this policy is usually abbreviated at TQ. It does not need for the person to have a “medical trigger” which makes it much easier for a person to receive benefits. On the other hand the downsides of these plans are that the health plan will have a waiting period (ranging from 30 to 90 days) in which the insured will have to pay for their own medical care. In addition to that a doctor must provide a plan of care and the insured must be unable to perform two out of the many activities of daily living (include dressing, toileting, bathing, eating, transporting, etc). The benefits given to the person under this plan are not taxable!

It is important to highlight that if you work for a place that offers a long term care policy, you must make sure about the company and the language specified in the policy. The reason for this is that many insurance companies that take part in group policies are not regulated by the state and therefore charge more and can raise premiums whenever they feel like it.

Types Of Long Term Care Specified In South Florida Long Term Care Health Plans

As said before policies tend to change from company to company in the state of Florida, as well as in the entire country. It is important to read your policy fully before actually signing it, so that you know what is covered under it and what is not. Like in any other industry, the long term care insurance business offers the customer many different types of long term that can be best for them in the future. It is important to see that the policy covers the type that you want so that you don’t just have to settle for what they give you. The types of long term care found in South FL health care plans will be specified below.

1. Home Care: This is perhaps the most common type of long term care insurance nowadays. This is simply because people don’t want to go around visiting various nursing homes or hospitals and instead they would much rather stay at home enjoying of their own space. Under this category the insurance company usually covers nurses that come to your home and help you out with daily activities. It is important to highlight that some health care plans cover home health aids of personal workers that help you around your home. The average rate in the state of Florida for Home Care is estimated to be between $10 and $16 an hour.

2. Adult Care: This is a new type of long term care option that has emerged for individuals that want to get out of their home, but want to return to it in the same day. They provide senior citizens with programs of social interaction and they usually provide meals five days a week. Some may also have a means of transportation from the person’s home to the care center.

3. Assisted Living: A person should consider this option if they are unable to live at home without help, but they want to remain as independent as possible. In these facilities senior citizens are only helped by staff to take medications on time, bathe, dress and provide any medical care that the person needs. They also have recreation time and provide a great environment for community interaction. In the state of Florida the cost of this type of care ranges from $2,000 to $5,000 a month.

4. Nursing Homes: Perhaps the most expensive of any long term care type, these establishments provide the person with 24 hour nursing care when the person is recovering from an illness of disease. They can also accept patients in the end of their lives and help them out with any medical care that they need. In the state of Florida the cost for a nursing home on average is $206 per day (with Jacksonville at $190 per day, Miami at $236 per day, Orlando at $201 per day, and Tampa at $212 per day).

Tips For Finding A Cheap South Florida Long Term Care Health Plan

There are many things you can do in order to lower your long term care policy quote. The thing that many people don’t understand is that this industry, just like any other insurance business has its ups and downs and that it gives customers a possibility of lowering their coverage. Below you will find three tips that may help you save money on a South Florida long term care health plan:
1. Bundle Insurances: Perhaps this might not be the best option for you, but is can sure save a person a lot of money. Most people that have long term care insurance have some sort of health plan and most Americans have an automobile insurance policy. If you are with a company that offers all three of them do not hesitate to change and put all your insurance needs under a single company. If you do this the company usually rewards you for being a “preferred” customer and you can save up to 10%.

2. Shop Around: The more you shop around and do your homework the easier is going to be to save some money. If you are doing the shopping online, be sure to visit many insurance companies or maybe an insurance comparison website. If on the other hand you are shopping in person make sure you visit three of four companies and get quotes from each them. Shopping around leads to cheaper policies!

3. Look at your Waiting Period: Sometimes you can save a lot of money by expanding your waiting period; however you must only do this if you can afford it. By making your waiting period larger you are taking costs off the insurance company and placing them in your pocket. They will reward you with a good premium.

South Florida Long Term Care Health Plans Vary From Company to Company

As you can assume from the article that you just read, no plan is the same and you should definitely go to insurance companies personally and ask them for their services. If you shop around and are patient however, you can be assured that the best long term care plan for you will be in front of you at no time!

Orlando, Florida – Five Things You Should Know Before You Go

1.) Do Your Research Before You Go

It’s important to do a little research before you travel to Orlando, Florida. Check online to find valuable deals and coupons for places you want to visit. Not only will you save some money but you will also build an itinerary.

2.) Save More Money Than You Expect to Spend

Many times when you travel to Orlando, Florida it becomes a more expensive trip than you expect. You may find there are other fun things that you want to do once you get here. If you put aside extra money for emergency fun you will be more relaxed when you find you want to do something you had not planned on.

3.) Use Toll Roads

Although it costs a little more to travel on the toll roads it get you where you need to go a little bit faster. Orlando, Florida has a tons of lakes so many times roads will stop and then start again. It’s confusing for everyone including locals. If you take the toll roads you will avoid all the stop and go of traffic and the confusing patterns of Orlando roads.

4.) See What Else Orlando, Florida has to Offer

There’s so much more to do in Orlando besides Disney World. Including fun and educational things like Leu Gardens. A large botanical Garden that offers a variety of plants and beautiful flowers. Plus leisurely walking trails. Go on the first Monday of the month and get in for FREE!

The Orlando Museum of Art offers tons of beautiful exhibits that change periodically. Plus its only $8.00 to get in. The Central Florida Zoo is a fun way to spend the day. It costs very little to get in and the kids will love it.

5.) Come During the Off Season and Save a Bundle

The busiest months in Orlando, Florida are the summer months. That makes them the most expensive. Not only will you run into larger crowds in the months of June, July, August and September but also you be in the heat of the Florida summer.

If you travel January-May and October-December you’ll save a lot more money. Many times the hotels and airlines are running promotions to get business into Orlando. Plus during the less busy months you’ll be able to enjoy much milder weather.

So there you have it. Five tips that will save you time and money next time you travel to Orlando, Florida. You’ll be surprised how a little research and a few inside tips will make your Orlando adventure that much more fun. Happy travels!

Bartering For a Florida Vacation

With the economy such as it is, many people are trying to get more creative with money. I think it shows the greatness of America… the resiliency! Many are saving or budgeting for the first time in their life, Money, or the lack of it, has increased people’s awareness of its great power–both with it and without it. I can personally say I know people who have had to declare bankruptcy, one whose home has been foreclosed; another had an automobile repossessed, and so on. Times are tough. But, as a vacation home rental owner, there is one thing people are hard pressed to give up–their vacation! Especially, their Florida vacation! Somehow the sand, surf and sun make them forget about their financial troubles.

In 2007, at the top of the housing bubble, I too, had to get creative. I was living in the St. Louis area to be closer to one of my four daughters. I had rented out my Florida home as a yearly rental from 2005 until 2007. It turned out to be a landlord’s worst nightmare toward the end of the lease. The renter didn’t pay his rent for two months plus he created a mess in my home. Renting from far away can be tricky at best but I knew it was a bad situation when I asked him, “How does the pool look?” His reply was, “I don’t know. I haven’t looked at it for a few months.” If I had had a pool service, I would have been upset with his comment. But, HE was THE pool service. He had told me that he had had a pool for years and he knew how to care for MY pool. Needless to write, when I saw my pool, it looked like a pond.

After the tenant so graciously left, I went back to Florida to decide what to do with my home. A lady I had become friends with while living in St. Louis I had met while living in the St. Louis area traveled with me, and together we cleaned up the mess. Once again, my home looked like the kind of place that would welcome anyone through its front door. My home had always been a sort of nurse’s retreat. The Jacuzzi was strategically placed under the stars. The large in ground pool had a built in love seat in the deeper end of the pool. Also, my granddaughter and I had built a fish pond together. It was truly a relaxing home when I lived there and I knew others would be able to experience the same feelings.

I decided to open my home as a vacation rental. I furnished it, and built a web site for my home. As a finishing touch, I bought a sign to place on my front door, “The Time To Be Happy Is Now, The Place To Be Happy Is Here.” On my web site, I added a welcome message that potential vacationer’s could listen to. I placed a picture of myself so they would know whom they were renting from. I downloaded loads of pictures of the interior and exterior, and finally a YouTube video so people could actually talk a virtual tour of my home. It worked! My guestbook is now filled with satisfied clients and warm comments.

One winter day, I began making a mental list of some of the upcoming repairs that would be needed to maintain my home in Florida. I wanted to make improvements but like everyone else, I was struggling to stay above board. I was always one to pray for God’s guidance when I was at a loss for direction. An idea would always come to me… one that I would never seem to have come upon just by myself! First of all, I knew I had something of great value… my Florida home. I knew my home could use a new coat of paint, and I had always wanted to change out the carpet in the family room and the green tile in the kitchen area. It was then the idea came to list it on Craigslist under “barter.” I typed out a creative ad and then I waited for a response. The wait was a very short one! I had a call the next day from a fellow who lived in a neighboring town in the St. Louis area. He sounded very professional. He sounded as serious about the barter as I was. We agreed to meet.

The evening that I arranged to meet Kelly (and his family), turned out to be a wonderful experience. The appointment was one of those “divine” appointments. I immediately felt trust and I knew Kelly had the best interest of my home at heart, as well as he had a desire to provide a Florida vacation for his family. Once again, the inherent goodness of people came shining through. We had a few laughs as we worked out our barter deal. We never had it written down on paper. We still don’t. We knew in our hearts and minds that we had sealed a deal and we began to make plans for the work to be done. We eventually decided on a new tile floor. There was green tile in the kitchen and beige carpeting in the family room. The green title had come with the home years before and although, it would never have been my pick, I lived with it as most homeowners do… until you have the money to make it more of something YOU like. There were French doors which lead from the kitchen/family room combination to the pool deck, so the addition of tile would be one that would leave the area much easier to clean. My cost? The expense of the tile and other materials to complete the job.

About the same time as my barter deal with Kelly, I heard from a lady who had found me through an ad I had placed with a vacation rental web site. She had saw my listing. She asked if she and her boyfriend could barter for two weeks stay around Christmas time. Their specialty? Painting. During the past two years I had rented one Christmas and the other I hadn’t… so it was kind of “iffy.” There was a 50/50 chance that it might be rented. I opted for the barter as I needed my exterior of the home painted as well as the dining room, hallway and foyer. We corresponded back and forth and agreed on a time. The cost? $701.00!

As I write this article, I am returning from a Florida trip. My purpose? To look at my bartered work. All I can write is, “OMG!” When I drove the rental car from Orlando International Airport to Port Orange, Florida (minutes from the Daytona Beach area), I gasped when I saw my home! We had chosen for the color–“sea salt”. Belinda, of Clawson Painting, out of Cleveland, Ohio, had told me, after our many conversations, that I would just love this color. It was a mixture of blues, grays and greens. She had also shared with me that most people couldn’t really figure out what color it actually was. She said it was a very warm, welcoming and serene color. She couldn’t have been more on target. It was beautiful. It actually brought tears to my eyes. The best part was the actual money out lay was $287.00 and two weeks of time (a few days of the donated time was actually spent painting). When they arrived to a site, they painted first… then vacationed second.

After ooing and ahing the new look in the foyer, dining room and hallway, I made my way into the kitchen/family room. I was totally amazed at the transformation. The newly tiled floors were beautiful! It made both rooms look larger. I knew, as well, it would be easier to keep clean. It was also a much more neutral in color. I could bring a lot more color into the room.

I have shared about the physical changes… the new flooring and the color on the walls but I also want to share about the relationships that were fostered through bartering. We all made new friends. Kelly, Belinda and Tom met one another while in Florida. I was able to meet Tom and Belinda when I went to Florida. They had actually bartered to paint for a stay at a home that all of the locals refer to as “the castle.” It sits overlooking the ocean. The front of the home is on A1A, the road which travels along side the beach. Bartering actually lead to more bartering. After Kelly’s meeting with Belinda and Tom, Kelly was then given an offer to barter for a month’s stay at the “castle” in exchange for tile work. For so many years, I had traveled down A1A to go to the beach in Ponce Inlet. I would admire the castle on the beach. I never in a million years would have imagined that I would one day walk around the home to admire the painting of Belinda and Tom. Life is full of surprises!

What do YOU have of value? Think about it. What is YOUR skill or talent that another would find helpful? Do you know how to remodel? Are you a plumber? Do you have a home in the Smokey Mountains? Do you know how to teach piano? The list is endless. The union is just two people who have something of value who wish to make a trade off. If you visit my web site, look under PICTURES and you can check out the work which was done, both in the kitchen/family room and also the exterior of the home. Of course, it is always a good idea to check on references or do a back ground check. But, in the end, there can be no greater satisfaction on either side of the barter. It is a win win agreement.

Florida Lawmakers Are Considering Expanding Child Health Insurance Coverage

Florida state legislatures are planning to file legislation this year that will extend state-subsidized health insurance coverage for more children across the state. Currently, KidCare–Florida’s state-sponsored health insurance program for children–is sponsored by the state of Florida as well as the national government.

However, KidCare does not cover health policies for children of legal immigrants who have been in the U.S. for fewer than five years. Because the federal government would not pay for children of immigrants who have been in the U.S. for fewer than five years, the Florida government also excluded coverage for the children in 2004.

With the passage of the proposed legislation, KidCare will extend health coverage to those children as well as to children of state employees in Florida. The new legislation is expected to be filed this year in response to the federal government’s agreement to help pay for the increased coverage to children of immigrants who were previously uncovered.

However, the federal government is still not in agreement to help pay for healthcare for children of state workers unless they are also eligible for Medicaid coverage. Many state workers make too much money to be eligible for Medicaid coverage, but do not make enough money to be able to easily afford to pay for health coverage for themselves and their families.

According to Karen Woodall, a children’s advocate, the federal government assumes that states will pay government workers enough to cover health care for their children, or offer them insurance. In Florida, that’s not always the case.

The proposed legislation is bipartisan and is being drafted by Democrat Sen. Nan Rich and Republican Rep. Jimmy Patronis. While the legislation does extend coverage to children of immigrants, the legislation does not extend coverage to children of illegal immigrants, who will still be ineligible for any state health care coverage.

In addition to providing coverage to children of state employees and legal immigrants, the legislation will also increase eligibility for Medicaid to include pregnant women who are making up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level limit. As the legislation currently stands, pregnant women who make up to 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible to have Medicaid cover only some prenatal and post partum health care expenses.

Florida residents shouldn’t wait for legislation to get healthcare insurance

While legislation is being developed to cover more children by the state-sponsored health plan in Florida, many Florida residents should investigate private healthcare options for their children. There are hundreds of different health insurance plans and insurance rates available to Florida residents.

Health insurance providers offer many different types of health insurance plans to their members, which vary based on coverage, rates, and type of plan. In order for consumers to get a plan that covers their specific healthcare concerns at rates they can afford, it is important for all consumers in Florida to research available plans at least once a year with a qualified health insurance advisor.

With New Year already begun, Florida residents should take time now to review their current health plans and options with a qualified health advisor, as there are frequent changes to health plans, availability, and terms. Working with the right health insurance advisor can also help Florida residents find the best-fitting health plan for their needs, lifestyle, and budget – with or without state sponsorship.

How Interior and Northern Florida Homeowners Subsidize Beachfront Estate Insurance

The Florida home insurance crisis is still alive and well as Florida homeowners insurance companies continue to leave the state and/or seek major rate hikes. Both the companies and state regulators can’t agree on the appropriate amount that homeowners should be paying to insure for losses against major Florida hurricanes.

As a result, beginning in the 1990’s, Florida started to impose special assessments on every Florida homeowners insurance policy issued and created a state run insurance company of last resort that is called Citizens Property Insurance Corporation to ensure that everyone in Florida can get home insurance coverage for their home.

Florida also created The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund which requires all licensed Florida homeowners insurance companies to buy reinsurance after the losses from a major hurricane reach a certain level. This fund is insurance for Florida insurance companies and helps to make sure that they don’t have to absorb all of the costs of a major hurricane event.

Last but not least, Florida has an entity called the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA) that steps in to pay your claim up to a certain level if your Florida home insurance company runs out of money and is declared insolvent.

Those special assessment line items on your Florida home insurance bill can cause you to pay line item charges for many years into the future. You can be asked to make up the difference when Citizens Property Insurance Corporation and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund don’t have the money to meet their obligations. Or you could be assessed for the difference if FIGA doesn’t have the cash to pay off the claims filed against a Florida homeowners insurance company that became insolvent.

So far, at high level, each of these various entities and the protections that they offer make sense. And when they work properly they do help further diversify Florida’s hurricane risk and help make it attractive for Florida home insurance companies to continue to do business in the state.

However, the Florida Insurance Laws passed in 2007 and 2008 have altered and politicized the goals of each of these entities to a point where they no longer function as originally intended. Why? Because Florida legislators aren’t willing to tell voters the truth – that these entities are now seriously underfunded and not positioned to do what they are supposed to do. Even worse, many Florida consumers don’t realize that they are paying for someone else’s Florida home insurance.

Presently, both the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund and Citizens Insurance Florida do not have enough money and are overly dependent on an unfriendly bond market to satisfy their responsibilities. Both organizations have to borrow before Florida hurricanes happen with limited success to come up with the money they need – and they are coming up short in the bond markets as the country continues to work through the financial crisis.

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is the organization that causes most of us to subsidize the Florida insurance costs of someone else. Every one of us will be required to pay annual special assessments for many years into the future to cover the cash shortfalls that Citizens Property Insurance had as a result of the 2004/2005 storms. Cash shortfalls are just another way of saying that those who were insured with Citizens for the 2004/2005 storms, were simply not charged enough premium for that coverage. Many of those homes are older homes that are located in areas of Florida that are the most susceptible to hurricanes. After the Florida hurricanes of 2004/2005, Florida legislators decided to freeze the home insurance rates being charged by Citizens – a politically popular decision that also resulted in everyone in Florida subsidizing the homeowner insurance rates of others who live in the areas most vulnerable to hurricanes.

Last but not least, because the rates of Citizens have been frozen for the past few years, even when consumers can find Florida home insurance in the private market, they are still given the choice of being insured by Citizens and being undercharged for their insurance.

This subsidized insurance that many Citizen policyholders receive, comes at a price. It is funded mainly through special assessments that all of us are required to pay on our Florida homeowners insurance bills each year. These assessments have become so burdensome, that Florida home insurance policies are not enough to pay the total cost. That’s why you’ll see many of them on your Florida auto and business insurance bills as well.

If you are fed up with paying the Florida homeowners insurance premiums of someone else, now is the time to have your voice heard during the current session of the Florida Legislature. Tell the lawmakers that you’ve voted for and sent to Tallahassee that you want the Florida home insurance rates of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation raised to reflect the true cost of the homes they are covering.