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Annual financial gut check

first_img 40SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Joe Woods Joe Woods, CUDE is a 15-year credit union veteran.  He has spent time with Corporate One FCU, Liberty Enterprises, co-founded Legacy Member Services and was part of the senior management … Web: www.dolphindebit.com Details It’s time for a gut check. How are your finances? Did you just get nauseous? Even if you’re in great financial shape, talking about finances can make you queasy.  It’s very common.  Discussing personal finances can be uncomfortable.  Just like talking religion or politics. Maybe it’s because we don’t know enough about our finances or how money works to ever feel completely comfortable.Or, maybe we just spend more than we make.  Study after study and countless articles touch on a growing debt crisis.  How could that be, you ask?  Employment is at record or near record highs and the economy is stable. All signs are pointing up.  But, the arrow is also pointing to our rising personal debt.  Just look to Visa & Mastercard.  They are achieving double-digit growth in their credit card portfolios.How is this happening? For starters, let’s look at your budget and focus on the requirements:  Housing & Healthcare.  Both have risen in cost significantly over the last several decades. We can hide the rising cost of housing by looking only at cost per square foot figures.  But, when is the last time you saw a neighborhood being built in the suburbs that had homes with average square footage of 1,800. The cost for that house may be reasonable.  But, it’s not being built.  Newly constructed homes are consistently clipping the 3,000 mark with square footage. And that is a very large expense.What about healthcare? Well, healthcare continues to outpace personal income in terms of year-over-year growth.  When is the last time your annual pay increased 8%?  Healthcare climbs at that rate annually.  As does the cost for higher education.  Now, some of us may not have to worry about the cost of college. But, many do.  And we are seeing the effects of a hyper-inflated cost of tuition.  Pew Charitable Trusts just published an article stating 20% of college loans are in default.  That means one in five former students hasn’t made a payment on their student loan debt in over 270 days.  And the numbers are even bigger if you look at those that haven’t made payments in the last 180 days.Not only does it cost a lot more to live, but many in the younger generations are starting out with significant debt.  Imagine graduating college, starting your new job and every month you make a $300+ payment to your student loans.  That’s an incredible hole to dig yourself out of.How can we stop or curb this growing debt crisis?  Credit Unions are perfectly suited to help with financial education, budgeting tools, smart lending programs, etc.  And members need to step up and do their part as well.  That $5 latte has replaced a pack of cigarettes as the new daily addiction that needs to be addressed.  I daily latte drinker spends about $1,500 per year on their morning joe.  $1,500 annually over 18 years is over $27,000 that you can invest in a 529 college plan for your child.  And you not only help your child eliminate future debt issues.  You show them how to be good stewards with their money.last_img read more


Thai boy has avian flu; UK finds H5 virus in parrot

first_imgOct 21, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The 7-year-old son of a Thai farmer who died 2 days ago of H5N1 avian influenza also has the virus, but there is no evidence that the boy caught it from his father, according to news services.Reuters and Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports said the boy tested positive for the virus, but they didn’t say what test was used or where it was done. The boy is hospitalized but is expected to recover.”There is no evidence that the boy contracted the disease from his father,” said Siriraj Hospital Director Prasit Watanapa, as quoted in the AFP report.The father fell ill after slaughtering sick chickens. Prasit said the boy “had close contact with the virus” from being around the chickens, AFP reported.”The H5N1 virus found in the boy and the father was the same strain that has been found for the last two years, with no signs of a mutation,” Prasit added.Reuters reported that the 7-year-old was treated with the anti-flu drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu) early in his illness. The boy has recovered his appetite and his fever has resolved, the story said.If the boy in fact has avian flu, his illness is the 19th case in Thailand since the disease began spreading in East Asia in late 2003. The country has had 13 deaths. The World Health Organization (WHO), which has not yet confirmed the boy’s case, currently lists a total of 118 human cases, with 61 deaths.In Britain, meanwhile, a parrot that was imported from South America and died in quarantine tested positive for a highly pathogenic H5 avian flu virus, government officials announced today.The parrot had been imported from Suriname, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said in a news release. It was part of a shipment of 148 parrots and “soft bills” that arrived Sep 16.All the birds in the consignment were being destroyed, DEFRA said. Chief Veterinary Officer Debby Reynolds said, “The confirmed case does not affect the UK’s disease free status because the disease has been identified in imported birds during quarantine.”As an additional precaution, the few people who had contact with the birds in the quarantine unit were being given antiviral drugs, the statement said.H5N1 avian flu has not been reported in the UK or in South America. DEFRA said no form of avian flu has been confirmed in Britain since 1992.Officials said another serious avian illness, Newcastle disease, has been detected in imported quarantined birds and successfully contained five times previously.In Indonesia, a 63-year-old man and his 22-year-old son who were suspected of having avian flu have tested negative, according to an AFP report today. The report of their cases yesterday had prompted talk about a possible family cluster.”The pneumonia they are suffering from was not caused by bird flu,” a health ministry official named Hariyadi Wibonoso was quoted as saying. He said further confirmatory tests would be conducted in Hong Kong.The WHO has recognized five cases of avian flu in Indonesia, including three deaths. But government officials have described several more cases as probable on the basis of local tests.Many news items related to avian flu were reported from around the world today. Here is a sampling:Three racing pigeons imported into Australia from Canada were found to have avian flu antibodies, which prompted Australia to consider banning all live bird imports. No virus was found, and it was known not what viral strain the antibodies were related to. A Canadian official said the antibodies are not dangerous to humans, and the pigeons could have been exposed to a virus years ago.Taiwan said it had developed its own version of oseltamivir and would begin producing it if avian flu surfaces there, according to a Deutsche Press Argentur (DPA) report. “We are ready to begin mass production and are waiting for Roche [the manufacturer of oseltamivir] to license us to do so,” a health official was quoted as saying.Canadian officials promised to endorse a Mexican proposal for wealthy countries to share their flu vaccine stockpiles with poorer countries, AFP reported. The idea is to be presented at an international meeting in Canada next week.To protect poultry from avian flu, the Swiss government banned outdoor poultry farming from Oct 25 to Dec 15, when seasonal bird migrations should be over, according to AFP.Officials in one German state eased a ban on outdoor poultry farming by saying farmers could keep geese outside so long as they are under nets or tarpaulins, DPA reported.David Nabarro, the United Nations avian flu coordinator, met with Chinese Health Minister Gao Qiang, who promised full transparency and cooperation in efforts to stop the virus, AFP reported.last_img read more


Nexans to Supply Seagreen Phase 1 Export Cables

first_imgSSE has chosen Nexans as the preferred supplier of export cables for the first phase of the Seagreen offshore wind project in Scotland, which comprises the Seagreen Alpha and Bravo offshore wind farms.Nexans will design, manufacture and install three 65km offshore export cables and three 20km onshore export cables for Seagreen Phase 1.“We are delighted to receive this agreement from SSE and we are excited to be helping to bring the biggest windfarm in Scotland to life,” said Vincent Desale, Nexans SEVP for the Subsea and Land System Business Group.Once operational in 2024, Seagreen Alpha and Bravo will form the largest wind farm in Scotland with their combined capacity of 1,075MW.In October, SSE named MHI Vestas as a preferred wind turbine supplier for the supply and service of up to 114 wind turbines for the Seagreen offshore wind farm.The offshore wind farm is one of the projects that won Contracts for Difference (CfD) in the UK’s third allocation round in September. Seagreen secured a 15-year contract for 454MW at a strike price of GBP 41.61/MWh in auction delivery year 2024/25.The project site is located 27km off the Angus Coast in the Firth of Forth.last_img read more