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first_imgFor the majority of American children, it pays to be a kid. More than half of American parents — 61 percent according to the Institute of Certified Public Accountants — give an allowance to their children. While the average yearly allowance was $65 a month, or $780 a year, only 1 percent of parents reported their kids saving money. An allowance can be an important tool for teaching the basics of financial literacy. By learning the importance of saving from an early age, children can avoid money troubles in the future, said Nolan McClure, a graduate assistant in housing and consumer economics at the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “It’s never too late to learn…[but] I think the earlier, the better because you could avoid more difficult consequences,” McClure said. The AICPA reported that 54 percent of children received an allowance before turning 8. Age, however, shouldn’t be the deciding factor in who gets allowance, McClure said. “As soon as you ask for money, you’re given an allowance,” McClure said. Parents can teach financial responsibility through allowance and help their kids develop the mindset of “my money.” McClure and Michael Rupured, a financial management specialist with UGA Cooperative Extension, are developing an educational program that teaches parents how to prepare their children for future financial responsibility. The main goal of the program, McClure said, is to produce financially literate children and young adults. “We’d like to teach, one, the idea of spending money wisely and, two, financial management in general,” McClure said. Their program advocates parents teaching financial lessons through instruction on how to spend and save allowance. When parents provide an allowance, they should explain how to handle the money, McClure said. “Give instruction on how to manage the money,” he said. “Say ‘save 10 cents per dollar,’ or tell them what they need to pay for with it.” Parents should assign responsibilities according to age and allowance amount and emphasize the importance of saving at every age. For example, a child in elementary school could have the responsibility of buying his or her school lunch each week. If all of the allowance is spent before the school week is over, the child becomes responsible for making bag lunches at home. This method, McClure said, provides a “teachable lesson,” with minor consequences, rather than a “hard lesson” with extreme financial consequences. To gradually increase responsibility, McClure suggests parents increase allowance and financial obligations. A child in middle school could be responsible for their lunches and back-to-school shoes, for example. “[More money] comes with age and discretion,” he said. “Some kids are going to be more mature at a younger age … But I wouldn’t say to give a third grader money and say ‘You have to buy your clothes and your shoes and your lunch with this.’” As allowance increases, parents should encourage greater savings and explain the different means of savings. This way, children can move from their piggy bank to a savings account. The lessons can continue in this way until the child becomes financially independent. “College students who can manage money are those on the same system,” McClure said. For more information on financial management, contact your local UGA Extension Office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.last_img read more

first_imgHere at Blue Ridge Outdoors we’re always looking for the next best way to haul our gear back and forth from the campsite, festival setup, beach, etc., and with the new and innovative Big Kat Buggy, we’ve found something that’s hard to beat.The Big Kat Buggy is a recreational cart that attaches to the hitch of your vehicle for easy and convenient transportation of all your outdoor essentials. The rugged design allows users to transport a maximum amount of gear to tough-to-reach destinations with ease.While testing the Big Kat Buggy, we quickly realized that it was tailor-made for a wide variety of outdoor pursuits. Whether you’re gearing up for a leisurely day on the beach, a rockin’ music fest, a surf fishing adventure or the ultimate car camping excursion, the Big Kat Buggy will make your experience more successful and enjoyable every single  time.One of our biggest takeaways from our time testing the Big Kat Buggy was the ease with which it attached to and detached from the trailer hitch of our vehicle.The convenience of this process really cuts down on valuable time you would otherwise spend making multiple trips to and from your ultimate destination—eventually freeing up time for more important and enjoyable pursuits.The Big Kat Buggy was invented by an avid outdoorsman who also owns a successful trucking transport and hauling company. After being frustrated with the lack of options on the market for carrying outdoor gear and accessories in a highly efficient manner, Kevin “Big Kat” Rackleff decided to build his own.Initially, Rackleff envisioned the product as a “little red wagon,” but on a grander scale, which could hitch conveniently to a vehicle. It needed to be easy to use, and most important, it had to be made with quality and safety in mind.“It had to be an option that could bring more joy and less hassle to outdoor activities,” Kevin said. After two years of extensive research and development, Kevin had the Big Kat ready for the market, and it is now available at select retailers for $399.99.Some of our favorite features on the Big Kat Buggy were the built in bottle opener, the rugged, go-anywhere tires, the large deck that allows for the maximum amount of storage and transport, the fishing rod holders and the secure cargo net.Learn more about the Big Kat Buggy at bigkatbuggy.comRelated:last_img read more

first_img Ecuadorean military personnel have destroyed around 1,100 coca plants that were ready for harvest in a jungle region on the border with Colombia, Colonel Francisco Narváez, the commander of an Ecuadorean Army battalion, announced. According to the Andes news agency, the officer indicated that the plants were located in the region of San Lorenzo, a town in the province of Esmeraldas inhabited by the Awá indigenous community. In early December, uniformed personnel also destroyed around 2,400 coca plants discovered in the San Lorenzo area. According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), released on September 21, 2011, coca cultivation continues to be marginal in Ecuador, where 25 hectares were detected in 2010, compared to 61,200 and 57,000 in neighboring Peru and Colombia, respectively. “The incidence (of areas planted with coca) is at an incipient stage; there aren’t noteworthy tracts of land,” the UNODC representative for Ecuador and Peru, Flavio Mirella, said at the time, introducing the results of the monitoring conducted in 2010. Ecuador has traditionally been considered a transit country for drugs, although processing laboratories have been found in recent years, especially in the coastal regions. So far this year, the Andean country has seized at least 16.7 tons of drugs, chiefly cocaine, and has destroyed several laboratories for processing that narcotic, one of which had the capacity to produce two tons a month. By Dialogo December 20, 2011last_img read more

first_img Brazil, Colombia, and Peru will reinforce their commitment to protect their shared border against transnational illicit activities. In a trilateral meeting of the Armed Forces chiefs of staff that took place in Manaus on May 29, representatives from the three countries agreed to strengthen multilateral cooperation policies to fight crimes such as drug trafficking, illegal mining, and smuggling. “The keyword is cooperation,” said the event’s host, the head of the Joint General Staff of the Brazilian Armed Forces (EMCFA), General José Carlos De Nardi. According to him, mutual support among nations is fundamental for South America to be able to find solutions to common threats, especially in the border area. “But we must not forget our main mission: defending the country and ensuring national sovereignty,” he cautioned. During the meeting at the headquarters of the Amazon Military Command, De Nardi and the heads of the Peruvian and Colombian delegations, Admiral José Cueto Aservi and General Leonardo Alfonso Barrero Gordillo, respectively, discussed proposals to increase protection of the triple border area, as well as measures that could promote cooperation in the fight against transnational crimes. When assessing the evolution of measures already adopted by the three countries, the EMCFA head maintained that strengthening their exchanges of intelligence should take place not only at the political level — among ministers of state or involving the Armed Forces leadership — but also on the “front line,” among the border units themselves. “The battalion commanders need to communicate with one another,” he stated. For De Nardi, it is necessary to create mechanisms that can make it possible to replicate at other levels the rapprochement achieved by Brazil, Colombia, and Peru on the institutional level. The need to increase the exchange of information was also addressed by other delegations. Besides the exchange of intelligence data, Adm. Cueto Aservi proposed the implementation of joint training programs in areas such as military technological innovation, special operations (of the reconnaissance and night-combat types), and simulation systems. For his part, Gen. Barrero Gordillo, mentioned the importance of exchange for the maintenance and refurbishment of military equipment — such as the Brazilian Urutu and Cascavel vehicles, used in Colombia — in addition to the need to have mechanisms to enable the exchange of information “in real time.” When discussing some of the ideas presented, Gen. De Nardi issued a reminder that the treatment of border-security issues is not restricted to the actions of the Armed Forces, and that a wider approach to dealing with the problems at hand involves the participation of other institutional actors, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice, in the case of Brazil. By Dialogo June 01, 2012last_img read more

first_img Drug seizures and arrests very comprehensive, I love it!!!! In June 2012, President Sebastian Pinera and Defense Minister Andres Allamand launched a 12-year national defense strategy known as ENSYD. The plan covers issues such as drug trafficking, arms smuggling, piracy, and threats from organized crime. The plan emphasizes the fact that drug trafficking is the primary activity of organized crime groups in Chile. The buying, selling, and transporting of cocaine represents a threat to Chile’s national security, according to the plan. By Dialogo November 21, 2013 Chilean National Police are seizing drugs and capturing suspects in all regions of the country, not just in the Northern Border area. For example, in mid-November 2013, PDI agents arrested 11 suspects and seized more than 200 kilos of marijuana and cocaine base in the Valparaíso and Coquimbo regions. A month earlier, in October, PDI agents broke up an alleged drug trafficking ring in San Bernardo, on the southern outskirts of Santiago. PDI agents seized more than six kilos of cocaine, coca base, and marijuana, and confiscated three firearms. The 2013 World Drug Report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) ranked Chile as the 18th “most frequently mentioned country of provenance” for cases involving cocaine seizures. However, according to McDermott, this does not necessarily mean that Chile has the 18th highest level of cocaine being trafficked through the country. Since the report’s figures are dependent on cocaine seizures by authorities, it could mean that Chilean police are highly efficient and effective in seizing drugs that are being transported through the country, the security analyst said. In 2011, the Ministry of the Interior launched the Northern Border Plan, an initiative to improve security in the regions of Arica, Parinacota, Tarapaca and Antogagasta. The plan called for security forces to stop shipments of drugs, firearms, and other contraband by improving security along the border Chile shares with Bolivia and Peru. In April 2013, authorities extended the initiative into the Atacama region. The Carabiniers are a key part of the effort, along with the National Police force’s investigative unit, which is known as the PDI. The Ministry of the Interior is supervising the security effort. Authorities extended the Northern Border Plan in response to the fact that drug traffickers were extending their activities into regions south of Chile’s northern border. “Together with Carabiniers and the PDI we have decided to extend the Northern Border Plan to the Atacama region because we have seen that drug trafficking battlefield is shifting from the northern regions such as Antofagasta and Arica [and Iqique] to more southern territories,” said Deputy Interior Minister Rodrigo Ubilla. Effective police work While Chilean security forces must remain vigilant, the country overall enjoys a high level of safety, McDermott said. “One must not be alarmist,” McDermott said. “The level of crime in Chile is the lowest in Latin America. This really is a very stable and relatively safe society, certainly for the region.” Chilean security forces recently seized more than 100 kilos of coca base, bringing the total amount of drugs seized in the Latin American country to 15 tons between January and early November 2013. The 15 tons represents an 80 percent increase in drug seizures by the Chilean National Police, compared to the same time frame in 2012. On Nov. 8, the OS-7 anti-narcotics unit of the Chilean National Police, known as the Carabiniers, seized 115 kilos of coca base in Iqique, in the northern part of the country. The Carabiniers launched the investigation that led to the drug seizures in May. Anti-drug initiative Chile remains safe The increase in the amount of drugs seized by Chilean security forces in 2013 reflects increased activity by international drug traffickers, and the high level of professionalism of Chilean police, according to a security analyst. “It´s inevitable that Chile, just like any other country in Latin America, should suffer the effects of the international drug trade,” said Jeremy McDermott, director of InSight Crime, an independent research institution with headquarters in Medellin, Colombia. “This has made Chile an attractive trans-shipment point for cocaine.” But Chile is well-equipped to deal with an increase in drug trafficking, because it has strong security forces and an effective criminal justice system, McDermott said. “One of the advantages Chile has is strong institutions, an effective police force and low violence, which has been an ally against the penetration of international organized crime,” McDermott said. The strong police force and effective criminal justice system make it unlikely drug trafficking will increase in Chile, he said. “Chile remains unlikely to experience any serious growth in the influence of drug trafficking organizations, since it boasts some of the strongest political institutions in the region and lacks any notable domestic criminal structures,” McDermott explained. Broad new security planlast_img read more

first_imgOur country is so lucky that we have our lower- and upper-middle class who are the ones who are growing the economy and keeping it moving. A weakened economy hurts all of us by stifling our country’s economic growth.The people in the lower- or upper classes can also possess middle-class values. They are not exclusive to the people who are actually middle class. The middle-class values include qualities such as hard work, self discipline, thrift, honesty, aspiration and ambition.Hopefully our great country will repay our middle class for what they are doing because they certainly deserve it.Walter “Neal” BrazellRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsCar hits garage in Rotterdam Sunday morning; Garage, car burnEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

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first_imgOn average, Swiss pension funds are off the mark when it comes to contributing to reducing global warming.A government-backed survey of investment portfolios found that strategies were on average in line with the global climate warming by 6°C by the end of this century, rather than the 2°C maximum set by the Paris Agreement on climate change.“Collectively, the financial flows underlying the corporate bonds and listed equity portfolios of Swiss pension funds are currently on a 6°C pathway,” a report on the survey stated.However, the authors emphasised there were “significant differences” between portfolios of the participating pension funds. In spring this year, Swiss government authorities offered the country’s pension funds and insurers an opportunity to test their equity and corporate bond portfolios to check their compatibility with this climate goal, as reported by IPE.In total, 87 investors participated, among them 66 pension funds with CHF177bn (€151.8bn) in total assets – well over half of the total assets in the market.The survey found two main factors contributing to this misalignment with the 2° goal. On the one hand, “companies in these portfolios are currently investing to increase production across all high-carbon technologies”, the report said.In addition, “investment in low-carbon alternatives is lacking”, it said.Researchers also noted a 5-15% increase in coal-fired power capacity scheduled for the next five years by the companies held by Swiss pension funds and insurers.“This is primarily driven by investments in non-OECD countries,” the report stated.Each participant was provided with an analysis of their portfolio providing them with a “basis for improving their alignment” and to “increase awareness” of possible climate-related risks to the portfolio.The researchers said: “The analysis presented here can also potentially in the future be used by the Swiss government to report on article 2.1c of the Paris Agreement.”This was a reference to the agreement’s aim to make financial flows “consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development”.The results chimed with a report issued earlier this year by asset manager Schroders, which warned that the world was on course for a long-term temperature rise of 4°C.last_img read more

first_imgDefined contribution (DC) scheme members overwhelmingly support making responsible investment the standard policy for pensions investments, but the term ‘ESG’ mostly does not resonate with them, according to a survey carried out by Invesco.According to the asset manager, the survey was part of “the most extensive research ever conducted into the language of pensions” and captured responses from more than 500 UK DC scheme members.The individuals were asked if they would favour part of their pensions automatically going to a company that met a certain ethical standard, with 82% indicating they thought it was a “good idea” and 18% a “bad idea”.More than seven in 10 respondents thought it would be a “good idea” if their scheme included responsible or ethical investment as part of their default fund. Almost half (46%) of those surveyed indicated they would choose a responsible investment option over a fund that included “all types of companies”, even if it meant lower returns.The hypothetical return scenarios that survey participants were presented with were 6% a year for the responsible investment option and 6% for a fund that did not discriminate.If both funds delivered the same historical returns of 6% a year, 60% of respondents said they would rather invest in the responsible option.Survey participants were also asked for their views on how to best label “a fund that seeks to do good in the world while also generating good returns”, with responses showing that the term “ESG” was unpopular. In the survey, ESG was spelled out as “environmental, social and governance investment”, and was chosen by 14% of respondents as their preferred option.The term “responsible investment” was the preferred term for 42% of respondents, and “ethical investment” for 30%.Gary DeMoss, director of Invesco Consulting, said: “The fact that only 14% of respondents prefer the term ‘ESG’ clearly highlights the communication challenge pension [funds] face; this has been amplified by the overuse of industry jargon.“At a time when it is crucial to encourage employees to think about their financial futures, it has never been more important for schemes to carefully consider their engagement strategies to improve conversations.”Positive approachAccording to Invesco, the study also revealed a preference for positive language when being informed about responsible investments.Over three quarters (77%) believed that the best way to talk about a responsible investment was to describe it as a fund that “invests in companies that meet standards for doing environmental and social good”.Slightly less than a quarter (23%) of respondents preferred the term “does not invest in companies that do not meet standards for doing environmental and social good”.In the Netherlands pension funds and academics have been researching scheme members’ views about how their savings are invested. Tilburg University researchers, for example, found that members were willing to sacrifice some return if their pension fund made sustainable investments, and some schemes have made divestments and impact investments after surveying their members. The €500bn Dutch pensions investor APG recently launched a “public-friendly” version of its annual report, which roughly translated is called “Walk with us”. According to APG, the report was cast in an interactive video format, taking viewers on a journey to show them the choices they can make about their pensions. Along the way, said APG, they face a number of “recognisable dilemmas about money, sustainability and the future”. The choices they make determine how the video continues.last_img read more

first_img Broncos stars’ property portfolios revealed This “smart home on steroids” is under construction in Kedron. This is a render of the home supplied by Base Architecture and Electronic Living.Face recognition in front doors, sunroofs in bathrooms, voice controlled lighting — even retractable pool diving boards.No longer just for the rich and famous, smart technology is becoming as integral to a home as plumbing and electricity, with the potential to add hundreds of thousands of dollars in value. Home buyers and builders are now demanding the latest ‘must-have’ smart features in their abodes as security, safety and spending more time at home become a priority. * Smart intercoms that can be answered remotely via phone and allow access to the home from anywhere in the world* Unlocking doors and gates remotely via phone * Entertainment mood settings* Smart light switches * In-ceiling television dropper (controlled by smart touch panel, smart remote or app)* Motorised television slider, so when the client selects “watch tv” the panel moves out of the way to reveal the TV and it automatically turns on* Voice control of whole home — individual commands such as; “Turn the lounge room lights on” or programmed scenes such as “Hey Google, good morning”, which recalls the scene of your choice.* Home cinema* AV equipment rack. Hidden away in a well ventilated cupboard so not to impede the interior styling of the home. Smart cabling runs from this central location, to each point in the house (TV’s, touch panels, ceiling speakers etc.)* Control4 NEEO remote. This is a new product to market that controls everything in the home, similar to the app or touch panel, but giving the option for tactile buttons.* Remote viewing of CCTV cameras * Smart fire place (turn on/off) via voice command or smart control panels.* Discrete landscape or in-ceiling speakers.* Smart blind controls FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK In-ceiling television dropper (controlled by smart touch panel, smart remote or app). Image supplied by Electronic Living.Electronic Living founder Damian Cavanagh said smart homes were becoming as common as smart phones, with people realising the value of features like keyless entry, remote access to security cameras and voice activation.“We are literally at ‘The Jetsons’ age now — the future is here now,” Mr Cavanagh said. This smart home at Belmont by Romark Design Constructions won ‘House of the Year’ at the 2020 Master Builders’ Awards. Image supplied.“It ties into this whole contactless thing. We want to do things, but we don’t want to touch them.“One of the biggest drivers for modern families now is safety and security, with people spending more time at home and with the economy the way it’s going.” The Control4 NEEO remote is a new product to market that controls everything in the home, similar to the app or touch panel, but giving the option for tactile buttons. Image supplied by Electronic Living.Mr Cavanagh’s home automation company is working on what is being dubbed a ‘smart home on steroids’ in Brisbane’s inner north.The custom-designed house will have out-of-this-world features such as a retractable, voice activated skylight in the ensuite, in-ceiling televisions, motorised custom paintings to conceal storage areas and smart lighting with custom programmed scenes such as: ‘Good morning’ and ‘Party time’. A render of the ‘smart home on steroids’ under construction in Kedron by Thallon Mole Group. Image supplied by Base Architecture and Electronic Living.The Kedron property has been designed by Base Architecture and is being built by Thallon Mole Group for a private client.The three-level house will also include a glass-encased lift, a pool on the second level with a circular viewing window and a waterfall infinity edge, and a balcony bath weighing two tonnes. A render of the kitchen and living area inside the smart home being built in Kedron by Thallon Mole Group. Image supplied by Base Architecture and Electronic Living.Mr Cavanagh said smart home technology could add tens of thousands of dollars in value to a home at a minimum, and even potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars.“We firmly believe the worst case scenario is whatever you spend (on smart home automation), you’ll get back,” he said. “There’s now an expectation that if you’re spending $1.5 million or more on a home, you want it to be equipped with smart technology.” A render of the smart home under construction in Kedron by Thallon Mole Group. Image supplied by Base Architecture and Electronic Living.Another smart home at 44 Reading St, Paddington, built by Graya Construction, recently sold for an eyewatering $4 million.Rob Gray of Graya Construction said one of the main reasons the buyer paid bought the property was because he loved the integrated smart technology. This smart home, named Laurent, at 44 Reading St, Paddington sold for $4m. Picture: Scott Burrows.“It’s fast becoming the ‘must-have’ in luxury homes and all our clients are requesting it,” Mr Gray said. “Not all can afford it, however, we strongly believe it adds the value to the home come resale.” The kitchen in the smart home, named Laurent, at 44 Reading St, Paddington. Picture: Scott Burrows. The outdoor entertaining area of the smart home at 44 Reading St, Paddington. Picture: Scott Burrows.Mr Graya said the top five smart features most requested by clients included security, entry access control, audio visual, lighting and home entertainment systems. Mr Cavanagh said demand for smart homes had “trickled down to the entry level market”, with project builders now approaching him for smart home solutions because their clients were requesting it. A smart fireplace controlled by voice activation. Image supplied by Electronic Living.“A household these days has an average of six or seven wireless devices,” he said. “The demand for this is not going away anytime soon. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus8 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market8 hours ago“We’ve had a real shot in the arm from a technology standpoint with COVID-19, particularly with people spending more time at home, now, and into the future.” Home cinemas and entertainment systems are in demand, according to Electronic Living. Race car driver selling Gold Coast homecenter_img Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58 SMART TECHNOLOGY FEATURES THAT CAN ADD VALUE TO YOUR HOME MORE: Giant skate bowl home sells for millionslast_img read more