If you are like most homeowners, you love selecting the fixtures, fabrics, and paint colors of your home improvement project. But there is one very important item that you may overlook—making certain you are properly insured.
Why Proper Property & Casualty Insurance Matters
You may need to review your insurance before beginning any home improvement project since it can expose you to additional financial risks.
If you choose to act as your own general contractor (in other words, you organize and order supplies while hiring sub-contractors to do the work), you may be opening up yourself to additional liability (such as an injury to a worker or third party) that may not be fully covered by your current homeowners insurance policy.¹
Whether it’s an extra room or an updated bathroom, many home improvement projects will increase the value of your home. However, too many homeowners fail to review the policy’s replacement value limits, which may no longer be high enough to cover any losses that occur after your home improvement.
Obtaining additional coverage shouldn’t wait until you’ve completed the remodelling. After all, at any point in the process, you will have supplies and completed work that may not be covered under your existing policy.
To ensure that you are properly covered, meet with your insurance agent about your projects and discuss with him or her any need for modifying your current insurance coverage.
The information in this material is not intended as legal advice. Please consult legal or insurance professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. Exceedia Consulting Ltd is not licensed to offer General Insurance. This material was developed and produced by Exceedia Consulting Ltd to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. The opinions expressed, and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2018 Exceedia Consulting Ltd
Communication is the process through which we transfer information to each other. Although modern forms of communication have increased (emails, texts, letters, social media), connecting with each other is still at the foundation of our humanity. We just have to talk.
Family communication, in particular, melds us together in profound and lasting ways. Without it, the family would inevitably disintegrate.
Communications simple secrets.
Effective family communication requires every member to pay attention to what others are saying, how they’re saying it, and to identify the feelings behind words and gestures. Genuine listening is the most overlooked aspect of good communication. It’s the part that makes communication two-way.
Talking about money.
Every household has a budget of sorts. It may be a rigid, tightly structured, highly detailed plan or a more carefree, open-ended, and vague financial construct that gets little oversight or review. Or, more likely, it’s something somewhere in between. While budgets or financial strategies are often assembled based on personalities and preferences, they do require mutual input from family members.
An appropriate division of labor that designates who manages the budget or who pays the bills is important. But an arrangement where one partner or family member oversees the finances while the others are kept in the dark is unproductive and unhealthy.
Communication (and consensus) is necessary to bring vitality and direction to families and finances.
While simply discussing family finances is good, budget meetings become even more effective when they’re done with regularity. Holding monthly (or more frequent) meetings will help coalesce your visions and shape the goals of your family.
Here are nine steps for a successful family financial meeting:
1. Schedule it. Put the meeting on your calendar. It should not be spontaneous. Hold it at a mutually convenient and appropriate time.
2. Set the timer. You’re not running a marathon or a congressional hearing. Make it short—30 minutes or so—and sweet.
3. Eliminate distractions. Turn off the TV. Put your phone away. Make sure the chores are done. Make your meeting an investment of time.
4. Include some delicious distractions. We’re talking snacks, which make meetings more enticing.
5. Go prepared. Bring pens, papers, or whatever other tools you’ll need to develop and monitor your family budget and finances. You can use online budgeting tools or apps.
6. Order in the court. Or the budget meeting. Follow a progressive meeting plan, such as listing income first. Then proceed by dividing and segmenting money into individual categories: donations, utilities, debt, fun stuff.
7. Allow for objections. You’re trying to create a team plan to financial management. You may have other priorities and preferences than other participants in the meetings. Discuss them and reach an agreement. Find ways to compromise.
8. Watch the clock. If you’re having trouble or facing challenges, consider addressing contentious matters at another meeting. Stick to your allotted time.
9. Rules of engagement. Budgets are wonderful tools to reach your goal, but without a way to track spending, it’s just a piece of paper or online platform. Put your budget to work for you by making sure you plug in income and spending numbers regularly and consistently
If you would like to discuss your current financial plans or budgeting strategies, we’re happy to talk.
Because things worth building are worth protecting.
You have a great concept. You’ve developed your business plan. Everything is set, except for one thing.
Funding Your Startup
There are several ways to fund a start-up that involve varying degrees of risk and effort. When choosing a path, it is important to know your options and evaluate which one is most suited to your needs and tolerance for risk.
To help you get started, here are eight possible sources of capital to fund a start-up business.
1. Fund It Yourself
Most start-ups, at least in the beginning, are self-financed. This may involve using your savings, borrowing against a retirement account, or taking out a home-equity loan. This is a good thing if your venture succeeds, as you retain all of the ownership. But if things don’t go so well, you must consider and weigh the risks you’re taking.
2. Friends and Family
People closest to you may be a good source of initial start-up funding. After all, they already know you, your background, and your integrity. They may be less concerned about your business plan and more willing to invest or lend based on the strength of your character.
But there are risks that are different than from other funding sources. Personal relationships can be at stake if problems or misunderstandings arise.
3. Initiate a Crowd-Funding Campaign
In crowd-funding campaigns on sites like Kickstarter, anyone can make online pledges to help fund your start-up. This usually involves pre-ordering a product, or receiving rewards. This is an innovative way to fund a smaller start-up.
4. Join a Start-up Incubator Group
What is an incubator group? An incubator group is a start-up accelerator often associated with universities or large organizations. Their purpose is to spur innovation. Most provide access to resources such as office space, but some also provide seed funding.
5. Apply for a Small Business Grant
There are lots of untapped government grants out there. Seek them out and you could potentially walk away with a safe and reliable source of money for your start-up.
6. Apply for a Line of Credit or Loan
If your tolerance for risk is low, talk to your bank or credit union about applying for a low-fee line of credit or personal loan. Your banker may also be able to help you with an SBA loan.
Keep in mind, though, you will have to make monthly payments right off the bat.
7. Seek Help from Angel Investors
Most cities have groups of high-net-worth individuals who are looking to invest in interesting business opportunities in their communities. If you’ve seen the television program, “Shark Tank,” these are examples of angel investors. They often want to see at least some track record of success, but some will entertain start-ups. The downside is that you may be giving up a considerable stake—often 10 to 50 percent—of your company for the ange funding. On the other hand, you may gain valuable expertise and contacts from someone who is motivated to help your venture succeed.
8. Go After Venture Capital Investors
Venture capital investors are professional investors who look for big ideas. For the majority of new start-ups, this isn’t a viable alternative, as VCs fund only about one or two percent of all business plans they review. But for those with the right combination of concept and team resumes – usually worth a few million dollars and supported by a team of proven individuals – they can be a great resource. VCs can scale capital needs quickly for fast-growing companies.