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A Beginner’s Guide to Insurance Premiums

What is a premium?

To benefit from insurance coverage, you’ll need to pay a premium. A premium is a payment to your insurer that keeps your coverage in place. Insurance companies determine your premium by deciding what the risk is to insure you. Here’s a breakdown of the basics to help you understand what a premium is, why you have to pay it, how it works and ways to reduce your costs.

What Is a Premium?

An insurance premium is effectively the cost of your insurance, whether for health, auto or life insurance. Most companies allow you to pay the annual premium via monthly installments. However, some companies may require you to pay your premium on an annual basis or a semi-annual basis. Some may even want the entire insurance premium up front. Companies often decide they want the insurance premium up front if you have previously had your insurance policy canceled for non-payment.

The price of a premium is usually decided by an actuary or underwriter who takes a base calculation. The base calculation determines what the risk is to insure you. After the base calculation, the company may discount it based on your health, driving record, location and other personal details. This is all based on the type of insurance you’re looking to secure, too.

Your premium may also be determined based on your insurance history. Every insurance company uses different criteria to determine premiums. Some companies use insurance scores based on personal factors like credit rating, car accident frequency, personal claims history and occupation. If your personal factors are attractive to certain companies, you may want to secure a plan with one of them. It could mean a lower cost premium.

You may also pay more money for higher amounts of coverage, whether you’re purchasing life insurance, car insurance, health insurance or any other kind of insurance.

The value and condition of what you are insuring can also change the amount of coverage you need. For example, if you’re a healthy 28-year-old with no kids, your life insurance premium may be very inexpensive because you might not need a large policy. However, the price could increase as you age and your health and family situations change because you may need more coverage.

How Can You Lower Your Rates?

What is a premium?

The type of coverage you purchase affects your premium. If you get more comprehensive coverage with your insurance policy, it may raise your insurance premium. For example, if you insure your vehicle for all risks, you may have to pay more than if you insured it with a policy that doesn’t include collision coverage.

Deductibles can reduce your insurance premiums, as well. An insurance deductible is the cost you pay before the insurance company pays anything. If your car is insured and you have a $1,000 deductible, you have to pay $1,000 before the insurance company will begin to cover any costs. If there are $3,000 in damages to your vehicle, you would have to pay $1,000 and the insurance company would pay the other $2,000. As a general rule, the higher your deductible, the lower your premiums.

In the case of health insurance, taking on a higher deductible, higher co-pays or longer waiting periods may lower your costs. However, if you can afford a plan with a lower deductible, you may want to take that. Lower deductible health plans offer customers more predictable prices for higher amounts of coverage.

Your homeowners insurance premium may be affected by the coverage limits you choose, your deductible amount, optional coverages you select, your home’s age and condition, your claims history and your credit rating.

Car insurance premiums may be affected by your age, your credit score, your driving record, the age of your car, the type of coverage you chose, coverage limits you select, where you live and drive, and how often you drive.

Your life insurance premium may be affected by the amount of life insurance coverage you buy, the type of life insurance policy you select, the length of your policy, and your age, health, and life expectancy.

Insurance Limits

Some companies, specific policies or types of coverage have insurance limits. An insurance limit is the maximum amount of money the company will pay. Typically, the higher your insurance limit, the higher your premium. It’s also the inverse of a deductible. You pay the part of the claim or claims that’s more than the limit on your policy.

Insurance limits can be on a per occurrence basis or on an aggregate basis. For example, a per occurrence basis could be a $20,000 insurance limit on bodily injuries per person, per car accident. An aggregate insurance limit might be a $100,000 limit on construction costs in the event of a natural disaster.

Car Insurance

Car insurance laws and policies typically list liabilities as a set of three numbers that stand for the coverage limits when you’re responsible for an accident. If your numbers were 22/66/15, your insurance would cover $22,000 for bodily injuries per person, $66,000 in total bodily injury coverage per accident and $15,000 for property damage per accident. For personal injury protection, collision and comprehensive coverage, the numbers are listed as a single amount for each type of coverage. Your state may have specific minimum limits for certain coverages, so make sure you’re getting a fair rate.

Health Insurance

Healthcare laws often change, and many lifetime and annual health insurance limits are illegal. However, some health insurance policies still list annual limits or limits on the number of times certain treatments will be covered, such as acupuncture, chiropractic services and orthotics. Companies may also place limits on prescription medication to keep costs down. There may be policies such as “step therapy,” which requires you to try less expensive drugs first, or quantity limits, such as only covering 30 pills in 30 days.

Homeowners Insurance

Your homeowners insurance policy will often list separate limit amounts for different types of coverage. The limit amounts for liability coverage – in case you’re sued by someone for property damage or injuries that occur on your property – may be different than the limit amount for damage to your home and personal property. Make sure you review all of your homeowners insurance coverage limits, such as the amount it may cost to rebuild your home (dwelling coverage), liability coverage and personal property coverage.

Shopping Around

What is a premium?

It’s important to shop around for insurance because different companies have different target clients. You may be the target client for one company, but not for another. That means your premium may be lower with one company than another. The price you pay for your insurance may include taxes or fees, as well. And these could differ from company to company. Before shopping around, call your insurance company and see if they’re willing to lower your premium.

In addition, insurance companies may decide to pursue a new market segment. That can lower rates on a temporary basis, or on a more permanent basis if that works for the company. In either case, you can get a better deal on your insurance if you are part of the demographic that insurance company wants to attract.

The best insurance company for you may not be the best insurance company for your parents or your best friend. It all depends on your age, location and many other factors.

The Bottom Line

Your insurance company will assess the financial risk of insuring you. The greater they perceive that risk to be, the more your premium will cost. It’s important to make sure you let your insurance company know all the ways in which you are a low-risk or lower risk client in order to get premium reductions. After shopping around, you’ll be able to find the insurance policies that are best for your financial situation.

Tips for Reducing Insurance Costs

  • Consider all of the insurance options available based on your individual circumstances. This can help you save money. A comprehensive budget calculator can help you understand which option is best.
  • If you need extra help weighing your insurance options, you might want to consider working with an expert. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs can be easy. SmartAsset’s free tool will match you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If you’re ready to learn about local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/skynesher, ©iStock.com/kate_sept2004, ©iStock.com/AndreyPopov

The post A Beginner’s Guide to Insurance Premiums appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.

Source: smartasset.com

Understanding Long-Term Care Insurance

A lot of us don’t like to think about this, but inevitably there will come a time where we will all need help taking care of ourselves. So how can we start preparing for this financially?

Many people opt to purchase long-term care insurance in advance as a way to prepare for their golden years. Long-term care insurance includes services relating to day-to-day activities such as help with taking baths, getting dressed and getting around the house. Most long-term care insurance policies will front the fees for this type of care if you are suffering from a chronic illness, injury or disability, like Alzheimer’s disease, for example. 

If this is something you think you’ll need later on, it’s crucial that you don’t wait until you’re sick to apply. If you apply for long-term care insurance after becoming ill or disabled, you will not qualify. Most people apply around the ages of 50-60 years old. 

In this article, we will discuss long-term care insurance, how it works and why you might consider getting it.   

How long-term care insurance works

The process of applying for long-term care insurance is pretty straight forward. Generally, you will have to fill out an application and then you’ll have to answer a series of questions about your health. During this point in the process, you may or may not have to submit medical records or other documents proving the status of your health. 

With most long-term care policies, you will get to choose between different plans depending on the amount of coverage you want. 

Many long-term care policies will deem you eligible for benefits once you are unable to do certain activities on your own. These activities are called “activities of daily living” or ADLs:

  • Bathing
  • Incontinence assistance
  • Dressing
  • Eating
  • Getting off and/or on the toilet
  • Getting in and out of a bed or other furniture

In most cases, you must be incapable of performing at least two of these activities on your own in order to qualify for long-term care. When it’s time for you to start receiving care, you will need to file a claim. Your insurer will review your application, records and make contact with your doctor to find out more about your condition. In some cases, the insurer will send a nurse to evaluate you before your claim gets approved. 

It’s very common for insurers to require an “elimination period” before they start reimbursing you for your care. What this means is that after you have been approved for benefits and started receiving regular care, you will need to pay out of pocket for your treatments for a period of anywhere from 30-90 days. After this period, you will get reimbursed for your out-of-pocket expenses and from there.

Who should consider long-term care insurance

Unfortunately, the statistics are against our odds when it comes to whether or not we will eventually need some type of long-term care. Approximately half of people in the U.S. at the age of 65 will eventually acquire a disability where they will need to receive long-term care insurance.  Of course, the problem is, long-term care can be really expensive. Unless you have insurance, you’ll be paying for your long-term care completely out-of-pocket should you ever need it.

Your standard health insurance plan, including Medicare, will not cover your long-term care. The benefits of buying long-term care insurance are that:

  • You can hold on to your savings: Many uninsured seniors have to dip into their savings account in order to pay for their long-term care. Because it’s not cheap, many of them drain their life savings just to be able to pay for it.

 

  • You’ll be able to choose from a larger variety of options: Being insured gives you the benefit of being able to choose the quality of care that you prefer. Just like with anything else, you get what you pay for when it comes to healthcare. Medicaid offers some help with long-term care, but you’ll end up in a government-funded nursing home. 

 

How to buy long-term care insurance

If you’ve recently started thinking about shopping for long term-care insurance, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind:

  • Do you mind being insured on a policy with an elimination period?
  • Can you afford all of the costs including living adjustments?
  • Are you interested in a policy that covers both you and your spouse, otherwise known as “shared care”?

There are a few different ways to go about getting long-term care benefits. You can either buy a policy from an insurance broker, an individual insurance company, or in some cases, your employer. Obtaining long-term care insurance through your employer is probably going to be cheaper than getting it as an individual. Ask your employer if it’s included in your benefits. 

Many people also opt to shop for hybrid benefits insurance policies. This is when a long-term care policy is packaged in with a standard life insurance policy. This is becoming a lot more common in the world of insurance. Keep in mind that the approval process may be slightly different for a hybrid insurance policy than of that of a stand-alone long-term care insurance policy. Make sure to ask about the requirements before you apply. 

Best long-term care insurance packages

There are not very many long-term care insurance companies that exist as there once was. It’s hard to wrap our heads around purchasing something that we don’t yet need. However, here are a few examples of companies that offer competitive long-term care packages:

 

  • Mutual of Omaha: This company offers benefits of anywhere between $1,500 and $10,000. While the main disadvantage of this company’s packages is that they do not cover doctor’s charges, transportation, personal expense, lab charges, or prescriptions, you CAN choose to receive cash benefits instead of reimbursements. This company also offers discounts for things like good health and marital status. This company’s insurance policies offer a wide range of options and add-ons so you can make sure that all your bases are covered.

 

 

  • Transamerica: This company’s long-term policy, TransCare III, is good if you don’t want to hassle with an elimination period. If you live in California, this may not be the best choice for you because California’s rates are a lot higher than the rates in other states. Your maximum daily benefit can be up to $500 with this program, with a total of anywhere between $18,250-$1,095,000. 

 

 

  • MassMutual: Popular for their SignatureCare 500 policy which comes in both base and comprehensive packages, is a long-term care and life insurance hybrid. This is very appealing to many seniors wanting to kill two birds with one stone. This company also has a 6-year period as one of their term options, which is pretty high.

  • Nationwide: This program sets itself apart from many other programs available because it allows you to have informal caregivers like family, friends, or neighbors. You will receive your entire cash benefit every month and it is up to you to disperse the funds as you would like. Currently, this company does not have their pricing available online, so you will need to speak with an agent to discuss prices.

 

Understanding Long-Term Care Insurance is a post from Pocket Your Dollars.

Source: pocketyourdollars.com

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The Best Cities for Pets

With more pet ownership happening across the country, finding the best cities for pets could help you live more comfortably. The best cities for pets provide pet-friendly apartments, as well as plenty of amenities, such as off-leash parks, hiking spots, veterinary hospitals and doggie daycares.

Finding the best cities for pets

In our search for the best cities for pets, we analyzed the percentage of apartments in our database that were pet-friendly and allowed dogs or cats.

We also looked at the average cost of veterinarian services in large metro areas with populations above 100,000 and the number of pet-related businesses and parks per capita. Then, we ranked them accordingly.

Here are the best cities for pets in the U.S.

davie fl

10. Davie, FL

Just north of Miami, Davie is a town with plenty of scenic parks. Head over to Happy Tails Dog Park, the city’s pristine dog park, where your dog can socialize and run obstacle courses. The park has three different play areas and doggie water fountains.

There’s also Central Broward Park, which features 110 acres of fields and playgrounds, Vista View Park, a hilly green space to spend the day hiking and Peace Mound Park, which has an ancient burial site.

Located in Broward County, Davie is known for its colleges, universities and technical colleges. It’s home to plenty of family-friendly activities, such as hanging at the Flamingo Garden and Everglades Holiday Park.

vacaville ca

9. Vacaville, CA

Fast-growing city Vacaville in Northern California, just 55 miles outside of San Francisco and because it’s not in the heart of the city, it’s a lot more affordable, too.

Vacaville is a great place to get on your bike and take your dog on a run through Alamo Creek Bike Trail or Lagoon Valley Park, a green, fenced off area for off-leash dogs to run around.

Besides sprawling, recreational areas and charming parks, you can also spend the afternoon checking out some of the local wineries.

Vacaville even has its own little museum, honoring the local heritage. It’s an ideal place away from the hustle and bustle, but close enough if you ever need to access a bigger city (only 35 miles from Sacramento).

naperville il

8. Naperville, IL

Naperville is a suburb of Chicago — it sits just 35 miles west of the Windy City and is home to paths and bridges that hug the DuPage River. Just like Vacaville, Naperville is far enough from the concrete jungle of Chicago so residents can enjoy the more scenic vibe of public art, colorful local shops, cafes and restaurants.

Grab the leash and take your dog on a stroll through Naperville Riverwalk, which has a two-mile path that opens up to the heart of the city. It’s picturesque with lots of green space, shopping and places to eat or get takeout along the way.

arvada co

7. Arvada, CO

When it comes to outdoor activities, you really can’t find a better place than Colorado. Arvada, which is near Denver, offers a unique, small-town feel with a retro vibe. The city has a historic shopping district called Olde Town and offers plenty of parks, trails (it has 125 miles of hiking and biking!) and lakes where you can see the mountains and bald eagles.

You can hike Mesa Trail and see views of the Flatirons or check out Eldorado Canyon State Park to climb amid sandstone cliffs. Because of its close proximity to nature, low crime rate and educated workforce, Arvada is a popular place to live. It encompasses the top 20 of Colorado’s wealthiest ZIP Codes.

scottsdale az

6. Scottsdale, AZ

While summers are hot, the rest of the year in Scottsdale is relatively mild, which makes it a comfortable place to live with your pet and get outside. Just outside of Arizona’s capital Phoenix, Scottsdale is well-known for incredible views of rock formations at Camelback Mountain and Hole in the Rock, a geological cluster with big open spaces.

Scottsdale even has a number of popular pet-friendly hotels (for some cool, indoor time for those scorching summers) and is generally welcoming of pets in public places, such as its posh Scottsdale Fashion Square and local wineries.

tyler tx

5. Tyler, TX

In eastern Texas, Tyler is known for its rose gardens and even has a museum dedicated to remembering the rich history of the town’s annual Texas Rose Festival.

Tyler is the kind of place where you can visit popular attractions, such as the Tyler Azalea trail and any of their lakes, such as Lake Tyler and East Lake Tyler.

The city’s location and access to nature make it a great place for pets. The Sunrise Paw Park is a massive dog park — four acres, to be exact. The park, just northwest of Old Jackson Highway, has separate fenced off sections for small and large dogs to play and socialize.

boulder co

4. Boulder, CO

At the base of the Rocky Mountains is Boulder, CO. The city offers the best of both worlds, with the intricate rock formations of the Flatirons just west and the convenience of Pearl Street’s downtown’s shops, cafes and restaurants.

You can take your furry best friend just about anywhere in Boulder, including hiking trails and picnics with some spectacular scenery.

A dog-friendly must-do hike is the Flatirons Vista and Doudy Draw Trail, which is a beginner-level, 3.7-mile hike that will take about three hours. It’s an incredible way to spend the day, especially in the spring.

ann arbor mi

3. Ann Arbor, MI

Ann Arbor is near the Huron River and nicknamed “Tree Town” because of its abundance of green space — even their downtown is filled with trees. Known as one of the best places to live in Michigan, Ann Arbor is a welcoming place for young professionals, families and their pets.

A popular destination for dog-lovers is Swift Run Dog Park, which is an outdoor grassy area with 10 acres of freedom for Fido to get some exercise and be off-leash.

Stroll through the coffee shops and historic downtown area that’s lined with vintage clothing shops, independent bookstores and historic theaters. Ann Arbor is also home to the University of Michigan, and its creative, youthful vibe makes it feel like a typical university town.

charleston sc

2. Charleston, SC

For being such an old city, founded in 1670, Charleston is surprisingly pet-friendly, with tons to do and see with Fido, including James Island County Park. This play haven features a dog beach, four acres of grass, a cleaning station and a fenced play area for small dogs.

Besides dog parks, beaches and trails, Charleston exudes an old, historic charm. The port city has cobblestone streets, especially in the French Quarter and Battery districts.

Go for a stroll down the promenade and Waterfront Park for a relaxing view of the Charleston Harbor. There are also tons of local shopping venues, theaters, museums, cafes and gardens.

greeley co

1. Greeley, CO

The No. 1 city for Fido is in Greeley, a city in northern Colorado, about an hour away from Denver. There’s plenty of outdoor activities to do with your pet, from spending the afternoon at Poudre River Trail or taking advantage of the green space at Rover’s Run Dog Park.

Greeley is a central hub for community events and unlike its more expensive counterparts in Denver and Boulder, it’s considered a hidden gem due to its affordability in housing.

Greeley is a thriving cultural area, known for its art, entertainment and food-driven events, such as their summer-long Friday Fest and OktoBREWfest in the fall.

Greeley also landed in the No. 35 spot in a well-being index report, which measures community social and health data across populations.

The 50 best cities for pets

If you want to know what other cities made the list beyond the top 10, here are the top 50 best cities for pets.

Rank City Population Pet-Friendly Properties Vet Costs Pet Businesses Per Capita (10k People)
1 Greeley, CO 108,649 100.0% $36.86 10.2
2 Charleston, SC 137,566 92.9% $50.50 14.1
3 Ann Arbor, MI 119,980 97.3% $51.03 12.2
4 Boulder, CO 105,673 90.0% $46.00 13.1
5 Tyler, TX 106,985 85.2% $46.33 15.1
6 Scottsdale, AZ 258,069 87.8% $51.20 15.4
7 Arvada, CO 121,272 88.2% $46.00 9.6
8 Naperville, IL 148,449 100.0% $46.39 6.8
9 Vacaville, CA 100,670 93.3% $50.00 7.9
10 Davie, FL 106,306 90.9% $54.90 11.5
11 Westminster, CO 113,166 93.3% $46.00 7.2
12 Fort Collins, CO 170,243 82.6% $36.86 13.3
13 Sugar Land, TX 118,488 100.0% $51.55 7.3
14 Billings, MT 109,577 83.3% $46.50 13.1
15 Cary, NC 170,282 93.5% $52.67 8.0
16 Overland Park, KS 195,494 88.7% $48.10 8.5
17 Roseville, CA 141,500 96.7% $50.00 7.0
18 Springfield, IL 114,230 88.9% $58.67 13.5
19 Tucson, AZ 548,073 87.3% $53.00 10.8
20 Columbia, SC 131,674 78.3% $37.50 20.7
21 Athens, GA 126,913 91.9% $55.54 8.7
22 Midland, TX 146,038 90.6% $50.00 7.4
23 Pueblo, CO 112,361 81.8% $39.00 10.0
24 Des Moines, IA 214,237 84.4% $41.63 8.4
25 Edinburg, TX 101,170 100.0% $41.67 4.3
26 St. Louis, MO 300,576 82.0% $50.67 15.7
27 Dayton, OH 140,407 82.4% $51.56 19.7
28 Lakewood, CO 157,935 87.8% $58.29 10.8
29 West Palm Beach, FL 111,955 80.0% $50.00 17.5
30 Simi Valley, CA 125,613 91.7% $69.00 10.3
31 Gilbert, AZ 254,114 100.0% $51.20 5.6
32 Elk Grove, CA 174,775 95.0% $50.00 5.4
33 Round Rock, TX 133,372 84.0% $45.00 7.6
34 Peoria, AZ 175,961 95.0% $46.00 4.5
35 Birmingham, AL 209,403 79.6% $45.00 10.8
36 Santa Maria, CA 107,263 100.0% $47.48 4.1
37 Knoxville, TN 187,603 75.0% $39.40 21.2
38 Broken Arrow, OK 110,198 90.9% $52.63 7.2
39 Allen, TX 105,623 100.0% $84.50 8.7
40 Austin, TX 978,908 85.3% $45.00 7.1
41 Grand Rapids, MI 201,013 86.3% $56.00 9.5
42 Omaha, NE 478,192 85.0% $56.50 10.4
43 Temecula, CA 114,761 90.9% $63.50 8.5
44 Centennial, CO 110,937 100.0% $58.29 6.3
45 Alexandria, VA 159,428 86.4% $62.50 10.3
46 Raleigh, NC 474,069 87.7% $52.67 7.4
47 Springfield, MO 167,882 76.3% $44.08 12.6
48 Coral Springs, FL 133,759 88.2% $54.90 7.5
49 Tallahassee, FL 194,500 77.4% $48.30 14.9
50 Allentown, PA 121,442 88.2% $55.00 7.5

Finding a pet-friendly apartment

Here’s what you need to know in order to find the best find a pet-friendly apartment for your needs.

pet-friendly apartments

Search for pet-friendly amenities

Newer apartment buildings come with all sorts of amenities, beyond a pool and fitness center. Pet-friendly apartments will have on-site dog parks, washing stations and even pet daycare.

Get renters insurance

You may have heard why it’s important to get renters insurance. Consider buying it for the year if you’re ready to move to a new apartment with your pet. It could show your new landlord that you’re responsible and are covered in case your pet causes any damage to the unit.

Depending on the type of coverage and policy you choose, renters insurance may include:

  • Property damage to the unit
  • Liability in case someone gets hurt in your unit
  • Theft of belongings in your apartment and car
  • Additional living expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable as a result of a covered emergency

Get a recommendation

Ask your former landlord to write a letter of recommendation, highlighting your dog’s behavior and the condition of your previous apartment. You may want to include other types of documentation when talking to your landlord, such as:

  • Obedience school documents
  • Pet sitters who took care of your dog
  • A former neighbor

Pay a pet deposit

This topic will inevitably come up when you look for a pet-friendly apartment. Most apartment buildings will require a pet deposit, which is generally a few hundred dollars.

Take photos of your apartment before you move in

When you find the right place to live, be sure to take photos of your apartment before you move in. This could serve a few purposes for you, including proof that your pet didn’t ruin the unit.

You could show these photos to future landlords to state your case that your dog is well behaved. It could also help you get your security deposit back.

Methodology

To determine the best cities for pets, we looked at all cities with at least 100,000 people according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 estimates and then ranked each city by the following factors:

Pet-friendliness (50%)

  • The percentage of available properties that allow dogs or cats. Listings are from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s November 2020 multifamily rental property inventory.

Veterinarian costs (20%)

  • The average cost of vet services in the urban area. Vet costs come from the Council for Community and Economic Research’s 2020 Q3 cost of living index.

Pet businesses per capita (30%)

  • Businesses include vets, animal hospitals, pet shops, pet training facilities, pet boarding, pet supplies and parks. Counts come from a database of 8 million commercially licensed business listings and may not reflect recent openings or closures.

Each of these factors was weighted differently, and the cities with the best overall score were determined to be the best cities for pets.

The post The Best Cities for Pets appeared first on Rent Blog.

Source: rent.com

What To Do This Weekend

activities-to-try-this-weekend

What to Do This Weekend

Weekend plans look a lot different nowadays, eh?  I’m sure you are as sick of reading stories that begin with,  “In these unprecedented times” or “Our new reality.”  So I’m going to skip the intro and the explanation …You are being a hero by staying home and protecting the health of your family and that of your neighbors.  Thank you!  Let me reward that good behavior with a list of a few things to keep you entertained this weekend.

Absurd Planet

It’s a ridiculous tongue in cheek nature show on Netflix.  There are plenty of adult jokes disguised as nature facts.  It’s child safe and adult approved.  The whole family enjoyed it!  If you are looking for a program the whole family can enjoy, add Absurd Planet to your watch list.

Watch Party

Speaking of Netflix, did you know you can watch a movie with friends long distance?  Check out  Netflix Party. It synchronizes everyone’s video playback and adds a chat feature.  If you and your significant other aren’t quarantining together, this is certainly a fun date night option, too!

Date Night Dinner & Dessert

If you are homebound with your significant other, you’re probably ready to spice things up.   Tasty did a great feature of creating a three-course meal from the pantry.  I was impressed….especially when one of the courses was peanut butter cookies!  Follow along and cook a great meal or just get inspired to create your own pantry date night!

Stretch

We are sitting still so much more than usual.  You need to give your joints and bones and muscles some love! Stretch them out!  There are plenty of free stretching videos on YouTube and the like, but my number one recommendation is the Peloton App.  They are offering a 90-day free trial right now, after that it’s $13/month.  The full body stretches are 5-15 minutes long giving you plenty of options.  Additionally, they have meditation, boot camp, running, and walking programs.  (and no, I’m not an affiliate…I just think it’s a great app)

Try A New Summer Recipe

Yeah, cooking isn’t a groundbreaking suggestion.  Approach it a little differently today.  Think of it as a meditation.  Take your time cleaning and cutting the fresh veggies or fruit.  Maybe watch a Youtube video first and learn a new technique.  Then when you are ready, take on one of these yummy summer recipes.

Dance 

Last week I took a dance lesson to learn the moves to the Tik Tok ‘Savage’ dance. The instructor was amazing…I was a *mess*!  But I haven’t laughed that hard in a while…and it used up a lot of energy!  You can find plenty of lessons on YouTube or you can try a virtual class with Diva Dance DC.  You can literally dance like nobody is watching! And who knows…maybe you will find some hidden talent!

Phone a Friend

….not for your sake, but for theirs.  People are getting cabin fever.  They need each other.  Scroll through your phone and find the friend that you know lives alone or the friend you know wishes they were living alone, and give them shout.  It doesn’t have to be a Zoom happy hour and it doesn’t have to be an hour long.  You can simply share a happy memory you have with them.  Small interactions and gestures go a long way right now.  

That’s it for this week.  As I find specific events or awesomeness, I will share a new post weekly!  If you have ideas or events to include next week feel free to send them my hollib@apartminty.com or @Apartmentalist on Instagram.

Be Well!

Read What To Do This Weekend on Apartminty.

Source: blog.apartminty.com

6 Things You Landlord Cannot Do | ApartmentSearch

In many states, housing laws favor landlords! However, as a tenant, you don’t have to fight a losing battle. Get informed about the things landlords can’t do.

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

A September State of Mind

Hi friends. So sorry to go completely MIA on you. Between attempting online school with a five-year-old, much of California burning to the ground, and the general state total chaos in which we find ourselves, getting to the computer for any length of time has been a bit of challenge, to put it mildly. And then I blinked and summer is officially over.

But I had to finally get on here as I have big news for you!

They say you shouldn’t make major life decisions during times of extreme stress, right? Well, we decided to throw all caution to the wind and instead have purchased a coastal cottage in Washington State! Apparently a global pandemic, homeschooling a kindergartner and the most consequential presidential election of our lifetime wasn’t enough to keep me busy.

coastal cottage mood board on Apartment 34

In all seriousness, if the past seven months of Covid have taught us anything, it’s the importance of friends and family and so we decided to create a gathering place that can bring together those we love most for years to come. Nestled within the myriad of inlets and islands that dot the Puget Sound north of Seattle, the cottage enjoys sweeping views of the Olympic mountains and Hood Canal. I consider it my official respite from the impending doom. Sadly it looks nothing like the inspiration images I’ve collected here.

Instead, it is going to take a LOT of work to get our little coastal cottage visitor ready – and in a very short period of time. Over the coming weeks, I plan to take you along on the entire design journey. I will be sharing everything with you – from the cottage’s current state, to all of my design inspiration and through the remodel process. If all goes according to plan, I’ll share a major before and after reveal in time to spend the holiday season with our family rather than more than 800 miles away.

coastal cottage mood board on Apartment 34

Trust me, we’re going to have plenty to discuss, as I have to pick an entire household’s worth of things – from paint colors and kitchen cabinets down to dishware, bedding and everything in between. No design decision will be left unturned. It’s both exhilarating and incredibly daunting. These mood boards are just part my first ideation session for my dream vibe.

I’m hopeful sharing this process with you will offer you some fresh design ideas and positive inspiration as we all hunker down to weather what will undoubtedly be a stormy fall – be it literally or just politically. It’s been a rather dark year and I feel like this might be a way to share a little bit of light. I know I am very happy for the creative distraction. I hope you are too.

I can’t wait to share more very soon!

The post A September State of Mind appeared first on Apartment34.

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Source: apartment34.com

How to Decorate a Small Apartment Bathroom | ApartmentSearch

Decorating a small bathroom shouldn’t cost a small fortune! See how to spruce up everything from the sink to the mirror with these cheap and easy tips.

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Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com