4 New Ways to Make Money in 2020

If you want a financial makeover in the New Year, you’re going to need to put in a little work. Unless you have a genie nearby who pops out of a lamp and grants your wish for unlimited money, you can’t sit around and expect piles of cash to fall into your lap. In the list below, we’ll show you how you can make money by leveraging different kinds of investments and income strategies.

Let’s investigate some of the most effective ways you can make your wallet and bank account flush with green below:

  1. Invest in real estate

Investing in real estate is a great venture if you have the money to make it happen. Compared to other types of investments, real estate is relatively low risk. It also has a lower tax rate, so you can keep more of your profits.

The real estate industry can be complex, so if you decide to go this route, make sure you know what you’re doing. If you’re looking into investing in commercial real estate for example, choose the right commercial real estate platform before jumping in. It’s also a good idea to chat with people in the real estate industry to get an idea of what to expect.

  1. Open a high-yield savings account

One of the easiest ways to earn money in a passive way is by opening a high-yield savings account. A high yield interest account has a higher APR or annual percentage yield. For you, this means that your money grows at a faster rate. For example, if you put $10,000 in a high yield account that had an APY of 2%, you’d be making $200 just for keeping that money in your account.

Shop around and check out your bank options. Your local credit union might offer better terms compared to big banks.

  1. Join the gig economy

The gig economy has enabled millions of people to make money in their spare time. And for some, the gig economy makes up the entirety of their income. Just a few examples include: joining Lyft or Uber, signing up on a freelance site, or tutoring.

If you are a talented knitter, it might be time to finally open an Etsy shop to sell your wares. Or perhaps you love editing and have helped numerous people in your life craft the perfect resume or cover letter. If that’s the case, consider looking into how you can turn that love into money. Perhaps you might want to copyedit on the side! The interest has revolutionized how people find work opportunities, whether it’s a short-term in-house gig or a long-term remote position.

  1. Ask for a raise

If you already have a job but want to make more money, one of the easiest ways to get some more cash is by asking for it. Set up a meeting with you boss or wait for your quarterly or yearly review.

Of course, you don’t want to go into a meeting asking for $100k more than you already make (or maybe you do). It’s important to go into the meeting with your boss with a solid reason why you deserve more money. In this case, numbers speak louder than words. If you have metrics you can use to show measurable profit growth due to your influence – that puts you in a great position.

Come into the meeting with a plan but be open to negotiation. Even if you don’t necessarily get a raise at the meeting, your boss may lay out a path to get that raise.

And at the end of the day, if you feel like you’re way underpaid, it might be time to look elsewhere for a job that pays better.

Takeaways

As much as we all wish a long-lost sibling would contact us with a generous share of lottery winnings and retire early, that’s not going to be the reality for most Americans. With that said, there are plenty of ways you can make money. Whether it’s asking for a raise at your job or even looking for a new one, there are plenty of money-making opportunities out there. Investments, high yield savings accounts, monetizing your hobbies – the world is your oyster!

How You Can Afford a House in California

Maybe you’re looking for somewhere nice to buy a second home, or maybe you visited California recently and fell in love with the place—in any case, there’s no doubt in your mind that you want to purchase a house in the Golden State.

California is a notoriously expensive state to buy a house because the population is large and there aren’t very many available homes on the market—which makes housing prices higher. However, there are a few great strategies you can use to make your California dream home more affordable.

FHA Loan

A Federal Housing Administration loan (or FHA loan) is a loan that’s primarily for low-income homebuyers or first-time homebuyers. With an FHA loan, you may only be required to make a 3% down payment as opposed to the customary 20% down payment. The flip-side, of course, is that it may be difficult to qualify and that you’ll also be faced with higher mortgage payments and interest.

If you want to make the most out of an FHA loan, be sure to keep your credit score as high as possible so you’ll be approved and receive a better rate. You should also strive to pay off as much of your debt as possible so you’ll be able to better manage the higher mortgage payments.

Be aware that you might not be able to use an FHA loan to buy a pricier house in one of California’s more in-demand neighborhoods.

Stated Income Loan

If you’re self-employed, you might find it difficult to get a mortgage loan because it’s more difficult to prove your income and differentiate between your business and your personal finances. However, you may be able to find a lender that issues stated income loans in California. The best thing about a stated income loan is that you’ll be able to keep doing whatever it is you do to make a living. California can be rewarding to entrepreneurs, and it’s a great place for gig economy workers. Keep up the hard work and let your self-employment help you get a good mortgage.

Buy in a Suburb or Rural Area

Unsurprisingly, houses are much more expensive when they’re located in big cities or by the coastline. You can find houses for much more affordable prices in some of the inland suburbs. Thankfully, these suburbs are located only a short driving distance from the larger cities, so you’ll still be in close proximity to all the nightlife and cultural activities that those cities offer—and you’ll still get to enjoy the pleasant weather that California is known for. Some suburbs have access to efficient public transportation, so you can jump from the suburbs to the big city without even having to touch the highway.

Although California is known for its bustling metropolitan areas, there are still plenty of rural areas in which housing prices are also more affordable. You might be able to get a USDA loan if you’re going to buy a house in one of these locales.

Get Roommates

Since housing is so expensive, there are lots of Californians (and we mean lots) that opt for roommates. Having roommates is great because it reduces the rent (and mortgage) of a property and gives you more money to spend or save. If you have friends that also want to move to California, you might consider talking with them about going in on a house together. There are plenty of California homes that are large enough for multiple people or couples, and it might be a great option if you’re more of a social person.

If you have room in your house or on your property, you could rent out a room or guest house to a tenant. This is a terrific way to make some extra money to contribute to your mortgage payment, and it’s easy to rent out a room to quality tenants online.

Buy a Condo

If you can’t afford a house, but you also can’t imagine not living in California, you might consider buying a condo, instead. There are lots of condos in California that are as expensive or more expensive than houses, but there are also plenty of them that fall below the market value of the houses. Some of these condos are in high-rises that offer magnificent views. California housing is trending vertical, so there should be more and more condos hitting the market each year. Use a real estate website to find available condos online.

It ‘ain’t easy to buy a house in California, but you can use one or more of these strategies to buy a Golden State home without going totally house poor. May your new house feels like home

Welcome a 4-Legged Family Member with Care

Tips for a successful, lifelong pet adoption

(Family Features) Bringing home a new pet can be exciting and heartwarming. Before you get caught up in the excitement of adopting a pet, however, it’s important to do a bit of homework and have conversations to ensure you’re choosing a lifelong fit for your family.

When considering adopting, keep in mind that pets can provide as many benefits to you as you do them, such as helping to reduce stress, providing companionship, getting the daily recommended amount of physical activity and more. As you take your options into account, remember these guidelines from the experts at PetSmart Charities to prepare for a successful homecoming for your newest family member.

Life Stages

If you prefer a lower energy pet, seek a senior (age 7 or above) who may move a little slower. For higher energy, look for young puppies and kittens or active breeds such as Labradors, hounds, American terriers (commonly known as pit bulls) and mixed breeds.

For first-time pet owners, a healthy adult dog or cat can help teach new pet parents the joys of having a pet and may not require as much attention as a puppy or kitten.

Families with young children might consider a family-friendly breed or mixed breed such as a hound. Older kids may benefit from additional responsibilities such as walking the dog or cleaning the litter box.

Living Environment

In addition to the type and age of pet you adopt, you’ll need to consider the space you have available to welcome your furry friend.

If you live in a home, consider fencing your yard for more relaxed playtime. If you live in an apartment, discuss any restrictions with your landlord and find out where the closest dog parks are to ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise.

Dogs need a place to call their own where they’re contained overnight and while you’re not home until they can be safely left to roam. Get a crate so your new pet can have an ‘apartment’ within your home.

You should always have more litter boxes than you do cats; for example, if you have one cat make sure you have at least two litter boxes. Litter boxes need to be scooped daily and completely changed weekly.

Veterinary Care

Most adoptions come with a free veterinary check-up within the first week. Visit the veterinarian to have your pet’s vaccine records reviewed and ensure you know the best options for food, exercise and preventative care.

You can prevent many common diseases by keeping your pet at a healthy weight, current on flea, tick and heartworm prevention, fully vaccinated and on a high-quality diet. Preventing diseases costs less money than treating them, so discuss any concerns you have with your veterinarian.

Financial Considerations

Most pets come with annual veterinary bills between $200-500 and food bills between $200-400.

Adopting a pet can provide cost savings, however, as fees at shelters and adoption events are typically lower than breeders and many of these pets are already spayed or neutered.

To ensure your pet is covered in case of emergencies, consider options like pet insurance or opening a designated savings account and depositing 5% of your pay each pay period. If you take out an insurance policy as soon as you adopt your pet, he or she will not have any “pre-existing” conditions excluded from your insurance plan.

Find more tips for a successful pet adoption and locate upcoming adoption events in your community at petsmartcharities.org.

SOURCE:
PetSmart Charities

Last-Minute Options for a Financial Emergency

Life happens sometimes and it’s not uncommon for individuals to run into unexpected financial emergencies. However, without time to plan for unforeseen expenses and without enough funds to face a financial challenge, emergencies can strain your finances. In our post on ‘Planning for the Future’ we discussed how putting money into an emergency fund or having insurance coverage can help with unforeseen medical or other emergencies. However, if you have neither of those, we’re going to provide you a few more options when you’re in a financial emergency.

Traditional Loans

Traditional loans include both secured and unsecured through banks or credit unions, with the latter requiring a credit check. The better your credit the better interest rate you will likely qualify for. Credit unions are generally a good option as unlike banks they are cooperative financial institutions controlled by their members. They are typically non-profit enterprises which means that they usually tend to lend money at more favorable rates than banks. Investopedia suggests that credit unions may also have more generous lending terms, and while interest rates will differ state by state, APR and application fees, for example, may be less than with the big banks.

Title Loans

When you find yourself in a troubling situation and have bad credit and limited options, a title loan offers some benefits over traditional loans. Finance expert Justin Pritchard explains that one benefit is that you don’t need good credit, as the loan is secured by the value of your asset. Additionally, they can be secured in a matter of hours or within a day. Title loans are available countrywide and you’ll need to provide a clear title in your name. For example, the title loans in Lorain, Ohio will let borrowers continue to drive their vehicle even after the ownership papers are posted as collateral. This is especially useful for those who need capital but also need their car to work. Fortunately, title loans are available in most states with high profile lenders providing services in Texas, including in Round Rock, New Mexico and Nevada.

Credit Card Advance

Most credit card providers will offer cash advances, albeit at a higher APR than the normal purchase APR including an additional 5% fee for the advance. However, if you’re in need of cash fast and have no other options, this is the fastest option of the ones we have included in this article, provided your credit cards aren’t maxed out. Credit card expert Lindsay Konsko recommends that you should only use cash advances in real emergencies and take out only what you need. It’s also advisable to use a card with zero balance, as any other type of balance (i.e. purchases) will accrue additional, separate interest.

401(k) Advance

Using your own money to fund your emergency costs could mean taking an advance from the money invested in your 401(k) or IRA. This way you don’t have to borrow from someone else and the interest rates are generally low. A caveat to this method is that you will typically have to repay it by the next tax period or face penalties from the IRS. While this option uses your own money, it’s generally not advisable as there are too many variables that can impact the repayment. This includes the loss of your job, at which point you’ll have to pay the loan in its entirety or it will be considered an early withdrawal, subject to tax penalties. However, sometimes you may not have any other option.

Resolve to Make Real Nutrition a New Year Priority

A new year signals a chance to renew your commitment to healthier eating, but many of the most popular diets, like the keto diet and paleo diet, eliminate entire food groups, which can cause you to fall short on nutrients you need.

For example, a study in the “Journal of Clinical Lipidology” suggests low-carb diets may not have meaningful long-term benefits for weight or heart health compared to other diets and could actually restrict foods that are good for your heart.

This new year, instead of jumping on restrictive diet bandwagons, focus instead on consuming real, wholesome foods you can still enjoy, like dairy milk, that deliver benefits backed by decades of research.

Consider these tips for incorporating nutrient-rich foods into a few trending diets to make them work for you.

Intermittent Fasting: Skipping meals could do more harm than good if you’re not getting the nutrients you need to be your best. A better bet: balanced, flavorful meals that incorporate multiple food groups. If you really want to try intermittent fasting, consider not eating past a certain time in the evening so you can “fast” throughout the night, and make sure to eat a nourishing breakfast in the morning, like oatmeal made with real milk, topped with fruit and a handful of nuts.

Plant-Packed Plates: If you’re considering a vegetarian or plant-based diet in the new year, it’s important to pack the right nutrients into your meatless meals, particularly protein, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Make sure you’re getting enough by enjoying a variety of plant-based foods like beans, nuts, fruits and vegetables along with some other thoughtfully chosen options. Real dairy milk is a good choice in a vegetarian diet, providing as much as eight times more protein than many non-dairy milk alternatives. Each 8-ounce glass is also a source of vitamin D, and an excellent source of calcium and vitamin B12.

Focus On Fats: If you’re keeping closer tabs on your fat intake, it’s important to choose the right ones and know that a growing body of evidence suggests not all saturated fats are the same. For example, whole milk, which has more dairy fat than skim or low-fat varieties, may actually help raise “good” cholesterol and could be considered part of a diet that’s also good for your heart, according to research in the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.”

Calorie Conscious: Monitoring the calories you consume versus the calories you burn through exercise and everyday activity can help manage the fuel your body needs. When you consistently burn more calories than you eat, you are more likely to effectively lose weight. However, that doesn’t mean you have to forgo all your favorite foods. For example, when it comes to dairy, swapping full-fat options for skim or low-fat alternatives is one way to receive the same nutrient package with less fat and calories.

Make better nutritional balance a priority this new year and find more advice and recipes at MilkLife.com. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
MilkPEP

How to Start a Keto Diet

(Family Features) Starting a keto diet continues to be one of the leading trends in nutrition, though many find the transition to be daunting. Kristin Kirkpatrick, RDN, Quest Nutrition spokesperson and former nutrition lead for the Cleveland Clinic, recommends these guidelines for a day on the meal plan to help you get started. Find more information at questketo.com.

SOURCE:
Quest Nutrition

Understanding Rare Cancers

Four facts to know about one type of rare cancer, soft tissue sarcomas

Although rare cancers don’t occur often, they can affect people of all ages and genders.

A rare cancer is defined as fewer than 15 new diagnoses per 100,000 people per year, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Additionally, as noted by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the 5-year survival rate is lower for people diagnosed with a rare cancer than for people living with more common cancers. Greater awareness of rare cancers may lead to earlier diagnosis and management, and potentially better survival rates.

  1. There are more than 50 types of soft tissue sarcomas (STS). STS account for about 1% of all cancers and affect soft tissues such as muscle, fat, nerves, blood vessels and skin. Although STS can be found in any part of the body, they are often in the arms or legs, internal organs, the back of the abdominal cavity or in the trunk, head and neck area.

If you have recently been diagnosed with STS, it’s important to ask your doctor for more information about the specific sub-type you have. For example, if you received a diagnosis of undifferentiated sarcoma, ask your doctor for an integrase interactor-1 (INI1) test to see if you have a rare STS called epithelioid sarcoma (ES). (See sidebar for more on ES.)

  1. STS can be visible or invisible depending on location. STS may appear as painless bumps under the skin, usually on arms or legs. Some sarcomas begin in the abdomen and typically don’t show symptoms until they grow and press on nearby organs, nerves, muscles or blood vessels. When this occurs, symptoms may include pain and trouble breathing.
  1. Early diagnosis can help inform disease management. As with other types of cancer, early diagnosis of STS is key, as earlier treatment may result in more favorable outcomes. Because other conditions can cause similar symptoms, it’s important to check with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the warning signs listed above. If your doctor decides it’s best to “watch and wait,” consider developing a six-week follow-up plan in partnership with your health care team if your symptoms have not improved.
  1. Seeking care from a specialist is key. Given the rarity of STS, finding a sarcoma specialist who understands the complexity of this rare disease and can help determine which treatment option is best for you is important. Treatment options depend on multiple factors, including your overall health, the location and type of tumor, its size and whether the disease has spread elsewhere in the body. STS are typically treated with a combination of options including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. A specialist may also speak to you about participating in a clinical trial where investigational therapies in STS are being studied.

Learning More About Epithelioid Sarcoma

A rare type of STS, epithelioid sarcoma (ES) accounts for less than 1% of all STS, which themselves account for approximately 1% of all cancers, according to research published in “Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.” ES can present as a lump or sore on the skin.

Notably, more than 90% of ES tumors do not express the INI1 protein, which when present acts to suppress tumor growth. INI1 loss plays an important role in the diagnosis of ES, according to researchers with “The American Journal of Surgical Pathology.”

Data from the NCI indicates that approximately 150-200 people in the United States are diagnosed with ES each year. Research published in “The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology” found the disease often occurs in young adults in their 20s and 30s. Because most ES patients are adolescents and young adults, there is a gap in the unique psycho-social needs for this patient population, including resources for patients who miss school while undergoing treatments, as well as fertility considerations later in life.

If you or someone you love is living with ES, you can find resources, information and the real-life perspective of an ES survivor at ESsentialsforES.com. (Family Features)

Content courtesy of Epizyme, Inc.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

SOURCE:
Epizyme

Does Your Skin Have a Holiday Hangover?

What to Do When Libations Take a Toll on Your Skin

‘Tis the season…for eating…and drinking.

We’re all aware of the effects binge drinking can have on our health, but that doesn’t stop most of us from overindulging during the party season. What many people don’t realize is that drinking alcohol in excess can have a negative impact on our appearance. Alcohol dehydrates your body including the skin, your body’s largest organ. This happens every time you drink. Extra cocktails can be adding years to your face in the form of wrinkles, poor texture, and lack of radiance.

Dr. Gretchen Frieling is a Boston Area Board-Certified Dermatopathologist. She explains that frequent alcohol consumption is also thought to deprive the skin of vital vitamins and nutrients. “Over time, drinking heavily can have other, more permanent, detrimental effects on your skin. Rosacea, a skin disorder that starts with a tendency to blush and flush easily and can eventually lead to facial disfigurement, is linked to alcohol. Since alcohol increases your blood flow, it often causes blood vessels in your face to dilate (sometimes permanently) and often burst, leaving behind broken capillaries and red spots that are difficult to get rid of,” offers Dr. Frieling.

Here’s a look at what alcohol can do to wreak havoc on your appearance.

Brittle hair.

What’s worse, drinking too much doesn’t only affect the appearance of your skin; it will dehydrate your hair, making it more prone to breaking and split ends. Weak, brittle hair in addition to premature wrinkling, can easily add 10 years to someone’s appearance.

Dark circles, bloodshot eyes, and even blindness.

In much the same way that alcohol causes broken capillaries on your face, it irritates and enlarges the tiny blood vessels on the surface of your eye (the sclera) causing a “bloodshot” appearance. If vanity doesn’t get your attention, how about blindness? “Because excessive drinking robs the body of some nutrients required to maintain eye health, it can lead to a condition called alcoholic optic neuritis, which impairs eyesight and, over time, can result in blindness,” cautions Dr. Frieling.

Some tips to avoid a “skin hangover” include…

1. Stay hydrated.

Aside from giving up booze altogether, Dr. Frieling says it is possible to minimize the unwanted effects of alcohol by constantly staying hydrated. “That means drinking a full glass of water for every cocktail you have. Drink even more water before you go to bed to flush the alcohol out of your system, so you wake up less dehydrated, puffy, and flushed,” she advises.

2. Take care of your skin before bed.

Taking care of your skin before hitting the sack is also crucial. Dr.  Frieling advises fully washing your face and then applying a moisturizer, like a hydrating serum before getting into bed. “Sleeping with dirty skin makes it prone to clogged pores and acne.”

3. Prop pillows and use tea.

One of the best ways to minimize the eye and face puffiness is to sleep on two pillows, slightly propped up. In the morning, rubbing ice cubes all over your face helps, too. “One of the best ways to deflate eye puffiness and reduce the redness is to place cold tea bags over the eyes. The tannins in the tea help constrict blood vessels,” adds Dr. Frieling.

4. Cover up what you can’t cure.

To camouflage the redness in the face, use a green-tinted primer before applying makeup, which should help neutralize any redness. If you must use foundation, look for a lightweight, moisturizing formula.  Avoid powders, as they are often more drying.

5. Consider lasers.

When at-home remedies aren’t making much of a difference. There are pricier measures you can take to minimize the effects of alcohol. “Certain laser treatments can reduce redness and spider veins on the face. It’s important to see someone who is well trained to administer the laser treatment,” suggests Dr.  Frieling.

6. Choose your booze wisely.

If you are going to consume alcohol know that different alcohols have different effects on the skin, but as a general rule, the clearer, the better. Vodka, gin, and tequila leave your system quicker. “If you’re going to drink anything, drink vodka that doesn’t have a grain in it, like potato vodka. It’s a lot clearer and smoother, so it gets in and out of your body quickly,” says Dr.  Frieling. Most dermatologists agree that although everyone metabolizes alcohol differently if you can remember to drink in moderation and stay hydrated, you can save your skin.

About Board-Certified Dermatopathologist Dr. Grethen Frieling

Dr. Gretchen Frieling

Dr. Gretchen Frieling

Dr. Gretchen Frieling (“Dr. G”), MD is a Harvard-trained, board-certified Dermatopathologist, with over 10 years of experience in Medicine and Dermatopathology.  With a background notable for intensive ballet, including the Juilliard School, Dr. G combines her artistic eye, perfectionistic qualities, and medical expertise, to give her patients the ability to be better versions of themselves.  Dr. G has an extensive academic background, including numerous publications in peer-reviewed medical journals, selected Editor of medical journals, an author of noteworthy medical textbook chapters, an educator at the Harvard Medical School, and speaker at many national medical conferences.

When it comes to non-surgical cosmetic procedures, Dr. Frieling has mastered the art of re-defining and re-vitalizing the face by eliminating fine lines, wrinkles and re-establishing volume with a minimalistic approach.  She is the founder and CEO of the GFaceMD luxury medical skincare line.  GFaceMD is a unique, boutique, client-focused aesthetic practice, with a mission to optimize beauty through advanced microenhancement techniques with the utmost professionalism, education, and confidentiality.  Services include injectables from neurotoxins to dermal fillers, fat dissolving treatments, collagen-stimulating treatments, laser treatments, medical facials, microneedling, chemical peels, dermaplaning, and more.  Along with splitting her time as a practicing Dermatopathologist, Dr. Frieling enjoys spending time with her husband, her two kids, and extended family, as well as volunteering in the community. She is an avid philanthropist, serving as a judge in the Miss Pink Organization, an active member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and a contributor to many non-profit organizations, including My Life My Choice and St. Jude.