Category Archives: Budgeting

Food on Friday ~ Sheet Pan

Eating is a Necessity, but cooking is an Art.

If you don’t have a sheet pan, get one.  It’s a super way to cook an easy and healthy meal in about 30 minutes, especially a sheet pan midweek dinner, especially if you’re a very busy person trying to hold down a full-time job as well as have a real life.

Chungah at Damn Delicious has some great sheet pan recipes, sheet pan garlic butter shrimp, sheet pan steak and fries, and this one, sheet pan garlic butter salmon.  Looks nice for a healthy dinner.  I know my friend in Southern California would lake me to make this for her sometime.

Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Salmon

Cool San Diego girl Averie, of Averie Cooks also likes 30 minute sheet pan dishes like this sheet pan Italian chicken and vegetables, sheet pan orange chili salmon, and Averie also has another salmon dish, sheet pan honey lemon salmon.  If you like honey, then this dish is for you, particularly if you live in SoCal and have a lemon tree in your yard.

Sheet Pan Honey Lemon Salmon

Found for us by How Sweet It Is we now have a recipe from Alyssa at The Recipe Critic; Thai Glazed Salmon and Vegetables ~ another delicious 30 minute recipe ~ and just how cool is that?

Thai Glazed Salmon and Vegetables

From Kansas City girl Katherine at Cookie and Kate we have this vegan and gluten free balsamic butternut, kale and cranberry panzanella.  Enjoy.

Balsamic Butternut, Kale and Cranberry Panzanella

This is different, damn easy, and so damn fast.  From Karen at Honestly Yum we have sweet potato nachos ~ made with chips in 3 minutes….  well maybe 10 minutes all together.  If you want to graze or snack in front of the TV with a beer or glass of wine then these are for you.

Sweet Potato Nachos

This is a meal to gladden the heart of any true Englishman; found for us by Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes we have sheet pan fish and chips from Boston cook Sheryl Julian.  Brilliant!

Sheet Pan Fish and Chips

I hope you’ve realised by now that a sheet pan is your new secret weapon ~ if your busy, and don’t really have time to cook, then try one of these 20 sheet pan suppers you’ll love, found just for you by Becca DiCenso at Eat This, Not That.  I like the look of this chimichurri chicken and potato sheet pan meal from Dara at Cookin’ Canuk, and how about one pan honey roasted turkey and vegetables from Katie Jasiewicz at Katie’s Cucina?

One Pan Honey Roasted Turkey and Vegetables

~

thanks ever so to all the great cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Food on Friday ~ Comfort Food

Ultimately, food is the most satisfying form of comfort.

Even though spring has arrived in more southerly parts of the world, it’s still cold and wintry here in Northern England.  Trust me, there’s still a need for comfort food here in the colder parts of the world.

First for you this week, from Joanne at No Plate Like Home is a great English staple ~ shepherds pie.  Usually made with ground beef, but sometimes with ground lamb, this 45 minute dish is a fantastic midweek dinner.

Shepherds Pie

And next, from English Foodie abroad at Chez le Rêve Français, we have another savoury pie, this time a  chicken and leek pie.  This looks a fabulous dish, which should take you around an hour to make.

Chicken and Leek Pie

Now for something easier and quicker from Chungah at Damn Delicious, there’s this great sheet pan steak and fries.  I really like dishes we can make in just one pan.

Sheet Pan Steak and Fries

Soup is also a wonderful winter comfort food, and from Canadian girl Heather at the flourishing foodie I can offer you this cauliflower, leek, and carrot soup.  Would be great with some crusty bread and fresh butter.

Cauliflower Leek and Carrot Soup

Something that isn’t a savoury pie, but kind of ticks all the pie boxes.  From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest, there’s this great looking Irishman’s beef brisket burrito.  I’m not usually a fan of burritos, but I really like the look of this dish.

Irishman’s Beef Brisket Burrito

Another Irish Beef dish, this time Irish Beef Stew from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes.  You know what?  In England we really like Irish Beef, but St. Patrick’s Day does nothing for most of us ~ maybe the English history with Ireland is just too long and chequered ~ and likely to more so as Brexit plays out..

Irish Beef Stew

Finally for this week, from Heather Christo, some real late-night comfort food.  This rich, but vegan and gluten free brown sugar spiced banana rum cake.  So, what’s not to like?

Brown Sugar Spiced Banana Rum Cake

A big thank you to all the great cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Food on Friday ~ Eggs

Eggs ~ so what can you do with the humble egg?

Eggs are incredibly nutritious ~ a real superfood, filled with all the good stuff you need for a healthy immune system.  And, eggs are cheap, easy to cook, and don’t have to be boring ~ as this week’s recipes will show.

For anyone pressed for time, or someone who wants a hot lunch at work, Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes has this omelette in a mug.  It’s cooked in the microwave.  I’ve tried to cook eggs in the microwave before, and had an egg explosion most times.  Elise says the secret is to add liquid to the eggs ~ and use a large enough mug.  I’ve tried her method, and it works brilliantly, (I buttered the bottom of my mug first).  Good Food doesn’t get easier than this.

mug-omelette-horiz-c2-1800

Omelette in a Mug

Simple Baked Eggs are almost as easy as the omelette in a mug, except you need an oven and not a microwave.  Even Cosmopolitan Magazine has a collection of 12 baked eggs recipes worth getting out of bed for.  But anyone, even the most ineptly boring guy can make a good, delicious, healthy hot meal in 10 minutes by baking eggs.  There are a stack of recipes for baked eggs, but this one is from Cooking Without Limits.

baked-eggs

Baked Eggs

Right, listen up, this is another dead easy dish for you very busy folk and healthy eaters.  Jessica Merchant at How Sweet It Is has this great recipe for a 15 minute spinach burrata omelette with avocado salad.  Look, anybody can make a great meal in 20 minutes with this recipe, even really inept boring guys.

burrata-omelet-i-howsweeteats-com-8

15 Minute Spinach Burrata Omelette with Avocado Salad

Dana from Portland, Oregon, (aka Minimalist Baker) has an easy recipe for a simple vegan omelette, and OK I don’t even pretend to understand the various types on non-carnivores, but I like the look of this easy dish.  The secret is this omelette uses tofu, and not eggs.  I guess you can make exactly the same recipe with eggs, and I guess you can make a lot of egg-based dishes with tofu.  hmmmmm.

easy-vegan-omelet

Simple Vegan Omelette ~ (tofu)

Tiegan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest always has some interesting and good-looking recipes ~ this grilled pineapple caprese eggs Benedict with coconut-almond hollandaise certainly caught my eye and whetted my appetite.  Look, the only even remotely hard part of this dish is the Hollandaise, and the’s dead easy in the food processor.  Try it, you’ll like it.  Also from Tieghan in Food on Friday #43 we have a grilled potato salad with almond-basil chimichurri and 7 minute eggs.

grilled-pineapple-caprese-eggs-benedict-with-coconut-almond-hollandaise-8

Grilled Pineapple Caprese Eggs Benedict with Coconut-almond Hollandaise

This is a totally fantastic recipe from Erica at Honestly Yum; Turkish Eggs, also called Çilbir.  I’ve eaten this tasty little dish all over the Mediterranean, just don’t call it Turkish Eggs in Greece.  I think my friend in Orange County will like this because of the yogurt, cilantro, garlic, and pepper in there along with the eggs.

turkish-eggs

Çilbir ~ Turkish Eggs

Finally for this week we have a collection from the meticulously gluten and allergen free Heather Christo; 10 egg-celent ways to spice up your breakfast eggs.  Among the fantastic dishes here we have this beautiful chive and brie frittata.  This looks so very, very good.

fritata

Chive and Brie Frittata

~

dscf0043thanks for all the recipes shown to us by some great cooks in this week’s Food on Friday

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

5 Ways To Lose Money Fast

a fool and his money are soon parted

sexy-woman-and-car

If you want to lose money really fast, or just guarantee that you will go broke eventually, then here are some brilliant ideas for you;

  1. Online Gambling.  Gambling in any form ~ from playing the slots in Las Vegas, to betting on horse racing at a high-street bookmaker in England ~ is guaranteed to lose you as much money as you like.  All those attractive online gambling sites just allow you to lose your money with 24/7 dedication from the comfort of your own home / office / car…  Online Forex Trading is just another form of gambling ~ you will lose loads of money.
  2. Wall StreetForex Trading.  The foreign exchange market exists for some very sensible reasons ~ it allows me to pay for a hotel stay in Wyoming, (priced in $), on my English credit card, (denominated in £).  Unecessary trading on the the Forex Market also allows idiots to risk vast amounts of money, and then inevitably lose it.  I’m an expert in all this stuff, and it would take me a week to teach you the basics, so just trust me, you will lose if you go online trading.  Even companies like Rolls Royce get burned, (lately to the tune of £4 billion), due to unecessarily hedging the Forex Market.
  3. Expensive New Cars.  A hot set of wheels might boost your ego,  get you a hot date, and it will also lose you a fortune.  Almost all cars depreciate over time, and some high-status cars depreciate at an horrific rate.  Add in the high cost on insuring your new car, and the good chance that you’ll crash the thing if you ever drive it hard, and an expensive new car can be a real money pit.  Best of all, get drunk, drive really fast, and then roll your car down a freeway embankment.  By the way, never believe a car salesperson, all sales people are professional liars, and I should know because I used to be one.
  4. Online Dating.  If your expensive new car hasn’t got you a real date, you could be a totally insane pathetic loser and try online dating as well.  Online dating isn’t cheap, both in terms of money and time.  And, it’s one of most dangerous things you can do, for example both human and robot scammers target the sad people who use online dating sites.  Or, you could get used, abused, robbed, raped, or dead.  If you just want to ruin your life, the get yourself addicted to paid online porn.
  5. Dangerous Drugs.  I include here; street drugs including marijuana, prescription drugs, party drugs, legal highs, tobacco, and booze.  To really waste a great deal of money while ruining your health and your life along the way, then get into everything at once.  Best of all get buzzed and go on the internet with your credit cards to hand.  Do not go near 12 step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous.

There are some other brilliant ways to go broke fast; trophy wife, mistress, toyboy, high-class hookers, marrying a foreigner, getting sick abroad without proper insurance, buying a home without having a full survey, signing things you don’t understand, and perhaps best of all guaranteed get rich quick schemes.

smoking-slutIf you really throw yourself into the above activities, not only could you lose all the money you have, you could also get yourself heavily into debt with some nasty people.  Along the way you are very likely to lose your self-respect, job, real friends, home, family, health, and maybe your life.  If you want to go downhill really, really fast, then I recommend you start at #5 and work your way upwards.

Most of you will never get as far as #1 because you’ll be on the streets, in jail, or dead long before that.  If you work diligently at #5 you could be dead broke and dead in a couple of years.

Good luck with totally ruining your life by getting heavily into any of the above financially stupid moves.

~

smoking-whorethese thoughts are mine, and mine alone

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

21 ways to save money

Easy Lifestyle Changes Could Save You A Small Fortune.

Red_RoseThere some very basic things you can do which, added together, will save you a great deal of money.  These changes to the way you live your life are not difficult, they’re not complicated, and they will not take up a lot of your time.  In fact, all of these things are what my granny used to call; ‘basic common sense’.  Get on with it, smell the roses, save yourself some money, and live a better life.

  1. Pay off all your credit and store card bills.  The average interest rate on credit card debt is around 16%, with some banks charging as much as 79.9% per annum, this is just extortion and usury.  Far better to borrow elsewhere, at a cheaper rate, and pay off your plastic.
  2. Use the internet and find cheaper providers for your gas, electricity, water, mobile phone, (cell phone), land line telephone, internet, cable television, and car insurance.  Switch to the cheapest provider because customer service will always suck, no matter who you are with.  And, by the way, do you really need all those rubbish TV channels?
  3. Lower the temperature of your heating, and raise the temperature of your air conditioning by a couple of degrees.  We all pay far too much for heating and cooling our homes.
  4. Lower the temperature at which you wash your clothes.  There is a 30C setting on my washing machine, (about 90F), and most of the time that’s what I use.  This gets rid of most dirt and stains, but it does not get rid of germs, and it’s not hot enough to get whites clean.  So, I still always wash my bed linen and whites at 90C, (about 200F).  Mind you, I always use biological washing powder which works well at lower temperatures.
  5. Always make a shopping list.  Far too many people go into a store and come out with a whole bunch of stuff they don’t really want or need, while forgetting the important thing they went in for.  Make a shopping list and never, ever make impulse purchases.
  6. Try own-brand goods.  Very often the own-brand products are just as good as the more expensive named-brands.  Quite often own-brand products are made in the same factories and on the same production lines as named brands.  Stores always try to make you buy the most expensive, premium goods.
  7. Never buy ‘designer labels’  ~  don’t be a logo whore, and who wants some other guy’s name on their clothes and shoes anyway?  It’s pathetic.
  8. Learn to do DIY.  I hate contractors, repair men, decorators, gardeners, with a passion.  If it needs doing then 90% of the time I do it myself.  Learn to decorate, put up a shelf, fix a leaky tap, (faucet), and save yourself an absolute fortune.
  9. Make your travel arrangements early and do it on the internet.  Always shop around for the cheapest deal.  Always pay by credit card.  Get a brochure from the travel agent for information and to give you a comparison.
  10. Learn to drive properly.  Almost everyone I know is a crap driver, especially women.  Almost everyone I know drives too fast, races between the lights, uses the accelerator hard and the brakes hard, and sits in the wrong gear.  Drive a little slower and learn what anticipation means and you will not only use less petrol, (gas), there will be much less wear and tear on your car.
  11. p1020966Don’t always buy the newest, top-of-the-range car.  A low mileage used car, or the basic model in the new car range can save you thousands.  Remember, the biggest cost of owning a car is depreciation.  Most cars will lose between 50% – 60% of their value in the first 3 years.  (Just don’t buy an Edsel ~ people will laugh.)
  12. Walk, don’t drive.  If you don’t have far to go and don’t have much to carry, don’t drive, walk instead.  That won’t only save you money, walking will do wonders  for your health and fitness.
  13. Give up smoking / vaping.  Both will seriously damage your health, both can kill you, and both will cost you a fortune.  A pack of 20 cigarettes will cost you about £7 in the UK and about $7 in California, (USA prices vary by state).  So, a 10 a day habit will cost you about £1,300 per annum in the UK and $1,300 a year in California ~ a lot of money for a disgusting habit that’s killing you.
  14. Cut down on your drinking.  Too much booze will make you fat, ill, and temporarily or permanently stupid ~ it will eventually kill you.  How much booze is too much?  If you drink  a bottle of wine a night, or 4 bottles of beer, or a quarter of a bottle of spirits, then you are drinking far too much.  Decent booze is hellishly expensive.
  15. Cincinnati KidSTOP GAMBLING.  Gambling is exactly the same as throwing your hard-earned money in the trash.  Gambling is an addiction, and all gamblers lose heavily over time, always, with no exceptions, (not even the Cincinnati Kid).
  16. Never, ever, join a gym, and if you have gym membership, then cancel it.  Most people with gym memberships don’t go often enough to get their money’s worth.  Gyms are poor value for money and bad places for most people to exercise ~ you’re breathing stale air, being made to listen to loud music, and you’re indoors under artificial lights.  Nasty.  Exercise for free instead.
  17. Plan ahead and buy stuff in the sales, at discount stores, and in thrift stores.
  18. Claim all your tax and other benefits.  Use the internet at learn what you can really claim.
  19. Never use pay per view TV or TV services such as Netflix ~ this is just stupid.  Do you really need to dumb down so much as to sit in front of the TV, and pay extra for the privilege, over and above whatever stupid cable subscription you are already paying for this crap?
  20. Never, ever buy extended warranties on things like a car, new washing machine, or television.  These warranties are scams, not worth the paper they’re printed on, and cost a fortune.
  21. Stop buying expensive pre-prepared, ready meals.  Learn to cook instead.  ‘Ready meals’ are full of unmentionable crap, and are terrible value for money.

Remember, when you want to save money, when you want to stop wasting money, the internet is your friend.  You may think you don’t have the time to spend on internet research, trust me, you do have loads of spare time, it’s just that you waste that too.  Stop ruining your mind by watching hours of drivel on the TV, stop ruining your health by spending time in your usual sleazy pub / bar, and stop making excuses.

Never, ever, sign anything you don’t understand.  Never, ever, trust a salesperson.

Take back control of your own life, and take control of your finances, it’s a lot easier than you think.

~

Wall Streetjack collier

jack collier7@talktalk.net

The Diesel Myth

Should You Make Your Next Car A Diesel?

draxThe first thing I need to tell you is that, contrary to everything Governments, Left Leaning Liberal Media, The Green Lobby, and exponents of Man-Made Global Warming have been saying for years, diesel cars are no cleaner and no better for the environment than petrol, (gasoline), engined vehicles.  Like so-called renewable energy, all these green lunatics are costing us the Earth banging on about various means of powering a vehicle.  Electric cars are not green, the electricity has to come from somewhere.

diesel-exhaustThere is a huge difference between the manufacturer’s official pollution figures, and the amount of nasty stuff diesel cars chuff out in the real world.  Volkswagen, (VW), have just reached an agreement to pay $4.3 billion in fines after fiddling the fuel consumption and pollution figures of its vehicles ~ and that’s after agreeing a $14.7 billion settlement to recompense aggrieved VW diesel owners in the USA.  In the United Kingdom VW diesel owners are looking for a settlement of £3,000 each for the German car maker’s lies.  Respectable scientists even say that diesel cars produce ten times more pollutants than buses and trucks.  I don’t believe that either.

Jumping on the anti-diesel bandwagon the mayors of four major cities; Athens, Madrid, Mexico City, and Paris have announced that diesel cars will be banned from entering their towns from 2025.  Who gives a damn?  These cities are so bad to drive in that you’d have to be mad to take your car into the centre, and come 2025 it can only be worse than today.  Banning diesels won’t make these urban areas any better, the exhaust from petrol engines is just as ruinous to your health.

rta1One should never believe anything car manufacturers are car salesmen tell you, because they always lie about everything.  For example, in the real world most cars use twice as much fuel as the car makers’ own fuel consumption figures, and some bad and aggressive drivers get terrible fuel consumption.  It’s obvious that the more fuel you use, the more pollution you create.  And bad, aggressive drivers often end up in accidents, which also create a lot of pollution, and death.  Death in car accidents is bad.

However, diesel / compression ignition cars have two major advantages over an exactly comparable car powered by an exactly comparable petrol, (gasoline), engine.  Firstly, you get about 50% more miles to the gallon from a diesel engine.  Secondly, properly looked after a diesel engine should last for twice as long as the equivalent petrol engine.  Longevity is good for the environment as the real pollution of any car should be measured over its dust to dust lifespan.

Right now diesel fuel costs just a few pence / cents more than the same amount of petrol / gasoline.  However, you get far more miles from a gallon of diesel than you do from a gallon of petrol / gasoline.  Take a new Kia Sportage as an example.

  • Petrol / Gasoline 37 miles per gallon (Imperial)
  • Diesel 61 miles per gallon (Imperial)

The diesel engined car is perhaps 5% more expensive to buy than the petrol car, and perhaps it’s 5% slower, but one gets about 165% of the mileage from each tank of fuel.  Diesels are a lot more fuel efficient than petrol cars. (Don’t actually believe the total fuel consumption figures, most drivers won’t get that in the real world.)  So, if you are a higher mileage driver, (more than 6,000 miles a year), or you want to keep your car a long, long time, (100,000 miles plus), then a diesel makes a lot of sense.  And, there is always the likelihood that a diesel car will depreciate slightly slower than its petrol engined equivalent, (although with all the controversy over diesel cars this may be a good time to pick up a used bargain).

Except in terms of extreme speed and acceleration there is nothing wrong with the performance of modern diesel-engined cars ~ in fact Audi, (another German manufacturer), has won at Le Mans and other endurance races with a diesel racing car.  Bentley’s new diesel SUV, the Bentayga will go from 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds and on to 187 mph, mind you, you will pay in excess of £160,000 for the privilege.

So, the bottom line is, would I buy a diesel car?  And the answer is maybe.  If I expected to do a hell of a lot of miles, take transcontinental road trips, and keep the car a long time, then a diesel wins hands down.  But then I don’t live in California smog all the time, and I don’t care one jot about man-made global warming, or inner city pollution.

I would buy a classic SAAB diesel convertible in a New York Second.

~

9-3convertible003these opinions are mine,

and mine alone

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

2017 Resolutions

P1050015
The Four Great Truths I will follow in 2017;
  1. Accept that Life is difficult and painful.
  2. The underlying causes of my problems and pain are giving in to my own cravings, lusts, desires, and my blaming of others.
  3. I can’t change what happens to me, but I can change how I react.
  4. The path to freedom from suffering is through self-discipline in body, mind, and spirit.

These are not the ‘normal’ kind of New Year’s Resolutions, but I believe they will work for me in 2017.  My spirit can be free to fly through blue skies.

~

p1050118jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Save Money ~ Have a Budget

Most People Don’t Really Manage Their Money.

shylockAfter more years in Banking and Finance than I care to admit, I can remember very few people who took responsibility for, and properly managed, their personal finances.  In my bitter experience, most people lived from one month to another without knowing where their money was going, or what they could really afford, or what was totally outside their budget.

If it comes to that, very few people have a proper, written, up to date, personal and household budget.  If you can put your hand up and say that you do, and that it is actually written down, (or on a spreadsheet, or otherwise on your computer), then you can skip the rest of this post and award yourself a gold star.

The point of having a budget is that it stops you being caught out by unpleasant financial surprises.  A budget also lets you plan ahead, for the rest of this year, next year, for the next two or three years, for a wedding, your kid’s college, for your retirement…

These are the steps you need to follow if you are going to create or revise your budget.

  1. Make a list of all the money you owe.  Before you save anything, before you make any investments, you should work towards paying off any and all loans and credit cards balances you have.  And, you can’t plan to pay off your loans early if you don’t have a proper budget.
  2. Make a list of all the regular payments you have to make.  These will range from your mortgage, property taxes, utilities bills, right through to charitable donations, cable TV, and gym membership…
  3. Make a list of your usual necessary expenses that you pay as you go along.  How much petrol do you put in your car each month?  How much do you spend on groceries, clothes, shoes…
  4. Make a list of how much your usual discretionary purchases are costing you.  These are things you don’t actually need.  How much do you spend at your local bar or any bars.  How much does eating out cost you each month?  What do you pay for cigarettes / vaping supplies each month.  How much do you waste on gambling and booze.
  5. Write down anything else that you buy on a regular basis, and how much it costs you.  Add in an amount for contingencies; all that stuff you can’t remember buying, and those weird impulse purchases.
  6. Put all these lists of the money you spend into order of importance.
  7. Turn all these lists into a monthly budget, which might look something like this;

budget

Obviously your numbers will be totally different, and you may have some different categories, for example; health insurance, pet care insurance, cigarettes, booze, sports club membership….  (And as it goes, the example I’ve shown is poorly ordered, for example Transportation should be above toiletries and grooming.)

This kind of budget lets you begin to do some real financial planning.

Maslow_Triangle_1Look at your budget, the most vital things should be at the top, and the things you could really get by without should be at the bottom.  It should fit with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  (albeit turned on its head)

If your monthly total is less than you earn, all well and good.  Don’t save or invest your spare cash, use it to pay off some of the money you owe, like your mortgage.  Saving or investing while you owe money elsewhere is stupid money management.

If your monthly total is more than you earn, you’re in trouble.  You need to cut your spending, and you start by cutting at the bottom of your budget, not at the top.  Spend less money in bars, buying cigarettes, eating out, gambling, buying booze, being the member of a gym…

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and sixpence, result happiness.  Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds and six pence, result misery.  ~  Mr Mcawber, by Charles Dickens

Don’t even think about saving, investing, buying a new car, or building your pension fund, if you don’t have a proper realistic and honest written budget, one that you can stick to.  You know it’s good advice, the kind of advice George Bailey would give you.

~

1x-1these opinions are mine and mine alone

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

 

 

Money Advice ~ Insurance

shylockBefore we go any further to talk about the most common types on insurance ~ and do you need them or not? ~ there is something you should know about insurance agreements.  Any contract of insurance is a contract uberrimae fidei ~ a contract of utmost good faith.  This means that you must tell your insurance company everything and anything which may have a bearing on the risk they are taking on.  If you keep any significant information back, the chances are you are not insured at all.

For example, if you have put bigger wheels and tyres than standard on your car,  you should tell your car insurance company.  If you’re an alcoholic / drug addict / smoker / overweight / pyromaniac, you should tell your Life Assurance company.  If you have ever been refused insurance, you should tell your insurance company.  And when you advise your insurance company of something pertinent, do it in writing.

All insurance companies love to collect premiums.  All insurance companies hate to pay out for any claims, and will do anything and everything to avoid paying a claim.  For example, you not telling your car insurance company that you have recently been found guilty of driving while intoxicated will most likely void your insurance entirely, and they will not pay out under any circumstances.  So if in doubt, tell all, in writing ~ else you’re probably not insured at all.  And, always pay your insurance premiums by automated bank transfer / direct debit / ACH transfer.

Your best friends when it comes to making a claim are photographs.  Always take plenty of pictures of everything, including your home / car / self as it is right now, before anything bad happens.  Store these pictures in a cloud, on your blog, in social media…  so you can always get at them if the worst happens.

The five most common and necessary types of insurance are;

  1. rta1Motor / car / vehicle / driver’s cover.  In civilised countries it is a legal requirement for you to be insured for the exact car you are driving.  The penalties for driving while uninsured are severe.  In the small print of your insurance policy it probably says that you should not drive while you are incapable, and that includes driving after drinking.  Have an accident drink driving and the chances are you are uninsured.
  2. Home and contents insurance.  Because of the inflexible nature of the laws of probability, you should have your home and its contents fully insured, or face a life on the streets.   Maybe add a margin of 10% in excess of the estimated values, to account for unexpected expenses while you put your life back together after your home has burned down, blown up due to a gas leak, been destroyed in an earthquake, flooded…
  3. Travel insurance.  When travelling abroad you may, or probably may not, be entitled to medical services in the country you are visiting.  You may have an accident, lose your luggage, get hijacked, robbed… any number of disasters may happen.  Travel is by its very nature hazardous and stressful.  Things which would be a minor inconvenience at home may become a catastrophe if they happen in a foreign country, or even a different state.  If you are travelling abroad, or a very long way, you need comprehensive travel insurance.  Only idiots don’t buy travel insurance.
  4. dentist-toothMedical / health insurance.  I’m English and I don’t have any medical insurance, and that doesn’t bother me in the slightest, (for reasons that are too complicated to go into here I do have dental).  In the United Kingdom we have a National Health Service, (NHS), which provides free treatment at the point of care.  The NHS is paid for out of taxation.  Canada has a similar system. If you live anywhere else you really, really need comprehensive medical cover.  But remember, you must tell your insurer everything there is to know about your degenerate lifestyle.
  5. Life Assurance.  (not life insurance, you are going to die, you can’t insure against it).  A whole life policy pays out a sum of money when you die.  You don’t need this.  However, if you have a dependant family, then you may want to look after them when you’re dead, therefore most heads of households buy one or more life policies.  You don’t actually need to do this.  It’s actually much more cost-effective to just save the money you would have paid in premiums.  But nobody has that much self-discipline.  I have no dependants, therefore my life assurance policies are utterly pointless, except to pay for my funeral.

Getting life insurance is like making a bet you can’t win.  If you live,  you don’t get the money.  If you die, you don’t get to enjoy the money.  ~  Oliver Gaspirtz

There are many, many other common forms of insurance, and some really esoteric insurance policies.  Lloyds of London will insure against just about anything.  You could probably have got insured at Lloyds against Donald Trump being the 45th President of the United States.  After all, insurance is really just a bet.

Even Life Assurance is just a bet.  The bet isn’t about if you’re going to die or not ~ no matter how much you pray you are going to die.  With life assurance the bet is about when you are going to die, not if.  And, if you think about it, that’s just creepy.

~

It-s-A-Wonderful-Life-its-a-wonderful-lifethese opinions are mine and mine alone

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Aging Disgracefully Well

Nobody gets out of this life alive.  Aging is inevitable.  Senior citizenship isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.  But it doesn’t have to be quite like that.

Old age may have its limitations and its challenges, but our later years can be the most rewarding and fulfilling of our lives.  ~  Paul Silway

It isn’t all bad news.  Life is full of compromises, and as we get older we really have to change the way we do things.  After we have reached the milestone of 40 or 50 or 60, what we really need to do is follow that old adage; Don’t Work Harder, Work Smarter‘.  And remember this, you know a hell of a lot about life.

The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.  ~  Robert Frost

There is some very solid advice for the more experienced among us.

dentist-toothTake Full Control of Your Life.  Don’t let others ever again tell you what to do.  Don’t blindly follow the advice of others.  This includes family, friends, lawyers, doctors, dentists, accountants, financial advisers, insurance agents, government officials, contractors, salespeople of any kind, store clerks…  Always question their knowledge, experience, motives…, because usually they aren’t doing things for your benefit, but theirs.  Don’t ever do things you don’t want to do.  In the end, do whatever you want to do, it’s your life.  If you want to take up skydiving at 70, why not?  Realistically, what have you got to lose?  (The statistics are interesting.  If a 25 years old guy kills himself skydiving he’s lost maybe 60 years.  If you kill yourself at 70, doing something stupidly dangerous, what have you lost, maybe 15 years?  No worries.)

Stay Fit.  Exercise needs for the older person are different from the twenty-something keen sportsman.  It seems that strength and mobility training is more important than athletic training.  Sex is one of the best exercises you can get.

Believe me, an old broom knows the dirty corners best.  ~  Hannah Kent

Eat Right.  Dietary needs change as we age.  Despite anything anyone tells you, really cut down on carbohydrates and give up wheat completely.  Don’t eat so much red meat.  Think about a Paleo Diet.  Try to really cut down on refined sugar and salt.  Find a healthy drink to replace coffee.  Don’t get fat, it will kill you.

Stay Active and Interested in Life.  Don’t just sit around in your chair with a blanket around your knees.  As soon as you do that you’ve put one foot in the grave.  Live every single day to the full ~ being well-educated you know what carpe diem means.  Do it.

There is no old age.  There is, as there always was, only you.  ~  Carol Grace.

Don’t just ‘retire’.   Retiring early can kill you.  You need to find something to keep you in the ‘working’ frame of mind.  Start a business, volunteer for charitable work, get politically active…  Whatever you do, don’t stay in bed until noon and then stay up half the night drinking beer and watching sports TV.

Be Optimistic and Happy.  Pessimism and Depression will make you physically ill and kill you fast.  Negative thoughts and feelings, being grumpy and miserable lead to increased blood sugar and higher blood pressure ~ and all those lead to strokes, heart attacks, dementia, and cancers.  Don’t worry, be happy.  As we get older it’s time to learn some spirituality and true happiness.

Realise Your Assets and Spend the Money.  What’s the point of being the richest corpse in the cemetery?  Having spare spending cash helps you to do all the good things in life, and it’s your life.  You want to go on a round the world cruise with your new romantic interest?  Why the hell not?  There may be those among us who worry about a ‘legacy’ for their kids / relatives / the cats’ home…  Stop worrying about that because worrying, scrimping and saving, and not having fun will kill you.  Downsize your home, or rent, and enjoy the money, spend the savings you’re not actually going to need to live on, don’t buy excessive life assurance cover….

Wall StreetNever Pay For Advice.  You know more about money, risks, and life than any young ‘professional’ you are ever going to meet.  What’s more you have the time and experience to do the proper research.  So, when you’re working out your pension plan, don’t let some financial adviser tell you what to do ~ all they are interested in is their own fees and commissions.  So very many older people discover that their nice little nest eggs have just vanished due to avaricious fund managers and insurance companies.  Keep your own cash and manage it yourself.  You can always borrow money if you really need it.

Never Let Anyone Treat You Like A Senior Citizen.  You’re wiser, better educated, and more experienced than some young doctor, nurse, government official, member of your family…  They will all expect you to be diffident and compliant, maybe take the ‘happy pills’ ~ just tell them to fuck off.  Don’t ever do things just because someone else thinks it’s best for an old person like you.  The only time to admit your age is if it leads to getting a discount somewhere.

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love.  When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.  ~  Sophia Loren.

Sadly there are some things you should give up or cut down on.  You must stop smoking, you should at least severely restrict the booze, salt, and sugar.  And, don’t take too many drugs, prescription or stuff you buy on the street.  Follow some of this advice and you will want as much time as you can get.

The wisest are the most annoyed at the loss of time.  ~  Dante Alighieri

Don’t spend your life looking over our shoulder, maybe regretting what you did or what could have been different.  Enjoy each new sunrise and make the most of your life.

~

sophia-lorenthese thoughts are very well researched,

but in the end, they are mine alone

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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