Posts made in January, 2015

Bipartisan House Votes to Extend Terrorism Risk Insurance Act

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in News | 0 comments

The recent bipartisan House vote of 416-5 to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) for six years is a major step forward in bolstering economic security, maintaining positive momentum in commercial real estate markets and reducing policy uncertainty with a multi-year reauthorization, according to The Real Estate Roundtable. “The Roundtable praises the bipartisan efforts of House leaders in reaching consensus on legislation that is essential for the economic well-being of the United States and its commercial real estate markets,” says Roundtable Chairman Robert S. Taubman (Chairman, President and CEO – Taubman Centers, Inc.). “The House Republican and Democratic leadership deserve recognition for their dedication and determination to pass a six-year extension of TRIA, which is crucial to maintaining long-term liquidity in commercial real estate capital markets,” added Taubman. “It is reassuring to see that the first act of business in the new Congress is quick and overwhelming consensus on TRIA, a major policy issue affecting the nation’s economic security. With the encouraging passage of this bipartisan TRIA renewal by the House, it is now time to face TRIA reauthorization in the Senate, see it passed, then signed into law by President Obama this month,” says Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer. Under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 26), TRIA would be extended until year-end 2020, and in the event of a catastrophic terrorist attack, gradually increase the loss threshold that triggers federal assistance, from $100 million to $200 million. Despite the House passing a TRIA reauthorization bill on December 10, 2014 by a vote of 417-17, reauthorization efforts in the previous Congress suffered an 11th hour setback in the Senate, resulting in the law’s scheduled expiration at year-end. With continued strong bipartisan and stakeholder support, the debate over TRIA’s renewal now moves to the Senate. “TRIA will allow businesses of all types across the country to once again move forward in the face of ongoing terrorist threats,” says Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer. “TRIA will not stop terrorists. But it will help stop their goals to disrupt our economy. Without TRIA, a substantial number of financings and refinancing simply will not occur, causing unnecessary job losses. With TRIA, one of the biggest potential impediments to economic security would be removed. Jobs will be preserved and growth encouraged. In addition to commercial real estate projects, hospitals, universities, sports facilities and stadiums, amusement parks and businesses of all sizes are affected. TRIA will prevent commercial property owners from technical default on existing loans (if they lack terrorism coverage), and allow them to obtain financing for new projects, as lenders require terrorism insurance on the loan collateral,” adds DeBoer. Source: Real Estate...

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Simple Tips to Keep Your Immune System in Tip-Top Shape

Posted by on Jan 9, 2015 in News | 0 comments

Aches, pains, missing work and hours resting in bed – everybody dreads getting sick. Fortunately, the best defense against illness is a healthy immune system, and by doing a few simple things at home, you can make sure yours is in tip-top shape. “The immune system is the body’s defense system for warding off any germs, bacteria and viruses that will cause illnesses and disease,” explains Dr. Heather Manley, naturopathic physician and author of Human Body Detectives (HBD) kids’ book series. “Keeping our immune system strong and supported – not suppressed – will allow it to work optimally in fighting off any unwanted germs.” To get started boosting the immune system naturally, Manley offers five simple steps that anyone can do: Prioritize gut health “Approximately 70 percent of the immune system is found in the gut; therefore, the connection of keeping the gut working optimally – digesting foods and absorbing nutrients – makes a profound difference in the strength of the immune system,” says Manley. Probiotics are good bacteria that can help boost gut health and therefore improve the immune system. “I like the Nordic Naturals brand because it doesn’t have to be refrigerated,” Manley says. “The supplement aids in keeping the digestive system strong and healthy, helps ward off germs the body doesn’t want, and keeps the good bacteria and bad bacteria in balance.” In addition to boosting the immune system, probiotics improve vitamin and mineral absorption, aid in the manufacturing of B vitamins and vitamin K, and protect the mucous lining of the intestines, according to Manley. Focus on whole foods “This time of year with temperature changes and the holidays fast approaching, there are many reasons to evaluate yourself and your family to make sure everyone is eating whole, non-processed foods,” says Manley. Whole, non-processed, colorful foods are packed with nutrients that support the immune system. Here are Manley’s top immune-boosting foods: * Produce: berries, broccoli, kale, mangos, pumpkin, citrus, mushrooms * Seeds: pumpkin, flax, chia * Fresh spices: garlic, ginger * Fermented foods: yogurt, cottage cheese, kefir, pickled vegetables, miso Take supplements and vitamins Supplements are a simple, reliable way to strengthen the immune system. Manley recommends starting with a quality fish oil supplement. “Both EPA and DHA are found in fish oils and are usually known for their heart and neural benefits; however, they also play a larger role in optimal health and a positive immune response during illnesses,” she says. Learn more at In addition to fish oil, vitamins A and D support immune health. “Low levels of vitamin D usually lead to illnesses,” Manley says. “Vitamin D aids the white blood cells and gives them a good boost for fighting off germs. Vitamin A has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect in the gut.” Create a hydrotherapy routine “Hydrotherapy is a great way to increase circulation and boost the immune system,” says Manley. What is hydrotherapy exactly? Hydrotherapy uses hot and cold water to maintain and restore health – ideal for immune system maintenance. Manley says the simplest way to start hydrotherapy is to incorporate it into your daily shower. After taking a hot shower, immediately rinse with cool-to-cold water for 30 seconds. The hot shower causes waste to be removed from tissues, while the instant change to cold water will close blood vessels so blood flow increases to internal organs. Incorporate germ-flushing activities Some activities are particularly good for boosting the immune system and helping the body flush out germs. Manley recommends jumping on a trampoline. In addition to being a great exercise, it increases lymphatic system circulation, which rids the body of...

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Important Workplace Benefits Overlooked by Employees

Posted by on Jan 6, 2015 in News | 0 comments

Every year, employees with company-sponsored health plans are asked by their employers to select benefits for the following year. This process is called “open enrollment,” and it is an important event that is happening across the nation. While many view this as a chance to merely review and update health care coverage, such as medical, dental and vision, it is actually about much more than that. According to the 2014 Workplace Benefits Study conducted by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), 74 percent of middle-income employees derive the majority of their financial security from the benefits they receive at work. Guardian suggests that families review their voluntary benefit options, such as life or disability insurance, in order to fill any gaps in coverage that could cause financial trouble in the wake of a crisis or medical event. Here are some important workplace benefits that are often overlooked when making elections during the open enrollment period, along with a brief explanation of how they can help you protect your income and preserve your savings: Disability insurance – Your most important asset is your ability to earn an income. If you and your family rely on your income, disability insurance can help provide you with a stream of income if you are unable to work due to an illness – such as cancer – as well as accidents. Life insurance – Life insurance is a great foundation of a smart financial plan. It’s about protecting your family and the life you work hard to give them. Having the right amount of life insurance can give you peace of mind that your loved ones will be taken care of if the unexpected was to happen. It can help them stay in the same home, pay off debt, or pay for college and anything else they may need if you are not there to support them financially. Critical illness – Critical Illness insurance lets you focus on recovery, not finances. A serious illness such as stroke or heart attack could strike at any time, with no warning. You can use your benefit to pay for daily expenses and outstanding bills. Protect your savings; payments go directly to you – not the hospital. Accident Insurance – No one sees an accident coming – but if you are in one, it can be devastating for your finances. An accident can bring unexpected expenses such as deductibles, emergency room fees and transportation costs. Accident insurance can ease the burden by helping you pay these additional bills. Cancer Insurance – If you get a diagnosis of cancer, the last thing you need to think about is paying for treatment. Cancer brings many out-of-pocket expenses that your insurance may not cover and can cost you and your family thousands of dollars. Cancer insurance can help you pay for unexpected costs such as travel to treatment centers, loss of income, deductibles, co-pays and more. It’s important to be aware of all the benefits offered to you at your workplace. Review all available options to make certain you are fully covered for your current situation – and for life’s unknown events. Source:...

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