Renters Are More Likely To Struggle Financially, Study Shows
Nov09

Renters Are More Likely To Struggle Financially, Study Shows

Renters are financially struggling more than homeowners, a new survey reports. According to a recent survey by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, D.C., financial stress affects renters more than homeowners. Researchers used data from the Urban Institute’s 2017 Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey to compare rates of material hardship among working-age homeowners and renters. Material hardship includes difficulty paying for utilities, food, medical care, and housing. In the 2017 report, Urban Institute had found that four out of every 10 nonelderly, nondisabled adults had difficulty meeting their basic needs whether they owned a home or rented an apartment. Now, after comparing material hardships in the last 12 months, researchers found that renters (46%) are 10% more likely than homeowners (36%) to report having difficulty paying for at least one of their basic needs. Numbers were the same after accounting for key socioeconomic differences such as income, employment, age, and education. Over 25% of renters said they weren’t confident if they could cover a $400 emergency compared to the 18% of homeowners. In many cases, renters don’t need to worry about certain emergencies the way homeowners do such as repairing plumbing, roofing, or siding. There are 15 different types of siding and each requires a different level of maintenance and repair. Yet, renters still need to be prepared for emergencies such as car repairs and medical problems. On top of difficulties paying for sudden emergencies, more than 30% of renters also said they feel insecure about food expenses compared to the 19% of homeowners. Researchers say that, by comparing the percentage of renters who experienced food insecurity in 2017 (30%) to the percentage of renters who had trouble meeting rent payments (13%), the report suggests renters prioritize rent over food. According to CNBC, the reason for this is because rental costs are rising faster than renters’ salaries. The median income for the average renter only grew by 5% between 1960 and 2016 compared to the median rent, which has grown by 60%. It’s no secret that buying a house has also become harder for Americans with the average house costing four-times the amount of the average household income. In fact, up to 24% of Americans can’t even afford a vacation right now. In 2016, Americans left up to 662 million vacation days on the table. “Still, renters seem to be worse off,” said Corianne Scaller, the co-author of the Urban Institute study. Compared to 14% of homeowners, approximately 18% of renters experienced an unexpectedly large decline in income in the last year. And 15% of renters reported they had difficulty paying their utilities compared to...

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How to Hate Long Flights a Little Less
Nov06

How to Hate Long Flights a Little Less

More than 81 million cars will be made this year, but sometimes you have to take to the skies. And when you do, even short flights can feel like they last forever. Between checking luggage, standing in line at airport security, and waiting around to board the plane, you’re often tired of flying before you even get to your seat. However, particularly long flights over five or so hours can become the stuff of nightmares. Difficulty sleeping, boredom, hunger, and lack of personal space are just a few of the factors that make long flights torturous for even the most patient travelers. Though a long flight will likely never be a smashing good time, there are strategies that can make extended trips more tolerable. If you’re going to be 3,500 feet in the air for many, many minutes, try these tips to make your flight fly by. Bring as Much Entertainment as You Can One hour can seem like two when you have two feet of personal space and nothing to do. Multiply that by however many hours you’ll be flying, and you’ll have an idea of how much entertainment you need to prepare. Matadornetwork.com recommends to pay the extra cash flights that offer for movies on the plane. If that’s not an option, try to download movies at home to have ready for the flight. Bring an extra travel battery to charge your phone or tablet while you’re watching shows so that you don’t have a boredom emergency. Plan Layovers Beforehand Long flights punctuated by long layovers make for a miserable couple of days. Do yourself a favor and find ways to enjoy your on-the-ground time. Research airports ahead of time to plan out where you’ll eat, freshen up, and where you’ll need to meet your connecting flight. Find the Legroom At any one time, FlightAware estimates that there are about 9,728 planes carrying 1.27 million people in the air. In other words, planes are pretty crowded. If you can, pay the extra cash for seats with more legroom. Smartertravel.com suggests using flyer miles and working with airline companies whenever you can to upgrade during extremely long flights, or else pay the price of a sore body and a head swimming with exhaustion when you land. Though you may not be able to swing first class, some airlines let you pay a fee to choose your seats in advance. Look for seats near exits or along the aisles. Get Cozy At high altitudes, the air is much colder, and even the best-insulated planes can get chilly. If you plan on sleeping at all on the flight, wear something...

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Middle East Paper Company Named ‘Paper Recycling Company Of The Year’

In a world where sustainability has become more important than ever, one paper manufacturer in Dubai is putting their money (paper?) where their mouth is. The Middle East Paper Co (Mepco) has been named ‘Paper Recycling Company of the Year’ at the inaugural Middle East Waste and Recycling Awards.   “We are extremely proud to have received recognition for our paper recycling activity at the first awards,” said engineer Sami Al-Safran, chief executive officer of Mepco. “Not only is this a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team — to both customers and our growth as a business — but also to our business model, which is unique in the region.”   Having been judged by a panel of prominent and respected experts, spokespeople, and advocates knowledgeable in the field of environmental sustainability, Mepco was found to have high recycling levels, sustainable business operations, and positive contributions to the diversion and minimization of waste in the Middle East. Since it is estimated that approximately 17% of everything printed is considered waste, their efforts have the opportunity to not only bring that percentage down, but to encourage others to follow in their sustainable footsteps: if a paper producer is committed to eliminating paper waste, other businesses and consumers can be as well. Plus, Mepco is proving that sustainability can still be profitable.   “Our business model continues to deliver profitability, as we provide paper and containerboard products to local and regional markets, and we are looking forward to ongoing and sustainable growth.”   The act of recycling paper may not seem like that big of a deal, but the benefits are vast: recycling one ton of the stuff can save 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space and 4,000 kilowatts of energy (enough to power the average U.S. home for six months), and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one metric ton of carbon equivalent (MTCE). By saving energy, conserving natural resources, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it negates the effects of every major aspect of pollution.   The award was just one of many at the event hosted by Waste and Recycling Middle East magazine; focused on recognizing outstanding individuals and organizations in the Middle East that have demonstrated leadership and innovation in their fields and industries, and who have significantly contributed to environmental sustainability (not to mention economic viability), the Middle East Waste and Recycling Awards have greatly supported the region’s commitment to a greener...

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These States Have Some Of The Worst Driving Statistics In The U.S.
Nov06

These States Have Some Of The Worst Driving Statistics In The U.S.

Every person has their own opinions about which state has the worst drivers; you’ll often hear claims of New York, New Jersey, California, and more. But which state really has the worst drivers out there? While it’s hard to say for sure if it’s the driver’s fault, these states definitely have some explaining to do when it comes to the number of accidents that happen there. Here are some of the states with the highest rates of car crashes. Wyoming: While this state may be fairly sparsely populated, the roads in this state should be considered fairly dangerous. A recent report found Wyoming to be the most dangerous state for driving based on the number of fatal car crashes. Wyoming had the highest crash fatality rate of 24.7 per 100,000 people and the highest percentage of road deaths of all fatalities. South Carolina: This southern state is also an incredibly risky place to drive. South Carolina has 62% more fatal car accidents than the national average, with 2.1% of all fatalities in the state being caused by deadly car crashes. California: This west-coast state is often cited as having some of the worst drivers in the nation, and the statistics back this claim up. California has five of the ten worst cities for drivers, and in recent years has seen a spike in the number of DUIs and traffic-related fatalities within the state. Washington: Washington finds itself on this list as well, ranking in the top ten in an analysis by the Federal Highway Administration for states with the highest rates of DUIs, traffic violations, and fatal accidents. This state may have the recent legalization of cannabis to blame; a report the by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that states that have recently legalized cannabis use have seen 5.2% more accidents than their neighboring states. Did your state make the list? If so, you might want to consider a plan to keep you and your family as safe as possible while driving. Always drive safely and avoid distractions to make sure you remain safe while on the...

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Not Exercising May Be As Bad As Smoking, Study Shows
Nov05

Not Exercising May Be As Bad As Smoking, Study Shows

Not exercising enough could pose a major risk to your health, new data suggests. According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open, not getting enough exercise could pose a greater risk to your health than heart disease, diabetes, and smoking. Between 1991 and 2014, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic studied 122,007 participants under treadmill testing and recorded their mortality rates. The study found that there was a clear connection between longer, healthier lives and high levels of exercise. “Cardiorespiratory fitness is inversely associated with long-term mortality with no observed upper limit of benefit,” said the authors of the study. “Extremely high aerobic fitness was associated with the greatest survival and was associated with benefit in older patients and those with hypertension.” Although it’s known that an active lifestyle is the key to a healthy life, the study concludes that sedentary behavior can have a major impact on your mortality rate. The study’s co-author Dr. Wael Jaber said the results of the study were surprising. “Being unfit on a treadmill or in an exercise stress test has a worse prognosis, as far as death, than being hypertensive, being diabetic or being a current smoker,” said Jaber. “We’ve never seen something as pronounced as this and as objective as this.” Researchers also studied the risk of overactivity to determine if those who receive a greater amount of exercise are at higher risk for death. The results found that “ultra-exercisers” don’t face a higher risk of death, but that the more a person exercises the lower their mortality rate. Aerobic exercise was not only determined to have the best health benefits overall but it also had better health benefits for participants over the age of 70. Although it’s important for seniors to participate in physical activity to improve their own mortality rate, it’s also important to keep them mobile and healthy. Seniors are more susceptible to chronic illness, which can lead them to live in expensive nursing homes later in life. The average cost of a nursing home in Long Island is $15,000 a month. The results of the study also show that a strong heart and lungs are crucial to a healthy lifestyle rather than a lower weight. Weight is the biggest insecurity for Americans, but past studies have shown that being overweight doesn’t determine the state of your health. You’re still benefiting from physical activity whether you lose weight during the activity or not. For some, the goal of exercise is to lose weight, but the overall goal for exercise ought to be to improve your cardiovascular and lung health to reduce...

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