7 Useful Moving Tips for a Perfect Move

For most of us, moving represents so much more than a mere change in address.  Moving often accompanies a change in one’s life—from graduation, marriage, a new job or professional opportunity to divorce or personal loss.

And if you are moving with your family, there may be many details to take care of—from finding new schools and pediatricians to helping your children adjust to a new community and new friends. All of this tends to add stress (often positive stress) to the moving process.
It’s therefore important to make sure that your moving process goes as smoothly as stress-free as possible so that your energy can go into creating your new home and adjusting to your community.

Here is a list of the best tips for moving that will save you hours of work and days of unnecessary stress, and allow you and your family to enjoy your new home as quickly as possible.

1)   Carefully Select a Moving Company you can Trust.

More than anything else, the quality of your move will be determined by the integrity and efficiency of your moving company.

·         How well they protect your precious possessions;
·         How courteous and helpful they are when interacting with you and your family on moving day;
·         How well they keep to the promised dates and move-out/move-in schedules;
·         How experienced and knowledgeable their movers are, and finally;
·         How ethical they are regarding their fees
All the above factors are critical to your having a great move. When making your final decision on a moving company, do not necessarily base your decision on which mover gave the least expensive quote. Check out references and reviews, call the better business bureau, and speak to friends and family who have recently moved. Once the mover you have selected gives you a contract, read through the entire contract carefully and make sure there are no additional fees, and that everything you were promised by the moving company’s salesman is in writing.

2)   Plan ahead before embarking upon packing.


You need a packing strategy. The more you plan your packing on paper and the more time you give yourself to complete the process, the less likely you are to feel overwhelmed and go into what I call packaging panic mode!
Here are some steps to take, questions to ask, and factors to consider during the packaging planning process.

A)     Decide whether you will be packing yourself, or whether you will want to hire your movers to pack for you. Your answer will most likely be based upon a combination of money and time. Getting your house professionally packed will add to your moving expenses and may or may not be financially feasible, However, keep in mind yourself before deciding to pack yourself that professional movers are typically able to pack up your entire home in one day—saving you days or weeks of packing.  If you are going to need to take off from work, professional packing could be a wise financial decision.

B)   If you are packing yourself, as many people do, you need to ask a representative from your moving company (this will often be the salesman) for guidance on how many moving cartons he or she thinks your move will require. Most likely, you will need to purchase a combination of general and specialty moving boxes including book cartons (used not only for books but also for heavy or fragile items), medium and large cartons, dish packs, wardrobes, and mirror cartons. Additional moving box options include TV boxes, wine boxes, bicycle boxes, sofa boxes and mattress boxes. You will also need to purchase markers for marking up each box to indicate its contents, carton tape, wrapping paper, and bubble wrap.  Movers will bring moving blankets, so that is generally not necessary. Before purchasing your moving boxes, acquaint yourself with what to look for in a moving box and be sure to purchase high-quality cartons Do not look to buy the cheapest moving boxes or materials, as thin, inexpensive moving boxes can tear and crush during the moving and stacking process. You want to make sure that your moving boxes are rated at least a 32 on ECT crush test. You will also need to purchase wrapping paper (sometimes referred to as newsprint), carton tape, and possibly bubble wrap.
C)   Decide whether you want to go through years of accumulated dishware, papers, memorabilia, old toys, old clothes, etc. before your move or after your move. Ideally, you should give yourself two weeks to go through your possessions so that you can make a pile for discarding, donating, giving to other family members, and keeping. The goal is always to streamline your possessions in your new home so that you have a fresh, uncluttered start. Many home consultants talk about the idea of filling your home with only items that give you a feeling of joy or are desired or of use at present. The thinking here is that you should not let yourself be overwhelmed by items that you are keeping, merely because of a sense of guilt over throwing them away. Moving gives you the opportunity to reevaluate what you want to keep in your home. If you don’t have time to go through your possessions before the move, then put all items that you plan on organizing into piles into designated boxes or crates. Do not open them to unpack until you have the time and energy post-move to go through them.
D)   If you do not have experience in packing, it’s important to educate yourself before packing so that your possessions are protected. I suggest watching videos on wrapping and packing such –How to Pack Dishes Safely.  For example, heavy items and dishwater should always go in either a dish pack or book carton, and never in a large box.
E)   Create a packing timeline that gives yourself plenty of time so that you are not overly stressed or forced to stay up all night packing the night before the move.  Pack your items in a way that gives you greatest access to what you will need just prior to the move.  For example, it often makes sense to pack books, spare linens, spare toys and stuffed animals, and clothing you don’t imminently need first.  The kitchen is often the last room to be packed, although you can pack your china early on.
F)    Make sure that every box is marked correctly, indicating the room the box is to be delivered to.

3)  Strategically Plan for the Set-up of your New Home.

The goal is to have as many people who need to be at your home for set-up come on the same days.  This will save you valuable time if you need to be at work and can’t take off more than a few days of work for the move.

So make your calls early, so that you can have multiple people on the same day.

Here is a sampling of who you might need for the week of the move:

A)   Cable television, telephone, and Internet You may want to have your cable and Internet service provider come the day of or day after the move (or even prior to the move if that is possible).

B)     Television Installation. If you are planning on hanging your television on the wall and running the wiring into the walls, your movers may not be able to do this for you. Some movers will contract with a 3td party to come the day of the move to help with this. Or, you may need to find someone on your own. In addition, you may need a media expert to come to help you with the set-up of your media and remote controls.

C)   Electrician to help with chandeliers, lighting, and any electrical issues in your new home

D)     If you are moving into a house rather than an apartment, you may need someone to come and evaluate the quality of your air-conditioning, water heater, sump pump, etc.

E)      Alarm System. If you are installing an alarm, you will need a visit from your security company.

4)  Change Address:

Remember to change your address on your driver’s license, and with all your insurance companies, credit card companies, banks, magazines, and notify all people from whom you receive important bills. Be careful that you do not miss out on receiving bills, which can lead to late payments and problems with your credit score as a result.


5)   Unboxing Plan:

Boxes, boxes everywhere! Have a plan in mind for how you will deal with all the boxes after the unpacking process. Your options are to flatten all your boxes and have them picked up by your local waste management company. Or, speak to your moving company or a local junk hauler about having your boxes taken away.

6)   Childcare is important.

If you have young children, it’s important to make sure they are carried for during the week of the move when your attention is very diverted. Of course, the best thing is to have family and good friends help out with your children. But if that is not possible, you might need to procure baby sitters to be with you at home. Have lots of food and drink on hand for your children, as well as toys and books they find comforting and fun.
Moving can be more stressful for children than parents often realize. So make sure ahead of time that your children’s needs will be taken care of. Older children should also be guided into preparing for the moving period have them set aside all necessary school books, clothing that will take them through several days, things to do to occupy themselves on moving day, and all their small electronics that they will want access to.

7)   Keep Selected Boxes with You

Gather all of the clothing, paperwork, and food you will want to have with you the day and even the week of the move and keep them safe. The bathtub is a great place to keep boxes or crates of items you plan to take with you in the car. Let your movers know not to take those particular boxes. Mark them clearly.
All the mentioned tips will help you to get organized as well as keep family memorabilia safe during a move.
Good Luck…!
About James:
James Levine is CEO of New Haven Moving Equipment. New Haven Moving Equipment has been manufacturing moving equipment for over a century and they manufacture and distribute high quality moving boxes, furniture moving pads, moving equipment and packaging supplies to professional movers and the general public at wholesale prices. New Haven stresses outstanding customer support, quality engineering, and a family approach within the company and with their clients. New Haven can be reached online at https://www.newhaven-usa.com

We Have Seen This Before

We Have Seen This Before

We Have Seen This Before

We Have Seen This Before! The Fuse on the Subprime 2.0 Debt Bomb is About to Ignite, says Graham Summers, Chief Market Strategist Phoenix Capital Research:

The Subprime 2.0 story is now gaining traction in the financial media.

By way of brief review, here is the template for Subprime 1.0 (the mortgage meltdown).

1)   Banks, hungry for profits, began issuing mortgages to sub-prime borrowers (people who couldn’t possibly pay the loans back).

2)   Housing prices and sales began to fall.

3)   Subprime borrowers began defaulting on their mortgage.

4)   Subprime mortgage lenders began to collapse.

5)   A crisis unfolds as the issue spreads throughout the banks.

Subprime 2.0 is following the exact same pattern. Just replace the words “housing” with “automobiles” and “mortgages” with “auto-loans.” As the Wall Street Journal  notes…

We Have Seen This Before! Banks Pull Back on Car Loans as Used-Auto Prices Plummet

Car loans have been among the fastest growing consumer lending categories since the last recession. Banks and other lenders began increasing originations about seven years ago in search of more revenue as the mortgage market slumped.

As competition intensified, lenders loosened underwriting standards by courting borrowers with lower credit scores and extending repayment periods on loans. Small nonbank lenders also jumped in, relying on the bond market as an outlet to sell their loans.

But increasing losses have sapped some banks’ enthusiasm. Annualized net losses on securitized subprime auto loans increased to more than 10% late last year, the highest level since February 2009, according to Fitch Ratings. The figure slipped back to 9% in March, but that was the highest loss reading for that month since at least 2001.

Source: WSJ

In terms of the above template Subprime Template, we’re currently at #3 and on our way to #4.

All we need now is some auto-lenders to start blowing up, and the fuse on the Subprime 2.0 Debt Bomb will have been lit.

Keep an eye on Ally Financial (ALLY) and Capital One (COF). Both have large auto-loan exposure.

When Subprime 2.0 ignites the markets will move into crisis mode.

10 Things You Need to Know before Moving Abroad

10 Things You Need to Know before Moving Abroad

10 Things You Need to Know before Moving Abroad

Are you dreaming about or perhaps even actively planning for an international move? It’s exciting to think about the new places, people and scenery you will experience but moving to foreign lands also presents challenges. Here are 10 things you need to know before moving abroad. You should think carefully about them to help your move go smoothly:

 1)  Why are you moving?

This might seem a silly question – until you actually think about it. People move for all sorts of reasons – adventure, escape, career, and climate. The destination they choose is tied up with this. By pin-pointing what it is you want to experience you may be able to choose an even better destination. Things to bear in mind: If you don’t have patience with learning languages, choose a country that speaks your native tongue (or one similar). If you plan to travel a lot, pick somewhere that makes it easy to jump across borders (e.g. Europe rather than Australia). And avoid places with ongoing conflict and unstable economies if at all possible.

2)  Get a grip on the language

Another note on languages. Relocating to another country requires a lot of communication. Knowing how to say, ‘My name is Jane and I have a cat,’ is not going to be particularly useful. If you are moving to a place which requires you to master a different tongue, start classes early, preferably yesterday.

Even if you are moving to a country where the same language is spoken, be prepared for a steep learning curve. From renting to working to taking out the trash, cultural differences can throw even the most prepped traveler.

3)  VISA timings vary – a lot!

That’s between countries, between types, and between individual applications. In fact, the guidelines you will find online are so unreliable as to be almost worthless. The only thing you can do about this is to pay for or secure as little as possible in your new country before your VISA arrives. So leave signing rental agreements and employment contracts or paying international moving company hire deposits until the very last minute.

4)  Tax gets messy

Probably the last thing you want to think about when you’re daydreaming about foreign climes is tax. Sadly, if you are an American, the IRS will not be as keen to forget about you. If you are single and earning $10,350 or more you will need to file your taxes in the USA or you could be in for a nasty surprise. If you are from another country you will need to check out the rules on tax.

5)  Health and banking choices matter

Did you know that you may be able to keep your ACA healthcare benefits providing you spend some of the year residing in the USA? Or that your credit score can be preserved if you keep your home bank open? Unless you have no intention to ever return to the US, take some advice on how best to get the maximum benefit from your health and banking set up. Even if you’re confident you’re in it for the long run, it may be worth coming back home for a few weeks a year to keep hold of your citizen perks.

6)  Your cell phone may not be mobile

Many travelers take their expensive cell phone abroad only to find that it is locked to a US network and won’t take a new SIM card in the host country. What would have been a simple case of paying to have their cell phone unlocked has become an emergency shopping trip for a new device. Make sure your cell phone is truly mobile by unlocking it before you leave.

7)  Bureaucracy is global

So you can’t escape taxes. Neither can you wriggle free from red tape. Regulations exist everywhere on the planet, particularly when you are uprooting from one life and setting up a new one. Whether you are filling in a landlord’s inventory, photocopying old statements for your new bank or wading through an 80-page VISA application expect to be kept busy with paperwork.

8)  Meeting people can be hard

Of course, no one expects to make new friends without effort but it can come as a shock how hard it can be to connect with others. People have their own family and work routines and these can be resistant to outsider interference. Seek out places where like-minded people hang out if you want to make connections. Expat groups (which are easily found via Meetup and other online sources) can be particularly supportive.

9)  You will rely on your travel buddy more than you think

Unless you are one of those hardy souls who are determined to go it alone, you will probably have someone in mind to go traveling with – maybe a sibling, partner or BFF. Choose this travel buddy wisely because you will almost certainly rely on them more than you think. From practical help with finances, carrying bags and emergency cell phone calls to emotional support when things get a bit overwhelming – and they will – your travel companion will be your rock (and you theirs).

10) You will never be the same again

This doesn’t happen to everyone but it’s common enough to deserve a place on the ‘need to know’ list. Many travelers adapt perfectly to blending in with a new culture. They handle the practicalities like a pro. They make a ton of new friends. In fact, everything is perfect until…they visit home. Sometimes termed ‘reverse culture shock,’ expats can find the return to their native land unsettling and even unpleasant. Even the barrage of voices in your own language can be overwhelming at first.

None of the above is designed to put you off your travel aspirations. On the contrary, going into your new life with your eyes wide open will increase your odds of making a success out of your move, wherever your heart takes you.

Pamela Taylor is a professional writer who has an interest in keeping things organized and in order. Her appealing strategy? Never. Stop. Moving. She currently writes on Mexico Movers for the oldest moving company in Mexico – Mudanzas Gou.

3 Ways to Vet an Investment Opportunity

3 Ways to Vet an Investment Opportunity

There are 3 ways to vet an investment opportunity. From time to time, we all get the “hot tip” about an investment opportunity or new business venture. These “can’t miss opportunities” are often fast moving, and you need to make quick decisions.  Whether it’s a real estate purchase, a niche investment opportunity or a start-up business, there are general guidelines that may be helpful to consider when deciding how and if to proceed.

3 Ways to Vet an Investment Opportunity

  • Management team:

Whether it is real estate, investments or a new business venture maybe you should ask:  Who is behind the opportunity and what is their experience? While we all know to be wary of a proposal or return that sounds too good to be true, knowing who you are dealing with, their track record and experience in this particular field may go a long way to get you comfortable that this venture has a chance for success.

  • Other Investors:

Check out the other investors when you are approached about an investment opportunity. You might want to wait to see the size of their investment. That could give you comfort that you are not throwing your money away investing in a project that may never get off the ground. Yes, the first-in are promised a greater return,  but it is safer to wait until the group is closer to its ultimate goal.  It is also important to know the relationship between those seeking the money and the investors that have already infused the group with cash. While a third party investor with experience can add credibility, money from “Aunt Sally” should give you know comfort.

  • History:

A group seeking your investment has been in business for a while. If they are looking to expand, they should be able to show you their history. Any existing company worth investing in should have clean books and records. It may not be a bad idea to also speak to their bookkeeper or accountant. These financial professionals can provide you just insight into the cash flow of the business.


If a group or individual is approaching you to invest in a rehab project, rental properties, start-up ventures, secondary market structured settlements, franchises, or any of the myriad of legitimate opportunities, They should bend over backwards to give you what you need to invest your hard earned money. If they can’t provide you with the comfort, move on- you aren’t missing any opportunity you are avoiding a mistake.

About the Author:

Kathy Manson is a Finance Coach and Blogger. Currently, she is working on cash for structured settlements at www.catalinastructuredfunding.com. She is very proactive and aware about each and every update of financial changes in the industry.

Financial Stress Coping Guide for Seniors

Financial Stress Coping Guide for Seniors

Financial Stress Coping Guide for Seniors

Last year in August, I wrote an article titled The Retirement Savings Crisis: What Will Fix It?  Jenny Holt read that article and let me know about her eBook:

“Recently, I came across movermike.com while researching a piece inspired by my own family.  A combination of my father being downsized in his 60s and my mother falling ill have combined to seriously affect their financial planning for retirement and has exacerbated their health problems. They have inspired me to write a guide for seniors and their families about the most common causes of financial stress, how it affects the person, and provide some coping strategies. You can read it here:

Financial Stress Coping Guide for Seniors

I thought you might be interested in it after reading your blog post”

Menominee Township Michigan Crevice

Remember this:

600 Foot Crack Opens In Michigan Woods

In Menominee Township, Michigan “A large crevice, stretching almost two football fields, suddenly appeared in the woods near Birch Creek earlier this week.” “It all started early Monday morning between 8 & 9 a.m. Central time, when Eileen and her neighbors heard a loud boom, and that’s when Eileen felt her house start to shake.”

Well, now the mystery may be solved.

A mystery from Menominee, Michigan may be closer to being solved.

A large crack opened in the ground more than five years ago. It was originally thought to be the result of an earthquake. But now there’s another theory.

Eileen Heider remembers the jolt like it was yesterday.

“I was sitting watching television on my recliner, and I start moving. It was weird. Maybe only lasted 15 seconds, but it was moving,” Heider said.

Heider says a large crack in the ground opened on her Menominee Township property in October of 2010. She thought it was an earthquake.

“Yeah, that’s what I kind of thought,” said Heider.

Over the last five years, scientists and students from Michigan Tech examined the area.

“When I got there I was completely shocked by what I saw,” said Wayne Pennington, Michigan Tech Dean of Engineering.

Pennington says it was no typical earthquake.

“The crack is remarkable, but the ridge, a six-foot-high ridge, the length of a football field. That doesn’t happen easily inside the earth,” he said.

Pennington says underground pressure on the limestone rock in the area was released, allowing the crack to form. The scientific term is a geological pop-up.

“Usually it’s caused by the removal of a glacier. But the glacier left here 11,000 years ago. So why did it wait until 2010 to happen?” asked Pennington.

Pennington says there are other less likely theories as to what caused the pop-up. He says the event is unique, and very rare.

“All the stress in that area has been relieved. If it was waiting 11,000 years for the final trigger, there’s not a lot more stress there waiting to happen,” said Pennington.

Meanwhile, Eileen Heider says she’s happy to share her backyard with some geologic history.

“It’s kind of a neat thing in some ways. As long as nobody got hurt, that’s what counts,” she said.

Heider says it was lucky the crack popped up where it did, and not near her home at the top of the hill.

As far as the earthquake, scientists say it did register on a seismograph.

2016-2017 Football Bowl Upsets

#5 Penn State 49, #9 USC 52

#6 Michigan 32, #11 Florida State 33

#10 Colorado 8, #12 Oklahoma State 38

#13 Louisville 9, #20 LSU 29

#16 West Virginia 14, Miami 31

#23 Pittsburgh 24, Northwestern 31

#24 Temple 26, Wake Forest 34

#25 Navy 45, Louisiana Tech 48


#4 Washington 7, #1 Alabama 24

Washington State 12, Minnesota 17


Useless Advice

Useless Advice

Useless Advice

To see how misleading the Fed’s interest rate hike projections have been in recent years, have a look at the chart below.
As you can see, projected interest rate hikes compared to actual rate hikes differ drastically.

I don’t know what’s worse… the Fed’s forward guidance track record or the people who actually trade on that guidance.

Yet there I was on Wednesday night watching a Harvard-educated “analyst” on Fox News telling “Special Report” anchor Brett Baier that the most important thing investors needed to be concerned with was the Fed’s plan to raise rates three times in 2017.

That’s utterly worthless advice.

Hold on. I am being kind.

That’s moronic advice.

The data clearly shows that the Fed doesn’t do what is says it’s going to do.

Look, does anyone not sniffing bath salts believe the Fed is going to continue raising rates on schedule if the U.S. stock market craters… or if Europe implodes… or if China’s credit bubble bursts?


There are countless Fed “variables” it will use to justify altering its plan… as it has in years past.

The bottom line is the only thing of value we learned from the Fed this week is they raised rates on Wednesday.

That’s it.

What it does in 2017 has no relation to its stated projections, just as was the case in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Worrying about the implications of the Fed’s rate hike timetable is a time-sucking charade designed to bleed you dry. The Fed and the media are never on your side.

Focus on the only truth you know, and that is the price action of all markets.

Let the price action dictate your actions, your buys and sells. That’s what winners do.

Please send me your comments to coveluncensored@agorafinancial.com. Let me know what you think of today’s issue.


Michael Covel
Editor, Covel Uncensored

The Fed’s “Debt Monster” Is Calling the Shots

The Fed’s “Debt Monster”

Bill Bonner calls our attention to the danger:

You know our prediction: The Fed will never willingly lead interest rates to a neutral position.

It can’t. The FED  has created a debt monster. It must feed this Frankenstein with easy credit.

This time last year, the Fed began its “rate-tightening cycle.” That is, it began raising short-term interest rates.

It pledged to continue to do so in 2016. But then it diddled and dawdled, fiddled and fawdled… claiming to be on top of the situation… watching its “data” come in like a fisherman’s wife waiting for the return of the fleet… and not wanting to admit she was already a widow.

What it was really waiting for was a place to hide.

The Fed can raise short-term rates. But it will have to follow, not lead. It will have to hide in the shadow of rising consumer prices, staying “behind the curve” of inflation expectations.

That way, the expected real interest rate – the rate of return on your money above the rate of consumer price inflation – never really returns to neutral.

Already, the price of a barrel of crude oil – a key input into prices across the economy – is twice what it was 10 months ago. Leading business-cycle research firm the Economic Cycle Research Institute says the inflation cycle has turned positive.

And already, foreign nations are talking about retaliating against Team Trump by canceling orders and imposing new tariffs in their own versions of “better trade deals.”

This, too, is bound to raise prices.

Forget speculating on stocks, options, or other risky, low-probability moneymaking schemes. This wealth-building formula is the most reliable way to make seven figures in seven years or less in today’s uncertain economy…

Funny Money Antics

But if consumer price inflation were really a concern, the bond market would race ahead of the Fed, imposing its own regimen of rising yields.

The Fed’s increases would be too little and too late to have any real effect on the outcome.

Bondholders don’t care much about nominal rates. If consumer price inflation were to rise to the Fed’s 2% target, for example, bondholders might clamor for a 4% yield to give them a positive 2%.

That is a big increase over the 52-week low of 1.32% the yield on the 10-year Treasury note hit on July 4.

But you don’t get that kind of seismic shift without cracking some flower pots.

Much of the world’s $225 trillion in debt is calibrated to borrowers who will have a hard time surviving a 3% interest rate world, let alone a 4% one.

This is an economy that can stand a lot of grotesque and absurd “funny money” antics. It can survive a bizarre financial world; it can’t survive a normal one.

As inflation expectations increase, investors do not sit still and watch their retirements, their savings, and their fortunes get broken by inflation.

They don’t wait for the Fed’s policy-setting committee to meet. They don’t reflect calmly as the Fed’s wonks collect their “data” and create their “dot plots.”

Instead, they act out. The monster gets mad and starts throwing things.

First through the window are the bonds. They get chucked out before inflation manifests itself fully… and long before the Fed increases its key short-term rate.

Then, the “boom” turns quickly into stagflation… as higher borrowing costs pinch off growth even as consumer prices continue to rise.

But more likely, inflation is not really surging… Not yet.

And most likely, it will be the painfully apparent when the U.S. economy goes into recession next year.

Then, it will be stocks’ turn to get tossed out, while bonds sneak back in through the side door.

It will also be apparent that the Fed has taken another false step… that the recovery was a sham… and that it’s the debt monster calling the shots, not Janet Yellen.


Bill Bonner

2016 Week 14 Football Upsets

2016 Week 14 Football Upsets

2016 Week 14 Football Upsets

Now it is on to the Bowl Games.

#6 Wisconsin 31, #7 Penn State 38

#19 Navy 10, Temple 34

Locally: No upset with the Dawgs

#4 Washington 41, #8 Colorado 10

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