Why You Should NOT Buy a New Car – ReadyForZero Blog #auto #advance

#buy a used car

Why You Should NOT Buy a New Car

17 Oct 2012 by Ben

Welcome to the 5th  Smart Money Debate at ReadyForZero . To see the other side  of this debate, read Miranda s post: Why You Should Buy a New Car (Not Used). And then let us know which argument was more convincing!

Buying new things is fun. I love unwrapping the shiny packaging, opening up the box, and smelling the factory made scent of something brand new. There is nothing quite like holding something in your hands that nobody else has ever used. It makes you feel well special.

You know what makes me feel even more special than buying something brand new? Saving money. That is why almost everything I purchase is used. Don t get me wrong I m not one to purchase a used pair of Hanes. However, with most items, you can find great deals if you are willing to buy used. This is especially true when it comes to major purchases like cars.

While I wouldn t recommend buying any old lemon, buying used cars is the only thing that makes sense financially. Our family has purchased new before, and we consider it to be one of the biggest financial mistakes we have ever made. Here is why we will never buy a new car again and neither should you!

Reason #1: New Cars Don t Hold Their Value

We ve all heard this before, but it bears repeating: a new car begins losing value the minute that you drive it off the lot. How much value you ask? According to Edmunds.com, a new car loses approximately 10% of its value as soon as you drive away. 10%. Furthermore, it loses about 20% of its value after the first year, and 10% off the original purchase price per year after that. Depending on the make and model of your new car, you may have lost up to 80% of the value from the purchase price within 5 years!

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Would you invest $25,000 in the stock market if you knew that you were going to lose $2,500 the moment you completed the transaction? Would you buy a house for $200,000 if you knew for a fact that it would only be worth $180,000 the minute you were handed the key and $160,000 a year later. Of course you wouldn t! No sane person would. Why would you do the same thing with a car? Let somebody take that huge financial hit by buying the new car. Then, you can take advantage of their silliness and buy the car used after they trade it in a few years later.

Reason #2: Used Cars are Cheaper

Since new cars are clearly a poor investment, it makes sense that the sticker price for used cars is far less expensive than the newer models. For instance, a brand new 2012 Toyota Prius is currently selling for around $28,500. Earlier this year, we were able to purchase a used 2009 Prius with under 25,000 miles for only $17,500. While red isn t exactly my favorite color, I was happy to suffer through it in order to save $11,000.

Reason #3: Less Worry

You know the nervous feeling that you get when you buy something new? You become very protective of it. You don t want anything to spill or scratch it. You re so proud of it that you want it to stay looking all brand new and shiny for forever. That is why you bought the product new in the first place. Afterall, what good is a new car if it doesn t actually look new.

I hate to tell you this, but eventually everything that is new is going to become blemished. When it does, you may be devastated especially if you spent as much money on it as you would a car. Why not save yourself all of that worry, headache, and stress? Just buy your cars used. A nick, dent, or scratch doesn t seem like such a big deal then.

Reason #4: Warranties are Available

People who tell you to buy a new car will tout the great warranties with which new cars come. Guess what. Most used cars will come with a warranty as well. In fact, the most important warranty the manufacturer s powertrain warranty should still be in effect as long as the car has not exceeded its age or mileage limits. This warranty covers all of the big stuff that might break like your engine or transmission. So, the warranty argument doesn t really hold water. If the warranty is in effect, the argument that you are going to have to pay for more repairs to a used car than you would for a new car doesn t really work either.

Reason #5: A New Car is a Bad Investment

Have I mentioned that a new car loses 10% of its value the moment you drive it off the lot and 20% of its value over the first year alone. Oh, I did? Good. Well, this is so important that I m mentioning it again. If that new car smell is still tempting you, go back and read Reason #1 to help snap you back into reality. Then, go out and buy a New Car Smell air freshener to put in your used car, and save yourself thousands of dollars.

As you can see, buying a new car is not the best decision for your finances. While that new car smell may make you feel like you are loaded, buying a new car is just another way of trying to look wealthy. It is a status symbol that savvy spenders can do without. If you re in the market for a new car, do yourself a favor and buy a used one instead.

No matter what you decide, use ReadyForZero to track your debt payoff it s a free online tool that helps you stay motivated and pay off your debt in the fastest time frame possible.

To see the other side  of this debate, read Miranda s post: Why You Should Buy a New Car (Not Used). And then let us know which argument was more convincing!

This post was published by Ben, Content Manager and Writer for » ReadyForZero. ReadyForZero is a company that helps people get out of debt on their own with a simple and free online tool that can automate and track your debt paydown.

10 cheapest cars: Why (almost) nobody buys them #used #auto #loans

#cheapest used cars

Story Highlights

    Nissan Versa sedan is lowest-price new car at $12,780 Dealers seldom stock bare-bones models Most buyers demand more features


Cheap new cars can be a disappointment zone.

If you go looking for the $12,780 2014 Nissan Versa sedan that went on sale Tuesday as America’s lowest-price new car, good luck. Dealers almost never stock the lowest-price model.

They say nobody buys the bottom version, and shoppers say that’s because they aren’t available. Automakers say the so-called “take rate” for the lowest-price version of any model runs from 2% to 5%.

Using that new Versa as an example, the bottom-price model has a manual transmission. Few can or will drive a stick-shift nowadays. Moving up to the conventional four-speed automatic adds $1,000.

And you still don’t have the high-mileage version you probably saw advertised.

That’s the one with the CVT (continuously variable-ratio automatic transmission), which is rated an appealing 40 mpg on the highway. Lowest-price CVT model is the S Plus, starting at $14,580, including shipping.

Suddenly, instead of a chops-licking, less-than-$13,000 new car, you’re getting close to $15,000.

At which point buyers often start thinking about nicely equipped, lightly used cars instead of new ones.

It’s not just Nissan. Most automakers price their vehicles that way.

Of course, there’s more profit in even slightly higher-price models, so that’s what car companies want to make and dealers want to keep on the lot and in the showroom.

In addition to being hard to find, bare-bones cars just aren’t that desirable, even among those who swear they “just want basic transportation.” Often “basic” means sans air conditioning, power windows and a radio.

Power windows sounds like a luxury until you picture yourself reaching from the driver’s seat across the car to hand-crank the passenger-side window.

Using Versa again, the average transaction price is $16,092, according to research and shopping site TrueCar.com. Three cars have lower average transaction prices: SmartForTwo ($14,264), Chevrolet Spark ($14,707) and Mazda2 ($15,528).

Transaction price is all-in, out the door, so it includes taxes and license fees as well as factory rebates, shipping and dealer discounts.

And cheap-to-buy often isn’t cheap to own. A low-price vehicle frequently depreciates faster than a more expensive car, so at trade-in time, the gap between the value of what you have and what you want is pretty big. Depreciation is the single biggest cost of owning a car, but often overlooked because it doesn’t hit until years after you buy the car.

The 10 cheapest new cars in the U.S.

The list was complied by kbb.com and USA TODAY research. Rankings are based on sticker prices, including shipping charges. All are 2013 models except the 2014 Versa.

•Nissan Versa S Sedan, $12,780

•Chevrolet Spark LS Hatchback, $12,995

•Smart ForTwo Pure Coupe, $13,240

•Ford Fiesta S Sedan, $13,995

•Kia Rio LX Sedan, $14,350

•Ford Fiesta S Hatchback, $14,995

•Chevrolet Sonic Sedan, $14,995

•Toyota Yaris 3-door, $15,165

Ssae 16 Type Ii #is #ssae #16 #needed,reports,reviewing #ssae #16,ssae #16,ssae #16 #audit #review,ssae #16 #review,ssae #16 #review #checklist,ssae #16 #reviews,ssae #review,ssae #reviews,ssae-18,ssae16,ssae16 #review,standards,third #party #ssae #guidance #review,who #is #required #to #have #a #ssae #16,who #is #required #to #have #ssae #16,why #get #ssae #16,audit #intensedebate,leave #a #reply: #name #(required): #website: #comments: #submit, #moderation,\’leave #a #reply\’ #\’name #(required)\’ #\’mail #(will #not #be #published) #(required)\’ #\’website\’ #it #services,controls,how #do #you #prepare #for #an #ssae #16 #audit,how #to #prepare #for #a #ssae #16,how #to #prepare #for #an #ssae #16 #audit,new #avenues #for #ssae #16,preparing #for #a #ssae #16,preparing #for #ssae #16,report #writing,ssae #16 #audit #preparation,ssae #16 #consulting #do #we #need,ssae #16 #preparation,ssae #16 #report,ssae #no. #16,example #soc #1 #report,soc #1,soc #1 #report,soc #1 #reports,soc #1 #type #2,soc #1 #type #2 #report,soc #1 #type #ii #report,soc #2,soc #3,soc #i,soc #report,soc #reporting,soc #type,soc #type #1 #report,soc-1 #report,soc1,soc1 #report,soc1 #reporting,soc1 #soc2,ssae #16 #reports,ssae #16 #soc #1,ssae16 #compliant #soc #1,system #and #organization #control #report,what #is #a #soc #1 #report,what #is #a #soc1 #report,what #is #ssae #16 #soc #1 #and #soc #2 #difference,at-c #320,cost,definition #soc #1 #ssae #16,how #ssea #16 #helps #auditors,prices,pricing,soc #1 #audit,ssae #16 #audit,ssae #16 #audit #checklist,ssae #16 #audit #report,ssae #16 #audit #requirements,ssae #16 #auditing #standard,ssae #16 #auditor,ssae #16 #checklist,ssae #16 #cost,ssae #16 #costs,ssae #16 #prices,ssae #17 #audit,ssae #18 #report,ssae #soc #auditing #and #reporting,ssae16 #audit,ssae16 #audit #report,ssae16 #checkilst,what #is #a #ssae #16 #audit,what #is #ssae #16 #audit,what #is #ssae16 #audit,what #is #the #purpose #of #a #ssae #16 #audit?


The SSAE 18 Reporting Standard SOC 1 SOC 2 SOC 3 Support and Guidance for SSAE18, SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 reporting standards

Some organizations have heard of SAS 70, SSAE 16. and soon to be SSAE 18. but, don t really know WHY they need to pay to have a bunch of auditors trounce through their company for a month or two during the year, especially right after their financial audit just finished.
The answer is simple: Many companies will not even think about using your company to perform services for them without a clean Type II Report in place.
Some benefits of having an SSAE 16 performed :

  • Ability to perform outsourcing services for Public Companies.
    • If performing financially significant duties for a Public Company, they are required to use a SSAE 16 qualified provider as it is the only way to give investors assurance over controls that are not performed by the Company in question.
  • Public and Private companies are more likely to trust your organization with their data.
    • If you were to trust a company with your data, you would want complete assurance it will be handled with the utmost care
  • A year round accessible knowledge source (your auditors).
    • As a service organization, large or small, you will always have questions regarding your business and having a set of auditors in place with access to a wide array of business knowledge, it will allow you to bounce your questions and concerns off of a group of trusted individuals.
  • A third party to review your controls and activities to ensure they are functioning appropriately, and give advice on how to improve upon them.
    • Sometimes your internal audit department is good, but, not always as stringent as they should be. This will help to serve as a check on their work, as well as your staff. Additionally, if there were any findings noted, your auditors are in a great position to give you some tricks and tips to improve to ensure everything functions well the following period.
  • Improving performance of the organization.
    • Just the knowledge that a review is being performed of an employee s work that can have far reaching consequences for the company as a whole. No more, Oh, I didn t realize that reviewing user access was THAT important to do this month, sorry , now, everyone knows that if it s not done, the success or failure of the organization could rest upon them.

Think of the SSAE 16 or SSAE-18 audit as an annual investment into your company, increasing potential new clients. productivity and accountability .

This tip is focused on designing controls that reflect the process being testing, if they don t, a headache of massive proportions will be created once testing begins.
What do you do to make sure you don t screw this up? Have as many meetings as it takes to get it right.
What you need to do is sit down with the auditors, the department lead, the main employees responsible for performing the process, and anyone else whom could either play a role in testing or modifying the control in the future. Once that is done, Management should discuss what they determined the control to be and how it should operate, that is then reviewed by the auditors, and then the employees performing the tasks should be reconsulted to verify that the control still reflects their process accurately.
Many times people try to speed this process up and half-ass it, leaving many open items which upon testing could easily blow up into a huge problem. When the control isn t 100% agreed upon prior to testing and a deviation is noted, it s a tough call between failing the control and the ability to adjust it to accurately reflect the process. The problem is modifying a control after testing has begun is not proper and needs to be avoided at all costs.
Locking the controls locked down early on could save weeks in wrapping up your new SSAE 16 Report.
We have seen issues like this cause delays in issuing of the report to the client and running additional fees, since adjusting controls isn t free. Coming from the perspective of the auditor, we can let you know the pitfalls, consequences and how to best navigate the audit process. If you have any comments or questions please leave them below!

A SOC 1 Report (System and Organization Controls Report ) is a report on Controls at a Service Organization which are relevant to user entities’ internal control over financial reporting. The SOC1 Report is what you would have previously considered to be the standard SAS70, complete with a Type I and Type II reports, but falls under the SSAE 16 guidance (and soon to be SSAE 18 ).

Please see the following articles discussing the SSAE 16 guidance and additional information related to the SOC 1 (Type I and Type II) Reports:

In addition to the SOC 1 report which is restricted to controls relevant to an audit of a user entity’s financial statements, the SOC 2 and SOC 3 reports have been created to address controls relevant to operations and compliance and will be discussed in further detail in the future.

Please see the SOC 1 Reporting Guide page for additional information.

SSAE 16 is an enhancement to the current standard for Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization, the SAS70. The changes made to the standard will bring your company, and the rest of the companies in the US, up to date with new international service organization reporting standards, the ISAE 3402. The adjustments made from SAS 70 to SSAE 16 will help you and your counterparts in the US compete on an international level; allowing companies around the world to give you their business with complete confidence .

SSAE16 is now effective as of June 15, 2011, and if you have not made the necessary adjustments required, now is the time to find a quality provider to discuss the proper steps. All organizations are now required to issue their Service Auditor Reports under the SSAE 16 standards in an SOC 1 Report.

The soon to be effective, SSAE-18. is expected to follow a similar reporting structure to the SSAE-16 within a SOC 1 report.

Who Needs an SSAE 16 (SOC 1 ) Audit?

If your Company (the Service Organization ) performs outsourced services that affect the financial statements of another Company (the User Organization ), you will more than likely be asked to provide an SSAE16 Type II Report, especially if the User Organization is publicly traded.
Some example industries include:

  • Payroll Processing
  • Loan Servicing
  • Data Center /Co-Location/Network Monitoring Services
  • Software as a Service (SaaS )
  • Medical Claims Processors

What you Need to Know:

Before starting the SSAE 16 process, there are a number of considerations one must take into account that can save considerable time, effort, and money in the long run. Use the following items as a mini checklist for yourself:

  • Does my Company need an SSAE16, or, are we doing it just because someone asked?
  • Reports on the low end can run at least $15,000 a year, will the business lost be less of a burden than the cost of the report itself?
  • Does your company have defined Business Process and IT controls in place, or, will you need assistance developing and implementing them (readiness assessment)?
  • Have you determined the controls in place which affect the outsourced services being provided?
  • Have key stakeholders been defined and included in discussions?

There are many other issues to consider before engaging a CPA firm to help with your SSAE 16, for a more detailed checklist please see The SSAE 16 Checklist

You may have heard SSAE-18 is on the horizon for reports issued as of May 1, 2017. There are some important updates discussed in here: SSAE-18 An Update to SSAE-16 .

As the standard is formalized and the date approaches we will continue to provide more information to help you prepare for these changes.

Why You Should Buy Car Insurance Online #saturn #auto #parts

#buy auto insurance online

Cheap Car Insurance for Drivers Now Comparable Through New Insurer Tool Online

Orlando, FL (PRWEB) April 09, 2014

Drivers who are searching for different coverage options to protect motor vehicles during an accident can now use the Insurance Pros USA website. The inclusion of cheap car insurance companies through the open system is now offering immediate comparisons of rates for drivers at http://insuranceprosusa.com/auto-insurance.html.

All drivers who access the public portal this year have the option of reviewing one or more agency to find the less expensive plans offered. A number of providers offering coverage products are now searchable upon a single zip code search inside the automotive tool.

Drivers paying too much for insurance or who are seeking new ways to save money can gain entry to our system to begin comparing the less expensive coverage rates, said an InsuranceProsUSA.com source.

The auto agencies that are listed and capable of underwriting the lowered coverage rates are licensed within the United States. Motorists have the option to explore prices from the list of agencies that are now positioned inside of the search tool for this year.

The system uses a driver s zip code in contrast to more personal data to keep the system secure and reliable for public usage, said the source.

The Insurance Pros USA website is now providing more rates than standard auto insurance prices in 2014. The prices that are now available for review includes renter, health and life insurance that can be found on the homepage at http://insuranceprosusa.com.

About InsuranceProsUSA.com

The InsuranceProsUSA.com company is helping American motorists to explore different insurance options through its portal online. This company offers direct access to agency pricing through its public system for research. The InsuranceProsUSA.com company website is designed to present updated information and offer immediate comparison shopping options to the public. Company staff helps to research and add new providers inside the portal to ensure all interested drivers receive information about all applicable protection plans in the U.S. Immediate quotes in price are now offered for the products listed online.

How social media is reshaping news #why #social #media


How social media is reshaping news

The ever-growing digital native news world now boasts about 5,000 digital news sector jobs. according to our recent calculations, 3,000 of which are at 30 big digital-only news outlets. Many of these digital organizations emphasize the importance of social media in storytelling and engaging their audiences. As journalists gather for the annual Online News Association conference. here are answers to five questions about social media and the news.

1How do social media sites stack up on news? When you take into account both the total reach of a site (the share of Americans who use it) and the proportion of users who get news on the site, Facebook is the obvious news powerhouse among the social media sites. Roughly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults use the site, and half of those users get news there — amounting to 30% of the general population.

YouTube is the next biggest social news pathway — about half of Americans use the site, and a fifth of them get news there, which translates to 10% of the adult population and puts the site on par with Twitter. Twitter reaches 16% of Americans and half of those users say they get news there, or 8% of Americans. And although only 3% of the U.S. population use reddit, for those that do, getting news there is a major draw 62% have gotten news from the site.

2How do social media users participate in news? Half of social network site users have shared news stories, images or videos. and nearly as many (46%) have discussed a news issue or event. In addition to sharing news on social media, a small number are also covering the news themselves, by posting photos or videos of news events. Pew Research found that in 2014, 14% of social media users posted their own photos of news events to a social networking site, while 12% had posted videos. This practice has played a role in a number of recent breaking news events, including the riots in Ferguson, Mo.

3How do social media users discover news? Facebook is an important source of website referrals for many news outlets, but the users who arrive via Facebook spend far less time and consume far fewer pages than those who arrive directly. The same is true of users arriving by search. Our analysis of comScore data found visitors who go to a news media website directly spend roughly three times as long as those who wind up there through search or Facebook, and they view roughly five times as many pages per month. This higher level of engagement from direct visitors is evident whether a site’s traffic is driven by search or social sharing and it has big implications for news organizations who are experimenting with digital subscriptions while endeavoring to build a loyal audience.

4What s the news experience like on Facebook? Our study of news consumption on Facebook found Facebook users are experiencing a relatively diverse array of news stories on the site — roughly half of Facebook users regularly see six different topic areas. The most common news people see is entertainment news: 73% of Facebook users regularly see this kind of content on the site. Unlike Twitter. where a core function is the distribution of information as news breaks, Facebook is not yet a place many turn to for learning about breaking news. (Though the company may be trying to change that by tweaking its algorithm to make the posts appearing in newsfeed more timely .) Still, just 28% of Facebook news consumers ever use the site to keep up with a news event as it unfolds, less than half of those users would turn to Facebook first to follow breaking news.

5How does social media impact the discussion of news events? Our recent survey revealed social media doesn’t always facilitate conversation around the important issues of the day. In fact, we found people were less willing to discuss their opinion on the Snowden-NSA story on social media than they were in person. And Facebook and Twitter users were less likely to want to share their opinions in many face-to-face settings, especially if they felt their social audience disagreed with them.

Why Bank Cord Blood? New England Cord Blood Bank #why #bank #cord #blood


Saving Cord Blood. Saving Lives.

It’s About Peace of Mind

Cord blood banking is the simple process of safely and securely storing the blood within your child’s umbilical cord, as well as the tissue from the cord itself. A life-giving opportunity that happens only at the time of a birth, it offers a powerful medical resource in fighting devastating chronic and acute diseases. Banking your baby s stem cells offers a unique opportunity to provide protection and security for your family.

By choosing to bank your baby’s cord blood and tissue with NECBB, you will preserve your family’s chance to potentially use it as a part of a treatment therapy for over eighty diseases, including various cancers, genetic diseases, blood disorders, and immune system deficiencies.

Here are a few key reasons why so many parents are now choosing to bank their child’s cord blood and cord tissue:

  • Saving these stem cells offers the potential to save your baby’s or another family member’s life
  • Banking is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity available immediately after birth
  • The cord blood and cord tissue collection process is simple and painless to the baby and mother
  • 30%-70% of people who need bone marrow transplants cannot find a match, whereas banking your baby’s stem cells improves the odds of having a proper match for your baby or another family member
  • Medical advances are allowing stem cells to treat even more diseases and be used in more transplant cases than current medical practices
Treatment with Cord Blood Stem Cells

Stem cells are at the forefront of one of the most fascinating and revolutionary areas of biology today. Doctors recognize that stem cells can help treat numerous diseases by generating healthy new cells and tissue. There are a wide range of diseases that are treatable with cord blood, including stem cell disorders, acute and chronic forms of leukemia, myeloproliferative disorders, and many more. In addition to the host of conditions that can now be treated, it’s the potential of cord blood that holds the most excitement as research continues to uncover new possibilities. The efficacy of treating disease with cord blood stem cells is real. Beyond their potential to grow and rejuvenate specific cells or tissues, which can ultimately be used to treat a host of diseases, cord blood stem cells are currently being used to treat more than eighty acute and chronic diseases today.

Diseases That Can be Treated by Stem Cell Transplantation:
  • Stem Cell Disorders
  • Aplastic Anemia (Severe)
  • Fanconi Anemia
  • Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH)
  • Acute Leukemias
  • Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
  • Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)
  • Acute Biphenotypic Leukemia
  • Acute Undifferentiated Leukemia
  • Chronic Leukemias
  • Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
  • Juvenile Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (JCML)
  • Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML)
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders
  • Acute Myelofibrosis
  • Agnogenic Myeloid Metaplasia (myelofibrosis)
  • Polycythemia Vera
  • Essential Thrombocythemia
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes
  • Refractory Anemia (RA)
  • Refractory Anemia with Ringed Sideroblasts (RARS)
  • Refractory Anemia with Excess Blasts (RAEB)
  • Refractory Anemia with Excess Blasts in Transformation (RAEB-T)
  • Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML)
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Hodgkin’s Disease
  • Prolymphocytic Leukemia
  • Inherited Erythrocyte Abnormalities
  • Beta Thalassemia Major
  • Pure Red Cell Aplasia
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Cartilage-Hair Hypoplasia
  • Glanzmann Thrombasthenia
  • Osteopetrosis
  • Other Malignancies
  • Breast Cancer
  • Ewing Sarcoma
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Renal Cell Carcinoma
  • Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia
  • Other Inherited Disorders
  • Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome
  • Liposomal Storage Diseases
  • Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS)
  • Hurler Syndrome (MPS-IH)
  • Scheie Syndrome (MPS-IS)
  • Hunter’s Syndrome (MPS-II)
  • Sanfilippo Syndrome (MPS-III)
  • Morquio Syndrome (MPS-IV)
  • Maroteaux-Lamy Syndrome (MPS-VI)
  • Sly Syndrome, Beta-Glucuronidase Deficiency (MPS-VII)
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy
  • Mucolipidosis II (I-cell Disease)
  • Krabbe Disease
  • Gaucher’s Disease
  • Niemann-Pick Disease
  • Wolman Disease
  • Metachromatic Leukodystrophy
  • Histiocytic Disorders
  • Familial Erythrophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis
  • Histiocytosis-X
  • Hemophagocytosis
  • Phagocyte Disorders
  • Chediak-Higashi Syndrome
  • Chronic Granulomatous Disease
  • Neutrophil Actin Deficiency
  • Reticular Dysgenesis
  • Congenital Immune System Disorders
  • Ataxia-Telangiectasia
  • Kostmann Syndrome
  • Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency
  • DiGeorge Syndrome
  • Bare Lymphocyte Syndrome
  • Omenn’s Syndrome
  • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID)
  • SCID with Adenosine Deaminase Deficiency
  • Absence of T B Cells SCID
  • Absence of T Cells, Normal B Cell SCID
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome
  • X-Linked Lymphoproliferative Disorder
  • Inherited Platelet Abnormalities
  • Amegakaryocytosis / Congenital Thrombocytopenia
  • Plasma Cell Disorders
  • Multiple Myeloma

To see a list of active, Cord Blood Trials that are currently accepting patients, visit our Cord Blood Trials portal page here .

International Leaders

Families in the US rely on us to process and store their babies’ stem cells. Likewise, families from around the globe look to us as well including places such as: Mexico, Venezuela, Jordan, Peru, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Chile, Italy, Guatemala, Saudi Arabia, and Panama.


Questions to Ask Before Buying an Annuity #why #buy #an #annuity


Should You Buy An Annuity? Questions to Ask First

Updated October 16, 2016

Annuities are complex insurance products. They often pay high commissions to the people who sell them, providing them a strong incentive to convince you it is the right investment for you.

Before you buy an annuity you need to know why you are buying it, and what you expect it to do for you. Work through the five questions below to make sure the annuity you are buying is right for you.

1. What Type of Annuity Are You Buying?

There are many types of annuities.

The most common types are immediate annuities, deferred annuities, and variable annuities. There are also fixed annuities and equity indexed annuities. Each works differently.

With an immediate annuity. you trade in a lump sum of money for a guaranteed stream of income. Immediate annuities can provide a fixed or variable stream of income, depending on the type of immediate annuity you buy. People who buy immediate annuities are looking for guaranteed income and want the assurance of knowing the income will last throughout their life expectancy. They understand they will no longer have access to their principal.

With a deferred annuity. you deposit your money with an insurance company and let it grow tax-deferred until a particular age or date that is stated in your contract. Deferred annuities can be either fixed or variable. A fixed deferred annuity provides a fixed rate of return which is guaranteed by the insurance company.

A deferred variable annuity allows you to invest your funds in a portfolio of stock and bond sub-accounts.

People who buy variable annuities are looking for tax deferral and often a way to insure their future retirement income. The benefits that can be layered into a variable annuity are complex, and unfortunately, many people who buy them do not understand what they are buying.

All too often the tax deferral in a variable annuity is not as beneficial as it may appear to be, and if you are not careful you can get talked into variable annuities with fees that are outrageously high.

Then there are equity index annuities, which are like a fixed annuity with a guaranteed rate, but you also have the potential to earn additional interest depending on what the stock market does. People who buy equity index annuities are looking for a safe investment that allows them to defer income taxes on the interest they earn.

2. Why Are You Buying an Annuity?

Before you buy an annuity ask yourself, “Why am I buying this?” Is it because it is the first solution that someone has presented to you? If so, step back and do additional research.

If you are buying an annuity because you have looked at many investment options, and chosen an annuity as part of your overall investment plan to complement other investments, then you are on the right track.

There is one thing an annuity does extraordinarily well. it provides a great longevity hedge. This means it preserves a minimum level of income that you cannot outlive. Allocating a portion of your money to an option that will provide income for life can make sense.

Unfortunately, many people make investments, such as the purchase of an annuity, without first taking the time to create a long-term investment plan .

An investment plan helps you see what your money will do for you. Like a job description, once you know what the money needs to do, it is much easier to pick the option best suited to accomplish that job.

Don t let someone tell you an annuity can accomplish all your goals. It cannot. Every investment choice has trade-offs.

3. What Are the Fees in the Annuity?

Each type of annuity has a different way of charging fees.

With a variable annuity, all fees are disclosed in the prospectus. Although they are disclosed, it can be difficult to figure out all the costs and how they apply. Many variable annuities have annual fees that are in excess of 3% a year .

With high annual fees, your investments have to recover the fees before you actually make any money. That may be okay because an annuity is an insurance. You shouldn t buy it with the expectation of a great return. You buy it with the expectation that it will provide a minimum level of guaranteed income for your future.

With fixed and immediate annuities, the insurance company gives you a quote that is net of all fees. This works more like a CD or savings account. You get the interest rate offered which means the insurance company has factored in their costs before they determine the benefit they can provide to you.

4. How Will the Annuity Be Taxed?

Taxes should be considered as part of your decision-making process. Many times tax-deferral is used as a selling point for variable annuities, but unless you are in a very high tax bracket, and have a long time-frame before you need income, it may not actually be of much benefit to you.

Here s a quick overview of how different types of annuities are taxed.

When you purchase a deferred annuity, whether fixed or variable, the amount you invest is your cost basis. From that point on, any investment gains (or losses) are tax deferred. That means you will not receive a 1099 form, reporting the amount of interest, dividends or investment gains that are earned each year. These gains are all deferred. Tax deferred, however, is not the same as tax-free.

At such time as you take a withdrawal from a deferred annuity, you will receive a 1099 form that reports the distribution. Gain is considered to be withdrawn first, and all withdrawals are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate. Any withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ are also subject to a 10% penalty tax.

With an immediate annuity, a portion of each payment you receive is considered a return of principal (a return of your own money) and a portion is interest. You will pay tax on the portion that is interest but not on the portion that is considered a return of principal. The insurance company will provide you a tax statement that designates which portion is taxable.

Before you buy the annuity the insurance company can also tell you what your exclusion ratio would be. The exclusion ratio is the amount of each monthly payment that can be excluded from taxes.

If you convert a deferred annuity into an immediate annuity, the taxes will function like an immediate annuity, with a portion of each payment considered a return of principal, and a portion as interest.

5. What Happens to the Annuity Upon Your Death?

Upon your death, your remaining annuity benefits (if any) will go to the person you name as your beneficiary, but again, how this works can vary depending on the type of the annuity.

When you choose an immediate annuity you have to choose the term of the annuity. The term designates whether payments will be for your life only, for a joint life span, and whether any remaining funds will be passed along to heirs or not.

Most fixed annuity death benefits are simple; whatever the account is worth is what gets paid out upon death.

Variable annuity death benefits can be simple, or you can upgrade your policy with riders that offer enhanced death benefit options. These enhanced options can be a good choice for someone who does not qualify for life insurance but wants to find a way to boost what they pass along to a spouse or heirs.

Upon your death, the person inheriting the annuity must pay income tax on any gain, which will be taxed at their ordinary income tax rate. If they cash in an annuity with a large gain, it may push them into a higher tax bracket. If a spouse continues the policy, then the annuity is not considered to be cashed in, so no taxes would apply in that situation. Contrast this with what happens when someone inherits a portfolio of stocks or mutual funds. With stocks or funds that are not owned in a retirement account, heirs get a step-up in cost basis. This preferential tax treatment does not apply to annuities.

Overall, an annuity bought for the right reasons, as part of a plan, is a great choice. But an annuity bought under pressure, when you don t really understand how it works, can end up being an albatross to your retirement plan.

Why Berlin Used Cars? #used #car #prices

#used auto

Why Berlin Used Cars?

Berlin City Auto Group has three used car dealerships in New England: Portland, Maine; Gorham, New Hampshire; and Williston, Vermont. So, if you’re in the market for a high quality, reliable and affordable used car, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re shopping around for a heavy-duty pickup truck, a sporty two-seater, a family sedan, or a rugged SUV, we’ve got the vehicle for you. Buying a used car isn’t always easy, at Berlin City, we make it Easy .

Why Choose Berlin City Used Cars?

There are so many reasons why people choose Berlin City Auto Group over all the other used car dealerships in New England. Here are just a few of the amazing car-buying incentives that bring people to us daily:

  • Quality. At Berlin City, we’d never sell you a car that we wouldn’t drive ourselves. That’s why we take the guesswork out of used car buying by exhaustively inspecting every pre-owned vehicle before it hits our showroom floor.
  • Selection. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to used car buying, but there is one place to find that one perfect used car. With over 500 pre-owned vehicles in stock, it won’t take long to find a car that fits your financial and lifestyle needs.
  • Price. When buying a used car, transparency is the best policy. Each of our Berlin City used cars are priced at or below market value, so you can skip shopping around saving you time and energy, and drive off knowing you got a great deal.
  • Guarantee. If you’re used car needs a repair within the first 60 days or 2,000 miles, bring it in. We’ll fix it.
  • Door-To-Door Delivery. From our lot to your driveway within 24 hours.

Why Choose A Certified Used Car?

One major draw of a certified used car is the guarantee of a like-new vehicle, with an extended manufacturer warranty and many times, special rates and incentives that you don’t typically find on non-certified pre-owned vehicles. In order to offer these benefits, the vehicle itself must meet stringent inspection, time and mileage criteria to ensure that the customer gets the most value for their dollar.

In addition, Berlin City Auto Group offers three classifications of certified used cars: Berlin City Certified, ValueSmart Certified and Manufacturer/Brand Certified.

  • Berlin City Certified. All of our Berlin City Certified Used Cars come with a 4 day/200-mile no questions return, 2 Months/2,000 mile limited warranty, 130-point quality assurance inspection, comprehensive road test, available service contract, special financing for qualified buyers, door-to-door delivery, value price guarantee and peace of mind with a full vehicle history report.
  • ValueSmart Certified. All of our Berlin City ValueSmart Certified Used Cars come with a 4 day/200-mile no questions return, 2 Months/2,000 mile limited warranty, 49-point quality assurance inspection, comprehensive safety test, available service contract, special financing for qualified buyers, door-to-door delivery, value price guarantee, and peace of mind with a full vehicle history report.
  • Manufacturer Certified Pre-Owned (CPO). Berlin City Auto Group offers specific manufacturer/brand certified used cars for the consumer who is looking for a specific manufacturer/brand. The manufacturer/brands we offer include: Chevrolet. GMC. Honda. Lexus. Kia. Nissan. Scion and Toyota .

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Search our large selection of vehicles.

  • Berlin City Certified Inventory
  • ValueSmart Inventory
  • Learn More about Manufacturer CPO Programs

Why Car Dealer Ads Suck #auto #battery #reviews

#local car dealers

Why Local Car Dealer Ads Suck

By Brad Kozak on June 24, 2007

Even though automotive advertising is fleeing print for the Internet, national TV ads are still an automaker s most important showcase and they know it. From GM s levitating HHR s to Jill Wagner s Mercurial presence, car ads remain big budget productions from start to finish. Automobile manufacturers spend more time, effort and money (per second) to create your average 30-second car commercial than the networks spend to make an entire 30-minute sitcom. So why are viewers subjected to local dealer ads touting the same products that look like they cost a buck ninety-five?

Start with this: there are three kinds of car ads: manufacturer, zone (dealer association) and local dealer.

Automobile manufacturers ads sell the vehicle s features or promote the brand under which the product shelters. Carmakers spend upwards of a million dollars a pop to produce these all-singing, all-dancing car ads. And then they shell-out ten times as much (or more) to pay for the air time to run these magna opera usually in heavy rotation to achieve maximum impact. Love em or hate em, they re a class act.

Zone ads are produced by manufacturers ad agencies for various regional car dealer groups. These less expensive, more generic video ads feature loads of manufacturer-provided B-roll: beauty-shot footage of generic vehicles wending their way down country roads, plowing through pristine snow, etc..

The ad agencies add an announcer s mellifluous (or graveled) tones and a regional tag, as in See the new Ram-tough pickup now at your West Texas Dodge Dealer!

In comparison to manufacture and zone ads, local car dealer TV spots are complete rubbish. And why wouldn t they be? The average car dealer spends around $300 per spot in production costs. The price includes on-air talent (if any), video production, royalty-free background music and post-production video editing.

Car dealers feeling flush can buy donuts: professionally-produced ads branded with the local dealer s logo and voiceovers, ready for dealer-specific price/item info inserted into the center of the spot. Sadly, smaller markets seldom eat I mean, see donuts. They cost a lot more than the sales manager yelling Our prices are INSANE!

The average dealer ad reflects the average dealer s manic depressive/schizophrenic mentality. Sales up? Happy days are here again! Sales down? Where s my axe? And when times are really bad, advertising is the first part of the marketing matrix to feel the heat. Don t blame uninspired products, bloated inventories, sleazy sales reps and bad biz practices. Our ads suck.

Most hard-pressed dealers resort to low-ball video production and then SCREAM at their viewers. Since the competition is in the same boat, doing the same thing, most dealers decide that the only way to cut through the noise is to SCREAM LOUDER.

Of course, local dealer ads could be different. The economics of television production aside, it s entirely possible to produce dealer commercials that entertain, inform and persuade without sounding like a come-on for a Monster Truck Jam. The trick: brand the dealership.

Why do you buy a vehicle from one dealer over another? Most people usually answer either price or service. Marketing folk will tell you that these earnest answers are entirely misleading. Customers buy from people they trust to deliver the best price or service. In other words, dealers ads need to build relationships with their customers.

Now I don t mean that kind of touchy-feely, California-eque crap you see on Oprah. Again, we re talking trust. Trust makes customers come back time and time again, and even better, refer their friends.

Obviously, building trust takes a lot more than good TV ads (good products and honest transactions can t hurt). But ads that sell the dealership not the deal are an important piece of the puzzle.

Car dealers need to decide what makes them unique in their marketplace. Great service department? Knowledgeable sales reps? Good location? Deep inventory? Focus on that and get the word out.

Forget price. Most customers would pay a premium for better-informed sales reps/honest treatment/higher-quality service. True, this speak softly and carry a big rep approach runs counter to the dealers alpha-dog aggression. But it works.

At the same time, you have to wonder why carmakers are willing to let hysterical car dealers and their manic marketing men undermine the corporate mothership s carefully cultivated brand and product image.

While U.S. franchise law prevents manufacturer meddling at the local level, surely it s time for the manufacturers to take a more proactive approach. They should provide tele-visual support to car dealers to send the right message about their products and services to viewers/customers.

Will dealers ever make this Bold Move ? I doubt it. The temptation to scream is too tempting. So until they do, thousands of potential customers will keep their thumbs on that well-worn Tivo s skip button.

Why People Actually Buy Cars Online in China #auto #pricing

#buy cars online

From Volkswagen in China, a Preview of the Future of Digital Marketing

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Volkswagen sold more than 3 million cars in China last year, beating out General Motors as the top foreign automaker. The German automaker has a long history in China, but it also offers a case study about what can happen when brands break free of Western conventions.

For example, virtually all new car buyers in the U.S. do research online but completing the purchase is still done in a dealership. Very few of us can imagine buying a $50,000 car on the internet. Yet Shanghai VW, a joint venture with SAIC Motor, a Chinese state-owned car company, now does just that. (To keep dealers happy, it made sure to seek full dealer support when implementing an online sales strategy.)

When VW first set up local operations in China in the 1980s, the puzzle was how to sell foreign cars in a culture where more than 80% of purchase decisions are made by word of mouth. If brand reputation was the engine, how did you step on the gas? The answer finally came with the digital era.

The key to the Chinese auto market is a sophisticated digital communication strategy — including social, mobile and email tactics — that engages customers and gets them to begin the online buying process.

With a population of more than 1.3 billion, China has 1.1 billion mobile subscribers. That’s 82% penetration. To sell more than three million cars per year, you don’t have to look much beyond mobile.

HackerAgency built and executed Volkswagen China’s digital CRM strategy to help the auto company develop targeting, lead generation, prospect nurturing, direct sales and loyalty. That digital acceleration strategy is designed to meet Chinese consumers where they live — on their mobile devices.

Along the way, VW’s digital experience has become a teaching platform for Western marketers. Whether marketing in China or elsewhere, Western marketers need to give up the idea that there’s a single, linear purchase funnel. Here’s what VW discovered:

First, earn trust.

Social-savvy Chinese consumers are open to sharing data and content. They are equally interested in recommendations from their networks. Key to a brand’s success is becoming part of that trusted network.

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VW earned trust in one overwhelmingly successful campaign called the People’s Car Project. It solicited ideas for the future of automobiles from the Chinese public through social media. In 1,000 days, the campaign attracted 14 million visitors who submitted 260,000 ideas. This effort turned 480,000 people into fans and followers. Volkswagen subsequently produced three videos of the finalist cars that the participants suggested. These videos went on to generate 130 million views.

Meet the consumers where they are, not where you think they should be.

To generate action, the objective is all about getting the right message to the right consumer, at the right time in their buying cycle. An email message or content shared on messaging app WeChat posted by VW might be read on a mobile device, then shared, then read again at home on a different device months later. Each of these actions contributes to a crisper consumer understanding, when it is understood what type of content is welcomed and when. Digital CRM makes this possible.

To ensure even more involvement, people who raised their hands and engaged with Volkswagen were invited to events, or to learn about the company’s work with environmental projects, or to join crowd-sourced initiatives like the People’s Car Project.

To build a better, more holistic view of the customer, seek out dynamic and self-reported data.

Dynamic data gathered online is behavioral, transactional and often self-reported. It’s super-smart data.

For example, did an unmarried consumer suddenly start researching child safety seats yesterday? Today, the profile can be adjusted accordingly. And tomorrow, the profile will be further refined, as data from consumers’ physical world — the coming internet of things — is linked with their online networks.

With a deep analysis of consumer profiles, VW creates predictive models that successfully move leads from “brand engagers” to “car-buying intenders.”

So what has VW’s work in China taught us? Successful paradigm shifts require CMOs with nerve and vision. According to Forrester Research, social tools didn’t become popular in China until 2008, but today 95% of metropolitan Chinese online adults use social media. This kind of growth has meant that a channel may be useful for as little as a year before being disrupted by another. VW’s experience teaches us that responsive design doesn’t just apply to content or devices anymore, but also to skills and processes between clients and agencies.

Volkswagen’s experience in China is about more than selling cars. It’s a real-time preview of the future of digital marketing for the rest of us.