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What You Don’t Know About Flooding Can Hurt You

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By Diane Tait
Living in the Sunshine State means enduring a lot of water.Whether we’re talking about the popup thunderstorms that occur most every day during the summer, or whether we’re talking about the frequent named tropical storms and hurricanes that come our way, dealing with rain squalls and street flooding is a way of life in Florida.While most of this rain isn’t of biblical proportions, if you were forced to survive a direct hit by Hurricane Andrew, you might think differently.Unfortunately for all too many homeowners, they only think about flooding after the fact.If you don’t believe me, go talk to the New Yorkers whose homes were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, or the Texans where entire towns were submerged by Hurricane Harvey. While most of the homeowners in both locales were covered by homeowner’s insurance, many didn’t carry flood insurance.That’s because they assumed their properties would never flood.Before you get caught flatfooted by a future storm, let me tell you a f…

Is Pet Insurance Worth a Look?

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By Diane Tait
I’m a dog person.As such I have always had one or more dogs in my household.While they’re great companions and protectors, what isn’t great is when they get sick or injured.That’s because where veterinary care used to be relatively inexpensive, in the past 10 years, the price charged by vets is starting to approach those of general practitioners.As a result, I have to dig deeper and deeper into my pocket for everything from routine visits to the vet to doggy medication and emergency care.With the rise in veterinary costs has come a rise in pet insurance policies that claim to cover a myriad of issues for a fixed monthly premium.What I thought I’d do this week is take a look at the pros and cons of pet insurance.

The Heat is On

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By Diane Tait
Now that winter has made an appearance in north Florida, the HVAC technicians are starting off the year with a bang. That’s because most people don’t realize they have a problem with their home’s heating system until the first cold snap of the year occurs.To make matters worse, some of the service calls that homeowners make are not only costly, many are unnecessary.To help you keep from making a repairman’s day, I thought I’d take the time to give you a few tips that will help you keep warm and comfy instead of becoming hot under the collar when it comes to the care and feeding of your HVAC system.

Winter Motorcycling Rules, Florida Style

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By Diane Tait
Living in Florida means never having to winterize my motorcycle.While the weather outside my office today is bitterly cold, I know in a few days the temperature will bounce back to the sixties or seventies.Of course, the extreme fluctuations of temperature make it difficult to decide what to wear when I ride, as do the potential for pop up rain showers and other hazards found on the road in January and February.With that in mind, I thought I’d take the time to acquaint all you snowbirds who brought their bikes along with them to the Sunshine State with ins and outs of winter cycling rules, Florida style.

Income Tax Tips

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By Diane Tait
I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go is the lament of many a taxpayer at this time of year.  That’s because no sooner does the new year arrive when so do W-2 Forms for all employees and 1099’s for independent contractors.  Whether you work for a business or own a business, the next few months are certain to add to your workload, not to mention your blood pressure, as you prepare your tax forms to send to the IRS.  The secret to paying the least in taxes, interest and penalties is to have a familiarity with the tax laws.  That isn’t so easy when the laws change from year to year.  To help you get a handle on what is and isn’t allowable, I thought I’d take the time to give you a few time-tested tips.