RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

3 Ways to Boost Retirement Savings

March 19, 2015 2:15 am

Despite a significant share of Americans neglecting retirement savings, it is never too early or too late to start saving. According to a recent survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC), 32 percent of Americans are not contributing any portion of their household income toward retirement savings.

To help you prepare for a secure retirement, consider these tips:

1. Between the age of 21 and 30, the cost of education becomes a major hurdle as the long process of student loan repayment begins. Trouble with this debt can put retirement savings plans on hold. Getting help from a nonprofit student loan counselor at this stage can help avoid costly interruptions in growing retirement savings.

2. Building wealth is an essential goal for people between the age of 30 and 45. In addition to retirement savings, homeownership allows people to build equity in their property as they pay down their mortgages. To stay on track, it is wise to get advice from financial counselors through free programs, like the NFCC’s Sharpen Your Financial Focus initiative (www.sharpentoday.org).

3. After the age of 45, it is a good idea to increase contributions toward retirement savings while reducing budget expenses. Downsizing should also include credit card debt. If debt management is a problem, speaking with a nonprofit credit counselor is a good way to identify solutions.

Source: NFCC

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Water, not Fire, Causes Most Chimney Damage

March 19, 2015 2:15 am

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), water can create more damage to chimneys than fires, and the rainy spring season can exacerbate issues. Whether the chimney is masonry or factory-built, prolonged water exposure can result in cracks or gaps where creosote can collect, increasing the risk of fire or carbon monoxide exposure.

The experts at the CSIA advise homeowners to look for:

Rust stains
– More particular to factory-built fireplaces, rust is a critical red flag that water is accessing your chimney and threatening the integrity of the structure. Rust stains could reveal themselves around the outside of the upper chimney or along the inner lining of the fireplace.

Dripping or standing water – This may seem obvious, but water pooling anywhere in and around your masonry or factory-built chimney and fireplace structure means water has an access point to your home.

Bent or damaged flashing – The metal materials used to help seal your chimney from rooftop water runoff must be flush to the chimney structure. Flashing, crickets or other devices can warp or separate from the chimney over time, exposing your structure to water.

If you notice any of these signs, the CSIA suggests using a chimney cap, applying waterproofing agents or calling a certified chimney sweep professional. A chimney cap, also known as a rain cover, works to protect your chimney the way your roof works to protect your house. Waterproofing agents added to the interior of the chimney create a barrier while still allowing moisture to escape. Never use paint or any non-vapor-permeable water sealer because these can trap moisture inside the chimney, hastening deterioration.

Source: CSIA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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