IRS Warns You Won’t Be Able to File Online Without Doing This First

THE AGENCY IS MAKING A MAJOR CHANGE TO HOW USERS ARE ABLE TO ACCESS ONLINE TOOLS.

Smiling mature woman using laptop, online baking service, checking financial documents at home, senior grey haired female sitting at table with domestic bills and calculator, accounting

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The start of a new tax season is fast approaching. This year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is strongly encouraging people to stick to filing their taxes online and not on paper, as the agency is already struggling under the weight of a backlog of paper returns from last year. But before you do that, you should be aware of a major change from the IRS that might affect the way you’re able to file online and access other online tools. Read on to find out what you must do first before filing your taxes online in 2022.

If you do all your taxes online rather than on paper, the IRS is gearing up to make a major change that will impact you. In Nov. 2021, the agency announced that it was updating how users sign in and verify their identity for certain online services. The IRS will now use ID.me, an identity verification tool for sign-in service, to allow taxpayers to securely access most of the agency’s tools in an effort to prevent identity theft.

According to the IRS website, the agency has transitioned to the new sign-in and identity verification system for five different online applications. This includes accessing your account online, which has information on how much you’re owed for your return, your payment history, stimulus check information, payment plan details, and more. You’ll also need ID.me to obtain transcripts, apply for payment plans, manage child tax credit payments, and retrieve an IP PIN, which is a number that prevents someone else from filing a tax return using your social security or taxpayer ID number.

This new identification recognition system will require a number of different things, centered around facial recognition technology. If you have never created an ID.me account with a government agency, you’ll “have to provide a photo of an identity document such as a driver’s license, state ID or passport as part of the identity verification process,” the IRS warns. But you’ll also need to snap a pic: You must have a smartphone or a computer with a webcam to take a selfie in order for the software to match you with your ID document.

“Once they verify their identity, they can use their account across multiple IRS tools and at other government agencies that also use ID.me,” the IRS states on its website.

You can still use your old sign-in credentials until the summer.

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The new ID system will most likely end up affecting how you file taxes online next year, as the tax deadline to submit 2021 returns this year is April 18 for most people. However, if any extensions are made or you need to utilize the agency’s online tools and applications this summer or beyond, you’ll want to take note of the change.

According to the IRS, people can use their credentials from the old system to sign in for most applications until this summer, when ID.me will be fully implemented. Existing accounts only need an email and password for access currently, per UPI. “You won’t be able to log in with your existing IRS username and password starting in summer 2022,” the agency warns, noting that taxpayers are “prompted to create an ID.me account as soon as possible.”

There is some backlash against the IRS implementing ID.me.

young businessman sitting alone in his office and looking confused while using his laptop
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Not everyone is ready to give into the new IRS system, however. Notable security blogger Brian Krebs reported that when he created a new ID.me account to access online IRS services, the sign-up process was both time-consuming and glitchy.

“Successfully verifying your identity with ID.me may require a significant investment of time, and quite a bit of patience,” Krebs wrote in a Jan. 19 blog post. “For example, stepping away from one part of the many-step application process for a little more than five minutes necessitated another login, and then the re-submission of documents I’d previously uploaded.”

Others point to problems ID.me has experienced in the past. In June 2021, Vice reported that the system had failed to identify unemployment benefit applicants in various states that required it, noting that they also ran into trouble trying to reach anyone from the company to fix the issue. But the IRS has said that there are plenty of other ways for taxpayers to file their tax returns if they don’t want to make and utilize an ID.me account.

“The IRS emphasizes taxpayers can pay or file their taxes without submitting a selfie or other information to a third-party identity verification company,” an agency spokesperson said in a statement, per UPI. “Tax payments can be made from a bank account, by credit card or by other means without the use of facial recognition technology or registering for an account.”

Article for Best Life© written by KALI COLEMAN

Sourcxe: IRS Says You Won’t Be Able to File Online Without Doing This — Best Life (bestlifeonline.com)

5 Reasons Your Mail Isn’t Showing Up, USPS Warns

While the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) says it’s not unusual for an address to not get mail every day, sometimes an empty mailbox is a problem. We’ve all gone to get the mail expecting a long-awaited letter or package only to return disappointed. The Postal Service has faced backlash in recent months for late deliveries, largely brought on by impacts of the COVID pandemic, staffing shortages, and increased mail volumes. But in some cases, your mail might not be delivered for reasons outside of USPS delays. In fact, you may actually be impeding the Postal Service from delivering. Read on to find out the five most common reasons your mail isn’t showing up.

1 Mailbox blocked

If your mailbox is empty, it could be because something’s blocking it. According to the USPS, a blocked mailbox will prevent delivery. “Customers are required, as a condition of delivery, to ensure that proper access is provided to mail receptacles,” the Postal Service states on its website. “Without such access, the safety of the carrier is jeopardized.”

Even a car parked in the wrong place could get you skipped on your mail carrier’s delivery route. “According to our policy, the city or rural carrier should get out of the vehicle to make delivery if the mailbox is temporarily blocked by a vehicle,” the agency explains. “However, if the carrier continually experiences a problem in serving curb line or rural boxes where the customer is able to control on street parking, the postmaster may withdraw delivery service.”

2 Dog on premises

You might know your dog is a love bug, but that doesn’t mean your mail carrier does. While the presence of dogs at an address doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get your mail, it’s often a factor that ends up obstructing delivery. According to the USPS, “owners must confine their dogs during delivery hours,” as a loose dog could be viewed as an immediate threat to postal workers.

And this might mean more than just a day or two of an empty mailbox. “Delivery service may be temporarily withdrawn when animals interfere with our ability to complete mail delivery,” the Postal Service warns, noting that owners will be “notified promptly” if their service has been suspended because of a dog or other loose animal on the premises.

“Mail delivery will resume as soon as the Postal Service is confident the animal is no longer a threat,” the USPS states on its website. “Loose dogs can affect mail delivery for multiple addresses and an entire neighborhood.”

3 Hazardous conditions and natural disasters

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” might be the Postal Service creed, but there are limits! Hazardous conditions or natural disasters could result in an empty mailbox as well. According to the USPS, delivery serviced “may be delayed or curtailed” whenever streets or walkways are dangerous for carriers or their vehicles. “The Postal Service curtails delivery only after careful consideration, and only as a last resort,” the agency says, noting that it releases service alerts to provide consumers info about postal disruptions due to natural disasters or other hazardous concerns.

This may include snow in the winter. But if the USPS is delivering mail to your surrounding neighbors and not to you after a snowstorm, it could be personal: There might not be proper access to your box under the agency’s blocked mailbox stipulation. “Proper access” includes removing all the snow that’s accumulated in the area in front of your curbside mailbox or from sidewalks leading up to any house-mounted boxes, according to the Postal Service.

If you can’t shovel all the snow away and your mail can’t be delivered, you can try one of the alternatives the USPS has provided. You can “arrange with a neighbor to receive your mail, put up a suitable temporary mailbox, meet the carrier at your box, or pick up your mail at your local post office location.”

4 Full or overflowing mailbox

Don’t let your mailbox overflow and expect your mail carrier to just keep piling new mail inside. Instead, you might end up finding your box completely empty one day—except for a form from the USPS. “If a mail receptacle is deemed by the letter carrier to be full, the letter carrier will leave a ‘We ReDeliver for You’ form (PS Form 3849) in that receptacle and return the overflow mail to the local Post Office location for pickup,” the Postal Service explains on its website.

Your local post office will hold your mail for up to 10 days, but it will be returned to the senders if you have not picked it up or scheduled a redelivery after this timeframe. To pick it up from the office, you’ll need to bring a photo ID. And if you’re scheduling a redelivery, someone must be at home when they bring your mail back.

5 Travel obstructions

Do you live out in the sticks? There needs to be a safe way to get there, or your mail won’t show up. According to the Postal Service’s laws and regulations, “impassable roads, bad condition of roads, unsafe bridges, dangerous fords, or other obstructions” that impede travel are all grounds for a worker to refuse delivery service.

And yes, this mail delay can also be permanent. “Persons responsible for road maintenance must be notified of road conditions obstructing the delivery of mail. If repairs are not made promptly, service may be withdrawn,” the USPS says.

Article by Kali Coleman for Best Life©

Source: 5 Reasons Your Mail Isn’t Showing Up, USPS Warns (msn.com)

Note: This article did not mention the USPS reducing postal costs by using fewer planes to ship mail, and more trucks to carry mail. Here is what cnet© states are other reasons your mail is late:

Why would USPS deliveries be delayed?

There are many reasons why there might be a holdup with your Postal Service mail, and many times it’s not what you’d expect. Here are some of the most common reasons for mail delays. 

  • Weather: Postal delivery disruptions could be due to severe winter storms, floods, natural disasters or power outages. Customers can check weather-related delays on the Service Alerts page on the Postal Service’s website. 
  • Holidays: The holiday season is the busiest time for the Postal Service, and the spike in parcel volume can cause delays if the agency isn’t able to deal with the amount of rush purchases through retailers. One way to avoid this is to prepare early and avoid last-minute gift buying and shipping. 
  • Wrong address: Sometimes the delivery address is incorrect, or there’s a problem with the address such as a missing apartment number or an unreadable street name. 
  • Notification slip missing: If the Postal Service wasn’t able to deliver your mail because no one was there to receive it or there wasn’t a safe place to leave it, you might get a notice telling you that your package is waiting at the nearest post office. However, if that slip gets lost, you might have to take a couple extra steps to track down your mail. (See below.)

There’s also the pandemic, which has affected postal workers. Employees have had to follow social distancing guidelines, quarantine restrictions and safety protocols, leading to interruptions in the processing and delivery of mail. At the same time, there’s been a significant rise in parcel volume because of the lockdowns. Certain USPS facilities were so overwhelmed that they simply stopped accepting mail. 

http://www.cnet.com

The IRS Is Now Warning You to Do This, Starting Jan. 24

Filing taxes can be a headache all in itself, but the pandemic has exacerbated many issues with the overall system. While the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) often faces some sort of backlog every year, the agency closed last year’s tax season with an unprecedented 35 million unprocessed returns due to budget cuts and staff shortages amid the COVID pandemic, per The Washington Post. In order to prevent this type of issue from affecting taxpayers this year, the IRS has just issued new guidelines, advising all taxpayers to do one thing soon. Read on to find out what the agency is recommending you do, starting in just a few weeks.

The IRS is starting its tax filing season earlier than it has in the past.

The U.S. tax season will start on Jan. 24, which is “when the tax agency will begin accepting and processing 2021 tax year returns,” the IRS said in a Jan. 10 announcement. This is more than two weeks earlier than the agency started the filing season last year, according to USA Today.

“Planning for the nation’s filing season process is a massive undertaking, and IRS teams have been working non-stop these past several months to prepare,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement. “The pandemic continues to create challenges, but the IRS reminds people there are important steps they can take to help ensure their tax return and refund don’t face processing delays.”

The agency is advising you file your returns as early as possible.

In order to prevent delays and help the tax season flow more smoothly, one of the steps you can take is filing your returns as early as possible in accordance with the Jan. 24 start date. The IRS free filing program will open on Jan. 14, allowing taxpayers the opportunity to begin filing returns through the agencies’ partners earlier in order for them to be transmitted to the IRS starting Jan. 24. “It’s never too early to get ready for the tax-filing season ahead,” the agency says.

And getting ahead will help you navigate another troubling year ahead for the IRS. Treasury Department officials warned on Jan. 10 that the IRS will still be facing “enormous challenges” during this year’s tax filing season, which will likely make it another “frustrating season” for taxpayers, per The Washington Post.

“In many areas, we are unable to deliver the amount of service and enforcement that our taxpayers and tax system deserves and needs. This is frustrating for taxpayers, for IRS employees and for me,” Rettig said. “IRS employees want to do more, and we will continue in 2022 to do everything possible with the resources available to us. And we will continue to look for ways to improve. We want to deliver as much as possible while also protecting the health and safety of our employees and taxpayers.”

A general extension for the tax deadline is not expected this year.

In both 2020 and 2021, the IRS ended up extending the tax deadline into May in order to give taxpayers more time to file their tax returns amid the pandemic. But the agency has no plans to give most people extensions this year, according to The Washington Post. Instead, the tax deadline is April 18 for almost all taxpayers.

Prior to the pandemic, the deadline was usually April 15. But it has moved three days later this year in order to accommodate Emancipation Day on April 16, which is a holiday recognized in Washington D.C. One exception to the overall tax deadline is residents of Maine or Massachusetts, who will have until April 19 to file their returns due to the Patriots’ Day holiday in those states.

The IRS also says you should file electronically.

Alongside filing earlier, the IRS is once again pushing electronic tax returns. According to the agency, filing paper returns instead increases your risk of experiencing delays in processing. “The IRS strongly encourages people to file their tax returns electronically to minimize errors and for faster refunds—as well having all the information they need to file an accurate return to avoid delays,” the agency says.

Given that that there are no issues with your tax return such as errors or missing information, the IRS “anticipates most taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of when they file electronically if they choose direct deposit.”

Article by Kali Coleman for Best Life©

Source: The IRS Is Now Warning You to Do This, Starting Jan. 24 (msn.com)

7 Ways to Start a Conversation that Leads Where You Want It to

Start a conversation with potential to head in any direction you want.

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Conversation, as a social construct, serves as a building block in the creation and maintenance of relationships. It also serves as a gateway, which if navigated successfully, can lead you to the information or results you want. On the surface, conversation is a simple dialogue of thoughts and ideas, but underneath, it carries rich opportunities to build and strengthen bonds, uncover new information, and present information of your own.

When talking to strangers or professional colleagues, you don’t have a lot of breathing room in terms of topics and conversation patterns. You might excitedly tell a friend about a new book you’re planning on releasing, but if you do that to a total stranger, they might just think you’re trying to sell it to them. Skilled conversationalists are able to direct any conversation–even an innocuous “hey, what’s up” to a place they want it to go.

So, how can you do this? Here are seven ways to start a conversation with potential to head in any direction you want:

1. Start with weather (or sports).

Small talk gets a lot of hate, but it’s a perfect way to enter into a dialogue that isn’t committed to any one subject. Starting with the weather, for instance, gives you plenty of avenues for further exploration–you can use it as a segue into your geographic location, how you used to live somewhere else, how you’re anticipating an upcoming seasonal change, and so on. From there, you’ll be able to springboard into an entirely new topic. For example, you could talk about how cold the weather is, then about how the upcoming winter will give you more time to work inside on your new book (drawing on the conversation topic example in the introduction).

2. Come out with a compliment.

Compliments are great conversation starters because they instantly flatter the recipient, making them warmer to you and more willing to participate in your conversation–no matter where it heads. Be specific and sincere in your compliment, however, or you’ll risk alienating the person. Let the other person talk about the source of the compliment, and once the topic has been more or less exhausted, you can move in with almost any somewhat related topic you can think of–your flattered conversation partner will be much more open to hearing whatever you have to say.

3. Talk about the venue.

Talking about the venue or your environment is another great conversation starter that can work anywhere (and with anyone). If you’re at a networking event, you can talk about the coffee or the seating. If you’re in the office, you can talk about the changes to the break room or the parking lot construction. It doesn’t matter; all you have to do is find something around you that your conversation partner can also find. This will create a near-instant sympathetic connection, especially if you have the same feeling toward the topic. Then, you can shift gears and enter into a new topic.

4. Ask a favor.

Asking for a favor is a psychological trick invented (or first described) by Ben Franklin. For some evolutionary reason, when someone does a favor for someone else, it sparks an inherent connection with that person, making them more open to hearing whatever it is you have to say. The favor doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or anything strange–it can be as simple as “Can I borrow your pencil?” or “Can you tell me where the bathroom is?”

5. Open with a joke.

Everybody loves jokes. Tell an intelligent, clean joke that makes the other person smile and you’ve instantly created a sympathetic connection that can sometimes sustain for an entire conversation. With premeditated jokes, you can easily find a joke related to your intended topic of conversation and lead in with it–it will seem innocuous and give you an opportunity to lead the conversation to your ultimate destination.

6. Start with an innocuous observation.

Any observation will do, but try to find something related to your intended topic of discussion. Point something out and ask your conversational partner what they think of it–it could be a strange mark on the floor or a piece of news that recently came out. Then, gradually introduce a string of conversation that points toward your intended goal.

People participate in conversations best when asked specific questions. Rather than trying to open a conversation with your intended topic directly, ask a related question to prime your conversational partner and loosely open into it. For example, if you want to talk about the book you’re about to release, you could open with something like, “have you read any good books lately?”, then gradually shift to your own writing.

Once you’ve started a conversation that has the potential to lead just about anywhere, all that stands between you and your intended topic is a directional series of questions and responses. That’s a fancy way of saying all you need to do is hang onto the conversation long enough to gradually introduce the topic you want to explore.

Remember, the key to successfully leading a conversation into a direction is to do so subtly–trying to force a topic onto somebody is a sure way to turn them off. Practice this regularly, and eventually you’ll get the hang of it.

Article by Anna Johansson for Inc©

Source: 7 Ways to Start a Conversation that Leads Where You Want It to | Inc.com

20 essential dos and don’ts for secondhand shopping

a store filled with lots of luggage

Whether you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint or just save a few bucks on a cute new outfit, there’s no denying the appeal of second-hand shopping. From deep discounts on designer goods to one-of-a-kind vintage pieces, thrift stores and other secondhand sellers have some of the best-hidden gems in the world of fashion.

But how does one sift through the literal mountains of cast-off shoes, accessories, and clothes? Use these 20 tips as a guide to secondhand shopping that won’t waste your time — or money.

DO: Take your measurements

Clothing sizes vary dramatically from brand to brand, and that’s especially true when you’re talking about vintage sizes. If you’re shopping online or there isn’t a dressing room at your favorite thrift shop, use a measuring tape to take your measurements in advance and keep them stored in a note on your phone. At the store, use the tape to measure the garment you’ve got your eye on to see if it’s the perfect fit. 

DON’T: Buy items that don’t fit in the hopes of altering them or your body

If that gorgeous blouse doesn’t quite fit right, it just wasn’t meant to be. Unless you’ve got strong tailoring skills or want to spend possibly more on alterations than you spent on that blouse, skip it. That goes doubly for items that are too small — don’t buy something just for the purpose of going on a diet to fit into it.

DO: Inspect closely for stains, rips, and other imperfections

Most vintage or secondhand garments won’t be in absolutely perfect shape, but some rips and tears are easier to contend with than others. If there’s a who-knows-how-old stain on the front of something great, it’s probably not going to come out. But, if there’s a small rip in the armpit of a great jacket, that’s something that can be easily remedied at home — or by a good tailor. 

DON’T: Buy something without checking out the price online

In the age of the internet, it’s very easy to find out the value of pretty much anything in just a few seconds. When you spot the perfect end table or a designer blazer, give the item a quick Google to make sure that the resale shop has it priced fairly. Sometimes, you’ll get lucky and make a major score!

DO: Learn your materials and labels.

Some things, like solid wood furniture and cozy wool coats, never go out of style. While browsing vintage furniture or clothing, take a moment to check out the tags and maker marks to determine the quality and provenance of an item. 

DON’T: Be afraid to give your finds a facelift

Sometimes, you find the perfect armoire at a nearby resale shop, but the color’s just all wrong. Fortunately, there’s not much in the world of furniture that a coat of paint can’t fix. Consider giving used furniture an upgrade via faux finishes, new drawer pulls and handles, and even fun shelf liners that provide visual appeal without breaking the bank. 

Article by Amy McCarthy for Yardbarker©

Photo credit: ©Tim Leedy/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

See more tips by clicking the link below.

Source: 20 essential dos and don’ts for secondhand shopping (msn.com)

Warning Signs to Look for Before Making an Offer on a Property

 © istockphoto.com

The Open House

Every Sunday in communities across the country, you’ll find real estate agents hosting open houses for homes they’re listing. While some people attend these 2-hour events to get decorating ideas, and agents use them to network and make contact with potential buyers, open houses are also an excellent way for house hunters to get a low-pressure look at a property, ask questions, and suss out its suitability. 

Sellers typically go to great lengths to spruce up the place before an open house and, in some cases, they’ll endeavor to hide issues a home—particularly an older home—may have that can prevent its sale. The next time you’re at an open house, keep your eyes open for these seemingly minor house characteristics that might indicate the sellers are hiding something, or there’s trouble down the road for the new owner.

If the yard meets (or is near) the siding, the house is at risk for termites.

When first approaching a home, take a look at the distance between the bottom lap of a house’s wood siding and the soil. Anything less than 6 inches puts the home at risk of a termite infestation. These subterranean wood-munchers look for the shortest routes to enter the house and start dining on its structural members. In all cases, the soil should never be piled up against the siding.

If there’s no railing on the steps, the house may not qualify for a mortgage.

Some non-conventional mortgages, including FHA, VA, and RD, require a home to meet specific conditions and safety requirements before a mortgage can be approved. This doesn’t mean you can’t purchase the house, but if there’s no railing on the steps, one will likely have to be installed before the sale closes. 

Other mortgage requirements may include no peeling paint and a roof that’s in good condition. If you will be applying for one of the above mortgages, it’s a good idea to get a list of property requirements from your lender before you attend an open house.

Trees growing near the house increase the risk of sewer problems.

Trees are an essential part of the landscaping, and if you’re looking at homes in older neighborhoods, odds are you’ll encounter tall, towering trees. Unfortunately, several popular tree species, including oak, maple, birch, and sycamore, all send out invasive roots that can work their way into sewer and drain lines, resulting in blocked drainage and expensive sewer line clearing repairs. 

To get an idea where a sewer line runs, look for a cleanout pipe near the foundation. Typically, the line will run directly from there to the municipality’s sewer main. If the home made your short list and you’d like to pursue it, it may be worth checking with the local Zoning Office to see if there are utility maps that indicate the location of sewer lines. Without that knowledge, it’s usually a safe bet for trees to be a minimum of 10 feet away from any buried drain line. Twenty feet away is even better, because many tree roots don’t extend that far.

If the yard slopes downward to the foundation, it creates a risk of leaks.

Water and foundations don’t mix. Building codes often require a 2 percent minimum yard slope away from the foundation to keep rain or sprinkler water from draining downward along the foundation walls. An inverted yard slope can usually be remedied by hauling soil and raising the grade next to the foundation. However, water may have already leaked through the foundation and caused water damage, resulting in leaks in the basement and the presence of mold or mildew.

Click on the source link below for more “buyer beware” situations.

Article by Glenda Taylor for BobVila©

Source: 15 Warning Signs to Look for Before Making an Offer on a Property (msn.com)

Life Hacks From Warren Buffett That Anyone Can Use

© Jemal Countess / Getty Images for Time Inc.

You don’t get to be one of the richest people in the world without knowing something the rest of us don’t. Often referred to as the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett has a net worth of $102.2 billion, according to Forbes.

1. Decide That You’re Going To Be Rich

In order to be rich, you have to believe that one day you will be. According to the Huffington Post, Buffett once reportedly said, “I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.”

For best results, set high expectations for yourself and work toward your goals and aspirations.

“Then, make it clear to yourself, your family and friends that you have a commitment to become financially independent,” said Randall “Dolph” Janis, an insurance agent at Clear Income Strategies Group. “Create your future with a plan, knowing when to get aggressive against knowing when to be conservative.”

2. Start Saving at a Young Age

By age 15, Warren Buffett had earned $2,000 delivering papers and selling magazine subscriptions, according to CNBC. He used $1,200 of his earnings to invest in a farm, forming a profit-sharing agreement with the farmer.

The lesson? “Start saving money as early as possible, so that you get into the habit,” said Brittney Castro, founder and CEO of Financially Wise Women.

This is important whether you’re saving to invest in a business or buy your first house.

 3. Reinvest Your Profits

When Buffett was in high school, he and a friend bought a pinball machine. According to Biography, the pair put it in a barbershop and quickly earned enough to buy more machines and install them in other shops. The friends eventually sold all the machines for a profit of $1,200.

If you want your fortune to grow, the best thing you can do is keep reinvesting it in your business. Of course, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor, but don’t spend it all in one place.

4. Graduate College Early

Because of Buffett’s sharp mind for business, it’s no surprise that he managed to finish college in three years — two at the Wharton School of Business and one at the University of Nebraska, according to the book “Icons of Business.” Although college costs weren’t nearly as high in Buffett’s day as they are today, it’s likely that he saved money by completing his education in three years instead of four.

Today’s college students can save by following his lead.

For the 2016-2017 school year, the College Board estimated that the average cost of tuition at a private college was $33,480. If you attended a state school as a resident, you spent $9,650 per year. However, graduating early could save you even more when you factor in the cost of student loan interest paid out over the next 25 years.

5. Bounce Back From Rejection

Ironically, Harvard Business School rejected Buffett after his interview. But instead of sulking, he headed to Columbia and met Benjamin Graham. Graham is a legend in the investment industry, and he became Buffett’s mentor. Much of Buffett’s incredible investing success could arguably be credited to Graham and the lessons he taught him.

“Turned down? Who cares, keep going, it happens all the time,” said Tom Scuccimarra, national sales manager at M&O Marketing. “You can’t take it personally, and you can’t let it push you off course of your dreams.”

Even if you get rejected from a school or job opportunity, it’s important to keep moving forward. If Buffett had quit after Harvard dismissed him, he wouldn’t be where he is today.

[This are just the tip of the tips. Click on the link for 16 more tips]

Article by Ashley Redmond for GOBankingRates

Source: 21 Life Hacks From Warren Buffett That Anyone Can Use (msn.com)

A New Wave of Job Burnout

Companies struggling to hire and retain staff are dumping more work on existing employees

OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images
OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Image
  • Job openings and employee quits are both at record highs, and it now takes on average of 7 weeks to fill a role.
  • A rising trend of “ghosting” in the hiring process is straining the individuals who remain.
  • Some employers are asking workers to do a job and a half while only paying for one.

Tad Long calls the past three months his “summer from hell:

Long is a district manager and director of operations for a group of Mod Pizza franchises in Ohio and Indiana, a well-salaried career he’s earned through three decades of rising up the ranks in the food-service industry.

Throughout June and July, Long told Insider he was routinely working 90-hour weeks, personally filling in for missing hourly workers and managers, opening at one location and closing at another, all while frantically trying to hire new staff.

“It’s total chaos,” he said. “I’ve had to interview people while I’m working.”

Long said his company’s increased wages and employee bonuses helped calm things down, but the season was so strenuous it caused him to lose 30 pounds. Since reaching a breaking point in August, he has been gradually recovering, but he doesn’t feel he’s fully out of the woods yet.

Both job openings and employee quits have been at record highs, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a rising trend of “ghosting” in the hiring process is putting additional strain on the individuals who are left trying to do the job of several people.

A decade ago it took just three weeks to fill a job on average, but that number has shot up to more than 7 weeks. At the same time, it seems that some employers are trying to find new hires who will do a job and a half while only paying for one.

Joel Innes told Insider he was hired for a dishwasher job at a large hotel in New Mexico, where he says he was the lowest-paid employee. In addition to doing dishes for as many as 900 people, he said his responsibilities included cleaning the employee lounge and mopping out three commercial kitchens.

“The first week I was there they didn’t even have a working drain so I had a garbage can that filled up with the dirty dishwater and food that I had to dump in the giant drain in the floor and then clean up all the filth after,” he said.

On top of that, Innes said his managers kept adding new tasks like bussing tables and plating food. Fed up, Innes quit without saying a word.

And it’s not only low-wage jobs where some employers appear to expect a lot more work for the same or less money.

Christinette Dixon told Insider she sees many job listings in hospital administration with descriptions and responsibilities that don’t fit in a normal full-time schedule.

“This job was at least 12 hours a day,” she said about one diversity and inclusion manager role she considered. “They’re going to work the director and the manager to death. Like, the manager just quit because she’s working 12 hours a day making peanuts.”

When Dixon asked why there wasn’t an additional position for a coordinator to help handle the workload, she was told there wasn’t room in the budget.

Christina Garrett, the general manager for the cafe and grille at Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania, told Insider she has hired 13 different people this year for the same position, eight of whom either never showed up or quit without notice.

In a typical season she would need 40 people to staff the operation, but she currently has just 12 – just enough to cover the 9-to-5 daily hours for the cafe, but not the large dining room.

The lack of staff is taking its toll on Garrett’s team – and her personally. She said she has covered many shifts in the past 18 months entirely on her own, with no line employees at all. Her husband has even pitched in to help cover shifts. Although her company raised wages and increased bonuses, those moves haven’t been enough.

“Seasoned associates in the service industry are drained and quite frankly tired of feeling that way with little to show for it except time missed with their children and family,” Garrett said.

“Even the very best team of five cannot possibly accomplish the same that things the mediocre team of 20 did,” she added.

Article by (Dominick Reuter for Business Insider©

Source: Companies struggling to hire and retain staff are dumping more work on existing employees – and it’s driving a new wave of burnout (msn.com)

USPS Is Making This Permanent Change Starting Friday

Even in the age of email and using the internet for practically everything, there’s a good chance you still rely on traditional mail to get a few things done. But whether it’s your annual holiday cards going out on time or a care package you’re hoping makes it to your loved one swiftly, it can still be a helpless feeling whenever you drop something off in a mailbox or at the post office. Now, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has announced it’s making a major permanent change that’s going into effect in a matter of days. Read on to see how your daily deliveries are about to get different.

 © Provided by Best Life

The USPS will permanently change the delivery time for some mail, slowing it down by 30 percent.

It sounds like the term “snail mail” is about to take on a whole new meaning. Beginning Oct. 1, the Postal Service will “implement new service standards for First Class Mail and Periodicals” announced in March that will increase the amount of time it takes for them to be delivered, USPS spokeswoman Kim Frum told USA Today in an email.

The changes will primarily affect any mail that’s traveling a long distance, such as one coast to the other, adding that “most first class mail (61 percent) and periodicals (93 percent) will be unaffected” by the changes, Frum wrote. Single-piece first-class mail, which typically includes smaller and lightweight envelopes and parcels, can still expect to be delivered within two days if it’s being sent within the same region.

USPS is also temporarily increasing the price of sending packages for the holidays.

But it’s not just the delivery time of your letters and packages that will be affected by the changes from the USPS. The price of sending a domestic commercial or retail package will also temporarily be going up from Oct. 3 through Dec. 26, covering the peaking shipping times seen over the holiday season.

According to the Postal Service, the temporary changes are similar to the ones put in place over the 2020 holiday season, with price increases ranging from 75 cents for Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes all the way up to $5 for larger packages shipping to certain zones. However, the price increases will not affect international shipping rates, 

Longer delivery times could greatly affect important mail such as paychecks, tax notices, and more.

The difference of a few days for delivery might not feel like much at a time when it already feels like mail moves at a glacial pace. But according to CNET, the slowdown will affect everything from birthday cards and wedding invitations to paychecks and tax credits or notices. By the Postal Service’s estimates, mail that used to take two to three days to get delivered may take as many as five, which can create a crunch when receiving or sending time-sensitive items or documents.

The changes could also create massive headaches for businesses that rely on USPS to ship products, especially when e-commerce is replacing traditional brick-and-mortar shopping. In addition, residents in the Western states and parts of Texas and Florida will also be disproportionately affected, according to a report from The Washington Post. And for those who live in rural areas, states such as Alaska and Hawaii, or territories such as Puerto Rico, service will also become dramatically slower.

USPS says the changes will help to increase “consistency, reliability, and efficiency.”

According to the USPS, the forthcoming changes are part of the Postal Service’s 10-year “Delivering for America” plan to help the agency tackle its financial woes and iron out its operations. They explain that part of the reason for the planned delivery delays is a shift from using costly airplanes to more budget-friendly trucks—which the agency also argues makes items less prone to weather-related delays.

“The Postal Service can entrust its ground network to deliver more First-Class Mail, which will lead to great consistency, reliability, and efficiency that benefits its customers … Whether it’s 300 miles or 3,000 miles, the current standard for [first-class packages] requires 3-day service for any destination within the contiguous U.S. with a drive time greater than six hours,” Frum said to USA Today. “This is unattainable and forces us to rely on air transportation, yielding unreliable service. With this change, we will improve service reliability and predictability for customers while also driving efficiencies across the Postal Service network.”

Article by Zachary Mack for BestLife©

Source: USPS Is Making This Permanent Change Starting Friday (msn.com)

Never Put These 7 Things on Your Resume

Are you preparing a resume? It’s natural to want to tell prospective employers all about yourself — but some things are better left unsaid.

Remember, you have only a limited amount of space to convince someone you would be a good hire. So, avoid including anything that might offend, or cause an employer to question your abilities.

Following are some key things to avoid on your resume.

Criticism of past employers

A sure way to put off a potential employer is to waste space on your resume criticizing past employers or supervisors. You may feel perfectly justified in your criticism, but the purpose of a resume is to showcase talents and abilities, not to air grievances.

Don’t give prospective employers the impression that you are disloyal or generally disgruntled. Instead, write about your positive relationships and accomplishments. Tell people about the good things you can bring to their business if they give you the opportunity.

Excuses for past problems

If you have been laid off or dismissed from a job, you may feel the need to explain the situation in your resume. It’s natural to want to tell your side of the story, especially if you feel that you were not at fault.

However, it’s easy to spend too much time discussing disappointments and missed opportunities. You may give the impression you aren’t taking responsibility for your own mistakes.

A better approach is to write about past successes. If you are called upon to explain a layoff or dismissal in an interview, be honest, but brief. Let people know that your focus is on the future.

Irrelevant skills

When a job applicant lists skills unrelated to job performance, it can appear that he or she has no valuable skills to showcase. Instead, describe things that you’ve learned that have improved your performance on the job. For example:

  • Do you have great internet skills?
  • Did you pursue special training to enhance your contribution in past jobs?
  • Are you attending school to earn an advanced degree or certificate?

Old achievements

Focus on recent achievements in your resume. If something happened 10 or 15 years ago, prospective employers may get the impression your successes are behind you.

So, leave out that Cub Scout merit badge.

Poor grammar and spelling

If you submit a resume with misspellings, typos or grammatical errors, you are unlikely to score a job interview. Even if you are in a field where the proper use of language seems unimportant, most employers want to know that their hires have good communication skills.

Grammatical mistakes on your resume can signal you’re careless and possibly unreliable. A resume free of errors lets recruiters know you’re serious about the job.

Too much information

Recruiters have a limited amount of time to sort through applications. So, keep it brief.

When screening applicants, recruiters look for experience, training and past employment. If you write in great detail about every job you’ve ever had, you may overwhelm. Worse, the information that makes you stand out as an applicant might get overlooked.

In most cases, submitting one or two pages worth of information is adequate. You can expand on your qualifications once you get to the interview stage.

Anything that isn’t true

You may be tempted to exaggerate skills, training or accomplishments. However, doing so always is a mistake. Once you put something in writing, you can’t take it back. Even if it helps you land a job, the lie may resurface years later and damage your reputation or career.

So don’t exaggerate qualifications. If you don’t have a college degree, describe the training you’ve received on the job. The best way to get a resume filled with accomplishments is to do work that you’re proud of.

Article written by Emmet Pierce for moneytalksnews©

Photo credit: ©stock-Asso / Shutterstock.com

Source: Never Put These 7 Things on Your Resume (msn.com)