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Independent Investor

The price tag of disaster

Over the past four weeks, just two hurricanes have cost the country upwards of $300 billion. This has easily surpassed the 2005 hurricane season cost of $200 billion, which included Katrina, Wilma and Rita combined. The cumulative cost of weather continues to escalate and with good reason.

Before you leap to the conclusion that global warming is the culprit, let me lay out some facts. Coastal storms are no more (or less) frequent an event now than they have been throughout our history. So what gives?

America, the battered

Extreme weather and other climate disasters appear to be occurring far more frequently than we would like. The loss of life and economic damage also seem to be increasing. But does the data support those opinions, and if it does, what price do we pay for all of these perfect storms?

The Korean question: the importance of finding answers

So far, the political tension between the United States and North Korea has been confined to a war of words and not much else. Recent verbal threats and counter-threats, however, reached a new level. Here I will stray from strictly financial analysis to the political, military and diplomatic.

Pet insurance, and why you should have it

Whether you are adopting a pet or buying that pure-blood breed, the first thing you should consider is pet insurance. Skipping this step could cost you several times the purchase price of your new pet each year. Pet insurance is like any other insurance, human or otherwise. The cost of coverage is based on your pet’s age, health profile, breed and however much insurance you want to purchase. You will pay a yearly premium, have a deductible, co-pays and a maximum cap on how much your insurance covers per year.

The Brexit Primer, facts at hand

The results of a United Kingdom referendum on whether or not to leave the European Union will be announced to the world following the vote on June 23. The polls are too close to call and the odds are changing every day. For the past several days, equity markets worldwide have been selling off in fear that the Brits will vote yes to a Brexit. Why so much angst over one country leaving the EU?

Giving up control in the event you need to

The more successful you are, the more difficulty you face in wrestling with one inescapable fact. In preparing to pass the torch to your heirs, you need to give them the power to decide what happens to you and your estate in the event you can’t.

Have you had ‘The Talk’ yet?

Whether you are a Baby Boomer or the child of one, it is about time you faced the music. We all know that life ends, no matter how hard we try to ignore it. Having a family meeting before it is too late may save all of you needless heartache and financial turmoil.

Long-term care insurance can be crucial

It is a subject that most Baby Boomers want to ignore. Many of us are gambling on the hope that we won’t need long-term care, or if we do, our medical insurance, Medicare, or, at worst, Medicaid will cover the cost. Think again.

Long-term care insurance should be on your agenda

As Baby Boomers grow into their 60s, the possibility that at some point soon you may need long-term care becomes a real possibility. Since that kind of care can cost $250/day or more, depending on where you live, it makes sense to at least consider buying insurance.

Why free trade has a bad rep

The Establishment — economists, politicians of both parties, Wall Street and Corporate America — is horrified. One of the linchpins of capitalism has suddenly come under attack. The growing anger over free trade is threatening more than 30 years of trade deals with the rest of the world. It was a disaster waiting to happen, and we have only ourselves to blame.