RE/MAX 440
Peter Cerruti
440 South West End Blvd, RT 309
Quakertown  PA 18951
 Phone: 215-429-7273
Office Phone: 215-538-4400
Fax: 267-354-6992 
petecerruti@yahoo.com
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Peter Cerruti

My Blog

The 10 Worst Money Mistakes You Can Make

May 26, 2017 12:30 am

Successful money managers share a simple strategy: spend less than you make over a long period of time and invest the difference.

But the author of ESI Money, an online blog written by a reclusive “50-something retiree who has amassed a sizable net worth,” suggests a list of the 10 worst things you can do to sabotage your financial independence:

Not having an emergency fund – Emergencies arise in every life, and not being prepared to cover them can throw you into debt. A rule of thumb is to sock away six months of living expenses.

Not having a will – Money Magazine reports 57 percent of Americans don’t have a will, including 69 percent of parents with kids under 18. But without a will, the state  decides what happens with your finances. Make a will and update it regularly as your life situation changes.

Not having enough insurance – Like an emergency fund, insurance can protect or replace your assets in the event of almost any misfortune. In addition to life insurance, you should have health, auto, homeowner or renter’s, long-term disability, and, arguably, long-term care insurance.

Marrying the wrong person – Spouses should have similar financial goals and habits. If one is a spendthrift, you’re in trouble. It’s a good idea to discuss your financial objectives before you tie the knot.

Not saving – Putting money aside is essential if you are going to be able to invest. Experts suggest saving 10 percent of your salary.

Buying too much house – It’s well-known that Warren Buffet lives in the same modest home he purchased many years ago. Don’t buy a home that requires a mortgage that is more than twice your household’s annual realized income.

Waiting to invest – the factors that determine how well your investments turn out are the amount you invest, the return rate, and how long you are invested. The longer you wait to invest, the more you are costing yourself.

Being in debt – paying interest on debt can cost you big-time over the years. Avoid it like the plague.

Not maximizing your career – Develop and execute a plan to make the most of your working life. Your earning potential is dependent on your good health and initiative.

Overspending – It’s tempting to splurge, but develop a budget and stick with it.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How to Help Your Team Enjoy Their Summer

May 26, 2017 12:30 am

As a business owner, you’ve likely witnessed your employees “checking out” for the summer. Rather than fight against this, encourage your workers to enjoy the summer sun as much as possible so when they are in the office, they are focused and productive. How can you help your employees? According to an OfficeTeam survey, workers surveyed said they're most interested in flexible schedules (39 percent) and the ability to leave early on Fridays (30 percent).

OfficeTeam offers managers five tips to help staff make the most of summer at work:

Perk up. Give employees more control over how they spend their time by offering flexible schedules and occasionally letting them leave early on Fridays. Just make sure policies are clear so business can continue as usual.

Rally for rest. Remind workers to take time off, and set an example by doing so yourself.  

Venture out. Holding meetings outdoors or while taking a walk is a great way to get fresh air while accomplishing business objectives.  

Have some fun. Plan an ice cream break, picnic or group outing. Employees will appreciate being able to relax and bond with colleagues in a non-work setting.  

Dress down. Allow staff who aren't customer- or client-facing to wear more casual attire, as long as it doesn't detract from work. You might even consider instituting themed Fridays where Hawaiian shirts or sports apparel are encouraged.

Source: http://www.officeteam.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Rev Your Metabolism for Easier Weight Loss

May 25, 2017 12:30 am

Metabolism, as described by Women’s Health Magazine editors, is the ‘personal trainer’ inside you that burns calories, turns them into energy, and helps you lose weight more efficiently.

Staffers recently turned to metabolism experts for tips on revving up a tired metabolism all day in order to boost energy levels and shed stubborn pounds:

In the morning:
- Eat breakfast. If you don’t, your body goes into starvation mode and metabolism slows to conserve energy. Egg white omelets with veggies or steel cut oats with berries are good choices.
- Drink caffeinated coffee. It stimulates the central nervous system 16 percent more efficiently than decaf.
- Drink cold water. End breakfast with a glass of ice-cold water – and drink at least seven more glasses full each day to help keep metabolism at peak.

At work:
- Pick protein for lunch
. Choices like a cup of low-fat cottage cheese, four ounces of water-packed salmon or tuna, or a boneless chicken breast can help build and maintain lean muscle mass.
- Brew green tea. Consuming two to four cups a day can burn up as many as 50 calories. That translates to about five pounds a year.
- Undo damage with dairy. Succumbed to French fries at lunch? A calcium-rich afternoon snack, like eight ounces of milk or six ounces of low-fat yogurt helps your body metabolize fat.

When you food shop:
- Add heat to your menus. The capsaicin in chili peppers can help fire up metabolism.
- Go organic. Organic fruits and veggies do not contain pesticides, which can gum up metabolic rates.
- Boost iron. It carries oxygen to your muscles. Stock up on beans, dark leafy greens, and iron-fortified cereals.

Toward end of day:
- Work out. For maximum effect, take it slow but steady, and combine exercise with popping a fish-oil supplement.
- Curb the alcohol. Just two mixed drinks (or two glasses of wine or beer) can put the brakes on fat-burning by 73 percent as your liver converts alcohol to acetate and uses it – instead of fat stores – as fuel.
- Hit the sack early. Make sure you get at least eight hours sleep. Researchers at Stanford University found that people who snoozed fewer than 7.5 hours per night experienced an increase in body mass index.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Moonlighting Goes Mainstream: 85 Percent of Workers have a Side Gig

May 25, 2017 12:30 am

The good ol’ days of working 9 to 5 is quickly becoming the stuff of myths, as the vast majority of Americans now hold down more than one job.

According to a recent Spherion Staffing survey, 85 percent of workers hold at least one side gig, or secondary source of employment, in addition to their primary job. Of that group, more than half (54 percent) hold two or more side gigs, extending their skills across multiple roles and fields of work.

Not surprisingly, financial incentives are the primary driver behind employees' search for extra work. Among workers holding at least one side gig, a desire to supplement their current income (42 percent) and make money to save for future interests and responsibilities (37 percent) were the most frequently cited reasons for doing so. In particular, more than half (57 percent) of female workers deemed income growth the main inspiration for their side gig activity, far surpassing the volume of male workers (31 percent) who said the same.

However, for some employees, a side gig generates a return beyond the wallet. Spherion found that many workers engage in side gigs that allow them to try something different or be involved with a hobby or cause of interest, with 26 percent of those interested in picking up a side gig in the next year preferring to do so in a space not at all related to their primary job. Additionally, 45 percent of respondents seeking gigs outside of their main field said they would still take part in a side gig even if it did not generate significant income.

"The escalating interest in side gigs across the American workforce does not necessarily reflect that workers are unhappy with their job, but rather a desire to pursue new and exciting growth opportunities – be they financial or personal," says Sandy Mazur, Spherion division president. "Given this growth, side gig flexibility must be taken into account as companies refine their recruitment and retention plans. Employers and employees must find a middle ground that gives workers freedom to explore supplemental opportunities without inhibiting productivity or performance."

While many businesses encourage employees to take part in side gigs, 40 percent have formal policies regarding employees' side gig involvement, namely to avoid possible conflicts of interest and keep them focused on essential work. Employees seem to echo these feelings, with 48 percent expressing concern that their side gig efforts could interfere with their main job responsibilities.

Spherion uncovered several other noteworthy trends regarding how employers and employees approach the escalating side gig movement:

- Nearly half (47 percent) of workers say that changing societal norms have set the expectation that at least one side gig is necessary.

- One-fourth (25 percent) of workers who have never before held a side gig say they are "extremely" or "very" likely to pick one up in the next year, with millennial workers (43 percent) leading the charge.

- More than half (51 percent) of workers would prefer that their colleagues not discuss their side gigs at the office.

- A nearly equal number (48 percent) have taken vacation time or time away from their primary job to focus on their side gig.

- Despite potential mixed responses, many workers still feel comfortable discussing their side gigs with their colleagues (82 percent), manager (74 percent) and other senior leaders (73 percent) at their primary job.


Source: Spherion Staffing Services

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How to De-Stress Your Vacation

May 25, 2017 12:30 am

There’s nothing worse than taking time off to spend with your family, only to drag your work stress along for the ride.

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 3 in 5 workers (61 percent) say they are burned out in their current job, and 31 percent report high or extremely high levels of stress at work, yet a third of all workers (33 percent) have not taken or do not plan to take a vacation this year.

CareerBuilder offers the following tips so you can kick back and relax this vacation--and leave your work woes in the office where they belong.

Tell everyone you're off: People will think twice about contacting you about the small stuff if they know you're on vacation. So whether you're planning a quiet staycation or a trip halfway around the world, let your manager, colleagues and clients know you'll be off the clock. In addition, set an out-of-office message to let folks know you won't be answering emails or phone calls — or, if you will stay connected, explain in the auto-reply that they shouldn't expect a reply right away.

Deploy and delegate: To make sure business and client needs are taken care of in your absence, set the auto-reply on your email to provide the names and contact information for the colleagues who are covering for you. Be sure to give those coworkers any important files, project statuses and other pertinent information so they won't have to contact you unless it's an absolute emergency.

Set aside check-in times: If you can't resist the call of duty — or find it nearly impossible to relax without knowing all is well — consider setting aside some time each day to touch base. Checking in once in the morning and once in the evening may give you peace of mind and permission to stop thinking about work the rest of the day. That way, you can leave your work phone turned off — and not feel bad about it — when you're supposed to be relaxing and having fun.

Source: www.careerbuilder.com.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Making Sure Your HVAC is Ready for Action

May 24, 2017 12:30 am

As temperatures rise, our thermostats get lowered. Make sure your HVAC system is up for the challenge with some simple maintenance checks from Baltimore-based Winstar Home Services.

Replace your air filters: Air filters work overtime in the winter, so be sure to replace your filters. Dirty air filters make your HVAC system work harder than it needs to. This puts strain on the system, which can cause bigger issues and lead to higher utility bills.

Check and clear your unit's drainage line: Most HVAC units have a drainage line at the base of the cabinet. In order for the unit to run properly, the hole needs to be clear. To make sure the drainage line works properly, use a paper clip or a wire to ensure the hole is clear of any obstructions.

Check your ductwork for issues: Your home's ductwork, or ventilation system, can often be the cause of poorly distributed air, which means you're spending more money on cool air that isn't making its way into your house. Check for leaky connections and return vents, damaged or fallen insulation, and ensure your vents (both incoming and outgoing) are not blocked or obstructed by rugs or furnishings.

Test your unit: Turn on your AC and let in run briefly to see how it performs. If there are any problems, address them right away.

Make sure you conduct these tests before temperatures hit their peak.

SOURCE: Winstar Home Services

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How to Stretch Those Travel Dollars

May 24, 2017 12:30 am

Planning a vacation? With a few smart tweaks to your travel planning, you can save big money, according to travel resource Hotwire. Below are several Hotwire suggestions for getting more value out of your vacation.

When planning your trip, keep an open mind and focus on the type of vacation you want (beach, city, etc.), then search a variety of related locales to find the best deals.

- Check alternative airports if you're flying into a busy metropolitan area (e.g. LaGuardia and Newark if you're flying into New York City; Burbank and Long Beach if you're flying to Los Angeles).

- Consider finding a cheaper airfare and then driving to your destination to save money.

- If you can handle waiting, you'll often get the lowest rates if you delay and book a rental car or hotel room once you've landed in your destination. Use your Hotwire app for great Hot Rate deals.

- Once you have that car, fill it up yourself. Do not prepay for gas - it is almost never worth it.

- Most flights get delayed (or cancelled!) due to weather, and incoming planes being unable to land. Book your travel for early in the morning, and you'll be less likely to have to deal with the headache of cancellations.

- Try to eat before boarding your flight to be less tempted by dehydrating salty snacks and sodas during the flight. Staying hydrated is a must for combatting fatigue and headaches - especially on long flights across multiple time zones.

- If you exercise regularly, try and stick with your routine. If not, just some easy walks can help you acclimate to new surroundings and time zones.

- Be polite. Flight crews work especially hard during busy travel times; being nice to your crew (and your fellow passengers) will always enhance your travel experience.

- Do your homework – Try to spend a little time before you travel familiarizing yourself with your travel plans and airports you'll be traveling to. If you know you need to make a connection in Dallas, take some time to review the terminal maps to try and ease anxiety and frustration that can sometimes come with travel.

- And while we're on the topic of easing travel woes…just remember that with travel (and in life!), it's important to be flexible and embrace the unexpected – you can get a great experience in so many different ways.

Source: Hotwire

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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You Really CAN Prevent Forest Fires

May 24, 2017 12:30 am

The majority of wildfires are actually started by people. One stupid mistake can take out acres and acres, threatening lives, homes, and nature. Whether you are camping, hiking, or just having a barbecue in your backyard, implementing proper fire safety tactics is crucial. Whenever you’re out enjoying nature, take the following suggestions into account to ensure you don’t start a wildfire.

- For campers, make sure campfires are lit a safe distance from tents or other flammable supplies.

- Contain campfires by using designated fire pits or use rocks to create a ring around your campfire.

- To extinguish a campfire, pour water on the fire, and fully drown all the embers.

- Never use volatile gasses, like gasoline, to start a fire.

- Avoid burning garbage, treated wood, or yard waste.

- For smokers, don't discard smoldering cigarette butts – snuff them out and put them in a designated garbage container.

Source: www.pemco.com/DontGetBurned.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How to Prep Your Home for Summer

May 23, 2017 12:30 am

Summer is the sweetest season. But for homeowners, it can also be a busy time, full of improvements and repairs. Below is a list of preparations from Gold Medal Service that homeowners can do to prepare their homes for the summer.

Change air filters – Check your air filters every 30 days. During summer, air filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, depending on the type of filter you use. Dirty air filters reduce airflow through the system causing it to work harder than it should, while using more energy, resulting in higher energy bills.

Inspect window and door seals – Prevent hot air from leaking into your home through damaged window and door seals, or small cracks in the walls. Cheap materials like caulk and masking tape will go a long way to prevent hot air from entering your home and cool air from escaping your home. Good insulation will also help to keep your energy bills low.

Consider shades or overhangs for your windows – This will help to naturally cool your indoor space by reducing the amount of solar heat you let into your home.

Use your ceiling and/or attic fans – Moving air helps to remove heat from your home. Ceiling fans will help to reduce the thermostat temperature inside your home by about four degrees. Properly installed attic fans will also push the hot, trapped air out of your attic, reducing the workload on your HVAC unit.

Clear away debris from the air conditioning system's condenser – You have a condenser installed somewhere outside your home. Leaves, branches or any garden debris can easily build up against the system, which could cause problems in the long run. Remove any foreign material heaped up against the unit.

Clean the registers and ductwork inside the home – Make sure the registers inside your home aren't covered with carpets, furniture or anything else that will obstruct the air flow. Open each register and check for foreign objects like toys and pet hair that could be lodged in the HVAC ductwork. Use a flashlight to carefully check the surface of the ductwork for any signs of mold. Call a professional if you find signs of mold as it can cause respiratory distress and other health problems.

Schedule an annual tune-up – This is critical so technicians can catch minor problems before it becomes a serious, costly affair. A faulty system can emit harmful gasses, most notably carbon monoxide. Regular maintenance will not only prevent system failures, but also keep your family safe.

Mind your HVAC system's refrigerant – Homeowners with a cooling system that was manufactured before 2010, should be aware of the phasing out of R-22 refrigerant, an ozone-depleting gas used in older HVAC units. The Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of R-22 refrigerant, effective from 2020, due to the negative effect it has on the atmosphere. It will become increasingly difficult to find R-22 refrigerant needed for general maintenance of older HVAC systems, and prices will increase due to scarcity. Discuss your options with a professional if you have an older HVAC system.

Source: www.goldmedalservice.com.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Travelers Today Are More Stressed Than Ever Before

May 23, 2017 12:30 am

While traveling can be exciting and fun, it can also be stressful. You’re in an unfamiliar place, you don’t know your way around, and you may not even speak the language! And despite the increase in easy technology -- there’s an app for everything these days! -- many travelers are reporting more stress today than a year ago.                                        
A new survey put on by Wyndham Vacation Rentals® has identified the main factors that are freaking today’ s travellers out.i

Too many choices: Two in three (67 percent) vacationers have become stressed due to 'information overload' and are paralyzed with too many choices when researching and planning. Two in five (41 percent) get stressed about scheduling things to do during their trip.

Trouble leaving the daily grind behind: Once on vacation, it takes time to unwind and forget about the stress of work and personal responsibilities. Three in 10 (30 percent) U.S. travelers don't feel truly relaxed until the second day of vacation or later.

Relationship-testing moments: Two in three (67 percent) have argued with a travel companion as a result of stress caused by planning or taking a vacation. One in four (25 percent) have even broken up with a significant other while traveling. The good news? One in four (26 percent) have also met the love of their life on vacation.

Source: About Wyndham Vacation Rentals

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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