Personal Safety for the Holidays

Personal Safety for the Holidays

  Personal safety is important every day. As a Realtor, I have been trained to be constantly aware of my surroundings as well as some small tips to use when showing a house, holding an open house or going to a listing appointment. As the holidays approach, we are all likely to be in situations and locations where personal safety is even more important. I asked my personal trainer, Mark Simons, to write an article to help us all stay aware and, hopefully, safe during this time of year.     Nothing messes up a Christmas celebration more than getting mugged in the mall parking lot. Hard to argue with that statement. In the law enforcement world, officers are trained constantly in the arena of use of force. But it’s not just using force to effect an arrest. Often officers are attacked without provocation. In their world it’s called a sudden assault. Now these assaults can seemingly come out of right field. But over the years, officers have picked up nonverbal cues that can predict a possible assault. They have a list of cues that they train to look for from offenders. Let’s look at a few of those and see if we can apply them to our lives and hopefully avoid being mugged in the mall. When we are getting that funny feeling in our gut that someone is thinking about harming us, we often want to dismiss it. Don’t! Here are some names to those queasy feelings swirling around in our tummy: We refer to them as Threat Assessments: Watch for these Pre-Attack Postures Hand set Shoulder shift 1000 yard stare Target Glance Boxer Stance Let’s look at each one and briefly break them down. Hand set. When someone raises their hands above their waist in a manner that seems out of the norm, or as my kids say, random. Take note. Shoulder shift. The act of twisting your upper body so as to place it with your shoulder towards you as as opposed to being more forward facing or squared off. 1000 yard stare. That creepy, “I’m looking through you” look. It could mean they are about to pounce and anything you say may be falling on deaf ears, much like when I ask for chores to be completed by my teens. Target glance. Police are sketchy if the person they are encountering glances at their holstered firearm. In training class I loved to mess with them and do this. They were quick to step back and express their concern. Same for us. If someone is about to strike us, unless they are highly trained, they will most likely give it away by glancing at said target....

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What Is Mortgage Life Insurance?

What Is Mortgage Life Insurance?

From time to time, I want to share information with you that I am clearly not an expert on. I will have guest bloggers share their expertise and educate us all. This blog is written by my friend, Tim Wilhoit. He owns his own life insurance agency in Nashville TN called Your Friend 4 Life. I recommend you speak to him or someone as knowledgeable as him to make sure you are covered for the inevitable and to understand how insurance can help make life easier while you’re still here!     Mortgage life insurance has been around for decades. It was renamed to help boost sales of decreasing term life insurance. Decreasing term life insurance was a product designed years ago with the philosophy that as a person repays their debts they should not need as much life insurance. Therefore it was acceptable to decrease the face amount left to the beneficiaries with time. In the 80s, as Americans became more and more in debt and age has very little to do with becoming debt free, sales decreased on these products. Life insurance company marketing departments took the old product and put it in a new wrapper called Mortgage Life Insurance or the popular Credit Life Insurance products. The aggressive marketing program on these products is astounding. It begins once a person closes on a new house or refinances their house, the game begins. The mailings are almost nonstop. These mortgage life insurance companies pay mortgage companies to use their letterhead and logos to “trick” the new home buyer into thinking this is important because it came from my mortgage company and I assure you your mortgage company has no idea that you even received this mail piece. The new home owner fills compelled to open this “official looking” letter and many fall for it and return the card. This begins as process of lead companies that sell the new home owners information to scores of mortgage life insurance agents who are on the phone immediately to sell this wonderful important product. However, if you were called and an agent explained that as you pay off your mortgage the life insurance benefit decreases because it is really decreasing term life insurance and your family does not get the difference you probably would not buy it. The second way mortgage life insurance companies repackaged decreasing term life insurance is called credit life. Credit life insurance is popular in the auto industry. When you purchase a car and finance it, you are pressured into purchasing credit life. This salesperson is paid to guilt you into this life product by telling you if you should die your car note will be paid...

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The Truth about Nashville Alarm Systems (And how to pick the right company)

The Truth about Nashville Alarm Systems  (And how to pick the right company)

Occasionally, I will have guest bloggers write about topics I think will be of interest or helpful to my readers. I personally use this company and can highly recommend them for their customer service and variety of services offered. Justin’s information is at the bottom of this blog if you are looking for a company to keep you, your family, and your belongings safe (or you want some really cool audio/video toys). Firstly, It should be noted that I may be considered biased by some readers as I own and operate a local Nashville alarm company.  But it’s a quick read, so check it out and make the call for yourself.  This is truly the Nashville alarm scene as I see it. With an unbelievably vast pool of companies offering Nashville alarm systems and Nashville Alarm monitoring, how do you, as the consumer pick the right company for you?  Hopefully through reading this, we can clear things up for you.  Though is seems like there are a million choices, in reality there are only a few business models in the entire industry.  Let’s have a look into each and see which model fits you best.   1st Model:  The Contract Companies Typically, this is what the big national outfits do.  They have very large advertising budgets and seasonal sales forces that roll out every summer.  You know them best as the “Door-Knockers.”  They will offer equipment for “free” or at a “discount” so long as you sign a three or five year term contract.  This allows consumers to sometimes get an alarm system at a lower initial cost, but usually it will cost them much more over the life of the system.  That’s where the contract comes in.  We’ve all heard the “no such thing as a free lunch” saying.  That applies to all industries, but especially the alarm industry.  Your monitoring rate suddenly begins to rise $5 here and $4 dollars there and when you call to complain to the person who sold you the contract, they are no longer available and you’re stuck in the vicious cycle of the call center. Another pitfall, aside from the contract, is that they will use proprietary monitoring equipment that other alarm companies cannot use.  Why you ask?  You guessed it!  Just another way to make it harder for you to leave.  They figure that if they have you in a contract AND you would have to buy new equipment if you wanted to switch to another monitoring company, they’ve got you right where they want you.  I’m not saying that this is the wrong way to go, some people like this model and never have an issue.  I’m just saying...

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