Did you recently replace your cell phone, laptop or another electronic device, and you are now wondering what to do with the old one? Rather than add to the 60 million tons of electronic waste disposed of each year, here are a few options. Rather than allow those old electronics to sit on a shelf and collect dust, why not take advantage of one of the following options.
- Sell it. Many cell phones have a resale value as long as they are in good condition. Rather than chance selling it to an individual via an ad, here are a few of the online companies that offer buyback programs: sellcell.com, www.gazelle.com, www.usell.com. Be sure to read all of the details of the buyback to determine if it is a good option for you.
- Swap it. Visit amazon trade-in-program at amazon.com. Click on “Help,” then “Ordering” under “Topics,” and you’ll see “Amazon Trade-In Program.” Search the website for your model to see how much it is worth. Amazon will pay for the shipping, and you get the credit.
Visit Best Buy online at bestbuy.com and look under “services” for “Trade-In Center.” Find an estimate of your phone’s value, mail it to their Center, and within seven days, you’ll receive a gift card in the mail, good for anything in the store or online.
- Recycle it. Manufacturers and retailers try to make it easy to keep used electronics out of landfills. Companies like Sprint, Samsung, Staples, Dell, LG and Best Buy all offer in-store or mail-in recycling options.
- Donate it. Cell Phones for Soldiers is a non-profit organization that recycles millions of cellphones and uses the proceeds to purchase calling cards for U.S. troops stationed overseas. Find out more about this program at cellphonesforsoldiers.com.
Before you choose a company, do your research, compare each site based on the item you want to sell, and then make a decision based on your research. All of the sites listed are valid options for getting money for your qualifying used item, whether it’s just some extra cash in your pocket, or to help fund your latest gadget obsession. Don’t let those old unused items sit on a shelf and collect dust.
As a child I remember hearing my uncle discuss his heart attack, stating that it felt like an elephant was sitting on his chest. So for years I thought if there was no mention of an elephant sitting on someone’s chest, they probably had indigestion and were not having a heart attack. Fast forward to the day my friend Leah’s mom had a heart attack. Leah told us that her mom had been having chest discomfort for a couple of weeks and was having numbness in her arm. The next morning I heard sirens and saw an ambulance stopping at Leah’s house. Later that day she called to say her mom did in fact have a heart attack, and that the discomfort in her chest and arm were signs she should have had checked. Her mom spent a week in the hospital and is doing great after making heart healthy changes in not only her life, but in her family’s lives as well.
Here are some signs that might surprise you of an unhealthy heart. If you are experiencing any of them, be sure to mention it to your doctor to be on the safe side.
- Snoring, sleep apnea and other breathing problems during sleep. If you snore loudly enough to keep your sleeping partner awake or to force him or her to resort to earplugs, your heart may be at risk. Restricted breathing during sleep can be the underlying cause as snoring is linked to cardiovascular disease. Sleep apnea, where breathing briefly stops during sleep, is linked with a higher risk of both cardiovascular disease and heart attack.
- Sore, swollen or bleeding gums are symptoms of periodontal disease in which exposure to bacteria causes the gums to become inflamed and pull away from the teeth, and is a possible early sign of underlying cardiovascular disease.
- Puffy or swollen legs or feet. If you notice that your feet swell enough to make your shoes tight; your ankles, wrist, or fingers are noticeably puffy; or there are deep pressure marks or indents when you take off socks or hose, you may have a problem with fluid retention. Also called edema, fluid retention can be a sign of coronary artery disease (CAD), heart failure and other forms of cardiovascular disease.
- Persistent coughing or wheezing can be a symptom of heart failure. A result of fluid accumulation in the lungs may be common in people with heart failure who cough up bloody phlegm.
- Pain in other parts of the body: In many heart attacks, pain begins in the chest and spreads to the shoulders, arms, elbows, back, neck, jaw or abdomen. But sometimes there is no chest pain, just pain in these other areas, like one or both arms, or between the shoulders. The pain might come and go.
We know our bodies best. If you don’t feel well or have any of the symptoms listed above or any that you haven’t had in the past, then it’s time to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Don’t try to diagnose your symptoms via the Internet or by reading a medical book. Time is important, and wasting time can be dangerous.
Last week my grandmother’s doctor asked her if she had a living will during her medical appointment. She answered, “Yes, I have a will, but I don’t remember it being called a living will.” Her doctor explained that a living will is a written statement detailing a person’s desires regarding their medical treatment in circumstances in which they are no longer able to express informed consent, especially an advance care directive.
Here is how my grandmother’s last will and testament differs from the living will she discussed with her doctor. The purpose of a last will and testament is to distribute your assets after you pass away. I’ve not been to the reading of a will, but I understand that a will allows you to decide what you would like to go to whom, when, and how. Without a will, state law will determine who inherits your assets and handles your estate. Your will, as well as a living trust, allows you to structure the asset distribution to help avoid estate taxes, protect your heirs from creditors and space out the distribution over time.
The purpose of a living will is to memorialize your health care wishes so that your family, doctors, and/or health care proxy (the person making your health care decisions) know what you want done if you are not able to make decisions for yourself. You are able to specify whether you would like to be kept alive by artificial means if there is no hope of recovery. You are also able to specify the level of care that you want to receive if you are in an accident or a coma.
Both a will and a living will are important pieces of any estate plan. Each should be prepared under the guidance of an attorney, and both need to be witnessed by two disinterested persons. That is where the similarities end. If you don’t already have a will or living will in place, contact an attorney who can explain the difference between the two documents and prepare the proper estate plan for your individual needs.
Three weeks ago while I was on a quick trip to the store to buy bags of my father’s favorite candy, he fell and broke his hip. From that day on, both of our lives have been turned upside down from the moment we arrived at the hospital to the move to a rehabilitation center after his surgery. We are now forced to make a decision as to whether he can return home or will require 24-hour care.
As days turn into weeks, the need to make choices about long-term care has come knocking with force at my front door. I thought the challenge would be finding the perfect location for my father to receive the care he now needs full-time. However, I’m finding that there’s much more to it. Though my journey is just beginning, I’m learning very quickly that we all need to have a budget plan in place, as well as an idea of how we want to live out our lives, if the time comes that we need long-term care.
Paying for long-term senior care can be a challenge for all families, no matter what your circumstances may be. There are so many unknowns. We don’t know how long we will live or if those years will be spent in good health. We all hope to get lucky and stay healthy until our end, but in reality most people will face health challenges that will increase the need for assistance. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans significantly underestimate the amount of care they’ll need and how long they’ll need it. People are outliving their resources AND they are living much longer than years gone by.
When you plan for your golden years, here are some things to consider.
- Anticipate escalating health needs
- Ask about Medicare policies
- Consider inflation increases
- Give advance notice of limited funds
- Be conservative in your choices
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Luckily for me, I have friends who have dealt with or are currently dealing with making choices about long-term care for their loved ones, whether it be independent or assisted living. All of them have graciously offered their help in guiding me to the correct avenues to enable me to make the best choices for my father’s future in long-term care.
For more information on budgeting and long-term care options, go to www.aarp.org or www.longtermcare.gov