How to confront debt before you retire

first_imgToo many Americans are retiring with Daniel SolinIt used to be that once Americans neared retirement, they had whittled down (or eliminated) their debt. Freed from monthly principal and interest payments, these fortunate individuals were prepared to retire with dignity.Times have changed.Pre-retirees are mired in debt. Here is the harsh reality confronting pre-retirees:Thirty-nine percent of households with one person who is 60 to 64 years-old had primary mortgages in 2010, according to data from Federal Reserve, which was analyzed by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College for The Wall Street Journal.Twenty percent of those households had second mortgages.The average debt of all Americans is staggering. Americans of all ages are awash in credit card debt. The average credit card debt for U.S. adults was $4,878 in the first quarter of 2013, TransUnion reported. Almost 40 percent of Americans fail to pay off their credit cards in full, according to the 2012 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey, carrying credit card debt from month to month. Often, these card holders pay exorbitant interest rates. According to Bankrate (RATE), credit card fixed-rates, as of Feb. 26, were 13.02 percent. Variable rates were 15.38 percent. continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

South Africa more than ready: Zuma

first_img7 June 2010 Just days before South Africa meets Mexico in the opening match of the 2010 Fifa World Cup at Soccer City, Johannesburg, President Jacob Zuma took the opportunity to welcome the world to South Africa. Briefing the media at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria on Sunday, Zuma said that the country was “truly blessed and humbled to host the world in our country for this historical and extraordinary event”. Zuma said the country had been preparing for the tournament from the moment that Fifa president Sepp Blatter announced South Africa as the hosts on 15 May 2004. “We knew from that moment that South Africa would never be the same again,” Zuma said. “Indeed South Africa has resembled a construction site for the last six years as world-class stadiums have been built and roads, rail, airports and communication systems upgraded in record time to meet the demands of the tournament and the country’s developmental needs for years to come.Uniting the nation But more than that, Zuma noted how the World Cup was already bringing a nation, with a difficult and divided past closer together, with the South African flag now the most popular item on the shopping list of South Africans. “The enthusiasm, joy and excitement that has engulfed the entire nation in recent weeks has not been witnessed since President Mandela was released from prison.” Before ceremonially handing the World Cup trophy to Blatter, Zuma thanked the Fifa president for consistently expressing his confidence in South Africa’s ability to host the event, even as Afro-pessimists and others expressed doubts at points along the way. “Bringing the World Cup to South Africa is to trust South Africa, South Africans, to trust Africa and say you are strong,” said Blatter, who described himself as “a happy man”. He also thanked former president Thabo Mbeki for his leadership of the project during his term of office, the inter-ministerial task team led by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, and the Organising Committee led by Irvin Khoza and his team, including CEO Danny Jordaan and the staff who worked behind the scenes to make things happen. “The long hours of hard work have finally paid off,” Blatter said. “The nation is proud of you!” Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committeelast_img read more

50 Vibrant Illustrations To Let Your Mind Wander

first_img Related postsInclusive Components: Book Reviews And Accessibility Resources13th December 2019Should Your Portfolio Site Be A PWA?12th December 2019Building A CSS Layout: Live Stream With Rachel Andrew10th December 2019Struggling To Get A Handle On Traffic Surges10th December 2019How To Design Profitable Sales Funnels On Mobile6th December 2019How To Build A Real-Time Multiplayer Virtual Reality Game (Part 2)5th December 2019 On days when things don’t seem to go as you’d like them to and inspiration is at its lowest, it’s good to take a short break and go outside to try and empty your mind. That always seems to be the best remedy for me, especially whenever I jump on my bike and go for a short ride.Now the time has come to enjoy these moments even more as the spring season finally starts to show up in nature. We’re starting to see green leaves on the trees again, and every morning I wake up to the sounds of the birds chirping. I really enjoy these small joys of spring — who doesn’t?The post 50 Vibrant Illustrations To Let Your Mind Wander appeared first on Smashing Magazine.From our sponsors: 50 Vibrant Illustrations To Let Your Mind Wander HomeWeb Design50 Vibrant Illustrations To Let Your Mind Wander Posted on 5th April 2017Web Design FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share 50 Vibrant Illustrations To Let Your Mind WanderYou are here:last_img read more

Modern estate development threatens Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Abode of Peace’

first_imgNEW SKYLINE: The first phase of a housing project is readyRabindranath Tagore’s “Abode of Peace” is fast becoming a theatre of war. Santiniketan, the university town founded by the Nobel laureate in Birbhum district in West Bengal, has been the centre of a brewing storm over the rash of real,NEW SKYLINE: The first phase of a housing project is readyRabindranath Tagore’s “Abode of Peace” is fast becoming a theatre of war. Santiniketan, the university town founded by the Nobel laureate in Birbhum district in West Bengal, has been the centre of a brewing storm over the rash of real estate development that threatens the founder’s vision of it as a tranquil seat of learning. Recently, a group of well-known intellectuals and celebrity residents filed a public interest petition in the Kolkata High Court against “the indiscriminate selling off of Santiniketan”. Their objection is against builders Bengal Ambuja, which are planning to turn the Khoai, the picturesque laterite basin caused by erosion, into a housing complex.There are many such basins in Santiniketan, but the Khoai of the lawsuit is said to have been immortalised by the writings of Tagore and the paintings of Ram Kinkar Baij and Nandalal Bose. While the recent petition concerns only one project, residents allege there are at least two others that will be out of tune with Tagore’s idea of Santiniketan.They say Bengal Peerless Group’s 13-acre housing scheme is launching its own assault on the Khoai and that it is also about to bring in a “nightclub culture” that is alien to Santiniketan. The 27-acre ecopark to be constructed by Surji Consultants also allegedly involves draining a 17.7 acre waterbody called the Laha Bundh. Discordant notes: Work for an ecopark in progress at Laha BundhMany prominent citizens of Kolkata and three local groups are readying for a second PIL (to begin by the end of this month) against construction at Laha Bundh. Adding to the uproar is the fact that there are other builders eyeing Santiniketan. It is not hard to seewhyBengalis are sensitive, touchy even, about the place.Quite apart from the associations with their favourite poet, the sleepy little university town, just 150 km from Kolkata, continues to be the hottest weekend getaway and post-retirement retreat for the city’s well-heeled. “The new projects are going to bring a certain kind of culture that will ruin the ambience and charm of Santiniketan,” says Sushanto Tagore, the poet’s grand-nephew. At the receiving end of all this ire is the Sriniketan Santiniketan Development Authority (SSDA), the government instituted body that is in charge of all development activity in these twin towns and their neighbour, Bolpur. Residents are upset by the indiscriminate and rapid green lighting of projects.It is not just the SSDA that is attracting the ire of concerned citizens. Also named in the lawsuit is Viswabharati University, as the designated upholder of Tagore ‘s ideals. According to the Act which brought the university under the Centre in 1951, Viswabharati’s territorial limits extend to about 3,000 hectares around it. The activists argue that if that is so, then the disputed projects are definitely encroaching on its land and should be thrown out by the university. No such thing is likely to happen anytime soon. Mainly because, as Vice-Chancellor Sujit Kumar Basu puts it, “Territorial limits do not necessarily mean ownership. We are investigating to see how much land the university actually owns.”At a basic level, the current controversy has to do with the fact that land ownership and jurisdiction rights is a fuzzy subject in Santiniketan. In 1863, Tagore’s father Debendranath took on lease of 20 bighas (6.6 acres) from the erstwhile owners, the Sinha zamindars of Raipur.Since then, lessees have changed hands many times, and large tracts have been deemed vested land. Some of that has now been acquired by the SSDA, though the question of whose authority holds-the SSDA’s or the university’s- is still an open one.SSDA Chairman Somnath Chatterjee, high-profile CPI(M) leader and parliamentarian, maintains there is no dispute about land ownership. “The three project areas do not fall within the land belonging to theViswabharati,”he says. “The government has given this land to the SSDA.” Executive Officer A.K. Das adds: “The site of the Ambuja housing scheme is not at the Khoai at all. At least not the Khoai Tagore wrote about.” Das is, however, tightlipped about the other projects, particularly the forthcoming draws for the ecopark. The Laha Bundh is bone dry, with loaders scooping up mud round the clock. “We are only dredging the bundh,” says Das.”We will refill the tank and have the ecopark in the 10 acres surrounding it.”The recent lawsuit has opened up a whole new debate about Santiniketan’s future. Does leaving it untouched imply (and risk) keeping it backward? Or should Santiniketan be allowed to become the Gurgaon of Bengal-and benefit from malls, a sports complex, hostels for students, bypass roads, a polyclinic and trauma centre and a host of other projects on the anvil? “This alleged concern is based on deliberate misinformation and crocodile tears for Santiniketan,” says an angry Chatterjee. “Those who are protesting do not want to know that there is a binding on every housing project cleared by the SSDA to provide a public service.”Something that is essential for a Santiniketan that was once primarily agrarian, but is fast changing. Over 70 per cent of the 1.26 lakh population (of the three towns taken together) is opting for “other” jobs. It is, however, not clear what these jobs are-and certainly there are not enough to go around.advertisementadvertisement”Birbhum has only one industry, and that is the Viswabharati University,” says Basu. “Everybody thinks they need only to come here to get a job. But the university cannot accommodate them all. So the new projects should be welcomed if they generate employment.”Santiniketan’s other revenue earner is an iffy tourism trade, with about five lakh visitors dropping in for the town’s two main events, the Pous Mela and the Vasantotsav. The administration thinks the activists are repressing a possible boom.Recently, when residents protested the granting of bar licences to four hotels in the town, a government officer brushed it off with: “You have to give the tourists something to do in the evening.” The problem is that nobody is clear at what cost.last_img read more

IPTL may have just struck upon an audacious formula as it takes tennis to newer audiences

first_imgRoger Federer (left) and Sania Mirza during their mixed doubles match of the IPTL league in delhi.It was a rally that lasted 16 shots. Each laden with power, precision and sublime skill and each cheered lustily by a 15,000-strong raucous crowd at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Delhi. The world’s,Roger Federer (left) and Sania Mirza during their mixed doubles match of the IPTL league in delhi.It was a rally that lasted 16 shots. Each laden with power, precision and sublime skill and each cheered lustily by a 15,000-strong raucous crowd at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Delhi. The world’s two best sporting gladiators, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, were doing everything to enthral and entertain, to compete and win. It was competitiveness of the very highest pedigree, rubbishing all scorn that the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) is no more than exhibition tennis masquerading as a league. That not a soul had moved till 11.20 p.m. braving the chill outside was proof that the IPTL, world tennis’ newest kid on the block, is here to stay.Laden with innovation and backed by broadcast and corporate support from the likes of Star and Coca-Cola, the inaugural season has been a success by every yardstick. But can it be sustained and can the league be made economically viable in the long term? Can team owners who are likely to have paid $4-5 million as licensing fee to own a franchise expect to get their money back? Are players’ salaries, estimated to be a total of $ 15-million plus, justified? Finally, can Mahesh Bhupathi and his team well and truly ‘break the code’? For the longest time tennis has remained immune to change. While embracing baseline technology and other such technical advancement, the very kernel of the sport has remained unchanged. Most matches continue to be played for five or three sets, Davis Cup encounters are still played over three days, the number of games won by players has little consequence in the larger scheme of things and there is never a time limit to how long a match can continue. A Grand Slam semi-final can get over in under an hour or continue for five hours or more.advertisementThe IPTL has changed all of this. By making each match a single-set affair, the well thought-out spectacle has ensured that five matches are completed in three hours or so, allowing broadcasters to plan television schedules to perfection. Speaking on the innovation, Mahesh Bhupathi, the prime mover behind the league, says, “Ours is the only sport where we can’t put a time quotient to a match. A Wimbledon semi-final can get over in an hour and it can also go on for five-and-a-half hours. Even in cricket you can put a time cap. For all our broadcasters, Sky in the UK, Singtel in Singapore, ESPN in Brazil, Star in India we have been able to put a time cap for matches. What we have done is put a shot clock inside the courts- there can’t be more than a 20 second gap between points. The moment a point is over, the shot clock will start to tick. It should make the game faster and more interesting.”While the naysayers will always have some words to say, there’s little doubt that team tennis in the form of the Davis Cup is commercially difficult to sustain. Spread over three days, it doesn’t give much to the broadcaster or the sponsor. In contrast, the IPTL offers its partners a viable package. With the very best in action, the broadcaster is assured of eyeballs and the sponsor of packed stadiums.By getting some of the biggest names associated with the modern game on his roster, Bhupathi has already won the first set. “We never intended it to be a challenge to the circuit. The Grand Slams will forever remain the pinnacle of our sport. But just like in cricket, in tennis too both formats can co-exist,” says a confident Bhupathi at the end of the Delhi leg of the league.Clearly the biggest coup for the IPTL has been the signing of Roger Federer. At some level, Federer is bigger than the sport itself. He is associated with everything that is good about tennis-competitive but never ultra-aggressive and perhaps the most complete player ever. Federer committing to the concept has been a huge point won. And for Indian fans to be able to watch Federer play Djokovic in Delhi was a real bonanza for a few thousand rupees. Never had these two legends played in India and in that sense Delhi’s signature match-up was a real toast for sports fans.Speaking on the concept and if he thinks it can be sustained in the long term, Federer emphasises the importance of getting the best players to Asia. “You don’t always get the world’s best players to play in these parts of the world. By taking the league to Manila, Singapore, Delhi and Dubai, the IPTL has opened up new constituencies for tennis. It is always important to increase the fan base for the sport and this I think is an important task accomplished,” said Federer.advertisementDjokovic, his arch rival and the current world number one and who was earliest among the mega icons to commit to the league, agrees. “Mahesh had approached me a year-and-a-half back and I immediately sensed the potential of the format. For example, I had never come to India. It is because of the IPTL that I could come to Delhi and play here. People loved the tennis and there’s no doubt the support base will only continue to grow in the years to come.” While the players have loved the experience, sceptics have questioned the economics of the league. The moot question is, can the owners of the four franchises ever aspire to make a profit? Bhupathi is cautiously optimistic. “Some teams will break even in three years and others in five. The response has been tremendous and we are already planning to increase the number of teams to eight by 2020. Just check the corporates who have come on board and you will realise that each of them believes in the concept.”Sunil Gavaskar, the co-owner of Singapore Slammers, suggests that by ensuring every team has an equal chance, the organisers have ensured that IPTL is a level playing field, which in the long term is expected to help its economics. “When the opportunity arose to buy a stake into an IPTL team, I was very excited by the idea. It is a terrific concept, is a unique format where every team has an equal chance, and it will surely catch on with fans who will be getting a great opportunity to seeing the very best of tennis in action. With every match being a set each, there are no favourites for a start. The top players are able to make a comeback in Grand Slams even if they lose a set but here with a set being the decider, it will always be a very open competition.” While the tournament may not have been won yet, there’s no doubt that the IPTL is already two sets up in a fiveset final.Boria Majumdar is consulting editor (sports), India Today GroupTo read more, get your copy of India Today here.last_img read more

Richard Branson Blogs Deforestation Following Brazil Visit

first_imgSir Richard Branson has blogged about deforestation and the Amazon rainforest following his recent visit to Brazil.“One of the great wonders of Brazil is the Amazon rainforest, which, as well as being home to astonishing biodiversity, soaks up huge amounts of carbon dioxide every day,” he wrote. “The world’s biggest rainforest is also one of our biggest assets in reducing the impact of climate change.I was hoping to tell a good news story – we all need more good news – about Brazil’s excellent progress on reducing deforestation rates. Between 2005 and 2010, Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions dropped by a huge 39 per cent – faster than any other country on earth. The reason? Brazil’s deforestation rate declined by more than three quarters during that period.“However, new figures from Brazil’s SAD monitoring system have revealed the encouraging trend is now reversing. There was a slight increase in deforestation in 2013, before the rate more than doubled in the past six months.“Meanwhile, the Amazon rainforest is becoming less efficient at soaking up greenhouse gases from the air. A study from the University of Leeds found that net carbon uptake of the rainforest has dropped by 30 per cent. The Amazon absorbed a net amount of two billion tonnes a year in the 1990s – this figure decreased to 1.4 billion in the 2000s.“It is up to all of us to highlight and support the conservation of this most remarkable of rainforests in this most incredible of countries.”Source:virgin.comlast_img read more

Prosecution cases against overspeeding on the rise

first_imgKolkata: With strict steps taken by the state police to curb road accidents, the number of prosecution against over-speeding of vehicles has gone up by 50 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to that of the corresponding period in the previous year.This comes at the time when over-speeding of a Ferrari that claimed a life on National Highway 6 on Sunday. A Ferrari California T hit against railing of a flyover at Pakuria in Howrah and it led to the death of businessman Shibaji Roy. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAccording to the data prepared by the state police, there were a total of 8531 cases of over-speeding in the area that comes under the jurisdiction of the West Bengal Police in the first three months of 2017. However, with strict measures taken by the state police to enforce the law, the number has gone up to 17,030 in between January and March in 2018. Comparing the data of the first quarter of the two consecutive years, a rise of around 50 percent in the rate of prosecution against over-speeding was found. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedOut of the 17,030 cases, as many as 2,412 were in the area under the jurisdiction of Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate, 1,243 in Murshidabad, 1,098 in North Dinajpur and 1,466 in East Midnapore. A senior police officer said the police have taken necessary steps and it has led to the prosecution against over-speeding of vehicles. People caught flouting traffic norms by driving vehicles above the permitted speed limit are booked under Section 183 of the Motor Vehicles Act. The cops also slap a fine on those who are caught indulging in over-speeding and the amount of fine goes up if it is found that the person had flouted the same earlier. The police have become more vigilant in ensuring that over speeding of vehicles can be checked and in the past two years after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has launched the statewide Safe Drive Save Life campaign, several steps to check over-speeding of vehicles have been implemented. Explaining the reason behind the increase in the rate of prosecution against over-speeding, a senior police officer said speed cameras have been installed at different places to record speed of vehicles and it has helped in checking the “menace” besides the strict police vigil. It may be mentioned that the prosecution against over-speeding has also helped in the reduction of the number of accidents in the state in the past two years.last_img read more