Smart Home Purchases for Empty Nesters

Ah, the golden years. The kids are out of the house and college is paid for. Perhaps you did away with your mortgage as well. So, what do you do with all of that extra money? What about making some smart investments for a more secure future?

There are other decisions and purchases you can make that will help you lead a healthier and safer life, while also gaining peace of mind. Here are five smart purchases for empty nesters to consider.

 

Look into Home Automation
You've likely seen ads for home digital assistants, like Amazon Echo and Google Home. Commercials present home automation devices as fun to use for everyday tasks like ordering groceries, but they have value that may allow you to age in place safely. For example, both the Amazon and Google devices pair with home security companies to allow you to activate your home alarm or close your garage door. If you've installed "smart" door locks or light bulbs, these devices can also lock doors or turn on lights when you're not home.

Consider Installing a Home Standby Generator
My mother retired to Maine, a state known for harsh winters. During one of her first winters there, the region was hit with one of the worst ice storms in history. She was without power for two weeks and swore never to let land in such a position again in the future. She invested in a home standby generator. It has provided peace of mind ever since. Many of my neighbors here at the Jersey Shore made similar decisions after Superstorm Sandy, recognizing how important it is to be prepared ahead of the storm.

Cummins produces some of the most reliable home standby generators on the market, and their website includes a generator sizing calculator to help you figure out which generator is right for your home.

Invest in Fitness
Staying fit becomes even more important as you age. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are three components that everyone – especially older individuals – should have in their fitness routine: cardiovascular exercise, interval training and strength training. Some experts suggest balance training, such as yoga, is also important to help prevent falls.

You can achieve these fitness goals by setting up a home gym of your own. A stationery bike or treadmill and hand weights are a great start. Or, if you like the social aspect of working out with others, invest in a gym membership. Look for a gym that offers a range of classes – yoga, spin, weight lifting, etc. – so you can meet all your physical activity needs in one place.

Trade In for an Energy-Efficient Car
Are you still driving the gas-guzzling mom taxi that got you through those raising-your-kids years? Sure, the car has long been paid off and probably doesn't cost much to insure. But how much does it cost to maintain or fill up its tank? As you know, gas prices aren't likely to go down in the future. Does it make sense to trade in that car for something more energy efficient? Or can your home with two older cars afford to become a home with one smaller, more energy-efficient car?

September is a great time to buy a car with dealers looking to clear out last year's models to make room for the next year's. If you're serious about getting a new car, you may find some great deals.

Work With a Financial Planner
It makes sense to continue contributing to your retirement savings as you age. If you're not already working with a financial planner to achieve your retirement savings goals, you should be. Financial planners can help you with so much more, too. For example, a financial planer can help you figure out what kind of long-term care insurance you need. Long-term care insurance can help fill the gaps when your traditional savings can't cover health-related expenses.

Making informed purchases and financial decisions can improve your health and happiness well into your Golden Years. Start with the recommendations above, and you’ll be well on your way to a secure future.

Leah Ingram, Freelance Writer, Lifestyle and Money-Saving Expert

Leah Ingram

Leah Ingram is a freelance writer, lifestyle and money-saving expert. Her mission is to help you feel more confident about your spending, regardless of income.

 

She is the author of Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less, which compiles Leah’s unique money-saving advice, including how a family can save $25,000 a year. Her second title in the Suddenly Frugal series is Toss, Keep, Sell!: The Suddenly Frugal Guide to Cleaning Out the Clutter and Cashing In.

 

Currently, Leah is working on a personal finance book, chock full of ideas to help middle-class families pay for college. That book, tentatively called College Money Hacks, will be out from Career Press in Fall 2017.

 

For more information, visit Leah's website at http://www.leahingram.com/about/.

How to Protect Your Pets Before, During and After the Storm

After more than 100,000 pets were left behind when their owners evacuated New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, President George W. Bush signed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act in 2006 requiring state and local municipalities to include pets and service animals in their preparedness plans.

Despite these measures, countless pets were still lost or abandoned in 2017 during one of the most damaging hurricane seasons in history.

When extreme weather hits, pets can get loose, scared and lost. It’s often difficult to find them after. As you prepare for the severe weather conditions, don’t forget to plan for your pet’s safety.

Prepping Before the Storm

Put together your pet’s emergency kit, including:

  • Food and water to last one week.
  • A photo of you with your pet as proof of ownership if they go missing. If your pet is microchipped, make sure that their information and tags are up-to-date. If your pet is not microchipped, now is a good time to do it.
  • A copy of your pet’s vaccination records, current rabies vaccination tag and any medications your pet may be on.
  • A sturdy carrier or extra leash and collar.
  • Extra waste bags and/or litter box.
  • A favorite toy or two for comfort.
  • Research which local shelters allow pets. Contact the shelters in advance about pre-registering and any special requirements. If you own any exotic pets such as reptiles or birds, make shelter arrangements in advance.

During the Storm

  • Don’t let your pets drink or swim in floodwater as there can be bacteria and toxins.
  • Be sure to bring your pets inside before the storm starts.
  • Consider keeping your dogs leashed or your cats in cages or carriers to keep them from running off and hiding.
  • Make sure your pets are wearing collars with securely fastened, up-to-date identification. If you will be separated, include the phone number and address of your temporary shelter.
  • Be sure to stay as calm as possible as pets can sense fear. The calmer you are, the calmer your pet will be.

After the Storm

  • After the storm has passed, don’t let pets roam freely. Fences and power lines could be down, and other hazardous materials could be on the ground.
  • If your pet was lost or scared during the storm, check them carefully for injuries. Make sure to treat any minor scratches or cuts and take them to a veterinarian for an evaluation.
  • If there is damage to your house or yard, keep your dog on a leash until they reorient themselves as their surroundings may seem unfamiliar to them.
  • To help your pet recover and get back to resuming a happy life together, return to your normal routine as quickly as possible.

Severe weather can lead to power outages that can last for days or even weeks which could mean no air conditioning in hot summer months. Installing a generator or back-up power supply will help provide cooler temperatures for your pets. Prepare for the worst and have peace of mind during severe weather and install a Cummins QuietConnect home standby generator.

Cheryl Nelson, Certified Broadcast Meteorologist

Cheryl Nelson

Cheryl Nelson is an Emmy-nominated and AP award-winning Certified Broadcast Meteorologist, TV Host, FEMA-Certified Instructor and Weather and Preparedness Advisor for Cummins. You can visit Cheryl’s website at www.CherylNelson.net and follow her on Twitter and Facebook @CherylNelsonTV. 

Cummins Data Center Continuous Solution is Top Choice for Turkcell

Cummins Turkey has installed a total of 13 generator sets at a new Turkcell data center operated by Telemobil in İzmir.

Cummins has beaten extensive international competition to become the provider of continuous power for a new Turkcell data center in İzmir, Turkey. The contract means Cummins has the potential to supply similar solutions to further sites, as Turkcell continues to build more data centers around the country.

Turkcell is a converged telecommunication and technology services company that offers voice, data, TV and value-added consumer and enterprise services on mobile and fixed networks. Active in nine countries, the company today serves around 70 million subscribers. Cummins’ customer for the project is data center operator Telemobil.Cummins generator set

Cummins has installed ten C1675 D5A generator sets plus two C1100 D5B units and a single C700 D5 in the basement of a three-story building. The Cummins Turkey team brought a problem solver attitude to the project, working closely alongside the customer to meet a range of requirements. These include an ambient temperature range of up to 43.2 °C, wind conditions that demand special exhaust outlets, and detailed Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis to establish the optimum solution for the installation. All generator sets were supplied as open models.

Cummins won the contract thanks to a number of factors. Cummins is an established global manufacturer that has proven itself countless times in the field. The quality and reliability of Cummins generators are widely recognized as first rate. Cummins Turkey was able to offer a turnkey solution with fast delivery, bringing its problem solving skills to bear. Finally, partnering with Cummins offered the chance to establish good relationships that may now go forward into future data center installations.


 

Adam Sidders

Adam Sidders is the Marketing Communications Leader for the Power Systems Business Unit of Cummins Inc. Prior to joining Cummins in 2012 Adam worked in Financial Services for Europe’s largest independently owned insurer as their Marketing and Communications Manager.

Official NOAA Hurricane Forecast Released

While hurricane season officially begins on June 1st, Subtropical Storm Alberto made landfall near Laguna Beach, Florida on Memorial Day.

As the first named storm of 2018, there was heavy rainfall and flash floods in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas. And this is just the beginning.

After months of research, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center recently released their prediction for the 2018 hurricane season. The 2017 Atlantic Basin hurricane season was a busy one and scientists say we may be in store for another potentially active season. In fact, NOAA is predicting a 75% chance of a near- to above-normal hurricane season.

As far as the number of named storms, NOAA meteorologists predict:

10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.

Near average sea surface temperatures and the potential of a weak El Niño developing are key factors in this prediction. As atmospheric variables change over the next few months, NOAA will continue to adjust their hurricane season forecast and release their next official forecast in August – just before the historical peak of hurricane season.

Keep in mind the number of storms that make landfall is not a part of this forecast.

It only takes one tropical cyclone to impact millions of people. Hurricane Irma left 16 million people without power and Hurricane Maria left 80 percent of the island of Puerto Rico without power. 

Regardless of the forecast, it is important to be prepared for hurricane season every year. Having a plan for power outages is just one consideration for homeowners. Having a standby generator, such as the Cummins QuietConnect Series, means all the power in your house can be restored automatically – even when you’re not home. 

For more information and preparedness tips, including information on Cummins QuietConnect home generators, visit the Cummins Home Generators website and learn how you can stay ahead of the storm. You can also check out the short video below for some important  tips on how to keep you and your family prepared in the event of severe weather and power outages this hurricane season. 
 

Cheryl Nelson, Certified Broadcast Meteorologist

Cheryl Nelson

Cheryl Nelson is an Emmy-nominated and AP award-winning Certified Broadcast Meteorologist, TV Host, FEMA-Certified Instructor and Weather and Preparedness Advisor for Cummins. You can visit Cheryl’s website at www.CherylNelson.net and follow her on Twitter and Facebook @CherylNelsonTV. 

Cummins Power Installation is Captured in Time-Lapse Video

How Cummins equipped a UK site with C2000 N5C gas generators is the subject of a new video
Cummins equipped a UK site with C2000 N5C gas generators

A new video showcases how Cummins required only six months to implement a turnkey solution for a UK power grid operating reserve site.

Cummins is currently engaged in a large-scale project providing short term operating reserve capacity to the UK national grid. The video below focuses on how the work was done at one of the scheme’s 18 sites, at Long Eaton in the county of Derbyshire.



Ten C2000 N5C gas generators were installed at the site along with transformers, switchgear in a specially designed switchroom and control room. Drawing on the experience gained at other locations around the country, the project commissioning phase at Long Eaton was reduced to only four weeks. Work at the site spanned just six months, from August 2017 to February this year, an exceptionally short time frame for a project of this type.

Environmental considerations at the site’s 0.35 Ha (3500 m2 / 0.86 acre) development area included noise and air quality levels as set by the Local Planning Authority (LPA). It was also stipulated that work did not take place during the bird nesting season, and reptile mitigation plans had to be submitted to both the LPA and the county’s Wildlife Trust.

Space limitations were a further factor. The usual method for placing the containers and top frames on site would not work, so the Cummins team worked with their supplier to devise a custom solution utilizing a hydraulic jacking and lifting system that transferred the container onto a self-propelled modular transport platform, as the video shows.

The installed plant can deliver 20 MW of gas-driven power generation, and like the other sites in the project it acts as a short term operating reserve to cover peak periods. The total across the 18 sites in 348 MW, making this one of the biggest projects the Cummins UK power generation business has yet undertaken, establishing it as a premier player in the capacity market not only in the UK but globally as well.


 

Adam Sidders Marketing Communications Leader Power Systems

Adam Sidders

Adam Sidders is the Marketing Communications Leader for the Power Systems Business Unit of Cummins Inc. Prior to joining Cummins in 2012 Adam worked in Financial Services for Europe’s largest independently owned insurer as their Marketing and Communications Manager. [email protected]

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