Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web


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This week: Quitting your job, buying long-term care insurance, using AmazonSmile, why you can ignore store surveys and holiday lighting hacks.

1. How Much Notice Should You Give When Quitting a Job?

[Credit.com] “As the saying goes, all good things come to an end — and often times that’s true for awful things too. If that good or awful thing is a job or career phase, having it end typically means planning an exit strategy, bowing out gracefully and telling your manager you’re quitting.”

This article basically suggests — surprise! — two weeks is the proper amount of notice. But it also includes other tips and advice on how to conduct yourself during those final days, which basically amounts to not doing anything that may come back to haunt you later and treating other people like you’d prefer to be treated.

2. 10 Important Questions to Ask When Purchasing Long-Term Care Insurance

[The Dollar Stretcher] “Some studies indicate 40% of Americans over 65 will need time in a long-term care facility and that 70% of those 65 or older will need some type of in home health care. With that said, it’s obvious we all must decide what to do about long-term care insurance coverage. There’s no denying it’s a large expense, which will certainly burden many households in this economy, but can we take the chance of going without it?”

I’ve written about this topic myself, as well as being the right age (61) for this insurance product, so this headline caught my eye. The article has some good basic information for those thinking about long-term care, but you’ll definitely want to do further research.

3. Is AmazonSmile a Good Way to Give Back?

[Money] “Start by logging onto smile.amazon.com, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase – excluding shipping, handling and taxes — to the charity of your choice. The service makes sense for the millions of Americans who shop on Amazon and subscribe to its Prime service, which offers free two-day shipping.”

This article explains AmazonSmile, which is a way to donate to your favorite charity without it costing you anything. As the post points out, there’s nothing wrong with donating, especially when it doesn’t raise the price you’re paying. The only drawback? Half of one percent isn’t much. You’ll have to spend $5,000 on Amazon just to give $25.

4. Study Says: Surveys Suck

[Debt.com] “Most consumer questionnaires are ‘garbage’ that waste your time and retailers’ by asking leading questions, a new study says. Out of 65 stores’ surveys analyzed in InterAction’s Customer Listening Study, the average score was a 43 percent: a total failure.”

If you ever feel guilty for ignoring survey requests from your favorite stores, this post will make you feel better. It explains that, at least according to one study, customer surveys are a waste of time for you and a waste of money for the stores sponsoring them. Read the article for the reasons why.

5. 10 Easy Holiday Lighting Hacks

[Wise Bread] “In 2011, Bloomberg reported that Americans spent a whopping six billion dollars on Christmas decorations — and lights are always a big one. Thankfully, you can give your place a festive glow this year with a few simple tricks for frugal Christmas lighting.”

The other day I ordered one of those laser LED things that features one light that paints the whole house with dots of light. No more standing on ladders, testing strands of bulbs or heading to Home Depot for me. But if you’re not following in my footsteps and going all out again this year, you might want to check out this article. It offers tips that range from using LEDs (cheaper to operate, last longer) to solar-powered outdoor lights. Knock yourself out … while you’re out in the yard, I’ll be sitting inside drinking my spiked eggnog.

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Stacy Johnson

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