Berkshire Broadcast

Some days, keeping a smile on your face can be a struggle. Whether you’re dealing with a stressful career, medical issues or just feeling weighed down by your daily routine, repeating positive mantras can help shift your mood—if you’re open to it.

Below are four helpful happy mantras to lift your mood.

You can do it. Whether you’re under a huge deadline for work or trying to finish that last mile on the treadmill, telling yourself that you can do it will make your success more likely. Be your own cheerleader!

Just breathe. Feeling overwhelmed? Remind yourself to breathe. Pair this mantra with big, deep inhalations to feel calmer and happier.

Thank you. Gratitude goes a long way, and can shift your perception of things (and the way people

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Special Benefits of the VA Loan

 

Our military veterans have given so much to this country. To make it easier for these special families to qualify for and purchase a home, Veteran Affairs has a unique loan offer reserved only for retired and active military.

The VA loan offers mortgage options unavailable to the general public.

No Down Payment – While zero down loans disappeared in the real estate bubble of the last decade, VA loans allow our military to buy a house without the stress of trying to save the down payment.

Easier to Qualify – Most loans require a credit score of 650 or higher. Qualifying for a VA loan only requires a FICO score of 620.

No PMI – PMI (private mortgage insurance) is required for any loan where the

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The average student loan debt for a college graduate in 2016 was $37,172, according to Forbes. That’s a lot of debt to be saddled with when starting a career. However, you can help your children avoid student loan debt by looking into some alternatives:

Save Early
This takes years of forethought, but it can be one of the best ways to pay a large chunk of college expenses. Start contributing to a 529 college savings plan as soon as your child is born. Put in only $100 a month from birth and a high school graduate will have about $40,000—enough money to fund two years of going to a public college. If your child is working part-time or during the summer, they can also contribute to the fund.

Payment Plans
Many colleges offer monthly installment

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One third of American homes today house residents over the age of 60, and 90 percent of those residents would prefer to stay in their homes as they age for as long as humanly possible, a study by the National Institute on Aging shows.

With more Americans living well into old age, that may seem like a tall order. But planning ahead can make aging in place more achievable for you or your loved ones.

The National Institute on Aging and Senior Living Magazine offer practical tips for making any home safer as we age:

Fix walkways. This is the time to repair cracked or uneven areas of the walkway that could prove hazardous.

Improve lighting. Install point lighting at the front door and motion-sensor lights focused on the stairwell to make

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The recent "deep freeze" here in Central Texas caused a lot of property damage.  In many areas, frozen water pipes cracked and when the thaw took place so did the flooding. This happened in homes, businesses, irrigation systems and pools. The damage wasn't just in the pipes. Water pumps cracked, drywall was saturated and ceilings & floors buckled.

If you are planning to sell your property in the near future, you can differentiate your property by having a licensed Home Inspector perform an inspection prior to listing the property.  This can enable you to avoid surprises and delays during the sales process. The findings from the inspection will enable you to fix what is serious and document any issues that you wish the Buyer to accept "as-is". This will

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Online security breaches where retailers are hacked and customers’ credit card information is stolen are becoming a regular part of the news cycle.

Cybercriminals can sell the data online to other criminals, who can then use the information to open bogus accounts in the names of legitimate customers, run up charges on the stolen credit cards and commit other acts of fraud.

The going rate for a U.S. credit card number and a software-generated card verification number is worth $5 to $8, according to a report by Intel Security called “The Hidden Data Economy.” If a bank ID number or date of birth is included, the black market price rises to $15.

Add in other details, such as a cardholder’s full name, address, mother’s maiden name and Social

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Selling the Family Home?

Family is important, and your decision to sell your home may be difficult for those closest to you. Moving can create mixed emotions, and it’s important to help your family understand how and why you made your decision. Including family members in the process can prevent strong emotions from potentially sabotaging the sale.

As soon as you decide to sell your home, set aside time to have a serious conversation with the rest of your family. If you have children living at home, they may be fearful of leaving their home, their school, and possibly their friends. Listen to them and reassure them of the safety of the family unit.

You can’t promise that nothing will change, but share the good things you expect to get from

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Your investing style and tolerance for risk can help determine what type of stock mutual funds you invest in. The two main types of funds — growth and value — have different characteristics that can match your investing style.

Owning a mix of both funds is probably a smart move, but it can still be worthwhile to understand how each fund works. Here are some short explanations of growth vs. value funds:

Characteristics

Growth businesses are likely to reinvest profits, instead of paying out dividends to shareholders, as a way to grow. Growth stocks can be seen as expensive and overvalued.

Growth stocks tend to be newer companies with products that are expected to be in high demand in the future.

Value funds are stocks that are undervalued

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The entrance of your home says a lot about your character, from interior design to overall aesthetics. Below are some helpful tips for making sure your space wows you and your guests every time.

Kill the clutter. Clutter is a huge no-no in your entryway, as it impacts the entire vibe of your space from the moment you set foot in the door. However, this can be hard, as the entryway is the space you dump your keys, mail, boots and coat. To remedy this, make sure you have designated, tucked away spaces for everything you store at the entrance of your home. Hooks for coats, baskets for mail and a covered bin for shoes can all work wonders.

Add a statement. Placing a beloved piece of art or furniture in the mouth of your home is a great way to

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Room Update – Try Color-Blocking

Repainting a room is one of the easiest ways to freshen the décor while changing the feel of the room. The hottest design trend this year takes this to a whole new level. Color-blocking techniques are dominating magazines and social media with vivid color palettes and bold geometric patterns, turning the traditional painting project into something special.

Color-blocking takes many forms—everything from a simple way to differentiate one space from another by changing the wall shade, to artistic pairings that would feel at home in a modern art gallery. Your style most likely falls somewhere in between. The common theme is to try something new while changing the feel of the room.

Before you start your project,

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