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Babies, Toddlers, Kids & Childrens

 

Costa Rica Real Estate Baby Boom

As the real estate market in the US takes a nose dive, alternative investments like Costa Rica real estate could keep you afloat and in the sun!

invest in costa rica real estate, costa rica real estate investment

As the real estate market in the US takes a nose dive, alternative investments like Costa Rica real estate could keep you afloat and in the sun! In times like this it’s good to have an alternative to futures, options, and hedge funds. The real estate market in Costa Rica is said to be one of the most stable in the world. It has been quietly booming for a few years and is expected to continue on its path.

What makes Costa Rica real estate such a promising investment?

About 15 years ago, you could buy a piece of land 50 meters from a beach of powder white sand and aqua blue water for $10,000 and it would be worth $500,000 today. There are still investment opportunities like this available in undeveloped costal areas, and up and coming trendy tourist destination. Although there are fewer than in the past, steals like this can still be found.

But more importantly, foreigners continue to move to Costa Rica, bringing their savings with them. Many are retiring or buying a second home, some are retiring young and some are coming to do business. There are several reasons for the influx. Property is cheaper than in the US, as is the cost of living, and a familiar standard of living can be maintained with the added benefit of beautiful beaches.

Furthermore, in 2010 the baby-boom generation will start to turn 65 and retire. Baby-boomers will retreat from their failing retirement plans and insufficient Medicare system and move to independent retirement in the sun. Costa Rica will become the new Florida, and you can already see the retirement developments going up and banking services for transferring Medicare checks.

Real estate has always been a great investment in terms of providing cash flow, assets and tax breaks. With the US market in the dumps, Costa Rica offers the opportunity to invest in a new growth market, in a country with a stable economy, and a friendly foreign policy. Costa Rica real estate is an excellent alternative investment offering high returns with low risk.

 

Big Hopes For Mazda's Baby

The all-new Mazda2 is no cock and bull attempt to make a car more desirable and user friendly. And it breaks with tradition in a world where bigger is said to be better in lining up in the car park smaller, lighter and distinctly more user friendly than the mini MPV-like Mazda2 it replaces. What we have here is a car that uses the basic underpinnings of the yet to be seen new Fiesta, one of the world's best sellers. And the little Mazda gives the impression that it would quit...

new cars,used cars,buy a mazda2

The all-new Mazda2 is no cock and bull attempt to make a car more desirable and user friendly. And it breaks with tradition in a world where bigger is said to be better in lining up in the car park smaller, lighter and distinctly more user friendly than the mini MPV-like Mazda2 it replaces. What we have here is a car that uses the basic underpinnings of the yet to be seen new Fiesta, one of the world's best sellers. And the little Mazda gives the impression that it would quite like to get in on the act. It brings the zoom-zoom experience to the small car end of the range, and Mazda expect to see around three times more of them that its predecessor. It's neatly styled, offers a good amount of interior space for four adults and from the rear view, the chunky looks gives the impression of a car well planted on the road. Which it appears to be.

I drove three of them (1.5 Sport, 1.3 TS2 and the 'only one of its kind in the UK and not on sale yet' 1.4 diesel version which arrives later this year) on a lengthy – and it has to be said gloriously scenic – test route through the Scottish Highlands last week on the sort of roads that sort the men out from the boys, and the youngster ticked most of the right boxes. I say most because on the rougher part of the route the firm ride set up was possibly a bit too firm, although there was no thumping and crashing from the underpinnings. Just the feeling of being a little over-firm at times, although it comes into its own on the smoother A roads and puts in a very accomplished and less jittery performance. Its road-holding was never in jeopardy, even on our long run to the north coast.

For the money it is a very well equipped car with little on the options list save for metallic paint. And it's an economical machine as well. My colleague on the day put my 28.7mpg to shame (in my defense I did have the more desolate, press-on part of the route for my spell behind the wheel) with a thrifty 45.9mpg against the quoted figure of 47.9 combined – and we had the aircon on as well. On the inside the interior is well finished, with a neat cluster of switches and dials for the radio and heater controls centrally situated with the big main speedo and smaller rev counter right in front of you line of vision.

Prices start at £8,499 and there's a choice of three engines and three equipment levels (TS, TS2 and Sport). Factors buyers will doubtless consider are its good fuel economy, low CO2 emissions and the fact it's actually fun to drive. It drops into a sector of the market that accounts for some 25 per cent of all sales and will have far greater appeal to younger buyers than its boxy predecessor. And it wouldn't be a bad car to consider for anyone downsizing either.

 

Put That Kid in a Car Seat!

I don't currently advocate road rage. Laying on the horn, swearing like a sailor, and swerving around the slow guy in the passing lane is not my style. Of course, tastes change over time...

car, seat, road, rage, safety, seatbelt, infant, booster, accident

Copyright 2006 Mike Patrick Jr, MD

I don't currently advocate road rage. Laying on the horn, swearing like a sailor, and swerving around the slow guy in the passing lane is not my style. Of course, tastes change over time, so I'd like to reserve the right to practice road rage in the future. But understand this: It won't be the slow guy in the passing lane that sets me off. Instead, it will be stupid parents.

You know the ones I'm talking about. You see them on interstate highways and city streets and country roads. You point them out to your spouse, and explain their poor judgment to your children. At least I hope you do. These are the parents who drive with unrestrained kids in the car, ones who let Little Bobby climb over the headrest and crouch on the floorboard and roam from window to window, pausing only to stick his tongue out at cars in the cruising lane.

Why do some parents allow their children such freedom? I think it boils down to convenience. Dad doesn't want to wear a seatbelt and he doesn't
want to hear Little Bobby screaming to get out of his. So Dad lets him roam.

In every state, they're breaking the law. Not that it matters. Most states have secondary seatbelt laws, even for kids. This means police can only write a citation for an unrestrained occupant in the course of pulling a car over for another violation. But let's face it, toughening seatbelt laws into primary violations would do little to reduce the thousands of unrestrained children killed and injured in the United States each year. Why? Because you can't force common sense through legislation. Don't forget, these parents are stupid.

If you are still reading, I suspect you are either not a stupid parent or you are motivated to rise above your stupidity. And since smart parents ask lots of good questions about the appropriate use of car seats, booster seats, and seatbelts, I will review the basics for you.

The rules are pretty simple really. Until your child is a year old AND twenty pounds, use a rear-facing infant carrier in the back seat of your car. The middle of the seat is safest. Once your child is twenty pounds AND one year of age, it's safe to use a forward-facing car seat. Again, keep it in the back, and if possible, put it in the middle.

When do you graduate to a booster seat? For most kids, you can make the move when they weigh forty pounds. Start with the type that has its own restraining harness. When your child outgrows the harness (usually between 50 and 65 pounds), advance to a booster that incorporates the car's safety belt. The important thing here is to make certain the belt fits properly. The lap belt should fit over the pelvic bones and not slip up to the belly. The shoulder belt should cross the chest, not the upper shoulder and not the neck. Many of these boosters feature an adjustable clip to keep the shoulder belt in a good position. Never forsake the shoulder belt. Serious injury is common among children in booster seats who only use a lap belt.

For all car seats and boosters, be sure to follow the manufacturers guidelines for proper positioning and securing. You'll have to pay close attention here. Some seats are rear-facing only, some only face forward, others are reversible. Also pay attention to minimum and maximum length and weight for a given seat. If your child outgrows the length recommendation of a rear-facing infant seat, but is not yet a year old AND twenty pounds, you'll need a bigger reversible seat. Keep it rear-facing until he is big enough and old enough to face forward.

When are kids ready for seat belts without a booster? When their feet reach the floor while their back is against the seat. The lap belt must fit snuggly across the pelvic bones (not the stomach), and the shoulder belt must fit snugly across the chest (not the upper shoulder or neck). The exact age varies from kid to kid. If your son or daughter is petite, he or she might be 10 or 11 years old before meeting this criteria. I realize this is much older than most people (especially children) want to believe. But I bring you the facts. Please, don't shoot the messenger.

There's much more to say about car safety. When can kids ride up front? What about air bags? How do you secure premature Babies, Toddlers, Kids & Childrens and disabled children? The American Academy of Pediatrics has an excellent resource answering these and other questions at http://www.aap.org/family/carseatguide.htm

So what do we do with the dad who won't buckle Little Bobby? It's a tough call. This is America. Parents have rights. Does Little Bobby have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Is Dad interfering with that right? Maybe. Until we sort that out, you'll do well to avoid Dad's mistake. Be a good example to your children and always wear your seat belt. Insist on your children being properly secured from day one. Always use a car seat. Make no exceptions. Little Bobby figured out that if he screams loud enough and long enough, he gets to roam the car and stick his tongue out at passing cars. If you have a Little Bobby in your car, it's not too late. Let him scream. It won't last long. Will you be interfering with his life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Maybe. But I know which choice I'd make. How about you?




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