Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Important tips how to avoid paying too much for vacation

5 Tips On How To Avoid Paying Too Much For Your Dream Vacation


1. Choose a Destination
If you already have a destination in mind this can make your research much easier. You might have a shortlist of a few destinations and this is ok too, as it may end up being the difference in price which helps you decide which destination to go with. Try not to have more than 3 destinations in your shortlist, this way you can streamline your search and only look at deals related to those places. You’ll be able to see if there are significant price differences between the destinations once you start browsing and you can eliminate the ones that don’t suit your budget. If you don’t have any destinations in mind, why not ask friends and family for some recommendations, or have a look at some travel blogs, they often have great suggestions and inspiring articles about different countries and cities. You could update your Facebook status asking friends to send you their dream vacation bucket lists then see which places appeal to you.
2. Choose a Theme or Be Inspired
Now you have chosen your destination, it’s great to narrow the search by choosing a theme, unless you would like to be inspired and explore a variety of options. Choosing a theme could be anything from spa, romantic, city, beach, ski or even wine tasting! What would you like to do on your dream vacation? Would you like to explore a beautiful city, soak up the sunshine on a white sandy beach or would you like to drive through olive trees and vineyards to experience the wonderful world of wine. Alternatively if you’d like to be inspired, then don’t choose a theme, just keep an open mind and see what jumps out at you when you start searching online.. maybe it will be a water sports vacation or a wild safari adventure.
3. Choose Dates
Once you have your destination and theme sorted (or no theme if you are waiting to be inspired) then decide on your dates. If you are able to be flexible by a few days either side, you are likely to be shown more options and you may get a better price.
4. Search Deals
Choose a website which does the price comparison for you. A website which guarantees you the best price online will go through strict price checking procedures to ensure that customers are getting the best price. Websites won’t include a ‘best price’ statement unless they have thoroughly checked prices online. There are teams dedicated to price checking – so you don’t have to! Search for deals using your chosen destination and theme (if you have one) and you will be shown a list of vacations which are exactly what you’re looking for. If there aren’t any deals available within your selected dates, you may be shown some alternative options.
5. Read Reviews
When you have chosen your favorite vacation from the list, click through to a review site and have a quick read of some reviews. If the majority of reviews are positive then you can feel confident you’ve found a great deal.
Using the tips above should help you save time booking your dream holiday online. No more hours spent trawling the internet on comparison sites or clicking between hotel websites to find the best price.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

The longer you work , the longer you may live .... Healthy Retirement Study








Working can be stressful, but it turns out the longer you do it, the longer you may live. That’s according to a retiring early could put you at an increased risk of dying younger.
Analyzing data collected from 1992 to 2010 from the Healthy Retirement Study, a long-term examination of U.S. adults run by the University of Michigan and funded by the National Institute on Aging, Chenkai Wu, the lead author of the study, found healthy adults who retired at 66 instead of 65 had an 11% lower risk of death.  Even Americans who said they were unhealthy lived longer if they delayed retirement by one year. Those who were deemed unhealthy had a 9% lower risk of death. It didn’t matter if it was a blue collar or white collar job either. In the survey, those who worked a year longer than age 65 reported seeing a benefit. (Reading more, here: Working During Retirement: Making The Most Of It.)
While the reasons for their longer lives varies, the research indicates that by working past their retirement age people remain engaged and as a result get a health benefit from it. However, researchers from Oregon State University aren’t the only ones who see a correlation between working longer and health. A U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health 2014 study of French workers who stayed employed showed their health actually improved and working longer delayed the onset of dementia. That is particularly telling because Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases is a huge problem in the U.S. plaguing millions of Americans and costing the nation $236 billion in 2016, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
So why does working longer improve your health both emotionally and physically? For starters, employees who prolong retirement stay engaged with their co-workers which helps not only their mental state but also their physical state. They are still thinking, problem-solving and socializing, all of which boosts their mental state and keeps their minds fresh. The physical activities associated with work, such as walking to the train or to get lunch, seem to play a role in maintaining an aging worker’s health. (Read more, here: The Best Jobs For Retirees.)

The Bottom Line


Lots of people dream about retiring early, but research from Oregon State University and others indicates working past age 65 may give you a longer life than retiring at a younger age. While more research needs to be done, the research implies that staying engaged with your colleagues can boost both your mental and physical health.




Saturday, 9 April 2016

What turning 55 means









Good article by Mr Wong of Star online . Its another a year's time for me to reach this number .




>>>>>>>>>



I TURN 55 years old in a month’s time. It’s a milestone, or a half-way mark, in my life and I believe a certain degree of self-indulgence can be forgiven.
Well, I am not officially a senior citizen yet. Under our National Policy on Senior Citizens, that is still five years away.
But 55 has always been a milestone because that was the retirement age for private sector employees until it was changed to 60 in July 2013. So in a way, we all feel we are like senior citizens when we turn 55.
Never mind. I am defining myself as middle-aged rather than “old age”. I am feeling really good about myself as I believe that age is merely a state of mind.
Turning 55 has merely given me an excuse to get my friends, colleagues and associates, of different ages, to come together for a party.
I want to enjoy my life and since retirement is now fixed at 60, I don’t see myself as an old age pensioner but neither do I want to slave on.
I have no intention of whining about the insane politics in this country. I don’t bother to read the political stuff posted on social media by even more insane people.
But I did explore the Net to read about what turning 55 means and it was even worse than the political blogs and comments – they were all about preparing for the old folks home or, gulp, death.
There were many articles about insurance, savings withdrawal, drawing up wills and retirement planning. The common theme is that if you haven’t saved enough, you are in trouble.
At 55, if your bank account is empty, you don’t need to be told that you have a serious problem.
I had a hard time looking for stuff on how to party at 55 and where to splash money on some fancy machines or toys for middle-aged guys.
I am a positive person and I have a great life to lead and enjoy, although I know time will just fly past me and that precisely is the point.
There are still hundreds of places that I want to visit with my wife while we can still walk, climb and run. There are still exotic wines and food that we want to try.
I still want to be able to go for a cruise for weeks without having to worry about irritating phone calls from unreasonable bosses. Hmm... I am guilty myself on this front and I speak only for myself. But I owe the wife this one.
There are still many, many books in my home library that really make me look scholarly, especially when my visitors see them. But I have to confess that I haven’t touched many of them.
I also want to find time to write about “the best, the average and the worst people” that I have encountered in my three decades of journalism.
I still want to write about historic figures which made an impact in our country and my beloved Penang but which our historians do not care about or are blind to it.
Physically, I still have my turf of hair which grows very healthily. In fact, I need a trim every two weeks. I don’t need any special hair tonic, aloe vera or any extra virgin coconut oil to apply on my scalp.
I still cannot understand why they call it extra virgin. I have always thought that virgin was sufficient. Maybe my hair may stand with that extra help, I don’t know.
Yes, of course, parts of my healthy hair are turning grey. I accept that as part of the ageing process. If actor George Clooney, who also turns 55 in May, has streaks of grey strands, I can handle mine as well. Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp, too, have joined the post 50 club.
I have no intention of following the leaders of the Chinese communist party who all seem to have jet black hair, whatever their age. It’s too good to be true and quite honestly, I think they look terribly unnatural. If there is any consolation, they do have better haircuts than the North Koreans.
Every American leader who has served in public office, including President Barrack Obama, has got grey hair. But not the Chinese leaders.
Hell, the US presidential candidates – who have yet to get elected – have turned bald. Just look at Bernie Sauders of the Democratic Party while his opponent, Hillary Clinton, looks puffed.
Donald Trump, of course, is turning more orange with each passing day and has all the signs of a deranged or senile man with his loony remarks. We don’t even know if his hair is real.
Ok, I have a confession – I am vain and every bit the modern, experienced man, who is confident of himself, like many baby boomers of my age.
I enjoy dressing up to look good. Not for others but for myself as I believe that one must always dress up well and be well groomed. We must respect our appearance.
My wife buys me my aftershave lotion, eau de toilette and perfume so I smell good. I can’t imagine myself reeking of Tiger Balm ointment. No, not yet, at least.
I love my music and I enjoy attending concerts. I think I am pretty up-to-date with music, of diverse genre, and I am able to talk to my 25-year-old daughter on the music she’s listening to but I must confess that I still regard the 1980s as the best era for music.
After all, I am a product of the disco era. Oh, the days of Tin Mine, Cinta, The Cave, Unit One and the Bubble, when dancing was about real stylish movements.
That’s the only time warp that I am caught in but everything is about attitude. I am ageing but I am enjoying the process.
I’m enjoying my life. I’m enjoying my family and friends. I have the best colleagues in The Star, my home away from home for the last 32 years. I’m just happy and that can only happen if you are surrounded by positive-minded people.

I need to exercise more and eat more healthily, but I am a 55-year-old Penangite, and surely, I can’t be expected to eat like a rabbit. And when it comes to food, a true Penangite will not compromise!


Source : Star online by Wong Chun Wai

Saturday, 20 February 2016

6 Ways To Stop Wasting Money in 2016











If you are going insane trying to make ends meet, you are not alone, and it is not surprising. Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.However, don’t give up just yet. You may have been
wasting your money in these 10 ways
last year, but you can turn things around this year. Taking Einstein’s advice into consideration, the key is to do things differently. This includes spend differently or on different things.Here are 6 ways you can stop wasting money this year:

1. Identify non-essential spending

Yes, we know, you really need that coffee to start off your day without stabbing someone in the eye with your Kilometrico pen. You can still get one without bleeding your wallet every day. Make your own.Let the numbers do the talking:[table id=247 /]The point of this exercise is not to stop spending but to control unnecessary spending.Examples of other non-essential expenses that you should (and must) cut from your finances are – the 16
th
pair of shoes just because they are on sale, the latest smartphone just because it is from Apple, or that set of rims for your car just because they would make you look cooler than other cars stuck in the traffic jam.Every time you are about to spend your money, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this absolutely necessary?
  • What are the benefits of buying it?
  • Will I be saving money in the long-run?

If your answers are negative to the above questions, move along.

2. Stop paying interest (whenever possible)

Every time you pay minimum payment only for your credit card balance, you are incurring interest charges that can snowball into insurmountable debt (if it hasn’t already).For revolving credit like credit card, always try your best to clear your balance as soon as possible because for every month your balance is carried forward, you will be charged interest of at least 15%.One way of cutting down on exorbitant interest charges is to transfer your debt to a low or
0% balance transfer credit card
. A balance transfer is when you move debt from one credit card with high interest to another one that’s offering a low-interest special for new customers.Some credit cards offer balance transfer facility of 0% interest for the first 12 months. However, do read the fine prints as some cards come with an upfront fee of about 3%.[table id=248 /]To make the most of a
balance transfer
, make sure you can pay off your entire balance during the intro period before interest kicks in.

3. Set goals instead of resolutions

If you are like most people, you would have your list of New Year’s resolutions and are determine to stick to them, but the reality is, these resolutions would likely become a distant memory by March.The worst part of resolutions is not our inability to stick to them, but its costs. One of the most popular resolutions is getting fit, which is why you see a surge of members in your neighbourhood gym. But signing up for a 12-month gym membership on your credit card costs money. And if you don’t utilise the membership, you will be wasting that money.This year, skip resolutions and set specific money goals. Unlike resolutions, goals are realistic, measurable and include an action plan that will lead you to success.Instead of staying fit, change it to “losing 5kg by end of the year” and you don’t have to sign up for an expensive gym membership to achieve it. Instead of saving to buy a house, change it to “saving 15% of RM500,000.” Instead of saving money, change it to “save 3-month worth of your salary by end of the year”.By keeping your goals measurable, you can easily track your progress and make the necessary changes to fast-track it.

4. Review your insurance coverage

According to the Malaysian Insurance Institute (MII) CEO Syed Moheeb Syed Kamaruzaman on
Insurance Asia News
, the life insurance penetration rate in Malaysia grew from 41% in 2014 to 56% in 2015. By 2020, 75% of the population will have life insurance coverage.Getting more Malaysians to buy life insurance protection is a remarkable effort. If you already have coverage, it pays to review your coverage periodically. If you are one of those who own a life insurance, a full mortgage life assurance, an investment-linked life plan and also other insurance plans like personal accident and medical, it is time to ask yourself – do you need all of them?By over-insuring yourself, you are putting your money into protection that you do not need, which could be earning you better returns if invested it elsewhere. If you do not have any dependent, is not the sole breadwinner of the family and have other assets, chances are you need to review your insurance policies to ensure you are not over insured.Optimise your finances by avoiding under or over insurance. Know what’s your required or ideal coverage for each insurance plan, and also if you need the plan in the first place.

5. Compare everything

As Malaysian consumers mature, they become more discerning towards what they are buying and the value they get in return. The best way to ensure you get the best value of your money is not merely checking the price but to compare similar products or services before making any financial decision.We’ve advocated product and services comparison for years, and we even allow our users to compare financial products easily through our various smart searches, from credit card to
personal loan
. Only by doing your necessary due diligence will you be able to make smart decisions.Getting the wrong credit card can hurt your finances, but the right one can easily help you manage your expenses and also save you some money. And this applies for almost everything that you purchase.Find out which are
the best credit cards
according to your lifestyle and spending pattern.

6. Think long-term

Being penny-wise, pound-foolish is the greatest downfall of many people. It is a common mistake to make especially when one decides to take control of their finances.Yes, saving money is a good habit, but not to the point that it will incur more money in the long-run.Imagine this scenario: You are given the choice to take up a flexi home loan that allows you to save money if you regularly pay more than your monthly repayment, or a conventional home loan that does not come with all the flexibility to save money – which should you choose?A flexi home loan is best for those who earn irregular income that can be higher in certain months, and also those who have the discipline to sock away any additional money they have in their home loan. If your answer is no to the above two criteria, go for the conventional loan as you will be saving more without paying for the flexi facilities, such as the additional fees to maintain the current account that is linked to your flexi home loan.By keeping in mind your financial objectives and goals, you will be better equipped to make long-term financial decisions. If last year has not been kind to your wallet, make these 6 changes in your finances to ensure a better financial year for yourself.


The post 6 Ways To Stop Wasting Money In 2016 appeared first on iMoney Malaysia.






Wednesday, 3 February 2016

What Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz says .....



Image result for rafidah aziz








PETALING JAYA: Leaders are not made by dragging other people down because leadership has nothing to do with posts, positions or designations, said Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz (pic).
Commenting on the “Kedah fiasco” in a posting on her Facebook page on Wednesday, the former Cabinet minister said leadership had to do with the qualities of an individual and how he leads, performs, makes decisions and governs.
“It is about qualities that make us look up to them and entrust our well being with them,” she said.
Rafidah also feared that there would be more unresolved problems for the country.
“Things seem to be flaring up like crackers around us, one issue after another, one unresolved problem followed by several others.
“It is like we have our hands, fingers and toes in some sticky glue that refuses to be brushed or cleaned off, the feeling that we are stuck in a rut,” she said.
She said the Kedah political crisis was reflective of the political culture to which Malaysians seem to subscribe, “a political culture of self-interest and toppling down others to grab whatever position that is being eyed”.
“(It is) A culture that continues to divide rather than unite (people) for common good,” she said, adding that it could be regarded as greed.
She stressed that the nation would be better if everyone worked as a team, “complementing each other for collective strength to achieve common good”.
“Let good sense prevail and let us get down to repairing the damage which has already been done, because the country does not need more shenanigans,” she said.







source : Star on line

Thursday, 7 January 2016

NETFLIX now available for local TV subscriber



Impactful: A man scrolls through a selection of viewing choices on the Netflix application on a tablet device. Consumers in Malaysia are entitled to a 30-day free trial with subsequent monthly plans ranging from RM33 up to RM51. – Bloomberg





Firm’s entry to impact TV market
PETALING JAYA: On-demand Internet streaming entertainment provider Netflix Inc is now available in Malaysia, fuelling talk on how it would impact local pay-TV content provider Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd and recently launched Internet TV service provider iflix.
Netflix announced yesterday that it has expanded to more than 130 new countries, with the exception of China.
Consumers are entitled to a 30-day free trial with subsequent monthly plans ranging from as low as RM33 up to RM51.
It enables users to stream movies and television shows to their smart televisions, game consoles, computers, tablets and other devices.
Meanwhile, the six-month old iflix is offering its streaming services for as low as RM8 per month for movies and entire seasons of TV shows from the United States, South Korea, China and Malaysia, made available over all smart devices.
iflix Malaysia group COO and CEO Azran Osman-Rani said the announcement by Netflix was great for the industry. He said it reaffirmed the shift in entertainment consumption to on-demand was a global phenomenon.
“For consumers, it is great that at least a subset of the Netflix branded content is now legally available without a VPN,” he said.
iflix could have gotten the shorter end of the stick as it has similar content to Netflix, but is so far only available in standard definition.
Netflix offers consumers three different packages, standard definition, high definition or ultra high definition.
Note that just a month ago, iflix teamed up with Telekom Malaysia (TM) to provide its content to TM home UniFi and Streamyx high speed broadband customers. From mid-December 2015, all Unifi and Streamyx customers would receive a 12-month iflix subscription (valued at RM96) bundled with their existing TM service, at no additional charge.
“From an iflix perspective, we are obsessively focused on the unique challenges of emerging markets whether it be pricing, payments, infrastructure challenges, cultural preferences, or local programming and language.
“We will continue to provide the broadest most relevant selection of content for the local consumers at a price that everyone can afford,” Azran added in a statement.
Some market watchers are concerned that Netflix’s entrance into the Malaysian market could lead to existing Astro customers switching to the new service provider.
However, analysts are not too concerned with this, given Astro’s wide customer base.
“Astro actually has very loyal customers, especially for those that subscribe to the vernacular packages. It has a very different set of customers, so I don’t really see Netflix impacting Astro much,” an analyst said.
That said, it is possible that some urban customers may switch their Astro entertainment packages out for a Netflix subscription.
Customers could either downgrade their Astro subscription package, or do away with their entertainment packages entirely.
To counter this, it would depend on how Astro chooses to package its content, the analyst said.
“Netflix doesn’t have news or sports content, so Astro subscribers would definitely keep those packages,” the analyst added.




source  < Star online

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Most Affordable Travel Destination in Asia during This winter 2015 ... KL the 5th






Jakarta, Indonesia has emerged the most affordable travel destination in Asia for US travellers this winter, according to the number crunchers at TripAdvisor.
In fact, for Americans who’ve long had Asia on their minds, there’s perhaps no better time to book a trip than this winter, as the average price of a one-week trip to the Far East has dropped 12% compared to the same period last year.
Moreover, most of the destinations that cracked the top 10 list are located in South-East Asia, where temperatures are still mild and the sun high.
For travellers on a budget, the Indonesian capital is a good bet, having recorded the biggest drop at 32%.
The total price tag for a seven-night trip to Jakarta – including flight and hotel – clocks in at US$1,343 (RM5,795), the lowest rate of 20 cities covered in the index.
That compares to Hong Kong, the priciest destination on the list, with a one-week trip costing US$2,590 (RM11,177), mostly due to a six percent spike in airfare recorded this season.
“Asia consistently provides outstanding accommodation value and this year US travellers can also take advantage of significantly lower airfares, so winter is a great time for Americans to explore the Far East, with both the weather and prices more moderate,”said TripAdvisor spokesperson Brooke Ferencsik.
Overall, Thailand and Vietnam are the most budget-friendly countries in Asia Thailand landed three spots on the top 10 list, while Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, both in Vietnam, took the second and third spots.
For the ranking, analysts looked at the average price of a one-week trip to 20 popular Asian cities between Nov1, 2015 and Apr 30, 2016.
Here are the top 10 most affordable destinations in Asia this winter, according to TripAdvisor:
1. Jakarta, Indonesia, US$1,343 (RM5,795)
2. Hanoi, Vietnam, US$1,366 (RM5,894)
3. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, US$1,434 (RM6,188)
4. Chiang Mai, Thailand, US$1,577 (RM6,805)
5. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, US$1,589 (RM6,857)
6. Shanghai, China, US$1,665 (RM7,185)
7. Bangkok, Thailand, US$1,680 (RM7,250)
8. New Delhi, US$1,877 (RM8,100)
9. Siem Reap, Cambodia, US$1,895 (RM8,177)
10. Kathu, Thailand, US$1,902 (RM8,208)
– AFP Relaxnews