Love Is What Love Does

If there is any word in this world that has lost its place in relationships, it's love. The world has substituted love for everything from people, to money, careers, things, sex, feelings, etc. The saddest thing about it, the replacements has crept their way to church. Most relationships among the people of God are now a reflection of what's in the world rather than a replica of what's in the Word. Love itself has not changed. It is built solely on your acts-what you do, what you give-your every act of kindness.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son …" St John 3:16 NIV

Love is verified through deeds of kindness. It hasn't lost its luster, its purpose, its drive, or its assignment. It has and always will do what it was originally intended to do. In order to receive the complete manifestation of it, we have to give up our own selfish, inconsiderate and insensitive perception and definition of love and take on the real genuine meaning of it. For the bible defines love as God.

"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." 1 John 4: 8 NIV

Love's definition is so plain and simple, but its people who have made it so complex. In this is generation, most efforts to find love are initiated with dreams of settling down with the fine biceps, nice body, beautiful hair, and that exceptionally financial-friendly person, not realizing that this mindset of settling down is rather more in lines of settling for the imitation version of love. Understand that having someone who's handsome and beautiful with money is not the problem. The dilemma is failing to decipher what takes precedence over the other in relationship. Do they love you? or have they fallen head-over-hills in love with what you have? This is not a gender-specific error, for it applies to male and female. People have simply reconstructed the meaning of love and its attributes to fit them and their own personal agenda, and wonder why relationships often result in death. Understand that when it comes to building anything, especially relationships, the initial start of the construction, the foundation, influences the assembly of the entire building. If your relationship foundation is built on anything other than the things that's designed to make it durable and stand against the poundings of the heat, rain, and winds, it will sooner or later tumble. At some point, no matter how good it looks, or appear to others, it will come down. How your life of love is built matters.

"Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it …" Psalm 127: 1 KJV

What Bait Are You Using to Attract Love?

On a journey for love, we have a tendency to display the very thing we want others to like or love about us most. For example, women and men alike, whether consciously or subconsciously, tend to highlight tangible things such as cars, homes, money, etc .; financial statuses, physical physiques, careers, and ministry are included. Please don't misinterpret this to suggest that all those things carry no weight in relationships, because to a certain degree they do. However, on a search for love, the thing you really need to place emphasis on most is the real genuine qualities of you-no makeup, body parts, financial status, or anything of such. Displaying all these outer qualities draws attention away from the real you. Therefore, leading others to love what you do best; enticing them to place emphasis on your body parts, careers, and monetary status more than you. At the end of the day, when real love comes, it's looking for you. This rings true in all relationships, whether seeking a spouse, friend, job, business, or even relationships in ministry. You'd be surprised to the many people who falls in love with the idea of ​​marriage or the wedding more so than the person they're marrying or married to. Many relationships are held together by finances; as many are also intact as long as he or she retains their physical physique. You must remember that the adhesive you use to hold your relationship together will fasten as long as you use the right glue. If the glue you use loses its ability to stick, whatever's held together by it is at risk of falling apart. With that being said, to ensure real genuine love in your relationships, take advantage of the glue, the love, the God that's able to make it stick and last. This is the love that is defined and generated by God.

Your Relationship with God Reflects

Your relationship with God is a direct reflection of your relationship with others. For that reason, the bible requires us to love God first, then others as we would ourselves. Rightly so, we're not ready to love others until we learn how to love God. For loving God teaches us how to love ourselves as well as others. If your love for others is out of alignment or not in the right perspective, then your relationship with God is the same-questionable. We must be careful and intentional about not choosing to make a life with people who do not have a relationship with God. On the other hand, it's just as risky to pursue relationships with those who do love God, while lacking in that area yourself. That will attract major turmoil for both involved. If he has problems loving God, he'll have problems loving the people or daughter of God. We're conceding to allow others to love us according to the world's standards and not the Word's when we don't strategize in relationships. Don't choose to accept reduced or imitation love over the abundant kind of love that only comes from God. If it means having to wait on the Lord, then wait.

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends … "1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 ESV

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Health Insurance: The Race Against the Clock

There is still time for Congress to pick up the pieces of changing the healthcare system to help stabilize it. The fate of the Affordable Care Act is yet to be determined. In the meantime, people wait while paying extremely high premiums and have mountains of out-of-pocket bills on the kitchen table. Where is the affordability of the Affordable Care Act?

Tick ​​Tock for the insurance companies as well. They are under a timeline for filing dates this summer. Insurance companies have time to decide if they will still offer ACA plans or not. By withdrawing ACA plans, things will start moving back to before the law was signed. This time capsule can be good for many.

The insurance companies may begin screening for health conditions. Do not panic just yet! Years ago, the only problem with pre-existing conditions was not 'if' an insurance company would take you, but which one. Each insurance companies had personalities for health conditions. Just because a big name insurance company turned someone down, that did not mean you could not get health insurance from another company. Insurance brokers just had to match the personality with the insurance company. It is as simple as that.

If nothing happens by late March, we could be moving into more increases on the health plans in 2019. This is terrible news for folks on the brink of losing their health insurance due to cost. Not everyone does well enough to pay for their health insurance with no problem, and much more do not qualify for any government subsidies for the premiums.

Governors in Alaska, Ohio, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Nevada came up with "A Bipartisan Blueprint for Improving Our Nation's Health System Performance." It brings together a high-level overview of what some changes should occur. It does not get specific enough to make a difference. Maybe it is too soon at this point. However, policyholders need some answers, and hard proof something will change that will benefit them.

Collective action by 20 US States recently sued the federal government claiming the law was no longer constitutional after the repeal of individual mandate starting in 2019. Individuals and families not having ACA compliant coverage will no longer be fined a tax penalty in 2019. was the very rule that was determined by the Supreme Court in 2012 saying it was constitutional as a tax penalty.

The future of the law and health plans are yet to be determined. Since 2014, it seems that most policies are changing every year. Every year the premiums go up, and the policies cover less. At what point is the breaking point? With this race against the clock, we will have to wait until the clock stops to know if we have real change coming.

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Green Architecture: Changing the Home Design Trends of Today

Whether you are considering a home renovation or exploring designs for a new house, one of the common suggestions that you will get both from architects and engineers is to make it adaptive and earth-friendly. For those who may not be too inclined on the technical details of home designs, "adaptive" and "earth-friendly" are just words, that also often appeal to be expensive and complicated to achieve.

However, with the ever changing trends in home designs, we need to start equipping ourselves with knowledge on economical yet safe home design choices. With this, we will try to look into the basic concepts of earth-friendly and adaptive homes – two concepts that are closely interrelated.

Earth-friendly Home Designs

These designs are born out of the campaigns of several countries for an environment-friendly lifestyle or sustainable living, which of course includes house designs. Along with this, professionals in home construction and design have also innovated their skill set to meeting these new standards.

When we speak of environment-friendly home designs, this has a lot to do with the materials used to build or renovate the house. For instance, some architects have been practicing the use of biodegradable materials in house interiors.

These design techniques closely resemble that of the ancient times, when majority of the house materials come from natural sources. Even the paint products for the house have to be eco-friendly, which is not only safer for the walls, but for the occupants' health, as well.

Other strategies being applied by architects is the creation of outdoor rooms in the house.

This means using natural light and air to save on energy for the room. All these, along with eco-friendly household practices easily contribute to having an environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

Adaptive Home Designs

This type of home design deals with two major things:

1) The ability of the house to adapt to the changing lifestyle of its residents, and 2) ability of the house to adapt and withstand the various environmental changes.

Also operating around the concept of sustainable living, these designs are meant to make the house last longer and the family living in it safer. Common feature of these homes are sturdy lumber and concrete, insulated panels, and dome-shaped ceilings. These type of house built has been proven to be more resistant to storms, tornadoes, and even earthquakes by the Wind Engineering Research Center. With natural calamities hitting the country almost every year, it pays to be keener in the construction materials used for your house.

When it comes to adaptive spaces for home, this is where secret rooms and sliding door comes in. This is also an innovative trend that architects and interior designers are looking into, in order to make a house with limited floor area still spacious enough for a growing family. Aside from choosing space-saver and multi-purpose furniture, it is also important to choose a house design that is easier to renovate in case the need for expansion arises. And this is exactly what your architect mean when they speak of adaptive home design.

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Alternative Investment Fund Regulations

What is an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF)

AIF is an Alternative Investment Fund Regulations privately pooled investment vehicle which collects funds from investors, whether Indian or foreign, for investing it in accordance with a defined investment policy for the benefit of its investors. AIF may be in the form of a trust or a company or a limited liability partnership or a body corporate.

Why AIF

AIF Regulations endeavor to extend the perimeter of regulation to unregulated funds with a view to ensuring systemic stability, increasing market efficiency, encouraging the formation of new capital and consumer protection.

Who are not covered

Currently, the AIF Regulations do not apply to mutual funds, collective investment schemes, family trusts, ESOP and other employee welfare trusts, holding companies, special purpose vehicles, funds managed by securitisation or reconstruction companies and any such pool of funds which is directly regulated by any other regulator in India.

Categories of AIFs

An AIF needs to seek registration broadly under one of the 3 categories –

Category I AIF: The following are covered under Category I

1. Funds investing in start-up or early stage ventures or social ventures or SMEs or infrastructure

2. Other sectors or areas which the government or regulators consider as socially or economically desirable including the Venture Capital Funds

3. AIFs with positive spillover effects on the economy, for which certain incentives or concessions might be considered by SEBI or Government of India or other regulators in India

Category II AIF: The following are covered under Category II

1. AIFs for which no specific incentives or concessions are given by the government or any other Regulator

2. Which shall not undertake leverage other than to meet day-to-day operational requirements as permitted in these regulations

3. Which shall include Private Equity Funds, Debt Funds, Fund of Funds and such other funds that are not classified as category I or III

Category III AIF: The following get covered under Category III

1. The AIFs including hedge funds which trade with a view to making short term returns;

2. Which employ diverse or complex trading strategies

3. Which may employ leverage including through investment in listed or unlisted derivatives

Applicability of AIF Regulations to Real Estate Funds

After knowing what an AIF is and its broad categories, we analyze whether AIF Regulations are applicable to the Real Estate Funds

Firstly AIF has to seek registration under AIF Regulations under one of the three categories stated above. Therefore if a Fund does not fall under any of the three categories stated above, then it will not seek the registration with SEBI.

If we look at the Category 1, registration is required by funds which invest in start-up or early stage ventures or social ventures or SMEs or infrastructure

If we look at the definition of infrastructure, Explanation to Regulation 2 (m) states that Infrastructure shall be as defined by the Government of India from time to time.

And in the normal parlance, the term typically refers to the technical structures that support a society, such as roads, water supply, sewers, electrical grids,

telecommunications, and so forth, and can be defined as "the physical components of interrelated systems providing commodities and services essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions.

Therefore infrastructure does not include the real estate or construction activity since this activity deals in investing in land, developing the land by way of construction of flats, townships and other residential and commercial projects.

But if the real estate fund carries on certain projects for a social purpose like purchasing land for charity etc .; then the fund may be covered under social venture funds.

The clause further states that 'or other sectors or areas which the government or regulators consider as socially or economically desirable and such other Alternative Investment Funds as may be specified;'

The AIF Regulations have been notified just a few days back and till date, no other AIF funds have been specified in the Category 1 by the Government. Further what the government or regulators consider as socially and economically viable is a very broad concept. However, till the Government specifically comes out with specific inclusions under Category 1; a Real Estate Fund will not be covered under Category 1 and therefore would not require Registration.

Further, the clause also states that – Alternative Investment Funds which are generally perceived to have positive spillover effects on economy and for which the Board or Government of India or other regulators in India might consider providing incentives or concessions will bee included

By adding these lines to the Category 1, SEBI has made the category 1 very vague and open to dispute and litigations since what SEBI intends with positive spillover effects on the economy is not defined or clarified. Different people or organizations may have a different opinion on this which would lead to unnecessary litigations and hardships to business owners. However, till any clarity comes on this, the business owners need to take a cautious approach to the decision of seeking registration under AIF regulations.

Category II AIF

Now we examine whether a Real Estate Fund falls under the Category II AIF

If we look at the funds covered by Category II above, they

1. Shall not fall in Category I and III

2. Shall not undertake leverage or borrowing other than to meet day-to-day operational requirements and as permitted by these regulations;

3. Shall be funded such as private equity funds or debt funds for which no specific incentives or concessions are given by the government or any other Regulator

For Real Estate Fund under Category I, we notice that at present it does not fall under Category I and it also does not fall under Category III since these are basically hedge funds. Further, no specific incentives or concessions are given by the Government to the Real Estate Sector. Therefore if we look at the applicability of Real Estate Fund under Category II, these funds may fall under the Category II AIFs if they do not take leverage or borrowing except for short-term requirements.

Impact of AIF on the Real Estate Funds

Under these Regulations, the minimum investment amount has to be Rs 1 crore from each investor. Therefore attracting the funds from the investors would become tough for the real estate funds, who used to raise amounts as less as INR 1 million from the investors. Now they would need to find high-value investors though this is not the only challenge that lies ahead for those raising domestic corpuses. They now also have to invest 2.5% of the corpus or Rs 5 crore, whichever is lower, to ensure that the managing company risk is aligned with that of the investor. Moreover, a single investment in a company or a project cannot exceed 25% of the entire corpus.

Further a Real Estate Fund registered in the form of an LLP also would be covered under the AIF Regulations. In an LLP Structure, since the investors are also partners, the risk to the rights of the investors being misused is very minimum. Therefore applying the AIF Regulations to the LLP Structure would reduce the flexibility available to such a Structure.

Conclusion

If we look at the AIF Regulations from a short term perspective, in light of the difficult fund raising environment today, the higher ticket size for investors could possibly throw up some challenges and could in a manner constrict the growth of the asset class, but clearly , in the long run, these regulations appear to have an element of maturity to play a pivotal role in the development and shaping up of the future of alternate asset class in India. It is also clear that alternative investments are more sophisticated and risky as compared to investments in equity and debt and till market matures it is advisable that only HNIs and well informed investors make an investment in this asset class and once the market matures it is made open to all. In the long run, we may see more investments in the Alternative asset class (in terms of quantum and maturity) due to the increased investor confidence in these funds.

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Merits and Demerits of Equity Finance

Equity finance means the owner, own funds and finance. Usually small scale business such as partnerships and sole proprietorships are operated by their owner trough their own finance. Joint stock companies operate on the basis of equity shares, but their management is different from share holders and investors.

Merits of Equity Finance:

Following are the merits of equity finance:

(i) Permanent in Nature: Equity finance is permanent in nature. There is no need to repay it unless liquidation occur. Shares once sold remain in the market. If any share holder wants to sell those shares he can do so in the stock exchange where company is listed. However, this will not pose any liquidity problem for the company.

(ii) Solvency: Equity finance increases the solvency of the business. It also helps in increasing the financial standing. In times of need the share capital can be increased by inviting offers from the general public to subscribe for new shares. This will enable the company to successfully face the financial crisis.

(iii) Credit Worthiness: High equity finance increases credit worthiness. A business in which equity finance has high proportion can easily take loan from banks. In contrast to those companies which are under serious debt burden, no longer remain attractive for investors. Higher proportion of equity finance means that less money will be needed for payment of interest on loans and financial expenses, so much of the profit will be distributed among share holders.

(iv) No Interest: No interest is paid to any outsider in case of equity finance. This increases the net income of the business which can be used to expand the scale of operations.

(v) Motivation: As in equity finance all the profit remain with the owner, so it gives him motivation to work more hard. The sense of inspiration and care is greater in a business which is financed by owner's own money. This keeps the businessman conscious and active to seek opportunities and earn profit.

(vi) No Danger of Insolvency: As there is no borrowed capital so no repayment have to be made in any strict lime schedule. This makes the entrepreneur free from financial worries and there is no danger of insolvency.

(vii) Liquidation: In case of winding up or liquidation there is no outsiders charge on the assets of the business. All the assets remain with the owner.

(viii) Increasing Capital: Joint Stock companies can increases both the issued and authorized capital after fulfilling certain legal requirements. So in times of need finance can be raised by selling extra shares.

(ix) Macro Level Advantages: Equity finance produces many social and macro level advantages. First it reduces the elements of interest in the economy. This makes people Tree of financial worries and panic. Secondly the growth of joint stock companies allows a great number of people to share in its profit without taking active part in its management. Thus people can use their savings to earn monetary rewards over a long time.

Demerits of Equity Finance:

Following are the demerits of equity finance:

(i) Decrease in Working Capital: If majority of funds of business are invested in fixed assets then business may feel shortage of working capital. This problem is common in small scale businesses. The owner has a fixed amount of capital to start with and major proportion of it is consumed by fixed assets. So less is left to meet current expenses of the business. In large scale business, financial mismanagement can also lead to similar problems.

(ii) Difficulties in Making Regular Payments: In case of equity finance the businessman may feel problems in making payments of regular and recurring nature. Sales revenues sometimes may fall due to seasonal factors. If sufficient funds are not available then there would be difficulties in meeting short term liabilities.

(iii) Higher Taxes: As no interest has to be paid to any outsider so taxable income of the business is greater. This results in higher incidence of taxes. Further there is double taxation in certain cases. In case of joint stock company the whole income is taxed prior to any appropriation. When dividends are paid then they are again taxed from the income of recipients.

(iv) Limited Expansion: Due to equity finance the businessman is not able to increase the scale of operations. Expansion of the business needs huge finance for establishing new plant and capturing more markets. Small scales businesses also do not have any professional guidance available to them to extend their market. There is a general tendency that owners try to keep their business in such a limit so that they can keep affective control over it. As business is financed by the owner himself so he is very much obsessed with chances of fraud and embezzlement. These factors hinder the expansion of business.

(v) Lack of Research and Development: In a business which is run solely on equity finance, there is lack of research and development. Research activities take a long time and huge finance is needed to reach a new product or design. These research activities are no doubt costly but eventually when their outcome is launched in market, huge revenues are gained. But problem arises that if owner uses his own capital to finance such long term research projects then he will be facing problem in meeting short term liabilities. This factor discourages investment in research projects in a business financed by equity.

(vi) Delay in Replacement: Businesses that run on equity finance, face problems at the time of modernization or replacement of the capital equipments when it wears out. The owner tries to use the current equipments as long as possible. Sometimes he may even ignore the deteriorating quality of the production and keeps on running old equipment.

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Jobs For Retirees – Finding The Perfect Retirement Job

Working After Retirement

Now I'm living the dream and while I enjoy the freedom of not having to work, working is still a part of my life. Work still provides some positive things that I need and I don't know how to turn off the work ethic that took a lifetime to develop.

The big difference is that now, I'm not committed to 40 hours a week, every week. Most of the retired people I know are still working in some capacity. It's just something we do.

But the question most people ask me when they begin thinking about retirement is "Why work after you retire?" . An old friend of mine had one of the best answers. He said "You can sit on the porch for only so long." He was 80 when he took his last part-time job.

The question I always ask is "What do you want to do after you retire?" and there may be several answers to that question. The decision will generally be based on how financially secure you are going to be after you retire. For some of us, working, even part-time, will be a reality. How many seniors do you see working in restaurants and department stores?

So, what is the perfect retirement job for you?

The Perfect Part-Time Job

The perfect retirement job might be the one you have now. Except on your own terms. I know several people who retired and agreed to come back to work on a part-time basis for their former employer. They get to use their vast store of knowledge, work shorter hours with people they already know and get paid pretty well for it. A win-win situation if you can get it. The place to start is to find out if your company already uses part-time employees or make an offer to your company to provide valuable services after you retire.

If you have technical experience, you might explore consulting as a part-time job. My consulting work started shortly after I retired in 2009 with a phone call from a company asking if I could help them out with a short term project doing exactly what I did before I retired. I've been working four to six months a year ever since.

There are several other possibilities for part-time work that you could consider;

Do you like to drive and travel? Recreational vehicle dealers in your area might have a need for someone to transport motor homes from one dealership to another. Check with your local RV dealers and offer your services as a driver. Some might require a class C driver's license, but the rewards of being paid to travel to different parts of the country in a luxury motor home might be worth the effort.

I know a retired guy who used to drive cars between auto dealerships in his city and another who delivered cars for Enterprise car rental. This type of work is a little more difficult to get into because auto dealers usually have someone on staff deliver cars. It doesn't hurt to ask and it might result in a unique part-time job.

Uber, the ride sharing service that was started on the internet a couple of years ago offers opportunities to generate some additional cash. I don't know what the pricing structure is, but it should be easy to sign up for and generate some extra cash. Another big benefit for a retiree, you get to work when you want to and on your terms.

When most people think about a part-time job, the first thing that comes to mind is a low paying structured job where you report to a place at a certain time, put in some hours and get paid. This works and has been the norm since forever. But, the real key to finding unusual ways to earn extra cash is to look around, watch the news and see what is happening in the world today.

If you see something unusual that interests you, check it out. It might just be the perfect part-time job.

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