Category Archives: Lifestyle

America’s Best Retirement Cities

Sarasota, Florida: Downtown Sarasota Historic District: Sarasota Woman’s Club. Photo courtesy of Ebyabe.

The US News and World Report released their 2018 ranking for America’s best cities to retire. The list’s order is based on data on happiness, housing prices, healthcare benefits, tax rates, jobs, and the demand for the area.

Surveys were done with two cohorts: pre-retirement folks aged 40-59, and retirement age people 60 and over. Numbers came from The US Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor

Statistics, and the hospital rankings that US News compiled on their own.

The states with the most desirable locales were mostly in Texas, Florida and Pensylvania.

1. Sarasota, Florida: Happiness: 10; Housing affordability: 6.4; Healthcare: 5.7
2. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Happiness: 8.4; Housing affordability: 6.5; Healthcare: 8.5
3. San Antonia, Texas: Happiness: 8.5; Housing affordability: 7.1; Healthcare: 5.5
4. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Happiness: 8; Housing affordability: 7.4; Healthcare: 7.1
5. El Paso, Texas: Happiness: 8.7; Housing affordability: 8; Healthcare: 4.9
6. McAllen, Texas: Happiness: 8.8; Housing affordability: 8.1; Healthcare: 5.2
7. Dayton Beach, Florida: Happiness: 7.4; Housing affordability: 7.2; Healthcare: 5.9
8. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Happiness: 6.9; Housing affordability: 7.5; Healthcare: 7.8
9. Austin, Texas: Happiness: 7.6; Housing affordability: 6; Healthcare: 5.5
10. Washington, DC: Happiness: 7.7; Housing affordability: 3.4; Healthcare: 9.3

Fighting Food Waste

One of the ways to combat waste management issues in America is to focus on food waste. Every day, American families throw out more food than you can possibly imagine. Restaurants, as well, dispose of leftovers, and even farmers throw out food that is imperfect or not suited for their use.

In the US, about 30-40% of all food isn’t eaten. Approximately 95% of that food ends up in landfills.

Many states and many companies are trying to work with states to solve these problems. Some states like California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont have already restricted how much food and other organic waste can be thrown away. Maryland, New Jersey and New York are currently considering similar laws. Places like the West Lake Landfill are also always looking for new and creative ways to work.

There are other very creative ways that states are offering incentives. Some states are offering tax breaks to farmers and small businesses that donate food rather than throw it away. Some large farming operations and caterers have partnered with homeless shelters to enable the shelters to receive the food that isn’t used at the end of a harvest or during a celebration party.

Similarly, some restaurants will offer a discounted rate to customers when they put out food that is less physically appealing or that has passed the “sell by” date. Others have even created apps that will connect restaurants and stores with people who are interested in the surplus.

Certainly, there is going to be waste, but there are creative ways to help society to limit that waste and to cut down on the waste as much as possible.

The Best Places to Live in America

Denver Skyline. Photo by Hogs555
Denver Skyline. Photo by Hogs555

Every year US News and World Report evaluates US cities to find the 50 best places to live. Many parameters are universally desired, such as how affordable is the housing, are there well-paying jobs in the vicinity, are other expenses low, how are the schools, and what is the quality of the healthcare? Other issues are more subjective, such as the weather, the politics, and how far away are family members.

The newspaper then got the data on 100 US cities and divided it all into five main indexes: job market, value, quality of life, desirability, net migration. “Value” is a combination of annual household income versus the cost of living. “Quality of life” looks at crime, college readiness, commuting, and other factors.

Here are the top ten of the top fifty places to live in the USA:

  1. Denver, Colorado
  2. Austin, Texas
  3. Fayetteville, Arkansas
  4. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
  5. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  6. Boise, Idaho
  7. Seattle, Washington
  8. Washington, DC
  9. San Francisco, California
  10. San Jose, California

Efficient Business Trip Packing

Prada Luggage. Photo by o5com
Prada Luggage. Photo by o5com

Business trips are cumbersome necessity of life. Be sure to follow some or all of the following tips to make your next business trip as event-free and headache-free as possible.


The best way to avoid losing your luggage is not to have any in the first place. Pack all you need in one carry-on bag. This will eliminate the chance that you and your luggage will separate during the trip. Always be ready for the next business trip by keeping you loyal carry-on packed with clean clothes and ready-to-go.

Keep a Copy of Your Itinerary

If you will need to make many stops in many cities, keep track of everything easily by having easy access to your complete itinerary. While you are at it, keep your passport, visa and any other essential papers easy to reach for inspection.


Whether you travel with a laptop, tablet or any other device, be sure to bring it along fully charged. Don’t forget to bring along the charger, as well.

Take Your Business Cards

Your business cards are a great way to network, which is a lot of what going on a business trip is all about. Keep your cards and your colleague’s cards handy, and be sure to hand them out.


As laptops, tablets and cell-phones grew and continue to grow in popularity and importance, we must remember they need to ‘eat,’ too. Airports are more and more offering docking stations for charging, and even some airplanes are equipped with SD ports to make it easier to charge.


Try and bring clothes that are less likely to wrinkle inside your carry-on. Take along neutral colors that can be worn with a large variety of different combinations of clothing. Two pairs of shoes at a minimum should be packed.

From Stocks to Docks: Rob Hannah Sailing Down the River of Life

It is probably a fair guess to say that not too many people have made the switch from successful bond trader and real estate investor to high-end yacht dealer; yet there is at least one person that fits this description: Rob Hannah.

Hannah is formally trained as an architect, but moved to the world of investing as a bond trader. He ended up in real estate where he had the chance to put his design skills to use; designing, building and developing commercial and residential properties. During the 1990s, while Hannah was the CEO of Tax Strategies Group LLC in Chicago, he developed an innovative legal ownership structure to help investors in real estate save on taxes. His idea blossomed into what became a multi-billion-dollar industry.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Hannah parlayed his love for boats and boating into a new business. Officially certified for powerboats and sailboats, and a serious racer of large sailboats, Hannah went to the next level in 2011 and began his foray into the marine industry as an active player.

He took over Chicago Yacht Yard, a full service marine and storage facility located right in downtown Chicago, on the Chicago River. Hannah led the company to become an industry leader, and he eventually became the Great Lakes dealer for Fairline Boats of the UK; Zar by Formenti of Milan, Italy; Mercury Marine and Comitti boats of Italy.