Vargas & Vargas Insurance

1133 Washington St
Dorchester, MA 02124

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Back to School Tips for Busy Families

Summer has flown by, and it may be hard to believe, but Boston Public Schools start on September 7th! If you’re like most parents, you want to make the transition from summer vacation to “Back to School” as seamless as possible. Here are some tips on preparing your kids (and yourself) for the new school year:

  • Start easing into new bedtimes and wake up times gradually – preferably over the course of a week or more. Nothing will throw a child off more than an abrupt schedule change.
  • If needed, make sure to schedule your child’s yearly physical ahead of time. This will help you beat the hoard of people that wait until the last minute to update vaccinations or get athletics physicals.
  • Before you go “Back to School” clothes shopping, go through your child’s existing wardrobe and donate or sell what doesn’t fit.
  • Make sure that young children have positive anticipation about the first day of school by setting expectations that include seeing and making friends and learning about fun subjects.
  • Discuss with your child the importance of homework, and create a distraction-free workspace together. Ideally, this is somewhere quiet and well-lit. Older students may need access to a computer. Younger students that don’t have homework on a particular night can be encouraged to read, or self-study about a topic that interests them.

If you want to continue to prepare your family for the year ahead, call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency for a review of your Massachusetts home and auto insurance policies. A few minutes of your time and you will be able to update your policies and maybe even find a new discount – so call 617-298-0655 today!

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Interview with Bobin Nicholson from Eye & Eye Optics

Hello, everyone! I would like to share with you a few snippets of an interview I recently did with my friend Bobin Nicholson over at Eye & Eye Optics. Bobin and his establishment are the best eyewear boutique in Dorchester – Eye & Eye Optics is the place to go if you need an eye exam or a new pair of glasses.

Carlos: Hello, Bobin! How are you doing on this lovely day?

Bobin: Hi, Carlos – I’m doing great. Loving the summer weather.

Carlos: It has been great, hasn’t it? So, let’s get right down to business… tell me a little bit about Eye & Eye Optics.

Bobin: Well, we’re an eyewear boutique on Dorchester Avenue. We sell glasses and contacts, and we can do eye exams. We’ve been around since 2010, and we’re looking forward to many more years here in this great neighborhood.

Carlos: This really is such a wonderful area, and we love that you’re a part of it! I talk a lot about how important it is to ‘buy local’ – why is supporting the local economy important to you?

Bobin: When someone buys their glasses from a local shop like Eye & Eye Optics, they are receiving the expertise and quality of service that isn’t found online or at a glasses chain store. Keeping dollars in the local economy is also an important part of helping Dorchester thrive.

Carlos: So, I know that you keep up with all of the current eyewear trends and styles. What is your favorite trend in glasses?

Bobin: Glasses used to be so boring – now you can find them in all shapes, styles, and colors! I like to mix up my glasses. Some days I wear more traditional frames. Other times I feel like something funky and fun. To me, it’s all about thinking of glasses as an accessory to your outfit.

Carlos: That’s a great point! I tend to be rather conservative with my glasses. If someone wanted to try something new, what would you suggest?

Bobin: I would probably start by playing with color. Branch out from the typical black and try blue or red, or something with a little sparkle. I have a pair of white glasses that I wear – you would be surprised at how many outfits they go with.

Carlos: Hmm, that’s all the questions I have. If someone wants to get a hold of you, how should they do that?

Bobin: Well, we’re open six days a week at 2271 Dorchester Avenue and they can always drop in during business hours to look at frames. If they have questions or want to schedule an appointment with our on-site opthamologist, they can call us at 617-296-0066.

Carlos: Thanks again for your time, Bobin. Have a great day!

So, if you’re in the market for a new pair of glasses, or if your eyes need their annual checkup, Bobin is your guy! Eye & Eye Optics is a premier eyewear boutique here in Dorchester, and they have glasses to suit every style.

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How to Get Better Gas Mileage

Have you ever looked at your car’s gas gauge only to realize that it’s time for another fill-up? That glum feeling of needing to refuel doesn’t happen to just you – many people think that they spend more than they should on gas. If you’re looking to get the most of your fill-ups, use these tips:

  • Take more efficient trips – instead of going out several times in a week to run errands, try to combine your trips so that you’re travelling fewer miles and using less gasoline.
  • Maintain proper tire inflation – your car will be able to use its fuel more efficiently if its tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended PSI.
  • Keep your car tuned – engine tune-ups can ensure that your car runs at its best and therefore uses less fuel.
  • Don’t carry excess weight – every extra few pounds in your car will mean your car uses more gas to accelerate and maintain speed, so decluttering your car could save more than your sanity.
  • Use good driving habits – aggressive driving has been proven to waste gasoline. This means that defensive drivers could spend less at the pump. In addition, avoiding rapid acceleration and not speeding can further improve your gas mileage.

To save even more, call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency for an auto insurance review! One quick and painless call to 617-298-0655 could save you money on your Massachusetts car insurance premiums. We will also check to ensure that you are getting all of the discounts that you deserve. Don’t put it off any longer – call now!

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Flooding: What to Do Before, During, and After

You never know when a flood will strike. Hurricanes often bring flooding, and flash floods can happen at any time. Make sure that you’re prepared for the chance of a sudden flood, know how to stay safe during the event, and know how to deal with the fallout of a flood with these tips:

  • Before – Make sure that you have a well-stocked emergency kit and a family disaster plan. When a flood is forecast, keep up with the weather news. If you have time, you may choose to move valuables and hazardous materials to higher levels of your home, and disconnect electrical appliances (but only do this if it is safe!). Depending on the severity of the forecasted flooding, you may want to evacuate the area.
  • During – Continue to monitor news about the flood. Once the flooding starts, don’t travel unless you have to, and never drive on flooded roads. If you are advised to evacuate, do so in a safe and timely manner. In short, find high ground and stay there until you are told by officials that it is safe to leave.
  • After – Do not enter any building that is still flooded. If necessary, have your home checked for structural damage by a professional before you enter. Homes that have been affected by floods are sometimes unsafe – when in doubt, ask for professional assistance. Make sure that you call your Massachusetts insurance provider right away to start the claim process.

You may be surprised to learn that your Massachusetts home insurance, condo insurance, or renter’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding. For that, you need a special flood insurance policy or rider. Call Vargas and Vargas Insurance at 617-298-0655 today to find out how affordable this critical coverage is

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How to Make the Most of an Afternoon Nap

It is truly unfortunate that napping is associated with laziness in today’s society. In truth, there are many benefits to polyphasic sleep, including lower stress levels and increased mood. Whether you need an emergency nap on a busy day, or you make it a point to get a snooze in every day, ensure that you get the most out of your afternoon siesta with the following tips:

  • Limit your nap to 20-30 minutes. This length has been proven to increase alertness without inducing grogginess or sleep inertia.
  • Choose your environment wisely – a nap while riding the T will never be as restful as one on a quiet couch or bed.
  • If you have trouble falling asleep for a nap, try using meditation techniques like breathing exercises to calm your mind.
  • Combine the benefits of napping and caffeine by having a coffee right before a short nap. When you wake up, you should be feeling the effects of both for a double boost!
  • Lavender is a scent that naturally lowers heart rate and blood pressure, so it can help you relax before you attempt to drift off.

Once you awaken from your nap, you will be more alert and ready to take on any task. Similarly, here at Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency we are ready to help you with all of your insurance needs! Call 617-298-0655 to speak to one of our agents about a free and no-obligation review of all of your insurance policies – we can make sure that you are fully covered and that you’re not overpaying for your policies. Sweet dreams!

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Low Cost Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business

One of the most-asked questions from small business owners is this: How do I market my business without spending a fortune? Thankfully, there are lots of potential customers out there for you, you just have to know how to find them. Here are a few tips for getting the word out about what you offer without breaking the bank:

  • Word-of-Mouth advertising is free! Just ask your customers if they are happy with the service that you provided and ask them to let their friends, family, and co-workers know about your business, and the word may start to spread.
  • Leverage Social Media – depending on the type of business you have, you can consider using many social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and more.
  • There are many local events going on in the Greater Boston area all year round. Ask to be an event sponsor or volunteer to help out in order to both aid the community and gain exposure for your business.
  • Running a contest could encourage your current clients to spread the word about your business – just make sure to spread the word both in person and on your Social Media.
  • Ask for reviews on Google and Yelp. If a customer is satisfied with your business, let them know that it would be a huge help to you if they would post a review of your business on websites like Yelp and Google. After all, those sites are a major influence on potential customers!
  • Leverage your friends, family, coworkers, really anyone that you have met in the past, typically referred to as your top 100, or executive 200, I call it working your Dunbar’s 150, leave a message below and I can share with you more details.

Here’s another tip on how to save your small business some money: talk to a Vargas and Vargas Insurance agent about your Massachusetts small business insurance. We can get you the insurance coverage you need while making sure that you get the discounts you deserve – so call 617-298-0655 today for your free quote.

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How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

It’s easy to talk about home insurance and car insurance, but life insurance can sometimes be a touchy subject. No one wants to think about what would happen if and when they die, but the insurance coverage that you can get from a Massachusetts life insurance policy is a vital part of ensuring that your loved ones are protected.

When calculating your life insurance needs, there are several factors to consider. Often, people will make sure that there is enough coverage for funeral and end-of-life expenses. In addition, you should consider including coverage to make up for your income, as well as other services you provide for the outcome (including childcare). You may also want to include extra benefits to cover college expenses for children, or for an end-of-life gift to your favorite charity.

It is also important to remember to update your life insurance policy as your needs change. Often, an annual life insurance review is enough to ensure that you are always prepared. If it’s been a while since you talked to your agent about your life insurance, you may want to call for a quick chat about what has changed in your life.

If you want your life insurance policy evaluated by a Massachusetts life insurance professional, just call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency at 617-298-0655. We can assess your needs and make sure that your policy will cover your loved ones in your worst-case scenario. We can also help you understand the difference between term life insurance and whole life insurance, and in which scenarios each of these policies is useful. Don’t put off talking about your life insurance needs – call us today.

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I’m In Love With Many Things…

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
-Mahatma Gandhi

Thank you to everyone who showed their love by replying to last week’s message!

Your feedback and responses have been incredible, AND I am so looking forward to having coffee with you and will reach out to everyone else by the end of this week to schedule a time for us to meet.

I’m glad last week’s emails resonated with so many people!

I am a man in love. I’m in love with many things, and a few people. And I’m also in love with learning – it’s what makes my ‘business-me’ work well.

I’m drinking a Starbucks “Clover Pressed” Panama Carmen Estate Reserve Blend at our local Starbucks shop (I find that I sometimes work better here than at home or the office, it helps me to pause and people watch). What’s in your cup?

I asked in last week’s message, “How are you feeling about your year so far?” I am feeling pretty good about my year… the summer is here, which in my book has always meant that the workload scales back a notch or two and Kathy and I get outdoors more than ever, and all of the meet and greet family and friend events are starting, of which I try to not miss any.

Lately, I’m learning from people who push beyond average. The time for average is over. I am learning from people who live simply but with impact. I’m learning how clarity and the value of integrating your life around the alignment of your mission, your goals, and the targets related to those two points matters a lot more than which social network you use.

We are wasting so much energy in turbulence instead of in forward motion. We are drowning ourselves in distraction (Trump, Russia, impeachment, etc.) and are avoiding facing the work that we must do. We’re still chasing the shiny and new when what we need most are the basics. We are seeking every possible opportunity to lie to ourselves, coddle ourselves, or make excuses.

There are plenty of employees and passive people roaming the planet that are just waiting for “the man” to ruin their lives more so that they will have something new to complain about. But you’re an owner/entrepreneur. Even if you’re an ‘employeepreneur,’ your belief is that you own your choices affect your own your life, and you aim to own your future.

We strive to build our capabilities through learning and executing on that knowledge so that we can be of better service to the people we have the opportunity to serve.

What’s right for you? Even if you’re not sure, I know this: learning is a part of the menu, and it must be. Every day.

Since starting down the path of helping others, I’ve learned that it’s important to be relationship-minded. I’ve learned that, like with all industries, there are good and bad examples. I’ve learned that my concept that “we are all salespeople” is absolutely true in marketing. And I have learned that many self-employed/entrepreneurs are happy to “just be,” rather than growing their knowledge or brand.

Right now I am reading two books, my summer enjoyment reading is Winter of the World by Ken Follet and to stay sharp and continue learning, Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount.

That’s all I have for today. I’m finding myself drawn to people seeking the next level. Those who are making excuses or who feel they’ve already figured it all out aren’t that interesting to me. I’m sure they’re nice people, but I’ve only got 50 years left on this planet (if I’m very lucky) and I’d rather spend it with people who care.

And thus, I end where I began – What you learn matters. Do you agree?

What are you learning?


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Tips for Buying Your First Condo

Condominiums are one of the best-kept secrets of the real estate world. When looking for a new home, some people still only consider buying a house or renting an apartment, without realizing that purchasing a condo may be the perfect balance between the two – allowing you to have the ‘best of both worlds.’ If you’re in the market for a condo in Boston, check out these buying tips:

  • Hire a professional Real Estate Agent to help you with your search. If you need a referral, please let us know so that we can connect you to a top-notch agent in the area.
  • When you’re looking for a unit, make sure that you consider resale value. More bedrooms and bathrooms, scenic views, and better school districts are just a few of the features that will make your condo more appealing the next time you look to move.
  • Consider the amenities offered at each condominium you tour. Does the complex have a gym? Laundry facilities? Rentable event space? These are all important things to think about when making your decision.
  • Before you make a final decision, make sure that you are clear on the extra fees associated with the unit you choose. Condos often have monthly maintenance fees, and some will charge property taxes separately.

Once you’ve found your perfect Boston condominium, make sure that you call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency at 617-298-0655 to get a quote on Condo Insurance. This policy is tailored specifically for the needs of a condo owner, and will cover your personal belongings, your unit, and anything else not covered in your association’s master policy. For more information, or if you have any questions, simply call our office and speak to an agent!

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The ‘ABC’s of Boating Safety

Summer is finally here, and that can only mean one thing – it’s the perfect time to take your boat out and enjoy the water. So, grab a friend or family member and hit the deck! But first, make sure that you brush up on your boating safety with these quick ‘ABC’s of Boating Safety:

  • A – Avoid Alcohol: It is important that the person operating the boat is not impaired. Leave your alcohol ashore, especially since the effects of alcohol are exaggerated by sun exposure.
  • B – Be Prepared: You should always do two things to prepare for a boating trip in case of an emergency – make sure that someone on land knows your plans, and communicate your emergency plan to everyone on board.
  • C – Common Sense is Key: When you’re boating, make sure that you listen to your gut instincts. Don’t overload the boat with passengers (or gear), cut your trip short if you start to sense that a storm is brewing, and always carry the right safety equipment when you go out on the water.

Make sure that you share these safety tips with your friends and family as you prepare to take a trip out onto the water. And remember, if you want to talk to an insurance professional about the best way to protect your watercraft, call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency at 617-298-0655, text 617-409-0329, or email us. We can get you a quick and hassle-free quote for Massachusetts boat insurance so that you can spend less time on the phone and more time out on the water!

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