January 2018 newsletter

January 2018
From everyone at Vargas & Vargas Insurance, I would like to wish you and your family a Happy and safe New Year!With a new year come new resolutions! As you say “goodbye” to 2017 and “hello” to 2018, As you may know from reading my Monday Morning Messages, I think that new years resolutions may be a waste of time.

Click here learn more about my Monday Morning Message.

But what do we do to ensure that the new year is better than this past year?

Click here to read our blog on how to forget New Year resolutions and make 2018 your best year ever!

One of my all-time favorite traditions is to make breakfast on New Year’s day and invite our sons and their wives over for breakfast. If you are looking for some ideas on what to cook for breakfast, Click here check out the latest “Get Fresh” cooking show below.

There are lots of great things to do in and around the Boston area this month, please find some fun family things to do below.

 

Questions Asked when Buying Auto Insurance
https://www.vargasinsurance.com/blog/guide-starting-a-small-business-in-massachusetts/
Bridging the Gap Between Captive and Independent Insurance Agents

Don’t Make These Mistakes When Setting a Budget

Ensure that Your Jewelry is Covered

Upcoming Community Events

New Year’s jokes
January 1, 2018
Hear 50 comedians tell their brand-
new jokes during each half of 100 First Jokes at ImprovBoston.

Family Film Festival
January 12 – 15, 2018
multiple locations
Belmont World Film: Family Festival shows a variety
of entertaining films from around the world (subtitled if foreign).

MLK gospel concert
January 13, 2018
The Harlem Gospel Choir makes a Joyful Noise with music and dance to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge.

MLK breakfast in Framingham
January 15, 2018
The annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast features a keynote speaker and a singer at the Verve Crown Plaza Hotel in Natick.

Taste of East Boston
January 25, 2018 (6 to 9 p.m.)
Taste of Eastie includes samples from 30 local restaurants, entertainment, a cash bar, and free parking at Hilton Boston Logan Airport.

Home show
January 26 – 28, 2018
See home improvement products, services,
and demos at Suburban Boston Spring Home Show in Hanover. Repeats in Sept.

Chocolate Festival
January 27, 2018
Arrive on the early side to sample chocolate from
10 businesses at the Chocolate Festival at 27 Brattle Street in Cambridge. Free.

Beer tasting
January 28, 2018
Sample beer and cider at Craft Beer Winter Fest,
which draws a young crowd at the Cyclorama. Bring age 21 ID.

 

Birding festival
January 27, 2018
Superbowl of Birding is a competition to find the most species of birds, with categories for families and kids at Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center. The registration fee includes the pizza party afterwards.

Get Fresh – Episode #23 of Stoughton’s own cooking show (featuring breakfast recipes – Ricotta Pancakes; Louise’s Pancake; and Olive Oil Fried Eggs with Yogurt and Lemon). Interested in seeing some other breakfast recipes? Check out our show with ideas for brunch:
Fall is almost here, now may be the best time to finish YOUR to-do list!
Let us match you with one
of our trusted professionals!

Testimonials

  • Sheri K

The best customer service around!  Emailed at question late on a Monday night and got a prompt reply that evening.  No complaints here!  They have always been quick to reply and helpful.  I use them for both my auto and homeowners insurance.

 

Carlos

Carlos F. Vargas
Bus: 617-298-0655
Fax: 617-298-8355
Text: 617-409-0329  

Email Me | Visit Me Online

PPS, What I learned today, “The science of itching” Click here 

Vargas and Vargas Blog’s Best of 2017

Here at Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency, we want to make sure that you’re always informed – that’s why we update this blog several times a week with new and interesting information! There have been lots of fun and educational posts on this blog, and here are just a few examples – one from each month of 2017. Which was your favorite, and what subjects would you like to learn more about?

Have you enjoyed our blogs in 2017? We would love to hear your suggestions to make 2018 our best year yet! If you have any ideas for improving our website or blog, don’t be shy – let us know! And remember, Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency is always here to help with all of your Massachusetts insurance needs. Call 617-298-0655 to get started on an insurance quote or insurance review now.

New Cars Causing an Increase in Distracted Driving

Cars used to be a tool that would get you from one place to another. Now a car is so much more than a mode of transportation. In fact, a majority of new cars come with an ‘infotainment’ system standard – a far cry from the AM/FM radio and CD player that most drivers were excited about just a decade ago. While they may seem like an upgrade, the features available in new cars are causing an alarming increase in the number of distracted drivers on the road.

In a 2017 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, researchers evaluated the infotainment systems in 30 model-year 2017 vehicles. Of these 30 vehicles, all generated at least moderate demand for drivers’ attention. In fact, 12 of the 30 systems generated a very high level of distraction.

It was found that the most distracting activity performed on the car’s infotainment systems was programming navigation, which takes an average of forty seconds to complete. In the time necessary to complete this task, a car moving at 25 mph would travel the length of four football fields!

Thankfully, there are steps that you can make to ensure that you (and the other drivers in your life) are safe despite all the bells and whistles in your new cars. Simply ensure that you program navigation when the car is not in motion, and that texting and social media are also disabled while the car is moving, in accordance with the voluntary guidelines proposed in 2012 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Don’t forget that Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency is here to help with your car insurance needs. Whether you have a cassette player or a new-fangled ‘infotainment’ system, we can get your vehicle protected with the best Massachusetts auto insurance. Just call us at 617-298-0655.

Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet!

It’s that time of year once again. Reflection and goal setting are a common occurrence when it comes time to start a new year. Make sure that you kick off 2018 in style, and make it your best year ever by using some (or all!) of the following tips:

  • Try New Things – You have to use muscles in order to build them. This is also true about yourself! Build yourself up as a person by pushing boundaries and stepping outside of your comfort zone.
  • Expand Your Network – Everyone can name a few people in their life who lift them up and make them feel great. Make an effort to expand your list, and to make yourself a part of other people’s lists!
  • Create – There’s little as satisfying as making something with your own hands. Stretch your creativity by cooking, painting, knitting – anything that will let you feel a sense of accomplishment at making something yourself.
  • Build (or Break) Habits – New Year’s Resolutions are common, but you need to make sure that you set these goals in a way that will make you more likely to follow through.
  • Celebrate More – Life is short, so make sure that you appreciate the small things that make you happy. Treat yourself once in a while, and show love to others often.

2017 was a great year here at Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency, but we’re going to need your help to top it in 2018. Help us have another great year by continuing to trust our agents with your Massachusetts insurance policies. And if you or a loved one ever needs a free and honest insurance review, just call 617-298-0655.

How Should I Insure My Motor Home?

There are a number of factors to consider before finally settling on a motorhome insurance policy, and Vargas & Vargas Insurance wants you to have all the facts. If you live in Dorchester, MA, see what you can do to get the right amount of coverage. 

Consider Your Habits 

Some people purchase their motorhome as means to get away for a weekend or two out of every month, while other people want to live in it for nine months out of the year. If you’re planning on taking beat-up fishing equipment with you to the lake every now and again, you don’t necessarily need to buy a comprehensive policy. However, if you’re planning to load up your motorhome with plenty of expensive clothes, tools, or jewelry, then you’ll need to consider the limits on your policy before you take it for a spin. 

The Places You’ll Go 

Your insurance is based on what you do with your RV while you have it. If you plan to take it to treacherous areas, you’ll need to have some precautions set up against all the natural disasters that might occur. There’s also all the man-made disasters that can occur too. From a curvy mountain road to a precariously dangling tree branch to a hungry criminal, you’ll want to be as open and honest about what you’ll do so that you know you’re getting the right policy. You’ll be glad that you took this extra step if you have to make a claim later on.

If you have questions about how motorhome insurance works, call Vargas & Vargas Insurance. It’s our job to serve the people of Dorchester, MA, so everyone gets a motorhome policy that works. Let us take the reins to find you the best policy!

What’s on Your “Must Have” Insurance List?

It’s the season of giving, but winter also seems to be the season of list-making! Just like your tots are probably putting the finishing touches on their Christmas “Wish List,” and you’re letting the ink dry on your list of goals and plans to make 2018 the Best Year Ever (stay tuned for our blog post Monday!) we’ve compiled a list of all of the insurance policies that everyone should have as a part of their portfolio. The protection offered by these policies is something you can’t afford to miss!

Home Insurance, Condo Insurance, or Renters Insurance – Protect the place that you live. Depending on whether you own or rent, your insurance may cover your property and your possessions. Ask for extra protection if you have valuables to cover. In addition, some liability protection may be included.

Auto Insurance – It’s almost impossible to be without a car in this day and age. That’s why everyone needs a reliable car insurance policy. It will cover you and your vehicle if and when you get into an accident.

Health Insurance and Life Insurance – If you get sick, your focus should be on recovery – not on medical bills. Health insurance will alleviate the stress of expensive treatments. And with a Massachusetts life insurance policy, you can make sure that your family is taken care of if you pass unexpectedly.

Start 2018 off on the right foot with a free insurance review from a Vargas and Vargas Insurance professional. Our agents can ensure that your policies have you completely covered with the proper protection for yourself and your loved ones. Start the process with one simple call to our agency at 617-298-0655.

An Easy Guide to Healthy Holiday Eating

In the winter, a lot of activities and gatherings center around a delicious (and calorie-filled) meal. If you’re looking to make it through the rest of the year without padding your waistline, we have a few simple tips for you!

Practice portion control: It’s easy to mindlessly nibble all winter long, but the calories just aren’t worth it. When you’re ready to eat, make yourself a small plate, and wait a while before you think about going for seconds.

Enjoy your treats: Sure, desserts are delicious – but you don’t have to eat a lot to enjoy yourself. Have one small piece of the things that look good and enjoy them without going overboard.

Be more active: Ok, this one isn’t an eating tip, but you won’t have to feel as guilty about holiday calories if you burn a few extra taking a walk or having a snowball fight!

At the end of the day, you have to remember that it’s all about calories. You can have a little bit of just about anything – but moderation is key. So, feel free to have a cookie or two (but not a whole plateful), and opt for the smaller mug of cocoa with a few marshmallows.

And when the celebrating is over, and the holidays have passed, remember to catch up with your favorite Vargas and Vargas Insurance agent for your annual insurance review. One quick call to 617-298-0655 will help ensure that you’re ready to take on 2018!

Three Things Dog Owners Should Know About Home Insurance

Did you know that approximately 68% of US households own at least one pet? Here at Vargas and Vargas Insurance, we love our furry friends, and our clients love them too! We want to help all of our dog-loving customers with these three facts that all dog owners should know about their Massachusetts home insurance policy:

  • Breed (Sometimes) Matters: Some insurance providers will make the decision on whether to offer you home insurance based on the breed of your dog. They may also set your premium based on the breed. Each provider is different, so check with your insurance agent to find out if your breed is on any ‘restricted’ lists.
  • Be Proactive: Insurance providers love to offer discounts for being proactive. This is true for auto and home insurance, and can even be true for you and your dogs! Insurance providers often see dogs as a liability risk, but some will provide a discount if you can prove that your canine is well-behaved. Ask your home insurance agent to find out which insurance providers offer this discount, and which courses are required. One great example of this certification is the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen program.
  • Your Insurance Agent Can Help: Here at Vargas and Vargas Insurance, we have lots of experience finding home insurance for pet owners. Speak with one of our agents to find out which insurance provider will provide you with the right coverage.

If you have a dog, or are in the market for a furry friend, call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency for help with your Massachusetts home insurance policy. We will help you shop around for the best insurance provider for your family, including your fur babies.

Forget the New Year Resolutions and Set SMART Goals

Is this crazy or what? December has completely snuck up on us. Did you know that there are only 6 “work days” left between now and December 22nd when things will shut down for the holidays? While December is a month of celebration and cheer, it’s also the time to get planning for a successful 2017.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “What you don’t measure you don’t improve”?

I started this writing last week thinking that I would be writing to you about New Year resolutions, but the more that I dug through my past resolutions, I found that I have never succeeded with almost any of them. Some of my past resolutions have been; lose weight, become more physically active, be a better life partner (I hope that I have made some headway with this one), be a better parent, be a better person, prospect for more of this or that kind of insurance lines of business, etc.. This quote became so poignant when I read it.

Don’t get me wrong; I think that New year Resolutions may be worth making for some, but, perhaps they are a guideline for us to follow, rather than an exact recipe that will place more pressure on our already overburdened lives.

It’s certainly true in business, sports, and science, but what about in life? How do you measure progress in your life? With work or business, we could use our income. But what about our health, relationships, or intellectual growth?

So, are You ready for 2018?

Will 2018 be your best year yet?

What are you doing to make 2018 your best year yet?

I will be truthful with you, I failed a lot in 2017, but also had many successes. I have learned from those failures, and hope to harp on the achievements.

Do you know the feeling; I mean the failure feeling?

Don’t use the “failure feeling” to rekindle those strong negative emotions (it’s not easy, especially if they were severe). Instead, I hope that you learn from your failures as I do.

Like many people, I sometimes struggle to stay focused on my goals. Week in and week out, there is always a “new way of doing things” or a “new shiny whistle” that tries to take my attention away from what is important.

While planning and goal setting is vital in the business world, I hope that you don’t forget that it is just as important to establish goals for your personal life. Don’t forget that without our health and our relationships, many of our lives would be meaningless!

Setting and achieving your goals may be difficult, but there is help available. Here are few of my recommendations:

Here’s what Michael Hyatt says about goal setting:

Make them “SMART.” This is an acronym, as you probably know, and it is interpreted in various ways by different teachers. When I refer to SMART goals, I mean goals that meet five criteria. They must be:

  • Specific—your goals must identify exactly what you want to accomplish in as much specificity as you can muster.
    • Bad: Write a book.
    • Good: Write a book proposal for The Life Plan Manifesto.
  • Measurable—as the old adage says, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” If possible, try to quantify the result. You want to know absolutely, positively whether or not you hit the goal.
    • Bad: “Earn more this year than last.”
    • Good: “Earn $5,000 more this year than last.”
  • Actionable—every goal should start with an action verb (e.g., “quit,” “run,” “finish,” “eliminate,” etc.) rather than a to-be verb (e.g., “am,” “be,” “have,” etc.)
    • Bad: Be more consistent in blogging.
    • Good: Write two blog posts per week.
  • Realistic—you have to be careful here. A real goal should stretch you, but you have to add a dose of common sense. I go right up to the edge of my comfort zone and then step over it. (If I am not out of my comfort zone, I’m not thinking big enough.)
    • Bad: Qualify for the PGA Tour.
    • Good: Lower my golf handicap by four strokes.
  • Time-bound—every goal needs a date associated with it. When do you plan to deliver on that goal? It could be by year-end (December 31), or it could be more near-term (September 30). A goal without a date is just a dream. Make sure that every goal ends with a ‘by when’ date.
    • Bad: Lose 20 pounds.
    • Good: Lose 20 pounds by December 31st.

Once you have SMART goals for your professional and personal life, make sure to Write them down and place them in a visible location, like on your desk or the refrigerator (I have my goals taped to the wall in my closet).

Click here for more information on Michael Hyatt’s goal setting techniques.

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
-Helen Keller

I hope that you have a happy, prosperous and safe new year!

Carlos