A Residence in the Sun

At the end of your life, you will find yourself wondering about where to spend the last of your days in comfort. You may have spent your whole life working, or you may have spent it doing what you love. Indeed, residential real estate is a topic that features so much on people approaching their retirement years.

But chances are you now have wealth and are looking forward to spending some leisure time before you are too old to have fun. There are many places in the world to do this but only one area is known for being the perfect spot for retirement, and that’s Florida.

In the sunshine state, you will find countless places to stay as you look for your residence in the sun. Nonetheless, you will find yourself inescapably buried in less than high-end options.

Retirement homes and poor construction abound in the area as the influx of the less discerning buyers needs to be filled. For you, however, as a person of class, there are better options. Places made with only the best in life in mind and from materials that are as tasteful as they are exquisite.

Indeed as buyers of high-end tastes do exist and grow in number every day, it is expected that there would be housing to accommodate them as well. Within these palatial abodes, several luxuries are anticipated and provided for amply.

Things such as glorious oceanfront views and marble flooring, as well as the latest in smart home technology are just some of the glorious things awaiting you here. While some will claim to have these features in spades only three residences in Florida will genuinely meet all expectations of those interested in the tasteful luxury real estate of the area.

Icon Brickell

Set at the edge of the Miami River and located within 30 minutes of the city’s famed business district this modern architectural marvel is a treat for both the retired looking for a luxury condo and for buyers of means who want a beautiful spot to retreat to. It has gorgeous flowing interiors designed by noted artist Philippe Starck and a downstairs coffee shop noted for its excellent brews that can be enjoyed while gazing from the shop’s panoramic window.

For intellectual stimulation, there is included within the building a chess room, where the interior as much as the game enhances the mind and adds an aura of intelligence. If parlor games are more your style though, don’t worry as the Icon Brickell also has a billiards room for non-stop fun and games. Don’t think you’ll be spending all your time inside though; the Brickell also includes a beautiful park terrace for outdoor recreation in the Miami sun.

Muse Residences

For those with more of an intrinsic luxury in mind, there is the option of Muse, a Miami located condo complex that focuses on material and construction value over that of communal areas. Every suite at Muse has a few essential traits that mark them as one of the most lavish places to live in the entirety of the United States. These include 12 foot high ceilings, ocean and coastal views in every room, terraces that come complete with summer kitchens, and biometric security in private elevators to name a few.

To make the Suites even more attractive, they have been thoroughly furnished with items selected by superstar designers Antrobus and Ramirez and bespoke cabinetry made by Helidon Xhixha. If these names are not enough to please you, the bathrooms also feature fixtures manufactured by the Dornbracht and Duravit companies.

Auberge Beach Residences

Unlike the previously mentioned two options this particular residence in the sun is found in the city of Fort Lauderdale, this does not make it any less luxurious, however. Built along only the most beautiful beachfront available Auberge beach resorts is more than a competitor to Muse and Icon Brickell with its superb design features and high-class feel.

The amenities of the resort are as various as they are luxurious. Multiple cabana lined swimming pools, and a fully staffed world-class spa are just a few of which to speak of. A concierge service is found at all hours to attend to your every need and while living at Auberge the resident of a more distinguished may want to try out the wine cellar and world-class dining selections available.

When you are looking for where to spend your retirement in the golden sun, it is an undisputed fact that you must look no further than the sunshine state. It is there that you will find these three exceptional residences along the ocean. Indeed in them, you will find a place to call your palace honestly.

Pursuing a Career in the Catering Industry

Catering is an extremely appealing career option, so it’s not all too surprising that you’re here reading this piece on pursuing a role within the sector! The good news is that wherever there are people, there’s almost always going to be demand for dining and drinking out. After all, this is an area where we love to spend our cash! Not only do we need food and drink to survive, but establishments specialising in it give us somewhere to experience cuisine and dishes that we may not be able to craft or perfect ourselves at the same time as offering up a social spot where you can catch up with friends and family outside of the home. So, it’s time to find your role in this constantly flourishing area! Here’s everything you need to know.

Choosing an Area of Specialism

First things first, you need to settle on an area of specialism. This is by no means fixed, and there is always room for progression, but when you first head into the job market, it’s best to have a relatively good idea of what you want to do and where you want to do it. There are three major areas of work when it comes to catering: the accommodation sector, the food and drink industry, and food catering. Accommodation covers workplaces such as hotels and bed and breakfast establishments. The drink sector covers bars, pubs, cafes, tea houses and clubs. The last sector, food catering, is the most sprawling and expansive. If you head into catering, there’s a good chance that this is your best bet for getting work. It covers restaurants and various other eateries such as takeaways. As you can imagine, all of these sectors offer various roles. You may be working in the kitchens as a chef, porter, or pot wash. Perhaps you’ll be front of the house, serving as waiting staff or service assistants. While choosing a specialism may be difficult, it’s essential, as the roles of each individual in each different place will vary greatly and you’ll have to craft entirely different CVs for each position

Health and Safety

No matter where you work in the catering industry, you’re likely to have to follow strict health and safety regulations. Why? Well, to put things simply, you’re going to be dealing with other people and members of the general public on a daily basis, and you’re going to have to take on a certain level of responsibility for them. Sure, there’s going to be health and safety to take into account when it comes to food preparation. This is extremely serious and not to be taken lightly. When you are dealing with products that people are consuming, you have to take all precautions possible to ensure that what you offer them doesn’t cause them harm. You should find out if you need a food handler certification. In some states this an absolute essential, in others it is optional. However, either way, it is recommended. It will cover all sorts of ground, including good hygiene practices, prevention of contamination, prevention of cross-contamination, cooking times and food storage temperatures, and a thorough knowledge of what causes foodborne diseases, how to prevent these outbreaks, and how best to deal with them should they arise. Beyond food-based health and safety, you will also have to be aware of other forms of health and safety, such as how to deal with slips and trips in the workplace (when suffered by yourself, colleagues, or customers), how to deal with and store equipment and cleaning products, and other basic safety protocol.

Training

Once you’ve got the health and safety basics out of the way, you’re generally good to go! There are courses out there that help you to train in very specific sectors such as cooking fine food, crafting desserts, or producing the perfect cup of coffee. However, most positions will offer on the job training where you learn as you go along. It’s important that you are still committed to this though. You need to take everything seriously in order to progress as your employer will expect you to. Remember that the better your performance, the more likely you are to receive tips or promotions in catering. This is a sector where it can be relatively easy to make your way up the career ladder, so invest your full effort from the start, and you will go far. Never be afraid to ask questions if you feel lost or unsure of something you’re doing. Your senior colleagues are there to help!

Be Flexible

Nowadays, staff do tend to be expected to show flexibility in their roles. So be prepared to take on aspects of other roles should you need to. Every role is equally important and should someone not be able to work, other members of staff are generally expected to pull together to cover their responsibilities and tasks until their return. While you may not be given specific training in others’ job roles, you can always pick up tips and tricks by simply becoming familiar with exactly what it is that your colleagues do on a day to day basis and keeping an eye on how they go about things. You can then mimic their behaviour and habits should you need to carry out any of their work. This shows commitment to your establishment and highlights you as a particularly valuable member of staff.
While positions in catering are always there and carried out by a wide variety of individuals, it’s important that you don’t underestimate the work that will be involved in jumping into this industry. Remember that at times you may have to deal with difficult customers, difficult colleagues, and difficult situations. But at the end of the day, your hard work will pay off, and this can prove to be a viable and profitable career path. So, start looking for positions, applying for roles, and honing your craft. It won’t be all too long until you get your foot in the door of the industry!

Finding the Drive – 6 Steps Toward Perfecting the Car-Buying Process

As anyone who has ever purchased a lemon can tell you, the process of car buying can be like dating – for long term happiness, choices should be more than a whim based on an attractive body shape…

With that in mind, we have honed down the most important factors which go into buying the perfect vehicle for your now and for your future.

Finance freedom 

The cost of financing through a car yard can be notoriously expensive.  This is in part due to the fact that many people haven’t prepared their finance in advance. Finding yourself at the mercy of onsite finance people looking to profit from impulsive buyers, can be costly.

Sorting your loan through an independent finance company like Latitude Financial can save you a substantial chunk of money over the life of the loan.  Car finance from Latitude also gives you flexibility to tailor a payment plan to suit your budget and lifestyle.

If purchasing new, beware of ‘upselling’ of aftermarket products such as window tinting and rust proofing.  Sales people can often pressure you into purchasing things you don’t need, at an inflated cost.

Lifestyle logic

If you are thinking of starting a family or already have a gaggle of children, then a little sports car may not be for you.  Similarly, if the family has grown and gone, this may be the time to buy that convertible you have always longed for.

Consider the needs of your family both now and in the future.  Some pertinent questions which may need asking are:

  • Will this car fulfil my needs in five years time?
  • How will it fit in my garage or carport?
  • Will it be easy to park?
  • Will it hold its resale value?
  • What / who do I need to transport on a regular basis?

Turning green

With the rising cost of petrol, the shift to Hybrid and electric vehicles has finally taken hold in the mainstream market.  Lowered running costs in the long term as well as dropping price tags and an increase in  charging points, is driving the move away from petrol cars.

As these technologies become more refined and buyers move away from fossil fuels, it may be worth purchasing an environmentally responsible vehicle, to futureproof your investment.

Reading, research and recommendations 

Anyone who has been stung by costly car servicing will tell you that researching to find the best warranties and servicing offers can be a true money saving experience.  Capped price servicing and extended warranties or free servicing for the first five years, are offers which are commonly available through some car manufacturers.

It pays to be aware that many European brands will cost upwards of a thousand dollars for a standard service.  If something does go wrong with them you can expect the cost of parts and labour to be astronomical – even on simple items.

The best place to find unbiased advice on a particular model is to ask someone who already owns one.  They can give you a clear understanding of the maintenance and ongoing costs of running a vehicle along with any issues or drawbacks they may have encountered.

Test and compare

If purchasing a secondhand vehicle, take along a knowledgeable and trustworthy friend or car buying consultant and ask plenty of questions.  Check for:

  • oil leaks
  • ‘Clunking’ when the steering wheel is on tight lock
  • Engine temperature running hot – this may indicate a cracked head (an expensive fix!)
  • Signs of body repairs – if the car has been in a major accident it can cause a multitude of issues
  • Signs of rust
  • Excessive mileage (kilometres)

A car history report can be accessed through VicRoads or similar agencies.  It will provide details regarding the car including whether it has ever been ‘written off’ due to an accident or identify whether it has been stolen.

Fine print

Before signing on the dotted line – read what you are signing.  If a used car dealer or seller is offering a warranty or parts insurance, ensure you understand exactly what these cover.  Often warranties and insurances sold through dealers offer limited protection.

Through a little preparation and research you can ensure that your car buying experience is both positive and fruitful.  To get the best value from a car, it is advisable to own it for 4+ years.  Making the right vehicle choice means your new car should remain a viable and profitable purchase for years to come.