9 reasons why Entrepreneurs should hire an accountant

Here are nine reasons why all business visionaries ought to work with a bookkeeper.

1. Concentrate on why you began your business. Business visionaries are energetic, and the greater part of little Canadian entrepreneurs reviewed went from business thought to opening in under six months. With such quick development, entrepreneurs can’t bear to get impeded with errands that don’t help you keep on growing. Bookkeepers can go up against the hard work of a wide range of parts of your business.

2. Look for some kind of employment life adjust. Notwithstanding how new or built up a business is, proprietors no matter how you look at it battle with finding the correct harmony amongst work and having an existence. Truth be told, keeping up an adjust was the top test for new businesses. Bookkeepers can go up against the assignments you are not exactly excited about taking care of, and free you up to offer, showcase and develop amid the day, and perhaps take your child to soccer hone around evening time.

3. An expert notoriety. A decent bookkeeper will speak to you and your organization in the most ideal way. This is especially vital as new organizations endeavor to construct solid associations with key players in their prosperity, for example, the bank.

4. It’s indispensable to an organization’s prosperity. As reported by the Sage study, more settled entrepreneurs report working with a bookkeeper, concurring that working with a bookkeeper is a basic component in achievement.

5. Another point of view. Customarily business visionaries are so included running the everyday operations of their business that they will most likely be unable to see the entire picture. Somebody who is expelled from the business can give an alternate point of view that may some way or another be missed. Meeting with a bookkeeper can resemble making a stride back, taking a gander at the master plan and picking up a crisp, new viewpoint. At times that is all it brings to concoct the following enormous thought.

6. They have reach. Try not to think little of that it is so profitable to get direction from somebody who has understanding and learning crosswise over many organizations and businesses. Bookkeepers not just get the opportunity to see the budgetary data of numerous organizations over an assortment of enterprises, yet they likewise have perceivability into best practices that are working for different organizations and the errors others have made that have prompted to disappointment. Having the capacity to have this knowledge and share data on what has or hasn’t worked for others is significant – why rehash the wheel in the event that you don’t need to?

7. Organizations require an arrangement. One reason a huge number of organizations bomb each year is on account of they didn’t have an arrangement. At the point when inquired as to why, they said, “I simply didn’t know where to begin.” This is the place a bookkeeper comes in. A decent bookkeeper will collaborate with a business to take a gander at all the information and assemble a guide to achievement. Lack of foresight isn’t vital, and bringing an expert on board can help independent ventures get ready for achievement.

8. They comprehend charge. This may appear glaringly evident, yet remember that guidelines and controls change much of the time, and it’s intense if not unthinkable for any entrepreneur to stay aware of everything. Twenty-nine for every penny of Canadian independent venture proprietors conceded that bookkeeping and accounting is one of their greatest difficulties. A bookkeeping expert can take away your vulnerability and guarantee your business remains consistent.

9. Dissect information for development and gainfulness openings. On the off chance that the majority of your information is recently sitting in a database and you’re not deciphering, investigating or utilizing it to drive your business bearing and choices, you’re passing up a great opportunity for an awesome open door. Have a bookkeeper help you jump into the numbers and utilize them to impel more noteworthy business development and gainfulness later on. An awesome approach to do this is through online joint effort in a private venture bookkeeping arrangement where bookkeepers have perceivability into customers’ budgetary information continuously.

Could your startup make due without the help of an outside bookkeeper? Perhaps, yet the additional knowledge, direction, and mastery a bookkeeper offers can be the impetus that makes your business flourish.

Are There Any Comfortable Sofa Beds?

When you are planning to buy new furniture to replace the one, then you should start by your needs. Furniture is available everywhere, and you can choose from thousands of showrooms that can meet your furniture requirements.

Time has passed and many trends which lasted for years are gone now. The conditions and modern trend are now Bed Sofa. It might sound very funny or amusing for many people to have a Bed Sofa in their living room than a regular sofa.


There are plenty of reasons why you should buy the Bed Sofa than a regular sofa. Today we will cover sofa which can be used as a bed as well. These sofas do come at a high price, and the quality is unbeatable.

Are There Comfortable Sofa Beds?

There are many brands are working on producing sofa which can also use as a bed in your living room. The modern trend has been efficience few years and many people are using it. In next five years, it is expected that whole market will be filled with these sofas.


Supersoft Sofa Bed in Black Colour by Furny

How many of you are there who like a trend and stylish sleeper sofas in your living room? The numbers are huge indeed. Furny has worked hard so that they can produce this sofa bed for the users. The price tag of the product is around Rs.24,000, and you can buy this in your nearby store or online portals.

Gaiety Luxurious Sofa cum Bed in Black Colour by Furny

If you are ready to invest a little around Rs.25,000 on the sofa bed, then Furny has one more product which has produced from Leather. The legs of the product made from Metal, and you get three leather matching color pillows to increase comfort and style. You can get this from the local store or online portal as well.

Flora Slider Sofa cum Bed in Brown Colour by Auspicious

Auspicious is one of a major brand, who are known to produce the quality of furniture for the users. This time the company a sofa bed for you, which has been built from Leather and the wood finishing gives it a luxury look. If you are willing to spend Rs.24,000, then you should give it a try.

Supersoft Sofa Bed in Light Grey Colour by Furny

Comfort is not compared when you have a sofa bed, which can beat almost any sofa bed. One look at this beauty will make you feel to sleep even when your body doesn’t want to sleep. Furny has super soft sofa bed comes with fantastic bed sofa, and it has pillows of the same quality to match the quality of sofa. The product comes with the price tag of Rs.25,000.


Nothing is more important than relaxation even when you are watching a movie. Bed sofas are very useful when you are going to spend more time while sitting, it is ideal for those who work at their homes. The prices are unbeatable because of the quality and durability.

Video Tutorial :-

Chlorophyll: How It Cleanses, Purifies and Heals Your Body

Chlorophyll benefits the body in a number of distinct and unique ways. It is known to be a green element that helps to cleanse the body of harmful toxins. It is also an active agent that the body uses to fight infection. A regular and recommended intake of chlorophyll keeps the circulatory and digestive systems much healthier. To further assert its significance, chlorophyll is included in many of the natural nutritional supplements because of its benefits to the body. Keep reading to discover how chlorophyll cleanses, purifies, and heals most areas of the body.

There are many different elements that can be used to protect the human body. Chlorophyll is one of those elements that are used to help heal as well as support the different systems of the human body.

It is only natural that you would want to protect your body from any harm and ensure that you do all the right things to keep it fit. It is in fact, not very different in plants as well. Similar to the way that hemoglobin is the fundamental component that helps us stay fit and healthy, chlorophyll is the fundamental component in plants that ensures that they are in the prime health and are also the source of food and energy for them. There are benefits of using chlorophyll in humans as well.

Additionally, chlorophyll cleanses, purifies, and heals most areas of the body. It helps regulate the level of blood sugar in the body which by itself has a tremendous effect on the rest of the body. When the blood sugar is successfully controlled and regulated, you can lose and maintain body weight, and prevent the development of commonly related problems such as high blood pressure. As if its medicinal properties were not adequate enough, chlorophyll is very high in a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and nutrients which ensure that it is nutritionally sound as well. It helps control and keeps in check the calcium levels in the blood for instance, which is extremely useful for women.

Furthermore, chlorophyll also helps in improving the immune system of your body by enhancing the bone marrow, which serves as the site of origin for the cells of the immune system. It helps play an active role in detoxifying the body and is often thought to be responsible for an increase in the red blood cell count which carries oxygen to all parts of the body.

Finally, chlorophyll helps in accelerating the body tissue and cell re-growth, which allows the body to heal faster. This consequently makes it very useful in salves and poultices, and it’s a very good to use as a gargle for tonsils or other known throat problems. Chlorophyll is known to be very good for the vascular system and cleanses the liver of heavy metals and chemical toxins, improving the health of intestines, uterus and lungs. To top it all, it is even a good breath freshener and deodorizer!

Another Dangerous Side Effect of Statins: Eye Disorders

If you suffer from high blood pressure, you may have been prescribed a drug called a “statin” to help lower your blood pressure to a healthy level. However, more and more evidence is surfacing regarding the many side effects statins may have on your overall health. Here’s one more: eye disorders. If you are currently taking a statin, keep reading for more information on this potentially dangerous side effect.

What are Statins?
Statin is a collective name for a class of drugs that is used to reduce levels of cholesterol in people who suffer from cardiovascular, or heart-related, diseases. Your body produces a certain enzyme that prevents the absorption of Low Density Lipoproteins (LDLs) from the bloodstream, and this can dramatically raise the risk of cardiovascular complications in a person. Statins work by inhibiting the action of this enzyme, allowing LDL receptors to attract and bind statins and thus removing them from the bloodstream and lowering a person’s risk of developing heart conditions. The overall end result of statin use is a lowering of cholesterol levels in the blood.

While statins are effective at lowering blood cholesterol levels in patients with high risk of developing cardiovascular conditions, it is rarely recommended for treatment unless that person has first tried to lower blood cholesterol levels through diet and lifestyle changes. Some doctors may recommend that a patient first try eliminating foods that are high in fat and cholesterol from their diet, and also to incorporate regular exercise into their lifestyles. As most working adults usually neglect exercise as part of their daily lives, such a measure often works to lower blood cholesterol levels significantly.

However, other doctors may too quickly prescribe the use of statins without suggesting or turning to such lifestyle changes first.

Side Effects
Studies have shown that some patients may suffer from eye disorders related to statin use. Some of the side effects include double vision, drooping of the upper eyelid, and some loss of the full range of motion in the eyes.

Patients who suffered these symptoms, and whose data was included in a recent study were all on dosages of statin that were well within the prescribed dosage levels as recommended by the manufacturer. When use of the drug ceased, the symptoms disappeared. Researchers were unable to give even a rough estimate of the recovery time required after cessation of statin use, however, as the time required varied widely from one patient to the next.

Statins have also been known to cause skeletal muscle disorders in some patients. And, while eye disorders related to statin use are not well documented, skeletal muscle disorders have been the subject of greater study. Most scientists believe that the eye disorders are simply due to the statins having an effect on the extraocular muscles.

More extensive studies into the side effects of statins have been called for, as many doctors are alarmed by the growing incidence of side effects due to statin use. While the current known side effects are considered to be rare, there is no telling what further investigation might reveal about other potential side effects. Also, side effects relating to vision are extremely dangerous, and the last thing that any doctor would want is to have his or her patient lose their eyesight because of a cholesterol medication.

If you’re concerned about the side effects of taking statins, visit with your doctor or other healthcare provider to determine if there are alternative options to lowering your cholesterol.

What If I Make A Mistake On My Taxes?

When it comes to filling out your tax forms and filing your income tax return, the opportunity to make a mistake is virtually unlimited. With over 72,536 pages in the US Tax Code (source), it’s no wonder people make mistakes. If printed on standard copier paper on both sides, you’d have a book over 12 feet thick! It make me wonder how ANYONE can truly consider themselves a “tax expert” – there’s more information in that book than anyone can fathom, much less memorize.

With so many chances for me to make a mistake, I’m glad I use TurboTax!

How to correct tax mistakes

Should you find a mistake on your already filed tax return, never fear. You can make corrections by simply filing an “amended return.” To file an amended return, you’ll need to use Form 1040X, Amended US Individual Income Tax Return. Regardless of the original tax form you filed (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, or 1040NR-EZ), you’ll need Form 1040X to make any needed corrections.

Why would you need to amend a tax return?

You should file an amended return (Form 1040X) if you incorrectly reported:

  • Your filing status
  • Your number of dependents
  • Your total income
  • Your deductions
  • Your tax credits claimed

When NOT to file Form 1040X

  1. If you discover math errors on an already filed tax return – don’t worry – the IRS will make any corrections for you and either alter your refund or send you a tax bill.
  2. If you forgot to include forms, such as your Form W-2s or schedules – the IRS normally asks for those forms once they realize they’re missing.

What if I discover I’m owed an additional refund?

If you are filing Form 1040X because you realized you were owed an additional refund, wait until you have received your original refund before filing Form 1040X. The IRS advises taxpayers to cash the original refund check while they wait for any additional refund.

What if I discover that I owe additional tax?

If you discover that you should file Form 1040X because you owe additional tax, DO NOT WAIT! File Form 1040X and pay your taxes as soon as possible to limit any interest and/or penalties that may be charged. And remember: interest is charged on any taxes not paid by the due date of the original return, even if an extension was filed and granted.

Other Form 1040X filing tips:

Make certain to enter the year of the return you are correcting (or amending) at the top of Form 1040X. Generally, Form 1040X must be filed within three years from the date you filed your original return or within two years from the date you paid your taxes, whichever is later. If your changes demand additional schedules or tax forms, attach them to the 1040X.

The beauty of using a tax preparation software like TurboTax or H&R Block Online is that so long as the information you enter is accurate, they both guarantee that their calculations are correct and they both explicitly list what forms, information, and schedules you need to file.

It is impossible to dissect all the science surrounding this issue in three paragraphs, but the biggest issue is that few of us eat at either extreme of very low carbohydrates or very low fat. Despite the scolding some readers have sent our way, energy balance is still the fundamental issue in weight control. A typical Atkins menu provides less than 1,750 Calories per day. For most people, that is a weight loss diet.

The Cottage

Interior designer Betsy Cole transforms a Gilded-Age Maine “cottage” back to its former glory—and finds a surprising family connection

Roxanne Jones

“When I walked in the front door of this house for the first time, I felt that I’d been here my whole life,” says Betsy Cole of the southern Maine home that she and her husband, Ed, bought ten years ago.

There was a serendipitous reason for that sense of connectedness. It turns out that The Cottage—an ironic appellation for this grand, 5400-square-foot home—had belonged to one of Betsy’s relatives three generations ago.

The couple first discovered The Cottage during a summer vacation in the late 1990s. While giving visitors a driving tour of the southern Maine coast, they came upon the erstwhile York Cliffs area.

“We saw The Cottage and it was for sale,” she recalls. “It was in an acute state of disrepair, but my husband and I thought that maybe we could buy and flip it. The real estate prices in Maine were considerably less than in Connecticut, where we lived at the time,” she adds.

Betsy and Ed certainly had the credentials for a successful flip. For 17 years, she’d been a partner in a well-known interior design firm in New York City, and Ed owned a design and development company.

“But when I walked in and felt like I’d been there … and when I discovered the family connection [from the then-owner], I had to have it. I’d never acted that spontaneously in my life,” she adds, laughing. “And I’ve never regretted it for a minute.”

In the late 1800s, she explains, a consortium of affluent New Yorkers bought a few hundred acres in Cape Neddick they called York Cliffs. “Their intention was to build an exclusive coastal colony to rival Bar Harbor,” Betsy says.

The York Cliffs Improvement Company, as the consortium was known, built 13 large “cottages,” most in the then-popular shingle style. One, called Greystones, was built by Betsy’s great-great-grandfather Kinney. He also built The Cottage in 1894 for one of his sons, who was Betsy’s great-grand uncle. “My family had always  summered on the mid-Maine coast so I had an attachment to the area,” she notes. But until she walked into The Cottage, she had no idea of the extent of her family’s connection.
In the ten years since Betsy and Ed moved into The Cottage—it is their year-round residence—they have lovingly restored it to its turn-of-the-century elegance, melding period details with modern-day amenities to create a wonderfully livable home.

But it begs the question: how does someone with Betsy’s credentials, experience and, literally, a world of resources at her disposal, design a home for herself?

“It is difficult,” she admits. “You have this knowledge of the best that’s out there, but you also have a budget. And it’s not a question of what you like; I like almost everything! So it becomes a process of elimination, listening to how the house speaks to you and knowing your own needs. And working with pieces you already own.

“You start by defining your goals,” she continues. “I knew the feeling I wanted to create. I just needed to decide how to get there.”

Betsy sought to create a feeling of harmony, balance and serenity. And she decided to use color to achieve it.

“My design inclination is as a classicist,” she explains. “Part of that definition is avoiding sharp contrasts, creating a harmonic composition that’s soothing.”

That’s one reason why she didn’t use patterned wallpaper in The Cottage. “In a traditional house like this, you typically see rooms wallpapered,” she says. “But I didn’t want the disruption in flow from room to room.”

She opted for paint instead, and her color inspiration came from two sources. “I have a small but decent collection of Hudson River Valley art,” she says, pointing to an oil painting hanging in the living room as an example. “It blends with the view from the house … you see the sapphire blue of the water, the dense greens of the pines, tree trunks of varying browns. Look at the view, look at the painting—it’s a total relationship.”

The second source of inspiration was the outdoors. “To achieve harmony, what I see outside has to hold hands with what I see inside,” Betsy says. “It’s as if there are no walls, no demarcation between inside and out.

“I had to live here a while to figure it out,” she continues, referring to her color selections. “I like multi-pigment paints—they’re more complex [than saturated color]. I custom-mixed every paint color in the house.”

That took time as well (“I thought my husband was going to divorce me!” she jokes.) But her perseverance paid off. “Nine out of ten people who visit our home comment on the color,” she says. And she is happy with the results. “The green in the living room changes with the light, becoming a grayer green on cloudy days,” she comments. “And on a brilliant day, it transforms itself.”

The coppery hue on the library walls is the result of a glaze applied to grasscloth wall-covering, providing a warm counterbalance to the cool green walls in the adjacent living room.

She made some internal structural changes to the home as well. When the Coles bought The Cottage, it had been turned into a two-family residence, so some reconfiguring was necessary to make it a single-family home once again. “But we didn’t change the footprint of the house or add rooms, except for a mudroom,” Betsy says. “We just took back what was originally here.”

The renovation took years and included restoring the original wood floors, replastering the walls and rebuilding porches. Betsy and her husband lived in The Cottage while they restored it. “It was an incredibly impoverished house,” she comments. Not any more.

They transformed three separate bedrooms into an expansive master bedroom suite that includes a sitting room, bedroom, dressing room with walk-in closet, and bath. “In these old houses, every bedroom opened onto the next,” she explains of their decision to reconfigure the master suite. The new layout affords more privacy for the homeowners and their guests.

There are still three additional bedrooms on the second floor, and a space they refer to as the “camp” on the third floor—a rustic, open area with walls and sloped ceiling paneled in the home’s original triple-beadboard.

Back on the first floor, they turned an added-on kitchen back into a library, which was the space’s original purpose. It now features a built-in bar crafted by Ed (in fact, he built the cabinetry throughout the home).

Betsy points out that she uses a lot of mirrors in her interiors. “It’s not about vanity,” she says. “This is a fairly large house, but the individual rooms aren’t all that big. Mirrors extend the boundaries of a space and reflect light in a prismatic, shimmery way.”

The grounds of The Cottage have also flourished during the Coles’ tenure in the home. “There was nothing but trees when we first moved in,” she says. Her husband laid out all the gardens, and she gives credit to Monique Richard of TLC for Your Garden for bringing it all to lush fruition. “She and her all-woman crew take a totally organic approach, and the results have been simply amazing.”

Perhaps the ultimate testament to Betsy’s design prowess lies in the most frequent question she gets from first-time visitors to The Cottage. “But what did you actually do to the house?” they ask, because the home looks as if it were always the way it is today.

And while The Cottage is a decidedly elegant residence, she is quick to point out that real people live in it.

“This house is well-used, and we use it all,” she says. “My husband plays the grand piano that’s in the entry, friends sit on the sun porch and read The New York Times, we host a lot of gatherings for family and friends, and there are kids around all the time—our grandchildren have even ridden their Razor Scooters through the house.
“Nothing’s off limits,” she adds. “What’s the point?”

Sounds like The Cottage will remain in Betsy’s family for generations to come.

Cyprus bank bailout agreement is pure theft: 40% of private deposits

A brand new looting arrangement has been reached concerning Cypriot banks. It involves seizing the funds of all accounts over 100,000 euros, then stealing up to 40% of those funds sometime over the next few weeks, or whenever EU bureaucrats get around to deciding exactly how much to steal.

So instead of 10% being stolen from most accounts, as was originally proposed, the new deal is that 40% will be stolen from selected accounts, but not from accounts holding less than 100,000 euros. Why the 100,000 threshold for having your money stolen by the banking system? Because all EU bank accounts are insured up to 100,000 euros. So the banksters figured they could just steal anything over 100,000 and say, “Heh, it wasn’t insured, your loss!”

IMF chief Christine Lagarde characterized the theft as “a lasting, durable and fully financed solution.” And if that’s not enough of a solution, they can always loot more private accounts to reach a new solution!

Sure, it’s a great solution… if you’re the banksters stealing all the money from private account holders. But from the point of view of depositors, this “solution” looks a lot more like a mugging.

Entire accounts seized indefinitely

It’s actually worse than just the 40% being stolen from private accounts: all accounts over 100,000 euros are now indefinitely frozen (seized) until the banksters figure out exactly how much to steal. “Large deposits with Bank of Cyprus above the insured level will be frozen until it becomes clear whether or to what extent they will also be forced to take losses, the Eurogroup of finance ministers said in a statement.” (USA Today)

Not everybody is fooled by all the bankster happy talk, of course. As Colm McCarthy writes on the Independent.ie website:

…the eurozone countries collectively do not have an actual deposit guarantee fund in place, and the volume of deposits in many eurozone countries, not just those already in financial distress, is large relative to the fiscal capacity of the state. Bank runs by retail depositors are a serious risk, particularly in those countries whose governments lack financial credibility.

And from Mats Persson of GulfNews.com:

The Eurozone set a risky precedent when it decided to go for depositors. Images of long queues outside ATMs will have registered in other parts of the Mediterranean. If Cypriot depositors are forced to pay today, why not Spaniards tomorrow? …Events in Cyprus have shown just what a high-risk gamble the euro was… If you could design a system whereby a splinter could take down an elephant, this would be it.

No deposits are ever safe while the central banks are running things

The bottom line truth in all this is that no deposits are ever safe in any bank run by a government. Governments are inherently liars, and when it comes down to a crisis, it’s always easier to just STEAL money from depositors and call it a “tax.”

A highly respected science writer published an article in the  New York Times Sunday Magazine that discussed whether the “low fat diet means weight loss” message that has been touted for decades is wrong. Instead, the writer argues that the very-low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet promoted by Dr. Robert Atkins is the answer to weight loss.

Souths have no chance of doing anything

Indigenous All Stars coach Laurie Daley is backing Greg Inglis to fire South Sydney to their first NRL finals appearance in five years.

Daley has seen Inglis at close quarters this week on the Gold Coast as he prepares his side for Saturday’s clash with the NRL All Stars at Skilled Park.

laurie-daleyAnd the former New South Wales skipper believes the 25-year-old is in prime condition to lead the Rabbitohs to only their second top-eight spot in more than 20 years.

Inglis will make his first appearance in the show-piece fixture, now in its third year, having missed the previous two editions due to injury.

The Queensland and Australia superstar will also head into the new NRL campaign pain-free for the first time in five years and Daley warns rival clubs to be prepared for a huge season from the Rabbitohs under new coach Michael Maguire.

“Gorden Tallis told me that he’d never seen GI look in better shape than he does now,” Daley said.

“He played in the Four Nations for Australia and has come straight back into training and you can really see the difference, he looks great.”

Inglis struggled to find his form in the first half of last season and endured a nightmare against Jamal Idris in Souths’ round-two defeat by Canterbury-Bankstown.

Idris, who will line up alongside Inglis at Skilled Park on Saturday, ran all over the former Melbourne Storm star, but the centre was back to his best in the latter half of the season as Souths made a late push for the finals.

Daley believes, with Inglis fully fit and firing, Souths have the potential to cause a lot of damage.

“We saw last season when Inglis was at his best how dangerous they could be,” he said.

“They beat the Dragons and towelled up Parramatta by 50-odd points.

“Everyone knows how much talent Greg has and you’d have to say Souths have a great chance of making the finals if he stays fully fit and available.”

Daley also has high hopes for Chris Sandow, who will make his representative debut alongside his former Rabbitohs teammates Inglis and Nathan Merritt on Saturday.

Sandow linked up with Parramatta this year and Daley has no doubt he can carry his good form to the Eels.

“Chris is great to have around the place,” Daley said.

“He’s a lot of fun and keeps the place buzzing. Steve Kearney at Parramatta has been really pleased with how he’s gone in pre-season.

“He’s been impressed with his professionalism and also his fitness and how he’s worked in training.

“Chrissy is blessed with so much talent and I see no reason why Parramatta cannot go well with him as their halfback.”

Buford Balony says: Hahahaha, Souths and Inglis are no chance of doing anything again because if you look at the history of Laurie Daley’s thoughts or selections they are pathetic. When he was a selector at NSW look at some of the people he put in the team or wanted in the team. Even when commentating he has no idea and I still can’t understand why he’s still on TV. Like the old saying says, ”He may have been a great player, but that doesn’t mean he can coach”.

The American Dream

Midlife gets a new life in the city.
By Angelina Sciolla

It is obvious Jill Colton has given this tour before. She remembers to point out everything from the Brazilian slate shower to the original arched brickwork around the windows to the heirloom china. It’s also safe to say her enthusiasm about the exercise has not waned since the first walk-through of the spacious Washington Square condominium she has shared with her husband, Neil, for the past two years.

“Things get a new life when they move someplace else,” she says amid the collection of crystal, antique lamps, and modern art pieces picked up from Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art shows, galleries and adventures around the world. Clearly this tour is far more than a mere showcase of what a talented decorator can do. Jill’s narration suggests it is not just things that get a new life. People do too, particularly people who’ve lived a good deal already.

Jill and Neil Colton represent an ongoing trend that continues to gain momentum among baby boomers—those midlife-leaning-toward-retirement-age people who are not “maturing” in the same way their parents had. In the spirit of reinvention, they are turning away from suburbia and the presumed inevitability of a geriatric country club lifestyle and moving back into the cities—the same cities from which many of them fled as young married couples in search of better schools and neighborhoods for their children.

“It represents a total lifestyle change,” says Greg Damis, president of the Philadelphia Realtors Association. “The flight to the suburbs was viewed as a sign of success…the single family house, the American dream. Now that dream of ‘getting out’ has reversed itself.”

The Coltons live in the Lippincott Condominium, on the east side of Washington Square. The building, an architectural landmark, dates back to 1796.

About four years ago, the architects at Cecil Baker & Associates, along with MCW Construction of New Jersey, created six floors of customized living space. Some floors are divided into two units while others, like the Coltons’ home, take up the entire floor. Jill, the former president of the Science Center in Philadelphia as well as former business partner of commercial real estate developer William Rouse, negotiated the purchase of the unit “raw,” before the contractors smoothed over or concealed of the buildings any unique or original features—giving the Coltons the benefit of a clean slate. As a result, Jill and interior designer Michael Shannon created a dream home that she and Neil share, not just with each other, but frequently with family, friends, and even fellow art patrons as the couple occasionally hosts informal fundraising events for local theater companies.

Having traded large homes on several acres for a one-level, 3,500-square-foot condo with a doorman, Jill and Neil have rid themselves of such worries as lawn maintenance, snow removal and pool cleaning. Like many boomers moving back to the city, they sought convenience as well as practical usage of space. Allan Domb, whose real estate company handles the sales of the most exclusive luxury condos in Center City, including the Lippincott, Parc Rittenhouse, the Lanesborough and the Barclay, sees the Coltons as the model for the new midlife urban dweller and affirms the reverse-migration trend.

“They’re looking for convenience,” says Domb of this demographic. “The kids are out of the house and suddenly there’s no need for four or five bedrooms. People realize they’re living in just three rooms in the house—the den, the kitchen and the bedroom.

”But it’s not all about space and convenience. There is a certain glamour to living in the city. It’s a kind of energy that one may not find at a beachfront retirement community or some bucolic suburban setting where the streetlights shut off at 11 p.m. The day does not end once the SUV pulls into the garage. The access to restaurants, theater, museums and nightlife at any time means a continuous and growing source of social and cultural engagement.

“There are those who want the country club life,” Jill explains. “People come here more for intellectual stimulation. They take courses at Penn, like to go to museums. It’s more about culture than just recreation.”

But even as this reverse migration is hailed as a trend, unvarnished statistics don’t offer strong support for that claim. There is no formal data that indicates a trend, although Damis mentioned an informal survey among a small population of condo owners in Philadelphia marks a surge in baby-boomer urban condo dwellers. According to the National Realtors Association, about 25 percent of baby boomers in the U.S. live in urban areas. Yet, locally, there is no data delving deeper into that statistic. Neither the Multiple Listing Serve nor the Philadelphia Realtors Association has such demographical information.

Anecdotal evidence, however, continues to emerge. Signs of a trend have been reported in other major cities. Chicago’s “west loop” neighborhood, formerly an industrial part of that city, is the site of urban renewal as old factories become living spaces and empty-nesters in search of a maintenance-free life flock to the revamped and affordable real estate.

The National Realtors Association’s 2006 Baby Boomer Profile, which offers a comprehensive examination of the demographic’s overall financial status, purchasing trends and attitudes about money, real estate and the future.

The median income of baby boomer households is $64,700, 31 percent more than that of all households in the U.S. Their median net worth is $146,000, which means they have buying power. The numbers overall are more favorable for the 55–and-older boomers. The 40–somethings may still be building careers, raising children or buying a home, so the trend tends to suit those closer to traditional retirement age. And with Center City condo prices ranging from $500,000 for a two-bedroom unit in a high-rise to $3 million for a Colton-sized space in the Lippincott, older boomers have the means to finance a big purchase. Supplementing generous salaries, home sales and smart investments are inheritances. “There is a tremendous transfer of wealth occurring right now in the country,” Domb says. The parents of baby boomers are passing on and leaving estates behind.” Moreover, many of the midlife buyers own vacation homes, resulting in additional sources of collateral.

Damis said that, while the price tags are high, there remains the allure of a tax incentive. “Someone living in Cherry Hill may be paying up to $12,000 a year in property taxes while someone in Center City, with the 10 tax abatement, may be paying a maximum of $5,000.

”No doubt there has been a real estate boom in Philadelphia. Center City life is thriving and at every turn there is a new high-rise under construction or an old gem in the process of conversion to residential space. Yet the numbers also indicate that Philadelphia is losing residents. Since 2002 the city population has declined by more than 200,000 residents per year. According to analysts and real estate watchers, those numbers don’t tell the whole story. People continue to move to Philadelphia, and while they are not making up for the population loss, this affluent and older group of Philadelphians is, in fact, moving into the center of town. Urban planners and entrepreneurs are hoping that, in the long run, such a revival will lure residents around the periphery to stay.

Another insight offered from the National Realtors Association is the fact that barely half of boomers with annual incomes above $100,000 feel prepared to retire. They’re still saving, investing and pursuing careers.

While this suggests some insecurity about not having prepared enough for the future, it also alludes to the reality that many boomers intend to stay engaged in the workplace for some time. The study confirms this, indicating only 26 percent of boomers intend to stop working once they reach retirement age. In other words, boomers returning to the city may be here for the long haul, not merely long enough to document a passing trend. They remain a viable economic force and even a source of economic growth.

Domb explains that work—or at least the commute to work—is a factor that determines the location of a condo purchase. “Typically if they’re working out on the Main Line or west of the city, they want Rittenhouse Square” he says. “If they’re commuting to New Jersey, they often look in the Washington Square area.

”Neil Colton is the co-chair of the corporate restructuring department at the law firm of Cozen and O’Conner as well as an adjunct law professor at Temple University. He walks the 15 blocks to work each day and always carries his SEPTA bus tokens in case of inclement weather. And while Jill has retired from her position at the Science Center, she remains a member of several professional board and volunteers her time and business expertise to such arts institutions as the Kimmel Center and the Walnut Street Theater.

An active and affluent couple thoroughly engaged in the cultural life of the city, the Coltons provide the most persuasive endorsement of the baby boomer trend for yet another reason. The Coltons are still newlyweds, having married in October 2004.

Jill and Neil were both graduates of the class of 1962 at Lower Merion High School. When they were young and married to their first spouses, they lived in the same apartment complex and the couples often played bridge together. As time went on, they lost touch. When they were matched up several years ago, it seemed a function of destiny.

“As soon as we got together we knew we belonged together,” says Neil.

Jill, a vivacious and stylish woman with the energy and enthusiasm of someone half her age, chimes in, noting that their courtship and union seems to have a sense of possibility and renewal because the first act of their lives was, overall, a positive experience.

“I think we felt so lucky to have found each other because we had such good mates before,” said Jill. “This second chance is a gift.

”It seems in that spirit that Jill and Neil have decided to decorate and furnish their home. They have joined the best of their previous lives to create a new one together, and the effect is stunning. The space itself provides a good deal of inspiration. The 20 foot ceilings and nineteen windows—about a third of which offer enviable views of Washington Square Park—contribute to the condo’s open and elegant atmosphere.

Yet the décor and warm lighting is devoid of fussiness. While there is much to admire, from the Duravit sink and bath fixtures to Neil’s baby grand piano, the space is comfortable and livable. Jill even says her toddler grandsons are particularly fond of the house and are frequent visitors.

“We took what was meaningful and blended it all,” says Jill of the furniture, art and accessories. Throughout the house there are reminders of the past. The wrought iron gates from Jill’s mother’s house that now mark the entrance to the space from the elevator, blended seamlessly with newer pieces, many of which, such as the piece from an Italian oxcart, were acquired during their frequent travels to Europe, Africa and Asia.

Most of the people in the Lippincott are older 50 and many, according to Jill, have moved there from the suburbs for many of the same reasons the Coltons did.

“People want one-story living. They want to walk and be healthy,” Jill says. “They want a different lifestyle. The kids are grown; the pressure of building a career is off. It’s a time to start over and dream a little.

”To view the boomer flight from the suburbs to the city as a mere real estate trend is to diminish a deeper cultural shift in attitudes among people in midlife. As the Coltons demonstrate, life does not necessarily have to follow a long and uninterrupted trajectory from marriage, family and work to retirement. The often politely uttered phrase “age is just a number,” has gained meaning as baby boomers interpret and navigate their lives through a succession of beginnings rather than endings.

Past the exquisite granite countertops in the kitchen, the comfortably sized soaking tub in the master bathroom and the family portraits in the bedroom, Jill returns to the living room, nearing the end of the tour. She stops in front of her mother’s china cabinet and pulls out two dishes, one from Neil’s family collection and one from hers. She holds the dishes side by side and then on top off each other, showing that, while the patterns are different, they complement each other nonetheless.

Angelina Sciolla lives in Philadelphia, PA.

Governed by global officials with no accountability

By Henry Lamb

CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) was adopted March 3, 1973, the same year the Endangered Species Act was adopted in the United States, and became international law in 1975. Like all environmental treaties since 1948, CITES was drafted by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with five other agencies of the federal government, is a member of the IUCN. The World Wildlife Fund, and other environmental organizations that are also members of the IUCN, worked together with the federal government, on parallel tracks, to protect endangered species at the national and international level.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for enforcing both the ESA and CITES in the United States.

CITES is governed by its Conference of the Parties (COP), which consists of appointed officials from each member nation. The COP meets every two to three years. Interim activities are conducted by a Secretariat (U.N. employees), and three permanent committees Standing Committee; Plants and Animals Committees; and Nomenclature Committee. Each committee consists of appointed delegates from member nations.

CITES claims jurisdiction over 5,000 animal species, and 25,000 plant species, whose level of regulation is determined by their designation in either Appendix I (highest level of protection), Appendix II (severely regulated), or Appendix III, (less regulated).

The Plants and Animals Committee recommends to the COP the species that are to be listed, and the Appendix to which they are assigned. The Committee also designates the “official” scientists within each of the six CITES regions who are “experts” in CITES species. The Committee also authorizes other scientific and management affairs within each region. The Committee chair “may” invite other organizations to participate in committee meetings, and in CITES implementation programs.

Issues of concern

Since CITES was ratified by the U.S. Senate, no elected official, at any level, has had oversight, or involvement with the treaty’s implementation. Rules for implementation are promulgated by appointed officials from the same agencies, and representatives from the same NGOs who drafted the treaty originally. There is no accountability to any elected governmental body. Nor is there an effective avenue for redress of grievances for parties injured by implementation of the treaty.

NGOs that serve, essentially, as the enforcement arm for the treaty’s implementation, are accountable only to their respective boards of directors. International NGOs (IUCN, WWF, FSC, TRAFFIC, INRENA) are all beyond the reach of U.S. laws that might require disclosure of funding. There is no accountability to the regulated community.

This situation creates vast opportunities for misadventure. Each year, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), awards hundreds of millions of dollars to projects for which the IUCN and the WWF are named as “executing agency,” or “collaborating organization.” At least one-fourth of these funds come from U.S. taxpayers, who are then victimized by the rules of implementation drafted, implemented, and enforced by these same NGOs. The dramatic increase in the price of mahogany in recent years, reflects the cost of compliance with the rules and procedures required by these organizations.

Moreover, without oversight and public accountability, NGO personnel on the ground, as well as underpaid government officials in exporting countries, are highly susceptible to bribery and corruption. There is virtually no way to require transparency, or even accountable reporting of the procedures required for every transaction.

In the United States, both industry and consumers are at the mercy of NGOs and appointed officials, for products made from any of the 30,000 species covered by the CITES.