5 Key Decisions You Need to Make During a Chess Game

  Chess is a game of strategy and smarts, so it doesn’t actually matter how experienced your opponent is: If you can out-think them to the very last move, you can claim a victory every time.   Here are just five questions to ponder during your next chess game.   Which Game Are You Playing? Chess actually has three games in one. The opening game involves your first few moves and can immediately establish yourself as an offensive or defensive player. You can also win or lose in the opening. So be watchful! The middle game’s when pieces are captured and the pawns form the battle structure. The endgame’s when you’re closing in on your opponent or when they’re closing in on you. If you can develop one of these games into a specialty, you’ll have a much greater chance of becoming a chess champion.   How Important is your Queen? As the most powerful piece on the board, it’s an understandable impulse to protect your queen at all costs. And you should, so watch every move your opponent makes in case a tactic threatens her. But a well-timed “trade” or giving up your queen for the capturing of your opponent’s at the same time, could be a good choice if it leaves you with a slightly favorable positioning for the rest of your pieces as you enter the endgame. You’ll both be short your most versatile piece, but you won’t have to worry about tactical prowess any longer. Entering an endgame with superior piece placement can be one of your secret advantages.   Are You Controlling the Center?...

Cost to Raise Family Up 53% Since 1995; Net Worth Nearly Cut in Half: Strategic Ways Families Can Succeed

Families now spend an average of $222,360 to raise a child from birth to age 17—a 53% increase over the past fifteen years. (1) That’s one person working full-time nearly six years to cover the expenses of raising one child! During the global financial crisis and ensuing recession, median family net worth fell by over 38% from 2007-2010. For many, that’s nearly two decades of savings wiped out in just a few years! These troublesome trends are requiring most of us to rethink our jobs, opportunities, income—and of course, our expenses. But in spite of the rising costs to raise a child, the decline in families’ average net worth and the intense social pressures facing your kids these days, remember this: You still have the same 6,205 days to raise your child from birth to age 17.  How you choose to spend that time as a family makes all the difference in your child’s life. Whether you’re already enjoying activities together as a family—or whether you need to make time in your active schedule—time together develops trust, respect and unity over the years, which contributes enormously to your child’s well being. As a result, any financial limitations your family faces become less inhibiting to your child’s future success. The question is, will you be controlled by a busy schedule resulting from increased financial stress—giving up time with your family during these crucial years you have with them—or will you make it a priority  to spend time together with your children to help them grow in considering others, making good decisions, thinking ahead and becoming self-sufficient? No one has a...