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The Gift That Tops Parents’ Holiday Wish Lists May Surprise You

A whopping 84 percent of parents surveyed said they'd "welcome" contributions to their 529 college savings accounts in lieu of other traditional presents, according to new data from Fidelity Investments. However, only 29 percent had actually asked for such assistance. 

What's holding parents back? Well, maybe they still believe in Santa - good luck with that - or maybe they haven't heard about programs like the free online one at Fidelity that lets friends and family easily chip in to lessen the burden. 

And quite a burden it is, given that the College Board's Trends in College Pricing 2017 listed the average total annual charges (tuition, fees, room and board) of a private four-year college at $50,900, an in-state public four-year college at $25,290, and an out-of-state public four-year college at $40,940. 

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The Surprising Gift on Parents’ Holiday Wish List

Not only did a whopping 84 percent of parents surveyed say they'd "welcome" such contributions to their 529 college savings plans instead of more traditional presents, according to new data from Fidelity Investments, but 33 percent have actually already asked for such assistance. 

And the other 51 percent? Maybe they're waiting for Santa to climb down their chimneys - the Tooth Fairy also makes house calls, it's said - or maybe they haven't heard about programs like the free online one at Fidelity that lets family and friends easily chip in to lessen the burden. Specifically, as the College Board reports, an average annual total cost (including tuition, fees, room and board) of $49,870 at private four-year colleges, $38,330 at out-of-state four-year public colleges, and $21,950 at in-state four-year public colleges. 

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Three Things Every Contact Lens Wearer Should Know

"People who love their contacts often have the best intentions to follow instructions from eye- care professionals. With so much else happening in their lives, it is possible to forget at times. That's human nature," says Dr. Rick Weisbarth, an optometrist and chairperson of the Washington, D.C.-based Contact Lens Institute. 

These behaviors are consistent with recently-conducted YouGov research among 705 adults in the United States. It reveals that while about three in four people will read a new product's instructions, problems arise if they are too difficult to understand, misplaced or users find themselves in a hurry. In another eye-opening finding, 58 percent of respondents admit to figuring out how to use a new product by trial-and-error. 

Aided by these insights, the Contact Lens Institute has introduced The EASY Way (Eyes, Awareness, Safety and You), designed to streamline and simplify sometimes confusing contact lens wear-and-care guidelines. At the center of the program are three easy to recall steps for healthy, comfortable contact lens wear that everyone should know: 

1. Think Clean. Wash and dry your hands every time before touching your lenses or eyes. If you wear reusable lenses, always clean and disinfect them with each removal, and clean your case as directed. Keep your lenses and case away from any type of water, which can contain harmful microorganisms. 

2. Remember: Fresher is Better. Wear your contacts for as long as your eye-care professional says, replacing them with fresh lenses on schedule. Only wear daily disposable lenses once, and always rely on new solution for reusable lens disinfection and storage. Replace your case at least every three months. 

3. Trust Your Eye Doctor. Listen to your eye care professional, who has specialized training. If you have any questions, contact their office -- they care about your health and great vision. 

More information for contact lens wearers is available at 

"Taking care of your contacts doesn't have to be hard; it can be easy. That's why thousands of optometrists and ophthalmologists across the U.S. and Canada will be sharing The EASY Way with patients in the coming months," says Dr. Weisbarth. 

The Contact Lens Institute's members include Alcon, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision, and Johnson & Johnson Vision. 

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Learning Resilience from Military Kids

(NewsUSA) - Military kids are known for being resilient as they often adapt to change and overcome challenges associated with military life. What can all kids learn from military kids when it comes to building resilience? Cohen Veterans Network (CVN), a national not-for-profit network of mental health clinics for post-9/11 veterans, service members and their families, has three strategies parents can utilize to foster resilience in their children.


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Three Tips to Help Plan for Retirement

(NewsUSA) - Nationally, the average retirement age is 64, though in some states, the average retirement age is 66. The decision to retire later can impact several important life choices. When it comes to healthcare, it's important to plan ahead, whether you're retiring now or in ten years. Fortunately, there are many resources available to you regarding your decisions on benefits. For additional information visit and learn more about your healthcare options.


Getting the Waste Out of Beauty Salons and Spas

(NewsUSA) - Remember the pile of hair on the salon floor when you finally got your first real haircut after coronavirus restrictions were eased?

Even in normal times, the beauty industry creates more than 877 pounds of waste every single minute when you combine all the hair clippings, color tubes, used foils, excess hair color, aerosol cans and the like. That's over 421,000 pounds of usable materials needlessly heading straight into landfills every day.

How to deal with all those pounds in an environmentally friendly way has become a real issue. Enter Green Circle Salons, a beauty waste recovery service that started out 12 years ago in Canada before going on to help U.S. businesses recycle and repurpose up to 95 percent of their beauty waste.

Want to do your part for the planet? Green Circle Salons makes it easy to find a Certified Sustainable Salon near you through its online directory.

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