Posts tagged with "millennial"

Isabelle Fries makes a brief splash inside 360 MAGAZINE

ISABELLE FRIES

At 22 years old, Isabelle Fries has started to make a name for herself in the music industry. Not only is she gifted in her art, she has an extremely large heart.

Born in Sydney, but raised in Denver, Colorado, Fries found her inclination for singing at a young age. “I knew I wanted music to be a part of my life since I was about 7, but as I got older I was able to recognize that it is a labor of love for me,” she expressed. “I have never searched for fame through my music.” 

Not long after, she discovered her heart had room for another love, philanthropy. At just 15 years old, Fries became the first youth board member and youth leader for the Global Livingston Institute (GLI) an NGO in Uganda who’s mission is to educate students & community leaders on innovative approaches to international development and empower awareness, collaboration, conversations and personal growth. 

Through working with this organization, Isabelle travelled to Uganda to teach, perform and empower. In 2017, Fries performed in front of 20,000 people in Uganda at the annual iKnow HIV Awareness Concert Series along with other musicians from around the world, using music to breakdown barriers, bring people together and provide free medical testing and awareness for HIV for over 8,500 Ugandans.  

“I became a part of GLI when I was 15 and fully threw myself into their mission and their work. It is what opened my eyes to one of my passions I am now pursuing in international education. They really focus on young voices and drawing on perspectives from all types of individuals which is why I was asked to be on the board at such a young age. GLI is truly one of the most important things in my life so I could not be more thankful to be a part of it.” 

This wasn’t the only organization Fries carried out philanthropic work with. She volunteered in Haiti with The Road to Hope, an International Affairs Intern with Creative Visions in Malibu, California and a community worker with CEPIA in Costa Rica.

Isabelle still wanted to do more for Eastern African communities. She founded the “Bulamu Raise Your Voice Community Foundation (BCF)” and was able to draw on inspiration from one of her other life-long devotions: swimming. 

For twelve years, she swam competitively breaking records, winning State Championships and being a leader on her teams until complications from several autoimmune disorders forced her out of the water. This was never a part of her plan, but she was able to alter her life’s path and kept pushing through

“It is not something that I let control my life or hold me back from living. I take care of myself in every way I can and find strength in what I am able to do and learn new ways to improve my way of life,” she expressed. 

One of Fries’ missions with both GLI and BCF is to raise awareness for water safety on Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda by teaching swimming to prevent drownings. By working closely with GLI and the headmaster of the Kazi Primary School, Fries has been able to carry out this initiative, as well as implementing academic, music and sports curriculum.  

She said that the community of Lake Bunyonyi changed her life by seeing how they are such powerful and driven people. “I don’t go for my own benefit or to be a ‘white savior’ ,” she asserted. “When I work in Uganda, I give the individuals I work with support and resources and they truly do the rest.”

Isabelle was fortunate enough to meet one of her long time role models, Michael Phelps. Fostering a relationship with someone who has shaped her life in so many ways in and out of the water has been such a blessing, says Fries. This lead to her working with the Michael Phelps Foudation (MPF), where she took the opportunity to become certified in their “IM Water Safety Program” which is implemented in The Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

When given the opportunity again to combine her music and philanthropy through the MPF, she couldn’t resist. Isabelle was asked to open for country singer, Eric Church, at a MPF benefit concert in Chicago at the iconic Arcada Theater. “Swimming is an incredibly big part of my life as I was a serious competitive swimmer from the ages of 5 to 18, therefor having the chance to combine my music with my love and passion for swimming and water safety was very special and meaningful.” 

Now a recent graduate of The University of Southern California, Fries splits her time living between Denver and Los Angeles, continuing to pursue her passions: music and philanthropy, while working in Denver at a non-profit dedicated to mentoring students. Isabelle holds a degree in International Relations with minors in Spanish as well as  Non-Profits, Philanthropy and Volunteerism. 

While studying at USC, Isabelle was fortunate enough to catch the eye of Grammy-winning, multi-platinum producer/mixer Rob Chiarelli, who she’s fostered an incredibly close relationship with. 

She began releasing music signed with Chiarelli’s label Streetlamp records this year, already finding a widespread and loyal audience across all music platforms using her rich, soulful vocal that could be compared to the sound of Lauren Daigle or Adele. She recently released her 6th single, a raw piano ballad called “All We Had. When people listen to her music, Fries always wants to make them truly feel – whatever that feeling may be. Through channeling lyrics with her songwriters from her own life experiences, the emotions she is able to elicit are special to her. 

While the music may be interpreted differently for each unique individual, her raw style is something she hopes help guide those listeners on whatever journey they want to take. “I’ve always said, I love music because it lets you feel something you didn’t think you could.”

This is definitely something she mirrors artistically with one of her musical inspirations, Amy Winehouse. Growing up performing jazz music, Fries describes this genre as a big part of her musical identity, so she was instantly drawn to Winehouse’s style which she catalogs as “authentic, raw and groundbreaking. Amy created music unapologetically.”

But Fries’ number one music icon is Sir Elton John. “His music was always around me when I was growing up. My parents loved all music from that time and exposed me to it at a very young age which is one of the reasons it is the type of music I love the most. 

However, Elton John’s music was different for me, it felt like poetry and real emotion. His sound and songs are like stories that you never want to end. When I began to listen to him more I realized this is the type of music I want to sing and be a part of.” 

Feeling very blessed to have found such a supportive team, guiding her in finally being able to put her own original songs out there into the world, she is excited to evolve using her music to help create change, perform live again, and continue to build upon her body of work. While she’s away in the studio recording, we’ll be out here patiently waiting for more music, while she continues to use her voice to make the world a better place. 

Kaelen Felix Illustrates a Food and Travel Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Purdue alumna × Stovetop stuffing

If Stove Top stuffing makes an appearance at your Thanksgiving dinner, you can thank a Purdue University alumna.

The late Ruth Siems, a 1953 home economics graduate, is credited with the invention of Stove Top stuffing. The product hit shelves in 1971 as a dish appropriate for Thanksgiving but also for everyday meals. The secret behind the dish is the dimensions of the bread crumbs, which General Foods patented in 1975. Siems is listed first among the inventors, followed by Anthony Capossela Jr., John Halligan and C. Robert Wyss.

Siems’ invention came at a time when there was a high demand in the U.S. for convenience foods. She worked on developing Stove Top stuffing while working at General Foods, and the invention quickly became a Thanksgiving staple.

Siems grew up in Evansville, Indiana, and died in 2005 in Newburgh, Indiana, according to her obituary in The New York Times. She worked at General Foods almost 35 years. Kraft Foods now owns Stove Top stuffing, which sells about 60 million boxes a year. The dish comes in a variety of flavors.

Purdue Archives and Special Collections has information about Siems’ work on food inventions as part of the Gertrude Sunderlin Papers. Sunderlin was an early foods and nutrition professor at Purdue.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://purdue.edu/.

Rita Azar Illustrates a Drug Law Article for 360 MAGAZINE

How Marijuana is Becoming More Popular in Pop Culture

Cannabis in pop culture isn’t exactly a new concept. You’ve probably heard plenty of songs and seen a variety of movies where people talk about weed. However, the influence of this substance on pop culture might be bigger than you’d think. It turns out that almost half of all the US hip-hop and R&B songs in the industry have some mention of cannabis. Historically, people have largely referenced marijuana in the same vein, connecting it to lazy stereotypical stoner types. This concept is something that many people appreciated several years ago, but it’s quickly becoming outdated in a world where scientific research is beginning to demonstrate the potential of this natural substance for medical purposes. Things are beginning to turn a corner in the pop culture landscape, but it’s a slow process, and we have a long way to go. 

The Changing Presence of Cannabis in Culture

Say the word marijuana to most people and they’ll think of old-fashioned stoner portrayals that represent anyone who uses this drug as lazy and under-educated. Over the years, the way that we view this product has been mostly negative, thanks to the way that television and movie producers used the drug to represent a very specific kind of character. Today, studies indicate that pop culture is referencing weed more than ever before, but the general attitude to it might be changing. 

We’re beginning to see the substance from a new perspective on the television and movie screens, because the attitude of the public is changing. These days, it’s becoming much more acceptable for people to use natural products like marijuana for the treatment of various conditions. You can get your Nevada medical marijuana card in a matter of minutes online from NuggMD, with a quick and easy process that only bills you on approval. It’s part of everyday life for a lot of individuals. As laws around the drug continue to change, so too do the opinions of the people who view this product as a pop culture icon. 

Taking on a New Light

Scientific study and access to more data about the benefits that the right strain of certain substances can have on particular diseases is leading to a more educated community. We know today that there’s more to this plant than we originally thought, and many experts believe that it could be the key to managing some very serious and life-changing conditions. The people who use marijuana today aren’t just college kids looking to pass time or get high between classes. 

Although there are still many states that offer the product recreationally, it also has much more important benefits that are worth considering too. Not only is cannabis a great medicine, but it can also be a product that helps to relieve anxiety and reduce inflammation. People are even discovering new ways to experiment with the product in the form of CBD oils and various edibles. The landscape is beginning to evolve, and soon, the demand for a new view of weed in pop culture will be greater than ever.

Rita Azar illustrates relationship article for 360 MAGAZINE

In With the Old – The Eccentricities of Generation Z

Gen Z is….strange.

Born at a time where the Twin Towers were gone, Limp Bizkit were popular and Manchester United were kings of Europe, the genesis of Gen Y was certainly an exercise in the bizarre. 

It’s no surprise, then, that those born at the turn of the millennium have no shortage of quirks. 

Whether it’s the surreal sense of humor, ‘depression memes’, mumble rap, or hydro flask stickers, the self-expression of Gen-Y’ers is certainly much, much different than previous generations.

Why Are Gen-Z’ers So…Weird?

I don’t mean to use the word ‘weird’ in a derogatory fashion, much the opposite. This generation is more in-tune than ever in noticing, documenting, and even embracing, the absurdness of the human condition in the form of social media and news outlets – and their methods of self-expression are something that Existentialist philosophers would turn their heads at. Maybe this is due to the abnormal cauldron that was boiling away during Gen-Z’s formative years, and what ongoing events are continuing to influence the young minds of Gen-Z.

The 2000’s were a strange decade for us Westerners. We were getting to grips with the Internet, and the juggernaut of social media was in its infancy – never before was it so easy to connect with, talk to, and even stalk, our friends, families, and our friends’ friends. With the all-seeing visibility of social media platforms, Gen-Z developed a level of expectation and social pressure that was completely unknown to their predecessors. 

Generation Z was the first generation whose presence was truly immersed in the Internet. The effect of the Web can be seen not only in their sense of humour, but also their fashion choices, too. 

Gen-Z’s Value Comfort Above All Else

The rise of athleisure clothing in recent years has brought with it a level of comfort that other styles simply can’t offer. 

Though wearing gym-gear to the office sounds like something out of 1990s Silicon Valley to some, it’s become the norm to arrive at the office wearing yoga pants and a T-shirt. 

The rise of social media influencers have definitely had a part to play, too. Celebrities are often seen in public wearing candid, gym-based uniforms, and actors like Dwayne Johnson and Hugh Jackman have helped make healthy lifestyles cool. 

Not only does athleisure provide comfort, some of it is pretty damn stylish nowadays – and both are attributes that Gen-Z’ers value. 

 Are The Early 2000’s Back?

The fact that the early-2000s were twenty years ago is unfathomable for most of us. 

Simpler times, they were, but at least the 2020s have resurrected some nostalgia-inducing outfits for us to remember days long gone by. Whether it’s tiny sunglasses, low rise jeans, or mesh tops (for both men and women) some of the outfits worn by Gen-Z’ers are enough to usher in years of nostalgia, for better or worse.

Luckily for us, frosted tips, and baggy, Eminem-esque t-shirts remain on the ash heap of history, for now anyway.

Perhaps this return to the early-2000s is simply Gen-Z’s returning to the outfits they saw in their youth – perhaps it’s meant as an antidote to today’s current crazy climate, one that will unquestionably define their twenties and thirties. On the other hand, it could be neither of those – and Gen-Z’s are simply wearing them because they like them. Either way, retro-inspired get-up is all the rage in 2020. 

The Gen-Z Story Continues to Get Stranger

Those who are a part of Generation Z have had lives book-ended, so far, by two world-defining events – the 9/11 attacks and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It will be interesting to see how this weird and wonderful generation deals with the latter – and what social, personal, and political repercussions they have to deal with. Generation Z have always had their own way of doing things, and their thirst for eccentricity shows no signs of slowing down.

Music article illustration by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Grow Your Spotify Plays Overnight

If you are looking for more Spotify exposure, then you can join the millions of other Spotify artists that are trying to do the same thing. However, it feels like all we are ever doing is just treading water. We post songs and playlists only to have them fall into oblivion. They never see the light of day and never get a hit. 

Promotions seem to go nowhere. It doesn’t matter how many times you Tweet out a link to your music. It all ends up the same way, low plays, low streams, and low follows. It doesn’t have to be this way. It doesn’t have to be so hard. You have to be proactive about your marketing, but you also need to focus on the metrics that will actually improve your Spotify rankings. Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook are all great places to start but you won’t grow a following unless you hit the below metrics. Once you understand what you need to do, just rinse and repeat. You will soon be basking in the glow of plays.

You need to market your music by increase your play and follower metrics. You need to buy Spotify plays. This common practice will get your listings over the hump to be seen by a new crowd.

Why Improve Your Plays?

The Spotify algorithm is specific to Spotify platform metrics. This means that you need to focus on improving your Spotify platform numbers. Like what was mentioned above, exposure on other platforms is great but it will only get you so far. You need those marketing events to convert into Spotify metrics.

The first metric you need to improve is the play count. This could be connected to an album, playlist, or a specific song. It all depends on what your goals are for your artistic talents. Song pay count tells the Spotify algorithm that people are listening to your stuff. It shows that you are relevant and significant to the current music scene. It could be based on a genre of music or just the industry as a whole. 

Plays matter over the course of time. If you have a bunch of plays in a single day, it isn’t going to boost anything for very long. You may appear higher in the algorithm for the next 24 hours, but afterwards you will be forgotten, again. Instead you want to think about the long term. More plays overtime is the better philosophy. So, if you got 100 plays, it is better to have 1 a day for 100 days than all 100 plays in the same day. 

Why Improve Your Followers?

Remember that it isn’t just about plays. If you stuff gets played a bunch, that is great, but it isn’t the end of the story. If you are looking to solidify a top spot in the Spotify algorithm, you need to show that it isn’t just about your music, it is about you as an artist. Take a band like Radiohead. Their music is wildly popular. However, Radiohead as a band is popular as well. So, if they were still making music, they would be recommended alongside similar artists because the “followers” action shows that it is more than just a single song or two that makes them so important.

This is obvious. When you look at other social media platforms you see the same actions taking place. Instagram and Facebook are the best examples of the potential for ranking improvements when there are more followers, not just likes or shares. The Spotify algorithm takes in the totality of the artist’s metrics in order to decide how worthy they are to be recommended to other listeners. Once you get there, royalties will start to improve as organic listeners start to steadily increase with time.

Are Certain Listeners Better Than Others?

Yes, certain Spotify listeners are more important than others. However, you want a mix of all types of listeners in order to really impress the algorithm. What does this mean? There are generally two types of Spotify listeners and they can interact with your account in one of two ways. So, basically, there are four different results that could happen. Let’s go through them.

First, you could have a free listener listen to a song once. This individual has the least amount of impact on your account. Second, you could have a free listener continually listen to your music. This has more impact because it shows that an individual really likes your stuff and wants to listen to it more and more.

Third, you could have a paid premium listener listen to a song once. This has some impact due to a higher royalty payment that comes from premium members. Fourth, you could have a paid premium listen subscribe and continually listen to your music. This has the largest impact of all of them. Make sure that when you are buying Spotify plays that you focus on the mix of different listeners.

Rita Azar illustrates relationship article for 360 MAGAZINE

Important Tips When Vacationing with Your Special Someone

Traveling is an enjoyable activity, most especially if you are with the one you love. Sunrises and sunsets become more beautiful, the food seemingly tastes better, and any cultural barriers become more of an experience to laugh at than an irritant.

So, all your custom research papers are written, vacation is about to start, your clothes are ready and tickets are waiting for you to take them and go. But if you are together and unprepared, things might not go the way you planned. Here are some things to consider when vacationing with your special someone.

#1 Agree upon what you’d like to do together

A common source of conflict when vacationing together is that one person is dictating the terms. He or she says what tourist sites they will visit, where they will eat, what souvenirs to buy, and even what time of the day they will do all these things. While the other partner may give in at first, it eventually becomes a pain.

Instead, the couple should discuss what they’d like to do together before going on the trip, including possible dos and don’ts. While spontaneity can be fun and romantic, if your partner is really against doing something (swimming with the sharks, jumping out of a plane, or eating scorpions), then there should be no reason to force them.

#2 Be patient when difficulties crop up

When traveling, difficulties of some sort usually crop up, such as misplacing your tickets, leaving the cellphone charger at the hotel, or forgetting to pick something up on your supply run at the local store. It is important to stay patient. Snapping at each other over such minor inconveniences will ruin the mood for your trip.

This patience is also necessary when dealing with the locals. Cultural and language differences may cause you to become impatient. But dealing rudely with them may get you into further trouble, or it may even irritate your partner who just wants to have a good time.

#3 Give each other space

Even in your locale, it is important to give one another space. 

This is also true when visiting a new place. If the place is safe, it is good to allow one another to explore the area alone for a time. If not that safe, then give one another time to lounge alone, read a magazine, or even watch a favorite show. You will find that after some alone time, you and your partner will be ready to enjoy things together again.

#4 Enjoy your time together

A vacation together is supposed to strengthen your bond as a couple. So ensure that you are both having fun. That’s why it is inadvisable to bring work with you as much as possible.  

If you notice that one of you is not enjoying the trip, find ways to make it more fun. Think of what you can both do to bring more life to your trip. It could be visiting something not on your itinerary, having a coffee at a local café, or just watching the sunset together.

Summary

It’s a blessing to have the chance to travel together. Take advantage of such time, and make it enjoyable by considering the tips above.

Has eSports Become a Part of Pop Culture?

A couple of decades ago, when video games burst into the mainstream audience for good, everyone could have guessed that gaming would soon become an important part of the entertainment industry. But what no one could have predicted is just how popular it would become not to play video games yourself, but to watch other people play. So popular in fact, that competitive video gaming, i.e. eSports, has slowly but steadily grown to become an important part of pop culture. But how and why did eSports gain so much momentum?

eSports expand their reach into the mainstream audience

When the first organized competitive gaming tournaments emerged where professional players vie for a prize, analysts very aptly dubbed the new practice “eSports”. And research reported by the Influencer Marketing Hub reveals that this new industry has quickly expanded its appeal and gained unprecedented growth. In 2017, eSports reached an audience of 335 million viewers, which climbed to 380 million in 2018. It is now estimated that until 2021 that number will reach roughly 557 million, exhibiting an annual growth rate of 14%. Out of those, 250 million will be regular viewers but another 307 million will be casual spectators. This means that casual viewers will constitute the majority of the eSports audience.

Furthermore, according to the same source, even people who do not watch eSports have still heard of them. In 2015, an impressive 800,000 people were aware of the industry. But a year later, over a billion people have reportedly heard of eSports – a jaw-dropping growth. In 2019 alone, eSports awareness was estimated to have reached 1.57 billion people around the world. The combination of these two facts, i.e. the number of casual viewers and the tremendous growth in awareness, lead us to the conclusion that eSports has now become an important part of pop culture.

How eSports became a part of pop culture

But if you want even more proof, just take a closer look at eSports betting. That’s right: betting sites now consider eSports as a sub-category of the traditional realm of sports betting, and punters can place wagers on the biggest eSports tournament just like they would on the NBA finals or the Super Bowl. It is no surprise, when you consider the hype surrounding the biggest eSports competitions. In 2019, the League of Legends World Championship gathered an audience of almost 4 million viewers, and the Fortnite World Cup Finals amassed an impressive 2.3 million. Speaking of Fortnite, it is perhaps the game that best encapsulates how video gaming and eSports are now part of pop culture in their own right.

Who could forget the iconic and hilarious scene in Avengers: Endgame that saw Thor compete against “Noobmaster69” on Fortnite? Just like people are still not over the live concert series that now takes place within the Fortnite game. Travis Scott was the first to take the leap of faith and performed virtually to raving reviews. Now, the digital concerts continue, with J Balvin reportedly set to headline the Fortnite Halloween Concert series, in a perfect blend of these divergent strands of pop culture that has had audiences going wild. Much like the music industry, other sectors have realized the potential of eSports and gaming that allows them to reach to a wider audience and are jumping at the chance. For example, Oakley has already announced that they would launch a new type of lenses specifically designed for gaming.

If we want to understand better how eSports have so quickly become a part of pop culture, we also need to look at the channels that enabled them to connect with their audience. Millennials are now in their 20s and 30s, and they have grown up in an increasingly digital world. Watching their favorite gamers play live on Twitch or YouTube, and interacting with them on chat or social media was an organic way for them to connect. Steven Spielberg’s recent blockbuster Ready Player One took the concept one step further. In a dystopian future, taking place in a VR gaming tournament has become the one shot its protagonist has at fixing everything wrong with the world – competitive gaming has somehow turned into something more real than real life itself.

For the young adults that are right now the driving force behind market trends, and are shaping pop culture, eSports are an integral part of life and culture.

Rita Azar illustrates relationship article for 360 MAGAZINE

The Top 5 Most Important Qualities a Guy Should Have

Are you restarting your dating life but find yourself swiping left a little too often? When you’re outing the dating world, it can be hard to find the right balance. Although we don’t want to “settle” for a person, we also don’t want to discount men.

We’re here to help you along your way. You always can try to meet a right person on Promenad, but first of all read on for the top five qualities on what to look for in a man so that you can date with intention. 

1. He’s Respectful

Your man knows that your time is valuable, and he respects it by making sure that he’s present when you’re together. He’s interested in your opinion about topics and gives you a platform to voice them.

He’s also upfront about what he wants in a relationship and doesn’t lead you on. Lastly, you feel free to live your own life without his micromanagement or what he believes is “better.”

2. He’s Supportive

You’ll know a man is supportive if you feel as if you can talk about your life, career aspirations, and goals without judgment. He trusts the decisions you make and will often back you up on them–not make you feel as if you need to constantly second-guess your decisions.

Best of all, supportive men are often good listeners. They’ll give you the silence you need and won’t frequently interrupt.

3. He’s Honest

They’ll be times when your man disagrees with a decision you’re making, and he’ll let you know in a way that doesn’t diminish your character. You won’t need to second-guess his thoughts or motivations because he’s upfront and doesn’t feel the need to hide. This often leads to better communication, one of the most important aspects of a relationship. If you ask him a question, you don’t feel any doubt in his answer–even if it’s not the one you wanted to hear.

4. He Pays Attention

Men who pay attention are often talented at active listening because they want you to know that you’re being heard. They also have good dating etiquette. When you’re together, he’s good at putting down his phone and giving you his full attention. They’re attentive to your needs because it’s their way of showing that they value you.

5. He’s Happy

A man’s attitude is often a good indicator of their self-confidence. If you find that your man has a constant, pessimistic outlook on the world, they probably have the same view of themselves. You may feel compelled to help him or find that your own mood becomes low when you’re around him. Although it’s not realistic to expect someone to be happy all the time, generally you’ll feel happy and comfortable around someone with a positive attitude. They often have a good sense of humor and smile more.

What Do You Look for in a Guy?

What are you looking for in a man? It’s important to ask yourself this question frequently until you have a definite answer. Once you know what you want in a relationship, it’s far easier to find a man that’s looking for the same theme.

It’s all about trusting your instinct. Pay attention to how you feel when you’re around him. If you feel understood, respected, and cared for, you may have found the one.

Marvel Comics to Release – WARHAMMER 40,000: MARNEUS CALGAR #1

The action-packed universe of the Warhammer tabletop gaming universe is coming to Marvel Comics this October! Written by Kieron Gillen (Uncanny X-Men, Journey Into Mystery, The Wicked + The Divine) and drawn by artist Jacen Burrows (Punisher: Soviet, Moon Knight), WARHAMMER 40,000: MARNEUS CALGAR #1 will reveal the untold origin of the legendary Space Marine Chapter Master. Witness Marneus Calgar’s beginnings on the world of Nova Thulium, his campaigns in the Black Crusades, and discover a deadly threat from his past, the mysterious Black Altar. To gear up for this latest mission, hone your design skills with the Color Your Own Variant cover by popular artist Max Dunbar (Champions). This special paper stock cover allows you to color Dunbar’s artwork so you can create your very own Space Marine and save the Ultramar system from destruction in this extraordinary chapter of the Warhammer saga!

“Part of the reason I said yes is I because I believe with Marvel I can do a 40K comic “properly”— as in, with all the skill and craft I’ve learned over the years. If I’m going to do a 40K comic as a mature creator I’d like to hit it hard,” Gillen explained in an interview with CBR. “The other part is, as the writer of the first mini in the Warhammer line I get to set the tone for everything else. Also, I get to introduce folks to the world. You asked me how I would explain Warhammer to somebody? I’d do that by giving them my mini.”

Prepare for glorious combat when WARHAMMER 40,000: MARNEUS CALGAR #1 hits stands this October!

To find a comic shop near you, click HERE

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media for over eighty years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing, publishing, games, and digital media.

For more information visit marvel.com.

© 2020 MARVEL

About Games Workshop®

Games Workshop® Group PLC (LSE:GAW.L), based in Nottingham, UK, produces the best fantasy
miniatures in the world. Games Workshop designs, manufactures, retails, and distributes its range of
Warhammer®: Age of Sigmar® and Warhammer® 40,000® games, miniature soldiers, novels and model
kits through more than 529 of its own stores (branded Games Workshop® or Warhammer®), the
www.games-workshop.com web store and independent retail channels in more than 50 countries
worldwide. More information about Games Workshop and its other, related, brands and product ranges
(including our publishing division ‘Black Library’ and our special resin miniatures studio ‘Forge World’)
can be found at www.games-workshop.com.

The Millennial’s Financial Guide to Homebuying

Around 4.8 million millennials are turning 30 in 2020. This is the largest age bracket among millennials, according to CNBC. Many of them have families and are looking to buy their first home.

Compared to older generations, saving for a house hasn’t been easy for millennials. In 2017, millennials who bought homes paid around 39 percent more than baby boomers who bought houses in the 80s. With higher costs of living and rising student debt, it takes millennials longer to afford a home. Now, considering the economic impact of COVID-19, it’s tougher for people to make major life purchases.

But don’t fret. Knowing your mortgage options and proper financial planning will make a difference. If you commit to a budget now and work on your savings, it’s possible to purchase a house in the near future. Here are essential financial tips you need to know before buying a home.

When to Consider Buying a House

Before taking a mortgage, improve your credit score. Give yourself time to improve your credit. Make sure to pay your loans and credit card on time. If you have large outstanding debts, be sure to pay them down. Check your credit report and see if there’s any inaccurate information. Disputing errors like unrecorded payments can help improve your credit score.

Most conventional lenders usually approve a credit score of 680 and above, and some may approve 620. Conventional loans are offered by lenders that are not sponsored by the government. You can get them from banks, credit unions, and non-bank mortgage companies.

If you have an excellent credit rating, you’re eligible for lower interest rates. This makes your monthly mortgage more affordable. It will help you save on total interest costs throughout the life of your loan. Make sure to shop around for loans and choose the lowest interest rate.

Know how much house you can afford.

Compare real estate listings to know what price range you can manage. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t buy property beyond your means. How do you know if your dream home fits your budget? You must understand your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio.

DTI ratio compares your gross income with how much debt you owe. If your DTI ratio is too high, your loan will not be granted. A low DTI ratio makes it more manageable to make monthly mortgage payments. This decreases your risk of defaulting on your loan and losing your house to foreclosure. Once you’re perceived as a low-risk borrower, lenders are more likely to approve your mortgage.

Lenders check these two important DTI ratios before approving a loan:

  • Front-end DTI ratio – The percentage of your income that pays for mortgage-related costs. It includes monthly mortgage payments, property insurance, and association dues. Your front-end DTI must not exceed 28 percent. This is the standard requirement for conventional mortgages which are not federally backed by the government.
  • Back-end DTI ratio – The percentage of your income that pays for your mortgage-related costs along with your other debts. This includes auto loans, credit cards, student loans, etc. Your back-end DTI ratio must not exceed 36 percent. But for federally backed government mortgages such as Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, the DTI limit is 43 percent.

Know how much you can borrow.

To know this, get pre-approved for a mortgage. Speaking to a lender determines the specific amount you can borrow. It’s one of the best ways to know how much home you can afford. To do this, you must authorize your lender to review your credit report. Getting pre-approval does not require you to borrow from the lender. But once you’re ready to make an offer, you can choose one with the best rates and terms. Lowermybills.com mentions that “Like all things connected to home buying and mortgage rates, do your research.” Furthermore, they state that “If you find a rate you are comfortable with, and it gets you the mortgage payment in your price range, it might be a good idea to decide to lock in the interest rate.”

Know when and where house prices are low.

A year before buying, research local market conditions in your preferred area. Check common house prices and pay attention to big price shifts. There are periods when real estate prices are depressed or generally low. In other times, they can be awfully expensive. It also pays to check houses in low-cost locations such as less crowded suburbs. Homes in busy metropolitan areas and coastal states usually have expensive price tags.

How Much Down Payment Should You Save?

Ideally, homebuyers should make a down payment that’s 20 percent of the home’s value. For instance, if you’re buying a $250,000 house, your down payment should be $50,000. These days, you might notice buyers making a smaller down payment. This has its drawbacks, which come in the form of mortgage insurance costs.

Conventional loans come with an annual private mortgage insurance (PMI) policy, which is 0.25 percent to 2 percent of your loan amount. It’s typically required if your down payment is less than 20 percent. PMI is usually rolled into your monthly payments and is canceled once your mortgage balance reaches 78 percent.

Meanwhile, federally backed mortgages such as FHA loans come with mortgage insurance premiums (MIP). If your down payment is less than 20 percent, MIP is required. It’s paid both as an upfront fee (1.75 percent of the loan amount) and an annual insurance fee (0.85 percent of the loan amount). MIP is usually paid for the entire life of the loan, which makes it a lot costlier in the long run.

How do you save for your down payment?

Start gathering funds as early as you can. Saving your tax refund is a great source. As of 2020, the average tax refund is $3,100, which is a large amount that can bolster your down payment. You can also use work and holiday bonuses you get from your employer. Save cash gifts during birthdays, as well as windfall inheritance funds from relatives. To earn extra income, work overtime hours or get a freelance job on the side. This will take time. So the earlier you save, the better.

Low Down Payment Options for First-Time Homebuyers

More often, people do not usually have enough time to save for a higher down payment. They need to relocate because of a new job or a growing family. When this happens, you can opt for low-cost mortgages options. If you need a loan with low down payment and relaxed credit requirements, consider government-sponsored mortgages. These are loans meant for low to moderate income families who need assistance in buying a home.

FHA Loans
You can qualify for an FHA loan if your credit score is between 500 to 580. Your down payment can be as low as 3.5 percent if your credit score is 580 and above. If your credit score is below 580, your down payment must be at least 10 percent. All FHA loans require MIP regardless of your down payment amount.

USDA Loan
The U.S. Department of Agricultural approves home loans if your credit score is 640. Down payment is not required but is definitely an option. To get a USDA loan, you must purchase a house in a USDA-approved rural area. This includes many suburbs and around 97 percent of land mass in the U.S. Moreover, your household income must not be over 115 percent of the median income of your area. USDA loans come with a guarantee fee, which is paid as an upfront fee and an annual fee rolled into your monthly payments.

VA Loans
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers special loans to active military members, veterans, and qualified military spouses. VA loans are flexible with credit scores, but it’s better if your credit score is at least 620. Down payment is also not required but is an option. However, instead of a mortgage insurance premium or guarantee fee, VA loans require a VA funding fee. Paying at least 5 percent down payment helps reduced this added cost.

Worried about poor credit? There are local housing agencies per state that can help you. Your state agency can assist you in looking for housing options that can accommodate your low credit score. They can also provide down payment assistance for mortgages. Just get in touch with your state housing agency soon.

The Importance of Saving a 20 Percent Down Payment

Making a 20 percent down payments eliminates private mortgage insurance costs. This reduces the amount you need to borrow, which effectively lowers your monthly mortgage payment. The higher payment also decreases your loan-to-value ratio, which is the amount of your loan compared to your home’s value. It also allows you to secure a much lower mortgage rate.

To give you a better idea how it affects your mortgage payments, let’s see the table below. It compares the same mortgage. One made an 8 percent down payment, while the other made a 20 percent down payment.

30-year Fixed-Rate Mortgage
Home price: $350,000
Interest rate: 3% APR
Mortgage5% Down Payment20% Down PaymentDown payment$17,500$70,000Borrowed amount$332,500$280,000Monthly payment$1,401.83$1,180.49Total interest paid$172,160.03$144,976.87Loan-to-value ratio95%80%Total PMI cost$18,038.130

In the example above, making a 20 percent down payment reduces your borrowed amount to $280,000, while 5 percent only reduces it to $332,500. Your monthly mortgage payment will be $221.34 lower with a 20 percent down payment. As for interest cost, you save $27,183.16 more in total interest with a 20 percent down payment. Meanwhile, with a 5 percent down payment, you still need to pay $18,038.13 on top of interest charges. Basically, you’ll gain more saving in the long term if you make a higher down payment.

Need help with your mortgage budget? Use this mortgage payment calculator to estimate your monthly mortgage payment, total interest, and PMI costs.

Here’s a tip: If you take an FHA loan for the low down payment, there is a way to remove MIP. If your credit score is at least 620, you have the option to refinance into a conventional mortgage after a few years. Refinancing is basically taking out a new loan to replace your existing one. You can refinance to a conventional loan with a lower rate. You may consider this option to get rid of costly MIP charges.

The Bottom Line

Now that you know your housing options and requirements, you can better prepare your finances. As early as now, start improving your credit score to qualify for a loan. Borrowers are offered lower interest rates when their credit score is high. It’s also ideal to save up for a 20 percent down payment.

Next, keep track of your debt-to-income ratio. As long as you don’t accumulate large debts, you should be eligible for a mortgage. Moreover, start checking home prices at low-cost areas. If you time your purchase when house prices are generally low, you can score a better deal.

If you can’t make the 20 percent down payment, there are low-cost mortgage options to choose from. Check out FHA loans and USDA loans. If you’re a veteran or military member, you’re qualified for VA loans. Just take note that government-backed loans come with extra costs, such as mortgage insurance premium for FHA loans. If you take advantage of these options and plan your finances, soon you can purchase your own house.