Welcome to January!

Welcome to January, one of my favorite months. I love January because it, like New Year’s Day, the holiday that starts the month, represents a fresh start and a clean slate. In January we celebrate traditional holidays like New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and even wacky ones, such as National Popcorn Day (Jan. 19th) and National Handwriting Day (Jan. 23rd). One of my favorite observances is celebrating January as National Blood Donor Month.

The beginning of a new year is a common time for hospitals and clinics to hold blood drives. Especially so, when the nation has been hit hard by winter illnesses, the flu, pneumonia, and more that may have hospitalized many.

Winter weather disasters, an increase in traffic accidents due to poor weather and holiday travelers, plus much more can also leave blood donation centers in special need of donations in January. Although we see an increase in blood drives this month, please know that there is never a bad time to give blood and there is always a need.

Whether you are a first-time donor or a regular, you should know the importance of these drives and how pints of blood are needed to assist medical staff in communities where natural disasters have occurred.

To give during the winter is especially vital if part of the country has endured harsh storms and an increase in traffic accidents because of black ice.

Why else should you give blood? Consider these important points:

  1. You offer another person a chance at better health. Particularly if you are Type O Negative – the universal donor – your blood is needed to assist medical personnel in hospitals and disaster areas.
  2. You will discover something new about yourself. If you have never before given blood and don’t know your type, you will learn when you give blood. When you visit the American Red Cross to give blood, you will receive a donor card to keep that has your type printed. It’s always good to know your blood type in the event of a family emergency.
  3. You will feel better about yourself (and your body will feel better too!) You may feel queasy or lightheaded after the donation but knowing you have contributed to a good cause is a great way to begin the year. Contact your local Red Cross chapter or health care system and ask about the next blood drive. Give something of yourself this year.

To find a blood drive near you and get involved, visit www.RedCross.org.

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Get Heart Healthy!

February is American Heart month and that means it’s a good time to think about being heart healthy.

Heart Disease kills more than 600,000 Americans each year. It is the leading killer among both men and women.

There are many things we can do to stay heart healthy.

According to the Center for Disease Control, making these healthy lifestyle choices can help:

  • Choose lean meats and poultry without skin.
  • Select fat-free, 1% fat, or low-fat dairy products.
  • Cut back on foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
  • Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol.
  • Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.
  • Select and purchase foods lower in salt/sodium.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
  • Keep an eye on your portion sizes.

It’s also important to know the signs of an impending heart attack, because they can start slowly and symptoms may seem mild. According to the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute, these are the signs that may mean that a heart attack is in progress:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort.

Many of us aren’t doing enough to take care of our hearts. Start getting heart healthy today with the above tips.

For more information about 
Heart Disease, visit the American Heart Association’s website at www.heart.org.

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A Parent’s Guide to Insure Their Teen

Adding a teenage driver to your car insurance policy will raise your rates. But you can control how much they’ll climb. Having teens drive a Camry rather than a Corvette, encouraging them to bring home report cards with straight A’s, and urging them to keep their driving records clean can all have a major impact on rates.

Below are a few things to keep in mind when insuring your new driver:

  • There is a reason teenagers cost more to insure—New drivers are among the most dangerous on the road, racking up tickets and accidents at rates several times the rate of the average driver. Your teenager does not have to drive. Bicycles and bus passes are cheaper, if you live in a place where that’s feasible.

    Virtually every insurer requires that all licensed family members in a household be included on your policy, whether they drive your cars or not. You should let the insurer know when the child gets his or her learners permit, but typically the teen isn’t listed (or your policy charged) until he or she is licensed.

    It is almost always cheaper to add teenagers to an existing policy than to buy another car and then insure it separately. If your household has several cars, it can help to have your new driver assigned to a specific one — the one that’s cheapest to insure. Those vehicles with lower auto insurance losses will typically have lower auto insurance rates. For new drivers, the recommended cars are four-door sedans and crossover vehicles.

  • Don’t overlook car insurance discounts—If your teen can’t get by without wheels, check with our agency to see what types of discounts might be available. We offer good-student discounts to teens who maintain at least a “B” average. We also offer the Teen Smart discount through an online driver’s safety course. Bundling multiple insurance policies, like auto, homeowners and life insurance, will also cut costs.

Ready to Insure your new driver or have questions about how your teen will affect your Auto Insurance policy? Call our office TODAY!

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What Are Your Goals in 2020?

It’s December and that means we are coming to the end of this year and looking forward to the next. Christmas and New Years are always one of my favorite times of year, because they signify new opportunities around every corner.

No matter what happened over the past twelve months, we have a chance now to set new goals and make the next year whatever we want it to be.

New Year’s Eve has always been a time for reflection, and more importantly, looking forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want or need to make and resolve to follow through on those changes.

Did you set a New Year’s Resolution in 2019?

If you did, I hope you stuck to them and achieved everything that you set out to do.

Can you guess what the top 10 most common New Year’s Resolutions are? Does yours make the list?

  1. Get Organized
  2. Help Others
  3. Learn Something New
  4. Get Out of Debt
  5. Quit Drinking
  6. Enjoy Life More
  7. Quit Smoking
  8. Lose Weight
  9. Get Fit
  10. Spend More Time with Family

These values are reflective of a New Year’s resolution poll of Americans. A whopping 66% of people resolve to spend more time with their families. 50% said they were going to get fit or lose weight.

No matter what your goals are for 2020, I hope you can achieve all of them. Try setting smaller goals for yourself along the way to help you get there.

We hope that you have a very Happy New Year and 
may all your resolution efforts succeed!

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Protecting What You’re Most Thankful For

Each year in November, we take a moment to step back and count our blessings, recognizing the many things we are thankful for. We move about our busy lives, but rarely do we stop to “smell the roses” and practice gratitude.

One of the things that I am most thankful for is my family and the ability I have to provide and care for them.

That’s why I have life insurance coverage to protect them in case the unthinkable happens.

While talking about this difficult subject is not a conversation that many people are eager to have, I want to encourage you this Thanksgiving to have a conversation with us if Life Insurance is not currently a part of your Insurance portfolio.

In the event of a tragedy, having life insurance can do some pretty amazing things for your family:

  • It can buy loved one’s time to grieve.
  • It can pay off debts and loans, providing surviving family members with the chance to move on with a clean slate.
  • It can keep families in their homes.
  • It can fund a child’s college education.
  • It can keep a family business in the family.
  • It can provide a stream of income for family to not stress about expenses.

Covering your family’s well-being with life insurance is one of the most crucial insurance policies to own.

Most families either have no life insurance or not enough, leaving them one accident or terminal illness away from a financial catastrophe for their loved ones. We do not want this to happen to you! We are here to answer any questions you might have and guide you to the coverage that is right for your family.

Call our office TODAY to discuss how we can help you and your family prepare for the future.

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Each year, October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Breast cancer awareness is an effort to raise awareness of breast cancer and reduce the disease’s stigma by educating people about its symptoms and treatment options. Supporters hope that greater knowledge will lead to earlier detection of breast cancer, which is associated with higher long-term survival rates, and that money raised for breast cancer will produce a reliable, permanent cure.

Most all of us know someone, a mother, aunt, sister, or friend, who has battled breast cancer. Breast cancer is a disease that reaches many of us on a personal level and we have a special interest in fighting this disease.

It is critically important that we support this cause and do what we can to raise awareness for breast cancer.

For more information about breast cancer, including how you can show your support, visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation website at www.nationalbreastcancer.org.

Did you know…

  • The older a woman, the more likely she is to get breast cancer.
  • Men can get breast cancer. Out of every one hundred cases of breast cancer, one will occur in a man
  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for women in the U.S, after lung cancer
  • The National Cancer Institute estimates that a woman in the United States has a 1 in 8 chance of developing invasive breast cancer during her lifetime

Call Our Office Today for Information About Breast Cancer Insurance.

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Changing Seasons

September is one of my favorite months. Maybe it’s the fighting spirit inside me, but I like to root for this ‘underdog’ month. Think about it…September is the month right before all the major holidays start, and I think September doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

The heat of summer staves off and we welcome fall. After the hot summer we’ve had, I’m ready for there to be a bit of a chill in the air. If you’re a fan like me, you’ve likely been counting down the days until football season, which is finally here! Leaves may be starting to change colors or fall from the trees. I think many parents enjoy September most of all (if their kids are back in school!) Parents, if you have teenage drivers going back to school who will be driving for the first time, make sure you’ve got the proper coverage to protect your family. Let us review your current coverage and make sure you’re properly protected.

There is one pretty neat thing that happens in September that you might not know about. You might remember from grade school that each equinox and solstice we experience is an astronomical event, caused by Earth’s tilt on its axis and orbit around the sun. We have an equinox twice a year – spring and fall – when the tilt of the Earth’s axis and Earth’s orbit around the sun combine in such a way that the axis is inclined neither away from nor toward the sun.

Additionally, we have a solstice twice a year – summer and winter – when the sun reaches its highest and lowest points in the sky.

When we experience the September Equinox on September 22nd, Earth’s two hemispheres will be receiving the sun’s rays equally. How’s that for a science lesson from an unlikely source?

I hope that you enjoyed a fun-filled summer with your family and are enjoying all that the changing of seasons brings.

Wishing you all the best this fall!

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Our Agency Will Help You Protect What Matters Most

I recently heard a story from a friend of mine who is also an Insurance Agent. I wanted to share it with you to help stress how critically important having the proper Life Insurance coverage for your family is.

Last spring, tragedy hit very abruptly. My friend’s agency had quoted a customer and his family for a Life Insurance policy that would have cost them less than what an average cup of coffee costs per day. The husband had come to the agency to talk about increasing his Life Insurance coverage (he already had a very small policy through his work in place, but not sufficient to fully protect his family), but decided he needed to wait and speak with his wife about the decision first.

That was a Wednesday morning. Saturday afternoon the husband was driving, and his car was hit by an oncoming driver who crossed the center line on a two-lane road. He was killed instantly, unexpectedly, and of course, very tragically.

As a result of all the family’s bills and costs after the husband’s death, on top of losing her husband and children’s father, the wife was forced to sell her home to get an apartment. The children were taken out the school they had always gone to, leave all their friends behind, and move across town. Not to mention, going from a stay-at-home mom to a full-time worker for the first time in years, as the husband had been the family’s only breadwinner. Stories like this one do not have happy endings, nor do they have the financial stability to allow the family to properly grieve and try to continue living their lives as normally as possible after their loss.

While it is easy to overlook, life insurance is an absolute necessity to protect yours and your family’s financial future. Life insurance is a necessity that you need today to help you prepare for tomorrow. In the event of a tragedy, life insurance can help make an extremely difficult time just a little bit easier, giving your loved ones the financial security, they will need.

Your family can use a life insurance payout to cover your mortgage or other routine bills that may burden your family while they recover from the loss. It can also help finance the future needs of your family, stepping in to cover the costs of college or your spouse’s retirement.

Even if you already have a life insurance policy, please consider reviewing your coverage this month to ensure that you have the proper policy for yours and your family’s needs. Many big life events, such as having children or buying a home, can affect your life insurance needs, and we’re here to help make sure you’ve got the protection you need, no matter what life throws your way.

September is Life Insurance Awareness month so give us a call or come by the office this month to make sure you have the proper insurance you need to protect yourself and your loved ones.

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Changing Seasons

September is one of my favorite months. Maybe it’s the fighting spirit inside me, but I like to root for this ‘underdog’ month. Think about it…September is the month right before all the major holidays start, and I think September doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

The heat of summer staves off and we welcome fall. After the hot summer we’ve had, I’m ready for there to be a bit of a chill in the air. If you’re a fan like me, you’ve likely been counting down the days until football season, which is finally here! Leaves may be starting to change colors or fall from the trees. I think many parents enjoy September most of all (if their kids are back in school!) Parents, if you have teenage drivers going back to school who will be driving for the first time, make sure you’ve got the proper coverage to protect your family. Let us review your current coverage and make sure you’re properly protected.

There is one pretty neat thing that happens in September that you might not know about. You might remember from grade school that each equinox and solstice we experience is an astronomical event, caused by Earth’s tilt on its axis and orbit around the sun. We have an equinox twice a year – spring and fall – when the tilt of the Earth’s axis and Earth’s orbit around the sun combine in such a way that the axis is inclined neither away from nor toward the sun.

Additionally, we have a solstice twice a year – summer and winter – when the sun reaches its highest and lowest points in the sky.

When we experience the September Equinox on September 22nd, Earth’s two hemispheres will be receiving the sun’s rays equally. How’s that for a science lesson from an unlikely source?

I hope that you enjoyed a fun-filled summer with your family and are enjoying all that the changing of seasons brings.

Wishing you all the best this fall!

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Back to School in 7 Easy Steps

It’s school time again! You’re probably feeling excited and maybe a little sad that summer is almost over.

Some kids feel nervous or a little scared on the first day of school because of all the new things: new teachers, new friends, and maybe even a new school. Luckily, these “new” worries only stick around for a little while.

Here are seven tips to keep in mind to help keep things running smoothly.

     

  1. Get a Grip. Your relationship with your children has a great effect on them. It’s important not to act overwhelmed about the return to school. Build in extra time, put extra projects on hold, stay rested, and try to spend more time with your kids.
  2. Don’t Completely Clean the Slate. While change is good, be careful about overdoing it. Too much too soon can make any child complain. Focus on getting comfortable with a school schedule and revisit other issues after you and your kids feel more settled.
  3. Be Reassuring. Be sure to listen to your child’s worries and don’t minimize or dismiss them. These fears are real to your child.
  4. Set the Stage. Shopping for supplies and clothes should be fun, but overdoing this can be boring and a little scary to kids. Be sure to take it slow. You should also try and set aside a space for homework, so your child can have a place that is quiet and comfortable for them.
  5. Meet the Teacher. When parents and teachers have regular discussions about school or home events, kids feel a more trusting connection with the school as a whole and tend to try harder both socially and academically. Most good schools would rather know sooner than later if you are worried about your child’s school experience.
  6. Set Homework Ground Rules. Be sure to set some ground rules for homework. Set aside a certain time each day for your child to do their homework. Depending on your child’s schedule, you may have to set homework time before or after you eat in the evening. Just be sure to remember that regularity is key.
  7. Watch for Signs of Frustration. No learning can take place if your child is angry or upset. Pay attention to your child and step in if it looks like they’re getting frustrated over homework or school.

In the end, the most important tool you can use is to know your own child. Observe the situation, but also try to keep it all in perspective.

For most kids, back-to-school jitters will melt away as easily as summer slips into fall.

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