We all know - or maybe we assume - that spring and summer are the best times to sell a home. And it’s true that many buyers do plan their new home purchases during the warmer months. But that doesn’t mean all the serious buyers evaporate after Labor Day. The thinking used to be that trying to sell your home during the holiday season was a terrible idea. Real estate agents often advised their clients to either wait to list the home or to take their home off the market between Thanksgiving and New Year’s! Like many old ideas, this…
For this showcase, our editorial team asked Cheryl Turner, owner of Paris in a Cup, to share her personal vision and inspiration behind her immensely popular tea salon and boutique based in historic Old Town Orange ... in her own words and just in time for the holidays. Visitors to my Tea Salon frequently ask me why I chose a French theme for my restaurant, my answer is always the same. I love all things French, especially the beautiful city of Paris. Due to an inner-ear problem, I have never been to the city of love, so I decided to…
The holidays are right around the corner, and in our house, we take advantage of the opportunity to plan our annual family portrait when three generations of relatives are here visiting and we have everyone under one roof. We have been lucky to find a wonderful local photographer who is simply a joy to work with. Melisa Chandler of Chandler Photography has beautifully captured our family in cherished images that adorn the walls of each of our family members’ homes. She might come from humble and adorable beginnings (her first models were butterflies and her Strawberry Shortcake doll), but she’s…
In my three decades of focusing on long-term care coverage, I have seen it many times. The woman of the house – who did the majority of the child raising, managing the house, and caring for her aging husband (probably an income earner too) – never was planned for and had very limited resources when she needed care. It is no one’s fault, really. Families are just used to thinking of mom as the rock that will always be there. Usually the kids help as much as they can, if they live close enough and they find time while raising…
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), a non-invasive, radiation-free therapy to treat localized prostate cancer, was approved for use in the United States by the FDA in October, 2015. This technology is not new to the United States as it originated in 1970’s at the Indiana University School of Medicine and has been in use throughout the world – from Europe to Asia, the Middle East, South and Central America, Mexico and Canada. “Historically, the conventional treatment for prostate cancer is the surgical removal of the prostate,” explains Dr. Robert Pugach, Medical Director of Pacific Coast Urology Medical Center. “While this…
About Alzheimer’s disease Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that primarily affects the elderly. Although researchers do not fully understand what causes Alzheimer’s, recent research provides new insight into when the disease begins and how it progresses. It has become clear that Alzheimer’s begins years, even decades, before symptoms begin to emerge, and is now considered a spectrum of disorders. The disease begins silently with no outward sign that anything is wrong. In this stage memory and thinking are normal, but there are subtle signs of the diseases presence. These signs can only be detected using sophisticated imaging techniques…
It’s a sad reality that, as we age, we become less independent than we once were – but for most blessed with longevity, it’s inevitable. With an estimated 13 million baby boomers throughout the U.S. caring for elderly parents, throngs of adult caregivers struggle with determining if their parent is fit to remain living alone. It’s a difficult, multi-faceted decision not to be made lightly as there is much at stake – both the physical and emotional well-being of the parent in question and for the extended family at large. To help ease the process of determining if an elderly…
Oct 30, 2015

Boston Uncommon

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Boston feels like a small town where you can’t turn around without bumping into a gravestone of a Son of Liberty, running into an historical landmark or stumbling upon a legendary building. It’s the Cradle of Liberty full of lessons from history; it’s Beantown, heavy with cultural significance; it’s America’s Walking City, full of pedestrians who dig their rickety old subway cars because they’re the oldest and the coolest. Boston famously offers its Freedom Trail, a path of bricks that takes a walker throughout the city past its most significant sites. The Freedom Trail Tour took us from Boston Common…
Mankind has found causes for celebration from earliest recorded history. These early celebrations often had important social, political and religious implications, and often were not so different from the champagne, parties and fireworks of today. The Greeks celebrated the New Year beginning around midsummer at the new moon before the summer solstice. From the music, singing, and dancing at the festivals of Dionysus developed the dithyramb (choral lyric with exchanges between the leader and the chorus) which ultimately became Greek drama. The Greek festival Lenaea took place in the beginning of winter and celebrated the birth (final fermentation) of the…
Over the years of helping people hear well again, I get this question “Can I just wear one hearing aid” and I always say you can but you lose a lot in the ear you choose not to help. There are those ‘situations” which allows for one hearing aid. One reason is the ear is completely deaf and the other ear is correctible, in which case you could wear just an aid in the correctible ear. However, we sometimes use a Bi-Cross to bring the sound from the bad ear to the correctible ear. This allows the person to feel as…
South County locals looking for the ideal destination for fine wine, delicious cuisine and live entertainment need look no further than Tannins Restaurant and Wine Bar in San Juan Capistrano. Located at 27211 Ortega Highway, Tannins is characterized by a blend of Old World charm and rustic décor artfully enhanced with a modern flair – from its strong focus on wine and food pairings to its expansive menu of Northern and Mediterranean and Southern Italian cuisine along with delectable desserts and specials prepared fresh daily. I personally love Tannins for a few reasons; the food is exquisite, the service always…
You might think that staying up-to-date with vaccinations ends when you are a child. The truth is older adults also need to follow a regular vaccination schedule to reduce the risk of spreading diseases, developing serious illnesses, and even death. Immunizations play a role in lowering your risk of contracting diseases, and are an integral part of staying healthy. Vaccines have played a huge part in reducing and even eliminating severe illnesses, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, thousands of adults in the United States are hospitalized, treated, and even die from diseases that have…
When you’re feeling under the weather and need your prescription filled, there is something said for speedy service that is professional and above all: caring. Chances are, you’ve spent more time than you wanted to in the waiting room at your doctor’s office. You don’t feel well, and the last thing you want to do is stop somewhere else to fill your prescriptions. All of it is enough to make you want to call your mother to come take care of you. Well, that’s exactly what the folks at OC Pharmacy had in mind when they opened for business. We’ve…
The short answer is, well, maybe. While it depends on why a person is not qualified for long-term care (LTC) insurance, there is an option, a, single premium, fixed, deferred annuity that is designed with built-in long-term care benefits. The advantages of this option are that it is easier to qualify for than insurance, has long-term care benefits, and if you don’t need long-term care, the money in the annuity can be used as income or passed on to heirs. What is a fixed annuity? Simply stated it is a long-term, tax deferred, insurance contract designed for retirement. With a…
According to the Orange County Register, a 91-year-old woman from Brea died in mid-2014, and left her entire estate to her caregiver. After officials discovered the transfer, they removed her assistant as trustee and took away the home she left  him. Why? According to the District Attorney and the ruling Judge, the facts of the case demonstrated “Fraud and Undue Influence” by the caregiver. A caregiver has worked for you in your later years; How can you to safely include this person in your will or your trust? Can you avoid the accusations that destroyed this 91-year-old’s wishes? To avoid…
When was the last time your banker, broker, advisor, CPA, attorney and insurance agent all sat at the same table to discuss ways to lower your taxes, increase your income, protect your nest egg, create an income stream that you cannot outlive, and make sure you have tax free In-Home care for as long as you live, should you need it? The answer is probably never. The Stoddard Group is a true estate-planning firm in Orange County. Our 17 years of first hand experience has found areas of concern that can dramatically affect your family and your finances. Families having…
Whoever said two things in life are certain - Death and Taxes – should have added a third one to that list: Sibling Rivalry. Unless you subscribe to the old Chinese rule of only one child, chances are you have experienced the ugliness of sibling rivalry in your own family. We expect to see this undesirable behavior during childhood but we certainly don’t expect grown adults to exhibit this immaturity after the death of one or both of their parents when they should be pulling together & cooperating with each other. Raising competitive kids in America unknowingly helps breed contempt…
The reverse mortgage products offered today have gone through a major makeover of sorts in recent years in the pursuit of consumer protection. The overwhelming majority of the reverse mortgages originated in recent years are the FHA Insured Reverse Mortgage product known as the HECM, an acronym for Home Equity Conversion Mortgage. These are some of the questions I have received recently from clients. Q: I have heard there are some new changes that have to do with qualifying. How does that work? A: Financial Analysis is a relatively new qualifying process that is required for all new reverse mortgage…
Long-term care (sometimes referred to as LTC) can be confusing and there are lots of misconceptions regarding what it actually is and who pays for it. While it is impossible to cover everything about LTC in these few words, we can get a good start. What is Long-term Care (LTC)? Simply put, LTC is services and assistance to an individual who has severe limitations in his/her ability to function independently and will require assistance and care over an extended period of time. Long-term Care is not medical care and is not provided by medical professionals such as nurses and therapists…
Technological advancements are moving at a rapid pace. A new device seems to appear nearly every day. For many seniors, this pace can be overwhelming to stay up-to-date, especially when most devices aren’t created with the senior user in mind. Although advancements in technology can be frustrating at times, studies show that older adults are beginning to slowly adapt to the digital age. Pew Research reports that 77 percent of adults over 65 owned a cell phone in 2014, but only 18 percent of those are smart phone users. This slow incline to adjust to technology can be partially attributed…

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