This has been a very stressful year. We are all probably looking forward to spending the holidays with our loved ones. Most holiday traditions involve traveling to see family, making delicious home-cooked meals and treats, and exchanging gifts with our friends and family. Here are some ways to stay healthy this holiday season.
Traveling for the holiday season to see our family is a tradition. Consider taking a road trip rather than braving a crowded airport terminal, even if it may take you a few extra days. A fun and safer alternative is having a zoom party with the whole family! If you are traveling by plane, remember to wear masks, wash your hands, and maintain appropriate social distancing.
Another holiday staple is baked goods and home-cooked meals. It is still important to make sure you and your kids eat healthy, even during the holiday season, including a variety of fruits, vegetables, and well-balanced portions. Consider trying new recipes, and let your kids help you prepare the meal so they can join in on the fun.
Lastly, finding time and motivation to exercise has been very hard this year. Get a jump on your New Year’s resolutions and take a walk outside together as a family if the weather is nice, or maybe go out for a nice bike ride through the neighborhood! Find safe and fun activities to do as a family that get you a little sweaty and get the heart rate up!
The traditional approach to estate planning in America is a challenging system, at best. The chance of a successful planning experience is remote if you define “success” as “meeting people’s expectations”.
Most people consider the subject of death and dying taboo, and as a result professionals have created a reactive system that has the capability of producing as many problems as it solves. The process usually starts with professional advisors accommodating the individual’s desire to make the process as short as possible (think: trip to the dentist!). Sadly, as long as the experience is short and relatively painless, most “planning” experiences are treated as “successful”. However, this is an extreme disservice to you and your heirs because the heirs often suffer the consequences of this type of planning.
Professionals rely on sterile form documents, with little eort to educate individuals about their options and the additional steps necessary to actually produce results. This includes financial advisors who recommend simple document acquisition, as well as attorneys who perpetuate the myth that the documents accomplish everything. In reality, people accomplish the tasks associated with estate planning, and people receive the benefit, or bear the brunt of, the results produced through the planning process.
Understanding the steps needed for success, customizing the plan to fit your family, and preparing your family to effectively implement the plan are critical steps to producing a smooth transition upon disability and death. These steps are regularly disregarded in most estate plans because they take more time and eort.
There is a better process available for those who take the time to seek it out. If you have questions, I encourage you to gain more knowledge about available estate planning options, by visiting www.EstatePlansatWork.com to sign up for a complimentary online workshop.
November marked our seventh year of business in the Brighton community. We are grateful to each of you we have met along this journey and are honored to still be here to help what matters most.
One of our favorite parts of being a small business is that we get to know our clients and their families and build relationships with them over the years.
For the past eight years, we provide pies to our clients and they each get a choice of a pumpkin or apple pie during Thanksgiving. One of my favorite clients in our agency was Grace Fletcher. She would call me at different times throughout the year, sometimes in March or the summertime, just to make sure we were still giving away pie because it was her contribution for her family during the holiday. One year the weather was frigid cold and the roads were icy. Grace said she was too fearful of driving so I hand delivered her pie to her that year so she wouldn’t be without.
Grace passed away on November 2nd, 2020. I asked her family here in Brighton if I could dedicate our pie giveaway going forward in Grace’s memory. The family agreed, and we are proud to share our first year of “Pie & Grace.”
The COVID-19 Pandemic has made this year trying and uncertain for so many in our community and neighborhoods. Even though your Thanksgiving may look different this year, don’t forget two things – Pie & Grace.
Redeem unused Over the Counter product benefits your plan may provide. These typically expire at the end of the year. I can provide information!
Follow up about redeemable benefits earned for completing preventive care. Many advantage plans have rewards that can be requested in the form of gift cards if you have stayed active, done a wellness check or other preventive procedures.
Consider refilling prescriptions before year end, especially, if you will be changing coverage or providers in the new year.
If you have enrolled in a new medical or prescription plan, become familiar with it to get o to a fresh start in the new year. Consider taking advantage of mail order pharmacy if it could meet your needs.
If you are turning 65 anytime in the coming 6 months and would like assistance applying for Medicare online or learning the process, this is a complimentary service I’m offering since Social Security Offices mostly remain closed for in person visitors.
If you have Plan F, be informed about the Colorado regulation change that may offer you significant savings in 2021.
As always, you can reach me for assistance with any Medicare related questions, Lisa Asmussen 303-887-8584.
Offered by: Willy Strohmeier – Colorado Karate Club
Yeah, that’s me in the weeks before Christmas. My wife thinks I’m a sort of Grinch who doesn’t enjoy the Christmas spirit, and maybe she’s right. Don’t get me wrong, I do like Christmas, I am just annoyed at the constant noise, ashing lights, crazy shopping, and overly poppy cheerfulness of it, which expects me to prance around the snow ringing bells and spreading joy like fairy dust.
Not much of a “Silent Night” for my taste. You see, I think that we have come to a huge imbalance between the noise of life, which multiplies during Christmas, and the silence required for reflective thought and prayer. And it is not just around Christmas that we are haunted by noise and flashing lights, but throughout the year, and I am guilty of this as well. We keep the TV on even just for background noise, jump in the car and the radio plays, go for a run, or a bike ride and got headphones strapped to our ears. Our phones ding non-stop with email, texting, and instant messages, or with notifications from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We seem to have become uncomfortable with silence and being alone with ourselves and with our thoughts.
At the start of our Karate class, the students line up, sit on their knees (seiza), and the senior student calls for “Mokuso”, which means “to meditate”, it is a moment when we close our eyes and keep silent in order to clear our minds and focus on the upcoming training. This is an inherent part of the class, because we believe that a proper “mokuso” helps greatly to improve a student’s (and the teacher’s) performance in class.
In the same manner, I believe that a few minutes of silence at the start of our day can be tremendously helpful for reflection, recollection, and unencumbered thought, especially in preparation for the day ahead. In a busy world, so full of distractions, meetings, chores, and conversations, remember that the most important conversations you may have, are the ones that you will have with yourself in the silence of your mind. I hope you make the time to listen to what you have to say.
Best wishes, and yes, Merry Christmas to you! Willy Strohmeier – Sensei
There’s no denying this holiday season is, for many, much more challenging than any of us bargained for. While this year will undoubtedly look different from years past, our holiday celebrations can still be meaningful and enjoyable if we look at this as an opportunity to reflect and focus on the positives and possibilities.
Author/illustrator Susan Branch says “The most precious gifts, the ones that last the longest, aren’t wrapped or under the tree. They’re the memories of people and places that live in our hearts forever.” Most often, the things that make meaningful traditions and lasting memories require time more than money, and if there’s an upside to the pandemic, sheltering at home has definitely given us more time.
So what have you been able to do that you might not have done if “things were normal?” Hopefully you have already, or, if not, you will get creative and find new ways to celebrate. Who knows, you might just find, or create, some new traditions along the way. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Take a drive to view the Christmas lights/decorations around the community and put up your own Christmas decorations so others can do the same.
Bake cookies and surprise friends, family, and neighbors with sweet gifts on their doorstep.
Find ways to volunteer and help one or more of the various nonprofit organizations in our community working to help those less fortunate in our community.
However you decide to celebrate, I hope that you and your loved ones have a safe and blessed holiday filled with love and happy moments that you’ll look back on with fondness for many years to come!
For proven expertise in establishing your home value and/or searching for a new or existing home, please call Jan at (303) 520-4340.
We are coming upon the holiday season and this year people will be celebrating the end of a terrible 2020 and hoping for a better 2021. Celebrating means people will drink and, if you decide to drink and drive, it is very important that you understand some hard truths about that decision.
If you are pulled over by the police, please cooperate. You are at a disadvantage if you fight the police. Police misconduct needs to be dealt with in a courtroom by an experienced attorney not on the side of a street.
However, please understand this. You are not required to give the police evidence that can be used against you in court. You have constitutional rights that you can invoke even in a DUI investigation.
Cooperation does not mean you are required give an extensive explanation to the police about what you have been doing. Cooperation does not mean you are required to do voluntary roadside maneuvers (sobriety tests).
The police may believe that you were driving under the influence and arrest you. If they have a reasonable belief, the law requires you to submit to a chemical test. Most people have heard of the .08% blood alcohol level. If your blood alcohol level is .08% or higher you will be charged with driving under the influence. However, it is still a crime to drive with a blood alcohol level of .05% or higher or, in some circumstances, .02% or higher.
Please call me at 303-990-0621 or e-mail me at James@jpcolganlaw.com so that I can protect your rights if you are arrested for a DUI.
We’re nearing the end of 2020 – and for many of us, it will be a relief to turn the calendar page on this challenging year. However, we’ve still got a few weeks left, which means you have time to make some year-end financial moves that may work in your favor.
Here are a few suggestions:
Add to your IRA. For the 2020 tax year, you can put in up to $6,000 to your traditional or Roth IRA, or $7,000 if you’re 50 or older. If you haven’t reached this limit, consider adding some money. You actually have until April 15, 2021, to contribute to your IRA for 2020, but the sooner you put the money in, the quicker it can go to work for you. Plus, if you have to pay taxes in April, you’ll be less likely to contribute to your IRA then.
Make an extra 401(k) payment. If it’s allowed by your employer, put in a little extra to your 401(k) or similar retirement plan. And if your salary goes up next year, increase your regular contributions.
See your tax advisor. It’s possible that you could improve your tax situation by making some investment-related moves. For example, if you sold some investments whose value has increased, you could incur capital gains taxes. To o set these gains, you could sell other investments that have lost value, assuming these investments are no longer essential to your financial strategy. Your tax advisor can evaluate this type of move, along with others, to determine those that may be appropriate for your situation.
Review your investment mix. As you consider your portfolio, think about the events of these past 12 months and how you responded to them. When COVID-19 hit early in the year, and the financial markets plunged, did you find yourself worrying constantly about the losses you were taking, even though they were just on “paper” at that point? Did you even sell investments to “cut your losses” without waiting for a market recovery? If so, you might want to consult with a financial professional to determine if your investment mix is still appropriate for your goals and risk tolerance, or if you need to make some changes.
Evaluate your need for retirement plan withdrawals. If you are 72 or older, you must start taking withdrawals – technically called required minimum distributions, or RMDs – from your traditional IRA and your 401(k) or similar retirement plan. Typically, you must take these RMDs by December 31 every year. However, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act suspended, or waived, all RMDs due in 2020. If you’re in this age group, but you don’t need the money, you can let your retirement accounts continue growing on a tax-deferred basis.
Think about the future. Are you saving enough for your children’s college education? Are you still on track toward the retirement lifestyle you’ve envisioned? Or have your retirement plans changed as a result of the pandemic? All of these issues can affect your investment strategies, so you’ll want to think carefully about what decisions you may need to make.
This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
Edward Jones, Member SIPC
If you are on Medicare and have a Medicare Supplement, you might have an opportunity to change your plan January 1, 2021 – June 30, 2021.
What do I mean by “free pass”? In general, when you have a Medicare Supplement, you can change from plan to plan or insurance carrier to another insurance carrier at any time. e catch is you will have to answer a list of health questions and face the insurance carrier’s underwriting department. This can be a challenge for some.
Most people will keep their existing Medicare Supplement once they have it because they like the coverage. One of the disadvantages though is the annual premium increases. As the monthly cost increases over time it can get expensive.
When the Plan C and F were no longer available for folks turning 65 on or after January 1, 2020, those who already had the Plan C or F have been faced with a challenge. As people drop out of the Plan C and F, the premium increase percentages for those remaining can be larger year after year.
The state of Colorado has created a Special Election Period for certain people January 1, 2021 – June 30, 2021. During this time frame, if you have one of the 3 plans listed below and want to make one of the below plan changes, you can without any health questions.
Plan C to Plan D
High Deductible Plan F to High Deductible Plan G
Plan F to Plan G
You can do this with the same company you already have or you can switch to a different company. This can be very confusing so please call me with questions as to why you would stay in your plan or possibly change. 720.626.6524
Traditionally, the end of the year is filled with holiday celebrations, family gatherings, and good cheer — but the holidays will look a little different this year. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the CDC cautions that holiday gatherings and travel carry a high risk for getting or spreading COVID-19.* That’s why it’s important to celebrate safely this year — and act responsibly to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Celebrating with those in your household is the only safe option and the best way to protect yourself and others. But there are still many ways you can show you care this holiday season, even if it’s just over the phone or video chat. Here are 3 questions to consider, so you can reduce the risk of spreading the virus while still connecting with family.
Who will be there? It’s important to limit the number of people you gather with. e general rule is to stick to people in your household or your “quaranteam” — also known as a quarantine bubble or a pandemic pod. For months, the term quaranteam has been used to describe the social circle you see in person during the pandemic to help you feel supported and connected to others. It’s a way to limit the risk of infection while also maintaining the social connections that benefit our mental health. For example, your quaranteam may include another family, a few select friends, or your neighbors. When you form a quaranteam or quarantine bubble, you make an agreement as a group to only see people within that bubble.
It’s OK to set boundaries or tell your friends and family you don’t feel comfortable getting together.
Where will you spend time, and for how long? Indoor gatherings generally pose more risk than outdoor gatherings so, if weather permits, try to stay outdoors. If your celebration is indoors, ventilation with open windows or doors can help lower risk.
Also, shorter gatherings are lower risk. So, for example, if you’re planning to get together with your family and you usually stay overnight, you could limit your plans to a physically distanced dinner party instead.
How will you socialize safely? Getting creative and being flexible with your annual traditions will help keep everyone safe. According to the CDC, gatherings with more preventive measures like wearing a mask, physically distancing, and washing your hands pose less risk than gatherings where fewer or no preventive measures are being implemented.* If you do attend a holiday gathering, you should consider self-isolating for 2 weeks after to protect the health of others. It’s also important to get a flu shot before attending a gathering to help protect yourself and your loved ones.
So, whether you’re celebrating with your household or just video chatting with loved ones, think about how to adjust your traditions to lower your risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. Remember to take care of your physical health as well as your mental health throughout the holiday season. And may your days be merry — and healthy and safe.
*“Holiday Celebrations and Small Gatherings,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accessed September 21, 2020.
Offered by: Brighton Clinic of Chiropractic Many times, someone that hurts their back will tell me “I dropped my phone …Read More »
Stayin in The Buzz
December 31, 2019
I got a call from Susan at the Brighton Buzz asking if I wanted to
advertise n the next issue. My response was that I either needed to keep
my ad running or fold the business.
About 90% of the calls that I receive include a comment like, ”I
saw your ad in the Brighton Buzz…. . “
The majority of my calls take me inside a home, it is not unusual for somebody to pick up a copy of the Buzz and say they found me right there. The Buzz that they show me is frequently not the latest issue. The Buzz has great holding power! At the same time, I can always tell when The Buzz has hit mailboxes. My phone starts ringing. A lot of people seem to look through it right away.
The cost per home is low, the cost per response is
reasonable. Am I going to continue to advertise in the Brighton
Buzz? You can count on it!
Gray Guy Handyman Service, LLC
Susan is Superb!
July 19, 2015
Wonderful! Well written! Informative! Susan is Superb!
Michael Angelo Davey
Susan is Amazing!
July 19, 2015
Susan is Amazing! Thanks for all your had work. We all appreciate it.
Sandra Samson Chessmore
Advertising process was flawless!
July 19, 2015
Advertising process was flawless! The ad looked great, the responses are already coming in and Susan was terrific to work with. Thank you! We'll definitely be working with you guys again!