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Financial Health

Do Prescription Drug Costs Have You Worried?

If you are enrolled in Medicare and your prescription drug costs are overwhelming your budget, there are some government programs available. Extra Help, also known as the Low-Income Subsidy, is a government program that may help pay for Medicare Part D prescription medication costs. Like everything in life, you will Read more…

Health, Wealth and the Road to Retirement

There’s a vital relationship between wealth and health. When the two come together, it’s stunning to see how each side of the equation comes into play. Before my wife Stacey joined me in the wealth management business, she was a busy podiatrist with her own medical and surgical practice. And Read more…

Do You Know Who Your Beneficiaries Are?

When was the last time you checked your beneficiary designations for your individual retirement account (IRA), employer retirement plan, annuity or life insurance policy? If you haven’t examined it since the account was set up, you are not alone. Due to changing circumstances and shifting priorities, you may find that Read more…

Worried About Retirement?

Concerned about having enough money saved for retirement? Here’s a simple solution: work just a few years longer. By accumulating more savings and shortening your withdrawal period, you’ll reduce the lump sum needed to generate the necessary income at retirement. In a report titled “Retirement Age and the Need for Read more…

Divorce: Don’t Go It Alone

Divorce is a time of many changes and is seldom easy for anyone involved. Still, certain steps you can take now may make the process less stressful and help simplify your life when the divorce is finalized. First things first – assembling a strong, experienced team of confidential professional and Read more…

Marketing Your Medical Practice Online

Just like other industries, the medical health industry needs to adapt to the marketing trends of today. Gone are the days when word of mouth alone drove your business forward. In the past, your company might have been the only one providing that service in your radius, whereas now you Read more…

Life, Love and Impact

Family can be a source of nurture, inspiration and companionship. Family can also be the source of our deepest worries and concerns. After ensuring your financial house is in order, it may be time for you to answer the question, “If you could make the world better in one significant Read more…

Funding Your Child’s Future: Education Savings Options

For today’s parents, planning for your child’s college years often begins long before your student starts filling out college applications. Rising college costs require most families to save for their children’s post-secondary education, and the earlier you begin the better. Depending on a variety of factors, including the quality of Read more…

Leaving a Loving Legacy: Getting Started

Today, two-thirds of women identify themselves as the primary decision-maker in their home. Many of these women are also the breadwinner, earning 62% of the household income.1 If you find yourself among this growing group of women, you play a vital role in managing your family’s finances – from overseeing Read more…

Healthy Workplace, Happy Team Players

Desert Health® Wellness Award winner, HARC (Health Assessment Resource Center), conducted their own awards celebration this year for wellness in the workplace. The first annual Coachella Valley Workplace Wellness Awards took place on June 7 as part of June’s Employee Well-Being Month, a nationally-recognized celebration of wellness in the workplace. Read more…

Are You Prepared For Future Health Care Costs?

The usual method for estimating spending needs in retirement is to take your post-retirement household budget and tack on an inflation rate, such as 3%. Some expenses may increase at a faster rate than the inflation rate you use, others at a slower rate, but overall, expenses such as housing, Read more…

Organizing Your Financial Life

Financial organization is a cornerstone of a healthy financial life. At the most basic level, financial organization saves time and money because it aids in paying bills on time, being able to find needed documents during tax season, providing proof of payment, disputing credit card billing errors and avoiding the Read more…

Coping with Financial Stress During the Holidays

We hope that holidays will be joyous occasions—a blend of spiritual joy and lively times with family and friends. No one intends to be Ebenezer Scrooge. “Bah Humbug!” However, the holiday season can create many stressors. In addition to your daily responsibilities, there is gift purchasing, parties, baking, decorating, and Read more…

Are You Prepared For Medicare Open Enrollment?

Health care planning is a sensitive subject, but given rising expenses, no retirement plan is complete without some kind of provision for health care needs. Here are some guidelines and resources for estimating your needs and expenses. Health care costs are rapidly emerging as a major expense item both before Read more…

Vision for Retirement

You can make the difficult transition into retirement easier by exploring your expectations and desires. With some careful prioritizing, you can design a working plan for retirement that may surpass all your expectations. When most people think of retirement, they imagine leaving a job they’re tired of, getting out of Read more…

Biggest Loser Resort Comes to the Desert

Palm Desert’s J.W. Marriott is now home to the Biggest Loser Resort’s newest venture which opens its doors to guests this September. Palm Desert joins Niagara, NY, Amelia Island, FL, and Chicago, IL, as an option for those looking to transform their life, lose weight and get on the path Read more…

La Quinta Is Building a Wellness Community

It’s no secret that the City of La Quinta has been embracing its Healthy Eating Active Living status for a number of years, particularly when it won the Coachella Valley Health Collaborative’s Healthy City Advocate Award not only once, but three times. However, the real secret is that La Quinta Read more…

Avoid These Common Investor Mistakes

Chasing performance. Investors often move out of sectors that are not performing well, investing that money in high-performing investments. But the market is cyclical; and often those high performers are poised to underperform, while the sectors just sold are ready to outperform. Rather than trying to guess which sector is Read more…

How You Can Give Your Career a Fresh Start

“The question is not how to survive, but how to thrive with passion, compassion, humor and style.” — Maya Angelou Are you just surviving at work – caught up in the day-to-day doldrums of your job? Life is too short to tolerate any sense of dread on Sunday evening as Read more…

Get Ready for Seven Serious Life Transitions Ahead

Most baby boomers will face seven key events in their last stage of life that will color their finances and investments. Prepare for these events by thinking about them now. Unlike earlier, happier events such as getting married, having children, and moving up the career ladder, some of these events Read more…

Considering a Reverse Mortgage Loan

Oftentimes seniors are faced with the reality of living on a fixed income from a pension, retirement income, and/or social security when they retire. A statement often heard when speaking with seniors preparing for, or currently in retirement is, “I am having trouble making ends meet. My monthly income hardly Read more…

What Kind of Retirement Do You Want?

We all know the process. Estimate how much is needed in retirement (which can range anywhere from 70% to over 100% of preretirement income), determine available income sources, and then calculate how much to save annually to reach those goals. As you go through this largely mathematical exercise, however, don’t Read more…

Verify Your Health Plan for 2015

Most will agree, open enrollment for Covered California went a lot smoother this year compared to last year. Though there were a few hiccups, you still have time to correct them before you are locked in. If you enrolled in the wrong plan, or you have changed your mind, you Read more…

Ramp Up Your Retirement Savings

As we enter the New Year, there is no better time to assess your current retirement plan and to set realistic goals for your long-term future. It is never too early or too late to start. Following are a few guidelines to set you in the right direction: Know where Read more…

Humana Challenge Delivers $800k

In November, 38 local organizations received charitable contributions from the 2014 Humana Challenge totaling $800,000, a 25% growth from the previous year. Desert Classic Charities, the local nonprofit entity that organizes the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation, presented to nonprofits in three categories: structured programs for children Read more…

Creating Commerce with Cashews

Ever wondered how cashews grow? A single nut appears from a colorful pod (called an “apple”) growing on trees in tropical regions like Brazil, Vietnam and India. While the popular nut is in growing demand, the apples are standardly left on the ground or thrown away. As reported by the Read more…

Take an Active Role in Your Insurance Coverage

Hundreds of thousands of us enrolled in Covered California last year, and even more will enroll this year. For Medicare, thousands of Californians turn 65 every week and choose an Advantage plan, or a Medicare Supplement.   With all of these new enrollees selecting new plans in Medicare and Covered Read more…

Medicare Advantage Annual Enrollment Ends December 7

If you are a senior who either wants to possibly change your Medicare Advantage Health Plan or your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan… OR… you want to consider buying one or the other for the first time, now is the time to check out the facts about these plans. Enrollment is Read more…

Fourth Quarter Tax Check-up!

Many people confuse tax planning with tax preparation and only think about the subject when preparing their annual tax return. However, there is little you can do to actually lower your tax bill when preparing your return. If your goal is to reduce income taxes, you need to be aware Read more…

The Sooner the Better

According to a survey on retirement readiness by the Employee Benefits Research Institute, only 14% of Americans are confident that they will be able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle after retirement. And among those, about 60% have less than $25,000 in savings, so depending on their age, they will most Read more…

Open Enrollment Round Two

It’s hard to believe, but the open enrollment period for health insurance is almost here. For seniors, that means October 15 through December 7 is the time to review your Medicare Advantage plan and your Part D prescription drug plan. But, for those under 65, open enrollment will be November Read more…

Medicare Instead of Group Coverage

For a variety of personal reasons, some of us continue to work after age 65. And when you do, you might delay taking your Social Security retirement benefits. You might mistakenly believe this means you cannot enroll in Medicare as well. Or, you might decide to keep your group health Read more…

Talking With Family About Your Estate Plans

In many families, finances and estate talk are taboo. Other families laugh and make jokes like, “Well, guess who just lost their inheritance!” No matter what kinds of family dynamics exist in your life, talking about what will happen after a person dies can be a painful and scary discussion, Read more…

Retirement Planning – Start Now.

After 40 or 50 years of working, you could find yourself retired for another 20 or 30. To support yourself without a job for 20 or 30 years, you should be planning for retirement during your entire working life. However, your concerns and strategies for retirement will change as you Read more…

Got New Health Care? Wait, There’s More…

Now that you enrolled in a new health insurance plan, it is up to you to get the most out of it – including tax deductions.  California led the way in enrolling previously uninsured Americans during the recent ACA open enrollment. It didn’t go smoothly, and it sure wasn’t easy. Read more…

Financial Planning vs. Retirement Planning

According to the most recent (2012) Household Financial Planning Survey conducted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, only 31% of financial decision makers have a comprehensive financial plan. If the survey had asked respondents to define comprehensive financial plan, few probably could have; most people define financial plan Read more…

Still Without Health Insurance?

If you are still without health insurance, or wish to change your current plan, you still have a little time to select and apply for new Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant health insurance. You must apply by March 15, and March 31 is the close of this initial Open Enrollment Period, Read more…

Does My Doctor Take My Health Plan?

Is your doctor accepting your health insurance plan? It’s hard to tell, even for your doctor’s office. When you call and ask, you probably tell them you have a PPO from one of the top three insurers. Let’s use Anthem Blue Cross as an example. If you have a doctor Read more…

Timing That Is Best for YOU

Timing is everything! Many people have crossed my path over the years, and some have done much better than others. Why is that? With all other key factors remaining equal – strategy, funding, education, or marketing – the primary difference was due to timing. For example, it made sense to Read more…

The Alphabet Soup of Medicare

About 8,000 Americans turn 65 every day and almost all of them qualify for Medicare. If you are one of them, here is what you can expect: a lot of junk mail. If you joined AARP, you will be receiving approximately 2-3 items per week from them in the 6 Read more…

Clinton Health Matters Conference Returns

The 3rd annual Clinton Health Matters Conference will return to the Coachella Valley January 13 – 15. As part of the foundation’s Health Matter Initiative (CHMI) and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the conference will unite corporate, non-profit, sports and media leaders to discuss partnerships and action steps to Read more…

Handling the Financial Aspects of Death

The emotional trauma of dealing with a loved one’s death can be devastating. If you are also the one who has to handle the financial aspects, dealing with all the details can seem overwhelming. Following is a checklist of items to consider: Your most immediate concern will be to notify Read more…

When Life Changes, So Should Your Financial Plan

If you’ve ever completed a financial plan, you know how much work it is to prepare. So, after all that work, you’re done, right? Wrong. The world is constantly changing, the markets are constantly fluctuating, and so is your life. If your plan for the future is going to be Read more…

How Will the New Affordable Care Act Affect You?

Let me begin by defining which individuals the Affordable care Act (ACA) will not affect when it is fully implemented on January 1, 2014: Anyone now on Medicare (including Pre-Age 65 Early Disability Individuals). Anyone covered by an employer-sponsored Group Health Insurance Plan. (But you will have to upgrade to Read more…

Is Buying Health Insurance Any Easier Now?

The Affordable Care Act has allowed our state programs to expand and cover more people, especially children, for very low premiums or even at no cost. If you have been without health insurance, or if you have a plan that is just too expensive for your budget, please make the Read more…

Mine, Yours and Ours: The 2013 American Family

It’s not news that American families don’t look like they did on 1950’s sitcoms: a mother and father who married for life and raised their two and a half biological children to adulthood. With our divorce rate at 50%, remarriage by half of those, and a growing number of same-sex Read more…

Selling Your Business to Family? Consider a Buy-Sell Agreement

A buy-sell agreement is a legal contract common in closely held businesses. It is an agreement you can enter into now that provides for the future sale of your business interest. A buy-sell agreement is also referred to as a business continuation agreement, a stock purchase agreement, or a buyout Read more…

Health Care Reform: The Covered California Marketplace Exchange

Undoubtedly, you are starting to hear about the new Covered California Marketplace Exchange for individuals on TV, radio and in print ads. It is part of the massive changes being brought about by the Federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “ObamaCare.” I have been actively following the slow Read more…

How Women Differ from Men, Financially Speaking

We all know men and women are different in some fundamental ways. But is this true when it comes to financial planning? In a word, yes. On the path to financial security, it’s important for women to understand what they might be up against. Here are some simple steps to Read more…

DESERT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT: Funding Programs that Improve Local Health Care Services

Inspired by the federal government’s Healthy People 2010 program, which encourages fitness and disease prevention, the Desert Healthcare District built The Wellness Park at the corner of Via Miraleste and Tachevah Road in Palm Springs. The beautiful 5-acre park offers a quarter-mile walking/jogging loop with drinking fountains and benches at Read more…

What’s Better: Saving or Paying Down Debt?

The Great Recession has drilled home a lesson many people seemed to have forgotten: debt can be dangerous to your financial health. For those who lost their jobs and ran out of savings, it was a lesson relearned the hard way. But for those who have managed to hang on–or Read more…

Making Your Dreams Your Reality

It takes a lot of hard-nosed work to fulfill your dreams. And we’re not just talking about the years of employment you put in to afford your dreams. We mean converting your dream into a plan to make those dreams come true. The first step is to recognize the difference Read more…

Insurance for Medical Professionals: Are You Covered?

Simplifying insurance is like simplifying medicine; it’s no easy task. As a medical professional, you can ask your patient a handful of questions that may flag a potentially serious problem, and then order diagnostic testing as needed. Likewise, you or your insurance agent should ask the proper questions to identify Read more…

Financial Basics for Your Kids & Grandkids

A very common reason for investors to focus on their portfolios is for the benefit of the next generation. They want to ensure that their children are well taken care of so that they, the investors, don’t have to worry later in life. Taking it another step is teaching your Read more…

2013 FICA Tax Increase Surprises Some Taxpayers

With all the end-of-year hype surrounding the fiscal cliff and the relief that came with New Year’s legislation permanently extending most income tax rates, one change seems to have been veiled by the settling dust: the 2 percent increase in FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) tax. That increase, the result Read more…

Financial Freedom Road Sign

New Year’s Resolution: Put Your Finances in Order!

If you’re serious about pursuing your financial goals, first get your finances in order. Here are a few simple steps to keep you on track: Get organized.  Make time to understand your basic financial facts—how much your net worth increased during the past year, how you are spending your income, Read more…

It’s That Time of Year! A Look at Tax Preparation Options

Ready or not, it’s time to start thinking about filing your 2012 taxes.  By choosing the best tax preparation option for your situation, you can prevent major headaches and stress on April 15th. You have several options in filing your taxes. You can file taxes yourself, use a national tax Read more…

Is It Time for Assisted Living?

How do you know when loved ones are ready for assisted living? Use these guidelines to help spot the telltale warning signs of aging and illness. Rosalyn Carter once said: “There are only four kinds of people in the world–those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those Read more…

What Happens When Harry Dies?

The death of a spouse or life partner is one of the toughest events you can go through. Along with the emotional adjustment of continuing on without your best friend, there is additional stress involved in facing the relevant financial issues while you are still grieving. But there are things Read more…

Coachella Valley Economic Partnership Interns

Coachella Valley Economic Partnership Interns Create Emerging Health Professionals Program

In the summer of 2011, Coachella Valley Economic Partnership’s (CVEP) Workforce Excellence Program, in collaboration with the Health Career Connection Program, hosted undergraduate health science college interns, Janel Samuels and Faith Villanueva. These two interns have worked directly with CVEP’s Health Industry Council (HIC) to create a leadership program that Read more…

Life Expectancy and Social Security: Extreme Longevity Maximizes Benefits

Most people tend to underestimate their life expectancy. Thinking you might live to a very old age may lead to better planning. Life expectancy is a critical element in Social Security planning. Because benefits continue for life, the total amount you stand to receive over your lifetime hinges on how Read more…

Plan Now for a Long Life

Even in retirement, your portfolio may need to be positioned for both growth and security: growth to meet the challenges of a long life and the impact of long-term inflation and health care, and sources of secure income to ensure that your daily essential living expenses will be met. This Read more…

On Your Road to Retirement…Don’t Forget Mom and Dad

A wild card in any financial plan is the aging process. Longevity coupled with incapacity can decimate a family’s resources, forcing adult children to contribute to their parent’s support and jeopardize their own retirement. Long-term care insurance can mitigate the financial obligation, but only when the insured is unable to Read more…

How the Housing Market Impacts Your Retirement

Across the United States, home values have dropped in the last few years. The impact is regional with some markets much less affected than others — some of the worst markets have appeared to have bottomed out; great homes in great neighborhoods are still in demand; new housing starts have Read more…

A Workable Solution for Baby Boomers Near Retirement

Concerned about having enough money saved for retirement? Here’s a simple solution: work just a few years longer. By accumulating more savings and shortening your withdrawal period, you’ll reduce the lump sum needed to generate the necessary income at retirement. In a report titled “Retirement Age and the Need for Read more…

Plan for Retirement as You Would a Vacation

One of the most frequent questions I hear from clients is: Will I have enough money to stop working and retire? Funding retirement is one of people’s most worrisome financial concerns. Yet most of us spend more time planning a vacation than we do planning for a comfortable retirement. Typical Read more…

What Goes Into Your IRA?

Brought to you by: Integrated Wealth Management A surprising number of people ask me questions like, “Which IRA is better?” or “Which IRA pays more?” An IRA–like a 401K or any other retirement account – is just an empty bucket. They are all the same until you deposit your money. Read more…

Financial Health

Women in the United States today control 75 percent of the total personal wealth, fill more than half the jobs and earn more than half the college degrees. They make up the fastest growing sector of new business owners, the fastest growing sector of the U.S. investor base and, for Read more…