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2 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

New Year’s Resolutions That Help You Live Longer

One in five people resolve to lose weight or get healthier every January. If you choose to adopt this resolution in 2018, you could live longer. Several additional New Year’s resolutions can also prolong your life, so consider adding them to your resolution list this year.

Eat Fewer Calories

Food fuels your body, but when you eat fewer calories, you lose weight and reduce your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Choose a smaller plate, chew each bite carefully and stop eating when you start to feel full to eat fewer calories and prolong your life.

Add Brain Foods to Your Diet

Certain foods help your brain and body function properly. Plan to add these brain foods to your diet as you live a healthier lifestyle this year.

  • Avocado
  • Beans
  • Blueberries
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Whole grains
  • Wild salmon

Meditate Daily

Meditation reduces stress and anxiety, improves your mood and boosts your brain’s grey matter, which helps to regulate your sensory perception, muscle control, decision making and self-control. Listen to a meditative CD or simply sit still and relax as you add this practice to your daily routine and gain its benefits.

Learn Something New

When you learn a new skill, you stretch your brain and improve your memory. Resolve to take a college class, learn to edit photos or watch TED talks that enrich your life and your brain with new thoughts, ideas and lessons.

Move Every Day

Regular movement helps you stay fit, improves your overall body function and reduces stress and depression. As a bonus, moving outdoors in nature could lower your blood pressure and boost your immunity. Whether you take a walk, sign up for a dance class or join a sports team, aim to move at least 10,000 steps per day and live longer.

Start a New Hobby

Hobbies like gardening, cooking and reading improve your quality of life. Many hobbies also reduce your stress levels, improve your focus and boost your brainpower. Start a hobby or two, and you increase your enjoyment of life and life expectancy this year.

Play More

Play helps kids develop properly and learn essential skills, and play gives adults important benefits, too. Relax your body and stimulate your mind when you put together up a jigsaw puzzle, join a bowling league, shoot hoops during work breaks and play more in 2018.

Get a Physical

During your annual physical, you and your doctor review your current health and address any ongoing health issues. Prioritize this visit to stay healthy now and into the future.

Resolve in 2018 to live longer thanks to these resolutions. They improve your life and your health.

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2 months ago · by · 0 comments

Holiday Decoration Safety Tips

Holiday decorations around the office are fun and festive, but they do pose safety hazards and can cause injuries. Whether your employees decorate the office for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or New Years, insist on numerous safety precautions.

Avoid Trips and Falls

Place trees, gifts or displays in areas that are out of the way. If these items sit in a hallway or other busy area, employees could trip or fall over them.

Climb a Ladder

When hanging garland, snowflakes or streamers from the wall, windows or ceiling, use a ladder or step stool instead of a chair or desk. The right support helps you reach high places without pulling a muscle or falling.

Use Nonflammable Materials

All the holiday decor you use should be labeled as nonflammable or noncombustible. Check the label, too, to verify that your decorative drapes, lights and artificial greener are made of fire retardant material and safe for your employees.

Don’t Block Signs or Exits

Seasonal banners and other decor items may fit perfectly over signs or doors, but never cover signs or exit doors. Remember to keep fire equipment and sprinklers free from decorations, too.

Stay Away from Heat Sources

Always check the surroundings before you place decorations around the office. Items should sit away from vents, space heaters and other heat sources.

Attach Tall Items Securely

Tall trees and other display items are top heavy and may topple over if they’re bumped or even randomly. Secure tall decor items to the wall or ceiling with guy-wire.

Select Cool Burning Bulbs

Safety tested and cool burning bulbs in light strings or lamps are less likely to cause burns or fires. Check the label to ensure the bulbs are tested by an independent lab and verified to be safe.

Inspect Lights

Holiday lights add a festive look to your office, but always inspect lights before you plug them in. Toss strands with frayed or bare wires, broken or cracked sockets, or loose connections.

Take Care with Extension Cords

Extension cords are convenient but potentially hazardous accessories. Only plug in the recommended number of light string sets. Also, avoid tacking or stapling cords to the wall or floor, and tape or cover cords that cross the floor on walkways.

Ban Candles

An open flame is a big burn and fire hazard. Only allow electric lights and ban candles for safety.

Turn off Lights

At the end of the day or whenever the office is closed, switch off all the lights. You’ll save money and reduce a fire hazard.

The holidays can be more festive when you decorate the office. Use these safety tips to reduce injuries and keep your employees safe.

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2 months ago · by · 0 comments

Drumming up some therapy this November!

For centuries, drum therapy has helped individuals and groups get healthy. November is International Drum Month and the perfect time for you to embrace this beneficial health tool.

Reduce Stress

When you experience chronic stress, you also experience muscle tension, stomach ulcers and other physical health challenges. You deserve a better life. Pick up your drum and reduce stress in just a few minutes. Then, practice drum therapy regularly as part of a stress-free lifestyle.

Lower Anxiety

Panic attacks and anxious thoughts can cripple you. Combat these emotions with drum therapy. It distracts and relaxes you as your anxiety flows through your arms and hands into your instrument.

Manage Pain

Follow your doctor’s advice about pain management, and ask him or her about adding drum therapy, too. It releases endorphins, your body’s natural painkillers. Drums won’t cure the source of your pain, but they will help you feel better.

Improve Mood

Whether you’re angry, sad or lonely, drum therapy turns your mood around. Pound on a drum at home or in a public space and you’ll feel better emotionally.

Increase Immunity

In addition to mental health benefits, drum therapy increases your body’s immunity. Along with regular hand washing, use drums to avoid illness this winter.

Build Friendships 

Good friends improve your attitude, reduce loneliness, inspire you to greatness and add fun to your life. Connect with others in a drum circle, and build your network of positive friends.

Express Yourself

When you have trouble sharing your deepest thoughts and feelings, pull out your drum. Start playing a rhythm that feels right to you. Mix soft, loud, quick and slow beats as you personalize your playing. There’s no right or wrong way as you use this form of self-expression to release your inner voice.

Whether you use a spatula and pan from the kitchen or set up a professional drum set in the garage, add drum therapy to your medical treatment plan during International Drum Month. It provides numerous health benefits that partner with your doctor’s advice and medication to help you stay healthy.

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3 months ago · by · 0 comments

Is Your Property Safe For Trick Or Treating This Halloween?

Are you planning to welcome trick or treaters to your home this month? Follow these steps that prepare your property for safe Halloween fun.

1. Clean your walkways.

Jack-o-lanterns are cute, but they are also tripping hazards. Remove decorations and all clutter or debris such as toys, yard tools or twigs from your sidewalks, steps and walkways.

2. Clear the yard.

Ideally, kids will stay on the walkway and front porch as they retrieve their candy. However, you will want to clear your yard so curious and excited kids don’t trip on any toys, branches or yard tools.

3. Repair broken sidewalks and steps.

Inspect your entryway and steps carefully. Then repair any broken stepping stones, loose railings or other hazards.

4. Install lighting.

Your front porch light is turned on to welcome trick or treaters, but you may also need additional lighting to ensure safety. Solar-powered walkway lights or a string of lights can illuminate your walkway and porch.

5. Change your location.

Instead of making kids walk up your long driveway or steep steps, stand or sit in a location that’s easy for them to access.

6. Lock doors and windows.

On trick or treat night, your attention is focused on your front door. Lock all the other doors and windows in your house so no one can gain access to your home while you’re out front. Remember to lock your garage and car, too.

7. Secure valuables.

Move your grill, mower and other valuables to the shed or another secure location. With this tip, you prevent potential burglars from adding your home to their future target list.

8. Protect your pets.

Some kids are scared of animals. Also, pets can become startled and bolt or bite when they see strange costumes or dozens of noisy kids. Always secure your pets so they and the kids are safe.

9. Extinguish candles.

Open flames pose a fire hazard. As an alternative, try battery-powered bulbs, or install Halloween-themed covers on your flashlights.

10. Consider allergies when choosing candy.

Many kids are allergic to nuts or dairy. Place a teal pumpkin on your step to show trick or treaters that you offer safe alternatives like books, stickers or toys.

11. Update your property and homeowners’ insurance policies. 🙂

Despite your best efforts to promote safety, someone could be injured while on your property. Be sure your property and homeowners’ insurance policies are updated and include adequate coverage.

Trick or treating is a fun family activity. As you give out treats this year, follow these 11 safety tips. They secure your property and reduce your liability risks.

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3 months ago · by · 0 comments

Business Owners – protect your business with a Buy-Sell Agreement

You and your business partner or partners have a clear and common vision of how to run your business, where it’s going, and how it’s going to get there. As a team, you’ve worked together each and every day to share the daily demands and shape the success of your business. That said, have you thought about what would become of the business and all your hard work if you or one of your partners became ill, was injured, or died?

A business doesn’t have to become disabled or die just because one of the owners retires, dies, or becomes too sick or disabled to work. Whether the transition of business management or ownership needs to take place after death or during life, it can be orderly accomplished through appropriate business succession planning.

A buy-sell agreement is a tool commonly used in business succession planning. This planning feature, when correctly funded and designed, can orderly establish the value at which the business will be taken over and who will be doing the taking over. The owner can have a peace of mind from knowing that the business has a predetermined basis for which it can be sold in a ready market, thereby giving the owner a source of funds when they need it, such as when they are ready to retire. If the owner was to die prior to the above predetermined basis occurring, then the buy-sell can be used to meet the survivor’s needs or pay hefty estate taxes.

Although there are several ways that a buy-sell agreement can be established, an entity purchase agreement and cross purchase are the two most often used:

Cross Purchase

Due to favorable tax results, this is a highly used approach by many small businesses. It’s generally used by businesses that only have a small number of owners. The cross purchase is typically funded with a life and/or disability insurance policy that each of the owners must maintain on their co-owners. The death benefits from the life insurance policy aren’t subject to taxation since the owners, not the business, actually own the individual life insurance policies. Each of the business owners are legally obligated to purchase the ownership interest of the other co-owner(s) upon death.

The deceased owner’s estate sells the owner’s interest to the surviving owners in exchange for the proceeds from the life insurance policy. The surviving owners will get a step-up in the business’s tax basis. Alternatively, the insurance cash value can also be used if one of the co-owners was to need to fund a buyout during their lifetime. One point to remember regarding a cross purchase is that administration is smoothest when there are only a limited number of owners and will become increasingly difficult to administer as the number of owners increase.

Entity Purchase Agreement

This type of buy-sell agreement works somewhat like the cross purchase, but it’s the business, not the owners, that will maintain an insurance policy on each owner and agree to purchase any deceased owner’s interest in the business. As such, the taxation is different.

The death benefits under both an entity purchase and cross purchase agreement, whether being paid to the business or an individual, are exempt from federal income taxation. However, unlike with the cross purchase, there are certain situations that a C corporation can be subject to the corporate alternative minimum tax under an entity purchase. There’s also not a step-up in basis under the entity purchase plan.

Hopefully this brief overview of the entity purchase and cross purchase types of buy-sell agreements has spurred you to think about how vitally important business succession planning is to your business. Of course, this short article couldn’t possibly cover all the factors to consider when developing a business succession plan. As you begin the preparations for you business succession plan with your attorney, accountant, and insurance agent, they should be able to answer any additional questions or concerns you might have.

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4 months ago · by · 0 comments

Problem Solving This Columbus Day Weekend

Are you facing a project or decision at work that has you stumped? Follow Christopher Columbus’s lead and find your solution when you think outside the box. Well, maybe it wasn’t just his way. 🙂

Change the Scenery

The same four walls of your office or company’s conference room feel familiar, but they do nothing to cultivate creativity. Try rearranging your office, moving the meeting to a different room or taking a walk. The change in scenery might be exactly what your brain needs to jump-start creativity and innovation.

Draw a Picture

Most people approach problems with left-brain logic. So, if you’re stuck, tap into your right-brained creativity as you grab markers or crayons and draw a picture. A few minutes of doodling can boost your ability to see outside conventional logic and discover your next great idea.

Study a Different Industry

Whether you’re a lawyer, teacher or farmer, many of the same problems you face also affect people who work in other industries. Study web pages, trade magazines and books about other industries, and your chances of finding new angles or ways of looking at your problems increase.

Turn It Upside Down

Instead of staring at the page for hours, take a different approach. Turn the paper upside down, re-arrange the patterns or start at the end and work backwards. See what new ideas you spark when you turn your problem upside down.

Discover Why Things are Done One Way

Maybe part of your problem comes from doing things the same way they’ve been done for years. But do you even know why things are done the way they’re done? The answers you need might show up when you turn away from traditions and make your own rules.

Columbus did more than discover the Americas. His example inspires you to think creatively. Do just that when you think outside the box and solve your problems this Columbus Day.

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Scurich Insurance Services
Phone: (831) 661-5697
Fax: (831) 661-5741

Physical:
783 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Suite7,
Aptos, Ca 95003-4700

Mailing:
PO Box 1170
Watsonville, CA 95077-1170

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(831) 661-5697

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