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2 years ago · by · 0 comments

Did you purchase a home DNA kit to research your Irish ancestry?

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, did you purchase a home DNA kit? The results reveal facts about your ethnicity, ancestry, paternity, and health. However, consider several facts about the use and safety of home DNA tests before you purchase one.

How your DNA is Used by Others

You can learn valuable information from a home DNA test. Your data could be used by other people, too, though, in several ways.

  • Familial DNA Searches – You could be contacted by family members who may wish to build a relationship or do you harm. Additionally, law enforcement personnel can search DNA sites for familial connections that help them find crime suspects or solve crimes.
  • Health Recommendations – You can pursue professional medical treatment based on your DNA results, but prescription and over-the-counter drug companies can also access your information and spam you with recommendations for their medications, vitamins and supplements.
  • Insurance Queries – Life and health insurance companies can access your DNA results, determine if you carry a gene that causes diseases or increases your desire to take risks, and decide if they want to insure you.
  • Employment Discriminations – The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act passed in 2008 forbids employers from hiring or firing anyone based on genetic information. However, your DNA records are public knowledge and easily accessible by employers.

Are DNA Tests Safe?

Your DNA includes your complete genetic code, making it one of your most valuable possessions. For this reason, carefully consider who should have access to your DNA data and sample.

  • Carefully read the company’s privacy policy, including the fine print, to discover:
    • How the company stores, uses and shares your information.
    • When and how you can access your data and sample.
    • If your sample will be used for research.
    • The security of the digitized copy of your data.
    • What happens to your information if the company is sold or you cancel your account.
  • Consider skipping the extra questions about your lifestyle, health habits and personal preferences. Anyone can search the site’s database and discover your identity along with your private information.
  • Consider how the results could affect your family’s privacy. For instance, would you want long-lost relatives to contact you?
  • Discern if you’re emotionally ready to learn that about illnesses or diseases you could develop. Home DNA companies typically do not include counseling like genetic clinics offer.
  • Hackers want your personal information, so research the reputation and security protocols of the DNA site before you sign up.

Home DNA testing can reveal amazing details about your ancestors, health and future.

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2 years ago · by · 0 comments

Tax Season – What Paperwork Should You Keep?

Do you have a pile of papers collecting dust on your desk, in your filing cabinet or in a safe? Instead of stockpiling every electric bill, tax return and retail receipt from the last 20 years, learn which papers to keep and which to toss.

Bank records – Shred your checking and saving account statements monthly or after you reconcile your accounts.

Credit card statements
 – Shred them after you pay the bill except if you need to prove a charitable donation for your tax return.

Health records for humans and pets – Keep medical records and paperwork that documents your health history, including details about medications, immunizations, x-rays, medical tests, surgeries and major health events.

Instruction manuals
 – Keep these papers until you sell the item.

Insurance policies – Save copies of your auto, home or renters insurance policies to prove you’re covered and to compare coverage during your annual renewal. Shred the old copies when you get new ones.

Investment statements – Shred monthly and quarterly statements but keep annual ones until you sell the investments.

Loan documents
 – Shred closing documents for loans after you pay them off.

Pay stubs
 – File with your tax return information until you file your taxes and then shred them.

Retail receipts – Shred or toss receipts after you reconcile your receipt with your budget. Keep them if you need to return an item, purchase items that are eligible for a tax deduction or wish to retain proof of an item’s original cost.

Savings bonds 
– Keep them until you cash them in.

Tax returns – Retain them and any supporting documents for seven years in case you are audited.

Utility bills – Review each month’s bill for errors then shred them.

Vehicle records – Retain receipts, registration info, titles and maintenance and repair records until you sell the vehicle.

Warranties – Store these until you sell the item.

The following papers you should store in a safe place indefinitely. Consider making copies of these documents, too, and storing them in a location outside of your home.

    • Birth certificates
    • Social Security cards
    • Marriage licenses
    • Divorce decrees
    • Military service records
    • Pension-plan documents
    • Estate-planning documents that pertain to your will, power of attorney, end of life and trusts
    • Life insurance policies
    • Death certificates

Whether you store your papers in a pile on your desk or in a safe deposit box, reduce clutter when you understated which papers you need to keep.

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

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

PO Box 1170
Watsonville, CA 95077-1170

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(831) 661-5697

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