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MUDSLIDES AND FLOODING ALERT: Time to Prepare is Now

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LOS ANGELES, CA- As California endures a historic drought and recovers from recent wildfires, residents need to prepare for the possibility of mudslides and flooding triggered by the current major rainstorm affecting the southland, the biggest of the year. Dangerous areas include zones previously affected by the #ColbyFire in the San Gabriel Mountains, near Los Angeles, where up to 6 inches of rain are expected, and sections of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), in Malibu. Various downed power lines and flooding problems have been reported and mandatory evacuations issued. As a reminder, flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States, causing about $50 billion in economic losses each year, according to the Insurance Information Institute. State Farm encourages residents to take the following steps to protect:

A) YOUR LIVES:

  • Listen to first responders and to the news - If a mandatory evacuation has been ordered in your area, gather your most important documents and key belongings and leave your house promptly.
  • Drive in “defense mode” – In heavy rain and during flash floods seek high ground, turn on your lights, slow down, maintain more distance with other cars, and avoid driving on roads covered by water.
  • Keep Tank Full and Change Wipers – Wipers should be replaced if the windshield view is smeared.
  • Have a Road Survival Kit in the car– It should include a: tool set, spare tire, car jack, first aid kit, blanket, rain jacket, plastic tarp, jumper cables, flash light, gloves, spare cloths, water, non-perishable food, and road flares.

B) YOUR PROPERTY:

  • Inspect Your Home – As the storm progresses, inspect your home and monitor rain gutters, roof, yard, out-buildings, and trees and shrubs for possible hazards.
  • Make an Inventory – Create an inventory taking photos and short videos of your possessions in each room.
  • Create an Emergency kit – Make sure you have plenty of emergency supplies like batteries, blankets, flashlights, water and non-perishable foods.
  • Have an Evacuation plan – If you live close to a hillside area, have a disaster evacuation plan.

C) YOUR FINANCES:

  • Flood damage and homes – damage due to floods is typically not covered by standard homeowners or renters insurance policies. Should you live in an area that is prone to floods or mudslides, consider purchasing flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program: Floodsmart.gov.
  • Flood damage and cars – comprehensive coverage on a typical auto insurance policy will cover damage to a car caused by a flood.
  • Talk to your agent – review your policies and discuss your insurance needs.

“While these weather conditions persist, if you can avoid driving unless necessary that would be best. And at home, monitor if the water is finding its way in and act,” said Jordi Ortega, spokesman for State Farm, who added: “Now is a good time to call your agent and review your home insurance policy.”


 

About State Farm

State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 18,000 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve almost 84 million policies and accounts – approximately 82 million auto, home, life, health and commercial policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 41 on the 2014 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visithttp://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.

3 Retirement Essentials Every Boomer Should Follow for the New Year

Piggy Bank with retirement formula

By Carl Edwards, MBA, ChFC

Wow, what an amazing market ride over the last few years!  Running on tracks laid by an unprecedented Federal Reserve monetary easing program, the market has once again run to new all-time highs and appears to still have some steam. Or does it?

While no one really knows the answer to this, it is important to remember history as a guide, and to think about the future — your future.  It wasn’t all that long ago that the world’s financial system was shaken to its core, leaving many retirees running for shelter from the Ebola-like symptoms displayed by world financial systems.  Fear over which institution or country would next display the almost certain deadly symptoms ran rampant.

I am certainly not echoing the calls of the past and screaming it’s time to get your guns and gold.  I am, however, pointing out to consumers the recent and vivid reminders of the importance to get back to the basics with your financial planning this New Year.  If we fail to remember the past, we repeat it.  You have worked too hard preparing for this time in your life.

Let’s review three vital elements you should implement in your retirement plan this New Year.

  1. Get your annual financial check-up.  How can we possibly forget to do this?  Annual check-ups are the number one preventative care tool at our disposal.  While many individuals should be meeting more regularly with their financial advisor, everyone should have at least the minimum of an annual visit.  Problems creep up and this is often the best way to catch them before it is too late.
  2. Don’t forget to diversify.  Are you working with a broker who always wants to sell you mutual funds full of stocks and bonds?  Does your annuity guy think every dime you have should be stuffed into insurance products?  The reality is they are probably both wrong.  Find an advisor this year who knows the benefits of each of these products, but who also knows the value of how they work together.  Diversification is important and it may include each of these products along with other assets such as individual stocks and bonds, Certificates of Deposit (structured and fixed), Business Development Companies, Real Estate Investment Trusts, precious metals, and numerous other investments.
  3. Rebalance, Rebalance, Rebalance.  With the great equity run up we have encountered since the lows of March 2009, it is vital to remember that we must continue to evaluate our investment portfolios.  While equity portfolios have risen significantly since that time, other areas of our portfolio may not have fared so well, leaving our risk levels in need of adjustment. It is often a good idea to capture some of those hard-earned gains.  You never know — the next major pullback could be just around the corner.  Be prudent, not greedy!

About Carl

Carl Edwards, MBA, ChFC®, is a Chartered Financial Consultant® and is the owner of C.E. Wealth Group,. He has passed the Series 7, Series 66 and Series 63 securities industry exams. In addition, he has passed the Series 24 principal exam. He represents High Street Asset Management as an Investment Adviser Representative and Calton & Associates, Inc. as a Registered Representative.  The views expressed in this article reflect the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of Calton & Associates, Inc. or High Street Asset Management. Information contained in this article is not a recommendation, solicitation, or offer to buy or sell securities.  Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results.  Individuals should consult a financial professional before making investment decisions.  Edwards is also a licensed insurance agent in Life, Health, Medicare Supplement and Long Term Care insurances. Edwards received a master’s degree in business administration and is currently completing a second master’s degree in finance from Penn State University. He also is a member of the American MENSA.

Men in Math and Science Event Hosted at Valley College

Dean Hua and students

Dean Hua and students

SAN BERNARDINO, CA― HSI STEM Pass-Go sponsored the Annual Men in Mathematics and Science Event on October 24 at San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC).  Over 300 students from San Bernardino, Carter, Indian Springs, Arroyo Valley, and Middle College high schools and SBVC attended.  SBVC’s Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Haragewen Kinde, and Project Director Marc Donnhauser greeted the students who were then treated to an interactive presentation from Subzero Ice Cream.

Subzero demonstrated the math and science behind using liquid nitrogen to produce ice cream. Participants then engaged in a question and answer period with a panel of STEM professionals from various industries including healthcare, business, education, technology, and the U.S. military. Students then participated in break-out sessions with stimulating topics including: Is Your Girlfriend Crazy?: The Mathematics Behind Relationships; Nuclear Power in the US Navy; Chemistry in Action; Computer Coding, and; Mathematics in Your Bones.

A current SBVC student delivered an inspiring presentation on “How Anyone Can Succeed in Mathematics.”  The entire event emphasized how vital mathematics is to STEM careers and taught students how critical thinking skills obtained through STEM Education can lead to successful careers and lifestyles.

California State University, San Bernardino STEM Pass-Go staff were present to inform students of the STEM Educational opportunities at CSUSB, and reinforce the seamless transition for STEM Students as they progress in their education from SBVC to CSUSB.  Students enjoyed lunch from the Carl’s Jr. Food Truck and dessert from Subzero Ice Cream.

The Men in Mathematics and Science Event was a collaborative effort between the HSI STEM Pass-Go Program, SBVC faculty and staff, CSUSB, and the Alliance for Education.

If you would like more information on this topic, please visit www.sbvcstem.org.