CLIENT UPDATE – DECEMBER, 2005

As we enter this holiday season there is a lot of news to discuss from the last year. The avian flu spreading in the Far East and even into Europe is on everyone’s mind and nobody knows if this flu is going to “mutate” so that it can pass from human to human. Get your flu shot! Other preventive measures recommended by doctors include washing your hands, covering your face and nose with a handkerchief or tissue if you sneeze or cough, reducing the amount of times you touch your face and getting plenty of rest. Most importantly, consult with your doctor. Social Security benefits will increase 4.1% in 2006. However, the Los Angeles Times Business Section reported on November 20, 2005 that inflation in Southern California is running at a 5.4% annual rate and nationally inflation is increasing at a 4.3% annual rate, both slightly above the social security benefit increase. If you have an unpaid student loan, your Social Security benefits may be reduced up to 15%, and the amount deducted used to pay your student loans, according to a recent Supreme Court decision. The October 2005, AARP Bulletin has several useful tips for emergency planning. AARP suggests making a “Grab-and-Go” case containing copies of important legal, financial and medical information and documents; a contact list of friends and relatives (as well as your doctors and lawyer(s); a household inventory; copies of your insurance documents; last year’s income taxes and even a back up of the information on your computer. In earthquake prone California, this is a good idea. For a free credit report go to “AnnualCreditReport.com”....