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Review your Insurance with Brad Brown, Brown Financial & Insurance Services

Brown Financial & Insurance Services handles life, medical, disability, and long-term care insurance.  Whether you are married, single, married with children, own your own business or work for others, Brad Brown can help you plan for the future.  For example, when you are considering buying insurance from a particular company, Brad can do a financial audit of that company to let you know the financial strength of the company, something that many people don’t consider when they are purchasing insurance.  Although he works with and recommends New York Life, they aren’t the only company that he works with.  His company can also help you with individual or group medical insurance plans.  They can help evaluate medical insurance plans and also educate employees on their plans.  Brad can also help you get disability insurance and long-term care insurance.

Here are a few tips and fun facts about insurance Brad gave PEA members during his presentation:

  • If you retire or lose your job, don’t drop your life insurance! Having a life insurance policy in effect can make a big difference in keeping a family together in the event of a spouse’s death.  Life insurance benefits (which are generally income-tax-free) can provide funds for putting children through college after a spouse’s death.
  • Coordinate your life insurance policy with your trust.  Brad says if it is not, the life insurance will be paid out at the direction of the policy, which might not be your intention.
  • Even with substantial assets, it is still likely to be cheaper to pay for long-term care with insurance rather than through your savings.
  • Statistically, half of PEA’s members who are 65 or older will need some kind of long-term care.

Talk to Brad Brown and Brown Financial & Insurance Services for all your life, medical, disability, and long-term care insurance needs.

Tools of the Trade with Jeff Badzik of Perfection Auto Detail

PEA member Jeff Badzik of Perfection Auto Detail is a long time entrepreneur.  He and a friend started the original car detailing service in the late 1970’s.  The friend went on to work on other things and Jeff eventually started running the business full time.  On March 2nd, Jeff shared with us some of the different tools and products he uses to get the cars he works on squeaky clean!

One tool that gets a lot of use is a special dog hair removal tool (used for a lot of PEA vehicles, apparently!).  Another is a headlight polisher.  Jeff explained that to clean yellowed headlights they sand the headlight with a fine sandpaper, polish with rouge and finish it off with a clear lacquer.  Larry Moore of Larry’s Autoworks commented that compared to $600 to $700 for new headlights, this $60 polishing is a great deal!  Jeff also has special products for removing the hardest stains of all- red stains (like fruit punch).

Jeff uses products that are environmentally friendly, with no perfumes or dyes.  For those especially sensitive to cleaning products, he even has a steam cleaner (also very effective at getting out smoke odors!).  Jeff can also clean tough dirt and industrial fallout with stains and a special fallout remover.  He also recommends Lexal leather conditioner, rather than Armorall, for leather.  Jeff explains that Armorall is fine for tires (which is what it was originally intended for), but shouldn’t be used on dashboards and leather interiors.

Many PEA members attested to the miracles Jeff and Perfection Auto Detail have worked on even disastrously dirty cars!

Keratin Blow Out Special

Susan Scott of Expressions Salon is offering a special on the Keratin Blow Out and Service. This is normally a $150 to $200 service that she is offering to new customers for $75 to $100 as an introductory price.  The Keratin Blow Out is a service that smooths the frizzies out of curly hair and leaves the hair in amazing condition. The treatment lasts for 6 to 12 weeks.

Expressions Salon is located at 859 Oak Grove Avenue, Menlo Park, CA 94025

Contact Susan at 650-218-9747.

Time to Update Your Google Places Page

This week’s tip was contributed by Randy Mills, Pioneer Services.  Randy recently read an article on changes in Google Places pages and how to set up a Google Places page for your business.  It’s a good idea to revisit your Google Places page and update your settings to take advantage of some of these new features.  Randy commented that after reading this article, he updated his Google Places page.  He then took a look at it on Google and realized that Google Places also links to your Yelp reviews. In addition people can leave reviews at Google Places.

The article is available as a hard copy from me if you would like to see the details.

Do you have a tip you would like to pass on to fellow PEA members? Please send it to Executive Director Neal Coogler.

This tip was contributed by Randy Mills, Pioneer Services.  Do you have a tip you would like to pass on to fellow PEA members? Please send it to Executive Director Neal Coogler.

Winter Tips for Your Garden

by Peggy Calhoun

Here are a few winter garden tips from PEA member Peggy Calhoun of Garden ANew to keep your plants healthy and your garden looking great:

  • Wrap frost tender plants with small Christmas lights to protect them from a freeze.  It puts out a couple of degrees of heat and could protect the plants from freezing.  Note that the new LED lights do not generate heat so use the original type of lights.
  • Wait until the danger of frost is past to cut back frost tender plants that may have been damaged, around March 1-15.  The dead leaves from the first frost will protect the underneath part of the plant.
  • Mulch exposed soil areas to protect the roots of plants from lower soil temperatures.  It also helps to hold moisture in the soil and reduce weed growth.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts of fall leaf litter (add to the compost pile) and divert water from downspouts away from the foundation of the house.
  • Turn your irrigation controller to ‘rain’ or ‘off’ during the rainy season.  If there has been no rain for two weeks, turn controller on manually and run through each station to keep plants and trees hydrated through a dry spell.

Peggy Calhoun has been designing gardens for over 19 years. With her clients based mainly in the San Francisco Bay Area, she specializes in residential garden design. Peggy is an active member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) and was the 2003 SF Bay Area APLD design competition winner. See samples of her work at her website:  www.GardenANew.com

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