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Smart Investments (ARA) - There is a common misperception that most disabilities are caused by accidents. In reality, the majority of disabilities are caused by illness. You might think it won’t happen to you. And perhaps it won’t. But in 2009, more than 15 million Americans experienced a disability that prevented them from working. Disability insurance protects your most valuable asset - your income. This insurance pays a monthly benefit in the event of a disability - money that can be used to replace lost wages, manage financial obligations and maintain a standard of living. So, if you become disabled, you can focus on regaining your health instead of worrying about how to pay the bills. Only 8 percent of Americans are protecting their financial security with a disability policy, according to a recent survey by Northwestern Mutual. It’s never too soon to consider what would happen if you lost your income to illness or injury. Ask yourself how you

would manage. Do you have a financial plan in place? You can maximize your income protection by supplementing a group disability policy you may have through your employer, with individual disability income insurance. Most group disability plans only insure a portion of your base salary and may not insure deferred compensation, commission income or regular incentive bonuses. And, the income received from a group disability plan is taxed as ordinary income - which means you’re losing a portion of your reduced income. Individual disability insurance (benefit not typically taxed) can help lessen the gap between the amount of income received from a group disability plan and your original income. It offers more comprehensive coverage and is portable, which means your policy stays with you as your employment changes. What more should you consider (Investments continued on page 2)

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The New Identity Theft (ARA) - Two million Americans fall victim to medical identity theft each year, according to a study by the Ponemon Institute, commissioned by Experian’s ProtectMyID. While medical identity theft costs victims an average of $22,346, the potential impact can be far greater - medical identity theft could cost some victims their health, or even their lives. Medical identity theft involves the theft of personal information - such as your name, Social Security number or Medicare number - to obtain medical care, purchase drugs or submit false claims to Medicare. The crime can damage a victim’s credit rating and even be life-threatening if it causes incorrect information to appear in a victim’s personal medical records, warns the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG). According to the study, while more Americans now understand just what medical identity theft is, few are taking

the key steps that could help prevent it. Only 57 percent of survey respondents check their medical records for accuracy, and nearly one in five (18 percent) say they don’t care about the accuracy of their medical records. “There are specific things that people can and should do to protect themselves from medical identity theft,” says Ken Chaplin, senior vice president of ProtectMyID. “People have to be vigilant with their personal information and avoid letting their guard down, even with family and friends.” The Federal Trade Commission recommends you take these steps to help prevent medical identity theft: Before you share medical information with anyone, verify who you’re talking to. Never provide information over the phone or through the mail unless you initiated the contact and you’re confident you’re dealing with a legitimate organization. Be aware that medical identity thieves often try to scam consumers by posing as representatives of insurance companies, doctor’s offices, pharmacies and even government agencies. Protect your information. Keep paper copies of medical or insurance records and (Identity Theft continued on page 2)

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Safe and Sound


Investments continued

Identity Theft continued forms in a secure, locked file or drawer. When managing your health or insurance accounts online, be wary of any site that asks you to share sensitive information like your Social Security number, insurance account number or details of your medical conditions. Look for the hallmarks that a website is secure, including a web address (URL) that begins with “https” (the “s” stands for “secure”) and a lock symbol in the lower right-hand corner of the page. Picking through trash is a common ploy of identity thieves. Shred your discarded health insurance forms, bills and medical records before disposing of them. Destroy the labels on your prescription pill bottles and packages before throwing them away. The OIG also offers tips for medical identity theft protection, including: Treat your Medicare and Social Security numbers and cards as carefully as you would your credit cards. Be wary of anyone who asks for your Medicare number in exchange for “free” medical equipment or services. If what they’re offering is really free, they shouldn’t

need your numbers. Never let anyone use your Medicare ID card. The Ponemon survey found that a growing number of survey respondents (5 percent more in 2012 than in 2011) have allowed a family member to use their personal identification to obtain medical services, including treatment, healthcare products or pharmaceuticals. Doing so is against the law, and may afford unscrupulous individuals the chance to use that information for unauthorized purposes. According to the Ponemon survey, it takes, on average, about a year to resolve an instance of medical identity theft, and a quarter of the survey respondents said it took more than two years. As with a serious medical issue, resolution can be made more challenging depending on how long the problem is allowed to fester. Take an active role in protecting your

ARA

medical information from identity thieves. Check your medical records regularly and keep an eye on all your financial and credit accounts. Products like ProtectMyID can help. As a comprehensive identity theft detection, protection and resolution product, it can help you prevent the damages caused by identity theft. “Medical identity theft hits consumers both medically and financially,” says Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. “For three years in a row, our findings have consistently shown that medical identity theft crime continues to increase in terms of prevalence and costs to the victim.”

when evaluating a disability insurance policy? Meet with an experienced financial professional. He or she can help you choose a disability solution tailored to your own personal financial security needs. Assess the company behind the product. Financial strength ratings are key indicators of policy performance and claims paying ability. Consider your long-term income needs. In the event of a disability, your policy should work within your larger financial plan to provide a steady stream of income - so you don’t need to dip into your retirement nest egg. Financial security planning is a lifelong process that starts with risk protection. And the risk of an unexpected disability can jeopardize your ability to earn an income, which is your most valuable asset. Protecting your income with individual disability insurance can provide lifestyle protection for you and your family, meaning you can feel more in control of your future.

don’t lose me. microchip me. If your pet is ever lost, your chances of finding him significantly improve if he is microchipped.

©JPC’12

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Take the first step to providing Peace of Mind for your family. Pre-planning saves your family from overwhelming questions best answered by you. You may think you are being thoughtful by leaving it up to them, but the best thing is to leave them some guidelines. Call us for a free brochure. Your family will be glad you did.

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Increased Visibility E Increased Security E Increased Profits Outdoor lighting is very affordable, and studies show it’s effective in reducing crime, vandalism, and accidents due to tripping. Your customers will feel safer and more secure in a well-lit parking lot. Outdoor lighting adds visibility and an inviting atmosphere to your business - enhancing its appeal to your potential customers.

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TUPELO WATER AND LIGHT DEPT.

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Lamp Size Monthly Charge 400 Watt Spot/ Flood (Luminaire) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$20.71 400 Watt (Luminaire) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17.28 100 Watt (Luminaire) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$7.11 Additional $2.75 fee if 30-foot wood pole is needed.

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Why Add Outdoor Lighting To Your Business?


Emergency Kit

ARA

Technology to the Rescue (ARA) - If you live in a disasterprone area, you should have a disaster-preparedness kit, but your best friend during a crisis might be your smartphone. You shouldn’t count on cellular or Wi-Fi service, or power to charge your batteries during a disaster, but even a partially charged phone can show you how to do CPR, act as a flashlight, or give you access to your insurance documents, if you have the right apps.

Apps for before a storm  StopDisaster - iPhone $1.99 This iPhone app walks you through preparedness checklists for hurricanes, earthquakes, blizzards and other disasters. It’ll help you build an emergency kit, get your documents in order and store your emergency phone numbers. For Android users, there’s a similar app called Disaster Readiness that costs $1.29.

Apps for during a storm  Hurricane Tracker iPhone, $1.99 When a hurricane is approaching, you don’t want a stormtracker map from three hours ago; you want the latest official maps, data and projections. This

hurricane-tracking app is for serious weather junkies and people who want to be better-informed as they make decisions. (For Android, try the free Hurricane Software app.)  Life360 - Android and iPhone, free Everyone can agree on the top priority in a disaster: finding your family. These days, most of your family members probably carry a personal tracking device in the form of their smartphone. Life360 will show you where they are on a map. The family GPS tracking system can help you find your loved ones anywhere, get safety alerts to them, or call for help with the tap of a button. It also provides neighborhood safety monitoring.  5-0 Radio Police Scanner Lite - iPhone, free During a disaster, everyone hears rumors. What’s really going on? The answer might be found on police band radio, which you can pick up using a free app on your phone. (Android users, try the free Scanner Radio app.)

Apps for after a storm  USAA - iPhone and Android, free When misfortune strikes, quick access to your insurance carrier

is critical. With the USAA Mobile App for the iPhone, Android and iPad, your information is at your fingertips. Use the USAA Mobile App to report or view the status of an auto or property claim, submit photos, schedule an appraisal through one of USAA’s approved repair shops, or reserve a rental vehicle.  GasBuddy - Android and iPhone, free Gas prices are not likely to vary by a dollar or more among stations. That changes in a crisis. GasBuddy uses your GPS to display up-to-the-minute gas prices near you, so you can avoid price gouging.  Hands-Only CPR - Android and iPhone, free For an adult victim of cardiac arrest, the American Heart Association now recommends hands-only CPR. The official Hands-Only CPR app walks you through the two-step checklist: call 911, start chest compressions. There’s a (brief) video showing you how to restart that heart.

C. TODD SHERMAN l DAILY JOURNAL It is best to be prepared for emergency situations and experts advise having a kit ready-to-go in case needed. These are the items that should be included in your emergency kit. Be sure to inform every family member where it is located.

t 8BUFS POF HBMMPO per person per day, for drinking and sanitation t 'PPE BU MFBTU B 3-day supply of nonperishable food t #BUUFSZQPXFSFE PS hand-cranked radio and extra batteries. t 'MBTIMJHIU BOE extra batteries t 'JSTU BJE LJU t 8IJTUMF t %VTU NBTL UP IFMQ filter contaminated air t .PJTU UPXFMFUUFT

garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation t 8SFODI PS QJMMBST to turn off utilities t $BO PQFOFS JG LJU contains canned food t -PDBM NBQT t $BOEMF BOE matches (in waterproof container) t *NQPSUBOU GBNJMZ documents t $BTI PS USBWFMFST check t 1BQFS QSPEVDUT t %VDU 5BQF

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Disaster


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Changing Times ARA

(ARA) - Life insurance might not be as common as you think. Did you know that 30 percent of American households have no form of life insurance whatsoever, leaving millions to struggle to cover day-to-day expenses if a main breadwinner were to pass away? That’s according to a study by LIMRA, a worldwide association of insurance and financial services companies. Even if you already have life insurance, finance and insurance professionals recommend that you review your policy periodically to make sure you and your loved ones are properly covered. ”As you go through life changes, your life insurance policy should change as well to reflect those changes,” says Mike Plazony, senior vice president of the Life division at Erie Insurance. “The amount of life insurance you need really depends on where you are in your life and your individual circumstances.” Plazony lists eight specific circumstances that should prompt a policy review. 1. When wedding bells ring Anyone getting married should also say “I do” to life insurance. Without a policy in place, there’s no guaranteeing that your spouse and children would be provided for in the event of the unthinkable. 2. When you buy a home Just purchased your dream home? Congratulations! In addition to taking out a homeowner’s policy, you’ll also want to take out a term life insurance policy. It may cost

less than a whole life policy - and can cover the cost of your mortgage until it’s completely paid off. 3. When you have a baby Becoming a parent changes everything - including insurance requirements. According to the Insurance Information Institute, one-third of all families with a new baby haven’t updated their life insurance protection. If you already have a policy, take the time to update your beneficiary designations. 4. When one spouse decides to stay home The thing to remember here is that stay-at-home spouses continue to make a financial contribution to the family. Should that spouse pass away prematurely, the surviving spouse would have to cover expenses for child care, cleaning, cooking and other forms of home maintenance - and those can add up quickly. In fact, according to the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, the annual cost of day care for a preschool-aged child ranges anywhere from $3,900 to $14,050. 5. When a child enters college With the cost of higher education increasing every year, many parents end up co-signing on their kids’ education loans. It’s great that you want to help, but know that you’ll be liable for the loan should tragedy strike. A life insurance policy on both the student and the parent will ensure school loans are one less worry.

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6. When you open a business Many lenders require life insurance on small business loans. It’s with good reason since a separate policy protecting the business can help ensure that the business debts and operating expenses are handled. It can also give you peace of mind knowing that the policy you have for your family remains available for them when they need it. 7. When retirement is imminent Leaving the workplace may mean leaving some life insurance benefits behind, so make sure you do a thorough review before the final quitting time. 8. When a divorce happens Even though you’re no longer married, you may still have people who depend on you financially. Review your policy’s beneficiaries and what coverage is in place to protect any children you and your former spouse had together. Because of the complexity involved in determining exactly which type and how much life insurance you need at any given point in your life, many financial sites offer tools to help you determine your needs. But even after doing your homework, you should check with your financial adviser or insurance agent to ensure you’re getting the coverage that’s right for you.

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Insurance


Should I Have That Checked? (ARA) - Drivers count on their vehicles to get them to their destinations safely, but how well a vehicle runs depends on how much effort motorists put into protecting their investment in their cars. About 70 percent of vehicles on the road are in need of some repair, according to the National Car Care Council. A recent article from StockMarketsReview.com revealed that 40 percent of consumers involved in repair decisions are postponing car maintenance or repair on their primary vehicle. “Delaying service on critical items such as brakes, batteries or mechanical components can seriously affect a vehicle’s safety and performance,” says AutoZone’s Jimmie Swims, category manager for brakes. “Maintaining and replacing key components such as brakes and batteries at proper intervals can keep vehicles on the road and help prevent dangerous and costly breakdowns in the future. The key is to be proactive. Take care of your car so it can take care of you.”

To help motorists get and stay safely on the road, AutoZone is offering these tips from Bruce Bonebrake, certified Master Automotive Technician and host of Weekend Mechanic on the DIY network. “A lot of conditions affect how well a car performs, from the driving conditions to how well the car is maintained,” Bonebrake says. “With that in mind, motorists should make time to show their cars some TLC before problems arise.” Perform routine scheduled maintenance checks. Motorists should check their owner’s manual for a schedule of recommended maintenance intervals from the vehicle manufacturer. If the owner’s manual has been lost, many websites, such as the National Car Care Council’s web site www.carcare.org, offer a recommended maintenance schedule for vehicles. Be proactive. Don’t wait for a breakdown to check important car components such as brakes and batteries. Proactive

AUTO MEDIC

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COOPER SERVICE CENTER 4006 W Main Tupelo 844-1852

KIZER AUTOMOTIVE 1199 N Frontage Rd Baldwyn 365-8585

EAST MAIN TIRE 1426 E Main Tupelo 844-4222

TOM’S AUTO SERVICE 317 Magazine St Tupelo 842-7931

checks and preventative maintenance of these critical car parts can be the difference between staying on the road and being stranded on the roadside. Give brakes a check-up. Hazardous road conditions can lead to increased use of Antilock Braking Systems (ABS), which can cause premature wear of all brake system components. As temperatures warm up, motorists should check their braking systems to uncover any damage that may have occurred during the winter months. Motorists who frequently drive in harsh conditions or use their vehicles for towing, sports or other heavy duty applications should consider brakes such as Duralast Gold Severe Duty brakes, which are designed to withstand extreme heat and make quicker and cooler stops for longer brake life. Choosing a quality, ARA high performance braking pad can provide longer brake life, quieter rides and smoother stops. Check brakes quarterly to ensure proper performance. Brakes are the most important safety feature on any vehicle and should be checked each time the vehicle is serviced or as soon as you suspect a problem to ensure proper performance. Brake pads and rotors should also be checked any time the tires are removed, such as during a tire rotation. Other brake components such as brake fluid should be checked at every oil change. Test batteries if they are four years old or older. Extreme temperatures can mean battery failure. Corrosion caused by heat is the leading cause of battery failure. While batteries can last more than five years in ideal driving conditions, factors such as temperature, the car’s age and nature of usage can impact the life of a battery. Batteries often do not give noticeable warning signs if they’re about to fail. Most retailers offer free battery testing. Drivers seeking more information about protecting their auto investments and extending the lives of their vehicles can visit www.autozone.com/carcareresources for car care tips and maintenance how-to videos.

CLIFF’S CAR CARE 205 N Veterans Tupelo 844-0507

ESTES GARAGE 5315 Purnell Rd Tupelo 842-2696

TRULOVE’S AUTO CENTER 810 East Main Tupelo 844-3899

Service You Can Trust

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Auto


We can chase away the shadows with a wide array of floodlights, motion-sensor lights, and decorative landscape lighting for your home and commercial property. You can use full-house light control systems for security and convenience, or simply spotlight what’s important to you. Whether it’s your patio or your parking lot, your back steps or your barn, we can make it safer. Commercial, industrial or residential security needs? Visit any of our locations in Mississippi for solutions.

Turning the lights on in Mississippi for a half-century. Tupelo

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The Lighting Gallery

1730 McCullough Blvd. 840-8833

Amory

Columbus

306 103rd Street 256-8476

413 Tuscaloosa Road 327-8375

Corinth

Starkville

704 Fulton Drive 286-3609

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Commercial, Industrial and Residential Electrical Supplies

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When the sun goes down, our work shines.


Business Journal 20120928