1. Featured Articles

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    1. Chose the Wrong Medicare Plan for 2020? Relief May Be Available

      Chose the Wrong Medicare Plan for 2020? Relief May Be Available

      While you'd normally need to wait until this fall's open enrollment period to change your coverage, and wait until 2021 for your new plan to take effect, because of widespread problems with the plan finder, Medicare is making exceptions this year. Specifically, it's giving seniors who show that they were misled by the plan finder a special enrollment period to change their coverage.

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      Mentions: Medicare
    2. Is Your Cannabis Safe? 5 Questions To Ask Yourself

      Is Your Cannabis Safe? 5 Questions To Ask Yourself

      Not all cannabis is created equal. Wise consumers know how to spot the real stuff from the black market poison.

      in 2019, cannabis-related media headlines were dominated by the public health crisis surrounding vaping and other electronic smoking devices. In a majority of the reported incidents, the products were unlawful or counterfeit and purchased from illegal operators.

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    3. A New Year's Checkup for Financial Success in 2020 and Beyond

      A New Year's Checkup for Financial Success in 2020 and Beyond

      As 2020 kicks off, it’s a great time to make sure your savings and investments are aligned with your goals and not creating unnecessary taxes. Here are some key steps. Figure out how much income you’ll need in retirement. You can do it at any age, but it’s especially important in your 50s and 60s. Many people can calculate it themselves using a retirement calculator on the web. Searching for “retirement income calculator” will give you a number of choices.

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    4. These 10 new Orange County restaurants had the biggest buzz in 2019

      These 10 new Orange County restaurants had the biggest buzz in 2019

      Forget the critics for five minutes. Here are the restaurants you were excited about in 2019. We took a look back at our digital analytics to find the 10 restaurant opening stories readers clicked on most and they ranged from food halls to ethnic eateries and steak houses.

      Lots of restaurants have opened since the first of the year, but some of the flashiest and fanciest didn’t even make this list. If you want to know which establishments were heavy hitters according to readers, here’s a recap of what local foodies were buzzing about this year.

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    5. California projected to have nation’s weakest housing markets in 2020

      California projected to have nation’s weakest housing markets in 2020

      California housing markets were voted “most likely to underperform” in a poll of market analysts.

      Zillow and Pulsenomics LLC asked more than 100 real estate gurus to predict what would occur in 2020 housing markets. Collectively, this group saw U.S. home values up 2.8%.

      As for 25 major local markets, those folks polled did not like what they saw in California, with the state home to five of the six U.S. metro areas with the poll’s worst outlooks. Here’s what was revealed …

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    6. Most Influential: Meet Orange County’s 100 top influencers for 2019

      Most Influential: Meet Orange County’s 100 top influencers for 2019

      News Most Influential: Meet Orange County’s 100 top influencers for 2019 2019 Orange County Register 100 Most Influential. (Collage by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG) By Todd Harmonson | tharmonson@scng.com | Orange County Register PUBLISHED: December 23, 2019 at 8:50 am | UPDATED: December 24, 2019 at 7:14 am Influencers make their marks in Orange County in myriad ways.

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    7. 9 Types of Real Estate Investments Compared

      9 Types of Real Estate Investments Compared

      Any new investment is intimidating at first when you’re still struggling to learn the vocabulary, challenges, risks, and rewards. But real estate offers some compelling benefits for investors willing to learn the ropes, from asset diversification to passive income to real estate investing tax benefits.

      And you have plenty of real estate investment options to choose from. From a fast one-time payout to ongoing income, hands-on work to complete passivity, you can pick the right investment option based on your personal goals.

      Here are nine popular options to help you start building your real estate empire – or at least add real estate to your portfolio.

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    8. Social Security a lifeline: If you need to file a disability claim, here's what to know.

      Social Security a lifeline: If you need to file a disability claim, here's what to know.

      I decided who could return to work or would qualify for disability payments from Social Security. Then, I ended up needing them. Here's my advice. Post to Facebook Social Security a lifeline: If you need to file a disability claim, here's what to know. I decided who could return to work or would qualify for disability payments from Social Security. Then, I ended up needing them. Here's my advice.

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    9. Who pays the lowest taxes in the US? - Vox

      Who pays the lowest taxes in the US? - Vox

      A “fun” piece of tax trivia — if there even is one — is that nearly half of Americans don’t pay federal income taxes. It’s something you’ll hear from conservative pundits, often to make the point that poor people aren’t paying their fair share in taxes.

      The easy rebuttal is that there are several other taxes in the US — many of which put a bigger burden on poor people than rich people. But a recent analysis by economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, as presented in their book, found that poor people may be paying nearly the same portion of their income in taxes as rich people. In their New York Times op-ed, they called America’s system a “giant flat tax.”

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      Mentions: New York Times
    10. Something you should know about = Life insurance’s major role in business succession planning

      Something you should know about = Life insurance’s major role in business succession planning

      For many business owners, succession planning is top of mind these days — with good reason. Last year, there were 30.2 million small businesses in the U.S., according to the Small Business Administration, which represented 99.9 percent of all U.S. businesses. Those businesses are operating amidst an unprecedented generational transfer; indeed, there is a tidal wave of business exits on the horizon. Early baby boomers have reached retirement age – they’ve already started transitioning their businesses – and the tail end of this generation will get there in a few short years. Proper business succession planning requires at least an 18-month time horizon; if they haven’t yet begun planning for business succession, they’ll need to catch up fast.

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    11. Microsoft details the most clever phishing techniques it saw in 2019 |

      Microsoft details the most clever phishing techniques it saw in 2019 |

      Earlier this month, Microsoft released a report on this year's malware and cyber-security trends. Among the few trends highlighted in the report was that phishing was one of the few attack vectors that saw a rise in activity over the past two years.

      Microsoft said that phishing attempts grew from under 0.2% in January 2018 to around 0.6% in October 2019, where 0.6% represented the percentage of phishing emails detected out of the total volume of emails the company analyzed.

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      Mentions: Microsoft
    12. Suicide rates in Orange County are on the rise

      Suicide rates in Orange County are on the rise

      The suicide rate in Orange County has dramatically increased during the 21st century. Between 2014 and 2018, approximately 330 suicides per year were recorded by the Orange County Health Agency (HCA), amounting to 1,648 suicides in the five year period.

      Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in America. Since 1999, rates of suicides have increased in all ethnic backgrounds, races, and genders. In response, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention advised local governments to continue with the identification and support for people who are in danger.

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    13. The success of Medicare Advantage makes it a better policy choice than ‘Medicare for All’

      The success of Medicare Advantage makes it a better policy choice than ‘Medicare for All’

      This public-private partnership is delivering high-quality health care at comparatively low cost AFP via Getty Images By Geoffrey Joyce It’s hunting season for health insurers, commonly referred to as “open enrollment.” People over 65 who turn on their TV or open their mailbox from late October through November can’t escape advertisements from private health insurers offering so-called Medicare Advantage plans on behalf of the federal government.

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    14. 529 ABLE Accounts: Helping End Forced Poverty For Disabled Individuals

      529 ABLE Accounts: Helping End Forced Poverty For Disabled Individuals

      Living with a disability comes with all kinds of challenges, but the financial impact of being unable to work can be absolutely devastating. Imagine not being able to support yourself due to your disability, but also not being able to save money so you can continue qualifying for government aid including Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

      To qualify for SSI, your countable resources must not be worth more than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple.

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    15. Beacon Promotional Products | Promotional Products & Apparel | Mission Viejo, CA - 2019 Best of Mission Viejo Award

      Beacon Sales and Marketing has been selected for the 2019 Best of Mission Viejo Award in the Promotional Products Supplier category by the Mission Viejo Award Program.

      Each year, the Mission Viejo Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Mission Viejo area a great place to live, work and play.

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    16. IRS reminder: Tax scams continue year-round

      IRS reminder: Tax scams continue year-round

      Although the April filing deadline has passed, scam artists remain hard at work, and the IRS today urged taxpayers to be on the lookout for a spring surge of evolving phishing emails and telephone scams.

      The IRS is seeing signs of two new variations of tax-related scams. One involves Social Security numbers related to tax issues and another threatens people with a tax bill from a fictional government agency. Here are some details:

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    17. New 3-Day Intensive Workshop for Women Entrepreneurs

      New 3-Day Intensive Workshop for Women Entrepreneurs

       

      Give Me 3 Days and You’ll Walk Out with a Complete System for Generating Qualified Leads to Grow Your Business Fast!

      In this workshop, you will not only discover the secrets to generate leads automatically, but also:

      • Learn how to create lead magnet ideas faster than you can say super-cali-fraga-listic! • Write a compelling landing page to drive your audience to enter their email address and grow your list. • Craft an email series to nurture and build anticipation in your audience for your next offer.

      (click Here to learn more)

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      Mentions: Local Business
    18. OC Sees Spike in Children Hospitalized for Mental Crises and Self-Harm | Voice of OC

      OC Sees Spike in Children Hospitalized for Mental Crises and Self-Harm | Voice of OC

      Orange County has experienced an alarming rise in children going to the emergency room for mental illness crises and suicide attempts, according to a new report from county officials, nonprofit groups and university researchers.

      The rate at which children were hospitalized for serious mental illnesses rose 87 percent from 2008 to 2017, the latest available year of data, according to the annual Conditions of Children in Orange County report.

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    19. Beacon Sales and Marketing Announces New Features On Beacon's Web Store

      Beacon Sales and Marketing Announces New Features On Beacon's Web Store

      Beacon Sales and Marketing has just completed a major upgrade to their Promotional Products Web Store.  There are many small enhancements but the 2 major search improvements are:

      • Customer Chat Now button (lower right)
      • Search Options.  Quick Search and Advanced Search
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    20. Mission Viejo Council Approves Acquisition Of Golf Course

      Mission Viejo Council Approves Acquisition Of Golf Course

      To preserve more than 100 acres of open space and connect the heart of Mission Viejo, the City Council this week approved the acquisition of the Casta Del Sol Golf Course. On Tuesday, Mayor Greg Raths signed the paperwork to open escrow on the property, which is expected to close on November 8.

      The Council's move will provide the community with convenient access and a one-of-a-kind walking and biking amenity

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    21. Taxes cost Americans more than amount spent on food, clothes and health care

      Taxes cost Americans more than amount spent on food, clothes and health care

      Last year, the average American household unit spent $18,600 on taxes. That included more than $9,000 on federal income taxes, $5,000 on Social Security taxes and more than $4,400 on state and local taxes. That’s according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, analyzed by Terence Jeffrey with CNS News.

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