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Lupe Camargo Serves Arizona Girl Scouts as Board Chair

Lupe Camargo Serves Arizona Girl Scouts as Board Chair

Lupe Camargo serves Arizona Girl Scouts as board chair: Perspective Financial Services is proud to announce that Lupe was recently elected as chair of the Girl Scouts – Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) board of directors. A longtime community leader, Lupe has a strong connection to Arizona and the needs of women and girls in our state. She has supported and advised the local Girl Scouts council in many capacities for more than a dozen years, including as a parent, troop leader and long-time board member.

The Council welcomed Lupe during its annual meeting, which was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Fifteen years ago, I walked into my first Girl Scout meeting,” Lupe said during her address at the meeting. “My daughter, now 20 years old, started as a Daisy in her Kindergarten class. We were both excited for the fun she would have, especially the 3 Cs we would experience: Cookies, Camping, and Crafts. As she remained involved, and I eventually became her troop leader I learned that yes, Cookies, Camping and Crafts were an important part of Girl Scouting… however, we learned there was much more.”

Click here to read Lupe’s speech, which the Council shared with AZ Big Media “as a means to empower, inspire and advocate for girls and women across Arizona.”

Photo by Mark Skalny

Budgeting for a Pet

Budgeting for a petOne of the effects of the stay-at-home rules and lockdowns due to COVID-19 is that pet adoptions are on the rise. That’s great news for the many rescue animals that have been waiting for a forever home. At the same time, it’s important to remember the “forever” part. Adding an animal to your family shouldn’t be a spontaneous decision. It takes forethought and budgeting for a pet.

Think about what sort of pet will best fit your personality and lifestyle, today and a year from now. It could be wonderful to have a kitten to keep you company while you’re working from home or a dog to take for long walks while your gym is closed. But also consider how the animal will respond when you return to the office and gym. Even pets typically considered low-maintenance – like rodents, birds, fish and reptiles – require a regular time commitment for providing food and fresh water, and cleaning cages and tanks.

Budget for initial and long-term expenses of the pet you choose. Initial costs are adoptions fees, medical expenses such as vaccinations, spay/neutering and microchipping, and supply costs for items that may include a bed, litter box, leash, cage, tank, toys and so on. Food is the most obvious ongoing expense, but other costs may include grooming, training, medications and emergency veterinary care.

Americans spent nearly $96 billion on their pets in 2019, according the American Pet Products Association annual  consumer survey. Basic annual expenses for dog and cat owners averages $1,380 and $900, respectively.

 

Credit Card No-Nos

credit card no-nosAccording to an Experian survey, 21 percent of people who experienced credit card fraud lost money as a result. The best way to avoid this, while still owning a credit card, is to follow a few basic security measures. You probably know to not read your card number out loud in public. Here are a few more credit card no-nos to keep in mind:

  • Never email, text message, or send a message via social media that contains your credit card number.
  • Never save or store your credit card number online or use the same password or pin as an online account for your credit card.
  • Never give your card number to someone who called you over the phone. You don’t know who is really calling you, and it is better to get the reference number and call back using a customer service phone number you verify online. Any legitimate company requesting this kind of personal information will be understanding and allow you to hang up and call back.

Tobi McCann

Keep reading about credit card no-nos: Senior citizens are often targets of credit card fraud.

Click here to read a previous article on how to guard against financial elder abuse.

By |2020-05-12T14:45:06-07:00May 26th, 2020|Current Affairs|

Weathering Stay at Home and Recession Challenges

weathering stay at home and recession challengesIt can be hard to keep your long-term perspective while living in the short-term reality of stay-at-home rules and a recession. Most people struggle with entertainment budget cuts. Children may not understand why they have to change their routines and habits suddenly. Try to find the silver lining. Here are some helpful tips for weathering stay at home and recession challenges.

Make the most of the additional time you’re spending with family at home. Use this current challenge as an opportunity to teach children about (and refresh yourself on) money management skills, and the difference between wants and needs.

If you’re used to dining out, make eating at home more fun by experimenting with new recipes and cooking together.

Take time to appreciate the things you own — dust off old games and books, or watch a movie you haven’t seen in awhile. Head outdoors to walk, hike, swim, play ball or get creative with sidewalk chalk.

All changes require time to adapt to new routines. Don’t build up expectations about what might change in the future. Focus on the here and now. Celebrate your wins as a family. Take time to acknowledge each other’s efforts to adjust, because you’re all doing your best in Here are some helpful tips for weathering stay at home and recession challenges.

You and your family will get through this by working together.

By Tobi McCann

By |2020-04-08T15:31:17-07:00April 27th, 2020|Current Affairs|

New Employee Healthcare Option for Small Business Owners

new employee healthcare optionHealth reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) are a type of account-based health plan that employers can use to reimburse employees for their medical care expenses. Just like there are many types of qualified retirement plans, there are many types of HRAs. Effective January 1, the federal government has enacted new HRA rules that will be especially beneficial for small business owners in offering a new employee healthcare option.

Individual Coverage HRAs can now be used to reimburse premiums for individual health insurance chosen by an employee, in addition to other medical care expenses. This promotes employee and employer flexibility, while also maintaining the same tax-favored status for employer contributions toward a traditional group health plan.

The new rules also increase flexibility in employer-sponsored insurance by creating another, limited type of HRA that can be offered in addition to a traditional group health plan. These Excepted Benefit HRAs permit employers to finance additional medical care (e.g. to help cover copays, deductibles or other expenses not covered by the primary plan) even if the employee declines enrollment in the group plan.

Want more information on this new employee healthcare option? This HRA document from the U.S. Department for Human & Health Services may be helpful. You can also your advisor with any questions.

By |2020-03-18T11:01:58-07:00March 25th, 2020|Health Care, Insurance, Small Business|