Welcome to ADVISOR.com -- expert advice and know-how on money, health, lifestyle, family, travel, technology, innovative products, smart practices, tips-tricks-traps, and more.
  • Sound the way you like it!

    J. River Media Center and a compressor plugin provide the music sound you've always wanted.

    It's obvious that music played on the radio sounds different than when you play the same music from a CD or download. Radio station music is stronger, fuller, more consistent, more powerful. And it flows smoothly (segues) from song to song. The affect can be magical. After first getting to know a song on the radio, it's often disappointing to hear it directly from CD or download; the music feels weak, lethargic, empty.

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  • Plan now for an Advanced Health Care Directive and Power of Attorney, before you and loved ones need to use it.

    Several times a month, a call comes into Elder Law and Advocacy's office in San Diego that goes something like this: "Hello, my wife (husband, or parent) has advanced Alzheimer's disease and her doctor told me I need to get power of attorney. Can you help me?"

    Misconceptions about creating and using a power of attorney for health care or finances creates problems for many families. Here's what you need to know.

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  • Head x-ray

    Use your head to learn the risks, take precautions, and avoid a horrible outcome.

    We sometimes joke about our heads: Knock your head against the wall ... Head bashing ... Dropped on your head ... and more. Funny -- except it's no laughing matter.

    Even a head injuriy that appears to be mild can have serious, long-term effects, especially when there are repeated injuries.

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  • Find out which food and household items could be dangerous to your pets.

    Unfortunately, we tend to overlook a number of household items that are potentially very dangerous to a dog's health. It's especially important to be aware of this because as you know, dogs are essentially scavengers and will often eat just about anything they can sink their fangs into. My own dog is more like a mobile garbage disposal. It's also very important to be aware of these items because their sense of smell is so well developed that your pooch will be able to find what you may think is well hidden.

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  • The Beatles final concert ticket

    Memories of seeing the Fab Four firsthand

    August 29, 1966 was the last-ever major live concert by The Beatles, and I was there!

    If you weren't in San Francisco that historic night -- or never saw John, Paul, George and Ringo perform live -- here's a taste of what you missed...

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  • An Advisor Academy tutorial

    When your child or grandchild has questions about energy, how do you begin to explain such a vast concept?

    Teaching kids about energy starts with conveying that there are many forms of energy around us and even inside us. Life as we know it would not exist without energy. Energy is so important that all food packages list Calories, an old energy unit. Energy is either stored or involved with motion.

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  • Active adult retirement communities are as varied as the people who populate them. Take your time doing your research and you're sure to find one that's a good fit.

    As the years roll on, some Boomers will choose to sell their homes for a variety of reasons: to save money, to downsize, to be closer to family. Builders of retirement communities are doing a better and better job of discovering what features make these communities appealing to Boomers.

    If you're considering an active adult retirement community, here are 10 steps to starting your research.

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  • Your medical results

    When your colonoscopy discovers polyps, what should you do?

    You know it's important to have a colonoscopy periodically. You hope the doctor finds nothing -- but what if the doctor finds "something"? 

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  • Marilee Driscoll

    Long-term care insurance determines how well you'll be taken care of when you can't take care of yourself.

    Long-term care insurance is potentially one of the most important purchases you'll ever make. It likely determines how well you'll be taken care of when you can no longer care for yourself.

    There are lots of decisions to make -- and they need to be informed decisions. Tempting as it is to think you'll never be in the position to need long-term care, you risk literally everything if you hide from this issue.

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  • How people evaluate older vs. newer might surprise you.

    How do you evaluate a policy, a painting or a piece of chocolate? What makes you decide the "best" tree or treatment? Probably not what you think, reveals an interesting scientific study. Compare your own behavior to these results.

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  • Washing hands

    It seems smart to wash your hands and body with soap that claims to be antibacterial. Kills the bad bugs, right?

    Maybe not.

    Rather than cleansing you of germs, such products might be harming your body. That is the concern of U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which says that the health claims of antibacterial soaps are not supported by current scientific data.

    FDA cites two problems with antibacterial soaps:

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  • Car keys caution sign

    Strategies for taking away the keys when mom or dad should no longer drive.

    Automobiles transcend other possessions. They are part of our identity, almost like a member of the family. After a lifetime of mobility, the prospect of losing that aspect of independence can be seriously frightening. But, what do you do when your parent is no longer safe on the road? Here are some suggestions.

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  • Excercise gently

    Are you a weekend warrior?

    Aging puts some limits on how long and how intensely you can exercise. Growing older also makes you more prone to injuries during physical activity. Boomers can be at particular risk though, because they might just be discovering their bodies aren't as young as they used to be. By all means, exercise to stay in shape, but take precautions to prevent injuries.

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  • Robert Banfield, Nancy Schieck Banfield, Jeanne Banfield Hawkins

    As our parents get older, where can we turn for advice and information to help us deal with everything?

    My husband John and I were having dinner with two other Boomer couples. We've been friends for years and were catching up on our lives and families. Near the end of the evening, a friend commented, "We used to get together and talk about the challenges of raising our kids. Now we get together and talk about our aging parents."

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  • Piggy Bank

    Saving for your child's future ... or yours: Which takes priority?

    Q: I am worried about saving money for retirement while planning expenses for my children's college years. Is there a way to do both?

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  • Don't put off preserving your own family's unique history for generations to come.

    My nephew, Connor was working on a project for school and needed to interview my dad about his time in the Army during World War II. As it turns out, my father had a lot to say (but only with much prodding) because he was a young private, 18 years old in 1943, who was shipped off to fight in Italy, wounded in both legs by sniper fire, and back to the United States before he turned 19. And that was only one of his many interesting lives!

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  • How people evaluate older vs. newer might surprise you.

    How do you evaluate a policy, a painting or a piece of chocolate? What makes you decide the "best" tree or treatment? Probably not what you think, reveals an interesting scientific study. Compare your own behavior to these results.

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  • The best approach depends on your age.

    Stroke ranks higher than heart attack in scaryness, say surveys. So stroke prevention is something we all care about.

    Of the two main stroke-prevention procedures, new research points to which is the better choice.

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  • The power of Polyphenols

    Red wine and Apples are two of the main foods of the Mediterranean diet. Recent studies suggest that consuming them in the right way can reduce the risk of cancer and heart problems.

    The traditional Mediterranean diet is important for our health because its foods contain healthy elements.

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  • Older people are too often the target of financial scams and money-focused manipulation.

    We've seen this all too often: Joey wanted to cash a large check from his grandmother's account. A bank employee called his grandmother, Joyce, who said her husband had recently died and that her grandson was helping out. Further review of Joyce's account revealed expenses for electronics, auto accessories, and adult entertainment. Joey was not using the money for his grandmother's benefit.

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  • The natural aging process can cause forgetfulness. But there are ways to maximize your memory -- whatever age you are.

    With age comes wisdom, and often times so does memory decline. Many people think of memory lapses as a normal part of aging, and others fear the worst: Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia. While approximately 1 in 10 people age 65 and older have Alzheimer's and related dementias, the loss of mental acuity can occur in the natural aging process. The good news is that there are ways for people to maximize their memory, no matter how old they are.

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