Tax Time Trouble: Identity Theft and Your Tax Return

Tax Day is on the way, and many people will be scrambling to meet the April deadline. However, filing your returns in a timely fashion isn’t the only thing to worry about. Tax-related identity theft is a growing threat. Continue reading

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Preventing Frozen Pipes

Have you taken the proper precautions to protect your home from frozen pipes? Cold winter weather can cause pipes in your home to freeze and potentially burst, leading to water damage or flooding. A few simple preventative measures can help save you from the costs and headaches associated with frozen pipes. Continue reading

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Own an Older Home? Retrofit Against Earthquake

One important consideration for homeowners is whether your home is structurally sound enough to withstand the forces of an earthquake. Depending on the age of your home, number of stories, and ground soil conditions, a house can experience catastrophic damage, fire or collapse during an earthquake if measures have not been taken to fortify the home. One way to seismically retrofit is to bolt the house to its foundation and brace the cripple walls around the crawl space with plywood. Continue reading

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The Reintroduction of Burmese Gemstones

Glittery, glamorous, and gorgeous. Myanmar, formerly Burma, has the world’s most beautiful, well-known rubies and jade. Its breathtaking rubies have strong fluorescence, clarity, hue, and a rich pigeon blood color. The unparalleled beauty makes them one of the most sought-after … Continue reading

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Is There a “Leak” In Your Earthquake Preparedness Plan?

Third in a series of articles about earthquake preparedness. For residents in California and other seismically active regions of the county, the word “earthquake” conjures up frightening news footage images of toppled walls, collapsed roofs, and cracked foundations. As disturbing and devastating … Continue reading

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Four Tips for Protecting Your Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Jewelry Purchase

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, roughly half of all shoppers are just starting to search for what to buy their loved ones this holiday (another 10% will wait until February 13!). For many, jewelry will be their go-to gift of choice.

But as the saying goes, all that glitters is not gold. Especially if you’re one of the last-minute shoppers looking to make a quick jewelry purchase, failure to ask the right questions or do the appropriate pre-purchase research could invite a wide range of risks. Continue reading

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Earthquake Preparedness: Don’t Forget About Your Water Heater!

The term “earthquake preparedness” inspires thoughts of emergency kits, flashlights, bottled water and canned goods. Although these items are extremely necessary, it is also important to ensure that proper precautions have been taken throughout your home.

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Participating in the Sharing Economy? Don’t Overlook Potential Exposures

Seventy-two percent of Americans have used some type of shared or on-demand online service. As more individuals opt into the sharing economy—especially short-term vacation rentals—it is increasingly important you don’t overlook potential exposures. Imagine the situation where you decide to … Continue reading

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Amethyst: “All-healer”

Part of a series of articles about birthstones. If you were born in February, you are blessed with amethyst as your birthstone. Amethysts are also recognized as the stone of St. Valentine and symbol of faithful love, so I couldn’t … Continue reading

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