Strategies to lower your taxes

People have asked, “Will the Republican tax plan affect me this year?” and “What can I do to reduce my taxes?” The short answer to the first question is: no, the Republican plan will not affect your 2017 tax filing and there are no plans to make the act retroactive. If a version of the…

One fact you should know about disability

Disability is something many people aren’t faced with in a direct way. The reality is, a 20-year-old worker currently has a one-in-four chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age. That makes Social Security disability benefits something you should learn about and understand. One fact you should know is Social Security’s definition of disability: the…

Z world according to Zoe | Nov. 24

Whenever I told somebody that I was going to college in Wisconsin, I inevitably received one of three responses: • “Wow, it’s cold there. Why?” • “The state with all the cheese? Why?” • “Why?” I’d like to answer each of those now. Yes, it is cold. However, it’s not like I’m going to wear…

Understanding the government-pension offset

Getting ready for retirement requires an evaluation of all your sources of retirement income. Even if you worked for the government and didn’t pay the FICA tax on your earnings, you may be eligible for benefits from your spouse’s work under Social Security. However, when you receive both your own non-covered government pension and a…

Fight Medicare fraud– guard your card

If you have Medicare, you can protect your identity and help prevent healthcare fraud by guarding your Medicare card like you would a credit card. Identity theft arising from stolen Medicare numbers is becoming more common. Medicare is in the process of removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards and replacing them with a new,…

Acquiring local donations during the holiday season

Part of my job as managing editor is to read through and approve comments that readers make on the stories on our website. Each year, as the holiday season draws nearer, there is one particular type of comment I see more and more– those from families asking how to acquire donations from local charities. Over…

Social Security supports veterans

Supporting veterans and active-duty members of the military is a key part of Social Security’s mission. Our disability program has helped countless wounded warriors and their loved ones. Every Veterans Day, the nation collectively honors the brave people who risk their lives to protect our country. For those who return home with injuries, Social Security…

A blatant disregard for LGBTQ people

The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach contacted the office of Councilman Daryl Supernaw multiple times, including meeting with staff, to discuss concerns raised by one of his constituents regarding a Chick-fil-A opening in his district. The councilman was made aware of Chick-fil-A’s longstanding history of hostility, ignorance and bigotry towards the LGBTQ community through these…

The importance of HPV vaccinations

Nearly 79 million Americans are infected with some type of the human papillomavirus (HPV), with 14 million new cases expected each year. HPV is a group of related viruses. Most of the time, HPV infections go away on their own, while others can cause genital warts or cancer. HPV infections can cause cancers of the…

Here’s that rainy day

This particular piece comes just before the second anniversary of my mom’s death, so if you do not like sad stories you may want to stop reading. Every day, without fail, I come into work, sign onto YouTube and play “Here’s That Rainy Day” sung by Sammy Davis Jr. Every day for nearly two years.…

How to create a trauma-informed classroom, part 2

Understanding how trauma impacts developing brains and applying that knowledge with love are key components of the trauma-informed model. Armed with this new perspective, the following tips from The Guidance Center’s It’s About T.I.M.E. (Trauma-Informed Movement in Education) program that I developed can help you integrate this approach into your classroom. 1. The foundation of…

How to create a trauma-informed classroom

Nearly 35 million U.S. children have experienced one or more types of childhood trauma, reports National Survey of Children’s Health (NHCS). Studies show trauma is toxic to children’s developing brains and inhibits their ability to learn in the classroom. However, studies also indicate that just one healthy relationship with an adult can help enable a…

How I spent my summer vacation

I faintly remember that kids were supposed to stand up and tell the rest of the class what they did over their summer. Or maybe write an essay about it? I think I was actually only asked to do this once, so perhaps it was just a suburban legend in my failing memory. But I…

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

We know the importance of “familia” in Hispanic culture, and we’re proud to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15) by helping build a secure future for you, your family and your future family. You can learn more about how Social Security helps secure today and tomorrow for millions of families by visiting…

How Medicare covers home health services

A couple of years ago, my father, well into his 70s, finally bought himself a high-performance automobile. The kids and grandkids had all grown up, so there was no need for a larger car. And heck, he had waited a long time to drive something fun. All was fine with the new car until my…