Teaching you to embrace today while making yourself a millionaire!

I wish I would have understood how easy it is to become a millionaire by starting to save small amounts of money when I was younger...

I feel compelled to share the simple concepts you can apply today....


27 March 2010

On the Road to Recovery

Wow, have I been through the mill in the past 6 weeks. It was exhausting, expensive, scary, and frustrating. On the bright side I lost 15 pounds and have meet some of the most compassionate health care providers in the Cincinnati area.

It all started with a skin rash around my eyes, looked very raccoon like. First stop, was the dermatologist - well $100 in creams later - no change. (Mind you I have very good health insurance coverage - so that equaled about 7 different types of creams.)

Next stop Allergist. After 100 different types of testing for allergies - it showed very low level reaction to ginger and barley. So he put me on a gluten free diet of just chicken, rice, carrots, grapes, and water to see if it would clear it up.
It did look a little better so he asked me to continue with the diet, but add in pork and lettuce.

A few days later I became so sick. I thought I had a virus. Very nauseated and diarrhea. (sorry but it is important to know the facts.) When this didn't go away after a few days I went to my family doctor. She ordered blood work and stool samples. Everything came back okay.

I was getting sicker by the day. I was now at the point where I could barely eat and if i did have a bite of toast or jello. I was in the bathroom within minutes.
Friends started bringing me smart water, ensure, activa, anything that would keep hydrated. I now had lost about 7 pounds and was exhausted all the time.

The next week I was at the Dr. three times as my symptoms kept getting worse. I had a gallbladder ultrasound and a gallbladder MRI (Hida Scan). The ultrasound was normal but the Hida Scan should some abnormalities. So we aren't sure it is the problem but now need to get into a specialist. The soonest they could get me in was 6 weeks. I told them I would be dead by then because I couldn't keep hydrated and I wasn't eating. After alot of juggling they got me in 9 days. Okay, I will take it as it beat the alternative.

I had also called a gastroenterolgy doctor to try and get in since the gallbladder diagnosis wasn't definitive. That was worse 2 months for an appointment. After pleading my case - they talked with the Dr. (who I am a patient) could get me in 14 days. I took that as well.

The night before I was to go to the Gallbladder surgeon -I was so sick I asked my son and husband to take me to the Emergency Room. I was now running a fever and vomiting as well as all the other problems. We drove 45 minutes vs going to a hospital that was 10 minutes away - because if they admitted me I wanted to be sure the doctors I wanted to perform any procedures were on staff. That was the best decision we made.

The ER doctor was very good. He did an ECG, ran extensive blood work, ordered a CT scan of my abdomen and did anther stool sample. On the stool sample he ran extensive testing. He did not believe it was gallbladder and did not want me to have unnecessary surgery out of desperation. Which is where I was.

The good news but surprising to the ER Doc was my abdomen, intestines etc came back looking great! No ulcers or blockages. They stabilized my fluids and had to send me home. (even though I begged them to keep me). He told me stick with the two doctor appointments I had and when they get the stool sample results he would contact me. If I get worse again - come back in do not wait and get dehydrated as this can easily cause death.

By the way at this point I have lost 15 pounds in about 3 weeks. This was at least 10% of my body weight.

After going to Dr. David Ward, the surgeon the next day - he said it was not definitive I should go to the gastroenterolgy doctor, Dr. Stephen Ionna and they would confer on Tuesday after my appointment (4 days later was my next appointment) to try and come up with a game plan. I appreciated that he didn't push surgery since he wasn't sure - however, at that point if he had I probably would have gone along with it - hoping it helped. I have alot of respect for him and his values.

After my appointment with Dr. Ward I went home, fell into bed and was sleeping when my son came running up the steps and said Mom, wake up it is the doctor from the Er last night, Dr. Gary Gries. My results of my stool sample showed a parasite called Giardiasis. He would call in a medication immediately to resolve the problem. Within 24 hours I feel like a new person. It is quite contagious and I need to be on the antibiotics for at 48 hours to be safe not to contaminate my family. (although they have been living with me for 3 weeks - keep your fingers crossed they don't get it).

I am not sure where I picked this up - however, the important information for all is - WASH YOUR HANDS after using the bathroom. Someone somewhere didn't do this and I picked it up.

I hope to be back on track with blogging. Thanks for your patience.

Live Your Best!
Stay tuned...

02 March 2010

Top Ten Money Issues for Singles
, former Guide

Build and Protect Your Financial Future

Whether you're single because you've never married, or are suddenly single due to divorce or death of a spouse, money management and financial planning are critical. You have only yourself to depend on for income, goal-setting, decision-making, and retirement planning. Here are the issues that most need your attention:

Debt: Know exactly who you owe, how much you owe each creditor, and the interest rate on each account. Develop a plan to pay down your debt using a popular method that I call the Credit Crunch Method, described at the end of Get Out of Debt.

Budget: You've heard the expression: "You can't get there from here," right? Well, whoever coined the phrase might very well have been talking about budgets. When it comes to meeting your financial goals, without a budget "you can't get there from here." A budget doesn't have to be financial handcuffs or a money diet. For a more positive outlook on budgeting and all the advice you need to succeed at it, see Budgeting 101.

Health insurance: It's common to feel invincible when you're young. Many young singles take a huge financial risk by going without health insurance because they believe their youth and good health makes insurance unnecessary. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a single. You CAN become ill, regardless of your age. You could be in a car accident, hurt yourself skiing, tear a muscle lifting weights, fall on the ice, get mono or pneumonia, or incur any number of illnesses or injuries that would land you in the hospital and rack up large medical bills that may take you decades to pay off.

Don't be short-sighted. If you can't afford a good plan with a low deductible, at least protect yourself from catastrophic financial losses by purchasing a less expensive plan with a high deductible. You'll pay the small expenses yourself, but the large ones that could ruin your financial future will be covered by insurance.

COBRA: If you're covered under your employer's group health insurance plan and you're about to change jobs, check into COBRA coverage, which allows you to continue your coverage under the plan until you're covered under your new employer's plan, for up to 18 months after termination of employment. The cost to you is whatever your employer pays, plus a small administrative fee.
Disability insurance: Because you don't have a second family income, it's very important that you protect your income-generating power by buying long-term disability insurance, and if possible, short-term disability insurance. Disability insurance will pay a percentage of your income (usually 60%) if you're unable to work due to illness or accident. Again, don't let your feelings of invincibility prevent you from protecting yourself. These coverages are much more important to you than life insurance unless you have dependents. Many employers offer short- and long-term disability insurance free or at a substantial savings. Check with your Human Resources department.
Retirement Planning: If you're young, don't let your age fool you into thinking it's too early to save for retirement. The sooner you start saving, the less you'll need to save overall, due to the power of compounding, deferred taxes, and your employer's 401(k) match if you're lucky enough to have such a plan. Don't walk away from the free gift your employer offers via the 401(k) match. If you're not eligible for an employer's plan, set up an IRA. Avoid a big mistake many singles make: don't cash out your 401(k) account when you change jobs. Roll it over into an IRA or another employer plan instead. The cash is tempting, but spending your retirement money is short-sighted.

Medi-gap and Long-term Care Insurance: Singles over 65 should purchase a Medi-gap policy to cover medical expenses not covered by Medicare. Singles over 50 may want to consider a long-term care insurance policy, which covers the expenses of a nursing home or home health care if needed.

Your Home: If you're suddenly single due to divorce or death of a spouse, it may be necessary or prudent for you to move to a smaller home so you have a smaller mortgage. This will make it easier to make ends meet and may be the only way you'll be able to save towards retirement.

Wills: Wills are another item that many singles think are unnecessary. They're wrong. If you own anything of value (car, jewelry, house or condo, computer, savings account, etc.), you should have a will specifying who will get your belongings if you die. If you have children, a will is an absolute must, because it's the method for designating a guardian for them.

Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney: If you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself, a living will and power of attorney will designate someone you trust to make those decisions for you or carry out the wishes you've indicated. See a lawyer or financial planner to draft these documents.

By looking at your current situaion and planning ahead - you make life's bumps alittle easier to deal with. Having a balanced life is more than just having enough money to be comfortable. It is about being responsible in all areas of your life.

Stay tuned......

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