This May Be the Answer to Aging and Living Well

An Irishman lived with his son who was always getting into trouble. In fact, the young man was in jail for bank robbery and was refusing to say where the money was stashed.

The father wrote to his son, "Tell them where you hid the money, son. It's time to plant my potatoes and I need you here to turn the field."

The son wrote back, "I swore never to tell, Da. But take care when you plant."

The next day trucks of government men arrived with shovels, spades, hoes. They dug through the father's field not once, but twice. But no money was found.

The father wrote immediately, "Stop the blarney! No money here and you're still in jail there."

"Ah!", replied the son. "But I bet that field's just ready to be planted."

This May Be the Answer to Aging and Living Well

Just as growing up goes through stages, growing older does too. What will you want in your long and wonderful retirement years? What will you need? Will you have to move around to get it? Jan Steiner, Senior Transitions Concierge, may have just the answer.

Continuous Care Retirement Communities (CCRC'S) are communities that offer the entire range of senior living options all in one location. You can progress from independent living all the way to skilled nursing.

Living Accommodations:

  • Independent Living – your own villa or apartment with a kitchen
    • Dining services are provided, you choose the plan best for you
    • Housekeeping available
    • Other services available for additional fees
  • Assisted Living – Aid in Activities of Daily Life (ADL) such as dressing, showering, toileting, and medication reminders.
    • The necessary services are provided daily along with 3 meals, laundry, linen, housekeeping, security and emergency response system.
    • Residents remain in Assisted Living as long as they do not require 2 people to assist in ADL and are not a wander risk
  • Memory Care – This is provided for those with cognitive issues needing a safer, secure environment.
  • Skilled Nursing Facility – This provides nursing assistance around the clock, handling a variety of medical issues
    • Short term – Rehab
    • Long term

CCRC'S offer Life Contracts allowing you to live there forever, however, they require significant financial data to prove you can afford to live there throughout your life.

For more information about them, contact Jan Steiner 847-340-7073,

For how to pay for a wonderful life in a CCRC, call us: 847-362-8888.


Once upon a time, a beautiful, independent, self-assured princess happened upon a frog in a pond.

The frog said to the princess, "I once was a handsome prince until an evil witch put a spell on me. One kiss from you and I will turn back into a prince and then we can marry, move into the castle with my mom and you can prepare my meals, clean my clothes, bear my children and forever feel happy doing so."

That night, while the princess dined on frog legs, she kept laughing and saying, "I don't THINK so."


March is Women's History Month and it's time to celebrate… you.

If you're a woman, the ways you choose to live, earn money, do business, partner, raise the next generation are making history. Whether you're just entering adulthood or you're a Golden Girl, you're doing things women have never done before. You're doing traditional things in new and pioneering ways.

If you're a man, you're changing to keep up in heroic and historic fashion.

I've been fortunate to study and portray women in American History throughout my life. As Lady Bird Johnson, I'll give advice to today's women in a podcast launching March 5.

Here's the best advice for today: prepare for 100 years.

You may be the first generation to knowingly face such longevity. But given the way you're meeting challenges now, we know you'll find the resources to thrive.

Here's a remarkable resource: an insurance plan that offers asset protection, world class savings, the power of liquidity, long-term care funding and a beautiful legacy.

Call and let's make history…your history…together. 847-362-8888.

ALERT: Where we’ll be w/o 2/26/18

2/26 8:30am

Cup of Joe. 60 small business owners from the city and suburbs. Newcomers welcome. See their Facebook page

2/28 7:30am

DAMN (Dynamic Alternative Networking Mentors). By invitation.

11:30 am

Skokie Women In Business Luncheon. Newcomers welcome.


Right Management Deerfield. We deliver “COBRA and Alternatives” seminar for people in transition. (By invitation from Right.)

3/1 3:30pm

Women About Business Park Ridge (by invitation)

3/2 7am

Northbrook Chamber of Commerce First Friday. Over 100 businesses represented. Newcomers welcome.


Ever wonder where dead penguins go?

It is a known fact that the penguin is a very ritualistic bird which lives an extremely ordered and complex life. The penguins have a very strong community bond.

If a penguin is found dead on the ice surface, other members of the family and social circle dig holes in the ice, using their vestigial wings and beaks, until the hole is deep enough for the dead bird to be rolled into and buried. The male penguins then gather in a circle around the freshly dug grave and sing (are you ready?) "Freeze a jolly good fellow, freeze a jolly good fellow"!


As a woman in today's complex workplace, do you often feel you're losing your sanity?

  • If you're a working woman (or you know or live with one), you recognize how hard it is to find balance between career success and your personal life – which can include your nuclear family, parents, home, friends, a social life, exercise – there's just not enough time!
  • In addition to the challenge of achieving balance, studies show women encounter workplace barriers, keeping them from the career advancement and success they've earned.

Here Are Three Quick Tips from Sanity and Success for Working Women:

1 – Gain balance in your work and personal life

  • Create healthy boundaries – don't take on responsibilities that shouldn't be/aren't yours
  • Set realistic expectations for yourself – don't strive for perfection

2 – Get respect at work – be taken seriously

  • Maintain a professional demeanor, while enhancing your assertive communication style
  • Incorporate relevant, realistic data in your communications

3 – Set the stage for your promotion

  • Identify the next steps in your career path
  • Build the skills and experience needed to move up
  • Promote your accomplishments in a professional way

Most importantly, take as your motto: Work Happy. Live Happy. Be Happy.

Our Guest blogger, Marilyn Fettner, LCPC, MCC, NCC, is president of Fettner Career & Life Counseling, based in Northbrook, IL. She provides coaching and counseling to adults to help them deal with challenges in their personal and work life. Her book, Sanity and Success for Working Women: A Quick Guide to Survive and Thrive in the Corporate World, written with Linda McCabe is available here. Visit her website,

Jerry S. Pearlstein Insurance helps working women live long and happy lives with a program that offers Protection, World Class Savings, Liquidity, and Long-Term Care Benefits in one package. Let's talk about it. 847-362-8888.


Wonderful Church Bulletins

Sermon this morning: "Jesus is Walking on the Water". The sermon tonight:' "Searching for Jesus.'

Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.

Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

And finally

Don't let worry kill you off – let the Church help.


February is American Heart and Stroke Prevention Month. Lots of us are wearing red dresses to remind you to make a few small changes for a healthier heart.

Here are suggestions from Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD, Chairman of the Dept. of Preventative Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

  • If you smoke, quitting should be your first priority.
  • Drink more water. Substitute for soda.
  • Stay weight stable. Even before trying to lose, make a plan not to gain. Eat real food including lean protein. Grab fresh fruits and veggies instead of sweets for snacks.
  • Be Active. 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week is recommended. Try 3 10 minute segments a day where you raise your heart rate.
  • Sweet Sleep not only helps weight control and blood pressure, it increases your alertness and decreases cravings for junk food.

Here's how we'd like to reduce your heart stress: 15 For Life!, a remarkable life insurance platform that earns available, tax free money, can provide access to Long-Term Care and lets you choose to pay premiums for only 15 years after which your benefits continue to grow.

This month, pick any of the ways (including a call to us) to make your heart happy. A change in this short month, could make for a long, healthy life.

Tips for Flawless Winter Skin

A car gets a flat tire on the Interstate one day. The lady driver eases it over onto the shoulder of the road. She carefully steps out of the car and opens the trunk. She then takes out two cardboard men, unfolds them and stands them at the rear of the vehicle facing oncoming traffic. The lifelike cardboard men are in trench coats and appear naked to approaching drivers.

Not surprisingly, the traffic became snarled and backed up. It's not very long before a police car arrives. The Officer, clearly enraged, approaches the lady yelling, "Did you put these obscene things out on the road?"

"Oh yes", says the woman, calmly.

"What the hell for?" asks the Officer.

"Well, those are my emergency flashers!" she replies.

Tips for Flawless Winter Skin

By Josie Tenore, M.D. | FreshSkin Medical Spa & Wellness Center in Highland Park, IL

Low outdoor temperatures and dry indoor heat not only dry your skin, they cause a thickening of dead skin cells.  Neglecting your skin makes damage worse.

Here Are Top Five Must-Dos for the Winter:

1 – Exfoliate dry skin. At home use a Clarisonic daily, or a light-grit exfoliator twice weekly. For in-office treatments, HydraFacial and light chemical peels are great options and only take 30 minutes.

2 – Moisturize + Hydrate. Use a heavier-consistency moisturizer or layer a serum with a moisturizer. Drink plenty of water! The goal is half your body weight in ounces of water, daily.

3 – UV + Environmental Protection. Your skin care regimen should include protection against UV exposure and environmental exposure that include external toxins like air pollution.

4 – Make your skin a priority and be consistent. The right regimen is simple and applied consistently. You'll have great results, and less time and money spent.

5 – Know that there is a difference between cosmetic-grade and medical-grade skincare. Begin with a complimentary Skin Consultation and VISIA Complexion Analysis.

Join us at our ReFresh with FreshSkin Cocktail Hour on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 6pm as we discuss the latest anti-aging advancements to get your skin back to healthy.

Exclusive promotions available to event guests only. Limited Space. RSVP required. Call 847-681-8821.

While people often think about death when we talk about life insurance, we really want to help you live a wonderful life with a smile on your face. Women, especially should have a conversation with us. Call us at 847-362-8888.

Open Enrollment Continues for Blue Cross Policy Holders

1. You have until 12/31/17 to reject Blue Cross’ choice for replacing your 2017 plan and get a plan with coverage starting January 1, 2018.

If you want to do that, please call us as soon as possible so we can help you apply for the plan you do want. 847-362-8888.

2. You accept Blue Cross’ choice and then change to another plan within the next 60 days.

Because your plan was cancelled, you are now eligible for a Special Enrollment. Apply for a new plan by January 15, coverage starts Februrary 1. Apply for a new plan by February 16, coverage begins March 1. Apply for a new plan by February 28, coverage begins April 1. You can even get premium assistance.

3. If you are eligible to form a small group, you may do so at any time.

There are group PPO plans with access everywhere. Ask us about the qualifications.

4. Make sure your 2018 Blue Cross plan is in place.

January premiums for migrated plans may not be taken until as late as January 2. Watch your checking account if you’re on Direct Deduction of if you submitted a new application. Make sure you got an invoice and paid it if you’re on monthly billing.
Check your Member Access account at or call 855-414-6175 to confirm your 2018 plan.

5. If you did not “migrate” and reapplied through Blue Cross or the Exchange, make sure your old plan is cancelled.

Call Blue Cross at 800-538-8833.

Of course, we are always here to help. 847-362-8888.

Open Enrollment: Confusing Correspondence

What to ignore

  • Marketplace mailings, email, even phone calls saying you must enroll or pick a plan when you don't get your health insurance through the Marketplace or you have enrolled and picked a plan.*
  • Notices from Blue Cross telling you some information they sent earlier is incorrect but not giving any information about what plan they're talking about.

What to pay attention to

  • Marketplace requests for information from you regarding past or current transactions with them. Not doing so could result in loss of coverage and/or tax penalties
  • Invoices for 2017 premiums from your current insurance company. If you are not paid up for December, January 2018 will be applied to 2017. If you remain 30 days behind, your policy could be cancelled.
  • If you got your 2018 health insurance through the Exchange with assistance, the insurance company whose plan it is will notify you that they have received your application from the government. They’ll provide information on how to pay your portion.

*If you are not buying this year's health insurance through government sites, but bought last year's health insurance through the Marketplace, call 800-318-2596. Cancel your account. The government is assigning health insurance plans that may override your Off-exchange choice for 2018.

Open Enrollment ends December 15.
If you don't have your health insurance for 2018, call us. We're here to help. 847-362-8888.

Week One Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment for those folks under 65 who buy their own health insurance began November 1. It runs to December 15.

Despite confusion about cost-sharing and premium assistance, people who qualify are receiving help at proper levels. Call us to find out if you qualify and how to pick the plan that gets the best help. 847-362-8888. (Not all agents are certified to take you to the government for this help.)

  • As in previous years government sites (online and on-phone) had to pause from overload. The phone lines shut down last Sunday. They are expected to do so every Sunday except December 10.
  • Blue Cross 2018 renewal packets were expected to reach 98% of their policy holders by November 1, but we’re hearing from clients who still have not received them. Watch your USMail.
  • The link to open Blue Cross quotes generated through their site and agents was not working Tuesday. Try today. If you can’t open your quote, call us. 847-362-8888.
  • Provider-Finder sites online are proving inaccurate. Northwestern Hospitals have people to help at 312-926-8400, Northshore University Health System 847-570-4202. Better still, call the doctor you want to use to ask what insurance they take. Make sure they know you are on an individual plan. Group plans have different coverage.

Your best bet for getting the insurance plan you need for 2018 is to work with an Illinois licensed and CMS certified agent. They know the federal rules and, more important, the local situation. Their services are free.

It takes a conversation. Call today to get health insurance for 2018.


We know you’re concerned because you still haven’t received your Blue Cross Renewal Packets as of November 3rd.
We can see into our clients’ accounts that renewal packets have been sent. But we cannot see the content yet. (Technical glitch, being fixed, yadayada.)
While we don’t know the specific plans Blue Cross is offering to migrate you to, here’s what we do know.
1. All On-Exchange policies must go back to the Exchange before December 15 for 2018 coverage. We’re making appointments and will be calling you by Monday. You can help by sending us an email confirming the network you want to stay in or change to, if your 2018 income projection remains the same, if the people covered by the plan remain the same.
2. Off-Exchange Renewal (Blue Cross’ only continuing plan is Blue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 102)
• If you want to keep your plan there is no need to re-enroll. Just keep your payments up to date and you may continue to use your coverage. You’ll be covered January 1, 2018. We will remain our agents.
• If you want to enroll in a different plan, (Silver to Bronze or to a different hospital network), we must submit a new application for you by December 15th. Call us 847-362-8888 or

3. Off-Exchange Discontinued (This affects 98% of Blue Cross policy holders.)
• If you like the plan Blue Cross has selected for you there’s no need to re-enroll. Just keep your payments up to date and you may continue to use your coverage. You’ll be covered starting on January 1, 2018.
• If you want to enroll in a different plan let us know. We’ll discuss options, send quotes. We must submit a new application for you by December 31st.

Net Net: We will take care of everyone in a timely manner.
On-Exchange (those with premium assistance) must apply by December 15 for a January 1 start.
Off –Exchange accepting the plan Blue Cross offers should do nothing but be in good standing paying your premiums. Automatic start January 1.
Off-Exchange Discontinued wanting a plan other than what Blue Cross proposes, let us know immediately. We have until December 31st for a January 1 start.

We know there are others out there as perplexed as you. Please send them to us.

Thank you.