Friday, 07 February 2014 21:54

Time to review your Portfolio Investments

What goes into a portfolio review?

Determining your risk tolerance involves balancing your desire for maximizing your chances of a higher risk against the risk of suffering potential losses. You can choose to be conservative (low risk), moderate risk, or aggressive risk depending on your personal comfort with the risk/reward tradeoff that meets your needs. Knowing your risk tolerance will determine how much you hold in fixed income (bonds, cds, money market, and other holdings that have a minimal risk of losing your principal) and how much you hold in equities (stocks, ETFs, mutual funds).

Once you determine your risk tolerance and how much should be held in fixed income compared to equities then you need to determine how much to hold in international, small cap/mid cap, large cap, and specialty areas (health care, technology, etc.). Small, mid, and large cap are measurements of how large a company is (cap is capitalization). You also have to determine whether to buy value and/or growth equities. Value equities pay a yield to you throughout the year while growth equities usually invest most if not all monies back into the company to grow.

You then need to determine which investments in these sectors you should purchase. If you have investments that you are self-managing, it is still wise to contact a financial planner to review the portfolio at least once a year for a set fee. If you have a financial advisor, take the time to have conversations with him or her so that the advisor knows and understands your goals and risk tolerance. If you have investments that grew last year, you may consider selling some of the growth to "lock in" some of those gains and reinvesting the monies into another investment.

You should also make sure that your portfolio is not over-weighted in any one investment (if one holding is more than 8% of your portfolio you may be over-weighted). You also need to make sure you are not over-diversified (holding 1-2% in each investment may mean you are over-diversified). Before the year gets too busy, review your portfolio.

Securities offered through Triad Advisors, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC.

Laura K. Schilling, JD, CPA, CFP(r), CSA
Financial Innovations, LLC |
5555 Glenridge Connector, Suite 200 | Atlanta, Georgia 30342
(404) 459-2828 | (404) 459-2829 fax | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Laura Schilling isn't your typical Financial Planner. She is also a world traveler who has been to Asia, Africa, Europe, and Israel. Laura is an active member in the community, a mother of two, and a champion for each of the working mothers she employs.

Friday, 07 February 2014 18:52

Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates

With a population nearing six million, Atlanta is a city with many fish in the sea. However, turning an ocean of singles into a barrel of potential relationships might seem like an impossible task. To narrow the options down, first find out what you love to do. Then go out and meet like-minded people who share your favorite hobbies, sports and leisure activities. If you love to hike, join a singles hiking group. Fancy yourself a foodie? Try a cooking class for singles. Any activity you enjoy can also become an opportunity to meet that someone special.

To help get you started, we looked around to find some of the city's single hot spots, and also got a few suggestions for finding "the one" from some local experts. We spoke with certified dating and relationship coach Gabrielle Brooke, counselor and sex therapist Dr. Tiffanie L. Davis Henry, matchmaker Lisa Lyngos, and author of "Get Married This Year," Dr. Janet Page, who revealed some of their favorite places and activities to meet new people.

volleyball-teamOutdoor Fun

If you love the great outdoors, use that to your advantage and hit the park or trail.

1. Chattahoochee Trail – Dr. Page suggests hitting a trail and strolling through the common area before the trails split off.

2. Piedmont Park – Head to this heavy foot-trafficked park to run, walk, bike or walk your dog.

3. Brook Run Dog Park – For more doggie excitement, visit this off-leash dog park in Dunwoody. If your friendly puppy runs up to another unattached dog owner, you have an instant excuse to chat.

4. Atlanta Single Hikers – Make s'mores! This group shares a common love of the outdoors, hiking and camping.

5. Atlanta Outdoor Club – Take your love of the outdoors and use it to make new love connections.

6. Silver Comet Trail – Singles of all ages hit this trail on foot and by bike, so make sure to check it out next time you want to break a sweat.

Cultural Events & Festivals

Our city's cultural venues and seasonal events provide the perfect backdrop for meeting that special someone. Ignite a new flame while you discover new artists, listen to music and experience fine cuisine through the year.

7. Jazz & Cocktails at the High Museum of Art – One Friday each month, the museum offers this event that draws a large crowd of like-minded folks. Snag a cute art buff to show you around the exhibits.

8. Cocktails in the Garden – The Atlanta Botanical Garden hosts special events like this after-hours mixer during the summer, which can draw a fun crowd. The Garden is highly recommended by Lyngos as a great place to meet singles.

9. Drink in Design – Mix with design-oriented types at this Museum of Design Atlanta event. The free drinks and interesting tours are an instant conversation starter.

10. Taste of Atlanta and the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival – Events like this are ideal for finding fellow foodies. If you get to know each other over a meal, you're practically on your first date already.

11. Atlanta Dogwood Festival and the Atlanta Jazz Festival – Thousands of festival lovers visit these events each spring, so you could meet a fellow music or art lover.

12. Atlanta Beer Festival and SweetWater 420 Fest – Sampling libations can help be an icebreaker when meeting new people.

SalsaClasses and Groups

Get your fitness on while also opening yourself up to meeting new people. You may meet someone who needs a workout partner.

13. Salsa Dancing – Try salsa dancing at Havana Club, Loca Luna and Tongue & Groove. Dancing is a great excuse to get close to someone and test your chemistry together. Need lessons before you go? Head over to Ballroom Dance Clubs of Atlanta on Miami Circle to hone your moves before you hit the dance floor.

14. Boxing & Martial Arts – Work on your skills and work up a sweat at these contact classes. Don't be shy to ask for tips on improving your form from a fellow student.

15. Yoga & Pilates – Men seeking women, head to yoga classes where you'll find more women but won't feel out of place, like at Decatur Yoga & Pilates. Meeting a potential partner and working on inner peace – you can't beat that combo.

16. Atlanta Track Club – Atlanta's iconic running club and home of the Peachtree Road Race offers you opportunites to run, walk or volunteer with others who enjoy the same activities.

17. Golf – Lyngos recommends visiting a driving range like Northcrest Golf Range or Atlanta Golf Center. Ask one of the regulars to help you perfect your swing.

18. Atlanta Sport and Social Club – Enjoy all kinds of sports-related activities like sand volleyball and soccer while searching for "the one." Next month, they're throwing a March Madness beer pong tournament in Midtown – it's a perfect excuse to play a few rounds with someone you want to get to know.

19. Networking events – These are non-threatening places to meet new professionals. Check for upcoming options. Since the focus isn't on dating, you can build platonic foundations and let them develop without pressure.

20. Meetups – Subscribe to for singles' clubs or financial clubs and more to find like-minded adults.

21. Wine Tastings – Attend a wine class or wine tasting at Vino Venue. Other locations include The Cellar Club in Murphy's or Wine Shoe, a boutique wine shop. By the end, you're sure to have made a few connections.


Various non-profits around the city are always looking for a helping hand, and you never know who you'll end up meeting.

22. Habitat for Humanity – Habitat for Humanity attracts plenty of members of both sexes, and working toward a common goal (especially for charity) is a great foundation for any relationship.

23. Atlanta Humane Society – If you love animals and want to meet someone who does too, volunteer with Atlanta Humane Society.

24. Truly Living Well Center or the Wylde Center – Get dirty and volunteer with a community garden. If you find someone with a green thumb like yours, invite them to a local nursery and peruse the plants together.

25. Singles Volunteer Atlanta – SVA brings Atlanta singles together for volunteer work, fun and camaraderie.

Religious Groups

These gatherings not only provide fulfillment for the soul, but may also be the way to connect with someone who fills your heart.

26. Church Single Groups – Consider singles groups at churches like North Point Community Church's Singles Ministry. Keep in mind that no group is too small. Dr. Page's friend attended a church group singles event where she was just one of three. Luckily, the other two attendees were men, and she ended up marrying one of them!

27. Meditation – The Atlanta Soto Zen Center has weekly sutra services and social events.

28. Choir Groups – Join the choir at your spiritual home like the Sound of Light Choir at the Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta. If you meet someone here, choir practice will become an easy weekly date.

29. Jewish Single Groups – Younger singles can find options at the Marcus Jewish Community Center and participate in everything from sports leagues to mix and mingle events.

30. Buckhead Church – The Buckhead Church has a Singles Ministry which helps singles connect with each other through the church and other activities.

Surf the Web

Online dating has become the norm for people who are too busy for the bar scene. Let these dating websites do some of the legwork for you, and be sure to regularly update your profile.

Top sites chosen by our experts include:









Atlanta is filled with restaurants, bars and hotels where singles can mingle, and happy hours are usually the best time to go.

38. Happy Hour at Kat's Café in Midtown – Gabrielle Brooke recommends this place because of its fun atmosphere and live music.

39. Whiskey Blue in Buckhead

40. Aurum Lounge in Midtown

41. Dark Horse Tavern restaurant and pub in Virginia Highlands

42. Social Vinings

43. Midtown's Loews Hotel Bar – Dr. Janet Page likes this location, especially during happy hour as a lot of Midtown professionals head here to relax instead of fighting traffic.

44. Watershed restaurant on Peachtree Street

45. Wrecking Bar near Little Five Points

46. Dr. Davis Henry recommends Dantanna's in Buckhead.


Keep Your Eyes Open

Turn your to-do list into an opportunity to meet new people.

47. The produce department at any grocery store from 6 to 7 p.m. is the time when singles graze for dinner. Dr. Davis Henry recommends any Whole Foods location.

48. The gym can be a great place to meet potential dates, but you have to be willing to hang out. Don't just work out and rush out.

49. At the mall, ask a male or female shopper for help picking something for your mom, and you never know – it could end up being a gift for your new boyfriend or girlfriend.

50. Ladies, head to Dick's Sporting Goods and ask for help choosing a new tent or fishing pole.


Chris-and-Theresa-SoutherlandFinding What Works

How did you two meet?
We actually met about seven years before we started dating with lots of mutual friends, but we were dating other people. We went out on a few double dates together with the people we were dating at the time! Years later we met up again on St Patrick's Day with a group of friends – he asked me out and we were engaged eight months later.

How long have you been together?
We have been married since 2002 (so just a little over 11 years married) and together for 12 and a half.

What activities do you enjoy doing together?
We are so busy these days with younger children, work and sports, just like most couples our age, and Chris travels a lot. Fortunately my job is flexible, and the days he gets to be home we try to go out and spend a few hours together and just talk and catch up. One of our favorite things to do is take the dogs for a walk around the park, getting some fresh air and exercise and just being together. Having uninterrupted time to talk to each other is so important.

How do you keep the excitement and romance in your relationship?
I really started thinking about it and the excitement and romance was in being together, with a great group of friends who we have known forever, with all of our kids running around the house playing. We both cherish this family we have created together, and enjoy all the stages of our relationship as it continues to grow and change.

What advice would you give other couples who are looking to add more romance to their relationship?
Well, I think that real romance starts with truly caring about the other person's needs more than your own, and that is tough! Anyone can send flowers, and yes, that is nice and important, but actually taking the time to step back and notice what your partner really enjoys doing, what makes them a better person, and helping them to achieve becoming their "best self" is what real romance is.


Get Started!

Prepare yourself
"Make a list of the things you enjoy doing or would be open to trying," Brooke says. You should also make a list of your values and beliefs and the kinds of people you would like to date. Taking these criteria, next do the research to narrow which groups or activities you would like to participate in.

"Be open to meeting people that you wouldn't typically be attracted to," Dr. Davis Henry says. "You've got to be open to finding the right person, not the perfect person. And the right person may look nothing like what you've envisioned."

If you are an introvert, you will need to challenge yourself to be extroverted for a moment or two. Lyngos recommends having a game plan and a list of topics that make sense to cover during a first meeting or first date. Make a good impression by discussing family (as in siblings, not future children), food likes, your dream job, travel experiences and what you like to do in your free time.

Avoid the pitfalls
When you meet someone, avoid talking about yourself too much. "Make sure the conversation is even, goes back and forth. Too much on one person's end makes them sound narcissistic,"

Dr. Davis Henry says. You should also be careful about harping on what was wrong with your ex(es) and setting out to find a husband or wife on the first date.

Analyze your past
Consider your past relationships and figure out why they haven't worked. "Don't bring old baggage into new relationships," Dr. Davis Henry says. You will need to let go of old habits and possibly do some therapeutic work before starting out. Be honest with yourself.

Maintain a positive attitude
Know that it may take time, and you might have some failures and even rejections before you meet a great person, Brooke cautions. "That's normal. If you view each setback as a learning experience and maintain your sense of humor, the whole dating process will continue to get easier," she says.

You need to be willing to put in the time to find "the one." Dr. Page recommends making a concerted effort at least three times per week. "It's a numbers game," she says. In the end, if you meet enough people, you will be able to find the right man or woman. The odds are in your favor!


Editorial Resources

Gabrielle Brooke -
Dr. Tiffanie L. Davis Henry, PhD, MA, LPC, ACST - Intimate Details, LLC,
Lisa Lyngos, Single Atlanta -
Dr. Janet Page -

Bernie Marcus is a man with many titles – pharmacist, visionary, entrepreneur – but these days, it is the role of philanthropist that describes him best. His generous monetary donations have funded a number of projects and organizations including the Georgia Aquarium, Autism Speaks, The Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center at Grady and The Marcus Autism Center. Marcus is also on the board of directors and an active volunteer at the Shepherd Center, so it came as no surprise when he was awarded the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership in 2012.

As the son of Jewish-Russian immigrants growing up in Newark, New Jersey, Marcus learned about charitable giving from an early age. "Those who are Jewish understand the word 'tzedakah,' the obligation of generous charitable giving," he says. "My mother believed – and she was right – that with tzedakah, the more you give, the more you get."

Marcus says he always had a passion for medicine, and even considered becoming a doctor before earning a pharmacy degree at Rutgers University. Initially he worked as a pharmacist at a drugstore, but soon became more interested in the retail side of the business. "Early in my business career, I learned about the City of Hope," Marcus says, which is a leading cancer research and treatment center in California. Though he couldn't yet contribute a lot of money to the cause, he devoted his time and energy by holding industry fundraisers. "In those days, I didn't have much money, but I put my body into it, my soul into it."

Aquarium-Bernie-MarcusUltimately, Marcus says it was his role as co-founder of The Home Depot that helped him become a true philanthropist. "First I was an entrepreneur; that enabled me to become a philanthropist," he explains. "I believe in free enterprise. It's what made our success at The Home Depot possible." Through meaningful donations, Marcus wants to ensure the strength of the free enterprise system so it can provide the opportunity for success to millions of others.

With the inception of The Marcus Foundation in 2002, Marcus wanted to narrow his focus and support the causes closest to his heart. "I knew that bits of money here and there – what I call the buckshot approach to giving – wouldn't maximize the impact of our giving," he explains. "We decided to narrow the field to those things that I was really, truly interested in: children, medical research, the free enterprise system, the community, Israel and Jewish causes. I like to say we find a need and we fill it."

And that is exactly what he did. In 2012, The Marcus Foundation donated $20 million to establish Piedmont's Marcus Heart Valve Center. "Piedmont wanted the expertise in Atlanta and wanted to be the first to provide it, and actually recruited me," Marcus says. "Piedmont came to me when it was ready to make provisions to train doctors and nurses, recruit specialists, and secure the equipment to make it the premier heart valve repair hospital in the United States – a one-stop shop both for patients with heart valve problems and for physicians who want to learn the latest advancements in treatment."

But like every investment by The Marcus Foundation, they don't just write a check. "We set targets on funds we donate, and review plans," Marcus says. "And we are very satisfied that Piedmont is proceeding, even ahead of plan, because they have done so many procedures successfully. With Dr. David Adams and Dr. Frederico Milla, we have a valve surgery leadership team that can match any of the great ones in the country, even the world!"

The center, which opened its doors in January of this year, also aims to draw more top surgeons and other specialists to Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. As a regional reference center, it will be the nation's first comprehensive valve center for care, training and research, regardless of the valve in which the damage occurs or whether it is congenital or acquired. "The key is to have the expertise here so that people don't have to leave the state to have this surgery," Marcus says. "It's going to be very good for the people of Georgia. I see it becoming a center of excellence for Georgia and the Southeast."

Through The Marcus Center's annual donations of about $40 million, Bernie Marcus will no doubt continue making a positive impact on the people of Georgia as well as people across the country. And after nearly 30 years of charitable giving, the 'tzedakah' clearly remains his life's greatest motivation.


More from Bernie Marcus...

Who do you most admire and why?
My mother provided the ultimate guideline for my life. Although she was crippled with arthritis from an early age, and bedridden, she instilled in me optimism, determination, tzedakah, patriotism and belief in America.

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
[My mother] told me never to look back, that the way you handle and deal with life's setbacks becomes the basis for what you accomplish in the future.

What is the best book you've read?
I particularly like to read biographies of historical figures like Churchill, Reagan and Lincoln. These are people who had ability to change the world in their lifetimes. I also enjoy mysteries.

What is your favorite way to relax?
Playing golf. On the golf course, everything else goes out the window and you concentrate on your missed putts and bad shots.

Who are the people who help you be your best self?
I have been fortunate to have a lot of special people in my life. My mother, my wife Billi, who supports everything I do, my partners in creating The Home Depot – Ken Langone, Arthur Blank – and a slew of people I have learned from and many others I continue to learn from every day.

Thursday, 23 January 2014 15:32

Heart Healthy Ways to Improve Your Diet

Eating healthy and taking care of your heart are hot topics these days. Pick up any health magazine, and odds are, you'll come across plenty of tips for keeping your ticker in top shape. There is a lot of information out there and rightfully so – according to the American Heart Association, heart disease is still the number one killer of adults in the United States. While some risk factors for heart disease cannot be changed, such as your family medical history, there is plenty you can do to help lower your risk.

Common Sense Shopping

When you're trying to determine what's heart healthy, your best bets are the foods your body can recognize. Bestselling author Michael Pollan put it best in his book, "In Defense of Food," when he advised, "Don't eat anything your great-great-great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food." As often as possible, try to get your meat and produce at a local farmers market from vendors who grew the food with organic practices. If farmers markets are not an option for you, registered dietitian Rachel Brandeis has advice about navigating the grocery store. "Shop the perimeter and utilize the inside aisles sparingly." This will help you stick to foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. If you do drift into the inner aisles, beware of foods that claim to be heart healthy, all natural or low fat. First of all, in order to make those claims, food has to have a box or can for the claim to be printed on. Likely these are simply marketing ploys, and the packaging is your first tip that the food is processed. When dealing with processed foods, you can't trust the claims. Instead, you have to be an educated consumer and learn what those labels and packages are really telling you.

Words-GraphicDeciphering the Labels

Fancy ingredients and almost unpronounceable chemical names show up on the labels of most of our packaged and processed foods. "Reading food labels can be tricky, as recommendations vary depending on the individual," says Gretchen Earwood, registered dietitian with Kaiser Permanente of Georgia.

Here's what to look for:

  • Serving size. Often, multiple servings will be contained in one package, so you need to know how much you're actually eating.
  • Percent daily value. This term simply means how much of your daily nutrients the food provides. For example, a snack with 2.5 grams of fat may fulfill 11 percent of your daily recommended fat intake. Keep an eye on these percentages. To be considered heart healthy, foods should be low in total fat, cholesterol and sodium. If any of those percentages are creeping up around 20 percent, steer clear of that food.
  • Beneficial nutrients. For certain nutrients, it's good to see a higher percentage. The FDA recommends plenty of calcium, dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C.
  • Ingredients. On food labels, the first few ingredients listed are the most prevalent in that food. If you see sugar or high fructose corn syrup high on the ingredient list – skip it.

Earwood says, once you review the serving size, reading your food label can help ensure your diet is low in saturated fat, low in sodium, high in fiber and high in vitamins and minerals. "Limiting the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease, while reducing sodium in the diet can help prevent increases in blood pressure."

LabelA big culprit to monitor on your food label is the presence and percentage of trans fats. "Trans fats are produced during a process called hydrogenation that changes liquid oils with unsaturated fats into saturated fats," Earwood says. "In a recent preliminary decision, the FDA determined that partially hydrogenated oils, or trans fats, are no longer recognized as safe. Trans fats can raise your bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower your good cholesterol (HDL)."

Earwood says sometimes companies advertise food items as having "no trans fats" per serving. This means, as long as you eat one serving, you will get less than half a gram of trans fat. "However, most people consume more than one serving of foods, such as vegetable oil spreads, at one time," Earwood warns. "So, the better option is to read the ingredients list and avoid anything with 'partially hydrogenated oils' as an ingredient."

Brandeis says, as saturated and trans fats are the main culprits in terms of pulmonary artery disease, it's important to move toward a plant-based diet. "Limit processed and packaged foods. Limit fatty meats. Sub out unhealthy fats for healthy fats," she says, like those found in avocados and nuts. "You need to find an eating plan that works for you, something not too rigid, and something you can stick to for a long period of time. It's a lifestyle change."

Another factor to keep in mind, outside of the food you eat, is your family medical history. "Research shows having one relative, such as a father or mother, with a heart attack under age 55 increases your risk by 33 percent, while having two relatives increases risk by 50 percent," says Saira Gillani, ND of Natural Health Atlanta. "If you do have a strong family history of heart attacks, it's in your best interest to make sure your blood pressure is under control and get your cholesterol checked frequently."

The bottom line is to use your common sense. If you can't pronounce or understand the ingredients on a food's label, don't eat that food. Instead, try to concentrate on whole vegetables and fruits that don't have labels at all.

Defining Fad Diets

Once you know what to look for in your food, it's a matter of sticking to good habits and getting active to help keep your heart healthy. And you won't see the life-long results you want through fad diets.

Registered dietitian Sarah Shanahan of Good Measure Meals says fad diets eliminate major food groups and are difficult to follow. "You can pick out negatives and positives from each fad diet, but it doesn't mean that, as a whole, the diet is going to provide you all the nutrients you need to have a healthy diet," she says.

Experts break down the popular diets and let you know what to look out for when keeping your heart in mind:

  • Gluten-Free: "It's not indicated for heart health. Gluten-free is for people who have a true gluten intolerance or have reactions," Brandeis says. "It's not designed for healthy people who want to jump on the bandwagon. You can actually do yourself a disservice. It's low in dietary fiber and whole grain, which are cardio protective."
  • Sugar-Free: "Following a sugar-free diet will not necessarily keep your heart healthy," Earwood says. "The diet may help reduce triglycerides, which impact your heart. However, if triglycerides are elevated, sugar could be one of several causes. Consumption of fat, alcohol and other nutrients may need to be adjusted to bring triglycerides down to a healthy range."
  • Paleo: "This diet is very low-carb and low-grain based," Brandeis says. "For a healthy heart, you want to limit meats and red meats. If someone came in to my office and had pulmonary troubles, I would not recommend Paleo. Meats are still high in saturated fat. You need a well balanced, high fiber, low animal product diet."
  • Atkins: "This diet eliminates grains that provide us with fiber, and fiber helps lower cholesterol," Shanahan says. Earwood adds that this diet works for quick weight loss but is unsustainable long term. "In terms of heart health, it is probably the worst diet overall due to intentional high saturated fat intake. "

If you are looking to make adjustments in your diet without cutting out necessary nutrients, Shanahan says to keep this in mind: "We still do need fat. It's important for development," she says. "We want to focus on unsaturated fat, which comes from plants. It's important to eat less animal products and focus on plant products. Unsaturated fat comes from fatty fish, olive oil, nuts and seeds, avocados and more. It helps boost your good cholesterol levels."

Salad-oilTake the First Steps

For the majority of us, making major changes to our day to day is not going to be easy – we are creatures of habit. Shanahan says to start small. "Take it slow. Pick one thing you can do easily. If it's switching butter to olive oil, it's heart healthier."

Certified Health and Wellness Coach Yosetty Nunez offers these tips to get you moving toward a healthier heart:

  1. Know your numbers, family history and risks
  2. Eat a plant-based diet
  3. Be active and get regular exercise doing something you love
  4. Reduce stress
  5. Keep a medical and gratitude journal

Whether you already do one or some of these, make sure to arm yourself with the knowledge and know-how to help you navigate any heart health woes. If you need extra guidance, seek out the help of a nutritionist or your family physician to make sure you are making the right choices for your diet and your heart.


Editorial Resources
Rachel Brandeis, MS, RD -
Gretchen Earwood, RD - Kaiser Permanente of Georgia,
Saira Gillani, ND - Natural Health Atlanta,
Sarah Shanahan, RD - Good Measure Meals,
Yosetty Nunez - Certified Health and Wellness Coach,

Monday, 30 December 2013 21:28

Hair Restoration Arrives in Atlanta

Millions of Americans suffer from hair loss. Today, there are many more options for treatment of balding and thinning hair than ever before. Long gone is the "pluggy" or "doll's hair" look, as modern hair transplantation is performed one single follicle at a time for the most natural look possible. The Anderson Hair Sciences and research center is a new, state-of-the-art facility dedicated to providing the most natural, permanent hair restoration results to both men and women, with an emphasis on artistic concepts, patient comfort, and natural, permanent results.

ARTAS-cropped-for-best-selfDr. Ken Anderson, MD, is the first and only hair restoration surgeon in Georgia to offer the very latest in cutting edge surgical robotic devices. the ArtAS robotic Hair restoration Surgery System performs a type of hair restoration surgery called "follicular unit extraction," or "FUe" – a technique Dr. Anderson has been performing for over 10 years. With the revolutionary ArtAS System Dr. Anderson is able to transplant hair without any linear or noticeable scarring, using no scalpels, no stitches, with a dramatically shorter recovery period than for patients who undergo a traditional linear strip method hair restoration procedure. With the sole exception of the ArtAS system, all FUe methods, using any device, are performed by hand, with all the associated variability and inherent human error.

How Does It Work?

Using high-tech stereoscopic cameras, and updating its coordinates 5,000 times per second, the ArtAS System's image-guided robotics harvests hair follicles for transplant with micron-level precision, one at a time. As there is no linear incision required with an ArtAS procedure, healing time is short, and you can usually go back to your daily activities after a day or two. call for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Anderson to discuss your options, or visit us online.


The Anderson Hair Sciences & Research Center
The Medical Quarters

5555 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd., Ste. 135, Atlanta, GA 30342
(404) 256-4247 |

Dr. Anderson is a double-board certified Facial Plastic Surgeon who has confined his practice solely to hair restoration for over a decade. After 7 years of surgery training in facial plastic surgery, in 2003 he entered the field of hair restoration in Beverly Hills, California. Dr. Anderson is the first and only hair restoration surgeon in Georgia to offer the very latest in cutting edge surgical robotic device, the ARTAS Robotic Hair Restoration Surgery System.

Monday, 30 December 2013 21:19

U.S. Obesity Rate Climbing in 2013

Two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Instead of extreme detox plans to shed those extra pounds in the New Year try a few simple detox therapies.

The average American is walking around with 5-15 pounds of impacted fecal matter in the colon. Colon Hydrotherapy can result in substantial weight loss and jump-start your metabolism, due to the fact that the body will take on fat weight to store toxins.

A Far Infrared Sauna session can burn upwards of 600 calories while you relax! As the body works to cool itself, there is a substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate, causing the body to burn more calories.

Ionic Foot Baths excrete toxins through the pores in the body reducing cellulite and rejuvenating the metabolism

Massage helps to break up adipose tissue, increase circulation, and move the lymph. All massages are done on the Bio-Mat, a state of the art medical device emitting infrared rays which burns calories and controls weight.

The hCG Diet tells the body to release and mobilize abnormal fat to allow it to be consumed as an energy source resulting in extreme rapid weight loss, an average of 1/2 a pound to a pound a day. hCG also helps reset the hypothalamic fat set point allowing you to maintain your weight loss.


Atlanta Colonic & Massage
6710 Jamestown Drive, Alpharetta, GA 30005
770-558-6900 |

Teresa Ducoffe and Candace Layer are Certified Colon Hydrotherapists at Atlanta Colonic & Massage. Along with Teresa's mother, they are a three-generation family business who provides the best in preventative health care and detoxification, as well as unparalleled client care and service.

Monday, 30 December 2013 20:58

Those Aren't Love Letters from the IRS

As Enrolled Agent, I routinely receive letters from the IRS about continuing education, certification, and client issues. Even though I have been receiving them for over twelve years the palms still get sweaty and the heart speeds up. But, it's not love.

So, I can imagine the panic created when you get a letter from the IRS or a state department of revenue. The IRS is getting more proficient and quicker at matching information reported about you with the information reported by you on your tax return. Your employer, bank, mortgage company, brokerage company, and now even your customers, vendors, and credit card processors are reporting tax related information to the IRS as well as you. Also, with the identity theft issues of the past few years, the IRS is scrutinizing suspicious returns much quicker than before.

Scamming is more prevalent now, so to make sure you aren't being scammed please realize that the IRS never emails taxpayers, rarely calls, but is very proficient at writing letters. So, if you are contacted by other than a letter, be suspicious and do not respond directly. The IRS already has all the identifying information they need about you so don't respond with your Social Security number, date of birth, or banking information.

If you do receive that dreaded letter what do you do? Take a deep breath and contact your tax consultant that is why you pay them. If you prepared the return yourself and want to handle it yourself, read through the letter carefully to make sure you understand why the IRS is contacting you. Gather the information needed to respond and follow the instructions on the letter. Calling the IRS or state department of revenue is also helpful in gaining a better understanding of the issues. Be patient, you will most likely have to wait on hold before you can speak with someone that can help you.

You can also contact us, your local H&R Block office (see locations below). We offer a free initial review of the letter you received which can help you determine how to respond or decide you need our help. We are open year round and are staffed with Enrolled Agents, CPAs, and tax accountants with at least 10 years experience.


For more information about tax planning and retirement, contact our article contributor James L. Robertson, EA or any H&R Block tax professional at one of our offices below.

Satellite Blvd 770-921-2200 | 3360 Satellite Blvd, Ste 13, Duluth, GA 30096

Dunwoody 770-396-9218 | 4768 Ashford Dunwoody Rd, Ste 200, Dunwoody, GA 30338

Merchants Walk 770-509-1820 | 4235 Merchants Walk Drive, Ste 150, Marietta, GA 30068

Buckhead 404-237-2355 | 2900 Peachtree Rd NW, Ste 204, Atlanta, GA 30305

Northpoint 678-277-9465 | 7855 North Point Parkway, Ste 302, Alpharetta, GA 30022

Monday, 30 December 2013 20:28

New Year's Resolutions

Most of us make them and break them. For 2015 make a financial checklist and set deadlines. Then ask someone close to you to check in on you monthly and make sure you hit those deadlines. What should be some of your financial resolutions? Here is a top ten list:

1) Review your Last Will and Testament, Financial Power of Attorney, and Advance Directive for Health Care or contact an estate planning attorney if you do not have them. Complete an important list to give to your family and friends with information on who to contact, where your assets are held, and your digital media passwords (or where to find them).

2) Review your home, auto, and umbrella insurance policies. Do you have ordinance coverage? Do you have replacement coverage? Do you have an umbrella policy? Contact your agent and review the policies in detail and also contact a competitor and compare rates and coverage.

3) Review your investments. Contact your investment advisor to go over your financial goals and investments.

4) Start preparing your income tax return so that is off of the "to do" checklist.

5) Find your "number." What is your financial independence (retirement) figure? How much do you need to achieve your goals and how are you going to achieve them?

6) Organize yourself personally and financially. The more organized you are, the more efficient you will be and that means more time for fun!

7) Set out savings goals for your financial year and set it up so that the savings are automatic. Pay off your debts, build your rainy day fund, and then save for financial independence.

8) Review your life, long-term disability, and long-term care insurance with your agent.

9) Cash flow. Words that will help you achieve financial independence. Keep it positive!

10) Balance. Find a healthy balance with money. Saving can be fun!!

Wishing you a very healthy and prosperous 2014!!

Laura K. Schilling, JD, CPA, CFP(r), CSA

Financial Innovations, LLC |
5555 Glenridge Connector, Suite 200 | Atlanta, Georgia 30342
(404) 459-2828 | (404) 459-2829 fax | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Laura Schilling isn't your typical Financial Planner. She is also a world traveler who has been to Asia, Africa, Europe, and Israel. Laura is an active member in the community, a mother of two, and a champion for each of the working mothers she employs. As principal and founder of Financial Innovations, LLC, she staffs her firm with stay-at-home moms who work from where they can meet the needs of their clients around the globe.

Thursday, 26 December 2013 20:09

Shopping For Your Health

Our quality of life is inextricably linked to the quality of our health, which is why it is so important to make informed decisions when selecting health coverage and care providers. But if you are not a health care industry insider, it can be difficult to determine if you are really getting the most for your medical dollars. So, here are answers to some frequently asked questions to help you make a better choice when shopping for your health.

women-in-front-of-computerHow can I obtain health insurance? Is the only option for purchasing coverage on my own?

Most Americans obtain health insurance through their employers. If you are covered under an employer-sponsored insurance plan, your employer should notify you of any changes to your coverage during the open enrollment period., the online health insurance marketplace or "exchange," is just a new avenue to health coverage. Employers and individuals can still purchase plans directly from insurance companies or through brokers. You can visit to learn more about Kaiser Permanente of Georgia's health plan options.

However, shopping on the exchange could have an advantage — federal subsidies. requires users to fill out an application to determine eligibility for financial assistance, which can reduce the out-of-pocket cost of health plans and medical expenses. The federal subsidies are only available to those who purchase coverage through, where you can also find a selection of Kaiser Permanente health plans.

What should I look for in a health plan?

When considering a new insurer, find out how its plans compare to the competition. Each year, the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) and J.D. Power and Associates rank health plans based on a number of factors, ranging from quality of care to customer satisfaction.

Kaiser Permanente of Georgia's commercial and Medicare health plans are the highest ranked in the state and among the top 20 in the country, according to NCQA. A J.D. Power and Associates' study also ranked Kaiser Permanente of Georgia highest in member satisfaction in the South Atlantic region for the fourth consecutive year.

Health insurers and providers are using the term "coordinated care." What does it mean, and why is it important?

Care is coordinated when your primary care physician, specialists and clinicians work together to manage your health. When all of your health care providers are working as a team, they are able to make more informed decisions when it comes to treating you.

Kaiser Permanente of Georgia, which offers both health coverage and medical care, has been operating a coordinated care system in metro Atlanta for nearly 30 years. We have one of the largest multi-specialty medical groups in the state with more than 450 board-certified physicians, who care exclusively for Kaiser Permanente members. So, whether you are seeing your primary care physician, dermatologist or cardiologist, they have access to your complete medical history through our electronic medical records system.

What major changes under the Affordable Care Act should I be aware of?

Under the Affordable Care Act, or health care reform, all U.S. citizens will be eligible for some form of health coverage starting in 2014, and they cannot be turned down for coverage because of a medical condition.

Health plans must provide many preventive services, such as screenings for cancer, diabetes and hypertension, at no additional cost.

After January 1, 2014, if you choose to go without health insurance for more than three consecutive months, you could face a tax penalty.

I've seen Kaiser Permanente medical offices across metro Atlanta. Where can I go to learn more about the organization?

Kaiser Permanente has 29 medical offices conveniently located throughout metro Atlanta and a location in Athens to better serve our members. Our medical offices are staffed physicians with The Southeast Permanente Medical Group, which has doctors in more than 20 specialties. To learn more about Kaiser Permanente, just log on to


Kerry W. Kohnen

Nine Piedmont Center
3495 Piedmont Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30305 | (404) 364-7000

Kerry W. Kohnen is president of Kaiser Permanente of Georgia, the state's largest not-for-profit health plan serving 240,000 members through 30 medical centers across metro Atlanta and Athens.