The Insiders: Advice from local businesses

The articles below are sponsored by local businesses.

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    Fall leaves are lots of fun, unless you’re the one that has to rake them. The good news is you don’t have to rake them this year.

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      It can be easy to forget that the big trees in your yard are plants just like your more fragile roses and flowers that need frequent care.

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        While owning a second home is the dream of many retirees, there are significant costs to consider before you sip that mai tai, breathe in the crisp, evergreen air, or pick your granddaughter up from school each afternoon.

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          Is your backyard an open space you feel that's too exposed and offers no sense of privacy or seclusion? A fence isn't the only solution. In many cases, planting tall grass or dense foliage can create an enclosed atmosphere while beautifying your property.

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            While you should welcome some insects to your gardens — remember those pollinators? — there are other pests that are less welcome. Among those are the scourge of the summer months, the mosquito.

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              You can pack your gardens with plants that are edible to more than just bees and butterflies. With a little work, you can make your yard beautiful both outdoors and on your dinner plate.

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                Many considerations need to be made on the path towards retirement, especially in the final years leading up to it. Because retirement is as much a lifestyle decision as it is a financial decision, you’ll want to make sure you prepare for both.

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                  Spring is the time to plant summer-blooming bulbs, such as dahlias, gladiolas, lilies, caladiums, and elephant ears. Store bulbs in a cool, dry place until all danger of frost has passed, then it's time to plant.

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                    Are you waiting for a sign to get your financial house in order? Well, consider this it. Procrastination is an unfriendly foe that can make saving and investing much more difficult than they have to be.

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                      This year, in addition to the holiday blues, other factors are at play: social distancing and voluntary quarantine because of the COVID-19 pandemic. People who normally would venture outside to socialize during the holiday season might feel hesitant or not do it at all to prevent exposure to the virus. In those instances, friends and loved ones can mitigate feelings of isolation in various ways.

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                        Gifting is a wonderful gesture and very common this time of year, but there are many financial issues to consider. Be sure to talk to your estate planning attorney, tax professional and financial adviser to ensure your strategy is a sound one.

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                          Most people associate poinsettias with the holidays, but their elegance and signature vibrant colors make people want to preserve their plants beyond New Year’s Day. That’s possible with the right care, experts say.

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                            Halloween celebrations will be different in 2020. The global pandemic has made activities riskier than usual. Here are some fun ways to celebrate a holiday that might feature limited in-person interaction with other costumed ghouls and goblins.

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                              Even those who may venture outside to socialize, particularly around the holiday season, may be hesitant or unable to do so to help prevent the spread of the virus. In these instances, friends and loved ones can mitigate feelings of isolation in various ways.

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                                Fall lawn care differs from spring and summer lawn care, even if the weather of summer lingers into autumn. Homeowners who want their lawns to thrive year-round can take advantage of the welcoming weather of fall to address any existing or potential issues.

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                                  Thoughtful people can give back to their communities in various ways. Coaching youth sports, volunteering for local charities, and donating to local food or clothing drives are just a few things we can do to help make our community a better place. 

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                                    It is a good idea to plan for the inevitable aging process. Individuals, couples and families can help manage the uncertainty by considering a move to a Life Plan Community. Such a setting allows people to plan their lives – to the extent that is possible – by living in a community that provides various care options if those needs arise in the future. 

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                                      Physical activity and proper diet and nutrition can help people ages 50 and older maintain their bodily health. But people also need ways to preserve their brain health to prevent or delay the cognitive decline that affects millions of seniors across the globe.

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                                        Retirement planning conversations are broad in scope, and many decisions need to be made before taking the leap into retirement.

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                                          Although spring and summer are widely seen as the peak of the gardening season, the mild temperatures of autumn can also be a prime time for planting vegetables. A handful of factors need to be taken into consideration when planning fall vegetable gardens.

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                                            Anyone helping a loved one deal with health matters during the current COVID-19 pandemic certainly knows that we are in uncharted territory, at least in recent times. If your loved one is elderly, the situation is even more complicated.

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                                              Pollinators are essential for gardens, whether those gardens are commercial operations or small backyard plots. Gardeners should allow pollinators to share their spaces and be mindful of behaviors that can threaten their survival.

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                                                The primary aim of nursing homes is to keep residents safe and healthy.  To do so, important precautions need to be taken, not only by staff members but by friends and family who visit their loved ones in nursing home facilities.  

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                                                  Home inspections are a vital part of the home buying process. Such inspections can protect buyers as they make one of the most significant investments of their lives. 

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                                                    Lawn and garden enthusiasts who want to make their properties as idyllic as possible should depend on mulch to help them accomplish that goal.

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                                                      People want to grow old gracefully and maintain their independence as long as possible. Families have many decisions to make and piles of information to sort through as they try to ensure their loved ones’ needs are met in their golden years. Fortunately, resources are available to help make those decisions.

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                                                        Homeownership is a dream for people across the globe. Many save for years before buying their first homes, squirreling away every dollar they can with the hopes that they can one day walk into a place they can call their own.

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                                                          Container gardening can bring a garden into any home, whether it's a light-filled house or an apartment where sunlight is sparse.