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Losing your job impacts your financial and overall well-being

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  • Losing your job impacts your financial and overall well-being. Todd Sigurdson, Director of Tax and Estate Planning, speaks to the Globe and Mail on how to overcome unemployment.  Learn more by clicking here.


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    Local Business

    Fixing Up Your Home: Protect Your Housing Investment

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  • Your home is an investment in living as well as in savings. If neglected, it will pay no dividends. If properly maintained and improved, it will pay a high yield in comfort and usefulness for your family and in avoidance of costly repair bills. Home improvements also tend to raise neighborhood standards and, as a result, property values. From an economic standpoint, home improvements mean higher employment, increased markets for materials and home products–and therefore a more flourishing community.

    If You Do It Yourself

    If you are handy with tools and have the experience, you can save money by doing many jobs yourself. But unless you are skilled in wiring, plumbing, installing heat systems, and cutting through walls, you should rely on professionals for such work. 

    When you buy the required materials, it pays not to skimp. Good materials are not necessarily the most expensive. What you need are products that look good, are easy to maintain, and last a long time. Buy only from reliable dealers. 

    If You Use a Contractor

    If you plan to use the services of a dealer or contractor, take care to choose one with a reputation for honesty and good workmanship. There are several ways to check on a contractor: 

    • Consult your local Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau, or Local Consumer Protection Agency.
    • Talk with people for whom he has done work. 
    • Ask your lender about him, if you plan to finance the project with a loan. 
    • Check his place of business to see that he is not a fly-by-night operator. 
    • Find out, if you can, how he rates with known building-product distributors and wholesale suppliers. 
    • Ask friends and relatives for names of firms that they could recommend. 
    Compare Contractor Offers

    Before deciding on a contractor, you may want to get bids from two or three different firms. Make sure that each bid is based on the same specifications and the same grade of materials. If these bids vary widely, find out why. 

    Many contractors offer package plans that cover the whole transaction. Under such a plan the contractor provides all materials used, takes care of all work involved, and arranges for your loan. 

    Your contractor can make the loan application for you, but you are the one who must repay the loan, so you should see that the work is done correctly. 

    Understand What You Sign

    The contract that both you and the contractor sign should state clearly the type and extent of improvements to be made and the materials to be used. Before you sign, get the contractor to spell out for you in exact terms: 

      • How much the entire job will cost you. 
    • How much interest you will pay on the loan.
    • How much you will pay in service charges.
    • How many payments you must make to pay off the loan, and how much each of these payments will be.

    After the entire job is finished in the manner set forth in your contract, you sign a completion certificate. By signing this paper you certify that you approve the work and materials and you authorize the lender to pay the contractor the money you borrowed. 

    Beware of Fraud

    Most dealers and contractors conscientiously try to give their customers service equivalent to the full value of their money. Unfortunately, home improvement rackets do exist. Here are a few common sense rules to follow: 

    • Read and understand every word of any contract or other paper before you sign it. 
    • Never sign a contract with anyone who makes fantastic promises. Reputable dealers are not running give-away businesses. 
    • Avoid wild bargains. The best bargain is a good job. 
    • Never consolidate existing loans through a home improvement contractor. 
    • Do not let salespeople high-pressure you into signing up to buy their materials or services. 
    • Be wary of salespeople who try to scare you into signing for repairs that they say are urgent. Seek the advice of an expert as to how urgent such repairs are. High-pressure and scare tactics are often the mark of a phony deal. 
    • Avoid salespeople who offer you trial purchases or some form of bonus, such as cash, for allowing them to use your house as a model for any purpose. Such offers are well-known gimmicks of swindlers. 
    • Never sign a completion certificate until all the work called for in the contract has been completed to your satisfaction. Be careful not to sign a completion certificate along with a sales order. 
    • Proceed cautiously when the lender or contractor demands a lien on your property.

     

     


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    Education

    Make your workspace more comfortable

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  • Ergonomics:  How to optimize your workstation and posture to prevent pain and injury.

    In the modern work world many of us spend our days sitting at a desk in front of the computer.  The human body however was not designed for this sedentary lifestyle and will get stiff and sore from lack of movement.  Even if you are active outside of work, sitting at a desk with poor setup and slouched posture can give you chronic aches and pains or exacerbate existing injuries.

    Some common complaints that could be related to your posture include:

    • Neck pain and stiffness
    • Headaches
    • Numbness or tingling in the arms or hands
    • Shoulder pain
    • Upper back stiffness
    • Low back pain
    • Sciatica

    Making some simple ergonomic adjustments to your workstation can help you feel more comfortable during and after your work day:

    • Ensure you have a good chair that is comfortable for you and adjusted properly.  Ideally you should be sitting with your buttocks to the back of the chair so that you are leaning against the backrest.  You may need to adjust the lumbar support or add a rolled up towel or small pillow behind the small of your back to support your spine’s natural curve.
    • Sit with both feet flat on the floor and the knees bent to about 90 degrees.  Adjust your chair height accordingly or add a stool under your feet if you can’t touch the ground.
    •  Adjust your computer monitor so that your screen is at eye level.  This can be as easy as putting a book underneath to raise it up.  You should not have to look down or strain to see your computer.
    • Have your keyboard at a comfortable height so that your elbows are bent to approximately 90 degrees and you are not reaching forward.  If you have a laptop, consider using an external keyboard so that you type in a neutral position.
    • Adapt your workstation to fit you.  Move things that you use frequently throughout the day (such as the phone, files, etc.) to a location that is easy to access so that you don’t have to reach or move awkwardly to get to them.  This will help you avoid sprains and strains from poor movement patterns.

    Even with the perfect ergonomic setup, poor posture can catch up to you.  Some common habits to AVOID are:

    • Crossing your knees.  Sitting in this position twists your pelvis and lumbar spine, putting extra strain on the muscles, joints, and ligaments.  While it may feel good temporarily, you probably need to keep switching positions to stay comfortable because your body is not in a neutral position.
    • Perching on the front of your seat.   While you may think it is good to try to hold yourself up straight without using the backrest it is not realistic to do this for an 8 hour day.  Your postural muscles will fatigue quickly and you will end up slouching and feeling sore.
    • Leaning your shoulders forward and head down to look at your computer.  Think of all the extra strain you are putting on your neck and shoulder to hold your body in this position!  Try to remind yourself to sit up tall – Think shoulders down and back and head up.  Your spine should feel long and supported, but not rigid.

    It is also important to stay active throughout the day and break up long periods of sitting in one position.  Here are some ideas to keep you limber throughout the day:

    ·       Set an alarm to get up and move every 20-30 minutes.  This could be as simple as standing up to do some stretches, taking a quick walk around the office, a washroom break, or going to get some water.  Interrupted sitting is the best way to prevent tightness from building up in your spine and soft tissues

    ·       Stretch at your desk.  There are lots of simple movements and stretches you can do as you work to keep your body feeling good.  Try to remember to move a little bit at least every 15-20 minutes.  Try stretching your neck side to side, moving your head gently in different directions, rolling your shoulders backwards, squeezing your shoulder blades together, stretching your legs out in front of you, and moving your feet and ankles.

    We hope these tips have been helpful and have given you ideas that you can incorporate into your daily life.  Do not hesitate to call us and make an appointment.  An in depth one-on-one assessment with one of our physiotherapists will help address your specific needs for injury prevention or management.

    Written by Stephanie Connolly

    Click to visit Pursuit Physiotherapy.


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    Community Events

    june, 2018

    wed30may - 26sepmay 303:30 pmsep 26ATB Financial Downtown Market(may 30) 3:30 pm - (september 26) 6:30 pm

    sun10jun - 24jun 1010:00 amjun 242018 Edgar Farms Asparagus Festival10:00 am - 4:00 pm (24)

    sun17jun - 1juljun 1710:00 amjul 1- 4:00 pm2018 Edgar Farms Asparagus Festival10:00 am - (july 1) 4:00 pm

    tue19jun7:00 pm- 11:30 pmSebastian Bach w/ Guest The Standstills & Sweetgrass- June 19th7:00 pm - 11:30 pm

    tue19jun - 15juljun 198:00 pmjul 15Freewill Shakespeare Festival8:00 pm - (july 15) 10:30 pm

    wed20jun9:00 am- 11:00 amAlliance MeetingsTopic: Red Deer’s Community Safety Strategy9:00 am - 11:00 am

    wed20jun5:45 pm- 8:00 pmRed Deer County Eco-Buffer and Shelterbelt Workshop5:45 pm - 8:00 pm

    thu21jun - 3juljun 216:30 pmjul 3THE WORKS ART & DESIGN FESTIVAL6:30 pm - (july 3) 12:00 am

    fri22jun - 1juljun 227:30 pmjul 1- 9:15 pmEdmonton International Jazz Festival7:30 pm - (july 1) 9:15 pm

    fri22jun - 23jun 229:00 pmjun 23A Weekend With St. James Gate I Bo's Bar & Stage9:00 pm - 1:00 am (23)

    sat23junAll DayRed Deer Highland Games(All Day: saturday)

    sat23jun4:00 pm- 8:00 pmOlds Beer Festival4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    sun24jun11:00 am- 2:00 pmOne Eleven Jazzy Brunch11:00 am - 2:00 pm

    mon25jun - 3sepAll DayRip ‘N Rec Summer Pass returns for youth in Red Deer(All Day)

    tue26jun5:00 pm- 6:30 pmUnited Way Central Alberta Annual General Meeting5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

    tue26jun - 22juljun 268:00 pmjul 22Freewill Shakespeare Festival8:00 pm - (july 22) 10:30 pm

    wed27jun - 1juljun 279:00 amjul 1- 8:00 pmWestern Canadian Breeders Championships9:00 am - (july 1) 8:00 pm

    wed27jun2:00 pm- 3:30 pmMayor’s Garden Party2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

    sat30jun9:00 am- 12:00 pmRed Deer Roundup 5k/10k/15k Run9:00 am - 12:00 pm

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