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John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

5 Ways to Prevent Scams against Seniors

September 24, 2015 1:18 am

According to Consumer Reports, seniors and their loved ones lose billions of dollars to fraudsters every year, typically through phone scams that take advantage of a senior’s isolation. Staying involved in the community, advises the nonprofit organization, is key to preventing elder financial abuse.

Consumer Reports also suggests the following tips:

Stop robocalls.
Sign up for Nomorobo, a free service available to customers with VoIP service with select providers. Consider a white list call blocker device, which blocks numbers that are not programmed into it. And, if someone from an unknown number calls, don’t press to connect to a representative – just hang up. Responding to a call demonstrates a live person is there, which can generate more calls. Also, sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry (donotcall.gov or 888-382-1222); it won’t prevent crooks from calling, but it will limit legitimate marketing calls.

Have someone help pay the bills. Create a shared bank account with a trusted friend or family member. Arrange to transfer only enough money each month to pay the bills. Get to know the officers and tellers at the local bank or credit union; they may raise a flag if they notice suspicious activity on an account.

Arrange for limited account oversight. Some financial institutions will send statements and alerts to a trusted person who has no direct access to a senior’s account but can check for suspected fraud. EverSafe is a paid, Web-based service that consolidates all accounts in one place and checks for suspicious activity daily. Someone else can receive the online statements without having access to the accounts that are being monitored.

Vet all contractors and financial advisors’ credentials. For contractors, check with the state licensing board and the local Better Business Bureau. Ask for proof of insurance and bonding. Don’t pay in full up front. For financial advisors, check brokercheck.finra.org to find regulatory actions, violations, or complaints.

Set up an emergency plan.
Temporary hospitalization or permanent incapacity are just two reasons someone may not be able to control his or her own finances. Give power of attorney to someone trusted and financially secure. The power-of-attorney document can be drawn up with limits, such as assigning a relative or friend to monitor the person with power of attorney; mandating a periodic written report of financial transactions; or assigning joint powers of attorney, which requires two signatures on every check.

Source: Consumer Reports

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Greener Pastures: 5 Lawn Maintenance Tips for Fall

September 24, 2015 1:18 am

(Family Features) Come autumn, caring for your lawn should go beyond a weekly mowing. In fact, there are many steps homeowners can take to ensure their lawn remains healthy, green and beautiful for many seasons to come, according to the TruGreen lawn care experts:

1. Aerating

Aeration involves removal of soil cores to improve water and air movement in compacted soils, and aids in promoting deeper and increased root growth and thatch management. Long-term, your lawn will respond quicker to fertilizer and water runoff will be reduced when irrigating.

2. Overseeding

When it comes to increasing lawn thickness and health, overseeding can be essential. It can help discourage future weeds while also aiding recovery from summer heat, disease and insect activity. Seeding during late summer or early fall will give grass the maximum time to develop a deep extensive root system and mature before the onset of winter stresses.

Aeration is recommended when overseeding to give seeds more soil contact and provide a moist, protected environment required for germination.

3. Feeding

Fall feeding gives your landscape the nutrients needed to prepare for a healthy, green spring revival. Hiring a trained specialist with a plan customized to your region will help trees and shrubs thrive. If you fertilize your own lawn, make sure to follow the product directions and sweep all fertilizer that may reach pavement back onto your lawn.

4. Maintaining

Throughout the fall, remove fallen tree leaves and debris from your lawn. Studies have shown mulching tree leaves back into your lawn effectively clears away tree leaf debris that otherwise can become matted and damage your lawn over the winter. Clean and edge landscape beds, leaving no more than 2-3 inches of mulch in the beds.

Lowering the mower height by one or two settings during the last few mowings before winter reduces grass diseases associated with snow. Avoid walking on frost-covered lawns, as doing so may cause brown footprints to appear later that can remain visible until spring.

5. Pruning


Pruning is an essential maintenance practice for trees and shrubs. Landscapes can quickly become overgrown if not cared for, but yearly pruning will maintain trees and shrubs to an ideal size and shape. Remove dead or damaged branches from trees and shrubs to prevent rot organisms from invading the trunk and stems of plants.

"A healthy lawn encourages you to live life outside more with your family, friends and neighbors," says TruGreen Chief Science Officer Dr. Kirk Hurto. "There's no time like late summer and early fall to start preparing your yard for those spring and summertime outdoor gatherings."

Source: TruGreen

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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