CLA August 2009


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“CLA USA, Inc. is a financial services company with a safe and conservative approach to asset preservation philosophy. From IRA’s to surviving spouse needs...CLA USA focuses on the areas that concern you the most.”

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CLA August 2009

  2. 2. Benefits of a Fixed Indexed Annuity By Stephen Hill, Advanced Planning Specialist, CLA-USA, Inc.For the last 5 years, investors have had to make difficult decisions regarding their investments. Stock market declines and histori-cally low interest rates have made choosing the right direction seem impossible. Staying the course in the equity markets withoutinsuring against risk has proven at the least to be risky.During this same 5 year time frame, CLA clients who have purchased a FIA, have benefited with market participation in positiveyears, while enjoying the peace of mind that their principal is always protected against losses in negative ones. We wanted to illus-trate this point by showing an actual CLA client’s account for the past 5 years (We have omitted their personal information to protecttheir privacy).The chart below shows one of our client’s deposits of $100,074.93 in 2004. Each anniversary value is represented by a point in thechart. During the first 3 years, their account value rose along with the gains in the S&P 500. These gains are locked in, and cannever be reduced after being credited. Every time an anniversary value is higher than the year before, a new guaranteed floor is estab-lished locking in the higher value. During the market decline of 2008, this investor was completely protected against losing any oftheir accumulated value. This protection led to our client outperforming the S&P alternative by over $42,000. When the market re-covers, this client’s gains will start from the recent anniversary S&P 500 value. This “annual resetting feature” allows for our cli-ent’s account value to appreciate even while the S&P 500 endeavors to get back to even.We also wanted to demonstrate how this client’s annuity has outperformed the typical CD buyer. To illustrate this, we have includedthe results of purchasing a 1 year CD each year over the past 5 years. This would have resulted in an account value of $118,909 atthe end of the 5 year term. Our client outperformed this alternative by $7,344. Some clients might have received a higher or lowerreturn, but no one has lost a single penny and can sleep well knowing their principal has never been at risk.Even though past performance is no guarantee of future results (higher or lower returns), the client who placed $100,074 in this an-nuity with a value now of $126,253 will never go lower than $126,253. CLA offers many different alternatives to meet your financialgoals. Contact our office at 1-888-404-6848 (toll-free) to learn how we can help you.* CD interest rates provided by* All S&P investment results assume no reinvestment of dividends CLA does not give legal, investment or tax advice. Only an attorney can provide legal advice. You should consult with your own attorney to discuss your specific estate planning needs. You should always consult with your tax professional on issues related to taxes.CLA USA O AUGUST 2009 O 1-888-404-6848
  3. 3. Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk by 60% By Marwan Sabbagh, MD Last year, the Alzheimer’s Association reported that one in six women and one in 10 men age 55 and older in the US will de-velop Alzheimer’s disease. (More women get Alzheimer’s, in part, because they tend to live longer.) Many people think that not get-ting Alzheimer’s is more about good genes than good health, but new research suggests that lifestyle factors, such as diet and exer-cise, play key roles. Here’s what you need to know about the latest scientific advances in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease… PREVENTION New research shows that the primary feature of Alzheimer’s—the accu-mulation of beta-amyloid, a protein by-product that wrecks brain cells—starts Alzheimer’s Symptomsdecades before symptoms begin, perhaps even in a person’s 30s. How to help prevent or slow that process… • Severe memory loss. Statins. Researchers from the Netherlands studied nearly 7,000 people • Language problems, including diffi-age 55 and older. They found that those who regularly took a cholesterol-lowering statin drug had a 43% lower risk for developing Alzheimer’s than culty finding the right word.those who didn’t take the drug. • Difficulty performing familiar tasks. Theory: Cholesterol may be a “cofactor” in beta-amyloid production. • Disorientation regarding time and Bottom line: More studies are needed to show that taking a statin can pre-vent Alzheimer’s, so it’s premature for your doctor to prescribe the drug for place.that purpose. But if you take a statin to control cholesterol, you may experi- • Changes in personality, such as in-ence this very positive “side effect.” creased irritability and hostility. Weight Control. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health analyzed23 years of data from more than 2,300 people. Women who were obese atages 30, 35 or 50, with excess belly fat, had a nearly seven times higher riskfor developing Alzheimer’s. Men who gained a lot of weight between ages 30 and 50 had a nearly four times higher risk. Theory: Excess pounds increase chronic low-grade inflammation…increase insulin resistance (prediabetes)…and may increaseproduction of amyloid precursor protein—all factors that may increase the likelihood of Alzheimer’s. Bottom line: Keep you body weight within a healthy range by controlling calories and exercising regularly. Fruits and Vegetables. Oxidative stress—a kind of “internal rust” caused by factors such as a diet loaded with fat and refinedcarbohydrates…air pollution…and hormones triggered by stress—is believed to play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s. Inthe laboratory, researchers at Cornell University exposed brain cells to oxidative stress and added extracts of apples, bananas, andoranges to the mix. The extracts reduced neurotoxicity—damage to brain cells. Theory: Fruits and vegetables are rich in cell-protecting and strengthening antioxi-dants that fight the oxidative stress that contributes to Alzheimer’s. Bottom line: Fruits that deliver the most antioxidants include blueberries, blackber-ries, cherries, red grapes, oranges, plums, raspberries and strawberries. Best vegetablesinclude arugula, bell peppers, broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, collard greens, kale and spin-ach. Alcohol. Researchers at Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University in Chicagoreviewed data on alcohol intake and health and found that more than half the studiesshowed that a moderate intake of alcohol (one drink a day for women, one to two drinks aday for men) reduced the risk for cognitive decline and dementia, including Alzheimer’s. Theory: Alcohol delivers potent antioxidants, and moderate intake reduces inflamma-tion. Bottom line: One to two drinks a day may slightly decrease Alzheimer’s risk. Onedrink is five ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of an 80-proof liquor, suchas vodka or gin. Exercise. Research shows that regular exercise can reduce Alzheimer’s risk by up to60%. A new study shows that it also may help slow the progression of the disease. Scien-tists at University of Kansas School of Medicine studied 57 people with early-stage Alz-heimer’s disease and found that those who were sedentary had four times more brainshrinkage (a sign of Alzheimer’s) than those who were physically fit. Bottom line: Aim for 30 minutes a day of exercise, such as brisk walking outdoors oron a treadmill.
  4. 4. COMBINATION TREATMENT Medications can slow the development of Alzheimer’s symptoms. Research now shows thatcombining certain drugs maximizes their effectiveness. The FDA has approved two types of drugs totreat Alzheimer’s—cholinesterase inhibitors, such as donepezil (Aricept), which work by slowing thebreakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps brain cells communicate…and memantine(Namenda), which calms excitotoxicity, a type of cellular hyperactivity that harms neurons. In a 30-month study of nearly 400 people with Alzheimer’s, researchers at Harvard MedicalSchool found that taking both drugs together is more effective in reducing Alzheimer’s symptomsthan taking either a cholinesterase inhibitor alone or a placebo. Bottom line: Patients who start both drugs at the time of diagnosis may significantly slow theprogress of Alzheimer’s disease. WHAT DOESN’T WORK The following do not seem to be effective against Alzheimer’s… NSAIDs. Some studies have linked regular intake of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)—such as aspirin, ibu-profen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve) and celecoxib (Celebrex)—with lower rates of Alzheimer’s. But in the Alzheimer’s DiseaseAnti-Inflammatory Prevention Trial (ADAPT)—a study conducted by more than 125 researchers, involving more than 2,000 peo-ple age 70 and older—celecoxib didn’t reduce the risk for developing Alzheimer’s. Naproxen had a minor effect that was out-weighed by the fact that it increased the rate of heart attacks and strokes. Ginkgo biloba. A team of dozens of researchers led by scientists at University of Pittsburgh studied more than 3,000 peopleage 75 and older, dividing them into two groups. One group took a daily dose of 240 milligrams (mg) of ginkgo biloba extract,which is widely touted for invigorating the brain and improving memory. A second group took a placebo. Those taking ginkgodid not have a lower rate of developing Alzheimer’s. B vitamins. Elevated blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine have been linked to Alzheimer’s. Because B vitamins canlower homocysteine, scientists wondered if B vitamins could slow the development of Alzheimer’s. Researchers in the department of neurosciences at University of California, San Diego, studied 340 people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease for about four years and found that B vitamins reduced homocysteine levels but didn’t slow theprogression of Alzheimer’s disease. Antipsychotics. Alzheimer’s patients often develop behavioral disturbances, such as wandering, agitation, aggression, para-noia, delusions, anxiety and hallucinations. A standard treatment is an antipsychotic drug, such as risperidone (Risperdal), zipra-sidone (Geodon), olanzapine (Zyprexa), quetiapine (Seroquel) or aripiprazole (Abilify). New danger: For three years, researchers in England studied 165 Alzheimer’s patients who had taken antipsychotics—continuing the drug in half the patients and switching the other half to placebos. After three years, 59% of those on the placebowere alive, compared with 30% on the medication. In other words, those who continued the drug had twice the risk of dying. New approach: Researchers at Indiana University Center for Aging Research reviewed nine studies on the use of a choli-nesterase inhibitor to manage behavioral symptoms and found it to be a “safe and effective alternative” to antipsychotics.Reprinted with the permission of: Bottom Line Publications/Boardroom Inc. Happiness Boosters By Marjory Abrams Most people say they want to be happier, but how can they get there when they’re focused on what’s wrong instead of what’sright? Here’s terrific advice from Joe Vitale, PhD, president of Hypnotic Marketing, Inc. (, and author of Life’sMissing Instruction Manual (Wiley)… Don’t listen to negative self-talk. You can’t stop your thoughts, but you don’t have to listen to them. When a troublingthought intrudes, remind yourself that “it’s just a thought, and I can let it go.” You may need to enlist a friend or coworker tokeep an ear open for negative comments. Ask him/her to ask you, “Do you really believe that?” Focus on the positive. There is no rule that says you must be depressed when life hits a rough stretch. Being unhappy won’thelp fix your problems, but it will make your life less pleasant while you endure them. Don’t look to blame. Blaming others won’t improve your life. Rather than ask, “Who’s fault is this?” ask, “What can I do tomake the best of this situation?” Change your ways. Your “nature” is just the role you’re currently playing. If you don’t like being considered argumentative,for example, pick another role. To change your nature, change the way you act. The new behavior might feel phony at first, butkeep at it and it can become your nature.Reprinted with the permission of: Bottom Line Publications/Boardroom Inc.
  5. 5. Install a pullout kitchen faucet. Lugging heavy pots of water to the stove can bedifficult and even dangerous. Many plumbing manufacturers now offer kitchen fau-cets featuring high-arc, pullout spouts. You can remove the spout and use it as asprayer hose to fill pots within three to five feet of the stove.Cost: About $150 plus plumber installation. Available at home-improvement stores.Install a pull-down shelving system inside your kitchen wall cabinets. Top shelvesin cabinets are difficult to reach. This simple device rests in your upper cabinet untilyou grab a handle on the shelf frame. A set of three or four shelves swings out of thecabinet and down toward you. The shelves lock in place so you can get the item youneed. Afterward, the whole unit swings back into place.My favorite: Rev-A-Shelf’s chrome pull-down shelving system for 24- and 36-inchcabinets. You can do the installation yourself.Cost: $300 (800-626-1126, upscale grab bars near toilets and tubs. Some people have avoided installinggrab bars in their bathrooms because they look too institutional. Now, there are muchmore attractive versions. Brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze grab bars by Moen aredesigned to match other Moen bath accessories and faucets for a coordinated look.The grab bars meet all federal government guidelines. They have a stainless steelcore and are 1¼ inches in diameter, making them easy to hold.Cost: About $25 to $70 for the bar. Available at home-improvement stores. You caninstall them yourself, but it requires drilling holes in the wall.Reprinted with the permission of:Bottom Line Publications/Boardroom Inc.My car manual says I should put only pre- * * * QUOTES * * *mium gas in my car. Do I really need to dothat? In a world where the big things make a little difference, it’s the little things that make a big difference.Your car’s engine is designed to run on premium if the Peter Thomasmanual tells you to use it. Premium gas is processed toburn more slowly in high-compression engines, so it They that may have a little peace, even the best dogs areprovides power without causing knocking or pinging. In compelled to snarl emergency, you can use regular fuel in an engine William Featherdesigned for premium, but your car will get signifi-cantly better mileage on premium gas. In fact, despite The storm starts when the drops start dropping.premium’s higher cost, you will get more miles per dol- When the drops stop dropping then the storm startslar from premium fuel. Frequent use of regular gas in an stopping.engine designed for premium can lead to a buildup of Dr. Seusscarbon deposits and a permanent drop in power and gasmileage. Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spiritBottom line: Only buy a car designed for premium fuel of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed,if you are prepared to put premium gas in it all the time. else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.Reprinted with the permission of:Bottom Line Publications/Boardroom Inc. Dwight D. Eisenhower Moving? Be sure to contact our office at 888-404-6848 and update your address and phone number so we may continue to provide you the excellent service you have come to expect.