Sunday, October 27, 2013

Business spotlight on Sedona Wellness - By Michelle Libby

Relaxation, healing and tranquility are keys to Sedona

Wellness. Run by Lynn Priest, a Raymond resident, Sedona Wellness has been in business for a year.
“I just wanted a place that was mine,” said Priest, who worked at another salon before moving into the present location just off Route 115 on the access road to the Windham Post Office. 

“I think a lot of people have lost the value of touch,” she said. “Touch makes things better.”
Priest is a massage therapist, Reiki master/teacher and polarity therapist. She is also certified in the DoTerra Essential Oil Aroma therapy. 

She wanted her own space so she could do more energy work and crystal healing. The energy work is used to help with medical, physical, emotional and spiritual issues. All of the energy work can be hands on and is done with the client fully dressed. “It’s been done for hundreds of years. It’s a great way for people to get in here for healing without being naked,” said Priest. 

“Anybody who has their doubts can come in for 15 minutes – most people say it feels like they just had a massage. It centers them and helps them stay grounded,” she said. 

Priest has no problem traveling to client’s homes for those who are not mobile or don’t want to leave their house. “I have a massage chair and a portable massage table,” she said. 

Another unique massage option Priest offers is called Flame Massage. She has candles in scents like vanilla, lavender or rosemary and when the candle oil is melted, she uses that oil to do the massage. The client gets to take the candle home with them. The wax is warm, but not too hot and she uses hot stones to help move the oil around. 

Hot stones are her favorite type of massage, “especially coming into this season,” Priest said. “That’s what we’re all about, making people feel good.”
Priest has discounts for frequent clients and she said she always has specials on her website. 

In addition to offering massage and therapy services, Priest sells crystals she buys when she is visiting Sedona, Arizona, her favorite place in the world, she said. She has done a lot of her training in Sedona, as well. Priest rents space to Beth O’Neill, who is a nail technologist and Priest has a reflexologist on call. She also does horse massage using the Masterson Method. 

Sedona Wellness is open by appointment six days a week or as needed. Priest said that clients need to schedule appoints 48 hours in advance. Clients can reach Sedona Wellness through its website, by email at or by phone at 310-0368. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Financial Focus - Taking advantage of open enrollment - Edward Jones

At many places of work, it’s “open enrollment” season — the time where you get to make changes to the various benefits you receive from your employer. As you review your overall benefits package, what areas should you focus on? 

Here are three possibilities: 

Life insurance — If your employer offers life insurance as a benefit, and you haven’t already signed up for it, consider adding it during your open enrollment period — because life insurance can be important to your family’s financial security. If you already have life insurance with your employer, you may want to take the time, during open enrollment, to review your beneficiary designations. If you’ve experienced a change in your family situation, such as divorce or remarriage, you’ll want to update your beneficiaries, as needed.
However, the amount of life insurance offered by your employer in a group policy may not be sufficient for your needs, so you may want to consult with a financial professional to determine if you should add private, or individual coverage. You may find that individual coverage is comparable, in terms of cost, to your employer’s coverage. Also, individual coverage is “portable” — that is, you can take it with you if you change jobs.  

Disability insurance — Your employer may also offer disability insurance as a low-cost benefit. The coverage can be invaluable. In fact, nearly one in three women, and about one in four men, can expect to suffer a disability that keeps them out of work for 90 days or longer at some point during their working years, according to the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE). Again, as was the case with life insurance, your employer’s disability policy may not be enough for your needs, so you may need to consider additional coverage.

Retirement plan — Your employer may offer a 401(k) or similar retirement plan, such as a 403(b) plan, if you work for an educational institution or a nonprofit organization, or a 457(b) plan, if you work for a governmental unit. All these plans offer the chance to contribute pretax dollars; so the more you put in, the lower your taxable income. Equally important, your earnings can grow tax deferred, which means your money can accumulate faster than if it were placed in an account on which you paid taxes every year.

Consequently, try to contribute as much as you can possibly afford to your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored plan. If you’ve gotten a raise recently, consider boosting your contributions during open enrollment. Also, take this opportunity to review the array of investments you’ve chosen for your 401(k) or other plan. If you feel that they’re underperforming and not providing you with the growth opportunities you need, you may want to consider making some changes. You might also think about making adjustments if your portfolio has shown more volatility than the level with which you are comfortable. Your financial professional can help you determine if your investment mix is still suitable for your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon.

Open enrollment season gives you the perfect opportunity to maximize those benefits offered to you by your employer. So, think carefully about what you’ve got and what improvements you can make — it will be time well spent.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

Internet providers have found a new distribution channel - you - By Gren Blackall

Internet and cell phone users don’t have a problem finding things to do with technology, but they do have a problem finding a good connection.

This is a huge problem for providers. It’s like having a spectacular amusement park on an island, but no ferry service to bring people out to spend money there. We need more WiFi.

Public WiFi has come in many flavors, but the municipal efforts haven’t had a lot of traction. Partly because each city comes with its own headaches – unwillingness to fund them, lack of broad public support and fear of liability.

That’s what makes the idea of using people to make public WiFi networks so clever. Comcast has already started putting two, not one, wireless routers in homes. The first one is the private home wireless, and the other is for anyone in the public who happens to be close enough to pick it up. Public users can connect for free, twice a month for an hour, and after that, they pay.

What’s in it for the homeowner who is broadcasting WiFi for the neighborhood? They get to use any Comcast public WiFi in the world for free. Today that’s not worth much because there aren’t many locations broadcasting public WiFi, but eventually, that could be a pretty sweet deal.

Another example of this comes with the product called Karma. It’s a small device that you carry with you, that broadcasts a public WiFi as you use it. The more people who link to your Karma (it will take up to 8 connections), the more free capacity the Karma owner gets. Another sweet deal.

This is another example of addressing a public issue by distributing across individuals. This granular approach is replacing a centralized, infrastructure heavy, costly government run alternative. Even better, if it fails or if it needs upgrading, private companies take responsibility and pay for it, not public ones.

Spotlight on: Dr. Leslie A. Elston

Six months ago, Dr. Leslie Elston opened her dental office in Windham as a compliment to the practice she has had in Bridgton since 1999. The office is warm and inviting, gone are the traditional white sterile walls and white porcelain sinks. There are still dental tools in the office, but with so many other things to look at, they blend in with the surroundings. 

“We’ve had a good response and met a lot of great, new patients,” she said. Elston prides herself on being a family dentist who works with smiles from 4 years old to geriatric, and seniors over 65 years old receive a 10 percent discount. 

It’s no secret that people don’t always like to go to the dentist, but Elston treats her patients the way she wants to be treated, she said. People fear the unknown. It’s expensive. There’s noise and needle phobias to contend with, but Elston wants to fix people’s smiles. 

Elston does gum treatments, root canals, some extractions, cosmetic filings, composite and bonding, and even gold filings. She also does veneers to give “smile makeovers”. Elston also has a CEREC computer-aided technology machine that can create a crown in one appointment, which can be explained on her website. 

The office also uses digital x-rays, which can be viewed on any computer.  
Elston does a lot in her office, but “if I don’t feel like I can do something up to snuff, I refer it out.” 

Elston has been known to walk into a store, see someone struggling to hide their smile and offer to fix their teeth. “One Christmas I gave a girl 10 crowns across the front. I give back that way,” Elston said. The woman told Elston that the smile makeover changed her world. 

This past week, a patient sent flowers and chocolates to Elston as a thank you for his wonderful appointment. 

Elston is proactive in her continuing education logging hundreds of hours of additional trainings. She is also CPR certified and ACLS certified. Another thing Elston believes sets her apart is her gender. “I pride myself on listening to people,” she said. “We try to take each person as an individual. We present treatment options, different options, depending on financials, and goals.”
Elston employs two hygienists, Heather Linnie and Jordan Pennells.

The office, located at 713 Roosevelt Trail, has become a network provider for Cigna and Delta Dental. Elston is also looking to partner with Met Life and Aetna, she said. Changing dentists can be done with a phone call to Elston’s office manager, Alex Elston, her brother, who will take care of the paperwork. The office is not open on Mondays. For more information on the practice or to schedule an appointment with Elston, call 892-3200 or visit

Friday, October 11, 2013

Pay yourself first - Money Matters - By Chris Wallace

Primerica believes the ultimate key to financial success is knowledge– about how money works, how to make responsible, well-informed decisions and how to get the best value for the dollars you spend. That’s what “How Money Works” is all about. As part of Primerica’s continuing commitment to consumer education, over the next several months we will discuss common sense financial concepts that can help people overcome the obstacles they face and achieve their goals. We will show you how greater financial security is within reach of every working American.

The critical first step is learning to make wise financial decisions. Primerica encourages consumers to become independent thinkers and always make their own choices, whether they’re purchasing financial products or any other goods or services.

This month we will focus on the first principle: Pay yourself first.

The problem most people face is at the end of the month most people do not have anything left to save. The solution is at the first of the month, before you pay anyone else; write a check to yourself for 10 percent of your income. Paying yourself first may be the single most important concept we teach our clients. If you work for an employer that has a retirement plan it is easy to set up. If not open an IRA and contribute monthly. Consult your local financial professional for which option is the best for you.

It’s not what you earn, it’s what you keep. Put yourself at the head of the line. Treat your savings like any other recurring bill that you must pay each month. Dedicate the appropriate amount from your paycheck and set it aside. While most people think nothing of sending enormous amounts of money to credit card companies on a regular and systematic basis, they balk at the idea of paying themselves first! Change that mindset. Cut up your credit cards and put those payments into your own savings. Make a commitment to pay yourself first.

Here is a great exercise to put a little perspective on your situation:

Calculate how much you’ve earned – and how much you’ve saved.

Average annual income (estimate):     A) _________________

Times number of years worked:          B) _________________

Equals total amount earned:               C) _________________

Amount of personal savings:              D) _________________

Divide D by C:                                   E) ________________%

This equals your percentage of income saved.

Are you a little depressed now? Most people are. According to the Huffington Post in March of this year the personal savings rate in American is just 3.7 percent CNN Money indicated that you would need to save between 10 percent and 15 percent. It really does not matter where you are now. Just start doing something. The retirement bill is going to show up before you know it.

Next month we will talk about the three accounts you need to have a complete savings program and how time and consistency can be your friend!