Growing Your Brand

Growing Your Brand

To see growth for your business, you must focus on creating a brand that will make a lasting impression with customers.

This article discusses a few tips that you can use to strengthen your brand and your business growth.

To view this article, click HERE to access the original content.

Business Growth Through Social Media

Business Growth Through Social Media

The business world is relying on the Internet for exposure, and without a digital presence and a social media strategy, businesses are unlikely to reach their full potential.

This article discusses the importance of an updated website, social media strategies, and an increased digital presence.

To view this article, click HERE to access the original content.

5 Ways to Position Yourself for a Promotion

You’ve been in your current position for a few years and the question starts to become “What’s next?” You may be at a point in your career where you are ready to climb the ladder to the next level within your organization. So, how do you do it? This blog covers five prime ways to position yourself for a promotion.

1. Get on the radar.
No one can give you a promotion if no one sees you outside of your cubicle. Introduce yourself to senior managers and partners. Ask how you can be involved in more projects. Go to networking events and office after-hours get-togethers. You want to become a face that people in the office recognize and a name that your colleagues and managers know they can trust.

2. Work harder AND smarter.
Working hard is important, but it isn’t going to get you that promotion. You also have to learn to work smarter. The key is to work effectively and efficiently. Focus your time and efforts strategically and don’t fill your day with busy work that ultimately won’t get recognized or help the firm achieve its goals.

3. Be drama-free.
Now, there’s a fine line between being drama-free and having no personality. You don’t want to be a robot, but you also don’t want to be the person in the office everyone remembers for that embarrassing moment they had at the office Christmas party. Think carefully about your actions, before you do them and if you think there will be repercussions, or that your actions may cause turmoil, reconsider what you are about to do.

4. Keep learning.
In order to position yourself as a thought leader in the industry, you’ll have to stay on top of trends and industry changes. Make sure you’re subscribing to industry publications and reading at least one article daily. Take advantage of ongoing education that the firm offers so that you are continuously honing your technical (and soft) skill set. Your eagerness to learn will set you apart from the crowd.

5. Ask for it.
At the end of the day, no one is going to know you want to move up if you don’t express interest. If you feel that you are an invaluable team member who is ready for the next phase of his or her career, it’s time to ask how you can make that happen. Schedule a meeting with your manager or mentor to discuss what steps you need to take in order to take your career to the next level.

With these five valuable actions in mind, you can start to develop a road-map for your future. What do you need to do to get noticed, prove your success, and make it to the next phase of your career? A promotion doesn’t happen overnight, but with smart planning, you’ll position yourself for greatness.

Rebecca Jacobs Appointed to TSCPA Committee

Reynolds, Bone & Griesbeck, PLC (RBG) is pleased to announce that Rebecca Jacobs, CPA was recently named to the Federal Tax Committee of the Tennessee Society of CPAs (TSCPA).

Jacobs established her career with RBG in 2009 and currently serves as a tax senior manager. In this role, she performs tax work for a variety of clients, including high net worth individuals, partnerships, real estate investments and diverse family organizations. She also acts as an advisor to fellow tax staff, in both formal and informal capacities, and works closely with firm interns and new hires.

“I consider it a great honor to be appointed to serve on the TSCPA’s Federal Tax Committee,” said Jacobs. “Federal tax policy is constantly shifting these days, and it’s important that tax professionals remain abreast of all current laws and updates. I’m glad to be allowed the opportunity to contribute to the TSCPA’s efforts on this front.”

A graduate of Christian Brothers University, Jacobs earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 2010. She went on to attend the University of Memphis, graduating with a Master of Science in Accounting with a Concentration in Taxation in 2011. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the TSCPA. Within the TSCPA, she serves on the Memphis Chapter Scholarship Committee; she previously served on the Tennessee State Scholarship & Awards Committee. Jacobs also sits on the board of a local nonprofit animal rescue group, Cat Atrium. She currently lives in Bartlett, Tennessee, her hometown, with her husband, Seth, and their daughter, Vivian.

Managing Rapid Business Growth

Rapid growth can be a dangerous time for businesses if not managed properly.

This article discusses the importance of keeping your people engaged as your business grows.

To view this article, click HERE to access the original content.

Boosting Workplace Motivation

Boosting Workplace Motivation

The key to business success is the motivation and hard work of employees.

This article discusses six unconventional initiatives companies should try to boost workplace motivation.

To view this article, click HERE to access the original content.

Cracking Productivity Using the Ivy Lee Method

Cracking Productivity Using the Ivy Lee Method

Ivy Lee was a businessman and productivity consultant working in America in the early 20th century. He developed a powerful method for increasing productivity. In a recent article, author James Clear examines the Ivy Lee Method and breaks down why it is so effective. 

What is the Ivy Lee Method? 

Ivy Lee’s method requires a simple daily routine. At the end of each workday, record six important tasks you need to accomplish the next day, prioritizing them by importance. Upon getting to work the next day, start in on the first item on your list. Complete it, and move on to the next task; then the next. If you don’t finish your tasks, simply move the unfinished items onto the next day’s list. Repeat daily.

 Why is the Ivy Lee Method so Effective? 

This straightforward method yields fantastic results. Why? 

  • Because it is simple. It allows you to focus and stay on track. Yes, it‚Äôs true that sometimes exigent situations develop, but with the Ivy Lee Method as your default, it‚Äôs easy to return to your work after dealing with unforeseen circumstances.
  • Because it requires decision-making. Rather than reorienting yourself every time you switch tasks, with the Ivy Lee Method, you always know where to start and what‚Äôs next.
  • Because it makes getting started easy. Since you make the decision about what to work on the day before, you can dive right in at the beginning of each workday.
  • Because it avoids multi-tasking. Though many glorify multi-tasking, studies show that greater focus results in better work. The Ivy Lee Method promotes this single-minded approach to work.¬†

For more details, read the article in full at James Clear.

Reining In Your Smartphone-Induced Anxiety

Reining In Your Smartphone-Induced Anxiety

How much time do you spend staring at your phone each day? More and more studies reveal the detrimental effects of smartphone usage on the human brain. In a recent article published by The New York Times, author Catherine Price takes a look at how extended use of a smartphone impacts the brain on a chemical level. 

Studies reveal that smartphone usage results in an increase in cortisol, the body’s primary fight-or-flight hormone. With the average American spending four hours on their smartphone each day, these cortisol spikes are becoming more and more frequent. Researchers have found that even just having your phone nearby, or imagining that you hear a notification, can lead to a stress response. Smartphone users feel “a constant sense of obligation, generating unintended personal stress.” 

The detrimental effects of cortisol increases stemming from smartphone usage include: 

  • -Increased anxiety, presenting physiologically as elevated blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar (reactions that are helpful in the event of a physical threat, but not in every-day life)
  • -Increased risk of major health problems, including depression, obesity, dementia, and more
  • -Exacerbation of existing chronic diseases
  • -A negative impact on the prefrontal cortex‚Äîthe decision-making center of the brain‚Äîleading to decreased self-control
  • -Insufficient sleep, and the health conditions to which it contributes¬†

So what can you do to counter and alleviate the damage of smartphone usage? The key is to break the cycle, to retrain our brains. Price offers the following tips: 

  1. Disable all unnecessary notifications
  2. Pay attention to which apps contribute to your anxiety, and consider hiding or deleting them
  3. Try to notice if particular apps impact you detrimentally on a physical level, and consider hiding or deleting them
  4. Take regular breaks from your smartphone—consider implementing a periodic “digital detox”
  5. Identify when you are feeling a craving for your phone, and learn not to give in to it immediately 

For more details, read the article in full at The New York Times. 

3 Tax Woes and How to Survive Them

3 Tax Woes and How to Survive Them

The tax deadline has come and gone, but if you are filing late, can’t pay all of what you owe, or have the fear that you might be audited, don’t panic. We’ve got you covered with some smart ways to handle these three, potentially scary scenarios. 

Late Filing 

Of course, if you owe, make every effort to file as soon as possible to avoid penalties and interest. But the good news is, if you’re owed a refund, there’s no penalty for filing late. More good news: For those who qualify, Free File is still available on through Oct. 15 to prepare and file returns electronically. There’s more: If you have a history of paying on time and are missing this year’s deadline, there’s always Penalty Relief. This provision, called First Time Penalty Abatement, allows you to qualify if, a) You haven’t previously filed a return, or if you have had penalties in the past, you have no penalties for the three years prior to filing this year; b) You filed all currently required returns or filed an extension; c) You have paid, or arranged to pay any tax due. See? There’s hope. 

Can’t Pay All of What You Owe? 

Due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, you might find that you owe because you didn’t change your withholding, as well as the fact that the law eliminated exemptions, increased child credits and limited popular deductions, to name a few of the changes. Not to worry. If you’re stuck and need help, you’ll be relieved to know that you can apply online for a Payment Plan. While you’re settling your debt, you can view your balance online and pay with IRS Direct Pay or by a debit or credit card. 

If you need further assistance, consult a professional. If this is any consolation, the Government Accountability Office estimated in a report last summer that about 30 million workers had too little withheld from their paychecks. While this increased their take home pay, it also increased their tax liability. Again, consult a tax professional if you have questions, but remember: there is light at the end of the tunnel. You will get out of this. 

If You Get Audited 

The truth is, unless your income is super high, you have less than a one percent chance of being audited. That said, if this does happen, you’ll want to be prepared. But first, a little education. There are three kinds of audits, a) Correspondence Audit: The simplest kind and it’s usually the result of you making a mistake on your return; b) Office Audit: This one is more complicated. You’ll need to go into an IRS office with required paperwork, but the bigger thing to keep in mind is that this kind of audit could be a result of some high tax deduction like, say, a large medical expense; and c) Field Audit: This one is similar to an Office Audit; however, this time, the IRS comes to you and asks to see your records. 

No matter the type of audit, don’t freak out. Simply take a deep breath, and gather all your documents: W-2s, 1099s, bank statements, proof of income, investment statements, along with bills, receipts and other proof of expenses. Next, schedule your audit or postpone it. Then, keep a cool head and strive to be compliant with IRS representatives because, after all, they are just doing their job. However, the very best option is to call a tax professional. He or she will know exactly what to do and walk you through this sometimes hairy process. 

So there you have it. There are ways to survive the difficulties you might encounter while filing your taxes. The motto to keep in mind? This, too, shall pass. 


Elderly Caregiver Facts and Figures

Elderly Caregiver Facts and Figures

These days, people who live to age 65 can expect to live at least another 20 years, statistically. That means many are likely to require some form of assisted caregiving. According to aging experts, the following guidelines describe characteristics of those most likely to need long-term care: 

  • Age – Risk increases as people get older
  • Gender – Women are at higher risk because they tend to live longer than men
  • Marital status – Single people are less likely to have family resources and will therefore need to pay for caregivers
  • Lifestyle – People who do not eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly are more likely to develop debilitating health conditions
  • Family history – People with compromised genetics are at higher risk¬†

As for family caregivers, the typical profile has been shifting over the past few years. The following are some interesting new statistics from Genworth Financial, a leader in long-term care insurance. 

  • Men now comprise nearly half of family caregivers
  • The average age of a family caregiver is 47 (age 53 in 2010)
  • Only 57 percent of family members who require care are 65 or older (80 percent in 2010)
  • 20 percent of long-term care recipients need help as the result of an accident rather than illness (10 percent in 2010)
  • Caregivers average 21 hours of assistance a week for a duration of three years¬†

Long-Term Services and Support

Caregiving needs can vary dramatically depending on the recipient’s condition. For the convenience of categorization, the term “long-term services and supports” (LTSS) refers to assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals and doing household chores. A recent study reported that the average cost for people with high LTSS needs is about $10,000 a year. 

How to Pay for Elderly Caregiving

One of the biggest problems in retirement planning is how to pay for long-term caregiving. Today, only 7 percent of the $300 billion the United States spends on long-term support and services is paid for through private insurance. According to the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, about half of the U.S. population will be paying out-of-pocket for LTSS expenses by 2025. 

While fees vary based on location and other benefits, the following are national averages for various types of long-term care services. 

Annual Cost

  • Adult Day Health Care: $18,720
  • Assisted Living Facility: $48,000
  • Homemaker Services: $48,048
  • Home Health Aide: $50,336
  • Semi-Private Room in a Nursing Home: $89,297
  • Private Room in a Nursing Home: $100,375¬†

Health Insurance

Regular health insurance covers only acute care, such as rehabilitation after a hospital stay. It is not designed to cover the cost of caregiving over the long haul. 


Medicare used to pay for nursing home care only after a hospital stay, limited to 100 days. However, starting in 2019, Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are allowed to offer coverage for certain long-term care services as deemed medically appropriate by a licensed health care provider. Each insurer has the ability to define coverage options. Be aware that this new rule pertains only to MA plans, not original Medicare. 

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance (LTCI) is specifically designed to cover caregiving associated with serious impairment over a limited period of time, such as three years. Today, about 40 percent of employers offer some form of long-term care insurance. In most cases, the policy is offered on a voluntary basis in which employees pay the full premium. 

  • Large employers (500+ employees) generally offer traditional long-term care insurance.
  • Small- and medium-sized companies typically offer ‚Äúmulti-life” LTCI packages, which bundle individual long-term care insurance policies for a worker‚Äôs spouse and parents, offered at a discount. Note that these policies tend to require stringent medical underwriting.¬†

Retirement Community

Another option for tailored long-term caregiving is moving into a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). This type of community provides a progression of residence and care as a person’s health declines, ranging from an independent house or apartment, to assisted living, to memory care or skilled nursing for life. This type of community is typically rich in amenities, such as a community dining room, entertainment venue, fitness center and wellness programs, plus cultural arts and shopping excursions. 

There are about 2,000 CCRCs nationwide, many with waitlists, and they are quite expensive, relative to other senior living options. To qualify, generally, you must be at least 62 and healthy enough to live independently. The entry fee ranges from less than $100,000 to more than $1 million, averaging about $320,000. Residents also pay a monthly fee, which averages $3,266 nationwide and tends to increase by three to four percent each year. Once residents die, their heirs can sell the property to another buyer who meets the entry criteria, and the CCRC may be entitled to part of any home-price appreciation. 

Bear in mind that one of the primary reasons to make caregiving expenses a key part of retirement planning is to protect a household’s overall finances. In other words, you don’t want a couple’s entire nest egg used to pay for caregiving expenses of one disabled spouse – with nothing left over for the other spouse to live on.