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Continuing Education – Is It Worth the Investment?

Continuing Education – Is It Worth the Investment?

There are many factors students consider when going back to school. Affordability is often on top of their list. Many try to determine the risk V. reward. Is a $30,000 master’s degree worth it? Will I get a promotion or land a better job? It is recommended to look at where you are in your career, where you want to be, and how many more years you will be in the workforce. We will give you a couple of examples and help you decide what the individual should do.

John Smith is 35 years old, married with two children. He is currently working as a team leader for Nike. John has a bachelor’s degree from University of Phoenix and he is considering going back to school for an MBA in Project Management. Nike is a very large company and they are constantly hiring and offering their employees advancement opportunities. Taking all of this into consideration, an advanced degree should certainly benefit John. He has about 30 years left in his career and has a lot of growth potential in his current company. An MBA could help him move into a more managerial or director type role.

Mary Moore has a little bit of a different situation. She is 52 years old and COO of Unique Printers. It is a smaller company and she reports directly to the President. She is looking at multiple programs online. She is considering investing $42,000 for her Master’s in Human Resources. Mary has been working 35 years now and wants to retire at the age of 60. Due to her circumstances, we would probably not recommend Mary to continue her education at this time. There is little to no room for advancement and she will only be working another eight years.

As you can see, everyone thinking about going back to school has a different situation. Some are harder than others. Again, it goes back to the risk V. reward. One thing that may sway your decision is if your employer will help fund your education. In the previous example, if the President was willing to pay Mary’s tuition then she would really have to think it over. It would be very tough to turn town a free education. Employers do this often to show how they are investing in their employees. They hope the employee grows in their role and stays committed to their company. The only drawback is if the employee decides to leave for a better opportunity.…

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Yoga Teacher Training for Diabetes

Yoga Teacher Training for Diabetes

When you attend a 200-hour yoga certification course, you are often trained to work with athletic types. After a yoga instructor begins teaching, he or she addresses the most common health problems. Sooner, or later, an instructor will have a student who is a diabetic. If you didn’t cover special populations and ailments in your foundational teacher training, it’s no problem, but now is the time to work on your continuing education. Just so we’re clear, continuing education is part of keeping your mind active for life and there is no one course with all the answers to the puzzles of life.

What are the best postures we can teach to diabetics? Flowing sequences come to mind first, but not every diabetic is ready to begin practicing Sun Salutations (surya namaskars) and vinyasa sequences from the start. These means, we have to research, consult a mentor, and possibly modify the routines we learned at foundational training. Depending on the health of your student, all asanas may have to be modified by using a chair and establishing a restorative practice.

Diabetes is a serious disease that affects the way the body metabolizes food. Diabetics don’t produce adequate amounts of insulin for cells to be able to take in the glucose that our bodies produce. This incurable disease lasts a lifetime. Although it can be controlled through proper diet, exercise and medication, there is nothing that patients can do to eliminate the disease. If it isn’t treated properly, diabetes can lead to other health concerns, such as cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, nerve damage or gangrene. People with diabetes can, however, live a normal, healthy life.

Today, more and more people are being diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, which means the body isn’t producing enough insulin. There is a common perception that the most common reason why people get Type II is often due to poor diet, obesity and a lifestyle that doesn’t include exercise. This is not always true, you could be fit, lean, eat right, and still have Type II. So, let’s avoid stereotyping because anyone can become a diabetic. Walking, surya namaskars, and a regular yoga routine can usually help eliminate many of the causes and symptoms of diabetes. The gentle nature of asanas and the deep breathing included with the poses can result in lower blood pressure, better digestion, weight loss, and an overall healthier body.

My suggestions for any asana are modify when needed. If you never learned to teach with props, you should take a continuing education course that will help your skills. Yoga teacher training courses can cover the full spectrum of special needs that our students have. Here are three of my favorite asanas for diabetics, but there are many more to choose from.

Downward Facing Dog

Begin on all fours, with palms flat on the mat, fingers spread, and the hands below the shoulders. Push up and back, creating an inverted ‘V’ with your body. Heels can rest flat on the mat, or be raised off the mat a bit. Pull the belly in, push down into the mat with your hands, and point the tailbone up towards the ceiling.

Big Toe Pose

Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Slowly bend from the hips, lowering the head toward the thighs. It’s okay to keep a slight bend in the knees. Reach your hands down to grab your big toes with the thumb and forefingers of each hand. Release the head and neck, allowing the weight of your upper body to pull you into a deep stretch.

Triangle Pose

Stand with feet wider than shoulder width on the mat, toes pointing forward. Turn one foot about 90 degrees, keeping the other foot pointing forward. Keeping the hips squared forward, raise both arms to shoulder height. Slowly lower the upper body to the side of the body with the turned-out toes. Bend from the waist and reach with your arms. Place the bottom hand next to the foot, rest it on the calf, or use a block for support. Reach the opposite arm up toward the ceiling. If it’s comfortable on your neck, turn your gaze up toward the ceiling.

Conclusion

As a yoga instructor, nobody expects you to have all the answers, but you should maintain contact with a source or a mentor. Don’t make false promises and make sure you do diligent research before you work with yoga students who have special needs. There are many circumstances that can contribute to any ailment. As a yoga teacher, it’s important to keep your students safe.

A� Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division…

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The Need for Life Insurance Continuing Education

The Need for Life Insurance Continuing Education

The insurance sector is a very profitable business area. This is one of the main reasons why may multi-national companies and other powerful businesses opt to conduct insurance business. And due to its inherently good prospects many people are also interested to work in this sector. But along with all these positive features the main drawback with insurance as a business is that there are greater chances to exploit your clients in this business than in any other sector. Hence, the government of the various states of America has proper rules and regulation in connection with insurance and as a part of these rules every employee working in the life insurance sector need to complete some predetermined number of insurance continuing education courses to keep his insurance license intact.

The main reason why you need these continuing education courses is because, selling life insurance is a bit complex than most other types of insurance. The main reason is that for most people this doesn’t seem a profitable venture as they can’t expect any returns during their life time. Moreover, the premiums are to be paid for a very long term and the cost of the insurance is also slightly higher as compared to the other types of insurance. But this means that there are better commissions and hence better income for the insurance agents who deal with life insurance as well as the firm which provides the insurance.

Hence, there is a requirement for skilled and certified professionals in the insurance sector. Hence, opting for the continuing education courses can be advantageous. In addition to this you there are also other benefits with these courses. Since, selling life insurance is a bit complicated you need to have information that is required to persuade your prospective customer to make the purchase. This means that you need to have the most recent information at your finger tips if you are hoping to convince them to purchase your product. Hence these insurance classes will also help you professionally as well as help you to keep your insurance license active. There is so much stress on the insurance license of a person for the reason that it is illegal to be employed in the insurance sector without the proper license. Hence, life insurance continuing education courses are an essential requirement.

The insurance sector is an ever changing field as the customer requirements, related to life insurance are changing constantly. To make sure these needs are met the government rules and regulations in relation to life insurance also keep changing as amendments and clauses are added to the already existing laws. Hence you need to keep yourself abreast of the developments in the insurance sector if you want to provide the best possible information to your clients. This is the main reason why it is mandatory for all such employees like insurance agents, brokers and underwriters to attend continuing education courses.…

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Therapy Continuing Education Through Reading

Therapy Continuing Education Through Reading

Most fields associated with medicine or psychology necessitates that individuals stay informed of changes that are taking place in studies and forms of treatment. If you are in a field such as therapy, continuing education is necessary. A busy schedule may make it important for you to stay informed by a means besides going back to school.

If going back to school does not appeal to you as you look at therapy continuing education, there are other options available. Online courses are one option where you can simply take a course at your desk during a break or in the evening. These places that offer the online courses often offer webinars as well that you can attend and even ask questions or make comments in. These webinars will likely be at particular times, so that may not work with your schedule. Another option is ordering a magazine that covers new information in your field.

By having a monthly magazine that comes to you, you will have the opportunity to read about studies and advances in your field without having to take a long period of time out to take a course. The companies that offer these magazines may also offer a way for you to be in contact with others in your field. So as you read about the updates that are taking place, perhaps you will be able to also take the time to talk to other clinicians in your field about these updates and information that they may even be able to pass on to you.

If you are unsure of what to read or what places to go with that offer educational advancements like this, do not forget that there are likely many people in your field around you. Make a few a calls and find out what they know of various magazines or readings. You can also look for reviews on the internet to see what other people have to say about it.

Do not second-guess your decision to find a way to get therapy continuing education. It may be even difficult to squeeze in the extra reading, but you will notice a difference in many ways if you choose to do it. You will likely have more confidence in dealing with your patients because you will be able to honestly tell them that after looking at everything out there, what you are doing is the best option that you know. It might also give the patients confidence in you making them more relaxed. They may even suggest you to a friend in need of help. So in the end it will help both you and your patients if you go forward with being educated continuously in your field.…

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Continuing Education For Architects and Engineers in Wood Preservation

Continuing Education For Architects and Engineers in Wood Preservation

Untreated wood left exposed to outdoor conditions becomes susceptible to decay and degradation by natural forces. While some species of trees have some degree of natural resistance to decay most of the commonly used species do not. Therefore wood left exposed to the elements should be protected against decay and destructive insects by applying chemical preservatives. Several factors influence the degree of protection that can be achieved with chemical preservatives, including the species of wood being treated, the type of chemical being applied, the method of application, the degree of penetration of the preservative into the wood and the length of time the chemical is retained in the wood.

Wood preservatives are a type of pesticide, and as such their use is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Certain preservatives are available for use by the general public while others, referred to as “restricted use” preservatives, are only available for use by certified applicators. Wood products treated with restricted use preservatives are not considered toxic by the EPA and their purchase and use is not regulated by the EPA. Consumers may obtain EPA approved Consumer Information Sheets from retailers for more information about different preservatives and the proper disposal of treated products.

There are three general types of exposure categories for wood preservatives, including ground contact, above-ground contact and marine exposure. Products exposed to ground contact conditions are highly susceptible to decay and require a heavy-duty preservative, usually applied through pressure-treatment. Products exposed to above-ground conditions are less susceptible to decay and are usually treated with non-pressure-treatment methods. Wood products exposed to under-water or marine environments are extremely susceptible to decay and require heavy-duty preservative treatments.

There are two general types of wood preservatives, including oilborne preservatives and waterborne preservatives.

Oilborne preservatives include, among others, coal-tar creosote, pentachlorophenol solutions, copper naphthenate, chlorothalonil, chlorothalonil/chlorpyrifos, oxine copper, zinc naphthenate, alkyl ammonium compound, propiconazole and tebuconazole. These chemicals are use in pressure-treatment methods and each has different uses, restrictions, benefits and hazards associated with them. Oilborne preservatives can also have an effect on the color, odor, paintability and fire protection attributes of the treated wood. While some of the volatile solvents may be removed after treatment doing so may adversely affect the degree of protection.

Waterborne preservatives have less of an objectionable effect on wood surfaces in terms of cleanliness, odors and paintability than oilborne preservatives. There are numerous variations of waterborne preservatives, including acid copper chromate, ammoniacal copper zinc arsenate, chromated copper arsenate, ammoniacal copper quat, ammoniacal copper citrate, copper azole and inorganic boron. As with oilborne preservatives the different waterborne preservatives each have different uses, restrictions, benefits and hazards associated with them.

The effectiveness of a preservative is dependent upon several factors, including the protective value of the chemical used, the method of application, the penetration and retention of the preservative, the proportion of heartwood to sapwood of the product and the moisture content at the time of application. The effectiveness of treatment is also very dependent upon the species of wood as the level of penetration into heartwood varies greatly by species. In general, the penetration into heartwood is greater with softwood species as opposed to hardwood species. Timbers should be properly prepared before treatment. This includes proper peeling, seasoning or conditioning and machined.

Preservatives are applied using either a pressure process or a non-pressure process. In pressure processes the wood is impregnated with the preservative chemical in closed vessels under very high pressure. In non-pressure processes the preservative is generally applied to the surface of the product in one of several different ways.

Pressure processes include the full-cell, or Bethel, process, the modified full-cell process and the empty-cell process. The full-cell process entails sealing the product in a treatment cylinder, inducing a vacuum, introducing the preservative and then applying pressure for a period of time until the desired penetration is achieved. The modified full-cell process is the same as the full-cell process with the exception that a final vacuum may be induced at the end of the process. The empty-cell process is one in which pressurized air is first forced into the treatment cylinder, followed by the introduction of the preservative. As the preservative is forced in the pressurized air is allowed to escape, keeping the pressure in the cylinder constant. After the cylinder is completely filled with preservative the pressure is increased until the wood will not absorb additional preservative. At this point the remaining preservative is drained from the cylinder and a vacuum applied.

Non-pressure processes generally consist of surface applications, soaking and steeping, diffusion, and vacuum processes. Surface applications, through brushing or dipping, are the simplest methods of applying preservatives. Soaking wood products for hours or days in preservative oils or steeping in waterborne preservatives is also …

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Adoption Has So Many Benefits – Why Not Taxes As Well?

Adoption Has So Many Benefits – Why Not Taxes As Well?

Adoption Tax Benefits: Credits & Deductions

The last thing on a future parent’s mind of an adopted child is what benefits, beyond the impact on a child’s life, might be available. However, with the rising need for adoption, coupled with the rising costs associated with the process, it’s nice for individuals to know there is some monetary relief out there. This relief comes in the form of federal and a state tax credits as well as various deductions designed specifically for taxpayers who adopt. As CPAs, enrolled agents and any other registered tax agent know, these credits and deductions can save taxpaying parents a significant amount of money come tax time.

One of the most significant changes this season involved the Affordable Care Act, which recently increased and expanded the adoption tax credit to go up to $13,170 for qualified expenses resulting from adopting a child. Additionally, there are many details about the credit that can make an impact on how a taxpayer can make it work to their benefit.

Adoption Credit: Five Quick Tips

Below are five key elements of the adoption credit, including some of the new expansion rules that will help maximize the potential benefit to taxpayers.

Income Limits – There is a tiered structure for qualifying income levels based on the modified adjusted gross income (MAGI):

If modified AGI is less than $182,520, taxpayers should be eligible for the full credit

If greater than $182,520, the credit allotted is reduced

If modified AGI is $222,520 or greater, taxpayers will not be eligible for the credit

Refundable – One large change is that starting in 2010, even if taxpayers owe little to no taxes, the credit is refundable to the taxpayer.

Expenses – Adoption expenses that qualify are considered “reasonable and necessary expenses” and must be directly related to the child’s adoption

Child Eligibility – Child eligibility is measured in two ways: Either the child is under the age of 18, or medically determined to be incapable of caring for themselves.

Paperwork – Unlike most credits, which are standard line items that can be part of an electronic filing, starting in 2010, the adoption credit form must be completed on paper with attached supporting documentation.

Adoption Deductions

State Benefits – In addition to the credits available, 15 states actually give a fairly substantial tax deduction allotment for parents of adopted children. For example, the state of Massachusetts allows residents to claim a large exemption for adoption agency fees that the taxpayer incurred. Tax professionals should check for similar state benefits for clients

When To Claim – It is important to remember that deductions are not as big a savings as tax credits when looking into the total benefits of filing. With that said, taxpayer deductions (in many cases) can be claimed even if the adoption is not finalized until the following year as long as the child is placed with parent.

For tax preparers, uncovering information about the new expansions and new rules in advance can be as easy as signing up for the many tax CPE courses and tax continuing education classes that cover this material as part of the effort to help tax professionals stay on top of their game. In addition, there are now a host of enrolled agent course guides and enrolled agent books that specifically focus on unique credits and allowances such as the ones highlighted above. Although the adoption process and can overwhelming for many parents, getting the tax benefits doesn’t have to be.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure

Pursuant to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service Circular 230, we inform you that, to the extent any advice relating to a Federal tax issue is contained in this communication, including in any attachments, it was not written or intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (a) avoiding any tax related penalties that may be imposed on you or any other person under the Internal Revenue Code, or (b) promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.…

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Engineering Business – 5 More Keys to Increased Revenues and Profits

Engineering Business – 5 More Keys to Increased Revenues and Profits

Welcome back! There are multiple strategies that can be implemented without having to cut staff. In our first article on Increased Revenues and Profits, we discussed the following strategies:

Key 1: Increase Service Fees

Key 2: Workload determines the Company Size

Key 3: Do not Focus on Sectors with Very Small Profit Margins

Key 4: Contact Existing and Previous Clients for New Contracts

Key 5: Deliver on Your Promises

The business strategies for professional service firms like engineering are quit different from the typical business. Most of the business books in the book store and library will not apply to your business. You could attach all of the door hangers you want and that will not increase your business contacts. You can place all of the advertisements you want in the newspaper and your phone will not ring. Why not? Professional Service is a very personal business; it more about networking and building business relationships. So the business strategies are different from that of a retail business.

Now we will discuss 5 more strategies to increase revenues and profits without cutting staff.

Key 6: Be Patient and Stay Focus in Your Marketing – Marketing is always ongoing. The way you dress, your attitude, your correspondence, and all of your literature affect your marketing efforts. Sooner or later your future client will need your services, and you want them to pick up the phone and talk to you. In the mean time you are building a relationship with your current and future clients. It seems that marketing becomes top priority when the revenues fall. But in reality marketing should be consistent. Constantly evolving as the company grows. If you want to increase your revenues then increase your marketing efforts. Also, not all marketing is expensive. In fact, most of the marketing required for professional service firm is very inexpensive.

Key 7: Provide Detailed Proposals – Engineering is a complicated profession that is guided by very detailed specifications and procedures, but why do engineering proposals are all too often vague without any structure? Very few projects performed by an engineer can be spelled out on one sheet of paper. Some clients may ask for a simple one page proposal, but if you can not describe in detail what services you firm will be providing with the fees associated with those services, you are taking a risk that may eat all of the profit and then some. A vague contract is open to interpretation. The client’s interpretation will usually win.

Engineers are not construction contractors. The professional services provided by one firm will not be the same as another engineering company. A complete professional proposal should include a cover letter, agreements, definitions, assumptions, services, fee schedule, and project schedule. A complete detailed proposal separates your firm from the competition, and clearly shows what the client can expect from you.

Key 8: Inform Your Clients of All of Your Available Services – If you are a Civil Engineer, every had clients hire an attorney to prepare and process entitlement applications. An attorney can be charging your client $300 or more per hour and providing a service that is no more effective than if your company had prepared and processed the application. Attorneys love it when your clients think that the best representative for Entitlements is them. Sure for some difficult sites that maybe the case, but 9 out of 10 times they are not. You may be surprised to know that most clients that utilize the services of a lawyer for Entitlements do not know that your firm provides the same services. They may think that you only provide Tentative Maps and Development Plans. That is why it is so important to state your services on all of your marketing materials. Believe it or not most people just do not know what engineers can do, which means we might be leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

Key 9: Cross Promote Your Company and Services to Other Companies – Many engineering companies sub-contract out several engineering tasks like Traffic Impact Analysis, Technical Drainage Studies, Surveying, Structural Analysis, Environmental Impact Studies, Geotechnical Reports, and many other tasks. If your firm provides these types of specialized services, it would be a good idea to let other engineering companies know. In addition, they may also provide a specialize service that would be of benefit to your firm. Your firm may specialized in Water Resources and Land Development, while you may find a firm that specializes in Transportation Engineering. Make an offer that if they will contract with your firm for Technical Drainage Studies, your firm will contract with them to provide Traffic Impact Analysis. Both firms can benefit from the agreement.

Key 10: Joint Venture with …