Thursday, January 29, 2015

How Can I Make Money With My Voice? ​

Jan. 29, 2015

Dear Cathy:
At a very young age, I was told I had a nice voice so now I am a voice-over artist. I do intros, radio and TV commercials especially on the internet, and work as a Disc Jockey (DJ) but this year I am looking to expand to other business opportunities.  Do you have any suggestions?  Nice Voice, New York
Dear Nice Voice:
Since you have been blessed with a nice voice instead of just doing what you currently do, next to taking singing lessons and becoming a Singer or voice lessons and becoming a Speaker, I would suggest that you investigate the possibility of becoming an audiobook narrator.  
Many moviestars get into this field and many authors really would like to move their businesses to the next level by turning an e-book or paperback into an audiobook, but many don’t know how to go about hiring an audiobook narrator.
You can set up your own home studio for less than $300.  We are in the age of technology, so this field is extremely hot at this time. Over 60% of people who graduate from schools today read at a 6th grade level so audiobooks should be a hot commodity especially for those who don’t like to read.
Some authors should skip the e-book and paperback stage and go right into the audiobook stage.  You can find many of these writing groups on social media websites especially on so I would seek out these groups today.  For a list of other businesses dealing with speaking read "The New CEO: 185 Easy-To-Set Up Businesses for Youth and Adult Entrepreneurs."  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Why Are So Many House Fires Labeled a Wiring Problem?

Jan. 29, 2015
Dr. Cathy:  
My cousin and his new wife who have always been my best friends moved into a new home that they had built from scratch.  He recently passed away from smoke inhalation when their house caught on fire.  He had come home early from work because he wasn’t feeling well and the house caught on fire when he was asleep.
Even though the firemen were able to get him out before the fire reached him, since a neighbor saw the fire, he still passed away that night in the hospital from smoke inhalation.  The fire department eventually ruled it a wiring problem.  What exactly does that mean and what else should we be doing to investigate the fire?  Seeking Justice in the Carolinas
Dear Seeking Justice:
First of all sorry for your loss.  Many times when a house catches on fire, we (fire investigators, the police, media, the community, friends and family) write it off when they say “it was a wiring problem.”  
When people pass away in these types of predicaments in used or new homes -- builders and contractors still need to be held liable even if it was a wiring problem.  

According to many whistleblowers, builders and contractors are committing fraud by putting up homes without permits and using cheaper materials such as less expensive sheet rock.  This could result in easier access for intruders, ceilings caving in on residents, and even house fires so naturally there will be issues with many homes today.
Some builders do not install wiring in metal pipes, which could cause massive fires to spread rapidly. Often people are killed from the fire or smoke inhalation.  Families need to be proactive and seriously investigate the causes of all fires and determine if the builders or contractors are at fault.  
Families should hire a private investigator to investigate these companies to see what other issues they have had in the past.  A lawsuit might need to be filed because accountability has to start somewhere.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Daughter Flunking Out of College Because of Party School

Jan. 27, 2015

Dear Cathy:
My daughter and I have always been close.  She is the first person on my side of the family that have ever attended college.  I never went to college so I had a hard time helping her get into a college away from home.  Now I found out that she is attending a party school and her grades are dropping as a Freshman.  What can I do now to help my daughter get back on track so she can finish school?  Party School Regret, California
Dear Party School Regret:
First of all don’t regret helping your daughter get into college.  You have already done what most parents will never be able to do.  On many occasions, students will have to prepare for college on their own because many parents don’t understand what it takes.  The fact that you assisted her shows you are a good parent.
What you need to understand is that most college students will fail out of college the first year which is the hardest year.  So this is the time for parents to be hands-on with their children and remind them why they went to college in the first place.  
Many will fail because they selected the wrong school especially a party school.  There are a ton of students out there who are spending every waking moment of their Sophomore, Junior and Senior years trying to compensate for the massive mistakes made during their Freshman year. 
So try to reel your daughter back in by informing her that if she gets off to a bad start, she is asking for serious trouble all through college.  Tell her to commit to going to the library in a secluded spot for at least 4 or 5 hours a day and do nothing but studying.  Then let her know that she will have plenty of time for partying the rest of the day or on weekends but also remind her that she needs to use common sense for that too.  

You can also transfer her to another school or let her take some time off from college but remember when many students take too much time off, they never go back especially after they start buying the finer things in life.  To learn more about college life and how to avoid other mistakes read Chapter 12 of the book "Recession Survival Guide: How To Get Back Into the Driver's Seat" entitled "How To Get Into College."  

What Does Medicare Cover?

Jan. 26, 2015
Dear Cathy:
I had been with my partner for a long time but we were never married.  After he died I was not left with any benefits so at age 62, I am only living on my Social Security benefits.  I moved in with my daughter in order to make ends meet.  That way I can help her out with her children's daycare.
My eyes are beginning to fail but I can't afford an operation.  I look forward to turning 65 so I can receive Medicare but many people are telling me it still won’t cover everything.  What does Medicare cover?  Senior in Idaho
Dear Senior:
Don’t count on Medicare when you reach 65 years of age.  In the U.S.,  is a national social insurance program, administered by the U.S. federal government since 1966, that guarantees access to health insurance for Americans aged 65 and older and younger people with disabilities as well as people with end stage renal disease and persons with Lou Gehrig's disease.
Medicare covers about half of all health care costs for those enrolled in the program. For the rest, you’re on your own.  That means you’ll be on the hook for out-of-pocket costs for uncovered services such as long-term health care as well as dental, hearing and eye care, along with supplemental insurance costs.
Don't wait to use these services to get cataract, glaucoma or some other eye surgery.  For instance, if you have lost some of your vision due to cataracts, because you only have Medicare, the doctor will quote you on prices according to your insurance.
So if you want to see again or want your maximum level of vision restored, you will need the funds to do this.  Medicare gives you the cheapest service which might only restore your vision back 30%. The eye doctor will ask you "Okay you want to be able to read and play cards – right?"  

That will be all the services they will provide to seniors -- so Medicare will only give you the lowest level of treatment to do just that.  To learn more on your rights as a senior read "Golden Years: How To Age Gracefully and Take Care of Seniors."

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Are We Setting Our Kids Up for Failure by Not Allowing Them To Become Business Owners?

Jan. 22, 2015

Dear Cathy:
Ever since a business speaker came to our 3 kids school, who ages are 11, 12, and 13, they have nagged my husband and me about wanting to start a business.  Financially we are barely making ends meet and we are both ignorant to how business works.  If our kids could bring in some money, it would help the family out so are we setting our kids up for failure by not allowing them to start a business?  Financially strapped  
Dear Financially Strapped:
Yes you are setting your kids up for failure by not allowing them to look at the possibilities of becoming a business owner.  Because of the complete paradigm shift in most communities today, it's time to redefine the game of business ownership.  
Children must be looked at in new ways.  We can no longer operate like we did in the past.  Therefore, families must seek to become self-sufficient by starting a business or allowing their kids to become business owners.
Some of the reasons kids/young adults should open their own businesses include -- they should want to grow up into a responsible adult; they should want to grow up into a great humanitarian; They should want to help their family out financially; They should want to pay for their entire college education; They should want to improve the conditions in the community; and they have no other choice because of the economy.
Our youth will succeed at business ownership because they have the energy and vitality to make this work; They don't have the baggage that adults have; and adults will support young people.
My business book “The New CEO: 185 Easy-To-Set Businesses for Youth and Adult Entrepreneurs” lists 185 businesses in which your kids can choose from and "How To Take Control of Your Own Life: A Self-Help Guide to Starting a Business (Series 2)" is an easy-to-read self-help guide for youth ages 12 and above which will lead any youth, young adult or adult -- through the entire process of starting and growing their own businesses.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Single Mother Feels Guilty Due to Lack of Funds

Jan. 21, 2015
Dear Cathy:
I had a very brief marriage, however, we became the parents of 2 beautiful children.  My ex-husband never paid child support despite the fact that I tried to collect it.  He would just keep moving around to a different state so he did not have to pay it and being a single mother, I did not have the funds to keep hunting him down. 
The majority of the time when I was raising my kids on my own, we had very little funds so they never looked as good as other kids in school.  I always thought I did right by my kids.  So why do I still feel guilty today even though my kids turned out okay?  Feeling Guilty in Virginia
Dear Feeling Guilty:
Many mothers today are in your same position.  You feel guilty simply because you are a good mother -- and will be even a better grandmother.  Every mother feels guilty at one time or another because mothers are nurturers by nature.  
What your ex-husband did was called ‘state-hopping.'  This is when men (or women) would go from state to state in order to avoid the legal system especially in cases of child support.  
What happened in the past is in the past.  Mothers, especially single mothers, need to stop beating themselves up when they can't give their kids everything they would like to.  
Just remember that kids are resilient and as a mother you did everything you could to protect them.  Once your children finish with high school, chances are they will never see their old classmates again so I am sure they have moved on.  So forgive yourself and move on.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Why Are So Many Children Today Born With Autism?

Jan. 20, 2015

Dear Cathy:
My sister’s son and three of my cousins have kids with autism. Why are there so many kids today born with autism and what should families do when they find out?  Curious, Iowa
Dear Curious:
The autism rate in this country has reached epidemic proportions.  If there is any inkling that a child has autism, they should start being treated as soon as possible at a very early age.
Four years ago 1 out of every 120 persons were born with autism and today it's 1 out of 50 (or less).   It's estimated by health experts in the Non-GMO Health Movement that every other male child will be born with autism over the next 20 years. 
It's a disease that affects mostly male children and many believe it's associated with mothers and families eating Genetically Modified (GM) foods which contains heavy metals or kids given vaccinations/shots which contains heavy metals.  
Heavy metals are neurotoxins which causes the brain to give out. To learn more about heavy metals read the article “How To Gain Back Your Mental Clarity by Eliminating Heavy Metals.”  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Who is Actually Watching the Better Business Bureau?

Jan. 19, 2015

Dear Cathy:
I know that forming business alliances and strategic partnerships is key to being successful in business.  Is the Better Business Bureau the only group that I need to contact to investigate a business that I am thinking about getting involved with? Trying to Be Careful, Nevada
Dear Trying To Be Careful:
The Better Business Bureau ( do have a list of businesses and a list of complaints filed by consumers, however, and are just two of the other watchdog consumer groups that I am familiar with but there are probably others.  
For years, the Better Business Bureau was the only group out there. Their reputation as an objective consumer watchdog is probably unsurpassed by any other national consumer group and unethical businesses even steal their logo to put on their websites.
Small business owners join with membership dues just for the credibility the affiliation provides, and consumers make significant purchasing and investment decisions based on whether or not the Better Business Bureau gives a company a satisfactory rating.
That's why it's always important to check with this company by contacting their offices when investigating a company in which you are thinking about doing business with. However, the Better Business Bureau should not be your ultimate business watchdog group.  Do your own research because after all - who is actually watching the Better Business Bureau?  

Friday, January 16, 2015

Mother Afraid of Kids Getting Cancer

Jan. 16, 2015
Dear Cathy:
I am the mother of 5 kids and I am so afraid of my kids getting sick.  Three of our neighbor’s kids on our street have been battling cancer along with several other kids at my children’s school.  Is it possible that something in our neighborhood is causing cancer?  Why are so many kids sick today with cancer?   Afraid of Cancer, St. Louis
Dear Afraid of Cancer:
Childrens’ hospitals are full of sick kids especially kids with cancer.  Yes it’s possible that there is some type of environmental toxin located in your neighborhood that is causing these kids to come down with cancer but chances are it’s probably what is located on their dinner plates.  
Cancer is the 2nd largest killer in the U.S. especially of children.  As a matter of fact most kids under age 15 is dying from cancer or car accidents because only 1 out of 4 kids buckle up.
There are many reasons why kids are sick today with cancer, for instance, their weak and undeveloped immune systems; the toxic Genetically Modified (GM) foods in grocery stores; and the toxic environments in (toxic cleaning supplies, toxic products applied to their skin, etc.) and outside (schools, playgrounds, parks, etc.) of their homes.
Sit down at your computer or use a hand-held free device and go on and put in the words GMOs, Genetically Modified, Genetically Engineered, Genetically Altered and Frankenfoods and educate yourself.  Read the book “Cancer Cures: Heal Your Body and Save Your Life” which will explain how to clean up your environment in your home.    

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Math Wiz Kids Business Ideas

Jan. 15, 2015

Dear Cathy:
Both of my children, a boy and girl ages 11 and 13, are excellent in math. What businesses should I be encouraging them to open that can help pay for their entire college education? Math Wiz Kids in Boston
Dear Math Wiz Kids:
The goal is to create a business that will solve a problem.  If your children are good in Math, Science, Reading or English, they need to open their own tutoring businesses which can eventually branch out and become a learning center especially a tutoring business specializing in math.  
Because 60% of students that graduate from high school today read at a 6th grade level and because many students are only doing math at a 4th grade level, tutoring services or learning centers will always be hot businesses.  Financial educators are desperately needed today along with bookkeepers and accountants since most small businesses don’t have any idea how to keep their books.
Remember some parents only spend 15 minutes a day with their children so many need tutors for their children.  Most children start reading in daycare at 3 years old.  If a child does not start to read by the first grade at age 5 or 6, then they are already behind.  Your children can specialize in Math, Science, Reading, English or some other specific area.  
Your children can build the tutoring business or learning center and eventually franchise it all over the U.S. similar to the “Sylvan Learning Centers.”   For more business ideas read the book “The New CEO: 185 Easy-To-Set Up Businesses for Youth and Adult Entrepreneurs” which can be read by 12 year olds and above.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Single Female Terminated from Job

Jan. 14, 2015

Dear Cathy:
I am a single female and don’t have any family living around me.  I was fired from my job after 10 years a few days ago.  I have a small savings set aside that could hold me for 90 days or more but I am not sure about the options I have at this time.  Please advise me!  Terminated Employee, Ohio
Dear Terminated Employee:
First things first - one of the first things you need to do if you are laid off or fired from your job is to file your claim for unemployment benefits.  Do not procrastinate!  File a claim for unemployment benefits at your local state unemployment office ( on the FIRST business day after you lose your job.  
Many states are now set up for you to do this online but many fired employees still rather handle this in person so they will go into the unemployment office.  It should take at least 30 days to get approved for these benefits.  If approved you will receive a weekly paycheck for at least 20 to 26 weeks (depends on your city).  You might have to downsize your standards of living but these funds should help you pay some of your bills.  
If you are denied unemployment benefits, use your last paycheck to hire a labor attorney.  Get referrals for attorneys from others because some of them may cheat you, particularly in light of your vulnerable position.  If you feel you were wrongfully terminated, then the only other choice you have is to hire a labor or employment attorney and file a lawsuit for wrongful termination, while you get another job or start your own business. 
If you were fired for filing a workplace discrimination complaint (, make sure you state that when you file for unemployment benefits.  Now is the time to realistically look at your finances.  You are lucky to have at least 3 months of savings because most people only have 2 weeks to 30 days of funds set aside for a rainy day.  
You need to decide if the unemployment benefits can help you keep your head above water or do you need to relocate closer to relatives until you are able to regroup and get your life back on track?  Only you can make that decision!  To put more funds in your pocket and look at your other options read the book "Recession Survival Guide: How To Get Back Into the Driver's Seat."

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Woman Sexually Harassed in the Workplace

Jan. 13, 2015
Dear Cathy:
I live in a small town in Georgia but work in a large national company there.  My supervisor is known for sexually harassing women but nothing has ever been done about it.  I have a good paying job but I am still thinking about quitting because I just don’t know what else to do.  Several other women have quit and some who refused his sexual advances have been fired. What are my options? Uninformed in Georgia
Dear Uninformed:
The biggest problem that most women experience in the workplace is depression which usually comes from workplace abuse (also called workplace discrimination) which might be sex or race discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexism.  First of all I suggest you learn all you can about sexual harassment and workplace abuse. 
You can conduct research on the internet, go to the library and read books or order books online.  Some excellent books on workplace abuse include “Workplace Survival Guide: How To Fight Discrimination, Whistleblowing and the Workers’ Compensation System” and the two-part book “Discrimination 101: How To Recognize and Survive Discrimination in the Workplace (Volume I and Volume 2)."  
All 3 books are e-books only and Volume 2 deals specifically with the abuses that women endure in the workplace.  So study the topics so you can arm yourself with the knowledge you need to make a good decision.  If you decide to fight back the only option you will have is to file an Equal Employment Opportunity ( complaint in the workplace.  
But understand up front chances are when you file this complaint, your workplace environment might become even more hostile or you might be fired.  If this happens the only choice you will have is to file a lawsuit against your employer while you look for other work or start your own business.  
If it’s possible don’t quit but let them fire you.  This way your lawsuit will look better when you file it.  Many women are successful in these types of lawsuits especially if other women back up their stories of abuse in the workplace but it won’t be an overnight victory. So don’t give up!  

Monday, January 12, 2015

Should I Help My Parents Buy Long-Term Health Coverage?

Jan. 12, 2015

Dear Cathy:

I really love my parents and I am noticing their health is deteriorating as they age.  Should I help them buy Long-Term Health Coverage?  Is it really worth it to have this type of insurance?  Love Parents, Michigan

Dear Love Parents:

Let’s face it -- as a senior age, their health deteriorates.  Many people, especially those who own homes, should look into long-term health care.  This coverage is important because fortunately on the average, people are living longer lives.  It’s never too early to think about how you’ll pay for any necessary long-term care.  

Another major reason for long-term healthcare insurance is to preserve your assets.  This insurance generally covers at-home care, assisted-living facilities, nursing home care, hospice services, adult day care, and respite care.  The benefit dollar amount can be $50 to $300 per day, depending on the policy.  

This type of insurance is also available through many organizations including the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).  Long-term healthcare insurance is less expensive when you enroll while healthy and younger so don’t wait too long to bring up the subject with your parents.

If there is another elderly relative whom you will want to care for but who cannot possibly afford this insurance, consider paying for it yourself.  For more information on how to care for seniors read the book "Golden Years: How To Age Gracefully and Take Care of Seniors."

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Divorced Couple Still Living Together Because of Finances

Jan. 11, 2015

Dear Cathy:
My marriage has ended after 12 years but we agreed to continue to still live together because of finances.   My ex-husband has agreed to allow me to keep the home once he moves out since the children, 10 and 11, will continue to stay with me.   So how do we carry on with separate lives living under the same roof? Needing help in California.
Dear Needing Help:
Because of the economy many couples have found themselves in this situation. Couples like everyone else is waiting for the economy to get better but continuing to live together when the love is obviously gone is not a very good decision especially now that you are divorced.
One out of every two marriages ends today because of finances so the both of you need to come up with solutions on how to build separate lives.  As long as he is staying there under the same roof as you, neither of you will be able to move on and build a loving relationship with another person so you both need to think about that.  
You need to sit down and truly look at your finances.  The only option I see is to bring in more money.  Some immediate solutions would be for both or either of you to get a part-time job along with your regular salary, start a business, or allow the kids to start a business.  
Other options include downsizing the home so the both of you can move some place else such as into a smaller home, an apartment or even move in with relatives.  Right now both of you need to get a ‘peace of mind’ and there is no way to have that if you are still living together -- so for the sake of the children try to work out a sensible solution and move on with your lives.  

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Is Diabetes Hereditary?

Jan. 10, 2015

Dear Cathy:

My mother has been diagnosed with Diabetes after having a heart attack but she is doing okay.  My three brothers and one of my two sisters have also had heart issues.  Does this mean that the disease is hereditary?  I am 45 years old and like other men I don’t really like going to doctors but I do go in for checkups every couple of years.   Hereditary in the North

Dear Hereditary: 

It is true when you go to the doctor for your regular physical, the doctor want to know if anyone in your family have Diabetes but this doesn't necessarily mean it is a gene disease.  Diabetes like most diseases are ‘diet-related diseases’ and we know that most families eat the same foods so it doesn’t have to be hereditary.  However, because of your age you need to be checked for the disease on a regular basis. 

What you need to understand up front is that Diabetes is the 3rd largest killer of people in this country and the number one killer of African Americans.  Diabetes is one of those diseases that is extremely hard to diagnose so many people don’t find out they have it until something terrible happens like a heart attack, a stroke or many times people end up on kidney dialysis because of diabetes.

For best results, just don’t go to a regular doctor, instead try to go to an endocrinologist, a Diabetes specialist, so he can check your A1c number after 90 days.  He might want you to prick your finger and write down the results for at least 90 days so he can monitor your daily blood glucose levels before he can make a correct diagnosis.  Finding out if you have the disease will be key to living with the disease and managing it correctly.  You can learn more about the disease by reading the book "Diabetes 101: 3rd Largest Killer."