Robust Work/Life Benefits

advice computer key showing assistance and help MkDV1fwd CopyIn addition to offering covered employees and their family members professional EAP counseling and coaching support, Employee Assistance of the Pacific goes farther to provide support for those Life issues that impact your Work.

All you have to do to receive free consultation for Legal issues, Financial issues, or Eldercare/Healthcare Navigation issues, is just give us a call. We'll take your information down and line you up with our legal, financial, or eldercare experts.

Please note that work-related legal issues or financial issues are not covered.

Most of our covered companies provide these service, but not all. So if you have an questions about whether you are eligible to receive these services just give us a call.

 

LEGAL

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Any time you need an attorney, you can call the EAP and we’ll get you a free 30-minute consultation with one of the attorneys in our network…

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FINANCIAL

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Any time it would help to talk with an independent expert to help you get started in the right direction you can call us…

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HEALTHCARE NAVIGATION

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Having an expert who can guide you through complex eldercare issues or the healthcare maze is a great timesaver…

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Our Robust Work/Life Services Help Your Employees Stay Productive!

When we assist your valuable employees with personal issues that trouble them, they become more present, engaged, productive employees

  • Healthcare Navigation Consulting
  • Financial Consultation
  • Legal Consultation
  • Identity Theft
  • FMCSA 2020 Review
  • Mindful Eating
  • Planning for Retirement
  • Developing a Spending Plan

employees 04Employee Assistance of the Pacific offers Eldercare and Healthcare Navigation Services through Ho’okele Personal Health Navigation, LLC to most covered employees and their families. The eldercare and healthcare system can be a maze and the Ho'okele professionals can help individuals and their families with education, consultation, and referrals. It takes a village to manage a health care crisis or to help a senior to remain independent and safe in their residence as long as possible. Services include but are not limited to understanding a new diagnosis, researching insurance coverage or finding a specialist, a day care program or retirement community. When needed, the navigators can assist with end of life planning and family issues.

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 In addition to providing you with free counseling through your EAP, most employers also provide you with free Financial Consultation as well.btn download orange

 

They understand that any way they can get you started towards financial well-being will ultimately serve you as well as the employer! We can provide a free 30-minute consultation with a financial expert on a variety of topics:

  • Budgetingemployees 03
  • Debt Consolidation
  • College Financial Planning
  • Retirement Planning
  • Estate Planning
  • Taxes
  • Bankruptcy

Call us to arrange for your free Financial Consultation!

Note: Not all employer groups have this benefit. Please call us for availability.

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employees 02In addition to providing you with counseling, most employers also provide you with free legal consultation through our EAP. They understand that dealing with a legal challenge impacts both your life and your work, and want to help you!

Legal Consultation: A free 30-minute consultation with one of our network attorneys, either face-to-face or by phone, whichever you prefer. You can discuss just about any issue (other than work-related issues) confidentially. If you need additional assistance after the 30 minutes, they will also reduce their ongoing rate by 25% so this can be a tremendous cost savings!

Call us today to see about obtaining a free legal consultation!

Note: Most, but not all corporate customers have this benefit for their employees. Call us for availability.

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If you are ever a victim of Identity Theft, you can call the EAP and we will provide you with a free 60-minute consultation with a Fraud Resolution Counselor.

In the event of an identity theft or fraud-related event, our Fraud Resolution Specialists can help you with seven emergency response activities:

  1. You can receive a Uniform ID Theft Affidavit and get answers to your questions about how to complete it and where to submit it.ID Theft smaller
  2. You can receive fraudulent account forms or letters for itemizing each fraudulent occurrence and advice on where to submit them.
  3. You can be directed where to report the fraudulent activity and how to notify the local and federal authorities, as well as your creditors' fraud departments.
  4. You can obtain the contact information for the three major Credit Reporting Agencies, and advice on how to obtain a free copy of your credit report now.
  5. You can receive information on how to place a "Fraud Alert" and/or "Security/Credit Freeze" on your credit file.
  6. You can receive an ID Theft Emergency Response Kit including contact information and preventative steps to take immediately.
  7. You can be informed and educated about how ID Theft occurs and informed about protective measures to take to avoid further ID Theft occurences and resulting damage to your credit history and credit score.

Call us today to see about obtaining a free Identity Theft consultation!

Note: Most, but not all corporate customers have this benefit for their employees. Call us for availability. For most covered employees, one hour of Identity Theft Consultation may be exchanged for one hour of your counseling benefit.


Free Email Breach ScanBreach scan

The link on the right allows you to enter an email address to scan for potential vulnerability. You can see if your personal or work email addresses have been breached. This scan will also verify what personal information may have been connected with the breach. You can check multiple email addresses for compromised data.


download breach scan flyer imageIf you need additional support to prevent identity theft before it strikes, employees covered by EAP can purchase Premium Protection for 25% off. These services include 24/7 credit and identity theft monitoring, theft insurance, credit reports and scores, and alert notifications. 


[Please note that these additional services are not covered by your EAP and only provided as a discounted option for those who may be interested in these services.]

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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Click for our ID Theft Introductory Webinar (Nov. 2020)

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Click to view 11-minute YouTube video -- A review of the FMCSA Clearinghouse statistics for 2020FMCSA Screenshot

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Article by Vali Hawkins Mitchell, Ph.D., LMHC, REAT, CEAP

Mindfulness Simply Means Paying Attention.

 

Instructions:btn download orange

1. Always stop first and take a moment to look at your food before you just dive in.
2. You are THERE eating it.
3. Be present and accounted for before you even pick up your fork, spoon, or chopsticks.
4. Check off something on this list once a week to change your “mind."

 

 

Make eating fun, get creative.

 

Find your own voice.

 

Take slightly smaller portions.

 

Notice personal food danger zones and danger foods.

 

Ask for help.

 

Don’t wait too long to eat and don’t stay hungry.

 

Ask: Is it cooked in a healthy way?

 

Don’t feel sorry for the bread, even though it got eaten.

 

Discover a new recipe.

 

Share dinners from the middle of the table.

 

Share a meal with someone.

 

Ask: Is this my normal and am I happy with it?

 

Slow down. Take a breath.

 

Keep going because you can’t nail it 100%, 100% of the time.

 

Put down the fork between bites.

 

“No thanks” can be the right answer.

 

Drink some extra water.

 

Find support meetings, positive friends.

 

Remind yourself: feelings aren’t food.

 

Mark even small accomplishments as victories.

 

Pay attention gently.

 

Master your own home, kitchen, refrigerator.

 

Do excellent self-care.

 

Say “No” inside the store not after you leave.

 

Rearrange your meal environment.

 

Walk away from it and it will still be there for a better time.

 

Take small steps to your goal.

 

You are ultimately accountable for your own support.

 

Change what you are used to.

 

You are ultimately accountable for your own victory celebration.

 

Do a micro-size exercise today.

 

Be willing to live inside the solution.

 

Create safe spaces to eat.

 

Don’t panic, call a friend.

 

Sip on liquids.

 

Remind yourself: life has its ups and downs, you’ve got this!

  Walk, breathe, feel, be...it’s enough.  

If someone tries to force you to eat, they might be a “Food Terrorist.”

  Do something else.  

Take direct authority of your own life and what you eat and when.

  Avoid distractions and enjoy your food times.  

Repeat to yourself: it isn’t always what you eat, but also where, how, and when you eat.

  Pay attention to be a mindful eater.  

Ask: Are you just eating your feelings instead of dealing with them?

  Ask: What kind of thinking got you here?  

Ask: What are the origins of any eating emergency?

  Keep moving forward without guilt or shame.  

Ask: What would your meal-time look like if it was a movie?

  Make yourself a top priority.  

Ask: Is your stomach 20 minutes ahead or 20 minutes behind your brain?

  Ask: Are you all in? Are you willing?  

Practice elegance and style. Use fancy plates and glasses.

  Ask: Is this what you want to do now?  

Don’t quit now if you missed a turn at mile 98 of a 100 mile trip!

  Gently stop the chain-reaction before a mindless binge.  

Do something you’ve never done to be who you want to be.

  Take a deep breath first, not a sad sigh after you eat.  

Only fall off your healthy food plan for something that is totally unique and fabulous.

  Focus on your progress, not (false) perfection.  

Simply make a course correction if you go a bit off track.

  Ask: What reminds you to be active?  

Take a small portion and enjoy. Unique and fabulous aren’t reasons to eat mindlessly.

  If you go a bit off track simply make a course correction.  

Ask yourself: Were things easier when you ignored your wisdom and ate anyway?

  Ask: Are you willing to challenge yourself?  

You deserve as many second chances as you need.

  Ask: What’s holding you back?  

Ask: What or who do you love more than eating?

  Ask: Was it ever easier to not do what you know is right?  

Beware negative self-talk and listen to different and positive voices only.

  Ask: What or who do you love more than eating?  

Break the chain of your eating habits a little at a time.

  (Add your own Success Tip here)  

(Add your own Success Tip here)

 

 REMEMBER YOU DON'T FAIL UNTIL YOU QUIT TRYING!

© Vali Hawkins Mitchell, 2020

Vali J. Hawkins Mitchell, Ph.D., LMHC, REAT, CEAP is a co-owner and General Partner at Employee Assistance of the Pacific. She has a Doctorate in Health Education, an M.S. in Applied Psychology, and another M.S. in Expressive Arts Therapy. She is a highly regarded public speaker, trainer, author, consultant, award-winning artist, and well-published author. For more about Dr. Vali’s books, go to www.valihawkinsmitchell.com.

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iStock 000001227664 SmallHow time flies... You’ve been doing the same thing for a long time. Now what? Retire? What does that even mean? Usually what it means is “stopping work.” But there is much more to it than just going home and putting up your feet at last. Like any major life transition, retirement evolves better with planning.

That means more than just figuring out the financial side of whether or not you can afford to stop working. Retirement can span decades. What do you want to do? What is your second act going to look like?

Research shows that adjusting to retirement can be difficult. Feelings of boredom, anxiety, restlessness and uselessness can eat up the fantasy of the well-deserved easy life.

One way to consider retirement in a positive light is to change your image of what it means. Instead of thinking it is the “end” of work, think of it as a “career change” and apply the same methods to planning for it as you would a new job. What are your skills, aptitudes, preferences, energies, environments, social and emotional needs? Use whatever skills you have had as a worker to apply to navigating and planning your post-work life. Who do you want to be in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? Start creating that person now.

PLANNING CHECKLIST

Consider these topics as a place to start your plan for retirement:

Financial ReadinessiStock 1055689268
Health Care
Housing
Transportation
Food
Clothing
Entertainment
Travel
Hobbies

 


bubbles CopyEmotional Readiness
Boredom
Anxiety
Restlessness
Energy
Optimism

couple relaxing outdoors in park smiling BYNGg6RriRelationship Readiness
Partners
Children
Grandchildren
Social Media
Pets

 

 

 

MAKE A NEW BUCKET LISTold couple on beach

  • What do you want to do, rather than "need" to do? 
  • Enhance your Support System: Connect to old friends and make new connections, learn how to use social media and technologies.
  • Reclaim or start a Hobby: Increase one you love or find new ones.
  • Schedule Entertainment: Plan your play time.
  • Find Meaning: Reclaim and refresh what gives you purpose and meaning.
  • Communicate: Talk it up, plan ahead with partners.

 

FOUR ACTIVITIES ESSENTIAL TO A HEALTHY RETIREMENTold man and woman

      • Replace workmates with another social network.
      • Rediscover how to play.
      • Engage in creative activities.retirement images vertical pano
      • Continue lifelong learning.

 

NINE RULES FOR RETIREMENT PLANNING

  1. If you’re married, include your spouse in all phases of your retirement planning. Plan to enhance your marriage. Remember, you’ll be spending more time together. It’s important, though, that you and your spouse both maintain lives of your own.
  2. Be optimistic about your future; focus on the rewards of retirement.
  3. Plan to maintain your self-esteem by staying useful.
  4. Become involved in several leisure activities. If you don’t like one, you’ll have others to fall back on.
  5. Get the pros and cons of any retirement decision and weigh them carefully before choosing.
  6. Don’t be disappointed if some of your decisions don’t work out quite the way you hoped they would. Play it safe; always leave yourself a way out or a fallback position.
  7. Don’t put all your financial eggs in one basket. Consider renting a new home before selling your current residence or buying a new one.
  8. Start now to save for retirement. It’s never too soon, and it doesn’t hurt to discipline yourself to live on less.
  9. Last, and most important of all, work actively at maintaining or even improving your health. Plan a program of exercise that appeals to you and practice proper nutrition.

 

Now ask yourself these questions, based on ones that psychotherapist Tessa Albert Warschaw devised (https://www.aarp.org/retirement/planning-for-retirement/info-2018/really-ready-to-retire.html). Your answers to these questions can help you judge how prepared you are. If you don’t know the answers, consider them a good place to start:

  1. What will you miss from work? The challenges? The social life? Your authority? 
  2. Will not working make you feel less vital? 
  3. Do you have an agenda for filling your time with your choice of hobbies and interests? 
  4. What will make yourise each day as excited as you were at the high points of your career? adult playing with bubbles
  5. What ambitions are you waiting to fulfill? 
  6. How do you think your being around the home more will affect your partner, if you have one? What does your partner think? 
  7. To what extent will you be in service to other family members once you retire? How do you feel about this? 
 retirement images pano

Here are some additional resources for you to explore:
HTTPS://WWW.MARKETWATCH.COM/STORY/WHY-YOURE-PROBABLY-NOT-PSYCHOLOGICALLY-READY-TO-RETIRE-2019-05-21
HTTPS://MONEY.USNEWS.COM/MONEY/RETIREMENT/BABY-BOOMERS/ARTICLES/SIGNS-YOURE-READY-TO-RETIRE
HTTPS://WWW.AMERICAN-EQUITY.COM/RESOURCES/BLOG/HOW-TO-KNOW-WHEN-YOURE-READY-TO-RETIRE
HTTPS://WWW.KIPLINGER.COM/RETIREMENT/602069/YOU-ARE-NOT-READY-TO-RETIRE-UNTIL-YOU-CAN-ANSWER-THESE-7-QUESTIONS
HTTPS://WWW.PSRETIREMENT.COM/RETIREMENT-GUIDE/WHAT-TO-DO-ONE-YEAR-BEFORE-RETIREMENT/ARE-YOU-EMOTIONALLY-READY-TO-RETIRE/
HTTPS://WWW.FOOL.COM/RETIREMENT/GENERAL/2015/07/19/ARE-YOU-EMOTIONALLY-READY-FOR-RETIREMENT.ASPX
HTTPS://WWW.AARP.ORG/RETIREMENT/PLANNING-FOR-RETIREMENT/INFO-2018/REALLY-READY-TO-RETIRE.HTML

And if you would like to reach out for some neutral support, call your EAP. We can help in a variety of ways:

    • Seeing a counselor/coach can help you plan, evaluate options, and make any pre-retirement changes you want to make so that the transition is easier. Making sure you are psychologically ready for retirement is key!
    • A free 30-minute consultation with an EAP financial expert can help you with pre-retirement planning. Examples include:
      • Pre-Retirement Analysis: An analysis of your retirement goals to see if you have a proper savings plan in place to reach these goals. Clear action steps can be provided to help you with savings or investment strategies.
      • 401(k) Analysis: Reviewing your current contributions and the investment choices you are utilizing. Clear next steps to evaluate investment options within a plan and/or determining if your savings or pace of savings is in line with retirement goals.
      • General Financial Coaching is available on budgeting, credit issues, insurance buying strategies, Medicaid and Medicare, reverse mortgages, social security benefits, tax issues, etc.
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The following suggestions are helpful in establishing a successful spending plan:btn download orange

1. Identify income.

Identify each of your after-tax income sources. If your income varies, use a conservative estimate in your calculations. Do not include overtime or bonuses, as they may not materialize.

2. Identify “historical” spending.a young man grasps his head in anguish from pain or even stress rK1lSutAro

Gather the details on your spending for the last three months. If you are already using financial software, this should be fairly easy. If not, then you will need to use bank statements, cancelled checks, credit card statements, household bills and receipts to create an approximate “historical” spending record. If you have not been tracking your expenses, this may be a difficult, yet worthwhile step.

If you can’t determine how much you’ve spent for a particular category, try to estimate from memory. You will be able to revise your estimates as you refine your tracking process over time. Be sure to include one time or periodic expenses. For example, if you pay your property taxes semi-annually, you need to total your taxes for the year and then divide by twelve in order to estimate your monthly average property tax expense.

3. Identify & categorize debts vs. expenses.

A debt payment is a bill that can be permanently paid off; such as a mortgage, back taxes or child support, a car loan, boat loan, credit cards, medical bills or collections. Expenses include payments for rent, gas, electricity, phone, car insurance and groceries. These are on-going expenses that will likely be with you the rest of your life. Allocate your debts and expenses to the appropriate categories outlined in the worksheet provided. You may need to add categories that are specific to your needs.

4. List all uses of cash & credit.couple in kitchen with laptop and paperwork smiling BKG93c0rj

Account for all cash and credit spending in your plan. You may be surprised at the amount of cash you are unable to account for. Cash includes ATM withdrawals, cash from the grocery store, cash back on a bank deposit, or cash payments for any other reason (kids’ allowance, lawn service, tips, etc.). Categorize all cash expenditures (i.e. how much was spent on food, entertainment, restaurants, etc.). Remember to review and account for all credit card spending and categorize each expense accordingly, whether you have paid it off yet or not.

5. Create a spending plan.

Once you’ve determined where your money has gone in the past, you need to determine where you want it to go in the future. This plan should include your savings goals, as well as your expenses. Start by subtracting your actual total monthly expenses from your total monthly income. If you have more expenses than income, you can either increase your income or reduce your expenses to balance your spending plan.

6. Reduce expenses or increase income to balance your spending plan.iStock 000012937008XSmall

First, go back through your non-essential expenses or “wants” to identify which categories you are able to reduce or eliminate going forward. Typically, this means identifying expenses that are not required, but may be strongly desirable. Often, a “want” can be reduced, rather than eliminated, such as eating out less frequently, using coupons, or eating at less expensive restaurants. A Money Coach session through your EAP can provide suggestions for managing this process.

If you are not able to balance your spending plan by reducing or eliminating non-essential spending, you may need to consider reducing some “essential” or “fixed” expenses. Depending upon the severity of your shortfall, it may be appropriate to consider selling a second car to eliminate a car payment or refinancing your home to reduce your monthly fixed expenses.

You may also choose to take on a second job or seek a higher paying job to increase your income. If you receive a tax refund or owe taxes each year, you can adjust your withholding so that you are not having your employer hold out too much or too little from each paycheck for taxes. A tax refund generally means that you are loaning money to Uncle Sam each month at no interest, then getting it back when you file your taxes. Use the Withholding Calculator at irs.gov to determine where your withholding should be set and fill out a new W-4 form for your employer to make the adjustment. Be sure to run the withholding calculator at the first of each year and whenever you have a change that will affect your taxes. Also, if you make large contributions to your retirement plan but are struggling to make your credit card payments on time, you may want to temporarily reduce your retirement contributions to increase your take home pay. If you have an employer matching contribution, try to contribute at least the minimum to receive the full employer match, if possible. Otherwise, you lose the “free” money provided as an employee benefit.

If you appear to have money left over at the end of the month, but it’s only on paper, then you haven’t identified all of your expenses. Try to determine where the money slipped through your fingers. Are you making ATM withdrawals and have no idea where the cash was spent? Are you eating work lunches out, paying cash and forgetting to track the expense?

If you actually have extra money left at the end of the month, pat yourself on the back! You may want to increase the amount that you are saving each month for your financial goals. Congratulations!

7. Pay yourself first.iStock 000033417070 Medium

Allocate a portion of your income to savings: five to ten percent is a good place to start. Put that amount aside each month without fail, automatically if you can. If you don’t “pay yourself first”, you are unlikely to pay yourself at all. A portion of your savings should be allocated to an emergency fund. Other savings vehicles may include traditional savings and investment accounts, 401(k) plan(s), Roth IRA(s) or IRA(s). Increase the amount going to savings as your spending plan allows. Talk with your Money Coach through your EAP about the most appropriate savings vehicles to meet your needs.

Be sure to include each of your “savings” goals as an expense category in your spending plan. You can set your monthly savings goals according to what you believe you can afford, or according to how much you will need to save in order to accomplish your goal over time. For example, if you plan to buy a used car for $7,000 in three years, you need to save $182 per month in an account paying 4% annually to achieve your goal. Your Money Coach can help you determine what your monthly savings amount should be in order to accomplish a particular goal.

8. Track ongoing spending.

self aware quoteNow that you have created a spending plan, you need to create a system that: (1) Identifies your expenses soon after they are incurred; and (2) Tells you how much you have left to spend in each category.

A combination of personal finance software and online banking can cut out a lot of the effort required in this process. If set up properly, financial software programs can tell you exactly what you have spent in each category, and what you have left available to spend. For example, most local banks have mobile apps that allow you to track your spending and your budget.

If you do not have access to a computer or are simply not a “computer person”, it is also possible to use a simple spreadsheet to track your expenses. This method requires setting aside the time to enter the information into your journal on a regular basis, preferably daily. It also requires that you pay close attention to the amount still available to spend in each category.

In years past, many people cashed their paychecks and put the money in envelopes for each of their spending categories: one for rent, one for groceries, etc. Although it may be unwise to keep your entire paycheck in cash in your home, it is possible to apply this system strategically to simplify your accounting. Envelopes can be especially useful for any category from which you make frequent cash purchases. For example, if you know that you have allocated $50/month for work lunches, you can put $50 into an envelope for that purpose. When the envelope is empty, you stop buying work lunches until payday, or you borrow from another category.

9. Revise your plan. Money management is an evolving process.problems solutions

Once you have established your initial plan and lived with it for a time, you need to make revisions. As you become more conscious of your spending habits, you should fine-tune your approach so that your money is working harder for you, instead of the other way around.

It is okay to make adjustments to your plan as long as you do not lose sight of your personal financial goals and objectives. Many families use a 12-month plan, which you can start at any time; you need not wait until January. If this is your first real review of your monthly expenses, do a trial run using a shorter time frame to start. The key to success in tracking your spending is to consistently apply whatever method you decide to use. A few minutes each day can mean the difference between accomplishing your financial goals and getting caught in a cycle of debt.

Wonderful Life10. Celebrate.

As you make progress toward your financial goals, build in small rewards to keep yourself motivated. When you’ve paid off that daunting credit card, use part of the money that would have gone toward the next payment to do something special for yourself. Then next month, apply that same payment amount to the next goal on your list. Success in budgeting is not in perfection; it is in persistence. Like most goals worth working toward, it will take time, commitment, and a passion to succeed. If you stay focused on the vision of your ideal financial future, you will get there.

This content is informational and does not guarantee eligibility for the program or its services.

 

 

 

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