Author: SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL SECTION

Sometimes ‘Bad Luck Takes Over’

Orthopedic physicians at SSM Health help patients return to their routine

There is one piece of advice that orthopedic surgeon James Christensen, M.D., gives to every one of his patients. “Be good to your body and it should return the favor,” he said. Christensen, a physician at SSM Health, said the…

PROMOTIONAL: The state of commercial real estate

Construction cranes dot the landscape of Madison from downtown to the suburbs, and companies seem to be adding staff and expanding their offices. From new companies becoming established to growth in existing businesses, commercial real estate experts say there’s plenty of reason for optimism in the new year.

Looking at your financial future

As the end of the year approaches, many of us will reflect on the challenges and accomplishments of the previous twelve months, and begin to make our resolutions for the upcoming year. This is also an excellent time to analyze our finances by assessing the previous year and planning for the future. In the Madison area, there are many excellent financial professionals who can help you do just that.

City with a Heart

Madison is known as a city of engaged, compassionate citizens. So it makes sense that its businesses are a vibrant extension of its people. In fact, everywhere you look, you'll find corporations, independents and non-profits actively engaged in community outreach and philanthropic work beyond their own bottom lines. Like any city, we've got a healthy list of issues that need our focus, time and dollars. But we have no shortage of people able and willing to dig in to ensure a better quality of life for everyone. Here are four businesses doing just that.

New Options for Holiday Travel and Winter Getaways

With the holidays approaching, some families are planning their annual treks home to visit relatives. Others are cleaning out guest rooms, stocking up on ingredients for holiday meals, and polishing the silver and china that are only used once a year. While these festive preparations can be fun, there are many other possibilities for celebrating with family and friends, and many exciting destinations for get-togethers-or getaways-within a few hours' drive of Madison. Discover these winter activities that are close to home, but feel a world away, and start a new tradition this year.

Beauty Toolkit

Choosing a direction in the quest for beauty and youthful looks can be overwhelming. New products and services hit the market every day—infomercials, glossy billboards and TV commercials boast dramatic, if anecdotal, results. Hollywood stars seem walking proof of all that's possible if we buy that perfect cream, laser, pill, procedure. The truth is, of course, there simply is no quick miracle treatment for looking and feeling your best.

Planning the perfect wedding

It's an exciting time to be a future bride or groom: Planning one of the biggest days of your life together offers the chance to create a custom experience that reflects who you are as a couple. Here's an update on popular wedding trends and how Madison's premier wedding vendors can make your day memorable.

Dental health

Technology has dramatically transformed health care, and dentistry is no exception. Advancements in procedures, products and practices make today's dentistry almost unrecognizable from years past, though the basics are still true: a bright, clear, healthy smile is the ultimate goal, and it's within reach for just about everybody.

Looking ahead

The statistics are impressive: over the next twenty years, more than ten thousand people in the United States will retire every day. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, many of them will be unprepared, financially, to leave the workforce. In fact, today almost half of American workers—forty-six percent—have saved less than $10,000 for retirement. According to a survey by Americans for Secure Retirement, eighty-eight percent of respondents said they were worried about "maintaining a comfortable standard of living in retirement."

Inside Scoop

It's always exciting to catch up on the latest trends in interior design, and today's homeowners are savvier than ever when it comes to spotting and following trends. Websites such as Houzz and Pinterest—along with entire cable television networks devoted to home renovation and redecorating—have sparked a generation of educated clients who walk into local design and supply businesses with a pretty clear idea of what's possible.

Your health by the numbers

What if you could extend your life, minute for minute, simply by walking? You can, according to Kaiser Permanente's Every Body Walk! campaign. Meriter-UnityPoint Health's Dr. Karen Reed, a family medicine physician at the Meriter McKee clinic, promotes walking as a simple yet profoundly effective form of moderate exercise with dozens of health benefits—among them, this: for every minute of walking, you can extend your life by anywhere from ninety seconds to two minutes.

Diversify your drive

T.J. Johnson, general sales manager for Smart Motors, says that his dealership offers the full line of Toyota cars, trucks and vans, and is considered the hybrid dealer of the Midwest.

Planning for the future with some of Madison's top financial advisors

Dane County financial advisors, wealth managers and estate planners agree that careful planning for the future is essential, regardless an individual's family circumstances, stage of life, business or net worth. Knowledgeable professionals in the field, including those profiled below, can guide you through the latest industry trends, changing legal issues, new banking products and services, and investment options to ensure that your short-term and long-term goals are financially sound.

Pet Projects

This may not be surprising news if you're one of the 72.9 million American households that counts at least one animal among your family members, but pets are just like people when it comes to health and well-being. Not only are more of us pet owners today, we're interested in treating our pets as well as we treat ourselves. Natural pet food sales and products alone now comprise a $4 billion dollar industry, and some experts project this industry will grow by ten to fifteen percent each year.

Renovating for the real world

Imagine this: an intimate yet open living space that includes a smartly designed kitchen blending into a spacious, lofted great room where kids and dogs gather to do homework (or eat it). Perhaps there's a meditation nook instead of a formal dining room, or a centralized, multi-person tech-rich workspace instead of a lower-level office.

The State of Education

Have you read one of those articles suggesting that college isn't "worth it" because students won't recoup the costs in their careers? If so, higher-education administrators throughout Wisconsin want you to know they disagree. Strongly.

Travel Tourism

The Aldo Leopold Nature Center is truly a gem in the Madison area—a natural oasis in an urban setting. Located just minutes from downtown Madison, the ALNC offers trails throughout more than twenty acres of native prairie, woodland and wetland nature areas, adjacent to Monona and Madison parks. The indoor Nature Nook also offers an all-season space for families to learn about monarch butterflies and prairies, native fish and wetlands, and woodlands. An interactive climate science center explores weather and earth science using interactive displays.

Lower Levels and Bonus Rooms

"So many of our clients, when they first come in the front door, they really don't have any clue on how to get started with their lower levels," says Keven Schmidt of Dream House by Dream Kitchens. "We start by sitting down and helping them figure out what they really want out of that space, because it's different for every family. Forget about what you've maybe seen in a magazine—how do you picture using it?"