June 16, 2017

Let Dad Know You’re Concerned About His Health


With Father’s Day Coming Up – Is It Time
To Let Dad Know You’re Concerned About His Health?

June brings both Father’s Day and Men’s Health Month, making the timing perfect for adult children to have a talk with their aging dads to make sure they’re taking care of themselves and will be around for many more Father’s Days to come.

“Men are notorious for skipping their annual checkups and sometimes need a little nudging to set up a doctor’s appointment,” saysPawan Grover, M.D., (www.inovospine.net) a surgeon and patient advocate.

“But those checkups are very important because so many serious health problems can be headed off with a little preventive care.”

Screenings and yearly physicals help to detect prostate cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular problems or other conditions that can be treated if discovered early enough.

Fortunately, the majority of American men do touch base with health professionals, even if not at the rate women do. 

A 2014 survey by the Centers for Disease Control showed that 61.5 percent of men said they had been in contact with a physician or other health professional within the last six months, although that could just be a phone call. That compares to 74 percent of women.
But 13.7 percent of men hadn’t had any contact in more than two years, as opposed to just 5.7 percent of women.

That’s where adult children can step in, Grover says.

“They should let dad know about their concerns and that they want the best for him,” he says. “Tell him you want him to still be around to play with the grandkids and you want all of you to be able to enjoy life together for as long as possible.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers guidelines on what should be checked and when, including:
• Blood pressure. Have your blood pressure checked once every two years. High blood pressure, if not brought under control, can cause strokes, heart attacks, kidney problems, and heart failure.
• Cholesterol. Starting at age 35, have your cholesterol checked every five years. You might want to start even younger, though, if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, if heart disease runs in your family, or if you smoke.
• Diabetes. Get screened for diabetes if you have high blood pressure or if you take medication for high blood pressure. Diabetes can cause problems with your heart, brain, eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves, and other body parts.
• Colorectal cancer. Testing for colorectal cancer needs to begin at age 50 and even earlier if there’s a family history of the disease. 
“Men who put off doctor’s visits need to realize they may be causing themselves long-term harm,” Grover says. “They probably think, ‘Nothing is wrong so why should I go to the doctor?’ But it’s not a good idea to wait until those underlying health problems start showing themselves.”

About Pawan Grover, M.D.

Dr. Pawan Grover (www.inovospine.net) is a graduate of the UMDNJ- Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (Rutgers Medical School). He did his residency at the Texas Medical Center and spine interventional Fellowship with world-renowned specialist, Professor Michael Cousins in Sydney, Australia, who is widely considered as the father of interventional pain management. Dr. Grover has also worked as a television medical correspondent with Fox news, CNN and has been featured on the Discovery Channel, NBC, ABC, CBS and PBS.  In response to his work in medicine and humanitarian efforts, he was given a national award at the White House from President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton.

June 15, 2017

Cannabis Industry Legitimized Through Digital Currency

Cannabis Industry Legitimized
Through Digital Currency

There is an old saying that “cash is king.” But when it comes to forming a legitimate business or industry in the United States, digital currency has dethroned cash.

Those in the cannabis industry, which operates mainly in cash, know this all too well, as their industry is having trouble legitimizing itself, raising money laundering and monitoring fears from the U.S. government. Banks, which are federally regulated, are hesitant to work with cannabis companies because marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and that’s why it’s forced to be a cash-only business.

But Steve Janjic, CEO of Amercanex (www.amercanex.com), the first fully electronic cannabis marketplace, is changing that through an electronic wallet known as ACE Pay.
“The only legal way for the industry to do what it is doing is because of our system,” Janjic says. “We had to build a real payment system for it to survive. Without a regulatory system, we would never get the buy-in of the federal government, which now has everything it needs to regulate the industry, collect taxes, etc.”

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, nearly 20 percent of Americans do not have access to electronic banking, a bank card or a credit card. Because of this, they deal in cash.

ACE Pay provides a bank account for those who utilize the system, forcing money to change hands electronically, much like PayPal.

Janjic says that those on the system can obtain a physical card if they desire, and that the ACE Pay system is fully automated so banks do not have to add extra staff. Thanks to a proprietary algorithm, those who are on the system will only be allowed to purchase cannabis once a day and minors will not be allowed to make purchases.

Currently, 37 states and the District of Columbia have either legalized some form of marijuana use or possession, or are in the process of doing so. Colorado has been the most successful, fully legalizing marijuana in 2012. Despite its success, Janjic says that 30-35 percent of the state’s marijuana is still purchased on the black market because of its cash-based nature.

“There are many states that could gain from fully legalizing marijuana,” Janjic says. 

“Struggling states could start growing cannabis, which could help turn their economies around.”

If other states in the union choose to follow Colorado’s model, it could be a windfall in new revenue for those states. According to Fortune, Colorado collected more than $150 million in taxes from the legal sale of marijuana in 2016. The first $40 million annually collected from taxes on marijuana sales is earmarked for public school projects. Not only is the cannabis market in Colorado generating tax revenue for the state, it is also creating more than 18,000 jobs annually.  

About Steve Janjic


Steve Janjic is CEO of Amercanex (www.amercanex.com), founded to provide a transparent, neutral and non-manipulated marketplace for institutional cannabis-industry participants, including growers and retailers. The company, a commodities exchange for the rapidly growing industry, strictly adheres to the centralizing regulatory and reporting requirements to local and regional regulatory authorities. 
Janjic is also the former global head of eFX Sales and Distribution at Tullett Prebon, one of the world’s largest institutional brokerage firms, with 168 years in the marketplace. While with Tullett Prebon, he has established a global sales force focusing on institutional e-commerce and prime brokerage sales/distribution teams.

CAN YOU DIE FROM TOO MUCH CAFFEINE?

Too much caffeine caused the death of a 16-year-old high school student from South Carolina who collapsed during class last month, according to the county coroner. Davis Allen Cripe died from a caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia. 

During an arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm, the heart may not be able to pump enough blood to the body, and lack of blood flow affects the brain, heart and other organs. The teen consumed three caffeine-laced drinks -- a cafe latte, large Diet Mountain Dew and an energy drink -- in a two-hour period before collapsing in his classroom at Spring Hill High School on April 26, Watts said. (Source: CNN)

 So where does this tragic news leave adult java lovers?

How much caffeine can I drink a day?

"Most people can safely take in about 400 milligrams of caffeine daily or about 4 cups of coffee," says Dr. Christopher Calapai D.O., a New York City Osteopathic Physician board certified in family and anti-aging medicine. He adds that, “the limit varies from person to person.” It’s difficult to assign an exact amount for everyone because people can have different sensitivities or reactions to caffeine based on age, medical history, and tolerance. However, there is enough research available to make a recommendation based on an individual’s weight.

To keep it safe, health experts recommend a maximum daily dose of 400 mg. To see what this means for you, check out the caffeine in some of these common drinks:

Starbucks Coffee (16 fl oz): 320 mg caffeine
5-hour energy (1.93 fl oz): 207 mg caffeine
Dunkin Donuts regular (16 fl oz): 203 mg caffeine
Starbucks Latte (16 fl oz): 150 mg caffeine
Coffee, brewed (8 fl oz): 133 mg caffeine
Red Bull Energy Shot (2 fl oz): 80 mg caffeine
Red Bull (8 fl oz): 80 mg caffeine
Tea (8 fl oz): 53 mg caffeine

But how, exactly, can the world's most popular drug kill?

Like other stimulants, caffeine raises blood pressure, boosts heart rate and temporarily shrinks blood vessels. Dr. Calapai explains that, “In excess, the effects can be deadly by causing a heart attack, stroke or other cardio-vascular-related problem. Researchers think daily caffeine intake can increase the risk of coronary heart disease, but the results so far have been inconclusive.”


It’s also important to realize that medical conditions can affect sensitivity to caffeine. “If you have anxiety, panic disorder, heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure, diabetes, take medication or have any sort of medical condition, then you may tolerate less caffeine and should speak to a doctor,” says Dr. Calapai.

There are “caffeine overdose symptoms” that are important to watch for. 

These include:

Jitters, Restlessness, and Nervousness
Increased heartbeat
Nausea
Anxiety
Heart palpitations (cardiac arrhythmia)
Insomnia
Sweating
Dizziness
Vomiting
Cardiac arrest

Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed as the "The Stem Cell Guru" by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S. His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer's, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson's. He has worked with Mike Tyson, Mickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Fox series Gotham's, Donal Logue; he was a medical consultant for the New York Rangers. Connect with him via twitter @drcalapai or at www.drcal.net

June 6, 2017

How To Beat The Healthcare Odds


How To Beat The Healthcare Odds
In These Uncertain Times


Concerns about healthcare are on the rise in the United States.

A recent Gallup poll revealed that Americans list healthcare as tied for the nation’s No. 1 problem, right along with dissatisfaction with government. Each of those was named by 18 percent of the people polled, far outdistancing any other worry.

Maybe it’s no coincidence that those two issues cause equal amounts of anxiety among Americans, says Chris Orestis, Executive Vice President of GWG Life (www.gwglife.com).

"There’s a lot of debate in Washington about what role government should play in healthcare, and I think a lot of people are worried that lawmakers aren’t coming up with good answers," says Orestis, who has written extensively about what he refers to as the nation’s Healthcare Hunger Games.

"That Gallup poll is an indication that people around the country have come to realize how important healthcare coverage is for them, and how easy it is to lose it."

With so much uncertainty about what would replace Obamacare if the move to repeal it continues, it may fall to each individual to take measures to make sure the odds are in their favor, Orestis says.

The key to doing that, he says, is to understand how to get the most out of what you already have. 

Some factors to consider include:
  • Weigh employer-provided options.
  • Most Americans get health insurance at work, and usually there are coverage options to choose from. Employees need to consider how much medical care they think they and their families will need in the coming year. "If you don’t expect to need a lot of healthcare, select a plan that has lower premiums, but higher deductibles and co-pays," Orestis says. "If you know you’ll need lots of care and prescriptions, choose the plan with higher premiums, but lower deductibles and co-pays."
  • Make sure you understand Medicare.
  • Medicare offers numerous choices that allow people to put together the best combination of benefits for their needs and budgets. But beware, Orestis says. "Enrolling in Medicare can be complicated," he says. "If you’re not careful, you can miss out on coverage you need or pay more in premiums, co-pays and deductibles than you realize or can afford."
  • Plan for long-term care.
  • Many people eventually require some type of long-term care, such as a nursing home or assisted-living facility, and the cost is hefty. It can be difficult to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid to pay for long-term care, and if you do qualify there are restrictions, Orestis says. Long-term care providers prefer some sort of private pay, such as personal savings, long-term care insurance, annuities or exchanging a life insurance policy for long-term care benefits. "You need to plan ahead," he says, "because the worst time to start planning is when you’re already in a crisis."
Ultimately, the best strategy is to stay healthy so you need as little healthcare as possible, Orestis says.

"If you invest in your physical, mental and emotional health today," he says, "you’ll be repaid with a better lifestyle and less need for doctors and prescription medicine in the future."

About Chris Orestis

Chris Orestis, Executive Vice President of GWG Life (www.gwglife.com), is an over 20-year veteran of the insurance and long-term care industries and is nationally recognized as a healthcare expert and senior care advocate. He is a former Washington, D.C. lobbyist who has provided legislative testimony; the author of two books: "Help on the Way" and "A Survival Guide to Aging"; a frequent columnist with a currently popular series entitled "The Healthcare Hunger Games"; and has been a featured guest on over 50 radio programs and in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Kiplinger’s, Investor’s Business Daily, PBS, and numerous other media outlets.

June 5, 2017

Leave A Lasting Legacy


Leave A Lasting Legacy In This World
While You Are Here And After You Leave


While most of us will not be world-class Olympic athletes, Oscar-winning movie stars or generals who command great battles, we still have a desire to leave some type of mark on this world.

For many people that desired action is leaving a legacy while financially securing themselves, their families, their causes and charitable organizations long into the future.
Patrick Renn (www.patrickrenn.com) has found a way to help others leave a legacy and reveals those strategies in his best-selling book, Finding Your Money’s Greater Purpose.

"Each of us, through our contributions as volunteers and benefactors, holds the power to change the course of society for the better," says Renn.

Renn suggests a number of ways to build a legacy and keep contributing to society even after we have left this world.
  • Charitable Gift Annuity.
  • This is a contract between a donor and a qualified charity that can supplement retirement income and also give you a tax deduction. The annuity involves the donor making a gift to the charity and, in exchange the charity provides the donor with a lifetime fixed income stream.
  • Give a gift of stock.
  • Let’s say you have a gain on a stock and want to give that to charity. To do so, you could sell it, pay the tax and give what’s left or you could first make the stock itself a gift. This gives you the full benefit of the gift as a tax deduction, and you avoid paying the capital gains tax.
  • Donate your house.
  • You can make a commitment to leave your house to a charity after your death. By doing this, you can live in the house the rest of your life and receive a tax deduction. In all likelihood the charity will sell the house after you die and the money from the sale will end up as your final donation.
  • Leave your retirement plan to charity.
  • Leaving money to a charity from your retirement plan could save a lot of headaches. A retirement plan is one of the worst assets to die with because of the taxes associated with it. Leaving the plan to a charity could be the most tax-efficient strategy for that money.
  • Give your family choices with a donor advised fund.
  • You can leave your family a say in where your charitable donations are going via a donor advised fund. Family members could recommend where money from the fund is going now and after you’re gone.
  • Donate a life insurance policy.
  • Insurance policies that no longer serve their purpose are a good place to look for charitable opportunities. Many people have outdated life insurance and have now outgrown their original need. Instead of cashing the policy in or just dropping it, why not consider donating it?
"I feel that part of my mission is to show people that they can take advantage of certain financial procedures if only they know about them," says Renn, founder and president of Renn Wealth Management Group. "With a bit of planning, such procedures could benefit them and the causes and institutions they care about."

About Patrick Renn

Patrick Renn, author of Finding Your Money’s Greater Purpose, has been a CERTIFIEDFINANCIAL PLANNERTM for more than 35 years and holds a bachelor’s degree from in business administration from Villanova University and an MBA from Loyola College. Renn – who currently lives in Georgia – is the founder of Renn Wealth Management Group Inc. (www.patrickrenn.com), the former president of the Georgia Society of Certified Financial Planners and former president of the Georgia chapter of the International Association for Financial Planning. He is the past president of the Georgia Special Olympics, is the current chair of the Day 1 Endowment and has served on countless other charitable and endowment boards.

June 3, 2017


Are Women Prepared For Life Alone
As They Age?


The trends are clear – as women age the odds are they will be living alone, largely because of either divorce or widowhood.

What may be less clear for many of them is whether they are prepared for that life alone – both emotionally and financially, says Susan L. Hickey, a financial professional at Your Own Retirement LLC (www.yourownretirement.com/womansworth).

“Although both men and women could live three or four decades in retirement, it’s more likely for women because they have longer life expectancies,” Hickey says. “But they also often have less in savings, and smaller or no pensions, so their longevity can work for them and against them.”

Almost half (46 percent) of women who are 75 or older live alone, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living.

But women, many of whom are heads of households, don’t always do a good job of planning for their retirements because they spend so much of their time thinking about the needs of others – their children, their spouses, their aging parents, Hickey says.

“They need to realize that their happiness and security in their later years can hinge on so many things, and not just their savings,” she says. “So many factors come into play.”
Hickey says some mistakes women make in planning for retirement, and what they can do to correct those mistakes, include:
  • Failing to participate in planning. Many women traditionally have left the retirement planning to their husbands and that’s a mistake, Hickey says. Women should be actively involved. They need to understand their financial situation, what would happen if their spouse dies and where all the important papers are kept. When a meeting happens with a financial professional, they should be part of that and help make the decisions.
  • Underestimating how long they will live. For some reason, many women have trouble imagining just how long retirement might last. Life expectancy for women in the United States is about 81, and that’s an average. Many women will live into their 90s and some will pass 100. When planning and saving, women need to consider that they might still be living 30 or 40 years after they retire.
  • Failing to protect their health. Maintaining your general health and well being is important because medical costs can eat into retirement money, Hickey says. The nest egg that someone thought would be more than sufficient can start disappearing quickly when there are significant medical issues. Women need to make sure they get exercise, eat healthy meals and keep up with those doctor visits.
“So much of this is connected,” Hickey says. “When women feel that they have a good financial plan in place, they are more likely to feel secure and that’s good for both their physical health and their emotional health.”

About Susan L. Hickey

Susan L. Hickey (www.yourownretirement.com/womansworth) is a financial professional at Your Own Retirement, LLC. She helps guide clients, many of which are single women or female heads of households, on the many facets of planning for retirement. Because of her advocacy Sue combines numerous elements of retirement income planning through the use of insurance products, which includes strategies for claiming social security benefits, Medicare costs, long-term care concerns as well as traditional income needs.  She holds her life and health insurance licenses, and has earned the distinguished Retirement Income Certified Professional designation.

June 2, 2017

Unexpected Strategies For Fighting Allergies


Unexpected Strategies For Fighting Allergies

Wheezing and sneezing definitely isn’t the most invigorating way of getting through the day.

But runny noses, congestion and itchy throats are an unfortunate fact of life for the more than 50 million Americans who suffer from nasal allergies that can be triggered by tree pollen, grass pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mold and other causes.

Some experience their worst moments in the spring. For others the agony arrives in the fall. And some unfortunates deal with the problem year-round.

Max Wiseberg understands and identifies with their watery eyes and every “achoo” that escapes their lips.

“I had hay fever all my life and I tried everything,” Wiseberg says. “I took pills. I underwent acupuncture. Either the remedies didn’t work, gave me headaches or made me drowsy.”

Not one to give up, Wiseberg mulled the problem between sneezes and finally latched onto a wonderfully crazy idea during a conversation with his sister. She suggested that it would be marvelous if there was something you could rub on the base of your nostrils to trap the allergen invaders before they could enter the nasal passages and begin their insidious work.

Inspired, Wiseberg created an organic, natural nasal balm that he dubbed HayMax™ (www.haymax.us), which could accomplish just what his sister envisioned – act as a block against pollen, dust or pet allergen.

Less allergen in the body meant less for the body to react against.

“It was like magic and I was greatly relieved,” he says.

For Wiseberg, the personal battle with hay fever was the beginning of a new business endeavor. Not every allergy solution arouses the entrepreneurial spirit in sufferers, but many remedies are perhaps nearly as magical, including:
• Sex. In one of the more creative solutions to the problem, an Iranian neurologist suggested in a 2008 study that sex might hold the key to hay fever relief. According to the neurologist, Sina Zarrintan, here’s why: At the point of orgasm the sympathetic nervous system constricts blood vessels across the body. This can help with the nasal congestion associated with hay fever because the congestion usually is caused by membranes becoming swollen from inflamed blood vessels. One downside for women: Zarrintan’s research applied only to men. 
• Pineapple and other luscious treats. Some foods are natural anti-histamines. Capers, red onions and watercress, for example, contain high amounts of the natural antihistamine quercetin. Toss in a side order of pineapple because it contains bromelain, which helps the body absorb quercetin. 
• Curry, the spicier the better. If you’re dining out Indian style, choosing the hottest curry on the menu can help your hay fever.  If you’re making your own curry, feel free to pour on the spices. Turmeric, an orange-yellow spice, widely used in curries and South Asian cuisine, is believed to reduce inflammation caused by the enzyme phospholipase A2, which is provoked into action by pollen in your system. 
For itchy-eyed allergy sufferers, there’s just one ultimate goal.

“You want relief,” Wiseberg says. “You’re not going to find a cure, so the next best thing is to avoid or block the pollen whenever you can.”

About Max Wiseberg

Max Wiseberg is the creator of HayMax™ (www.haymax.us), a natural, organic balm that traps allergens when applied to the nostrils. As a lifelong hay fever sufferer, he was inspired to develop the balm when other allergy remedies didn’t work for him. Wiseberg, born and raised in Manchester, UK, regularly writes for newspapers, magazines and blogs on the subject of allergies and airborne allergens, and has appeared on TV and radio.

May 31, 2017

6 Ways To Reduce Stress And Anxiety In Your Financial Life


6 Ways To Reduce Stress And Anxiety
In Your Financial Life 


Trading in your morning coffee run to Starbucks for the pot of coffee in the office is never fun, but when finances get tight that drive-thru stop might be one of the first things to go.
But do you really need to give up the little things in life that make you happy? 
Al Zdenek (www.AlZdenek.com), the author of the book Master Your Cash FlowThe Key To Grow And Retain Wealth, doesn’t think so.

"It’s important to be able to hang onto those things you enjoy," says Zdenek, the president, CEO and founder of Traust Sollus Wealth Management. "You should be able to, just as long as you continue to make smart decisions on bigger issues that affect your future wealth."

There is a lot of financial stress and anxiety in the country. Zdenek says if you can eliminate financial stress from your life, your anxiety levels will go down. Here are some of the things he recommends to accomplish that:
  • Know what you need.
  • The unknown is the biggest stress driver. There is a cash flow per month that would allow you to live the way you want now and in the future. This is something you should know.


  • Fix broken cash flow.
  • Unfortunately, we have all made poor financial choices, some of which have been more costly than others. There is no need to continue this. There are ways to find solutions in everyday decisions that will allow you to start your cash flow going in the right direction.


  • Use debt smarter.
  • Many types of debt can be good; such as real estate, investments and investing in your business. Make your debt decisions like a well-run company and create wealth.


  • Make sure you have a road map.
  • Having a good financial plan is like having a good map and researching your trip ahead of time. You can wing your financial plan, but if you work less in life and get to your destination sooner, your life will be less stressful if you have a plan.


  • Don’t let your decisions come back to haunt you
  • . The bad decisions you make could come back to haunt you decades down the road. Learn how to avoid costly decisions and always make the correct financial choices, 100 percent of the time.


  • Work when you want.
  • People like to know when they don’t have to work anymore. A good advisor can set you up with a plan that will give you this option well before you reach retirement age.
"By consistently making the best financial decisions, people can find more cash flow to spend or save," Zdenek says. "That way they may achieve financial independence sooner, work less in life and have less anxiety and stress in their financial lives."

About Al Zdenek


Al Zdenek (www.AlZdenek.com) is the president, CEO and founder (1982) of Traust Sollus Wealth Management, a boutique wealth management firm dedicated to empowering people to transform their lives and live the life they wish now and in the future. This is done by consistently making the best financial decisions. His book, Master Your Cash Flow, shows readers how to achieve the wealth they need and then find additional cash flow and, if saved, build wealth sooner, work less years or have more wealth to live the lifestyle they desire now and forever.

May 28, 2017

Greatest Wealth Transfer Could Be Costly Blunder

Greatest Wealth Transfer Could Be Costly
Blunder For Beneficiaries And Windfall For IRS

Anyone who just inherited a deceased parent’s IRA or 401(k) could be about to commit a costly blunder.

You can take the money from that retirement account in one big lump sum, no matter how young you are, but that will trigger a tax bill – probably a hefty one.

"It’s tempting to take the lump sum, especially if it represents a huge windfall of cash for you," says wealth management advisor Rebecca Walser of Walser Wealth (www.walserwealth.com). "But you should be aware it’s also a windfall for the IRS."
Walser, a successful tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in working with high net worth clients, says this issue will become an even more common one in the coming years as the aging Baby Boomers die off, transferring their wealth to their Generation X and Millennial offspring.

Some have called it the greatest wealth transfer in history, as over the next few decades the Boomers are expected to leave about $30 trillion in assets to their children and grandchildren.

Part of that money is in tax-deferred retirement plans such as a traditional IRA or an employee-sponsored 401(k) that Baby Boomers have been contributing to for decades.
They didn’t have to pay taxes on the money they contributed to those plans until they started withdrawing the money in retirement. But just to ensure those taxes aren’t deferred forever, the government requires a minimum withdrawal each year once the account holder reaches age 70½.

The IRS also isn’t picky about who does the paying, Walser says. It’s fine with collecting the taxes from heirs if the retiree dies before spending all the money.

A spouse who inherits such an account falls under different rules, but Walser has advice for anyone else who finds themselves in this situation:
  • Consider a tax strategy.
  • If you inherit an IRA, think about your need for these gifted funds. If there is no need for the funds for at least five years, consider repositioning them into a tax-advantaged vehicle over the next five years and save yourself thousands of dollars in taxes over your lifetime. "We always prepare an RMD analysis and find that paying the tax man over the next five years, while we still have the second lowest tax base in U.S. history, is much more appealing than deferring the tax and then being trapped into paying them in a rising tax rate climate," Walser says. Taxes must inevitably go up in the future, she says, because of our current federal debt of $20 Trillion combined with the concurrent retirement of the Boomers in mass.


  • Understand what kind of account you inherited.
  • The rules for a Roth IRA are different from the rules for a traditional IRA. Taxes were already paid on the money that was contributed to a Roth. If the Roth was funded more than five years before the person died, you won’t need to pay taxes when you take distributions.


  • Don’t rush into a bad decision.
  • You will face deadlines for when you have to make decisions (the IRS won’t remain patient forever), but there’s no need to be hasty and do something you’ll regret later, Walser says. If you don’t have a financial advisor, she says, it would be wise to find one who can help you figure out what the best tax strategy will be for your situation.
"Maybe you really do need the money, so taking the lump sum makes sense," Walser says. "But I think most people who do that are going to regret it later, especially if they just blow all the money right away and don’t have anything to show for their inheritance."
About Rebecca Walser
Rebecca Walser is a licensed tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in working with high net worth individuals, families and businesses at Walser Wealth (www.walserwealth.com). She earned her juris doctor degree from the University of Florida and her masters of law degree in taxation from New York University.

May 27, 2017

Four Ways To Stay Sober Through The Summer Holiday Drinking Season

Four Ways To Stay Sober Through
The Summer Holiday Drinking Season

By Michael Graubart

Hey, recovering alcoholics! Here comes the summer drinking season—Memorial Day, June graduations and weddings, Fourth of July, the beach, and barbecues!

What could go wrong?

Plenty, if you don’t have a plan for getting through the summer sober.

In Alcoholics Anonymous, we call the period from Thanksgiving through Christmas and New Year the "Bermuda Triangle" of sobriety—many alkies come in, but not all make it through.
If anything, summer is more dangerous for people in recovery, because there are so many social cues to drink.

What’s a recovering alkie or addict to do?

Here’s some kitchen-tested advice that gets passed along the Twelve Step meetings as holiday periods approach.
  • No. 1: Have an exit strategy.
    Even before you get to the event, whether it’s a barbecue, a wedding, or holiday party, have a plan for leaving as soon as you feel uncomfortable. When everybody’s drinking, the pace of conversation and behavior in general seems to suddenly accelerate.

    This is an extremely uncomfortable moment for people newly in recovery, and sometimes for people who have been clean and sober a long time.

    When that moment arises, you want to have a plan for leaving. Did you come in your own car? Can you call an Uber or a cab? Will public transportation work? Or can you just walk out of there? Determine your exit strategy even before you enter. Don’t stick around once the drinking heats up. You won’t be missed. Everyone else will be too drunk to remember whether you stayed or left.
  • No. 2: Get a drink.

    As soon as you get to the event, go to the bar or beverage area and get yourself a soft drink or juice—and carry it with you everywhere. People are far less likely to offer you a drink, or force a drink on you, if you’re already holding a drink.

    If people ask you what you’re drinking, tell the truth. The more insistent they get that you should be drinking, the more likely it is that they need a program, too.

    If you put your drink down, even for a microsecond, it’s no longer your drink. Go back to the bar or beverage area and get a new one. That’s because alkies have this very slick trick of switching out their beverage "accidentally on purpose."

    "I thought it was my Coke!" we exclaim pitifully. "How could I have known that it was actually someone else’s rum and Coke?"

    It doesn’t even matter if you are maintaining visual contact with the drink—once it hits the table, it’s no longer yours. Go back and get a fresh one.
  • No. 3: Remain anonymous.
    You don’t have to tell people that you are now sober in Alcoholics Anonymous or clean in another Twelve Step program. It’s nobody’s business. Sometimes, the newly sober tend to "over share" with people in our lives. You are not in a Twelve Step meeting when you are at a party featuring alcohol (or other substances). You are out in the big, bad world, where no one cares that you are clean.

    You do not owe anyone an explanation for your choice not to drink. Your sobriety is, in fact, none of their business. You do not need to share that vital information with anyone. Remember that the last name of every Twelve Step program is "Anonymous."
  • No. 4: Stay home.

    There is no law that says that newly clean and sober people must test their sobriety or abstinence at every family or social event that comes along. If you’re feeling shaky about your recovery, don’t tempt fate. We love to do it, but ultimately, it could be a self-defeating choice.

    If you feel that a particular event may be too much of a test for your recovery, make up an excuse and go to a meeting instead. Give your own sobriety a chance.
So there you have it—four ways to stay clean and sober through the often treacherous summer holiday season. Come Labor Day, you’ll be sober as a judge…instead of having to appear in front of one!

New York Times bestselling author Michael Graubart has published
Sober Dad: The Manual for Perfectly Imperfect Parenting (Hazelden).

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May 24, 2017

MAX 2: White House Hero GIVEAWAY

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March 30, 2017

How To Stay Young (At Least In Spirit) When You’re Retired

How To Stay Young (At Least In Spirit)
When You’re Retired
Mohr Keet of South Africa bungee jumped when he was 96, landing himself in the Guinness Board of World Records.
Yuichiro Miura of Japan climbed Mount Everest when he was 80.
Not everyone in the golden years of life will attempt and accomplish such extraordinary feats, but most people can take steps to keep themselves young – at least in spirit – when they reach retirement.
Unfortunately, for many people retirement planning remains fixated on finances, so when the big day arrives they’re not quite ready to segue into life’s new chapter, says Ann Vanderslice (www.annvanderslice.com), president and CEO of Retirement Planning Strategies, which specializes in advising federal workers about their benefits.
“After you’ve planned for the money, there is still anxiety about retirement,” she says. “You don’t know what it’s like to not work and so there is that emotional part of retirement you need to manage. Sometimes people aren’t ready in any way, shape or form.”
She says a few ways to hang onto a little youthful exuberance while aging gracefully in retirement include:
• Be a lifelong learner. Making the effort to learn about new things keeps our brains young. Read something you wouldn’t normally read. Sit in on a lecture that a college opens to the public. “Some of my clients mention they took classes in philosophy or in a foreign language,” Vanderslice says. “It’s proven that those who are lifelong learners have a greater sense of optimism and a lower chance of dementia.”
• See the world – or at least some of it. There are no doubt plenty of places you haven’t ventured out to, some close by and others far away. Traveling and enjoying new experiences is a great way to keep you feeling young and enthusiastic about life, Vanderslice says, whether you head to a state park just an hour’s drive away or you board a plane bound for Paris. “Part of the fun of traveling is deciding where you want to go,” Vanderslice says. “The sky should be the limit.” Don’t eliminate anything from your initial list just because of expense, she says. You might be able to find bargains, and because you’re retired you can travel any time you want, which allows you go in the off season when prices are lower.
• Remember your doctor’s advice. Activities such as enrolling in a college class can help keep you mentally young, but you want your body to cooperate, too. “We’re always looking for that magic bullet, the easy and quick way to feeling younger,” Vanderslice says. “The truth is that those things your doctor tells you – exercise, eat a healthy diet, get the appropriate amount of sleep – are about as close to a magic bullet as you’re going to get.”
“People think that money is the most important aspect of retirement, but it’s really No. 2,” Vanderslice says. “You can have more than enough money, but if you aren’t healthy or doing the things you enjoy, the money won’t matter.”
About Ann Vanderslice
Ann Vanderslice (www.annvanderslice.com), president and CEO of Retirement Planning Strategies, helps federal employees understand their benefits, maximize the value of their benefits, and plan for retirement, as well as organize income planning and IRA distributions. Vanderslice holds the Registered Financial Consultant designation from the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants and the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor designation from the College for Financial Planning. She is author of “Fedtelligence 2.0 - The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Your Federal Benefits.”

March 28, 2017

Ashley Stewart Sale!

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What would I love to buy with my offer coupon? The white linen dress in the picture above would be my first pick! I love any and everything cold shoulder. Its my favorite current fashion statement. No matter your body shape or size, the cold shoulder look is for everyone, in my opinion.

Right now with tax returns coming in and it being the time of the year to break out the spring clothing it is the best time to shop Ashley Stewart. Especially with all the deals going on.



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March 25, 2017

Easter Basket Stuffer
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