Kevin’s Peace of Mind
www.kevintharpe.com (770) 503-1022
How I Found My Calling The Journey to Becoming an Elder Law Attorney
O nce the weather grows colder, I find myself reflecting on beginnings — the beginning of the year, the beginning of my elder law practice, the beginning of relationships, and the beginning of everything. As I pour over memories from when I started practicing law to where I am today, I can’t help but wish I could travel back in time and visit Kevin Tharpe 30 years ago. The year 1988 was an important year for me as it contained several life milestones. I had just graduated law school with plans to become a tax lawyer — I even had a job lined up with the IRS. But then, I had a conversation that changed everything. My grandfather had suffered a terrible stroke early in the year. He had prior health issues but always seemed to recover. With his stroke, the recovery was far different. Because he had to relearn basic functions like walking and talking, he had to move into a nursing home for his rehabilitation. I remember one day right after my law school graduation when I was having a conversation with my mom, my grandmother, and the nursing home director. The director explained to us that although Medicare only covered a three-month stay at the facility, my grandfather needed more time to finish his rehabilitation, and we would need to pay close to $5,500 out-of-pocket (nowadays, it’s closer to $10,000). We knew that my grandparents couldn’t afford to pay the expenses, and we knew that my grandfather couldn’t go home because my grandmother was in the early stages of dementia. “My grandmother, feeling completely lost, turned to me, the only lawyer in the family, and asked, ‘Am I going to lose my house?’”
3. Choose the type of legal document that brings these first two principles together: a revocable trust. A fact of life is that everyone is going to pass away, leaving behind assets, but it’s important to make sure that you have your wishes in a legal document so that your assets are distributed in the ways that you want. A trust is the only type of legal document that lets you do that while you are living — but I will talk about that in more detail in next month’s edition, so stay tuned! I truly believe that elder law is my ministry, and God put me in this position so I can help as many families as I can. As the new year comes upon us, I cannot help but feel overwhelmed with desire to give thanks to God, my grandparents and my family for guiding me toward the ministry that I have today. There aren’t many people in the world who can say, without a doubt, that they are fulfilling their calling. Over these last three decades, I’ve discovered that there is something special in doing exactly what you were called to do.
My grandmother, feeling completely lost, turned to me, the only lawyer in the family, and asked, “Am I going to lose my house?” After all the education I received in law school and after all the training preparing for the state bar exam, I didn’t know the answer to her question. And that really bothered me. I immediately started researching. I read books and went to seminars and conferences, and in my quest, I realized there were few attorneys specializing in elder law, which meant there weren’t many people who were dedicated to helping people like my grandparents. I knew then that it was my calling to help as many of those people as I could. Fast forward 30 years into the future, and that’s exactly what I do each and every day.
I’ve learned somuch about elder law over the years, but my three most important principles are:
1. Type of asset determines protection.
2. Title of asset determines ongoing
protection — don’t change title to give up ownership.
-J. Kevin Tharpe
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WHAT YOUR EYES CAN TELL YOU ABOUT LOVE Is Love at First Sight Real?
For example, Sears allegedly sold a Kenmore washing machine at a “sale price” of $999.99, compared to a “regular price” of $1,179.99. The problem was the so-called sale price was actually the price that product was offered at every day. Therefore, it wasn’t actually on sale. Duping your customers is a bad business practice, but what makes it illegal? Well, California law requires that retailers post a retail price no higher than what the product was sold at within three months prior to the ad. “Families today … are striving to get the very most they can get from an extremely hard-earned holiday shopping dollar,” said LA City Attorney Mike Feuer. “They deserve to make an informed decision.” After the suit was brought against them, the retailers all quickly moved to settle, promising to never engage in false reference pricing again. Most retailers offer discounts around the holidays to encourage shoppers to come into their stores or visit their Promotions and sales are great tools in any business’s arsenal, provided they aren’t out to mislead customers. Big-box stores may try to manipulate innocent people, and it’s up to aggrieved customers to hold those corporations accountable. Nearly every year, you’ll read about a class-action lawsuit that develops in response to the shady tactics of businesses eager to secure those holiday shopping dollars. Are there great bargains to be had on Black Friday? Of course. But if something sounds too good to be true, it very well might be. Keep your eyes peeled and don’t let retailers trick you into a purchase you wouldn’t make otherwise. In the last decade, researchers have determined that from a romantic and reproductive standpoint, both men and women are attracted to partners with bigger pupils. Studies demonstrate that when women are at their peak fertility, they might subconsciously be more attracted to a person with sizable pupils because it could indicate a partner’s attraction to them. Likewise, researchers have reported that men seek out women with dilated pupils due to the association of larger pupils with youth and longevity. The connection between the eyes and enthrallment has inspired some of Shakespeare’s most iconic sonnets, and the science behind our eyes validates some of the Bard’s romantic claims. But does this connection between larger pupils and attraction corroborate the idea of love at first sight? If you believe that attraction equates to true love, then absolutely. But if your definition of love requires a little more depth, then you may have to toss aside the idea of love at first sight and instead view your partner’s eyes as mere “windows” to their soul.
The idea of love at first sight is wonderfully romantic. Two strangers see each other across a crowded room. There’s an instant, magnetic attraction, and suddenly they’ve found their match for all of eternity. In a world in which dating often requires a lot of work —work that comes with disappointment, rejection, and uncertainty — falling in love at first sight has strong appeal. But can it actually happen? Can your eyes tell you anything about love? The connection between the eyes and love has been described in poetry and prose since time immemorial — it’s the stuff of heroic epics and fanciful fairy tales. And evidence has increasingly shown that the human brain is hard-wired to both display and notice visual cues when gazing at a potential love interest. Enlarged pupils are one such cue. When you survey a person or object you are interested in, your brain releases a surge of dopamine — a chemical that controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centers —which causes your pupils to dilate. In this sense, beauty really is “in the eye of the beholder.”
Fake Discounts and Angry Shoppers A MASSIVE BLACK FRIDAY LAWSUIT
Shoppers flock to retailers every Black Friday in hopes of securing the best deals on the year’s hottest products. There are many nasty aspects of Black Friday — the long lines, the overzealous shoppers, the limited stock of items — but phony pricing and fake sales shouldn’t be among them. But that’s exactly what happened to folks in Los Angeles during the 2016 holiday season, leading to the biggest Black Friday lawsuit in history. In December of 2016, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office sued J.C. Penney, Sears, Macy’s, and Kohl’s for a practice called “false reference pricing,” a nefarious tactic whereby retailers lie about the original price of an item to make a discount appear bigger than it actually is.
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TAKE A BREAK
How to Indulge Your Sweet Tooth With Less Sugar SURVIVING THE SEASON OF SWEETS Cookies, cakes, and pies, oh my! The holiday season is brimming with sweet treats of all kinds. Sometimes it can feel like candy and sugary desserts are around every corner, and yet you still want to indulge. However, when you consider that over 50 percent of Americans are insulin-resistant, prediabetic, or diabetic, that piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream starts to look more dangerous than appetizing. During the holidays, how can you satisfy your sweet tooth without worrying about consuming excessive sugar and calories? Skip the candy and go for the fruits and nuts. Keeping a bowl of fruit and nuts nearby can help keep sugar cravings at bay. Dried fruits, such as cranberries, pineapple, or apricots, are both sweet and nutritious. Just be sure to check the packaging for added sugars. You can even make your own dried fruit with a food dehydrator. This way, you are completely in control of the ingredients. No matter what you do, just be mindful not to overindulge. Dried fruit is high in sugar and calories, but the fiber and vitamins make fruit much healthier than just about any other sugary treat. Another way to cut down on your sugar intake is to use dark chocolate in all your chocolate-based treats. Dark chocolate has about half as much sugar as milk chocolate, twice as much healthy fat, less cholesterol, 4–5 times more iron, twice as much potassium, fewer carbs, and more flavonoids and theobromine. The antioxidant properties of the theobromine and flavonoids make dark chocolate as good for your heart as it is for your soul. If you have a recipe that calls for chocolate, reach for the dark stuff, whether it’s dark chocolate chips, cocoa powder, or baking chocolate. While it may seem as though everyone and their grandma is overindulging in sugar this season, know that you have the choice to opt for healthier sweets. And come NewYear’s, you won’t have to spend the first fewmonths of 2019 working off that extra cookie weight.
HOLIDAY ROAST PRIME RIB
Looking for an easy holiday roast that still feels elegant enough for the occasion? Look no further than this delicious prime rib flavored with garlic, thyme, and red wine.
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 bone-in prime rib (6–7 pounds)
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups red wine
4 cups beef stock
1. 30 minutes before cooking, remove roast from fridge and let sit until it reaches room temperature. 2. Heat oven to 350 F. 3. Make small slits in prime rib and stuff with slices of garlic. Liberally season with salt and pepper. 4. Place a rack inside a roasting pan and roast prime rib for 2 hours, until medium-rare. 5. To make au jus, place roasting pan with drippings from roast over 2 burners on high. Add wine and scrape pan as liquid reduces. Add beef stock and cook until reduced by half. Finally, sprinkle in thyme. 6. Slice roast and serve topped with au jus. Inspired by Food Network
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(770) 503-1022 www.KevinTharpe.com 405 Broad St Gainesville, GA 30501 INSIDE THIS ISSUE
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How I Found My Calling: My Grandparents and God
What Your Eyes Can Tell You About Love The Biggest Black Friday Lawsuit in History Holiday Roast Prime Rib Surviving the Season of Sweets
Everything You’ll Need for an Ugly Sweater Christmas
Ugly Sweater Parties A Fun Trend You Can Easily Follow!
ugly photo booth, complete with terrible, tacky props; and, of course, an ugly sweater contest.
store to pick one up. However, if you have a sweater that’s been cozied up for years in the back of your closet or a drawer, now’s your chance to give it new life. Arm yourself with a hot glue gun, thread, and needle, and patch Santa, Rudolph, or Frosty on it. And let it be known that an ugly sweater isn’t complete without sparkles, beads, and sequins galore. WHAT EXACTLY IS AN UGLY SWEATER PARTY? It’s rather simple — slip on your favorite Christmas sweater, gather all your friends and family members, make sure there are plenty of refreshments and games, and you’re guaranteed to have a top-tier party. A few ugly-sweater-themed games that should be on the agenda include an ugly gift exchange, which is similar to the white elephant exchange, except with the gaudiest gifts you can find; an
This is the only time of year when slipping into a lurid red sweater with a stuffed Santa sewn on the front is considered trendy. So adorn yourself in the frumpiest, tackiest sweater you can find, and have some fun this December!
It’s speculated that the first ugly sweater party took place in Vancouver, Canada, back in 2001. Since then, the trend has become one of the most popular holiday party themes. Come Thanksgiving, you’ll start to see racks in all types of clothing stores lined with hideous sweaters. If you’re ready to jump on the ugly-sweater-party bandwagon this Christmas season, here are a few things to keep in mind. YOUR VERY OWN UGLY SWEATER Ugly sweaters come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. You can head to H&M or a local thrift
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