LeRoy Peterson Law - January 2020

402-718-8888

www.LeRoyPetersonLaw.com

January 2020

Looking Back and Looking Forward Things That Matter

Every January, I like to reflect on how much has changed in the past year and think about what I can improve going forward. So much can change over one year, but when looking at a new year with the past in mind, you can always find ways to grow and improve. In 2019, we saw our youngest daughter graduate college, and now both of our daughters are on their own and in the workforce, which is a new chapter for all of us. No more tuition, yeah us! On top of that, my practice had a fantastic year as we continue to grow at a nice pace. I enjoy the growth we’ve experienced, so we’re looking to expand our staff and host more speaking engagements. I must be a teacher at heart, because I enjoy providing our community with the nuts and bolts of estate and

The best gift you can give your loved ones is a Comprehensive Estate and Long-Term Care Plan

And the best gift to give your friends is an invitation to our Free Planning Seminar!

Join us at the Bess Johnson Public Library in Elkhorn to learn about the difference between Medicaid and Medicare, understand the role of Long-Term Care Insurance, and more.

January 22, 2020 at 4 p.m. Reserve Your Seat: LPL-RSVP.com or 402.718.8888

a game with her. My wife and I can also more easily help her when she needs it. I look forward to taking advantage of the time I have with my mom, whether it be taking her out to eat or just hanging out. While we were in San Francisco for my nephew’s wedding in 2019, we were able to check another baseball stadium off our bucket list. Looking forward, since my oldest daughter’s territory is Pennsylvania, we intend to coordinate trips to Pennsylvania and visit the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia stadiums in 2020. So, while you’re reflecting on 2019, be sure to note what you’re looking forward to in 2020! Use the energy of a new year to get your resolutions off to a good start, before day-to-day obligations and pressures dampen your enthusiasm. Also, take a moment to get organized, get your affairs in order, and coordinate with your loved ones when necessary. Your enthusiasm can be infectious!

elder law planning. These are such important topics. Second to actually meeting with new clients and designing plans to help them protect their families, presenting these important topics to the public is the most rewarding aspect of my career. I believe everyone wants to protect their family from the chaos that will come about when we can no longer care for ourselves or pass away, but we don’t know where to start. That is why we will increase our speaking engagements in 2020. So, please let me know if you are part of an organization, business, or church that has members who would benefit from a presentation. If you read our last newsletter, you know my mother moved from Kearney to Omaha in 2019. It was a significant change, but it has been beneficial for everyone. She and I can spend a lot more time together throughout the week; I’ll either stop by for lunch or take time to watch “So, while you’re reflecting on 2019, be sure to note what you’re looking forward to in 2020! Use the energy of a new year to get your resolutions off to a good start.”

The next time we talk, please remember to let me know what you’re most excited about in 2020! Have a happy new year, everyone.

-LeRoy Peterson

www.LeRoyPetersonLaw.com | 1

Published by The Newsletter Pro • www.newsletterpro.com

Social Security in 2020 KNOWWHAT’S CHANGING

Maximum Benefits

If you’re in the appropriate age bracket, Social Security may play a major role in your finances. So, it’s important to know how Social Security will be changing in 2020.

Those near the top of the Social Security income scale in 2019 will see an increase in their maximum payout in 2020. The maximum payout for an individual will be capped at $2,861 per month. That translates to $34,332 per year, so consider how that may impact your finances.

Trust Fund

Unless Congress takes some drastic actions in the coming months, the current excess trust fund revenue will be depleted by the year 2034. If that happens, Social Security will only be able to pay 79% of the promised benefits from ongoing payroll taxes. You may need to think about what your financial plan would be like with 21% less income.

Taxes

Howmuch your benefits are taxed depends on your household income levels. For example, 50% of your benefits will be taxed if youmake between $25,000–$34,000 individually or $32,000–$44,000 for married couples. If you’re above that income bracket, then 85% of your benefits will be taxable.

Retirement Age

If you haven’t reached retirement yet, this one is important to consider. If you were born after 1959, the full retirement age is now 67 for you. You’ll still be able to start taking some benefits at age 62, but they’ll be at reduced monthly payments.

Cost of Living

Low inflation means that Social Security benefits will only see a minor cost of living increase. This year, it’s expected to be around 1.6%. It’s not major, but if you’re living off Social Security alone, every penny is important.

Ctrl, Alt, Delete Your Clutter TIPS FOR NATIONAL CLEAN UPYOUR COMPUTER MONTH

Back Up Your Computer

Everyone relies on technology. Computers, laptops, tablets, and phones are staples of modern life. However, it’s easy for these devices to become cluttered with old photos, files, and general disorganization. Luckily, January is National Clean Up Your Computer Month and an excellent time to get your technology in order.

Be sure to back up your computer before you start deleting things. This acts as a safety net in case you delete something you didn’t mean to. Additionally, consider installing a second hard drive. The extra space can help with storing important files without having to worry about how much room is left.

Start by Dusting

Clean Up Space

Over time, computer towers can become clogged with dust, which creates additional, unwanted heat within your computer. Regular cleanings will increase the lifespan of your computer and protect its essential components. Compressed air is great for removing most of the dust and other particulates. If the fans or filters are too dirty, you can remove them from the tower to clean them better. If you use water or liquid cleaning products on them, be sure they are completely dry before placing them back into your computer.

Any files you’ll never use again should be deleted. Likewise, any programs you haven’t used in a while should be uninstalled. Check your hard drive for files that might be taking up unintended space on your computer. And remember to empty the recycling bin — it’s easy to forget just how much goes in there.

Organize Your Files

Naming and arranging the files on your computer in such a way that they’re easy for you to find can end up saving you a lot of time. Declutter your workspace by creating one file for pictures, one for Word documents, one for spreadsheets, and one for programs to eliminate the hassle of frantically searching for the files you need.

2 | 402-718-8888

Published by The Newsletter Pro • www.newsletterpro.com

TAKE A BREAK

MEET THE WORLD’S FIRST AIRPORT THERAPY PIG How Lilou and Animals Like Her Calm Stressed-Out Travelers

Imagine you’re navigating a vast airport on a busy Saturday, shouldering your way through crowds and struggling to hear the PA system over the clatter of 1,000 wheeled suitcases. Suddenly, you see a pig wearing a hot pink sweater waddling toward you on a leash. Do you stop in your tracks? Does your stress level drop? Do you laugh out loud when you see its pink nail polish? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then you can sympathize with the passengers, pilots, flight attendants, and staff at the San Francisco International Airport. They get to enjoy visits from Lilou, the world’s first airport therapy pig, on a regular basis! As part of the Wag Brigade, the airport’s cadre of (mostly canine) therapy animals, Lilou wanders the airport with her humans, bringing joy, peace, and calm to everyone she meets. Lilou may be the only pig of her kind, but airport therapy animals have been a growing trend for the last few years. According to NPR, as of 2017, more than 30 airports across the U.S. employed therapy dogs, and these days, estimates land closer to 60. The San Jose and Denver airports have therapy cats, and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport even offers passengers the chance to play with miniature horses before boarding their flights. Therapy dogs started appearing in U.S. airports after the 9/11 terror attacks, which changed American attitudes about flying. They did so well at helping passengers calm down that airports began implementing permanent programs. Some have pets on hand 24/7 to assist passengers, while others host animal visits every few weeks or months. These days, regular travelers have fallen hard for their local therapy animals, many of whom even have their own Instagram accounts and hashtags. So, the next time you’re traveling, keep an eye out for a friendly pup, cat, pig, or horse to pet. A bit of love from an animal just might improve your trip!

HOPPIN’ JOHN

A traditional New Year’s favorite in the South, Hoppin’ John includes black-eyed peas that are said to represent coins, a sign of prosperity for the coming year. It’s usually served alongside collard greens, which represent cash.

Ingredients

1 smoked ham hock

1 cup dried black-eyed peas

1 medium onion, diced

5–6 cups water

1 cup long-grain white rice

1 dried hot pepper, optional (arbol and Calabrian are great options)

Directions

1. Wash and sort peas. 2. In a saucepan, cover peas with water, discarding any that float. 3. Add pepper, ham hock, and onion. Gently boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peas are just tender, about 90 minutes. At this point, you should have about 2 cups of liquid remaining. 4. Add rice, cover, drop heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, undisturbed. 5. Remove from heat and let steam for an additional 10 minutes, still covered. 6. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and serve. Inspired by Epicurious

www.LeRoyPetersonLaw.com | 3

Published by The Newsletter Pro • www.newsletterpro.com

PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

402-718-8888 www.LeRoyPetersonLaw.com 10730 Pacific St. STE. 107 Omaha, NE 68114

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Changes to Social Security in 2020 Enter 2020 With an Organized Computer

2

Hoppin’ John Meet the World’s First Airport Therapy Pig

3

4

The Sweetest Crime in History

HISTORY’S SWEETEST THEFT THE GREAT CANADIAN MAPLE SYRUP HEIST

Unfortunately, the thieves got sloppy and stopped refilling the barrels with water. When an FPAQ inspector visited the targeted facility in the fall of 2012, he accidentally knocked over one of the empty barrels. The inspector

At the FPAQ facility, syrup was stored in unmarked metal barrels and only inspected once a year. The heist, led by a man named Richard Vallières, involved transporting the barrels to a remote sugar shack in the Canadian wilderness, where they siphoned off the maple syrup, refilled the barrels with water, and returned the barrels to the facility. The stolen syrup was then trucked east to New Brunswick and south across the border into Vermont. Wisely, the thieves sold their ill-gotten goods in small batches, avoiding suspicion from legitimate syrup distributors. In what is now known as the Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist, thieves made off with 10,000 barrels of maple syrup valued at $18.7 million. This remains one of the most costly heists in Canadian history. Vallières himself became a millionaire and took his family on three tropical vacations in one year.

Maple syrup holds a proud place in the history and culture of Quebec, Canada. It’s also a big part of Quebec’s economy, with 72% of the world’s maple syrup produced in Quebec alone. Due to tactics employed by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ), the NPR-backed podcast“The Indicator”estimates that maple syrup is valued at approximately $1,300 per barrel —over 20 times more than crude oil. The FPAQ controls the available syrup supply, never releasing enough maple syrup to meet demand, which increases the price. As a result, most of the world’s maple syrup is stored in various reserves. Between 2011 and 2012, a group of thieves decided to liberate the syrup from an FPAQ facility in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, Quebec. Stealing syrup from Canada doesn’t sound as glamorous as stealing cash from a Vegas casino, but their plan could rival the plot of “Ocean’s Eleven.”

alerted the police, who would go on to arrest 17 men in connection to the theft, including Vallières himself.

Police were then able to recover hundreds

of barrels of the stolen syrup, but most of it was never recovered — likely lost

to pancake breakfasts far away.

4 | 402-718-8888

Published by The Newsletter Pro • www.newsletterpro.com

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4

www.leroypetersonlaw.com

Made with FlippingBook Ebook Creator