LIFESTYLE ADVOCACY FAMILY FINANCE LAFF is a publication of DuPontWealth Solutions andThe Law Offices of DuPont and Blumenstiel, blending original and curated content and is intended to educate the general public about investing, finance, estate planning, personal injury, and small business issues. It is not intended to be legal or financial advice. Every situation is different.The information in this newsletter may be freely copied and distributed, as long as the newsletter is copied in its entirety.
LOOKING BACK AT 30 YEARS OF LAW The “back-to-school” marketing campaigns are hitting me particularly hard this year. It’s not that I need any more binders or mechanical pencils — they just remind me of exactly how ROUGH BEGINNINGS
long it’s been since I was a student, in the traditional sense. While I always make a point of being a life-long learner, the truth is that this month marks 30 years since my first day of law school. As it turns out, three decades gives you a lot to reflect on. It was 1989. Chicago’s “Look Away” was on the top of the Billboard charts, the Soviet Union was disintegrating, and I was receiving one of the most ominous lectures of my life. As part of the “orientation” at Capital University Law School, a veteran lawyer was brought in to set the expectations of first-year students, and, boy, did this grizzled attorney set them low. “Those of you who become lawyers are going to be alcoholics and hate your jobs,” he told us, flatly. Unfortunately, this warning had come
too late — I’d already dropped off my student loan check at the tuition office. For better or worse, I was going forward with my education.
courtroom dramas (and our web series, The Pilot Mysteries), for many of my bretheren, practicing law is a lot of drudgery for very little gain. Most lawyers make the same as your average plumber, and plumbers aren’t swimming in student loan debt. Those who don’t care about the money and simply want the thanks and admiration of their clients have it even worse. Few people hire this type of a lawyer because things are going well in their life. To practice law is to be in an industry where almost no one is happy to see you — that sort of life can be soul crushing. So, thank you. I am grateful my clients add joy and energy to my practice and have allowed me to avoid the type of life I was warned about some 30 years ago.
I think this dreary opening message affected me less than many of my classmates. Unlike my more idealistic peers, I hadn’t come to Capital U with an Atticus Finch complex. I wasn’t there to become some white knight for the downtrodden — I came from a small business family, and I knew that was the world I wanted to go back to. I just felt being able to think like a lawyer would be beneficial. Still, while I wasn’t disillusioned by this “alcoholism and self-loathing” speech, it was sobering all the same. Looking back now, with a job I love and a perfectly healthy affinity for martinis, I still think that old lawyer had a point. So many attorneys really do hate what they do. For all the romanticizing you find in
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STAYING ‘COOL’ WITHYOUR CANINE
Enjoy the Weather While Keeping Your Pup Comfortable
With all this late-summer sunshine, it’s the perfect time to take your dog out for some fun. And while spending time basking in nature’s beauty can be a great source of fun and exercise for you and your pets, it’s important to keep a careful watch on your dog’s core temperature to prevent heat exhaustion. There are several detectable signs of heat exhaustion that you can watch for, including abnormal lethargy, vomiting, or a brightly colored blue or red tongue. Here are some tips to keep your canine cool this summer. WATER IN ALL ITS FORMS While certain dog breeds thrive in hotter climates, all pups need a little extra care when it comes to staying hydrated during the summer. For starters, always make sure they have ready access to drinkable water. If you are going on an adventure, consider bringing a collapsible water bowl. If you are doing some backyard chilling, consider filling up a small wading pool with water for your pooch to splash or lounge in. SOME INVALUABLE INVENTIONS There are many contraptions to help you keep your canine cool in the summer heat. Booties to insulate their toes and protect their paw pads from the hot asphalt, cooling vests that reflect sunlight off darker fur, and pressure-activated cooling pads are just a few of the gizmos you can purchase to stave off those scorching temps. The Dog People, a website powered by Rover.com, also
recommends making frozen “pupsicles,” a yogurt-based frozen treat that can satisfy doggy cravings while keeping them cool. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE While fun water toys and helpful cooling inventions are great,
the best thing you can do to keep your dog cool is be careful about when you decide to go outside. Taking your pup out in the early morning or later in the evening, when the sun isn’t at its highest point in the sky, will help keep them cooler in the long run. Additionally, keep in mind that some breeds deal with the heat better than others. If you’re unsure, do a little research to determine your dog’s susceptibility to heat exhaustion. Just because the heat is sizzling doesn’t mean your dog should be! Keep these tips in mind before taking your canine out in the summer sun. They will thank you for it!
AUGUST 15 What is a self-directed IRA, and should you have one? Special guest, Kirk Chisolm SEPTEMBER 19 I’ve been injured in an automobile accident. Now what should I do, so I don’t screw up my claim? OCTOBER 17 How to escape the 401(k) trap.
This month, the clash over Arturo de Modelo’s conflicting living wills comes to a head, as Greg DuPont makes his case at the hearing over their validity. In the aftermath, Chelsea de Modelo struggles with the knowledge of her husband’s apparently forgotten insurance policies revealed by Carl D’Antonio. Does their existence bolster her convictions that Vivian Wainwright and her sons were behind Arturo’s bizarre accident? Or are they really forgotten policies at all? Could her husband have been intentionally hiding them from her all along? DuPont will need all his wits about him — and the help of another associate — to even begin to get to the bottom of the strange case of Arturo de Modelo.
Join us at noon on Facebook live or catch the podcast at www.ThirdThursday30.com.
MARCH TO 1 MILLION UPDATE
Check out the entire chapter, enter the monthly drawing and perhaps learn a few things at www. DandBlaw.com or http://bit.ly/PilotMysteryCh2. The deadline for entry is August 31.
Current count for the March to 1 Million: 82,701
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TRADITIONAL VS. ROTH
Chances are, you’ve heard plenty of talk about IRAs and Roth IRAs while saving for your retirement. There’s plenty of literature out there debating which plan is better, but the truth is, that answer really depends on you and your goals. If you don’t have a 401(k) or similar plan through your employer, traditional and Roth IRAs both present a great avenue for retirement savings, but they have significant differences. Here’s an overview to help you make an informed decision. WHENTHETAXMAN COMES The most significant difference between these two plans is when you are taxed. The contributions you make to traditional IRAs use pretax dollars, whereas Roth IRAs use post-tax contributions. This means that while you may have less money to contribute to your Roth IRA, the gains it makes as it grows can be withdrawn tax-free, so long as you follow the withdrawal rules. Meanwhile, traditional IRA withdrawals are treated as regular income and are taxed accordingly. MUST BETHIS SHORTTO RIDE While the tax benefits of a Roth IRA may sound attractive, not everyone has access to this savings plan. If you have a high income, you may be disqualified from participating — for example, those who had a modified adjusted gross income of greater than $137,000 ($203,000 for couples) in 2018 cannot invest in a Roth IRA. However, traditional IRAs do not have these restrictions.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Both forms of IRAs have certain time and age restrictions. For example, you can no longer contribute to a traditional IRA after you turn 70, and you will be required to start making withdrawals half a year later — regardless of whether you need the money. While Roth plans don’t have these cutoffs and requirements, you must wait five years before you can withdraw any of your contributions without tax penalties. Certain hardship and education withdrawals are exempt from this five-year rule, but for those looking to enjoy retirement with a Roth IRA, saving sooner is better than waiting. Nuances like these make choosing the right IRA so important. Your financial advisor can help guide you to a decision that best matches your income and retirement goals.
Inspired by CookieAndKate.com
Gazpacho, an Andalusian soup made of blended vegetables and traditionally served cold, is the perfect refresher on a warm summer day.
2 1/2 lbs. ripe tomatoes; cored, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks 1 small cucumber; peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 small Vidalia onion, peeled and cubed 1/4 cup basil leaves 1 clove garlic, peeled
• • • • •
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 red bell pepper; cored, seeded, and sliced into ribbons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Place a blender and medium mixing bowl on your workstation. 2. Divide the tomato chunks, cucumber pieces, and bell pepper slices evenly between blender and bowl. Place entire onion in blender. 3. Add basil, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to blender. Blend on low, gradually raising speed to high until smooth, about 2 minutes. 4. Add blender contents to bowl and mix until just broken up, about 10–20 seconds. 5. Let mixture sit in fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. Transfer to bowls and serve.
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What More Lawyers Should Know PAGE 1
Staying ‘Cool’ With Your Canine This Summer Pilot Mysteries Synopsis PAGE 2
Which IRA Is Right for You? Summertime Gazpacho PAGE 3
Not Your Average Vacation Lodgings PAGE 4
AMERICA’S WEIRDEST AIRBNBS THIS AIN’T MOTEL 6! When Airbnb was founded a little over a decade ago, the developers hoped to provide an alternative to traditional travel accommodations. Today, with annual revenue in the billions, the service is an industry unto itself. While most people use Airbnb to “live like a local” while traveling, you can find some truly wacky lodging options if you spend some time searching the platform. Here are just a few of the many contenders for the title of “Weirdest Airbnb in the U.S.” For ease of searching, the listings here have the same titles as they do on Airbnb. BRAND NEW STUDIO EARTHSHIP TAOS, NEW MEXICO Earthships, houses run by clean energy and featuring reused materials, are a fixture of the Taos area. This one, which looks almost like a crashing wave with a living space in its undertow, combines the rustic charm of truly getting away from it all with modern amenities like Wi-Fi and in-home laundry. It’s a truly unique living space surrounded by pristine nature and not far from the historic Taos Pueblo. MANCAVE APARTMENT/AIRPLANE HANGAR GENEVA, FLORIDA Airbnb super hosts Dan and Deborah have no shortage of quirky properties for rent — including yurts and treehouses — but their apartment fashioned out of
an airplane hangar surely takes the cake. You’d be forgiven for thinking it was a theme restaurant featuring eclectic aviation. Memorabilia lines the walls with a bar front and center, and the bed is in a loft high above the ground. DOG BARK PARK INN B&B COTTONWOOD, IDAHO As you approach the Dog Bark Park Inn, you won’t have to guess if you’re in the right place. After all, how many buildings are shaped like beagles? When describing the space on Airbnb, the hosts make no bones about who this rental is aimed for. “Stay in a giant dog!” they say. In addition to being inside a massive wooden dog, you’ll find canine-themed games, books, and more. Talk about ruffing it.
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