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.
AUTHORING THE FUTURE
SUCCESSES OF THE PAST YEAR AND THE YEAR TO COME
Another year gone by — and what a year it was. Looking back, I’m not exactly sure how I stayed sane through it all! 2019 took me from Broadway to Hollywood, and plenty of other milestones along the way. So, it is with both satisfaction and great trepidation that I say I have no plans of slowing down in 2020. I’m excited to announce I’m in the process of writing my own book! “The Retirement Tax Trap: How Madison Avenue, K Street, and Wall Street Have Colluded to Place Your Future at Risk” won’t be my first foray into publication (though I confess it’s far more work than writing a humble newsletter). As I march toward the completion of what may be my magnum opus on retirement planning, I’m grateful for the lessons of the past year and the growth that came with it. Early last year, I had the pleasure of writing a guest chapter in Jack Canfield’s “The Recipe For Success,” a process that prepared me for writing my own book in more ways than one. Not only did this first long-form authorial work get me used to the demands of professional publishing, but it also made me take a deeper look at my own professional philosophy. After all, the chapter was on the advantages of having a lawyer as a financial advisor — something I’ve always seen as a unique niche but had never fully explored. The process of putting words to paper, as it often does for me in these newsletters, showed me a deeper side of myself and the way I look at my profession and the duty I have to my clients. In short, had it not been for the experience of putting together that exploratory chapter, 2019 may have been a very different year. When I first began writing, I was worried that I may not have enough to say to fill a whole chapter — but I quickly learned I actually had the opposite problem. There was so much I could say about the nature of law and finance, on the duty of financial advisors, and the need for ethical stewardship in this industry that I couldn’t hope to fit it in the bounds of a single work. That realization is what galvanized my march to a million mission. Making a positive impact on a million people in 10 years was a long time dream, but realizing that I had a unique message to reach an audience with made it seem that much more doable. After writing that chapter for Canfield, I began taking more speaking engagements, eventually lecturing on the big stage in Broadway and Hollywood. I also launched my podcast along with
our serialized “Pilot Mysteries,” and stepped up my Facebook live events. Before I knew it, I was a multimedia man: exhausted from all the travel and production but also deeply rewarded. Today, on top of this soon-to-be released book project, I’m also in the process of writing some content for some major financial publications. In 2020, my voice will reach more people than ever before. But this is nothing new for longtime readers of this newsletter. Indeed, this little publication is a good break from the headier, industry-focused works I’m putting out elsewhere. This is a place for me to get a little
more personal, reflect, and share advice that goes beyond the financial. So, in taking the totality of 2019 into perspective, the best advice I can leave you with is this: Don’t discount the small steps. Maybe you have a goal to write a book one day or pull off any other monumental achievement. Right now, it might seem like an impossible dream, but I’m willing to bet it’s actually a lot closer than you give yourself credit for. Start with the small steps. Write an article, go to an open mic, paint a picture just for you, and go from there. Then, find the next most challenging milestone and tackle it. Soon you’ll go from writing 500-word letters to whole chapters, and, soon enough, you’ll be authoring the work you’ve dreamed of all along. I’ve learned that the best things in life don’t come in a single bound; if you’re willing to put in the patience and hard work, one day you’ll look back in disbelief on how far you’ve come.
Here’s to the future,
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HELPYOUR KIDS ACHIEVE MORETHISYEAR
With Simple, Actionable Goals
With every new year comes an opportunity to reinvent ourselves or start down a new path toward self-improvement. Making resolutions is a big part of many families’ NewYear’s traditions, and parents often have a desire for their kids to take part in that tradition when they’re old enough. Following through on resolutions is tough, especially for young children, but with your help, they can achieve their goals. PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH. You are your children’s role model for almost everything, including following through on NewYear’s resolutions. So, ask yourself if you follow through on your own resolutions. When you proclaim that you will read more books or finally get a gym membership, do you actually try to do it? Your kids will assign as much importance to NewYear’s resolutions as you do, so by sticking to your own commitments, you can help them stay on track too. KEEP THINGS SIMPLE AND ACHIEVABLE. When your kids are forming their resolutions, their first attempts will probably be very broad. Statements like “I want to be more kind” or “I will try to help more around the house” incorporate good values but don’t include any actionable steps. Help your kids think of tangible ways to act on those goals. For example, if they want to be tidier, a good resolution might be for them to clean their room once a week or take responsibility for one household chore every day.
DON’T DO ALL THE WORK FOR THEM.
While it’s important for you to help your kids formulate their goals, be sure that you aren’t taking over. If they’re ultimately responsible for their resolutions, they’ll feel more compelled to keep them. Instead, suggest different goal areas they could improve, such as home, school, or sports, and let them elaborate. When it comes to creating habits, nobody is perfect, so even if your kids falter on their goals in the middle of February, don’t worry. The important thing is that you continue to encourage them every step of the way.
JAN. 16 Starting the Year Off on the Right Foot
By the time the FBI agent arrives to interview Greg DuPont, Greg’s feeling pretty optimistic about catching his abductors and possibly cracking the whole case. The information Michael Mueller obtained in his investigation seemed like it had to be enough to locate the wizard and the clown. Once the two of them were interrogated by an FBI agent, the two knuckleheads were sure to crack. But Greg and his staff are about to learn that FBI agents are just as intimidating when you haven’t done anything wrong, and the wheels of justice can turn very slowly indeed.
FEB. 20 Tackling the Cost of Long-Term Care
MARCH 19 The Taxman Cometh
Join us at noon on Facebook Live or catch the podcast at ThirdThursday30.com.
Check out the entire chapter, catch up on prior chapters, enter the monthly $25 drawing, and perhaps learn a few things at DandBlaw.com or http://bit.ly/PilotMysteryCh8. The deadline for entry is Jan. 30.
MARCH TO 1 MILLION UPDATE Current count for the March to 1 Million: 217,709
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WHEN DECISION-MAKING FAILS YOU Planning for the Uncertain With Advanced Directives
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE There are a few estate planning mechanisms that can make these lifetime contingencies secure and affordable. On the financial front, you should consider a durable power of attorney. This agreement grants authority to a designated decision-maker to make financial decisions on your behalf in the event you become mentally incapacitated. Similarly, designating a health care proxy will allow one such individual to have the same decision-making power when it comes to the treatment you receive.These two authorities can be placed in the hands of the same individual, such as a spouse, or two separate entities you trust. A LOT TO BEAR Advanced directives are intended to reduce uncertainty in what can be an otherwise trying time for your loved ones. Still, some may feel the responsibilities involved in these proxy positions place too much weight on their own judgement. If you would rather not put life or death medical
Medical advances have done immeasurable good for this world, there’s no denying that. But the intersection of life-sustaining procedures and modern finance has made estate planning a more complex process. Gone are the days where you only have to worry about the allocation of your wealth after you pass on — today you need robust advanced directives to preserve your wishes through otherwise dire circumstances. WHAT ARE ADVANCED DIRECTIVES? If you’ve ever had a major medical procedure at a hospital, chances are you’ve at least heard of advanced medical directives.These are a set of instructions you leave for doctors, caregivers, and loved ones in the event you lose the mental faculties to make decisions about your own care. What you might not know is there are financial versions of these directives as well, allowing you to control how your assets are managed in the event you become incoherent.
decisions on the shoulders of a loved one, a living will can also contain a set of written instructions that clearly lay out the extent to which life-sustaining measures should be taken to maintain your life. Advanced directives should be considered essential estate planning tools for all individuals, regardless of age or income.The absence of these documents can lead to count interventions, family feuds, and unnecessary heart ache at a time when speed and unity are of the essence.
EASY TOMATO SOUP
Inspired by Nom Nom Paleo
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup chicken broth
4 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced
8.5 oz coconut milk
6 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 28-oz can roasted and diced tomatoes (Muir Glen Organic is a good brand)
1. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté leeks in coconut oil until softened and translucent, about 7–10 minutes. 2. Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat. 3. Meanwhile, in a blender, purée entire can of tomatoes, including juice, until smooth. 4. Add sautéed leeks and garlic and purée again. 5. Transfer purée to a saucepan and add chicken broth and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then drop to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. 6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
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INSIDE Greg’s New Book! PAGE 1
Helping Your Kids Make NewYear’s Resolutions Pilot Mysteries Synopsis PAGE 2 Future Uncertainty and Advanced Directives Easy Tomato Soup PAGE 3
Real Winter Wonderlands PAGE 4
ESCAPE TO A WINTER WONDERLAND
CHILL OUT IN THESE FROSTY DESTINATIONS
Snow is magical and gorgeous — unless you have to commute in it. If you want to enjoy all the wonder that winter has to offer without the hassle, why not turn it into a vacation? Here are a few breathtaking, snow-covered destinations that any winter lover can enjoy. BULGUKSA TEMPLE, SOUTH KOREA Above the city of Gyeongju, this ancient Buddhist temple has stood on the slopes of Tohamsan Mountain since the eighth century. Bulguksa, or “Temple of the Buddha Land,” is South Korea’s No. 1 UNESCOWorld Heritage Site, making it a popular attraction for domestic and international tourism. The crowds and school tours die down during the winter, however, which also happens to be when Bulguksa is at its most pristine. The iced- over lotus ponds and snow-dusted pagodas add to the sense of tranquility this site naturally exudes. THE DOLOMITES, SOUTHTYROL, ITALY If you want the feel of a ski trip to the Alps without the packed slopes and ritzy resorts, the Dolomites are just for you. Located in northeastern Italy, this stunning mountain range is home to some of the best skiing in Europe, as well as many historical sites. The secluded villages that dot the mountain valleys are an attraction in their own right, especially for the rustic cuisine
you’ll find there. Don’t expect pasta though. This region is a melting pot of flavors from Austria, northern Italy, and the local Ladin people. Ricotta and sauerkraut pancakes, anyone? THE ANTARCTIC This is the one entry on this list that is best enjoyed during the summer months, which is December–February in the Southern Hemisphere, because that’s when the freezing temperatures of the southernmost continent are at their most hospitable. The Antarctic has become an increasingly popular tourist destination, with cruises taking adventure seekers through the vast, untouched beauty of this far-flung destination. Some tourists even enjoy kayaking or cross-country skiing through this icy paradise.
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