Capital Advisory Group December 2018


119 Old State Rd., Ellisville, MO 63021

DEC 2018


Can you believe it’s almost Christmastime? We hardly can. It feels like we just put the Halloween decorations away, and now here we are! That crazy thing called “time” moves rapidly — in this case, though, I am looking forward to the holidays, so maybe it’s okay that time speeds up. This season brings to mind cozy mornings at home, a little extra time with loved ones, and warm, home- cooked meals. When the snow falls, it creates a winter wonderland that’s hard to beat. On days like that, the best course of action is to stay inside, watch the snow fall, and just enjoy what’s right in front of you. Winter is such a great time of year, isn’t it? We love celebrating with our immediate family and maybe even with some of our relatives who only come visit once or twice a year. In either case, we feel lucky to be together. For the holidays, we plan to make more time both for being with loved ones and for the quiet moments to sit and reflect. In our busy world, we’ve got to soak these moments up when we can.The gift of time is not one you want to squander; you don’t get it back, and you can’t make more of it. So it’s best to make the most of your time with days full of laughter,

love, and people who build you up whenever you’re around them. During the holiday season, hold those people close and cherish the moments that make memories. If anyone were to ask us what the best Christmas gift would be, not much can beat those quality times when the world slows a little. You’re then immersed in what’s going on in front of you, and you’re with people you love. Our friends and family members make life richer. It might sound a little corny, but really, those evenings spent gathered around a table or fireplace, laughing at a story someone told, add real value to your life. Let’s make more time for those. Speaking of great gifts, if you’re still hunting for the perfect one, December happens to be Refer a Friend Month. What’s the best gift you can give a friend or family member? An awesome tax advisor! In all seriousness, though, we really do appreciate your referrals. As a small business, it’s incredibly beneficial when you share the great experience you had with us with your friends and family. It’s a gift that continues to give. When your loved one realizes their dream of early retirement or gains the knowledge they need to make smart financial decisions, we’re all part of that.

It plays a big role in why we love what we do — create connections within our community that benefit others. Thank you for being part of that. P.S. In the coming months, keep your eyes peeled for a special way we’re saying thank you to some lucky clients. (Hint — It might be related to a Facebook contest, so make sure to check us out at CapitalAdvisoryGroupInc).

-Jeff and John Zufall

(636) 394-5524 1

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Whether You’re Retired or Not Be Tax Smart in the Year to Come 5 COMMON FINANCIAL STRUGGLES FOR SENIORS 4WAYS TO PLAN FOR 2019

As the end of the year approaches, we’ve already got next year on the brain.This is an opportunity to start thinking about 2019 and how you can maximize resources with the decisions you make. While there are few changes you can make that will affect your 2018 taxes — other than last charitable contributions — now is the ideal time to think about how you’ll choose to make contributions and distribute your resources for the year to come. Here are five aspects of planning that you can start. 1. Look at your 401(k) contributions. Look to see that your contributions will meet your long-term goals for retirement. Do you need to increase them to achieve your objective? Talk with your tax advisor to make sure you’re maximizing the options your company provides. 2. Plan charitable donations. Consider how and where you’ll make these contributions in the coming year. Each is a personal choice that will have an impact. So taking some time to research how you’ll make your donations will ensure you’re making the most of what you give. 3. Be diligent about tax documentation. Nothing makes tax season easier than organizing your receipts and documents throughout the year instead of all at once in the spring. Designate a cabinet or file folder for these documents, with clearly labeled separators.This will make it easy to file a piece of paper or receipt as soon as you get it. 4. Evaluate if a 529 plan makes sense for your family. Parents and grandparents can contribute to a 529 plan for their children, which can be used for qualifying educational expenses.There are state credits and deductions available for these contributions and federal tax advantages, as well. Getting a start now and considering how each of these components fits into your 2019 plan will help you maximize your taxes in the year to come. As you’re looking for a tax advisor to go over some of the details with you, the team at Capital Advisory Group is here to help. Give us a call.

Planning for and navigating retirement is the most pressing financial concern for older adults. While understanding how to budget and spend as you approach and enter retirement is crucial, it’s far from the only issue that seniors face. Last year, a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) investigated the most commonly reported complaints the organization had received from adults age 62 and older. Aside from retirement savings, here are the five major issues reported by seniors. Debt The number of seniors and retirees with debt is at an all-time high. Many seniors carry excessive debt in order to ease the burden on their children and grandchildren. Some still have student debt from their college years or other outstanding loans. Others turn to credit cards to defray a surprise cost like a medical emergency. If you’re in danger of falling behind on payments, contact your lenders before opening a new credit account. Reverse Mortgages Many seniors have reverse mortgages, which allow them to buy into home equity provided they repay it when the property is sold. In this mortgage structure, however, people still need to pay property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.These mortgages can end up being a trap for seniors, which is why Jean Setzfand, a senior vice president at AARP, refers to them as a last resort. Scams and IdentityTheft Sadly, many identity thieves and cybercriminals target the elderly. While your credit report can be corrected after such an event, many seniors are unequipped to deal with the process.The best defense is to check your statements often to ensure that any foul behavior is caught as early as possible. Confusion Regarding Fees Many seniors reported charges they didn’t understand to the CFPB. Often, they were signed up for subscriptions they didn’t use or weren’t sure how interest was being calculated. As with identity theft, monitoring your statements for unusual charges is the best way to avoid this source of stress. Loss of a Spouse The loss of a spouse presents challenges much greater than the financial burden, but that is often a major part of navigating the death of your partner. Accessing bank accounts and other assets can prove difficult, especially if it was the deceased who primarily managed the finances. Working with a financial planner or elder law attorney can help make this process less daunting.


4WINTER ILLNESSES YOU’D RATHER AVOID Know What to Look For Before They Attack

A choo! That’s the last noise

by other viruses. Of the many symptoms — nasal congestion, low-grade fevers, and coughing — wheezing is the one you should be most concerned about. If your child is having difficulty breathing and is dehydrated, they may have caught a more serious strain of the virus. Most children will recover with at-home rest, but some may need to be hospitalized for more severe symptoms. Influenza The flu is known for causing high fever, muscle aches and pains, nausea, and other symptoms similar to a cold. Often, the fever will last for around five days, but it can be shortened with the aid of antiviral medications. However, these medications are recommended only for children who face serious complications or

hospitalization from the flu. If you want to avoid catching this, your best bet is to receive the annual flu vaccine. StrepThroat A sore throat, headache, stomach ache, vomiting, and high fever are signs of strep. This infection is treated with antibiotics and should be addressed soon after the first symptoms appear to prevent further complications. Children with strep throat should stay away from school and other activities until they’ve been on antibiotics for 24 hours. Everyone knows that getting sick is no fun and is best avoided at all costs. However, it happens to everyone eventually. Catching a virus or infection in its early stages can help you shake the sickness much faster.

you want to hear this winter. Cold weather brings a slew of sicknesses, so be vigilant to treat these common illnesses, or better yet, avoid them altogether.

The Common Cold Although there is no cure, a cold is easier to treat than other illnesses. If you or a loved one has a runny nose, low-grade fever, headache, cough, nasal congestion, or sore throat, the common cold has most likely taken hold. With the help of rest and perhaps some cold medicine, like cough drops and decongestants, the cold will come and go in about a week. Bronchiolitis Bronchiolitis appears most commonly in children less than a year old and is caused

Ingredients TAKE A BREAK BUTTERY ROASTED CHESTNUTS Inspired by Bon Appétit

• 2 pounds fresh chestnuts, unpeeled • 2-3 sprigs rosemary • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste • Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Heat oven to 450 F. 2. Place a large sheet of foil on a rimmed baking sheet. 3. On a large, flat workspace, place chestnuts flat side down. Using a sharp knife, carve an X on the rounded side of each chestnut. 4. In a large bowl of hot water, soak chestnuts for 1 minute. 5. Pat dry and transfer to a medium bowl. Add rosemary, butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Toss to coat and transfer to baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer. Gather the edges of the foil together, leaving an opening at the top.

6. Roast until peels curl up, about 30-45 minutes. 7. Transfer to a platter and serve while hot or warm.


(636) 394-5524

119 Old State Rd. Ellisville, MO 63021


The Greatest Gift

page 1

Financial Struggles Older Adults Face

page 2

Planning for 2019

page 2

What Do My Symptoms Mean?

page 3

Buttery Roasted Chestnuts

page 3

The Other December Holiday

page 4


PayingTribute to National Bacon Day

While most of the United States is focused on other December holidays, there’s an important one coming up that you’ll really regret missing: National Bacon Day. Not to fear — after reading this article, you’ll be fully informed and can properly celebrate on Dec. 30. Although the origin of National Bacon Day is murky, it seems as good of an excuse as any to eat a piece (or fifty) of bacon. In tribute to the holiday, here are three facts about bacon you may not know. ‘Bring Home the Bacon’ This expression is said to have originated in the 1100s in Dunmow, England. There, every four years, married couples demonstrate their devotion to one another for a “flitch” — a large side of bacon cut lengthwise — at the Dunmow flitch trials. The

bacon prize is awarded to any couple who can demonstrate to the judges that they’ve maintained marital harmony in the year leading up to the event. If their evidence is found to be satisfactory, the happy couple gets to literally bring home the bacon. Missouri’s Claim to Bacon Fame Pike County, Missouri, is home to Woods Smoked Meats, and the owner, Ed Woods, is a bacon legend. He’s won hundreds of awards and has even been inducted into the American Cured Meats Hall of Fame. Woods Smoked Meats offerings include hickory- smoked cured bacon and chipotle-lime bacon. If you’re looking for a bacon source for the upcoming holiday, take Ed’s advice and “come on down where the weather is warmer and the bacon is better.”

Bacon on a Donut? Of the many mouth-watering ways bacon is served, sitting atop a maple- glazed donut has to be one of the most inventive. It’s a novelty that Voodoo Donuts in Portland, Oregon, claims to have started. These days, you can find the sweet and savory combination at most donut shops, including Vincent Van Doughnut in St. Louis. So go ahead and enjoy all things bacon, whether it’s scrambled into your eggs, set between lettuce and tomato, or, yes, even on a donut.


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