After Katrina hit in 2005, Congress allowed taxpayers harmed by the storm to withdraw

retirement funds with no penalty. I did that and regret it to this day. I lost out on a lot of growth in the stock market as a result. With the pandemic, Congress is allowing certain taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 virus to withdraw up to $100,000 from their retirement accounts with no penalty and to spread the taxes over three years. Several clients have asked me about this and I cannot definitely tell them that they are eligible for penalty-free withdrawal because the CARES Act refers to IRS guidance, which the IRS hasn’t issued yet. So, if you withdraw funds before the IRS issues guidance, then you may owe both the penalty and pay all the tax this year. Keep these points in mind if you are considering withdrawing funds. You have until Dec. 31, 2020, to withdraw the funds. If you withdraw funds now, you will lock in any losses you sustained in the recent market meltdown. If you have to withdraw funds, draw minimal amounts to get you through a few months at a time to let the market recover. And remember, you can use your retirement funds to invest in real estate without withdrawing them from your IRA.

Why YourWorkout Routine Might Protect You From Infection CAN EXERCISE STAVE OFF SICKNESS?

the time if hard workouts really did reduce immunity — actually took fewer sick days than athletes who exercised less. And in 2005, a study on mice showed that jogging for 30 minutes a day over several weeks made them more likely to survive rodent flu. What’s even more interesting is that according to The New York Times, a 2008 study conducted on mice in Germany suggested that rather than dying off during exercise, immune cells “traveled to the animals’ lungs, guts, and other parts of their bodies potentially most vulnerable to germ invasions during exercise” before returning to the bloodstream. Basically, exercise helped the mice become even better illness-fighting machines! On top of staving off illnesses like the flu, there’s evidence that working out can help control allergy symptoms. Fitness and Wellness News reports that the link between the two comes down to blood flow. When you exercise, your blood flow speeds up, which moves allergens more quickly through your body so your kidneys can eliminate them. On the contrary, sedentary living encourages

Unless you’ve been living under a rock since January, you know all about COVID-19, more commonly known as the coronavirus, and the global chaos it has caused, including massive quarantines, flight cancellations, and medical supply shortages. Understandably, people have since picked up new habits to avoid contracting the illness, like washing hands more thoroughly, wearing masks outdoors, and avoiding big crowds. Those are all good precautions, but according to The New York Times, there might be another strategy you can employ year-round to boost your immune system: regular exercise. If that surprises you, you’re not alone! Back in the 1980s, misleading research conducted on marathon participants spread the myth that a tough workout suppresses your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness. However, in recent years, new studies on both mice and humans debunked that theory. In 2014, scientists at Umeå University in Sweden found that elite endurance athletes — the people you’d think would be sick all

–Bob Norton

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allergens to stay put and destroy nearby tissues. As Fitness andWellness News puts it, “Constant movement of the allergens through the bloodstream prevents these delicate tissues from becoming inflamed.” One of the best movements for allergy sufferers is swimming because it’s a great full-body workout and the humid air is gentle on the lungs. With hay fever and other pollen allergies in full swing, now might be the perfect time to start a new routine. If you do decide to start exercising more regularly, just remember not to overdo it right away. Going from entirely sedentary to training like a marathon runner overnight actually can be damaging to your body because the change is such a shock — you might end up sick as a result! Instead, ease yourself into your new workout regimen by adding a bit more duration and/or intensity to your sessions over time. Also, if you’re already feeling sick or suffering from severe allergies, do yourself and others a favor and stay home. Going out when you’re under the weather will just spread your germs to other people trying to stay healthy. Here’s the bottom line: While it’s been proven to help, exercise isn’t a silver bullet for preventing or controlling illness. It’s still smart to take other common-sense precautions against illnesses like the flu and COVID-19, like washing your hands regularly (including before and after you work out), getting enough sleep at night, and avoiding people who are coughing or sneezing.

Unsure of How to Lead Your Business Through a Crisis?


With more than 30 years of experience mentoring massive international companies and nurturing business leaders at top American universities under his belt, Garcia is the perfect person to give voice to these tough lessons. His prose is self-assured, knowledgeable, and easy to read, which makes “The Agony of Decision” a surprisingly comforting book for an entrepreneur going through hardship. There’s a reason BookAuthority named it one of their best crisis management books of all time!

When business coach and scholar Helio Fred Garcia published “The Agony of Decision: Mental Readiness and Leadership in a Crisis” back in 2017, he had no way of knowing that a pandemic would break out just three years later. Now, his book about how to make tough calls under pressure is more relevant than ever for entrepreneurs. “The Agony of Decision” teaches that when your company is on the line, it’s quick thinking—more than smooth communication, effective execution, or even expertise — that can save it. The book offers a framework to guide you through the decision-making process, helping you identify and weigh each outcome, then choose the right one. Answer that first big question, Garcia teaches, and the rest of the tumblers will click into place, allowing you to lead your company forward. To prove it, he weaves his personal experiences and decision-making scaffolding with notable stories of past business failures and successes. As one Amazon reviewer writes, “Helio Fred Garcia provides a thorough discussion of the do’s and don’ts of crisis response with both current and historical events (remember Exxon Valdez or Tylenol?) that clearly demonstrate the right way to respond … and the gateway to disaster.”

In the last few months, the coronavirus has proven to be the ultimate test of crisis management. If you’re in the process of figuring out how to lead your business effectively through the turbulence and could use a decision-making toolkit to help you when the phone rings with bad news, “The Agony of Decision”might be your ideal summer read.

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KEEP YOUR BRAIN YOUNG 3 Tips for Good Brain Health From Harvard Medical School

throughout your lifetime, then follow this advice from Harvard Medical School.

Publishing urges readers to maintain good mental health and get restful sleep, as they are “certainly important goals” for improving cognitive function and overall well-being. 3. Stay connected. It’s not enough to focus on yourself. In order to maintain your long-term cognitive health, you should also focus on your connections with other people. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Strong social ties have been associated with a lower risk of dementia, as well as lower blood pressure and longer life expectancy.”Make new friends, stay in touch with family members, and maintain positive relationships in your life. They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is certainly true when it comes to your brain health. Do what you can today to protect your mental functions tomorrow.

As we age, our bodies change, including our mental functions. Cognitive decline is one of the biggest fears of aging, but it’s not inevitable. Though we’re still learning new things about how our brains work, there’s a lot of scientific research that shows how to keep your brain young. If you want to keep your mind sharp

1. Get a good workout. Exercising regularly helps all the muscles and organs in your body, even your brain! A good workout can lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels, which help your brain and your heart. Harvard Health Publishing, a website of Harvard Medical School, also notes that “animals who exercise regularly increase the number of tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen- rich blood to the region of the brain that is responsible for thought.” 2. Pay attention to your mental health. Poor mental health can lead to impaired cognitive function. Chronic anxiety, depression, and exhaustion tend to cause low scores on cognitive function tests. But test scores aren’t necessarily a sign of future cognitive decline, and Harvard Health

Take a Break!

Inspired by

Fig Caprese Salad

It’s sweet. It’s savory. It’s the embodiment of summer!


• •

Flaked sea salt, to taste

8 oz buffalo mozzarella or fresh mozzarella 8 oz ripe fresh figs, quartered lengthwise

Coarse ground black pepper, to taste

Olive oil, to taste

Handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped


1. Tear mozzarella into bite-size pieces. Arrange on a platter. 2. Place quartered figs, flesh up, around mozzarella. 3. Sprinkle basil leaves over top. 4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 5. Drizzle with olive oil.




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THE REAL ESTATE TAX PRO ™ 985-640-6072

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Bob PAGE 1 CanWorking Out Protect You From a Virus? PAGE 1 The Secret to Leading in a Crisis PAGE 2 Harvard’s Tips to Keep Your Brain Young PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Fig Caprese Salad PAGE 3 5 World Records Broken by Animals PAGE 4

SUPER BEAGLES AND JUMPING LLAMAS Guinness World Records’ Most Amazing Animals

Didga, a Very Tricky Kitty

Hearing about someone who has claimed a Guinness World Record is pretty cool, but do you know what’s even cooler? When animals make world records. Here are a few amazing animals who hold some really cool records.

Anyone who says cats can’t learn tricks hasn’t met Didga. In 2016, Didga, with help from her human, Robert Dollwet, claimed a world record by performing 20 different tricks in 60 seconds. Her routine started with the classics, like sitting and giving high-fives, and culminated in riding a skateboard while hopping over a low bar. Dollwet told Guinness World Records that training Didga took a lot of time and patience and that he was so proud of his clever cat.

Caspa, the Amazing Jumping Llama

Sue Williams is an animal trainer and behaviorist who specializes in dogs. One day, she was working on agility training with her dogs when she noticed her llama, Caspa, watching them. After a little time and training, Williams discovered that Caspa loved jumping, too. In 2015, Caspa cleared a bar set at 3 feet, 8 1/2 inches. He jumped right into the world record for “highest bar jump cleared by a llama.” “He’s a complete diva,” says Williams. “So, if there are people there to show off in front of, that’s when he’s at his ultimate best.”

claimed another record when she became the “fastest dog on a ball” by traveling 10 meters in 10.39 seconds while balancing on a ball. Not long after, Purin and Kumagai set the record for “most skips by a dog and a person in one minute — single rope”with 58 skips. Talk about super!

Purin, the BeagleWho Holds 3 Guinness World Records

Nicknamed “The Super Beagle,” Purin scored her first title in 2015 for her amazing goalkeeping skills. The beagle “saved” 14 mini soccer balls thrown by her human, Makoto Kumagai, in one minute. A year later, Purin

You can find videos of all these amazing record holders and more at .

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