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The Tax Man Cometh
WHY YOU NEED TO CONSIDER TAX POLICY IN RETIREMENT PLANNING
Ben Franklin once famously said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.”Today, I want to talk about taxes. It may not be the most glamorous subject in the world, but it’s hugely impactful when it comes to analyzing your financial plans. Every decision you make should be informed by the tax policy at a given time. When you don’t account for the influence of taxes on your money, you’re missing a significant part of the picture. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2018, created historically low tax rates for millions of Americans. Most economists describe the debt situation created by the new tax policy as unsustainable. “If I had a magic wand, I would raise taxes,” former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told CNBC last year. Given how widespread opinions like Yellen’s are, it’s extremely unlikely that tax rates in a decade will be as low as they are today. Depending on who is in office at the time, tax hikes may be concentrated with the extremely wealthy or spread among the entire pool of taxpayers. Whatever an updated tax policy looks like in detail, it will almost certainly involve higher taxes for most families. What does this mean for your retirement planning? Well, it means you may benefit from paying taxes on retirement savings now rather than later. This is done through a process known as a Roth conversion. Roth retirement accounts are taxed when the money is put in, as opposed to traditional 401(k)s or IRAs that tax money when it is distributed. It’s not hard to see why you may want to pay those taxes now rather than later, especially given that you must “‘If I had a magic wand, I would raise taxes,’ former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told CNBC last year. Given how widespread opinions like Yellen’s are, it’s extremely unlikely that tax rates in a decade will be as low as they are today.”
begin distributing money when you reach the age of 70 1/2 in annual increments known as RMDs (required minimum distributions). You can withdraw more than an RMD in a given year, but never less. If that money is not in a Roth account, you will be forced to pay taxes at the given rate when you withdraw it. So, why not take control of your retirement accounts now, and take the government and state out of it later. Many clients hesitate to undergo a Roth conversion because they hate to see the money in their account lessen due to paying taxes. I like to compare it to ripping off a Band-Aid. If you remove it slowly, it will hurt the entire way. If you do it in one fell swoop, it may hurt, but you won’t be left with sticky residue that will take time and effort to scrub off. And it won’t hurt for a longer period of time, just a short quick burst. Look, anytime anyone presents a pay now or pay later scenario, the pay now scenario is almost always the best bet. Another fantastic benefit of a Roth account is that it is immunized from future tax or policy law changes. Let’s say, for example, you pass away with your money in a traditional account. All of a sudden, your spouse is now pushed into the worst tax bracket, as a single filer, as opposed to a joint filer, the most advantageous tax bracket. Most folks do not intend to do this to their spouse, as many anticipate leaving their assets to their loved ones. Yet, that effectively costs your spouse dearly, as the new tax bracket is the highest tax brackets there are for retirement accounts. On the other hand, the money in a Roth account is yours, and your inheritors, tax-free, never to be tampered with again, whether it be federal or state taxes. No matter what stage you’re in for retirement planning, including those already retired, you may benefit from a careful analysis of your portfolio to see if you will benefit from a Roth conversion. Taxes may be inevitable, but you do have some control over how they are levied. Don’t take that power for granted. There’s only a short window of opportunity left for these most favorable tax brackets.
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Published by The Newsletter Pro • www.newsletterpro.com
SUMMER SWIMMING SAFETY 3 Tips for Swimming in Open Water
WILL DISNEY+ GET YOUR KIDS TO STOP WATCHING UNBOXING VIDEOS?
There’s nothing like taking a dip in a nearby pond, lake, or even the ocean. For many, it’s a summertime tradition. However, swimming in open bodies of water brings certain safety risks, as these environments are not nearly as controlled as public, club, or backyard pools. Everyone should follow these tips to have a fun and safe time cooling off under the summer sun.
NEVER SWIM ALONE
When you swim in virtually any body of water, having someone there to keep an eye on you can be a lifesaver: the more people, the better. Stick to bodies of water with a professional lifeguard on duty when possible, though that’s not always an option. When swimming in open bodies of water, have a “designated spotter” to keep an eye on the swimmers. This way, you’re prepared if anything bad happens. It’s also a great idea to keep flotation devices nearby, such as life jackets, life rings, foam boards, etc. Sometimes, it’s next to impossible to see what’s under the surface of the water. If you are unfamiliar with a body of water, don’t jump or dive in without knowing how deep it is. If you cannot confirm what is under the surface (and the spot is not a known diving location), don’t risk it. It may be okay to swim or wade, but jumping is out of the question. Along these same lines, be VERY careful around bodies of slow-moving or standing water. These can house dangerous microbes and other contaminants that can make you ill and potentially be deadly. KNOWWHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO
Ever since Netflix changed the way we consume movies and TV shows at home, studios have been locked in a streaming war. Amazon Prime and Hulu shook up the scene, along with more niche services like CBS All Access, DC Universe, and Crunchyroll. Is there room for one more? Disney seems to think so, and their new service is shaping up to be the king of streaming.
WHAT IS DISNEY+?
Disney has always prided itself on its family-friendly brand. This is the first major perk of their new streaming service, Disney+. There will be no R-rated films or TV-MA television shows anywhere on the platform. This is a great relief for parents who have had to deal with their kids accidentally navigating away from“Peppa Pig” videos on YouTube and finding more adult content. Keep in mind that “family-friendly” doesn’t mean limited. Disney+ boasts a massive offering of original content, such as the live-action “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” and “Loki,” a show starring everyone’s favorite trickster god. There will also be live-action remakes of Disney animated classics alongside original movies, including a Christmas movie starring Anna Kendrick. New isn’t always better, which is why Disney+ will also house decades’ worth of classic content. Every single movie in the Disney catalog will be available on the service, from“SnowWhite and the Seven Dwarves” to “Frozen 2.” All “Star Wars”movies and Marvel movies will also become available along with over 5,000 episodes of old Disney Channel shows.
WATCH FOR RIP CURRENTS
These can occur at any beach without warning. They pull swimmers away from shore and are strong enough that even excellent swimmers struggle to get through them. In fact, rip currents are behind nearly 80% of
beach rescues. Keep an eye on the foam at the surface of the water. If it seems to suddenly
pull away from the beach, there’s a good chance a rip current is lurking beneath. If you find yourself in a rip current, it’s crucial to remain calm and avoid expending energy by swimming directly back to shore. Instead, try swimming parallel to the shore until you’re out of the current.
IS DISNEY+WORTH IT?
That depends entirely on your family. If you don’t care for Disney, don’t waste your money. However, if you share a soft spot for classic Disney movies, enjoy new Marvel content, or secretly long to rewatch every episode of “Kim Possible,”Disney+ might be the streaming service you’ve been waiting for.
Disney+ launches in the United States on Nov. 12, 2019. Visit Preview. DisneyPlus.com to get notifications. Happy binge-watching!
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Published by The Newsletter Pro • www.newsletterpro.com
THE GUARDIAN WHO WOULD NOT LEAVE HIS WATCH Odin Lives up to His Legendary Name
Amid the devastation of the wildfires that tore through California in the fall of 2017, a few heroic tales rose up to give people hope. One such tale was of Odin, a loyal Great Pyrenees guard dog. Along with his sister, Tessa, and eight rescue goats, Odin is part of the Hendel family. It was mid-October when the Hendels were awoken by the smell of smoke, a fierce orange sky, and sounds of destruction — urgent warnings from Mother Nature. Gathering everyone as quickly as they could, the Hendels got their human family members and Tessa in the car, but Odin, seated proudly next to the eight goats, refused to get in. Try as they might, the Hendels could not get him to come with them, and there wasn’t enough room in the car for the eight goats. With the firestorm quickly approaching and the risk of losing even more family members increasing with each passing minute, the Hendels made the heart-wrenching decision to leave Odin and the goats behind. The family made it to safety with Tessa in tow, relieved to be together but heartbroken that Odin and the goats weren’t with them. After several agonizing days, it was finally safe enough for them to return home and survey the destruction. What did the Hendels find? Ashes, rubble, their barn and home burned to the ground — and Odin. There he was, still guarding his eight goats and some small deer that had sought shelter with the brave canine. Weakened, burned, and limping, but nevertheless steadfast, Odin had never left his goats, even as the fire
raged around them. Odin wagged his tail as he saw his family, happy to see they were also safe. The Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue and the Goatlandia Animal Sanctuary provided temporary shelter for the goats and pups while the Hendels rebuilt their
barn. Odin received all the care he needed, along with a lot of love and treats. Today, Odin and his goats are back with
their family, rebuilding their lives after this devastating wildfire. But the Hendels, and anyone who’s heard the story, won’t soon forget the bravery of Odin, the amazing pup.
JUICY LUCY SLIDERS
TAKE A BREAK
Inspired by Bon Appétit Magazine
2 lbs. ground chuck beef, 20% lean
16 small potato rolls, toasted
8 slices melting cheese (like American, Swiss, Muenster, or cheddar)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Your favorite burger accompaniments
Divide beef into 16 evenly sized balls.
2. Rip cheese into roughly equal pieces, creating 16 equal portions. 3. Using your index finger, create a small indentation in each ball. 4. Fill indention with cheese and pinch meat around to seal. Then gently form balls into 3/4-inch- thick patties. Season patties. 5. Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high. 6. Lightly coat skillet with oil and cook patties in batches. Brown one side undisturbed, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until desired doneness, about 3 minutes for medium. 7. Serve on toasted potato rolls with your favorite accompaniments.
Solution on Page 4
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INSIDE 1 30270 Rancho Viejo Road Suite D San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
How Tax Policy Affects Retirement Planning
Disney Enters the Streaming War 3 Things to Know Before Swimming in Open Water
A Tail of Bravery Juicy Lucy Sliders
Avoid the Summer Heat!
Relax in These Cool Destinations This Summer As the scorching summer sun beats down, it’s hard to remember that just six with a cool mountainous view, you’ll understand why it’s a popular summer voyage. Travelers can choose to fly or take a cruise ship, and many cities feature tourism- packed excursions. A few notable locations include Anchorage, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and Denali National Park and Preserve.
months ago you were shivering through the winter, whether that meant a chilly 50 degrees F or bitter
Iceland Just as its name suggests, Iceland can be the perfect destination for travelers yearning to get away from the unbearable summer heat. With temperatures rarely exceeding 60 degrees F — the average high for the country — packing is easy for this relaxing vacation. Take a relaxing dip in one of the country’s many hot springs or enjoy tremendous views of the fjords. Even better, you can tour the country at any time because it’s sunny almost 24 hours a day. What could be better than a midnight hike around the fourth happiest country in the world? Norway Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to give up your skiing hobby! Venture off to Norway and experience some of their most popular summer ski resorts. After a day or two shredding the slopes, experience the popular Norwegian Opera and Ballet in Oslo or choose between numerous outdoor and indoor exhibitions. Best of all, you won’t even break a sweat, as the average temperature in Norway’s hottest month barely hits 70 degrees F. Bordering Sweden and northern Finland, Norway can even be the beginning to a cool European tour this summer.
subzero temperatures. But if cooler temps sound like paradise, and a dip in the pool is no longer keeping you cool, it might be time to take a vacation somewhere chilly. Check out these three destinations to avoid the summer heat.
Alaska No place says chilly quite like Alaska. Trips to Alaska can be expensive during this time of year, but when you step into that crisp air
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