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THE TUB AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD
David Gibson relaxing while on vacation in Alaska
Our Midsummer Trip to Alaska
way. He and his wife Blythe are a pretty fascinating power couple; he’s a geologist and ex-BP employee
Last month, instead of our usual annual trip to Honduras, my wife, mom, stepdad, and I journeyed to cooler climes to escape from the heavy Texas heat. My brother and his wife own a vacation home 65 miles outside of Anchorage, on the edge of a tiny little body of water called Lake Hiline. When my brother asked us to come take a visit this summer, it felt like the perfect opportunity to mix up our usual travels and see something a little different. We rarely head north when we pack into a plane, and though I’d been up to my brother’s icy getaway before, my wife hadn’t. It seemed high time she beheld the enormous beast that is the wild Alaskan moose. The house is a dot in the midst of a landscape of steep, snowcapped mountains, accessible only by seaplane. Watching from the window as the plane glides onto the lake and lands directly in the water is a pretty unique experience, but then again, pretty much everything concerning my brother, and especially this beautiful place up north, is unique. There’s a lot to take in up there, but one of my favorite features has to be their hot tub, which is heated by a wood-burning fireplace. The whole thing looks like a giant wooden beer keg, with a view of the otherworldly Alaskan landscape in all directions, including Mt. McKinley – or Denali, as the locals call it. Around this time of year, the sun basically never goes down. But during those late nights where you find yourself wide awake at 2 o’clock in the morning, you can just plop in the hot tub and watch all the beavers and other little critters as they scramble all over the place. And, of course, aside from all the sailing, biking, fishing, and other activities we got up to, there was the added benefit of reconnecting with family. My brother Gordon and I don’t see each other too often, but just as with the rest of the family, whenever we meet up, we immediately fall back into the old, familiar patterns — in a good
with his own oil excavation outfit out in Denver, and she’s a Cornell alum administrative law judge up in Anchorage, doing a lot of work for the local native American tribes. In any other world, they’d be natural enemies. In the past, when he worked for the oil megagiant BP, she’d sometimes get home from work and tell him, “I can’t tell you what happened at work today — but I can tell you you’re not going to like it.” Their Hiline home is a gorgeous place, with all kinds of wildlife bustling around the area. I remember the last time I was at their house in Anchorage 15 years ago, when my sister-in-law Blythe — who once won the Alaska Iron Man triathlon — and I took a long bike ride out to see if we could spot a moose. After a long ride down a winding path, lo and behold, there was a 2,000-pound bull moose just lounging right at the end of the track. Though we didn’t have a close encounter like that on this visit — or like the time Gordon got chased out of his own backyard by one of the gigantic animals — we did get a chance to see a couple. They’re just huge ; seeing them on TV doesn’t do them justice. While it was a fantastic, relaxing trip, full of incredible sights and a lot of fun, it is nice to be back in the muggy Texas weather again, where the sun actually sets and you don’t need to bundle up at every moment. But if you get a chance to check out Alaska, definitely do it. I can’t think of any other place with such staggering natural beauty.
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WILL FREELANCE WORK TAKE OVER THE WORLD
The “gig economy” has slowly been gaining prominence among American workers. Late last year, the Freelancers Union released results of a study showing that 36 percent of the American workforce operates in a freelance capacity. Since 2014, the freelance market has grown three times faster than the overall workforce. Businesses are outsourcing specialized tasks to independent workers, which creates incredible opportunities. If you’re looking to start a side hustle, here are three essentials for conquering the freelance market. Commitment Since freelance work is done outside your regular working hours, it requires an additional level of dedication to follow through with your tasks. It’s important to block out defined hours specifically for working on your side gigs and keep those consistent. Many independent workers who have children or are involved in active social groups can find it challenging to prioritize freelance work. Try How to Start Your Side Hustle
treating your personal projects like your job. When you arrive home, approach your freelance work as if it is your business — because it is.
Tools Every business needs marketing and sales to grow. Your side hustle is no different. It takes an active focus on best practices to find not just any client, but the right client. While sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and TaskRabbit can provide excellent avenues for you to contract work, you need to establish a client base of your own in order to be an effective freelancer. The only way to do this is by promoting yourself using marketing tools like social media, email, mailers, event promotions, and postings. Passion There will be times when your freelance work feels like more than you can handle. When that happens, only your passion will get you through. Don’t take work you aren’t especially excited about. ANESTHESIOLOGIST, BUSINESS MOGUL, AND FINANCIAL EXPERT BaluchBulletin.com and his book “Make It, Keep It” compile all he’s learned throughout the years, making them the perfect resource for anyone looking to take the reins on their financial future. If you’re looking to invest in Texas real estate, check out his company at FundingNest.com — you can’t go wrong with his expert guidance. Amir was first brought to the Gibson Law Group back in 2008, when a commercial real estate deal he was working on started getting a little dicey. “David was recommended to me by a friend, and immediately, he was easy to approach, easy to get ahold of, and consistently professional,” Amir says. “In those rare moments when there’s something he’s not an expert in, he doesn’t hesitate to refer me to someone who is. He’s always looking out for my best interests.” It’s been fantastic working with Amir, watching as his many business ventures expand and flourish. If you’re in need of expert financial and investment advice, there’s no one better to have in your corner. Meet Dr. Amir Baluch
Growing up, Dr. Amir Baluch always knew he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps in the medical field. But there was one aspect of his father’s life that he definitely didn’t want to mirror: his finances. Though his dad was a successful physician, constantly working hard and making good money, he struggled to put it all together into a cohesive financial plan. After a couple of bad investments, he was forced to go bankrupt when Amir was only 21 years old. He sold off 10 cars and four homes and moved into a one-bedroom apartment. Amir was grateful for everything his parents had done to give him the best start in life, but in the wake of this event, he decided that he would learn all he could about the financial field and take control of his investment destiny. Today, Dr. Amir is something of a Renaissance man around Dallas. Aside from his career as an anesthesiologist, he’s passionate about equipping his fellow physicians and other clients with the tools to invest in real estate and other alternative asset classes, and to develop sound financial management skills. His website
DO I REALLY NEED A WILL?
THE SHORT ANSWER IS YES. If you care about making life easier for your loved ones after you’re gone, you need an estate plan. It’s easier than you think. Some preplanning on your part will save those you care about from a load of trouble. According to a 2016 survey conducted by Caring.com, 6 in 10 U.S. adults do not have a will. If you die without a will, the State of Texas will determine who will receive your assets. Your estate will have to go through probate court, which could require your loved ones to spend a lot of time and energy trying to get what is rightfully theirs. An estate plan ensures that you decide exactly who will benefit from your estate, and to what extent. Careful estate planning also ensures that the majority of your estate will not go to the government in the form of taxes imposed on the transfer of assets upon your death. Will This document allows you to identify the people or organizations that will receive your assets after you die. It also allows you to designate an “executor,” who is legally responsible for making sure your outstanding debts and taxes are paid and then distributing the rest to the heirs you’ve identified. Durable Power of Attorney This document gives someone the authority to act on your behalf. Depending on the scope of the power of attorney, the person could manage your bank accounts, buy and sell real estate, and deal with other people on your behalf. Advance Health Care Directive (sometimes called a Health Care Power of Attorney) This document spells out instructions for your medical treatment should you become incapacitated and unable to make those decisions for yourself. It also gives you the opportunity to say whether or not you want to undergo the use of life support or participate in organ donation. Living Trust This document places your assets into a trust for your benefit while you’re alive, and then transfers all remaining assets to your designated beneficiaries after you pass away. Trusts are overseen in accordance with your wishes and by the trustee you select. Property left through the trust doesn’t have to go through probate court and will reach inheritors more quickly. It is important to remember that neither a will nor a trust will supersede any beneficiary that is named on life insurance policies or retirement accounts. That includes IRA or 401(k) plans. If you are interested in learning how estate planning can benefit you and your loved ones, or you need to update your existing estate plan, contact J.D. Milks at The Gibson Law Group. J.D. can be reached by email at jd.milks@gibsonlawgroup, or by calling (817) 769-4044. Here is a checklist of the basic documents you should have in your estate plan:
A side hustle can be used mainly for monetary gain, but according to the same study by the Freelancers Union, 63 percent of independent workers take on jobs by choice, not necessity. Freelance work is not just for creative types. Studies boldly predict that a majority of workers will freelance by 2027. With these three tips, you’ll have a solid foundation for becoming a part of the movement. SUDOKU
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INSIDE David Gibson’s Midsummer Trip to Alaska
Essentials for Your Side Hustle
Client Spotlight on Dr. Amir Baluch, Investment Expert
Do You Really Need a Will?
Take a Break!
6 Dog Mayors From Around the US
Most towns and cities around the country play it safe: They elect humans to hold political office. But a few towns decided to do something a little different. They threw political formality to the wind and elected dogs to office. Here are a few popular pups from around the country. Duke This Great Pyrenees became one of the most popular pups to hold elected office. He first ran for mayor in 2014 in Cormorant Township, Minnesota, and won by a landslide. He’s been in the mayoral race every year since then — and he’s won every time! Today, Duke is still in office, where he never misses a photo-op or a pat on the head. Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller This golden retriever was first elected to office in 2012 in Idyllwild, California. His election was part of an initiative put together by an organization called Animal Rescue Friends, or ARF. As part of the election, area residents could nominate their cat or dog for mayor. During the inaugural event, 14 dogs and two cats ran for mayor, with Max leading the pack. Max was elected to a second term in 2013, but soon passed away after a battle with cancer. Thankfully, his successor was quickly appointed: Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II. WHEN POLITICS GOES TO THE DOGS 6 Dog Mayors From Around the US
Brynneth Pawltro, Lucy Lou, Junior Cochran, and Goofy Borneman These four dogs all hail from Rabbit Hash, Kentucky. Back in 1998, the people of Rabbit Hash decided to elect a dog mayor. That year, Goofy Borneman, a mixed breed, became the first in what would become a continuing tradition. He held the office until 2001, when he passed away at age 16. In 2004, Junior Cochran, a black Labrador, took on the role of mayor, but his term was plagued by scandal after he spent too much time hanging around the town’s general store — and Health and Safety was called. Then, he too died in office in 2008. Later that year, Lucy Lou, a border collie, was elected into office and became the town’s first female mayor. She saw her term through to the end, but she didn’t run for a second term. Instead, pitbull Brynneth Pawltro, or Brynn as his friends call him, ran and won. Today, you’ll find Brynn roaming Rabbit Hash, staying carefully out of Health and Safety’s way.
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