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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.
A FEARLESS HALLOWEEN
THE WAY THINGS WERE The leaves are changing, and my neighbors’ Halloween decorations are already going up. I’m not sure if every neighborhood is like this, but, by the end of the month, our street is just as lit up as it is during Christmas. Personally, I’d prefer to turn out the lights and keep the candy to myself. Seeing the amount of hubbub that goes into the holiday these days really drives home how much Halloween has changed since I was a kid. The difference is night and day. People are so cautious with their trick- or-treaters compared to my generation’s parents. We were left to run wild on our own, from neighborhood to neighborhood, without so much as a curfew to stop us from getting all the candy we could. I’d typically dress up as a hobo — the costume didn’t take much to put together, and I got to carry around a big knapsack to store the night’s gains. Now when trick-or-treaters come to the door, it’s a carefully monitored operation. I can understand chaperoning kids from house to house — we did the same for our daughter when she was young. But these parents will also be checking the candy getting passed out, making sure it’s all wrapped and hasn’t been tampered with in any way. Maybe this is just the accountant in me coming out, but it all feels a little too obsessive given the evidence. Every year we hear the same warnings of tampered chocolate bars, and drugs and poison being passed out to trick-or-treaters. And yet, in the entire time we’ve been tracking Halloween incidents, there hasn’t been a single reported poisoning, and very few incidents involving any sort of tampering. In fact, according to Dr. Aaron Carroll, most reported incidents of tampering turn out to be hoaxes or pranks, often perpetrated by the trick-or-treaters themselves. And yet, in my heart of hearts, I know this information won’t make a lick of difference to parents out there. This isn’t just an instance of misinformation sparking a trend. The ever-increasing caution around Halloween has less to do with the holiday itself, and everything to do with the way society is moving.
Between technology expanding the horizons of who we can connect with at any given second, and the 24-hour news cycle constantly reinforcing the dangers of the world, people are cloistering themselves. It’s getting rarer and rarer for people to know their own neighbors, let alone the folks two blocks down the road. In such a closed-off society, sending your kids out to get candy from total strangers does seem ludicrous. The suburbs of Ohio have not grown any more dangerous since I was a kid — we’ve just grown more fearful and less trusting. It’s getting to the point where these old community traditions just don’t make much sense anymore. I feel bad for those anxious parents painstakingly scanning each and every candy bar wrapper for tears; it just doesn’t seem like anyone should spend a holiday doing that. I know Halloween is supposed to be “spooky,” but, hopefully in the future, we can find ways to take the fear out of the celebrations.
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A DIFFICULT DISCUSSION
Talking to Your Kids About Cancer
FOCUS ON PREVENTION EDUCATION A loved one doesn’t have to be diagnosed with cancer for you to educate your family about the disease and its prevention. Studies have linked prevention efforts, including anti- smoking campaigns and healthy lifestyle programs, to actually preventing cancer. (In fact, half of all cancers
As pink-clad products line store shelves this October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, children are bound to be curious. Since they rationalize the world around them with what they already know, kids may ask silly questions like, “Is cancer contagious?” Whether you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer or you just feel it’s time to educate your children about the disease, answering questions can be difficult. These tips can help you prepare. ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH Telling a child that you or a loved one has cancer can be complicated. To start, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends giving yourself time after hearing the news of a cancer diagnosis to process this new reality. Two- parent households should tell their children together, while single parents are encouraged to ask an adult with a positive influence on the child’s life to join the conversation. Remember, your child will be experiencing the same emotions as you but in a kid’s body, where hormones and developmental changes are already wreaking havoc. Monitor their emotions and offer them space and opportunities to discuss their feelings with a professional. When it comes to explaining the disease and its consequences, younger children may require fewer details and broader concepts, while older kids may need more comprehensive answers to their questions. A 5-year-old is going to have different concerns than a 16-year-old, so your approach must be different. However, regardless of your child’s age, always tell the truth.
can be prevented!) Teach your child about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, and excessive sun exposure to foster healthy habits and lifestyles. Organizations that host walks, benefits, and other events for cancer prevention and research can be great sources of education for families, too.
The ACS has resources for families living with cancer or those wanting to learn more. Visit Cancer.org for more information.
OCT. 17 How to escape the 401(k) trap.
NOV. 21 The end is near! Actions you should think about taking before the end of the year. DEC. 19 We wish you a Merry Christmas, Christmas Extravaganza.
Raymond Chandler once informally advised aspiring crime novelists that if at any point the narrative started to slow down too much, “just bring in a couple of gents with heaters.” As a long-time fan of Chandler’s work, Greg DuPont is all too aware that his life is beginning to resemble one of the iconic author’s storylines. For that reason, he is on his guard as he leaves the office that evening, thinking about homicide detectives and dead beekeepers, but, when the gents with heaters do show up, they’re nothing like he ever would have guessed. Check out the entire chapter, catch up on prior chapters, enter the monthly $25.00 drawing, and perhaps learn a few things at www.DandBlaw.com or http://bit.ly/PilotMysteryCh5. The deadline for entry is Oct. 31.
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MARCH TO 1 MILLION UPDATE
Current count for the March to 1 Million: 137,572
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CLEAN OUT THOSE OLD DOCUMENTS
THROW OUT AFTER SEVENYEARS • Accident reports and claims (settled cases) • Accounts payable ledgers and schedules • Accounts receivable ledgers and schedules • Canceled checks • Contracts and leases (expired) • Expense analyses and distribution schedules • Inventories (products, materials, supplies) • Notes receivable ledgers and schedules • Payroll records and summaries, including payments to pensioners • Purchase orders (purchasing dept. copy) • Sales records • Invoices to customers • Invoices from vendors
KEEP FOREVER AND EVER • Audit reports of accountants • Capital stock records • Canceled checks for important payments (i.e., taxes, purchases of property, contracts) • Contracts and leases in effect • Correspondence (legal and important matters only) • Deeds, mortgages, and bills of sale • Financial statements • General and private ledgers • Insurance records, current accident reports, claims, policies, etc. • Minute books of directors and stockholders, including by-laws and charter • Property records including costs, depreciation reserves, end-of-year trial balances, depreciation schedules, blueprints and plans, and property appraisals by outside appraisers • Tax returns and worksheets, revenue agents’ reports, and other documents relating to the determination of income tax liability • Trademark registrations
Every home and office has at least one file cabinet full of manila folders stuffed with documents gathering dust.The temptation to get rid of these overflowing drawers can be a strong one, especially when you start considering what you could do with the extra space. But make no mistake, most of what you have in those rusting cabinets is vital. However, you can throw out a few things to keep you from drowning in documents. THROW OUT AFTER AYEAR • Bank reconciliations and deposit slips • Correspondence (routing) with customers or vendors • Purchase orders (except purchasing department copy) • Receiving sheets • Stockroom withdrawal forms THROW OUT AFTERTHREEYEARS • Correspondence (general) • Employment applications and personnel records (after termination) • Insurance policies (expired) • Internal audit reports (minimum three years) • Petty cash vouchers • Physical inventory tags
• Scrap and salvage records • Stock certificates (canceled) • Subsidiary ledgers • Time books • Voucher registers and schedules
• Vouchers for payments to vendors, employees, etc. (includes allowances and reimbursement of employees, officers for travel and entertainment expenses)
Inspired by Food Network
This super easy and fun way to create homemade treats provides your kids with a healthier and more delicious alternative to packaged industrial candy. As a bonus, making it is an awesome Halloween activity for your family to enjoy.
1 package melting chocolate
Assorted dried fruit, including apricots and mangoes
1. In a large saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. 2. Place a large, heatproof mixing bowl on top of saucepan so that no steam can escape. Place melting chocolate in mixing bowl and double boil until melted. 3. Dip half of each piece of fruit in chocolate before transferring to a parchment-lined baking sheet to rest. 4. Let cool for 10 minutes until chocolate solidifies. 5. Place in school lunches, serve at parties, and indulge in a few for yourself.
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Halloween Fears PAGE 1
Educating Your Kids About Cancer Pilot Mysteries Synopsis PAGE 2 The Records You NEED to Keep Chocolate-Dipped Fruit PAGE 3
The Real Legend of Sleepy Hollow PAGE 4
HAYRIDES AND HEADLESS HORSEMEN
HALLOWEEN CELEBRATIONS IN SLEEPY HOLLOW
In 1790, a school teacher named Ichabod Crane was riding home alone from a harvest festival in the village of Sleepy Hollow when he encountered a mysterious rider on horseback. Crane, horrified by the horseman’s missing head, turned and ran in the opposite direction. The Headless Horseman gave chase, hurling his own decapitated head at the terrified teacher. Ichabod Crane was never heard from again ... or so goes “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. This story, first published in 1820, has become a Halloween favorite. The legend is so beloved that in 1997, the village of North Tarrytown, NewYork, where many events of the story take place, officially changed its name to Sleepy Hollow. Today, the town becomes one big Halloween party during the month of October. Sleepy Hollow is home to many historic landmarks, including the Headless Horseman Bridge and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Washington Irving himself was laid to rest. Evening lantern tours of the cemetery are a popular attraction, and Irving isn’t the only spooky celebrity buried there. Fans of the Gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows” will be delighted to enter the crypt of famed vampire Barnabas Collins.
Another highly anticipated stop for many guests is Sleepy Hollow’s premier annual attraction, Horseman’s Hollow, an experience not for the faint of heart. During the event, the 300-year-old Philipsburg Manor is transformed into a living nightmare, where vampires, witches, ghouls, and undead soldiers lurk in the shadows. They all serve the dreaded Headless Horseman and are determined to make sure guests don’t leave alive! But it’s not all scares in Sleepy Hollow. There’s plenty of Halloween fun for all ages. Sleepy Hollow boasts relaxing hayrides, tours of Irving’s home, live readings of famous Halloween stories, performances of a brand-new musical based on Irving’s spooky tale, and the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, an incredible exhibition of over 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins.
If you want a real Halloween experience, you can’t go wrong in Sleepy Hollow. Just be careful not to lose your head!
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