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.
THE SHIFTING TOUCHSTONES OF OUR LIVES: PART II INDEPENDENCE DAY WITHIN US
Hi, July friends. How’s it going this month? Any better?
Here we are in July, and all of the Fourth of July celebrations here have been canceled. At least July 8 is “Compliment Your Mirror” day, so I hope you all give yourselves a chance to celebrate that to its fullest potential. As a lawyer and as a person, I know how important it is to be supportive of ourselves and to advocate for ourselves. Everyone talks about how uncertain these times are, but to me, the most important thing can still be constant: our mental well-being. Last month, I talked a bit about my daughter, Sophie, and how she wouldn’t have a traditional graduation this year. This month, I started thinking about my own transition into adulthood because it occurred around the same stage in my life that Sophie is in now. Granted, I didn’t feel like my whole life was put on pause due to a pandemic. Sophie was even considering a gap year as we waited for the health crisis to fully pan out. (Like many students and parents, we have debated whether or not to pay for a university if Sophie can’t get the on-campus experience.) I know how hard it can be when things change significantly more than you expected them to. I thought I’d start this article by reflecting on a time that really shaped how my confidence propelled me through my life and career and how different that may be for kids like Sophie. I’ve always been a confident guy. According to the Kolbe test, I have a 9 out of 10 score when it comes to being a “quickstart” individual. This means I adapt quickly to any situation I get thrown into and can get started pretty easily on any task I’m given. That doesn’t necessarily mean I always enjoy those tasks. Remember summer jobs? Yeah, me too. It’s hard to imagine that so many jobs that used to be available to teenagers, like lifeguarding or working at fast food joints, are now so limited and difficult to find (if available at all). Before I entered college as a teenager, I worked a couple jobs that led me toward what eventually became my career. It was 1984, and our country had just recovered from some hard times while Reagan ran for his second term. My first job after high school was working as a bag boy at Kroger. It lasted about 30 days since I would have had to join a union to stay any longer. Also, I learned pretty quickly that I was not cut out for bagging groceries. I got my next job at
Riverside Hospital as a pharmacy technician, and that got me through my time in law school.
Those were the first two jobs I applied for through an interview, and I got them. It helped give me the confidence I needed to know I was on the right track. I feel a bit sorry that Sophie, and even her soon-to-be roommate, doesn’t have the opportunity to work over the summer and experience that for herself. Luckily, Sophie inherited my confidence. But how does one stay certain in uncertain times? You’ve got to focus on what’s at your core. I try to embrace the things that push me the furthest in my career. I know I’m able to take information and run with it quickly. So, although we might not get to celebrate Independence Day like we usually do, we can still celebrate our personal independence by reflecting on our core strengths that have gotten us this far. In that way, being reminded of our American diligence couldn’t be any more important than it is right now. I hope you all have a fantastic month, friends.
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With a Family Entertainment Room MAKEYOUR GAME NIGHTS EXTRA SPECIAL
Families around the world are finding new ways to spend time with each other, and their homes are changing accordingly. Whether your family members are video gamers, movie enthusiasts, or board game fans, everyone can benefit from having a dedicated entertainment room. Here are some tips for putting one together. USEYOUR SPACEWISELY. Consider the advantages and challenges of your available space. You don’t want small spaces to feel cramped, and you don’t want large spaces to feel empty. If your room is small, then design the space to serve multiple purposes, like installing a bar with a TV on the opposite wall. If your room is large, then why not have two or more TVs to let visitors play multiple games or watch different shows? A projector can also be used to maximize a room’s space. It allows you and your guests to utilize an entire wall without requiring much physical space. SET UP SURROUND SOUND. Whether you’re using your entertainment room for movies, music, video games, or all of the above, investing in high-quality speakers will pay off instantly. You can set them up around the room for clearer, more immersive sound for movies and games, and by spacing out each speaker, you can eliminate cord clutter and tangle. SOUNDPROOFYOUR SPACE. Trying to impress your guests with great sound doesn’t mean that your entire neighborhood has to hear what you’re watching! Soundproofing not only helps shield your neighbors
from action game explosions and booming movie scores, but it also improves the sound quality in the room. Thick curtains and carpets, wall-mounted foam panels, or freestanding acoustic panels work for basic soundproofing, but if you plan to utilize your space every day and night, then consider hiring a contractor to help estimate materials and cost for a more sophisticated soundproof space. HAVE GREAT LIGHTING. There’s nothing more inviting than a well- lit space, and this also applies to your entertainment room. Whether you’re playing a board game or putting together puzzles with the whole family, mood lighting can make the experience feel even more cozy and special. Try experimenting with different, stylish lamps or overhead fixtures to light up your space.
JULY 16 ‘Summertime Blues’
AUG. 20 ‘Back-to-School Special’
We’re taking a break in between “PILOT” novels, so this month we’ll be posting about how the first novel even happened and what went into it and soliciting some feedback from you, the readers. We can see the traffic, and we appreciate it. Someone’s going to win an Amazon gift card for telling us what they think! Also, we have a glimpse into what’s coming in the next “PILOT” novel. Read more, catch up on prior chapters, and perhaps learn a few things at DandBLaw.com or Bit.ly/ PilotMysteryCh13.
SEPT. 17 To Be Announced
Join us at noon on Facebook Live or catch the podcast at ThirdThursday30.com.
MARCH TO 1 MILLION UPDATE Check with us next month. We are changing the way we calculate the update number because it was increasing too quickly. You have to keep challenging yourself. –Greg
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‘HOW WILL THE SECURE ACT AFFECT ME?’
While the SECURE Act went into effect Jan. 1, 2020, there’s still some confusion surrounding it, and the recent COVID-19 crisis has understandably drawn people’s attention away from future retirement. That’s why we want to revisit the topic and remind people of what they need to know about the SECURE Act. First of all, what is the point of the SECURE Act? The bill increases access to tax-advantaged accounts and will help sustain retired Americans’ assets. Small-business owners can set up “safe harbor” retirement plans that are less expensive and easier to manage. Even part-time employees are eligible to participate in an employer retirement plan. This should help increase the number of Americans who will be prepared for retirement. NOW, 72 ISTHE NEW 70 1/2. In the past, retirees had to start taking the required minimum distribution at the awkward age of 70 1/2. Now, they can wait until age 72. However, if you reached 70 1/2 in 2019 or before, you are still subject to the old rules. YOU CAN KEEP MAKING CONTRIBUTIONSTOTRADITIONAL IRAs. You don’t have to stop putting money into your traditional individual retirement account, and the act repeals the age limitation for making contributions so you can contribute as long as you have earned income. Previously, the maximum
age for contributions was 70 1/2. Now, even if you are still working, you can contribute to your account even while drawing money out.
THE STRETCH IRA IS DEAD. While existing “stretch IRAs” are grandfathered in and still follow old tax rules, stretch IRAs are unlikely to be used by financial and estate planners in the future because the tax advantages have been drastically reduced.
You can learn more SECURE Act tips on our website, DupontWealth.com, or give us a call with your questions!
BREAKFAST SAUSAGE KEBABS
Inspired by TasteOfHome.com
7 oz frozen, fully cooked breakfast sausage links, thawed 20 oz pineapple chunks, drained
10 medium-sized, fresh mushrooms 2 tbsp butter, melted Maple syrup, to taste
5 metal or soaked wooden kebab skewers
1. Cut sausages in half. Thread alternating sausages halves, pineapple chunks, and mushrooms onto kebab skewers. Brush with butter and syrup.
CAESAR FIREWORKS GRILLING INDEPENDENCE
LARKSPUR PEACHES PICNIC POPSICLES
RUBY SPARKLER SUNGLASSES SWIMMING
2. Grill over medium heat, regularly turning and basting with syrup, until sausages are lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
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Independence Day Within Us PAGE 1
Planning a Family Entertainment Room ‘Third Thursday 30’ Schedule PAGE 2 ‘HowWill the SECURE Act Affect Me?’ Good Morning Breakfast Kebabs PAGE 3
3 Travel Destinations Where Photos Are a No-Go PAGE 4
NO PHOTOS ALLOWED
What is traveling without taking photos? With the excellent cameras on our smartphones and endless platforms to share our snapshots on, we’re taking more pictures than ever. But did you know there are certain destinations where visitors are not allowed to take photos? Here are three places where you must put the camera away. THE EIFFELTOWER Right now, you’re probably thinking about all the pictures of the Eiffel Tower you’ve seen or even taken yourself. After all, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most popular tourist spots in the world, but under French law, taking a photo of the Eiffel Tower at night — and then distributing that photo — is illegal. That includes posting the picture to social media. French officials can send you a cease-and-desist order if they find your night photo because the tower’s nighttime light display is copyrighted. It was installed by French artist Pierre Bideau who owns the rights to the display. Do French officials search the web for your vacation photos? No, but they can take action if it’s brought to their attention. THE SISTINE CHAPEL While the Sistine Chapel may be home to incredible works of art originally painted by Michelangelo, it is also a place of worship, and the Vatican considers it disrespectful to photograph such a holy place.
However, there’s more to the story. In 1980, Japan’s Nippon Television Network Corporation bought exclusive rights to all photos and videos of the interior of the chapel because they funded the renovation of the chapel. While the Japanese corporation no longer holds these rights, the Vatican maintains the “no photos” rule. ULURU Also known as Ayers Rock, Uluru is one of the largest sandstone rock formations in the world. Located in the middle of Australia, Uluru is highly regarded by the Anangu Aboriginal people who call the region home. Photography around parts of the rock is forbidden out of respect for the Anangu people’s beliefs, specifically Tjukurpa , or the time when the world was created. Certain areas around Uluru are used for gender-specific rituals, and as a result, members of the opposite sex must never see these locales, including in photos. The Anangu say the restriction of photography ensures they adhere to their beliefs and never lay eyes on these sacred spots, even accidentally through a photograph.
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