DuPont Wealth - December 2019

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.

19 DEC


I feel like I say this every year, but boy, did it go fast. As I prepare to bid 2019 goodbye, it occurs to me that we aren’t just closing the door on another year but a whole decade. A lot has changed since 2009, and even more since 1999. And, of course, none of it happened the way anyone expected. Thinking back to when we were on the cusp of the new millennium, we were so worried everything was going to come crashing down. The Y2K fever seems so strange it’s almost funny in hindsight. In this age of software updates and cloud computing, the idea that a computer couldn’t figure out the date seems ridiculous — but the internet was young then, and many programmers legitimately feared the “00” in the year 2000 would be a problem. Of course, banks didn’t crash, transportation networks didn’t fail, and society didn’t revert back to hunters and gatherers. We slid into the new millennium without so much as a hiccup, only to be utterly surprised nearly a decade later. Unlike Y2K, the crash of 2007–2008 didn’t have its doomsayers. A few scattered outsiders tried to raise the alarm, but they went almost completely unnoticed. In retrospect, the cracks were there if one looked hard enough, but doing so would mean going against decades of market trends and the general optimism of the mid 2000s. Unlike 1999, 2009 wasn’t spent fearing that the sky was going to fall; it was spent pulling ourselves out of the wreckage. From these decades comes a sobering lesson: We can’t always know what’s going to happen. Whether it was an Armageddon that never came to pass or the so-called “impossible” crash of the housing market, popular wisdom has steered us wrong time and again. It’s easy to look at the past and be pessimistic about the future. But positive changes have taken place, too. You just have to dig a little deeper. At the end of last year, my mother had a very serious health condition. Eventually, because of circulation issues, a wound she sustained developed necrosis. Thus, 2019 was a very trying year for us. At times, there was even active talk about amputation — that is, until we pursued a new skin-grafting procedure.

Using her own DNA, doctors were able to treat my mother’s condition, and it’s looking like we can breathe easy for the first time in 12 months. This procedure didn’t exist a decade ago, and I shudder to think what would have happened back then. Advances in modern medicine may well have saved her life. We don’t always notice the good that comes with the passage of time. The bad will always be brought to us easily enough, but make no mistake, the good is out there. Shortly before writing this, my mother celebrated her 88th birthday. No matter what the future brings, I’ll know I can always look back on that memory and smile. So, what will the future bring? Plenty of good, bad, and everything in between. The nature of these changes might surprise us, but at least that is nothing new. You know what they say, hindsight is 2020.

Here’s to the new year,

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Everything You Didn’t Know About This Holiday Tradition

Of the many seasonal traditions that sweep our nation, few are as creative, delicious, and satisfying as building your very own gingerbread house. Whether you’re looking to create a simple table decoration or bake a tasty treat to nibble on, everyone can enjoy this holiday activity! THE ORIGINS OF GINGERBREAD Ginger was first cultivated in ancient China, then traded into medieval Europe. There, Europeans incorporated it into culinary traditions and used it to bake cookies into elaborate shapes and works of art, including figures of animals and people. The gingerbread house first appeared in the early 19th century in Germany. Although historians don’t know an exact date, it’s speculated that it gained popularity around the same time that “Hansel and Gretel,” the popular fairy tale recorded by the Brothers Grimm, was published. THE LARGEST GINGERBREAD HOUSE In 2013, the world record for the largest gingerbread house in the world was broken. The house, topping out at 21 feet and covering 2,520 square feet, was built by Traditions Golf Club in Bryan, Texas, to raise money for a local Level II trauma center. To construct the house, builders created a recipe that required 1,800 pounds of butter, 2,925 pounds of brown sugar, 7,200 eggs, 7,200 pounds of flour, 1,080 ounces of ground ginger, and a few additional ingredients.

BUILDYOUR OWN! While you don’t have to challenge yourself to beat the Guinness World Record, you can still have fun creating your very own gingerbread village. Starting your gingerbread house from scratch can be a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy. Give the kids a chance to mix the ingredients, roll out the dough, and set out plenty of candies and frostings to use, and remember to have fun!

If you’re looking for unique gingerbread house ideas, take a look at 20 gingerbread house ideas at


DEC. 19: We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Christmas Extravaganza

After a long night at the police station, and a really, really good night’s sleep, Greg DuPont returns to his office to carry on with his day, knowing that a federal agent, and possibly a homicide detective or two, could be coming at any time to interview him. But the close call with his would-be abductors has changed his outlook on the whole situation: made it more personal, more urgent. In DuPont’s mind, the only move on the board is to put his own player in the game, dispatching one of his best two guys to get to the bottom of things in whatever way it needs to be done. Check out the entire chapter, catch up on prior chapters, enter the monthly $25.00 drawing, and perhaps learn a few things at or The deadline for entry is Dec. 30.

JAN. 16: Starting the Year off on the Right Foot

FEB. 20: Tackling the Cost of Long-Term Care

Join us at noon on Facebook Live or catch the podcast at

MARCH TO 1 MILLION UPDATE Current count for the March to 1 Million: 192,284

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Is Your Retirement Plan Up to Speed?


For most retirees, health care is a hill that just keeps getting steeper. Not only are costs on the rise, but the older you get, the more likely you are to need expensive treatments and more frequent doctor visits. In fact, HealthView Services has estimated that the average healthy retiree will need roughly $387,650 in today’s dollars to cover the cost of their care for the rest of their life. Preparing for these high costs can be one of the most difficult parts of retirement planning, but it’s not impossible. TAKE CARE OFYOUR BODY prescribed and reducing their salt intake, a 45-year- old man with blood pressure can reduce his pre- retirement health care costs by $3,651. Putting that money toward retirement would help immensely, especially when paired with healthy eating and exercise.The more you take care of yourself today, the easier time you’ll have caring for yourself tomorrow. Living healthy today can pay dividends tomorrow. For example, simply by taking medication as

Since your health care costs will almost certainly grow over time, you need your money to do the same.That’s why putting more into your retirement plan, and making smart investment decisions, is the best way to keep pace with these inflating expenses.This is where an advisor can really help you steward your resources effectively. PREPARE FORTHE BEST Often with health care, we think about preparing for the worst — costly, lifesaving medical procedures that might break the bank. But what gets many retirees in trouble is an utter lack of health complications. It may sound counterintuitive, but longevity can be bad for you. Living longer than you budget for can put your entire estate plan at risk. It’s best to be generous when calculating your lifetime needs for retirement.This way, you can enjoy a long and prosperous life.



Inspired byThe NewYorkTimes


2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed

• • • •

2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp black pepper

1 large onion, peeled and cut into quarters

Safflower or vegetable oil, for frying

• •

2 large eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour


1. Using either a food processor with a coarse grating disc or the coarse side of a box grater, grate potatoes and onion. (If using a food processor, halve or quarter potatoes.) Once grated, wrap in a clean dish towel or cheesecloth to wring out as much moisture as possible. 2. Transfer to a mixing bowl and mix in eggs, flour, salt, baking powder, and pepper. 3. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan containing 1/4-inch of oil over medium- high heat. Use a heaping tablespoon to drop batter into the hot pan, working in batches. Use a spatula or spoon to form them into discs. Fry about 5 minutes per side, until deeply browned. 4. Transfer to a paper towel-lined wire rack to drain, and serve alongside applesauce and sour cream.

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Y2K, the Housing Crash, and the Future PAGE 1

Building Your Own Gingerbread House Pilot Mysteries Synopsis PAGE 2

Health Care and Retirement Potato Latkes PAGE 3

Yurts: Glamping at Its Finest PAGE 4

YURT SWEET YURT GLAMPING IN BEAUTIFUL LOCATIONS The allure of the great outdoors calls to many, but pitching a tent and cooking over a fire isn’t for everyone. If that describes you, consider the yurt: a small, permanent structure often outfitted with electricity, plumbing, and other modern amenities. Expertly nestled in remote locations, they provide comforts of home in the midst of nature. Here are just a few around the United States available for rent. TREEBONES RESORT, CALIFORNIA For those new to the glamping scene, this is a great choice for an easy transition. With picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean, the Treebones Resort in Big Sur has an array of spaciously comfortable yurts to choose from. The resort has heated pools, a cozy lodge, and even a sushi bar. About an hour up the coastline, you can find a few shops, restaurants, and art galleries if you decide you’ve gotten your dose of nature for the day. SPRUCE HOLE YURT, COLORADO Nestled in the San Juan Mountains about 10 miles north of New Mexico, this yurt is a snow-lover’s paradise. Skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking trails are plentiful in this backcountry location. At the end of a chilly day, come home to comfy beds, cooking supplies, and decor made to feel like you’re camping — but with sturdy walls to keep out the cold.


For the glampers who truly want to get away, hike just under 1 mile into the woods of the Adirondack Mountains to discover rustic yurts beckoning you to cook over a fire or bundle up with a book. At night, the yurt’s domed skylight offers excellent stargazing. For those keen on winter activities, skiing and snowshoeing trails start right outside the front door. In the summer, enjoy hiking, fishing, and swimming.

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