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There and Back Again
It’s an Adventure With Jess Holler
Before I entered into the financial services field, I worked with insurance adjusters, and we had a very different business-client dynamic. It was not the most fulfilling work. I was working with the interests of the insurance company in mind rather than the clients’. I wanted to work with clients to help them achieve their dreams. I love those types of relationships where I get to work with people to build them up and support their goals, whether they be for retirement or life in general. I’ve been with Cornerstone Wealth Group for about a year and a half, but I’ve been in the financial industry for two decades. As you can imagine, the difference between working with insurance companies and Cornerstone is like night and day. Cornerstone has been fantastic! Getting to know the team and our clients has been a pleasure. As an operations associate, I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to work closely with clients, assisting with their day-to-day needs. When a client calls and needs something, I do what I can to make the process as painless and straightforward as possible. We all know how much
the Canadian border. It’s just such an incredible experience. In practically every valley, you’ll find a lake or pond created from glacier water. I was in Glacier National Park two years ago and hiked and camped throughout Glacier, Yellowstone, and the Tetons in Wyoming. The Tetons make up a breathtaking mountain range that cuts into the sky. Next to Glacier, there are few places as picturesque as the Tetons. It was an amazing experience. I would love to do another trip out West. My brother recommended that I head to Northern California, Oregon, and Washington to explore the Cascades and the coast. I’ve heard that it’s like another world out there, and I always love to explore new destinations. There’s nothing quite like getting lost in the natural wonders of our world and finding your way back home.
anxiety can come from finances and investments, and it’s my goal to relieve my clients’ stress as much as I can. When I’m not in the office, my own escape from stress is to hike and explore the natural world. If I take time off for a vacation, there’s a good chance I’ll head to a national park. Or I may go hunting or fishing. Honestly, any time I can get outdoors is a good time.
One of my favorite destinations is Glacier National Park in Montana near
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An Attitude of Gratitude Should Last Beyond Thanksgiving
T aking the time to acknowledge who and what you’re grateful for is a Thanksgiving tradition far more important than turkey or football. It’s the cornerstone of the holiday and the reason we feast together in the first place. But when you really think about it, should expressing our gratitude and appreciation for others be limited to one day every year? Of course not! Why Gratitude Matters As we get older, it’s easy to succumb to negativity and pessimism — “Kids these days,” “The world isn’t what it used to be,” etc. The crabby grandparent and angry old neighbor are archetypal depictions of later life. But these fictions don’t have to be your reality. Recognizing and acknowledging gratitude will help you take stock of the positive aspects of your life and dwell less on unhappy thoughts. Comprehensive estate planning is critical when caring for a child or loved one with special needs. You’ll need to estimate how much assistance your beneficiary will require to support their needs after you’re gone and determine the source of those funds. In many ways, long-term special needs planning is an extension of your retirement planning. The first step is to figure out what you’ll need to fund your own retirement while continuing to care for a special-needs child or adult during your lifetime. Any remaining assets can then be used to fund a Special Needs Trust (SNT) after your death. But what if you expect to exhaust all of your assets during your lifetime? Fortunately, there are additional Being grateful has also been linked to significant health benefits. According to
gratitude expert and author Dr. Robert A. Emmons, “Preliminary findings suggest that those who regularly practice grateful thinking do reap emotional, physical, and interpersonal benefits. Adults who keep gratitude journals on a regular basis exercise more regularly, report fewer illness symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and are more optimistic about the future.” How to Practice Gratitude In the above quotation from Dr. Emmons, he mentions the practice of keeping a gratitude journal. This activity is a great way to start seeing the world with a more positive, appreciative eye. As often as you can, take a few minutes to write down the acts, people, and moments that you’re grateful for. Some will be big, others small — but all will have an impact on your mood and bring a smile to your face. Before you know it, you’ll have an entire book full of good memories and warm feelings. The ABLE Act The ABLE Act, which stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience, is designed to ease the financial burden for individuals with disabilities and their families by creating tax-free accounts that can be used to save for disability-related expenses. ABLE accounts can be created by individuals to support themselves or by families to support their dependents. The ABLE Act enables the creation of tax-exempt, state-based private savings accounts to fund disability-related expenses and to supplement benefits currently provided by Social Security, Medicaid, employers, and private insurance. ABLE account funds will not impact continued eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, and other public benefits. However, there are certain disadvantages to an ABLE account.
While keeping a journal is great, there are other ways to go about cultivating and expressing gratitude. The easiest one is simply to say “Thanks” whenever you can. It may seem insignificant, but you’d be surprised what a difference it makes. When you approach the world with the perspective that every day is Thanksgiving, it’s only natural to be grateful. We all have moments when we want to curse the world, especially as we get older, and those experiences are perfectly normal. Just as frequently, though, we have moments that are worth celebrating, often with people who are worth appreciating. Which will you think about more? of the disability occurred after age 26 or if the disability does not meet the threshold to document significant disability under age 26. If the ABLE account owner does not use all of the resources in the account before they die, the remaining funds are subject to a payback provision to the state if Medicaid was used for any support or services. Up to $14,000 annually (the federal gift tax exclusion) may be contributed to an ABLE account. The first $100,000 in ABLE accounts will be exempt from the SSI $2,000 individual resource limit. After $100,000, the beneficiary’s SSI will be suspended, but not terminated. Special needs planning is complex, and it’s important to discuss your long-term goals with your wealth advisor and/or an attorney experienced in special needs planning.
A Quick Look at Special Needs and Estate Planning
ways to fund an SNT, including life insurance and leaving a home or other real property to the trust.
A disabled individual or dependent may not be eligible for an ABLE account if the onset
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4 Easy Ways to Diversify Your Investments Insights From the Cornerstone Blog
Think globally. Domestic companies represent less than half of the global stock market. Incorporating international assets exposes investors to the entire global economy. Global growth is not always synchronized. When one region’s economy is struggling, another may exhibit robust growth. If you’re looking for low-risk investments, you will benefit from investing in internationally developed markets. A small allocation to emerging markets can improve most portfolios, as they tend to have a low correlation to the U.S. economy. Diversify by sector. Companies are divided into 11 sectors, including consumer discretionary, energy, basic materials, and technology. The sectors represent different parts of the economy and often move separately from each other. As a hypothetical example, the energy sector may perform poorly due to weak oil prices,
but the consumer discretionary sector might benefit as consumers spend less on gasoline and more on entertainment and home goods. Spread across asset classes. Based on risk tolerance, long-term investments should be allocated to different asset classes. Stocks, bonds, cash, real estate, and commodities are the most common liquid assets, but investors can also diversify into many types of physical assets. Within each asset class are subclasses, such as large-, mid-, and small-cap stocks. The various asset classes and subclasses often react differently and help to diversify an investment portfolio. Most investors can achieve optimal diversification using only stocks, bonds, and cash.
sometimes portfolios become overly complex. It isn’t necessary to own a little of everything. After achieving the objective of reducing correlation between investments, additional bells and whistles can increase expenses without benefiting the portfolio. There are assets that may have a negative correlation but consistently underperform and dilute returns. In a perfect world, investors would accurately pick the best performing asset and thus diversification would be unnecessary. That isn’t reality, though, and often when going for the grand slam, investors strike out, hence the need for diversification. The point is to diversify enough to reduce risk but not so much that it dilutes returns. For more from the Cornerstone Wealth Management Group blog, visit cornerstonewealthgroup.com/insights/blog .
Avoid over-diversification. With so many options available to investors,
A Simple Brine for Succulent Turkey
• • •
2 large sprigs thyme
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
• • •
3/4 cup sugar
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
1 large onion, peeled and diced 1/4 cup celery, diced
DIRECTIONS 1. In a large stock pot, bring salt, sugar, and 4 cups water to a boil. Stir until all ingredients are dissolved. 2. Turn off heat and add remaining ingredients. Place brine in the fridge, uncovered, until cold. 3. Add 6 quarts cold water to brine. Add turkey and submerge completely. Brine chilled for up to 72 hours.
Answer on page 4
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• There and Back Again With Jess Holler PAGE 1
• How to Give Thanks Year-Round PAGE 2
• Incorporating Special Needs Considerations Into Your Estate Plan PAGE 2
• How Can I Diversify My Investments? PAGE 3
• A Simple Brine for Succulent Turkey PAGE 3
• 3 Movie Locations to Visit PAGE 4
3 Famous Movie Locations You Need to Visit
Hobbiton The only aspect of “The Lord of the Rings” that is more compelling than the fantastical journey of Frodo is the alluring, untamed countryside and quaint towns that make up Middle Earth. The Green Dragon Inn, Bilbo’s house, and the rolling hills of New Zealand make for a backdrop that will transport you straight into the life of Middle Earth’s smallest people — only these houses aren’t small at all. And you don’t need large, hairy feet to enjoy them.
the United Kingdom where you can get lost in the adventure that shaped a generation, but there is one spot at the top of almost every fan’s list. Hogwarts is a magic castle in J.K. Rowling’s books, but in real life, its film location is a functioning cathedral in Oxford. Take one step onto the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral, and you might begin to wonder when the next Quidditch match will begin. Tikal National Park When George Lucas witnessed a poster of this famous archeological site, he didn’t see an ancient culture — he saw Yavin IV, the perfect location for the Massassi Outpost, a rebel haven found in the first film of Star Wars. Though the movie paints a futuristic look at the region, walk through Tikal National Park, and you’ll experience it as a trip through history.
Movies captivate audiences partially because of their ability to transport you to a different place. The heart yearns to be taken places, and cinema facilitates that journey. But what if you could immerse yourself in those fantastical worlds by visiting the destinations that you’ve seen on the big screen? Here are three places that are worth the trip.
Christ Church Cathedral Harry Potter captured the imagination of the world. There are multiple sites across
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