LIFESTYLE ADVOCACY FAMILY FINANCE LAFF is a publication of DuPontWealth Solutions andThe Law Offices of DuPont and Blumenstiel, blending original and curated content, and
PREPARED IN HER OWN WAY 19 SEP 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.
SOPHIE’S SENIOR YEAR School’s back in session, meaning my daughter Sophie is working her way through senior year. Time really does fly. Before I know it, September of 2020 will be upon us, and she’ll be heading off to college. Normally I don’t like to make predictions, but I have a feeling sitting down to write that month’s edition of this newsletter will be an emotional experience to say the least. While I may already be getting anxious over Sophie going to college, I suppose it’s better than having to worry if she’ll be going in the first place. She’s been a real self-starter throughout the application process and even has a clear vision of her future. Sophie’s heart is set on becoming a physical therapist, and she’s already more than proven her willingness to chase that dream. For the past two years, my daughter has worked as an intern at a local physical therapy clinic, meaning she hasn’t been around a whole lot this summer. Between time spent at work and with friends, Sophie’s already beginning to train her mother and me to be empty nesters. While it can be hard to take a back seat as a parent, I certainly remember being her age. We may have been very different teenagers living in very different times, but I definitely relate to Sophie’s eagerness to grow up. In fact, looking back at my senior year, I’m glad my daughter doesn’t take too much after me. Without getting into the details, let’s just say I’m very glad social media didn’t exist when I was in my late teens. There were still plenty of dumb decisions high schoolers could make in the ‘80s, but at least none of them ever got uploaded to Facebook for all to see. Sophie’s levelheadedness has saved me from the stress I must have put my parents through. Unlike when I was getting ready for college, my daughter has a solid plan. At her age, I had no idea what I wanted to do and ended up drifting all the way from engineering to law. Meanwhile, she has her sights set on Kent State University, specifically because of their great physical therapy programs. I went to Ohio State because it just seemed like the thing to do at the time.
There is one parallel we share, though: Right when Sophie is approaching the time when she’ll need to think about student loans, I’ve just finished paying off my own! Thankfully for her, I know a little more about saving for college than I did when I was 17, and I have plenty of experience helping other families do the same. But, as I reflect on this coming transition, I realize my daughter has taught me something incredibly valuable. When she first started talking about becoming a therapist, I was skeptical about how long this dream would last. I thought she would drift between aspirations and career opportunities in much the same way I did. However, having seen just how hard she’s worked toward her goal these last two years has shown me she can blaze her trail in her way. We all have our own style of finding happiness.
Here’s to the time we spend with one another along the way,
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WOMEN AND SOCIAL SECURITY
Your Benefits Might Not Be Enough
THE MARRIAGE QUESTION If you are or have ever been married, you may have some options open to
Social Security came into existence in a very different world than we face today. When the guidelines for retirement benefits were laid out in the 1930s, women had only received the right to vote a decade prior and were still vastly underrepresented in the workforce. Naturally, this leads to certain biases and inequities working their way into the system — some of which still plague retirement-age women to this day. EQUAL BUT NOT EQUITABLE On the surface, Social Security is a very gender-neutral program. You pay into the system, and you get benefits, right? On paper, this is the case — individuals with equal earnings will get the same benefits, regardless of their gender. But in reality, the same Social Security dollars won’t go as far for you if you’re a woman. Several factors contribute to this. MORE WITH LESS As a woman saving for retirement, you’re in a double bind. Because of the wage gap that still exists in many industries, odds are you’re already making less than male counterparts in your exact situation. On top of this, you’re statistically likely to live longer than the average man, meaning you have to stretch fewer benefits over a longer period of time. Hence, your own Social Security benefits may not be enough.
you. Spouses can opt to claim half their partner’s Social Security benefits instead of their own, for example. In some cases, divorcees can also claim benefits from their ex, provided that they meet certain requirements. If you have been widowed, you’ll be eligible for survivor’s benefits at age 60 or older. Marriage isn’t the only path to a stable retirement, but it’s important to know these options are available. Finding other avenues to build wealth largely depends on your age and financial situation. Working with an expert advisor can help you clear the hurdles standing between you and retirement.
SEPTEMBER 19 I’ve been injured in an automobile accident. Now what should I do, so I don’t screw up my claim?
Having handily defeated Vivian and the boys in the hearing over the living wills, Chelsea begins to deal with the paperwork necessary to change the old insurance policies to better reflect her husband’s wishes, but encounters some red tape when the insurance company again questions her motivations. Meanwhile, Arturo begins to stabilize but remains in a coma, and as the policies’ expiration dates approach, it appears the change may not be necessary, as his survival past that point will render the policies moot. For a while, Greg DuPont begins to cautiously believe that the mystery will fade into the past, and his life will go back to normal – until his phone rings again with news of a mysterious death that Chelsea believes is connected to her husband’s accident. 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/PilotMysteryCh4. The deadline for entry is September 30.
OCTOBER 17 How to escape the 401(k) trap.
NOVEMBER 21 The end is near! Actions you should think about taking before the end of the year.
Join us at noon on Facebook Live or catch the podcast at www.ThirdThursday30.com.
MARCH TO 1 MILLION UPDATE
Current count for the March to 1 Million: 112,672
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KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY
If you’re a business owner, the choice whether to employ a family member might be a difficult one. Maybe you’re worried other employees will treat them differently or that the new professional dynamic will change your home life. But, when it comes to saving money on taxes, hiring your loved ones is a no-brainer. GAINS AT HOME Whether you run your business as a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship, there are many great benefits to having family on the payroll. On the homefront, it reduces both your family’s aggregated income subject to taxation as well as the rate at which that income is taxed. This means you and your family members-turned-coworkers will save a little more money when tax season rolls around. GAINS FORTHE BUSINESS But it’s not just personal income taxes that can be positively affected by this strategy. Having a family member on the team means you both get to take advantage of employee and employer benefits. For example, the wages you pay your loved one also count as tax-deductible business expenses. The same is true for expenses like child care and 401(k) contributions.
IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH
If you have a companywide insurance policy, having family members covered is a huge plus. In fact, accident and health coverage and even tuition assistance can be extended to them while being counted as a deductible business expense, so long as these costs are reasonable. There are many great perks to working with your family, though you should know many retirement accounts and other savings vehicles do have very strict guidelines governing this kind of employment situation. To make sure you and your loved ones are meeting these requirements, contact your financial advisor to discuss your situation.
BASIL BERRY SORBET
Inspired by Good Housekeeping
Unlike standard ice cream recipes, this delicious sorbet doesn’t require fancy equipment or difficult prep. It’s also entirely dairy-free, making it the perfect vegan treat for the end of summer.
• • • •
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh basil leaves 6 cups frozen mixed berries 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1. In a saucepan over high heat, combine sugar with 1 cup of water, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves, creating a syrup-like consistency. 2. Remove syrup from heat, add basil, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes. Strain syrup into bowl and refrigerate until cold. 3. In a blender, combine syrup with frozen berries and lemon juice. Purée until smooth. 4. Transfer to a square baking pan, cover in plastic wrap, and freeze until set, about 2 hours. 5. Scoop and serve.
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INSIDE Thoughts on Senior Year PAGE 1
What Every Woman Needs to Know Pilot Mysteries Synopsis PAGE 2
Should You Hire Your Child? Basil Berry Sorbet PAGE 3
Honoring the Canines of 9/11 PAGE 4
THE 4-LEGGED HEROES OF GROUND ZERO
HONORING THE CANINES OF 9/11
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of NewYorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service. Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris. Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts. Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up.
Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes. After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help: AKCCHF.org
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