Marie Elium Posts
By Michael Freeman
The Salvation Army NEO
America is a generous country. Over 67 percent of American households give to charity.
While some people give for tax reasons, many — if not the majority — open their wallets because they are convinced that the work of their favorite charity is vital.
With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, the philanthropic community is standing back to see if this is true. Do Americans give for personal tax savings or from a place of true charity?
The new tax law has doubled the standard deduction — the preset amount all taxpayers are allowed to lop off their taxable income — from $6,500 to $12,000. This will reduce the number of taxpayers who itemize deductions on their tax return from 47 million to 19 million. Simply put, very few of us will now deduct our charitable contributions.
Options remain, however, that can make us tax-savvy stewards. Consider this: Rather than cash, donate appreciated stocks. With the fervor of the current market, your investment may have seen handsome growth.
Here’s the catch: When you sell that stock, you are responsible to pay a capital gain tax. If however, you have owned that stock for over a year, it can be donated to charity and the gift passes to the charity without any tax due. For itemizers, the full amount of the stock’s value on the day it was donated qualifies as a charitable deduction.
For future “planned giving” — which means giving after you have died — there is a plethora of ideas that enable you to make an impact from beyond the grave. My father had a friend who had been financially successful in the trucking business. At his death, I asked my dad how much the man had left behind....
By Dr. Steve Marsh
Many of our parents and their generation thought that over their lifetime it was “natural” to lose some teeth — even all of them. And when they did, they would either get a partial denture or a full denture, or go toothless.
The partial denture replaced the teeth that were missing, with artificial teeth held in by metal wires or clasps. The full denture was all teeth and plastic, with the upper one covering the palate and the lower sitting on the lower ridge, if there were any bone remaining. The upper denture fit fairly well due to suction, but the lower was nearly always a problem — often ending up in a Kleenex or on the nightstand. So where are we today?
We now know that it’s not natural to lose your teeth; they can and should last for a lifetime. With good home care and regular visits to the dentist and dental hygienist, our teeth should serve us into our 80s and beyond. Home care involves both flossing and brushing (we recommend a baking soda/peroxide toothpaste with fluoride), especially after meals. Dental visits should occur three to four times a year.
But what if we’ve already lost some teeth, due to periodontal or gum disease, tooth decay or cavities, or fracturing of old fillings or tooth structure? Today’s partial dentures can be made out of a flexible plastic without any metal. They are comfortable and function well, and they have no unsightly metal clasps.
Bridges, made up of all porcelain/Zirconium, also have no unsightly metal collars and are made up of a series of crowns that go on the teeth adjacent to the space caused by the missing teeth. In addition to filling in space, they may help strengthen the abutments.
The other solution is the dental implant or implants....
By Danny Smith
It’s easy to find classic rock tunes about parents and parenting. A few that come to mind are:
“Papa was a Rolling Stone” — The Temptations
“Mama Told Me (Not to Come)” — Three Dog Night
“Shop Around” — Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
“Let It Be” — The Beatles
“Memphis” — Chuck Berry
The list goes on and on. When it comes to rock tunes about grandparenting, excluding “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” the list becomes much smaller.
Perhaps the most iconic classic tune on the topic is The Beatles’ “When I’m Sixty-Four.” Penned by Paul McCartney in the band’s early years, it remained unrecorded until it appeared on what is arguably the greatest LP of all time, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The story goes that McCartney added the “Grandchildren on your knee Vera, Chuck, and Dave” lyrics around the time Sgt. Pepper was recorded because his dad recently turned 64.
You may be wondering, “Why did Danny do an article about grandparenting? I thought he was a financial adviser.” The following is a true story taken from my book that answers that question:
A couple who had consulted me came into my office and said, “Danny, we want to take our whole family to Hawaii, but we’re not sure we can afford it.”
I had been telling them for the longest time that they should do something like that. They had the assets, but if they kept putting it off, I was concerned that they might eventually run out of time. So I helped them plan their trip. I even introduced them to a good friend and travel agent who set it all up for them.
Before they left, however, I made them promise me that after arriving in Hawaii, they would spend that first night together as a family....