Best Ever Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon

05/14/2019 Cooking  No comments

Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon is a popular southern dish that is filled with crunchy peas, crispy bacon, chopped red onions, and cheddar cheese.  This is an easy to make a side dish that is perfect for your next potluck! 

For more delicious potluck side dish ideas be sure to try California Spaghetti Salad, Ambrosia Salad, or Pistachio Salad.

Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon

Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon

Creamy Pea Salad

Peas.  You either love them or hate them right?  I love peas.  One of the only veggies I actually like to eat.  Even if you don’t like peas, this creamy pea salad with bacon is a potluck staple.  I have been making some classics here on the blog lately.  Ones that I have grown up with and are always at a potluck or family gathering.  This creamy pea salad is one of them...

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Communication is Key

04/30/2019 Finance  No comments

Communication with our elderly parents is very important in getting through issues.  When Gen Xers gather with friends, there is a common theme that pops up in the conversation.  Whether at the kids’ softball game or over a glass of wine, the query comes with concern, and at times, hushed tones: “How are your parents doing?”  “Do you communicate with your Boomer parents easily?” How are Gen Xers doing with communication with their Boomer parents.

Family Time

Family Time

While this seems like a fairly innocuous question, as Gen X navigates their 40s and early 50s, they are commiserating more on the challenges associated with the aging of their Boomer parents...

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CDC Opioid Guidelines for Severe Pain

04/09/2019 Health  No comments

CDC Guidelines for severe pain

CDC Guidelines for severe pain

TUESDAY, April 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) — CDC opioid guidelines were recently clarified to indicate that people with severe pain from cancer or sickle cell anemia should not be denied coverage for opioid painkillers.

In the wake of the national opioid epidemic, various medical societies had encouraged doctors to rein in prescriptions for the powerful painkillers.

In 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published guidelines that said for most patients seen by primary care doctors, opioids should be a last resort.

But there has been an unintended consequence: Some insurers have refused to pay for prescriptions for patients with cancer or sickle cell anemia, or for cancer survivors with complicated chronic pain conditions.

The new clarific...

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E. Coli Outbreak Probed by the CDC

04/05/2019 Health  No comments

E. Coli Bacteria

E. Coli Bacteria

By EJ MundellHealthDay Reporter
FRIDAY, April 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) — An E. Coli outbreak is being investigated by US health officials; victims are showing a gastrointestinal illness that’s already affected 72 people across five Eastern states. The origin of the foodborne illnesses remains unknown, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Friday.”The E. Coli outbreak investigation is still ongoing and a specific food item, grocery store, or restaurant chain has not been identified as the source of infections,” the CDC said in a statement.
States affected by the E. Coli outbreak are Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia. Cases of illness first began to be reported March 2, and the last reported case occurred March 29...
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Concerned couple trying to figure out taxes today and at retirement Photo Credit: Getty

Concerned couple trying to figure out taxes today and at retirement. Photo Credit: Gettty

Taxes are confusing by themselves, much less adding the complexity of the various types of taxes on retirement savings and all the options available. Often headlines that say, “The Best Way to”, oversimplify and lead to even more confusion. To learn about tax-advantaged retirement savings, we need to look at three taxation components: when saved, while earned (interest, dividends and appreciation) and when used (spent).

In “Today’s Opportunity Lost Or Retirement Opportunity Cost In Your Paycheck”, I provided an example of a $104,000 income earner, filing Single. The following table uses the 2019 marginal tax rates for that earner. This tax rate of 24% is assessed only on their earnings above $84,200. The highest marginal income tax rate of 37% is charged on income over $510,300 for Single taxpayers. Future taxes are generally unknown. We do know that the current tax rates are set to reset to their 2017 levels.

Retirement Tax On Savings Categories

Retirement savings Taxable Taxable IRA,
401(K), 403(b)
IRA,
401(K), 403(b)
Roth IRA,
Roth 401(k), Roth 403(b)
Roth IRA,
Roth 401(k), Roth 403(b)
Health  Savings Account Health  Savings Account
Type of tax Income
tax
Long term
Gains
Income
tax
Long term
Gains
Income
tax
Long term
Gains
Income
tax
Long term
Gains
When saved 22% NA 0% NA 22% NA 0% NA
While gaining NA 15% 0% NA 0% NA NA NA
When used NA Maybe 22% NA 0% NA 0% 0%

This table should be read across from the “Retirement Savings Type” column, and then down the “Type of Tax” column, then across from the “Timing of Tax” rows. For example, let’s look at Taxable retirement savings. You may want to think of the money that you are in working the gets deposited into your brokerage account or invested in say a hard asset, such as property. You pay income tax on the Interest and gains from short-term accounts, such as a short-term CD or money market. Our hypothetical $104,000 income earner is currently taxed at 22%.

There are no long-term gains until the investment has been held for more than a year. After that, it may be subject to long-term gains. Currently the long-term gains tax stands at 15% for our hypothetical earner unless the long-term gains when added to the $104,000 income exceeds $434,550. Then it will be taxed at 20%.

Now let’s look at the so-called, tax-deferred IRA or 401(k) accounts. The initial savings amount is not taxed when saved. If you pay for your IRA from your checking account, the tax-deferred benefit is calculated when you file your taxes. If you save through a 401(k) at work, then your company’s payroll provider adjusts your paycheck accordingly. You don’t pay capital gains taxes on the earnings while your money grows. However, when you use it after age 59 ½, you will pay taxes on both the original savings and the capital gains at the income tax bracket at that time. Today that is 22% for the $104,000 earner. Notice that the long-term gains are also taxed at the income tax rate and not the capital gains tax rate. Today, the highest income tax rate is 37% while the highest capital gains rate is 20%.

Now, let’s read across to the Roth IRA and Roth 401(k). Think of this as saving from your take-home pay if you are a salaried worker. There is no tax due while the money is growing (capital gains). When you go to use the money, there are no taxes due on your gains. This is in stark contrast to the Taxable, where you pay capital gains taxes on the earnings funded from your net pay.

Finally, in the last column, there is the Health Savings Account. No taxes are ever due if it is used for health expenses. After age 65, if it is used for something other than health expenses, you pay taxes as if it was an IRA.

Unfortunately, some people overstate their retirement savings because they have not accounted for unpaid taxes on their retirement savings. When many people look at their IRA and 401(k) accounts, they equate it to looking at their checking account. The amount you see is the amount that is available to use. Monies saved in a Roth IRA and health savings account, if used for health expenses, can be viewed that way, but not IRA and 401(k) accounts.

Let’s look at this in dollar terms. A Roth IRA of $1,000,000 could be withdrawn, and you would receive $1 million, no matter what the tax rate is at the time. However, based on the 2019 federal tax brackets a $1,000,000 IRA totally withdrawn would receive closer to $719,537. State and local taxes can further reduce that amount. If the account is withdrawn before age 59 1/2 there is likely a 10% penalty too!

As you age, most of us find our cognitive abilities decline. That’s not the time for us to have to start calculating tax rates when withdrawing money. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s already bad enough that you will have to learn the language of Medicare with its part A, part Bs and various Medigap coverages.

If diversification is wise for investing, then it might also be wise to apply that to your retirement savings. Recently, we have seen tax rates go down. They are scheduled to go back up in a few years. If you have saved in different categories, you can use the one most advantageous based upon prevailing tax rates. No one has a crystal ball on making this perfect, but you can potentially save yourself thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes. Recall our $1,000,000 Roth IRA versus IRA example earlier.

Hopefully, this article has helped to clarify the types of ways your money can get taxed. By envisioning your retirement lifestyle, you can plan today to control the impact taxes on retirement savings will have on your future.

The information contained in this material has been derived from sources believed to be reliable but is not guaranteed as to accuracy and completeness and does not purport to be a complete analysis of the materials discussed.  None of the information in this document should be considered tax or legal advice. Therefore, you should consult your tax or legal advisor for information concerning your individual situation before investing.

*Tax rates were pulled from the College for Financial Planning’s 2019 Annual Limits.800 × 1574

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Senior Housing Investments

04/02/2019 Finance  No comments

Senior Housing Investments

Senior Housing Investments

Did you read my article on Monday about Senior Housing Investments?

You should have. Really. I’m not being egotistical saying so. I can barely even believe how quickly my warning came true.

Titled “The April ‘Fool’s Gold’ REITs,” it was all about real estate investment trusts that my spidey sense (and technical analysis) was telling me to avoid.

In other words, it was on one of my favorite topics to talk about: sucker yields.

There were three REITs in particular that I listed as being in danger of having to chop their dividend offerings to a sustainable size. But the write-up could have applied to any dividend-yielding stock paying out more than it should.

Sadly, there are more than a few of those out there all told.

To capture the article’s main po...

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Lemon Herb Chicken in 20 Minutes

04/02/2019 Cooking  No comments

Quick lemon herb chicken

Quick lemon herb chicken

quick lemon herb chicken

Nothing beats a meal made from scratch with wholesome ingredients like this lemon herb chicken… but it’s hard to pull off every night. So when I find a recipe that is fast and delicious and healthy, I’m thrilled! This lemon herb chicken recipe is quick to make and packs a punch of flavor from the lemon and seasonings.

Pair it with a roasted vegetable or fresh salad, and dinner (or lunch) is served!

Lemon Herb Chicken: From Refrigerator to Table in 20 Minutes

The key to cooking this lemon-herb chicken so quickly is to go about in a specific way. I slice the chicken breasts in half so they are thinner and cook faster. It’s also easier to cook them in a pan on the stovetop this way...

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I love bling! Diamonds and Pearls

03/31/2019 Lifestyle  No comments

Diamond Bling

Diamond Bling

I love bling- diamonds, sparkles, tiny white lights, pearls. When I was a younger woman, I wore simple jewelry. As I get older, I enjoy seeing glitzy, sparkling gems; diamonds, gold, silver, opals, rubies, did I say diamonds?  I love the sparkle of those tiny white lights on trees outside restaurants. I love the glow of sedate Christmas lights late at night when all is quiet. The gentle shine of pearls makes me smile.  I have little need to wear much jewelry. I mostly enjoy it on others.

The attached picture is of my friend’s diamond engagement and wedding rings from her second marriage. This is definitely bling! When we are older with established careers our income allows for bigger and brighter bling!

Many years ago my husband picked me up on a Friday afternoon to go out ...

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Getting ready to retire?

03/29/2019 Finance  No comments

You are finally ready to retire! Congratulations! For this blog post, I’m going to take off my Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) hat and assume you’re set financially.

The financial decisions are important, but the decisions around what kind of lifestyle you want to have in retirement are equally important. You can make this next stage of your life whatever you want it to be.

Now that you are ready to retire, have you thought about what you’re going to do with your time? What activities or pastimes will keep you energized once the novelty of not going to work every day wears off? You need a reason to get up every morning. Will you travel, volunteer, or start those hobbies you never had time for?

Set your schedule

No matter what you decide to do, it’s important to think about ho...

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Winter on Lake Ontario

03/05/2019 Lifestyle  No comments

Winter on Lake Ontario

Winter on Lake Ontario

Our winter starts in October and ends in May. Snow, ice, mud, rain, over and over and over. Boots,  winter jackets, warmer jackets, mittens, warm gloves, shoveling, more shoveling and chopping the ice. Waiting for the garage roof to shed its ice without dropping on anyone important.  Taking out the trash and getting the mail without falling on the ice. Pushing myself to go out among humans when I would rather stay inside where it is warm and there is no snow, ice, mud or rain.

The dogs go out and in, out and in, and bring in the snow, ice, mud and rain. A clean floor is impossible. I have not persuaded them to wear boots.  They do like “the towel” when they come in and compete to be the first one to be dried off...

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