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Posted on February 9, 2018

It’s Never Too Early to Estate Plan Weekly Update – 2/7/18

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A lot of people ask, “When should I start my estate planning?” The short answer is: it’s never too early. There’s lots of ways to go about planning, but generally there are three main steps to be followed when you start:

1. Take stock of all the assets you own. This means all your investments, retirement accounts, real estate, business interests, insurance policies, and valuable items (i.e. cars, jewelry, china, card collections) should be accounted for.

2. Now that you’ve taken inventory of your assets, think about what you want to do with them, and who you’d want to inherit them. On top of that, you should also write down who you would trust with your business affairs and medical care should you ever become too incapacitated to handle them yourself.

3. Lastly, although it may make for a tough conversation, you should bring everyone involved in your plans together to discuss. The sooner you outline your intentions to your family and friends, the better. This severely lessens the chance for large-scale disagreements once you’re gone.[1]

As a Wealth Management firm in San Jose, CA, we understand estate planning decisions can be difficult. Give us a call at 408-227-2700 and we can help you make the right decisions for you and your family’s future.



Quick Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Throw it together in the morning, enjoy it for dinner. This yummy turkey chili is a soul-warmer, and as with most slow cooker recipes, it’s easy to follow and simple to make! Here’s the details:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1-pound ground turkey
  • 2 cans low sodium tomato soup
  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch ground allspice

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place turkey in the skillet and cook until evenly brown, then drain.
  2. Spray the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray, then mix in turkey, tomato soup, kidney beans, black beans, and onion.
  3. Next, season with chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper, allspice, and salt.
  4. Cover, and cook 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

Recipe adapted from All Recipes[2]


Claiming Employee Business Expenses

As an employee, you may end up making out-of-pocket purchases to support your workplace responsibilities. When you do so, you may be able to deduct some expenses. Here is further guidance to help you manage employee business-expense claims.

Is there any limit on how much you can claim?
Typically, yes. You’re able to deduct employee business expenses that total more than 2% of your adjusted gross income.

Are all expenses deductible?
No. The IRS has rules for the type of employee business expenses you can claim. The expenses must meet two criteria for your workplace responsibilities: be ordinary and necessary.

  • Ordinary: an expense that your industry identifies as common and accepted
  • Necessary: an appropriate expense that also helps the business

What are common expense examples?
The list below represents a sample of expenses that you can typically deduct, and that meet the “ordinary” and “necessary” requirements:

  • Any clothes or uniforms you must wear at work and not for everyday use.
  • Any tools or supplies you need to do your job.
  • Education that supports your role at work.
  • Travel for work that takes you away from your home.

To claim your expenses, you will need to file Form 2106Form 2106-EZ, or IRS Schedule A. You can find further information on the IRS website.

Tip courtesy of IRS.gov[3]


Play Your Best in the Cold with These Clothing Ideas

If you’ve never played golf on a legitimately cold day, you’re missing out. Sure, golf is known as a summer sport, most often played in warm temperatures. But, you’ve never been truly tested on the links until you’ve played in winter-like conditions.

If you’re feeling ambitious and want to set out to conquer both the cold and the course, we’ve compiled a list of the best items to wear out on the links when the weather is less-than-ideal.

1. Lightweight, insulated jacket. This will help keep the wind and cold out, while giving you free range of motion.

2. Moisture-wicking layers. Wear moisture-wicking thermal clothing under your jacket as a compression layer to help carry sweat away from your body. These inner layers also assist in muscle support, keeping them warm and ready to move.

3. Fleece ear bands.
 If it’s cold enough, you’ll want to make sure your head and ears stay as warm as they can. Plus, you can still wear your favorite golf hat under the band.

4. Consider investing in boots. Golf “boots” are high-ankle shoes specifically designed for playing golf in colder temperatures. The boots are insulated and waterproof, and zip shut so you don’t have to worry about any laces. As always, add warm socks to be sure your feet are kept warm.

Tips adapted from Golfweek[4]


4 Easy Ways to Change Your Life in Under 10 Minutes

Experts say the most effective way to meet any goal is through a series of tiny changes, one-by-one. So, if you’re looking for some ways to improve your overall health and wellness – check out these four solutions that are quick and easy.

1. Don’t check your email when you wake up. Or the news. Or your TV. Instead, just fix up a cup of joe (or tea) and let your mind wander for 10-15 minutes. It’s a refreshing way to start your day.

2. Use a netti pot. If you can, use a netti pot daily to help rinse your sinuses and stave off colds and other viruses by getting rid of germs and bacteria in your nasal passages.

3. Massage your scalp when shampooing. When washing your hair in the shower, take a few minutes to apply light, steady pressure onto your scalp. Massaging along the center of your scalp improves circulation to your follicles, which helps keep your hair healthy.

4. Drink vinegar (seriously). There’s drinking vinegars available in stores, but you can mix your own simply with water and apple cider vinegar. It’s proven to lower blood sugar levels, soothe your digestive system, and give your gut a dose of healthy bacteria it needs.

Tips adapted from Prevention[5]


Ways to Minimize Waste at Home

Minimizing the waste you produce starts with minimizing your consumption. While some people choose a near “zero waste home”-where they live in a manner that doesn’t produce any extra waste-you don’t have to take such measures to go green. Here are a few ways you can reduce waste in your home and create happier families (and landfills).

Eliminate disposables. Products like plastic sandwich bags and paper towels may be convenient, but they add to the waste you produce. You can swap your disposable items for durable alternatives, such as stainless containers for sandwich bags and washable rags for paper ones.

Give life to leftovers. Food waste is a big problem, and you can decrease this in your home by choosing to reinvent your leftovers into new meals instead of tossing them.

Buy in bulk. Rather than purchasing small quantities and taking home new containers each time; start buying household items in bulk. Certain stores carry bulk options for everything from food items like nuts and beans, to household products like shampoo and conditioner.

Tip courtesy of Zero Waste Home[6]


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Please share this weekly update with family, friends, or colleagues. We love being introduced!


This document is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. One should consult a legal or tax professional regarding their own personal situation. Any comments regarding safe and secure investments and guaranteed income streams refer only to fixed insurance products offered by an insurance company. They do not refer in any way to securities or investment advisory products. Fixed insurance and annuity product guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing company.

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