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Month: March 2016

America’s Most Prolific Inventor

On July 7, 2015, Lowell Wood became America’s Top Inventor surpassing Thomas Edison. Edison, often credited as the man who invented the 20th century, was the record holder for eighty-two years. Wood now owns an astonishing 1,085 patents and has 3,000 more awaiting review. Lowell Wood is quite the intriguing individual who enthralls himself with an abundance of reading each day. Reading allows him to obtain the information needed for inventing. That’s a trait he shares with the great Edison. Like Edison, when a problem presents itself that needs to… Read more America’s Most Prolific Inventor

Why You Need Heroes (Even If You Aren’t Sure You Believe in Them)

There is a story of Ray Bradbury’s that lives just under my skin, ready to be brought out at any time to be marveled at, nodded in agreement with, and used as a reminder. It’s not fiction; it’s an anecdote from his childhood. It’s about having a hero and abandoning him. From Zen in the Art of Writing: “Buck Rogers arrived on scene [when I was nine], and it was instant love. I collected the daily strips, and was madness maddened by them. Friends criticized. Friends made fun. I tore… Read more Why You Need Heroes (Even If You Aren’t Sure You Believe in Them)

Smart Ways to Take Advantage of Your Tax Refund

Author: Teresa Mears Tax season is a time of stress for many, but it can be a joyful time for the roughly 75 percent of Americans who receive income tax refunds. While the refund really means you’re getting back money you loaned to the government at no interest, in practical terms it often means an unexpected infusion of cash into your wallet or bank account. Last year’s average income tax refund was $2,755, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That’s a nice chunk of change. It’s a great problem to… Read more Smart Ways to Take Advantage of Your Tax Refund

Social Security Claim Changes

There’s been lots of coverage in the news the past couple weeks about changes to Social Security claiming strategies, so we’d like to share a few key highlights about what’s changed and how it may affect you. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, signed into law by President Obama on Monday, November 2, 2015, closes several “unintended loopholes” in Social Security’s rules. It effectively eliminates a married couple’s ability to use well-known social security claiming strategies – file and suspend and restricted application for spousal benefits – which have made… Read more Social Security Claim Changes

Six Estate Planning Mistakes

I. Choosing the Wrong Controlling Instrument Don’t let the fancy language scare you.  It just means that some people choose wills when they should have a trust, and vice versa.   I’ll admit to you right here that I prefer trusts for most of my clients, even for those who do not yet have substantial net worth.  However, I always leave that decision to a conference between the clients and their attorney.  In cases where wills are used instead of a trust, I still often like to see provisions in the… Read more Six Estate Planning Mistakes

A Little History Lesson for Investors

For those of you who are my age (69) or older, this little essay will be as much a refresher as a history lesson.  But, if you’re younger than I am (most of you), read very carefully and pay really close attention; you are about to receive an investing lesson for the ages.  (My thanks to Nick Murray for the data and the idea.) 1975 The war in Vietnam had been won militarily, and a peace accord had been signed.  The communists had withdrawn to the prewar border.  But, Congress… Read more A Little History Lesson for Investors