3 Reasons Your Retirement Shouldn't Hinge on Social Security
Best American Road Trips to Take in Spring! Old Enough for Sex: 5 Signs Your Marriage Is Headed Toward Divorce
Tax Tips All Retirees Should Know Boomer Healthy Eating: Spring Time Sweet Tin Roof Sundae Cookies
Keep on Truckin’! Big Rides Are Hot in 2019! F (Forget)– Being Old: Report from the 2019 Chicago Auto Show Today’s BoomeR
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This Issue March / April 2019 Volume 8, Number 1
Social Security 5 3 Reasons Your Retirement Shouldn't Hinge on Social Security
Founders: John Vardallas & Alexandra Maragha
Boomer Consumer Watch 8 Outraged customers rip Walmart for killing price-matching tool
Editor-In-Chief: Alexandra Maragha
Boomer Travel 9 Best American Road Trips to Take in Spring
F (Forget)-Being Old 14 Highlights From 2019 Chicago Auto Show
The American BoomeR.com
Tax Tips All Retirees Should Know
Old Enough For Sex 20 5 Signs Your Marriage Is Headed Toward Divorce and Tools to Deal With It Boomer Healthy Eating 22 Spring Time Sweet Genuine Tin Roof Sundae Cookies
Contributing Writers : Chef Eben Atwater: Healthy Eating
For Letters to the Editor, articles and feedback as well as advertising inquiries email Alexandra@TheAmericanBoomeR.com
John Vardallas CEO/Founder Professional Speaker Business/Lifestyle Strategist Boomer Sage and Blogger JohnVardallas@TheAmericanBoomeR.com (608) 577-8707 Alexandra Maragha Founder & Editor-In-Chief Today’s BoomeR Alexandra@TheAmericanBoomeR.com Today’s BoomeR Vol.8 No.1 Today’s BoomeR is published six times (Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/ June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec) a year by The American BoomeR.com 769 North Star Drive (Suite 207) Madison, WI 53718 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
The American Boomer @American_Boomer Today’s BoomeR 3
The Road Headed vs. The Road Ahead
Experience that comes with age opens up for a realization and awareness that the road we are always headed is not always the road ahead. As cars and travel are the literal vehicles and active experiences on roads in life, mentally, we set out with intentions and prepare for what we desire and hope for. However, for whatever reason, life takes us all on turns that leaves a different path to be taken, rather than the one originally intended. How we cope and evaluate these unexpected or unintended changes brings about character, and at many times, can really test each of us within. When we listen to our inner selves, we can come out on the new road ahead knowing more about ourselves than we did before. Perhaps hindsight is 20/20, but more importantly, when looking ahead, our new outlooks based from the previous experience can only bring about a brighter road ahead because we have now become a, hopefully, more aware and sound self. This is not to say that all roads are bright, and some seem like they never end, but 4 staying in tune to our true selves andp. sometimes taking that journey alone, is the best way to come out stronger; with haze removed and clarity to come about to re-emerge a stronger individual and hopefully, contribute and bring positive outcomes to any whole.
Alexandra Maragha Editor-In-Chief
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3 reasons your retirement shouldn't hinge on Social Security
By Maurie Backman, The Motley Fool
Many workers don't save for retirement (or don't save payment might be easily offset a lot) because they're planning to fall back on Social
by the additional housing costs
Security. And while it's not a bad idea to factor those
you'll face -- which is why you really do need roughly
benefits into your retirement plan, your finances
80% of your former income once you retire.
should by no means revolve around them. Here's why.
2. Social Security might get cut in the future There are rumors abounding that Social Security is on
1. Those benefits aren't designed to sustain retirees
the verge of bankruptcy, but thankfully, they're false.
Social Security, at its core, is designed to keep
Since the program is funded by payroll taxes, it can't
seniors out of poverty.
run out of money as long as we have a workforce.
It's not, however, designed to pay for retirement by
What is happening, however, is that the program is
itself. This year, the average recipient collects just
facing a financial shortfall that might cause it to cut
over $17,500 a year in benefits -- hardly enough to
benefits as early as 2034. In fact, recipients might see
support a comfortable lifestyle. In fact, Social Security as much as a 21% reduction in monthly payments -is only designed to replace about 40% of the average
unless, of course, Congress intervenes with a fix,
worker's preretirement income, but most seniors
which may or may not happen. The point, therefore,
need close to double that amount to cover their
is that while Social Security today might replace 40%
of the average earner's preretirement income, it might represent an even smaller percentage in the
If that figure sounds off, think about the things you
spend money on during your working years, like transportation, food, clothing, utilities, and
3. You may be forced to take benefits early
healthcare. Those expenses aren't going away in
You're eligible to collect your full monthly Social
retirement. If anything, you might spend more in
Security benefit once you reach your full retirement
certain categories, like leisure (since you'll have more age. Depending on your year of birth, that age will be time on your hands), healthcare (since medical
66, 67, or somewhere in between. You also have the
problems tend to creep up as we age), and utilities (since you'll be home more). And while you might pay off your mortgage in time for retirement, remember that property taxes tend to climb over time, and homes tend to cost more to maintain as they get older. In other words, whatever savings you reap from not having a mortgage Todayâ€™s BoomeR 5
option to file for benefits as early as age 62, but for each month you file ahead of full retirement age, your benefits get reduced in the process. You might be thinking that you'll just sit tight until full retirement age to avoid an unwanted hit on benefits. In reality, however, you may have no choice but to file for Social Security early. An estimated 60% of workers are forced into early retirement, according to data from Voya Financial, and the reasons run the gamut from layoffs to health issues that inhibit the ability to work. If that happens to you, and you're forced to claim benefits right away, Social Security will serve as an even smaller income stream during retirement. Let's be clear: You should expect some income from Social Security in retirement, and there are steps you can take to boost your benefits. But don't use Social Security as a crutch to the point that you neglect your savings. If you don't build some cash reserves of your own for the future, you might really struggle at a time in your life when you're supposed
to be enjoying yourself and not worrying where your next dollar will come from. If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known "Social Security secrets" could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you
as much as $16,728 more... each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after.
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TheAmericanBoomer.com Thanks You for your continual Support and for making your voice heard in Saving Our Social Security! While we have heard YOUR voice through signing our petition, the work to maintain and preserve the Social Security Trust Fund is far from over.
URGE YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEADERS TO PRESERVE THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND! MAKE THEM HEAR YOUR VOICE BY CALLING, WRITING, EVEN TWEETING YOUR VOICE TO SAVE OUR SOCIAL SECURITY! #SOSS
Todayâ€™s BoomeR 7
Boomer Consumer Watch: Outraged customers rip Walmart for killing price-matching tool By Hayley Peterson, Business Insider Walmart is ending a popular price-matching tool that has resulted in hundreds of dollars in savings for some customers.
Walmart sent an email to shoppers last week announcing that it would end the program, called Savings Catcher, on May 14. The tool, which is part of Walmart's app, automates the price-matching process. It scans shoppers' Walmart receipts and compares the prices paid to those advertised for the same items elsewhere.
person said on Twitter, alongside a screenshot showing her Savings Catcher rewards in an amount of $299.70. "I will restructure my grocery-buying between @amazon & local stores. You made a terrible, greedy choice #Walmart."
Several other Twitter users also posted screenshots of their Savings Catcher rewards, some of which showed If the Savings Catcher finds a lower price advertised by savings amounts of up to $900. a competitor, then it will issue the customer a Walmart Some shoppers are threatening to stop shopping at gift card in the amount of the difference. Walmart once the program ends. In the email sent to customers announcing the "There is no reason to continue shopping @Walmart program's end, Walmart said it has learned that it anymore," one customer wrote. "Savings Catcher was already offers the lowest prices in most cases. the only reason we grocery shopped there." "Walmart's prices win most often when you submit your receipts, which tells us that the program's intent Michelle Severt posted to Walmart's Facebook page: has been met," the company said. "That's why we have "You are not discontinuing Savings Catcher because your prices are lower, you are doing it because very decided to discontinue the Savings Catcher receipt often your prices are not lower and it is costing you submission, effective May 14, 2019." more money. I currently have $76.38 on an eGift Card It appears that Walmart will no longer offer pricewith a lifetime savings of $857.19 through Savings matching in stores once the Savings Catcher tool Catcher. expires. On its website, the company states that it will price-match items on Walmart.com, but will not match "I am disappointed because I save that money during the year then use it toward gifts at Christmas. On the a competitor's advertised price. Walmart did not bright side I will no longer have to use Walmart Pay or immediately respond to a request for comment. shop online with Walmart at Christmas. I will be Hundreds of customer complaints about the program's shopping much more at other stores." discontinuation are now flooding social media, with many people claiming that the tool resulted in savings In a tweet, Walmart said it saw a drop in the use of the Savings Catcher app and promised to continue to find every time they shopped at Walmart. ways to save customers time and money. "You LIE when you say your prices usually win," one 8 Todayâ€™s BoomeR
Best American Road Trips to Take in Spring By Patricia Doherty, Travel & Leisure
The weather is warming up, and late winter rains have turned trees and grass to green and encouraged wildflowers to bloom. It’s the right time to take a drive, either in a favorite place or a new destination with unfamiliar landscapes and roads. Whether your preferred scenery is mountains, deserts, forests, plains, or coastal views, there’s a road trip that will make you happy. If you enjoy historic sites, regional food, wineries, or nature, you can plan a journey around your interests. Joshua Tree National Park, California The scenic drive through Joshua Tree National Park covers about 70 miles if you drive straight through, but plan on spending at least four hours because you’ll want to take detours for enjoying panoramic views, climbing on massive rock formations, strolling through the cactus garden, marveling at an oasis, and finding the perfect Joshua Tree for your photos. This spring is expected to be a good one for wildflowers, after winter’s abundant rain.
There are several ways to enter the Park, but let’s say you’re starting in Palm Springs. Drive East on I-10 for about an hour to Cottonwood Springs Road (exit 168) and the park’s south entrance. Your first stop will be the Visitor Center for a map, and then on through the Colorado Desert environment, around sea level. You’ll see ocotillo, with its tall branches tipped by bright red blossoms. Stop at the Cholla Cactus Garden and walk among its paths, but not too close to the prickly plants. Soon you’ll see the “tree” that gave the park its name, coined by early Mormon settlers who likened its branches to arms outstretched in prayer. Take a side trip to Keys View where its 5,000 foot elevation provides a striking panorama. As you wind through the park on its well-paved roads, you’ll notice9 Today’s BoomeR campsites, picnic tables, wildlife, and an increase in elevation to the cooler Mojave Desert environment
across the bridge, and look over at the original railroad bridge, severely damaged in 1935’s hurricane, commemorated in the Hurricane Memorial in Islamorada. On the other side of the bridge, Bahia Honda State Park is partially open while recovering from the effects of Hurricane Irma. You may want to stop and explore
as you head towards the west entrance on Highway 62 in the wildlife at Joshua Tree Village. The highway meets I-10—west the National towards Los Angeles or east towards Palm Springs. Key Deer Refuge before Miami to Key West, Florida reaching your This drive, preferably in a convertible with the top down, destination of covers about 150 miles, but the timing depends on your Key West. stops along the way. Take US-1 south, heading through Enjoy the historic Coconut Grove, past University of Miami, and on ambience of along either South Dixie Highway (US-1) or Ronald this unique Reagan Turnpike (toll road), past the farms of Hometown, stroll stead, to Florida City and US-1 South which turns into along Duval the Overseas Highway. Look for Mile Marker 126 to help Street, or visit you count down the distance to Key West. Key Largo will the Ernest be the northernmost of the Keys and possibly your first Hemingway stop. Home and Museum. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the first undersea park in the country, offers snorkeling, scuba diving, glass bottom boat tours, and more. Islamorada begins the middle Keys, a favorite of fishing fans and a place to browse for souvenirs. On to Marathon Key, actually 13 islands, known for loggerhead turtles and its Dolphin Research Center. South of Marathon, US-1 crosses the Seven Mile Bridge which links Marathon with the Lower Keys. Enjoy the view of the surrounding waters as you drive 10 Today’s BoomeR
Grand Teton National Park to Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana
Since these two national parks are less than a hundred miles apart, it’s possible to visit them both with one road trip. Of course, truly exploring the parks would require at least a few days, but depending on your schedule, you can take advantage of this two-for-one vacation. Grand Teton National Park, at about 300,000 acres, is near the Wyoming town of Jackson, with Jackson Hole Airport
located within the park at the base of the Teton Mountains. Just north, Yellowstone National Park covers over two million acres, with its famous geysers, mudpots, and hot springs. Spring in Grand Teton sees the annual wildlife migration, with elk, bison, deer, and moose heading for their summer homes. The park’s mountains, valleys, forests, and rivers come alive after winter, and wildflowers begin to bloom. Be sure to stop at one of the six visitor centers in the park to learn about its history, wildlife, and environment. You may want to spend a night before setting out on the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway towards Yellowstone.
Heading north, you’ll be entering Yellowstone at the southernmost of its five
in early spring. Head west to the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center to learn about the geyser and see it erupt. Watch for the park’s abundant wildlife that includes bighorn sheep, bison, elk, moose, deer, black bears, coyotes, and mountain lions. If time allows, you can continue your national parks road trip by heading further north to Glacier National Park in Montana. Seattle, Washington to Newport, Oregon Seattle is a popular destination and fun to visit, so our road trip begins here. After dining on seafood, strolling through Pike Place Market, and seeing the sights, head southwest towards the Oregon coast and the lovely town of Astoria. The trip begins on I-5 and is about 180 miles, passing enormous pine trees, green forests, and towns, taking about five hours until you cross the four-mile Astoria-Megler Bridge spanning the Columbia River and enter Astoria, where you should spend the night and take some time exploring in the morning. The historic town is set where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean, and the Maritime Museum’s displays show the challenges of ships navigating the area. Once a center of fur trading and canneries, Astoria’s historic homes still stand, and the town almost seems lost in time. Don’t miss the view from Coxcomb Hill and the
entrances. You’ll pass Lewis Lake, waterfalls, and arrive at the Grant Village Visitor Center. Be sure to check the park’s website or convenient app regarding road conditions, especially Today’s BoomeR 11
Astoria Column, dedicated in 1926 to honor Astoria’s early settlers. Set out from Astoria along US-101 heading south along Oregon’s coast, and plan for many stops along the way at observation points, towns, state parks, beaches, or simply to enjoy breathtaking views of rugged coastline and crashing waves. Ecola State Park, with its sandy beach, tidepools, picnic areas, and hiking trails would be an appealing place to stop. Other beaches, wildlife preserves, and fishing villages will beckon you along the way, turning the 133 mile trip from Astoria into a full day. Relax in Newport, visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and dine on fresh seafood at sunset as you decide on your next stop. Willamette Valley wineries? Portland? More coastal towns? State Route 20 heads inland and US-101 continues south for your next adventure. New Orleans to Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Rouge. Enjoy some time in the city, and perhaps spend the night after your long day of driving and touring antebellum plantations. For a faster return, take I-10 east, or continue west on I-10 to Lafayette, Lake Charles, and beyond. San Antonio to Austin, Texas If you happen to be in San Antonio in April, don’t miss Fiesta Days from April 18-28 for parades, flowers, food, and entertainment, but the city is fun all the time, especially in spring. Enjoy the River Walk and restaurants while you plan your Texas-style road trip to the state capital of Austin. Wildflowers and the spring landscape make this meandering drive a beautiful, if not the quickest route to Austin. Head north on I-10 out of the city, and then west on I-410 to TX-16 north (Bandera Road) for a scenic drive through Hill Country.
The town of Bandera, home to dude ranches and farms, After the music, parades, nightlife, restaurants, fun, and was once a center for cattle drives, thus its title as beignets of New Orleans, think about a road trip to “Cowboy Capital of the World.” From there, head north Louisiana’s capital. It’s only about 110 miles, but with so on TX-173 and TX-16 to Fredericksburg, a Texas city much history and beauty along the way, you should plan with a German heritage dating back to its first settlers in on making it a full day trip. Take I-10 west out of town, the mid-1800’s. Wineries and authentic German cuisine and after about an hour, you’ll reach your first make this an attractive stopping point. If you have time, suggested stop, Destrehan Plantation, said to be the stop in Enchanted Rock State Natural Area to see its oldest plantation house in the area. Visit for a tour and pink granite dome and striking rock formations. a lesson in our nation’s history. Austin is about 80 miles east on US-290, but if there’s From there, take I-310 south to LA-18, a scenic road time for one more detour, you might want to visit that hugs the Mississippi, curving along with it to Pedernales Falls State Park just six miles north of Evergreen Plantation, about an hour away. Listed on the US-290 about halfway to Austin. Known for National Register of Historic Places, the complex covers entertainment, food, and nightlife, Austin is called the 37 buildings, including 22 slave cabins, and a walking “Live Music Capital of the World.” You may want to tour is available, with reservations advised. Continue on spend a night to see what it’s all about. When it’s time LA-18 along the river, and if you wish to make another to leave, you can take a direct route back to San stop, Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie boasts a Antonio on I-35 south, making the trip in under two Greek-revival style house surrounded by a canopy of hours. live oak trees. Phoenix to Flagstaff, Arizona Continue on scenic LA-18, and stop along the way at Spring is lovely in Phoenix, with April temperatures in cemeteries, churches, and picturesque places that catch the mid-80’s and heading higher as summer your eye. Cross the river at Route 70 after White Hall approaches. Flagstaff, our destination at 7,000 feet of and take the I-10 north for about an hour to Baton elevation, sees cooler temperatures in the low 60’s 12 Today’s BoomeR
during spring. The drive begins on I-17 north through the Sonoran Preserve and continues through the desert landscape for nearly one hundred miles before reaching our first suggested stop, Montezuma Castle National Monument.
No list of scenic road trips would be complete without one of the most beloved—California’s Big Sur and Highway One. Reopened last year after damage from a mudslide, the famed trip takes drivers along the state’s central coast between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Lucia Mountains for 90 miles of breathtaking views. We These well-preserved prehistoric cliff dwellings were the begin in Monterey, about two hours south of San homes of the Sinagua people for over 400 years. Francisco. Continue northeast on I-17, then take AZ-179 north to Sedona along the Red Rock Scenic Byway, about seven If there’s time to spend in Monterey, we highly miles of stunning scenery that includes rugged recommend the 17-Mile Drive that will take you around sandstone rock formations tinted red by the presence of the peninsula for both coastline and inland landscapes, iron. Spend some time in the small town, explore the world-famous golf courses, pine forests, fabulous shops and restaurants, or hike among the rocks to feel homes, and the iconic Lone Cypress. Stop at the Cypress the energy some refer to as vortexes. Point Lookout for a view of the coast and the Point Sur Lighthouse. Take AZ-89A north towards Flagstaff, but don’t miss Slide Rock State Park, especially during wildflower Join Highway One in Carmel for your drive south along season. In a bit more than 30 minutes, you’ll arrive in Big Sur. You’ll come to the Bixby Creek Bridge, where Flagstaff, set in the world’s largest Ponderosa Pine there are turnouts for safe parking while you snap a forest. Explore the historic downtown on a walking tour photo. As of this writing, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is and rest there for the night before heading back to closed for repairs, but you can still stop nearby to view Phoenix or on to Grand Canyon National Park, Wupatki the McWay Falls. The highway continues past Hearst National Monument, Petrified Forest National Park, or Castle in San Simeon and on to the college town of San one of the other national or state parks accessible from Luis Obispo, past wineries, beaches, cliffs, and all the the gateway of Flagstaff. way to Los Angeles and beyond. Monterey to San Luis Obispo, California
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F– (Forget) Being Old: “Rides Sally Rides!”: Highlights From 2019 Chicago Auto Show John A. Vardallas, Founder/CEO, TheAmericanBoomeR Group Finding an answer to beating this year's polar vortex winter in the Midwest was a priority for this boomer. And, this Year of the Pig according to the Chinese calendar, has been no exception, so my virtual pilgrimage of the Chicago Auto Show was anything but ho-hum and gave me a lot to squeal and warm up about. This year’s 10-day show included a bump in attendance and featured more hands-on events and attendee demonstrations. The show featured 1 million square feet at McCormick Place of top tier exhibits by global automakers, 20 brand new vehicle introductions, and a host of interactive test track drive opportunities. 1000 cars, trucks, SUVs, experimental
14 Today’s BoomeR
and concept cars were showcased. The Chicago Auto Show is the largest and oldest auto show in the USA and has been showcasing America’s new vehicles since 1901. The show did not disappoint. For baby boomers, there were plenty of eye candy foreign and domestic rides to check out loaded with retro muscle bling and horsepower, especially in the truck category. Crossover vehicles have never been hotter and the “tech-laden rides” have now arrived as an expanding segment of the car market. The Big Three Detroit auto makers as well as many overseas manufacturers showcased vehicles with affordable safety technology, fuel economy without sacrificing performance and stunning aerodynamic
cool color lineups of Challengers and Chargers at their exhibit. The new Alfa Romeo Spider and KIA Telluride and Sportage will also be overseas rides to be reckoned with in the US market.
Still featured this year for many exhibits were prototype levels of the Semi -Autonomous Car Technology: Adaptive Cruise
design. Many manufacturers showcased cars for city dwellers to satisfy their personal transportation needs with maneuverability, visibility, park-ability, and throttle response. Mid-size crossovers (and Trucks) are rapidly replacing and becoming the family passenger sedan of the future! Control/Autonomous Emergency Breaking /Lane Keep Cadillac featured its XT4 and XT6 crossovers however, Assist/Park Assist/Sign Recognition. Examples of this the XT5 is still the coolest and best seller. new tech were found in the: Drive Pilot, Cadillac: Chevrolet had its traditional great group of rides on Super Cruise, Volvo: Pilot Assist, Nissan ProPilot exhibit however, the new 2020 Silvarado HD pickup Assist-- all aimed at helping drivers adapt to a truck was definitely “the bomb”! multitude of road conditions and situations The Dodge Boys were not to be outdone and featured electronically.
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These semi-autonomous systems are designed to relieve stress for the driver by providing a second set of eyes and additional safety systems. Another very cool highlight of the show were the hands-on interactive exhibits set up by manufacturers for attendees. Camp Jeep celebrated its 15th anniversary and featured its popular and best indoor track where attendees could ride inside the Cherokee Compass, Wrangler and Renegade. Kia also featured a new indoor test track to highlight its new 2020 Telluride SUV. Land Rover and Ram Truck Territory also featured cool test tracks which allowed attendees to experience their lineups including, the Range Rover Plug -In Hybrid and Velar models. The show also featured “The Best of Show” consumer voter balloting for favorite vehicles and exhibits categories: •
Best All New Production: 2020 Jeep Gladiator followed by Toyota Supra
Best Concept Vehicle: Lexus LC Convertible followed by Infiniti 10
Best Green Vehicle: 2019 Audi e-Tron followed by Jaguar i-Pace
Best Exhibit: Jeep followed by Chevy
Vehicle I’d most like to have in my driveway: 2019 Bugatti Chiron followed by Corvette and Ford GT
Plans are already being made for next year's show, so I would mark my calendar for next February 8-17th 2020 for anyone wanting to help head off the Midwest winter. Needless to say, the Chicago Auto Show gave thousands a chance to check out the automotive future of all kinds of rides and still remains the best Rx for coping with the winter blues! Hail Spring!
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Tax Tips All Retirees Should Know By Alan Jones, espresso communication
on IRAs is to donate When the average person retires, their tax situation the money changes drastically. Retirees must juggle several different sources of savings and income, plan out their to charity, future for the ensuing decades, and hope that the IRS which is tax deductible. If you donate enough, you can avoid doesn’t take away a big chunk of their life’s work. paying tax and do good at the same Here are 25 tax tips all retirees should know. time. This method can also help you remain in a lower tax bracket, helping you maintain certain tax credits and deductions, according to Fidelity. Open a health savings account (HSA)
Plan your tax strategy Before you retire, the most important thing you can do is plan your tax strategy. Retirees draw income and savings from a variety of tax-deferred or taxadvantaged accounts and investments, meaning that a little careful planning can save you thousands as the years go by and let you enjoy your freedom. Withdraw required amounts from your IRAs You must start withdrawing minimum distributions from a traditional, tax-deferred IRA as soon as you reach the age of 70.5, according to the IRS, even if you don’t want the money yet. You will have to pay some tax on your withdrawals, but it’s better than incurring a penalty for leaving it in the account. Donate to charity One way to meet your required minimum distribution
As you get older, plan to spend more on healthcare. If you have a qualifying high deductible health plan, you can save money in a tax-free health savings account (HSA). Unlike an IRA or a 401(k), the HSA isn’t just taxdeferred, it’s tax-free as long as you spend the savings on qualifying health expenses, according to Investopedia. "Bunch" your deductions across years Retirees who don’t think they have enough deductions to make an itemized deduction worthwhile can use a technique called “bunching,” according to CNBC, in which they list two years’ worth of deductions in one tax filing. Retirees can also take advantage of the new standardized $24,000 deduction on years in which they don’t bunch. Rollover your 401(k) into a traditional IRA When you leave a job with an employer-provided 401 (k), you are allowed to rollover a 401(k) into an IRA without paying taxes on it, according to Nerdwallet. This will provide you with more investment options, but you’ll also have to wait until you’re 59.5 before you can withdraw money without a penalty. Today’s BoomeR 17
Milk your Roth IRAs to keep your tax burden down Retirees must pay income tax when withdrawing money from a traditional IRA or a 401(k), but a Roth IRA, on the other hand, is not a tax-deferred plan, according to RothIRA.com. If you want to keep your tax burden down in retirement, you can withdraw money from a Roth IRA, which will not count toward any taxable income.
Maximize medical deductions The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act retroactively changed the rules for eligible tax deductible medical expenses for the tax years of 2017 and 2018, according to the Balance, reducing the threshold from 10% to 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). You may take advantage of this reduction before the threshold bumps back up in the 2019 tax year. Purchase tax-free investments (municipal bonds) Once you’ve exhausted your tax-advantaged retirement savings options, you may be looking for investment options that are safe, such as bonds. Municipal bonds offer investment opportunities that are both safe and tax-free at the federal level, according to the Motley Fool, allowing you to avoid the sometimes onerous capital gains tax when you decide to withdraw money from your portfolio. Use a Roth IRA to pass on money to your children Unlike traditional IRAs, you must pay taxes on your Roth IRAs as you contribute toward them throughout your lifetime. In return, you receive tax-free growth on the money, tax-free withdrawals in retirement, and, importantly, you can pass on that money tax-free to a beneficiary, according to RothIRA.com, as long as you name them on the account.
new home, or only became homeowners late in life, the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allows homeowners to deduct all of their mortgage interest from their taxable income, according to MarketWatch. Withhold tax from Social Security In most jobs, employers will withhold taxes from their employees and pay it directly to the government. This may not automatically happen for Social Security. To avoid this, you can ask the IRS to withhold a percentage of your earnings, according to the AARP, so that you’re not tempted to spend money that may not really be there. Be strategic about IRA and 401(k) withdrawals In retirement, you will be taxed on withdrawals from both your traditional IRA and your 401(k), along with your Social Security. If you have other savings accounts, it will benefit you to create a strategy for withdrawing from these tax-deferred accounts, according to Fidelity, to prevent an unexpected tax bill at the end of the year. Don’t get an annuity An annuity is an agreement with an insurance company to provide you with an ongoing income in your retirement in exchange for a sum of money. It may simplify your retirement, but you’ll be paying an awful lot in fees and services, according to the AARP, and you give up control of your savings forever. Learn how to realize a capital loss for tax benefits
There are ways to transform temporary investment losses into tax benefits. If the market is in a slump but you expect it to improve, for example, you can move your investment from one stock to another, and then claim the “losses” on your taxes, according to the Deduct your mortgage interest Balance. You can even carry over remaining “losses” By retirement, most homeowners have either paid off into the next tax year. their mortgage or they’re mostly paying down the Take advantage of the new standard deduction principal. For those that may have downsized into a 18 Today’s BoomeR
The standard deduction nearly doubled to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples in 2018, making the hassle of itemized deductions less worthwhile. Some will still find value in itemizing their deductions, but nearly 70% of Americans use the standardized deduction, according to the Motley Fool, and that number will likely grow with the new rules.
to withhold 20% for taxes when it pays out, which can trigger a penalty on your IRA as it is considered a taxable distribution, according to MarketWatch. Instead, have the 401(k) send that money directly to the IRA. Take advantage of 0% on capital gains for low-income earners
Since 2008, lower-income individuals have paid zero percent on long-term capital gains. According to the If you’re planning to downsize your home in Balance, you can take advantage of this rule by retirement, you can take advantage of a capital gains planning your retirement income, including your 401 loophole for homeowners. Up to $500,000 in capital (k) and IRA withdrawals, around this rule, which apgains can be excluded from taxes for married couples plies to married couples who earn less than $78,750 ($250,000 for individuals) when they sell their and single filers who earn less than $39,375. principal residence, according to Nerdwallet, which Put part-time money into Roth IRAs can give empty nesters a nice cushion for their If you plan to keep working in your retirement, you retirement. may still put some of that income into a Roth IRA to Being over 65 makes you eligible for a larger take advantage of tax-free growth. You may continue standard deduction to do this indefinitely, according to Think Advisor, While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act nearly doubled the unlike traditional IRAs, which you may not contribute standard deduction for all Americans, it maintained a to after the age of 70.5. tax break for senior citizens over the age of 65. Keep track of your business expenses Seniors may claim an additional $1,600 (for single If you decide to run a small business in your filers) or $2,600 (for spouses) on their standard retirement, whether to monetize a hobby or just to deduction, according to CNBC, bumping it up to keep yourself busy, remember to deduct any $13,600 or $26,600, respectively. expenses that you might incur from running the Get your spouse to contribute to your IRA business. According to the IRS, deductible business Once you have stopped working, you may no longer expenses must be “both ordinary and necessary” in contribute to your IRA, according to the Balance. the running of your business. However, your spouse may continue to contribute to Avoid doing it yourself your IRA as long as he or she earns enough income to support you. This can help your spouse defer taxes in When you retire, you will likely be drawing income and savings from a variety of sources, such as a 401 the present and keep your IRA topped up for (k), an IRA, or Social Security. Tax laws are always retirement. changing and tend to be much more complex for Don’t get trapped when you rollover a 401(k) retirees than for single-income working people. Find When transferring money from a 401(k) into an IRA, yourself a qualified retirement financial planner to don’t get caught in the “trap.” The 401(k) is required help you put together a comprehensive tax strategy. Save money if you downsize your home
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Old Enough for Sex : 5 Signs Your Marriage Is Headed Toward Divorce and Tools to Deal With It By Léa Rose Emery , Brides It’s not always easy to admit that your marriage is struggling. There’s so much pressure for marriages to be perfect, to be your own little happily ever after. But marriages take work—and that’s OK. In fact, having the courage and the honesty to admit when things aren’t clicking isn’t a sign of weakness in your relationship, it’s a sign of strength. Because every single marriage has its problems and its stresses. And it’s only by tackling those issues that you can actually improve your relationship and make sure that it will last for the long haul. So it’s crucial to be honest about the state of your relationship and know the signs that something is wrong. Every relationship will have its occasional moments of stress or frustration, but there are some signs that there are bigger problems at play—and maybe even that your marriage is in danger. Here are the signs that your marriage is heading for divorce and how to deal with them; if you’re no longer communicating you need to address it sooner rather than later. 1. There’s a Sense of Contempt
Dr. John Gottman of the Gottman Institute knows about marriages—and divorce. He’s spent decades observing married couples in order to understand where things go wrong. And he's found there’s one thing that tops the list as a predictor of divorce: contempt, and it can manifest in different ways. But that angry, sarcastic, twisted feeling that you get when you just can’t even with someone is a sign that your marriage is in trouble. He also identified criticism as another major sign of divorce, so if you're constantly nitpicking each other then you need to address it immediately. How to Deal With It: If you find yourself feeling contemptuous—or you feel like your partner is—then it’s time to take a big breath and a time out. Take a moment and try to work out why you’re both struggling, and then talk to your partner. Explain that you’ve noticed things 20 Today’s BoomeR
have been off, brainstorm where this stress is coming from—whether it comes from each other or an external stressor—and how you can tackle it. Finally, make some time to just be with each other and rediscover why you love this person. A night away, a vacation, or even a date night—just take some time to come back together. 2. You’re Fighting About Money Money is the number one source of stress in marriages. And sometimes it can feel impossible not to fight about it, especially if the issue is that there just isn’t enough of it. Whether you’re angry with each other’s spending habits, you feel stressed by the lack of finances, or an unexpected bill sends you sideways, fighting about money is hard—but it can also reveal deeper relationship incompatibilities. How to Deal With It: First, you need to calm down. Talk about why you’re fighting about money. Is it about the money itself, or does one of you feel overlooked or not listened to? Then, deal with the financial issue. Sit down and look at your budget—or make one, if you don’t already have one—and try to make a plan. Whether it’s consolidating your debts, saving more, or just feeling more organized, there are plenty of free financial tools available to help you feel more in control. 3. You’re Fighting About Chores Fighting about chores is totally normal, and don't worry, a lot of people fight about chores without heading for divorce! But sometimes, snide remarks about folding laundry can actually be representative of bigger relationship issues, so you need to be on the lookout. How to Deal With It: If you have the money, then you might want to throw some at the problem. Research has shown that paying someone to do your chores can actually improve your relationship. Of course, not everyone can afford to do that. In that case, one of the best things you can do is to make a chore schedule or an agreement on how to split the chores equally, but you also need to get
the root of the issue. If one of you is feeling put upon, neglected, or resentful, that means the chores are a representation of bigger relationship problems. This might require seeing a therapist, or you may be able to work it out between the two of you so you both feel happier and more respected going forward.
It’s a really obvious sign, but one that’s so often overlooked. If you’re chronically unhappy, it’s easy to blame your job or money or family stress. And maybe it is those problems that are making you unhappy. But it could also be that you’re using those issues as an excuse to not look at your struggling marriage.
4. You’ve Stopped Communicating
How to Deal With It: You need to tell your partner you’re unhappy, and tell them you need their help to change that. Dr. Gottman pointed to stonewalling—shutting your Then brainstorm on solutions: Maybe if you had more time partner out—as another sign of impending divorce. There’s for your hobbies , or maybe you’re craving quality time no denying that communication is key, so if you feel it's with your partner. You shouldn’t be living in a constant slipping, then you want to address it immediately. state of unhappiness—and your marriage probably won't How to Deal With It: Call a truce. Rather than tiptoeing survive it—so make sure that you’re taking the time to around the problem, address it directly by saying to your work on your happiness, as well as your partner’s. partner, “I feel really distant and like we’ve stopped letting Every relationship is different and will have its own ups and each other in. I want to move past this, what can we do?” downs, but there are some major marriage red flags that Again, depending on how deep the issue goes, you might are important to be aware of. If you feel that something’s want to talk to a professional or you may just need to reset really wrong, don't panic—take a moment and breathe, between the two of you. talk to your partner, and plan a way forward together. 5. You’re Unhappy You’ve recognized the issue, and that’s half the battle. Today’s BoomeR 21
BOOMER HEALTHY EATING: Spring Time Sweet Genuine Tin Roof Sundae Cookies
Recipes and Photos from Chef Eben Atwater
Check into who invented the ice cream sundae, and boy oh boy, are you in for a ride. Towns from New England through the Midwest claim ownership, and well, yeah… good luck with that. There is one exception, and that’s the Tin Roof Sundae. Originally called a Black & White, this legendary treat came to life in 1916, at Potter Drug in Potter Nebraska. Harold Dean ‘Pinky’ Thayer, son of the owner and Pharmacist, worked the soda counter and came up with the Tin Roof, named either for the ceiling in the drug store, or the roof on the stable across the street, depending on who’s story you buy. The building and business are there to this day, (now called Potter Sundry), and they still make the Tin Roof Sundae. The original version was constructed from vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate syrup, chocolate ice cream topped with marshmallow syrup, and the whole thing topped with a healthy dose of Spanish peanuts. That recipe, more or less, got quite popular, and was adopted by ice cream makers all around the country – It’s a combo I happen to love. Every version I’ve tried or researched is vanilla ice cream with chocolate fudge and Spanish peanuts. Fact is, though, it’s not easy to find up here 22 Today’s BoomeR
where we live, so if I want it, I make it, which I’m totally OK with. Fresh ice cream, (from Jersey cows), with vanilla bean, good chocolate chunks, and nice crisp peanuts? Hell yes, please. That got me thinking about a cookie by the same name. I poked around online to see what was out there, and here’s the fact – There were a few recipes – or so it appeared at first glance. But after digging in, it became glaringly obvious that what we really had was one recipe, widely copied and occasionally modified – That was a chocolate based cookie, with peanuts – but blasphemy of blasphemies, these things were made with Chex cereal, covered in chocolate, (actually, cocoa powder), topped with peanuts – FRIGGIN’ CHEX CEREAL, people! Yes, there were pretty pictures, and a bunch of folks claiming to have come up with the recipe, but ya know what? It was all the same thing, made with cereal, cocoa powder, and regular peanuts. To me, that’s simply appalling – a serious wrong that needs righting. Again, every version of the ice cream I’ve ever seen or eaten is vanilla, with chocolate or fudge, and Spanish
peanuts, and that’s what a namesake cookie needs to be – so that’s what I did. The cookie I ended up with has roughly three times the usual amount of vanilla used for a chocolate chip cookie – that flavor note is dominant, which is exactly what I was after – A vanilla ice cream analog. I used an organic, high end vanilla bean paste, instead of just seeds (or plain extract), and I think that’s critical in the final product – this also impacts the texture a bit, making things notable more tender. Fresh, skin on, salted Spanish peanuts and good quality chocolate round things out. I’ll say for the record that I’ve done several batches of these now, and they are seriously good stuff. The one twist I went to for my final version requires extra work, but is absolutely worth it if you’re pulling out all the stops for a holiday cookie – I made chocolate covered Spanish peanuts. When I decided to do that, I did some thinking about what kind of chocolate to use. In the end run, I just stayed with melted Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips – They’re made to maintain their shape and form when baked, and that’s what I wanted here – Peanuts covered in chocolate that would stay that way when baked into a cookie. I melted the chips in a double boiler, and
peanuts to make the mix correct – It’s not like any excess is going to survive for very long anyway, right? I poured that mix onto the baking sheet, and then smoothed it all down to a single layer of peanuts with a pastry
knife. I let the mix cool for about 15 minutes, then transferred it to the fridge so that it could get nice and hard. After an hour or so, I pulled the stuff and broke it up by hand, not being super particular about size – One of the things I didn’t like in earlier batches was seeing chocolate chips in there – I thought it should be more random and chunky, like the laid out a baking chocolate is in the namesake ice cream. I ended up pan with a silicone with nice chunks of chocolaty peanuts and a great sheet, (parchment look. All that aside, you can certainly do this recipe would work just with chip and peanuts if you’re short on time or fine too.) When the patience, so go that road if need be. chocolate was nice and liquid, I added Urban’s Genuine Tin Roof Sundae Cookies nuts and mixed 380 grams All Purpose Flour (3 Cups) them in until there 230 grams Unsalted Butter (2 sticks) was no obvious 200 grams Bakers Sugar (1 Cup) excess of chocolate, 150 Grams Spanish Peanuts (1 Cup, and probably (as in, I didn’t more like 1.5 Cups if you go for the chocolate exactly measure). covered option) Just a bag of chips 340 grams semi-sweet Chocolate chunks (12 ounce and enough bag) Today’s BoomeR 23
2 large Eggs 15 grams fresh Vanilla Bean or paste (1 Tablespoon) 4 grams Baking Soda (1 teaspoon) 4 grams fine Salt (1/2 teaspoon) Preheat oven to 350° F and set a rack in the lower middle position. Have your eggs and butter at room temperature before proceeding. Run flour, baking soda, and salt through a sifter or single mesh strainer, into a large mixing bowl. For the lions share of the process, a stand mixer is preferred, but if you don’t have one, you can hand whisk – Just be forewarned, it’s going to be a bit of a workout. In a stand mixer bowl set up with a paddle, add the butter and mix on low until it’s smooth and even – about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer, and use a spatula to scrape the butter down from the bowl sides and paddle. Add the sugar and mix on low until the blend is smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Again, stop the mixer, and use a spatula to scrape the creamed mixture down from the bowl sides and paddle.
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Add an egg and the vanilla paste to the creamed mixture and mix on low until fully incorporated – No more than 30 seconds. Repeat the process with the second egg, and again, 30 seconds tops – You don’t want to over-beat the eggs. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture, and mix until fully incorporated – Stop as soon as that’s achieved. Remove the bowl from the mixer, add chocolate and peanuts, and incorporate with a spatula until evenly mixed. Scoop heaping soup spoons of batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone. Leave a couple of inched between each – You should be able to get a dozen on there, no problem. Bake for 7 minutes, then rotate the sheet 180° and bake for 7 minutes more. Pull from oven and carefully slide parchment onto a cooling rack. Bake single sheets of cookies at a time. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before attacking, and 20 minutes before putting them into an air tight storage container.
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Experience that comes with age opens up for a realization and awareness that the road we are always headed is not always the road ahead. As...
Published on Mar 1, 2019
Experience that comes with age opens up for a realization and awareness that the road we are always headed is not always the road ahead. As...