Why tax-deductible items are not what they appear

Why tax-deductible items are not what they appear

| Written by Brett Porter, EA for Winter 2020 Edition of OurSeniors.net Magazine | Every year you hear it. You may even say it yourself. “I can just write it off on my taxes,” but can you really? Most people are completely confused as to whether or not all their tax deductions are even making a difference. Why is this? Most people find their tax return to be a huge burden—they do not want to think about it throughout the year, they do not want to do it come April, and they most certainly do not want to review what all those numbers are on their 1040. They just want to hand in their information to their accountant and be done with it. Do you know if you itemized last year? A lot of people do not even know that there are two options—itemizing or the standard deduction, or what these options mean. They just hear throughout their life that certain items are...
Read More
Are people not speaking clearly or is it me?

Are people not speaking clearly or is it me?

Have you noticed how quickly people are speaking these days? Do their words seem more like gibberish than English? Have you had to ask them to repeat themselves not twice but three times? If so, as surprising as it may sound, you may be suffering from hearing loss. Hearing loss is a healthy and natural part of aging. According to the National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders, one in three people between 65 and 74 suffers from hearing loss. If you are older than 75, the likelihood of hearing loss increases by up to 50%. But how do you know you're hard of hearing? If you are not sure where you stand within those statistics, answer the questions1: Do you sometimes feel embarrassed when you meet new people because you struggle to hear? Do you feel frustrated when talking to members of your family because you have difficulty understanding them? Do you have trouble hearing or understanding co-workers, clients, or...
Read More
What happens to your email when you die?

What happens to your email when you die?

| Written by Andrew Grant | As a child of the 80’s, when I heard the term “digital” it usually had to do with watches, and when I finally got one I thought it was one of the coolest things ever. It was really the only “digital” asset I had. Now, of course, most of us have “digital assets” we can’t physically touch. We have email, cloud photos, Facebook, or Instagram accounts. All of these are “digital assets” that until recently have been a very uncertain part of people’s estate plans. For example, if spouses shared an email account but only one was listed as the “owner” the surviving spouse could have trouble accessing or changing the email account if the “owner” spouse died. This would be especially problematic if the couple had elected paperless billing so that credit cards or utilities only emailed monthly bills instead of mailing through the post office. This year Florida joined a growing number of states that...
Read More
You may not know this detail about elder law and estate planning

You may not know this detail about elder law and estate planning

| Written by Andrew C. Grant | Any caricature of Florida inevitably shows a sizable senior population, which makes it no less true.  With an aging population come certain needs, including increased needs for health care and day-to-day living assistance.  Lawyers who work in Elder Law seek to assist clients with those needs in an economically efficient manner, whether by qualifying for Medicaid for long-term care costs, or structuring asset ownership so that long-term care costs don’t gobble up all the client’s assets. Planning for long-term care costs may require significant changes to the client’s estate plan, as well.  For example, qualifying for Medicaid may require giving assets away now instead of waiting until death.  That makes it important to consider both aspects of planning when trying to meet the client’s needs. Generally, there are three categories of persons when it comes to long-term care planning:  there are those with sufficient wealth to self-pay, or who have procured long-term care insurance that will...
Read More
How to stay safe from COVID-19 scammers

How to stay safe from COVID-19 scammers

Seniors stay vigilant; criminals are taking advantage of our community. While the world bands together to stop the spread of COVID-19, swindlers are profiting from the pandemic. Scammers are using fear to exploit worried families by promising them cures for the virus. There is no need to panic, but just like everything else, being informed is always the first step. Here are a few ways you can avoid COVID-19 scams: Avoid clicking on links from unknown sources (they could download viruses onto your computer or devices) Be wary of emails from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) To find current and official information about the virus, click here or visit the World Health Organization (WHO) Do not open emails from “experts” stating they have information about the virus Dismiss online offers for vaccinations Ignore offers for COVID-19 curing products (ex. vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, tablets, prescriptions or over-the-counter products) online or in stores Do your research first when looking...
Read More