Gospel singer sees youth flocking to Christianity

Gospel singer sees youth flocking to Christianity

| Originally published in the Fall 2020 edition of OurSeniors.net Magazine | On our magazine cover, we have Garrett Hornbuckle, his wife Danielle and daughter Ella Grace, because they are an inspiration that we should look to for hope for our next generation. When he was younger, Garrett grew up in a broken home, not having a close relationship with his biological father and his mother remarrying when he was nine into a broken marriage. After attempting to find validation in a variety of things during high school, he found a place in his youth group that changed his life forever. His youth pastor invested in him and believed in him telling him that he should pursue something with his music talent. When his band, All Things New, was climbing the charts and becoming very successful, Garrett went through a traumatic experience. His band members abandoned him just as their second song hit the radio and they were going on tour with famous...
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Are your Social Security benefits taxable?

Are your Social Security benefits taxable?

Will you have to pay income tax on the Social Security benefits you receive? It depends on many variables. The IRS uses a measurement called “combined income” to determine if you need to pay taxes on any part of your Social Security benefits. Combined income is made up of two parts: 50% of your Social Security benefits and; ALL of your other income. Your “combined income” equals ½ of your Social Security benefits + your adjusted gross income + nontaxable interest or other nontaxable income (if any). For many taxpayers, there is no difference because they do not have income that need to be excluded from their “Adjusted Gross Income” (AGI) total. If you are married, filing jointly and your total combined income is between $32,000 and $44,000, you may have to pay an income tax on up to 50 percent of your benefits. If your combined income is more than $44,000, up to 85 percent of your benefits may be taxable. If...
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What is a revocable living trust and do I need one?

What is a revocable living trust and do I need one?

| Written by Andrew C. Grant | One of the most frequent questions I get when meeting with new clients to plan for their estates is whether they need a trust or not.  This question is usually prompted by a lack of information, or misinformation, as to what a trust does as part of a person’s estate plan.  This article will attempt to provide a little clarity on the subject. A trust is most commonly used as a means of avoiding probate at the grantor’s death.  These trusts are referred to as revocable, or living, trusts.  As the name implies, they are created during a person’s lifetime and are fully revocable or amendable during that lifetime.  All assets transferred to the trust are treated as if the grantor (who is usually also the trustee) still owns them directly with no loss of control.  Upon the grantor’s death, assets that are already in the trust pass to the grantor’s beneficiaries without having to...
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Plan now for the 2021 Medicare open enrollment period

Plan now for the 2021 Medicare open enrollment period

Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period (OEP) runs from October 15 to December 7 of each year. The choices made during that time become effective the following January 1, remaining in effect for the coming year. During the OEP, Medicare patients may make changes that can substantially affect the way they receive and pay for medical care. This topic can become confusing, even scary. The torrents of marketing material received, and the critical importance of this issue lead many seniors to freeze in place and do nothing. This is a mistake; nothing is more important to seniors than getting the very best out of Medicare. Each year, the Medicare OEP should be a time to reevaluate your personal situation and make an intelligent decision. Advertisements aimed at Medicare patients sometimes cloud this issue. The changes coming to Medicare in 2021 are not great, but this does not mean that seniors should let the enrollment period pass without considering their own circumstances. A senior’s personal...
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Important documents you should have in place now

Important documents you should have in place now

| Written by Laurie Taylor | “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin When I talk to clients about having their Estate Documents in place, I am often dismissed because "we don't have enough money to worry about." Estate Documents deal with much more than money. They also state your wishes and provide for your needs if you should become incapacitated. At the bare minimum, you need to have in place: A Living Will - A living will is a document that provides specific instructions about healthcare treatment. It is generally used to declare wishes to refuse life-sustaining treatment under certain circumstances. If you do not want to be kept on life care support, you absolutely need this document. Health Care Proxy or Durable Health Power of Attorney - In the event that you are unable to make treatment decisions, the healthcare proxy allows you to choose someone you trust to make treatment decisions on your behalf. The person...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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