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Perspectives Monthly Lifestyle eNewsletter for December, 2017

Retirement Income Advisors presents:

 


SMART TIP:
Short on time and need to prepare frozen-solid meat quickly? Thaw it in the microwave using the automatic “defrost” setting, but plan to cook it immediately afterward to decrease the risk of foodborne pathogen growth. Even less time? Meat can be cooked from frozen, but plan to heat it at least 50% longer in order to bring it to temperature and ensure thorough cooking.

 

WHO SAID IT?
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
[GET THE ANSWER]
 

TEST YOUR
KNOWLEDGE:
Q: According to Zillow, how much had the average American single-family home risen in value between October 2016 and October 2017? 

 

A)6.4%

B)6.9%

C)7.2%

D)8.7%

[GET THE ANSWER]
 

 

 

December, 2017

Moving to a Small Town

What are the advantages and the trade-offs?
[CLICK TO READ]

 

 

‘Tis the Season to Give
…and to Itemize

It is important to properly record your charitable contributions.

[CLICK TO READ]

 

 

Is Fast Food Cheaper Than Eating In?

Convenient, yes. Cost effective? Maybe not.
[CLICK TO READ]

 

 

Recipe of the Month
Hearty Sausage Stuffed Pumpkins
[CLICK TO READ]

 

 

Perspectives - Page Break

Moving to a Small Town

What are the advantages and the trade-offs?

 

About one in eight Americans relocate during a typical year. Some move to small towns. Like every relocation, moving to (or back to) a small town has its plusses and minuses. 

 

Yes, many small cities are contending with a sense of stagnation – but in response, there is a sense of togetherness and initiative. Small towns include people from all walks of life in a way that suburbs often do not; suburban neighborhoods tend to gather people of the same income level and age group. There is a protectiveness in place in a small town; in times of challenges or celebrations, phone calls, texts, and visits are made between neighbors. Walk or drive across town, and you may meet people genuinely pleased to see you.

 

On the other hand, the privacy and sense of anonymity that big-city dwellers expect may vanish. In a metropolis, you may encounter unlikable eccentrics for a minute or two, and then adroitly escape their presence; in a small town, you may see that irritating person every day. If you are not settled down in your career or life, your creative or professional ambition may not be fulfilled in a small community. Factors like these and many other must be weighed before a move.1

 

 

 

Perspectives - Page Break

‘Tis the Season to Give…and to Itemize

It is important to properly record your charitable contributions.

 

The standard income tax deduction for an individual taxpayer is currently $6,350; for joint filers, it becomes $12,700. If your medical expenses, property taxes, home mortgage interest deduction, and charitable gifts exceed those levels, it may end up being better, financially, to present and claim itemized deductions on Schedule A.

 

Charitable gifts must be itemized to be deducted. The I.R.S. standard for documentation of itemized deductions has changed. In the old days, you just needed a receipt from the charity or non-profit involved to certify a donation of more than $250 in cash or material items. Now, you need either a cancelled check or a receipt to affirm and legitimize all deductions you claim on Schedule A for charitable donations. You may be wondering if you can claim a deduction for donating to a crowdfunding campaign. The short answer is yes, if the crowdfunding campaign was administered by a qualified charitable organization in the eyes of the I.R.S. If that is not the case, then claiming a deduction may be inappropriate.2,3

 

 

 

 

Perspectives - Page Break

Is Fast Food Cheaper Than Eating In?

Convenient, yes. Cost effective? Maybe not.

 

More than 75% of Americans eat fast food at least once a week; a study in the November issue of the journal Economics and Human Biology presents research confirming this. So, we all do it, perhaps partly because we see it as cost effective. But often, we can eat at home for less, particularly if we buy staple foods in bulk and have them organized so we can plan and make easy meals. A quesadilla can be made from leftover cheese, chicken, or beef in a non-stick skillet, effectively, for pennies. Eggs, toast, and microwave sausage can give you a hearty breakfast for a tenth of what you might pay for it and in ten minutes of time. Skillet dishes and scrambles are easy. Instant Pot fanatics have a perfect opportunity to cook lo mein or pasta.

 

You can also be cagey and supplement takeout food with food you have at home. Get a typically enormous antipasto to go, and toss the ingredients at home with salad you have, maybe adding chicken, beef, or hard-boiled eggs. Get plain white rice from a takeout place and add your own ingredients. Supplement takeout chicken with your own bread and salad. The cost-saving possibilities are numerous.3