When you feel bloated, drinking water sounds as if it would only make matters worse, but can often help, according to James Lee, MD, gastroenterologist with St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California. Especially if youre on a high-fiber diet, for instance, your body will need more water to work more efficiently, says Dr. Lee. Water mixes with water soluble fiber and makes it into a gel-like substance. This affects the motility of the gut and reduces the symptom of bloating. Drinking more water can relieve bloating caused by dehydration. When youre dehydrated, your body clings to the water your body does have, causing you to puff up. So next time youre feeling a little bloated, reach for a drink! It may make you feel better. Source: Health.com
Global financial markets posted mixed results during the first quarter of 2018 amid a spike in volatility on concerns surrounding higher interest rates and rising inflation expectations. Meanwhile, the Trump Administrations tariff announcement on steel and aluminum led to heightened geopolitical tensions with several U.S. trading partners, sparking concerns of a trade war. We present a few highlights from 1Q18 below: U.S. equity markets sold off sharply in late January and early February, resulting in the first correction (10% drawdown) since early 2016. Stocks moved mostly higher for the remainder of the quarter in volatile and choppy trade, with large intra-day moves the norm. Despite the volatile environment, the SP 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite managed to hover near their all-time highs. On the economic front, preliminary estimates indicate fourth quarter GDP slowed slightly more than initially thought due to slower inventory growth.
Lineweaver client Bruce Motko is a great believer in travel and traveling as reasonably as possible! When Bruce was last in, he shared some of these great travel tips, and we thought that many of our other clients would enjoy them as well. For the very frugal on airfare, Bruce says, try Spirit Airlines--known for its bare bones approach (you pay for everything) but savings can be substantial. If youre flexible and read all the fine print (ask someone who has flown Spirit) you can save money. He recommends you start by signing up (free) at Spirit.com to get weekly deals. You can join their $9 Fare Club, which costs $59.95 annually (and does, he notes, automatically renew if not canceled). While he concedes that there is a bit of up-front cost, he goes on to say that it pays for itself after one trip - plus gives the same discounts for everyone booked on your reservation. At the same time, he recommends applying for the Spirit Mastercard (which has no fees for the first year, and
Keep an Eye Out for our New (and easy to use!) Website Many of our clients have been using our website for several years, and I know that many of you have come to count on it as a regular source of news, new and interesting resources, and a simple and secure way to access all of your accounts through our consolidated WealthTRAC Consolidated Reporting Platform. In an effort to consistently offer our clients and friends an updated and refined experience to better serve your needs, weve been spending some time updating our website over the last several months, and the new website will go live in the coming months. The new website will be better aligned with our clientele base, feature easy access to our newsletters, blog, Golden Opportunities Shows and other media appearances, and all of the client accounts that you have now. We have also taken this opportunity to narrow our focus, so that we can better serve you. Youll notice that the new site focuses on four segments, which all of our
When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 passed and was signed into law late last year, it was the most sweeping overhaul to the tax code in more than 30 years. While there are many estate planning strategies that have remained in place, this also opened the door to new opportunities, and so it may be wise to revisit your estate plan. Increased Limits on the Estate Tax The Tax Cut and Jobs Act temporarily doubles the exemption amount for estate, gift and generation-skipping taxes from the $5 million base, set in 2011, to a new $10 million base, good for tax years 2018 through 2025. The exemption is indexed for inflation, so an individual can shelter $11.2 million in assets from these taxes. Another federal estate law provision called portability lets couples who do proper planning double that exemption. So, a couple could exclude $22.4 million for 2018. The laws sunset provision means that, absent further Congressional action, the exemption amount would revert to the $5 million base,
If 2017 lulled market participants to sleep, then the turbulent start to 2018 has been a wake-up call. Just when the dust seemed to settle on Februarys bout of market volatility, investors are now contemplating the impact of a proclamation authorized on March 9th to impose 25% and 10% import tariffs on steel and aluminum respectively. Canada and Mexico are temporarily excluded contingent upon renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The President stressed flexibility to adjust tariffs for specific countries and left the door open to more tariffs. This is sure to be a fluid issue and will take time to play out. We will monitor the situation to assess reactions from U.S. trading partners. Key Points: President Trump has persistently concentrated on policies aimed to incentivize corporations to invest domestically. In January 2017, President-elect Trump proposed a Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) that was eventually scrapped. Four days after his inauguration, President
Savvy Social Security Planning: What Baby Boomers Need to Know to Maximize Retirement Income What you need to know before you apply for Social Security benefits. When should someone start collecting Social Security benefits? The answer is that there is no one best age for everyone and, ultimately, it is your choice. You should make an informed decision about when to apply for benefits based on your individual and family circumstances. We dont know what the future holds, but Social Security is likely to continue as a source of some retirement income for baby boomers. From a planning perspective, any assumptions made about the impact of Social Security on retirement should be conservative. An individuals full retirement age (FRA) is the age when he or she qualifies to receive the entire or full Social Security retirement benefit based on his or her earnings history. This age varies based on when he or she was born Everyone who is qualified to receive Social Security retirement benefits
Avoiding Costly Mistakes with Your IRA Distributions At age 70 you need to be aware of these rules. If you have retirement accounts, the IRS has allowed you to have assets growing in those accounts without paying income taxes on the income or gains. At age 70 , the IRS wants to begin taxing those accounts by making you take money out, whether you want to or not. Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are one of those facts of life that many dread, and that make life even more confusing and complicated. Lets try and reduce the confusion. For retirement account owners, the RMD rules apply to Traditional, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, qualified plans like 401ks, 403(b) and governmental 457(b) accounts. The RMD rules do not apply to Roth IRA owners, but they do apply to Roth IRA beneficiaries. If a non-spouse inherits a Roth IRA, they are required to take RMDs no matter what their age is, just like the non-spouse beneficiary of all retirement accounts. A word of caution: if you inherit an IRA
What Happened in the Markets This Past Week? After a period of historic market tranquility in 2017, a few weeks ago we reallocated and rebalanced our portfolios in order to provide greater opportunities and to help reduce risk going forward into 2018. With the rapidly changing market conditions of the last week, its more important than ever to be sure you are diversified, and properly balanced and allocated. Because we took a pro-active approach to managing our clients accounts, they are in a better position to weather the volatility that has been generally absent from the markets for the past year. On Monday, February 5th, the SP 500 Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) both fell more than 4%, marking the worst one-day percentage decline since August 2011. When combined with declines from last Friday, the last two trading sessions resulted in these indices falling more than 6%, bringing the indices back to levels as of mid-December 2017. Remarkably, the recent sell-off ends
One of the reasons that millionaires are economically successful is that they think differently, according to Thomas J. Stanley, author of the well-known book The Millionaire Next Door. And, in our experience, its true - their advantage in life is not a rare financial privilege, but rather basic values, discipline, and a couple of key principles and strategies that we want to share with you today. 1.Delay Gratification Many financially successful individuals will create a waiting period before they make a major purchase. 2.Dont Live Beyond Your Means One way to think about wealth is that its not what you make, its what you spend. If youre living beneath your means and saving and investing a significant portion of your income, that will grow over time. A good number to start with is 20%. 3.Pay Yourself First Twenty percent is a great starting point, but your goals may dictate more or less. Many people use the 50/30/20 rule 50% to necessities, 30% flexible spending, and 20% toward
Transfer Real Estate and Defer Tax! Many of us have been there. If you sell appreciated property, your unrealized gain can become a realized gain, and create a potential tax liability. But, if you exchange your property for another like property, you may be able to continue to defer the taxable gain! A 1031 exchange is a swap of one business or investment asset for another. Capital gains on the sale of this property are deferred or postponed as long as the IRS rules are meticulously followed. 1031 exchanges typically involve real estate, but can be used for other investment properties like businesses. It involves a simple swap of one property for another between two people. Since its unlikely that you and another person will have the exact properties you want to swap, the vast majority of exchanges are delayed, three party, or Starker exchanges. In a delayed exchange, you need a middleman who holds the cash after you sell your property and uses it to buy the replacement property
New Years Resolutions that are Easy to Keep Every year, we torture ourselves with New Years resolutions losing weight, eating better, getting more exercise weve all been there before. And do we keep them? Many of us do. But theres always at least a few that you feel bad about not keeping. So this year, we decided to change things up. We present to you a list of New Years Resolutions that anyone can keep! 1. Reject models when they ask you out 2. Eat more pizza 3. Dont let your naturally good looks make you insecure 4. Confiscate at least one selfie stick 5. Dont drink alcohol at the gym 6. Exercise your right to eat more tacos 7. Stay in more 8. Spend less time with people, and more time on your phone 9. Dont go to the gym on days that end in y 10. Rather than lose weight, buy bigger clothes 11. Use your fitness equipment to hang up those clothes 12. Take the time to procrastinate more 13. Replace the gas nozzle before driving away from the pump 14. Interrupt people more
A better than expected 2017 appears to be transitioning into an optimistic start for 2018. 2017 will be remembered for continually reaching new highs, but may go down in the record book for its lack of volatility. The Dow ended the year at 24,719.22 -- pushed to these levels by optimism of a tax reform plan and foreign investors pouring money into the market. Since the 2016 presidential election, the Dow has set 84 new record closing highs, leaving the Dow up 25.08% for the year, and the SP 500 up 19.42%. In 2016, few people expected returns of these levels against a backdrop of political infighting in Washington, geopolitical tensions, and a tighter monetary policy. Stack on top of those issues the possibility that 2017 could also set a record for the number of natural disasters totaling $1B (tornados, floods, hurricanes, and wildfires) -- and the gains and level of stability are surprising. The lack of volatility will set 2017 apart. We are in the longest period in SP 500 history
Global financial markets continued to move higher, supported by an improving outlook for global economic growth. Volatility remained near record low levels despite persistent geopolitical tensions, tightening U.S. monetary policy and particularly destructive natural disasters. We present a few highlights from 4Q17 below: U.S. equity markets continued their bull market run during the fourth quarter as the Trump Administrations tax reform proposal took a step closer to approval, offering a boost to overall investor sentiment. The SP 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite each hit all-time highs during the quarter. On the economic front, preliminary estimates indicate third quarter GDP grew at the fastest pace in three years amid strong business investment. Developed international equity markets were also positive during the fourth quarter, driven by improving earnings growth and general economic expansion. Strong gains came out of the Pacific region,
With the holidays over, many of us make New Years resolutions and chief among them is often losing weight. Theres no lack of advice and it all seems to focus on calories in vs. calories out. Which is important, but this year you may want to try eating more now to eat less later. It sounds counterintuitive at first, but it makes sense when you think about it. Youre hungry, and grab a 100-calorie snack pack of cookies or pretzels. Its only 100 calories, so how bad can it be for you? But as you know, its more likely to make you hungrier than if you ate something more substantial. According to Amy Goodson, RD, dietitian for Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine, eating small amounts of carbohydrates does nothing but spike your blood sugar and leave you wanting more carbs. She goes on to recommends a protein such as peanut butter or string cheese with an apple. They are higher in calories per serving, but the protein and fat helps you get full faster and stay full longerand you end up eating
THETAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT OF 2017: Highlights of the Final Tax Cuts and Jobs Act The tax reform bill passed both the House and the Senate and was signed into law by the President on December 22nd. The legislation will result in substantive tax reform for corporations, with the elimination of the corporate AMT and consolidation down to a single 21% tax rate. Individuals, however, will find that the new legislation is more of a series of cuts and tweaks. Almost all individual households will see a tax reduction in the coming years with all seven tax brackets decreasing by a few percentage points We have compiled a list of some of the key elements and provided a comparison between the current law and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act Provision Current Law New law January 1, 2018 Tax Brackets We have seven (7) tax brackets: 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6% Keeps seven
Over the weekend of December 2nd, the Senate passed its tax reform bill, with a vote that mostly followed party lines. The recent Senate vote follows the Houses tax bill which was passed several weeks earlier. While the House could choose to expedite legislation by voting on the Senate bill without amendments, Republican leadership has indicated a conference committee will be assembled to reconcile differences between the bills. Modifications will need to be done in a manner that finds suitable compromises while still positioning the final bill to carry a majority vote in both houses. The Republicans have stated that their goal is to have a complete bill to President Trump by Christmas. We know that many of our clients wonder what these changes look like, and how the two bills compare to each other. Below is a chart comparing current law with the House and Senate proposals. Its likely we will see some changes as a final bill coalesces. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act: A Side
As wonderful as they can be, the holidays are usually pretty stressful. Between juggling your usual responsibilities, attending holiday parties, spending time with family and friends, and braving the crowds to shop or go out, there is never enough time or money. Here are a few tips we think are worth sharing to help ease your stress and get the most out of your time and money this holiday season. 1. Make a budget:Our recommendation for most families is that they dont spend more than 1% of their annual household income on the holidays. So, if you have a combined income of $200,000, you would have $2,000 to spend. 2. Make a list: By making a gift list and thinking about how much to spend on each person, youll have a better idea of what your budget should be. Although its easy to overlook the small costs, those are the ones that can add up quickly. Remember that this budget should also include things like cards, postage, dcor, wrapping paper and bows, food, parties, and even travel. 3.
Introducing Kids (and Grandkids!) to Investing Setting the stage As your kids learn more about managing their money, introduce the concept of investing. Its a great way to reinforce the ideas of goal setting, saving, and budgeting. It can help put them on a long-term path to financial independence. Keep it simple When kids are in elementary or middle school, its a good idea to teach kids to put money away in three buckets: save, spend and share. As they get a little older, say into high school, you can get a little more sophisticated in how you approach investing. Start by explaining that investing is a means of using your money to try to create more money. This usually starts to make more sense for kids when they start to work and they can finally realize how hard they have to work to pay for something, especially after Uncle Sam takes his fair share. Make it real You can start your investing conversation by having a family meeting. You should explain that your intention is to
We know that many people are curious about the tax bill announced in the House of Representatives yesterday, H.R.1: The Tax Cut and Jobs Act. Weve put together a balanced review of the bill, and wanted to share it in a timely way. The proposed bill: Condenses individual tax rates to Zero, 12%, 25%, 35%, and 39.6%. Increases the standard deduction from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples. Establishes a new Family Credit, which includes expanding the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $1,600 to help parents with the cost of raising children, and providing a credit of $300 for each parent and non-child dependent to help all families with their everyday expenses. Preserves the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to help families care for their children and older dependents such as a disabled grandparent who may need additional support. Preserves the Earned Income Tax Credit to provide tax relief for low-income individuals and families. Streamlines
Click below to join President and Founder Jim Lineweaver for his 3rd quarter market commentary. If you have questions about your portfolio, were here to help. You can contact us at 216.520.1711, email us atQuarterback@Lineweaver.net, or simply click here.
As if paying taxes each year werent painful enough, there are also scammers out there that want to make the process even more challenging. Today, well talk about a couple of the most common scams that you should be aware of. Perhaps the best thing to do is to remind everyone what the IRS wont do. In the past several years, thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams, identity theft, and illegitimate IRS communications. Criminals will oftenuse mail, telephone, fax or email. Always remember that the IRS doesntinitiatecontact with taxpayers by any means to obtain your personal or financial information.The IRS also does not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement. They also dont use channels like social media or text messages, and dont send unsolicited emails. They wont call to demand payment theyll always send a bill in the mail first. If you do get a bill, look up the number for the IRS and call them first.
Its that time of year again! The days are getting a little shorter, and the weather is a little cooler. As you get your fall off to a good start, here are a few health tips to keep in mind. 1. Start taking a Vitamin D Supplement - we get most of our Vitamin D from the sun, so our intake decreases when the weather is cooler. The days are shorter and tend to be more overcast (especially in Cleveland!) If you find you are not getting outside as much, a Vitamin D supplement can help to boost your mood and immune system! 2. Flu-Shot while no one wants to think about winter (and cold and flu season) in Ohio, now is the time to start! 3. Prepare for the end of Daylight Savings Time: Dont forget to fall back on Sunday, November 5th. The good news is an extra hour of sleep!
Dave Higginbotham has a pretty interesting job he works part time for Arizona-based company Fire Training Structures. As you might have guessed, they make live fire training props and training simulators for various fire departments around the world. Dave flies around the country training these instructors on how to use these props and simulators. He was recently in Juneau, Alaska, facilitating training at the Hagevig Training Center. The training lasted for 2 days. It was designed around a Fire Behavior Rollover Simulator and also a propane car fire prop. The goal of the training is to teach other instructors how to neutralize those threats with minimal damage and loss of life. Dave is a Fire Captain with the City of Parma, where he lives with his wife Lisa, their daughter and two sons. In addition to his work with Fire Training Structures, he also teaches at the Tri-C Fire Training Academy where he is a lead fire instructor. In his off time he also coaches high school hockey,
Global financial markets continued to increase during the third quarter of 2017, supported by improving world economic growth. However, fiscal and monetary uncertainties as well as geopolitical events - continue to present risks. While tensions exist around the world, the potential for escalating military conflict with North Korea is the immediate threat. A few highlights from the third quarter are: U.S. equity markets continued to trade near record highs despite the new Trump Administrations failure to show meaningful progress on key domestic policies. On the economic front, preliminary estimates indicate GDP grew better-than-expected in the second quarter, reflecting robust consumer spending and strong business investment. U.S. equities are now in the ninth year of a bull market, making it one of the longest in the post-WWII era. Developed international equity markets were also positive during the third quarter and continued to outperform their domestic counterparts as earnings
As if paying taxes isnt painful enough, there are also scammers, hackers, and thieves out there who want to make the process even more challenging. We want to take a little time this issue to remind you of how to avoid year-end tax scams, and what you can do if the Equifax hack has affected you and your family. Perhaps the best thing to do is to remind everyone what the IRS wont do. In the past several years, thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams, identity theft, and illegitimate IRS communications. Criminals will often use mail, telephone, fax or email. Always remember that the IRS doesnt initiate contact with taxpayers by any means to obtain your personal or financial information. The IRS also does not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement. They also dont use channels like social media or text messages and dont send unsolicited emails. They wont call to demand payment theyll always send a bill in
Protecting Yourself and Your Family When Natural Disasters Strike Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have no doubt left many of us thinking about how well were prepared for a natural disaster. Although we dont see many hurricanes here in Cleveland, Superstorm Sandy in 2012 is probably the most recent example that comes to mind. The first thing to remember to do is to keep important records safe and easily accessible in case of an emergency. These can be anything from birth certificates to bank records. You may also want to make sure you have some cash on hand, in case you cant access an ATM or get to a bank. Its also a good idea to regularly review and update your insurance. Depending on the nature and duration of a disaster, it may be a good idea to have a copy of your credit report and contact information from your creditors you want to protect your credit score if you are unable to make regularly scheduled payments. Likewise, its a good idea to keep a list of passwords, or to use a service
Youve heard it over and over again, from many places never, ever make an early withdrawal from your 401(k), unless its an emergency. And, we agree - thats often good advice. But there are a few exceptions where an early withdrawal may be to your advantage. Some companies allow active employees participating in a qualified employer-sponsored retirement plan to withdraw a portion of their account balance upon request, without demonstrating a specific financial need, usually at age 59 . This is called an in-service, non-hardship withdrawal. One reason you may want to consider this option is that by rolling over a portion of employer-sponsored retirement plan assets to a rollover IRA, you may be able to significantly expand your investment choices, especially if you have limited choices in your employer-sponsored retirement plan. 401(k)s typically offer limited fund options to participants. Spreading the risk among a group of investments is generally a good thing when saving for the long
With the push to increase the transparency with what investors pay for advice, one area that is not truly transparent are the costs associated with mutual funds. While mutual funds do disclose their expense ratios, many costs are not published, and can erode your real returns. Here are a couple of examples of these costs, and what you can look out for. Disclosed Costs: The disclosed costs of mutual funds are supposed to be revealed to you. But there are many of these costs. For example, there can be shareholder fees, which can consist of front-end loads, back-end loads, purchase fees, redemption fees, exchange fees, and account fees. There is also the expense ratio, which includes operating costs, management fees, 12b-1 distribution fees, and administrative costs. How much do they cost? According to a study published in the Financial Analyst Journal that was authored by finance professors at the University of California Davis, University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech, the average
August 21, 2017 We know that many of you have been interested in the events unfolding between President Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un. Keep in mind that: Rhetoric does not necessarily equal action:No doubt there has been much bluster in the media lately between President Trump and North Koreas Leader, Kim Jong-un. We should keep in mind, however, that rhetoric is not the same as action. Rest assured that military policy decisions are not being based on President Trumps tweets or Kim Jong-uns statements. President Trump is surrounded by a strong cabinet of highly accomplished and highly experienced military leaders including Gen. James Mattis, Gen. John Kelly, and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. We should trust these leaders to guide our Nation through times of crisis. Market performance in times of conflict:History provides relevant context with respect to market performance in times of conflict. Since 1900, there have been 7 major geopolitical crises that have included