• AT SOME POINT, MOST SENIORS EXPERIENCE AND STRUGGLE WITH VARYING LEVELS OF DEMENTIA, diminishing their capacity for prudent decision-making and risk of falling prey to fraudulent schemes or financial abuse. Evidence of a dementia-related condition includes “erratic spending patterns, unpaid bills, cognitive issues, erratic behaviors, missing possessions (especially jewelry) and money withdrawn from banks or investment accounts.” [See com/help-keep-your-parents-from-getting-scammed/ for examples of what happened to Dennis’ father at age 94.]  Along with family members, professional Advisors should observe, and consistently communicate with caregivers for their observations. As part of our Estate Planning & Protection services, DCG mediation process often tackles the sensitive aspects of convincing seniors to share and hopefully transition financial info & controls with family while still fully functional.  [JRNL OF ACCOUNTANCY – 1/20]
  • ANOTHER ISSUE FOR SENIORS: THE FEDERAL ESTATE TAX EXEMPTION IS NOT PERMANENT. It applies at a rate up to 40% on Valuation of net assets at death which exceed an allowable exemption, currently $ 11.5 million per person, inclusive of gifts during lifetime, effective through 2025. The exemption has varied – based on congressional politics – from as little as $1M to $5.5M through 2018, and there is much speculation about whether it may be materially reduced, even before 2026 and especially if Congress is controlled by Democrats after this year’s elections. So prudent planning for many is to consider a ‘lifetime’ program for gifting to heirs, to protect utilization of exemption amounts that may otherwise disappear as early as January 1, 2021. DCG can assist you in financial forecasting to determine impact risk and strategy to avoid loss of an estate legacy. Call Dennis for courtesy consult. [JEFFER MANGELS BULLETIN – 1/20]
  • TACKLING EASY TASKS FIRST IS WHAT MOST PEOPLE DO, since “crossing things off your To Do list at the beginning of the day, especially with a heavy workload,’ gives a sense of accomplishment… But ‘task completion preference’ can harm productivity in the long run since most learning happens through difficult tasks, and avoiding them escapes those benefits… What’s important includes the psychological sense of completion,” so a better strategy is to combine and balance easy & hard tasks on your priority list each day. [FAST COMPANY – 1/13/20]
  • UPDATE ON TAX DEDUCTIBILITY FOR ‘BUSINESS MEALS: Pending issuance of final Regulations, food & beverage expenditures remain federally deductible as long as the taxpayer or employee are present, and provided that: (1) costs are Ordinary & Necessary in carrying on the trade or business, and not lavish or extravagant under the circumstances; (2) recipient(s) involve current or potential customer, client, consultant or similar business contacts; (3) when provided during or at an entertainment facility, costs are separately stated and not inflated to cover the cost applicable to entertainment (which remains non-deductible).  [TAX ADVISER – 1/1/20]
  • “THE PAST DECADE SAW THE RISE OF THE ‘WOKE’ PROGRESSIVES WHO DICTATE what words can be said and ideas held, thus poisoning & paralyzing American humor, drama, entertainment, culture and journalism. Their entire program is accusation: You are racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic; you are a bigot, a villain, a white male, a patriarchal misogynist, your day is over. They claim to be vulnerable victims, and moral. Actually they’re not. They’re mean and seek to kill, and like all bullies are cowards.” [WALL STREET JRNL – 1/4/20]

        “A wise man once said… nothing. Some things are just better left unsaid – which we typically realize just after we say them.”

        “The NAZIs were National Socialists who tore down statues, nationalized health care, placed strict regulations on industry, blamed economic hardships on a few segments of society, instituted gun control, indoctrinated youth, and essentially banned free speech & religion. Which American political party currently emulates this model?”