Sunday, April 3, 2016 • 24 Adar II 5776
6:30 PM – 9:30 PM Neve Shalom Ballroom
6:30 PM – 9:30 PM Neve Shalom Ballroom
In memory of Jackie Collins ~
A vicious hit. A vengeful enemy. A drug addled Colombian club owner. A sex crazed Italian family. And the ever powerful Lucky Santangelo has to deal with them all, while Max-her teenage daughter is becoming The “It” girl in Europe’s modeling world. And her Kennedyesque son, Bobby, is being set up for a murder he didn’t commit. But Lucky can deal. Always strong and unpredictable with her husband, Lennie, by her side she lives up to the family motto-Never cross a Santangelo.
Lucky rules. The Santangelos always come out on top. An epic family saga filled with love, lust, revenge and passion.
Amazon Customer Review
Pussy Cat Tales (an amusing look at a lifetime with cats) is one of
the short stories in The Many Faces of Chelle Cordero.
We’re living in swiftly changing times, and this is very good news for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) individuals, same-sex couples and modern families. This means that there’s a groundswell of support for marriage equality, should you choose to get married. But it also means that now, more than ever, it’s important to stay educated and up-to-date about what rights and privileges are available to you so that you can be your own best advocate-in life and in finance. The LGBT and Modern Family Money Manual is the go-to resource for LGBT individuals and couples as they look to forge ahead into a brighter future, as well as for modern families of all shapes and sizes-even long-term partners of the opposite sex who have opted not to enter into traditional marriage.
Although financial planning is a concern to every individual, no matter his or her sexual orientation or family dynamic, the issues surrounding family planning, marriage equality, and estate planning-just to name a few areas of many-that LGBT and modern families face require a unique perspective. Harmony Financial Strategies Principal and Founder Holly Hanson and team of professionals are the perfect authorities to help LGBT individuals, same-sex couples and modern families navigate the wealth of ever-changing information out there on the subject within the comfort of a safe, grounded and empathetic environment. From developing a plan for protection of assets to understanding the benefits you should be applying for that could positively change your financial picture, this book aims to give LGBT individuals, same-sex couples, and modern families the foundation they need to plan and provide for themselves and their loved ones through financial strategies crafted with them in mind.
7 Ways LGBT Couples & Modern Families
Benefit from Same-Sex Marriage
Wealth Manager Reviews the Many Financial and Legal Advantages
Advocates for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender couples and modern families are adding another victory to their list, with 36 states, along with Washington D.C., to allow marriage among same-sex couples.
A critical turning point came in October last year, when the Supreme Court chose not to hear appeals against lower court rulings that had overturned same-sex marriage bans in five states. Despite actions such as Indiana’s recent Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which would allow businesses in the state to refuse service to the LGBT community, the tide has been swift and overwhelmingly in favor of gay rights.
“I’ll always remember June 26, 2013 — the day that the Defense of Marriage Act was ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court, effectively breaking down the major door standing between LGBT couples and marriage equality,” says financial professional Holly Hanson, founder and principal of Harmony Financial Strategies, www.harmony-financial.com, a firm that, in part, focuses on the needs of the LGBT community. “As a member of the LGBT community, the day is etched forever in my mind.”
“Naturally, a lingering suspicion remains in the back of our minds, ‘Is it too good to be true?’ And, despite the positive direction the country is taking toward same-sex couples, there remain many practical concerns regarding laws and finances.”
Hanson, author of “The LGBT and Modern Family Money Manual,” touches on benefits that have become available recently to millions of Americans.
• Social Security and Medicare: In states where same-sex marriage is legal, LGBT couples have access now to federal programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
“Not only is it plainly fair—we’ve been paying into these systems as taxpayers regardless of your ability to take advantage of marriage—it will no doubt improve some of the issues that elderly people in the LGBT community face as they age and need assistance via partner benefits,” she says.
• Military Benefits: Not only can same-sex couples now serve without fear of being dishonorably discharged or otherwise forced out, we can live openly together with military assistance as other military families have for years.
• Federal and State Tax Benefits: Just by changing your tax status to “married filing jointly,” you can save thousands of dollars. We now have more choices in tax planning, and this is obviously something that ties into long-term financial planning as well.
• Legal Titling to Assets: In the past, LGBT partners were unable to access retirement funds and pensions as heterosexual spouses could have. There are considerable taxation consequences for inheriting an investment vehicle from someone other than a spouse. Now, legally married LGBT spouses can have the proper access to these funds, both while their spouse is living or deceased.
• Ability to Gift Money: Spouses can make monetary gifts to one another free of taxation. However, in the past, an LGBT couple would have had to pay gift tax on anything more than $14,000 (the current limit as of 2014). If I wanted to buy my wife a car, for example, that asset would have been subject to the gift tax. Not so anymore.
• U.S. Visas for Same-Sex Couples: In the past, many LGBT couples would be ripped apart by forced deportation once visas ran out.
“My wife is a Swedish national, and now that we are legally married, I can sponsor her permanent residency in the United States,” Hanson says.
• Parenting Rights / Family Planning: Second-parent adoptions have undoubtedly been smoothed over by the fact that it’s now easier to get a legal same-sex marriage in many states. Not all states in the U.S. have the same laws, so it’s recommended you attain the appropriate paperwork.
“Of course, there are millions of other Americans who, currently, do not have access to these and other benefits,” Hanson says. “Fortunately, those states are becoming an ever-receding minority. I think most of us can reasonably expect the possibility of marriage benefits within our lifetimes.”
About Holly Hanson, CFP®, CIMA®, ADPA®
Holly Hanson is founder and principal of Harmony Financial Strategies, www.harmony-financial.com, a recent vision which came to her after 16 years of experience in the financial advisory business and having attained the designations of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Certified Investment Management Analyst and Accredited Domestic Partner Advisor. She oversees the entire Harmony operation, mentoring and guiding the advisors to provide a unique combination of knowledge, dedication and service to LGBT individuals, same-sex couples and modern families.
With the fall of DOMA and the repeal of Proposition 8 in California, Holly and her partner Sophie were married in 2013, and hope to eventually add children to their family of four dogs. Holly and Sophie are active supporters of the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the Human Rights Campaign.
Elixir, a cerebral thriller by Ted Galdi, keeps readers on the edge of their seats from start to finish as an unlikely hero gets caught up in the inner workings of the NSA.
Meet Sean Malone. He has an IQ above 200, a full-ride scholarship to one of the country’s top universities, and more than one million dollars from his winning streak on Jeopardy! Life is sweet; however, Sean wishes he could just be normal. Not likely, since Sean is only 14 years old.
In class, Sean writes an algorithm solving the Traveling Salesman Problem – the biggest enigma in computer science – and his professor submits it to the NSA. The NSA soon manipulates Sean so they can control the code, using it in their pursuit of a drug lord and killing innocent people along the way.
For the sake of personal security, Sean is forced to go into hiding and he builds a new life for himself in Rome – a new name and no academics a must if he is to hide his genius from the world. At age 18, Sean falls in love. But as fate would have it, his girlfriend falls critically ill with a deadly disease and it’s up to him to use his intellect to find a cure. Coming out of hiding, however, thrusts him into a battle against a multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical company – and the demons of his past!
“Elixir is different than a typical thriller because it doesn’t just focus on suspense,” says Galdi. “My favorite part of writing it was coming up with characters the reader would care about. The thrills are that much better if the characters mean something to you in their own way. I also think people will find the tie-in to the controversy around Edward Snowden and leaked NSA activities interesting. Since it happened, no thriller has really tried to pull the cover off the type of stuff that goes on there, at least not on this level.”
About the Author:
Ted Galdi is a graduate of Duke University and co-founder of StadiumRoar.com, a software company that streamlines event-management logistical data. Elixir is his first novel. For more information, including the book trailer and three-chapter preview, please visit: http://www.elixirthebook.com.
Available as a paperback and Kindle e-book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MAYJIZM
Elixir, reviewed by bk
A really good read. It may be si-fi but maybe not. Mr. GALDI MAKES THIS STORY so real it must almost be a true story. The characters are so believable and down to earth. Being different is not always fun even when you are brilliant. I recommend this book to all readers.
How to Run Your Home More like a CEO
4 Tips for Time & Budget Management from a Business Development Strategist
All successful CEOs have one thing in common: They’re able to maintain a big-picture perspective. It’s also something successful moms have in common, says Zenovia Andrews, a business strategist, speaker, author and mom who coaches entrepreneurs and CEOs on time and budget management.
“In business, CEOs implement a process that achieves efficient time and resource management in the most cost-effective way; sounds a lot like a mom, doesn’t it?” says Andrews, founder and CEO of The MaxOut Group, a company devoted to empowering and teaching entrepreneurs development strategies to increase profits.
“If every mom were a CEO, America would rule the world!”
Andrews, author of the new book “All Systems Go – A Solid Blueprint to Build Business and Maximize Cash Flow,” (www.zenoviaandrews.com), suggests the following tips for moms to better manage money and time.
• CEOs utilize apps, and so should CEO Moms. When a CEO’s personal assistant isn’t around or, if it’s a small business and she doesn’t have one, then apps do nicely. There are several apps for moms, including Bank of Mom – an easy way to keep track of your kids’ allowances. Set up an account for each child and track any money they earn for chores or allowance. The app also allows you to track their computer and TV time as well as other activities.
• Measurement is the key to knowledge, control and improvement. CEOs have goals for their businesses and Moms have goals for their family members. In either case, the best way to achieve a big-picture goal is to identify action steps and objectives and a system for measuring progress. Want to improve your kids’ test scores, help your husband lose weight or – gasp – free some time for yourself? There are four phases to help track progress: planning, or establishing goals; collection, or conducting research on your current process; analysis – comparing information from existing processes with the new one; and adapting, or implementing the new process.
• Understand your home’s “workforce.” A good CEO helps her employees grow and develop, not only for the company’s benefit, but for the employee’s as well. Most people are happiest when they feel they’re learning and growing, working toward a goal, which may be promotion within the company or something beyond it. When they feel the CEO is helping with that, they’re happier, more productive, more loyal employees. Likewise, CEO Moms need to help their children gain the skills and knowledge they need not only to succeed in general but to achieve their individual dreams.
• A well-running household is a community effort; consider “automated” systems. In business, automated systems tend to be as clinical as they sound, typically involving technology. Yet, there’s also a human resource element. Automated systems are a must for CEO Moms, and they tend to take the form of scheduling at home. Whose night is it for the dishes, or trash? One child may be helpful in the kitchen, whereas another may be better at cleaning the pool.
About Zenovia Andrews
Zenovia Andrews, www.zenoviaandrews.com, is a business development strategist with extensive experience in corporate training, performance management, leadership development and sales consulting with international clients, including Pfizer, Inc. and Novartis Pharmaceuticals. A sought-after speaker and radio/TV personality, she is the author of “All Systems Go” and “MAXOut: I Want It All.”
3 Tips for Anyone Expecting
Financial Consultants Say Planning Will Help You Avoid Regrets
The odds are good that you will inherit money or assets in the coming years. And, if you’re like most people, you’ll save only half.
The largest transfer of wealth in history is underway, with beneficiaries expected to receive $59 trillion over the next four decades, according to a Boston College study. But those heirs will lose, spend or donate half of their inheritances, if a 2012 study by Ohio University holds true.
“People need to plan for inheriting wealth to avoid the pitfalls that result in so many heirs making emotional or ill-informed decisions they later regret,” says Michael Abbott, a veteran financial consultant and CFO of The Abbott Bennett Group, (www.theabbottbennettgroup.com).
It’s never wise to make important financial decisions based on emotion, and inheritance often starts with grief — one of the most profound emotions we ever experience, adds Chris Bennett, co-founding partner of the firm.
“Particularly with the death of a parent, people can feel a whole range of emotions – guilt, overwhelming loss, anger, relief,” Bennett says. “It’s a very bad time to make decisions that can affect you and your family for the rest of your lives.”
The average American inheritance is expected to be $177,000, according to an HSBC Holdings, a banking company. In Canada, the average is just under $100,000.
“Whether or not that sounds like a lot of money to you, handled properly it can have a tremendous impact on your life,” Abbott says.
He and Bennett share four tips for planning for an inheritance:
• If you inherit non-cash assets, ask questions before you liquefy.
People inherit all sorts of assets: real estate, stocks and bonds, IRAS, gold, jewelry, etc. Different types of assets have different tax burdens attached. In order to preserve as much of your inheritance as possible, you need to learn the best way to minimize the tax burden for each asset.
“Once you’ve liquefied the asset – once you’ve turned it into cash – it’s too late,” Abbott says. “Life insurance is an exception. You won’t be taxed on that. A ROTH IRA that’s more than 5 years old will also be an exception if the amount is exempt under the current federal estate tax rules” ($5.3 million for 2014.)
• If you inherit a tax-deferred retirement plan, consider rolling it into an inherited IRA.
“An IRA or 401(k), for instance, is a tax-deferred asset – the person who left it to you did not pay taxes on it. So if you take it in a lump sum, which some plans require, everything you withdraw will be considered taxable income for you,” Bennett says.
Alternatives include rolling the money into an inherited IRA – one that retains the deceased’s name along with language that clearly indicates it’s inherited. Don’t mix it with your own IRA. Then you can take small distributions over the course of years, and the money will continue to grow.
• The best planning starts with a conversation with your loved ones now.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is not discussing inheritance matters while everyone is still alive and well. It allows the heirs to know their loved ones’ wishes and to make plans – without emotion – for what they may do with the assets.
“Some adult children won’t initiate the conversation because they’re afraid of appearing greedy or eager for their parents to die,” Abbott says. “Sometimes, the parents want to discuss matters but their children aren’t comfortable addressing mom and dad’s mortality. Even spouses avoid talking about it. It’s the most easily avoidable mistake families make.”
If loved ones express a desire to talk about “what you’ll get when I’m gone,” allow them to. It will give them peace of mind, Bennett says.
If you want to initiate the conversation, look for opportunities, such as when a family you know or a family in the news is dealing with estate issues.
Receiving an inheritance can be a life-changing experience, Bennett and Abbott say. It also represents your loved one’s financial legacy.
“Managing it well and preserving it is an important thing you can do in memory of that person you lost,” they say.
About Michael Abbott and Christopher Bennett
Michael Abbott has two decades of experience assisting retirees with their 401(k)s and pension plans. He is co-founder of The Abbott Bennett Group, LLC, an independent financial services firm, where he serves as CFO. He is a lifetime member of MDRT (Million Dollar Round Table), an association composed of the world’s best financial services professionals, and a member of NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors). He holds a Master of Estate Preservation designation.
Christopher Bennett is a 16-year financial professional who has served as CEO of The Abbott Bennett Group, LLC, since 2003. He holds a Certified in Long-Term Care designation, a Master of Estate Preservation certification, and is a lifetime member of Million Dollar Round Table). Chris is also a member of multiple chambers of commerce, and participates in the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. He has hosted and conducted hundreds of seminars and workshops.