Yep, it’s that time of year yet again – the start to the holiday season, when trick-or-treating turns to turkey with all the trimmings followed by a tree full of tinsel or a twinkling menorah.
It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Father Gregg LeStrange. He was there for three important milestones in my life — my wedding and the baptism of both of my children. I know that many of my fellow parishioners at Immaculate Conception in Fayetteville have similar memories of a man who stood tall and proud in his faith, but was infinitely approachable as a friend, sounding board and advisor.
IRS gives top 10 tax preparation tips
It’s that time of the year again, the income tax filing season has begun and important tax documents should be arriving in the mail. Even though your return is not due until April, getting an early start will make filing easier.
It’s 22 degrees and the streets of Camillus are but ruts of slush in January’s unrelenting snows. But inside 24 Main Street, it’s always summer for the Kitts, Kathy and her husband, appropriately, Kitt.
Fred recently entered the office of an Estate Planning attorney asking for a trust. The attorney asked Fred why he thought he needed a trust, and Fred responded, “Well, I know I need to avoid probate and I heard that’s the way to do it.” The attorney inquisitively asked, “Have you had any experience with probate?” Fred said, “I’m not quite sure what it is, but I know I need to avoid it because that’s what everybody tells me.”
On Dec. 10, 2010, Loretto Health and Rehabilitation Center resident, Madeline Smoral, celebrated her 102nd birthday with friends, family and staff members on the ninth floor of Loretto’s Cunningham skilled nursing facility in Syracuse.
Terry Ettinger gives advice for starting a garden
With the start of spring, many feel a rejuvenation of both spirit and energy. Some will begin scrubbing and cleaning the inside of their homes; others will turn their attention to yard work outside. They will rake up remnants of fall’s harvest of leaves, assess the condition of their perennial shrubbery and begin their shopping list for annuals to add to their home’s landscaping. Among the many tasks homeowners may decide to tackle: growing a vegetable garden.
No holiday is more synonymous with romance than Valentine’s Day. Every Feb. 14 couples express their feelings for one another with candies, flowers and a host of other romantic traditions.
Consider variable annuities
Here’s a sobering statistic: 46 percent of workers surveyed had little or no confidence that they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement years, according to the 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey, issued by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. So you may want to explore all possible retirement savings vehicles — including a variable annuity.
Congress and President Obama passed a new tax bill in the last week of December 2010. So, what does it mean to you? In 2001, President Bush, with Congress, enacted massive tax changes that were set to expire on December 31, 2010. Literally, on the eve of the 2001 law expiring, President Obama and Congress extended many of the tax laws implemented by President Bush, and in several areas, even expanded them. If the laws had reverted back to the 2001 levels on January 1, 2011, the top income tax rate would have been 39.6 percent, rather than the current 35 percent, and capital gains could have been taxed as high as 28 percent, rather than the 15 percent maximum in the new law. Perhaps, the greatest changes in the new law, however, related to estate taxes.
Tips from the Onondaga County Health Department
Are you a grandparent or a child care provider in close contact with a child under 12 months of age? If so, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is now recommending that you get a Tdap shot. A Tdap shot protects you from both tetanus and pertussis (also known as whooping cough).
Today, in 2011, the first baby boomer turned 65. Statistics show 6,000 to 8,000 individuals per day are now hitting that milestone number. As boomers age, protection of their retirement is becoming a top priority. The largest portion of most boomers’ estates is held in their IRA, 401(k), or other qualified account. The significance of a qualified account is the government allows you to accumulate money without it being taxed. The tax deferral, however, is not forever.
Time was when you wanted a taste of wines made in New York you were forced to drive an aimless tract of dirt or two-lane roads looking for tiny signs tacked on to utility poles or posted on sticks roadside. And, frankly when you found one, the wines weren’t really that good. In a slow time roll forward, those fledgling wineries changed. Grapes were grown smarter. The winemaking got better. More new wineries opened. Today, nearly 300 wineries operate in New York, many in the Finger Lakes area. World-class wines are produced and hundreds of thousands of people visit each year.
How moderate alcohol use can be good for you
You may have heard that moderate drinking can fit into a sensible health plan. It may be benefical in reducing or preventing certain conditions, such as diabetes, stress, depression, poor cognition, and heart ailments such as hypertension, peripheral artery disease, and high blood pressure. Drinking may also help prevent aging effects. Part of the reason is due to alcohol, offers Dr. Mehmet Oz, and most of the reason is the resveratrol that’s found in grape skins, and thus red wines. Some also surmise that moderate alcohol can fend off the common cold. However, too much alcohol can put you at risk for adverse health consequences.
Boomers can look as young as they feel with non-surgical procedures
Baby boomers are entering their “golden years” more active, vital and youthful than virtually any generation before them. So it’s no surprise that many of them want to look as young as they feel.
Programs promote physical activity, form friendships
Wouldn’t it be great to have a place to go where you can spend time with like-minded people all working towards a goal of keeping fit and active?
Lillian Van Fleet, a participant in Loretto’s PACE CNY (Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), of Jordan, NY, recently celebrated her 100th birthday.
Over the last 20 years of giving workshops to the public, I generally begin by asking, “What would you like to learn?” One of the most common answers to this question is, “How to protect my stuff.” While most people would leave it at that, I follow up and ask, “Protect it from who or what?” The most common response is “the government”, “nursing homes”, and “lawsuits”. But, are those the only predators you have to be concerned about?
Ninety-three-year-old keeps fit mentally, physically
DeWitt resident Milton Sack, 93, was introduced to the game of Go more than 60 years ago in Baltimore, Md. – and he continues to play it today. “It’s a fairly complex game but it’s the easiest game in the world to learn,” said Sack, who used to play chess, checkers and other board games. “You and I [could] play a game of Go and we’d both enjoy it because of the handicap system.”
The chill of fall seems to have come quickly this year. As I stood with my husband and other parents at my son’s football practice, we commented on the brisk air and early sunset. “We should start planning our trip to Lafayette,” I said to my husband. “Isn’t it a little early?” Eric said. “We have plenty of time.”