How Social Media Impacts Your Spending

Once upon a time, “keeping up with the Joneses” meant comparing your lifestyle to your neighbors. In today’s digital world, we can compare our wealth with everyone on social media. Financial professional Mindy McIntosh talks with FOX66 Jennifer Profitt about social media pressures to overspend. READ MORE


Saving for Summer Vacation

Are you hoping to take a family trip this summer? The last thing you want to do is go on vacation and build up credit card debt. Financial professional Mindy McIntosh, talks with FOX66 Profitt Report about some advice on where to begin saving for that special trip. READ MORE


Time to Spring Clean Your Accounts

Springtime often requires some financial spring cleaning. This is the best time to ensure your accounts are up to date and secure. Here are 3 tips to help keep your finances safe and sound: READ MORE


Book of the Month

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Inspirational advice on how to enjoy life to its fullest. The key to achieving an active and satisfying retirement involves a great deal more than having adequate financial resources; it also encompasses all other aspects of life — interesting leisure activities, creative pursuits, physical well-being, mental well-being, and solid social support.

 

“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”

~ Yogi Berra

Shrimp Curry Potstickers

Yield: 30 dumplings

Ingredients:

½ pound peeled and deveined shrimp, finely chopped
1 medium zucchini, coarsely grated (about ½ cup)
1 teaspoon green curry paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
¼ cup basil, chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
About 30 round dumpling wrappers
2 tablespoons canola oil, optional, for frying

Thai Lime Dipping Sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon green curry paste

Directions:

Make filling:
1. Stir shrimp, zucchini, curry paste, fish sauce, basil, and scallions together.
2. Put 1 rounded tablespoon of filling in the center of a wrapper. Wet the wrapper’s edges with water using your fingers.
3. Fold in half and seal. Pleat the seal if desired.
4. Put sealed dumpling onto a floured or parchment-lined baking sheet. Do the same with the rest of the filling and wrappers.
5. Add 1 tablespoon salt to a large pot of simmering water. Cook dumplings in 3 batches, stirring until the filling is cooked through, 3-6 minutes.
6. Use a slotted spoon to move dumplings to paper-towel-lined plate.

For pan-fried dumplings:
1. Heat a large skillet on medium-high.
2. Put in canola oil and pan-fry boiled dumplings until golden brown and crisp, 1-2 minutes per side.

Make Thai lime dipping sauce:
1. Stir water, lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, and green curry paste together.
2. Serve with potstickers.

You Have the Right to Challenge the IRS

The Internal Revenue Service, part of the U.S. Department of Treasury, has nearly 80,000 employees and an $11.4 billion budget. Nevertheless, the IRS grants taxpayers certain inalienable rights; one of those is the right to challenge the agency and to be heard.*

Taxpayers have the right to:

  • Raise objections to agency rulings.
  • Introduce additional documentation in response to IRS decisions.
  • Expect the agency to consider their objections timely.
  • Expect to receive a response if the agency disagrees with the taxpayer’s position.

The IRS sometimes notifies taxpayers that their returns have mathematical or clerical errors. Here are taxpayers’ rights in those cases:

  • Taxpayers have 60 days to inform the IRS they disagree.
  • They should provide copies of records to help correct the errors.
  • They may call the number on the notice for help.
  • They can expect the agency to make necessary adjustments and send corrections if the IRS upholds the taxpayer’s position.

If the agency doesn’t agree with the taxpayer’s position, here is what happens next:

  • The IRS will send a tax-adjustment notice by mail.
  • The taxpayer has the right to challenge the adjustment by filing a challenge in U.S. Tax Court. The petition must be filed within 90 days of the IRS notice.

Understanding your rights as a taxpayer makes tax filing easier, more equitable, and less stressful.

* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor. Tip adapted from IRS.gov

How to Look and Feel Younger

OK. You’ve hit the big 5-0. Or the big 6-0. How about 7-0? Maybe even 8-0. But who’s counting anymore? After you’ve reached a certain age, it’s not the number of birthdays that matter. It’s how you look and feel.

Here are 5 tips to keep you looking and feeling your absolute youngest:

1. Hang out with your buddies. Socializing may be the top contributor to looking and feeling youthful.

2. Go artsy. Getting creative makes you feel happy and think more clearly. It could be singing, painting, or drawing.

3. Get moving. Everyone knows exercise is good for you. But you don’t have to go gung ho to reap its benefits. Shoot for 2½ hours of activity a week. It could be gardening or a brisk stroll around the block.

4. Apply sunscreen. Suntan lotion will not make you look younger. But it will protect you from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays.

5. Something new. Learn a new skill or develop a new habit. The change will help keep your brain fresh and energized. It could be dancing or learning another language.

Short of a dip in Ponce de Leon’s fountain of youth, a few lifestyle changes can make a big difference in turning back the clock.

How Do You Make Your World More Energy Efficient?

Here’s a good reason to go energy efficient: You save money on your utility bills while reducing fossil fuel emissions.
Energy-efficient appliances that are certified by Energy Star meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines. Canada, the European Union, and Japan also partner with the Energy Star program.
Here are some tips to make your home more energy efficient:

  • Set your refrigerator at 38o-42oF.
  • Set your freezer at 0o-5oF.
  • Wash only full loads in your dish and clothes washers. Air dry when possible.
  • Unplug household appliances and devices when not in use.