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Newsletter from Amy Spencer of Niralambaya Yoga

December 2012

 

     

 

Namaste Yogis and Yoginis! 

 

 

Happy Holidays!  

Our new Saturday Session begins tomorrow at 8:00am.

 

After our class tomorrow, we will not be meeting for practice again until the following Saturday, December 29th.

 

There will be no class on Tuesday, January 1st.  

 

I hope that you are able to find an abundance of peace and comfort.  I look forward to seeing all of you soon!  

 

Namaste,

 

Amy M. Spencer ERYT 

 

Niralambaya
www.gracesimplyis.com
603-425-8195

 

"Be relentlessly kind." - Elena Brower

 

 

 

  

 

 

Instant Karma -
Get More by Giving


I am running a special on gift certificates  - think of someone you may know who would benefit from yoga - give the gift and you will receive a gift as well! 

Instant Karma Gift Certificates

Peace and Well-Being

  Show them how much you care by giving the

gift of yoga - Peace, Strength, Flexibility and more.

 

*SPECIAL* - Buy a gift certificate for 1 or more yoga classes for someone else

and get a coupon for 1 FREE YOGA CLASS for yourself! 

  Niralambaya Gift Certificates are available in any denomination
To order, simply call Amy @ 603-425-8195 or visit A Simply Wholesome Life right here in Windham.

There is nothing better to give or receive than the gift of health and peace!

 

Read More

 

 

 

Letter to a Friend 

I salute you. I am your friend and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not got; but there is much, very much, that while I cannot give it, you can take. 

 

No Heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today. Take Heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instance. Take Peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet with in our reach, is Joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness ... could we but see and to see we have only to look. I beseech you to look. 

 

Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging it's gifts by it's covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, by wisdom, with power. 

 

Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the Angel's hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trail of a sorrow is there; the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Our joys too; be not content with them as joys. They too conceal diviner gifts. 

 

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty ... beneath it's covering ... that you will find earth that cloaks heaven. Courage then to claim it, that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country, home. 

 

And so at this Christmas time, I greet you. Not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks, and the shadows flee away. 

 

- Fra Giovanni written in 1513 AD 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In This Issue

Instant Karma

Letter to a Friend

Days Off From Practice

 

 

 We will not be meeting for Practice on Tuesday, December 25th, Tuesday, January 1st, or Thursday, December 27th.

 

Please check our website or follow us on facebook and twitter for up to date schedule changes and notices regarding inclement weather.

 

Follow-up Links

 

5 Simple Steps to Cultivate Healing During Times of Tragedy

 

Yoga in Response to Tragedy

 

Architect of Peace

         

 

Get your jacket cleaned at Daisy Cleaners!

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Then call Daisy Cleaners at 603-898-5381

Newsletter from Matt Schwartz of Schwartz Financial Services

LPL Independent Investor

December 2012

 

Making a Charitable Choice

 

The greatest benefit of charitable giving is the knowledge that you’ve made a positive contribution to others. At the same time, charitable giving can also provide tax breaks so long as you are aware of some rules and keep track of what you’ve donated.

 

Choosing a Charity

The first step is to identify an organization you wish to support. There are thousands of charitable organizations to choose from, supporting such causes as environmental protection, curing illness or improving the lives of children. Start by identifying what is most important to you.

 

Next, you will want to do some research. If you want to claim a tax deduction for your gift, you’ll need to make sure that you are dealing with a registered charity to satisfy IRS rules. Your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) can provide information on charities.

 

Once you have a short list of registered organizations, contact each one and ask for a copy of its annual report. This report explains the charity’s mission, lists its key personnel, and provides a breakdown of how donations are spent. Pay careful attention to marketing and administrative expenses, which can vary widely among organizations. You will probably want the majority of your money to go to those who need it. Keep in mind, however, that high expenses related to awareness campaigns are designed to educate the public and increase donations, so they might not be cause for concern.

 

The BBB Wise Giving Alliance also provides independent evaluations of popular charities. These reports are available online at www.give.org. You can also request written reports by writing to BBB Wise Giving Alliance, 4200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 800, Arlington, VA 22203.

 

IRS Rules for Giving

You are free to give as much to charity as you like. However, you will need to follow IRS rules and keep records of your gifts to claim tax deductions. Monetary contributions are the easiest to report. Always pay by check and make the check payable directly to the charity. Ask for a receipt and save it along with your canceled check and your bank account statements.

 

A deduction is no longer allowed for monetary gifts unless accompanied by a bank record or a written receipt from the charity indicating the amount of the contribution, date of the donation and name of the charity. If your contribution exceeds $250, either in cash, certain property or out-of-pocket expenses that are attributable to volunteer work, you will also need to obtain a written description of your gift. This description must contain an acknowledgement from the charity of your contribution, a description of noncash items donated, a statement of whether the charity provided goods or services in exchange for the donation and—if goods or services were provided—a good-faith estimate of their value.

 

The IRS has ruled that the fair market value of goods and services should be deducted from any charitable contributions used to offset taxes. Keep in mind that fair market value may differ from what you pay for the goods or services offered. A good example of this is the popular practice of selling candy bars. As an example, say that you pay $2 for a candy bar to benefit a local school. The fair market value of the candy is actually $1 were you to purchase it at a local store. That $1 is deducted from your contribution, leaving you with a deduction of $1. To simplify your tax reporting, it might be best to turn down any goods or services of more than nominal value that a charity offers in exchange for your gift.

 

Noncash Gifts

To declare charitable gifts of certain noncash items worth more than $500 (such as used clothing or furniture), you must supply cost and acquisition information for the items given. When claiming single noncash gifts worth more than $5,000 (excluding publicly traded stock), you must include an appraisal of the gift’s value with your tax return.

 

Two such gifts to carefully consider are used items and time. Items such as computers and clothing are subject to depreciation over time, so you won’t be able to declare your purchase price as a deduction. Time spent volunteering typically isn’t deductible; however, expenses associated with volunteering, such as transportation and materials, are deductible.

 

Appreciable Gifts Are Best

Items with the potential for appreciation are the best gifts for tax-conscious charitable givers. You can avoid capital gains taxes by donating assets that have appreciated in value. Outside of a charitable trust or foundation, this is one of the most effective ways to reduce taxes through charitable contributions. You can donate appreciated stock, artwork, antiques, collectibles or other noncash items as long as you have owned them for at least one year. You can deduct the full fair market value of the gift from your taxes, and any appreciation will escape taxation.

 

Consider selling appreciable assets you have owned for a year that have lost value, with the proceeds of the sale donated to charity. This allows you to remove the full fair market value of the assets from your taxes while still claiming a capital loss on the depreciation.

 

In addition to direct gifts to charity, other options include a charitable remainder or charitable lead trust or setting up a private foundation. However, complex rules govern the creation and maintenance of these vehicles. Thus, tax and legal advisors are necessary to determine if a trust or foundation is appropriate for your situation.

 

Charitable donations are an excellent way to reduce your taxes and make a difference in the lives of others. And while it’s natural to consider charitable giving during the holidays or at tax time, it’s also important to remember that the need to help others lasts year round.

 

This article was prepared by S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications and is not intended to provide specific investment, tax or legal advice or recommendations for any individual. Please consult me, a qualified tax or legal advisor if you have any questions.

 

Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications or its sources, neither S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications be liable for any indirect, special, or consequential damages in connection with subscribers’ or others’ use of the content.

 

Tracking #: 1-120755

 

 

Matthew M. Schwartz

Financial Consultant

 

Schwartz Financial Services, Inc.

3 Baldwin Green Common #209

Woburn, MA 01801

 

matt@SchwartzFin.com

 

Tel: (781) 932-3289

Fax: (781) 998-3099

 

Website:  SchwartzFinancialServices.net

 

Professional LinkedIn Profile: linkedin.com/in/SchwartzMatt

 

Professional Facebook Profile:  facebook.com/SchwartzFinancial

 

Personal Facebook Profile:  facebook.com/SchwartzMatthewM

Report Cards will be out soon - Call Boston Tutoring if your child needs help

When you get your child's report card in the next several weeks, you may notice that grades in certain subject areas are not what you hoped they would be. Maybe your child's grades slipped in the second quarter from the first quarter, indicating that the material may have gotten harder and your child may be having trouble keeping up. Or maybe you do see some improvement, but just not as much as you'd like. There are many reasons why that report card may not reflect your child's best efforts, and that's  where one-on-one tutoring can make a significant difference in your child's education.

 

When your child's grades suffer, it is important to reflect on what may be the cause. At Boston Tutoring Services, we can match you to the perfect tutor for your child's needs. Tutors come to your home or local library according to your availability, and assess your child's individual needs. Maybe he's bored in class and not getting enough of a challenge, and the tutor can provide enrichment activities that will bring your child more focus and interest in the subject area. Maybe your child missed a small yet crucial element of the subject and the tutor can correct this omission, allowing your child to quickly catch up with the subject. Or maybe your child would benefit from long-term additional support in the subject area, in order to perform at his best in the classroom.

 

Your child's tutor assesses your child's specific needs and adjusts to their individual learning style. They develop personalized curriculum that focuses specifically on the areas in which your child would benefit from the most improvement. Our tutors are largely Certified Teachers with Master's Degrees in Education, and all of our tutors are experienced in assessing students and developing curriculum based on their individual needs.

 

At Boston Tutoring Services, we know that every child learns differently, and our philosophy is to find the perfect fit for your child's learning style to provide the most academic growth. Your child's confidence will get a boost from the personal attention of a tutor and the knowledge that they do not need to be struggling--there are teachers out there that will understand what they need and will help them grow at their own pace. The benefits to one-on-one tutoring are enormous. Please consider contacting us to see if we could find the perfect tutor for your child.

 

Contact:

Boston Tutoring Services, LLC.

(781) 248-4558

BostonTutoringServices@gmail.com

http://BostonTutoringServices.com

Another Friends of Kevin Networking Success Story from my friend Dennis Sweeney of First Access Technologies

Hi Kevin,

I just received my labels from Wayne Gelardi at Ad Services Unlimited. These labels will be placed on phone hardware that we install. It gives clients a quick and easy way to get the information they need to contact us. This shows Friends of Kevin at work. I met Wayne at an Friends of Kevin event. Please post how Friends of Kevin is working for your members. 

Can you help me choose the Final Fifty Friends for the Friends of Kevin Networking Group?

Can you help me choose the Final Fifty Friends for the Friends of Kevin Networking Group?  

I am really excited to announce that we only have fifty memberships available for the Friends of Kevin Networking Group and I need your help choosing the remaining members of the group.

I realize that some of you might not be aware that you can be a member of the group, so I should probably start by listing the major advantages of membership. Before I do that, I would like to tell you why I am limiting membership to 300 Friends. That answer is pretty simple, I don’t believe that the group can be successful if we have twenty people who do the same thing. I spend a lot of time promoting my clients through social media and it becomes silly if every day I am asking you to call a different person for the same service. I think most people will agree with that. So here is a list of the major benefits of membership:

1. Monthly promotion to my over 8,000 social media connections through the use of my blog.

2. Personal introductions to potential clients and partners to help you grow your business.

3. A 15 minute interview on the Friends of Kevin Radio show.

4. Members receive their own page on the Friends of Kevin website.

5. Membership is limited to 300 clients to better help you market your business.

6. Low membership fee of only $200.00 per year.

Many people ask me “Who is a good Client for the Friends of Kevin Networking Group”. That answer is pretty simple. I am looking for two types of clients. If you meet someone and you say to yourself ‘ I have never met someone who does that’ then please introduce them to me. Also if you think your friend is the best at what they do then please introduce them to me.

Often people will ask how should I introduce you? Please introduce me to your friends by email ( kevin@friendsofkevin.com) but please make sure they want to hear from me. It gets pretty awkward when you call someone and they say Friends of What? Is that a support group? I am looking for people who want to be part of an exclusive networking group focused on helping them grow their business.  

If you have questions please feel free to email me at Kevin@friendsofkevin.com or call me at 978-995-1743

So can you help me choose the final 50 members for the Friends of Kevin Networking Group?

As always thanks for being my friend. 

The Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership Had A Great Year

 

Promoting responsible & sustainable home ownership.


Hello Kevin Wilett,

Happy Holidays from the Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership.

2012 was a banner year for us. We had 870 families complete home buyer training. That is 300 more than an average year. What a good sign about the housing market.

We conducted 26 sets of seminars in FIVE languages.

About 240 people also received individual financial and credit counseling. Seventy five people completed our landlord training program.

We also found a new home. Come visit us at the beautiful Pollard Exchange Building at 67 Middle Street, Suite 501 in Lowell. Thank you to the Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School and Middlesex Community College for welcoming us.

Best wishes.

Ed Alcantara
Maria Lopez
Jim Wilde

www.mvhp.org

Please Like Us on Facebook

 

 

 

 

Cleaning Company looking for help in the Merrimack Valley.

Cleaning Company looking for help. Must be Trustworthy, Reliable, Responsible. 20-30 hrs per wk. Monday - Friday. Merrimack Valley Area * Car not required * Able to Start Jan. 2nd. Please message me if you are interested. 

Job Openings at Community Teamwork

CTI’s MVSBC Bookkeeping Program Manager will help strengthen small business by providing bookkeeping training and services.  We are seeking a self-directed individual for this position as part of the Merrimack Valley Small Business Center. TheBookkeeping Program Manager will provide bookkeeping services to existing small business owners. This individual will have excellent bookkeeping skills, excellent communication skills, be able to develop and maintain relationships, be able to manage daily operations of the bookkeeping business, including implementing a sales and marketing strategy, and handle client billing and collections. This individual will also be able to manage student internships as service level demand increases.

 

A bachelor’s degree in business, finance, accounting, or a related field, required.  Five years experience running a successful small business may substitute for education. Experience with QuickBooks, required. Certified or working towards Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation, required. Bi-lingual (English/ Khmer, Spanish, or Portuguese) applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.
http://www.comteam.org/MVSBC_Bookkeeper.pdf

 

 

CTI’s Microenterprise Retention Specialist will help strengthen small business and create pathways out of poverty through entrepreneurship.  We are seeking a self-directed individual for this position as part of the Merrimack Valley Small Business Center. The Microenterprise Retention Specialist will provide technical assistance to existing and prospective small business owners including help in accessing our microloan fund. This individual will have excellent communication skills, be able to develop and maintain relationships, offer counseling and guidance, and be able to evaluate business capacity. A bachelor’s degree in Business, Finance or a related field is required (5 years experience may substitute for education). Bi-lingual (English/ Khmer, Spanish, or Portuguese) applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.

This position is a temporary position and will end October 1, 2013; however, there is a possibility that additional funding will be secured to keep the position maintained.

http://www.comteam.org/Microenterprise_Retention_Specialist.pdf

Friends of Kevin Guest Blog post from Jack Wang - A common mistake with inherited IRA's

How to inherit $40,000 and throw away almost $149,000. Or a common mistake with inherited IRAs.

Years ago, I was referred to a young couple – Bill and Mary - who wanted some help with their money.  They were both 30, had good jobs, and were looking forward to their life together.  In all respects, they looked like a typical young couple.

 

Some months prior, the Bill’s mother had passed away and left him an IRA worth $40,000.  One of the reasons they wanted to sit down with me was to understand their options with this account.

 

When it comes to inherited IRAs, there are specific IRS rules that must be followed.  Simplistically, the key question is how fast you want to take the money out.  As a non-spouse beneficiary, Bill could not combine the inherited IRA with his own.

buildings,buy,buyers,closed,Fotolia,home,houses,loans,mortgages,moving,offers,Photographs,properties,purchases,purchasing,real estate,rent,sales,Signs,sold 

As the young couple was starting out, they wanted to do what many couples in their position want to do – buy a house!

 

Before I had a chance to speak with them, they did what most people would do in this case – they took the money out and put it as a down payment on their new home.

 

Let’s take a look at some numbers here:

 

Withdraw the $40,000 – good!

 

Pay income taxes as well as a 10% penalty as they are both under 59 ½ - $16,120 – boo!

 

Net amount is just under $24,000.

 

As an alternative, Bill could have taken out the money slowly based on IRS life expectancy tables.  The IRS allows beneficiaries to do this – though taxes would be due, there would not be a penalty and the remaining balance would continue to grow.

 

Assuming a hypothetical 5% return, what would have Bill gained by his retirement age of 67?

 

Over the years, Bill would have taken out almost $54,000 in distributions after tax.

 

PLUS the inherited IRA would still have just under $78,000 left in the account.

 

Plus the taxes and penalties they paid by withdrawing the account - $16,000!

 

Total?  Almost $149,000!

 

(Bill and Mary threw away $125,000!)

 

What if we were conservative and used a hypothetical 1% return?  Well, it would still be about $57,000.  Bill would have received $23k in after tax income.  The account will still have $18k left.  And of course, the $16k Bill and Mary paid in taxes in the beginning.

 

This situation reminds me of an old Sprint commercial.  There were several of this type and they still make me laugh.

 

Bill and Mary used that money as a down payment and I’m sure their home is very nice.  They made their decision, and I certainly wouldn't judge them for doing so.

 

They didn't understand IRS rules regarding this situation and it cost them.  Bill was an engineer and I can’t remember what Mary did professionally.  But neither were tax or IRA experts!  This example is one way people spend money unknowingly, without thinking it is really “spending”.

 

Beneficiary designations and planning isn't just about picking some names.  It also is about what options you want to leave to your beneficiaries.  This was a fairly simplistic scenario, but if siblings were involved, or the other parent (Bill’s father) was still alive, things get more complicated in a hurry.

 

When was the last time you reviewed your beneficiaries?

 

 

Let's visit! Use this link to schedule a time with me:  http://doodle.com/merjfinancial

 

 

T. Jack Wang
M.E.R.J. Financial Group 
voice - 877-226-4157

fax - 877-226-4157
Email: jack@merjfinancial.com

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/thejackwang

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thejackwang

Blog: http://merjfinancial.blogspot.com/