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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.

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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:



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

fax - 877-226-4157





First Annual Humanity Day

humanity day

Friends of Kevin Guest Blog Post from Dawn Oulton - How to practice good self-care in the midst of a busy season

How to practice good self-care in the midst of a busy season

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Healthful Horizons | Dawn Oulton, Health Coach

Any time the activity factor in your life increases--such as the holiday season!--it is especially important to take good care of yourself.  It doesn't have to be expensive or take a lot of planning.  In fact, it can be as simple as speaking kindly to yourself.  If you would like some quick, simple and inexpensive ways of encouraging better mental, emotional and physical health for yourself this season, then keep reading.

Be well,

Be Kind To Yourself

"Mastering others is strength.  Mastering yourself is true power." -Lao Tzu


When was the last time you talked to yourself, either out loud or silently in your head?  Do you remember what you said?  My hope is that your words were kind and loving, but it is possible (and maybe even likely) that they were not.  Whether we are concerned with achieving the perfect body portrayed by the media, eating all the right foods, maintaining top performance at work, or simply keeping the house clean, we are very good at naming our failures, real or perceived.


Now remember the last time you spoke with a friend who was in the middle of a challenge in his or her life.  Did you speak the same kind of negative words to that friend that you might speak to yourself?  No, you offered support and encouragement, or perhaps lovingly delivered some constructive criticism, because you know that negative words can cause mental and physical stress and emotional pain.  


The self-talk that we engage in every day can have similar effects on our own bodies and minds, even if spoken silently.  Persistent negative thoughts can keep us from succeeding.  Every time you criticize yourself for falling short of your expectations, you set yourself one step further back from your goals in your health and your life.


What would it be like if you could you begin to treat yourself with kindness?  It would mean celebrating rather than punishing yourself, nourishing your body rather than depriving it, and watching your body flourish when treated with care and respect.

For the next few days or weeks, whenever you notice that you are criticizing yourself, I challenge you to cancel that thought!  Encourage yourself with a positive affirmation instead, the same way you might speak to a child.  For example, rather than criticizing yourself for a pound gained, affirm your body for reliably processing the food you have given it, for continuing to allow you to do work and engage in creative activity.  


This approach may feel less than authentic at first, but give it a try.  More and more studies are showing the concrete benefits of positive thinking.  If you keep at it, over time you will notice reduced stress, an increased sense of happiness, and greater success toward your goals!


Food Focus: Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are approachable by kids and adults alike for their delicious sweet flavor, but they don't bring the blood sugar spike (and subsequent crash) of refined sweets.  Incorporating naturally sweet foods like sweet potatoes in the diet can help decrease cravings for refined sweets, which is especially helpful during the holidays!


Sweet potatoes are higher in nutrients than white potatoes and are especially rich in vitamin A, important for supporting good eyesight and healthy skin.  According to traditional Chinese medicine, sweet potatoes are also nourishing to the spleen, the ringleader organ of digestion.  Spleen energy can be depleted through irregular meal times, a sedentary lifestyle, unmanaged stress, use of antibiotics, and a diet high in refined sugar, among other things.  If you suffer from poor digestion, anxiety or fatigue, you would do well to nourish your spleen.


These hardy root vegetables are a tasty and inexpensive way to take good care of yourself this season!  Try bringing a sweet potato creation to share at your next holiday meal.  If you need some inspiration, try one of the recipes in this newsletter!  

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Upcoming Events

Healthy Holidays
December 19, 7:30 p.m. (Eastern)
Healthy on a Budget
December 28, 6:00 p.m.
Get Fit With Amanda (101 Broadway Road, Dracut, MA)
Gluten Sensitivty 101
January 19, 6:30 p.m.
King Chiropractic (61 Central Square #4, Chelmsford, MA)

sweet potato fries

Recipes of the Month

Try one of these spleen-strengthening sweet potato recipes for better digestion and decreased anxiety through the winter months:


About Dawn

I love food! I love to cook it, eat it, and share it with others. But food has not always loved me back.

After resolving my own chronic digestive issues and learning that many foods commonly regarded as "healthy" are not at all healthy for me, I was led to study holistic nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. It was there that I learned there is no one perfect diet for everyone, and nutrition is about more than just food.

I am now certified as a health coach, and I am committed to helping others learn how to nourish themselves in the best way possible. Want to learn how? Contact me today!


Forward to a Friend

It’s such a pleasure to help those closest to us become happier and healthier. Please forward this newsletter to friends, family members or colleagues who might be interested and inspired by it.

Friends of Kevin Guest Blog post from Steve Gamlin - When It Comes to Giving, Cecile is the Real Deal!

When It Comes to Giving, Cecile is the Real Deal!

In January 2009, I made a promise to myself: ten percent of EVERY dollar I make as a speaker goes to a non-profit, as quickly as possible. This goes for sales of my books as well. A last-minute event recently garnered a few book sales. The charitable share was ten dollars.

What can you get for ten dollars?

An amazing life experience.

A recent hectic afternoon already included getting my snow tires mounted and casting my vote in the election. Time was tight. As I made my way up Mast Road in Goffstown NH I saw the Hannaford parking lot approaching on my right. A quick game of mental volleyball drew my finger the directional, and I entered the lot.

With a soon-to-be-activated gift card in hand, I found myself standing in the ’14 items or less’ aisle with one person ahead of me. Then I heard a nearby cashier open her lane. From behind me, a sweet little voice told the gentleman behind her: “You go ahead, this young man is paying for my groceries”.

A gallon of milk and small bag of apples then thumped onto the belt.

With a smile, I turned to see an adorable senior smiling at me.

“Okay”, I replied with a smile, reaching for my wallet.

“Oh, no dear, you don’t need to do that, I was just joking” she nervously backpedaled.

“No worries, I do positive things for a living…and you’re the first person that ever said that to me!” With a laugh, I shook her hand. “I’ve got you covered”.

I then made her promise to pay it forward by sharing a smile with someone in need that day.

She agreed.

As we walked toward the exit discussing random acts of kindness, she pointed wistfully out the large glass windows. “A few months ago, I collapsed out there…a nice young woman came to help me and called 911.”

A few steps later, after the automatic door whooshed open, I introduced myself and she clasped my hand, informing me that her name is Cecile.

“Cecile, it has been a pleasure meeting you and making you smile today!”

With steps much lighter than the hurried ‘gotta get to all my errands’ ones of my entrance, I got to my black Honda CR-V. The rear-view mirror revealed a smile a mile wide. As I uncrinkled the receipt in my hand, I discovered this amazing experience had cost me just $7.93.

Cecile, THANK YOU! You showed me that we are ALWAYS in a place to commit and act of kindness for a fellow human being, as long as we keep our eyes and ears open.

I am so glad she was the person behind me that day.

Besides, the guy behind HER had a carriage which tested the limits of the 14 item rule...and I think one of them was a lobster!!!

How can YOU reach out this week and share your goodness and energy?

I bet it won’t cost much…and the rewards will be amazing!


Boston Tutoring Services Seeks Tutors

I am the Managing Director at Boston Tutoring Services, LLC. We offer one-on-one in-home tutoring in Massachusetts, in Academic Subject Tutoring for grades K-12, as well as test preparation (MCAS/ISEE/SSAT/SAT/ACT).  

I'm looking to hire tutors to conduct one-on-one tutoring in students' homes. Tutoring jobs are offered anywhere in Boston/MetroWest/North & South Shores, and tutors would choose which locations they would like to commute to. We are also looking to expand into Southern NH.  

We are looking for tutors for Academic Subject Tutoring:

Math or English & Math, grades K-12  

Test Preparation:






Must have at least 2 years teaching/tutoring experience. 

Must have at least a Bachelor's Degree. 

For standardized tests: Must have prior experience tutoring for MCAS and/or ISEE/SSAT and/or SAT/ACT.  

Applicants should email a resume to

Our website is

The office address is 56 Doyle Ave, Dracut, MA 01826. 

Phone number is (781) 248-4558


Please let me know if I can offer any additional information.

Best wishes, 


Friends of Kevin Guest Blog Post by Wayne Gelardi from ADservices Unlimited - It Pays to Plan

It Pays To Plan. Create a Marketing Plan. When you take the time to think about how you are going to gain exposure to your customers, you should have a laid out calendar of events for the year. Note the holidays, note the weekends, note the possibility for events throughout the year; include your vacation weeks, and write on the calendar. Mark it with the important weeks for you to campaign and once you have done this you should mark the same calendar with the results of your effort. Now you have a documented track record of what you did in previous years and how you may adjust for the coming year. Remember to note the weather and any occurrence that may have had an effect on your event or campaign. Having this valuable tool in front of you helps to plan the execution in a timely manner so that you are not scrambling for ideas and are better prepared to meet any deadlines. Our planning is targeted to each business and the sales season of each individual industry. By stating an early plan you are better prepared with marketing collateral and products needed throughout the year which can be well thought out and applied with an effective strategy.


Wayne Gelardi  
ADServices Unlimited 
11 Gordon Ave., Salem, NH 
Tel: ( 603)  898-0050

Dr Fudge - TLS Weight Loss Overview on Tuesday Dec 11th






Jump start your New Year's resolution!

Join me on Tues. Dec. 11 at 6:30pm.

I will be presenting an overview of the TLS Weight Loss Solution- a lifestyle approach to permanent fat and weight loss.


It is time to put this problem to rest once and for all and get on living your life.


Why wait until Jan. 1?


Call 978-686-7791 to reserve your seat or email


Dr. Deborah A. Fudge

76 Woodland St.

Methuen, Ma. 01844


Follow me on Twitter DrDebFudge

"Like" me on Facebook! Dr. Deborah Fudge


I am looking for a home for a Concession Truck

This is a tough one!!  I am looking to find a spot for a client to leave his concession truck...he will haul it by trailer to leave at a place that has a lot of exposure or traffic. Must have 220 electrical hook up and water.  He will pay rent and would like it to be open full time.  This comes fully stocked with a grille, refrigerator, freezer...can accommodate lunches and breakfast.  If anyone knows any property managers or people who make decisions at industrial parks...this could be a good lead.  

Do you know a Medical Assistant?

I have a friend looking to connect with a medical assistant for an informational interview! Please message me if you know of one who would be willing to help.  

Frank Menard - The Menard Team

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In this segment Frank recaps the Real Estate Market for the week ending 12/2. Frank also offers the final 5 Quick and Easy Home Sale Tips. If you would like to receive Frank's Top Quick and Easy home sales tips please email him at