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Finding Beauty in Change: A Lesson from Lao Tzu

December 10, 2018

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. –Lao Tzu

Life, whether we realize it or not, is a series of transitions. We were born and had to learn to crawl and walk, to talk and read. We grow up, passing through school onto careers and relationships. For some, we raise children. As we grow older and head toward retirement all this change and dramatic transition, can start to feel harder. Experiencing a loss, leaving a job, downsizing, adjusting to changing health, children growing up, the end of a marriage. These major life transitions, some of which we cannot control, are challenging for even the heartiest of people. We try to create order in our lives and we try to plan, but there are some things you just can’t anticipate.

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4 Steps to Manifesting Your Future

November 19, 2018

Do you ever make lists of all of the things you intend to do but haven’t quite gotten around to? Get back to the gym, go on that trip, start seriously saving for retirement. Whatever it is, it seems that after a few weeks, the list goes back into storage, only to be carted out and dusted off the next time you feel ambitious about getting back to your intentions.

Wanting change and enacting change are two different things. We know we want to lose weight, but the process of changing our lifestyle, modifying our diet and making room in a busy schedule for exercise can seem daunting. Humans are complicated that way. The benefits of completing the goal are not enough incentive to stick to it. We know we need to save for retirement, we know we should be managing our finances, investing and working toward our long-term goals. But, like the grasshopper and the ant, it can be hard to focus on the future when there is so much in the present that grabs our attention. This is called “present bias” and it causes us to spend at the moment instead of stashing more funds away for the future. [i] But when 51% of affluent investors, those who have investable assets over $500,000, fear being financially insecure in retirement and only 56% of American households even have a 401K, it’s definitely something we should be striving toward and discussing.[ii]  So, in this article, let’s explore how to get from creating an intention to actually accomplishing it.

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North Carolina Residents may Benefit from Disaster Relief Tax Breaks

October 30, 2018

The storm has ended, the floodwaters have receded, and now you are left to clean up the mess that Hurricane Florence left in its wake. Hurricane Florence was the wettest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Carolinas. Both North and South Carolina were declared federal disaster areas by the president. 53 people died. The storm surge and later flooding caused massive evacuations, power losses, and property damage estimated currently at over $44 billion dollars. A destructive storm of this nature can leave the survivors feeling lost as they attempt to recover.

Where You Live

As residents salvage their homes, start itemizing and begin the hard journey of rebuilding, one reprieve will come from the IRS. Individuals residing in Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnson, Lee, Lenoir, Jones, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Wayne and Wilson counties may qualify for tax relief.

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The Road to Longevity: Living to 120—and Beyond?

September 6, 2018

Medical technology can now identify risk factors in the human body long before they impact your health

A medical revolution is underway—one that’s making it possible for us to extend our lives for decades by stopping now-fatal diseases before they can take hold of our bodies. In the coming years, we’ll not only be able to live longer, but also have fuller lives characterized by enduring physical mobility and mental sharpness.

Here’s a closer look at the personal longevity revolution—and what it could mean to you and your family as you seek to live your best life.

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Smart Ways to Take Control of a Trust

August 14, 2018

Many successful families use trusts to minimize taxes, transfer wealth and protect assets from creditors and others. You may have already set up a trust, or you may hold an inheritance you received in a trust that was created decades ago. Trouble is, too many families relinquish more control over their trusts than they need to, basically hoping that the trustees they have put in charge will serve them well. They take a passive role in their trusts rather than an active or proactive role.

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July / August 2018 – Retirement Strategies Newsletter

August 6, 2018

Inside This Issue:

    Notes on Our Southern Culture
    The Bookshelf
    Gazpacho in 10 Minutes or Less
    A Little Laugh
    Flat David

Notes on Our Southern Culture

by David Shucavage

Recently, while walking our dog Dogma near Wilmington’s Riverfront Park, I read a plaque about Lippitt’s Ice House. It piqued my interest enough to do some research into the history of ice houses, only to discover that their history is entwined with that staple of southern culture – sweet ice tea. Of course, if you come from the north, you have probably discovered that stating “sweet” and “ice” is unnecessary in any restaurant order; “tea” says it all. It’s when you want an unsweetened or hot tea that you need to be explicit. Anyway…

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The Road Less Traveled: Taking Steps Toward Your Ideal Retirement

July 25, 2018

Have you given a great deal of thought about your “bucket list” recently? For most people, a bucket list consists of things we have always wanted to do and many of those things involve taking risks or traveling far away from home or exploring some other type of great unknown. I read an article recently in Financial Advisor Magazine that discussed regrets that people had as they aged. The article said, “Among the top regrets were: not following their dreams, not taking risks with their careers, not taking risks with their lives in general, and not being gutsy enough in the choices they made.”

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Practice and Courage: Why Retirement Is like Learning to Dive

June 21, 2018

Do you remember when you learned how to dive? Do you remember how you felt when you saw others doing it and you wished, hoped for the day when you would have the courage and agility to take that plunge and know that you’d land gracefully in the water? Do you remember how ungraceful that first attempt was?

I have this vivid memory of learning to dive. We went to this pool every summer during childhood and there were older kids and adults who used to take turns practicing their dives. From my perspective, each of them was better than the last. They would walk slowly up to the edge, look down into the water, bounce once with two feet on the board, then with just one– shooting their knee straight up in the air, then one final time before they raised their arms high over their head, and traveled in a perfect arc, making the most peaceful splash as they landed– arms, then head then torso and lastly feet into the water. I so desperately wanted to be able to do as they did. My dad, was eager to teach when I asked him to show me the secret. But he explained that there was no secret at all. What was needed was precision, an understanding of gravity and physics and, most importantly, courage. He explained that courage was most important, not because it would improve your dive, but because it would empower you to keep going until you perfected it.

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Emotional Investing and Consequences of Behavioral Biases

April 20, 2018

Distraction from the media, uncertainty or volatility in the markets, or pressure to buy and sell from friends, colleagues, financial “gurus” and other less than reliable sources for investment advice can directly challenge an investor’s ability to make consistent, rational and logical investment decisions. The barrage of information coupled with some inherent behavioral biases can make long-term investing a challenge for most people.

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The Rich History of Arlie Gardens

April 16, 2018

In our 30+ years in Wilmington, my wife, Sandy, and I have seen mind-boggling changes in the area as it has grown — some good, some bad. We’re so glad that there have always been people committed to holding on to those places and things that make Wilmington special. Airlie Gardens is one of those treasures, almost given up on a decade ago, but now a thriving part of our community

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