¼ cup cilantro chopped, plus more for garnish when serving
In a dry pan, toast almonds until golden brown. Set aside.
In a medium pan with a tight fitting lid, place all ingredients including the toasted almonds and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit five minutes then fluff.
"Who am I?" can be much more than just an existential question for some people. Take for example my friend's husband, Michael, who is adopted. Although Michael has no desire to look up his birth parents, he is curious about his heritage and his future health. So, he decided to go to 23andMe online to order their Ancestry and Health service for $199.00 ( If you only want the ancestry report it is only $99). My friend said that he was shipped a kit right away and the instructions were really easy to use. In fact, the hardest part was waiting for the results to come back! When they did, they confirmed what we always thought Michael looked like: Irish (well, at least 82% Irish!) and trace amounts of French German and... Neanderthal! We all had a good laugh with that one! It broke down for Michael his heritage on both his maternal and paternal side. But, more importantly, it helped Michael to be aware of some genetic diseases that he may be susceptible to. Did it answer all questions? No, but it did illuminate a lot for him. It was fun, quick and easy, so if you are curious about who you are, this is your chance! To learn more about 23andMe click here!
Jay Williams is the founder and President of Williams Estate & Financial Group. He focuses on estate and financial planning for both businesses and families. From business to family, Jay works to help clients prepare for the financial future they hope to achieve and help others preserve what they have worked hard to build.
He utilizes his experience practicing law to help clients achieve their goals for retirement and to leave a legacy. Jay has a bachelors' degree in Civil Engineering from UMass Amherst, a law degree from UMass School of Law and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 2007. He was sworn in as a member of the U.S. District Court in 2010 and is a member of NAIFA, MDRT, the New Bedford Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association and the South Coast Senior Resource Association. He is an accredited estate planner and a member of the Bristol County Estate Planning Council.
"QLACs" Written by Jay Williams, J.D., CFP®, AEP®
The need to generate an income stream that begins later on in retirement has never been more important. Medical advances have made it possible for people to live longer and more productive lives than ever before. For married couples, there is a 72% chance that one or both persons who are currently age 65 will live to age 90. That can add up to 25 years in retirement- possibly more1.
Planning for longevity and its associated expenses, such as increased health care costs, remains a concern for many people. Until recently, however, it was difficult to plan for these later-life income needs using qualified assets that were subject to RMD rules.
In 2014, The IRS and the Department of the Treasury amended the RMD rules to provide more flexibility for owners of qualified assets. The new rules permit these owners to delay receiving distributions on a portion of their assets up until a maximum age of 85 by allocating them into a qualified longevity annuity contact (QLAC).
A QLAC is a deferred income annuity that allows distributions to begin after age 70 ½ 2. RMDs may be deferred until age 85. Deferred income annuities are often called “longevity” annuities because they provide future income that begins on date you specify and can be guaranteed for as long as you live3.
Longevity annuities essentially provide a way to transfer your longevity risk to an insurer. In exchange for your purchase payment, the insurer agrees to you a specific amount of future income that is guaranteed at the time you purchase it. At the same time, you also transfer your interest rate and market risk to the insurer. No matter what happens in the financial markets, you will receive the income amount that is guaranteed at the time you purchase it. Not all longevity annuities qualify as QLACs, there are specific IRS requirements and there are purchase payment limits as well.
In a nutshell, a QLAC may help you:
Create a pension-like stream of income
Transfer risk – The insurer takes on your longevity, interest rate and market risk. Your future income is guaranteed, no matter how long you live or what happens in the financial markets.
Manage your RMDs – Delaying RMDs on a portion of your assets can help you plan for expenses that may become a priority later in retirement such as increased health care costs.
1 Tbsp Cheese (Shredded or crumbled. Whatever is your fave. I used goat cheese)
2 Tbsp Dried Cranberries
2 Tbsp Slivered Almonds
1 c Salad Greens Spinach, Romaine, etc
Pour your salad dressing into the bottom of the cup.
Add the denser vegetables, like Sweet Peas first.
Add the cheese.
Add the olives, chick peas, dried cranberries and slivered almonds.
Add the lettuce last. Do not over pack the salad. You need a little room for the next step.
When you are ready to eat the salad, shake it until the dressing is evenly distributed.
In case you are wondering where I got the plastic cup from, I found them at a local party store or you can also order them through Amazon. If you are truly thrifty you can clean and recycle your Iced Coffee cups from Dunkin' Donuts!
And obviously, this works well for fruit salads as well!
Although I love the convenience of having a pool, nothing beats a day out at the beach! There is nothing like it. A lot of people don't take advantage of what their town (or the Commonwealth) have to offer. Here is a quick list of popular local beaches. Of course, be aware, some are for residents only!
Barnstable - Sandy Neck Beach, 425 Sandy Neck Road, West Barnstable; Open Daily from 8am-9pm
Dartmouth - Round Hill Beach, 231 Smith Neck Road, Dartmouth, MA 02748; Jones Beach, 66 St. John Street, Dartmouth, MA 02748; and Apponagansett, 77 Gulf Road, South Dartmouth, MA 02748
Day Pass Fees:
Round Hill - $15 for residents, available Monday-Friday only, no weekends or holidays
Jones Park - $10 per day
Apponagansett Park - $10 per day
Seasonal Sticker Fees:
Residents - $35 per year
Senior Residents (65+) - $25 per year
Disabled Veteran - No Charge w/ proof
Seasonal Renter - $100 per week
Falmouth - Old Silver Beach, 296 Quaker Road, Falmouth, MA 02556 Open daily 9am-5pm
Fairhaven - West Island Town Beach, 36 Bluepoint Road, Fairhaven, MA 02719
RESIDENT FEES: Season Pass $30 per vehicle, Day Pass (car) $ 6, Day Pass (walk in) $ 3, Day Pass (bus) $150 with 2-weeks notice required. No charge for Fairhaven seniors 60 or over.
NON-RESIDENT FEES: Season Pass $100, Day Pass (car) $20, Day Pass (walk in) $ 10, Senior Walk-ins $5. No out-of-town buses.
New Bedford - East Beach, East Rodney French Boulevard, New Bedford Ma 02744; West Beach, West Rodney French Boulevard, New Bedford, MA 02744
Resident seasonal pass - $5
Lloyd Demarest - Barney's Joy Road, Dartmouth, MA 0274; $12 for a day pass
Fort Phoenix - Green Street, Fairhaven, MA 02719; FREE
Horseneck Beach - 5 John Reed Road, Westport, MA 02790; $13 for a day pass
Scusset Beach - 20 Scusset Beach Rd, Sagamore Beach, MA 02562; Daily Parking Fee: $14 MA Vehicle, $16 non-MA Vehicle
Does it seem like our world news is such that it isn't quite as easy to feel grateful for the what's happening out there, right now? While this may seem like an appropriate reaction at times, we really can't afford to get depressed and anxious about things, big or little, beyond our control.
The good news is that we can control how we respond to these things. The flip side of "overwhelm" is to take a deep breath and focus on what we can be grateful for, i.e., what feeds our soul, what brings us joy. These may be little things such as a precious baby's smile, or a beloved pet's adoring eyes when you pet her or him. Even the smell of coffee in the morning, or the taste of your favorite ice cream on a hot humid day! (I hear we are finally going to have one).
Oprah Winfrey, a strong proponent of expressing our gratitude, does not get out of bed in the morning without first thinking of 3 things she is grateful for.
Research studies have shown that patients that wrote down 5 things they are grateful for each day for 21 consecutive days showed improved health and well being as well as a decrease in cardiac risk factors.
Gratitude is related to satisfaction, hope, empathy, forgiveness and spirituality. Maybe, you might like to try your own experiment and write down 5 things a day for the next 3 weeks and see if your own general health and well being improve!
Well, it is that most wonderful time of the year after Christmas, of course. Yes, I mean summer vacation. At least for the kids. For parents, it is a bit more problematic. When they are little you worry that they will duct tape their siblings to the ceiling fans. When they get older (but not old enough to have a job) you worry that they aren't getting enough sun because they sleep until noontime. Best bet? Enroll them in some sort of activity. And, it doesn't have to be the entire summer! I can't put a price on knowing that my child is active, having fun and most of all, safe! They will meet new friends, have new experiences and challenges and the best part is they will have the best time doing it!
Here is a short list of local summer camps. Just click on the names to get more information from their websites:
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill over high heat.
Cut four sheets of foil, about 12-inches long. Divide shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes into 4 equal portions and add to the center of each foil in a single layer.
Fold up all 4 sides of each foil packet. Add olive oil, cajun seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste; gently toss to combine. Fold the sides of the foil over the shrimp, covering completely and sealing the packets closed.
Place foil packets on the grill and cook until just cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.*
Served immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.
*This can also be baked for 15-17 minutes at 425 degrees F.