Posts by Paul Scott

Culinary Corner: Sweetheart Cupcakes

Instead of just plain white cupcakes, take it a step further and make them special. You can even change the colors for other holidays – green for St. Patrick’s Day, pastel colors for Easter, or red, white and blue for the 4th of July. Ingredients: 1 (18.25 oz) package white cake mix 1 1/4 cups water 1/3 cup vegetable oil 3 egg whites 8 drops red food coloring 2 drops raspberry candy oil Directions: Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper cupcake liners. Beat the cake mix, water, vegetable oil, and egg whites
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Have You Checked Your Beneficiaries Recently?

Take a moment to think about this: Are your beneficiaries in order? It’s far too common for people to sit down and designate their beneficiaries in their wills, trusts, insurances and/or investments, and never give it another thought. With that one-and-done mentality, you may find your legacy isn’t what you meant it to be. Life happens. People get married, divorced, have children, lose children, pass away, become ill, etc. If you don’t review your beneficiary designations regularly, you may find your assets are going to the wrong people or organizations now. I recently had an experience with a wonderful woman
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Key Steps to Reduce the Stress of Losing a Loved One

When a loved one dies, often we can be overwhelmed with grief and loss. In a perfect world, we’d be given an appropriate grieving period before having to deal with all the decisions and details surround our loved one’s passing. We aren’t given that time, however, and handling the important tasks required after their passing can be stressful. While losing a loved one is never easy, there are ways you can reduce the stress you leave behind for your loves ones so they can spend more time grieving and celebrating your life and less time worry about what needs to
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Culinary Corner: Elvis-Inspired Peanut Butter Brunch Parfait

Ingredients: 3 cups whole milk 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup cornstarch 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt 3 large egg yolks, beaten 3/4 cup smooth peanut better 6 slices bacon 1/4 cup pure maple syrup 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar 15 butter waffle cookies, lightly crushed (about 2 cups) 3 small bananas, sliced into rounds about 1/8-inch thick *If you cannot find butter waffle cookies, store-bought waffle cones would be a nice alternative. Regular or natural peanut butter works here, just make sure it’s emulsified. Directions: Heat 2 3/4 cups of the milk in a large saucepan
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Charitable Giving

Wikipedia defines charity as “the voluntary giving of help to those in need”. To that end, I hope your intention behind giving to charity is always altruism, but as I am a financial advisor, I would also like to share some of the rules and tax benefits of donating your money. A gift to a qualified charitable organization may entitle you to a charitable contribution deduction against your income tax if you itemize deductions. You must itemize in order to take a charitable deduction. Make sure that if you itemize, your total deductions are greater than the standard deduction. If they’re not,
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Culinary Corner: 3-Ingredient Christmas Swirl Fudge

Ingredients: 1 bag (12 oz) white vanilla baking chips (2 cups) 1 container Betty Crocker Rick & Creamy vanilla frosting Betty Crocker green and red gel food colors Directions: Line 8-inch square pan with foil, leaving foil overhanging at 2 opposite sides of pan; spray foil with cooking spray. In large microwavable bowl, microwave white chips uncovered on High 1 minute. Spoon frosting over chips. Microwave on High 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, continue to microwave in 15-second increments until mixture can be stirred smooth. Place 3/4 cup fudge mixture into each of 2 small bowls, leaving remaining untinted fudge
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Can I Retire Early?

Can I Retire Early? Most people have a hard enough time imagining what their retirement will be like, let alone retiring early. When I say early I mean before the current, average U.S. retirement age of 63. Sure it sounds great to throw out the alarm clock and play golf all day. The reality is leaving the workforce early has some important tradeoffs. Cognitive Decline Recent studies seem to indicate a profound link between cognitive decline and retirement. [i] This notion of “mental retirement” seems to have a more dramatic impact on younger retirees. A New York Times article, citing
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Culinary Corner: Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients 4 cups sweet potato, cubed 1/2 cup white sugar 2 eggs, beaten 1/2 teaspoon salt 7 tablespoons butter, softened 1/2 cup milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup chopped pecans Directions Preheat oven 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Put sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, 4 tablespoons butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish.
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Meal of the Month: Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla Pie

This is a quiche/quesadilla which means you can eat it for breakfast or dinner. The flavors are simple but tasty. Ingredients 1 (10-inch) flour tortilla (burrito size) 1 rotisserie chicken, skin discarded, meat shredded into bite-sized pieces (about 3 cups) 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese Salt and pepper 2 large eggs 1 cup whole milk 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder (optional) 1/3 cup drained jarred pickled jalapenos, chopped Directions: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Grease 9-inch pie plate. Press tortilla into prepared
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7 Things You Need to Know About Medicare

  1 – It’s Not Free If you are under the impression that Medicare will cover all of your healthcare costs when you retire, you are mistaken. For most people, healthcare will be their largest retirement expense – even with Medicare. In fact, some estimates rank healthcare at the top of the list of retirement expenses, exceeding housing and recreation costs combined. A 65-year-old healthy couple can expect to spend $266,600 over the course of their retirement on Medicare premiums alone, according to HealthView Services. A figure that Fidelity estimates is slightly lower at $245,000 per couple. Neither included out-of-pocket
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