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The Good Life Report 7/17/2019

You've gotten all of the financial questions you had answered in our office. Now you can read about the things you love. From gardening to golf, each week we will post content that interests you and tips to help you live the good life.

"And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees... I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer."

-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Strawberry & Barley Summer Salad

[4 Servings]

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley, quinoa, or other grain
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • Edamame (soybeans)
  • 5 oz. (or more) of spinach
  • 1 lb. of strawberries, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. of Parmesan cheese

Dressing

  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. Dijon or honey mustard
  • 1 tsp. poppy seeds

Directions:

Embrace the warm weather with this summer salad. Going vegetarian for a few meals a week helps both your health and the environment, and salads, like these, make it easy and delicious!

  1. Cook the quick-cooking barley (or other grain) according to the package.
     
  2. Cook the soybeans according to the package.
     
  3. Whisk together the sour cream, buttermilk, mustard, poppy seeds, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper until mixed thoroughly.
     
  4. In a large bowl, combine the barley, soybeans, dressing, spinach, sliced strawberries, and Parmesan cheese, then toss.

Recipe adapted from Woman's Day[1]How to Research Tax-Exempt Organizations

Not only does donating to a local charity or nonprofit feel good and help others, but your donations can also be a tax deduction. But before you donate, make sure you research the organization to see if it is, indeed, tax exempt. 

The IRS makes it easy to check the status of various organizations to ensure that they are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. Their tool, Tax Exempt Organization Search, allows users to research an organization, quickly and easily, using information like the organization's name, Employee Identification Number, and location. 

In addition to finding out whether an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible donations, users can also see automatically revoked organizations (which happens if they don't file their required Form 990-series for three years in a row), IRS determination letters that recognize the organization as tax exempt, and more. Doing good for others, getting rid of things you no longer need, and being eligible for a tax deduction? Sign us up!

* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov[2]

Aim Your Ball Flight, Not Your Body

One of the most-common mistakes that beginning golfers (and even seasoned veterans) make on the course is aiming straight down the fairway. This would make sense in an ideal situation, but many golfers tend toward a different ball flight. For example, you might slice right or left, and if you're aiming for the middle of the fairway, the ball might veer to the side.

Rather than aim your body toward the middle of the fairway, aim it toward your most-common ball flight. That way, if the shot overcompensates to the right or to the left, you're still closer to center. Not sure where your ball flight curves? Practice in the driving range to see where your balls end up. Another way to compensate for this curve is to place your tee to the right or left rather than the middle. This will also help you start your drive in the correct position.

Tip adapted from Me and My Golf[3]

The Health Benefits of a Meat-Free Day

There's no denying the overwhelming health benefits of a plant-based diet. But going completely vegetarian or vegan isn't realistic for everyone. Luckily, you can still enjoy the many health benefits by going "meat free" for just one day a week. Here are some of the main benefits of this healthy lifestyle swap:

  • You'll be decreasing your risk of heart disease - Coronary heart disease is linked to a meat-based diet, and the majority of cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by switching to a plant-based diet.
  • You'll be getting more vitamins, minerals, and fiber - When you don't turn to meat on your meat-free day, you'll likely turn to other foods such as veggies, fruits, whole grains, and other plant-based products. This variety helps you round out your diet!

These are just a few of the many benefits of going meat-free for a day. Want more inspiration? Just Google "Meatless Monday" for recipe suggestions.

 Tip adapted from Hello Magazine[4]

Be an Eco-Friendly Pet Parent

Going green can extend to your furry friend, too! There are many ways to be an eco-friendly pet parent and reduce your carbon footprint (or pawprint). Below are some easy ways you and your pet can be environmentally friendly:

  • Adopt; don't shop - Not only does adopting a pet from a local shelter help save the life of one of the millions of animals looking for a loving home, but it can also help overburdened shelters reduce their overhead, like electricity and water.
  • Make your own treats - Commercial dog and cat treats often come in wasteful plastic packaging, only to be thrown away when the treats are gone. Avoid this by making your own dog or cat treats! Dog Treat Kitchen has tons of delicious recipes, and this website has some easy DIY cat treats.
  • Use compostable pet products - When possible, look for a compostable option for your favorite pet products. There are many choices for compostable doggie waste bags, and cat litter made out of corn, pine, or wheat is usually biodegradable.

Even small swaps like these can help you (and your pets) live more environmentally friendly.

Tip adapted from Healthy Pets[5]

[1] www.womansday.com/food-recipes/food-drinks/a27285750/barley-salad-with-strawberries-and-buttermilk-dressing/

[2] www.irs.gov/newsroom/tool-helps-donors-research-tax-exempt-organizations

[3] www.youtube.com/watch?v=De9DgJ3qKdM

[4] www.hellomagazine.com/cuisine/2017061339754/health-benefits-vegetarian-once-a-week/

[5] healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/02/07/top-10-green-pet-tips.aspx



These are the views of Platinum Advisor Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative, Broker dealer or Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information.

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