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The Good Life Report 9/25/19

"Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile."

-William Cullen Bryant

Hash Brown Waffles For Brunch

There are few things more beautiful than a crisp, fall morning. Celebrate the season by treating your family and friends to a home-cooked brunch. These hash brown "waffles" are delicious, easy to make, and the perfect brunch staple. 

[4 to 5 servings]

Ingredients:

  • 20 oz. hash browns, frozen
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Green onions or other toppings (e.g. spinach, bacon, mushrooms, etc.)
  • Salt and pepper
  • A waffle iron
  • Nonstick spray

Directions:

  1. Heat the waffle iron to medium, and generously coat the iron with nonstick spray (if you skip this step, the hash browns will stick to the grill).
     
  2. Mix together the eggs and milk.
     
  3. Stir in the hash browns, cheese, green onions, and any other toppings you're craving.
     
  4. Scoop some of the potato mixture onto the iron and spread to about ½-inch thick.
     
  5. Cook each waffle for about five minutes, checking it to make sure it doesn't burn. It's done when it's golden brown. 

Recipe adapted from Yellow Bliss Road[1]

Military Members and Their Families Can Receive Free Tax Advice


The IRS started the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program to provide free tax advice, preparation, return filing help, and other assistance to military members and their families. This also includes specific tax advice for military members, such as combat zone tax benefits, special extensions, and other special rules. The VITA has convenient locations on and off base and even has offices overseas. 

These offerings are just one way the IRS is striving to make tax information available to all. They also offer other free assistance programs to taxpayers who qualify, including the elderly, through their Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program.

If you or someone you know wants to take advantage of this service, find the location closest to you with the IRS's location search tool. Simply enter your zip code and how far you want to travel. 

* 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]


Golf Tips For Seniors: How to Generate Power

As we get older, it gets harder to generate the same amount of power and drive as when we first started playing golf. That being said, there are many ways for seniors to continue improving their game. Here are some helpful tips for older golfers:

  • Close your stance by putting your trail foot back a bit. You can also turn your toes out slightly. This will make it easier to rotate, generating more power.

  • Turn away from the ball as you swing rather than facing down toward the ball the whole time. Your eyes will continue to look at the golf ball, but your shoulders should turn away from it.

  • Let your lead heel come off the ground to help transfer the weight of your swing. It might almost feel like you're walking into your shot.

Some of these tips might seem unconventional compared to what most golfers are taught in the beginning, but movement means power, and power means that even senior golfers can keep up on the links. 

Tip adapted from Donald Peterson[3]

Neck and Shoulder Stretches for Desk Potatoes


Many of us sit at a desk for hours a day and stare at a screen. This can cause neck and shoulder pain, and these easy, desk stretches can help:

  • Overhead side stretch - Not only does this stretch lengthen your neck, it can also help stretch your lats (your side muscles) and your obliques. While sitting up straight, put your arms over your head and lean to one direction. Repeat on the other side.
     
  • Side-neck stretch - Gently put your hand on the back of your head and guide it to your chest. Then, instead of putting your head straight down, turn it slightly by looking at your thigh. Here's a video demonstration (skip to 2:20 to see this stretch).
     
  • Neck-roll stretch - Relax and lean your head forward, slowly roll it to one side, and hold for about 10 to 20 seconds, then slowly roll it to the other side.
     
  • Upper-trap stretch - Stretch your traps (the muscles above your shoulders) and your beck by gently pulling your head toward each shoulder. Hold on each side for 10 to 20 seconds. 

As always, never force a stretch. As you become more flexible, you'll be able to grow into the movement more, but only stretch as far as your body lets you. 


Tip adapted from Healthline[4]

Grow Your Wardrobe Sustainably

Have you ever looked at one of your well-dressed friends and thought "I wish I had that outfit." Well, maybe you can! Buying gently worn clothes instead of buying new pieces is a great way to save money and be environmentally friendly. Even if you're not interested in the idea of thrift stores, consider getting some friends together this fall to host a swap party. Everyone brings clothes they no longer want, and together, the group is able to swap each other's wardrobes. Throw in some snacks and drinks too! You're sure to get some new pieces for the upcoming season. 

To make your swap party a success, consider inviting friends with corresponding sizes, so everyone can swap around. You may also want to set rules, such as what guests can and can't bring. 

Tip adapted from Money Crashers[5] 


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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[1] www.yellowblissroad.com/egg-cheese-hash-brown-waffles-giveaway/ 
[2] www.irs.gov/newsroom/free-tax-help-available-for-the-military 
[3] www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2RuPhpByLM
[4] www.healthline.com/health/deskercise#benefits 
[5] www.moneycrashers.com/clothing-swap-party-exchange/


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