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Last Updated: Dec 30, 2008 - 10:35:33 AM 

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Business

Bus.1-1-09 Cotter Financial, South Shore Day Spa
By Betty Morrow betty@observernews.net
Jan 1, 2009 - 10:21:35 AM

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Eight Resolutions for The New Year
Certified Financial Planner Gary Cotter provides the following resolutions to consider when thinking about your plans for the new year:
1. Consider getting some professional advice about your financial plan. While some people can learn to be reasonably successful do-it-yourself investors, and save money doing so -- all those savings can be easily erased, and then some, by one strategic error in planning.
2. Review your estate plan. While death may not be high on your list of priorities, making sure that your loved ones will be okay when your time is up is really crucial. How much income would your spouse lose at your death? Are your beneficiaries coordinated in your will, trust, retirement accounts, annuities, life insurance, bank accounts, brokerage accounts – or are you in danger of accidentally disinheriting someone you care about? Are your intended heirs capable of managing their inheritances without help? Are any compromised by ill-health, disability, substance abuse, legal problems or bad marriages?
3. Review your investment portfolio. Start by revisiting your own goals. Have your own attitudes of growth potential vs. safety changed over time? Is your portfolio of investments set to position you for a market recovery while offering sufficient protection from possible further declines?
4. Consider your plan should you or your spouse need extended assistance or nursing care later in life. Do you know the costs? How much government programs might provide? Obviously, anyone who has ever visited a nursing home is immediately convinced that they never want to live there. Have you arranged things financially so you could receive care at home if possible? Is your plan based on earmarked funds or long-term care insurance, or simply a conviction that it “can’t happen to me”?
5. Will you or your spouse turn age 70½ this year? Do you understand the complex rules governing ­mandatory distributions from retirement plans as well as the penalties for failure to comply with them?
6. Get ready for tax season early. The earlier your return is filed, the earlier any refund (or stimulus payment) you may be entitled to will be received. In addition, a careful review of your completed return may reveal ways that your 2009 tax burden could be reduced if action is taken early enough in the year.
7. Take care of your health. Have a complete physical and follow you doctor’s advice. Incorporate positive changes in diet and exercise level if appropriate. Feeling good makes life much better.
8. Plan to have some fun. If you can afford vacation travel, there are likely to be great bargains in 2009. With fuel prices and air travel volume both down, there should be low airfares available. Cruise lines are already offering big incentives to sail away in the new year. The dollar is getting a bit stronger and that, combined with reduced demand, should produce some relative bargains in Europe.

South Shore Day Spa to Host Yoga Classes

South  Shore Day Spa & Salon hosted a Yoga and Tea Night on Dec. 9 with Heather Brandt as the yoga instructor. During these stressful times, yoga is a good source of relaxation. South Shore Day Spa will be hosting a yoga night twice a month on Wednesday nights, starting Jan. 7.

© Copyright 2008 by The Observer News Publications and M&M Printing Company, Inc.

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Bus.1-1-09 Cotter Financial, South Shore Day Spa