April 28, 2020

Healthier Eating and Living: Study Shows Just 10 Minutes of Walking per Day Helps Deter Arthritis

Got arthritis?


I do.  Tendonitis flare ups, too.  Ouch!  Thankfully, while painful at times, they do not keep me from engaging in exercise that I enjoy, including walking and gardening.

And, the good news (particularly for senior citizens with arthritis) is that if you have arthritis, just 10 minutes of walking daily helps prevent disability from arthritis.

Yep, just 10 minutes of walking a day.  Easy!  No need to join a fancy gym.  And you will destress and clear your mind, too.

True, I walk much longer than 10 minutes a day.  But this study (from Northwestern University in Illinois) show promise for arthritic senior citizens who may otherwise be more or less immobile and chair bound.  Read more about this study here.

The study results are pretty darn fantastic!  According to The Telegraph (see link above):
"The new research showed that just a weekly hour of exercise reduced their risk of mobility disability - walking too slowly to safely cross a street or less than one meter per second - by 85 percent and their risk of activities of daily living disability, difficulty performing morning routine tasks such as walking across a room, bathing and dressing, by almost 45 percent."
So get outside, and enjoy Mother Nature's beauty with a healthy walk.  As I do each and every day.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.  And remember ... Don't just stay positive, be positive!

Mary Rae Fouts

April 25, 2020

Lexi the Dog ... Get That Tail!

Lexi the Dog


My Princess Chow Chow-Pomeranian mix, and forever Faithful Canine Companion.  One cut mannerism Lexi has is that sometimes when she gets excited and wants to play, she spins around, chasing her tail in joyful glee.  And yep, she actually does 'catch' that darn tail sometimes!

Here she is on a recent lovely April afternoon, chasing her tail in glee on the back patio.  No COVID-10 worries for this Chow Chow Princess!  💙💚


Unconditional Love is as close as your nearest public animal shelter.  Please adopt, don't shop.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.  And remember ... Don't just stay positive, be positive!

Mary Rae Fouts

April 22, 2020

Answer To Quiz Time! Can You Answer This Geography Quiz Question About Russia?

Answer to Recent Quiz Time!


I recently posted a Geography-themed quiz about Russia:  How many Time Zones span Russia?  You can read responses by looking at the comments in the original quiz post.

Drumroll ... and the answer is:

11 Time Zones span Russia.

Now that's a lot of time!  😀   Below is the original post.  Stay safe and healthy, everyone!  Mary

This Quiz has a Geography theme concerning the country of Russia.  Can you answer this question?  And no cheatin'!  I'll post the answer in the near future.

Russia.



Russia is the largest country in the world.  Part of the Continent of Asia, Russia spans 6,601,665 mi² , and makes up 11% of the world's land mass.  Wow!

Quiz Question:  How many Time Zones span Russia?

Post your answers in the Comments section below.  Good luck!

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.  And remember ... Don't just stay positive, be positive!

Mary Rae Fouts

April 19, 2020

Annuity Litigation: Are You Looking For An Annuity Expert Witness? Meet Mary Rae Fouts, EA

Annuity Litigation.
Annuity Arbitration.
Elder Financial Abuse.
Annuity Expert Witness.


Are you looking for an Annuity Expert Witness to address Annuity Litigation or Arbitration Matters, or related Elder Financial Abuse Matters?

Mary Rae Fouts, EA has 31 years of experience addressing annuity concerns for clients throughout the United States.  She provides Annuity Consulting Services, in addition to Expert Witness Services for Annuity Litigation and Arbitration Matters, including Elder Financial Abuse Matters. 

Mary has provided Expert Witness Services in federal courts, state courts, and arbitration venues throughout the United States.  She welcomes your call at (510) 421-5457 or email to Mary@FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Concerned About Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

April 16, 2020

Insurance: When Is The Last Time You Reviewed Your Insurance Policies?

Adequate Property Insurance Coverage


Yes, I know ... insurance is not the most exciting topic to discuss.

But nevertheless, it's a critical one.

Looking back, the deadly November 2018 Camp Fire in the Paradise, California area was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California's history.  Nearly 19,000 structures were destroyed, with an estimated damage total thus far of nearly $17 billion.  Approximately 85 people perished in this inferno.  The community of Paradise, home to about 29,000 residents, was almost entirely destroyed by the blaze.

And unfortunately, many of the homeowners and property owners in Paradise had inadequate homeowners insurance, or no insurance at all.

Adequate property insurance is crucial.  This coverage is a must, even if the property owner is not required to have such insurance coverage.  Avoiding becoming underinsured ... whether it be for homeowners, business property, liability, of an other type of insurance is easy to avoid with annual reviews of your insurance coverage.  Also, your insurance coverage should be immediately reviewed and, if necessary, adjusted if you incur significant changes in your life, including home remodeling and additions.

Insurance Concerns?  About Mary Rae Fouts, EA

Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides insurance policy reviews, coverage recommendations, and other insurance consulting services and expert witness services for clients with a broad range of insurance concerns.  She has 32 years of experience in the insurance industry, and is one of the select few Life and Disability Insurance Analysts licensed by the California Department of Insurance.  For more information about Mary and her professional services visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

April 13, 2020

April: A Few Interesting Trivia Facts About The Gregorian Calendar's 4th Month.

The Month of April.


The month of April is associated with Spring by many people in the Northern Hemisphere , even though Spring officially begins on March 20 or 21 each year.  The month of April is associated with some interesting trivia.  Here are a few things I discovered last year when I researched this topic.


April Trivia


In thе Unіtеd Stаtеѕ, 4 Prеѕіdеntѕ were born іn April: Grant, Buchanan, Monroe, Jefferson.  Four Prеѕіdеntѕ have also died in April: Harrison, Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Nixon.

Similarly, in the United Kіngdоm, 3 Prіmе Mіnіѕtеrѕ were born in April: Lord North, the Duke of Portland, and George Canning.  Three Prіmе Mіnіѕtеrѕ have also died in April:  Benjamin Disraeli, Henry Campbell-Bannerman, and Margaret Thatcher.

Aрrіl іѕ аlѕо a fairly рорulаr first name for people.  April іѕ thе 423rd mоѕt соmmоn nаmе іn the Unіtеd Stаtеѕ, and the 250th most common name in the Unіtеd Kingdom.

The exact origin of the word April is uncertain. However, the most common theory is that April is derived from the Latin verb Aperire, which means to open. This theory corresponds to Springtime events in April, in the blossoming and budding - or opening - of flowers and trees.

April is a food happy month.  April is not only Grilled Cheese Month, it is also Pecan Month, BLT Sandwich Month, Florida Tomato Month, Garlic Month, and Soft Pretzel Month.

April also includes the dreaded Tax Day in the United States, but let's not spoil the month by dwelling on taxes.  😁 

Enjoy your month of April!


Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.  And remember ... Don't just stay positive, be positive!

Mary Rae Fouts

April 10, 2020

Quiz Time! Can You Answer This Geography Quiz Question About Russia?

Quiz Time!


This Quiz has a Geography theme concerning the country of Russia.  Can you answer this question?  And no cheatin'!  I'll post the answer in the near future.

Russia.



Russia is the largest country in the world.  Part of the Continent of Asia, Russia spans 6,601,665 mi² , and makes up 11% of the world's land mass.  Wow!

Quiz Question:  How many Time Zones span Russia?

Post your answers in the Comments section below.  Good luck!

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.  And remember ... Don't just stay positive, be positive!

Mary Rae Fouts

April 7, 2020

California Taxation: California's Reliance on the Top 1% of Taxpayers May Drastically Impact the State Budget Following the Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic

I originally published this post nearly 4 years ago on May 3, 2016.  But the tax statistics remain virtually the same today:  The Top 1% of California Taxpayers pay nearly 50% of the state's income taxes.

And given what will surely be a dramatically negative impact the COVID-19 Pandemic will have on both California's budget and the states, economy, this reliance on so very few taxpayers ... about 150,000 taxpayers in a state of nearly 40 million people ... is downright fiscally stupid and foolish.

~~  Originally published May 3, 2016  ~~

One of Bernie Sanders' campaign talking points is that the top 1% should pay their fair share of taxes.

Well, let's take a look at California and state income taxes. 
How is this for "fair"?

One of my favorite newspaper columnists, straight-shooting George Skelton with the Los Angeles Times, published a column yesterday about California State Income Taxes and Bernie Sanders' ongoing reference to the top 1%.  Can you guess who pays what percentage?

Top 1% = 48% of California State Income Taxes.  

Yes, The top 1% of Californians paid nearly half - 48% - of California state income taxes in 2014, while making about 24% of the state's income.  Yes again, the top 1% (about 150,000 taxpayers) make 24% of the state's income, but pay 48% of California state income taxes.  How's that for an eye opener?

Credit:  George Skelton and the Los Angeles Times
While I realize the only thing that is truly fair in life is a baseball hit between 1st and 3rd bases, the above statistic begs the question:

Is it fair to make a group of people pay 48% of California's state income taxes when that group of people makes only 24% of the state's income?

And what happens when this small group of people doesn't make as much money, or members moves out of state?  Simple:  Potential devastation to California's economy.  Placing so much dependency on a very small group of people is simply irresponsible ... and plain stupid ... fiscal planning.

As an Enrolled Agent with high income tax clients, I can attest that California's "1%ers"  are tax conscious and are keenly eyeing the upcoming presidential election as they consider tax planning strategies.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.  And remember ... Don't just stay positive, be positive!

Mary Rae Fouts

April 4, 2020

Sid and Lexi! My Faithful Canine Companions Always Light Up My Day!

Sid the Dog

Lexi the Dog


My Faithful Canine Companions always light up my day.  Unconditional Love at its finest.  Here are a few photos of Sid and Lexi relaxin', sleepin' and just hangin' to brighten up your day!  😎😍

And remember ... Unconditional Love is as close as your nearest public animal shelter.  Please adopt, don't shop.







Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.  And remember ... Don't just stay positive, be positive!

Mary Rae Fouts

April 1, 2020

Food Safety: Don't Fall Victim to Food Poisoning. Here Are Tips For Handling and Storing Your Food Safely

Food Safety.
Safe Food Handling.


I love to cook and bake.  And as my husband Jim will tell you, I am a stickler .... a BIG stickler ... about food safety and safe food handling.  After all, who wants to fall victim to food poisoning due to improper food handling?

And with the current COVID-19 Pandemic, many people are stocking up on food.  Sometimes, hoarding household items, as in toilet paper!  But really, are you sure of proper home food handling and storage techniques so that all of your food is handled and stored correctly?

Proper food handling is easy to incorporate in your home kitchen.  Use thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer to maintain proper temperature.  (I also use a thermometer to check my oven temp, but that's for proper baking temp, and not a food safety issue.)  Appliance thermometers are cheap, mine were $8 or less.  I tie a piece of colored shoelace around the refrigerator and freezer thermometers so I can easily locate them in the appliances.

And as far as proper food handling and storing temps?  The USDA recommends that all foods requiring refrigeration be maintained at 40*F or less, and that foods that must be maintained hot be held at a temperature of 140*F or higher.  The in between area - above 40*F and below 140*F - is known as the "Danger Zone" for foods that require either refrigeration or a hot temperature for safety.  In the Danger Zone, the amount of food bacteria - including food bacteria that can lead to food poisoning - can double in a mere 20 minutes!

So don't leave leftovers on the kitchen counter for hours at time.  And make sure your refrigerator consistently maintains a cold enough temperature.  Studies estimate more than half of home refrigerators are maintained at an unsafe, too high temperature.

As for my chest freezer, I maintain that at a temperature between 0*F and -10*F.  The USDA recommends a consistent freezer temperature of 0*F.

For more information, refer to this handy Basics for Handling Food Safety fact sheet from the USDA.

Happy ... and safe! ... baking and cooking everyone!

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?

About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.  And remember ... Don't just stay positive, be positive!

Mary Rae Fouts