Want to Live Longer and Make Work Easier? Reach For Meaning in Your Daily Tasks

By I. Jeffrey Pheterson

We all want to live in a better world, though our definitions of what that looks like may differ.

Do you do something every day that is meaningful to you, something that adds purpose or passion to your daily activities? Do you have a driving force behind you that adds fire to your days and gives you a reason to get out of bed in the morning?

If so, you may be making yourself more productive at work, and you may even become physically healthier as a result.

Current social science research is revealing data that shows what positive results will occur for those who act in ways that promote meaning or purpose in their lives. Each day brings its challenges, but how we react to them is key. Regardless of the trials we may face, we all have a lot to be thankful for. That’s why gratitude is so important.  

However, according to recent research, a positive attitude is not enough. You must also operate with a purpose in mind. Below are two recent examples of this research: Continue reading

4 Factors to Help You Value a Business During a Divorce

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By Dane E. Leitner

Generally, people in Florida have an understanding that if you get divorced, there is a premise that the marital assets and liabilities will be distributed equally unless there is a valid basis for an unequal distribution.

However, a common question is:

What is my equal value of a business that was formed by only one spouse during the marriage?

If only one spouse is involved in the business, the other spouse likely thinks that the business is worth a lot more than it really is.  And the spouse that is involved in the business is most likely proud of its financial stability any other day, but come time for divorce, all of a sudden it’s a business that is worth nothing.

Below are four common factors to consider that may help in calculating your business valuation or come into play during your divorce proceedings:

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Ready to Close? Be Careful When You Wire Funds

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By Adam R. Seligman

Picture this… You’re about to sell your house and retire to Florida. The documents are signed, movers are hired, and all you need to do now is confirm that the title company’s wire has hit your account. You receive a call from the closer that the funds have been wired. You check your account—no wire.

An hour goes by, then two, then twenty-four hours, then two days. When you ask the title company to confirm the wire instruction from “your” email, you discover to your horror that the wire instructions “you” sent were not from you, but from a hacker who got into your email, found out you were selling your house, and sent fake instructions to the title company.

This has happened before and will almost certainly happen again. But it doesn’t have to if you are diligent and careful.

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Have a Commercial Real Estate Property? New Tax Laws on Your Side for Use of 1031 Real Property Exchanges

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By Rana M. Gorzeck

The commercial real estate market breathed a sigh of relief when President Trump’s new tax bill, Public Law 115-97, preserved the use of 1031 transactions for commercial real estate properties.

Let’s review what a 1031 Like-Kind Exchange is defined by the IRS:

Whenever you sell business or investment property and you have a gain, you generally have to pay tax on the gain at the time of sale.  IRC Section 1031 provides an exception and allows you to postpone paying tax on the gain if you reinvest the proceeds in similar property as part of a qualifying like-kind exchange.  Gain deferred in a like-kind exchange under IRC Section 1031 is tax-deferred, but it is not tax-free.

With the domestic commercial real estate market thriving, income-producing real properties are being exchanged again with increasing popularity.  Congress did not allow the continuation of 1031 exchanges for personal property, such as vehicles, jewels, and stocks, but the capital gains tax will continue to be deferred when parties exchange like properties—as long as the strict 1031 rules are met.

As a result, in this increasingly active real estate market, we are witnessing a revival of 1031 exchange transactions at our firm.

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3 Easy Steps to Take Advantage of Your Homestead Exemption

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By Michael J Posner

Over 300,000 new people became Florida residents in 2017, continuing a growth trend that shows no signs of slowing.  With the new tax act squeezing many residents of high tax states in the northeast, the trend of continued population growth in the sunshine state is only expected to rise in 2018.  Many new residents purchase new homes or convert their previous vacation or second homes in Florida into their primary residence.  If this purchase or conversion is completed by December 31, those new residents may be eligible to apply for a Florida Homestead Exemption the following year.

Florida has two types of homestead:

  • The first is set forth in the Florida Constitution under Article X, Section 4, which is an automatic provision to protect homeowners from claims of creditors or spouses who exclusively hold title, and to insure that a surviving spouse is not made homeless. This protection is automatic based upon purchasing a house, condominium or cooperative and making it your primary residence.
  • The second form of homestead is known as the Homestead Exemption, and it is also set forth in the Florida Constitution under Article VII, Section 6, which provides a financial exemption from real property taxation of up to $50,000 in home value. Additional exemptions are available for veterans over 65, low income senior citizens, surviving spouses of a veteran or first responder that died in the line of duty, and certain disabled persons.

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