A Decision Not Made is Still a Decision
In This Issue
Investment inaction is played out in many ways, often silently, invisibly, and with potential consequence to an individual's future financial security.
Let's review some of the forms this takes.
Your workplace retirement plan. The worst non-decision is the failure to enroll. Not only do non-participants sacrifice one of the best ways to save for their eventual retirement, but they also forfeit the money from any matching contributions their employer may offer. Not participating may be one of the most costly non-decisions one can make.
The other way individuals let indecision get the best of them is by not selecting the investments for the contributions they make to the workplace retirement plan. When a participant fails to make an investment selection, the plan may have provisions for automatically investing that money. And that investment selection may not be consistent with the individual's time horizon, risk tolerance, and goals.
Distributions from workplace retirement plans and most other employer-sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income, and if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 70½, you must begin taking required minimum distributions. The 10% early withdrawal penalty may be avoided in the event of death or disability.
Non-retirement plan investments. For homeowners, "stuff" just seems to accumulate over time. The same may be true for investors. Some buy investments based on articles they have read or on a recommendation from a family member. Others may have investments held in a previous employer's workplace retirement plan.
Over time, they can end up with a collection of investments that may have no connection to their investment objectives. Because the markets are dynamic, an investment that may have made good sense yesterday might no longer make sense today.
By periodically reviewing what they own, investors can determine whether their portfolio reflects their current investment objectives. If they find discrepancies, they are able to make changes that could positively affect their financial future.
Whatever your situation, your retirement investments require careful attention and benefit from deliberate, thoughtful decision making. Your retired self will one day be grateful that you invested the necessary time to make wise decisions today.

"You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it."

-Margaret Thatcher
East Coast Crab Cakes

Serves 6


Crab Cakes
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 to 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup celery, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. lump crab meat
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Canola oil (use enough to cook the crab cakes)

Tartar Sauce
  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1½ Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. red onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. lemon juice 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Crab Cakes
  1. Use a baking sheet and line with aluminum foil.

  2. Make the crab cake mix by combining the eggs, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, Old Bay seasoning, salt, celery, and parsley in a large bowl, and mix well.

  3. Before you add the crab meat, inspect it for any shells or sharp bits, then combine into the mixture. Add the crab meat and panko with a rubber spatula; gently fold the mixture as to not to shred the crab meat. Mix just until the ingredients come together - be sure that you don't overwork the mixture.
  4. Shape the crab mixture into 6 crab cakes (each about ½ cup) and place on the prepared baking sheet. Allow the cakes to set in the refrigerator for an hour.
  5. Bring a large nonstick pan to medium heat and add canola oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cakes and cook each side until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Be careful as oil may splatter. Season the cakes with salt right when they come out of the pan and serve right away with tartar sauce and a squeeze of lemon.

Tartar Sauce
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until it comes together. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
Recipe adapted from Once Upon a Chef[1]

Penalty Relief

If you make a mistake on your income taxes, you may receive a penalty from the IRS. In some circumstances, the IRS can provide relief from certain penalties, such as:
  • Failing to file a tax return

  • Failing to pay on time

  • Failing to deposit certain taxes as required
Types of penalty relief offered by the IRS:
Reasonable Cause
If you can show that you tried to meet your obligations, but didn't succeed in doing so, you may be forgiven. Some circumstances would be a house fire, a natural disaster, or a death in the family.
Administrative Waiver and First-Time Penalty Abatement
Relief may be possible if you:
  • Didn't previously have to file a return or had no penalties for the three years prior to the IRS assessed penalty.
  • Filed all currently required returns or filed an extension of time to file.

  • Paid or arranged to pay any tax due.
Statutory Exception
It's possible you've received incorrect written advice from the IRS, which may result in an exception.
*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]
Bend the Ball

If you find yourself close enough to a tree or water hazard that you need to curve the ball around it, a good setup is essential.

Begin by pointing your feet, knees, and shoulders where you want your ball to start. Typically, this will be pointing slightly away from the obstacle.
Then, aim the face of your club where you want your ball to land. Finally, swing along the line of your body and watch the ball curve around the obstacle to end up at the target.
Don't try and aim the ball with your arms; instead, use the line of your body to guide the swing.

Tip adapted from Golf Tips Magazine [3]

Unplug to a New Activity

Constantly being wired up, plugged in, and online can actually cause stress. It can also be hard to put down your smartphone or similar device. By doing so, you might be missing out on time spent cultivating other interests and participating in other activities that can enrich you, relax you, and help you to be more mindful and present. Here are a few ideas:
Get outside and get some steps in. Walking and fresh air can work wonders on regrouping and resetting to an unplugged state. You can start in your own neighborhood or visit a local park or beach.
Take a staycation. Explore your town as if you were visiting. There may be some hidden gems like restaurants or museums you never knew existed.
Class is in session. Take a class in something you're interested in, like art, music, history, or literature. Many cities have community colleges and adult education programs.
Read. Read a book. Real paper, with words, a spine, and covers. Make an outing of going to the bookstore to see what's out there, and pick up a book, magazine, or journal.

Tip adapted from HuffPost [4]

I'll Bet You Didn't Know You Could Recycle This

Recycling. It can get so complicated. Who's to know what will be recycled and what will end up in a landfill? Well, this list of items that you probably haven't considered can actually be recycled. Check it out:
  1. Cigarette Butts. TerraCycle, a firm that specializes in recycling difficult items, can separate out the tobacco, paper, and plastic. The tobacco and paper are composted, while the filter is converted to pellets for resale.

  2. Toilets. If you like to walk and drive, chances are you're doing it on a recycled toilet. Sidewalks and roads are constructed of a mixture that includes recycled porcelain and other fixtures.

  3. Wine corks. Your corks can be recycled and repurposed into shoes and other items. The organization ReCORK just may have a drop off location in your area. Check their website at https://recork.com/. 

Tip adapted from Mic[5]

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[1] www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/maryland-crab-cakes-with-quick-tartar-sauce.html

[2] www.irs.gov/newsroom/heres-what-taxpayers-should-know-about-penalty-relief

[3] www.youtube.com/watch?list=UUPLAYER_GolfTipsMag&v=R5RzutKGLtM

[4] www.huffpost.com/entry/unplug-from-technology_n_2762116

[5] www.mic.com/articles/190389/how-to-use-less-plastic-in-your-everyday-life

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