In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 14, 2014 / 14 Nissan, 5774

Gifts properly given are no concern of the IRS; more

By Bruce Williams

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | DEAR BRUCE: A lawyer told me the IRS no longer looks back on gifts to children. Is this true? I value your opinion. -- Jim, via email

DEAR JIM: I am not sure why you are asking me about the IRS. Once a gift has been made appropriately, the IRS is out of it.

Look-backs are important when money is given to children and then some type of aid is collected, usually from Medicaid. When public benefits are paid to a person who has given money away, upon that person's demise, the state may look to the receivers of the money and ask that the money be returned, at least as far as the receivers are able to return what was advanced during the individual's lifetime.

In other words, if the money was clearly given to avoid paying the person's bills, and it was given within the statutory look-back period, the state may come after the person's estate.

There may be some reason the IRS at one time would be interested, but I can see no legitimate reason. If the money is given up to the limits allowed, that's the end of the story, assuming the look-back requirement is satisfied.

DEAR BRUCE: I have an account with Edward Jones worth almost $136,000. I take out $400 a month. They charge me a fee of $31 to $145 a month. My account representative keeps telling me I am making 6 percent annually. Is this a smart investment? -- John, via email

DEAR JOHN: It would seem to me that $31 a month is not unreasonable, but $145 seems a bit high. You say you are being told that you are making 6 percent annually. Is that net after expenses? If you are actually walking away with $8,000, it's not bad in today's world. On the other side of that, if it's 6 percent less somewhere between $400 and $1,600 a year, that's not so good.

There is certainly no reason you shouldn't be shopping around to see if you can do better. Always take into account the fees. It is oftentimes a wonderful thing to be told you are earning a healthy percentage, but if you don't take into account the cost of this earning, it is at best misleading.

DEAR BRUCE: How and when can Medicare claim the recipient owes them? -- S.L., via email

DEAR S.L.: Generally speaking, it would depend on the efficiency practiced in the state the recipient is living in, and that can be anywhere from a couple of months to a year. As long as the house is transferred to your name, it is yours, but if the state feels it is owed money from Medicaid (Medicaid, not Medicare, as you asked), it can move against the house and sell it to recover as much as possible. If the recipient is using only Medicare, I can't think of any reason anyone would come after you.

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(Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.) Interested in buying or selling a house? Let Bruce Williams' "House Smart" be your guide. (Sales of the book help fund JWR).

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