On Tuesday, January 19th, a member named Bobby and his co-presenter Dave, offered us with some useful information that everyone should be aware of.
Overall, it was an excellent presentation, which covered how inheritances impact SSI and SSD recipients. I found the presentation to be interesting and informative.
Inheritances, for the most part, are non-consequential for SSD recipients. SSI recipients, however, must pay the inheritance to the state to preserve their benefits. Otherwise, their benefits are lost.
The presentation also covered the payment of estate and inheritance taxes. Estate taxes (Federal and State) are paid by the estate and not the beneficiaries. Inheritance tax (State) is paid by the estate and not the beneficiary. There is no tax consequence to a recipient of an estate inheritance.
It was a new revelation to me that SSI recipients must pay the inheritance to the State in order to preserve their benefits. One way around this is to form a trust, where the trust becomes the recipient of the inheritance.
For those who may not be familiar with SSI and SSD in regards of inheritance, I would recommend doing further research to have a better understanding of this topic.
Shore House has always encouraged members to discover and pursue their professional goals, whatever they may be. Several of us have artistic aspirations. To that end, Shore House hosts the Art of Recovery, our annual member art show. Our Clubhouse also makes us aware of other opportunities to exhibit and sell our work throughout the year, such as at the Canterbury Art Show and BelmarArts.
Shore House also has open studio as a social program. Open studio began when a local artist named Harriet came to work with us. She shared her knowledge with us and encouraged us to be non-judgmental about our work. She has since had to move on, so the members of Shore House decided to hold open studio and share our skills and knowledge with each other. This spirit of community is what our Clubhouse is all about.
In fact, during the month of February, we will be showing our work in an exhibit called “Art of a Community.” Of course, this is a wonderful opportunity for the artists involved, but the exhibit also generates work for our Clubhouse. For example, contracts, title cards, and price lists must be made; art must be matted and framed; and work must be cataloged.
From the standpoint of featured artists, we can say that we are grateful for every chance to have our artwork displayed. With every sale we move closer to our goals of becoming self-sufficient professional artists. Many of us have sold pieces at the Art of Recovery and other shows. This not only benefits us financially, but increases our self-esteem and confidence.
Please come to see “Art of a Community” this February at New Jersey Natural Gas on Wyckoff Road in Wall Township or visit ShoreHouseNJ.org.
by Sherone Rogers and Kerri Zeblisky
As part of our Lunch and Learn series, we were treated to the Eat Well, Live Well, Be Well presentation by Traci Burton, Program Manager of the Disability Health and Wellness Initiative through the Department of Human Services. This program was created to encourage individuals with disabilities to be proactive in their healthcare. In taking on a healthier lifestyle, ones overall health and wellness can improve and possibly prevent the onset of secondary conditions, such as osteoporosis, heart disease and asthma. Roughly 1 in 5 people have a disability, which translates to 50 million people. People with disabilities are more integrated in today’s society than ever before. This makes equal access to healthcare more important than ever before.
Traci made a yummy lentil salad, included many pearls of wisdom, and information concerning nutrition and health eating as she cooked. The one that made the biggest impression on me was the act of trying something new. In order to like it, you needed to try it 17 times. In today’s face paced society, where we suffer from time poverty, 17 times might as well be 17 million times, 17 trillion.
Here are some fast facts (no pun intended) to show how we have sped up of the last three decades.
Slowing down will help you lose weight: Yes, really. Eating your food slowly rather than gobbling it down gives your stomach the 20 minutes it needs to signal your brain that it is full, making it easy to eat more calories than you need. In addition, postponing a meal to finish that one last thing slows calorie burn. If your body cannot predict the timing of its next meal, it is more likely to store calories as fat as protection against starvation.
Slowing down boosts your energy: Living at a fast pace, rushing from one thing to another leads you to breathe in shallow, stressed gulps. This in turn deprives the brain and body of sufficient oxygen, which is a key source of energy. The result is constant exhaustion and anxiety.
Slowing down keeps you safer on the roads: The leading cause of death in women under 35 is accidents, as in car accidents. One third of all fatal crashes are due to speeding. Driving over 69 mph more than doubles your risk of a fatal car accident so slow down!
Slowing down makes you fitter: More and faster crunches and curls aren't the key to greater strength, endurance, or calorie burning. Women who did resistance-training two to three times per week using a super slow protocol had a 50 percent greater increase in strength after eight weeks compared with those who pumped iron at the normal, faster pace.
I hope you take this into consideration and practice slowing down in this face paced society in order to benefit your health!
New Beginnings: Awaken the Giant Within
Around New Year’s Day is a time when many people adopt “resolutions” and promise to themselves that they will start a new beginning in one or more areas of their lives. These New Year’s resolutions set goals to be achieved over the course of the new year; goals can alternatively be termed decisions to change. Indeed, a “resolution” can be defined as “a firm decision to do or not to do something”.
Many psychological and personal development authors have written and spoken about the power of decisions to change people’s lives. Many people settle for being less than they can be, but in the moment of decision, the decision to change, the situation is altered.
Tony Robbins, a motivational speaker, calls decisions “the pathway to power”, and says, “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped” because the predecessor to all action is decision. Yet many people might resist hearing this, perhaps being influenced by events in the past where they promised to change and felt full of zeal, only to break their promise when their feelings changed. But this merely raises the question—what, exactly, is a decision? A decision is not a preference; if something is adopted as a plan when things seem easy, or at a time of year when it is customary to promise change, but it is abandoned when some form of hard work is required—or if it is just something that the person would like, but they have no plan and do not commit to immediate action, then that is only a preference, not a decision. Tony Robbins stresses this point, saying that making a decision means “cutting off any other possibility” in your mind—if you “decide” to do something, but you anticipate failure, then you are setting yourself up for failure, and have not made a true decision. A real decision requires action to take place to make it real. If no new action is put in place, no decision has actually been made. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be flexible in your execution of your plans as you discover what works and what doesn’t work, but it does mean that every true decision ignites action; decisions make things happen.
Mr. Robbins outlines a four-step process that making decisions creates. Step 1: clearly decide what you want and what you do not want. Step 2: take action—don’t doubt yourself. Step 3: notice what works and what doesn’t work. Step 4: make changes based on what you’ve learned. Basically, as long as you make decisions that spark action, you’ve started a learning process that will take you closer to your goals.
In the CD audiobook adaption of his work, Awaken the Giant Within, Tony Robbins provides examples of different individuals who accomplished great things after becoming committed to take action to manifest their decision. From my own reading I provide the following example: there was once a woman named Becky who was in severe financial difficulties, living beyond her means and getting into debt, who finally decided that she couldn’t continue the way she was living, and needed change.
So she took Step 1—and clearly decided that she needed to get out of debt. Step 2, she took action. She decided that if she could save money she could get out of debt, and that she could save money by cooking home-made food instead of ordering take-out. (Or, as they say in her native Britain, “take away”.) Step 3 she noticed whether or not her plan was working. Unfortunately, her first plan was not successful.
Because she didn’t have enough pots and pans or other cooking supplies, buying these supplies cost her more money than she anticipated, and since she had little experience cooking, she often ended up burning the food. But that wasn’t the end, it merely led to Step 4—make changes based on what you’ve learned. Instead of trying to cut back on her expenses, she decided to try to make more money.
The initial problem was that even though she had a job, it wasn’t fulfilling for her, and she wasn’t very good at it. She worked as a financial consultant, but often found herself bogged down by the complex financial terminology used by her colleagues, a situation that she tried to cope with by skipping out of work whenever she felt like she could get away with it. But then she realized that the public didn’t like trying to unravel economic jargon either, and that if she learned to explain things in a more user-friendly way she could get promoted and earn more money—and this is indeed exactly what happened.
It didn’t matter in the end that her first plan didn’t work—it mattered that she was committed to her decision, and led by that commitment into action. This is a point that Tony Robbins emphasizes, that people shouldn’t be afraid of making decisions—rather they should make decisions all the time and constantly strive to learn from them.
And that’s good advice to follow, no matter what time of year it is.
Blog posts are written by Shore House members and staff.