June 2021 Newsletter

A golf trip to remember

I don’t know what the busy times at your job are like, but tax season really takes it out of me. This year was even crazier than usual since the IRS extended its filing deadline, but not long enough, unlike last year. On the one hand, that was great because…

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Why are celebrities investing in spacs?

This past year, the volatility of the pandemic and independent Reddit-based investors bidding up shares of GameStop has turned Wall Street toward a trend of nontraditional investing and trading — and it continues.

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DIY or Buy?

The warm summer sun may be enough to beckon your family outdoors, but lawn games will guarantee hours of fun outside. If you’re handy, there are plenty of great lawn games you can make yourself. If not, buy an off-the-shelf alternative and enjoy the easy…

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May 2021 Newsletter

There’s a cat in the sink!

If you’ve been reading my newsletters for a while, then you might remember that way back in the summer of 2019 I adopted two cute kittens from Safe Harbor Humane Society. I’d never owned cats before, and I was afraid we might not all get along, but my worries…

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What to do about your home’s ‘energy vampires’

We’ve all been there: You’re hit with an unusually high energy bill and you aren’t sure why. While we expect our energy bills to increase during certain times of the year, we still expect some consistency. When there are unusual bumps, we want to know why. In…

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The bet that spawned the filet-o-fish sandwich

Every day, 68 million people dine under the iconic golden arches of McDonald’s. If you’re one of them, then you’re probably intimately familiar with one of the most famous offerings on the menu after the McRib and the Big Mac: the Filet-O-Fish Sandwich. This…

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April 2021 Newsletter

Confessions of a Not-so-professional Golfer

Two months ago, Tiger Woods lost control of his SUV. It went off the road and rolled over, trapping the famous golfer inside. As soon as the story made the news, it put things in perspective about how fragile life can be, even for a famous person like Tiger.…

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2 Simple Budgeting Strategies You Can Implement Today

Paying off debt and saving money are the building blocks of a healthy financial life, but the statistics are dire: One-third of Americans haven’t saved a single penny for retirement, 38% of households have credit card debt, and 44% don’t have enough cash…

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The Origins Of A Truly American Language: Pennsylvania Dutch

People often assume American culture isn’t as rich as other cultures, but that simply isn’t true. Americans have developed unique values, mannerisms, art, music, and even languages across their diverse nation. One great example of this is Pennsylvania Dutch.…

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March 2021 Newsletter

What Would You Buy With $5.2 Million?

Two months ago, I saw an internet headline that a 1952 Mint 9 Mantle card — a rare baseball card commemorating player Mickey Mantle — had broken a world record. The card sold at an auction on Jan. 13 for a whopping $5.2 ...

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Are Micro-Investing Apps A Good Way To Build Wealth?

To outside observers — and probably quite a few people within — the world of investing is overwhelming. Nevertheless, common wisdom dictates that building investments, whether as part of a retirement plan or for other reasons, is an indisputably good thing,…

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Corn Dogs And Basketball

It’s no coincidence that National Corn Dog Day is March 20 — the third Saturday of the month. This day is traditionally the first Saturday of March Madness, otherwise known as the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. But wait. What do corn dogs and…

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February 2021 Newsletter

How I Reversed A Client’s $48,000 Irs Debt

Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic knocked a lot of us flat on our butts. The financial crash felt like it flipped us — suddenly our feet were in the air and the sky was upside down. Then we crashed back to earth in a heap. If you’ve ever gone head-over-heels…

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Money Scams Are Skyrocketing

For the past year, scammers have been working full time to fleece people. As a result of COVID-19, federal financial relief efforts, and state-level relief efforts, scammers have found a new way to get into their victims’ ...

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It’s In The Cards

This may be the first year in a long time that kids don’t pass out Valentine’s Day cards at school. Going in to the new year, the seasonal section of most stores is lined with cards featuring fun characters from superheroes to unicorns. Handing out cards is…

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January 2021 Newsletter

Keeping It All In The Family

As crazy as it sounds, 2020 was my busiest year ever. Apparently, when people can’t get together at movie theaters, restaurants, or concerts, they decide it’s time to solve their tax problems! It’s been a real honor to help so many of you negotiate with the…

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New Tax Rules For Charitable Contributions In 2020

Many people tackled deep-cleaning projects while spending more time at home last year. If your cleaning spree ended in donating items to a local charity, or if you donated funds to help local organizations supporting pandemic relief, you can look forward to…

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Let That Fresh Air Fuel You

Hunkering down and waiting for the dark and chilly winter season to pass sounds pretty nice. But the reality is, if we deprive ourselves of time outside, we do ourselves a big disservice both mentally and physically. Staying indoors all day affects your…

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December 2020 Newsletter

The Military Vehicle Under The Christmas Tree

How do you feel about skydiving? Some people love the adrenaline rush, but I also know folks who get shaky just thinking about it. When I was a kid, my GI Joe action figures had no choice but to enjoy the ride. They came with little parachutes attached, and I…

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3 Gift-Giving Tips

Ah, the holidays. It’s a time of sweet treats, family, and giving back — and sometimes giving a little too much. When it comes to the perfect holiday gift, many people spend too much money. The average American spends nearly $1,000 on gifts during the…

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Not Just A Corn Cob Pipe And Button Nose

Building a snowman is one of the most picturesque winter activities, which is why snowmen have become a wintertime cultural icon. A snowman appeared on the very first postcards, was the subject of some of the earliest photos, and even starred in silent…

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November 2020 Newsletter

Go Ahead, Make My Day

When I was a kid back in high school, my friends and I were absolutely, totally, and completely obsessed with Clint Eastwood. I can vividly remember our mile-high stack of Spaghetti Western VHS tapes. We watched “A Fistful of Dollars,” “For a Few Dollars…

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Top 5 Healthy Life Hacks To Have An Awesome Morning

Getting your day started with coffee isn't always enough. Sometimes, you need to give yourself an extra boost, especially when you have little energy or trouble focusing. For an awesome start to your day, here are five tips to get you going right off the……

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A Meal For The Changing American Home

Would you believe that Thanksgiving dinner — a meal dedicated to home cooking, family time, and, well, being thankful — was directly responsible for the invention of the TV dinner, the ultimate manifestation of the solitary, processed meal? If you are a…

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October 2020 Newsletter

Paul’s Pizzeria Hit List

Hey there, friends! Did you know that October is National Pizza Month? As soon as I found out, I started making plans to visit all of my favorite pizzerias in the next few weeks. I love pizza, and I feel lucky to live in a town where we have so many Italian…

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How to Budget for and Maximize Your Savings

While saving money is difficult for some and easy for others, we can all agree that doing what we can to put a little money aside can help us in the long term. Here are two ways you can get the most out of your savings. OPEN A HIGH-YIELD SAVINGS ACCOUNT.…

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Spooky City Regulations

Halloween can be a mischievous holiday. The most innocent of us reserve it for backyard parties and trick-or-treating, but some like to get a little rowdier than others. That’s exactly why various city councils across the U.S. have passed some seemingly…

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September 2020 Newsletter

The Tale Of The Forbidden Lawn

In honor of National Grandparents Day on Sept. 13, I relived some memories about my favorite grandparents, Ann and Sylvester, and all of the antics they put up with when I was a kid. As I’m sure you’ve picked up from the last few newsletters, I was a bit of a…

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2 Surprising Ways Artificial Intelligence Protects Your Money And Future

Most people who hear about artificial intelligence (AI) conjure up an image of a robot acting and thinking on its own. However, it’s far more than that. AI systems are used by businesses to identify human behavior patterns and tailor marketing messages.…

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Gardening, Gold, And Photo Shoots

It’s fall, which means social media will soon be saturated with pictures of your friends enjoying “classic” fall activities. Photos of leaf peeping, apple picking, and the occasional scarecrow run rampant. But rather than following the herd, you can make your…

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August 2020 Newsletter

My Loop-the-Loop Addiction

Do you have a habit you know is bad for you, but for whatever reason, you just can’t quit the thrill? I do. I know that sounds bad, but I’m not talking about a smoking addiction or even a stash of Hostess Cupcakes — I’m talking about roller coasters! I’ve…

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Retiring During a Recession

A few months ago, several news sources confirmed what savvy American businesspeople already suspected: The United States is currently in a recession and has been since February 2020. While a recession isn’t good for anyone, it’s especially concerning for…

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Stuck Inside?

Summertime means getting out of the house to enjoy the sunshine and the bright blue sky. But even during this great time of year, you may have to spend some of these precious days inside, not outside. Rather than scrolling through social media or reminiscing…

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July 2020 Newsletter

Fourth of July Is for Fireworks!

You probably wouldn’t guess it just by looking at me, but underneath the suburban dad surface, I’m actually a bit of a pyromaniac, and nothing brings that out quite like the Fourth of July! Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve had a fascination with fireworks.…

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Beware of These Coronavirus Email Scams

While it seems like the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic might be behind us, that doesn’t mean we should let our guard down completely — especially when it comes to internet scams designed to prey on the fear and uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. It’s no…

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What Do Julius Caesar and Buffalo Wings Have in Common?

Most Americans associate July with Independence Day and everything the holiday entails, including traditional barbecue cuisine, fireworks, and summer vacations. However, in addition to the Fourth of July, this midsummer month has a rich history and offers fun…

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June 2020 Newsletter

Remembering When Basketball Was Basketball

Is this going to be a basketball newsletter from now on? Maybe! I’m not going to lie, ever since March Madness was canceled, I’ve had the game on my mind, and four months on, the obsession hasn’t faded. Last month, I talked about all of the things I learned…

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About To Retire?

As you age, it’s wise to make some changes in order to stay healthy, like your diet or your workout routine. Likewise, your portfolio should be adjusted to reduce risk and protect your financial health. After a bad turn in the market, it can take up to a…

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Times The Olympics Were Canceled

In late March, amid the global spread of COVID-19, the International Olympic Committee announced the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games. They were slated to take place in Tokyo, Japan, this summer, but they will now happen in the summer of 2021. While…

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May 2020 Newsletter

Wisdom From The Basketball Court

I don't know about you, but it really put a dent in my spring plans this year when March Madness was canceled. I love watching the games, and even though I know the cancellation was in the best interests of the players and fans, it still bummed me out to have…

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The Pros And Cons Of Buying A Home In A 55-Plus Community

Depending on your wants and needs, buying a home in a 55-plus community might be a financially savvy way to set yourself up for retirement. But is it the right decision for you? Here are a few financial pros and cons associated with moving into ...

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Bird-Watching For Beginners

Bird-watching is like a lifelong scavenger hunt that you can play anywhere on Earth. The activity provides a mixture of science, travel, and beauty, and it's a chance to get outside for feathered adventures and quiet reflection. The month of May is a great…

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April 2020 Newsletter

Remembering Clinton And His Chicky

Easter is coming up this month, and that means it's time to start planning a family dinner with my brothers and sister. Now that our kids are grown up, we make it a point to get together every Easter and share good food and laughter at the same table. It's a…

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Ready To Take Up The Nomadic Lifestyle After Retirement?

You've worked hard for years to arrive at this moment: retirement. Now that you're free of your 9-to-5 job, you have a lot more time for activities you enjoy. That extra time is what leads many people to turn to a nomadic lifestyle after retirement. Touring…

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Do Your Part To Keep America Beautiful

Have you ever walked through a park and seen a plastic bottle or wrapper lying on the ground? If so, did you pick it up and properly dispose of it? You might not have realized it, but in that moment, you took a small step toward keeping your community and, by…

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March 2020 Newsletter

Finding Luck In All The Right Places

Do you believe in luck? With St. Patrick's Day right around the corner, there's been a lot of talk of luck of the Irish floating around, and I've found myself looking back over my life and wondering, Just how much of that ..

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Retire In Style

Even if you've always planned for a comfortable retirement in the United States, choosing to live internationally could be a smart alternative to improve your standard of living in retirement. International Living Magazine Retirement Index has tracked…

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Another Slice of PI(E)

Break out your calculators and grab your aprons because it's almost Pi Day! This holiday has gained popularity among mathematicians and bakers alike two groups that ...

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February 2020 Newsletter

Thank You, Dr. Dyer

This month, we are hopefully looking forward to an early spring! Anyone who has lived in Wisconsin for a period of time knows the winters can beat you up emotionally and physically. Two years ago, I was taking my dog for a walk and slipped on some black ice…

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Give Love, Get Love

Boosting customer retention by any amount can have a huge impact on your revenue. A study conducted by Bain & Company and reported by the Harvard Business Review found that even a 5% increase in retention can boost revenue by 25%-95%. In short, your ability…

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Leap Into 2020

Like the Olympics and presidential elections, leap years only occur once every four years, which is why many people look forward to Feb. 29. But there’s a lot that you might not know ...

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January 2020 Newsletter

My Funny Movie Marathon

Every year when the holidays end, I find myself falling into a bit of a new year’s slump. The cheerful Christmas lights disappear, the days are short, and more often than not, it’s cold, dreary, and dark outside. When all that starts to bring me down,…

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Social Security in 2020

If you're in the appropriate age bracket, Social Security may play a major role in your finances. So, it's important to know how Social Security will be changing ...

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Ctrl, Alt, Delete Your Clutter

Everyone relies on technology. Computers, laptops, tablets, and phones are staples of modern life. However, it’s easy for these devices to become cluttered with old photos, files, and general disorganization. Luckily, January is National Clean Up Your…

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December Newsletter

Sweet Holiday Memories

From the time I was a skinny kid all the way through adulthood, I stuck to my guns on one thing: No one made better desserts than my mom. Her cakes, pies, and cookies were the hallmarks of my childhood, and I appreciated them more over the years as I realized…

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Don’t Get Lost In The Bustle

If you haven’t capitalized on the holiday season for your business’s marketing campaign yet, don’t worry, because you still have time! Even if you’re still a long sleigh ride away from finishing your own holiday to-do list, you can ensure your business…

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Delegate To Elevate

Poor delegation is the Achilles’ heel of most leaders, who often confuse being “involved” with being “essential.” To determine if you’re holding on to work you should delegate out, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) recommends asking this simple question: “If…

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November Newsletter

A Salute To The Mouse

These days Disney is an empire that has made billions and courted controversy, but once upon a time, it was just The Mouse House, home to Mickey and crew and a host of beautifully illustrated cartoons. When I realized that Nov. 18 is Mickey Mouse Day —…

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Get More Bank For Your Buck

Whether you’re banking with a credit union or a national giant, your financial institution likely offers more resources, account options, and saving plans than you’re using — or even ...

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Celebrating Giving Tuesday

November is usually all about Thanksgiving, but it isn’t the only holiday that encourages generosity. Giving Tuesday is a phenomenal celebration in which millions of people from across the globe are inspired to spend 24 hours giving back to ...

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October Newsletter

Goodbye, Golf Season

After spending countless hours nose-to-nose with my computer screen, there’s nothing more revitalizing than stepping out into the fresh air of the golf course. Though the game itself can be frustrating and, at times, cruel and demoralizing, whiling away a few…

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Reignite Your Passion

As entrepreneurs scale their businesses, there is a lot to focus on: hiring the right staff, creating the most effective marketing strategies, and setting up efficient operations. With so much to do, it’s easy to lose sight of your initial vision for your…

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Put Your Best Card Forward

The business card is a nearly ubiquitous way to give your name, position, company, and contact information to potential clients and business partners all over the world. And while the exchange of business cards in the United States does not come with a lot of…

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September Newsletter

Meet Dave Schwartz

I first met Dave Schwartz in 1999 when I was just starting to learn the tools of the tax trade at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. He was a guest lecturer there — Professor Schwartz to me — and when I walked into his Tax 101 class that fall, I had……

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Finding Fulfillment In Your Golden Years

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, upward of 40% of people aged 55 and older are continuing to work past the normal retirement age. There are a number of reasons why people are choosing to stay employed, with one of the biggest being a lack of…

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The 4-Legged Heroes Of Ground Zero

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the…

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August Newsletter

From Golf, To Trucking, To Taxes

Though I was born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin, just a few miles from where Francetic Tax Resolution now operates, my journey to becoming the entrepreneur I am today took me far from home. It all started with a trip to San Jose, California, after my high…

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File Your Tax Return No Matter What

If you're familiar with the stomach-churning realization that you owe the government a significant amount for taxes this year, you're not alone. We've all been there at some point. But even if the amount you owe is intimidatingly large, take this piece of…

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School’s Back!

As you load up the family for some final summertime adventures, preparing for the upcoming school year is likely one of the last things on your mind. Instead of shopping for school supplies, your main focus might be finding the best place to position your…

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