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Guest Commentary

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William Peterson
1 week ago

IRAs and other types of retire­ment accounts are perceived by many people as pretty simple plans. But, as we have discussed in the past, there are many complexities to IRAs that can cause big problems. When it comes to inheriting an IRA, the rules and guidelines are more complicated than most people realize. Without the proper understanding, an IRA inheritance could spell disaster.

It is not unusual for IRA heirs to not know about or misunder­stand some key rules and guide­lines. A wrong move can often cause much of the inherited...

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Copyright © 2014 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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David Sayen
1 week ago

You may not realize it, but there are actually two ways to receive your Medicare benefits.

The best-known way is Original Medicare. With Original Medicare, you can choose any doctor, hospital or other healthcare provider you want, as long as they accept Medicare. When you receive medical services or goods, Medicare pays the provider directly.

The other way is Medicare Advantage, which is a form of managed care, like an HMO or PPO. Medicare Advantage is provided by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. If you’re in...

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Mark Belden
1 week ago

Why don’t all of you come to my party. It will be efficient, fair and one that everyone can join. This party will be different than the parties you are used to. Our party-goers don’t harbor special interests, base most of their beliefs on their political party ideology, religious beliefs, feel entitled or join because there is some financial gain to be had.

Like birthday parties, Christmas parties and other get-togethers, we celebrate what we all have in common, not what we don’t. Collectively, we have fun, put aside our very...

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Via Press Release
2 weeks ago

At the Department of Veterans Affairs, we have one of the most noble and inspiring missions in government. I accepted this job and joined this mission to better serve you — our Veterans — and improve the delivery of the care and benefits you have earned. It is our privilege to serve you, and I have made clear that as we move forward as a Department, we will judge the success of all our efforts against a single metric — the outcomes we provide for Veterans.

The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, enacted less...

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William Peterson
2 weeks ago

“Hi Bill. Recently, on your radio show, you mentioned something about special favorable tax treatment for employer stock held inside of a retirement plan. I am retiring this year, at the age of 67, and part of the investments inside my 401(k) plan is employer stock. Can you explain what this special tax treatment is and how I can take advantage of it? Thank you. Larry.”

Hi, Larry. Congratulations on your upcoming retirement. Your question is a very good one that is on a tremendously valuable, but not well-known, tax strategy. What...

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William Peterson
3 weeks ago

It is Halloween week, the time of year for scary stories, haunts, fears and illusions. Fortunately, all of these things are just make-believe for just a few days each year. Unfortunately though, there are many scary issues going on in the economic, retirement, tax and investment world right now that are not make-believe, and many people are fearing the worst and are downright worried. Are you scared?

Last week, I addressed the trick-and-treat part of the Halloween season by writing about some financial tools, where we can use some...

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Ron Smylie
3 weeks ago

I am writing this in response to Jack Brotherton’s Letter to the Editor of October 24, 2014. Mr. Brotherton would like the citizens of Ione to believe that only two candidates are capable and talented or care enough to hold the position of city council. With his statements, he totally disrespects the people of Ione.

In regards to the Voter Pamphlets’ candidate statements, Mr. Brotherton neglects to inform you, the readers, that there is a $300 fee attached. There is also quite an expense for mailers, door hangers, signs and...

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Dan Traxler
10/23/2014 11:55 AM

Letter to the Editor, from Dan Traxler

In the past year, many more people have been able to receive health insurance due to the Affordable Care Act. This article is not about whether or not this is a good or bad thing. That is for another discussion. This article concerns the consequences that are now faced on the Federal Income Tax side.

If you are one of those that has been enrolled in the ACA through Covered California or through the Federal website and have been able to have your monthly payment of premiums reduced by...

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David Sayen
10/16/2014 11:07 AM

Medicare’s annual open enrollment season is underway, and I want to encourage everyone with Medicare to review their current health and prescription drug coverage.

Open enrollment began October 15 and runs through December 7. If you want to change your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan, this is the time of year to do it. Any new coverage you select will take effect January 1, 2015.

If you have Original (traditional) Medicare and you’re satisfied with it, you don’t need to do anything during open...

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Mark Gebhardt
10/09/2014 1:06 PM
It is high time someone exposed the inflammatory deceptions and half-truths being spread by Sondra West-Moore about the proposed Newman Ridge Project, west of Ione. I have no relation with the proponents of the quarry and industrial center. My sole interest is in the welfare of the county and the people who live in and around Ione. I attended the court hearing in 2013 that Ms. West-Moore claims she won. I have read her factually challenged diatribes in the Ledger Dispatch that go under the guise of “press releases.” I have heard her... [Read more]
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Kelly Trottier
10/09/2014 12:58 PM

The recent tragic suicide of actor-comedian Robin Williams turned the spotlight on many issues surrounding major depression. People asked, “How could someone who has everything commit suicide?” Depression is only one of the many acute brain disorders that should be treated exactly the same as other long-term illness, such as diabetes, epilepsy and heart disease.

Mental illness takes no prisoners and knows no boundaries. Mental illnesses are brain disorders that can affect anyone. They can cross all the socio-economic strata....

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Martin Ryan
10/02/2014 4:06 PM

Law enforcement, business leaders and crime victim advocates are united in their opposition to Proposition 47, a dangerous initiative that will endanger all Californians.

Prop 47 presents a classic bait and switch that lures voters in by the promise of creating safe neighborhoods and schools, while in reality exposing Californians to significant harm by making 10,000 felons eligible for early release. According to an independent analysis, the vast majority of these felons have violent criminal histories for crimes such as armed...

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George Runner
10/02/2014 4:05 PM

If you recently purchased a car from a private party, you may have paid too much tax to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. I’ve been hearing complaints from constituents that DMV charged them a higher city tax rate when they don’t actually live within city boundaries. These constituents were forced to jump through hoops to prove they didn’t owe the higher tax. As their elected representative, I was happy to assist them in obtaining refunds, but DMV should have never overcharged them in the first place.

What’s worse is...

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Jerry Trottier
09/25/2014 12:36 PM

This year, more men are forecast to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than women are predicted to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Men have a higher death rate from prostate cancer than women from breast cancer. In the average American family, the husband has a greater risk of developing prostate cancer than the wife has of developing breast cancer.

Prostate cancer in men is the most diagnosed, second only to non-fatal skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, behind only lung cancer. The American Cancer...

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David Sayen
09/18/2014 1:26 PM

As a person with Medicare, do you have any rights and protections? You certainly do!

You have rights whether you’re enrolled in Original Medicare — in which you can choose any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare — or Medicare Advantage, in which you get care within a network of health care providers.

Your rights guarantee that you get the health services the law says you can get, protect you against unethical practices, and ensure the privacy of your personal and medical information. You have the right to be treated with...

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Bethany Anne Renfree
09/18/2014 1:25 PM

Editor’s note: guest commentary writer Renfree’s daughter attends high school in Amador County, where two recent incidents involving her school’s dress code policy resulted in the loss of class time for the college prep student.

Our daughters have disruptive bodies. Their hazardous midriffs and dangerous cleavage threaten the well-being of everyone around them. In a country where one in five high school girls is a victim of physical and/or sexual abuse by a dating partner (U.S. Department of Justice); in a public school system...

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Craig Burman
09/18/2014 1:13 PM

Guest Commentary on Dollar General, planned to be built in Pine Grove

My initial response when I heard Dollar General was coming to Pine Grove was, “This is not Appalachia and we don’t need a billboard for poverty hurting the saleability of our homes and further depressing housing values.” Now that I have been doing some research, I’ve found that there are many more aspects to the problems this company brings.

Rather than just relying on Wikipedia for information, I decided to visit a couple of DG stores — one in North...

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Terry Sanders
09/11/2014 12:52 PM

Family caregivers provide crucial support in caring for our Nation’s Veterans by allowing them to stay in the homes and communities they defended, surrounded by the loved ones they fought for. Caregivers in a home environment can enhance the health and well-being of Veterans under VA care. The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers allows VA to provide additional supports and services to family caregivers of eligible Veterans injured in the line of duty.

In order to be eligible, the Veteran must have incurred...

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Mark Belden
09/11/2014 12:27 PM

I have been on both sides of an election, as a candidate for supervisor in my county of residence, Calaveras (1992), and for the California Assembly 5th District (2012). I have voted in almost every election since the age of 18 here in California, Maryland and New York. Whether you’re a candidate or a constituent, I can tell you the system is not effective unless voters fully understand their own political ideology, the initiatives or the candidates’ platforms and actually participate in the election process.

The first (and, in my...

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Mark Bennett
09/04/2014 11:02 AM
Dollar General was started as the depression ended in a little town in Tennessee by several individuals. They risked everything they had, which wasn’t very much, to create stores that gave ordinary people the best quality at the lowest prices. To this day, they uphold their origins by operating with lower profit margins than their competitors. When greeting cards were vastly overpriced, with few suppliers, Dollar General searched until they found a provider with prices more related to the cost of production than the preservation of a... [Read more]
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