Leaving a Legacy Through Sportsmanship

Some of the best lessons Terry Schuler ever learned were on the baseball field. They may not have been lessons in batting, or throwing, or fielding, but lessons about life.  These are the lessons that guided Terry through adulthood.  Lessons that were life-changing.  Terry wanted other children to learn those same lessons on the ballfield.  Lessons taught by working with coaches and other players and experiences that helped send him to adulthood successfully.

The Terry Schuler Little League Fund in the Washington County Community Foundation will award one child from each of the seven leagues of baseball and softball, through the Salem Parks and Recreation Department, a Sportsmanship Award at the end of regular season play.

Terry knew not every child could have the best batting average or the highest strikeout percentage; but, he did know that every child could learn a lesson in the dirt of the field. That lesson is how to treat others.

How to Downsize Your Stuff for a Move

Can you offer any helpful tips for downsizing? My husband and I are interested in moving to a condo downtown when we retire, but we need to get rid of a lot of our personal possessions before we can move. We've lived in the same house for almost 35 years and have accumulated tons of stuff.
The process of weeding through a house full of stuff and parting with old possessions can be difficult and overwhelming for many people.
A good place to start the downsizing process is to give your unused possessions away to your kids or grandkids. You can give up to $14,000 per person per year before you're required to file a federal gift tax return, using IRS Form 709. Beyond that, here are a few other tips and services that may help you.

Sell It

Selling your stuff is one way you can downsize and pad your pocketbook at the same time. Some other popular selling options are consignment shops, garage sales and estate sales.
Consignment shops are good for selling old clothing, household furnishings and decorative items. You typically get half of the final sale price. Garage sales are another option, or for large-scale downsizing you could hire an estate sale company to come in and sell your items. Some companies will even pick up your stuff and sell it at their own location - they typically take about 40% of the profits.
Or, if you're willing, online selling at sites like Craigslist, eBay and Amazon are another way to make top dollar for your stuff. Craigslist.org is a huge classified ads site that lets you sell your stuff for free. Note that eBay.com and Amazon.com will take a cut of your sale - roughly 10% to 15%. If you don't want to do the selling yourself, eBay offers a valet service (sellforme.ebay.com) to do it for you, for 20% to 40% of the selling price.

Donate It

If you itemize on your tax returns, donating your belongings is another way to downsize and get a tax deduction. Goodwill (goodwill.org, 800-741-0186) and the Salvation Army (satruck.org, 800-728-7825) are two big charitable organizations that will come to your house and pick up a variety of household items, furnishings and clothing.
If your deduction exceeds $500, you'll need to file Form 8283, "Noncash Charitable Contributions" (irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8283.pdf). You'll also need a receipt from the organization for every batch of items you donate, and will need to create an itemized list of the items you donated. To calculate fair market value for your stuff, use the Salvation Army's donation guide at satruck.org/home/donationvalueguide, or the free program "It's Deductible" at turbotax.intuit.com/personal-taxes/itsdeductible.

Trash It

If you have a lot of junk you want to get rid of, contact your municipal trash service to see if they provide bulk curbside pickup services. Or, depending on where you live, you could hire a company like 1-800-Got-Junk (1800gotjunk.com, 800-468-5865) or Junk-King (junk-king.com, 888-888-5865) to come in and haul it off for a moderate fee.
Another good disposal option is Bagster (thebagster.com, 877-789-2247) by Waste Management. This is a dumpster bag that you purchase for around $30, fill it to a limit of 3,300 pounds and schedule a pickup, which costs an average of $140 but varies by area.

Enlist Help

You can also hire a professional senior move manager (nasmm.org, 877-606-2766) to do the entire job for you. These are organizers who will sort through your stuff and arrange for the disposal through an estate sale, donations or consignment. Or, you can hire a professional organizer through the National Association of Professional Organizers at napo.net. Organizers may charge $30 to $80 per hour or by the project.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

Elder Mediation Can Help Families Resolve Caregiving Conflicts

Are there any services that you know of that help families resolve caregiving conflicts? My mother - who just turned 82 - recently had a stroke, and to make matters worse, my two siblings and I have been perpetually arguing about how to handle her caregiving needs and finances.

It's not unusual for adult children to disagree with each other regarding the care of an elder parent. If your siblings are willing, a good possible solution is to hire an "elder care mediator" who can help you work through your disagreements peacefully. Here's what you need to know.

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The Consequences of Dying Without a Will

What will happen to my money and possessions if I die without a will?

If you die without a will, what happens to your assets will be determined by the state in which you reside. Every state has intestacy laws in place that parcel out property and assets to a deceased person's closest relatives when there's no will or trust. Keep in mind these laws vary from state to state.

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LECS Scholarship Recipient

Grant Newcomb has been named the recipient of a four-year, full tuition scholarship as the Washington County Community Foundation 2016 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar.
Newcomb is a senior at Eastern High School.  Earlier this week, he arrived at the office of the Washington County Community Foundation to perform community service work for the Washington County Youth Foundation, of which he is a member.  Judy Johnson directed Newcomb to work on transferring some information from one database to the other, starting with his biography.  The biography happened to contain one item that Newcomb was not aware of:  2016 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar.

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Booster Shots Recommended for Adults

I just turned 65 and would like to find out what types of vaccinations are recommended to Medicare beneficiaries and how they are covered.

Most people think that vaccinations are just for kids, but adults—especially seniors who tend to have weaker immune systems—need their shots too. Here's a rundown of what vaccines the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend for people 65 and older and how they're covered by Medicare.

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