Monday, September 26, 2016

Gene Therapy Research Supported by the Foundation Fighting Blindness

Watch this video which describes the important research supported by The Foundation Fighting Blindness, where Louis Kreisberg is the CEO. Through the developing techniques of gene therapy, the hope to cure disease and end blindness can be realized.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Grandparents and Planning for College

Over the past ten years saving for college has become much more of a priority for families, therefore planning for this expense is on the rise. In addition, as the price of a college education continues to soar, so does the need to plan accordingly.

Today about 72 percent of American families are saving for their children’s education. That is an increase of 24 percent since back in 2007, the first time Fidelity Investments published its College Savings Indicator Study. Also, about 41 percent of families save in a dedicated college savings account like a 529 plan. That is over a 62 percent increase over the last ten years ago.

The strong desire to see children go to college has not been supported by grandparents who are high net-worth individuals. According to Fidelity’s 2016 study, only about 40 percent of high net-worth grandparents are contributing to the college savings plan of their grandchildren, even though they have stated that they are willing to support the endeavor when the time arrives.

When high net-worth grandparents help out with their grandchildren’s college education it can mean the grandchildren can graduate with less debt, and/or start saving for retirement sooner.

“It’s not surprising to learn that the majority of grandparents have yet to discuss college gifting with their children or grandchildren, despite both a strong desire and the financial ability to assist with higher education,” said Chris McDermott, senior vice president, Private Wealth Management at Fidelity Investments. “These conversations can be challenging on a number of levels, both from a relationship perspective as well as a financial and tax planning perspective.”

Monday, September 12, 2016

New Research on the Effect of Internal Astigmatism

Chart courtesy of BruceBlaus
In those people who have myopia (are nearsighted), their lens does not compensate for growth of the eye, or other changes in the eye’s structure. That is the determination of a long-term follow-up study which appeared in the September issue of Optometry and Vision Science.

This study helps to clarify whether and/or how the lens, or other eye structures change as a response to focusing abnormalities, particularly abnormalities caused by the irregular shape of the eye, known as astigmatism.

The study, reported by the Foundation Fighting Blindness, where Louis Kreisberg is the CEO, examined 367 people with myopia over 14 years. During that time the subjects’ eye structures were carefully measured and assessed for focusing error. This data was compared to one-time measurements in a matched group of 204 subjects without myopia.

The researchers were looking for any changes in the “internal astigmatism” of the eye over time.
"Clarity of vision is determined by the precise shape of the eye and coordination of several optical components that must all be perfectly balanced to provide proper focus. A longstanding question is how the eye adapts and controls its shape to deliver correct focus as it grows from birth to adult dimensions," explained the editor-in-chief of Optometry and Vision Science, Michael Twa, OD, PhD.
Although the new study does not explain the sources of internal astigmatism, the data does not support the theory that the lens plays any active role in compensating for astigmatic defocus of the eye.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Estate Planning Basics: A Will and Updated Beneficiaries

The last Will and Testament of C.F.Beyer 1872/1876:Courtesy of Bradshaw79
The most important part of estate planning is having a will, say experts like Louis Kreisberg, Principal, Pioneer Wealth Partners. Unfortunately, over 50 percent of Americans die without one, resulting in leaving it up to a state court to decide how to distribute any assets you may have accumulated over your lifetime. If you have children, who cares for them will also be left up to the state courts.

If you have a desire to leave your assets to someone who is not your closest blood relative, or to an organization you support, the courts will not know, and your will not be done.
"Everyone should have a will," says one expert. "It allows assets to go to beneficiaries you name. And if you have children who are minors, it names a guardian, which is extremely important."
Another key aspect of estate planning is keeping the beneficiaries on your individual retirement accounts, 401(k) plans and life insurance policies up to date. Your bank accounts should also have a designated beneficiary.
"As people go through different milestones in life, they need to change their beneficiaries. If you had your parents listed and then you get married, those assets go to your parents. The beneficiary trumps any other estate planning you do."