Your Family Name

What is the most valuable thing you own? Is it your house, a car, or maybe that boat you saved for?

Some things are just more important than any of those material items. My parents gave me this poem when I was just a kid. I cherished that plaque and still keep it in a safe place these many years later. I hope you’ll agree that this gift is among your most valuable.

 

Your Family Name – by Nelle A. Williams

You got it from your father
It was all he had to give
So it’s yours to use and cherish
For as long as you may live

If you lost the watch he gave you
It can always be replaced
But a black mark on your name
Can never be erased

It was clean the day you took it
And a worthy name to bear
When he got it from his father
There was no dishonor there

So make sure you guard it wisely
After all is said and done
You’ll be glad the name is spotless
When you give it to your son

I cherish the plaque with this poem. Thank you Mom and Dad for sharing this with me. I am proud of the Bellomo name and what it means.

Jeffrey Bellomo

Wall Street

Every evening, many of us settle into an easy chair to watch the news. The anchor usually ends her or his report by telling us how Wall Street did today. Did you ever wonder what and where Wall Street is, and what is the difference between the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Standard and Poor 500 Index and the NASDAQ Composite?

Wall Street is a street in lower Manhattan in New York City which houses many financial institutions including, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), investment banks, stockbrokers and traders. It was named Wall Street in the 17th century after the Dutch built an actual 12 foot high wall to protect the city from pirates and other invaders. The area around the wall became known as Wall Street. The Street runs the width of Manhattan from the East River to the Hudson River. The wall was dismantled in 1699, but the name Wall Street stuck. It is now recognized as the epicenter of the city’s Financial District.   

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange. It was named after its originators Charles Dow and Edward Jones in 1896. Companies like General Electric, the Walt Disney Company, Exxon Mobile, and Microsoft are now in the Dow. When people say the stock market is up today, they are probably talking about the Dow Jones Industrial Average.    

The Standard and Poor (S&P) 500 Index is a larger index which measures the value of 500 companies, rather than the 30 in the Dow Jones. Companies that trade on the New York Stock Exchange or the NASDAQ are in the S&P 500. Institutional investors seem to prefer using the S&P 500 Index to make investment decisions because of its greater depth and breadth. Companies like 3M, Abbott Laboratories, Aetna Inc., and Apple Inc are represented in the S&P 500.    

The NASDAQ Composite, launched in 1971, is an average of 100 stocks listed on the American Stock Exchange, also located in New York City. The American Stock Exchange is the second largest stock exchange in the world behind the New York Stock Exchange. Companies in the American Stock Exchange and represented in the NASDAQ Composite are often information and technology-oriented companies. Companies like Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Flowers.com, Erie Indemnity Company, and First Trust Nasdaq Retail are companies in the NASDAQ Composite. 

The purpose of these averages, indexes and composites is to give investors a gauge to measure growth of the market. So, by knowing the value of an average today, you can tell if the average value went up or down from yesterday or a year ago. Remember the old adage, buy low and sell high? That’s how you can tell.    

So, the next time your news anchor mentions how Wall Street is doing, you can think, “ I get it!”

Jeffrey Bellomo, Esq.

Veterans’ Benefits

Thank you to all Veterans for your service. Words cannot adequately express our gratitude to anybody who has served or is serving in our military.

There are a few possible benefits to which veterans are entitled through the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA), and the York County Department of Veteran’s Affairs office is an amazing resource. Terry Gengdron and his team are more than willing and able to assist you with all of the benefits available to veterans. They take their jobs very seriously; I am honored to call them my friends, and can’t thank them enough for the service that they do for veterans.

One benefit that we elder law attorneys typically see more than some of the others is the Aid & Attendance benefit, which is available to all veterans who served at least 90 days, one day of which was during active war time, or the surviving spouse of such veteran. The veteran did not have to serve in a combat zone, just have been in the service during the specified periods of war.

There is also an income test, which basically provides that the veteran’s income must be less than the cost they are paying for their care. The final test is an asset test, the basic rule for which is that the assets cannot exceed $80,000 although there are a number of other factors that go into the calculation.  

The amount of a benefit to a veteran is approximately $2200 a month, and the amount to a surviving spouse is about $1100 a month. While these amounts are not huge, they can be very helpful at a time when a veteran needs assistance with in-home care or care at a personal care or assisted living facility or a nursing home. This benefit can help offset some costs of care, and help the veteran breathe a little easier. Veterans are incredible people who have made great sacrifices in defense of our country, and this benefit is just a small way to help repay that service. If you are a veteran and you are starting to get to a point in your life where you are needing assistance, whether it is in the home or in one of those other facilities please contact the VA to learn more.

The full details of these benefits can easily be found on the internet, as well as by contacting the York County Department of Veteran’s Affairs at 28 East Market Street in York, Pennsylvania. We also provide a good bit of information about these benefits at our workshops which we offer weekly at Bellomo and Associates. Our workshop schedule is on our website, or you can call us at 717-845-5390.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your Veterans’ Benefits, consider filling our our simple form here and we’ll be in touch.