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WPT-R Wonderlic Personnel Test

The full version of the Wonderlic Personnel test is a timed 12-minute test made up of 50 questions.

Youll take this test on-site and under supervision. In some cases youll have already taken the WPT-Q to qualify yourself for the interview.

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Instead, there are a series of different Wonderlic tests. The most common one is the Wonderlic Personnel Test, which is also called the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability test. When you hear someone talk generally about “The Wonderlic Test” (and that probably happens most during NFL draft season), this is the test theyre talking about.



Algebraic Word Problems



Ratios & Rates


Spatial Reasoning

Deductive Reasoning

3D Shapes

Pattern Recognition

Verbal Reasoning


Finding Exceptions

Sentence ordering



General Knowledge

Finding errors/duplicates

Date recognition

Decimal number ordering

Graphs and data plotting


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Wonderlic Personnel Test
Question: 177
How long will it take for Rons $37,353 investment to double if he expects 9%
A. 5 years
B. 8 years
C. 9 years
D. 9.5 years
E. 10 years
Answer: D
To calculate this answer mentally, use the Rule of 72. Divide 72 by the rate of
growth. In this example, Rons money would double in 8 years (72/9). The rule of
72 is a quick mental calculation tool that provides an estimate of how long it
would take an investment to grow double. Key Takeaway: For a few days,
practice this every time you see a growth rate in the news paper or at work.
Question: 178
If the speed of a car is 200 km per hour, how may minutes does it take to travel 60
A. 3 1/3 hours
B. 20 minutes
C. 18 minutes
D. 22 minutes
E. 24 minutes
Answer: C
18 minutes. The quickest way to do this problem is to divde 60 by 200. You can
quickly reduce that to 3/10. Then multiply 3/10 by 60 to get 18 minutes.
Key Takeaway: Again, we can't emphasize the value of being really comfortable
with the time units. 60 breaks down nicely with fractions as it is divisible by 2, 3,
4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20 and 30.
Question: 179
A business has decided to resurface a floor section in their warehouse. The section
is a square that measures 15 feet on one side. How much is the area that needs to
be resurfaced?
A. 30 square feet
B. 60 square feet
C. 215 square feet
D. 225 square feet
E. 250 square feet
Answer: D
15 x 15 is 225 square feet. Key Takeaway: To square any number that ends in 5,
use this trick. Take the first digit of the number, in this case 1. Multiply that by
itself and the next consecutive digit, which is 2. So far, we have 1 x (1+1) = 1 x 2
= 2. Then, simply put 25 on the end, which results in 225. This trick works for
squaring any number that ends in 5.
Question: 180
What is the mean for the following expenditures? $79.84, $278.99, $342.16,
$466.25, $111.39, $502.47, $98.12
A. $278.99
B. $268.46
C. $354.22
D. $317.54
Answer: B
The mean for the data set above is $268.46. The median or middle number when
the numbers are in ascending order ($79.84, $98.12, $111.39, $278.99, $342.16,
$466.25, $502.47) is $278.99.
Question: 181
On a trip to the Netherlands you spend 275 per night in a hotel, 37.58 per day
on meals and 50 per day on transportation. If you were there for four days and
three nights, and the exchange rate from U.S. dollars to euros was $1.00 :
0.7515, about how much did you spend altogether, in U.S. dollars?
A. $1,564
B. $1,175
C. $1,702
D. $1,398
Answer: A
An expense of 1175, at an exchange rate of $1.00 : 0.7515, would total $1564.
The total expenses were (275 x 3) + (37.58 x 4) + (50 x 4), with the final sum
being 1175.32. If the exchange rate was $1.00 : 0.7515, then 1175.32 is
75.15% of the total expense in U.S. dollars. Cross-multiply 1175.32 to find the
dollar value of the expense. (1175.32 x 100) 75.15 = $1563.97.
Question: 182
Jacqueline and Lee are meeting for the weekend somewhere between their cities,
which are 420 miles apart. Jacqueline drives 80 mph for the duration of her trip. If
they both left home at 10 a.m. and met at 1 p.m., what speed did Lee drive to
reach their meeting spot?
A. 75 mph
B. 70 mph
C. 65 mph
D. 60 mph
Answer: D
Lee drove 180 miles at 60 mph to reach the meeting place where Jacqueline
arrived after driving 240 miles at 80 mph. Jacqueline drove 80 mph for three
hours, which is 240 miles altogether. If she drove 240 miles, then Lee drove what
remained of their 420-mile distance, which is 180 miles. She had three hours to
complete that distance which means she traveled 60 miles each hour.
Question: 183
The division of your company that you oversee contains 18 employees whose
total salary last year was $855,000. The average salary of all company employees
with the same level of responsibility and qualifications is $50,000. Is your
department above or below the company average?
A. Below by 20%
B. Above by 10%
C. Below by 5%
D. Above by 15%
Answer: C
The average salary of a worker in your department is $47,500, which is 5% below
the company average. Divide your workers' total salary by the number of workers.
There is a $2,500 difference between the average salary in your division and the
company's average. $2,500 is 5% of $50,000.
Question: 184
If Martin invests $20,000 for 20 years and his investment earns 20% interest
compounding quarterly, what will it be worth at the end of his investment period?
A. $991,228.82
B. $120,000.00
C. $244,529.20
D. $424,872.36
Answer: A
A $20,000 investment that earns 20% interest compounded quarterly would be
worth $991,228.82 at the end of a 20-year investment period. The equation for
compound interest is A = P(1 + r/n)nt in which A is the amount including interest,
P is the principle investment, r is the interest rate expressed in decimal form
(0.12), n is the number of times interest is added per year, and t is the number of
years for which the principal is invested. A = $20,000(1+.2/4)80. = $991,228.82.
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Wonderlic Wonderlic basics - BingNews Search results Wonderlic Wonderlic basics - BingNews ME 270: Basic Mechanics I

Welcome to the ME 270 course website for the Fall 2023 term. The material on this site is a complement to the lecture book for the course. And, all material here is accessible without the need to log in. Please review the resources that are available to you in the links on the left sidebar of the page. Logging in is required only for adding comments to the blog posts. Read me for instructions in logging in to the website. 

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Mon, 13 Nov 2023 02:47:00 -0600 CMK en-US text/html
Learn These AI Basics Learn These AI Basics - WSJ

A bewildering array of new terms has accompanied the rise of artificial intelligence, a technology that aims to mimic human thinking.

From generative AI to machine learning, neural nets and hallucinations, we’ve gained a whole new vocabulary.

Machine Learning:

a branch of AI that relies on techniques that let computers learn from the data they process. Scientists had previously tried to create artificial intelligence by programming knowledge directly into a computer.

You can supply an ML system millions of animal pictures from the web, each labeled as a cat or a dog. This process of feeding information is known as “training.” Without knowing anything else about animals, the system can identify statistical patterns in the pictures and then use those patterns to recognize and classify new examples of cats and dogs.

Neural Networks:

a technique in machine learning that mimics the way neurons act in the human brain. In AI, groups of artificial neurons, or nodes, send and receive information between each other. Artificial neurons are essentially lines of code that act as connection points with other artificial neurons to form neural nets.

For example, Pinterest uses neural networks to find images and ads that will catch the consumer’s eye by crunching mountains of data about users, such as searches, the boards they follow and what pins they click on and save. At the same time, the networks look at ad data on users, such as what content gets them to click on ads, to learn their interests and serve up content that is more relevant.

Large Language Models:

deep learning algorithms capable of summarizing, creating, predicting, translating and synthesizing text and other content because they are trained on gargantuan amounts of data. A common starting point for programmers and data scientists is to train these models on open-source, publicly available data sets from the internet.

LLMs stem from a “transformer” model developed by Google in 2017, which makes it cheaper and more efficient to train models with enormous amounts of data. OpenAI’s first GPT model, released in 2018, was built on Google’s transformer work. (GPT stands for generative pretrained transformers.)

Generative AI:

a type of artificial intelligence that can create various types of content including text, images, video and audio. Generative AI is the result of a person feeding information or instructions, called prompts, into a foundation model, which produces an output based on the prompt it was given.

Foundation models are a class of models trained on vast, diverse quantities of data that can be used to develop more specialized applications, such as chatbots, code writing assistants, and design tools. Such models and their applications include text generators like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google Bard, and OpenAI’s Dall-E and’s Stable Diffusion, which generate images.


a computer program that can engage in conversations with people in human language. Modern chatbots rely on generative AI, where people can ask questions or supply instructions to foundation models in human languages.

ChatGPT is an example of a chatbot that uses a large language model—in this case, OpenAI’s GPT. People can have conversations with ChatGPT on courses from history to philosophy, ask it to generate lyrics in the style of Taylor Swift or Billy Joel or suggest edits to computer programming code.

ChatGPT is able to synthesize and summarize immense amounts of text and turn it into human language outputs on any number of courses that exist in language now.

Artificial General Intelligence:

a hypothetical form of artificial intelligence in which a machine can learn and think like a human.

While the AI community hasn’t reached broad consensus on what AGI will entail, Ritu Jyoti, a technology analyst at research firm IDC, said it would need self-awareness and consciousness so it could solve problems, adapt to its surroundings and perform a broader range of tasks.

Learn more AI terms

Produced by: Leah Latella
Art Director: Manuel Velez

Read more stories from The Wall Street Journal's The Future of Everything, about how innovation and technology are transforming the way we live, work and play:

The New Jobs for Humans in the AI Era

How AI Digitally Restored Lost Paintings

Why AI Is Medicine’s Biggest Moment Since Antibiotics

Read the full story
Mon, 06 Nov 2023 10:01:00 -0600 text/html
Estate Planning Basics

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Estate planning might sound like something that’s just for wealthy people with huge beach houses and billions in the bank. But the truth is that estate planning is something we all need to think about.

No matter how large or small your net worth, estate planning is a process that ensures your assets are handed down the way you wish after you pass away.

What is Estate Planning?

Everybody has an estate. It’s nothing more or less than the sum total of your assets and possessions of value: car, home, financial accounts, investments and personal property.

Estate planning is the process of deciding which people or organizations receive your possessions once you’ve passed on. It’s also how you leave instructions for managing your care and assets if you are incapacitated and unable to make financial or medical decisions

“Estate planning is just who gets what and how,” says Jay Knighton, a board-certified attorney in estate planning and probate with Knighton & Stone in Spring, Texas. “I focus on the word ‘plan’ because ‘estate’ freaks people out. So the process is less about the commas and zeros and more about the plan we’re sitting down to make.”

Here’s essentially how estate planning should work:

  • Who? Your estate plan spells out who gets your assets, and it also designates who can make critical healthcare and financial decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. If you have minor children, your estate plan lets you name their legal guardians should you die before they reach 18, and designate adults to safeguard their financial interests.
  • What? Your estate plan directs assets to specific entities or people in a legally binding manner. If you want your daughter to have your antique desk or your favorite animal rescue organization to get $500, it’s all charted out in your estate plan.
  • How? The plan is precisely how the “what” gets to “who.” For example, you can create a trust to safeguard a minor child’s assets until they reach a certain age. You can also keep assets out of probate so beneficiaries can easily access things like your home or bank accounts.

What’s Included in a Basic Estate Plan?

All estate plans should include documents that cover three main areas: asset transfer, medical needs and financial decisions, says Holly Geerdes, an estate planning attorney with Estate Law Center USA.

Asset Transfer Documents

The most common asset transfer documents are wills and trusts. These documents will help you name your wishes regarding:

  • Distribution of your assets to beneficiaries
  • Guardianship and custody of minor children
  • Care for special needs children and adults
  • Charitable gifts


A will is a document that specifies who gets what when you die. A will names a legal representative—your executor—who is responsible for directing your assets to the recipients you’ve chosen.

A will includes provisions for assets with specific beneficiaries and those without. For example, your will could state that your sister gets your engagement ring, but all assets in your estate without a named beneficiary should be equally divided between your brother and sister.

Wills must go through probate, a legal process where the court officially permits your named executor to begin distributing your assets according to the will.


The probate process in some states can be grueling, which is why many people create trusts. Trusts are legal “containers” that hold your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries.

Trusts are estate planning tools that help you avoid the probate process, empowering a trustee you name to distribute your assets according to the trust’s provisions. The two most common types of trusts in estate planning are revocable and irrevocable living trusts.

  • Revocable living trust. This is a relatively simple document that lets your assets pass outside of probate. While you’re alive, assets remain in your control. You can even serve as the trustee and make changes as you’d like, from naming beneficiaries to adding additional assets to the trust. When you die, a trustee you name will take over and distribute your assets.
  • Irrevocable living trust. To avoid estate taxes, consider an irrevocable living trust. These trusts take assets out of your control and transfer control to a trustee—even during your lifetime. However, since assets are officially removed from your estate and placed into the trust, they have the benefit of helping reduce estate taxes.

Medical Needs

Many people think of an estate plan only as something that kicks in after you die. But there’s a lot more to it.

“Estate planning isn’t just about transferring assets,” says Geerdes. “It’s also about what happens if you become unable to make financial or life-and-death medical decisions.”

To cover your medical bases, Geerdes recommends clients include advance healthcare directives in their plans.

Suppose you can’t make healthcare decisions for yourself in the event of an accident or memory loss disorder. In that case, a medical power of attorney (POA) lets you designate an individual to make medical decisions on your behalf. A medical POA covers all areas of healthcare, including end-of-life care.

Living Will

A living will is your proxy if you can’t communicate your wishes to family members and healthcare providers. Unlike a medical POA, a living will only applies to end-of-life decisions and specifies your wishes for life support measures and resuscitation.

Geerdes notes that in some states, an advance healthcare directive can be both a medical power of attorney and a living will so be sure to know the specifics for your state. It may also be helpful to add a HIPAA authorization form to your medical estate planning forms, as this document names who can access your medical records and discuss your care.

Financial Decisions

Geerdes notes there’s one final document in your estate plan that helps protect you during your life: a durable financial power of attorney.

This document lets you name a trusted individual to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so. The “durable” in the name means that the power of attorney stays in force should you become incapacitated—physically or mentally.

What Happens if You Don’t Have an Estate Plan?

Should you not have basic estate planning documents in place—and in a location where your loved ones or those you trust can find them—your estate will go through probate, no matter how big or small.

“Without an estate plan, every state has a plan for you, but rarely is it a plan you want to implement,” says Knighton.

If you pass away intestate—that means without a will—things get messy. The state takes over and decides everything, from where your assets go to who gets custody of your children. The process can be slow and grueling for your loved ones. It can all be avoided by putting a few documents, including a basic will, in place so that you and those you trust remain in control of your estate.

If you’re concerned about estate planning costs, don’t be. It’s likely way more affordable to get the protection you need for much less than you expect.

How Much Does Estate Planning Cost?

The answer is a resounding “it depends.” Costs will vary depending on whether you seek expert advice from an estate planning attorney or opt for a lower cost do-it-yourself route.

Estate Planning Attorneys

Knighton often crafts basic yet highly customized estate plans for clients in the $1,500 to $2,000 range. With that, clients get his expertise as a board-certified estate planning attorney and a plan designed to carry out precisely what they envision—which he says is where do-it-yourself options can sometimes break down.

“How you want your plan to work and building the plan to make your plan work are often two different things,” he says.

Those with more complex finances should be ready to pay more for a comprehensive estate plan that protects themselves, their assets and their loved ones. Those with significant assets needing unique trusts to direct those assets could see planning costs into the tens of thousands of dollars, if not more.

“The more twists and turns we need to take to get what you want to where it needs to go, the higher planning costs will be,” says Knighton.

Do-It-Yourself Estate Planning

Thanks to the Internet, you have plenty of low-and no-cost ways to build your estate plan online. These DIY services are typically best for those with relatively simple finances who want to quickly ensure they have a plan to avoid probate.

  • FreeWill. This online service helps you build a basic estate plan (state-specific will, advance healthcare directives, durable financial POAs) just as its name implies—for free. California residents can also score a free revocable living trust. It can also help you plan your beneficiary designations and create charitable gifting plans for stocks and cryptocurrency assets through Crypto for Charity.
  • Trust & Will. While not the lowest-cost option in the digital estate planning space, Trust & Will offers a comprehensive will-based estate planning package for $159 for individuals and $259 for couples, plus a $19 per year ongoing membership if desired. Your package includes a state-specific will, living will, POA and HIPAA authorization documents. If you want insights from a licensed estate planning attorney, that’s an add-on service for $200 per year.
  • Wealth. A relative newcomer, this platform offers a comprehensive online estate planning experience, complete with an online dashboard that dynamically tracks your assets plus emergency contacts and executor or trustee. The Will Plan option provides a will plus power of attorney  guardianship nominations priced at $189 for individuals and $239 for couples.

Jarrod Sandra, a certified financial planner (CFP) with Chisholm Wealth Management, says that those wanting to go the DIY estate planning route should explore online services but also consider the value of professional insight before finalizing a plan.

“It’s best to have a conversation to fully understand the implications of what you’re doing. Software doesn’t always provide that,” he says. “Yes, you will pay more, but you’re likely getting much more value for your dollars with a person versus software.”

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Tue, 24 Oct 2023 01:32:00 -0500 E. Napoletano en-US text/html
Observing Basics: Coming to terms

When you’re starting out in astrophotography, the myriad technical terms can be daunting. Gain? Offset? Flat darks — or is it dark flats? Let’s clear up some common areas of confusion.

We’ll start with gain. Setting the gain value affects a camera’s electronic gain, which is reported in electrons per analog-to-digital unit, or e–/ADU. A common belief is that adjusting the gain changes the sensitivity of the camera. However, it’s more accurate to say that it changes the way the camera quantizes light as it converts photons into a digital signal.

A camera sensor converts photons to electrons, which are then collected and read out at the end of the exposure. The amount of charge is converted to digital units of pixel brightness, from black to white. The scale depends on the camera’s bit depth: A 12-bit sensor has a range of 0 to 4,095 ADU, while a 16-bit sensor has a range of 0 to 65,535 ADU. Shooting at unity gain means 1 electron = 1 ADU. At low gain, it will take multiple electrons to add 1 ADU to a pixel’s total count. At high gain, each electron adds multiple ADU to that pixel.

A higher gain reduces the well depth, or how many electrons it takes to saturate the pixel. This gives the appearance of higher sensitivity and allows for shorter exposures at the expense of dynamic range — the range of brightness values the camera can record in a single shot. Lower gain allows you to use the full well depth of the pixel, making smaller gradations between brightness values and thus increasing contrast and dynamic range; however, you lose signal when not enough electrons accumulate to step one whole ADU. If you’re not sure where to start, unity gain is a good compromise.

Offset is the amount of charge that is preloaded into the pixels to prevent them from reporting zero. This avoids losing any small amount of signal. There is not necessarily an optimum offset, but you do need to determine how large an offset is sufficient. At your camera’s shortest exposure setting and while covered, adjust the offset until the histogram curve separates from the left edge of the histogram, indicating that no pixels are reporting zero.

Dark calibration images help reduce the noise that accumulates from heat and electronics during a long exposure. This can’t remove the random shot noise — the statistical noise inherent to capturing low numbers of photons. But it can reduce fixed-pattern noise (caused by variations in pixel response, leading some pixels to consistently read brighter or dimmer) and hot pixels (defective pixels that read much too bright).

To create a master dark, cover the camera and take at least 10 shots with the same exposure time, camera temperature, gain, and offset as your light frames. The camera does not need to be on the telescope. I usually take 50 to 100 darks for better statistics, as you will be averaging (stacking) the frames to create a master dark. I keep a darks library for different temperatures and settings. (Bias frames are no longer necessary for today’s modern CMOS cameras, and can actually cause problems instead.)

Flat frames correct for vignetting (darkening of the corners) and dust spots. These don’t need to be taken at the same temperature nor exposure time as your light frames, but they do need to be at the same gain and offset, and the camera must be on the telescope in the same orientation and focus. A properly exposed flat image should have the histogram peak roughly centered. For color cameras, it can be difficult to get all three red, green, and blue peaks in the center; just make sure they are not falling off the left or right sides of the graph. Adjust the exposure time to change the histogram peak location.

Flat darks are dark frames for your flats — just like you use a master dark to calibrate your lights. These are not always necessary, but if you experience problems with flats appearing to overcorrect your lights, try calibrating your flats with flat darks. These, like dark frames, can be taken off the telescope if necessary, and should be around the same temperature and have the same exposure time as the flats.

Now that you are armed with knowledge of common astrophotography camera terms, you are ready to take great astrophotos. Bring on the photons!

Mon, 06 Nov 2023 10:01:00 -0600 Molly Wakeling en-US text/html
Ammonium chloride: A surprising sixth basic taste may join salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami

Salmiak, a Scandinavian salt licorice, is definitely an acquired taste. Sometimes the confection is a little sweet, but often it’s this unique (if slightly addictive) combination of bitterness and salinity, a flavor profile so distinct that it helped inform a major scientific discovery. 

For decades, the scientific and culinary communities have recognized five basic tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami. However, researchers from the University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Scientists believe that there may be one more called ammonium chloride, also called salmiak salt, which happens to be the ingredient that gives salmiak its signature salted pucker. “If you live in a Scandinavian country, you will be familiar with and may like this taste,” USC Dornsife neuroscientist Emily Liman said in a release

Liman and her team of researchers published their findings earlier this month in the journal “Nature Communications.” They wrote in the introduction to the study that ammonium — and its gas, ammonia — are generally noxious to humans and other animals. High tissue concentrations of ammonium found in conditions, such as hyperammonemia, can be life-threatening. 

“Thus, it is not surprising that animals from the nematode C. elegans to fruit flies and humans have evolved multiple mechanisms to detect ammonium/ammonia,” they wrote. “Ammonium has a unique and strong taste, described as a combination of bitter, salty, and a little sour.” 

For decades scientists have known that the tongue responds strongly to ammonium chloride, but weren’t sure which receptors were responsible for being able to do so. Liman and her team, which includes scientists from the University of Colorado Medical School, theorized that the same protein that detects sour tastes, OTOP1, might respond to ammonium chloride, too. 

According to a release from the university, the researchers tested this hypothesis by introducing the OTOP1 gene into lab-grown human cells. Some of these cells were then exposed to acid and ammonium chloride and “the results showed that ammonium chloride activated the OTOP1 receptor just as effectively as acid.” 

"If you live in a Scandinavian country, you will be familiar with and may like this taste."

“Further tests on mice confirmed that those with the OTOP1 gene avoided ammonium chloride, while those without it didn’t mind the taste,” the release continued. 

As this finding would indicate, many animals, including humans, find the taste of ammonium chloride to be aversive — but as the popularity of salmiak would indicate, that’s not universally the case. 

“While no one knows what twisted soul was the first to add NH4CL, ammonium chloride, to licorice root extract and sugar, some suspect old-time pharmacies used the salty compound for housemade cough syrups, as it is powerful enough to clear your sinuses,” wrote Andrew Richdale for “Saveur.” “By the 1930s, licorice bits loaded with the expectorant had blown up across and beyond the Nordic region, including Holland, the world's largest consumer of the treat. The tang of salmiak is so popular in the region today, it's used to flavor pastries, tobacco packets, and even meat dishes.”

So, what will it take for the scientific community at large to sign on to the idea of another basic taste? If it’s anything like umami’s ascension to the group, the answer may simply be time. 

In the early 1900s, a chemist named Dr. Kikunae Ikeda of Tokyo Imperial University observed there was a quality in Dashi — a clear, savory stock made from kombu and dried bonito flakes — that was distinct from the other four basic tastes: sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Ikeda said that the flavor is “usually so faint and overshadowed by other stronger tastes that it is often difficult to recognize it unless attention is specifically directed towards it,” however it could not be produced by any combination of the other four basic tastes. 

Eventually, Ikeda found that the taste, which he called “umami,” was made of glutamate, an amino acid that is one of the building blocks of protein. With his newfound knowledge, Ikeda went on to found the company Ajinomoto and started mass producing the food additive monosodium glutamate or MSG. However, the broader scientific community didn’t begin to recognize umami as a discernible taste until the mid-1980s, nearly eight decades after Ikeda’s original findings. 

Through the years, other research teams have advocated for yet other tastes to be added to the Big Four (now the Big Five with the addition of umami). In 2016,  Juyun Lim at Oregon State University in Corvallis posited that humans could taste the “starchiness” associated with carbohydrate-rich foods. “Asians would say it was rice-like, while Caucasians described it as bread-like or pasta-like. It’s like eating flour,” she told The New Scientist

A year prior, a paper published in the journal “Chemical Senses” argued that we were missing another basic taste called oleogustus, or the unique taste of fat. One of the study authors, Richard D. Mattes, told TIME that while there is no single definition of what makes something a basic taste, for it to be recognized by other scientists, it really  needs to meet several categories. According to him, “the stimulus should have a unique structure, it should bind or interact with a unique receptor, it should be carried by the taste nerves to the central nervous system where taste information is decoded, and it should have a particular function.” 

For now, the scientists behind the ammonium chloride study plan to explore the OTOP1 receptor’s response to ammonium chloride, hoping to uncover more about its evolutionary significance.

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from Salon Food

Sun, 29 Oct 2023 17:30:00 -0500 en text/html
How to Start Investing in Real Estate: The Basics

Real estate can be a valuable addition to an investment portfolio. Not only is each piece of real estate unique, they’re not making any more of it. Real estate is a great way to enhance your investment, no matter what type of real estate investing you pursue.

There is a huge range of options for real estate investors, whether you want to be a very hands-on investor or a completely hands-off one.

A graphic listing seven different ways to begin investing in real estate.

Image source: The Motley Fool

What to Know About Investing in Real Estate

Investing in real estate is the pinnacle of investment achievements in the eyes of many new investors. Unlike stocks and bonds, real estate can be touched and stood upon, regardless of market conditions. When the market tanks, you still have a piece of the planet that’s not going anywhere. For plenty of investors, this is a sort of comfort they can’t find in other types of investments that may seem more ethereal -- even if they’re secured by very real companies.

Unfortunately, a lot of people have the flawed idea that real estate can only increase in value, which is not true. If a property falls into disrepair or an area is no longer popular, you could see smaller returns or even a collapse of your property’s value. Unlike stocks, you have to maintain real estate -- whether you do it yourself or hire someone -- and you have to pay other expenses, such as taxes and insurance, even if you’re not making a profit.

Although real estate does tend to retain some kind of value even in the worst of times, it’s hardly a sure thing. Like any kind of investment, it’s important to understand your real estate market, your competition, your potential clients, and your property’s potential for income. Most real estate investing isn’t very sexy, but it can serve as a balance to riskier stocks and other investments such as cryptocurrencies.

Today's real estate investors also have the added challenge of trying to work within an increasing interest environment. Although the federal funds rate does not directly dictate the cost of real estate loans, it determines what banks pay to borrow money, and is felt acutely by borrowers. With real estate values up and interest rates on the rise, it can be more difficult (but not impossible) to make a profit with real estate in the near-term.

7 Ways to Start Investing in Real Estate

7 Ways to Start Investing in Real Estate

Although many people think of buying a small rental property when they think about real estate investing, there are actually a lot of different ways to get into the real estate market. Each comes with risks and rewards, and many are unique investment experiences.

1. Land speculation

1. Land speculation

Land speculation happens when you purchase a piece of land with the intention of reselling it, either whole or in parts. In some areas of the country, you can own land but sell the water rights or the mineral rights to other entities such as mining operations or oil and gas companies.

Although land speculation is often a short-term form of real estate investing, a savvy investor who understands the needs of the industry they’re courting -- oil and gas miners, farmers, homebuilders, or commercial developers -- can make a tidy profit by choosing the right land parcel at the right price at the right time.

Land speculation is pretty straightforward but can be risky. You’ll need to understand exactly what benefits your land holds for its particular market, its current value, and its potential. You’ll also need to hire experts to document all of this.

Because land speculation is generally about being a middleman between land sellers and land developers, there is a fair amount of risk involved, especially if the interest in property in your area starts to wane. Remember that mall they kept saying was going to go in 20 years ago and is still an empty patch of grass?

2. Property flipping

2. Property flipping

By now, everyone knows about property flipping. But what you see on television isn’t the whole picture of what’s involved in successfully purchasing a residential property, fixing it up, and selling it to someone who will love it. You’ll need substantial capital to cover labor and supplies, as well as a construction crew or subcontractors you can trust. You also will likely be subjected to multiple inspections, all of which you must pass before being allowed to market your property.

Construction loans are possible, but they are often difficult to obtain as a first-time flipper due to experience requirements and other bank-imposed terms. However, in the current real estate market, a flip that’s priced accordingly and will appraise for the asking price may not sit very long at all. Be prepared to make additional repairs that the buyer’s inspector finds. No house is perfect, no matter how many people have been working on it.

In a worst-case scenario, your flip house can be converted into a rental property. This isn’t ideal, of course, and it will take a lot longer to recover your investment, but it can be a solution if the property can’t find a buyer. Sometimes the market turns after you’ve started a project, and the only option you have is to keep going forward. Always have an exit strategy when getting into property flips.

3. Short-term rentals

3. Short-term rentals

Short-term rentals are a great way to make a little extra money with spare houses or accessory dwelling units (ADUs) already on your property. When you rent short-term rental units out by the night or the week, you can be very choosy about who gets the keys. You can also potentially see more significant returns than you would with a regular residential lease.

Take care that the neighborhood that houses your short-term rental property allows for that kind of transaction since many homeowners associations and towns are on the warpath against short-term rental landlords, and many have banned them outright. You also need to be right on top of your customer service game since guest reviews can determine your rental’s popularity.

4. Small-scale residential rental properties

4. Small-scale residential rental properties

Some people choose to invest in real estate by simply buying a few small residential properties. A couple of houses or a duplex might be a good starting point just to supply you a feel for what it’s like to be a hands-on landlord. Most very small landlords choose their own renters and handle their own maintenance (as well as their own evictions). As you build your property portfolio, it may make sense to hire a property manager. Early on, however, the margins are likely too slim for a manager.

Landlording is a business a lot of us already understand since we’ve almost certainly rented something from someone at some point. That makes it a bit more comfortable than, say, land speculating. However, you’ll also have to enforce your leases and maintain the property, which can mean anything from collecting rents from stubborn tenants to calling out the plumber and the backhoe when a sewer line decides to randomly collapse at 3 a.m. on a Saturday.

5. Large-scale residential rental properties

5. Large-scale residential rental properties

Unlike small-scale residential rentals, larger-scale rental properties are generally pretty hands-off operations. These are often larger apartment buildings or housing communities with a single owner or even a portfolio of residential housing. Unless you have a significant amount of cash available, you’ll invest in these properties as part of an investment group. The group can be a few friends who also have cash to invest or a firm that allows you to buy a share of a development.

Large-scale residential rental portfolios can be a really good way to get into real estate investing without any experience with landlording or construction. Pay close attention to the company that’s managing the investment, though. They should have little debt, a cash cushion for the property’s upkeep, and clearly defined goals for the future. Also, find out how long you have to stay invested before you can divest. Some groups will lock you in for a longer term than others, no matter what the market is doing.

6. Commercial real estate

6. Commercial real estate

Putting your money into commercial real estate can mean a lot of different things. You might build a small self-storage facility or you could buy into a series of empty warehouses in an industrial park, a mini-mall, or even an office building. Leasing each of these properties takes a different kind of skill set, but at the end of the day, commercial properties tend to have higher values than residential real estate and often bring in higher rents.

Commercial real estate can be risky. Some types of real estate are difficult to rent in down markets. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, office rentals have been very hit-and-miss, since some companies are having their employees return to work at the office and others are still keeping workers at home. (Warehouses, on the other hand, couldn't be rented fast enough.)

When stepping into directly owned commercial real estate, it’s very important to have a good property manager or real estate agent on your side. There are many ways to make a profit with commercial real estate.

7. Real estate investment trusts (REITs)

7. Real estate investment trusts (REITs)

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are funds that you can buy shares from on the open market. Unlike private real estate projects, REITs are traded just like stocks. Like stocks, REITs are essentially liquid -- as long as you don’t mind losing money if you have to cash out quickly.

You won’t have to worry about property management or any of the day-to-day issues with REIT investing, but you should be concerned with the leadership of any REIT and how their money is being spent. As with other fractional real estate investments, you want to be sure their debt is low, that they have a fair amount of equity they can tap in case of a market downturn, and that they have a long-term vision for their properties.

REITs are very transparent and have to disclose a lot of information about their income and expenses, making them a great way for first-time real estate investors to add a little real estate exposure to their portfolios. The risk with REITs is the same as with any kind of stock -- the company could fold or you could lose considerable money due to someone else’s mismanagement. Be sure to really explore the REIT before you make a buy.

More on Real Estate Investing

There’s a real estate investment type for every investor

No matter what type of investor you are, there’s bound to be a type of real estate investment that will fit your needs perfectly. Looking for something hands-on? supply landlording or flipping a try. Want something more along the lines of set-it-and-forget- it? REITs could be perfect for you.

As with any type of investment, though, be sure that you completely understand the terms of the real estate investment before you put any money on the table. Real estate is a long game, and it pays to make these decisions with a great deal of care and thought.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
Thu, 09 Nov 2023 02:13:00 -0600 Kristi Waterworth en text/html
Waterlines 101: The basics

Editor’s note: Consultant Bill Tobin of WJT Assoc. spends his time helping molders diagnose molding problems, and offers his comments on some basics of cooling your molds.

It isn’t rocket science to understand that a mold is really a heat exchanger. The heat you put into the plastic to melt it must be removed enough not to shrink or warp a part. Most people put in 7/16-inch-diameter waterlines. Why? Two rules of thumb:

  • The drill size for a 1/4-inch pipe tap is 7/16 inch, which allows you to put in the quick disconnect nipple without having to redrill the hole in order to tap the threads.
  • Waterlines control heat within three diameters of themselves. The 7/16-inch size is a happy medium between many small lines and the fact that larger lines don’t particularly increase the heat exchange benefit. With a minimum of 1.5 gal/min through this circuit we will get turbulent flow—the optimum cooling situation.

Yet, simply having the right diameter waterline is only one of the three elements of good cooling. Assume you have a thin tube-shaped part, about 3 inches long. One end has an ID of 1/4 inch and the lower end is about 3/4 inch in diameter. A good tool designer, moldmaker, or molder would immediately say these cores should probably be made of P-20 or beryllium copper. (While on its face many people would reject beryllium copper because of its insufficient hardness, accurate developments have allowed this metal to be almost as hard as P-20.)

Cooling the Core
With the core cut to configuration, we now need to cool it (our second element). Conventional cooling choices are either a baffle or a bubbler. Here is where most people tend to fall into a trap. If the water is directed up the tube with the bubbler or on one side with a baffle we still have to maintain the cooling characteristics with turbulent flow. We must be sure our bubbler or baffle is not so constrained that the entire system is strangled and turbulent flow stops.

The next concern with this insert is proximity. If we can’t get the water close enough to the heat, it won’t make any difference if it’s turbulent or not. This is especially a problem with thin protruding cores. If you can’t get the waterline near the source of heat, bring the heat to the waterline. This is done with the use of gas pins—hollow pins that contain a low-boiling liquid (sometimes Freon). One tip of the pin is heated, and it immediately transmits the heat to the other end of the pin, which should be located in the middle of the waterline.

Managing Heat
Two other important factors are where to put waterlines, and how to hook them up. Nearly everyone cools the cores and cavities, but the most common mistake is not getting sufficient cooling to the runners, sucker pins, stripper plates, and (most importantly) the sprue—whether it is a hot runner or conventional design. Anywhere there is heat it should be managed. If you have a stripper plate on the ejector side with sucker pins holding the runner and it is not cooled, it’s just a matter of time before (1) it heats up and starts galling the pins because of thermal expansion, or (2) the sucker pins are so hot and the plate is so warm that the runner will not stick to the sucker pins and will come off the plate like a wet noodle.

Internal looping should be serial. The water circuit should be able to enter the mold and find its way out again without splitting into separate paths. When water circuits are split internally in the mold, turbulent flow can be measured on the in and out, but how do you know this is what’s happening in the mold? Water will always take the path of least resistance. Therefore, if there is a parallel circuit but one leg is constricted and the other isn’t, the water will have a tendency not to flow into the restricted portion.

Parallel circuits, which are a form of an internal manifold, should be avoided at all costs. The machine manifolds work because they are usually fed by 2-inch or larger lines. So long as the plant water can maintain the pressure, the parallel machine manifold will deliver pressure to each line equally. Bringing a waterline to the mold and then making a small manifold or splitter to allow that one line to be split into multiple lines will only work if the pressure and flow out of your mini-manifold is equal to the pressure of the line in.

While this is possible, it is also difficult. If you must have a manifold on the mold, put it on externally with large pipes as the inlet, and split it into smaller lines to the mold so that the circuits can be balanced before the handles of the valves are taken off and welded into place.

Waterlines and water circulation in a mold are easy. However, simple oversights like the ones mentioned here can turn the best mold into a loser.

If you’re one who believes in summer interns, here are a few projects that might help you run your business better. Interns are good at doing those pesky little jobs you’ve wanted done but never had the time to do. The intern also learns something important, such as the fact that two plus two is never four. In fact, two plus two almost always equals approximately 3.957 because of downtime and scrap. Here are some projects.

Look at your machines and molds. It is interesting to note that most machines come with undersized manifolds, which usually require looping. There is even a philosophy in some shops where, if the manifolds have only four inlets and outlets per side, the tool will be specified as built with no more than that number. This constriction brings some interesting challenges to the moldbuilder. And for the molder, mold setup often ends up looking like a can of worms with external splitting manifolds, jumpers, and waterlines all over the mold.

Have your intern do some interviews with the setup crew. Look specifically for how much time is wasted and how often the mold setup is delayed looking for the right length waterline. Either the techs cannot find the right length or the current hose is worn or leaking and therefore useless. Find the average time per setup. Find the cost in lost production per hour. Multiply these two numbers together. This is the average loss of money per job. Have the intern find out how many times molds have been hung in the past year and multiply that figure by the average loss. Many will find this number is a semifantastic amount of lost money and machine time.

Now have your intern do a simple study. Usually waterlines can be classified into four categories: long, medium, short, and jumpers. Have the intern measure as many lines as possible and these categories and lengths will become glaringly apparent. Here’s the tricky part. Color-code your hoses. For example, red is long, blue is medium, black is short. Any worn or leaking hose is cut down to a good section and is recycled into a jumper.

Setup sheets can now become easier by identifying the number of long, medium, short, and jumpers for each mold. These are now color-coded and easier to locate. If a particular length is not available, it can be taken off another press that isn’t using it. Also, keep in mind that waterline hose is embarrassingly cheap compared to the downtime.

A second project is another exercise in dispelling silliness. Spend a few hundred dollars and buy a set of manifolds with more outlets. With a mold in the press that is looped, have the intern measure the flow of the water in gal/min, and note the scrap and cycle time for a typical run. Install the new manifolds without looping. Instead, hook up as many direct circuits as possible to the manifold. Take the same measurements the next time this same mold is run. The results will be dramatic. The scrap will go down, and the cycle time will shorten. Technicians will learn that any time there is a loop where there could be a direct circuit, a penalty will be paid in terms of productivity.

Tue, 07 Nov 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html
Basic Materials Roundup: Market Talk

Updated Nov. 13, 2023 5:22 pm ET

The latest Market Talks covering Basic Materials. Published exclusively on Dow Jones Newswires at 4:20 ET, 12:20 ET and 16:50 ET.

1134 ET – Scotiabank says AtkinsRealis has been bumping up its organic growth expectations throughout 2023, “such that organic growth is expected to be 10% higher (at the low- and high-end) than it was at the start of the year,” according to analyst Michael Doumet. In a report, Doumet says that thanks to the supportive backdrop and its units’ favorable positioning, “we view this level of revenue as a ‘new baseline’ in which to grow from in 2024.” However, he cautions that while not impossible, achieving double-digit organic growth in 2024 “may be hard to stack on 2023’s upside surprises.” (

Copyright ©2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Sun, 12 Nov 2023 21:36:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Understanding Fainting: The Basics

Fainting, also called syncope (pronounced SIN-ko-pee), is a sudden, brief loss of consciousness and posture caused by decreased blood flow to the brain.

Many different conditions can cause fainting. These include heart problems such as irregular heartbeats,  low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), anemia (a deficiency in healthy oxygen-carrying cells), and problems with how the nervous system regulates blood pressure. Some types of fainting seem to run in families.

While fainting may happen because of a particular medical condition, sometimes it may occur in an otherwise healthy person. Fainting is a particular problem for the elderly, who may suffer serious injuries from falls when they faint. Most episodes are very brief. In most cases, the individual who has fainted regains complete consciousness within just a few minutes.

Fainting is a common problem, accounting for 3% of emergency room visits and 6% of hospital admissions. A person may feel faint and lightheaded (presyncope) or lose consciousness (syncope).

Fainting may have a variety of causes. A simple episode, also called a vasovagal attack or neurally mediated syncope, is the most common type of fainting spell. It is most common in children and young adults. A vasovagal attack happens because blood pressure drops, reducing circulation to the brain and causing loss of consciousness. Typically an attack occurs while standing and is frequently preceded by a sensation of warmth, nausea, lightheadedness, and visual "grayout." If the syncope is prolonged, it can trigger something called a convulsive syncope which is similar to a seizure.

You may have a simple fainting spell due to anxiety, fear, pain, intense emotional stress, hunger, or use of alcohol or drugs. Most people who have a simple fainting spell have no underlying heart or neurological (nerve or brain) problem.

Some people have a problem with the way their body regulates their blood pressure, particularly when they move too quickly from a lying or sitting position to a standing position. This condition is called postural hypotension and may be severe enough to cause fainting. This type of fainting is more common in the elderly, people who recently had a lengthy illness that kept them in bed, and people who have poor muscle tone.

The following can cause fainting, too:

Diseases of the autonomic nervous system. Your autonomic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that controls involuntary vital functions, such as the beating of your heart, the degree to which your blood vessels are constricted, and breathing. Autonomic nervous system problems include acute or subacute dysautonomia, chronic post-ganglionic autonomic insufficiency, and chronic pre-ganglionic autonomic insufficiency. If you have one of these disorders, you are likely to have other symptoms, such as erectile dysfunction (inability to have or maintain an erection), loss of bladder and bowel control, loss of the normal reflexes of your pupils, or decreased sweating, tearing, and salivation.

Conditions that interfere with the parts of the nervous system that regulate blood pressure and heart rate. These conditions include diabetes, alcoholism, malnutrition, and amyloidosis (in which waxy protein builds up in the tissues and organs). If you take certain high blood pressure drugs, which act on your blood vessels, you may be more likely to faint. If you are dehydrated, which may affect the amount of blood in your body and, thus, your blood pressure, you may be more likely to faint.

Heart or blood vessel problems that interfere with blood flow to the brain. These may include heart block (a problem with the electrical impulses that control your heart muscle), problems with the sinus node (a specialized area of your heart that helps it beat), heart arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm), a blood clot in the lungs, an abnormally narrowed aortic heart valve, or certain other problems with the structure of your heart.

Conditions that may cause unusual patterns of stimulation to particular nerves. These include micturition syncope (fainting during or after urination), glossopharyngeal neuralgia (fainting due to inflammation and pain in a particular nerve to the mouth); cough syncope (fainting after intense coughing), and stretch syncope (fainting that occurs when stretching the neck and arms).

Hyperventilation. If you become intensely anxious or panicked and breathe too quickly, you may feel faint from hyperventilation (taking in too much oxygen and getting rid of too much carbon dioxide too quickly).

Vagus nerve stimulation or irritation. This is also called vasovagal syncope. When your vagus nerve gets stimulated, your heart rate and blood pressure can lower, leading to fainting. This can happen when going to the bathroom, having blood taken, receiving a shot, or experiencing extreme emotions.

Some people use the terms blackout and fainting interchangeably, but they are different things. A blackout is a loss of memory. Fainting, also called passing out, is a loss of consciousness. Both of these can have several different causes.

Intoxication. One of the main causes of temporary memory loss is intoxication, often with alcohol. According to one survey, over half of undergraduate college students have blacked out from drinking at least once in their lives.

When your blood alcohol level reaches 0.15%, you are likely to black out. This is nearly double the legal limit for driving in most states.

A blackout from intoxication is due to a brain malfunction. Your brain stops saving the things you do as memories. You may act normally and do things like socialize, eat, drive, and drink. But your brain is impaired and does not record your memories during this time.

Some people are more prone to blacking out than others. Blacking out is not always a sign that you abuse alcohol, but it can be.

Some people who drink heavily can also experience a brownout. This is when you remember some of the events of the time you were drinking. Sometimes, the events can come back to you with a cue that sparks your memory.

‌Head injury. Even mild head injuries can lead to a concussion. This can cause you to have memory issues and confusion. Most of the time, if you have a concussion, you can't remember the events that led to the injury.‌

Epilepsy. Seizures can also cause memory problems. Sometimes, directly after a seizure, you can enter a state of post-ictal confusion. This means you may be confused and not remember what happened directly before the seizure or what you did after the seizure happened. Generally, your memory of those events will come back within 5-30 minutes, once the post-ictal state is over.


If you faint a lot, you should visit your doctor to make sure it is not from an underlying health condition. You should also visit your doctor if you faint and have a history of heart disease.

Fainting while exercising is not common and may be a cause for concern. Additionally, if you fall and hit your head, causing you to lose consciousness, you should always get evaluated by a doctor to rule out a head injury.

Frequent blackouts may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. It can also be a sign that you have an alcohol use disorder. Drinking to the point of blacking out frequently can lead to other problems, like issues with long-term memory. It can also make you more likely to injure yourself accidentally while intoxicated. If you would like to stop drinking, there are resources that can help.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a 24-hour hotline you can call whenever you need support with mental health or substance use disorders. The number is 800-662-HELP (4357). If you use a TTY device, you can call 800-487-4889.

Mon, 23 Oct 2023 11:59:00 -0500 en text/html
The Basics of Inherited IRAs for Beneficiaries

When someone dies with money left in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), the funds can get passed on to the person's loved ones through an inherited IRA. The recipient(s) may spend the funds however they choose, but the government decides how long the money may remain in the inherited account.

The rules governing inherited IRAs are different for spouses and non-spouses. In either case, understanding all of your options is crucial to avoid penalties and pay the least in taxes. Here's everything you need to know.

A mother is shown, talking with her daughter.

Image source: Getty Images

What is an inherited IRA?

An inherited IRA is a tax-advantaged investment account that a person or entity opens to transfer the money they've inherited from a deceased loved one's retirement plan. The person opening the inherited IRA, known as the beneficiary, may be the deceased's spouse, child, other relative, friend, or even an estate or trust. In the case of multiple beneficiaries, each may open a separate inherited IRA.

Opening one of these accounts transfers the deceased's assets to the new beneficiary. They may spend the money on whatever they like, but they may not make any new contributions to the inherited IRA.

Keep in mind

You will owe taxes on withdrawals from your inherited IRA if the funds in the original IRA account are classified as tax-deferred. Distributions from inherited Roth IRAs usually don't increase your taxes provided the deceased held the Roth account for at least five years. Distributions from Roth IRAs are tax-free because the original beneficiary already paid taxes on the contributions in the years in which they occurred.

1. Roll the inherited funds into an IRA in your own name

Rolling the inherited funds into your own IRA enables you to avoid taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) or paying taxes on the inherited funds until you withdraw them in retirement. Delaying the distributions could supply your inherited assets time to grow much larger. But once you roll the inherited funds into your retirement account, you may not withdraw the money without paying a penalty until you reach age 59 1/2.

You may only avoid the early withdrawal penalty if the money is in a Roth account and it’s been at least five years since you completed the rollover to your own IRA, or you have a qualifying reason for making the withdrawal, such as a large medical expense or first-home purchase.

2. Withdraw the funds as a lump sum

You may withdraw all of the money from the original owner's IRA as a single lump sum. Doing so gives you a lot of money now, but it also results in a high tax bill for the current year unless you're withdrawing the funds from a Roth IRA that the original owner held for at least five years.

In that case, you won’t owe any taxes on these withdrawals. However, if the owner didn’t have the account for at least five years, then you could owe income taxes on the Roth IRA earnings.

3. Use the five- or 10-year withdrawal method

The five- or 10-year withdrawal method enables you to withdraw money as often as you'd like and in whatever increments you choose as long as the money is completely withdrawn by the end of the fifth or 10th year after the year in which the account holder died.

4. Use the life expectancy withdrawal method

The life expectancy withdrawal method determines your annual RMD by dividing the value of the inherited IRA by the distribution period for your age as listed in the IRS Single Life Expectancy Table. You may withdraw more money in excess of your RMD if you choose. But failure to withdraw at least the RMD triggers a 50% penalty on the remainder you should have withdrawn.

In the year the original owner of the IRA dies and if the owner was already taking RMDs, you as the new beneficiary must take the original owner’s RMD provided they had not already done so before their death. You may begin taking RMDs based on your own life expectancy beginning in the following year.

If the original owner had not yet begun receiving RMDs, you may take RMDs based on your life expectancy as early as Dec. 31 of the year following the year of the original owner's death, or by the end of the year in which the original owner would have turned 72, whichever is later.

5. Disclaim the inherited assets

You may disclaim, or refuse, some or all of the inherited funds if you don't need them or don't want to pay taxes on the distributions. If you elect to disclaim the assets, then the funds that you would have received will pass to the next beneficiary.

Inheriting an IRA from a non-spouse

The options that non-spouse beneficiaries have to inherit an IRA are essentially the same as the options available to spouse beneficiaries, but there are two exceptions.

First, non-spouse beneficiaries may not roll the inherited IRA funds into an IRA in their own name. Second, non-spouse beneficiaries wishing to use the life expectancy method to calculate their RMDs must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  1. They are inheriting the funds from someone who died in 2019 or earlier.
  2. They are chronically ill or disabled.
  3. They are no more than 10 years younger than the deceased account owner.
  4. They are a minor child of the deceased account owner, in which case they may use the life expectancy method only until they reach age 18.

For those who cannot use the life expectancy method because they do not meet any of these criteria, often the next-best option is to spread the withdrawals over 10 years to avoid a large tax bill in any single year.

Related retirement topics

The bottom line

Inherited IRAs can provide a welcome source of income, but it's important to understand how they're taxed and by when the money must be withdrawn to avoid incurring penalties. Review all the withdrawal options available before deciding which one is best for you.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
Thu, 09 Nov 2023 00:12:00 -0600 Kailey Hagen en text/html

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