Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Zabbia In The Baseball Hall of Fame!

Here is an article about my cousin, Lou Zabbia. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame. For the full article, you can go to: http://rosevillept.com/articles/2007/09/12/sports/local_sports/01zabbia.txt

Legendary Lou
Roseville man to be honored with Hall of Fame induction
By: Tom Kellar, Press-Tribune sports editor
Thursday, September 13, 2007

Courtesy Roseville resident Lou Zabbia, right, poses with Hall of Famer Willie Mays in this promotional photo. Zabbia, who spent 16 years as a manager of Senior Baseball League's Sacramento Giants, will be inducted into the Sacramento branch of the Senior Baseball League Hall of Fame in a ceremony Saturday.

This Saturday, Roseville resident Lou Zabbia will be among the first group of players and managers to be inducted into the Sacramento branch of the Men's Senior Baseball League Hall of Fame. Zabbia will find himself in elite company, with eight of the 26 inductees having had professional careers in Major League Baseball. The list includes Jim Barr, Ron Brand, Don Carrithers, Leron Lee, Butch Metzger, Bob Oliver, Lowell Palmer and Jim Willoughby.

During Zabbia's 16 years as manager of the Senior Baseball League's Sacramento Giants, his teams won eight league titles. He piloted Sacramento Senior Baseball League all-star teams to the national championship round seven times, with five of those teams eventually taking home the title.
In 1998, he guided a U.S.-team entry in the Nike World Senior Games to a first-place finish. His achievements include a 54-game win streak, spread over parts of three different seasons, and a managerial winning percentage of .786.

Zabbia, now 67, lights up when he's talking baseball, the game that so forcefully captured his imagination as a New York City youth growing up in the Bronx. Thanks to his membership in a large baseball-loving family, he became a passionate New York Giants fan before the team's move to San Francisco.

"My grandfather came from Italy and became a Giants fan, even though the Polo Grounds were in Manhattan," Zabbia said. "He took my dad to the Polo Grounds when he was a boy and in 1949, when I was 9 years old, he also took me to the Polo Grounds to see a game. I was instantly enthralled."

Zabbia's love for baseball continued to grow, reaching fever-pitch proportions two years later during the now-famous Giants-Dodgers National League playoff series. The event was an instant classic, producing one of the most memorable moments in baseball history, The Shot Heard 'Round the World. The best-of-three was tied at one victory for each team, when in the bottom half of the ninth inning, the Giants Bobby Thomson hit a three-run, walk-off homer, handing the Giants the National League crown.

"1951 was the year the Giants signed Mays. That was a magical year for baseball, a magical year for the Giants, and a magical year for me," Zabbia said.
"I was sitting in the living room of a tenement house in the Bronx when the Dodgers went up 4-1 in the ninth inning. I was alone on the couch watching a 12-inch RCA TV. My dad had walked out of the room with a broken heart, thinking the Dodgers were going to win."

What came next was total exhilaration, followed by the unintended destruction of living-room furniture.

"When Thomson hit the homerun," a smiling Zabbia said, "there were tears streaming down my face. Then I jumped up on the couch and all the springs popped out."

While still a child, Zabbia gained a clear understanding of where his sporting talent could best be utilized.

"I used to watch teams win championships and wondered what it felt like for the players when they would run on the field, jumping on each other and celebrating," Zabbia said. "I knew I wasn't much of a talent as a player, but I ended up getting to experience that feeling as a manager."

After watching the masterful job that Leo Durocher did in managing those '51 Giants, Zabbia tried to pattern his own efforts as a skipper after the man that fans called "Leo the Lip."

"I studied Durocher's style," Zabbia said. "He would go by the book in certain situations, but the majority of the decisions he made came from gut-feel and instinct." Zabbia has innumerable memories of his years in baseball, but when asked for a favorite, he points toward the '95 Senior Baseball League all-star team that won a national division title in Phoenix, despite having only 15 players.

"We only had a week to practice for Phoenix, and because our roster was short, I asked the players if they wanted to consider dropping down to a lower division," Zabbia said. "To a man they said no, telling me that if we get beat, we want to get beat by the best."

The schedule was grueling, consisting of six nine-inning games in four days, followed by a semi-final, and championship round.

To reach the semi-finals, a team could not lose more than one game, so Zabbia and his club were reeling when Barr, the team's ace pitcher, suffered his first-ever tournament loss in the opener, dropping a 5-2 decision to Phoenix.
Incredibly, the team reeled off five straight wins, clawing its way into the semi-final round where Sacramento defeated San Jose, and then Phoenix in the final, 5-0. It was Zabbia's fourth Senior Baseball crown.

"That's a memory that you just can't beat," Zabbia said. "Winning was completely unexpected, and when I see the guys from that team today, they always bring it up."

Zabbia came to Northern California after joining the Air Force, was stationed at Beale Air Force base near Wheatland, and later became a Sacramento police officer, retiring in 1996 after 25 years on the force. Zabbia has lived in the area more than 40 years.

Besides his work with Sacramento's Senior Baseball League, Zabbia is currently an assistant under Dean Perkins for Oakmont's high school team.

For a born instructor like Zabbia, some habits die hard, and some things will never change. "The love of the game will never leave me," Zabbia said. "I'm 67 now and I can't seem to get away from the sport. That's why I'm at Oakmont working with the kids. When the light goes on for a kid you're trying to teach, it's a great, great feeling."

The Sacramento Men's Senior Baseball League inaugural-induction event is set to take place at a private location in El Dorado Hills, beginning at 6 p.m.

Monday, October 1, 2007

How much you should withhold?

If you're like most people, you probably pay Uncle Sam throughout the year by having your employer withhold taxes from your paycheck.
Your employers, using tax guides given to them by government, determines how much money should be withheld from your paycheck. This is based on information you provided when you started you job.
Surprised? That's because you've probably forgotten about that Form W-4 you filled out, something most people do when they start a new job and forget to change yearly or after a life change. Examples: had a child, got married/divorced, etc…
The W-4, which can be changed any time, enables you to mark your tax filing status (single, married, etc.) and the number of allowances you want to take.
An allowance essentially reduces the amount of taxes withheld, and increases the amount of your take-home pay. Each allowance represents an exemption, credit, or some other tax benefit you plan to claim when you fill out your return.
Your goal at the beginning of every tax year should be to have withheld at least 90 percent of what you think you'll owe for that year, but not much more.
If you use the worksheet on the back of your W-4, you should have a least 90% covered
Each January, your employer sends you and the IRS a Form W-2 that reports your earnings for the prior tax year and the total amount of tax you had withheld.
You're responsible for calculating how much more you owe (and paying the difference by April 15), or, figuring out how much the IRS should refund you if you overpaid.
Although a lot of people consider a refund found money. The truth is getting a refund check just means you've given the government an interest-free loan. It's money you earned and should have had access to throughout the year.
Say you get a $1,200 refund (the average is about $1,700). You could have pocketed more money if you had adjusted your withholding so that you got an extra $100 a month and invested that money in an interest-bearing account.
Or, if you carried a credit card balance, the extra amount could have been used to pay off some of your high-interest debt.
For detailed instructions on adjusting your tax withholding, see IRS Publication 919. or for more information on how to reduce your taxes contact our office today!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Which is better: a cash incentive or 0% financing?

When auto manufacturers want to move certain models or generate more traffic in their dealerships, they'll typically offer new car purchasers a choice between a cash rebate and low-interest financing, sometimes as low as 0%. Which is the better deal?

For some buyers, the question is moot. While cash rebates are available to anyone, 0% financing is usually available only to those who have excellent credit and reach a certain income level. Further, special financing is often limited to loans with terms of 36 months or less. Shorter-term loans mean higher monthly payments, which may not fit into some buyers' budgets. In these cases, the cash rebate may be the only viable option.

If you do have a choice, though, the better deal depends on many factors, including the price of the car, the size of the rebate, the interest rates available for financing, and how much you're putting down.

For example, say the car you want has a price tag of $20,000, and you're putting $1,500 down. Your choice is 0% financing for 36 months or a $2,500 cash rebate. You can get 36-month financing at your bank at 4.5%. With 0% financing, your total payments would be $18,500. With the rebate, your total payments would be approximately $17,134. In this case, you'd save $1,366 by choosing the rebate.

Before you go to the dealer, find out if any of the cars you're looking at qualify for rebates or special financing. Unscrupulous dealers may not disclose incentives to you. And always negotiate the car price separately, before considering the rebate or financing--or any trade in for that matter--as the dealer may bump up the car price to compensate for them.

For more information please contact our office today!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Heat Wave Tips

It’s supposed to be extremely hot and I want to remind you to drink plenty of water. Dehydration is a major concern especially to young children, the elderly and those who are active outdoors. Make sure that you use lots of sunscreen and stay out of the sun. If you have pets outside, make sure you have them in the shade with plenty of water also. It would also be nice to check on an elderly neighbor. All of us at the Zabbia Agency care about your well being, so enjoy the hot days and stay safe.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Expansion of the Zabbia Insurance Agency

Things have been a little crazy for me. We just added another location in Hyde Park NY, and I spent most of May setting it up. The new office is at 4285 Albany Post Road, Suite 7, and it is up an running. The team there is great, and you can find me there at least once a week. Now we can better serve our clients in Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland, and Orange Counties. As always, we can help anybody in the great state of New York, and Commericial Policies in Pennsylvania, Conneticut, New Jersey, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Should You Keep All Financial Records?

Along with old theater programs and bronzed baby shoes, folders of canceled check, bank statements and income tax records going back perhaps as far as the 1040’s, you may ask, “What among all this can be discarded?”

The traditional answer has been: “Virtually everything except tax records for the past three years may be discarded.” Taxpayers are required to retain documentation supporting claims on tax returns only until the statute of limitations has passed, a period of three years.

However, the catch is the fact that the IRS can “create law on the spot” or “change law on the spot,” and the IRS does not have to abide by existing law. Thus the “three year rule” doesn’t apply if the IRS claims the rule does not apply. If the IRS claims your return has been false or fraudulent the rule is also voided. The rule also does not apply if a prior year’s return is in question, such as for the prior purchase of a “tax shelter.”

Also, documents supporting a tax-loss carry forward, charitable carry forward, or depreciation schedule should be kept until they are no longer relevant. As for old checks, the only ones that probably would be needed are those that would substantiate the basis of a home, including all improvements or any other capital asset.

Because of the rules on the retention of certain tax records, in years to come, many taxpayers will have to save more papers for longer periods. For example, anyone with passive losses that cannot be written off in the current year will have to retain the documentation until at least three years after the losses have been used.
Taxpayers with non-deductible IRAs will have to hold on to all records pertaining to those accounts as long as the IRAs are in force, including tax returns and/or IRS Forms 5498, 1099-R ad W-2P. This could be twenty to forty years!

Documentation detailing the acquisition and improvement of a primary home as well as a second home now must also be retained, not just to be able to prove one’s basis, but because the IRS requires it. Form 2119, giving details on the sale or exchange of a principal residence, must be kept as long as the costs of the home could be at issue. Since residence gains are “rolled up” into the successive purchases, a mobile family will accumulate many records. Otherwise, the taxable gain at the last sale will be overstated.

And to make matters worse, if all this record keeping requires you to rent a U-Haul or a storage facility, the cost is generally not deductible.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Here we go

I just came from an awesome conference in San Diego. One of the ideas that I picked up from an other agent was to set up a blog. Well, I already do a monthly newsletter, so why not a blog? I will try to update this as often as possible. I will also try to make it informative and interesting.