Estate Analyst: Skyfall 2012 Maximizing Year-End Gift Planning

Posted on November 27th, 2012 at 3:53 PM

By: Robert L. Moshman, Esq.

Alert! The sky may be falling (again)! 

This is the time of year when the Earth passes through the tail of Halley’s Comet and the annual Orionid meteor shower provides a spectacular show of falling stars. This year’s show has some people mixed in with the meteors, i.e., James Bond is falling in Skyfall, and Felix Baumgartner accomplished a freefall from 24 miles high.

“The sky is falling!” is also what people say whenever the “Bush tax cuts” are about to expire. It has become combination of Cinderella and Ground Hog Day. Our federal tax code may turn into a pumpkin at year’s end by reverting to 2001 levels and Congress has us re-living this crazy scenario over and over.

Let’s look at year-end planning for this unique time.

3, 2, 1, Jump!

The view from 24 miles high is spectacular, and the prospect of breaking many records on the world’s stage is alluring; however, placed in those circumstances, some of us might have told the world, “I’ve changed my mind about this jumping thing.”

To jump from that height is literally a leap of faith. But consider the planning that leads to such a bold step. It is not a spontaneous decision based on a newly discovered opportunity; rather, it involves careful planning over a long period of time—with test jumps and attention to every detail—so that the results can be nearly certain.

Felix Baumgartner’s jump represented extensive preparation. A 55-story helium balloon was needed to bring his capsule to the stratosphere, and a special space suit was required to withstand falling at 833 miles per hour.

Baumgartner broke the sound barrier. He broke the free fall height record. He broke the record for the highest manned balloon flight. He broke all kinds of jumping-from-space-type records.

The space jump was also a singular cultural moment. A record number of more than 8 million people watched concurrent live streams of the event on YouTube. The Twitterverse went into some kind of Tweeting frenzy, and Baumgartner’s post-jump photo on Facebook got 216,000 “likes” within 40 minutes—demonstrating that the modern world is both amazing and annoying.

Read the full PDF here.

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