A former Secret Service agent who was with President Kennedy the moment he was assassinated has come forward to claim the president was the victim of multiple shooters, not just Lee Harvey Oswald. The account, which comes nearly 60 years after the assassination, gives new inspiration to those who have long believed that the real story of Kennedy’s murder has been hidden from the public eye.
In an exclusive interview with the New York Times’ Peter Baker, the former agent, Paul Landis, says the official account of Kennedy’s assassination does not align with what he says he experienced that day as he stood just feet from the slain president’s limousine. Mr. Landis is releasing a book that details his account of that day on October 10.
Mr. Landis tells the Times that for years he struggled with nightmares about that fateful day, reliving what happened minute by minute. One of the bullets that struck the president, Mr. Landis says, could not have been fired by Oswald, as it was lodged in the seat where Kennedy had been sitting in the back of the car. Oswald had been behind Kennedy at the Texas Book Depository when the three shots were fired.
Mr. Landis’ account of the day centers on the so-called “magic bullet” — the bullet that passed through both Kennedy and the Texas governor who was riding in front of the president, John Connally. “There was nobody there to secure the scene, and that was a big, big bother to me,” Mr. Landis told the Times. “All the agents that were there were focused on the president.”
Mr. Landis said that he himself pulled the “magic bullet” from the backseat of the car. “This was all going on so quickly. And I was just afraid that — it was a piece of evidence that I realized right away. Very important. And I didn’t want it to disappear or get lost. So it was, ‘Paul, you’ve got to make a decision,’ and I grabbed it.’”
The Warren Commission, which was convened to investigate the events surrounding Kennedy’s assassination, concluded that the “magic bullet” had been taken out of Connally during a surgery at Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he and the Kennedys were rushed after the shooting. Mr. Landis’ account refutes that long-held belief. “At this point, I’m beginning to doubt myself,” he said of the account that Oswald acted alone. “Now I begin to wonder.”
Mr. Landis has not convinced some experts on the Kennedy assassination. One author who wrote a book that purportedly debunked all of the theories of other shooters and government involvement in Kennedy’s assassination, Gerald Posner, told the Times that Mr. Landis’ story does not align with the facts.
“People’s memories generally do not improve over time, and it is a flashing warning sign to me, about skepticism I have over his story, that on some very important details of the assassination, including the number of shots, his memory has gotten better instead of worse,” Mr. Posner said.
“Even assuming that he is accurately describing what happened with the bullet,” he added, “it might mean nothing more than we now know that the bullet that came out of Governor Connally did so in the limousine, not on a stretcher in Parkland where it was found.”
The slain president’s nephew, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., says he believes Mr. Landis’ account. “The magic bullet theory is now dead,” the Democratic presidential candidate wrote on X. “This preposterous construction has served as the mainstay of the theory that a single shooter murdered President Kennedy since the Warren Commission advanced it 60 years ago under the direction of the former CIA Director Allen Dulles whom my uncle fired.”
“The recent revelations by JFK’s Secret Service protector Paul Landis have prompted even the New York Times — among the last lonely defenders of the Warren Report — to finally acknowledge its absurdity,” Mr. Kennedy continued.
Mr. Landis had regaled others with his theory over the years. One friend of Mr. Landis’, lawyer James Robenalt, told the Times he found the former agent’s account more reasonable than not.
“If what he says is true, which I tend to believe, it is likely to reopen the question of a second shooter, if not even more,” Mr. Robenalt told the Times. “If the bullet we know as the magic or pristine bullet stopped in President Kennedy’s back, it means that the central thesis of the Warren Report, the single-bullet theory, is wrong.”
The president of Duquesne University, Ken Gormley, who is also a trained historian, helped Mr. Landis set up his book deal and says he has some credibility.
“It’s very common as people get to the end of their lives,” Mr. Gormley said of the former agent. “They want to make peace with things. They want to get on the table things they’ve been holding back, especially if it’s a piece of history and they want the record corrected. This does not look like a play by someone trying to get attention for himself or money. I don’t read it that way at all. I think he firmly believes this. Whether it fits together, I don’t know. But people can eventually figure that out.”
I have $800K in my IRA and my broker is charging me $850 a month — and I’m getting less than $200 in interest dividends. What’s my move?
In general, if your fee includes other financial planning services or possibly complex assets, a 1.3% fee could be reasonable. Getty Images/iStockphoto
Question: I have $800,000 in my IRA account and my financial broker is charging me $850 a month. I am only getting less than $200 from interest-dividends. How do I go about finding a financial adviser that gets better results and fewer fees?
Answer: Based on your description, it seems like you’re paying about 1.3% per year for your adviser — and that’s on the higher end, though that can depend on what you’re getting for that money, says certified financial planner Steven Sivak at Innovate Wealth. (Looking for a new financial adviser too? You can use this tool to get matched with an adviser who may meet your needs.)
In general, if your fee includes other financial planning services or possibly complex assets, a 1.3% fee could be reasonable. “It’s higher than the 1% fee that’s more common in the industry, if it’s for portfolio management only. There are certainly many highly qualified advisers charging 1% and less to choose from,” says certified financial planner Eric Ross at F2 Wealth.
Have an issue with your financial adviser or looking for a new one? Email questions or concerns to email@example.com.How to find a good financial adviser for less money
But you, understandably, want to pay less for a quality adviser. One option is “by managing your own investments and hiring an advice-only planner,” says certified financial planner Kaleb Paddock at Ten Talents Financial Planning. Advice-only planners charge a flat price or project-based rate to help you create a financial plan, a target rate of return and an investment mix to most likely reach that return over a certain period of time. “This path is [often] the cheapest but requires you to self-manage your investments and not tinker with the account unless you consult your advice-only planner first,” says Paddock. (Here’s what to ask any adviser you might hire so you can help ensure they’ll do a good job and meet your needs.)
Certified financial planner Al Faber at Woodson Wealth Management also recommends the advice-only route, noting that these advisers tend to have fewer conflicts of interest than, say, someone who is commission-based, because there are no hidden fees from product sales or funds. To find advice-only advisers, visit AdviceOnlyNetwork, National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the FeeOnlyNetwork.
However, one of the biggest issues in your email is that you and your adviser don’t appear to be on the same page, says certified financial planner Terrance Hutchins at Logos Financial Group — and that’s something to remedy this time around. “Any level of fee you pay whether big or small should result in you feeling heard and your expectations properly aligning with your strategy. I would start there with the conversation, as performance is a fleeting thing to chase in the investment world,” says Hutchins.
And what is this adviser’s investment strategy? “The question I would have is are you investing solely for dividend income? If so, why do you value the dividend much more than say appreciation?” Hutchins says. “You could certainly find an adviser or even funds you could purchase on your own that would produce more dividend yield. The current yield of the S&P is around 1.55%, versus your portfolio which is yielding .03%.”
You may want an AUM adviser who charges a percentage based on the amount of assets they manage for you. The typical fee for an AUM agreement is about 1% of assets under management — though you can negotiate less — which would be about $8,000 per year for your portfolio, versus the $10,200 you’re paying annually.How to figure out if the financial adviser is doing a good job
If you want better results than low-cost index fund investing, Paddock says, “You need to communicate this with your financial adviser and collaborate together to figure out how to do that while protecting your IRA from large market declines along the way, especially if you’re pulling money out during retirement.”
Tim Parker, certified financial planner at Regency Wealth Management says, “The manager shouldn’t be measured by the income generated if it’s a growth portfolio, rather by total return and versus benchmarks,” adding that “it’s a good idea to discuss your concerns with the adviser to learn more about the thoughts behind the way the portfolio was constructed.”
In the end, you’ll want to think of your financial plan as wanting to marry three things, says Neela Hummel, certified financial planner at Abacus Wealth Partners. “Overall growth including interest, dividends and capital appreciation, your risk tolerance and the ability to withstand market volatility and overall financial objectives. Only with those three things can you identify if you’re in the wrong portfolio,” says Hummel.
Looking for a new financial adviser too? You can use this tool to get matched with an adviser who may meet your needs.
What Are 529 Plan Qualified Expenses?
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The purpose of a 529 plan is straightforward at first glance: to provide families with a tax-advantaged account for future education expenses. But not all education costs are eligible.How Can I Use Funds From a 529 Plan?
You can use the money from a 529 plan to pay for eligible education expenses. You can even use funds from a 529 plan to pay for ineligible expenses, but you’ll have to pay some fees at tax time. Here are examples of what you can use 529 funds for:Tuition and Fees
The most common way that people use 529 funds is to pay for college tuition and fees. And while some parents think they can only use a 529 to pay for college costs, those funds can also be used to pay for K-12 expenses. If your child attends private or parochial school, you can use a 529 to pay up to $10,000 a year in tuition.
Students who attend trade or vocational schools can also use 529 funds if the school is a Title IV institution. You can look up a particular trade or vocational school’s 529 eligibility using Saving For College’s lookup tool.Room and Board
Your 529 plan funds can cover most room and board expenses, whether you’re living in a college dorm or an apartment with five of your best friends. However, not all of your rent and utilities may be eligible if you live off-campus.
You’re only allowed to spend the amount your college has stated is the average cost of room and board. Any amount exceeding that figure won’t count as a qualified educational expense. You can still rent an apartment that costs more, but you’ll have to either pay the difference out of pocket or pay a 10% penalty and income tax on the difference.
Contact your school’s financial aid department to find out the room and board allowance and try to stay under that figure so you don’t get hit with the extra tax penalty.Books and Supplies
Textbooks are qualified expenses, but only books on your class reading list qualify. In other words, you can’t buy unrelated books and expect them to qualify as expenses. Also, any required class supplies are 529-eligible, such as binders, notebooks, pens and pencils.Computers and Tech
You can buy a laptop or desktop with 529 funds, and you can even use the money to pay for your monthly internet bill. If your school requires any other equipment, like a webcam or software, you can use 529 funds to pay for those items, too.
For example, if you’re a graphic design major and you need to buy Adobe software to complete a project, you can use your 529.Special Needs Services
Students who need any kind of special needs service can use 529 funds to cover those costs. This may include specific adaptive equipment that a student needs to attend class or turn in assignments.Student Loan Payments
Most assume they can only use the money in a 529 to pay for current college-related expenses. But since the SECURE Act of 2019, you can put up to $10,000 from your 529 toward existing student loans. That $10,000 figure is a lifetime limit, not an annual one, and applies to both federal and private student loans.Study Abroad
If you’re studying abroad in a program sponsored by your university, you can use 529 funds to pay for room, board and tuition costs.
However, not all the costs of studying abroad count as qualified education expenses. For example, the plane ride, souvenirs and museum visits don’t qualify.Foreign Schools
You’re not limited to using money in a 529 to pay for American schools. If the beneficiary enrolls in a foreign university, they may be able to use a 529 to pay for that tuition. However, that school must be a Title IV institution. You can find a full list of qualifying foreign schools here.Surprising Expenses That Aren’t Eligible
Not all college-related expenses are eligible, even if they seem necessary. For example, you can’t use 529 funds for transportation expenses like traveling to campus or going home during school breaks.
Here are some other expenses that don’t qualify:School-sponsored health insuranceCollege entrance and application feesFraternity or sorority fees (you can use 529 funds to pay for meals at a fraternity or sorority, but dues are considered ineligible expenses)Fees for activities and clubsOther living expenses
What if I Saved More Than I Can Spend?
Some parents find themselves with more money than they need in a child’s 529, often because they saved too much or because their child received more scholarships and grants than they predicted.
If you end up having more than you need in a 529, there are other ways to spend that money without paying taxes and the 10% penalty.
You can always keep the money in the same 529 and change the beneficiary. For example, if you have other children, you can make them the beneficiary instead of your current college-bound child. If you have other relatives, you can also make them the beneficiary. You won’t incur any special fees by doing this.
If your child is attending graduate or professional school, they can also use the 529 to pay for the same expenses that they incurred for their undergraduate degree.What Happens if I Make a Non-QualifiedPurchase?
If you make a non-qualified purchase, you’ll have to report the money as income on your taxes. That means you may pay federal, state and local taxes on the funds. You’ll also owe a 10% penalty.
Still, if you have extra money and can’t think of anything else to use it for, then making a non-qualified purchase may be your best option.Best Student Loan Refinance Lenders Of 2023
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