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Are You Wasting Money? - Part 1

Posted on: February 1st, 2014
Most of us are guilty of wasting money in one way or another. Often we are so busy that we pay too much for convenience, and we don't comparison shop or look for bargains. Sometimes we waste money because we just stay in the same routines--shopping at the same stores, eating at the same places, using the same services. And sometimes, especially if we don't keep good records of how we spend our money, we may not even realize how much money we are wasting....

The Truth About Personal Risk Management, Part 1: Insurance

Posted on: January 1st, 2014
Personal risk management is being aware of the risks in your home and in your life, and then planning how to handle those risks. Insurance plays a big part in managing risk. Most people don't like paying insurance premiums, but when something happens and the insurance pays for a covered expense, they are relieved they had it....

Budgeting, Part 3: Instilling Money Values in Children and Grandchildren

Posted on: December 15th, 2013
Money values can be a guiding light that is a component of your legacy. If communicated frequently and purposefully, these values can be an important reference for your loved ones as they learn to handle money....

Budgeting, Part 2: A Fulfilling Method for Setting Spending Priorities

Posted on: November 15th, 2013
Setting spending priorities will allow you to process your income in a rational way, while giving you the satisfaction that your wealth objectives are on their way to fulfillment....

Name: Budgeting, Part 1: Budgeting as a Friend and not a Foe

Posted on: October 15th, 2013
Budgets do control spending behavior. However, budgets also allocate resources to the areas of highest impact or interest. When a budget is structured based on priorities and values, much of the controlling element is removed. ...

Organize Information for Your Family

Posted on: September 15th, 2013
Think for a few moments about what would happen if you suddenly became incapacitated or died. Would your spouse or family know what to do? Would they know where to find important records, assets and insurance documents? Would they be able to access (or even know about) online accounts or files on your computer? Would they know whom to ask if they need help? Putting the effort in now to establish a formal document inventory can alleviate unnecessary anxiety and turmoil in the future....

Who should be your Successor Trustee?

Posted on: August 15th, 2013
If you have a revocable living trust, you probably named yourself as trustee so you can continue to manage your own financial affairs, but eventually someone will need to step in for you when you are no longer able to act due to incapacity or after your death. The Successor Trustee plays an important role in the effective execution of your estate plan....

Estate Planning for Unmarried Partners Part One: Planning for After Death

Posted on: July 15th, 2013
Estate planning is creating a set of instructions that specify how property is handled after death, and how property and health care decisions are handled during a period of incapacity. Proper estate planning is important for everyone. But for unmarried partners--opposite sex or same sex--it is critical. Part One of this two-part article will address some issues for unmarried partners to consider for after-death estate planning....

The Value of Having a “Plan” in Estate Planning

Posted on: June 15th, 2013
All too often, estate planning is viewed as a transaction: a will, a living trust, powers of attorney, etc. But the best planning happens when the professional can get to know the client on a deeper level, to uncover hopes, dreams and aspirations. It becomes more about family and values, and it becomes a process instead of a transaction....

Special Needs Planning

Posted on: May 15th, 2013
In this issue of The Wealth Advisor, we will focus on an area that will likely apply to you or someone close to you: planning for a loved one with special needs. We will look at the increasing need for this planning; the decrease in government benefits; the concerns families have about providing for their loved ones; whether it is worth protecting government benefits; and planning tips to help you provide for and protect your loved one for as long as he or she lives....

Planning for Incapacity and Long-Term Care

Posted on: April 15th, 2013
With people living longer due to advances in medicine and changes in lifestyle, odds are that most of us will become disabled for some time before we die and may need long-term care. Unfortunately, too few plan for an event that is more likely to be a probability than a possibility--and the consequences of not planning can be disastrous for all involved....

Young Adults need Estate Planning too!

Posted on: March 15th, 2013
Once a child turns 18, parents lose the legal ability to make decisions for their child or even to find out basic information. Learning you cannot see your college student's grades without his/her permission can be mildly frustrating. But a medical emergency can take this frustration to a completely different level. The parents (or a sibling or another person) will probably have to go to court and ask for permission to obtain information about the student's medical condition, be able to make decisions about treatment, and have access to the student's financial records and accounts....

Estate Planning for Young Families

Posted on: February 15th, 2013
Many young families put off estate planning because they are young and healthy, or because they don't think they can afford it. But even a healthy, young adult can be taken suddenly by an accident or illness. And while none of us expects to die while our family is young, planning for the possibility is prudent and responsible. Also, estate planning does not have to be expensive; a young family can start with the essential legal documents and term life insurance, then update and upgrade as their financial situation improves. A good estate plan for a young family will include the following:...

Estate Planning in 2013 and Beyond under the New Tax Law

Posted on: January 15th, 2013
For those who have been sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see what Congress would do, the wait is over. Now that we have some certainty with "permanent" laws, there is no excuse to postpone planning any longer....

Get Ready for These Five New Taxes on January 1, 2013

Posted on: December 15th, 2012
Now that the health care law has been declared constitutional, several significant provisions will become effective on January 1, 2013....

Blended Families Underscore the Need for Estate Planning

Posted on: November 15th, 2012
Anyone with children or modest assets should seriously consider some minimal estate planning, but the increasing number of blended families underscores the need for proper estate planning....

The Most Important Love Letters You’ll Ever Write

Posted on: October 15th, 2012
Many Americans have the misperception that estate planning is simply preparing for one's death and is only necessary for the affluent. To the contrary, estate planning is as much about passing values to loved ones as it is about passing material possessions....

Paying for College . . . and accomplishing estate planning too

Posted on: September 15th, 2012
With higher education costs outpacing inflation by 5-6% per year, and the average cost of a four-year public school at nearly $20,000 per year (double that for private schools) it’s no surprise that many parents and grandparents are deeply concerned about how they will pay for higher education. Many of these clients are similarly concerned about estate planning....

5 Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Posted on: August 15th, 2012
From time to time, it's good to review why having a complete, up-to-date estate plan is so important. In addition to confirming our own actions, it can provide us with valuable information to pass along to friends and family who, for whatever reasons, have yet to act. So, here are five common estate planning mistakes to avoid....

Understanding the Significance of Trusts

Posted on: July 15th, 2012
This issue of The Wealth Counselor addresses a topic that is important to clients and all wealth planning professionals: Trusts. When used properly, trusts can provide significant advantages to clients and to the advisors who recommend them. Given the numerous types of trusts, this newsletter explores the general advantages of trusts as well as some of the most common types of trusts. ...
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