Using Technology for Small Business

Don’t miss the chance to listen to a Director of Dell Technologies in a free webinar for small businesses.

Our friends at NFIB are offering the free webinar titled: Technology Trends Critical for Small Businesses.  The presenter is Rob Elzner, Director, eCommerce, Dell Technologies.

The webinar is on Wednesday August 23 at 12PM ET.

Space is limited for the webinar, so registration is required.

Mr. Elzner will be offering information about ”what technologies are critical for the small business person; the genuine threats and how to protect your business and how to win eCommerce without a ton of expense.”

Go to the NFIB website for more information and to register.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

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Personal Cyber Security

Our friends at Squared Away from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College have come up with another pearl of wisdom for us: the Article/interview on June 27, 2017, How Your Data Get into the Wrong Hands

Warning: for some, the article might be scary reading!

The Squared Away Interview was with Chris Vickery, director of cyber-risk research for UpGuard in California, who warned listeners recently about a situation in which another high-technology company allowed 198 million voters’ personal information to become publicly accessible online.

In general, we are more vulnerable than we think we are to personal security breaches. “If a bad guy has your phone number and can get your PIN, they can, at 3 in the morning, get a code sent to your phone, listen to your voicemails, log in to your bank account and drain all your money,” Vickery said. “Phone numbers are more important than people realize.”

And there are a lot of people being careless with their emails and its content. Social networking sites are another source of information for the ‘bad guys’ to mine into.

According to Vickery, Experian put together a data base called Mosaic, and placed group names to the data. Here are some: “It’s (Mosaic) a lifestyle segmentation of people into groups that are labeled to describe their economic circumstances. The names of some top-level categories are “power elite,” “flourishing families,” “booming with confidence,” “suburban style,” “rising boomers,” promising families.”  Categories at the bottom, in terms of individuals’ economic circumstances, are “economic challenges,” “aspirational fusion,” “golden year guardians,” “striving forward,” and “urban survivors.”

You might wonder, like I did, which lifestyle description do I fall into according the Experian’s Mosaic segmentation?

Vickery said: “There is very little regulation protecting all of this intense data.”

One information technology representative referred to the present as a time of ‘mega data availability’.

For information about what Vickery recommends to allay some of your fears, go to the Squared Away article to read the entire interview.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

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Retirement Planners…Sample Some

I have written many articles about retirement and retirement planning. In most cases when people start to think about retirement, they begin to get serious about their estate planning needs as well.

There are many retirement planners on the market and on the internet. For those who want to get an idea of whether they are on track to reach their retirement goals, these retirement planners are helpful. Our friends at Squared Away have tested three free retirement planners that are available on the internet.

Although no one retirement planner is fool- proof, using such tools is better than just hoping that your goals are being met.

Here are the three picks from our friends at Squared Away (Why not try all three and compare them?)

Be forewarned, no one calculator from the internet will be ‘tailored’ to your exact circumstances.

The three picks from Squared Away are:

NewRetirement – newretirement.com

E$Planner Basic – esplanner.com

Target Your Retirement – available through the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Calculators use various assumptions to provide analyses. They all require (and rely on) estimates and financial data that you provide. If those estimates are inaccurate the results of the calculator may be also. Remember the old adage – garbage in, garbage out.

Also, many changing economic factors (interest rates; house valuations; medical costs, etc) make retirement calculations less than an exact science. However, retirement calculators are a good place to start, if you are willing to take the time to answer some detailed questions.

In the words of Squared Away: “A calculator is no substitute for a precise and detailed estimate by a financial planner. But it’s important to start somewhere.”

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

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Millionaire States

An article came across my desk about millionaires and their “migration”. No, not migration to some sunny island, rather migrating to another state in the U.S.: Top 10 Surprising States with the Most Millionaires”  (Phoenix Wealth & Affluent Monitor, February 17, 2017)

According to the article: “ Wealth is more concentrated and shifting geographically…”

So where do the millionaires migrate and which states top the list of having the most millionaires? More research concluded that Colorado did not make the top ten listing.

In 2015, according to thinkadvisor.com there were “6 million U.S. households with $1 million or more of (investable) assets.”

The top ten on that list: (which includes the District of Columbia) are: D.C.; Delaware; New Hampshire; Massachusetts; Virginia; Alaska; Hawaii; New Jersey; Connecticut and Maryland.

What makes these states so attractive to millionaires?

Apparently not taxes or cost of living, since New Jersey is a high tax state and Alaska is expensive to live.  Climate is not a deciding factor, think Alaska versus Hawaii!

I considered that perhaps the state mottos might have a connection?

If you are a millionaire – Why not migrate to a state with an attractive motto? (Just one thought)

So here are the interesting mottos of the above ten states:

D.C. – motto on corporate seal – Justice to all

Delaware – Liberty and Independence

New Hampshire – Live Free or Die

Massachusetts – (Latin) By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty

Virginia – (Latin) thus always to tyrants

Alaska – North to the future

Hawaii – (native Hawaiian translation) The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness

New Jersey – liberty and prosperity

Connecticut – (Latin) He who transplanted sustains

Maryland (Italian) strong deeds, gentle words

 Thus, the words that seem to attract millionaires? Justice, liberty, independence, freedom,future,  peace, righteousness, prosperity, deeds.

By the way, the motto (Latin) of Colorado is “Nothing without providence”

Working to Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

 Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

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Deciding About Electronic Wills

I have written previously about digital assets and the growing importance of those assets within Estate Planning.  There is much more being written about digital assets as they relate to Estate Planning.

Digital assets are electronic and recently The Colorado Bar Association is taking an intense look at the issues surrounding electronic wills. What is an electronic will?  To simplify for the purpose of this article it is a will/document that is signed and stored electronically.  (Do not confuse this with an on-line  document that one can print and then file in paper form.)

The main points about electronic wills revolve around the signing, witnessing and notarizing of the electronic will. The person making the will (the testator) signs the will electronically (using a computer, tablet or other electronic device), not with pen and ink.  The witnesses (remote witnesses) sign the will electronically (and can be virtually anywhere in the world to do the signing). The will is notarized electronically and one can assume that the will is then stored electronically.

The only state at the time of this writing that permits electronic wills is Nevada. According to an article in Technologist * “Nevada was the first state to authorize electronic wills, and includes safeguards for authentication. It requires that electronic wills be authenticated through finger prints, retinal scan, voice recognition, facial recognition, digital signature or other unique authentication process.”

Do electronic wills simplify the process of making a will? For those who are comfortable with technology and the concept of electronic wills, probably.

Does an electronic will afford adequate protection/privacy/security for the testator? That question remains to be answered. There are matters of safekeeping, privacy, storage and custodianship of an electronic will.

Is an electronic will secure and can it offer the same legal protections as having a paper/hard copy document? That depends upon technology advancements and ongoing legislation.

Can electronic wills stand up to the test of revisions, codicils, and legal challenges from beneficiaries? The jury is still out and each state will be working through legislation on the topic.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

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* Will Electronic Wills Be Legal Soon?  By William Vogeler, Esq.  (March 23, 2017)

 

Bankruptcy and The Elderly

Two free webinars slated for the elderly and their representatives by the NCLC – National Consumer Law Center – Consumer Alert for Elder Advocates – Their website is http://www.nclc.org

You can subscribe to the NCLC Elder Advocates E-Newsletter for free.

The first webinar is titled:  Bankruptcy Protections for Older Consumers – August 8, 2017

According to the NCLC:  “An increasing number of older consumers are struggling with unmanageable debt. Debt collectors are using aggressive tactics to pursue older adults with limited resources…”

The free webinar on August 8 outlines the issues facing older consumers and offers strategies to address the challenges. The webinar “ will highlight the various protections available and alternatives to filing for bankruptcy.”

You can register for the free webinar on the NCLC website.

The second webinar titled: Nursing Home Debt Collection is currently scheduled on  September 12.  Further details will be on the NCLC website.

About the webinar: “Nursing home residents and their families struggle to deal with debt arising from nursing home stays. This webinar will focus on efforts to collect this debt, review potential basis for liability, strategies to avoid the creation of unnecessary debt, and tactics to defend lawsuits. “

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

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Flying In To Washington

I post often about small businesses and the importance of estate planning for the small business entrepreneur.

Our friends at the NFIB (National Federation of Independent Businesses) are holding their annual “Fly In” event.

NFIB Participants fly to Washington to attend events and to make their voice heard through the organization.

The dates are July 26 – July 27. For more information about the FlyIn, go to www.nfib.com/flyin

If you cannot attend the event there will be ways to participate online. Check the NFIB website for details.

If you own a small business, this NFIB event will be worth tracking.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

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Millionaire Retirees

In case you missed it, Investopedia had a recent article titled:

“This Is How Retirees Live on $1 Million” By Greg DePersio (Investopedia, May 30, 2017).

You may be able to still access the article quickly via this link:

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/102715/how-retirees-live-1-million-dollars.asp#ixzz4j9ZOSSlO

If not, go to Investopedia.com and search for the article.

At first, when I read the title, I anticipated more of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” – but the reality is far different for ‘millionaires” today.

The article points out for those retirees fortunate enough to have saved wisely, that million in assets SHOULD last for as long as needed – providing it is invested wisely and managed carefully.

Clearly, having a million “ain’t” what it used to be!

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

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What Your Attorney May Not Tell You…

The Durable Power of Attorney is an important and powerful tool in your Estate Planning arsenal. When properly constructed, the document can offer peace of mind for you; for your beneficiaries and for loved ones who may be become responsible for your future care.

However, a word of caution. Your Power of Attorney document may not be determined as adequate for your financial institution to release funds when required. The financial institution may require their own form be filed. This would be particularly true of any foreign financial institutions.

An excellent article with some ‘real life’ examples is: New York Times on line: Finding Out Your Power of Attorney Is Powerless by Paula Span THE NEW OLD AGE ( MAY 6, 2016)

The article offers advice and examples of what families have had to do to access funds.

It is important to have an attorney draft your critical Estate Planning documents and to have those documents faithfully reviewed annually.

Contacting each financial institution about their required form may appear to be a laborious task, however, it can save your loved ones from unwanted legal issues.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

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Life In The Balance

I have been meaning to share this site with my readers for some time.

From the site, http://www.thebalance.com the article that caught my attention is titled “Compare Your Wealth to the Average American Net Worth”.

You might be surprised by the comparison!

First, let me say that the editor of the site is Jean Chatsky and her credentials are impressive. Her bio includes:  “financial editor for NBC’s Today show; an award-winning personal finance journalist; AARP’s personal finance ambassador and a best-selling author.”

Ms. Chatsky is definitely someone to heed! and the site runs the gamut of really interesting topics.

Visit thebalance.com website for more feature articles. Another article of particular interest in these days of escalating medical bills is “Tactics to Deal With Medical Debt

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

Visit my website: www.attorneybarbaradalvano.weebly.com for more articles and printable infographics