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Long-Term Care Insurance: Who Needs It?

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

We will all need long term care insurance at some point in our lives. The basic principle behind this financial term is ‘plan for your future early’. And while you are thinking of the future, consider inflation and the rise of costs and expenses. It only makes sense to secure your health starting today.

We came across this article which clears all confusion on who needs a Long-Term Care Insurance.

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Long Term Care Insurance: 6 Ways to Buy It Right

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Analyze what is most necessary and don’t go overboard. A long-term care insurance policy which covers both institutional and community-based care is enough. Doing so helps you stick with your resources and prevents you from spending too much. You need to be certain the insurance company is reputable and that both the company and the agent are properly licensed to sell long term care insurance.

We came across this article which gives a clear view that you need to keep in mind when buying long term care insurance.

It’s not only the insurance companies and investment markets that are messing with the future of long-term care. They’re doing it in the name of consumer protection. But that adds to the need for even higher premiums later, Some states don’t permit short-term policies or other money-saving designs that could reach a wider market.

Nevertheless, this industry isn’t going away. People with assets should get their heads out of the sand and protect themselves against these old-age costs. Here are six rules for buying LTCI today:

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Why Buy-Sell Agreements make Good Business Sense

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

A business is largely dependant on its owners for its survival. So it is only fair that the owners will be concerned with the fate of the business in case something was to happen to the owner. One would want to ensure continuity of ownership and management without having to compromise on the business in any way. A fail-safe guarantee is a well-drafted buy-sell agreement. Think of it as a pre-martial agreement or even a will between business owners. Such a buyout agreement, between co-owners of a business is binding on the signees. Its purpose is to govern any situation, in relation to the owner, that can cause distress to the business.
The most important part of such an agreement is the listing of trigger events, or specific situations that will cause a mandatory or optional buyout of an owner’s interest.
These trigger events usually include;
Death: This is a universal clause in almost all buy-sell agreements. In the event of an owner’s death, the entity or the surviving shareholders have the obligation to purchase the interest of the deceased.
Disability: In case of an owner’s disability, after a defined period of time, the corporation can have a defined right or obligation, to purchase the disabled employee’s shares.
Sellout to a third party: The buy-sell agreement should specify the terms under which a potential sale can be presented to the co-owners of the business.
Retirement of an owner: The owner’s retirement will usually result in a mandatory buyout of the business, after deciding on the valuation methods and payment terms.
Owner’s divorce or bankruptcy: In either event, the business is liable to be subjected to outsider interference. As a safety measure, the co-owners should include a clause that forces the affected owner to sell either shares or the entity itself, after deciding on the valuation methods and payment terms.
Keeping these major trigger events in mind, a well-drafted buy-sell agreement will provide reasonable and workable solutions for your business.

Smart Wills Are a Must Have for a Happy Retirement

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Having worked tirelessly for all of your lives, its now time to reap the benefits of a well deserved retirement. A crucial part of that retirement is knowing the security of the wealth you have created for your family.

Some aspects to keep in mind:

Your Will:

* Is the single-most important document of your Property/Asset Distribution ‘intent’,
* It is how you would like your wealth, and assets, to be dealt with once you have passed,
* It is to whom you wish to bequeath all that you own,
* As well as a careful understanding of your wishes, which in turn yields a clear & tamper-proof will,
* It is the sound financial plan, advisable for ensuring the smooth transition of your family wealth.

The Much Needed Beneficiary Designation:

Since your wealth must only go to the Beneficiaries you think fit, and to no one else,

* Wealth Beneficiaries must be reviewed at the time of planning asset & property distribution.
* Beneficiaries need to be revised in several cases like divorce and death
* Beneficiaries must be assigned in consultation to derive the best Tax & Financial benefits

Joint Tenancy

Once in a while, jointly held property is a matter that results in family disputes:

* On the passing on of a holder of Joint Property, the ‘Survivor’ clause is activated
* The Holding then passes on to the survivors of the tenancy(or the plot)

Therefore careful thought must be given to a decision of starting Joint Tenancy.

Revocable Living Trust

A Revocable Living Trust is one where you can be both the Grantor (original trustee) & the Beneficiary (receiver) do the following :

* The property & wealth are put into a trust, and have the power to Amend or Discontinue the trust at any time,
* Since it does not constitute a Gift, there are no Gift Tax consequences in setting it up
* Thus, when setting up your trust you must seek sound advise and consult with an appropriate advisor – with ample experience in the field.

Your wealth distribution must be well informed, well thought out, safe and equitable; done in a legal, sensitive and advantageous way.

Pre-Planning for your Retirement

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Didn’t hiring a wedding planner to create perfect moments on your big day seem like a good investment? So why not let a retirement planner help you live the life of comfort that you crave for during your working years. A lot of people ask me how much money I should set aside for my retirement. I always repeat that the quality of life you would like to enjoy, when you are older, depends on how much you are able to save for it now.

Do A Quick Calculation

Considering your current financial situation-

* Think of all the things you would like to be able to afford in the near future.
* Think of how much you currently save, and how much you would need to save to live comfortably for the next five years.
* Now triple that. This should give you a target of the bare minimum you need to save for five years post retiring.

The first step of a good retirement plan would be to determine your objectives. By doing this, you are listing out all the wants and needs for whenever it is you plan to retire. Every person has individual needs; these necessities need to be well taken care of. Are you availing of any IRA or any sort of pension? Keep all this in mind before going ahead.

From the above points, gather all the information you would need to consider before even thinking of making a retirement plan. Three other major things you need to consider are-

1. The cost of living in the future, inflation, taxes, as well as health care costs.
2. Your stocks, ventures, etc for their current worth, as well as their projected worth to gauge what sort of income you can expect from them.
3. Estate planning encompasses protection of your assets for you as well as for your beneficiaries. Most people assume they can over look this part. However, never underestimate it’s role in your retirement portfolio.

If you wish to learn more about other factors which affect retirement planning, please feel free to request for more information

Also, visit out services list to know how we help you with your retirement planning.

My personal advice to you is- “If you wish to work through your retirement, you must make sure it’s an optional job and you are not working with the purpose of supporting yourself and your family.” All the best!

Must-Haves for a Financial Planner

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

With the ongoing recession, people all over America are steering towards finding recluse in financial planners who guarantee financial stability. Most, however, fail to grasp the importance of ensuring the planner suited for their requirements.

More often than naught, one will find cheeky sales men masked as experienced financial planners trying to palm off the first policy they get. One needs to ensure that a financial planner is more than just a sales person. The following points should be kept in mind while hiring a financial planner.

1. Check whether he / she is qualified: before signing any contract with a financial advisor check whether they are registered or have the required certificates. One may check online to see if they are registered with the Certified Financial Planner mark, the Chartered Financial Consultant or the Personal Financial Specialist labels. These are the only people whose advice one should consider. Even with these designations, some people may not have enough experience to handle the portfolio.
2. Honest financial planners are extremely serious about their work. Most sellers today, are out to sell investments. Instead of being concerned with creating the perfect plan for you, they are concerned with what they will earn out of it. Try to find a genuine person, who is dependable.
3. The planner should freely tell you how he or she is earning revenue. If you feel you need to ask directly – you may phrase it by saying you’d like to see a copy of his/her ADV form. This form needs to have been filled with the Securities and Exchange Commission and will give one a brief idea of the earnings structure of the agent.
4. One must check that the planner looks at the bigger picture of financial planning and not just the budget or earnings – but they must get a clear and apt picture of your current monetary condition.
5. Lastly, regardless of which products they are selling, if they have the relevant experience they should have an idea of all the products available in the market, and not just the ones they are selling. This would be great to help anyone understand what suits individual portfolios best, what are the requirements at the end of the term, and thus only if he or she is able to look at the broader picture- will this be possible.

There are smaller things that play pivotal roles in choosing a planner such as overall experience, integrity, what they are planning for themselves – their portfolios etc, however most of these are personal questions most people feel difficult to address. Do however keep in mind the above points- without those you are not fairly equipped to entrust yours or your family’s finances with another person.

Financial Planning is Not Just for the Super Wealthy

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Financial planning is a step that every person, regardless of their bounds of wealth, should take advice from experts for. Most people feel financial guidance is only for the ultra rich. Well, wake up! It is, in fact needed by any person, regardless of gross income or savings!

Financial planning is the “Long-term profit planning aimed at generating greater return on assets, growth in market share, and at solving foreseeable problems – regardless of the level of possible investment.”

According to Noel Whittaker “Becoming wealthy is not a matter of how much you earn, who your parents are, or what you do… it is a matter of managing your money properly.”

The need for financial planning arises for multiple reasons. What exactly do you want to do with your money? Are you able to save even after paying all your bills? What would you like to give yourself at the end of a year of extremely hard work? A car? A Harley? May be a safe and secure home, which cannot be foreclosed?

A gambit of questions – and one answer to them all. I remember my nephew asking me when he was three why do we keep feeding his piggy bank, when he needs the dime for candy? I remember his mother telling him that he could buy himself a whole big bar of chocolate if he saved his dimes for three weeks in a row! The look on his face after that was to die for! We have a picture of him putting his dime in his piggy bank, today this boy having learnt the value of money through his dime stories – has just bought his own Chevy – at nineteen years of age.

A sensible financial plan is one, which can help you secure your future. You may not be earning millions, as long as you plan the dollars you earn, you can be certain of a protected future, at least financially. Don’t resist dropping a comment; I will most happily answer any query…