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Think you don’t need disability coverage? Think again. We all want to leave this world with our financial affairs in good order. So we draft a will and an estate plan and purchase life insurance. But few of us consider disability insurance – the coverage that can help us maintain our income and quality of life while we are alive. And even fewer planners or advisors offer the chance to help you mitigate the risk. Statistics show that people in their 30s are three times more likely to suffer a long-term disability than they are to die. The non-profit Council for Disability Awareness notes that the average individual disability claim duration is 31.6 months,...
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Our firm understands that advisement of a client’s portfolio is an integral part of their financial life plan, however it is not the only element that contributes to meeting a client’s goals and aspirations. At Suncoast Advisory Group nothing inspires us more than helping clients turn someday dreams into reality today. In order to accomplish our mission, we need to understand our clients before the numbers through their values and ideal vision to assist in improving their sense of fulfillment and quality of life. Over the past decade there has been a tremendous shift in the way financial advisors have been compensated for...
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Today I met with nine veterans and their families from Homes for Our Troops to discuss how we will help them plan for their future and the future in the new homes. It is terrific to know that so many donors are helping build brand new, first class homes that are fully handi-capped equipped for the young (and some not so young) veterans. They are almost all missing a leg; sometimes two; need wheel-chair accessibility, have PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury. But they all are positive, grateful, hopeful and looking forward. Our planners do a terrific job of getting them prepared. A few months ago I met a couple at a fund-raiser and discussed their FP experience....
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In 2016, the ACA expands the small group insurance market to include employers with 100 or fewer FTEs • Historically, market rules have generally defined small groups as 2 to 50 eligible employees • Newly “small” groups will face: • More restrictive rating rules, which may increase premiums for some (or reduce for others) • Additional benefit requirements that could reduce benefit flexibility and increase premiums • Adverse selection in the market if more employers self-insure • ACA’s Guaranteed Renewability rules may allow newly “small”...
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There are plenty of stories about the challenges of moving on from a business when it’s time to leave, but there are also more positive stories about proven paths for successful business exits. One such example is that of Arbor Investments LLC in Michigan after the sale of 208 Arbor Drug Stores in 1998. The goal of the founder, Eugene Applebaum, was to generate enough wealth to expand philanthropy efforts. As part of this path, he opened up a family office and trained his two daughters to be the agents of change that would put his goals into action. He trained them to think and then execute in 15 year cycles, including actions like disengaging from...
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Unfortunately, when it comes to fraud, there is a perfect storm targeting senior citizens. Many of the scammers who target this population are extremely crafty and have compelling stories and displays to make it look as if their operation is legitimate. Steering clear of these situations can be difficult; read on to learn more. As a result of longer living and the risk of cognitive decline, there are challenges facing the elderly population when it comes to fraud schemes. One major concern has to do with financial abuse, which is frequently underreported. There is a large gray area associated with inheritance versus abuse, meaning that very few cases...
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To all, The CFP work experience accepts two years of being an apprentice under a certified financial planner as acceptable work experience. Can anyone offer any guidance or reccomdations on how I would be able to apply for or get involved in such a program? I don't have any experience in the financial industry. The will be the most challenging component for me in meeting all the prerequisites for the CFP designation. I am located in the Fresno, CA area.
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The Supreme Court’s recent decision has already had a big impact around the country, and it certainly influences the legal rights of same-sex couples with regard to taxes and spousal benefits. There are several different ways that this influences current planning. If you are planning to get married in light of the recent ruling, read on to learn about some of these critical impacts. The first factor has to do with healthcare. The spouse will now have priority in healthcare decision, a legal sticking point in the past. The spouse could also have a say in guardianship situations. Taxes are another way that couples may wish to evaluate their current decisions,...
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For many years, company owners have used LLCs and limited partnerships to pass on businesses to their heirs. Passing on these business interests might also be accompanied with a transfer of marketable securities wherein the partnership keeps control but the gift overall reduces assets and therefore the tax burden. This practice is now under scrutiny from the IRS because securities can be appraised and receive a discount, which reduces the amount of the gift and the tax associated with the transaction. This gifting methodology, which allows for those who have exceeded the single or couple lifetime gift exemptions, has been used by wealthy individuals...
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Asset protection is a term that is thrown around quite a lot in planning circles, and depending on who you talk to, the definition in use could be different. In general, however, there are two stages to asset protection. In the first stage, you evaluate all of the possible scenarios under which risks may expose an individual or a business to financial jeopardy. These risks can come from multiple different directions, but all of them can be very damaging. A divorce or an argument within a partnership can both be frustrating and unfortunate, but they can generate vastly different outcomes. Although it’s not always easy to plan for these situations, it’s...
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Succession planning is a complex process that involves the big picture of your business years down the road, but key to that success is finding the right people to take over main management positions. Where possible, it’s a good plan to have successors across the board prepared for next steps. Although the specifics will depend on each business, you should ensure that successors at each level are ready for promotion. Suggested numbers include preparing 80 percent of people for promotion, depending on who you think has the skillset to succeed in the higher role and how well that individual would work with other team members. Finding committed people...
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As more baby boomers are crossing into the retirement divide each day, the need for an elder care lawyer is only growing. Older individuals have many different challenges to contend with, chief among them being healthcare and estate planning. Good counsel with experience in elder care will be beneficial in many different ways, including disability and social security issues, asset transfer, long-term care, and estate and trust work. Finding someone with experience in the field ensures that all your questions are answered properly and that you feel confident about the future. Before hiring an elder care attorney, ask about qualifications: how long...
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Placing an individual in the role of trustee for your estate is something that should be done with care. This person will serve as a fiduciary, remaining responsible for managing your assets. It’s important that the trustee and the person hiring such an individual understand that trusteeship is not a quick or simple job. This position requires energy, common sense, and willingness to focus on the finer details. When hiring a trustee, it’s important to be clear about all details and be willing to reconsider the relationship if life conditions of either party change over time. If you are not comfortable with an individual serving in this role, institutional...
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As a result of a federal law that became active in 1993, states were required to recover long-term care expenses for those aged 55 and over after an individual passed away. Each state also had the option to go after all health expenses, too. There were exemptions made for estates that included a surviving spouse, a child under the age of 21, or a household with a blind/disabled child of any age. These Medicaid Estate Recovery Programs vary from state to state in terms of their specific requirements and the vigor with which collection is pursued- this is why it’s important to consult with a specialist if you have more questions. Implementation...
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One of the most important aspects of valuing a business is in the timing- you must have the will to do it now and carry this momentum forward. Even in times of feeling overwhelmed or burdened by day to day stress, unplanned events must be considered. In fact, in times of high stress it can become all the more frustrating to realize that you did not carefully plan for the future. Death or disability can come at any time, and not having thought in advance about how to deal with such challenges can prove very problematic for a business owner. Even when a key employee decides to leave the company, the impact can be felt throughout the business if you have...
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As children grow older and leave the home, as retirement takes away much of the interaction with work contacts, and as the possible loss of a spouse impacts an elderly individual, being alone becomes the norm. Unfortunately, it can also be a dangerous problem if you don’t plan ahead for how you can stay socially involved with friends, family, and your community. As baby boomers age, it becomes much more likely that both parents and even friends pass away, which can lead to feelings of extremely loneliness and even depression. When these major life events alter how often you’re interacting with others, it’s important to take steps to build a support...
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If someone comes to you seemingly out of the blue to make an offer on your business, tread carefully. Although this can seem exciting, you need to carefully vet this individual and determine whether it’s the right fit for your business. One of the biggest problems with the unsolicited offer is that it pulls attention away from running a company into selling one, because the offer of stepping away from routine and receiving a large sum of money can be very tempting. Large industry firms that make these offers could contact dozens of firms with the aim of never providing a price and instead stringing out the process long enough so as to receive a discount....
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Putting together wills and powers of attorney are cornerstones of estate planning. In the aftermath of 9/11, an attorney in South Carolina approached first responders and firefighters only to learn that as many as 80 percent were without these critical documents. While we often suggest on this blog that everyone have a will, it’s especially important for individuals in these special situations to plan ahead. While it’s hoped that your loved ones don’t have to worry about what should happen if you were to pass away, planning can help to limit the trauma and grief faced by your family members in an already difficult time. If you have never put together...
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If you tuned into yesterday’s post, you saw the basic information about how holding companies work and the general situations where they make sense for either an individual or a corporation. Today, we’re going into a little more detail about holding companies. Many large holding companies will put the entity receiving income from subsidiaries in a country with a low income tax rate. One such example is the Isle of Man. This is a complicated process and should be handled by an asset protection specialist who can advise you about the benefits of locating the company in specific places. Transferring assets to others can be quite simple using a holding...
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​ If you’ve been wondering about whether a holding company could benefit you, read on through this first part of a two-part post. A holding company is a special entity equipped to hold investments, serving as a conduit through which the company controls and enables the underlying businesses. It can be used for both individuals and corporations. From the individual perspective, it can be used as an investment vehicle. For corporations, a holding company can benefit a risk-management strategy. The key benefit of this structure is that it leverages money and has the ability to make a small investment hold control over a much bigger portfolio. As...
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