The Government May Be Your Partner!

“A taxpayer is someone who works for the government, but doesn’t have to take the Civil Service Exam.”   –  Ronald Reagan

Is the government your partner?  If so, wealth preservation may be an issue… expect Uncle Sam to want part of all you worked for when you die.

If you own raw land, a farm, a successsful business,  or rental property, be careful;  a portion of your estate may be siphoned off to pay federal and state death taxes, as well as fees and final expenses required to administer your estate. Your family then receives what is remaining after these estate settlement costs have been paid.    Here’s an illustration of the situation your heirs could face: Continue reading

Could Your Business Run Without You?

6a017c332c5ecb970b017eea826334970d-320wiThis is the test of whether you own a business or a job  Back in the days when I was in publishing, I read Robert Townshend’s Up The Organization, which told the story about how he grew Avis from virtually nothing to becoming #2 behind Hertz.    While that book was about a big corporation and my publishing enterprise was in the small business category, there were some excellent lessons that I could apply.

Many small business owners assume they’ll find a ready and willing buyer – with cash – when the time comes; and it’s almost never true. Continue reading

Market Opinions Everywhere; That’s Why They’re Meaningless.

Retirement planning isn’t about gambling; it’s about, well,  planning.

I noticed a recent Twitter post from US News & World Report entitled, 9 Simple Ways To Quit Worrying About Retirement.   It’s aimed at people in their 40’s and contains some excellent advice.  If you’re in your 40’s – or know someone who is – you may want to look it over. Continue reading

Looking to Sell Your Business?

6a017c332c5ecb970b017c384a4369970b-320wiDo you know the true value of your business?  Business valuation isn’t as easy as assigning a multiple, and finding a buyer isn’t as easy as placing an ad.

Selling your business isn’t easy.   If I had to take a guess, I’d be willing to bet that 90% of all business owners have never sold a business before; and most, if not all, of them have more than 80% of their net worth tied-up in their own businesses.   When you think about it, it’s scary. Continue reading

A Market High!!!!! Should YOU Jump In?

6a017c332c5ecb970b017c384ba4db970b-320wiThe market seemed to love the first quarter… as it’s loved many before.  Does that mean the party will continue?  It might be best to look at some underlying factors.

I, along with most other advisors, constantly caution people about trying to ‘time’ the markets.  I personally don’t think anyone can do it with any consistency; and, even Warren Buffett says it’s a fools game – I guess he should know.

So the decision to sell, buy or wait based on market conditions, including the current one, is, according to experts, a fool’s game.  I agree.

The issue isn’t whether we should be making market-based decisions; but how we make long-term career decisions, realizing that market climates, like the weather, will change.  There are some things we do know, however: Continue reading

Retirement Planning and The Hidden Risk No One Talks About

6a017c332c5ecb970b017c37fc6922970b-320wiRetirement plannning doesn’t seem as easy as it used to be.  During the 1990s, everyone assumed that markets only went up and double-digit returns were accepted by many as normal.

Now, reality has set in.  With lower returns and a poor(er) economy, many facing retirement are now worried.   They’re worried about running out of money in retirement.    It’s called longevity risk.

But, there are other risks also affecting seniors and those planning retirement many don’t even suspect – these are risks no one is talking about. Continue reading