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In Random Thoughts

My Rant About The Equifax Breach, And What I’m Doing About It.

September 15, 2017 By

I am concerned about this recent Equifax breach.  The breach effected 143M consumers.  The breach started in May, and was not discovered until July.  The hackers now have the ability to commit identity fraud with the data.  So what is Equifax doing for us? I tried to see if I was one of the affected people.  I logged onto the dedicated website that Equifax established: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.  Outside of the requisite advice to change your password, FAQs, and a notice saying that Hurricane Irma can effect hotline wait times, they offered very little advice or help. This was no spoiler alert…

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In Random Thoughts

Social Security In The News

September 15, 2017 By

Many thanks to those who responded to last week’s blog on Social Security.  KUSI picked up the story! Watch it here: http://www.kusi.com/clip/13592385/how-social-security-fits-into-your-plan-when-you-retire. If you have any questions or concerns about your Social Security options, please reach out to me, I am happy to help. Barbara Norman, CFP®, ChFC®…

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In Random Thoughts

Happy 82nd Birthday to Social Security!

September 15, 2017 By

Social Security was signed into law by President Roosevelt on August 14th, 1935. Social Security is an integral piece in retirement planning.  I think it is important to know how your benefits are calculated and how to manage your account. Your Benefit is Based On our Lifetime Earnings The Social Security Administration looks at 35 years of earning history.  If you work longer than 35 years, then they use earnings for your highest paid 35 years.  If you work less than 35 years, then they will use $0 for the years you do not work.    Next, they apply a formula…

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In Random Thoughts

Do You Know Someone Effected By Harvey? The IRS and the DOL Offer Hurricane Harvey Relief

September 15, 2017 By

I have several family members who live in Houston and the outer lying areas.  Floodwaters rose and threatened their homes.  My dad’s oxygen tank was cut-off with the electricity.  A call to 911 yielded an answering machine that prompted them to leave a message and get in the queue. My sister (a nurse) and her husband were pulling equipment off a shoreline to save their business.  A call came and she was mandated to work for 3 days. What a nightmare! My family was fortunate.  Two good Samaritans showed up with a generator for my father.  They had heard, through…

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In Kids & Money

Graduate Not Finding Work?

August 3, 2017 By

My daughter graduated in the wake of the great recession – the worst job market in 80 years! Even now, finding a lucrative career path has not been easy for many graduates. As a parent, this is disheartening to watch. But let’s not forget that people love helping people. Explore your address book for contacts of every type and don’t be shy about asking for help. Reach out to friends, family, your advisors, and anyone else you may know. One never knows what miracle is around the corner.…

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In Random Thoughts

You Can’t Leave Money to Your Dog!

July 24, 2017 By

But you can leave money for your pet. I made trust provisions for my dog. Many people do. Just as you would name a guardian for your child, so can you name a guardian for your pet. Just make sure that person wants the animal! You may wish to think about leaving a sum of money your pet’s care. For example, I asked that money be set aside for veterinary charges, food, and grooming expenses. I won’t say how much money, because my mother would balk. The residual (if any) is to go to the Helen Woodward Foundation. If this…

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In Random Thoughts

College Campus Tours Revisited

July 17, 2017 By

A lot of people tell me that their college tours are a great bonding experience. But when I sit down and do a cost benefit analysis for college tours in the pre-application phase, the breakdown comes up negative. Pencil this one out. Vacation time is lost, and a lot of money is spent on travel, meals and hotels. At the end of the day, only one college is chosen. In my opinion, this is a colossal waste. I’m not saying you shouldn’t check out a college before you spend those precious application dollars. It’s free to visit websites and take…

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In Divorce

Ex wife Inherits, How Can This Be Fair?

July 9, 2017 By

Over the course of my career, I have delivered three life insurance death claims to an ex-wife. I am not making any judgement calls as the whether or not this was fair, or if karma was at work. Nevertheless, how does this happen? Let’s take a look at the case of Moore v. Moore 266 Mich App 96 (2005). Hetta and Clark divorced in 1999. As a part of the marital settlement agreement Hetta waived her rights to Clark’s life insurance and retirement plans. Clark did not change his beneficiaries with his retirement plan or the insurance company. When he…

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In Investments

Living With Volatility … Again!

March 17, 2015 By

2015 is proving to be volatile ride. I don’t like to sound redundant but, if you have a well balanced portfolio that complements your goals, then stay the course! Let’s look at some peak to trough activity to illustrate what moving to cash did to investors in the global financial crisis.  Assume that an investor had $100K invested in 50% bonds and 50% stocks on October 9th, 2007 (the then market high).  Assume further that he or she sold at the market low on March 9, 2009. On March 31, 2014, here are the results: The investor who moved to…

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