You have worked hard all your life to accumulate a pool of retirement assets. Now, or at some time in the near future, you will want to turn all or a portion of that pool of assets into a stream of income that will last as long as you live. It won't be easy with the ups and downs of the economy, which is normal, but currently we have to be more concerned for the additional problems caused with our energy costs and the financial markets fiasco.
Editor's Note: The Friday business columns known as Business Law will now be known as It's the Law. Capital gain relief for widows and widowers
I read with interest an article on the front page of The Signal on Monday. Several local business owners were interviewed and quoted about declining sales revenue, a reduction in customer buying and the impact of increasing costs on their businesses.
It seems that every time we turn on the news these days we hear an endless litany of big corporations that are closing their doors, thousands of workers being laid off across the country, more jobs being outsourced and everybody losing money (unless you're in oil). The unemployment figures that politicians spout as going down, is only going down because laid-off workers are falling off the unemployment list after using up their 26 weeks. But ...
In previous articles, I have discussed the advantages of using living trusts as an estate planning tool. It is extremely important that your estate plan is drafted only after a personal consultation with an attorney so that the plan can be customized according to your specific situation and desires.
It would be nice to believe that every organization is a proponent of continuous marketing (which means marketing in both strong and slowing economies), but not everyone has done so. Many of the organizations that did not market when times were good are now suffering. Others that should know better are becoming nervous as the bad news of the economy is reported and so these firms are cutting back on marketing and other expenditures. When ...
Cross my palm with debit cards - not silver! While the financial gurus are wringing their hands over the rise in credit card debt, consumers are going their merry way with their debit cards. The use of debit cards has increased more than 50 percent in just seven years, and banks see profit in the trend. They're cranking up the frequent flier and other rewards to encourage debit card use.
If you and your spouse pass away leaving minor children, have you selected someone to serve as their guardian? Have you chosen someone to manage their finances?
Day one: Make sure your organization has tests and yardsticks to measure performance. Are you measuring the most important things or just things you have always measured?
Everyone would agree that a structured sales method is needed for maximum efficiency, yet we all know of companies that ignore this fact. Without a set of steps or structure, sales are lost or ineffective so the process in use has to be assessed.
I recently attended an investment seminar and received the following information which is taken from a paper written about personal finance by two professors of finance and insurance, David Babbel and Craig
The Los Angeles Times recently ran an article that suggested personal liability against a Home Owner Association ("HOA") board member for giving legal advice without having a license to practice law and various blogs are now available for homeowners to ask for help and/or criticize their board members.
What is your organization's overall vision? Where are you going to be in three to five years?
Both the buyer and seller have the same question in mind: What is this business worth? This is where information becomes king! You can never have too much information when making a decision like buying or selling your small business. Most people see the worth of a business as the total value of equipment and fixtures, inventory, buildings and land. These are definitely important, but the sum of these values does not equal the value ...
Many business owners understand that if they divorce their spouses, they may have some liability to pay spousal support. But did you know that you also may have to buy your spouse out of your business?
A former leader of a large Fortune 500 company was quoted in an interview that "People who do things make mistakes. The biggest mistake is doing nothing."
Once a month, like clockwork, a gentleman comes to my house in the early morning and sprays for insects and bugs. We've spoken a few times and he always hands me his card, telling me to let him know if he needs to come back between visits. I think I have called him once in the last decade.
Local home resale prices last month hit the highest level in five years, with each leap up in prices rescuing legions of underwater owners, in effect, throwing them a life preserver and pulling them to dry land.
Thirty-six years ago this month I graduated from college. I didn't study a major that paid immediate dividends, meaning a job, and I wasn't ready for graduate school.
Peggy Noonan wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal on April 20 about her attendance at Margaret Thatcher's London funeral service. She commented that Mrs. Thatcher was often frustrated with her staff. Thatcher once said to her aides, "I don't need to be told what, I need to be told how."
Heated market conditions fueled by a tight inventory and strong sales in higher-cost coastal regions drove California's median home price in March to its highest level since May 2008. Local prices, right here in the Santa Clarita Valley are headed higher, too.
This week I'd like to introduce a company in a far different place compared to just a year ago. The organization has gone from despair to celebrating success. At the end of the first quarter of 2013, the owner said his company had "…Increased sales, reduced costs and improved our overall financial position in terms of positive cash flow and profitability, as well as reduced debt."
This is part two of a two-part column.
Some homeowners who are still struggling to avoid foreclosure may soon benefit from streamlined rules that offer an easy way to lower monthly payments and modify their mortgage without requiring financial or hardship documentation.
Looking back on those individuals who were my bosses, a clear distinction comes to mind.
The only people who benefit when a house is built are the family members who get to live there, and the builder who constructed and sold the home, right?
This column is part one of a two-part column.
In 1970 I started my first official job. I worked nine hours a week at a small grocery store. For the next two years I grossed $11.25 a week.
The residential housing resale market in the Santa Clarita Valley continued to recover during February, with sales and prices up to their highest levels in years.
There is a terrific exchange in the courtroom drama "A Few Good Men." Colonel Jessup, played by Jack Nicolson, turns from being a witness in a court martial to being the prosecutor when he asks Lieutenant Kaffee, played by Tom Cruise: "Have you ever spent time in an infantry unit, son?"