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?
Is your business prepared for a disaster? While it is not something any of us like to think about, businesses should have a disaster plan in place.
Most people understand the basic economic principle of supply and demand and incorporate it into their daily decisions. They may not do it consciously, but economic decisions are made every day by each and every one of us.
Last week I provided the Pyramid of Business Success, a nine layered structure. Layer seven was the Growth Plan.
The recent rise of pending home sales to the highest level in nearly four years supports experts who believe California's home resale market will achieve full bloom this spring.
I've long admired Coach John Wooden's "Pyramid of Success." In business, whatever blueprint, instructional manual or paint by number kit being used before the enterprise launches is quickly tossed aside once the doors open. After that, it becomes a freelance-thing or a free for all, for those lacking mentors, a Sherpa or the time to figure it out.
Once again we are upon the season of forecasts. A quick perusal of any investment website will turn up some very rosy and optimistic forecasts for the coming year and a least a few doom and gloom predictions.
One challenge of being a business owner or holding a position of leadership is keeping motivated.
January is typically a dormant time of year for the residential real estate market in the Santa Clarita Valley, yet this market recovery is so unusual that no one was surprised when statistics showed January posted the highest sales total for the month in six years.
Real estate development during the Great Recession has proven to be a very challenging endeavor. Even seasoned professionals have found themselves struggling to service debt on projects that are producing monthly net negative cash flows.
Last week I wrote about the 2012 Gallup Poll where only 21 percent of U.S. adults rated business executives with high or very high in honesty and ethics.
In the course of working with business owners and leaders, I have observed that the organizations that are the most successful over the long run are the ones that have a strong focus.