With the weakening of home prices and lenders tightening credit, an increasing number of Americans are borrowing money from their retirement plans. A Duke University Magazine survey found in December that nearly 20 percent of companies have seen increased hardship withdrawals and loans from 401(k) accounts, often to cover mortgage payments or to avoid personal bankruptcy.
One of the most depressing moments I had during this tax season (of which I had several) was having to tell a retired lady that she owed close to $40,000 in taxes when she thought she was going to get a refund. The culprit that caused this unfortunate surprise involved the sale of her primary residence. Here is her sad story.
It's finally over. Sixty-five teams playing 64 games and scoring 8,853 points between them. It's official, the University of Kansas is the NCAA basketball champion, coming from behind in regulation play to force the game with Memphis State into overtime.
Today, Social Security covers about 163 million workers with 49 million people receiving benefits. Many people think that Social Security contributions are held in interest-bearing accounts to be used for their
What happens to your pet if you become incapacitated or die? We have seen many beloved pets abandoned or taken to the animal shelter because an owner has failed to include provisions for the care of their animals in their estate planning documents.
Many people consider estate planning as something that is only necessary for the elderly or for the rich. I would argue that estate planning is necessary for anyone over the age of 18. Before you stop reading, let me describe some actual incidents that have occurred in the past couple of months that illustrate the need for estate planning by younger adults.
With all the bad news going around about recession or economy in slow-growth, the one thing that's not debatable is that the employment market is weaker than it was a year ago. Let the economists figure out what's going on these days but you can do something about your income situation. There are two ways for you to go. You can sit at your desk or in your shop with a "the sky is falling" ...
This is the second part in a series of columns by David Poole, a partner in the law firm of Poole & Shaffery, LLP. In Part 1 of this article, we discussed the need for the prudent purchaser of legal services to represent them in a business dispute to have a thoughtful and thorough approach to the attorney hiring process.
In an effort to boost the U.S. economy, Congress passed the Economic Stimulus Package Act of 2008 on Feb. 7.
It seems that nearly every day the media is touting that some brand name business or an industry is on the verge of collapse. The reality is that every day businesses fail and industries consolidate, meaning companies are purchased by competitors or go by the wayside. Those businesses that cannot adapt or change will ultimately fail.
As a company grows, one area that often becomes a bottleneck is communication. There are certain dynamics that take place in communications, as the number of involved people increases. For example, in a small two-person company, there is the greatest opportunity for direct conversation and discussion throughout the day.
As people get older, they often hire individuals or companies to perform services for them, such as housekeeping, cooking, driving, paying bills and personal care.
You goofed! You just found a credit card bill stuck in your car's sun visor and it's due today. You forgot to file your tax return, and you're afraid to "fess up" to Uncle Sam. You got nailed for running that tail-end yellow to red light, and you're worried that you'll get your rates raised when your insurance company learns of the ticket.
Punitive damages are damages imposed to punish certain defendants for malicious conduct, fraud or other despicable conduct. Such damages have nothing to do with compensating the victim of such conduct. They are imposed, in addition to compensatory damages, to punish the defendant for egregious wrongdoing. Imposition of such damages used to be relatively rare, but the frequency and amount of punitive damage awards - especially on business defendants - has increased dramatically in recent years. ...
When it comes to investing, patience can have its rewards. In fact, for the 10 years ended December 31,2006, a hypothetical $10,000 investment in Standard & Poor's 500 Index would have almost doubled to $19,147. However, if during this time frame, the investment would have missed:
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.