Archive - November 23, 2009

1
Holiday Spending During a Recession
2
NAPFA’s Top 5 “New Perspectives”
3
The Santa Claus Deduction
4
Avoiding Family Conflicts with Your Illness or Death

Holiday Spending During a Recession

The holidays are upon us and many people are saying “Bah Humbug!”  There is a way to enjoy the holidays without overspending.  Here are a few tips:

  • Plan your shopping.  Don’t go out shopping without a list of what you’re looking for and the price range you have for each purchase.  No impulse purchases!
  • Make gifts.  Take a little time to put together gifts with materials you already have or are inexpensive.  It can be a knitted scarf, a photo collage, homemade bread, or a bird house.  The personal touch is better than anything money can buy.
  • Make
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NAPFA’s Top 5 “New Perspectives”

If you ever wished you could be a fly on the wall at a financial planners’ conference, here’s your big chance!  Alternatively, if that sounds about as appealing to you as watching paint dry, this “Reader’s Digest version” might be just what you’re looking for.   So here they are: my key takeaways from the recent “New Perspectives” Conference for the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic chapter of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).

1.  The shape of the recession –  Speakers who addressed this tended to doubt we’ll see the classic V-shaped recession, the best-case scenario whereby things “snap back” to normal

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The Santa Claus Deduction

There’s a reason Santa does all his work right before year-end.  Since he’s on a cash basis only (okay, milk and The Santa Claus Deductioncookies and cash, probably), he has mastered the first rule of smart tax planning  – MAXIMIZE YOUR DEDUCTIONS & MINIMIZE YOUR INCOME.  So he pays all his elves by Christmas Day, delivers the goods on the 25th and then waits for the payments (in the form of good deeds, I’m sure) to dribble in over the course of the next year.   He didn’t get to be Santa Claus for nothin’…

But you don’t have to have a little round …

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Avoiding Family Conflicts with Your Illness or Death

Conflict and arguing within the family is the last thing anyone wants to have happen. Unfortunately, many people fail to have the proper estate planning documents so at the time of serious illness or death there is uncertainty, which creates discourse and strife from which some families never recover.

Below is a review of the documents you may need to be sure your desires are clear and legal, hence minimizing conflicts and confusion in your family.

The Advanced Health Care Directive is a specific form that lists your healthcare preferences to be used only at a time when you cannot …

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