Palo Alto CA Estate Planning Blog

Friday, June 12, 2015

Underage drinking is always a problem

On behalf of Noland Law Firm, LLC posted in drunk driving on Friday, June 12, 2015.

One of the more troubling aspects of alcohol consumption is that of underage drinking. In Missouri, underage possession of alcohol is prohibited by law.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Understanding Losses: Property

Property insurance provides protection against most risks to property, such as fire, theft and some weather damage. However, if property has appreciated and there isn’t sufficient insurance for replacement value, any losses must be paid out of pocket. To protect your wealth from these kinds of losses, it is important to determine replacement values so you will have adequate insurance.

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

How to Stop Worrying About Running Out of Money in Retirement

Many retirees today worry about having enough money for their retirement. Of special concern is if there will be enough money to provide for the surviving spouse. This is called “shortfall risk,” and it is a valid concern. People are living longer and health care costs continue rising, especially long-term care which many seniors will need. In addition, the recent recession has given us setbacks in investments and record low interest rates. When combined, these issues can have a serious effect on retirement savings and projected income. But there are some things you can do now to help manage your shortfall risk and protect your assets.

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Recovering Emotionally from Past Financial Errors

Most of us will admit to having made some financial mistakes we regret—running up credit card debt, impulse buying, or making a bad investment or business decision. While there can be significant devastation, the key is to move beyond regret into productive action. What, then, are some strategies that can restore a person’s self-confidence and avoid financial failures in the future?

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Passion Investing as a Spark to Your Life

Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and over 50% of the Fortune 400’s The Richest People in America list have decided to give away their wealth for charitable pursuits. Of course, not many of us have that kind of money or are inclined to give away all we own. However, giving to charitable organizations is something that anyone can do, and we can all derive a similar satisfaction by investing in causes that light our passion.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Are You Wasting Money? Part Three: Taxes, Insurance, Not Bidding and/or Negotiating

So far in this series on wasting money, we have looked at how people may overpay for housing, interest, transportation, food, clothing and entertainment. In this last part, we will look at a few more areas in which we may pay more than necessary—taxes, insurance, not obtaining bids for services, and not negotiating for large purchases.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Are You Wasting Money? Part Two: Food, Clothing and Entertainment

In Part One of this series on wasting money, we looked at housing, interest and transportation—areas in which you or your loved ones may be wasting larger amounts of money. In Part Two, we will look at how money can be wasted in everyday areas of life—specifically food, clothing and entertainment.

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Are You Wasting Money? Part One: Housing, Interest and Transportation


Most of us are guilty of wasting money in one way or another. Often we are so busy that we pay too much for convenience, and we don’t comparison shop or look for bargains. Sometimes we waste money because we just stay in the same routines—shopping at the same stores, eating at the same places, using the same services. And sometimes, especially if we don’t keep good records of how we spend our money, we may not even realize how much money we are wasting.

In this three-part series, we look at ways that money is wasted. While it may not apply to you, there are others in your life such as children or grandchildren that will benefit from these lessons. For those with budgeting discipline, an element of your financial legacy is to teach and train others to live within their means. And, as these disciplines are learned by your beneficiaries, you gain greater comfort that valued purposes will be pursued with distributions.

The Key Takeaways

  • Tracking and evaluating how money is spent helps illustrate areas of waste.
  • Overspending can drive people into debt and prevent them from having money for things that really matter.
  • Reducing wasteful spending helps people to live within their means and provide more money for things that are most important.

Major Spending Areas … And Actions to Consider

  1. Housing. Living close to where one works definitely can save time and money on a commute, but moving to a neighborhood that is just a little farther out can save a bundle. If someone is retired or works from home, moving to a less expensive part of the country is an attractive option.

  2. Interest. Credit cards, student loans, car loans, home mortgage, home equity line of credit, other consumer loans—any time money is borrowed, interest payments accumulate. The most expensive of all is credit card debt. By renegotiating interest rates, not only are monthly payments reduced but considerable amounts of accumulated interest are also saved. Of course, great care needs to be taken when considering buying anything via debt.

  3. Transportation. Car payments, insurance, gas, maintenance and repairs are necessary expenses, but there may be ways to economize. Some people can work from home one or two days a week. Since a new car depreciates the minute it is driven off the lot, buying a previously owned car can save thousands.

What You Need to Know: Eliminating wasteful spending is especially important for people who need to watch their expenses—retirees who may be on a fixed budget, those who have been laid off or are working part time, young families, and college graduates who are trying to start a career while repaying student loans. But even if plenty of money is at hand for living expenses, being a careful consumer helps money go further and adds important lessons to be passed to loved ones as a component of a financial legacy.

Other Actions to Consider

  • Evaluate housing, interest and transportation expenses.
  • Determine how much to spend in these high-cost areas and how much can be cut.
  • Check out different neighborhoods and transportation options and see how much money can be saved.
  • Call lenders and their competitors to see if better interest rates can be negotiated.

Pay off debt as soon as possible.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Protecting Against Financial Fraud in Charitable Giving

Americans are very generous when it comes to charitable giving. In addition, lower earners give more proportionately than higher earners. Perhaps this is because lower earners understand how easily a family can slip into financial crisis through the loss of a job or medical expenses. The thought of “that could be me” makes people very sympathetic to helping others in need, and many cheerfully give their hard-earned money to try to help people. People of faith tend to be generous and faithful givers, and Americans, in general, are quick to help whenever tragedy or devastation strikes anywhere in the world.

Unfortunately, we have to be very careful about how we make charitable contributions in order to protect our hearts and our dollars from financial fraud.

Read more . . .

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Long-Term Care Planning, Part 2

The first part of planning for long-term care is realizing that, a) most of us will need this kind of care for at least some time before we die and b) the cost of this care can be financially devastating for a family if it is not planned for in advance. This was covered in Long-Term Care Planning, Part 1.

The next part is determining how you will pay for long-term care that may be needed for you, your spouse or another family member.

Read more . . .

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Long-Term Care Planning, Part 1

Health care has been the topic of discussion lately, but the greatest threat to your financial health is long-term care. This is the kind of care you need if you are not able to perform normal daily activities (such as eating, dressing, bathing and toileting) without help, and it is expected that you will need this help for an extended period of time, often for the rest of your life.

Read more . . .

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