It Could Happen to You

My grandmother and I have always been close.  When I was growing up, I spent many a Friday night having carpet picnics with her and my grandpa where we sat on the living room floor with a blanket and had dinner, usually fried chicken.  We would watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy and then play cards or board games until I fell asleep and they had to carry me to bed.  She still lives in the same house she’s lived in my whole life.  It holds a lot of memories for our family. Sadly, those… [read more]
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It’s Worth It

Wills, living wills, health care powers of attorney, beneficiary designations, and trusts – these are terms you probably recognize from every article that’s ever been written on estate planning.  For most people, estate planning is on the nagging list of ‘things I know I’m supposed to do, but don’t, and feel guilty about.’ When you’re rushing to your kid’s soccer practice, trying to keep up with your workload at home and the office, and otherwise living a full life, the last thing you want to make time for is something as unpleasant as deciding who… [read more]
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Something for Everyone

As I prepared for this week’s blog, I went back over a folder I keep of magazine clippings, conference notes and other ideas jotted down in chicken scratch (that may be an insult to chickens) and realized I had multiple items that, while not full blown topics themselves, were worth passing along.  Hopefully, you’ll find something that piques your interest below. The Long Term Care Decision As we’ve blogged numerous times in the past and discussed with many a client in meetings, the decision on how to plan for and insure against the need for… [read more]
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Uncomfortable Conversations – Part II

As we age, the financial services industry bombards us with invitations to steak dinners and seminars promising to reveal the secrets for protecting our assets from estate taxes, probate expenses and Medicaid laws.  (I get them too!)  But we’re rarely offered any guidance on how to communicate to our family  and friends how we want to live out the rest of our lives, and how we can maintain control over what happens to us when we’re no longer able to live the way we do now. Remember Terri Schiavo?  She was the 41 year… [read more]
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A Difficult Conversation

Last night I learned my father had a Transient Ischemic Attack or TIA, sometimes described as a mini-stroke. He was standing in the driveway, talking to my mother about the mums she had planted, and all of a sudden his speech became gibberish.  He said he felt like he was having an out-of-body experience, because he could see himself talking and couldn’t understand why his words were garbled.  He knew what he was thinking, but it wasn’t coming out. Mom said he looked totally bewildered and scared – which understandably scared her too.  Of… [read more]
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Now that I’m 18, you want me to do what?

(The following is from David Burleigh‘s blog dated July 14, 2014.  David is a local attorney and an expert in the areas of Family Philanthropy and Family Enterprise Strategic Planning.  He represents private business owners and their families in their business, family and personal affairs.  David is a shareholder at Cincinnati law firm Buechner, Haffer, Meyers, Koenig Co. and is a consultant for Withers Consulting Group, an international family enterprise consulting firm.) As I mentioned last time, my writings concerning governance and succession in family enterprises will appear on the Withers Consulting Group… [read more]
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Taking Stock of Our Stuff

Dimensional Fund Advisors’ Real Estate Securities Portfolio is the fund we use to gain exposure to U.S. Real Estate, the best performing asset class in our portfolios so far this year, up more than 20%.  The second largest holding in this fund is Public Storage, whose trademark orange garage doors are a familiar sight all over the country. If you know anything about our investment philosophy, you know I’m not here to tout an individual stock, but I bring this up because one of the many drivers in this fund’s success is, directly or… [read more]
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Will Your Financial Values Outlive You?

For most people, estate planning is easily avoided.  Thinking about our untimely demise is no fun, and trying to decide how to divide our assets and who will care for our children are questions that can be difficult to answer and so procrastination wins.  Finally making these decisions and drafting your documents does not mean you have completed your estate planning.  Having your assets distributed according to your wishes, and with the same care that you would take, is not something you can take for granted.  Creating a trust can be the first step in [read more]
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Preparation Isn’t Just For Boy Scouts

Last week I spent two days in Chicago as part of a program I started this year through the Sudden Money Institute to become a Certified Financial Transitionist.  Many clients we work with originally sought out TAAG when they were going through some type of transition – whether they were preparing to retire, recently widowed, had received an inheritance or were going through a divorce.  Change is never easy and most of the aforementioned changes are things that most of us will experience only once in life.  Often these events are times of extreme stress [read more]
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Our Farewell Plans

My family suffered a sudden loss last week when my Aunt passed unexpectedly while visiting her son in Colorado.  This difficult time alerted me to what’s likely a common gap in end of life planning.  Much has been written on the subject of proper estate planning.  Wills, trusts, POAs and the like all have their place depending on the individual situation.    What I want to touch on today is even more basic, but often overlooked.  It doesn’t require a lot of documentation, though some might help.  It’s simply thinking through your wishes for services and [read more]
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