If National Estate Planning Awareness Week, which started yesterday, snuck up on you this year, you are not alone. In fact, if you don’t have an estate plan, you have lots of company. Fifty percent of Americans lack a will and other vital estate planning documents, and their absence is a sure path to probate court and often lengthy, costly legal proceedings before an estate is settled.
You’ve made all the right financial decisions. You’ve saved, you’ve planned, you’ve invested. But what if your heirs aren’t quite ready for the responsibilities and tax advantages that go along with inheriting your dutifully funded IRA? Your best bet for control from the grave may be a trusteed IRA.
Whether it’s newly designed branches or banks without branches at all, the banking industry is undergoing a physical transformation as consumers seek improved customer service and more digital options.
Brian Collins is a 26-year-old director of accounts at Sacramento-based mobile applications marketing firm Appency. He makes what he calls “decent money,” is putting lots of it into a 401(k) and has an eye on his financial future. And, like most people his age, he’s decided that buying a house is not part of the plan.
Today’s small farmer climbs an uphill battle to find land, secure capital and overcome the hefty start-up costs. Today, farmers make up less than 1 percent of the population (compared to 15 percent in 1950), they tend to be older (the average age is 57) and about 25 percent are expected to retire in the next 20 years. “This is a new problem for human society,” writes Sharon Astyk, author of “A Nation of Farmers.”
A 2010 Federal Reserve rule requires banks to ask customers if they want to sign up for overdraft protection programs, which often come with steep penalties for making purchases that exceed the account balance. A Consumer Finance Protection Board report released in June suggests the change may not be enough to protect consumers.
Call them the face of the new frugal. Erica Rhyne-Christensen and fiancé Bryant Giorgi, both 27, don’t vacation much. They hardly eat out. Until recently, they rented rooms in a group house for $400 a month each instead of getting solo apartments, and they didn’t have TV.
Two hundred, four hundred … twenty, forty, sixty, eighty, five hundred …
As the young woman behind the glass divider counts out the entirety of my paycheck, I can’t help but think of how measly it looks before I stuff it in my wallet.
For all the tales of woe during the real estate downturn, many new homeowners see their purchase as a good move. Debbie Grose, a financial advisor at Lighthouse Financial Planning in Folsom, helped 32-year-old talent acquisition manager Pranav Damle and his wife walk through their decision to buy a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house in Folsom last year.
Michael and Susan Pope had witnessed enough of parenthood to give them second thoughts about having children of their own. After seeing friends vanish into an abyss of diaper bags, sleepless nights, stress, arguments and the apparent loss of every conceivable freedom, they had plenty of reasons to reconsider.