DO YOU NEED PROFESSIONAL FINANCIAL ADVICE?
According to the Nevada Society of CPAs, there is a common misconception that only the truly wealthy need professional financial planning. In reality, most people can benefit from it. Here are some signs that might signal the need for professional financial advice:
Things have gone so well for you that you suddenly realize the ads for individuals with a high net worth are targeting you.
Greater wealth often dictates the need for more sophisticated financial planning in terms of investing, taxes and estate planning. Financial advisors can help you identify and achieve your short- and long-term financial goals.
Things have gone so badly for you lately that even the teller at your local bank doesn’t take you seriously.
The recent downturn has taken many new and experienced investors by surprise and drained their financial resources. A financial planner can help get you back on track.
You’ve started a family.
There’s nothing like a few kids running around the house — and the thought of paying for their college educations — to get you to call in the experts. Professional financial advice can help you incorporate realistic college savings strategies into your financial plan.
You’re 50 and you haven’t begun to save for retirement.
No matter your age or income level, there are steps you can take to ensure a more secure financial future. A professional financial planner can help you maximize the use of tax-deferred contributions to a retirement plan, take advantage of the recently-enacted “catch-up” provisions, and determine the proper asset allocation and appropriate level of risk for your situation.
You’re convinced you’re paying too much in taxes.
In today’s fast-paced world, it is difficult to keep up with new tax laws, much less to understand how they apply. A CPA can help you develop effective tax strategies that may save you significant dollars.
You’re financially secure but want to leave money for your heirs.
Professional estate planning can help to ensure the proper transfer and distribution of assets to minimize estate taxes and administrative costs.
Other circumstances that could call for professional financial advice include receiving a substantial inheritance or windfall, starting a new job, and getting married or divorced. With the help of a financial planner, you may be able to achieve some new financial goals, protect the wealth you do have, and ensure the future financial security of you and your family.
Out of the Mouths of Babes…
Adecco, the nation’s largest staffing service company, recently conducted a survey of 74 children between the ages of 6 and 14, concerning their career preferences and other work-related issues. Although statements such as, “I want to make 50 thousand-million-hundred dollars a day,” make it difficult to label the survey as scientific, it certainly puts it among the most honest.
1. For the second year in a row, 95 percent of the children said spending time with family is more important than earning a large salary.
2. The most popular career option for girls 6 to 9 years old is medicine. Boys in the same age group prefer public-sector jobs such as firefighter and police officer.
3. Girls, ages 10 to 12, are interested in teaching, law and singing. Boys in that age group have varied interests such as, architect, guard on a professional basketball team and computer sales representative.
4. The older children might have more realistic career goals, but their salary estimations were not so realistic. Examples of their estimates include a diabetes doctor earning $1,000 per year and a teacher making $150,000 annually.
5. When asked to name “the coolest job in the universe,” the popular choice was president of the United States. Other answers included a penguin trainer, McDonald’s restaurant owner, and “the person who guards the roller coasters.”
6. Retirement plans varied from traveling and moving to Florida to skydiving and building a new career. More than anything, though, the children planned to spend more time with their families, including taking care of their parents.
Adecco predicts tomorrow’s workforce will contribute greatly to society with its intelligence and wit, as well as its understanding of the importance of balancing work and family in attaining the good life.
Junk Mail Not E-Mail’s Only Hazard
E-mail has totally changed the way we exchange information, but according to John R. Graham of Graham Communications, business people should take steps to avoid its negative aspects.
E-mail seems to encourage third-rate thinking. Because it is designed to be quick, e-mail seems to foster off-the-cuff, shoot-from-the-hip thinking. Whatever comes into someone’s mind at the moment is sent. Out of sight — and gone!
E-mail often confuses action with act. When asked about a particular situation, we often hear someone say, “I sent her an e-mail,” as if sending the message absolves the sender from further responsibility. The act of sending the message is confused with the action of taking steps to solve the problem.
E-mail often encourages “dumping” on the people we need to help us. “E-mail dumping” has quickly become an essential business skill. Like the child’s game of “hot potato,” it’s tempting to forward a problem to somebody else by e-mail, especially just before a three-day weekend, so you can claim it’s no longer on your desk. Unfortunately, dumping encourages miscommunication, mistakes and lost time.
E-mail can depersonalize communication. We say things in an e-mail message that we probably would not say either on the phone or face-to-face. Because e-mail messages are often “dashed off” and less well thought-out than a letter, for example, they can be curt or even misleading. It’s not uncommon to open an e-mail and discover something like this: “I need the job done tomorrow before 9:00 a.m.” The request would never be expressed so bluntly by phone, where a sense of negotiation would take place.
Graham points out that, although e-mail is an incredibly effective and efficient form of communication, it should be drafted using the same high standards as any thoughtful letter or memo. To abuse it is to abuse those who receive our e-mails.
Helping Your Business by Helping Others
Searching for the latest marketing innovation to bring more customers to your door? According to a recent report from Irwin Union Bank, the answer could be as simple as contributing your company’s time, money or talent to a worthwhile cause. The report quoted studies showing that 81 percent of Americans are likely to switch brands to support a cause; 79 percent of those surveyed believed companies have a responsibility to support charitable causes. The publicity gained from charitable endeavors can attract new customers and reinforce the loyalty of current customers. Corporate philanthropy can also help rally a community around your firm’s charity projects. Whether your business sponsors a toy drive or a fundraising campaign, the end result is a positive contribution that can help bond your business with community members. Corporate giving is a marketing technique that appeals to companies of all sizes. In fact, U.S. businesses contributed $3.4 billion to worthy causes in 1999, according to the Irwin Union Bank report.