BANKING & FINANCE An Anton Media Group Special March 23-29, 2016
2015 Tax Changes
How to get more back on your return Inside Estate Planning Mistakes Unclaimed Money
Palumbo Wealth Management Group UBS Financial Services Inc. Philip G. Palumbo Senior Vice President-Wealth Management Senior Portfolio Manager CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERâ„˘
16 ANTON MEDIA GROUP • MARCH 23 - 29, 2016
ANTON MEDIA GROUP • MARCH 23 - 29, 2016
2016 Y A TAX D
2015 Tax Changes That Change The Bottom Line
BY ELIZABETH JOHNSON
Act of 2015 that was signed into law. It changes the options for how and when recipients file for Social A number of tax changes have Security. These changes will take occurred during 2015 that impact effect May 1, 2016. If you are going to your personal and business taxes. So turn 62 or 66 before April 30, 2016, you if you own such assets as a business, may need to make some important real estate or investments, it is recom- decisions. mended that you hire an accountant One of the to maximize your savings. A certified two big public accountant (CPA) will help you changes is identify the changes in tax policy that the ability occur annually. The software they use to file for typically has the latest tax regulations and then and codes. Further, a savvy tax presuspend parer can usually find deductions you your Social would normally not be aware of. Security This year the tax filing deadline benefits for income taxes will be Monday, in order April 18. Friday, April 15, is a legal to enable holiday in the Washington, D.C.— your spouse Emancipation Day is observed—givand/or ing you the weekend to file last minute children returns. Here are two major changes to collect to be aware of: benefits while you Changes To Social Security let yours accumulate. The other There were huge changes made change has to do with the choice of to Social Security benefits that were taking spousal benefits or your own contained in the Bipartisan Budget benefits. For detailed information on EJOHNSON@ANTONMEDIAGROUP.COM
these changes go to www.ssa.gov. Health Insurance Requirement All United States residents are required to have health insurance providing minimal essential coverage. If you don’t, there will be a penalty imposed. In 2015 the penalty is set to increase to the greater of 2 percent of your income or $325 per household member. In 2016, it is set to be the greater of 2.5 percent of your income or $695 per household member. After that it will adjust based on inflation. The penalty is capped to be no higher than the cost of the lowest bronze level plan on
the Affordable Care Act Health Benefit Exchange. For 2015 that is $308.15 per month per household member for New York residents (also capped at five household members). If you have a business with less than 50 full-time (or equivalent) employees, then you are not required to provide insurance. Businesses with 50 or more employees will be penalized if they don’t provide insurance to their employees. If your family income is less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level, you may be entitled to subsidies for your health insurance. The only way to get the subsidies is if your insurance was obtained on the Exchange. They do not apply if you obtain insurance privately. If you did get insurance on the Exchange and a subsidy was provided, that subsidy was based on estimated income. If too much of a subsidy was granted, additional payments must be made to the IRS. If too little was assessed, a credit will be taken on the tax return which could result in a refund or a reduced balance due.
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UBS Financial Services Inc. Philip G. Palumbo Senior Vice President-Wealth Management | Senior Portfolio Manager CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ 1055 Franklin Avenue | Garden City, NY 11530 Tel. 516-408-5848 | Fax: 855-244-1843 ©UBS 2016. The key symbol and UBS are among the registered and unregistered trademarks of UBS. All rights reserved. UBS Financial Services Inc. is a subsidiary of UBS AG. Member FINRA/SIPC.
18 ANTON MEDIA GROUP • MARCH 23 - 29, 2016
How To Avoid 10 Common Estate Planning Mistakes BY KELLY MCGOWAN
Estate planning helps an individual prepare for the transfer of wealth after his or her death. Many people shy away from creating or even conKelly McGowan templating an estate plan, and misconceptions about this process abound. Ten problems commonly encountered in the estate planning field can be easily avoided with a proper estate plan.
Leaving everything to your spouse Some people believe that their estate will not have to pay state or federal estate taxes because of the unlimited
estate tax marital deduction. The marital tax is actually a tax deferral. Upon the death of the surviving spouse, all assets that spouse received (plus appreciation) will be combined with the assets the spouse already owned and will be subject to tax.
Leaving assets outright to beneficiaries Assets left outright to beneficiaries are not protected from creditors or divorcing spouses. Placing that asset in certain trusts will give the beneficiary access, but block a creditor or ex-spouse.
Leaving a living trust unfunded If you create a trust to avoid probate, leaving it unfunded will defeat this purpose. After executing a trust, you should fund the trust with assets
smaller than the federal and state exemptions, they do not need an estate plan. However, a complete estate plan ensures management of your affairs, implementation of your wishes for property and medical decisions, and peace of mind that any minor children will be cared for by the people you chose and not the courts.
I’m too young for estate planning This belief does not prevent the many premature deaths each year. Anyone over the age of 18, especially those with young children, should consider having an estate plan.
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Creating a plan without legal counsel Estate planning is not one size fits all. Laws are complex and each plan should be tailored to your particular circumstances. Filling out forms online will not consider all of your financial and personal goals to create the most fitting estate plan. 150897 C
Estate planning is only for the wealthy Some believe that if their estate is
Naming the wrong people as executors and trustees Select an executor and trustee who will have the time and ability to implement your wishes. Avoid selecting out-of-state and out-of-country fiduciaries. Your estate plan is only as good as the people who manage your estate.
No estate plan When there is a will there is a way, but without a will, New York (or the state in which you reside) will write a will for you, and you might not like what it says.
Neglecting to update your estate plan Life circumstances change and new tax and or estate laws are passed each year that may affect your plan. Re-evaluate estate plans every five years or whenever there is a major life change to ensure your plan continues to reflect your wishes. Kelly McGowan is an associate in the trusts and estates practice group at Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, LLP, in Mineola.
ANTON MEDIA GROUP • MARCH 23 - 29, 2016
16 0 2 Y X DA
Free Tax Assistance Sites
BY ANTON MEDIA STAFF SPECIALSECTIONS@ANTONMEDIAGROUP.COM
As Tax Day approaches, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance tax experts continue to provide free tax filing assistance at 85 sites across the state. These locations add to the expanding network of sites that help eligible New Yorkers file timely and accurate returns at no charge for individuals and families who earned less than $62,000 in 2015. The state is offering 1,200 sessions—a 600 percent increase since the program was launched in 2014. “Every hardworking New Yorker should be able to benefit from all tax credits that apply to them, and by offering this free assistance we can make sure that happens,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “This is an important resource for people to utilize, and I’m proud that our administration is continuing to increase our support to taxpayers statewide.” Most New York taxpayers are eligible to e-file their personal income tax returns for free, yet more than
70 percent still hire a tax preparer to complete the return, which often costs hundreds of dollars per filing.
• your bank account and routing numbers (for direct depositing your refund) • proof of your income: Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 What to bring to your • any other documents showing FSA session additional income To ensure a successful, facilitated “By taking advantage of this free self assistance (FSA) session, you service, more taxpayers can effectively must bring the fulfill their following: tax respon• a copy of sibilities your federal and claim and state tax the refunds return tax they may be return from due,” said last year (if Jerry Boone, filed) New York • a picture State taxation ID (such as and finance a driver’s commissionlicense, a er. Taxpayers passport or, will also if you live in discover that filing their returns from NYC, an IDNYC) one of these sites helps them receive • an Affordable (ACT) healthcare all of the tax credits for which they’re statement (Form 1095-A, Form 1095-B eligible, such as the Earned Income Tax or Form 1095-C) Credit or the Child Care Dependent • a health insurance exemption Credit. Visit tax.ny.gov/eitc for more certificate (if received) information on the Earned Income Tax • information related to any credits Credit, which can mean as much as you are claiming $8,000 in benefits for working families.
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The tax volunteers guide taxpayers through tax preparation software. The average return takes about an hour. Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are accepted at many locations on a first-come, first-served basis. Select sites offer staff who can speak foreign languages, including Chinese, Spanish or Russian. The IRS and AARP also offer a directory of more than 800 sites where certified volunteers will help eligible taxpayers prepare and e-file their taxes.
Nassau County FSA sites: Bethpage Federal Credit Union, 26 West Park Ave., Long Beach on Thursday, March 24, March 31 and April 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. English and Spanish assistance available. United Healthcare Community Plan, 250 Fulton Ave., Suite 12, Hempstead on Wednesday, March 23, March 30 and April 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. English and Spanish assistance available. Call 516-247-6359 for details about this site. Visit www.tax.ny.gov/fsa or call 518-457-5181 for additional tax sites and session dates.
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ANTON MEDIA GROUP • MARCH 23 - 29, 2016
You Might Have Unclaimed Funds
More than $14 billion unclaimed BY CHRISTY HINKO CHINKO@ANTONMEDIAGROUP.COM
In less than two months, more than $77,623,068 has been returned in unclaimed funds by the office of the New York state comptroller, but more than $14 billion (up more than $2 billion since last year) remains in unclaimed funds such as savings accounts, checking accounts, uncashed checks, telephone/utility deposits, rental security deposits, wages, insurance benefits/policies, safe deposit box contents, mortgage insurance refunds, stocks and dividends, mutual funds, certificates of deposit, trust funds and estate proceeds that people have forgotten about or left dormant. Banks, insurance companies, utilities, investment companies and many other businesses are required by state law to turn over inactive accounts to the state. The state comptroller’s office holds these funds in trust, serving as a custodian of these funds until they can be claimed by their rightful owners. A simple Internet search is all it takes to see if there are unclaimed funds in your name. You can perform a search by visiting the state comptroller’s website (www. osc.state.ny.us/ouf). Type in your name and click “submit” to see if there are any funds in the database associated with your name. A last name is required, but the first name can either be a full name or just an initial.
If your name does not come up right away, the comptroller’s office recommends some of the following search tips: • Narrow the results by entering an entire first name, or expand your search by using the first initial of your first name. • Check that you did not enter a space before or after any part of the name. Spaces will affect the results. • Eliminate spaces or punctuation within the last name (i.e., O’Conner - Oconner). Try a few variations of spelling you last name (common misspellings). • If filtering with “city,” try previous and current cities/towns of residence. • City names may be abbreviated (ex.: Brooklyn or BKLYN). Try variations of city names such as New York City, NYC, New York or Manhattan. • Company names may be abbreviated (ex.: AT&T or A T & T or Amer Tel & Tel). If the search does not turn anything up but you still think there are unclaimed funds in your name, you can call the Office of Unclaimed Funds Communication Center at 800-221-9311 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The state comptroller’s office does not charge a fee to search or file a claim for unclaimed funds. Nationally, you can visit www. missingmoney.com to search for
money in other states. This would be useful if you have lived in other states or have had accounted with companies in other parts of the country. It’s important to know that the search for your unclaimed money is free. You should never be asked by any website or company to pay a fee or percentage of any monies that are yours. Retrieving your money is also free, and you should never be asked to pay a fee to have this money released to you. Each entity holding unclaimed money for you has a varying claim process, usually by application and proof of identification requirements.
Additional sources for unclaimed money are: • Search your state’s listing of
unclaimed funds and property (www. unclaimed.org). • Check out webapps.dol.gov/wow if you think you may be owed back wages from your employer. • Search for unclaimed pension money from companies that went out of business or ended a defined plan (www.search.pbgc.gov/mp). • Check Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website (www.irs.gov) to find your unclaimed refunds. Visit www.usa.gov/ unclaimed-money for more resources for specific types of missing funds. What’s there to lose? Spend a few minutes to see if you have unclaimed money. Could be pennies. Could be thousands of dollars.
Published by Anton Media Group KARL V. ANTON, JR. Publisher, 1984–2000 ANGELA SUSAN ANTON Editor and Publisher FRANK A. VIRGA President STEVE MOSCO Senior Managing Editor CHRISTY HINKO Managing Editor, Special Sections ALEX NUÑEZ Art Director KAREN MENGEL Director of Production IRIS PICONE Operations Manager SHARI EGNASKO Executive Assistant JOY DIDONATO Circulation Director 132 East Second Street, Mineola, NY 11501 Phone: 516-747- 8282 • Fax: 516-742-5867 advertising inquiries email@example.com circulation inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org editorial submissions email@example.com Anton Media Group © 2016
ANTON MEDIA GROUP • MARCH 23 - 29, 2016
Getting The Most From Your Cards: Tips From The Federal Reserve Pay on time.
less in interest charges—money that you will be able to spend on other things, and you’ll pay off your balance sooner.
Paying your credit card account on time helps you avoid late fees as well as penalty interest rates applied to your account, and helps you maintain a good credit record. A good credit record leads to a higher credit score, which helps you qualify for lower interest rates. Know the date your payment is due. If your bill is due at an inconvenient time of the month—for example, if it’s due on the 10th and you get paid on the 15th—contact your credit card company to see if they will change your billing cycle to fit your cash flow.
Watch for changes in the terms of your account.
Stay below your credit limit.
If you go over your credit limit on your card, your card issuer could charge a fee and increase your interest rate to a higher penalty rate. To avoid this, keep a record of your spending or check your balance online. Also, be aware that some merchants (for example, hotel and car rental companies) put a “hold” on your credit card based on their estimate of the amount you will charge. This can reduce your available credit until the final charge is processed.
Avoid unnecessary fees.
Credit card companies not only charge late payment and over-thelimit fees, but also fees for cash advances, transferring balances, and having a payment returned. Some companies charge a fee when you pay your bill by phone. Pay attention to the transactions that trigger these fees. If you need a cash advance, withdraw enough so that you don’t have to take
a second cash advance—and incur a second fee--later in the month. Read your credit card agreement to learn more about the fees that your credit card company charges.
Pay more than the minimum payment.
If you can’t pay your balance in full each month, try to pay as much of the total as you can. Over time, you’ll pay
Credit card companies can change the terms and conditions of your account. They will send you advance notices about changes in fees, interest rates, billing, and other features. By reading these “change in terms” notices, you can decide whether you want to change the way you use the card. For example, if cash advance fees increase, you may decide to use a different card for cash advances. If you have a card with a variable rate or if you have an introductory rate that is ending, be aware that credit card companies are not required to send you a notice about raising your interest rate. Interest rates are listed on your monthly bill. Read your bill carefully and take note of any changes. Visit the Federal Reserve’s consumer information page (www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo) for more smart money tips.
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22 ANTON MEDIA GROUP • MARCH 23 - 29, 2016
Sharing Money Problems With Kids BY NATHANIEL SILLIN
Kids are surprisingly resilient in the face of a crisis. But even so, serious family money troubles can potentially affect a young person’s home life, education and outlook on money management down the road. While my wife and I don’t have kids, children under the age of 10 who are particularly mature—and particularly observant—often can immediately pick up on a parent’s stress over money or other issues. How can you be honest about your finances with a child under the age of 18 without spreading confusion or stress? The American Psychological Association points out (www.apa. org/helpcenter/children-economy. aspx) that kids can often deal with a crisis fairly well, but most aren’t yet keenly aware of tension in the household. When sharing money problems with your kids, here are a few ideas from the APA and other resources you can use: Tell the truth, but watch how you
tell it. You want to spare your child from hardship and worry, but it’s important not to say things are great when they’re clearly not. Try to explain what’s
happening in brief but truthful detail, and leave time for questions. Any child, no matter how sophisticated, can become worried if his or her parents reveal extreme fear about money concerns. Keep in
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Keep the discussion age-appropriate. Teens may be more aware of general financial circumstances because they can spot different
behavior at home or because their friends’ parents might be going through similar circumstances. However, younger kids generally have less knowledge and experience to process what’s going on. Tell kids what they need to know, but don’t overload them with information.
Introduce or reinforce money lessons. Whatever the problem, reinforce smart spending and savings behavior no matter what the child’s age. However old they are, kids should get regular lessons in the relationship between money and the things in their lives.
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mind there’s a great opportunity in these conversations to understand your child’s thoughts and attitudes. Make it a kind understanding conversation, and listen for clues.
Set an example. It may be difficult, but demonstrate grace under pressure. Be calm and reasoned. If you are looking for work, discuss that with your children and even share what that process is like. Remember, kids learn by example. If they see their parents dealing sensibly with adversity no matter how long it takes to right the ship, that’s a very important lesson. Communicate behaviors that they will need to learn if they’re going to successfully deal with money problems as adults.
Make it educational. Communicate behaviors that kids
will need to successfully manage money in the future. Whatever the problem, reinforce smart spending and saving behavior no matter what the child’s age. Teaching kids about money can be fun by introducing educational games. The Practical Money Skills website (www. practicalmoneyskills. com/games) offers a collection of games kids can play to learn how to save money. Talk to them about important financial concepts such as budgeting, and bring them to life using real-life examples like planning an affordable family vacation or outing. Introduce the emergency fund. One of the essential building blocks of personal finance, the emergency fund exists to protect savings and keep borrowing to a minimum. Older children might embrace the value of an emergency fund as a way to offset the financial loss of a lost bike, or some other personal item. For adults, the general rule of thumb on emergency funds is to have at least three to six months of savings on hand in case of a lost job or expensive repair. The key is to talk with teens about the parallel financial risks in their lives that might benefit from the existence of emergency savings. Focus on things more important than...things. Parents can use a tough financial stretch to focus on the positive, such as time spent enjoying family, friends and pets, which doesn’t cost much at all. Good health and healthy behaviors are essential elements of correcting problems, overcoming tough times and living a full life. In short, use this moment in time to help your child put money in the proper perspective. Bottom line: A money crisis can truly test the strength of a family. Should you find yourself in a financial bind, use it to teach your kids some very important money lessons. Nathaniel Sillin directs Visa’s financial education programs.
ANTON MEDIA GROUP • MARCH 23 - 29, 2016
A Financial Introduction For Kids And Teens BY MAURA VERNICE MVERNICE@ANTONMEDIAGROUP.COM
Author David W. Bianchi wrote Blue Chip Kids: What Every Child And Parent Should Know About Money, Investing, and the Stock Market as a tool for parents and kids to start the discussion about money and finances. Bianchi is an investor and lawyer with an economics degree from Tufts University. Most schools don’t teach kids life skills about money, and Bianchi, the father of a young teen, was surprised at the lack of financial books for teens. He decided to write this book as a teaching tool for his son. Blue Chip Kids: What Every Child And Parent Should Know About Money, Investing, and the Stock Market discusses 100 topics in easyto-read language with kid-friendly illustrations and simple examples. The book includes the basics—how to pay for things with credit cards, debit cards, checks and electronic
bill payments—as well as budgeting and understanding what it means to have debt. It also delves into more complex topics such as buying and selling stock, currencies, exchange rates, dividends, and puts and calls, among other topics. Most teens know about college loans but have no idea what that means in the real world. Do colleges explain to them how much interest they will be paying back on a $200,000 college loan? Or how long it will take? This book introduces the basics of borrowing money and interest rates. Bianchi also takes on taxes, another topic that most teens don’t learn about in school. It even approaches complex
Kelly McGowan topics such as venture capital and private equity in an easily understandable way. Many parents find some of these topics daunting and may not know that much about the stock market or finance, so this book is a great conversation starter. It is a wonderful teaching tool to start a dialogue between parents and their children about money and investing. In the
process, parents will learn more about these important subjects as well. The book is being used in the Miami Dade County school district after the author donated 1,000 for the 12th grade. The book also hit number 1 on Amazon for Kids and Money. A television show is in the works about Blue Chip Kids as well. Bianchi, who grew up in Bellport, NY, is a guest speaker at schools and financial institutions around the country. Blue Chip Kids: What Every Child And Parent Should Know About Money, Investing, and the Stock Market is available on Amazon in hardcover for $16.90.
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ANTON MEDIA GROUP • MARCH 23 - 29, 2016
Dodd-Frank Laws Are Failing America BY WARREN GOLDBERG
Many financial institutions may be “too small to succeed” in this era of “regulatory onslaught” brought on by Dodd-Frank (and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).
There are those who are so indoctrinated by their politics, they can’t correlate the facts with their political beliefs. For the rest of America, including most every economist, bank executive and business owner, it’s an undisputed fact that the Dodd-Frank laws implemented since 2010 have been a drag on the economy and job creation. The financial reform laws more commonly referred to as the Dodd-Frank Act have imposed more than 400 new regulations on the financial industry in the past few years. This comprises more financial regulations than were created in the previous 30 years. These regulatory burdens have resulted in dramatic decreases in mortgage, consumer and business lending, while the increased compliance costs associated with these new laws are smothering small businesses, including community banks and credit unions. Study after study has verified the adverse while unintended consequences Dodd-Frank has caused. And now three more independent
and non-partisan reports point to Dodd-Frank for the weak U.S. economic recovery. A Dallas Federal report recently concluded that many local community financial institutions may be “too small to succeed” in this era of “regulatory onslaught” brought on by Dodd-Frank (and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau). The
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over-burdensome cost of compliance is killing small lenders and financial institutions. A recent, nonpartisan U. S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report indicated an “increased compliance burden” to community banks, credit unions and local financial companies has “begun to adversely affect some lending activities,” such as mortgage lending to customers who would not typically be served by the larger banks. In addition, the GAO report stated that, “The full impact of the Dodd-Frank Act remains uncertain because many rules have yet to be implemented, and insufficient time has passed to evaluate others.”
• The U.S. experiencing an anemic recovery with approximately 12 million fewer jobs created than other recoveries since WWII. • It’s now harder for low- and moderate-income Americans and minorities to buy a home. • There are now fewer financial products and services being offered to American consumers, and the financial products that remain come at a higher cost. • We’re experiencing a split
The Dodd-Frank laws implemented since 2010 have been a drag on the economy and job creation. economy. Large companies who can raise money in the capital markets are experiencing economic recovery roughly in line with other recoveries. However, small companies who have traditionally been the drivers of American job growth are finding credit difficult to obtain due to the unrealistically stringent lending requirements imposed by DoddFrank. Thus, job growth has been stifled as small businesses are finding it difficult to obtain the credit they need to grow and create jobs. Dodd-Frank has been a drag on the economy and job growth, and has harmed the very consumers it was created to protect. These findings are as clear as day. Is Washington listening? Why aren’t politicians from both sides of the aisle taking action to rein in these damaging laws? Editor’s note: For the full text of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act visit the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) website (www.cftc.gov) and search “Dodd-Frank” in the homepage search bar. Warren Goldberg is the president of Plainview-based Mortgage Wealth Advisors, Inc.
25 ANTON MEDIA GROUP • MARCH 23 - 29, 2016
Watch For Warning Signs That Your Aging Parents Need Money Help If you’ve been entrusted to assist an elderly relative with scheduling preventive exams and putting a health care plan in place, you may struggle with knowing when it’s time to take on a greater role in other aspects of their life. That’s why now is the perfect time to look for warning signs that your loved ones might be suffering from a decline in financial ability. Despite years of accumulated knowledge and experience, it is likely that at some point your loved ones’ financial capability will be challenged as they age, making it more difficult to competently handle money-related matters on their own. And this decline can occur even if illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, are not present. Establishing a plan to manage your parents’ finances is an important task in their senior years, particularly if you intend to engage other family members in the process. A survey from the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) found that 86 percent of people want their family to help with financial matters if they become unable. However, nearly 7 in 10 say their family dynamics prevent that from happening. According to the survey, 58 percent of families experience disagreements, conflicts or confrontation with others when aging affects financial decision making. Whether you’re a child or family member who has been enlisted to help or even charting your own financial future, approaching these discussions with candor and an open mind is critical. “Especially if you’re accustomed to handling money matters privately, learning to talk more candidly about your finances may be uncomfortable,” said Ted Beck, president and CEO of NEFE. “However, allowing trusted individuals to take a closer look at your accounts can help you establish a realistic plan for the future, and help flag any potential concerns.” One way Beck recommends protecting your parents is to allow view-only access to let loved ones help monitor for unusual activity on your banking and credit accounts. If restrictions to unauthorized users prohibit this, you can set up an alert program (via email or text) when a transaction over a set amount occurs. Also, remember to perform regular credit checks to avoid scams and identity theft. Check the three major reporting bureaus and stagger the reports to get one every four months. Additional tools and resources are
available at www.smartaboutmoney. org to help ensure your loved ones’ finances stay healthy through these golden years.
Financial Warning Signs New dents, scratches and dings on your aging parent’s car might be a sign of deteriorating driving ability. These are pretty obvious warning signs. With
impaired financial decision making, the signs may not be quite as obvious, but if you know what to look for you might be able to spot it early. 1. Is the aging person taking longer to complete financial tasks? Does she struggle with everyday efforts like preparing bills for mailing, reconciling bank statements or organizing paperwork?
2. Is the person missing key details in financial documents? Are bills piling up and has he missed a payment? Is he able to prioritize his regular responsibilities? 3. Is your aging parent experiencing problems with everyday arithmetic? Maybe you recently went out to dinner with mom and dad, and while paying, they took an inordinate amount of time to calculate the appropriate tip. 4. Have you noticed a decreased understanding of financial concepts with your loved ones? Are they having increased difficulty comprehending health care matters like deductibles, or are they having a hard time understanding the bank statements they receive? 5. Are they having new difficulty identifying investment risks? Are they able to minimize the risks in potential investments? Did they recently fall victim to fraud or a scam because they could not spot the liabilities? Pay extra attention toward looking for the warning signs of mental and financial decline. Most importantly, take the time to talk to your parents about their wishes and how you can help them. —Provided by the National Endowment for Financial Education
ANTON MEDIA GROUP • MARCH 23 - 29, 2016
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