MyMoneyIQ June 2014 Newsletter

June 2014

AVOIDING PROBATE

Probate is simply the Latin word for prove, which means that the estate probate process is the process by which your will is brought before a court to prove that it is a valid will. The courts charged with this responsibility are generally known as probate courts, which may actually supervise the administration or settlement of your estate.

Supervision of the estate settlement process by the probate court can result in additional expense, unwanted publicity and delays of a year or more before heirs receive their inheritance. The publicity, delays and cost of probate motivate many people to explore ways in which to avoid or minimize the impact of probating a will, including:

State Statute If specific requirements are met, many states have made provision for certain estates to be administered without the supervision of the probate court, resulting in less cost and a speedier distribution to heirs.
Form of Property Ownership The joint tenancy form of holding title to property allows ownership to pass automatically to the surviving joint tenant, who is normally the surviving spouse.
Transfer on Death Many states have enacted Transfer on Death statutes that allow a person to name a successor owner at death on the property title certificate for certain types of property, including real estate, savings accounts and securities.
Life Insurance Unless payable to the estate, life insurance proceeds are rarely subject to the probate process.
Lifetime Giving Gifts given during life avoid the probate process, even if made shortly before death.
Trusts A “Totten” trust, which is a bank savings account held in trust for a named individual, can be used to pass estate assets at death outside of the probate process.

A revocable living trust, created during the estate owner’s lifetime, can be an effective way to avoid the expense and delay of probate, while retaining the estate owner’s control of his or her assets prior to death.

Proper planning may serve to minimize the impact of the probate process on your estate and heirs.

Any potential method of avoiding probate, however, should be evaluated in terms of its income and/or estate tax consequences, as well as its potential impact on the estate owner’s overall estate planning goals and objectives.

MESSAGES
from the Masters…
TOP THREE KEYS TO GREATNESS
by Jim Rohn

Several years ago I went into the studio and recorded a 56-minute video for teenagers called “Three Keys To Greatness.” Although my focus was for teenagers, the principles I shared certainly apply to adults as well.

Recently I was asked to list these three things using one to two sentences for each. Now for your benefit here they are again.

1) Setting Goals. I call it the view of the future. Most people, including kids, will pay the price if they can see the promise of the future. So we need to help our kids see a well-defined future, so they will be motivated to pay the price today to attain the rewards of tomorrow. Goals help them do this.

2) Personal Development. Simply making consistent investments in our self-education and knowledge banks pays major dividends throughout our lives. I suggest having a minimum amount of time set aside for reading books, listening to audiocassettes, attending seminars, keeping a journal and spending time with other successful people. Charlie Tremendous Jones says you will be in five years the sum total of the books you read and the people you are around.

3) Financial Planning. I call it the 70/30 plan. After receiving your paycheck or paying yourself, simply setting aside 10% for saving, 10% for investing and 10% for giving, and over time this will guarantee financial independence for a teenager.

If a young person, or for that matter an adult, focused on doing these three simple things over a long period of time I believe they will be assured success!

To Your Success,
Jim Rohn

Brought to you by:

Mark Holland, JD
Cambridge Financial Center
1942 Berkeley Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84108-3202
801-557-7105
holland.mark@pmlmail.com

http://finsecurity.com/holland

About our firm:

Hello, my name is Mark Holland and I thank you for your interest in learning more about the world of money. I bring a simple method to money management that can best be explained by the Japanese word “kaizen,” meaning “change for the better”. My web site, www.markhollandinsurance.com, and my monthly newsletters are chock-full of financial tips to help you understand how money works, how to take charge of the solutions to your financial and life concerns, and how exciting, liberating and satisfying provident living can be, even in this difficult economic environment.

QUOTES
from the Masters…
On Attitude
“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”

– John Lubbock

“Age is a matter of feeling…not of years.”

– George William Curtis

“Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful.”

– Norman Vincent Peale

“You can do 99% of the things right but not posses a winning attitude, and you will fail.”

– Art Williams

On Change/ Choice
“I used to say, ‘I sure hope things will change.’ Then I learned that the only way things are going to change for me is when I change.”

– Jim Rohn

“To improve your life, be prepared to make new choices and decisions.”

-– Brian Tracy

“Are you a thermometer or a thermostat? A thermometer only reflects the temperature of its environment, adjusting to the situation. But a thermostat initiates action to change the temperature in its environment.”

-– Nido Qubein

“You must be on top of change or change will be on top of you.”

-– Mark Victor Hansen

The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information of general interest to our clients, potential clients and other professionals. The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered complete information on any product or concept described.

For more complete information, please contact my office at the phone number above.

Published by The Virtual Assistant; © 2012 VSA, LP

We don’t want to add to your e-mail clutter! If you do not enjoy my newsletter, just reply to this e-mail and ask to be removed or call my office.

Thanks!

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MyMoneyIQ February 2014 Newsletter

February 2014

AN INCOME ANNUITY SOLUTION

How Can an Income Annuity Protect Against the
Risk of Living Too Long?

The purpose of an annuity is to protect against the financial risk of living too long…the risk of outliving retirement income…by providing an income guaranteed* for life.

In fact, an annuity is the ONLY financial vehicle that can systematically liquidate a sum of money in such a way that income can be guaranteed* for as long as you live!

Here’s How an Income Annuity Works:

The annuitant pays a single premium to an insurance company.
Beginning immediately or shortly after the single premium is paid, the insurance company pays the annuitant an income guaranteed* to continue for as long as the annuitant is alive, assuming the annuitant selects a life income option. There are other payout options also available.
The insurance company pays survivor benefits, if any, to the annuitant’s designated beneficiary after the annuitant’s death.
* Guarantee is based on the continued claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.

Please contact my office if you’re interested in discussing possible income annuity solutions to the “risk of living too long.”

MESSAGES
from the Masters…
HEART
by Zig Ziglar

Some things cannot be measured, and the heart is one of them. I think of three former NFL football stars. Mike Singletary, according to the experts, was too short and his 40-yard speed was not that great. However, they could not measure his heart and they did not measure his speed for the first five to fifteen yards, and at that distance he was exceptionally fast.

As a result, when a running back broke through the line of scrimmage…Singletary was able to stop him in the first couple of yards. That made quite a difference.

Emmitt Smith’s 40-yard speed was not earth shattering…(but) again, the experts could not measure his heart nor the burst of speed he was able to generate the instant he touched the ball. As a result, he was able to break through the hole at the line and pick up five to eight yards on a consistent basis and frequently break for much longer runs.

Jerry Rice is the other classic example. His 40-yard speed also was not record-breaking, but his commitment to excellence (was) not measurable. Videotape of Jerry Rice shows him running stride for stride downfield with a defensive back until the pass is thrown to him. At that point, Jerry turns on the afterburners and frequently leaves the defensive back well behind.

There’s something here for all of us to learn. We can measure I.Q., speed, strength and a host of other things, but the will to win and the commitment to excellence will enable a person of average ability to excel. So, use what you’ve got, including your heart, and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!

Brought to you by:

Mark Holland, JD
Cambridge Financial Center
1942 Berkeley Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84108-3202
801-557-7105
holland.mark@pmlmail.com

http://finsecurity.com/holland

About our firm:

Hello, my name is Mark Holland and I thank you for your interest in learning more about the world of money. I bring a simple method to money management that can best be explained by the Japanese word “kaizen,” meaning “change for the better”. My web site, www.markhollandinsurance.com, and my monthly newsletters are chock-full of financial tips to help you understand how money works, how to take charge of the solutions to your financial and life concerns, and how exciting, liberating and satisfying provident living can be, even in this difficult economic environment.

QUOTES
from the Masters…
On Belief
“Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.”

– Henry David Thoreau

“Whatever you believe with emotion becomes reality. You always act in a manner consistent with your innermost beliefs and convictions.”

– Brian Tracy

“Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret – curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.”

– Walt Disney

On Parenting/ Family
“Spend unbroken chunks of time with the most important people in your life.”

– Brian Tracy

“There is no greater leadership challenge than parenting.”

– Jim Rohn

“One should guard against preaching to young people success in the customary form as the main aim in life. The most important motive for work in school and in life is pleasure in work, pleasure in its result, and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community.”

– Albert Einstein

The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information of general interest to our clients, potential clients and other professionals. The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered complete information on any product or concept described.

For more complete information, please contact my office at the phone number above.

Published by The Virtual Assistant; © 2012 VSA, LP

We don’t want to add to your e-mail clutter! If you do not enjoy my newsletter, just reply to this e-mail and ask to be removed or call my office.

Thanks!

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MyMoneyIQ January 2014 Newsletter

Happy New Year to all.

Here are some thoughts for the New Year. As Thomas Jefferson reminds us, “. . . great sayings . . . contain the best parts of the best books.” Enjoy.

All the best for 2014.
Mark Holland

Some Things to Think About This Year – 2014

Each part of the day has its own special charm . . . the quiet calm of early morning, the beautiful light and lengthening shadows of late afternoon, the restorative peace of evening. Tune in to the miracle of each hour. – Unknown

Learn to be silent. Let your quiet mind listen and absorb. – Pythagoras

You cannot look at a sleeping cat and feel tense. – Jane Pauley

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. – Dr. Seuss

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. – Lucille Ball

Earth laughs in flowers. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once. – Ashleigh Brilliant

To greatly oversimplify it . . . moments matter. So be a little more conscious of the way you’re speaking to the people you care about and the strangers you interact with. Those moments shape your life. – Tom Rath

Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. – Henry van Dyke

It’s never too late—in fiction or in life—to revise. – Nancy Thayer

Just the knowledge that a good book is waiting at the end of a long day makes that day happier. – Kathleen Norris

I have always felt that the moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty . . . absolutely anything may happen. – Monica Baldwin

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort. – Jane Austen

Mankind would lose half its wisdom built up over centuries if it lost its great sayings. They contain the best parts of the best books. – Thomas Jefferson

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What are You Willing to Settle For? MyMoneyIQ August 2013 Newsletter

How Many People Are Financially Independent During Retirement?

Most people want to be financially independent during their retirement years. Government statistics, however, tell a different story.

According to the Social Security Administration, of people age 65 and older:

39.6% have incomes under $20,000
28.2% have incomes from $20,000 to $40,000
18.9% have incomes from $40,000 to $75,000
Only 13.3% have incomes in excess of $75,000
Source: Social Social Administration, Office of Policy, Income of the Population 55 or Older, 2010, released March 2012
Which group will you be in?

The secret to financial independence at retirement is to commit to a plan today, while you’re working and earning an income, a portion of which can be saved for your future financial security!

MESSAGES
from the Masters…
AN ACCUMULATION OF RICHES
by Brian Tracy

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT

One of the greatest success principles of all is called the Law of Accumulation. This law says that everything great and worthwhile in human life is an accumulation of hundreds and sometimes thousands of tiny efforts and sacrifices that nobody ever sees or appreciates. It says that everything accumulates over time. That you have to put in many, many, many tiny efforts that nobody sees or appreciates before you achieve anything worthwhile. It’s like a snowball. A snowball starts very small, but it grows as it adds millions and millions of tiny snowflakes and continues to grow as it gathers momentum.

LEARN WHAT YOU NEED TO LEARN

There are three areas where the law of accumulation is important. The first is in the area of knowledge. Your body of knowledge is a result of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of small pieces of information.

Any person with a large knowledge base has spent thousands of hours building that knowledge base one piece at a time. And what you see when you meet the individual is an expert in his or her field, with that high level of knowledge that makes him very valuable in the marketplace.

SAVE YOUR MONEY

The second area where the Law of accumulation works is with regard to money. Every large fortune is an accumulation of hundreds and thousands of small amounts of money, and the place to start is to take any amount of money that you can right now and begin to save it. When you begin to save money, it sets up a force field of energy and it triggers the law of attraction. As a result you begin to attract to you even more bits of money to add to your savings.

ATTRACT RICHES INTO YOUR LIFE

And I’ve spoken to many, many successful people and they’ve told me the same story. That as soon as you start to put savings aside, it starts to attract into your life and into your work all the money that you need to achieve your goals. The reason why most people retire poor is they never put the initial savings aside to start with.

GET THE EXPERIENCE YOU NEED

The third area where the law of accumulation applies is in the area of experience. You’ll find that successful people in any field are those who have far more experience in that field than the average. And there is nothing that replaces experience. Whether it’s in business or entrepreneurship or management or parenting or selling or anything else. Many people do not take the risks that are necessary to move out of their comfort zone because they’re afraid it won’t work out.

EVERYTHING COUNTS

But the fact is that until you move out of the comfort zone and get the experience from making the mistakes, it’s not possible for you to grow and become capable of earning the kind of money that you desire. Now here’s the key to the law of accumulation. It says that everything counts. Everything that you do counts. The biggest mistake that people make is they think that only what they want to count, counts. That when you read a book, when you listen to an audio program, when you go to a course, when you go to bed early and you get up early and you work, it all counts. And it’s all going on the plus side of your ledger.

USE YOUR TIME WELL

But when you watch television, waste time, hang out, fool around and so on, all of that counts, as well, and it’s going on the negative side. A person who has a great life, by the law of accumulation, is a person who’s accumulated far more credits on the credit side than debits on the debit side. And here’s an important point. If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it’s moving you away from your goals. Nothing is neutral. Everything that you’re doing is either moving you toward the things that you want to accomplish in life, the person you want to be, the wealth you want to accumulate, or it’s moving you away. Everything counts. The law of accumulation says that everything counts.

ACTION EXERCISES

First, begin today to build your knowledge base in the subject that can be most helpful to you in achieving financial independence. Whether it takes a week, a month or a year to become thoroughly knowledgeable, it doesn’t matter. Just get started today. Second, get as much experience as you can in your chosen field. Start a little earlier, work a little harder and stay a little later. Take risks and try every different way you can think of to achieve your goal. This experience is invaluable and it accumulates over time.

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The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information of general interest to our clients, potential clients and other professionals. The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered complete information on any product or concept described.

For more complete information, please contact my office at the phone number above.

Published by The Virtual Assistant; © 2012 VSA, LP

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What Are You Willing to Settle For? MyMoneyIQ July 2013 Newsletter

July 2013

FAMILY DISASTER PLAN

A family disaster plan is your personal plan for how you and your family will deal with an emergency situation if one arises. It’s important that every member of your family understands your family disaster plan and is ready to implement it, perhaps at a moment’s notice.
Suggestions for your family disaster plan include:
• Understand the types of natural disasters that are most likely to strike the area where you live (hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, flooding). Agree on what each family member will do in the event of one of those disasters.
• If you have to remain in your home, identify the safest places to stay.
• If you’re advised to evacuate, plan your escape route in advance. Be prepared to listen to local radio for shelter locations.
• What if family members are separated? Agree on two alternative meeting places, one near your home and the second outside your immediate area.
• Make sure your children know how and under what circumstances to call 9-1-1.
• Have a plan to protect your property in the event of a disaster. For example, know where your utilities are and how to turn them off. Depending on the threat, remove small outdoor items, close window shutters, etc.
• Request information on your employer’s disaster plans, as well as those for your children’s school and/or childcare center. Be sure they have your emergency contact information and you theirs.
• Identify a family member or friend living in another area…someone your children can call if the need arises.
• Ensure that your home is safe: periodically test smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers to make sure they are working, identify any potential hazards and remove them, be certain that all family members know how to evacuate your home in the event of fire.
Additional advice on your family disaster plan and preparing a disaster supply kit is available from:
• Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): 1-800-480-2520 or http://www.fema.gov
• Department of Homeland Security: 1-800-237-3239 or http://www.ready.gov
• American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org

The purpose of this information is to provide information of general interest to
our clients, potential clients and other professionals. The information provided
is general in nature and should not be considered complete information on any
product or concept described.

For more complete information, please contact my office at the phone number
above.

Published by The Virtual Assistant© 2012 VSA, LP

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What Are You Willing to Settle For? MyMoneyIQ June 2013 Newsletter

TIPS FOR MANAGING AN INHERITANCE

Take your time. This is an emotional time…not the best time to be making important financial decisions. Short of meeting any required tax or legal deadlines, don’t make hasty decisions concerning your inheritance.

Identify a team of reputable, trusted advisors (attorney, accountant, financial/insurance advisors). There are complicated tax laws and requirements related to certain inherited assets. Without accurate, reliable advice, you may find an unnecessarily large chunk of your inheritance going to pay taxes.

Park the money. Deposit any inherited money or investments in a bank or brokerage account until you’re in a position to make definitive decisions on what you want to do with your inheritance.

Understand the tax consequences of inherited assets. If your inheritance is from a spouse, there may be no estate or inheritance taxes due. Otherwise, your inheritance may be subject to federal estate tax or state inheritance tax. Income taxes are also a consideration.

Treat inherited retirement assets with care. The tax treatment of inherited retirement assets is a complex subject. Make sure the retirement plan administrator does not send you a check for the retirement plan proceeds until you have made a distribution decision. Get sound professional financial and tax advice before taking any money from an inherited retirement plan…otherwise you may find yourself liable for paying income taxes on the entire value of the retirement account.

If you received an interest in a trust, familiarize yourself with the trust document and the terms under which you receive distributions from the trust, as well as with the trustee and trust administration fees.

Take stock. Create a financial inventory of your assets and your debts. Start with a clean slate and reassess your financial needs, objectives and goals.

Develop a financial plan. Consider working with a financial advisor to “test drive” various scenarios and determine how your funds should be invested to accomplish your financial goals.

Evaluate your insurance needs. If you inherited valuable personal property, you will probably need to increase your property and casualty coverage or purchase new coverage. If your inheritance is substantial, consider increasing your liability insurance to protect against lawsuits. Finally, evaluate whether your life insurance needs have changed as a result of your inheritance.

Review your estate plan. Your inheritance, together with your experience in managing it, may lead you to make changes in your estate plan. Your experience in receiving an inheritance may prompt you to want to do a better job of how your estate is structured and administered for the benefit of your heirs.

Please contact my office if we can be of assistance.

The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information of general interest to our clients, potential clients and other professionals. The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered complete information on any product or concept described.
For more complete information, please contact my office at the phone number above.
Published by The Virtual Assistant; © 2012 VSA, LP

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What Are You Willing to Settle For? MyMoneyIQ May 2013 Newsletter

When You Change Jobs…?You May Have an Important Decision to Make!

What to do with your money in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan. Since these funds were originally intended to help provide financial security during retirement, you need to carefully evaluate which of the following options will best ensure that these assets remain available to contribute to a financially-secure retirement.

Take the Funds: You can withdraw the funds in a lump sum and do what you please with them. This is, however, rarely a good idea unless you need the funds for an emergency. Consider:
• A mandatory 20% federal income tax withholding will be subtracted from the lump sum you receive.
• You may have to pay additional federal (and possibly state) income tax on the lump sum distribution, depending on your tax bracket (and the distribution may put you in a higher bracket).
• Unless one of the exceptions is met, you may also have to pay a 10% premature distribution tax in addition to regular income tax.
• The funds will no longer benefit from the tax-deferred growth of a qualified retirement plan.

Leave the Funds: You can leave the funds in your previous employer’s retirement plan, where they will continue to grow on a tax-deferred basis. If you’re satisfied with the investment performance/options available, this may be a good alternative. Leaving the funds temporarily while you explore the various options open to you may also be a good alternative. (Note: If your vested balance in the retirement plan is $5,000 or less, you may be required to take a lump-sum distribution.)

Roll the Funds Over: You can take the funds from the plan and roll them over, either to your new employer’s retirement plan (assuming the plan accepts rollovers) or to a traditional IRA, where you have more control over investment decisions. This approach offers the advantages of preserving the funds for use in retirement, while enabling them to continue to grow on a tax-deferred basis.

Why Taking a Lump-Sum Distribution May Be a Bad Idea:
While a lump-sum distribution can be tempting, it can also cost you thousands of dollars in taxes, penalties and lost growth opportunities…money that will not be available for future use in retirement.
Let’s say that you have $100,000 in a retirement plan with a former employer, you’re under age 59-1/2 and you’re in the 28% federal income tax bracket.

Taxes and penalties if you… Roll the $100,000 into an IRA Take a lump-sum distribution
20% mandatory withholding at the time of distribution $0 $20,000
8% additional income tax due at filing $0 $8,000
10% premature distribution penalty tax $0 $10,000
Ending Balance: $100,000 $62,000
Cost to Take the Funds Today: $38,000

Value of $38,000 in … 5 Years 10 Years 15 Years 20 Years
5% Return $48,499 $61,898 $78,999 $100,825
8% Return $55,834 $82,039 $120,542 $177,116
10% Return $61,199 $98,562 $158,735 $255,645

NOTE: The above is a hypothetical example for illustration purposes only and assumes that one of the exceptions to the premature distribution penalty tax is not available. In addition to the federal taxes illustrated above, state tax may also be payable. This example is not indicative of any particular investment or performance and does not reflect the fees and expenses associated with any particular investment, which would reduce the performance shown above if they were included.

Please contact my office if you would like any additional information on rolling funds over from a previous employer’s retirement plan.

The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information of general interest to our
clients, potential clients, and other professionals. The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered complete information on any product or concept described.

For more information, please contact my office at 801-557-7105

Published by The Virtual Assistant © 2012 VSA, LP

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What Are You Willing to Settle For? MyMoneyIQ.Net March Newsletter, Part 2

Advance Directives are a way to “have your say” about the type of care you receive (or don’t receive) in the event you suffer a catastrophic medical event, such as a stroke or an accident, that leaves you unable to communicate your wishes. Every adult should plan ahead by completing an Advance Directive that specifies his or her personal preferences in regard to acceptable and unacceptable medical treatments. There are two types of Advance Directives:

Living Will
A Living Will states your preferences regarding the type of medical care you want to receive (or don’t want to receive) if you are incapacitated and cannot communicate. You specify the treatment you want to receive or not receive in different scenarios.

Medical Power of Attorney
Also known as a durable power of attorney for health care or a health care proxy, a Medical Power of Attorney names another person, such as your spouse, daughter or son, to make medical decisions for you if you are no longer able to make medical decisions for yourself, or you are unable to communicate your preferences.
Note that a Medical Power of Attorney is not the same as a Power of Attorney, which gives another person the authority to act on your behalf on matters you specify, such as handling your financial affairs.
Important Points to Remember
• Each state regulates Advance Directives differently. As a result, you may wish to involve an attorney in the preparation of your Advance Directive
• You can modify, update or cancel an Advance Directive at any time, in accordance with state law.
• If you spend a good deal of time in several states, you may want to have an Advance Directive for each state.
• Make sure that the person you name to act for you – your health care proxy – has current copies of your Advance Directive.
• Give a copy of your Advance Directive to your physician and, if appropriate, your long-term care facility.
Please contact my office if we can be of assistance.

MESSAGES
from the Masters…
YOUR DREAM BEGINS TODAY
by Les Brown
What will your life be like when you’ve achieved your most deeply held dreams? Let’s take a look at how you can start living your dreams this very day.
Do you have a dream, a vision of the life you wish to live? How specific is that dream? How clear is that vision? How do you intend to reach it? What obstacles stand in your way? Are your fears holding you back or are you using them to move you forward?
Your fears can actually lead you to success. Fear is an intense emotion. But that doesn’t mean it has to control you, or even stop you. Fear can prepare you and push you forward just as strongly as it can hold you back. Fear heightens your awareness and increases your physical strength. Fear brings your mind to sharp focus. With all that going for you, does it make sense to just run and hide? Of course not. Fear gets you in shape to take action!
Are you waiting for things to get better before moving ahead? If you’re serious about success; you need to start taking action today. If you’re waiting for things to be perfect, you’ll wait forever and nothing will ever get done.
The way to achieve is to bloom where you’re planted, to do what you can, where you are, with what you have. It’s easy to think up excuses for not taking action. “If only I had more hours in the day. If only I had a better job. If only I could meet the right person.” But excuses won’t bring you anything of value. You’ve got to change your “if only” into an “I will.” “I will make better use of my time. I will work on improving my career. I will create and nurture my relationships.”
Take a chance. Have faith in yourself. Your circumstances will improve when you make the effort to improve them. Start where you are right now. You have everything it takes to reach for whatever you desire. Stop wishing. Use your time, your energy, your thoughts and efforts to make it happen! You’ll be glad you did!
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The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information of general interest to our clients, potential clients and other professionals. The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered complete information on any product or concept described.
For more complete information, please contact my office at the phone number above.
Published by The Virtual Assistant; © 2012 VSA, LP

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What Are You Willing to Settle For? MyMoneyIQ Newsletter for March 2013

What Is a Will?

The most basic estate planning tool, a will is the legal document that states the actions you wish to be taken after your death in regard to:
• the disposition of your property;
• the guardianship of your minor children; and/or
• the administration of your estate

Do You Need a Will?

If you have a spouse, children and/or property, the answer is most definitely YES!
The alternative is to allow the state in which you reside to determine:
• how your property will be distributed among your heirs, including who those heirs are;
• the guardianship of your minor children; and/or
• who will serve as the guardian of your minor children; and/or how your estate will be administered.

Who Can Make a Will?

State statute determines who can make a will. Generally, you must be “of age,” as defined by state law, and of sound mind. In addition, state law generally requires that your will be written, signed and witnessed by a required number of witnesses.
While you can draw your own will, the preparation and execution of this important legal document is generally best left to an attorney.
Your estate plan, including wills, trusts and life insurance, should be periodically reviewed to ensure that it continues to meet your needs and objectives.

MESSAGES
from the Masters…

PERSISTENCE
by Les Brown

I believe there are three kinds of people. There are winners, who know what they want and understand their potential and the possibilities. They take life on. Next are losers, who don’t have a clue as to who they are. They allow circumstances to shape their lives and their self-image.
I believe there is a third group as well. This consists of potential winners whose lives are just slightly out of alignment. I call them wayward winners. It may be that they just need to learn how to be real winners. Perhaps they’ve hit a bump or two that has knocked them off course and they are temporarily befuddled. A failed relationship, a lost job, financial problems, unformed goals, a lack of parental support, illness…many things can send us off course temporarily.
Wayward winners are not lost souls; they just need some tweaking and coaching and nudging to get them back on course. A map might be nice. Many of these wayward winners are easily identifiable because they are always searching.
Right now, there are many wayward winners out there braving rain, sleet and snow because they too still believe that they have untapped talents. They attend motivational seminars and listen to inspirational tapes and they plunge onward, believing that sooner or later they will find their way again.
Other wayward winners have temporarily given up. They are damaged and disoriented, their confidence badly eroded. They tend to drift through life numbly. The friends and relatives and loved ones of wayward winners see that they are out of sync and wonder why they can’t be satisfied, why they don’t settle down. They wonder how people who have such obvious abilities and great potential can be so disoriented and unsure.
It is difficult for others to understand the rawness of a broken heart or the aching emptiness of an unguided spirit. You and I know. We have been there. Wayward winners know that there are possibilities out there, but too often they feel locked out from them. Some are afraid to risk any more because of what they have risked and lost already.
I know now that as difficult as it may be for you wayward winners to do, it is necessary to continue to test yourselves. Even though you have been hurt before, it is the only way to grow. We all have the capacity to change, to lead meaningful and productive lives by awakening our consciousness.
You know there are going to be tough times as you go about changing your life, so brace yourself and you will be able to handle them. When you get into your seat on an airplane, what is the first thing they tell you to do? Fasten your seat belt. Brace yourself for the turbulence.
When you decide to move your life to the next level of accomplishment, you must fasten your mental and spiritual seat belts because it is going to be a while before you reach that comfortable level again. You will reach it, but you must endure the turbulence of change in order to grow.
Try this technique to help you through the difficult times of change and growth. Find four reasons why you cannot succumb to your fears and your troubles. Find those deep sources of motivation that can lift you out of the turbulence and above the clouds. You must change your life because, for example:
You have not yet tapped the talents given you.
You want to leave something more for your children.
You want to live life rather than letting life live you.
You want to do what makes YOU happy.
It is in these rocky early moments of bringing change to your life that you discover who you are. In the prosperous times, you build what is in your pocket. In the tough times, you strengthen what is in your heart. And that is when you gain insight into yourself, insight that leads to self-mastery and an expansion of your consciousness as a life-force in both your personal and professional lives.

The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information of general interest to our clients, potential clients and other professionals. The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered complete information on any product or concept described.

For more complete information, please contact my office at the phone number above.

Published by The Virtual Assistant; © 2012 VSA, LP

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What Are You Willing to Settle For? Newsletter for February, 2013

February 2013

THE PENSION CRISIS
I’m sure you’ve heard about the problem our country faces with “Social Security, corporate pensions, state pensions, county pensions, municipal pensions…virtually all defined benefit pensions.” The following abstracts from an industry publication really brought it home to me. This is a must read. I’ll call soon to get your thoughts.

OUR COUNTRY’S PENSION CRISIS IN A NUTSHELL – Pension plans that promise a specific benefit in the future are essentially a contract between current and future generations, and those future generations aren’t represented at the bargaining table. As a result, they get stuck guaranteeing the retirement income of their elders while receiving nothing in return. This is the case for Social Security, corporate pensions, state pensions, county pensions, municipal pensions… virtually all defined benefit pensions!

PENSION PLAN PRESS – With IBM freezing its pension plan, a plethora of articles on the dim future of the defined benefit pension plan concept have hit the press. Here is a summation of what you need to know.
Brief history – The corporate pension has been around since the 19th century, but really came into its own in the U.S. in the years just after World War II. The defined benefit plans assumed lifetime jobs with a company, which seemed reasonable at the time, but has long since ceased being the American norm.
Why is it happening? – Companies are trying to become more competitive and adapt to changing times. They must compete with younger companies that never made pension promises or foreign companies where the government provides retirement benefits or there are no benefits at all. IBM is paying about $270 million to make the change but will save $2.5 billion over the next 5 years.
Why now? – Pension crises at steelmakers and airlines have brought the issue to a head, but arcane accounting rules and low, long-term interest rates mean the accounting benefit for freezing a pension is higher than it would be if long-term rates rise.
Who’s most vulnerable? – Salaried employees since companies have to negotiate to cut benefits for workers covered by collective bargaining.
What about earned benefits? – Companies can’t cut pension benefits already earned, but the earned benefits in a defined benefit plan may be a lot less than expected.
Who gets hurt the most? – Workers in their 40s and 50s who have been at the company many years. Benefits build up fastest in an employee’s final years at a company…50% of a person’s pension may be earned in the last five years on the job. Even with bigger 401(k) contributions, these workers may never catch up.
Who isn’t hurt? – Current retirees, younger workers and those who switch jobs frequently.
Freezing versus terminating – Freezing locks the pension in place where it currently stands actuarially and the company is obligated to pay in the future. When employers terminate a pension, they must pay out all of the benefits immediately, either in lump sums or by buying each worker an annuity. Most terminations are due to bankruptcy
Companies at risk – Those with a large percentage of older, longtime employees; those with employees not covered by a collective-bargaining agreement; those have already cut some retiree benefits in the past.

GOOD RIDDANCE TO DEFINED BENEFITS – Fortune sees the IBM pension plan freeze as the beginning of the end of traditional pensions in the U. S. and editorializes that “corporate pensions are an unstable, unfair and economically perverse means of paying for retirement.”

MESSAGES
from the Masters…

FOUR ESSENTIALS FOR HAPPINESS
by Brian Tracy
You may have a thousand different goals over the course of your lifetime, but they all will fall into one of four basic categories. Everything you do is an attempt to enhance the quality of your life in one or more of these areas.

THE KEY TO HAPPINESS
The first category is your desire for happy relationships. You want to love and be loved by others. You want to have a happy, harmonious home life. You want to get along well with the people around you, and you want to earn the respect of the people you respect. Your involvement in social and community affairs results from your desire to have happy interactions with others and to make a contribution to the society you live in.

ENJOY YOUR WORK
The second category is your desire for interesting and challenging work. You want to make a good living, of course, but more than that, you want to really enjoy your occupation or profession. The very best times of your life are when you are completely absorbed in your work.

BECOME FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT
The third category is your desire for financial independence. You want to be free from worries about money. You want to have enough money in the bank so that you can make decisions without counting your pennies. You want to achieve a certain financial state so that you can retire in comfort and never have to be concerned about whether or not you have enough money to support your lifestyle. Financial independence frees you from poverty and a need to depend upon others for your livelihood. If you save and invest regularly throughout your working life, you will eventually reach the point where you will never have to work again.

ENJOY EXCELLENT HEALTH
The fourth and final category is your desire for good health, to be free of pain and illness and to have a continuous flow of energy and feelings of well-being. In fact, your health is so central to your life that you take it for granted until something happens to disrupt it.

PEACE OF MIND IS THE KEY
Peace of mind is essential for every one of these. The greater your peace of mind, the more relaxed and positive you are, the less stress you suffer, the better is your overall health.
The more peace of mind you have, the better are your relationships, the more optimistic, friendly and confident you are with everyone in your life. When you feel good about yourself on the inside, you do your work better and take more pride in it. You are a better boss and coworker. And the greater your overall peace of mind, the more likely you are to earn a good living, save regularly for the future and ultimately achieve financial independence.

CONTROL YOUR ATTENTION
Life is very much a study of attention. Whatever you dwell upon and think about grows and expands in your life. The more you pay attention to your relationships, the quality and quantity of your work, your finances and your health, the better they will become and the happier you will be.

ACTION EXERCISES
Here are three things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.
First, take time on a regular basis to think about what would make you really happy in each of the four areas.
Second, set specific, measurable goals for improvement in your relationships, your health, your work and your finances and write them down.
Third, resolve to do something every day to increase the quality of some area of your life – and then keep your resolution.

Brought to you by:

Mark Holland, JD
Cambridge Financial Center
6440 South Wasatch Boulevard, Suite 150
Salt Lake City, UT 84121

801-557-7105
holland.mark@pmlmail.com
www.markhollandinsurance.com

About our firm:
Hello, my name is Mark Holland and I thank you for your interest in learning more about the world of money. I bring a simple method to money management that can best be explained by the Japanese word “kaizen,” meaning “change for the better”. My web site, www.markhollandinsurance.com, and my monthly newsletters are chock-full of financial tips to help you understand how money works, how to take charge of the solutions to your financial and life concerns, and how exciting, liberating and satisfying provident living can be, even in this difficult economic environment.

QUOTES
from the Masters…

On Trust
“Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A person will not buy from you until he is convinced that you are a friend and are acting in his best interest. You must make this clear.”
-– Brian Tracy

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.”
-– George MacDonald

On Values/ Principles
“The principles you live by create the world you live in; if you change the principles you live by, you will change your world.”
– Blaine Lee

“Freedom requires that we learn and put into practice the three R’s – Respect, Responsibility, and Restraint.
– Fr. Brian Cavanaugh, TOR

“Count the cost first. Don’t pay too big a price for pursuing minor values.”
– Jim Rohn

The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information of general interest to our clients, potential clients and other professionals. The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered complete information on any product or concept described.

For more complete information, please contact my office at the phone number above.

Published by The Virtual Assistant; © 2012 VSA, LP

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Thanks!

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