The process to obtain a REAL ID can be quite onerous. You may have heard stories of 3-week waiting periods, setting alarms for 11:55 p.m. to schedule a desired appointment time, or getting to an appointment only to find out documents were insufficient.
A REAL ID will be required for airline travel starting May 3, 2023, if you wish to leave your passport safe at home. To obtain one you will need to prove your identity, date of birth, social security number, and state residence. Given the detailed requirements, we have created a simplified checklist to make this process easier.
Country legend (and sometimes philosopher) Dolly Parton once advised, “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
When our Family CFO Team meets with a new client, we ask them to visualize the future they want for themselves. We ask that they envision all aspects of their life, the activities they want more time for and the feelings they desire. We also ask our clients to identify what they no longer want to do.
Last year, most of us had to transform our homes into a workplace, classroom, daycare, fitness center, retreat, salon and spa, restaurant, bakery, and specialty coffee shop.While normally I love my small home for the low maintenance, I admit bringing all these activities into it caused me to feel a bit out of control, needing to get extra creative to make our limited space work.
One morning, with coffee cup in hand, I walked through our home, doing a space assessment. While we had done well with space saving solutions throughout, I knew there were areas that could be used more effectively.
I decided, in a digital storage world, we did not need the 3-drawer file cabinet sandwiched between our basement fridge and the washer/dryer. Besides, we had always talked about getting a fireproof safe to hold our important original documents. It was time to make a change!
Before I started Simplify Wealth, I worked with clients as a tax advisor. I was just one of several specialists hired to help manage a family’s finances.
My clients had the qualified team of professionals they needed, yet they were still overwhelmed by the daily demands of their finances and the responsibility of coordinating the different, yet interrelated, aspects of their wealth.
I witnessed successful, thriving families for whom wealth was not a source of comfort or freedom.In fact, it had become a chore.
Creating a Trust is a little like starting a business. While you are still living, you might be the CEO (Trustee) of your Trust. However, figuring out the best succession plan can be a complicated decision. Maybe one of your children is ready to handle the family business, but is he or she really the best person to handle the family wealth? You must thoughtfully weigh the decision to pick a family member trustee, a corporate trustee, or an independent trustee to act on your behalf.
As is the case for other decisions, there are pros and cons of different options and your choice will have to reflect your values and particular scenario.
These are some of the main benefits to naming a corporate trustee or an independent 3rd party as Trustee.
In today’s digital world, your personal identity and ultimately your credit score are constantly at risk.There are two primary actions you can take to protect your credit – a fraud alert and a credit freeze.Both are easy to do online with the three nationwide credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.We highly recommend that everyone consider taking one or both of these actions, depending on personal circumstances.
What is the difference between a fraud alert and a credit freeze?
There are some items in your home that you treasure more than others. Not only that, you care enough about them to obtain a “valuable articles” insurance policy to protect them. Antiques, collectibles, fine art, high value jewelry, and other items are commonly insured with an extension to a homeowner’s policy. If the value of an item was determined by an appraisal, holding itemized coverage as opposed to blanket coverage may be a good idea. Insurance professionals advise these items should be re-appraised from time to time.
Here are three reasons why:
It’s a new year! Regardless of how you feel about making resolutions, we hope you will take time this year to get in touch with your personal finances. When you ask questions and wrap your mind around the ins and outs of your finances, you climb into the driver’s seat and help secure your financial future.
An important first step towards financial wellness is to be (or become) knowledgeable about your personal finances. It is not uncommon for women to lack confidence with finances or to delegate financial management to other people in their life. It is critically important for women to fully understand their personal finances.
So where do you start to gain this understanding? Here are some tips to build your financial confidence and knowledge:
Over the course of this year, our Simplify Wealth team has had the opportunity to help our clients in a number of meaningful ways. We really enjoy the work that we do and want to share highlights from this last year.
We welcomed four new team members and expanded our client service lines.
We implemented EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) for our business. This system is helping us maintain a clear vision, be accountable to that vision and become a healthier, more cohesive team.
Because Thanksgiving ushers in the “season of giving”, we wanted to take time to write about gratitude and philanthropy and share some important things to consider as you think about charitable giving, especially at year-end.
As we get ready to close the books on a challenging year filled with.....
In the work we do, there are many situations where we step in as Power of Attorney or Personal Representative when needed. In doing this work, we have seen firsthand the common mistakes people make, leaving their estate management more difficult than it needs to be. We are sharing what we have learned, to help you mitigate confusion, stress, and extra steps for your trusted person who will handle your financial matters when you cannot.
With the change of seasons, you might feel motivated to organize your home, knock tasks off your to-do list or reassess your goals. To spur you on, we thought it would be helpful to share a few things we’ve been doing with our clients to help them stay on top of their responsibilities.
Here is Simplify Wealth’s list of 10 Unique Ways We Helped Clients this Month.
Making a plan for your future in terms of your finances and where you plan to live as you age is one of the most important planning matters you can undertake. Instead of remaining passive and waiting, be intentional about setting and accomplishing your goals.
In today’s uncertain world, many people are pressing pause on all future planning. While sticking to day to day tasks helps us maintain sanity and keeps us flexible in a climate of constant change, isn’t constant change just a reality of life? There will always be something else going on that draws our attention away from planning for the future.
Congratulations, you’ve had a successful family meeting!
Thanks to intentional preparation, progress has been made on many family objectives, such as:
- Educate the next generation(s) about finances
- Identifying and sharing family values
- Ensure that family wealth transition plans are communicated and successfully implemented
Completing a family meeting is a noteworthy accomplishment, but don’t rest on your laurels. Family meetings should seldom be considered one-and-done. Rather, they’re a recurring maintenance activity to address concrete matters in a changing world, while also strengthening family bonds and building community.
Family meetings are one of the most effective tools that families can use to maintain family harmony. They’re a great idea for all families, and they’re especially needed for families that have significant wealth.
Managing wealth is a complex activity, and can generate significant drama. Regular family meetings can help prevent the conflicts, drama and poor decisions which can erode financial accomplishments and, worse still, permanently harm family relationships.
Family meetings are one of the most effective tools that families can use to maintain family harmony.
Quality family meetings are an opportunity to educate the next generation(s) about finances, identify and share family values, and ensure that family wealth transition plans are communicated and successfully implemented.
Transitioning your small business accounting department can be a daunting task. External forces, such as an economic downturn, or internal changes such as loss of key accounting staff may require you to transform the accounting function. Or perhaps the business owner has been acting as the company accountant and due to business growth, needs to delegate this task.
Yesterday I had the privilege of leading a client’s family meeting on Zoom. I am one member of the family’s team of professional advisors, assisting them with their complex real estate portfolio and managing communication to multiple adult children who are beneficiaries of a family trust.
This topic has always been important, but current events have all of us thinking more about our health, and we also have all heard stories about families who thought they had a plan, and as things have shut down, it may not have worked out so well, or as planned.
Imagine having a trusted advisor who is intimately familiar with your financial situation, your values and your priorities. She’s got her eye on the big picture AND the details. She’s uniquely suited to filtering and integrating all the valuable input from your professional advisors, and telling you with confidence: “Here’s what this means to you.”
Downsizing is a phase of life that eventually arrives for most of us.
You might witness your parents facing the downsizing phase as they prepare to move into a smaller home. Even if they have no such plans yet, a little preemptive downsizing will make future transitions easier for everyone, so you may want to help them dive into the project sooner rather than later.
Role Reversal with Aging Parents: Part 1 - Getting Their Finances In Order Without Losing Your Sanity
Remember your easy days of childhood? Your parents drove you to appointments, fed you, reminded you to do your homework, made phone calls on your behalf, signed you up for classes, encouraged you to pursue hobbies and join clubs......