Thursday, October 25, 2012

Meet Our CSA Spotlight, Charlotte Rosenberg

I am co-founder of Monarcares, LLC, a software-as-a-service company that has developed monarcares.com, an easy-to-use, secure and comprehensive web application for caregivers with comprehensive on-line tools and resources to make caregiving easier and less stressful.

My husband and I are among the over 45 million unpaid family caregivers in the United States. Our journey into caregiving began in 1999 with my widowed mother’s diagnoses of dementia. So we know first-hand the many challenges that families face when caring for a loved one. When our journey into caregiving began, we were living 50 miles away from my mother. It was overwhelming. We had no idea what we needed to know as caregivers. It was a slow and haphazard process for us . We scrambled to learn about such things as Medicare, the location of my mother’s will, whether she had a healthcare proxy or living will, the names and contact information of her doctors, and so forth. Then five years ago, my husband, Robert, and I moved with our children and my mother to North Carolina, while Robert’s aging parents remained in New York.

Since then my mother-in-law, Ilse, suffered a series of mini strokes, which resulted in vascular dementia and became non-ambulatory. My father-in-law, Alan, was diagnosed with late onset Alzheimer’s. While attempting to manage their care long distance, we scoured the Internet for a comprehensive website that we could use to help us manage his parents’ care, while providing helpful insights and resources. We found not one site that met our needs.

We decided to take matters into our own hands and monarcares.com was born. This comprehensive website provides easy-to-use features that are critical for the caregiver, all at the click of a button. The site securely stores proprietary information, including a copy of a home healthcare proxy, an up-to-date medical file, a family history, a list of known allergies and a current list of all medications. In addition, the website creates a network of caregivers such as doctors, lawyers, financial experts, home health workers, friends, neighbors and family members. Using email, text and internal messaging, the system tracks appointments and tasks, sends medication refill reminders and notifies users about impending insurance lapses. The site manages the finances of the care recipient, which not only enables the family caregiver to have a grasp of the monthly income and expenses, but is also extremely helpful in preparing taxes. Additionally, monarcares.com contains practical resources such as a home safety checklist, fall prevention tips, a Medicare guide, a sample healthcare power of attorney, a living will and more. I am passionate about what we have developed and welcome all my fellow Certified Senior Advisors® (CSAs) and caregivers to visit the website at www.monarcares.com.

In the course of developing the Monarcares system, I was advised by Judy Shaw, a CSA and owner of LTCA Legacy Planning, to consider enrolling in the CSA course. I am so grateful that I heeded her advice. I am so impressed with how broad-based the course curriculum is in its coverage of the health, social and financial issues that seniors face every day. The knowledge I have gained has been immeasurable. There are so many disciplines involved in serving the needs of our rapidly aging population, and the Society of Certified Senior Advisors holds its members to the utmost level of integrity and ethics in their service of senior clients’ needs. I am honored to be a CSA and would advise anyone considering an entrance into the senior market, whether as a home healthcare provider, financial planner, long-term care insurance salesperson and so forth, to take the CSA course.

Charlotte Rosenberg, Esq., JD is a Certified Senior Advisor® (CSA) and co-founder of Monarcares, LLC.

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors
www.csa.us

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dividend Paying Stocks Dow Strategy, Reinvesting, Timing & Investment Strategies by New York Wealth Manager

Dividend paying stocks are often a great option to traditional income investments. Investors measure dividend value through dividend yield, which is calculated by dividing annual dividends with the current stock price. Although the stock price tends to fluctuate, it might be a good addition to ones current strategy for those willing to hold for long term. In fact, the most popular dividend strategies such as the Dogs of the Dow, DRIPS, Proprietary Dividend Capture Strategy, to name a few, are straightforward and have relatively minimal capital requirements. The typical dividend is offered by mature companies that have graduated from the growth stage and are looking to provide additional investment incentives. Dividends may also lower a stock’s volatility as investors are more likely to hold dividend stocks longer than non-dividend stocks.

Dividend Investing

Important Dates for Dividend Investing

There are four important dividend dates that investors should be aware of before investing in dividend paying stocks:

  • Declaration date - The board of directors announces all the important dividend dates, and the amount of the dividend payments.
  • Ex-Dividend date - An investor must purchase the stocks before the Ex-Dividend date to be eligible for dividend payment.
  • Date of Record - Two days after the Ex-Dividend date. The settlement of the trade needs to occur either before, or on the date of record, for investors to be eligible for the dividend payment.
  • Date of payment - The registered investors will be paid

Dividend Investing Strategies

1.)  The Dogs of the Dow is a high dividend yield investment strategy where the investor invests in the top 10 highest yielding Dow Jones stocks out of the 30. This strategy often offers diversification, less downside risk, and beneficial reward potential. The investor’s position is rebalanced after a year and a day to take advantage of more tax-efficient capital gains. To learn more about this and other variations to this strategy, consult your financial advisor.

2.) A Dividend Capture Strategy is when the investor purchases the stock before the ex-dividend date and then sells it ex-dividend, hence capturing the dividend. There may be many ways of doing this; thus it is important to work with your financial advisor to develop a strategy that best fits your needs.

3.) Dividend reinvestments are another effective way for investors to take advantage of dividends where stockholders can increase their holdings and accumulate the value of their investment over time. Although investors will still have to pay taxes on reinvested dividends, a reinvestment strategy may be attractive to smaller investors looking to build a larger position in a company through dollar cost averaging. Some corporations also offer specialized dividend reinvestment plans called DRIPs, which are usually free of brokerage and transaction fees. Some corporations may even offer stock at a discount to market price through their DRIP programs. Ask your financial consultant about available dividend reinvestment plans that might be suitable for you and your investment goals.

Choosing a Dividend Investment Plan

While dividend investing can provide an attractive source of income for stockholders, it is important to consider the timing and efficiency of your investments. Be aware that dividends are taxed at different rates than income, and may cause administrative hassle if done incorrectly. Consult your investment advisor to ensure that your dividend investment plan maximizes return and best fits your needs as an investor.


Blog posting provided by Conrad Capital Management
(631) 439-7878
www.conradcapital.com

Friday, October 5, 2012

Future Trends: The Secret Sauce to your Success

First it was Y2K and now it's the end of the world in 2012? Get over it!

Welcome to the second decade of the 21st Century! How did that happen so quickly? Seems like we just got over worrying about our computer systems imploding on the eve of 2000, which proves my point: Worrying about things that probably won't happen, is a waste of time. True futurists see possibilities as well as pitfalls and seek to prepare rather than scare. The times, while certainly changing and challenging, are also very exciting indeed.

Here are 5 major trends/possibilities to watch for and act upon in 2012/2013 and beyond:

1. Green Technology/Water Conservation

The terms Green technology, carbon footprint, climate change, eco friendly, re usable, recyclable will be the words spoken, written, discussed and planned for in huge proportions from now on. This will impact large industry as well as small businesses and households who will be compelled willingly or unwillingly to save the planet. Business travel will more limited as the "carbon footprint" is more top of mind. It will be replaced with online and virtual meetings. This will impact airlines, hotels and other travel related industries. However, it will also greatly increase opportunities for online learning, webinars and teleseminars. Hopefully, that will mean not only less carbon dioxide in the air but more quality time at home. Water shortages will replace gas shortages. Growing populations create agricultural and industrial growth. Everybody is going to need more water. Every industry, from agriculture to manufacturing to landscaping and pool services will be impacted. How can you participate in these growing trends? What service can you provide/create for this growing need to reduce the carbon footprint?

2. Elder Care

Life expectancy grows to age 100+. This will affect every aspect of society - from jobs, housing, health care, retirement needs, mortality tables, insurance costs, elder care/assisted living needs, the definition of a nuclear family and caregiver roles. Growth in a senior population will affect laws on inheritance, elder abuse, conservancy, real estate, investments, housing design and construction, medical care and medical support systems.

This phenomenon is causing a shift in elder care models. What worked for families with ailing seniors in the late 20th century may not be possible or practical now. Adult children live more hectic and demanding lives and may not live nearby. By the time senior parents need help, their kids are near retirement too! Savings and retirement funds are running out as people are living longer. What is to be done as the majority population of the western world continues to age? The need here is huge. What kinds of services can you provide to this growing population and their concerned families?

3. Internet:

It's getting bigger and more important by the minute. The worldwide web offers everyone who is "connected" to search for information, hire a professional, purchase homes as well as goods and services and even meet the person of their dreams. LinkedIn, Facebook and a myriad of other social networks allows people and businesses to connect. It's not going away. It's only going to get bigger and more important. If you still see yourself as only "local", you are in the minority and you are missing out on amazing internet marketing and sales opportunities. Individuals and businesses are now connecting all over the globe. If your website is 20th century brochure style - get moving and get interactive. Videos and blogs are not a passing fancy and really promote your website presence. What can you do to update your web presence right now?

4. Personal Growth/Personal Health/Slowing Down the Aging Process:

As baby boomers are seeing their parents reaping the rewards of unhealthy living (smoking, obesity, lack of exercise) requiring walkers, wheelchairs and oxygen tanks at the end of their lives, they are beginning to rethink their own lifestyles so as not to suffer the same fate. It's not just about looking younger. It's about feeling younger... Health and Fitness is the wave of the future. Low glycemic index diets, exercise, and a new awareness that diabetes 2 is purely lifestyle related and not to be expected in old age is the new trend. This will affect restaurants and food manufacturing and packaging. Think brown rice and whole grains. Goodbye simple carbs, saturated fats and high fructose corn syrup. It's making us sick and we know it. It may be convenient up front but very costly at the end.

As mainstream churches struggle to remain relevant in the 21st century, New Age thinking, ala The Secret is on the rise. Meditation, Yoga, Retreats and Health Spas cater not only to individuals but companies looking for innovative ways to conduct business meetings and team building events. Blend making more money with getting healthier and you have struck gold. If you are in the health, wellness or hospitality industry, this is a major trend for you.

5. Re emergence of Entrepreneurship

In 1776 more than 95% of all Americans were entrepreneurs. By the middle of the 20th century, that number had dwindled to less than 30%. The industrial revolution enticed people to leave their farms and shut down small businesses to seek employment in the cities. The Great Depression accelerated the process. This resulted in the breakup of families and a dependence on manufactured goods and credit.

In 2012-2013, it is back to basics. Generation X & Y aren't so willing to give their lives to the corporation. Small business growth is seen as the savior of our downtrodden economy. Are you a small business owner? Rejoice. While you can buy a house or a car online, there are many services that must be done in person. If you are an electrician, plumber, medical care provider or other hands on professional, this is the decade for you. The key to your success will be customer service and follow up. In this ever increasing internet centered world, it will be the personal touch that you provide to your clients that will be the "secret sauce" that will grow your business.

There are many other trends in science and industry that are truly exciting - from smart machines that anticipate our every need to a possible cure for cancer and the end of inherited disease. While you are enjoying the benefits of these future trends, what will you do to contribute to them also?


Marilyn Ellis, CTACC, CSA, is an Author, Speaker, Professional Organizer, Senior Move Manager and Estate Liquidator. Her company name, Lighthouse Organizers, LLC reflects her true desire “to help people navigate through their busy and challenging lives.”

Join Marilyn, as she will be hosting the Society of Certified Senior Advisors monthly educational webinar: Future Trends / Future Opportunities in Business. This presentation wil be held on Thursdsay, October 25, 2012 at 12:00 Noon (MST).

Register for this event now!