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Verizon Announces Unlimited Data for Californians Impacted by Wildfires

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For Verizon’s consumers and small business customers impacted by the Tick and Kincade wildfires in California, beginning October 28 through November 3, the company is providing unlimited calling, texting and data to affected communities in the following counties:

  • Los Angeles
  • Marin
  • Napa
  • Sonoma

“Our Verizon Response Team is available 24/7 to coordinate with first responders. We are mobilizing charging stations, devices, special equipment, emergency vehicles and more to support local, state and federal agencies. First responder customers with wireless priority service should utilize *272 when placing calls.”

Verizon customers are encouraged to help the American Red Cross in their disaster relief efforts by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 and $10 will be added to their Verizon Wireless bill. Anyone looking to help a Verizon team member impacted by the wildfires can donate to the V2V Fund by texting 501501 with “VtoV” to donate $10 or “PLEDGE” to donate $25.

Customers can verify eligibility for call/text/data relief by entering their zip code here: https://www.verizonwireless.com/featured/relief/.

“We live, work, and play in the same areas impacted by these devastating wildfires and as members of the community, we want folks to know we’re looking out for them,” said Jonathan LeCompte, Verizon Consumer Group West Area President. “Part of that means doing everything we can to ensure our cell sites stay online throughout this disaster. And the other is ensuring those who need to connect with family, friends and emergency services can do so without worry.”

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Economy

Move Over Avocado Toast: New Report Shows 92% of Millennial Millionaires Have Purchased Property

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Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC and the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program recently released its “Millennial Millionaires” report, part of its “A Look at Wealth” series.

In an effort to help luxury real estate professionals better understand this influential group of current and future homeowners, the company  partnered with WealthEngine to analyze key aspects of the millennial millionaire lifestyle, including wealth creation, philanthropy, property investments, spending trends and more.

“Millennial millionaires are projected to become one of the richest and most influential generations in history, said Charlie Young, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.  “This report is a smart way to get a detailed look at this generation. Real estate professionals should take notice as understanding this generation will be key to growing your business in decades to come.”

Today, there are approximately 618,000 millennial millionaires in the United States.

According to the WealthEngine data, the vast majority – 93 percent – have a net worth between $1 million and $2.49 million, but the generation stands to be worth even more. In the coming decades many more millennial millionaires will be minted as part of “The Great Wealth Transfer;” millennials are projected to inherit $68 trillion from predecessors.

“This population of millennial millionaires is large and only getting larger – by 2030 millennials are projected to hold five times the wealth they hold today, said Craig Hogan, vice president of luxury for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “How are they investing in real estate now? How will that change when the Great Wealth Transfer takes place? This report is a must read for any real estate professional looking to build life-long relationships with top clients today and tomorrow.”

Other notable report findings include the following:

  • The top states for millennial millionaires: California (44%), New York (14%), Florida (5%), Massachusetts (5%), Texas (5%), Washington (4%) and New Jersey (4%)
  • Eight of the top ten ZIP codes are concentrated in California’s Silicon Valley, but the surprise #1 ZIP code? Traverse City, Michigan
  • Walkability is welcome: millennials value walkable neighborhoods over well-established luxury communities
  • But they’re not giving up driving altogether. The top car model for millennial millionaires is the BMW 3 Series; compare that to the top car for all millennials, the Chevrolet Silverado
  • Homeownership is high: 92% have purchased property, with 80% purchasing a single-family dwelling
  • Home Improvement = Customization: 77% are interested in home improvement as a way to personalize their space
  • Charitable causes are compelling: 56% of millennial millionaires donate to charities

Click here to read the full report!

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Investments

The Best Way to Transfer Wealth & Reduce Taxes

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The best way to transfer wealth and reduce taxes

As we move through our working years, a plan for retirement and final expenses are key issues individuals assess when it comes times to leave the workforce. There are considerations in how to save funds and transfer to loved ones while reducing liabilities such as taxes. The best way to transfer assets to a spouse, children, and favorite charities are through different tools. A lawyer can draw up a will or a trust; however these tools are used to transfer assets, protect the estate and inheritances; not to generate wealth. Permanent life insurance is the best way to create wealth or transfer wealth on a tax favorable basis.

A tool that can leave funds behind, transfer wealth on a tax-favorable basis is through a life insurance policy. A term policy can not carry a cash value and individuals may opt for one to pay final expenses, and income replacement because of an unexpected death of an income earning spouse. However, a universal, variable universal or whole life policies can provide the transfer of wealth.

There are other uses with a permanent life insurance policy such as loans, savings, or providing an income stream if you need it now versus giving it later. A policy holder can use the benefits of a life insurance policy while the policy holder is alive and leaves benefits for loved ones and charities.
• Can take a loan against the cash value in the policy.
• Generate an income stream from the cash value once they pay it up.
• Single pay policies give options in transferring wealth to charities and loved ones.
• Some policies will deliver a death benefit and the cash value combined.
• The recipient of the death benefit proceeds does not have to pay income taxes from the benefits. (must be reported to IRS however)
• Life Insurance is not probated if there is a will.
• Alternative to risky investments in the stock market.

Generate Income

What about after the working years have passed? What if you want to supplement your retirement? Maybe you want to retire early? Maybe you just want to make sure that when you pass away your wealth transfers to your loved ones without the worry of other aspects such as probating a will.

If you own a permanent life insurance policy, then these types build a cash value over time, minus the cost of insurance. Each year your insurance company should send an illustration that shows your death benefit, the cash value, and what your annual premiums are. If you want to retire early and take a distribution of the funds from your policy, the great news is, that it is an F.I.F.O. or (first in, first out) meaning your principal comes out first and interest comes out last so you won’t be taxed until you collect your money that came from interest.

Beneficiary Does Not Pay Taxes on the Funds

Life insurance does not exempt an estate from paying federal or state estate taxes and any wealth distribution. They calculate any proceeds of an estate toward the total estate, and each year those figures are subject to tax laws. However, a person can transfer cash and build wealth through life insurance, avoiding probate and income taxes to the recipient. As always, consult your certified public accountant if you have questions regarding estate taxes and laws.

Check Policy Provisions

If you are looking for a way to transfer a large sum of money upon your death, there are some policies out there that can pay out a death benefit and the cash value. Be careful, not all policies do this, and it is important to ask before you drop a large amount of money for a single pay life insurance policy. If you opt for the cash value and the death benefit, the initial investment will be a little more than if you are funding the death benefit only.

C.D. Alternative

For those of you who do not want to expose your funds to risk in the stock market, or you have exhausted your contribution limits with IRAs or 401ks, then instead of putting money in the bank where it draws little to no interest, check into the interest rates the life insurance policies are paying. A good solid company will offer a reasonable rate of return on cash inside the policy with a guaranteed interest rate when the optimal interest rate drops.

Life Insurance Can Generate Wealth and Security

There are many tools for retirement and planning for final expenses. As we move toward our golden years, it is important to reallocate investments to reflect what stage in life you are in. In our younger working days, we have the time to recoup the losses from the cycles of the stock market. As we age and seek ways to generate income in retirement, our resolve in high-risk investments quells and many need to reevaluate where funds should be allocated. Life insurance is a tool that can generate wealth, transfer wealth and have a death benefit attached. Talk to your accountant and estate attorney to find out what is best for you and your family. Consult a financial representative and find out what life insurance policies are suitable for your unique situation. A financial representative can assist you in positioning your assets based on your needs.

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Investments

5 Questions to Ask Before You Start Investing

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5 questions to ask before you start investing

Investing your money is one of the smartest ways to increase your income. Big names, like Warren Buffett, made their fortune by investing in stocks. And many everyday people make smaller windfalls through investments.

Investing is a way to make your money work for you. You put your money towards something expecting to receive more in the future. While you go to your day job, your invested money is making a side income. That helps with saving up for college, retirement, or a house.

You see the wisdom of investing, but where do you begin? A good place to start is knowing yourself. That’s where this post comes in. If you plan on investing, you need to ask yourself 5 questions ahead of time. This way you have a battle plan going into the investment world.

Are you financially prepared to invest?

There are 3 financial steps you need to take before you start investing.

One, you need to pay down your debts. It’s almost always better to pay off your loans before investing your money. The interest rates on your loans could be higher than the interest rates on your investments. In the long run, you’ll make more money by paying off your debt first.

Two, you want an emergency fund. There are bad investments out there. If you make a mistake, you want some money to fall back on. Also remember that things in life happen. Sometimes you lose your job or sustain an injury. An emergency fund gives you a safety net so you can invest money with peace of mind.

Three, you need to save up for an initial investment. Different investments require different amounts of money to get started. There are ways to invest if you only have a little money. Other investments require a lot upfront. Depending on how you want to invest your money, you’ll need to save up an appropriate amount for the initial investment.

1. What are your goals with investing?

Are you aiming for a short term or long term goal? A short term goal could be getting enough money for an engagement ring. A long term goal could be saving up for retirement.

How much do you want to make? When do you need that money by? Knowing your goals will help you choose what kind of investments to make.

2. What will you invest in?

There’s a lot of options out there:

• Stocks
• Bonds
• ETFs
• Real estate
• Cash flow from a business
• Savings accounts with high-interest rates
• Commodities

And there’s more. Researching your options will help you make a decision. Some investments are riskier but offer higher returns. Conversely, some investments are safer but yield lower returns.

3. What’s your approach to investing?

Different people have different circumstances. A young, single man will make different investments than a mother nearing retirement.

Another factor to consider is personality. One person might prefer taking on riskier investments to gain higher returns. But someone else may be more comfortable investing conservatively. They can go for a low risk, low return investment.

What about you? Do your circumstances affect what kind of investments you can make? Based on your personality, do you see yourself making certain kinds of investments?

4. Who will help you invest?

Are you a do-it-yourselfer? Or do you want a financial advisor? Some don’t mind paying a fee to have face-to-face conversations with a professional. Advisors can be a powerful ally and resource in understanding investment options. Others prefer to do it alone.

Robo-advisors are becoming more popular. They are easy-to-use apps for investing your money. There are a lot of options on the internet. Two popular choices are Betterment.com and E*TRADE.com. These platforms allow you to manage money online.

5. What do you want out of investing?

The most important part of investing is knowing yourself and what you want to get out of investing. Ask yourself if you’re financially ready to start investing. Ask yourself what goals you hope to accomplish.

Answering these questions will give you direction as you navigate the complex world of investing. It will give you clarity on what decisions are right for you.

Will you make mistakes along the way? Sure. But you can make fewer mistakes by answering these questions ahead of time. Save yourself money and time by knowing yourself first.

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