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Insights


Reverse Mortgages

Third Quarter 2016|Jim Williams| We have begun to reconsider the use of reverse mortgages. This has been an "against the grain" exercise since we have always preferred to leave the home equity in our plans for clients so that even at an advanced age and out of money, the client would still have the equity in their home to fall back on as a last resort. The availability and continued evolution of reverse mortgages, or Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM's), have prompted us to refine our thinking on this issue. The conventional wisdom has been that reverse mortgages are for use as a last-resort. Last resort situations can still be a reason to take out a HECM, but other uses may make the HECM attractive as well.

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Technology - Convenience versus Security

Second Quarter 2015|Jim Williams| The transition from paper documents to electronic documents is but one piece of the technology landscape. The changes brought about through networking, first local, then through the internet have been really astounding. The internet extends the user's reach around the world, and extends the user's access to information and services beyond the wildest dreams of even 25 years ago. The good news is that you may be able to reach around the world. The bad news is that criminals around the world may be able to reach you. Incidence of cyber-crime is increasing, and criminals are getting more sophisticated and reaching out from farther away. Here are some thoughts on security we think are worth considering.

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Positives of Aging

Fourth Quarter 2014|Jim Williams| As we age, we experience a constant and continuous and increasing series of losses. Some of the losses, like loss of a parent or sibling or a spouse, are substantial and significant. Some losses are pretty minor, but in aggregate, become substantial. Gradual loss of physical strength and endurance, loss of recuperative powers, and lower energy levels are minor on a daily basis, but cumulatively represent fairly large transitions. Each of us can formulate his or her own approach to dealing with aging. This can run the gamut from denial to acceptance, from passivity to frantic exercise; from withdrawal to energetic engagement. I think a large part of how we approach aging is based on how we frame and understand the aging process.

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Frank and Twyla

Second Quarter 2010|Jim Williams| I’ve been quite busy over the last three months attending to the affairs of my Uncle Frank who died in April. This has been quite a learning experience for someone who holds themselves out as a planner and who advises clients on matters of estate planning and preparation.

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The Paradox of Thrift

Fourth Quarter 2008|Jim Williams| We are all economists these days. We try to consider whether the proposed stimulus will be good or bad for ourselves and/or for the country. What to do about market uncertainties. How do we manage our own affairs in these times that seem to be so worrisome?

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Young People and Money

Second Quarter 2006|Jim Williams| I frequently find myself in conversations about young people and money. Usually a large component of the conversation deals with teaching responsibility with money and preparing young people to handle money appropriately and prudently.

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