How Family Dollars Can Make More Cents
November, 2012 - Issue #97
Get Ready for the "What-ifs"
The future holds many uncertainties - and your retirement is no exception: "What age should I retire?" "How long will I live in retirement?" "When should I start taking Social Security?" "How will rising medical costs affect me?"

That's why planning is so critical. A good plan will take into account many of the possible uncertainties. In the process of developing your personal retirement plan, it's important to map out these "what-ifs" - the scenarios, priorities and choices that you'll build into your strategy. Working through the options with someone you trust who also happens to be familiar with your finances and personal preferences - namely, your Financial Advisor - greatly simplifies the process. Regardless of the strength of that relationship, however, you remain in the driver's seat. What's more, you can return to the "what-if" process whenever you're faced with a major decision or a change in your circumstances.
Janelle M. Koester, Financial Advisor,
of The Shipper/Koester Group of
Wells Fargo Advisors 818-226-1480
Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC

Do You have to Pay a Red Light Camera Ticket when You weren't Driving?
A client recently came to me complaining that she had received a red light ticket, but that she was not the driver. If she was not driving the vehicle, she is not guilty. That should be the beginning and end of the story. The problem for her was that a family member was driving the vehicle and she did not want to tell the court who the driver was for fear that a ticket would just be mailed to her family member. We call these "snitch tickets." I am not aware of any law which requires that information to be disclosed. While the judge could theoretically hold you in contempt for refusing to answer a question from the court requesting the identity, I am unaware of any statute which mandates that you provide the identity of the driver as a condition of avoiding the ticket. Either you were driving or you were not. If you were not driving, you are not guilty and you should not be found guilty. My suggestion on how to proceed is to respectfully ask the judge which law or statute he or she is relying upon in requiring you to disclose the identity of the driver. Hopefully that will be sufficient for the court to just dismiss the case. But if you are threatened with contempt charges, be advised that if you don't answer the question to the court's satisfaction, you may be found in contempt. While New Dress Up Games Popular Games you would still stand a good chance of prevailing on appeal (No guarantees, though!) the real question is, "How far you are prepared to go to avoid disclosing the name?"

If you want an aggressive and experienced attorney at reasonable rates, call the Law Offices of Richard A. Marcus. 257-8877

Succession Planning for Family Business
When considering the transition of a family business from one generation to the next, clear communication and careful planning are integral to the "success of the succession."

Family business owners are well served to begin planning for the succession long before the event is necessary (Experts suggest as long as 15 years prior to retirement.). Unfortunately, most business owners fail to plan seriously for their own succession. This "lack of planning" may have a great deal to do with the fact that while 90 percent of US small businesses are family owned, only 30 percent stay in the family from the first generation to the second and then only 15 percent make it on to a third generation, according the Small Business Administration.

Planning for the succession of a family-owned business is sometimes a difficult topic to broach. The successor may find it uncomfortable to ask questions regarding the timing and finances surrounding the transition, while parents may be hesitant to fully address the eventuality of such a significant life-changing event.

Family business owners need to address the issue sooner rather than later. Call upon the expertise of your Trusted Advisors to assist and guide you. Your attorney, CPA, financial advisors and bankers are all great places to start. Talk it through, then get it on paper. You can always make changes over time. Lastly, in order to protect the legacy you created, it is important that the next generation have the passion, desire and ability to carry on the family business.
Marianne Cederlind, SVP/Chief Business Banking Officer of Mission Valley Bank.
877-394-2306, 775-4112

Overcoming Financial Adversity
As a bankruptcy attorney, I often remind people that no matter what they are going through in life, it is better to keep their focus on the future instead of living in the past. While there are lessons to be learned, dwelling on things that we cannot change is counter-productive. Where you have been is not as important as where you are going. Someone said: "Success in life is the result of good judgment. Good judgment is the result of experience. Experience is the result of bad judgment."

No matter what financial difficulties you are facing, refuse to wallow in self-pity, bitterness or anger. With the right mental attitude, you can rise above your circumstances. Know what you want and stick to your goals. Stay away from negative individuals and situations that only drain you mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Surround yourself only with people and things that contribute to your life in a positive way. No matter how dark and gloomy today may seem, believe that tomorrow, the sun will come out and shine again. Have faith in yourself and in the power of your dreams.
Ray Bulaon, Esq. of Ray Bulaon Law Offices. 866-477-7772

Find Insurance Cheaper? Eat for Free
Greg Kane of Kane Insurance is so certain that he'll be able to save you money on insurance (Auto, home, life, health! Plus biz insurance like workers comp, general liability, biz owner policies and even group health insurance.), he's willing to bet a $25 gift certificate to on the matter. We're putting our money on Kane Insurance, though, because we've seen their exceptional discounts for teachers, engineers, scientists, lawyers and college grads first hand. More good news:
5 percent of sales proceeds are donated by Kane to the Stand Up to Cancer organization.

Improve your Computer Skills
Whether you're learning to use a computer for the first time, or looking to increase your competitiveness in the job market, Santa Clarita Technology and Career Development Center (SCTCDC) provides small, private classes where you can learn the skills you need at your own pace.

Not all people learn the same way. At SCTCDC, they teach students different methods so they can choose one that works for them to obtain the best results. They offer training in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, the internet and QuickBooks. For those that require more skills, they also offer Microsoft Certification Classes. They offer day and evening classes, as well as individual training that fits your schedule. SCTCDC is focused on providing high-quality service and customer satisfaction, from their family to yours.

SBDC to Host Fall Semester Young Entrepreneur Program
Young entrepreneurs with great ideas and the gumption needed to implement them are invited to participate in this fall's Young Entrepreneurs Program (YEP) offered by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at College of the Canyons.

Targeting young people between the ages of 14 and 27, YEP offers business consulting and business training programs delivered through a variety of outreach and delivery methods, including websites, blogs, social networking sites, virtual reality games, youth-oriented trainers and business simulation products.

YEP provides participants the chance to hone their entrepreneurial skills by working alongside seasoned professionals at workshops and other business-consulting functions. Participants will also have the opportunity visit local businesses and experience first hand what other young entrepreneurs are doing in the real world.

The program's goal is to guide and encourage young people to consider careers in self-employment and small business ownership, along with developing management and problem solving skills that will assist them in any future career path.

"Over the course of the semester there will be 19 interactive workshops held at a variety of locations throughout the Santa Clarita, Antelope and San Fernando Valleys," said Steve Tannehill, executive director of the SBDC. "These workshops will be focused on a variety of entrepreneurial topics and provide young entrepreneurs with invaluable instruction to help them in their burgeoning careers."

This year, YEP program participants will also have the opportunity to compete in a statewide business plan contest. On Wednesday, December 5, the SBDC will host a local business plan contest inside the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center.

Local winners will be awarded cash prizes and then be entered into a statewide competition offering up to an additional $10,000.

The YEP program is sponsored by the Business & Entrepreneurship Center hosted by Cuesta College and the California Community College's Economic and Workforce Development program.
For more information about the SBDC hosted by College of the Canyons or the fall 2012 Young Entrepreneurs Program (YEP), contact the SBDC. 362-5900
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