Look What I Just Read!

In reading through the latest edition of Human Resources Executive magazine, I came across an article close to my heart, “How D&I Can Drive Business Success.” The article does a wonderful job laying out the many reasons why diversity in the workplace is still not where it needs to be, and balances that with a deeper understanding of inclusion. In the US, workers filed over 76,000 complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2018, with charges of retaliation accounting for just over 50% of complaints, followed by discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation, disability, and race. This isn’t […]

Estate Planning: the Basics

Estate planning in its simplest terms is passing your assets to your heirs as quickly and tax-free as possible. Assets can be transferred via wills, ownership, by contract (beneficiary arrangements), and trusts. The best way to ensure that you have everything covered is to meet with an attorney. Regardless of the complexity of your financial situation, your attorney will most likely start you with a basic estate plan. The basic estate plan typically includes the drafting of your will, powers of attorney for health care and finances, as well as living wills. Wills – I have encountered many excuses for […]

What Are You Drinking?

Over the last few years it’s become perfectly clear that homeowners cannot take the basic utilities that provide services to their house for granted. Whether it’s the sanitary sewer or septic lines, gray water drains, or the water service that comes into your home, we’ve seen spectacular failures in public systems that have had major effects on quality of life, health, and property value. 1) Flint, Michigan is only the most publicized water system failure. There have been and probably will be many more around the country. Since most consumers only pay attention to water quality when there is a […]

Retirement Income Rules of Thumb

If you’re casually wondering if you’re on the right track for retirement, you can use some simple math to help determine how you’re doing. Normally, I’m not a fan of rules of thumb because so many variables are at play and retirement is so personalized. That said, this can give you some idea of what you’ll need for retirement income. How to determine your income needs – Take an estimate of your total expenses and modify those for changes you expect in retirement (such as more travel, fewer commuting expenses, greater healthcare costs, etc.). After you get that total, subtract […]

Optimizing Employee Benefit Options

It’s getting to be that time of year. If you haven’t already, you should soon receive your 2020 employee benefit options from your employer. These options typically involve selecting a health insurance plan, dental, and vision coverage. Your employer may also provide for things such as life insurance, disability insurance, and/or a flexible spending account (FSA). Because you have to wait a full year before you can change your mind, it’s important to take care with your elections. Check out our infographic on benefits enrollment for a quick summary Partnershipwm.com/benefits-enrollment. Life insurance – Employers often provide some sort of basic […]

The Right to Disconnect

In reading through the fall issue of HR magazine, I came across an interesting article that would seem odd to an American audience. The article focuses on France and Spain’s increased effort to decrease workplace stress by allowing employees the right to disconnect from electronic devices while not on duty. In our society, where exempt employees seem to be on the clock sometimes 24/7, this approach may be something to consider as we look at our own work-life balance. Specifically, the article cites that the blurring of the line between work and personal time, and the accompanying stress and intrusion […]

Including Your Pet in Your Estate Plan

Normally when we first discuss the need for clients to include their pets into their estate plan, they think we’re crazy. My wife and I, however, view this as a very serious issue. We feel that our dogs, Fenway and Roxy, are a part of our family. If we pass away while they are alive, we want to make sure they are cared for by someone who is capable and who wants to care for them. Selecting a guardian – The first decision you need to make is finding someone to care for your pet. Not everyone who loves your […]

Coping With Death at Work

Certainly not an uplifting topic, but something that does happen on occasion is the death of a coworker. Whether this coworker was diagnosed with an illness months prior, or the death is sudden, the loss of a coworker is one of those things that can impact everyone. It is in these times where managers and staff will reach out to Human Resources to ask, “What can we do, or what should we do for our team?” The answer to these questions may vary depending on situations, but the subsequent paragraphs will provide some guidance. What I usually tell these managers […]

Avoiding Online Real Estate Fraud

As more and more of our business is conducted online, incidents of online real estate related fraud have increased and robbed people of their money and their dreams of finding the right home for themselves and their family.Rental fraud on Craigslist – The number of these type of incidents is rising and are very current. We recently heard of an example of a vacant, rehabbed home listed for sale that was targeted by con artists. Somehow, they were able to jimmy open the third party combination lockbox (not the secure realtor lockbox we use), duplicate the key, and start showing […]

Planning for Diminished Financial Capacity

According to the SEC, “’Diminished financial capacity’ is a term used to describe a decline in a person’s ability to manage money and financial assets to serve his or her best interests, including the inability to understand the consequences of investment decisions.” (Bit.ly/2Mq4i3y) Of all the things we plan for, it’s likely that we’re least interested in and least likely to plan for diminished capacity. The thought of losing one’s mental capacity is, for some, a fate worse than death, but, it’s something that shouldn’t be ignored. According to the World Health Organization, a new case of dementia is diagnosed […]