Social Security strategy for the non-dependent

“Many high-net-worth investors ignore one of the most powerful financial-planning tools available to them: Social Security,” writes Ash Ashluwalia in this past Monday’s Wall Street Journal.

He caught my attention. I’ve been assuming the system’s demise–and seeking to make alternative plans–since the mid-1980s, when I first learned from Dr. Gary North about how the program is really a Ponzi scheme and is going to fail, one way or another.

Dr. North pointed to comments by then-Sen. William Proxmire during a 1976 hearing. I have bolded the most relevant part: (more…)

Setting Goals: Estate Planning

estate planning worksheet

Estate plans are vital. And everyone should have one. Just be sure you’re covering your bases. My experience says even highly competent estate planning attorney will fail to ask important questions. So you need to ask some of these questions yourself . . . and be prepared to direct your attorney in ways he or she might not normally think to go or, perhaps, never has gone before!

(more…)

Your Charity Portfolio, 7: Matching Grants

Let's Go - Matching Grant (small)

I remember the day we sent our first $50,000 check to one of the non-profits to which we committed ourselves. It was the biggest gift we’d ever given. I sent it off and a few days later I got a phone call from the organization’s head of development (the person in charge of fundraising).

He said, “John, I have this $50,000 check here that you sent. I would like to send it back.”

(more…)

Your Charity Portfolio, 6: Special (Non-Monetary) Contributions . . . and Partnerships

MI Thanks

Something that still brings tears (of joy) to my eyes.

The (emotional) story of a partnership between committed donors and a willing non-profit—a partnership that has multiplied into a wide-ranging impact not only on the partners themselves, but other organizations and, literally, hundreds of thousands of people around the world, for years.

Perhaps you are—or will be—in a position to make a similar impact?

(more…)

Your Charity Portfolio, 5: Focused Giving Maximizes Opportunity

Focused charitable investment can put you in the room with the decision-makers.

Focused charitable investment can put you in the room with the decision-makers.

I closed my last post with a comment that, by focusing, “Sarita and I have been able to ensure . . . that our (charitable investments) actually do ‘make a difference.'”

How can that be true?

For a number of reasons. But in this post I want to talk about being in the room with the decision-makers and those who make things happen.

(more…)