Living Well

What Riley Nelson Taught Me About Confidence

Last Friday night I attended the BYU vs. Utah State football game in Provo. I’ve watched with interest as the nation’s number one college quarterback recruit, Jake Heaps, has struggled game after game to live up to all the hype that has surrounded him.

Apparently, those who know say that Heaps is one of the most talented and promising quarterbacks BYU has ever had. And that’s saying a lot considering the great quarterbacks who have come out of BYU over the decades (Steve Young, Ty Detmer, Jim McMahon, etc.). However, Heaps just can’t seem to find it in him to move the ball all the way down the field and into the end-zone. Nor does he appear to have the kind of leadership to inspire his teammates to make things happen on the field as well.

Aging and Big Brother: Orwellian Nightmare or Godsend?

The LA Times recently ran an article about new technology being developed by major health care companies (General Electric and Intel) to help the elderly population age in place.

For example:
• robotic cameras that move around grandma's house in California that can be controlled by a joystick from a family member in Montana;
• pill boxes with sensors that record when and how often medications are being taken;
• monitors in the hallway that measure the speed and gait of the resident as they walk through the house;
• devices that monitor facial expressions to look for signs of depression or anxiety
• robotic "pets" that have lifelike interactions with their owners
• and monitors on the bed that measure the rate of breathing of the occupant and can send warnings to a computer when the breathing becomes irregular or stops.
Many of these technologies are being developed in what one corporation's representative describes as a "race to see who's going to invent 21st century care services for boomers." There's a major market that is developing to serve the millions of baby boomers who are entering into the retirement stage of their lives.

Just Roll With It, Man!

The band I'm in made a pretty big mistake last weekend at one of our shows. We had recently upgraded some of our PA equipment and were all excited to get it hooked up and try it out. We were so focused on the new equipment and how we were going to integrate it into our setup that about 45 minutes before we were supposed to begin our set, we suddenly realized that we had left a whole pile of our speaker cabling back at home and it would take us at least 1 ½ hours to go retrieve it. Because it was a paid gig, we were all sweating it pretty bad.

But then our drummer spoke up and brought us back down off the edge. He reminded us that these kinds of things happen all of the time and that we just needed to improvise and roll with it. So that's what we did. We sent our keyboardist out to solo some nice jazz numbers to buy us some time while one of our bandmate's daughters raced the equipment up to our gig.

Give Your Kids a Gift They Can't Give Themselves, Part II

Last week, I explained how using a spendthrift trust can protect the inheritance you leave to your children from divorces, lawsuits, and creditors that your children may encounter in the future.

However, even in those states that do recognize the validity of a spendthrift trust, there is nothing that you can do to prevent a creditor from attaching (getting their hands on) those assets once they've been distributed to the beneficiary (your child). In order to protect such distributions from the reach of creditors, the creation of a discretionary trust is very effective.

Give Your Kids a Gift They Can't Give Themselves, Part I

What would you say if I told you that you could give your children a gift that they can never give themselves and that this gift could possibly save your family hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars? Sound too good to be true? It's perfectly legal (see the Utah Uniform Trust Code) and fairly simple with an asset protection trust.

Asset Protection Is Not Just for the Wealthy

Because asset protection is commonly associated with offshore planning, such as forming an asset protection trust in the Cook Islands, you might be thinking, "Asset protection? That's only for the ultra rich or for people involved in tax evasion!" But spendthrift trusts (a form of asset protection trusts) are readily recognized by many states and courts (including Utah) as a valid means of protecting assets for third-party beneficiaries (i.e., your children).

Reverse Mortgages: Scam or Godsend?

If you've been watching the local TV stations or have been driving down I-15 in Utah County recently, you may have seen ads with local TV personality Dick Norse endorsing a reverse mortgage company. The ads suggest that Dick Norse would trust this company with his family's future, blah, blah, blah. And maybe that's true. I know nothing about this particular company endorsed by Mr. Norse, but I can give you some information on reverse mortgages that can help you cut through some of the myths that surround this industry.

A reverse mortgage is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of you paying money to the bank over time so that you can live in your home while you build up equity in it, a reverse mortgage allows you to continue to live in your home while the bank pays you. What the bank gets in return, is a mortgage on the equity in your home. So when you and your spouse move out of the home (to go to a nursing home for example) or when you both pass away, the proceeds of the sale of your home will be used to pay back the bank for the money they advanced to you while you were living in your home. Generally, if there is any equity left after paying back the loan, it will go to your heirs.

That's the basic concept. However, the bigger question is this: Is a reverse mortgage right for you?

Buyer Beware

Blog Post by:  Melissa C. Platt, Esq.

We’ve all been in that situation before…the one where we’re standing there scratching our heads and asking ourselves how we just got pressured into making that purchase or signing up for that service. Unfortunately, sometimes the tactics used by salespersons or people presenting themselves as salespersons, aren’t just persuasive—they are downright deceptive. I’ll share a couple of examples from my own family, and then I’ll talk about what you can do to protect yourself and vulnerable loved ones.

Last summer, an elderly widowed family member had a salesman from a residential alarm system company knock on her door. This salesman was a “nice” young man attending school at BYU. Because of his connection with an institution that she knew, she trusted this young salesman to disclose to her all the details of the contract he was asking her to sign and didn’t read the contract herself. (The print was so tiny, I don’t think she could have read it, even if she had wanted to!). I don’t fault this woman for not reading the contract because I’m an attorney, and I’ve done it before too.

What If Every Day Was Thanksgiving?

Blog Post by Melissa Platt, Esq.

I love to watch the TV show, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” For those of you not familiar with the show, the premise is to select a family who has suffered extreme hardship and whose home is literally falling apart around them, and while the show sends the family on vacation for a week, the makeover team demolishes the old house and builds the family a brand new home. Aside from the fact that it’s a lot of fun to see the “beyond-your-wildest-dreams” homes they create in a week, I like to watch the show because I always walk away from it with an intense feeling of gratitude. Gratitude for my health, my family, my home, my life.
 

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