Archive for 'Blog'

Legacy Planning in the Digital Age

In January 2003, as he approached his 60th birthday, Robert De Niro toldEsquire magazine that there was one thing more than any other that he regretted:

I always wanted to chronicle the family history with my mother. She was always interested in that. I wanted some researchers I’d worked with to talk to my mother, but my mother was a little antsy about it. I know she would’ve gotten into it . . . But I wasn’t forceful, and I didn’t make ...

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Happy Saint Pat’s

There’s an old saying “There are two kinds of people – the Irish and those who wish they were.

At our home this time of year, we celebrate David’s Irish heritage – there’s nothing like Irish music to warm your heart. My heritage is more “reserved” perhaps. I’m Swedish and will be going to Stockholm for a lovely family visit in June – but I’ll tell you about that another day.

We ...

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What would she think?

She would have been 100 years old on May 4th. Cheerful, warm and always gracious, she was well-loved by everyone who knew her. She died too young, at 81. There are things I wished I had asked her about her life and about our family as we were growing up.

Active in the United Nations’ early years, I wonder if she had any idea of how it would be tested in our current world. I wonder what she’d think of politics ...

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A Different Kind of Deposit

April is tax time – a good time to focus on our earnings and where we’ve deposited them for the best results – a retirement account, a vacation home, contributing to a non-profit or a grandchild’s education. All positive investments, but how about a different kind of deposit into a different kind of bank?

A quote from Chuck Swindoll, “Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children” caught my attention recently. This kind of ...

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Words of wisdom from a surprising place.

Did you know that neuroscience is uncovering ways to understand family dynamics?  Perhaps you’ve puzzled about a family meeting that went sideways or a family member who became upset for no “reason.”

JoAnne-Norton-3The clues may be found in neuroscience according to my colleague Dr. Joanne Norton, who specializes in consulting for family businesses. Over lunch recently, she shared with me some neuroscience studies that are helping business leaders understand how their ...

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“You” are the best gift

In the blink of an eye, the gift giving season will be upon us. I’ve noticed and you probably have too, the gifts that bring the longest lasting joy aren’t those requiring batteries or fancy wrapping.

They are family trips, holiday get-togethers, visits with loved ones.  But it’s the pictures of them that create the long lasting impact. It seems to me in this digital age where kids, parents, and grandparents text and tweet rather than sit and talk, we may ...

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How Do You Live Your Values

Victoria Collins. PhilanthropistBusiness leader and philanthropist Victoria Collins, co-founder of wealth management firm First Foundation, Inc., in Irvine CA, was recognized with the Business Journal’s “Women in Business Award” in 1997 and was keynote speaker for the event in 2001.

As a younger woman, challenging times led her to recognize the importance of educating women about finances, how to succeed in a business environment, and how to move beyond unhealthy relationships ...

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Where will your family find your legacy?

How-will-find-1Less than twenty years ago, surviving family members could find everything to do with a deceased’s estate simply by going to the bank and the attorney. They might have even found a little hidden treasure under the bed.

I know when my cousin was cleaning out her mother’s home she found a treasured piece of family jewelry pinned into the pocket of an old bathrobe.

But times have changed and things aren’t ...

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Tale of two grandmothers

Kerry-Burnight-2Guest Post – Kerry Burnight

When giving talks on how to live a full, meaningful life, UC Irvine gerontologist Kerry Burnight often invokes the memory of her two grandmothers. One was a self-centered woman who complained constantly about her health, her various discomforts and her declining appearance. “She was tough to visit,” Burnight recalls.

The other grandmother, she says, was just the opposite: “She was interesting, funny and lovely. And she ...

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The challenge of knowing what you can and can’t change.

Tim-ski-2 Dear Timothy,

One thing that I’ve loved about my work in financial planning for these last 30 years is that I’m constantly reminded of the power of planning and, more importantly, the power of accepting what can’t be planned and making the best of it.

This challenge arises all the time. Even when you go skiing! Each pass down the mountain is new. As you ...

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