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Financial and Estate Planning Workshop with CPA CPE Credits

Smith Seminar

Strategies for Divorce

The Law Collaborative has partnered with the State Bar of California to provide licensed attorneys with MCLE Credits. Our October 18 seminar, Tips, Tricks & Strategies for Divorce offers attorneys 1 MCLE for $25. If you’re an attorney interested in adding family law to your menu of services, this 90 minute seminar will teach you important tips, tricks, and strategies for moving cases forward, how to better protect a client’s assets during divorce, why fighting for a client to keep the family residence may hurt them in the long run, and common divorce-related tax issues  most family law attorneys don’t appreciate or understand.

This seminar is also ideal for those with no legal background who are in the process of divorce. Do you feel like your case is stuck? Is negotiating with your ex impossible? Are you unsure of where your case is headed or how to take the next step? Pourya Keshavarzi, Esquire, and Irene Smith, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, join forces to provide you with important information that will help you protect yourself in court, tricks for effective negotiation, and strategies for moving your case forward.

Join us at our office in Woodland Hills on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for Tips, Tricks & Strategies for Divorce. Refreshments will be served. Register online today for $25 or call us toll free at (888) 852-9961.

To see some of the other upcoming events we have planned, visit www.thelawcollaborative.com/events.htm.

Tips, Tricks & Strategies for Divorce

Ladies and Gentlemen, mark your calendars! The Law Collaborative, LLC is pleased to announce Tips, Tricks & Strategies for Divorce, a 90 minute interactive seminar on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. Pourya Keshavarzi, Esquire, and Irene Smith, MBA, CPA, CFP, CDFA are founts of knowledge with some very important information to share.

Are you in the midst of a divorce but feel like your case is going nowhere?  Is your ex making negotiations impossible? Do you feel like your lawyer speaks to you in a foreign language? Then this seminar is for you.

Or maybe you’re a lawyer who wants to add Family Law to your menu of services. Not only will you learn a lot from this seminar, but you’ll earn MCLEs, too.

Visit www.thelawcollaborative.com/events.htm and register today for just $25.

A Child of Divorce

When I was nine years old, my mother took me by my shoulders in my grandparents kitchen in Seattle and said: “Ronny, we are not going back to Long Beach. I am divorcing your father. You are going to be my little man.”

My world fell apart. Suddenly, I felt the whole burden of the responsibilities and problems of our family shift to my shoulders. That was not what my mother intended, but that was how I felt. In response to the anxiety, I regressed and started wetting the bed, for which I was punished. I eventually got past that. I also started biting my nails, an anxiety habit I still struggle to overcome sixty years later. My mother’s mistake was honest and well-intentioned. She wanted to enroll me in the change, and make me feel important, but she had no way to assess the effect her statement could and would have on me. It changed my life forever.

How can parents do better? What, specifically, can we do to act responsibly as parents to guide our children through the aftermath of divorce? On Saturday, September 10, I am presenting the Second Saturday Divorce Workshop at The Law Collaborative office in Woodland Hills. Among the various topics covered, you will hear from a licensed mental health professional discussing what we, as parents, can do to help our children cope with divorce in a healthy and productive manner. Don’t have kids? We’ll also be teaching communication skills necessary for dealing with a difficult Ex. We’ll cover the divorce process from beginning to end, how to protect yourself in court, the Seven Options for Divorce, and what to do if you feel your case isn’t going anywhere. Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Irene Smith will provide important financial information for anyone going through or contemplating divorce, including common tax pitfalls most lawyers don’t know about. Breakfast is included.

You may not be thinking about a divorce or going through one, but someone in your life, someone you care about needs this information. We thank you in advance for passing this invitation on.

Also, this month we are offering a free retirement seminar presented by Irene Smith of Smith Financial Management. If you are concerned about the recent economic downturn, then Retirement Illusions: Where do we go from here? is for you. Join us on Tuesday, Sept. 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for a comprehensive review of the challenges you’ll face during retirement and discover strategies for a lifetime retirement plan. Dinner is included. RSVP before Sept. 15, 2011 by calling (818) 884-4888 or RSVP online at www.thelawcollaborative.com/events.htm.

Best wishes,
Ron Supancic, CFLS and Robert Borsky, Esq.
Partners at The Law Collaborative, LLC

This post is brought to you by The Law Collaborative’s bi-monthly newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter HERE.

Delicious Wine, Great Information

Last night’s event, Wine Tasting and Real Estate, was fantastic. Irene Smith always puts on a great seminar – the food was excellent, the wines were delicious, and Dvir Levy’s presentation on behalf of Wells Real Estate Funds was full of great information. Here are a few photos from the event:

Would you like some cheese and crackers with your wine?

Here’s Irene getting her first pour of the evening from Janice, co-owner and co-founder of The Accidental Wine Company.

Good food, good wine, and great information at The Law Collaborative.

Speaking of food, there was a fabulous array of hors d’oeuvres to nosh on, which I sadly did not get a picture of. I’ll know better for next time – but maybe you’ll be there to eat it all in person?

Visit our events page at www.thelawcollaborative.com/events.htm. We’ve got lots of brand new seminars planned, including Retirement Illusions: Where do we go from here? and Best Kept Secrets in Family Law: What divorce lawyers don’t want you to know. These seminars are extraordinary opportunities to educate yourself with regards to your finances, your retirement options, and how to protect yourself, your assets, and your kids during a divorce. For more information, visit www.thelawcollaborative.com or call us at (888) 852-9961. We are here to serve you.

Breakfast with Robert & Wine Tasting with Irene

BREAKFAST WITH ROBERT:

Don’t miss our Second Saturday Divorce Workshop this Saturday, August 13th, featuring Attorney Robert Borsky, James E. Walton, Ph.D., and Pete Collins, CFP. We will be discussing child custody, how to help your kids get through the divorce, how to protect yourself in court, child and spousal support guidelines, the complicated financial issues that arise during divorce, and the divorce process and fees. Register by calling us toll-free at (888) 852-9961, or save 50% off the registration fee by clicking here.

WINE TASTING WITH IRENE:

photo by Erik Anestad via PhotoRee


Wine Tasting and Real Estate is less than a week away! Be sure to be there on August 16th at 6:30 p.m., at our Woodland Hills office. Irene Smith, CDFA, will be hosting A Tale of Two Markets, accompanied by Dvir Levy, Regional Vice President of Wells Real Estate Funds, with a wine tasting immediately following. This seminar is free, but space is limited. Today is the last day to RSVP. Save your spot on the guest list now by calling (818)884-4888 toll-free, or click here to RSVP online.

Women and Retirement Perceptions

Irene Smith is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™, Certified Financial Planner® and Certified Public Accountant with Smith Financial Management. Earlier in July, we hosted one of her fantastic seminars, A Woman’s Journey To Financial Independence. On August 16th, we will be hosting another of her seminars, Wine Tasting and Real Estate. The event is free, but space is limited. Please RSVP no later than August 10 if you wish to attend. Click here for more information.

WOMEN & RETIREMENT PERCEPTIONS: Will the reality of retirement live up to expectations?

Presented by Irene Smith

In January 2011, Merrill Lynch released the results of a survey asking baby boomers with $250,000+ in investable assets about their retirement hopes. There were some interesting across-the-board findings – 70% of those polled expected to work at least part-time, and 84% felt their retirements would be more comfortable and dynamic than those of their parents. Yet it was the collective response of women in the 1,000-investor study that drew the most attention.1,2

Women envision a very active retirement. Volunteering and travel registered as major priorities for women, more so than for men: 64% of women said they wanted to get more involved in their communities, 62% planned to devote more time to philanthropy, and 86% planned to travel when retired. Additionally, 14% of the women surveyed said that they wanted to start a business after their careers ended.2

Women are more concerned than men about running out of money. While 52% of male respondents were unsure that their retirement assets would last a lifetime, 63% of women polled were worried about outliving their money. Additionally, 70% of the women surveyed said they worried about rising healthcare costs.2

Will reality prove disappointing? Too many women approach retirement unprepared, with too little saved or invested. You can cite two major reasons for that.

1. The multiyear absence of some women from the workplace (which can coincide with peak earning years, lessening the rate of retirement plan contributions)
2. A notable earnings gap (full-time working women earn 78 cents for every dollar men earn, which may reflect everything from gender inequality in career paths to wage discrimination).3

Another factor may be conservative investing. While you can take on too much risk in your portfolio and pay the price, there may also be a cost for assuming too little risk – your portfolio may not be able to produce returns that keep up with inflation. The federal Consumer Price Index from June 2011 shows annualized inflation at 3.6%.4

How are you investing and saving to pursue your retirement dream? Is there a strategy in place with realistic objectives? A chat with a financial professional may lead to the discovery of creative new ways to pursue your retirement ambitions.

Securities, advisory services and insurance products are offered through Investment Centers of America, Inc. (ICA), member FINRA/SIPC and a Registered Investment Advisor, and affiliated insurance agencies. ICA and Smith Financial Management are separate companies.

This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty.

Citations.
1 – reuters.com/article/2011/01/31/us-retirement-study-idUSTRE70U3E820110131 [1/31/11]
2 – mediaroom.bankofamerica.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=234503&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1521693&highlight [1/31/11]
3 – civilrights.org/archives/2009/04/291-equal-pay-day.html [4/29/09]
4 – online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304521304576447641965268196.html [7/15/11]

A Woman’s Financial Reality

Irene Smith is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™, Certified Financial Planner® and Certified Public Accountant with Smith Financial Management. We are proud to be hosting three of Irene’s excellent financial seminars this summer. For more information about Irene’s seminars, visit our events page at TheLawCollaborative.com/events.htm. These seminars are free but space is limited. Please RSVP if you wish to attend.

A WOMAN’S FINANCIAL REALITY: Your financial future is up to you … and no one else.
Presented by Irene Smith

Will this be your future? Did you know that Social Security income represents two-thirds of income for women 65 and older? Did you know that without Social Security, an estimated 58% of widows aged 65 and older would live in poverty? 1

These findings are from a 2010 U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee report. As Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) put it, “Social Security is literally a lifeline for most elderly women.”

That lifeline is barely adequate. With inflation and other economic pressures, a mature woman relying on SSI may eventually have to choose between food or medicine, or rent or car repair, or contend with other stressful money dilemmas.

When these women were younger, did they envision such a meager future ahead of them? Probably not. More than a few probably wish they had understood money matters better or actively invested for retirement.

How much do you know about personal finance? The more knowledge you have, the more action you can take to define and pursue your financial goals and build retirement savings. You can also respond to a few financial realities common to women’s lives.

The average woman spends 12 years out of the working world. So finds WISER, the non-profit formally called Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement. Typically some of this absence is for parenting, some of it for caregiving. This means the average woman has 12 fewer years to pour steady money into that 401(k), 403(b) or IRA.2

Women live longer. According to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, female life expectancy is at roughly 80.5 years versus about 75.5 years for males. The reality unnoticed in these numbers is that many women will live on their own for a decade or more after being divorced or widowed.3

Women face an earnings gap. On the whole, women do not earn as much as men. In 2009, the Government Accountability Office noted that women earn $0.78 for every $1 that men earn. Some people question this statistic, arguing that it reflects gender inequality in career paths rather than distinct salary discrimination. Regardless, the gap exists – and it is even more pronounced for women of color.4

At work, many women are worth more than the salaries they receive. Some women are reluctant to negotiate a better salary for themselves. Will it upset the equilibrium at the office? Will it be seen as too aggressive? The answers here are probably “no” and “no”. It takes confidence (and it may take a little research) to affirm your professional worth in front of your boss – and it should be done.

A rich spouse does not equal a retirement strategy. It is nice to have a spouse whose wealth allows you freedom from financial worries. Yet even if you are blessed with a rich and attractive mate, there is no telling where that mate (and that money) might end up someday but for fate.

How do you plan to arrange a comfortable future for yourself? If you don’t want to end up dependent on Social Security, then see that you have the financial education that will let you make major money decisions with confidence. Study fundamentals of investing and read up on the basics of retirement and estate strategizing. Follow up by meeting with a financial representative who can help you put a strategy into action.

Irene Smith may be reached at 818 884 4888 or Irene.smith@investmentcenters.com.
www.smithfinancialmanagement.com

This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty.

Citations.
1 – thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/801-economy/126543-changes-to-social-security-could-negatively-affect-women [10/29/10]
2 – mainstreet.com/article/retirement/women-still-far-behind-retirement-plans [4/25/11]
3 – nytimes.com/2011/03/17/health/17brfs-ART-AMERICANLIFE_BRF.html [3/17/11]
4 – civilrights.org/archives/2009/04/291-equal-pay-day.html [4/29/09]
5 – montoyaregistry.com/Financial-Market.aspx?financial-market=money-and-happiness&category=29 [6/5/11]

Saving Money During A Divorce

Last night’s seminar, A Woman’s Journey To Financial Independence, was a success. Thank you to those who attended and expressed their appreciation for the outstanding information. For those who were unable to attend, not to worry, we’re hosting another financial seminar on August 16th: Wine Tasting and Real Estate.

In this new podcast featuring Irene Smith, who presented last night and is co-hosting Wine Tasting and Real Estate next month, she and the partners have a lively discussion about what spouses should know about finances before and during a divorce case. In addition, Irene explains to Ron and Robert the advantages to working with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, including how a CDFA will save you time and money.

Click the play button to listen now.

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It All Adds Up, Know Your CDFA – Irene Smith, CPA, CDFA

Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) Irene Smith speaks with Ron and Robert regarding the financial matters all divorcing couples must know. A CFDA is a new designation for assisting couples in divorce. A CDFA is a member of the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts who specialize in the financial issues surrounding divorce. The role of the CDFA includes acting as an advisor to one party’s divorce lawyer, or as a mediator for both parties. A CDFA uses his or her knowledge of tax law, asset distribution, and short- and long-term financial planning to achieve an equitable settlement.  CDFAs are also helpful in reducing the costs of divorce.

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