Silver Transitions Blog

A Lesson on Key Person Life Insurance

Posted by Ralph Sklar @ 1:45pm on May 30, 2017

I once kept an office above a large restaurant in Oakland’s Jack London Square. The restaurant was started by two people, and for the sake of privacy, I am calling them Jim and Sam. Jim was a successful restauranteur who had recently sold another restaurant. Sam knew nothing about running a restaurant, but had money to invest.

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We Can't Afford It

Posted by Ralph Sklar @ 10:10am on March 27, 2017

Some time back a client purchased two identical Life insurance policies from me for $125,000 each. He wouldn’t say why he wanted two small ones and not one bigger one.

A few years later my staff told me that his wife was on the line. Somehow I knew it would be bad news. It was. The night before a teenager was driving drunk and struck my client while he was walking his dog.

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Family Harmony

Posted by Ralph Sklar @ 12:45pm on February 9, 2017

Most of my business owner clients tell me that their number one estate planning objective is to preserve family harmony, but in an effort to manage estate taxes, many of them have estate plans that are likely to cause war. If you want your children to get along after you're gone, it may not be a great idea to leave your business to those who work in it and those who don't.

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Who Makes the Profit Around Here Anyway?

Posted by Ralph Sklar @ 09:00am on November 21, 2016

Andrew Carnegie once said, “Take away my people, but leave my factories, and soon grass will grow on the factory floors. Take away my factories, but leave my people, and soon we will have a new and better factory.”

I work with many business owners and most of them would agree with that, so let me ask you this: What is your company doing to protect against the loss of its key profit makers?

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Is Your Estate Plan Empty?

Posted by Ralph Sklar @ 09:00am on October 5, 2016

In California, many people set up trusts as a basic part of their estate planning. But attorneys will tell you that many of those trusts are never funded, so they don’t accomplish a primary purpose of avoiding probate. When you left your Estate Planning Attorney’s office with your shiny new living trust did you put it in a drawer and forget about it, or did you remember to make it the owner of your investments, accounts, and real estate?

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What if your business is an important part of your retirement plan?

Posted by Ralph Sklar @ 11:00am on September 9, 2016

Some people run their businesses for maximum income and plan to close it when they retire. Others are focused on maximizing the value of the business and plan to live on the sale proceeds when they retire. Most of our clients are in the second group. If your small business is an important component of your retirement nest egg what are you doing to maximize your odds of success? Are you getting periodic professional valuations so that you know what to expect?

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Why Ralph Loves Mutual Whole Life Insurance for His Clients

Posted by Ralph Sklar @ 9:20am on May 6, 2016

Not everybody loves Mutual Whole Life Insurance but I do – and here is why:

Whole Life insurance is an idealistic product. It provides lifetime financial security for your family with a premium that is fixed for as long as you live and it builds guaranteed1 cash values that you can withdraw or borrow when you need a convenient source of funds2. But what makes ‘Mutual' Whole Life insurance special is that everyone is in it together.

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Ralph's Expertise Highlighted in Recent Herald-Tribune Article

Posted by Ralph Sklar @ 12:50pm on April 6, 2016

An article written by business consultant and guest columnist Dennis Zink, titled "How to Value a New Business", featured a quote from Ralph. To read the full article and see his quote, click here.

Is There a Role for the Media in Your Investment Strategy?

Posted by Ralph Sklar @ 12:00pm on March 8, 2016

Many of us want to be long term, patient investors. The newspapers have always made that hard, and the internet is making it nearly impossible. The job of the media is to increase their viewership.

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Diversification Doesn’t Eliminate the Need for Discipline, It Just Changes When It Is Needed

Posted by Ralph Sklar @ 1:00pm on August 11, 2015

It seems that everyone understands that discipline and diversification are key ingredients of successful investing, but what is not obvious is that staying diversified in the face of bull markets can take more intestinal fortitude than staying invested during bear markets.

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Equalizing Bequests

Posted by Ralph Sklar @ 1:00pm on July 18, 2015

One of the most common uses for life insurance is to equalize bequests when the estate is made up largely of one illiquid asset. Frequently we see a business owner who wants to treat all of his children equally, but is perplexed as to how to accomplish this when some children work in the business and others do not.

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Buy/Sell Agreements and the Valuation Clause

Posted by Ralph Sklar @ 11:15am on July 8, 2015

A common problem with buy/sell agreements is that people don't always understand the valuation clause. Frequently partnership agreements give survivors the right to buy their deceased partner's business or real estate interests at fair market value.

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