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PresidentsCornerPresident's Corner
In last month's column, I discussed beneficiaries fighting over their deceased loved one's money. As disturbing as that is, what is even worse is siphoning away Grandma's money while she's still alive. This is commonly referred to as "inheritance theft" or "inheritance hijacking." This is a form of elder financial abuse.

We are all potential victims as we age and become weaker physically and mentally. I don't need help with my finances today, but most likely will need to trust a friend, family member, or caregiver. Often, these trusted people have the best opportunity to steal inheritances. The objective of an inheritance hijacker is to gain the trust of the victim and then deliberately secure access to the victim's assets.

The "requests" from the "trusted" individual to the elderly relative run the gamut: A short-term loan to pay off debts (which never get paid off), paying the grandchildren's college tuition (the colleges almost always happen to be expensive private schools), or "investing" in the next big technological advance (the probability of that happening is equal to the likelihood the Chicago Cubs win the World Series.)

Sometimes, the money siphoning is more insidious. I personally know of an individual who let her parents live with her and proceeded to charge them rent. Not reimbursements of medical expenses (that happened, too), but actual rent to live in her house. In another situation, an elder appointed their new "friend" as a joint owner on his Credit Union accounts. The friend then came into the branch for weekly withdrawals. Credit Union staff reported the activity to the county's adult protective services.

The hijackers have the same justification for their actions. Their elderly relative is prepaying their inheritance they would have subsequently received, or owes the hijacker for taking care of them, although the term "taking care" may be no more than a weekly three-minute phone call.

The obvious problem with this is that the elder is on a fixed income; thus, any less money they have cuts into their lifestyle that they worked so hard years earlier to achieve. The fraudsters use guilt and subtle psychological coercion to separate the targeted elder from their money.

Certainly, there are family and non-family caregivers who become advocates and trusted advisors for elders. I recommend elders who are concerned about this be aware that it can happen to them, even in the best of families. I would also recommend finding a competent attorney and having at least two trusted people oversee the assets. We all have to stay educated and alert to ensure our loved one's quality of life.

David M. Green
(925) 335-3802

This chart illustrates the price to earnings ratio (PE ratio) from 1900 to the present. Generally speaking, when the PE ratio is high, stocks are considered to be expensive. When the PE ratio is low, stocks are considered to be inexpensive. From 1900 into the mid-1990s, the PE ratio tended to peak in the low to mid-20s (red line) and trough somewhere around seven (green line). Notice how most PE ratio peaks that occurred well above the upper threshold (red line) were a result of a massive bear market / recession. The only real exception to this was the dot-com boom which resulted in a PE ratio peak well above 30 in 1999. Viewed in this way, the current PE ratio (just shy of 24) is noteworthy and suggests that the stock market as a whole is by no means cheap.

tipsforteensTips for Teens - Acing that Interview 

Last month, I talked about how to get the most out of your Summer, with the top suggestion being to get a job or an internship. Now that summer has begun, let's talk about the interview process. When you have found a job or internship that interests you, applied for the position, and the employer sets up a date for you to come in for an interview, you'll want to be ready for it. Most likely, you won't be the only applicant they are interviewing and you'll want to make an impression and stand out among the crowd.

Here are a few tips on what to do before, during, and after an interview:
  • Dress to impress!
    If you're applying for a job in an office, it's best to wear business attire. If you're applying for a job in retail, business casual would probably be appropriate. As a rule of thumb, it's better to over-dress than to under-impress. If you're questioning your outfit, go with your gut and shoot for something more professional.
  • Research the company and position you're applying for.
    You'll want to know everything you can about the company you're interviewing with before you go to the interview. This shows that you're proactive and interested in what they're all about. You can utilize their website, Google, Wikipedia, or any other resources available to you. This also applies to the job description. Not only will you want to make sure it's a position you're interested in, but the interviewer will most likely ask you why you're a good candidate for the position, so you'll need to know what it's all about.
  • Google "Commonly Asked Interview Questions"
    There's a lot of great information on the internet, and finding some commonly asked interview questions to practice ahead of time will help to build your confidence and make you feel more prepared.
  • Confidence is key!
    You may feel nervous, but try to approach the interview with confidence. Keep your head up, smile, and maintain eye contact (but DON'T STARE cause that's just weird).
  • Show continued interest.
    When your interview is over, the employer may take some time to choose which candidate to go with, which means you still have the opportunity to stand out! Check in periodically by phone or email to let them know you're still interested in the position. You can even send a thank you note by snail mail or deliver it in person.
  • Don't get discouraged.
    If you don't get the position, stay positive! There are many other opportunities out there. If you're persistent, it's likely you'll find something even better than you expected.
Luis Dominguez
Student Social Media Intern
1st Nor Cal Credit Union

Replacing and repairing home equipment such as air conditioners, furnaces, water heaters, and electric power panels can get very expensive. Many Homeowners insurance carriers are now offering Equipment Breakdown Coverage as an option. This coverage provides protection in the event of an unexpected electrical, mechanical or pressurized systems failure not caused by normal wear and tear or corrosion.

Generally this coverage has a limit of $50,000. and a $500 deductible per loss. Annual cost for the coverage is under $3 per month. 
As an added benefit of your 1st Nor Cal membership , we at Lou Aggetta Insurance will help you review the things that are important to you and provide you with options for reducing risk in your life. We are an independent insurance agent and can provide you with home, auto, life, health, business and many other types of insurance coverage.
Contact me today to schedule your free review.
Denia Aggetta Shields
Lou Aggetta Insurance
2637 Pleasant Hill Road
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
(925) 945-6161
License #OK22281

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(925) 228-7550 Ext.824

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