Neiman & Associates Financial Services, LLC
Fall 2010 eNews from Neiman & Associates Financial Services, LLC

Hello and happy fall! In this edition of eNews:
  • Learn what the tax implications are when you donate the use of your vacation home to a charity
  • Get the real deal on the Texting While Driving Ban that Massachusetts just enacted
  • Read about how we helped a woman gain control of her family money and liberate herself financially and emotionally
  • Find out how you can purchase paper holiday cards that help save the earth.

We hope you enjoy this newsletter as welcome all comments. As always, feel free to pass this on to like-minded people.

Donating the Use of Your Vacation Home
Tax Planning
Will You Get a Tax Deduction?

Recently, a number of clients have asked me about donating the use of their vacation home to a charity, say for an auction or a raffle. Even though the charity may be a qualified 501.c.3 non-profit organization, you cannot get a tax deduction for the donation because you are donating a partial interest in the property. The donation of the right to use property is a contribution of less than your entire interest. The only way you could get a deduction for the donation would be if you donated the your entire interest - in other words, giving the property to the charity.

Though you may not reap the benefits of a tax deduction, if you rent your vacation home, donating the use of your property to a charity auction will increase exposure to potential renters. That increased exposure may be more valuable than the tax deduction.

vacation home

The Ban on Texting While Driving...It is More Involved Than You Think

Do You Really Understand the Nuances of the New Massachusetts Law?

The Massachusetts ban on texting while driving that went into effect on September 30, 2010 is more than what it seems. Yes, drivers are forbidden to text while driving. But, the new law also forbids drivers from using a phone to:
  • read or compose emails
  • read or compose instant messages
  • look at web pages
  • access phone-based GPS navigation services.

Additionally, the new law prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using cell phones and mobile devices while behind the wheel. Drivers older than 18 may use cell phones and mobile devices provided they have one hand on the steering wheel.

I wouldn't be surprised if other states implement these strict rules or even if Massachusetts moves to a hands-free model like New York.

Regardless of what state you're in, please be mindful and safe while driving.

car on the road

Case Study: Helping a Client Take Control of Family Money
The Tangled Web Weaved With Family Money

At 41 years old, my client Georgie (not her real name) was a bit frustrated by the way her money has been managed. Georgie's Uncle Wallace - the family patriarch - was a self-made man who did well years ago in the stock market. For most of her adult life, Georgie's Uncle managed her investment account as well as the accounts of her siblings and cousins in this next generation.

Unfortunately, Uncle Wallace's management style was best described as authoritarian. There was no room for questioning anything, including why a certain stock was included or excluded from the portfolio. Wallace made all the decisions and was the gatekeeper in terms of distributions.

When I first sat down with Georgie, I asked her what was important to her - what she valued in life. Her answers focused on her family, friends, creative expression through art, travel, and her desire to enact change through social justice work. What I heard was that her values reflected a certain view of the world that could carry over to her investment portfolio. In other words, she could invest with her values. When I reviewed her current portfolio managed by Uncle Wallace, I saw just the opposite of who she was and what she stood for.

I spent some time coaching Georgie on what would be expected of her if she sought control of her funds, as well as how to handle and frame the situation with Uncle Wallace. I advised her to present it as both a financial values decision as well as the need to become an owner of the funds - responsible and accountable for her own financial future.

The good news is that Uncle Wallace agreed to let her control her share of the assets. Plus, he was thrilled to learn that she was being guided by an independent Registered Investment Advisor and fee-only Certified Financial Planner who was more like-minded and able to construct an institutionally-managed portfolio that better represented her ideals.

tree sky

Order Earth-Friendly Holiday Cards
A Great (and Green) Idea

If you're planning to order paper holiday cards, consider buying them from Paper Culture uses 100% post consumer recycled paper for all its cards. And through its new Cards to Trees program, for every new order, Paper Culture plants a tree on your honor.

save the earth

More Great Ideas
Visit our website for more great ideas. And feel free to pass along your suggestions for other ideas that we should post.

Neiman & Associates Financial Services, LLC
We help clients transform complexity into opportunity so they can live rich, rewarding lives.

Debra A. Neiman, CFP(R)
Principal & Founder

phone: 781.641.5700

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