Norm Brodsky Receives INC. Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Norm Brodsky Receives INC. Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award

At this year’s Inc. 5000 Conference in San Antonio, TX, our own Norm Brodsky was awarded Inc. Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award. We are extremely proud of him and this remarkable recognition! I caught up with Norm upon his return to his office, a modest trailer in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, from which he oversees his entrepreneurial portfolio. — Lewis Schiff

Lewis: Norm, welcome back from the Inc. 5000 conference. You’ve been the “Master of Ceremonies” at the Inc. 500/5000 conference for 20 years now. How was this one different? (more…)

9 Critical Issues To Consider Before Deciding To Live Overseas

9 Critical Issues To Consider Before Deciding To Live Overseas

The 9 Questions To Answer Before Launching A New Life In A New Country

The first and perhaps most important step you must take to make sure that you arrive where you want to be in your new life overseas is to understand what, really, you want your new life overseas to be.

What’s important to you? What are your priorities? Your agendas? Your preferences?

What are you not willing to give up from your current lifestyle… and what would make you miserable in your new one?

Your challenge, as you begin the process of deciding where to launch your live- or retire-overseas adventures, is to consider the world in the context of your personal circumstances and objectives. Then you can connect the dots between the world’s most interesting and appealing places to spend time… and your own situation. (more…)

Wills and Trusts: What You Think You Know … But Really Don’t

Wills and Trusts: What You Think You Know … But Really Don’t

A s a family estate planning attorney, clients often come to me with ideas about wills & trusts that they learned from friends, neighbors, and the internet. I’ve come to realize that a lot of people think they know about wills & trusts – but they don’t. Unfortunately, most people don’t ever find out they don’t know, because by the time it comes to light, it’s simply too late.

Here are some frequently misunderstood facts about wills & trusts:

1.  Many people think that if they have a will, they will avoid probate…not true.  A will is, essentially, your ticket into probate court.

2. Everything that your will says is completely public. Even worse, any property that passes through a will is public record. This can be bad for those left behind, because this tells the whole world things about your loved ones you may wish to keep private – for their sake.

3. What is probate? I tell my clients the TRUTH: “Probate is a lawsuit you file against yourself, with your own money, on behalf of your creditors.” What this means is your creditors, not your family, will get first dibs on your property.

4. A will only controls what you own in your sole name when you die. If you have assets that are jointly owned, or have beneficiary designations (IRA’s, 401Ks, bank accounts) the property passes according to different rules – and they may not be the rules you intended.

5. A will is subject to what we call “the State’s rulebook.” What this means to you is that, regardless of what the will says, probate is a court process that means your property passes according to the timeframe and the rules the State has…not your rules.

6. On the other hand, a trust, if written properly, is your rulebook. It gives your family your rules for life, disability, and death.

7. Unlike a will, a trust remains private.

8.  Many people believe that a revocable living trust protects them – but this is a false belief.  Revocable trusts provide NO asset protection to you during your life.

9.  There is such a thing as an “irrevocable trust” that also allows you complete control over the assets inside of it! This version is special purpose trust.

10.  The special purpose “irrevocable trust” DOES allow you to protect assets during your life – to avoid lawsuits, but even more importantly, to avoid nursing home poverty!

Nicole Wipp is the founder and lead attorney of the Family & Aging Law Center, a family estate planning and asset protection firm.  Nicole is frequently sought out for her expertise, and she has appeared on radio shows nationwide and in such publications as Forbes, Inc., and the Huffington Post.

To learn more about Nicole, visit


9 Best Places To Live Or Retire Overseas Right Now

9 Best Places To Live Or Retire Overseas Right Now

Here is an overview of nine of the best places to live or retire overseas right now…

#1: Lisbon, Portugal

This city on the Tagus, one of the oldest in Western Europe, was originally settled as a Phoenician trading post. It was in the 15th and 16th centuries, though, that Lisbon flourished. Awe-inspiring landmarks were constructed during this Golden Age of Discovery—the Jerónimos Monastery and the Tower of Belém, for example, and, on the waterfront, the Praça do Comércio. (more…)

Pensions In Peril. Verizon & AT&T Top the Underfunded OPEBs List.

Pensions In Peril. Verizon & AT&T Top the Underfunded OPEBs List.

Pensions In Peril. Verizon & AT&T Top the Underfunded OPEBs List. Teamsters & UFCW. New Jersey, Kentucky & Illinois.

The Pension and Health Care Crisis. Are You Banking on a Broken Promise?

160 multiemployer pensions have received notices from the Department of Labor notifying the trustees that the plans are in critical or endangered status, with some plans predicted to dry up in just a few years. (Click to check if yours is one of them.) The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the U.S. government agency that steps in when plans fail, is also expected to become insolvent in just a few years – by full year 2025 (7 years). S&P500 Corporations are underfunded on their Pension and Other Post Employment Benefits by almost half a trillion dollars, at $453.6 billion (source: S&P Dow Jones Indices). Social Security and Medicare have also announced insolvency dates of 2034 (16 years) and 2026 (8 years), respectively. So, are you banking your future on a promise that is likely to be broken? (more…)

Encore Careers

Encore Careers

I am thrilled to be interviewing our two guests this month because I believe their shared wisdom will inspire you with specific steps to help you enjoy your life more and possibly allow you retire to something rather than from something.

On August 14, I will interview international best-selling author, Ernie Zelinski,  and we will discuss how one of his books inspired me to take the plunge to early retirement at just 48 years old.  My idea was to use my passions and unique abilities to create an all new career – coaching, speaking, and writing.

I interview top business consultant and best-selling author, Mary Ellen Tribby, on August 28. She will share specific ways you can turn your passions into income by creating an online business in what she calls the “Laptop Lifestyle.”

In addition, she is giving us her free report you can download called, Secrets to Living the Laptop Lifestyle:  How to Leave 9-5 Behind and Make More Money!

In my article this month, The New Retirement Solution, I share the stories of three women I’ve worked with who have reinvented retirement.

We’ve added a new column featuring movie reviews by our resident movie critic and author, Brent Marchant.  His reviews are based on the Law of Attraction and will give you a new perspective on movie watching.

And finally, we will be featuring a new book or e-book each month.  This month, we feature Lewis Schiff’s fabulous book, The First Habit.  His work is backed by intense research as well as interviews with over 1000 millionaires and billionaires.  I promise if you begin reading it, you won’t want to put it down because his wisdom is pure gold.  This book is also sold on Amazon, but he is making it free for our Smart Women Community!

Katana Abbott is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and Certified Senior Advisor who began her financial planning career in 1987 with Ameriprise Financial Services.  Because of her personal experiences with financial abuse, death, disability, divorce, and caregiving, she teaches women how to take charge of their finances, create wealth and prepare for expected and unexpected life events. Katana is an inspirational speaker, author and the host of Smart Women Talk Radio with over a million subscribers. She is the founder of the Designated Caregiver® program and the Smart Women Companies.  She has been married to DSO French hornist, Mark Abbott, for over 30 years and they have two daughters.  To learn more and connect with Katana, visit her at

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