On April 20, 2016, women from the Women In Bio – Atlanta Chapter met for the 10th Women’s Series event titled “Personal Finances for Women of This World,” by Meredith Moore. The event was held in partnership with French, Netherlands, Israel, and German American Chambers of Commerce, and the British American Business Council.
Meredith Moore is the founder and owner of Moore & Associates Wealth Management, which she founded in 1999 to serve and coordinate the financial affairs of a select group of individuals, families, and businesses in the Greater Atlanta area.
During her presentation Meredith covered a broad range of topics - from estate planning, risk management, and short-term savings to debt management and long-term savings:
-Meredith’s advice for everyone is to own life insurance outside of that provided by her workplace, specifying both the beneficiary and contingent (individual who receives funds if beneficiary is deceased) on her life insurance plans.
-Children who are minors should not be designated as beneficiaries or contingents as this often results in legal conflict for attaining guardianship of those minors. Instead, placing UTMA (Uniform Transfer to Minors Act) with the name of the guardian as the beneficiary is the best way to leave your young children their inheritance.
- Life insurance paperwork always overrides a will, hence one should review both to keep them consistent with her wishes.
-Probate court money is required to enact a will, so this should be considered when estate planning. An alternative to setting up a will is a revocable living trust that does not require probate fees and, unlike a will, is private and cannot be contested in court.
-In cases where individuals own properties in other countries, the laws of those countries should be adhered to and acknowledged in wills/trusts set up in the US.
-When it comes to paying off debt, Meredith listed nondeductible credit cards with the highest interest rates as the first item to be concerned with followed by student loans, tax-deductible mortgages, and home equity lines with variable interest rates.
-She emphasized creating income flows and not just assets for retirement. In addition, she suggested individuals should invest differently for different timelines as long-term horizons allow for more risk.
As an ending note, Meredith suggested one should always be aware of their monthly income and plan around it accordingly.
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