JEWEL: Journal for Experienced Women Enjoying Life

Finance and Technology

 

Track a missing or stolen laptop, tablet, or phone.

laptop and phone

Did you get a new electronic device for Christmas? Do you want to protect your electronic devices in case they should fall into the wrong hands? There is a solution for tracking your devices online – all in one place – Macs, Windows, IPads, I-phones and Android phones.
To download, go to www.preyproject.com Sign up for free (up to 3 devices per email address). Follow the prompts and activate your devices. You can then sign in to www.preyproject.com and you will see the location of each device.
After installing the software on your laptop, tablet or phone, Prey will sleep silently in the background awaiting your command. Once remotely triggered from your Prey account, your device will gather and deliver detailed evidence back to you, including a picture of who’s using it – often the crucial piece of data that police officers need to take action.
Sensitive data is gathered only when you request it. It is for your eyes only – nothing is sent without your permission. In addition, you will be able to remotely send a message (maybe you just left it somewhere?) and also lock your device.
Jenny Rink
Technology Editor

Save Money with Coupons!

piggybank

An easy way to save money when shopping on-line this holiday season (or anytime).  Some coupons can be used in stores as well.

This site was recommended by the Data Doctors Computer Services (a very reputable company based in Phoenix).

Go to www.RetailMeNot.com

Choose your favorite store(s).  You can choose to have emails sent to you, but you can also opt out of this.  Click on store name and copy code which is then applied when you check out.

You can also browse coupons by category and choose the one you want. 

 

 

 

 

Living Trusts are Not Just About Avoiding Probate

The concerns over the high costs and long delays associated with Probate are often central to the discussions over why living trusts are far superior to wills as estate planning tools, even for relatively small estates. For strictly probate avoidance purposes however, a living trust may not always be needed. Most states have  a minimum asset threshold before probate becomes mandatory and, for those falling under the line, a formal probate is not usually required. For example, if you live in California and your estate holds no real estate and the total value of your assets is less than 100,000, then your estate will probably not need to go through probate. This threshold is usually much lower in other states though often in the neighborhood of $20,000 to $50,000. If this is your situation, then you should at least create a will with an attorney and consider making individual beneficiary designations for your accounts at the bank.

Most of us would agree that probate should be avoided if at all possible. This is not, however, the only reason a living trust surpasses a will. In my opinion, the only true benefit of having a will is having a plan in place for the distribution of your assets at death. This is all a will can do for you but is only half a plan. A better plan also has a strategy for dealing with your incapacity, the care and support of minor children and/or grandchildren, beneficiaries with special needs, or beneficiaries with severe lack of financial acumen or maturity. Remember that a will can only go into effect after you die and cannot help you in these important areas.wills_and_estate_planning

Suppose you and your spouse bought a home. If you are like most of us, you need two incomes to be able to pay the mortgage. Then suppose that your spouse gets in a terrible accident that leaves him or her incapacitated. They can’t work any longer so their income stops. A will won’t help you because your spouse is not dead. Your life insurance policy won’t help you for the same reason. You decide you need to sell the house but both spouses are on title and any sale or refinance of your property will require both signatures. If your spouse is incapacitated, then you are likely to have to go to court and spend $5,000 to $10,000 to have your spouse declared legally incapacitated and have the court appoint a conservator. Then, the judge will let you know if you may or may not sell the house and what you may or may not do with the proceeds. A properly prepared living trust will allow you to almost immediately take the actions you feel are in the best interest of you and your spouse without interference from the courts.

Providing for your children is usually the most important goal of your estate plan. Do you have children who are minors or not yet mature enough to handle the estate you are about to leave to them? In most states if you have a will, or use the generic will that the state imposes when you don’t, your children must receive their inheritance when they turn 18. Do they have the maturity and experience at that age to be good stewards of your estate? With a living trust you can set a more appropriate age for them to have access to or manage your estate (e.g. age 25 or later). You can even set parameters for them to earn the right to receive or manage their inheritance. During the “maturation” years, your trustee is empowered to provide for your children’s health, education, and welfare. If minor children survive you, a will generally leads to a strict court-ordered and supervised guardianship of your estate until your children turn 18. These arrangements are costly and restrictive, and again your children must receive your entire estate at age 18. With a living trust there is no need for the court to get involved. Your trust would stipulate how and for whose benefit your assets were to be used, and would grant full legal power and authority for your trustee to carry out your wishes.

Remember to use a qualified attorney to make sure your will or trust is properly prepared. Avoid generic “do it yourself” kits and form books. They can’t and don’t address every family’s unique needs and can be disastrous in the end.

Article by Greg Reese    Connect to their web page @ Learn Living Trust

 

Remove clutter from your inbox

unrollmepicture

Go to www.unroll.me to use this program (without downloading anything). 

More and more email services are tackling the problem of email overload. One of the latest is Unroll.me, which attempts to organize your inbox by tidying up the mess left by all of those subscriptions most of us receive. Unroll.me works with Gmail, Google Apps, and Yahoo email accounts; the company (also called Unroll.me) says it is working on adding support for AOL and other email services, but does not say when that will happen. You sign up for the free service online and link your email account, and Unroll.me goes to work automatically, scanning your email account to see which subscriptions you receive. It took just a few minutes for Unroll.me to scan a Gmail account that holds more than 10,000 messages. 

Once the initial scan is complete, Unroll.me shows you your Rollup, which the company describes as “a digest that gives you an overview of the subscriptions you receive each day.” By default, Unroll.me places all messages that it deems subscriptions into your Rollup, and it proved fairly accurate. Then it’s up to you to decide which subscriptions you would like to cancel.

Jenny Rink
Technology Editor
jennyrink@gmail.com

 

Win10Should I upgrade to Windows 10?

There are many reasons to take advantage of this free Windows update from Microsoft. A major goal of Windows 10 is to be familiar and not require new learning techniques the way Windows 8 did. From that standpoint, Windows 10 aims to give you the best of both worlds, embracing both familiarity and innovation. Not only that, it’s free for the life of your computer. Microsoft will be updating frequently in the background. There are no plans for a Windows 11, etc. Windows 10 will just keep getting better. SPEED: Fast start up and more. Compared to Windows 7, Windows 10 leaves the older one at the gates. THE START MENU: The start menu is back! But it also uses the tiles from Windows 8 as well. One of the most important tiles is called GET STARTED. If you listen to the videos and read about each part of Windows 10, you’ll have no need to buy a book or take lessons to use Windows 10. CORTANA: Windows now has an assistant – like Siri on Apple products and Google Now on android devices. UNIVERSAL APPS: If you use Windows 7, you don’t have an app store. The apps work equally well as full-screen, modern Windows apps using touch or with traditional desktop mouse and keyboard input. If you have a Windows phone, the same apps are shared, and you can share documents saved to the cloud on your desktop as well. A BETTER BROWSER: Microsoft Edge brings the OS’s default browser into the modern world of browsers. That means improved compatibility and speed, and add a few helpful new capabilities like webpage markup and reading mode (which strips out all ads on the page). And many more reasons – it makes life easier and it’s fun!

Jenny Rink Technology Editor
jennyrink@gmail.com