Thursday, February 18, 2010

Personal Information Directories

Insuring your family against financial hardship in the event of your untimely death is extremely important to the financial security of your family.

However once you have your cover in place it is just as important to make sure that others know you have it, after all should you die suddenly in an accident or from a sudden illness you are no longer in a position to tell them about it.

The importance of this issue was highlighted to me at the end of last year when a client passed away. Although she had been ill for quite sometime her health deteriorated rapidly over 2 weeks resulting in her death. It was 8 weeks before we learnt of her death when her sister called my office saying she happened to come across one of our letters whilst cleaning out our client's house. Our client had not told anyone of her policy that she had taken out nearly 20 years ago and as such no one knew to contact us.

Fortunately for our client's beneficiaries her sister was paying attention when she was cleaning her house. Our office organised the paperwork for the family and they recently received their entitlements. But what if her sister had not thought to call us or she had not taken notice of what she was throwing away?

The truth is the policy may have lapsed and if the reminder letter had gone astray no one may ever have known that there was an entitlement to a benefit. It is for this reason that everyone should have a plan on what needs to happen in the event of their death. It may be an uncomfortable subject but it will save your loved ones a lot of unnecessary worry while they are still grieving for their loss.

The best idea is to keep a record of all your important information in a safe place and give a copy to your solicitor, accountant or a close trusted family member or friend.

You should include information about your doctor, Medicare number, people to contact in the event of an emergency, your next of kin details, and insurance policies including those for your home and car as well as any personal insurance.

Also include a list of your professional advisers with their contact numbers and the location of your current will and who your power of attorney is.

You may also want to include the contacts for any organisations you belong to so they can be notified and also your account administration passwords for any social networking sites you belong to so your profile can be removed.

By keeping all these details not only will you make things easier on your family, you will ensure they receive all the entitlements you planned for.

You can get a free personal information directory simply by signing up to our monthly newsletter.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Does your business engage with your customers?

As generation X and Y begin to dominate the market place it is important to understand the Social Media and Networking revolution.

The fact is that the majority of social networkers are your potential customers and by ignoring the new communication phenomenom your business could be missing out on a new generation of customers.

Wayne W Lennan Financial Services is sponsoring a social media and networking event to help introduce this new aspect of marketing to small business owners.

March 19th 2010 from 8.15am - 9.00am
Lifestyle House, 671 Hunter Street Newcastle

Numbers have been strictly limited so attendees can get the most out of the presentation. 

To register for this free event simply complete your details below and click the submit button.


Protecting Your Identity Online

3 out of 4 Australians have visited a social networking site like Face Book, My Space & Twitter. In fact over 5 million people in Australia are regular Face Book users.

With all this social interaction over the internet you can quickly become easy prey for criminals.

Identity theft is a crime that involves stealing money or gaining benefit from pretending to be someone else. Only a few bits of discreet information are needed for these high tech fraudsters to build an identity and embark on a crime spree.

So how can you ensure that you protect yourself and your identity on these social networking sites?

Lindy Asimus from Design Business Engineering has a few tips to help protect your personal information in cyber space.

1. Don't include middle names in your profile page.

2. If you want to provide an address use a postal address or just enter the city you live in and leave the rest blank.

3. Only ever provide a business phone number or better still an email address.

4. Do not display your date of birth in full, just put the day and month there is absolutely no need to show the year, if the site won't allow you to delete the year just pick one like 1919 and make a note of it in your diary (you may need it to prove you are the administrator).

5. Be careful about the public access information you put on your sites. You don't want thieves knowing that you just bought some expensive home theatre system and that you are about to go away for a month.

Remember, without being paranoid your personal details are yours and being aware of security online is good practice. It is also a good idea to monitor your kids sites regularly as they often don't see the dangers of internet activity.

Click here for more information on social networking profile tips from Lindy Asimus.