Sandra C. Field, MBA, CFP®

Sandra Field, founder, of Asset Planning Inc. (API), is a Certified Financial Planner and has been an active professional in the financial services industry for over 23 years. She is recently named as one of nation's leading wealth mangers by Bloomberg "Wealth Manager" magazine.  A Southern California native, Sandra graduated from California ...State University Long Beach with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and from University of Southern California with a Masters in Business Administration. Sandra is a member of NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) and the Financial Planning Association. Sandra has served on the board of directors for the Orange County Chapter of FPA. Well respected in the industry, she is a featured financial advisor for the LA Times "Money Makeovers" as well as for the "One On One" column in the Orange County Register. In addition, Sandra serves on the Mutual Fund Panel of Experts for the Orange County Register Newspaper. She is also an active member of the community, serving as past President of the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce, past Vice President of Finance on the Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society, and past Business Advisor to the City of Seal Beach. Last but not least, she is a featured speaker at many public and private functions such as AAII (American Association of Individual Investors), Cal State Univ. Long Beach, EWGA and USC. She recently spoke at the WISE (Women In Securities & Education) conference, conducting a live money makeover before 400 women. Whether she is assisting clients to reach their retirement goals or selecting the right investments for clients, education is at the core of Sandra's philosophy. She emphasizes the importance of developing a relationship with and educating clients, placing the utmost importance on helping them reach their goals, whatever they may be. More

Jury Scam in Orange County

Apparently there is a new scam going around in Orange County. Imposters are calling and claiming that they are from the Orange County Superior Court. They are claiming that you will be facing prosecution for missing jury duty and attempt to obtain your social security number. Read here for more details

The bottom line is, never ever under any circumstances give out any of your personal information such as social security number, birth date etc. to anyone who is calling you that you do not recognize. No reputable company is going to call you out of the blue to ask you for this information. Scammers will stop at nothing to get this valuable information from you so be vigilent in protecting it.

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Ancestry & Genetic Testing

Many people are interested in their ancestry and genetic testing and the popularity of DNA test kits shows this new trend. The most popular tests are AncestryDNA, National Geographic genetics and 23andme. 23andMe has over 2 million customers that have given consent to have their data used for research. Yes, the data is sold. The premise is that the data is sold for research and the buyers are institutions and nonprofits. You do have to consent to your data being used and 80% of their customers do give consent. So, what are the dangers? For a young person who may be applying for health insurance or life insurance in their future, I would advise that their data not be shared and their sample not be kept for future testing. Despite genetic privacy laws, life insurers can request genetic testing information and thus deny coverage based on your disease risk profile. Law enforcement also has the right to your data.


For people living to age 85, there is a 34% chance of having Alzheimers. Age is also a big risk factor for Parkinson’s disease. If you find you have the APOE gene, your risk of Alzheimer’s is increased. How the research can help is that the right patients could be put in specific clinical trials. Carol and her kids have been tested. I spit in the tube and sent my sample off to 23andMe to be tested for ancestry results just because I am curious even though all my maternal side came from Sweden. I have not given consent for learning my genetic risk for diseases yet. If you have an interest in this topic, email us for our links to the articles and research.

Sandy

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229 Hits

Pet Donations Needed for Disaster Relief

Seeing the news about all of the displaced animals due to the hurricanes and wild fires has deeply touched our hearts. We have decided to try to do our part by collecting donations for local relief efforts as well as Puerto Rico. The rescue organizations are in desperate need of medications and new or gently used pet supplies. If you would like to donate to this cause feel free to drop off any of the items listed below at our office from now until Jan 15, 2018. 

MEDICATIONS- They accept dog, cat and people medications. Expired medications are fine too.
Antibiotics (ANY)
Especially: Clavamox,
Baytril, Albon, Biaxin,
​Doxycycline, Ciprofloxin,
Orbax, Augmentin,
Amoxicillin, Cephalexin,
Clindamycin, Erythromycin,
Azithromycin, Fungal Meds,
Heartguard, Nexgard,
Ivermectin, Dewormer
Lixotinic, ​Frontline, ​Revolution
Capstar, NutriCal
Ear & Eye Infection Medications

Pain & Anti-Inflammatory Medications

We will be shipping the medications directly to Puerto Rico.

New or gently used items such as:

Dog beds
Grooming supplies
Leashes and collars
Dog toys
Dog sweaters
Dog crates
Dog treats- hard and soft
Dry or canned dog/puppy food
Dog carriers and crates
Poop bags
Stainless steel bowls

These items will be dropped of at a local SPCALA location to be distributed by DART (Disaster Animal Response Team) where they are needed the most.


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269 Hits

Go Bag for Emergencies

After witnessing the devastation from the recent hurricanes and California wildfires I thought it was a good idea to send out a reminder about having a “go bag” or emergency kit ready. In the case of the wildfires the residents had little to no notice. This gave them no time to collect any of their belongings for themselves or their pets. Having this “go bag” ready and easily accessible is extremely important. On the FEMA website I found a comprehensive list of what you should have in your emergency kit as well as some additional tips to help you prepare for an emergency.It is attached below. Take some time to look over the list and get your "go bag" ready.

Emergency_Kit_Checklist-_FEMA.pdf

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237 Hits

API Ice Cream Event

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We would like to say thank you to everyone who came out to help us celebrate National Ice Cream month at our ice cream event last week. We all had a great time and truly enjoy events where we're able to relax and have some fun with our clients. I have some great pictures of everyone and will be posting them on our Facebook page.

I look forward to seeing you all at our next one!

Sandy

 

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363 Hits

Fireworks and Your Dog: Keeping Your Dog Calm

The Fourth of July is a fun and festive time to celebrate America. Fireworks have become a natural part of these celebrations. While it is great fun for us it's not always that way for our dogs. Personally, my golden retriever Roxie, is terrified by them. I came accross a really good article that I wanted to share with you with tips on how to keep your dog safe and calm during the fireworks. Follow the link below to read the article.

https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/hyperactivity-overexcitement/how-to-keep-your-dog-safe-and-calm-during-fireworks

I hope everyone has a great 4th of July!

Sandy

 

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312 Hits

YOLO

Sandy in the Amazon

During my 30 year career I have encouraged  clients to carefully save and prepare for retirement. Now I want you to reach beyond your comfort zone and embrace something new, something exciting, possibly scary. I was recently in the Galapagos and loved that portion of the trip but I also signed up for an Amazon rainforest extension that pushed my boundaries. This self-declared "prissy girl" was going to a very remote part of the world, completely off the grid. No cell, wifi, satellite, news or electricity- which was great for my daughter to be unconnected. We had dim light by solar, hunidity, heat, lots of bugs, birds, snakes, caimans and creatures. I was in a swamp with the Shaman, a medicine man, a healer of the community. To appreciate what we have, go to where they have not. View the world as exciting and try a new hobby, volunteer, give back, get involved. YOLO means "you only live once" and I have lived by that attitude for years. Take the road less traveled. Take a leap.

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Congratulations Samantha

We are elated to announce that Samantha has passed her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ exam! We would like to congratulate her on this huge accomplishment as well as acknowledge all of the hard work she has put into studying for this exam and just know that she is going to do well. Once she receives her official certification we will have 4 CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™ in the office to help with your financial planning needs.

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583 Hits

Steps Wells Fargo Customers Should Take to Protect Themselves

 

The shocking news that Wells Fargo employees opened 1.5 million unauthorized accounts and 565,000 credit cards has caused concern for Wells Fargo customers everywhere. Wells Fargo has said that they will be contacting customers who they feel may have had accounts wrongfully opened and invite their customers to come into a branch to do a review with a banker. We feel however that it is good to be proactive and instead of waiting for a call, do a little research on your own to protect yourself. Here are some steps you should take if you are worried that you may be a victim of fraudulent activity.

Check your accounts- Look at your Wells Fargo online account, call Wells Fargo or go into a branch to review any accounts in your name. Make sure that you authorized any accounts that were opened in your name. Also, look through each account for any unusual fees or unauthorized money transfers. Wells Fargo has been accused of charging illegal fees on student loans as well as making unauthorized money transfers between accounts that may have caused insufficient funds charges.

Check your credit report- If you haven’t checked your credit report recently you should check it now. You can get a free credit report every year at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/ Look for any unauthorized accounts opened in your name or any unauthorized credit inquiries made by Wells Fargo. If a credit card was opened without your knowledge and there were fees that you were unaware of and were unpaid those may also have been reported to the credit agencies. If you find any discrepancies contact Wells Fargo immediately as well as the credit reporting agencies (Experian, Transunion, Equifax) to dispute the fraudulent activity and have it removed from your report.

If you are unable to have the issue resolved through the bank or credit agencies you can also submit a claim with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau by calling 855-411-2372 or online @ http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/ .

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709 Hits

API Open House

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API held an Open House in our office on June 29th and were delighted to host 75 clients.  We introduced our new full time office administrator, Melani, to our clients that had not yet met her. As we continue to grow in assets and clients, we needed someone dedicated to the running of the office and client contact. These duties have been removed from Samantha as she only deals with client accounts, trading and financial planning now.  API continues to expand and now has clients in 10 states and manages over 220 million dollars.  We thank you for your continued loyalty and referrals that allow us to grow.

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771 Hits

Checking Your Own Credit Score

 

Everybody knows how important maintaining a good credit score is. Having a good credit score will get you better interest rates on home mortgages, car loans and credit cards. Landlords and even employers are looking at this number when making decisions to rent/lease to you or hire you. With credit being such an important factor in life it’s crucial that you know what your credit score is and checking your own credit score does not impact your credit. Luckily for you there are many new and free credit monitoring services out there to help you do just that. So if your credit needs a little help, don’t despair, check out these free tools to help guide you on the path to great credit!

Creditscorecard.com

 

Creditsesame.com

 

Creditkarma.com

If you choose to sign up for one of these websites they will ask you for personal information to identify yourself to verify that it is in fact you signing up. These websites are all free monitoring services and they will not ask you for any credit card information. They will however send you marketing materials with offers based on your personal information. It seems like a small price to pay in order to be able to monitor and take control of your own credit. Good luck on your journey to overall better credit health!

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758 Hits

Tax Deadline is Fast Approaching

The April 18th deadline to file your tax return is right around the corner. In your rush to meet the deadline we would like to remind you that it’s not too late to contribute to your IRA to receive the tax benefit.  The current funding limit is $5,500 for those under 50 and $6,500 for people 50 and over. Even if you participate in a plan at work you may still contribute, you will not receive the tax deduction but the earnings will grow tax free until you are required to take a distribution – over age 70 1/2. . If you have been thinking about opening an IRA to supplement your retirement there is no better time than the present to get one started. Please contact your advisor to determine which type of IRA would best suit your financial needs.

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781 Hits

How to Collect Social Security on an Ex-Spouse’s Record

 As long as the former ex-spouse is eligible to receive benefits, you can collect a spousal benefit if you meet the following conditions:

 

                -You have not remarried

                -Your marriage lasted at least 10 years

                -You are 62 or older

 

If your ex-spouse has not yet applied for his benefit, you have to hold off until you have been divorced for two years. As long as you are full retirement age, your spousal benefit will be equal to one-half of your ex-spouse’s full retirement benefit. The benefit will be less than one-half if you’re younger than full retirement age when you start collecting. Your spousal benefit will not include any delayed retirement credits that your ex-spouse may receive. If you remarry, you generally cannot collect spousal benefits on your former spouse’s record unless your later marriage ends in death or divorce.  

 

 

 

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1225 Hits

LA Times Money Makeover

Sandy was asked to be the advisor on this month's LA Times money makeover.
Click here to check it out.
 

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1378 Hits

The Government Shutdown

Our government shut down October 1 with both sides vowing to not bend and give in. The last time we had an impasse was in 2008, during the passage of TARP, and the market reacted by falling 777 points. That was enough to get both sides negotiating a bit quicker. We also have the debt ceiling to deal with later this month. Failure to act would be very negative for the financial markets and the world economy. This is really the ordeal to watch- the debt-ceiling extension and our debt ceiling now stands at 16.7 trillion. If we reach an impasse, our debt will default. While the market has reacted in the past, I also believe it is becoming somewhat immune to the actions of our government.

How does this shutdown impact government services and benefits? People will still receive their mail from the U.S Postal Service, Social Security benefits and changes in address, food stamps, school meals, veteran compensation and burial benefits. National parks, museums, federal home loans, VA home loans, IRS suspension of all audit activities and passport operations are all affected by the shutdown and will be suspended until further appropriation of congressional funds. Unfortunately for our economy, it is projected that the shutdown will impact our economic growth by as much as 1.3 % in the 4rth quarter if it continues two weeks.

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1233 Hits

Good News: 'The Sky is Falling'

I hope you enjoy this article regarding the state of bonds  by James A Klotz, President of FMS Bonds, Inc.:

Have you heard the clucking?

It’s the sound of Chicken Little returning to the municipal bond market.

In 2008, he paid a visit during the mortgage crisis. At the time, bond insurers were downgraded when they strayed from their traditional market and ventured into exotic – and toxic – financial products, while major banks, brokerages and hedge funds, which traditionally provided support to the muni market, became net sellers to enhance their own liquidity during the tumult.

Munis themselves were fine, but the chickens clucked, bond prices slumped and too many average investors panicked and sold. Veteran bond investors, meantime, did what they always do: take advantage of the disruptions and feast on fatter yields.

Two years later, Chicken Little reappeared, this time in the guise of a banking analyst whose comments on state and local finances during a TV interview spooked investors and spurred a muni selloff. Nevermind that her warnings of Armageddon were wildly off the mark; many took heed and, as a result, blew a hole in their portfolios.

He’s back

Today, Chicken Little has returned, with the same, equity-oriented pundits warning of a calamitous interest-rate spike and urging investors to shed their bonds.

Which bonds are they referring to? We’re not sure, and due to their lack of expertise in bonds, they’re probably not either. We only hear about Treasury bonds, but we don’t know of a single individual investor who owns any.

And that’s the rub.

Successful tax-free bond investors don’t buy and sell based on prognostications. Their goal is to generate a steady and dependable stream of tax-free income. Because investors know they have a promise to be paid at a specific time – a maturity date – unrealized losses or gains are irrelevant. They know that over the life of their long-term bonds, they will sometimes be worth more than they paid for them and sometimes less. Neither scenario should initiate a sale.

In fact, a substantial number of municipal bond buyers welcome higher interest rates to boost their tax-free income, which is the reason they buy tax-free bonds in the first place.

A buying opportunity

Chicken Little’s most recent cry to indiscriminately sell an entire asset class is reckless and can once again be catastrophic for investors.

Unique opportunities abound as muni bond fund shareholders panic and rush to the exits. This forces fund managers to reluctantly toss good bonds overboard to meet redemptions.

With high-quality municipals now yielding 4.25% or more (a tax-equivalent yield of 6.54% for investors in the 35% federal tax bracket), successful long-term investors hear the shrieks for what they really are: a signal to buy.

For more information follow the link: http://www.fmsbonds.com/News/bond_article.asp?id=444

 

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1253 Hits

Planning for your 2013 Tax Return

It is never to early to begin planning for next year's tax return. Planning ahead can save you time and money in 2014. Here are six simple steps to take to make your next tax return easier.

1. Adjust your withholding
Now is a good time to review your withholdings to make the taxes withheld from your pay closer to the taxes you will owe for this year. You can use the IRS Withholding Calculator at IRS.gov to complete a new Form W-4.

2.Store your return in a safe place.
Doing so can facilitate locating it in case you need to refer to your return. For example, you may need a copy of your return when applying for a home loan or financial aid.

3. Organize your records
These record include your receipts from big purchases, mileage logs, and other deductable expense.

4. Hire a tax professional
If you already have a tax professional  consult with them now to tart your tax planning for next year.

5.Consider itemizing deductions
If your itemized deductions typically fall just below your standard deduction you can bundle your deductions. If you usually claim a standard deduction, you may be able to reduce your taxes.

6.Keep up with changes
its always good to keep  up with changes in the law especially taxes. For helpful tips, and IRS announcements, visit the IRS website, www.IRS.gov

 

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1212 Hits

Planning Your Digital Estate

Deciding how to manage one's digital legacy has turned into one of the trickiest estate-planning tasks. Facebook status updates, blogs posts, tweets, digital music libraries and other digital remains may have significant financial or personal value to the families. Failure to plan ahead may prevent loved ones from recovering these digital items of personal value and information pertaining to bills or other financial liabilities. It could also leave your estate vulnerable to identity theft.
The first step to start navigating through this new world of digital estate planning it is important to recognize the obstacles one faces, such as all the legal terms of use and service of each online service provider. Providers differ in how one can handle accounts of deceased users. Yahoo for example, will terminate your account upon your death if a certificate is submitted. Google recently introduced a new feature allowing users to specify the termination of account data should the account be inactive for a certain period or passed along to specific individuals.
Some accounts that you access online do not pose an estate-planning challenge. Financial institutions do have clear procedures an account holder's death. Always check the terms of use and inquire what will happen to your account in case you pass away.

Retrieved from Kiplinger's Retirement Report

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1220 Hits

Withdrawing Funds From IRA’s, Trusts, and Individual Accounts

Need money from your IRA or Trust accounts? No problem; securities, mutual funds and bonds can all be sold on the same day and the cash is settled into your account in approximately four business days; however, giving your financial advisor prior notice can get you more money from the sale of your investments.

If you need more than $15,000 in cash, it is advisable to give your advisor a one month notice to take advantage of market sales. This means your advisor tries to sells the investments when markets hit a high price in order to get the greatest amount of cash from the sale of from a stock, bond or mutual fund. Once the investments are sold it does take time for the cash to settle into your accounts. Mutual funds for example, can be sold on the same day but the cash doesn't settle into your account until the next business day. Stocks can too be sold on the same day; however, the cash takes three days to settle. Bond sales are unique since they are placed on a bond trading desk and wait for a reasonable bid. In our case, we would wait for the highest bidder.

Giving your advisor a month's time notice not only facilitates the selling process, but also allows us to search for the best selling prices for your investments, providing you with more cash.

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1067 Hits

Impact of Applying for Business Credit Cards

Every time you apply for a personal credit card your average time length of your credit accounts decrease and in turn decreases your credit score. It is sad news if you were looking to open a new personal credit card account; however, applying for a business card will not reduce the average time length of your credit accounts. The personal credit bureaus do not receive reports on the amount you spend on a business credit card, as well as your credit line.

For Example, theoretically speaking if one was to use up an entire credit limit from a business credit card, it would have no impact on a personal credit score. In contrast, if the same was done a personal credit card, it would dramatically reduce your score even if the balance was paid in full when the statement arrives.

Bottom line, not only do business credit cards provide more sign-up bonuses, they also have less of an impact to your personal credit score. You don't need an established business to get approved for a business credit card and you can often get approved for existing businesses which you run as the sole owner or which you are thinking of starting. It is advisable to be cautious of what you apply for, the interest rate and any penalties that come with any credit card including business credit cards.

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1046 Hits

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