Print Page   |   Your Cart   |   Sign In
Technology
Group HomeGroup Home Blog Home Group Blogs

Spring Clean Your Tech and Scrub Your Beneficiaries

Posted By Amie Mendoza, The Law Offices of Amie Mendoza, Friday, February 27, 2015

It's almost spring. Can you believe it? Time is ticking by so fast that we just got around to putting away the holiday decorations last week! As always, with spring comes thoughts of spring cleaning.

I am not really a big fan of large home organization projects. So, this year, I am going to focus my spring cleaning efforts on technology. This is a good time of year to tidy up the inbox, clean out the social media, and make sure you're backing up your data. This article on Pop Sugar suggests 31 Straightforward Ways to Spring Clean Your Tech.The best part is that you can do this sitting in your comfortable chair with a cup of coffee. Oh, and virtual dust doesn't make you sneeze.

To keep in the spirit of prep for spring cleaning, this week's article gives you some basic estate planning tasks that every adult can and should review.


Until Next Week,

The Basic Estate Planning Task EVERY Adult Needs to Review Today With the federal estate tax exemption at $5.43 million for 2015, many people think estate planning is unnecessary. But there’s one thing ALL adults over the age of 18 need to look at, regardless of estate taxes: beneficiary designations.

You would be amazed at how many people neglect this simple step, and their heirs and estate wind up paying for it – sometimes dearly. Ex-spouses inherit large sums every day, and high court rulings have upheld beneficiary designation forms, even if they were woefully out of date or even if the ex waived interest in a divorce decree.

Beneficiary designation forms trump a Will, too. Whoever is designated as the beneficiary on the account or plan form gets the money automatically, no matter what your Will says.

Here are some smart estate planning moves you should double check right now:
  • Submit a transfer on death (TOD) or payable on death (POD) form for all your bank and brokerage accounts, ensuring that your bank accounts and brokerage accounts would go where you want.
  • Review existing or create new beneficiary forms for your retirement accounts (IRAs, 401(k)s, Roth IRAs, etc.), pension plans, life insurance policies and annuities.
  • Review existing or create new beneficiary forms for any 529 college accounts you have established.

If you have established a Living Trust, ensure your Trust is the beneficiary of each of these accounts (be sure to talk with the lawyer who set up your Trust or call us for a review when it comes to retirement accounts, as we may decide to make your spouse the primary beneficiary of the retirement account or set up a special retirement account Trust).

If you have not established a Living Trust, make sure that you do not have minor children as beneficiaries on any of these accounts. If you do, call us to get that rectified. It is beyond critical that minor children not be designated as beneficiaries on any of these accounts.

If you don’t already have an estate plan – or have one that needs to be reviewed and updated – make 2015 the year you get this done. Call us at 602-772-3939 to schedule your Family Wealth Planning Session, where we can identify the best strategies for you to provide for and protect the financial security of your loved ones.

mylawaz.com

 

Tags:  estate planning  law  spring cleaning  technology 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Tech Moves That Level the Ecommerce Playing Field for Small Business

Posted By Arizona Small Business Association, Sunday, August 31, 2014

A clear gap is emerging between ecommerce behemoths such as Amazon and eBay and the small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) competing with them. However, new technology services can help SMBs in the ecommerce space identify and measure key business metrics and even begin to gain parity in many important areas.

Technology has always played a significant role in leveling the playing field for American businesses. That opportunity is accelerating in today’s online marketplace. As many as one-in-four users will abandon a website if it takes more than four seconds to load. Think about that. In less time than it takes to read this paragraph, as many as one-quarter of your customers could be leaving your site.

 

If you rely on your website for sales, you should carefully monitor the following areas.

Speed index. Many ecommerce businesses rely on measures such as Time to First Byte (TTFB) to ensure that site performance is up-to-par. However, while important for search engine result rankings, TTFB is not the most effective way to measure the user experience of overall site speed.

Business owners should monitor how long it takes the customer to begin engaging with the site. Speed Index, the perceived time it takes the full page to load, is a better means of measuring site speed. Studies confirm that for every second it takes an ecommerce website to load, approximately seven percent of visitors will abandon the site. Business owners can check their speed index online for free at webpagetest.org.

Checkout speed. While most business owners monitor overall site speed through some means, few ecommerce businesses keep tabs specifically on their checkout speed. Once a customer has decided to buy, the process from that point onward should be as quick and simple as possible to prevent checkout abandonment.

The average checkout abandonment rate is already 67 percent. Let’s not give customers any additional reasons to abandon SMB checkouts.

Time-outs and outages. When time-outs occur, a website may appear available to some visitors but not others. Site outages occur when a site is completely unavailable to all visitors. As many as 90 percent of the ecommerce sites that we surveyed on one of the most popular ecommerce platforms experienced, on average, 26 timeouts during June 2014.

Put simply, during each one of these timeouts some visitors trying to reach these sites were unable to get in the door. Outages often occur during traffic spikes that can cause server overload or infrastructure failure. These outages often occur at the worst possible time for ecommerce businesses, such as on Cyber Monday or during their Super Bowl Ad.

While large companies have staff dedicated to performance, the average SMB simply does not have the resources to devote to performance. Enter today’s web services that can automate much of the necessary infrastructure.


I recommend carefully evaluating these areas:

Web hosting. Reducing the probability of timeouts and outages requires asking questions of your web-hosting provider. How does your service scale out when traffic spikes? What controls do they have in place over change to the production servers? How long will it take your business to get back online when a failure does occur? How often do they test and prove that their recovery services work?

Security. Ecommerce sites accounted for nearly 50 percent of all security breach investigations in 2013. Have the necessary security patches been regularly applied to your ecommerce platform? Has the underlying operating system been kept up to date with critical security fixes? This is viatl to your business.

 

Findability. Can people find your business when they want what you’re selling, but have never heard of you? Too many SMBs think that if their site appears on Page 1 of a search when their business name is typed, they’ve won the war. Chances are, they’re not even fighting the right battle.

Fortunately, there are many affordable and easy-to-use services that allow business owners to monitor and manage their ecommerce websites.

 

Contributor
Founder and CTO of Lagrange Systems

Source: entrepreneur.com

 

Tags:  ecomerce  Technology 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Meet the new, reversible USB

Posted By ASBA, Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has announced that it has finalised its redesign of the USB.

Called USB Type-C, the specification -- which was announced last December -- aims to solve several problems with current USB design; possibly the most exciting of which is the eradication of "right way up" with a reversible plug. Like Apple's Lightning connector, it can be plugged into its port either way.

The new USB is also designed both to be small enough to fit mobile devices, yet robust enough for laptops and tablets.

"Interest in the USB Type-C connector has not only been global, but cross-industry as well," said USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman Brad Saunders. "Representatives from the PC, mobile, automotive and IoT industries have been knocking down our door anticipating this new standard. This specification is the culmination of an extensive, cooperative effort among industry leaders to standardize the next generation USB connector as a long-lasting, robust solution."

The USB is comparable in size with micro USB 2.0 Type-B connectors, with a port size of 8.4 by 2.6mm, yet will be compatible with SuperSpeed USB at 10Gbps (USB 3.1). It will also support USB Power Delivery up to 100W, with additional support for scalable power charging and future USB performance needs.

It won't, of course, be compatible with existing USB plugs and receptacles. While the industry begins the slow transition, USB Type-C ports will coexist with other USB ports on devices, and new-to-existing cables and adapters will be made available so that consumers will be able to use the new connector with their existing tech.

The specification for USB Type-C can be downloaded from the USB Implementers Forum.

Source: cnet.com

Tags:  Technology 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 2 of 2
1  |  2

Join Fasturtle on 12/12

FT

Join Eric Olsen, Fasturtle Digital, with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Content:
How SEO and content marketing can help bring relevant traffic to your website.

REGISTER

Join ASBA

ASBA

ASBA is the most powerful resource for your business in Arizona. We ensure the tools we offer are valuable and support the growth, education and connections necessary for today’s top business minds.

LEARN MORE

Partner Program

ASBA

ASBA’s Partner Program delivers your brand throughout Arizona. Share insights, connect with small business and highlight your company’s involvement with the association. Contact Jodi Towns to get started.

LEARN MORE

RSVP

Coffee Connect with ASBA

REGISTER

Date: Held monthly
Time: Click for times based on location

RSVP

ASBA Speed Networking

REGISTER

Date: Held monthly
Time: Click for times based on location

Have Questions on Health Insurance?

Health Insurance

Do you have questions on plans for Individual, sole proprietor, or group? We can get the answers needed to make sure you find the right plan for you and your employees.

LEARN MORE

ASBA Ask a Lawyer

ASU Law Group

ASU Law Group is here to help you with your small business legal needs! Fill out the form today and an ASU Law Group attorney will reach out to you. Only for Business/APEX members.

ASK A LAWYER

Upcoming Events

Health+Plus

Join ASBA at any of our upcoming events!

REGISTER

Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal