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Business

Disability income insurance: Do you need it?

disability-insurance-250MONEY MATTERS: One might assume that most serious disabilities result from a sudden, unlucky accident. Surprisingly, 90 percent of all disability claims are for common health conditions such as cancer and back problems.

Disability insurance replaces a portion of lost income, up to policy limits, if a debilitating injury or chronic illness prevents a breadwinner from working. This type of protection can provide a lifeline for people who may otherwise be unable to support their families, but it can be just as critical for older and/or affluent workers during their peak earning years.

2 groups pursue powerhouse status for Memphis music

CarleeMcCullough-160ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY: African-American Music Appreciation Month is in full stride, as are the Memphis Music Foundation and Consortium Memphis Music Town – two organizations committed to Memphis' reemergence as a music-industry powerhouse.

The Memphis Music Foundation (MMF) has drawn a bead on leveling the playing field for Memphis artists in the music business, with myriad programs designed to that end. And The Consortium Memphis Music Town, aka The Consortium MMT, is a national music mentorship non-profit.

The MMF

The Memphis Music Foundation (www.memphismeansmusic.com) has myriad programs designed to aid Memphis artists. Let's take a peek.

Businesses face health-care decisions

CharlesSimsJr-160MONEY MATTERS: Although the Affordable Care Act does not require companies to provide employee health insurance, business owners may want to pay special attention to the law's tax implications.

Large employers that do not offer workers a minimum level of essential health coverage could be hit with costly penalties. Meanwhile, financial incentives may be available to certain small employers that choose to provide employee health coverage.

For many businesses, the presence of certain staffing thresholds may also influence hiring decisions.

A fighting chance for Memphis artists and musicians

CarleeMcCullough-160ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY: While other cities may have surpassed Memphis as far as their music business infrastructure, Memphis has not given up the fight. As African-American Music Appreciation Month (AAMAM) dawns, three organizations in the city are putting forth every effort to give Memphis artists and musicians a fighting chance in the industry.

The Memphis & Shelby County Music Commission, the Memphis Music Foundation and the Consortium Memphis Music Town are all aggressively supporting Memphis talent. As part of our celebration of AAMAM, we'll profile all three, beginning this week with the Memphis & Shelby County Music Commission (MSCMC).

According to its website (www.Memphismusic.org), the Music Commission preserves, fosters and promotes Memphis music locally, nationally and throughout the world. That involves education, networking, advocacy and professional and industry development.

Business bootcamp has single moms in sight

Nicole Gates-300This summer, Successful Single Moms Memphis, Inc. plans to take another step in its mission of "advocating for fair wages, opportunities to return to school, homeownership and entrepreneurship" for single moms.

Single Moms University (SMU) – in concert with its collaborative partners – will provide an avenue for their single moms to participate in classes designed to foster continuing education opportunities.

"We are excited to announce our Mogul Mom™ Business Bootcamp as the first set of classes under our Single Moms University," said Nicole Gates, director of Successful Single Moms Memphis, Inc. "(This) is a collaboration of the Home Based Business Chamber of Commerce (HBBCC), National College of Business and Successful Single Moms Memphis. Completion of the training sets the women up to become Mogul Mom™ Certified business enterprises."

DIVORCE – Property distribution and alimony

CarleeMcCullough-160Remember the popular song lyrics of Johnnie Taylor – "Cheaper to Keep Her?"

Well, there just may be some truth to those words.

The after effects of a divorce can wreak havoc on a business. Taking into consideration loss of property and the payment of alimony, the consequences can be long lasting and difficult to overcome.

Property distribution

Fraud never sleeps

CharlesSimsJr-160The Federal Trade Commission received over 1.8 million consumer complaints in 2011. More than half of these were for various types of fraud. Despite improved consumer education and tighter controls, criminals continue to come up with new ways to separate unwitting victims from their hard-earned money.

A list of potential scams would fill many pages, but here are three relatively new ones to watch out for.

Cut your credit-card rate! An unsolicited caller offers to help you reduce your credit-card interest rate for a fee, and you must fill out a financial profile with account numbers, Social Security numbers, and other personal information. The scammer may arrange a conference call with your credit-card company and ask for a fee reduction, which is usually refused and could have been requested yourself. You are out the fee and at risk for the misuse of your personal information.

Divorce & business – Child custody and support

CarleeMcCullough-160Whether you have a multi-million dollar business or a minimum wage job, divorce can put your income at risk when it gets down to child support. Although the distribution of property and alimony payments may be governed by a prenuptial agreement, child custody and support will be solely determined by the court.

Child custody

According to the Tennessee Code – Title 36, Sections 36-6-106, the court may award custody to either parent, or to both parents (joint custody or shared parenting) based on the best interests of the child. The court will consider the following factors: