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Friday, April 09, 2010

Men From The Forgotten War

Mike Harden, retired columnist for the Columbus Dispatch, wrote of a gathering of Korean War veterans at the American Legion post entitled "Men from 'forgotten war' recall fateful night". An excerpt follows:

Hunkered over fried bologna sandwiches and Bud Lites, the last men standing from an old Columbus-based Korean War company of Marines assembled on April Fool's Day to discuss a mutual throb in the molar of memory.

The noon drinkers who were bellied up to the bar of the American Legion post on Demorest Road paid scant attention to the assemblage of gray-hairs, who had come together to honor the 60th anniversary of the most harrowing months of their lives.

(To read the remainder of the article, click the link above)

Reading Mr. Harden's article reminded me not only of the "forgotten war", but of how underutilized VA non-service connected pension benefits are. If you have significant medical expenses such as in-home, assisted living or nursing home care and are a wartime veteran (which includes the Korean War), or if you are the widow of a wartime veteran, you could be missing out on up to $23,000 in benefits per year that could help you pay for your medical expenses that are ripping through your savings.

If you know someone that needs more information on VA Pension, have them give me a call or visit for a free guide. No veteran or their widow should let this benefit to slip by.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Protect Your "Virtual Assets"

USA Weekend highlighted a commonly overlooked piece of estate planning in "Create A Plan Now For Your Virtual Assets". Jill Golden asked:

Millions of Americans use e-mail, blogs and social networking sites to stay connected with friends and relatives. But what happens to your accounts after you die?

It seems that we all have online banking & brokerage accounts, Yahoo or Gmail, EBay, PayPal, Facebook, Twitter, and more. When we die, the material stored in these accounts can become unreachable or dissapear unless we ensure our loved ones have access through our login information.

I heard a story of a U.S. Marine who was killed in action while serving in Iraq, and his family was not granted access to his Yahoo! email account due to privacy reasons. This ended up being very traumatic for the Marine's family because they wanted to remember him in his words, and his writings were lost forever when the account was deleted.

The author of this article introduced several companies that will forward user names, passwords and personal instructions to a person of your choosing after your death, which include,, and

Whether you use one of these web services, or just create a handwritten list of user names and passwords and leave it in a safe-deposit box, make sure that losing access to these "virtual assets" does not cause stress or heartache for those you leave behind.