Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

The phone has died.

I have noticed the volume of incoming phone calls has now di boomeresq02/05/18
For boomers the only thing that should be to come is retirem zuma02/05/18
Amazing it's held on so long sillydood02/10/18
Some of us, me included can not afford to retire. Spouse has boomeresq02/05/18
I would not pay for a demented parent's care. WHy doesn't yo dopesmokeresquire02/05/18
Well at least you've got Medicare Part D (either now or to l zuma02/05/18
Part D is terrible coverage. Look up donut hole and formular boomeresq02/06/18
Don't just assume your out-of-pocket medical costs will be t onehell02/06/18
Not sure about the dow crashing part - but if it makes you f uknownvalue02/05/18
Have you tried turning the sound up or using speakerphone? wutwutwut02/05/18
(Yes, just a silly joke... "volume") wutwutwut02/05/18
We live in a boom or bust economy. Money goes around and thi nighthawk02/05/18
Legal Zoom and Google have taken away a lot of the bread and boomeresq02/05/18
Perhaps the problem is that you are chasing hood clients. Jo nighthawk02/05/18
Can't you just bootstrap yourself to success or some such th triplesix02/05/18
areas of practice traditionally immune to economic factors a wolfman02/05/18
It is obvious you know nothing about dealing with a person w boomeresq02/05/18
If your mother has limited income and wealth, she can get th mattbaileylawdotcom02/06/18
I do criminal defense and family law. I see more and more p boomeresq02/05/18
That's such a lousy area of practice, easily the most stress dopesmokeresquire02/05/18
If you can afford $12k-15k for your mother's medical care as guyingorillasuit02/05/18
Not my experience. The contested cases go on for ages where boomeresq02/06/18
Family and crim law always take a beating in January. The cr thirdtierlaw02/05/18
Another solo here. January was surprisingly slow for me too. cranky02/05/18
OP, how come you did not establish an estate planning / prob themapmaster02/05/18
If it really is a simple probate, there's a place in hell fo jeffm02/06/18
Simple Will and routine administration, but very large asset themapmaster02/06/18
I have done some probate. I seem to wind up with guardianshi boomeresq02/06/18
I started new advertising in the fall and also noticed that nyclawyer02/06/18
OP it sounds like you do not have an income or revenue probl khazaddum02/11/18
Expenses are gone. Mom passed away, kids graduated. That dep boomeresq02/11/18

boomeresq (Feb 5, 2018 - 3:38 pm)

I have noticed the volume of incoming phone calls has now died to almost zero. A lot I attribute to emails replacing calls (and snail mail too.) The unnerving part is it has not rung since last Thursday. New business almost always starts with a phone call. Decent leads have dried up. A couple of bad referrals came through the door and could not come up with a retainer.

The Dow is crashing. Is this a sign of what is to come?

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zuma (Feb 5, 2018 - 4:08 pm)

For boomers the only thing that should be to come is retirement and it should be coming soon.

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sillydood (Feb 10, 2018 - 6:37 pm)

Amazing it's held on so long

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boomeresq (Feb 5, 2018 - 4:18 pm)

Some of us, me included can not afford to retire. Spouse has major medical issues which health insurance does not cover. Last 2 prescriptions after insurance, $359.00 and 268.00 in just one week. Nothing exotic or fancy just basics for asthma suffered since childhood. I also paid for both of my kids'college and grad schools and my mother's care. That is why I can not afford to retire. Would you like to be me in 30 years and have someone like you say it is time for you to retire? How would you survive? Think about it. Then think about what you would not pay for, your kid's education, health care for loved ones, your mother's care for years of dementia at 12-15k a month?

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dopesmokeresquire (Feb 5, 2018 - 4:55 pm)

I would not pay for a demented parent's care. WHy doesn't your spouse take care of your parent?

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zuma (Feb 5, 2018 - 8:37 pm)

Well at least you've got Medicare Part D (either now or to look forward to) to help with those prescriptions. My generation likely won't.

And I'll add in general, sorry, not sorry. Paying for kids' grad schools (why?) is a luxury as is being able to pay 12k-15k a month for a relative's care. Those are options most people in my cohort will never have. And yet we have to survive too. Thanks boomers.

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boomeresq (Feb 6, 2018 - 4:28 pm)

Part D is terrible coverage. Look up donut hole and formulary and see huge uncovered costs. As far as paying for my kids and mother, I cashed in my retirement saved over many years, sold my house and moved into a crummy house in a high crime city.

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onehell (Feb 6, 2018 - 11:27 am)

Don't just assume your out-of-pocket medical costs will be the same or higher in retirement.

Are you on Medicare, or an employer's insurance, or both? I assume that if you're 65+ and have not retired, you probably have Medicare Part A/B but have foregone Part D in favor of the employer coverage. That's what most people do.

Upon retirement, if you lose employer coverage that's a "qualifying event" which allows you to enroll in Part D or Medicare Advantage (which combines all the parts in one plan).

You can shop around for Part D or Medicare Advantage plans, many of which may offer better coverage than what you have from an employer, and at lower premiums. Some medicare advantage plans offer $0 premium, meaning you just pay for Part B. The "catch" is that they tend to be HMOs (thus requiring a PCP referral to see a specialist) and the no-premium advantage plans tend to have narrower networks so you can't just go wherever you want and might have to switch docs, but people who are willing to give up some choice can often save a lot of $$$. Same is true for spouse, assuming she's 65+ too.

As to nursing home care, if your elderly parent ends up there, Medicaid will cover it once the person has spent down their own resources below $2,000. If they (and for your own old age, you too) sit down with a good lawyer and do Medicaid planning trusts well in advance (like 5+ years in advance) of when they need such care, they can also avoid the need to spend themselves into poverty first.

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uknownvalue (Feb 5, 2018 - 4:21 pm)

Not sure about the dow crashing part - but if it makes you feel any better, I am a solo and January was terrible for me too - still too soon to tell for February ....

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wutwutwut (Feb 5, 2018 - 4:36 pm)

Have you tried turning the sound up or using speakerphone?

Alternatively, you might need a hearing aid of some sort.

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wutwutwut (Feb 5, 2018 - 4:36 pm)

(Yes, just a silly joke... "volume")

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nighthawk (Feb 5, 2018 - 4:39 pm)

We live in a boom or bust economy. Money goes around and things get good, construction booms, the Dow is up, then it all takes a step back and things correct themselves. Too many apps, too much construction etc. See Austrian Business Cycle theory.

Throw in DIY legal functions (see LegalZoom) and less hiring at big firms, compelling more lawyers to go solo, you face stiffer competition.

You might want to reconsider your marketing strategies.

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boomeresq (Feb 5, 2018 - 5:01 pm)

Legal Zoom and Google have taken away a lot of the bread and butter. The easy stuff to make a buck is long gone. The form books for a simple contract or a bill of sale gathered dust long ago.

So I am not the only attorney who has had negative growth in January. The holidays thru January have always been slow with the exception of some criminal cases and domestics which come with holiday stress.

Online marketing has not been very good for getting hood client's. I seem to attract a lot of people looking for free advise. A lot of attorneys around here offer free consultations and the potential clients shop for free do it yourself info. Waste of time and advertising costs.

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nighthawk (Feb 5, 2018 - 5:55 pm)

Perhaps the problem is that you are chasing hood clients. Join legal aid or the like and deal with hood clients. You will get paid, though small, and can still deal with those clients. Sure, it means less freedom for you but it is a job and there is a paycheck. You will not have to live on the edge and be stressed all day. Once that is shored up, you can look to stuff on the side for another income stream.

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triplesix (Feb 5, 2018 - 5:02 pm)

Can't you just bootstrap yourself to success or some such thing that your generation is good at

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wolfman (Feb 5, 2018 - 5:12 pm)

areas of practice traditionally immune to economic factors are criminal and some family law... do you do any of that? I thought you did family... if not, why not try to expand into those areas? I know they suck but nothing sucks worse, no?

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boomeresq (Feb 5, 2018 - 5:13 pm)

It is obvious you know nothing about dealing with a person with dementia. They require 24 hour care, can be violent, set fires, paranoid, wander, fall cause accidents. I have had to deal with all of that. It requires multiple care givers working in shifts. Ultimately it takes 2 people to lift the person when they are no longer mobile. That care is extremely expensive and not covered by insurance other than short period of 90 days or less. I paid for 5 years of my parent's care.

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mattbaileylawdotcom (Feb 6, 2018 - 1:01 am)

If your mother has limited income and wealth, she can get the government to pay for nursing home care.

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boomeresq (Feb 5, 2018 - 5:26 pm)

I do criminal defense and family law. I see more and more pro se especially on the family law side. I have a divorce trial tomorrow. The other side is representing herself. It will be torture trying it. My client is none too happy paying me when the other side has no legal fees.

80+ percent of criminal cases have appointed counsel around here. Blue collar city with huge drug problem. Contracts for conflicted out cases do not pay well and next to impossible to get. People in the other state in which I am admitted jump thru hoops to get appointments and are forced to pay for training in the hundreds of dollars with no guarantee of getting appointments. I did that when i first was admitted. We were treated well and never had to pay for training. Years ago, I stopped taking appointments because the pay did not cover my overhead.

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dopesmokeresquire (Feb 5, 2018 - 6:21 pm)

That's such a lousy area of practice, easily the most stressful.

But if you can afford all that you pay for, you must be quite successful.

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guyingorillasuit (Feb 5, 2018 - 6:41 pm)

If you can afford $12k-15k for your mother's medical care as a solo, on top of the other bills, you are fabulously successful. That is $144k-180k a year after tax. You are taking home at least $500,000 as a solo, which is is likely in the top 5-10% of solos.

I also do family law. A large percentage of my income comes not from new clients, but from ongoing litigation cases. Contested cases generally pay $4k-$5k per month per client. Having 4 or 5 such clients can make your entire practice, and you need relatively little new business to do ok. If you even bring in $10k per month in new business aside from cases like that, you are fine. Is your experience different?

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boomeresq (Feb 6, 2018 - 4:34 pm)

Not my experience. The contested cases go on for ages where I practice with months of zero activity due to long waits for hearings. I just got a June date for the hearing before pretrial which means another year to trial.

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thirdtierlaw (Feb 5, 2018 - 7:50 pm)

Family and crim law always take a beating in January. The criminals all stay inside because it's cold. And family is a mix of two things, many people are on their best behavior in an attempt to not ruin the holidays for the children. So then they have a few good moments and think maybe this could still work. The other is that they just spent all their money on gifts and need to replenish their funds.

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cranky (Feb 5, 2018 - 8:35 pm)

Another solo here. January was surprisingly slow for me too. lots of typical cheapos who don't want to pay, but usually my earnings are better in January after people survived the holidays and want to take action.

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themapmaster (Feb 5, 2018 - 11:32 pm)

OP, how come you did not establish an estate planning / probate practice? Did you try to, but it never took off?

The boomer partner I work under is about to collect $30,000.00 in attorneys fees for probating a simple Will.

In my area, the boomer lawyers in small firms don't need to be real busy, as long as they get some good estates each year.

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jeffm (Feb 6, 2018 - 8:12 am)

If it really is a simple probate, there's a place in hell for people who overreach like that. Don't become them.

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themapmaster (Feb 6, 2018 - 9:15 am)

Simple Will and routine administration, but very large assets. Here, the attorney fees are capped at a certain percentage of the estate's value, and always require court approval before they can be received. Further the executor has to sign off on the fees. Under these circumstances, I see no ethical problem taking a $30,000 fee if the estate has, say, five million in assets. Also the liability factor helps justify the fee under these circumstances. It might be charging at a rate of $800/hour when it's all said and done, but that doesn't seem crazy to me. Biglaw charges at least that rate in big cities.

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boomeresq (Feb 6, 2018 - 5:00 am)

I have done some probate. I seem to wind up with guardianship and will contests. I get the stuff other attorneys are afraid to deal with. They are always contested and the client's are not wealthy.

The problem concerning not being able to retire was due to in part the real estate crash. I lost a bundle at the time I was paying for years of my mother's care. I have not been able to rebuild.

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nyclawyer (Feb 6, 2018 - 10:52 am)

I started new advertising in the fall and also noticed that my calls dropped to almost zero in January. It is also slow now in February. I also get a lot of calls from people looking for free advice.

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khazaddum (Feb 11, 2018 - 5:59 pm)

OP it sounds like you do not have an income or revenue problem, you have an expenses problem. Its time for the infirm relatives to go into a Medicare approved care facility. One day you will not be able to keep up with your files mentally. That is the day you want to be able to retire. If you continue to have your expense problem you are at grave risk of staying in the game too long and becoming subject to ethical investigations (missing hearings, not responding to motions, foggy-minded bookkeeping).

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boomeresq (Feb 11, 2018 - 9:22 pm)

Expenses are gone. Mom passed away, kids graduated. That depleted retirement savings. I am too young to retire by about 10 years. Too young for medicare and social security. Need the time to save for the future.Books are reviewed by cpa. Triple calendars, paper and electronic. I know attorneys 20 years older than me and never missing a court date. The only problem would be illness or disability. However, a secretary knows where I am always and I check in every day in person at the office or electronically if I am out of the office and keep in touch all day every day. Do you? That is called being responsible.

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