Update

November 2, 2007

Practice and financial news you can use

MALPRACTICE

Doctors saddle up for the Lone Star state

PERSONAL FINANCE

Better gift-giving to grandkids

Do you tuck some money into your grandchild's hand every so often? You could do him a bigger favor by opening a savings or investment account in his name and directing the money there instead. Right now, only 22 percent of grandparents have established such accounts for their grandchildren and, of those who have, the choice was most likely a low-return vehicle like a savings account, according to AARP Financial. The survey it conducted also found that few grandparents were aware of investment options that are well-suited for their grandkids, such as a Coverdell Savings Account. If set up when the child's young, the account would take full advantage of the power of compounding.

PHYSICIAN RECRUITMENT

How the mortgage crisis can hurt your practice

Businesses-medical practices included-can't grow unless they can find new talent. But when the housing market slumps and too many job candidates get cold feet about relocating, the result can be "talent gridlock." Potential recruits become more apt to look locally for opportunities. "This is something that has come to a head in just the past few months and could considerably limit the talent pool," says Tim Noble, managing principal of The Avery Point Group, a national executive search firm. Until the mortgage crisis ends, he says, businesses will have to get more creative in their recruitment efforts. That may mean offering perks like making up the difference on the sale of a job candidate's home, extending short-term loans, or paying for temporary housing costs.

ESTATE PLANNING

Giving your house to your school

Instead of writing a check the next time your college asks for a donation, you could mail them the keys to your house. Well, in a manner of speaking. According to Kiplinger's Retirement Report, your college may one day pitch to you a "retained life estate." Simply put, you give your primary residence or vacation home to a college and take an immediate tax deduction in the year you transfer ownership. However, the college can't lay claim to the property until after both you and your spouse die. The one-time tax deduction could be a boon if, say, a large inheritance nudges you into a higher tax bracket in a particular year.