Investing in our Warwick Office

Warwick Bldg Jan 2023


After over 165 years, the firm’s Warwick office has recently undergone a major renovation. 11 Oakland Avenue was originally owned by the first mayor of the village of Warwick, William Ogden, and the last major update was in 1895. The current facelift includes an installation of a new roof, insulation and siding.

Our investment underscores our commitment to the firm’s first location and our hopes that it will continue to serve the community well into its third century as a fixture on Oakland Avenue.

February 9, 2023

Tax Savings, Asset Protection, New Year's Resolution, Estate taxes, inflation

9 Strategies to Protect Your Retirement Savings From Inflation

What is Inflation? Simply put, inflation is an increase in the general price level of goods and services that occurs over a period of time. From a consumer standpoint, inflation corresponds to a loss in the purchasing power of money. Inflation is the prime culprit for why Dollar Tree now charges $1.25 per item or why ‘penny candy’ now costs several dollars per pound.
While many variables are linked to inflation, there are two core categories: demand-driven inflation and cost-driven inflation. Demand-driven inflation is essentially a “supply and demand” issue, where prices increase because consumer demand outpaces supply. This can result from a shortage of raw materials, a labor deficit, or the inability to manufacture at the required rate. Similarly, cost-driven inflation occurs when there is a supply shortage coupled with sufficient demand to allow producers to raise prices. Global supply chain issues are a prime factor
in cost-driven inflation. 
The inflation rate is measured on an ongoing basis in several different ways. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes multiple variations of the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) each month, including All Items CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) and the CPI-U for All Items Less Food and Energy. The CPI-U for All Items Less Food and Energy is referred to as the “core” CPI, and as its name suggests, does not factor the price of food or energy into its measure of inflation. 
Below are some examples of index increases as of November 2022, noting that the increases in fuel costs disproportionally impact people in the Northeast.
ITEM                                                INCREASE
• Fuel Oil                                         65.7%
• Piped Gas Service                       15.5%
• Transportation Services            14.2%
• Electricity                                     13.7% 
• Food and Groceries                    12%
• Gasoline                                        10.1%
Most people think in constant dollar terms, yet every year money saved has the ability to purchase less and less as time passes. If Inflation is occurring at 2-3% annually, as it has historically, you don’t notice its effects until 20-30 years elapse and the price of things has doubled.When you have a 10% or greater rate of inflation in any given year, you notice the effects quite suddenly.  
Food and energy costs make up a disproportionate amount of most retirees’ overall expenses. Food consumption is unavoidable and the cost of energy directly impacts heating, electric and gasoline prices. The cost of energy also indirectly impacts us in many ways: anything that is shipped or transported is affected by the price of energy, including your Amazon deliveries, the medicines that you take, and even the food that you purchase at the supermarket. Food prices are also very volatile because of the success or failure of crops at different rates based on storms or natural disasters. Right now, the war in Ukraine is affecting both food and energy prices. 
So what can you do to mitigate the inevitable effects of Inflation? 
Here are nine actionable tips that can save you money now and in the long term.
1. Long-Term Care Planning  The cost of long-term care is one of the most significant costs for seniors, and it is increasing at high rates. If you and your spouse do not have a concrete plan for protecting assets against the cost of long-term care, consider putting a trust in place to cover these costs. Having a trust in place can help shield against some of the highest costs you may face in retirement. Without proper planning, even a well-crafted financial plan can be completely decimated if one spouse suddenly needs long-term care for an extended period of time.
2. Adjust Your Investments   Ensure that a sizable portion of your retirement assets are investments that will rise in value commensurate with Inflation. Examples include real estate, stocks, and inflation-protected bonds.
3. Manage Purchasing Power Risk Consider managing risk in your portfolio by looking at the risk to your purchasing power and income, not just your risk to principal. Be aware of the long-term compound effects of inflation on purchasing power.
4. Keep Some Assets in Short-term Investments Always keep some assets in short-term investments that will allow you to ride out any recession so you are not forced to sell volatile assets in a downturn. Talk to an investment advisor about managing your investment allocation annually. 
5. Look for Strategic Reductions Consider your lifestyle and see if there are areas for strategic reductions to counter the additional costs of living. For example, do you really need a 4-bedroom, 2.5-bath house for just two people? Yes, it’s nice to have extra bedrooms for when the grandchildren visit, but is the convenience outweighed by higher property taxes, insurance, energy and maintenance costs? 
6. Consolidate Accounts to Reduce Fees Assess the fees you may incur by having investments scattered among multiple advisors or custodians. Consider consolidating your accounts to obtain lower rates and avoid hidden fees.
7. Review Your Insurance Policies Evaluate your insurance and make sure you have adequate coverage. Perhaps there are things that you are insuring that you no longer need or want or use frequently. Unused boats, cars and jewelry can be sold or donated, allowing you to reduce your cost of coverage.
8. Triage and Sell Some Extra Heirlooms Ask your heirs if they want all the heirlooms you’ve collected; if not, liquidate them to defray other costs. For example, you may be surprised to learn that your children are not interested in your antique jewelry, pocket watches and collections of figurines.
9. Pay Attention to Taxes Finally, if you’re paying more than $50,000 per year in taxes, you may wish to consult with one of our attorneys to discuss how to optimize the tax strategies for your unique situation and your investment portfolio.

January 18, 2023

Asset Protection

8 Strategies to Avoid Senior Scammers


With the variety of products offered by online retailers, it is no surprise that people are turning to the internet for their shopping needs. Scammers have taken advantage and 'set up shop' posing as online retail stores with professional-looking websites and domains. Customers are often lured in by low prices, but the advertised products differ drastically from what is received—if the buyer receives anything. Before purchasing from an unknown seller, a savvy buyer should read reviews about others' experiences with the retailer. Be especially wary if a seller requests payment unconventionally, such as a money order or wire transfer. Last year alone, people over 60 lost at least $14 million from online shopping scams.

In 2020, romance scams were the leading cause of fraudulent financial loss, with total reported losses of $304 million. The increased popularity of online dating has led to an increase in romance scams. Typically, a scammer will create a fake (but very attractive!) profile on a dating or social media site and will reach out to the victim to develop a relationship via chatting or texting while avoiding in-person meet-ups and video chats. Eventually, the scammer will request money or gifts, such as gift cards, from the victim. To avoid falling victim to a romance scam, never send cash or gifts to someone you have not met.

Technology has become increasingly central to modern society. To keep up, seniors may seek assistance from scammers posing as tech support professionals. These fraudsters take advantage of the 'client's' inexperience and sell them unnecessary products and services or charge a severe markup. The most common place to encounter these scammers is online. When browsing the internet, a pop-up warning may alert the user of a virus or other security issue on their computer. Although the message may appear official and seem urgent, it is a way to trick the user into contacting and sending money to the fraudster. When these pop-ups appear, close the tab and ignore the warning. Be sure to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date for peace of mind.

Fraudsters conducting healthcare-related scams take advantage of the fact that every citizen over 65 qualifies for Medicare, making it a prime candidate for fraud. Fraudsters may pose as a Medicare representative to get seniors to share their personal information. Scammers might provide bogus services for seniors at makeshift clinics, then bill Medicare and pocket the money. Medicare scams commonly follow the latest developments and trends in medical research, such as genetic testing and COVID-19 vaccination. Contact your attorney if you are uncertain of the identity of someone requesting your Medicare information.

Imposter Scams are plentiful and diverse: Fraudsters may pose as government officials, financial institutions, charitable organizations, friends or family members to obtain money or sensitive information such as bank accounts, passwords and other personal data. In an imposter scam, a fraudster will present themselves as a familiar person or institution, either by creating an online profile or website or simply by introducing themselves as being associated with a particular organization such as a charity, the IRS or your local bank. If the fraudster is posing as someone you know personally, such as a grandchild, ask questions only your loved one would know the answer, or call your loved one to confirm whether the request is legitimate. Scammers posing as government officials may try to frighten or intimidate you by telling you your Social Security Number has been linked to criminal activity or has been suspended, or they may tell you that you have unpaid taxes and action will be taken if not paid immediately. Note that you will likely be contacted via mail if there are any issues with your taxes. If you have questions about the legitimacy of a request for payment to a charity or government institution, contact your attorney for guidance.

In a typical sweepstakes or 'advance fee' scam, a victim will be notified that they have won a prize or are entitled to some benefit, for example, an inheritance from a foreign source. The victim is told that to receive the prize or benefit, they will first be required to pay a fee or tax upfront. Actual sweepstakes generally state "no purchase necessary," and winners should not be asked to pay money to claim the prize. Be leery and contact your attorney if you find yourself in this situation.

With older adults looking to plan for and manage their finances after retirement, fraudsters have created investment schemes targeting these individuals. From Ponzi schemes to tales of unclaimed inheritance money from a distant relative to exceedingly complex financial products, investment schemes are a tried and true way of taking advantage of people. Word of advice: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Always verify the legitimacy of an organization before investing money, and contact your attorney if you have questions.

Phishing emails, text messages, and phone calls are extremely popular these days. Scammers can create emails and spoof telephone numbers that appear to be associated with known institutions—it is even possible that caller ID would show the phone call as coming from a well-known establishment. Before opening any links or attachments in an email, carefully study the sender's email address to verify its legitimacy—often phony email addresses contain extra characters or numbers that wouldn't appear in an official email address.

If you receive a telephone call purporting to be from a government agency, a utility company, an online retailer, your bank, or another familiar contact, politely inform the caller that you will call them back. After you hang up, find a trusted contact number for the source through their website. Call the company back using the phone number listed on the website. Inform them that you received a call asking for money or personal information and verify if the request was legitimate. When in doubt, contact your attorney to seek a second opinion.

What To Do If You Think You've Been Scammed?

Even the most vigilant of individuals can fall victim to a savvy scam artist. If you think you have been scammed, take these steps:

1. Stop communication with the scammer immediately and report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission at

2. Call your financial institutions and request they freeze your accounts.

3. If the scammer has gained access to your Social Security Number or Medicare number, notify the appropriate institution(s). If your Social Security Number was compromised, you may want to lock your credit with the three major credit bureaus to prevent the fraudster from opening new accounts or applying for loans in your name.

4. Contact the authorities, your insurer and your attorney to discuss your options.


October 7, 2022

Press Release

Stage Law Firm LLP and the Warwick office of Donohue, O’Connell & Riley PLLC Combine to Form Stage & Donohue, PLLC


The combination will give Stage Law Firm clients the opportunity to benefit from the firm’s local Warwick presence and regional scope for sophisticated estate, tax and elder law planning.

The Stage Law Firm LLP has been in existence for 125 years and is looking forward to the next chapter in the firm’s long history. Attorney Douglas R. Stage met Attorney Joseph M. Donohue of Donohue, O’Connell & Riley PLLC 15 years ago and they found common ground in their deep commitment to helping families in the community with a broad range of quality legal services. The combined firm, Stage and Donohue, PLLC will operate at 11 Oakland Avenue in Warwick.

Doug Stage and his legal staff will be working closely with Joe Donohue and his team to ensure a smooth transition of relationships and files. Clients will be in good hands, as Attorney Stage will continue in an active role as senior attorney with the new firm.

Stage and Donohue, PLLC, a division of Donohue, O’Connell & Riley PLLC, has attorneys admitted in NY, NJ, CT, MA, NH and CA and co-counsel relationships across the country and the world, to help with both local matters and planning that can cross state lines and international boundaries. The firm has advised thousands of clients on how to structure their affairs and businesses in order to minimize taxes and assure the smooth transfer of wealth between generations.

We want to thank you for the privilege of helping you with your legal needs and look forward to serving you and your family in the future.




September 17, 2022

Community, attorneys, anniversary

Donohue, O'Connell & Riley Celebrates 15-year Anniversary in Warwick, New York


In 2007, Attorney Joseph Donohue established the Warwick, New York office at 11 Oakland Avenue. We have been pleased to serve many families and small businesses in the Warwick community over the years. Since founding our flagship office, the practice has grown from a single office to a multi-jurisdictional firm with offices in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. In an effort to better serve the needs of clients in surrounding states, we recently opened a Boston, Massachusetts location. We are also planning an expansion Naples, Florida for our “snowbird” clients. Our practice now serves over 8,000 individuals and businesses and continues to flourish thanks to the relationships we have built with our clients and vendors. We look forward to continuing to serve your families and your colleagues throughout the northeast.

July 18, 2022