What You Need to Know When Buying Life Insurance

The Simple Dollar / September 15, 2016
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There are two basic types of life insurance: term and permanent. The fundamental difference is right there in the name: Term life insurance is only in force during a set period or “term,” while permanent life insurance is yours for your entire life. So why doesn’t everyone just get permanent? Because it’s much more expensive […]

The New Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule: What you should know

Phillip Christenson / August 11, 2016
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Are you a Fiduciary? This is the one question you should be asking whoever is offering you financial advice on any sort of investment product. So, what exactly is a Fiduciary and why is it so important? It’s simple, a Fiduciary is legally obligated to serve their client’s best interest. Most people are shocked to […]

Vanishing Premiums Explained

Bob Cohen / March 23, 2016
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Many insured’s are confused and angered when the premiums of their “vanishing premium” life insurance policy, either don’t vanish or reappear at a later date.  If the policy was promoted and sold on a “vanishing premium” basis they ask, then “why am I still writing checks?”  The answer is very simple though not always properly […]

What’s in a Name

Bob Cohen / February 5, 2016
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The life insurance industry has become increasingly complex. New and multiple policy types deliver both choice (a good thing) and complexity (not such a good thing) to your client’s decision-making. Policy names (Adjustable, Flexible and in my opinion, sometimes Combustible) are not helpful either. If I have a difficult time keeping up, I can’t imagine […]

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Using a Testamentary Letter to Explain Your Estate Plan

Robert Lynn / January 20, 2016
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Your estate plan likely includes formal documents (a will, perhaps one or more trusts) that direct transfers of your property when you die. But those documents won’t identify each and every item to be transferred. Eventually, whoever settles your affairs will find a sentence in one of your documents such as “I leave the rest […]

The Right Way to Inherit

Manish Bhatia / December 20, 2015
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While an inheritance is often considered a gift by the recipient, from a tax perspective, there optimal ways to inherit a retirement account. From the language used to designate the beneficiaries to important IRS-imposed deadlines, the manner in which a retirement account is inherited can significantly affect its value. If you are the beneficiary of […]

10 Things you must do before you die! (Not another bucket list article)

Phillip Christenson / November 4, 2015
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Bucket Lists have grown in popularity in the last few years. While it might seem important that you go skydiving, and swim with the dolphins before you die I would suggest taking a look at the below list and giving these items priority. Many of these items have been discussed in detail in other posts […]

Donor Advised Funds go Mainstream

Nick Scheibel / October 22, 2015
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In the four years since this site last addressed Donor Advised Funds, this tax planning tool has grown significantly in popularity. Between 2011 and 2013, total assets in Donor Advised Funds grew from $38 billion to almost $54 billion, and the trend doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down. While many advisors consider […]

Carrier Errors: The Importance of Life Insurance Policy Review

Bob Cohen / July 23, 2015
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In a previous post, I discussed the importance of having a life insurance policy analysis done on a regular basis. I was recently reminded of the importance of policy reviews when I received correspondence from a life insurance carrier whose policy expenses exceeded what was necessary to support the death benefit. Though the mistake was […]

An Introduction to Trusteed IRAs

Maggie Green / June 8, 2015
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An individual retirement account (IRA) is typically established in one of two ways. As a custodial account, where the bank or financial institution is simply acting as a fiduciary and must follow the directions of the account owner (including the instruction to cash out the entire balance). An IRA can also be held in trust (the […]