Four Reasons NOT to Rely on Social Security Disability Insurance

Good to Know You just asked your client about their long-term disability plan.  They replied “I have that covered. I have Social Security Disability Insurance.” Here’s a hint for the rest of this article—your client probably does NOT have this risk “covered” if that’s the only disability insurance they have. There are at least four…

Read More

Revocable versus Grantor Trusts

Course: Estate PlanningLesson 9: Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates Student Question: Can you refer me to a comparison (or just write a few notes) on how a grantor trust differs from a revocable trust and how a non-grantor trust differs from an irrevocable trust? They seem synonymous respectively to each other. Thank you! Instructor…

Read More

Understanding the Relationship Between Coupon Rates and Duration

Course: Investment PlanningLesson 9: Fixed Income Securities Student Question: There is a question regarding duration that I continue to struggle with. Which of the following are true: Can you explain #1 and #3? Instructor Response: Thank you for your question.  This can become a bit convoluted. Let’s unpack the word “duration” first.  Duration is nothing more…

Read More

Does Your Client Really Need an Estate Plan?

Good to Know How many of your clients think a great evening is sitting around a roaring fireplace on a cold night, drinking an excellent Merlot, and discussing death with their sweetheart?  The author’s guess (and hope!) is about zero. Yet, even though that romantic setting is not the best time to discuss estate planning,…

Read More

Clarifying Tort Liability

Course: Retirement PlanningLesson 2: Qualified Plan Advantages and Disadvantages for Employees and Business Owners Student Question: Hi- I have a few questions regarding tort liability. Negligence is Tort Liability?  Why isn’t it contractual?  Are all torts criminal in nature? Instructor Response: Good questions here. See below for my response to each. Yes Tort law and…

Read More

How Financially Resilient Were Americans During the Pandemic?

CFP® Certificants in the News You may be surprised by some of the conclusions drawn about our financial resilience as a nation according to an article posted in CFP Board’s FINANCIAL PLANNING REVIEW dated May 12, 2022. We’ll frame this discussion in three parts: Context, Methodology, and Findings. Context According to the article, “the economic…

Read More

Social Security Survivorship Challenge

Good to Know It’s been said that there are two kinds of CFP Board exams—those that test Social Security moderately and those that test it heavily. From a larger perspective, CFP Board tells us that almost one of every five questions on the average exam will test the examinee’s knowledge of the Retirement Savings and…

Read More

Social Security Widower Benefits

Course: Insurance PlanningLesson 10: Social Security Student Question: When it comes to social security widower’s benefit’s, is the widow eligible to take his/her SS benefit early  (age 62) and then switch over to the deceased spouse’s full benefit at 67? Or would the widow only be eligible for one of the two benefits? Instructor Response: You are directionally correct. Note that a qualifying surviving spouse can generally receive widow or widower’s benefits beginning at age 60, age 50 if disabled, or before age 60 if caring for an eligible child of the deceased worker. Specific to your question, here’s general guidance straight from Social Security: If you [the surviving spouse] are also eligible for retirement benefits (but haven’t applied yet), you have an additional option. You can apply for retirement or survivors benefits now and switch to the other (higher) benefit later. Caveat – like any general guidance, there are exceptions.

Read More

Interest Rate Risk in a Bond

Course: Investment PlanningLesson 10: Fixed Income Securities Analysis Student Question: I’m not clear why holders of long-term bonds are subject to interest rate risk. If a 20-year bond is purchased at par with a coupon rate of 6.25% ($62.50/year), it seems to me that the investor would still receive $62.50 a year regardless of interest rate changes. What…

Read More

Are You Protecting Your Money From Identity Thieves?

Good to Know Anyone with assets, an income stream, or a good credit score can be exposed to identity theft. But before going deeper, let’s dispel a few myths—identify theft happens not only to the wealthy but also to the poor, not only to seniors but also to the young, and not only to financial…

Read More