Author - Matthew J. Illian, CFP®, AIF®

1
Most Shareholder Meetings Are Painfully Boring; You Should Attend One!
2
How Manipulations To The CPI Affect Your Retirement Planning
3
Medicare Advantage Plans: Are They For You?
4
Foreign Beneficiaries: Can A Non-Resident Alien Be Named A 401(k) Beneficiary?
5
Are Financial Advisors Hazardous To Your Wealth?

Most Shareholder Meetings Are Painfully Boring; You Should Attend One!

Springtime ushers in a rush of annual shareholder meetings, but these days, few investors are making this corporate pilgrimage. Every publicly traded stock is required by law to hold an annual shareholder meeting, and most companies fulfill this requirement with as little time or meaningful content as possible. But failing to participate can be costly when investors and executive managers fail to look each other in the eye.

Of the thousands of public shareholder meetings, most begin with the CEO reading a scripted (boring) financial update that highlights the wonderful opportunities that lay ahead. The board of directors is elected …

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How Manipulations To The CPI Affect Your Retirement Planning

Every year it gets harder to live off a Social Security paycheck. Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) fail to keep up with the true out-of-pocket expenses. Retirees must plan to supplement this slowly dwindling paycheck or risk having to make hard sacrifices during what is supposed to be their golden years.

If there was ever a time our federal government should take responsibility for transparent price stability for pensioners, it is now. In this age of unprecedented central bank monetary policy followed by Ben Bernanke and Co. and their counterparts in the developed world, retirees should expect more.

History of COLA Adjustments

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Medicare Advantage Plans: Are They For You?

As Americans approach age 65, they must begin making complex health insurance decisions related to the government run Medicare program. Like food choices on a cafeteria line, there are hundreds of ways to assemble your own plate. As you begin this journey, the first big decision is whether to enroll in Original Medicare or one of the newer Medicare Advantage programs.

Medicare Advantage, also known as Part C for its place in the ABCDs of Medicare, was birthed in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. It was created to offer much needed private competition to the government-run health program …

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Foreign Beneficiaries: Can A Non-Resident Alien Be Named A 401(k) Beneficiary?

In today’s global economy, it’s becoming more common for family ties to stretch around the world. You should have no problem naming your nephew as your beneficiary, but accessing the money from India after your death is more complicated.

When naming a nonresident alien as a retirement plan beneficiary, make sure to include more information than the typical name, relationship, and date of birth. The issue here is that the plan sponsor, in your human resources department, will be expected to contact and verify your beneficiary. They may begin to lose patience if the process turns into “Where in the …

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Are Financial Advisors Hazardous To Your Wealth?

Those who use the term “financial advisor” on their business cards can be split into two groups: fiduciary advisors and nonfiduciary advisors. Fiduciary advisors are legally responsible to act in your best interests, and, as the name would suggest, nonfiduciary advisors are not. I should know the difference between the two better than most; I’ve worn both hats. Unfortunately, few in the general public understand this distinction.

In either case, these are not good times to be called a snake oil salesman—I mean financial advisor. The general public has good reason to distrust most financial advisors. Studies have now proved …

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