Author - Michael J. Garry, CFP®, JD/MBA

1
Don’t Rely On A Straight-Line Model For Your Retirement Planning
2
Choosing A Financial Planner? Here Is How To Find A Competent One
3
Some Problems With Variable Annuities
4
Financial Planning Is All About Trade-Offs
5
9 Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

Don’t Rely On A Straight-Line Model For Your Retirement Planning

You might have a hard time believing this is actually out there, but make sure you don’t use a straight-line model in retirement planning when you try to determine the appropriate amount of withdrawals you can take from a portfolio without running out of money. Using the straight-line method, the software will assume that you earn the average return every year on your asset allocation and that you are taking a fixed dollar amount out every year, adjusting it annually for inflation.

Assuming that your portfolio is half in stocks and half in bonds, the software may assume that you …

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Choosing A Financial Planner? Here Is How To Find A Competent One

You may be considering help from a financial planner for a number of reasons. Whatever your needs, working with a financial planner can help you. You should interview and evaluate several planners to find the right one for you. You will want to select a competent, qualified professional with whom you feel comfortable. Here are the most important questions to ask your prospective planner.

What is your educational background and what experience do you have? Find out what areas of study your planner has pursued; how long the planner has been in practice; and the number and types of companies …

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Some Problems With Variable Annuities

Variable Annuities (VAs) have been very popular for about a decade now, ever since the tech bubble burst. Unfortunately, their popularity may be due to brokers’ commissions of 4 to 8%, and the fact that the benefits are not clearly understood by clients or many of those that sell them. I think their biggest draw is that they have some guarantees, and believe me, sellers tout those guarantees. Unfortunately, those guarantees are not quite what people think they are.

Annuities may seem complicated, especially if you read their prospectuses, but the basic structure is simple. An insurance component provides a …

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Financial Planning Is All About Trade-Offs

Financial planning is the process of properly managing your finances to achieve your goals. It is a broad area encompassing many facets of your life because most decisions regarding your life somehow involve money. Any money that you don’t spend to support your lifestyle is available for saving and investing. How much you choose to spend or save, and what you do with your savings, will largely determine your lifestyle and wealth.

Professional athletes and Hollywood stars notwithstanding, most people have a finite amount of wealth and a limited ability to produce income. That limited wealth and income must support …

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9 Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

1.) Assuming that you don’t need an estate plan because you won’t owe estate taxes. With estate tax laws currently in flux, whether your estate is large enough to owe estate taxes will depend on where you live and when you die. But even if taxes aren’t an issue, estate planning can ensure that your assets are controlled according to your wishes if you’re incapacitated and parceled out appropriately at your death. It can also help to minimize or avoid the cost and delay of probate and the emotional and financial burdens on your beneficiaries.

2.) Not having a will.

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