Planning for Life

Why We Don't Plan: Prunes

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 13, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

Lovers on the bench.jpeg

Why don't people, especially seniors, plan to protect themselves and their families? The answer, which I learned at a program sponsored by the Boston Estate Planning Council about findings from the MIT Age Lab, can in part be explained by the acronym PRUNE. PRUNE stands the types of information that have emotional impact on us, those that are:

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Topics: aging, financial planning, Estate Planning

Should My Financial Planner Be a CFP, CLU, or a What?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 19, 2017

By Harry S. Margolis

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Acronyms, acronyms. Does your financial planner have a lot of initials after her name? Is she a CFP, a CLU, a ChFC or a CFA? What do these designations mean and do they matter?

As with all designations and certifications, they matter a bit, but only a bit. Some advisors with lots of designations will not have their clients' best interests at heart. Others with no designations are very knowledgeable and take great care of their clients. That said, these designations can be used as one of several data points in choosing your financial advisor.

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Topics: financial planning

How the Differences between SSI and SSDI Can Impact Financial Planning for Your Special Needs Child

Posted by Anthony Bushu on February 22, 2017

By Karen Mariscal 

Financial Planning for Your Special Needs Child: SSI and SSDI

Parents of children with special needs should understand the U.S. government’s two different income support programs: SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). These programs both provide cash to disabled people who cannot be gainfully employed, via monthly checks. There is a lot of confusion about the difference between the two programs. Although SSI and SSDI both provide supplemental income to disabled people, and have similar names, they are completely different programs.

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Topics: special needs, SSI, SSDI, financial planning, Special Needs Child

Is Your Financial Advisor a Fiduciary?

Posted by Anthony Bushu on January 18, 2017

By Harry S. Margolis

When you consult with your financial advisor or planner, does she put your interests first, or is she simply under an obligation to sell products that are "appropriate"? If you don't know, ask.

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Topics: Estate Planning, financial planning, Retirement Planning

10 Steps You Can Take to Avoid Elder Financial Abuse

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 1, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Seniors often become susceptible to financial abuse as the result of increased dependency due to illness, disability or cognitive impairments. They also often have a nest egg that they've accumulated over decades which can make them a target for predators, whether an offshore bogus sweepstakes or a care provider who sees an opportunity to be paid more than an hourly wage.

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Topics: Estate Planning, financial planning, elder law

Does an Annuity Make Sense for Retirement Planning?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 1, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

There are two kinds of annuities: variable and immediate. Both can be useful for retirement planning purposes and both can be misused. Variable annuities have gotten a bad reputation in recent years because they are often sold to people, especially seniors, for whom they are inappropriate. Immediate annuities, on the other hand, may be undersold.

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Topics: Estate Planning, Retirement Planning, financial planning

Why Won't People Pay for Financial Planning?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on June 9, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

Do you know the answers to these questions?

  • What is a variable annuity and should you have one?
  • How much money do you need to retire?
  • Do you need life insurance and, if so, how much? Term or whole life?
  • What's the cost of your 401(k) plan? Or your mutual funds?
  • What's the best 529 plan for your children or grandchildren?
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Topics: financial planning

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