8 planning steps to take before the year ends

8 year-end planning steps for 2016

Another year is coming to a close. So much has happened of late — England voted to “Brexit” the European Union, the Chicago Cubs ended their 108-year World Series draught and Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. With all that’s going on it might be easy to forget about your year-end financial […]

Muni bonds still make sense

Muni bonds have significantly lower default rates than corporate bonds.

I’ve written about municipal bonds in the past. Now is a good time to update my thoughts on this asset class. Municipal bonds and muni bond funds have historically been an effective way of generating tax-free income. In high school, you may have learned about the 1819 U.S. Supreme Court case, McCulloch v. Maryland. That […]

Win at the slowest possible speed

Setting smart financial goals can help you succeed.

It’s tempting to compare your investment performance with others. In doing so, you may find that some of your friends and family members have had good experiences in working with financial advisors, whereas others have not. Often, those who say they’re unsatisfied with their advisors tend to focus on portfolio returns as a key measure. […]

Passionate about making people laugh

Larry Sherman, comedian

Comedian Larry Sherman* says a lot of things came to him late in life. He began doing standup in his 60s. He was 40 when he married — 42 when his daughter was born. “At this point in life,” Larry says, “my baby girl is happy to see me walking.” Ba-dum-bum! Ching! Time for his […]

The Latest Thinking on 401(k)s

If you’re still working and it seems like it’s harder than ever to accumulate money for retirement, here’s some evidence that what you’re feeling is true. The 85% rule Based on analysis compiled by the Federal Reserve and analyzed by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and reported in The Wall Street Journal […]

Long-term care: How much does it cost?

Every year Metropolitan Life issues a report* on the costs of long-term care. Many of us are looking at such costs either for ourselves or our parents. In my case, my mom has had in-home care 24/7 for just over a year and a half, so I am seeing first hand both the practicalities of […]

New government report focuses on ensuring retirement income

Every now and then something interesting shows up in the news that catches my eye. One of those things was a report, issued several weeks ago, released by the General Accountability Office. The GAO’s purpose is to report to Congress and the President on the financial condition and issues facing the country. The particular report […]

3 things you may not know about variable annuities

More than a few wealth management clients have asked questions about variable annuities, so I thought it would be good to post some information about them. 1. Today’s variable annuities are not your father’s annuities. Older types of annuities gave you a guaranteed income in exchange for a lump sum of money. You literally bought […]