Showdown in Retirement Planning: “The Wild West” vs. a Uniform Standard of Fiduciary Care

by Eve Kaplan, Certified Financial Planner (TM) Practitioner You might be stuck in “The Wild West” without realizing it. I’m referring to your retirement plan – be it an IRA, 401k, 403b or defined benefit plan. That’s because you likely are missing a Fiduciary Standard of Care. That’s a fancy way of saying your interests, […]

Which is Best: Lump Sum or Pension Annuity?

by Eve Kaplan, Certified Financial Planner(TM) Is a lump sum offer from an employer a better choice than a pension annuity for life? The former provides an immediate up-front amount (say $300,000), but the pension annuity gives you a stream of payments for life (example: $1,350 per month). A number of employers dangle a lump […]

Managing Your Financial Life Well: Things to Do and Things to Avoid (Part 2)

by Eve Kaplan, CFP(R) Professional Two months ago I wrote about key areas to help “Manage a Financial Life Well” in the face of the overwhelming volume of financial information and advice. Some examples I mentioned included having sufficient life/disability insurance, calculating how to best fund long-term care and how to make some smart investment decisions […]

Managing Your Financial Life Well: Things to Do and Things to Avoid

by Eve Kaplan, CFP(R) Professional It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the things you need to do to manage your life well – be it exercise, meditation, diet or making smart financial decisions. When confusion reigns, you may end up focusing on the trees instead of the “big-picture” forest.  How can you manage your financial […]

Why I Became a Fee-Only Financial Planner

by Eve Kaplan, CFP(R) Professional Why does someone become a financial planner? Why did I?  Decades ago I thought I was headed toward a career in academia but l made a conscious decision to build a career in investment management and financial advice-giving instead. And I’ve never regretted this decision. Here’s a brief tour of […]

Ring in the Year with Investment Clarity!

 by Eve Kaplan, CFP(R) Practitioner “Out with the old and in the new” – so the old adage goes at the start of each year.  I hope 2014 will bring even more clarity and transparency to the financial planning and investment world so the public is better informed and better protected. Grand Theft, Ponzi-Style: We […]

“The Retirement Gamble”

by Eve Kaplan, CFP(R) Practitioner Have you seen the PBS Frontline documentary “The Retirement Gamble”? PBS ran it again on October 29 on Channel  13 — just in time for Halloween. It’s hard to watch this program without a sense of horror at the way our retirement plan system is rigged to rip off Americans struggling to save for their […]

Shopping for Financial Advice? New Guidelines May Help

by Eve Kaplan, CFP(R) Professional Data show Americans spend more time comparison shopping for TVs and other consumer purchases than they spend shopping for a Certified Financial Planner® professional. Of course most Americans have not comparison shopped for a Certified Financial Planner® professional – I’m only talking about the minority of Americans who have shopped […]