Annuities Can Be Good, Bad or Ugly. Which Is Which? Part I

Annuities can be good, bad or downright ugly. How can you tell if your annuity is good, or if you should consider purchasing one? And what’s an annuity, anyway?.  In this two-part series, I’ll begin with a review of the “bad and ugly” annuities (most variable annuities). Next month I’ll review “good” annuities (primarily immediate […]

Getting Real About Retirement – Will You Have Enough Money to Remain Comfortable?

By Eve Kaplan, Certified Financial Planner™ Let’s get real about retirement. Will you have enough to remain comfortable in retirement for 30 years or more?  Studies show this is a recurring fear many Americans feel. As a Fee-Only financial advisor, my number one priority is to confront this fear and help my clients retain enough […]

Six Mistakes People Make When Hiring a Financial Advisor

by Eve Kaplan, Certified Financial Planner (TM) There are 6 common mistakes people make when engaging a financial advisor — and all of them are avoidable! Before we go through this list, let’s put the issue of paying for financial advice into context. Health and money are two areas of life where everyone benefits from […]

Five “No Brainer” Moves to Strengthen Your Finances

by Eve Kaplan, Certified Financial Planner (TM)   Here are 5 “no-brainer” moves you can make before year-end to strengthen your finances: Taxes: NJ AND NY RESIDENTS ALERT: If Congress pushes through tax reform that eliminates state and local tax exemptions, many NJ and NY residents (along with MA and CA residents) will be hit […]

Take a Quiz: Is Your Financial Advisor a “Broker” or a “Financial Planner”?

by Eve Kaplan, Certified Financial Planner (TM) Professional You have a financial advisor, but what kind is he/she? Take this brief quiz to see if you can tell the difference between a “Broker” and a “Financial Planner.” Receive 2 points for all “Yes” answers, and 1 point for all “No” answers: My financial advisor has […]

“Keep It Simple, Stupid” (KISS) Your Way to Financial Health

by Eve Kaplan, CFP(R) Professional Are you familiar with the KISS (“Keep it Simple, Stupid”) concept? KISS helps you refine your elevator speech, write concisely…and the KISS concept can boost your financial health. How? By helping you focus on essential ways to strengthen your financial well-being. After working with hundreds of financial planning and investment […]

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 […]