Remember 9/11 with Folds of Honor
Our 14th annual Folds of Honor Radio-thon is quickly approaching. Folds of Honor provides scholarships to the families of military members lost or disabled in the service of our country. Additionally, Folds assists the educational needs of the families of First Responders. We’re very honored to partner with and support them.
The radio-thon runs from Wednesday, September 6th – Monday, September 11th. Visit our website, click the banner at the top of the page, for more details on each location of the live shows. On September 11th we open our More than Money World Headquarters to all who wish to remember the events of 9/11 and make a positive difference in the lives of our military veterans and their families.
You can donate in person at any of the live show locations, online or by check. I ask each of you to be generous in your donations to Folds. We need sponsors who can provide funds to match the donations of our listeners. We welcome any and all support for our efforts to care for the lives of real American heroes.
Please contact us ([email protected] or 610-746-7007) for details on Folds of Honor and how you can make a positive difference.
“Real Life Questions – Real World Answers”
“Over the years my advisor and I have had some real disagreements.
Whenever I want to get out of the market, he says hang in. Whenever I say I want to get more stocks he says to stand pat. It seems like he always thinks I am wrong. This is my money and I think I should have the final say.
Last year was too much for me and I finally told him to get us out of the market in September. Our accounts are in money markets and we’re waiting until the market settles down to get back in.
What do your experts say about the right time to get back into the market?”
The right time to get back into the market was last September.
If we are talking about purely investment results you should never have left the market. The various stock markets have risen significantly since you decided to leave (not that I think for one minute they went up because you left). With your funds sitting in a money market, you have missed one of the nicest stock rallies in recent memory.
Or did you? We don’t know what your financial goals are. You might well meet some very conservative goals without ever being in the stock market at all. Or your goals might require you achieve the higher returns the stock markets might offer. In that case, you’ve really hurt yourself. There’s no way for us to know without more information.
The one thing we can know is you are working with the wrong financial advisor. The lack of effective communication is obvious. For a relationship between a client and an advisor to be effective communication is the key. It appears you and he are not on the same page. That doesn’t make either of you wrong, but it does make the relationship – and the positive results you hope to see – very challenging.
Consider getting a second opinion from a trusted, experienced financial advisor. In that meeting you can expect lots of questions to determine your goals, attitudes, and expectations. With those clearly identified the advisor can determine if you are a good fit for his/her practice. Chemistry between advisor and client is critical. You need and deserve a much smoother relationship with your advisor.
“I’m trying to understand whether or not I can safely help my son with his money troubles.
I’m 78, lost my husband two years ago, have no debts, live on my social security and my husband’s pension – and still save a few dollars every month. I have about $60,000 in the bank and about $280,000 in two IRAs with my financial advisor.
My son is 52 and married. My grandchildren are both out of the house, graduated college, and working in good jobs. My son’s wife has told me how tight money is for them. I know they still have a mortgage. I think they have two car payments and I’m not sure what else. I’m sure there’s a lot of stress.
What can I safely do to help them and not put myself in tough spot?”
You are both very sweet and very wise.
Of course, you want to help your son and his family – very sweet. But you don’t want to put yourself in a ‘tough spot’ – very wise.
The first step you should take is to have your advisor (or another one if you’re not confident your current advisor can give you the information you need) perform a stress test on your financial situation. This will evaluate how confident you should be that you will not likely run out of money before you leave this crazy world. And it will also identify how much – if any – monies you might be able to share.
The second step you should take is to be honest about your son’s (and his wife’s) ability with money. Some folks are naturally good with money, take wise advice, and make good choices. Some people – for whatever reason – never seem to show good judgement when it comes to money. If the ‘kids’ haven’t yet shown good money skills (at 52!) then giving them money is just throwing good after bad. So, what are you to do?
Introduce them to your financial advisor and help them get the guidance they need to make sound financial decisions. This will cost you nothing and might turn their financial situation completely around.
Second, pray for them and encourage them, but keep your finances to yourself. The best gift you can give your entire family is to be happy, healthy, and financially independent for your entire life. Never put yourself in the position of needing to ask you family for money. Be a good role model – especially for your grandchildren who seem to be starting out on the right track. Show them the sound financial judgement that it takes to make it all the way through to the end in good shape.
“No one pays estate taxes any more. Why are they still selling life insurance to people who don’t need it?
Selling things to people who don’t need them is often what salespeople do. But it isn’t what a fiduciary financial advisor does. And that may very well mean recommending life insurance.
Your premise that life insurance is needed only for paying estate taxes is significantly off base. The most important reason for life insurance is to protect the people one loves should you be lost to them before you’ve had the chance to build an adequate estate for them. A bread winner who dies without adequate life insurance to provide for their family has made a serious mistake.
Another reason to have life insurance is still to pay for estate/inheritance taxes. It is certainly true that the current federal estate tax laws eliminate taxes on the vast majority of estates. In the state of Pennsylvania an estate valued at $1 million would see death taxes between $45,000 and $150,000 to the state. These are not small numbers. Include final burial expenses, legal and accounting fees and you might very well wish to have life insurance to cover these costs.
You might want life insurance to pay off a mortgage or other debts to reduce the burden on those you leave behind. You might need life insurance to replace key people in your business should you lose them. You might use life insurance to provide for non-profits you wish to support after your passing. And there are many other worthy uses of life insurance.
Be sure you are looking at the complete picture and are consulting with a trusted financial advisor before you decide to acquire life insurance – or not.
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