Home >Articles

Category: Estate Planning

Unburdening Your Family From Some Tough Decisions

Many older people say they “don’t want to be a burden” on their families. And yet, by not making a handful of key decisions and not completing the associated paperwork, they are leaving themselves vulnerable to the very
Continue Reading

It May Be Time To Review Your Estate-Planning Documents

As a financial planner, one of my responsibilities is to keep up with legislative changes and their effects on clients. Estate planning is an area where change is so frequent—and so confusing—it’s a challenge to stay
Continue Reading

The Art of Getting Older — Where Will You Live?

There are countless important decisions to make as you get older. Many of them have a financial focus—how much to withdraw from the nest egg you’ve built, when to take Social Security, how to pay for healthcare and the
Continue Reading

Making Your Own ‘What To Do If…’ Plan

In the January issue of the SMI newsletter, we ran an article that recommended taking a “fiscal health day.” The idea is to take a day off from work to catch up on your financial chores and tackle all of those
Continue Reading

Getting In Shape In 2017 With A ‘Fiscal Health Day’

Several years ago, when New York Times personal-finance writer Ron Lieber was furloughed for a few days, he responded in true personal-finance expert fashion. By devoting one of his unpaid days off to taking care of a list
Continue Reading

Preparing Financially For The Death Of Your Spouse

There are turning points in life that prompt important financial decisions. What you choose to do—or not do—at such times can have a significant impact on your long-term financial well-being. The death of a spouse is one
Continue Reading

Attention Husbands: You Should Know About SMI’s Ministry to Widows

In the mid-1990s I was in talks with Moody Publishers about the possibility of writing a second book. They asked what topics interested me, and among the ideas we discussed was a book tailored to the financial needs of
Continue Reading

2016 Contribution Limits, Deductions, and Other Rule Changes

Every year brings a number of changes in various financial rules and regs that impact our personal financial planning. Here’s a guide to some of the more significant changes for 2016. Retirement Plans If you participate
Continue Reading

Are You Sure Your Beneficiaries Will Benefit As You Intend?

When you think of estate planning documents, certainly wills and trusts come to mind. But two other planning instruments are also important: titles and beneficiary designation forms. Estate planning essentials The
Continue Reading

Which Assets Should You Withdraw First During Retirement?

Once you reach retirement and begin drawing from the storehouse of wealth you’ve worked so hard to accumulate, two questions arise. First, how much can you withdraw each year without running the risk of depleting your
Continue Reading