Wise Guy’s Estate Plan Not So Wise

Most memorably known as mob boss Tony Soprano on the HBO series The Sopranos, actor James Gandolfini died in June at age 51. He left behind an estate worth an estimated $70 million. But to many advisors, the way he divided his estate would have gotten the fictional wise guy knocked off for not shielding… Read More »

Don’t Bet the House on Tax Reform

If you or your clients are waiting for meaningful tax reform measures to be signed into law this year, don’t hold your breath. The prospects are, in a word, dim. This isn’t 1986, when President Reagan and House Speaker Tip O’Neill got together to overhaul the tax system. The chasm that divides the political sides… Read More »

Three Ways the DOMA Ruling Can Affect Financial Planning for Clients

The June 26 Supreme Court ruling that struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act by a 5-4 vote not only gave same-sex couples legal recognition at the federal level, it leveled the playing field financially, too. With this decision, married gay couples living in states that recognize same-sex marriage are eligible for over 1,000… Read More »

Should Granddad Still Keep His Guns?

Convincing a client’s elderly parent or grandparent with eyesight problems that it’s time to turn over the car keys can lead to family squabbles. The elder, who has driven for decades, can resent the loss of independence that giving up the keys represents. Now try to take away his guns — and any fight over… Read More »

Boomers Look to Retirement Coaches

From hippies to corporate titans, the Baby Boomers took America by storm, the size of their numbers and the force of their convictions shaping our nation in ways small and large. But now the first wave is at retirement age, and for the first time in their lives they are adrift, unsure of themselves when… Read More »

Gambling Addiction Hits Seniors Hard

For seniors, financial pitfalls come in many forms: Ponzi schemes, Internet scams, a relative who takes advantage of them. But many also see their life savings slip away— and into casino coffers — because of their own actions. The AARP cites studies that estimate Americans lost $100 billion gambling in 2008 alone and that 4… Read More »

Bond Market Worries Strategists

Bond. James Bond. If your clients had invested in the latest installment of the James Bond series, the $1 billion-plus grossing “Skyfall,” they would have a much better return on their investment than what they’ll get in the U.S. bond market this year. That’s the word from investment analysts (without the James Bond reference), so… Read More »