Newsletters

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Newsletters

A Rough Patch

  Question: My very vibrant aunt recently had a stroke. She has no children, and I am now involved in coordinating her care. I don’t know what I don’t know. Can you offer any advice?   Answer: I wish she were already a client. Most of her plans would have been put in place and […]

Brexit volatility

  Question: What’s going to happen now with the Brexit fallout?   Answer: Well, for one thing it’ll be a whole lot cheaper to vacation in England! We entered a market prone to volatility toward the middle of last year when the Federal Reserve began strongly indicating phased interest rate increases. The prior seven years […]

Give us good, safe options

  Question: I’ve got some extra cash doing nothing. Can you give us some safe options to consider?   Answer: This is one of the most common questions we hear in today’s economic environment. Retirees are looking for better return but don’t really want any more risk than they already have. Most retirees are living […]

I don’t hate annuities

  Question: You’re the guy that hates annuities, right?   Answer: I always get amused when people at our workshops tell me that they’ve been reading our column for years and know I hate annuities. I then tell them that I personally just bought more. We position annuities with clients that need, or will need, […]

Risk Assessment

  Question: How much liability coverage should we have?   Answer: If you play with matches or text and drive, you should probably load up. We find that most people look at auto and homeowner’s coverage- so get it for me at the cheapest price. As well, many property and casualty agents know this and […]

Enjoying the roller coaster

  Question: I’m thinking of moving some money from the market into safety. What options do you recommend?   Answer: I’m not sure why you would want to get off this roller coaster. In the past 10 months the U.S. equity markets had a 10-plus percent drop with a several month recovery followed by another […]

Looking for Stock Market Alternatives

  Question: I have been looking for options for taking some money out of the market, but I don’t know where to move to. Everything looks bad. What options do you recommend?   Answer: The craziness should come as no surprise. We have been in a momentum market driven by interventionist activities — sovereignities are […]

Long Term Care Options Getting Better

  Question: My daughter recently asked me if I had long term care insurance as she was looking into buying it for herself. I never picked it up. Should I buy it now?   Answer: You should’ve told her that you don’t have it and then let her know which bedroom in her house you […]

The Big Picture Matters

  Question: I retired a couple of years ago but haven’t made many financial moves. What are the major decisions I should consider?   Answer: Well let’s assume “crystal ball” answers about the future are not what you’re seeking. So let’s focus on the big picture. New retirees and their advisors don’t take a step […]

Family and the Holidays

  Question: What planning considerations should be considered for first-time grandparents?   Answer: We hope that everyone enjoyed eating turkey, watching football and falling asleep on the couch again this year. All across America families are getting together to build stronger bonds and reopen old wounds. We hear a lot of stories that basically fall […]

I Need Custodial Care- Now What?

  Question: My mother needs custodial care when she returns home from the hospital. What considerations should we be aware of?   Answer:More and more people will be asking this question in the future. According to current Medicare statistics, seventy percent of retirees will experience a custodial, long term care event before they die. Most […]

Looking for Stock Market Alternatives

  Question: I have been looking for options for taking some money out of the market as I’m concerned about volatility when the Feds start raising interest rates. What options do you recommend?   Answer: Many of our clients need, or will need income from their financial positions to supplement their social security and pensions […]

Tell Me When You're Gonna Die

  Question: Why should I trigger or buy income products when I statistically have a life expectancy of only ten years?   Answer: This question was recently asked at one of our local seminars. I mentioned that I can answer the question mathematically only after a question of my own: “When are you going to […]

Legacy & Emergency Documents

  Question: Do I need a trust, a will, both or can I do nothing?   Answer: That depends on how much you like the people that are in line to get the money when you’re gone. It is common that when someone dies, a mess gets left behind: a lengthy probate process can occur, […]

More Social Security Debate

  Question: Should I delay taking my Social Security benefit?   Answer: A few weeks ago, we reviewed the options for delaying Social Security Benefit to receive a higher lifetime amount. We received more feedback than usual from this column. Everyone chimed in: clients, other financial professionals and even our own advisors. One client at […]

The Spousal View

  Question: What is the best approach for spouses that have two different financial perspectives?   Answer: Maybe pistols at ten paces. In nearly all long term relationships, spouses have different financial perspectives. If one is conservative, the other is aggressive. If one is thrifty, the other is more extravagant, etc. How they handle financial […]

Social Security Options

  Question: Should I delay taking my Social Security benefit?   Answer: One of the most common issues we have been addressing with clients that are approaching retirement is when to begin taking Social Security benefit. There are a couple of reasons for this. First is that the number of couples approaching retirement age with both […]

Family and the holidays

  Question: Any suggestions as to the best way to make my family aware of my financial picture without sharing details?   Answer: After every holiday season, we notice increased client interest in the area of legacy planning. From speaking with  thousands of clients over many years, we are pretty sure that after holiday visits, […]

Better look at your IRA again

  Question: What are good ways to leave an IRA to children?   Answer: A few of you reading this think the best way to leave an IRA to your children is with about twelve cents in it. However, our experience is that about eighty percent of retirees have no need for income from their […]

Not A Surprise

  Question: What now with the markets?   Answer: I wouldn’t jump- back in or out the window. We spoke to hundreds of our clients over the past couple of weeks. It was very interesting to see that they were fine. This was mostly because the majority of our clients were insulated from this volatility. […]

But what if I get sick?

  Question: We have watched my mother spend down her assets on home care and assisted living care. We have a long-term-care insurance policy but are still concerned it won’t provide enough coverage if we get sick. How much is enough?   Answer: We have noticed an increased awareness of this issue over the past […]

This was our column last month: Read it again

  Question: Is it time to get out of the market?   Answer: The narrative with our clients is that we have been in a momentum market for the last seven years. The wind in the sails has come from stimulus and low interest rates. Now that stimulus has ended and interest rate increases are […]

Oops!

Question: I’m in my late eighties and have had several annuities for years that I would like to leave to my grandchildren. How can I leave them with no taxes? Answer: Oops! You can’t. This is the main reason we don’t care for annuities for many client situations. When retirees are in their sixties and […]

We love retired engineers

Question: My husband is a retired engineer. He has always been very analytical. I am interested in several things that you have spoken about in the past. Do you have information that he can review? Answer: First of all, I would like to offer you my sympathies. We work with hundreds of retired engineers across […]

Business Model

  Question: What is comprehensive post-retirement planning?   Answer: It’s what we do. Most people don’t know what it is because we are the ones that developed it, over time, as a business model. Think about what goes into pre and post-retirement planning. First, there is planning centered around financial positions: securities, banking products, real […]

The timing of cluing kids in on finances

  Question: When do you suggest sharing financial information with children?   Answer: Don’t do what I did. Last month I mentioned to my 9-year-old son what he should anticipate inheriting and he dropped out of school. The answer depends on your perspective and your children. Unfortunately, for most retirees the first time information is […]

If you're parking money…

  Question: I am a senior widow and really don’t touch any of my money. You recently mentioned “parking money” in life insurance. Isn’t life insurance too expensive at my age?   Answer: My mom always taught me not to ask a woman her age. We work with many life insurance strategies that require applications. […]

Longevity Annuities

  Question: What is a longevity annuity and should I look into them for my situation?   Answer: Longevity annuities have been around since 2004 but are now gaining more public awareness. They have recently been allowed to be used as an option in retirement accounts. The concept is to take a portion of your […]

The New Normal

  Question: I recently retired. How much should  I be able to withdraw from my retirement savings to feel comfortable that it will last for my lifetime?   Answer: We are living in interesting times. In fact, we refer to it as the new normal. If you are retired, or nearly retired today, you lived […]

That Hissing Sound is a Fuse

  Question: Is there a way to eliminate taxes on my IRA distributions?   Answer: I’d already be retired and frustrated about my own IRA if I had that magic wand. There are many good common sense strategies to reduce taxes, however. We have thousands of clients across the country, and the vast majority of […]

A Little Normal Again

  Question: I’ve been feeling better about making some financial moves. What do you recommend for some cash?   Answer: Although I focus a great deal of time on growing our company, I always make it a point to meet and talk with clients and prospects. I also hold dozens of seminars a year across […]

Fiduciary Debate

  Question: What is the current debate over fiduciaries and IRAs about?   Answer: The current administration is backing an effort to have all financial professionals that work with IRAs (401ks and IRA rollovers at retirement) to be fiduciaries. Most that work in this space now are brokers and not fiduciaries. A fiduciary has a […]

Where's Marshal?

  Question: I’ve been reading your column for a long time. Will we ever get to hear from Mr. Seeman?   Answer: He does in fact exist. We have many long term and very dear clients that I see at our seminars and workshops. They always ask about him because they know him well. I […]

The Annual RMD Grumble

  Question: My wife and I recently started taking required minimum distributions (RMD) from our IRAs. We do not need this income. Is there any way to avoid or reduce these additional taxes?   Answer: Retirees across the country have begun the annual RMD grumble — required to distribute and pay taxes on income they […]

Close to Home

  Question: My only daughter just got engaged. Should I be making changes to my trust and will?   Answer: You should be more worried about paying for the wedding! We do a legacy review at least annually with our clients. We are proactive because a big mess can be left behind with improper or […]

Interest Rates Revisited

  Question: When do you think interest rates will rise?   Answer: The problem is that the people who raise interest rates don’t know when interest rates will rise. I get to speak in front of groups of retirees across the country. It puts me in a good position to judge the mood of American […]

They're never not your children

  Question: I’m worried about one of my children getting too much money too quickly when I’m gone. What are the best ways to plan for this?   Answer: From working with retirees for a few decades, we truly understand that “they’re never not your children.” I have adult children. As a parent, you want […]

Annuities for income but not parking money

The last few weeks I explained how I personally funded an annuity for future income. Several people told me they thought we didn’t like annuities. To clarify, I will re-print a past article. Annuities are one of the most common products we see when we meet with retirees. When we ask why an annuity was […]

Here's What I Did- Part II

  Question: I would like to retire in about five years. I am worried about having enough money to last. What do you recommend?   Answer: Last week I explained how my wife and I began to plan for this as well. We funded an equity-indexed annuity wih an income rider. When we retire, we […]

Here's What I Did

  Question: I would like to retire in about five years. I am worried about having enough money to last. What do you recommend?   Answer: Try not to live too long. As post-retirement financial advisors, we are very lucky. We get to work every day with clients that share this concern. It is very […]

Tell the Kids?

  Question: When do you suggest sharing financial information with children?   Answer: Don’t do what I did. Last month I mentioned to my eight year old son what he should anticipate inheriting and he dropped out of school. The answer depends on your perspective and your children. Unfortunately, for most retirees the first time […]

Another Rick Story

  Question: I have several ideas about wanting to help my grandchildren with the money I won’t need, but then I feel it’s not worth it because we’re not talking about a lot of money. How much is worth the bother?   Answer: The other day I was out in front of my house, and […]

What We're Doing

  Question: This is a follow up to last week’s column on what to do while waiting for interest rates to rise.   Answer: When we work with retired clients on options for different economic environments, we like to identify the narrative, or story, for WHY a particular position is attractive. Let’s take a look […]

Retirees Still Waiting

  Question: What is the latest on when interest rates are expected to rise?   Answer: Unfortunately, for retirees, not soon. For the last few weeks Janet Yellen, the Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, has been establishing new, less certain guidelines on when the Fed would begin raising rates. For the past five years, the […]

Don’t Wait for Crisis

  Question: Do you have any tips for how I should get involved as my parents’ health fails?   Answer: On the last few visits to my in-laws, I left nursing home brochures on the kitchen table. That was five years ago and I’m still trying to figure out why I haven’t been invited back. […]

Don't Wait for Crisis

  Question: Do you have any tips for how I should get involved as my parents’ health fails?   Answer: On the last few visits to my in-laws, I left nursing home brochures on the kitchen table. That was five years ago and I’m still trying to figure out why I haven’t been invited back. […]

Jack of All Trades

  Question: I’ve been “kicking the tires” with several financial advisors. What are some things I should be looking for?   Answer: It is okay if you are suspicious that I might be answering my own question to make Seeman Holtz look good. I will try to give a fair response. You can go the […]

What we do

  Question: What do you guys do?   Answer: I thought you’d never ask. Hopefully, over the years our consistent followers have learned about some of our core philosophies. What follows is a little about how we apply them in practice. When working with our clients, we focus on building value in relationships. We want […]

Not Too Much Longer

  Question: When are interest rates going to go up?   Answer: A better question would be when is the “tax” on retirees going to be lifted? For the past five years, interest rates have been kept artificially low. This was done in an effort to keep the stock market from collapsing more in a […]

It's about agendas

  Question: I have several annuities and keep hearing mixed things about them. What are your thoughts?   Answer: Anyone who has followed this column for some time will know that we position annuities for clients that need– or will need– income from their investments to cover living expenses in retirement. Most retirees are very frugal, […]

What's the agenda?

  Question: How can I be certain that my advisors’ agendas are the same as my own?   Answer: The fact that this kind of question is on so many peoples’ minds these days is pretty damning of our whole industry. We know it is important for our clients to clearly understand our agenda. Most […]

Don't Forget a Bird's Eye View

  Question: What is the best way to coordinate my broker, estate and tax planner?   Answer: This has traditionally been a juggling act if it is even attempted at all. It is one of the least serviced and most important aspects of planning in retirement. Many retirees manage this coordination themselves but most assume […]

It's the Concept, Not the Product

  Question: I read your recent column about life insurance policies. Is my variable life policy good?   Answer: A few weeks ago, my friend Rick asked me a question about whole life insurance. Another neighbor, and friend, read my response and then asked me to review his variable life policy. I explained that the […]

Perspective Shift

  Question: Should I just accept that interest rates will be low forever?   Answer: For ninety-five year old retirees… yeah, probably forever. For retirees that are sixty-five years old, not so much. Questions like these really illustrate a fundamental perspective that all people, not just retirees have. Everyone tends to focus on “performance”. How […]

Long Term Care Cost Rising

  Question: Which age do you recommend for picking up long term care coverage?   Answer: My wife and I just picked up this coverage. I am forty-seven and she is, um, younger. We did not purchase long term care insurance, however. We picked up the coverage for home care, assisted living and nursing home […]

Rick Strikes Again

  Question: My friend Rick asked me: Does a whole life policy disappear if you stop paying the premium and the policy has cash value? Answer: Whole life insurance is usually designed to require premium payments up to age 100. The cash value will continue to accumulate and ultimately will be equal to the death benefit […]

Oops- paying taxes is result of poor planning

  Question: I’m in my late 80s and have had several annuities for years that I would like to leave to my grandchildren. How can I leave them with no taxes?   Answer: Oops! You can’t. This is the main reason we don’t care for annuities for many client situations. When retirees are in their […]

Who gets it when you're gone?

  Question: How often should I have my trust reviewed?   Answer: Trust language should be reviewed about once every five years to ensure there haven’t been any legal challenges to specific wording. However, we proactively review each of our clients’ legacy documents annually. We find that most retirees don’t think enough about this important […]

The Fed's Bad News for Retirees

  Question: I sold a lot of my bonds and am looking for new positions. What do you recommend?   Answer: Last month the Federal Reserve Chairman opened his mouth and hinted that the Fed’s bond buying program might begin tapering soon.  This was the signal to many that a rise in inflation and interest […]

Income vs. yield and return

  Question: I need investment income to get by. What are some options you recommend in today’s environment?   Answer: Traditionally, retirees use bonds and dividend-paying stock as the main income-producing investments. The income that was produced is oftentimes referred to as the return or total return, and the income to be produced by an […]

What's that Chipping Sound?

  Question: I am a new retiree. What moves do you suggest we make to keep our future taxes lower?   Answer: Do you hear that chipping sound? We have heard it for two years now and we do not anticipate it going away any time soon. It is the sound of state and federal […]

I feel your pain

  Question: I need financial advice but I don’t trust salespeople. Can you help me?   Answer: It used to be so easy. Everything worked before. Now we know that wasn’t true. Now we always feel that little buzz that makes us question everything. We always knew that salespeople had their own agenda, but now […]

Don't forget the 35,000-foot view

  Question: What is the best way to coordinate my broker, estate and tax planner?   Answer: This has traditionaly been a juggling act– if it is even attempted at all. It is one of the least serviced and most important aspects of planning in retirement. Many retirees manage this coordination themselves, but most assume […]

Time for a Second Opinion

  Question: I have wanted to get a second opinion on my finances, but things have been going pretty well recently. Can you give me a good reason to stop procrastinating?   Answer: Imagine you are riding on a train. No one knows if the train is going to run out of track. No one […]

Review wealth transfer plans regularly

  Question: How often should I have my will or trust reviewed?   Answer: The trust attorneys we work with suggest a review every three to five years to ensure your document language keeps up with ongoing case-law changes. However, there is a more important question to ask– “What is your legacy plan?”– and we […]

Long-term-care options

  Question: I am worried about long-term care but cannot afford the premiums for insurance. Any suggestions?   Answer: Chronic-illness protection is one of the most important retirement-planning issues. The two most common concerns we hear about are the threat of outliving one’s money and the possibility of going broke in a health crisis. Securing […]

This one's for Rick

  Question: Can you please explain the difference between your services and my broker?   Answer: I have a good friend, Rick, that will check in on my column just to rib me for my poor attempts at humor. I will then challenge him to help me improve. Recently though he asked me what we […]

Forget what you know about life insurance

  Question: Should I cash in my life insurance policy?   Answer: Most people think of life insurance exclusively as protection. Life insurance is great for protection. If you are like me–with a young family– get some life insurance for protection. We work almost exclusively with retirees, however. We would only position life insurance as […]

Ready to get back in?

  Question: I’ve been thinking about getting back into the market. Do you think I should?   Answer: Not if you are like some of my friends who are convinced that markets go up when they pull their money out, and down immediately after they invest. “Should I invest more?” is a very common question […]

But what if I get sick?

  Question: We have watched my mother spend down her assets on home care and assisted living care. We have a long term care insurance policy but still are concerned it won’t provide enough coverage if we get sick. How much is enough?   Answer: We have noticed an increased awareness of this issue over […]

Is someone selling you an annuity?

  Question: I have been reviewing several annuities. Do you recommend a particular company or product?   Answer: Most retirees assume that advisors simply like the ones that pay the most commission. Unfortunately, many times this assumption happens to be true. As well, most annuities are “sold” without regard to the retiree’s financial situation. Those […]

Start small

  Question: I’ve been meeting with several advisors to learn about some of the options that are available today. How can I determine which are the best?   Answer: Numerous quality products and investments are available in the marketplace today. First, determine what you are looking for. We feel it is important to understand what […]

Visualize your plan

  Question: What are the main categories of retirement planning?   Answer: For me, I hope it is golf, world travel and time spent with loved ones. The financial categories, in order of importance, are securing needed income, a chronic illness plan , broad diversification, tax efficiency, and a well-thought-out wealth transfer plan. We help […]

Annuities: Not for parking money

  Question: My husband and I have been comparing annuities. Which kind of annuity do you recommend? Which features should we consider?   Answer: Annuities are one of the most common products we see when we meet with retirees. If you are retired and are reading this, you probably own one. When we ask why […]

Chronic Illness: Don’t stick your head in the sand

    Question: What options still exist to shelter assets should I end up in a nursing home?   Answer: The complicated and technical answers for the several options that still exist are too long for this column. You can call us for those. The simple answer, however, is that every retiree needs a chronic […]

Get everyone involved

  Question: I am concerned about my spouse being able to manage the financial affairs when I’m gone. What is the best way to put my mind at ease?   Answer: I have two solutions for this very common concern.First, just make sure you outlive them. The problem with this plan is that the spouse […]

My Mom Needs Income

  Question: My mom was holding a note on the house she sold when she moved to an independent living residence. She needed this income to cover the monthly expense. The note holder refinanced and bought her out. Now she has cash. She is a youthful septuagenarian. Where can she invest the cash to get the income she needs to get by?   Answer: […]

Now We Have It

  Question: Now that the election is over, what moves should I be making?   Answer: We have been proactively advising clients to position assets in tax efficient products and strategies for years. Let’s all get on the same page. All taxes will be going up: income tax, capital gains tax and estate tax. Investment […]

Stay liquid my friend

  Question: Where can I find a good return without tying my money up?   Answer: We have never seen a time with so many retirees sitting on large cash positions. We get it. You are retired. This is your safe money. Bank and bond rates are at historic lows. Everyone knows that interest rates will be going up. We do not […]

Welcome to retirement

  Question: I retired recently. What should be my most important planning considerations? Answer: This answer is deceptively simple. You need to secure the income you need to cover your living expenses and have a plan for when you get sick. Most retirees we work with are living exclusively on pension and social security and reinvesting their investment return. Only about one of four […]

Bag Lady Syndrome

  Question: I know estate taxes are scheduled to increase dramatically next year and that I should be shifting money out of my estate now but I am worried about giving up control. Can you help me?   Answer: Unfortunately, I’m not a therapist but I’m sure you are not alone in this internal debate. […]

Death and Taxes

  Question: What do you think the federal estate tax rate and exemption amount will be next year?   Answer:  It’s not important. What matters is what the tax rate and exemption amount will be in the year you die! These rates have changed eight times in the last twelve years. Based on how Congress […]

Election and Your Estate Plan

  Question: How will my estate plan be affected by whoever wins the presidential election?   Answer: It doesn’t matter who wins. Taxes will be going up. It only matters by which kind of tax and how much. We currently have an estate and gift tax exemption of $5.12 million with a tax rate of […]

Here come the taxes!

  Question: How will the 3.8% healthcare surtax impact my situation?   Answer:  The good news is that for all those who love paying taxes, there will be more to pay! The bad news is that for all those who hate paying taxes, there will be more to pay! We have been proactively reaching out […]

How do you view your money?

  Question: I often worry about my investment income in retirement. What can I do to get some peace of mind?   Answer: We have been working with retirees for some time. Basically there are three ways that money and income are viewed in retirement. First is the approach that all the money is positioned […]

Roth Conversion Uncertainty

  Question: Should I convert my Individual Retirement Account to a Roth IRA before the end of 2012?   Answer: Even if I said yes, would you? Since 2010, when the income limitation for Roth conversions was removed, there were supposed to be massive amounts of people converting their IRAs to Roth IRAs. We didn’t […]

The Tax on Retirees Continues

  Question: I don’t want to tie my money up at these low interest rates. When do you think interest rates will go up?   Answer: Unfortunately, I do not believe they will be going up for some time. We know at least not until mid-2015 but my gut tells me we will not be […]

Welcome to the Retirement Pool

  Question: I have a lot of anxiety about my upcoming retirement in these uncertain times. How do I know what moves to make?   Answer: These are scary times and today’s decisions will affect the rest of your life. In addition, lifestyle changes and self-worth are wrapped up in this transformation. One of our […]

What Is Your Chronic Illness Plan?

  Question:  Long term care insurance is too expensive. What other options exist to protect me from a chronic illness?   Answer:  We rarely find that long term care insurance is too expensive. Rather, we find that for most retirees living on a budget, long term care insurance is unaffordable. They could buy it but […]

When to Review Life Insurance

  Question: I have several life insurance policies. How often should I have these policies reviewed?   Answer: Life insurance is one of the least reviewed assets that retirees have. We review our client’s life insurance policies at least annually. Most retirees fund a life insurance policy to either protect a loved one or to […]

Where to put cash?

  Question: I am sitting on too much cash and am looking for an investment that’s liquid, guaranteed, short term and pays around 7 percent. Where can I find this?   Answer: When you find it, please let me know… Low interest rates and market uncertainty have forced many retirees to play the waiting game […]

Seeman Holtz

301 Yamato Rd #2222, Boca Raton, FL 33431
Boca Raton, FL
33431