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Lauren Schadle CAE
Executive Director/CEO
Financial Planning Association
Denver CO
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Can anyone give me a reason to have muni-bond funds in a qualified retirement account?
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Ken,
I use "Money Guide Pro". I have found this to be the most comprehensive planner out there. Cash flow, risk management, asset allocation , what if scenarios, estate planning. A little bit of a learning curve but alot of capabilities.
Hope this helps.
Dan Chen  
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I have a young couple as clients who have just moved to Manasquan NJ and need an attorney to help with estate planning, etc.
Would welcome all recommendations.
Thank you

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Budgeting: Phase 1

 Most people (including me) do not like setting budgets or the budgeting process.  When leading an organization however, this
can determine the organizations ultimate success or failure.

Let’s take a look at what FPA-CNY considered in it’s initial budgeting process.  I’ll present it in three steps.
Interestingly enough, I found it very similar to the planning process we use with our clients on a daily basis...

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The Plan is required to use the definition of compensation that is selected.  As it relates to employee deferrals, there should not be a situation where the employee deferrals don't reach the annual maximum.  I wonder if the real issue is the matching contribution.  When higher paid employees are contributing at a high deferral % - i.e. 20%, the result is that deferrals will cease by month four or five and as a result the participant doesn't receive the full amount of their matching contribution.  However, prototype plan documents allow for a selection of a "true-up" contribution which allows the administrator to look at the participant's total plan compensation at a later point in time e.g. $250k and then compare the matching contribution at the end of the year and if the participant received less than the full amount by virture of having their deferrals ceased earlier in the year, the plan then "trues-up" the match so the particpant receives the full amount of the matching contribution.
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Hard to believe that we are already into August. While I am hesitant to say it.... Summer is flying by!

Earlier this year the FPA of MA enlisted the help of a new Public Relations Firm to help us take our PR effort to the next level.  

The PR Committee (members include: John Napolitano, Brad Wright, Jaime VanBiljon, Chris Chen and Barrett Costello) along with the Board and our PR Agency set out on a goal to execute a strategy that would Educate the consumer, while Advocating for our members and the profession and Participate in the discussion (as a credible Association of Financial Planning Professionals) regarding any and all financial planning matters.

So what are we doing and how can this impact you?

1. Social Media Strategy:  To be seen as credible in the eyes of publishers, editors, etc. It helps to have a cohesive Social Media Strategy.  So ,every week the FPA of MA uploads unique content regarding a range of financial planning topics to Boston.com. You can see this content at http://www.boston.com/business/personalfinance/managingyourmoney/ or
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I am quite sure that everyone in this group knows, or at least knows of  Michael Kitces and probably shares my high regard for him as one of the most thoughtful members of our profession.  His recent post on the CFP Boards "Fee Only" issue raises some important issues http://www.kitces.com/blog/ .  I realize, of course, that this raises a host of issues so I just raise the question here amongst friends.  Is this an issue that we might want to discuss taking a position on and possibly making a recommendation to the board? Is this something we might want to advocate for on behalf of our members. Advocacy on behalf of our members, here, need not necessarily be public and, for all I know, there may be efforts being made behind the scenes.

Never one to fear "opening a can of worms".

David
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My prospect is the CFO for a local company, and he's trying to help some of the more highly compensated employees out.  6 or 7 of the employees at this company receive bonuses every year based on company profits.  These bonuses are typically in the $250,000 range per employee, which as you can imagine is causing some real tax nightmares.  My prospect has asked if I know of any strategies the employees or the company can implement to help reduce the tax burden on these employees. 
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Education and training is so important to a successful career as a CFP®.  So take advantage of the educational offerings that our Chapter provides. Remember, "the more you LEARN, the more you EARN"!

The FPA of MA’s Programming and Education Team as been working hard to bring you the best quality programs.  Each month, (second Wednesday of the Month at 4 pm), we offer a monthly webinar.  In addition, we offer symposiums each calendar quarter (Feb, May, October and December).  Next May, we are going to have a special retreat in beautiful Cape Cod.  From time to time, our partners will run special events as well.  And, we are also working on some interactive practice management conference calls.

Next month's webinar, we'll be discussing "Gold" as an alternative asset class (ways to invest, risks, tax implications and the World Gold Council).  So tune in on August 13.

Here’s a taste of other upcoming topics: behavioral finance, disability insurance planning, planning for long-term care and asset protection. This list is not exhaustive.  You can find more information about our upcoming events at
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Anyone know of a good, reasonably priced eldercare law attorney in Rockland County, NY?
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I have a client who needs to work with an estate attorney in New Jersey who is familiar and comfortable working with same sex couples.
Any thoughts?

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Hello All,

I am curious if anyone has any unique data gathering ideas for new clients?  We have a standard questionnaire and a checklist of documents required.  To expedite the process, we have the clients sign an authorization form which permits us to speak and request information from agents, brokers, etc.  Many times, the acceptance of this authorization isn't accepted and it falls on the client, which is quite daunting for most busy professionals. 

Any thoughts would be most appreciated!

Kind Regards,

Melissa Villegas, CFP, EA
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I recently completed my transition to a fee-only registered investment advisor (RIA) model of financial planning and investment advisory services.  For me, the journey has been one of finding ways to simplify my life and reduce conflicts of interest with clients.  Along the way, I discovered other reasons the RIA model works for me.  It has been a liberating, self-empowering professional and personal growth experience.

Dec. 31, 2013, was a milestone on my journey. It was the day that my Series 7, 63, 24 and 66 licenses lapsed.  That meant I could no longer easily be affiliated with a broker dealer (BD).  For the first time in my career, I was truly flying solo.  It turned out to be a non-event.  The sky didn’t fall.  No seismic shift happened.  Jan. 1 was just another day in my business world, with a predictable cycle of revenue, reporting and client reviews.

A slow, careful transition process

My successful transition from dual licensing to a fee-only model was planned and executed over several years.

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Yesterday, your Association, the FPA of MA, held its annual meeting.  Bill Harris and his committee planned an incredibly ambitious agenda of speakers, breakout sessions, presentations and awards.  Aided by our most incredible Admin, Kristin Beane, and her crew, we were all treated to one of the best annual meetings I have ever attended. 

- The President of the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston, Eric Rosengren, spent a fascinating hour taking us step by step through the thinking of the Fed regarding interest rates and economy.

- Chris Gardner left us spellbound with very few dry eyes in house as he shared his inspirational story .  Not sure who Chris Gardner is?  Check out this link....  Chris Gardner  

- Craig Israelsen took us through a fascinating tour of a way to effectively diversify assets allowing the addition of a personal touch

-Wade Pfau shared solid expertise comparing two ways to look at Retirement Income Planning

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We'd like to assist clients in getting their life/financial information in order for their family.
I've seen some nice binders/information capture tools in the past to keep up with all their affairs such as>
  • Assets
  • Liabilities
  • All their accounts, electric, credit cards, phone etc.
  • Pre arranged funeral information
  • Who the dog's vet is?
  • Etc, etc.

Does anyone have a good tool in this area?

Thanks in advance.

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I would start with the VA. I am a veteran and recently helped a friend with this. Here ise a sire:

http://benefits.va.gov/PENSION/spousepen.asp
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It's hard to believe that we have already passed the first three months of this year.  Time seems to be racing by but thanks to the efforts of so many creative and committed members of the FPA of MA Chapter, we have lots to celebrate.

Recognizing the challenges faced by younger planners to attend daytime meetings, Eric Roberge of our Membership Committee to an idea and fashioned it into an event.  We held our fist NextGen cocktail event in March.  It was a roaring success.  Conversations, connections and networking abounded as the group shared experiences and dreams.  Buidling on this success, Eric is planning two more events for the summer and a larger and even more creative event for the later in the year.  But I'll let him share that with you.

We also had a terrific event last week.  In partnership wtih Boston University, we held a Career Night at BU.  Over 60 individuals interested in pursuing a career in financial planning attended.  We had twelve sponsor signed up, companies who were there to talk about their need to hire.  The highlight of the night was a panel discussion with three planners sharing how they entered the business, how they run their businesses and where they see the profession going. The audience peppered them with questions.  Capping off the discussion, Bob Glovsky addressed the group.  Bob has recently been appointed by the President to the Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans.  This was all followed by two hours of networking between the attendees and the companies who cam.  Congratulations to Beth Milkovits and her team for a terrific job of organizing and running this exciting and useful event.
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Hello Fellow FPA MA Members -

There is only one week left - time is flying! Get your submission in for the FPA MA Financial Planner of the Year. There are so many worthy candidates. The deadline is April 15th.

The link for an easy submission form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/fpofyearnomination?utm_source=march10&utm_campaign=march13&utm_medium=email

Don't miss this opportunity!

Thank you -

Linda Homsey

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