Steven Merkel, CFP, ChFC

Steven Merkel, CFP, ChFC

Steven T. Merkel, CFP®, ChFC®, is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with Ciccarelli Advisory Services, Inc. in Naples/Bonita Springs, Fla. Steve is a former U.S. Army air defense artillery officer and has been giving financial advice for more than 18 years. He holds the Series 6, 7, 63, 66, and life, health, & variable annuity licenses in addition to the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Chartered Financial Consultant® designations. Mr. Merkel has been featured and widely quoted in numerous publications including The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur, Consumer Reports, Investment News, Financial Planning Magazine and Fidelity's Stages Quarterly. He enjoys motocross, fishing, military history, Miami Hurricane football and spending time with his family & friends.

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  1. Insurance

    Should I be Worried About My Insurance Company?

    Policyholders should also take a serious look at the financial stability of their current insurance company especially if ...
  2. Life Insurance

    Life Insurance: Putting a Price on Peace of Mind

    Would your death leave loved ones financially stranded? Find out how to ease your mind and keep them protected.
  3. Credit, Loans & Mortgages

    How do I know if I should refinance my mortgage?

    If you can reduce your current interest rate by 0.75-1% or higher then it might make sense to consider a refinancing move. ...
  4. Bonds / Fixed Income

    Are High-Yield Bonds Too Risky?

    Despite their reputation, the debt securities known as "junk bonds" may actually reduce risk in your portfolio.
  5. Retirement Savings

    What are the distribution options for an inherited annuity?

    Distribution options will vary depending if you are the surviving spouse or someone other than the surviving spouse. If you're ...
  6. Credit, Loans & Mortgages

    Understanding Your Mortgage

    We walk through the steps needed to secure the best loan to finance the purchase of your home.
  7. Estate Planning

    Estate Planning: 16 Things to Do Before You Die

    The must-do list Prince and his advisors should have completed to avoid leaving his family without a will and an estate plan.
  8. Estate Planning

    Why is accidental life insurance so inexpensive?

    Accidental life insurance is an inexpensive way of obtaining life insurance coverage for yourself or someone else in your ...
  9. Mutual Funds

    What advantages do exchange-traded funds have over mutual funds?

    Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) are growing ever more popular, as they were created to combine the best characteristics of both ...
  10. What is a tax-free 1035 Exchange?

    A Section 1035 Exchange refers to the replacement of an annuity or life insurance policy for a new one without incurring ...
  11. How are life insurance proceeds taxed?

    Generally, life insurance death benefits that are paid out to a beneficiary in lump sum are not included as income to the ...
  12. Mutual Funds

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of mutual funds?

    Mutual funds are currently the most popular investment vehicle and provide several advantages to investors, including the ...
  13. What's the best kind of IRA for a 20-something?

    There probably is no 100% correct answer here, but let's break it down. Suppose that you are 23, you've been working for ...
  14. Insurance

    Why some insurance policies are more expensive than others?

    There are several reasons that an insurance policy can cost more or less at different agencies. Some of the more common reasons ...
  15. Insurance

    Why should I keep track of my insurance policy?

    The number one thing to remember about insurance is that, just like everything else, it changes over time. The top-of-the-line ...
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