Steven Merkel

Steven Merkel

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. Home & Auto

    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 include the following:a) Economies of scale - Larger agencies can often obtain ...
  2. Home & Auto

    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 policy that you bought five years ago might not even be available or even ...
  3. Home & Auto

    Should I be worried about my insurance company?

    Yes, policyholders should also take a serious look at the financial stability of their current insurance company especially if annuities or cash value life insurance are involved. During the credit crisis ...
  4. Retirement

    Does it make sense to convert a Traditional IRA to a Roth ...

    If your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is $100,000 or less and you are not married filing separately, you may initiate a taxable conversion of a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. You can do a direct ...
  5. Investing Basics

    Solutions For Concentrated Positions

    Investopedia explains various tactics for divesting your overexposure to any one stock.
  6. Retirement

    Should I collect early Social Security?

    The earliest age that you can start receiving social security benefits is age 62. Full retirement was age 65 for many years; however, the administration realized that people were living longer and that ...
  7. Retirement

    Is it wise to put an IRA account into a fixed or variable ...

    The answer to this depends on an individual's investment goals, requirements and risk tolerance. During the 1990s, the majority of seasoned financial planners would tell you that it's not a wise move to ...
  8. Investing

    What does a "5 by 5" power in a trust document mean?

    It is not uncommon that wealthy individuals are concerned with leaving large sums of money to specific beneficiaries for the fear of those individuals acting irresponsibly with access to such a massive ...
  9. Home & Auto

    Fighting The High Costs Of Healthcare

    If your employer is cutting medical benefits, a health savings account may be right for you.
  10. Home & Auto

    A New Approach To Long-Term Care Insurance

    This practical product can protect you from the rising cost of care and provide for your beneficiaries at the same time.
  11. Retirement

    Estate Planning: 16 Things To Do Before You Die

    Find out what you need to prepare to avoid serious estate planning mistakes.
  12. Budgeting

    Find The Right Financial Advisor

    Learn how to weed out those who are just out to make a quick buck.
  13. Fundamental Analysis

    Lessons On Corporate Dividend Payout And Retention Ratio

    Why are dividend payout and retention ratios important to consider when investing in company stock? What companies have high ratios?What constitutes a high dividend payout and retention ratio? Is a high ...
  14. Home & Auto

    How do I list the beneficiaries of my life insurance policies ...

    Because most states protect life insurance policies from creditors, most buyer questions come from the confusion created with ownership and beneficiary designations because of tax treatment. This is a ...
  15. Retirement

    Relationships And Retirement Planning

    Older couples have many things to consider when it comes to financial planning, including wills and estate planning.
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