Squam Lakes Financial Advisors, LLC
Bob has long been a proponent of fee-only financial planning and was a founding member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), the leading professional association of fee-only financial advisors. He served three years as president and director of the Northeast Mid-Atlantic Region of NAPFA and led a committee to develop NAPFA University for the continuing education of fee-only financial advisors and planners. In 2011, he received NAPFA’s Robert J. Underwood Distinguished Service Award and in 2013 he was honored and recognized as one of the 30 Most Influential for meritorious service to NAPFA and the Fee-Only financial planning community.
Bob’s client base included women, retiring and retired couples, owners of closely held businesses professors at Plymouth State University. They look to Bob and his team to help articulate personal goals and develop comprehensive planning strategies for achieving those goals.
In the 14 years prior to founding his own business, Bob administered estates, trusts, and developed new business for bank trust departments. He was awarded the Master of Science Degree in Financial Services (MSFS) from the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and had his undergraduate studies at Siena College in Loudonville, NY. Bob holds the Accredited Estate Planner certification from the National Association of Estate Planing Councils, a leading organization of professional estate planners and affiliated estate planning councils focused on establishing and monitoring the highest professional and educational standards for the practice.
Bob has been recognized as one of the best financial advisors in the country by both Moneymagazine and Worth magazine. Medical Economics also recognized Bob as one of the best financial planners in the country for doctors.
Financial writers have often sought Bob’s expertise in areas of personal finance. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Investment Advisor, Medical Economics, Physicians Personal Advisory and Money Magazine. Bob was also featured in Financial Planner magazine for his work as a financial advisor to women.
Bob is immediate past president and a board member of the Squam Lakes Chamber of Commerce and president of the White Pond Watershed Association. He is an active member of the Town of Holderness, NH as a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustments and the Budget Committee and a long-time participant in the “Who Can Make the Best Apple Pie Contest” in Holderness, NH.
In 2012 Bob was named as a director of Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth, NH and serves on its Budget Committee and its Long Range Planning Committee.
He is a member of the New Hampshire Estate Planning Council; past Chairman, President, and Director of the Connecticut Estate and Tax Planning Council; and a former President and Director of the Southern Connecticut Chapter of the International Association of Financial Planners (IAFP).
Bob is an avid hiker and fresh-water fisherman, and lives with his wife Bonnie in Holderness, NH.
BS, Finance, Siena College
MSFS, Financial Services, Bryn Mawr College
Fee-Only--Retainer Fee and Fixed Plan Fee
You laid out your concerns nicely and I offer you some thoughts to think about. I want to start by saying that although I been doing financial planning for 35 years, I do not have the skills to invest money and typically have to farm this out to providers that provide portfolio management. Having said that, $1,000,000 is a lot of money especially for a40-year-old (sinfle) individual and needs to be handled without any conflicts of interest. I think you do need professional management and I would suggest going to the website for the national Association a personal financial advisors (www.napfa.org) which will provide you with a list of those individuals in your area or state that do not sell any products, whatsoever. Their sole interest would be to provide you with the financial plan and hopefully a long-term one that will lay a path for the future based on assumptions the 2 of you would agree upon. Next, is the question of timing and no one is smarter enough to determine when the markets will turn nor are they capable of identifying the highs or the lows. What I can tell you is that the stock market has had a positive a run for the past 9 years and it's extremely likely a recession is in the cards. With interest rates as low as they are and a recession possible in the next 12 to 24 months, being in a cash position will provide you with significant opportunities and leverage to purchase some of the finest securities at lower values. As noted above, I can't tell you when this will take place but I do know that most individuals don't have the skills or the experience to determine when entry into the equity markets would be appropriate. If you decide to make investments into the stock market either now or in the future, they should be viewed as long-term investments. I'm talking about 15 to 20 years. Stock markets throughout the world will always have their ups and downs and as much as I dislike what's going on in this country at the present time, the amount of debt that's being carried will have to be serviced and the numbers are staggering., I still think the US is the best place to invest for long-term investors. 1% is fairly standard and more importantly, are the results. What a "Fee-Ony" advisor will do for you is to put together an investment policy statement taking into consideration funds to be set aside for college and identify those funds that should be steered towards growth. Always maintain a cash position of a minimum of 5 or 10% and in many cases, people set aside 1 to 2 years of expenses so securities will not have to be sold if the market tanks. I hope this is somewhat helpful and I wish you much success in the future.
I see you already have eight answers and I'm hoping I'm not simply piling on what others have already shared with you. The point you may be missing is that there is a difference between income and taxable income. Taxable income from employment on your form W-2 includes your gross income less the 401(k) contributions and possibly less some other pretax items. So in effect, if you had an income of $70,000 this year and could put away $10,500 in your 401(k), your income for the year is still $70,000 but your taxable income is only $59,500. This may be the reason you were rejected and leads me to believe that you have to check the rules to determine what each organization uses to qualify or fail to qualify for benefits. What you are doing with the 401(k) plan is shifting income from the current tax year into a year in which you may well be retired. In theory, the typical goal involves moving money out of a higher tax bracket with the expectation that when you retire you will be in a lower tax bracket. I frankly don't know where this theory has come from because in the best of all situations, you've had the use of money that would've gone to Uncle Sam (taxes) over your working lifetime and this money earns additional funds that you would never have had. Paying it back after age 70 1/2 is simply the price you pay for the deduction in the years in which he worked. In the best of all worlds, your retirement income would be much higher but this is often not the case. Hope this helps a little and good luck
The broker is exactly correct. The very first thing you have to do is to go to the probate court with the original will and asked the court to formally appoint you as executor of your mother's estate. This is not something you do without the probate court and all the paperwork may be cumbersome, it is critical that you do this as soon as possible. Once you are named as executor, the court will provide you with papers that you can then take to the broker and you would then close your mother's account and set up an account called an estate account. As an example, The Estate of Mildred Smith". You have to apply for a tax ID number which you can get directly from the Internal Revenue Service or your mother's lawyer or accountant may be able to help you with this. Once you have the tax ID number and the account established, the broker will then be required to transfer all the securities in your mother's name into the new estate account. Once there in the estate account, you have the authority to do anything you want and if you want to sell the securities and convert them to cash that's exactly what the broker will be required to do. Unfortunately, this is a formality that's involved in settling the estate and you happen to be caught up with this at the moment. So instead of trying to fight with the broker, my suggestions is to go to the probate court immediately, take the original will with you and be sure you've made a copy for yourself and the family and sign the necessary papers required to have you appointed as executor. It may be cumbersome, but it must be done. I sincerely hope this helps and good luck.
I'm going to try to offer some assistance and my response is going to take some work on your part. There are a number of websites that will provide you with the value of a stock at any given moment in time. What you might consider doing is going back and find the average price of the stock for any given year. I can't tell you that this is going to satisfy the IRS if you're audited, but at least you have a basis to claim that you made your best effort. Unfortunately, no one took the time to photocopy the stock certificates before they were converted to a brokerage account and therefore many of the records have been lost, possibly forever. The best you can do is put forth an effort and try to come up with an average price over that period of time that you can use as a cost basis but under no circumstances should you use zero simply because you have no information. If you need help in this area, I think would be your best interest to sit down with a fee-only financial advisor and or a competent CPA to help you work through this exercise. I hope this is of some help and I wish you much success.
With very rare exceptions, life insurance proceeds are never taxed as ordinary income. However, they will be taxable as part of an estate. However, with the current estate tax exemption at $5.43 million, most estates will never owe an estate tax at the federal level. You may have to check in whether in fact the state in which the decedent died has an estate or inheritance tax independent of the federal tax. I hope this helps and good luck.