Author Archives: Michael Fliegelman

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About Michael Fliegelman

Michael Fliegelman is Chartered Financial Consultant & founder of Strategic Wealth Advisors Network in New York.
EMAIL: michael@michaelfliegelman.com
BIO: About Michael
PHONE: 631-262-9254

End-of-Year Planning
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End-of-Year Planning | Michael Fliegelman

{2:12 minutes to read} As things change: Taxes may change. Laws may change. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security may change. Tax rates may change. Estate planning rules may change. And, yet some things remain the same. When it comes to money and financial planning, there are certain rules of the game that will always be applicable.

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The National Student Loan Service Center
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The National Student Loan Service Center | Michael Fliegelman

{5:48 minutes to read} I wanted to welcome John DiGregorio and Natalie Luongo from the National Student Loan Service Center (NSLSC). Recently, we got together so that I could interview them on the very important service the center provides. So often, we talk about our blind spots and trying to protect our clients’ wealth from things of which we are not aware. Being in the financial service business for 32 years, I thought I knew pretty much what I was talking about on most subjects.

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A Long-Term Care Update
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A Long-Term Care Update | Michael Fliegelman

{2:06 minutes to read} In the world of long-term care, there always seems to be a change on the horizon. Genworth, the largest carrier of long-term care insurance in America, reported a very large single quarter loss last year. The insurance company has just agreed to be purchased by China Oceanwide for $2.7 billion. (The agreement is in place but has yet to be approved by regulators.) We are now in a perfect-storm situation of low interest rates and increased life longevity, which makes it very challenging for traditional long-term care products to be price stabilized. In addition to the Genworth news, Lincoln, the largest provider of single-premium, hybrid-life, long-term care insurance announced rate increases in New York.

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Disability Claims
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Disability Claims | Michael Fliegelman

When someone has a disability policy and then becomes disabled, one of the most important things they need to do is properly complete the disability claim process and application. I urge all of my brokers: When one of your clients becomes disabled, give me a call before they process and send in the disability claim form. Let me allow you to take advantage of a process by which we’ll make sure your client is properly filing their claim, because it is not just about their disability but it’s about how the claim is filed. Years ago we had a client who complained that his insurance company wasn’t paying him, even though he was receiving money from Social Security for his disability. After some investigation and communication back and forth, it was determined that there were questions on the claim form that the company required to be completed.

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Measurement vs Calculation
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Measurement vs Calculation | Michael Fligelman

{2:18 minutes to read} The subject of this blog is a concept I learned recently when I went to get fitted for my golf clubs. It had to do with 2 types of determinants: measurement and calculation. The golf clubs were measured based on where I hit the ball on the face of the club. The computer also calculated how far the ball travels. The measurement is actually where the ball hit the club; the calculation is how far the ball traveled. My golf club fitter, Woody, shared with me that the measurement is accurate because you are actually measuring something, but the calculation can be off.

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No More Discounts
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No More Discounts | Michael Fliegelman

{2:00 minutes to read} For years, estate planners have been using a strategy to avoid estate taxes wherein gifts to children or others are entitled to be discounted. The interest in the business or real estate entity is a minority interest and/or has a lack of marketability, therefore a reduction in the gift’s value is appropriate. The government has been promising to clamp down on these discounting strategies for some time, and according to the Wall Street Journal, push has finally come to shove. You can read the article using this link: U.S. Aims to Clamp Down on Tactic to Avoid Estate Tax .

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Goodbye to Prince—and a Chunk of His Estate
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Goodbye to Prince—and a Chunk of His Estate|Michael Fliegelman

{3:06 minutes to read} On April 21, Prince (Rogers Nelson) died, leaving a $250 million estate. Because there was no will and no proactive estate plan, within 9 months Prince’s estate will have to come up with about $100,000,000 in estate taxes. A couple of years ago, actor James Gandolfini passed away, leaving an estate of $90 million to his daughter. Gandolfini’s daughter was also on the hook for a huge chunk of her father’s estate to pay the estate taxes. Whether James Gandolfini or Prince, there is a pattern here. It seems that many people just don’t take advantage of all the ways at their disposal for eliminating estate taxes. Many times when this happens, the estate doesn’t have adequate liquidity to pay the tax, so not only is the tax a huge amount, but often it is necessary to liquidate assets, such as real estate, businesses, royalties, etc., which can cause an additional onslaught of problems.

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Whose Money Is It Anyway?
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Whose Money Is It Anyway? | Michael Fliegelman

{3:36 minutes to read} When clients or individuals reach the age of 80-85, sometimes their health is failing. Health care decisions may be made by others (many times the adult children), the appointed health care proxy, or the health care agent. This same adult child/children will also be left in charge of the money decisions. Recently, I had the experience of seeing how that can create a lot of problems. A client, Ann, had a father with Alzheimer’s. Ann’s father had some money, yet Ann looked at the financial assets of her father as her potential inheritance. Ann is not alone in her view.

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Reverse Mortgages – An Interview With Warren Goldberg, Part 2
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Reverse Mortgages – An Interview With Warren Goldberg, Part 2|Michael Fliegelman

{5:30 minutes to read} In Part 1 of our interview with Warren Goldberg, we discuss some of the misconceptions that people have about reverse mortgages. In Part 2, we will go into more depth about the rules surrounding reverse mortgages, such as who can get one, age minimums, and how borrowers can benefit.

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Elder Law and Estate Planning: An Interview with Chris Petillo Part 2
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Elder Law and Estate Planning: An Interview with Chris Petillo Part 2| Michael Fliegelman

{3:48 minutes to read} In Part 2 of our conversation with Chris Petillo, Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with the law firm of Feldman, Kramer & Monaco, P.C, we concentrate on Medicaid and a little-known way to boost your retirement funds using your health savings account: Michael Fliegelman: Speaking of Medicaid, a lot of people feel that Medicaid is a means-tested program, so they are ineligible for Medicaid, but I’m not sure that’s always the case.

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Reverse Mortgages – An Interview with Warren Goldberg, Part 1
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Reverse Mortgages – An Interview with Warren Goldberg, Part 1 | Michael Fliegelman

{3:48 minutes to read} Today we are speaking with Mr. Warren Goldberg, from Mortgage Wealth Advisors in Plainview, New York. Continuing the theme from last month, we’re going to be talking about retirement and distribution planning. Throughout people’s lives, financial planning has always focused on how to accumulate money. As we have said before: when climbing the mountain, the goal is to get to the top, but even more important is the descent back down the mountain.

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Elder Law and Estate Planning: An Interview with Chris Petillo Part 1
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Elder Law and Estate Planning: An Interview with Chris Petillo Part 1 | Michael Fliegelman

{3:48 minutes to read} Today, our guest is Christopher Petillo, Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA), and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with the law firm of Feldman, Kramer & Monaco, P.C. He is an attorney whose expertise is in the areas of elder law and estate planning. Michael Fliegelman: Over the years we’ve been writing a lot about long-term care and its effect on retirement planning. Chris, if you could share with us some of the traps for the unwary. Some of the things that you see constantly in your practice for which people have a blind spot.

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Healthcare and Retirement Planning; an Interview with Peter Stahl Part 2
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Healthcare and Retirement Planning; an Interview with Peter Stahl Part 2 | Michael Fliegelman

(3 minutes to read} In Part 1 of my interview with Peter Stahl, an expert on healthcare and financial planning, and author of the book,Top of the First – The Convergence of Healthcare and Financial Planning, we talked about what should be on the checklist to best prepare for retirement. As our interview continued, I asked Peter if there was anything else he would like to share with our readers:

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Healthcare and Retirement Planning; an Interview with Peter Stahl
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Healthcare and Retirement Planning; an Interview with Peter Stahl | Michael Fliegelman

{3:00 minutes to read}Today we’re very pleased to introduce Mr. Peter Stahl, author of the book called Top of the First – the Convergence of Healthcare and Financial Planning. Healthcare and financial planning is interesting subject matter as more and more people are approaching retirement I recently met Peter at an event and he provided to me some great food for thought. The topic of health care is prevalent in our nation, in both the political landscape and certainly in the financial services industry. People approaching retirement increasingly site the cost of healthcare as their top financial concern. Many retirees will spend the largest percentage of their income on health and medical costs, larger than recreation and housing combined.

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Insuring the Global Society
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Insuring the Global Society | Michael Fliegelman

{1:50 minutes to read } MassMutual offers guidance for serving today’s global society by offering insurance for foreign citizens residing in the US and US citizens who live abroad part time. Check out the brochure attached to learn how you can provide quality insurance for foreign nationals and American’s living abroad. Life Underwriting – Foreign National and Non-Resident Requirement Guide

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What Can We Do For You?
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What Can We Do For You?|Michael Fliegelman

{1:06 minutes to read} I urge you to click on the video below to learn about our planning process and how we’re able to help our clients plan and organize their financial lives. We help them to move from what we call the “financial junk drawer” to an organized model that can help them see their entire financial world on one piece of paper. When you are building a home, you start out with a blueprint. We do the same for your ”financial home” with our planning process. It’s a wonderful interactive process that helps you clean up the financial junk drawer, create a place where you feel organized, under control and able to determine the best direction for moving forward.

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Estate Planning
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Estate Planning | Michael Fliegelman

{3:48 minutes to read} The federal government continually changes the rules of the game when it comes to estate taxes, making it difficult to plan our lives. Just because the exemption amount for taxable estates has moved up to $5,450,000 per person this year, (a couple can pass 2 times that or $10,900,000), does not give people the ability to properly plan their estate by ignoring estate planning. The estate tax is an important part of estate planning, but it’s certainly not the only part. I urge everybody to plan and organize their financial world. Review current plans, arrangements and documents such as :  

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Business Agreements
  • Life Insurance
  • Titling
  • Health Care Proxies
  • Power of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Beneficiary Arrangements

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Disability Insurance Won’t Grow Your Retirement Funds
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{1:48 minutes to read} Retireguard is a MassMutual Disability Income product or rider that can be attached to a MassMutual Disability Policy or sold as a stand-alone disability product. It is a unique policy that is designed to help a disabled individual save money during a period of disability. In a traditional scenario, your clients either have disability insurance or they don’t. Even if they have disability income insurance, most of the policies sold today, end at age 65. So, if they are disabled from 55 to 65, what might happen is at age 65, they may find themselves in a difficult position because they have been unable to save money for retirement for the past 10 years. This program enables them, even if they have full disability insurance, to insure their retirement savings.

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Improving Retirement Incomes
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Improving Retirement Incomes | Michael Fliegelman

{3:42 minutes to read} We’re now deep into a period of time where the market has been quite volatile and people are looking for alternative solutions for their retirement planning. Forbes magazine published an article called Improving Retirement Outcomes with Investments, Life Insurances, and Income Annuities [1], that might help you in your planning. Often people read articles cautioning that annuities and life insurance are no good. People are advised to invest in x, y, and z products and hang on for the ride, despite the ups and downs. The challenge is that as human beings go through periods where markets go down significantly, they get worried. Not knowing what will happen causes stress for them and challenges their belief as to whether they’re doing the right thing.

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Demystifying Annuities
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Demystifying Annuities| Michael Fliegelman

An annuity can be an income stream that may guarantee an increase for the rest of your life. Annuities are becoming more and more, a pivotal and important part of our clients’ retirement plans. One of the income streams that everybody is very familiar with, is Social Security. When we reach social security retirement age, we choose how we’re going to receive that income for life. Social Security is the foundation for many people’s retirement. There are numerous types of annuities:

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Concepts on Estate Planning
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Concepts on Estate Planning | Michael Fliegelman

{1:12 minutes to read} As the new year begins, I wanted to introduce to you some concepts on estate planning. There’s a piece that I’ve attached called Paying for Life Insurance in the Irrevocable Trust: Interest Rate Affected Estate Planning. In this brochure is information on both of the concepts below. Because we’re in a low interest rate environment, great opportunities exist to leverage the irrevocable trust and pay for life insurance.

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Key Numbers for 2016
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Key Numbers for 2016 | Michael Fliegelman

{1:36 minutes to read} I’m pleased to provide you a document we call The Key Numbers for 2016. The document outlines changes that the government makes each year pertaining to financial planning, pensions, estate planning, income taxes, etc. Just as a note, the Estate Tax Exemption went up from $5.43 to $5.45 million. The maximum tax rate stayed the same at 40%. Portability is still part of the plan so any unused estate tax exemption at the death of a first spouse allows for the surviving spouse to benefit from the unused exemption. The annual exclusion remains at $14,000.

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Have You Protected Your Most Valuable Asset?
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Have You Protected Your Most Valuable Asset? | Michael Fliegelman

{1:42 minutes to read} While we can accumulate money and assets, there is one asset above all others that needs protection. That asset is our ability to continue to earn income. How do we protect it? With quality disability income insurance. Quality disability income insurance equates to “insuring the goose.” What most people do is insure all their golden eggs, but fail to insure the goose. As people get older, they are sometimes challenged by whether they should continue their disability insurance, or drop it and buy long term care insurance. Recently, I was interviewed by Forbes Magazine (“Long Term Disability Insurance vs Long Term Care Insurance”) on exactly when you should stop your disability insurance and start buying long term care insurance. I urge you to read the article because I think the decision is a very important one.

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MassMutual Announces Its 2016 Dividends
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MassMutual Announces Its 2016 Dividends | Michael Fliegelman

{1 minute to read} MassMutual’s board of directors has approved an estimated dividend payout of $1.7 billion to its eligible participating policyowners in 2016. Of the estimated $1.6 billion dividend payout, an estimated $1.55 billion has been approved for eligible participating policyowners who have purchased whole life insurance The payout is a nearly $100 million increase over 2015 and the 4th consecutive year MassMutual has reached new records.

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I’m retired! I don’t need life insurance!
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I’m retired! I don’t need life insurance! | Michael Fliegelman

{3:30 minutes to read} There was an article in the May 13, 2015, edition of Forbes entitled “Improving Retirement Outcomes With Investment, Life Insurance, And Income Annuities.” This article does a really great job in pointing out how life insurance can help change the outcomes for people in retirement. Most people feel that once retired, life insurance is no longer a tool they need, because their kids are on their way, either in college or on their own. Life insurance at retirement, however, becomes a tool that gives people more options and flexibility.

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Year-End Tax Planning – – Have You Started Yours?
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Year-End Tax Planning – – Have You Started Yours? | Michael Fliegelman

{1:24 minutes to read} As 2015 winds down, it is incumbent upon all people to start doing some year-end tax planning. Look at your current situation and determine what is it that you need to do to minimize your taxes. Do the right type of planning in 2015, so when tax time comes, you have the least amount of problems.

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      Profit sharing 401k plan; or
 
    SEP plan.
 

The Pain of Discipline vs the Pain of Regret
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The Pain of Discipline vs the Pain of Regret | Michael Fliegelman

{5:42 minutes to read} Today, I have a very special guest joining us, Mr. Mark Bullock. He shared with me a story that made me think about a concept that I learned many years ago; the pain of discipline versus the pain of regret. Elder care is a huge problem for many families. Once somebody has gone through this kind of process, they look at the decisions pertaining to insurance very differently. Mark is going to share a little bit about his family situation and how it has been affected by these issues.

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Investment Planning for a Safe and Secure Retirement
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Investment Planning for a Safe and Secure Retirement | Michael Fliegelman

{4:42 minutes to read} Today we’re going to talk about our services in the area of money management and investment planning.  With us is my colleague, Mr. John Male, Certified Financial Planner and the Director of Financial Planning at G&G Planning Concepts, a registered investment advisory firm based in New York City.  John is going to talk to us about how we approach money management and investment planning so that clients who are interested in our services, can have a better idea of how we can help them.

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Social Security for Brokers
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Authored by , re: FINANCIAL ARTICLES, Financial Planning & Insurance, Social Security, on .
Social Security for Brokers | Michael Fliegelman

{2:48 minutes to read} Recently, I was asked why it was important for our brokers to be knowledgeable about social security strategies. The reason financial professionals need to be focused on social security filing strategies for their clients was illustrated in a recently completed study, where the clients themselves were asked the fundamental question: “Is it important for financial advisors to be able to help you understand your social security filing strategies?

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