Rick is one of ten people appointed by Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender to a task force charged with coming up with a new plan for needed improvements to the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. The Feb. 7 article in the Rapid City Journal announcing the appointments features Rick, though it erroneously describes him as a real estate broker instead of a fee-only financial planner.
“Richard Kahler died on December 30, 2015.” Receiving that headline in a Google Alert certainly gave me a jolt.
Of course the obituary was for a different Richard Kahler. He shared my love for travel; I’m sorry we never met.
Even though I’m not ready to see it used, I have already written my own obituary. It’s one less thing my survivors will have to worry about. Plans are also in place for the distribution of my estate. I have not made arrangements for my funeral/memorial, though my estate will probably have enough money to adequately dispose of my remains.
Being able to pay for a funeral is a major concern of many seniors. Not wanting that burden to fall upon their loved ones, many people purchase burial or pre-need insurance.
Income inequality is a topic of passionate discussion today in many of the circles I move in. The discussion typically starts with a foregone conclusion that income inequality is a huge problem in the US. Some solutions I hear include increasing the top income tax bracket to 90%, initiating an annual wealth tax, or increasing the estate tax to 100%.
While leveling the playing field will certainly solve income inequality, it won’t solve the real problem.
“Sell Everything!” That’s the advice to investors from RBS, a large investment bank based in Scotland, which issued the dire recommendation to its customers on January 8. The warning urged investors to sell everything except high-quality bonds, predicting the global economy was in for a “fairly cataclysmic year ahead….similar to 2008.” They said this is a year to focus on the return of capital rather a return on capital.
I was first stunned that a respectable investment bank would issue such a radical recommendation. Then I was amused at my own surprise. I had momentarily forgotten this is logical behavior for a company whose profits depend on its customers actively buying and selling. It is not legally required to look out for customers’ best interests and has no incentive to do so.
I’ve written from time to time about the qualities to look for before you engage a financial planner, such as experience, professional qualifications, and having a fiduciary responsibility to clients. One other factor is often important, as well: whether a planner is a “heart” as well as a “head” advisor.
You aren’t necessarily going to identify an advisor’s “heart” qualifications with checklists or by asking direct questions. It’s often more effective to observe advisors’ behavior and listen to what they say in initial interviews.