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What Is an Irrevocable Trust? (Hint: It’s Not as Bad as It Sounds)

I was recently discussing trusts and their place in estate planning when I was asked, “What is an irrevocable trust? Does that mean it can never be changed?”

“That’s correct,” I responded.

“Oh, that’s terrible,” they said. “I don’t want that.”

Actually, it’s not as bad as it sounds, and an irrevocable trust could be very beneficial in some cases.

Let me explain exactly what an irrevocable trust is.

Understanding Different Life Insurance Types

Different life insurance types have different issues—and some of them could blow up in your face. As part of RPOA’s comprehensive financial planning approach, we review our clients’ life insurance policies, and I’ve found two common problems I think you should know about.

The two basic life insurance types are “term” and “permanent.” Term insurance is what it sounds like: insurance for a specific period of time. When you buy an increasing premium term policy,

A Correction Around the Corner?

I’ve been in the financial planning world for close to 30 years now, and during that time, I’ve seen rapid market growth sometimes lead to a correction, which is generally accepted as a drop of 10-20 percent in an index, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average® or the S&P 500®. Why does this occur? I think a lot of people think, “I just made three percent (or four or five, etc.). I’m going to sell and take profits.” When those people start selling,

Get the Maximum Social Security Benefit by Calculating Your Break-Even Age

If I were to list my clients’ biggest questions, I’d say Social Security timing tops the list. It makes sense that people would want to know how long they should wait to get their maximum Social Security benefit. They know that by waiting they get bigger checks, but taking benefits earlier translates into more payments but lower amounts. At what point would they break even?

There’s a fairly simple mathematical formula, but it calculates the maximum Social Security benefit in total dollars only.

IRA Beneficiary Rules & Options

If you’ve recently inherited an IRA, you may find the beneficiary rules are pretty complex. They differ depending upon your relationship with the former owner of the IRA. They are determined by what you decide to do with your new account. The option you choose may have a deadline and carry a tax burden—and that date and those taxes may be different than the ones inherent with other options. This explains why I recommend consulting a professional if you’ve inherited an IRA.