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AFA

Stay up-to-date with all the latest news and events from American Financial Advisors. Here you can download AFA’s quarterly newsletters, listen into our video and audio conference calls, or get additional insight with our expert videos. As a valued client you have access to all the information you need from today, or you can follow the trends by visiting yesterday’s archives.

10 Questions To Answer Before You Retire

| Leslie Kelly

1. How will you spend your days if you are not working? What hobbies will you have? How will your retirement impact your significant other? What activities can you pursue together?

2. What will you miss from working? Being in charge? Socialization? What will keep you engaged and active during your retirement?

3. Do you have ambitions you have not yet fulfilled? How do you plan to fulfill them?

4. Do you have family members who may need caregiving? Have you investigated services that help you to provide those needs?

5. If you plan to move t

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Beneficiary Audit

| Joan Morales

For years you save and plan for retirement so that you will be able to live a comfortable life in your “golden years”. What’s also important is to plan your legacy by having a Will and/or Trust and by making sure you have designated beneficiary(ies) to whom you want your legacy passed on to.

 

If you experience a Life Event (marriage, retirement, death in the family, etc.) we recommend that you perform a “Beneficiary Audit” on all your accounts. Reviewing and/or updating your beneficiary designations is a significant part of the Estate Planning process. Naming benefic

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The Risk Tolerance Questionnaire Explained

| Leslie Kelly

AFA’s advisors are fiduciaries which means we act in your best interests. To do so, we have to get to know you- and that is important to you and to us.

The initial diagnostic tool we use is the Risk Tolerance Questionnaire. It is on our website (www.afadvisors.com) under “Getting Started”. We use it to provide you with an initial Investment Policy Statement. that gives you and us a picture of what kind of investor you are including your time frame (how long before you

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April is National Social Security Month

| Joan Morales

In light of April being “National Social Security Month”, AFA has hosted several Webinars this month on Social Security retirement benefits.  For those who were able to join us, we hope you found the information discussed useful in your retirement and Social Security benefit planning.

 

For over 80 years, Social Security has worked to meet the changing needs of beneficiaries.  You can apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits using Social Security online services.  There are other services that can be completed online such as, request a replacement SocialS

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Are We Clear of Financial Turbulence

| Mark Bras

The Global Stock Markets have made impressive gains since the end of December. Many investors and forecasters predicted that the market declines, witnessed in 2018, would continue in 2019. Investors focused on Emotion and Fear might have made financial decisions as major as going 100% cash.

 

To prevent being “out of the market” during times when equities rise in value, following the guidance of an Investment Policy Statement (IPS) should help you maintain discipline and structure during what may appear to be “unexpected” or “unreasonable” market moves.

 

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7 Components of a Financial Plan

| Leslie Kelly

Studies show that those who have a comprehensive financial plan tend to feel more secure and have better control over their money and their future than those who don't. The components of a comprehensive financial plan are as follows:

1. Cash flow

2. Taxes

3. Insurance

4. Investments

5. Education

6. Retirement

7. Estate or legacy

As you can see, investments are only one part of your plan. If the other components that apply to you are not addressed, your whole plan might fail.

That’s where AFA is different; w

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Investing Myths

| Leslie Kelly

1. Investing is complex- Investing should be simple. You should be able to explain your investment strategy in a couple of minutes in plain language. You can own virtually every public company and short-term bonds (roughly 10,000 securities)with low-cost asset funds.

2. It's important to follow your instincts – well, that’s actually one of the worst things you can do. Your instincts usually lead to losing strategies. When the market is up and rising, you want to get in (buy high) and when the market is low, you become afrai

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Divorce Survival Guide

| Leslie Kelly

By Leslie Kelly, CFP®, AIF®

Since there are only two ways out of a marriage, death, and divorce, people would be wise to prepare for either contingency. In fact, there is a lot of common ground in preparation.

We recently outlined general recommendations for maintaining important papers for-going financial planning, as well as for death or incapacitation of either spouse through injury or illness. The balance of this guide will help you navigate the sometimes muddy waters of the divorce process.

Whether a relationship is going well or not, you can

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A Brief Description of a "Living" or "Revocable" Trust

| Leslie Kelly

By Leslie Kelly, CFP®, AIF®

A Living or “Revocable Trust” is a document drafted by an attorney to help his/her client create an easier and less expensive way to manage his or her assets in the event of incapacity due to illness or injury and to control, at that person’s death, the transfer the properties held by the trust to the heirs without the time-consuming and frequently expensive probate process.

Probate is the process by which the courts of the state in which the individual lives validate that person’s will. Assets that have stated beneficiaries such as life in

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Putting your financial house in order.

| Matt Boyce

The floods in Texas and fires in Canada should make us all take a moment to think about what we would grab if we had to evacuate our homes in a hurry. We’d want our kids, the pets, our family photographs – but what about our important documents?

People who sail or are familiar with boating safety know that every smart skipper has a “ditch bag” – a waterproof duffle bag filled with essentials to throw in the life raft if the boat sinks. It might contain a satellite phone, rations, water, medicine, mirrors to use to signal rescuers, flares, GPS, survival blankets, foul-weat

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The Benefits of a Balanced Portfolio

| Matt Boyce

Like putting all of your eggs in one basket, allocating the bulk of your investments to any single asset class can be dangerous. Investors who diversify their portfolios can mitigate risk and limit the impact of market volatility on their assets.

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Estate Planning Basics: Do You Have A Will?

| Matt Boyce

Death is a scary topic. So scary that people avoid talking about it or anything pertaining to it at all costs. So scary that 64 percent of Americans don’t have a will.

Without a will, you are relinquishing to the state your right to determine what happens to your assets and liabilities, which is known as dying intestate. Each state has its guidelines on dividing assets and liabilities should an individual not have a will. A will legally secures the division of your assets and liabilities and is the best way to ensure all of your wishes are carried out as you deem appropriate.

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3 Benefits Of Working With A Local Financial Advisor

| Matt Boyce

Your relationship with your financial advisor is one of the most personal relationships you will have in your life. Not only will you share your net worth, retirement plan and estate plan with your certified financial advisor — but you will also share your personal goals and some cases your financial dreams. Most, if not all, of these topics are considered extremely private as they are items you may not even disclose to your closest friends. Keeping this in mind, your relationship with your financial advisor should be a close one. And while technology allows you to connect with anyone in

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13 Questions Investors Should Ask Before Choosing A Financial Advisor

| Think Agency

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued new rules requiring investment professionals (brokers, registered representatives and financial advisors) to act as fiduciaries when managing client retirement accounts. This specifically pertains to the advice given to those transferring 401(k) plan assets into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

Previously, while your 401(k) was protected by ERISA (The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974) regulations, your IRA was not. The new rules provide additional protection to your Rollover IRA by applying the fiduciary standard to t

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The Top 10 Terms New Investors Should Know

| Think Agency

Money management is a most necessary life skill and there are 10 terms you should be familiar with before you begin a personal investment plan. Some are actual financial-world terms and others fall under the category of common sense and good advice. Every term is equally important so they are presented in alphabetical order. Read them, know them and use them as the basis of your personal investment journey.

Asset Allocation

The more risk you take opens you up to bigger potential gains or losses. A document called an Investment Policy Statement (IPS) can establish how you guide th

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A Broker Or A Fiduciary? Which Is The Best Choice For You?

| Think Agency

Wealth management is so important to maintaining financial stability. But for many, the financial world is a mysterious maze filled with confusing regulations and complicated language. Those who enter this maze without trustworthy and experienced advice put their wealth at extreme risk.

There are numerous companies that claim to have expertise in managing your assets, but few back up that assertion with transparent methods of operation. Some, in truth, are more interested in directing your money into investments that will earn them the highest commission as opposed to earning you th

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Planning For Healthcare In Your Retirement Years

| Think Agency

After years of hard work, retirement is right around the corner. The house, cars, and children’s education are all paid off. You are in good health and all there is left to worry about is your next big vacation. Or so you think. While all of your financial goals appear to be checked off, one major component of a well-planned retirement is a financial checkup. A financial checkup is necessary to ensure you will be able to afford your doctor visits and additional healthcare needs long after you are retired. Paying for healthcare is one of the biggest challenges you will face in retirement

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Important Changes in Social Security Filing Strategies

| Leslie Kelly

By Markus Bras, CFP ®, MBA; Director of Pilot Services, American Financial Advisors, Inc.

Two frequently used Social Security filing strategies (“File and Suspend” and “Restricted Application”) will change. The “File and Suspend” option will be available until April 2016, while the “Restricted Application” will be eliminated for anyone born in 1954 or later.

A review of the basic Social Security terms and filing strategies is important when discussing these Social Security changes. It is necessary to note that the anticipated changes have not been finalized

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Financial Resolutions for 2016

| Leslie Kelly

By Markus Bras, CFP ®, MBA; Director of Pilot Services, American Financial Advisors, Inc.

Most New Year’s resolutions concern health and family issues. Nearly all of us, including myself, could eat and live healthier, lose a few pounds, exercise more and devote more time to our family.

Additionally, we hope you use the start of the New Year to address some, or all, of the financial planning issues discussed below. We encourage you to discuss these financial planning topics with your spouse and/or other family members. Waiting for a significant life event to happen before star

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Portfolio Discipline During Financial And Economic Uncertainty

| Leslie Kelly

By Markus Bras, CFP ®, MBA; Director of Pilot Services, American Financial Advisors, Inc.

Once again, we are dealing with uncertainty in the financial markets. During these times it is extremely important to maintain discipline and follow the guidance of the Investment Policy Statement (IPS). This IPS might have been set up when the financial markets were calm and rising, but we were already focused on the possibilities of declining and more volatile markets. We prepare for these markets ahead of time, so that you will be able to maintain discipline when the events actually occur.

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