V.Investment Advice

Securities, Investments, and Investment Products

As independent financial professionals, we have the ability to offer our clients quality investments and financial products available in the marketplace. For specific product information, we invite you click on the Financial Institutions and Resources link above to explore financial resource, mutual funds, and special-needs resources.  In addition, you may call us at (610) 465-1188.

BROKERAGE SERVICES

Investments available include:

  • Stocks listed on national exchanges
  • Bonds listed on national exchanges
  • Unit investment trusts
  • Open end funds (mutual funds)
  • Exchange traded funds (ETFs)

Individual securities are priced at the market or offered at the initial offering price when applicable.

Tax Advantaged Accounts

Popular tax-advantaged and tax-free* investment contracts commonly used in planning include:

  • IRA Rollover Contracts–From IRAs or corporate plans
  • Roth Conversion IRAs*–Conversion from an IRA or employer-sponsored plan
  • Roth IRA*(contributory)–A Roth is generally available to most working Americans subject to income limitations regardless of retirement plans available at one’s place of employment
  • SIMPLE IRA–A self-administered Qualified Plan for self-employed and small business people
  • Section 403(B) Tax Sheltered Annuity Plans–For public or non-profit employees
  • Section 529*–A college savings plan available to all Americans
  • Education IRA*–An IRA for college education
  • Tax-Deferred Annuities–These can have guaranteed income benefits
  • Municipal Bonds and Bond Funds

*Roth IRA, Education IRA and Section 529 Plans offer tax-free accumulation when Federal law and stated provisions are followed.

 

Investments/Products–Insurance Products

Life Insurance

Common uses for life insurance:

  • Create an estate: Where time or other circumstances have kept the estate owner from accumulating sufficient assets to care for his or her loved ones, life insurance can create an instant estate.
  • Pay death taxes and other estate settlement costs: Federal Estate Taxes are due nine months after death when an estate is above the taxable threshold.
  • Fund a business transfer: Business owners often agree to buy a deceased owner’s share from his or her estate after death.
  • Pay off a home mortgage: Many people would like to pass the family residence to their spouse or children free of any mortgage. Often a decreasing term policy is used, which decreases in face amount as the mortgage balance is paid down.
  • Protect a business from the loss of a key employee: Key employees are difficult to attract and retain. Their untimely death may cause a severe financial strain on the business.
  • Supplement retirement funds: Current insurance products provide competitive returns and are a prudent way of accumulating additional funds for retirement years.
  • Replace a charitable gift: Gifts of appreciated assets to Charitable Remainder Trusts can provide income and estate tax benefits. Life insurance can be used to replace the value of the donated assets.
  • Pay Off Loans: Personal or business loans can be paid off with the insurance proceeds.
  • Equalize inheritances: When the family business passes to children who are active in it, life insurance can give an equal amount to the other children.
  • Pension maximization: This strategy utilizes permanent life insurance to produce a death benefit for a surviving spouse sufficient to replace the income that would have been available if a joint and survivor pension annuity option were elected by the pension.

Term vs. Permanent Life Insurance
Term life insurance, as the name suggests, provides life insurance only for a limited period of time, or “term.” Other types of policies, such as whole life, universal life, or variable life, are considered to be “permanent” insurance and are designed to provide protection for the entire life of the insured.

Annual Renewable Term
Increasing premium, level coverage, no cash value: Suitable for financial obligations that remain constant for a short or intermediate period; e.g., income during a minor’s dependency.

Long-Term Level Premium Term
Level premium, level coverage, no cash value: The annual premiums are fixed for a period of time, typically 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. Suitable for financial obligations which remain constant for a short or intermediate period.

Whole Life
Level premium, level coverage, cash values: Cash value typically increases based on insurance company’s general asset account portfolio performance. Suitable for long-term obligations, including a surviving spouse’s lifetime income needs, estate liquidity, death taxes, or funding retirement needs. This is generally referred to as permanent insurance.

Universal Life
Level or adjustable premium and coverage, cash values: Cash values may increase, based on the performance of certain assets held in the company’s general account. Suitable for long-term obligations or sinking-fund needs, like estate growth, estate liquidity, death taxes, funding retirement needs.

Individual Disability Income Insurance

While most Americans insure their lives and material assets, like their homes and cars, many overlook the need to protect their most valuable asset:  the ability to earn an income.

What To Look For In A Disability Insurance Policy

  • Definition of disability: Are education, experience, and past earnings taken into account in determining whether the insured is qualified to resume work? Many policies provide for an initial “own-occupation” definition of disability, for a specified period of time, after which a different definition of disability applies.
  • Partial or residual benefits: Pays benefits in the event the disability reduces the insured’s income by a certain amount (for example, 20-percent or more) from pre-disability levels.
  • Cost of living adjustment: Is there a cost of living adjustment (COLA) that would increase benefit payments after a disability occurs?
  • Cancelability and renewability of policy: Except for nonpayment of premiums, is the policy non-cancelable or guaranteed renewable? Non-cancelable generally means that the insurance company cannot cancel the policy, change the policy provisions, or increase policy premiums after issue. Guaranteed renewable allows the insurance company to increase the premium but not change the policy benefits.
  • Waiting and elimination period: Is the waiting or elimination period proper for the insured’s circumstances? Commonly available periods include 90, 180 and 360 days.
  • Benefit period: 2 years, 5 years, to age 65 or lifetime are commonly available benefit periods. Since a long-term medical disability can be financially devastating, one should elect a long-term benefit where possible. Some companies offer lifetime benefit periods, but periods as short as 24 months to 60 months are also available.

Other Types of Disability Contracts:

Several other specialized disability contracts are available to the businessperson:

  • Business overhead expense: Covers expenses necessary to keep one’s business open, including staff salaries, rent, telephone, utilities, and malpractice insurance.
  • Key person disability: Reimburses the business for the loss of a key employee and allows funding for a temporary replacement or training of a successor.
  • Disability buyout: Provides income to fund a buy-sell agreement triggered by the total disability of a shareholder/business owner. Payouts may come in the form of a lump sum, monthly installments, or a combination of the two.
Long Term Care Insurance

Long-term care (LTC) is a phrase used to describe a variety of services in the area of health, personal care, and social needs of chronically ill or infirm individuals.

What Portion Of These Expenses Will Be Paid By Medicare?
Generally, Medicare pays only for a limited period of time–limited to 100 days–and only under certain circumstances.

Can Medicaid Help Pay For Long-Term Care?
Medicaid is a welfare program funded by both federal and state governments. It was enacted to provide health care services for the truly impoverished of our nation. Eligibility for benefits under the Medicaid program is determined by each state based on an individual’s assets and income. Recent legislation has made it extremely difficult to qualify for Medicaid benefits by gifting or otherwise disposing of personal assets for less than fair market value. Generally, people with assets worth approximately $100,000 and above, not including the value of their residence, are not eligible for Medicaid-provided LTC benefits.

Common Elements In Long-Term Care Insurance Policies

  • Amount of the benefit: Most policies pay a fixed dollar amount for each day you are eligible for the benefit.
  • Inflation protection: Since costs inevitably increase, a policy without a provision for inflation may be outdated in a few years.
  • Guaranteed renewability: This important provision will prevent the insurance company from canceling your policy for as long as you continue to pay the premium when it is due.
  • Waiver of premium: Some policies will waive future premiums after you have been in a nursing home for a specified number of days.
  • Prior hospitalization: Policies currently sold do not contain prior hospitalization clauses.
  • Place of care: Does the policy require that the nursing home be licensed or otherwise certified by the state to provide skilled or intermediate nursing care? Must the facility meet certain record keeping requirements?
  • Plan of care: Outlines the appropriate level of care needed to assist the insured in performing the activities of daily living. Part of the healthcare claims process, it is the result of an assessment prepared by the insured’s physician and a multi- disciplinary team, including practical nurses, social workers, and other health care professionals.

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