For more information: · 212-426-6265 · PO Box 287415, New York, NY 10128-0024

Long-term care funding solutions

Are you concerned about the high cost of long-term care services? Insurance companies offer many funding solutions: long-term care insurance, linked-benefit life insurance and annuity policies, life insurance with long-term care riders, and impaired-risk annuities.

Are any of these right for you? I can help you understand their strengths and weaknesses to reach a decision. I use quantitative tools from actuarial science and economics, but I also understand that this decision is about more than just numbers.

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Existing life insurance

I will review your existing policies to help you avoid the two mistakes of keeping a policy that you should drop or dropping a policy that you should keep. If a policy is not worth keeping as it is, I will look for ways to salvage it before I recommend replacing it.

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New life insurance

The U.S. retail life insurance market has not yet been transformed by curated product platforms, so I am very cautious about assignments involving new life insurance. We can discuss a short assignment with a carefully defined scope, such as determining the best premium schedule for a policy that will be purchased.

Life settlements

I will help you decide if it makes sense to sell your policy in the secondary market, and I can also help you reduce the high transaction costs.

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Q & A

- Why should I hire you?

After hiring me, almost all of my clients wind up doing something different from what their agent proposed. Sometimes they choose a lower-commission version of the agent’s proposal or a more cost-effective premium schedule. Sometimes they decide to keep a policy that an agent recommended replacing. Sometimes they decide to walk away from an agent’s proposal after understanding the risks.

Fee-only insurance advisors get paid to produce informed decisions; agents get paid to produce sales.

Naturally, insurance agents claim that their products meet their clients' needs — as determined by the insurance agents. My impact on clients’ decisions shows that agents do not provide the necessary information to make informed decisions.

- How much do you charge?

For most assignments, I charge an hourly fee, with a maximum number of hours that we set at the beginning of the assignment. For some assignments, I charge a fixed fee. In rare cases, I charge a contingent fee or a reduced hourly fee with a contingent bonus.

- Do we need to meet in person?

No. I have clients throughout the U.S., and I've never met most of them. Email, phone, and internet meetings work fine for communication.

- Do you do all of the work yourself?

In most cases, yes. For some assignments, I also use a research assistant, an underwriter or a financial economist, or I can turn to my actuary partners at Sutter's Mill Valuation Services.

- How long have you been doing this?

Since 1985. I got into this line of work as a result of my own experience shopping for life insurance. I was asking sensible questions to try to decide between term and whole life, but I wasn't getting helpful answers. After doing more research, I realized that my experience was common. So I undertook the task of translating the life insurance industry's gobbledygook into investment language, and that led to many articles, a 500-page book, a 40-page booklet, and many years of interesting work.

- Are you a fiduciary?

As a Certified Financial Planner™, I am required to act as a fiduciary, but I believe that you should not settle for that.

Many years ago I saw an article in The Economist that quoted an attorney saying that he expected to live to see the day when one of the dictionary definitions of "fiduciary" was "thief”. Dealing with a self-described fiduciary will put you in a better legal position if you have to sue the person, but it won't guarantee fair treatment. The best way to protect your interests is to get advice from multiple, independent sources.

I'll repeat that: The best way to protect your interests is to get advice from multiple, independent sources. That's what smart people do when they are serious about reducing the risk of regret.