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Paycheck Protection

If you get sick or hurt, and cannot work, would you prefer a check or a get-well card? The most valuable asset most working Americans have is their ability to earn an income. If one cannot earn an income, and they don't have enough savings to retire, then they face financial difficulty.

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Divorce and Life Insurance

When getting divorced, one area of your financial life that you should take into consideration is the life insurance you and your ex-spouse own, in particular if you have children together, but also if you continue to maintain financial ties due to common debt obligations or a business relationship.

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Destroying the American Dream?

Every day when I'm meeting with clients, prospective clients, brokers, and other advisors, I'm constantly saying "Do the math."

Someone has "done the math" on the current state of our redistributive tax and transfer system, or what I call the welfare nanny state system of collective thievery.

When one is better off earning minimum wage than they are earning $60,000 per year, then something is terribly wrong with the system.

The incentive to obtain an education, work hard, and move up in life are destroyed when the financial incentives reward work at a fast food restaurant or big box retailer at a greater level than skilled work in a factory, skilled work in management, or skilled work in a profession that requires substantial investment and education.

Several things come to mind that I think would realign financial rewards with the effort, discipline, and results of personal productivity:

  1. Eliminate the federal minimum wage.
  2. Eliminate the Earned Income Tax Credit (and let us call it what it is - welfare).
  3. Implement a federal Fair Tax that doesn't penalize and discourage success.

I could easily list an entire book of ideas, but I wanted to post this before I'm distracted by the pile of work on my desk.

What do you think about the irrational financial rewards detailed in the image above?

What do you think we should do to fix this obvious problem?

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National Financial Capability Study

While I'm no fan of FINRA, they produced some studies recently and I think there's some interesting items buried in here. I suspect that the results will be ignored by the very constiutency that FINRA allegedly regulates - namely, stock brokers.

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Lost Life Insurance?

Does a life insurance company owe you money?

According to the Medical Information Bureau (MIB):

"Life insurance policyholders often fail to inform the beneficiary(s) of the policy's existence. As a result, the death benefits for many life insurance policies may go unclaimed. Insurance companies would like to distribute what is rightfully due, but the responsibility to claim benefits lies with the beneficiaries. It is possible, if not likely, that millions of dollars in life insurance proceeds go unclaimed by beneficiaries from North American insurance companies."

Fortunately, the MIB has a Policy Locator Service that might help people locate unclaimed funds.

Do you have a life insurance agent? I'd like to apply for the job. If you want an independent agent with experience, call (800) 680-5596.

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Brent D. Gardner, CLU, ChFC