Newsletter for February, 2011
A letter from the Editor-In-Chief
As most academic researchers and doctoral candidates will note, a critical piece of the work of developing new bodies of knowledge is to reference existing research, credit the appropriate parties, and advance that foundation to the next stage of knowledge. Standing on the shoulders of giants is the mantra. In the fields of divorce and finance, this newsletter plays a part of that schematic. We learn from our fellow divorce financial planner practitioners, from CDFAs, CFPs, and CPAs, to mental health practitioners, attorneys and business valuation experts. The goal of this newsletter is to engage, inform, and educate. How we do that is to create an environment, a dialogue between the parties. WE are looking for articles, events, original papers of interest to delight the 6,000 interested participants in this field who receive this newsletter. YOU want distribution of your work and mindshare among your peers and clients (and it doesn't hurt your Google stats either). Contact me directly at Andrew.Samalin@SICounsel.com and we'll try to get you published. The ADFP is the epicenter of that dialogue, so let's grow together-
Andrew Samalin, CFP®
Workshops and Webinars
Save the Date
Treat yourself and advance your skills.
ADFP University will be September 22nd
Both at the fabulous Doral Arrowwood resort. Check it out with the link below:
There will be something for everyone
A great place to relax and network after formal sessions
More details to follow
We have listened
There is one reason to buy most insurance products: aversion to loss. More specifically, aversion to a substantial loss. Term life insurance is what we call a pure insurance policy. If you don't die during the term, the policy pays nothing. Unfortunately, we all die some day. The term life insurance buyer is insuring against a premature death, not death in general. Coming to grips with the possibility of premature death is not easy for some. Luckily, term life insurance is relatively cheap, so the decision to buy might be easier. As you hear on radio commercials all the time "a 40-year-old male in good health can get a $500,000 policy for $35 per month". A whole (permanent) life insurance buyer is insuring against death in general. They know that they will die and so does the insurance company. The gamble is just how long it will take for the eventuality to be realized. Because the insurance company knows it is going to be on the hook someday, the policy is more expensive. Click Here to read the full article on Morningstar.com
The process of divorce is often stressful and complicated. It requires each spouse to focus on multiple issues, all of which require the parties to make important and long lasting decisions. One issue that is key, but often left to last or forgotten entirely, is how to properly handle the family's personal property and casualty insurance during the various stages of the divorce. This encompasses coverage for the homes, cars, valuables, collections, boats, and personal excess liability (umbrella).
During the initial stages of the divorce process and at its conclusion, it is critical to have an expert insurance broker review all coverages and make recommendations for changes necessary to protect each spouse in the event of property or liability claims. It is also crucial for a knowledgeable broker to coordinate the coverages, so that there are no gaps, no duplicate coverages, and so that the family is not overpaying or underinsured.
Here are some examples of events during and after a divorce that require advice from a trusted insurance expert:
Q. How does insurance respond when one spouse moves out of the primary home? Is that individual still covered by the liability portion of the homeowners' policy or the umbrella policy?
Q. When valuables and fine art collections are divided and moved out of the primary home, how should the policies be adjusted?
Q. When children who drive share their time in both households and drive cars belonging to each parent, what is the correct way to handle the auto insurance?
Q. When assets, such as property, are placed in a trust for the benefit of the children, how should the policies covering those assets be written?
Q. What about the assets that will remain in both names for a period of time and then are phased out to just one name over several years?
These are just a few examples of items that need attention and review by an expert insurance advisor during the divorce process.
Workshops and Webinars
Tuesday, April 12, 2011: Other "What If" Tools. This session will explore the less-used, but useful and powerful "what if" tools in your Family Law Software arsenal. Alimony Needed, Scenarios, Alimony break-even, Alimony trade-off, and Alimony Present Value (how calculated, discount rate used, marginal vs. average tax rate).
Tuesday, May 17, 2011: Accumulate Savings and Liquidation. This session will explore the inner workings of the software with respect to Accumulated Savings and Liquidation. What is Accumulated Savings? How is Accumulated Savings calculated? How do we deal with income and appreciation on accumulated savings? How do we calculate liquidations? Tax payable on liquidations? Tax losses?
Tuesday, June 14, 2011: Negotiating Property Division. Again, the screen looks simple, but there are subtleties. Some include: pie chart vs. bar chart. Different ways of dealing with pre-tax vs. tax-advantaged assets. Property settlement. Children's assets. Dealing with 529 plans.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011: Real Estate Transactions. Mortgages, sales, refinancing, separate property, short sales, sale and purchase of new residence, using refinancing to achieve property equalization.
Cost: $69/module ($59 for Members). $369 ($319) for the entire series, if initially purchased as a package. Modules can be taken in any order.
The New York State Dispute Resolution Association is accepting proposals for workshop presentations at our 2011 Annual Conference scheduled for October 26-27, 2011, in Troy, NY.
This year's theme, Eye on ADR, is representative of the attention our profession has recently gained in the public: a television show, legislative initiatives and growing media coverage. We are looking to examine and capitalize on the increase in ADR awareness we are experiencing.
Also, if you know of anyone who would like to take advantage of this great opportunity to present to a diverse group of dispute resolution professionals, please forward the RFP on to them.
Feel free to contact me with any questions by phone at 518-687-2242 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This webinar is the first of three (3) follow-up presentations to Vik Rajan's January 26th webinar on How On-Line Marketing Can Lead to Better Referrals. These webinars will take place the last Tuesday of February, March and April and will allow participants delve more deeply into various techniques social networking techniques.
Vik Rajan is founder of CoGrow's PracticeMarketingAdvisors.com and author of "365 Marketing Thumb-Rules." He has been voted a "Top 40 Under 40 Rising Star" by Long Island Business News.
SPECIAL OFFER for New Registrants: In the first webinar of this series, Vik detailed the interrelated marketing techniques of Social Networking (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter), blogging and e-Newsletters. New registrants for the series will receive his excellent January 26th PowerPoint and an audio recording of his webinar at no additional charge.
"It is so important to discipline ourselves to stay focused on marketing our business. When I saw the promotional email for Vik Rajan's webinar for best practices in "Seminar Marketing," I immediately signed up. The webinar was great! Vik did an excellent job of facilitating a lively discussion on how to successfully market through seminars and I picked up great tips that I can use in marketing my business."
"I found Vik's webinar very helpful in understanding this whole new world (to me) of web marketing. Many of the things Vik talked about I had heard of before, but did not understand. After the webinar I feel as though I received a solid crash course on what I need to be aware of in web marketing and some good - actionable - ideas to begin to tackle it."
Date and Time: February 22, 2011, 10 - 11:30 am ET
Cost: $49 ($39 for ADFP members)
Highlights: How using LinkedIn status updates, groups, and people search leads to referrals, introductions, testimonials and other word-of-mouth marketing. The webinar will walk you through profile set-up, adding contacts from your database, finding referral sources and joining and starting groups.
March 22: How Blogging and new web content support referral marketing and search engine results. See also the "20 Blog Article Topics" in the January 26th PowerPoint. This webinar will walk through the free set-up of a blog, posting articles and encouraging interaction.
April 26: How e-Newsletters remind referral sources, prospective clients and current ones about your expertise. This webinar will walk through creating a quick newsletter from your blog website and promoting it through LinkedIn and Facebook groups andstatus updates.
News from the ADFP Board: January 28, 2011
The Board of Directors of the ADFP has taken enormous steps to develop solid underpinnings for our organization to become recognized as the leader and voice of the divorce financial planning profession. Toward this end, your Board has approved these key items:
The ADFP continues to explore opportunities for adding value to your membership. We are working diligently with well established national and international financial planning organizations to examine affiliate relationships. These relationships strengthen recognition of our professional niche and will provide you with a shared platform for event and membership discounts, media outlets, and continuing education credits. These affiliations will be announced shortly.
We are planning already for our ninth annual conference in September to be held in the greater New York metro area. Jerry Cohen (email@example.com), Conference Chairperson, solicited your feedback recently in an online survey to evaluate your interests and ideas. Your feedback is very important and we value your comments. We ask you to help us identify potential sponsors which enable us to run a profitable conference. Please think hard about potential sponsors and provide Jerry with all referrals.
We look forward with great enthusiasm to this upcoming year and our imminent goals include:
Thank you everyone and I extend my gratitude to your hard working Board of Directors for our impressive accomplishments to date.
In following our mission, a group of member volunteers worked diligently over the past 18 months to create specific definitions that were approved by the Board of Directors last November. These definitions, found on our website, include a Definition of Divorce Financial Planning, a Definition of the Divorce Financial Planning Process, and a list of the types of services provided by a Divorce Financial Planner. All members are encouraged to review this information.
As a result of that work, the Board has also approved new Membership definitions and standards. The most important change will be the evolution to a dual membership level: Member and Associate Member. In short, Members are divorce financial planning practitioners who practice in the field. Associate Members will include our valued colleagues who plan a role in a divorce or dissolution such as attorneys, mental health professionals, mortgage brokers, mediators. Associate Members will not be listed on our public membership list, but will be valued by the Members as sources for networking, referrals and knowledge sharing. Another important clarification is that the new membership criteria specifically excludes from membership anyone who practices divorce financial planning without charging a specific fee in the appropriate market range for his/her expertise level and geographical norms. Current Members who will fall under the "new" definition of Associate Member may stay at the Member level for up to two years (12/31/2012) if desired. This permits time to acquire the credentials of Member level if that is desired.
We continue to require all our members to hold a designation or license rooted in substantive initial and ongoing continuing education, compliance and ethics requirements such as CFP®, ChFC, CPA, CA, CMA, or CGA and remain in good standing with that entity. Please see our website for the full description of membership requirements. The point of all this is to demonstrate our sincere passion in cultivating and promoting a profession that is growing in the awareness and appreciation of those who are involved in the divorce and dissolution process, either as professionals or participants. We hope you can join us in embracing these steps and encourage you to contact Amy Whitlatch, Membership Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any other Board member with any suggestions, questions or concerns you might have.
The mission of the Association of Divorce Financial Planners (ADFP) is:
To heighten awareness of the benefits and the added value of divorce financial planning so that it becomes an integral part of the divorce process.
To encourage knowledgeable and trustworthy financial professionals to enter the field.
To continuously refine and maintain practice and professional standards of excellence and a strict code of ethics.
To build professionalism.
To unify the divorce financial planning profession.
To accomplish this mission, the ADFP will:
Develop outreach programs to financial professionals, allied divorce professionals and the general public.
Provide continuing professional education and training opportunities for divorce financial planning practitioners.
Hold members to high professional and ethical protocols and standards.
Promote communication, networking and peer review.
Market and promote divorce financial planning through the ADFP website, speaking opportunities to the public and divorce professionals, public relations and other appropriate means.
Establish and encourage membership participation in local chapters throughout the United States, Canada and other countries.
Participate in policy making regarding financial issues in divorce.
ADFP Help Wanted
New ADFP Webmaster
Linda Katz (email@example.com) has volunteered to serve as our new Webmaster. Please submit all web page updates, information about what you've been up to, information about upcoming meetings, etc. to her, and she will get these posted ASAP! Thank you Linda!
There are lots of other opportunities to help out and help make our organization even better. If you are able to volunteer, please let John Patsy (firstname.lastname@example.org), our Matchmaker, know!
We encourage our readers to submit articles, events, suggestions, etc. on relevant topics. Please email our Editor-In-Chief, Andrew Samalin at Andrew.Samalin@SICounsel.com for details.
Divorce in the News
ADFP Long Island Chapter Meeting
Topic: "A Forensic Accountant's Analysis of Business and Personal Tax Returns"
Breakfast served, cost $15 members $25 non-members. Any questions, please contact Maria T. Carrara at 631-776-1308 or via email at CarraraM@optonline.net.
ADFP Tennessee Chapter Meeting
Saturday February 12, 2011, 9am until noon.
We'll cover recent happenings in the ADFP at the national level and how we can bring that down to the local and regional levels for our more personal benefits. Our guest speaker at the February 12th meeting will be the Honorable Marietta Shipley, retired Judge of the Second Circuit Court in Nashville where, for 16 years, she presided over family cases as well as civil jury and non-jury trials. Marietta will share her unique perspective from the bench regarding family law cases. This is a rare opportunity to gain insight into not only the financial issues, but other aspects about cases and the participants that can affect outcomes. Prepare your questions. This is your chance to talk to the judge.
Looking for more connections? Since retiring from the bench, Marietta founded The Mediation Group of Tennessee, a state-wide network of highly eminent mediators and arbitrators. As always, the meeting will be at my office. Please respond and let me know that you will be there. 615-595-6850
Rosemary Frank, MBA, CDFA, CFDP, CFDS
ADFP California Chapter Meeting notes - January 29, 2011
General Meeting called to order at 10 A.M.
No Board Meeting was called.
Items of discussion
Meeting adjourned at 3:30 P.M.
Meeting notes recorded by Amanda Johnson
Family Law Software Webinar Series - Great News!
Special on Divorce & Money, 9th Edition We have a small number of copies of Divorce & Money, 9th edition left over from this year's conference. We are offering these at a special price of $20.95, including shipping. This is a great book. If you would like to purchase a copy, you may do so by going to our bookstore.
Other Divorce News:Facebook the New Fast Track to Divorce Courts Mandatory Couples Counseling Prior to Granting Divorces? Is Conflict Resolution the Wrong Goal? Divorce: A New Opportunity for Investors?
Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts
February 2011 Event Calendar:
Any questions? Comments? Please feel free to contact our Editor-In-Chief Andrew Samalin, CFP® Andrew.Samalin@SICounsel.com.