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The Risk of Safety
The Risk of Safety

Safety has rarely been more expensive—or more dangerous. Curtis Gross, FAI’s Director of Research, is interviewed by the Wall Street Journal.

Lyn Dippel
Family Finance: Early Money Lessons Key for Women

Lyn A. Dippel interviewed by Eileen AJ Connelly for the Associated Press.  "I find that still, especially if they're stay-at-home moms, they're not in the know, or they don't have equal say," said Lyn Dippel, a financial planner with FAI Wealth Management in Columbia, Md.

As a result, by the time daughters become women, they're less likely to be familiar with the language of investing, which alone can intimidate. That's compounded by much of the available information seeming like it's targeted toward men. "If you watch CNBC, it looks like ESPN," said Dippel. "It does not speak to women in the way that women want information."

To read the complete article, please click on the link below.

Lyn Dippel
Financial Planning Needs of Women are Different than Men

Lyn A. Dippel, President and CEO of FAI Wealth Management, authors article for the Women's Journal of Howard County.  "I love my role as a woman in the financial planning field because I see how many women have fear when it comes to money and the huge need for support and guidance in this area," says Ms. Dippel.

To read the complete article, please click on the link below.


Lyn Dippel
Don't Leave Your Spouse Cashless

Poor retirement planning can leave a recent widow or widower with no cash at a time they may need it most.

Until the estate is settled -- a process that can take months -- the bereaved spouse or partner won't have access to accounts that were held in one name only, unless the account owner took special care to resolve that problem.

Don't dismiss this as a retirement issue that is limited to very old-fashioned and conservative couples who kept all the family finances in the husband's name, says financial planner Lyn Dippel, principal with FAI Wealth Management in Columbia, Md.

To see this article on Bankrate's website, please Click Here.

Lyn Dippel
Widows Need Help with Financial Management

A newly widowed woman—or man—has to deal with many complex estate
and financial matters. It can be overwhelming, particularly if the spouse
was the primary financial manager and decision maker. There are some
aspects of financial management that many struggle with in particular.
• Administer estate and get immediate access to money. Settling
the estate can be anywhere from a six- to eighteen-month process.
Widows usually need help to understand the legal process and
terminology, the complex paperwork involved, and the steps needed to
get accounts and assets re-titled and set up so they’re easy to manage.
Accessing funds during his process can be tricky, depending on how well
the original estate plan was drafted.
• Revise cash-flow projections. The widow may no longer receive
pension payment, but sometimes will receive a survivor pension or death
benefits. Social Security payments may decline. Her new tax status as a
single person may affect her cash flow. Expenses often change.
Sometimes the widow will move to a smaller home. All these items must
be calculated.
• Revisit investments. The widow may have received insurance
money that needs to be invested. She may have new beneficiaries and
different cash-flow needs that may suggest a more conservative or more
aggressive investment approach.
• Revise estate plan—a little or a lot. Depending on how the original
plan was created, a widow may or may not need a substantial revision.
Usually, at least beneficiary designations need to be changed and new
contingent beneficiaries named. New powers of attorney usually are
necessary since there is no longer a spouse. A widow should typically
designate someone else to act on her behalf in case she has an
emergency and can’t manage her own affairs, either temporarily or
• Financial education. Often, a recent widow will also need general
financial education if her husband had handled the family’s money.
Competent, honest advice can be hard to find. A financial salesperson
who’s only out to sell a widow mutual funds, annuities or insurance may
seem like your friend but will probably make matters worse. And some
who sincerely want to help are in over their heads. I recommend choosing
a fee-only advisor—one who’s paid by the client, much like a CPA or
lawyer, instead of one who earns commissions by selling products. The
advisor also should have the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®)
Lyn Dippel, JD, CFP, works with many widows as President and CEO at FAI Wealth Management, a wealth management firm in Columbia, MD, and can be contacted at

Lyn Dippel
Divorce, Remarriage Can Make Estate Planning Especially Challenging

After 15 years in their second marriage, the husband was preparing to retire with $1 million in his IRA, and the wife, who had been a stay-at-home mom, was shocked to learn she had no ownership rights to the account. "She was devastated," said Lyn Dippel, a lawyer and financial planner at Financial Advantage in Baltimore. "She had raised the kids all this time and had no money to leave her two kids from a former marriage."

To read the complete artcile, please click on the link below.