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  • Angella Welcome

Reflections from My First NAPFA Conference

Having recently transitioned from the investment management industry to my new role as an advisor with Pioneer, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend my first NAPFA conference earlier this month. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors – NAPFA for short – is the primary non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for fee-only, fiduciary financial advice.

What makes this organization special is that each and every one of its financial advisor members has dedicated themselves to a no-commission, or fee-only, business model. Because fee-only advisors never receive commissions for their recommendations, clients of NAPFA advisors can be confident that their advisor has only made recommendations that they consider to be in their client’s best interest, a.k.a. the fiduciary standard.

Here are my top three takeaways from this conference:


1. NAPFA advisors are really dedicated. Over 300 financial advisors, many visiting from across the country, landed in Fort Worth, TX to spend three and a half days learning about the latest updates that impact our profession and how we serve our clients. My colleagues and I learned from professors, fellow advisors, attorneys, and even the Economic Policy Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas about topics ranging from common tax pitfalls, to preparing for long-term care costs, to how to support business owners through liquidity events, and beyond.


2. The 12/31/2025 sunset of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) is likely to bring many potentially significant changes to taxpayers. The TCJA took effect in 2018 and made numerous temporary changes to deductions, depreciation, tax credits, and other items that affect businesses and individuals. Unless Congress elects to extend the TCJA, it is due to sunset at the end of 2025. If this happens, we can expect to see an increase in federal tax rates and a decrease in the standard deduction, the child tax credit, and the estate tax exemption, among other changes. Many of the upcoming changes can and should be prepared for now. This is a pivotal time for people with tax planning needs to make sure they have an advisor in their corner to help them prepare. Click here to read more about the sunset of TCJA and its potential estate tax implications.


3. Preparing for the costs and logistics associated with aging and long-term care isn’t a one-and-done process. Perhaps an aging parent has a revocable living trust, Advance Directive, and Durable Power of Attorney in place and has stated that they wish to remain at home as long as possible. What may not have been decided is who will care for them while they are aging in place and at what point remaining at home is no longer wise. The medical treadmill – when hospitalizations due to falls or underlying medical conditions begin to follow in quick succession – can add complexity to the decision of when the right moment is to consider palliative or hospice care. To help protect our aging loved ones and those who are caring for them, conversations about critical decisions like these should be detailed, examine multiple what-if scenarios, and happen early and often.   

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