Darcy Bergen has served as president and financial advisor at Bergen Financial Group in Peoria, Arizona, since 2003. In addition to her various leadership responsibilities, Darcy Bergen manages the Bergen Financial Group blog. The blog addresses a range of financial topics, including the economic impact of natural disasters such as Hurricane Matthew.
Hurricanes and other natural disasters can have a widespread impact on local economies. As one might surmise, the bulk of the financial losses attributed to a hurricane take the form of property damage. About 66 percent of total costs involve destroyed property and buildings, while the remaining 33 percent is felt through economic losses.
Initial insurance estimates for Hurricane Matthew were between $4 and $6 billion, but the final price tag exceeded $10 billion. While financial analysts have gained a better understanding of the impact a major storm can have on a local economy, damages can vary significantly from one hurricane to another. Hurricane David generated $2 billion in damages in 1979, while the final economic toll for Hurricane Katrina approached $40 billion.
Wind damage can also influence the total cost of a hurricane. For homeowners, wind damage is typically covered under basic insurance agreements, though wind damage coverage usually involves high deductibles.
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TIPS - A Hedge against Inflation?
A resident of Peoria, Arizona, Darcy Bergen has served as the president of Bergen Financial Group since 2003. As a financial advisor, Darcy Bergen provides investment management advice to clients, covering areas such as inflation and investments that provide a hedge against it, such as Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS).
TIPS are a special type of bond issued by the U.S. government. Like other bonds, they have fixed interest rates and maturity dates which could be five, 10, or 30 years away. They do, however, serve a special purpose of solving one of the risks associated with holding bonds, inflation.
From 2000-2020, inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), hovered around the historical average of 2.12 percent. Since 2021, however, inflation has risen steadily to new highs, causing concern among investors with bonds in their portfolios. This is because inflation eats away at their real yields. If they hold bonds yielding 3 percent and inflation is at 4 percent, then their real yield is a negative 1 percent.
With TIPS, the principal of a bond adjusts in relation to the CPI, so if the CPI increases, the principal of the bond does too. Adjustments take place every six months, meaning investors get returns that essentially keep pace with growing inflation.
Investors concerned about inflation ought to consider including TIPS in their portfolios. Not only do they offer a real return, but these returns are guaranteed by the federal government.
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Experienced fiduciary and financial advisor Darcy Bergen serves as the president of Bergen Financial Group, a leader in retirement education and planning. Bergen Financial Group has offices in Peoria and Phoenix in Arizona. Darcy Bergen holds the Certified Retirement Financial Advisor (CRFA) designation.
The CRFA designation is issued by the Society of Certified Retirement Financial Advisors. It is given to financial advisors who have demonstrated commitment to providing advice on retirement-related matters and competence in dealing with the complexities of retirement planning.
Applicants for the CRFA designation must have earned relevant education and significant work experience in the financial services industry. As an alternative to work experience, the applicant may have earned classroom training or possess specific job skills in the financial industry.
All professionals who hold the CRFA designation have completed 24 hours of classroom instruction or self-study in related subjects such as taxes, securities, insurance, estates, and trusts and have passed the qualifying exams. These professionals have agreed to observe a code of ethics and further their knowledge through continuing education.
A Certified Retirement Financial Advisor, Darcy Bergen serves as a managing partner and president of Bergen Financial Group, an Arizona practice known for creating financial strategies for seniors and retirees. Leveraging his knowledge and expertise, Darcy Bergen offers financial advice to clients, especially in retirement planning, risk management, social security planning, wealth transfer strategies, wills and trusts, and estate planning.
Estate planning is making prior arrangements, through the assistance of an attorney knowledgeable in estate law, to determine how a person’s assets or “estate” will be preserved, managed, and distributed in the event of that person’s death. Estate planning also includes the settlement of estate tax, which happens before bequests are made to the heirs. The basis of the estate tax is the value of the decedent’s estate. Here’s how the estate is valued.
First, the estate's value is computed as of a specific date. The date can either be one of two options: the date of the decedent’s death or the alternate valuation date, which is six months after the decedent’s death. If the latter is chosen, all assets sold or distributed within the six months after the decedent’s death are valued as of the date the assets were sold or distributed.
Second, a list containing all assets that the decedent owned, including those they have an interest in, is prepared. This list may include cash, bank accounts, real properties, vehicles, furniture, jewelry, investments, insurance, and anything else that has value.
Third, actual valuation is made. If the decedent owned an asset in its entirety, the entire value of that asset is included in the estate. If the decedent owned an asset jointly with their spouse, only 50 percent of the value of that asset is added to the estate.
Fourth, all claims against the estate are deducted, including all regular bills that have accrued, outstanding mortgages, tax obligations, and charitable gifts.
Based in Phoenix, Arizona, experienced investment advisor representative Darcy Bergen has led Bergen Financial Group as president since 2003. Beyond his work in areas such as risk management and Social Security planning, Darcy Bergen engages in philanthropic activities as treasurer of the Bergen’s Mission charity.
The Bergen’s Mission charity was established by John and Eloise Bergen, a Canadian couple who fell victim to a serious assault while serving as missionaries in Kenya. In 2008, the pair were attacked during a home invasion that left both in critical condition, far from medical support, in the middle of the night. Their injuries ranged from multiple skull fractures to numerous machete wounds.
The book “Forgiveness in the Face of Terror” tells the story of the Bergen’s remarkable journey to safety, healing, and ultimately forgiveness, all in their own words. Today, the missionaries speak at churches and gatherings throughout North America, with an emphasis on the spiritual evolution that took place over the course of the experience, as well as the unlikely joy the two found through the healing process.
To learn more about the remarkable story of John and Eloise, or to support the Bergen’s mission, please visit www.bergensmission.com.
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