2018 Speakers

David Blanchett

Head of Retirement Research Morningstar Investment Management LLC. 

David Blanchett, PhD, CFA, CFP® is head of retirement research for Morningstar Investment Management LLC. In this role, he works to enhance the group’s consulting and investment services and serves as the chair of the Advice Methodologies and Automated Strategies subcommittee, which is the working group responsible for developing and maintaining all methodologies relating to wealth forecasting, general financial planning, automated investment selection, and portfolio assignment for Morningstar Investment Management LLC. His research has been published in a variety of industry and academic journals and received a number of awards, most recently the Journal of Financial Planning’s 2014 and 2015 Montgomery-Warschauer Award, the Financial Analysts Journal’s 2015 Graham and Dodd Scroll Award, and the best paper in investments award at both the 2017 CFP Board Academic Research Colloquium and the 2017 Academy of Financial Services Annual Conference. He is currently an Expert Panelist for the Wall Street Journal and an Adjunct professor of Wealth Management at The American College. He holds a master’s degree in financial services from the American College, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a doctorate in personal financial planning program from Texas Tech University.

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Natalie Choate, Esq.

Nutter, McClennen & Fish

Natalie Choate is an attorney with the Boston law firm of Nutter, McClennen & Fish. Her practice is limited to estate planning for retirement benefits. Her two books, Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits and The QPRT Manual, are leading resources for estate planning professionals.

Ms. Choate is the founder and former chair of the Boston Bar Estate Planning Committee; a former chair of the Boston Bar Employee Benefits Committee; and a member and former officer of the Boston Probate and Estate Planning Forum. She is a fellow and former Regent of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and former chairman of its Employee Benefits Committee. Named "Estate Planner of the Year" by the Boston Estate Planning Council, Ms. Choate is listed in The Best Lawyers in America. The National Association of Estate Planners and Councils has awarded Natalie the "Distinguished Accredited Estate Planner" designation.

Her articles on estate planning topics have been published in ACTEC Notes, Estate Planning, Trusts and Estates, Tax Practitioners Journal and Tax Management. She is a contributing author and co-editor of the book Drafting Wills and Trusts in Massachusetts published by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., and an editorial advisor for Trusts and Estates magazine. She writes a monthly web column and "podcast" for MorningstarAdvisor.com.

Ms. Choate has taught professional-level courses in estate planning in 45 states, and has spoken at the Heckerling, Notre Dame, Heart of America, New England, Southern California, Mississippi, Tennessee, Washington State and Southern Federal Tax Institutes. Her comments on estate and retirement planning have been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Money, Bloomberg Wealth Manager, Newsweek, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Forbes, Financial Planning and Financial World.A Boston native, Ms. Choate is a graduate of Radcliffe College and Harvard Law School.

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Mary Beth Franklin, CFP®

Contributing Editor, InvestmentNews

Mary Beth Franklin is a contributing editor at InvestmentNews, writing a column for the print edition and a blog for the website. Relying on more than decade of experience as a senior editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and editor of the Kiplinger's annual Retirement Planning Guide, Ms. Franklin aims to bridge the gap between what consumers want and what financial advisers can provide. An award-winning journalist, Ms. Franklin covers retirement planning and distributions, tax planning, Social Security issues and the health-care aspects of retirement planning. She is a frequent public speaker, addressing both financial industry and consumer groups, and she has appeared on numerous national and local television and radio programs including NBC's Today show and Meet the Press, the CBS Early Show, CNN and PBS's Wealthtrack program.

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Tom Hegna

Keynote Speaker Economist Author Retirement Expert

Tom Hegna CLU, ChFC, CASL, is an author, speaker, and economist. He has been an incredibly popular industry speaker for many years and is considered by many to be THE Retirement Income Expert! As a former Senior Executive Officer at New York Life, retired Lieutenant Colonel, and economist, Tom has delivered over 5,000 seminars, helping Baby Boomers and seniors retire the “optimal” way. He has condensed a large chunk of his considerable knowledge into four of his books: (1) Paychecks and Playchecks: Retirement Solutions for Life, which is in the top 1% of any book ever sold, (2) Retirement Income Masters: Secrets of the Pros that compiles the very best practices from the top retirement experts in the country. (3) Paycheques and Playcheques, Retirement Solutions for Canadians, And most recently, (4) Don’t Worry, Retire Happy! Seven Steps to Retirement Security, which is based on his popular Public Television Special that has played in over 40 million homes in the US and Canada. Tom specializes in creating simple and powerful retirement solutions based on math and science – not opinions. He has the unique ability to pump up a crowd, make people laugh, and solve complex financial problems using easy-to- understand words, ideas and stories. He is available to speak to businesses, government organizations, professional associations, financial professionals, and their clients all across the globe.

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Michael Kitces

Partner and Director, Pinnacle Advisory Group and Co-Founder, XY Planning Network

Michael E. Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CASL, is a partner and the Director of Research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, a private wealth management firm located in Columbia, Maryland that oversees approximately $1.8 billion of client assets. In addition, he is a co-founder of the XY Planning Network and New Planner Recruiting, the former Practitioner Editor of the Journal of Financial Planning, and the publisher of the popular financial planning continuing education blog Nerd’s Eye View through his website www.Kitces.com, dedicated to advancing knowledge in financial planning.

Beyond his website, Michael is an active writer and editor across the industry and has been featured in publications including Financial Planning, the Journal of Financial Planning, Journal of Retirement Planning, Practical Tax Strategies, and Leimberg Information Services, as well as The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, CNBC PowerLunch, NBC Nightly News, and more. In addition, Michael has co-authored numerous books, including “The Annuity Advisor” with John Olsen (now in 3rd edition), the first balanced and objective book on annuities written for attorneys, accountants, and financial planners, and “Tools & Techniques of Retirement Income Planning” with Steve Leimberg and others.

Michael is one of the 2010 recipients of the Financial Planning Association’s “Heart of Financial Planning” awards for his dedication to advancing the financial planning profession. In addition, he has variously been recognized as financial planning's "Deep Thinker," a "Legacy Builder," an "Influencer," a "Mover & Shaker," part of the “Power 20,” and a "Rising Star in Wealth Management" by industry publications. These awards were presented to honor Michael’s active work in the financial planning community, which currently includes serving as a member of the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Financial Planning, national chair of the Financial Planning Section for the Society of Financial Services Professionals, and numerous other boards and committees for the Financial Planning Association and the Society of Financial Services Professionals at the local and National levels. Michael is also a co-founder of NexGen, a community of the next generation of financial planners that aims to ensure the transference of wisdom, tradition, and integrity, from the pioneers of financial planning to the next generation of the profession.

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Wade Pfau, Ph.D.

Professor of Retirement Income, The American College of Financial Services

Dr. Wade Pfau, is a Professor of Retirement Income in the Ph.D. in Financial and Retirement Planning program at The American College of Financial Services. He is also a contributor to The College's Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®) designation program curriculum.

Dr. Pfau is a co-editor of the Journal of Personal Finance. He has spoken at the national conferences of organizations for financial professionals such as the CFA Institute, FPA, NAPFA, AICPA-PFP, and AFS. He also publishes frequently in a wide variety of academic and practitioner research journals. He hosts the Retirement Researcher blog, and is a monthly columnist for Advisor Perspectives, a RetireMentor for MarketWatch, a contributor to Forbes, and an Expert Panelist for The Wall Street Journal. His research has been discussed in outlets that include print editions of The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Money Magazine.

Dr. Pfau was a selectee for the InvestmentNews "Power 20" in 2013 and "40 Under 40" in 2014, the Investment Advisor 35 list for 2015, the IA 25 list for 2014, and Financial Planning magazine's Influencer Awards. He is a two-time winner of the Journal of Financial Planning Montgomery-Warschauer Award, a two-time winner of the Academic Thought Leadership Award from the Retirement Income Industry Association, and a best paper award winner in the retirement category from the Academy of Financial Services.

Dr. Pfau holds a doctorate in economics and a master's degree from Princeton University, and Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Iowa. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®).

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