2017 National Spring Conference Speaker

Barry Sacks

Barry Sacks

Barry Sacks is a 1973 graduate of Harvard Law School. Since 1974, with the enactment of ERISA (the pension reform law), he has practiced almost exclusively in the area of retirement plan law. For the past ten years, he has been listed in the peer-selected “Best Lawyers in America”. In 2015, Barry was designated as Best Lawyers’ “Lawyer of the Year” in the field of retirement plan law for the San Francisco Bay area. In addition, he holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from MIT, where he completed a doctoral dissertation that involved substantial mathematical modeling. He published the pioneering research paper modeling the use of reverse mortgage credit lines to mitigate the effects of adverse sequences of investment returns in retirement accounts (Journal of Financial Planning, February, 2012). The retirement income strategy described in the Journal of Financial Planning article has been granted 2 patents. In 2016, he published an article in the Journal of Taxation (“Recovering a Lost Deduction”) on the income tax deduction for interest accrued on reverse mortgages.

Barry began his legal career more than 40 years ago, and has spoken frequently to CEB ("Continuing Education of the Bar") seminars as well as to advanced classes as a visiting lecturer at U.C. Hastings College of the Law. His legal specialty throughout this career has focused on retirement plans. More recently (for more than 10 years), he has spoken frequently to various chapters of the Financial Planning Association and to similar groups, about the use of home equity in retirement income planning. These talks are based on mathematical models (drawing on his experience in physics). The model, and its results, is described in the Journal of Financial Planning article, “Reversing the Conventional Wisdom, Using Home Equity to Supplement Retirement Income.” Recently, Barry was the "Keynote Guest Speaker" at a meeting of insurance counselors, describing situations where the cash value of insurance policies can function together with, and in a manner similar to, the reverse mortgage credit line.

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