Welcome to the official blog of WIFS!

LeadHER highlights hot topics that impact women in the profession, the latest WIFS news, and important industry updates. We invite our members and industry thought leaders to submit articles to be featured in upcoming monthly LeadHER blog posts. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you're interested in providing an article.

By Marc Kiner, CPA

We emphasize Situational Social Security in the National Social Security Advisor (NSSA®) Certificate program, as all your clients are unique. Your clients may be single, married with wide age differences, married with narrow age differences, divorced, surviving spouses, eligible to file a Restricted Application, public employees, etc. Advisors (you), must understand the issues and questions that relate to every unique client. You are your clients' trusted advisor and must understand Social Security.

My partner, Jim Blair, worked for the Social Security Administration for 35 years and retired in January 2010. Jim and I began our journey together at that time to help folks to understand and maximize their Social Security benefits. In January 2013, we created the National Social Security Advisor Certificate program. To date, 2,500 advisors across the country have earned the NSSA® certificate.

In this installment of Situational Social Security (SSS), we will discuss Social Security benefits relating to divorced individuals.

By Estella Reyna Kierce

My name is Estella Reyna Kierce and I was born in San Antonio, Texas. I attended the University of the Incarnate Word, where I received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. I have been married to Steiner Charles Kierce for 52 years and we have two children and two grandsons: Carolyn (Andy) Weiblen, Blane (13 years old) and Steiner (Diane) Carl Kierce, Steiner Caldwell (9 years old).

I was a schoolteacher in Alice, Texas, where my husband worked as a biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife. It was there that a State Farm agent introduced me to his manager. Little did I know that in the early ’80s, all of the large insurance companies were recruiting women. So in 1980, I became the first Hispanic female agent for State Farm in Texas, and we moved the family to Laredo where we knew no one, but I spoke Spanish. Remember, I had no sales experience except selling Girl Scout cookies at 50 cents a box.

By Julie Keyes 

Now more than ever, owners of privately held companies need to take swift action to ensure their primary leaders are feeling secure and happy with well-defined roles, whether they are family members or not. Having a generational succession strategy that’s well implemented helps owners sleep better and improves the likelihood of growing stronger adviser relationships, but only when those advisers are closely involved in the process.

The risk advisers have of losing clients in the process of a family business succession is very real, which is why it’s important to understand what your clients are going through and what they need from you. For owners of family businesses, it all starts with open and honest communication and family business governance.

By Abby Straus

A client once told me how stressed out she was by watching the news. “What’s preventing you from turning it off?” I asked. To which she replied, “I have to stay informed!” This began a conversation about whose script she was working from, hers or someone else’s. Her story went something like this: “If I don’t know about everything that’s going on in the world, I’ll appear uninformed, and people will think less of me.”

I asked what alternative story she might adopt that would support her in lowering stress, which was getting in the way of many things, including working well and enjoying her life. Initially, she was resistant, unable to get her head around the idea that there might be another story to tell.

By Dr. Marc Milstein

If you have been feeling stressed, anxious, and find yourself tossing and turning at night, you are not alone. Recent studies uncovered that in the last six months the quality of sleep many people are getting has dropped significantly and stress and anxiety have skyrocketed.

It is completely understandable as we try to juggle work and home life. Instead of working from home it can feel like we are living at work.