Meet Barry H. Sacks, PhD, JD, Reverse Mortgage/Retirement Portfolio Longevity Expert

Barry Sacks Ph.D. earned his Ph.D. in semiconductor physics from M.I.T., then taught at U.C. Berkeley. He earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School and is a Certified Specialist in Taxation Law from the California Board of Legal Specialization.

After spending 35 years as an ERISA attorney specializing in qualified retirement plans, he used his breadth of skills to discover a role for a reverse mortgage to help make a retirement portfolio last longer. Barry now has a law practice providing special services to tax professionals in the area of “Offers in Compromise” for retirees living on 401(k) accounts or securities portfolios.

With his brother, Professor Stephen Sacks, Barry published the pioneering research paper modeling a strategy that uses reverse mortgage credit lines to mitigate the effects of adverse sequences of investment returns in retirement accounts (Journal of Financial Planning, February 2012). A sequel to this paper expanding the range of applications of the strategy was co-authored by Peter Neuwirth, FSA, and Stephen Sacks. Read all about it.

While developing his model for reverse mortgages in retirement income planning, Barry became aware of the particular needs of retirees and soon-to-be retirees in the process of divorce. These needs are of special concern in cases where the retirement savings are divided between the parties or where one of the parties has received most of the retirement savings but not much of the value of the home equity. Learn more here.

Barry is a frequent speaker on those subjects both live and in webinars, to financial planning groups estate planning and trust attorneys’ and accountants’ groups reverse mortgage lenders’ groups, and graduate tax seminars at law and business schools. He lives in San Francisco and Sonoma except when he is traveling in faraway exotic places.