Barry H. Sacks, PhD, JD, a member of the California State Bar, is a tax attorney specializing in pension law. He 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. He has been certified as a specialist in taxation law since 1980 by the California Board of Legal Specialization. For the past ten years, he has been listed in the peer-selected “Best Lawyers in America”. In 2015, Mr. Sacks 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. He published a sequel to this paper in the October, 2017 issue of the Journal of Financial Planning, expanding the range of application of the strategy. 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. While developing his model for the use of reverse mortgages in retirement income planning, Mr. Sacks became aware of other needs of retirees (or soon-to-be retirees), including those who are moving to new homes and those who are in the process of divorce. As a result, he has published papers demonstrating various uses of reverse mortgages to address these retirees’ needs.
In the earlier part of his career, Mr. Sacks spoke frequently at California Continuing Education of the Bar presentations and at advance tax seminars as a visiting lecturer at U.C. Hastings College of the Law. More recently he has spoken at various Bar Association meetings (including the Marin County Bar Association and East Bay Trusts and Estates Council) and at meetings of financial planning organizations.