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    Big Decisions: When Investors Don’t Seek Your Advice

    posted in Client Relationships Mar 2, 2021


    Did it happen again? During an annual check-in with one of your clients, you’re surprised to hear about a job change, a new vacation property or inheritance money that recently got stashed away in a long-term CD.

    These kinds of client decisions are certainly theirs to make. But had they known about potential financial implications and how a decision might not align with their retirement goals, they might have reconsidered.

    So, why didn’t they seek your advice?

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    10 Essential Retirement Questions to Ask Married Couples

    posted in Retirement Planning Feb 23, 2021


    Retirement can be exciting, but it’s also a major life and financial transition. The stress brought about by the inevitable changes surrounding retirement may even cause significant rifts that strain a marital relationship. Married couples who don’t have a shared vision of their golden years may need to confront what could be difficult realities, including financial discord.

    You may be in a position to help married clients who are contemplating retirement avoid some strife and/or verify that they’re on the same page when it comes to retirement finances. Read More

    America Saves Week: An Opportunity to Connect with Clients

    posted in Retirement Planning Feb 16, 2021

    If you look for a Hallmark card to recognize America Saves Week, you’ll be hard pressed to find one. Still, the annual celebration of savings held each February may serve as a great conversation starter with clients.

    In light of recent economic events and record unemployment, establishing sustainable financial practices and saving habits may be more important than ever. Consider whether this “holiday” may serve as an additional way to engage and help your clients.

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    What Are the Benefits of a Second Annuity?

    posted in Risk Control Feb 9, 2021


    The fear of outliving one’s wealth exerts a powerful force against retirees’ confidence as they navigate life’s milestones. Considering the likelihood that today’s average 65-year old man may live to 84 and a 65-year-old woman to 86.6, many clients have good reason to look for ways to help make sure their money lasts as long as they do.1

    Whether they’re risk-averse investors or they feel less than fully confident about their ability to manage their own money in retirement, some clients may achieve a greater sense of security by adding annuity products to their portfolios.

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    Guiding the Transition From Accumulation to Income

    posted in Client Relationships Feb 2, 2021

    You’ve listened to their goals, assessed their risk tolerance, calculated their earning potential, and tailored your client’s portfolio in stride.

    But then what?

    Many advisors place an incredible amount of emphasis on helping clients accumulate wealth, and rightfully so. What may be lacking, however, is a plan to help those same clients transition from the accumulation phase to the income phase where they get to reap the benefits of all those years of planning.

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    Why Advisors Need to Spend More Time Discussing Social Security Strategies

    posted in Advanced Planning, Retirement Planning Jan 26, 2021

    Like any good advisor, you keep up with economic news, subscribe to investment insights, analyze portfolio performance, stay abreast of the latest tax laws and much more. Staying informed about these and other findings is an important part of helping your clients build a solid retirement strategy.

    Meanwhile, sitting quietly in the background is potentially one of the highest yielding opportunities available to them, a reliable and considerable stream of income that’s guaranteed for life, one that could mean the difference between making a huge mistake and making ends meet. 

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    Portfolio Protection or Performance? Overcoming 3 Risk Aversion Behaviors

    posted in Risk Control Jan 19, 2021


    When weighing the risks and benefits, many of your clients would rather have portfolio protection with growth potential than portfolio performance that is susceptible to market volatility.

    This preference likely aligns with how many financial advisors approach clients’ investment and retirement planning strategies by prioritizing risk management and wealth preservation.

    On its surface, this alignment suggests harmony; clients generally want protection and advisors are willing to provide strategies accordingly. For investors who are already in higher wealth tiers and simply want to live off existing assets, this approach may be appropriate. 

    However, those investors with fewer investable assets might lack sufficient savings to fund retirement in spite of being cautious about preserving their accumulated wealth and minimizing risk.

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    New Proprietary Report from CUNA Mutual Group Explores How Annuities Can Meet Investor Needs and Their Advisors’ Practice Goals

    posted in News & Press Jan 12, 2021


    MADISON, Wis. – CUNA Mutual Group today published a report based in part on proprietary investment advisor survey data that explores how advisors can optimize their practice and effectively serve their clients by incorporating annuity products into their toolkit.

    The report, “Advisors. Annuities. Answers – Rethinking Retirement Planning” describes the fundamental reasons why annuities may make sense for investors in today’s market—low interest rates make it tough to generate income for retirement, and COVID-related market volatility has many investors looking for solutions to control risk—but it also makes the practical business case for how annuities can fit in to the many different types of advisory practices.

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    Build Loyalty Before Your Clients Shop for a New Advisor

    posted in Client Relationships Jan 5, 2021


    Most of the time, financial advisors have inertia on their side.

    In general, people resist change for its own sake, and clients aren’t actively looking to leave their advisor — unless their advisor gives them a reason to look elsewhere.

    So it might not seem like there is much to worry about. But consider the time, effort and investment that goes into prospecting and marketing for new financial advisor clients. Prospect inquiries are down significantly since the start of the pandemic, and in-person marketing and outreach is complicated by potential public health risks.1

    And when you consider the value of referrals from satisfied clients, it’s easy to see why it’s more important than ever to nurture the client relationships you already have today, and show those clients the ways you make a difference in their lives.

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    2021 Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) Announced

    posted in Advanced Planning Dec 15, 2020


    Much like the rest of us, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is looking ahead to 2021, having recently released cost of living adjustments (COLA) for Tax Brackets and IRA contributions.  

    Investors who contribute the annual maximums to IRAs will be interested to know the contribution limit to either a Traditional or Roth IRA, or both in combination, for the 2021 tax year will remain $6,000, plus up to an additional $1,000 catch-up contribution for a total of $7,000 for those over age 50, assuming there is eligible earned income.1

    While contribution limits have not changed, income limits for Traditional IRA deductibility and Roth contribution eligibility did inch upward slightly. Here’s a snapshot of some of the COLA updates for 2021.

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