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    3 Ways to Help Clients Cover Healthcare Costs in Retirement

    posted in Retirement Planning May 17, 2022


    Retirees may experience some sticker shock when it comes to healthcare costs. It’s easy to see why when, according to 2021 data, a 65-year-old couple would need to have saved a combined $301,000 ($142,000 for the man and $159,000 for the woman) to have a 90 percent chance of covering certain medical expenses. That’s a nine percent increase in just one year, up from 2020.What’s more, these numbers don’t even include expenses that Medicare doesn’t cover, such as dental, vision, over-the-counter medications and long-term care.

    As people age, physical health becomes a primary concern. Worries about potential illness and lack of mobility may be top of mind, but the associated price tags for care only add to the unease.

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    The Human Touch in Financial Advising

    posted in Client Relationships May 10, 2022


    It’s an increasingly automated world, and while today’s automation may not eliminate the need for humans, artificial intelligence is changing the way people conduct their lives and business. Likewise, easily accessible apps and online services have convinced many individuals that they can take a do-it-yourself approach to many things — including investing.

    Some advisors find it challenging to prove their value to clients when computers can dole out investment options at the click of a mouse or tap of a touchscreen. Robo-advisors can’t do everything, however, and advisors who can demonstrate particular qualities and add the human touch in financial advising are in better shape to set themselves up for success.

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    Helping Married Couples Maximize Their Social Security Benefits

    posted in Advanced Planning May 3, 2022


    Social Security can feel like the reward at the end of a major challenge. Social Security benefits can be claimed as early as age 62, though at a reduced rate.1  Despite that, it’s tempting for many eligible people to want to receive their benefits early. On the other hand, waiting until age 70 can significantly increase monthly benefits money people receive, so there is a potentially powerful incentive to wait for the maximum benefit.1

    Married couples may find themselves in even complex situations where one claiming strategy or another — or even a combination — might work best. How can you best help married couples maximize Social Security benefits? Expect to have a few conversations to understand the details of clients’ individual situations, for a start.

    In this article, we’ve broken down some of the most important issues to remind clients to consider.

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    What Advisors Should Know About Cryptocurrency

    posted in Economic Commentary Apr 26, 2022


    You’ve seen the articles online. You’ve heard about it on the news. You maybe even saw some commercials related to it during the big game.

    We are, of course, talking about cryptocurrency. Have your clients asked you about this yet? While it didn’t just arrive on scene this past year or two, cryptocurrency picked up traction recently, especially as the U.S. continues to experience financial stress and market volatility.

    What should advisors know about cryptocurrency, and how can you steer your clients in the right direction?

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    Why Advisors Should Discuss Credit Report Data Privacy With Clients

    posted in Risk Control Apr 19, 2022


    When consulting with clients, it’s easy for advisors to get caught up in conversations about portfolios, emerging financial trends and news about inflation or market volatility. What might not enter the conversation is a discussion surrounding a client’s credit rating or credit report.

    Do your clients understand the role their credit ratings play in their financial outlooks and that lower credit scores generally mean it will be more costly to borrow? Are they aware of their current credit score? Do they realize who can and cannot view their credit report?

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    What Advisors Should Know About Tax Freedom Day

    posted in Client Relationships Apr 12, 2022


    Sometimes it can be hard for clients to get an idea of their financial situation unless they can see a clear visual that demonstrates where their money is going. A strong visual can help people understand abstract concepts and gain a better grasp on what’s really happening.

    That’s where Tax Freedom Day enters the conversation. The tax filing deadline for 2022 is Monday, April 18, but that also happens to be Tax Freedom Day for a lot of people.1 What is Tax Freedom Day, and what should advisors know about it to help guide clients through their individual financial waters? We’ve broken it down for you here.

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    Talking With Clients in Different Phases of Life

    posted in Retirement Planning Apr 5, 2022


    As we age, it’s easier to reflect back on the phases of life and better appreciate the role each phase played in shaping us. Those awkward teen years, followed by the aspirational and challenging young adulthood. Then a fulfilling career, maybe a family and even a dream home, if we’re fortunate. It can feel like a rollercoaster ride, and then…

    Just like that, retirement appears on the horizon and we wonder where the time went!

    Life involves a series of financial phases, too, and it’s important to encourage your clients to take an active role in their financial decisions during each stage to help ensure fiscal stability and a positive overall experience with their lives. 

    Here are some tips on how to start the conversation with clients and help guide their awareness of the importance of each of these financial phases.

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    Financial Advisors Need to Manage Emotions, Not Just Money

    posted in Client Relationships Mar 29, 2022


    The expansion of big tech and online investing tools has been a wake-up call to some financial advisors as they’ve watched a segment of their clientele slowly disengage and distance themselves. Add to that the pandemic’s impact of taking in-person meetings to a virtual standstill and the gap widens.

    Not only are some investors pulling back and choosing to shift their portfolios to online platforms, some may be going directly to online providers and skipping an advisor altogether.

    Advisors fully understand the value they bring to a client’s retirement planning strategy. But is there a disconnect between what investors really deem valuable and what financial advisors think investors value?

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    How Financial Advisors Can Respond to Rising Real Estate Demand

    posted in Retirement Planning Mar 22, 2022


    A real estate boom has swept across the nation since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps it’s because families were stuck at home staring at the same four walls for months, stirring an urge to upgrade. Some remote workers may have realized they no longer need a short commute, opening up the possibilities of living across town or across the country. 

    No matter what brought on the urge to purchase a home, historically low mortgage rates likely helped make the decision a little easier. How low? In 2021, a 30-year fixed mortgage rate hovered around 3% for most of the year, a stark contrast to a few years earlier in 2018 when they reached nearly 5%. Of course, that’s still a bargain compared to the not-so-distant past. Many of your clients likely recall when mortgage rates topped 8.5% entering the new millennium, and the staggering peak of more than 18% in the early 1980s.1

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    How Entitled Children Can Jeopardize Their Parents’ Retirement

    posted in Retirement Planning Mar 15, 2022


    When meeting with clients to discuss their risk tolerances and explore potential “what-if” scenarios, you’ll likely uncover many concerns. Typical worries about the volatile market, when to claim Social Security benefits and the pandemic will almost certainly arise.

    What rarely gets brought up, however, is how a couple’s children could jeopardize their financial future. This can be a touchy subject with many variables and emotional weight, making it a potentially uncomfortable discussion. But as a plausible scenario, it’s worth exploring.

    When parents don’t set financial boundaries with their children, the resulting relational volatility may be a greater threat to retirement than other, external factors. Not sure how to bring up the topic or what signs to look for? Use these insights and tips.

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