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    Financial Advice for Clients with Low Credit Scores

    posted in Client Relationships Nov 2, 2021

    As a financial advisor, you likely have some clients who are eager to invest and plan for the future, but go through seasons when they struggle with cash flow. Clearly, the latter can significantly impact the former, and when that client also has a poor credit score, the challenges mount. 

    A bad credit score typically isn’t the result of one poor decision or bad transaction — it worsens over time through a series of events. Perhaps a client fails to pay bills on time, maxes out credit cards, has excessive debt or has a foreclosure in their credit history. 

    The consequences of poor credit scores have the ability to compound a situation, making it difficult for an individual to get ahead. In worst case scenarios, landlords deny rent applications or utility companies won’t extend their services. Some employers who review credit history as part of the job application process might pass by an applicant with poor credit in favor of another who scores higher.

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    The State of Consumer Confidence Amid Low Interest Rates

    posted in Economic Commentary Oct 26, 2021


    The economy and financial markets in recent years — and particularly since the pandemic — have experienced significant volatility, with interest rates remaining low. While markets have generally rebounded since their sharp decline in spring of 2020, the looming volatility remains, and many agree that interest rates will likely remain low for the foreseeable future.

    Low interest rates have their pros and cons. For the millions of Americans entering the housing market, the historically low rates on mortgages feel like a great deal. When it comes to investing in insurance products intended to supplement a retirement plan, however, low interest rates could be viewed as a liability.

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    Advisors: Make the Most of National Retirement Security Week, October 17-23

    posted in Client Relationships, Retirement Planning Oct 19, 2021

    The shorter, cooler days of October welcome personal reflections on abundance and the changing of seasons. Maybe that’s what makes the month an ideal time for National Retirement Security Week, when Americans are encouraged to reflect on their individual retirement goals and explore whether they’re on track to achieve them.

    First established in 2006 by a Senate resolution and called “National Save for Retirement Week,”1 National Retirement Security Week offers an opportunity for advisors to amplify messages and increase public understanding of the importance of saving early and preparing in advance for retirement.

    With that in mind, here are five facts you can reflect on that offer insights into clients’ needs when it comes to saving and planning for retirement — and which you can use as conversation starters to help get clients thinking about saving, investing and planning for the retirement they envision.

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    The Top 3 Essential Qualities for Success as a Financial Professional

    posted in Client Relationships Oct 12, 2021


    Success is subjective, and can be difficult to measure. 

    As a financial advisor, however, your success is directly tied to the financial success of your clients. 

    While hard work and strategic thinking as you help them plan and invest their money certainly play a part, there’s more to building a reputation — and a successful life — than merely putting in the work hours and recommending the “right” portfolios.

    Here’s some good news: there’s no single personality type that’s required for success. Rather, there are actions you can take to establish and demonstrate qualities clients look for in a financial professional.

    Consider these three important qualities you can develop and nurture that may help you achieve new heights of success and, in turn, help your clients do the same.

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    Widowhood: Helping Your Clients Navigate a New Reality

    posted in Client Relationships, Retirement Planning Oct 5, 2021


    The heartbreak of becoming a widow is often amplified by the uncertainty over having to face the rest of life without a partner by one’s side. Suddenly, the goals, ambitions and dreams for two people no longer seem relevant, and the burden of making decisions about the future rests solely on an individual who may not be ready for a new reality.

    Older women over age 75 are more than twice as likely to become a widow than older men (58% vs. 28%) and may face many years on their own.1 In the wake of becoming a widow, they may need assistance, especially if their spouse handled paying bills and managing their finances. 

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    How Annuities Can Fit Into a Holistic Approach to Fee-Based Accounts

    posted in Advanced Planning Sep 28, 2021


    Both clients and advisors may have their own reasons for preferring a fee-based approach to financial and investment services. 

    Advisors may benefit by prioritizing asset growth over sales transactions, allowing them to really focus on helping clients grow their investments. Clients may see a fee-based relationship as less likely to be subject to the influence of sales commissions. And, with current Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) standards, it’s more important than ever for advisors to demonstrate their fiduciary responsibilities to clients.

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    5 Mistakes Financial Advisors Should Avoid on LinkedIn

    posted in Client Relationships Sep 21, 2021

    There are a lot of social media networks, but LinkedIn stands out among the rest as a place where professionals can share their insights, grow their sphere of influence and virtually rub elbows with other industry thought leaders, clients and prospects.

    Having a presence on LinkedIn to represent your professional advisory role may be a good idea, but it’s important not to treat it the same way you would a personal account. There are boundaries to keep in mind when sharing LinkedIn content and engaging with others

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    What Clients Need to Know About Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefits

    posted in Retirement Planning Sep 14, 2021

    For retirees, the fear of losing any portion of their retirement savings is very real. Everyone in the market would love a guarantee on their return. Unfortunately, there are few guarantees when it comes to investing, especially when factoring in market turbulence, a fluctuating economy and meager interest rates. 

    Annuities with a guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit (GLWB) rider can be appealing to clients approaching retirement because, as the name implies, the rider insures the investment and minimizes risk.

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    5 Ways the Pandemic Impacted Employers and Employees

    posted in Client Relationships Sep 7, 2021

    The COVID-19 pandemic was an obvious call-to-action for employers to consider their employees’ physical wellness. Many stepped up to help provide safety measures or remote work opportunities for their workforces. But many employers could not weather the financial impact brought on by the pandemic, forcing them to lay off employees or adjust spending in other ways.

    Now, in addition to physical wellness, many are seeking ways to address the financial wellness of their employees, both now and into retirement. But with lingering economic uncertainty, some find it a challenge.

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    Be Sure to Address Significant Age Gaps in Retirement Planning for Couples

    posted in Retirement Planning Aug 31, 2021


    Even at its simplest, planning for retirement can be complicated by uncertainties. Planning for married couples only increases that complexity— and a significant age difference between spouses can make retirement decisions even more fraught for some couples.

    In general, people marry someone close in age. In fact, on average, the age gap between spouses in the U.S. is just 2.2 years.1 But it’s important to remember that averages are not a reflection of reality for many people. Plenty of married couples have a larger age gap between spouses.

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