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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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    Social Security Benefits: 5 Crucial Considerations for Women

    posted in Retirement Planning Dec 8, 2020


    Social Security benefits are a perennially popular topic of discussion — will they continue to be available? What percentage is available when, and for whom?

    What deserves even greater attention, especially among women, are the decisions about working, retirement and Social Security benefits that could negatively impact their long-term financial security. This subject is particularly pressing because women represent over 55% of all adult Social Security beneficiaries, and at age 85 and over, they represent nearly two-thirds of all beneficiaries.1

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    Year in Review — Financial Advisor Takeaways from 2020

    posted in Client Relationships Dec 1, 2020


    In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic upended nearly every facet of life as we knew it and continues to take its toll. Add to that the political divides, regional unrest and global tensions, and it’s easy to see why markets experienced unprecedented volatility and many investors felt uneasy.

    When looking back at the year 2020, some may say, “Good riddance!” It was certainly a disconcerting year, to say the least, and there are still many challenges ahead. As we look back, however, it’s not all gloom and doom. In addition to the challenges, there were some bright spots and there are opportunities as we move ahead.

    Here are our top 2020 takeaways and related stories for financial advisors and their clients.

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    Annuities as an Alternative Fixed Income Allocation?

    posted in Advanced Planning Nov 24, 2020


    Your mix of clients likely ranges from those who can stomach a lot of risk to those who have an almost unhealthy fear of losses. Understandably, those who are highly risk-averse are typically dissatisfied with the low returns that often accompany conservative investment strategies.

    Among those strategies are fixed income allocations in the form of savings accounts, CDs, money market funds and bonds. While these investment options can offer a reliable return with lower risk, it’s often difficult to generate adequate returns to grow wealth or sometimes even outpace inflation. 

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    Overcoming 4 Annuity Myths & Misconceptions from Clients

    posted in Risk Control Nov 17, 2020

    As a financial advisor, you’ve likely talked to many clients about annuities and how they could play a beneficial role in an individual’s overall retirement income strategy. It’s also possible that you may have been met with some objections or needed to provide some clarity between perception and reality.

    Your clients may misunderstand how annuities work or have only heard half-truths about the role they could play in a diversified investment portfolio. Your guidance and expertise can help them understand the facts and determine how an annuity might help them reach their retirement goals.

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