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    Structured Annuities vs. Bonds: Which Comes Out On Top?

    posted in Retirement Planning Oct 4, 2022


     

    Conservative investors are sometimes drawn to bond markets due to their relatively low risk, predictable income stream and principal protection. What investors gain in relative security, however, is sometimes lost in low returns. Factor in inflation and any potential gains could be negligible.

    A recent whitepaper by Barclays examined the performance of bonds over the course of the last two decades and compared it to using two indices in fixed indexed annuities over the same period. What did they find?

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    October is Financial Planning Month: Advisor Tips for Clients

    posted in Client Relationships Sep 27, 2022


    October is a time when the harvest is in full swing for many regions of the country. Harvest time is especially satisfying for farmers who’ve planned, planted and tended the fields all summer long and finally get to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Quite literally.

    Similarly, financial security doesn’t just happen overnight, or without a lot of thought, planning and riding out a few storms throughout the seasons of life. Perhaps the metaphor wasn’t lost on those who declared October as National Financial Planning Month.1 

    While some advisors may only offer a perfunctory nod to such a holiday, it could present another opportunity to share with clients how they can potentially improve their financial outlook.

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    Volatile Markets? How and When to Communicate with Clients

    posted in Client Relationships Sep 20, 2022


    Financial advisors generally understand volatility is inherent in the stock market, but the last few years have been putting every long standing assumption to the test. Between the pandemic, unemployment and financial stress, supply chain issues, the invasion of Ukraine and an entire laundry list of worldwide crises, it’s an understatement to say the markets have been on a rollercoaster.

    Even in less globally stressful times, not all clients are as immune as advisors to the ebb and flow of investing. Market dips occurring during more typical times may grip clients with fear, leading to a reactive leap out of their long-term investment strategies. Now, with all that’s been happening more recently, that fear may be amplified and lead clients to make rash decisions.

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    Fintech is Disrupting Financial Services… And That’s OK

    posted in Client Relationships Sep 13, 2022


    Technology advances continue to disrupt the financial industry. Fintech — short for financial technology — is undoubtedly changing the way many consumers engage with their finances and the institutions that help manage them. 

    It’s also changing the way financial advisors engage with clients. While most advisors would admit that they don’t want to return to the analog days of flipping through a Rolodex, some may be hesitant to embrace the fintech era. Some may even feel threatened or intimidated by the advanced algorithms and AI capabilities of some technologies.

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    Pros and Cons of Cash: Are Annuities a Better Strategy?

    posted in Risk Control Sep 6, 2022


    As an asset class, cash generally elicits one of two responses from investors: “cash is king” or “cash is trash.” Most of your clients probably are in one camp or the other, while some may be conflicted. 

    On the one hand, they may see the positive benefits of holding onto cash — shielding against the unexpected or having more flexibility to invest as opportunities arise. In light of recent market volatility, cash may feel like a safer bet

    On the other hand, they may harbor a genuine fear of missing out on investment returns and resulting portfolio growth. After all, if markets are down, they may go back up, right?

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    What Clients Need to Know About Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefits

    posted in Retirement Planning Aug 30, 2022


    Financial security tends to weigh heavily on the minds of those nearing retirement. People may find themselves wondering if they have all their ducks in a row and are truly set up to continue receiving a form of income through their golden years once they’ve cashed their last employer paycheck. Social Security helps, but it can’t be solely relied upon.

    That’s where annuities can help close a gap and offer guaranteed income for life. CUNA Mutual Group offers numerous annuity types that investors can select based on their risk tolerance, and one such annuity type is the Group Zone Income™ Annuity. And we are pleased to announce that we are increasing our Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB) rates on this annuity!

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    Back to School: How Parents Can Approach Tuition & Retirement

    posted in Retirement Planning Aug 23, 2022


    Parents planning for retirement while seeing their growing children off to college have a unique financial road ahead of them. Retirement and college are costly endeavors, and it’s ideal to have a bundle saved up for both. But is that even possible?

    Your clients may approach you with questions about helping their kids pay for higher learning while ensuring their own financial stability throughout retirement. Depending on their circumstances, they may not have to choose between one or the other. How can they approach tuition and retirement?

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    CUNA Mutual Group Recognized for the Fourth Time in “Barron's Best Annuities for Income and Growth” Feature

    posted in News & Press Aug 18, 2022


    Featured in 12 categories out of 100

    In Barron’s 100 Best Annuities feature, CUNA Mutual Group annuities were ranked in 12 categories featuring five of our annuity products - CUNA Mutual Group ZoneChoice™ Annuity, CUNA Mutual Group Zone Income™ Annuity, MEMBERS® Horizon II Annuity, MEMBERS® Single Premium Immediate Annuity and MEMBERS® Future Income Annuity.

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    Connect With Clients, Even at a Distance

    posted in Client Relationships Aug 16, 2022


    When the pandemic first swept across the United States, extreme measures were taken to stem the spread of COVID-19. Millions of Americans and countless organizations shut their doors to the outside world. Chances are, your financial firm was among them. Suddenly, we became a “work-from-home” nation.

    As much of the world ground to a halt, some investors watched in disbelief as the markets plunged, then rose, then dropped again, then ... You get the idea. Since then, other forms of national and global unrest have been added to the mix, and market volatility continues to swing.

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    Social Security Day is August 14th — Know These 5 Important Facts

    posted in Retirement Planning Aug 9, 2022


    While not an official federal holiday, many remember August 14th as Social Security Day in celebration of the signing of the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935.1 

    This is a great time to reflect on the importance of such a critical income source for many retirees and its impact on their retirement plans. Take a look at five interesting Social Security facts and consider how these benefits can play a role in the advice you give to your clients.

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