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    Helping Young Adults Rebalance Work, Life and Retirement Goals

    posted in Client Relationships, Retirement Planning Jul 6, 2021


    Today’s young adults, including the youngest millennials and older members of Generation Z, are experiencing a first working decade that’s very different from those of generations before them. Among the differences: high levels of educational attainment, significant student debt, a greater proportion of gig work, fluid expectations for their career paths and a practically unfathomable retirement target date.

    Older generations may tend to judge the choices of younger people, but it’s important to recognize the ways work, life – and retirement savings – have changed over the course of decades.

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

    posted in Client Relationships Jun 29, 2021


    As an asset class, cash generally elicits one of two responses from investors: “cash is king,” or “cash is trash.” Most of your clients are probably in one camp or the other, while some could be conflicted. On 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. On the other hand, they may harbor a genuine fear of missing out on possible investment returns and resulting portfolio growth.

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    How Financial Advisors Can Address Clients’ Needs As They Age

    posted in Client Relationships Jun 22, 2021

    It’s estimated that more than six million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's dementia today. This number could more than double by 2060 if medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or cure the disease aren’t developed.1 Given the aging U.S. population, these statistics may not be particularly startling; however, they should serve as a wake-up call for financial advisors.

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    The Unique Post-Pandemic Challenges of Women Investors

    posted in Client Relationships Jun 15, 2021


    If you’re asked to envision a typical investor, who comes to mind? Chances are the individual you picture is a male. Through the years, however, you’ve likely seen an uptick in the number of women who’ve shown an interest in investing or who control the finances in a household.

    There are many factors that may have caused this shift, whether it be the setting aside of traditional norms or the move toward more gender equality. However, there is data to suggest that women are bearing more of the financial brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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    Volatile Markets? How and When to Communicate With Clients

    posted in Client Relationships Jun 8, 2021


    Financial advisors generally understand and accept that volatility is inherent in the stock market, but not all clients are as immune to the natural ebb and flow of investing.  Market dips may grip clients with fear, leading to a reactive leap out of their long-term investment strategy.

    In “panic mode,” having a big picture discussion about the economy or market cycles may briefly calm clients. It likely won’t take long, however, until they once again worry themselves into considering poor financial choices.

    As their financial advisor, part of the value you bring to the advisor/client relationship is a voice of reason to combat the fear. Acknowledging your clients’ concerns as valid has a twofold benefit. It reinforces that you take your clients seriously and that, by wanting to help, you are on their side. From there, leaning into a conversation about the situation and next steps may prove easier and more advantageous.

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    June is National Annuity Awareness Month

    Jun 1, 2021

    National Annuity Awareness Month is a great time to introduce and discuss the overall benefits of annuities to your clients.

    Guaranteed income conversations take on added importance when discussing confidence among retirees regarding their savings. Given the tumultuous nature of the market in the last year, many more of your clients may look for risk control options.

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    CUNA Mutual Group Annuities Launches Acceleration® Experience Platform to Help Strengthen and Innovate Advisor Practices

    posted in News & Press May 27, 2021

    Online platform expands CUNA Mutual Group’s digital suite of advisor resources

    Madison, WI., May 27CUNA Mutual Group announced today the digital launch of Acceleration®, a value-add program designed to help appointed advisors strengthen their client relationships and grow their practices to best meet their evolving financial planning needs.

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    Living Wills and Durable Power of Attorney — How to Talk With Clients

    posted in Advanced Planning May 25, 2021

    There are some topics that probably come easily when talking with clients, like diversification strategies, catch-up contributions or simply catching up on life.

    And then there are those less pleasant conversations.

    End-of-life planning involves more than just drafting a will to designate beneficiaries and how a client’s assets will be distributed upon death. A strategic approach to estate planning also addresses how to handle assets and end-of-life decisions in the event a living client becomes incapacitated.

    Starting with the basic facts can be an important part of legacy planning with your client.

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    Are Parents Who Pay for College Risking Retirement?

    posted in Retirement Planning May 18, 2021


    It’s a question that confounds some clients and probably has them turning to you for guidance: Do I save for retirement or for my child’s college education?

    The conflict may not be wholly financial. Choosing retirement over their child’s education may feel selfish to some parents, and that parental guilt has the potential to lead to poor decisions.

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    Economic Commentary: U.S. Economy Gathers Momentum, But How Sustainable is the Growth?

    posted in Economic Commentary May 13, 2021


    As the U.S. endeavors to navigate out of the pandemic and into a recovery, questions remain about key factors, including COVID-19’s temporary and permanent effects on employment, the hope of achieving herd immunity, the unleashing of pent-up demand for goods and services as vaccinations rise, and the possibility of accelerating inflation. Investors have revised their expectations for economic growth in 2021-22 upward. 

    Yet the global pandemic remains persistent, and recent developments on that front have been mixed. As U.S. vaccinations escalated, the rise of highly contagious variants and limited vaccine access around the world contribute to unpredictability that makes for a challenging long-term outlook. Scientists have proven their ability to respond with medical advances—but with a time lag.

    Major developments in economic and monetary policy could also affect market sentiment. The biggest factors that could impact the expansion include federal spending, the pace of economic growth, trending inflation and interest rates, and monetary policy responses to a possible overheating economy.

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