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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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    Focus On Core Values to Achieve Your Goals

    posted in Client Relationships Nov 10, 2020


    Most financial advisors thrive on the feeling of success that comes from guiding a client through discomfort, helping them stay rational and true to their values as they achieve their goals. Many advisors are also well-acquainted with that visceral feeling of failure and discouragement that comes when a client’s stress or fear of uncertainty affects their decision-making, disrupts their progress and leads them off track.

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    Retirement Savings Tips for Clients Who Live Paycheck-to-Paycheck

    posted in Retirement Planning Nov 3, 2020


    Most Americans are acutely aware of their financial situations. A recent report reflects that 40% of U.S. consumers have had difficulty paying bills in the last year. Others who were unemployed, had reduced work hours, or couldn't work because of an illness were nearly twice as likely to experience a shortfall and live paycheck-to-paycheck.1 In light of recent global events and millions claiming unemployment in the U.S., those numbers could be staggering.

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    How Advisors Can Engage Risk-Averse Investors

    posted in Client Relationships, Risk Control Oct 27, 2020


    Meet Steve and Beth. After the economic collapse of 2008–2009, they couldn’t stomach seeing the financial markets plummet, taking their hard-earned money with it. So they called their advisor, withdrew from the market and cut their losses, vowing never to return. Whenever their advisor tried touching base, he was met with a cold shoulder.

    As the economy regained steam, Steve and Beth watched from the sidelines as markets climbed to new, all-time highs. They knew they were missing out on potential gains and wondered if they should consider risking the market again. “Hey Beth, maybe we should contact our old advisor.”

    And then the pandemic hit.

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    Remember These 3 Employer Retirement Plan Rollover Opportunities

    posted in Advanced Planning Oct 20, 2020


    There are several reasons for clients to consider a rollover from an employer retirement plan to an IRA at retirement — and in some cases, even earlier. The appeal of a rollover may be supported by a variety of benefits to clients, including (but certainly not limited to):

    • Greater access to their retirement investments
    • Wider selection of investment options (and more choice over costs and fees)
    • Coordination and control of all their investments and retirement planning decisions
    • Ability to choose their own financial advisor
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    Economic Commentary: Economy Remains Uncertain Amid Pandemic

    posted in Economic Commentary Oct 13, 2020


    When it comes to financial markets, all eyes are on the latest happenings tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it’s weekly jobless claims, corporate earnings reports, global trade, fiscal policies or the potential for a vaccine, markets respond in stride.

    Following unprecedented losses and the worst three-month decline on record in the second quarter, the U.S. economy rebounded at an estimated 25% growth rate in the third quarter, the fastest quarterly growth rate on record.

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    CUNA Mutual Group Launches Digital Behavioral Finance Advice (BFA™) Advisor Tools

    posted in News & Press Oct 8, 2020


    MADISON, Wis. – CUNA Mutual Group Annuities is enhancing the advisor-client conversation by introducing a new digital version of the Behavioral Finance Advice approach to investing, which features new tools and client sales aides for advisors.

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