Can Annuities Help You Comply With Regulation Best Interest?

posted in Advanced Planning Sep 8, 2020


The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) standard went into effect June 29, 2020. According to the SEC, the new standard of conduct and disclosure requirements are intended to increase transparency for customers and maintain access and choice to a broad range of products and services.1

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Understanding Unemployment Realities to Provide Investor Guidance

posted in Advanced Planning Aug 4, 2020


Life is rarely uneventful. It’s unusual to live long periods of time without some kind of curve ball or surprise.

In financial planning, there are certain instances that prompt a review of a client’s financial situation. They’re encouraged to get help from an experienced financial advisor when life events occur, such as a new birth, a death in the family, a change in health, or a significant purchase or sale of a home. A good advisor helps them to be prepared with a plan that addresses the certainty of uncertainty.

The current economic situation is resulting in a lot of life-changing events for individuals in the form of job loss or career changes. Unemployment, in particular, is a life-changing event that many are experiencing, given the pandemic. Such times of uncertainty may drive many upcoming client conversations.

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Why and When a Roth IRA Conversion Might Make Sense

posted in Advanced Planning Jul 28, 2020


Millions of Americans participate in traditional IRAs (individual retirement accounts) to build their retirement savings. While no one would argue against contributing to a retirement account on a consistent basis, the type of account those funds go into may be up for debate.

Though they have similarities, there are a number of compelling reasons you may want to advise investors to consider converting their traditional IRA over to a Roth IRA.

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Guiding Clients Who Don’t Want to Leave an Inheritance For Their Children

posted in Advanced Planning, Retirement Planning Jul 21, 2020

We’ve heard about the Great Wealth Transfer and how all those years of saving and investing by Baby Boomers will benefit the next generation. It’s generally assumed that parents who have a nice nest egg will leave the majority of that wealth to their children as an inheritance. But that’s not always the case.

Some wealthy retirees may choose to buck tradition and leave a different kind of legacy, one that supports their community or other charitable causes they care deeply about. Or, some might simply plan on enjoying the money they’ve made by spending it on travel, entertainment or other hobbies. It is their money, after all.

No matter how your clients choose to distribute their estates, it’s best for them to manage their children’s expectations sooner than later. The following approaches can help.

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The Tax Man Still Cometh: Implications for 2019 Annuity Taxes

posted in Advanced Planning Jul 6, 2020


Most years, summer cannot begin until taxes are filed. This year is different, however, for most taxpayers. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the IRS issued a postponement of the federal tax filing due date from April 15 until July 15, 2020 (for the 2019 tax year).1

Hopefully, most clients made good use of mandatory stay-at-home orders to complete their federal taxes, especially if they were due a refund. Those who owed additional taxes may have already submitted their payments despite the extended deadline of July 15. If your clients haven’t yet filed, however, they may want to consider additional investment opportunities.

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How the CARES Act Impacts Individual Financial Planning

posted in Advanced Planning Jun 16, 2020


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law March 27, 2020. Relief in the legislation was focused on both small businesses and the workforce at large.

While many are still dealing with changes to their financial state and hoping for a quick rebound as the economy gradually reopens, it’s prudent to consider that these financial challenges may remain for the balance of 2020 and, for some who are directly impacted, for years to come.

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CUNA Mutual Group Launches Advanced Planning Resources Program

posted in Advanced Planning, News & Press Apr 11, 2020

Marshall Heitzman Will Lead the New Program Efforts To Help Advisors Solve Complex Retirement Planning Challenges

MADISON, Wis. – CUNA Mutual Group, a leading insurance and financial services company, announced today the launch of its Elevate™ Advanced Planning program for advisors and broker-dealers, available beginning March 2020.

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8 SECURE Act Facts…and What Advisors Should do About Them

posted in Advanced Planning, Retirement Planning Mar 24, 2020

On December 20, 2019 a new Act was signed in law that advisors should understand.  

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (the SECURE Act) includes provisions aimed at helping people save for retirement. It includes increasing access to tax-advantaged accounts, as well as opportunities to help prevent older Americans from outliving their assets in retirement.

This is the second legislative tax or retirement reform in the past 2 years, and it will likely have significant impact on how financial advisors help clients plan for their retirement for years.

First, we’ll tackle the top 8 facts advisors should know about the SECURE Act. After each, we’ll share a practical, actionable step advisors can take.

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10 Conversation Starters to Engage With Clients

posted in Client Relationships, Advanced Planning Mar 17, 2020

Most advisors know they should probably touch base with clients more often than they do, but when those discussions are too frequent, the dialogue may end up sounding like all previous conversations.

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Why the Optimal Time for Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawals May Be Now

posted in Advanced Planning, Risk Control Feb 25, 2020

Are guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits (GLWBs) poised to have a “moment?” That’s what David Hanzlik, Vice President of Annuity and Retirement Solutions at CUNA Mutual Group concludes.1

Despite some older Americans choosing to remain in the workforce, Baby Boomers continue to retire in droves. Roughly 3.8 million Boomers will turn 65 every year during this decade, which will have a significant impact on the labor force.2 It will also have a significant impact on the income of those retirees.

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