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    Strategies for Clients Who Regret Claiming Social Security Early

    posted in Advanced Planning Mar 23, 2021

    The events of the past year have had a significant economic impact on many families. In particular, the rate of unemployment for those aged 55 and older reached a staggering 13.6% in April of 2020, recovering to 6% by the end of the year.1

    Chances are, some of your older clients were among those laid off, downsized, or temporarily furloughed, forcing them to make financial decisions that might not have been made otherwise, interrupting or at least changing their retirement plans.

    Most notably, clients over age 62 may have claimed Social Security benefits earlier than anticipated and may now regret that decision as the economy improves, and they have the potential to return to the workforce.

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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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    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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    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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    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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    Regulation Best Interest Compliance

    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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    Helping Clients Understand and Address Job Loss

    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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    Roth IRA Conversion: When and Why?

    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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    When Clients Choose Not to Leave Children an Inheritance

    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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    2019 Tax Filing Deadline Extended to July 15

    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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